The city Department of Education
and the Environmental Protection
Agency are at odds concerning recent
discussions over eliminating possible
airborne toxins from public schools.
The E.P.A. released guidelines last
Wednesday for the safe and immediate
removal of polychlorinated biphenyls
from lighting ballasts in school build-
ings. The city D.O.E., though, is not
quite ready to jump on board with the
program and is specifically questioning
the urgency of the E.P.A.’s claims.
In a recent letter to Dennis Walcott,
the city’s deputy mayor for educa-
tion, the E.P.A. recommended that
all P.C.B.-containing lighting fixtures
be removed in a safe and “expedited”
fashion. It hopes to schedule school
inspections in the coming months with
the D.O.E.’s help, according to Judith
Enck, the E.P.A.’s regional adminis-
trator. Enck also suggested that the
D.O.E. create a working group to pro-
duce a written strategy plan by March
15, 2011.
In response to Enck’s letter, Walcott
said a wholesale replacement of bal-
lasts is “an inadequately informed risk
management strategy.”
The chemicals, used as insulators
in school buildings prior to 1979, are
toxic and pose long-term health threats
to students, teachers and staff, accord-
ing to medical reports.
The E.P.A. and the D.O.E. co-
launched a pilot program last year,
testing P.C.B. levels in five schools
around the city. Three of the schools
had broken lighting ballasts, which, if
not properly dismantled, can cause the
noxious chemicals to seep into the air.
Walcott also questioned the E.P.A.’s
scientific assessment of the pilot pro-
gram, arguing that health studies have
not tied the P.C.B. levels with direct
health effects among students or staff.
“Available health literature sug-
gests that the theoretical risk of health
impacts is too low from this exposure…
to justify a public health-driven inter-
Downtown Express photo by Aline Reynolds
Last week’s snow, this week’s garbage
Once the snow was cleared, or simply melted, from city sidewalks last week, trash took its place as regular gar-
bage pick-up was suspended.
President Obama signed
the James R. Zadroga 9/11
Health and Compensation
Act into law on Sunday,
marking the end of a seven-
year-long battle to get the
bill passed. But now, 9/11
victims that qualify for com-
pensation must find a law-
yer to represent them during
arbitration and the FealGood
Foundation, a nonprofit that
assists 9/11 first responders
and their families, hopes to
aid in the search.
The Zadroga Act allo-
cated $2.8 billion for com-
pensation via the Victims
Compensation Fund, the
federal entitlement program
set up immediately follow-
ing the 9/11 attacks. A sepa-
rate sum of $1.5 billion was
established for medical treat-
ment at designated W.T.C.
Centers of Excellence —
the W.T.C. Environmental
Health Centers at Bellevue
Hospital, Elmhurst Hospital
and Gouverneur Health Care
Services. Also on the list of
designated clinics is the Fire
Department of New York’s
and Mount Sinai School of
Medicine’s medical moni-
toring and treatment pro-
As for the V.C.F. por-
tion of the bill, the funds
are not expected to be
available until the sum-
mer. FealGood Foundation
attorney Sean Riordan and
the foundation’s founder,
John Feal, said they are
now helping claimants find
trustworthy and compas-
sionate attorneys to ensure
The lawyers represent-
ing the 9/11 survivors must
prove economic losses result-
ing from an injury their cli-
Group to help 9/11
victims find lawyers
City Dept of Education not buying
into new enviromental standards
Continued on page 15
Continued on page 15
Downtown Express photo by J.B. Nicholas
Cold out? Travel to Capri, but not the one in Italy. P. 11
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 2
downtown express
Career Nights and Information Sessions begin January 5.
Arts Programs
Art Appraisal, Arts Administration, and Art Business
Foreign Languages, Translation, and Interpreting
Court and Medical Interpreting
Foreign Language Programs
Translation Studies
Writing and Speech
Wed., Jan. 12
Tues., Jan. 11
Thurs., Jan. 13
Wed., Jan. 5
Wed., Jan. 19
48 Cooper Square, 1st Fl.
48 Cooper Square, 1st Fl.
48 Cooper Square, 1st Fl.
48 Cooper Square, 1st Fl.
48 Cooper Square, 1st Fl.
Design, Digital Arts, and Film
Construction Management
Real Estate: Sales, Appraisal, Finance,
Investment, Development, and Management
Tues., Jan. 11
Thurs., Jan. 13
Wed., Jan. 12
Wed., Jan. 12
Wed., Jan. 19
Woolworth Building, 2nd Fl.
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
Accounting, Taxation, and Legal Programs
Business Management and Leadership
Human Capital Management
Information Technology
Marketing and Digital Media Marketing
Project Management
Public Relations and Investor Relations
Thurs., Jan. 13
Tues., Jan. 11
Thurs., Jan. 13
Tues., Jan. 11
Thurs., Jan. 20
Wed., Jan. 12
Tues., Jan. 11
Wed., Jan. 12
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
48 Cooper Square, 1st Fl.
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
Midtown Center, 4th Fl.
Thurs., Jan. 20 Woolworth Building, 2nd Fl. GLOBAL AFFAIRS
Thurs., Jan. 20 Midtown Center, 4th Fl. HOSPITALITY, TOURISM, AND
48 Cooper Square, 1st Fl. Four blocks east of the main Washington Square campus
Midtown Center, 4th Fl. 11 West 42nd Street (btwn. 5th and 6th Aves.)
Woolworth Bldg., 2nd Fl. 15 Barclay Street (btwn. Broadway and Church St.)
All Career Nights and Information Sessions are from 6–8 p.m.
PLEASE NOTE: These are structured presentations that begin on time.
Reservations are not required, but please be punctual.
New York University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. ©2011 New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
212 998 7200
Planning Your Next Career and Education Move Wed., Jan. 12 Woolworth Building, 2nd Fl.
downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 3
Assemblyman Shelly Silver
If you need assistance, please contact my ofce at
(212) 312-1420 or email
Fighting to make
Lower Manhattan
the greatest place
to live, work, and
raise a family.

NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-7, 10-17
EDITORIAL PAGES . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-9
YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19-23
CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
C.B. 1
A schedule of this week’s upcoming Community
Board 1 committee meetings is below. Unless otherwise
noted, all committee meetings are held at the board
office, located at 49-51 Chambers St., room 709 at
6 p.m. The Community Board offices are closed on
Thursday, November 11 in observance of Veteran’s Day.
ON WED., JAN. 5: C.B. 1’s Financial District
Committee will meet.
ON THURS., JAN. 6: C.B. 1’s Planning and
Community Infrastructure Committee will meet.
ON MON., JAN. 10: C.B.1’s WTC Redevelopment
Committee will meet at 6 p.m. in the State Assembly
Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, 19th Floor,
ON TUES., JAN. 11: C.B. 1’s Tribeca Transportation
and Parking Regulations Sub-Committee will meet.
The TriBattery Pops, preparing for its eighth season
starting later this month, is searching for musicians.
The group, Lower Manhattan’s first all-volunteer band in a
century, according to
founder, Tom Goodkind, will perform six times through-
out the year. Venues include the Battery Park City baseball
field; the Bogardus Triangle Viewing Garden; Chelsea Piers;
Wagner Park; and the World Trade Center site, in commemo-
ration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the opening of the
National 9/11 Memorial.
“It’s a lot of fun, requires little work, and goes well with
family, school and work,” said Goodkind.
The ensemble record CDs every year that are distributed
to radio stations around the world by College Music Journal.
Practice sessions are held at the Church Street School of
Music on the last two Fridays of each month, from January
through May.
To learn how to get involved, visit or

The city Department of Education’s new chancellor,
Cathie Black, took the helm on Monday, visiting several
schools around the city to do meet-and-greets with principals
and monitor student progress.
Her start to the job comes one week after Deny the
Waiver Coalition and two other citywide parent groups lost
a legal battle in Albany contesting her appointment, which
was the subject of heated controversy in December. Black
received a waiver from NY State Education Commissioner
David Steiner to be selected as chancellor, since she lacked
the educational credentials for the position.
“Governance by lawsuit is not a good way to run our
school system. I hope the Court will see the importance
of our petition and recognize the implications of a nega-
tive ruling,” said Shino Tanikawa, a member of District
Two’s Community Education Council, at a hearing held on
December 23.
“We’re extremely disappointed,” said D.W.C. Attorney
Norman Siegel, who led the petition. He and the other attor-
neys are meeting with parents in the coming days to decide
whether they should file an appeal.
A new documentary, “Out of the Ashes: 9/11,” features
seven 9/11 families and focuses on the impact that the 9/11
Victim Compensation Fund had in its first round, when it
distributed $7 billion to over 5,500 families.
The film was written, produced and co-directed by
Marilyn Berger, a professor at the Seattle University School
of Law and director of the Films for Justice Institute.
The documentary will be screened January 12 at 6 p.m.
at the New York County Lawyers’ Association at 14 Vesey
Street. Berger will host a question-and-answer session for
viewers following the screening.
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 4
downtown express
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the religious
leader behind the Cordoba Initiative and
Park51, is embarking on a nationwide tour
with the goal of spreading his message about
peaceful interfaith dialogue and putting a
stop to discrimination and violence against
Since the media firestorm surrounding the
proposed Islamic community center began
last summer, Rauf has been inundated with
e-mails from religious and cultural institu-
tions around the country, voicing strong
support for the project. Several of them also
invited him to speak, prompting the Imam to
schedule a speaking tour.
“What we observed [from the feedback],”
he said in a phone interview, “is the genesis
of a broad interfaith coalition of people who
are of all faiths and traditions.”
The time has come, he added, to rally
supporters around the Cordoba Movement,
which Rauf hopes will bond the moderates
of all faiths. His dream, he said, is to
witness the opening of Cordoba Houses
around the country, where people of differ-
ent religious beliefs can live, play and eat
together, while adhering to the principals
of their respective faiths. The objective
of the movement, he said, is to convert
interfaith dialogues into interfaith partner-
Part of the mission of the speaking tour,
Rauf explained, is to reclaim the discourse
of the radicals. “We need to say, ‘This has
got to stop,’ and to amplify that [moderate]
voice,” he said.
Rauf will begin his tour in Detroit,
Michigan, head to Buffalo, NY, and then to
Washington, D.C. He will also be making
appearances at institutions in Massachusetts,
Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois and Washington
State. He’ll also be speaking at universities
such as Harvard, Yale and the University
of North Carolina. The lectures will be
invitation-only, and closed to the public for
security reasons, according to Rauf’s spokes-
Rauf declined to comment on his person-
al security, though he said that the spreading
of the Cordoba Movement’s message will
help ease tensions between the moderates
and the radicals.
Rauf also has plans to visit Egypt, where
he said there is a widespread violation of the
fundamental principals and the teachings of
The principles governing the Cordoba
Movement are not limited to the U.S.,
said Rauf. Relationships with non-Muslim
minorities residing in Muslim communities
overseas also need to be fostered. Later this
year, following the U.S. tour, Rauf will be
guest-lecturing in the U.K., the Middle East
and Southeast Asia.
“It’s important to make our voices heard,”
said Rauf, “and to develop real solutions to
the polarization which has grown against
interfaith communities [worldwide].”
While some of the speaking engagements
are set in stone, Rauf has yet to confirm
others, such as a talk at the Diversity Forum
Banquet in Detroit, Michigan.
The Islamic Society for North America,
the host organization of the event who invit-
ed Rauf to speak there, has a long history
of reaching out to the Muslim community,
which is often excluded in the discourse of
Muslim-American advancement, according
to Sarah Thompson, communications coor-
dinator of I.S.N.A.
“We thought [Rauf] could bring in a little
national perspective of diversity into the
Muslim community,” said Thompson.
