Joseph Graffagnino Sr., the father of
a New York City firefighter who died in
the 2007 Deutsche Bank building fire,
delivered an unexpected and poignant
testimony on Monday evening at 250
His remarks stood in juxtaposition to
a presentation made only minutes later
by the Lower Manhattan Development
Corporation on the demolition of 130
Liberty Street, where the Deutsche
building once stood. The presenta-
tion marked the end of a flawed and
delayed project that took Joseph Peter
Graffagnino Jr.’s life two days before
his 34th birthday. He died on August
18, 2007 along with 53-year-old Robert
Beddia, in a blaze that set afire the
upper floors of the building that were
undergoing demolition.
Thirty-nine months later,
Graffagnino Sr. said, it was discovered
that the demolition job wasn’t carried
out properly.
“When questioned about their
responsibilities, we heard hundreds of
excuses, including they weren’t trained,
didn’t understand, or didn’t think it
applied to them,” he said.
It is “inconceivable,” Graffagnino
Sr. said, that the building violations at
130 Liberty Street were accidental.
Nevertheless, the fire brought safety
and regulations of NYC buildings in
the spotlight.
State and city “watchdogs” he
said, are now monitoring buildings all
over Manhattan to ensure that safety
requirements are met.
“Does it slow down construction
and deconstruction of buildings? Yes,
it does,” he said. “Does it add to the
costs and time involved? Of course.
But it should prevent another tragedy
from happening, and it does safeguard
Downtown Express photo by John Bayles
A father never forgets
Joseph Graffagnino Sr. lost his son in the 2007 Deutsche Bank Building fire. Although 130 Liberty is now at
ground level, Graffagnino Sr. chose to remind the L.M.D.C. that the tragedy that took his son’s life will never be
Downtown parents are
eagerly awaiting news con-
cerning a 400-seat elemen-
tary school opening at the
Peck Slip post office build-
ing in the Financial District.
Whether its good news or
bad news is yet to be deter-
Elizabeth Rose, direc-
tor of portfolio planning
for the city’s Department of
Education, said the School
Construction Authority has
not yet finalized its exclusive
negotiations with the U.S.
Postal Service for acquisi-
tion of the site.
“There’s absolutely a
sense of urgency,” Rose
told members of the School
Overcrowding Task Force at
Assembly Speaker Sheldon
Silver’s office last Thursday.
She said the S.C.A. is in
daily correspondence with
the U.S.P.S., though she
wouldn’t say when the two
parties would seal the deal.
In the meantime, the
S.C.A. has been given access
to the building to conduct
environmental tests and
other standard inspections,
which Rose says will expe-
dite the process when an
agreement is reached.
A new school to the north,
in Hudson Square, is also
on the horizon. Trinity Real
Estate, which hopes to erect
a residential tower at Duarte
Square, plans to carve out
four stories of raw space for
a K-5 public school and per-
manently hand it over to the
Negotiations for Peck
Slip school in final,
urgent stages
Out of sight, but never out of mind
Continued on page 20
Continued on page 19
Dance programs inspire and illuminate. See page 24
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 2
downtown express
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City Hall seems to be a popular destination on Valentines Day for those looking to
tie the knot, minus all the ceremonial frills.
Downtown Express photos by J.B. Nicholas
Getting hitched at City Hall
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 3
Savor the Romance
Food lovers can meet at the front entrance of 120
Broadway between Cedar and Pine Streets this Saturday
for the first installment of the Downtown Alliance’s
“Lower Manhattan Eats” culinary tours.
The monthly series lets food enthusiasts wander the
streets of the oldest neighborhood in Manhattan, visiting
restaurants that serve oysters, chocolates, and wine.
“Lower Manhattan is ready to help you celebrate
Valentine’s Day, from elegant dinners to world-class
chocolate and wine shops to a skating rink with dra-
matic views,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the
Downtown Alliance.
“And, with 12 subway lines, 30 bus routes, six ferry
terminals and the PATH train,” she said, “it’s easy for
everyone to get to their romantic destinations.”
D.W.C. files appeal against Black
The Deny Waiver Coalition filed an appeal against a
waiver granted to New York City Schools Chancellor Cathie
Education Commissioner David Steiner and NYC Mayor
Michael Bloomberg “colluded to circumvent the law by
appointing [Shael Polakow-Suransky as chief academic
officer], since Ms. Black has no experience in education,”
according to a statement released by the D.W.C.
Parents held a press conference on the steps of Tweed
Courthouse on Monday to announce the appeal, which they
filed with the NY State appellate court to oppose the lower
court’s decision made in late December that favored the
Black waiver.
“No one should see the ruling of one Supreme Court
judge as dispositive of the dispute,” said Arthur Z. Schwartz,
counsel to the new public interest law firm Advocates for
Justice, who will be representing the parents’ group in their
At a recent Downtown education forum, Julie Menin,
chair of Community Board 1, reiterated her concerns about
Black’s facetious remarks made at a January overcrowding
task force meeting organized by NY State Assembly Speaker
Sheldon Silver. Black jokingly suggested to task force mem-
bers that the solution to overcrowding in Lower Manhattan
schools is to use birth control, and that citywide decisions to
solving school problems is a “Sophie’s choice” of choices.
“I know they were made in jest,” said Menin, but the
comments harped on a larger problem, which is that
the D.O.E. lacks a strategy to relieve overcrowding in
Downtown schools.
“Commissioner Steiner himself stated that Ms. Black’s
resume does not demonstrate extensive knowledge about
the educational issues confronting New York City’s public
schools,” said Schwartz.
“While others may accept Ms. Black’s appointment as
a fait accompli,” said Manhattan petitioner parent Noah
Gotbaum, “as parents and educators we will continue to do
everything in our power to hold this mayor accountable to
appoint a schools’ leader with demonstrated interest in all of
our kids and schools, and the required qualifications, experi-
ence and vision to lead them.”
Church brings the P.A. to court
St. Nicholas Church and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
of America filed a lawsuit in the Manhattan Federal District
Court against the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey on Monday.
The church accuses the Port Authority of disavow-
ing to its agreement with the archdiocese to rebuild St.
Nicholas at 130 Liberty Street, the site adjacent to its
original location at 155 Cedar Street.
“Contrary to working cooperatively with the
Archdiocese and the Parish… the Port Authority—
without permission, notice, or any legal justification
whatsoever—has sent its bulldozers” onto church-owned
land at 155 Cedar Street and to church-promised land at
130 Liberty Street, according to a statement issued by
the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
“The Parish and the Archdiocese would have preferred
to rebuild the Church without litigation,” the statement
continued. “However, they have been unable to do so
since the Port Authority renounced a long-standing
agreement with the Church to rebuild at Ground Zero,
seized the Church’s land, barred the Church from access
to it, and has refused to talk or meet with the Church or
the Archdiocese.”
CATS Study comes out
A new Canal Area Transportation study just released
will shed light on transportation and safety issues in
the area. The report, published by the NY Metropolitan
Transportation Council, aims to identify short-term solu-
tions to improve infrastructure and mobility, and relieve
congestion, in the study area.
The area under evaluation is bounded by Houston
Street to the north; Chambers Street to the south; and
the Hudson and East Rivers.
The first CATS study, conducted in 2002, led to the
city’s repaving of Canal Street with higher-visibility
crosswalks; a renaming of traffic signals and repairing of
streetlights along the street; and addressing traffic sign
problems at the Holland Tunnel and Manhattan Bridge.
Data compiled for the study includes traffic and
pedestrian counts, travel time and delay information,
parking surveys, and accident data, according to the
Per the results of the study, the N.Y.M.T.C. recom-
mends a widening of sidewalks in the area; the continua-
tion of truck restrictions in the Holland Tunnel; and the
upholding of Canal Street as a two-way thoroughfare
with left-turn restrictions at certain intersections.
The N.Y.M.T.C. also suggested the addition of high-
occupancy vehicle lanes on the Manhattan Bridge; real-
time signs encouraging the use of alternate routes to
Canal Street, such as Route 9A; and a park management
plan for the area.
Carmine’s making a comeback?
Carmine’s Italian Seafood might return to the South
Street Seaport, according to reports. The famed res-
taurant closed last summer after being open in the
Seaport, at Beekman and Front Streets, for more than
a century.
Owner Greg Molini told reporters that he hopes
to reopen the restaurant by Peck Slip come April. He
wants to keep the eatery reasonably priced, maintain its
neighborhood vibe and expand the kitchen, and plans to
include many furniture pieces of the former restaurant,
including its wooden centerpiece.
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YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
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CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
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
ON WED., FEB. 16: C.B. 1’s Affordable Housing
Task Force will meet at 6:30 p.m.
ON THURS., FEB. 17: C.B. 1’s Quality of Life
Committee will meet.
ON MON., FEB. 21: The CB 1 office will be closed
for President’s Day.
ON TUES., FEB. 15: C.B. 1 will have its monthly
full board meeting at Pace University, Multipurpose
Room, 1 Pace Plaza, Manhattan.

Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 4
downtown express
Baruch Houses murder
Police responding to a 911 call at
4:58 a.m. Sat., Feb. 12 found a 30 year-
old woman with multiple stab wounds
to her back in the elevator of a Baruch
Houses building at 555 FDR Dr. The
victim was pronounced dead on arrival
at Beth Israel Hospital. Police withheld
the identity of the victim, described only
as a 30-year-old Hispanic woman, pend-
ing family notification. The case is under
Triple stabbing
First Precinct police responded to a report
of a brawl at Sway Lounge, 305 Spring St.,
at 2:36 a.m. Tues. Feb. 8 and found one man
bleeding from a laceration to his scalp. An
Emergency Medical Service team took the
injured man to Bellevue Hospital where he
was described as being in stable condition.
Police learned that a second man, 25, had
been stabbed in the stomach earlier and
gotten on his own to New York Presbyterian
Hospital where he was said to be in stable
conditions. A third man in the brawl walked
into Downtown Hospital on Gold St. with a
laceration to his ear, police said. There were
no arrests and police are investigating the
Not a bellhop
A woman visitor checked into the
Sheraton Four Points, 66 Charleton St.,
Mon. Feb. 14 and saw a man she thought
was a bellhop taking her bags from the
front desk to the conference room shortly
after noon, police. She left for a two-
hours walk around the neighborhood
and returned to learn that her bags were
missing. The hotel surveillance camera
showed a man who not a hotel employee
picking up the bags and walking off,
police said.

