Volume 1, Number 28 FREE East and West Village, Lower East Side, Soho, Noho, Little Italy and Chinatown February 3 - 9, 2011
Preservation advocates gathered
in front of 35 Cooper Square on
Friday afternoon demanding that the
Landmarks Preservation Commission
protect the early-19th-century, Federal-
style building by giving it landmark
L.P.C., however, has said the build-
ing has been too altered by the addition
of a brownstone coating to its facade
to qualify as architecturally eligible for
historic designation.
For the past decade, the building
was the location of Cooper 35 Asian
Pub — a bar popular with New York
University and Cooper Union students.
Last November, 35 Cooper Square and
its adjoining space at the corner of E.
Sixth St. were purchased for $8.5 mil-
lion by Bhatia Development, an orga-
nization that intends to demolish the
building. Indeed, the Asian Pub served
its last drink on Saturday night Jan. 22
and closed for good.
Last Friday’s rally, led by David
Mulkins, chairperson of the Bowery
Alliance of Neighbors, or BAN, included
Assemblymember Deborah Glick and
state Senator Tom Duane, as well as pres-
ervation leaders Simeon Bankoff, execu-
tive director of the Historic Districts
Council, and Andrew Berman, execu-
tive director of the Greenwich Village
Society for Historic Preservation.
“This is one of the most signifi-
cant buildings on this street,” said
Mulkins. “If we lose this building,
Cooper Square loses a much earlier
sense of its history,” he added. Mulkins
referred to the recently built 20-story
Cooper Square Hotel across E. Sixth
St. from the site, saying, “If we have
this kind of out-of-scale, out-of-context
development, we will destroy the sense
of place that we get in these historic
neighborhoods.” He noted that the
Bowery was one of the world’s most
renowned neighborhoods.
“The Bowery that has been known
over the centuries is vanishing before our
eyes,” Bankoff said. “At this point we
have to say, Stop.
“The Landmarks Preservation
Commission said this building can-
not be designated because it has been
altered,” he went on. “Of course it was
altered, it’s more than 100 years old.”
Demonstrators waved signs saying,
“Build Memories, Not Luxury Hotels,”
and displayed photos showing the
neighborhood as it was at the turn of
the last century. Carolyn Ratcliffe, an
East Village preservationist, carried a
poster reminding passersby that the
poet Diane diPrima and the singer Liza
Minnelli once lived in the building.
Jim Power, 62, “The Mosaic Man,”
who transformed lampposts all over the
Cooper Sq. at ‘tipping point’
as 1825 building faces demo
Continued on page 4
Members of a group
accusing the Continental
bar of a racist door policy
gathered outside the Third
Ave. watering hole again
last Saturday night. Despite
bitter-cold weather, how-
ever, there were signs of a
thaw in relations between
the ANSWER (Act Now to
Stop War and End Racism)
Coalition, the protest’s orga-
nizer, and the bar’s owner,
who goes by Trigger Smith,
but is known to most as just
Trigger joined the dem-
onstrators on the sidewalk
for most of their 90-min-
ute protest. At first dancing
along to their chants, he
also spent a half-hour talk-
ing with a woman who said
she was previously denied
entry to the bar.
The protests grew from
an incident last June when
‘It’ll never happen
again,’ bar owner
tells protesters
United Federation of
Teachers President Michael
Mulgrew is just as fed up
with the city’s Department
of Education as some
Downtown education activ-
ists are. School overcrowd-
ing, standardized testing and
student teacher evaluations
were among the union presi-
dent’s main talking points at
a special forum Community
Board 1 held last Wednesday
evening at the Museum of
Jewish Heritage, in Battery
Park City. D.O.E., Mulgrew
said, has created and perpet-
uated many of the problems
that are plaguing public
schools in Lower Manhattan
and around the city.
“We cannot allow this
really unscrupulous, disgust-
ing behavior to stop us from
being a part of the work that
might help us help children
in the long run,” Mulgrew
told the local parents and
activists at the forum.
Mulgrew became union
president in August 2009.
He previously taught English
U.F.T. prez, C.B. 1:
New projects must
factor in students
Continued on page 2
Continued on page 10
Photo by J.B. Nicholas
Gal Friday helps Ray party
Gal Friday gave Ray (standing behind the counter) of Ray’s Candy Store
on Avenue A a special treat Tuesday night at his 78th birthday party. She
shimmied on his countertop, and stripped down to a fringed G-string and
black pasties with tassels — which she twirled expertly. “Oh, beautiful!”
Ray said, then twirled her a delicious vanilla egg cream. Speaking of
hot, Ray’s latest offering — beignets — are selling like hotcakes, well,
mini-hotcakes. “I want to make funnel cake next,” he said.
p. 15
2 Februar y 3 - 9, 2011
four young black women claim they were
denied access. On that summer night, one
of the women, Shaniqua Pippen, 25 from
Brooklyn, pressed one of the bar’s bouncers,
who was black, for an explanation.
“Do we need to be regulars or do we just
need to be white?” Pippen asked, claiming
the bouncer replied, “Your people don’t
know how to act.”
Posts on several Web sites have also com-
plained about blacks and others arbitrarily
being denied entry to the Continental. A
Facebook page, “Boycott Continental Bar in
NYC,” has gained almost a dozen members
in the past week alone. One hundred forty-
two members have so far joined that social
network site’s wall.
Revelers entering the bar Saturday night
did not appear to be dissuaded by the 20
demonstrators holding signs and chanting. A
small police presence observed events from
a distance.
Shortly after the protest began, Trigger
appeared wearing his trademark peaked
bamboo hat. He approached several of the
protesters, inviting them inside to talk.
“We’re not going to meet with him in his
bar,” said protest organizer Jinnette Caceres
of the ANSWER Coalition. “He wouldn’t
meet with us in our office because he wants
a sense of power and entitlement. He wants
to meet with us now because he’s feeling the
“Early on, I was willing to meet,” Trigger
told this newspaper. “People of all color are
welcome here, but there’s a vibe, a style and
dress that’s not welcome here.”
As Trigger continued imploring the pro-
testers to come in and talk, some cautiously
began to engage him in conversation.
“We have a dress code and a door policy,”
Trigger told one woman.
She, in turn, asked him to explain, “Who
do you turn away?”
“Jersey Shore types,” Trigger replied. Yet,
on the Continental’s Web site is a link offer-
ing directions to the bar; topping the list are
directions from the Holland and Lincoln
tunnels, both of which connect New Jersey
to Manhattan.
One young woman eventually engaged
Trigger in a serious and lengthy dialogue.
Ashley Diaz, 22 from Brooklyn, was one of
four friends who, with Pippen, tried to enter
the bar last June but claim they were denied
entry by the bouncers.
“We were four females — nothing over
the top — and we got refused,” Diaz said.
“If you come here any night of the week
and don’t see black and Asian women here,
I’d be shocked,” Trigger told Diaz. “The only
thing I can say is maybe someone was drunk.
Why would I turn away paying customers?”
Diaz assured Trigger that no one in her
group was drunk.
“I’m going to talk to the bouncers. I’m
sorry for that, I truly am,” he told Diaz.
As Caceres and Diaz continued to press
Trigger on his alleged door policy, he again
sought to defend his motives.
“I’ve dated women of all colors,” he said.
“I’ve donated money to Obama’s campaign. I
had a party here celebrating Obama.
“I’m sorry you didn’t get in,” Trigger
again told Diaz, “It’ll never happen again.”
“Your conversation makes a lot of sense,”
Diaz replied, “but this could have been done
a long time ago.”
After an hour and a half in the cold and
snow, the gap between both sides appeared
to have narrowed. Trigger watched the pro-
test disperse.
“Hopefully, we’ll meet and everything
will defuse,” he offered.
ANSWER had already made a list of
demands, including requesting the bar hold
multicultural theme nights, offer diversity train-
ing to managers and staff, and post a statement
of nondiscrimination on the bar’s Web site.
Bar owner, protesters start dialogue on door policy
Continued from page 1
Photo by Jefferson Siegel
The Continental’s Trigger, left, talked with Ashley Diaz, 22, who says she was
denied entry to the bar last June.

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Gay City
Februar y 3 - 9, 2011 3
anxiously watches the situation in Egypt unfold, in
Washington Square, there’s confidence that opposition
leader Mohamed ElBaradei will help play a positive
role in the outcome. ElBaradei taught as an adjunct law
professor at New York University School of Law from
1981 to 1987. He received his Ph.D. in international
law from N.Y.U. in 1974, going on to win the Nobel
Peace Prize in 2005. Washington Square News, N.Y.U.’s
undergraduate newspaper, quotes university president
John Sexton saying of ElBaradei, “We have great faith
in his character, intelligence, integrity and leader-
ship. We all fervently hope for a peaceful conclusion
to events now transpiring in Egypt, and we have little
doubt that Mohamed ElBaradei will be instrumental in
achieving such an outcome.” Sexton was dean of the law
school when ElBaradei was an adjunct. W.S.N. quotes
Richard Revesz, the law school’s current dean, saying of
ElBaradei, “We hope he will now be able to contribute to
peaceful democratization in Egypt.”
West Village political and gay activist Allen Roskoff was
recently planning to visit Egypt, friends wondered how
he was faring there as the popular uprising against Hosni
Mubarak broke out last week. It turns out, however, that
Roskoff won’t have any epic stories of being caught up in
the dramatic events. “I couldn’t get into Egypt,” he told us in
an e-mail. “We are in Eilat and have to return home without
Egypt.” Eilat, a port city and resort in southern Israel, is right
across the border from Egypt.
takeover of the Printing House gym on Hudson and Leroy
Sts. has gone smashingly — though not as in a smashing
success — so far. A tipster tells us that during a recent
spinning class, a construction crew came bursting right
through a wall next to a row of bikes. As if that wasn’t
unsettling enough, we’re told members recently had to
endure spinning classes “with no water or the ability
to get water — without a door on the gym, so everyone
could see their breath while they cycled in skimpy work-
out attire. And of course,” our source added, “we have
no bathrooms or changing rooms in the class section of
the gym, but our fees are still the same.”
SALESALE AT BOOKBOOK: It’s been a year since
Biography Bookshop closed in the West Village and
opened a little farther down Bleecker St. as bookbook.
To commemorate the anniversary, bookbook will be
offering 20 percent off all store merchandise (includ-
ing their well-known remainders) for the whole month
of February. At 266 Bleecker St. between Sixth and
Seventh Aves., bookbook features general literature, art
and drama books, New York books, cookbooks, poetry,
children’s books and an entire wall of bargain books.
CORRECTION: Our article last week on the Feast of San
Gennaro indicated that one of the conditions the event’s orga-
nizers agreed to was to move the sound stage around to differ-
ent spots during the 11-day street festival. In fact, according to
Community Board 2’s resolution, the organizers have agreed to
rotate the sound stage’s location each year, so as not to annually
inconvenience the same residents with amplified sound.