Rothko Chapel, an interfaith center based
in Houston, is looking forward to hosting
Rauf for similar reasons as I.S.N.A. Rauf
said he was invited there by a chapel board
member who he has worked with for several
Rauf is a person of interest, according
to the chapel’s executive director, Emilee
Whitehurst, since “we have a longstanding
tradition of exploring interreligious dialogue
and interfaith understanding.”
Subway platform drama
A man dressed in women’s clothes and a woman with a
three-year-old girl confronted a woman victim waiting on
a platform in the subway station at Broadway and John St.
around 1:15 a.m. Thurs., Dec. 30, police said. The cross
dresser said, “Why is this [woman] looking at me,” and
started slapping the victim. The woman with the child said,
“He’s crazy leave him alone,” but when the victim took out
her cell phone to call the police the woman also began slap-
ping the victim, police said. The cross-dresser grabbed the
victim’s cell phone and fled along with the woman and the
child, police said.
Upholds murder conviction
An appeals court on Tues., Dec. 28 upheld the 2006
murder conviction of Rudy Fleming in the shooting death of
Nicole duFresne, 28, an actress and writer, during a holdup
at Rivington and Clinton Sts. in Jan. 2005 while she was
walking home with friends. Fleming, serving a sentence of
life in prison without parole, appealed last year claiming
that he should have been declared mentally unfit for trial.
The Appellate Division panel last week decided the trial
and conviction were valid. “ There was extensive evidence
the defendant, even if psychiatrically ill, … was deliberately
feigning the type of symptoms that might suggest an inability
to understand the proceedings and assist in his defense,” the
decision said.
Men’s room encounter
A patron of Iron Horse, located at 42 Cliff St., was wash-
ing his hands in the men’s room of the place around 11:03
a.m. Sun., Jan. 2 when a stranger got in front of him, put
his hands on the victim’s waist and slowly backed him to
the wall, police said. “You’re a good looking guy. I like you,”
the stranger said, and slipped his hand to the victim’s back
pocket, removed his wallet with $100 in cash and fled.
Knifepoint robbery
A woman visiting from Washington, D.C. told police that
she was walking on the northwest corner of Water and Broad
Sts. in the Financial District around 10:50 p.m. Sat., Jan. 1
when she felt someone tug on the hood of her jacket, police
said. The victim, 33, turned to find two men, one of them wav-
ing a knife in her face. “Give me your money or I’ll kill you,”
the knife-wielder said. The victim gave up $50 and the two men
fled a block south and disappeared around the corner of Moore
St., a one-block lane between Water and Pearl Sts.
Dud grenade
Police evacuated a six-story building at 106 Norfolk St.
near Delancey St. for a short time Wednesday morning, Dec.
29 after someone on the fifth floor reported a hand grenade
in an apartment. The grenade was deemed inert and resi-
dents were allowed to return to the six-story building after
45 minutes. There were no arrests in the incident.
Chrystie St. fire
A fire broke out on the fourth floor of a six-story build-
ing at 187 Chrystie St. between Rivington and Stanton Sts.
around 4:42 p.m. Wed., Dec. 29. Firefighters brought the
fire, attributed to a space heater, under control at 5:09 p.m. A
firefighter sustained minor injuries. The Box, a club next door,
was not damaged and opened for business later that night.
Cabby takes bags
A cab with two women passengers stopped in front of the
Soho Grand Hotel at 310 W. Broadway around 10:30 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 29 when the hotel bellman started unloading their
luggage, police said. Before all the bags were out of the cab, the
driver sped away north on W. Broadway. The lost luggage had
shoes, clothes, two handbags, watches, a digital camera and
perfume with a total estimated value of $5,320, police said.
Crowded street
A Brooklyn woman, 24, told police she was doing
some post-Christmas shopping in Soho around 8 p.m. on
Tues., Dec. 28 when she felt someone in the crowd on
the northeast corner of Broadway and Prince St. dig into
her pocket. She checked to discover that her wallet with
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The Cordoba Movement is going on tour
Continued on page 10
Downtown Express file photo
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 5
Seaport redevelopment
back on the table
Plans to redevelop the South Street
Seaport, now owned and operated by the
Howard Hughes Corporation, are back on
the discussion table.
The Howard Hughes Corporation, a spin-
off of General Growth Properties, who went
bankrupt in April 2009, has acknowledged
that is reviving the plans, which include a
hotel, a condominium tower and retail shops
to the Howard Hughes Corp.
The hotel’s design would be inspired by
the South Street Seaport’s maritime heri-
tage, according to
The Howard Hughes Corp. said it was not
at liberty to release new design plans to the
press or public until they are finalized, accord-
ing to the company’s president, Grant Herlitz.
The company, however, is in contact with the
city and various architects and consultants to
“make sure we continue the process.”
In 2007, G.G.P. developed a plan to
enhance the public open space and access to
the waterfront at the South Street Seaport.
The goal of redeveloping the area, according
to, would be to create
pedestrian-only streets that extend beyond the
city grid. “These new buildings would open
lanes that create view corridors to the harbor
and the Brooklyn Bridge,” the site reads.
Two sky bridges, would connect the com-
mercial and public spaces, according to the
site. The proposal also includes demolishing
the Pier 17 mall.
Herlitz would not confirm or specify
any aspect of the design plans, though he
said that the corporation plans to engage in
“thought-provoking” discussions with the
city and local organizations to “come up
with the most vibrant plan for the South
Street Seaport that’ll garner support and
be an exciting new redevelopment [project]
for the city.” The pier, he added, would con-
tinue to serve as an “integral” part of Lower
Since the South Street Seaport is a his-
toric district, any plans for redevelopment
will have to go before the city’s Landmarks
Preservation Commission once it has a final-
ized version of the plans. The L.P.C. dispar-
aged G.G.P.’s original development design in
a hearing held in late 2008, deeming the new
buildings too tall and modern for an area
that is comprised of low-rise brick buildings.
The commissioners never ended up voting
on the project, however, since G.G.P. never
made a follow-up presentation, according to
Elisabeth de Bourbon, director of communi-
cations at the L.P.C.
Community Board One initially approved
G.G.P.’s original development plans, voting
23 to 16 in favor of the project in November
2008, on the condition that the plans include
the creation of a new school. The board
rescinded its endorsement of the project
later that month, however, when the D.O.E.
said there was no need for a school in the
South Street Seaport.
Herlitz said it’s too early to solicit com-
munity input on the project, and that a time
frame for the district’s redevelopment has
not yet been ironed out.
A senior designer at ShoP Architects
declined to comment on the project with-
out the authorization of the Howard
Hughes Corp.
— Aline Reynolds
New Year ’s i s a t i me to consi der t he past
and make resol ut i ons f or t he f ut ure, a t i me
of r ef l ect i on and dr eami ng, r eckoni ng and
optimism. I’ve resolved to f inish the books on
my ni ght st and, l earn how t o make pi e cr ust ,
and work out (this has been at the top of my list
for too many years but this time I’m serious).
I a l s o s p e n t t i me a s t h e n e w y e a r
approached ref l ect i ng on t he past , present
and future of Lower Manhattan—and when the
cl ock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve, I rai sed a
glass to all of us who live Downtown and made
a simple toast: We’ve arrived.
When t he Downt own Al l i ance opened i t s
door s i n 1995, commer ci al vacancy r at es
approached 20 percent, compani es that had
been downt own f or 100 year s were l eavi ng,
and t he st reet s were get t i ng dar k, di r t y and
empty at night.
Today Lower Manhattan’s 55,000 residents
have j oi ned t he mor e t han 300, 000 peopl e
who work here every day and nearly six million
annual visitors to create a new kind of central
busi ness di stri ct, a thri vi ng, round-the- cl ock
nei ghbor hood wi t h 1, 050 r est aur ant s and
r et ai l er s, ei ght museums, and ni ne publ i c
schools—with one more on the way.
For 16 years, our j ob has been to advance
L o we r Ma n h at t a n —t h r o u g h p r o g r a ms ,
ser vi ce, research and advocacy—as a gl obal
destination of choice for companies, workers,
residents and visitors. Here is how we do it:
We make dai l y l i f e bet t er now. The
Downtown Alliance provides Lower Manhattan
wi t h suppl ement al sani t at i on, publ i c saf et y,
t r anspor t at i on, and homel ess out r each.
We st ar t ed a publ i c ar t pr ogr am t hat t ur ns
construction sites into canvases and launched
a co- wor ki ng f aci l i t y t hat of f er s af f or dabl e
workspace to freel ancers, entrepreneurs and
st ar tup compani es. Today t he nei ghborhood
i s one of t he ci t y’s cl eanest and saf est . Our
sanitati on staf fers bag trash at all hours in all
ki nds of weat her. Our publ i c saf et y of f i cer s
are t he di st r i ct ’s eyes and ear s, cont i nual l y
pat r ol l i ng t he st r eet s, c hec k i ng i n wi t h
businesses, and providing friendly assistance.
We s u p p o r t L o we r Ma n h a t t a n ’ s
businesses, employees and residents. We
brand, market and posi ti on Lower Manhat t an
to i nvestors, commerci al tenant s, shoppers,
vi si t ors and peopl e who l i ve and wor k here.
We promote local retailers and restaurants all
year long in print and on the web, with special
emphasi s on hol i day shoppi ng and summer
cul t ur al act i vi t y. Our r esear ch depar t ment
produces busi ness repor t s, market research
documents and special publications such as our
2010 Survey of Lower Manhattan Residents. In
addition, every year, we produce and distribute
t wo mi l l i on t our i st , Wi Fi , and Downt own
Connection maps, shopping and dining guides,
residential living and retail investor brochures,
and other printed materials.
We t hi nk about t he f ut ur e of Lower
Manhat t an. A hal f - c ent ur y ago, Davi d
Rockefeller and his contemporaries proposed
t he creat i on of Bat t er y Par k Ci t y, t he Wor l d
Trade Center, t he Sout h St reet Seapor t, and
count l ess ot her publ i c/pr i vat e par t nershi ps,
as st rategi es to sust ai n Lower Manhat t an as
a globally competitive central business district
by enc our agi ng t he gr owt h of a vi br ant ,
mixed-use communit y. His legacy of business
act i vi sm t hr ough vi si onar y pl anni ng has
i nspi red our work to keep Lower Manhat tan a
destination of choice for many years to come.
Lower Manhat tan has been an active, vital
and i nnovat i ve cent er of ur ban l i f e f or more
t han 400 year s. Our resol ut i on i s t o keep i t
that way for (at least) 400 more!
—L i z Ber ger i s Pr es i dent of t he
Downtown Alliance
Paid Advertisement
Downtown Alliance staffers make daily life better 24/ 7
The corporation plans
to engage in ‘thought-
provoking’ discussions
with the city and local
organizations to “come
up with the most vibrant
plan for the South Street
— Grant Herlitz
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 6
downtown express
In the last executive action of his admin-
istration, Governor David Paterson vetoed
a six-month moratorium on hydrofracture
gas drilling, known as fracking, in New York
Instead of the broad moratorium that
environmental advocates and local elected
officials have been demanding, Paterson
issued an executive order on Dec. 11 impos-
ing a temporary ban on horizontal fracking.
Governor Paterson’s executive order,
which does not cover shorter, vertical frack-
ing wells, imposes the less-comprehensive
drilling ban until July 1, 2011. However,
environmental advocates have suggested that
because Paterson’s term as the state’s chief
executive ends December 31, his executive
order would also expire on that date.
The vetoed moratorium, which passed
both the State Assembly and the State
Senate, would have been valid as a state law
until May 15, 2011.
Environmental opponents, including
a group known as Frack Action and the
Natural Resources Defense Council, as well
as local state legislators, protested the veto
on December 13 in front of the Governor’s
Manhattan office on Third Avenue.
“I am disappointed that Governor
Paterson has decided to veto such impor-
tant legislation and has instead opted for a
scenario that creates an easily exploitable
loophole,” said State Senator Liz Krueger in
a December 13 statement.
