TONIGHT ON METROFOCUS

Will New York City’s former Mayor Michael Bloomberg challenge President Donald Trump in 2020? What’s the fallout in Albany after the primaries? Who are the real winners and losers in the Empire State? We’re breaking it down. A prostitution and gambling ring was busted in Brooklyn and Queens. The three-year investigation resulted in the arrest of seven NYPD officers. Two other officers were stripped of their guns and shields. We have the details on the case rocking 1 Police Plaza. Little Italy is the place to be as the Feast of San Gennaro hits its stride. We’re bringing you the sights, smells and colorful personalities behind this iconic Manhattan event. We bring you to Borough Park, Brooklyn, where a group of Hasidic women are breaking with tradition and smashing patriarchal gender roles, all while saving lives.

Aired on September 17, 2018. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT ON 'METROFOCUS,' FROM MANSION TO THE WHITE HOUSE.

WILL NEW YORK CITY'S FORMER MAYOR MIKE BLOOMBERG MAKE IT OFFICIAL AND CHALLENGE PRESIDENT TRUMP IN 2020?

WHAT'S THE FALLOUT IN ALBANY AFTER THE PRIMARIES?

AND WHO ARE THE REAL WINNERS AND LOSERS IN THE EMPIRE STATE GOING INTO THE WEEK?

WE ARE BREAKING IT DOWN.

AN INVESTIGATION COMES TO ABEND.

A PROSTITUTION AND GAMBLING RING BUSTED IN BROOKLYN AND QUEENS.

THE RESULT, SEVEN NYPD OFFICERS ARRESTED AND TWO OTHERS STRIPPED OF THEIR GUNS AND SHIELDS.

WE HAVE THE DETAILS ON THE CASE ROCKING ONE POLICE PLAZA.

LITTLE ITALY IS THE PLACE TO BE AS THE FEAST OF SAN GENNARO HITS ITS STRIDE.

AND FINALLY, A GROUP OF HASIDIC WOMEN ARE BREAKING WITH TRADITION AND SMASHING PAT PATRIARCHAL ROLES, ALL WHILE SAVING LIVES.

THOSE STORIES AND MORE AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

Announcer: THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY -- CORPORATE FUNDING FOR 'METROFOCUS' WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA, YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.

AND BY PSE&G, SERVING CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING IN THE FUTURE.

> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M JACK FORD.

ACCORDING TO A REPORT FROM THE TIMES OF LONDON, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG IS EYEING A RUN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE IN 2020.

DESPITE PREVIOUSLY CONSIDERING AS AN INDEPENDENT, WHEN HE PRESIDE OVER CITY HALL, HE DID SO AS A REPUBLICAN.

ARMED WITH AN ESTIMATED PERSONAL FORTUNE OF MORE THAN $50 BILLION, THE 76-YEAR-OLD WOULD NOT HAVE ANY ISSUE FINANCING THE CAMPAIGN IF HE DECIDES TO RUN.

THAT NEWS OVER THE WEEKEND WAS A BUSY WEEK IN NEW YORK POLITICS, WITH GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO DEFEATING HIS CHALLENGER, CYNTHIA NIXON.

AND A WAVE OF YOUNG PROGRESSIVES SECURED VICTORIES, OUSTING MEMBERS OF THE INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC CONFERENCE, WHO HAD CAUCUSED WITH REPUBLICANS, AN ALLIANCE THAT CAUSED MUCH CONSTERNATION WITH MANY IN ALBANY.

WE'RE PLEASED TO WELCOME BACK JOHN LYNN TO 'METROFOCUS.'

GOOD TO SEE YOU.

ALWAYS SEEMS LIKE WE HAVE A LOT TO TALK ABOUT.

LET'S START WITH THE NOTION OF FORMER MAYOR BLOOMBERG RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.

WE HEARD THIS BEFORE IN THE PAST.

IT'S BEEN FLOATED REGULARLY.

WE KNOW HE'S SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED IT IN THE PAST.

WHAT DO YOU SOUNDS DIFFERENT ABOUT THIS?

MORE OF IT SOUNDS THE SAME.

2008, 2012, 2016, HE'S OPINION -- HE'S BEEN IN THE CONVERSATION.

