In the entire era of lack of leadership and poor decision-making regarding the mess that is the fight to save Pier 40, one opportunity has not arisen. Until now.

Regime change.

And it’s the last chance for a Major League Soccer solution on Pier 40.

I’m writing this post to seek urgent financial support for a brave, and bravely independent young candidate in the New York State Assembly race, 66th District. Alexander Meadows.

His candidacy matters. Both to my beloved Greenwich Village, and my equally beloved Pier 40, Greenwich Village’s most threatened public sports/park resource. If you’re here you are likely aware of the Hudson River Park/Pier 40 fiscal crisis, or involved with soccer as a parent, player, or fan. If not, feel free to see all of my earlier posts, particularly the four titled “A Brief History…” for a fuller picture.

Alex Meadows is a New York City Community Board 2 member. Like his opponent, the vocal but increasingly ineffective 24+ year incumbent, Deborah Glick, he is a Village Independent Democrat. Unlike her, he actually is independent of the distressingly entrenched Albany machine. He will run independently, on the Progressive ballot line.

In regard to saving Pier 40, he will not simply say “no” to every potential solution, and just sit around and wait for a miracle. He will bring non-housing, NON AIR RIGHTS TRANSFER solutions to the table, and press the community to do so as well. “No” is not an alternative solution. Major League Soccer can be.

In the past I have been a staunch Glick supporter. But she has dismissively ignored calls to address her recent record of high-profile failures and secret deals, including the devastating loss of Saint Vincent’s Hospital, and her late-night alteration of the Hudson River Park Trust Act last June, with no community notification or assent. Glick is set to transfer Pier 40 air rights in exchange for Pier 40 repair cash, a one time deal, with no future maintenance revenue sharing. She has done this secretly and hypocritically, weakening further a conservancy-creating law, the Hudson River Park Act, that she could not prevent before its inception in 1998. Utter community betrayal.

Glick has had no legitimate primary or general election challenger for two decades. With continued corruption and secretive sexual harassment settlements and litigation in Albany, with Saint Vincent’s lost, and with Pier 40 threatened, it is long past time to unseat this reactive and subordinate Assembly member. The time to unseat her is Nov. 4, so time is of the essence!

Alex Meadows is open to a modest pro soccer park being the financial solution to Pier 40/Hudson River Park; insuring that the pier survives, and that at least 50% of the pier, 7 1/2 acres!, remains public/green/youth sports space, as the Trust Act requires. He can insure future park and pier maintenance revenues, our last hope for a fiscally prudent, favorably leveraged, sports oriented solution for saving Pier 40. Greenwich Village can’t be a dusty trophy on a glass shelf. HELP SAVE PIER 40, while giving Major League Soccer the chance to prove itself in New York City proper, where it belongs.

The future of Pier 40 as a community and youth sports mecca and neighborhood park is at stake on November 4.

www.alexforny.com will link you to online and check/mailed donation information.

Pier 40 will not survive Deborah Glick. It’s time for her to step aside.

To step aside over her fundamental lack of clout, OR, to STEP DOWN, over her grotesque and embarrassing failure to condemn Sheldon Silver.

Why isn’t the silence of Deborah Glick regarding Sheldon Silver a scandal in the community of Greenwich Village?

While it became clear long ago to many of us that Silver should step down or be forced to step down, (see my post of September 12, 2012):


the real issue is our inability as Village voters, outside of Silver’s district, to directly affect his role as Speaker. The only way to do that is to affect, at the polls, the tenure of our own Assemblymember.

This community needs to begin having an honest conversation about the weaknesses and all too late responses to crises, of Deborah Glick. While a reliable progressive legislator, she has an abysmal failure rate on ideas, guidance, or solutions for the big-ticket items of most importance to this community, NYU, Trinity, Pier 40, and of course, the unbelievable and unforgivable loss of Saint Vincent’s, the single greatest source of safe harbor for Greenwich Village. Where was she the night of Hurricane Sandy, or the next day?

Her prime sponsored legislation, according to her Assembly site, is nearly thirty percent animal rights legislation, not the prime concern of this community. Is the sale or movement of feral pigs
( http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A03767 )
of enough concern to Villagers on a daily basis that it overshadows seeking capital funding for Pier 40? Is it more relevant than creating an entity which would cause the sharing of Parks/Conservancy-raised dollars with the city parks as a whole, as Daniel Squadron has proposed? Why is the only money coming to Pier 40 from a zoning variance related gift from developers?

She has an admirable progressive record on the many issues easily identifiable as of obvious importance the district. But there must be an equally progressive, and more suitably courageous individual in this district who is more (or actually) up to the task of confronting leadership, and the threats ahead. Saving Pier 40, and of course, having the basic moral courage to stand up to an Assembly Speaker who has used taxpayer dollars to coverup a lengthy and intolerable sexual abuse scandal.