“This legislation was drafted to ensure
that we put a temporary hold on all drill-
ing that could do irreparable harm to areas
of the state,” Krueger said. “The executive
order that the governor signed gives us some
delay on some types of drilling, but it still
leaves the state vulnerable to overzealous
gas companies who wish to make up for the
ban on horizontal drilling by increasing the
number of vertical wells.”
The process involves drilling into the
Marcellus shale formation that lies beneath
the 27 Southern Tier counties of New York
State near the Pennsylvania border, includ-
ing the six counties that comprise the New
York City watershed, which supplies 90
percent of the city’s drinking water, all of it
The wells are first drilled down verti-
cally between 3,000 feet to 6,000 feet to the
shale formation and then horizontally for
thousands of feet in order to inject millions
of gallons of water under high pressure and
laced with a cocktail of toxic chemicals to
fracture the shale and release methane gas
trapped in the rock.
Opponents of fracking contend the pro-
cess poses unacceptable risks to groundwa-
ter. The Bloomberg administration and the
City Council last year called for a ban on
fracking in the New York City watershed,
specifically. However, the drilling morato-
rium that Paterson vetoed, as well as his
executive order that replaces it, apply to
hydrofracture drilling throughout the state.
The Independent Oil and Gas Association
of New York State has insisted that frack-
ing has been done without risk of harming
the environment. Moreover, the association
contends that a fracking ban would elimi-
nate $1 million in annual state revenues
from drilling fees and would risk the loss of
5,000 industry jobs. Hundreds of millions
of dollars in lease payments and royalties to
landowners and tens of millions in dollars
in tax revenues to local towns and counties
would be threatened by a fracking ban, the
association said.
The boys in Manhattan Youth’s Martial
Arts class want to be just like their teacher,
and the girls want the boys to be like him
too. Their teacher, James Clifford, is also the
bass player in the Energy, a pop/rock band
that will be celebrating the release of their
third album at Irving Plaza next weekend.
Every Friday afternoon, the Energy gets
ready to spend the weekend touring cities
across the East Coast. The band has two
other albums and an EP under their belt, and
has achieved something of a celebrity status,
opening for bands such as Vertical Horizon,
Fastball and the Click Five.
Between the band’s busy tour sched-
ule and his full time job teaching music
at Bay Ridge Preparatory School, Clifford
still makes time to commute into Lower
Manhattan every Monday and Wednesday to
teach Manhattan Youth’s Martial Arts after
school programs at P.S. 276 and P.S. 397.
Clifford may be a born-and-bred Brooklyn
boy, but his heart has always been in Lower
Manhattan. He took the train in from Bay
Ridge every weekend to play football in
Battery Park, and remembers spending most
of his free time around Chambers and
Greenwich Streets, hanging out with friends
and frequenting his favorite diner.
“Gee Whiz always hooked it up for
me,” he remembered fondly. “When I began
teaching, I’d go there on my breaks between
classes to have a cup of tea.”
But Clifford’s favorite Downtown desti-
nation was always J&R, where he stopped
in every Tuesday to buy new music as he
walked from P.S. 89 to Southbridge Towers.
Clifford first ventured to the area at the age
of eight, when his uncle, Manhattan Youth
Martial Arts Program Director Dr. Charlie
Fasano brought him to his first karate class
at P.S. 234. Dr. Fasano, also the headmaster
of Bay Ridge Prep, worked closely with Bob
Townley, president of Manhattan Youth.
When Clifford turned 17, Townley hired him
as a martial arts instructor. He went on to
become the program’s assistant director.
“Bob took a chance and gave me a lot
of responsibly at a very young age,” said
Clifford. “ It made me feel confident.”
Clifford continued to take up bass and gui-
tar in high school, where several of his music
teachers played in bands outside of school.
After seeing that it was possible to become a
teacher while still pursuing dreams of musical
stardom, he joined the Bay Ridge Prep faculty,
along with two fellow band members. He has
since spent over a decade showing students
that even though he’s a member of a popular
band, he’s also grounded.
In fact, he said, it’s his students who help
keep it that way.
“The industry is an emotional roller
coaster. The kids I teach are so innocent, and
they’re real,” said Clifford. “They keep me
grounded and help me take a step back.”
Fellow band member Adam Wolfsdorf
said teaching karate has kept Clifford “root-
ed,” because the kids are exciting, original
and haven’t been “turned off” the way many
Activists, pols say Paterson watered down fracking ban
Karate teacher rocks, in and out of the classroom
‘I am disappointed that
Governor Paterson has
decided to veto such
important legislation.’
State Senator Liz Krueger
Continued on page 17
Continued on page 16
Downtown Express photo by Helaina N. Hovitz
James Clifford is more than just a teacher to his students. His band, the Energy will
be holding a CD release party this weekend at Irving Plaza.
downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 7
To the tune of Johann Strauss’s Blue
Danube Waltz, multi-colored dendrites,
neurons and synapses danced across a
projection screen. This was how Carl
Schoonover, a doctoral candidate in
neurobiology and behavior at Columbia
University, introduced his audience at
the New York Academy of Sciences to
his topic: “Visualizing the Brain from
Antiquity to the 21st Century.”
Schoonover’s lecture on December 15
was part of this year’s Science and the
City series describing how science has
evolved. There will be two more lectures
in that series this year, plus some “one
off” lectures on other scientific topics of
interest to the layman. The lectures take
place at the Academy’s headquarters on
the 40th floor of 7 World Trade Center,
where attendees are also rewarded with
dramatic views of Manhattan.
The New York Academy of Sciences
dates all the way back to 1817, but
Science and the City is a mere five years
old. The Academy, whose membership
of more than 24,000 people includes 26
Nobel Laureates, was initially primarily
for professional scientists and students
of science. Science and the City’s mission
has been to promote scientific literacy to
the general public.
“Everything is really small,” said
Schoonover, describing the brain.
“Everything is packed very tight and
everything is convoluted. So the challenge
over the centuries and especially toward
the end of the 19th century has been to
somehow make sense of this incredibly
small, incredibly tangled mess.” Starting
with an image of a face showing connec-
tions between the eyes and what passes
for a brain drawn in Cairo, Egypt in the
11th century, Schoonover traced the pro-
gression of knowledge to the present and
the insights enabled by technology, such
as the electron microscope.
The lecture series is under the stew-
ardship of Adrienne Burke, who came to
the Academy five years ago as an editor.
Initially, she said, Science and the City
was just a website listing science events
around the city; the lectures started in
October 2006 with evenings devoted to
the “science of food,” such as wine, beer
and cheese.
Food has cropped up as a theme sev-
eral times since then.
Science and the city
at 7 World Trade Center
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Verdant Power, LLC hereby gives notice of its submittal of
a Pilot License Application on December 29, 2010 to
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
This Pilot License Application is to commercially develop a
1 MW hydrokinetic pilot project in the East Channel of the
East River as the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE)
Project (FERC No. 12611). The proposed project is a
hydrokinetic facility comprised of axial-flow turbines
installed under water to generate clean renewable energy
from tidal currents.
A copy of the Pilot License Application can be obtained
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Application is also available for inspection by request at the
corporate address of Verdant Power, LLC, 888 Main Street,
New York, NY 10044, or by email request at
Continued on page 13
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 8
downtown express
John W. Sutter
John Bayles
Scott Stiffler
Aline Reynolds
Albert Amateau
Lincoln Anderson
Francesco Regini
Jason Sherwood
Allison Greaker
Michael Slagle
Julio Tumbaco
Colin Gregory
Vera Musa
Troy Masters
Mark Hasselberger
Jamie Paakkonen
Terese Loeb Kreuzer • David
Stanke • Jerry Tallmer
Lorenzo Ciniglio • Milo Hess
Corky Lee • Elisabeth Robert
• Jefferson Siegel
Andrea Riquier
Published by
145 Sixth Ave., NY, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 229-1890
Fax: (212) 229-2790
Downtown Express is published every week by
Community Media LLC, 145 Sixth Ave., New
York, N.Y. 10013 (212) 229-1890. The entire
contents of the newspaper, including advertising,
are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced
without the express permission of the publisher -
©2010 Community Media LLC.
The Publisher shall not be liable for slight
changes or typographical errors that do not
lessen the value of an advertisement. The
publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions
in connection with an advertisement is strictly
limited to publication of the advertisement in any
subsequent issue.
Member of the
New York Press
Member of the
Continued on page 9
©2010 Community Media, LLC
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
Winter light
A seagull was nesting in the leafless branches of a tree at the Battery over the
Fall into the GAAP
The New York Uprising reform pledge signed by a major-
ity of members of both houses of the Legislature had three
points: independent, nonpartisan redistricting; ethics reform;
and, finally, the implementation of a GAAP budget process.
Former Mayor Ed Koch is the leading force behind
Uprising, which counts good-government groups among
its members.
The first two points are pretty self-explanatory. Basically,
unless there is an independent, nonpartisan redistricting
commission, incumbents will keep drawing their own dis-
trict lines every 10 years, helping reassure their perpetual
re-election; viable challengers won’t have a hope of a level
playing field and will be put off from even running. However,
no one is guaranteed election for life.
Ethics reform is also sorely needed, because it’s essential
that we know where our politicians’ income comes from. If
our elected officials are doing business with people who have
business before the state, we must know this.
The Uprising pledge’s third point, however, a GAAP
budget, is perhaps less well understood by most voters. Yet,
it’s just as vitally important — particularly with the state’s
staggering debt now at more than $9 billion, expected to
mushroom to $15 billion in the coming fiscal year.
GAAP stands for “generally accepted accounting prin-
ciples,” and these regulations are something Albany desper-
ately needs.
Although Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has told
us twice since Koch started his reform initiative in March
2010, that New York State does have a GAAP budget, Koch
emphatically disagreed.
“It’s not in the law,” Hizzoner told us Monday. “And the
budget they adopt is not GAAP-balanced.” New York City,
though, does have a GAAP budget under law. It’s high time
that the state followed suit.
Earlier this year when then-Lieutenant Governor Richard
Ravitch presented his “Ravitch Plan” — budget measures he
hoped the Legislature would adopt — GAAP budgeting was
among the cornerstones.
With Governor Andrew Cuomo in office and pledged
to reform, it behooves our legislators, including Silver,
to help him truly bring about a GAAP, balanced budget.
Just saying we have a GAAP budget obviously isn’t the
same as having one. With a $15 billion debt looming, the
need for GAAP is great.
With a pen stroke
When President Obama signed the James R. Zadroga
9/11 Health and Compensation Act into law last Sunday
in Hawaii, the stroke of his pen signaled the commitment
and recognition this country has always shown its heroes.
But there is no doubt that it was loudest here in Lower
His signature represented the end of a seven-year fight.
There are literally too many people to thank for their advo-
cacy, time spent and dedication to the issue. In the last five
months alone, Lower Manhattan community members, elect-
ed officials and 9/11 first responders made numerous trips
to Washington D.C. to lobby lawmakers and to illustrate the
importance of the bill. No one ever stopped fighting.
It was unconscionable to see the bill voted down
in the House of Representatives last July in a bitter,
bi-partisan vote. But it was exhilarating to see the New
York Congressional delegation stand strong and united,
Democrats and Republicans alike, much like the days
and months after the attacks that forever changed Lower
Manhattan, the United States and the world.
We would like to say, “Thank You,” to everyone who
made the bill a reality.
College, combat
To The Editor:
Re “A streetcar named Pearl Harbor:
Getting onboard” (notebook, by Jerry
Tallmer, Dec. 22):
I love this account of Tallmer’s Dartmouth
doings around the time of Pearl Harbor.
Being a Dartmouth guy myself, with a father,
Class of 1936, who served in North Africa
and Europe, and having just written a World
War II-oriented novel, all this is fascinating
to me. Nice writing, too.
