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March 26 - April 8, 2014
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Council on Aging.........................................................3, 8 Hospice Work..................................................................4 Home Sharing..................................................................5 Remembering Feist, McGar............................................6 New Horizons Band...................................................7, 20 Essential Services...................................................12, 13 Penn South Fitness Classes....................................14, 18 Brainy Breakfasts and Midday Boosts.......................15 Outdoor Exercise...........................................................17 Birth of The Hook..........................................................19 Mystico’s Senior Horoscopes........................................21 Buhmann on Art............................................................23
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March 26 - April 8, 2014
Chin at the Helm of City Council’s Committee on Aging ‘On any issue that we talk about, whether it’s housing, transportation, health or anything else, seniors need to be at the table. The effect on seniors has to be heard.’ —City Councilmember Margaret Chin
Photo courtesy of Councilmember Chin’s office.
Councilmember Margaret Chin at the Independence Plaza North Senior Center, in Tribeca.
BY SAM SPOKONY Having served on the City Council’s Committee on Aging during her first term, Councilmember Margaret Chin was more than happy to take over the committee upon starting her second term in January. “And I think the senior advocates were happy too,” she said, smiling, during a recent interview in her Council office at 250 Broadway. Chin, 60, represents the Council’s First District, which covers the Lower Manhattan neighborhoods of Battery Park City, Tribeca, the Financial District, Chinatown and part of Greenwich Village. As chair of the Aging Committee, she now hopes to bring attention and resources to the fast-growing senior population, which (among those aged 60 and above) is projected to reach 1.84 million people — or around 20 percent of the city’s total population — by 2030, according to a February report by the Council of Senior Centers and Services of NYC. “On any issue that we talk about, whether it’s housing, transportation, health or anything else, seniors need to be at the table,” said Chin. “The effect on seniors has to be heard.” And she’s hit the ground running, already introducing new legislation and resolutions aimed at protecting elderly tenants from bullying landlords and curbing elder abuse. Chin’s new bill, introduced on March 12, would double the maximum fine for tenant harassment — refusing to make necessary repairs or accept rent payment, shutting off services like heat and hot water or threatening force — by increasing the penalties from the current range of $1,000 to $5,000 up to $5,000 to $10,000 per dwelling unit. Since many seniors are long-term residents of rent-regulated apartments — especially Downtown — they are frequent targets of landlords who hope to force them out in order to then sell or lease the units at market rate, the councilmember noted.
The legislation would also create a “blacklist” for offending landlords, by requiring the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to post information about the violations — including the building address and owner’s name — whenever properties are found to breach city laws against tenant harassment. “We want to send a strong message that these practices are unacceptable,” said Chin. “We want to protect the residents who helped build up these communities, because they’re the pioneers, the ones who were there 30 or 40 years ago when the market wasn't that great in certain areas. They’re the ones who invested the time and energy to build up those neighborhoods, to fight for parks and schools, and we can’t let them be forced out now by intimidating landlords.” The councilmember’s two new Council resolutions, which she also introduced on March 12, would call on the State Legislature to pass laws aimed at stopping financial exploitation and physical abuse of seniors. One of those resolutions focuses on a bill that has already been introduced in the State Assembly and Senate, which would allow banks to refuse payment from an account when there is reason to believe that the account holder is being exploited through a scam, forgery or identity theft. Along with the fact that modern technology has increased the danger of scams, Chin stressed that cases of financial abuse against seniors can be difficult to investigate, since victims are often unaware of the exploitation, reluctant to come forward or incapable of giving proper consent to those controlling their finances. In addition, 64 percent of reported perpetrators of financial exploitation of a senior are actually family members, spouses or significant others, according to a 2013 study by the New York State Bureau of Adult Services. “Financial institutions have a duty to
safeguard seniors’ hard-earned savings, and that’s why I’m urging the state to authorize banks to fulfill that responsibility,” said Chin. The councilmember’s other new resolution calls on the State Legislature to create and pass a law that would require certain professionals to report suspected elder abuse — physical, psychological, sexual or financial — to authorities. Those falling under that mandate, according to Chin, should include healthcare and social service workers, law enforcement officials, attorneys and investigators at district attorneysʼ offices and financial professionals. Currently, New York is one of only four states in the nation that do not have such a
mandatory reporting law when it comes to suspected elder abuse. And according to a 2011 report by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, 120,000 seniors in New York City had at that time experienced abuse — but only one out of every 25 cases were officially reported. “Mandatory reporting will shed muchneeded light on a silent epidemic facing older adults in our city,” said Chin. And with the creation of the city’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget well underway — the final Council vote on the budget will take place in June — Chin is also pushing for increased funding for the city’s Department for the
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March 26 - April 8, 2014
Solo Show Extols the Rewards of Hospice Work BY HEATHER DUBIN Life lessons can take some time to sink in. When they do, it is often worth the wait. Taren Sterry took about a decade to turn her hospice worker experience at a six-month internship in South Dakota into a one-woman show. Sterry, 37, performs “180 Days” at Stage Left Studios (214 West 30th Street) twice a year, and at hospice programs or conferences nationwide. In a recent phone conversation with Chelsea Now, Sterry discussed her start in hospice work, which provides spiritual and emotional support to the terminally ill, and where it has taken her. It all began in a class on death and dying at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where Sterry was inspired by the professor (who also taught sociology, gender and women’s movement classes). “She became my heroine,” Sterry said, “And I had my ahhah moment — this is what I’m supposed to do with my life.” As part of her program in community studies, Sterry was required to conduct an ethnographic field study. “Some went to Paris or Africa, and I went to South Dakota,” she said, with a laugh. Originally from California, Sterry has family in South Dakota, and she ended up living with them in Kranzburg, population 200, during her internship. She worked at the local
Photo courtesy of the artist
Taren Sterry (at right) greets hospice nurses and audience members, following a Dec. 2013 performance of “180 Days.”
hospice program, and had patients in neighboring small towns within a 60-mile radius. A move to New York was next for a master’s in gerontology and thanatology [grief counseling] from the College of New Rochelle, followed by her current job — Manager of Volunteer Training for Visiting
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Nurse Service of New York Hospice Care (VNSNY), where she has worked for 13 years. The not-for-profit home- and community-based health care agency serves more than 65,000 patients daily. Part of “180 Days” takes place in South Dakota, and features five of Sterry’s former patients, who helped change her perspective on life, and what she wanted to do with hers. “It made me see that life is short, life is precious — all those cliché things we say. But when you go and see it face to face, it’s very different than reading about it in a self-help book,” she said. Spending time with people who are facing imminent death might not seem uplifting. However, Sterry explained that hospice workers feel differently, and are rewarded by helping to alleviate people’s suffering. “You accept people where they are,” she says of her work. “When I was a beautiful young women going out on an internship to help dying people, I had very lofty ideas of how I was going to help people. My idealism as a 23-year-old college student, ready, set, to change the world. I really learned that you don’t change the world so much as you change yourself when you really look at people and see who they are.” Sterry reflected on the characters in her show, which she defines as a comedy-drama. A former patient of hers named Amy, who was in her 70s, had emphysema, lung cancer and a tank of oxygen close by, and yet, she still smoked. “My job was to go over, and watch her soap operas with her all day, and she would lecture me on nonsmoking, as she smoked all day,” Sterry recalls. Instead of enlightening Amy about the hazards of smoking, Sterry determined that Amy was content with her life choices, and felt justified advising Sterry how to live hers. Slowly but surely, Sterry concluded that she was not capable of changing another person. “That realization did not come overnight. I fought it for a long time. It didn’t
come for many years until after I did the internship,” she said. Sterry turned to management at VNSNY over hospice work after she finished her master’s degree. She decided she was better at supporting people who are directly involved in hospice care. “I’m a teacher, I’m a facilitator and I’m a counselor,” she said, “To really honor those strengths, I focus on facilitating the volunteer training, which helps educate and prepare volunteers to go out to be with people in their homes.” On the way home from work to her Chelsea apartment in 2003, (she currently lives in Astoria), Sterry spotted a sign for a class at the Peoples Improv Theater (currently located at 123 East 24th Street near Lexington Avenue). She thought to herself, “I can do that, I’m funny, people always say I’m funny,” she said, “I took a class, and it changed everything.” While working full-time at VNSNY, Sterry took classes weeknights and during the weekends, including a solo writing class where she spun her thesis from her internship into the show. “Here I am doing death and dying during the day, and comedy at night,” she joked. But the duality was a success, and a year later, Sterry completed “180 Days,” which she has been performing since 2008. “It’s always had a really beautiful and welcoming reception,” she said.
It all began in a class on death and dying at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Currently, in addition to working parttime at VNSNY, Sterry is writing a memoir based on “180 Days,” and teaches improv, public speaking and team building. “I see it as the next phase. I have been helping volunteers who help patients shine their lights out of the world, and now, I really want to help people shine their light brighter while in the world,” she said. To better achieve this, Sterry offered some insight that she wants to pass along to others: eliminate regret, live the life you want and do not waste your time. She noted that patients who are not having a good end of life experience are filled with regrets and sorrows about past relationships and choices. “Every person out there is doing the best that they can at this moment. It looks very different for every single person,” Sterry said. While she acknowledged people could motivate others to change, ultimately, it must come from within. For more information on the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Hospice Care, visit vnsny.org or call 1-800-675-0391.