Our AssemblyWOMAN has shown an utter lack of courage when it comes to confronting the second most despicable weapon (only slightly behind rape) in the arsenal of the war against equality for women: sexual fondling, pressure, and harassment by politicians with vast power and influence. Both Lopez, and Silver.

Why does this community continue to tolerate lack of action on the part of Deborah Glick? Is it exhaustion? Is everyone too busy? Are we afraid she can not be adequately replaced? (Every politician can be, sometimes an improvement). Are we worried about losing money from, or influence in, Albany? After her twenty-two years in office you would think that this district would have power and importance enough to get the big-ticket items handled. As I have long said, the power to say “no” falls well short of using that power to create solutions. To get Pier 40 done. To stand up to Sheldon Silver prepared to fight the expected district retribution.

Solution free, alternative free prevention, that is, her easy and obvious “no” to housing on Pier 40, coupled with silence on sexual coverup at our expense has exposed a weak, uninspired and fearful legislator. This can no longer be denied. We all said “no” to housing.  Only Glick, with silence, has effectively said “yes” to Silver, and to coverup.

And what of us? I simply do not understand this lack of demand for moral conviction and action from Greenwich Villagers and other residents of her district. It is a community failure, as well as hers.

Our Assemblymember has failed us, and the only way we can get to Sheldon Silver, is to get to our own Assemlymember, who empowers Silver, at the polls here at home. It is time for an alternative to Deborah Glick.

If this community continues to give her a free pass, both Pier 40, and the hard-earned potential for an economic and equal future for women in New York City and State, will continue to wither, and deteriorate.

Deborah Glick is a well intentioned progressive legislator, but she is a follower and a responder.  This community needs a visionary, as well as a leader who has the basic and obvious political courage needed to confront Sheldon Silver, and to save Pier 40.

SOCCER is still the answer for Pier 40. And why NOT public ownership?

Our elected leaders alongside the Hudson River Park, and the Hudson River Park Trust, have collectively failed to bring home enough capital to complete the job of shoring up the pilings and concrete and make the Pier safe for maximum current revenue production. This, in advance of whatever “commercial node” revenue must then sustain it. There have been only utter lack of foresight and damaging decisions on this absolutely critical issue by BOTH the Trust and elected officials and they must BOTH be held accountable. Community leaders and sports parents have already created the sports and recreation ideal that Pier 40 must become and that clock cannot be turned back. The Trust and the elected officials ought to be made to feel shame due to ANY threat to loss of this massive space. The endless echo and stalemate of “the Trust wants housing / Glick opposes housing” is petty and tiresome, will it ever end?
The Trust and the elected officials, Glick particularly, have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they cannot work in sync to find the capital to overhaul the pilings completely and make the idiotic drumbeat of “will the Pier collapse” go away. At this point, after foolishly rejecting the Major League Soccer capital, it’s clear that no RFP can ever get off the ground without the Trust Act changed, and that the Trust Act can never be changed unless something, not luxury housing, and acceptable to Glick, has been pre-determined and agreed upon by all. It’s obviously not going to happen, and both current proposals continue to lack up-front infrastructure repair capital, so why wait?
Here’s a solution, STILL staring us straight in the face: Douglas Durst and Pier 40 Champions, call me, why not have a meeting and explore this, are big ideas no longer possible? Let’s raise money for repair, and park and smaller arena construction. A seriously revenue generating arena which can have not one but TWO pro soccer teams sharing it. One Men’s in the Tier 2 North American Soccer League, (instead of Tier 1 Major League Soccer) and one in the new National Women’s Soccer League, which desperately needs an NYC franchise. Abby Wambach visiting my neighborhood? Women’s sports? Why can’t Glick support that?  Robbie Rogers, a United States Men’s National soccer team and Major League Soccer player just came out bravely as gay and is taking some time off to adjust to the press and the world reaction.  He should immediately be signed, here, where he would be celebrated, and where he can make a difference in sport with his profile and fearlessness.  Our first captain.  The Women’s team?  Fuhgeddaboutit.  They would fill the arena in ways the Liberty never did.  And the idiots who continue to make the “hooligan” argument in regard to impact?  Unfair, unjust and just plain wrong.  Pier 40 Champions parents and their kids, me, and NYC professionals are the season ticket holders.  It’s sports, there is noise, then people go home just like they always have.  These people would argue against concerts in Central Park.  It’s more than alarmist, it’s dirty, and pathetic.
I’m willing to bet that in New York City, two small publicly/community owned teams (in the public ownership economic model of the Green Bay Packers, who we can contact for guidance), with money raised locally and worldwide (Wall Street assistance or a special “premiere” agreement with Kickstarter, we can figure this one out), can raise $100,000,000. $1000 per share or certificate, (or larger amounts per shareholder but with caps, for fairness) from one hundred thousand soccer-loving public SHAREHOLDERS. Beginning with community members (then New Yorkers, then New York State, then the USA, then the world).
A small, low-rise arena, say 15,000 seats, still leaving 60% to 65% of the Pier. And with only fifty dates needed, the public has the use of the arena the rest of the year, just like the plan was with MLS. Soccer is still the answer for this Pier, especially now that Major League Soccer and the US Soccer Federation are financially backing the Women’s League.
This is possible, it has been done, this is the right place to do it. It would be only the second COMMUNITY OWNED major league sports franchise in the United States, and a historic women’s first. Maybe later the NASL franchise moves up into Major League Soccer, and the economic sustainability becomes even more assured. Let’s start thinking back inside the box we should have been working in a long time ago. Modest pro sports is, and always was, the proper solution for Pier 40.
I would call them the Men’s and Women’s Immigrant Soccer/Football Club of New York. ISC/IFC New York. What savvy soccer fan would not pay $1000 to own part of a professional sports team in New York City, that also gets a park built for the public?
This is something uniform, a single entity, easier to deal with in a crisis, which can be built to withstand storm-surge more than any other proposal now, or yet to be. Housing and/or multiple tech businesses would be disastrous economically in a storm, how complicated it would be to plan for multiple contingencies satisfying multiple high rent high-profile entities. A pro team gets temporarily displaced to a local or regional field, IF there is a problem.
And why even CONSIDER housing on the upland area where Pier 40 Champions currently proposes housing? Instead, put the small revenue producing soccer arena on the Pier, and use the upland area, (since it seems like it’s now in play), for more park/field space. Increase the park/field in a different manner, instead of residential, and use Pier space for the commercial partner. How about a three level tennis/basketball/bocce/cafe setup upland, further opening up the Pier space for the sports that need BIG field space, soccer and baseball, and MORE GREENSPACE. With a bridge to the main Pier?
We can build passion for such a project, and build it in a manner acceptable to community, with PUBLIC ownership. You and me. My checkbook, and my time and passion, are available.