Dave Bergengren
Make crossing West St.
To The Editor:
As a result of the death of pedestrian
Marilyn Feng on Feb. 13, 2009, the Battery
Park City community was reminded of the
unusually short time of traffic light intervals
to cross treacherous West St.
In response, the Department of
Transportation increased the tim-
ing so one could cross without running
a sprint. Recently, again owing to com-
munity concerns, the Lower Manhattan
Development Corporation provided a $1.2
million grant to station crossing guards at
the intersections at Chambers St. and south-
ward on weekdays during normal business
hours only, and not inclusive of weekends.
Without notifying the community, D.O.T.
has once again restored the short time inter-
vals to those that were in effect in February
2009. All you have to do is watch those
hard-working guards urging people to walk
faster as the lights quickly change.
Did anyone responsible for restoring the
shorter intervals know that we do not have
24/7 guards? And why was this been done
without public notification and input? Let’s
hope that Community Board 1 and our local
representatives take to task those respon-
sible, and restore intervals that allow all to
safely walk — not run — across West St.
John Brindisi
downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 9
Transit Sam
The Answer man
Dear Transit Sam,
Having waited somewhat impatiently these many
months for an M21 bus stop to be set up at the entrance
to the subway station on the north side of Houston Street
at Broadway (heading towards West Street), I noted with
some dismay the other day that a new bus stop was set up
on the south side of Houston Street at Broadway (heading
towards the FDR Drive), despite our plea.
The distance between the bus stops at Mott and Greene
Streets seems sufficient enough to warrant a bus stop at the
Broadway-Lafayette B, D, F, V subway entrance, which is
almost at the midway point between the stops at Mott and
Greene streets.
Establishing the stop on the south side of Houston Street at
Broadway serves no useful purpose at all whereas the request-
ed stop on the north side towards West Street would be a great
convenience for all passengers, especially the elderly.
Hopefully, what’s been done can be undone and corrected
with your support. Please follow up on our behalf.
Mel, Lower East Side
Dear Mel,
I have great news, Mel. There’s nothing that needs
to be undone or corrected. There are new stops on both
sides of Houston Street as of this writing (see photo)
between Crosby Street and Broadway. The sign on the
south side was installed first, followed by the north side
shortly after (I’m told both signs were installed on the
same day on December 18). Enjoy the new stop and
Happy New Year!
Transit Sam
Dear Transit Sam,
I bought an $89 TransitChek Credit Card before
December 30. However, I didn’t purchase my unlimited
MetroCard until January 2. When I went to purchase
my MetroCard from the vending machine, I was charged
$104. Shouldn’t I have been charged only $89?
Tiff, Soho
Dear Tiff,
Afraid not! The TransitChek Credit Card is a pre-paid
card that allows you to buy your MetroCard tax-free. It is
not (I repeat, not) the actual MetroCard. So, if you had
purchased the actual MetroCard prior to December 30,
you would’ve been charged only $89. But because you
needed to use the pre-paid credit card to purchase the
actual Metrocard, you needed to buy it by 11:59 p.m.
December 29 to save the $15. Now you know for the next
time fares go up.
Transit Sam
Happy New Year! Have a question about a parking
ticket, traffic rules, public transportation, ASP or more?
Want to know how to get a copy of my 2011 Parking
Calendar? If so, send me an e-mail at TransitSam@down- or write to Transit Sam, 611 Broadway,
Suite 415, New York, NY 10012.
“How was the city’s response to the snow and trash removal after the storm?”
Bad. It was horrifically, unusually bad. I’ve seen similar
storms within a couple inches without the same problem.
James Sutton, Queens
Poor. I’ve lived in the city since 1999. This happens every
year. You’d think they would’ve figured it by now.
Phoebe, Bed-stuy, Brooklyn
It was a storm. It’s wintertime. It’s the city. People should
just deal with it.
Ron Blackburn, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
Downtown Express photo by Joshua Knoller
“M21 riders now have a closer connection to the
Broadway-Lafayette subway station with the addition of
a stop near Houston Street and Broadway. Pictured is
the new stop heading towards West Street.”
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 10
downtown express

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$400, a credit card and her driver’s license
had been stolen.
Christmas punches
A woman told police she was walk-
ing on State St. at Battery Pl. around 9:40
p.m. Christmas Day when four teenage girls
descended on her, punched her in the face
and managed to take a gold ring from her
finger and $50 in cash from her pocket. The
muggers fled north and disappeared into a
subway station, the victim said.
Sleeping victim
Transit police spotted a man with two
accomplices going through the pockets of
a sleeping 19-year-old man from Queens
on an E train at Chambers St. around
1 a.m. Sat., Jan. 1. They arrested Jamal
Broadie, 43; Andre Brown, 47 and Terry
Lee, 56.
Meatpacking murder
Nicholas Brooks, 24, arrested Thurs.,
Dec. 9 in connection with the death of
Sylvie Cachay, 33, a swimwear designer
found dead in a bathtub at Soho House,
the exclusive hotel club in the Gansevoort
Market District, was arraigned on Tues.,
Jan. 4, on a charge of second degree
Brooks, of 60 Second Ave., checked into
the hotel with the victim during the early
hours of Dec. 9 and was arrested later that
day after he returned to the hotel at 29 Ninth
Ave. at 13
St. where the victim’s half-clothed
body had been found with strangle marks on
her neck in the overflowing tub. Cachay, a
resident of W. 10
St. near Hudson, reportedly
was breaking up with Brooks. The suspect is
the son of Joseph Brooks, an Oscar-winning
songwriter facing charges of raping 11 aspir-
ing actresses. Nicholas Brooks was being held
without bail pending a court appearance later
this week.
— Alber t Amateau
Continued from page 4
downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 11
Escape the cold and visit Capri
If the bleak winter weather — or just the
grinding crush of city life — has you down,
consider a short trip to Capri. But if airfare
is too expensive, try the Capri Caffé on
Church Street, where the ambiance and food
evoke the warm charm of the Mediterranean
Capri is owned by Graziano Lembo and
Eduardo Erazo. Lembo is a native of Capri,
and Erazo studied cooking in Torino for sev-
eral years. In 2007 Lembo, who had been
working in a restaurant in Midtown while
living on John Street, decided to strike out
on his own.
The tiny space has only 19 seats and
the chefs cook in a galley kitchen separated
from the dining room by only a glass counter
showcasing pastries, such as olive oil cook-
ies. The unique set-up may be necessary in
such a small space but it was Lembo’s plan
to have an open kitchen. “It’s more personal,
like being in your own kitchen,” he said.
For Lembo, the sense of being at home
goes even further. The restaurant features
his mother’s recipes for dishes like penne
with cherry tomatoes, which he said is the
most popular dish on the menu. The cherry
tomatoes are grown by his parents in Capri
in what he described as “a big backyard,”
then canned and shipped to New York.
Because the cost of shipping is so high,
Lembo must mix the Caprese tomatoes with
regular ones, but restaurant patrons still get
to taste a little bit of Italy in every bite. Even
the walls are Italian – they are adorned with
tiles that Lembo imported.
The partners are committed to keeping
prices reasonable, which may have contrib-
uted to their success during the economic
downturn. “The prices are very affordable
for the quality I serve,” said Lembo – most
entrees range from about $9.95 to $14.95.
Lembo said that each year business has been
better than the last.
The men love being Downtown, and
have watched the neighborhood change in
the past few years. Erazo used to work at
the San Domenico restaurant in Midtown,
which had a sister restaurant in the World
Trade Center called Gemelli, where he would
occasionally fill in. He remembers the area
being “very crowded” before 9/11, and sees
it starting to rebound now. Lembo said he
is struck by how residential Downtown is
Most of Capri’s customers are regulars,
whether city workers, teachers or lawyers
at lunchtime, or neighborhood residents at
dinner. Lembo, who is very taciturn, said,
“Once they try the food, they come back. I
let the food speak for itself.”
Capri Caffe is located at 165 Church
Street in Tribeca and is open weekdays from
10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to
10 p.m., and on Saturdays from noon to
10:30 p.m. For more information call (212)
6:30 TO 8 PM
$25 registration fee is waived for
those who register at the Open House.
(#6 train to Astor Place, R & W trains
to 8th Street)
OR 212.353.4195
Downtown Express photo by J.B. Nicholas
Capri Caffé on Church Street is a cozy alternative to a transatlantic flight.
Now accepting Motorcycles
$200.00 per month plus tax
Monthly car spaces available
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 12
downtown express

New Year’s Eve was not exactly quiet in
Battery Park City — and not just because of
revelers and fireworks. Late into the night, the
Department of Sanitation was busily at work
on South End Avenue with bulldozers and
giant trucks, scooping up snow and carting it
away. By New Year’s Day, cars and mailboxes
had been disentombed and it seemed probable
that slush puddles at the crossings would be
pond sized instead of lake sized.
However, since the Sanitation Department
was occupied with snow removal, garbage
collection got short shrift. On Monday,
January 3, the super of one Rector Place
building reported, “Our last garbage and
recycling pickups were on the morning of
Friday, December 24. The normal schedule
is Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They
were supposed to resume with garbage pick-
up today, but nothing as yet. So far, there’s
no date set for recycling. We now have a
cardboard mountain out back!”
But not all Battery Park City buildings
were bursting with refuse. Currently, 17 of
the community’s 25 residential buildings plus
P.S./I.S. 89 participate in a trash compacting
program that was started by the Department
of Sanitation in Battery Park City in 2005.
These buildings cart their trash to one of two
locations — one in the North neighborhood
and one in the South neighborhood. There it
is compacted and stored until the Department
of Sanitation picks it up. A third compactor
will be installed when the Liberty Luxe and
Liberty Green apartment buildings (on North
End Avenue) are completed.
“There’s no cost to the building to par-
ticipate in the program,” said Battery Park City
Authority spokesperson, Leticia Remauro.
“Because the trash is ‘smushed,’” she said, “we
can hold it as long as we need to. It’s fine if
sanitation can’t pick it up right away.”
“We’re fortunate that we have community
compactors,” said a building manager who is
responsible for three buildings that do par-
ticipate in the program. He said that they use
“little tractor trailers” to transport their trash
to the compactors. He noted that without trash
compacting, garbage would have to be set out
the night before the Department of Sanitation
collected it, and that it presented a feast
for rats. “The rat problem has been greatly
reduced since we started this,” he said.
“Battery Park City Authority encourages
every building to participate in the program,”
said Remauro. But not every building finds it
can. The super of the Rector Place building
that was eagerly waiting for the Department
of Sanitation to resume its rounds, explained,
“The compacting stations were incorporated in
the construction of the newer ‘green’ buildings,
and serve the buildings closest to them. We
spent almost two years doing feasibility studies
with the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy
and the Department of Sanitation to find a
suitable location for the Rector Place/Albany
Street buildings. No luck. The compactors are
big, noisy, and require power, water and shel-
ter. Literally it was a ‘nimby’ situation. And
the Visionaire (the compactor location for the
southern part of Battery Park City) is just too
far to lug all of our trash.”

When Battery Park City resident Jay
Fine looked out his window on the morning
of Sunday, January 2, he saw the harbor envel-
oped in fog. Ellis Island protruded through it,
as did the Statue of Liberty but almost noth-
ing else could be seen. “I heard the fog horns
going off like crazy,” he said, as he took a few
Later that day, Classic Harbor Line’s yacht,
“Manhattan,” set out for its last cruise of the sea-
son — a circumnavigation of Manhattan fueled
with a delicious spread of sandwiches, pastries,
fruit and an assortment of gourmet teas. All was
well until the boat exited Spuyten Duyvil at the
northern end of the island and turned south
into the Hudson River. Looking north, build-
ings along the banks of the river were visible.
