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Flood devastates Church St. School, family, businesses ‰ ‰ It’s all shop talk at new Tribeca networking breakfasts Kids looked toward ‘Tomorrow’ on the I.S. 276 stage
Vol. 20 No. 8
THE TRIB’S ANNUAL
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL PREVIEW
Roman Polanski’s “Venus in Fur” will have its North American premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.
APRIL 2014 THE TRIBECA TRIB
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THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
TRIBECA TRIB For the city’s sake, Remembering Anthony Camera save 67 Vestry St.
VOLUME 20 ISSUE 8 APRIL 2014
National Newspaper Association First & 2nd Place, Breaking News Story, 2013 Second & 3rd Place, Feature Story, 2013 Third Place, Web Site, 2013 First Place, Feature Photo, 2012 Second Place, Local News Coverage, 2011 New York Press Association Second Place, News Story, 2013 Second Place, Special Section, 2012 First Place, Education Coverage, 2011 First Place, Photographic Excellence, 2011 CUNY IPPIE AWARDS Second Place, Best Photograph, 2012
PUBLISHER A PRIL K ORAL APRIL @ TRIBECATRIB . COM EDITOR C ARL G LASSMAN CARLG @ TRIBECATRIB . COM ASSOCIATE EDITOR A MANDA W OODS AMANDA @ TRIBECATRIB . COM ASSISTANT EDITOR/LISTINGS E LIZABETH M ILLER ELIZABETH @ TRIBECATRIB . COM ADVERTISING DIRECTOR D ANA S EMAN DANA @ TRIBECATRIB . COM CONTRIBUTORS OLIVER E. ALLEN THEA GLASSMAN JULIET HINDELL BARRY OWENS NATHALIE RUBENS CONNIE SCHRAFT ALLAN TANNENBAUM
To the Editor: To Landmarks Preservation people the word façade is not pejorative; the façade of a building, the face it shows the public, is part of the character of a neighborhood. The grand old building at 67 Vestry, mostly populated by artists and now threatened by the developer’s axe, is part of the façade of New York. To the hundreds of thousands of people who move along the Hudson—on foot, by bike, by ships large and small—little remains of the New York of my youth, let alone the nineteenth century. Except for 67 Vestry and one or two others, the visitor sees only a string of glass-and-steel buildings—a couple of architectural interest, the rest not at all. We may as well be in Houston. But we aren’t in Houston. We’ve chosen to live in New York because we understood it to be a place that values beauty, culture and history. The city could go a long way toward proving that by saving 67 Vestry. John Jiler
COPY EDITOR J ESSICA R AIMI TO PLACE AN AD Print ads for The Tribeca Trib are due by the 18th of the month. Ads received later are accepted on a space-available basis. For prices, go to “Advertising” at tribecatrib.com or email Dana Seman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information about online ads can also be found on our website. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Trib welcomes letters, but they are published at the discretion of the editor. When necessary, we edit letters for length and clarity. Send letters to email@example.com. TO SUBSCRIBE Subscriptions are $50 for 11 issues. Send payment to The Tribeca Trib, 401 Broadway, Rm. 500, New York, NY 10013. The Tribeca Trib is published monthly (except August) by The Tribeca Trib, Inc., 401 Broadway, Rm. 500, New York, N.Y. 10013 tribecatrib.com, 212-219-9709.
An article in the May, 2013, issue of the Trib that recalled Battery Park City when it was “the beach” misidentified the photographer of the above photo. It was taken by Howard Ires.
Anthony Camera, a former Tribeca resident who flew pigeons from a roof in Brooklyn, was featured in the Trib in November, 2002. To the Editor: April Koral wrote a terrific feature on my wife’s uncle 12 years ago. Just wanted to let you know that Anthony Camera passed away on March 11 at the age of 93. April captured his kindness, humor and simplicity in this piece, for which we are grateful. Anthony lived in Tribeca up until a few years ago, moving to Delaware to be close to his nephew due to failing health. Your article was framed and in his room when he passed. Rick Gillespie
Too many parking spaces taken over by gov’t workers
To the Editor: Over the past few years almost all parking spaces in Tribeca and FiDi between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Monday to Friday have been taken over by government employees. Hundreds of vehicles park on our streets bearing plastic notices placed on the dashboards saying such things as: Official Business Office of the Comptroller, Official Business Office of the Attorney General, Federal Enforcement: This Vehicle Is on Official Business, Administration for Children’s Services, and many others. I realize that the government employees are more important than the rest of us and I fully understand that they should be permitted to park here while we cannot. I understand that city employees should not be forced to take public transportation. They deserve to commute by car and park for free in our neighborhood while the rest of us take public transportation. I do not own a car, almost never take a taxi, and manage to get around New York quite rapidly. Why can’t they take public transport? Within three blocks of City Hall are 11 subway lines! There are also many buses.
These privileged parking permit holders even park on Broadway next to City Hall, taking away a lane in the most congested part of Broadway where an extra lane on the east side of Broadway for traffic turning left onto the Brooklyn Bridge would be very helpful. All these privileged government employees not only cause a lot of congestion, they also add to our air pollution. Much of the time the spaces reserved for loading and unloading trucks are used by government employees with these special parking privileges. This interferes with local business. I recommend that Mayor de Blasio take away most of these special parking privileges, insist that his city employees take public transportation like the rest of us, have the police ticket cars with expired permits or parked in zones reserved for trucks loading and unloading, eliminate all parking for everyone on Broadway between Chambers and Vesey Street—and provide more parking spaces for local residents. Gordon Bowling
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Devastation by Water on Warren St. 4
APRIL 2014 THE TRIBECA TRIB
BY NATHALIE RUBENS
It took just one small electrical fire on a Saturday evening late last month to upend the lives of a family, a fledgling small business and a school. Extension cords sparked a fire March 22 in a thirdfloor apartment at 72 Warren St., according to Fire Department spokesman Frank Dwyer. The fire set off the unit’s sprinkler system and even before firemen arrived, water was pouring into the spaces below. Water gushed for hours into the second-floor loft where Katherine Hill and Marco Moretti have lived and worked for 20 years. The destructive downpour continued into the mezzanine administrative offices of the Church Street School for Music & Art, and then onto the ground floor where Val Chen had only recently opened Stitched Tribeca, her crafts store, workspace and gallery.
On the night of the fire and flood, water can be seen on the outside of 72 Warren St., coming from the third floor.
Family Loses Both a Home And a Business, All at Once
Dwyer, the FDNY spokesman, described thirdfloor apartment 3E, where the fire began, as a “Collyers’ Mansion,” a reference to the home of the famed hoarding brothers in the 1940s. It is a term that firefighters use to describe a dwelling so packed with clutter that it is a danger to the occupants and emergency responders. The tenant of the apartment, Tom Brigham, could not be reached for comment. Asked about the fire and flooding, Charles Karp, the building manager of 72 Warren, replied, “I only have one thing to say to you. The cause is under investigation and we had some water damage and the insurance companies are working out who’s going to pay for what.” Following are three stories of loss and uncertain futures for those struck by the downpour of that Saturday night.
Marco Moretti was inside the family’s second-floor apartment with his 13year-old son, Lorenzo, that night when, a little after 8 p.m., they were startled by what they said sounded like a waterfall. “When we heard the sound of the water on the window and on the air conditioner, the first thing that we thought [was] there was a tempest or something,” Moretti recalled as he stood among the piles of drenched belongings and work equipment that were stacked everywhere. Moretti said he then walked to the front of the loft and found it under about six inches of water. Until that night, Moretti and his wife, Katherine Hill, had been running a communications and branding company, FDT Design, out of their loft. Now they and their son are at once homeless and out of work. Their vagabond status has led them to spend a few nights in local hotels and depend on the kindness of friends to put them up until they can find temporary housing that they can afford. The landlord, they say, is planning to make the apartment liveable again but that could take at least six months.
Hill said this disaster came on the heels of already difficult recent years for the business. “We’re destitute now,” she said. I don’t know how we’re going to rebuild.” The family does not have renter’s insurance, Hill said, and will likely not be able to stay in the neighborhood where they have lived since 1994. The brown water that poured through the ceilings and into the apartment damaged about two-thirds of the live/work loft space, as well as many of the family’s belongings, including the business’s computers, monitors, printers, shelves of books, their son’s mattress and even the family’s shoes. “It’s as if a swimming pool dropped into our home,” Hill said. As for work, Hill said, “We’re basically out of business now.” Their son Lorenzo is living with friends who opened up their home so he could regain some sense of normalcy. “He’s traumatized,” Hill said of him. “We are all trying to keep it together.” The family has started the Hill-Moretti Family Fire Fund at www.gofundme.com/hillfire.
Val Chen, a Battery Park City resident, opened Stitched Tribeca, her crafts shop and gallery, in the storefront space at 72 Warren this past October. The new business, she said, was just starting to gain momentum in workshops, sewing classes and summer camp enrollment when the flooding brought it all to a halt. When the Trib visited Chen in the empty storefront a few days after the fire, she had removed all the soaked textiles and art, thrown out all the destroyed goods and found herself alone among the bare walls and shelves of what had been her new store. “Honestly, it was like someone slamming the door on my coffin,” said Chen, who tried hard to salvage as many of her yarns, fabric and textile samples as possible and, more than anything, the artists’ wares she was retailing on consignment.
