The Paper of Record for Greenwich h Village, Vii ll V ll a ag g e, e , East E as a s t Vi V Village, llage, Lower East S Side, Chinatown Soho, Union Square, Chi i n at ina in a t ow ato o w n and an a n d Noho, No N o ho h , Since 1933
February 2, 2017 • $1.00 Volume 87 • Number ber 5
Explaining the hate: Pol’s ﬁlm forum looks at rise of the alt-right BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
ate is frighteningly in the air these days. Not surprisingly, it was also on the marquee in big bright blue letters on the SVA Theatre in Chelsea last Sunday afternoon. So was Brad Hoylman’s name. But Hoylman is not a hater. Rather, he is trying to
help people find some answers to what is fuelingg — at least in ess that is curpart — the craziness ur country. rently gripping our More than 300 people turned rd St. theater out at the W. 23rd for a screening off a documentary looking at thee roots of hate crimes, followed by a panel discussion about thee “alt-right” at HATE continued ontinued on p. p. 4
Nadler and Velazquez rush to the rescue of refugees at J.F.K. BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
ongressmembers Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velazquez were among the fi rst politicians to rush to the airport Saturday morning to deal with the fallout from President Donald Trump’s executive order barring refugees and people from certain Muslim countries from entry into the U.S. After news broke that deplaning passengers were being detained, the two sped together to J.F.K. They
helped secure the release of two Iraqi refugees, Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Alshawi. Darweesh worked with American forces in Iraq as a translator. Alshawi had been granted a visa to join his wife and child in Houston. Nadler said he and Velazquez mainly assisted lawyers in dealing with U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers so they could get access to the two men. “Because Nydia and I got BAN continued on p. 5
PHOTO BY MILO HESS PH
Senator Chuck Schumber decried Donald Trump’s immigration ban at a massive rally at The Batter y on Sunday. See Page 26.
Fighting Trump with love in Tompkins Square Park BY SAR AH FERGUSON
ove trumped hate in Tompkins Square Park on Monday evening, as nearly 1,000 people braved the cold to protest the Trump administration’s new sweeping rules targeting Muslims, undocumented immigrants
and refugees. The “Rally Against Hate” was called by Councilmember Rosie Mendez, who said she felt it was important to mobilize in the East Village and Lower East Side — a neighborhood that has been a gateway to immigrants and cauldron of dissent since the 1800s.
“No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here!” she shouted, leading the crowd in chants. Mendez was joined by Lower Manhattan Councilmember Margaret Chin, who led chants in English, Spanish and Chinese. LOVE continued on p. 12
PRESIDENTS DAY GRAND OPENING
VON VAVAVOOM: Right on time for Valentine’s Day, burlesque star Dita Von Teese will be back in New York with a brand-new striptease spectacle, “The Art of the Teese,” at the Gramercy Theatre,
at 127 E. 23rd St., from Feb. 14-18. It will be “an opulent evening of glamour and seduction,” with Von Teese performing some of her best-loved acts that have never been seen on tour before, and with other performers from around the world. In a telephone interview, Von Teese told us a bit about herself and what to expect at the show. Local favorite Murray Hill will be the emcee, and the show’s finale will be the Murray Hill Dance Challenge, where Hill picks people to get up on stage and shake it. “People win very easily by taking their clothes off,” Von Teese noted, adding, “We’re not trying to get anyone arrested or anything, but shamelessness is usually rewarded. We’ve had teachers win. Usually the winners are people you wouldn’t expect.” General admission tickets, $35, will get you a standing-room
spot right upfront — where the sequins, feathers and beads go flying — while raised cabaret tables in the back will go for more. “I am a blonde woman from a farming town in Michigan,” she admitted us, in a little bio background. “I’m also a failed ballet dancer.” She loves 1940s Hollywood glamour and “the classic ostrich feather dance.” We asked Von Teese what her favorite spots are in New York, and she said, The Smile restaurant, Minetta Tavern, Gramercy Hotel, Bowery Hotel and Lafayette House. For tickets to her show, go to www.artoftheteese.com .
MOORE DOOR SCENE: A pussyhatwearing Villager at the Women’s March on New York City two Saturdays ago that we were talking to told us that firefighters earlier that morning had been trying PHOTO B Y ALI MAHDAVI
Dita Von Teese will be at the Gramcer y Theatre for five nights.
to get into the house of her A-list neighbor Julianne Moore. At first, she said, the smoke eaters were knocking — more like pounding — on the actress’s front door, but apparently no one was home. “It was so loud, neighbors came out of their homes to look,” the woman said. After no one answered, the Bravest went down to a basement door and used a circular saw to cut their way in. They hooked up a hose to a hydrant to keep the cutting area wet, so it wouldn’t catch on fire, she added. It’s not clear exactly what was going on, but it seemed to be an emergency.
‘SCALIA ON STEROIDS’: Congressmember Jerry Nadler blasted President Donald Trump’s pick of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the late Antonin Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. In a statement, Nadler said, in part, “Judge Gorsuch is Justice Scalia on steroids. His record demonstrates that, if confirmed, he would rely on his conservative, originalist philosophy to overturn critical precedents and to disregard the rights of everyday Americans while bolstering protections for corporations and special interests. Gorsuch is openly hostile to women’s reproductive rights, and has repeatedly opposed the right of women to access cost-free contraception, as guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act. He has been harshly critical of those who have turned to the courts to demand their constitutional rights, including the right to marriage equality. Furthermore, he has repeatedly favored corporations at the expense of employees and consumers and, if confirmed, will likely be Wall St.’s best friend on the court.” PATZ CASE CONCLUDES: Following closing arguments by the defense and prosecution, the jury began deliberations Wednesday in the retrial of Pedro Hernandez. The former Soho bodega worker is accused of killing 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979. The first court case ended in a mistrial last year after the jury had deliberated for 18 days. The defense has SCOOPY’S continued on p. 24
Februar y 2, 2017
The ‘art’ of the deal; Trump to defund N.E.A.? BY DENNIS LYNCH
umors flying that President Donald Trump plans to completely eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities have local arts organizations and politicians up in arms over what would be a devastating blow to cultural programs in the city. The two national endowments write hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of checks to dozens of dance companies, foundations, galleries and individual artists in Downtown and Lower Manhattan, mostly for works on specific projects. The impact of a loss in N.E.A. and N.E.H. funding for Downtown arts would be much more than cultural, according to Bruce Allardice, the executive director of Ping Chong + Company. The theater company, based at 47 Great Jones St. in Noho, has received dozens of grants over the last quarter century. “What is the biggest impact the arts has in Downtown? The arts brings people to the Village — to restaurants and bars,” Allardice said. “It helps our urban culture be vibrant, that’s why so much of the N.E.A.’s work has a community-development aspect. The economic impact if that were to end is quantifiable.” Ping Chong + Company received $25,000 this year to fund its production “Where the Sea Breaks Its Back,” a multidiscipline show about Alaskan culture and history. The show will premiere and tour in Alaska before coming to New York. More rural parts of the country, including Alaska, where art — and funding for it — is far more scarce than in the Village stand to lose far more if programs such as the national endowments were abolished, Allardice said. “In the end, the arts are an ecology,” he said. “So the loss of N.E.A. support, if that were to happen, will be devastating, particularly to smaller communities and arts organizations across the country.” The N.E.A. grant makes up only about 10 percent of the funding for “Where the Sea Breaks Its Back,” but is used as leverage for raising funds from other sources. Each N.E.A. grant comes with an obligation to raise three times that amount from other sources. Ping Chong won’t have to shut its doors, Allardice said, but the arts community — and the community as a whole — will suffer. The relatively small grants can mean a lot, especially to small arts organizations. But it’s a drop in the bucket in terms of the national budget: The combined $298 million cost of the N.E.A. and N.E.H. is roughly 0.006 percent of the $3 trillion federal budget. That’s less than 94 cents per capita per year to fund. However small a slice it is, though, the federal government currently is running a $441 billion deficit for fiscal year 2017, and Republicans are looking at a myriad of cuts to slash federal spending by $10.5 billion over the next decade. Congress will have to sign off on the TheVillager.com
Collaborators Ryan Conarro and Justin Perkins working with a puppet and video for the new Ping Chong + Company project.
cuts and Republicans have control of both the Senate and House of Representatives. Over the years, Republicans criticized the N.E.A. in particular for partially funding what some call inappropriate art. Debate was the most fervent in 1987, a year after the N.E.A. provided $5,000 to photographer Andres Serrano, who then created the controversial “Piss Christ” photograph of a plastic crucifi x submerged in his own urine. In 1990, East Village performance artist Karen Finley and three other artists sued the N.E.A. after its chairperson vetoed their grants based on subject matter. They won their case in ’93, but the N.E.A., pressured by Congress, promptly ceased funding individual artists. Risa Shoup is the executive director of the Fourth Arts Block, a.k.a. FAB, which advocates for local cultural and arts groups, plus helps maintain affordable rehearsal spaces for rent on E. Fourth St. and at other East Village and Lower East Side locations. She said defunding the national endowments would be an “egregious thing to do,” and called it indicative of a wider effort to combat dissent. “This is not a cost-cutting decision,” she said. “This is some kind of symbolic decision meant to assert dominance over those of us on the left — and I would go so far as to say over those of us in the arts who are making space for creative expression, which naturally creates a platform for dissent and disagreement with this administration. “We must align with our friends and partners who advocate for affordable housing, civil liberties, immigrant rights, public education and other sectors to continue to co-create spaces to share, gather and support,” Shoup said. “We are in this for the long haul.”
Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, whose district covers most of Manhattan’s East Side, including the East Village and part of the Lower East Side, plus parts of Brooklyn and Queens, sharply criticized the administration’s plan. The Manhattan portion of her 12th District is home to hundreds of individuals and organizations that re-
ceive funds through the endowments. “The arts and humanities represent who we are as a society,” Maloney said. “They open minds, expand people’s imaginations and their knowledge, empower creativity, bridge cultural gaps and so much more. Our nation needs more access to the arts and humanities, not less.” The rumors spread after a pre-inauguration report in The Hill citing anonymous sources with the Trump transition team. The plan would also privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which runs National Public Radio (NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and reduce funding for many federal agencies, including the Department of Commerce and Department of Energy, according to The Hill. “Piss Christ” was only one battle in the war over the endowments, though. In 1981, then-President Ronald Reagan wanted to do away with the two agencies when he took office, although he ended up cutting only 10 percent of their budget. Congressmember Newt Gingrich went after the N.E.A. in the following decade, and in 1997 its budget was cut by 40 percent. A group of 165 House Republicans wanted to cut it again in 2011 and an agreement was reached to cut it by 6 percent.
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Hate 101: Film forum analyzes alt-right Named best weekly newspaper in New York State in 2001, 2004 and 2005 by New York Press Association News Story, First Place, 2015 Editorial Page, First Place, 2015 Editorials, First Place, 2014 News Story, First Place, 2014 Overall Design Excellence, First Place, 2013 Best Column, First Place, 2012 Photographic Excellence, First Place, 2011 Spot News Coverage, First Place, 2010 Coverage of Environment, First Place, 2009
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HATE continued from p. 1
an event hosted by the state senator. The name of the film on the marquee was “Hate in America: Stories From the Files of the Southern Poverty Law Center.” It’s producer / director, Rebecca Teitel, was on the expert panel, along with Oren Segal, director of the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League, and Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Meanwhile, the name on everyone’s mind was Stephen Bannon, the former editor of Breitbart News — which he has called “the platform for the alt-right.” Over the weekend, new President Donald Trump had elevated Bannon to the National Security Council. A headline about that shocking story was flashed on the movie screen behind Hoylman as he gave his opening remarks. “Make no mistake about it,” the state senator said, “a white nationalist with an apocalyptic world vision will be at the table for every national security decision.” Adding to the climate of fear and uncertainty, just days earlier, Trump had imposed a ban on refugees and Muslims from certain countries seeking entry to the U.S. Hoylman noted that he personally has been targeted by haters in the wake of Trump’s election. After he went public with the fact that swastikas had been found carved into a service-elevator door in his Village apartment building, Hoylman found himself bombarded with vicious tweets from alt-righters, he said. New York Police Department statistics show a 23 percent increase in reported hate crimes throughout the five boroughs in 2016, Hoylman added. Before the movie started, Hoylman told the crowd that, among other resource materials, he had left a copy of the U.S. Constitution in the theater’s lobby, “which I think you’ll find invaluable over the next four years,” he quipped, to some nervous laughter. The film follows veteran journalist Tony Harris as he conducts interviews to try to uncover the root causes of several recent heinous hate crimes, ranging from Mississippi to Midtown Manhattan. These include
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
At state Senator Brad Hoylman’s Town Hall on Hate, from left, Oren Segal, of the Anti-Defamation League; Heidi Beirich, of the Southern Pover t y Law Center; Hoylman; and film producer / director Rebecca Teitel.
the killing of James Craig Anderson, a 49year-old gay African-American man, by a group of young whites in Jackson, Mississippi, in 2011; the youths singled him out, beat him up and then intentionally ran him over with their truck. The Southern Poverty Law Center has been tracking hate crimes since 1971, and, according to its data, the L.G.B.T. community is the group that is most often targeted by hate crimes. However, in Anderson’s case, it wasn’t clear that he was targeted for his sexuality. He had been slightly inebriated and the whites, who had been drinking earlier at a party, had been cruising for a black victim. The film also documents the 2012 massacre at the Wisconsin Sikh Temple, in which white nationalist Wade Michael Page killed six people and wounded four before fatally shooting himself. The film notes that Page had lost both his job and girlfriend, and that these things are often triggers for hate violence. Interestingly, Harris interviews a founder of the white nationalist group Page belonged to who has renounced racism and hate. What changed him was that he had a daughter — he had something more constructive and meaningful to put his energies into. The third incident in the film was closer to home. On May 5, 2013, Nicholas Porto and a friend were walking near Madison Square Garden around 5 p.m. when they were verbally harassed by eight or nine Knicks fans who started calling them “fags.” When one of the men mocked Porto’s jeans, he responded, “I made them” — after which he promptly found himself thrown to the gutter and punched and kicked in a rapid but brutal beatdown. After Porto spoke out about the incident, he, too, received hate mail. He said he also
suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. Shortly afterward, Mark Carson, a young gay man, was shot to death in the Village on W. Eighth St., by a man who had been shouting homophobic insults at him. Hoylman is shown on the film noting that there were nine hate-crime incidents in his district that summer, which some called “The Summer of Hate.” After the film, Public Advocate Letitia James gave remarks, noting she had been at J.F.K. Airport the day before, where she stood in solidarity with a female Muslim airport worker who had been harassed by a passenger who told the worker, “Trump is here now,” before kicking her. “Prejudice and vitriol goes to the top of power now,” James said. “The word has power and consequences, and so do presidential actions. But I tell you, this will not be normalized,” she declared, as the audience applauded. At the start of the panel discussion — which was moderated by Hoylman — Teitel noted that watching her film today, in light of Trump’s election, “the ending no longer seems pertinent.” Beirich, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, said that what white nationalist Page and his group wanted to do was “turn back the tide of multiculturalism in the United States. We have an administration that wants to turn the tide back to a lot of what we saw in the film,” she noted. However, the ADL’s Segal stressed, “I think it’s important to focus on the Trump administration in terms of what they do, not what they say. We focus on what they do because that’s going to give us an ability to respond.” He also added that not all Trump supporters are members of the alt-right. On the subject of anti-Semitism and the alt-right, Segal said, “Yes, anti-Semitism is at the heart of the alt-right,” but added,
HATE continued on p. 27
Nadler, Velazquez rush to rescue of refugees BAN continued from p. 1
their fi rst, we were also giving guidance to congressmembers in other airports,” he added. Trump’s order suspended all refugee immigration for 120 days, indefi nitely prohibits Syrian refugees from entering the U.S., and initially banned anyone from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering, including those with permanent resident, or green card, status. The administration altered the latter provision to allow green card holders to be vetted on a case-by-case basis. Saturday evening, Brooklyn Federal District Judge Ann Donnelly granted the American Civil Liberties Union’s request to temporarily stop the detention of the two Iraqi men. However, according to a Nadler spokesperson, the pair were actually released prior to Donnelly’s ruling through the discretion of C.B.P. and the Department of Homeland Security. Donnelly’s ruling was a nationwide stay on Trump’s order, blocking the U.S. from deporting refugees and immigrants who have legal paperwork and visas. Sending them back would violate their rights to “due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution,” plus subject them to “substantial and irreparable injury,” SERVING MANHATTAN AND THE ENTIRE TRI-STATE AREA
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Congressmembers Jerrold Nadler, left, and Nydia Velazquez, right, at J.F.K. Airpor t on Saturday with Iraqi refugee Hameed Khalid Darweesh after he was released.