March 26 - April 8, 2014
Home Sharing Lets Seniors Save Rent and Gain a Helping Hand BY SAM SPOKONY As many seniors struggle with fixed incomes and an affordable housing shortage, one service has long offered a way to cut down on costs while also gaining valuable companionship. The Home Sharing Program, a free service provided since 1981 by the nonprofit New York Foundation for Senior Citizens (NYFSC), allows adults in all five boroughs to either “host” a roommate (if they have the extra space) or become a “guest” in the home of a compatible match. Since one (but not both) of the program’s matchmates must be 60 years or older, the service gives seniors the ability to not only pair with a roommate of similar age, but also the opportunity to live with a younger adult who can provide much-needed help with errands and household tasks.
There are currently 200 homes involved in the program citywide, with some of the current matches having been together for the past 20 years or more. Hosts and guests are able to benefit by splitting the cost of rent, while also bonding through their time shared together. “I’ve always felt really rewarded after the work we put in to start this program, because it’s really become the heart of our foundation,” said Linda Hoffman, president of NYFSC, which was itself established in 1968. “We just want to help as many people as possible.” After initially being funded by a $30,000 grant from a New York state legislator, the program has expanded to become funded jointly by discretionary funding from state legislators, city councilmembers and borough presidents, as well as the state’s Office for the Aging and the city’s Department for the Aging. Hoffman explained that there are currently 200 homes involved in the program citywide, with some of the current matches having been together for the past 20 years or more. Hosts and guests are able to benefit by splitting the cost of rent, while also bonding through their time shared together. “When we first started the program, people were kind of afraid because they weren’t sure about living with strangers,” she recalled. But there are no worries to be had about roommate-related friction or unsafe conditions, since NYFSC’s staff of trained social
workers thoroughly screen all host and guest applicants. Along with that, NYFSC uses its own “QUICK-MATCH” database, which uses a computer algorithm that is, in fact, not unlike those used for online dating sites. Applicants are asked to answer 31 questions about “lifestyle objectives” — such as their like or dislike of pets or frequent visitors — and are matched based on their compatibility as shown through those choices. Then, before moving in, potential roommates become acquainted through “match meetings” scheduled and staffed by NYFSC social workers. Finally, both host and guest are required to sign a written agreement to allow the pair to feel confident and secure in their new living arrangement. And in addition to linking up seniors or younger people coming from their own homes, the program now also helps to place adults living at NYFSC’s transitional homeless shelter — located in the East Village — into new shared residences, Hoffman said. Another aspect of the program also allows prospective hosts, aged 55 and over, to share their home with a developmentally disabled adult who is capable of independent living. Hoffman said that, in terms of future expansion of the program, she hopes one day to be able to give whole families the opportunity to enter a home sharing arrangement. In particular, she explained that she’s been in talks with the Mayor’s Office about the possibility of setting up a pilot project that would help to give new homes to families displaced after the recent building explosion and collapse in East Harlem. To learn more about the Home Sharing Program, call 212-962-7559. NYFSC also offers a number of other programs that provide valuable services to seniors in need of additional help with their daily lives. The Respite Care Program offers shortterm home care by certified attendants at affordable rates — $8 per hour — for frail elderly residents when their regular caregivers need time off, or when they require temporary aid following hospitalization. Potential applicants can also learn more about this program by calling 212-962-7559. The Enriched Housing Program provides apartment-based living and supportive services — in seven locations throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens — for those aged 65 and over who can no longer function independently. The program provides one hot meal daily, assistance with other meals, shopping, housekeeping, laundry, medications and personal care to enable residents to continue living on their own. Potential applicants can learn more about this program by calling 212369-5523. The Home Repair And Safety Audit Program offers free minor home maintenance and repair services for low- to moderate-income homeowners aged 60 and over. Services include carpentry, plumbing, masonry, electrical, caulking and home safety checks,
Photo courtesy of NYFSC
Home, shared home: Host Enid Holt-Harper, right, and her guest, Ammahnda Adolphson.
as well as helping seniors identify and correct home safety hazards. To learn more about this program, call 212-962-7559. Project Cart provides free van services — from Lower Manhattan to both East 96th Street and West 110th Street — for seniors aged 60
and over who have difficulty using public transportation. CART’s five vans, equipped with wheelchair lifts, can take seniors to and from medical appointments, hospitals and senior center activities. This service requires reservations in advance, and those can be scheduled by calling 212-956-0855.
March 26 - April 8, 2014
Roundabout’s Gene Feist, and his Theatre, Had Chelsea Roots OBITUARY
Photo by Charly Sparks
Roundabout Theatre Company founder Gene Feist, 91, was a Penn South tenant for 51 years.
Gene Feist, Founding Director of the Roundabout Theatre Company, died after a short illness on March 17, at the age of 91. A fifth-generation native New Yorker
and a second-generation Chelsea resident, he served in World War II, studied theater arts at Carnegie-Mellon University and later became Artistic Director of the New Theater in Nashville, Tennessee. Upon returning to New York City, Feist became an original cooperator in Penn South when, in 1962, he moved into Building 2 with his wife, Kathe Feist (an actress who performed as Elizabeth Owens). His mother also lived in Penn South. Feist remained in the co-op for 51 years, before moving to the Lillian Booth Actors Home (Englewood, New Jersey) in 2013. In 1965, Gene and Kathe Feist started the Roundabout Theatre as a 150-seat space in the basement of what was then the Penn South supermarket on 26th Street and Eighth Avenue (still in use, as the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre). Later, they converted what was then a “blue movie” house on 23rd Street between Eighth and Ninth (now the SVA Theater). While the Roundabout Theater Company was becoming established, Feist worked as a drama teacher in the New Rochelle public school system. After the Roundabout became a local institution, Feist continued teaching as the head of the Roundabout Conservatory and Ensemble Company drama school. During his almost 30-year tenure as the
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Roundabout’s Artistic Director, Feist produced or directed over 150 plays. Under his leadership the Roundabout Theater Company attracted the largest subscriber base of any theatrical institution in the League of Regional Theaters. It is now regarded as the nation’s most influential not-for-profit theatre company, whose five stages (on and off Broadway) reach an audience of over 700,000 annually. Over the years, Roundabout has been recognized with 29 Tonys, 41 Drama Desks, 50 Outer Critics Circle, nine Obie and five
Olivier Awards. As a playwright, Feist wrote or adapted 15 plays, including “The Lady from Maxim’s” and “James Joyce’s Dublin.” He was named a Lifetime Tony Awards voter and was the recipient of numerous theater awards — including the 1996 Lucille Lortel Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Feist was predeceased by his wife. He is survived by daughters Nicole and Gena, and two grandchildren (all current Chelsea residents). A memorial service will be announced at a later date.
Memorial Service to Honor Thad McGar, 86 Thad McGar, a prominent and beloved Chelsea resident, died December 30, 2013 at the age of 86. Born in Texas, McGar spent some of his growing-up years in Venezuela, where his father worked as a roughneck in the oil industry. A graduate of the University of Texas, Austin, he later lived for several years in England and Germany. McGar kept the Music in Chelsea series afloat for many years, with Sunday afternoon concerts that benefited St. Peter’s Church. His love of music also found expression in the organizational work he did with the choirs of Chelsea Community Church’s Candlelight Carol Services and his participation in a community choir that sang at Holy Apostles. At various times, McGar chaired the 300 West Block Association and the Board of Trustees of Chelsea Community Church. He was a pillar in the church — a sage and hard worker who once, joking all the while about the work of the church, took home the pulpit being used when the congregation met in a classroom at General Theological Seminary to repair it. He co-owned and operated a photo retouching fi rm before his retirement. An excellent cook, several of his Southern recipes made appearances in “Florida’s Way,” a 2012 self-published anthology of short stories.
Photo by Karen I. Ross
Thad McGar, quick with a joke and an excellent cook, will be honored at an April 5 memorial service.
McGar had a magnificent garden behind his house, and was a bonsai enthusiast who volunteered at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, taking care of their specimens. At one point, when the position of chief caretaker was unfilled, Thad was put in charge until someone with proper credentials was hired. McGar is survived by his husband, Paul Bodden. Music, laughter and fond recollections will fill a memorial service scheduled for Saturday, April 5 at 12 noon at Chelsea Community Church (346 West 20th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues).