All her dampened sewing machines and any goods she managed to save have been laid out to dry in her living room. At least, she said, she was able to salvage eight rag dolls that a group of girls was working on. She plans to deliver them to the children personally. Chen expects that the ceiling and walls will have to be replaced, but she can’t say how long it will take or whether she will be able to start over. “Can my store be what I originally envisioned it? I don’t know,” she said. “This was the time that the business was about to ramp up.” The World Trade Art Gallery, 74 Trinity Pl., hosts a Stitched Tribeca “Knit-Along” on April 5 and April 12 from noon to 3 p.m. Come to knit or just say hello. For more information, go to www.stitchedtribeca.com.
A New Store Owner’s Dreams Are Washed Away CARL GLASSMAN
Katherine Hill, Marco Moretti and son Lorenzo among the stacked remains of their office.
Val Chen in what had been her Stitched Tribeca, now cleared of its water-damaged goods.
At Church Street School, Offices Flooded from Above
THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
Lisa Ecklund-Flores, co-founder and director of the Church Street School for Music & Art, was at home with her husband, Jon Flores, in Tarrytown that evening when the phone rang and they got the news. They arrived at the school around 10:30 p.m. “I knew it was water, but I didn’t know it was going to be pouring down like Niagara Falls,” she said. “It was devastating to see all of this water falling on top of our computers, on top of our desks, on top of our important papers.” The school, which houses its administrative offices on the mezzanine level of 72 Warren Street below the HillMoretti apartment and next door to its main building, was in complete disarray the week after flood. As Ecklund-Flores and others cleaned up and dehumidifiers hummed, debris lay scattered on desks (including over much of the paperwork from last month’s benefit), and computers and musical instruments had been set out to dry. An air conditioning unit hung precariously by a single bracket near a gaping hole in the ceiling that revealed the floor of the family’s loft above. Downstairs, in the performance space, staff worked at desks in a makeshift office. Amid the water damage that the
school is still assessing are several guitars, an electric piano, all the phones, printers, a dozen computers and associated keyboards and monitors. “I’m really concerned about the music, because some of those scores are really expensive, and I’ve got a whole bookshelf filled with music,” EcklundFlores said. Even more painfully personal are the damaged paintings, artwork and other belongings of Susan Duncan, the school’s former associate director, who died of cancer in 2009. “I’ve always kept her all around me by keeping her stuff all around me,” Ecklund-Flores said, speaking through the mask that she makes sure to wear while sorting through the wet items. Despite the improvised look of the temporary office space, classes and performances were running as usual the week after the flood. “There’s a little bit of this scrappy do-or-die attitude at Church Street School that’s got us through a lot of fixes,” Ecklund-Flores said. This month, the Church Street School will hold fundraising events dedicated to its recovery. To make a direct donation to the school’s Office Recovery Fund, go to www.churchstreetschool.org.
PHOTOS BY CARL GLASSMAN
Above: Lisa Ecklund-Flores removes valuable collections of classical compositions from her office. “I’m trying to preserve this music by getting it out of here,” she said. “And we’ll see. I don’t know.” Left: She points to the ceiling where water had poured through. “This is ready to go,” she said.
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APRIL 2014 THE TRIBECA TRIB
THE LONG HALL
NEW GRACE PATROL YORKER LIBERTY
Pier A’s Coming Mega-Center of Dining, Drinking Historic Pier A, for decades the victim of neglect and disrepair, will return to life in June as a mega-eating and drinking complex, including multiple bars, restaurants, a lounge, a tourist information center and a gallery of historical photos. The man in charge of the interior transformation of this 32,000-square-foot shell of a building is Danny McDonald, a 48-year-old bar designer and native of Ireland. Starting life in New York as a 17-year-old bartender, he has gone on to design numerous bars and restaurants, including Harry’s, Ulysses and Grace, all owned by the Poulakakos family, the lease holders for Pier A. McDonald said he took pains to give the 126-yearold pier a vintage look, from a collection of 170 retrofitted steamship pressure gauges that will glow above the long first floor to the Gilded Age-style stained glass above the main lobby. McDonald even helped name the rooms, most evoking the harbor’s history. “It’s a delight to stay very close to the story of this pier,” McDonald said. “All you have to do is re-tell it and pay it the historical respect that it deserves.” Trib reporter Amanda Woods toured the unfinished interior with McDonald, and here is what he says is coming. THE GALLERY
This is the main entrance, one of 10 entrances into the building. In the floor, a large letter “A,” made of military steel, is embedded in the concrete floor. The entrance is lit by hand-made Bevolo glass and steel lighting fixtures. Historical photos will hang on the wall. INFORMATION CENTER
Visitors can get information provided by the
dining room. He plans to hang 170 antique pressure gauges from the ceiling. The dials of the round gauges, once belonging to 19th-century steamships, will be retrofitted to light up from the inside. (“If it happened to be St. Patrick’s Day, we might give them a little bit of green tint.”) The wooden ceiling will be new but, like much of the pier’s interior, will be made to look as old as the pier itself. “When you walk in,” McDonald says, “it’s going to feel like this could have been here all along.”
Oysters will be served throughout the Long Hall and shucked and steamed at five stations of the oyster bar. At the far west end of this area are the winding stairs that lead to the clock tower. The stairs, not legal for their intended use, will become a glass-enclosed refrigerated “wine tower” three stories high. “It’s going to be one of a kind,” McDonald says. CARL GLASSMAN
Pier A is a 126-year-old landmark that had long been in a state of decay. Its renovation was overseen by the Battery Park City Authority.
Downtown Alliance, with additional material from the South Street Seaport Museum. LOBBY TO THE SECOND FLOOR
Elevator and glass staircase take visitors to the second floor, with a glass opening to the staircase. McDonald calls this section “a tribute to the Gilded Age—the 1880s and 1890s—with a high level of stained wood finish and stained glass on the ceiling.” He says the area is meant to invite people upstairs, to let them see that Pier A “is not just about downstairs. There’s also a second level.” THE LONG HALL
This room is true to its name and, along with the Oyster Bar at the other end, can hold more than 600 people. McDonald pictures 200 to 300 drinking and eating customers in the informal setting of Pier A’s largest
THE COMMISSIONER’S ROOM
This room, with its original teak walls, was the setting for Don Corleone’s office in “Godfather II.” “It’s that kind of place you say to the guy at the door, ‘We’re going to be three for the parlor,’” says McDonald. The bar can hold 50 people and opens onto a balcony with a view of the harbor.
THE FOUR DINING ROOMS
There are four private rooms on this floor—Grace,
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THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
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Bar designer Danny McDonald in Pier A’s first floor, next to what will be an oyster bar and shucking stations. The vast floor can hold more than 600 people.
Patrol, New Yorker and Liberty—each named with a local historical reference in mind. THE GALLEY
This is an open kitchen with three chef’s tables. McDonald says it’s the only part of the pier that is designed with a contemporary rather than historical look. There is sizable wall space to hang contemporary art from the Hudson Valley. “Why not celebrate local artists?” he asks rhetorically. THE STATEROOM
Next to the “galley” is a dining room that will have six tables (including one in the galley) but can also seat up to 60 people together.
“It becomes one huge dining table right in the center of the room, which is great,” McDonald said. “You don’t get to do that every day.” THE HARRISON ROOM
This bar will have a big stained glass window with the letter “A,” a visible feature of the building’s exterior. The room provides an unusual view up West Street to 1 World Trade Center.
THIRD LEVEL (Not shown)
“THE LOFT” EVENT SPACE
The third level runs about a third of the length of the pier building and contains a large room for a wide variety of special events.
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'Dear Thief…' Victim of Jewelry Theft Pens a Letter to the Perp APRIL 2014 THE TRIBECA TRIB
LANCE LAPPIN SALON TriBeCa PHOTO MARCO MICHELUS, EXTENSIONS NICOLE PARKINSON, MAKE-UP JV GALINDO
PHOTOS BY CARL GLASSMAN
Cass Lilien continues making jewelry in her Harrison Street shop, with a note to the store’s burglar posted in the window. She estimated the losses at $20,000.