Donnelly wrote. The next day, in a massive outpouring of opposition and outrage, 10,000 people rallied in Battery Park against Trump’s “Muslim ban.” As of Monday morning, 41 of the detainees had be released, two had been deported and there was one who still may be in custody, according to
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Camille Mackler, director of New York Immigration Coalition. The group of detained individuals at J.F.K. included 15 Iranian nationals, five Iraqi nationals, one Libyan national, one Saudi Arabian national, one Senegalese national, three Sudanese nationals, three Syrian nationals, eight Yemeni nationals and another
10 were undetermined, Mackler said. Monday morning, Trump downplayed the situation — and implicated an airline. “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning,” he tweeted. “Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage.” Monday afternoon, Nadler and Velazquez joined House Minority Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer on the steps of Supreme Court in D.C. to denounce Trump’s order. Nadler blasted Trump’s order as “unconstitutional, discriminatory, morally reprehensible and dangerously stupid.” He noted that his 10th Congressional District contains the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. “Those symbols of America’s proud tradition of welcoming people to our shores are a little beaten and battered today, thanks to Donald Trump,” he said. Yet, he was encouraged by the quick turnout Saturday of hundreds of protesters “demanding justice” at J.F.K. and other airports. “What we found was chaos and heart-
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Johnson slams Trump as a ‘pathological liar’ BY LINCOLN ANDERSON AND K ARI LINDBERG
undreds of people — mostly young — rallied in Washington Square Park last Wednesday evening hours after President Donald Trump signed two executive orders — one to build a Mexican border wall, the other to cut funding to so-called “sanctuary cities,” including New York City. It had also been learned that Trump would implement a ban — at least temporary, but possibly longer — on immigration from certain Muslim countries, including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. The emergency rally was hastily organized by the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations. Speakers included Arab-American activist Linda Sarsour, along with local politicians Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Public Advocate Letitia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Councilmember Corey Johnson. Johnson, who represents the Village and Chelsea, gave some of the evening’s strongest remarks. “My mother’s grandparents came from Ireland,” he said. “My father was adopted from Seoul, South Korea, and brought here by an American couple when he was 3 years old. Anyone who is not Native American is an immigrant in the United States of America.” Johnson’s grandfather on his father’s side was an American soldier and his grandmother was Korean. Johnson lambasted Trump, saying, “We have a leader who is not just a demagogue, but a pathological liar with no impulse control, and the facts mean nothing to him. “We in New York City are going to be the face of resistance,” Johnson pledged. “Forty percent of New Yorkers are foreign born, Why are we the greatest city in the world? Because of our people. … “America is stronger than one man,” the councilmember continued. “And let’s not forget that our side got 3 million more votes in the election,” he added, as the crowd cheered. He blasted Trump’s “stupid wall,” drawing more cheers. “Fair-minded New Yorkers are not going to stand by and let you pit us against each other,” Johnson warned Trump. Recalling the gay activist group Act Up in the 1980s during President Ronald Reagan’s term in office, he said, “Silence equals death — and we will not be silent!” As other speakers did, Velazquez stressed solidarity and a single, united front among all New Yorkers. “Will we remain a beacon of hope and humanity or will we walk a path of fear and intolerance?” she asked. “New Yorkers know how to answer this
Februar y 2, 2017
Hundreds flocked to Washington Square to protest Donald Trump’s actions. Public Advocate James told them to hold up their cell phone lights amid the “darkness,” meaning more than just the night. question and the inspiring sight of all Lald Alli, a millennial, came to show of you gathered here tonight provides solidarity and protest the Trump ada resounding answer: We will not be ministration’s executive orders that she divided.” called a threat to her family. James led the crowd in a chant of “Re“My parents came here from Liberia, sist! Resist! Resist!” She paraphrased to flee the civil war occurring at that German Pastor Martin Niemöller’s fatime,” she said. mous statement about the Nazis, cryAs she was leaving the protest, ing out, “We stand together because Kalayan’an Mendoza, a human-rights if they’re coming after my neighbor, activist and senior organizer with Amthey’re coming after me next!” nesty International USA, called the Sadly, Niemöller was an anti-Semite, event a good step in standing up to the at least in the 1930s. Yet his statement Trump administration. still stands as a warning not to stand “Over all, the rally went well,” she by complacently when others are being said, “but there will need to be more threatened. protests.” A woman in the crowd holding an Friday was the day that Trump ofAmerican flag poster sharply cried out, ficially closed the borders to refugees “He’s not my president!” and people from several predominantly James shouted to the crowd, “Take Muslim countries. It also happened to out your phones as the night comes be Holocaust Remembrance Day. down and it becomes dark, and show In a statement last Friday, Manhatthe world the light! New York City and tan Borough President Gale Brewer this country is a beacon of light. We will condemned the new president’s action PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY not fall to darkness. Light it up! Light as shameful and un-American. it up! Because this is what democracy Councilmember Corey Johnson “There is nothing — nothing — gave a fier y speech, saying that more un-American than a blanket ban looks like.” In addition to cell phone flashlights, New York City “will be the face of on refugees and immigrants rooted in scattered individuals throughout the the resistance.” religious and racial distrust and fear,” crowd held long white candles. Brewer said. last tect you.” Also speaking at the rally was Rama “They can claim this is about securiIn same vein as James’s remarks, Issa-Ibrahim, a Syrian immigrant who ty. We know better. This is about bowa woman standing on the rally’s edge is lead adviser to the New York City ing to — and stoking — fear, prejudice, held a sign that read, “First they came Commission on Human Rights. She hate and scapegoating. for the Latinos, Muslims, women, gays, spoke of feeling personally attacked by “This action would be odious no matpoor people, intellectuals and scientists, Trump, but insisted that the city’s inter the date. But on Holocaust Rememand then it was Wednesday. America, stitutions would stand up for marginalbrance Day of all days, to ban refugees this is not the drill.” ized populations. and immigrants because of who they “I am a scientist and my funding is “This issue is deeply personal to me,” are and where they are from is to show literately being cut,” the woman said. she said. “My brother-in-law is a Libyan the most depraved indifference to his“On top of that, I am a gay, black, imimmigrant. But this city is here to protory and our need to live our values.” migrant women.” TheVillager.com
PHOTO BY Q. SAKAMAKI
Fighting lions and dancing dragons ushered in the Year of the Rooster, 4715, in Chinatown Saturday. Above, a lion dancer took a breather as he still held onto a red packet, containing some dollar bills, in his own mouth that someone had fed into the mouth of his lion costume. Lion dancers also chomp on heads of lettuce left on poles outside stores and spew the leaves around to promote good for tune, plus gobble down sweet oranges. This could be a good business year since roosters, according to the Chinese zodiac, are hard-working.
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Nadler boycott was wrong
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To The Editor: Re “Nadler, Velaz snub Trump inauguration” (news article, Jan. 19)”: Congressman Jerrold Nadler in his released statement on why he was refusing to attend the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump stated that he could not “in good conscience participate in this honored and revered democratic tradition of the peaceful transfer of power.” Does this mean that Senator Schumer, the rest of the senators, Secretary Clinton and the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives have “bad” consciences, or perhaps no conscience? I think not. Mr. Nadler’s duty — not his job, but his duty — as an elected federal representative was to be present at this peaceful passing of the torch from one administration to the next. His absence was a slap in the face to this “honored and revered democratic tradition,” as put forth in the Constitution of the United States. I voted for Mr. Nadler in every one of his runs for Congress; I’ll have to rethink my vote in 2018. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney got it right when she stated that she was attending the inauguration “out of respect” for the peaceful transition. Brava, Ms. Maloney, brava. Mr. Nadler should be ashamed of himself for his absence. I know I am. Linda Franklin
with school-aged children, Melania Trump is refusing to move with her son to the White House. She should not be handing New York City the bill for her decision to compromise her role as first lady, and put her family ahead of the families of the nation. In the first debate, Mr. Trump proudly said he didn’t pay taxes because “the money would just be squandered.” I can think of no worse way to squander New York City’s tax dollars than spending $1 million a day on Melania and Barron Trump because they elect to live on Fifth Ave. instead of in the White House. Thousands of parents in New York City and the rest of the country make the hard decision to move and uproot their families due to financial considerations, at great personal anguish for far more compelling reasons and get no government assistance. In fact, Mr. Trump just suspended the Federal Housing Administration mortgage cuts, probably making such moves more likely as more families may now face foreclosure. The Trumps, who complain that the previous administration enriched itself and not the taxpayers, should not enrich themselves by accepting free security that they can well afford to hire privately, especially when Melania’s decision to remain in New York is purely elective. Let the Trumps train some of the “forgotten American workers who are to be forgotten no longer,” as private security guards, and let the N.Y.P.D. focus on people with far more compelling problems than deciding which mansion they want to inhabit. Lauren Shapiro
Covering protests fairly
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To The Editor: Re “Trump gets blasted at anti-nuclear war protest” (news article, Jan. 26): Lincoln Anderson, thank you so much for your excellent coverage of our event. You and The Villager are one of the few media outlets that report on protests that do not involve arrests and burning limos. John Penley
We cover “The Cube”!
