April 17-23, 2013 - City Newspaper
Cover story: The High Falls Film Festival | News: Water warning | Dining: Harry G's | Music: Joel Harrison | Classical: Beethoven's "Eroica" at the RPO | Theater: "33 Variations" at Blackfriars | Movies: "42," "The Place Beyond the Pines," "Room 237"
[ PAGE 12 ] Water warning. [ INTERVIEW, PAGE 8 ] A community scorecard. [ PROFILE, PAGE 7 ] City's 2013 Best Busker Contest. [ DETAILS, PAGE 27 ] APRIL 17-23, 2013 FREE • GREATER ROCHESTER’S ALTERNATIVE NEWSWEEKLY • VOL 42 NO 32 • NEWS. MUSIC. LIFE. A UNIQUE NEIGHBORHOOD BAR! 80 GAMES A WEEK MLB PACKAGE LAGUNITAS WTF BROWN ALE HEAVY SEAS BELOW DECK BARLEY WINE TROEGS NUGGET NECTAR VICTORY RANCH IPA MARCH BEER Feedback Send comments to themail@ rochester-citynews.com, or post them on our website, rochestercitynewspaper.com, our Facebook page, or our Twitter feed, @roccitynews. We edit selections for publication in print. aren’t qualified or are evil or malicious, but it means that these tax breaks are being given out by a very narrow slice of the Rochester community. I would advocate for more community members, perhaps a rotating member from a neighborhood council, maybe a college professor, community advocates on issues like housing or poverty. We need to stop letting these tax breaks be given out by the business community, and deal with them with the whole Rochester community in mind. PATRICK CHASE News. Music. Life. Greater Rochester’s Alternative Newsweekly April 17-23, 2013 Vol 42 No 32 250 North Goodman Street Rochester, New York 14607-1199 firstname.lastname@example.org phone (585) 244-3329 fax (585) 244-1126 rochestercitynewspaper.com On the cover: Illustration by Aubrey Berardini Publishers: William and Mary Anna Towler Editor: Mary Anna Towler Asst. to the publishers: Matt Walsh Editorial department email@example.com Features editor: Eric Rezsnyak News editor: Christine Carrie Fien Staff writers: Tim Louis Macaluso, Jeremy Moule Music editor: Willie Clark Music writer: Frank De Blase Calendar editor: Rebecca Rafferty Contributing writers: Paloma Capanna, Casey Carlsen, Roman Divezur, George Grella, Susie Hume, Andy Klingenberger, Dave LaBarge, Kathy Laluk, Michael Lasser, James Leach, Adam Lubitow, Ron Netsky, Dayna Papaleo, Suzan Pero, Rebecca Rafferty, Deb Schleede, David Yockel Jr. Editorial intern: Jason Silverstein Art department firstname.lastname@example.org Art director/production manager: Matt DeTurck Designers: Aubrey Berardini, Mark Chamberlin Photographers: Mark Chamberlin, Frank De Blase, Michael Hanlon Advertising department email@example.com Advertising sales manager: Betsy Matthews Account executives: Nancy Burkhardt, Tom Decker, Annalisa Iannone, William Towler Classified sales representatives: Christine Kubarycz, Tracey Mykins Operations/Circulation firstname.lastname@example.org Circulation manager: Katherine Stathis Distribution: Andy DiCiaccio, David Riccioni, Northstar Delivery, Wolfe News City Newspaper is available free of charge. 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No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, photocopying, recording or by any information storage retrieval system without permission of the copyright owner. L&M S LANE Any denomination - Great gift idea! L&M Lanes Gift Cards Now Available! OPEN BOWLING DAILY! 873 Mercha Merchants Rd. • 288-1210 www.L www.LMlanes.com Find us on Cuomo’s reforms SCHOOL EDITION Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx | Book by Jeff Whitty Original Concept by Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx | Directed by Lorie Dengler Dewey Music and Lyrics by Allen Main Stage Theatre April 19 and 20 7 pm April 20 and 27 2 pm • 7 pm April 21 and 28 5 pm Online Box Office www.sotarochester.org 585-324-3535 • 45 Prince St. • Rated PG-13 $9 - Adult $7 - Children and Seniors On Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed IDA reforms: Under Cuomo, New York has experienced the demise of 39,453 businesses. Cuomo is raiding $1.75 billion from the reserves of the off-budget State Insurance Fund. Cuomo cannot even hold on to his Democratic majority, which is in the middle of a corruption scandal and pay-to-play politics. He has disenfranchised the northern and western part of New York with his SAFE Act. He can’t make a decision, either way, with respect to fracking. New York has the highest taxes in the nation and is the most indebted state, with 33 percent of income dedicated to borrowing. It is ranked as the least “business-friendly” state in the country, has the distinction of being the least free state in the union, and is being termed the “Nanny State” with politicians legislating what we can eat and drink. Nine percent of the state’s population left for another state between 2000 and 2011 — the highest in the nation. (See the study by George Mason’s libertarianleaning Mercatus Center.) MICHAEL SILVER Posted on rochestercitynewspaper.com In it together On State Senator Ted O’Brien’s objection to the possibility that Upstate utility users would help pay to close the Indian Point nuclear plant in Westchester County: Since Downstate has been