Page 1

Even As Buildings Go Up,

Prices Go Up, Up, Up 04 In First, City Schools Graduate 70 Percent

Money Where Cuomo’s Mouth Is On Homelessness

That Titanosaur Hits Town

10

18

23

January 14 - 27, 2016 | Vol. 02 No. 01

MANHATTANEXPRESSNEWS.NYC


2

January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Local Pols Push West Side Ferry Service — So Far, With Little Luck BY JACKSON CHEN

C

ity Councilmembers Mark Levine and Ydanis Rodriguez are staying vigilant in their demand for West Side ferry service with another public call on January 6, despite the city’s conclusion that the idea is not economically feasible. Continuing their push for what they cast as transportation equality for all Manhattanites, the councilmembers are asking for inclusion of a West Side route into the Citywide Ferry plans announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in his State of the City Address last February. The city’s Economic Development Corporation currently plans five new ferry routes over the next several years. Service to Manhattan from the Rockaways, South Brooklyn, and Astoria is set to begin by 2017, and service from Soundview in the Bronx, East 90th Street, and East 62nd Street to Lower Manhattan as well as a Lower East Side route from East 34th Street to Downtown are due to be completed by 2018. The missing link for Levine and Rodriguez is a route that serves their constituents in Council Districts 7 and 10, helping to relieve subway overcrowding as well as promote economic activity around landings in Inwood and West Harlem. “The West Side subway lines, especially the 1 line, are getting more crowded with each passing year,” said Levine. “It’s important that residents have an alternative for moving north-south.” According to EDC spokesperson Anthony Hogrebe, the agency is open to suggestions for more ferry routes, but they must prove competitive with the existing public transportation options and maintain a strong ridership. “Our analysis indicates a northsouth Hudson route would have a hard time attracting commuters away from existing and more accessible subway service and could face real logistical and financial challenges,” Hogrebe said.

COURTESY: OFFICE OF COUNCILMEMBER MARK LEVINE

City Councilmembers Mark Levine (at podium) and Ydanis Rodriguez (to Levine’s left facing photo) at a January 6 City Hall press conference renewing their call for a north-south West Side ferry service route.

JACKSON CHEN

The existing West Harlem Pier at 125th Street.

For ferry advocates like Roland Lewis, president and CEO of the Waterfront Alliance, there’s a market for ferry service on the West Side driven by recent real estate development and limited transit options. Allowing Upper West Side routes would entail much lower costs than increasing subway service along that corridor, according to Lewis. Challenging the city’s claim that Hudson north-south service is not economically viable, Levine said he felt the EDC was underestimating the potential demand. In his district, the councilmember said, the 17-acre expansion of Columbia

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | January 14 - 27, 2016

University and the recent economic revitalization of Hudson Yards would add thousands of people to the Upper West Side and Midtown. The West Harlem Pier at West 125th Street, he said, could not only provide north-south service but is also just a five-minute trip from an existing pier across the river in Edgewater, New Jersey. Infrastructure already in place on the West Side, Levine asserted, would support ferry service. His district, which runs from 96th Street north to 165th Street, includes the West Harlem Pier, which, he said, would be better

utilized if ferry service were added. Further south, the West 39th Street Pier, which currently serves a ferry from New Jersey to Midtown, could also provide a stop on the north-south route. Rodriguez’s district, comprised of Washington Heights, Inwood, and Marble Hill, includes the Dyckman Street Boat Marina. The councilmember has his eyes set on its short fishing pier as another stop, which could serve residents of Inwood, Washington Heights, and Marble Hill. The EDC points to studies it conducted in 2013 that indicated that the five routes currently planned offer the most economically viable options for the city. Levine and Rodriguez also face skepticism from one of the city’s leading public transit advocates — Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign, who said proponents face a large burden in proving that a Hudson River north-south route would be a success. “A train moves thousands of people at very reasonable costs; a ferry is the opposite,” he said. “It’s just more costly to move a small number of people being carried.” However, Russianoff acknowledged that expanded ferry service is a very tempting option for the city. Being surrounded by water during a commute has an appeal he said he well understands. n

3


Fourth Quarter Real Estate Numbers Show Rising Prices, Lagging Inventory BY JACKSON CHEN

W

ith the release of year end sales reports showing record-breaking apartment prices across Manhattan, potential buyers in Midtown and the Upper East and Upper West Sides can find little in the way of encouragement about avoiding sticker shock in their housing search. The continued rising prices are particularly significant in light of a decline in median and average costs in the sale of new construction units. According to a fourth quarter 2014 report from the real estate brokerage Douglas Elliman, the sales prices throughout Manhattan reached record highs across numerous categories. Encompassing all of Manhattan, the Elliman report shows that median sales price jumped 17.3 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, and reached $1.15 million, beating the previous record of $1.03 million in the second quarter of 2008, before the full onset of that year’s big recession. Average sales prices followed suit, with a record high of $1.95 million, a 12 percent increase from the previous year. Additionally, Manhattanites are paying $1,563 per square foot for their apartments, a level never before seen. The high numbers are explainable due to insufficient inventory for resale condos and co-ops and continuing high buyer demand, according to Jonathan Miller, author of the Elliman report. “The reason why prices are rising in the resale market is because inventory is chronically low,” Miller said. “It bottomed out in 2013 after the peak of ’09. In ’14, it rose a little, but in ’15 it flat-lined.” In all three neighborhoods, numbers from the Corcoran Group report show steady increases in resale prices in 2015’s fourth quarter. For Midtown, buying increased 41 percent, fourth quarter 2014 to fourth quarter 2015, from 531

4

closed sales to 749, but inventory only saw a 10 percent increase from 914 to 1,007. Though the average price of resale co-ops in Midtown dipped in the fourth quarter, the median price rose three percent from $598,000 to $616,000. Apartments of all sizes saw higher median price tags, with the three or more bedrooms chalking up a 24 percent year-to-year increase from $2.05 million to $2.538 million. One and two-bedroom co-ops saw slight increases — one and five percent, respectively — while studio prices climbed 13 percent from $354,000 to $400,000.

