August 28, 2013 Downtown Express

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August 28, 2013 Downtown Express

Transcript of August 28, 2013 Downtown Express


    VOLUME 26, NUMBER 7 AUgUST 28-SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

    A New Yorker for all New Yorkers


    CATS For

    MAYORPaid for by Catsimatidis 2013

    oUr endorsements P. 22-23

    anGrY deBate Between chIn & raJKUmar


    sparks flew as City Councilmember Margaret Chin and challenger Jenifer Rajkumar, candidates in the

    race for the City Councils First District, clashed in a debate last Thursday. sponsored by NYC Community Media, publishers of Downtown Express and The Villager.

    About 170 spectators with an even show of support for both candidates packed the room. The crowd was extremely vocal during the 90-minute debate and somewhat antagonistic with each side rooting loudly for their can-didate. Both women are running in the Democratic primary elec-tion on Sept. 10 for the Lower Manhattan council seat.

    Hot topics of the debate includ-ed land use, specifi cally New York University and the South Street Seaport, and campaign fi nancing. Chin claimed her opponent lacks political experience and spews misinformation, while Rajkumar knocked Chin as the candidate of big real estate, based on her sup-port from the Real Estate Board of New York.

    The candidates referenced their immigrant pasts, and were proud of their accomplishments. Chin, who grew up in District 1, recalled her journey to the United States 50 years ago, and marveled that she is a fi rst term city councilmember today; Rajkumar, who was born

    Continued on page 7


    Artist Naima Rauam has been painting and sometimes living in the South Street Seaport for 30 years, but now its time to say good-bye. Pier 17, where she has had a

    studio since 2005, will close on Sept. 9 prior to being torn down. Rauams gallery on the second fl oor of Pier 17 will also close.

    She is holding a farewell exhibit in her gal-lery from Aug. 28 to Sept. 9, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. On Aug. 28, there will be a reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for handshakes, hugs, wine and cheese, and maybe a few tears.

    Come celebrate the past and welcome a new future! she says on her invitation.

    But the past is far clearer to Rauam, 67, than

    the future. She has had around 30 shows of her work in the last 40 years. This may be her last.

    Twice in her life so far, she found a home once, as a child when she fi rst visited New York City and loved it instantly, and once when she came to the South Street Seaport in the mid-

    Continued on page 12

    Seaport artists space willsleep with the shes

    Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

    Naima Rauam, who chronicled the old Fulton Fish Market with her paintings, will give up her last Seaport gallery on Sept. 9 when Pier 17 closes. The moment I came here it was 1966 it was an instant click, she said of the neighborhood.

  • 2 August 28 - September 11, 2013

    B Y KAITLYN MEADEIt might be the middle of summer, but its

    also ice skating season for the Reach for the Sky Rink All Stars, whose summer practice sessions at Chelsea Piers paid off August 4 when the ensemble was awarded a bronze in the United States Figure Skating Showcase Nationals making them one of the best theatrical skating ensemble in the country.

    We were thrilled because the competition is so fi erce, said their coach, Marni Halasa.

    Their winning program was called Cirque du Patinage...a Skating Circus, performed to a medley of Cirque du Soleil music.

    It was the fi rst time at Nationals for the nine girls who travelled to Cape Cod. Most of the group, which ranges in age from 12 to 17, has been skating together since tit was formed six years ago by Halasa, who also runs a pro-fessional skating company and is a self-styled parade personality.

    The team comes from all over the city to practice at Chelsea Piers. They are now Sky Rinks longest-running showcase ensemble team and have an outstanding list of accom-plishments from Coney Islands Mermaid Parade to shows at Rockefeller Plaza and the Standard Hotel. In July, two of them were invited to perform at Olympic fi gure skater Johnny Weirs Great Gatsby themed birthday party.

    However, Halasa said the New York City skaters really were the underdogs in the com-

    petition, especially since production groups can have anywhere from eight to 30 skaters.

    I would go so far as to say the number one highlight of my teaching career it was so unexpected, Halasa added.

    Fourteen-year-old ice skater Alida Monaco put it another way: Everyone was jumping up and down, jumping on each oth-ers backs, screaming.

