Chelsea VOLUME 11, ISSUE 32
YO U R W E E K LY C O M M U N I T Y N E W S PA P E R S E R V I N G C H E L S E A , H U D S O N YA R D S & H E L Lâ€™S K I T C H E N
AUGUST 15 - 21, 2019
BUSWAY BUSTER Lawyer a lightning rod after blocking 14th St. plan Page 6 PHOTO BY ALEJANDRA Oâ€™CONNELL-DOMENECH
Miguel Acevedo, Fulton Houses Tenants A ssociation president, spoke at a press conference called by attorney Ar thur Schwar tz, right, Wednesday on Schwar tzâ€™s lawsuit to restore bus stops on the M14. Transpor tation Alternatives later protested outside Schwar tzâ€™s Village home.
HILLARYâ€™S 2020 VISION Clinton & Caban pump up progressive Dems Page 8
PHOTO BY JENNIFER FRIEDMANN / ARENA
Arena members Liuba Grechen Shirley, left, and Monica Klein, right, posed with former Queens D. A . candidate Tiffany Caban last Thursday. Addressing Arena members, Hillar y Clinton predicted there will be G.O.P.-led â€œsuppressionâ€? in the 2020 presidential election.
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August 15, 2019
Broker dies after cyclist hit: Police BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
wenty-third St. and Sixth Ave., tragically, continues to live up to its reputation as one of the city’s most dangerous intersections. A man who was struck by a cyclist there at the end of July died of his injuries earlier this week, police reported. Police said Michael Collopy, 60, of 170 W. 23rd St., was standing in the bike lane on Sixth Ave. at 11:53 p.m. on Wed., July 31, when he was hit by a cyclist riding northbound in the lane who did not stop or remain at the scene. Officers responding to a 911 call found Collopy at the location with head trauma. An E.M.S. ambulance transported him to Bellevue Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries on Mon., Aug. 5. According to police, on Wed., Aug. 7, the city’s medical examiner determined his cause of death was from being struck by the cyclist. There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing. However, the New York Post reported that on Thursday the medical examiner said it had made no such determination, and that there was “a misunderstanding by N.Y.P.D. detectives.” “For clarity, the cause and manner of death in this case is pending determination,” the M.E. said in a statement, the Post reported. For the past five years, Collopy was an associate broker for residential sales with City Connections, whose office is at 71 W. 23rd St., just one block from his home and just steps away from where he was killed. He had been a real estate broker since 2003. Prior to that, he was an auditor and also worked in finance. Collopy was a graduate of New York University’s Stern School of Business, and got his B.A. in accounting from Fairfield University. Collopy’s death at the dangerous intersection came slightly more than a month after Robyn Hightman, a 20-year-old bike messenger, was killed near that spot while riding in traffic on the avenue and hit by a truck. David Schlamm, president of City Connections, said Collopy was single, close to his nieces and nephews, an avid Yankees fan and frequently skied in Vermont. He said no one is sure what Collopy was doing outside the office right before he was killed. “He was a kind, generous guy,” Schlamm said. He said the company is trying to plan a group outing to Yankees game in the late co-worker’s honor, and they hope they’ll be able to get his photo shown on a large screen. A memorial is planned at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, on Fifth Ave., on Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. Lien Corey, an artist who lives at 21st St. and Seventh Ave., said she witnessed Collopy splayed out on the street after he was hit, as well as the accident
COURTESY CITY CONNECTIONS REALTY
Chelsea resident Michael Collopy died after being struck by a c yclist at 23rd St. and Sixth Ave., just a block away from his home.
scene in June a few hours after Hightman was fatally struck. (Full disclosure: This writer is a friend of Corey’s and she had mentioned to him the previous Friday that she had seen a bloodied man lying in the bike lane who had been hit by a cyclist.) She said the carnage at the deadly intersection has been taking an emotional toll on her. Every day, Corey, who is in her 60s, goes to 23rd St. and Sixth Ave. around noon to get her amNY newspaper at the box outside the Citibank branch at the northwest corner. “What I saw was an older man, probably in his 70s, with blood,” Corey said, “right in front of Citibank. He was, like, lying right in the bike lane…kind of a little bit diagonal, head toward Citibank. And hovering over him were, like, two bike messengers. “I saw his jaw moving, so I said, ‘Good, he’s alive.’ I saw movement in his lower jaw,” she recalled. Corey said after medics came to aid the man, she went to get some coffee at Starbucks on Sixth Ave. between 21st and 22nd Sts. “I just walked away,” she said. “I couldn’t take it.” When she returned to the spot afterward, the broker had already been taken to the hospital. A biker herself, Corey said she was deeply affected by Hightman’s death on June 24, particularly by seeing a pool of blood on the street at the scene. Then seeing
blood, once again, a month later, around the gravely injured man’s head was overwhelming for her. “I just saw blood flowing,” she said of Collopy, “and I was absolutely distraught because when that girl died, I just cried and cried. The bike was still there [in the street], her helmet was still there, blood was still there. “I bike all the time,” Corey said. “I thought, ‘It could be me.’ I’ve been hit a couple of times. There’s always some reckless driver. They don’t see you or they open their door and hit you.” She said the Chelsea/Flatiron intersection simply is very dangerous, but that cyclists also must ride more carefully. “Twenty-third and Sixth is very deadly,” she said. “These cyclists, they are either killing themselves or killing others. The messengers, they’re just trying to get where they’re going. They’re not paying attention.” Corey said she witnessed an intense moment after leaving the scene of Hightman’s death. She went into the Doughnut Plant, the only ground-floor commercial tenant in the currently under-renovation Hotel Chelsea, to get a donut. She said the driver who hit Hightman then happened to pull up his box truck right outside the shop. “There was a swarm of bikers and they tried to pull the guy out,” she said. “There was a lot of police and they got the bikers away. I saw the bikers. They were very, very upset.” Corey said the fatal intersection has gotten extremely crowded due to a surge in foot traffic, which she feels is definitely a factor in the accidents and fatalities. “I think it’s the sheer amount of people,” she said, adding, “Have you ever been on 23rd St. at lunchtime?” With that many people, she noted, it’s simply “the law of averages” that serious problems are going to happen. According to Streetsblog, since 2016, the intersection at W. 23rd St. and Sixth Ave. has seen six cyclists, 18 pedestrians and 15 drivers injured. The cyclingadvocacy blog said that, annually, in New York City, less than one pedestrian is killed by cyclists, while 138 pedestrians are killed by cars. In yet another traffic fatality in Chelsea, police reported that on Thurs., Aug. 8, pedestrian Iris Crespo, 77, of 60 Amsterdam Ave., was killed by a yellow cab driver at Eighth Ave. and 22nd St. at 5:02 p.m. The hack, Daniel Fusaro, 82, continued to drive north until hitting a parked car. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to yield to a pedestrian, failure to obey a traffic signal and failure to exercise due care.
