June 17 - 23, 2009
not only lost Downtown Independent Democrats’ endorse-ment two weeks ago but he also had his cell phone thrownagainst the wall by club member
after break-ing up an argument Horowitz was having with Gerson’smother,
, 84. We’ve tried to get to the bottom of this to see what prompted Horowitz’s anger — was it anoverreaction to the councilmember’s justiﬁable defenseof his mother or was it physically aggressive behavioron Gerson’s part? After speaking to everyone involved,though, we feel like we’re in a remake of Kurosawa’s“Rashomon.” Horowitz, 72, says Gerson grabbed and heldhim while shoving him 20 feet. Then when Horowitz com-plained to Alan, the councilmember offered the cell phonein case Horowitz wanted to call the police. Horowitz wasso angered that he threw the phone across the large hallin St. Anthony’s Church on Sullivan St. There were fewwitnesses to the hullabaloo at the back of the room sincemost attention was directed toward the speakers up front.
, a physician and Gerson friend who waskeeping his eye on Sophie at the request of her son, agreedGerson did grab Horowitz and move him away, but saidGerson reacted appropriately since Horowitz “was wavinghis ﬁnger, if not his ﬁst” in the face of an elderly womanwho couldn’t easily get up and walk away. Sophie, wholives with Alan, has had two major surgeries in recentyears. Gerson said he would stand by Horland’s account,though he denies ever grabbing Horowitz. At varioustimes as we were trying to get to the bottom of this,Gerson said he “may have rufﬂed” Horowitz as he steppedin, that he “gently ushered” him away from his mother andthat he did what anyone would do to someone “threaten-ing” his or her ailing mother. Horowitz, a psychologistwho is
’s campaign “behavioral scientist,”says Gerson just snapped. Horowitz said he never shookhis ﬁnger at Sophie, although he does regret some of theharsh things he told her about her son. Two witnesses withstrong loyalties to Gleason, who beat Gerson for D.I.D.’sendorsement, said they saw Gerson take more aggres-sive action — one said the councilmember grabbed andshoved Horowitz about 7 feet, the other said it was morelike a pushing — but neither would speak for attribu-tion. Another witness who is a Gleason supporter,
, said he was right there and although each personinvaded the other’s personal space, he did not noticemuch, if any, contact. But Silvera also does not recallthe phone throw, which every other witness remembersclearly. Go ﬁgure.
At the end of the HudsonRiver Park Trust’s board of directors meeting last monththere was a lengthy discussion of pedicabs after
, former chairperson of the Hudson River ParkAdvisory Council, mentioned that family members of
, the advisory council’s current chairper-son, recently had been “hit by a pedicab” on the park’sbike path. Schwartz’s 5-year-old daughter, in fact, brokeher elbow in the collision. Pedicabs are only allowed onthe bike path if they’re not carrying passengers, and can’tpick up fares on the route, it was pointed out, since theyaren’t allowed to conduct business on the path. Pedicabshave been under renewed scrutiny lately, following a June10 incident when a pedicab went careening recklesslydown the Brooklyn-side ramp on the Williamsburg Bridge,then collided with a car, injuring the pedicab’s driver andtwo of his passengers. However, Schwartz, who cameto the Trust’s meeting at the last minute and missed thediscussion, later told us, “No, I
a pedicab — and Ithink they’re great.” He said his wife and daughter were
the custom-built tricycle (i.e., the “pedicab”) and thatthey were struck by a bicyclist on the path near ChambersSt. in such a way and at such an angle that it ﬂipped themover. Also contributing to the accident, he said, was thepresence of pedestrians on the path at the spot where thebike and trike collided, which had caused the cyclists totake evasive maneuvers. Schwartz said his family’s trike— which he thinks is really cool — was built by
, who, as Villager readers may recall, also built the“No Impact S.U.V.” tricycle for another Villager,
, a.k.a. No Impact Man. As for the bike path,Schwartz said he plans at some point to bring together thegovernment agencies involved with the path, basically thestate Department of Transportation and the Trust, to seeif some ideas like speed bumps and better signage can beimplemented to increase safety.
Speaking of Hudson RiverPark, that’s where the prime viewing area for this year’sFourth of July ﬁreworks display will be — since the eventis moving from the East River to the Hudson River inhonor of the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson’s sailinginto the river that bears his name. Speciﬁcally, the mainviewing strip will be 24th to 50th Sts., where six bargespacked with colorful explosives will be ﬂoating offshore.However, the entire West Side Highway from 125th St. to just below Chelsea Piers will be closed off to accept thethronging masses. The Intrepid pier and the Intrepid itself
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