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In Columbus Circle, Pedestrians Say

“In DOT We Trust” 04

Gale Brewer Talks Tenants, Businesspeople

Filling Albany Vacancies Deserves Sunshine

MoMA’s 2015 Film Contenders

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December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | Vol. 01 No. 06

MANHATTANEXPRESSNEWS.NYC


New Fed Tax Breaks for Theater Producers Aim to Fuel Busier Broadway BY JACKSON CHEN

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nvestors in Broadway productions are now allowed significant new tax breaks through a recently signed federal law expected to incentivize the creation of more Broadway shows and other live theater nationwide. The Support Theater in America Growth and Expansion or STAGE Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 18 and will allow theater investors to claim tax breaks the same year they invest. The more immediate tax deduction would allow investors to recover capital quickly and continue to invest in what they bet will be the next Broadway hit.

for years at a time, and it also meant they might be liable for tax gains on a show’s profits before enjoying their full expense deduction. “It takes years sometimes before Broadway shows will make a profit,” Schumer said. “It discouraged people from investing and it discouraged people from producing.” Instead of enduring the waiting game, the STAGE Act allows producers to get same-year tax deductions on their hefty contributions to the creation of live theater. “It doesn’t cost dollars or tens,” said Jeffrey Seller, a three-time Tony Award-winning producer, of financing shows on Broadway. “It costs thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands to

the different investors who want to take capital and invest in the next Lin-Manuel,” Seller said. Seller took a big risk in backing the Washington Heights-based musical “In the Heights” in 2007, according to Miranda’s father, Luis. “T o put a show like ‘In the Heights’ on stage, it costs millions and millions of dollars,” the senior Miranda said. “For an unknown person at that point like my son Lin-Manuel Miranda, someone had to take risks and the risks were higher when there aren’t the tax provisions to help that producer.” Film and television studios and producers were already afforded the benefits the STAGE Act provides, and the new law works to level the

JACKSON CHEN

JACKSON CHEN

Actor Brad Oscar, in character as Nostradamus in “Something Rotten,” thanks Senator Chuck Schumer for his leadership on the new STAGE Act.

Harvey Weinstein, who already enjoys the tax breaks afforded by the STAGE Act in his film industry work, talks about the benefits it will provide when he invests in live theater.

develop new shows.” Seller said he expects the new law to incentivize people to pursue funding more shows since they would immediately get the benefit of their deductions. He invested in several recent theater hits, including “In the Heights” and “Hamilton,” both of which were created by and feature Broadway’s latest supernova, Lin-Manuel Miranda. “This frees up capital to start developing the next show for all of

playing field by including live theater productions in the breaks provided by the federal tax code. “Until now, the live theater industry has been severely disadvantaged because of the treatment under the Internal Revenue Code,” said Robert Wankel, chair of the Broadway League. “Our investors who may have been fortunate enough to produce a profitable show faced tax liabilities before they even earn their money back.”

“Very simply, if you invest you should be able to deduct that investment,” said New York Senator Chuck Schumer, adding that investments would be creating more theater jobs. Prior to the law, Broadway producers would take their risk by investing their money into a play but were only able to claim deductions as shows incurred matching expenses. That accounting approach tied up producers’ capital

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Wankel, who also is the president and co-CEO of the Shubert Organization, said the situation before the passage of the STAGE Act left promising Broadway shows with a predicament. “When your business model requires you to go out and seek investors to risk their money, that’s an extremely difficult position to be in,” Wankel said. “You have to tell potential backers that in addition to the severe risk involved, they may be subject to tax payments before they even turn a profit.” The new law, which was introduced by Schumer, the state’s senior US senator, allows theater investors to claim immediate tax breaks for up to $15 million in their investments in theater productions. According to the law, 75 percent of whatever investors put in must be used for services in the United States to promote the growth of theater-related jobs at home. Broadway buffs are hoping the new change will boost the expanding industry. According to the Broadway League, attendance in the 2014-2015 season reached 13.1 million patrons for Broadway theaters. The league’s numbers also showed that Broadway contributed $12 billion to the city’s economy and provided approximately 87,000 local jobs. “This is a good year for Broadway but they’re not all good years,” Schumer said. “In a sense, this is our insurance policy in a bad year, which we hope we never have.” Longtime Broadway actor Brad Oscar, who is currently playing Nostradamus in “Something Rotten!,” quipped it was not his show but the old federal tax code instead that was “something rotten.” But with the new law in place, Oscar thanked Schumer on behalf of the Broadway community. “I see high drama and theatricality and it has nothing to do with the Republicans, no,” Oscar heartily joked, in character as Nostradamus. “It’s new shows on the Broadway.” n

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016

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In Columbus Circle, Pedestrians Say

“In DOT We Trust”

NYC.GOV

As part of the rollout of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, the New York City Department of Transportation received more than 10,000 comments from the public in a period ending July 31, 2014 about traffic safety problems. The portion of Midtown Manhattan that includes Columbus Circle is shown here.

BY JOSH ROGERS

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ew Yorkers seldom get credit for being a trusting bunch but a visit to traffic-heavy Columbus Circle might present a challenge to that conventional wisdom. With each light change, dozens of pedestrians cross the east side of Broadway there without the benefit of a visible crosswalk. Cars whipping around Columbus Circle to head up Broadway also do not have a painted line showing where they should stop to avoid ramming into pedestrians. There is, in fact, a little bit more than faith protecting walkers and cyclists from cars. A traffic light for vehicles is right there, but additional signals like painted crosswalks could help distracted drivers, which is one of the more common reported reasons for crashes at the intersection. Columbus Circle, which also connects with Central Park South and West, as well as with Eighth Avenue, was the scene of 103 motor vehicle collisions this year through December 26, averaging two a week, according to NYPD statistics posted on the NYC Open Data website. The vast majority did not result in injuries, but seven did — four to bikers, two to pedestrians, and one to a motorist. “There definitely is conflict there,” Andrew

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Albert, chair of Community Board 7’s Transportation Committee, said about Columbus Circle. He hadn’t noticed the missing paint at Broadway and Columbus Circle, but he said it is a problem throughout the Upper West Side, which is why the community board has routinely made traffic safety markings a budget priority request to the city. Almost all of the other Broadway crossings just north of the circle from 60th to 62nd Streets are mostly faded, although some of those look to be the result of relatively recent street work. An NYPD traffic officer near the one by Columbus Circle said the crosswalk markings had not been visible there for quite some time, although he shrugged when asked if it posed a problem. “People already know what it is,” he said of the crosswalk area. “You just wait for the light.” One source with CB7, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she has noticed the dangers of crossing Broadway near 59th Street and said the faded crosswalk markings are particularly problematic because police cannot ticket drivers for not yielding to pedestrians there because it is not clear the walkers are in a protected area. Although some crosswalk markings have apparently been neglected, this section of

Broadway has actually received extra safety attention under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to eliminate traffic fatalities. Last year, Broadway from 59th to 220th Streets was one of the first streets to be designated an “arterial slow zone” with stepped up speeding enforcement and speed limits reduced to 25 miles per hour prior to the speed limit change being made across the board citywide. In response to an inquiry from Manhattan Express, a spokesperson for the city Department of Transportation said workers would be repainting new crosswalks along Broadway in the spring when the weather is warmer. She said the department has also added crossing time signals at 40 intersections along Broadway. Monica Blum, president of the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District, said the lack of crosswalk stripings are a problem, but she said the area is getting safer for pedestrians thanks to some steps the DOT has taken. She said the biggest problem was vehicles turning west off of Broadway onto 60th Street while pedestrians were crossing 60th Street, but that looks to be getting better with some traffic signal adjustments, She’s also hopeful that “ponding” or large puddles in crosswalks will improve with some DOT repairs. n

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Asphalt Green Offers Curtain-Raiser On High Tech Renovations BY JACKSON CHEN

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n Upper East Side nonprofit sports and fitness organization that has been redoing its indoor facilities since late August presented an intriguing preview of the changes afoot at a December 16 meeting of Community Board 8. Asphalt Green is spending $2.2 million to renovate four of the five floors of its Murphy Center, which now houses an indoor track, an artificial turf field, programming spaces, meeting spaces, and locker rooms. In taking steps to moder nize the fitness options it offers, Asphalt Green is converting the second floor into an interactive, light-filled workout facility called PRAMA. Designed by Pavigym, an international company that offers tailored fitness options, PRAMA employs LED-lighting and touchbased sensors to provide an innovative, even dazzling workout environment. Members working out at PRAMA will go through a cycle of tasks assigned by a trainer, while enveloped in a room of shifting mood lighting and lighted markers. “It’s r eally easy to pick up because there’s visual cues,” said Asphalt Green’s chief program officer Jeff Ward. “For athletes, it also allows you to program things so you’re learning how to react.” According to Ward, PRAMA of fers members a customized

workout that addresses their fitness needs and goals across the board. “[Members] might do weight lifting and that makes them stronger, or they run and that helps their endur a n c e , ” Wa r d s a i d . “Really, you want to be working in at least three different areas in terms of your fitness: strength, endurance, and your functional The new spinning room for the Murphy Center’s third floor. movement.” Wa r d s a i d t h a t PRAMA will be able to serve the expecting to complete the rendiverse range of skills and ages ovations for the PRAMA facility among Asphalt Green’s member- and spinning room by mid-Febship, whether they want to focus ruary 2016. The first floor, which on injury prevention or balance includes locker room renovations and the addition of bleacher-style and flexibility. “We wanted something that real- seating, will be tackled in spring ly spoke to all those things,” said 2016 and be completed by June, Ward. “And we wanted something according to Ward. that was presented in a way that was engaging and fun.” One floor above the light-filled fitness center, Asphalt Green is relocating its spinning room from the Aqua Center to the Murphy Center’s third floor, according to its plans. As for the fourth floor, the organization has largely completed the conversion of basketball courts into an artificial turf soccer field, Ward said. While the indoor turf field is already in use, Asphalt Green is

ASPHALT GREEN / FABIANODESIGN.COM

Asphalt Green is also considering renovations for its Aqua Center that houses an Olympic-sized pool and fitness centers. Those plans, however, have not been finalized, Ward said, except that replacement of the five-story center’s elevators has been agreed on. n

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A rendering similar to what Asphalt Green’s new PRAMA workout facility will look like.