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BY AMANDA WOODS On the storefront window of her tiny Harrison Street jewelry store and studio, Cass Lilien posted a letter last month that begins, “Dear Thief.” The letter was a plea to the burglar who broke into her Tribeca store during the night of March 13 and stole more
understand how your thoughtless crime affected me,” she told the burglar. “This was not a crime against a big insurance company but an artist and small business owner.” Lilien reported to the police that she left her shop on March 13 around 6:15 p.m. When she returned the next day a little after noon, she found that an assortment of jewelry— including designer bangle bracelets, a gold chain with diamonds, a London topaz ring and a cameo ring—were gone. The glass cabinet once filled with many jewelry pieces is now empty. And 10 necklaces that once hung around the neck of a bust were missing. Jewelry case in Cass Lilien's shop that was emptied by the thief. But jewelry on the than $20,000 worth of rings and neck- rest of the shelf was untouched. laces. “Please do the right thing and “I don’t think they wanted to spend return it, no questions asked,” the letter any time in the window,” Lilien said. reads. Police interviewed residents in the Lilien said she penned the note after apartments above her store but said they a customer saw how upset she was and had no leads. said the thief probably walks by her shop Since Lilien posted the letter, many every day. Writing to the perpetrator passersby have come in, telling her they would lift her spirits, the customer told are sorry about the burglary. her. Meanwhile, she struggles to process “I did it, and it’s goofy, but it made the loss. me feel way better,” said Lilien, 48, “I worked really hard to create a realstanding beside her little workspace in ly special atmosphere and a nice experithe closet-sized shop at 24 Harrison St. ence when you come in here,” she said, “I don’t know why.” “and it feels like some of that got taken “I hope you read this so you can away from me.”
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NEWS THROUGH THE MONTH AT TRIBECATRIB.COM
THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
Counterclockwise from below: Thousands of Orthodox Jews fill designated areas for blocks along Water Street, with elder rabbis seated near the podium at Old Slip; a boy in the crowd on Fulton Street; a son looks to his father during prayers; women pray together on Pearl Street. Women also filled a segregated area on Water Street.
BY NATALIE RUBENS PHOTOS BY CARL GLASSMAN ens of thousands of religious men, women and children flooded into the Financial District and Seaport last month in prayer and protest. Transforming the neighborhood into a sea of wide-brimmed black hats and long black coats, the ultra-Orthodox Jews came to demonstrate against legislation in Israel that would require members of religious communities to be drafted into Israel’s armed forces. “We are here to make a strong scream to God that we want things to change,” said Moishe Cohen from Lakewood, NJ. The gathering was more massive prayer service than protest, with not a single slogan-bearing sign seen anywhere among the demonstrators who jammed onto closed-off Water Street, from Broad to Fulton. Those designated areas for the rally filled to capacity, forcing thousands to pray along nearby Pearl Street or in alleyways, women always across the street from the men. On closed-off Fulton Street, too, men stood shoulder to shoulder for blocks. Some perched on hydrants, others on the climbing equipment in Pearl Street Park. Rabbis and elders from multiple sects of the usually fragmented Orthodox Jewish community stood on a platform at Water Street and Old Slip, their amplified plaintive prayers heard blocks away. The demonstration echoed a rally held March 2 in Jerusalem, where an
PRAYER AS PROTEST THOUSANDS OF ULTRA-ORTHODOX JEWS COME DOWNTOWN FOR A MASS SPIRITUAL RALLY
estimated 300,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews gathered for mass prayer against a new conscription law. The law was later passed, repealing the longstanding exemption from military service for ultra-Orthodox Jews registered in a seminary, or yeshiva. This segment of the population makes up approximately 10 percent of the 8 million Israelis. All other Israeli men are required to serve three years in the mili-
tary (women two years) from age 18. “This development is both deeply dismaying and profoundly shocking, an affront to the world Jewish community and to the honor of Hashem’s (God’s) name,” one of the prayer leaders said at the conclusion of the service. One of the marshals, Alexander Rapaport of Brooklyn, said he came to “share in the anguish with those who feel intimidated in the Holy Land.”
“This is a protest against Israeli law that would imprison Jews who want to study,” added demonstrator Yitz Farkas. Not everyone, however, was protesting a new conscription law. One man came out “to pray for the general situation in the Middle East and in America,” he said, “and get a little help from above.” Watch the audio-slide show at tribecatrib.com.
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APRIL 2014 THE TRIBECA TRIB
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305 CHURCH STREET March 23, 10:50 p.m. During the night, someone stole a safe containing $400, a petty cash box and assorted documents from a basement office at Los Americanos Restaurant. When an employee returned the following morning, the office door was wide open. Police found no signs of forced entry. Officers discovered an article of clothing covering a surveillance camera in the office. 14 WALL STREET March 19, 6:10 p.m. A woman at Equinox Gym left her locker unlocked when she went to the bathroom. When she returned, she discovered that her purse, Louis Vuitton makeup bag, BlackBerry, iPad, MetroCard, passport and debit card had been taken.
10 BARCLAY STREET March 19, 6:30 p.m. A man parked his Mercedes-Benz sedan. When he returned an hour later, the rear window was broken and a laptop worth $2,000 was missing from the back seat. 8 SPRUCE STREET March 17, 9:45 p.m. A 19-year-old woman said that a 21year-old man she knew from work visited her 30th-floor apartment with his friends at 10 p.m. Sunday and stayed until 4 a.m. Monday. When the woman’s parents returned that evening, her mother discovered that one of her drawers had been tampered with, and that a blue topaz ring, a Venetian glass necklace, white stone earrings and 22 other pieces of jewelry, plus a $100 American Express gift card, were gone. Police arrested Jamar Allah, 21, and Lemon Abdoulie, 19, for allegedly stealing the jewelry, worth a total of $36,500. The other alleged thieves were still at large.
345 BROADWAY March 16, 1:25 a.m. A man used a pipe to smash the glass door and break into the Prime Essentials drugstore, where he stole $540 from the cash registers.
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77 WARREN STREET March 15, 11 p.m. A man left his jacket unattended at the Warren 77 NYC Bar. The next morning, when he awoke in the Cosmopolitan Hotel where he was staying, he discovered that his BlackBerry and credit and debit cards were missing from the jacket pocket. Unauthorized charges totaling about $1,000 had been made on his card. 59 PEARL STREET March 15, 6 p.m. A thief stole a wallet from a woman’s handbag, which she left unattended on
the bar at Ulysses NYC when she went to the bathroom. The wallet contained IDs, a driver’s license and credit and debit cards.
SIXTH AVENUE & WEST BROADWAY March 12, 11:15 p.m. A thief snatched a woman’s cell phone from her hand on the A train and attempted to flee at the Canal Street station. The victim and a bystander chased the man before he was caught by police. Wamisho Dimore, 17, was arrested. 47 BROADWAY March 7, 11 p.m. A woman attending a party at China Chalet went to retrieve her coat, iPad and MacBook Pro from the coat check to find they were missing. The Norma Kamali coat and the iPad were worth $800 each and the computer was valued at $1,200.
160 FRONT STREET March 6, 4 p.m. A thief made off with two spools of fiber optic cable worth $4,300 from the roof of an apartment building. 127 PEARL STREET March 4, 6:45 p.m. Someone swiped a 30-year-old man’s backpack containing a Lenovo laptop, worth $1,800, and a passport from the Killarney Rose bar. The man said that he placed the backpack on the floor and walked away. When he returned 20 minutes later, it was gone. 76 CHAMBERS STREET March 3, 2:15 p.m. A woman’s purse was stolen from the back of her chair at the Blue Spoon Coffee Co. Police recovered the purse in a garbage can outside the cafe, but the woman’s wallet, containing $1,650 and two credit cards, was missing. 111 JOHN STREET March 2, 11:30 p.m. Three men attacked a 19-year-old 7Eleven employee, slapping his face and the back of his head while demanding his wallet. The perps fled empty-handed. The victim suffered a laceration on his eye, requiring stitches. Minutes later at Pine and William streets, the three perpetrators allegedly punched a 22-year-old man in the face, displayed a knife and snatched his wallet. Arthur Rowland, 21, and Rosendo Mendoza, 24, were charged with robbery in the first degree and attempted robbery in the second degree. The other assailant got away.
5 DEY STREET March 1, 2 p.m. Someone took a Brazilian tourist’s bag that she had left on the back of her chair in Aroma Cafe. The bag contained $1,000 and a camera valued at $500.