Photos by Milo Hess
On Saturday, about 500 Egyptian and Egyptian-American demonstrators rallied across from the United Nations,
denouncing President Mubarak’s regime and calling for him to resign immediately. Some painted small Egyptian
flags or the word “Egypt” — in red, white and black — on their faces.
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neighborhood with tile mosaics, urged dem-
onstrators to employ direct action to preserve
the area. Power was also incensed about the
city’s proposed alterations that would close
Astor Place between Lafayette St. and Fourth
Ave., which he fears would eliminate lamp-
posts with his mosaics.
Glick, who sent a letter to L.P.C. Chairperson
Robert Tierney urging him to reconsider his
finding that the building does not qualify for
landmark protection, told the Friday crowd
that, “We are at a critical point. There is a tip-
ping point at which this area will no longer have
a connection to the past.” Glick pledged not to
give up her efforts to save the building, which
dates back to 1825.
Duane, whose district includes the build-
ing, said, “There is so little left of our beloved
Village, of the history we’re proud of. To risk
losing a piece of that, even just one building,
is tragic.”
Last fall, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez
also sent a letter to Tierney urging landmark
protection for the building, located on a site
once owned by a member of the Stuyvesant
The original address of 35 Cooper Square
was 391 Bowery, according to a research paper
that Sally Young, a BAN member, sent to L.P.C.
The original two-and-a-half-story building, with
a gambrel roof, twin dormers and large end
chimneys, had a ground-floor storefront with
a brick arch and decorative cast-iron pilasters
added around 1876. The crushed-brownstone
stucco covering the Flemish-bond brick facade
was likely added around the same time.
Owned by the Stuyvesant family, it was first
occupied by a John Snider. By 1867, Herbert
Marshall sold liquor out of the ground floor,
continuing until 1876. In 1900 the building
apparently operated as a hotel. In the second
half of the 20th century, a painter, J. Forrest
Vey, whose works are in the Whitney Museum
of American Art, lived in the building. In the
1960’s, tenants like diPrima and Minnelli began
renting upstairs rooms in the building. Poet
diPrima and her then husband, Alan Marlowe,
ran a few seasons of the New York Poets Theatre
from 35 Cooper Square. Claude Brown, author
of “Manchild in the Promised Land,” also lived
there. In 1970, Stanley Sobossek, a painter, ran
a bar on the ground floor.
In 1976, a woman named Hesae owned a
restaurant known by that name at 35 Cooper
Square until 1990. She returned around
2000 and ran Cooper 35 Asian Pub until last
Photos by Albert Amateau
David Mulkins, BAN chairperson, right, led Friday’s rally. Also speaking were, to his
left, Simeon Bankoff of H.D.C. and Assemblymember Deborah Glick.
Neighbors, preservationists,
pols rally to save building
Continued from page 1
Carolyn Ratcliffe quoted poet Diane
diPrima, a former 35 Cooper Square
resident, on her sign.
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6 Februar y 3 - 9, 2011
New York City has settled lawsuits with
four men who sued in federal court after they
were arrested for prostitution by vice officers
in a Manhattan porn shop and a spa.
The city, however, will continue fighting
the federal case brought by Robert Pinter,
the gay man who blew the whistle on the
vice squad busts and the only man among all
those arrested to go public.
Three of the men were arrested in Unicorn
DVD, located at 27th St. and Eighth Ave. in
Chelsea, while the fourth, a straight man,
was arrested at a W. 34th St. spa after he
went there to apply for a driver’s job.
One of the men arrested in Unicorn DVD
received $25,001 in his settlement. The
other three received $40,001 each.
Their attorney, Michael Spiegel, got “rea-
sonable attorneys’ fees, expenses and costs,”
according to filings on pacer.gov, the federal
courts Web site.
All the arrests, which are seen as false
arrests in the gay community, were made in
2008 by Manhattan South Vice Enforcement
Squad officers.
Altogether, vice officers arrested 30 men
in six porn shops. Another 11 men and one
woman were busted for prostitution in two
spas. The same vice officers made most of
the arrests.
Five of the men, including Pinter, brought
four federal lawsuits. Another man sued in
state court.
Some of the men who were arrested
told Gay City News, the East Villager’s sis-
ter newspaper, they were approached by a
younger man who aggressively flirted with
them. It was only after they agreed to a
consensual sex act that the young man, who
turned out to be an undercover officer, said
he would pay for the sex. Some men said
they refused the money or, as in Pinter’s case,
said nothing and they were arrested.
The city’s Law Department and the Police
Department’s Legal Unit cited the prostitu-
tion arrests in separate nuisance abatement
lawsuits they brought against the porn shops
and spas.
Pinter declined to comment, as did
In an e-mail, a Law Department spokes-
person wrote, “Since some elements of the
settlements of these cases remain unresolved,
we are unable to comment at this time.” The
Police Department did not respond to an
e-mail seeking comment.
The city has aggressively litigated Pinter’s
case from the start, but then the facts in his
case are different from the other cases. Pinter
initially pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct.
He later had that plea vacated and the charg-
es dismissed. The other men contested their
cases, and their charges were dismissed.
Pinter has been a vocal critic of the Police
Department’s handling of these arrests. He
has organized multiple protests and held
meetings with city officials.
City settles in ‘false’ porn busts
A 45-year-old man charged with
attempted robbery and third-degree assault
as a hate crime in 2010 incidents in two
West Village gay bars said that while he
was admittedly involved in a bar fight, he
never used antigay or racial slurs.
“I just wanted to tell my side of the
story,” said Frederick Giunta in a phone
interview. “I think it’s only fair because I
am facing a lot of time in this case.”
Giunta, who said he is bisexual, arrived
in the West Village around 1 p.m. last
Oct. 11. He told police he was there to
see a friend. He then visited a series of
gay bars and drank at each one. By the
time he reached Julius’ on W. 10th St.
at about 5:40 p.m., he was “really, really
intoxicated,” Giunta said.
He allegedly fought with another patron
and an employee there after an argument.
During the incident, he is alleged to have
used antigay and racial slurs.
“[The bartender] then jumps over the
bar, grabs me,” Giunta said. “As they are
escorting me out to the door, I’m sure I
might have said something, but nothing
hateful at all. It’s blown out of propor-
tion... . I had no intent to do what they
are saying I was doing.”
Giunta acknowledged he was involved
in the fight, but called it a “bar scuffle.”
“There was one punch that was thrown
that I could admit to,” he said. “I never
used words of hate.”
Just prior to going to Julius’, Giunta
is alleged to have attempted to steal a
wallet from someone near Ty’s Bar on
Christopher St.
He denied doing that.
The third-degree assault as a hate
crime charge is significant in Giunta’s
case. If he is convicted, that E felony will
be sentenced as if it is a D felony, and his
possible maximum time in prison will go
from four years to seven years.
Giunta was already on parole on an
earlier larceny charge. In that case, he
was diverted to drug and alcohol treat-
ment instead of prison. Since he was
rearrested, he would likely have to serve
at least two years in prison on the larceny
In addition, he has served three short
prison terms for drug sales and another
larceny since 1991. None were violent
Giunta could not make his $25,000
bail, so he has been held in the Manhattan
Detention Center since his Oct. 15 arrest.
He spoke to this reporter by phone after
his wife, Judy, approached Gay City News,
the East Villager’s sister paper, offering an
interview with him.
“A lot of these things are just fabricat-
ed,” Giunta said. “I was actually flirting
with the bartender... . I’m a very caring,
kind person.”
Accused gay basher says, ‘I’m bi’
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In addition to unanimously approving rede-
velopment guidelines for the Seward Park
Urban Renewal Area at its Tues., Jan. 25, full
board meeting, Community Board 3 also voted
on the Astor Place/Cooper Square reconstruc-
tion design, as well as a plan to convert a lot
for use by the Guggenheim Museum.
C.B. 3 gave its approval to the proposed
reconstruction of Astor Place and Cooper
Square, on the condition that public seating in
new open plaza spaces to be created between
E. Seventh and E. Fifth Sts. on Cooper Square’s
west side be eliminated where it would be
accessible to the public 24 hours a day.
The board said seating in “Village
Square,” a new plaza to be created south
of Peter Cooper Park, should be locked or
removed at night, so as not to disturb seniors
in the nearby JASA/Green Residence on
Cooper Square’s east side.
“Village Square” is planned as part of
the larger reconstruction of Astor Place
and Cooper Square, to be done by the city’s
Department of Design and Construction,
with assistance from the Department of
Transportation and Parks Department.
The city’s plan calls for almost 8,000 square
feet of new planting area, which would include
64 new trees, in addition to the creation or
expansion of several plazas. “Village Plaza”
would be used primarily for daytime events
and provide opportunities for programming
by local artists. The plan was endorsed by
Community Board 2 the previous week.
Also approved at the C.B. 3 meeting was
the temporary use of an empty lot at 33 E.
First St. by the Guggenheim Museum for
various cultural programs. Work on the site
would begin in April and is expected to be
completed by August.
The project drew praise from Robert Graf,
president of the First St. Block Association,
who said the empty lot was a haven for
rodents after dark.
“It’s a rat warren and a plague to this block,”
he said. “We’re delighted the Guggenheim will
excavate the lot and leave a paved surface that
will be used for future cultural events.”
The Guggenheim project would operate
free of charge from early August 2011 until
November 2011, and will then be operated by
the next-door First Street Green Co-Op, which
will sponsor subsequent cultural events there.
Susan Stetzer, C.B. 3 district manag-
er, also praised the lot’s cleanup by the
“I’ve been working on the rat problem there
a long time,” she said. “After the Guggenheim
leaves, the lot will be rat-proofed.”
On another matter, Stetzer said there recently
had been an increase of fires in the East Village,
and she wanted more details about why.
“I’ve asked the Fire Department to give us
a list — what were the causes,” she said. “A lot
of these fires might have been preventable, and
I want to see if there’s been a common thread
so we can launch an educational program.”
C.B. 3 O.K.’s Astor/Cooper plan
New York University has received a
record number of 42,242 applications for
the 2015 class, exceeding last year’s fresh-
man applications by 11 percent.
More than 41,000 of the applications
were for the estimated 4,800 places at the
Washington Square campus, according to a
Jan. 24 university announcement.
Nearly 4,700 of the Washington Square
applicants asked also to be considered for
admission to the university’s new Abu Dhabi
campus in the United Arab Emirates. The
1,184 applicants who applied only for the
Abu Dhabi campus represent a 24 percent
increase of applicants over last year for
the first class of the U.A.E. campus. There
are spots open for about 150 students this
year at N.Y.U. Abu Dhabi’s World’s Honor
College, according to the announcement.