More Chelsea carnage as cab kills woman BY GABE HERMAN
n older woman walking in Chelsea was killed on Thurs., Aug. 8, after being hit by a taxi around 1 p.m., according to police. The 77-year-old victim was identified as Iris Crespo, of 60 Amsterdam Ave., at W. 62nd St. She was trying to cross W. 22nd St. at Eighth Ave., and was within the marked crosswalk, when she was struck by the taxi heading uptown on Eighth Ave. The force of the collision caused Crespo to land underneath a parked car, Schneps Media
officials said. After hitting Crespo, the hack, Daniel Fusaro, 82, a Queens resident, continued driving north before ramming into a parked vehicle, police said. When officers arrived at the scene, they found Crespo unconscious and unresponsive on the street, with trauma to her head and body. E.M.S. took her to Bellevue Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Fusaro reportedly talked to police at the scene, and said he never saw the woman, and that he had the light. “I don’t know. What can I tell you? I don’t know anyCNW
thing. I don’t know what happened,” Fusaro said. “They told me that I hit a woman. I didn’t see a woman. That’s all.” Witnesses disputed Fusaro’s account that he had the light, according to WABC-TV. The cabbie was taken into custody and charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to yield to a pedestrian, failure to obey a traffic signal and failure to exercise due care. An investigation into the incident is ongoing by the Police Department’s Collision Investigation Squad. Month x x, 2019
Police Blotter NINTH PRECINCT
Anti-gay grafďŹ ti Police are seeking the publicâ€™s help in identifying a man wanted in connection with a criminal mischief incident that has been classified a hate crime in the East Villageâ€™s Ninth Precinct. Police said that on Thurs., Aug. 8, around 2:40 a.m., the suspect reportedly walked up to an abandoned building at 11 Avenue A, between First and Second Sts., and sprayed â€œKILL THE GAY AWAYâ€? on a roll-down gate in black spray paint. The man is described as white, around 5 feet 6 inches tall, with curly long blond hair, wearing a green shirt and toting a yellow messenger bag. Police released surveillance video of the suspect walking north on Avenue A. Anyone with information should call the Police Departmentâ€™s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). Tips can also be submitted
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attacked An elderly man was robbed in the East Village on Tuesday afternoon, according to police. Around 4:40 p.m. on Aug. 6, inside a residential building near E. 11th St. and Second Ave., a man approached the 82-year-old victim from behind and pushed him to the ground. The attacker then took the victimâ€™s wallet from his back pocket, and fled toward Second Ave. The wallet contained four credit cards, $50 in cash, a driverâ€™s license and an insurance card. The victim suffered a minor injury to his arm and was taken to Beth Israel
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August 15, 2019
Wheely mad: TransAlt rages at attorney BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
all it busway rage. Transportation Alternatives, the pro-cycling and mass-transit advocacy group, is seething that Village and Chelsea residents have dared to throw a monkey wrench into the city’s “experimental” pilot plan for a 14th St. busway. And they are especially furious at one man, a Villager whose name is synonymous for them with a gunkedup bike derailleur, if not a busted front fork: Arthur Schwartz. And they’re not just stewing about it: They planned to protest at the activist attorney’s W. 12th St. townhouse on the evening of Wed., Aug. 14, and demand that he withdraw his lawsuit, which is currently derailing the busway. Perhaps instead of pitchforks and torches, they’ll be angrily brandishing quick-release wheels, bicycle pumps and MetroCards. A press release for TransAlt’s protest urges: “Protest Rich Residents From Stopping 14th St. Busway.” Meanwhile, Schwartz is firing back that TransAlt are a bunch of fascistic bullies for trying to intimidate him — likening them to no less than Donald Trump and the Ku Klux Klan. Going on the offensive, on Tuesday morning, he preemptively protested TransAlt’s protesting him at the group’s 111 John St. offices. He fumed that the group crossed a line by blasting out his home address. Last Friday, Schwartz succeeded in getting a last-minute court-ordered stay from an Appellate Division court to postpone the no-cars busway plan, which was set to kick off this Mon., Aug. 12. The stay was issued because Schwartz on Friday filed an appeal of the ruling that had been issued just days earlier on their anti-busway lawsuit by a State Supreme Court justice, who cleared the traffic plan to start on Monday. Schwartz has also been contesting the new crosstown bike lanes on 12th and 13th Sts. In a press release Monday afternoon, Thomas DeVito, TransAlt’s senior director of advocacy, railed against the community litigation as a “frivolous lawsuit.” “The West Villagers who filed the suit have used every dirty trick in the book to delay needed improvements along New York’s slowest bus line,” DeVito fumed in the e-mail blast. “For them, it doesn’t matter how slow and unreliable our buses are for working New Yorkers, or how straightforward and obvious the fi xes are. Their only concern is preserving parking for themselves and keeping anyone else off their street.” DeVito apparently was quoting from The Villager’s report on the stay being
Month x x, 2019
PHOTO BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH
Village District Leader Ar thur Schwar tz, right, was joined by Michael Schweinsburg, of 504 Democrats and Disabled in Action, at Wednesday’s rally about Schwar tz’s lawsuit to restore M14 bus stops.
granted last Friday, when he wrote, “Their lead lawyer, Arthur Schwartz, has asked publicly ‘who uses the bus?’ and he has flippantly acknowledged that his clients gladly chipped in ‘a thousand dollars here, a thousand dollars there’ to perpetuate his capricious lawsuits.” The Villager article read: “The attorney said that, after Tuesday’s deflating State Supreme Court ruling, he had asked members of [block associations] fighting the city’s plan if they supported appealing the decision, and the answer was overwhelming. “ ‘I said it might cost $5,000 to $10,000 to print the record,’ he said, referring to the paperwork — in multiple copies — required to file the appeal. ‘I got a great reaction… Everyone was pledging $1,000 here, $1,000 there.’ ” DeVito’s e-mail continued, “What’s happening today on 14th St. [is] a hyper-empowered minority using their wealth to deny better bus service for 27,000 working commuters.” The transit advocate noted the protesters planned “to congregate in front of Arthur Schwartz’s $10 million brownstone to demand he drop the lawsuit.” In a statement to this paper early Monday evening, Schwartz unloaded on TransAlt, calling them nothing less than un-American Trumpian fascistic bullies. “TransAlt, in deciding to picket the house of a lawyer, who represents clients, to demand that ‘I drop’ their case, is engaging in a form of bullying which is in the tradition of Donald Trump, and has nothing to do with how we function in a non-fascistic Democratic society,” he declared. “I do not drop that word lightly, and I am asking lawyers from around the city, and my elected representatives, to join me on my stoop. “I might also add that for an organization whose top officials make $200,000 per year running a non-
profit, their complaint that Village and Chelsea residents active in block associations are ‘rich,’ is demagoguery similar to that we see emanating from the White House.” About six hours later, Schwartz sent out an e-mail announcing he intended to hold a press conference Tuesday morning outside the Lower Manhattan office of TransAlt, which the attorney described as “the $4.5-million-per-year cyclist lobbying group.” “This kind of undemocratic bullying, reminiscent of how white-hooded zealots would threaten white lawyers who represented black people in the South, or dictators who threaten lawyers who represent unpopular figures, needs to be called out,” Schwartz proclaimed. “I represent everyday residents of Chelsea and Greenwich Village,” he said, “people who speak for Greenwich Village, and Transportation Alternatives is taking the fight to my home, where I live with my wife and teenage children, for one purpose only — to intimidate me.” Schwartz, who is the Village’s male Democratic district leader, called on other elected leaders, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and Council Speaker Corey Johnson, “to stand with him” on Wednesday night when the enraged TransAlt protesters were to descend on his home. It didn’t sound like he had any takers, though. Meanwhile, Schwartz also called a press conference for Wednesday morning, at 11 a.m., on the south side of 14th St., just east of Fifth Ave. — where a bus stop was recently removed as part of the newly implemented Select Bus Service on the M14 route. At the press conference, Schwartz announced his second lawsuit related to the 14th St. traffic changes — to demand that the city restore the removed
bus stops. His plaintiff in that case will be Disabled in Action, a group representing disabled New Yorkers. In a quote announcing the event, Schwartz said, “We need to talk about how the city, in its quest for [bus] speed, has abandoned folks in wheelchairs and walkers, has not addressed the real concerns of the affected communities, how we are not a ‘wealthy minority group of landowners,’ but representatives of thousands of people who live in the Village, Chelsea and Flatiron and have for decades.” The Steering Committee of the 14th St. Coalition urged its members, “Bring handmade signs with messages like: ‘COMMUTERS ARE NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN COMMUNITIES’; ‘STREETS ARE FOR EVERYONE’; ‘THE BUSWAY PROMOTES ABLEISM’; ‘WE ARE NOT AN EXPERIMENT’; ‘NOT EVERYONE CAN RIDE A BIKE’; and ‘SAFETY BEFORE LOBBYISTS.’” Members of the Coalition, which includes Village and Chelsea block associations and large residential condo buildings, fear if the busway happens, neighboring side streets would be flooded with cars diverted from 14th St., and that the first-of-its-kind scheme in New York would wreak havoc on 14th St., as well. They were disappointed by two tweets Comptroller Stringer made last week about the issue. “Today should have been a triumphant day for bus riders in Manhattan,” Stringer tweeted last Friday, after the stay blocking the busway was issued. “Instead we are stuck with the failed status quo. I stand with those fighting for a world-class bus system in New York. We need projects like the 14th St. busway.” In an earlier tweet, last Tuesday, Stringer praised the first ruling, which would have allowed the project to go forward: “This is terrific news,” he trumpeted. “Thanks to all the advocates who fought tirelessly to make this day a reality. Now — let’s get our buses moving!” The 14th St. Coalition members took Stringer’s tweets personally, saying it was “calling us the failed status quo.” The Coalition, which was the lead plaintiff in Schwartz’s previous two lawsuits on the 14th St. plan, actually is not part of this latest suit, though a number of its block association members are. Stringer is a candidate for mayor, as is Speaker Johnson, who has vowed to “break car culture” in New York City.