In CB1 Hot Seat Over Late-Night Partying
THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
Spring Studios Rep Promises No Repeat of Agreement-Breaking Incident
BY NATHALIE RUBENS With a hand over his heart and a humble look in his eye, David Hemphill, manager of the neighborhood newcomer Spring Studios, stood apologetically last month before Community Board 1 members and neighbors. He was there to assure them that the behemoth 150,000square-foot operation at 50 Varick will indeed behave. The U.K.-based production studio and advertising agency had been in an awkward position following a Super Bowl party fiasco that pumped loud music onto the streets until 2:30 a.m. in early February. The event caused some on the board to reconsider its advisory approval of a liquor license, still pending before the State Liquor Authority. Residents living near the facility also had complained of black town cars blocking traffic lanes, bright lights emanating from the building and loud delivery loading on Varick Street. All this flew in the face of a long list of stringent stipulations agreed upon by both Spring Studios and CB1 representatives last spring. “We certainly didn’t do that for our health, and have every intention of following everything to the letter,” Hemphill told CB1’s Tribeca Committee. Busy with Fashion Week last month, Hemphill was not at the February committee meeting when a Spring Studios representative was reprimanded for the late-night incident. While some members remained peeved at Hemphill’s noted absence at the February meeting, the CB1 committee overall appeared to take the manager
Spring Studios has dimmed construction lights following complaints. Right: David Hemphill speaks to CB1’s Tribeca Committee.
at his word, and agreed not to amend or rescind its support of the license. No more events, third-party or private, are scheduled to take place until construction of the studios is finished, in July at the earliest, according to Hemphill. Not everyone in the room was reassured by Hemphill’s promises that a liquor license for Spring Studios—and therefore full control of what goes on there—would mean neighborhood peace. “Upon completion, all bets are off and I don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Paul Barenholtz, a resident whose apartment looks out at Spring
With Liquor License at Risk, Megu Says Promoter-Run Parties Will Be No More
BY AMANDA WOODS Four months before their liquor license would be up for renewal, two representatives of the 100-seat Japanese restaurant Megu New York, at 62 Thomas St., stood before Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee and received a stern warning. Stop the latenight drinking—beyond the allowable hours of their liquor license—or risk losing their license altogether. Two frustrated neighbors told the committee at their March meeting that drunken and noisy crowds congregate outside Megu and on surrounding blocks, depriving the residents of sleep. John Willenbecher, who lives half a block away on West Broadway, said that he once went outside at 3:30 a.m. to confront Megu’s bouncer about the problem. Willenbecher told of a confrontation with the bouncer. “I said this was a residential street where many people live and, at this hour, sleep. He shoved me and told me, ‘If you don’t like it, move to
another neighborhood.’ As I left, I saw someone throwing up on a fire hydrant.” Megu’s liquor license only allows the establishment to serve alcohol until 11:30 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday, and until midnight on Friday and Saturday. Peter Braus, the chair of the Tribeca committee, asked the Megu representatives if they serve alcohol past those hours. “Serving alcohol is up to midnight, but people tend to stay a little longer,” said one of two Megu representatives, a woman, who stood before the committee with their lawyer Frank Palillo. (The restaurant representatives did not give their names to the committee and declined to give them to reporters.) “So they stay until three in the morning with no alcohol?” Braus countered. “That seems difficult to believe. Is [Willenbecher] just wrong? That these parties are not going till that late?” The woman hesitated, then responded, “As far as we are concerned, we are
Studios from across the Holland Tunnel rotary. Others had come to support Spring Studios. One of them was Edgar Pereira of the Chinese-American Planning Council, located on St. John’s Lane, the alley directly behind Spring. Pereira noted that the alley used to be dirty and poorly lit. “Since they’ve moved in, we’ve seen a 180-degree turnaround,” Pereira said. He thanked Spring Studios for sending crews to clean up the alley, donating planters and providing summer internship opportunities for their youth. Hemphill tried to assure the committee that once construction is completed,
noise from deliveries will no longer be a problem and traffic during events will be controlled by paid off-duty uniformed police. In the meantime, he said, they have been dimming the lights in the huge windows. Every event that has been part of Spring Studios’ “soft opening” has been a learning experience, he said, with the late-night Super Bowl party apparently the most instructive of them all. “It was a mistake and something that will not be repeated again.” “We appreciate that,” replied Committee Chair Peter Braus. “And trust it won’t.”
Two representatives from Megu, right, did not identify themselves and said little during their appearance before CB1.
not serving alcohol.” With his clients struggling to respond to Braus’s disbelieving follow-up questions, Palillo asked to temporarily excuse himself and his clients while they discussed the matter in the hallway. When they returned, Palillo explained that private parties, run by promoters who rent the space, have indeed been held at Megu. At these events—
unaffiliated with the restaurant itself— alcohol may have been served, he noted. “But we will stop that,” Palillo added. “It’s a problem for the neighbors, and we do not want to be a problem to the neighbors.”
Bomb Shield for Stock Exchange Called ‘Desecration’
APRIL 2014 THE TRIBECA TRIB
BY CARL GLASSMAN A new fortress-like steel entry to the New York Stock Exchange may be immune to explosives, but not the verbal blasting it got last month from Community Board 1. Stainless steel plates are now installed above the Exchange’s entrance at 18 Broad Street. And on each side of the entrance to the 1903 landmark building are heavy steel mechanisms used to raise and lower a 4,000-pound “security shutter” that only becomes visible when in use. Put in place a year ago with a temporary permit from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the apparatus replaced a non-historic transom and grate that had been installed following the 1982 bombing by terrorists seeking Puerto Rican independence. Eugene Travers, a lawyer representing the Exchange, told the committee that his client wants to make the new installation permanent. But the committee, which is advisory to the ultimate decider, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, told Travers that the Exchange should find another solution. “You need to make it [historically] contextual and then figure out a way to incorporate your security procedures into what it should be,” said committee member Marc Ameruso. The New York Stock Exchange “is an incredibly important feature of our
The entrance to 18 Broad Street was rebuilt to accommodate a two-ton security barrier that can be lowered in the event of an attack. The shutter was installed a year ago.
city and this is just a desecration,” said Corie Sharples, another committee member and principal in the firm of SHoP Architects. Sharples insisted that the apparatus could be set further back into the building and made less visible. “It makes no difference if someone is trying to get in this building with a bomb,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re six inches further into the perimeter, it really doesn’t. I mean, don’t tell me that it matters.” “You’re looking at a non-historic entry that’s being replaced with an equal-
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ly non-historic security system,” Travers argued. The committee voted to reject the application and recommended that the Exchange renew its temporary permit while it looks for another way to secure the entrance. The Landmarks Commission was scheduled to consider the installation on April 1. “The problem is that this type of device has to be at the exterior skin of the building for it to be effective,” said the project’s architect, Curtis Taufman of American Defense Systems, Inc., in a
telephone interview with the Trib. “If I could have done it differently, I would have.” Taufman said he would have attended the meeting, but was not asked. “Even if we desired to pull it inside, a lot of modification would have had to be done to the building and to the lobby to get the same type of reinforcement,” he added, saying that many alternatives had been considered. “As an architect, I am very, very sensitive to maintaining our landmarks, but I’d been taught in school that our first concerns were life and safety.” Taufman said plans for the security shutter last year had only Buildings Department approval and was days away from installation when the Landmarks Commission discovered it had been overlooked in the approval process. “A lot of effort went into this under the impression that it was approved,” he said. CB1’s Landmarks Committee was unhappy that it was a lawyer and not the architect, as customary, who presented the plans to them. Travers was unable to answer technical and aesthetic questions about the project, and committee members said it was difficult to understand the Stock Exchange’s position without that expertise. “The New York Stock Exchange, they govern themselves differently,” the architect said. “I think they just didn’t want to talk that much about the details.”
THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
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14 APRIL 2014 THE TRIBECA TRIB
Atheists Resume Fight Over September 11 ‘Cross’ 15
THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
BY AMANDA WOODS Atheists were back in federal court last month, hoping to reverse a lower court’s decision to allow the National September 11 Museum to display the World Trade Center “cross” when it opens in May. The group, American Atheists, tried to convince a three-judge panel that the two crossed steel beams, found in the Trade Center debris, is a religious relic that violates the First Amendment right to church-state separation. “It is dangerous for this to be in a government-backed display,” said Edwin Kagin, the attorney for the atheists. “This is about an endorsement of Christianity.” Almost immediately after the 17foot-high object was discovered, it became a shrine of sorts to many who labored in the rubble after 9/11. Later it was moved to nearby St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church. In 2011, to the dismay of atheist groups, the cross was moved again, this time to the museum, which is owned by a foundation and supported by both public funds and private donations. That move set off the suit against the site’s owner, the Port Authority, and against the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation. The plaintiffs claimed that the cross must either be removed or other religious groups—including themselves—be given symbolic recognition. Last year, U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts sided with the defen-
PHOTOS BY CARL GLASSMAN
Above: Demonstrators in Foley Square before a hearing last month. Left: The “cross,” shown in place last fall in the museum.
dants, saying that the cross serves a historical purpose. She noted in her opinion that many rescue and recovery workers turned to the cross for comfort and as a way to cope with the devastation they witnessed. “Simply because one object, which is one component of a secular exhibition is religious does not engender
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endorsement,” she wrote. During the U.S. Court of Appeals hearing on March 6, Gerard E. Lynch, one of three judges who listened to the arguments, seemed to echo Batts’s opinion, noting that religious expression was part of the story of Sept. 11. “Whether or not they are being endorsed,” the judge said, “these are things that took place and are being described as part of the history.” “The overwhelming message of this artifact—we’ll call it a cross—is that Christianity is the predominant religion
of the United States,” argued Kagin, who also appeared to back away from the atheists’ call to return the cross to St. Peter’s. Rather, he said, atheists deserve equal treatment. “Are you asking us to say that the display, no matter what else they do, violates the First Amendment?” Judge Reena Raggi asked Kagin. “Specifically, what we need is an object of some sort, even a plaque that says to the world, ‘Atheists died here too,’” Kagin replied. “So the relief that you’re looking for is some sort of plaque or other acknowledgement,” Raggi said. “That’s it?” “That’s it,” Kagin replied. The judge seemed puzzled by the suggestion of a plaque. “If the cross is being displayed because of its historic significance, a plaque that had no historic significance wouldn’t seem to have the same claim to equal treatment,” Raggi said. “What am I missing?” Mark H. Alcott, the attorney for the museum said that the cross tells an important part of the 9/11 story. “Every other exhibit has a historic connection to the events of September 11,” he said. “That’s our mission, to tell that truth. There’s no plaque that had anything to do with the history of September 11, so they’re asking us to transform this from a history museum to a make-believe recital that will ease the sensibilities of some.”