subsidizing Upstate for over 30 years now, O’Brien is way off base here. We’re all New Yorkers. Ted, what did Bill Clinton say at the DNC last year? “We’re all in this together.” This comes off as dumb posturing, something we don’t need. If O’Brien and others want to highlight the prohibitive costs of nuclear energy, fine. There is certainly enough to be said about that. But let’s do so without this kind of divisive politics and posturing. TROLL WHISPERER Posted on rochestercitynewspaper.com I like the idea of state guidelines, but I like the idea of more community oversight and veto over these tax-break packages. The list of COMIDA board members has mostly business executives of varying fields, with a union member and a few lawyers. I’m not saying these people 2 CITY APRIL 17-23, 2013 Posted on rochestercitynewspaper.com Correcting ourselves In our April 10 Feedback, an editing change resulted in an incorrect spelling of the name of a reader praising the current Geva production, “The Whipping Man.” The correct spelling is Cathy Andersen. We regret the error. rochestercitynewspaper.com CITY 3 4 CITY APRIL 17-23, 2013 GUEST COMMENTARY | BY JOHN KLOFAS From our cold, dead minds Before there was Wayne LaPierre, there was Charlton Heston. At the 2000 NRA convention, he raised a rifle high over his head, conjured up the straw man of gun confiscation, and declared: “I’ll give you my gun when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” Bluster and intimidation have been important elements in the NRA’s strategy. But these are not the NRA’s only, or even its most potent, tools. The NRA has aggressively and successfully pursued a strategy designed to ensure that the information needed for rational policy discourse is not available. Largely through riders attached to unrelated legislation by gun-friendly lawmakers, the gun lobby has prevented the collection or analysis of critical data and has erected barriers to much-needed research on gun violence. Pushed by the gun lobby, Congress cut firearms safety research funding at the Centers for Disease Control by 96 percent in the mid-1990’s and added additional gun research restrictions to that and other agencies. Using the argument that any database could be used for gun confiscation, the gun lobby has also prevented collection of almost all data on gun owners, buyers, and sellers. There are no centralized records of gun dealers, and dealers are not required to inventory their merchandise. Tracing guns used in crimes has been made nearly impossible by legal restrictions on maintaining transaction records. The NRA’s de-information strategy has allowed it to bolster its position with the claim that there is little evidence supporting specific gun-reform policies. It is more than ironic that those who fight on the false front of gun confiscation do so by trying to confiscate our knowledge, our reason, and our ability to understand. This is, though, just one skirmish in a growing war over the value and power of information. A new front opened just recently. The bill to fund the US government through the summer was amended to include a provision that bars the use of National Science Foundation funding to support research in political science unless that research promotes national security or serves US economic interests. One can only imagine the range of research topics that cannot receive taxpayer support. If not new, we are, at least, in unfamiliar territory – made so by stealth strategies. These assaults on access to information have nothing in common with better-known anti-science arguments, such as those made by advocates of teaching creationism in schools, or those who reject evidence of climate change. The warriors for deinformation are not deniers of science. They are instead its truest believers. They The NRA’s attempt to limit research is just one skirmish in a growing war over the value and power of information. understand the power of science, and they fear it. Their goal is not to deny science but to deny access to it. It is not coincidence that the effort to limit research and restrict access to information comes at a time when the technology for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information is expanding at a pace unparalleled in history. While the quantity of available information and the speed at which knowledge accumulates are new, the problems these pose, for some, are not. Those who want to limit research and reduce access to information want to do so for the same reasons Galileo was excommunicated and imprisoned for usurping the priestly power to decide the center of the universe. That challenge to power was what was revolutionary about the “scientific revolution,” and it’s what is truly revolutionary about the “information revolution” today. The stakes are high. Rational policy on guns, and on everything else, requires information. But by itself, the cold clinical sweep of that idea assumes the power of information, but ignores the power that it challenges. Little did we know that the real fight was over access to facts rather than how we interpret and understand them, and