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Could UWS Snatch Mayoralty from Park Slope in ’17? 04

October 22 - November 04, 2015 | Vol. 01 No. 01


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October 22 - November 04, 2015 |

Waitlists, Disparate Resources Make For Heated UWS School Rezoning Debate BY JOSH ROGERS


hich five-year-olds will get shut out of P.S. 199 next September? The simple question that is hard to decide will be answered by the Upper West Side’s Community Education Council (CEC) as early as next month, if the current schedule holds. The first option being considered would shrink the school zone around P.S. 199 on West 70th Street in the hopes of eliminating the chronic waiting lists at the school, which has received National Blue Ribbon honors. Last year almost 100 children were sent rejection letters from the school, enough to fill four kindergarten classes. Still, there is at least some reason to think that with option one the city might be overcompensating and reducing the zone too much. The second option would actually expand the zone into a shared area with P.S. 191 on West 61st Street. The idea behind this alternative “superzone” is to create a more even racial balance between P.S. 191, where 27 percent of the students are white, and P.S. 199, where that figure is 64 percent. This shared zone had been treated more as an afterthought until last week, when Department of Education officials showed up at an October15 District 3 CEC meeting to discuss it in detail. Two days later, at a sometimes-rowdy Saturday public hearing at P.S. 191, the superzone was the overwhelming consensus choice of the parents packed into the auditorium. But be careful where you look for consensus. Kim Watkins, a CEC member, said one of the “sure things” about school rezonings, is that “individuals satisfied with the status quo — they’re not going to show up and complain.” Watkins noted the complexity of the superzone proposal, which involves not only 199 and 191 but also P.S. 342, scheduled to open in two years a block away


A public hearing on school rezoning at P.S. 191 on October 17 drew a large crowd and no small amount of exasperation.

from P.S. 191. “Shared zones can work when there’s thoughtful choice,” she said. “It becomes a little bit trickier if the superzone includes one school that people want, one that most don’t, and one that doesn’t exist.” Families who would stay in the 199 zone have tended to skip meetings, but as the superzone option picks up some steam, Watkins said, she has been hearing complaints from them. “I don’t want my kids to be experiments in all of this,” said Julie Leitao, who explained the “only reason” her family moved out of the P.S. 191 zone last year into Lincoln Guild was so that she would be able to enroll her children at P.S. 199. Lincoln Guild, a middle class building by Manhattan standards, is cut just out of the zone under the first option, and residents there have been showing up at meetings in full force. Leitao said her neighbors like | October 22 - November 04, 2015

the superzone idea much more than she does because it’ll give them at least some chance to get into 199. Her oldest was lucky enough to enroll there this September, but she worries whether there will be space for her two-year-old, who would normally be “grandfathered” in, if the zone doubles in size.

A DANGEROUS LABEL Complicating the matter is the fact that the State Department of Education designated P.S. 191 a “persistently dangerous school” over the summer. There’s near universal agreement that the label is unjustified, but it did allow at least 11 students to transfer to other Upper West Side schools this year, and it is likely to make next year’s kindergarten application process more complicated. Both the state and city education departments have been tightlipped about the designation,

which some attribute to reporting mistakes. Neither agency would comment for this article. Several parents in the P.S. 191 pre-K program said they are impressed with the school and the principal, Lauren Keville, who is in her second year. “Our students are engaged, our students are learning, our teachers are teaching, and I encourage you to come see us,” Keville told the crowd at the Saturday public hearing after a heckler who didn’t want her to speak was silenced. Since P.S. 199 has no room for pre-K, the P.S. 191 program has drawn many students who are zoned for 199. “My kid’s in pre-K there and it’s great,” Charles Pollack said at the October 15 CEC meeting. “The administration is great. We have a superzone right now in pre-K and it works. I think if you expanded that, you will see the same kind of success.” Pollack, like just about everyone else who has anything to say about the schools in the neighborhood, said P.S. 191 needs a lot more money to improve and make it more attractive to parents. P.S. 199’s PTA spends about $850 per student — which means its annual budget is at least $750,000. P.S. 191’s zone includes most of the Amsterdam Houses, a public housing project, and its PTA had a budget last year of only $24,000. Pollack, who is also a Lincoln Guild homeowner, believes the real issue is resources for P.S. 191, not zoning. “This whole conversation about over cr owding r eminds me of the guy who brings his car to a mechanic and says fix my horn, my brakes are broken,” he said. Noah Gotbaum, the CEC member most bullish on the superzone, told Manhattan Express, “It’s not fair to take anyone out of any zone. I understand parents do not want their kids to be pioneers integrating schools, but if one classroom of parents [currently zoned for P.S. 199] goes into the class at 191, right off the bat there’s a completely different economic and racial makeup.” Marcy Drogin, a P.S. 87 PTA officer and a veteran of a similar school rezoning dispute several years ago, told Gotbaum at the CEC meeting,


REZONING, continued on p.24


Could the Upper West Side Snatch Mayoralty from Park Slope in ’17?


Comptroller Scott Stringer speaking at a World AIDS Day event at the Apollo Theater last December 1.



would like to give the mayor more runway space to accomplish the goals he has set,” declared City Comptroller Scott Stringer toward the end of a wide-ranging, 50-minute interview early this month with Manhattan Express and editors from the newspaper’s sister publications in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. “My job is not to hold him back from what he wants to accomplish. My work at the end of the day has to complement the administration.” Those comments were Stringer’s effort to put some perspective on his discussion of a series of high-profile clashes — over pre-K contracts, half a dozen audits of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), an audit of Department of Education federal Medicaid reimbursements, and most recently homeless shelter contracts — he’s had with Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration. Then, in a model of good Democrat, team player behavior, Stringer — who has served as comptroller for nearly 22 months after eight years as Manhattan borough president and 13 years as an Upper West Side State Assembly member — said of the chances de Blasio might have a challenger in 2017, “I expect him to be the candidate. I


hope to be the candidate for reelection, and we’ll go from there.” Stringer’s loyalty and clarity here, though, were in contrast to what was — at the very least — some troublemaking earlier in the interview. Explaining why he was happy to meet with reporters in an “open mic” set-up, he said, “I do think that elected officials, whether you are the mayor, you’re the comptroller, I do think you should go before the public. I think you should do town hall meetings — not just in Iowa, but in New York City.” Then, a pause, and in something of an exaggerated stage whisper, “Oh, God, I forgot I’m in front of the press.” Weeks before, news had emerged that de Blasio, who has worked to forge a national profile as a spokesperson for urban America generally and progressive policies in particular, plans to host a Democratic presidential forum in Iowa, site of the first-in-the-nation caucuses. Stringer could be forgiven some West Side wise-guy humor. But when asked if he were taking a more serious poke at the mayor, Stringer denied that “we sort of knock him when he’s on the ropes” — and then said, “Do I think the mayor should have a town hall meeting in Iowa? Sure. I don’t begrudge him that. Mayors want to go beyond the street corners in the city. What I’ve said is just, ‘Keep in mind, keep your eye on the city.’

Right? We have a homeless crisis. We have an education crisis. We have a NYCHA system that is slowly eroding and broken, and you really have to think about being mayor in a 24/7 city that you just shouldn’t get so far ahead of yourself.” And then, making it abundantly clear that the de Blasio junket was not just fodder for an early October joke, he explained, “What I’m going to do is to use that town hall meeting to do a town hall meeting the same night in New York City. And I’m going to bring together advocates and activists, people to talk about an urban America agenda but through the lens of our city. To talk about solutions to homelessness, to talk about solutions to making sure that people in our housing developments feel secure, to talk about affordable housing. So we all have different roles to play, and that’s something I’m going to do.” Throughout his discussion of the audits and contract oversight that his office has done — and the frictions they have created with the mayor and city agencies — Stringer returned again and again to explanations based on his job responsibilities. He has fiduciary duties regarding both the city’s massive pension funds — which total roughly $155 billion and provide retirement security for 700,000 people — and the thousands of contracts his office must sign off on. As an independently elected official, he has an obligation to hold city agencies accountable. To the extent his office has been aggressive — with audits “very focused on financial impropriety and incompetence,” he said — it was all in the service of sound management and guaranteeing New Yorkers, particularly the neediest among them, the services they deserve. “We’re not the people that you’re supposed to invite to the party, right?,” Stringer said by way of closing. “We’re the ones who have to blow the whistle, say the things that people are thinking but nobody is saying.” If one accepts the comptroller’s

version of the facts in the dustups he’s had with the administration, this perspective is compelling and Stringer makes his case ably. His comments about holding a not-in-Iowa forum, however, seem to go well above and beyond the standard he lays out for his role as city comptroller. So what’s Scott Stringer up to? Longtime political consultant Hank Sheinkopf agreed that the comptroller’s response to de Blasio’s planned Iowa forum signals a ratcheting up in the rivalry between the two Democrats. Stringer’s comments, he said, “are absolutely provocative,” and he added, “There is no doubt that this is a way to step on the mayor’s parade…. The fact that he has the temerity to hold a forum here while the mayor is holding one elsewhere is pretty significant.” Alluding to an August poll by Quinnipiac University, Sheinkopf said, “Public opinion polls show people are worried that the mayor is more interested in issues outside than in New York, and they don’t like it. Scott is a very good politician, and he surrounds himself with great people. They are aware of the way the wind is blowing. There’s an electorate who doesn’t want to see the mayor outside New York, so he sets himself up as a sort of mayor in loco parentis.” Mitchell Moss, a longtime urban policy, planning, and transportation expert at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service who advised Michael Bloomberg on his first run for mayor, has also noted Stringer’s high profile as comptroller, crediting him with “expanding the role beyond bookkeeper.” “He has a huge fiduciary role in the pension funds,” Moss said. “He expands it with the audits. It allowed him to become a highly visible city official. His official duties give him a platform to comment on social issues. A very broad platform.” That platform, he said, would most likely serve Stringer in a race in 2021 — not 2017 — when