APRIL 2014 THE TRIBECA TRIB
TRADITION. EXPRESSION. REFLECTION.
Jewish Culture Downtown DISCUSSION
American Jews & America’s Game With longtime New York Times baseball writer Murray Chass and others
NOW ON STAGE
SUN | APR 6 | 2:30 P.M. $10, $7 students/seniors, $5 members
DISCUSSION Jews, Comics, and the City With cartoonists Liana Finck, Miriam Katin, and Eli Valley WED | APR 23 | 7 P.M. $10, $7 students/seniors, $5 members
Yom HaShoah MON | APR 28 | 10 A.M. – 5:45 P.M. Come to the Museum to remember those who were lost and learn from those who survived. Free Museum admission. Donations welcome.
92Y@MJH BOOK TALK The Ambiguity of Virtue: Gertrude Van Tijn and the Fate of Dutch Jews With author Bernard Wasserstein
WED | APR 30 | 7 P.M. $15, $12 members
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Tickets to 9/11 Museum
If you are a resident or business owner below Canal Street, or if you resided or owned a business in Lower Manhattan on 9/11, you may reserve a free ticket to preview the 9/11 Memorial Museum from May 15 to May 20, prior to the museum’s opening to the general public on May 21. The previews are free, but reservations are required and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets at 911memorial.org/dedication.
Parks Seek Volunteers
Two local parks are looking for volunteers. The Friends of Finn Square, a group of neighborhood residents who care for the one-tenth-acre garden south of the Franklin Street uptown subway entrance, are seeking volunteers to help plant flowers this spring. No gardening experience is required, although expertise is always welcome. Write to Jessica Raimi at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Friends of Delury Square Park, at Gold and Fulton streets, are looking for volunteers to work alongside Parks Department gardeners to plant flowers, keep the park clean, run fundraising events and maintain the park’s website. Email email@example.com or call 917-499-4767.
Remembering the Tutsi
Genocide survivors and members of the Rwandese community in the tri-state area are holding the 20th Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl. In addition to reflections by survivors on how they have been able to rebuild their lives, Edouard Kayihura, author of “Inside the Hotel Rwanda,” will speak. The event is Sunday, April 13, 3 to 5 p.m.
Mini Golf Opens
Pier 25’s mini golf course, complete with two waterfalls, a fountain and gardens, will open for daily operation on Tuesday, April 15. Games at the 18-hole course are $5 and $4 for children 13 and under (cash only). Information at manhattanyouth.org.
Advice on Rat Control
A free training session on how to safely and effectively eradicate rats and mice will take place on Thursday, April 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at 310 Greenwich St., 2nd floor community room. The workshop will be led by a representative from the city’s Division of Veterinary and Pest Control Services. Registration is required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn to Prune a Tree
If you are certified, you can become a New York City tree pruner. The Citizen Pruner Tree Care Course trains New Yorkers in tree care and pruning as well as teaching basic tree biology and street tree identification. Upon successful completion of the 12-hour program, participants receive a license that certifies them to prune their neighborhood street trees. The $100 course starts Tuesday, April 22, and meets at 51 Chambers St. To learn more and to register, visit treesny.org/citizenpruner.
Saving the Shad
The River Project, a marine science field station at Pier 40 that studies the Hudson River Estuary, is holding a 5K Shad Run on Sat., April 26, to raise money and awareness about the recent near-disappearance of shad from the river. The run/walk starts at 8:30 a.m. at Pier 25 (North Moore and West streets.) The event will be followed by talks by experts on the subject at The River Project’s Wetlab on Pier 40. There will also be children’s activities, live music and food. Details at riverprojectnyc.org.
Talks on Cybercrime
A symposium on cybercrime threats and trends hosted by Pace University will take place on Thursday, April 3, from 8 to 10 a.m. The speakers include experts from the FBI, Citi’s eCrime laboratory and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. The speakers will also discuss how the public can protect themselves from cybercrime. The free event will be held at Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 3 Spruce St. Information and reservations at pace.edu/lubin/newsevents/cybercrime-in-the-world-today.
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Seaport Developer Has Eyes On Site for a 1,018-ft. Building
THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
BY AMANDA WOODS Howard Hughes Corp., the developer that is proposing a controversial 50-story building north of Pier 17, says it is also considering putting up a second, even taller tower about three blocks away. The hotel and residential tower, which can be more than 1,000 feet high, would be built at 80 South Street. Hughes Corp. says that project is in addition to its proposed 600-foot residential tower that opponents insist is out of character with the surrounding Seaport Historic District. In a statement issued on March 26, Hughes Corp. executive Chris Curry confirmed the developer’s interest in the project, saying it is “reaffirming our belief in the future of the area by expanding our investment.” A project at 80 South Street had been in the works by another developer, Cord Meyer, which has opted to sell the site and plans to the Hughes Corp. The Department of City Planning has approved an air rights transfer for a soaring tower at the site, close to Imagination Playground, Pier 15, and the historic ships at Pier 16 as well as the mall that Hughes Corp. is building on Pier 17. The most recent design, by Morali Architects, is for 1,018-foot structure. Last month, the Seaport Working
Group, made up of Lower Manhattan civic leaders, elected and city officials and Hughes Corp. representatives, began a series of discussions about the developer’s Seaport plans. Only after the group has come to an agreement can the Hughes Corp. finalize its development proposal for review by the city. Although Hughes Corp. maintains that it is interested in going forward with both buildings, some believe that the developer views 80 South Street as an alternative to their initial project (to be built on the site of the New Market Building), in case it got rejected. In an email to the Trib, Borough President Gale Brewer, a co-chair of the working group, described the possibility of Hughes developing 80 South Street as “certainly interesting.” Robert LaValva, the president of the Seaport’s New Amsterdam Market and a leading opponent of the Hughes Corp.’s plans, commended the developer’s proposal for 80 South Street, saying in a statement that “it also provides a great opportunity” for the city to rethink the Hughes Corp.’s proposed 50-foot tower. Hughes Corp. has said that tower is necessary in order to fund the restoration of the landmark Tin Building, build a marina and extend the East River esplanade through the Seaport.
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THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
PAWO CHOYNING DORJI
Devesh Ranjan and Shahana Goswami in “VARA: A BLESSING”
The Tribeca Film Festival April 16-27
ver the course of its 12 days, the Tribeca Film Festival will screen 87 featurelength films, from sober documentaries and dramas to smart or silly comedies. Then there are the 58 short films, some of them about brief encounters in the real world, quite a few set in New York, and many that are wildly experimental. The film buff should have little trouble finding an intriguing title or taking a chance on a subject, but what are some best bets for the typical ticket buyer? “Opening nights are a great place to start tackling the festival,” said Cara Cusumano, now in her fourth year as a festival programmer. “These are films that we really believe in, that we think are representative of the festival and of the high quality of work that we would love to showcase.” Among them are “Dior and I,” which opens the documentary competition, “Gabriel,” a New Yorkbased narrative about a teen struggling with mental illness, and “Time Is Illmatic,” a hip hop documentary that opens the festival and features a post-screening live performance by Nas, the revolutionary rap artist and subject of the film. Then there are the don’t-miss shorts, such as “For Spacious Sky,” a tale of backwoods brothers that fes-
tival shorts programmer Sharon Badal called “one of the best examples I’ve seen of Americana storytelling in a long time.” Another shorts highlight Badal picked is “Helium,” about a hospital janitor who befriends a dying young patient. “Most phenomenal last shot I’ve seen in forever,” Badal said. And for the first time, there is a dedicated program of New Yorkbased documentary shorts. Mixed in with the traditional shorts you’ll find experimental works, many of which play with the material quality of film itself, which is being supplanted by digital technology. Among them you will find works by artists who have manipulated the film stock by hand, or explored the space between frames or experimented with the chemical process. “Celluloid film is very fragile. It can decompose,” said Jon Gartenberg, who programs the experimental offerings. “To me, these are artists that are working mostly outside the commercial mainstream, that are very sensitive and aware of this as they make their film. “The films,” he adds, “are as much about the texture as they are about the content.” Whatever your choices, you’ll want to see them here, while you can.
TICKETS Single ticket sales for Downtown residents begin April 13. Tickets, $17 for evening and weekend general screenings, $9 for matinees, can be purchased online, by phone, or at a ticket outlet. Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick St., is the Downtown outlet. Downtown residents get $2 off general screenings, $3 off other tickets, when bought at an outlet. Additional ticket information, including free screenings, available at www.tribecafilm.com.