grew 16 percent compared to the year before, to $956,000. On the Upper East Side, housing stock on the market increased five percent — from 1,112 to 1,169 units — in the face of a six percent increase in closed sales, from 744 to 791. The median price for resale co-ops also fell on the Upper East Side, by five percent, compared to last year, from $882,000 to $835,000. Again, this reflected a changing mix of apartment sizes in sales that closed, given that median prices for studios, one-bedrooms, two-bedrooms, and three or more bedrooms all jumped by

tions, with a median price increase of four percent from $815,000 to $852,000. Studios made up the only category to see a slight decrease — of five percent — while all other apartment sizes saw slight increases in pricing. Resale condos on the West Side saw a steep rise in median price of 24 percent, from $1.31 million to $1.63 million, and an increase of larger, higher cost units in the mix. The median price for three-bedroom units rose six percent, to $4.38 million; for two-bedrooms by 11 percent, to $2.21 million; and one-bedrooms, by 10 percent, to $1.15 million. Studio median pric-

REAL ESTATE SALES CLOSING IN FOURTH QUARTER OF 2015 MEDIAN PRICE, 4Q2015 CHANGE FROM 4Q2014 CO-OP RESALES, 4Q2015 CHANGE FROM 4Q2014 CONDO RESALES, 4Q2015 CHANGE FROM 4Q2014 NEW DEVELOPMENT SALES, 4Q2015 CHANGE FROM 4Q2014

MANHATTAN

MIDTOWN

UPPER EAST SIDE

UPPER WEST SIDE

$1.10 MM

956,000

$ 1.14 MM

$1.37 MM

16%

16%

5%

4%

$735,000

$616,000

$835,000

$852,000

4%

3%

-5%

4%

$1.33 MM

$945,000

1.69 MM

$1.63 MM

8%

-21%

15%

24%

$2.24 MM

$1.63 MM

1.85 MM

$2.21 MM

8%

-60%

-61%

-52% SOURCE: THE CORCORAN REPORT

In the case of Midtown resale condos, though the median price decreased 21 percent from $1.19 million to $945,000, that clearly indicated a changing mix in the size of apartments that closed. Three or more bedroom condos in Midtown saw a 23 percent increase, raising the median price from $2.976 million to $3.65 million. Prices rose nine percent for two-bedrooms, to $1.88 million, and four percent for studios, to $590,000. Only one-bedroom sale prices declined, by six percent from $898,000 to $845,000. Across co-op and condo resales plus new building unit sales, the median sales price in Midtown

at least five percent. The highest increase in median price came from the three or more bedroom category, which saw a 23 percent increase from $2.85 million to $3.5 million. Resale condos on the Upper East Side saw a median price increase of 15 percent, from $1.463 million to $1.685 million, though apartments with three or more bedrooms actually saw a 22 percent decrease, from $4.275 million to $3.35 million. Overall, the median sale price on the East Side grew five percent, to $1.14 million. As for the Upper West Side, resale co-ops saw slight fluctua-

es declined slightly — by two percent, to $650,000. The steep rise in condo resale prices and the greater share of condos in the sales mix led to an increase in median sales price for the neighborhood overall of a whopping 37 percent, to $1.37 million. A trend that was similar across all three neighborhoods was the significant decrease in the median sale prices for units in newly developed buildings. The 85 percent decrease in the average sales price for new development units on the Upper West side, for exam-

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REAL ESTATE, continued on p.5

January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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REAL ESTATE, from p.4

ple, from $18.81 to $2.75 million, is a fact that certainly catches the eye. According to Elliman’s Miller, however, numbers like that are skewed, representing a “volatile” new development market. “What you’re really seeing is a lot of high-end closings that went to contract further back than what the resale data will show,” he said of the price trends with new developments. As an example, Miller said One57 — a 94-unit luxury high rise — closed a sale in 2014 that was captured in that year’s fourth quarter statistics, but had a $100 million price tag and actually went to contract in 2012. With several high-end closings from One57 in 2014 juxtaposed against more affordable closings in 2015, the Corcoran report’s numbers also showed a median price drop in Upper West Side new development units of 52 percent, from $4.65 million to $2.21 million. According to Corcoran, the numbers dropped because of closings at One Riverside Park, a 33-story waterfront property, and at 175 West 95th Street, an apartment complex with 27 floors. As with the Upper West Side, Midtown saw a 60 percent decrease in median sales price for new development units, from $4.04 million to $1.63 million. Matching that trend, the Upper East Side’s median price for new construction units dropped 61 percent, from $4.70 million to $1.85 million, because of closings at moderately-priced developments like the Carnegie Park Condominium at 200 East 94th Street, a 31-story complex. “The optics on new development are much more scattershot,” Miller explained. “I’d call it more of a circus side show; they’re big numbers and certainly not a small segment of the market, but it is much smaller than the part of the market that is the resale market.” Other real estate analysts agreed that with new development numbers, it is usually difficult to spot any reliable trends in quarter to quarter tallies. According to Greg Heym, chief economist for Terra Holdings — the parent company of Brown Harris Stevens and Halstead Property

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Construction continues at One West End Avenue.