Yo! Move it, Melania! To The Editor: Mr. Trump and his family could and should be living in the White House, and New York Police Department protection of his home or businesses — which is costing the taxpayers of New York $1 million per day — should now end. Unlike every other first family
Bikes before cars To The Editor: Re “On 14th St., cycling will save us once again” (talking point, by Yuki Courtland and Paul Steely White, Jan. 19): I live at 14th St. and First Ave. I usually cycle to get around, usually on Citi Bike. It is amazing how frequently the Citi Bike stations around Stuy Town are empty or almost empty. Clearly, many people are cycling. When the L train shuts down, the problem will be how to move people, not automobiles. More people ride bikes when they feel safe, as with protected bike lanes. Clearly, putting protected bike lanes on 14th St. is a good idea, even if the L was not being shut down. But with the shutdown, it needs to be part of the solution along with increased buses and ferries. LETTERS continued on p. 24
Februar y 2, 2017
The TRUMP Act: Make candidates’ taxes public
TALKING POINT BY BR AD HOYLMAN
ays after assuming power, the Trump administration defiantly announced that President Trump would not release his tax returns. The reason? Simply put, they said that the people don’t care. The very next day, however, the administration backtracked, insisting that Trump’s taxes would not be released until an audit is complete. President Trump’s most recent theatrics should come as little surprise. New allegations that the Russian government may possess compromising information on the president, as well as reports that six different intelligence and law enforcement agencies have opened investigations into ties between top Russian officials and Trump’s presidential campaign have raised new concerns — and familiar excuses — about his taxes. But with a Republican Congress showing little appetite or interest in pushing the issue, it’s left to the states to take up the mantle of constitutional and democratic integrity. Here in the New York State Senate, I introduced the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public (T.R.U.M.P.) Act to require presidential and vice presidential candi-
dates to release their income tax returns as a prerequisite to appear on New York’s ballot. Under the provisions of the TRUMP Act, any candidate for president or vice president would be required to file at least five years of federal income tax returns with the state Board of Elections no later than 50 days prior to the general election. The B.O.E. would then have 10 days to redact personal information and make the tax returns publicly available. Failure to comply would disqualify a candidate from appearing on the state’s general election ballot. Such legislation enshrines in law what was until recently a fundamental political norm. Going back to the 1970s, every candidate for president has released their tax returns, giving the public a window into their financial holdings and potential conflicts of interest. Moreover, because presidents are exempt from most federal conflicts-of-interest laws, tax information offers voters their only real opportunity to view candidates’ financial standings, including income and debts, investments, loopholes utilized and — in Trump’s case — a list of business connections and interests. The practice of releasing tax returns has become a political norm because all Americans believe presidential candidates should be held to a higher standard of transparency. Yet, during the 2016 election, while his opponents — Republican and Democrat alike — willingly adhered to this norm,
Donald Trump stubbornly refused to release even one year’s worth of returns. And despite administration and campaign claims to the contrary, it is something voters care about. A recent ABC News / Washington Post poll found that 74 percent of adults want Donald Trump to release his tax returns, with four in 10 saying they care “a lot” about the issue. Additionally, a national survey released last week by Public Policy Polling showed that Americans support the idea of the T.R.U.M.P. Act by a 54-34 percent margin. That poll comes on the heels of a PPP survey released two weeks ago showing 54 percent of voters in the presidential swing state North Carolina would support a version of the TRUMP Act. State legislatures around the country are taking note. Since I introduced the TRUMP Act, legislators in five other states — Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Virginia — have already introduced a version of my bill. And legislators in another eight — Maine, Maryland, Hawaii, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon and Colorado — have made commitments to do so soon. All told, the coalition of TRUMP Act states represent upward of 90 million voters and 195 Electoral College votes — well over half the total needed to carry the presidency. Additionally, a change.org petition calling for passage of the TRUMP Act has garnered more than 133,000 signatures.
And in an endorsement of the TRUMP Act, the New York Times editorial board consulted the eminent constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe, who argued that my bill would withstand constitutional scrutiny. “It seems that New York might be able to simply add tax disclosure as a procedural ballot access requirement,” Tribe stated. When long-standing democratic norms are broken, it becomes necessary to protect them through law. That’s the purpose of this legislation. The public deserves to know if nominees practice what they preach and that personal priorities will never take precedence over the national interest. As with all things in our democracy, it will take the active support of citizens to make change happen. On Tax Day, the public will have that chance. People across the country will take to the streets in a Trump’s Tax Day March to protest the president’s refusal to release his returns. The Trump administration claims that Americans don’t care about his taxes. It’s time to prove them wrong. I will be out there on Tax Day, and I hope to see you there, too. Our democracy depends on it. Hoylman is state senator, Manhattan’s 27th District
L.E.S.’ers sign on for acceptance, tolerance BY AMY RUSSO
mid a political climate filled with anxiety and fear, Lower East Siders have a message of strength for their community: Everyone is welcome here. The Educational Alliance, a venerable public-service organization, recently launched its “We the People” initiative in response to the spike in hate crimes and hate speech against minority groups throughout the city following the presidential election. The launch was marked by a mural signing at the Manny Cantor Center on East Broadway last month. The mural, entitled, “We the People,” hangs in the center’s lobby, showcasing the preamble of the Declaration of Independence in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew and Arabic. Following the piece’s unveiling, local residents were invited to leave their signatures beneath the famous lines. Artists Otis Kriegel and Michael McDevitt were commissioned by the Manny Cantor Center and Educational Alliance to create the mural. “The goal was to make a piece that felt inclusive of people of all different backgrounds,” Kriegel explained. “We all have a part in creating this nation every day.” Kriegel and McDevitt have worked together for nearly 18 years under the name “Illegal Art.” Their primary focus has been creating what Kriegel calls “participatory-based public art,” which aims to involve the community, hence the mural’s signatures. TheVillager.com
COURTESY OF EDUCATIONAL ALLIANCE
A young boy signed his John Hancock under the “ We the People” mural at the Educational Alliance.
Alan van Capelle, the Educational Alliance’s president and C.E.O., recognizes the new presidential administration will be a challenge, and said he’s ready for it. “A few people that have hate in their hearts aren’t going to change the character of the East Village or the Lower East Side,” he said. A social-justice advocate, van Capelle started out as a labor contract negotiator and organizer, and has since held a number of significant posts, including deputy comptroller of New York City
and member of the New York City Banking Commission. Last year, Mayor de Blasio appointed him to the city’s Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board. Through the Educational Alliance’s new initiative, van Capelle wants to “reassert the idea that ‘We the People’ is about all of us,” he explained, “that no matter what happens, we’ve got each other’s backs.” In a partnership with the Mayor’s Office on Immigration Affairs, the alliance also hosted a “Know Your Rights” seminar following the mural’s unveiling. That event included information on immigrant rights and immigrant fraud, plus services provided to immigrants. Furthering its outreach, the alliance has invited local businesses to participate in its Community Partner Program to promote inclusivity. The program includes storefront signs welcoming patrons in English, Spanish, Arabic, French, Hebrew and Chinese, beneath which is written “Everyone is Welcome Here.” Following a soft launch, 20 stores have signed on so far. The project’s inspiration came when an Educational Alliance staff member was the victim of hate speech while talking on the phone in a foreign language, an occurrence not uncommon following the 2016 election. Following President Trump’s threat to cut funding to sanctuary cities that shield illegal immigrants, van Capelle said the alliance was “doubling down.” “Trump’s insistence that N.Y.P.D. officers become immigration officers makes New York less safe,” he declared. “I stand by Mayor de Blasio’s decision to sue the feds if this administration withholds federal funding from New York.”
