Faculty foes throw Bleecker blowout over N.Y.U. plan

Jeff Greene from the band Tribecastans at the “Save the Village” concert played everything from a hurdy-gurdy to three flutes at the same time — whatever it took to raise funds to fight the N.Y.U. 2031 development plan. The accordian player (BELOW) doubled on piano. Photos by Tequila Minsky

BY TEQUILA MINSKY  |  Musicians against mega-development rocked out at the Poisson Rouge on Wed., Oct. 10, to raise funds to fight N.Y.U.’s 2031 superblocks expansion project.

The evening featured a lineup of stellar musical performances, with headliners John Zorn and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore.

A highpoint of the benefit at the Bleecker St. club was the set by the 11-piece Tribecastans, which included a hurdy-gurdy, jaw harp, accordion, washboard, a bevy of horns, a slew of strings and various exotic instruments, all played by extraordinarily accomplished musicians.

Janine Nichols sang “Pretty Soon There’ll Be Nothing Left for Everybody.”

Tribecastans frontman John Kruth read an N.Y.U.-specific version of “Purple People Eater,” adding, “Please don’t eat my street; please don’t eat all the cherry trees that I love so much every spring.”

Gordon Gano of The Violent Femmes fiddled with the multigenre ensemble, then sang the Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun.”

The music got people dancing and laughing. But it was no laughing matter that brought the crowd to the Poisson Rouge.

A lawsuit against N.Y.U.’s expansion plan on its South Village superblocks was recently filed by 11 groups, including N.Y.U. Faculty Against the Sexton Plan and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

N.Y.U. FASP member Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media, culture and communication, helped organize the benefit, which raised funds for legal fees, as he put it, to “put a stop to this destructive, environmentally calamitous process that’s destroying the city we all love.”

“N.Y.U. does not rock — N.Y.U. rolls,” he told the concert crowd. “It rolls its students; it rolls its faculty; it rolled the City Council. We’ve got to stop this.”


In July, the full City Council approved the N.Y.U. 2031 plan with only one dissenting vote, by Charles Barron.

N.Y.U. is scheduled to give a presentation about the restrictive declaration and agreements controlling its construction plans on the superblocks at a Tues., Oct. 23, meeting of Community Board 2’s Arts & Institutions Committee, starting at 6:30 p.m., location to be determined. Check the Community Board 2 Web site for more information.