STRINGER, continued on p.18

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After 45 Years, Third Attempt to Landmark Bergdorf-Goodman BY JACKSON CHEN


n a busy Fifth Avenue, passing tourists disrupt the flood of pedestrian traffic to snap photos of a long famous luxury department store. For some, the Bergdorf-Goodman building, between 57th and 58th Streets, is a go-to shopping destination, while others treat it more as an extravagant backdrop as they pose underneath the tall arches of the store’s entrance. However, the Bergdorf-Goodman building may achieve more than digital permanence in the picture collections of untold numbers of tourists as the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) pushes along a possible landmark designation for the building housing the famed department store. In an effort to address the dozens of historic properties that have fallen into landmark designation limbo, the Commission recently announced a Backlog Initiative that would address 95 properties considered for designation dating all the way back to the 1960s, but which have yielded no final action. Of the 32 Manhattan properties among the backlogs, one of them is home to the legendary Bergdorf-Goodman, at 754 Fifth Avenue. Scheduled as an agenda item along with 11 other properties for a November 5 special hearing, the Bergdorf building, regardless of whether the LPC comes down for or against a designation, would then proceed to its own public hearing allowing both stakeholders and the public to offer verbal or written testimony. The deadline for a decision is December 2016, by which time the LPC will approve a landmark designation, reject a designation, or issue a no action letter, which removes the item from the calendar with no judgment on its merits for designation. A de-calendared property can be considered again for designation at a later time, whereas a vote against designation is final. The New York Landmarks Conservancy, a non-profit group dedicated to “preserving, revitalizing, and reusing New York’s architecturally significant buildings,” has submitted a request for designation for the Bergdorf-Goodman building. “It’s one of the premiere stores and it’s certainly iconic for the city,” Peg Breen, president of the Conservancy said of the building. “A lot of people, whether they’re residents or tourists, know about the Bergdorf and they want to see it.”



The Bergdorf-Goodman building at 754 Fifth Avenue at 58th Street.

The luxury goods department store was founded in 1899 by the eponymous French immigrant tailor Herman Bergdorf, who was later joined in the business by his apprentice Edwin Goodman. The store moved to its current location in 1928, after purchasing the land from Alice G. Vanderbilt, the widow of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, who could no longer pay her taxes on a 45-year-old mansion, the largest ever built in the US, on the site. After Bergdorf was bought out and Goodman passed away, Edwin’s son, Andrew Goodman, oversaw the store and positioned Bergdorf-Goodman as a more exclusive alternative to competition like Saks, Barneys, and Bloomingdale’s. For preservationists like the Historic Districts Council’s executive director Simeon Bankoff, the Bergdorf-Goodman building has served as a gateway into the Fifth Avenue high-end retail district that has stood the test of time. “There’s a whole history of the evolution of department stores and luxury buildings on Fifth Avenue,” Bankoff said, “of which Bergdorf is the best remaining intact example.” On top of its history of luxury commerce in Manhattan’s prime retail corridor, many New Yorkers also see architectural merit in designating the Bergdorf-Goodman building as a landmark. Known for an early 20th century modern architectural style with distinctive tall, intricate arches above the doorways, the building has changed very little since its construction in the ‘20s, according to Andrea Goldwyn, the Conservancy’s director of public policy. She said the only alterations made were a new doorway in the ‘80s. Most of the sand-colored building remains pristine, though signs of age are apparent with the black stone stains near the Bergdorf-Goodman logo above the store’s refurbished main entrance. Discussion of landmark designation for the Bergdorf-Goodman building began in 1970, but the LPC decided against taking any action based on overwhelming resistance from the owner at the time, the junior Goodman, accord-

ing to city records. The matter was deferred to a later time. In 1980, the Commission again decided to table the issue until another time. Forty-five years after Bergdorf’s original landmark discussion, preservationists are pleased the LPC is working to tackle the numerous possible designations throughout the city. “Buildings should not linger for years or decades,” the Conservancy’s Breen said. Commending the Commission for its planned hearings, she said each of the 95 properties deserved their “day in court.” In terms of landmark merit, the Historic Districts Council’s Bankoff said that the Bergdorf-Goodman building is a no-brainer. He voiced concern, however, that the property’s current owner would join the discussion closer to the designation decision and call for very loose regulation, and he predicted its architectural significance would be called into question. “As the November 5 hearing draws closer, I would not be surprised if it starts getting circulated that the building is not meritorious,” Bankoff said. He noted that the Crown Building across the street from Bergdorf, which sold for roughly $1.75 billion in December 2014, serves as a good reference point in assessing the property value the owner of the Bergdorf property would be looking to maintain by keeping its development options open. Sharing Bankoff’s sentiments, Breen worries about the economic incentives in a neighborhood that is home to skyscrapers like the nearby Trump Tower and the Solow Building. “57th Street is the home of the supertowers, so there’s a lot of development pressure,” said Breen, who argued that the merits of landmarking should outweigh the economic pressures. Representatives of Madison Capital, the real estate investment company that is the asset manager for 754 Fifth Avenue, declined comment on the merits of the landmarking issue. The owner, 754 Fifth Avenue Associates, L.P., identified in New York State records as a foreign limited partnership, could not be reached for comment. n

October 22 - November 04, 2015 |

Challenges of Manhattan Farming Highlighted at Natural History Museum Symposium BY JACKSON CHEN


n an effort to foster the growth of urban agriculture in New York City, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer presided over a symposium on this unique green practice on October 14. Inside the American Museum of Natural History’s Powerhouse Room, members of a curious crowd numbering more than 50 approached table exhibits from experts and practitioners of urban agriculture. Groups including the Cornell Cooperative Extension, New York Restoration Project, and Just Food were on hand to demonstrate how adaptive methods can be developed to grow food in unsuitable city environments. Urban farmers explained how they make use of spaces such as community gardens and rooftop farming to grow food amidst a concrete jungle. Atop Cornell’s table, crisp lettuce

and richly fragrant basil bloomed from a compact network of white plastic tubes above a bubbling water tank. Cornell’s Dr. Philson Warner explained that the tube system that constantly channeled a nutrient-rich solution into the greens was an example of hydroponics and has been used in many schools throughout the city. He urged visitors to press local officials to bring hydroponics to their neighborhood schools. Throughout the day’s numerous panels — one of which the bor ough president moderated — most urban farmers cited financial feasibility as the biggest roadblock for them and agreed that there are opportunities for greater collaboration between organizations and assistance from the city. “We struggle to make the financial numbers fit the way we want,” said Zach Pickens, a full-time urban farmer at Riverpark Farm


Cornell Cooperative Extension’s hydroponic lettuce and basil exhibition.

at Alexandria Center on East 29th Street. “That’s the reality of what it’s like to grow in New York City.” Pickens, who farms close to 100 varieties of crops in repurposed milk crates, said there are a lot of ideas the city could pursue to support urban farming. San Francisco, he noted, recently passed a bill that allowed tax abatements for land developments that allowed conversion of vacant lots into urban farms. A report Brewer released in April

titled “How Our Gardens Grow: Strategies for expanding urban agriculture” in April echoed many of the urban farmers’ concerns and recommended increased city government support for city farming. Drawing data from her report, the borough president said, “Fifty-seven garden administrators in Manhattan at schools, senior centers, NYCHA, community centers, and all of the gardeners cited resources


FARMING, continued on p.11

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Krueger Suggests You Beat the NRA By Joining Them BY YANNIC RACK


t the first Democratic presidential debate last week, gun control was one of the issues that took center stage. Touting their bad ratings from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and effectively declaring outright war on the organization, the candidates showed how potent the issue has become among Democratic primary voters, with even Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has been criticized for past votes in favor of gun rights, shifting position. And asked who they were proudest of making their enemy while in politics, both former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named the NRA. “We have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence,” Clinton said at the October 13 debate. “This has gone on


The gun control forum hosted by Congressmember Carolyn Maloney included Harold Holzer (head turned) executive director of Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, City Councilmember Ben Kallos, the NYPD’s Susan Herman, Maloney, Public Advocate Letitia James, and Councilmember Dan Garodnick.

too long, and it’s time the entire country stood up against the NRA.” A very different suggestion for dealing with the organization surfaced at a roundtable discussion on gun control held earlier the same day at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute

on East 65th Street. “I might propose another cultural approach: all of us who actually care about gun violence might want to join the NRA, and create our own forum within the NRA to say, ‘We don’t agree with their current policy,’” East Side State Sen-

ator Liz Krueger said at the event, which was hosted by Congressmember Carolyn Maloney and included other local officials as well as a range of advocacy groups. “I actually think we outnumber them, by the way,” Krueger added. “Maybe if we all join, and create our own platform, we could switch the dialogue, even within an organization who I think has done so much harm.” Instead of “demonizing the enemy,” some in attendance also suggested directly working with the other side in order to arrive at a consensus. “I’ve never done it but I’ll meet with the NRA and try to find some common ground,” said Maloney, whose district spans most of Manhattan’s East Side as well as parts of Brooklyn and Queens. “I’m going to see if I can get a pro-gun congressperson to go with me.”