OBVIOUSLY NEVER JUMPED IN.

AS YOU NOTED, AS A DEMOCRAT, COULD HE WIN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY?

COULD HE SUCCEED IN IOWA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND SOME OF THESE STATES?

ESPECIALLY IN AN ERA WHERE NOT ONLY WITH TRUMP YOU HAVE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY GOING RIGHT, BUT THE DEMOCRAT PARTY MOVING LEFT.

SO THAT'S A BIG QUESTION.

HOW ABOUT THE NOTION OF HIM SAYING LOOK, I WAS A REPUBLICAN, BUT I LOOK TO BE AN INDEPENDENT.

I'M A LITTLE BIT MORE OF A CENTRIST.

CERTAINLY ON SOCIAL ISSUES.

DO YOU THINK THAT THE CLIMATE MIGHT BE BETTER FOR HIM NOW TO RUN THAN IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST?

THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.

HARD TO SAY.

BUT AGAIN, YOU SEE INCREASING POLARIZATION RIGHT NOW.

YOU SEE BOTH PARTIES GOING TO THE EXTREMES.

MIGHT BE HARD TO GET THROUGH THE PRIMARIES.

I THINK THERE IS AN APPETITE BY SOME VOTERS FOR SOMEONE IN THE MIDDLE, AGAIN, AS A REACTION TO THAT POLARIZATION.

I DON'T KNOW IF YO CAN GET THERE.

HE'S ALSO 76, HE'S NOT A YOUNG MAN ANYMORE.

HE LOOKS GREAT, HE'S IN GOOD SHAPE.

BUT THAT'S A NUMBER THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH.

AND GUN RIGHTS, ENVIRONMENT, HE WAS REALLY STRONG WITH CORE DEMOCRATIC POSITIONS.

BUT ON THINGS LIKE CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM, SOME OTHER ISSUES, ECONOMIC INEQUALITY, A VERY BIG ISSUE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, HE'S NOT REALLY IN SYNC WITH A LOT OF DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY VOTERS.

HOW SOON DO YOU THINK HE WOULD HAVE TO ACTUALLY PUT HIS FLAG IN THE GROUND AND SAY OKAY, I'M NOW A CANDIDATE?

I THINK HE CAN WAIT A LITTLE BIT LONGER.

YOU MENTIONED HIS WEALTH.

AND THAT MAKES HIM A BIT UNUSUAL.

AGAIN, HE'S DONE THIS BEFORE.

IT DOES MAKE HIM PART OF THE CONVERSATION AND GIVES HIM MORE INFLUENCE.

BUT WHETHER HE GETS IN, IT'S HARD TO SAY.

I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF HE JUST TALKS ABOUT IT FOR A WHILE AND OPTS NOT TO IN THE END.

LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT YOUR WEEKLY LIST OF WINNERS AND LOSER.

THE TOP ON THE LIST, GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO.

WHY AND HOW DOES IT POSITION HIM, DO YOU THINK, TO MOVE FORWARD?

SURE.

THURSDAY WAS THE STATE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES.

THE GOVERNOR DID HAVE A CHALLENGE FROM CYNTHIA NIXON.

SHE GOT OF VISIBILITY, HER ACTING CAREER, HER CELEBRITY.

HE WON HANDILY, CLOSE TO 2/3 OF THE VOTE.

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, THE GOVERNOR DID SAY DURING A DEBATE HE WILL NOT RUN FOR PRESIDENT.

HE WAS PRETTY DEFINITIVE.

HE WAS PUSHED TO BE VERY DEFINITIVE ABOUT IT.

WERE YOU SURPRISED?

I WAS SURPRISED BY THAT.

AMONG THE ALBANY PRESS CORPS, PEOPLE THOUGHT HE HARBORED AMBITIONS FOR PRESIDENT.

I SAY STAY TUNED LIKE THAT.

HE MIGHT BE THE MORE LIKELY NEW YORKER TO GET IN.

LET'S TAKE A LOOK, YOU MENTIONED THE IDC, ALEXANDER BIJIA, EXPLAIN WHY SHE'S A WINNER.

I THINK THAT WAS THE BIGGEST SURPRISE OF ELECTION NIGHT.