N.Y.U. this year received 7,625 applica-
tions from students outside the U.S. to all
N.Y.U. campuses and academic centers.
“We’re immensely proud and grateful that
so many extremely talented high school stu-
dents from around the world are interested
in N.Y.U.,” said Randall Deike, N.Y.U. vice
president for enrollment management.
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Februar y 3 - 9, 2011 9
Community Board 2 has unanimously
called on the Children’s Aid Society to
condition the sale of its Greenwich Village
buildings so that any new owner would
preserve the society’s early-childhood and
community programs on Sullivan St. at least
until June 2012.
The Jan. 29 resolution, which closely
resembles a proposal by SAVE (Save a
Village Education), a group of parents
involved in the society’s preschool program,
also urges Children’s Aid to make a com-
mitment to keep current teachers and staff
in place on Sullivan St. until June 2012.
Saving the highly esteemed program is
especially urgent for parents of more than
400 children, ages 2 to 4, who attend the
society’s nursery classes in the Village —
the largest nursery school in Manhattan
— because school contracts and deposit
requirements must be made by Feb. 18.
Meanwhile, a Feb. 1 hearing on a law-
suit filed by the mother of a 2-year-old in
the program demanding that Children’s Aid
guarantee that the preschool would remain
open on Sullivan St. through June 2013 has
been canceled.
The hearing in the suit by Viviane
Bromberg, represented by her lawyer, Luke
McGrath, who is also her husband, was
canceled to give attorneys on both sides
more time to discuss a possible settlement.
“We really want to talk with Children’s
Aid about ways to keep the early-childhood
center and the other programs on Sullivan
St. for good after the property is sold,”
said Keen Berger, chairperson of the C.B. 2
Social Services and Education Committee.
At a Jan. 18 committee meeting, a
Children’s Aid executive told parents and
community board members that she could
not speak about plans to sell the property
because of the pending lawsuit.
The society, which opened its Sullivan
St. center in 1892 and started its early-
childhood center there more than 20 years
ago, was founded more than 150 years ago
to serve the city’s poor children.
On Nov. 30, Richard Buery, Jr., C.A.S.
executive director, told parents the society
was considering selling its property at 219
Sullivan St. and at 175-177 Sullivan St. and
closing the programs by June 2012 because
a presence in the relatively rich neighbor-
hood of the Village was not in keeping
with the society mission to serve children
in poverty.
On Dec. 16, the C.A.S. board of trustees
confirmed its intention to sell the Village
property, known as the Philip Coltoff
Center. Although the society said it would
maintain its programs in the Village until
June 2012, it added that the programs
might move to “a comparable location” in
Manhattan if the Village center were sold
earlier than expected.
But Heather Campbell, a member of
SAVE with two children in the Coltoff
center, told the Jan. 18 committee meeting,
“We don’t know if they might move the
school to 34th St. and Fifth Ave.; it would
be a hardship for many parents who have
children in other Village schools. ‘A com-
parable location’ is a big caveat,” Campbell
“It would be like the YMCA saying
it would be packing up and leaving the
neighborhood,” said Robert E. Lee, a SAVE
member and parent of a child at the
Sullivan St. center.
Campbell said SAVE is working to put
a bid together to buy the property from
Children’s Aid. But the group wants the
society to give it a preference — in case the
group is not the high bidder. SAVE is also
asking the society to help finance commu-
nity acquisition of the property.
“It’s a wonderful program in a func-
tioning school. It would be a pity to tear
it down to make way for a condo,” said
Alexandra Van Schie, a member of the
early-childhood center’s parents com-
Berger reminded the Jan. 18 meeting
that the Village, whose schools are severe-
ly overcrowded, needs more educational
opportunities for a booming population of
school-age children.
C.A.S. has 75 other centers in the five
boroughs, including one on the Upper East
Side of Manhattan.
“There’s not much poverty on the Upper
East Side,” said one neighbor who attended
the committee meeting. “I think the deci-
sion to sell the Sullivan St. property is
based on the fact that it has the highest real
estate value,” the neighbor said.
The society spokesperson said at the Jan.
18 committee meeting that Children’s Aid
had not yet secured a broker, or signed a
contract with a buyer.
The community board resolution con-
cludes with the recommendation that the
society find a buyer who would continue all
existing education and community-based pro-
grams. The resolution calls on the society’s
board of trustees to join with Community
Board 2 members, neighborhood leaders
and elected officials to “work to maintain
the educational services now provided by
Children’s Aid Society for current and future
children of our community.”
Children’s Aid parents might try to buy building
‘It would be like the
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for several years at a public high school in
Brooklyn and has a master’s degree in special
education from CUNY’s College of Staten
C.B. 1 Chairperson Julie Menin reiterated
her criticism of D.O.E. for failing to plan ahead
to avoid overcrowding in Lower Manhattan’s
K-to-12 schools.
“We’ve organized this town hall because of
the number of important issues that have arisen
in our district recently,” Menin said, citing the
rise in population and other factors that have
contributed to school overcrowding in the area.
Schools are bursting at the seams all around
the city, according to Mulgrew, who said he
hears “nothing but frustration and anger” from
the public school teachers he represents.
“Congratulations. You’re the epicenter of
overcrowding,” Mulgrew told the audience.
The problem, Mulgrew explained, lies
in the fact that the city lacks a systematic
urban planning process. New York doesn’t
require developers, for example, to outline
potential impacts their projects could have
on local neighborhoods, such as creating a
population boom.
C.B. 1 passed a resolution last March urg-
ing the city’s Charter Revision Commission to
enforce standards for developers seeking to build
in a community, such as taking into account the
effects a proposed development would have on
schools and other local infrastructure.
Instead, Menin said, new developments in
the area are routinely approved without atten-
tion to school capacity. The city, she said, has
“an attendant duty to provide the estimated
number of school seats” that will be needed as
a result of approving Downtown construction
Mulgrew said he would be pushing the City
Council to pass legislation to modify the plan-
ning process pertaining to new developments.
“We’re always looking for better ideas, to
figure out how to move education forward,” he
said. “We can no longer go to the D.O.E. for
that. That’s really sad.”
Mulgrew accused D.O.E. of misleading
the Downtown community by making false
promises about new classroom space that was
supposed to be reserved for neighborhood
Lower Manhattan parents were dismayed
by D.O.E.’s recent decision to designate two
unused classroom floors at 26 Broadway for
an unscreened, nonselective Upper East Side
high school, rather than open up a second
Millennium High School there. The depart-
ment also allocated six vacant classrooms at the
Tweed Courthouse, on Chambers St., to a char-
ter school rather than to a district elementary
school the community said it badly needs.
Menin pointed out that, even with the new
schools that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s
Overcrowding Task Force helped found, the
Lower Manhattan area faces severe seat short-
ages in the coming years. The Tweed Courthouse
and 26 Broadway, she said, are education spaces
the community cannot afford to lose.
“It broke my heart that we lost the space at
26 Broadway,” said Erica Weldon, a Millennium
High School parent.
Menin told her and the other distraught par-
ents to rest assured that the community board
would not remain “silent” on D.O.E.’s recent
Mulgrew said D.O.E. should focus on finding
district seats for all public school students before
worrying about screened versus unscreened
schools. The U.F.T. president took a more neutral
stance on charter schools. While the fundamen-
tal concept of charter schools is sound, he said,
many of them are not working, and some are
wrongly casting aside special-needs students who
underperform on standardized tests.
“You can’t just open charter schools and not
give them support and help in instruction,” said
Growing class sizes have become wide-
spread across the city, Mulgrew reported, and
the U.F.T. has taken legal action to try to miti-
gate the problem. The union sued D.O.E. early
last year for failing to allocate more than $760
million that the department secured from the
state since 2007 purportedly to reduce class
sizes. The case is currently pending in State
Supreme Court.
“The class size at every grade in every level
has increased dramatically since the money was
sent here,” Mulgrew said. “It’s inexcusable.”
Mulgrew also noted that larger classes are
making it more difficult for public school teach-
ers to do their jobs effectively. D.O.E. did away
with its Teaching and Learning Division, there-
by no longer offering teachers the structure and
support they need.
“Teaching and learning in the classroom is
the fundamental main piece we should all be
concentrating on,” said Mulgrew. “It saddens
me — it makes me feel the administration is
getting to the point where it’s pathetic.”
Paul Hovitz, chairperson of the C.B. 1
Youth and Education Committee, remarked
that teachers spend “inordinate” amounts of
time on test preparation.
“How can we re-create a well-balanced edu-
cation for our children?” he asked Mulgrew.
The solution, in part, Mulgrew said, is
to modify the city’s student progress report
system, which now hinges on English and
math test score results. Harvard University
recently audited the state’s system, he said,
and concluded that the progress reports are
Mulgrew worked with David Steiner, com-
missioner of the state Education Department,
to craft the state’s application for the federal
Race to the Top program, with the aim of using
the funds to focus on a more well-rounded cur-
riculum, rather than merely teach to standard-
ized tests.
Mulgrew said “real learning” doesn’t happen
when teachers simply try and drill students to
memorize facts for a test.
U.F.T. prez, C.B. 1: Projects must factor in kids
Continued from page 1
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Pigeon as friend, and lunch
On Sunday, in Washington Square Park, a man said hello to his fine, feathered friend,
who he calls Karma, above. Karma is a wild pigeon that flies with a flock, but she
comes to the man when he’s around. Meanwhile, the previous Sunday, in Tompkins
Square Park, a red-tailed hawk, dubbed by some the Hipster Hawk, was dining alfresco
on a pigeon that it had caught in midair, below.
12 Februar y 3 - 9, 2011
Sex-assault attempt
Police are looking for a suspect wanted
for an attempted sexual assault on a
12-year-old girl in a stairwell of her
Hester St. home around 6 p.m. Mon., Jan.
24. The victim was walking to her apart-
ment when she heard someone banging on
the building’s outside door. She admitted
the suspect, described as a white male,
between ages 25 and 30, about 5 feet
9 inches tall and 175 pounds, wearing
a blue jacket, brown trousers and gray
hat, who followed her to the third-floor
stairwell where he attempted to sexually
molest her, police said. The girl fled and
was unhurt, police said.
A bit possessive
A man who made what was believed
to be an admiring “Damn” to a woman
walking past him on W. 14th St. at Sixth
Ave. at 9:37 p.m. Sat., Jan. 22, infuriated
her companion, who pulled a 12-inch knife
and slashed the victim on the left fore-
arm, police said. The victim was taken to
Bellevue Hospital in stable condition. The
suspect, Craig Hutter, 37, was charged
with felony assault.
Joint was his downfall
A man smoking marijuana on the
southwest corner of MacDougal and W.
Fourth Sts. around 11:30 p.m. Thurs.,
Jan. 27, swallowed the joint when a police
officer approached him. Police found the
suspect had a Clonazepam pill — a potent
tranquilizer and secondary epilepsy treat-
ment — in his pocket, as well as a fake
Pennsylvania driver’s license. The suspect,
Stephen McCarron, 19, was charged with
possession of a forged instrument.