    We were really happy to be able to reach our goal, said Mona Johnson, 14, who hails from Lower Manhattan near Chinatown. Johnson triumphed as a soloist as well when she made it into the fi nals for Teen Dramatic Entertainment with a program to Dont Tell Mama from the musical Cabaret.

    Monaco, a Tribeca native, also made the fi nal round in her solo category of Teen Light Entertainment, where she said she did a routine to a mash-up of Hannah Montana and Thomas Dolbys She Blinded Me with Science.

    In showcase skating, the focus is on portraying a character or scene, and points are awarded for creativity and choreography, rather than on technique. It gives skaters who want to compete but also want to be involved in school and other activities like many of the Sky Rink All Stars the oppor-tunity to shine.

    When most kids get out of school on Friday afternoon, they can start the weekend, but the All Stars head for Chelsea Piers for their

    once-a-week practice. Many of them also put in extra time outside of team practices.

    Being an urban ice rink in the city at Chelsea Piers, we dont have a lot of ice time, said Halasa.

    Both Johnson and Monaco said they got up early a few times every week to practice before school.

    Johnson said balancing skating and her other passions can be diffi cult because Im in the tech theater program at LaGuardia High School and not only is that a commitment, skating is also a commitment.

    Monaco, though one of the original All Stars, said she had only rejoined the group six months before the competition because she had scheduling issues that prevented her from attending practice. She was glad she did.

    Ice skating can be such a singular kind of sport and this group can help us to con-nect and make friends, she said.

    The girls have all really grown up with each other, said Halasa. It was the winning factor on the ice, she said. We had the chemistry and a great routine. Theyre great performers, so we had all the ingredients to make a successful performance.

    A dramatic bronze medal for these Downtown skaters

    From L to R: Mona Johnson, Oceanna Pak, Jennie Berlin, Leith Conybeare, Miranda Tyson, Virginia Mason, Sophie Spillmann, Alida Monaco and Catherine Mayer. Members of Reach for the Sky Rink All Stars at the 2013 USFS Nationals of Theatrical Skating in Cape Cod, August 1 through the 4th, 2013

    Mona Johnson, Marni Halasa, Sophie Spillmann -- Mona and Sophie, members of the team, performed in July at Olympic fi gure skater Johnny Weirs Great Gatsby Birthday Party at the Soho Grand in New York City. The girls, dressed as appers, entertained the crowd, skating on synthetic ice.

  • 3August 28 - September 11, 2013





    Downtown Express_SEPT 2013_9.875x 5.6375_AD.indd 1 8/26/13 2:12 PM

    Sept. 11 cermoniesThe annual Sept. 11 ceremony will be

    held at the 9/11 Memorial in remembrance of the 2001 terrorist attacks, with four moments of silence observing the times when each plane hit and each tower fell, beginning at 8:46 am.

    Family members have been invited to attend.

    Community Board 1 will be holding its Lower Manhattan community evening at the 9/11 Memorial on Sun., Sept. 8 to com-memorate the lives lost and altered by the Sept. 11 attacks.

    Free passes will be required to enter the memorial. They can be picked up at the C.B. 1 offi ce on 49-51 Chambers St., Suite 51, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. To receive the pass via email, contact [email protected] by Fri., Sept. 6. The community board asks that emails include the address and number of passes, with a limit of four per individual.

    St. Pauls Chapel will ring the morning bell services followed by their traditional Prayers for Peace and the ringing of the Bell of Hope.

    The massive pillars of light at West and Morris Sts., made of 44 7,000 watt bulbs, will send a glowing image of the Twin Towers into the N.Y.C. skyline beginning at sunset on Sept. 11 and will remain until the sun rises the next day.

    Downtown Express photos by aline reynolds

    Last years Sept. 11 ceremonies.

  • 4 August 28 - September 11, 2013

    tWo sought for soho assaultA fight between two groups of women in Soho got

    out of hand when two of them reported that they had been attacked with whatever weapons their opponents had to hand.

    Two separate reports were generated by an altercation on the southwest corner of Mercer and Grand Sts. on Sun., Aug., 18 at about 11:20 p.m. The reports did not say if the two complainants were on the same or opposite sides of the confl ict.

    The fi rst victim, a 29-year-old woman, claimed that she and her friend were engaged in an argument with a group of girls in the street. P