Recover East River DOA
The NYPD harbor unit pulled the body
of a man out of the East River who jumped
from the Manhattan Bridge on Thursday
morning Feb. 10. A witness who spotted the
man jumping phoned 911 at around 7 a.m.
The victim was not identified pending family
French Connection
Police arrested Bradley Jones, 53, on Feb.
4 and charged him with larceny for stealing
three jackets with a total value of $1,104
from the French Connection boutique, 435
W. Broadway near Prince St. on Jan. 5. Jones
shoplifted the three jackets at 3:15 p.m. and
fled with them. He was identified on a sur-
veillance tape.
Boutique robberies
Police arrested Anthony Gilliam, 49, and
Albert Anderson, 48, for robbing shops in
Chinatown, Soho and the Upper East Side
between Jan. 21 and Feb. 3 and tying up and
beating the employees. Gilliam, who was
arrested Feb. 9, was charged with robbing
a shop at 199 Prince St. on the afternoon of
Feb. 3 with Anderson. They threatened to
kill the woman attendant and attempted to
tie her hands behind her back, police said.
She managed to escape after the pair fled,
police said.
On Jan. 25, the suspects entered a shop at
75 Baxter St., at 4:50 p.m. when one of them
punched the woman attendant in the face,
dragged her to the bathroom in the rear of
the store and tied her hands with plastic ties,
according to the charges.
On Jan. 21, the suspects entered a bou-
tique at 533 Third Ave. at E. 35
St., where
one of them grabbed the woman attendant
by the neck. The two suspects bound the vic-
tim’s hands and legs and took her bag before
fleeing, according to the charges.
The suspects are being held pending a
March 1 court appearance, according to a
spokesperson for District Attorney Cyrus
Vance Jr.
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Beth Israel is coming
to Chinatown
Beth Israel Medical Center officially
opened its Chinatown Multispecialty Group
on Wednesday February 16 with a ribbon-
cutting ceremony at 110 Lafayette Street at
Walker Street.
The clinic, staffed by bilingual Chinese-
English physicians, surgeons and supporting
staff, brings specialty medical services treat-
ing heart, vascular, lung, chest, gastro-intes-
tinal and cancer conditions to Chinatown
“The opening of this new group demon-
strates another strong union between New
York’s Asian community and Beth Israel,”
said Dr. Harris M. Nagler, president of
Beth Israel Medical Center. Beth Israel’s
Asian Services Center, which includes the
Chinatown Multispecialty Group, has a long
tract record of working with local Chinese
American physicians and community leaders
to provide quality health care to the commu-
nity. Nagler said.
The group aims to work with local
physicians to provide outpatient needs in
Chinatown by bridging the gap and to pro-
vide a continuity of care throughout the
entire process from outpatient evaluation to
hospital treatment and intervention, to post
operative care and follow-up, said Martin
S. Karpeh Jr. chairman of Beth Israel’s
Department of Surgery.
Office hours at the Lafayette Street clinic
are normally 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday
through Friday with some physicians avail-
able “23/7” via cell phone. In additions,
the bilingual staff will assist patients and
referring physicians with any other needs for
hospital services.
Beth Israel Medical Center is part of
Continuum Health Partners, Inc., a not-for-
profit system that also include St. Luke’s
and Roosevelt Hospitals, Long Island
College Hospital and New York Eye and Ear
— Alber t Amateau
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
Legs on the brain
Artist “Leghead” on Prince Street last week.
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 5
Tired of being ‘malled,’ residents reject Soho BID
B.P.C. hotel gets makeover, goes green
A hotly debated business improvement
district for Soho is close to materializing.
The proposal, approved by the City Planning
Commission last week, now only awaits approv-
al by the City Council.
But many Soho residents vehemently oppose
a business improvement district, or BID, con-
tending that it will lead to more crowds in an
area that is already jampacked with tourists and
shoppers from elsewhere in the city.
The BID, which would extend between
Canal and East Houston Sts. along Broadway,
would provide sanitation; public safety and visi-
tor services; marketing, promotion and adver-
tising; holiday lighting; and streetscape and
storefront improvements.
“Some people look at this and say, ‘It’s a BID
— all you want to do is make the neighborhood
more crowded, and have more tourists coming
here,’ ” said Brian Steinwurtzel, co-chairperson
of the BID’s steering committee, formed in June
2009 to create the BID proposal.
“We’re not saying we’re only for that,” he
continued. “What we’re saying is there are
already all these stores and traffic. We have to
figure out a way to deal with it, and we think the
BID is the best and proven way to deal with it.”
If the BID wins approval, commercial prop-
erty owners and residents in mixed-use com-
mercial co-op buildings will have to pitch in
around $5,000 per year toward the services,
according to Steinwurtzel. All other residents,
meanwhile, will have to contribute a token fee
of $1 per year.
The planned district was approved unani-
mously by City Planning on Jan. 26., whose
vote is advisory and not binding. The City
Council wouldn’t disclose a tentative timeline
for its vote.
In a report, City Planning recommended
that the Soho BID include a residential reim-
bursement plan that would compensate co-op
residents for the annual fees. Co-op residents
are legally required to pay the same sum toward
a BID that commercial property owners do,
according to city Department of Finance regu-
This co-op residents’ fee was a chief reason
why Community Board 2 rejected the proposal.
The board’s January resolution states, “There
is no mechanism in place to ensure that all
residential owners not be assessed more than
$1 annually, as is custom in all BID’s in New
York City.”
Another point of contention is the more
than $50,000 slated for visitor services and
marketing of the district. In assessing residents’
concerns, City Planning advised the BID’s steer-
ing committee to specify the intended use of the
money toward these services.
“Specifically,” Planning’s report states, “this
plan should expressly state that funds are
included for providing signage and other way-
finding tools for identifying the location of
businesses, such as a logo and map, as well as
providing information to the public about the
unique historical character of the district.”
Steinwurtzel said the organization is com-
mitted to reimbursing all Broadway co-op resi-
dents their $5,000 fees.
“It’s not our intention to charge anything to
the residents,” he said. The Soho BID would
become the first of all 64 BID’s in the city to
offer a reimbursement plan to co-op dwellers,
according to the city’s Department of Small
Business Services.
The BID, Steinwurtzel noted, should act as
an advocate for all stakeholders in Soho. The
committee has devoted $250,000 to launch-
ing it.
He said he plans to continue to meet with
area residents to get their input and will heed
their concerns. He also hopes some of them will
join the BID’s board, which currently mostly
consists of landlords, with just two residents.
“A BID is a place where all the opinions
have to be respected, worked on together and
agreed on,” Steinwurtzel said. His family has
owned real estate on Broadway in the neighbor-
hood since the early 1980’s.
Having a centralized voice for the commu-
nity could be very advantageous, according to
John Pasquale, a member of the BID’s steering
committee who owns several properties in
“It’s important to have a common company
that’s going to stay on top of all these concerns,”
he said.
Many other Soho landlords, and even resi-
dents, apparently agree with Pasquale. Of the
45 percent of those that responded to a sur-
vey conducted by the steering committee and
overseen by the city, according to Steinwurtzel,
more than 90 percent of residents favored the
BID, and some 80 percent of all survey respon-
dents supported it.
Local residents opposed to the BID, however,
remain convinced it will only serve Broadway’s
businesses, and they resent the authority the
The former Embassy Suites Hotel at 102
North End Avenue is getting an almost total
The property, which is owned by Goldman
Sachs and is directly across a narrow breeze-
way from the investment bank’s headquar-
ters at 200 West Street, closed on January 5.
By the end of 2011, the hotel will reopen as
Conrad New York with a bevy of new restau-
rants and retail establishments. All that will
remain from the property’s former incarna-
tion will be the Regal Battery Park Stadium
movie theater (which will have a new box
office location and two outdoor kiosks for
ticket purchases) and Pick-a-Bagel on the
Vesey Street flank of the building.
Goldman Sachs managing director Dino
Fusco told Community Board 1’s Battery
Park City Committee that the hotel’s old-
fashioned façade is being replaced with
expanses of glass to bring light into the
building. New retail and restaurant tenants
have signed leases and plans are now being
finalized for adding a green roof.
Fusco said that Goldman hopes that the
structure will be awarded LEED (Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold
Status for its environmentally responsible
Because the Embassy Suites hotel roof
was not designed to sustain a great deal of
weight, landscape architect Ken Smith, who
also designed the plantings in front of 200
West Street, has had to be imaginative in his
treatment. Part of the roof will be planted
with sedum, a succulent that doesn’t require
much dirt in which to grow. It will be sur-
rounded with materials such as crushed
glass and crushed stones that will create
attractive patterns for anyone looking at the
roof from above.
Planters on the roof will be used to grow
herbs for use by the hotel’s restaurants.
A 1, 350 square foot bar serving light food
and beverages will occupy one part of the roof.
It will be open seasonally as a vantage point
both for hotel guests and for members of the
public to admire Battery Park City’s dramatic
vistas of the Hudson River.
At one time, Battery Park City had few
restaurants to brag about. Now there will
be so many in the Conrad hotel property
that it may be difficult to choose. Danny
Meyer’s Shake Shack on Murray Street, fac-
ing the ball fields, will be one of the first to
open, possibly this spring. Next to it, Harry’s
Italian Pizzabar, owned by the Poulakakas
family, is coming in and is likely to open in
the spring. Next to that will be two quick-
service eateries, one offering pan-Asian food
and the other, salads and sandwiches. A
florist will flank the eastern entrance to the
Conrad, which is being redesigned with a
staircase leading to the atrium where the
registration desk will be located under the
large Sol Le Witt mural that remains from
Embassy Suites. Then, on the corner, will be
Pick-a-Bagel, where it is currently located.
On the Vesey Street side of the building,
Danny Meyer is bringing in his barbecue res-
taurant, Blue Smoke. Next to that will be an
ethnic restaurant, Fusco said. Negotiations
are now under way with a tenant that
would serve Mexican or Spanish food. At
the corner of North End Avenue and Vesey
Street, Goldman is considering bringing in
a bookstore, a cosmetics store or a cloth-
ing store. Finally, on the North End Avenue
flank where the Pac Rim restaurant and the
Embassy Suites reception area used to be,
Danny Meyer will be opening a fine dining
restaurant, as yet unnamed.
On the second floor of the hotel itself will
be yet another restaurant, run by the hotel
but open to the public, serving breakfast,
lunch and dinner.
In addition to the retail and restaurant
space in the 102 North End Avenue prop-
erty, Goldman has been seeking tenants for
5,000 square feet of retail space in 200 West
Street, opening onto the breezeway. Fusco
said that the tenants under consideration
include a dessert or bakery shop, an eyeglass
store with an optometrist, a wine shop and a
small, gourmet grocer.
Over the next months, these tenants will
open their doors as the hotel itself is remod-
eled. By the winter of 2011, all should be
Photo by Aline Reynolds
Ricardo James, right, a salesperson at Boys and Chicks on Broadway, said he’s tired
of giving visitors — like the couple above — directions all the time, and would wel-
come a Soho BID providing such services.
Continued on page 17
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 6
downtown express
Trinity says it’s time for residential in Hudson Square
Calling Hudson Square’s zoning “out-
moded,” Trinity Real Estate wants to rezone
a major portion of the district to allow resi-
dential use.
With the change, Trinity expects 3,000 to
3,500 new residential apartments over ten
years would be added to the neighborhood
— not counting the district’s few existing
legal residential units.
The plan’s centerpiece is a new, 429-foot-
tall, residential tower at Duarte Square, on
property owned by Trinity. Helping allevi-
ate local school overcrowding, a 420-seat,
K-to-5 public school would be included in
the tower’s base. Trinity would build out the
school’s raw space for the Department of
Currently, residential use and schools
are not allowed in Hudson Square’s M1-6
(manufacturing zoned) district. Neither are
cultural uses currently permitted.
Tonight, Thursday, Trinity Real Estate
will present the rezoning concept plan
to Community Board 2’s Land Use and
Business Development Committee. Three
days earlier, Trinity gave The Villager, one of
the Downtown Express’ sister publications,
an exclusive advance presentation.
Trinity officials who showed the plan
asked not to be quoted by name in this
In short, Trinity feels there’s “a strong
desire” for some residential use in the dis-
In addition, Trinity is seeking height caps
for new construction in Hudson Square.
The caps are being described as “a modest
Along wide streets, like Canal, Hudson
and Varick and Sixth Avenue, there would
be a height cap of 320 feet, or 32 stories.
For commercial use, the maximum floor
area ratio, or F.A.R. (which determines how
much square footage can be built.) would
be 10, with current bonuses for including
public plazas and arcades eliminated.
On these wide streets, residential F.A.R.
would be ten, which would get a bump up
to 12 F.A.R. with the inclusion of 20 percent
affordable housing.
Currently, the whole district’s F.A.R.
ranges from 10 to 12. Plus, there’s no
height limit — which is how the Trump
Soho condo-hotel could be built to 490 feet,
equivalent to 49 stories, by acquiring air
rights from adjacent buildings and using a
plaza bonus.
On narrow streets, like Greenwich and
Spring Streets, and other east-west streets, the
height cap would be 185 feet, about 18 stories,
and on mid blocks the F.A.R. would be lowered
from the current 10 to 6.5, but could rise to 8.5
with affordable housing included.
On Broome and Watts Streets, however,
the F.A.R. would be even lower, 5.4, but
could rise to 7.2 with the affordable-housing
bonus. The height cap would be about 12
The tower Trinity hopes to build at
Duarte Square — at the wide-streets inter-
section of Canal and Varick Streets and
Sixth Avenue — at 429 feet would be taller
than other new construction. The public
school in it would occupy four stories and
be 100,000 square feet, and would not count
toward the project’s F.A.R. Trinity would
build out the school’s core and shell — and
then give the space to the city for free — and
rent free, for perpetuity.
Trinity is also obligated to build a park on
part of the property at Duarte Square as part
of the development.
A prime concern of Trinity is to pre-
serve the jobs of current commercial
tenants. Under the scheme, existing build-
ings of more than 50,000 square feet
could not be residentially converted. If a
commercial building of more than 50,000
square feet were demolished, then there
would have to be a “1-to-1 replacement”
in the new building — meaning it would
have to have at least 50,000 square feet
of commercial space. Buildings less than
50,000 square feet could be residentially
converted, and the expectation is that
many would be. According to Trinity,
under the rezoning, about 90 percent of
the existing square footage in the neigh-
borhood would be preserved as is.
Also, under the proposed change, new
nightclubs would not be allowed to open
in Hudson Square. Big-box stores would
be banned, as well, with an exception for
Bounded by Sixth Avenue on the east, the
Hudson River on the west, Houston Street
on the north and Canal Street on the south,
Hudson Square was formerly known as the
Printing District. Located west of Soho and
north of Tribeca, it lacks both those neigh-
borhoods’ renowned cachet. Yet, in recent
years, as new businesses have moved into
the area, Hudson Square increasingly has
become an energetic and hip, media and
creative hub. Foot traffic — at least during
the day — has shot up.
Trinity Real Estate wants to increase, not
only residential occupancy, but also retail in
Hudson Square. Right now, the neighbor-
hood turns quiet with empty streets at night
and on weekends. Lunch options are few.
Trinity would like to make it a “24-hour
community.” Residential use would increase
foot traffic, helping sustain retail. However,
luring chain-store-type or high-end retailers
is definitely not the goal.
Specifically, Trinity is seeking a rezoning
for the area north of Canal Street, east of Sixth
Avenue and Varick Street over to Hudson
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.
Continued on page 13
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 7
C.B.1 says D.O.T. presentation leaves much to be desired
In just over 200 days all eyes will be on
Lower Manhattan. Many of them will descend
upon the WTC site in droves for the opening
of the National 9/11 Memorial. They will
come by bus, by car and by train, which means
the clock is ticking for the NYC Department of
Transportation to finalize a program to ensure
things go as smoothly as possible.
Luis Sanchez, the D.O.T. Lower Manhattan
Borough Commissioner, gave an update on the
plan at Monday’s Community Board 1 WTC
Redevelopment Committee meeting.
Sanchez said his team’s primary objective
has been to “minimize the footprint, or bet-
ter yet the tire tracks” when the site opens.
He said the focus was to maximize the use of
existing mass transit and create a manageable
plan for curbside pickup and drop-off, as well
as layover sites.
Sanchez listed numerous factors that con-
tributed to the determining of curbside loca-
tions including the feasibility of tour bus
turning movements, making sure primary
emergency vehicle routes are not disrupted
and ensuing minimal impact on ground floor
retail stores in the area.
“It was a first start and there are a lot of
questions yet to be answered,” said Catherine
McVay Hughes, chair of the committee.
C.B. 1 chair Julie Menin felt the same.
“The presentation was extremely impor-
tant, but it’s just the tip of the ice berg,” said
The main sticking point with the both the
committee members and those in the audience,
was the uncertainty on behalf of the D.O.T. as
to where the tour buses will be dropping off
passengers, picking up passengers and where
they will be parking for the day.
“There is concern about pedestrian flow
and how it will be interfaced with the tour
buses and the other buses, the commut-
er buses, the double-decker buses,” said
Sanchez said the presentation and the
overall plan for expected influx of people
was the result numerous “working group”
meetings. That statement came as a surprise
to Menin.
“I was surprised to hear that the working
group has been meeting without community
board and residential and worker representa-
tion,” said Menin.
Menin demanded that C.B. 1 be allowed
to appoint a board member to sit in on
the working group meetings and Sanchez
“Also, what are we going to do to try and
provide incentives for people to use mass
transit,” remarked Menin. “We’re in a unique
situation — the area has a dense, residential
and commercial population.”
The D.O.T. plans to reach out to C.B.1
and other stakeholders to help determine the
final locations for the buses and will make
another presentation when the working group
prepares its preliminary recommendations.
Almost ten years have passed since the
9/11 attacks and a new study shows many
survivors and first responders relive the
horrors of that day for months or even
Conducted by the New York City
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene,
the study reveals that 95 percent of 9/11
survivors report exhibiting at least one
syptom attributable to posttraumatic stress
disorder, as a result of the attacks.
Based on suvivor interviews performed
in 2003 and 2004, approximately 15 per-
cent – or about 355 – of the 3,271 people
surveyed likely have a chronic case of
posttraumatic stress disorder two-to-three
years following 9/11, according to the
The survivors that participated in the
study are among the more-than 71,000
individuals that belong to the World Trade
Center Health Registry, which allows
health experts to track and investigate
illnesses and recovery tied to 9/11. All
of the participants reported to be in one
of the World Trade Center towers during
the period between the first plane’s impact
and the subsequent collapsing of the other
WTC buildings later that morning.
The study is the first of its kind to
document the long-term stress reactions of
civilians that were inside the towers during
the attacks, according to Laura DiGrande,
the principal author of the study, and co-
director of the Injury Surveillance and
Prevention program at the D.O.H M.H.
Many people recover from acute stress
experienced immediately after the event,
DiGrande explained. “It seems like PTSD…
but it’s sort of like a natural repsonse, and
many people recover from that,” she said.
Other studies have tracked a high preva-
lance of these PTSD-like symptoms within
six weeks of the attacks, and a dwindling
of the symptoms five months thereafter.
“This is the first time that survivors
who are under direct attack were looked
at very closely,” said DiGrande, making it
“truly a civilian sample” of the emotional
after-effects survivors of the attacks have
since endured.
Chronic PTSD is an extremely debilitat-
ing disorder, and is commonly linked to
suicidal thoughts, medical problems and
functional impairment, according to Yuval
Neria, director of the Trauma and PTSD
Program at Columbia University and a co-
author of the study.
The study indicated that low-income
New study proves 9/11-related
anxiety can linger for years
Continued on page 18
Downtown Express photo by John Bayles
Luis Sanchez, the D.O.T. Lower Manhattan Borough Commissioner, presented plans
for managing the influx of tour buses expected when the National 9/11 Memorial
opens this year.
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 8
downtown express
No left turns on Albany
Street, says the D.O.T.
Left-hand turns on Albany Street will not
be an option for drivers until 2013, at the
earliest, according to the New York State
Department of Transportation.
The prospect of adding a left-hand turn
— which was never legal but unofficially
accepted by drivers and even the city — will
be reassessed in 2013, according to Joseph
Brown, the Route 9a project director of the
state D.O.T.
The announcement didn’t sit well with
members of the Community Board 1
Financial District Committee. Committee
chair Ro Sheffe stressed the need for an east-
west thoroughfare in the neighborhood.
“For ten years, we’ve had no east-west
thoroughfare across the Financial District
— it’s a zig-zag path no matter where you
go,” said Sheffe. “There must be some sort
of eastbound access into that area. This is a
critical issue for us.”
Drivers have to make convoluted loops
in the area to get to their destination, echoed
committee member Michael Ketring. The
only options drivers have at the moment is
to make a right turn onto the southbound
side of Liberty Street, cross through Battery
Park City, and come out onto Albany Street;
or, alternatively, make a U-turn at Battery
Committee member Catherine McVay
Hughes noted that out-of-towners driving
to and from nearby hotels are in need of the
left-hand turn. “No matter what,” she said,
“taking that left-hand turn has less impact
on the community, and on air quality issues
as well.”
Brown said the committee could possibly
get to work on an Environmental Impact
Study to prove a more timely need for the
left turn on Albany Street, but they would
first need approval from New York City
agencies to proceed with the study.
Brown also noted that Vesey, Fulton and
Liberty streets will be closed for construc-
tion later this year and won’t reopen in
time to provide access to the World Trade
Center by the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The
D.O.T., however, said it will ensure access
to the National September 11th Memorial
when it opens in the fall, principally via
West Street.
“There will be temporary access on
Route 9a for a period of time until construc-
tion of the streets have progressed,” said
The Route9a project, which includes
refurbishments to the frontages of the World
Financial Center, will continue through 2014.
Work on the area in front of W.F.C. 1 will be
completed by the fall.
The final product will be a continuous
boulevard stretching from Battery Place to
59th Street. The future W.F.C., meanwhile,
will have medians, plantings, bikeways and
“We’re able to accomplish our plan to
complete the project by 2014 while allow-
ing the World Trade Center to continue
to occupy Route 9a right away,” said Lisa
Weiss, urban design director of the Route
9a project.
The Seaport-Civic Center Committee,
also held last week, voted in favor of sev-
eral street fairs Downtown, including the
Chabad of Wall Street Civic Community Fair
in May; the NYC Business Expo in May; and
the Tribeca Community fair in June.
Loretta Thomas, however, complained
about the fairs that take place along Murray
Street, where she lives.
“It’s completely disgusting,” said
Thomas. “There’s smoke and garbage
from them all day long.” Traffic along the
street has also been a “nightmare” lately,
she said, now that parts of Chamber and
Vesey streets are blocked off for construc-
“We’ve debated this issue hours upon
hours,” responded Sheffe. The community
board is “treading a fine line” in evaluat-
ing the street fairs, since “it’s a beneficial
— and sometimes, the only — source of
revenue for many individuals and organi-
zations, including nonprofits.
“If we get rid of them,” said Sheffe,
“they go away forever.”
Joseph Giovanni, president of Mardi
Gras productions, which promotes the
fairs, said there is a strong possibility the
ones now on Murray Street be relocated to
Warren Street for the next year or two.
One of the hurdles in selecting loca-
tions for the fairs, Sheffe explained, is
that they can only occupy certain streets,
per city regulations — ones that are under
construction or have entrances to parking
garages, for example, are ineligible.
Downtown Alliance President
Elizabeth Berger said in a statement, “We
reinstate our position that we continue
to oppose weekday street fairs on major
streets with, or adjacent to, construc-
Toward the end of the meeting, Sheffe
asked the committee members to come up
with appropriate locales and guidelines
for new greenmarkets and newsstands in
Downtown. Giovanni said that his com-
pany was going to try to encourage the
participation of greenmarkets in future
multi-block fairs in the neighborhood.
Women’s Health Center
New York Downtown Hospital
Dr. Allan Klapper directs the Women’s Health Center at
New York Downtown Hospital’s new Wellness & Prevention Center.
Dr. Klapper is a recognized leader in the field
of Obstetrics and Gynecology, specializing in
the treatment of female urinary incontinence,
bladder pain, pelvic pain, and pelvic organ
support disorders (bladder, uterus, and vagina).
He is also a recognized leader in the minimally
invasive treatment of gynecological disorders.
His team of board certified obstetricians, gynecologists and subspecialists
utilizes leading diagnostic and treatment methodologies across a broad
spectrum of women's health issues including:
• Comprehensive screening, disease prevention, and educational services
• Routine gynecological assessment
• Adolescent gynecology
• Menopause management
• Assessment and treatment of urinary incontinence, bladder pain /
urinary frequency and pelvic support disorders
• Assessment and treatment of gynecologic conditions including
abnormal bleeding, fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic pain and
ovarian cysts
• Cancer prevention and treatment
• Infertility evaluation and treatment
• Genetic counseling
The Center also provides DEXA Scan and Digital Mammography services.
Dr. Klapper’s team at the Women’s Health Center looks forward to
providing superb service and clinical excellence in our comfortable,
state-of-the-art Center.
For an appointment with Dr. Klapper, Chairman of the
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, call (646) 588-2500