— the gap between contracts being signed and a closed sale on new construction units makes it difficult to rely on the data. “You have to be careful at looking at new development numbers from quarter to quarter,” Heym said. “The building at One57 has a bunch of closings and prices can skyrocket, then you have buildings not on the market and the data goes right back.” Contrary to the randomness of the new development numbers, the resale market acts more in line with the ebb-and-flow of real estate, Miller said. According to Dottie Herman, CEO of Douglas Elliman, “The resale market remains tight with low inventory, a fast pace, and rising prices.” F o r t h e n e w y e a r, H e r m a n said, she expected those conditions, challenging for buyers, to continue. n

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | January 14 - 27, 2016

5


Cycles on Second: DOT Proposes Adding 36-Block UES Southbound Lane BY JACKSON CHEN

T

he city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a significant southbound connection between two existing East Side bike lanes during a Community Board 8 meeting on January 6. According to the plans, the DOT will install a bike lane on the section of Second Avenue that runs south from East 105th Street to East 59th Street as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative. The mayor’s plan to end traffic fatalities identified this stretch of Second Avenue and the intersection of Second and East 79th Street, in particular, as points ripe for safety improvements. Along this Second Avenue corridor, the DOT found there was an increase in bikers during 12-hour timeframes between October 2011 and October 2015 from 631 to 940. The DOT proposes to create a shared bike lane from East 68th Street to East 59th Street, which will connect to the existing shared bike lane south of 59th Street. From East 105th Street to East 68th Street, the agency will install a protected bike lane that will connect to the similarly protected bike lane north of 105th Street. The road configuration from East 105h Street to East 68th Street is currently set up as two parking lanes and four travel lanes. Recently, the Second Avenue Subway efforts have oftentimes left two lanes closed off for construction. Coinciding with the end of construction, the DOT will be converting the lane closest to the west sidewalk into a weekday-only Select Bus Service and loading lane and installing a six-foot protected bike lane with a buffer on the eastern-most lane. Motorists will be losing one travel lane that will be replaced with pedestrian

6

islands, left-turn bays, and some parking space. According to the DOT plans, there will be a slight shift from East 69th Street to East 70th Street due to a sidewalk extension that makes room for a new Second Avenue Subway station. While the protected bike lane continues, there will be no parking on this block, according to the plans. As for the shared lane design from 68th Street to 59th Street, DOT will be converting a parking lane, which becomes a travel lane during rush hours, into a shared lane of bikes and cars during rush hours. During off hours, when parking is allowed in the eastern-most lane, cyclists will still be sharing a travel lane with vehicles in the next lane over. While the Community Board 8’s Transportation Committee was happy to see more safety protocols, its members expressed concern for the nine blocks that would not have protection. “It was hoped by me and several other people that there would be less of a gap in the protected lanes, if any, in the Second Avenue presentation,” said Scott Falk, co-chair of the community board’s Transportation Committee. Committee members argued that some of the district’s most dangerous intersections fall within the area between East 68th Street and East 59th Street, where there will only be shared bike lanes. DOT officials responded that due to the proximity to the Queensboro Bridge’s Second Avenue entrance, they had to create shared lanes to maintain travel lanes and not exacerbate congestion issues. “I understand that immediately at the bridge is going to require a tremendous amount of thought and creativity,” Falk said, but added, “To have shared lanes for so many

NYC DOT

The protected bike lane proposed for the stretch of Second Avenue from East 105th Street to East 68th Street, except for the block between 69th and 70th Streets.

NYC DOT

A proposed shared bike lane on Second Avenue between East 68th Street and East 59th, which shifts one lane over during off hours to allow for parking in the eastern-most lane.

lanes leading up to [the bridge] is a real serious concern.” Among residents who spoke up, some suggested more patience and planning were needed before a plan was adopted. Jill Eisner, a longtime Upper East Sider, said the DOT should wait until the Second Avenue Subway construction is completed and then figure out how the traffic flows. “Why don’t they pave it over, let us enjoy traffic moving smoothly, and see what’s going to happen,” Eisner said of the expected end of construction. “Then after those traffic patterns have been ascertained, then decide what to do.” Those who praised the bike lane plans said they would create more order and safety on Second Avenue. Paul Krikler, a resident who bikes 10 to 11 months out of the year, said there would be fewer

reckless cyclists — like those who go the wrong way on the northbound First Avenue bike lanes — because of the availability of the appropriate bike lanes. Krikler, who currently uses Second Avenue as a southbound route, said the trip down is very precarious, especially with the subway workers in some of the lanes. With the new bike lanes, the resident is expecting every stakeholder to benefit. “Why wouldn’t a motorist be more comfortable knowing they won’t be hitting a cyclist,” Krikler said. “It’s a win for everybody. After hearing many community comments, the DOT is expecting to begin implementation in summer 2016, but that the start date hinges on the agency’s coordination with the MTA and its Second Avenue Subway construction. n

January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


CB7 Transportation Committee Deadlocked on DOT Amsterdam Bike Proposal BY JACKSON CHEN

A

plan for an Amsterdam Avenue bike lane has long been awaited by many, though apparently not all, with a revised proposal being met with a deadlocked vote at a January 12 meeting of Community Board 7’s Transportation Committee. During the second visit by the city’s Department of Transportation to the committee to discuss a plan for Amsterdam Avenue, members ended the evening with a 4 to 4 tied vote. While some members emphasized the safety improvements a bike lane would deliver for all Upper West Side residents, others asserted that Amsterdam Avenue was not a suitable location for encouraging bike traffic. DOT’s proposal was first introduced to the community during a November 10 Transportation Committee meeting. Responding to widespread neighborhood buzz around the desire for a northbound Amsterdam Avenue bike lane, the DOT presented plans that would incorporate a protected bike lane on the avenue from West 72nd Street to West 110th Street. In the plan, one of the avenue’s car traffic lanes would also be converted into a parking lane that would include left-turn bays and pedestrian islands, as well. After garnering hours of community input at the November meeting, the DOT also went into the field and surveyed merchants and pedestrians on the 38-block Amsterdam Avenue stretch. In its updated plan, the DOT focused its attention on delivery trucks that often double-park and render bike lanes useless, and even dangerous. Throughout the corridor, the DOT earmarked 11 locations — five on heavy-use locations of the west curb, six on the east curb — that would be metered commercial parking zones during weekdays. According to Margaret Forgione, DOT’s Manhattan borough commissioner, the zones would allow for a maximum of two hours parking before having to purchase more time. DOT also included nine blocks