SHE BEAT JEFF KLEIN, A STATE SENATOR FROM THE BRONX.

HE HAD STARTED EIGHT YEARS AGO THE INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC CONFERENCE.

THIS WAS A BREAKAWAY GROUP THAT PARTNERED WITH REPUBLICANS.

IN THE YEAR OF TRUMP, YOU HAD A LOT OF DEMOCRATS AND PROGRESSIVES THAT WERE UNHAPPY AT THAT COOPERATION.

EARLIER THIS YEAR, THE IDC WAS DISBANDED, BUT IT WASN'T ENOUGH.

SHE WAS SUCCESSFUL, KNOCKED OUT KLEIN, WHO IS A REAL INFLUENTIAL POWER BROKER IN ALBANY.

LETICIA JAMES.

ANOTHER BIG WINNER, THE NEW YORK CITY PUBLIC ADVOCATE.

SHE WON A CROWDED PRIMARY FOR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL.

ACTUALLY DID PRETTY WELL, BETTER THAN THE POLLS SUGGESTED.

THERE'S SOME UNDECIDED VOTERS GOING INTO THE NIGHT.

IT WAS A HOTLY CONTESTED PRIMARY.

IT WAS, AND SHE'S GOING TO BE THE TOP PROSECUTOR IN THE STATE, AS LONG AS SHE WINS AGAINST THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE.

LOOKING DOWN THE ROAD, DO YOU THINK THAT MIGHT BE POSITIONING HER FOR A RUN AS MAYOR?

I WOULD SAY MORE LIKELY IT'S BEEN A SPRINGBOARD TO GOVERNOR POSITION.

THAT WOULD BE HISTORIC FOR HER, IF SHE WINS IN THE GENERAL AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, THAT'S A HISTORIC WIN, FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN IN THE STATEWIDE POST.

THANKS, SIR.

LOOK FORWARD TO OUR NEXT CONVERSATION.

THANK YOU.

YOU BE WELL.

> SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN POLICE OFFICERS WHO ARE SWORN TO UPHOLD THE LAW ALLEGEDLY BREAK IT?

LAST WEEK, SEVEN NYPD OFFICERS WERE ARRESTED AS A RESULT OF A THREE-YEAR INVESTIGATION INTO A MULTIMILLION DOLLAR PROSTITUTION AND GAMBLING RING.

THE OPERATION RAN THROUGH BROOKLYN, QUEENS, AND LONG ISLAND.

ACCORDING TO INVESTIGATORS, WAS MASTERMINDED BY ONE MAN, RETIRED NYPD VICE DETECTIVE LUDWIG PAZ.

A 20-YEAR VETERAN OF THE NYPD, ALONG WITH HIS WIFE.

HERE WITH THE DETILES IS 'NEW YORK TIMES' MICHAEL WILSON.

NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE WITH US.

THANK YOU.

BEFORE WE GET TO THE PERSONALITIES INVOLVED, LET'S START OFF WITH HOW THIS INVESTIGATION GOT STARTED.

THIS CASE BEGINS WITH A TIP FROM WITHIN THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.

A POLICE OFFICER CALLED THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS BUREAU AND REPORTED THIS ILLEGAL ACTIVITY GOING ON.

AND THE INTERNAL AFFAIRS SET UP AN INVESTIGATION.

THERE WAS SURVEILLANCE, A LOT OF WIRETAPS, THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF WIRETAPS, AND THEY FOLLOWED THE PEOPLE AROUND, JUST TO FIGURE OUT WHO IS DOING WHAT, WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE AND SCOPE AND SCALE OF THIS THING.

AND THREE YEARS LATER, THEY RAIDED SIMULTANEOUSLY SEVEN OR EIGHT BROTHELS IN THREE COUNTIES, BROOKLYN, QUEENS, AND NASSAU.

GIVE US A SENSE OF THE CONTOURS OF THE PROSTITUTION RINGS AND THE GAMBLING RINGS.

THE MAJOR OPERATION WAS THE PROSTITUTION.

THAT'S WHERE THEY TOOK IN $2 MILLION IN THE COURSE OF A YEAR LAST YEAR.