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August 15, 2019
PHOTO BY JENNIFER FRIEDMANN / ARENA
Proudly standing with former Queens D. A . candidate Tiffany Caban at the Aug. 8 event, were Arena members Liuba Grechen Shirley, the founder of Vote Mama, who ran against Congressmember Peter King, left, and Monica Klein, founder of Seneca Strategies, a political consulting firm.
Clinton warns of G.O.P. ‘voter suppression’ BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
illary Clinton told a gathering of young Democrats in Lower Manhattan Thursday night that “voter suppression” by the Republicans will be more extreme than ever before in the 2020 presidential election. An enthusiastic crowd of members of Arena — an organization promoting young progressive candidates to “jump into the arena” and run for office — convened at Convene, at 32 Old Slip, to hear Clinton’s remarks. The former secretary of state said she was “optimistic” after seeing the work of Arena and similar groups that have launched in the wake of Donald Trump’s winning the presidency. Arena runs a “training academy” to help get people involved in political campaigns. “But,” Clinton added, “I also have to say I’m also realistic about what we’re up against.” She noted, to laughter from the crowd, that she had met with “18 or 20 or so of the candidates” running for the Democratic nomination. “I told them that,” she said, “based on my own experiences, you could not only win the nomination, you could win the popular vote, but not get the job because of all these other forces and activities we are up against. “Voter suppression is going to be even worse coming up in 2020,” she warned, pointedly. “It will absolutely be front and center.” The former New York senator predicted with assurance that the Republicans will resort to “the misuse of information, whether it is online propaganda, disinformation.” “I believe that the other side is really geared to do
August 15, 2019
PHOTO BY JENNIFER FRIEDMANN / ARENA
Hillar y Clinton addressing Arena members in the Financial District on Thurs., Aug. 8.
that,” she asserted. “And I think we’re going to face even more doubts about our electoral machinery.” In addition, in the wake of last weekend’s mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Clinton slammed Republicans for continuing to stand in the way of sensible gun control. “The refusal of the other party to step up and take responsibility for keeping people safe is outrageous,” TVG
she declared. Clinton said political change won’t come overnight, but will take a long, determined slog, or, as she put it, “the hard boring of hard boards.” “It doesn’t happen overnight,” she said. “It happens day after day.” Also speaking at the event was Tiffany Caban, who had conceded the Queens district attorney Democratic primary race to Melinda Katz the day before, as well as Comptroller Scott Stringer and Council Speaker Corey Johnson, plus Alvin Bragg, a candidate for Manhattan district attorney. Bragg is a visiting professor at New York University School of Law and co-director of its Racial Justice Project. Chris Marte, the Lower East Side Democratic State Committeeman for the 65th District, who leads Arena’s New York community and candidate support, also gave remarks. “The event was a great success with over 300 people in attendance,” Marte said. “It was the first public appearance from Tiffany Caban since her concession speech, and Alvin Bragg’s first public speech as a Manhattan D.A. candidate. “In addition to having the frontrunners of the mayoral race, Scott Stringer and Corey Johnson, Hillary topped off the night by inspiring everyone to remain engaged in politics and build the Democratic bench for staffers to take on Trump in 2020. “In addition, it was the launch of our Five Borough Future Project, which is a three-part program to write bold polices, train the future staffers of New York City progressive campaigns, and educate individuals on how to achieve government reform and claw back power to New York City from Albany.” Schneps Media
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August 15, 2019
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COURTESY DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE
Jessica Lappin, Downtown Alliance president, left, presented Jo Black, of Boundless Plains Espresso, with a Digital Innovation Grant.
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BY GABE HERMAN
ith much of retail business continuing to shift to the Internet, two Lower Manhattan businesses were recently awarded grants to improve their online presence and help them compete. The Downtown Alliance gave the $10,000 Digital Innovation Grants to B & Co, a sandwich shop, at 22 Park Place, and Boundless Plains Espresso, at 19 Rector St. â€œSmall businesses fuel Lower Manhattan physically and emotionally,â€? said Jessica Lappin, the Downtown Allianceâ€™ president. â€œBut many are challenged by the digital shift in consumer behavior. Weâ€™ve created a digital grant program to support local shops like B & Co and Boundless Plains Espresso and help them compete online.â€? Boundless Plains was opened by local Jo Black, originally from Australia. Her shop serves espresso drinks, along with other items, like organic salads and avocado toast. She plans to use the grant for an online ordering and delivery platform, and also to create a social
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August 15, 2019
media strategy to spread word about the business, plus train staff for online engagement with new customers. â€œWe pride ourselves on building a community among staff and guests,â€? Black said. â€œThe Downtown Digital Innovation Grant will allow us to use online connections to help bring people together face to face in the store, and allow my business â€” and community â€” to grow with improvements I wouldnâ€™t otherwise have been able to afford.â€? B & Co, formerly Bits and Bites, was founded in 1997. The deli plans to make its Web site more mobile friendly. â€œWhen we started, our business came from walk-ins and calls,â€? founder Robert Gander said. â€œWith so many people ordering lunch with a tap of their phone, this grant will allow us to build a mobile-friendly Web site and meet our customers where they are.â€? The Downtown Digital Innovation Grant program was launched last year, with Martin Busch Jewelers, at 85 John St., using the grant to improve its Web site and grow its presence on social media. The store has had a nearly 50 percent increase in visits to its Web site. Schneps Media
WE ARE HIRING! The Board of Elections in the City of New York is hiring Poll Workers to serve at poll sites across New York City. Become an Election Day Worker and you can earn up to $2,800 for completing the training course, passing the exam and working ten Election Days.
PHOTO BY GABE HERMAN
At the Aug. 8 Chick-fil-A grand opening in Chelsea, there were no protests, just a line that wrapped around the block.