that would be a combination of open metered parking and commercial zones, four of which are pending consultation with the Columbus Amsterdam Business Improvement District. With the proposed bike lane passing two major cultural institutions, the DOT made specific arrangements for the streets around the Beacon Theatre and the Plaza Jewish Community Chapel. Since the Beacon often uses its curb at the rear of the theater for equipment loading, the DOT proposed requiring that it employ temporary barriers to create a pseudo-protected bike lane to the east of the trucks when they are present. As for the chapel, the DOT proposed banning left turns from Amsterdam Avenue onto West 91st Street and maintaining the existing no parking rules outside the main entrance. Even with the changes the DOT made to its original plan presented in November, both co-chairs of CB7’s Transportation Committee and two other members voted against approving the agency’s Amsterdam Avenue proposal for multiple reasons. Co-chair Andrew Albert said he is in support of a northbound bike lane and safety improvements on Amsterdam Avenue, but was hesitant to combine the two. Instead, Albert proposed that the DOT conduct a trial test of its current bike lane proposal to understand the feasibility and efficiency of the setup. DOT officials responded that they were not in favor of conducting such a test because it would take a significant effort to make sure the test is properly administered to yield meaningful results. As for the other co-chair, Dan Zweig, he recommended the committee disapprove the proposal and instead ask the DOT to come up with an Amsterdam Avenue safety improvement proposal without a bicycle lane and an alterative northbound route.

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | January 14 - 27, 2016

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AMSTERDAM, continued on p.11

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OFFICE OF GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO

A rendering of the redesign of Penn Station presented last week by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

LINDSAY BU

The Eighth Avenue side of Penn Station as it is today.

Cuomo Offers Bold Pledges to Finish the Job at Penn Station, Expand Javits Center BY YANNIC RACK

I

n a double win for Manhattan’s West Side, Governor Andrew Cuomo laid out new plans last week to both finally expedite the stalled redevelopment of Pennsylvania Station and the James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue and to expand the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to boost jobs and tourism in the area. One big announcement was chasing the other, as Cuomo continued to unveil a slate of ambitious projects ahead of this week’s State of the State address. “There is so much in this game plan, this agenda, that frankly we couldn’t fit it into one day and one speech, and we’re announcing it in components all throughout this week,” the governor said. “What happens tomorrow depends on what we do today.” The projects both have a less than glorious past — a few years ago Cuomo even considered scrapping the Javits Center altogether, and the Penn Station project has been in limbo for a decade — but the announcements promise to soon bring even more activity to an area already bustling with development.

8

“The governor came into town and really made a big splash,” said Delores Rubin, the new chair of Community Board 4, which covers both the convention center as well as the post office. Both announcements also earned the governor praise from local elected officials, who said the momentum on neighboring projects certainly played a part in jump-starting the Penn Station and Javits efforts. “There’s a lot of excitement about the future of the West Side,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman, pointing to the current construction at Hudson Yards as well as other projects in the area, including a plan for a new Port Authority bus terminal and the already completed 7 train extension. “That’s no doubt a driver for these projects,” he said. City Councilmember Corey Johnson said, “What’s happening on the West Side of Manhattan, when you take together a new Penn Station, a new Moynihan Station, the Gateway Tunnel project, Hudson Yards rising, a renovated and expanded Javits Center, a new Port Authority bus terminal — these are projects that are of course going to phys-

ically reshape the West Side, but they’re transformational not just for these neighborhoods but also for the entire region.” Between the gover nor’s two announcements, Johnson added, “This has been a great week for the West Side.” The renovation of Penn Station is part of Cuomo’s larger plan to revitalize New York’s infrastructure, which includes expanding the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) as well as building a new LaGuardia airport and a new Tappan Zee Bridge across the Hudson River connecting Westchester and Rockland Counties. The Penn Station plan would essentially renovate the existing station maze below Madison Square Garden, build a new train and retail hub within the block-long General Post Office across Eighth Avenue, and eventually link both facilities underground, to create what the governor has dubbed the “Empire Station Complex.” “Penn Station is the analog to La Guardia,” Cuomo said, referring to the troubled airport that Vice President Joe Biden recently called something out of a third world country. “Let’s be honest, Penn Sta-

tion has been wholly unacceptable for a long, long time.” The governor said the rail terminal — the busiest in the country and notoriously overcrowded — is expected to double its traffic over the next 15 years. It already serves 650,000 people every day, which is more than triple the traffic it was originally designed for (and more than that of Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty Airports combined). The state, along with Amtrak, put out an expedited Request For Proposals (RFP) last week, which gives potential developers 90 days to come up with viable ideas for the redevelopment. Possible options suggested in the governor’s presentation include the creation of a grand glass-walled entrance to Penn Station on Eighth Avenue, which would entail razing the 5,600-seat theater beneath Madison Square Garden, as well as adding new entrances on Seventh Avenue or on 33rd Street. In any case, the project will “widen existing corridors, reconfiguring ticketing and waiting areas, improve connectivity between the lower levels and street level, bring

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CUOMO continued on p.9

January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


OFFICE OF GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO

A rendering of the train hall underneath the Farley Post Office.