Februar y 2, 2017
Fighting Trump with love in Tompkins Square LOVE continued from p. 1
“I am an immigrant,” Chin declared. “My-great grandparents helped build a railroad to unite this country. I was able to come here as a refugee in 1963, under Kennedy’s refugee program. “The United States is strong because of diversity,” Chin continued. “We will resist, we will stay strong, and we will not be defeated.” Also speaking out was Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who came from a previous rally Downtown to oppose Trump’s pick for Education secretary, billionaire Betsy DeVos. “We will make sure that in two years we will have a different Congress,” Brewer vowed. “And maybe Mr. Trump, you won’t even last that long,” she added. “Dump Trump! He’s a chump!” the crowd chanted in approval. Public Advocate Letitia James, who has been making the rounds at all the anti-Trump events, said it was “an honor and a privilege to fight back against a tyrant.” “We’ve got an obligation and a duty, whenever confronted with a lawless government, to rise up and resist!” she said. Protests have been erupting all over since Friday, when Trump issued an executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days. Trump has called these countries “sources of terror.” The executive order also bars entry to all refugees from Syria indefinitely, and from other countries for 120 days. While a rally in Tompkins Square is unlikely to prompt the Trump administration to reverse tracks, many of those gathered said they felt it was important to unite with their neighbors to push back in any way they can. “We need to deputize ourselves to protect our communities,” suggested District Leader Anthony Feliciano. “Let us be every day, every night, in the streets, fighting to defend our democracy.” Some of the most powerful statements came from local religious leaders, such as Abu Sufian, an imam at the Madina Masjid mosque on E. 11th St. and First Ave. Sufian said he prayed for Trump when he watched him take office — eliciting loud boos from the crowd. But Sufian said he sees now how Trump is violating his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. He accused him of living in an “alternative reality.” “Mr. President, you want to ban people based on their color, based on their nationality, based on their faith and religion — it’s completely inhuman and unconstitutional,” Sufian said. Sufian was backed by Harvey Epstein, an attorney at the Urban Justice
Februar y 2, 2017
PHOTOS BY SARAH FERGUSON
Councilmember Rosie Mendez, above, organized the rally with her district leaders, Carlina Rivera and Anthony Feliciano. Pastor Phil Trzynka of the Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Church on Avenue B also gave remarks. He said he realized how important it was to speak out personally this past Sunday, when he found someone had smeared dog feces on the banner hanging outside the church, which reads, “Immigrants Welcome Here.” “I realized then that it’s got to change, I’ve got to speak out, and make my message heard more loudly and more clearly,” Trzynka said. “The one thing I know about God, is that God actually doesn’t run away from s---,” Trzynka added. “God runs into the middle of s--- to change it. And God changes s--- with love, by loving every single person, every single thing.” “Love is what it takes, but love needs legs,” Trzynka said. “Love needs every one of us to commit to justice, to be people of love, to share that love for all.” “Love, not hate, makes America Standing up to Trump: A mother and her daughter at the rally. great!” the crowd chanted. Similarly, Damaris Reyes, execuCenter. “We are fighting for each other,” Ep- tive director of the tenant rights group “Let’s be clear: Donald Trump is stein said. “They are going to come for GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side), breaking the law,” Epstein declared, us one at a time. We need to be unified. said she was tired of focusing on hate. prompting Mendez to break into chants We need to be supported.” “I want to talk about how love is goof “Lock him up!” Mendez said the Urban Justice Center ing to fuel us,” Reyes said, “so that we Epstein urged people to support the would be hosting “Know Your Rights” can rise up, so that we can resist. American Civil Liberties Union and workshops, to be held in the evenings “Refugees lives matter! Immigrant other legal groups that are battling to in public schools around the neighbor- lives matter! Black lives matter!” Reyes overturn Trump’s executive orders. hood. shouted. TheVillager.com
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Reps help out refugees BAN continued from p. 5
break,â€? Nadler said, recalling the scene. â€œRefugees, people with valid visas and even legal permanent residents were prevented from entering the country, or even from speaking with their attorneys. â€œThey were people like Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an Iraqi who put his life on the line for 10 years to work with American and Coalition forces as a translator,â€? Nadler said. â€œThis hero was welcomed to the United States with a door slammed in his face, and a grueling ordeal at the airport. â€œCustoms and Border Protection agents,â€? Nadler continued, â€œmany of whom sincerely tried to be helpful, were utterly confused about what they were required to do, and who should be admitted. This executive order is not only shameful, it is also poorly drafted and unclear.â€? Added Velazquez, â€œThis weekend, in airports and cities across the nation, the American people came together to send a resounding message to President Trump. We will not allow this to stand! We will stand up in the courts! We will oppose this in Congress. We will make our voices heard in our airports! Because this is America and we are better than this!â€? While the courts have issued some positive rulings, such as Donnellyâ€™s, Nadler said itâ€™s not clear all C.B.P. agents
and others are complying. â€œWe must fight to overturn this whole Muslim ban â€” and, letâ€™s be honest, it is a Muslim ban,â€? he said. â€œIt will actually make us less safe, as it hands ISIS a perfect example for its propaganda machine, and it alienates our Muslim allies in the war on terror.â€?
With reporting by Bill Parry
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POLICE BLOTTER Phone felony Police said that on Fri., Jan. 20, at 7:30 p.m. a woman and her ex-boyfriend had a brief dispute in front of 250 W. 14 St. Afterward, the man, identified as William Mulligan, 37, punched the 42-year-old woman in her face, causing a bruise to her eye. Mulligan pulled her hair, took her Samsung Galaxy 7S and ran, according to police. Mulligan was arrested five days later on a felony robbery charge.
Couch ouch According to police, on Wed., Jan. 25, at 9:45 p.m., a husband and wife argued in their apartment, at 44 W. 10th St. After the dispute, as the man, 41, was lying on the couch, his wife reportedly hit him in the stomach with a cordless phone causing pain and injury. Consuelo Obando, 39, was arrested for felony assault.
Assaults nurse A nurse was assaulted in a room at Lenox Health Greenwich Village, at
30 Seventh Avenue, last Friday, police said. On Jan. 27, at 9:45 p.m., as the nurse, 28, was trying to provide medical attention to the man, he kicked her in the face, causing substantial pain. While kicking her, the suspect, Asuka Murota, 29, reportedly said, “That’s what you get, bitch.” He was arrested for felony assault.
Bops cop A police officer was assaulted in front of 20 W. 14th St. on Sun., Jan. 29 at 1:40 a.m., according to cops. David McCalla, 23, allegedly punched the officer in the nose and mouth, causing a small cut and pain. McCalla was arrested for felony assault of a peace officer.
Subway fight According to police, on Fri., Jan. 13, just before 6 p.m., a 37-year-old man was standing on the 6 train platform at the Brooklyn Bridge subway station, when he got into a verbal dispute with a male-and-female couple that turned physical. The male of the couple brandished a box cutter and tried to cut the victim, while threat-
ening him. The victim sustained minor injuries and declined medical attention. The male suspect is described as about 5 feet 6 inches tall, with curly long hair in a ponytail, wearing blue jeans, black sneakers and a black jacket with Pelle Pelle on the back. The woman was last seen wearing a green jacket with a fur hood. Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department’s Crime Stoppers Hotline, at 800-577-TIPS, or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Web site, www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting them to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577. All tips are confidential.
Cause-case closed On Dec. 15, The Villager reported that a 50-year-old man was found dead behind the wheel of a vehicle in front of 72 W. Third St. on Sat., Dec. 10, at 1:30 a.m. Julie Bolcer, a spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, last week told The Villager that the man’s cause of death has been determined. “The cause of death is cardiac tamponade due to ruptured aortic dissection due to hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease,” she
said. “The manner of death is natural.” Cardiac tamponade refers to a buildup of fluid around the heart. An aortic dissection refers to a tear in the wall of the aorta, which carries blood out of the heart. Bolcer did not provide the man’s name, address or other details, noting, “Our practices only allow me to release the cause and manner of death, which has been determined.” Police did not immediately have further details about the man.
