The Villager: City set to designate ‘Phase III’ of South Village Historic District

October 27, 2016

October 27, 2016

Back in 2006, George W. Bush was still president, “Borat” was a top movie and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” was the year’s No. 1 song.

Well, it’s “crazy” that it took this long, but after 10 years of foot-dragging by City Hall over two administrations, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has finally agreed to consider designating the last unprotected part of the South Village as a historic district.

According to a source, the agency, as soon as next week, will announce that it has “calendared” the district for a public hearing. The calendaring announcement will reportedly come on Nov. 1. Word is that the actual hearing is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 22.

While the exact boundaries of the proposed area will not be known until L.P.C. calendars it, it will reportedly cover roughly “95 percent” of the 10 blocks that the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has been lobbying for years to add to the two already designated parts of the South Village Historic District.

Roughly speaking, this third phase of the district would stretch from the south side of Houston St. down to Watts St., with its western boundary along Sixth Ave. and its eastern boundary along West Broadway and Thompson St.

In a statement to The Villager, Damaris Olivo, a spokesperson for L.P.C., said, “The agency has been studying this area for some time, most recently, in light of the commission’s efforts to identify historic resources in neighborhoods undergoing change. As a result, the agency has prioritized this area.”

City Councilmember Corey Johnson said finishing the job and protecting the final vulnerable portion of the South Village was critical to protect the area from increasing development pressures.

“One of my top priorities since taking office has been to achieve landmark protections for the historic South Village,” Johnson said. “New York is growing and changing rapidly, but there are some historic neighborhoods that are so special they should be protected for future generations. The South Village is one of these neighborhoods, and we can’t let it slip away. I look forward to testifying before the Landmarks Preservation Commission in favor of a new historic district that will grace our city for generations to come.”

Andrew Berman, executive director of G.V.S.H.P., said the proposed addition to the historic district includes mostly tenement buildings from the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

“They were purpose-built to house the last great wave of immigrants,” the preservationist said. “These were the kind of buildings that during the first wave of landmarking in the 1960s were excluded by the city, but these are really quite beautiful buildings. The storefronts and the fire escapes are often incredibly ornate. These were often tough places to live on the inside, but the architects didn’t hold back their exuberance in designing the outside.”

The district also notably includes St. Anthony’s Church, at Sullivan and Houston Sts.

Berman and G.V.S.H.P., with the strong support of Community Board 2, used the rezoning application for the pending mega-project at the St. John’s Center site in Hudson Square as leverage to get the city to finally calendar the final portion of the South Village Historic District.

Developers are currently nearing the end of a ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) application process, seeking to rezone the St. John’s site to allow residential use. The sought-after rezoning would also increase the site’s F.A.R. (floor-area ratio) from 5 to 8.7 — a massive 75 percent boost in the allowable bulk.

Under a deal between the developers and the Hudson River Park Trust, the developers would pay $100 million to buy 200,000 square feet of unused development rights from Pier 40 to use at the St. John’s site, which is located directly across the West Side Highway from the ailing 14-acre pier at W. Houston St. The money, in turn, would be used to repair the corroded steel support piles for Pier 40, which, with its artificial-turf ball fields, has become a vital amenity for Downtown families.

Twenty-five percent of the St. John’s project’s more than 1,500 apartments would be affordable housing, including a portion for senior affordable housing.

The City Planning Commission last week gave its approval to the St. John’s project application. In earlier votes that were both only advisory, C.B. 2 approved the project with caveats, though Borough President Gale Brewer voted a sweeping no against the whole plan.

Now, in the final phase of the ULURP review, the City Council will next vote on the application. As usually happens in such votes, Johnson’s Council colleagues will likely follow his lead since his district contains the project, and councilmembers generally defer to the local councilmember.

Berman of G.V.S.H.P. said, yes, there was definitely an effort to leverage the St. John’s project rezoning to help push the South Village landmarking through to completion.

“We’ve been fighting for this district for 10 years,” Berman said. “Our position has been that it’s unacceptable and unthinkable for the city to rezone the St. John’s site for a developer when phase three of the South Village next door has been waiting and being completely ignored. Rezoning the St. John’s site would only increase the pressure on the South Village.”

With regard to the St. John’s rezoning, G.V.S.H.P. pushed for three main things: landmarking of the last unprotected one-third of the South Village; no more air rights transfers from Hudson River Park into the C.B. 2 district after the St. John’s project; and no big-box or destination retail stores in the St. John’s Partners project.

So far, it looks like the first of the society’s “wants” will be achieved.

One pro-development media outlet said the city’s expected landmarking of the South Village’s final portion increases the chances the City Council will approve the mega-project. Crain’s called it “a move that will…help grease the wheels for a massive mixed-use project nearby.”

But Berman cautioned that nothing should be taken for granted about the historic district at this point.

“It’s not done yet,” he said. “We’re certainly going to have to turn out in record numbers at the hearing to make sure this happens.”

G.V.S.H.P. had also been calling for rezoning for the South Village as a way to block development there, but Berman said historic district designation actually is better.

“We’re going to continue to ask for rezoning,” he said. “But landmarking is stronger. So I would always ask for landmarking over rezoning.”


Chelsea Now: Block Association Commends Pols, Police, Peers

October 26, 2016

October 26, 2016

The 300 West 23rd, 22nd, 21st Streets Block Association honored and heard from local community leaders, pols, and law enforcement officers at their annual community meeting at St. Paul’s German Lutheran Church (315 W. 22nd St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) on Oct. 24. The block association gave each honoree a framed print of the buildings on the 300 block of 21st St., between Eighth and Ninth Aves., the same iconic image the association uses as its logo.

The association honored Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Councilmember Corey Johnson, longtime President of the Council of Chelsea Block Associations Bill Borock, and the NYPD’s Chelsea-based 10th Precinct.

The 10th Precinct sent 26-year veteran, Detective Mike Petrillo (of the Community Affairs office) and their crime prevention officer, Jarret DiLorenzo, to accept the gift. Petrillo said it was the work that all precinct officers do, not just those tasked with community affairs, that should be credited with building a positive rapport with locals.

“For the precinct itself, it’s a great honor. It’s more about the work we do as a whole, and the relationships we’ve built over the years with our community,” he said.

The block association’s co-chair, Zazel Loven, had glowing praise for the precinct, and Petrillo in particular.

“He supports everything we do in the neighborhood. He’s out there walking around; he will listen to people from the neighborhood that have something they want to air, or just want to tell him about. He’s a very accessible community affairs officer,” she said.

Borock took the opportunity to speak about what his organization has been involved in over the last year, including their successful efforts campaigning for a park on W. 20th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.), and establishing micro gardens along bike lanes on Sixth Ave. He also reported that the council will testify at a State Liquor Authority hearing regarding the license held by what he called the troublesome Seventh Ave. bar Il Bastardo, and of the council’s establishment of a task force to study Transportation Alternatives’ PeopleWay plan for 14th St.

Volunteers have carts, will travel — to deliver your pumpkins to a better place. Photo by Pat Cooke.
Representatives from the Lower East Side Ecology Center ( discussed the upcoming Pumpkin Smash composting event set for Sat., Nov. 5, 11 a.m.–2 p.m., at PS 11 (320 W. 21st St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.) and Clement Clarke Moore Park (195 10th Ave., btw. W. 21st & W. 22nd Sts.).