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CUOMO, from p.8

natural light into the facility, improve signage, simplify navigation and reduce congestion, and expand and upgrade the retail offerings and passenger amenities on all levels of the station,” according to a statement from the governor’s office — which could go a long way in addressing common complaints about the terminal’s frustrating layout. The state and its partners will also solicit a developer for the long-delayed plan to turn the nearly vacant James A. Farley Post Office into a train station and waiting room for Amtrak, LIRR, and New Jersey Transit passengers, ringed by shops and offices. At 210,000 square feet, the train hall will be roughly equivalent in size to the main room at Grand Central Terminal. Developers can submit proposals for either or both of the buildings, and the overall project is estimated to cost more than $3 billion. For the last 10 years, two of the city’s largest real estate developers, Vornado Realty and Related Companies, have tried in vain to transform the post office into what was to be called Moynihan Station, named after the late US senator from New York who first put forward the idea in the early 1990s. Under a previous agreement with the state, Vornado and Related sought a tenant for the space and even proposed moving Madison Square Garden across the street, but no real progress was made, culminating in last week’s announcement that the playing field was once again open for new proposals. Over the past year, construction started underneath the Farley Building to expand Penn Station’s West End Concourse, as well as the existing underground corridor below Eighth Avenue connecting Farley to Penn Station and the subway lines there. This portion of the plan — which also includes new entrances at the 31st and 33rd Street corners of the post office — is scheduled for completion this fall. The overall redevelopment will be expedited, the governor said, pledging it would be finished in the next three years, with Farley opening before Penn Station’s revamp is complete.

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CUOMO continued on p.14

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | January 14 - 27, 2016

9


In a First, City High School Graduation Rate Tops 70 Percent CLASS BEGINNING 2011

CLASS BEGINNING 2010

CLASS BEGINNING 2006

CLASS BEGINNING 2001

CITYWIDE

70.5%

ALL MANHATTAN

72.5%

68.4%

61.0%

46.5%

70.6%

66.7%

ALL DISTRICT 2

74.6%

59.0%

72.3%

67.5%

58.6%

ALL DISTRICT 3

75.3%

74.6%

68.6%

66.3%

ALL DISTRICT 5

64.9%

64.3%

66.9%

69.3%

CLASS BEGINNING 2011

CLASS BEGINNING 2010

CLASS BEGINNING 2006

CLASS BEGINNING 2001

REPERTORY COMPANY HIGH SCHOOL FOR THEATRE ARTS 123 W. 43RD ST.

100.0%

96.1%

87.8%

47.2%

JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSIS HIGH SCHOOL 120 W. 46TH ST.

64.5%

61.0%

69.6%

65.1%

PROFESSIONAL PERFORMING ARTS HIGH SCHOOL 328 W. 48TH ST.

97.9%

94.6%

94.0%

90.0%

URBAN ASSEMBLY GATEWAY SCHOOL FOR TECHNOLOGY 439 W. 49TH ST.

88.0%

NA

NA

NA

BUSINESS OF SPORTS SCHOOL 439 W. 49TH ST.

72.0%

68.0%

NA

NA

50.4%

31.5%

INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS DISTRICT 2

HIGH SCHOOL OF GRAPHIC COMMUNICATION ARTS 439 W. 49TH ST.

53.7%

MANHATTAN BRIDGES HIGH SCHOOL 525 W. 50TH ST.

94.3%

84.4%

75.0%

NA

HIGH SCHOOL OF HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT 525 W. 50TH ST

83.5%

73.5%

80.0%

NA

FOOD AND FINANCE HIGH SCHOOL 525 W. 50TH ST.

79.8%

76.5%

90.2%

NA

FACING HISTORY SCHOOL 525 W. 50TH ST.

66.7%

71.7%

70.1%

NA

62.0%

65.3%

71.3%

12.8%

20.5%

17.2%

INDEPENDENCE HIGH SCHOOL 850 TENTH AVE. AT 55TH ST. HIGH SCHOOL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES 444 W. 56TH ST. ART AND DESIGN HIGH SCHOOL 245 E. 56TH ST. VANGUARD HIGH SCHOOL 317 E. 67TH ST.

City officials were quick to tout news out of the State Board of Regents on January 11 that, for the first time, graduation rates from New York City public schools are better than 70 percent. The 70.5 percent four-year graduation rate is a huge improvement over the comparable number a decade ago — just 46.5 percent. “Today’s announcement of more students graduating than ever and fewer dropping out speaks to the critical importance of maintaining the momentum we are seeing in education here in New York City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a written statement. The mayor acknowledged that his administration is building on progress begun under his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg. The graduation rate for students who began high school in 2006 and graduated five years ago had already risen to 61 percent. Schools in Districts 2 and 3 in Midtown and the Upper East and West Sides generally outperformed both the system overall and the universe of all Manhattan schools, but even there wide disparities from school to school exist, as the accompanying table shows. And Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, in the city’s release, acknowledged racial disparities as well, with 85 percent of Asian-American students and 82 percent of white students graduating, while the figures for black and Hispanic students are 65.4 and 64 percent, respectively. — Paul Schindler CLASS BEGINNING 2011

CLASS BEGINNING 2010

CLASS BEGINNING 2006

CLASS BEGINNING 2001

BEACON HIGH SCHOOL 522 W. 44TH ST.

99.7%

99.0%

97.8%

89.4%

FIORELLO H. LAGUARDIA HIGH SCHOOL OF MUSIC, ART AND PERFORMING ARTS 100 AMSTERDAM AVE. AT 64TH ST.

97.9%

98.8%

97.8%

87.7%

HIGH SCHOOL FOR ARTS, IMAGINATION AND INQUIRY 122 AMSTERDAM AVE. AT 66TH ST.

79.2%

70.5%

78.7%

NA

HIGH SCHOOL FOR LAW, ADVOCACY AND COMMUNITY JUSTICE 122 AMSTERDAM AVE. AT 66TH ST.

74.1%

73.0%

80.4%

NA

HIGH SCHOOL OF ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY 122 AMSTERDAM AVE. AT 66TH ST.

63.6%

62.0%

65.0%

NA

URBAN ASSEMBLY SCHOOL FOR MEDIA STUDIES 122 AMSTERDAM AVE. AT 66TH ST.

74.0%

69.9%

62.0%

NA

MANHATTAN / HUNTER SCIENCE HIGH SCHOOL 122 AMSTERDAM AVE. AT 66TH ST.