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Antigay Chick-ﬁl-A is open in Chelsea BY GABE HERMAN
hick-fil-A just opened a location in Chelsea, making it the fastfood company’s ninth in Manhattan. But despite long lines for the grand opening at Sixth Ave. and W. 22nd St. on Thurs., Aug. 8, not everyone in the area is welcoming the business, which has drawn criticism for its stance on same-sex marriage. Chick-fil-A sparked a firestorm of protest in 2012 when current C.E.O. Dan Cathy expressed antigay marriage views and the company was found to be contributing to groups that opposed same-sex marriage. There was backlash against the chain, including boycotts. Then there was backlash to the backlash by those supporting the company’s views. Cathy and the company then tried to pull back from public involvement in the gay marriage debate. Although the issue is not as hotly debated nationwide now as seven years ago, the company’s marriage views have stayed in the news. Tax filings from 2017 showed Chick-fil-A has continued to contribute to antigay groups, ThinkProgress recently reported. But the Atlanta-based chicken-sandwich chain has continued to grow in recent years, including in progressive Manhattan. The company has been in the New York University food court at 5 University Place since 2004, and its first public location opened in Midtown in 2015. Other Chick-fil-A eateries have since opened in Midtown and Tribeca and on the Upper East Side. But Chelsea, in particular, is not a neighborhood where the chicken chain belongs, according to one local. Chelsea resident Scott D., who asked not to print his last name, told this paper that he is “upset” about them moving in. “They’re not the type of fast-food restaurant that belongs in Chelsea — a part of the city that is about inclusion and embracing diversity,” Scott said. “For years they’ve gotten away with homophobia, and have worked hard — and heavily funded Schneps Media
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efforts — to deny gay marriage, etc. “I don’t have to support them and will not,” he continued. “But I know that the average person who knows nothing about their exclusionary history will go in and spend money — that’s the saddest part. They’ve excelled at taking any negative publicity and burying it while growing into the third-largest fast-food corporation in America. “I believe there should be a lot of protests,” he said. “They come to suck profits out of New York City while preaching hate, and they don’t represent the diversity of New York.” Council Speaker Corey Johnson, whose area includes Chelsea and who is openly gay, told this paper, “I hope as Chick-fil-A moves into an extremely L.G.B.T.Q. friendly neighborhood they use this opportunity to reconsider their outdated and homophobic stance.” There were no protests at the Chelsea location’s opening on Aug. 8. There were only crowds coming for the food, and a lunchtime line that stretched outside and around the corner. State Senator Brad Hoylman, whose district includes Chelsea, Midtown and the West Village, told this paper, “I wouldn’t suggest, like Chicken Little, that the sky is falling. There’s been a Chick-fil-A at N.Y.U. for years now, in addition to stores in my district in Midtown.” Hoylman, who is also openly gay, added, “Sadly there are plenty of C.E.O.’s who support homophobia and rightwing causes.” He cited the planned Hamptons fundraiser for Donald Trump last Friday, at $100,000 a person, by Stephen Ross, C.E.O. of Related, which owns Hudson Yards and other businesses, including SoulCycle and Equinox gyms. “People can make their own decisions about supporting a business that has given millions to antigay causes,” Hoylman said. “But we should also be asking how they treat their workers, do they engage in sustainable practices, and are they good corporate citizens in New York City.”
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August 15, 2019
The crumbling M.T.A.
wo reports released by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and City Comptroller Scott Stringer this week highlight the woeful conditions that straphangers who rely on subways and commuter rail lines can attest to daily. And while it’s easy to see the neglect and incompetence, it seems much harder to find a way to fi x the damage. DiNapoli announced the results of a study that revealed something that seems obvious by now: Most New York City subway stations are crumbling. The run-down components cited in the study range from from platform edges to ventilators, both of which are quite obviously key to rider safety. Broken platform edges increase the risk of potentially tragic slips and falls, and malfunctioning ventilators are both short- and long-term health hazards for anyone who sets foot on an underground subway station platform. The second half of this one-two transit punch came from Stringer’s letter to Long Island Rail Road President Phil Eng, criticizing the commuter rail line for its own station problems, namely a lack of accessibility. For example, just five Long Island Rail Road stations in all of Brooklyn and Queens meet federal A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance. And yet, the LIRR has either dragged its feet on — or scrapped altogether — projects designed to bring the stops up to code. The portrait of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2019 as painted in the reports is far from flattering. Politicians have been quick to condemn the M.T.A. and promise reform and “transformation” to make everything better. We’ve heard this before, and the end result has always equated to reshuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. City and state leaders should streamline the authority’s overhead and empower it (financially and politically) with the means to get things done — and then, do them. We don’t need another Robert Moses — an all-powerful master builder who treated the public with contempt — but rather leaders who can at least get the M.T.A. and the riders it serves out of this mess. Enough talking about it. Let’s get the M.T.A. moving toward progress again.
A photo in the May 18, 1972 issue of The Villager captured a Hare Krishna proselytizing to a crowd in Washington Square Park. The caption read: “An interesting study in faces was captured recently by photographer Fermin Benedetti who watched a Hare Krishna devotee explain his philosophy to group of Villagers in the park.”
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August 15, 2019
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Letters to the Editor
Mayor, give back hotel owners’ cash BY ED HAMILTON AND DEBBIE MARTIN
ayor de Blasio, we are calling on you to return Richard Born’s and Ira Drukier’s campaign contributions and the $90,000 that was raised at their March fundraiser for you. With the presidential primaries underway and your reputation for standing up for tenants on the line, you must make it crystal clear to them that they cannot buy a Certificate of No Harassment! As you know, Born and Drukier are the principals of BD Hotels, and they are principals in an LLC that presently owns the famed Chelsea Hotel, where, since 2007, dozens of residents, most of them in the arts, have been evicted to make way for luxury accommodations. Since August 2011, the remaining residents have endured years of seemingly never-ending demolition and construction — often involving demolishing new construction and rebuilding over again. The Certificate of No Harassment (CONH), issued by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, is intended to protect tenants from exactly this sort of abuse. Born and Drukier well knew of the requirement for a CONH, as they have applied for CONHs at other buildings they own. Additionally, they were fired from the Chelsea Hotel once before, in 2008, for their refusal to apply for a CONH. They have been doing construction without this required certificate for three years while tenants continue to experience interruptions of basic services, leaks, exposure to toxic dust and constant ear-splitting noise. Mr. Mayor, we invite you to visit the Chelsea Hotel and experience for yourself the conditions of the building. Currently, a portion of the tenants in the building have been without cooking gas for Schneps Media
Walking tax coming next?
Jazzy Gem Spa hit spot for Monk
To The Editor: Re “Court: 14th St. car ban can start” (news article, Aug. 1): The local citizens should be able to vote on our fate through a referendum at the ballot box. The next dictate will be a sidewalk walk tax.
To The Editor: Re “News flash: Gem Spa is struggling” (city business, Aug. 8): I once spotted Thelonious Monk having an egg cream in Gem Spa in the late 1960s. Alan Flacks
$5 egg creams? There goes the neigborhood
It’s ‘Zero Vision’
PHOTO BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
The writers say the mayor must return campaign contributions he received from Chelsea Hotel owners Richard Born and Ira Drukier, who are seeking a Cer tificate of No Harassment from the cit y for the historic building’s ongoing renovation.
a month and the entire building has been without hot water for more than 24 hours. In any event, you must not allow your reputation as a tenants’ advocate to be besmirched by this appearance of impropriety. That’s why we are asking you to return the $57,000 donated to your campaign by Richard Born, Ira Drukier and their associates. Return the $90,000 raised at the March 4 fundraiser. Only then can the public be assured that H.P.D.’s ongoing investigation into the harassment of the tenants of the Chelsea Hotel will be allowed to continue without undue interference. We hope you will do the right thing. Hamilton and Martin are Chelsea Hotel bloggers.