Anyone can bring their over-the-hill jack-o’-lantern to smash up in big barrels and be hauled off for compost at the ecology center.

There will also be a worm composting demonstration, activities for kids, and refreshments. Anyone who cannot bring their pumpkin can email to have block association volunteers scoop up their pumpkins from their stoops.


Statement by Council Member Corey Johnson on City Planning Commission’s Consideration of 550 Washington Street

October 17, 2016

I thank the City Planning Commission for its careful consideration of this application. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the applicant to achieve a final product ‎that provides much-needed emergency repair funds for Pier 40, desperately needed affordable housing for the West Village and other community benefits. As it comes before the City Council, I will continue to push for several key components like landmark protections for the South Village, additional capital funding for Pier 40 and new traffic mitigation measures and pedestrian improvements. I look forward to working with my colleagues to further maximize the public benefit of this project.



NY Business Journal: N.Y.C. legislators propose ‘drivers benefit fund’ for yellow cabs and Uber too

October 13, 2016

October 13, 2016

New legislation has been put in place to make sure N.Y.C.’s taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers have access to a slate of benefits that were not available to them before, including health care, disability and life insurance.

The move comes as yet another blow to Uber and other on-demand car services, underscoring a change in attitude toward their classifying drivers as independent contractors.

New York City council members Corey Johnson, Brad Lander, Ydanis Rodriguez, Stephen Levin, Margaret Chin and Helen Rosenthal introduced the legislation today. It would direct the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) to establish a “drivers benefit fund.” Covered under this legislation are drivers of yellow and green taxi cabs, livery cabs and Uber and Lyft vehicles, among others.

The bill, according to a statement, is “one of the concrete steps that New York City legislators are proposing to modernize labor protections.” It comes on the heels of a New York State ruling giving Uber drivers jobless benefits— something observers say could have a nationwide impact.

In order to fund the program, the TLC would establish a 10-cent surcharge added to all fares, and conduct a study assessing the feasibility and cost of providing certain benefits.

“Driving a cab or for-hire vehicle in New York City is defined by long hours and stressful conditions,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, chair of the committee on health. “These drivers deserve the same standard of fairness and dignity that we expect for New Yorkers across our economy.”


NY Daily News: Health Department: Nearly one-third of New Yorkers binge drink

October 11, 2016

October 11, 2016

The city that never sleeps is probably just passed out somewhere.

The majority of New Yorkers drink booze at least once a month, and nearly one in three engage in dangerous bouts of “binge” drinking, according to data released by the city’s Health Department on Tuesday.

All that boozing is bad for our health.

Health Commissioner Mary Bassett said binge drinking — which 29% of New Yorkers engage in, according to the latest stats — is responsible “for preventable injuries, accidents and risky behavior.”

The data, which examines drinking and health among adults living in the five boroughs, also finds that binge drinkers are twice as likely to be smokers than people who drink moderately, and less likely to have a routine health care provider and get preventative dental treatments.

“When nearly 30% of adult drinkers report that they binge drink that means our city has more outreach and education to do,” said City Councilman Corey Johnson, a Democrat who reps the West Side of Manhattan and is the chair of the Council’s Health Committee.

Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more alcoholic drinks at one sitting within a month for men, and four or more for women.

In the same survey, the Health Department found that 54% of New Yorkers were “current” drinkers, their term for those who imbibe at least once a month.

The Health Department’s survey found that most of the people labeled binge drinkers were men, with 59%, while 48% of men drank but not to excess, while another 40% of men abstained.

And most binge drinkers — 58% — were between the ages of 24 and 44, the study found.

Manhattan had the most big drinkers, with 30% of the binge drinkers reporting living there.

Queens and Brooklyn tied with 25% of reporting binge drinking, followed by 16% in the Bronx and 5% in Staten Island.

There is good news among the sobering stats.

The over-indulging doesn’t seem to be getting any worse. The number of binge drinkers has been holding steady since 2011 — which is something to cheer.


Gay City News: City Council Ready to Move on Safe Injecting Facilities

October 7, 2016
World AIDS Day at the Apollo 2014
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Health Commissioner Mary Bassett MD, Asst. Comm. Demetre Daskalakis MD, Thomas Roberts MSNBC, Miss Universe Gabriela Isler, Sen. Brad Hoylman, Den. Daniel Squadron, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilman Corey Johnson, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, GMHC CEO Kelsey Louie cut ribbon with Org. Leaders behind him.

October 7, 2016

New York City’s public health campaign against HIV infection and accidental heroin overdoses took a significant step forward last week.

Safe Injection Facilities are now officially being explored as part of the city’s push to lower the rates of HIV transmission and reduce overdose deaths. A $100,000 study to examine the science and practices involved in SIFs will be included in the City Council’s budget with the support of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

At such harm reduction facilities, a user brings drugs purchased from a dealer and is provided with sterile supplies, including needles, and given a safe place to inject. A health professional is on premise and able to immediately intercede at the first signs of an overdose.

These programs are most beneficial to drug users who are homeless or can’t inject where they live –– a population that gathers under bridges, in vacant lots, or any place that offers a modicum of privacy like stairwells. Often, they lack sterile needles and will share them. Injections under these conditions can spread HIV, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases.

Mark-Viverito said SIFs would provide “a safe, clean haven to high-risk, vulnerable New Yorkers.”

Many users among this vulnerable population also deal with mental health issues, so safe injection facilities can serve as a bridge between the public health community and the user population. While common in Europe and Australia, with a limited number in Canada, as well, SIFs have not yet emerged in the US.

The city’s prospective embrace of SIFs won strong support from Gay Men’s Health Crisis, which in a written release termed the approach “a smart, effective health care policy that has been proven to work.” Kelsey Louie, the agency’s CEO, said in the statement, “For too long, local governments have rejected supervised injection facilities because of our collective discomfort with the painful challenges of drug addiction.”

Equally enthusiastic is VOCAL-NY, a grass-root group that advocates for housing as well as drug law and criminal justice reform. The group described SIFs as “incredibly important,” but Matt Curtis, its policy director, warned against business as usual.

“We just can’t wait,” he said. “People are dying every day.”

Politico broke the news on September 28, quoting Mark-Viverito and featuring a picture of Corey Johnson, the out gay Chelsea city councilmember who chairs the Health Committee. Johnson has long been a supporter of the concept and is exploring what legal framework would need to be in place to implement SIFs in the city.

The proposed Council study will examine available epidemiological data on SIFs and consider whether they should be rolled out in a stand-alone program or integrated into other health programs. The feasibility of employing a mobile facility to house a SIF will also be explored. The study will gather input from city health officials as well as from experts on those communities affected by heroin use.

Groups running needle exchange programs in New York have been eager to start SIFs, often voicing impatience as they waited for official action while the number of overdose deaths has grown markedly. Political backlash, however, is widely expected, with some critics likely to characterize SIFs as government-run and -funded shooting galleries. That kind of attack may have lost its sting with a greater awareness of harm reduction as a public health strategy. Still, it’s unclear at this point whether the city’s support for SIFs could survive a major controversy along those lines.

Not surprisingly, with the Council only committing to study the issue, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is publicly reserving judging, saying, “There are no plans for implementing a SIF in New York City at this time.”