THE GAMBLING WAS KIND OF A TRADITIONAL NUMBERS OPERATION, WHERE YOU ARE TAKING BETS FROM THE COMMUNITY.

IT'S A MONEY MAKER, BUT NOT LIKE THE PROSTITUTION.

AND IT'S ALL MASTERMINDED, ALLEGEDLY, BY A RETIRED DETECTIVE.

TALK ABOUT HIM.

LUDWIG PAZ DID HIS 20 AND OUT, WHICH IS AS SOME OFFICERS DO.

HE RETIRED IN 2010.

AND THE POLICE SAY THAT STARTING THEN, OR EVEN SOONER, HE WAS INVOLVED IN THIS PROSTITUTION BUSINESS.

NOW, HE WAS A VICE OFFICER, SO THAT WAS HIS ENTREE, INTRODUCTION INTO THIS WORLD.

SO HE KNOWS THE LANDSCAPE.

HE KNOWS THE LANDSCAPE.

HE KNOWS HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED.

HE KNOWS THE OTHER SIDE.

HE KNOWS HOW POLICE INVESTIGATE THESE.

AND THEY COULD USE THAT KNOWLEDGE TO AVOID DETECTION, WHICH HE DID FOR MULTIPLE YEARS.

HOW ABOUT THE OTHER POLICE OFFICERS WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED, WHAT ARE THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THEM AND WHAT WERE THEIR ROLES IN THIS OPERATION?

THEY VARIED.

ALL THE WAY FROM DOORMEN, ACCEPTING CASH OUTSIDE AN APARTMENT BUILDING WHERE THERE WAS A BROTHEL INSIDE, TO ARRESTING COMPETING PROSTITUTION OPERATIONS.

THESE GUYS WOULD BREAK UP THE COMPETITION, LOCK THEM UP.

TO MOST NOTORIOUSLY, TIPPING OFF PAZ TO A POLICE INVESTIGATION COMING THEIR WAY, UP TO AND INCLUDING CALLING HIM AND DESCRIBING, AND THIS IS BEYOND TABU IN LAW ENFORCEMENT CIRCLES, PHYSICALLY DESCRIBING AN UNDERCOVER OFFICER WHO IS COMING TO A BROTHEL IN THE COURSE OF AN INVESTIGATION.

YOU ARE NOW OUT THING GUY.

NO ONE WAS HURT OR INJURED IN THAT REGARD, BUT THAT REALLY SEEMED TO PERSONALLY OFFEND A LOT OF THE POLICE OFFICERS.

SOME OF THE METHODS THAT ARE ALLEGED HERE THAT THE RINGLEADER USED TO PROTECT AGAINST UNDERCOVER OPERATIVES COMING INTO THE SITUATION, JUST GIVE ME A SENSE OF SOME OF THE THINGS THEY ARE ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN DOING.

THE ONE THAT IS THE MOST COLORFUL AND GRAPHIC.

POLICE OFFICERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO EXPOS THEMSELVES WHILE INTERACTING WITH A PROSTITUTE.

WHILE UNDERCOVER.

YEAH.

SO FORMER DETECTIVE PAZ KNEW THIS, SO HE SET UP THE FIRST THING YOU HAD TO DO AS A CUSTOMER AT ONE OF HIS PLACES, WAS EXPOSE YOURSELF.

THAT WAS HIS LITMUS TEST.

EXACTLY.

SO A DETECTIVE MIGHT SAY, I DON'T WANT TO DO THAT, THAT'S WEIRD.

AND HE WOULD SAY, OUT.

HOW HAS THE TOP LEVEL OF THE NYPD RESPONDED TO THESE ALLEGATIONS?

COMMISSIONER O'NEIL WAS OPENLY ANGRY AT HIS PRESS APPEARANCES THE OTHER DAY WHEN THESE CHARGES WERE ANNOUNCED.

HE SAID EVERY MEMBER OF THIS POLICE DEPARTMENT, YOUR BADGE HAS BEEN TARNISHED BY THESE INDIVIDUALS, AND YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO BE ANGRY, AS WELL.

TO THEIR CREDIT, A LOT OF THESE TIMES, A LOT OF THESE KINDS OF CORRUPTION CASES COME FROM THE OUTSIDE.