To The Editor: Re “Court: 14th St. car ban can start” (news article, Aug. 1): Under Bloomberg and de Blasio, the Department of Transportation has been ruining New York City, making every street more dangerous for drivers, pedestrians and bikes. As more and more people become unwilling to drive into Manhattan, unwilling to be subject to the insane chaos of painted markings, bus lanes, bike lanes, speed cameras, intersection cameras and D.O.T. goons issuing summonses on every street, more stores will close, the economy will suffer and many more bike riders will be injured or die. Vision Zero has Zero Vision. Robert Lederman
Amoral leaders To The Editor: Re “Two Bridges project needs public review: Judge” (news article, Aug. 8): The Two Bridges luxury towers will destroy Chinatown and the Lower East Side! We need to vote these people who approved this out of office! You don’t need religion to have morals. If you can’t determine right from wrong, then you lack compassion, not religion. I’m an L.E.S. resident since 1945! Victor Colon
Enigmatic killer To The Editor: Re “Message to Republi-
PHOTO BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Five-dollar egg creams at Gem Spa? Could the depar ted Zoltar even have foreseen that?
cans: Do something” (editorial, Aug. 8): I’d like to see the evidence that the Dayton shooter was an “antifa activist” and “avowed socialist.” He was an open misogynist who was in a band that had songs glorifyng rape, and apparently maintained a “rape list.” He made a couple of tweets in support of antifa. Please do not play into the bogus equivalism, Villager. Bill Weinberg
More than just ‘anti-vaxx’ To The Editor: Re “‘Anti-vaxxers’ try to mob rent-laws town hall” (news article, Aug. 1): It’s upsetting to see this protest made out to be about being “anti-vaxx.” It’s about being pro-medical choice, proreligion, pro-family and proparental decisions. Giving the government the rights over our bodies is a dangerous decision. This law was passed on June 13 and there are already bills to mandate the flu and HPV vaccines to attend school and to give 14-year-olds the right to make medical decisions without their parents’ consent or knowledge. We value certain freedoms in America and these freedoms are under attack. That is the reason for this demonstration.
To The Editor: Re “News flash: Gem Spa is struggling” (news article, Aug. 8): When I stopped by this afternoon for a pricey ($5) vanilla egg cream, the daughter of ailing owner Ray Patel made it plain that the landlord is giving Gem Spa grief. She said the rent has just climbed to $17,000-plus a month. So this is a sadly familiar story about East Village gentrification. Mary Reinholz
Please, no Astor market! To The Editor: Re “Astor Place mulled for a new market” (news article, Aug. 8): Hate that bad holiday market in Union Square and hope that does not happen here. It’s not well curated and there is a lot of kitschy junk. I would prefer morning tai chi, yoga, a weekly soapbox opportunity, learning events and so forth. Mary Judge E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to email@example.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.
Heather Clare August 15, 2019
Child Victims Act ads launch BY ALEJANDR A Oâ€™CONNELL DOMENECH
new public-service ad campaign for the Child Victims Act was launched in Times Square on Tuesday. Safe Horizon, the largest victim-services nonprofit in the U.S., along with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, unveiled the campaign, designed to educate adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse of their rights under the Child Victims Act enacted this year. The launch included a video and public-service announcements on Times Square billboards, featuring state Senator Alessandra Biaggi, Assemblymembers Catalina Cruz, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou and Rodneyse Bichotte, all survivors of sexual abuse. One of the ads quotes a tweet by Hochul: â€œThereâ€™s a special place in hell for child abusers and leaders of institutions who protected them. With #ChildVictimsAct â€“ the day of reckoning is here.â€? The legislation allows accusers to file a criminal claim against their abusers until age 28 and file a civil claim until age 55. The new New York law also includes a look-back period â€” a one-year window â€” starting on Wed., Aug. 14, that allows for cases that have expired to be revived. Before the law was enacted earlier this year, New York State required that such lawsuits be filed by the time the victim was age 23. The campaign is multi-platform and includes ads on Facebook and YouTube, as well as placement before movie previews in theaters starting this November. The PSA stills featuring the legislators and fellow survivor Brian Toale, will rotate on Clear Channelâ€™s Times Square screens.
Squirrel bite fright at B.P.C. BY ALEJANDR A Oâ€™CONNELL-DOMENECH
B Chelsea: 242 West 23RD 3T s 4 !$$)4)/.!, /&&)#%3 ). Fordham (Little Italy) % 4( 3T s 4 Lenox Hill 34 !VE s 4 -ON 4HURS n &RI 3AT 3UN CLOSED &ORDHAM 3AT FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF LOCATIONS AND HOURS, GO TO NECB.COM
August 15, 2019
eware of aggressive squirrels in Rockefeller Park. On Aug. 9, the Battery Park City Authority published a warning on its Web site stating that it has received reports of aggressive squirrels biting visitors around the playground in Rockefeller Park. According to ABC7 Eyewitness News, the New York City Health Department receives about 30 reports of squirrel bites annually, and since it started doing rabies surveillance in 1992, has yet to find a single squirrel with rabies. â€œSquirrels exhibiting aggressive behavior have usually been fed by humans before â€” and are looking to eat again, or feel threatened,â€? the Lower Manhattan authorityâ€™s Web site states, after warning park visitors not to feed the animals. B.P.C.A. is meeting with the city Department of Health officials this week to address the situation so that park visitors can better enjoy the space. Those bitten by an aggressive Battery Park squirrel should report it to the Department of Health, as Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou tweeted on Tuesday. Schneps Media
N.Y.U. dental center caters to disabled BY GABE HERMAN
he New York University College of Dentistry opened a facility this year that treats patients with physical, developmental and cognitive disabilities. The Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities opened in February at First Ave. and E. 24 St. The 8,000-square-foot space includes nine patient treatment rooms, featuring extra space for wheelchairs or accompaniment by family or a caretaker. The treatment rooms also have lights that change colors for a soothing effect, plus iPads to attach to patient chairs. There are also two sedation suites, which prevent most patients from having to be referred to hospitals for treatment, according to Dr. Ronald Kosinski, the center’s clinical director and clinical associate professor at the N.Y.U. College of Dentistry. Other special features include a lobby with a noise-dampening ceiling, and reception desks at wheelchair height. There is also a multisensory room to calm patients who might start to get upset. The room includes different colored lighting and materials like a mat and heavy blankets, and is a work in progress that includes efforts from other N.Y.U. schools, including engineers, artists and health specialists. Sometimes an exam will be done on the floor of that room for an upset patient, Kosinski said. Along with the center’s staff, all N.Y.U. dental students will now pass through the facility as part of their training. Previously, it was only students in an honors program that learned to treat people with disabilities, in a Special Patient Care Program that started in 1971. Kosinski said the new center will take about a year to become fully operational. “Every day’s a little better and we have an unbelievable staff,” he said. He noted that there is no specialty in special-care dentistry, and traditionally it’s mostly pediatric dentists that have trained to work with disabled patients. In general, there is often a lack of care available for adults with disabilities. “Numerous studies have shown generally poor access to vital health services for both children and adults with disabilities,” said Marco Damiani, C.E.O. of AHRC New York City, a nonprofit that serves people with disabilities. “The N.Y.U. Dentistry Oral Health Center for People with Disabilities will promote greatly improved access. But it exceeds basic expectations by enabling access to a welcoming state-of-the art facility, dental treatment services from highly experienced and engaged faculty, and a service vision that underscores dignity, respect and coordination of care.” Research has shown that disabled people have worse oral health than the general public, and less access to care. There are about 950,000 New Yorkers with a disability of some kind, including 99,000 wheelchair users. The new $12 million N.Y.U. center accommodates wheelchair users with a special wheelchair lift/tipper that avoids the need for the patient to be transferred into a conventional dental chair. This
COURTESY N.Y.U. PHOTO BUREAU: ROEMER
The new N.Y.U. center features nine spacious patient treatment rooms, including one with a reclining wheelchair platform that allows patients to be treated in their wheelchair instead of being transferred to a dental chair.