The Council’s announcement follows a major heroin bust –– led by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman –– in which state police seized 33 kilograms of the contraband from a nationwide drug gang alleged to have brought it in from Mexico and then cut it with fentanyl, a potent painkiller often implicated in drug overdoses, roach killer, and other products dangerous to the health of users. At a news conference, Schneiderman railed against the gang’s “callousness” and made clear that adulterating heroin is this manner would bring longer prison sentences.

In other developments in the city’s fight against HIV, Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the health department’s assistant commissioner for the Bureau of HIV/ AIDS, has endorsed a consensus statement saying health professionals and activists agree that HIV-positive people with “consistently undetectable viral load for six months and beyond” pose a negligible risk for transmitting the virus. In other words, someone who is poz and sticking to their regimen of meds is not passing the infection on to others.

The emerging public understanding of that science could help overturn laws around the nation that impose criminal penalties on positive people for having sex under certain circumstances.

Recent surveillance data about New York City shows continued improvement in viral suppression among those who are HIV-positive, with 72 percent of that population estimated to have undetectable viral loads. The push to get HIV-positive people into treatment has been accompanied by public health campaigns to get at-risk negative people into pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, treatment to prevent their becoming infected.


Village Alliance: Thriving Local Business Leaders meet Council Member Corey Johnson

October 6, 2016

October 6, 2016

Council Member Corey Johnson headlined last night’s Greenwich Village Business Exchange and Networking Event, co-presented by the Village Alliance and Greenwich Village & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce.

Over forty guests from thriving small businesses in the area joined the event, representing the diverse range of industry which exists in our district including finance, printing, theater, retail and education.

Many of the district’s small business owners often express concern about the impact of high rents on their business. Council Member Johnson spoke extensively about the current policy positions on Commercial Rent Regulation and Commercial Rent Tax, explaining how both Albany & City Hall are working on future legislation. Council Member Johnson also fielded a number of wide ranging questions from guests, while taking time to highlight the collaborative efforts of local stakeholders to help small businesses recover from the recent 23rd Street bombing.

The event, hosted by Some Good Wine and catered by EVA’s Kitchen, presented numerous opportunities for local business owners to meet and network, developing new relationships, contacts and exchanging ideas for best practice.

Earlier this year the Village Alliance and Greenwich Village & Chelsea Chamber of Commerce held a Spring Business Exchange and Networking Event when Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer was the special guest speaker.

Sign up to receive our newsletter to find out about other upcoming Village Alliance events for small businesses.


Gotham Gazette: A rally by Three-Quarter House Tenant Organizing Project

October 5, 2016

October 5, 2016

The landlord gave him a choice: go back to using heroin or be kicked out onto the streets. “Do what you do,” the landlord told him. So to keep a roof over his head, after nine months clean and sober, he got high. The landlord let him stay. Strange as this may sound, it was routine where I used to live, and for thousands of tenants across New York City.

I used to live in a “three-quarter house.” These are private, for-profit buildings, where as many as ten tenants may be packed into single rooms at very low rents. Though they aren’t licensed, they call themselves “programs” and promote themselves as “sober homes” or “transitional houses.” They even have names like “Uplifting Men” or “Back on Track.”

Landlords recruit people coming home from jail or prison, exiting rehab, or who have nowhere else to go. They promise “services,” but provide none. Instead, many landlords profit by forcing tenants to attend an outpatient drug treatment program of their choosing, regardless of whether the person wants or needs the treatment. Tenants attend that program daily, because they know that if they don’t, they will lose their housing. The provider of the drug treatment program—which is reimbursed by Medicaid for each participant—then cuts the landlord a portion of those Medicaid reimbursements.

In my house, the landlord, Yury Baumblit, would personally kick us out of bed early each morning and send us to Canarsie Aware Inc. If a tenant couldn’t show proof of attendance, Baumblit would pack their bags and throw them out of the house on the spot. If someone went to treatment elsewhere, they would be evicted. If someone got a job that interfered with their ability to attend the program, they had to quit the job or be evicted.

This scam is widespread and well-known. This year Baumblit was arrested and charged with fraud and illegal evictions. In 2014, the executives of Narco Freedom—the biggest three-quarter house operator in the city—were arrested and indicted for Medicaid fraud and kickbacks for a similar scheme. In 2013, a drug treatment provider called the New York Service Network lost its license after being investigated for Medicaid fraud and kickbacks to landlords.

After these indictments, I was hopeful for change. But these abuses are as rampant as ever and tenants still have few protections.

I’m a member of the Three-Quarter House Tenant Organizing Project (TOP), a group of three-quarter house tenants working in partnership with MFY Legal Services, Neighbors Together, and VOCAL-NY to stop the exploitation of tenants. We have worked with City Council Members Ritchie Torres, Jumaane Williams, Corey Johnson, and Donovan Richards to introduce a package of legislation to protect three-quarter house tenants.

Intro 1168, introduced by Council Member Torres, would make it illegal for private landlords to threaten eviction or retaliation for tenants’ medical treatment choices – exactly what happened to me and so many others. This bill is common sense: landlords are not doctors, and they have no business interfering with or even asking about tenants’ medical choices. It’s also basic fairness: landlords should not be allowed to prey on the health of people who are desperate to keep a roof over their heads. And it’s smart policy: Medicaid kickback scams cheat the State out of millions of dollars and take up scarce treatment resources.

Intro 1168 by itself won’t solve the deeper problems that allow three-quarter houses to exist — the severe shortage of truly affordable housing and the lack of options for people in recovery and reentry – but it will strike a critical blow against exploitation. If Intro 1168 had been the law back when I lived at Baumblit’s house, getting treatment would have been my choice, not his. Most importantly, if it becomes law now, it will help stop the next landlord who gets the idea to exploit New York’s most marginalized tenants for personal profit. We need this law now, before another tenant is forced to choose between health and home.


Crain’s New York: Documentary Class Divide shows two worlds colliding on a West Chelsea corner

October 3, 2016

October 3, 2016

On one corner of West 26th Street, nestled by the High Line, sits four-year-old Avenues: the World School, an elite nursery-through-12th-grade, for-profit private school with a minimum $49,550 yearly price tag. From kindergarten every student gets an iPad. In high school, they also get MacBooks. The school sits among new and rising ultraluxury developments like the Soori High Line on West 29th Street, which will open in 2017. Sales there have averaged $7.3 million per apartment, most of them featuring their own 20- to 25-foot saltwater swimming pools.

Just 115 steps across 10th Avenue are the Elliott-Chelsea affordable housing projects, which date from the 1940s, where an average family of four’s yearly income is roughly $21,000, well below the national poverty level of $24,300. There are 1,015 New York City Housing Authority units for an estimated 2,500 residents, and the average rent is $483 a month.

For independent film director Marc Levin, the contrast between wealthy new arrivals and longstanding, much poorer residents in the Chelsea neighborhood where he works and lives provided the perfect ingredients for his latest documentary, Class Divide.

The 75-minute film, premiering Oct. 3 on HBO, is the final installment in his nonfiction trilogy that explores the impact of global economic forces in the New York area. Told through the voices of the children who live or go to school on two sides of 10th Avenue at West 26th Street, Class Divide is a study of the haves and have-nots who are each, in their own way, reeling from the rapid changes in the neighborhood brought on by the opening of the High Line in 2009. The film explores the pressures that both communities feel and shows how destabilizing the forces of gentrification are on the lives of those in the midst of it. The unanswered question the film raises is how these communities will adapt to their 
changing circumstances.