170 William Street,New York, NY 10038
(212) 312-5000 Ň
“For ten years, we’ve had
no east-west thoroughfare
across the Financial
– Ro Sheffe
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 9
Hazelden facility to call
Tribeca home
A new facility for recovering alcoholics
and substance abusers will open on West
Broadway in August, to the community’s
The Hazelden Foundation, an addiction
treatment organization based in Minnesota,
will offer lodging, counseling and mentor-
ship to young adults ages 18 to 29 for six
to 12 months at a time. The foundation
purchased a six-story building at 283 West
Broadway in December that was recently
gutted and transformed into a brand new
living space.
Manhattan is starved of centers that
cater to addicts working towards sobriety,
according to Mark Mishek, president and
chief executive officer of Hazelden, who
presented the plan to the Community
Board 1 Tribeca Committee last week. A
survey that Hazelden sent out to some 85
universities and colleges in the Tri-state
area showed a strong need for the facility
in the borough.
“It’s a huge opportunity to be able to
make a difference with a population that
really has a need here,” he said. “We have
to provide them with an environment where
they can be successful, healthy and produc-
tive citizens who are sober.”
The center will target youths that are
enrolled in nearby colleges. Though the
facility will not serve as an Alcoholics
Anonymous meeting spot, it will offer coun-
seling, a twelve-step abstinence program
and other services for addicts on the road
to recovery.
The group counseling sessions will also
be open to community members Downtown
and around the city.
The center will forge partnerships with
mental health service providers, accord-
ing to Mishek, since alcoholism is often
coupled with anxiety, depression and other
mental disorders. It will also collaborate
with the schools’ health service depart-
ments to help evaluate and treat the resi-
dent youths.
The foundation will be announcing a
partnership with a major nearby medical
center in the next week, Mishek said.
Youths will be encouraged to stay at the
residence over the summer to participate in
internships or fellowships, and, down the
line, the center hopes to help them secure
full- and part-time jobs.
The former addicts will face tremendous
temptations to drink and smoke drugs, both
on and off school grounds. “With the support
and sobriety life they’re going to be living,
they’ll have to be comfortable walking by the
Let’s do something together Trinity Wall Street
an Episcopal parish
in the city of New York
All Are Welcome
All events are free,
unless otherwise noted. · 212.602.0800
@trinitywallst · trinitywallstreet
Faith and Addiction
Dr. Charles Zeiders will talk about
how the Christian community can
help people recover from chemical
dependency through teaching,
scripture, sacraments, liturgy,
fellowship, and worship.
74 Trinity Place
Film: Hughes’ Dream Harlem
This film shows how poet Langston
Hughes fused jazz, blues, and
everyday speech into a celebration of
the pain and beauty of the African-
American experience. Produced by
Darralynn Hutson.
74 Trinity Place, 2nd Fl, Parlor
The Broad Way
An informal Bible study focusing
on the ways the Gospels can
be interpreted and applied to
contemporary life. Bring lunch.
74 Trinity Place
SUNDAY, 8am and 10am
St. Paul’s Chapel
An energetic celebration of
Communion in the round.
SUNDAY, 9am and 11:15am

Trinity Church
Worship, preaching, and ceremony
in the best Anglican/Episcopal
tradition. Sunday school and child
care available.
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 12:05pm
Trinity Church
Holy Eucharist
THURSDAY, 5:15pm
All Saints’ Chapel,
in Trinity Church
Evening Prayer