NRA, continued on p.20

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Second Ave. Subway Phase 2 On Track as City Triples MTA Funding BY JACKSON CHEN


ayor Bill de Blasio’s October 10 announcement that the city will contribute $2.5 billion to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s five-year capital program has averted a threatened slow-down in the already labored birthing of the Second Avenue Subway. One of the major components of the $26.1 billion capital program is phase two of the overall expansion project, which when completed will span 8.5 miles on the East Side from East Harlem to Lower Manhattan. The project calls for the construction of a new line, the T, to stretch from East Harlem’s existing 125 Street 4/5/6 station south to a new station, Hanover Square, in Lower Manhattan. Also, the expansion would redirect the Q line’s current

configuration that runs from 57th Street to Astoria Ditmars Boulevard to one that runs north from 57th Street to 125th St. “I think the Second Avenue subway is incredibly important,” said Nick Sifuentes, deputy director of the Riders Alliance, an organization dedicated to bettering New York transit. “There’s overcrowding on the Lexington lines with 1.3 million daily riders… that line needs relief.” Split into four lengthy phases, the first phase of the project — an expansion of the Q from 63rd Street to 96th Street — is expected to be completed in December of next year. However, the second phase of the project had faced potential delays with the mayor’s initial offer in his 2016 fiscal year budget of only $657 million as the city’s contribution. Expecting $3.2 billion, the

MTA chairman and chief executive officer, Thomas Prendergast, threatened delays for project’s second phase north of 96th Street to 125th Street. Moving past the funding disagreements, the mayor’s office more than tripled its original offer to $2.5 billion for the capital program, in addition to an $8.2 billion contribution that Governor Andrew Cuomo announced from the State of New York. “Our transit system is the backbone of New York City’s, and our entire region’s, economy,” de Blasio said in a written statement. “That is why we’re making an historic investment — the city’s largest ever general capital contribution— while ensuring that NYC dollars stay in NYC transit, and giving NYC riders and taxpayers a stronger voice.” According to MTA spokesper -


Phase 1 and 2 of the Second Avenue Subway project.

son Adam Lisberg, the additional funding ensures the agency is able to start work on the new line’s second phase. “In the next five years, we can finish designing and planning what the next phase will look like,” Lisberg said. “We’ll acquire any necessary properties and hopefully actually get some shovels in the ground and start work.” Explaining that the initial phase two work would run about $1.5 billion, Lisberg voiced the MTA’s gratitude for governor’s $8.2 billion and

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FARMING, from p.7

or lack thereof as the number one challenge in the continued operation of gardens in New York City.” Brewer, in April, announced that her office would contribute $1 million for urban farming projects in Manhattan schools. For less than $50,000, she estimated, a classroom could be “outfitted as a stateof-the-art hydroponics lab.” Brewer said the applications process for receiving portions of the $1 million in funds would start in the coming weeks. On top of expanding city efforts to foster urban agriculture, many organizations agreed that collaboration among them would help keep their individual prospects sustainable. “The green world actually in New York City is very tightknit,” said Amanda Brown, New York Restoration Project’s director of community engagement. “If we don’t have something that you’re looking for, it’s more than likely that we can connect you with the person that can.” Brown said that her organization’s main mission is to provide people with opportunities to create


MTA, from p.10

the mayor’s $2.5 billion. Since the city’s contribution is $700 million less than what the MTA was expecting, however, Lisberg said they’re still working on reducing costs through better efficiencies that wouldn’t affect the scope of the project. He explained that the MTA was looking into allowing companies to bid on both the design and construction of specific parts of the project and giving them greater flexibility for innovative methods in how they execute their work. The agency plans to reveal their budget reductions during its October 28 board meeting. Outside the Second Avenue subway expansion, the capital program also includes a glut of other improvements, including restorative work and new technology. The MTA plans to purchase 1,000 new subway cars, 1,400 new buses, and introduce a new signal system that would allow trains to run more efficiently,

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Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer at the October 14 urban agriculture symposium she organized.

open space throughout the city. She added that she has frequently teamed up with Just Food, a volunteer operation that provides assistance to those trying to provide healthy, locally grown food. As the event came to a close, the exchange of business cards made clear that the message of collaboration had sunk in. “It’s our goal to ensure that every Manhattan resident has access to an urban garden program,” Brewer said. “But this is just the beginning of brining together the community of urban farmers in Manhattan.” n

according to Lisberg. The agency, he said, is also exploring a “tap and go” fare system with credit cards or key fobs that would spell the obsolescence of MetroCards. The MTA appears satisfied that the support from the city and state has secured its capital program through 2019. “With the agreement on the largest capital program ever committed to the future of the MTA,” Prendergast said in a written statement, “we take a giant step toward making sure that this one-of-a-kind jewel of a system will continue doing what it must — keeping New York and the region moving, and moving ahead.” Sifuentes said that the Riders Alliance is not yet satisfied its advocacy on the Second Avenue project is complete. He said the organization would be staying on top of the governor and the mayor to make sure they follow through, while also making sure that the MTA uses the dollars properly once they get the funds. n | October 22 - November 04, 2015

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Levine Seeks Right to Free Counsel for Tenants in Housing Court FACEBOOK.COM

Councilmember Mark Levine.



ity C o u n c i l m e m b e r M a r k Levine, whose District 7 runs up the West Side from 96th Street to Washington Heights, is working to gather community support for a measure that would establish a right to legal counsel in the city’s housing court. On October 12, he visited Community Board 7, which overlaps with the southern portion of his district, to discuss the progress he’s made among his colleagues getting commitments on Intro 214, which was introduced in March 2014. Co-sponsored by 38 other

Council members, Intr o 214 would provide free legal counsel to low-income tenants who face evictions or other legal problems in housing court. “If there’s anyone facing a life-altering judgment, they must have legal counsel in this arena,” Levine said. “But for tenants, the case is particularly strong.” The Council member pointed to the huge discrepancy between the 10 percent of tenants who come equipped with an attorney ver sus landlords, who are virtually always represented by their legal team. Many tenants reach the point where they have little choice left but to accept landlord demands that they vacate their home, Levine said. “This is having terrible consequences for tenants that is feeding the two biggest crises that the city faces,” he said, “which

is homelessness and the loss of affordable housing.” With evictions being a common result of the court cases, many families wind up in homeless shelters and can cost the city upwards of $40,000 a year, according to Levine. And for some units where tenants are evicted, vacancy decontrol will take the unit out of the city’s rent regulation program. Levine’s Intro 214 would provide $2,500 per case for an attorney in housing court in the hopes of avoiding the alternative of the city paying the costs of a homeless shelter. According to the city’s Independent Budget Office, Levine’s program could require an annual outlay of between $100 million and $203 million, an expenditure to be offset by reduced need for homeless services. While Levine has found Intro

214’s reception mostly warm, critics are wary of how the program would prioritize tenant needs and structure the support it offers. One lifelong Upper West Side resident on hand, Alex Medwedew, voiced concerns about the logistics of Intro 214. “When you create some sort of initiative, you have to understand how it works, who’s in charge, who needs money,” Medwedew said. “All of that has to be worked out and it doesn’t look like it’s worked out with [Intro 214]. Medwedew also questioned why the bill has sat for more than 18 months on the shelf in the Council. Intro 214 has not had its hearing yet in front of the Committee on Courts and Legal Services. With its 38 co-sponsors, Levine said the bill


LEVINE, continued on p.13

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LEVINE, from p.12

is practically guaranteed a hearing and is hoping for one this fall. Impatient with the slow legislative process, Levine said he’s been working on the details of the infrastructure to sustain the program. On May 27, the City Council voted to create the Office of Civil Justice, which would operate similarly to the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and would connect plaintiffs in civil cases with attorneys. Levine noted Mayor Bill de Blasio’s agreement on September 28 to spend $12.3 million more on anti-eviction programs within the Human Resources Administration, bringing the city’s overall commitment to more than $60 million, but said he would continue pursuing increased funding for these programs. To translate greater resources into ensuring a legal right to counsel in housing court, the Council member is hoping increased public awareness of his effort will build community support. Along with his efforts to recruit more Council members to co-sponsor his bill, Levine is working with the Right to Counsel NYC Coalition, made up of a variety of tenant organizations. Tyrone Stevens, the Council member’s director of communications, explained that the coalition is working with community boards around the city to build support. After the October 12 meeting with Community Board 7, the members of its Housing Committee suggested a stipulation that landlords must foot the bill for a lost eviction case in housing court, which would reduce the upfront cost to the city. The committee was also interested in seeing some mechanism to facilitate city agencies’ ability to step in prior to an eviction notice going out from a landlord, to allow for less costly mediation. In its initial vote, CB7 endorsed the Office of Civil Justice keeping track of data about the expected benefits and costs of guaranteeing a legal right to counsel, taking into account the savings from avoided homelessness. Nick Prigo, chair of CB7’s Housing Committee, said a more comprehensive resolution on Levine’s Intro 214 would probably be voted on during the full board meeting in early November. n


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Four UES Intersections to Get Safety Improvements BY JACKSON CHEN



The Department of Transportation’s tally of the crash history at the four intersections where improvements are planned, with serious injuries denoted by a red number.