Tabia Robinson and Lincoln Anderson
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Outing the atonal music of Mr. Copland Thorny textures rendered poetic by stunning virtuosity BY GER ALD BUSBY
t a recent concert featuring the serial music of Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Adam Tendler played “Piano Fantasy” — a piece I first heard 60 years ago. William Masselos was the pianist on that occasion, and he hammered home the stiff angularity of the music as if force-feeding the audience something they hated. So I was surprised and delighted when Tendler made the same notes sound familiar and likable, even delicate. His phrasing turned even the most complex and discontinuous passages into satisfying music. It sounded like a wild, beautiful bird trying to escape from its cage to fly home, deep in the forest. Those thorny textures and complex rhythms I remembered from 1957 became poetic in Tendler’s hands. The “Serial Copland” program, performed Jan. 19 at Bleecker St. multimedia art cabaret venue (Le) Poisson Rouge, began with a gentle piece: 1921’s “Petit Portrait (ABE).” It created a calm atmosphere that contrasted sharply with the blunt assertiveness of the “Piano Variations” that followed. Third on the program, “Quartet for Piano and Strings,” was a kind of sorbet between “Piano Variations” and “Piano Fantasy.” Three members of JACK Quartet — Austin Wulliman (violin), John Pickford Richards (viola) and Jay Campbell (cello) — joined Tendler for a precisely intoned, lyrical and tender reading. Then came the main course, “Piano Fantasy,” Copland’s intense journey into atonality. It wasn’t a strict 12-tone composition (and neither were any of the others), but the effects of atonality were all there. Tendler gave this formidable work a shape and momentum that held the audience’s unwavering attention for the duration of the 30-minute piece. There wasn’t a single extraneous sound to be heard in the large room, filled to capacity with people eating and drinking — and not a cough or a whisper from the crowd standing at the bar. Tendler, a scholar as well as a virtuoso, wrote comprehensive program notes that can be accessed online (bit.ly/serialcoplandprogramnotes).
PHOTO BY GREG PARKINSON
Adam Tendler’s Jan. 19 program at (Le) Poisson Rouge showcased the range of his touch and the inventiveness of his phrasing.
They give a clear and entertaining narrative of Copland’s sporadic affair with serialism. In 1930, when Copland wrote “Piano Variations,” the influence of Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951) was keenly felt in Western classical music. He declared the demise of tonal function and reorganized the way notes could be sequenced in a musical phrase. No composer could ignore this new concept. Tonal classical music, principally in the German tradition — from the early 18th through early 20th centuries — was the
template against which Schoenberg rebelled. Some critics think it was World War II and the Holocaust that provoked this revolution. I give credit for Schoenberg’s becoming a pioneer of music composition to the philosophy of history put forth by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831). Hegel propounded a dialectical scheme in which an idea, a thesis, competes with another idea, its antithesis, until the two merge as a synthesis. That synthesis becomes a new thesis. Schoenberg’s rules for tone rows and the unfamiliar sounds they created, the antithesis of tonal
music, resolved in a new synthesis: serialism. Between pieces on the program at (Le) Poisson Rouge, Tendler played recordings of Aaron Copland’s genteel voice, which described, with quiet earnestness, how Schoenberg’s aesthetics influenced his own method of composition. I think Copland’s voice also communicated the ordeal he experienced in being accepted by the academic establishment, who were the guardians and promulgators of Schoenberg’s ideas. Being gay and closeted played a role in Copland’s desire to be approved by the music establishment at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. It was his way of finding a place in academic high society that disapproved of homosexual behavior. Neither Copland nor Virgil Thomson (18961989) ever said publicly that they were gay, even though it was obvious. “You don’t rub their noses in it,” Thomson told me when I asked why he wouldn’t support efforts to stop the spread of AIDS. In the early ’70s, I had dinner with Copland in his home upstate, with Michael Tilson Thomas, David Del Tredici, and Robert Helps. Copland couldn’t have been nicer. A short time later I attended a concert of his music and afterwards approached him. “Aaron, I loved your music.” He looked at me without smiling and replied, “Call me Mr. Copland.” Robert Helps, a brilliant pianist who played complex modern music with uncanny ease, had a deep fear of being “discovered” as gay. He studied music composition with Roger Sessions and was famous for his performances with Bethany Beardslee of Schoenberg’s “Pierrot Lunaire” and Milton Babbitt’s “Partitions.” Whenever Babbitt came to hear him play at Yale, Helps warned me not to say anything remotely gay in Babbitt’s presence. Denial was a major part of our lives back then, and it was a source of excitement as well, to see what we could get away with in such austere company. Our conversations were loaded with gay allusions and innuendos. One might say that Copland alluded to serialism in his music more than he employed it methodically — Schoenberg’s sounds seeped COPLAND continued on p. 21 Februar y 2, 2017
Breakable hearts and hopeful art Rev Jen. exits the psych ward and embraces the unknown BY REV. JEN MILLER
n December 14, 2016, Reverend Jen Junior, my beloved Chihuahua of nearly 15 years, died in my arms. She was a celebrated Art Star, the most photographed dog in NYC, a Page 6 girl, and the star of 22 episodes of “The Adventures of Electra Elf” along with countless films. Also, she was my best friend. We went everywhere together, toured the country a couple times, and snuggled every night. She watched countless hours of bad shtick at open mics and saw things in the Troll Museum apartment (which we were evicted from in June 2016) that most humans avert their eyes from. Like most Chihuahuas, “JJ” had bad teeth. Before she passed, she had two previous dental surgeries, leaving her with two teeth, one which unceremoniously fell out on the pillow next to my head. Because of her heart murmur, vets were unwilling to do another dental. She still wagged her tail, ate voraciously, cuddled and made the noises dogs only make when dreaming, so I thought she would hold on. But when she suddenly grew listless, I took her to the vet who did simple blood work, at which point her heart stopped. They gave her CPR and oxygen and brought her back momentarily. But the prognosis was aggressive cancer, and no amount of chemo or prayer could save her. So, they shot her up with enough Valium to take out the entire East Village and she went peacefully, off to the Island of Eternal Bliss. I wrapped her in a towel, laid her down on a tiny bed, and said goodbye to the greatest friend I have ever known. I remember, when my father died, a man at the memorial asked one of my little nephews, “Do you know what a legacy is?” My nephew replied, “It’s what you leave behind.” JJ left a legacy of memories, cherished by all who knew her, and when, in Dog Heaven, she makes those little dream noises, I will be dreaming right beside her. JJ’s Memorial was held Dec. 22 at Cake Shop, formerly at 152 Ludlow St. — an excellent venue that closed on New Year’s Eve. FU, 2016!
CHRISTMAS What’s worse than Christmas? Nothing! By Christmas Eve, everyone was out of town — but I found a place for Tenney (JJ’s surviving cat brother) and me to stay. This year’s holiday was a bit of a blur. I bought a half-pint of rum and split it with a fellow homeless person on a bench in front of the First Ave. Starbucks, then proceeded to have several beers in an attempt
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PHOTO BY JASON THOMPSON
Ar t star and beloved companion Reverend Jen Junior (2002-2016).
to forget the worst celebrity death of 2016: JJ. At some point, my phone died and I got locked out. With no other options, I fled to Beth Israel’s psych ward (which I spoke highly of in a past column) but they were overloaded with other Christmas casualties. So after a six-hour wait, I was rejected. Stealing warmth from ATM vestibules, I thought of happy families unwrapping presents and children believing in Santa. As Courtney Love once sang, “I don’t really miss God, but I sure miss Santa Claus.” Eventually, the sun came up. I grabbed my pussy, and we found another place to stay.
PSYCH WARD, PART II Two days after Christmas, convinced that I was going to rapidly drink myself to death, my friends staged an intervention (even though I was already
on my way to another psych ward). At Mount Sinai West, they dosed me with massive quantities of Librium, which is great if your are the mother in “The Exorcist” — but not so great if you like to move your limbs. They addressed none of my psychological problems, but sure did like giving me drugs. It, in no way, had the cheerful atmosphere of Beth Israel. On New Year’s Eve, I sat in my oversized scrubs, by the payphone, wishing for a call from my boyfriend (who was still in Boston receiving cancer treatment) but the phone didn’t ring. Drifting asleep, I awoke to total chaos. On “Visitor Day,” a “visitor” somehow snuck in heroin, and gave it to a patient. Her roommate noticed their joint shower was running too long, opened the door, and the girl fell out. Brain dead, they put her on life support and we watched as they carried her off on a stretcher. I used to think 2017 should have been Time’s
“Person of the Year” for replacing 2016. Now I’m not so sure. Moments later, the nurses threw my things on the bed and told me I had to leave, because Healthfi rst didn’t cover me for more than five days.