Watch live online
Broadway at Wall Street
Broadway and Fulton Street
The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector
The Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee, Vicar
Concerts at One
Trois Pommes: Eveline Kuhn, flute,
Arash Amini, cello, Jennifer Lim, piano
Trinity Church
Open Labyrinth Walk
Every third Thursday, the St. Paul’s
Chapel labyrinth is open to the public
for walking, prayers, and meditation.
St. Paul’s Chapel
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 10:10–11am
Children & Youth Sunday
School Classes
Children learn to encounter God in
their lives through music, crafts, and
lively discussions. Pre-K to 5th grade,
middle school, and high school.
74 Trinity Place, 3rd Fl
Walking the labyrinth at St. Paul’s Chapel.
Continued on page 15
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
At least this guy is honest.
downtown express
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Jhaneel Lockhart
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011
Clock is Ticking
We are just over 200 days away from the tenth
anniversary of 9/11 and the opening of the National
September 11th Memorial. This is not a small event,
and how it could sneak up on anyone is baffling.
That being said, it seems as if it has indeed
slipped the minds of those at the Department of
Transportation. The presentation given at Monday’s
World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee meet-
ing left much to be desired. At the bottom of every
slide was the word “draft.” That alone seems unac-
And then we were told the “working group” that
had been meeting to come up with the solution to
the immense problem that could result when mil-
lions upon millions of people descend on Lower
Manhattan, had not reached out to the local com-
munity board for their input, this editorial seemed
absolutely necessary.
Simply put, the clock is ticking for the involved
parties to come up with an acceptable plan as to how
Lower Manhattan is supposed to accommodate a
monumental influx of people and buses not just this
year but for the next two years.
Last September Luis Sanchez, NYC’s D.O.T. com-
missioner for Lower Manhattan attended a Lower
Manhattan Marketing Association meeting. Sanchez
was also the one giving the presentation on Monday.
Back then he said, “The D.O.T. is working with all
interested parties” to prepare for the expected influx
of tourists and buses. But apparently the Community
Board that represents Lower Manhattan did not
qualify as an interested party.
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is predicted to
bring an additional 80-to-90 tour buses each day to
our community. Sanchez revealed that figure months
ago. And we believe that’s probably a low-ball figure.
Since the Vehicle Security Center will not be finished
until 2012 at the earliest, these buses could very well
be parking anywhere. Sanchez’s presentation cited
Greenwich Street as one area for pick-ups and drop-
offs. We wonder, has Mr. Sanchez ever walked down
Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan? It’s possibly
one of the narrowest streets in the city.
This is why we don’t understand why the commu-
nity has not been more involved in this process. And
this is why we must ensure that moving forward all
stakeholders be included and that their opinions are
taken into consideration.
Lower Manhattan is already plagued on a regular
basis with idling tour buses that take up parking on
almost every Downtown street. When the tenth anni-
versary arrives, what we think is a problem now, will
pale in comparison to what could happen if the D.O.T.
does not pick up the pace and bring all the stakehold-
ers together to develop a solution that will ensure the
safety of both the locals and the tourists alike.
This issue should not be taken lightly and the
D.O.T. should recognize just how important an order-
ly process is to the residents of Lower Manhattan.
Bloomberg should drop
the emperor act
To The Editor:
As a former NYPD officer and long time
Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association Union
Delegate, I’m more than baffled and even
more insulted by our mayor’s desire to uni-
laterally remove our bought and paid for
“defined benefit” pension plan.
We need some history: In 1968 the city,
NYPD and fire unions came together at the
request of then Mayor John Lindsey. At stake
was using pension funds that were paid by
these members in the stock market to bolster
earnings for the city. In return, the police
and fire union members would, upon retire-
ment, receive whatever the market returned,
be it less or more.
Let’s move to 1988. Fiscal times were
picking up just a little by then. Contract
negotiations between fire and police (and I
emphasize negotiations) led us to what we
know as the “defined benefit.” Our unions,
at the behest of City Hall, under Mayor Ed
Koch, were willing to forgo ups and downs
of the stock market in order to have a yearly
dividend — a dividend that was defined.
Most police officers and firefighters in
this city deserve this because, simply put,
they and their families’ lives are not defined.
Most of us living in New York City know or
have a brother, sister or close relative doing
these jobs. They’re not at home on holidays,
for their children’s birthdays, et cetera. And
every time they walk out of their doors, no
one knows if they will return.
I won’t have a mayor that continually
disrespects the municipal labor community.
You are not an emperor. You know nothing
of my compatriots that toiled at Ground
Zero. You sir, are a petulant, rich, spoiled
brat. I would not let you near a pair of burnt
boots that any of my partners wore.
This is a mayor who has tried repeat-
edly to usurp the legitimate gains organized
labor has made over the past hundred years
in this city.
Our benefit was earned, bought and paid
for. Any move to remove it will only sully
Bloomberg’s reputation.
We all know how much politicians care
about their legacies.
Mike Venckus
It’s about jobs
To The Editor:
It was disappointing to learn at the recent
New York City Council hearing on Walmart’s
right to open any stores in the Big Apple that
many elected officials, including New York
City Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate
Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Christine
Quinn and many of her Council colleagues
are continuing to stand in the way. Walmart
coming to New York City would provide
work for construction contractors, their
employees and thousands of the 9 percent of
New Yorkers currently out of work. The city
would benefit by several hundred million in
new sales, payroll and real estate tax gener-
ated revenues.
Walmart is the nation’s largest private sec-
tor employer with over 1.2 million employ-
ees and growing each year. Tens of millions
of Americans, including many fellow New
Yorkers own stock in Walmart. The same is
true for the various retirement and pension
plans many people participate in.
The starting pay at Walmart is between
several dollars more and double the mini-
mum wage for new employees around the
nation. Promotional opportunities including
training for higher paying managerial posi-
tions are common, and they offer health care
and other benefits. Walmart may actually
pay higher salaries and offer more benefits
than some of their competitors.
Walmart consumers get a better bang
for their buck, and many New Yorkers can’t
afford to pay extra. They need the great pric-
es, quality merchandise, and the affordable
food and drug options that Walmart offers.
Several hundred thousand New Yorkers
work off the books, full and part time, with
no benefits or insurance. Many existing
retailers pay minimum wage with no bene-
fits, but public officials who oppose Walmart
never talk about these abuses.
Consumers have voted with their feet all
over America making Walmart the number
one retail merchant success story it is today.
Why not allow Walmart the opportunity to
compete in the New York City marketplace
as well.
For those opposed, don’t shop there, but
give everyone else a choice.
Larry Penner
City Hall turns the Big Apple into a ‘Granny State!’
Letters policy
Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They
must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone num-
ber for confirmation purposes only, and any affiliation that
relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be
less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to
edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters
should be e-mailed to or can
be mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 11
Neither snow nor cold could stop the
residents of the South Street Seaport and
Financial District from having a hot time in
the hood these past few weeks….
SUPER DUPER: Super Bowl saw Steelers
and Packer fans load into Meade’s on Peck
Slip for beers and cheers. Happily for some
of us, Cheeseheads reign!
XXXXXXX: Cupid spread his heartwarm-
ing message throughout the hood Monday.
The day started with brisk sales at Godiva,
Victoria’s Secret and La Maison du Chocolate
and demos at Tiffany’s (37 Wall St.) by mas-
ter engraver Timothy Murphy.
Many local restaurants offered love
potions and passion-inducing nibbles. At
Acqua (Peck Slip and Water St.) romantic
candlelight, free Prosecco and a fresh rose
captured the spirit while Wall and Water
kicked up libido with a special of oysters,
mussels and lobster. SuteiShi (24 Peck Slip)
had Chef Paul put together a delectable tast-
ing menu for two, including dashi scallop
carpaccio, spicy tuna tartar, pickled ginger
and chocolate mousse.
Even Mad Dog & Beans (83 Pearl St.)
got into the action – but with a twist. They
took the opposite position and severed up
anti-Valentine’s Day spirits. Special on their
menu Monday night were drinks such as
Sweet Revenge and Swingers Sangria.
XXXXXXXX: Westminister Dog Show
fans had a lot to bark about this week too.
The howling good times continued Tuesday
night when dog lovers packed the Paris Café
(South & Peck Slip) for a Westminister Dog
Show Party. Pooch parents couldn’t bring
their babies, but they did sip and nosh while
watching all sizes and shapes of dogs appear
larger than life on the café’s six-foot TV
screen. The Salty Paw (38 Peck Slip) had
fun, fab prizes and giveways and everyone
played dog-themed games during commercial
breaks. Woof!
Meanwhile non-dog people or maybe just
people who didn’t want to watch the best
in show or just like a good deal joined the
fun at Cowgirl Seahorse (259 Front St.) for
Tuesday $2 fish tacos. Yum!
Downtown Alliance opens two new free
WiFi hot spots in the area. Look for a signal
at Peter Minuit Plaza, in front of the Staten
Island Ferry Terminal and at the upcoming
pedestrian seating area designed by the NY
Department of Transportation at Whitehall
and Water Sts. These bring the number to 12
hot spots, spanning a half million square feet
in park and public spaces in the hood. SR’s
favs include Pier 17 marketplace where you
can eat, drink and be wired!
recommend you try it any more than you
should run with scissors but you might not
want to miss the 26th annual New York
Sword Dancing Festival. This ancient winter
celebration of life with fast-paced rapper
sword and long sword dancing is unique
and sure to be gasp inducing. Four to six
dancers, circle around and merge together to
create complex patterns and images all while
displaying their amazing skill and precision
with lethal weapons. Two hour-long perfor-
mances take place Saturday, Feb. 19,1 and 3
pm at Seaport Museum New York (12 Front
St.). Free to members, $15 adults, seniors/
students $12.
month, the financially strapped 44-year old
museum laid off five workers, including the
captain of the Pioneer sailing ship. Also it’s
been reported that the museum stopped pay-
ing 30 New York Harbor School students
their stipends and now owes them oodles
of moola.
Dear readers,
Just when you thought traffic in Tribeca
couldn’t get any worse, it did! Right turns
from the Holland Tunnel exit onto Hudson
St. are now banned due to water main work.
Traffic using tunnel exit 2 have to go straight
onto Beach St., turn left onto Greenwich
St., go two blocks south to Franklin St., and
then left onto Hudson to get to where they
started. This pretzel of a detour will be in
effect for three months.
Transit Sam
Dear Transit Sam,
Thank you for the information about
more street parking on Washington and
North Moore streets in the last issue. That
being said, I can sleep better at night know-
ing that the city now has more of our spaces
to take up. What’s up with all those white
city cars taking up every available parking
spot in lower Manhattan? Forget about No
Parking 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and ASP. I’m even
talking about metered and muni-metered
spaces that are the only available spots that
residents and non-city-elite have to park
in the neighborhood! I’ve lived in Tribeca
for thirty years, and I remember when you
could park on those empty blocks that are
now Barnes and Nobles, etc. There were no
restrictions then - there were not even any
signs! I’m not bitter about thirty years of
progress, but why does the city bother desig-
nating legal parking if it intends to use all of
it? Thanks for listening to my complaint and
for your great column.
Walter, Tribeca
Dear Walter,
You may not be bitter, but when I read of
city workers usurping public parking space
my blood starts to boil. I spent 20 years as
a city employee and see no good reason why
city workers should have on street parking
for commuting. (I do recognize that police
and a few people from most agencies will
need cars for use during the day). When I was
traffic commissioner and in charge of parking
enforcement, I routinely had my brethren’s
cars ticketed and towed for parking abuse.
You are absolutely right about lower
Manhattan. It is the capital of illegal park-
ing abuse by government employees. The
mayor has cracked down a bit, but from my
point of view it’s not enough and it hasn’t
been sustained.
As for the streets that I referenced in last
issue (North Moore St. between Varick and
Greenwich St., Beach St. between Hudson
and Greenwich St. and Washington St.
between Vestry and Hubert St.), I took a walk
on them recently and I didn’t see much abuse.
Maybe it’s too far west for most workers. If
that changes, then please write me again.
I’ve also passed your letter along to the
First and Fifth precincts. If you see vehicles
that are repeat offenders, don’t hesitate to
reach out to the community affairs’ officers
of the First Precinct at (212) 334-0640 or
the Fifth Precinct at (212) 334-0726.

Transit Sam
Transit Sam
The Answer man
Photo courtesy of Joshua Knoller
North Moore Street (above) in Tribeca.
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 12
downtown express
Franklin Street partially closed until the summer
Construction along Franklin Street, part
of a five-year-long endeavor to update the
aging infrastructure beneath Hudson Street
in Tribeca, is now under way.
The NYC Department of Design and
Construction, who is heading the Hudson
Street project, is updating old water and
sewer mains underneath Hudson and adja-
cent streets. The job will be completed by
mid-2015, at which point the neighborhood
will be hooked up to a new underground
water tunnel that supplies water to the entire
city, according to Craig Chin, public infor-
mation officer of the D.D.C.
Construction workers just began break-
ing ground on Franklin Street, between
Hudson and Greenwich Streets, last week.
Construction there will be completed in July,
according to Chin.
Once the water mains and private utilities
are replaced in the area, the city will redo the
roadways, sidewalks and curbs, and add new
street lights and traffic signs to the affected
The right-turn from the Holland Tunnel
onto Hudson Street, meanwhile, will be tem-
porarily closed until the below-grade work in
the immediate vicinity is complete.
Chin also reported that parking will be
temporarily suspended along Franklin and
other affected streets during regular con-
struction hours, and parts of these streets
will be closed off to traffic.
The city Department of Transportation,
meanwhile, is amending parking regulations
in Tribeca to increase parking for residents,
according to spokesperson Scott Gastel. The
new rules will also open up more alternate
side parking in the area.
The hammering and other noise on
Franklin Street is already disturbing some
local residents, who are bracing themselves
for a long road ahead.
“We hear it all day, every day,” said Tom
Ness, an accountant at 145 Hudson Street,
who complained about the recent jackham-
mering sounds and persistent beeping of
construction vehicles backing up.
When he opens the window on the 7th
floor of his office building to offset the heat
in the room, the noise escalates. “Having a
lot of random noises continuously going on
is difficult,” Ness said.
Lunch hour is the peak time of the noise,
according to attorney Chloe Cockburn, who
works at 99 Hudson Street, off the corner of
Franklin Street.
“It distracts you from your work,” she
Gary Walia, the general manager of
Tamarind Tribeca, on the corner of Hudson
and Franklin Streets, said the noise has been
extremely bothersome in the past week.
“The street doesn’t look the same, and it’s
hard to get traffic.”
“We’re a new business, and we could
use some good exposure,” he added. “It’s a
Parking, Walia said, has also become
a hassle. “[Patrons] don’t want to come,
pay for parking garage, because everyone
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Downtown Express photo by Aline Reynolds
Tom Ness (above) works on Hudson Street and is unhappy with the constant con-
struction outside his office.
Continued on page 15
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 13
Street and then across Spring Street over to
Greenwich Street and up to Houston Street.
Trinity is, unquestionably, the area’s
major stakeholder; it owns 40 percent of the
neighborhood’s built space and closer to 50
percent if the land Trinity leases to others is
included. (The Saatchi & Saatchi building,
at 375 Hudson Street, for example, is on
Trinity property but is owned by Tishman
Meanwhile, Hudson Square’s retail
vacancy rate, 30 percent, is very high,
despite having one of the lowest retail
rents in Manhattan. Other areas, like
the World Trade Center and the Hudson
Yards, have commercial subsidies, but
Hudson Square does not. As a result,
property owners are turning to hotels
— a number of nondescript ones having
recently popped up in the neighborhood,
along with the towering new Trump Soho
condo-hotel at Spring and Varick Streets.
Yet, hotels generate a lot of traffic, which
is a concern of Trinity Real Estate.
In addition, Trinity had a bad experi-
ence with a hotel project on one of its own
properties: The planned Viceroy hotel, to be
built atop the gutted shell of a warehouse at
330 Hudson Street, never panned out. At
great expense, Trinity itself had to seal up
the vacant shell.
And SEIU is reportedly having trou-
ble finding a buyer for its former union
headquarters building at Sixth Avenue and
Grand Street. Without residential use, con-
verting the building into another hotel might
be the only option.
Under the proposed rezoning, a special
permit would be needed for new hotels with
more than 100 rooms.
Trinity doesn’t want to attract so-called
destination retail — like Soho’s glitzy bou-
tiques and the large stores lining Broadway.
Rather, Trinity hopes to attract small and
mid-sized retailers and restaurants — mainly
to service its own commercial tenants and
the increased number of residential tenants
that would populate the neighborhood due
to the rezoning.
Currently, Hudson Square’s residential
occupancy is about 4 percent. With a rezon-
ing allowing residential use, Trinity hopes
to boost this figure to 25 percent. Two
mixed-use neighborhoods that Trinity sees as
comparable to Hudson Square, Park Avenue
South and the Flatiron District, have resi-
dential rates of 38 percent and 29 percent,
All of Trinity’s profits go to support
Trinity Church as well as Trinity’s charitable
mission throughout the city, focused on
neighborhoods like Chinatown, the Lower
East Side, Harlem, the South Bronx and
the Upper West Side. Except for its actual
church building, Trinity pays property taxes
on all its real estate holdings.
With repor ting
by John W. Sutter
Trinity says Hudson Square
residential ready

