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downtown

Ed koch
takes
on the
‘Basterds,’
p. 26

®
VOLUME 22, NUMBER 16
express THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN AUGUST 28 - SEPTEMBER 3, 2009

Vendors beware. Official W.T.C. souvenirs


for sale at new museum
BY JULIE SHAPIRO learn about community service initiatives.
The vendors who circle the World Trade About half the space at the preview site is
Center site hawking disaster-themed souve- devoted to memorabilia, including $18 Twin
nirs are getting some competition. Towers T-shirts, $3 F.D.N.Y. key chains and
Joe Daniels, president of the National $8.95 photo brochures that are less sen-
September 11 Memorial & Museum, fre- sational than those the vendors sell on the
quently walked past the vendors on his way street for about the same price.
to work and noticed that tourists who stopped All the proceeds from the preview site
to gape at the photo flipbooks also asked the merchandise will help build the future 9/11
vendors about the future of the site, and they memorial and museum, but selling sou-
didn’t always get accurate answers. venirs commemorating an event in which
“I wanted us to provide a more authentic nearly 3,000 people were killed can still be
experience,” Daniels said Wednesday morn- a touchy subject.
ing, standing inside the newly opened 9/11 A 39-year-old woman who handled
Memorial Preview Site on Vesey St. human remains after 9/11 said she was sur-
The 3,000-square-foot preview site, in a prised to see so much space at the preview
former camera shop near Church St., is equal site devoted to souvenirs.
parts museum, visitors’ center and souvenir “There’s a demand for it,” the woman said
shop. A photo timeline around the perimeter with resignation.
traces events from the 1993 bombing to the The woman, who did not want her name
projected opening of the 9/11 memorial on printed, fought back tears as she described
Sept. 11, 2011. Interactive kiosks allow visi- her memories from the aftermath of 9/11,
tors to see live footage from the construction brought to the surface by the photos and
site — they can print a time-stamped version videos at the preview site. “People need to
and take it home in a commemorative folio for remember,” she said.
$4.95 — and to learn about the victims and Of the souvenirs for sale, the woman
the artifacts the future museum will hold. They
can also share their memories of the day and Continued on page 5

Downtown Express photos by Jefferson Siegel

Council Race
We take a look at three of the five Democratic City Council candidates running in
the Sept. 15 primary in this week’s issue: from left, Margaret Chin, Councilmember
Alan Gerson and Pete Gleason. Next week, we’ll profile the other two Council hope-
fuls in the Downtown race, Arthur Gregory and PJ Kim.
Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio
COVERAGE BEGINS ON PAGE 3 Souvenirs on sale at the new 9/11 Memorial Preview Site on Vesey St.
2 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

U NDER
NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-21

Mixed Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
c over
EDITORIAL PAGES . . . . . . . . . . . .22-23
FERRER FLAP RECESSION PRODUCT
YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Freddy Ferrer is sticking with his endorsement of Pete The failure of miniMasters and other children’s programs
Gleason in the First District City Council race, despite some in Tribeca have not dissuaded Elisa Chen, 33, from launch-
flyer shenanigans that upset him. ing her new parent-child center called Body & Mind Builders
ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26-30 Ferrer, former Bronx borough president and the at 78 Reade St. next month.
Democratic nominee for mayor in ’05, announced his sup- Chen is well aware of the recession — she worked in
port of Gleason earlier this month. But Ferrer also endorsed finance before getting laid off last year — and plans to
Listings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29-30 some Democratic district leaders who are supporting incum- offer discounts to get families to enroll. The idea behind
bent Councilmember Alan Gerson, including Ferrer’s long- the parent-child combinations is to allow parents to get in a
time friends John Quinn and Alice Cancel, who represent pilates workout, for example, while their toddlers are learn-
CLASSIFIEDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 the East Side of Lower Manhattan. ing Mandarin.
The trouble started when Ferrer saw a flyer that touted Chen, who lives in the Financial District, thought up
not only his endorsement of Gleason but also his purported Body & Mind Builders after seeing that P.S. 89 did not give
endorsement of Quinn and Cancel’s opponents, Norma as much homework or do as much test prep as she expected,
Ramirez and David Diaz, who are Gleason supporters. and she wanted supplementary classes for her son, who is
SEND YOUR “I was displeased, to say the least,” Ferrer told entering fifth grade.
UnderCover. She also had another motivation for starting her own
Letter Ferrer said Gleason told him he was not responsible for
the flyers and he would have Ramirez and Diaz get them off
business rather than looking for a new finance job.
“My husband works in finance,” she said, and because of
to the Editor the streets immediately.
“I thought that was the right way to handle it,” Ferrer
the downturn, “I had no desire for both of us to be in this
industry.”
NEWS@DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM said, and he still supports Gleason.
But the flyer issues may not be over yet — we hear
145 SIXTH AVENUE, NYC, NY 10013 there’s another flyer circulating that claims the Downtown DISAPPEARING TOWERS
Independent Democrats endorsed both Gleason and district Most of the World Trade Center fence along Vesey St.
PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER leader candidate Paul Newell. While the Gleason part is is now a blank blue wall after the Port Authority removed
FOR CONFIRMATION PURPOSES ONLY true, D.I.D. did not endorse Newell, who was not even run- all images related to Silverstein Properties, its nemesis in
ning yet when they made their decision. an ongoing financing battle. Photos of work at the Port’s
Freedom Tower, One W.T.C., remain, along with close-ups
of steel workers, but images showing the full site plan with
Silverstein’s Church St. towers have disappeared, along with
those that showed the towers’ shops.
Candace McAdams, Port spokesperson, said the disap-

BODYWORK pearing renderings are “not at all” related to the dispute with
Silverstein. The Port is just switching the old images with
Yoga Derek Newman some new ones to continue showing the latest progress on
Reiki CMT, CYT the site, she said.
Yogic hypnosis
Craniosacral
Swedish
Thai SURVEY SAYS…
Deep tissue Gee, we hope it wasn’t anything we wrote.
Meditation
Breath work A new Quinnipiac University poll says that most New
Emotional release York City voters think World Trade Center development is
Spiritual counseling going “very” or “somewhat badly” (53 percent), and even
ten years experience
in West Village or your home 917-741-6895 more Manhattanites, 63 percent, are pessimistic about the
situation.
By a 2-1 margin, most city voters have little faith in the
derekshealingarts.com Port Authority’s ability to finish the first part of the memorial
How a child learns to learn by Sept. 11, 2011 or open the Freedom Tower by December
2013. Maybe because the projected opening of the transit
will impact his or her life forever. hub has been pushed back until June, 2014, optimism is
almost 50-50 about finishing that one on time.
It crossed our minds that perhaps W.T.C. developer Larry
Progressive Education for Silverstein paid for this poll to embarrass the Port, but
Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade Quinipiac does its surveys on its own. Quinnipiac has been
polling on W.T.C. issues for about seven years and has never
found as much pessimism about progress there.
OPEN HOUSE “Do New Yorkers believe anything the Port Authority
Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 6-8pm tells them,” Maurice Carroll, Quinnipiac’s director, asked in
a statement. “The answer is ‘no.’”
RSVP to openhouse@cityandcountry.org

Visit www.cityandcountry.org
for information and application materials Read the Archives
146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 www.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.com
212-242-7802
downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 3

Council Candidates: Where Do They Stand?


This week we look at three of the five Democratic candidates in the First City Council District primary, Sept. 15. The district includes
all of Manhattan south of Canal St., Chinatown, Soho and parts of the Village and Lower East Side. Next week we’ll focus on PJ Kim and Arthur Gregory.

Pete Gleason Margaret Chin Alan Gerson


BY JULIE SHAPIRO BY JOSH ROGERS BY JULIE SHAPIRO
City Council candidate If Margaret Chin were City Councilmember
Pete Gleason is so concerned at a poker table, she Alan Gerson started a
about the long-delayed 9/11 might be the type to go recent interview by para-
memorial at the World “all-in” a lot. Her style phrasing former Mayor
Trade Center site that he is to hold to her position Ed Koch.
thinks most other work on and risk the offer on the “For a legislator to real-
the site should wait until the table, trying to convince ly have completed anything
memorial is complete. the other player to back of major significance,”
Gleason, 46, said he is down and fold. Gerson said, “you really do
frustrated by the inaction Chin, 56, said ulti- need three terms.”
of the Port Authority, which mately the community Gerson is hoping that,
owns the site, and the can get more amenities like Koch, he will win a
incumbent Councilmember like affordable housing third term in office to fin-
Alan Gerson. The lack of and more school space if ish his agenda. But first,
even a temporary memorial it holds out before mak- Gerson, 51, has to take
at the Trade Center site “is a Downtown Express photo
ing a deal. Downtown Express photo on four challengers in Downtown Express file photo
disgrace,” Gleason said dur- by Jefferson Siegel When it comes to by Jefferson Siegel the Democratic primary by Elisabeth Robert
ing a 45-minute interview the Seward Park Urban Sept. 15.
last week with editors and reporters of Downtown Express. Renewal Area, which has remained mostly undeveloped In a wide-ranging interview with Downtown Express edi-
To expedite the memorial construction, Gleason suggested for 40 years, she said she would insist that any new tors and reporters this week, Gerson talked about the race
delaying the building of towers along Church St. Developer development include a school and that 100 percent of and his hopes for the next four years.
Silverstein Properties has begun building Tower 4 but would the apartments built there would be set aside for moder- On the oft-delayed World Trade Center site, Gerson
need public subsidies to finish it and to start the other two tow- ate and low income people. made several promises, including that the memorial would
ers. Gleason opposes granting those subsidies. Asked if she might accept some market rate housing open by the 10-year anniversary of 9/11 with permanent
“That can be a vacant spot while the memorial is being built,” there if the sites continued to languish, she said: “That’s pedestrian access. Gerson also committed to putting a bus
Gleason said of the sites for the three Church St. towers. “The down the line but we got to start with the premise that management plan in place and resolving the uncertainties
locations you’re talking about can be used as construction stag- this is the kind of housing we need. If we start saying about the performing arts center.
ing areas for building this memorial…. The first and foremost ‘oh market rate and then do subsidized [housing] or the Although the City Council has little control over most of
thing that should be built is the memorial.” financing doesn’t work’ – that’s B.S.” those rebuilding issues, Gerson said he would use his “bully
Gleason’s hesitancy to spend public money on private office In an interview with Downtown Express last week, pulpit” to make good on the commitments, and his constitu-
towers is similar to the Port Authority’s position in the dispute Chin said there are many non-profit developers who ents should hold him accountable. But if that’s so, Gerson
with Silverstein. But Gleason made it clear that he’s no friend of often get shut out of the process because the city looks was asked, then shouldn’t he be held accountable for the
the Port Authority: Gleason also repeated his called for the Port for the highest bidder. delays at the Trade Center site over the past eight years?
to be disbanded, saying, “It should get out of Dodge.” Chin, who is running for the City Council fulltime, “No,” Gerson said, “for two reasons.” First, he had less
The City Council has little control over the Port Authority, until recently was the deputy executive director of Asian influence in the past because of the high-powered politics
a bi-state agency created by Congress and controlled by two Americans for Equality, a non-profit advocacy group of the site. The delays over the past eight years were often
governors. When Gleason was asked how he would effect the which has developed affordable housing in Chinatown related to insurance and governance disputes, not actual
changes he proposed, he said he would “shine a light on the and the Lower East Side. construction issues, he said. Second, Gerson said he had less
project” to provide transparency, but he did not go into specifics. Some residents near Seward Park oppose any more experience in the past.
Gleason said he could not recall ever asking an official at the Port affordable housing in the area and many of them are also Gerson did not promise to resolve the current dispute
Authority or the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. about strong supporters of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. over office tower financing between W.T.C. developer
W.T.C. rebuilding or demolishing the former Deutsche Bank Chin said it won’t be hard talking with Silver about Silverstein Properties and the Port Authority, which owns
building at public meetings over the past six years. Seward Park. “I am going to,” she said with a smile. “I the site. Gerson thinks Silverstein and the Port Authority
Gleason has also made education a central issue of his cam- can work with him.” both need to put more money into the project.
paign, criticizing Gerson for not solving the overcrowding prob- Similar to her Seward Park position, Chin said she In addition to the World Trade Center, Gerson rounded
lem during his eight years in office. Gleason repeated that criticism did not like the agreement 20 years ago to build P.S. 234 out his third-term agenda by committing to: open the new
during the interview last week, saying Gerson’s efforts to bring in Tribeca because it included a high-rise private office park on Governors Island and begin work on a science con-
new school seats to the neighborhood are too little too late. tower and she would have said no to the deal a few years ference center there; get a new K-8 school approved for North
If elected, Gleason committed to opening another elementary ago to build the Spruce Street School, because it came Tribeca and Soho; and open a law-and-justice-themed high
school to Downtown. But he was not familiar with the two K-8 with a condo tower. school in the Civic Center (he said New York Law School and
schools already in the pipeline — the Spruce Street School and “An 80-story tower luxury building in exchange for all of the district attorney candidates are supportive).
P.S./I.S. 276 in Battery Park City — which are opening with just just a school? I mean the havoc that’s created there with During the interview, Gerson acknowledged for the first
kindergarten classes this fall. the traffic congestion,” she said. “And who is going to time that disorganization is a problem for his office. This fall,
Asked about the schools, Gleason said, “There’s one a little be living there? Is it going to be filled up? It’s a big whether he wins the primary or not, Gerson plans to hire a
east of Tribeca and there’s another one in Battery Park City…. I question.” consultant at his own expense to review his office’s technology
understand one is a middle school.” Chin was careful not to say she would have let the school and personnel, and he said he would make the results public.
Gleason acknowledged that he didn’t know the specifics idea die, just that she thought the community could have “I’m always trying to do better,” Gerson said.
on many issues and had not formed an opinion on how to gotten a lower tower, some affordable housing and the He also acknowledged that communication has been a
zone the schools. school if it held out for more. problem during the past eight years.
“I’m out on the street,” he said. “I’m not in rooms having Councilmember Alan Gerson, one of Chin’s opponents, “Sometimes, people were not fully aware of everything
meetings…. A lot of people are expecting me to do the job said affordable housing at the Spruce St. site was not pos- we were doing,” Gerson said. “Because we got so caught up
before I’m elected, and you know what, that’s not the way sible because the developer could have built the tower as in the doing of it, we neglected the communication of it. And