what conclusions should be drawn from them. It is the search for truth that must be protected now, because it is a revolution that some seek to confiscate. John Klofas is professor of criminal justice at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Mary Anna Towler’s Urban Journal returns next week. rochestercitynewspaper.com CITY 5 [ NEWS FROM THE WEEK PAST ] RPO challengers lose legal battle State Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Fisher upheld the board election results from the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s annual meeting, which took place in January. Fisher rejected an attempt by attorney Eileen Buholtz to invalidate the meeting and the elections. Buholtz says she will not pursue further legal action. move to try to get some of their proposals considered and discussed. Art Walk earns award Charging ahead Art Walk Extension was awarded the Transportation Project of the Year by the state chapter of the American Public Works Association. The $9 million extension of the outdoor museum concept to Union and Goodman streets is supposed to help revitalize the Neighborhood of the Arts. News ENVIRONMENT | BY JEREMY MOULE Curbside compost Rochester residents receive city-provided trash and recycling pickup, but when it comes to composting, it’s kind of a DIY thing. That’s about to change. Local residents Brent Arnold and Steve Kraft have started a city-based business, Community Composting, which will provide residential pickup of compost fodder. They’ll give subscribers a bucket for food scraps and other organic materials and they’ll make weekly pickups, Arnold says. They’ll charge $5 to $7 per pickup. (Subscribers will be able to direct Community Composting not to make a pickup on any given week by clicking a button in a weekly e-mail reminder they’ll receive.) In return, subscribers will receive credits based on the amount of waste they generate. They’ll be able to redeem the credits through a webbased store for loose compost or small kitchen herb plants, Arnold says. Community Composting will take the scraps to Epiphergy, a local company that will turn the waste into compost, animal feed, and ethanol. Arnold says that about 100 people have signed up so far and that he and Kraft should have the service going within a couple of weeks. Initially they plan to serve the Park Avenue, South Wedge, Brighton, and 19th Ward areas. The service offers a broader benefit by diverting food waste from landfills. In the big picture, keeping food wastes out of landfills helps avoid the need to expand the landfills. And when food wastes break down in a landfill they produce methane: a potent greenhouse gas. “Anything that we can do to complete the food cycle in Rochester is exciting to us,” Arnold says. For more information: www. communitycomposting.org. A state agency is giving $3.6 million to install 260 electric vehicle charging stations across New York. In Rochester: 10 stations will go in at the Frito-Lay facility for charging fleet vehicles, and three will be installed on the RIT campus for student and staff use. Statewide, stations may go in at hotels and shopping plazas, among other locations. Sustainability Hall opens at RIT Lej Dems stand up to the GOP Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature voted against borrowing for a bridge project in Wheatland and for a road project in Chili. As a result, the measures failed. Democrats, long the minority party in the Legislature, say the votes were a tactical The Rochester Institute of Technology officially opened its Sustainability Hall, which houses the Golisano Institute for Sustainability. The 84,000 square foot facility cost more than $30 million to build, and features multiple energy sources such as fuel cell technology, geothermal system, solar panels, and wind turbines. The institute was designed for master’s and doctoral studies, as well as for research in sustainable product development and manufacturing. Brent Arnold (front) and Steve Kraft (back) are starting a composting service. PHOTO BY MARK CHAMBERLIN Celebrate Earth Day & Azek Deck Day! Saturday, April 27th Receive a FREE Tree Seedling “Black Hills Spruce” At our Henrietta location NOW IN FAIRPORT Eco-friendly, positive energy products that adorn the body, enlighten the mind, and empower the spirit. Express your individuality in an organic, spiritual way. Made in America. Refining and Redefining what decking is. 120 Stonewood Ave. (just off Lake Ave) | 585.663.0430 1230 Lehigh Station Rd. Henrietta | 585.334.5500 www.mflumber.com 6 CITY APRIL 17-23, 2013 Find us on 106 N. Main St., Fairpor t • 377-8277 By recruiting well-known and tested charter management organizations, E3 Rochester could potentially change the education landscape in the city by adding more schools much quicker than individual charter school creators. Cost of War AFGHANISTAN TOTALS — 2,200 US servicemen and servicewomen and 1,081 Coalition servicemen and servicewomen have been killed in Afghanistan from the beginning of the war and occupation to April 15. Statistics for Afghan civilian casualties are not available. American