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Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SÌPC
Gay City
A map showing the area Trinity is proposing rezoning to allow residential use. The
rezoning would also add height caps for new construction.
Continued from page 6
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 14
downtown express
Let us introduce you to some of the area’s most exciting eateries and
purveyors with thematic culinary expeditions.
Savor the Romance
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Noon to 3 PM | Rain or Shine
for more details and to purchase tickets.
* Free spay/neuter services are provided on a first come, first served basis, beginning at 7:00 am. No food
or water after midnight for spay/neuter. If you and your pet arrive and the clinics are fully booked, you can
schedule an appointment for free service in future clinics in a neighborhood near you. Only pets who arrive
with their humans can schedule future appointments. ** Subject to availability.
Saturday, Feb. 19th
10 am – 4 pm
(Arrive by 7 am for Spay and Neuter*)
Sara D. Roosevelt Park
East Houston between Forsyth
and Chrystie Streets
(Day of the event only.)
E-collar will be provided at no charge, while supplies
last to each dog/cat who gets spayed/neutered
on the Clinic. Limit one per person.
to celebrate
For more information, go to
Monday, CNN anchorman and reporter Anderson Cooper was back in New York, stop-
ping in at CNN headquarters at the Time Warner Building. While on assignment in
Egypt, he and his crew had been attacked in Tahrir Square by supporters of President
Mubarak. He was to appear on Monday evening’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” to tell his
story. Paparazzo Diary got a rise out of the usually steely-eyed Cooper with the crack,
“F--- Mubarak!” Earlier in the day, Blake Lively, below, of “Gossip Girl,” and Leighton
Meester were filming on location in the East Village at Veselka restaurant, at Second
Ave. and Ninth St.
Photos by J.B. Nicholas
From news to gossip
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 15
Franklin St. residents
deal with construction
decided to hike the fares.”
Lee Yi, general manager of a grocery
store on Hudson Street between Franklin
and North Moore Streets, said the water in
the store has been shut off a couple of differ-
ent times, for six to eight hours at a time.
“We use big buckets to save water,” he
said. “I hope they finish soon – it’s uncom-
Community Board 1’s Tribeca committee
has been keeping a close eye on the project.
It passed a resolution last November asking
the D.D.C. to accelerate work along Franklin
and Beach Streets in order to shorten the
duration of the project.
The D.D.C. agreed to the proposal, and
announced at the January C.B. 1 Tribeca
committee meeting that it would curtail the
street work by six months.
Hastening construction, Chin noted, will
also benefit the city in terms of cost sav-
The D.D.C. has been sending out con-
struction updates to community members
weekly via e-mail. Nearby residents can also
notify the D.D.C. of concerns that arise
during the construction phases, according
to Michael Connolly, co-chair of the com-
The project requires continual vigilance
by C.B. 1, according to Michael Levine, direc-
tor of land use and planning at Community
Board 1. “We feel as though the D.D.C. is
doing its best to work with the contractors
to try to minimize the effect of the [construc-
tion],” he said.
In its resolution, the committee also
complained about construction noise disrup-
tions before 8 a.m., and stressed the need for
emergency access to the facing the affected
“The contractor follows the guidelines of
the noise code set by the [NYC] Department
of Environmental Protection,” replied Chin.
The resolution also cited the difficulty
delivery trucks were having when unloading
and loading goods in front of storefronts.
Committee Co-chair Peter Braus said it’s
impossible to satisfy everyone in this situa-
tion. “Some people in a massive project like
this are just going to be unhappy – I think
that’s what everyone has come to accept at
this point,” he said.
Other neighborhood residents don’t mind
the noise, and are pleased that the city is
making the fixes.
“The street has been in disrepair for a
long time. I’m glad to see they’re fixing it,”
said Jeri Mendez, who lives on North Moore
and Greenwich Streets. Nearby residents,
she said, are accustomed to sparse parking
spots in the area, though visitors might be
inconvenienced in the short-term.
“It’s a visual reminder that it’s harder to
get around,” she said.
“It’s a little inconvenient, but they need to
do it,” said Andy Obstler, who lives nearby
on Watts and Greenwich Streets. “You need
the sewer lines.”
Silke Steinberg, who lives on Hudson and
Laight Streets, said the construction is the
best thing that could have happened to her
and her family.
“Since they closed the Hudson Street
entrance to the Holland Tunnel [in
September], there’s almost no traffic,” she
said. “It’s like, amazing.”
Transportation is also not a problem,
Steinberg said, since cars can still drop off
or pick up riders. The construction noise,
she said, is far less jarring than the honks
from the cars that are usually backed up
along Hudson before entering the Holland
And, as many local residents do, Steinberg
has no parking troubles, since she keeps her
car in a neighborhood garage.
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Continued from page 12
bar when they come home,” said Mishek.
“This is a badly needed facility,” said
Tribeca District Leader Jean Grillo, a public
member of C.B. 1. “We need the ability to
treat young people who have drug and alco-
hol addiction issues.”
Treating college students in the neigh-
borhood they live in, she said, is ideal. “We
could all be sober on a desert island,” she
said. “It makes sense to have treatment in
the community so you can deal with the
It also saves families the typically high
costs, she said, of sending the youths to out-
of-state facilities.
Security cameras inside the building will
monitor activity, there will be a curfew, and
at least one staff member will be on site
sixteen hours a day, seven days a week. The
staff will also conduct periodic searches for
booze and drugs to make sure the young
adults are staying sober.
Meshik plans to attend the next First
Precinct Community Council meeting to
present the plans for the new Downtown
center and address any safety or security
concerns residents have.
Lodging prices have yet to be determined,
Mishek said, but the costs will parallel the
average prices of off-campus college dorm
rooms. Students will be able to pay using
college loans and other means of financial
— Aline Reynolds
Tribeca Hazelden facility
Continued from page 9
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 16
downtown express
years, the Gate House on South End Avenue
at Albany Street wasn’t just another restau-
rant to a lot of Battery Park City residents. It
was their refuge, their club, a place friendly
to kids and dogs where people could hang out
with friends and neighbors, summer and win-
ter. At the end of the business day on Tuesday,
February 22, the Gate House will close.
Owner Eddie Yu said that his landlord,
the LeFrak Organization, wasn’t interested in
extending his lease, and added that he wasn’t
interested in extending his lease, either – cer-
tainly not at a higher rent than he’s been pay-
ing. “I’m losing money the way it is,” said Yu.
He said that he had been thinking of
closing during the month of December, and
finally reached a decision on January 31.
“I do not blame LeFrak,” said Yu. “As a
landlord, you get the best tenant who pays
the best rent.”
Yu added, “I believe I was a good ten-
ant.” He said he had never owed any back
rent until recently, when he was maybe two
months in arrears.
Yu, who formerly owned Fox Hounds
across South End Avenue from the Gate
House, said that when the financial crisis
started in 2008, it hurt his business. When
Merrill Lynch and Dow Jones moved out of
the World Financial Center, he lost a signifi-
cant number of customers.
Neighborhood residents became, even
more than previously, the backbone of the
Gate House’s clientele. In addition to the
regulars at the bar, many people came in with
their children. “Friday nights, it’s all families,”
said Fiona Gallagher, a Gate House waitress.
“A lot of the kids have grown up here. We’ve
known them since they were babies.”
Gallagher is one of 25 employees who will
lose their jobs when the restaurant closes.
“My employees are not just employees,” said
Yu. “They’re good friends. Some have been
working with me 15 or 16 years.”
Still, he said, he wasn’t worried about
them. “They’re capable,” he said. He felt con-
fident that they would find other work.
As for himself, he said he turned 65 in
October and has been working for more than
40 years. “If I work another five years, I’m
70,” he said. “What difference does it make?
I don’t really care. Fight or not fight? I don’t
want to fight.”
Yu said that he knew that many of his
customers were sad that the Gate House
was closing. Some of them, in fact, have
started a Facebook page called “Gate House
Club House Alumni” where they are posting
photos of Gate House parties and their many
treasured memories of what some have called
Battery Park City’s “Cheers.”
“They’ll find another place to go,” said Yu.
“This isn’t a tragedy. It’s a business decision.”
CONNECTION BUS: Some riders of the
Downtown Alliance’s Connection bus were
undoubtedly startled on Saturday, February
12, when large, blue-and-white buses rolled
up instead of the small, silver vans to which
they were accustomed. These buses are only
temporary, however, until new buses can be
built for the Downtown Alliance by TMC
Group in Elkhart, Ind.
The free Connection bus service runs
daily between the South Street Seaport
and Broadway near City Hall. The Alliance
has hired a new vendor to manage the
Connection service based on the vendor’s
promise to provide “state of the art” buses
with diesel engines equipped with the latest
green technology.
The new buses were scheduled to arrive
in the spring, however, recently enacted
federal regulations required changes to the
bus design and delayed their delivery. They
should be on Lower Manhattan’s streets by
the end of May or the beginning of June.
To ensure that there would be no gap
in service, the vendor agreed to provide an
interim fleet. These buses, like their eventual
replacements, have onboard monitors where
riders can watch information about Lower
However, the interim buses are not wheel-
chair accessible. Riders who need that ser-
vice can call (212) 232-0141 or (917) 939-
1037 to schedule pickups and dropoffs at a
Downtown Connection stop. Appointments
can be made from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. seven
days a week.
Three-year-old Rayan Sher’s parents, Sarah
and Farhan, moved to Battery Park City
two years ago full of hope that this would
be a great place in which to raise their
son. However, a few months ago, Rayan
was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic
Leukemia, a form of blood cancer that will
probably kill him unless a suitable bone mar-
row donor can be found.
Rayan is of Pakistani background, a
group greatly under-represented in the bone
marrow donor pool. Anyone from South
Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka
and neighboring countries) is more likely to
be a match for Rayan than someone of a dif-
fering ethnicity.
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 60
who is in good health can be a bone marrow
donor. The test to determine compatibility
involves a cheek swab and takes less than a
minute. If a donor is found to be a match,
the process of donating often does not
involve surgery and even if it does, donors
can generally go home the day they donate.
For information about how to help Rayan,
e-mail or go to www.
To comment on Battery Park City Beat or
to suggest story ideas, e-mail TereseLoeb@
Downtown Express photos by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Eddie Yu, owner of the Gate House on South End Avenue at Albany Street, and
Fiona Gallagher, one of the waitresses. After seven years, the Gate House will close
as of February 23.
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 17
Residents reject Soho BID
BID would have in communitywide decisions.
“The main issue is putting the real estate
interests in control of our lives,” said Sally
Lindsay, who lives in a 12-story loft building at
491 Broadway. “What if I missed the meeting
where they decided to put a kiosk in front of
my door?” she asked. “We just don’t want that
kind of control.”
Lindsay, who has lived in Soho since 1971,
has watched the neighborhood evolve from a
desolate area to what she calls a “magnificent
shopping mall.”
“It’s out of control already,” echoed Peter, a
Broadway loft resident, declining to give his last
name due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Upward of 100 community members
opposed to the BID, including Lindsay, wrote
letters to Community Board 2, City Planning
and City Councilmember Margaret Chin. Many
of them requested that the BID proposal be
rescinded altogether.
As a result, in November, C.B. 2 urged the
BID steering committee to withdraw the pro-
posal, referring to “overwhelming” opposition
from residents.
The board’s resolution states many resi-
dents’ concerns that the BID would only exac-
erbate overcrowding on Broadway, and that its
stated mission to increase local tourism would
negatively impact residents’ quality of life:
“The BID applicants have failed to convince
the public of the necessity of a new business
improvement district for Soho, which is a flash-
point for traffic and pedestrian congestion,” the
board’s resolution states.
The BID is “self-defeating,” in that it could
endanger the very businesses it hopes to pro-
mote, according to Sean Sweeney, director
of the Soho Alliance. More tourists would
translate into increased sales, he argued, which
could lead to landlords hiking business own-
ers’ rents, eventually forcing them out of the
“This proposal is not a BID — this is a
landlord’s improvement district,” Sweeney said.
“It’s a pretense to set up a quasi-governmental
agency within Soho that would be detrimental
to the residents and the businesses.”
BID fees incurred by property owners, he
added, would also be passed onto tenants in the
form of increased rents.
Steinwurtzel, however, said additional ten-
ant payments would be insignificant.
“The majority of any taxes passed along to
tenants will be minor amounts,” he said, “and
will only be temporary until their leases expire,
since any new lease will be reset to market
As for tourism, Steinwurtzel assured that
the majority of the marketing budget would
go toward creating signage for the tourists that
are already there — not toward advertising or
other means to attract more out-of-towners.
Retailers along Broadway have complained to
the steering committee that they often feel like
tour guides to customers who easily get lost
amid Soho’s streets.
Improving sanitation for the area — pur-
portedly one of the BID’s main services — is
something most community members support.
The Association of Community Employment
Programs for the Homeless (ACE), which has
hired sanitation workers to clean up Broadway
and Soho’s side streets daily since the early
1990’s, will discontinue its service at the end of
June due to funding shortages.
“I think everybody is concerned about sani-
tation,” said Councilmember Chin. “We don’t
want the streets to go back to what they were
before, with garbage spilling out of garbage
cans, and wind blowing it all over. Whether or
not you need a BID to supervise the cleaning,
though, is up for debate.”
Some people in the neighborhood, however,
feel there are alternatives to a BID to get similar
services, such as encouraging local retailers to
voluntarily clean their sidewalks.
“The pretense of street cleaning is a sham,”
declared Sweeney. “What this intends to do is
bring more tourists into Soho.”
Forming a BID in order to keep Broadway
dirt- and litter-free, Lindsay echoed, is “like
building a chandelier to fix a light bulb that’s
“The city is supposed to clean the streets,”
she said.
Property owners and tenants are required by