March 26 - April 8, 2014
Band Expands Horizons, and Lung Capacity BY MICHAEL LYDON On a grey and snowy Tuesday morning in the East Village, a trickle of seniors citizens, bundled up in puffy winter coats, hats pulled over their ears, scarves wrapped around their necks and instrument cases large and small in their gloved hands, made their way to the Third Street Music School (actually on 11th Street, near Second Avenue), stomped the slush off their boots on the door mat then made two left turns into the school’s brightly lit auditorium. Waving hello to friends already there, they doffed their wooly outerwear, sat down in the forest of music stands and got out their instruments, joking and gossiping as they inserted their mouthpieces and blew a few trial bleats and blaats. Then Brandon Tesh, the neat and youthful musical director, tapped gently but firmly on his stand with his baton. “Good morning, everyone!” said Tesh. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, so let’s warm up your breath first. We’ll breathe in for four beats, hold for four beats, then out for four beats. Ready? Let’s open up our lungs!” Tesh’s manner was informal and friendly, and with his jet-black hair he could have been the grandson of many of his players — but all the seniors instantly knew that chat time was over and work time had begun. This wintry Tuesday was a gathering of Third Street’s New Horizons Band — a program founded in 1991 at Rochester’s Eastman School of Music to bring seniors, who had played an instrument as kids, back to music. Local New Horizons groups, like Third Street’s, create their own program to
Photo by Michael Lydon
Brandon Tesh, standing, directs the New Horizons band.
at Hamilton-Madison House (50 Madison Avenue) and the Advanced Big Band that meets Tuesday and Thursday mornings. At every level, band membership gives seniors challenging mental activity, the mission statement goes on, a group of like-minded friends and a way to experience and express “serious thoughts and joyful moments.” One New Horizons member put the benefits in practi-
straighter…bigger breath…keep your tone strong all the way to the end.” He focused first on each instrumental section, asking the others to sit silent, then he brought the whole orchestra back together to play a monster
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cal terms: “Being old, retired and widowed, I joined the band to have something to do. Now I don’t know what I’d do without it.” “Okay,” said Tesh after the seniors had huffed and puffed through the breathing exercises, “Now let’s see if we are in tune. Everybody play a nice strong A. One, two, three, go!” A mighty but muddy boom of sound arose from the nine flutes, three saxophones, three clarinets, three trumpets, two trombones, two tubas, two bassoons and one French horn. Tesh winced. “We can do better than that. Big breath this time, and make that tone good and strong. Go!” This time the huge boom had a crisp and satisfying clarity, and Tesh grinned widely. “That’s more like it!” For the next fifteen minutes, as the orchestra played long legato tones, short staccato tones, high tones and low tones, Tesh keeping up a flow of helpful suggestions: “Sit up
Continued on page 20
‘I had to retire as a firefighter becaue of lung damage, but my wife said this could be good for me, and you know what? My lung scans keep getting better. All the breathing helps.’—tenor sax player Neal King suit their neighborhood and needs. Some are for seniors only, some are for adults of all ages — but all can get band arrangements both simple and sophisticated, as well as guidance and a sense of community, from the New Horizons International Music Association: newhorizonsmusic.org. “Many adults have had music teachers who told them, ‘Move your lips in chorus, but don’t make a sound,’ ” declares a New Horizons mission statement, “but we believe every person has musical potential that can become personally rewarding. New Horizons programs are for adults who haven’t played for years, even for those who have no musical experience.” Third Street offers interested seniors three New Horizons bands: a Beginner’s Group that meets Tuesday evenings at the School, an Advanced Beginner’s Group that meets Monday and Wednesday mornings
chord, the tubas plunging to the depths, the bassoons and trombones rumbling just above them, then the saxes, clarinets, flutes and trumpets climbing in ascending order to the very top of their ranges. The walls of the auditorium vibrated with the band’s tuneful roar. “Yeah!” said Tesh. “Now we’re ready to play some music! Please open your books to Chorale #5.” From shoulder bags slumped on the floor beside them, the players — half-and-half men and women, and every color of the American rainbow — pulled out their bold red and white Third Street folders and arranged their sheet music on their stands. The first runthrough of the chorale ended weakly. “Oh, listen to that,” Tesh cried with mock annoyance. “You must give your closing notes full value, even when we slow down for the last few measures. Look, let’s sing the ending.” He counted off, and the players hummed the notes they had been playing. “Lovely,” said Tesh, “now let’s play it from the top.” This time, as if by magic, the harmony of the ensemble had become sweet and clear. First the saxes carried the melody, the flutes flying above, then the trumpets took over — and through their darting counterpoint came the bell-like tinkle of percussionist Linda Brown’s glockenspiel. “Here comes the crescendo!” called Tesh, and his orchestra responded with
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March 26 - April 8, 2014
Council on Aging Addresses Tenant Rights, Elder Abuse Continued from page 3 Aging (DFTA), which is recovering from heavy budget cuts that took place under exMayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. Bloomberg had reduced DFTA’s budget by $57 million — a whopping 20 percent of its previous total — over the past seven years. Mayor Bill de Blasio drew cheers from Chin and senior advocates in February, when he pledged to provide $20 million in baseline funding to DFTA as part of his preliminary budget proposal for FY 2015. Many of those advocates were also pleased that, before appointing Donna Corrado his new DFTA commissioner, de Blasio named the Department’s previous commissioner, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, to be his deputy mayor for health and human services. Along with the fact that Barrios-Paoli has been highly critical of Bloomberg’s cuts, Chin said she believes that having an ex-DTFA boss so close to the mayor will help bring seniorrelated issues to the forefront of many ongoing discussions. But the Aging Committee chair is now focused on the budget fight of today — and one of the priorities, she said, will be to push for additional funding for DFTA’s case management program, which provides direct support to homebound seniors. Currently, each social worker within that
program carries a caseload of around 80 seniors, according to the city. “That’s really a large number, when it comes to effectively doing one-on-one assessments and periodically checking in on the seniors,” said Chin. So she hopes to secure an additional $3.5 to 5 million for the case management pro-
councilmember noted. “But is that enough money to get that program going as effectively as we want it to? No,” she said. Chin explained that she’ll be pushing for enough funding to replicate some smaller programs that have already started taking place in Brooklyn — involving nonprofit
‘We want to protect the residents who helped build up these communities, because they’re the pioneers, the ones who were there 30 or 40 years ago when the market wasn't that great in certain areas.’ —City Councilmember Margaret Chin
gram, which would cut the social workers’ caseload down to around 60 or 65 seniors per worker. Another key area for Chin, in keeping with some of the action she’s already taken, is to increase funding for education and counseling aimed at preventing elder abuse. The Council has historically set aside around $800,000 each year for that purpose, the
groups working with the Brooklyn District Attorney — which provide cross-cultural outreach on elder abuse in order to bridge the language gap in Chinese- or Spanishspeaking communities. Another $200,000 in funding would allow those programs to be brought to some other communities, she noted, but a much bigger and more ideal increase — another $3 million, based on current estimates — would allow for more comprehensive outreach citywide. Thinking long term, Chin echoed the sentiments of the new mayor by saying that she plans to push heavily for the preservation and creation of new affordable housing — and in her case, focusing specifically on units for seniors. There has been much speculation about Mayor de Blasio’s closely guarded — but often referenced — plan to build or preserve 200,000 units, which he has declared he will officially explain in detail on May 1. Meanwhile, the Council of Senior Centers and Services of NYC (CSCS), a major advo-
cacy group, has already put forth its suggestion for what half of those units should look like. In its aforementioned housing report released in February, CSCS called on de Blasio to develop or preserve 100,000 units of affordable housing specifically targeted for the growing senior population. Around three-quarters of that could, according to the report, be preserved by reforming the state’s Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program, which prevents seniors in rent-stabilized apartments from having to pay periodic increases in their rent. Currently, seniors are eligible for SCRIE if their annual income is $29,000 or less. CSCS wants to raise that income limit to at least around $36,000 in order to aid tens of thousands of additional seniors in keeping their homes, according to the report. Chin said during her interview for this article that she wholeheartedly supports that kind of SCRIE reform (although that amending legislation will, like elder abuse reporting laws, have to pass at the state level). But a spokesperson for the councilmember later said that while Chin plans to explore the issue of senior affordable housing further, she won’t able to commit to creating or preserving a specific number (such as 100,000) under assessing needs alongside the Council’s Committee on Housing and Buildings. However, even though Chin has yet to join in the group’s very specific housing call, she received strong words of support from Bobbie Sackman, the CSCS director of public policy. “Having been around for the past 25 years, I think Margaret’s going to be a great chair [of the Aging Committee],” said Sackman in a phone interview. “I feel like she has good energy, and is very committed to help seniors take on issues like housing and DFTA funding. And along with the fact that I think she’s going to be very strong on these things, she’s been open to dialogue so far, and I think that's very important.”