casualties from April 3 to 9: -- Staff Sgt. Christopher M. Ward, 24, Oak Ridge, Tenn. -- Spc. Wilbel A. Robles-Santa, 25, Juncos, Puerto Rico -- Spc. Delfin M. Santos Jr., 24, San Jose, Calif. -- Chief Warrant Officer Matthew P. Ruffner, 34, Tafford, Pa. -- Chief Warrant Officer Jarett M. Yoder, 26, Mohnton, Pa. SOURCES: EDUCATION | BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO PROFILE | BY TIM LOUIS MACALUSO A surge of charters to Rochester? A new company created by Joe Klein, chair of Klein Steel and former board member of True North Rochester Preparatory Charter School, is recruiting specialized organizations to open and manage charter schools in Rochester. By recruiting well-known and tested charter management organizations, E3 Rochester could potentially change the education landscape in the city by adding more schools much quicker than individual charter school creators. But Klein says quality is more important than just adding schools. E3 is working with PUC Schools, an organization that operates 13 charter schools in Los Angeles, to open a middle school in Rochester, Klein says. And E3 is working with the Noble Network of Charter Schools, operators of the Pritzker College Preparatory High School in Chicago, to open a charter high school, he says. Applications to the State Education Department for the two new charters have been sent out, Klein says, and the plan is to open the schools in 2014. Each school would probably launch with a single grade and grow out, Klein says. And 100 percent of the students would be chosen by lottery, he says. Klein says he is an avid supporter of public schools, but that the problems with Community report The scores on ACT Rochester’s recently released community report card probably won’t shock you. Most people know that the nine-county Rochester region, overall, is doing better than the state in certain areas — the economy, education, health, and housing. | But when the report focuses on the city, it exposes stark disparities involving race and ethnicity. | For example, third grade English Language Arts scores on state tests show that 61 percent of white students in the region are proficient at reading and writing, compared to 34 percent of white students in city schools. | But only 35 percent of African-American third graders in the region are proficient at reading and only 23 percent from city schools. | And an interesting thing happens when you look at a comparison of rent as a percent of income by race and ethnicity. | About 12 percent of a white person’s income goes to rent in the Rochester region, and about 34 percent of their income goes to rent in the city. | But African Americans struggle, with 45 percent of their income going to rent for those living in the region. And 49 percent of their income goes to rent if they live in the city. Joe Klein. PHOTO BY MARK CHAMBERLIN iraqbodycount. org, icasualties.org, Department of Defense the Rochester school district are nearly intractable for reasons that are beyond the control of the superintendent. Opponents of charters argue that the schools siphon money and students away from the host district. And Rochester Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says the district has lost more than 3,000 students to charters. But advocates say Rochester is a ripe market for more charters because so many city schools are failing and parents want other options. Eleven charter schools are operating in Rochester, according to the New York State Education Department’s website, and more are planned in addition to E3 Rochester’s. rochestercitynewspaper.com CITY 7 INTERVIEW | BY JEREMY MOULE Sounding the alarm on water The Aral Sea in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan was once one of the world’s largest saltwater lakes. But in the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Soviet Union ramped up agricultural programs in the sea’s basin, which included diverting the freshwater streams that fed the sea and using the water for farming. By 2010, the Aral Sea was a puddle of its former self. Maude Barlow, a Canadian activist wellknown for advancing the concept of water as a human right, uses the Aral Sea as a cautionary tale. It’s an example of what can happen when water resources are abused or used unsustainably, she says. “They just diverted it to death,” Barlow says. A high-profile voice on water issues, Barlow is chair of the Council of Canadians, which is Canada’s largest public interest group, and chairs the board of Food and Water Watch in Washington, D.C. She was deeply involved in efforts to get the United Nations to declare water a human right, which it did in 2010. Barlow will be one of the keynote speakers at the Rochester Sierra Club’s annual environmental forum, which this year will span two days, April 25 and April 26. More information on the forum is available at http://newyork.sierraclub.org/rochester/. Barlow says the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem, are not the inexhaustible water source they are often perceived to be; they face threats of their own. One threat comes from over-extraction, whether