©2012 Patrick Shields – Pep Guardiola at the U. S. Open

©2012 Patrick Shields - Pep Guardiola U. S. Open 2 - www.nycmls.com

Pep Guardiola at the U. S. Open watching mixed doubles. Photo by Patrick Shields

Happened to be watching a sidecourt mixed doubles match, and noticed a commotion across the court. Turns out it was Sergio Garcia, the golfer, with a bodyguard holding an umbrella over him (until the clouds passed). All the tennis fans were fawning over him. I look to the side of him, and I see a guy who looks VERY much like Pep Guardiola. Everyone leaving him alone, no one taking photos, so I figure it can’t be him. Then I remembered the heavy Spanish quotient on the courts earlier that day, and the fact that Garcia is from Spain, so I go get a closer look, and so it was. Pep, with family, thoruoughly enjoying the U. S. Open. Relaxed, having a great time with his kids, so we left him alone to enjoy his day.

Pep enjoying his New York time off. Where to next?

Are inertia/cowardice in Greenwich Village more damaging than corruption?

The Republican war on women? I say fear and hypocrisy in the New York State Assembly.
Time to clean house in Greenwich Village.
Assemblymember Deborah Glick’s relevance continues to wane, she simply has lost the ability to think ahead, to think innovatively in any fashion, and she and Christine Quinn have been given a free pass to office for far too long. Glick apparently has been spending her summer having some friend make a ridiculous drawing to show what “shouldn’t be” on Pier 40, and focusing with insane intensity on preventing housing, rather than doing the job we elected her to do, which is to seek, present and promote fiscally prudent and actually possible alternatives. The best comment she can come up with about the Durst plan is that it has “great potential for natural light”?! What is this, her living room? That’s broker-speak. Why isn’t she reaching high and focusing laser like on this property; it should be a 24/7 fanatical pursuit. Get out to Silicon Valley and talk to venture capitalists about funding the “world’s greatest renewable energy research and development facility”, one where wind, solar and water driven technologies can all be tested (and manufactured) in one place?? The greatest research center in the world, WITH park and fields, a triumph. Where is her ambition? Or remembering when we brought it up years ago that production professionals seemed to think that the river presented impossible to overcome attenuation issues for recording? Elected officials in other cities and states are out there, hungry, traveling, finding, lobbying for and creating renewable energy, biotech, internet and medical research facilities, and Glick is beginning to favor, after all of this fighting, what essentially will amount to a mall. You want presenters with unique Pier 40 plans, GO FIND THEM! Or create them. Pitch THEM something. All the while staying silent on Sheldon Silver’s use of taxpayer money to pay off victims of old school bully and sexual predator Vito Lopez. We know now that she will not protect women, what would she have done if the victims were members of the LGBT community? Would she have stayed silent? This is an utter embarrassment. Where are the Pier 40 ideas, and where is the money? That question goes out to the Assemblymember, and to folks like Mr. Capsis of the Westview newspaper, who continues to blather on about a long gone Village, promoting grandiose hospital ideas with no backing or interest from principal parties. The concrete kind we had with Major League Soccer. There must be some local with political ambition, and ideas, willing to wage a bona-fide write-in campaign for this Assembly seat. My Greenwich Village landlord, who is a Republican running for a Senate seat in Westchester, is fanning the flames of this Assembly debacle in his campaign, and he is right. Not a bad man, Bob Cohen, but a dyed in the wool free-marketeer who seeks to end rent regulation, and has large holdings in the Village. Is he even on our Assemblymember’s radar, and what is she doing to help the Democratic candidate in Westchester overcome this threat? Democratic Assemblymembers, including Deborah Glick in my district, have ceded moral high ground to the Republicans in the Assembly and Senate, which is pathetic, cowardly and outrageous.