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March 26 - April 8, 2014
Quality of Life Forum Connects Residents with Electeds BY SAM SPOKONY Residents are invited to attend a quality of life forum at the Hudson Guild on Monday, April 21 at 7pm, where community leaders and elected officials will discuss neighborhood issues and take questions from audience members. The forum will be hosted by both the Neighborhood Advisory Committee and the Senior Advisory Council of the Hudson
Guild, a social services organization that has been helping Chelsea residents with locally based issues for more than 100 years. Seniors are especially welcomed to come and share their concerns about Chelsea’s transforming landscape and their thoughts on what the city administration should focus on for the future. Topics of discussion will include health, housing, safety, traffic, biking, transportation, noise and weather conditions. A panel
Community Contacts To be listed, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMUNITY BOARD 4 (CB4) CB4 serves Manhattan’s West Side neighborhoods of Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. Its boundaries are 14th St. on the south, 59/60th St. on the north, the Hudson River on the west, 6th Ave. on the east (south of 26th St.) and 8th Ave. on the east (north of 26th St.). The board meeting, open to the public, is normally the first Wednesday of the month. The next meeting is Wed., April. 2, 6:30pm, at Roosevelt Hospital (1000 Tenth Ave., at 51st St.). Call 212-7364536, visit nyc.gov/mcb4 or email them at email@example.com. COMMUNITY BOARD 5 (CB5) CB5 represents the central business district of New York City. It includes midtown Manhattan, the Fashion, Flower, Flatiron and Diamond districts, as well as Bryant Park and Union Square Park. The district is at the center of New York’s tourism industry. The Theatre District, Times Square, Carnegie Hall, the Empire State Building and two of the region’s transportation hubs (Grand Central Station and
Penn Station) fall within CB5. The board meeting, open to the public, happens on the second Thursday of the month. The next meeting is Thurs., April 10, 6pm, at Xavier High School (30 W. 16th St., btw. 5th & 6th Aves., 2nd fl.). Call 212465-0907, visit cb5.org or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. THE 300 WEST 23RD, 22ND & 21ST STREETS BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at 300wba@gmail. com. THE WEST 400 BLOCK ASSOCIATION Contact them at w400ba@gmail. com. CHELSEA GARDEN CLUB Chelsea Garden Club cares for the bike lane tree pits in Chelsea. If you want to adopt a tree pit or join the group, please contact them at email@example.com or like them on Facebook. Also visit chelseagardenclub.blogspot.com. LOWER CHELSEA ALLIANCE (LoCal) This group is committed to protecting the residential blocks of Chelsea from overscale development. Contact them at LowerChelseaAlliance@gmail.com.
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he 2004 federal budget proposed by the Bush administration on February 3 is drawing both praise and criticism from gay and AIDS groups. “Generally, we have a mixed reaction to it,” said Winnie Stachelberg, political director at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), even as some leading AIDS groups, including the Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), were more critical. The proposal includes a $100 million increase for the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), a $5 million dollar increase in the Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS
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of officials including State Senator Brad Hoylman, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried and City Councilmember Corey Johnson will open the forum with introductory comments on quality of life, after which they will stay to hear directly from residents. “New York City changes every day. Those changes can affect your quality of life and it is important to know what services are avail-
able to you,” said Councilmember Johnson. “The Neighborhood Advisory Committee and Hudson Guild are excellent community resources and I thank them for helping to make sure New Yorkers can make well informed decisions about their lives.” The forum will take place in Hudson Guild’s Elliott Center, located at 441 West 26th Street, between Ninth and Tenth Avenues.
DISTRICT 3 CITY COUNCILMEMBER COREY JOHNSON Call 212-564-7757 or visit council. nyc.gov/d3/html/members/home. shtml.
This number is staffed by outreach team leaders 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous. For more info, visit brc.org.
STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN Call 212-633-8052 or visit bradhoylman.com.
THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY CENTER At 208 W. 13th St. (btw. 7th & 8th Aves.). Visit gaycenter.org or call 212620-7310.
THE GREENWICH VILLAGE-CHELSEA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Call 212-337-5912 or visit villagechelsea.com.
GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS (GMHC) At 446 W. 33rd St. btw. 9th & 10th Aves. Visit gmhc.org. Call 212-367-1000.
THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT INITIATIVE Visit meatpacking-district.com or call 212-633-0185. CHELSEA COALITION ON HOUSING Tenant assistance every Thursday night at 7pm, at Hudson Guild (119 9th Ave.). Email them at email@example.com. PENN SOUTH The Penn South Program for Seniors provides recreation, education and social services — and welcomes volunteers. For info, call 212-2433670 or visit pennsouthlive.com. THE BOWERY RESIDENTS’ COMMITTEE: HOMELESS HELPLINE If you know of anyone who is in need of their services, call the Homeless Helpline at 212-533-5151, and the BRC will send someone to make contact.
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At 147 W. 24th St. (btw. 6th & 7th Aves.) THE SYLVIA RIVERA LAW PROJECT works to guarantee that all people are free to self-determine their gender identity and expression without facing harassment, discrimination or violence. Visit srlp.org. FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment) builds the leadership and power of bisexual, transgender and queer youth of color in NYC. Visit fiercenyc.org. THE AUDRE LORDE PROJECT is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, two spirit, trans and gender non-conforming people of color center for community organizing. Visit alp.org.
ART / PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Troy Masters SENIOR DESIGNER Michael Shirey GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Andrew Goos Chris Ortiz CIRCULATION SALES MNGR. Marvin Rock
CONTRIBUTORS Jim Caruso Martin Denton Sean Egan Ophira Eisenberg Paul Schindler Trav S.D. Eileen Stukane
DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION Cheryl Williamson
VIDEO SEGMENT PRODUCER Don Mathisen
March 26 - April 8, 2014
Chelsea’s Seniors Need Nearby Park and Bench Space TALKING POINT BY ARNOLD BOB Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent building public park space in far west Chelsea, whose primary purpose is to be economic engines for the future growth of NYC, rather then creating parks that meet the needs of most Chelsea’s seniors. The High Line provides an enjoyable walk and beautiful views — but as a park, it is so far away from most of Chelsea's seniors that it is of only marginal usefulness for them. A 2012 report from the Mayor, City Council and the NY Academy of Medicine (“Creating an Age Friendly NY One Neighborhood at a Time”) noted that seniors “care about benches, trees, gardens and open space closest to where they live. Big parks are for occasional visits in most cases.” Here are some thoughts on creating outdoor spaces that meet the real needs of Chelsea’s seniors.
CHELSEA SENIORS NEED PARKS TO BE CLOSER TO WHERE THEY LIVE
NYC Plan 2030 promises a park with 10 minutes of every New Yorker by 2030. The trouble with this plan is that
many of today’s seniors will be gone by 2030 — and even if there is a park with a 10-minute walk, studies have shown that park usage drops drastically when parks are more than a three- minute walk away (read Christopher Alexander’s “A Pattern Language” for more info). The good news is that most of Chelsea now has (or will shortly have) a public place to sit with a three-minute walk. See the Park Chelsea News for more information (parkchelseanews.blogspot.com). We still need more actual parks that are really close to where seniors live, though — and sooner than 2030!
CHELSEA SENIORS NEED SHOPPING TRAILS
Chelsea has some great supermarkets in Trader Joe’s, Fairway and Western Beef. But for many seniors, traveling to these supermarkets on sidewalks without any place to sit makes the task of shopping much harder. It would be great if Chelsea had public seating on each block of every Avenue and side street, so that seniors could sit on their way to and from shopping. We don't have this yet, but what we do have is several “Shopping Trails” — stretches of sidewalks with CityBenches that gives our seniors places to sit while shopping. To request that a bench be installed at a specific location, visit nyc.gov/citybench.
Our ongoing mission is to provide corporate America the most qualified candidates from the City, County and State’s richly diverse communities. With the understanding that diversity is a good business strategy, the opportunities for employer and candidates are endless. This diversity event is the most significant career fair presented today. Its outreach includes Multicultural, Veterans, Women and People with Disabilities. Your participation actively reaffirms your commitment to getting America back to work, diversity and equality in the workplace.
Beyond being simply a place to sit down for everyone, Chelsea’s lack of seating is actually creating a dangerous situation. Our senior citizens must wait on our street corners, with no seating, to be picked up by Access-A-Ride. My mother, for instance, having just had open heart surgery, once waited for an Access-A-Ride pickup, standing on a street corner for over an hour — and the AAR pickup never showed. Union Health Center has a medical facility on Seventh Avenue, between 25th and 26th Streets. After examination, I found people waiting for a pickup of Access-A-Ride. They too were waiting up to an hour or more and had no place to sit.
A place to sit outdoors is the minimum Chelsea seniors need. Currently, with the exception of people-watching, there are few meaningful activities for seniors at most of our outdoor seating locations. We need to offer more activities. This will serve a real need for those who have little, or no, disposable income to spend on indoor activities that charge admission.
A 2012 Park Chelsea News blog entry ran an inspiring article by Kathy Antoniotti. Originally printed in the November 4, 2011 edition of the Beacon Journal, Antoniotti’s coverage of a newly opened Springfield Township, Ohio facility noted that its “eight pieces of low-impact athletic equipment designed
For a printable Park map,9th go Annual LosChelsea Angeles' to Parks311.com.
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Benches are great for solitary sitting and resting while shopping, but they are lousy to have a conversation on. Moveable tables and chairs (like those currently available near the Flatiron building) are much better for this. Chelsea’s seniors need more locations with similar arrangements — where two, three, four people can gather and look at one another while they talk!