he New York City Department of Transportation will address pedestrian safety concerns on the Upper East Side with a renovation project of four accident-prone intersections starting this fall. As part of the Vision Zero initiative — the de Blasio administration’s multi-agency effort to reduce traffic fatalities in the city — both Second Avenue and Third Avenue were designated as Priority Corridors for their prevalence of traffic accidents. Additionally, portions of the Upper East Side were deemed a part of Manhattan’s Priority Area for high numbers of pedestrian incidents. To improve road conditions on the Upper East Side, the city department will be repaving Third Avenue from East 64 Street to East 72nd Street starting in the fall, according to a report submitted to Community Board 8 on October 7. On top of the fresh blacktop roads, the DOT said it would be adding several left-turn only and right-turn only lanes to clarify car movement at the four problematic intersections. The DOT will be focusing their pedestrian safety efforts on these four, having stud-

ied them from 2009 to 2013. According to the DOT’s statistics, the highest amount of accidents within that group amounted to 36 injuries — two of which were severe — at 72nd Street and Third Avenue. On the same avenue, the 66the Street intersection saw 21 injuries, with one severe case, and the 63rd Street intersection saw 30 total injuries and two severe cases. The remaining intersection among the four — 66th Street and Second Avenue — saw only four injuries, one of which was severe. In terms of pedestrian-only injuries, the DOT said that both the 63rd and 66th Street intersections at Third Avenue both saw seven pedestrian injuries, with four of them being deemed moderate to severe. For pedestrians, the DOT is planning to install a neckdown on Third Avenue and 66th Street in the fall that would allow pedestrians who are waiting to cross more room to stand in the road, while also creating a shorter crosswalk, according to the report. The department is also planning this fall to conduct a signal study about the possibility


DOT, continued on p.15

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DOT, from p.14

of establishing leading pedestrian intervals — intersections where pedestrians are given a head start of a few seconds to enter a crosswalk before cars get their green signal — on Third Avenue at 63rd, 65th, and 66th Streets. Leading pedestrian intervals have been installed in more than100 locations in Manhattan, according to the DOT. In 2016, the project also calls for another neckdown to be installed at Third Avenue and 63rd Street, pending completion of a Metropolitan Transportation Authority sidewalk extension project on the same corner. A median enlargement of


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Monthly Museum Ritual Combats Isolation of Memory Loss BY JACKSON CHEN


t was half past two on the first Thursday afternoon of the month at the American Folk Art Museum in Lincoln Square. A museum educator introduced the afternoon’s theme to attendees of an hour-long interactive discussion program. For the 15 participants, the gathering is a monthly ritual they attend with their family members or care partners to help them put aside for a time their battle with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or memory loss. Alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions through atrophy of brain cells. It is the leading cause of dementia, accounting for between 60 and 80 percent of all cases, according to

the Alzheimer’s Association, a nonprofit health organization active in all aspects related to the disease. With help from the Association’s New York chapter, the Folk Art Reflections pr ogram was created in early 2009 and has become the museum’s signature interactive program. The museum’s once-a-month program lasts from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and is limited to 15 participants, plus the loved ones and caregivers they bring along. The program’s topic is based on a set theme established by the museum, which changes three times a year. According to the museum’s diretor of education, Rachel Rosen, discussion themes have ranged from broad topics like visual patterns or sculptures to


A Folk Art Reflections program on American Modernism.

narrower subjects like gender expression in the 19th century. “Our collection is so diverse… and unique to being able to inspire connections for people living with memory loss,” Rosen said of the museum’s works. She added that many of the art objects have narrative qualities that provide a strong basis for discussion. In addition to traditional paintings, the Folk Art Reflections program sometimes adds a tactile com-

ponent — like quilt or rug artworks — to allow participants another dimension to connect to. “What’s very important to families is maintaining a high quality of life and making sure there’s beauty remaining in their lives,” Rosen explained. “This program is designed to hopefully, and in a very thoughtful way, meet some of those needs.”


SENIORS, continued on p.17

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“Jubilation, Rumination: Life, Real and Imagined” was another theme in the Folk Arts Reflections program.


SENIORS, from p.16

She said that formal evaluations of the program plus a steady amount of loyal regulars and the support from their family members convinced her that it is successful in taking participants’ minds off the limitations they experience due to Alzheimer’s disease. “I’ve had one-on-one discussions with family members and care partners,” Rosen said. “They’re always talking about back at home, or later that day, or the next day, they will hear from the patient about a recollection about an artwork or a moment in the museum.” Rosen said the program is careful to cater to the crowd by moving the discussion at participants’ pace. If there’s a work of art that the group is collectively interested in, she said, the afternoon session is adjusted accordingly by spending a little more time on what they connect to. “We’ve had participants who are not very verbal for months and months,” Rosen said. “Suddenly, they’ll be looking at a work of art and they’ll share something from their childhood, something that stands out from their own lived experience that they see in the artwork.” Half a dozen years into the museum’s efforts, Rosen said there are now more programs using art as a way to deal with Alzheimer’s and its prevalence in the senior community. Despite having such a high occurrence — 2015 studies show 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s — little is known about the mentally destructive disease. Ninety percent of what is known about Alzheimer’s was discovered in the last 15 years, according to the

Association. Still, there is not yet a solid explanation for the causes of the disease and no direct cure. H o w e v e r, i t w a s e m e r g i n g research being done at the time with art and Alzheimer’s that inspired the museum to launch the program back in 2009. “At that point, there was more and more scholarship and research coming out about art’s tie, positive influence, and what effect that could have on memory loss, Alzheimer’s, and dementia,” Rosen said. She explained that the museum worked intensively with the Alzheimer’s Association, which knew more about the research into art and its effect on the disease. At the time, there weren’t many programs like what the American Folk Art Museum was designing, Rosen said, with only the Museum of Modern Art’s Alzheimer’s Project already in the field. “There is undeniably a growing need for there to be quality resources that address this part of the senior population,” Rosen said of art and Alzheimer’s programs. “This is only going to become more and more true.” Similar to how her museum observed the existing MoMA Alzheimer’s program in developing its own, Rosen said that the Rubin Museum of Art has followed the same example by sitting in on the Folk Art Reflections program in developing a free tour program for its visitors with Alzheimer’s or dementia. “For Folk Art Reflections and programs similar to ours,” Rosen said, “our goal is really to make a small part of everyone’s day not the focus of an individual being defined by their disease.” n | October 22 - November 04, 2015

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STRINGER, from p.4

he would be able to position himself as “a moderate figure of prudent fiscal oversight” — a characterization also made by Sheinkopf — as compared to more left-leaning candidates who are now, like the comptroller, waiting in the wings. Moss did concede that Stringer talking about an “urban agenda” forum to compete with the mayor’s presidential forum in Iowa “is obviously bigger than that.” But Moss’ bottom line — which was no different than Sheinkopf’s or the view of Ken Sherrill, a retired Hunter College political scientist, and George Arzt, who owns a communications and lobbying firm long active in city politics — was, “It’s very hard to defeat an incumbent mayor.” Having worked for David Dinkins, who lost his re-election bid to Rudy Giuliani, de Blasio has “a very sophisticated understanding of what it takes to get reelected,” said Moss, who added that seeing Dinkins get only four years taught de Blasio how vital eight years are. Continued low crime and a strong economy are “working for the mayor,” he added, “making him very hard to defeat.” And recent moves like expanding Staten Island ferry service to every half hour, 24 hours a day, Moss said, show “he understand he needs to reach out beyond his base.” From Sheinkopf’s perspective, a significant reversal in the city’s crime rate would probably be required to make de Blasio vulnerable in 2017. “Voters want to have the feeling the mayor is there when they turn the lights off,” he said. “When they don’t feel secure, that’s when they react.” Arzt, who has worked in the past for both Stringer and de Blasio, said of Stringer running for mayor in two years, “I don’t think he’s thinking about it. He is looking four years hence.” Other city officials — Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Public Advocate Letitia James, among others — he said, would also like to run for mayor. But to do so in 2017, Arzt argued, “They would have to give something up [their current office]. That takes courage.” His conclusion is that barring “a complete cratering of the mayor, they’re not going to run.” From the perspective of Sherrill,

who has known Stringer since 1977, the comptroller, whom he credits as one of the “most astute politicians around,” is playing a long game. “Scott is doing these things and putting them in the bank,” he said. “And at some time he will take it out of the bank and spend it. The fact that he’s amassing political capital and the fact that he’s showing everyone he can beat the mayor up is all to his benefit when he decides to use it. I think it’s more likely that he’ll do it in six years than two.” For all the experts’ discounting of Stringer’s near-term ambitions, they all acknowledged that in this game the future is rarely foreseeable. “Anything can happen in New York City politics and does,” was how Sheinkopf put it. And though Moss sees the mayor as holding a strong hand politically, he also suggested it’s far too early to think about 2017. The narrative for that race, he said, won’t come together until after next year’s presidential election. In Sherrill’s view, Stringer “never closes the door to opportunities. Political people game things out in their minds almost for pleasure, the way sports addicts do. And lots of what-ifs and suppose this were to happen, suppose that were to happen. And I’m sure that Scott has played out all sorts of scenarios, no matter how implausible. Does this mean that he’s serious about this? No, he loves politics and he thinks about it recreationally.” Stringer, however, knows all too well that unexpected opportunities can present themselves. In 1992 he was working for Jerry Nadler, who was then a member of the State Assembly. When West Side Congressmember Ted Weiss died unexpectedly the day before the primary election, it was Stringer, Sherrill noted, who managed the floor fight at the county Democratic meeting that ensured that Nadler’s name r eplaced Weiss’ on the November ballot. “Having been through that once,” Sherrill said, “it’s like a being a Boy Scout — always be prepared.” Referring to recent Quinnipiac polls that show approval for de Blasio dipping as low as 37 percent, Sherrill said, “He’s undoubtedly weakened. But the mayor’s


STRINGER, continued on p.19

October 22 - November 04, 2015 |


STRINGER, from p.18

situation isn’t fatal. Lots of people as they’ve moved toward the end of the second year of the first term weaken and then rebound.” In Arzt’s view, de Blasio’s major vulnerability is the erosion of support for him among white voters, and he said the mayor could have trouble in the outer boroughs and even in Brooklyn’s brownstone belt that is home to him. But even if Stringer is emerging as something of a “moderate” — as Moss and Sheinkopf characterized him — his progressive bona fides are solid and nothing in his career suggests he would try to capitalize on any racial polarization in the New York City electorate. And his political base is not in the outer boroughs, but rather on the Upper West Side, which plays a disproportionately large role in Democratic primary turnout. The issues on which the mayor and the comptroller have clashed have largely been about delivery of the progressive vision de Blasio promised. “The reason I’m focusing on NYCHA is this is where poor people live,” Stringer said of his half-dozen audits of the Housing Authority. “And if we let NYCHA collapse, then we are going to hurt a lot of great New Yorkers who live in public housing who will never have a chance, whose kids will never have a chance.” Though the comptroller, in remarks last month outside a Fort Greene public housing project where three men were killed when gunfire broke out, did criticize “politicized statistics” on crime, Stringer is not in the crowd dogging the mayor over the problems he’s had with NYPD rank and file. Instead his critiques are technocratic and focused on the issue of “competence,” with his audits and actions on contracts repeatedly leading to a war of factual claims between his office and the administration. T alking about the Housing Authority, Stringer said, “This administration’s 26 reform proposals for NYCHA are basically old recycled proposals from mayors past. There’s only six new proposals… And what we have to do with NYCHA if it’s going to move forward, we need to bring sunlight

into the budgeting process.” At times, NYCHA has pushed back hard on the numbers the comptroller used in his audits, charging they did not reflect the changing reality at the agency. But Stringer and NYCHA chair Shola Olatoye have also found some common ground and even opportunities to compliment each other’s work — though Sheinkopf, for one, criticized the comptroller for not giving Olatoye the credit she deserves for yeoman efforts at turning around the troubled agency. Significantly, when he talked about NYCHA, Stringer took time to praise Bronx Councilmember Ritchie Torres, chair of the Public Housing Committee and one of the most consistent progressives on the Council. If demonstrating his ability to deliver on policy goals is important to Stringer, so too is proving his political acumen. When asked for his assessment of the ongoing rift between de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, he said, “The city can’t play checkers. The city has to play chess. So yes, you can go out and smash-mouth Cuomo, but that’s playing checkers. You gotta use every chess piece to get resources for the city, and that’s the way its been since Rockefeller.” Scott Stringer is not Ed Koch, a one-time progressive who became the voice of angry and socially conservative outer borough voters when he snagged the mayoralty in 1977. In fact, as NYU’s Moss pointed out, he is the last, best hope of Upper West Side progressives, who now have, he said, a very thin bench. Among all the would-be mayors in New York, Stringer, Moss argued, is the only Manhattanite. The comptroller understands the vision for New York that voters embraced two years ago and there is no reason to expect the challenges his office poses to de Blasio to stray from questions about the transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness of the administration delivering on that vision. Whether his critique of the mayor in time rises to the level of a complete political rupture remains to be seen. There is no doubt, however, that Stringer will do everything he can to make voters understand that if that time comes, he is ready. n | October 22 - November 04, 2015

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NRA, from p.8

The roundtable was held in response to the recent shootings at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, Northern Arizona University, and Texas Southern University, which claimed 11 lives in less than two weeks and raised the number of school shootings to 47 for this year alone. The discussion included calls for lifting the law exempting gun manufacturers from product liability lawsuits and brought up more unusual suggestions as well, such as outlawing realistic-looking toy guns. “Parents need to stop buying toy guns that look real, and young people need to stop buying cellphone holders that look like guns sticking in their back pocket,” Susan Herman, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of collaborative policing, said. “I think that’s a good point, and I’m going to take it one further and put a bill in that these toy guns have to be in bright pink or yellow,” Maloney responded, to a round of applause. At the forum, she highlighted her own record on gun control legislation, one of the strongest

of any member of Congress. One of the bills she currently sponsors in the House of Representatives received special attention: the bipartisan Gun Trafficking Prevention Act, first introduced in 2013, which would make gun trafficking a federal crime and stiffen the penalties for “straw buyers” who knowingly help convicted felons and others barred from owning guns obtain them. Proponents of the bill argue that it would help shut down the “iron pipeline” of firearms coming into New York from Southern states like Georgia, where laws are more lax. In May, New York Senator Chuck Schumer called for a crackdown on the infamous route after it turned out that the gun used to kill NYPD officer Brian Moore, who was shot in the head in Queens, had been one of 23 stolen from a shop in the Peach State in 2011. In fact, a large majority of guns recovered at New York City crime scenes reportedly come from outof-state. But without federal legislation against gun trafficking, the event’s speakers regularly repeated, push-

ing guns remains equal in penalty to illegally carting chickens. “Even the NRA is not opposing that bill, because they know it’s just sensible,” Maloney said. The lack of federal legislation is largely to blame for the fact that New York continues to struggle with gun violence despite actually having some of the strongest gun control laws of any state, she said. But the state legislators in attendance also pointed out that there is more work to do in Albany. “The State Legislature can and should be doing more,” Krueger said. “Your voices are being heard loud and clear in Albany,” her West Side colleague, State Senator Brad Hoylman, said. “But the problem is politics. We have not fully enacted the SAFE Act. The Republicans made a deal, secretly, to delay the implementation of the ammunition database.” In addition to a host of bills that have been languishing in the Legislature for years, including a .50-caliber weapon ban as well as safe storage and microstamping measures, gun control advocates and elected officials have been

frustrated for some time about the ammunition database that was included in the 2013 act (short for Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act) but has been delayed due to a memorandum of understanding that the Cuomo administration signed with Senate Republicans in July. “The need for Albany is to make sure that we complete the assignments in the SAFE Act and ensure that the ammunition database becomes operational as quickly as possible,” Krueger said, adding that there are currently no controls to register suspiciously large purchases. “Last time I checked, you don’t hunt with 5,000 rounds of ammunition.” The senator thanked Maloney for her efforts on the federal level, emphasizing that even if the state passed every gun control measure sought in Albany, the problem would still remain. “Let’s face it, even if New York State did everything we can, and we haven’t yet, unless we can prevent those guns from crossing state lines, we are fighting a losing war,” Krueger said. n

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October 22 - November 04, 2015 |


The West Side Tradition


Police Officer Randolph Holder, who died in the line of duty on October 20.



On October 9, a suspect threw a Molotov cocktail at a group of adult males in front of 356 West 37th Street at around 1:30 p.m., according to police. Despite causing a fire in front of the location, there were no injuries, police said.

On October 20, police found a dead 49-yearold male inside a storm drain at East 33rd Street and First Avenue around 11:30 a.m. An investigation is ongoing and the city medical examiner is working on determining the cause of death.

Midtown North Precinct

20th Precinct

306 West 54 Street



Midtown South Precinct 357 West 35st Street 212-239-9811

17th Precinct 167 East 51st Street 212-826-3211

19th Precinct 153 East 67th Street Main number: 212-452-0600





Police say a male stole $50 from a Midtown 7 Eleven, located at 478 Third Avenue near 33rd Street at knifepoint on October 14. At about 10 p.m., a bearded suspect entered the location, pulled a knife, demanded money, and then left on foot, according to police.

Police said that on October 19, a suspect was making hissing noises at a 38-year-old female at the Fifth Avenue Station at 53rd Street. As the female turned around to investigate the noise, she saw the suspect “manipulating his penis outside of his pants,” according to police. As the suspect began to leave, a 41-year-old male went to console the female victim and began to pursue the hissing man, police said. Once the male pursuer began recording the suspect, he pulled out a black handgun and pointed it at the man and told him to mind his own business, police said. The suspect fled and no injuries were reported.


Police Officer Randolph Holder, 33, was murdered in the line of duty on October 20 after responding to calls of shots being fired in East Harlem. Holder was struck in the head after an exchange of gunfire between a male suspect and two officers, police said. Police said that a male victim told other responding officers that his bike was stolen at gunpoint by one of the several male suspects. Officers from Holder’s unit, Housing Bureau PSA 5, encountered a male on a bicycle, which led to the firefight. The suspect, identified as Tyrone Howard, continued north on the footpath, despite gunshot wounds to his leg, and was caught at East 124th Street by police officers. Three other males were taken into custody near East 111st Street and are being questioned for their possible participation of the incident. Holder, a third-generation police officer and Guyanese immigrant, was taken to Harlem Hospital, labeled in critical condition, and pronounced dead at 10:22 p.m.


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Welcome to Manhattan Express!











Manhattan Express, the newspaper for Midtown and the Upper East and Upper West Sides, is published by NYC Community Media, LLC. Send all inquiries to: Manhattan Express, One Metrotech Center North, Suite 1001, Brooklyn 11201 or call 718-260-4586. Written permission of the publisher must be obtained before any of the contents of this paper, in part or whole, can be reproduced or redistributed. All contents © 2015 Manhattan Express. Manhattan Express is a registered trademark of NYC Community Media, LLC. Jennifer Goodstein, C.E.O. | Fax: 212-229-2790 Subscriptions: 26 issues, $49.00 ©2015 Manhattan Express, All rights reserved. NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC | ONE METROTECH NORTH, SUITE 1001 | BROOKLYN, NY 11201 | 212-229-1890



ll politics is local, the old adage goes. In fact, most of the really important things in life are local. Family. Friends. Neighborhood. Schools. Parks. Favorite restaurants. The conveniences of everyday life. In a city as big and densely populated as New York, however, it’s often hard to get the latest and best information about our local community — even though we live in the media capital of the world. Most media aim for the mass market, a bias that works against careful focus and scrutiny on the way in which our local communities function, thrive, handle challenges, resolves disagreements, and bear ongoing burdens. That’s the beauty of community journalism. We engage our audience not by going as broadly as possible — casting a wide net, even if shallowly — but by digging deep and getting to the heart of what concerns the community we serve. Decisions made about our lives and our community at the local level have some of the most profound impacts on our well-being, and if it’s true that we get the government we deserve, as citizens we have a responsibility to do everything we can to deserve better. The first and most important thing we can do in getting there is to be better informed. Our mission at Manhattan Express is to contribute everything we can to our readers and our community having the information they need to make the best choices about their future. The team we bring to this challenge has deep experience, not only in community journalism but also in the issues facing Manhattan. Community News Group, owned by Les and Jennifer Goodstein, publishes 19 newspapers across New York City, as

well as numerous specialty magazines focused on the same communities the papers serve. In Manhattan alone, we publish five other community newspapers — The Villager, which several years ago celebrated its 80th anniversary, The East Villager, Downtown Express, Chelsea Now, and Gay City News. In my 13 years at the helm of Gay City News, where I was one of three co-founders in 2002, I have reported and overseen stories across the length of Manhattan on topics ranging from politics, crime, health, and education to the arts. In taking on responsibility for Manhattan Express, as well, I welcome the opportunity to leverage my knowledge of the issues and players in Manhattan in exploring a broader range of stories. And for our company, we are eager to draw on the know-how we’ve gained in our other Manhattan newspapers to bring the same top-flight coverage to Midtown and the Upper East and Upper West Sides. New York City is blessed these days by an expanding map of vibrant neighborhoods in all five boroughs, but mid-Manhattan remains the nation’s single most influential and exciting commercial and cultural center. We want to be here, and are excited that with this issue, we’ve now made our start. We hope this first issue encourages you to keep picking us up in print, and that you’ll check in for daily online updates at n

WRITE US: Please address news tips, suggestions, and letters to the editor to: The editor reserves the right to edit any letter based on space or legal considerations.

October 22 - November 04, 2015 |


Museum Expansion Review Can Balance Interests BY HELEN ROSENTHAL


n the coming weeks the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) will put forward plans for a new educational and research facility: the Gilder Center for Science, Education, and Innovation. The United States continues to lag behind many Asian and European countries in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. The lack of science education in many public schools is shameful. It will not only have long term implications on our country’s ability to stay competitive in a more technological world, but it will also impact our ability to understand some of the most critical issues that face our world, such as climate change. The new science center promises to offer new and cutting edge exhibits, interactive learning spaces, digital access to the Museum’s massive research collection, and improved circulation of visitors within the Museum. In doing so, it gives us a concrete opportunity to advance science education and help spur the intellectual curiosity that is essential to innovation. Expansion, with its consequent construction, often brings questions and rightfully so. The Museum expects to release their plans for the project in the next several weeks, which will kickstart an extensive community review process. The last major construction project of the Museum resulted in the wonderful reinvigorated Hayden Planetarium. Not only did the Museum build a world-class planetarium, but it also created a new public terrace and fountain, a dog park, and new landscaping for the paths on the north side of the park. That process, however, was a frustrating one, with a limited public review process that left neighbors feeling out of the loop and some serious issues around congestion. This time will be different. Unlike the Planetarium’s construction project, which was run by State Planetarium Authority, this time the review

process will be run by the City Parks Department and the City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and it will include public hearings from those two agencies, including at least two Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) reviews, and two Community Board meetings. It is also an opportunity to address some of the issues that have arisen over the years, such as the traffic congestion that has grown with the Museum’s popularity. I invite and encourage everyone to participate in these discussions to learn more and offer your views. Based on conversations I have had with numerous community residents, I have called on the Museum to: • Use as little parkland as possible in the new design by repurposing existing space within the Museum’s current footprint. • P reserve the natural beauty of the space and minimize the number of trees affected by construction. • C ome up with a comprehensive and enforceable plan to deal with the congestion the Museum brings, especially from school buses. • Ensure that Theodore Roosevelt Park remains the accessible and senior- and family-friendly community space that it is today and that the new Center contributes to that end. I have asked the Museum to keep the community apprised of upcoming meetings, and you can stay tuned to my website,, where my staff will post about meetings as soon as we know of them. This expansion is an investment in our children and their future. Keeping our community vibrant and thriving requires a thoughtful balance between preservation and progress. With input from the community, I believe that the Museum’s new science center will help achieve both goals. District 6 Councilmember Helen Rosenthal represents the Upper West Side. n | October 22 - November 04, 2015

Preserving Teddy Roosevelt Park’s Intimacy BY SIG GISSLER


s the word spreads, more and more Upper West Side residents are alarmed by the American Museum of Natural History’s proposed massive expansion into beloved, tree-filled Theodore Roosevelt Park. And rightly so. Our organization, the Defenders of Teddy Roosevelt Park, was formed this past July by a handful of neighbors. Our growing list of supporters exceeds 2,500. Like other citizens, we don’t know yet the exact footprint or design of the science center that the AMNH wants to build near the park’s 79th Street entrance, just off Columbus Avenue. The museum says a “conceptual design” is coming this fall. However, based on what the museum has disclosed, the project is clearly immense, rising to about six stories and totaling 218,000 square feet, carved mainly from parkland. Indeed, it is comparable in square footage to the new Whitney Museum downtown. How much more do you need to know before getting very worried? The imperiled area contains about 10 trees probably 50-75 years old, all at risk. Equally important, this part of the park is one of the sweetest gathering spots in the city. It is flat, safe, and intimate. Its users are diverse. It is where dads teach their kids to ride a bike, moms take a newborn for a stroller ride, three-year-olds perfect their scooter skills, the disabled and the elderly find a shady bench, neighborhood workers eat their lunch, and, yes, museum patrons plunk down to rest after their visit. As a day unfolds, you can witness the park’s gentle sequence of uses. We’ve spent a lot of time talking to neighbors. Again and again, we’re told how this patch of greenery is the community’s “backyard,” “town square,” or “oasis.” Again and again, users share warm memories involving the park. As one mom put it: “This is

where my child learned to walk!” Yes, Central Park is not far away — and some folks might feel that should suffice. But while a glorious asset, Central Park is a large, often teeming, international destination. It is not a substitute for the graceful coziness of a neighborhood park, especially for the aged or disabled who can find a trip to Central Park difficult. As someone noted recently, the presence of St. Patrick’s Cathedral does not lessen the need for smaller places of worship. It is a matter of respective roles. On October 6, we hosted a town hall meeting on the AMNH proposal. From the audience of more than 300, speaker after speaker rose to oppose loss of parkland and destruction of trees. Some also feared increased congestion — pedestrians, cars, buses — in an already busy part of the neighborhood. I told the gathering that the Defenders of Teddy Roosevelt Park support the advancement of science. But not at the expense of priceless parkland. We are not anti-museum. We are pro-park. We ask why pursuit of one pubic good (a science center) must harm another public good (green space). So, we’ve called on the AMNH to find an alternative that fully preserves this parkland for future generations. Our struggle is uphill. The museum has wealth and influence. But the museum and the park are part of an historic district. The project still faces a governmental approval process. We will be there to make our case. If necessary, legal action is an option. Most important, we feel that public opinion is on our side and a multitude of Upper West Siders stand ready to resist. Their motto: Once lost, parkland is gone forever. Sig Gissler, former administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes at Columbia University and former editor of the Milwaukee Journal, is president of Defenders of Teddy Roosevelt Park Inc. n



City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal addresses the audience at the October 17 hearing.



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REZONING, from p.3

“Noah, I understand altruistically the reason for it but I don’t think it’s practical. Everyone in that shared zone is going to rank 199 as their top choice, so all you’re going to do is transfer a bigger zone, a bigger waitlist, more uncertainty, and a longer wait to actually find out what school you’re going into… It makes no sense.” District 3 Superintendent Ilene Altschul said the superzone would mean P.S. 199 “would have double the waitlist.” The Department of Education’s Sarah Turchin, who has been presenting the options at public meetings, said the city’s preference is to not combine the 191 and 199 zones. Parents “would always see 199 as the better option, and that would just mean more parents trying to get into 199,” she said. The city does, however, favor a shared zone between P.S. 191 and 342, Turchin arguing that with P.S. 191 clearly improving, a shared zone will work well in two years. It would also be problematic to draw separate zones for those schools since they are so close. Jeriann Kolton, another P.S. 191 pre-K parent, also likes the school, but said she had concerns about the superzone, and likes the first option, which would keep 199 a neighborhood school. “I think it’s best to have kids stay with their neighbors and their little friends,” she said in a phone interview. Danielle Feinberg, who lives close to P.S 191, said she could envision putting that school down as a first choice in a shared zone, if somewhere between 20 and 40 of the 70 or so families she’s met in the pre-K

program there joined her. “I will choose 191, and that’s contingent on many other families going to 191 that would not otherwise go,” she told Manhattan Express. The Department of Education’s school population estimates are based on current kindergarten enrollment and are at best semi-informed guesses. They have long been a bone of contention by local school advocates across the city, who charge they are designed to justify building fewer schools. The DOE’s Turchin acknowledges that she is still waiting to get up-top date residential construction information — a key component of drawing zoning lines — from the School Construction Authority, which keeps tabs on new building. Dan Katz, a CEC member, said that without seeing more details he is dubious of the school population estimates. He noted that the zone for P.S. 452, a school on West 77th Street, is being expanded under both options to take some of the pressure off of 199, but he said that zone may be getting too big. The city, he said, may be “shifting one overcrowding crisis from one building and creating another in a new building.” The city estimates that 183 kindergarten-age students per year will be moved out of P.S. 199 zone under the first option. That’s about double last year’s waitlist and enough to open eight kindergarten classes. Eric Greenleaf, a downtown parent advocate who has had an impressive record predicting kindergarten enrollments there, said the problem with the city’s formula is it is based on a borough-wide average, so that it underestimates school needs in neighborhoods that families flock to, such as the Upper West Side. State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal said another “mistake DOE always makes is assuming parents will send their kids to private school.” Waitlisting, however, does lead some parents to opt for private school. City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal said 20 of the 94 waitlisted children at P.S. 199 “just disappeared” from the public school system. She said the city made a mistake eight years ago when it passed on a chance to open a school in one of the


REZONING, continued on p.25

October 22 - November 04, 2015 |


REZONING, from p.24

West Side Trump buildings because it claimed there was not a need then. The city could have avoided a lot of waitlisting angst at P.S. 199 as well as P.S. 87 on West 78th Street the last few years, she said. There’s every indication that siblings of P.S. 199 students who are cut out of the zone will be “grandfathered” into the zone, a factor that will push the number actually cut out down the first few years, but with the city trying to move so many families out of the P.S. 199 zone, there is reason to think that the zone is being shrunk too much. “The DOE planning mechanism is broke,” said Gotbaum. “That’s another reason to do the shared zone. We’ve been saying there’s been overcrowding for years, and DOE says it doesn’t exist.” One little-mentioned effect of the superzone would the loss of the “right of return.” Under current rules, a student zoned for P.S. 199 who doesn’t get a seat in kindergarten is guaranteed to get available space in future years if there is

any, but under the shared zone, the same student offered a seat at P.S. 191 would already be considered in a zoned school and would have no special claim to 199.


I n a u g u ra l Concert Series

DECISION TIME? The CEC, the body of parents that has ultimate power to decide zoning changes, may ask for adjustments to the zoning lines. There have been numerous calls to slow down the process, but one factor contributing to the timing pressure is the city’s decision to move up the kindergarten application deadline this year. The DOE plans to present a final Upper West Side zoning plan to District 3’s Community Education Council on November 2. The CEC would then have 45 days to act, but it is currently planning to take an up or down vote on November 9. If a new plan is not approved, the zoning lines will stay the same and there will likely be another waiting list at P.S. 199 next September. n — Additional reporting by Jackson Chen

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Sondra Radvanovsky’s Three Tudor Queens at the Met BY DAVID SHENGOLD


ondra Radvanovsky — one of the world’s most ambitious sopranos and, in the right roles, one of the most capable — has embarked on a huge project this Met season. Setting aside the weightier Verdi scores in which she’s pretty close to matchless today — “Ernani,” “Un ballo in maschera,” “I vespri siciliani” — Radvanovsky is going for a trifecta of Donizetti Tudor queen roles. These will be Anne (“Wolf Hall”) Boleyn, mother of Elizabeth I; Mary Stuart, Elizabeth’s Scottish cousin and rival; and Elizabeth herself in old age, trying to keep a hold on her straying, much younger lover, Robert Devereux. In New York, the three roles as a hat trick are associated with Beverly Sills, who performed them all at City Opera in the early ‘70s. In fact, Donizetti penned the relevant operas (“Anna Bolena,” “Maria Stuarda,” and “Roberto Devereux”) at different times, for different singers, and never intended them as a trilogy. Tudors were as much in style in Romantic 19th century Europe as in our days of soft-core cable TV historical bodice-rippers. Other sopranos from Montserrat Caballé through Carol Vaness and Mariella Devia have offered some of the iconic roles locally in concert performances; and still others (Olivia Stapp in “Bolena,” Ashley Putnam in “Stuarda,” Lauren Flanigan in “Devereux”) followed Sills onto the NYCO stage. The Metropolitan under James Levine’s musical directorship had been but little interested in serious bel canto operas: the company has neglected “Lucrezia Borgia” since 1904, “Guillaume Tell” since 1931, and has never presented “Tancredi” or “Capuleti” at all. Peter Gelb sagely decided to stage the three very valid Tudor queen operas, hoping initially to present Anna Netrebko in each of them over several seasons. The Russian diva — sometimes capably spelled by Angela Meade — introduced The Boleyn Woman with flair and darkly beautiful sound, if with varying success in regard to pitch and declamation. The Queen of Scots took on a very different luster in Joyce DiDonato’s riveting, deeply spiritual impersonation — wonderfully stylish but in places altered as to keys, as with other mezzos essaying the role. Radvanovsky tried out the “Devereux” Elizabeth in Toronto last year in the staging that will augment the other two this season at the Met: a bravely un-vain impersonation in exciting sound


and showing considerable feeling, yet — the usual cavil that attends most of her performances — with too little made of the sung words. All three productions are directed by David McVicar, whose design choices run to murkily lit black, gray, and red, with the women in lavish costumes, and male semi-nudity when possible. Might this last constitute an attendance selling point for wavering friends? The season opener of “Anna Bolena” the afternoon of September 26 never quite broke through the attendant gloom dramatically, partly due to Marco Armiliato’s somewhat hangdog manner in the pit. He cut the overture (!) and allowed singers long “cut outs” before yelled final high notes — a kind of provincial 1970s bel canto “style” long discredited. Radvanovsky throwing in countless high interpolations furthered this impression. Three or four of them proved thrilling and apt; the rest, including a misfired final high E flat, focused attention on her shortcomings. Her voice’s decibel impact is part of her arsenal, but here she sounded best when reining it in. Fullvoiced sallies sometimes betrayed gear changing. Her Anna proved touching at moments but was too episodically acted to be maximally moving. Again, some of this is a failure to shape the text into meaningfully projected lines. The ballad-like “Al dolce guidami” really hit home, and showed what this impersonation might become. Jamie Barton, an excellent young mezzo, appeared as Jane (“Giovanna”) Seymour; worshipful press puffery had prepped the audience for an unalloyed triumph, but her initial performance wasn’t quite a match for her recent Adalgisa, a triumph indeed. Barton boasts a rich timbre and technical savvy, though on this occasion her downward scales were less even than Radvanovsky’s, and the top notes, though easily there, lost a little quality. Yet Barton is always well worth hearing, and both divas — who did well as it is by their great central duet — will doubtless bring smoother game to later performances. The pivotal role of Percy — Anna’s former suitor and, apparently, pledged spouse, an ardent if dim-witted soul easily manipulated by Henry to work her destruction — again fell to Stephen Costello. The Philadelphia tenor, a handsome but awkward stage actor, once more proved a mixed bag. His burnished middle voice has the right timbre for the role, and


Sondra Radvanovsky in the Met Opera production of Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena.”

ANNA BOLENA Through Jan. 9

MARIA STUARDA Jan. 29-Feb. 20

ROBERTO DEVEREUX Mar. 24-Apr. 19 Metropolitan Opera Lincoln Center From $32;

the projected cluelessness seemed more part of a characterization, less a performer’s inexperience. Yet — another indication that Armiliato is not the best steward for these Donizetti scores — Percy’s scenes were both cut to ribbons to reduce the challenges, and even then Costello had to rewrite high-lying passages downwards and leave things out. One backstage source told me that Costello was ill, and that might be so; but why was no announcement made, and why did they not send on his capable alternate, Taylor Stayton — who eventually did take on the second show? Ildar Abdrazakov looks terrific as Henry VIII, channeling the right mixture of sexiness, capriciousness, and repulsive egotism. He han-


TUDOR, continued on p.30

October 22 - November 04, 2015 |


Cooper-Hewitt Examines the Art of Poster Making

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Andrzej Pagowski's 1984 poster for “Dziecko Rosemary”(“Rosemary’s Baby”).

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oing back more than 100 years, the Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum, examines the variety of ways in which poster artists have employed basic principles of composition, visual perception, and storytelling to create their work. The exhibit, which runs through January 24 and includes more than 125 pieces from the museum’s permanent collection, is organized according to 14 different approaches to poster-making: focus the eye, overwhelm the eye, use text as image, overlap, cut and paste, assault the sur face, simplify, tell a story, amplify, double the meaning, manipulate scale, activate the diagonal, make eye contact, and make a system. In an online class ( running just over one hour, cura-

HOW POSTERS WORK Cooper Hewitt, The Smithsonian Design Museum 2 E. 91st St. Through Jan. 24

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Manhattan Treasures THE BRONX IS UP & THE BATTERY’S DOWN Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly were the quintessential sailors “On the Town” in Stanley Donen’s classic 1949 valentine to New York. Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St. Oct. 25, 1 p.m. Tickets are $14, $12 for students & seniors at


KEEN ON KATE BALDWIN In a benefit for the Keen Theater Company, Kate Baldwin (“John & Jen,” “Giant,” “Big Fish,” “Finian's Rainbow”) presents an intimate evening of songs from Sondheim to the Dixie Chicks. Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row, 410 W. 42nd St. Nov. 2, 7 p.m. Tickets are $60-$150 at or 212-239-6200.

CUBA’S HISTORY THROUGH ART With Cuba open to Americans after a half-century of estrangement, Sarah Lawrence College dean Jerrilynn Dodds curates a program looking at the island nation’s history through its art. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. at 83rd St. On Nov. 4, 6:30 p.m., Dodds talks about Afro-Cuban art traditions in post-colonial Cuba. On Nov. 18, 6:30 p.m., she examines art since Castro’s revolution. Each talk is $30 at or


Picasso’s commitment to sculpture work was wholehearted, even if episodic, across his long career. In the first US retrospective on his work in three dimensions in more than half a century, the Museum of Modern Art exhibit runs through Feb. 7. 11 W. 53rd St. Information at

Grammy-nominated pianist JC Hopkins is joined in his combo that features vocalist Brandon Bain and Joseph Doubleday on vibes. Harlem Gin Fizz, 308 Malcolm X Blvd,, btwn. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. & W. 126 St. Oct. 30, 9:30 p.m. The cover charge is $10. More information at





“Superheroes in Gotham” explores the birth of comic book superheroes in New York City, their the leap from the page into radio, television, and film; the role of fandom, up to and including the annual New York Comic Con; and the ways superheroes from the 1930s to the ‘60s influence today’s local comic book artists. New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park W. at 76th St., through Feb. 21. Information at

CANADA’S FINEST FOLKIES Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen wrote some of folk musical’s most inimitable and haunting tunes, and perhaps a brief relationship between the two early in their careers influenced that. For two evenings, Lauren Fox pays tribute to both Canadian singer/ composers, including her famed rendition of Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Oct. 27-28, 9:30 p.m. The cover is $25-$65 at; add $5 for admission at the door. There’s a $25 food & drink minimum.