it’s for drinking or for large-scale uses like agriculture and food production, industry, power plants, or paper mills. While the United States and Canada have a pact to limit withdrawals from within the Great Lakes basin, there are loopholes. For example, water bottling plants still operate in the Great Lakes region, Barlow says. And developing the regulations to implement the pact, as well as enforcing them, has been done on a state-by-state — or province-by-province — basis. And there are threats to water quality: nutrient runoff feeds algae blooms in the lakes; fracking for natural gas — which is under consideration in New York — is water-intensive; and the heavy crude oil from Canadian tar sands is being transported across the lakes via pipelines and ships. (Extracting the oil is also water-intensive, though the sands lie outside of the Great Lakes basin.) “We’ve got a kind of conquest mentality to water,” Barlow says. “We don’t respect it; we don’t protect it in watersheds.” An edited version of a conversation with Barlow follows. 8 CITY APRIL 17-23, 2013 CITY: What does it mean to recognize water as a human right? Barlow: There is actually a global water crisis in terms of the actual demand for water and the actual supply. It doesn’t mean that the water isn’t still there on the planet; it means we’ve done bad things with it. Some people have all they want, all they don’t even need, while others are going without. If you just look at straight numbers and nothing else, the lack of access to clean water is the biggest killer in the world. There isn’t anything that comes near. It’s a bigger killer of people than violence of all kinds, including war. And it’s by far the largest killer of children. While most of the people in the world who are doing without water live in the developing world, it is increasingly true that there are people in the global north experiencing this as well. In inner-city Detroit, the authorities have cut off the water officially to 42,000 residents because they can’t pay their water bills. They’re largely African American, older people, single mothers. And we’re literally talking about third-world conditions where people go out with buckets and they go to parks or they go to the local schools, or they do whatever they can to find water and bring it home. And increasingly, the water is being given over to private interests to develop industrial areas, to develop commercial interests, and away from the people and the small farmers who need it and who depend on it for life. It’s a double issue of the amount of water — the quality, quantity, and accessibility — plus poverty and injustice. Those come together to create a really serious story. As far as the Great Lakes are concerned, what are the implications of treating water as a human right? What would that mean on a global and regional basis? to live and where they’re going to get food and water. We have this gift. We have this incredible bounty and shame on us if we allow it to be destroyed. What are some of the other issues facing the Great Lakes? If you really look at the whole concept of water as a human right, you start to look at who has access, why they have access. For the Great Lakes you start to say: “These lakes don’t just belong to the people of North America.” I would argue that as a fifth of the world’s water, they are a global asset. And we have a responsibility to take care of them, and that means we have to bring in a set of principles upon which we build sustainable use for these lakes. We used to worry more about wealthy companies or countries putting pipes in the Great Lakes and just sucking the water out. I don’t think that’s going to happen. Nobody will let that happen, certainly in the near future. The larger issue is the millions and millions of refugees — water refugees, climate refugees — in the world, where they’re going First of all, they’re in decline in every way in terms of pollution, in terms of invasive species, in terms of water quality, in terms of eutrophication. And we have climate change. We’ve got a huge reduction in the amount of ice cover over the last few decades, which means that [the water] evaporates too quickly because the ice cover isn’t thick and it melts earlier in the spring. We also have overextraction. We’re literally Maude Barlow: The Great Lakes are a global asset. PHOTO PROVIDED taking more out of the BY THE COUNCIL OF CANADIANS lakes every day than we’re collectively putting back production for local needs, as opposed to this into them. And this is a really serious part massive export of stuff. of the story. You can bring in the right kind of law We also have a whole bunch of new private that spells out the ways in which you’re interests moving in to the lakes. It seems to going to protect the water, but it really does me the problem we have is there are too many start with a vision. elected officials and business people who just see the lakes as big dollar signs. We use Fracking is a big issue in New York right now, the Great Lakes as an economic resource to and the potential impact on water is a major promote