SIDESHOWS FAMILY STREET FEST SAT., APRIL 26, 10 AM–6 PM Eight blocks on Greenwich Street, from Hubert to Chambers, will come alive with dancers, stilt walkers, clowns, jugglers, music and games. Also expect plenty of food for sale and free popcorn.
FREE DRIVE-IN AT BROOKFIELD PL. Seating and programs begin at 6 p.m.Screenings start at dusk, approximately 8:15 p.m. THUR., APRIL 17: MARY POPPINS The dream nanny, played by Julie Andrews, takes her charges on delightful adventures with her sidekick, a jack-of-all-trades (Dick Van Dyke). Program: Disney-themed trivia contests, a spelling bee, a high-flying kite show and more. FRI., APRIL 18, SPLASH Allen Bauer (Tom Hanks) falls in love with a mermaid (Daryl Hannah) in this 1984 fantasy romantic comedy. Program: Performance by Tails of Glory, dancers from the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. SAT., APRIL 19: NEXT GOAL WINS The film follows the American Samoan national soccer team, which has been called “the worst team in the world,” as they train for the next World Cup. Program: Samoan drummers, virtual soccer drills, face-painting and more.
TALKS ON FILM Discussions with producers, directors, writers, actors and cinematographers are on tap for the annual Tribeca Talk series. From Ron Howard and Kevin Spacey to Michael Douglas and Terence Winter, a host of creative voices will share their film wisdom in oneon-one conversations and on panels. And a four-day “Future of Film” series will look at the interaction of art, politics, science and technology. Individual tickets are $30; a few of the panels are free. Details at tribecafilm.com. FEST 13 CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE
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ere are some of the highlights of the international fare this year, each of them offering something inventive, eye-opening, tragic or triumphant and, above all, transporting. For starters, consider the strange landscape in BROKEN HILL BLUES where a group of teens have come of age in a town without a future. Their village in northern Sweden sits above a collapsing iron ore mine. Soon to be displaced, and on the precipice of adulthood, the adolescents struggle to find their footing. Meanwhile, in the suburbs of Tblisi, Georgia, a lonely young mother of two tries to hold on as she awaits the return of their father—in another half-dozen years—from prison. When she learns that the notoriously clamped-down penal system allows monthly visits between prisoners and spouses, a quickie wedding is proposed in BRIDES. In BRIGHT DAYS AHEAD a recently retired, yet still married, woman acquires a lover young enough to be her son. Sexy complications ensue as she takes dangerous chances, seemingly daring her husband to catch her in the act. It is a French film (but, of course). Things remain cosmopolitan in THIRD PERSON (Belgium) which features three intermingling stories, set in New York, Paris and Rome, of romances in bloom. ZERO MOTIVATION (Israel) takes a similar approach with three stories of young female Israeli soldiers. But here, what is blooming is boredom at a remote army base in the desert. How the three deal with the bureaucracy, and one another, sets them apart from typical war film characters. Then there is the three-chapter tale HUMAN CAPITAL from Italy. It is about two families, one wealthy, the other struggling middle class, whose lives become intertwined through a road accident. Roman Polanski offers up a singular story of obsession in VENUS IN FUR. The film follows a theater director who struggles to cast the right leading actress for his play. No one “JOURNEY TO THE WEST” seems right, until one day a mysterious woman who seems a little too right walks into the theater. The pair begins an intense collaboration that blurs the lines between the play and reality. From Norway comes IN ORDER OF DISAPPEARANCE. Here, a grieving and vengeful father gets in over his head as he tracks down the drug dealers responsible for his son’s heroin overdose. Sounds heavy, and it is, but moments of black comedy keep things buoyant. BLACK COAL, THIN ICE, on the other hand, is pure film noir. The thriller, set in a bleak Chinese industrial town, is the tale of a suspended small-town detective who goes it alone in his search for a serial killer. (The film took the top prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.) In I WON"T COME BACK, we meet a young Russian woman on the run from the law. But the story really takes off when she meets a spunky orphan along the way and the pair set off on a dangerous adventure together through several countries. The journey is spiritual in JOURNEY TO THE WEST (France, Taiwan) as a modern-day monk, perhaps the rein-
mall questions can lead to big answers, or so that seemed the plan in many of the documentary offerings this year. Here's the question that launches THE SEARCH FOR GENERAL TSO: Who was this guy and why is his chicken so tasty? And we’re off, through small towns and big cities across the country learning about immigration, adaption and innovation in search of the answer to the larger question: how did Chinese food become so American? FAMOUS NATHAN is a look at the history of the humble hot dog. The film, directed by the grandson of “Famous” Nathan Handwerker, is more than just an insider look at how the sausage is made. It is a personal and nuanced tale of family history and the immigrant experience in New York City. ART AND CRAFT is an exposé on a brilliant phony. Mark Landis, a gifted and prolific painter, is an expert forger of masterpiece works of art. His pieces, which he has donated to museums across the country, have fooled and confounded curators for years. The film is less concerned with how Landis does it, but why. Meanwhile, Magician James “The Amazing” Randi focuses intently on the “how,” revealing sleight of hand secrets in an effort to expose phony fortune-tellers and other tricksters in AN HONEST LIAR. What is love? Can it be measured, made, is there a mathematical formula? Perhaps science can provide the answer. In LOVE & ENGINEERING a Bulgarian engineer and his bachelor friends conduct a series of experiments hoping to crack the code. A few luminaries and legends get the bio-pic treatment, including the late literary icon Susan Sontag. REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG offers an intimate look at the work and life of the culture critic and her relevance today. ALL
carnation of an early Buddhist traveler, slowly, meditatively wan present. A young Hindu aspires to a life of devotion in VARA: A distracted by worldly obstacles, such as her forbidden romanc Meanwhile, in Caracas a young boy’s sudden obsession wi ried that the child might be gay in the tender and heartbreaking her troublemaking son to Mexico City in GUEROS. There, he an university studies aside (the film is set during the 1999 student endary musician. Finally, there is THE KIDNAPPING OF MICHEL accounting of the brief, real-life disappearance of the French n plot involves a ridiculous hostage scenario in which the author, hand over his captors.
“LOVE & ENGINEERING” ABOUT ANN: GOVERNOR RICHARDS OF THE LONE STAR recalls the career of the witty and no-nonsense liberal Texas governor, through interviews with those who knew her best and behind-the-scenes battle stories. (The first female leader of the state, she was ultimately defeated by a pair of good old boys named Karl Rove and George W. Bush.) The work of Bob Weir is well outside the political world but ensconced in the rock 'n roll firmament. Weir was a founding member of the Grateful Dead. THE OTHER ONE: THE LONG, STRANGE TRIP OF BOB WEIR focuses on the life and work of the rhythm guitarist and singer who shared the spotlight for years with Jerry Garcia. You might not recognize Vincent Furnier without his make-up. But there was a time during the 1970s when the pioneering shock rocker dominated the dial. He comes in for his close-up in SUPER DUPER ALICE COOPER. Trumpeter Terry Clark is a jazz legend who mentored many, such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. In KEEP
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nders the streets of Marseille focusing only on being A BLESSING (Bhutan). But unlike the Buddhist, she is ce with a village boy. ith straightening his curly hair has his mother worg coming-of-age tale BAD HAIR. A mother sends nd his equally troublesome brother, who has set his t strikes), wander the streets in search of a legL HOUELLEBECQ from France. It purports to be an novelist but is clearly a prank and self-parody as the r, who plays himself, never seems to lose the upper
he dialects are recognizable and the backdrops familiar but the following, which are just some of the many domestic narrative feature offerings at the festival this year, still surprise by showing a new angle on life in America. Take social media and Millennials, for example. The 20-something friends in ABOUT ALEX have kept in touch since college through social media and such, but how well have they really communicated? Not well, it turns “ABOUT ALEX” out, as things left bottled up, unrequited and untexted between them explode during a boozy and raw weekend reunion in real life. A chef’s shortcomings are shown to the world when his angry rant against a critic goes viral, making him a talented but unemployable cook in CHEF. How will he get his mojo back? With a food truck and a road trip, of course. JUST BEFORE I GO is the tale of a down-on-his-luck dude who has decided to end his life. But first, he has to return to his hometown to make a few things right. The clumsy quest, featuring a zany cast of characters, is lighter than it sounds. In GABRIEL, a troubled teenager goes off his meds and in search of his first love, convinced that finding her would make him whole again. FIVE STAR is the story of another troubled young man, the son of a slain gang member, who is taken underwing by a streetwise survivor. Set in East New York, the film is part documentary, part fiction. Similarly, BELOW DREAMS is shot documentary style with fictional flourishes. The film offers a glimpse into the lives of three young people whose dreams seemed doomed by the harsh economic realities of New Orleans. EVERY SECRET THING takes us to the sinister suburbs. Here, we find a pair of young women returning from prison to the community that has not forgotten that as young girls the pair were convicted of stealing a baby off a front porch. Soon after, another child goes missing and the mystery deepens in the community as the suspicion spreads. The search is on for a long-lost rock star in LUCKY THEM, as a veteran rock journalist is given one last chance to redeem a career she has so far squandered by being a partying scenester. In MATCH, a renowned but reclusive Juilliard dance instructor (Patrick Stewart) reluctantly grants an interview for a student’s dissertation. He is soon sorry as the research is a ruse, the questions are personal and the truth is uncomfortable. Can he continue to dance around the truth?