Councilman Corey Johnson, whose district includes Chelsea, held two screenings of the film in June and September for his constituents. “These days in Chelsea, and across New York, everything from the price of rent to the price of a cup of coffee is getting higher and higher, making it harder for working families to get by,” Johnson said. “As a city, we need to find a way to retain our middle class. This film stresses that need and it gets the conversation going in a really powerful way.”
Levin, who was born in Manhattan, lives in a 4,000-square-foot loft that was once a garment factory, on West 26th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, that he purchased in the 1970s for $50,000.

“When my wife’s mother first visited us back in the early ’80s she cried, upset that this was where her daughter had ended up,” said Levin, who also rents an office in the Starrett-Lehigh building on 26th Street and 11th Avenue. He worries that after nearly two decades, he will not be able to afford his office when the lease ends in a few years. “Today there are luxury hotels down the block and the price of commercial real estate is pushing $70 per square foot.”

Though Class Divide explores an economic theme that he’s experiencing in his own life, Levin didn’t initially see how close to home it was.

In 2009, HBO released the first film in Levin’s trilogy, Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, about the demise of the city’s garment industry. In 2012, the network released the second film, Hard Times: Lost on Long Island, about unemployment following the 2008 financial crisis. Levin spent the next few years contemplating how to complete the series. He wanted to capture a dynamic picture of the nation’s rising income inequality, but he didn’t know where to set the film. “We had looked at the housing crash in Florida and the rapid gentrification by techies in San Francisco,” Levin said.

Under his nose

Then, while sitting with longtime producing partner Daphne Pinkerson on the High Line at a lookout point above the Avenues school, they realized that they didn’t have to leave the neighborhood. “It just kind of hit us,” Levin said. “Two sides of the street, two totally different worlds. Meanwhile, tourists were snapping photos, posing in the frame and waving to families and friends in Beijing, Rio, Paris and Sydney. Did they have any idea what was behind them? After all that searching I knew I could tell the story I wanted to tell right on this corner in Chelsea.”

“There is a third world country within our first world country”
Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, thought the neighborhood dynamics could capture a wider picture. “You think you are seeing a story about a housing project and a school that costs a lot of money but you are seeing what’s happening all over America,” said Nevins. “There is a Third World country within our First World country.”

She suggested that the film, which was shot in 2014, be told from the point of view of young people, ranging in age from 8 to 22, who lived in the projects or attended Avenues. Levin agreed. “We didn’t need to include political experts, scientists, economists, sociologists, urbanologists,” Levin said. “These kids said it all.”

Indeed, in the film, the 10 young subjects were painfully honest about their respective situations. “Avenues is a school I wanted to go to, but I couldn’t because it was too much money,” says Rosa DeSantiago, then 8. Another Elliott-Chelsea resident, Hyisheem Calier, 22, says, “In this neighborhood, I don’t think that I can name over five people who make over $40,000, so when it comes down to that it’s like a tease almost and it’s a smack in the face.”

Luc Hawkins, a 16-year-old Avenues student, says, “Walking past the Chelsea housing projects, people look at me differently, …as if I’m a white, rich preppy kid. And they probably think that I’m looking at them as poor people who are inferior to me just because I have more resources.”

The film shows the differences between the two sides but also reveals that they share something in common—worry about the future. “I think anyone in a school like this feels the pressure to succeed in life,” says Avenues student Edgar Guzman, 16. That anxiety is underscored but not explained when viewers learn that Luc Hawkins committed suicide in August 2014.

Levin found the children in the Elliott-Chelsea Houses open to appearing in his film. The camera enters their homes, schools and the community center, which offers life-skills training and counseling that many young residents of the neighborhood do not receive through their schools or at home.

Gaining entry to the Avenues school and its students, however, was “right up there” with Levin’s securing access to death row inmates, a jury room and CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, for his earlier films. The school finally agreed, on the condition that he wouldn’t film anyone uncomfortable on camera.

“We presented ourselves to all the parties we hoped to work with as both agents of change and potential victims of that change,” said Levin.

The school said it participated to be a part of the local and national dialogue around income inequality. Avenues COO Jeff Clark said: “We will continue to build partnerships with tenants, education advocates and elected officials, who like us, care deeply about the Chelsea community.” Avenues accepted its first student from the Chelsea projects in 2015.

While Levin’s trilogy is complete, he said that he isn’t sure if he will ever be done contemplating and exploring global economic forces in his work, especially when it is taking place right in his backyard.

“The human mix, which is the fundamental ingredient in New York City’s energy and magic, is threatened,” Levin said. “These kids in this neighborhood, no matter which side of the street they’re on, see the rapid change all around them and are processing it with fresh eyes and youthful spirit. How they deal with it is their generation’s challenge.”


September News and October Events Calendar from Council Member Corey Johnson

September 30, 2016
Dear Friends,

I’m pleased to forward this update on my recent initiatives, as well as a listing of free and low-cost events happening in and around the District in October.

This month our community persevered through a heinous act of terrorism. While the explosions in Chelsea and New Jersey were meant to send division and terror through our communities, it instead brought us closer together in support of one another and strengthened our determination to keep living as we had before.

September also saw several encouraging victories for our community. We achieved improvements to LinkNYC kiosks and a new process to replace the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and the Council passed my legislation to address mental health in our correctional system. More details on these and other developments can be found below.

In service,

Corey Johnson
Council Member, 3rd Council District

E-News Table of Contents

Explosion in Chelsea

On Saturday, September 17, the very best in our community was showcased after a terrorist explosion ripped through 23rd Street in Chelsea. Below are some images from the week. Luckily, no one was killed or seriously injured.

Photo by William Alatriste

The Townhouse Inn of Chelsea was among the businesses that suffered damage from the blast. Luckily, no guests were harmed. My staff helped its owners gain access to the building so guests could retrieve belongings.

Photo by William Alatriste

The NYPD 10th Precinct and 13th Precinct performed extraordinarily well under extremely difficult circumstances. They kept us informed and safely guided residents on the affected blocks to their homes.

Photo by William Alatriste

The residents of VISIONS at Selis Manor were forced to shelter in place after the bomb detonated in front of their building. They displayed tremendous bravery and fortitude during this difficult time.

Photo by Erik Bottcher

The Malibu Diner prepared hundreds of hot meals for the residents of VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired, whose cafeteria was unusable due to the blast.

At City Hall on September 28, I was proud to present City Council Proclamations to Malibu Diner, the NYPD, the FDNY, VISIONS, Lenox Health Greenwich Village and NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue. These are just a few of the many New Yorkers who rose to the challenge.

Photo by Naeisha Rose / Chelsea Now

Small businesses were affected in ways large and small. One week after the bombing, I organized a ‘Small Business Crawl’ on West 23rd Street to draw customers to the recovering businesses. Hundreds of residents turned out to shop, eat lunch, and patronize the mom-and-pops that keep our community vibrant.

Click here to read a Chelsea Now article about this event.