Stick to decaf
Police arrested Palash D’Cruze, 37,
around 1:45 a.m. Sun., Jan. 23, inside Caffe
Reggio, 119 MacDougal St., and charged
him with criminal mischief after he picked
up a chair and smashed the establishment’s
front plate-glass window.
Fake credit cards
Police arrested Marvins Pierre-Louis,
20, around 5 p.m. Tues., Jan. 25, after he
tried to buy an iPad with a phony credit
card. The suspect was found to be in pos-
session of a total of four phony credit
cards, police said.
Car hits senior
A northbound taxi made a right turn
from Pike St. onto East Broadway at 9:39
a.m. Fri., Jan. 28, and struck a woman,
84, as she was crossing from the southeast
corner to the north side of East Broadway.
The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital
in critical condition. Police said both the
victim and the cab driver had a green light
at the time of the accident and there was no
criminality suspected.
Eldridge St. murder trial
The trial of Ricardo Martinez, 25, for the
murder of Vincent Cruz on June 24, 2008,
on Eldridge St. near Rivington St. began
Mon., Jan. 31. The victim, age 17, was shot
in the head a block from 40 Rivington St.,
where he lived. The shooting was over an
argument about stolen property, according
to court papers.
Fatal on L line
Brendan Mahoney, 24, of Greenpoint,
Brooklyn, was killed around 5:30 a.m. Sun.,
Jan. 30, when an L train crushed him after
he went onto the tracks to retrieve something
— keys, according to one report — that he
had dropped from the Halsey St. platform in
Brooklyn. Mahoney, a writer and reviewer
for Tiny Mix Tapes, a music Web site, had
been spending the hours prior to his death
at Mars Bar, at First St. at Second Ave.,
and left after 2 a.m., according to friends.
He was formerly an administrative assis-
tant with the Reynolds Program in Social
Entrepreneurship at New York University.
Schools-protest arrests
Police arrested 24 demonstrators who
blocked Chambers St. in front of Department of
Education headquarters in the Tweed Courthouse
at 4:30 p.m. Mon., Jan. 31, during a protest
against the planned closing of 25 failing schools.
City Councilmembers Charles Barron and
Jumaane Williams, both of Brooklyn, were
among those arrested and taken to the
Seventh Precinct, where they were issued
summonses and released. The arrests came
after an earlier rally at Tweed by hundreds
of students from the schools targeted for
closing. Demonstrators carried signs saying,
“Fix schools, don’t close them.”
Student loses bag
A student at Metropolitan College, at 431
Canal St. at Varick St., told police that she
left her bag at her desk around 4 p.m. Mon.,
Jan. 24, when she went to the bathroom and
returned a few minutes later to discover the
bag was gone, along with her Ecuadorian ID,
80 euros and $80 in U.S. currency.
Alber t Amateau
Photo by Jefferson Siegel
Officer comforted dying man
Monday, Police Officer Quathisha Epps, 37, arrived at Manhattan Supreme Court to
testify in a murder case in which she responded — both as a neighbor and an officer.
One night two summers ago, she told the court, she heard gunfire outside her Eldridge
St. apartment. According to a New York Post article by Laura Italiano, Epps placed
the baby she was nursing in his crib, then told her three other kids to get into the
bathtub. Then, she ran downstairs — barefoot and in her nightgown, carrying towels —
to give a last moment’s comfort to Vincent Cruz, 17, who had been shot through the
neck and would bleed to death in her arms. She said that, as she pressed the towels
to his wounds, “I told him, ‘I’m here with you. … You’re very loved. Just hold on for
me.’ ” As she cradled him, Epps called 911, while stretching out her leg to hold her
toe against a knife on the ground — a piece of evidence. The next day, according to
the Post, Epps realized she knew Cruz, who seven years earlier had tutored her son,
then 3, in preschool. “This is a case that never leaves me,” said Epps, a community
affairs officer at East Harlem’s P.S.A. 5. Ricardo Martinez is accused of shooting Cruz
during an argument.
James O’Donnell, dubbed the “International
Man of Mystery” by the tabloids, appeared
in Manhattan Supreme Court last Thurs.,
Jan. 27. O’Donnell was arrested early
last year on St. Mark’s Place when
police found a knife in his belt and a gun
with a silencer in his backpack. Police
subsequently found more weapons in a
storage locker. Prosecutors are unsure
if James O’Donnell is even the man’s
real name. O’Donnell was brought back
to court again last week for a judge to
rule on taking a DNA swab. DNA was
found on the weapons from the storage
locker, and prosecutors want to compare
it to O’Donnell’s. Judge Bart Stone asked
O’Donnell’s attorney, Howard Simmons,
if O’Donnell would provide a swab volun-
tarily or if the court would have to use a
force order. Without waiting for his attor-
ney to reply, O’Donnell spoke out, with a
slight Irish accent, “Use a force order.”
The judge said the order would take
effect in five days. With DNA identifica-
tion taking 30 days, the judge scheduled
the next hearing on the matter for early
March. O’Donnell remains in custody.
Jef ferson Siegel
DNA test for a mystery man
Photo by Jefferson Siegel
Februar y 3 - 9, 2011 13
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The revolution will be televised
Three episodes of “Brick City,” the new
Sundance Channel show, screened at the
School of Visual Art’s E. 23rd St. theater on
Sunday. The documentary series chronicles current-day Newark and its daunting challenges.
Clockwise, from above, Marc Levin, “Brick City”’s director and producer, with Caroline
Kennedy; Newark Mayor Cory Booker, right, with Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy;
Deshaun “Jiwe” Morris, a Newark Bloods gang member, author and antiviolence advocate,
left, with Mark Benjamin, an executive producer of “Brick City.” Also attending was former
Newark Mayor James Sharpe, who was freed from jail last April after serving 18 months for
fraud involving the sale of city-owned property. Last May, in The Villager, documentarian
Clayton Patterson wrote about “Brick City” and the Newark Bloods’ and Crips’ foiled effort
to have a unity basketball game. “This is one of the few TV shows that they could take and
it could be a movie,” Patterson said. The footage is real, not fictionalized, he assured. “If you
watch ‘Brick City,’ you can definitely see dead people in the street after a shooting... breaking
into apartments with police. It’s right now — right, f---n’ now, baby.” Patterson added the
series has “won a bunch of Sundance Awards.”
14 Februar y 3 - 9, 2011
Festival critics are snobs
To The Editor:
Re “Effort to shorten San Gennaro Fest falls short” (news
article, Jan. 27):
The San Gennaro Feast was forced to accept vendors
of other backgrounds than Italian and Italian foods and
merchandise by the city of New York. That decision was
out of our hands. As for public drunkenness, there is abso-
lutely no alcohol sold at any of the stands during the feast.
Restaurants with liquor permits are allowed to sell alcohol
within the confines of their stands, which they pay hand-
somely for. If any of these patrons happen to act stupidly and
raucously once they leave these establishments, how is San
Gennaro responsible for that?
I’m sure Nicolas Dutko from Tartinery has seen more
than a fair share of stupid behavior from drunken patrons
who got that way after drinking at his establishment. Is he
going to blame San Gennaro for that during May, June, July
and August when the bars and restaurants along Mulberry
St. are jampacked? For Mr. Dutko to say that “the people
are very rude that come” to the feast is showing his stupid-
ity and his biased attitude. How in the name of God can
anyone make a public statement like that? Who is he to
paint everyone who visits the feast with the same brush? Are
all those hundreds of thousands of people rude, yet all the
people patronizing his establishment perfectly mannerly and
respectful of others? Who is he kidding?
Many of us have dealt with snobs like this who think
they are better than the rest of us. That attitude alone speaks
volumes about how delusional they are regarding their own
importance. And by the way, why is he in business if not to
make money? Why is it O.K. for him but not for the vendors
of the San Gennaro Feast? As for the boutiques who blame
the feast for their lack of business and customers during San
Gennaro, how do they explain their empty stores throughout
the rest of the year? Why are their businesses empty for 351
days when there is no feast?
Julie Dickson from Fox & Boy hair salon speaks about the
feast and “the dangerous element it attracts.” Really, Julie, you’re
embarrassing yourself. San Gennaro is one of the most well-
known and beloved feasts that exists today. It is a secret to no
one that it takes over Mulberry St. for 11 days every September.
Rather than have these elitist snobs move in, then try to force us
to change for them, why can’t they be good neighbors and respect
an 85-year-old neighborhood tradition that they knew existed
before they ever moved their families and/or their businesses to
the area? I, for one, am a lifelong Little Italy resident.
One more thing I’m curious about: Are any of these bou-
tiques participating in the upcoming February Fashion Week
since there is no feast around to get in their way? Just asking.
Emily DePalo
DePalo is a board member, Figli di San Gennaro
The Feast of ‘San Generic’
To The Editor:
Re “Effort to shorten San Gennaro Fest falls short” (news
article, Jan. 27):
They say the feast is for everyone. That’s the problem. A
generic street fair should not get a permit for 11 days. If they
made it authentic and local, they might get more support. I
haven’t heard Italian spoken in Little Italy since I was a kid.
Davide Gentile
Church was a spiritual oasis
To The Editor:
Re “Lady of Vilna appeal goes to state’s highest court”
(news article, Jan. 27):
I am the vice chairperson of the Save Our Lady of Vilnius
Committee. I am a second-generation Lithuanian-American whose
grandparents were among Our Lady of Vilnius’s first parishioners.
It is the mission of the committee to revive the parish. It is our
hope that the litigation will lead to a dialogue that, unfortunately,
was not initiated by the archdiocese when discussions about clos-
ing the parish were begun with the Lithuanian clergy.
Back in 2006 when parishioners were first told about the
possibility of closing the church, The Villager published a
moving and accurate portrait of the parish, “Lady of Vilnius
and ‘Pretzels’ and ‘Provolone’ may lose home” (news article,
Aug. 23, 2006).
In their press releases, the Archdiocese of New York has
presented Our Lady of Vilnius as a Lithuanian cause. They
refer only to the Lithuanian parishioners, and vaguely direct
them to the archdioceses of Brooklyn and Newark to worship.
They fail to mention those who worshiped there, not because
they were Lithuanian, but because they found a community
that helped them feel closer to God, feel fortified in their daily
lives by His presence and by the support of each other.
The parish was a spiritual oasis and an anodyne to the
Catholics and local working-class residents that have not yet been
gentrified out of their lifelong homes or workplaces. Our Lady
Continued on page 23
Fight of San Gennaro
Tempers have been flaring in Little Italy and Nolita
over the long-running Feast of San Gennaro. This
85-year-old street festival — one of the country’s most
well known — currently stretches along Mulberry St.
between Canal and Houston Sts.