2017, YOU SUCK ALREADY By the fourth day of January, I was feeling slightly less insane. Then I made the mistake of checking Facebook. A message popped up from my boyfriend of three years, who I’ve stood by through thick and thin, supported and loved. It read, “I don’t want to be your boyfriend anymore.” Just like that, he ended our relationship OVER THE INTERNET. I know he has cancer and I hope he gets better. I wish I could cure cancer. I wish JJ had never gotten cancer and that I could be God and save every living REV. JEN continued on p. 21 TheVillager.com
COPLAND continued from p. 19
into Copland’s music. Ivy League composers, theorists, and teachers back in the ’50s were the bastion of propriety with regard to Schoenberg’s theory. Copland, despite his failure to fully embrace the technique, was nevertheless accepted as a practitioner of it in the elite coterie of academic serialists. I think it was because of his enormous popular success with pieces like “Appalachian Spring” and “Fanfare for the Common Man.” Maybe a musicologist will someday write about how some gay composers absorbed the aesthetics of 12-tone music without really committing to its formal demands. Every time I’ve heard Adam Tendler play modern American piano music, he has surprised me with the range of his touch and the inventiveness of his phrasing. His performance at (Le) Poisson Rouge was no exception. A few months ago, in a recital of John Cage’s piano (and toy piano) music at Lincoln Center, Tendler talked about Cage’s indications in the score to play as soft as possible. It reminded me of sitting in the top balcony at Carnegie Hall, hearing Vladimir Horowitz play pianissimo; every note had a “ping” that carried to the back of the house. The strings in the fi rst and third movements of Copland’s “Quartet for Piano and Strings” also had gossamer moments. Most impressive was their perfect intonation of delicate phrases. Tendler and the string players — Wulliman, Richards and Campbell — seemed to breathe together. Aaron Copland was a gentle genius, and his atonal music, meticulously performed by this ensemble, demonstrated that humanity. Visit adamtendler.com and jackquartet.com for music, info, and upcoming performance dates.
REV. JEN continued from p. 20
being. I can’t. I am just a writer and painter who has a heart, a brain and courage. Boy, were they fools to ask for such things. As the man behind the curtain once pointed out, “Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.”
HOPE No home. No dog. No boyfriend. At least I still have Tenney. He misses JJ as much as I do, but we both know the show must go on. So what to do? I have decided to teach, ensuring the world that our youngest generation will not grow to be gigantic assholes. Starting Sat., Feb. 18 (from 12–1:30 p.m.), Reverend Jen’s Art Academy for Youngsters will begin at Carrie Able Gallery (409 Keap St., Brooklyn.) All classes are free and materials will be provided (ages 8-12 recommended). Let’s make some art, kids! Sometimes art and a warm kitty is all you got.
THE ANTI-SLAM! One more thing to look forward to in these bleak times is the return of the Anti-Slam, my long-running open mic, which will now be held weekly on Sundays from 6–9 p.m. (also at Carrie Able Gallery). Every Art Star gets TheVillager.com
PHOTO BY SHERVIN LAINEZ
JACK Quar tet members brought per fect intonation to the first and third movements of Copland’s “Quar tet for Piano and Strings.”
six minutes and a perfect score of 10. There may be some guest hosts, since I’ll likely be back in the nuthouse, but please do attend and join the fun. All performers are welcome. Musicians, poets, dancers, mimes, freaks and geeks. Let’s keep bohemia alive!
THE WOMEN’S MARCH ON NYC On a final note, my friend and column cohort, John Foster, joined me at the Women’s March on NYC. Why did I march? Because I believe women should be treated with respect, not grabbed by the pussy or called pigs. Dudes, next time you are tempted to devalue a woman by assigning her a number, remember: That woman could be your daughter, sister, or mother. John and I made signs that got big yuks from the crowd. Mine said, on one side, “Keep your tiny hands off my Gyna” — and on the other, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours… (tax returns).” John blew up a picture of Tenney that said, “Grab me and find out!” It was a sweet, loving day — and just like at the Anti-Slam, everyone was a 10! AUTHOR’S NOTE: This column was written from a Trump Internment Camp for women with small boobs.
PHOTO BY JOHN FOSTER
Rev. Jen, at the Women’s March on NYC, had a quid pro quo for Trump.
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Letters to The Editor
LETTERS continued from p. 10
Clearly, putting protected bike lanes on 14th St. is a good idea, even if the L was not being shut down. But with the shutdown, it needs to be part of the solution along with increased buses and ferries. Blair Bertaccini
Cut space for cars To The Editor: Re â€œOn 14th St., cycling will save us once againâ€? (talking point, by Yuki Courtland and Paul Steely White, Jan. 19): Less than 24 percent of households in Manhattan â€” households! â€” own a car. Yet we dedicate more than 35 percent of our surface space to drivers. Why are we letting car owners drive the decision making on how we design our streets? We now have an opportunity to show what a real, complete street could look like, including real bus rapid transit rather than the sorry excuse of an Select Bus Service system that we have today.
No more sharing lanes with cars, no more mixing all forms of transit willy-nilly. Now we can have lanes for bikers, lanes for buses and expanded space for pedestrians. Also, just picture the drop in noise level as a result of banning automobile traffic from 14th St.! Ahhh! I tune and repair pianos. As a cyclist who uses his own bike for his business, I would love to have access to a large street, like 14th, for crosstown trips to my various tuning clients. Think of that! Iâ€™ll be bringing more business to your community as a result of safer streets for riding. I often go out to eat or do shopping in the areas where I tune, either before or after the work I do. So, this is also good for business. As to where the cars go, well, there are studies about that. People were really worried when the park drives in Central Park were closed to automobile traffic. The fact is, when you close the roads, the drivers make other decisions and the traffic in the vicinity does not worsen, in spite of what some people might believe. This is an excellent opportunity for us to experiment with a different way to use our roads here in New York City. If it works, we can expand the concept to other streets, such as 34th, 42nd and maybe even 125th St.! What a relief that would be!
To The Editor: What is going on with Dâ€™Agostino and their senior discount? I applied weeks ago and my approval still has not gone through. Even worse, the customer has no way of knowing this until your sale rings up. Today I deliberately spent more than $30 (the amount required to get the 10 percent senior discount) only to discover my application had not yet been approved. What? When I complained to the manager at the store on Bethune and Greenwich St., he said they had no way of checking on my application and they were backed up. This is messed up and not good customer service. Dâ€™Agâ€™s customers were loyal during their troubles this summer. We deserve better. It is really unfortunate Mrs. Greenâ€™s went out of business. Kate Walter
Scoopyâ€™s Notebook SCOOPYâ€™S continued from p.2
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focused on the original suspect, Jose Ramos, a former homeless drifter now in jail who used to hang around the neighborhood and was the boyfriend of a woman who used to walk local kids to the school bus. Etanâ€™s father, Stan Patz, told The Villager last fall, when the retrial was beginning, â€œHernandez is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. After almost 38 years, my family and I will be glad when it is over.â€?
SHUT IT DOWN: Fresh off a successful anti-nuclear â€œHomes Not Bombsâ€? protest in Washington, D.C., during the inauguration, former East Village activist John Penley and Bruce Wright are now working on their next idea: a National Strike Against Trump. Wright has suggested April 4, the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. As Penley explained, â€œInstead of protests here, there and everywhere on a whole range of issues, we need to call for a unified national strike day against Trump. No work, no school, nothing. Shut it all down for a day and
that will do much more that protests all over the place.â€? Heâ€™s got a point. You need a calendar to keep up with all the anti-Trump protests. Their hashtag is #nationalstrikeagainsttrumpapril4 .