Looking south, an impenetrable fog blanketed
the river. The first mate of the boat stood in
the prow, scanning for other vessels. Even the
mighty George Washington Bridge was so
swathed in fog that it seemed like an apparition.
As the “Manhattan” proceeded cautiously down
the river, headed for its berth at Chelsea Piers,
the captain blew the horn repeatedly. By the
time the “Manhattan” reached Midtown, the
fog had lessened considerably.
“We don’t get something like this that
often,” said Henry Mahlmann, president of
the New York Sandy Hook Pilots Association,
when asked about the fog. “It doesn’t normally
warm up to the high 40’s in the middle of
Mahlmann added that “barges, tankers
and freighters are not allowed to go around
Bergen Point if there’s less than half mile vis-
ibility, — so there were no ships going into
Port Elizabeth and Port Newark during the
fog on Sunday.”
Mahlmann said that fog typically occurs in
winter when warm air and cold water collide.
“The fog can be affected by the incoming and
outgoing tides,” he said, “but you can’t write a
book as to why it happens. It happens at dif-
ferent times and different places.”
“What a great photo op!” said one of
the “Manhattan’s” passengers, a visitor from
Pennsylvania. “It was an adventure,” said
To feed or not to feed, that was the ques-
tion. Some warm-hearted humans wondered
how Battery Park City’s birds were faring
in the record-breaking blizzard. “Nature
provides,” said Vince McGowan, assistant
director of the Battery Park City Parks
Conservancy. “Feeding birds — throwing
food on the ground — is feeding rats. The
native plants along the Hudson River flyway,
including Sandy Hook, Governors Island,
historic Battery Park, Battery Park City, and
Hudson River and Riverside parks, have an
abundance of food for migrating and per-
manent birds to sustain themselves with.”
McGowan said the birds would be fine.
On January 13, three queens will visit
New York City — Queen Mary 2, Queen
Victoria and the Cunard Line’s newest
ship, Queen Elizabeth, making her maiden
call. The last time something like this hap-
pened was in 2008, when Queen Victoria
was launched and Cunard’s beloved Queen
Elizabeth 2 visited New York City for one
of the last times after an ocean-going career
of more than 40 years. She was decommis-
sioned later that year and sold to Dubai as a
tourist attraction.
If this year’s celebration is anything
like the last one, it will be a showstopper.
The Cunard ships will arrive on the morn-
ing of January 13; early risers will be able
to see Queen Elizabeth steaming up the
Hudson River to her berth in Midtown
Manhattan, where she will be joined by
Queen Victoria. Queen Mary 2, as usual,
will dock in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
When the three ships depart later that
day, they will convene in front of the
Statue of Liberty, where there will be a
fireworks display.
Statue Cruises is offering a “Three
Queens Cruise” that evening aboard
the J.J. Audubon, which will leave from
Liberty Landing Marina in New Jersey at
5 p.m. and from historic Battery Park at
5:30 p.m. The cost of $129 per adult and
$75 for children ages 4 to 12, includes din-
ner, live entertainment, and cocktails for
the adults. Group discounts and culinary
upgrades are available. For more informa-
tion or to make reservations, go to www.
Downtown Express photo by Jay Fine
Ellis Island was all but enveloped in fog last Sunday.
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
The Cunard Line’s Queen Elizabeth 2 and Queen Mary 2 in New York harbor in
downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 13
Lectures draw new members to Academy of Sciences
“Food is hugely popular as a lecture
topic,” said Burke.
Burke comes up with the topics for the
series through “a lot of reading of current
science magazines and news sections,
looking through publishers’ book lists and
talking with colleagues at the Academy
and at scientific events.”
The current series, “From Stone Age to
Internet Age: How Science Has Evolved
Over Time” came about after a conversa-
tion with one of the Academy’s support-
ers who told her it was “a problem in
our culture that people don’t understand
science in the context of history.” Burke
asked that supporter and several other
people who were interested in the history
of science to join her for a brainstorming
“We came up with ideas on how a
series on the history of science should be
structured and who we would we like to
invite to speak,” said Burke.
The speakers don’t get paid, but if
they come from outside New York City,
the Academy pays for their travel and
accommodations. Though most of the
speakers have written books that are sold
at a wine and cheese reception after each
lecture, they don’t make any money from
the engagement.
“I’ve been told they consider it an
honor to be invited by the New York
Academy of Sciences to give a lecture,”
said Burke, “and they believe in our mis-
sion of helping to promote better public
understanding of science.”
Many of the speakers are prominent
names in the scientific world. They
have included Richard Dawkins, author
of “The God Delusion,” Helen Fisher, a
biological anthropologist who has studied
the science of love and attraction and
has had her research applied to Internet
dating sites, and Christoph Koch, a neu-
roscientist and former research partner of
Francis Crick, one of the co-discoverers of
the structure of the DNA molecule.
In 2011, Science and the City audi-
ences will have the opportunity to hear
from Siddhartha Mukherjee, whose book
about the history of cancer, “The Emperor
of All Maladies,” was hailed as one of
the top books of 2010 by The New York
Times Book Review.
“Because Science and the City has
become such a popular program, we’ve
had more and more members of the
general public buying Academy mem-
berships,” Burke observed. “By being
a member, they’re getting discounts to
Science and the City events and they’re
supporting the Academy.”
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Carl Schoonover, a doctoral candidate in neurobiology and behavior at Columbia
University, lecturing at the New York Academy of Sciences on how the brain has
been visualized from antiquity to the present.
Continued from page 7
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 14
downtown express
Downtown Express photos by Jefferson Siegel (above) and J.B. Nicholas
Keep on toboggan; Spray it, don’t say it (Blizzard!)
During Sunday night’s blizzard, a father valiantly pulled his son on a toboggan through Washington Square Park, above. The boy may have been overheard yelling, “Mush!”
Monday, in the Meat Market, a blower sent snow arcing over Ninth Ave., below.
downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 15
Search is on for the right lawyers
ent incurred at or near Ground Zero or the other aircraft
crash sites between September 11, 2001 and May 31, 2002.
Riordan said that 9/11 survivors should shop around for the
best representation.
“Just to be force-fed one lawyer doesn’t make sense,” he
said. “You have to choose the one you have the best relation-
ship with and the [most] confidence in.”
The people filing claims are mostly former first respond-
ers that were injured at Ground Zero or residents who lived
below Canal Street and were exposed to the toxic dust cloud
that formed after the Twin Towers collapsed.
The original V.C.F. program proved successful between
2001 and 2003. Most 9/11 victims were satisfied with the
terms, and there were only two documented cases of fraud by
claimants, according to a spokesperson for Congresswoman
Carolyn Maloney.
The attorneys representing the victims appear in front
of a special fund master appointed by President Obama,
who will act as an arbiter for the distribution of the funds.
Riordan compared the process to an administrative proceed-
ing. “The attorney argues the side, they present evidence,
and [the fund master] will make a ruling,” he said.
Since December 22, 2010, the day Congress passed the
bill, several law firms have reached out to Feal, expressing
interest in representing 9/11 survivors that are eligible for
V.C.F. money.
“They all e-mailed me, pitched their firms to me,” Feal
said. “It’s not for me to decide, but for me to put them all
together, and let the 9/11 responders and volunteers and
people of Lower Manhattan decide.”
He and Riordan are organizing a forum for early or mid-
February, where 9/11 victims can meet the attorneys and
decide which one is best suited to represent them. Feal is
looking into several sites in Manhattan and elsewhere for
the forum, including C.W. Post and the Nassau County
campus of Long Island University, which the foundation has
formed ties with. In the meantime, Feal and Riordan will
have a closed meeting with the lawyers to discuss their legal
The lawyers, Riordan and Feal stressed, are expected
to go beyond traditional roles in representing the victims.
Experience in toxic tort law and medical knowledge, for
example, is a big plus. “These [lawyers] should be walking
to the table with some background on the 9/11 first respond-
ers,” said Riordan, since many of the first responders and
other victims have uncommon illnesses, such as pulmonary
fibrosis, sarcoidosis and asbestosis.
Feal also said the attorneys should be responsive to the
individual needs of their clients, many of who are struggling
financially due to costly medical expenses tied to their ill-
nesses or injuries. And, finally, Feal said the attorneys should
be compassionate.
“We’ve had enough politicians and lawyers,” said Feal.
“We need a friend. A friend goes a long way these days for
The law also places geographical limits for compensa-
tion. It states that candidates must have been “sufficiently
close” to the crash sites at Ground Zero, Shanksville,
Pennsylvania and the Pentagon, or along specified routes of
debris removal. Riordan said work passes, affidavits or other
documentation proving their location at the time of injury
will be necessary.
Congresswoman Maloney’s spokesperson said there is
a mechanism in place to allow new conditions, typically
identified by the clinics, to be added to the list of types of
healthcare covered under the new law. Feal and others are
pushing for certain types of cancer, such as lung and colon,
to be placed on the list.
The current list includes respiratory and musculoskeletal
disorders, sleep apnea and asthma. Those with psychological
disorders, such as post-traumatic stress, are also eligible for
treatment at the health clinics.
City questions urgency of claims
vention to immediately remove all P.C.B.-
containing ballasts in all New York City
public schools,” Walcott wrote. Limiting
P.C.B. exposure, therefore, merits “a more
thoughtful and careful evaluation of realistic
risk management strategies,” he said.
Replacing the lighting ballasts in the
nearly 800 public school buildings that are
potentially contaminated, Walcott explained,
would amount to $1 billion and would require
“unprecedented” amounts of supervision and
manpower. The steep investment, he said,
could result in staff layoffs, a loss of educa-
tional programs and an annulment of school
construction projects around the city.
“We believe that this discussion should
include federal funding to allay the vast
financial burdens on the city of such an ini-
tiative,” Walcott said.
Nineteen schools in the Downtown area
were built prior to 1979 and are therefore
at risk of P.C.B. contamination, according to
data collected by Communities for Change,
a citywide organization representing low-
income families.
“We saw what happened with lead and
paint — we decided we had to be a part of find-
ing a solution to this,” said Jonathan Westin,
president of Communities for Change.
“Parents are really concerned about the
future of their children’s health,” said ALord
Allah, chairman of the District 1 Parent
Advisory Council.
Allah has been educating Lower East
Side schools about the dangerous toxins
since last fall. He distributed petitions to
L.E.S. parents and teachers, requesting their
schools be tested for P.C.B.s. Communities
for Change and New York Lawyers for the
Public Interest then sent the petitions to the
D.O.E. and E.P.A.
The city, however, might have to com-
ply with the E.P.A.’s initiative in order
to avoid federal penalties. Failing light-
ing ballasts, according to Enck, puts the
city at “substantial risk under the [Toxic
Substances Control Act].”
As for the costs, the E.P.A. said that new
lighting fixtures will pay for themselves in
long-term energy savings. The city is also
eligible for federal bonds, according to the
E.P.A., that would help finance the plan.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler, along with
New York Representatives Jose Serrano and
Joseph Crowley, recently introduced the Safe
Schools, Healthy Kids Act, a new law that
would set up a federal grant program to
finance P.C.B. cleanup in schools.
“We welcome these guidelines for the
aggressive and comprehensive abatement of
lighting ballasts under the oversight of the
E.P.A., and we renew our call on New York
City’s Department of Education to step up
its testing and remediation program,” Nadler
and Crowley said in a joint statement.
Nadler formed a citywide coalition last
October, urging the E.P.A. to take immediate
action. He said he plans to work with schools
and communities Downtown and citywide in
an effort to do away with the toxins.
Long-term exposure to the chemicals
can cause cancer, immune disorders and
hormonal imbalances in children, according
to Dr. Warren Licht, chief medical officer at
Downtown Hospital. He stressed, however,
that they’re only dangerous if they become
airborne. “If it’s sitting idle in a wall some-
where without being disturbed,” he said, “I
wouldn’t worry about it.”