Continued on page 6 Continued on page 6 Continued on page 6


4 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

POLICE BLOTTER
CAREER P A C E U N I V E R S I T Y
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Police on Wednesday were still seeking
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145-ft. yacht fled in panic. Center site was in the Union Sq. subway sta-
The victim. Omar Trent, 31, of Brooklyn, tion coming home from a party at about 10
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www.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.com
downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 5

New W.T.C. memorial space opens


Continued from page 1

added, “This doesn’t bother me as much as people at the site


selling photos.”
Lower Manhattan residents have long lambasted the
street vendors who sell 9/11 material. Vending is prohibited
on the blocks around the World Trade Center site, but many
of those who carry their wares are protected under the First
Amendment.
“I think it’s a disgrace,” said Paul Sipos, a Community
Board 1 member, of the lurid booklets the vendors sell.
“That’s one of the reasons I don’t go down there.”
Sipos had not seen the merchandise the preview site is
selling, so he couldn’t say if it was more appropriate.
Miguel, 32, who sells 9/11 photo booklets on Church St.,
defended his trade Wednesday afternoon, shortly after the
preview site’s opening ceremony. He carried his booklets in
a black messenger bag and moved quickly along the street,
because he said people from the museum had been stopping
him and scaring away his customers for the past week.
“We were here first,” said Miguel, who did not give his
last name. “We’re just trying to make a living…. The big fish
always eat the little fish.”
Miguel said the police know him and the other 10 or
so vendors who work the area around the site. The police
sometimes tell him to keep moving, but they don’t disrupt his
business, he said. Miguel said he and the other vendors keep
an eye on the area, calling 911 if they see suspicious behavior
or people who need medical attention.
Michelle Breslauer, spokesperson for the 9/11 memorial
foundation, said there was no organized effort to displace
the street vendors.
The souvenirs at the preview site range in price from
50-cent postcards to a $75 coffee-table book. T-shirts and
bags designed for the memorial foundation bear slogans “In
Darkness We Shine Brightest” and “United in Hope.” The
F.D.N.Y. and N.Y.P.D. memorabilia was most popular on the
first day, a cashier said.
John Cartier, 41, whose brother James was killed on 9/11
while doing electrical work in the South Tower, said the sou-
venirs are fine because their sale will help build the memorial
and museum.
“But if we could do this all without money…,” he trailed off.
Cartier donated his brother’s Harley Davidson motorcycle
to the memorial foundation, and it sits in the window draw-
ing visitors inside.
Many of the tourists who visited the preview site
Wednesday, the first day it was officially open, were glad to
have found a place to get information, not just souvenirs.
Przemek Lukasik, 19, who was visiting from Poland, said
the preview center was helpful because after walking around the
fenced-off construction, “I just wanted to see what is inside.”
The preview site, funded with a $1 million grant from the
Downtown Express photos by Lorenzo Ciniglio
Starr International Foundation, is free to enter. It is separate
from the Tribute WTC Visitor Center on Liberty St., which A motorcycle owned by an electrician killed on 9/11 has become a memorial and is now on display at the new
opened in 2006 and charges adults $10 admission. Tribute Memorial Preview location.
co-founders Jennifer Adams and Lee Ielpi attended the pre-
view site’s opening Wednesday and said afterward that they site. Daniels, president of the memorial foundation, said only World Trade Center construction progress with stories from
did not view it as competition. that Tribute’s programs “are incredibly important.” survivors, victims’ relatives and recovery workers.
While the Tribute Center focuses on the past, the preview Adams said Tribute is talking to the foundation about Monica Iken, a memorial foundation board member
site focuses on the future, so the two complement each other, how to share programming and content. whose husband was killed on 9/11, said the opening of the
Ielpi said, echoing similar comments by the foundation’s One thing the preview site has that Tribute does not preview center made her feel that the construction of the
Daniels. Tribute also runs tours led by local residents and is a recording booth where visitors can tape three-minute memorial was real.
relatives of victims. versions of their 9/11 stories, some of which will be incor- “You realize that it’s going to happen,” she said.
Adams said that while Tribute served more than 500,000 porated into the future museum. StoryCorps will also work
people last year, there are still many more tourists looking for with the memorial foundation to use the booth for longer Julie@DowntownExpress.com
information and a place to share their thoughts. The preview interviews.
center will be especially good for those who are just passing The preview space quickly filled with tourists after an The preview site (212-267-2047, national911memorial.
through and do not have an hour or two to spend at the opening ceremony on Wednesday. The dozens of people who org) is at 20 Vesey St. between Broadway and Church Sts.
Tribute Center, Adams said. milled around kept their voices hushed and often left wiping and is open Monday through Wednesday and Friday through
It is unclear what will happen to the Tribute Center once their eyes. Many stood at the back watching a four-minute Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to
the 9/11 memorial and museum open at the Trade Center video clip from Project Rebirth, which combines footage of 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
6 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

Council Candidates: Where Do They Stand?


Alan Gerson
Continued from page 3

communication is important.”
It took Gerson a long time to make his
points. Forty minutes into a nearly two-hour
interview with Downtown Express, Gerson
said he had just given the short version of
his accomplishments and goals and would be
happy to “go through the long version.” In a
lengthy conclusion an hour later, Gerson rat-
tled off a dozen programs as varied as home-
less youth services, a South Street Seaport
design charette and a Chinatown school sci-
ence center with a space simulator.
Earlier, Gerson focused on the parts of
his record he is most proud of, including his
advocacy for an affordable housing fund that
has preserved units in Chinatown and on
the Lower East Side with L.M.D.C. money. Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel
Gerson also highlighted the 2004 agreement Councilmember Alan Gerson, left, Pete Gleason and Margaret Chin at a candidates’ forum organized by Downtown Express and
he secured from the city to build a new The Villager last week. Audio and video recordings of the forum are available at downtownexpress.com.
K-8 school on the East Side, an annex for
P.S. 234 and Manhattan Youth’s Downtown Midtown, Gerson gave more explanation not support congestion pricing on most Unlike Mayor Michael Bloomberg and
Community Center, in exchange for two of his position. drivers. Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Gerson
new residential towers at sites 5B and 5C Gerson has his own plan for congestion While acknowledging a few shortcomings did not cite the poor economy as the reason
in Tribeca. Gerson called that deal “pains- pricing, which would target the minority of during this week’s interview, Gerson said his for his vote. Rather, Gerson said he tried to
taking” and said he had “a few shouting drivers who are using Lower Manhattan as office has achieved results. return the question of term limits to voters
matches” with former Dep. Mayor Daniel a cut-through route. He also wants to focus “We have prioritized real pressing human for a referendum, as it should have been, but
Doctoroff before it was signed. the fees on single drivers during rush hour. needs,” he said, referring to tenants facing once that failed, he wanted to give voters as
Gerson speaks with great familiarity, But if it came down to either the mayor’s eviction and seniors with medical issues. many choices on the ballot as possible.
but not always clarity, on many of the dis- plan or nothing, “I would vote for congestion Gerson also defended his vote to extend “It was a terrible position,” he said of the
trict’s complex issues. On congestion pric- pricing,” Gerson said. Last week, during the term limits for the mayor and other city choice he had to make.
ing, the mayor’s failed plan to charge a fee “lightning round” of a debate sponsored by officials, including himself, a decision his
to drivers entering Lower Manhattan and Downtown Express, Gerson said he would opponents have criticized. Julie@DowntownExpress.com

Margaret Chin Pete Gleason


in and get help,” she said. something similar, Gleason said he had not
Continued from page 3 Chin, who speaks three Chinese dialects, Continued from page 3 read it. But he criticized Gerson for not having
said Gerson has not done well with con- passed any components of the legislation.
of right” within existing zoning law, so the stituent services. She also criticized Gerson it works.” “What I don’t support is [Gerson’s] inability
community had no leverage. for not holding the required number of Gleason said his campaign was focused on to effectuate change,” Gleason said.
Chin also wants to see affordable hous- hearings of the Council’s Lower Manhattan bringing problems to light, and once he was Gerson said in a subsequent interview that
ing, schools and more open space built at the Redevelopment Committee. elected he would focus on solutions. the Police Dept. recently signed off on one of
World Trade Center, but she seemed ready to Gerson said there have been times this “Once you get into the position, you his vending bills, which would redefine how to
accept that the plans are not likely to change year in which different parties in the W.T.C. either do the job or you don’t do the job,” measure sidewalk width, making the current
at this point. talks have asked him to postpone a meeting Gleason said. rules easier to enforce.
“This is what we can hope for,” she said. so as not to jeopardize a sensitive point in Returning to the topic of schools, Gleason Gleason appeared more familiar with bank-
Chin, who lost to Gerson in 2001 and the negotiations, but he planned to make up added that to prevent overcrowding in the rupt developer General Growth Properties’
also ran for Council in 1991 and 1993, said the missed meetings in the coming months. future, he would support a trigger law forcing now-defunct plan for South Street Seaport,
she is confident she’ll be successful this But Gotham Gazette reported earlier this all residential developers to set aside resources which included a 500-foot tower and the move
time. This is the first time she is the only year that the problem is not new and that for infrastructure, including schools. Several of the historic Tin Building. Gleason opposes
woman and the only Chinese person in the Gerson did not hold the required number of sitting councilmembers, including Gerson, have G.G.P.’s plan but did not offer an alternative.
race. In 2001, she came in fourth in a seven- hearings over the last three years. raised the idea previously, but it would require a He said an open 9/11 memorial would bring in
candidate race, but she got the most votes Chin also wants to continue to promote revision to the city charter or the Dept. of City tourists who would help small businesses across
in Chinatown despite running against two voter registration and involvement, some- Planning’s signoff. Lower Manhattan, including in the Seaport.
Chinese opponents. thing she has worked on for many years with Gleason also raised the issue of street vend- As a final question, Gleason was asked if
She wants to continue her fight to build AAFE. ing, which has been a contentious one particu- he’d ever made a decision in his professional
and preserve more affordable housing, pro- The First Council District is one of the larly in Soho, where many of the vendors sell career as a lawyer, firefighter and police officer
tect tenants, increase traffic safety, but she most economically diverse in the city and goods protected under the First Amendment. that he wished he could change, and what he
also fights for quality of life issues such as Chin wants to hold regular meetings with Gleason said the government should not wade had learned from it.
noise complaints and fixing street lights. neighborhood leaders. into the murky question of how to define art, “No,” Gleason said. He then added, “We’ve
She uses her campaign office on Saturdays “I want to get the neighborhoods in but the government also has to prevent vendors all made mistakes…. When you work in the
to help solve people’s problems and plans to District 1 working together,” she said. “Yes from unsafely cluttering the sidewalks. After emergency service, things happen. It’s a danger-
continue that kind of service if she wins. there is rich and poor but we can coexist and some prodding, Gleason said that if elected, he ous job. Sometimes there’s things outside your
“I would have an office that would be work together.” would limit the number of vendors per block. control that happen.”
open in the evenings, on weekends, provide Asked if he supported Gerson’s multi-
different languages, and people could come Josh@DowntownExpress.com pronged vendor legislation, which would do Julie@DowntownExpress.com
downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 7

Neighbors go postal over threatened station closings


BY ALBERT AMATEAU “Local post offices keep us in touch with
Village neighbors, postal union representa- our friends and families,” she said. “Can you
tives and elected officials rallied in front of the imagine what Christmas would be like without
West Village post office last week to protest the a post office near where people live? They are a
U.S. Postal Service’s plan to close the station necessity. A post office is like a community cen-
in October. ter where people meet their neighbors. Closing
The full-service post office at 527 Hudson post offices needs to be done with a scalpel, not
St. is one of five stations in Manhattan, includ- a machete,” Quinn said.
ing the Pitt St. post office next to the Seward State Senator Tom Duane, whose district
Park Co-op on the Lower East Side, and 14 includes the West Village, Assemblymember
total in all five boroughs proposed for closing Linda Rosenthal, representing Clinton and
because of decreased mail volume and a corre- the Upper West Side, and State Senator
sponding decline in revenue for U.S.P.S. Daniel Squadron, whose district includes
It is the second time in two years that the the Lower East Side and most of the East
West Village station has been threatened. In Village, also spoke at the rally. Staff members
2007 the full-service post office was scheduled for Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and
for conversion to an automated center that Richard Gottfried were also at the rally.
would not be able to issue postal money orders. Nadler said the privatization of the U.S.
After protests led by elected officials, full ser- Postal Service a decade ago into a private
vice remained with automatic machines added. public-benefit organization that receives no
About a year ago, the station was closed for subsidy from federal tax funds was a big
several months for a $250,000 renovation. mistake.
“Mail service is a public good. It’s as old
as the United States — started by Benjamin
Franklin,” he said, adding, “It was an illusion
Congressmember to believe that the Postal Service could sustain
itself.” He acknowledged, however, that there
Jerrold Nadler said the does not appear to be support in Congress to
reverse the privatization. “That may change if
privatization of the U.S. there are many more station closings,” he said.
At the end of last month, representa-
Postal Service a decade tives from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s Downtown Express photo by Monica Schipper