LIKE A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION.

THIS CAME FROM WITHIN.

STARTING WITH THAT TIPSTER, THE POLICE OFFICER WHO BLEW THE WHISTLE.

THE POLICE DEPARTMENT IS REMINDING US THAT WE SOLVED OUR OWN PROBLEM FROM WITHIN.

AND SOMETIMES THE ALLEGATION AGAINST THE POLICE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN, YOU CAN'T POLICE WITHIN YOUR OWN WALLS.

BUT THIS SEEMS TO BE A SITUATION WHERE THE NYPD SAYS WE ARE POLICING WITHIN OUR OWN WALLS ARE.

THEY ANTICIPATING ANY ADDITIONAL ARRESTS TO BE MADE, ESPECIALLY ANY OTHER POLICE OFFICERS?

WE'RE TOLD THEY'RE NOT ANTICIPATING ARRESTING ANY OTHER POLICE OFFICERS AT THIS TIME.

THEY ALWAYS SAY THAT COULD CHANGE BASED ON NEW INFORMATION.

BUT THEY HAVE THE SEVEN ACTIVE OFFICERS AND THE RETIRED PAZ.

MORE CIVILIANS I THINK ARE IN THE LINEUP FOR BEING ARRESTED.

I'M NOT SURE.

MIKE, A FASCINATING STORY.

EXTRAORDINARY INVESTIGATION, GREAT REPORTING BY YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES AT 'THE NEW YORK TIMES.'

WE'LL TALK AGAIN.

> IN MID SEPTEMBER IN LITTLE ITALY, AND THAT COULD MEAN ONE THING, IT'S TIME FOR THE FEAST OF SAN GENNARO, WHERE MULBERRY STREET CLOSES DOWN AND TRANSFORMS INTO A FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE.

THIS STARTED AS A ONE-DAY BLOCK PARTY TO HONOR ST.

GENNARO.

WHAT YOU HAVE NOW IS AN 11-DAY FEAST FILLED WITH GREAT FOOD AND EVENTS SQUEEZED INTO A FEW BLOCKS IN LITTLE ITALY JUST OFF OF CANAL STREET.

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS FEAST IS THE GUY OVER HERE, ST. GENNARO.

THAT'S THE FOCUS FOR US.

PEOPLE MAKE MONEY OVER HERE, AND THAT'S GREAT.

BUT WITHOUT ST. GENNARO, WE HAVE NOTHING.

AND IT'S HONORING THE PATRON SAINT.

AND ON THE 19th OF HIS FEAST DAY, THAT'S WHEN WE HAVE THE SOLEMN MASS.

THE BISHOP IS COMING.

AND WE CARRIED THE SAINT THROUGH THE STREETS.

WHO IS THIS PATRON ST.

GENNARO?

JOHN BROKE DOWN THE STORY AND HOW THE FEAST MADE ITS WAY FROM SOUTHERN ITALY TO A SMALL ENCLAVE IN MANHATTAN.

ST. GENNARO IS THE PATRON SAINT OF NAPLES.

HE WAS MARTYRED IN 305.

FIRST THEY TRIED TO POISON HIM, IT DIDN'T WORK.

EVENTUALLY THEY CUT HIS HEAD OFF.

WHAT HAPPENED, THE PEOPLE IN NAPLES SOAKED UP HIS BLOOD AND PUT THE BLOOD IN VIALS THAT ARE AT THE CATHEDRAL IN NAPLES.

ON THE 19th, THE BLOOD LIQUEFIES.

WHEN IT DOESN'T, SOMETHING HAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE WORLD.

WORLD WAR II WAS THE LAST TIME.

INTERESTING STORY, AND NO ONE KNOWS HOW THE BLOOD LIQUEFIES.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE FEAST?

WHEN THE ITALIAN IMMIGRANTS CAME HERE, THEY WERE ALL FROM NAPLES, AND THEY BROUGHT BACK THEIR TRADITION OF HONORING THEIR PATRON SAINT.

IN ITALY, EVERYTHING IS DONE OUTDOORS, SO THEY DID THAT HERE.

AND 90 PLUS YEARS LATER, IT'S STILL GOING STRONG.