P.C.B.s were once widely used to insulate
electrical equipment since they are non-
explosive and have a high tolerance for
heat. The E.P.A. banned their distribution
in 1979, however, after learning about their
health effects.
Continued from page 1
Continued from page 1
Downtown Express photo by Aline Reynolds
John Feal of the FealGood Foundation is setting up a forum to help 9/11 victims find the right attorneys now that
the Zadroga Act was signed into law.
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 16
downtown express
Clifford is inspiration to students
adults have.
“We’ve toured with some pretty huge
artists who think the world should revolve
around them,” said Wolfsdorf. “But we know
that we’re part of a whole. It’s like you’re Clark
Kent during the day and Superman at night.
We’re living two lives, but those two lives are
yin and yang, and you need both.”
Clifford said his teaching gigs provide him
with a sense of balance that most other suc-
cessful artists don’t have, noting that many
groups quick to make it big are also quick to
fall apart. In order to maintain this balance, he
must establish a clear set of boundaries in the
“The kids see that we have lives, that we
aren’t just boring teachers, so they want to
know more about what happens on the road,”
said Clifford. “But we don’t actually tell them.
We usually just give ‘em a funny answer.”
Students often frequent the Energy’s shows
with their parents, who are grateful for the
opportunity to go and do something with their
kids. When a student, who was an aspiring
musician, expressed some doubts about pur-
suing a career in music, the band let her open
for one of their acoustic shows. Clifford still
receives phone calls from students who have
graduated and gone on to pursue careers in
music, attributing their success to his encour-
agement and leadership by example.
Clifford believes it is important to show his
students that with hard work and ambition,
anything is possible. Commitment is one of the
most important words in his vocabulary, so it’s
not surprising that as last week’s blizzard was
underway, the karate group gathered to prac-
tice — and fall, a lot — in the snow.
“He puts himself into things with full force;
he doesn’t go halfway,” said Wolfsdorf. “That’s
one of the reasons we’ve been able to accom-
plish the things we have.”
Not many people can wear both hats at
once, but Dean Bevilacqua, Clifford’s mentor
and fellow faculty member, said he’s a dynamic
teacher, and is just plain great with kids.
“He’s a pied piper. If you see him at the
school or on field day, all the little kids gather
around him like little geese,” said Bevilacqua.
Bevilacqua has always been a brother figure
to Clifford, and began bringing him to shows
when he was just nine years old. Clifford now
opens for bands that they went to see perform
years ago.
The Energy’s sound is heavily influenced
by early 90’s rock, and ideas for songs come
to Clifford in snippets, which he hands off to
Wolfsdorf to shape into lyrics. Of the 2,000
CDs lining the walls of his room are bands like
REM and Radiohead, who Clifford values for
their ability to make listeners feel like they are
part of a whole. He makes a strong distinc-
tion between this music and his favorite “ear
candy,” bands like Weezer and All Time Low.
Clifford met the band’s vocalist, Adam
Wolfsdorf, in the Manhattan Youth Martial
Arts program back in 2000, and the two began
attending open mic nights together. Soon more
musicians joined in, and an early 90’s cover
band was formed, playing local bars in Bay
Ridge for two years. Clifford and Wolfsdorf
wanted to start writing original tunes, and
sought out a permanent drummer and guitar
player in 2005. By early 2006, The Energy
became regulars in Clifford’s home away from
home at Tribeca’s Knitting Factory.
The band, whose other two permanent
members include Ian VanderMuelen on gui-
tar and Chris Flanigan on drums, has yet to
sign with an actual label, but continues to
run their own “min-label.” They work closely
with Wavelength Entertainment and renowned
industry publicist Tracey Miller, and their man-
ager, Beth Bogdan, is senior director of artist
relations at Universal. Their booking agency,
Supreme Entertainment Artists, is based out
of Boston, and represents bands like Maroon 5
and Eve 6. Since all four band members work
full time, it took almost a year of traveling to
Boston and back every weekend to cut the
new album.
Clifford has no plans to give up either of
his teaching jobs, and will soon be adding yet
another responsibility to the list.
“I have an 18-month-old girl, Rafaela,
and when she doesn’t think I’m cool any-
more, I’m gonna call on him to take her to
concerts, like I did for him,” said Bevilacqua.
“He’s already said he’s got it covered.”
The CD release party will be held at 8
p.m. on January 15 at Irving Plaza, where
the band will be performing later in the
evening. The music video for the first single
off their new album, “Go to Girl,” is due in
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downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 17
Activists, pols say Paterson
watered down fracking ban
The relatively new fracking process,
pioneered by Halliburton, the drilling
company, was exempted from most fed-
eral restraints in 2005. In September
2009 the New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation issued
an 800-page supplemental draft gener-
ic environmental impact statement on
proposed guidelines for hydrofrack-
ing. Environmental advocates, however,
said the proposed impact statement was
largely written by gas companies. The
review has not yet been completed.
But in response to the opposition by
New York City officials who said fracking
posed a danger to the city water supply, the
state D.E.C. commissioner issued an execu-
tive decision removing both the New York
City and the Syracuse watersheds from
the environmental review. The decision
required gas drillers in those watersheds
to undertake supplemental environmental
reviews for each well, a process that would
increase the cost of each well and discour-
age drilling in the watersheds.
In addition, the federal Environmental
Protection Agency has been holding hear-
ings over the course of the past year in
connection with a nationwide report
assessing the impact of fracking on water
supply. The E.P.A. intends to submit tes-
timony to a science panel for a report to
be completed in 2012.
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of Downtown Express?
Sign up for email blasts at, follow DowntownExpress
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Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 18
downtown express
swim lessons, basketball, gym class, Karate and more, call 212-
766-1104. Visit The Downtown Com-
munity Center is located at 120 Warren St.
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE ARTS Explore painting, col-
lage and sculpture through self-guided arts projects. Open art
stations are ongoing throughout the afternoon — giving children
the opportunity to experiment with materials such as paint, clay,
fabric, paper and found objects. Regular museum hours: Wed.-
Sun., 12-5pm; Thurs., 12-6pm (Pay as You Wish, from 4-6pm).
Admission: $10. At the Children’s Museum of the Arts (182 Lafay-
ette St. btw. Broome & Grand). Call 212- 274-0986 or visit www. For group tours and visit, call 212) 274-0986, exten-
sion 31.
SEASON Registration for the Police Athletic League’s (PAL)
Cops & Kids Program is open through Jan. 10. Manhattan young
people, ages 14-17, are encouraged to participate in the upcom-
ing winter basketball season. Each year, 825 New York City Police
Officers volunteer their time to coach and play basketball, volley-
ball, soccer, softball and flag football. One of PAL’s signature pro-
grams, Cops & Kids will help you perfect your half-court shot. To
sign up, call 212-477-9450, ext. 389. Visit
Discovery Zone” is an exhibit designed for ages 3-10. It’s divided
into four areas: the Police Academy; the Park and Precinct; the
Emergency Services Unit; and a Multi-Purpose Area for program-
ming. Each area has interactive and imaginary play experiences
for children to understand the role of police officers in our commu-
nity — by, among other things, driving and taking care of a police
car. For older children, there’s a crime scene observation activity
that will challenge them to remember relevant parts of city street
scenes; a physical challenge similar to those at the Police Acad-
emy; and a model Emergency Services Unit vehicle where children
can climb in, use the steering wheel and lights, hear radio calls
with police codes and see some of the actual equipment carried
by The Emergency Services Unit. At 100 Old Slip. For info, call
212-480-3100 or visit Hours: Mon. through Sat.,
10am-5pm and Sun., noon-5pm. Admission: $8 ($5 for students,
seniors and children. Free for children under 2.
STORE Every Saturday at 3pm, Scholastic’s in-store activities
are designed to get kids reading, thinking, talking, creating and
moving. The Scholastic Store is located at 557 Broadway (btw.
Prince & Spring). Regular store hours are Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm,
and Sun., 11am-6pm. For info about store events, call 212-343-
6166. Visit
POETS HOUSE The Poets House “Tiny Poets Time” program
offers children ages 1-3 and their parents a chance to enter the
world of rhyme — through readings, group activities and inter-
active performances. Thursdays at 10am (at 10 River Terrace, at
Murray St.). Call 212-431-7920 or visit
may not be old enough to read Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn”
can get to know the quintessential American humorist — and
discover the wonders of children’s theater — all in one fun, cre-
ative experience. “A Wonderfully Flat Thing” is a modern twist
on Twain’s short story “A Fable.” The adaptation finds Twain and
his animal friends on a journey of self-discovery and magic. Pup-
pets, dance, music and interactive video are the new tricks that
help bring this old writer into the modern age. Manju Shandler,
who created masks and puppetry for “The Lion King,” designed
the puppets. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Sat., Jan. 8 & 15
at 11:30am, 2:30pm & 5pm and Sun., Jan. 9 & 16 at 11:30am &
2:30pm. At The 14th Street Y’s newly renovated LABA Theatre
(344 E. 14th St. btw. 1st & 2nd Aves.). For tickets ($15), call 212-
780-0800 or visit
pen in the world of children’s cartoons: Dogs talk, daffy ducks
spar with rascally rabbits and an aardvark named Arthur goes
to school. But writer Katharine Holabird and illustrator Helen
Craig came up with something special when they introduced us
to a mouse who loves ballet. Now, that mouse (star of her own
PBS series) comes to life — and comes to a stage near you —
in “Angelina Ballerina: The Musical.” As the curtain comes up,
everyone at the Camembert Academy is all aflutter because a
special guest is coming to visit. Angelina and her friends (Alice,
Gracie, AZ and Viki) are excited to show off their hip-hop, mod-
ern dance, Irish jig and ballet skills — but will Angelina get that
moment in the spotlight she’s hoping for? This show is appropri-
ate for children ages 3-12. Jan. 8 through Feb. 19, Saturdays at
1pm & 3pm and Sundays at 1pm. At the Union Square Theatre
(100 E. 17th St. btw. Union Square East and Irving Place). For tick-
ets ($39.50-$65), call 1-800-982-2787 or visit
Also visit
TION Three years into its run, the Gazillion Bubble Show
welcomes creator Fan Yang’s 20-year-old son into the family
business. We’re promised that “Bubble Super-Star” Deni Yang
will elevate this already spectacular experience to new heights
of bubble blowing artistry). The open-ended run plays Fri. at 7
p.m., Sat. at 11am, 2pm and 4:30pm and Sun. at noon and 3pm.
Running time: 75 minutes, no intermission. For tickets ($44.50 to
$89.50), call 212-239-6200 or visit Visit
DOWNTOWN EXPRESS? Listing requests may be sent to Please provide the date, time,
location, price and a description of the event. Information may
also be mailed to 145 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY
10013. Requests must be received three weeks before the event
is to be published. Questions? Call 646-452-2497.
14 warren Street / www. churchstreetschooI . org
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Pres!dents week famps
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Photo courtesy of Manhattan Children’s Theatre
Hooded for trouble.
Imagination reigns supreme in the pro-
ductions of this theater company whose
ninth season is dedicated to classic stories
and characters (with a twist!). From Jan. 8
through Feb. 28, MCT’s version of “Little
Red Riding Hood” has a pair of bungling
wolves trying to outfox that little hood-
wearing smarty as she makes her way to
Granny’s house. Later in the season, look
out for MCT’s revved up, wisecracking, revi-
sionist takes on “Goldilocks and the Three
Bears” and “The Complete Works of the
Brothers Grimm (Abridged).” Performances
are every Sat. and Sun., noon and 2pm. At
Manhattan Children’s Theatre (52 White
St., btw. Broadway & Church Sts., 2 blocks
south of Canal St.). For tickets ($20 general,
$50 front row), call 212-352-3101 or visit For school, group
or birthday party rate info, call 212-226-
4085. Visit
downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 19
Mr. Richard Bruce Cheney, Esq.