NO-FLY ZONE: Ian Dutton, our favorite goth pilot and a former member of Community Board 2, posted on Facebook last Sunday night that he would have none of Trumpâ€™s â€œtravel banâ€? deportation plan. â€œI just stopped at Terminal B at Newark Airport where there is a team of immigration lawyers standing by to help in case of any immigration emergencies,â€? Dutton wrote. â€œAt this point it sounds like any refugees or immigrants affected by the executive order are being stopped overseas and not allowed to board their flights. I wanted to find out if anyone was being turned around and deported and told them that should any such deportee be placed on my flight to Amsterdam today, I would pick up my flight case, leave the airplane and refuse to fly.â€?
TOLD YA SO: District Leader Arthur Schwartz suffered a heart attack over the weekend. â€œThere were folks who whispered that my heart complaints last July were BS,â€? he texted us Saturday night. â€œToday I had a heart attack. Found out why I felt awful. I got to Beth Israel by way of the Northwell emergency department [Lenox Health Greenwich Village], fast, and didnâ€™t suffer any damage after two stents were inserted. I learned a lot about heart attacks and the impact of getting into surgery fast. Thank God Beth Israel was as close as it was. I was told that I had no residual damage because I was in surgery so quickly.â€? Last year, Schwartz was running against Assemblymember Deborah Glick but dropped out of the race, saying he could feel that the contentious campaign against his longtime political nemesis was stressing his heart. However, Glick, in an interview with The Villager back then, contended that Schwartz bowed out simply because he realized he couldnâ€™t beat her. She added that many middle-aged men in the Village might feel a little something with their heart now and then. Glick didnâ€™t return a call for comment by press time.
Sound off! For more news and events happening now visit TheVillager.com 24
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Write a letter to the editor email@example.com TheVillager.com
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‘No ban! No wall!’ thousands cry
PHOTO BY Q. SAKAMAKI
Black Bloc-t ype anarchists joined Sunday’s protest in The Batter y against the travel ban. Not surprisingly, the anarchists do not suppor t the concept of national borders.
BY DENNIS LYNCH
ith America’s most enduring symbol of immigration as a backdrop, more than 10,000 people crowded The Battery on Sunday to protest President Trump’s controversial immigration ban, capping a weekend of demonstrations around the country against Trump’s measure. Many of the protesters were sporting green foam Statue of Liberty crowns they bought from vendors — whose usual customers are outof-towners on their way from The Battery to see Lady Liberty. And at least one demonstrator’s sign quoted Emma Lazarus’s famous poem inscribed on the statue’s pedestal: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses… send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.” That sentiment stands in stark contrast to the executive orders Trump signed on Friday that suspended all refugee immigration for 120 days, indefinitely prohibits Syrian refugees from entering the country, and initially banned anyone from seven Muslimmajority countries from entering the U.S., including those with permanent resident status. The administration altered the latter provision to allow green card holders to be vetted on a case-by-case basis. The crowd chanted, “No hate! No fear! Refugees are welcome here!” and “No ban! No wall!” — a message many bore on signs and banners. A phalanx of Democratic politicians attended the rally, including
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PHOTO BY MILO HESS
Protesting Donald Trump at The Batter y on Sunday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senators Charles Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker, and Congressmembers Nydia Velázquez, Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney, Joe Crowley, Adriano Espalliat and Hakeem Jeffries. They were joined by other city officials and activist leaders. “I will not rest until these horrible orders are repealed,” Schumer vowed. He credited Saturday’s protests at John F. Kennedy Airport with helping ease restrictions on some visa holders, which allowed dozens of people being held there to enter the country. “We have made progress for 42 [visa holders],” Schumer said. “But
we have to make progress for thousands, and tens of thousands more, and hundreds of thousands more.” Schumer, who as Senate minority leader is the most powerful political opponent Trump has in Washington, received a lukewarm welcome from the crowd, in part because he has supported some of the president’s less-controversial cabinet nominees. Some demonstrators chanted, “Oppose the nominees!” following his speech. After the rally, the crowd marched north to demonstrate in front of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office at 26 Federal Plaza. TheVillager.com
How to explain the hate HATE continued from p. 4
â€œWhat extremist movement isnâ€™t antiSemitic?â€? According to a report by the A.D.L., anti-Semitic speech online spiked dramatically due to the rhetoric during the 2016 presidential campaign. In short, there were 2.6 million tweets that were found to contain language consistent with anti-Semitic speech from August 2015 to July 2016. Fifty thousand journalists received a total of 19,253 antiSemitic tweets. However, 63 percent of these tweets targeted just 10 journalists. â€œOne of them told us she was going to buy a gun to protect herself,â€? Segal noted, adding she was even thinking of leaving the profession. Beirich said that, unfortunately, part of her job is to read Breitbart News. â€œIt actually has a section on black-onwhite crime,â€? she noted. Bannon, she said, is the â€œmain offenderâ€? in the administration right now. â€œTrump is welcoming some of the worst elements of our society,â€? she said. â€œThis is the opposite of the civil rights movement. The country has been working for decades to get rid of this.â€? She called Milo Yiannopoulous, a young gay tech editor at Breitbart, â€œthe gateway drug.â€? â€œHe tries to create the idea that heâ€™s just kidding,â€? she said. â€œHe now has a book deal,â€? Hoylman interjected, drawing some groans from the audience. Segal noted that most U.S. extremists are â€œunaffiliatedâ€? with specific groups. â€œPeople go online and pull a lot of what they connect with,â€? he said. â€œMost people will find hate on their phones walking down the street.â€? Added Beirich, â€œDylan Roof can go online and never even meet these people,â€? referring to the Charleston church mass murderer who killed nine people. Nevertheless, hate groups are on the rise. According to S.P.L.C., there were 602 of them in the U.S. in 200. Today there are around 1,000. â€œThereâ€™s no doubt itâ€™s a backlash to demographic changeâ€? Beirich said. â€œThese people do not like the direction of the country, which is away from whiteness.â€? Added Segal, â€œI have never seen so many hate messages reference a presidential campaign.â€? â€œI was trolled after the swastika was found in my building,â€? Hoylman noted. â€œIt said, â€˜Hey Rabbi, what ya doinâ€™?â€? Was that some sort of code word? he asked. Segal noted that online trollsâ€™ current code for Jews is â€œskypes,â€? which is how they avoid automatic filters. â€œIt will probably change by next week,â€? he shrugged. In response to one womanâ€™s question about the alt-rightâ€™s hatred of Jews, Segal added that white supremacists think Jews are â€œnot whiteâ€Śand are responsible for race mixing.â€? â€œWell, that would make me proud, as a Jew,â€? she responded. TheVillager.com
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
WONâ€™T YOU JOIN US?
An audience member at the forum asked how she can help defeat Donald Trump and ex tremism.
Making matters worse, Teitel added that, in the current climate, â€œItâ€™s really unlikely youâ€™re going to get the Department of Justice investigating hate crimes.â€? The panel then fielded audience questions during a Q&A, though some of the questions were more akin to statements. â€œWe need to be looking at impeachment because he is not competent for the role,â€? one woman said of Trump. â€œHe showed us who he was for a year. When somebody tells you who they are, and they show you who they are, believe them. In the immediate term, we have to keep this fool from blowing up the world. And for the long term, we have to educate, educate, educate to address and correct this behavior.â€? Similarly, Segal said itâ€™s important to educate kids at a young age about difference and tolerance, and that â€œtwinning programsâ€? between big cities and small towns can help in this. Hoylman asked if the current climate will only make more people become racist. Sadly, the answer appeared to be yes. â€œIt was about Mexicans the first day, then Muslims,â€? Beirich said. â€œIt normalizes it. The civil rights movement was about de-normalizing it.â€? Another audience member, Caroline, said, â€œTheyâ€™re doing things that absolutely mirror the early days of the Third Reich. When do you have to start calling it what it is?â€? â€œWhat can we do to get rid of him?â€? another woman asked about Trump. Hoylman recommended getting more involved locally, such as by joining the community board. He added that congressional midterm elections are also coming up. â€œI like the idea of adopting cities,â€? he said of Segalâ€™s â€œtwinningâ€? concept. â€œWe should also be adopting candidates, as Congressmember Jerry Nadler says.â€? The audience appreciated the event, which ran two hours. One senior Chelsea resident, who only gave her name, Jean, said, â€œI wished it had lasted longer.â€? After the informative afternoon, Hoylman told The Villager, â€œEverybody in the country needs to take stock of what they can do to push back on this attack on our pluralistic society.â€?
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TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones
Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
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phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-
haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.
Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at
a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.
Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.
February 2, 2017