profit and well-being. Now, there’s concern. In your opinion, is there any way the nothing wrong with that to a point; obviously, state could allow fracking in any capacity? people have to make a living. Of course there’s Not under current circumstances. Not with the a commercial dimension to water or a water dimension to commercial interests. But it seems method of fracking [that’s being widely used]. I chair the board of Food and Water Watch to me that’s come first. in the US and we’re calling for a full [national] moratorium on [fracking] Now, at some future What will the future of Great Lakes time they may find the technology that allows preservation or protection look like? What them to frack the gas without destroying water do you think it should look like? and without those chemicals. I’m open to that. I think we should see it as a common But under the current circumstances, under heritage; it’s a public trust that must be the current way that natural gas is produced guarded by law and by local communities. under fracking, no. And if there’s a commercial taking [of ] the We pit air against water here. We say water — if somebody wants to use the waters for some commercial purpose — they have to “Well, natural gas is better than oil, especially tar sands oil; it’s better than coal; it’s better convince the owners of the lake, the people, than nuclear. But it’s destroying water. We that they’re not going to hurt it. always see water as that thing that’s endless, Vermont’s done this. Vermont has that you can use and abuse as much as you passed groundwater legislation that says want because there’ll always be more. their groundwater is a public trust. And The story that I’m spending my life trying they actually spell out what that means: if to tell people is that’s not true. It’s just simply there’s any conflict or shortage that water for not true. It’s the most vulnerable of all the people’s daily use is a top priority, as is water resources, actually. for the ecosystem, and then sustainable food rochestercitynewspaper.com CITY 9 For more Tom Tomorrow, including a political blog and cartoon archive, visit www.thismodernworld.com URBAN ACTION This week’s calls to action include the following events and activities. (All are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.) and pedestrian safety. The event will be held at Gleason Works, 1000 University Avenue. Tickets: $15. Pay online at www.rrcdc.org or at the door (cash only). party from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 20. Dress appropriately for cleaning and preparing for trail season at this preserve in Chili. Register with Emily Johnson at email@example.com. Film on IsraeliPalestinian conflict Albright’s memoir reviewed Christians Witnessing for Palestine will show the film “With God on Our Side” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 18. The film looks at Christian Zionism and will be followed by a discussion. It’s at Immanuel Baptist Church, 815 Park Avenue. Rochester transportation talk The Rochester Regional Community Design Center will present “Transit Talks” at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 29. Representatives Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Louise Slaughter will discuss changing transit needs, including the future of high-speed rail, biking, Friends of the Rochester Public Library will hold “Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War,” a book discussion about Madeleine Albright’s memoir about the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia and World War II. Sandra Frankel, former Brighton town supervisor, will lead the review and discussion at 12:12 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at 115 South Avenue. Event focuses on Great Lakes Spring cleaning party The Genesee Land Trust will hold the Brookdale Preserve spring work The Sierra Club will present “Protecting the Great Lakes Forever” on Thursday, April 25, and Friday, April 26. The twoday event will be held at Monroe Community College and Rochester Institute of Technology with discussions on topics ranging from the tools needed to protect local water to creating rain gardens. Registration, costs, and locations: www.newyork.sierraclub. org/rochester/ or call (585) 234-1056. Correcting ourselves The April 10 theater review of Geva Theatre Center’s “The Whipping Man” included an incorrect first name for playwright Matthew Lopez. 