How a neighborhood killed the largest fieldspace Greenwich Village could have ever had.

Fred Dicker of the New York Post is reporting this morning that Major League Soccer has come to terms with both Queens AND State officials in a deal to get a stadium done near Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Not only did the borough and state officials come to terms on the necessary land swap, but Governor Cuomo became directly involved through his secretary, Larry Schwartz. In what seemed like a matter on minutes, Queens got it done. A jobs manufacturing and recreation centered entity with no housing will be built, and the state will cooperate by returning the same amount of parkland to the borough. Nine borough acres developed in what will be a historic first, nine state acres returned to the borough. The petty and egotistical politics of Greenwich Village, (and that is on the representative AND the resident side), has caused another massive failure. As with Saint Vincent’s Hospital, and the fight against NYU, our local officials, especially Deborah Glick, and several residents with far more clout than they deserve with their lack of plans of any kind, or legitimate, funded and actually possible alternatives (that’s you George Capsis with an unfunded hospital, and FIERCE with no money or plan on the table at all but a long list of demands) have failed us, failed Pier 40, and failed every single recreational user of that Pier. It’s time for a sea change in our local leaders on the Assembly, Council and Senate levels. Today, Deborah Glick’s office was publicly shamed by the office of Governor Cuomo. The old guard has got to go. All talk, no result. All defense, no offense. Gay marriage the only substantial result of this generation, and that couldn’t have been accomplished without the courage of upstate Republicans, who took the kind of political risk our local leaders have forgotten exists.

We lose. The Hudson River Park Trust and Deborah Glick will together destroy Pier 40.

Before saying anything else, one thing must be made clear: the success of the rest of the Hudson River Park indicates that there was possibility for success here. Pier 40 has now become nothing more than a political tug of war between the Trust and the office of Assemblymember Glick. It should have been settled this past June, the last chance for compromise. Better advocates for the neighborhood would have known when to find middle ground, and they should both be ashamed, the Trust for knowingly forcing high rise real estate, and Glick for not seeing the compromise in soccer. In a report circulating in The Tribeca Tribune and picked up elsewhere, the first salvo of the summer has been fired in the fight for Pier 40, and what has become clear is that it has now devolved into a battle with no compromise in sight between the Hudson River Park Trust and Diana Taylor on the commercial, corporate side, and Deborah Glick on the anti corporate side. In the meantime, the community should be prepared to suffer for their ridiculous and pretentious (on both sides) lack of ability to compromise. As you all know, we have always felt Major League Soccer to be the obvious, now faded compromise. Taylor and the Trust are threatening a phased shut down of the pier, and Glick has said NOTHING in response. This is a real and utterly urgent threat, which will affect real kids and real sports leagues. Real potential for real added green space is going to go away, in a community which has NONE! As we see it, 1.) the HRPT claimed to seek additional options while working on behalf of real estate development all the way, forcing Glick’s hand, and 2.) Glick prevented a compromise the HRPT would have gone for, in soccer, because of what she presumes about the soccer community, her presumed negative impact, an INSULT to all of us in the soccer community. NEITHER of them with the best and first interests of this community in mind. Whatever good Glick has done for this community, she has now made clear that she suffers from intransigence and lack of impact when it matters most. And ESPECIALLY when there is room for a compromise she was unwilling to do homework about. Why does this career politician have no Democratic primary opposition? Why does the HRPT have the power to shut down this pier in any capacity without community approval?