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016

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City Moving 135 Vets Into Permanent UWS Housing BY JACKSON CHEN

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he city is in the process of providing 135 veterans with permanent affordable housing through a conversion of a former homeless shelter on the Upper West Side. The transition of 330 West 95th Street is being tackled by the city’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) as part of the city’s response to a nationwide call to action, the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness, proposed by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. The initiative encouraged mayors to commit to ending homelessness among former members of the armed services in their cities by December 31, 2015.

The 135 new tenants would be living alongside the 57 current tenants in the single-room-occupancy complex that has shared common areas, including bathrooms and kitchens. The city agency will be working alongside Bailey House and Harlem United, two nonprofit organizations focused on providing services to people diagnosed with HIV and AIDS. While not signed, the HRA expects to enter into 10-year master leases with the two nonprofits. Both Bailey House and Harlem United will provide the veterans and the current tenants with a variety of services. HRA said that on-site services would include 24-hour security, healthcare coordination, and job-hunting help — such as

JACKSON CHEN

The building at 330 West 95th Street, which will provide housing for up to 135 veterans by early next year.

In line with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s goal of providing permanent housing, 135 veterans will be welcomed in phases into the West 95th Street building. Once a homeless shelter, the property has been converted into rent-regulated apartments and currently houses 57 tenants. According to the HRA, 40 veterans are expected to move into the building by the end of the year, with the remaining 95 arriving in early 2016, though in its most recent fact sheet on the project, the agency indicated that no tenants had signed leases to date.

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employment assessments and transportation to interviews. The agency said the organizations would also offer help to veterans who eventually want to relocate to more independent housing. As for the off-site services, the tenants will have access to medical and dental services — regardless of their insurance status — mental health care, substance-use treatment, and a food pantry. The city agency said the two organizations are currently screening interested candidates and expects three-quarters of the veteran population that moves in to be

over 40 years old. According to City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, the veterans won’t be drawn from a pool with serious mental health needs, and the HRA said that in the screening process, no registered sex offenders would be accepted. “The screening process is to discern if these individuals are ready to do the hard work of living in permanent housing,” Rosenthal said. “That they would be looking for jobs and become members of the communities.” While saying it supports housing veterans, a neighborhood association is hesitant to praise another shelter-like building, arguing it may simply be a Band-Aid on a complex issue. “We want to see this thing done

AMANDA LUCIDON/ THE WHITE HOUSE

First Lady Michelle Obama, in 2014, announcing the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.

right, better than a shelter,” said Aaron Biller, president of the Neighborhood in the Nineties, an association that spans from West 90th to 97th Streets and from Riverside Drive to Amsterdam Avenue. “Because the shelters, they’re just dumping people in.” Biller expressed uncertainty that the city would enforce requirements that the proper services be provided to the veterans and said the community would bear the brunt of filling any gap. “The community is in danger of becoming a failed social experiment,” Biller said. “They’re socially

taxing on the neighborhood, and we think it’s unfair to concentrate them in one geographic area.” Adding to his list of concerns, Biller said the city could offer much better living options for permanent housing for veterans and that the medical services should be offered on-site instead. “We are disappointed that such really low quality housing is what we’re making available to our veterans,” Biller said. But for most veterans coming out of the homeless shelters of the city, a dorm-like living situation would be much more desirable, said Samuel Innocent, vice president of policy for the NYC Veterans Alliance. “In my own personal opinion, we’re talking about taking veterans out of a homeless shelter… where the environment isn’t the greatest and placing them into an SRO,” Innocent said. “Yes, you may share kitchens, bathrooms. I say those are dorm rooms. I like to stress the living conditions are good enough for our college students.” Innocent, who served as a United States Army medic from 2004 to 2011, said the permanent housing would provide struggling veterans with an opportunity to improve their lives through the services offered. “This is to help the veterans who don’t have such networks of support,” Innocent said. “That was me coming back… I was on my own, by myself, and my initial transition coming back was rough.” Innocent said there is an abundance of resources for veterans returning to the city, but he added that it’s connecting vets with service providers that proves difficult. Innocent said the 330 West 95th Street building was a solution for getting veterans out of homeless shelters and into environments where they can better themselves and join their neighbors as members of the community. “Providing veterans with a stable environment and surroundings that aren’t necessarily a shelter, somewhere where they feel they can elevate themselves,” Innocent said of the permanent housing being offered. “330 is the answer to the shelters.” n

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


METRO DINER

UES High Rise Taking Applications for 47 Affordable Units BY JACKSON CHEN

While there are only three units available at $607 a month, the luxury building offers 17 units for another one-bedroom option that costs $769 a month. The more expensive one-bedroom units require tenants to fall between annual incomes of $27,772 and $30,250 for one-person applications, and $27,772 and $34,550 for two-person applications. As for the two-bedroom options, 205 East 92nd Street offers five units, at $736 a month — looking for incomes between $26,775 and $34,520, depending on the household size — and 22 units at $930

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016

DINNER

JACKSON CHEN

A 36-story building at 205 East 92nd Street now accepting lottery applications for 47 units of affordable housing.

LUNCH

36-story luxury high rise on East 92nd Street is in the process of filling its 47 affordable housing units through an application lottery. The affordable options at 205 East 92nd Street break down into four categories based on annual household earnings. For the cheapest one-bedroom option that comes in at $607 a month, the household annual income must fall between $22,218 and $24,200 for a single applicant and $22,218 and $27,640 for a two-person application.

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a month, which require annual income ranging from $33,326 to $43,150, depending on the number of tenants. While the monthly rents of all the units include gas, the tenants are expected to pay electric bills. The building will also offer a host of amenities like a 24-hour doorman and concierge, washer-dryer units in each apartment, and terraces. According to the application, the building will also have party rooms, a children’s play space, a teen lounge, and storage units that will cost additional fees. While the deadlines for NYC Housing Connect’s online and mailin applications are February 1, the building is still under construction. According to the city’s Housing Preservation and Development agency, the selection process will begin in April 2016, followed by tenant movein during the summer of 2016. In its selection process, the building will be giving preference on 50 percent of the units to residents within Community Board 8’s district that generally spans from East 59th Street to East 96th Street and from the East River to Fifth Avenue. Additionally, five percent of the affordable housing units will give preference to municipal employees. Five percent of the units will be set aside for mobility-impaired applicants, as well as another two percent for applicants with visual or hearing impairments. The offering of the affordable housing in the 230-unit tower was incentivized by the city’s 80/ 20 program, where developers offer 20 percent of their units as affordable housing in return for tax-exempt financing through the state’s Housing Finance Agency. On the building’s lower floors, it will host an Equinox Gym, a small ground floor retail space, a public plaza, and Windward School, a grades 1 to 9 school for students with dyslexia, according to city records. n

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Vigilant West Side Tenants Challenge Landlord, Department Of Buildings BY EILEEN STUKANE

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ver the decades, residents of 517-525 West 45th Street, a complex of five buildings of varying heights, have outlasted a turnover of owners who thought they could harass tenants into leaving their grandfathered loft dwellings. Toughened by awareness that landlords can use construction as a tool in tenant harassment, they were alert to change and ready for the new owner, Offir Naim, who purchased the complex in July 2014. They soon learned that his plan was to construct additional stories on their buildings to make them taller, but felt that Naim’s application to do this work with the city Department of Buildings (DOB) contained fraudulent information. Tenants now say that even with proof in hand, spurring DOB officials to acknowledge the falsifications and halt the approval process proved a tall order. Tom Cayler of 525 West 45th Street took the lead in the residents’ efforts to correct what they say is falsified application information provided by the owner and his architect — information that misidentifies the heights of their buildings. As part of the city-designated Special Clinton District, the buildings have a height limit of 66 feet or seven stories, whichever is less. Naim aims to add two stories to the four-story building at 517 West 45th Street, and one story each to five-story buildings at 521 and 525. But residents learned that the owner’s architect, Daniel Bernstein of Kutnicki Bernstein Architects, submitted plans to the New York Loft Board — in compliance with requirements regarding eight grandfathered lofts within the 18-unit building complex — claiming that, in the end, all three buildings, as measured from the curb, would top off at 64’11”. Cayler said he had sleepless nights wondering how an extra story could be constructed on his building, which seemed to be about

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60 feet in height already. After consulting an architect, he learned that the DOB would require a topographic survey by a certified surveyor to be included in Naim’s application for the type of construction he intended. To validate

the city’s Housing Preservation & Development (HPD) department and the Loft Board had not yet been satisfied. “But zoning and codes were resolved,” Cayler said. Cayler continued, “Commission-

YANNIC RACK

Tom Cayler (l.), Douglas Kelley, and Daniel Schneider are residents of the five-building complex that makes up 517-525 West 45th Street.