Vice President Emeritus, USA
Mr. Vice President Emeritus:
I know you have long been a fan of something called
waterboarding, and in that regard I wonder if you would care
to join me in a sort of field trip — an educational expedi-
tion — to a museum in this city, where recently I was almost
buried at the entrance by 40 or 50 little kids chirping away
like so many happy sparrows while a couple of nice young
teachers tried to make sure that not one sparrow had been
lost en route.
The excited children were being swept into the Jewish
Museum, a venerable but often quite daring institution that
currently houses a compelling exhibit — “Houdini: Art and
Magic” — all about the life and times of a performer who
held this nation (and the world) in thrall as the dear old 19th
century was turning into the corrupt and infinitely bloodier
But I do hope, Mr. Cheney, that those chirping little ones
didn’t get too upset when, halfway through this fascinating
display, they came upon an upright rectangular see-through
chamber labeled “Water Torture Cell.”
Yes, Virginia, water can be used as an instrument of tor-
ture — it’s right there in print on the label — even if your
Uncle Dick tells you otherwise, and even if we’re not at this
moment talking about a board but a sort of glass and steel
telephone booth.
Okay, let’s drop the Uncle Dick stuff. The point is that
you could drown in this Water Torture Cell — unless you
were Harry Houdini, magician and escape artist supreme
(in which case you could also spring free of every other pro-
totype object in this remarkable display, from heavyweight
handcuffs to a massive traveling trunk to a triple-strength
straitjacket to an oversized milk can to the Water Torture
The astonishing Houdini could, and did, escape from
them and from much else — straightjacketed at the bottom
of a river, for instance — over and over and over again. And
would with no less astonishing modesty bill himself around
the globe as, for one instance out of dozens on these walls
— a vivid lithograph in the Western Mail, Cardiff, Wales,
1913 — “The World-Famous Self-Liberator! HOUDINI!
Presenting the Greatest Performance of His Strenuous
Career!” The “Water Torture Cell,” by the way, is the only
reconstruction in this whole assemblage (the original having
been destroyed by a 1995 fire at the Houdini Magical Hall of
Fame, in Niagara Falls).
Houdini did walk among the notables of his time, from
Charlie Chaplin, whom he physically, athletically, and aes-
thetically much resembled (viz. the prizefight sequence in
1931’s “City Lights”), to Fatty Arbuckle, to W.C. Fields,
to Sarah Bernhardt, to Theodore Roosevelt, to Sherlock
Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle — whom he liked
but disagreed with over the phoniness, as Houdini saw it, of
They and other greats of the period were his peers, even
though Houdini — like Chaplin — was technically an immi-
grant. And this exhibit is not just about Escape. It is also
about Immigrants.
Escape and Immigrant — sometimes the same thing.
Particularly if you were a European Jew.
Ehrich (or Erik) Weiss (or Weisz), the son of Rabbi
Mayer Samuel Weiss and Cecilia Steiner, was born in
Budapest, Hungary, on March 24, 1874 — though for some
years Ehrich (redubbed Harry) claimed to have been born in
Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. Maybe he really thought so.
The rabbi and his family had in fact emigrated to America
— to Appleton — when Ehrich was three, and though the
rabbi never did learn English, young Ehrich got Americanized
quickly enough. At some later point, probably his teens, the
aspiring young runner, wrestler and magician changed his
last name to Houdini, in honor of the great French magician
Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin (1806-1871).
With some amusement, Brooke Kamin Rapaport, the
freelance curator of this engrossing project, notes that
Appleton, Wisconsin, has sent forth into the world novelist/
playwright Edna Ferber, U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy and
Harry Houdini, man of magic.
Before Dick did waterboarding: What Houdini knew
Reconstructed Water Torture Cell part of exhibit’s bag of tricks
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“Houdini in Chains” — 1903.
Continued on page 20
On view through March 27, 2011
At the Jewish Museum (Fifth Ave. and 92nd St.)
Exhibition Galleries, Hours: Sun., Mon. Tues.: 11am-5:45pm /
Thurs.: 11am-8pm / Fri.: 11am-4pm / Sat.: 11am-5:45pm
Museum Admission: Adults: $12 / Seniors/65 & over: $10 /
Students: $ 7.50 / Children under 12: Free / Jewish Museum
Members: Free / Saturdays: Free (11am-5:45pm)
For info, call-212-423-3200 or visit
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 20
downtown express
Houdini: Art and Magic
The first thing that hits your eye when
you walk through the portal at the Jewish
Museum that says “Houdini” is the projec-
tion on a sizable wall of a giant fish dangling
and struggling at the end of a line.
Oh no, this isn’t a fish. It’s Harry Houdini,
the man who can untie knots with his toes
and his teeth, swinging in a straitjacket high
over an amassed crowd, either in Times
Square or in front of some other big-city
newspaper building, all the better leap from
feat to headline.
Pretty soon, as we move along, we meet
petite, good-looking Wilhelmina Beatrice
(Bess) Rahner, the Roman Catholic song-
and-dance girl from Coney Island whose
German-American mother never forgave her
daughter for marrying a Jew. Bess soon
got rather famous in her own right, help-
ing Harry do Kafka one better with the
Metamorphosis act in which they somehow
exchange positions, sight unseen, he’s here,
she’s there, alakazam!
What I did not know until this exhibit
came along was how many people have
played Houdini in movies — Tony Curtis,
Harvey Keitel, Guy Pearce, Norman Mailer
to name a few — and that Houdini himself
was a star in a half-dozen works of the silent
film era (he was the first man ever to fly an
airplane in Australia, and performed acts of
derring-do in thrillers like “Haldane of the
Secret Service” (1923).
Even more astonishing is the number
of artists — writers, painters, sculptors,
photographers, conceptualists — who have
come along in all these years since Houdini
died to memorialize his existence through
what they, these artists, do.
High among them is Matthew Barney,
who not only made that film in which Mailer
plays Houdini but also in this layout has
an entire (small) room called “Cremaster
5: The Ehrich Weiss Suite” — which you
look at through its glass door. What you
see is a small white plastic casket and six or
seven live high-collared Kite Jacobin pigeons
whose defecations on that casket symbolize,
in the words of the Jewish Museum, “that
nature endures while life is fleeting.”
But nobody has paid better tribute to
Houdini than novelist E.L. Doctorow, who
gets the escape artist thing and the immi-
grant thing and the aviator thing all brilliant-
ly together in 1975’s best-selling “Ragtime.”
The catalogue for the Jewish Museum
exhibit is actually a 260-page Yale University
Press hardcover book, and in it, among
much else, there is a Q&A interview of
Doctorow by Rapaport.
“When I was a boy [in New Rochelle],”
the Doctorow who hits the 80 mark on
January 6 tells her, “he [Houdini] served as
one of the models for a child’s fantasy life.
We children had a lot of them. There was
Tom Mix, the cowboy, or the great comic
book heroes like Superman, or Joe DiMaggio,
or Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy.
Some of them real, some fictitious. And in
that pantheon was Harry Houdini.
“Kids in my generation…loved learning
card tricks and sleight of hand, making coins
disappear, trying to hypnotize one another,
that sort of thing. And behind all that tom-
foolery stood the figure of Houdini. Even
though he was long since dead. Perhaps
because he was long since dead.”
When Houdini tried and failed to raise
his own beloved mother from the dead, he
grew bitter and skeptical about all forms of
spiritualism. Indeed, he spent much of the
closing part of his own life debunking all
psychics and spiritualists. You can’t flimflam
a flimflammer, he’d acidly proclaim. And
when Lady Doyle, the wife of his friend
Arthur Conan Doyle, engaged in spiritual
converse — in English — with Houdini’s late
mother, the son let it be known that Cecilia
Weiss had never spoken a word of English in
her lifetime. This is replicated in the Jewish
Museum exhibit by a fragment of film in
which actor Paul Michael Glaser cries out,
during a séance: “Mama, this is your son,
speak Yiddish!”
What most impresses Rapaport, over and
above the Great Escapes, is “the ordinary,
mundane quality” of what might be called
Houdini’s props — objects an immigrant
would well understand — a big old traveling
trunk; steel sewing needles (for swallowing,
ugh!); an oversized milk can (“from farm to
dairy to milkman to you”).
Ehrich Weiss of Budapest, Hungary —
and Appleton, Wisconsin — died of perito-
nitis from a ruptured appendix on the after-
noon of October 31, 1926 (Halloween eve)
in Detroit, Michigan. Every magician now
alive owes him more than can ever be repaid
and will freely say so. But I do not think any
magician now alive will freely and gladly go
for a swim in Harry Houdini’s glass booth.
We leave that to Deadeye Dicks.
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Continued from page 19
What most impresses
Rapaport, over and above
the Great Escapes, is “the
ordinary, mundane qual-
ity” of what might be
called Houdini’s props
— objects an immigrant
would well understand.
downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 21
The Listings
The Housing Works mission is to end the dual crises of
homelessness and AIDS through advocacy and the provision
of lifesaving services. Proceeds from their Cafe and Thrift
Shops pay for that mission.
— 646-786-1200); Tribeca (119 Chambers St. btw. W.
Broadway & Church — 212-732-0584); Chelsea (143 West
17th St. — 718-838-5050); West Village (245 W. 10th St.
— 212-352-1618).
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe is located at 126 Crosby
St. For general info, call 212-966-0466 or visit housing- For the Bookstore Cafe (open M-F,
10am-9pm & Sat/Sun, 10am-5pm), call 212-334-3324.
7pm (free): Readings from lit stars David Adjmi, Saïd
Sayrafiezadeh, Jane Springer, and LB Thompson — recipi-
ents of the 2010 Whiting Award (given to writers of “excep-
tional talent and promise in early career”).
Tues., Jan. 11, 7pm ($15): Illinois-born, Nashville-based
clawhammer banjo player Abigail Washburn. This singer/
songwriter pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung
sounds. Mon., Jan. 17, 7:30pm (free): “Walt and Emily:
Between The Rooms” — Neal Huff and Birgit Huppuch read
the iconic writings of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson,
set in imagined conversation by author, Jonathan Cott. Also
on Jan. 17, MLK Day is celebrated with a 30% Off Sale.
Tues., Jan. 18, 7pm (free): Catchafire Presents “A
Salon on Giving: How the Web is Advancing Service
and Philanthropy.” Thurs., Jan. 20, 7pm ($8): The Moth
StorySLAM! makes its 2011 debut, with the theme of
“Romance.” 10 stories, 3 teams of judges, 1 winner.
Fri., Jan. 21, 7pm (free): Electric Literature Presents J.
Robert Lennon, Ben Greenman and Lynne Tillman — plus
short films by Carson Mell films…and a DJ! Thurs./Fri./Sat.
(Jan. 21/22/23): All day long, a Children’s Book Sale (30%
off hardcovers. Paperbacks for $1).