THE SIGHTS, SOUNDS, AND SMELL OF LITTLE ITALY FILL THE AIR.

FEAST SINCE THE BEGINNING.

IT'S BEEN IN MY FAMILY, AND IT'S SUCH A TRADITION.

IT'S MY HERITAGE.

SOMETHING TO HOLD ON TO, LIKE PART OF MY FAMILY.

Reporter: THE SIGNIFICANCE IS CERTAINLY NOT LOST ON LUCY, WHO WAS NAMED AFTER HER GRANDMOTHER, AFTER SERVING COUNTLESS SAUSAGES AND PEEPERS, SHE STILL GETS A KICK OUT OF THE FEAST.

ALL THE EXCITEMENT AND THE PEOPLE.

JUST EVERYTHING ABOUT IT.

IT'S NEW YORK.

PEOPLE LOOK FORWARD TO THIS.

IT'S ONE OF THE BIGGEST EVENTS IN THE CITY.

AND ACTUALLY, EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT IT.

92 YEARS, THEY KNOW EXACTLY THE DATES, EVERYTHING.

THIS IS JUST ONE OF A HANDFUL OF BUSINESSES OPEN DURING THE FEAST.

THE BUSINESS IS ABUZZ AS THEY GEAR UP SERVING SOME OF THE BEST ITALIAN CHEESES AND MEATS FOR THE FESS VALUE OF SAN GENNARO.

OH, MY GOSH.

I WAS TELLING SOMEBODY EARLIER, I'VE BEEN DOWN HERE SINCE I WAS A KID.

I REMEMBER EATING CANNOLI CREAM DURING THE FEAST.

IT'S GREAT.

IT'S AMAZING.

JUST KEEPING THE TRADITION ALIVE.

THIS IS ONGOING, YES, LITTLE ITALY HAS GOTTEN SMALLER, BUT WE STILL HAVE, YOU KNOW, OUR ELDERS THAT ARE HERE THAT HAVE COME -- THEY'VE BEEN HERE WITH US FOR 70 YEARS IN THE STATES.

THEY GET A LITTLE HECTIC, BECAUSE THEY'RE LIKE, WE GOT ALL THIS STUFF GOING ON, BUT WE ALL LOVE IT.

IT'S A WONDERFUL COMMUNITY.

Reporter: KEEPING THE TRADITION ALIVE TAKES SOME HEAVY LIFTING, ESPECIALLY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN.

BEFORE THE OPENING DAY, THERE WAS LOTS OF SOUNDS OF WORK BEING DONE TO MAKE LITTLE ITALY A BIT MORE ITALIAN WITH OPEN AIR SEATING AND FOOD STANDS.

THE LOGISTICAL PLANNING TAKES WEEKS, IF NOT MONTHS.

BUT WHEN IT'S TIME TO BUILD, THE BUSINESSES HAVE THREE DAYS.

WE CAUGHT UP WITH DANNY FRADA, WHOSE FAMILY HAS BEEN HERE FOR DECADES.

IT'S VERY SPECIAL TO ME.

THIS IS A LABOR OF LOVE, IT'S NOT AN EASY THING TO DO.

BUT IT'S A PART OF WHO I AM.

BETWEEN THE CULTURES OF BEING ITALIAN, AND THE FACT THAT, YES, FOR ABOUT 80 YEARS, MY FAMILY, NO ONE HAS BEEN ON THE CORNER OF THIS FEAST OTHER THAN MY FAMILY.

WHICH IS SOMETHING THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME.

THIS IS A PART OF WHO I AM.

IN ORDER TO GET THE JOB DONE, SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO CALL IN REINFORCEMENTS.

WE CALL EVERYBODY THAT WE KNOW.

HEY, THE FEAST IS COMING UP, NEED YOU FOR 11 DAYS.

MY ONE AUNT INERS JERSEY IS COM DOWN EVERY DAY.

IT RUNS UNTIL SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd.

FOR A LIST OF EVENTS THAT ARE HAPPENING DURING THE FEAST, INCLUDING A MEATBALL EATING CONTEST, BEING HELD IN THE HONOR OF JOHN, WHO WAS KNOWN HERE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD AS CHA CHA, AND THE UNOFFICIAL MAYOR OF LITTLE ITALY.