any discrepancy in height, tenants would have to commission their own topographic survey from a reputable certified surveyor. The Tenants’ Association approved the $1,000 required to hire such a surveyor. The surveyor’s conclusion was that the current height at 521 is 59.93 feet, while the 525 building is 61.70 feet — both heights that would preclude additional stories from being added within the zoned area’s 66-foot limitation. In contrast, Naim’s application to the DOB specified the present height of both the 521 and 525 buildings at 54 feet. C a yl e r a r r a n g e d a m eeti ng with the DOB’s deputy borough commissioner, Joseph Bruno, where he learned that Naim had not yet received final approval because requirements of both

er Bruno told me, ‘We can only base our approval on what we were given,’ and I told him I was giving him a certified document and asking the DOB to rescind its approval for zoning and codes, because I was proving that the submitted documents were materially misleading. He said, ‘We’ll have to do a review,’ this and that. The most distressing part of this is the DOB couldn’t have been less interested.” Cayler said he next had to bring together representatives from the offices of City Councilmember Corey Johnson and State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, along with the district manager of Community Board 4 (CB4), Jesse Bodine, for a conference call with John Waldman, DOB’s intergovernmental and community affairs liaison. The tenants’ challenge to Naim’s assertion about the height

of the buildings was the topic of discussion. Waldman later sent an email to all parties stating: “The job in question is in disapproved status. We do not usually audit jobs until they have been approved.” He added that the “potential discrepancy in the floor to floor height of the building” can be dealt with “in the review process” regarding new zoning questions about that height discrepancy. Cayler is asking why plans are allowed to progress through a complicated approval process, when a basic issue like compliance with a zoning height restriction — which DOB now cites as a “discrepancy” and tenants label “fraud that is a felony” — is not fully vetted. His determination to get to the bottom of this question led him, in September, to file a Freedom of Information Law, or FOIL, request with DOB seeking the document upon which the initial zoning and codes compliance was approved as well as the topographic survey, which is required by the DOB and should have been submitted with the architect’s application. His request was denied. He appealed the denial, and is still waiting for his request to be granted. He did, however, receive an email that his request has been “forwarded to the Borough Commissioner’s Office for handling.” According to DOB’s website, questions regarding the required topographic survey were resolved on April 21 of this year, although the name of the surveyor and the date of the survey are blank. This, among other zoning documents, is what Cayler would like to see. How could a certified topographic surveyor have been so off base in calculations, and how could the DOB approve them? “I can tell that there’s no topographic survey,” Cayler charged, explaining that a “job folder” can be found for the West 45th Street

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TENANTS, continued on p.9

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


EPA Fast-Tracks Review of GE’s Hudson River Clean-Up

COURTESY: OFFICE OF STATE SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN

Panelists at a 2015 event hosted by State Senator Brad Hoylman (at podium) discussed time-sensitive efforts to save the Hudson River from irreversible environmental damage.

BY YANNIC RACK

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he US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is speeding up its investigation into whether the clean-up of the Hudson River by General Electric (GE) was a success. The move comes after concerted pressure from environmental groups who say the company needs to do more to clear chemicals out of the waterway. The $2 billion, six-year dredging project concluded earlier this year — and GE claims it successfully removed the dangerous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) it dumped into the river before 1977. Instead of waiting until 2017, the EPA announced this week that it will now start early next year with its inspection of whether the dangerous pollutant — which has been linked to cancer as well as reproductive, neurological, and hormonal disorders — has been successfully removed from the river. “I’m glad the EPA has shown the common sense to fast-track its review of GE’s dredging in the Hudson River before it lets the company off the hook for bringing the river to the brink of extinction,” New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, a West Side Democrat who is a member of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said on December 23.

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TENANTS, from p.8

buildings by searching on the DOB’s website. While there is a zoning diagram document, he said, he found that “no topographic survey has been submitted.” When DOB was asked directly whether a topographic survey had been submitted by Naim and his architect, a spokesperson responded, “The job will remain in disapproved status until the application shows compliance with all necessary code and zoning requirements, including providing documentation to demonstrate that the project will conform to the height restrictions set forth in the

NYC Zoning Resolution.” That doesn’t answer the question, but at least DOB is more forthcoming than architect Daniel Bernstein, who did not respond to repeated email requests for an interview. Public officials alerted by Cayler and his fellow tenants are taking note. “This building has had a checkered past of misrepresenting or falsifying information to the Department of Buildings, with the sole purpose of skirting the law intended to protect tenants and the general public,” said Assemblymember Rosenthal. “While I am glad that

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016

Hoylman has long advocated for the clean-up and, along with two dozen other elected officials, sent letters to GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt and Governor Andrew Cuomo in July, urging the company to go beyond its court-mandated dredging requirement. The 200-mile stretch of the Hudson River from Glens Falls, which is about 40 miles north of Albany, down to the Battery in Manhattan, is a federal Superfund site because of the PCBs — which means GE is required to clean it up long-term. “This conforms to the schedule we understood EPA planned to follow,” GE spokesperson Mark Behan said of the new timeline, which would see the agency finish its assessment before April 2017. GE had announced in October that its crews removed more than 300,000 pounds of PCBs from the river, completing the six-year operation. “We are confident that the Hudson dredging project has achieved EPA’s goals of protecting human health and the environment,” Behan said. Although the EPA study will now be expedited, GE can still go ahead with dismantling the plant that processed the dredged sediment. The change of gears at the EPA comes after a slate of environmental groups, including Scenic Hudson, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, met with agency officials earlier this month to express their concern about the state of the operation.  In a letter to the environmental groups dated December 18, Mathy Stanislaus, who oversees the EPA’s Superfund clean-up programs, laid out the new schedule for the review, and said that the study will also include more public participation, as well as an assessment of current conditions in the Hudson. The agency also notified the groups that if the review determines the clean-up has not made the river “protective of human health and the environment,” as required under the Superfund law, it would consider additional remedial actions. Environmentalists praised the EPA’s agreement as a major step forward, but also warned that contamination remains at unsafe levels. “Everyone recognizes that the current PCB remediation is not adequate to protect the Hudson River and people who, despite the health advisories, continue to eat Hudson River fish,” Peter Gross, executive director of Clearwater, said. The chemical has contaminated wildlife to the point that it is recommended that women under the age of 50 and children under the age of 15 not eat fish from the river. “For the better part of a century, General Electric treated the Hudson River as its own personal dumping ground, spilling millions of pounds of toxic PCBs into the river throughout most of the last century,” Hoylman said. “The EPA has heeded the call of advocacy groups and elected officials like me, but we’ll need to keep up the pressure to make sure GE fully compensates the people of New York for one of the greatest environmental disasters of our time.” n

this current project has been disapproved by DOB, reports have indicated that DOB has struggled with catching issues of this size and scope in the past, suggesting that more enforcement is needed to stymie the underhanded dealings of dubious landlords. It is essential that DOB take a proactive approach in situations like this by ensuring that the plans submitted are accurate, and in cases where they are not, the applicant should be sanctioned and have their professional license revoked when appropriate.” In a December 9 letter to DOB’s Manhattan Borough Commission-

er Martin Rebholz, CB4 outlined the issues and requested that the department review and “conduct a full audit” of the application for the West 45th Street buildings. That letter was also sent to State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, Councilmember Johnson, and HPD’s assistant commissioner, Deborah Rand. Meanwhile, as the story of 517525 West 45th Street makes clear, the onus in situations where landlords are looking to do cumbersome renovation and construction projects is on the tenants to stay alert at every step of the city’s approval process. n

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LOUISE WATERIDGE

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaking with editors and reporters from Manhattan Express and its sister publications on December 17.

Brewer Wants Tenants With Better Protections, Community Boards With More Businesspeople BY PAUL SCHINDLER

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n a wide-ranging interview with editors and reporters from Manhattan Express and its sister publications, Borough President Gale Brewer offered only tepid support for the New York City Housing Authority’s plans to allow developers to build private market units on NYCHA land, detailed her first-hand observations about how intractable homelessness can be, warned tenants they need to be their own best advocates against unscrupulous landlords, and urged business owners to get involved with the borough’s 12 community boards. And in a decidedly lighthearted moment during her one-hour session with journalists on December 17, Brewer voiced exasperation with New York’s feuding top two Democrats — her view of the ongoing contretemps between Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio essentially offered with a

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shrug of her shoulders. As part of its effort to erase a 15-year decline in federal funding — which has resulted in the loss of $1.05 billion dollars in operating revenues and $1.1 billion in capital support and, if left unaddressed, would create a cumulative operating deficit of $2.5 billion over the next decade — NYCHA has announced a series of initiatives, the most controversial of which involves allowing private housing developers to build on open land that exists among the city’s public housing projects. Some of these “infill” projects — which are projected to create as many as 10,000 new units of affordable housing — will be developed as 100 percent affordable housing developments, but others will be comprised of a mix of 50 percent affordable units, where families at or below 60 percent of the area median income could find units with rents equal to no more than 30 percent of their income,

and 50 percent market rate units. The de Blasio administration came forward with the proposal for a mix of all-affordable and 50-50 developments in the wake of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failure to advance a proposal for using an 80-20 market-affordable formula in infill projects. In Brewer’s mind, de Blasio has not gone far enough to leave behind the Bloomberg approach. “I prefer 100 percent affordable and less money for NYCHA,” she said. “To have 50-50 is a challenge. On the other hand, I understand NYCHA needs the money.” For now, NYCHA is moving ahead most aggressively on the 50-50 approach, with two developments on the boards, one of them at the Holmes Towers, at First Avenue between 92nd and 93 Streets. Brewer said she has attended NYCHA presentations at Holmes, where residents raised concerns about everything from how much of the proceeds from the 50-50 development would directly benefit the Towers to whether a playground would be sacrificed to make way for the new housing and, if so, whether a new one would take its place elsewhere on the grounds. Asked her thoughts about how the Holmes initiative is progressing, Brewer demurred, “I saw the original [NYCHA] plan’s numbers, and I saw that Holmes is a 50-50 site. That’s all I know.” She added that when she spoke with residents voicing concerns about the presentations NYCHA had made, she was asked, “What if we just say no?” Brewer did not elaborate on the futility of that approach. Asked about widespread though often anecdotal reports that homelessness is on the rise in New York, Brewer confirmed that the problem is largely one that affects Manhattan as opposed to the outer boroughs, an assertion earlier made by Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. Early in December, she joined a group of outreach workers trying to prevail on homeless people to accept shelter for the night in a shift that ran into the early morning hours. Older people, she reported, were the most resistant to accepting the pleas of those offering help, and at times discussions became heated.