ON KEEPIN' ON we catch up with the 89-year-old who, though in deteriorating health, is determined to teach and inspire one last student. Meanwhile, BALLET 422 offers a behind-the-curtain peek at the New York City Ballet as choreographer Justin Peck creates a new original piece. The fly on the wall film follows the creative process from conception to premiere. DIOR AND I (DIOR ET MOI) offers a similar rare view, this time into the fashion world, but by offering a backstage look into the creation of a new collection, the first by haute couture artistic director Raf Simons. We step into the ring in MARAVILLA, which bobs and weaves with Argentinian boxer Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez as he trains to reclaim the title of middleweight champion. The film also steps outside the ring to fill in the life story of the once pen-
niless amateur turned champion and to reveal the political machinations behind the boxing profession. What really happened during the 1986 Tour de France is more riveting than you might remember. Five-time tour winner Bernard Hinault “The Badger” was supposed to help his friend and teammate Greg LeMond secure his first victory but instead battled the young American for the duration of the tour. The race and the rivalry are recounted in SLAYING THE BADGER. Documentary filmmaker Matthew VanDyke set off on a motorcycle in 2007 to see and film the Arab world. POINT AND SHOOT is the remarkable true story of what happened when VanDyke traded his camera for a gun and joined the Libyan rebel army in its fight against Gaddafi. THE NEWBURGH STING uses footage gathered from hidden cameras to tell the story of a thwarted bomb plot. Homegrown terrorists had planned to bomb two Jewish centers in the Bronx in 2009, but were instead led into a trap by their “leader,” who was a government informant. Meanwhile, SILENCED is an eye-opening look at the dark side of national security. It introduces a group of whistleblowers who dared question the government’s reach and authority and suffered the consequences. Then there is 1971, the true story of a group of activists who plotted a break-in of an FBI office to leak documents that would expose illegal surveillance of American anti-war activists. The plotters reveal themselves and share their story while the film raises questions surrounding security leaks in activism today. THIS TIME NEXT YEAR looks in on Long Beach Island, NJ, which was laid low by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The film captures a year in the life of the community, from the struggles of individual families to rebuild to the wider political issues that slowed the process. TRUE SON turns a lens on Stockton, Calif., a disaster of a city riddled with crime and financial difficulties that rival Detroit. But it is a story of optimism as one young man, 22-year-old Michael Stockton, makes a run for City Council on a promise to reinvent his hometown. The question is, can he really? FEST 13 CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE
“DIOR AND I”
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he list of short film offerings in the festival this year is long. Can't catch them all? Try these true stories, tall tales and small wonders. Conservation has rarely seemed as cinematic as it does in DUKE AND THE BUFFALO, a documentary short on a Colorado crew that herds the endangered wild bison once a year. The film features epic western ranges, rugged ranchers on horseback and 2,000 wild buffalo rumbling across the screen. IN GUNS WE TRUST also has a flavor of the Wild West, but itâ€™s no nostalgia piece. The documentary looks at the citizens of a small town in Georgia where by law every head of household is required to own a gun. The law went on the books in 1982. Unspeakable violence gets a voice in LIFE AFTER MANSON with a Manson family member speaking out 40 years after the notorious murders. POUR RETOURNER, a narrative short from Canada, gives us the story of a gifted prison chef who is returned to a society that does not want him back. LOVE IN THE TIME OF MARCH MADNESS is an animated but true-life tale of a tall woman (6'4" since middle school) trying to find her place in the world. A longtime newspaperman on Cape Cod, who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, makes the brave decision to take notes on his decline and report the story out for his readers in the documentary short A PLACE CALLED PLUTO. Meanwhile, in HUMAN VOICE, a narrative set in 1950s Naples, Italy, an older woman played by Sophia Loren makes a final phone call to the love of her life. 70 HESTER STREET is a documentary that looks back at a Lower East Side address that the director and writer Casimir Nozkowski once called home. Hardly nostalgic but certainly inventive, ONE YEAR LEASE is a documentary about roommates who endure their lease with a cat-loving landlady. Voicemail messages tell most of the story. Even more novel is ACETATE DIARY, an experimental short in which the film stock is used as a writing, but still projectable, surface. THE PINK HELMET POSSE introduces the world to Bella, Sierra and Rella, a trio of skateboarding six-year-old girls in knee socks and tutus out to prove they can shred as well as, or better than, the boys.
â€œRUBAIâ€? A young girl takes a braver stand in RĂšBAĂ? when she refuses her first communion and declares that sheâ€™s an atheist. Masculine pride spoils a housewarming party in the narrative short STEW AND PUNCH as a lighthearted bout of armwrestling between hosts gets out of hand. In SEQUESTERED, a bank robbery is ruined when two would-be stick-up men take exception to each otherâ€™s mask. TRUST ME, I'M A LIFEGUARD ratchets up the dude humor even further as a pair of lifeguards goof around in their Speedos in the waning days of summer. But THE 30-YEAR-OLD BRIS is no joke, as the bride-to-be insists her boyfriend get circumcised before they wed. And one canâ€™t help but feel for the proud Mexican barber in CONTRAPELO who is forced to shave the leader of a drug cartel that has taken the lives of 150,000 people and ravaged a nation. FEST 13 CONTINUES ON NEXT PAGE
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ove is a funny thing, or so it would seem, as this year’s comedy offerings spend a lot of time on the topic. Characters find it and don't know what to do with it. Others lose it; they’re not sure where. And then there’s the guy who is willing to resort to supernatural ends for just a taste of it. Let’s start with LIFE PARTNERS. Paige and Sasha, who are total best friends forever, have a pact. Straight and strait-laced Paige will not marry until her slacker friend Sasha, who is gay, has the same legal right. But then a charming young doctor swoops in, Paige swoons, and the pact and their friendship are put to the test. Meanwhile, Ethan and Sophie are this close to abandoning their crumbling marriage in THE ONE I LOVE. The couple (Elizabeth Moss, Mark Duplass) decides to give their relationship one last chance by cozying up together at a country retreat. Usually, this is the point in the plot where things get complicated. But in this subversive romantic comedy, this is the point where things get weird. Meanwhile, secluded in a cabin upstate, screenwriting friends are trying to bang out a quick story when they are paid a visit by a desperate sibling (Marisa Tomei) in LOITERING WITH INTENT. Things, of course, do not go according to script. What does go as well as you might expect is THE BACHELOR WEEKEND. Here, a foppish Irish groom-to-be reluctantly agrees to his best man’s plan to spend a bachelors’ weekend camping in the woods. He and his delicate friends already seem overmatched by the great outdoors. But things get far worse when the bride’s brother, an uncouth and uninvited bully, arrives. The situation is more sophisticated in 5 TO 7, a comedy of manners (with Glenn Close and Frank Langella) about an aspiring novelist who is having an affair with the wife of a French diplomat. Too sophisticated for your taste? Try INTRAMURAL, a sendup of inspirational sports movies featuring over-the-top motivational montages and other tired tropes to tell the story of a fifth-year senior who is trying to put the team back together for one last game. As the film’s tagline suggests, it is “the epic sports movie…for the guys who don’t deserve one.” LAND HO! is more on the mature side. Here, we travel along with a pair of
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“THE BACHELOR WEEKEND” 70-somethings, former brothers-in-law, as they tour Iceland. Their acid tongues, unexpected diversions and odd chemistry make the journey more satisfying than your typical road trip flick. MURDER OF A CAT sort of puts it out there right in the title. It's a quirky crime procedural, featuring a charming oddball (Greg Kinnear) who sets out to find the culprit behind his beloved cat’s death. Along the way he finds clues to his pet’s secret double life and, just maybe, love. Otto Wall should be so lucky. In GOODBYE TO ALL THAT the poor guy is blindsided by a divorce, disconnected from his daughter and clueless about how to restart his life, especially dating. Finally, not for everyone’s taste, is SUMMER OF BLOOD, which also features a sad sack who is unlucky in love until one day he is bitten by a vampire. Go ahead, scoff. But it works. The vampire life suits him. His confidence is restored. There is only the messy matter of maintaining it. Guess how.
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BY JULIET HINDELL Once a month some 20 people, mostly women and mostly from Downtown, gather for breakfast in the back-room of Tribeca’s Sarabeth’s to cross-cultivate their businesses and boost their entrepreneurial spirits. It’s called The Grid, a growing networking group of small business owners—an architect, landscape designer, interior decorator and photographer, to name a few—who mine contacts and actually make some sales. The group has far outgrown its beginnings of just a year ago, when the first few members—many of whom knew each other through their kids— would meet in living rooms and end up talking about…their kids. “At the first meetings we used to introduce ourselves and say, ‘I have two daughters and where they went to school,’” said Amy Bergman Bonomi, a real estate agent and co-founder of the group. “Then, after a few meetings, we moved away from the kids and it became all about business.” The sessions follow a set format with each member giving a brief introduction about their work, a review of referrals that came through the group and an indepth presentation by one member about their business. A file stuffed with business cards is passed around the table. At a recent meeting, members shared a rapid-fire list of referrals. Astrid
Michelle Gutierrez, a mediator and Grid member, talks to the group about her work.