WARHOL, LIZ & MARILYN Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor were film goddesses whose identities were constructed — and of endless fascination to Andy Warhol. Meanwhile, the fact that both women converted to Judaism remained largely private and invisible. In “Becoming Jewish: Warhol’s Liz and Marilyn,” the Jewish Museum explores this contradiction. The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd St. Through Feb. 16. Information at

In celebration of Halloween, trumpeter and percussionist Etienne Charles presents “A Calypso Masquerade Ball,” featuring, as well, vocalist Keith “Keet Styla” Prescott, baritone sax player Paul Nedzela, pianist Victor Gould, guitarist Marvin Dolly, bassist Ben Williams, drummer McClenty Hunter, and steel pianist Kareem Thompson. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, 10 Columbus Circle. Oct. 31, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. The cover charge is $35; $20 for students. Reservations at 212-258-9595. Information at



After six seasons on “Parks and Recreation” as a hyperkinetic, delusionally ambitious slacker, Aziz Ansari is launching his own series on Netflix, “Master of None,” where he is Dev, a 30-year-old New York actor unable to decide about his next meal much less his pathway in life. Ansari talks about the series and screens the first two episodes. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $55-$65 at


An original member of Bette Midler’s Harlettes and a Grammy winner in 1983 for “You Should Hear How She Talks About You,” Melissa Manchester triumphed in her March debut at 54 Below. She returns this week for four shows. 254 W. 54th St. Nov. 5-7, 7 p.m.; Nov. 7, 9:30 p.m. The cover is $55-$110 at 54below. com; add $5 for admission at the door. There’s a $25 food & drink minimum.

YOU GO INDIGO GIRLS The Indigo Girls, fresh off their 16th studio album, “One Lost Day,” appear in concert at the Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway at 75th St. Nov. 5, 8 p.m. Tickets are $54.50-$64.50 at

NOT IN GOD’S NAME Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, a Jewish scholar and member of the British House of Lords, tackles religious extremism and violence in his new book, “Not in God’s Name.” Tonight he discusses how if religion is at the heart of the problem, so too must it be part of the solution. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. Nov. 8, 8 p.m. Tickets are $32 at



October 22 - November 04, 2015 |

New York State Senator Brad Hoylman

Congratulations to NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA and CNG LOCAL Representing Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, Chelsea, Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen, the Upper West Side, Midtown, East Midtown, Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, Columbus Circle, and Times Square. 322 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1700 New York, NY 10001 (212) 633-8052

Raising the Roof MICHAEL SHIREY

City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal joined Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer in raising the big top of the Big Apple Circus on Sunday, October 11 at Lincoln Center's Damrosch Park. Now in its 38th season, performances will run through January 10, 2016. The theme this year, "The Grand Tour," will transport audiences through the roaring '20s with world-class entertainers, led by ringmaster John Kennedy Kane. For tickets and more information, visit

• Tuesday, October 27th • Tuesday, November 3rd • Tuesday, November 10th • Tuesday, December 1st • Tuesday, January 5th • Tuesday, January 26th • Tuesday, April 19th

9:10 AM - 10:30 AM 9:10 AM - 10:30 AM 9:10 AM - 10:30 AM 9:10 AM - 10:30 AM 9:10 AM - 10:30 AM 9:10 AM - 10:30 AM 9:10 AM - 10:30 AM

MX_COMMED_LeslieLohman.pdf 1 10/21/2015 2:09:50 PM

On the

Domestic Front


Scenes of Everyday Queer Life Curated by James M. Saslow runs through December 6, 2015








Saul Bolasni, Untitled (Portrait of man with book), Collection of Leslie-Lohman Museum. | October 22 - November 04, 2015

26 Wooster St, NYC 10013 212-431-2609 Tuesday - Sunday 12 - 6 pm Thursday 12 - 8 pm


Kids Count


HALLOWEEN PARADE & PUMPKIN FLOTILLA The Central Park Conservancy hosts an afternoon of Halloween treats and tricks with a parade, crafts, live music, spooky stories, and a twilight pumpkin flotilla across the Harlem Meer, at the north end of the park. Bring your pumpkin (no larger than eight pounds carved) no later than 3:30 p.m. so it can be part of the flotilla. Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, inside the park at 110th St., btwn. Fifth & Lenox Aves. Oct. 25, 3:30-7 p.m. Complete information, including registration, at

TERRIFYING TALES The Thalia Kids’ Book Club presents “Guys Read Terrifying Tales,” with original ghost stories perfect for sharing around the campfire, reading under the covers with a flashlight, and scaring your friends’ pants — and best for girls and boys, 8-12. The afternoon includes a costume contest, with the winner receiving a full set of the “Guys Read” series. Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St. Oct. 25, 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 at

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM MAGIC The Children’s Museum of Manhattan hosts Halloween events for children of all ages. On Oct. 31, at 11:30 a.m. and then again at 4:30 p.m., join a Musical Costume Parade around the museum. At 2 p.m. and again at 3:30 p.m., Justin the Magician presents “Magic that Rocks.” The Tisch Building, 212 W. 83rd St. Admission is $12; $8 for seniors; and free for infants under a year. Information at


CARNEGIE HILL SPOOKTACULAR MONSTER GRAS WITH JAZZY ASH Celebrate Halloween New Orleans style with Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards — the first and only New Orleans music band just for kids! Ash presents a morning of Halloween-inspired songs with a classic Cajun twist. Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater at Symphony Space, 537 Broadway at 95th St. Oct. 31, 11 a.m. Tickets are $15 at

MONSTERS & MUSIC AT LINCOLN CENTER LC Kids hosts trick-or-treating around the Lincoln Center campus, Oct. 31, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. At noon, a Big Apple Circus stilt walker and Sammy Miller and the Congregation, a Jazz at Lincoln Center ensemble, lead a costume parade around the plaza. At 1 p.m. LC Kids Storytime features R.L. Stine, author of the “Goosebumps” series, and Marc Brown, creator of “Arthur,”

TUDOR, from p.26

dles the Italian “ottocento” style quite capably, which mitigates the fact that his voice is neither large nor dark enough for the part. “Enrico” has no aria, but his music can be impactful in ensembles, as Samuel Ramey showed lavishly at City Opera. Tamara Mumford remained as Smeton, the smitten teenage musician that ends up betraying Anna (and whom she in turn


read from and sign their new book, “The Little Shop of Monsters,” in the Rubenstein Atrium, Broadway, btwn. 62nd & 63rd Sts. Recommended for ages 3 to 6 (pick up free tickets beginning at 11 a.m.). For kids 8 and older, the 1931 classic “Frankenstein,” with Boris Karloff, is screened in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 W. 65th St. (pick up free tickets beginning at noon).

Carnegie Hill Neighbors invite children, their families, and friends to gather for a Spooktacular block party on 92nd St. btwn. Park & Madison Aves., Oct. 31, 4-5:30 p.m. The party will include a procession with prizes for best costume (ages 2 and under, 2-5, 6-9, and 9-12), best family costume, best pet costume, and best decorated townhouse/ storefront in the neighborhood. To register, contact or 212-996-5520. Suggested donation is $3/child; $5/adult; $10/family at


A HIPPO HALLOWEEN PARADE The whole family is invited to don their costumes and head over to Riverside Park’s Hippo Playground Project Parade and party. Meet at the Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument, Riverside Dr. & 89th St. by 3:45 p.m., and follow the bagpipers to the playground. Free cider and donuts served. Information at

accuses Henry of seducing, though McVicar chooses not to go there in the subtitling). Mumford as always showed an arresting personal timbre, musically used. David Crawford, heavily favored by the casting department these days, sounded characteristically rough and undistinguished as Anna’s brother Rochefort — also accused of being her lover. In the penultimate prison scene, in which Rochefort agrees to die alongside the


condemned Percy, both Crawford and Costello sported bare legs and what looked like bloomer underwear, as if they had wandered in from some post-Raphaelite bro crew team fantasy. Donizetti’s Tudor works compel attention, however variably… um, executed; try to catch them this season. David Shengold ( writes about opera for many venues. n

October 22 - November 04, 2015 | | October 22 - November 04, 2015


Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 6:30 PM WHAT: An MS Speaker Event WHERE: Morton's Grille 233 Park Avenue South New York, NY 10003

Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 6:30 PM SPEAKER: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 6:30 PM Please RSVP so WHAT: An MS Speaker Event Jai Perumal, MDwe can reserve your Director at Nyack Hospital MS Center seat. Use event code TR322036.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

WHERE: at 6:30 Tosca Cafe PM 4038 East Avenue An Tremont MS Speaker Event WHAT: Bronx, NY 10465 WHERE: Morton's Grille SPEAKER: 233 Park Avenue South York, NYMD 10003 JaiNew Perumal,

Please RSVP so we can reserve your seat. Use event code TR324478.

Director at Nyack Hospital MS SPEAKER: Center Jai Perumal, MD

Director at Nyack Hospital MS Center

Please RSVP so we can reserve your seat. Use event code TR324478.


October 22 - November 04, 2015 |

Manhattan Express  

October 22, 2015