Office led a rally in front of the Pitt St. post Residents say saving local post offices, like the Hudson St. station, above, as well
ago into a private public- office protesting the station’s planned closing. as the Pitt St. station, is a priority.
The Pitt St. station, at 185 Clinton St., leases it
benefit organization that premises from the Seward Park Co-op.
The West Village station in July began
receives no subsidy from distributing questionnaires to its patrons as
part of the review of the potential closing. But
federal tax funds was many Villagers felt the questions were rigged
to show that the nearby post office at 201
a big mistake. Varick St. could serve West Village residents.
Steve Gould, a staff member of Visiting
Neighbors, which serves elderly Village resi- food. fun. sand.
dents, said the organization has many clients in
Congressmember Jerrold Nadler and the West Village who are older than 80. LONG ISLAND CITY
Clarence Wall, executive vice president of the “They can’t be asked to walk to Varick St., SUN 9/13 • 1PM SAT 9/26 • 1PM-3AM (free bef. 6pm)
postal workers union in the New York metro more than seven blocks further away,” he said
area, told the Aug. 20 rally at the Hudson St. at the Aug. 20 rally. MARTINEZ VEGA RECORDS:
post office that the union believes there is no Harry Malakoff, a real estate broker and W. BROTHERS "GET TOGETHER"
economic justification for closing the station. 12th St. resident, recalled that when he was W/LOUIE VEGA
“I’m not convinced that these closures a college student 40 years ago, his political-
would create real relief from the Postal Service’s science professor told the class that one of the SOUTH STREET SEAPORT
budget crisis,” said Nadler, adding, “As far as I duties of a congressmember was to make sure FRI 9/4 • 4PM-3AM SAT • 6PM-10PM
can see, the cuts are akin to moving furniture the district had a post office.
around on the Titanic.” Albert Bennett, a Morton St. resident and
MELTING POT GLOBAL: NICKY SIANO
Nadler announced that he was sponsoring member of his block association, said the West PARADISE SAT • 10PM-3AM
two bills in Congress. The intention of one bill Village station is necessary for the association UNDER VICTOR FRANCO
would be to save U.S.P.S. $3.5 billion per year
in operating expenses. The other bill would
to send its monthly newsletter to residents.
“Closing the station would be the death of
THE STARS
require U.S.P.S. to fully justify station closings the Morton St. Block Association,” he said.
and service consolidations, and would require Jo Hamilton, chairperson of Community
GOVERNORS ISLAND
hearings and a public assessment of the need Board 2, said, “We fought the battle two SUN 8/23 • 2PM-12PM SAT. 8/29 • 8PM
for a station closure or consolidation.
Wall said that if it were not for $2 billion
years ago to save the West Village post office.
Community Board 2 is very, very strongly
TURNTABLES ON
THE HUDSON:
BADFISH
WEDS 9/9 • 8PM
that Congress last year forced U.S.P.S. to
prepay into its employee health insurance, the
behind our congressman’s calls to save that
post office. Whenever I go there, it’s always
QUANTIC N*E*R*D
& HIS COMBO BARBARO
Postal Service would have shown a surplus
this year.
crowded, which shows how heavily it’s used.”
A U.S.P.S. spokesperson said none of the
ASHER ROTH
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, city’s 14 threatened stations would be closed
whose district includes the West Village, told until after a review of the situation is com- WaterTaxiBeach.com
the rally that revenues alone couldn’t measure pleted Sept. 30 and hearings are held for each 866.982.2542
the importance of local post offices. closing. OUR OFFICIAL TRAVEL
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Fiterman demo delayed briefly,


after violations
BY JULIE SHAPIRO make them safe.
A series of safety violations at Fiterman Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver,
Hall stopped work on the demolition site who convened a taskforce to monitor the
twice in the past month. Fiterman project, said in a statement that
The Dept. of Buildings issued violations he would continue working with D.O.B. to
Aug. 8 for piled-up debris and Aug. 3 for ensure the site’s safety.
falling sparks, a standpipe problem and “I am pleased that there has been no
cigarette butts found on the no-smoking recurrence of these violations nor have any
site. A few stop work orders were issued new violations been issued,” Silver said
but most of the work was able to resume this week..
within several days. Fiterman was entirely decontaminated
The violations at first appeared remi- before demolition began, which means
niscent of the dangerous conditions at the that there is very little flammable material
former Deutsche Bank building prior to in the building. The excessive debris vio-
the fatal 2007 fire there. Both buildings lation referred to accumulated concrete,
were damaged on 9/11 and they sit on Dalessio said, and he is working with sub-
either side of the Trade Center site. contractor Waldorf Exteriors on keeping
0C7:27<54=@/63/:B673@B=;=@@=E “It does give a moment’s pause,” said the floors clean.
Rob Spencer, director of media services The Aug. 3 standpipe violation came dur-
at the Organization of Staff Analysts ing a routine test after the pipe was cut and
New York Downtown Hospital is a center of excellence for union, and one of the closest watchdogs capped at a lower floor, so an upper floor
Wellness and Prevention, inpatient and ambulatory care, and of the Fiterman and Deutsche projects. could be demolished. The pipe did not hold
aleader in the field of emergency preparedness. The cigarette butts found at Fiterman, air pressure, and workers discovered a worn
in particular, are “not encouraging,” rubber gasket was responsible for the leak.
You will find an efficient and effective health care experience Spencer said. They replaced the gasket and the standpipe
Richard Dalessio, Fiterman project passed a test the next day, Dalessio said.
at New York Downtown Hospital and will have the best of both manager for the Dormitory Authority of The sparks, also noticed Aug. 3, are a
worlds: the support of your own private physician along with the the State of New York, said the project is natural part of demolition work, as torches
latest developments in preventive care and specialty services. safe and the violations reflect the intense cut the building’s steel beams, but workers
scrutiny of the project by the government are now using fire-retardant blankets to
regulators, including the Buildings Dept., prevent the sparks from falling to lower
Our Wellness and Prevention Team provides a broad range of which visits the site daily. levels, Dalessio said.
services including a Women’s Health Program, dedicated to the “The fact that violations were issued is After fi nding the cigarette butts,
prevention and treatment of medical conditions that are common a good thing,” Dalessio said. “It shows that Dalessio said he reemphasized to the
the process is working.” workers that smoking is not allowed on the
to women; digital mammography; comprehensive non-invasive Fiterman Hall, a Borough of Manhattan site. He said he had no hesitations about
cardiovascular assessment; and cancer screening and detection Community College classroom building, Waldorf’s fitness for the job. The same
through Downtown Hospital’s affiliate, the Strang Cancer and the Deutsche Bank building both company also demolished 99 Church St.
needed to be cleaned and demolished after nearby. A Waldorf manager did not return
Prevention Center. 9/11. The 2007 fire at the Deutsche Bank a call for comment.
building, sparked by a worker’s discarded Workers started demolishing Fiterman
Bringing the latest medical research,most up-to-date screening cigarette, was made more dangerous by the Hall in July, and the 15-story building
techniques,and the newest technological advancements to flammable debris in the building, a broken has since lost its roof structures and its
theheart of Lower Manhattan, our Wellness and Prevention Team standpipe and the fact that the building top two-and-a-half floors. Dalessio expects
was being cleaned and demolished simul- the building to be down by the end
will advise you on how to preserve your single most important taneously. of November. Workers will then begin
asset… your good health! This is our commitment to you. Since the fire, abatement and demoli- rebuilding it a week later, he said.
tion projects, including Fiterman, have
been subject to much stricter oversight to Julie@DowntownExpress.com

West Thames playground meet


Residents will be able to discuss plans for or shine. The park’s design has received
the West Thames Park construction with the overwhelming support from Community
park’s project team this weekend, as part of Board 1.
a daylong event held in the current park. Construction is expected to begin in
A community hospital committed to meeting the Officials from the Community Board 1 October and the playground will be closed
Battery Park City Working Group and the until about May, when the project is sched-
healthcare needs of people who visit, live, and state Dept. of Transportation’s Route 9A uled to be finished. Half the dog run will be
work in Lower Manhattan. project team will be available for questions able to remain open. There will be another
in the park at W. Thames and West Sts. question-and-answer meeting in the park on
on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain September 26, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Read the Archives


&!5]ZRAb`SSb<SeG]`Y<G!&
  ! #jeeeR]e\b]e\V]a^WbOZ]`U www.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.com
downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 9

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Gerson says bike lane sped through without input


BY LINCOLN ANDERSON She demanded to know why Gerson didn’t think the com-
Charging the Grand St. bicycle lane is endangering munity board process was a sufficient community process.
both seniors’ safety and stores’ survival, Chinatown “The community board supports this project,” she
residents and merchants joined Councilmember Alan stated.
Gerson at Mott and Grand Sts. last Friday, calling for Gerson countered, “They support it with modifica-
modifications to the new-style lane. Gerson also said tions.” He said he intends to introduce a bill to require
the Department of Transportation must do more com- greater community involvement before any streetscape
munity outreach and consultation before installing new changes, such as adding bike lanes — or “what happened
bike lanes. on Broadway with the bump-outs and the Rutgers St. con-
According to Gerson and Project Open Door, which figuration.”
provides social services at 168 Grand St. for Chinatown Gerson said the bill would require “adequate notice,
seniors, about two months ago a senior was knocked a comment period and a post-implementation review
unconscious on Grand St. by a cyclist who didn’t stop period.”
for a red light. Afterward Samponaro said of Gerson, “He should
On the other hand, the lane’s critics also contend it is be called out for using community process as a front.
underused. One local merchant claimed he had stood at the Ultimately, this is a safer street because of what they’ve
intersection for two hours but seen only five bikes go by on done here.”
the bike lane. Yet right as he said this, one bicycle was pass- Downtown Express photo by Lincoln Anderson Grand St. in Chinatown and Little Italy has traditionally
ing by and within 30 seconds, another two came along. During a press conference at Mott and Grand Sts. at been a “market street,” Gerson noted. After the press con-
Gerson said the seniors dislike that the parking lane which critics of the new bike lane said it is underused, ference, a Little Italy merchant who didn’t give his name
on the street’s south side has been moved several feet out a number of cyclists passed by, including the woman said he supports the bike lane, but changes are needed to
into the street to create a protected bike lane by the curb. above. A motorized hand truck, at left, was also using help local merchants. Noting that the parked cars in the
Having the parking by the curb provided a protected area the lane, easing sidewalk congestion. buffer lane currently can stay there 18 hours a day, he said
for seniors, he said. there should be a two-hour limit. Also, parking should be
Gerson accused D.O.T. of “pitting local residents Caroline Samponaro, director of bicycle advocacy for allowed on Grand St.’s north side at night instead of having
against bicyclists — and this is so unnecessary,” adding, Transportation Alternatives, also pulled up on her bike no parking there, he said.
“There’s no question there’s been an increase in crashes and debated the councilmember. The pro-bike bloggers “You can’t ‘X’ cars out of the city,” he said. “You need
between people and bikes since the lane came in.” and Samponaro said that, according to D.O.T., accidents cars for people to come in.”
The lane should detour onto Kenmare St. between have decreased on the street by 30 percent since the pro- The lane traverses C.B. 2 as well as C.B. 3. Jo Hamilton,
Lafayette St. and Bowery, as proposed by the Little Italy tected lane’s installation. C.B. 2 chairperson, said she looks forward to having a dia-
Merchants Association,” Gerson said. Samponaro added that she had attended four Community logue with Gerson about the issue.
However, the councilmember was challenged at the Board 3 meetings at which the bike lane had been discussed “In general, Community Board 2 has been very support-
press conference by several young bike-friendly jour- prior to its implementation, and that residents’ and mer- ive of D.O.T.’s efforts to create a safe biking culture in the
nalists, one of whom was reporting for Streetsblog. chants’ suggestions had been incorporated into the design. city,” she said.

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12 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

Front St. restaurants say recession missed this block


BY HELAINA N. HOVITZ
It’s not just happy hour that’s keeping
proprietors and customers of the Front St.
restaurants smiling.
Eateries in Lower Manhattan have
been suffering ever since the Sept.11
attack, and coupled with the more recent
problem of various construction projects
driving business away, the recession was
the final blow that caused many small
businesses to close up shop for good.
But paradoxically, many of the relatively
new restaurants on Front St. between
Peck Slip and Beekman St. say business
is great.
Almost every restaurant on the cobble-
stone Seaport street is nearly packed by
8 p.m., and while patrons may have to
hang at the bar for a few minutes on a
particularly busy night, there’s almost
never a wait. Weekends bring crowds in
their evening best to special events or pri-
vate parties, and as the crowds spill out
onto the sidewalk, a passerby would think
they had stumbled upon some sort of chic
communal block party.
The Peck Slip proprietors attribute
their success to the fact that their restau-
rants are less expensive and more casual.
Many emphasize that their fare is top qual-
ity and that their tables are kid friendly.
Whatever the reason, customers come out
on top each week while restaurants all over Downtown Express photos by Elisabeth Robert
the city are going bankrupt. Il Brigante is one of several restaurants on Front St. that is reporting that business is up. Below, Josefa Rubio and Maria
Adin Buhalis, who has lived on Front Domingez enjoy wine bar Bin 220, which is also doing well.
St. for two years and on Water St. for 10,
says that the neighborhood has become “We have exclusive rights on the lease
the new Soho. to be the only wood burning pizza restau-
“It used to be all bugs and bums walk- rant on the block. We’re doing very well,”
ing around,” he said as he ordered cheese says Berti as he knocks on the wooden
at Barbarini. “Now there are places like table.
this, which remind me of LA…stylish, Il Brigante serves traditional Italian
with good food.” fare to Wall St. regulars for lunch and
ONDA, a Latin/South American res- neighborhood regulars for dinner. Because
taurant, has a live band playing Spanish they also deliver, the restaurant even saw
music and the atmosphere of a trendy des- an increase of 20 percent this past winter,
tination spot, but it also attracts families. which Berti attributes to the fact that
“The kids love the cheesy bread sticks “many people don’t go to the steakhouse
and fries,” said Alessandro Passante, gen- anymore because its so expensive.”
eral manager and partner. He said they Children are invited to stand over the
don’t get many tourists, but the locals counter and help make their pizza. “The
come back again and again. chef is like a big kid, so they make a mess
Passante and his partners had already together,” laughs Berti.
invested their money in the restaurant Surprisingly, the summer months have
before the recession hit. He said they had been a bit slower, but Berti attributes
a slow start when they opened in January, this to the fact that many regulars are on
but have seen a 35 percent increase since vacation.
the weather began warming up in May. Calli Lerner and Sandy Tedesco, who
Passante is unconcerned about the near- live nearby in Southbridge Towers, opened
ing winter months, because he feels that cozy and casual Bin 220 three years ago left on the block. We looked at each on the block affected by the recession.
they have established a strong rapport with and say business has always been good. other and said, ‘let’s take a chance on Diane Honeywell, general manager, says
their customers. “I trust that it will be a Unlike many wine bars, which can feel this.” Plus, ”we got a good deal from the that they lost 10 percent of their clientele
decent winter, and the regulars will be in,” pretentious and intimidating, the wine list landlord.” when the recession hit because many of
he says. “We just have to keep building the is split up into two clear, reader-friendly Wall Streeters order lunch and dinner their customers had corporate accounts and
reputation of a fun place where anything sections, “wines Calli likes and the wines regularly and still continue to book the were not allowed to use them anymore.
can happen on a given night.” Sandy likes.” room in the back for their private events. So what’s the secret to staying a cut
Il Brigante opened in February 2007, ”We all opened around the same time, As “gourmet aficionado’” Jesse Torres above the rest?
when the area was just picking up. so we all help each other out,” Calli said eagerly cut off slabs of cheese and salami “Our restaurants depend on their
“The neighborhood was lacking good of the other restaurants on the block. for tasting, he said actress Eva Mendes neighbors, so the customers are loyal.
restaurants,” said Nicolas Berti, Brigante’s Claudio Marini, co-owner of Barbarini, loved his dinner at the restaurant the When given a choice, they’ll come back
general manager. “The restaurants on explained why he opened five months ago week before. “She was raving about how here,” says Sandy Tedesco of Bin 220.
Fulton St. don’t need to have good fare in the middle of a recession. gorgeous it was,” he said. “I guess we’re doing something right….
because tourists don’t come back.” “The market space was the last space Nelson Blue seems to be the only place Maybe we’re just lucky.”
downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 13

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14 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

Move now, buy later, condo building owners say


BY CHELSEA-LYN RUDDER and were waiting,” said Robertson. Those “These programs can be beneficial for buy-
In an effort to generate short-term cash who decide to invest in an apartment essen- ers who need to stay within a certain budget,
flow in otherwise vacant apartments, devel- tially live rent-free for a year. To sweeten the and for those who for one reason or another
opers are attracting new attention to several deal, 75 Wall St. is a part of the 421-G tax can not get a loan from a conventional insti-
Lower Manhattan buildings by telling ten- abatement plan. The tax program is specifi- tution,” he said. “The developer widens the
ants that they can rent now and buy later. cally for Lower Manhattan, which allows for market by bringing in temporary renters who
Ellen Sharon, a 37-year-old Financial District effectively zero tax payments for the first are likely to buy into the program.”
resident who is thinking about buying an apart- nine years after the purchase of the condo. Rent-to-own agreements provide a win-
ment, said she might be interested in a rent-to- Like many buildings in Lower Manhattan dow of time for consumers to establish credit
own program in the future. “Considering the with similar amenities, one-bedroom apart- worthiness and to save for a down payment.
market, it is best to learn as much as possible ments at 75 Wall start at about $1 million. Their rental payments generate immediate
about all of the options,” she said. The rent on a one bedroom, works out to Ellen Sharon, a Financial District resident, income for the owner of the development.
A producer and project manager in the about $4,000 per month. said she would consider moving into a Rent-to-own can even be a good option for
entertainment industry, Sharon moved into Other condominium buildings in Lower condo with a rent-to-own program. those who have the money to buy now.
a rental building with her husband a few Manhattan, including 99 John St., are also “Considering the current market you could
months ago. She likes that the rent-to-own utilizing rent-to-own programs in light of the lived there owned their apartment,” she said. utilize that money and purchase another apart-
programs allow the opportunity to get to economic climate. “Tenants will care differently for the com- ment as an investment property, while living in
know the atmosphere of a building before “If you are looking at a million-dollar mon areas of the building. The owners will the rent-to-ownapartment,” Allen said.
making a full commitment. apartment, renting for one year is not that consider it their own and are more likely to Seventy-five Wall’s rent-to-own program
Prospective buyers at 75 Wall St. have meaningful,” said Sharon, the Financial take better care of the spaces. On the other was established to encourage sales, but that
the chance to try out their luxury apart- District resident. “If there was an option hand if a developer would consider extend- will not prevent the developer from renting to
ments before they buy and apply the first 12 to rent for two or three years then the rent ing the rental period beyond one year I might those who do not initially express an interest in
months of rent toward the purchase price of would accumulate and become a decent be very interested in rent to own.” buying an apartment. Everyone who signs up
a condo in the posh building. down payment.” Rent-to-own programs Rent-to-own was last seen in New York for the program will be given a 14-month lease,
Bill Robertson, the broker in charge of 75 that only allow potential buyers to rent for City with some regularity in the late ’80s with a fixed price for the home in the contract.
Wall St.’s program, said that only half of the one year cater to those who can afford the and early ‘90s. Those who stand to benefit By month nine, the tenant is expected to indi-
300 apartments in the building have been apartment under traditional circumstances. include recent immigrants, who might not cate if he or she will purchase the home. The
sold. He approached the building’s devel- The incentive lies in the opportunity to have have an established credit history in this developer will automatically lower the purchase
oper, The Hakimian Organization, about additional time to commit to the purchase country, and self-employed individuals with price indicated in the lease by 5% but is open to
instituting the rent-to-own program, which while actually living in the apartment. earnings that fluctuate. further negotiations if the buyer insists upon a
will allow buyers to test drive the condo While Sharon sees some perks in a rent- Aysaac Allen, the founder and president lower price. As for those who would like to con-
before fully committing. to-own agreement she expressed some con- of Aysaac.com, an online real estate maga- tinue to rent after the initial lease is up. Broker,
“This is really a good idea for those cerns. “I think I would prefer to buy in a zine, said buyers and owners both benefit Bill Robertson said, “That will depend upon
who thought they could not afford to buy building where the majority of people who from rent to own. what is going on in the market at that time.”

PACKER
Open Houses
Fall 2009
Packer cordially invites you to attend an Open House for the 2010-2011
academic school year, on one of the following mornings:
Upper School - Grades 9-12 Middle School - Grades 5-
Tuesday, October 6th 8
Tuesday, October 13th Thursday, October 8th
Thursday, October 15th Thursday, November 22nd
Wednesday, October 21st
(6:30pm)*

Wednesday, October 28th


(6:30pm)*
Tuesday, November
10th
At each Open House, you will have an opportunity to tour the school, and meet with
Packer faculty, administrators, and current students. Open Houses are held from 8:45-
11:00 a.m. To attend, please call us in the Admissions Office at (718) 250-0385 or e-
mail kcrowley@packer.edu
*Please note the Open Houses on Wednesday, October 21 st and 28 th will take place from 6:30-8:30pm.
______________________________________________________________________________

Preschool & Lower School - PreK 3/4's – Grade 4


Wednesday, September 30, 2009 - Kindergarten
Wednesday, October 7, 2009 - Kindergarten
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - Pre-Kindergarten
Wednesday, October 21, 2009 - Kindergarten
Wednesday, October 28, 2009 - Kindergarten
Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - Pre-Kindergarten
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - Kindergarten
Wednesday, November 18, 2009 – Kindergarten
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - Kindergarten
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - First - Fourth Grade
At each Open House, you will have an opportunity to tour the school and meet with
Packer faculty and administrators. Open Houses begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. To
attend, please call us in the Admissions Office at (718) 250-0254 or e-mail
ymenard@packer.edu
______________________________________________________________________________
THE PACKER COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE
170 Joralemon Street Brooklyn, NY 11201
www.packer.edu
downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 15

Feds detain photographer


Homeland Security officers detained a photography.
photographer for six hours last week after he Thomas said authorities have stopped
refused to explain why he was shooting video him before while he is working, though
of the federal building at 26 Federal Plaza. when he explains that he understands his
Officers asked Randall Thomas, a rights, they often leave him alone. He
43-year-old professional photographer, was previously arrested for taking a still
why he was panning up and down the photograph of the same building, though
building with his handheld video camera, he has yet to hear the outcome of his “not
to which he responded “none of your guilty” plea.
Value
ion • Best
business,” before responding a second “There are certain things that the press
t Instruct
Exper
time with profanity. He was asked to cannot do when it comes to national
give up the camera and memory card, security, and filming federal buildings
thentic Facilities •
and detained in a holding cell six hours is one of them,” said Luis Martinez, a Au
at the Downtown location as officers spokesperson for the Dept. of Homeland
obtained search warrants for the devices. Security. While federally outlined rules
He was accused of videotaping security about permission and usage can be vague,
countermeasures, according to the Dept. Martinez likened the situation to pho-
of Homeland Security, and received three tographing Port Authority property. He
tickets—for disorderly conduct, failure said the organization often posts signs
to comply with directions and impeding outside the tunnels under their control
duties of a federal officer. that prohibit photography, with the threat
“I’m a bit distraught that they would of fines and arrest clearly visible.
do that, that they would take it as far as The investigation is still ongoing,
they did,” said Thomas, who said he was Martinez said. When Thomas left at 9
operating within his First Amendment p.m. that night, his equipment was not
rights. He said he was “not photograph- returned to him.
ing anything in particular,” having been
out that day to promote his wedding — Jared T. Miller

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16 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

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downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 17

Neighbors say Seaport crossings are not safe


BY HELAINA N. HOVITZ
Looking both ways before you cross the street does not
help much if you’re trying to cross Gold St.
Five-year-old Samara Glazer always pulls her mother Irene
a little bit ahead of her when they walk out of their 77 Fulton
St. building. Irene now holds on tighter when they get to the
corner of Gold crossing over to Ann St.
“I try to hold her back, because the cars just zip around,”
she said. “What they’re doing is disgusting. Nobody abides by
the stop sign at Fulton St. and Gold St., either, and the way the
fence and the blockades are set up, you’re right at the edge of
the traffic by the time you get to the stop sign anyway. If you’re
not looking, you’re dead.”
Downtown residents, workers, and tourists sometimes look
shaken after they try to cross Gold St., either at Ann or at
Fulton St. The new traffic pattern created by the DeLury Park
construction has cars careening around turns. There is no traf-
fic signal and residents say the stop sign is difficult to see.
Gold at Ann St. had been a two-way street, divided by
the original DeLury Park, which has been torn up and is now
under construction. Once this construction began, it was
changed to a one-way street. In recent weeks it has once again
been made two-way, and the way the construction blockades
are arranged blocks views of the cars zipping along from
Fulton St. toward Gold and Ann Sts. There is a part-time
traffic agent near the intersection, but he sometimes stares at
the ground and does not always notice people trying to cross
Downtown Express photos by Jefferson Siegel
the street.
The city Dept. of Transportation declined to comment. Residents say crossing at Fulton, Gold and Ann Sts. has gotten more hazardous in recent weeks with the nearby
Lucy D’Ippolito, 92, who’s lived at Southbridge Towers for construction.
30 years, said she is scared of crossing the street by herself.
“When I had to go across the street to the hospital last
week, I was shaking, I was already in bad shape, and those cars
speed around that corner like crazy,” she said. “Sometimes I
think it’s a miracle that I make it across. When I get across the
street, I say, ‘Thank you God.’”
Technically one of the problem areas is no longer a
crosswalk, but many Southbridge residents still cross there
because it used to be an official crosswalk and it leads right
into the complex.
Arthur Gregory, a City Council candidate who lives near-
by, said “a lot of people on walkers and canes like me have
a hard time….I’m younger though. When people cross the
street, we have to put our hands up to act as traffic cops….
“The stop sign is in a position where it’s not where a
normal stop sign would be, even I went through it the first
couple of times…if you don’t spot it out of the corner of your
eye, you don’t see it…you’re used to signs being where they
are supposed to be.”
Erik Ayala, 28, who lives at 77 Fulton St. with his wife
and their son Lucien, thinks a blinking light would be a bet-
ter option than a stop sign.
He and his wife are expecting another baby in October, and
they’re worried about his safety. “When you push a stroller, the
stroller goes out first,” he said. “With those cars zipping around
like that, anything could happen.”

We have
Downtown We Know Our Community

Covered Like No One Else


18 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

CELEBRATE
Lucie, 101, B.M.C.C. jazzman
THE HIGH HOLY DAYS EXPERIENCE who played with the greats
A Joyous, Music-Filled, Spiritual Celebration
THE SHUL OF NEW YORK
WITH
OBITUARY word about him, and for someone [who’s
been] in the business for so long, that’s not
A Synagogue for Spiritual Judaism something to be taken lightly.”
BY JARED T. MILLER Lucie had been on B.M.C.C.’s faculty for 30
Rabbi Burt Aaron Siegel Lawrence Lucie, a guitarist who played years until he retired a few years ago at the age
with many of the legends of jazz and taught of 97. Throughout his career he became known
music for several decades at Downtown’s for his skills as a rhythm guitarist, holding a
Borough of Manhattan Community College, steady beat rather than stealing the spotlight
died last Friday at the age of 101. with soloing. Most recently, Lucie performed
He was living at the Kateri Residence, a solo shows at Arturo’s, a Greenwich Village
nursing home on the Upper West Side, at the restaurant that offered him a regular slot on
time of his death. Sundays until he left in 2005.
a diverse and inclusive congregation Born in Emporia, Virginia on December “He was just a wonderful man,” said Lisa

Celebrating our 10th Anniversary year 18, 1907, Lucie began his jazz career at age
19 when he moved to New York to study
Giunta, co-owner of Arturo’s and daughter
of the restaurant’s namesake founder. When
banjo at the Brooklyn-Queens Conservatory. asked how she felt about Lucie ending his
Join us at the historic
One of his first gigs was with Duke Ellington, career at Arturo’s, she commented simply,
Angel Orensanz Foundation filling in for the jazz legend’s banjo player “We’re very blessed.”
(the oldest synagogue still standing in New York City) for a week at the Cotton Club, according Lucie was married to Nora Lee King,
172 Norfolk Street, south of Houston Street, in the Lower East Side to The New York Times. Ellington hired a jazz guitarist and singer with whom he
him as a temporary replacement, though recorded later in his career. The couple also
Seating is limited - secure your tickets in advance he quickly became renowned for his guitar had a show on public-access cable television
ROSH HASHANA YOM KIPPUR playing as swing bands began to incorporate in New York City for a number of years. In
Friday Sept. 18th 7pm Sunday Sept. 27th 7pm the instrument into the music of the day. He the 1980s the two opened Toy Records, a
Saturday Sept. 19th 10am Monday Sept. 28th 10am until sundown went on to play with several other greats: record label for which they recorded several
3:30 Yiskor
CHILDREN’S SERVICES Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, he played easy listening albums.
12:30 BOTH HOLIDAYS guitar for Benny Carter, Fletcher Henderson Though no information about any survi-
For tickets, directions and other information and Coleman Hawkins. He also played with vors was available, Lucie and his wife did
jazz greats Billie Holliday, Jelly Roll Morton not have children.
www.theshulofnewyork.org and Louis Armstrong, and was Armstrong’s She died in the 1990s.
Email - board@theshulofnewyork.org best man at one of his weddings. On Lucie’s 100th birthday, Lucie told a
questions ? 212 475 8763 “He was a wonderful gem of a person, New York Times reporter the advice that he
absolutely,” Laurence Wilson, who chaired said accounted for his longevity and success
the B.M.C.C.’s music department during in jazz: “I didn’t have but one woman at a
l Lucie’s tenure there, said in a phone inter- time. I didn’t drink a lot of whiskey. I did
ita
Dig port view. “I’ve never heard anyone say a bad what my father told me to do.”
s s
Pa otos
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20 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

&
MIXED USE
CHAIN GANGS
For customers looking to grab a quick
bite at Dunkin’ Donuts, Subway or
McDonald’s, the Financial District is not
a neighborhood to indulge their fast-food
BY PATRICK HEDLUND lust.
According to the Center for an Urban
Future’s “Return of the Chains” report, an
43 MACDOUGAL SQUATTERS analysis of the spread of national retailers
As the city begins to take action on an throughout the city, Lower Manhattan’s
abandoned Soho property that has been left 10006 zip code counts only seven chain
to deteriorate for decades on MacDougal stores, ranking it the third-lowest for such
St., squatters and vandals have allegedly retailers in Manhattan.
returned despite efforts to prevent access to However, Downtown’s 10038 zip code
three-story structure. contains 80 chains, ranking it 17th citywide
The property, at 43 MacDougal St. at for the amount of national retailers.
the corner of King St. in the Charlton-King- The 10012 zip code covering the Village
Vandam Historic District, had been left to and Soho came in at No. 12 citywide with
rot for years before the city finally began 94 chain stores, while the East Village’s
fining the owners and pursued a lawsuit to 10003 took third overall with 151 chains.
compel them to make repairs. Dunkin’ Donuts had the most outlets
The city responded by boarding up the of all chains citywide with 429 (up from
building’s broken windows and installing 341 last year) and Subway came in second
scaffolding around the structure, but the lat- with a staggering 361 locations, outdoing
ter apparently has only helped squatters set McDonald’s 258.
up camp inside the hollowed-out townhouse.
“The sidewalk shed, which was built
one year ago by the Department of Housing VESUVIO 2.0
Preservation to protect passersby, has allowed The next chapter in the Vesuvio Bakery
ease of access for squatters and vandals saga is probably the best Soho preservation-
into and out of the building,” read a letter ists could have asked for: Another bakery
from Andrew Berman, executive director committed to continuing the diminutive
of the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Prince St. store’s legacy will take over at the
Preservation, to several city agencies. He landmark location.
explained in a separate note that the squatters The eco-friendly Birdbath bakery, which
— who neighbors and G.V.S.H.P. staff have has two locations in the Village, recently
seen living inside the property — face “very negotiated to lease the nearly 90-year-old
real health and safety dangers, including the Vesuvio space after a series of unrelated
very real possibility of accidental fires.” reopenings failed and the store stayed empty
Additionally, new graffiti recently appeared for more than a year.
near the building’s third-floor fire escape, The new bakery will debut in October,
and a pool of water has built up on the roof according to New York magazine, which
that could cause structural damage. interviewed Birdbath proprietor Maury
“I was grateful to learn in June that the Rubin on the planned move.
Landmarks Preservation Commission had “It’s an heirloom, it’s a treasure, it
finally begun initiating a Demolition by means the world,” he told the magazine.
Neglect case against the building’s owners,” “That I have a chance to have my bakery
Berman added in his letter, describing the be in it is a gift.”
action taken by L.PC. that includes levying Rubin will reportedly remove Vesuvio’s
substantial fines against the owners, site historic, coal-burning ovens to ease the
visits, evaluation and a lengthy legal process. landlord’s fire concerns, but otherwise plans
“However, the beginning stages of this pro- to keep as much of the old shop intact as
cess have been slow,” Berman added, “and possible — one of the main reasons he was
we are concerned that the building will con- chosen as the next tenant.
tinue to deteriorate and pose an increasing The bakery was owned and operated by
health and safety threat to neighbors while the “Mayor of Greenwich Village,” Tony
we wait for the case to take shape.” Dapolito, until his death in 2003.

Fogerty at the Seaport


Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Fogerty to begin at 7 p.m.
will perform a free concert at South Street The new album features several of
Seaport next Wednesday, in support of his Fogerty’s favorite classic songs as well
new album that hit stores this weekend. as a single of his own, “When Will I Be
The former lead singer of Creedence Loved.” His album includes John Denver’s
Clearwater Revival will perform songs from “Back Home Again” among other covers,
“The Blue Ridge Rangers Ride Again” at and Bruce Springsteen sings on one of the
Pier 17 on Sept. 2. The concert is scheduled tracks.

Read the Archives


www.DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.com
downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 21

Copters take flak at a hearing


BY ALBERT AMATEAU flights from the 30th St. heliport will cease as of ted a statement calling on the F.A.A. to use its low-altitude aircraft aware of each other.
Anti-noise and air-traffic safety advo- April 1, 2010, and the number of tourist flights authority to control airspace below 1,100 feet. Joy Held, president of the Helicopter Noise
cates joined elected officials at a Tuesday from W. 30th St. was reduced to 25,000 flights Nadler repeated his demand that small air- Coalition, said sightseeing copters are “utterly
hearing by the City Council Transportation in the year that ended May 31 and to 12,500 for craft must install a Traffic Collision Avoidance unnecessary, dangerous, noisy, a serious security
Committee on improving air safety following the coming year. Matthew Washington, Friends System and a Mode C transponder, which make risk and they cause pollution.”
the Aug. 8 helicopter crash with a private deputy director, told the committee the lawsuit
airplane over the Hudson River in which was filed to eliminate the noise that disturbs
nine people were killed. park users.
The crash involving a sightseeing helicopter “While our suit was not based on specific air-
from the W. 30th St. heliport in Hudson River
Park provoked repeated demands Tuesday
traffic concerns, we hope these efforts will aid in
a reduction of potential dangers,” he said.
Who knew Sunday
for banning such tourist flights, and inspired
more demands for closer Federal Aviation
Ken Paskar, a Lower East Side resident
and a general aviation pilot for 30 years, told
could be like this?
Administration control over chopper and pri- the committee that the F.A.A. has rules for
vate planes flying beneath 1,100 feet. flights at all altitudes, but at 1,100 feet and
Manhattan Borough President Scott below, the agency does not require private
Stringer proposed separate altitudes — pilots or helicopter pilots to file flight plans
1,100 feet for small planes and 500 feet or be in radio contact with flight control-
for helicopters — which prompted boos lers. The “see and avoid” rule governs low-
and jeers from audience members long con- altitude air traffic.
cerned about helicopter noise. Paskar, a volunteer representative with the
Stringer, however, also proposed a morato- F.A.A. Safety Team but testifying as a private
rium on sightseeing flights. citizen, said rules for the Hudson River cor-
Assemblymember Richard Gottfried sub- ridor could be improved. He noted that in the
mitted a statement that said, in part, “We do not Washington, D.C., area the F.A.A. requires
need sightseeing helicopter rides. … [W]hatever general aviation pilots to take a course on “see
sightseers spend on a helicopter ride they would and avoid” rules. Paskar said a similar course
eagerly spend on some other activity.”
Under the settlement of a 2008 lawsuit
should be required of pilots flying the Hudson
River corridor.
Trinity Church
Broadway and Wall Street
by Friends of Hudson River Park, sightseeing Congressmember Jerrold Nadler submit-
s7ORSHIPSERVICESATAMANDAM
s0ROFESSIONALCHILDCARE
s!DULTSCLASSATAM
4HE'OSPEL Times, Journal & You
s#HILDRENSCLASSATAM
-ORNING'LORIES
s#OFFEEHOURANDCOMMUNITYIN4RINITYS
HISTORICCHURCHYARD
&ORMOREINFORMATION
trinitywallstreet.orgOR 212.602.0800
Downtown Express photo by JB Nicholas
an Episcopal parish
N.Y.P.D. scuba divers and harbor unit officers recovering a body from the Hudson in the city of New York
River after the fatal midair collision on Aug. 8.

BACK TO SCHOOL!
Battery Park City Day Nursery bagels call about
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Contact Allison Greaker for advertising opportunities at 646-452-2485


22 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

EDITORIAL LETTERS TO THE EDITOR


PUBLISHER & EDITOR
John W. Sutter
ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Josh Rogers
Safer demolitions McCourt memories 12th St. seem to be dying.
Now he is going to be tough on the
M.T.A., just after a ceiling on the 181st
For many of us, the vivid memories of the 9/11 To The Editor: St. I.R.T. station collapses. Has he been
ARTS EDITOR
Scott Stiffler attack will always be there. As we approach the Re “My brother Frank: The teacher who dong anything regarding the M.T.A. dur-
eight-year anniversary, there are also still physical walked beside me” (Downtown Notebook ing his reign?
REPORTERS reminders of the tragedy hovering over the World by Alphie McCourt, Aug. 21 - 27): Please, I need help, I just have a gradu-
Albert Amateau
Lincoln Anderson Trade Center. The two remaining buildings that Alphie, thank you for writing something ate degree. Anyone out there?
Patrick Hedlund were damaged on that day — the former Deutsche so real. Thank you for bringing us into the
Julie Shapiro Bank building and the City University of New room with you and into your thoughts and Pamela L. La Bonne
SR. V.P. OF SALES AND York’s Fiterman Hall — are literally the biggest memories around Frank. It is these things
MARKETING reminders. that are of real value. I breathe a deep
Francesco Regini Demolition of Fiterman began about a month breath of fresh air. It is such a pleasure to POSTED
ago and deconstruction at the trouble-plagued be free of cloying sentimentality. ON DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM
SR. MARKETING CONSULTANT
Jason Sherwood Deutsche Bank building could finally be resuming
next month. Since two firefighters were killed bat- Marta Szabo “Gleason spars with Gerson at candi-
ADVERTISING SALES tling a blaze at the Deutsche Bank building more dates’ forum” (News article, posted August
Allison Greaker
Julio Tumbaco than two years ago, we’ve learned to be skeptical 18)
about any claims about bringing this dangerous
Danielle Zupanovich
hulk down. But we’re pleased that preparatory City problems Having attended the August 17 debate,
RETAIL AD MANAGER
Colin Gregory demolition work began this week. I commend the Downtown Express and
More important, some of the long-overdue To The Editor: The Villager for having convened and man-
OFFICE MANAGER safety improvements for demolition and construc- Would someone please explain to me aged such an orderly forum. That said,
David Jaffe
tion projects appear to be working effectively, but how Mayor Bloomberg creates these oxy- as a voter, I found the questions very
ART / PRODUCTION DIRECTOR more needs to be done. There was, of course, no moronic catchy titles for himself? disappointing, playing more to headlines
Troy Masters need to wait for the tragic deaths of Firefighters First, he is the “Education Mayor” and soundbites than substance. With so
ART DIRECTOR Robert Beddia and Joseph Graffagnino, Jr. to begin — for kids without schools. Then, he is many new candidates of such variety in
Mark Hasselberger taking safety more seriously — we and community The “Good-For-Business Mayor” — and experience, I was hopeful that the modera-
GRAPHIC DESIGNER leaders warned about safety problems before the I just see more and more empty store tors would query far more about HOW a
Jamie Paakkonen deadly fire — but any time safety is increased, it windows. candidate would set about ensuring their
DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION potentially saves lives. What about that plant-a-million-trees platform’s success. Additionally the “bullet
Cheryl Williamson There were many preventable reasons for the for PlaNYC? Guess what? I just noticed rounds” requiring one word answers were
firefighters’ deaths, but at the top of the list was today that no one in his administration no help at all. I look forward to better ques-
CONTRIBUTORS
Frank R. Angelino the broken standpipe that was never inspected or seems to know that once the trees are tions, next time.
Wickham Boyle repaired. Firefighters were sent into a “death trap” planted they need watering. The trees on
Tim Lavin without a water source, according to Manhattan Eighth Ave. in my neighborhood around Council District 1 Voter
David Stanke District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who is still
Jerry Tallmer investigating the case.
PHOTOGRAPHERS At Fiterman Hall, work was stopped a few IRA BLUTREICH
Lorenzo Ciniglio weeks ago when the standpipe failed a test. That’s
Milo Hess how things are supposed to work. As a building
Corky Lee is being dismantled, the standpipe must be cut
Elisabeth Robert repeatedly and, in turn, tested repeatedly.
Jefferson Siegel
More troubling are the cigarette butts recently
found at Fiterman. Smoking was prohibited at the
Published by Deutsche Bank building because of the flammable
COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC materials, but workers typically smoked there and
145 Sixth Ave., NY, NY 10013 a cigarette started the blaze, according to investiga-
Phone: (212) 229-1890 tors. Fiterman no longer has flammable materials
Fax: (212) 229-2790 needed for the abatement of toxic materials because
On-line: www.downtownexpress.com demolition did not begin until the abatement in the
E-mail: news@downtownexpress.com building was finished — another post-Deutsche
reform. Smoking may not be as hazardous there as It would be funny — if it wasn’t so sad.
Gay City
NEWS
TM

it was a few months ago, but it is still dangerous


and is prohibited for a reason. Last year, inspectors
found cigarette butts at the Deutsche Bank build-
Downtown Express is published every week by
Community Media LLC, 145 Sixth Ave., New
York, N.Y. 10013 (212) 229-1890. The entire
ing, and one of our photographers got a photo of
a construction worker smoking while working on
SEND YOUR
contents of the newspaper, including advertising,
One World Trade Center, even though smoking is

Letter to the Editor


are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced
without the express permission of the publisher -
© 2009 Community Media LLC.
prohibited throughout the site.
If no-smoking rules are flouted at high-profile
PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR
The Publisher shall not be liable for slight sites at and near the W.T.C. where inspectors are
changes or typographical errors that do not
lessen the value of an advertisement. The on site, it seems likely that there are more viola- NEWS@DOWNTOWNEXPRESS.COM
publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions
tions elsewhere around the city.
in connection with an advertisement is strictly
limited to publication of the advertisement in any
subsequent issue.
Building safety appears to be getting better, 145 SIXTH AVENUE, NYC, NY 10013
but clearly more vigilance and enforcement are
Member of the
New York Press needed. Construction work is dangerous enough.
Association Lax enforcement only increases the risks.
Member of the
PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER
National
Newspaper FOR CONFIRMATION PURPOSES ONLY
Association

© 2009 Community Media, LLC


downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 23

TALKING POINT
What’s the matter with Downtown’s candidates?
BY CHARLES KOMANOFF Traffic pricing is central to reducing gridlock, and enthu- consultation” — i.e., doing nothing — ignoring the fact
Downtown is closer to Kansas than you think. siasm for it should be a given for any Downtown legislator. that D.O.T. had secured Community Board 2’s near-
And judging from the campaign for the City Council The city’s worst traffic congestion occurs here, yet our unanimous approval for the lane. Only Kim cautioned
seat held by Alan Gerson, it’s about to get even closer. network of subways, buses and sidewalks is resilient and against “demonizing cyclists” — in a Council district
The surprise bestseller of 2004 was “What’s The efficient. Just 21 percent of Council District 1 households whose short distances and quirky streets make it ideal
Matter With Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart own a car, and many of these are driven only on weekends for cycling, and whose chronic gridlock makes bicycling a
of America.” The book explained how the U.S. heartland or other special occasions. It’s hard to imagine a traffic toll rare “positive externality” — a private action that confers
forsook its populist roots and became a red-state strong- that wouldn’t benefit the vast majority of Downtowners. public benefits.
hold. According to author Thomas Frank, the Republican What’s going on here? Is a bum roll of the dice to
Party used hot-button “social issues” like abortion and gay blame, or is something deeper at work?
rights to build electoral majorities for economic policies Probably some of each. What Frank’s “Kansas” book
that enriched the country-club set at the expense of work- Traffic pricing would benefit most taught us is that most politicians will push whatever cul-
ing families. tural buttons will get them elected. In the heartland, it’s
Something similar seems to be happening in the Downtowners, yet the Council “partial-birth” abortion and same-sex marriage. Here, in
Democratic primary race in the First Council District, albe- the first Council District, evidently it’s Americans’ right to
it with a different set of issues. For the most part, incum- hopefuls care more about the few drive anywhere, anytime, and pay nothing for the damage.
bent Gerson and his rivals are defending a transportation And, for good measure, to turn up one’s nose at bicycle-
status quo that privileges a relative handful of drivers at who own cars. riders — as if “those cyclists” couldn’t be “us cyclists” too,
everyone’s expense. None of the candidates are clamoring with the right street configuration.
for new policies that would make Lower Manhattan — and Is Lower Manhattan, like Kansas, fated to vote against
all of New York City — a better place to live and work. its self-interest? Let’s hope not.
Take traffic pricing. At the Downtown Express candi- It gets worse. Not a single Council candidate spoke While it’s too late to put an avowed transportation
dates forum on Aug. 17, only two candidates Margaret up for the Grand St. bike lane, whose innovative design reformer on the ballot, it’s not too late to let the candi-
Chin and PJ Kim evinced any appetite for asking drivers provides a safe cycling connection between Hudson dates know where you stand. Use these final weeks to tell
to offset even a fraction of the cost of the traffic delays Square and the Lower East Side and has reduced traffic Councilmember Gerson and his rivals that you want traf-
they cause, via a toll. Gerson and Pete Gleason denigrated injuries nearly 30 percent, according to the N.Y.C. Dept. fic pricing and safe bicycle lanes. Tell them that on Sept.
the idea and sealed their opposition with a handshake. of Transportation. And no candidate has reproached 15 you intend to pull the lever for the candidate who will
(Gerson later told the Downtown Express that he Councilmember Gerson for his demagogic attacks on the help, not hinder, the movement to repurpose our streets
might support a toll on through-traffic an empty gesture D.O.T., such as branding it a “Department of Tyranny” to broader, gentler uses.
since it would exempt most vehicle trips and might be for striving to undo decades of Robert Moses policies
impossible to administer in any event. Residential exemp- that have made our streets inhospitable to everything but Charles Komanoff, a Tribeca resident since 1994, is
tions, as required by another candidate, Arthur Gregory, cars. working with labor lawyer Ted Kheel to advance traffic
would fatally undermine traffic pricing as well.) Instead, the contenders demanded “more community pricing and free transit.

RIPPED FROM OUR HEADLINES


City Council passed over to the city activists who opposed
commercialization of city parkland.
Once the vendors moved in, local busi-
Race Turns ness owners didn’t foresee a problem, but
C.B. 1 District Manager Paul Goldstein
disapproved, and said he had never before
Nasty seen the city move so fast on an issue. The
city planned to place the vendors next to the
BY JERE HESTER fountain, which Goldstein resented.
“It’s the worst place in the park to put
Sept 2, 1991 these guys. It shows a total disregard for
the community and our opinions,” he said.
The City Council open primary between Still, the city felt that the vendors had every
Kathryn Freed and Margaret Chin got nasty right to sit peacefully under their tents, and
with the brief, surprise entry of Mee Ying were much more favorable incumbents than
Chan into the race. After Chan was beaten the illegal vendors in Battery Park. The city
up by a homeless person, she claimed that considered moving the plan to other parks
Chin was responsible, but the Manhattan as well, but Parks Concessions Director Matt
district attorney’s office said it was a com- McElroy said, “Before we decide on other
mon street mugging without political locations, we need a few weeks to look at the
motives. Chin’s campaign manager, Chris operation in City Hall Park to iron out any
Kui, said Chan, who dropped out of the glitches that might develop there.”
race, was put up to run by Freed -- a charge
that Freed denied.
In the same issue, the Express endorsed
Vendors Come Early
BY GLENN THRUSH
canopied retail carts rolled right into City
Hall Park. The plan was a stepchild of a 1991
agreement between New York State and the
The vendors got a slow start, and longed
for their places at the center of the action,
anticipating they would only be successful on
Freed (under a former publisher and edi- AND MATT HAWKINS Fifth Ave. Association, which made it illegal Thursdays and Fridays. Still, they were the
tor-in-chief, Robert Trentlyon). The paper for disabled vets to sell their wares in parts of lucky few — at the time of the article, only
did not criticize Chin and praised her August 31, 1992 Midtown. The city promised to find the 176 four of the 176 disabled veteran vendors had
voter registration and advocacy efforts, vendors a new home, but after a year Gov. been allotted a space to sell their wares.
but said Freed had the superior record of Less than a month after Community Board Cuomo was fed up that no action was taken,
accomplishments. Freed went on to win 1 nixed the proposal to find a Downtown and threatened to send them back Uptown if — Prepared
the primary and general election. home for disabled veteran vendors, four Mayor Dinkins didn’t act soon. The plan was by Helaina N. Hovitz
24 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

both the children and their parents. $210 for 4 forty-minute

YOUTH
sessions; pre-registration required. Mon or Wed, from Sept
14. 9:30am to 10:10am – 6 to 12 months old. 10:20am to
11:00am – 15 months to 2 years old. 11:10am to 11:50am – 2
years old and up. 12 to 12:4pm – mixed ages. BPCPC Meeting

ACTIVITIES Room at The Verdesian. Enter at door north of main entrance


(access: Murray St or Warren St). Call 212-267-9700 or visit
bpcparks.org.

ARTS +GAMES This project, designed by an art specialist DOWNTOWN SUMMER DAY CAMP Enjoy the same MOVIES FOR KIDS AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF STORYTIME AT BABYLICIOUS Children ages 3 to 4 are
for school age children, includes clay, painting and jewelry enriching activities that country day camps offer without THE AMERICAN INDIAN Special screenings for the kids welcome to participate in free storytime with songs, stories
design. Free. Thursdays, through Oct 29, 3:30-5:30pm. Nel- the stress of traveling out of the city every day on a bus. The are shown through Aug 30 at 10:30 and 11:45am, daily. Films and lots of fun. Free. Every Tue, 9:30am. At Babylicious, 51
son A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City (access: Chambers). camp combines a daily program with special events to give include “The Legend of Quillwork Girl and her Seven Star Hudson St (between Duane and Jay St). Call 212-406-7440,
Call 212-267-9700, or visit bpcparks.org. children an exciting and varied camp experience. Kids K-6th Brothers” and “Letter from an Apache.” National Museum of or visit babyliciousnyc.com.
grade. For rates and to register, go to downtowndaycamp. the American Indian, One Bowling Green. Call 212-514-3700
BEGINNER TENNIS LESSONS Group sessions with an com or call 212-766-1104, x250. or visit nmai.si.edu. TOUR DE PARC Tricyclists, bicyclists and scooter riders 9
experienced instructor will emphasize the fundamentals of years old and younger show their pedal power in a cycling
the game of tennis. Lessons are held for beginner kids ages GLOBAL STORY HOUR Through weekly stories, partici- PLAYDATE AND NEW PARENT DROP IN The Playdate tour of the parks. Helmets required. Sept 19, 10am. Espla-
6-12 and beginner teens/adults over 13. Community Center pants learn about new countries and cultures, participate in “Drop-In” is a great place to bring toddlers. While the chil- nade Plaza. Call 212-267-9700 ext 348,or visit bpcparks.org.
at Stuyvesant High School, 345 Chambers St. To register, call interactive activities, and learn how to make a difference. dren play together, parents can socialize in the Parenting
646-210-4292. Visit ccshs.org. Every Fri at 3:30pm. Action Center to End World Hunger, Center. The New Parent “Drop-In” gives new parents the TODDLER PLAY GROUP Story time, play time and fun edu-
6 River Terr, Battery Park City. Call 212-537-0511 or visit chance to discuss their concerns and ask questions. Topics cational activities are all part of the Community Toddler Play
CHILDREN’S BASKETBALL Children can play with adjust- actioncenter.org. include feeding, sleeping, creating support networks. Punch Group for parents with their children. Foster your toddler’s
able height hoops, and participate in fun drills to improve card for 10 sessions is $100. Summer Special: $90 punch imagination through history, science and maritime-themed
their skills. Free. Mon and Fri through Oct 30 (except holiday KIDS STORYTIME Storyteller Yvonne Brooks leads a sto- card if purchased before Aug 31. Playdate Drop-Ins are Mon activities using interactive materials and engaging book
weekends), 3:30-4:30pm for 5-6 year olds; 4:30-5:30pm for 7 rytime with arts and crafts for kids ages 3-7, every Sat at & Thurs, 10-11:30am and Tues 3-4:30pm. New Parent Drop- readings.$7 per child, free to family members, Every Wed,
& older. Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City (access: 12pm in the children’s section. Baby storytime with story- Ins are Mon 1:30-3:30pm. Educational Alliance Downtown 1-2:30pm, South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton Street.
Chambers Street). Call 212-267-9700, or visit bpcparks.org. teller Stewart Dawes takes place on Fri at 4:00pm for ages Parenting Center,197 East Broadway (between Jefferson & Call 212-748-8786 or visit southstreetseaportmuseum.org.
younger than 2. McNally Jackson Booksellers, 52 Prince St, Clinton St). Visit edalliance.org.
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE ARTS (CMA) Explore (between Lafayette and Mulberry). Call 212-274-1160 or visit TEEN ENTREPRENEUR BOOT CAMP This program gives
painting, collage, and sculpture through self-guided art proj- mcnallyjackson.com. TEEN PROGRAMS Save teenagers from the boredom teens the exciting learning experience that they need to suc-
ects. Open art stations are ongoing throughout the afternoon, blues through classes on art, babysitter training, CPR, and ceed later in life. For more information, visit teenentrepre-
giving children the opportunity to experiment with materials KIDS PROGRAMS Put your children’s energy to good use environmental activism. Days, materials fees, and park loca- neurbootcamp.org.
such as paint, clay, fabric, paper, and found objects. Admis- through art, basketball, chess, cycling, exploration, garden- tions vary. Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, Two South
sion $10. Wed-Sun, 12-5pm; Thurs, 12-6pm. Children’s ing, and music among other activities. Days, materials fees, End Ave. For more information call, 212-262-9700 or visit TEEN VOLLEYBALL All teens are welcome and no previ-
Museum of the Arts, 182 Lafayette Stret. Call 212- 274-0986 and park locations vary. Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, bcparks.org. ous experience necessary; referee/scorekeeper and ball pro-
or visit cmany.org. Two South End Ave. Call 212-262-9700 or visit bcparks.org. vided. Presented by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy.
PRESCHOOL PLAY AND ART Join other toddlers, par- Sat, 4:30-6:30pm. Community Center at Stuyvesant High
ents and caregivers for interactive play on a grassy lawn. School, 345 Chambers Street. Call 646-210-4292.
Toys, books and equipment provided. Free. Mon, Tue and

Ready for Wed, through Oct 27 (except Sept 7 and Oct 12) 10am- 12pm. YOUNG SPROUTS GARDENING This gardening program

summer ?
Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park. Call 212-267-9700 or visit bpc- is for children 3-5 years old. It includes simple gardening
parks.org. projects appropriate for preschoolers. Free. Tue, through Oct
27. 3:15-3:45pm. Space limited-first come, first served. The
SUMMER ART COLONIES The Children’s Museum of the Children’s Garden, Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park
Arts will run a Summer Art Colony on Governors Island and City (access: Chambers St). Call 212-267-9700 ext 348 or
the CMA facility at 182 Lafayette Street in Soho for chil- visit bpcparks.org.
16-36NPOUITPME 3-5 ZFBSTPME dren ages 6 to 14. The two-week day camp sessions, led
46..&3"354.&%-&: 46..&3"354&913&44 by professional artists, will run though September 4. CMA’s WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE YOUR EVENT IN THE DOWN-
5ISFFIPVS QSPHSBNJODMVEFT 4POH Summer Art Colonies allow children to spend their summers TOWN EXPRESS KIDS LISTINGS? Listings requests may
5PEEMFSTXJUIUIFJSBEVMUT FOKPZ
5
exploring nearly every art form in the fine, performing and be e-mailed to listingseditor@gmail.com. Please provide the
.VTJD .PWFNFOUDMBTTFT $JSDMF %BMDSP[F.VTJD .PWFNFOU
media arts. The classes are structured to allow full immer- date, time, location, price and a description of the event.
GPMMPXFECZB7JTVBM"SUDMBTT BOE7JTVBM"SU
sion into art. For more information, call 212-627-5766 or visit Information may also be mailed to 145 Avenue of the Ameri-
cmany.org. cas, New York, NY 10013-1548. Requests must be received
6-12ZFBSTPME 6ZFBSTUPBEVMU two weeks before the event is to be published. Questions?
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26 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

Rooftop Films presents P-Star, under starry sky


2009 Tribeca Film Festival flick gets Brooklyn premiere
BY ELENA MANCINI
P-Star Rising is the story of a second
chance that emerged from a Harlem hous- FILM
ing shelter, “a rose in concrete,” as director
Gabriel Noble refers to the character and
talent of child rapper P-Star (on which his P-STAR RISING
feature documentary is based). 2009; 83 minutes; feature documentary
When Noble met Priscilla “P-Star” Diaz Directed by Gabriel Noble
and her father/manager/former hip-hop
hopeful Jesse Diaz at a rapper debut dance Free; Thursday, September 3 (rain date,
party in NYC, he knew immediately that September 10) Live 8:30 p.m. music perfor-
P-Star was not just a kid with a lot of spunk mance by P-Star; 9:00 p.m. screening, fol-
— she had a story that was worth telling.
At the time, she was all of nine years old. lowed by Q&A with the filmmaker
What struck Noble about P-Star (apart from At the lawn of Ft Greene Park, North Portland
her tender age and the fact that she was out and Myrtle Avenue, Ft. Greene, Brooklyn (G
at a party past midnight on a school night)
was “the aggressiveness of her flow, charis- train to Fulton)
ma, her street smarts and her fire.” As Noble For information, www.rooftopfilms.com
describes it, he wanted to learn “where
that cadence was coming from.” Coupled
with P-Star’s precociousness and passion for Photo courtesy of Rooftop Films & the filmmaker lessons along the way.
performing was also the consciousness of P-Star dancing in foreground, looming large in background P-Star must learn to temper her pluck
wanting to bring forward the dream that had and talent with her need to just be a kid.
seemingly eluded her father. members seemed at ease playing themselves. might be unorthodox, but his straight talk Jesse must come to accept that despite his
Five years have passed since Noble’s first Their interactions with one another appeared and refusal to whitewash his checkered past commitment to confronting the pressures
encounter with the Diaz family. During that natural and candid throughout. This sense also for their benefit is a testament to his love and and responsibilities that come with dual role
five year period, Noble (with the help of pro- remained strong in moments that highlighted unwavering devotion. of manager/father, the intervention of hum-
ducer Marjhan Tehrani) has spent four years character weaknesses, poor judgment, disap- As much as the story depicts the perks bling realities cannot be prevented. Solsky
getting to know the family intimately and film- pointments and defeats. and pitfalls of launching and managing a must learn the importance of self-expression
ing them for this tour-de-force feature docu- Particularly noteworthy in this regard career in the New York City hip-hop scene, in a shadow role. While this is in many ways
mentary. The process of filming brought Noble was Jesse Diaz. Armed with scant resources it’s even more a story about a family’s strug- a distinctly New York story, its disarming
and the Diaz to form a close bond. Noble and cast in an emotionally challenging famil- gles to fulfill a dream without present for authenticity and emotional rawness give
described it as feeling like a member of their ial situation, this single father did not have one another and sticking together. The Diaz it universal appeal. Noble, whose future
family. The comfortable rapport between the an easy time at bringing up two young family brings its both its love for one another projects include a documentary on gypsy
director and the family certainly comes across daughters who longed for their absentee, and its baggage to the well documented risks children in Romania, tells P-Star’s story with
in watching the documentary. All of the family crack-addled mother. Jesse’s parenting style and gains of child stardom. It learns many sensitivity and respect.

killed. The heroine is a Jewish woman, Shosanna Dreyfus Of course, “District 9” cost a lot more to make because of the

KOCH (Melanie Laurent), who does us all proud. A fictional


finale involves an apparently successful effort to kill Hitler,
Bormann, Goering and Goebbels at a French theater. The
film at that point becomes a rollicking musical without
technology involved.
A spaceship, unable to move from its position in the sky,
appears over Johannesburg, South Africa, in the 1980s. The
alien craft is invaded by members of the South African

ON FILM the music. All I could do was hum “Springtime for Hitler,”
which I liked immensely.
Quentin Tarantino, writer and director, did it again.
military and police force who find a million or so creatures
onboard that look like insects and to some like crustaceans.
The extraterrestrials are initially treated humanely and
“INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS” (+) PT said: “I didn’t really enjoy the film, although it was placed in a refugee camp known as District 9. Relations
I thought this flick was based on some historical facts. It very well produced and quite realistic except for the outra- deteriorate and they are soon viewed as social outcasts and
is not. It’s a spoof. If you view it as such and don’t get super- geous bits: Brad Pitt as a hillbilly, Jewish soldiers trying to referred to as prawns, a slur. In an apparent allegory, the
sensitive thinking one should be extremely careful when pass themselves off as Italian filmmakers, and other unreal- treatment toward the aliens by the blacks and whites of
engaging in a spoof that involves elements of the Holocaust, istic flights of the filmmaker’s fancy. I just couldn’t reconcile South Africa, with their history of Apartheid, becomes bru-
you will enjoy this film. the serious parts of the film such as the giving up of the hid- tal. A war is declared to get rid of them and they are moved
Interestingly, Brad Pitt’s performance does little to height- den Jews with the comedic elements.” to an undesirable slum area.
en the enjoyment. He portrays Lt. Aldo Raine, a Tennessee 1 hour, 52 minutes; Rated R. I frankly thought it was all ridiculous, particularly so when
hillbilly in charge of eight Jews. The performance of an attempt to add a “buddy” component was introduced. One
Christoph Waltz, playing the Nazi Gestapo figure Col. Hans At the Regal Union Square Stadium 14 (850 Broadway). of the aliens, Christopher Johnson (Jason Cope), tries to help
Landa, is the highlight of the film. His ability to convey For screening times, call 1-800-326-3264 x628. For the Box Wikus (Sharlto Copley) who was in charge of the aliens’ care.
courtliness and sympathy and then go to commit the cruelest Office, 212-253-6266. Also at, among other places, Chelsea After accidentally becoming infected, Wilkus starts to turn into
of horrors is simply superb. Clearview Cinema (260 West 23rd Street). For screening an alien and Johnson promises to cure him.
The plot is simple. The U.S. Army authorizes Lt. Raine times, call 212-777-3456 x597. For the Box Office, call 212- I repeat. Stay away. This movie is an enormous waste of
(Brad Pitt) to take eight Jews with him, parachute into 691-5519. time and they don’t hand out free sodas or comic books.
Germany and then simply kill Nazis. He states that each of 1 hour, 53 minutes; Rated R .
them owes him 100 Nazi scalps before they are through with
their campaign. They proceed to kill their share of Nazis and “DISTRICT 9” (-) At the Regal Union Square Stadium 14 (850 Broadway).
literally scalp them. This horror/sci-fi film received kudos from the critics, For screening times, call 1-800-326-3264 x628. For the Box
The Jew hunter, Col. Hans Landa, pursues Jews in occu- some giving it four stars. Ridiculous. Stay away. Office, 212-253-6266. Also at, among other places, Chelsea
pied France. There is an enormously touching scene show- The picture reminded me of the serials or chapters that I Clearview Cinema (260 West 23rd Street). For screening
ing a French farmer giving up the Jews he had hidden in his watched as a child every Saturday afternoon. For one dime I times, call 212-777-3456 x597. For the Box Office, call 212-
house out of fear that he and his three daughters would be saw two films and also received a free soda and a comic book. 691-5519.
downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 27

Last call for FringeNYC


Two to see, one to miss
13th Annual New York International Fringe
THEATER Festival.
Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor’s
REVIEWS brilliant script, the stellar performances of
the three cast members and Tom Gualtieri’s
tight direction create a top-notch bio-drama
HIS GREATNESS about one of America’s most celebrated,
Written by Daniel MacIvor controversial theater icons.
Directed by Tom Gualtieri “His Greatness” is not officially about
Williams. The Broadway/Hollywood legend’s
A 2009 New York International Fringe Festival name and play titles are never mentioned,
presentation and the lead character is simply called
The Playwright (Peter Goldfarb). However,
Presented by Adam Blanshay and Lyric Daniel MacIvor covers all the notorious ter-
Productions, in association with The Present ritory about Williams’s private life — from
Company his alleged problems with alcohol and drugs
to his failed attempts at writing in his later
At the Cherry Lane Theater (38 Commerce years.
Street) The story takes place in a Vancouver hotel
room circa 1980, as The Playwright prepares
Aug 27, at 3:45 p.m.; Aug 29, at Noon
for the opening of a new, updated version of
For tickets ($15), visit www.fringenyc.org or an old play. “His Greatness” focuses on the
call 866-468-7619. complicated symbiotic relationship between
the writer and his high-strung, devoted
Visit www.HisGreatnessPlay.com assistant/lover (played with aplomb by Dan
Domingues). Troubles abound when a cal-
BY SCOTT HARRAH culating hustler (the superb Michael Busillo)
This provocative show, based on a true is hired to escort the old man to the gala
story about “two days in the last years of opening.
the life of playwright Tennessee Williams,”
Photo by Neilson Barnard
is one of the undisputed highlights of the Continued on page 28
Tennessee Williams, sorta, center, in “His Greatness”

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28 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

Last call for FringeNYC


Continued from page 27

Goldfarb is first-rate as The Playwright — playing him


as a lovable yet sad person on a path of self-destruction.
Dan Domingues is totally incandescent as The Assistant.
He brings down the house with his manic mannerisms as he
delivers MacIvor’s beautifully written dialogue. When The
Playwright complains about pain in his soul, The Assistant
quips, “That’s not your soul — it’s your hangover.” The
Assistant is the only one who can get The Playwright out
of bed and keep him sober enough to get through a radio
interview and the opening of the play. Domingues portrays
The Assistant as a compassionate but frustrated man who
tries desperately to help the egotistical, deluded author over-
come his battle with alcoholism and drug addiction so he can
maintain both his career and dignity.
“His Greatness” doesn’t solely rely on the sordid
aspects of Williams and his personal problems. There’s
also great detail on why critics were so fascinated with
his female characters, and what he really thought of such
theatrical peers as Arthur Miller. Ultimately, however, “His
Greatness” is a portrait of a once-great writer’s decline and
why so many people turned on him in the end — showing
exactly why the real life of Tennessee Williams was every
bit as tragic as his plays.
Photo by Aaron Epstein

The hardworking, but doomed cast, of “Union Squared”


SCATTERED LIVES
That’s the fascinatingly complex moral drawn at the end one-dimensional characters (all of whom are absurd ste-
Written, directed and choreographed by Yoshihisa Kuwayama
of the simple story to be found in Samurai Sword Soul’s pro- reotypes).
A 2009 New York International Fringe Festival presentation duction of “Scattered Lives” — a fine example of minimalist This tale of “sex, money and massage therapy” has all
technique made to serve the telling of an epic tale. the elements of a traditional comedy of errors, but ulti-
A presentation of Samurai Sword Soul, in association with The The bare, black box stage is filled only with three musi- mately falls flat due to trite dialogue, silly plot twists, and
Present Company cians, a nine-member cast and their swords. They swords uneven performances from the cast.
At the Robert Moss Theater, 440 Lafayette Street, third floor aren’t real, though; but the well-constructed props glisten Spoiled Wall Street stockbroker Brad (Levi Sochet)
with deadly implications and the resulting sound when blade must deal with his meddling Jewish mother, Sophie (Anita
Aug 28, 9:30 p.m.; Aug 29, 4:30 p.m. meets blade, although not that of metal, lets you know in no Keal), when she informs him he’s going to inherit several
For tickets ($15), visit www.fringenyc.org or uncertain terms that a battle is taking place. million dollars that his late father socked away illegally
The fight choreography, by writer/director Yoshihisa in a Swiss bank account. Trouble arises when we learn
call 866-468-7619. Kuwayama, is relentless, imaginative and effective in its impli- that Brad is cheating on his devoted wife Rachel (Annie
Visit www.HisGreatnessPlay.com cation of drawn blood and death (of which there is much!). Meisels) with sexy blonde massage therapist, Shannon
But along with all the violence you’d expect from a (Carlina Ferrari).
Samauri tale comes a thoughtful plot which sees two war- As Sophie, Anita Keal does her best to bring badly
BY SCOTT STIFFLER ring factions duel to the death and a drunken clown achieve needed depth to the character; a warmhearted woman
They drink! They fight! They repeat that process all day redemption. By the time the rival clan has been permanently who wants the best for her son — and nothing to do with
and all night! dispatched in a climactic battle, only the reformed drunk and the money his father made through unethical business
Occasionally, the good, bad and conflicted Samurai pause the ghost of the good-guy master remain on stage to con- practices. The problem is, as written by playwright David
long enough to experience fleeting moments of moral and template the way of the warrior and the responsibility that S. Singer, Sophie is a mere caricature of every Jewish
philosophical clarity amidst the relentless bloodshed and comes with the power to take a life with relative ease. That’s mother; but not in a positive way. From her endless use
power grabs. In the end, only a disembodied spirit and the the unique, unexpected ingredient which makes “Scattered of Yiddish words to her exaggerated mannerisms, she
drunken shell of a former great fighter remain to survey the Lives” more than just a series of violent encounters. comes across as a cartoon rather than a believable lead
damage and vow that their swords will only be used improve character.
life rather than reign destruction upon the land. Levi Sochet is totally miscast in the role of Brad. He
UNION SQUARED has zero chemistry with the rest of the actors, and is far
from plausible as a greedy, oversexed, unfaithful husband.
Written by David S. Singer
It’s a shame that Sochet’s comic timing is so off — because
Directed by Diana Basmajian Meisels as Rachel and Ferrari as Brad’s mistress Shannon
are far more competent actors. Unfortunately, the playwright
A 2009 New York International Fringe Festival production of the has written their characters as oversimplified ethnic clichés.
Present Company Rachel is a nagging Jewish-American princess wife, and
At The Players Theatre (115 MacDougal Street) Shannon is an Irish-American with a drinking problem.
Director Diana Basmajian fails to make the cast gel as
For tickets ($15), visit www.fringenyc.org or call a cohesive unit. Even with more rehearsal time and better
(866) 468-7619. Visit www.UnionSquaredTheComedy.com casting, it would likely be impossible to add much to this
flimsily-written play. Nothing in the hackneyed narrative is
Aug 26, 3:15 p.m.; Aug 27, 10:15 p.m.; Aug 30, 1:15 p.m. original. Everything about the show — from the opening
when Brad learns about his father’s secret Swiss cash stash
to the unfolding, unfunny marital infidelities of the couple
BY SCOTT HARRAH — is predictable. “Union Squared” tries to be an intelligent
Everything about David S. Singer’s Fringe Festival pro- adult comedy, but is in fact nothing but an amateurish
Photo by Motoyuki Ishibashi
duction of “Union Squared” reeks of mediocrity — from string of moments about uninteresting people and their
The Samurai storytellers of “Scattered Lives”
the half-baked, formulaic “romantic comedy” plot to the supposedly humorous daily lives.
downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 29

THE LISTINGS
CLASSES meets for one hour of gentle yoga while LEAGUE FOR THE HARD OF HEAR- MARINE ECOLOGY ABOARD 1885 ÇAISE The exhibit examines the life, MUSIC
seated. 10-11am. Ongoing. Trinity Church, ING Every Wed, 12 –2pm, and every SCHOONER PIONEER Learn about work, and legacy of this enthralling,
INTRODUCTORY ART WORK- Broadway at Wall Street. Call 212-602- Thurs 4-6pm. Call or email to schedule the creatures that inhabit the local often controversial, literary figure. CLARK/HUDSON MOHAWKE AND
SHOPS Are you thinking about taking 0747, or visit trinitywallstreet.org. an appointment. 50 Broadway, 6th Fl. Call harbor estuary, harbor water quality, Through Aug 30. $12 adults, $10 MORE To celebrate its twentieth year,
an art class, but not sure what you want? 917-305-7766, or visit appointments@llh. and what is being done to maintain seniors, $7 students, children under Warp Records and Warp Films is bringing
Come to these art workshops and try out SUPPORT GROUP FOR FIRST-TIME org. this valuable ecosystem. $30 adults / 12 free. Museum of Jewish Heritage, together artists to create unique perfor-
a class before committing to a full course. MOTHERS Join parenting experts Drs. $25 students & seniors / $20 children 36 Battery Place. Call 646-437-4202,or mances. Free. Sept 5, 8pm. World Finan-
Class subjects include pottery, cartoon- Ann Chandler and Nancy Carroll-Freeman PUBLIC SAILS ABOARD 1885 SCHOO- 12 and under / Members receive a $5 visit mjhnyc.org. cial Center Winter Garden, 200 Vesey
ing, drawing and photographs. $15 per and new mothers to voice your thoughts NER PIONEER Enjoy spectacular views discount. South Street Seaport, Pier 16 Street. Visit worldfinancialcenter.com.
workshop. The Educational Alliance Art and feelings and find support and encour- of the New York Harbor from the deck of (Programs Afloat). Call 212-748-8786, WOMEN OF WALL STREET This
School, 197 East Broadway. Call 212- agement. $25 per group. Every Thurs,10- the historic ship. Tues-Fri: 3-5pm, 4-6pm or visit southstreetseaportmuseum. exhibition showcases notable women SUMMER SOUNDS AT TRINITY-YES-
780-2300, x428; or, visit edalliance.org/ 11am. Tribeca Pediatrics, 46 Warren and 7-9pm. Sat-Sun: 1-3pm, 4-6pm, org. in the world of finance and Wall Street. TERDAY AND TODAY BAND A tribute
artschool. Street. Call 212-219-9984. 7-9pm. Prices: 4-6pm and 7-9pm sails: Museum of American Finance, 48 Wall
Adults $35, Student/Seniors $30. Chil- WOMAN OF LETTERS: IRÈNE St. Call 212-908-4110, or visit finan- Listings
DANCE AND PILATES Ballet, jazz, dren 12 and under, $25. 1-3pm and 3-5pm NÉMIROVSKY AND SUITE FRAN- cialhistory.org. continued on page 30
tango, hip-hop, and modern dance class- EVENTS sails: Adults $25, Student/Seniors $20,
es are offered for all levels. $16/class, Children 12 and under $15. Members
discounts available. Ongoing. Dance New HARMONY ON THE HUDSON: THE receive $5 discount. Reservations sug-
Amsterdam, 280 Broadway (entrance at FAMILY MUSIC FESTIVAL AT BAT- gested. South Street Seaport. Pier 16.
53 Chambers St) 2nd Floor. Call 212-279- TERY PARK CITY. Participants will Call 212-748-8786, or visit southstree-
4200, or visit dnadance.org. enjoy music, food, games and art activi- tseaportmuseum.org.
ties. Free. Sept 13, 1-6pm. Robert F. Wag-
TABLE TENNIS TRAINING PRO- ner Jr. Park, (access: Battery Place). Call
GRAM Table tennis training is offered 212-267-9700 or visit bpcparks.org. EXHIBITS
for players of all ages and skill levels. It’s
a great opportunity for all to come togeth- SUNSET JAM ON THE HUDSON Par- IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK Visit
er, enjoy the sport, and build new friend- ticipants will improvise on African, Latin Manhattan’s oldest surviving building,
ships. Mon-Fri, 10am to 1pm, $100 a year and Caribbean rhythms in a drumming 54 Pearl Street which has witnessed
for ages 6-15 and 50 and older; $200 for circle led by master drummers. Instru- nearly 300 years of the city’s history.
others. American Asian Cultural Center of ments provided, or bring your own. Every Ongoing. $4, $3 seniors and children
Tribeca, 384 Broadway, lower level. Call Friday, through Aug 28, 6:30-8:30pm. Rob- under 18, and free to children under
646-772-2922. ert F. Wagner, Jr. Park. Call 212-267-9700, six. Fraunces Tavern Museum, 54 Pearl
or visit bpcparks.org. Street. Call 212-425-1776, or visit
N E W B E GHALF0AGE!DPDF0-
INNINGS CHAIR frauncestavernmuseum.com.
YOGA Trinity Church’s seniors group FREE HEARING SCREENINGS AT THE
30 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express

THE LISTINGS
DOWNTOWN DIALOGUE Listings
continued from page 29
1625: DUTCH NEW YORK Walk
along the shoreline of 1625 as the tour
visits sites – and some extant remains
TOUR This unique Lower East Side
walking tour explores love at the turn
of the century. $15 ($12 for students
CANYON OF HEROES to the music of the legendary Beatles will
– of the original Dutch settlement of
New Amsterdam, now New York. Visit
and seniors) Sept 6, 2pm. The walking
tour will begin at the Eldridge Street
BY LIZ BERGER be a treat for the listeners at the Trinity architectural digs, Stone Street, the Synagogue at 12 Eldridge St, between
Church. Free. Aug 26, 12:30 and 2:30pm. shortest lane in Manhattan, the edge Canal and Division Sts. Call 212-219-
Trinity Church Broadway at Wall Street. of Fort Amsterdam, and more. $20; 0888 or visit eldridgestreet.org.

I
n Lower Manhattan, we can walk and chew gum at the same time, a fact that helps
Call 212-602-0800, or visit trinitywall- $15 seniors and students. Sept 5. Runs
make the mile-long stroll up Broadway through the Canyon of Heroes a mobile street.org. approx. 90 mins. Meet at One Bowling
history lesson. Because embedded in the sidewalk along this route are more than Green, on steps of National Museum
200 black granite strips that tell the story—in chronological order—of each ticker-tape SUPERFROG A Los Angeles band with of the American Indian. Call 646-573- MUSEUM AT ELDRIDGE
parade the city has held. an original, yet sought after, sound. $10. 9509. STREET These guided tours, led by
When we glance down to read the names of recipients etched into the strips, a Aug 27, 7:30. Sullivan Hall, 214 Sullivan historian-trained docents tell the story
popular history of the United States, and a time line for Lower Manhattan, begins to St (between Bleecker and W 3rd St). Visit SOHO ARTS WALK Experience of the 1887 landmark synagogue, and
sullivanhallnyc.com. SoHo’s art scene like never before illuminate the experience of the East
emerge—20 feet at a time.
with a walk down famous cobblestone European Jewish immigrants who set-
Some of the names, titles and events inscribed in the Canyon of Heroes remain iconic BADFISH A concert of from the sublime streets that were once the stomping tled on the LES in the late 19th century.
to this day. Some have grown obscure, and the significance of still others has changed tribute band (with special guests). The grounds of such greats as Andy Warhol Sun.-Thurs, 10am-4pm. $10 adults,
since the crowds gathered and the ticker-tape floated to the street. Beach will open at noon and concertgoers and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Free admis- $8 seniors, $6 children. Museum at
Yet every citation for this distinctive New York honor offers a snapshot of the city are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy sion into galleries. The third Thursday Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St. Call
once upon a time. It’s hard to believe, for example, that Richard Nixon was once an the sun, food, drink, and all the amenities of every month, through September. 212-219-0888, or visit eldridgestreet.
American hero, but indeed he was, in 1960, when he made his way up Broadway with The Beach has to offer. $30.Aug 29, 4pm Visit sohoartswalk.com. org.
doors, 6pm show. The Beach at Gover-
President Eisenhower.
nor’s Island. Visit thebeachconcerts.com. GANGSTER, WRITER, RABBI Par- LISTINGS REQUESTS for the Down-
Who gets a ticker-tape parade? There are no set criteria, but there are certain themes. ticipants of this Lower East Side Walk- town Express may be mailed to Listings
Triumph against all odds has often been rewarded—from 23-year old Van Cliburn’s 1958 ing Tour will learn about the common Editor at 145 Avenue of the Americas,
victory at the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Cold War Moscow to the Amazing TOURS ground between gangster Jack Zelig, New York, NY 10013-1548 or e-mailed
Mets of 1969. A World Series win in general will do it, as with the Mets of 1986 and the writer Sholem Aleichem & rabbi Jacob to listingseditor@gmail.com. Please
Yankees of 1978, 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW Joseph. Aug 23, 11am.The walking include listings in the subject line of
Sports heroes abound, such as Althea Gibson, 1957 Wimbledon women’s tennis YORK TOUR Visitors will be able to tour will begin at the Eldridge Street the e-mail and provide the date, time,
tour the Fed’s gold vault and learn about Synagogue (12 Eldridge St, between location, price and a description of the
champion. So do war heroes like General John J. Pershing in 1919 and General Dwight
the Federal Reserve’s central banking Canal and Division). Call 212-219-0888 event. Information must be received
Eisenhower in 1945. There are leaders like Winston Churchill in 1946 and Nelson Man- functions. Free. Federal Reserve Bank or visit eldridgestreet.org. two weeks before the event is to be
dela in 1990, and heads of state like David Ben-Gurion in 1951. There is also plenty of of NY, 33 Liberty Street. Call 212-720- published. Questions? Call 646-452-
royalty, from Queen Elizabeth II of Britain in 1957, to King Baudouin I of Belgium in 6130, or visit newyorkfed.org. LOVE AND COURTSHIP WALKING 2507.
1959, to Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia in 1954 and 1963.
The successful conclusion to an extraordinary journey has often been celebrated.
Former President Theodore Roosevelt got a parade after his 1910 African safari. The
Apollo 11 astronauts got one after their return from the moon in 1969, and the Ameri-
can hostages in Tehran were cheered after their release in 1981. Do you use uppers?
Ambitious and courageous undertakings—no matter the resolution—have also been
commemorated, like Ruth Elder’s 1927 attempt to become the first woman to fly across
the Atlantic (she crashed in the Azores) and Genevieve de Galard-Terraube’s refusal—as The Substance Use Research Center at Columbia University
“the angel of Dien Bien Phu”—to leave wounded French soldiers in Vietnam.
One of my favorite parades was the 1984 salute to the more than 200 American medal needs non-treatment seeking STIMULANT USERS (includes Meth,
winners in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. The commemorative strip is in front of St. Cocaine, Ecstasy, stimulant pills, or others) age 21 – 45 to participate
Paul’s Chapel, between Fulton and Vesey. I was a marshal, escorting the Men’s Water in residential studies evaluating drug effects. Live on a research unit
at the NYS Psychiatric Institute for 22 days.
Polo team and their gold medals up Broadway to City Hall. More than 2 million people
came to Lower Manhattan that day to welcome the athletes, led by gymnast Mary Lou You can earn approximately $1479.
Retton
The Canyon of Heroes was born in 1886 amid festivities for the unveiling of the Stat- For more information (212) 543-6743.
ue of Liberty. The parade during that extravaganza was marred by gray skies and drizzle,
but office boys brightened the celebration when they dumped huge bins of ticker-tape
out the windows of Broadway brokerage houses.
The latest parade celebrated the New York Giants’ stunning 2008 Super Bowl win,
this time with tons of paper supplied in advance. But the volume of confetti for that
one was low—36.5 tons, according to the New York Times— compared with 5,438 tons
tossed in the 1945 celebration of victory over Japan.
Joe Timpone, senior vice president for operations at the Downtown Alliance, says
part of the reason is windows in newer buildings that often don’t open, and building
owners who reduced access to rooftops and ledges after 9/11. HAIR U COLOR U TREATMENTS U STYLING
Though ticker-tape is gone in the computer age, I always look forward to a ticker- CHILDREN’S CUTS U THOUGHTFUL GIFTS
tape parade, a chance to wave from a window or lamp post or street corner and to wit-
JAPANESE STRAIGHTENING
ness and celebrate the hopes and aspirations of our nation in a signature Lower Manhat-
tan way. Who knows who’s next?
      !  " #   $ %       % # & '  %   ( (  
- Liz Berger is President of the Downtown Alliance    )   * ) +  , (       - - -)          )  
.   $  %   ( / *  0  ! 1  $  %'   $   $  %' 2 #  $  %  3 / *

! 4 1 # $ %  3 / 3   0   ! 1 # $ %  5 / 6   0   1  $ %    / 6
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downtown express August 28 - September 3, 2009 31

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32 August 28 - September 3, 2009 downtown express