This Week in Chelsea: February 21-27, 2022

In This Week’s “THIS WEEK IN CHELSEA”

In Order of Appearance:

CRDC´s Black History Month Forum / Rat Academy! / 10th Precinct Community Council & Build the Block Sector B MeetingsCommunity Board Applications Accepted Through March 1 / Fountain House Gallery Group Exhibition /  Hudson Guild Gallery Exhibits / Participatory Budgeting is Back / Neighborhood Business Grants

Tuesday, February 22, 7-9pm via Zoom: The Chelsea Reform Democratic Club Presents a Black History Forum | CRDC Executive Vice President Luana Green hosts this forum focused on the past, present, and future of the Black experience and diaspora. To access this free event, click here. For the calendar page on the CRDC website, click here.

Wednesday, February 23, 6:30pm Online: Rat Academy | NYC Councilmember Erik Bottcher (Chelsea´s District 3 rep) and the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene host this practical online seminar  designed to provide, they say, “a better understanding of the biology, behavior, and habitat of rodents, contributing factors to infestation, and effective ways of evaluating site-specific responses and strategies.” If you recoil at rats or just don´t think there´s a good reason to gain “a better understanding” of them, take a leap of faith and read our recent two-part article about rat problems in West Chelsea. It´s a deep dive that connects the dots between a fleeing population, small business closures, building construction, garbage collection, and trash recepticles. Access Part I by clicking here, and access Part II by clicking here. Having done that, we´re confident you´ll be convinced Rat Academy is something every New Yorker needs to graduate from. To register for the event, click here.
From our photo archivesÑ Far left, Crime Prevention Officer Jarett Di Lorenzo looks on as the 10th Precinct’s new CO, Captain Robert Gault, introduces himself. | File photo by Winnie McCroy
Wednesday, February 23, 7pm, The 10th Precinct Community Council Meets Via Zoom and Thursday, February 24, 4pm Build the Block Sector B Meets Via Zoom | After a brief return to the brick and mortar world, for safety’s sake, it’s back to the online format of Zoom for the monthly meetings of the citizen-led Community Council, which gives the public a rare opportunity to ask unfiltered questions of the 10th Precinct Commanding Officer, Captain Robert Gault. Bring your  concerns and requests for comment and employ a civil tone, and you’ll get a frank response from CO Gault, who has made a habit of providing insights and information you won’t hear about anywhere else other than these meetings (and editorial content on the very website you are visiting right now). That is of particular value for those in the community eager for updates about such crime area hot spots as Eighth Ave. btw. W. 20th & 23rd Streets, where last month’s news from Gault included an arrest based on undercover work at Eighth Ave.´s Sexy Boutique and the adult store across from it. Seems an employee was double dipping by working at both stores and doing a side hustle wherein he sold meth to store customers. The individual was taken into custody after members of the NYPD went undercover to purchase the illegal substances enough times to build a case against the suspect. What has become of the arrested individual since last month? There is one way to find out–and if you don’t know what that is, a careful read of this event listing from the top to bottom is in order. To attend the meeting via Zoom, click here. The Meeting ID is 886 3682 7225 and the Passcode is 331897. To access the 10th Precinct´s info-filled page on the nyc.gov website, click here.  To visit the Community Council´s Facebook page, click here. On the next afternoon after the Community Council meeting, at 4pm, attend the 10th Precinct Sector B Build the Block meeting. The 10th is divided into three Sectors: A, B, and C. Each sector has two Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) who are responsible for getting to know the residents and buisness owners in order to form positive relations and help both identify and correct crime and quality of life-related problems in their area. These NCOs lead the Build the Block meetings and, day-to-day, are accessible for those who need their help. As their email addresses are available on the web when you search for Sector-specific Build the Block information, it’s no state secret–and so, we are giving that contact info out right here, right now. Here are the Sector B NCOs are and their email addresses: Mark Pagano (Mark.Pagano@nypd.org) and Daniel Pavuso (Daniel.Bavuso@nypd.org).  Use the following info to access their Feb. 24, 4pm meeting: Meeting ID: 160 3954 0526 and Passcode: NYPD123! (Make sure to use that exclamation point–it{s part of the Passcode.) As for how to tell what Sector you are in, here is what you need to know: Sector A: W. 14th St. to W. 21st St., 7th Ave. to the Hudson. Sector B: North side of W. 21st St. to south side of W. 29th St., from 7th Ave. to the Hudson. Sector C: W. 29th St. to W. 43rd St., 9th Ave. to the Hudson.
Image courtesy of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine

Through March 1: Manhattan Community Board Applications Accepted | A result of last year’s Primary and General Election process, newly installed Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine has already embarked upon on of his marquee responsibilities: Appointing new members to Manhattan community boards. In order to be considered for appointment, a complete application must be submitted online or postmarked by no later than 5:00pm on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. Click here to see the application, which is a doozy, and must be completed in one single sitting–so be sure and preview it before embarking upon it.

Zeus Hope’s “Potion in My Pockets” (2021, White gel ink, colored pencils on black paper, 12 × 9 in.). | Image courtesy Fountain House Gallery

 

Through March 2: “Futures” at Fountain House Gallery | Fountain House Gallery–representing artists with mental illness–presents this  group exhibition on view through March 2, and curated by Barbara Pollack.