was a major benefit for patient Christine Mace, a quadriplegic who lives in the Flatiron District. Mace said that being treated in the tilted chair made the experience “more hassle-free” than the typical dental experience, which she said involves an annoying transfer out of her chair. “Just the option of not having to get out of my chair was the reason I chose to go to the clinic,” she said. “It definitely was a pleasant change.” Mace said the new facility will be her go-to place for dental visits, and she hopes that kind of accessibility spreads for others. Mace became disabled after a spinal cord injury in 2002 at age 19. She noted that she has experienced life with and without a disability, and that awareness must be raised about disabled people’s needs in businesses and society, in general. “It’s definitely a nice change,” she said of the care at the new center, “and something that would be nice if they could implement around the city.” Kosinski noted there have been facilities around the country that treat disabled patients, but they have traditionally been philanthropic projects. And compared to N.Y.U.’s new center, “nobody’s done it in such a big way.” He added it could be the start of a trend, with TVG
other schools initiating the process to create similar facilities, including at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Texas at San Antonio. Part of students’ training is overcoming fear of how to deal with disabled patients, Kosinski said, by having students spend time with the patients and learn about their needs. “It’s patience and understanding,” he said. “Those are the two qualities we’re trying to teach the students.” For their part, patients generally give good feedback, calling the center a dignified and respectful place to be treated, Kosinksi said. “This is for me a dream come true,” he said. “To be able to see the smiles, that’s what makes it all worthwhile, when you can change a person’s life from a dental exam.” While N.Y.U. Dentistry has had about 3,000 appointments annually for people with disabilities, it’s expected the new center will see 8,000 visits the first year and more than 10,000 the second year. Kosinski said, so far, they are on pace to reach the first year’s goal. “I feel like we’re doing the right thing,” he said. “This community has had no voice in the dental community.” August 15, 2019
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PHOTO BY GABE HERMAN
The Bower y Mural Wall continues to feature a rotating selection of ar t.
Strong art: ‘Sector report’ is bullish BY GABE HERMAN
anhattan has for years been getting harder for many artists to live in because of rising prices, as this paper has often covered. But a new report says that the overall arts and cultural sector — both in the city and in Manhattan — is doing well, with good employment numbers and wages. After a request from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the city’s Independent Budget Office released a study this summer showing that from 2014 to 2017, the city’s arts and cultural sector saw employment increases of 2.7 percent, a bit above the overall city average of 2.3 percent. The study included independent artists, but also others, like theaters, theater and dance companies, performing arts and museums. The study found that annual wage growth was also better within arts and cultural groups, at 5.9 percent, versus the city as a whole, at 4.4 percent. The Big Apple had about 3,900 arts and cultural organizations in 2017 and more than 44,000 employees. With total wages of $3.3 billion in the city’s arts and culture sector, the average artist / employee was thus paid $75,183, according to the report, indicating that more than just starving artists were included in the survey. The highest portion of jobs within the sector were
August 15, 2019
PHOTO BY GABE HERMAN
The sculpture “Brick House,” by ar tist Simone Leigh, on the High Line’s newly opened Spur.
in the “Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters” category, which had 26.5 percent of the city’s arts and culture jobs. That was followed by museum jobs, with 22.2 percent of the sector’s employees, and arts promoters with facilities, at 14.8 percent of the jobs. Independent artists, writers and performers were the next biggest group, making up 8 percent of the sector’s jobs. Manhattan is the center of the city’s arts and cultural scene, at least based on the jobs data. The borough had 80.7 percent of the jobs, and 87.7 percent of the sector’s wages. After the report was released, Brewer said of the findings, “Manhattan continues to prove to be a hub of artistic and cultural life, and I am happy to share this good news about the sector’s growing employment and wage levels. “The fact that the arts and cultural sector is growing faster than the citywide average,” Brewer added, “highlights the importance of arts and cultural organizations in our city, not only as a means of entertainment and enrichment, but also as a vital element of our ever-changing economy. “I have always fought for the arts’ place in our city,” she said, “and I hope this data serves to raise more awareness for the role that the arts and cultural sector plays in both our economy and society at large.” Schneps Media
At last, centenarian’s work on view BY GABE HERMAN
new outdoor exhibition at City Hall Park features sculptures by a 104-year-old local artist who has only recently started to get recognition in the art world. Carmen Herrera was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1915, and has lived in New York since the 1950s. She has created abstract paintings for more than 70 years, often focusing on the beauty of straight lines and simple geometric forms. The concepts were influenced by her architecture studies in Havana in the 1930s, according to the exhibition’s curator, Daniel S. Palmer of the Public Art Fund. The artwork in Lower Manhattan is called “Estructuras Monumentales.” It’s the first major exhibition of outdoor sculptures by Herrera, and is based on sketches she started doing in the 1960s. There are five sculptures, each a large work of painted aluminum, each with its own shape and distinct meaning. One piece, “Untitled Estructura (Red),” (1962/2018), features two multisided lines that seem to interconnect and confront each other. The work’s description says it could refer to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the conflict between Herrera’s adopted country of the U.S. and her native Cuba. During the conflict, Herrera and her husband helped loved ones and refugees to escape the conflict. Another piece, “Pavanne,” (1967/2017), while from a distance, looks like one big piece of blue metal, is actually three pieces that interlock together. The work was conceived by Herrera as a tribute to her younger brother,
PHOTO BY GABE HERMAN
“Untitled Estructura (Red),” (1962/2018), by Carmen Herrera.
Mariano, who was dying of cancer. The title references a musical term for a slow processional dance that has funereal overtones. “This is such a special opportunity for us at Public Art Fund to work with an artist like Carmen Herrera,” said the curator Daniel S. Palmer in a Public Art Fund video discussing the exhibition, “to share her powerful work with the entirety of the city and the world.” The five sculptures are spread around in different parts of City Hall Park and will be on view until Nov. 8.
PHOTO BY GABE HERMAN
“Estructura Verde,” (1966/2018), by Carmen Herrera.
PHOTO BY GABE HERMAN
“Amarillo Tres,” (1971/2018), by Carmen Herrera. Schneps Media
August 15, 2019
Vegan fave by CHLOE to Coffee Shop spot BY GABE HERMAN
fter Union Square staple The Coffee Shop closed last October after 28 years in business, a picture has started to form of some of the shops slated to fill the former Brazilian-American restaurant’s space. The ground-floor property, at E. 16th St. and Union Square West, will be split into four retail spaces. One of them will be filled by a new location for by CHLOE, the popular vegan eatery, according to Eater. The interior of by CHLOE will reportedly honor The Coffee Shop’s legacy, including featuring curved banquette seating and an homage to the diner’s neon sign. A fast-casual restaurant, by CHLOE has been expanding a great deal lately, after its first location opened in the Village in 2015, at the corner of Bleecker and MacDougal Sts. That location is still going strong. A bakery offshoot, Sweets by CHLOE, opened the following year next door at 185 Bleecker. The business is expanding glob-
PHOTO BY GABE HERMAN
The first by CHLOE restaurant, at Bleecker and MacDougal Sts., has been popular since opening in 2015.
ally and around the U.S., including six more Manhattan locations. Last week another by CHLOE opened at 1385 Broadway, at W. 38th St., and in October its first takeout-only location will come to Lexington Ave. and E. 54th St., according to Eater. The new Union Square location will reportedly open this December. Another space that was part of The Coffee Shop will become a Chase bank branch. The other two commercial spaces reportedly will be filled by other restaurants, which have not been announced yet. Gail Fox, the former co-chairperson of the Union Square Community Coalition, said she did not understand the need for another Chase bank in the area, unless it was a convenient pop-up size, but that she was pleased with the news about by CHLOE. “I am looking forward to CHLOE’s opening in The Coffee Shop space,” Fox said. “Sounds like they will add vibrancy to the square and will preserve and respect The Coffee Shop memory and artifacts — a themed space, plus tasty vegan.”
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August 15, 2019
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Manhattan Happenings BY MICAEL A MACAGNONE
MUSEUMS “Basquiat’s ‘Defacement’: The Untold Story”:This exhibition takes as its starting point the painting “The Death of Michael Stewart,” informally known as “Defacement,” created by Jean-Michel Basquiat in 1983. The work commemorates the fate of the young black artist Michael Stewart at the hands of New York City Transit police after he allegedly tagged a wall in an East Village subway station. With the painting as its centerpiece, this exhibition examines Basquiat’s exploration of black identity, his protest against police brutality, and his attempts to craft a singular aesthetic language of empowerment. Through Nov. 6. Admission $25 general, $18 students/seniors, paywhat-you-wish Saturdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. At the Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. “Nature” — Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial,co-organized with Cube design museum, presents the work of 62 international design teams. Collaborations involve scientists, engineers, advocates for social and environmental justice, artists and philosophers, engaging with nature in innovative and groundbreaking ways, driven by a profound awareness of climate change and ecological crises, as much as advances in science and technology. On view through Jan. 20. Tours are complimentary with museum admission and take place every Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Adults $16, seniors $10, and students $7. Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. are pay-what-you-wish admission. At The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in Carnegie Mansion, Two E. 91st St.