city law to clean the sidewalks in front of their
lots, though sources say this is not sufficient to
keep the streets devoid of garbage.
“They don’t understand that there’s more
to it than sweeping up in front of your store,”
said Jim Martin, executive director of ACE.
Countless Soho visitors, he said, stroll along
Broadway each weekend, many throwing trash
onto the streets or in the trash bins, which
quickly overflow. The city is solely responsible
for collecting the trash bags.
“If those garbage cans aren’t turned and
bagged,” Martin said, “you’re going to have a
disaster.” The garbage problem gets even worse
during Fashion’s Night Out and other special
outdoor events. (City Planning discouraged the
BID’s organizing of such large public events in
the neighborhood to avoid crowds and litter.)
Several BID opponents, mainly residents,
attended the steering committee’s Jan. 19
meeting to voice their concerns and make
“It was a very good meeting,” said Chin, who
has been fighting for more resident feedback to
be heard on the BID. “A lot of people from the
area came and expressed their interests.”
In a phone interview last week, Chin said
that she would not support the BID until she
sees more resident involvement in the modi-
fied plan.
“We want to make sure the residents’ con-
cerns are addressed, and that they will have a
say,” she said.
The BID steering committee will hold its
next meeting at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, 32
Prince St., on Tues., Feb. 22, to “finalize the dis-
trict plan according to everyone’s satisfaction,”
according to Steinwurtzel, who is holding out
hope that, the more Soho residents learn about
the BID, the more they’ll realize its benefits.
“When you don’t know what something is,
you get a little worried,” he said. “It’s not our
intention to make the neighborhood worse.
We’re trying to make it better. We’re trying
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Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 18
downtown express
Study reveals new findings about 9/11 related stress
participants were by far at highest risk of
developing post-traumatic stress from the
9/11 events — almost half of them were
screened PTSD-positive. “There are lots of
different theories why income and socio-
economic status is related to PTSD,” said
DiGrande, such as shortages in mental
health resources available to them to help
overcome the trauma of 9/11.
“It’s something researchers are continu-
ing to try to understand more fully.”
The implication of the findings, accord-
ing to the study, “is that the impact of
terrorism on survivors, particularly those
in low socioeconomic positions, could
be substantial,” since PTSD is tied to
other disorders and harmful behaviors
that effect daily functioning, wellness, and
The study’s participants were asked
questions about whether or not they’ve
repeatedly had disturbing thoughts or
dreams of 9/11 events; physical reactions,
such as heart pounding and sweating,
when being reminded of 9/11; and dif-
ficulty remembering significant events of
the day. These questions, DiGrande said,
are ones that psychiatirsts typically use to
diagnose PTSD.
None of the participants were avail-
able for an interview, since their names
and contact information are not publicly
disclosed due to confidentiality agreements
with the D.O.H.M.H.
Nearly one in six participants tested
positive for probable PTSD, lower than
the rate discovered among other terror-
ist attack survivors, such as those from
the Oklahoma City bombings. Researchers
speculate that the 9/11 survivors have
lower rates of PTSD because they didn’t
know their lives were threatened while
they were evacuating the towers.
Evacuee accounts described a “calm
descent” from the upper floors of the tow-
ers. Many of them did not predict the tow-
ers’ collapse, according to the study, and
therefore did not understand the level of
danger they were in until after they exited
the building.
The key drivers of PTSD, the study
showed, was late evacuation; being on a
high floor in World Trade Center 1 or 2
when the evacuation began; being caught
in the dust cloud caused by the falling of
the towers; or witnessing horrific events,
such as the buildings’ collapse or people
jumping or falling out of them. Those that
sustained an injury were also at a higher
risk of developing PTSD, according to
“When you added one or more of these
exposures,” she said, “the risk for the per-
son doubled.”
One out of every three African
Americans and Hispanics, and one out
of every five women, were found to have
chronic PTSD – an alarmingly high pro-
portion, according to Neria. These rates,
he said, “should signal an acute need for
Researchers attribute the high PTSD
rates among these groups to increased
health exposure or mental problems before
9/11, immigrant status, lack of social sup-
ports and emotional reaction around the
time of the attacks.
Patients with PTSD are not entitled to
financial compensation from the Victim
Compensation Fund of the James R.
Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation
Act, or for any other mental health problem,
for that matter. The FealGood Foundation,
a nonprofit that helped spearhead the bill,
is trying to change that.
The Zadroga bill couldn’t be amended
to add mental illness, explained Sean
Riordan of the FealGood Foundation. The
special master, though, who will serve
as an arbitratorin the claims process,
could include mental illness as a factor in
the amount of reimbursement granted to
someone with a physical injury.
“We hope the regulations that are forth-
coming will allow this to be considered
as a factor for compensable loss,” said
Gleaning the results of the study, the
authors recommended that, during disas-
ter preparation training, civilians should
be informed of potential experiences that
heighten one’s risk of acquiring PTSD,
such as evacuation, physical injury, and
personally witnessing death, destruction
and other traumatic events.
The study, DiGrande said, can help plan
for future disasters and guide follow-up
work of the WTC Health Registry.
PTSD patients can receive mental health
treatment for free at Columbia University
Medical Center through Neria’s Trauma
and PTSD Program. For more information,
visit 212-543-5520 or call www.columbia-
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Continued from page 7
“There are lots of different
theories why income and
socioeconomic status is
related to PTSD.”
— Laura DiGrande
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 19
C.B. 1 offers date for L.M.D.C. to close
not only first responders, but also our fellow
Heightened security enforcement, how-
ever, is coming at taxpayers’ expense. The
L.M.D.C., Graffanigno Sr. noted, spent
more than $900,000 in legal fees since the
incident; and the city spent $6.5 million.
The NYC Department of Buildings and
the Fire Department of New York issued
27 “stop work orders” against Bovis Lend
Lease for safety violations – the equivalent
of nearly two per month – from March 2009
to May 2010. Yet the New York County
District Attorney did not reopen the criminal
case against contractors John Gault whom
Bovis hired for the job when he had the
opportunity noted Graffagnino Sr.
“It seems that law enforcement officials
and politicians just want to keep their jobs
while millions of tax dollars are wasted
and New Yorkers are put at risk,” said
Graffagnino Sr.
Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin
reminded Graffinigno Sr. that C.B. 1 passed
a resolution opposing the L.M.D.C.’s hir-
ing of John Galt to demolish the building
in the city after hearing about supposed
links to the mafia and the company’s lack
of experience.
“They completely ignored us,” said
Menin, “and said we didn’t know what we
were talking about.”
“The result was an absolutely tragic
event, where two firefighters lost their
“We have no comment on [Graffanigno’s]
statement,” said L.M.D.C. Spokesperson
John DeLibero in an e-mail.
Demolition of the 41-story tower which
was contaminated with asbestos and other
harmful toxins from falling debris on 9/11
was finally completed last week. Bovis, the
company hired for the job, is now remov-
ing the structural steel, rebar and concrete
from the site. Air monitoring will be ongo-
ing until the end of the month.
“As long as materials original to building
will be on the site, some form of monitoring
going on,” said Josh Rosenbloom, director
of city operations at the L.M.D.C.
The committee said now that 130
Liberty is down, it is time for the L.M.D.C.
to devise a sunset plan. Bureaucracies such
as the L.M.D.C. tend to perpetuate them-
selves longer than necessary, according to
committee member Bill Love. “The original
mission is over,” he said. “We’re reaching
the end of the line with the L.M.D.C.”
He and the other members voted unani-
mously in favor of a resolution that urges
the L.M.D.C. to release its remaining grant
money and transfer any additional legal
and compliance tasks to other state and
city agencies.
“The transfer of all such duties,” the
resolution states, “should be completed as
soon as possible and an orderly dissolu-
tion of the agency should certainly occur
no later than the tenth anniversary of
September 11.”
DeLibero said the L.M.D.C. wouldn’t
comment on its plans to sunset.
The committee also requests that the
land swap between the L.M.D.C. and
the Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey occur as soon as possible,
so that construction of the underground
Vehicle Security Center parking complex
can begin.
The two parties made an agreement
in 2003 to exchange the parcel at 130
Liberty with approximately eight acres
of land that will be the future site of the
National September 11 Memorial and
The Port Authority, which is currently
using 130 Liberty as a staging ground for
the V.S.C., will have full access to the site
by the end of the month, according to
the L.M.D.C. But, while the L.M.D.C. is
granting access to the Port Authority, the
land swap has not taken place, according
to Rosenbloom.
“We’re working on sorting out differ-
ent political, legal and financial arrange-
ments,” Rosenbloom told the committee,
deeming it a “very long, time-consuming
process.” He wouldn’t disclose a tentative
date for the land swap.
“There are a lot of [agencies] that have
to approve it before it can be negotiated,”
explained John Delibero, a spokesperson
for the L.M.D.C.
Construction of the V.S.C. would begin
immediately after the swap is finalized,
according to a Port Authority spokesper-
son. It is scheduled for completion next
The resolution also called on the Port
Authority, the future owner of 130 Liberty,
to initiate an open, transparent public
planning process for the redevelopment
of the site “in a financially sustainable
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Continued from page 1
‘We’re working on sorting
out different political, legal
and financial arrange-
— Josh Rosenbloom
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 20
downtown express
D.O.E. undecided on Tweed
“Trinity is to be commended about
being proactive in planning for a new
school for residential development,” said
P.S.234 parent Tricia Joyce and other
task force members are nonetheless con-
cerned that such new residential develop-
ments in Downtown could outpace new
school construction.
She and the other task force members
were disappointed to hear that Spruce
Street School (P.S. 397) will not open sixth
grade next fall in Beekman Street tower, as
they had hoped.
When questioned about it, Rose replied
sternly, “We’ve gone over this before. It
just doesn’t make sense. We have middle
school seats in the area, and it’s difficult
But some task force members didn’t buy
into this reasoning.
“The entire [D.O.E.] policy is geared
towards creating new schools,” said Leonie
Hamson, executive director of Class Size
Matters. “They have plenty of money to
burn when it’s what they want to do;
but when the community wants to, they
are suddenly broke. They are completely
Community Board 1 member Paul Hovitz
said people in his residential complex at
Southbridge Towers were counting on send-
ing their sixth graders to the school.
“Now they assume it’s a dead issue,”
said Hovitz, “so they’re looking elsewhere
in the city, when they would have much pre-
ferred to have their kids close to home.”
“I am concerned that by delaying its
opening and using that space for additional
[Spruce Street] elementary school classes,
we run the risk of losing needed middle
school seats,” said Speaker Silver after the
meeting. “I will continue to hold the D.O.E.
accountable to its commitment, and I will
continue to press for more desperately
needed school space in Lower Manhattan.”
Task force member Eric Greenleaf
believes middle school students zoned for
Spruce Street should get priority at P.S.
276; currently they don’t receive preference
at any of the Lower Manhattan schools.
“We didn’t design the school — they
did,” said Greenleaf. “If the D.O.E. didn’t
design a school up to their financial cri-
teria… they need to own up to it” and
accommodate the children that live in the
Spruce Street zone.
Downtown schools have already
received 393 applications during pre-
registration period, which began January
10, but only have room for 350 of them,
according to Greenleaf. If Spruce Street
accepts an excess number of kindergarten-
ers in the coming years, 244 Downtown
kindergarteners will be denied a seat there
in Fall 2013, and 265 more in Fall 2014.
He will be presenting this and other data
to the D.O.E. in the coming weeks.
P.S. 276, which will have space for
between 75 and 100 kindergarteners next
fall, has received 78 applications thus far,
12 of whom are now in the pre-school. The
school is considering opening up a fifth
section of kindergarten in September to
accommodate more students.
“They really can’t continue doing this,”
said Greenleaf. “They’ll run out of space
in a few years.”
P.S. 89 has accumulated 64 kindergar-
ten applications thus far — 11 of whom
have older siblings in the school — for
between 65 and 75 available seats. “It’s not
that far off from last year’s numbers,” said
the school’s principal, Ronnie Najjar.
The school typically accepts more stu-
dents than it receives, predicting some
attrition to occur over the summer (though
it eventually had to create a wait list for
the 2010-11 school year due to the high
number of applications).
Spruce Street, meanwhile, has received
60 applications so far — only 5 of whom are
siblings – which is in line or below capac-
ity for the school, according to Rose.
P.S. 234, meanwhile, has 166 appli-
cants, 68 of whom are siblings; compared
to 186 applicants this time last spring,
according to Rose.
Pre-registration ends March 4. All chil-
dren on wait lists, Rose assured, will receive
alternate offers at other public schools.
Rose said the D.O.E. hasn’t made
a decision yet about which school will
occupy the vacant classrooms in Tweed
Courthouse starting next year. D.O.E.
spokesperson Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld said
the department would be making the call
in the next few months.
“That’s a good sign,” said Councilmember
Margaret Chin after the meeting. “We need
to keep the pressure on the D.O.E. to save
those classrooms.”
Parents, however, are still frustrated
that Innovate Manhattan Charter School is
one of the main candidates for the space.
“What’s the point of taking our Tweed
rooms and putting a charter middle school
there, if, according to [the D.O.E.], we don’t
need middle school seats?” said Joyce.
And while the Richard R. Green school
is set to move into the first two floors of 26
Broadway, the task force is determined to
find another Downtown site for a second
Millennium high school.
“There was capital money set aside for
it,” said Speaker Silver. “It’s important for
this community.”
“I’m very upset Millennium didn’t get
into 26 Broadway,” said task force member
Liat Silverman, former president of P.S.
234’s Parent-Teacher Association. “I feel
that’s a lost opportunity, and we’ll all rue
the day.”
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downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 21
TION Spring’s not even in the air yet — but before you know
it, summer will be just around the corner. Get the jump on the
always-popular Downtown Summer Day Camp by registering by
Feb. 28 for Early Bird Rates. For slightly less early birds, there will
be Open Houses on March 7 and April 5. The summer camp com-
bines a daily program at their facilities, with special events to
give children an exciting and varied camp experience. Downtown
Day Camp proudly boasts that they provide “simply the most
enjoyable summer experience available, all in a nearby, safe,
caring environment.” This year, there’s a new swimming pool —
plus art rooms, a multi-media lab, a dance studio, a gym, class-
rooms and more. There’s also karate, musical performances, pier
barbecues, a camp carnival and special events. The camp day is
from 9am-5pm with early and late hours as well. Downtown Day
Camp takes place at 120 Warren St. For registration and info, call
212-766-1104, x250 or visit
Discovery Zone is an exhibit designed for ages 2-10. It’s divided
into four areas (Police Academy; the Park and Precinct; Emer-
gency Services Unit; and a Multi-Purpose Area), each with inter-
active and imaginary play experiences for children to understand
the role of police officers in our community — 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 Academy; 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.
sons, basketball, gym class, karate and more, call 212-766-1104.
Visit The Downtown Community 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. Young minds can be great minds
— and great minds, as they say, often think alike. See for your-
self when you view “Art Within Reach: from the WPA to the Pres-
ent” — on display now through June 5. This intergenerational
exhibit connects the artistic and intellectual dots between those
who grew up in NYC during the Great Depression and those who
are growing up in the city today. Museum hours: Wed.-Sun.,
12-5pm; Thurs., 12-6pm (Pay as You Wish, from 4-6pm). Admis-
sion: $10. At the Children’s Museum of the Arts (182 Lafayette St.
btw. Broome & Grand). Call 212- 274-0986 or visit For
group tours, call 212-274-0986, extension 31.
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). Store hours are Mon.-Sat., 10am-7pm, and
Sun., 11am-6pm. For info about store events, call 212-343-6166.
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 interac-
tive performances. Thursdays at 10am (at 10 River Terrace and
Murray St.). Call 212-431-7920 or visit
Camembert Academy is all aflutter because a special guest is
coming to visit. Angelina and her friends are excited to show
off their hip-hop, modern dance, Irish jig and ballet skills — but
will Angelina get that moment in the spotlight she’s hoping for?
Based on characters from the PBS series, this show is appropri-
ate for ages 3-12. Through Feb. 19, Sat. at 1pm & 3pm and Sun.
at 1pm. At the Union Square Theatre (100 E. 17th St. btw. Union
Square East and Irving Place). For tickets ($39.50-$65), call 1-800-
982-2787 or visit Also visit angelinathemusi-
sion of “Preschool Play” has been added: This program invites
walking toddlers to join other children, parents, and caregivers
for fun interactive play, art and theme days. Thursdays, through
March 24, from 1:30-3:30pm. The fee is $175 for 10 weeks (sib-
lings: $100). At “Stories & Songs,” a variety of musicians teach
and perform child-friendly music. Movement, dancing and rhythm
instruments add to the fun. Mondays, through April 25 (except
1/17 and 2/21) as well as on Wednesdays, through April 13.
Space is still available in 40-minute classes: the 9:30-10:10am
class for children 6-14 months — and the 12 noon-12:40pm class
for mixed ages (6 months to 3.5 years). There is a $231 fee for 14
weeks (20% discount for siblings). Both events take place in the
Meeting Room at the Verdesian (211 North End Ave., btw. War-
ren & Murray, in Battery Park City). For info or to register, call 212-
267-9700, ext. 366 or 348. Visit
composer/librettist Michael Kosch and choreographer/costume
designer Rachael Kosch created a suite of savory vignettes
designed for children and their families. Sometime later (the
present day to be exact), “The Festival of the Vegetables” has
returned for its fifth annual production. Metropolitan Playhouse
presents, proudly we’re assured, this music-dance-poetry-theater
piece in which a troupe of dancers and actors (ages 5 to 45) per-
form a series of lighthearted poems and dances that reveal the
secret life of vegetables. It is set in a vast supermarket where a
toddler, shopping with mom, nods off to sleep. The child dreams
of vegetable adventures — each story introduced by a couple
of bumbling yet eloquent produce clerks. Vegetable-people of
all varieties jump and whirl in a whimsical salad. Duncan Broc-
coli dances a Scottish reel; King Potato holds vegetable court;
lithe String Bean Fiddler twirls and trills; Colonel Corn stalks
the scary SpinWitch; Arugula weds ravishing Radish; and
Rotund Rutabaga perches on pointe. If your kids won’t eat their
vegetables after this show, maybe they’ll at least appreciate the
entertainment value supplied by all that stuff that grows in the
ground, helps you grow and is very, very, very good for you! Sats.
and Suns., 11am, Through Feb. 20. At the Metropolitan Playhouse
(220 E. 4th St., btw. Aves. A & B). Tickets are $10 for children 12
and under; $15 for adults. For reservations, call 212-995-5302 or
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 held.
Moving Visions’ Murray Street Studio
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Photo by Jean-Marie Guyaux
Wilber is the lucky recipient of positive feedback from Charlotte’s web.
Before the two-hanky weeper of an ending, this BMCC Tribeca PAC and Theatreworks
USA adaptation of “Charlotte’s Web” is sure to engage kids with its tale of a spider named
Charlotte who saves the bacon of a pig named Wilbur. Generations after E.B. White’s
book first arrived on the shelves (1948), kids are still falling in love with its cast of barn-
yard characters and learning life lessons about friendship and sacrifice. Sun., March 6,
3pm. At the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (199 Chambers St.). Tickets are $25 — but
with the purchase of a 10Club membership (a $140 10-ticket package), you’ll save more
than $100 and also receive a discount with several of their neighborhood partners just
by showing the membership card. The TPAC season continues with Bo Eason’s semi-
autobiographical “Runt of the Litter” on Sat., March 12 at 1:30pm; the Dallas Children’s
Theatre presentation of “Giggle, Giggle Quack” on Sat., March 26 at 1:30pm; and the
Tall Stories of London production “Room on the Broom” at 1:30pm on Sat., April 16.
For info, visit Also visit
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 22
downtown express
Put on your Sunday best, lay down a modest cover charge
and step through the doors of Birdland Jazz Club on any
given Monday night — and it’s as if you’ve set the Wayback
Machine for a lost era when well-dressed guys and gals sat
at candlelit tables mere steps from household names who’d
belt out standards between the amiable patter of a much-
loved host.
That host is Jim Caruso — and that Monday night destina-
tion event for Broadway babies, journeyman jazz musicians,
cabaret veterans and chummy regulars is “Jim Caruso’s Cast
Party.” Now in its eighth year, the popular music-themed
open mic is a sweet-natured yet occasionally catty throwback
to the days of kitchen sink Vaudeville, when a beefy roster of
performers would get just a few short minutes to wow you.
Most of the time during any given night’s three-plus
hours, the folks who make it onto the Birdland stage deliver.
But a few do mange to fall flat (usually because the mate-
rial doesn’t suit the room or their interpretive abilities).
When that happens, Caruso just winks and smiles and keeps
shoveling coal into his runaway train — schmoozing with
the band about an unrelated and often surreal topic, then
brining up the next act.
A few months ago, shortly after Oprah gave away
those cars to her audience, Caruso turned the notion of
ego cloaked in generosity into a scathing running joke that
didn’t wear out its welcome despite the fact that he trotted
out subtle variations of the same basic zinger way into the
wee hours. Even when he’s cutting you down, Caruso never
strays too far from the “Cast Party” mission of lifting per-
formers up and making sure the audience knows his shtick is
all in the service of good, (mostly) clean cabaret fun. It’s that
polite safety net that keeps audiences and performers coming
back week after week. Despite being the frequent recipient
of coveted air kisses from the likes of Liza and Chita and
any number of special guests in attendance, Caruso retains a
genuine aura of gee-gosh wonder which lets you know he’s as
thrilled to be here as you are. It’s a thing to see.
Chelsea Now recently had a long, dishy phone conversa-
tion with Caruso. It began with a mutual pity party during
which we was firmly established that both this intrepid
cabaret reporter and his interview subject were basically
decent, driven men who worked themselves like show ponies
without the benefit of schemingly ambitious yet competent
interns. While this humble scribe speculated he’d gladly deal
with an “All About Eve” scenario in exchange for somebody
who didn’t mind making copies, Caruso allowed himself to
only pine momentarily for outside help. And girl, the boy
clearly needs it. In addition to his hosting duties, Caruso
does all of the PR outreach for “Cast Party” and promotes
the “Broadway at Birdland” series. There he goes again,
doing unto others what somebody should be doing unto him.
Such altruism — it makes you sick!
Caruso’s pom poms and cabaret cheers will be out in full
force on February 17. That’s when “Cast Party” moves to
Town Hall for one night only — for an amped up evening
that will have cabaret and Broadway fans worked up into a
complete and total tizzy. Here’s a partial list of who’s on the
bill: The legendary Liza Minnelli (whose 2008 show “Liza’s
at the Palace” marked the Broadway debut of Caruso).
Broadway icon Chita Rivera. Country music superstar
Larry Gatlin. Lucie Arnaz. Marilyn Maye. Tony nominee
Christopher Sieber. Tony nominee Sally Mayes. Jazz singer
Hilary Kole. R&B tenor William Blake. Nightlife Award-
winning jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein. Klea Blackhurst (star
of the new IFC Comedy Series “The Onion News Network”).
Composer Andrew Gerle — and Countess Luann de Lesseps
(from “Housewives of New York City”).
Although the lineup is heavy on star power, Caruso says it
won’t stray too far from the Birdland formula — then quickly
adds, “I’m doing something with the Mark Stuart Dance
Theatre. It’s going to be a full-on production number. We
just added Hinton Battle, the Tony winner. Karen Ziemba,
who won the Tony for “Contact,” is singing an Andrew Gerle
song, because so much of what we do is about new com-
posers.” Invoking his frequent collaborator, the great Billy
Stritch, Caruso says, “Billy will be at the piano. Neither of
us plan to talk about what we’re going to say, so our casual
take on hosting will help keep the freshness and improv
quality alive.”
Circling back around, Caruso adds, “I want to make it
Birdland’s “Cast Party” heads to Town Hall
Host Caruso’s a swingin’ cat, a sly fox and one bad mother
A Benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Thursday, February 17, 8pm
At Town Hall (123 W. 43rd St. btw. Sixth Ave. & Broadway)
For tickets ($25, $50, $75): or call 800-982-
“Jim Caruso: The Swing Set” is available at, and on iTunes.
“Jim Caruso’s Cast Party” happens Mondays, 9:30pm-1am, at
Birdland (315 W. 44 St. btw. 8th & 9th Aves.). $20 cover, plus
$10 food/drink minimum).
Photo by Bill Westmoreland
Swing time: Caruso’s CD shines.
Continued on page 23
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 23
clear that Billy will be at the piano and I’ll
have my ‘Cast Party Symphony Orchestra’ as
we call it.” That means Billy Stritch (musical
director), bass player Steve Doyle and drum-
mer Daniel Glass.
Sprinkled throughout the starry night will
be a few selections from Caruso’s new CD.
“Jim Caruso: The Swing Set” is a 13-track
collection (12 of which are first-time covers
for the singer). Only one tune, “If I Only
Had A Brain,” is from the Caruso reper-
toire. A parallel world away from the silly/
stupid scarecrow version you know from
“The Wizard of Oz,” this take is downbeat,
with only the slightest lemon twist of hope.
It’s a melancholy punch to the gut full of
doomed “if only” moments punctuated by
Warren Vaché’s sad coronet and slow licks
from iconic superstar jazz guitarist Bucky
Pizzarelli. Fans know the man can pick at
a furious pace — but here, like Caruso, his
restraint packs an unexpected wallop.
Asked what’s up with this very unusual
interpretation, Caruso traces its origins to
an early failure: “I auditioned for the role
of the Scarecrow once, but I didn’t get it. It
went to a local hairdresser/makeup artist.
So the anger and sadness of not getting that
role stayed with me. I was telling Billy this
pathetic story, and he said ‘you need to sing
that song.’ And I said I couldn’t just stand
there and sing it, so he started playing these
hip, jazzy, contemplative chords. It refreshed
the song for me and took it to a whole other
Don’t get the wrong idea from that
“Brain” origins anecdote. “The Swing Set”
is full of upbeat, irony-free covers (includ-
ing “Avalon” with Hillary Kole and Stritch;
“Gotta Be This or That” with Michael
Feinstein; and “The Doodlin’ Song” with
Stephanie J. Block). Solo Caruso numbers
include the snarky “I’m So Happy,” the not
too saccharine sweet “Pick Yourself Up,” and
an affectionately rendered “Manhattan.”
In addition to Vaché and Pizzarelli, other
musicians lending their talents to the Caruso
cause include Harry Allen (tenor saxophone),
Tedd Firth (piano), Steve Doyle (bass), Jon
Burr (bass), Warren Odes (drums), Kristy
Norter (saxophones), Dave Trigg (trumpet)
and Ross Konikoff (trumpet). Not familiar
names? Google them and you’ll be suffi-
ciently impressed.
High praise from the CD’s vocalist goes
to Aaron Weinstein — the 24-year-old who
served as musical director, played violin and
created the musical arrangements (which have
an inspired purity that’s both sparse and com-
plex). Caruso says the concept for the CD has
been percolating for quite some time. Crediting
its success to a sound created by Weinstein,
Caruso notes, “It’s all in the arrangements.
Aaron is a genius. He has an incredible capac-
ity to interpret these songs. All the musicians
would come in and say how gorgeous the
charts were. These are guys who are in the
studio every day playing for someone. They see
it all, and the fact that they were fainting at the
arraignments was just beautiful.”
It’s at this point that Caruso goes back
into that gee-wiz mode that shoots out of
him like happy ectoplasm when he’s hosting
“Cast Party.” He’s clearly tapping into that
golden era of popular music, when collabo-
ration came not in the form of a few distant
studio musicians, but massive ensembles of
backup singers, chorus boys and multi-mem-
ber orchestras. Finding strength in numbers
suits him just fine. “I’ve always been lucky to
surround myself with brilliant talent,” says
Caruso — who grew up watching variety
shows and wanting to be an Osmond broth-
er. He’s achieved that dream in a roundabout
but very satisfying way, creating on the stage
and off a Mormon-sized family of friends
who became collaborators.
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Continued from page 22
Photo by Bill Westmoreland
Frequent collaborators Billy Stritch (L) and Jim Caruso (R).
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 24
downtown express
Dance programs inspire and illuminate
Movement provides antidote for winter doldrums
Most of us are fed up with cold, snow and
slush — but there’s no better antidote for
the winter doldrums than dance. Watching
others twirl, spin, glide and leap takes our
breath away and gives us a renewed sense
of possibility. We are transported and illu-
minated — and often inspired to move and
shake our own legs or derrieres.
Downtown, across town, in the Village
East and West then looping up to Chelsea,
audiences can find toe tappers, modern inter-
preters and gloriously delirious dancers.

Ellie Coven’s old living room is now a
glorious space for dance theater, cocktails
and inspiration. All shows are $15 general
admission, $12 for students/seniors. At 161
Chrystie St. (btw. Rivington & Delancey).
Call 212-219-7581 or visit
“BODY BLEND” — See a collection of
new dancers and choreographers and pick
your own favorites. Curated by Niles Ford
Trebien Pollard Eddie Brito. Tues., March
1, 7:30pm.
— Rachel Klein’s stylized movement-based
theater piece with live-action cartoon aes-
thetic pulls from circus imagery, silent hor-
ror films. Wed., March 2, 7:30pm.
by Marcia Monroe Regina Miranda Regina
Nejman. Tues., March 29, 7:30pm.

Season performances take place Thurs.,
Fri., Sat. at 8pm and Sun. at 3pm. At
280 Broadway, 2nd Floor (entrance on
Chambers). For info on all the below per-
formances, call 212-625-8369 or visit dna-
“OBJECT.OBJECT” — Ximena Garnica,
Jennifer Nugent and Adrienne Westwood,
take to the stage. The season concludes with
vividly theatrical world premieres by Artists
in Residence. Feb. 17–20:

“SPLICE: JAPAN” is the winter season
closer. This shared bill features up-and-
coming choreographers (and DNA Artists
in Residence) Mana Kawamura and Makiko
Tamura. Both of their works were inspired
by life experiences in NYC and their native
Japan. The choreographers received time
and resources to create unique experiential
work, which represents a fusion trend in
contemporary dance (by melding traditional
non-western dance with the theatrical and
modern aesthetic). Feb. 24–26. A post-
performance talkback moderated by Yoko
Shioya, Artistic Director of Japan Society,
will take place on Thurs., Feb. 24.

The New York premier of Norway-based
Verdensteatret’s “And All The Question
Marks Started to Sing” — a fusion of sound
art, visual pieces, theater and dance. Feb.
24-27, 7:30pm (matinee, Feb. 27, 5:30pm).
At Dance Theater Workshop (219 W. 19th
St. btw. 7th and 8th Aves.). Call 212-691-
6500 for info on this event and many other
performances, lectures and event. Also visit
There are rarely performances here —
but there are dancers galore, and over 250
classes each week. If you want to warm up
and rub shoulders and toes with dancers,
then dip your toe into a beginner class. At
126 E. 13th St. (btw. 3rd and 4th Aves.) Call
212-505-0886 or visit

British theater company Punchdrunk will
present “Sleep No More” — in a site-specific
production, billed as the former McKittrick
Hotel (530 W. 27th St.). However, many
will remember it as Club Twilo. Based on
“Macbeth,” “Sleep No More” is devised
and directed by Felix Barrett, Maxine Doyle
and the company. The show is mostly dance
(there is no spoken dialogue and the produc-
ers are calling it “an immersion experience
as the audience chose where and what it
watches”). During the course of the show,
theatergoers move through the venue (which
has been converted for the production),
experiencing events in an intimate and often
surprising manner. For tickets ($75), call
212-352-3101 or visit
Opens March 7.
Photo by Bill Hebert
“Splice: Japan” double bills you. See “Dance New Amsterdam.”
Photo © Volkmann – 2010
L to R: Liz Beres, Prentice Whitlow, Clymene Baugher, Chalvar Monteiro, Rachel
Holmes, Joe Celej & Ingrid Abeledaj. See “Elisa Monte Dance.”
Continued on page 25
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 25
At 175 8th Ave., at 19th St. For info on
all the below performances, call 212-691-
9740 or visit
Elisa Monte has been breaking barriers
(by crossing between dance and spoken
word and theater) for 30 years. The com-
pany will celebrate its 30th anniversary
with new and beloved work. The gala
opening is March 1. “Monte’s Dialogue
with Vanishing Languages” opens the
run. As well, the company will host
over twenty special dance events — from
master classes to website launches and
video interviews with the artistic team
and dancers. Most events are open to the
public, at low-cost — and some are FREE.
Through March 6.

Choreographer Jacqulyn Buglisi, a pas-
sionate descendant of Martha Graham,
moves us with sublime images that touch
the heart and embrace the soul. In the
world premiere of “Letters of Love on
Ripped Paper,” Buglisi reveals the rapture
and human complexity underlying human
relationships through a labyrinth of love
letters: Pliny to Calpurnia; Queen Victoria
to Prince Albert; Zelda to Scott. Feb.

Celebrating its 15th anniversary season, the
company performs an exhilarating program
of contemporary dance exemplifying its com-
mitment to commissioning groundbreaking
work by both world renowned and emerging
choreographers. Feb. 22-27.

After electrifying audiences with its first
solo Joyce season in 2010, KEIGWIN +
COMPANY comes back with the world
premiere of Dark Habits, an evening-length
work, which examines fashion and drama.
March 8-13.
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Continued from page 24
Photo courtesy of Verdensteatret
Visiting artists from Norway ask big questons. See “Dance Theater Workshop.”
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 26
downtown express
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Read the Archives
downtown express
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 27
Just Do Art
Tribeca Spotlight’s “The Next Voice You
Hear” series books only thinkers and per-
formers who deserve to be a “next big
thing.” This time up, quadruple threat
(smart, sexy, savvy, funny) Leighann Lord
hosts and headlines a night of stand-up.
Lord, who won the NYC Black Comedy
Award for “The Most Thought Provoking
Black Female Comic,” will be joined by other
vanguard black female comedians includ-
ing Abbi Crutchfield, Rhonda Hansome
and Angela Scott. Sat., Feb. 19, 8pm, at
the Borough of Manhattan Community
College/Tribeca Performing Arts Center
(199 Chambers St.). For tickets ($15), call
212-220-1460 or visit For
all things Leighann, go to www.veryfun-

Leading a monastic life doesn’t neces-
sarily free you from the pitfalls of the
human condition. In “A World Apart,”
Mother Augustina doubts her ability to
lead her nuns into the future, given that
she’s been contemplating a return to the
outside world. In walks Father Byrne,
who’s wondering if he can do more for
that world if he ventures beyond cloistered
walls. While sharing their doubts, both
become seduced by what’s outside and
what’s inside. This tough nut is written
by multi-disciplinary theatre artist Susan
Mosakowski (co-artistic director, with
Matthew Maguire, of Creation Production
Company). Wed. through Sat., at 7pm.
Through Feb. 26, at The Flea Theater (41
White St. btw. Broadway & Church). For
tickets ($18), call 212-352-3101 or visit Also visit
Black? Jewish? It’s enough to make a
gal go “Oy!” No word on whether or not
Lian Amaris will invoke that iconic Yiddish
expression; but her upbringing just might
inspire some new slang to add to the lexi-
con. Amaris, who was raised in a Kosher
Jewish household by a black father and a
feminist mother, was given the greatest gift
a performance artist could hope for — an
identity inspired by gender-play, racial ambi-
guity, mental illness and cultural tensions.
That’s more than enough ground to cover
in one show. That show, “Daddy’s Black and
Jewish,” brings it all home through a hybrid
of monologue, music, Brechtian storytelling
and visual language wrapped in a comfort-
able but confining blanket of pop culture
neuroses. Feb. 23-26, 7pm, at Nuyorican
Poets Cafe (236 E. 3rd St. btw. Aves. B &
C.) Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the
door. To order, call 212-780-9386 or visit

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 Once a
month before Klezmer Brunch, “Rebbe’s
Table” gives you food for thought before
you actually begin to chow down. Rabbi
Dan Ain holds court with an eclectic
group of artists and thinkers, tackling
the hard questions in an easygoing man-
ner. Sun., Feb. 27, Pulitzer Prize and
Grammy Award-winning composer David
Lang and Rabbi Ain explore the relation-
ship between music and religion. $15
(includes coffee, juice and music cover

Over two decades after she washed up
on the shore and created the most fren-
zied buzz since TV audiences tried to fig-
ure out who shot J.R., the death of Laura
Palmer still resonates. “The Pink Room:
David Lynch Burlesque” takes place on
the eve of Palmer’s death — and serves as
a reminder of how the unblemished odd-
ity of “Twin Peaks” inspired innovation
and challenged our notion of what the old
idiot box was capable of. It also, as it turns
out, put its stamp of beauty and damage
on the current generation of Downtown
artists. The inaugural edition of burlesque
performer, singer and producer Franny
Flüffer Nütter’s new “Pink Room” series
is all about the world of Dale Cooper,
the Log Lady, and owls that are not what
they seem. Future installments will delve
into other aspects of Lynch’s influential
output. On our wish list — the equally
strange “Peaks” follow-up “On the Air.”
This time around, though, the proceedings
are hosted by Bastard Keith. The featured
performers include Amelia Bareparts,
Calamity Chang, Franny Fluffer, Gemini
Rising, Grace Gotham, Tansy Tan Dora
— and go-go dancing by Foxy Vermouth.
Wed., Feb. 23, 9:30pm at the Parkside
Lounge (317 E. Houston St. btw. Aves. B
& C). Cover: $10. Visit parksidelounge.
net and
Photo courtesy of Franny Flüffer Nütter
Who gives a hoot about who killed Laura Palmer?
Photo courtesy of the artist
Leighann Lord: Chosen by Tribeca Spotlight as one to watch.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
Got issues? Lian Amaris lays it out —
and maybe works it out.
Februar y 16 - 23, 2011 28
downtown express
Growth Through Nurturing
One great school — Now at two great locations in Tribeca
A preschool for 2 to 6-year-olds
Call for information regarding our Summer & Fall Programming.
275 Greenwich St # 8
New York, NY 10007
(212) 571-6191
6 Barclay St., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10007
(212) 571-2715

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