AND CHECK OUT THE CANDLE LIT PROCESSION ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22.

> HOW WAS IT THAT AMERICA'S FIRST ALL-FEMALE EMT CORE WAS CREATED IN A COMMUNITY WHERE A COME IS EXPECTED TO BE A MOTHER AND ANY PROFESSION OR EXTRA SCHOOLING IS DISCOURAGED?

THAT'S THE QUESTION THAT FILMMAKER PAULA EISELT ANSWERS IN HER NEW DOCUMENTARY, '93 QUEEN.'

IN THE PROCESS, SHE INTRODUCES US INTO AN ORTHODOX JEWISH WOMAN WHO IS A PRACTICING WOMAN, HAS ALREADY CHALLENGED SOCIETY'S EXPECTATIONS, AND SEES THE NEED TO RETHINK GENDER ROLES IN THAT COMMUNITY.

HERE'S A LOOK.

THERE WAS A HUGE DIVIDE BETWEEN THE GENDERS.

I'M BEING TOLD THAT IT'S NOT RIGHT FOR JEWISH GIRLS TO BECOME EMTs.

WHEN I FIRST WENT TO HASELLA, OH, NO, THEY TELL ME.

MEN ARE SUPERIOR.

IT'S THE BOY'S CLUB.

IT TOOK LIKE 30 YEARS FOR SOMEBODY TO SAY, WE'LL TO OUR OWN THING.

JOINING US NOW IS THE DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER OF '93 QUEEN,' PAULA EISELT.

PAULA, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

THIS IS A FASCINATING DOCUMENTARY, A FASCINATING STORY FIRST OF ALL.

HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR OF IT?

SO I ACTUALLY FOUND THIS STORY ABOUT SIX YEARS AGO ONLINE.

I WAS PERUSING THIS ONLINE ORTHODOX WEBSITE FOR FUN.

AND I FOUND A LITTLE BLURB ABOUT A GROUP OF HASIDIC WOMEN WHO WERE STARTING THE FIRST ALL-FEMALE AMBULANCE CORPS.

AND THE REASON THEY WERE START THING IS BECAUSE THE EXISTING ALL-MALE CORPS CALLED HASELLA, DID NOT ALLOW WOMEN TO JOIN.

SO TWO THINGS IMMEDIATELY STRUCK ME WHEN I READ THAT.

THE FIRST WAS THAT HASELLA DID NOT ALLOW WOMEN.

I'M FAMILIAR WITH HASELLA.

I GREW UP IN A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT HAS HASELLA.

IT JUST NEVER OCCURRED TO ME THAT THIS LIFE-SAVING ORGANIZATION DID NOT ALLOW WOMEN TO JOIN, ACTIVELY BANNING THEM.

THAT WAS VERY UPSETTING TO ME.

THE SECOND WAS, HERE WERE A GROUP OF HASIDIC WOMEN WHO WERE NOT TAKING NO FOR AN ANSWER.

AND JUST THAT VERY FACT THAT THEY WERE BEING DEFIANT, THEY WERE SAYING IF YOU'RE NOT GOING TO LET US IN, WE'RE GOING TO DO OUR OWN THING, WAS REALLY EMPOWERING TO ME AS A WOMAN.

AND THEN THE FACT THAT THIS IS FROM THE HASIDIC COMMUNITY IS AN ADDED SOMETHING REALLY EXCEPTIONAL.

TALK ABOUT RACHEL PRYOR, WHO IS SHE?

WHO IS RACHEL FRIAR?

SHE'S SO MANY THINGS, BUT AT HER CORE, SHE'S AN ACTIVIST AND A CHANGEMAKER AND A TRAILBLAZER.

SHE HAS DONE SO MUCH FOR THE HASIDIC COMMUNITY, AND DOES A LOT OF THINGS EVEN BEFORE, KIND OF IN THE BACKGROUND.

SHE KNOWS HOW TO MAKE CHANGE FROM WITHIN.

BUT HOW DID SHE GET THAT WAY?

