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VOLUME 6, NUMBER 18 JULY 03, 2014


With One Million for District 3, Participatory Budgeting Process Begins BY SEAN EGAN Have you ever wished that you could have a real, direct say in how your tax dollars are spent in your community? That’s exactly what Participatory Budgeting strives to do — and on June 26, the office of District 3 Councilmember Corey Johnson held a meeting to spread the word about this radical, relatively new city program that will put money in the hands of communities like never before. Over the course of the early evening meeting on the High Line, representatives from Johnson’s staff addressed the District 3 residents who came out, and explained exactly what Participatory Budgeting (PB) is, and how the community can get involved in the process going forward. By 6 p.m., a sizable crowd of people had gathered in the office space of the Friends of the High Line overlooking the park. The meeting began with general introductions. While Johnson himself was not in attendance, the meeting was headed by Matt Green, the office’s PB Director, Jeffrey LeFrancois, Johnson’s Chief of Staff, and Christopher King, a Community Engagement Strategist from Community Voices Heard. After these general introductions, Green, who had previously aided the PB process in Brooklyn and described it as an “amazing, positive experience,” queued up an informational slideshow — kicking the night off with an icebreaking game of “Jeopardy” to gauge audience knowledge of participatory budgetContinued on page 3


Photo by T. Julian Pertkiewicz

World Cup as National Pastime? America once again flirted with the notion of having two sports it can call “football,” as FIFA World Cup fans packed restaurants, bars, sidewalks, and even the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge. Seen here on June 22 at The Ainsworth (122 W. 26th St.), Sandy Huang holds an American flag and leads the crowd in a cheer. The U.S. men’s national team match against Portugal ended in a 2-2 tie. Flip to page 21, for T. Julian Pertkiewicz’s photo essay charting the progress of Team USA.

CB4 Debuts Ambitious Affordable Housing Plan BY EILEEN STUKANE Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen will have over 11,000 affordable apartments — perhaps more — if the plan envisioned by Community Board 4 (CB4) is fully realized. That number would be achieved through changing an industrial corridor into a residential one, preventing current affordable housing from falling into market rate, and creating many new units (some of which are already under construction). In his determination to make New York City a more affordable place to live, Mayor de Blasio has asked the city’s 59 Community Boards for help in identifying sites, and making suggestions for ways to increase affordable housing in their neighborhoods. The mayor’s drive for affordability has led him in various directions. He recently urged the city’s Rent Guidelines Board to adopt a freeze on one-year

increases for rent-stabilized apartments. Although the freeze was not approved, the Board did vote in a remarkably low 1 percent increase on one-year renewals and a 2.75 percent increase on two-year leases. Promptly taking the mayor’s request to heart, CB4 is the first community board to have undertaken a comprehensive, organized analysis of the options in its community. The result is “Affordable Housing: Community District 4 (Under Construction, Under Public Review, Pipeline and Proposed Sites).” The impressive 60-page plan was unveiled on June 19, at a meeting of CB4’s Housing, Health and Human Services Committee (HHSC). The committee’s co-chair, Joe Restuccia, moderated a page-by-page presen-

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Community Activities

Photo by Kondala Rao Dhulipudi

Photo by Michae Palma

The New Amsterdam Summer Orchestra (the seasonal incarnation of the Symphony Orchestra, seen here) performs at St. Peter’s Church (346 W. 20th St.) on July 17.

The Rubin Museum of Art’s July 20 Block Party doubles as a 10th Anniversary celebration and the launch of their Family Sundays program.


HEALTHY HELL’S KITCHENIGHTS How do you turn a kitchen into a gym? If you’re the West 45/46 Block Association, all it takes is a park, some top-notch instructors, and a group of neighbors who prefer their fitness with a little fresh air. “Healthy Hell’s Kitchenights” will turn Mathews-Palmer Park into an outdoor community center, by offering three fitness and wellness programs. At 7:30 p.m., Birgit Nagale’s “Reflexology” class gives you self-care tips for administering pressure, in order to relieve pain and stress. Also at 7:30 p.m., personal trainer Josue Castaneda’s “Going Green Bootcamp” has fun and challenging exercises, for which no workout equipment is needed (just bring a mat and a bottle of water). That mat also comes in handy at 8:30 p.m., when Victoria Wells leads a calming “Candlelight Yoga” class meant to liberate your mind and strengthen your body. Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Kunalini, and Yin are among the styles you’ll learn (by doing!). Free & wheelchair accessible. Mon., July 7 & 14 (events start at 7:30 & 8:30 p.m.). At Mathews-Palmer Park (45th or 46th St., btw. Ninth & Tenth Aves.). For info, email “Like” and follow the event sponsors, at westfortyfifthstreet.blockassociation. Learn about park, at parks/matthewspalmerplayground/ history.

SUMMER MUSIC IN CHELSEA The New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra’s appropriately named seasonal incarnation — the New Amsterdam Summer Orchestra —


July 03, 2014

Photo by Ron Haviv/VII

Candlelight yoga, soothing reflexology and a challening bootcamp are all on the plate, when Mathews-Palmer Park hosts Healthy Hell’s KitcheNights.

returns to St. Peter’s Chelsea for their annual two-part “Summer Music in Chelsea” series (which benefits the church’s Food Pantry program). On July 17, Matthew Oberstein conducts works including Haydn’s “The Creation” and Beethoven’s “Overture to Creatures of Prometheus.” Soprano Angela Leson and baritone Christopher DeVage are the soloists. On September 9, an all-Mozart program includes “Sinfonia Concertante” and “Overture to La finta giardiniera.” Yuga Cohler guest conducts, with Katarzyna Bryla (violin) and Elzbieta Weyman (viola) as the soloists. Thurs., July 17 & Tues., Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. At St. Peter’s Church (346 W. 20th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Suggested Donation: $10 ($5 for students & seniors). For info on the concert, the food pantry, and upcoming events, call 212-929-2390 or visit For info on the Orchestra, visit

THE RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART’S CHELSEA BLOCK PARTY For a place so well-suited for inward contemplation, they sure know how to throw an outdoor party. In celebration of its 10th Anniversary, the Rubin Museum of Art is bringing the Himalayas out of the building and into the street —for an afternoon of music and performance from the Dance Theater of Nepal, the Milarepa Children’s Theater & Chorus, and The Tibetan Community of NY & NJ. Other activities include getting henna tattoos, amulet and mask-making, street chalk, drawing, and face painting. Inside the Museum, Buddhist monks will create an intricate sand mandala, and classical South Asian and Himalayan musicians will perform. This free celebratory event also serves as the launch of RMA’s new Family Sundays program — which invites families to create art, join

special tours, and explore on their own with thematic gallery searches. Whether roaming solo, joined by a friend or with the whole family in tow, you’ll need more than one visit to fully appreciate the Museum’s aesthetically stunning, spiritually fulfilling, and intellectually challenging collection of Tibetan, Chinese, Indian, Afghan, Bhutanese, Mongolian, Nepalese, and Pakistani art. Free. Rain or shine on Sun., July 20, 1– 4 p.m. Inside, and in front of, The Rubin Museum of Art (150 W. 17th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.). For info, call 212-620-5000 or visit

LENOX HILL HEALTHPLEX OPEN HOUSE Later this summer, on the site of the former O’Toole Building, the North Shore/LIJ Hospital System will debut the first phase of its Lenox Hill HealthPlex facility — in the form of a 24/7 emergency department. Over the next year, other elements of the medical center (on the upper floors) will begin providing health and wellness services. In anticipation of the emergency room becoming operational, the public is invited to attend an Open House, during which they can ask the staff questions about services, and learn about current and future plans for the HealthPlex. Tues., July 8 (3-6:30 p.m.) & Sat., July 12 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.). Tours last approximately 30 minutes. At Lenox Hill HealthPlex (30 Seventh Ave., btw. W. 12th & 13th Sts.). To attend, RSVP by sending an email to wkawadler@ or just stop by. For more info on the facility, visit .com

Community Involvement Key to Participatory Budgeting Process Continued from page 1 ing, featuring categories such as “NYC Budget Basics” and “Discretionary Funds.” The crowd murmured and called out responses to the questions, sometimes shocked by the correct answers. After the game piqued their interest, Green played a short video (in which he made a cameo appearance) on the purpose and benefits of participatory budgeting (available for viewing at Following the game of Jeopardy and the video, a working definition of what participatory budgeting is had been reached — it is the democratic process by which communities decide how a portion of the city’s capital budget is spent (on things such as improving parks, sidewalk beatification and public school upgrades). The practice started in Brazil, and eventually spread to North American cities, like Toronto, and three years ago, New York City. Now, in this fiscal year, 22 NYC Council Districts are participating — “Larger than any city that’s doing PB anywhere,” noted Green proudly.

District 3 alone has been allotted $1 million for the completion of various community projects of the people’s discretion — and Johnson’s office is excited about the possibilities. As Josh Lerner of the Participatory Budgeting Project puts it in the video, participatory budgeting “Gives people real power over real money, to make the decisions that affect their lives.” The other goals of participatory budgeting, according to the slideshow, include: Opening up government, expanding civic engagement, developing new community leaders, building communities, and making public spending more equitable. With a basic understanding of PB under the crowd’s belt, Green and company fired ahead with the presentation, getting more into the nitty gritty of the PB process. Starting with general neighborhood assemblies, community residents are encouraged to bring forth ideas for public improvement — with nearly 300 sometimes resulting from these meetings. Next, budget delegates are selected to learn about the budgeting process, and then

Photo by Jeffrey LeFrancois

Matt Green, Director of Participatory Budgeting for Councilmember Johnson, goes over the process with residents of the 3rd Council District.

take the ideas and whittle them down and refine them with support from the Councilmember and their office. In addition, District Committees are formed to help run the process in each individual district. Once the ideas have been refined into workable proposals (usually about 30 or so after the initial ideas are vetted), they are

brought back to the community to examine them and, eventually, vote on their favorites to be implemented with the money set aside for participatory budgeting — with the top five vote getters being funded. Green then pulled up a helpful, cir-

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July 03, 2014


CB4 First to Answer Mayor de Blasio’s Call Continued from page 1 tation of CB4’s findings, explaining that the current scenario would continue to be refined until it is finalized by a full board vote (probably at the July 30 meeting). In the meantime, those attending learned solid new information and heard hopeful visions for affordability where they lived. Divided into six sections (Sites Under Construction, Sites With Completed Public Review, Sites Under Public Review Process, Development Pipeline, Proposed Development Sites, and Proposed Rezoning And Text Amendments), the plan delivered highlights and hot spots.

HIGHLIGHTS OF CB4’S AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN From the eight buildings currently under construction in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen, 2,883 new apartments are being created — and 735 of them will be affordable units, mostly for those making from 40 to 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). As previously reported in Chelsea Now, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) takes a wide variety of data (including income, cost of living, and census figures) to create an AMI that varies according to where you live. In New York County, the 2014 Median Income is $62,500. Guided by the AMI, developers who receive a number of incentives such as tax breaks and low-cost financing must offer a percentage of the apartments they create for affordable housing. The rule has been for developers to offer 20 percent of their units for affordable renting. However, Mayor de Blasio and his administration are now pushing for 30 percent affordability in future new constructions. A TF Cornerstone development at 606 W. 57th St. has completed the public review process but has not yet started construction. It is a 42-story mixed-use building that will have an increase in affordable units. At the instigation of City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, in addition to the 205 apartments required, 10 units will be added at higher than usual AMI levels. “There are now units at 165 percent AMI and units we’ve never seen before, at 200 percent and 230 percent AMI,” said Restuccia. “Councilmember Rosenthal’s concern was that for the Upper West Side, there are many who can’t compete in the market. They might be able to afford $3,500 for a two-bedroom, but two-bedrooms are $5,500. So we ended up with more affordable units,


July 03, 2014

Image courtesy of CB4

Possible development sites, from CB4’s Affordable Housing Plan.

a total of 215.” Two development projects joined together in inclusionary housing are the 525 W. 52nd St. Taconic/Ritterman building — which elevates up to 22 stories and has 79 affordable apartments — and the 540 W. 53rd St. Clinton Housing Development Company (CHDC’s) building of 103 fully residential apartments. On W. 52nd St. the affordable apartments will be for those earning 40 to 50 percent AMI, while the W. 53rd CHDC building will take over the higher end, for those making from 80 percent up to 165 percent AMI. There was news that Harborview Terrace, a two-building complex developed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) in the 1970s at 535 W. 55th St., could have a new life with a proposed third building of over 200 affordable apartments, improvements to old buildings, and newly designed green spaces. “We’re looking to make this a model project,” said Restuccia, explaining that elected officials, tenants, and community stakeholders are meeting to come up with designs for how to make the project work. “Elected officials have agreed that they would be interested in partially funding the project, which would transfer land for a new building from NYCHA to the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) for sale to a private developer.” In the same vein, the city, which owns a vacated 30,000 square foot Hunter

College building at 450 W. 41st St., is interested in transferring the property to HPD for development. Demolition of that asbestos-filled building and the construction of a new one could bring 239 affordable apartments to the community. Coincidentally, Restuccia announced that Covenant House, which has three adjacent buildings to the Hunter property on Tenth Ave., is interested in turning those into a development site that could possibly add over 100 more affordable apartments. An assortment of other sites — among them the Morgan Annex of the US Post Office at 317 Ninth Ave., the Old Slaughterhouse at 493 11th Ave., and the Fulton Houses parking and garage storage areas at 424 W. 18th St. — were also suggested as possible locations for developing affordable housing.

GRAND PLANS, FOR ‘DERELICT’ BULDINGS, EMPTY LOT The futures of 201 Seventh Ave. (at W. 22nd St.) and a former NYC Department of Sanitation (DOS) location at 136 W. 20th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) drew the greatest interest from the community. Pamela Wolff, of Chelsea’s West 200 Block Association, pointed out that the Seventh Ave./W. 22nd St. location was actually four low-rise buildings. “Two of them have been totally vacant and boarded up for 25 years, and the four of them have been basically derelict for a good four decades to my recollec-

tion,” she said. Restuccia opined that the buildings were “shabby city-owned buildings, but not derelict.” Although the buildings are part of the Tenant Interim Lease program, which relocates tenants and allows them to return after a building renovation, two households continue to live in two of the buildings, one with a ground-floor deli. Restuccia suggested that the future of that corner would be to gut the building, expand it on three floors, and create 24 affordable apartments out of the existing 12. Wolff asked, “Since those buildings have had no maintenance on them for decades, why not consider taking them down and building new affordable housing — a larger structure — on that site?” Restuccia acknowledged a “strong preservation community and a strong desire for affordable housing” but felt that “there would be members of the Chelsea community who would be highly concerned about the city of New York doing demolition.” Wolff then said, “I’m one of the leaders of strong preservation, and I think I can assure you that east of Seventh Ave., there would not be a major outcry from among the Chelsea residents if there were a larger new structure.” Restuccia then said that part of the plan is balancing and recognizing interests, starting out with the most conservative approach since the people who still live in those buildings have rights.

Continued on page 5 .com

to Identify Affordable Housing Sites

Image courtesy of Friends of 20th Street Park

Rather than affordable housing, this rendering imagines the empty lot at 136 W. 20th St. as a park with seating among the shade and bio-diverse plantings.

Photo by Scott Stiffler

Four low-rise buildings on Seventh Ave. (near W. 22nd St.) may be altered to create 24 affordable apartments.

Continued from page 4 The Seventh Ave./W. 22nd St. corner was once considered a location for greater affordable housing in order to open up the empty DOS site at 136 W. 20th St. for a public park. Restuccia presented the DOS site as a location for 84 affordable apartments, but City Councilmember Corey Johnson’s spokesperson, Jeffrey LeFrancois, said that HPD is now in control of the site, and that Johnson had asked that any action be put on hold. “We knew that conversations were ongoing with various interests in the community for a park and affordable housing, and we’re seeing if we can find a way to have both with the new administration in place,” said LeFrancois. Matt Weiss, founder of Friends of 20th Street Park, a grassroots organization that has been working tirelessly since 2010 to convert the site into a public green space, thanked the community board for its dedication to improving the quality of life in Chelsea. He reminded the board that there is no public open space from 14th St. to 26th St., btw. Sixth and Eighth Aves., and that there was now “a rare opportunity to achieve a win/win outcome, with more affordable housing and a new park, two public goods, that in this case are not mutually exclusive. That’s the opportunity we believe exists on 20th Street. We’re all here to express our deep gratitude to this board and this committee, to help come up with creative solutions that seek to solve those two key needs.” Wolff added that that new school opening at the former New York Foundling Hospital (on Sixth Ave. at W. .com

17th St.) has “teachers and faculty excited about the possibility of a park on 20th Street and they would find an immediate and very good use for it.” She acknowledged the slowness of the NYC Parks Department to create new parks, and Restuccia recalled that the Hell’s Kitchen Park took 15 years to come to fruition. “We designed a bocce court, and by the time it was built all the old people had died and there was no need for bocce,” he said. “But in the end, our community is committed to just hanging in there.” It is also worth noting that green space is now expected, and intrinsic to developers’ plans for new construction.

REZONING, PRESERVATION AND PENN SOUTH The 11,000 affordable apartments envisioned for the area could also come about through rezoning and by preventing existing units from falling into market rate. CB4’s plan suggests rezoning into residential, the industrial corridor on 11th Ave. from the W. 30s up to the W. 50s, and to use air rights from the Hudson River Park Trust to build higher. CB4 also puts forth that buildings financed under the 80/20 program and built before 2005, be affordable after the life of the tax abatement that went along with those projects. Buildings developed in the last five years have affordable housing that is permanent — but earlier, tax abatements lasted approximately 15 or 20 years, when affordable apartments would become market rate. CB4’s suggestion is that going forward, low-income units be exempt from real estate taxes. This has actually just happened in relation to Penn South. A

law sponsored by NY State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Richard Gottfried has authorized the New York City Council to renew the exemption of the 2,820-unit Penn South middle-income development (from W. 23rd to 29th Sts., btw. Eighth and Ninth Aves.) from paying property taxes for the next 50 years. In trying to know how many buildings had affordable apartments with expiration dates, the HHHSC thanked its intern, Jack Leiman. There is no central listing of details for 80/20 buildings. Leiman spent many hours locating the

buildings, investigating their financials, and mapping them out. The plan was prepared by CHDC with the help of Anna Huggins and Alissa Mitrisin who were also thanked for undertaking the labor-intensive organizational effort. To see CB4’s affordable housing plan, visit Located in the middle column, about two-thirds of the way down on the page, you’ll see “Presentation of Affordable Housing Sites in Community District 4!” Click on the link, directly below.


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July 03, 2014


Up With Down to Earth Farmers Market

Photos by Carlye Waxma

Mere weeks into its inaugural season, the Down to Earth Farmers Market is drawing crowds, improving diets, and earning raves.

THE DOWN TO EARTH FARMERS MARKET Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Through November 22 On the northeast corner of Ninth Ave. & 23rd St. E.B.T. (Electronic Benefit Transfer) available for shoppers with SNAP Benefits Visit

BY CARLYE WAXMAN RD, CDN It’s always exciting to stumble across a farmers market in your neighborhood. The idea that we can buy locally sourced produce makes us feel a little less urban, a little healthier, and can spark an idea to start or end the day off right. But besides knowing there’s beautiful colors, an abundance of produce, and free samples, how much do we really know about our crops? Well, I was lucky enough to speak with the farmers at Chelsea’s Down to Earth Farmers Market, buy some of their produce, and whip up some fabulous concoctions. Alex’s Tomato Farm is located in Carlisle, NY (close to Albany). His 40-acre land is full of herbs, flowers, apples, plums, pears, beans, greens, squash, zucchini, corn, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. Jersey Farm Produce has a won-


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derful variety of produce such as yellow Swiss chard, popcorn, carrot bunches, and apples (all from Milford, NJ). Hector Perez farms his own land — about 40 acres of veggies and 30 of fruit. Here’s a little background info on some of the produce you can buy at this market. BEETS (from Jersey Farm Produce): Beets are a root vegetable and grow very quickly. Even extreme temperatures won’t stop them, so we get to enjoy these all year round. Beets can be a natural food coloring (can you say red velvet?) They’re sweet AND functional — but don’t stain your clothes! Which one should I choose? Select the beets that are smooth with non-wilted leaves. The smaller ones are more tender. Remove the leaves when you store (leaves are edible). It can be stored up to three weeks, but may last longer. Wash before you’re ready to eat them. Why is this good for me? One beet provides 35 calories, and is an excellent source of folate. How do I eat this? Enjoy beets in a stir-fry, or grate into cupcakes or muffins (see Farmers Market Cupcakes with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe) and eliminate butter from your recipe. The leftover beets can be steamed and enjoyed as a side item the next day! KALE (from Alex’s Tomato Farm): I don’t know what it is about Kale, but after I eat a bunch of it I feel like I can do an Ironman Triathlon. Which one should I choose? Make sure they are dark and crispy, not yellow or brown. They can be stored for

On its own, Yellow Swiss Chard is a mere seven calories per cup — and only 50, in its Spicy Summer Roll form (see the recipe).

three to five days in a plastic bag. Buy a big bunch — if all you see are small wilty ones, wait until the crop goes wild again. Why is this good for me? One cup of kale provides 20 calories, and is an excellent source of Vitamins A and C. When is kale in season? Kale grows best in the fall and spring. The warm temperatures will trigger vigorous growth (so a week after some warm weather, we may be able to benefit with large bunches of kale for the same price). They sulk in the hot weather and then take off again in the fall when climate gets mild again. How do I eat this? You can add kale to lasagna instead of spinach, sauté them, or you can make them my favorite way: QUICK DINNER: Grilled Shrimp And Avocado Kale Salad: Tear off the leaves (throw away stems, they are bitter) and wash well. Make sure you have a hearty supply, as they will come down in volume with liquid. Toss with salt, pepper, sesame oil and white wine vinegar. Grill up some shrimp and throw them into the kale when they are warm. Toss well, and add avocado at the end. It’s the perfect feel good salad. KOHLRABI (from Alex’s Tomato Farm): Kohlrabi grows in loose, average temperature soil, a great spring or fall crop. They’re not the prettiest, or the lightest, but they’ll make your salads taste great, and are definitely worth the work it requires to carry them home. Which one should I choose? Choose firm ones, heavy for their

size, with no cracks. Refrigerate for up to ten days, and wash before use. Why is this good for me? Half of a medium Kohlrabi is 25 calories, and an excellent source of Vitamin C and fiber. How should I prepare this? It tastes like a mix between a cucumber and broccoli with the crunch of cabbage. I recommend you slice it very thin, and throw it into a salad of lettuce, kale, sesame oil and vinegar with toasted almonds for a nice light summer side salad. YELLOW SWISS CHARD (from Jersey Farm Produce): This crop is easy to grow in the ground and withstands cool temperatures and heat. After two to four weeks, these beautiful green plants will grow, requiring plenty of water. The celery-like stems of Swiss chard also come in red, pink, orange, green, or mixed (aka rainbow). Which one should I choose? Select those with the best, fullest green leaves. Store them in plastic, unwashed, in the crisper for less than a week or they will lose their form. Why is this good for me? It’s only seven calories per cup, a good source of magnesium and an excellent source of Vitamins A and C. How do I eat this? Enjoy them like you would spinach. You can throw them into a soup like minestrone or beef barley, scramble them in eggs, or stir-fry and throw them over brown rice. Utilize their large green leaves as a wrap for sandwiches or for the recipe that follows.

Continued on page 20 .com

Information Session Outlines Participatory Budgeting Process Continued from page 3 cular flow chart that outlined the exact timeline for the steps of the PB process. Initial neighborhood assemblies for ideas happen in September and October, while delegate meetings and proposal development takes place from November to February. So-called Project Expos, where delegates present their ideas in a public space, using posterboard and diagrams (“It’s fun — like a science fair,” asserted Green) take place around February and March. March to April sees the community vote, a process which takes place over the course of a week or so at various pop-up locations in the district, and through Councilmember Johnson’s office. After the vote comes the implementation. With the first neighborhood assemblies quite a ways away, the main purpose of the meeting was to gauge community interest and raise awareness of PB — and those running the meeting were sure to stress the important role of the community in driving the PB process forward. “There’s no way you can’t be helpful — we’ll find a way for

you to help!” quipped LeFrancois to the crowd’s amusement. Indeed, in line with PB’s inclusive, democratic spirit, it seems there is a way for everyone to get involved. To be a budget delegate, and help shape and propose ideas, one only needs to be 14 years old, and live, work, attend school, or own a business in the district. Voting requirements are similarly open — you need to be 16 and be able to prove you live in the district (no voter registration or proof of legal status is required). One can also volunteer to be a part of the District Committees, or simply attend meetings. Beyond that, raising community awareness of this fledgling program is crucial to the process. “When does outreach happen? The whole time!” joked King, whose job involves making the PB process run as smoothly as possible for the communities. King mentioned that he would help run trainings on outreach for those who are inexperienced or nervous. He also described an outreach process that would fire on all cylinders, including email blasts, mailers, going door-to-door and phone banking. In addition, some fundraising

Courtesy of the Participatory Budgeting Project

Try Budget Basics for 300, in the Participatory Budgeting version of “Jeopardy.”

is required to provide volunteers with necessary supplies and services to keep the project running along. Green, LeFrancois, and King ended the session by opening up the floor to questions. A good deal of hands shot up, looking for clarification on certain matters. Most frequently, people asked about the status of non-profit organizations, and if they could receive funding from PB. Green noted that not-for-profits did not fall under the umbrella of PB, insisting that PB was designed for a “long term investment in infrastructure” to benefit the community as a whole. In addition, concerns were raised about how the dispersion of the projects

would shake out, given the diversity of District 3, which stretches from Canal to 62nd St. King, LeFrancois, and Green assured the crowd that the Councilmember’s office and the District Committees would work hard to develop a slate of projects that would benefit as many different neighborhoods of District 3 as possible. When one person inquired about the role of Community Boards in the PB process, they were told that it varies board by board in terms of how much time and effort they’d like to commit — though LeFrancois noted, with a laugh, that “There’s a lot of good board representation in this room right now.” Shortly thereafter the meeting adjourned, with King, LeFrancois, and Green urging attendants to get involved and spread the word about participatory budgeting. The next Participatory Budgeting meeting takes place on Tuesday, July 29, at 6:30 p.m., at Hudson Guild (441 W. 26th St., btw. Ninth & Tenth Aves.). For more info, contact Matthew Green by calling 212-564-7757 or send an email to

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July 03, 2014


Why ENDA is Not the Answer TALKING POINT BY PAUL SCHINDLER The argument for the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act is clear and catches the public’s attention because it is so stunning: in 29 states you can legally be fired for being gay and in 32 — including New York — you are at risk due to your gender identity and expression. That is an outrage that needs to be remedied. The civil rights protections enjoyed, for example, in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota, Illinois, California, and Oregon should be available to LGBT Americans everywhere. The problem is that this is not what ENDA would deliver. Civil rights laws generally extend protections to all of life’s significant public activities — including housing, public accommodations, and access to credit, in addition to employment. So ENDA immediately opens up a debate about incrementalism and I will get to that. The first issue to consider, however, is ENDA’s failure to deliver even on the promise of universal employment protections. The current version of the measure — the one that garnered bipartisan support when passed in the Senate last year — contains a religious exemption unprecedented in civil rights law, one that gives religiously-affiliated institutions a broad right to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. By religiously affiliated, I mean not just churches, synagogues, and mosques, but faith-based and affiliated organizations such as Catholic Charities, one of the nation’s largest social service employers. In the past, religious exemptions in civil rights law have been very narrowly crafted. The 1964 Civil Rights Act — the gold standard in anti-discrimination legislation

— allows faith organizations to discriminate only on the basis of religion in hiring related to doctrinal matters. A synagogue can limit the pool of candidates for rabbi to Jewish applicants. An Episcopal church cannot fire a Muslim janitor because of her faith. And no faith organization can place a categorical ban on the hiring of an African American for any position. That’s not the way ENDA works. As a gay man I could be denied janitorial employment by any faith-affiliated organization. Don’t take my word for it. Tico Almeida, the gay employment rights advocate, acknowledges that the ENDA exemption, which he helped craft when he was a Senate staffer, creates a wide berth for groups like Catholic Charities to bar gay employment. And as the grassroots activist group Queer Nation points out, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, one of the nation’s oldest civil rights groups and a supporter of ENDA, concedes, “A religiously-affiliated hospital could choose to require all nurses to follow a declared set of significant religious tenets, including avoiding same-sex sexual activity, and be able to terminate a male nurse who they subsequently learn is in a relationship with another man.” The problems with ENDA’s employment protections don’t end there — again, as Queer Nation notes, the bill also bars significant remedies available under the Civil Rights Act in cases of race or sex discrimination. LGBT plaintiffs cannot file disparate impact claims seeking to show that an employer’s policy has disproportionately negative consequences on our community, and the federal government is prohibited from considering religiously-based discrimination against LGBT employees in distributing grant money, cannot require any affirmative action steps to cure longstanding patterns of discrim-


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ination, and cannot even collect the data necessary to monitor private sector antiLGBT employment discrimination, as it is required to do in the case of race and sex. At the same forum in New York last year where I discussed the exemption language with activist Almeida, Evan Wolfson, an attorney who heads up Freedom to Marry, warned of the terrible precedent ENDA would lock into federal law — what he termed “a license to discriminate.” Removing the religious exemption language is clearly the absolute minimum our community should demand from our advocates in Washington, most importantly the Human Rights Campaign. Unfortunately, HRC agreed to the exemption language in its negotiations to win Republican support in the Senate. When President Barack Obama recently signaled he is prepared to sign an executive order barring anti-LGBT discrimination by federal contractors, one of those Senate Republicans, Utah’s Orrin Hatch, quickly and predictably stood up to demand the same language be incorporated into that order. Our advocates have put us in a box, one that is unacceptable, and it’s time to regroup. Fifty years ago, on July 2, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. A decade later, New York Congresswoman Bella Abzug introduced legislation to add sexual orientation protections to that law. By the early 1990s, neither house of Congress had voted on the bill, and our community shifted to an incrementalist strategy. Surely the nation was prepared to protect our basic right to a job, so the thinking went. More than 20 years later, that incrementalism has proven a false promise. We have not enacted ENDA, even in its fatally flawed form. When Chad Griffin, HRC’s president, stood up in 2009 to challenge California’s


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Proposition 8, he was outspoken in repudiating what he characterized as the incrementalism of the marriage equality movement, then working from a state-bystate playbook and, for strategic reasons its leaders readily acknowledged, wary of taking the issue into the federal courts prematurely. Griffin did not achieve the complete victory nationwide he and his allies hoped for at the Supreme Court, but their instinct that Prop 8 could be reversed in the federal courts was well-founded. Meanwhile, the legal advocates Griffin had critiqued were successful in toppling the Defense of Marriage Act, also in federal court. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the debate over incrementalism in the marriage equality fight –– and recall that barely a dozen years ago, that even included disagreements over whether civil unions represented a meaningful step toward marriage –– that is yesterday’s argument. In every state where a ban is still in effect, litigators are in federal court swinging for the grandstands and the victory could be complete by the end of the 2014-2015 Supreme Court session. LGBT Americans looking to hang on to their jobs and their homes and to access basic public accommodations open to every other citizen deserve no less bold of an advocacy on their behalf. On the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, it’s time to revisit the wisdom that anti-discrimination advocates demonstrated in 1964. We should also borrow the courage and foresight Abzug demonstrated a decade later. It’s time to return to the spirit of 1969, the spirit of Stonewall. We must commit to amending that brilliant work of civil rights protections from a half-century ago. It’s time. Paul Schindler is the editor of our sister publication, Gay City News.

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July 03, 2014


POLICE BLOTTER Lost Property: No pill to swallow, bitter or otherwise Maybe the police report she filed will help her case when requesting an early refill of that nerve-calming prescription. A 32-year-old woman exited a taxi on Tenth Ave. (btw. 15th & 16th Sts.) in the early evening of Thurs., June 12, then immediately realized her small silver purse was no longer on her person. A memory lapse, rather than foul play, was the suspected cause. In the purse: $40 cash and one bottle of Valium.