At the neighborhood’s north end — in what not long
ago was redubbed Nolita — residents and new fashion
boutique owners have organized and are calling for the
festival to be cut off at Kenmare St., reducing it by about
half. They argue that the neighborhood’s population is no
longer heavily Italian, and that the festival has become
“generic,” and is an “11-day barricade,” preventing
people from getting to their stores.
What’s more, the annual September feast coincides
with Fashion Week and Fashion’s Night Out, boutique
owners add, further negatively impacting their busi-
nesses. Neighbors also complain of public drunkenness
associated with the festival.
In response, members of the festival’s nonprofit
board, Figli di San Gennaro — many of them proud, life-
long Little Italy residents — counter that the “newcom-
ers” have no right to say the festival should be cut back.
The organizers note the feast draws about 1 million
people a year, many of them tourists, which generates
millions of dollars for businesses, hotels and restaurants.
The religious-based festival also features two three-to-
four-hour street processions and a special Mass.
When the Feast of San Gennaro started back in 1926
it was a much humbler affair. It was a one-day, religious-
based event, centered on Mulberry St. between Grand and
Hester Sts., where Neapolitan immigrant families owning
coffeehouses brought tables out onto the sidewalk in honor
of their patron saint’s day. The feast has since burgeoned to
11 days and seven blocks, and is now run by Mort & Ray
Productions, one of the city’s major street-fair operators.
Trying to mediate the conflicting interests, Community
Board 2’s Street Activities & Film Permits Committee did
a good job of reaching some sort of compromise for this
year’s festival in September. Past attractions that drew the
most complaints won’t be included in this year’s festival,
notably, karaoke and “Dunk the Clown” — the latter featur-
ing a loudmouthed insult clown who would have made Don
Rickles blush. Rock and hip-hop music CD’s and mafia
T-shirts also won’t be sold. Clearly, the organizers have
shown they are willing to work with the community.
We did hear, though, that Figli di San Gennaro was
almost ready to give up the block between Prince and
Houston Sts. this year — so there may be room in the
future for negotiating cutting back the festival somewhat.
Two weeks ago, C.B. 2 voted on its advisory resolu-
tion giving conditional approval to a permit for the feast.
However, the community board strongly urged the city to
consider stopping the festival at Kenmare St., “so as not
to disturb the emerging business community in Nolita... .”
C.B. 2 also pointedly noted that Figli di San Gennaro and
the Mayor’s Street Activity Permit Office should “expect
that C.B. 2 will continue to negotiate further reductions of
[the feast’s] scale and duration for subsequent years.”
Merchants toward the festival’s north end do say that
the vendors booths outside their shops and eateries are
not of particularly high quality, so the argument can be
made that the feast is already overextended, and should
be cut back at its uptown end: Quality over quantity.
It sounds like this year’s festival will still run from
Canal St. to Houston St. (Figli di San Gennaro members
say they already have sanitation contracts in place for the
whole stretch.) But future years will likely see changes.
We’re confident that, with C.B. 2’s good help, the right
compromise will be reached.
Februar y 3 - 9, 2011 15
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Jessie Sholl is a hyper-clean, nearly elfin, 41-year-old
woman who for nearly a decade has lived in the West Village
between great bookstores: Three Lives and Bonnie Slotnick
Cookbooks. I met her at a dinner party, also in the West
Village, and when I saw that her book was about to debut, I
asked if she would indulge me in an interview to discuss this
very brave memoir. She suggested Joe on Waverly.
So in the penultimate week of 2010, I peddled my trusty
1968 Raleigh up Sixth Ave. to hear how Ms. Sholl found the
courage and words to pen this beautiful memoir, billed as the
first by the child of a compulsive hoarder.
W.B.: This book is so kind and loving toward your
mother, yet I was in a rage at her by the time you and your
long-suffering husband were infected with scabies for the
second time. How did you find that enlightened approach?
J.S.: The biggest thing that helped me was that the more
research I did into the condition of hoarding, the more I
came to recognize it as a disease. When I saw it as an illness
I didn’t give her a free pass, but, because she has a mental
illness, it put her behavior into a different context.
Also, when I began to talk to her in depth about the
book — to which she gave her blessing — I began to see
the depth of her horrific upbringing. And of course my own
therapy helped.
I didn’t want to write a “bad mommy” or “Oh, poor me,”
self-pitying memoir. So deciding on this direction gave me
the push to regard the good things I got from her as well
as the fear, filth and shame. I am a minimalist about hav-
ing stuff. I consider myself a purger. I go overboard about
cleaning when people are coming over, but — unfortunately
— not always. I don’t want folks to think, “Oh, look at those
dirty glasses on the table, she is on the slide to become just
like her mother.”
You also describe in detail many things that happened in
your childhood. For me, as the adult child of an alcoholic
and a chronic suicide attempter, I know that denial is and
was my drug of choice. This means I have intense, but
spotty memories of childhood. I could not provide an arc
the way you do. Did you always have this clarity of memory
or did it come as you wrote?
I decided I wanted to write about this. I told my husband,
the wonderful writer David Farley, stories for years, and he
encouraged me to write them down. I talked with my agent
and I wrote a proposal and she was a huge help at putting
the tales in order. Everyone would be surprised at how many
memories emerge once you begin writing. It may not be
linear at first, but you can reorder and create a timeline after
the fact. Writing this was very important to me and it was
always my hope that it would be a way for others to unlock
shame and live more transparent lives.
This book is about hoarding but you allude a few times
to the similarity between A.C.O.A.’s (adult children of alco-
holics), and you clearly state that being able to come clean,
if you will, with friends was so liberating.
Yes, I have to say that many of my friends or colleagues
have said, “Oh, my Mom was a hoarder,” or an aunt was,
so I hope it is freeing in that sense to be able to talk about
it. No one is just a hoarder. This condition announces many
other problems. Hoarding is a kind of blindness. A “nor-
mal” person knows to call a repairperson if the refrigerator
breaks. But a hoarder has deep shame about the state of
their home, and thus doesn’t call, and this only exacerbates
the mess. Many hoarders live in great danger, amid health
challenges and the very real possibility that fires will start
and the firefighters will be unable to find their way through
the mess. There is also a version of hoarding that involves
adopting and often mistreating animals. People have homes
or apartments filled with filthy animals, who are in great
distress. My husband and I adopted a small dog that we
named Abraham Lincoln, and it felt good to save someone
from that life.
How did you come to this project, and are there any
things you wanted to write but discarded as too difficult
either for you or your family? You don’t have to disclose
what, but just if that was the case?
I started as a fiction writer and got my M.F.A. at The New
School, and I had been working on a novel for young adults.
I began writing health articles as a “day job” and this gave
me an entree to think about my own past and to research.
I had this “Ah ha” moment as I was doing research when I
saw that my mother’s hoarding was also an extreme type of
brain malfunction, and I started researching it. When I saw
that it was a disease and talked to my mother about the book
project, it freed me to be able to use any story, all the stories,
as a way to tell where I came from, but also to free others
who have held onto this dirty secret.

“Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her
Mother’s Compulsive Hoarding,” by Jessie Sholl, Gallery
Books. For more information, visit www.jessie-sholl.com .
An author comes clean about her mother’s hoarding
Photo by Kate Lacey
Jessie Sholl.
As someone who has spent nearly my entire adult life
in Greenwich Village, I was crestfallen when St. Vincent’s
shut its doors. Not only was the hospital the center for our
community’s physical health, it also has been the lifeblood
for many small local businesses. Now the health needs of
our community have been severely diminished, and the local
stores that give our neighborhood its character are withering
in silence.
My connection to small businesses goes back many years.
During my formative years, my family ran a print shop in the
Far West Village, when operations like Superior Ink actually
manufactured ink on the premises and weren’t condomini-
ums. I saw firsthand how much work it takes to make a small
business successful and how few resources exist to assist
mom-and-pop operations. Unfortunately, this fact remains
as true today as it did then. The city invites small businesses
to open their doors but then does little to help them be suc-
cessful. It’s hard enough to make it in New York City as it
is; so imagine the effect when a 3,500-person operation, like
St. Vincent’s, suddenly shuts its doors. The wake of such a
A valentine for Village businesses
Continued on page 23
16 Februar y 3 - 9, 2011
Edgar Tafel, who apprenticed with Frank
Lloyd Wright and designed St. John’s in
the Village Episcopal Church and First
Presbyterian Church Community House,
died Jan. 18 in his Greenwich Village home
at age 98.
Tafel was a resident of E. 11th St.
between Fifth Ave. and University Place,
where he worked and lived for more than 40
years. He was a member of the committee
for the 1970 redesign of Washington Square
Park, said Norman Rosenfeld, a friend and
neighbor who also served on the Washington
Square architectural committee with him.
Born March 12, 1912, to Russian immi-
grants, Edgar A. Tafel graduated from
Manhattan’s Walden School and attended New
York University, but left at 20 to study archi-
tecture at Taliesin, Wright’s Wisconsin colony.
As a Wright apprentice, he worked on
Fallingwater, the private house cantilevered
over Bear Run Creek in Pennsylvania, and
the Johnson Wax Building, since demolished,
in Racine, Wis., as well as Wingspread,
home of Herbert F. Johnson, the company’s
president, near Racine.
Although a senior apprentice to Wright,
Tafel resisted the master designer’s autocrat-
ic rule and left in 1941 to work in a Chicago
architectural firm. During World War II he
served in Army photo intelligence in India.
Tafel returned to Manhattan after the war,
qualified as an architect and designed 80
houses, 35 religious buildings and three col-
lege campuses, among many other projects.
In 1960 he designed the First Presbyterian
Community House, on W. 12th St. near
Fifth Ave. He later designed St. John’s in the
Village, on Waverly Place at W. 11th St.
Another project of his was the Protestant
chapel, since demolished, at Kennedy
International Airport, and the fine-arts
building and a residential complex at State
University of New York, Geneseo.
Tafel authored “Apprentice to Genius:
Years With Frank Lloyd Wright,” published
in 1979, and also “About Wright: An Album
of Recollections by Those Who Knew Frank
Lloyd Wright,” published in 1993.
His first marriage ended in divorce and
his second wife died in 1951, according to
Robert Silman, an architectural engineer
and close friend of Tafel. A cousin, Joan
Scott, survives. A memorial will be held on
Feb. 17 at the Center for Architecture, 536
LaGuardia Place.
Edgar Tafel, 98; Worked with Wright
Edgar Tafel.
Photo by Aline Reynolds
‘Blackout’ response to girl’s letter
Two weeks ago, Martha Eckl-Lindenberg, above left, a third-grader at P.S. 364 (The
Earth School), at Sixth St. and Avenue B, wrote and hand-delivered a letter to the office of
Cathie Black, the Department of Education’s new schools chancellor, inviting her to an anti-
charter school rally held last Thursday at City Hall. The letter read:
“New York City public school students, parents and teachers cordial-
ly invite you to hear our objections to the D.O.E.’s disastrous policies that are
destroying our schools. Come to hear our Real Reforms that can actually improve learning
in our schools!”