MOVIES Intrepid Summer Movie Series:The deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid does double duty as an open-air theater for this free summer film series on Fridays throughout the summer. This week, they will have a “community choice pick” for the movie. Admission tickets (free of charge) will be distributed on a firstcome, first-served basis before the show. The flight deck opens at 7 p.m., and the movie begins at sunset, weather permitting. Doors close at 8:30 p.m. Hudson Riverflicks Presents “Big”:After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult. The 1988 flick features Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins and Robert Loggia. Aug. 21, 8:30 p.m., in Hudson River Park at the Pier 63 lawn at W 23rd St. Schneps Media
The focus of the current Cooper Hewitt Triennial is nature.
Metropolitan Opera Summer HD Festival:Opera’s biggest stars get their close-ups on the big screen during the Met’s free HD Festival. Held outdoors in Lincoln Center Plaza, the event brings back nearly a dozen productions from the Met’s “Live in HD” simulcast series. There will also be a pre-festival screening of the Audrey Hepburn film “Funny Face,” with songs by George and Ira Gershwin, on Aug. 23. There are thousands of seats in the plaza — but they do fill up, so grab a good one well before the 8 p.m. start time. A full calender of screenings can be found at https://www.metopera.org.
plus the basics about materials, color mixing and composition. And you get to take home your painting. Supplies are provided and no experience is necessary. Space is limited, so reserve your spot on Eventbrite at painttd.eventbrite. com. Thurs., Aug. 22, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center, at 1 Clarkson St., at Seventh Ave. South. Bryant Park: Moves with Limon Dance:Led by dancers from the worldrenowned Limón Dance Company, this modern dance class is open to all levels and ages. On the northeast corner of the Bryant Park Lawn Saturday mornings this summer, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Summer on the Hudson: FlyNYC:Music and kites fill the air at this festival for all ages. Kite kits are provided free for children (while supplies last), or bring your own favorite kite from home. Sat., Aug. 17, 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m at Pier I in Riverside Park South, West 70th Street .
KIDS Hudson River Park’s Big City Fishing Mondays: Adults and kids ages 5 and up learn how to fish while engaging with trained environmental educators about river science topics. Rods, reels and instruction provided. At Tribeca’s Pier 25 (cross at North Moore St.), at 5 p.m., until Aug. 26.
MUSIC Selena for Sanctuary:Building off the success of last year’s Selena for Sanctuary, a free Selena-themed outdoor concert in support of immigration rights, organizer, artist manager and activist Doris Muñoz is bringing the event to Central Park’s SummerStage for 2019. Muñoz’s dance parties raise funds to help immigrants navigate U.S. immigration policy to set them on the path to citizenship. This year’s headlin-
OUTDOORS 2019 Rooftop Painting Series:Enjoy an outdoor watercolor painting and monotype printmaking workshop at sunset on the rooftop of the Village’s Tony Dapolito Recreation Center. Participants, 18 years of age or older, will learn how to paint from observation, TVG
er is Kali Uchis, a Colombian-American singer with a critically acclaimed debut LP (2018’s “Isolation”) and collaborations with Gorillaz, Juanes and Daniel Caesar. Sun., Aug. 18, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m, at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Emerging Music Festival:Music lovers pack the lawn to hear New York City’s best up-and-coming bands, including indie rock, soul and funk. This event is free and open to the public, with no tickets and no lines. Bring a picnic, if you like. Food and drink are also available for purchase on site. Fri., Aug. 23, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., on the Lawn at Bryant Park. Women of Early Jazz:The Jefferson Market Garden’s last world music concert for the summer features the New York Jazzharmonic Trad-Jazz Sextet presenting the first performance of a new program, “Women of Early Jazz.” The concert will focus on compositions of talented women of the 1920s and ’30s who contributed to the development of American music, but who have been largely forgotten. Among them are Lillian Hardin, wife of and pianist and co-composer with Louis Armstrong and pianist Lovie Austin, plus the still-famous vocalists Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and Ethel Waters. Joining the sextet will be vocalist Queen Esther, who has been performing in the traditional style for many years. Sun., Aug. 18, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Jefferson Market Garden, at Greenwich and Sixth Aves.
August 15, 2019
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Black entrepreneurs ride the StartupBus BY TEQUIL A MINSK Y
he renovated Chase bank on 125th St. buzzed with excitement a few weeks ago when, meeting each other for the first time, 30 young people were about to embark on a remarkable experience. They hailed from New York, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Oakland. During a 72-hour road trip to New Orleans on the StartupBus, this select group of young tech, design and business talent would form a collaborative community to think up, develop and market startup companies. Celebrating its 10th year, StartupBus’s goal is to provide the creative environment to build a real working project and pitch it to potential investors. Seven other similarly filled buses, traveling from all over the country and Mexico, converged in New Orleans, where ideas were pitched The unique StartupBus sponsored by Chase is a project of the company’s Advancing Black Pathways initiative. All selected participants are black and the theme of the bus, co-named Advancing Black Entrepreneurs, was to develop projects that mainly focus on improving black Americans’ financial health. Among the eight New Yorkers, Malorie Casimir, a 26-year-old Brooklynite, took time from her job at Flatiron School — a for-profit business teaching tech skills — to join the 5-day hackathon trip. Casimir graduated from The New School, where she studied opera. After a year working at a startup, she enrolled in Flatiron School’s 15-week intensive Boot Camp, and afterward began a tech career at Flatiron School. “At the very start of the road trip, we pitched ideas to the whole group,” she explained, of how groups formed to work together. In her case, she and another participant had a similar idea, and two others joined with them. Their project, SmallStreet, is a micro-investing platform aimed at facilitating what is known as “buying back the block” — like a Wall Street for small businesses. Along the way, mentors and previous attendees, also aboard the bus, provided their professional insight. Teams pitched their ideas and received feedback while making professional contacts at tech stops in Akron, Detroit, Atlanta and Montgomery. As a computer engineer, Casimir worked on the coding, which came toward the latter part of project development. Did she sleep? Every now and then. In New Orleans, 30 startup teams presented their ideas during the final pitch. SmallStreet did well, finishing as the runner-up in the StartupBus 2019 Competition. And, they also received Schneps Media
PHOTOS BY TEQUILA MINSKY
Contestants before embarking on their bus journey.