Petty Larceny: Short shirt shrift Security cameras were the only things that caught a thief, when a man sauntered into the Gap (258 Eighth Ave., at W. 23rd St.) at around 4:40 p.m. on Wed., June 18. He removed $270 worth of shirts and

$200 worth of shorts from a table — then gave them the slip without paying (or, presumably, making sure he looked good in them).

Menacing: Hockey game breaks out at soccer match A verbal dispute escalated, but stopped short of turning into something from the playbook of that FIFA World Cup guy who bites people — when, at around 1:30 p.m. on Wed., June 18, two men got into a shouting match over the use of a soccer field (on the northwest corner of W. 23rd St. & 11th Ave.). There was no referee present to issue a penalty card — but NYPD officers did arrive to arrest a 25-year-old, after he brandished a silver knife and declared, “I’ll cut your eyes out.”

—Scott Stiffler

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Blockage on 22nd St. Keeps on Truckin’ To The Editor: The ongoing problem with commercial trucks and vans using and blocking our streets has reached a dangerous level. Today [June 26], a fire truck was blocked from proceeding east on West 22nd Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, by an illegally doubled parked van whose driver had left his vehicle. No amount of sirens blaring and horn blowing made any difference, and the fire truck was stuck on the street for approximately 30 minutes, unable to proceed to its destination. Commercial trucks of all sizes use 22nd Street, from Tenth Avenue, to avoid going east on 23rd Street. Proper signage prohibiting commercial traffic on our residential streets would be a first step in solving this situation and saving lives in our Chelsea community. Allen Oster

A Treasured Go-To, Soon Gone To The Editor: As many of you may already know, Alan’s Alley Video [207 Ninth Avenue,


between 22nd and 23rd Streets] is closing. His last business day will be July 7, 2014. For the past 26 years, Alan was the “go to” source for films, television series, children’s features and, most of all his, boundless enthusiasm and knowledge. As other video stores were closed by large video chains and later the Internet, Alan continued to provide his personal service to his loyal clientele. Unfortunately, factors outside of Alan’s control have now forced him to close this special place in our community. We thank him for being here through all the changes that have come, and for enhancing life in Chelsea. He is hoping to relocate so he can continue to provide that special service we all appreciate. The West 400 Block Association E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to Scott@ or fax to 212-2292790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, 515 Canal St., Suite 1C, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. Chelsea Now reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Chelsea Now does not publish anonymous letters.

10th Precinct Has New Commanding Officer, Twitter Account As of June 26, the 10th Precinct established a Twitter presence. “You will be amazed at the amount of information we’ll compress into 140 characters or less,” promised 10th Precinct Community Affairs Officer Salvatore Saetta, in a June 24 email that also touted the medium’s ability to provide local crime alerts and promote important community meetings. Follow @ NYPD10Pct. That wasn’t the only new addition to the 10th Precinct. A July 1 email from the NYPD’s Community Affairs office announced that Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry

is now the Commanding Officer. She replaces Captain David Miller, who’d been on the job for just over a year. No explanation was given for Miller’s reassignment to the Patrol Borough Queens North — but there was an assurance that “Deputy Inspector Irizarry will work diligently to build on the efforts of her predecessor.” The Fordham University gradate began her career with the NYPD in 1995, as a patrol officer in the 44th Precinct. She was promoted to Sergeant in 2000; Lieutenant in 2005; Captain in 2007; and Deputy Inspector in 2012. 

Acquisition Gives Chelsea Now 11 New Sisters Jennifer Goodstein, the owner of Chelsea Now and NYC Community Media, and her husband Les Goodstein have agreed to buy the Community Newspaper Group (CNG), which publishes 11 community newspapers in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. “This is an exciting time as we expand to the outer boroughs,” Chelsea Now publisher Jennifer Goodstein said of the purchase from News Corp. “My priority will remain the papers serving Lower Manhattan and Gay City News. From an editorial standpoint, the papers remain committed to serving the residents of Downtown Manhattan. Our sales and marketing team is eager to offer our advertisers great opportunities to reach new markets through the CNG newspapers, magazines, and websites.”   In addition to Chelsea Now and Gay City News, NYC Community Media also publishes Downtown Express, The Villager, and the East Villager. Les Goodstein created Community Newspaper Group as an executive with News Corp. in 2006, and ran it until 2013. “Besides my love of newspapers, it was an honor to complete this transaction with News Corp.,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to the continued success of the Community Newspaper Group. Both my wife and I are members of the community and are pleased to continue serving the readers of Manhattan, Brooklyn,

Queens, and the Bronx. We plan to expand local coverage with local news important to the neighborhoods we serve.” Chelsea Now and its sister publications will be moving later this month to CNG’s Downtown Brooklyn office at One MetroTech. It’ll be familiar territory, as the papers temporarily relocated there at the end of 2012 because of damage to its Canal St. office caused by Hurricane Sandy. Jennifer Goodstein, who bought the Community Media papers in 2012, said the long-term plan is to set up a satellite office in Manhattan. CNG, which distributes over 235,000 papers a week, publishes Caribbean Life, The Brooklyn Paper, The Bronx Times Reporter, Bay News and Bay Ridge Courier, Bayside Times and the TimesLedger. It also publishes specialty magazines, including the Wedding Guide and Sweet Sixteen Magazine. The terms of the deal were not released. In a statement, Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp., said the sale “helps us reshape the News Corp. portfolio as we achieve greater globalization and digitization of our businesses….We’re confident that these newspapers and magazines will prosper under the leadership of Les and Jennifer Goodstein.”  Phone numbers and email addresses for Chelsea Now and NYC Community Media staff are expected to remain the same after the move. July 03, 2014



JERRY KEARNS: RRRGGHH!!! Kearns’ first show in New York since 2006 will feature eight new paintings on canvas, as well as five wall murals. All of these works source inspiration from animation, as well as the comic novel, both stylistically and in regard to structuring content. The drama-laden conflict of good versus evil, as it is being played out between hero and villain, is at the core here. In Kearns’ hands, however, this duality is far from simple. Instead, it finds manifestation in complex, layered compositions that have a common thread: a hero’s journey captured in various scenes. Each hero embodies at least one of the more influential archetypes in culture, such as Jesus (see a work entitled “BAM BAM”) or a hybrid of The Joker and the American Cowboy (see “AGGGKK!”). But Kearns is not interested in romanticizing culture. In fact, as someone who came to prominence in the 1980s with politically minded Psychological Pop Art Paintings, he understands his works as a sign of warning, pointing out that in our time, nature has been virtually replaced by mediated information — and that we risk becoming corporate avatars. Through August 23, at Mike Weiss Gallery (520 W. 24th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Tues. – Sat., 10a.m. – 6 p.m. Call 212-691-6899 or visit

THE HIDDEN PASSENGERS Organized by Avi Lubin, this exhibition features works by several well-known names, among them Mark Dion, Pierre Huyghe, and Roxy Paine. In the past, scientists often employed artists to illustrate the results


July 03, 2014

Courtesy of the artist & Mike Weiss Gallery

Jerry Kearns: “AGGGKK!” | 2013-14, Acrylic on canvas, 84 x 108 in. (213.4 x 274.3 cm).

of their research and sometimes, scientists were artists in their own right (think of Ernst Haeckel and his famous “Art forms of Nature”). Today, film, photography, and digital animation no longer make art and science co-dependent. As a twist, this exhibition picks works that use science as a source of inspiration, albeit without getting lost in truisms. Whereas science aspires to systematically accumulate knowledge and understand the universe from an outside perspective, artists often attempt the opposite. Working from within, they do not assume to understand the world (nor do they long to explain it). Instead, they

Courtesy of the artist & Mike Weiss Gallery

Continued on page 11

Jerry Kearns: “BAM BAM” | 2010-13, Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 92 in. (182.9 x 233.7 cm). .com

Courtesy of the artist & apexart

Courtesy of the artist & apexart

Guido van der Werve: “Nummer zeven (the clouds are more beautiful from above)” | 2006, video projection, 8:48 min. (video still).