Black never wrote back to or contacted Eckl-Lindenberg or her school to inform them
that she was not going to attend.
On April 6th, 2011, the 8th An-
nual ArtWalk Opening Cere-
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666 Broadway, New York, NY
(on the corner of Broadway
and Bond Street). Artworks
will be shown from April 6th
through April 19th.

Cash prizes for best original
artwork! First Place will re-
ceive $250. Second Place
will receive $100.
Starting Febrary 1st, 2011, artists should
bring their work to be viewed, by appoint-
ment, to 636 Broadway, Rm 708. Please
include a signed, general release form with
your art works.
To schedule an appointment or for more
information, please contact NOHO NY BID at
Harriet Fields, Executive Director
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Februar y 3 - 9, 2011 17
I started out the new year with a veritable junket of
show going, most of which pleased my cantankerous taste
buds. The sole exception was “Gob Squad’s Kitchen” —
an empty interaction between a handful of hipster improv
comedians and the static mid-60s films by Andy Warhol’s
Factory. If there was an idea to be found in this tedious
exercise, I’ll eat my Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat. Other than
that, though, I pretty much hit the jackpot — catching
“Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell” at P.S. 122 (featur-
ing a surprise visit from David Strathairn); “Too Late!” in
the Under the Radar Festival; “Green Eyes,” an obscure,
late Tennessee Williams one-act presented in a midtown
hotel room; Theater for the New City’s “Age Out” (about
some unhappy waitstaff); and “The Continuing Story of
Carla Rhodes” — an autobiographical rock opera pre-
sented monthly at Arlene’s Grocery by a multitalented
ventriloquist. All recommended. Either someone has put
mood enhancers in my Yoo-hoo or I’m walking under a
lucky constellation.
The major news to report this month is the sad pass-
ing of Ellen Stewart, founder and artistic director of La
MaMa E.T.C. The theatre she founded turns 50 years
old this year, and the Off Off Broadway movement she
helped launch is stronger than ever. Indeed, most of the
showfolk who generally wind up in this column owe
something to her. She will be missed, but her legacy is
ubiquitous. Several shows happening at her theatre this
month strike me as particularly exciting. February 3-13,
award-winning puppeteer Theodora Skipitares presents
her own version of Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata,” mixed
with “actual present-day accounts of sex strikes.” Why,
it’s un-American! In addition to masks and body suits
inspired by ancient Roman circus comedians, the produc-
tion boasts the music of way out experimentalist Sxip
Shirey. Also of note is “Purge.” The American premiere
of a #1 best seller in Finland, it tells the story of a couple
of Estonian women forced to make choices as the country
makes the tough transition from totalitarian communism
to criminal capitalism. Finnish-Estonian playwright Sofi
Oksanen was “Estonia’s Person of the Year” in 2009 and is
hailed in her country as one of the most important voices
of her generation. The show promises to be an important
cultural event. It runs February 11-20. Also this month at
La MaMa, the movement ensemble Witness Relocation
presents the premiere of a new work featuring text by
playwright Chuck Mee. The content is unclear but the
personnel is impressive. The show runs from February 17
through 27. For info on these and all shows at La MaMa,
go to lamama.org.
Meanwhile, across the street at Horse Trade Theater
Group, it is time once again for that company’s annual
and (aptly named at the moment) Frigid New York
Festival (February 23–March 6). Smaller in scale than
most of the summer theatre festivals, Frigid New York
substitutes quantity for quality, priding itself on a
well-run machine featuring 30-odd shows at its three-
space the Kraine, the Red Room and Under St. Marks.
Standouts this year to these jaded old eyes include: “The
Bitter Poet: Looking for Love in All the Wrong Black Box
Performance Spaces” starring the hilarious leather-clad
Downtown performance veteran Kevin Draine; “My Pal
Izzy: The Early Life and Music of Irving Berlin”; “Hi,
How Can I Help You?” — which shows how a house of
domination copes with the Great Recession; “Yippie!”
(about the eponymous radical political party which once
ran a pig for President); and “You Shouldn’t Be Here” by
self-described “mock star” Killy Dwyer. For a full sched-
ule and ticket info, go to FRIGIDnewyork.info.
We seem to be somewhat in the midst of a Tennessee
Williams revival at the moment, as directors and pro-
ducers exhume countless obscure works ignominiously
scorned in the genius playwright’s lifetime. Not only has
there been the above-mentioned production of “Green
Eyes” by director Travis Chamberlain, but last year
saw an entire festival of such works by Target Margin,
as well as a series of revivals by White Horse Theatre
Company, and the film version of “The Loss of a
Teardrop Diamond.” And, now, of all people, Elizabeth
LeCompte will be directing the late Williams play
“Vieux Carrè” with her company the Wooster Group,
running through February. In the this production, this
most experimental of ensembles will be taking on an
autobiographical work of American realism, concerning
Williams’ earliest days as a writer in the New Orleans
French Quarter. It’s not the first time the Wooster Group
has dared to monkey with a Great American Playwright.
They’ve done it with Eugene O’Neill more than once, so
the answer to the obvious question “Is nothing sacred?”
has already been answered and it’s a flat no. Tickets and
info may be obtained at thewoostergroup.org.
In the vaudeville/ burlesque category this month:
“Female female-impersonator” World Famous *BOB*
will be reviving “One Man Show: The True Story of Miss
World Famous *BOB*” at Wild Project, 195 East 3rd
Street February 3-5. I caught this show on its original run
at Joe’s Pub a few months back, and can testify that it mixes
Bob’s patented exhibitionism with revelations of a deeper
sort. Find out more at thewildproject.com.
At Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center,
February 4-20 Flux Theatre Ensemble will be presenting
Liz Duffy Adams’ “Dog Act.” While that may sound like
a mere circus or vaudeville turn featuring trained poodles,
we learn from the release that it’s really one of those post-
apocalyptic things, one in which a character undergoes “a
voluntary species downgrade.” But, really, aren’t we all
doing that at this stage in evolutionary history? Tix and info
at fluxtheatre.org.
February 6 through March 6, the Irish Repertory
Theatre Company will be presenting “My Scandalous
Life” — a play about Lord Alfred Douglas, Oscar Wilde’s
lover who indirectly brought about the celebrated author’s
downfall. Normally history remembers “Bosie” (his nick-
name) as a superficial, unfeeling character, but the blurbs
about the current show seem to indicate that (in this play
at least) there was more to him than that. How true it is, I
can’t say, but at least it will be something new! More info:
Lastly, Theater for the New City’s 8th Annual Love ‘N’
Courage benefit will take place at the National Arts Club
on February 28. This year’s guest of honor will be the lovely
Marian Seldes, with a wealth of presenting stars from both
the Uptown and Downtown theatre scenes, including Eli
Wallach and Anne Jackson, Tammy Grimes, Jean-Claude
Van Itallie, and many others. A great way to close out an
action-packed month, even though this Valentine’s Day-
themed event will be two weeks too late for Cupid. See
you next month!
Tennessee, TNC and a famous BOB
Theater thrives, thanks to the late Ellen Stewart
Photo by Kirsten Kay Thoen
Getting Ready to “Purge”: Jillian Lindig (top) and Larisa Polonsky (bottom).
18 Februar y 3 - 9, 2011
Just call them A, B, C, D. That’s what the playwright
calls them — or, rather, that’s what her play calls them.
When the lights go up, all four are discovered in a sterile-
looking sort of waiting room/classroom. The younger of the
two couples, A (male) and B (female), sit with arms around
one another. Not so with the older, more uptight couple.
D (male) paces the room impatiently while C (female), his
wife, just sits and broods.
All four are waiting to be individually red-lighted or
green-lighted as a consequence of certain computer-generat-
ed intelligence tests. A deus ex machina simply identified as
“Efficient Woman” is on hand to elucidate the results.
The play is “Selection” — as in Darwin’s “natural selec-
tion” — and it is the one I liked best of the four one-acts
by four women presented together under the rubric “A Girl
Wrote It.” The playwright is Kris Montgomery of Shelton,
Connecticut — whose day job, as it happens, is installing
computer software.
When the results for A, B, C, and D come in, the green
light flashes three times, the red light flashes once. Now
what? Who gets the intelligence test’s thumbs up to bring
that baby into the brave new world of the day after tomor-
row — and who does not?
The admirably concise “Selection” contains overtones
not only of Aldous Huxley and Orwell, but of early and late
Albee (“The Sandbox,” “The American Dream,” “The Play
About the Baby”) as well as of a scary futuristic Ira Levin
novel called “This Perfect Day” (1970) — right down to ID
touch pads at every turn.
“This play,” says Montgomery, “has been done a number
of places, starting in 1999, and then thrown away, It was
rediscovered last fall by my 16-year-old daughter Erin — the
youngest of my three daughters — when she was looking for
a one-act play she could direct next year in school. Then I
got a notice from the Dramatists Guild about this company,
Wide Eyed Productions, that was looking for one-act scripts
by women.”
Plays have to get conceived and brought to birth, just
like human babies. This one, says its mother — whose three
flesh-and-blood daughters are, as it happens, adopted —
was spurred into life “by discussions I used to have with
friends about whether some people ought to have to get a
license to give birth to a child. Alcoholics, welfare moth-
ers, low-IQ’s, et cetera. That’s not exactly genocide, but a
gray area.”
From this play, her play, “Selection”:
EFFICIENT WOMAN: This is interesting. The com-
puter print out says that this is one of the highest greens
we’ve ever had.
A: Meaning?
EFFICIENT WOMAN: They almost passed the red
[this particular green’s partner] just because the green
was so high.
B: So, why don’t they do that? We want to have kids
EFFICIENT WOMAN: They didn’t do it because if
they start making exceptions, the whole system falls
Four women wrote this
13th effort by Wide Eyed Productions features best of 388
Four one-act plays by women
A Wide Eyed Productions presentation by Horse Trade Theater
February 3-20
At The Red Room (85 E. 4th St. btw. Second Ave & Bowery. Third
floor; no wheelchair access)
For tickets ($18, $15 for students), call 212-868-4444
Visit wideeyedproductions.com and horsetrade.info
The play is “Selection” — as in
Darwin’s “natural selection” — and
it is the one I liked best of the four
one-acts by four women presented
together under the rubric “A Girl
Wrote It.” The playwright is Kris
Montgomery of Shelton, Connecticut
— whose day job, as it happens, is
installing computer software.
Photo by Kristin Skye Hoffmann
“The Return of Toodles Von Flooz” — featuring Lisa Mamazza, Colin McFadden & Brianne Mai.