10 CITY APRIL 17-23, 2013 Dining More manageable, but no less tasty, was Greenwald’s Cherise sandwich ($8.99). Pastrami, Swiss, cole slaw, and Russian dressing grilled on marble rye, this analog of the classic Reuben sandwich brought a welcome peppery and creamy accent to a sandwich that I honestly thought couldn’t be improved upon. While some might quibble with the pickle — real delis down in New York City only serve half-sours rather than the fully “done” garlic dills they hand out at Harry G’s (real delis also wouldn’t put Swiss cheese on a meat sandwich, which just shows how wrongheaded they are) — no one could reasonably deny that this combination of ingredients is inspired, possibly by a Higher Authority. I suspect one of those who might take issue with mixing meat and cheese on a deli sandwich would be Greenwald’s grandmother, whose recipe for both chicken soup and matzoh balls are used in Harry G’s kitchen. As with all good chicken soups, this one starts with whole chickens and fresh vegetables, cooked low and slow until the remaining broth could probably revive the dead and would probably restore those who have given up hope to vigorous life. Greenwald’s soup is squarely in the tradition of matzoh-ball soup pretty much everywhere. While I was hoping for the elusive, and perhaps illusory, fluffy, light matzoh ball, the three kneidlach in my soup (which Greenwald says he is still experimenting with) were dense and heavy enough to be a meal in themselves, not at all unpleasant, but not my favorites by any means. Many people speak with reverential awe of Harry G’s Pittsburgh sub, which Greenwald told me is the restaurant’s best seller. But I think the best thing on the whole menu is the French Dip sub ($5.75/ half, $8.99/whole). I first had a French Dip when I was only 7 years old, and I remember thinking then that it was the apex of the sandwich maker’s art. Until I had this deceptively simple combination of sliced roast beef, melted provolone, and garlic-herb mayonnaise on an excellently toothsome roll at Harry G’s, I’d never had a version of the French Dip that lived up to my fond childhood memories. Greenwald’s version, accompanied by an au jus that’s not homemade, but is certainly jacked with some additional ingredients, is nothing short of sensational. The garlicky goodness of the spread, the admirable rareness of the roast beef, and the burliness of the roll all combine to make the perfect sandwich for a chilly afternoon. And the modest price tag for the more-than-generous “half” sandwich is a definite salve for a wallet recently decimated by the Tax Man. rochestercitynewspaper.com CITY 11 French dip with au jus (left), Cherise sandwich (center), and chicken florentine panini (right), all from Harry G's New York Deli. PHOTOS BY MARK CHAMBERLIN The price is right Harry G’s New York Deli & Cafe 678 SOUTH AVE. 256-1324, HARRYGSDELI.COM MONDAY-FRIDAY 8 A.M.-10 P.M., SATURDAY 10 A.M.-10 P.M., SUNDAY 10 A.M.-5 P.M. [ REVIEW ] BY JAMES LEACH My tax worksheets this year were a little bit hard to read by the time I actually got around to filing on Monday morning. On one corner of the first page of my 1040 form was a mustard-colored blot obscuring the signature block. My Schedule C was spattered with tiny dots (and not-so-tiny dots) of au jus, the paper warped and a bit smeared. The estimated tax vouchers were a complete loss — destroyed when I put a grilled sandwich (transparent spots on the paper) with cole slaw (whitish yellow stain with a tiny bit of carrot), pastrami (smear of fragrant meat juice and pepper), and Russian dressing (orange stains) down on it to answer my cell phone. Such, I guess, are the hazards of reviewing your taxes at a superlative sandwich shop like Harry G’s New York Deli on South Avenue. At this time of year, like just about everyone else, I’m painfully conscious of money and how I spent it in 2012. As I sat at home looking over piles of twisted, folded, and torn receipts I noticed something interesting. In terms of value for price there were few — barely a scant handful — expensive restaurants where happiness and satisfaction were in any way proportional to price. On the other hand, at the other end of the price spectrum were a host of restaurants delivering generous portions of delicious food at modest prices. Which, I suppose, is how I came to be dribbling au jus on my Schedule C at Harry G’s one afternoon. Harry G’s New York Deli is a perfect example of a restaurant that delivers excellent value for the price. Owned by chef Brandon Greenwald and his in-laws, Mary Beth and Frank Giglio, and open only since May of last year, Harry G’s serves up almost grossly overstuffed sandwiches at prices that are probably the envy of other sandwich shops in town. Based on excellent cold cuts, good bread (probably Martusciello’s rolls, from the look of them), and backed up by salads, stocks, and sauces that Greenwald makes from scratch, the menu at Harry G’s is well thought-out and well-executed. If the chef errs at all, he does so on the side of trying to put too much between two piece of bread. Take the portobello mushroom panini ($8), for instance. A stellar vegetarian sandwich tailored, Greenwald told me, for the large number of vegetarians who haunt the South Wedge, this sandwich is simply too large to eat with anything but a knife and fork (and a large stack of napkins). The sandwich is made with slices of grilled portobellos, red onion, fresh tomato, and a remarkably large amount of basil mayo topped with fresh mozzarella and then passed under a true panini press. The combination of flavors is exceptional and the portion is more than enough for two people to split — even if they don’t get a side of potato salad or some crunchy sweet-potato fries with a side of honey butter. But there’s no way anyone could