Improving the LinkNYC Kiosks

The LinkNYC program is an exciting development for our City, a welcome replacement for the outdated phone booths of the past. Unfortunately, the implementation of this program in my district has had some unintended consequences, as the kiosks have been frequently monopolized by individuals  who inappropriately create personal spaces for themselves, surfing the internet for hours at a time and prompting complaints from local residents and business owners. 
On September 14, the operators of LinkNYC responded to our concerns about the program and agreed to disable internet browsing features on the kiosks. This will help prevent inappropriate use of kiosks and allow them to continue providing free public wi-fi, free phone calls, access to Google maps and charging of electronic devices. 

Click here to read a New York Times article about this development.

I will continue to monitor this program to ensure that it provides optimal public value. 

Victory! 'Reset' on the Port Authority Redesign

While everyone agrees that the current Port Authority Bus Terminal is obsolete, the residents of Hell’s Kitchen deserve a seat at the table in determining future plans. They deserve to know that a new bus terminal will not swallow up their neighborhood. After much advocacy by my colleagues and I, on September 20, the Port Authority agreed to a new, expanded, comprehensive planning process for the Bus Terminal redesign that includes an analysis of potential additional bus sites and significant public input.

I want to acknowledge the hard work and leadership of Congressman Jerry Nadler, Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assembly Members Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal and Community Boards 4 and 5, as well as the partnership of  Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman John J. Degnan, Vice Chairman Steven M. Cohen and Executive Director Pat Foye.

Click here to read a joint statement on this development.

Participatory Budgeting is in Full Swing!

Photo by Sean Egan / Chelsea News

On Saturday, September 17 we kicked off Participatory Budgeting (PB) with a fun event on the High Line where residents learned more about PB, the City’s budget, and submitted ideas to improve our community. 

Over the last two weeks, we have held PB Neighborhood Assemblies in Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen and the Village where we collected more ideas and heard what's needed most in your neighborhoods.

PB democratizes a portion of the City’s budget by empowering people to make real decisions about what’s needed most in their neighborhoods. Over the last two years, we’ve funded some important community projects, and I look forward to seeing what ideas move forward this year. If you would like to get involved and develop these ideas into proposals that the community can vote on next spring, please consider becoming a PB Budget Delegate by clicking here to sign up.

Click here to read a Chelsea Now article about our Kickoff event.


Hearing on Sightseeing Buses

On the West Side and across the City, large sightseeing buses that barrel down small residential streets have led to quality of life concerns, deteriorating street conditions, pedestrian safety issues and air pollution.
This month, the Council Committees on Transportation and Consumer Affairs held a hearing on sightseeing buses, including my bill to bring accountability to this industry by requiring the Department of Transportation to authorize all stops on a sightseeing bus’s route.

I want to thank Communites Boards 2, 4, 5 and 7 for being on the front lines of this issue, as well as the DOT and my colleagues in the Council who have co-sponsored this legislation.

Click here to watch my testimony at this hearing.

Sidewalk Repairs at Elliott Chelsea Houses

Photo by William Alatriste

On September 15, I was proud to unveil 20,831 square feet of necessary sidewalk repairs at NYCHA Elliot-Chelsea Houses.

I am proud to have allocated $149,000 in Council discretionary funds to make this project a reality. A large part of the funding for these repairs were allocated through Participatory Budgeting, and they're a great testament to the improvements that PB can bring to our neighborhoods! 

I want to thank the Department of Transportation and its Manhattan Borough Commissioner Luis Sanchez for doing an outstanding job on these repairs, as well as NYCHA, the Elliott-Chelsea Tenant Association and our PB Budget Delegates for their extraordinary work. I also want to thank Ken Jockers of Hudson Guild and P.S. 33 Principal Cindy Wang for joining me for this great event!

Fixed! Ponding Water at West 18th and 19th Streets

After working with residents and the Department of Transportation since July, I'm happy to announce that DOT made necessary repairs to fix ponding water problems on West 18th and West 19th Streets. Other sites in the district that are in need of repair include the northeast corner of 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue, and we've been assured by the DOT that this repair will be made imminently.

Governor Cuomo Unveils Plans for Penn Station Transformation

On September 27, Governor Cuomo unveiled sweeping plans for the complete transformation of the historic James A. Farley Post Office into a world-class transportation hub. With new shopping opportunities, increased passenger capacity and state of the art facilities, the new Penn-Farley complex will not only enhance the experience of the every-day traveler, but invite visitors to a New York that is bigger, better and on the move.

You can read more about this announcement by clicking here.


Meet the Principal of the New 75 Morton Street Middle School!

I am very excited about the new public middle school scheduled to open at 75 Morton Street next year. On October 17, Community Board 2, Community Education Council District 2 and the 75 Morton Community Alliance are hosting an opportunity for you to meet the school’s newly appointed Principal, Jacqui Getz. Here are the details:

     Meet Principal Jacqui Getz
     Monday, October 17 at 6:30 PM
     The New School, 66 West 12th Street, Auditorium


Public Safety and Criminal Justice

Passed! Addressing Mental Health and Recidivism

Our City has a responsibility to address the needs of individuals in our correctional system with mental health issues. On September 28, my colleagues in the Council passed my bill requiring data reports on New Yorkers leaving our correctional system with a mental health diagnosis, and their rates of recidivism within one year. 

This kind of data could have huge implications for mental healthcare and crime prevention throughout New York.

The current Council has been fully engaged on matters of social justice, and this legislation is an important part of that equation. I thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for being a leader on criminal justice reform, as well as my co-sponsors on this bill.

Welcoming NYPD Commissioner O’Neill

On September 17 – his first day as head of the NYPD – Commissioner James O'Neill had to orchestrate the department's response to an act of terrorism in our City. Consistent with his character and integrity, he led this effort swiftly with poise, leadership and stellar communication. Our City is lucky to have Commissioner O'Neill leading the NYPD and I congratulate him on this well-deserved appointment.


Community Forum on the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Transformation
Thursday, October 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
10 Nathan D. Perlman Place, Podell Auditorium in the Bernstein Pavillion

Studying Supervised Injection Facilities

Photo by William Alatriste

On September 28, the City Council approved $100,000 of funding for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to study supervised injection facilities, where intravenous drug users can receive medical supervision. This has a proven track record of reducing HIV transmissions and preventing overdoses where it has been tested.

In order to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic and successfully combat drug addiction, we must use every tool at our disposal.

Click here to read a Politico article about this allocation.

Flu Shots at my District Office

According to the Centers for Disease Control, everyone six months and older is recommended for an annual flu vaccination with rare exception.

My office will be offering no-cost flu shots on October 27 from 10 am to 5 pm, at my District Office at 224 West 30th Street, Suite 1206 (between Seventh and Eigth Avenues). These shots are made possible through partnership with Duane Reade / Wallgreens.

To RSVP, please call my office at (212) 564-7757 or email us at



Special Chelsea Screening of Class Divide

On September 26, I was proud to host a special preview screening of the HBO documentary Class Divide at Cinépolis Chelsea. This documentary presents the challenges brought by gentrification in a deeply moving and thought-provoking way.

I want to thank HBO and Senior Vice President of Documentary Programming Nancy Abraham for putting this screening together with me, as well as filmmakers Marc Levin, Daphne Pinkerson and Mike Farrah, and subjects Yassemin, Brandon, Juwan and Rosa, who joined me for a Q+A after the screening.