Continued on page 19
Februar y 3 - 9, 2011 19
A: Isn’t that what the Nazis did?
You’re trying to get rid of a whole group
of people.
B: This is genocide.
EFFICIENT WOMAN: No, it isn’t.
No one’s being killed here. We just
don’t let everyone reproduce. There’s a
big difference….
All the above — indeed, all of “Selection”
— represents, to Montgomery “a kind of
argument with myself — and it’s my hope
that it will elicit discussion and/or argu-
ment elsewhere.”
Montgomery, who says she was born in
Elizabeth, New Jersey, “somewhere in the
last century,” and that she is “married to a
woman named Lisa,” has an acting/singing
career alongside playwriting. She has widely
toured as the Eva Peron of “Evita,” and —
in nice happenstance parallel to her present
Red Room connection — plays keyboard
and sings with a band called Those 4 Girls.
Which takes us to another Kris — or,
to be more exact, Kristin Skye Hoffmann
— the co-founder (with Liz White and
Sky Seals) of Wide Eyed Productions. It is
Hoffmann who had the idea of putting four
short plays together under the heading “A
Girl Wrote It,” and is the director of one of
those four, Lisa Ferber’s farcical film noir
bar room Western, “The Return of Toodles
Von Flooz.”
Directing is Hoffmann’s passion, start-
ing back at the University of Northern
Colorado, from where she and a number of
theater-minded pals came straight to New
York to try to do their thing. Wide-eyed is
what they knew they were.
Her directing of an exciting 2007
“Medea” for the Hudson Shakespeare
Company was rehearsed “for a really long
time,” but got “only four performances —
all outdoors, all free — which seemed a
pity to me.”
Perhaps it could be done again, and
better, and indoors. “If I do it again,” she
said to her buddies, “will you guys stick
with me?”
Yes, they said, yes.
After much search, she found “a very
nice man named Richmond Shepard,” who
made his East 26th Street theater available
to her without a deposit — and a second
“Medea,” again starring Amy Lee Pearsall,
was on its wide-eyed way.
“Everybody lent us stuff, and somehow
we even managed to come out in the black.
This is now our 13th production and our
second evening of one-acts. In all 12 of those
shows, we had never done anything written
by a woman, and I thought that was crazy.
“We did a call for scripts by a woman,
posted it all over the place. Received 388
submissions, and I read all 388.” This was
chopped down to 50, and then to the four at
Red Room: “Clementine,” by Lynda Green;
“Plight of the Apothecary” by Elizabeth
Birkenmeier; “The Return of Toodles Von
Flooz,” by Lisa Ferber; and “Selection,” by
Kris Montgomery.
A, B, C, D. Red light, green light. Stop
and Go in The Red Room. Keep your eyes
wide open.
Photo by Kristin Skye Hoffmann
“Selection” features, L to R: Tom Carman, Lucy McRae & Mim Granahan.
Continued from page 18
“Everybody lent us stuff,
and somehow we even
managed to come out in
the black. This is now our
13th production and our
second evening of one-
acts. In all 12 of those
shows, we had never done
anything written by a
woman, and I thought that
was crazy.”
Four women wrote this
White horse Tavern
567 Hudson St. NYC * 243-9260
Famous Dylan Thomas Watering Hole
Will Pittsburgh
Turn Back The
Pack or will
The Packers
Make Swiss
Cheese out of
20 Februar y 3 - 9, 2011
Some things in life should happen more
often then they do. But for now, you’ll just
have to be satisfied with the fact that this
is a semi-annual event — and the fact that
February 2011 means you’ll have the oppor-
tunity to attend Third Street Music School
Settlement’s “String ‘Stravaganza.” More than
150 violinists, violists, cellists and bass players
will perform a concert comprised of diverse
selections from “The O’Connor Method — A
New American School of String Playing.” Give
these young musical artists credit for their
ambition: The program begins with the most
difficult composition, calling on all students
who have mastered it to stand up and play
together. That piece is followed by the second-
hardest piece with more students joining the
first group of players, and so on until the
program has progressed to the easiest pieces
and the group of players has grown to include
students from 4 to 18 years old.
The performers will be joined by mas-
ter violinist and creator of The O’Connor
Method, Mark O’Connor. That method,
according to Third Street, “exposes students
to a variety of North American fiddle and
violin styles, including traditional tunes and
O’Connor originals. The method attempts to
establish a concept of what American music
is, providing examples in composition, litera-
ture and teaching.” Will the students become
the master, or at least give him a run for his
money? The latter is a sure bet. The former
is anybody’s guess. Find out for yourself on
Sat., Feb. 5, 10am, at St. Mark’s Church-in-
the-Bowery (10th St. & 2nd Ave.). FREE.
For more info, call 212-777-3240 or visit
Red Fern Theatre Company’s latest project
charged several playwrights with the task of
exploring the “different truths” surrounding
the gentrification of New York’s neighbor-
hoods. The short plays of “Gentrifusion,”
we’re assured, will reach beyond the cli-
chéd ideas of gentrification to explore how
imposed changes on the place where you live
both improves and diminishes the commu-
nity. What they’ve found out already is that
“both long-time residents and the new crop
of gentrifiers benefit and suffer in different
measures and different ways.” The roster of
short plays are supported by projections cre-
ated from photojournalist and documentary
filmmaker Dennis Ho (dwho.com). Through
Feb. 13. Thurs. at 8pm, Fri. at 8pm, Sat. at
8pm, Sun. at 3pm (Super Bowl Sun., Feb. 6,
at 2pm). Additional performance on Mon.,
Feb., 7 at 7pm. Running Time: 120 minutes,
with intermission. At LABA Theatre at the
14th Street Y (344 E. 14th St. btw. First &
Second Aves.). For tickets ($25), visit red-
ferntheatre.org or call 866-811-4111.
Explore painting, collage and sculpture
through self-guided arts projects. Open art
stations are ongoing throughout the after-
noon — 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
yourself when you view “Art Within Reach:
from the WPA to the Present” — 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. Regular
museum hours: Wed.-Sun., 12-5pm; Thurs.,
12-6pm (Pay as You Wish, from 4-6pm).
Admission: $10. At the Children’s Museum
of the Arts (182 Lafayette St. btw. Broome &
Grand). Call 212- 274-0986 or visit cmany.
org. For group tours, call 212) 274-0986,
extension 31.
Just Do Art!
Photo by Christina Limson O’Connell, Courtesy of Third Street
Music School
Third Street’s littlest string students,
accompanied by the school’s most
advanced, make beautiful music (at St.
Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery).
Image courtesy of the Children’s Museum of the Arts
“The Train Station” — by Alyssa Ramroop, Age 11 (watercolor & gouache on paper.
2010. 22.5in x 15in). See “Children’s Museum of the Arts.”
(minimum $6.00)
Moped & Car available
163 Bleecker St. (in the Village)
tel: 777-1395/1439/3571
fax: 505-5125
Sun: noon to midnight
Mon - Thurs 11:30 am – 12:30 am
Fri - Sat 11:30 am – 2:00 am
Cocktails, Eat-in or Take-out
Private parties & catering available
Corporate accounts welcome
Year of the RABBIT!
Happy Valentine’s Day! To All Our Patrons, Families & Friends!







Februar y 3 - 9, 2011 21
L.M.C.C.’s “Access Restricted” provides insider’s insight
Lecture series to make seldom-visited spaces accessible
“Revitalization” has become the buzzword to describe
post-9/11 Lower Manhattan. Amid the mushrooming high-
rises and rapidly evolving technology, one Downtown arts
organization is directing the spotlight on the area’s rich
cultural history.
In a series of lectures this winter and spring (organized by
the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; lmcc.net), humani-
ties scholars will present histories of Lower Manhattan that
slipped out of the pubic consciousness or were overlooked
from the get-go. The lectures, based on archival research
and local lore, span architecture, urban development, social
justice and the environment.
“Looking back on the artistic historical material allows us
to appreciate different historical layers present in our neigh-
borhood and think about our changing neighborhood today,”
said Erin Donnelly, curator of the lecture series and a special
projects consultant at the L.M.C.C. — a nonprofit organiza-
tion that secures grants, artist-residencies and other services
for artists.
“Lower Manhattan Revealed,” the name Donnelly
chose for the 2011 program, “had a nice ring to it —
thinking about this year being 2011, a year when our
district is being memorialized, and its future being dis-
cussed.” Another purpose of the annual lecture series
“Access Restricted” is to make accessible Downtown
spaces that are rarely visited by the public. Venues used
during this year’s series include the Woolworth Building, 7
World Trade Center and 195 Broadway (the former AT&T
Next Wednesday, architecture and urban studies writer
Jeff Byles will interview architecture professor Michael
Sorkin (director of City College’s graduate urban design
program) about the building boom that has occurred
Downtown in the past decade. The discussion will also
be about “rethinking open and green spaces…and what it
means to reclaim the city from an environmental perspec-
tive,” according to Donnelly.
On March 9, John Kuo Wei Tchen — co-founder of the
Museum of Chinese in the America (at 215 Centre Street;
mocanyc.org) and an associate professor of social and cul-
tural analysis at New York University — will be speaking
about the history of the South Street Seaport. The lecture
will take place in the attic of the Seaport Museum, the site
of the former Fulton Ferry Hotel.
Nineteenth-century Downtown, stretching from
Chinatown to the South Street Seaport, was lined with
lively outdoor markets that bustled with activity. “It was
much more intermingled in terms of different groups of
people, different classes and all that,” he said. “For me,
it’s an important example of the way in which the port
itself created a port culture.” Tchen hopes to attract some
longtime Seaport residents to the L.M.C.C. lecture who
will be willing to share their perspectives on how the area
has changed, and talk about aspects of its history that
have gone under the radar (although he wouldn’t com-
ment on the forthcoming redevelopment of the Seaport).
Tchen has also extensively researched the history of
Chinatown. When he founded the Museum of Chinese in
America (on East Broadway in 1980), Tchen uncovered
cabinets and other relics of the past in dumpsters sur-
rounding Chatham Square. “[The stores] had 99-year
leases, they were coming to expiration, and their histories
were just being dumped,” he said. “This kind of shocked
me.” Artistic and historic community groups must be
formed in Chinatown and elsewhere, Tchen said, in order
to establish cultural diversity and help preserve the neigh-
borhood’s’’ unique histories.
Tchen believes that business improvement districts
(BIDs), such as the one proposed for Chinatown, are too
narrowly defined and often lead to cultural homogenization
rather than diversity. “Culture doesn’t emerge from monocul-
ture,” he said. “It emerges from these vital mixes.”
On March 23, art critic Douglas Crimp will be showing
four 1970s films shot in Tribeca and on the Lower East
Side, that demonstrate how filmmakers utilize the city as
performance stages and templates for their work. Crimp
writes for a variety of international and scholarly journals,
and teaches art history at the University of Rochester.