“Let me tell you the problem,” she said. “These people are hard.” Hard is also a way in which Brewer described the challenges that too many Manhattan tenants face from landlords eager to drive them from their homes in order to make a killing on the property. The biggest threats, she said, are vulnerable elderly tenants who fear they cannot win against a determined landlord. “Particularly for the seniors, a knock on the door and they freak out,” Brewer said. “They take the money and leave.” The Department of Buildings, she said, is not up to the task of adequately protecting tenants. “I don’t know how much is incompetence and how much is short-staffed,” she said, “but we don’t have enough enforcement.” A new legal services program for tenants initiated by de Blasio will add $12.3 million in expenditures for attorneys, bringing total city spending on anti-eviction efforts to $60 million, but, said Brewer, “It’s just never enough.” “You need something on the ground, almost 24/7, in terms of lawyers and organizers,” she continued. “If you don’t have that, no matter how good DOB is, that person is still gonna get nervous and is still going to leave. That’s my experience.” In the absence of a city funding to flood the zone, Brewer said that tenants organizing themselves is the best solution. “My experience for many years has been when you have a building you can organize, you have a chance,” she said. “But as individuals in different buildings, you get the short end of the stick.” If business interests, in the form of landlords, hold too much sway in the housing market, Brewer believes that businesses — particularly small business owners — are not sufficiently engaged in the community board process that can have significant input on land use decisions and all manner of business permitting. Small business owners, she acknowledged, are often unhappy with the resistance they meet at the local community board when they seek approval on matters like liquor licenses. However, tension

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BREWER , continued on p.16

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


HEALTH

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ruling by a Manhattan State Supreme Court judge will require the New York State Department of Health (DOH) to take a harder look at the potential hazardous materials and noise that would be produced from a nonprofit agency’s proposed development on the Upper West Side. Jewish Home Lifecare, a nonprofit nursing home organization with a Manhattan campus at 120 West 106th Street, has been looking to replace its aging facility since 2006. After a land swap offer, JHL set its sights on building a 20-story nursing home on West 97th Street that would accommodate 414 beds — 100 less than the current facility. Throughout the years, parents of students at P.S. 163 — a roughly 600-student K-5 school adjacent to the proposed site — and neighbors have raised concerns about what they see as serious negative impact from the development. Their opposition resulted in two separate Article 78 proceedings — one from the parents at P.S. 163 and one from a coalition of nine nearby residents — filed this past spring against the DOH’s approval of the nursing home project. On December 9, Judge Joan Lobis issued a combined judgment on the two Article 78s. While Lobis said most of the issues raised in the lawsuits had been reviewed appropriately, she found that the DOH and JHL’s team did not take the “requisite hard look” at the impact of noise and hazardous materials Lobis’ ruling “vacated and annulled” the department’s approval, which will require the DOH and JHL to complete an amended environmental impact statement. According to a JHL statement, the organization is considering whether to file an appeal or go ahead and comply with Lobis’ ruling. The organization said the environmental impact review could be completed in a relatively short time since it is only required to supplement its earlier EIS, instead of

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A rendering of the proposed 20-story Jewish Home Lifecare nursing home on West 97th Street.

carrying out a completely new one. Either way, JHL said the previously targeted construction start date of summer 2016 would not be significantly delayed. As for the neighbors and par ents, the ruling was welcomed as a huge victory. According to Martin Rosenblatt, a neighbor opposed to the project but not listed in the suits, either route JHL takes will cause some delays for the project. For Rosenblatt, the main issue stems from evidence of lead in the soil and its danger to neighbors. Backing up his claims, Rosenblatt said he hired an expert to test the lot’s soil for lead, and that the expert found alarming rates of the toxins in samples taken. “There are children in the neighborhood that are under five, they don’t have double-paned windows,” Rosenblatt said of the potential dangers. “Neither do the seniors.” In addition to allegations of hazardous materials, opponents of the project have also focused on the amount of noise it will entail and what they say would be negative effects on the schoolchildren’s learning. According to the suit filed by parents, the construction would prove harmful to all the students, but particularly to the 7.5 percent of them who have asthma and the 14 percent with learning disabilities. Rene Kathawala, the attorney

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HEALTH , continued on p.17

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016



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EXPRESS OURSELVES

PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN jgoodstein@cnglocal.com

Filling Legislative Vacancies Deserves the Sunshine of Voter Input

EDITOR IN-CHIEF PAUL SCHINDLER editor@manhttanexpressnews.nyc

EDITOR AT LARGE JOSH ROGERS

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS JACKSON CHEN, LINCOLN ANDERSON, SCOTT STIFFLER, DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC, YANNIC RACK

ART DIRECTOR MICHAEL SHIREY

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS RHIANNON HSU CHRIS ORTIZ

EXECUTIVE VP OF ADVERTISING AMANDA TARLEY ads@manhattanexpressnews.nyc 718-260-8340

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES JACK AGLIATA ALLISON GREAKER ANDREW MARK JIM STEELE JULIO TUMBACO

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

12

BY JOSH ROGERS

S

o who is going to be picking the successor to Shelly Silver, the former Lower East Side member of the State Assembly — for 21 years, its speaker — who was convicted last month on corruption charges? If you are following the story, you already know it won’t be voters. Members of the Democratic County Committee from Silver’s 65th Assembly district will effectively crown the next legislator early in 2016 when they select the nominee for the April 19 special election. But at least the public can easily see who the committee members are, right? Well, no. The city’s Board of Elections quickly sent Manhattan Express its most complete list when asked this week, and presumably would do the same for anyone else, too, but the list is not readily available online. Even more disturbing than that, however, is that the names of members who will fill what are now cited as committee vacancies may stay hidden from the public before the anointing. Cathleen McCadden, executive director of the Manhattan Democratic County Committee, said it is up to the local Democratic district leaders to fill vacancies, and many prefer not to release the names. “It’s the only power that they have,” she told Manhattan Express. Indeed, one Downtown Democratic district leader, who was inclined to furnish the most up-todate list, said there was resistance from fellow district leaders. But the County Committee’s leaders could also give the names out to the public if they wanted. They don’t. There are 39 listed vacancies for the district’s 196 seats on the County Committee. Most members are not well known, with the highest profile person on the committee being Judy Rapfogel, a former Albany power broker who was Silver’s chief of staff for about two

decades while he was speaker — and whose husband was convicted in 2014 of taking kickbacks while executive director of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. There have been many calls over the years to let voters play the central role in filling legislative vacancies, but McCadden argued there’s nothing wrong with the current system, particularly in this case since the new incumbent will likely face a Democratic primary next September, only five months after taking office. “They’ll only be in office for a hot second,” she said, explaining that in Albany, “it takes a long time to amass any kind of power.” McCadden did acknowledge that the April winner will be able to reach his or her new constituents with taxpayer-funded mailings. Susan Lerner, executive director with Common Cause New York, which has long backed more democratic ways to fill vacancies, said “even a short [term] incumbent is able to arrange things within their district for an advantage.” The current system “denies voters a real choice,” she added. Lower Manhattan is over whelmingly Democratic, so the Republican nominee stands little chance to win. One of the reasons there has been no reform, Lerner said, is that so many state legislators first get into office through a special election and are reluctant to change a system from which they benefitted. Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal from the Upper West Side is the exception. She won the political insider game in 2006, but saw the problem with the system. “When I did run for the vacancy, a lot of people were disgruntled by the process,” Rosenthal, a former County Committee member, said this week. Soon after taking office she sponsored legislation that would require a primary and special election to fill a vacancy but it went nowhere. This session she

and State Senator Daniel Squadron, who represents Downtown Manhattan and Brownstone Brooklyn, are sponsoring similar bills that would set up non-partisan special elections to fill Assembly and State Senate vacancies. Candidates would have to collect signatures to get on the ballot. “It's a big concern that the process to fill vacancies is so complicated and obscure, especially after the year Albany's had,” Squadron said in a statement, making a clear reference to the federal convictions of two of Albany’s Three Men in a Room — Silver and former Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. The new bills would certainly be less costly than holding a primary and then a special election, and it might attract a higher turnout rate than holding two elections, but Rosenthal did not hold out much hope for passage in 2016. It may just be a matter of time, as more beneficiaries of the current system acknowledge the problem. Two of the four candidates to replace Silver, Paul Newell and Jenifer Rajkumar, have an advantage in the race since they are district leaders and helped form the committee that will decide their fate. They will also likely fill some of the remaining vacancies, but both said in interviews this week that they supported a more democratic way to fill vacancies. (As Manhattan Express’ sister publication the Villager has reported in recent weeks, Yuh-Line Niou and Don B. Lee are the other two who have so far expressed strong interest in running.) Both Rajkumar and Newell said the winner would likely have an advantage when she or he runs for reelection in September, but neither thought that was definite. “On the other hand, that’s four days [a week] in Albany and less time speaking with Lower Manhattanites,” Newell said. That’s an artful way of justifying a rigged system, but it’s no way to run a democracy. n

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


EXPRESS YOURSELVES

A Jew Finally Frets About Heaven & Hell BY LENORE SKENAZY

Y

ou’d think this would be good news to a Jew like me: The Vatican has declared that my Tribe can get into Heaven. In a statement just released in honor of the 50th anniversary of the “Nostra Aetate” — itself a high point in Jewish-Christian relations in that it stated Jews should not be considered “accursed by God” (Yay!) — the Vatican has gone one step further. The new document states that “…it does not in any way follow that the Jews are excluded from God’s salvation because they do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God.” In other words, Jews are now Heaven-eligible — which has me very worried. (How Jewish is that?) You see, until now, I was already a little obsessed by what qualifies a person for a post-life thumbs up or down. And by “a little obsessed” I mean I worried that if I ate a piece of bacon, did that make me a bad Jew, which then might damn me to Hell, even though we don’t really have Hell, so maybe even framing the question that way was a sin, meaning I was headed to some sort of miserable afterlife that supposedly doesn’t exist, with or without a devil, pitchfork, and lake that burns without giving off any light… It goes on and on. See? So Jewish. And then, when I did something actually

unkind — and by “unkind” I mean screaming at a cabbie who totally deserved it, because he made a right-hand turn while I was in the crosswalk, but still, those guys have a hard life and are barely surviving, thanks to Uber — I’d worry, “Well, was that one little blow-up the thing that’s actually going to tip the scales? I’ll be standing before St. Peter and he looks at a list of everything I did and it’s, ‘Why did you yell at the poor cabbie? They’re barely surviving, thanks to Uber.’ And he shakes his head like, ‘Sorry, you blew it,’ and then he pushes the little button that opens a trap door in the floor?” All this while I’m still in the crosswalk, shaking my fist. “Don’t worry about Hell!,” my husband has told me, over and over. (Am I dishonoring him by writing this?) “We don’t believe in it!” But now… sheesh. All bets are off. I mean on! That whole Pascal’s wager thing is now in our court: Bet that there is a God and if we’re right, infinite rewards await us if we can just keep it in our pants (metaphorically speaking). But bet that there is no God (or Heaven), go rip-roaring wild, and we could be in for a world of pain (and jackals gnawing our intestines) later. That was a wager we Jews didn’t have to worry about. Until now! So how good do we have to be to go upstairs? What is the fine print? Is one “Goddammit!” all it takes to rip up our VIP pass? Or do I have to

be Bernie Madoff before I worry? Or, to put it a bit more proactively: How can I prove my Heaven-worthiness? Jews were already told to live righteously, give generously, dress warmly. (Well, most of us were.) We already knew we’re not supposed to murder, steal, or commit adultery. The real trip wire on that list is, “Thou shalt not covet.” But even if we did covet (Come on — who doesn’t? Have you even seen my sister’s house?), it wasn’t like we were immediately disqualified from anything great. Coveting a fantastic house, or less jiggly thighs, or a job that pays more than freelance journalism did not mean kissing goodbye to eternal life and harps that, because they are in Heaven, must not sound as horrible as I imagine 10 billion amateur harpists must sound. We Jews just knew we were supposed to try to not covet so much. No wonder the goyim drink. (I’m kidding! I’m kidding! St. Peter — it was just one dumb, slightly un-PC joke. Come on!) Now I’m a Jew faced with all the worries of a Christian without even Christmas to ease the pain. Because a Jew who celebrated Christmas last week — I’d hate to think about where they’d end up! But I probably will. Lenore Skenazy is a speaker, author, and founder of the book and blog “Free-Range Kids” (freerangekids.com). n

LETTER TO THE EDITOR PLEASE, NO FREE RANGE SEX OFFENDERS December 6, 2015 To the Editor: I agree with many of Lenore Skenazy’s ideas on “free range children.” However, I do disagree with much of her article entitled “Are We All Sex Offenders?” (Dec. 3-16). I worked for over 30 years, in my home state of Wisconsin, in the prevention of all types of child abuse, sexual assault, and family violence. I helped change the laws in the state and set up services for victims of various types of family violence and sexual assault. I also counseled victims. States have different laws gov-

erning the age of consent. In general, I believe that in most states a 14-year-old is not capable of giving consent. That was the age of the victim in her article. The perpetrator was 19. In all probability, a jail sentence plus becoming a registered sex offender was not a necessary sentence in this case. His decision to have sex with a 14-year-old was not a wise one. But the sentence was way out of proportion. Perhaps he might have benefited from counseling. This might have helped determine if there was a pattern in the age difference between him and selected sex partners. Certainly a five-year difference would not have mattered if the difference was between people in their 20s or older.

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016

But if he always sought partners in their early teens this might indicate a problem that needed mental health intervention. Now as far as the 14 year old giving “consent” — this is meaningless in terms of the law in most states. And there is a good reason for that. Imagine if the perpetrator was in his 20s or older. Or imagine if the perpetrator was in a position of authority — a teacher, scout master, coach, or religious leader. What if he or she claimed that a 14-year-old had given “consent?” I suspect most of us would agree that such consent did not matter — whether under the law, morally, or both. As for perpetrators being kept beyond the terms of their sentence,

there is reason for that. There are no uniform laws regarding sexual offenses. Each state has it own laws. I think most of us agree that sexual offenses, such as rape or sexual molestation of a child, are the most heinous of crimes next to murder. Yet many offenders are let out after a few years. There is plenty of evidence that molesters continue to molest; they may have been caught after actually molesting several victims. They just haven’t been caught or reported before. So the public is naturally concerned that such offenders will continue their crimes, even after incarceration has ended. Frankly,

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LETTER , continued on p.17

13


Q. SAKAMAKI

“Make America Hate Again,” a takeoff on Donald Trump’s standard stump line, was among the posters protesters waved outside Trump Tower.

“Unity” Rally at Trump Tower Strikes Out at GOP Frontrunner BY LINCOLN ANDERSON

R

acist, fascist, KKK — Donald Trump, go away!” nearly 200 protesters chanted outside the gleaming golden doorway of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue at 56th Street on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas. They were mainly Muslims, along with activists from Black Lives Matter and a few Mexican-Americans — one sporting a massive pink felt sombrero and another a green and red poncho. They had gathered outside the Republican presidential candidate’s signature New York City building, in what was billed as a “unity rally against racism, anti-Muslim bigotry, and fascism.” With his rhetorical bluster, Trump — Muslims at the December 20 protest said — has been demonizing them and their reli-

14

gion and poisoning people’s minds against them. In the wake of the recent Paris and San Ber nardino terrorist attacks, the real estate developer and TV personality who has led in GOP polls for the past six months, called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the US, “until we can figure out what is going on.” Signs bobbing in the crowd, many with the tagline of the social justice group International Action Center at the bottom, bore slogans like “Wall Street is our enemy. Not Islam,” “Trump is a capitalist pig!,” “Ban real estate speculators, not Muslims,” and “Islam has been in New York 400 years,” that last showing an illustration of a Colonial-era African man wearing a toga-like garment. “They say they want to take America back,” one speaker, a

US-born African-American Muslim, told the crowd. “They want to take America backwards.” He exhorted everyone to boycott Trump’s hotels and casinos and “not buy anything with his name on it.” Another speaker recalled how Trump took out full-page newspaper ads calling for a return of the death penalty as five suspects in the 1989 Central Park Jogger rape case were on trial. After spending six to 13 years in jail, the five men’s convictions were vacated in 2002. “Those men were found innocent,” the speaker declared. “Donald Trump didn’t take out a fullpage ad to apologize.” Before the group started to march, a female speaker told everyone they could use the restroom inside the mogul’s shiny edifice. “So everyone knows, there

is a public restroom in Trump Tower,” she said, adding, “It’s the only appropriate thing to go in that building.” The march was headed down Sixth Avenue to Macy’s in Herald Square, but it first passed by the News Corporation’s headquarters of Fox News, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Referring to Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate, the speaker said, “They’ve made him the fascist mobilization that he represents.” For a brief time at the start of the rally, angry pro-Trump supporters verbally sparred with some of the protesters on Fifth Avenue, but police moved in to separate the two groups. In the crowd, Mohammed Ali, a subway worker who lives in the the Bronx and was originally from Bangladesh, stood wrapped in an American flag. “I’m here to stand with the city of New York,” he said. “What Donald Trump said makes no sense.” Ali was featured in a recent New York Times article “Do You Know My Heart?” profiling a cross-section of the city’s Muslims and their reactions to the current climate of suspicion and fear. The protesters headed down the middle of West 56th Street, going the wrong way into car traffic, before moving onto the sidewalk and then heading south down Sixth Avenue. “Racist, racist, anti-gay, Donald Trump, go away!” the crowd chanted. (Trump has in the recent past announced his opposition to marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.) Wearing a hijab and carrying her young daughter, Maweddeh, in her arms, Jehan Eltazbwa, 23, from Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, said the words of Trump and the other Republican presidential candidates are infecting people’s minds with hate. “Just today in the supermarket, I was cursed at and I was mistreated by a woman, and it was very clear it was because I was a Muslim,” she said. “Trump is adding more flame to the fire.” She said the woman told her, “‘Go back to your country. Fuck you.’ I was next to her. She thought I was a little bit too close,” Eltazbwa said.

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TRUMP, continued on p.15

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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TRUMP, from p.14

“She could have said excuse me.” Eltazbwa’s husband walked by her side with their other two children. Eltazbwa said her mother was Jewish and her father Egyptian. She decided on her own to convert to Islam. Also among the marchers was Akhtar Hussain, an older man who emphasized, “Islam means peace.” “We hate terrorists,” he said. “I work in real estate too — like Trump!,” though he added he’s just a small businessman. As protesters moved south toward Herald Square chanting, “Deeport Trump! Dee-port Trump!,” the mostly white holiday shoppers from out of town, along with various furry-costumed characters and Mickey and Minnie Mouses, were pushed to the sidelines. The tourists stood blank-faced, seeming not to know what to make of it. Some held up camera phones to snap shots. There were only a few faint bemused smiles among them. “Go Trump!” a man lightly called out as he passed by the march, heading uptown. A food vendor at a halal cart blaring funky Arabic beats shimmied and smiled as the march passed by. Another vendor, a woman from Senegal selling hats and scarves, was handed an anti-Trump flier by a demonstrator. “Thank you! I like it!” she told them. Asked what she thought about the potential GOP pr esidential nominee, she said, “I no like Trump!” and swept her hand out in disgust, as if to fling him away. As the marchers passed Fox headquarters, a woman wearing a paper Statue of Liberty crown with

Q. SAKAMAKI

Q. SAKAMAKI

Some supporters of Trump also turned out.

An anti-Trump protester wears the hooded outfit of a Ku Klux Klan member while a Trump Tower doorman stands by stoically.

one half of its face a white skull and carrying a “Make America Hate Again” sign, paused to give the building the finger. Adam Nasser, 47, was carrying his five-year-old son, Hussein, on his back and marching with his wife and other two children. “I think he’s going to run the country down the drain,” Nasser, originally from Yemen and a 34-year resident of the US, said of Trump. “He’s just doing this for his own agenda.” Nasser, who installs security alarms, stressed that he loves America. “It’s the greatest country for many, many years,” he said. “Muslims don’t hate America.” The media, Nasser said, was ultimately responsible for ginning up anti-Muslim sentiment. “The American people are very smart,” he said. “It’s the media. How many Muslims are in jail, really? They work hard.” Nasser’s little daughter, Lubna, 8, was walking next to him, wearing a hijab and carrying a small

white sign on a wooden stick with the handwritten words in black, “Muslims against ISIS.” “There is a phrase in the Quran,” her father said, “‘If one man takes a man’s life, it’s like killing all humanity. Nobody has the right to take anybody’s life. Those are bad guys. They are brainwashed.” He added, however, that Israelis kicking Palestinians out of their homes is terrorism, too. After the march had passed

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by outside, discussion of Trump continued among a gr oup of chess players in a glass-enclosed public atrium on Sixth Avenue at 42nd Street “He’s a little bit full of B.S., everyone knows that,” commented one of them, who gave his name as H.C. Muffkie. “He’s all talk.” “He’s just mouthin’ off because he has money,” said another. “You can’t be saying racist stuff like that if you’re president.” n

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Police Blotter ROBBERY: THE NEWPORTS, TOO (19TH PRECINCT) Police are looking for two suspects who robbed a convenience store at 230 East 80th Street at knifepoint. On December 15, a male suspect stepped into the store at around 9:15 p.m. and threatened a male employee behind the counter with a knife. The male suspect, described as white and dressed in a black baseball hat, dark-colored jacket, and a white T-shirt, demanded the clerk fill his plastic bag with approximately $350 in cash and also a pack of cigarettes. The other suspect, a white female, was wearing a medium-colored jacket and a

black backpack. Police distributed video of the male suspect in the store and photos of both suspects captured at 245 East 80th Street.

GRAND LARCENY: GOOP GRAB (18TH PRECINCT) Three individuals are wanted for grand larceny after stealing an assortment of jewelry from Goop, a pop-up shop at 10 Columbus Circle established by Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website, according to police. Police said the three suspects entered Goop on December 5 at around 5:30 p.m. One of the men grabbed three Rolex watches and

LOCAL POLICE CONTACTS: Midtown North Precinct

23rd Precinct

306 West 54th Street

162 East 102nd Street

212-767-8400

212-860-6411

Midtown South Precinct

24th Precinct

357 West 35th Street

151 West 100th Street

212-239-9811

212-678-1811

17th Precinct

26th Precinct

167 East 51st Street

520 West 126th Street

212-826-3211

212-678-1311

19th Precinct

Central Park Precinct

153 East 67th Street

86th Street and Transverse Road

212-452-0600

212-570-4820

two bracelets before fleeing with his two cohorts. One of the suspects, a young black male, can be seen wearing a light blue jacket and black beanie, while another, also a young black male, is seen wearing a dark-colored jacket and flat cap.

credit card that was in the wallet was later fraudulently used, according to police.

GRAND LARCENY: FOUR-TIME PICKPOCKETER (14TH PRECINCT/ 1ST PRECINCT)

Police found an unconscious and unresponsive female sitting on a bench at the intersection of Broadway and West 38th Street on December 28 at around 9:30 a.m. EMS arrived at the scene and pronounced the female deceased at the location, and the medical examiner is still working to determine the cause of death, police said. The investigation is ongoing, and the deceased has not been identified, pending family notification.

Police have recently connected four similar crimes that occurred in Midtown and Lower Manhattan. According to police, a black female suspect with black hair and red highlights was spotted in the Zara at 39 West 34th Street on September 15. At around 7:15 p.m., she removed a 29-year-old victim’s unattended bag, which was later recovered, and stole the wallet. Prior to that incident, police said a female victim reported her wallet missing inside Schnippers located at 620 Eighth Avenue near 40th Street on July 18 at around 4:15 p.m. The 17-year-old victim reported that she later found out someone had used her debit card. In Lower Manhattan, the two remaining incidents followed similar patterns. On August 21 at approximately 4:15 p.m., a 46-year-old female victim noticed her wallet was missing inside Dos Caminos at 475 West Broadway, according to police. The victim’s wallet had $80 in cash, credit cards, a bankcard, and a gift card. Before that, a 66-year-old female victim was inside an eatery at 94 Prince Street on August 5 at 3 p.m. when she noticed her wallet was missing from her bag, police said. A

DOA: NO IDENTIFICATION YET (MIDTOWN SOUTH PRECINCT)

ROBBERY: MAKING THE NEWS (24TH PRECINCT/ 20TH PRECINCT) Police have connected two incidents of robbery and are looking for a group of up to seven male black teenage suspects, 14 to 16, with backpacks. According to police, the suspects entered a newsstand near the intersection of Broadway and West 93rd Street on December 18 at around 4:30 p.m. One of the suspects removed an unknown amount of money from the register and a 39-year-old victim was punched in the head. Later that day, the suspects entered another newsstand at around 5:15 p.m. and stole three candy bars. One of the suspects took a bottle and threw it at a 51-year-old victim, which left a deep cut over his right eye.

20th Precinct 120 West 82nd Street

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212-580-6411 Anyone with information regarding these incidents or other suspected criminal activity can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS, visit the Crime Stoppers website at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls or contacts are strictly confidential.

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BREWER, from p.10

between local businesses and the boards — of which there are a dozen in Manhattan, with appointments split between Brewer and local City Council members — need not be a daily fact of life, she insisted. “We need more businesspeople to be on these boards,” she said. “I know how hard it is. I put businesspeople on Community Board 7 and Community Board 4 when I was in the City Council, but it’s hard. They have to be in their business, so they got off because they just didn’t have the time. This is a real problem.” But owners of small businesses often have the knowhow needed by a community board deliberating an issue.

“Hey, that’s not actually how it works,” Brewer said a business owner can advise fellow neighborhood residents. Brewer is accepting applications for community board appointments through January 29 and urges business owners and other interested residents to apply at manhattanbp.nyc.gov. On one starkly political question, Brewer declined to take sides, offering instead a plague on both their houses sort of response. Asked what she thought of the ongoing battles between Cuomo and de Blasio, she said, “These two people — I don’t know what to do with them.” Political infighting is all well and good, she said, except when it hurts the voters they are elected to serve. n

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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LETTER, from p.13

instead of enacting a legally questionable sequestering of the perpetrator after the sentence is served, it would be better to give the perpetrator a true life sentence. I do agree with Ms. Skenazy, as I said before, that sex between teens should be treated differently than that between a teen and an older

offender. Even if there is some evidence that the teen perpetrator does show some indication of being a potential sexual molester, he or she is still at an age where psychological intervention might help, rather than incarceration.

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HEALTH, from p.11

representing the parents at P.S. 163, said the developers needed to provide more mitigation efforts for the safety and well-being of the students. “If you can’t your hear your teacher, you’re not going to be able to learn,” Kathawala said. “There’s also the issue if young children see big cranes and equipment, that’s very distracting.” Kathawala, also a P.S. 163 parent, said the developers should have agreed to outfit the school with noise-attenuating windows to mitigate the noise. Since the windows would be closed for so long, Kathawala said, central air conditioning should also be installed in the school to provide needed fresh air. He said that even as opponents aim to make sure JHL only moves forward without adversely affecting the school, they would prefer the alternative option of JHL renovating its deteriorating campus at West 106th Street. “We have never understood why they’re spending millions of dollars

and years to build next to a school when there’s a great place to build a proper, efficient, new nursing home,” Kathawala said of the current JHL campus. Cathy Unsino, a neighbor of the development site and a nursing home reform advocate, said the better option would be creating two interconnected eight-story wings with ground floor public space at the West 106th Street facility. She said the proposed 20-story high-rise would create problems of isolation for residents and cause delays for first responders reaching them. Alternatively, her dual eight-story buildings proposal would be more suited for the elderly community, Unsino said. According to JHL, the proposed development would be built on a what is known as a “Green House model” that provides seniors with a “genuine home environment characterized by greater privacy, autonomy, and dignity.” JHL made clear that whether or not it appeals Judge Lobis’ ruling, it intends to move forward with building at the West 97th Street location. n

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ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016

17


Authentic Love BY STEVE ERICKSON

A

nomalisa,” the title of Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s new film, stems from a monologue told by one of its characters, Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh). She describes her delight at discovering the word “anomaly” and realizing that it fit her. Kaufman and Johnson’s film, which I first saw at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s increasingly valuable sneak preview series, is also an anomaly in American film culture. It is animation intended for adults — indeed, it depicts puppets in the nude, masturbating and having sex, and not as a joke. In Japan, there’s a wide market for comic books and animation aimed at adults, much of which has crossed over to an American audience. In Europe, there’s the example of Czech animator Jan Svankmajer and British-based American expats the Brothers Quay. But in America, adult animation is mostly the province of avant-garde directors like Lewis Klahr and Janie Geiser, not films distributed by Paramount. It may have studio backing now, but “Anomalisa” started out on Kickstarter. The British-born Michael Stone (David Thewlis) leaves his Los Angeles home to give a motivational talk in Cincinnati. As “Anomalisa” begins, his plane is descending into the Ohio city. He’s the author of a book called “How May I Help You Help Them?,” but he feels bored with his family life. He checks into his hotel and orders room service. Wandering the hallways, he winds up going out for drinks with Akron sales rep Lisa. Afterwards, the two go back to his room and have sex. Every other

18

PARAMOUNT PICTURES

David Thewlis voices Michael Stone and Jennifer Jason Leigh voices Lisa in Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s “Anomalisa.”

character in the film, male or female, is voiced by Tom Noonan. Kaufman and Johnson direct “Anomalisa” so that one can soon forget we’re watching puppets. At first, it looks as though everyone’s wearing glasses, but that impression is the product of visible seams in the puppets’ heads. The puppets are about a foot high and quite detailed. (Indeed, the Film Society of Lincoln Center displayed Michael and Lisa in a glass cage in its lobby after the screening I caught.) Within the limits of scale, Kaufman and Johnson manage a wide variety of camera angles, including shots from the ceiling. The lighting is relatively naturalistic for the most part, other than a a few scenes that emphasize bright sunshine. I initially thought that Michael was bisexual. His wife looks female, but she speaks with a male voice, so perhaps she’s an androgynous man, I wondered. Then I realized that Tom Noonan was supplying her voice. The device of having Noonan voice every character but Michael and Lisa leads to an element of play with gender and sexuality. I don’t know whether or not Kaufman is gay, but LGBT sexuality was integral to his first produced screenplay, “Being John Malkovich.” At one point, Michael seems to give in to gay panic when a male hotel manager comes on to him, but

he later reacts equally negatively when a room full of horny female secretaries make advances on him as well. The film keeps holding out the idea that Lisa is the only authentic person in the world for Michael: perhaps a metaphor for the sensation we often feel in the initial stages of love. Jennifer Jason Leigh is one of America’s best actresses, but Hollywood essentially threw her away when she turned 40. She appears in “Anomalisa” — voice-only, of course — and Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight” this holiday season, and the two roles make an interesting contrast. “The Hateful Eight” begins by subjecting her to physical degradation — so much so that I was initially appalled she accepted the part — before establishing her as the archetypal “tough chick.” She shows physical vulnerability throughout the film but zero emotional vulnerability. On the other hand, “Anomalisa” never calls on Leigh to do anything physically demeaning, but it asks her to voice a shy character who’s nervous around men and hasn’t had sex in eight years. Taken together, the two roles show the full range of Leigh’s talent. “Anomalisa’ has the concise bite of a short story by Raymond Carver or Anne Beattie. The fact that it takes place over 24 hours in Middle America contributes to

ANOMALISA Directed by Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson Paramount Studios Lincoln Plaza Cinema 1886 Broadway at W. 62nd St. landmarkplazacinema.com Landmark Sunshine Cinema 143 E. Houston St. Btwn. First & Second Aves. landmarktheatres.com

this sensation of “dirty realism,” as Carver’s work was initially labeled. Yet it doesn’t really conform to any genre. Someone has spiked the mojitos with LSD, as Philip K. Dick’s paranoia about the nature of reality fills the film as well. Just when one can write it off safely as a mere nightmare, it returns at the end. This is the most conventional film Kaufman has written or directed, but that’s not to say it’s conventional. Its modesty keeps it from achieving the heights of his scripts for “Being John Malkovich” or “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” but it also avoids the miserabilism of Kaufman’s directorial debut, “Synecdoche, New York.” Kaufman has gone from writing films about puppet masters to becoming one himself. n

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


MUSEUM SPOTLIGHT

MoMA’s Film Contenders for 2015

Jacob a. Riis revealing new york’s other half

Jan. 5: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “The Revenant,” a stunning tale, inspired by true events, about one man’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) desperate struggle for survival and revenge.

DOG EAT DOG FILMS

Filmmaker Michael Moore.

BY PAUL SCHINDLER

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hether or not they’ve even received a theatrical release, the Museum of Modern Art, each year, curates a collection of film “contenders” that its Department of Film concludes “will stand the test of time.” About the films chosen, the museum’s program notes say, “Their significance can be attributed to a variety of factors, from structure to subject matter to language, but these films are united in their lasting impact on the cinematic art form.” In a program that runs through Friday, January 15, MoMA screens these films because “any true cinephile will want to catch them on the big screen.” Screenings, for which tickets ($12; $10 for seniors; $8 for students) can be purchased at moma.org/calendar/film/1561, take place (almost) daily at 7:30 p.m. at the museum at 11 West 53rd Street: Jan. 1: Jia Zhangke’s “Mountains May Depart,” a heartbreaking meditation on what China has lost in its staggering modernization. Jan. 2: Chaitanya Tamhane’s “Court,” an absurdist send-up of institutional injustice in India.

Jan. 7: Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s “Mustang,” a Turkish director’s examination of repressive sexual mores in her home country. Jan. 8: Michael Moore’s “Where to Invade Next,” the iconoclastic documentary filmmaker’s valentine to what he views as European exceptionalism. Jan. 9: Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s “The Assassin,” an anti-“Kill Bill” set in ninth century China. Jan. 10: Frederick Wiseman’s “In Jackson Heights,” an invaluable look at both diversity and the dangers of gentrification in current day Queens.

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Jan. 12: S. Craig Zahler’s “Bone Tomahawk,” a genre melding of the American Western and gothic horror. Jan. 13: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s “Mississippi Grind,” a buddy film featuring the best turn yet by Ryan Reynolds. Jan. 14: Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga’s “Flowers,” about a magical intercession into a menopausal woman’s malaise. Jan. 15: John Crowley’s “Brooklyn,” based on the novel by Colm Tóibín about the dreams mid-19th century New York held out for the wretched masses of Ireland. n

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Manhattan Treasures THE LATEST TALENT FROM “SPRING AWAKENING”

senting original music by a wide variety of composers, performed by superstar guest soloists from the jazz, crossover, and world music spheres. Tonight, acclaimed jazz composer Jim McNeely perform as piano soloist in the US premieres of several of his works. The ensemble’s associate artistic director Miho Hazama conducts and also premieres several of her own new compositions. Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, btwn. 94th and 95 Sts. Jan. 10, 7 p.m. Tickets are $25; $10 for students at symphonyspace.org.

The current Broadway revival cast of the musical “Spring Awakening” will be doing something different this evening. For one night only, they take the stage at Feinstein’s/ 54 Below and share their favorite show tunes, original songs, and one — count it, one — number from “Spring Awakening.” Just like the Broadway revival, the performance will be both sung and signed in American Sign Language. The evening features Robert Ariza, Katie Boeck, Alex Boniello, Josh Castille, Treshelle Edmond, Sandra Mae Frank, Kathryn Gallagher, Sean Grandillo, Van Hughes, Ren, Daniel Stewart, Lexi Winters, and Alex Wyse. 254 W. 54th St. Jan. 3, 9:30 & 11:30 p.m.. Tickets are $30-$90 at 54below.com, with a $5 premium at the door, and there’s a $25 food & drink minimum.

INSIDE MARK ROTHKO

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ANDY AND HODA In her bestselling new book “Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us the Way,” NBC “Today” show co-anchor Hoda Kotb interviews famous and not-so-famous people who reveal how they used perseverance, self-reflection, and new attitudes on life to find their life’s purpose in unexpected ways, often surprising themselves along the way. Bravo TV producer Andy Cohen leads a conversation with Kotb about what she learned along the way in writing her book. 92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St. Jan. 6, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 at 92y.org.

A MIDNIGHT TRAIN WE’LL NEVER FORGET Gladys Knight, the Empress of Soul best known for the classic “Midnight Train to Georgia,” is often thought of in connection with her back-up Pips, but tonight she appears with the R&B legends out of Ohio, the O’Jays. Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway at 74th St. Jan. 16, 8 p.m. Tickets are $69-$149 at beacontheatre.com.

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Alek Skarlatos, an Oregon Army National Guard specialist who came to world attention when he helped thwart a gunman on an Amsterdam-Paris train this past summer, has since placed as a finalist on “Dancing With the Stars.” Skarlatos and partner Lindsay Arnold are among the couples appearing tonight live at the Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway at 74th St. Jan. 6, 8 p.m. Tickets are $49.50 - $79.50 at beacontheatre.com.

20

Mark Rothko, a towering postwar Russian-American painter generally thought of as an Abstract Expressionist and known for his arresting use of bold colors, is the subject of a new biography by Annie Cohen-Solal, who explores his life as a visionary artist, scholar, educator, intellectual, and deeply spiritual man. Cohen-Solal reads from “Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel (Jewish Lives)” at the 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St. Jan. 11, 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 at 92y.org.

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The daughter of legendary entertainer Judy Garland and producer Sid Luft, Lorna Luft made her performing debut singing on “The Judy Garland Show,” and has since starred on TV, in film, and on stage, including a Broadway run of “Promises, Promises.” “Life With Judy Garland,” the miniseries adaptation of her memoir, “Me and My Shadows,” which she co-produced, won multiple Emmys, and she’s appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the London Palladium, and L’Olympia in Paris. In three shows over two nights, Luft performs selections from the All-American Songbook at Feinstein’s/ 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Jan. 6, 7 p.m.; Jan. 8, 7 & 9:30 p.m. The cover charge is $45-$90 at 54below.com, with a $5 premium at the door, and there’s a $25 food & drink minimum.

Grammy nominee and Tony Award-winner Melba Moore, who got her start in “Hair” and went on to win Broadway’s highest honor in “Purlie,” says she has never forgotten her first love — music. Tonight, she performs hits from her stage career as well as her studio releases — including “Love’s Comin’ At Ya,” “Living For Your Love,” and “Read My Lips.” Feinstein’s/ 54 Below, 254 W. 54th St. Jan. 9, 9:30 p.m. The cover charge is $40-$85 at 54below.com, with a $5 premium at the door, and there’s a $25 food & drink minimum.

BIG NOISE FROM THE UPPER WEST SIDE The New York Jazzharmonic is a new 17-piece jazz big band, dedicated to pre-

Lena Horne, a legendary singer and great beauty, was also a pioneering African-American performer who broke the color barrier by insisting that her contracts keep her from being cast in servile roles and by joining the Civil Rights Movement as a visible, leading, and inspiring figure. Tonight, Broadway icons Audra McDonald, Barbara Cook, and Billy Porter are joined by younger stars inspired by Horne — including Emmy Raver-Lampman (“Hamilton”), Lindsay Mendez (“Wicked”), Rebecca Naomi Jones (“American Idiot”), Telly Leung (“Glee,” “Godspell”), and Justin Guarini (“American Idol”), as well as choirs from VOICE Charter School and the Newark Boys Chorus School. Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, btwn. 94th and 95 Streets. Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $100-$500 at symphonyspace. org, with proceeds benefiting Schools That Can (schoolsthatcan.org), a nonprofit group that works to unite leaders to expand quality urban education and close the opportunity and skills gap.

FACING BOB SCHIEFFER Bob Schieffer, whose 52 years at the top of broadcast journalism put him in a rarefied league along with Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, and Peter Jennings, left his post as host of CBS’ Sunday morning offering “Face the Nation” this past May. Tonight he talks with Norah O’Donnell, co-anchor of “CBS This Morning.” 92nd Street Y, Kaufmann Concert Hall, 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St. Jan. 13, 7 p.m. Tickets are $38 at 92y.org.

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Kids Count

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The Pop Ups are a two-time Grammy- nominated children's musical duo based in Brooklyn. Their performances use cardboard props, hand-painted sets, and a cast of original puppets. The duo made their television debut on Sprout TV’s “Sunny Side Up Show” last year and they recently released their fourth album, “Great Pretenders Club.” Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, btwn. 94th and 95 Sts. Jan. 9, 11 & 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 at symphonyspace.org. For priority seating and discounts for birthday parties and groups of 15 or more, call 212-864-1414, ext. 289.

Using just Tyvek and duct tape, kids five through 12 can learn how to design and create wearable garments under the instruction of costume designer Michael A n za l o n e, w h ose c re d e n t i a l s i n c l u d e television work at NBC Universal and film work on titles including “Taking Woodstock,” “Reservation Road,” and “The Wedding Album.” Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Museum, 2 E. 91st St. Jan. 9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. This workshop is free, but reserve your space at cooperhewitt.org.

LC KIDS/ LINCOLNCENTER.ORG

SING AND DANCE IN YOUR POLKA DOT PANTS LC Kids presents a part story hour and part sing-a-long with author and musician Eric Litwin (Pete the Cat), who appears with his guitar, harmonicas, and the second in his “The Nuts” book series, “Sing and Dance in Your Polka Dot Pants.” Starring young Hazel

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Nut and her super-hip, disco-dancing grandma, the story — and Litwin’s performance of it — will bring delight to audiences young and old, though this event is particularly well suited to children ages three to six. David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center, Broadway btwn. W. 62nd & W. 63rd Sts. Jan. 16, 11 a.m.

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KIDS COUNT, continued on p.23

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December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


KIDS COUNT, from p.21

The program, which runs about 45 minutes, is free, but reserve your space at LCKids@LincolnCenter.org.

MAPPING & REBUILDING GOTHAM The Children’s Museum of Manhattan hosts several programs this weekend dealing with the history and geography of the city. On Jan. 9 & 10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. & 2-4:30 p.m., “Lady Liberty Installation” enables participants to contribute to an evolving sculpture of green recycled materials re-constructing the Statue of Liberty, which welcomed generations of immigrants into Ellis Island from around the globe. This exhibition is suitable for all ages. On Jan. 10, 2-4 p.m. “Mapping New York with Becky Cooper” allows participants, six and older, to create their own vision of New York City with the creator and author of “Mapping Manhattan: A Love (And Sometimes Hate) Story In Maps By 75 New Yorkers.” Using maps and markers, everyone can capture their experiences of the city and share what makes New York special to them. Children's Museum of Manhattan, the Tisch Building, 212 W. 83rd St. Admission is $12 for children & adults; $8 for seniors. More information at cmom.org.

WHEN A SOCK PUPPET IS YOUR SOULMATE

peteer and actor Joshua Holden — featuring multiple styles of puppetry, live music, physical comedy, and tap dancing. Suitable for ages five and over. Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, btwn. 94th and 95 Sts. Jan. 16, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m., with the program runing about one hour. Tickets are $15 at symphonyspace.org. For priority seating and discounts for birthday parties and groups of 15 or more, call 212-864-1414, ext. 289.

WONDERLAND ALICE COMES ALIVE

EMILE LITTLER’S 1933 PRODUCTION OF “ALICE IN WONDERLAND AND THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS” / LOVETT COLLECTION

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the publication of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center at Lincoln Center presents the free multimedia exhibition “Alice Live!” The exhibition traces the history of Lewis Carroll’s beloved Alice stories in live performance from their first professional staging to the present day. 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery. Through Jan. 16: Mon. & Thu., 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tue.Wed., Fri.-Sat., 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission is free, and the exhibit is suitable for those nine and older. More information at nypl.org/ locations/lpa.

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“The Joshua Show” aims to provoke joy in audiences of all ages by teaching valuable lessons about celebrating our differences, finding happiness in everyday life, and respecting honest feelings. It’s about friendship, confidence, and the value of being yourself. Mr. Nicholas, a sock puppet and Joshua's soulmate, makes an unnerving self-discovery that causes him to spiral down a path of loneliness and hopeless despair. How do you cheer up when life gets you down? Find out in this whimsical production — presented by award-winning pup-

Express

STORY TIME AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts a toddler storytime in the Uris Center for Education in the Nolen Library. Children 18 months to three years old and their caregivers gather around and look, listen, sing, and have fun with picture books, then continue with a gallery hunt in the museum. Admission to the library portion of the program, held weekdays, 10 a.m.-10:30 a.m,. is free, but space is limited. 1000 Fifth Ave. at E. 82nd St. For hours and admission prices to the museum itself, visit metmuseum.org.

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3

$ 59

Ea.

Fresh • Bone-In • Center Cut Grade A

Pork Wholee Chops or Roastn Chicken

Grade A • Split

Perdue Chicken Breast

Assorted Var. 28 oz.

Tuttorosso Tomatoes

Assorted Var. • 15-16.3 oz.

Peter Pan Peanut Butter

Fresh Assorted Var. Grade 6 oz. A

Dannon Whole Yogurt Chicken

Assorted Var. • 64 oz.

Apple & Eve Cranberry Juice Cocktail

21 $ 69 2 $ 99 1 $ 99 2 $ 69¢ 891 $ 9969

lb.

lb.

Ea.

Ea.

3

Ea. lb.

$ 79

PICK UP OUR IN-STORE CIRCULAR FOR MORE SAVINGS • PRICES EFFECTIVE 1/1/16 TO 1/14/16

24

December 31, 2015 - January 13, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc

Manhattan Express  

December 31, 2015

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