Click here to watch my opening remarks from the event.

Governor Cuomo Announces Javits Center Request for Proposals

The plan to transform the Javits Center took an important next step on September 12 as Governor Cuomo announced a request for proposals (RFP) for these renovations. This redesign has the potential to greatly grow the space’s capacity, make it more competitive and reduce traffic congestion and air pollution problems that have affected the neighborhood for too long.

As the greatest City in the world, New York deserves a world class convention center, and I’m confident that this plan will deliver just that. I’m excited to see the proposals that come from of this RFP, and I commend Governor Cuomo for his determination on this hugely important project.

Department of Finance 'Forgiving Fines': The NYC Amnesty Program

The City of New York is reducing penalties and interest for many violations issued by the Department of Sanitation, Department of Buildings, and other city agencies (not including Parking and Real Property violations). Take advantage of the amnesty program before it expires! Amnesty will run through December 12, 2016. Stay informed.

Click here for more information.


1 in 12 New Yorkers live in a NYCHA development – that's more than 400,000 people. This strong voting bloc has the chance to vote this election day, November 8, for a candidate that will influence policy, programs and funding for public housing.

In partnership with NYCVotes, NYCHA is placing voter registration forms and drop boxes at both of their walk-in centers. Read more about NYCHA's 'get out the vote' efforts by clicking here.

And all New Yorkers can find comprehensive voter resources by clicking here.


Demanding Fair Work Weeks

Photo by William Alatriste

Too often, low-wage workers have no control over their workday and no knowledge until the last minute of the hours they’re assigned. This can make it very difficult for workers to budget, arrange transportation, and coordinate childcare, education and second jobs.

On September 15, I was proud to jointly announce planned reforms to unfair scheduling practices with Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Member Brad Lander, Hector Figueroa of 32BJ SEIU and many workers and advocates. As a City, we need to declare that a fair work week is the right of all.

Click here to read a Newsday article about this movement.


Penn South Senior Night

On September 7, I had a blast joining the Penn South Program for Seniors for their “Neighborly Night”. The movie the seniors picked? “Fight Club”. Penn South does such outstanding work for our seniors, and it’s always a privilege to check in with residents to hear their concerns and discuss my current initiatives.

New Applications Available for SCRIE and DRIE

The NYC Department of Finance has announced new and enhanced Rent Freeze Program application forms. Some enhancements include larger font, income worksheet, eligibility checklist, and frequently asked questions. Please find links below to the Rent Freeze website and forms for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) and Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) programs. You

Job Openings at FIT

The Fashion Institute of Technology has the following job positions open for applications.

With questions, please contact Natacha Unelus at or Shannon Shakespeare at

Free Monthly Housing Clinic

My office helps constituents around the district with a wide range of issues. However, housing issues – particularly those that have to do with landlord harassment/disputes – account for an outstanding number of these constituent cases. We offer housing clinics at my District Office (224 West 30th Street, Suite 1206) on the second Tuesday of every month from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. The next clinic will be on Tuesday, October 11.

At these clinics, you can receive free legal advice from housing attorneys who will be volunteering their time. You will be seen on a first come, first serve basis.

Take Part in Our Food Bag Program!

Our Food Bag Program, operated in partnership with the Office of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, is underway! For only $8, you can receive a mixed bag of fresh, locally grown produce from farmers in upstate New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Every two weeks, participants can order and pick-up their pre-packed food bag at a participating West Side senior center or at our District Office. If you would like to sign up, please contact my District Office at (212) 564-7757 or by emailing


October Events Calendar

 October is Breast-Cancer Awareness Month! 

Interactive Discussion on Breast Health
Saturday, October 1 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm
Wednesday, October 12 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Lenox Health Greenwich Village, 200 West 13th Street (at Seventh Avenue), 5th Fl.

Northwell Health Imaging at Lenox Health Greenwich Village invites you to an Interactive Discussion on Breast Health. Dr. Kavita Patel will present information about Mammogram Screening Guidelines, Tomosynthesis (3D Mammography), Breast Ultrasound and MRI and Dense Breasts. There will be a Q+A and refreshments will be served.

Kindly RSVP to Grace Tursi at (646) 665-6722 or

Free Mammograms at Bellevue
Thursdays, October 6, 20 and 27
9:00 am to 2:00 pm

Mammogram Health Fair
Thursday, October 13
10:00 am to 3:00 pm

NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue
462 First Avenue (at 27th Street)

Women between 50 and 74 should get regular mammograms. If you are under 50 or over 74, talk to your doctor to determine if a mammogram is right for you. For more information, please call  (212) 562-5680 or email

Chelsea Farmers Market
Saturdays through December 17 from  9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sidewalk on north side of West 23rd Street, just east of Ninth Avenue
Market Host: Church of the Holy Apostles

For more information and to view a list of participating vendors, please click here.

High Line Tours
Through October
The High Line

First Saturdays at 8:00 amWildlife Tour
Second Mondays at 6:00 pmArt Tour
Second Thursdays at 6:00 pmGarden Tour
Second Wednesdays at 6:00 pm Design Tour
Tuesdays at 6:30 pm and Saturdays at 10:00 am From Freight to Flowers 

For more information and to RSVP, please click here.

Isca Greenfield-Sanders: Playground Parachutes Public Art Exhibit Opening
Opening reception: Saturday, October 1 from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Open through Tuesday, November 1

Vesuvio Playground, at the corner of Thompson and Spring Streets

Green Below 14 and SmartSpaces present Isca Greenfield-Sanders: Playground Parachutes, in partnership with the Children’s Museum of the Arts (“CMA”) and NYC Parks. Playground Parachutes is an installation of four large-scale murals by celebrated artist Isca Greenfield-Sanders, made in collaboration with over 200 children at CMA.

Hudson Park Book Swap
Saturday, October 1 from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

Hudson Park Library, 66 Leroy Street (between Seventh Avenue South and Hudson Street)

Please join  Hudson Park Library the first Saturday of each month for a Book Swap. Bring in and take away books,  DVDs,  CDs,  etc.

Daschund Octoberfest
Saturday, October 1 from 12:00 to 2:00 pm
Washington Square Park

The Dachshund Friendship Club organizes this celebration of the beloved dog breed and provides an occasion for dachshunds and their guardians to meet one another and have fun in the park. Dachshunds and dog-lovers of all ages will meet between the Arch and the Fountain. This event is free and open to all. See you there! For more information please visit the Dachshund Friendship Club.

High Line Art Commission: Helen Mirra, Half-Smiler
October 3 through 7  | October 10 through 14
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
Lazy day variation on Thursdays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
On the High Line at West 22nd Street

Helen Mirra has an art practice contingent on the activity of walking, and she makes abstracted, almost theoretical artworks. For Wanderlust, she takes a series of morning walks, cultivating the half-smile, and anyone is welcome to join. After a brief orientation, participants will set out for a few hours, walking separately in space while together in time, and then meet again for convivial lunch.

Game On
Tuesdays, October 4, 18 and 25 at 3:30 pm
Muhlenberg Library, 209 West 23rd Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)

Got the gaming moves? Show off your skill with the Wii remote and challenge your friends to a game in the library. Take part in our tournaments! For ages 12 to 18.