Not all just suits! Purple-haired Madelena Mak, Senior National Director of Star tUpBus with National Director Collen Wong give an over view at the reception the night before the bus took off from 125th St.
impressions through social-media postings. So, what do you get from this rolling ride of tech and networking? “Bragging rights!” Casimir exulted. But, it’s more than just that: These techies are serious. Casimir consults with her team once a week, further developing SmallStreet. The project’s projected launch date
Soft ware engineer Malorie Casimir from Brooklyn and par t of the winning project — Small Steet — a platform to help invest in communit y businesses.
the People’s Choice Award. Casimir noted how one member of their team, a marketing pro, attracted 2.8 million CNW
is 2020. The Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Bus also received the Best Bus honor based on overall pitch quality and engagement with the community, with the key measure being social-media impressions generated by the buses. The Advancing Black Entrepreneurs Bus earned a collective 3.5 million impressions. Month x x, 2019
August 15, 2019
August 15, 2019
Still something to Strive for in Harlem BY MARTHA WILKIE
trivers’ Row in Harlem (official name: St. Nicholas Historic District) is a late-19th-century set of row houses famed for its elegant architecture and unified facades. Located on 138th and 139th Sts., between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass boulevards, this enclave was home to notable AfricanAmerican figures, such as Adam Clayton Powell Jr. — back when the adjacent boulevard was plain old Seventh Ave. Famed architects such as Stanford White designed the striking area in different architectural styles. The original developer restricted it to “whites only,” but he went bankrupt, and by 1919, the Equitable Life Insurance Company opened it up to people of color. “Prevented from buying these houses made them irresistibly attractive to African-Americans who had been told the houses were too ‘good’ for them,” said Michael Henry Adams, author of “Harlem: Lost and Found, an Architectural and Social History.” “When Robert Moses wanted to demolish Strivers’ Row in the 1930s, the homeowners — mostly black by this time — universally protested the destruction of their homes.” Michael Henry Adams knows Harlem. Trained in historic preservation at Columbia, he conducts tours in Harlem and writes; his next book will be “Homo Harlem: Lesbian and Gay Life in the African-American Cultural Capital.” As lovely as Strivers’ Row is, it’s a challenge to maintain the original level of unity. “Strivers’ Row has been diminished in recent years,” Adams said, “by ineffective regulation by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to ensure that the unifying elements are maintained, as opposed to the natural impulse that many have to give their homes individual character. Also important is how it’s been misinterpreted. Signs refer to horses, imply-
The elegant facade of 250 W. 139th St.
This sumptuously renovated Strivers’ Row five-bedroom is on the market for $4.25 million.
August 15, 2019
ing a stable once stood in the service alleys behind the houses.” Here are two listings on Strivers’ Row and two more in Harlem: A row house at 246 W. 139th St. is on the market, featuring a nicely renovated kitchen and bathrooms, roof deck and rare private garage. Four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths. $3 million. Right nearby, at 250 W. 139th St., a sumptuously renovated five-bedroom, five-bath row house with
windows on three sides is also up for sale. $4.25 million. Also in Harlem, at 171 E. 117th St., a rental with two decorative fireplaces, three bedrooms, and one bath is asking $3,250 a month. For sale in West Harlem, at 537 W. 133rd St., is a two-bedroom, one-bath, with an affordable price (and income restrictions) and a newly renovated kitchen, for $269,000.
Preservationists decry Tech Hub, again BY ALEJANDR A O’CONNELLDOMENECH
embers of the Village’s leading preservation group protested the 14th St. Tech Hub, during its groundbreaking ceremony earlier this month. Village Preservation has repeatedly decried the development of the Union Square Tech Training Center, at 124 E. 14th St., arguing that promised protective measures should have been implemented and that the project is an extension of “Midtown South” and “Silicon Alley” into the Village. The preservation society is also calling for an investigation into what it calls a “sweetheart deal” for RAL, the project’s developers. “Rather than a cause for celebration, the groundbreaking ceremony for the 14th St. Tech Hub calls for serious examination of the corrupt process which led to its approval and the sweetheart deal it had to several donors to the mayor,” the preservation group said in a statement. “This sad saga is rife with broken commitments and promises made by both the mayor and Councilmember Carlina Rivera regarding protections and mitigations for the surrounding neighborhood,” the statement added. During her 2017 City Council cam-
COURTESY VILLAGE PRESERVATION
Activists with Village Preser vation protested at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Union Square Tech Hub on E. 14th St.
paign, Rivera expressed support for the Tech Hub, but only provided the city enact some zoning measures to protect the surrounding area from what the preservationists warned would be an ongoing surge of commercial and residential development. Yet, last August,
the City Council unanimously approved the Tech Hub without protections or height caps for the surrounding area. After the groundbreaking, Village Preservation released a report outlining information found via Freedom of Information Law requests that reveal
lower rent payments for RAL than the site’s previous tenant. According to the records, RAL is set to pay around $5 million for the first three years it occupies the property, or about $1.6 million a year. For the following five years, the developer would pay $2.3 million a year. The previous tenant, PC Richard & Son, paid $1.7 million annually for a two-story building. Other documents in the report show the city has no written record of why RAL was selected to take on the project over other bidders that did ask for an upzoning request, allowing for the creation of more commercial office space. In 2015, RAL made a least a $10,000 contribution to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s nonprofit Campaign for One New York, according to the New York Post. The Union Square Tech Training Center is scheduled to open by 2020. The 21-story building will include a digital-skills training space operated by nonprofit Civic Hall, in addition to a co-working space for startups and established tech companies alike. One floor will have space for community organizations, as well as a food hall, retail spaces, and small businesses, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation.
It Pays to Check with Us Flushing Bank rewards new Complete Checking accounts with a $10 Starbucks® gift card and up to $100.
Open a new Flushing Bank Complete Checking account and you will be eligible to receive a $10 Starbucks gift card1 and up to $100.2,3 Plus, all new Complete Checking accounts can get a CASH BONUS up to $200.2,4 For more information, visit your local Flushing Bank branch (locations in Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and on Long Island), speak with a Flushing Bank representative at 800.581.2889 (855.540.2274 TTY/TDD), or go to www.FlushingBank.com.
Small enough to know you. Large enough to help you.® Effective August 2, 2019. 1) Limit one (1) Starbucks gift card per new Complete Checking account, minimum opening balance of $1,000 or more required. Starbucks is not a sponsor or participant of this promotion. 2) New Complete Checking account with new money only. Existing checking account customers are not eligible. A new checking account is deﬁned as any new checking account that does not have any authorized signatures in common with any other existing Flushing Bank checking account(s). An existing checking customer is deﬁned as anyone who currently has or has had a Flushing Bank checking account within the last 24 months. New money is deﬁned as money not currently on deposit with Flushing Bank. 3) The Cash Bonus is limited to one (1) account credit per new Complete Checking account. To qualify for the Cash Bonus, a new Complete Checking account must be opened with a minimum opening balance of $1,000 or more. The Cash Bonus credit will be based on the monthly average account balance of the ﬁrst three (3) full months after account opening. The monthly average account balance tiers and respective account credits are as follows: Tier 1: $1,000 - $4,999 a $10 account credit, Tier 2: $5,000 - $9,999 a $50 account credit, Tier 3: $10,000+ a $100 account credit. The Cash Bonus credit will be posted to the account on or about the end of the subsequent month following the account’s three (3) month anniversary. A 1099 will be issued in the amount of the account credit. The new Complete Checking account must remain open, active and in good standing for six months. If the account is closed prior to six months or prior to receiving the credit, the account credit will be forfeited. Other fees and restrictions may apply. Notwithstanding the Cash Bonus offer, a minimum deposit of $25 is required to open the Complete Checking account. 4) This offer is limited to one Complete Checking account per household. Minimum deposit required to open a new Complete Checking account is $25. No minimum balance required to be eligible for the Bonus. Direct Deposit– You will receive $100 for signing up for and receiving a recurring direct deposit. Each direct deposit must be $250 or more. Tax refund checks do not qualify as direct deposit. Direct Deposits must be completed prior to 90 days after the account is opened. Debit Card Purchases – You will receive $50 for the completion of 5 debit card purchases. Each debit card purchase must be $25 or more. Online Banking bill payments – You will receive $50 for completing 5 online banking bill payments via Flushing Bank’s Online Banking portal. Each online bill pay must be $25 or more. Debit Card Purchases and Online Banking bill payments must be completed prior to 60 days after the account is opened. THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT ANY CUSTOMER CAN RECEIVE IS $200. The compensation will be credited to the checking account on or about the end of the month following the completion of the above qualifying transactions within the required time after account opening. A 1099 will be issued in the amount credited to your account. Other fees and restrictions may apply. The promotion and offer are subject to change and termination without prior notice at any time. Flushing Bank is a registered trademark
August 15, 2019
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August 15, 2019
August 15, 2019