“Post-2020, predicting the future is perhaps an antiquated game, given how the sudden onset of the pandemic surprised all prognosticators,” said Pollack, co-founder of Art at a Time Like This, a nonprofit platform serving artists and curators in the 21st century, as they live through crises and comment on social issues; she will serve as the lead curator of Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity, opening at Asia Society in June 2022. “Combining boundless imagination with low-tech materials, the nearly 20 artists of Futures create a new way of dealing with our hopes, fears and anxieties, conjuring visions that cannot be seen through telescopes or crystal balls. From apocalyptic nightmares to over-the-rainbow fantasies, the artworks in this exhibition underscore the limits of politicians, scientists and astrologers to find a new way of envisioning imminent change. Only artists, like these, seem capable of creating images that are dynamic and capture the diversity of the future, or more accurately, ‘futures,’ since this holds a different meaning for each.”

To preview selected works, click here. Note: Masks and proof of vaccination are required for entry to Fountain House Gallery. To learn more about the gallery (702 Ninth Ave. at W. 48th St.), click here.

 

Image courtesy of Hudson Guild Arts.

Hudson Guild Galleries (Hudson Guild Fulton Center, 119 Ninth Ave. and 441 W. 26th St.) | Jim Furlong, Director of Arts at Hudson Guild, has never steered us wrong–and we’re not just saying that because we like how it rhymes. So we’re taking him at his word about good stuff happening on the Hudson Guild gallery scene. Here’s his word, literally. In a recent email, said Furlong, “I am writing to let you know about a new exhibit opening in Guild Gallery II at the Fulton Center on February 10. It’s called Memory’s Daughter, and it is a collection of lovely still lifes by Elizabeth Koszarski Skrabonja. Viewing Hours are Tuesdays – Fridays 10am – 5pm. A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, April 1 at 5:30pm. Meanwhile, Return: works with oil and fabric by Danny Simmons remains on display in Hudson Guild Gallery at the Elliott Center through March 9. This show contains some large, colorful works which are characteristic of Simmons’s vibrant style. A reception for the artist will be held on Thursday, February 17 at 5:30pm. Viewing Hours are Tuesdays – Fridays, 10am – 6pm, and Saturdays, 12pm – 4pm. And circle your calendars for Semaphore: Lauren Bakoian on paper & Jolie Stahl with clay, the next exhibit in Hudson Guild Gallery at the Elliott Center, with opening reception on March 17 at 5:30pm.”  The galleries partner with nearby neighbor Google, as part of the Google Arts & Culture online platform. In doing so, Hudson Guild shares works by artists whose work has appeared in the gallery spaces over the past two decades. “It also,” the Gallery curators note, “gives us the opportunity to create permanent records of many different kinds of shows which are presented each year in the galleries, while also advancing our mission to make the arts accessible to all.” NOTE: Hudson  Guild Galleries are free to attend, but you must observe these five points of protocol: 1. Visitors are asked to spend no more than 15 minutes inside the galleries. 2. Visitors who wish to stay in the galleries for more than 15 minutes must fill out the Hudson Guild Health Screener in advance before entering the galleries. To access the Health Screener, visit hudsonguild.org. At the top of the first (home) page, it says, “Click Here for a Health Screen,” which will take you directly to the registration page. 3. Visitors must have their temperature taken by reception staff before entering the theatre (gallery) and will not be permitted to enter if their temperature is above 100 degrees. 4. Visitors must wear masks at all times while in the building. 5. Visitors will observe social distancing of three feet from other visitors while in the galleries.

Participatory Budgeting Returns to New York City Council District 3 | Sure, he recently handed out COVID tests, and spoke passionately on TV about the joys of Chelsea street corners bereft of huge piles of garbage… but what has Councilmember Erik Bottcher done for you lately? How about set aside a cool million, to be distributed among projects created by District 3 residents? Known as Participatory Budgeting (PB), the popular Cheddar/Lettuce Distribution program, which in its first year was responsible for creating West 20th Street’s beloved Chelsea Green pocket park, is set to return once again–End Date, April 22, 2022.  Area residents (think Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Greenwich Village, West SoHo, Hudson Square, Times Square, Garment District, Flatiron, Upper West Side) vote on a variety of proposals. The winning entry is fully funded, and what’s left after that gets distributed to the second, third, etc. winners until the money has been spent. To visit Bottcher’s Councilmember web page, click here. To visit the District 3 PB page, click here. There, among other nuggets, you’ll find this dandy: That $1 million, culled from the Councilmember’s budget allocation, “can be used for physical infrastructure projects that benefit the public, cost at least $50,000, and have a lifespan of at least 5 years. For example, projects such as local improvements to schools, parks, libraries, housing, and other public spaces can be funded. Ideas are then evaluated and voted on by residents of the district.”

 

 

Neighborhood Business Grant Applications Accepted | Citizens Committee for NYC (aka CitizensNYC) awards micro-grants to community groups and small businesses focused on improving neighborhood life and strengthening local leadership. Our currently open Neighborhood Business Grant Program distributes up to $10,000 for payroll and operations. CitizensNYC gives priority to innovative projects that address critical needs in underserved communities. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; eligible stakeholders are encouraged to apply as soon as possible! Applications submitted by February 20 are prioritized. To attend an info session and apply, click here.

 

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