Crimp selected the films he thought were the most
resonant with and representative of the era. The L.M.C.C.
event, he said, is an opportunity to show a new generation
of NYC artists a sampling of lesser-known artworks of the
period. “It’s an example of how artists were able to use
this neighborhood while it was undergoing transforma-
tion,” he said. Today’s generation of artists, Crimp said,
can be inspired by 20th-century filmmaking. “There’s a
way in which contemporary art is not only attentive to its
present moment, but to earlier art.”
Artists continue to use the metropolis as a performance
stage – for example, choreographer Trisha Brown, Crimp
noted, is recreating Roof Piece, a dance from 1971, on
rooftops in Chelsea and the Meatpacking District this
Crimp plans to give a brief introduction about the
exhibition he co-curated at the Reina Sofia in Madrid last
summer, which serves as a wider context for the films he’ll
be presenting at the March 23 screening. The exhibition,
entitled “Mixed Use, Manhattan” focused on how artists
from the 1970s to the present experiment with urban
space. He will also offer the L.M.C.C. audience a tour of
the Cunard Building at 25 Broadway, a landmark building
from the 1920s that was the original U.S. headquarters of
the Cunard Line, an Anglo-American shipping company
that dominated the seas in the early 20th century.
“Lower Manhattan Revealed” will close with an April
13 lecture given by Native American scholar and curator
David Oestreicher at Pershing Hall on Governor’s Island.
Oestreicher will talk about the history of the Lenape, a
Delaware Indian tribe that was reportedly the earliest
group to inhabit Lower New York.
L.M.C.C. created “Access Restricted” in 2006 to satisfy
the curiosity of those wishing to penetrate Downtown’s
untold history. Participants of the series’ first season
got a special tour of the old City Hall subway station,
which is now closed off to the public, and the Surrogate’s
Courthouse and the New York Hall of Records on
Chambers Street.
This year, Art International Radio, a Downtown-based
online radio station, is partnering with the L.M.C.C. to
audio-record the events and store them in their online
cultural archive.
The events are free, but RSVP is required since space
is limited. For more information, visit lmcc.net or call
Marisa Olsen, external affairs coordinator, at 212-219-
9401, ext. 105. The first “Access Restricted” recording is
scheduled to launch on A.I.R.’s website (artonair.com)
on February 7.
Photo courtesy of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
L.M.C.C.’s lecture series gives you access to restricted Downtown spaces.
Another purpose of the annual
lecture series “Access Restricted”
is to make accessible Downtown
spaces that are rarely visited by
the public. Venues used during this
year’s series include the Woolworth
Building, 7 World Trade Center and
195 Broadway (the former AT&T
22 Februar y 3 - 9, 2011
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Read the
Februar y 3 - 9, 2011 23
of Vilnius was the “old country” to my family.
My father and aunts were working too hard to
commute to Mass there every week, but it was
where they would have been if they could man-
age it. It was a place to go for important feasts
and momentous events like baptisms and funer-
als. It was our St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Our Lady of Vilnius was not an exclusively
Lithuanian parish. The Villager’s inaugural
article spoke of “Pretzels” and “Provolone,”
not “Kugelis” and “Cepelinai.” I am urg-
ing anyone who loved this place to jump
onboard — all of you Hallorans and Dolans
with no Lithuanian heritage, all of you Piros,
Passarellis, Tangredis and DeLorenzos with
Lithuanian grandmothers, all of you who
were strengthened for your workday by Father
Sawicki’s noon Mass, all of you sitting in your
cars waiting to get into the tunnel who are
heartened by the sight of Our Lady of Vilnius
as a symbol of God and old New York — we
are trying to reconstitute this place so that it
continues to inspire.
Christina Nakraseive
Praying for a miracle
To The Editor:
Re “Lady of Vilna appeal goes to state’s
highest court” (news article, Jan. 27):
I hold fond memories of Our Lady of
Vilnius Church. I was baptized there and regu-
larly attended Sunday Mass. It is a beacon for
the faithful. It feels good to see the church as I
come home each day. However, I am inevitably
reminded of the callous manner in which its
doors were suddenly shut, without consid-
eration for Father Eugene Sawicki and the
church family; without notice, without a care.
Many of Our Lady of Vilnius’s displaced
congregation regard its closing as a heart-
less undertaking. Throughout the past four
years, the Lithuanian supporters remained
undaunted in their goal to worship at Our
Lady of Vilnius Church, albeit, outside on
the church steps. In rain, snow and sunshine,
they practice the Roman Catholic faith with
song, candles, words of scripture and prayer.
The service always culminates with delicious
Lithuanian homemade food and inspirational
discussion. The spirit of the faithful remains,
to love and serve the Lord.
There is still a strong parish here, and the
parishioners remain steadfast with their goal
of reclaiming their church. Miraculously, St.
Brigid’s Church was saved. The hope is that
a similar miracle can happen here, too.
Linda L. Sousa
Teen torn by church’s loss
To The Editor:
Re “Lady of Vilna appeal goes to state’s
highest court” (news article, Jan. 27):
It’s religion. People should respect
that. The church should be considered a
landmark, not only because it’s been here
a long time, but because it’s here to serve
people of faith. People now and in the
future could learn to respect the efforts
of a dedicated community in their effort
to preserve their church and to practice
their faith.
I was baptized at Our Lady of Vilnius
Church 14 years ago. I don’t want to only
keep the church’s “memory” in my mind,
I want to see the structure and its beauty
— not only on the outside, but inside, as
well. I yearn to enter Our Lady of Vilnius
because I would be surrounded by histori-
cal, sacred walls. People who have a say-
so in these matters should respect that.
Lauren J. Sousa
Missing Grandpa Bruno
To The Editor:
Re “Olindo Bruno, 88; Worked in the
garment industry” (obituary, Jan. 20):
Thank you for writing this about my
grandfather. We miss you very much, Pop!
Rest in peace.
Anthony Bruno
Soho’s zoning is failing
To The Editor:
Re “Non-artist residents feel like ‘crim-
inals’ in Soho, lawyer says” (news article,
Jan. 27):
The real issue as I see it is live-work
space for actual working artists. Soho
inspires the heart of the artist in many
ways. The low roofline and the large
windows create a neighborhood awash in
light. The legacy of art in Soho is impres-
sive, to say the least.
Yet it seems as if the link between civic
and artistic is not as strong as it needs to
be to meet the real needs of living, work-
ing artists. Not many career artists can
afford the space rates, and so they are
forced to move their studios elsewhere.
Sadly, it is clear from this article that
many of the live-work spaces that were
once set aside for artists are not housing
artists at all. With all the creativity at
hand in Soho, it amazes me that a more
effective plan has not been generated to
assure the continued existence of artists
and their neighbors in Soho. Since suc-
cessful art district plans have been devel-
oped in other neighborhoods in other cit-
ies, one must wonder why it is that Soho
cannot get it straight.
Lawrence White
E-mail letters, not longer than 250
words in length, to news@thevillager.com
or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to the East
Villager, Letters to the Editor, 145 Sixth
Ave., ground floor, NY, NY 10013. Please
include phone number for confirmation
purposes. The East Villager reserves the
right to edit letters for space, grammar,
clarity and libel. The East Villager does
not publish anonymous letters.
Continued from page 14
closure has been harsh and swift.
The closing of St. Vincent’s has been a
devastating blow to the Village and just as
devastating for the businesses that depend-
ed on St. Vincent’s for survival. Many busi-
nesses have already closed, while others are
struggling to survive. To help confront this
problem, my office invited the Greenwich
Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce,
Community Board 2, Congressmember
Jerrold Nadler, Borough President Scott
Stringer, state Senator Tom Duane and
Council Speaker Christine Quinn to par-
ticipate in a Valentine’s-themed shopping
extravaganza on this Sat., Feb. 12, enti-
tled, “Love the Village,” with the goal
of supporting businesses that have been
adversely impacted. The event will kick
off at 10 a.m. on the northwest corner of
Seventh Ave. and Greenwich Ave., across
the street from Roasting Plant Coffee. On
the weekend before Valentine’s Day, we
want to show local businesses how big our
hearts in the Village really are.
“Love the Village” will be a daylong
shopping extravaganza that will encour-
age the public to engage with businesses
in the immediate vicinity of St. Vincent’s.
Participants will be given a map of busi-
nesses on Greenwich Ave., Sixth Ave. and
Seventh Ave. and, after shopping at these
businesses, they will have an opportunity
to exchange their receipts (that value at
least $10) for raffle tickets on the first
floor of the Lesbian and Gay Center, at
208 W. 13th St. between Seventh Ave. and
Greenwich Ave. between 10 a.m. and 3
p.m. Multiple raffles will be held through-
out the day with the chance to win prizes
donated by local businesses. To show
Valentine’s Day appreciation, giveaways
will include locally designed “Love the
Village” T-shirts for the first 100 people to
Although a one-day event may not save
a business that is teetering on the edge, it
may help introduce people to businesses
that they might pass every day without ever
entering. If we do want our neighborhood
to be more Jane Jacobs than Marc Jacobs,
a good first step is by stepping foot inside
an independently owned local business. I
look forward to seeing all of you on Feb.
12. Now, more than ever, we need to come
together as a community and help those
businesses that are in need.
Glick is assemblymember for the 66th
A valentine for Village businesses
Continued from page 15
The Lower Eastside Girls Club is in the
running for a $50,000 award if it wins the
DVF Foundation’s “People’s Voice” online
vote, which started Monday. Actress Rosario
Dawson nominated the club for the competi-
tion. Four other organizations are also on the
ballot — though these are national groups,
unlike the girls club, based in New York’s
own East Village. Voters can also enter their
names to win a free trip to New York City
and a DVF (Diane von Furstenberg) shop-
ping spree — only one person will win. (If a
New York City resident wins, hopefully she
or he will get some other perk since no travel
is required.)
To vote for the girls club, go to www.
girlsclub/vote, and click on the “Vote for
Lyn” button above the YouTube video of Lyn
Pentecost, the girls club’s director.
The DVF Awards were created in 2010
by von Furstenberg and the Diller-von
Furstenberg Family Foundation to recognize
and support women who are using their
resources, commitment and visibility to trans-
form the lives of other women. Honorees
receive $50,000 in support of the nonprofit,
501c-3 organization with whom they are
affiliated to further their work. The last day
of voting is Feb. 15.
If the girls club wins, the money will
go toward construction of their new
Avenue D clubhouse and for their con-
tinued employment of local teenagers,
Pentecost said.
“It’s really a vote for localization and a
sustainable community,” she said. “It’s about
keeping it all in the neighborhood.”
‘Vote for Lyn’; Help club win $50K
L.E.S. Girls Club members want your
24 Februar y 3 - 9, 2011
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