99.1%

98.3%

93.3%

16.7%

MANHATTAN THEATRE LAB HIGH SCHOOL 122 AMSTERDAM AVE. AT 66TH ST.

49.2%

47.4%

58.1%

NA

THE URBAN ASSEMBLY SCHOOL FOR GREEN CAREERS 145 W. 84TH ST.

67.9%

49.3%

NA

NA

FRANK MCCOURT HIGH SCHOOL 145 W. 84TH ST.

91.2%

94.5%

NA

NA

INNOVATION DIPLOMA PLUS 145 W. 84TH ST.

9.7%

22.6%

37.9%

NA

THE GLOBAL LEARNING COLLABORATIVE 145 W. 84TH ST.

76.7%

76.1%

NA

NA

INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS

46.0%

URBAN ASSEMBLY SCHOOL OF DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION 525 W. 50TH ST.

EDUCATION

NA

DISTRICT 3

9.6%

82.2%

84.1%

81.5%

75.3%

85.3%

80.2%

72.2%

70.7%

73.9%

74.8%

59.6%

53.3%

72.9%

71.2%

59.4%

64.2% 24.3%

27.5%

NA

43.8%

40.4%

41.3%

58.1%

EDWARD A. REYNOLDS WEST SIDE HIGH SCHOOL 140 W. 102ND ST.

22.1%

URBAN ACADEMY LABORATORY HIGH SCHOOL 317 E. 67TH ST.

64.6%

50.5%

70.9%

60.0%

TALENT UNLIMITED HIGH SCHOOL 300 E. 68TH ST.

96.4%

92.5%

WADLEIGH SECONDARY SCHOOL FOR THE PERFORMING & VISUAL ARTS 215 W 114TH ST.

63.8%

72.9%

74.1%

NA

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL 411 E. 76TH ST.

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

NA

FREDERICK DOUGLASS ACADEMY II SECONDARY SCHOOL 215 W. 114TH ST.

LIFE SCIENCES SECONDARY SCHOOL 320 E. 96TH ST.

81.7%

77.2%

85.6%

70.6%

98.8%

98.9%

NA

NA

MANHATTAN INTERNATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL 317 E. 67TH ST.

10

94.9%

93.4%

DISTRICT 5 COLUMBIA SECONDARY SCHOOL 425 W. 123RD ST.

January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


c

AMSTERDAM, from p.7

The opponents’ suggestions for alternatives ranged from exploring Central Park West as a northbound bike lane to looking into a two-way bike lane on Columbus Avenue. DOT officials reiterated that Central Park West is too too narrow to incorporate a protected bike lane as long as it remains a two-way street. As for a two-way bike lane on Columbus, the agency said that was feasible, but that Amsterdam was the better choice based on its research. According to Forgione, the Amsterdam Avenue proposal is a catchall to solve most of the corridor’s challenges. “The advantage of the Amsterdam proposal is it addresses every issue and knocks out every concern all in one proposal,� Forgione said. “You have a northbound bike lane, and you’re also addressing pedestrian and vehicular traffic concerns at the same time. That’s why this is our favorite proposal.� Much like the previous meeting in November, community members who turned out were largely in support of an Amsterdam bike lane, with few dissenting opinions, focused largely on parking concerns and reckless cyclists. But with a split vote from the committee, the apparent popularity of the proposed bike lane has not yet held sway. The DOT proposal will now be brought to a vote during CB7’s full board meeting on February 2, according to the board’s chair, Elizabeth Caputo. n

Daily News Yanks Back Newsstand Price to a Buck BY SHAVANA ABRUZZOÂ

T

here’s still some bang left in the old buck! Though the dollar doesn’t stretch very far these days, it can still get you a slice of pizza, a song on iTunes (sometimes), and now, a copy of the Daily News. Our pals in publishing — all NYC Community Media and Community News Group publications are printed at the News’ printing press, and Manhattan Express is delivered in Sunday editions of the daily — have slashed its newsstand price by a quarter in all five boroughs as of January11. The media grapevine buzzed over the cut, which comes just seven months after the News hiked its price to $1.25. Some print pundits speculated that the News drove up sales with its strong gun control advocacy after the San Bernardino shootings, while others credited its willingness to swallow a

decline in newsstand revenues to a fresh round of layoffs. News honchos said only that readers shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. “As New York’s Hometown Paper, we look for every opportunity to bring our loyal readers the news they need at a lower price point,� Bill Holiber, president and CEO of the Daily News, said in the press release. Consider the quarter savings no chump change, either, officials urged. “Life in New York City is hard enough and we figured we’d put 25 cents back in the pockets of our faithful readers,�  said Ricardo Flattes, circulation sales and consumer marketing director. “It all adds up.� The New York Daily News, founded in 1919 as the Illustrated Daily News by Joseph Medill Patterson, was the first successful tabloid newspaper in America, with the largest circulation in the nation. It later changed its name to the

Daily News, attracting readers with its sensational coverage of crime, scandal, and violence, and lurid photographs, car toons, and other entertainment features. By 1930, its circulation had leapt to more than 1.5 million and in the next decade increased to two million, as it delivered the lowdown on political wrongdoings behind President Warren G. Harding’s Teapot Dome Scandal and, later, the intriguing romance between Wallis Simpson and Britain’s King Edward VIII that led to his abdication. On October 30, 1975 the Daily News brought the nation to a hush with its gut-punching screamer, “Ford to City: Drop Dead.� Now, trusty readers are applauding the cheaper price. “It means that the New York’s hometown paper is still in business,� said Flatbush, Brooklyn, resident Tom Harris, 54. “And I won’t have to rummage about looking for that extra quarter.� n

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ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | January 14 - 27, 2016

11


MICHAEL SHIREY

The tennis bubble operated by Sutton East Tennis in Queensboro Oval every year from September to June.