Tomer Sapir: “Research for the Full Crypto-Taxidermical Index” | 2010-14, Cement, salt, wax, fibers of Ceiba insignis, latex, plastic, pigment, vitrine, dimensions variable (detail).

Continued from page 10 aim for sparking our imagination and — not unlike Pierre Huyghe’s “A Journey That Wasn’t” — succeed

in blending the possible with the impossible. Through July 26, at apexart (291 Church St., btw. Walker & White Sts.). Hours: Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Call 212-431-5270 or visit Baruch Performing Arts Center & TGW Acting Studio present


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July 03, 2014


The Golden Age of Gra

‘Moving Murals’ freezes and preserves a cultural phe BY NORMAN BORDEN Like so much else in New York City, graffiti isn’t what it used to be. Oh sure, street art is still around in many forms (thank you Banksy), but not the way it was. In the 1970s and early ’80s, the state of the art was subway graffiti, which many New Yorkers (including then Mayor Ed Koch) considered vandalism. Others called it an art form. Whatever you thought, it was a cultural and sociological phenomenon. Teenagers armed with spray cans were surreptitiously painting subway cars with bright, bold graphics, trying to outdo each other’s artwork and make a name for themselves — among themselves. As one artist said, “It was all about respect.” The painted subway cars and the controversy are long gone, but much of

the period’s subway art and portraits of the artists were captured through the determination, persistence, and talents of photographers Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper. It’s now all on display in the “Moving Murals” exhibition at City Lore Gallery’s handsome new space. The unique format of the show is both fascinating and mind-boggling. It includes over 825 of Chalfant’s individual car images and 84 of Cooper’s portraits stacked floor to ceiling, which prevents many from being viewed up close. No matter, there’s still plenty to look at. Viewed from a distance, the images look like wallpaper, but it’s a wall-to-wall mosaic that creates a graffiti train yard environment. In effect, it’s a big picture of what New Yorkers had to endure — or enjoy — when the trains rolled by.


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A multi-media presentation, which includes artist interviews and Chalfant’s iBook of his graffiti archive, adds another perspective. In explaining how he got started with the project, the artist says, “I moved here in the early ’70s when graffiti was already evolving, from just tags (artist’s personalized signatures like ‘Taki 183’) to ‘pieces’ (masterpiece or complex painting) to subway cars. I saw a painted train one morning and thought it was fun. I was an artist myself — a sculptor — and liked it aesthetically. I also was drawn to the rebellious aspect. Once I was more familiar with the city, I started taking pictures and went to the outer boroughs for shots of the elevated trains.” Since this was the pre-digital, pre-Photoshop era, Chalfant had to take several photos of each subway car with his 35 mm SLR, and then splice them together to create a panoramic image. Once the artists got to know him, they often gave him advance notice of a train they had just “tagged” so he could take pictures before the train was cleaned off or covered up by other graffiti. Still, he says, “It was very catch as catch can.” Chalfant spent seven years on the project, and during that time, he and Martha Cooper produced the 1984 book, “Subway Art,” which became the how-to manual for graffiti artists around the world. The 25th anniversary edition was published in 2009. He also co-produced the documentary “Style Wars” in 1983, which featured interviews with graffiti artists, Mayor Koch, cops, art critics, and others. It became the indispensable record of subway graffiti and

Dondi pioneered many styles and tech graffiti artist to have solo shows in the is collected by European museums.

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Blade was called “The King of Graffiti.” Active from 1972 to 1984, he painted o .com




ARCHIVE Through July 10 At City Lore Gallery 56 E. First St. (btw. First & Second Aves.) Hours: Wed. – Sun., 12 – 6 p.m. Call 212-529-1955 © Norman Borden


An installation view of “Moving Murals.”

© Henry Chalfant

SAK was a prolific graffiti artist who began writing in 1979 and teamed up with Rize from 1981 to 1984.

© Martha Cooper

hniques still in use today. The first Netherlands and Germany, his work

hip-hop culture, winning the Grand Jury Prize: Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Some segments are in the gallery’s multi-media show. With so much to see, where do you begin? Chalfant offers his “Tales of Ten Train Cars” as a guide. I liked the car painted “Dump Koch” because it was so in-your-face and of the times. Chalfant explains that it was created around 1981, when the mayor was graffiti’s sworn enemy. The “John Lennon” car was considered so sacred that even the Transit Authority car cleaners wouldn’t touch it. The car stayed in service for years without being cleaned or painted over by other artists. In contrast, “Buffed Train” stands out because it was freshly whitewashed — it had just gone through a train yard’s

© Henry Chalfant

over 5,000 cars, using his own characters instead of appropriating imagery. .com

special car wash that used giant brushes and toxic chemicals to buff and remove the graffiti. Check out “BLADE,” who Chalfant called a complete original. His mural covered the entire car including the windows. I also liked “Ski Hicki,” a tribute by the artist SEEN to Hickey and Ski, two Transit cops who were retiring from their job of catching young graffiti artists. You see two cartoon-like guys in flowered shirts on a tropical island showing their badges. Very cute. There’s a lot more to see here, of course. I liked the car that says, “ I (heart) Zoo York.” And Cooper’s portraits put real faces on these guys (except for the infamous “Taki 183,” who hides his face). Other artists don’t. You see many at work, spray cans in hand, trying to make a name for themselves — long before YouTube and social media made it easy. Norman Borden is a New Yorkbased writer and photographer. The author of more than 100 reviews for, he’s a member of Soho Photo Gallery and ASMP. One of his images in the juried show, “Impromptu” (now at Darkroom Gallery, Essex Junction, VT), was awarded an Honorable Mention. Visit

© Martha Cooper

Under cover of the night, back in the day: Martha Cooper was there to capture Dondi in action, during “the golden age of graffiti.”

July 03, 2014


Cycle of Life ‘Bike Shop’ is a full circle trip from damage to repair BIKE SHOP: A NEW MUSICAL Book by Elizabeth Barkan Lyrics by Caroline Murphy Music by Youn-Young Park Music Direction by Gerry Dieffenbach Directed by Gretchen Cryer Performed by Elizabeth Barkan & The Bicycle Band Through July 6 No shows on June 29 or July 4 Mon. – Sat. at 7:30 p.m. Sun. at 3 p.m. At Theater For The New City 155 First Ave. (btw. Ninth & Tenth Sts.) For tickets ($15), call 212-254-1109 or visit Also visit &

accepting a customer’s flirtatious advances. With no obvious flaws, she says, he’s not damaged enough to be a suitable match. Well, she doesn’t say it, so much as sing it: I’d love to go outside And take a ride Somewhere with you But so much here needs fixing As more rolls in So thank you But no thank you You should have seen me before I’d have gone out every night I used to be someone else I wish I had stopped at that light The passion project of former bike shop owner, bicycle messenger, and competitive racer Elizabeth Barkan, “Bike Shop” is a sharply written, poignantly observed, and nimbly performed one-act musical that — while anchored in regret — has far more to offer than the tale of one person’s gloomy struggle to get back on track.

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Elizabeth Barkan spins a tale of recklessness and redemption.

It’s also an exuberant, century-spanning tribute to the hopes, dreams, and survival skills of a bike-obsessed Brooklyn clan. In their capable grease monkey hands, the bike becomes a vehicle for emancipation, economic empowerment, and even religious awakening. (Bobby’s uncle, a would-be rabbi, teaches a spinning class — and her grandmother landed on Ellis Island in 1935 with little more than a penny farthing bike, mechanical know-how and entrepreneurial chutzpah). With instrumental support from a four-piece “Bicycle Band,” Barkan shifts from character to character, while building and fixing real bicycles on the stage. In a bid to encourage zero emission commuting, real-life spinning instructor Barkan wants cyclists to ride their bikes to the theater and park them on the stage. If the wheels you arrive on are a bit worse for the wear, slip the stage manager a note before the show. You just might be sent home with a repair job as thorough and satisfying as the one Bobby undergoes.