Stargazing at the High Line
Tuesdays, October 4, 11, 18 and 25 from dusk to 30 minutes before park closes
On the High Line at West 14th Street

Head to the High Line each Tuesday night for a romantic walk along the park and a chance to take a closer look at the stars. Peer through high-powered telescopes provided by the knowledgeable members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York to see rare celestial sights.

Dream and Create: Open Sewing Workshop!
Tuesdays, October 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 6:00 pm

Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Avenue (between West 9th and 10th Streets)

This open sewing workshop is back by popular demand!  Have you always wanted to sew, but do not know where to start? Are you a sewer that wants to get back into the swing of things? Whether you are a beginner or a hobbyist, this sewing workshop is for you! In this hands-on course students will learn sewing techniques to create their own unique projects.

Rollicking Roller Coasters
Wednesday, October 5 at 4:00 pm    
Hudson Park Library, 66 Leroy Street (between Seventh Avenue South and Hudson Street)

Build and test a mini coaster for marbles to ride on. For children ages 7 and up. Limited to 15 participants. Please register in person or by phone at 212-243-6876. Presented by Arch for Kids. Please register in person or by phone at 212-243-6876.

Haunted Halloween Magic Show
Wednesday, October 5 at 4:00 pm
Muhlenberg Library, 209 West 23rd Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)

A ghostly show that's more fun than horrifying!  Presto Pete and Incredulous Chris use magic and slapstick to demonstrate some of the ghoulish aspects of Halloween! Best for children ages 4 and older.

Wednesdays, October 5, 12, 26  and November 9 and 16 at  3:30 pm
Andrew Heiskell Library, 40 West 20th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues)

Get ready for some ooey gooey family fun in this new five-session workshop, offered at 30 library locations! A family program designed for preschool children and their caregivers, these sessions will be a hands-on exploration of the five senses hearing, touch, smell, taste and sight.

Workshop series is free. Space is capped at 12 children, so please register in advance at the library.

Baby and Me
Wednesday, October 5, 12 and 26 at 10:15 and 11:15 am
Muhlenberg Library, 209 West 23rd Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)

Babies and their caregivers can enjoy simple stories,  lively songs and rhymes, and meet other neighborhood babies. For ages birth-18 months; limited to 30.

Women and LGBTQ Persons in Iraq and under ISIS
Thursday, October 6 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm
Hunter College West, 695 Park Avenue, Eighth Floor, Faculty Dining Room

Over the last two years, the ISIS conflict has rendered thousands of women and LGBTIQ Iraqis vulnerable to systematic violence and forced them to flee their homes with limited or at times no access to safe haven or basic services. Speakers will discuss current issues facing women and LGBT persons and new policy strategies activists are initiating to address these violations.

Register online by clicking here.

Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Sponsored by Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency
Thursday, October 6 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. (Doors open at 5:30pm)
6 River Terrace, New York, NY 10282

Protect, Connect, and Strengthen Your Neighborhood! Repeating the July 28th workshop to make sure everyone has an opportunity to participate in this project. Share your ideas for the waterfront; Let us know your top priorities and concerns; Receive updates about progress and opportunities to get involved at Community Center at 6 River Terrace (Across from the Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Park City) This meeting will focus on the waterfront from the Brooklyn Bridge to the north end of Battery Park City. All are welcome! Childcare, translation (Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish), and a light meal will be provided.

Birds and Buildings: Case Study for How our Built Environment Can Better Support Urban Wildlife
Thursday, October 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street

Lots of excellent panelists. RSVP: Contact John Magisano, Assistant Director of Town and Gown/DDC Program, at (718) 391-2161 or

Board Game Bonanza
Thursdays, October 6, 13, 20 and 27 at 3:30 pm
Muhlenberg Library, 209 West 23rd Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)

Teens! Challenge your friends to a game every Thursday at 3:30 pm. Board games include Ticket to Ride, Dominion, Pandemic, Bananagrams, Uno, chess, and more.

New York Comic Con Invades Greenwich Village!
Friday, October 7 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Avenue (between West 9th and 10th Streets)

New York Public Library in partnership with First Second and New York Comic Con (NYCC) present New York Comic Con Invades Greenwich Village! Author Panel from 7 to 8 pm will include Box Brown (Andre the Giant, Tetris); Greg Rucka (Wonder Woman, Star Wars, Batman); Marjorie Liu (Montress, Avengers: Confidential, Astonishing X-Men); Ryan North (Adventure Time, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl); Moderator: Joshua Rivera, NY Magazine.

Please register by clicking here.

Prepare for the High School Equivalency Exam!
Fridays, October 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 11:30 am
Jefferson Market Library, 425 Sixth Avenue (between West 9th and 10th Streets)

High School Equivalency (HSE) formally known as the GED. This free course will help adults better their education and literacy skills; as well as prepare individuals for the TASC. These free classes are designed to help adults better themselves in basic education. The HSE classes covers all of the five subjects such as Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies, and Mathematics.

Classes are ongoing throughout the year and with open enrollment. For further information and to register, please contact the instructor Vulcanus Levi at or (347) 299-9721.

LGBT Philosophy Forum
Saturday, October 8 from 2:45 to 4:45 pm
Muhlenberg Library, 209 West 23rd Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)

For over 15 years the Forum has provided the LGBT community and its friends an open opportunity to gather and informally discuss important works of philosophy. We meet monthly on the second Saturday, from 2:45 to 4:45 p.m. The texts to be discussed (up to 50 pages) or links to the texts can be found on our website.  All are welcome. We hope you will join us.

High Line Art Tour
Monday, October 10 from 6:00 to 7:15 pm
Tour location provided via email following RSVP

From sculptures and murals to performances and videos, the High Line is filled with public art. Join High Line Art Assistant Curator, Melanie Kress for an insider's view on High Line Art's current Wanderlust exhibition.

Free but you must RSVP by clicking here.

Chelsea Film Festival

Thursday, October 13 through Sunday, October 16
Click here for locations and more details

The Chelsea Film Festival is an international film festival, enlightening the work of emerging filmmakers, producers and actors. It offers a wide range of films, such as documentaries and feature-lengths, focusing on the theme of “Global Issues”. It empowers the work of risk-taking storytellers and remains committed to its mission to discover and develop independent artists and audiences around the world.

Geek Street Fair by Google
Thursday, October 13 from 12:00 to 5:00 pm
Union Square Park

The Geek Street Fair hosted by Google is an interactive, free event to inspire kids to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and computer science. Think traditional street fair, but instead of funnel cakes and ferris wheels, we have educational virtual games, robotics and electronic tinkering.

The fair is open to the public but if you would like to sign your class or after school program up for a specific time slot, please ​RSVP ​here.

Garden Tour: Late Blooms & Fall Color
Thursday, October 13 from 6:00 pm to 7:15 pm

Tour location provided via email following RSVP

Get to know every detail of the High Line's plant life while walking through the park with one of our knowledgeable staff horticulturists. Discover how our perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees change as seasons pass, what plants are native, which are edible and medicinal, and how we take care of more than 500 varieties of plants growing in the park. This tour will highlight late blooming perennials and the tremendous fall color on the High Line.

Free but you must RSVP by clicking here.