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especially for older adults is believed to be only the second of its kind in the country.” Chelsea’s public parks are totally lacking in outdoor recreation for seniors, and the addition of a few “Senior Playgrounds” seems like a great idea.
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March 26 - April 8, 2014
In the Know, On the Go BY SCOTT STIFFLER
The Penn South Program for Seniors provides recreation, education, cultural and social services — and welcomes volunteers. The program offers a variety of classes and events. Neighborly Nights — a series of events including concerts and film screenings — are 5:30pm on Wednesdays (twice a month). Thursday Specials, at 2:30pm, offers entertainment and information. The Penn South Senior Center is (temporarily) located at 343 Eighth Ave. (corner of W. 27th St.). For info, call 212-243-3670 or visit pennsouthlive.org.
Hudson Guild is a multi-service, multi-generational community-based organization serving approximately 14,000 people annually with daycare, a variety of services for older adults 55 and better, low-cost professional counseling, community arts programs and recreational programming for teens. Hudson Guild Adult Services Neighborhood Senior Center offers breakfast from 8:45-10am with a suggested contribution of $1 for 60 and better, and for a fee of $2 for 55-59 and younger guests. Lunch is from 11:45am-1:30pm with a suggested contribution of $1.25 for 60 and better, and for a fee of $2.50 for 55-59 and younger guests. For the menus and more info, call 212-924-
Courtesy of Hudson Guild Neighborhood Senior Center
Photo by Laura Scharf, courtesy of Visiting Neighbors
It’s not just for CB4 full board meetings: Hudson Guild’s Fulton Auditorium (119 Ninth Ave., btw. 17th & 18th Sts.) hosts a variety of arts and recreational activities.
Razzle Dazzle them: This year’s Senior Talent Show, part of the annual (12-6pm) Visiting Neighbors Chelsea Day Festival, happens on April 26, from 2-4pm (on Eighth Ave., at 20th St.).
6710 or visit hudsonguild.org. Email them at email@example.com or visit them at 119 Ninth Ave. (btw. 17th & 18th Sts.).
English and Spanish. You can get a copy at the Borough President’s office (located at 1 Centre St., 19th Floor, at Chambers St.). For more information, call 212-669-8300 or visit manhattanbp.nyc.gov.
MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT’S SENIOR LIVING GUIDE
“Living Fully: Resources for Aging Well in the City” is a guide to rights and services for Manhattan seniors and caregivers in both
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212-924-3709 | 400 West 23rd St. THANK YOU! Sometimes, in the rush of business life, we fail to say, “Thank You” loud enough. Nevertheless, you can be sure that your patronage is never taken for granted. Sunday - Thursday 6am - 2am | Friday & Saturday Open 24 Hours
SENIOR PLANET EXPLORATION CENTER
The recently opened Senior Planet Exploration Center (127 W. 25th St., btw. 6th & 7th Aves.) is designed to give seniors over 60 the necessary skills to become proficient with today’s technology. Scheduled workshops, seminars and group sessions can be attended by walk-ins. Spaces are limited for free tech classes, so register ahead of time. The Center also has free Wi-Fi, 23 computers and a video game station. Open Mon.-Fri., 9am-4pm. To register for classes or get event info, visit seniorplanet.org or call 646-590-0615.
munity needs. At 1484 1st Ave. (btw. 77th & 78th Sts.). Call 212-879-7400 or visit carterburdencenter.org.
THE CARTER BURDEN GALLERY
The Carter Burden Gallery, which gives a voice to NYC’s re-emerging older professional artists, is located at 548 W. 28th St. (#534, btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Gallery Hours: Tues.-Fri., 11am-5pm and Sat., 11am-6pm. Call 212-5648405 or visit carterburdengallery.com. Now through April 10, the drawings and sculptures of Charles Ramsburg are on display in the East Gallery. In the West Gallery, “Looking Beyond” is a group photography show curated by Sara Petitt — a public art installation (“On The Wall”) by Thomas McAnulty.
Continued on page 13
Founded in 1972 by Greenwich Village community members, this organization — whose motto is “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” — matches professional staff and more than 400 volunteers to over 1,000 seniors each year. Volunteers escort seniors to medical appointments, assist with errands and shopping, make social visits and, generally, provide a helping hand. They serve seniors 60+ who live from 30th St. south to the tip of Manhattan. Visiting Neighbors holds an annual Chelsea Day Festival (this year, April 26, 12-6pm, on Eighth Ave., from 14th to 23rd Sts.). The festival’s Senior Talent Show (2-4pm, at 20th St.) features musicians and magicians, dancers and singers — many well into their 80s. If you are interested in participating, call 212-260-6200. Their office is located at 3 Washington Square Village, Suite 1F. See visitingneighbors.org for more info, or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE CARTER BURDEN CENTER FOR THE AGING
This organization promotes the well-being of individuals 60 and older through direct social services, advocacy and volunteer programs oriented to individual, family and com-
Courtesy of the artist & Carter Burden Gallery
Katherine D. Crone’s “Overflow” can be seen at Carter Burden Gallery, through April 10 (part of three exhibits currently on view).
March 26 - April 8, 2014
Essential Services & Activities ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION, NYC CHAPTER
The Alzheimer’s Association of NYC provides information, assistance and support to patients, caregivers and professionals. A wide range of services are offered for caregivers including care consultation, caregiver support groups, a 24-hour helpline and in-home hospice services. Care consultation provides a personalized service for individuals and families who are facing the decisions and challenges associated with the disease. At 360 Lexington Avenue, 4th Fl. Call 646-744-2900. For the helpline, call 800-272-3900. Visit alznyc.org.
GAY MEN’S HEALTH CRISIS
Courtesy of Visions
Mondays, from 2-4:30pm, the Senior Speak Out Group meets at Selis Manor. See the Visions Services for the Blind listing.
Continued from page 12
Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders is the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults. New York City’s first LGBT senior center offers hot meals, counseling and a cyber-center — as well as programs on arts and culture, fitness, nutrition, health and wellness. It is also home to SAGEWorks. SAGEWorks is a national employment support program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people age 40 and older that expands participants’ job-hunting skills and career options, and connects employers to diverse high-caliber candidates. Recognizing the importance of remaining employed and fulfilled in today’s competitive job market, SAGEWorks provides hands-on workshops, technology training and personal coaching at various sites around the country. At 305 Seventh Ave. (15th floor, btw. 27th & 28th Sts.). For info, menus and a calendar of programs, visit sageusa.org/thesagecenter or call 646-576-8669. For SageWorks, call 212-471-2247 or visit sageusa.org/sageworks. Send them an email, at info@sageusa. org.
VISIONS SERVICES FOR THE BLIND
This non-profit rehabilitation and social service organization helps blind and visually impaired people of all ages lead active and independent lives, and educates the public about the capabilities and needs of people who are blind and visually impaired. Services include vision rehabilitation, community outreach and education, an adaptive senior center, employment services for adult and youth, caregiver support and volunteer services. At 500 Greenwich St., 3rd Fl. (btw. Spring & Canal Sts.). Call 212-625-1616, visit visionsvcb.org or send an email to email@example.com.
VISIONS AT SELIS MANOR
Located at 135 W. 23rd St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh Aves.), Selis Manor is an adapted learning environment and meeting place for blind and/or visually impaired youth, adults and seniors. Programs include support groups, computer training, adapted activities and volunteer and social work services for people who are blind. All services at VISIONS are free and open to all who experience blindness or severe vision loss (and their caregivers). For more information, contact Ann De Shazo, LMSW at (646) 486-4444 ext. 11 adeshazo@visionsvcb. org.
THE SENIOR SPEAK OUT GROUP
The Senior Speak Out Group (seniors over 60 who are blind or visually impaired) meets every Monday, from 2-4:30pm, at Selis Manor. This program allows seniors to make new friends, improve their well-being and gain knowledge about a variety of important issues such as transportation, nutrition, housing and more. Discover opportunities for socialization, networking, a hot, healthy meal and weekly presentations and performances based on member interest. Visit visionsvcb.org/ visions/programs/selis.
CENTER FOR INDEPENDENCE OF THE DISABLED, NY
CIDNY’s offices in Manhattan and Queens provide benefits counseling, direct services, housing assistance, transition services for youth with disabilities, employment-related assistance, healthcare access, peer support groups, information and referrals and recreational activities. All CIDNY services are free. At 841 Broadway (Suite 301, btw. E. 13th & 14th Sts.). Call 212-674-2300 or TTY at 212-674-5619. Visit cidny.org.
GERIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH ALLIANCE
The Geriatric Mental Health Alliance provides depression screening, advocacy and referrals. At 50 Broadway, 19th Floor (btw. Exchange Pl. & Beaver St.). Call 212-6145753 or visit mha-nyc.org.
GMHC’s mission is to fight to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected. GMHC offers resources from hot, nutritious meals and counseling to legal services and job placement to people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as HIV testing and educating the community on HIV prevention, health and policy issues. At 446 W. 33rd St. (btw. 9th & 10th Aves.). Visit gmhc.org or call 212-367-1000.
Selfhelp provides home care, case management services, home health aides, senior housing, legal resources, an Alzheimer’s resource program, senior activity centers
Courtesy of GMHC
Get free HIV testing and education, at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.
and community guardians. At 520 Eighth Ave. (btw. W. 36th & 37th Sts.). Call 212971-7600 or visit selfhelp.net.
NEW YORK FOUNDATION FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
NYFSC coordinates home care, home delivered meals and other services, including assistance with benefits and entitlements for physically and mentally frail residents of Manhattan’s Community Districts 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6. Case Managers meet with individuals to determine their eligibility for services and then arrange and monitor the delivery of services. At 11 Park Place, 11th Fl. (btw. Broadway & Church St.). Call 212-9627817 or visit nyfsc.org.
March 26 - April 8, 2014
Penn South Classes Tone the Body, Sharpen the Mind BY SCOTT STIFFLER They may not be feeling the burn, but they're definitely seeing an improvement in strength, coordination and mobility. Open to residents and neighbors alike, the high-energy, low-impact classes offered at the Penn South Senior Center are designed to get those 55 and over up from their chairs, out of the apartment and, depending on your situation, back into a seat.
FITNESS WITH IVY
Sitting down doesn’t mean turning into an object at rest. Those who take “Fitness with Ivy” are in for 45 minutes of pure motion. In this room, chairs are for exercise. There are no tables for playing cards, no chips for snacking and no TV to watch. The only source of entertainment is the good humor that flows back and forth, from instructor to students, as the group moves to music that’s as mildly risqué as their friendly interchanges. On a recent Wednesday afternoon, “Makin’ Whoopee” and “Just a Gigolo” were among the mix tape selections that accompanied Ivy Volkowitz’s call to action. “Knee raises. March it out. Separate your feet. Tap, tap, tap. Yeah. And the arms! Now, jumping jacks,” she said, demonstrating a standard and a modified version. After that, it was time for some boxing. “Punch, now pivot,” she said, as the students went through their “Rocky” paces — some with hourglass dumbbell weights, some with chairs in front of them for support and some displaying expert form as the routine ended with a series of quick uppercuts. In Ivy’s class, all the moves are designed to meet you at your own comfort level, even as the instructor challenges you to do those final few repetitions. “People come to my class in wheelchairs and walkers,” says Volkowitz. A Penn South resident for 15 years, the 62-year-old certified instructor teaches an All-Level class three times a week, plus a weekly Advanced Level version. “I have people in my class with Parkinson’s, with polio. I have some with MS. I even have people with dementia,” says Volkowitz. “The All-Level students, they can do the entire class in the chair if they want to. I give options. If you’ve had a stroke and can’t lift one arm, you can use to other arm. But for the Advanced class, we don’t use chairs. We do aerobics and strength training.”
Photos by Scott Stiffler
Happy trails to you? Bob and Eunice Stack just might be going on a 500-mile trek, thanks to the prep work they’ve done at Penn South.
COUPLES (PHYSICAL) THERAPY
Alongside his 83-year-old wife, Bob Stack, 87, has been a regular at Penn South fitness classes for over a decade. “We know how important exercise is,” said Eunice, in a recent phone interview. “In my working life,” recalls Bob of his pre-retirement days, “I did a lot of physical labor, but didn’t spend a lot of time on exercises. Truth be told, if it weren’t for Eunice, I probably wouldn’t go. Generally, I’m the only man there — maybe one or two more.
Margrecia’s Strech and Tone class also promotes funny bone density.
But I when I finish that class, I feel better.” Penn South residents since 2002, the couple attributes their overall good health not just to regular class attendance, but also to eating right. “We know the value of a good diet,” says Eunice, with Bob quickly adding that this wasn’t always the case. “I can remember enjoying steaks by the pound,” he says, “and now, once every eight weeks [“Not even that.” counters Eunice], we have beef. We have chicken once in a while, and seafood regularly — but in much different quantities than we used to. These days, not only do I not want a lot of beef, but when I get it, I’m not all that thrilled.” “I think once you get on a diet of more salads and more vegetables, that feels right,” says Eunice. “Then you want to exercise and maintain your weight. Ivy has great music and great exercises. It’s a feel-good experience that goes hand in hand with good living — and our living here in Penn South certainly fosters friendship and activity. We’re very fortunate.” Bob credits Penn South classes with giving them the stamina to hike 50 miles of the 500-mile Camino de Santiago path a few summers ago. “We did it in five days,” he recalls, “and that wouldn’t have been possible without taking part the exercise program.” Good genes probably didn’t hurt, either. “Both of my parents lived a long time, well into their 90s,” says Bob, who made a prediction that seemed to catch his wife pleasantly off-guard. “Eunice and I are planning to hike the entire 500-mille trail for my 90th birthday,” he vowed. “Anything’s possible,” she quipped, not missing a beat.
Elsewhere on the schedule, the weekly yoga class is another example of how the chair is rescued from its traditional role as a contributor to the sedentary lifestyle. “We do a lot of warm-ups — stretching and moving all the different joints, the neck and shoulders, wrists and ankles, as well as moving the spine forward and back and to the side,” says instructor Susan Genis. “All these things are done in a normal yoga class, but we do them in a chair because of that stability. We do poses where we stand, and the chair helps with balance. A lot of the yoga poses are specifically about balance, which helps to strengthen the bones and muscles. So we’re increasing mobility with limbering and stretching as well as working on strength and stamina.” Genis, 65, has taught the Penn South “Chair Yoga” class for over a decade, and says it’s designed to deliver all the physical and mental benefits of yoga, while remaining “accessible for people who can’t necessarily get up and down to the floor.” One of yoga’s greatest benefits, she notes, comes from bringing a new awareness to something her students — most of them in their 70s and 80s — have been
Continued on page 18
March 26 - April 8, 2014
Brainy Breakfasts and Midday Boosts BY CARLYE WAXMAN RD, CDN It’s the afternoon, and you’ve suddenly hit a slump — and although there is so much more day left to enjoy, right now you’re sluggish and just plain hungry. If you need a burst of energy to take that walk you’ve been thinking about, don’t reach for a handful (or more) of sugary junk food. Have a smart snack!
SOME GREAT BALANCED SNACKS INCLUDE
• Fruit and low-fat yogurt, with 2 tablespoons of granola • 1 or 2 percent string cheeses with 7-10 whole grain crackers • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and half of a banana on one slice of multigrain bread Loaded with fiber and protein, these foods will hit your body slowly, providing you with energy you need over a longer amount of time. But before that mid-day snack, make sure to start things off right!
EAT A BRAINY BREAKFAST
Make it a goal to have a good breakfast — every morning — full of the necessary products that give you energy to last until lunch. Make a big pot of oatmeal in the beginning of the week and have it seven different ways. Maybe even add some Greek yogurt and honey one day, bananas and walnuts another day and chopped up figs and cinnamon a different day. If you’re pressed for time, make a batch in your slow cooker and cook it overnight. See the recipe at the end of this article for my Overnight Oatmeal Parfait. Studies have recently shown that even if your body is just slightly low in B12 — a common issue among older adults — it will significantly increase your risk of metal decline! Low-fat dairy such as yogurt and milk, plus fortified cereals, will provide you with a good source of B12.
HAVE “SUPERFOODS” DAILY
What is a superfood? Well the answer is, it’s a marketing gimmick usually used in media that dietitians wouldn’t normally comment on. We do believe there are powerful foods out there, some more than others — but not that they would cure cancer, diabetes, heart disease or obesity. With that said, there are lots of vegetables that have an overwhelming amount of nutrients. Those include foods like kale, beets, broccoli, quinoa (or other whole grains such as bulgur) and sweet
potato. Try to have at least one of these foods daily. Whole grains are definitely a great food you can make in bulk and have different ways for lunch all week, as well as other foods such as bulgur with artichokes, tomatoes and feta or quinoa with grilled chicken, parsley, oil and lemon.
EXERCISE, EVEN WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO
Is 3pm the part of your day where you get all slumpy and make horrible decisions? Try doing 10 minutes of exercise. Some common exercises can be just walking up and down several flights of stairs or grabbing a friend and taking an exercise class. Beginners Yoga can be great for the mind and stretching out the body — and most classes are only an hour. Something as easy as beginner’s yoga or a mediation class can put you in a better place mentally for the rest of the day!
GET RID OF NUTRITION NIGHTMARES
You don’t need to rely on junk food for happiness. If you feel you must have something like chips or candy, get yourself a small 100-calorie bag of chips or miniature candy bars and have one or two when you feel you really need it. Otherwise rely on the healthier snacks mentioned and go for that walk! Now here’s that recipe for a great breakfast treat that takes just minutes to make, right before you go to sleep.
OVERNIGHT OATMEAL PARFAIT WITH HONEY AND GREEK YOGURT OATS
Ingredients: 1 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt 1/4 cup rolled oats Honey, to drizzle ½ tsp vanilla 2 tbsp skim milk 1 tbsp peach preserves Directions: In a mason jar or Tupperware, place peach preserves on the bottom of the bowl, add the oats and milk, yogurt and vanilla and stir well. Save the honey, to drizzle on top right before eating. Carlye Waxman is a Registered Dietitian living in NYC. She does private counseling and provides free nutrition tips and recipes on her website SweetNutritionNYC.com. Email her at Carlye@ yournydietitian.com or Carlye@sweetnutritionnyc.com for more information on counseling.
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This one’s a real peach: Carlye’s recipe for Overnight Oatmeal Parfait is a great breakfast treat.
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March 26 - April 8, 2014
Don’t be a Spring Chicken: Outdoor Exercise is for Everyone
Photo by Devon Cormack
Exercise along the High Line begins with taking the stairs.
BY DEVON CORMACK Many of the difficulties associated with aging can be linked to physical inactivity. But if you’re over 50 and lucky enough to be in good general health, then there’s more good news: If you lead a sedentary life, it isn’t too late to get active — and you live in a neighborhood with plenty of nearby, lowimpact options. Exercise can help tame symptoms of joint pain, anxiety, depression and sleep problems. It also reduces your risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes. Your body is a machine — and when taken care of, it can actually slow down the clock. There are many ways to gradually build up your endurance and fitness level. Just start slow and steady, and start each new week spending slightly more time devoted to physical fitness. With spring finally here, warmer weather welcomes outdoor activities and exercises.
A WALK IN THE PARK
If you live in or around Penn South, try walking out to the park around the blacktop between Buildings 6 and 7 to read your morning paper — or, even better, grab a bench atop the High Line. There are a few convenient entrances along 10th Avenue, including one on 23rd Street and another on 26th. The High Line offers greenery and beautiful views of Chelsea. If your fitness level allows, walk all the way down to 14th Street, enjoying great views along the way.
CLIMB THE STAIRS, WALK THE TRACK
Every Penn South resident who is physi-
cally capable should be taking the stairs (at least some of them) instead of the elevator. If you live on a higher floor, try climbing one or two flights before getting on. Or, take the elevator half the way, get off and walk the rest. On weeknights and weekends, you can catch soccer and lacrosse games at the Chelsea Ballfields (located on 28th Street between Ninth and 10th Avenues). When no games are being played, there is a track to walk and benches to rest and read on.
Simple stretches are another way to build your fitness level and improve flexibility. Stretching keeps elasticity in the muscles and keeps your joints limber. This will help to reduce the risks of injury.
STRENGTH TRAINING THROUGH GROCERY SHOPPING
Strength training will improve your muscle endurance and can help to reduce risks of lower back strains and injuries. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lift weights. Your everyday routine is full of opportunities. Try leaving the grocery cart in your apartment, and carry the bags from the supermarket. Make two trips if you have to. Once home, see how many stairs you can climb before taking the elevator. When you’ve become comfortable with that routine, challenge yourself to add another floor or two of stairs.
Penn South offers a variety of exciting exercise classes that welcome seniors at all
Photo by Devon Cormack
Walk the Chelsea Ballfields track, while you take in a lacrosse game.
fitness levels. Don’t be intimidated! If you only participate one minute of a 60-minute class, that becomes a starting point. Fitness is a gradual process. Do not be discouraged if you find you aren't as fit as you were ten years ago. Stick to it, and within weeks you will start seeing changes in how you look and feel. Penn South resident Devon Cormack, 55, is a three-time World Kickboxing Champion who coordinates fight scenes for film and TV. Along with Heather “The Heat” Hardy, he works as a personal trainer — while prepping for fights — at Gleason’s Gym (77 Front St., Brooklyn). If you have a fitness or nutrition question, send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also see his trainer bio, at gleasonsgym.net.
Photo by Rebecca Weiss-Stricker
Penn South resident Devon Cormack, with Heather “The Heat” Hardy.
March 26 - April 8, 2014
Low Impact Exercise Yields A High Return Continued from page 14 doing all their life, though largely on autopilot. “We breathe 24-7,” notes Genis, “but we don’t pay much attention to the quality, the sensation of movement, as we’re doing it. Yoga is often thought of as a physical practice, but that’s only one piece of what’s considered the study of yoga — which is also about quieting the mind. The way you do that is through a deeper awareness of the physical body. So we coordinate the breath with the movements.” For Georgia Weaver, the Chair Yoga and Tai Chi classes are largely responsible for keeping her a “fairly fit 73.” Regular attendance, along with participating in the weekly Walking Club and staying away from meat and chicken, have helped her “maintain the same weight, 150 pounds, for years. I’m not losing, and I’m not gaining. That’s the beauty of these classes. I go to the Tai Chi for balance, and I do yoga for stretching and mindfulness. It really helps you focus and shut out the rest of the world, because you’re feeling your body and breath together. I never did it [yoga] before Susan’s class. I have a very busy life, with a lot of pressures on me. I can get very anxious, and the yoga really helps with that.”
‘That’s the beauty of these classes. I go to the Tai Chi for balance, and I do yoga for stretching and mindfulness. It really helps you focus and shut out the rest of the world, because you’re feeling your body and breath together.’ —Georgia Weaver STRETCH AND TONE
In the fast-paced class taught by quickwitted Margrecia, you know exactly where you stand (even when you’re seated in an upright position). “Why do we do this?” she asks as a class of 14 — some sitting, some standing, most smiling and all of them reaching towards the sky. “You’re doing this to strengthen your arms so you can push away all those people who want to help you carry your groceries.” Laughter spreads throughout the room, which she works with the showbiz flair of Joan Rivers and the conditioned prowess of a workout-era Jane Fonda (a comparison validated by the thin silhouette and the
defined arms). Margrecia, 70, began teaching in 1975. “I’ve seen everything,” she says, counting aerobics, belly dancing and yoga among the types of instruction on her resume. Trends many come and go — but laughter, she notes, remains the best preventative medicine. “It enhances everyone’s mood, because they come in and they want to laugh,” she says. “I also play great music,
everything from pop and classical to Latin and ballroom.” No matter the genre, Margrecia says she’s a “group exercise trainer” at heart. This current Penn South class channels the task of stretching and toning into everything from calisthenics to dance. “My oldest student is 102. I have a few in their 90s. The rest are in their 70s and 80s, mostly,” she notes. “We do all kinds of movements and I try to encourage people to wear attractive clothing. We also use Dyna-Bands for strengthening and we do balance exercises. In the middle of everything, we laugh and endure. The idea is to adapt the exercise to the participants, so everyone has a great time and continues doing this year after year.” The Penn South Senior Center is (temporarily) located at 343 Eighth Ave. (corner of W. 27th St.). For information, call 212243-3670. To see the weekly schedule of classes (designed for ages 55 and up), visit pennsouthlive.org.
Photo by Scott Stiffler
Music and motion (and some boxing moves), at the Fitness with Ivy class.
March 26 - April 8, 2014
On His Rowdy Bowery, ‘The Hook’ Was Born Henry Clay Miner’s reach was longer than a shepherd’s crook BY TRAV S.D. travsd.wordpress.com Sunday, March 23, marked the birthday of a once-important, now-forgotten New York theatrical impresario, politico and all-around mover and shaker named Henry Clay Miner (1842-1900). Miner began his adult life in the approved Bowery Boy fashion, as a city cop and volunteer fireman. He also obtained a degree in pharmacy from the College of Physicians and Surgeons and operated pharmacies, one of many revenue streams in what eventually became a multi-million dollar empire. In the 1860s, he began to amass experience that would serve him well in his theatrical activities. He was an advance man for Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok and Texas Jack. He booked a medical lecturer named Professor De Courcey, a magician and bird trainer named Signor Blitz and Slavianksi’s Russian Opera Company. Miner’s first venture operating an actual venue was a short-lived dime museum and variety hall in Baltimore. He broke into New York by managing the clumsily named Falk’s Volk’s Garden in 1875. From there he went on to establish the London Theatre, an early vaudeville house located at 235 Bowery. He sold out to his partner James Donaldson in 1878. The London operated as a variety, burlesque and vaudeville emporium for another couple of decades, later becoming a Yiddish theatre, an Italian playhouse and a venue for Chinese opera. Today it is the site of the New Museum. The success of the London allowed Miner to start what became New York’s first theatre chain, eventually encompassing the American Theatre, the 13th Street Theatre, Miner’s People’s Theatre, Miner’s 8th Avenue Theatre and the Fifth Avenue Theatre (which burned in a fire and was replaced with the Imperial Music Hall). He also owned theatres in Brooklyn and Newark. But the most famous of all his houses was Miner’s Bowery Theatre (1878). Miner’s influential amateur night (instituted by Miner’s son Tom) played every other Friday. Performers were each given a dollar (which
Museum of the City of New York, Courtesy Bowery Alliance of Neighbors
Miner’s Bowery Theatre, 165-167 Bowery.
was a lot of money in those day), and winners were given fancy prizes, such as watches. The amateur night at Miner’s was popular; the audience, rowdy. A saloon and poolroom adjoined the theatre helped fuel the rambunctious energy, necessitating the use of hired “policemen” to roam the theatre ready to bust the heads of any troublemakers.
Somewhere along the line, someone got the bright idea of yanking particularly clueless acts offstage with a shepherd’s crook. This became known as “the hook” (as in “Give ‘im da hook!”). This device was widely emulated throughout the country, and has even become an idiom in the English language. The innovation lives on in popular
memory, even if Miner’s Bowery Theatre does not. Among the notable performers who trod the stage at Miner’s were Eddie Cantor, Weber and Fields, the Four Cohans, A.O. Duncan (vaudeville’s first ventriloquist), singer Lottie Gilson (known as “The Little Magnet”), monologist John W. Kelly “The Rolling Mill Man” and Charlie Ross (later of the team of Ross and Fenton). In addition to his pharmaceutical and theatrical concerns, Miner also operated one of New York’s premier lithography printing companies, turning out beautiful color posters not only for his theatres, but for many others of the day. These many enterprises made Miner a rich and powerful man. In time, he became cronies with Tammany Hall politician Big Tim Sullivan, and there was a certain amount of cross-fertilization between the two. Perhaps inspired by Miner, Sullivan went into the vaudeville business, becoming backer of the Sullivan and Considine chain, an important circuit in the Pacific Northwest. And Miner became a U.S. Congressman, representing New York’s Ninth district from 1895 to 1897. For someone named after Senator Henry Clay, this must have been a proud phase of Miner’s life. Nonetheless, Capitol Hill appears not to have suited him. He did not run for reelection, but returned to New York to run his business interests after one term. He passed away three years later, and now occupies a gorgeous mausoleum in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. His sons Edwin, Thomas, Clay and George continued to run his empire in the early years of the twentieth century. Trav S.D. has been producing the American Vaudeville Theatre since 1995, and periodically trots it out in new incarnations. Stay in the loop at travsd.wordpress. com, and also catch up with him on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, et al. His books include “No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous” and “Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and its Legacies from Nickelodeons to YouTube.”
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March 26 - April 8, 2014
New Horizons Band Continued from page 7
Photo by Michael Lydon
Alan Yashin in the background, with tenor sax player Neal King flanked by Judy Bosco (in scarf) and Betty Rounds.
a sudden blaring push. “No, no,” said Tesh, waving his baton until the players stopped. “We’ve got to reach the climax little by little, poco a poco, as it says on your scores.” “Easy for you to say,” the French horn player muttered to the trombonist beside him. The players sitting nearby chuckled. Tesh wisely acted as if he hadn’t heard, but announced it was time to take five, and the players got up, stretched, sipped from their water bottles and chatted with this visiting reporter. “Oh, I love being in this band,” said tenor sax player Neal King, as he adjusted his horn’s reed. “Joined five years ago, had never played an instrument in my life, and would have bet I’d never learn to read music, but here I am! I had to retire as a firefighter because of lung damage, but my wife said this could be good for me, and you know what? My lung scans keep getting better. All the breathing helps.” “I played clarinet in high school,” said bass clarinetist Judy Bosco, “but until I heard about the New Horizons band, I hadn’t played for years. What I love is: we’re all trying to improve, but there’s no pressure. It’s music for the fun of it.” Pam Pier, who owns the Dinosaur Hill toyshop on East Ninth agreed. “My flute had been in the closet for decades,” she said, “but when someone told me about a senior band that met only two blocks away, I said, ‘That’s for me!’ Like the toy shop, music keeps me young.” Tesh tapped his stand again; time to get back to work. All the warm up exercises now paid off, and the band romped through a half dozen tunes, including the lyrical “Air for Band,” a stomping blues, “Basin Street Barbeque” and the mellow “Samba for Flutes.” The samba had some tricky
Brazilian syncopations, but backed up by Linda Brown’s steady beat on snare drum and cymbal, the ensemble kept up a sexy, swaying groove, the flutes leading the way through the playful melody, the two tubas poot-pooting down in the sub-basement. When the bells of St. Mark’s church rang noon, it was time to stop for the day. “That was a good session, everybody,” said Tesh, then asked for comments and questions. “What do we do if we screw up in a concert like we do when we practice?” someone called out. “Oh, don’t worry about it,” replied Tesh with a grin, “audiences are always kind.” “You know, Brandon, you’re always telling us to count out the tempo,” said one trombonist, “but really we keep on time by watching your body language.” “That’s fine,” said Tesh, then asking a question he’d asked many times before: “What’s the most important thing about tempo?” “Don’t slow down!” the orchestra answered in unison. “And who’s responsible for keeping a steady tempo?” “Everybody!” said everybody. Billy Lyles, a gray-haired flutist, raised his hand. “Yes, Billy?” said Tesh. “Even more important than tempo,” said Billy, “is for us to say a big ‘Thank you’ for all you’ve given us.” The whole orchestra clapped and cheered. Tesh blushed, and the orchestra, chuckling, began putting their instruments back into their cases, pulling their scarves and hats out of their coat sleeves, then headed back out into the cold. For more information, visit thirdstreetmusicschool.org, call 212-777-3240 or stop by 235 East 11th Street and pick up a brochure.
March 26 - April 8, 2014
Aries Nothing is as good as it used to be — except your ability to give snotty kids an unsolicited history lesson! Taurus Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Invest equally in scratch tickets, BINGO cards and high yield municipal bonds.
Gemini One person’s twerking is another person’s Dougie and another’s hustle, twist or Charleston — so face your choice of music, and dance.
Cancer Items, both long sought and impulse, await purchase at a local stoop sale. Mystico says, splurge!
Leo A reluctant Leo from your distant past needs to be reminded of a promise made to a mutual friend. Virgo The new Muppets movie isn’t as good as the ones your kids grew up on, but it has its merits. Embrace the next generation!
Libra A hot number, decades your junior, finds your salacious flirtations more cute than creepy. Build on that!
Scorpio Life is a cabaret — and this week, your gift of gab will get you a table upfront and a pass on the two-drink minimum. Sagittarius Cruise ship tan sessions are like Sunday picnic deviled eggs — likely to go bad if left in the sun too long.
Capricorn Dreams of bold adventures pale in comparison to what this week’s waking life has in store…and it all starts near the Chelsea bus stop of your choosing.
Aquarius Don’t feel bad that you’ve aged out of Lasik surgery. Rock a pair of designer bifocals instead, and accept the passes of those who like glasses!
Pisces Your time capsule choices from four decades ago now seem wacky, wise, terribly trite and tremendously titillating — in that precise order.
March 26 - April 8, 2014
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March 26 - April 8, 2014
Buhmann on Art BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN stephaniebuhmann.com
Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York
Installation views, from “Michelangelo Pistoletto: The Minus Objects 1965-1966” (on view through May 11, at Luhring Augustine, Bushwick).
MICHELANGELO PISTOLETTO: THE MINUS OBJECTS 1965-1966
Born in Biella, Italy, in 1933, Pistoletto is best known for his Mirror Paintings and Minus Objects, which were fundamental to the birth of the Arte Povera movement in the 1960s. This exhibition focuses on the latter series, which radically upended the prevailing art trends of the time. Exhibited in 1966 in the artist’s studio in Turin, the Minus Objects comprise a group of disparate sculptural objects, striking for their individuality as well as their sheer diversity of form, media and means of production. Evolving in a spontaneous and organic manner, these objects seem as fresh as ever. Pistoletto still lives and works in Biella, where he founded the interdisciplinary laboratory Cittadellarte. Through May 11, at Luhring Augustine, Bushwick (25 Knickerbocker Ave., Bushwick, Brooklyn, corner of Ingraham St.). Hours: Thurs.-Sun., 12-6pm. Call 718-386-2746 or visit luhringaugustine.com.
JULIAN SCHNABEL: VIEW OF THE DAWN IN THE TROPICS: PAINTINGS, 1989–1990
Born in 1951, Schnabel came to art world fame in the 1980s with his large-scale paintings set on broken ceramic plates. Since then he has successfully branched out into film and won the award for best director at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, a Golden Globe, as well as a BAFTA, a César Award, two nominations for the Golden Lion and an Academy Award nomination. However, this exhibition looks back at a period when Schnabel was primarily known as a painter. He might not have re-
WEST 23RD BETWEEN 7TH & 8TH
EVERY THURSDAY at 7:00 PM HOSTED BY HEDDA LETTUCE
© Julian Schnabel. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery. Photography by Robert McKeever.
Julian Schnabel: “A Little Later” | 1990. Oil, gesso on white tarp, 96 x 76 inches (243.8 x 193 cm). On view at Gagosian Gallery, April 17–May 31.
invented the wheel back then, but he certainly knew how to draw attention. To be able to look back at this earlier period of his oeuvre will offer a good opportunity to re-evaluate its quality and ponder its longevity. April 17–May 31, at Gagosian Gallery (555 W. 24th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.). Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 212-7411111 or visit gagosian.com or julianschnabel.com.
SATURDAY APRIL 12TH 10:00 PM ADM. $10 interactive! with
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March 26 - April 8, 2014
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