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Hell’s Kitchen Savories BY LAUREN PRICE Hell’s Kitchen has always been a closely-knit neighborhood rich in cultural opportunities and Old New York history — and its established roots are still very evident. But while the area of town bounded by W. 37th and 57th Sts. was once dotted with warehouses, parking lots, and walk-ups, for more than a decade developers have been eyeing the possibilities of building luxury rentals. Residential revitalization — coupled with expanded dining, shopping, and nightlife options — is now the order of the day, so much so that as of two months ago, sale prices and rents now surpass the averages for Manhattan as a whole. None of this should really be surprising for a neighborhood with globally famous landmarks — Broadway’s playhouses, Theater Row, and Restaurant Row. Lee Strasberg’s Actors Studio has — over the years — made this part of town home to renowned red carpet stars from James Cagney and James Dean to Jerry Orbach, Tom Hanks, Larry David, and Alicia Keys. And television has also been part a big part of the scene. In their first US appearance in 1964, the Beatles played the Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway and W. 53rd St., which has been home for decades now to David Letterman’s show. John Stewart’s “Daily Show” has had two Hell’s Kitchen homes — first on W. 54th and now on 11th Ave. “The Colbert Report” films at the original Stewart venue. Two world renowned dance companies — the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Baryshnikov Arts Center — have also been Hell’s Kitchen stalwarts for quite some time.

WHAT’S ON THE MARKET? “There is no doubt that Hell’s Kitchen is undergoing an exciting transformation,” says Stephen McArdle, senior managing director of Halstead Property Development Marketing. “Reaching this milestone demonstrates that savvy homesteaders who now choose to live and invest in New York City not only see the potential of this particular neighborhood, but also want to be at the forefront of its revitalization.” It might seem as though Hell’s Kitchen has become a labyrinth of glass-wall residential towers and luxury loft conversions, but plenty of mid-rise apartment houses and walk-ups remain, especially closer to Ninth Avenue, preserved in good measure because of specific zoning laws that have long been in place. Developed by the Gotham Organization, Gotham West at 550 W. 45th St. leases studios to three-bedroom homes, replete with condo-like finishes and amenities such as quarter sawn oak floors, washer/ dryers, floor-to-ceiling windows, and kitchens outfitted with the likes of KitchenAid appliances and honed Absolute Black granite worktops. Some units offer walk-in closets, separate kitchen pantries, and Hudson River views. The communal amenities list is long and includes a lounge, which serves daily breakfasts, a business center, a screening room, a demo kitchen used by invited


July 03, 2014

Photo courtesy of Silverstein Properties

An aerial shot of Hell’s Kitchen and beyond shows the Silver Towers at 42nd St. and 11th Ave.

professional chefs, and a game room with a handcrafted pool table. The fitness center has a motion studio and yoga/ spinning classes. The building also includes three outdoor spaces: a huge courtyard garden, the Perch, with an outdoor fireplace overlooking the garden, and the Sky Terrace, with misting walls, a bar, and an outdoor movie screen, with an adjacent Sky Lounge. Amenities also include playgrounds, a bike porter for last minute tune-ups, free weekday shuttles to and from 42nd St. and Sixth Ave. for evening and morning commutes, on-site parking, and doorman/ concierge services. The ground-level indoor/outdoor block-long Gotham West Market features artisan vendors and restaurants. No-fee monthly rentals currently begin at $2,900. ( From Silverstein Properties, Silver Towers is an enormous complex with million-dollar views of the Hudson River and Manhattan’s skyline. Located at 42nd St. and 11th Ave., two glass towers offer studios to two- bedrooms, including lofts and penthouses. Some have private outdoor space. All feature floor-toceiling windows, Afromosia wood floors, and washer/ dryers. Floors two through seven in the North Tower are outfitted with furnished units for corporate residents. Open kitchens boast stainless steel appliances, custom-designed wenge wood grain laminate, and aluminum-framed glass cabinetry with engineered stone worktops. Porcelain-tiled bathrooms come with Carrera marble-topped floating vanities as well as vessel sink vanities, rain showers, and soaking tubs. For tenants, the Entertaining Terrace has cabanas, chaises, daybeds and misting showers, a BBQ grill,

and a wet bar. The fitness center offers spa and nail services and a yoga room. There’s a 75-foot indoor pool and sundeck, too. Other communal amenities include a lounge, a screening room, a playroom, on-site parking, and concierge services. Complimentary weekday shuttles connect residents to and from multiple locations during morning and evening commutes. A quarter-acre public park designed by Thomas Balsley showcases pavilions, a kids area, an enclosed dog run, a mist fountain, and an area for lounging and picnicking. There is also an on-site Sunac Fancy Foods market. The Spot Experience dog daycare will soon be a part of Silver Towers. No-fee monthly rentals currently begin at $3,190. ( A one-bedroom rental unit with a large balcony and Hudson River views is now available at Icon at 306 W. 48th St., where there are only three residences per floor. With double-corner exposure, it features walls of glass, solar shades, high ceilings, hardwood floors, custom closets, and a washer/dryer. The kitchen has custom hardwood cabinetry with granite countertops and top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances. Bathrooms are done up in Italian porcelain tile, and there’s a wenge wood vanity. A fitness center, a sky deck, and round-the-clock concierge/doorman services are also part of the package. Leased through Town Residential, the monthly rent is $4,850. ( id-774038/306-west-48th-street-19c-midtownwest&scroll=1)

Continued on page 18 .com

GOTHAM WEST 550 WEST 45TH ST NEW YORK, NY 10036 212.496.2100


Superior Finishes Fully Attended Lobby 10,000+ SF of Private Outdoor Space Bicycle Porter & Shop by NYC Velo

GO WEST Come home to Gotham West - an enclave of artisanal living in one of Manhattan’s most highly in-demand hubs. Perfectly situated to provide access to both hopping Hell’s Kitchen and the beautiful Hudson River Park, Gotham West features a cozy neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood feel, and makes for a warm, welcoming home in the heart of a major metropolis.






July 03, 2014


Hell’s Kitchen Now Ahead of the Pack Continued from page 16 A condominium developed by Fortis Property Group and Wonder Works Construction Corp., 540West, on W. 49th St., expects to have units ready for move-in by year’s end. A complex of two interconnected midrise buildings, the unit mix runs from studios to two bedrooms, including duplexes and penthouses. Some have private outdoor space. Square footage ranges from 501 to 1,625 square feet. In-home amenities include floor-toceiling windows, white oak floors, custom built wardrobes, and washer/dryers. Kitchens are outfitted with appliances by Liebherr, Bertazzoni, and Blomberg and have Silverstone quartzite worktops. Master baths are dressed in Italian porcelain and boast shower/soaking tubs with oversized rain showerheads. Communal extras include a lobby lounge with a fireplace, a fitness center, two roof decks, a courtyard garden with a reflecting pool, an outdoor lounge with a movie screen, and a pet spa. Sold by Halstead Property Development Marketing, prices start at


July 03, 2014

Photo courtesy of Gotham Organization

An interior at Gotham West at 550 W. 45th St.

$725,000. ( The real estate development team of JDS Development Group and Property Markets Group, in partnership with Starwood Capital Group, are bringing the latest Ralph Walker conversion to Hell’s Kitchen — Stella Tower at 425 W. 50th St. Originally designed by Walker in 1927 for the New York Telephone Company, the condominium has one- to three-bedroom residences

ranging from 1,000 to 2,200 square feet, though penthouses boast as much as 3,600 square feet. Units feature oversized tilt-and-turn windows and soaring ceiling heights, and select residences have fireplaces and private outdoor space. Stella Tower will have a 24-hour attended lobby, a fitness center, a lounge with a pantry and bar, and a garden lounge. Sold through Douglas Elliman, prices

are from $1.8 million. ( The Piano Factory, the conversion of an 1870s building at 454 W. 46th St. where Wessell Nickel & Gross built pianos, has 48 loft-like units. An enclave-like complex, it offers features a European-like interior courtyard where plants cascade down from restored iron catwalks that connect two buildings. Town Residential is now offering a four-bedroom penthouse duplex with an enormous terrace. Light-filled with wonderful skyline views, this home has hardwood floors and high ceilings — including a vaulted ceiling in the living room — pocket doors, and a laundry room with a Bosch washer and dryer. The very large eat-in kitchen, which opens onto a second terrace, is outfitted with cherry wood cabinets, granite countertops, and a radiant heat floor. Appliances are by Jenn-Air, Dacor, and Bosch. The master suite has a dressing area, two full closets, and an en suite bathroom. The owner will have roof rights, so with board approval, a third deck can be added. Priced at $3.995 million. (



July 03, 2014


From Farm to Avenue Continued from page 6 SPICY SWISS CHARD SUMMER ROLLS Nutrition Fact: 50 calories per roll. INGREDIENTS: 4 rice paper rounds (about 10”). Buy them from Whole Foods or an Asian market. 4 very large yellow Swiss chard leaves, stems removed at the ends, wash and dry well 4oz of soba or cellophane noodles, cooked 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin and then halved 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin and then halved 1 carrot, grated SAUCE: 1/2c plain Greek yogurt 1 tbsp sriracha 1 tbsp fish sauce 1 tbsp lemon juice 1 garlic clove, minced (or some sprinkles of garlic powder) 1 tsp agave Salt and pepper to taste DIRECTIONS: Mix the sauce ingredients together and then toss with the peppers, carrots and noodles. Put a large bowl of hot water in front of you, wet a kitchen towel with the water and lay flat. Take one rice paper round, and submerge in the water — but quickly and pull it right out. Set it down on the damp cloth and lay it flat. Add one of the large leaves to fit the whole 10” of the round. Put a handful (or tong full) of the noodle mixture into the wrap. At this point, you could always add some avocado, tofu or chicken if you wanted to make it heartier, but I kept it light. Roll the side closest to


July 03, 2014

you over the mixture, then fold in the sides and roll the rest of it up. Do this four times, and then slice in half. THE FARMERS MARKET CUPCAKE WITH BEET CREAM CHEESE FROSTING Makes 24 cupcakes DRY INGREDIENTS: 3c whole wheat flour (or ½ whole wheat ½ white) 1/2c cocoa powder 1 1/2c sugar 2 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt WET INGREDIENTS: 2c skim milk 2 tbsp vinegar 4 tbsp canola oil 4 tbsp applesauce 2 tsp vanilla PRODUCE: 1/2c beets, shredded 1c shredded zucchini 1/2c shredded apple FROSTING: 2 tbsp shredded beet 8oz of softened LF cream cheese 1 3/4c of confectioner’s sugar 1 tsp vanilla DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350°F, and coat muffin tins with cooking spray. In a liquid measuring cup, combine milk and vinegar and let it sit for 10 minutes, or until it curdles. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Make a well, and add all wet ingredients one by one (don’t forget milk), stir until just combined (don’t overstir). Fold in the produce. Add to tins and bake 18-20 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool well before adding frosting. To Make Frosting: Simply beat all ingredients together (works best with electric beater).

Photos by Carlye Waxma

So good, you can’t eat just one — and with a yield of 24 per batch, there’s enough to share.

Just beet it: Jersey Farm Produce has that crucial coloring ingredient for our cream cheese frosting (see the cupcake recipe).

Nutrition Tip: These cupcakes can be vegan if you substitute milk for soy milk and don’t add frosting. Nutrition Facts: 1 cupcake without frosting = 138 calories, 2.7g of protein, and 26g of carbs. Frosting is an additional 69 calories, 11g of carbs.

Carlye Waxman RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian living in NYC. For more free recipes, nutrition tips or counseling rates visit or email her at


Everyone’s a Winner, When World Cup Fans Choose Chelsea

Carrying the banner by waving the flag: Sabine Feldman (right) and her friend, Nina Riduer, were at The Ainsworth (122 W. 26th St., btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.) on June 26, to support Team USA and Team Germany. The USA lost to Germany (1-0), but went on to face Belgium on July 1.

Photos by T. Julian Pertkiewicz

At The Ainsworth, reaction to the USA’s loss against Belgium (2-1). The July 1 match saw America’s hopes dashed — but there was hope for the future (this was the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history, which earned renewed predictions that the sport has finally established a hold on American audiences).

Love that Pride

Photo by Rebecca Rosenthal & Cheryl R. Williamson

June 21: At the Flatiron’s Rogue bar (757 Sixth Ave., btw. 25th & 26th Sts.), Lobias Gruner and his wife, Yenith, cheer for the German team — which tied Ghana (2-2). .com

Staff, family, and friends of NYC Community Media were (all literally and some figuratively) out in force this past Sunday, for our annual participation in the NYC Pride March. We waved, we greeted, we schmoozed, and we handed out over 3,000 goodie bags containing pens, freebie coupons, issues of Gay City News and miscellaneous sexy sundries. If you missed us, no worries. We’ll be back next year — hopefully with even more LGBT rights, and definitely with a brand new bag.

July 03, 2014



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July 03, 2014


Dear Aunt Chelsea: I’ve lived in Chelsea for almost 15 years, and this has never happened to me before. Last week, I received a ticket in the mail for illegal dumping of garbage in our public streets. The notice was created by a public works employee. It was issued on a date and time when I’m at work — PLUS, I live on the 16th floor of a doorman apartment building, which has a designated room with a garbage chute. I bag and recycle my garbage consistently. The garbage is transported to a garbage container in the basement, and then picked up by a garbage truck. I have no reason to leave garbage out in the street. It was obviously mishandled by building management, the sanitation department, or somebody picking through my trash (which, on the date in question, contained some discarded mail that had my name and address on it). Now I have to take a day off work, to go to court, to plead my case and

“answer” for this infraction (which in fact, I did not commit). What gives, auntie? I’m accused of dumping, but I feel like I’m the one being dumped on. The whole thing smells like garbage. Just call me: Innocent, but Charged

Dear Innocent: There’s only one thing you’re guilty of, and that’s naiveté. The indignant tone of your letter is grotesquely out of synch with your status as a longtime New Yorker. Fifteen years in Chelsea, and this is the thing that comes as a shock? Really, dear. Considering the rapid vertical expansion of our beloved neighborhood, residing on the 16th floor hardly entitles you to occupy the high ground — moral or physical. Like so much in life (which, as this event illustrates, just isn’t fair), the happiness you seek requires making peace with the concept of personal responsibility. Until then, I fear that even a win in court won’t knock that chip off your shoulder.

Aquarius A sudden change in your distaste Gemini Life forces a fight this week. Will for rainbow sherbert causes you to question you roll with the punches or throw in the other firmly entrenched opinions. Embrace towel? evolution! Cancer Take the bait, when a friend fishes Pisces Your inner strength is no match for for compliments. Your gift of confidence costs the awesome power of fate. Calmly accept nothing, and pays Karmic dividends! the unsettling events of next Thursday. Leo Your luck, this week, is like a summer Aries To nature, on track, and in the saddle: shower: unexpected and powerful, but brief. The “B” thing that these phrases lack is what you need to watch, when pressured to bow Virgo He who has the answers you seek will be found ordering two scoops, at that recently or bet. opened Eighth Avenue gelato shop. Taurus Your graceful landing at the bottom of a steep waterslide earns the admiration of a heretofore unforgivably harsh critic. .com

Bottom line: Don’t leave a paper trail. If a label with your name ended up in the middle of the street, a reasonable public works employee is not going to see the need for any further investigation. The buck stops at (and the ticket comes to) your desk. Just be happy that it was only your name and address on a mailing label, and not enough personal information with which to commit identity theft. Otherwise, somebody could have drained your bank account and spent your hardearned money on high-end Yahtzee dice, Jean Nate, and footsie socks (well, that’s what old Aunt Chelsea would have done, if such a sinister deed were in her nature). So, Innocent, my advice is to bite the bullet, purchase a shredder, and never put anything down the garbage chute that can be traced back to you. Now change your ways by following my instructions — and the next time you end up in court, I’ll be there as a character witness! Good luck, hon.

Send your questions to

Libra You will conjure an innovative cupcake recipe while placed on hold by customer service. The result: a surge in popularity at the next potluck! Scorpio The corporate logo on a garish billboard reminds you to do that thing you promised that person, who said they’d get mad if you didn’t. Got it? Good! Sagittarius Conquering the sixth of seven epic challenges will imbue you with newfound confidence and a noticeably leaner frame. Capricorn Next week’s lucky stuff: the color teal, a window seal, new shoes, loose change, and root beer barrel candy. July 03, 2014


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July 03, 2014

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