Herbette, a portrait photographer, had referred landscape designer and FiDi resident Karine Duteuil for the renovation of P.S. 234’s yard (she won the job). She also told food photographer Frances Janice about some website contacts. Yasmine Karrenberg, a floral designer, had put Julie Pitman in touch with a fashion design company that needed a graphic designer. The list went on. Members pay $20 for each meeting but no other fee. To create a non-competitive environment, the group has a one-seat-per-profession rule. That is one of the reasons that The Grid has what co-
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founder Loretta Lester calls a “sense of warmth.” “We want everyone to feel a personal commitment to the group, a sense of solidarity,” she said. Graham Short, a contractor and so far the group’s only man, admitted that, at first, he dismissed the group as “a knitting circle for all the housewives of Tribeca.” He has reason to eat his words. “Right now all the work I’m doing is through The Grid,” he said. One of the projects, the renovating of a building lobby on 22nd Street, includes four other Grid members.
Duteuil said that in addition to the work her landscape design business has gotten as a result of The Grid, she appreciates the business tips and camaraderie. “It’s reassuring to meet people who are all in the same boat,” she said. “We have the same struggles and we support each other.” Michelle Gutierrez, a professional mediator, agreed. “Other networking groups I’ve joined end up being social clubs,” she said. “But that’s unproductive.” Bonomi laughed. “We try to keep to the schedule as everyone has to get back to work after the meeting.” Most don’t have far to go, as the majority live and work below Canal Street. Liz Kaplanski, who opened Paradigm Kids preschool in the Financial District a few months ago, feels the neighborhood connection is part of the group’s success. “We have so many cross-references from being Downtown, we run into each other a lot around the neighborhood,” she said. “Lots of our kids go to school together and I think that makes it a stronger network.” As the group broke up, the talk was of website redesigns, locations for popup stores and the next meeting’s presenter. Then it was back to the cold, hard work of running a business. For information on The Grid, email email@example.com.
APRIL 2014 THE TRIBECA TRIB
CREATIVE FAMILY JEWISH AFTER SCHOOL IN TRIBECA Grades Gr ades K-8 K-8 Call C all 212.415.5608 to inquire inquire enrollment. about ongoing enrollment.
TUE, APR 15, 5 PPMM Hosted by 92Y Shababaâ„˘ All ages
FOR YOUTH WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES AGES 13-21 AND THEIR FAMILIES
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Employees Classes capped at 5 students Unlimited class size Customized curriculum Stock curriculum Common Core-aligned materials Generic materials $150 per subject per month $150 per subject per month
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SUN, APR 6, 11 AM-2 PM
Financial District - 225 Broadway, Suite 1504 Upper West Side - 330 W 58th St, Suite 409 Upper East Side - 177 E 87th St, Suite 402
Funding F unding pr provided ovided by the Oppenheimer Haas Founda F oundation. Foundation.
FRI, APR 11
Take T ake a br breath eath and e ease ase into the spirit of Shabba Shabbatt with a blend of ancient and contempor contemporary ary att this out-of-the-or out-of-the-ordinary rituals a dinary Kabbalat K abbalat Shabba Shabbatt (W (Welcoming elcoming Sabbath) experience. the Sabba th) e xperience. Join Rabbi R abbi Jen E. Kr Krause musi-ause and musi cian Josh Nelson for cocktails, hors dâ€™oeuvres dâ€™oeuvres and a unique, universally rresonant esonant service.
FOR 20S AND 30S Join Rabbi Rabbi Dan Ain and Nathan Phillips writer/comedian Nathan Phillips,, author of the Bob Marley Haggadah, for a very special second seder a att the Br ooklyn C Brooklyn Conservatory onservatory of Music.
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VISIT 92Y.ORG/SPRING OR CALL 212.415.5500
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THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
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APRIL 2014 THE TRIBECA TRIB
6 one-week sessions from june 30-aug 8 full-day session for K-6th grade + half-day sessions for preschoolers (3 yrs +)
291 broadway in tribeca
tada! musical theater costume-making tap
breakdancehip hop jazz arts & crafts
choreography lyrical creative movement as featured in time out new york kids
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THE TRIBECA TRIB APRIL 2014
EASTER EGG HUNT
spring by making kites and planting seeds. Sat, 4/5. Performances and workshops from 12 to 4 pm. See website for complete schedule. $10; free under 2. Museum of Chinese in America, 215 Centre St., mocanyc.org.
g The Great Easter Egg Hunt Celebrate Easter with an egg hunt, face painters, carnival-style games, crafts and a visit from the Easter Bunny. For toddlers through 3rd graders. Sat, 4/12, 2 pm. Free. Lower Manhattan Community Church at P.S./I.S. 89, 201 Warren St., egghuntnyc.com.
Family Yoga Class Kids learn the foundations of yoga, breath and age-appropriate yoga poses, plus games, art projects, songs and more. A healthy, vegetable-based snack will be served. Yoga mats available. Fri, 4/25, 6 pm. Free. Charlotte’s Place, 109 Greenwich St., trinitywallstreet.org.
CRAFTS & PLAY g
Modern Masters Kids learn about mediums and techniques used by well-known artists, then make their own works. Artists are: Richard Sweeny (4/2), M. C. Escher (4/9), Sonia Delaunay (4/16), Jackson Pollock (4/23) and Joan Miro (4/30). Ages 6 and up. Wednesdays, 4 pm. Free. Battery Park City Library, 175 N. End Ave., nypl.org.
Life In a Skyscraper Tour the museum exhibit, “Sky High” about high-rise apartment buildings and learn about living in a skyscraper. Kids then create their own model residential building. Ages 5–9. Sat, 4/5, 10:30 am. $5. Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Pl., skyscraper.org.
STORIES & POETRY
he popular PBS kids’ television show “Jim Henson’s Sid the Science Kid… Live!” comes to life on the stage with Sid, May, Gabriela and Gerald. With the help of their teacher Susie, the puppets—and the audience—learn about the world around them through activities, music, problem-solving and humor. For all ages. Saturday, April 5, 1:30 p.m. $25. Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St. Tickets at tribecapac.org.
g Sky High Scavenger Hunt Tour the Sky High exhibit about luxury high-rise apartment buildings, then go on a scavenger hunt in the museum for facts about skyscrapers, using photos, videos and text for clues. Afterwards, create a postcard with illustrations of skyscrapers. Sat, 4/19, 10:30 am. $5. Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Pl., skyscraper.org. g
Puppet-Making Hear Native American stories about springtime, then learn to make finger puppets using a traditional Native American technique. Sat, 4/26, 1-2:20 pm. Free. National Museum of the American Indian, Resource Center, 2nd floor, 1 Bowling Green, nmai.si.edu. g
Calligraphy for Kids Artists and calligrapher Eleanor Winters introduce kids to calligraphy and Gothic lettering. Art supplies and paper provided. Reservations required: 212-4317993 or email@example.com. Ages 8 and up.
Sat, 4/26, 2 pm. $8; $5 students, seniors; $20 family of 4. Anne Frank Center, 44 Park Pl., annefrank.com.
Thunderbird Social Learn traditional Native American dances and chants with the Thunderbird Indian Singers and Dancers, the Heyna Second Son Singers and the Silvercloud Indian Singers. Sat, 4/12, 7 pm. Free. National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, nmai.si.edu.
Native American Kids’ Films Five short animated and live-action films that look at the daily lives and traditions of Native American peoples from Canada, the United States and Bolivia. Daily, 10:30 & 11:45 am. Free.
National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green, nmai.si.edu.
Baby Storytime Babies with an accompanying caregiver hear simple stories, lively songs, rhymes and more. Up to 18 months. Mondays, 9:30 am; Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:30 am. Free. Battery Park City Library, 175 N. End Ave., nypl.org.
g Picture Book Stories A librarian shares classic and new picture books. Tuesdays, 4 pm. Free. Battery Park City Library, 175 N. End Ave., nypl.org. g
Toddler Storytime Colorful picture books, finger-puppet plays and action songs for toddlers with a caregiver. Ages 1 to 3 years. Wednesdays, 10:30 am. Free. Battery Park City Library, 175 N. End Ave., nypl.org.
ShirLaLa’s Passover Celebration Shira Kline and friends tell the story of the Exodus through song. She recounts the tale using fun kids’ songs about the journey across the Sea of Reeds to the Land of Milk and Honey. There will also be arts and crafts projects and familyfriendly tours of the museum. Ages 3–10. Sun, 4/13, 2 pm. $10; $7 10 and under. Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl., mjhnyc.org.
SPECIAL PROGRAMS g Qing Ming Family Festival Learn about the history of the Qing Ming festival, play traditional Chinese games and celebrate the arrival of