SHE'S SO FAR FROM THE STEREOTYPE OF THE HASIDIC WOMAN, WHAT WERE THE INFLUENCES -- SHE'S ONE OF THE MOST IMPRESSIVE PEOPLE I'VE EVER SEEN, HONESTLY.

YES, SHE TRULY IS.

I THINK IT'S A NATURE THING.

THIS IS HOW GROWING UP, SHE WAS ALWAYS A GO GETTER.

BUT SHE DOES CREDIT HER MOTHER FOR REALLY INSTILLING THIS IN HER, THAT YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO STAND UP FOR WHAT'S RIGHT.

SO THAT WAS SOMETHING WITHIN HER.

I THINK THE MORE COMMUNITY ACTIVISM SHE DID, THE MORE SHE WANTED TO DO.

RACHEL IS ALSO VERY UNCOMPROMISING IN HER BELIEFS AND VALUES.

WE SEE THAT.

YES.

AND WHEREAS TYPICALLY BEING FROM THE HASIDIC COMMUNITY AND LIVING IN A VERY INSULAR PLACE, YOU KNOW, FROM THE OUTSIDE CAN SEEM AS A DETRIMENT, HOW CAN SHE BREAK INTO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, HOW CAN SHE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITIES SHE'S HAD?

BUT SHE'S KIND OF REVERSED THAT AND USED THAT AS A STRENGTH.

NOW, THE HOSTILITY OF HA HASELLA, OF THAT ORGANIZATION, THE HOSTILITY THAT THEY HAVE TOWARDS THIS NEW ORGANIZATION THAT RACHEL IS TRYING TO CREATE, WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THAT?

IS IT JUST OLD PLAIN SEXISM, RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OR YOU'RE TRYING TO CRUSH THE COMPETITION?

I THINK IT'S EVERYTHING COMBINED OF WHAT YOU JUST SAID.

THERE'S NO STRAIGHT-UP ANSWER.

IT USED TO BE THE FIRST ANSWER WAS THEY DON'T WANT THE GENDERS MINGLING ON THE CALLS.

BUT THAT DOESN'T REALLY MAKE SENSE.

BECAUSE YOU'RE TREATING WOUNDED PATIENTS ANY WAY, AND ALSO THAT CAN BE EASY HIILY WORKED OUT.

THAT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT IS UNWORKABLE.

I BELIEVE IT'S ABOUT POWER.

YES.

YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE CLAIMED EMS IN THE COMMUNITY, AND TO ALL OF A SUDDEN HAVE A NEW ORGANIZATION, ESPECIALLY WOMEN COME IN, IS VERY THREATENING TO THEM.

HASELLA IS -- AND THEY'RE AN INCREDIBLE ORGANIZATION.

THEY SAVE LIVES.

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT AN AMBULANCE CORPS HERE.

BUT WITHIN THE HASIDIC COMMUNITY, THERE'S A POWER ELEMENT THERE, AND THEY HAVE A LOT OF CLOUT, AND IT GOES BEYOND JUST SAVING LIVES THERE.

YOU SEE THE HOSTILITY THROUGHOUT THE FILM.

BUT THROUGHOUT THE FILM, AND THEY COVER IT AS THIS IS NOT A ROLE FOR WOMEN.

BUT I'M THINKING, THERE'S GOT TO BE A LOT OF HASIDIC MEN WHO WOULD PREFER WOMEN TAKING CARE OF THEIR DAUGHTERS.

THE AVERAGE HASIDIC GUY OR EVEN THE MEMBERS THEMSELVES ARE REALLY OKAY WITH THIS.

IT'S THE LEADERSHIP THAT IS UNRELENTING WITH THAT.

LISTEN, THERE'S ALL KINDS OF DEVELOPMENTS AND CONFLICTS IN THIS FILM THAT I DIDN'T WANT TO GET INTO, BECAUSE I DIDN'T WANT TO GIVE IT AWAY.

VERY SURPRISING THIRD ACT.

EXACTLY, EXACTLY.

IT'S WONDERFUL.

IT'S A CHARACTER STUDY AND JUST UNPARALLELED.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU.

A PROGRAMMING NOTE, POV'S '93 QUEEN' WILL PREMIERE ON SEPTEMBER 17th AT 10:00 P.M.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P.

WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.

AND BY --

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