When a new neighbor moves in, the burden is usually
on you to show up with a plate of cookies and best wish-
es. This new arrival will take the wishes, but wants you
to leave the cookies at home. They’ll be the ones serving
up complimentary food — plus free performances and
the chance to win merchandise and tickets to The Paul
Taylor Dance Company. In the spirit of full disclosure by
the new kids on the block, The Company will perform
Paul Taylor’s newest work, “Three Dubious Memories”
— which will give the audience an opportunity to see
the piece before it premieres at City Center. Taylor 2 will
perform the classic “Airs.” It’s happening in celebration
of their new Tribeca studios. Free. Sun., Jan. 9, Noon
to 4pm at the Paul Taylor Dance Company (551 Grand
St., Second Floor). For info, call 212-431-5562 or visit
through the work of New Orleans native, and photogra-
pher, Lilli M. Albin — whose exhibition “Selections from
‘On The Job’ ” features pieces focusing on the public and
private space within NYC’s firehouses. As for the sponsor-
ing venue: The New York City Fire Museum (the official
museum of the FDNY) is located in a 1904 firehouse
which has been repurposed to house over 10,000 artifacts
from NYC’s rich heritage of firefighting. The Museum is
open Tue. through Sat., 10am–5pm and Sundays 10am–
4pm. Suggested admission is $7 for adults and $5 for
children, students and seniors. “Selections” runs through
Jan. 30. At the New York City Fire Museum (278 Spring
St.) For info, call 212-691-1303 or visit www.nycfiremu-
CITY WINERY Every Sunday, the Klezmer Brunch Series
pairs top tier musicians with top tier lox and bagels (10am-
2pm, with music from 11-noon and 1pm-2pm). $10 music
fee. At 155 Varick St. at Vandam. Call 212-608-0555 or, for
a full schedule of events, visit UPCOMING:
“Women Fully Clothed” features an all-star cast of four
renowned Canadian sketch comedy artists, riffing on career
matters, family dynamics, and other assorted absurd topics.
It’s written & performed by Robin Duke (SNL and SCTV),
Jayne Eastwood (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Chicago),
Kathryn Greenwood (Whose Line Is It Anyway) and Teresa
Pavlinek (History Bites and The Jane Show). Sun., Jan. 9,
at 7pm. For tickets ($25), call 212-608-05. Visit womenful-
10 FREE FLOWERING TREES If you’re tired of winter
already, and/or want to make good on that morning of
January 1st vow to make the world a better place if your
higher power makes that splitting headache go away, the
Arbor Day Foundation wants to help you help yourself —
and the planet. How? By getting a jump on Arbor Day,
2011 (April 29). Just join the Foundation now — and before
the prime planting period (Feb. 1 through May 31), you’ll
receive two white flowering dogwoods, two flowering cra-
bapples, two Washington hawthorns, two American redbuds
and two golden rain trees. The trees (with pink, yellow and
white colors) “are perfect for large and small spaces, and
will provide food and habitat for songbirds” — so says John
Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day
Foundation. The 6-12 inch trees will arrive at your doorstep
with planting instructions. To get your trees, all you have to
do is join the ADF. Members will also receive a subscrip-
tion to the Foundation’s bimonthly publication — and The
Tree Book, which includes info about tree planting and care.
Just send a $10 contribution to “Ten Free Flowering Trees,”
Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City,
NE, 68410 — by Jan. 31. You can also join online, at www.
MEN GO DOWN Downtown theater company The Hotel
Savant presents the world premiere of founder John Jahnke’s
new work, “Men Go Down (Part 3: Black Recollections.” It
is part of a trilogy that utilizes the construction of a Greek
drama and the sensibility of a classic fairy tale to examine
the ramifications of antique guilt on the modern conscience.
Jan. 6 through 23, at 3LD Art and Technology Center (80
Greenwich St.) Wed. through Sun, 8pm. For tickets ($25),
call 866-811-4111 or visit Also visit hotelsavant.
POETS HOUSE Their Battery Park City home has a
50,000-volume poetry library, a children’s room, a multi-
media archive, a programming hall and a reading room.
Most events are $10, $7 for students/seniors and free to
Poets House members. At 10 River Terrace, at Murray
St. Call 212-431-7920 or visit
museum, a series of contemplative exhibits and talks edu-
cate and enlighten people of all backgrounds — by giving
them a glimpse of Jewish life before, during and after
the Holocaust. Through Feb. 27, “Project Mah Jongg”
traces the popular game from the 1920s to the present —
revealing, along the way, the history and meaning of the
beloved game that became a Jewish-American tradition.
At the Museum of Jewish Heritage (36 Battery Place).
Hours: 10am-5:45pm Sun., Mon., Tues., Thurs. On Wed.,
10am-8pm. On Fri., 10am-3pm. General Admission: $12
(seniors: 10; students: $7; members and children 12 &
younger: free). Museum admission is free Wed., 4-8pm.
who live downtown can swim free in the Downtown
Community Center’s very warm, very beautiful pool
(after you fill out a no-hassle registration form). Mondays
through Fridays, noon to 1:30 pm. If swimming on your
own isn’t your cup of tea, their Water Aerobics class is
offered Tues. and Fri., 12:45-1:20pm. At the Downtown
Community Center, 120 Warren St. For more informa-
tion, call 212-766-1104 or visit www.manhattanyouth.
Listing requests may be sent to scott@downtownex- Please provide the date, time, location, price
and a description of the event. Information may also be
mailed to 145 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY
10013. Requests must be received three weeks before the
event listing is to be published. Questions? Call 646-452-
Photo courtesy of “Women Fully Clothed.”
What’s so funny about Canadians? These four fully
clothed females know. See “City Winery.”
Photo by Tom Caravaglia
One of the boys from Company B. See “Paul Taylor.”
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 22
downtown express
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downtown express
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 23
Just Do Art!
This collaboration between actors and musi-
cians from London’s Pants on Fire theatre com-
pany time-warps Roman poet Ovid’s epic tales
of heroics, love, gods and monsters to 1940s
wartime Britain. Songs, dance, puppetry and
film are used to tell the darkly comic story —
in which Cupid is an evacuee with a catapult;
Narcissus is a Hollywood Matinee Idol drooling
over his screen image; and an Andrews Sisters
chorus provides harmony amid cosmic chaos.
Gasmasks, gramophones and an acting style
reminiscent of that found in British films of the
1940s conspire to provide a fun-packed explo-
ration of man’s relationship with nature.
Through Sun., Jan. 30 at The Flea Theater
(41 White St. btw. Broadway & Church, 3
blocks south of Canal). Tues.-Fri. at 7pm;
Sat. at 3pm & 7pm; Sun. at 5pm. For tickets,
($42.50) call 212-352-3101 or visit theflea.
org. Also visit
On the one-year anniversary of the Haiti
earthquake, Gloria Gaynor (whose classic
anthem “I Will Survive” has been adopted
by anyone who’s ever had an obstacle to
overcome) lends the spirit of that song —
and her pipes — to this benefit concert. The
event is organized by Brooklyn-based non-
profit Community2Community (C2C) — a
service organization whose focus is helping
to build self-sufficient communities. Their
goal, on this occasion, is to raise $50,000 to
fund the building of the Piton Vallue Water
Center (which will provide clean, potable
drinking water to the entire village).
WBLS/WLIB radio personality Liz Black
hosts. Gloria Gaynor headlines, with per-
formances by artists including Ronald K.
Brown’s Evidence Dance Company; Haitian
DJ Hard Hittin’ Harry and The Earthman
Experience; Barbara King; Mecca; Haitian
Mass Choir; Curtis Haywood; C3YC; Boots;
and Thurston Daniel. There will also be
vignettes spotlighting Haiti’s culture and
history — with a focus on the C2C Haiti
Restoration & Transformation Project.
Wed., Jan. 12, 8pm (doors open at 7pm),
at the Apollo Theater (253 W. 125th St.).
For tickets ($65, $75, $85), 800-745-3000
or Visit community2com-
On the third Thursday of each month,
the labyrinth at St. Paul’s Chapel is open
to the public for walking, prayers and
meditation. A labyrinth walk is a symbolic
pilgrimage — a cathartic act that (if done
with humility and sincerity) leads to salva-
tion, enlightenment or consolation. Free.
At St. Paul’s Chapel (Broadway and Fulton
St.). For info, call 212-602-0800 or visit From 2-6pm on
Thurs., Jan. 20, Feb. 17, March 17, April
21, and May 19. For more info, visit trin-
Its name sounds like a rock concert, but
this event is actually a better, and more
socially acceptable, occasion to get good
and wasted. “MulchFest” is the Downtown
Alliance for Downtown New York’s
annual recycling event designed to help
New Yorkers avoid a nasty post-holiday
headache by collecting holiday trees and
unwanted electronic goods. Hot apple cider,
light snacks and the NYC Department of
Transportation’s mascots will all be on
hand as a complimentary reward for all you
volunteer Planeteers. Residents who bring
trees can take the environmentally friendly
end game result (mulch) home with them in
biodegradable bags — to use in flower pots
and gardens. That’s the circle of life for ya’,
folks! As for how you’ll get those unruly
trees to the event: Downtown Connection
buses marked “Chip Trip” will transport
you & your tree to MulchFest for free!
Bus trips will be held every half hour on the
hour, from 10am-2pm, at designated stops. A
public safety officer will be stationed at each
stop to assist you. The stops are at: The cor-
ner of Wall and William Sts.; The corner of
John and Gold Sts.; Pearl St, btw. Fulton St.
& Beekman St.; W. Thames St. btw. Battery
Place & South End Ave.; The corner of South
End Ave. & Albany St.; and North End Ave.
btw. Murray St. & Warren St.
But this Fest is not just about Mulch.
The Downtown Alliance has joined forces
with the Lower East Side Ecology Center to
host a simultaneous Electronic Waste event.
Items that will be accepted are: working and
non-working computers, monitors, printers,
scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, televi-
sions, videocassette recorders, DVD players,
phones, audio/visual equipment, cell phones
and personal digital assistants.
Sat., Jan. 8, at the south end of Bowling
Green Park. MulchFest runs from 10am-2pm
— and the electronic recycling goes from 10am-
4pm. For more info, call 212-835-2789 or visit
the Events Page of
From the world premiere of a new musi-
cal to the three-week run of a classic — Arts
World Financial Center has an impressive
roster of cultural events ready to be penned
into that nifty 2011 calendar you recently
purchased (or plan on getting).
On Jan. 15, 7pm, Knickerbocker Chamber
Orchestra kicks off the season with the world
premiere of “Robert Moses Astride New
York” — featuring Rinde Eckert as NYC’s
controversial “Master Builder.” Composed
by Gary S. Fagin (Knickerbocker’s musical
director), the work offers an epic journey
through the life of the man whose vision pro-
duced many of our city’s now-iconic parks,
highways and bridges. The winter season
concludes with New York Classical Theatre’s
three-week production of “The Rover.” This
century Restoration comedy by Aphra
Behn takes audiences on a rousing journey
throughout the World Financial Center’s 3.5-
acre complex — which itself plays the part of
Mardi Gras in Naples, Italy. At 7pm, March
2-6, 8-13 & 6-20; with a special performance
on Fat Tuesday, March 8. FREE. At World
Financial Center (220 Vesey St.). For info on
these and other events, call 212-945-0505 or
Photo by Tom Packer
L-R: Hannah Pierce, Eloise Secker and Mabel Jones strike an Andrews Sisters pose,
as they experience a “Metamorphosis.”
Photo courtesy of C2C and the artist
Helping Haiti survive: Gloria Gaynor.
Photo by Leo Sorel
Here’s one way to get somewhere while walking in circles. See “Labyrinth Walk.”
Courtesy of the Downtown Allience
Going, Going, Green: See “MulchFest.”
Januar y 5 - 11, 2011 24
downtown express
]urn your ho|iday tree into environmenta||y friend|y mu|ch, and
take some home to use on your f|oWers, shrubs, or street trees.
Meet NYC’s Recycling Characters, who will make a special
appearance to add holiday cheer. NYC Compost Project staff also
will be on hand to answer all of your questions about composting
and how to use mulch.
The Downtown Connection Bus will transport
you and your tree to MulchFest–for free! Visit or call 212.835.2789
for details.
0id you eet hieh-tech presents for the ho|idays! 0on't throW out
your o|d e|ectronics-recyc|e them at 8oW|ine 6reen Park.
The Lower East Side Ecology Center’s 8th Annual “After the
Holidays” E-waste Events will bring a total of ten events to NYC
this January.
We will be accepting working and non-working computers, monitors,
printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, cables, TVs, VCRs, DVD players,
phones, audio/visual equipment, cell phones and PDAs.
Visit or call 212.477.4022 for details.

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