Community, Culture, and Technology Fair for People Who are Blind
Saturday, October 15 at 10:00 am
Andrew Heiskell Library, 40 West 20th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues)

The theme for this year’s Community, Culture, and Technology Fair for people who are blind, visually impaired or physically disabled is “Hands On! Exploration, Creation, and Education.” We’re taking over both floors this time, and are proud to be offering a round of creative workshops as well as speakers, and tablers are bringing hands-on elements and activities. Learn about accessible museum programs and adaptive recreation, and find out how to get free memberships to many local institutions with the IDNYC card.

Gotham Pulp Collectors Club
Saturday, October 15 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Muhlenberg Library, 209 West 23rd Street (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)

If you collect, read, or are just interested in classic Pulp magazines and you live in or near NYC, you want to know about the Gotham Pulp Collectors Club. We are pulp readers and collectors who meet once a month to talk about our favorite subject: popular fiction magazines from the first half of the 20th century. We discuss what we've been reading along with new developments in the fields of reprints, movies, TV, auctions, conventions, "New Pulp" fiction, and more. Attendance is always free!

Jane Street Block Association Annual Meeting
Monday, October 17 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm
632 on Hudson, 632 Hudson Street (between Horatio and Jane Streets)

Please save the date for Jane Street's Annual Meeting! For more information about the JSBA, go to

SimplyE(at Pizza): A Greenwich Village Pizza Tasting Contest and SimplyE Open House
Wednesday, October 19 at 6:30 pm
Hudson Park Library, 66 Leroy Street (between Seventh Avenue South and Hudson Street)

SimplyE is a new app that gives NYPL cardholders the ability to browse, borrow, and read more than 300,000 free e-books from the Library, in just a few steps. To promote this great new resource to the community, we are combining our two favorite things: Greenwich Village pizza slice joints and free e-books. Come and eat free pizza (while supplies last), vote on the best slice in Greenwich Village and try out SimplyE!

Design Tour: Elevated Design
Thursday, October 19 from 6:00 to 7:15 pm
Tour location provided via email following RSVP

Get an insider's look at the unique design elements of the High Line and the notable architecture in the neighborhood with Patrick Hazari, Friends of the High Line Director of Design and Construction.

Free but you must RSVP by clicking here.

Tricks and Treats at Le Carrousel
Saturday, October 22 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Bryant Park, 40th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues

This Halloween, the ghoul-est party in town is at Le Carrousel in Bryant Park and everyone's invited. It’s a Halloween kick-off with tricks and treats galore as a magician brings magic to Le Carousel. Come in costume. There will be be face-painting, pumpkin-decorating, trick-or-treating, magic, and music to boot. The Halloween party is free for all kids and their parents. Afterward, top it all off with lots of rides on your favorite carousel. A ride is only $3, and, amazingly, a Frequent User card still gets you ten rides for only $15. Rain date: Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hudson Guild Theatre Company Presents: Night With Guests
Friday, October 28 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Saturday, October 29 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Sunday, October 30 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
On the High Line at West 14th Street

Join us this Halloween weekend as the Hudson Guild Theatre Company brings Peter Weiss's classic thriller Night With Guests to life on the High Line. Performed in its original rhyming verse with comedic flair, the play follows the story of a family whose home is invaded by a murderous robber. Who will survive the night? For families with children ages 8 & up. RSVP by clicking here.

Ice Theatre of New York: 2016 Home Season at Sky Rink Chelsea Piers
Friday, October 28 Saturday, October 29 at 7:00 pm.
Sky Rink, Chelsea Piers, Pier 61 (22nd Street and the West Side Highway inside the Chelsea Piers Sports Complex)

Ice Theatre of New York (ITNY) is proud to announce the launch of its 2016/2017 Season by bringing together world-class professional skaters and guest performers at its 2016 Home Season performances on October 28 and 29. Ice Theatre of New York will be reprising “Back Bay Shuffle,” by Ballet great Edward Villella. This piece is set to the music of Artie Shaw and stars three guys on the prowl.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call (212) 929-5811 or click here.

Opera Concert Series: Lucrezia Borgia
Saturday, October 29 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Andrew Heiskell Library, 40 West 20th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues)

The New York Opera Forum performs complete concert versions of operas with piano accompaniment. Programs with act-by-act plot summaries will be provided in large print and braille. This will be a presentation of Lucrezia Borgia by Donizetti, a melodrama of royalty in 16th century Venice.

Haunted High Line Halloween
Saturday, October 29 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
On the High Line between 14th Street and 16th Street

Travel back in time and learn the history of the High Line. Get into character with artistic face painting, capture memories with our old-time photo booth, go on a scavenger hunt, dance, and watch live performances.

Halloween Kidz Karnival
Sunday, October 30 from 12:00 to 5:00 pm
Pier 26 (at North Moore Street by the Hudson River)

The fun returns to TriBeCa at Hudson River Park’s Pier 26! Join us as we transform Pier 26 into “Halloween Central” with fun-filled attractions for the family. All ages are invited. Most attractions will appeal to kids ages two to eight. Some activities are free, and select activities are $2.

43rd Annual Village Haloween Parade
Monday, October 31 at 7 pm
The Parade runs up Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street

There will be hundreds of puppets, 53 bands of different types of music, dancers and artists, and thousands of other New Yorkers in costumes of their own creation. It's the nation’s most wildly creative public participatory event in the greatest city in the world! For more information on how to volunteer to be a puppeteer or a performer in the procession, click here.

Alice in Wonderland Halloween Party
Monday, October 31 at 3:00 pm
Hudson Park Library, 66 Leroy Street (between Seventh Avenue South and Hudson Street)

Come see the staff dressed as Alice in Wonderland characters! Join us for crafts, games, stories, dancing to spooky music, and maybe a trick…or a treat. Show off your costume during the Queen of Hearts runway show. Drop in any time after school ends. All ages welcome!


Community Board 2
Thursday, October 20 at 6:30 pm
Scholastic Building, 557 Broadway (between Prince and Spring Streets)

Community Board 4
Wednesday, October 5 at 6:30 pm
Mount Sinai West, 1000 Tenth Avenue (between 58th and 59th Streets)

Community Board 5
Thursday, October 13 at 6:00 pm
Xavier High School, 30 West 16th Street (between Fifth and Sixth Avenues)

Community Board 7
Wednesday, October 5 at 6:30 pm
Goddard Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Avenue (at 88th Street)


1st Precinct Community Council
Thursday, October 27 at 7:00 pm
16 Ericsson Place (corner of Bleecker Street)

6th Precinct Community Council
Wednesday, October 26 at 7:00 pm
Our Lady of Pompeii, 25 Carmine Street (between Beach & N. Moore Streets)

10th Precinct Community Council
Wednesday, October 26 at 7:00 pm
230 West 20th Street (between Seventh & Eighth Avenues)

13th Precinct Community Council
Tuesday, October 18 at 6:30 pm
230 East 21st Street (between Second and Third Avenues)

Midtown North Community Council
Tuesday, October 18 at 7:00 pm
306 West 54th Street (between Eighth and Ninth Avenues)

Midtown South Community Council
Thursday, October 20 at 7:00 pm
New Yorker Hotel, 481 Eighth Avenue (between West 34th and West 35th Streets)

20th Precinct Community Council
Monday, October 24 at 7:00 pm
120 West 82nd Street (between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues)