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VOLUME 6, NUMBER 19 JULY 31, 2014


CB4 Housing Plan Has Six Essential Elements BY SCOTT STIFFLER When the details are worked out and the dust settles, nearly 11,000 units of affordable housing — mostly from new construction — will become available to residents of the Community Board 4 (CB4) area over the next decade. That’s according to a preliminary plan approved at their July 23 full board meeting. With some notable additions based on a discussion that took place just prior to the vote, the Manhattan Community District 4 Affordable Housing Plan is expected to be submitted to the city on August 8 — making CB4 the first Continued on page 3

Village Emergency Department Now Open 24/7 BY LINCOLN ANDERSON David Baez woke up under a staircase in front of the Search & Destroy punk shop on St. Mark’s Place on the morning of Thurs., July 17. The left side of his head was a mess of bloody scrapes. “I had all this crap on my face,” he said. “I don’t remember what happened.” He got on his lime-green track bike — which he somehow had had the presence of mind to lock up nearby before winding up under the stairs — and pedaled over to the new Lenox Hill HealthPlex freestanding emergency department (E.D.), at W. 12th St. Continued on page 12


Courtesy of Avenues: The World School

These young Avenues students have chosen Mandarin for their language immersion. The Beijing campus opens in 2016.

Sophomore Report Card for Avenues: The World School BY WINNIE McCROY When CEO Chris Whittle opened up the $75 million Chelsea campus of Avenues: The World School in 2012, it was the realization of more than five years of planning. Now, with the school having wrapped up its second year, Chelsea Now takes a look at the immersive bilingual educational facility. “We think all schools are different, and that doesn’t necessarily mean better or worse,” said Whittle. “For example, we are the only top-tier school in the city that has this immersion program. Different schools have different strengths, and this happens to be ours.” Whittle revolutionized the charter school movement when he founded Edison Schools. His educational philosophy focuses on identifying each student’s passion and giving them a deep understanding in that area. Because private schools are not regulated by the

Department of Education, they don’t have to follow the same curriculum as public schools. Avenues: The World School ( was the largest private school building project in the history of the city. Ultimately, the plan is to create “a unique and dynamic educational village — one school with 20 or more campuses in major cities in Asia, Europe, Africa and North and South America.” Paris, London, São Paolo and Mumbai are among the announced locations. By 2016, the Beijing campus will be open, and students can begin taking advantage of the study abroad option. The school will feature 2,000 dorm rooms for both local students and for those across the world who want to study in China.


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In the Bag: Good Produce at a Great Price THE FOOD BAG DELIVERY PROGRAM Through October 22 Order on Mon. & Tues. For delivery the following Wed. $8 per bag (cash only) Each bag has 5-6 varieties of produce Sign up at Councilmember Corey Johnson’s Office 224 W. 30th St. | Suite 1206 Btw. 7th & 8th Aves. For info, call 212-564-7757

BY SCOTT STIFFLER Getting your daily serving of fruits and vegetables doesn’t require a green thumb or a chef’s hat — just eight George Washingtons and one John Hancock. Organized by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the Westside


July 31, 2014

Photo by Jeffrey C. LeFrancois

Staff and interns join City Councilmember Corey Johnson (center) to prepare food bags for distribution.

Senior Supported Agriculture Food Bag Program is being run locally by the office of City Councilmember Corey Johnson. Don’t feel left out by the

program’s name. Although it’s targeted towards seniors, participation is open to all residents of the 3rd Council District, regardless of age or income level. Each week, GrowNYC (the fertile minds behind the Union Square Greenmarket) deliver the goods to the Fulton Senior Center — where Johnson, his staff and interns pack the produce into bags that are delivered to pick-up locations (Hudson Guild, the Fulton Senior Center, SAGE and Greenwich House). At just $8 per bag (a $20-$25 value), you’re buying fresh produce directly from local farmers — and the 5-6 selections vary from week to week. July 30’s bag had yellow squash, corn, green beans, Boston lettuce, basil and blueberries. The week before had car-

rots, radishes, scallions, parsley, golden zucchini, cucumbers and red leaf lettuce. All of this good stuff comes from GrowNYC partner farms — among them, Dagele Brothers Produce, a Black Dirt farmer whose lettuces are “the best around”; Davenport Farms, known for their sweet corn and peppers; and Toigo Orchards, a central PA grower that utilizes Integrated Pest Management in their orchard. Each bag (roughly 5 pounds) comes with a guide outlining the contents, storage tips and a few recipes that require very little preparation. To participate, visit Councilmember Johnson’s office and place your order ($8, cash only) on Mon. or Tues., for deliver the following Wed. Call 212564-7757 for more information.


CB4 Housing Plan Envisions More Family-Sized Units Continued from page 1 to answer Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for all 59 NYC community boards to identify potential sites and suggest ways to increase the number of affordable units in their areas. The plan debuted back in April, as a draft document. Since then, it’s been seen by NY State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, City Councilmember Corey Johnson, the City Planning Commission and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. It also came to the attention of the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), by way of a June Chelsea Now article [“CB4 Debuts Ambitious Affordable Housing Plan”]. “It [the article] was picked up by HPD, through the Commissioner’s office, who specifically asked for the next copy of the plan,” said Joe Restuccia at the July 7 meeting of CB4’s Chelsea Land Use Committee. “HPD was very impressed by the section on 421-a tax exemptions,” he added, “and was very interested in how we have cited certain things.” The desire to secure momentum for their own plan — and the chance to influence affordable housing policy throughout the city — has driven CB4 to be first out of the gate. Just prior to the full board’s July 23 discussion and vote, Housing, Health & Human Services Committee co-chair Restuccia gave a slide presentation overview of the 81-page plan,


Image courtesy of CB4

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

during which six major themes emerged. Inclusionary housing would change from 80/20 to 70/30 — a figure that represents the percentage of market rate units compared to affordable ones within an individual development project. CB4 also proposes that inclusionary housing be a requirement, rather than an incentive, during a developer’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) application process. A broadening of income bands would also be established. Currently, there are only four areas throughout the city where the zoning resolutions allow for inclusionary housing to encompass low, moderate, and

middle-income brackets. CB4 wants that to become standard practice in all five boroughs. The plan’s fourth element seeks to build housing on publicly owned sites — not just those owned by the city, but also property that falls under the control of the state, the MTA and the Port Authority. Equal distribution of amenities would also be required, ensuring that units occupied by “affordable” residents have the same apartment finishes, flooring, cabinets, appliances and access to services enjoyed by their market rate counterparts. The final, and most ambitious, part of CB4’s plan calls for at least 50 percent of new affordable housing to be two- and three-bedroom apartments. “We must have more family-sized units,” said Restuccia in a July 30 phone interview with Chelsea Now. “The mayor’s [affordable housing] plan speaks to the city’s demographic. The city needs more small [studio and one-bedroom] apartments. But the groups that are getting frozen out by the market are those who need two bedrooms or more.” The next step in the evolution of Manhattan Community District 4’s Affordable Housing Plan happens on Thurs., Sept. 18, at 6:30 p.m. — when the Housing, Health & Human Services Committee meets in the Community Room, at 353 W. 30th St. The public is invited to attend, and welcome to ask questions. The plan submitted to the city on August 8 will then be available on the CB4 website (

July 31, 2014


New Businesses Bring Games, Gelato BY ROGER MILLER Betting on the area’s reputation for good times and refined tastes, two recently opened businesses are bringing high-end gelato, classic arcade games, and craft beer — along with an intimate vibe — to a neighborhood where mom and pop shops are being replaced by chain stores selling mass-produced items. Their origins are as different as Paris and Brooklyn — but the owners of Amorino and Barcade say they decided to establish a presence in the area for similar reasons: friendly character, diverse population and ideal location. “We chose Chelsea in part because it is a vibrant neighborhood with a cosmopolitan crowd,” said Filippo Saccani, the CEO of Amorino’s U.S. operation. “They are people who like to travel, to go out, and who enjoy a certain quality of product and sophistication.” Saccani hails from a small city in Italy, where he grew up working in his parents’ gelato shop. He came to New York to open one of his own — but when he tasted Amorino’s gelato, he reached out to the founders, who decided to put him in charge of expanding their product to the U.S. Up until the Chelsea store opened a month ago, the only Amorino you could find outside of Europe was on University Place, which opened in 2011. “After getting the offer, I had to go back to Italy to ask my parents’ permission to move away,” said Cutroni with a slight Italian accent. “But they were very enthusiastic, so I moved to New York.” Working together, Saccani and Federico found the location, raised the money and began construction. While most Amorino stores have a similar look and feel, the Chelsea location (at Eighth Ave. & 18th St.) has brick walls that the owners discovered during construction, and decided to keep. Classic integrity is fine when it comes to preservation, but they draw the line at chemical preservatives. Every batch of Amorino gelato is made in Paris, France under the supervision of the company’s head chef. While the flavoring ingredients come from all over the world — vanilla from Madagascar and mango from India, for instance — the eggs, milk, water and sugar all come from the same region in France to ensure consistent quality around the world. There are no avant-garde concoctions with names


July 31, 2014

Photos by Roger Miller

L to R: Federico Cutroni and Filippo Saccani, at the Chelsea location of Amorino (Eighth Ave., at 18th St.).

inspired by pop culture icons — just a wide assortment of smooth, naturally sourced classic flavors. That said, Amorino is not above trying out new ideas. The Chelsea location is one of the first to feature a section for macaroons — those colorful, light and fluffy cookies that the French are known so well for. As well, every so often, the owners and franchisees get together to discuss trying out new flavors. The most recent addition is called “Calamansi” — a sorbet made from a kind of small orange fruit from Asia that tastes like a combination of a lime and mandarin orange. Before taking over the store, Cutroni said he had to train for three weeks at both the University Place and Chelsea stores, practicing how to scoop gelato into the perfect flowers that are the hallmark of Amorino.

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A soon-to-be satisfied customer holds a cone of mango and raspberry gelato, formed into Amorino’s signature flower shape.


and a Flare for the Classics Continued from page 4 “Federico became the master of the scooping,” said Saccani with a grin. Preference for a certain shape influenced more than the iconic scoop shape. Besides its reputation for high foot traffic Cutroni and Saccani chose the corner of Eighth Ave. and 18th St. simply because, as they said, “We are crazy about corners.” If all goes well, Saccani plans to open stores in San Francisco, Boston and Las Vegas this fall, and another in Chicago come December. So far, he’s very happy with the way business has been going in Chelsea. “It’s been growing,” said Saccani with a wide smile. “We’ve been seeing more people here every day.” At the Chelsea location of Barcade (24th St., near Seventh Ave.) it’s all about games and the beer. It boasts more than 30 classic games, joysticks and all. And while the glowing fun machines lining the walls invoke the 1970s-era apex of arcade culture, the old dark stained wood bar and its wide


selection of craft brews and spirits can easily give off the aesthetic of a prohibition-era speakeasy. Barcade was founded in 2004 by New Jersey-born Paul Kermizian and his friends, Pete Langway and brothers Kevin and Scott Beard. At the time, Kermizian was living in a large Brooklyn loft, and had managed to get four, full-size arcade games inside. The idea for Barcade, recalls Kermizian, came from the parties he and his friends would throw where they would play games and drink good beer. “My friends and I were thinking that we wanted something more than just a craft beer bar, so we looked at each other and said, ‘Let’s just put 35 games in a bar.’ ” After designing and building the first location, mostly with their own money and muscle, the bar took off in popularity. “We were in Williamsburg in 2004, before the neighborhood really took off,” said Kermizian. “So everything really grew up around us.” Now, Kermizian is the CEO of a

Photo by Roger Miller

Barcade co-owner Paul Kermizian, behind the bar he helped build.

company that has been expanding. Philadelphia, Jersey City, and now Chelsea each have their own Barcade (next up: St. Marks Place). Kermizian said he and his friends have had their eyes on Chelsea ever since the days of the Brooklyn original. “We wanted a location in Manhattan from the start, but we didn’t want to be just another bar on the Lower East Side where there

were already like a million bars,” said Kermizian. “Chelsea also just seemed like a friendly neighborhood.” Kermizian and his friends helped design the interior, as well as construct the bar and a few of the tables. “We have a look,” he said, “but part of our thing is to take the existing character of the building and highlight that.”

Continued on page 21

July 31, 2014


Avenues Strives to Graduate Students Continued from page 1

SCALING UP THE STUDENT BODY As part of their planned scale-up to 1,630 students in four years, Avenues’ inaugural class started out with just 740 students. Last year, they had 1,100 students, and next year, there will be 1,300, including their first class of 11th graders. Eventually, the school will cover students from pre-K through 12th grade. Within Avenues’ 10-story building (at 10th Ave. & 25th St.), there are actually four schools: a nursery school, a lower school, a middle school and a high school — each with a double-story commons area with couches and chairs, flooded with natural light and overlooking the High Line. Class size is 18 students, and outside of well-appointed classrooms are high-definition virtual “bulletin boards,” programmed by the classrooms to allow for student exhibits. Long before Avenues opened, Jay Van Buren and his wife were hired to work on the school’s website. Longtime marketers, the Brooklyn couple brought a healthy dose of skepticism to what the school said about itself — but were soon sold on the idea, and applied to get their son Theo into the school. Avenues ended up hiring Katie Van Buren as director of the school’s Innovation Lab, and Theo will start pre-K in the fall. He began his language immersion in nursery school, and his parents are thrilled that he has taken to singing a song from “Frozen” in Chinese. Abby Brody, Director of the Avenues Lower School, was also involved with the school before it opened. In fact, she was the first hire. She was teaching at a private school on the Upper East Side and found herself frustrated over the static curriculum there. She decided to start her own charter school to create “citizens of the 21st century.” After chatting with Whittle, she scrapped her idea within two days, and signed up to be part of a “best practices school.” She was overjoyed to discover that Avenues wasn’t afraid to make changes. Most private schools, asserts Brody, “are very scared of change. They don’t want to look weak in front of the parents.”


July 31, 2014

Courtesy of Avenues: The World School

Hands-on learning helps bring concepts to life — and math to walls.

everyone. We want there to be a culture of respect, and we want there to be safety — not just in a physical sense, but also in an emotional sense,” said Whittle. The Van Burens love the school’s mission statement and how they use it as a touchstone in internal discussions. They can sense the happiness it has created in their son, saying, “Theo was jumping up and down on the day that spring break was about to be over. He loves the school as much as we do!” Parent Paul Spencer said his daughter Willa was also thriving at Avenues. Watching the school under construction, he likened it to a ship being readied for its maiden voyage, saying, “We were very happy to be its first passengers. It was exciting that they were taking on this experiment. My feeling was that if they make mistakes, they can correct them.”


Photo by Scott Stiffler

The Avenues New York campus, on 10th Ave (btw. 25th & 25th Sts.).

Avenues’ conscious favoring of evolution entrenchment is, Brody believes, an important element of what sets the school apart — and encourages collaboration between parents and teachers. “They’re risk takers,” said Brody of the faculty. “Even though our kids are from wealthy families, they are coming in with a culture that values humility. The parents know the mission statement, and the teachers build a community based on a bigger self-awareness, that kids should know when to be a leader and when to be a follower. They realize that there’s a world beyond New York City.” While mapping out the curriculum they envisioned, educators constantly refer to Avenues’ mission statement,

which includes sharing prosperity through financial aid, providing faculty support and advancing education as an effective, diverse and accountable school. The mission also addresses the idea of graduating emotionally unafraid global citizens, while nurturing a sense of humility — something that could be difficult for children of extremely wealthy parents. Whittle said that Avenues initially achieves this by spending a tremendous amount of time carefully choosing who they admit, not only to be sure they can handle the rigorous, bilingual curriculum, but making sure that families understand how things work at Avenues. “We want our kids to welcome

When Avenues first opened, issues arose — such as the impact of celebrity students like Suri Cruise, the variety of food offered in the school cafeteria, and safety concerns about the homeless individuals in the area. “In opening a school this size, which has a staff of well over 200, there are always going to be issues, and food in any school is always a topic of conversation,” said Whittle. “So in our early days we worked through it, because different students had different health needs. But we did that very nicely and it’s no longer an issue.” And although they don’t comment on individual students, regardless of how famous their parents may be, Whittle said that they select families that will be part of the community, saying, “we would not be growing the way we are if there were not a positive experience happening.” “I haven’t noticed anyone getting any special treatment or attention,” said Spencer. “In fact, whenever I’ve seen Suri and Katie — who obviously takes a personal interest in her daughter — she’s often the one who picks her up and drops her off. The two of them seem pretty much like any other parent and child, doing the same things the rest of us do.” Another concern came via a now

Continued on page 7 .com

‘At Ease Beyond Their Borders’ Continued from page 6 infamous exchange known as “the butt crack e-mail,” in which a parent complained that her child had witnessed the bare posterior of one of the local street people. Paul Spencer said that like most Avenues parents, he and his wife were “appalled” by the negative publicity of parents complaining about the food, or the “unsavory characters” in the neighborhood. He said that while every school has helicopter parents, focusing on the concerns of a few had created a distorted view of Avenues. “The pros hugely outweigh the cons,” said Whittle. “This is one of the most vibrant and rapidly developing neighborhoods in the city. Two things we particularly like about it is that for an arts program, we couldn’t be located in a better place. I laugh sometimes when I go to the art studios and they’re empty, because students are out and about, visiting the galleries. We love the connection to the Chelsea art community.” Whittle also appreciates the Silicon Alley element, with tech companies Google and Quirky both nearby, noting that Avenues is developing a variety of connections with these firms. And then there is the High Line. “The High Line is terrific, particularly with the opening of the third section,” said Whittle. “It’s a great way for parents to walk their kids to school without crossing streets. You can walk eight to ten blocks in either direction without worrying about stoplights.” The Van Burens take that trek with their son Theo several times a week, and said that, “as far as safety and security, there have been no problems. There’s a crossing guard at the corner who makes sure the kids get across okay.” And that butt crack email? “New York is New York. It has its issues and it always will, but that’s just urban life,” said Whittle. “Both the parents and the students in the community are fine with that.”

IMMERSIVE EDUCATION What most distinguishes Avenues from other private schools is their immersive language program. Students learn all subjects, from math to music, in either Spanish or Mandarin Chinese until they are 10 years old, resulting .com

Courtesy of Avenues: The World School

Small student-to-teacher ratios allow for individual attention.

in true fluency, then take conventional language instruction. David Berney and his wife Lynn have three children at Avenues: a daughter who is entering pre-K, a son in second grade and a son in third grade. They love the language skills the program affords their kids. Whittle said that by all accounts, the immersion program is working excellently, but noted that some changes were made in how it was organized. When they first opened, students would spend half a day in their immersion classroom and half a day in their English classroom. Teachers found it laborious to shuffle students around, and after a pilot program, the procedure was altered. Now, students spend one day learning in English, and the next day learning in their chosen immersion language. Parents and teachers alike are thrilled about the change. The Van Burens agree, saying that their son didn’t seem to mind the change from half-day language sessions to every other day, and that teachers found it allowed them to have more continuity. They love how the immersion program is giving their son a leg up, citing a study that found learning another language aids in the ability to think creatively. “That too is part of what goes into

creating a new school,” said Jay Van Buren. “They aren’t relying just on what it’s always been. They try new things to see what works. For example, the older kids use the Harkness table method, where they learn by sitting around a table and discussing things, and that goes back decades. Avenues is taking some things that are old and some that are new and using the best of everything. The whole approach is focused on trying to ask the question, ‘What is the best quality education now?’ ” David Berney echoed this sentiment, noting that he and his wife Lynn are impressed by how teachers and administrators constantly listen to students and parents, and then make adjustments. They are fascinated by the degree of fluency their three children have gained in such a short time. When they take the kids to Flushing, Queens, they can read street signs in Mandarin, and talk to the many Chinese residents in the area. This prompted the Berneys to speak with administrators about keeping their kids’ language skills sharp over the summer break. Last year, they worked with the school to arrange online chat sessions between students and teachers. Now Avenues has an online summer language program that allows students and teachers to Skype

in Chinese or Spanish. “It worked so well last summer, we expanded it significantly this year,” said Whittle. “You will literally see kids out on a beach somewhere Skyping in Mandarin with their teacher!” The Berneys point to this interaction as proof that when parents have ideas that can benefit everyone, the school is responsive. The Spencers love it as well, saying that their eightyear-old daughter Willa loves using her Mandarin language skills whenever possible. They recently connected with a couple in Columbia County who run a Chinese restaurant. “We set up play dates with their kids, who speak Mandarin but don’t read or write it,” said Spencer. “There was even a funny moment when Willa was showing their 12-year-old son how to spell something in Mandarin, and what a character meant.”

TUITION PAYS FOR IT ALL A year’s tuition for Avenues costs about the same as tuition for any other private school in the city — about $45,000 per year with fees (except for those students who receive financial aid). “Everyone pays the same tuition,

Continued on page 19 July 31, 2014


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR What 20th St. NIMBYs need to know To The Editor: Re “Secret Parks of Chelsea” (news, July 17, 2014): I do not understand how “as part of their Affordable Housing plan, Community Board 4 has begun to seriously consider the long-standing efforts of Friends of 20th Street Park to convert a former Department of Sanitation lot into a micropark.” Actually, the Department of Sanitation lot had been considered as a possible site for the building of 60 low-income housing units. This worthy project provoked a strong opposition from the NIMBY property owners of 20th St. Wisely advised to emphasize the positive, they understood that “No Poor People Here” looks bad, but “Our Kids Need A Park To Play” looks good. Furthermore, as one of my neighbors, keen on keeping her unspoiled views, stated, 60 housing units were not going to make a dent on the current housing crisis. My point exactly. We need hundreds of small lots to build some 60 housing units. As mentioned by Cynthia in her Letter to the Editor [July 17 issue], “It would be great to see the building on Seventh Ave. and 22nd St. be torn down and replaced with affordable housing.” — as it would be great to have affordable housing on the 20th St. lot, and to replace many walk-ups in dismal condition. People looking for parks should read the Chelsea Now article and consult the excellent map of Arnold Bob. Michelle Raccagni

Reader Comments from Re “Secret Parks of Chelsea” (news, July 17, 2014): Great Chelsea Now park issue, especially the “secret park” stuff. Too many parks that exist are indeed secret (public space exchanged for bigger, taller new buildings giving higher returns to landlords, builders, etc.). But to present the case re: the 20th St. space that has been promised for affordable housing, which is scarce (and getting even scarcer with each passing day) in Chelsea: It is essential that this opportunity, small as it is, supplies at least some portion of the need for housing, for teachers, policemen, fireman, artists, longtime Chelsea residents, etc. a place to live. I guess many of us who have fought the losing battle for affordable housing when West Chelsea was rezoned for the very wealthy only, have been too quiet for too long. So here’s one voice still reminding us — keep Chelsea a community of all kinds of people, not just those at the top of the income bracket.

been effectively waived to permit jackhammering, demolition, movement of heavy construction equipment and a rain of particulate matter, pollution and noise into our lives which has obviously damaged our health and peace of mind. We live at the mercy of the After Hours Variance and a city administration that stands aside as its citizens are massacred by developers. This is certainly not the mark of a progressive city. Gallons of press ink have documented the plague of noise and sleeplessness to no avail. If residents shrug off this nightmare as the price of living in NYC, they have it wrong. We are the ants to be stepped on. Roberto

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to or fax to 212229-2790 or mail to Chelsea Now, Letters to the Editor, NYC Community Media, Once Metrotech North, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. 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.

Gloria Sukenick

All we are saying: Just give peace to ants Re “Making Some Noise About After Hours Construction” (news, July 17, 2014): We live across the street from the Brooklyn Bridge. Since June 2010, the NYC Noise Code has

Your eerily accurate horoscope awaits, courtesy of Mystico! Turn to page 23.


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July 31, 2014


Community Contacts To be listed, email



COMMUNITY BOARD 4 (CB4) CB4 serves Manhattan’s West Side neighborhoods of Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. Its boundaries are 14th St. on the south, 59/60th St. on the north, the Hudson River on the west, 6th Ave. on the east (south of 26th St.) and 8th Ave. on the east (north of 26th St.). The monthly full board meeting, open to the public, normally takes place on the last Wed. of the month. However, the next meeting is Wed., Sept. 3, 6:30 p.m., at Roosevelt Hospital (1000 Tenth Ave.). There is no Aug. meeting. Call 212-736-4536, visit mcb4 or email them at COMMUNITY BOARD 5 (CB5) CB5 represents the central business district of New York City. It includes midtown Manhattan, the Fashion, Flower, Flatiron and Diamond districts, as well as Bryant Park and Union Square Park. The district is at the center of New York’s tourism industry. The Theatre District, Times Square, Carnegie Hall, the Empire State Building and two of the region’s transportation hubs (Grand Central Station and Penn Station) fall within CB5. The board meeting, open to the public, happens on the second Thursday of the month. The next meeting is Thurs., Sept. 11, 6 p.m., at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th St., btw. 5th & 6th Aves., 2nd fl.). Call 212465-0907, visit or email them at THE 300 WEST 23RD, 22ND & 21ST STREETS BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at THE WEST 400 BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at


CHELSEA GARDEN CLUB Chelsea Garden Club cares for the bike lane tree pits in Chelsea. If you want to adopt a tree pit or join the group, please contact them at or like them on Facebook. Also visit LOWER CHELSEA ALLIANCE (LoCal) This group is committed to protecting the residential blocks of Chelsea from overscale development. Contact them at THE GREENWICH VILLAGE-CHELSEA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Call 212-337-5912 or visit THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT INITIATIVE Visit or call 212-633-0185. PENN SOUTH The Penn South Program for Seniors provides recreation, education and social services — and welcomes volunteers. For info, call 212-243-3670 or visit THE BOWERY RESIDENTS’ COMMITTEE: HOMELESS HELPLINE If you know of anyone who is in need of their services, call the Homeless Helpline at 212-533-5151, and the BRC will send someone to make contact. This number is staffed by outreach team leaders 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous. For more info, visit THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER At 208 W. 13th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Visit or call 212620-7310. GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS (GMHC) At 446 W. 33rd St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves. Visit Call 212-367-1000.

HUDSON GUILD Founded in 1895, Hudson Guild is a multi-service, multi-generational community serving approximately 14,000 people annually with daycare, hot meals for senior citizens, low-cost professional counseling, community arts programs and recreational programming for teens. Visit them at Email them at info@ For the John Lovejoy Elliott Center (441 W. 26th St.), call 212-760-9800. For the Children’s Center (459 W. 26th St.), call 212-7609830. For the Education Center (447 W. 25th St.), call 212-760-9843. For the Fulton Center for Adult Services (119 9th Ave.), call 212-924-6710. THE CARTER BURDEN CENTER FOR THE AGING This organization promotes the well-being of individuals 60 and older through direct social services and volunteer programs oriented to individual, family and community needs. Call 212-879-7400 or visit FULTON YOUTH OF THE FUTURE Email them at fultonyouth@gmail. com or contact Miguel Acevedo, 646-671-0310. WEST SIDE NEIGHBORHOOD ALLIANCE Visit or call 212-9562573. Email them at CHELSEA COALITION ON HOUSING Tenant assistance every Thursday night at 7pm, at Hudson Guild (119 9th Ave.). Email them at FRIENDS OF HUDSON RIVER PARK Visit or call 212-757-0981. HUDSON RIVER PARK TRUST Visit or call 212627-2020. SAVE CHELSEA Contact them at savechelseanyc@

DISTRICT 3 CITY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON Call 212-564-7757 or visit gov/d3/html/members/home.shtml. STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN Call 212-633-8052 or visit CHELSEA REFORM DEMOCRATIC CLUB The CRDC (the home club of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Assemblymember Richard N. Gottfried) meets monthly to exchange political ideas on protecting the rights and improving the lives of those residing in Chelsea. Visit or email them at THE SAGE CENTER New York City’s first LGBT senior center offers hot meals, counseling and a cyber-center — as well as programs on arts and culture, fitness, nutrition, health and wellness. At 305 Seventh Ave. (15th floor, btw. 27th & 28th Sts.). Call 646-576-8669 or visit thesagecenter for menus and a calendar of programs. AT 147 W. 24TH ST. (BTW. 6TH & 7TH AVES.) THE SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJECT works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. Visit FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment) builds the leadership and power of bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color in NYC. Visit THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color center for community organizing. Visit

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July 31, 2014


New Precinct Commander, on What Works and Work to be Done BY SCOTT STIFFLER Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry’s first command lands her in familiar territory. The Fordham University graduate, who became a cadet in 1994 and began her career one year later as a patrol officer in the Bronx’s 44th Precinct, has worked for the past six years as Commanding Officer of the NYPD Police Academy’s Specialized Training Section. Before that, she spent 2007-2008 as Executive Officer of the Lower East Side’s Ninth Precinct, during which her work with the Club Detail included frequent plunges into Chelsea’s chaotic nightlife scene. Just under a month ago, D.I. Irizarry became the 10th Precinct’s Commanding Officer — returning to a Chelsea in which larceny accounts for the overwhelming majority of crime, and quality of life ranks high among the concerns of residents. Having already met with several local electeds, Community Board 4, members of the 10th Precinct Community Council and club owners — with plans to visit Penn South, Google, Chelsea Piers and other commercial establishments in the coming weeks — Irizarry recently sat down with Chelsea Now for her first media interview. Chelsea Now: What were your duties at the Police Academy? Commanding Officer Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry: My section provided tactical training for people who would be going to a plainclothes unit, computer training, and command-level training — which is once a month, when all of the training sergeants from throughout the city come in to learn new procedures and protocols. I also did a yearly training for our In Service Tactical Training [INTAC] Unit, when our In Service officers come for a one-day tactical, scenario-based training. My section oversaw that, and also the Chemical Ordinance, Biological and Radiological Awareness [COBRA] Training Unit. So many of Chelsea’s larceny crimes happen in the clubs. What ideas do you have for enforcement and education? We had a bad week last week in terms of grand larceny, and a lot of them were unattended [property]. It really is the same old routine, mostly females with their purses, who leave them on the back of a chair, or on one .com

What changes and improvements do you hope to bring during your time at the 10th Precinct? The main things are to create safer roadways for our pedestrians and bicyclists, and continue to reduce grand larcenies. Will the public have a chance to meet you at next week’s National Night Out Against Crime? Absolutely. I’m looking forward to that.

Photo by Scott Stiffler

Meet the 10th Precinct’s new Commanding Officer, Deputy Inspector Michele Irizarry, at Aug. 5’s National Night Out Against Crime event.

of the couches. Then they go on the dance floor, and when they come back, either their entire bag is gone, their credit cards are gone, or their cell phone is gone. Education is key. I met with the TAO Group about a week and a half ago, and they have something incredibly unique that not many restaurants have: hooks under all their tables, so customers never have the purses on the back of their chair. And also, they have trained their staff, as they’re waiting on customers, to say, “Oh mam, your purse is on the floor. We have the hook under the table.” A place like TAO can do that, because their employees are regular staff [with limited turnover]. For places that are not training their staff to be really cognizant of these unattended bags, it’s going to continue to be a problem. 1 Oak has a complimentary coat check, and that’s been very effective. In the winter especially, a lot of people will not check their coats if they have to pay for it. But this [comp policy] encourages people, and they end up not losing any property. I also have a foot patrol unit, one sergeant and six police officers, that [my predecessor] D.I. David Miller created. I can deploy them to any area, when I notice a traffic or crime condition.

me about the types of complaints that are most common at these meetings. What were those complaints? Noise and bicycles — and bicycle lanes. I mean, not that the lanes themselves are hazardous, but some of the bicyclists that ride in these lanes do not pay attention to the traffic signals.

The 10th Precinct’s participation in the annual National Night Out Against Crime will be held on Tues., Aug. 5, on W. 17th St. (btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.), from 5-8 p.m. There will be activities for children, along with crime prevention tips and handouts. Elected officials and a rep from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office will be in attendance. The Community Council resumes its meetings (last Wed. of the month, 7 p.m.) on Sept. 24, at the 10th Precinct (230 W. 20th St., btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Main number: 212-741-8211. Community Affairs: 212-741-8226. Follow them on Twitter: @NYPD10Pct.

In September, the Precinct’s monthly Community Council meetings resume. Will that be your formal introduction to local residents? Yes, and I think it’s going to be exciting. When I had the opportunity to meet with Larry and Frank [Council President Larry O’Neill and Recording Secretary Frank Meade], they counseled July 31, 2014


HealthPlex Brings State-of-the-Art Emergen Continued from page 1 and Seventh Ave. He was in luck. It was the E.D.’s opening day. “I knew this place was here,” he said. “But I didn’t know if it was open yet.” He knew the HealthPlex would be opening sometime soon, since he works right around the corner as a dispatcher at Juice Press, on Greenwich Ave. (which, he proudly noted, is even better than Liquiteria, “way more raw, way more organic”). Baez, 22, spoke with our sister publication, The Villager, around 1 p.m. on July 17, as he was lying on a bed in one of the HealthPlex’s 26 private rooms for patients. In fact, he was the new healthcare facility’s very first patient. The place had opened its doors at 10 a.m, but it took a little while before patients started arriving — and when they did, it was in a surge, 10 patients in the space of an hour and a half. That’s typically how it happens, noted Dr. Eric Cruzen, the HealthPlex’s emergency medical director. Eight of the patients were still at the HealthPlex when The Villager arrived, two having been treated and released. Baez said the last thing he remembered from the previous night was unlocking his bike outside 3 Sheets Saloon, on W. Third St., where he had been drinking, and saying goodbye to his cousin. He was planning to bike home to Sunset Park, Brooklyn — his usual commute. “I honestly don’t know how I ended up on St. Mark’s Place,” he said. “I was very drunk,” he admitted. “I didn’t realize how drunk I was.” Asked what he thought about the


July 31, 2014

treatment he was receiving at the HealthPlex, Baez good-naturedly said, without missing a beat, “Excellent. Honestly, they’re very nice people. Very sociable. Very easy to speak to if you have an issue. Very nonjudgmental.” He was being kept for observation for a while. The HealthPlex would also make sure he’d have follow-up care, which is very important in the case of such an injury, especially where it wasn’t known exactly how hard he may have hit his head. Local critics, distraught over the loss of St. Vincent’s, which was a full-service hospital, have blasted the 24/7 stand-alone E.D. — which doesn’t have inpatient hospital beds as part of the facility — as an “urgentcare center on steroids.” Yet, it offers a higher level of emergency care than an urgent-care center. For example, Baez was given a CAT scan to check for skull fractures or any bleeding in his brain — a capability that urgent-cares don’t have. And the HealthPlex will treat anyone, regardless of his or her ability to pay. All of the walk-in patients on Thursday up to that point had had zero wait time to be seen. Other patients had come in for migraines, abdominal pains and high blood pressure, among other things. A Jane St. resident, 47, had glass, or possibly some other object, lodged under his toe that he got while playing soccer on the beach in Brazil. A Village restaurant worker who lives in the Bronx, 18, had cut the tip off the top of his thumb while chopping asparagus. He came, got three stitches, and was released. A firecracker of upbeat energy, nurse Amy Smith is the HealthPlex’s

David Baez, 22, who had a bicycle accident, was the first patient at the Lenox Hill H after he received a CAT scan.

project manager. She said she really liked the HealthPlex’s layout, since it allows her to keep an eye on multiple patients in various rooms at once. She noted she could, at that moment, easily see a patient about 40 feet away who was resting in a room, who had fainted and fallen and didn’t know where he was. “That’s serious,” she said. In fact, that man was the HealthPlex’s first patient brought in by ambulance — by an ambulance from North Shore-LIJ Health System, the HealthPlex’s umbrella health group. Speaking in very limited English, Melvin Morales, 23, explained that he works in a market — apparently in Midtown — and was in Grand Central Station when he fainted. He was hooked up to a heart monitor, and they were doing blood work on him. “He looks good,” said Smith, who then asked him if he had eaten anything for breakfast. He had not. That could very well have been a factor, she noted, but they would continue the testing.

As for why the ambulance brought Morales to the HealthPlex in the Village, Cruzen explained that it’s an algorithm of the emergency responders’ decision, plus a computer that tells them where the best available treatment option is. No patients had yet been transported by ambulance to local hospitals for higher-level care, such as would be done for acute heart attacks or strokes or major trauma, like a serious gunshot wound. Also resting in a bed after getting treatment was Cathy Casrielgyory, from Horatio St., who had been suffering a severe migraine and vertigo as a result of a debilitating bout of Meniere’s disease, an inner-ear affliction. She had been getting herself psyched up to take a taxi ride through crosstown traffic over to NYU Langone Medical Center in the E. 30s on First Ave., but then — even though she wasn’t sure if it was open yet — she decided to walk over to the HealthPlex. They gave her intravenous Valium, for which she was grateful. “I feel better, not 100 percent, so .com

ncy Department to W. 12th & Seventh Ave.

Photos by Lincoln Anderson

HealthPlex. A doctor checked Baez’s condition

they’re sending me home with some valium,” she said, wearing sunglasses to block out the light and help calm her symptoms, as her daughter sat nearby, having accompanied her over to the HealthPlex. Another thing the HealthPlex can do that an urgent-care center can’t, is dispense a wide variety of medications to its patients. A nurse came in and checked her blood pressure. “One hundred fifty-four over 76,” she said, “a little high for your baseline, but not high for the E.R.” Casrielgyory’s assessment of the care she had received? “Great,” she said. “Very prompt. The place is full of spirit today. And as a resident of the neighborhood, I’m glad to have it back,” she said of the healthcare facility. “If I have an attack like this, I will come back.” As The Villager was leaving the HealthPlex — the patients in good hands with the medical staff — Kelly Gates, 24, was entering, being greeted by the front-desk staff, and preparing to get treated by a staff member for .com

Cathy Casrielgyory received treatment for a debilitating bout of Meniere’s disease.

what Gates believed to be bedbug bites. She expressed incredulity that she lives in the West Village, yet could possibly have bedbugs. A week earlier, officials with North Shore-LIJ and the HealthPlex, and even the neighboring LGBT Community Center, had formally dedicated the facility at an opening ceremony. Afterward, Assemblymember Deborah Glick gave the new HealthPlex her seal of approval, and said she especially liked that it has a special section — with a separate entrance — for sexual-assault victims. The area is set up to provide the greatest privacy to the victims, and also to set them at ease. “Women in the community need to know that there’s a separate, private entrance for victims of sexual assault,” she said, adding, “That is just an indication of the way they have thought this through from the patients’ point of view.” TPIA, a clot buster given to stroke victims, is available at the facility, Glick added. Over all, she was very bullish on the HealthPlex.

“Very much so,” she said, “and I think the community will look forward to the imaging services and specialty care” that will be added in the near future in the building’s upper floors. North Shore-LIJ poured $150 million into the facility — the former St. Vincent’s O’Toole Building — which will be offering more medical services in the near future beyond just the E.D., which was the main aspect of St. Vincent’s that the community

feared losing when the historic hospital closed. There hadn’t been any protest action recently by diehard advocates of a full-service hospital who had savaged the freestanding E.D., which ultimately wasn’t surprising, she said. “You’re going to come here and say how this is terrible for the community?” Glick said. “You’re going to have access to up-to-date emergency healthcare.”

July 31, 2014


ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT ‘Dishonorable’ is Pitch-Perfect Preston

Attic Theater Company hits the notes and fills them with joy THEATER STRICTLY DISHONORABLE Written by Preston Sturges Directed by Laura Braza Presented by the Attic Theater Company Through August 10 Tues.–Sun. at 7 p.m. | Sat. at 2 p.m. At The Flea Theater 41 White St. (btw. Broadway & Church) For Tickets ($25),

BY TRAV S.D. ( It’s interesting to speculate what the history of American theatre would have been if the movie industry in Hollywood had not come along to lure away some of its best talents. A primary case in point is writer-director-producer Preston Sturges, best known today for his unprecedented (and never repeated) run of stunningly brilliant screwball comedies, encompassing “The Great McGinty” (1940), “Christmas in July” (1940), “The Lady Eve” (1941), “Sullivan’s Travels” (1941), “The Palm Beach Story” (1942), “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek” (1944) and “Hail, the Conquering Hero” (1944). Sturges had begun as a Broadway playwright whose early success was so impressive he was whisked to the west coast almost from the start, spending a decade as one of the industry’s most prolific and reliable screenwriters before being allowed to sit in the director’s chair. His most notable screenwriting effort from this early phase was 1933’s “The Power and the Glory.” said to have been a major influence on Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane.” But the script that started it all


July 31, 2014

Photo by Leah Caddigan

L to R: Nick Ritacco, John Robert Tillotson, Thomas Christopher Matthews, Keilly McQuail and Ryan Trout.

was Sturges’ second play, “Strictly Dishonorable” — which ran on Broadway for 16 months (19291931) and was adapted into a 1931 movie starring Paul Lukas and Sidney Fox (and again, in 1951, with Ezio Pinza and Janet Leigh. Reportedly written in only six days, “Strictly Dishonorable” possesses all the themes in embryo we would later associate with Sturges’ classics: sexual danger, class tension, sympathy for the “little guy” and a hero who is living a lie. Further, it is populated with a range of comedy types we recognize from his later work: a comical Italian bartender, an Irish cop, a crooked judge, an uptight WASP and a girl who is in the mood for love. The latter is at the center of “Strictly Dishonorable.” An impoverished Mississippi debutante wanders into a New York

speakeasy one night with her controlling, asinine fiancé. There, she falls in love with a famous opera singer (a habitual seducer), breaks up with her boyfriend, and agrees to spend the night on the singer’s couch. The big question on everyone’s minds: “Will she or won’t she [have sex]?” In 1931, sex out of wedlock was almost universally frowned upon, at least officially. To live “in sin” could mean a woman’s downfall. Sturges’ script is a rich mix of French farce, with an Ibsen/ Shaw style problem play, and (in the first act) the kind of “saloon theatre” we associate with O’Neill and Saroyan. The Attic Theater Company’s pitch-perfect production of “Strictly Dishonorable” (now playing at The Flea through August 10) manages to hit all the play’s diverse notes

and fill it with joy and life besides. Director Laura Braza not only comprehends the play’s themes, but in practice proves that she understands one of Sturges’ primary geniuses: the undeniable fact that in theatre (and radio, television and film), casting is everything. As Isabelle, the wayward Belle, Keilly McQuail is an absolute find, surfing the comedy to be found in Sturges’ lines like the biggest of Big Kahunas. Her mastery of comic timing is riveting. It’s a quality we normally associate with more seasoned, older actors. Her skills could keep McQuail working for decades. By contrast, Michael Labbadia (as the opera singer) gives a performance that is as much about heart as it is about craft, putting us in direct

Continued on page 15 .com

‘Dishonorable’ Transfixes

Photo by Leah Caddigan

Keilly McQuail (as Isabelle) has a mastery of comic timing, while the performance of Michael Labbadia (as the opera singer) is as much about heart as it is about craft.

Continued from page 14 touch with the romantic elements of Sturges’ vision. This is a script that comes within a hair’s breadth of tragedy, and Labbadia’s performance is the element that keeps us in mind of that fact. As the loveable, meddling Judge Dempsey, John Robert Tillotson could be straight from a Sturges film himself. On the other hand, Thomas Christopher Matthews, in the thankless role as the weaselly, unlikable fiancé, seems less like a Sturges actor than, say, Rob Lowe in the Peter Bogdonovich Sturges tribute “Illegally Yours.” (While the performances in this show were uniformly first-rate, Matthews and some of the other younger actors in the cast need to get over to the barber shop, tout suite. Show up to the stock exchange or the station house in 1931 with hair halfway down your neck, or, for pity’s sake, a beard, gang, and you would cause an absolute commotion — or at the very least, an eruption of ridicule.) Overall, this ensemble is riveting to watch, and it’s at the level of .com

playing we embrace this production the most. Yet as moving as Labbadia is towards the end of the play, I do think he and director Braza have missed a major aspect of the earlier beats. Count Ruvo is a Casanova, an “operator.” He has designs on Isabelle’s “virtue,” and therein lies the play’s arc — as his love for the girl is so great, he makes the epic journey all the way to gentlemanliness. We need to see the devil in him before he becomes an angel. But this is the kind of thing that occurs to one on the way home from the theatre. While you’re there, you’ll simply be transfixed by the world made by Sturges, Braza and her cast. Trav S.D. has been producing the American Vaudeville Theatre since 1995, and periodically trots it out in new incarnations. Stay in the loop at, and also catch up with him on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, et al. His books include “No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous” and “Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube.” July 31, 2014


Buhmann on Art

Photo by Benoit Pailley, courtesy New Museum, NY

Photo by Benoit Pailley, courtesy New Museum, NY

Bouchra Khalili’s “The Mapping Journey Project” (2008-2011, eight videos, color/sound). At the New Museum, through Sept. 28.

Installation view of the Lobby Gallery, including (at left) Hassan Sharif’s “Suspended Objects” (2011, mixed mediums, 137 3/4 [h] x 63 [d] in; 350 [h] x 160 [d] cm approx.). At the New Museum, through Sept. 28.

Photo by Benoit Pailley, courtesy New Museum, NY

Installation view of the Fourth Floor gallery, featuring photographs by Yto Barrada. Part of “Here and Elsewhere” (New Museum, through Sept. 28).


HERE AND ELSEWHERE In the past decade, contemporary art from across North Africa and the Middle East has increasingly gathered international attention. Some of the most comprehensive and most important recent international exhibitions in Europe — such as Documenta in Kassel (2012) and the La Biennale di Venezia (2013) — have made a point of including artists from these regions. In New York, however, it is still somewhat hard to come by works heralding from Amman, Beirut, Cairo,


July 31, 2014

Dubai, Doha, Marrakesh, Ramallah or Sharjah. Therefore, it is a special treat to visit “Here and Elsewhere” — the first museum-wide exhibition in New York to bring together more than 40 artists from over 12 countries in the Arab world, many of whom live and work internationally. It is organized by the New Museum’s curatorial department, led by Massimiliano Gioni, who also curated La Biennale in 2013. The title is borrowed from “Ici et ailleurs” [Here and Elsewhere], a 1976 work by French directors JeanLuc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, and Anne-Marie Miéville. Conceived as a pro-Palestinian documentary, it man-

ifested as a faceted contemplation of the representation and the status of images as political instruments. In this spirit, the exhibition embraces different methodologies with a focus on personal reportage. It particularly examines the role of artists in the face of historical events and how they are vested with the responsibility of revising dominant historical narratives. While several of the artists experiment with archival material, rewriting personal and collective traumas, others employ traditional mediums (painting, drawing, sculpture) to record subtle and intimate shifts in awareness sparked by current events. By includ-

ing both under-recognized and established mid-career artists, “Here and Elsewhere” works against the notion of the Arab world as a homogenous or cohesive entity. Through Sept. 28, at the New Museum (235 Bowery, btw. Stanton & Rivington Sts.). Hours: Wed., Fri.–Sun., 11 a.m.–6 p.m., Thurs. 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Admission: $16 ($14 for seniors, $10 for students). Pay-whatyou-wish Thurs., 7–9 p.m. (suggested donation, $2). Call 212-219-1222 or visit

Continued on page 17 .com

Continued from page 16

THE INTUITIONISTS This collaborative artist project was inspired by Colson Whitehead’s 1999 fiction novel of the same name, which explores the relationships between progress, technology and difference. Pondering how the collection, the database, and the aggregate serve as complementary models for the organization of information and objects in flux, artists Heather Hart, Steffani Jemison and Jina Valentine have invited over 60 members of the Drawing Center’s substantial Viewing Program — which has offered emerging artists the opportunity to include their work in a curated Artist Registry since 1977 — to submit artworks specifically responding to a word or phrase from Whitehead’s novel. In addition, each item in the exhibition is hung according to the sequence determined by Whitehead’s text. Meanwhile, the Lab gallery features collaboration by Hart, Jemison and Valentine, inspired by a paragraph from the novel, using its words and letters to form an interpretive drawing.


Courtesy of Aucocisco Gallery

Kenny Cole: “MDNJPN” | 2014 | Gouache on paper | 8 1/2 x 7 inches (21.6 x 17.8 cm).

Through Aug. 24, at The Drawing Center (35 Wooster St., btw. Broome & Grand Sts.). Hours: Wed., Fri.–Sun., 12 p.m.–6 p.m., Thurs. 12 p.m.–8 p.m. Price: Adults, $5, Students & Seniors, $3, Kids under 12, Free. Free 6–8 p.m. Thurs. Call 212-219-2166 or visit The Drawing Center is wheelchair accessible.

Courtesy of the artist

Patrick Earl Hammie: “Platform” | 2014 | Oil on mylar | 84 x 11 inches (213.36 x 27.94 cm).

July 31, 2014



July 31, 2014


Avenues Expanding to China in 2016 Continued from page 7 and we have no idea who gets financial aid,” said Lynn Berney. “It’s all the same, whether you are super wealthy or struggling to make every penny count. We know that we’re not going to be nickel and dimed for everything. It’s how it should be. Everyone should have the opportunity to get the same education, regardless of their socioeconomic background.” Avenues doesn’t ask for or accept any additional funding from parents. In fact, that’s how Whittle planned it all along. Prior to opening Avenues, he gathered $75 million in investments — $60 million to rehab the 100-yearold former warehouse into a school, which they have a 48-year lease on, and $15 million for pre-opening expenses, including teacher recruitment, curriculum design and more. “Our policy is, and will continue to be, that we don’t do capital campaigns,” said Whittle. “We don’t do annual funds, we don’t do any fundraising for core programs or to increase faculty pay. All those things we do out of standard tuition and don’t expect parents to do anything beyond that.” As a for-profit entity, they provide the capital for all of the school’s needs. If they need new computers, they’ll buy new computers. If they need a new gymnasium (they don’t — their current gym is stunning), they’ll buy a new gymnasium. This eliminates the constant browbeating of wealthier parents to support the school financially, and it takes out of the equation the ability for deep pockets to make up for student’s shortcomings, as is sometimes the case at other schools. “It completely levels the playing field,” said Whittle. “We don’t care if your parents are billionaires. Money is not a factor in how a family or student is treated. The only two areas we will let parents do fundraising in is to increase financial aid and scholarships, or to fund ‘research and development’ into new learning strategies that would be beyond what the school could typically cover,” he said. “But the core thing here is that there is never going to be any arm-twisting of parents for extra money.” Spencer likes the optional fundraising, saying that scholarships could help Avenues with “the same problem that most private schools in New York suffer .com

Courtesy of Avenues: The World School

The nearby High Line provides a year-round way to commute, and learn.

from: a lack of diversity. It will probably take a little while to resolve that.” The school currently has about 10 percent of students on financial aid, with an agreement reached with Community Board 4 to pro-rate the aid to children from Chelsea first.


tunity to live with another family, to be there and use their language skills and still get an Avenues education, knowing that the style and programs will be consistent throughout Avenues schools around the world.” For now, they are just trying to get through the rest of the summer.

When Lynn Berney arrived 45 minutes before dismissal on the last day of school, she could hardly believe what she saw. “Rather than being happy about the last day of school, they were all crying, hugging their teachers, giving them little gifts they made in art, and bawling. There has not been a single day in two years that our kids tried to get out of going to school. And I’ve heard this from other parents as well. This is truly what it is all about.” Spencer echoed these sentiments, saying that when the school started, its theories were very appealing to him — but over time, it was the connections that made the most impact. “Willa got there and all of the teachers were warm and loving. The way they hugged her and lifted her up, how she was so excited to go to school every day — that was a pretty good combination to have,” said Spencer. “We are not tiger moms and dads, not helicopter parents. To me, it’s less about what’s going to get her into Harvard or Goldman Sachs, but that’s she’s taking a real joy in learning, that she is really happy to be there.”

When Chelsea Now first profiled Avenues: The World School, we asked Whittle if the school would churn out scholars to help populate Harvard University and other Ivy League Schools. Even then, he warned that those schools were prohibitively competitive, and not ideally suited for every student’s needs. He maintains that Avenues is more concerned with graduating contributing citizens of the world, rather than a generation of future kingmakers. Avenues parents also seem to be okay with this. “If you want your child to grow up with a worldview and international experience and language skills, then we’re a terrific choice. If that’s not important, there are schools that are better for you,” said Whittle. “That’s a big part of Avenues going forward,” said Whittle, referring to the school’s global expansion student exchange plans. “Even before our campuses open in all the other cities, we want to offer all sorts of study abroad programs.” The Berneys look forward to the day when their children are old enough to take advantage of this exchange program, saying, “It would be great for them to have the opporJuly 31, 2014



July 31, 2014


New Businesses Offer Classic Fare

Photos by Roger Miller

Barcade co-founder Paul Kermizian at the controls of Tapper, in which players must scramble between three bars to refill drinks.

Continued from page 5 Last January, Kermizian and his partners went to a community board meeting to make sure they were welcome, and found that most people were very supportive. “Being in a tech neighborhood is also a plus,” he said. “We draw a geeky crowd. Whether it’s the beer geeks, or the game geeks, they come.” In terms of game selection, there are seven or eight classics that you’ll find anywhere — like Ms. Pacman, Tetris, Donkey Kong and Tapper (a beer-serving game that Kermizian counts as one of his favorites). There are also some more eclectic machines that, Kermizian bets, many gamers probably have never heard of, such as Discs of Tron (a 3D environment game) and Sega’s Time Traveler, a hologram game that came out in 1991 that Kermizian asserts is “super weird and hard to describe.” All of these retro machines are also expensive to maintain, he said. “Even when they were new, they would break and swallow your quarters.” Regardless of the cost of repairs, Kermizian and his friends have kept the prices the same since the first Barcade opened: 25 cents a game. He also said there’s no target .com

Straight off the plane from Paris: Amorino is now offering macaroons shipped to the U.S., alongside their classic gelato.

audience, despite the age of his games. “A lot of the younger people only know games from their phones, so it can be hard for them at first to learn the joystick, but eventually they get used to it and enjoy it.” Aside from the gamers and craft brew aficionados, though, Kermizian said the Chelsea location has begun to draw a loyal after-work crowd for happy hours, as well as a more local scene later on in the night. Even though the crowds are diverse, though, make no mistake — this bar is a haven for gamers. On one wall, a massive chalkboard displays every record set for each game, some by patrons who have actually spent an entire day, from opening to closing, playing a single game on a single quarter. Don’t be intimidated, though, said Kermizian. Most people just come to hang out, drink good beer and indulge in some nostalgia. And that’s the final, sweet similarity between Amorino and Barcade. Both sell a product you can’t get many other places — whether it’s a scoop of classic gelato sandwiched between two meltin-your-mouth macaroons or a stiff, refreshing glass of beer and an arcade game you haven’t played since you were a kid. July 31, 2014



July 31, 2014




Photo by SuZen

Atsuko Yuma, seen here in a 2013 performance of “Mother Tsuru,” is a featured artist in this year’s Universal Peace Day “Concert for a World Without War” (Aug. 5, at St. John’s Lutheran Church).

Three solemn yet ultimately hopeful events will commemorate the 69th anniversary of the U.S. bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, by contemplating the destructive power of nuclear weaponry as well as the world’s capacity to peacefully coexist. Pax Christi Metro New York’s annual Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial begins with a screening of “The Ultimate Wish: Ending the Nuclear Age,” followed by a discussion with co-producer Dr. Kathleen Sullivan. Then, there will be a silent procession and public vigil. Sun., Aug. 3, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Greenwich Village Church (Washington Pl. and Sixth Ave.). Free. For more details, call 212-420-0250 or visit Universal Peace Day, on Tues., Aug. 5, is an annual event marked by public gatherings throughout the world, with the goal of achieving a shared vision of peace, while transforming a remembrance of horror into a rededication of life. Locally, a Peace Walk begins at 5 p.m. with a gathering at Union Square West (btw. 14th & 15th Sts., by the Gandhi statue). A Native American opening ceremony is followed by appearances from The Raging Grannies, The Living Theatre, Russell Daisey, Bruce Markow and others. At 7:15 p.m., the exact moment of the Hiroshima bombing, there will be a Peace Bell Ringing Ceremony followed by a minute of prayers for peace and a global singing of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” After the singing, there will be a silent peace walk from Union Square to Saint John’s Lutheran Church (81 Christopher St.). At the church, an interfaith service is followed by “Concert for a World Without .com

War.” This year’s installment features performers who’ve appeared at Universal Peace Day events over the last 30 years. Currently scheduled talent includes Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary), David Amram, Guy Davis, the Peaceniks, Spook Handy, Namaya, Bruce Markow, Atsuko Yuma, Hilario Soto and Russell Daisey. Suggested concert donation: $10. For info: Universal Peace Day is a program of the New York City Peace Museum ( Also visit universalpeaceday. org. Twitter: @ringbells4peace. Facebook:


Aquarius A formidable foe, a competitive bid, the clock and a full house: these things, this week, you are not meant to beat. Accept it, and plot your comeback. Pisces Your problem is, you expect 5G things from a 3G effort. Upgrade that outmoded attitude, and stop expecting others to swipe the “Try” button. Aries An old foe’s campaign to mend fences comes with three strings, four perks and one chance to take the offer.

Courtesy Arts Brookfield

Elio Villafranca is the first man in front of 88 keys, at the New Directions in Solo Piano lunchtime concert series (Aug. 18-21).

The future of solo piano performance is now — or at least it will be, for four days in August. That’s when the New Directions series will present free lunchtime concerts dedicated to charting new frontiers in virtuosity. The Aug. 18 and 19 performances feature two young NYCbased Cuban pianists: Grammy Award nominees Elio Villafranca and Manuel Valera. The following two concerts welcome world-renowned performers Vadim Neselovskyi and Laszlo Gardony, who will interpret New York jazz through their perspectives as master improvisers and observers of American piano culture. This series is presented by Arts Brookfield — which, now through December, will celebrate its 25th Anniversary by offering the public the chance to have their artwork displayed at Brookfield’s office properties around the globe. For info on how to participate, visit It’s the digital home of their “Art Set Free” program, and the possible future host of your own artistic contribution. Free. From 12:30–1:30 p.m. daily, Mon, Aug. 18 through Thurs., Aug. 21. At Arts Brookfield (in the lobby of One Liberty Plaza, at 165 Broadway). For more information on the New Directions Solo Piano series, visit

Taurus Rare is the Bell Biv to your DeVoe. Hold on tight to your friends! Gemini You will find danger, adventure, humility and romance, when summoned to an outer borough in the midnight hour. Cancer A bid for your affections goes horribly wrong, with comedic results. Only accept the romantic overture if they laugh about it. Dour people make boring mates! Leo He who wishes for a window seat fails to factor in harsh glare from the noonday sun. Adjust your angle accordingly, or bake once daily. Virgo All dryers cost the same and run for an equal amount of time, but some are hotter than others. Clean the lint trap, and make a brand new start of it! Libra Bid high, if you should happen upon an estate sale this summer. That Mystery Box contains treasure of inestimable value! Scorpio You will make 11 new friends in one day — and with them, a baker’s dozen of stunning insights. Sagittarius A pop song from the decade of your carefree youth, overheard in passing, unlocks hidden memories — both helpful and hurtful! Capricorn It’s high time you buckle down and face up to the fact that there’s no downside to taking a straight path to the fork in the road.


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July 31, 2014


Profile for Schneps Media

CHELSEA NOW, JULY 31, 2014  

Aquarius A formidable foe, a competitive bid, the clock and a full house: these things, this week, you are not meant to beat. Accept it, an...

CHELSEA NOW, JULY 31, 2014  

Aquarius A formidable foe, a competitive bid, the clock and a full house: these things, this week, you are not meant to beat. Accept it, an...