CB8’s Last-Ditch Effort to “De-Privatize” UES’ Queensboro Oval

MICHAEL SHIREY

BY JACKSON CHEN

A

s a tennis court operator’s contract for a park under neath the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge nears its end, Community Board 8 is ramping up its efforts to “de-privatize” Queensboro Oval. According to the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, Sutton East Tennis has been operating courts at Queensboro Oval — located between 59th and 60th Streets to the west of York Avenue — with a tennis bubble from September to varying dates between April and June each year since

12

1997. Raising complaints about the lack of public access to the park and the area being left in poor condition after the tennis season ends in June , Community Board 8 has put in several years of effort at removing the operator and returning the park to full-time open space for the public. “This situation does not appear to be tenable in keeping this public space privatized,” said Peggy Price, co-chair of CB8’s Parks and Recreation Committee. “We need to find a way to persuade the powers that be to let us have our park.” While anyone in the city can play

in the Sutton East Tennis Club by making a reservation, prices range from $80 to $225 an hour depending on the court. The Parks Department notes that through its partners, like City Parks Foundation, people have the ability to access free and reduced tennis programming. But for Price, the court fees discourage use by the wider community and the park would better serve the neighborhood as public space. With Sutton East’s contract expiring in August 2017 — the Parks Department said it usually starts its request for proposal process a year prior to the expiration of an existing license — CB8 feels this is the last year it has a chance to reclaim the space. Despite the CB8’s “de-privatization” efforts, the Parks Department said it is premature to speak about the issue. “Parks employs a good working relationship with the CB,” said Parks Department’s Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro, who added that the department acknowledged an April 2015 community board resolution calling for the reduction in the portion of the year allocated to Sutton East to six months, with the remainder of the year open for the park’s use as a ball field. “We would happily review any proposals presented.” At the CB8 Parks Committee’s January 12 meeting, members laid out a plan of action that includes outreach efforts and garnering support from local elected officials. Committee members were largely working from a resolution they passed last July calling for a return to full-time public use of Queensboro Oval after the city ends its current lease with Sutton East. To push the issue more into the forefront, Price said the committee would be working to boost public support through word-of-mouth by going down to the oval’s immediate vicinity to speak with residents. Committee members are also working with City Councilmember Ben Kallos to draft a letter to the Parks Department expressing the community’s interest in returning Queensboro Oval to unfettered public access. “We don’t have enough parks in the district,” Kallos said. “We have some of the lowest numbers of parks space per capita. Any

place we have park land, we need to be using it as park land for the entire community.” According to a study done by a parks advocacy organization in 2013, Kallos’ District 5 ranked the fifth worst in the ratio of land area to parks space out of all 51 Council districts. In the New Yorkers for Parks’ study, the district falls far short of the standards set out by the group, which call for 2.5 acres of total open space per 1,000 residents. Kallos’ district scored only 0.47 acres of open space per 1,000 residents. The group’s study also noted that the balance between public use as a ball field and private use as tennis courts shifted in 2012 to the advantage of the courts’ operator, when it secured an additional six weeks of time that keeps the bubble in the park into June. To combat what they deem a slow creep of private use, Kallos said he would be working with the community board by reviewing the current contract with Sutton East, making sure the contract isn’t renewed, and trying to secure city funds to revert the park into public space year-round. “In order for this to work, we’re going to have to pay a lot of attention between now and 2017 and make sure this contract doesn’t get renewed,” Kallos said. The councilmember said he’s heard numerous complaints from the Sutton Place neighborhood and from the CB8 Parks Committee, all expressing displeasure with the tennis bubble setup. “We are a very densely populated area which is getting more dense, but we’re not getting comparable park land,” Price said, adding that there’s too little room for children to play and for adults to enjoy the outdoors. As for Queensboro Oval’s future, Price echoes her community board’s feelings that it should be a multi-use park that operates like any other city park. “It would be just such a terrific amenity for the community,” she said. “We could have any number of different activities there from softball to public tennis courts, to places where people could relax and enjoy themselves.” Representatives of Sutton East did not respond to a request for comment. n

January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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c

CUOMO, from p.9

“There has been inaction and complacency around coming up with a substantive, workable plan for Penn Station and Moynihan Station,” said Johnson. “And what [the governor] has put on the table is really a game changer, because he has been able to bring key parties to the table who have acceded to work something out — Amtrak, Madison Square Garden, and the MTA.” “The RFP has already been issued, so the governor is wasting no time,” said Hoylman. A spokesperson for Related confirmed in an email that the company expects to respond to the solicitation. “We continue to passionately believe in the project and are reviewing the materials,” she said. “We applaud the governor’s focus on the revitalization of Penn Station and Moynihan Station.” Vornado declined to comment. Cuomo said that $325 million for the project would come from government sources, while “nearly all of the work” will be privately funded, by the chosen developer — in exchange for an interest in the longterm revenue stream generated by the retail and commercial rents. Coming up with a funding formula won’t be necessary for the Javits Center, however. Cuomo said the complex’s $1 billion expansion, for which construction will kick off later this year, would be financed “within existing resources.” “The Javits Center has long been an economic generator for this state, but we want to build and expand it to ensure it remains a premier venue for the next generation,” he said in a statement. “The new Javits Center will continue to garner millions in economic activity, create jobs, and keep New York’s economic momentum moving forward.” The proposal will add a glassy 1.2 million-square-feet extension at the northern end of the center — which currently stretches six blocks along 11th Avenue, from 34th to 40th Streets — resulting in a fivefold increase in meeting and ballroom space. In addition, a four-level, 480,000-square-foot garage will be built to accommodate the thousands of trucks already flooding the neighborhood every year to service the convention center — which is the busiest, if not the biggest, in the country. “There is a massive problem right

A rendering of the Javits Center after its expansion.

A rendering of the interior of the expanded Javits Center.

now, on Ninth, 10th, 11th Avenues, of just choking truck traffic,” Johnson said. “And any plan that is going to move some of these trucks off of the streets is going to help from many standpoints — air quality, pedestrian safety, traffic. So this is a big deal for local residents.” Last year, the facility hosted more than 2 million visitors, which the governor’s office says supported 17,500 local jobs and generated an estimated 478,000 hotel room reservations as well as an economic boost of $1.8 billion. Although the convention business is often written off as contributing comparatively little to the economy, Cuomo said that the expansion — a more than 50 percent increase in total floor space — would help bring more trade shows, jobs, and tax rev-

January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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enue to the city. Specifically, the governor asserted, it would add 4,000 full-time, 2,000 part-time, and more than 3,000 construction jobs, and generate an extra $393 million in economic activity every year. “More convention centers are coming online, and if you want to remain competitive, you have to grow and you have to increase to stay ahead of the competition, and that is just what we want to do with this plan,” Cuomo said. “This will be the convention center of the next generation.” The governor’s announcement comes on the heels of a $463 million makeover for the convention center just two years ago, which included the addition of Javits North — a semi-permanent structure that will be replaced by the truck garage.

The state previously had plans to nearly double the size of the publicly owned center in 2008, but backed out after the predicted cost exploded. And just four years ago, the governor wanted to raze the Javits Center entirely and replace it with a $4 billion convention center in Queens, a plan that was ultimately jettisoned as well. “If they move with this expansion in the same thoughtful way as previously, I think our community will be pleased with the outcome,” CB4’s Rubin said of the new plan. “We do have a meeting planned with the Javits Center, so we’re pleased that they do want to involve us in that conversation.” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has begun putting together a task force — comprised of community board members and local elected officials — to weigh in on the Penn Station development. “We really plan to be very active in the conversation, because it’s important not just for the millions of commuters that come in, but also the thousands of residents that live in and around that area, that are directly affected by any change,” said Rubin. Hoylman, who said he is looking forward to working with the Penn Station task force, suggested the area may benefit from a construction command center, like the one that was used to coordinate the rebuilding of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan. “We’re talking about a decade plus of major construction, and we need to make certain that local residents and community boards have input into everything,” he said. n

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | January 14 - 27, 2016

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Police Blotter CHILD ENDANGERMENT: SHAKE SHACK SMOOCH (20TH PRECINCT) Police are looking for more information about an incident of endangering the welfare of a child that occurred on January 11 at 11:30 a.m. According to police, a male suspect approached a 12-year-old girl inside the Shake Shack at 366 Columbus Avenue near 77th Street and grabbed her wrist. The girl pulled away and the suspect made his way downstairs, where he approached a 13-year-old girl. After asking for her name and hugging her, the suspect gave her a kiss on the right cheek. As the 13-year-old pulled away, the suspect fled on foot on Columbus Avenue. For more details on the suspect, watch the surveillance video at manhattanexpressnews.nyc.

ASSAULT: LATE NIGHT, BLUNT FORCE (MIDTOWN NORTH PRECINCT)

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On December 20 at 9:50 p.m., a male suspect entered the Little Caesar’s Pizza on 1936 Third Avenue near 107th Street and, according to police, pointed a gun at the clerk behind the register, demanding money. The armed suspect made off with an undetermined amount of cash

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ARSON: SAINT NEW YEAR’S FIRE (19TH PRECINCT) On January 9, police apprehended a suspect at the Episcopal Church of Heavenly Rest at 2 East 90th Street after a 911 call at around 1 p.m. The call was made when a male suspect was seen stacking pew cushions and torn paper onto pews and then lighting them on fire. Church staff said when they asked the suspect what he was doing, he replied, “Don’t worry, it’s a New Year’s Fire.” The suspect continued into the vestibule where he began hitting a glass window with a paper weight, police said. The FDNY joined the call and extinguished the fire, while the suspect was caught by police trying to escape out the back door and then brought to New York Presbyterian Hospital for evaluation. The suspect, identified as Regis De Foucauld of the Upper West Side, was charged with second-degree arson, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment.

ROBBERY: SIRI COULD BE A WITNESS (24TH PRECINCT) According to police, a male suspect robbed a 19-year-old male victim in the street on November 13 at 11 a.m. The suspect approached the victim at the northeast corner of Central Park West and West 104th Street. After saying he had a gun, the suspect told the victim to follow him and when they reached West 105th Street between Central Park West and Manhattan Avenue, the suspect took an iPhone 5S, headphones, and a paycheck from the victim’s pockets, police said. The victim wasn’t injured, and the suspect fled in an unknown direction. For more details of the suspect, view the surveillance photo at manhattanexpressnews.nyc.

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On December 19, a verbal dispute ended with a concussion and fractured ribs for one victim and a swollen right hand for the other victim, according to police. Police said that two male suspects approached the victims at 2:30 a.m. in front of 666 10th Avenue, near 47th Street, and, after arguing, struck the victims with blunt objects. The victims were rushed to Roosevelt Hospital and the police are still on the hunt for the two suspects. For more information of the suspects, surveillance photos are available at manhattanexpressnews.nyc.

and there were no injuries from the incident, according to police. Video of the suspect is available at manhattanexpressnews.nyc.

19th Precinct

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153 East 67th Street 212-452-0600

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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. January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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EXPRESS OURSELVES

Money Where Cuomo’s Mouth Is On Homelessness

PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN jgoodstein@cnglocal.com

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

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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 © 2016 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 ©2016 Manhattan Express, All rights reserved. NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC | ONE METROTECH NORTH, SUITE 1001 | BROOKLYN, NY 11201 | 212-229-1890

18

BY PAUL SCHINDLER

E

arly last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo garnered big headlines with an executive order mandating the removal of homeless people from the streets when temperatures fall below 32 degrees. “We have to get people in off the streets,” the governor said, as his aides were reportedly explaining that anyone who would try to sleep outdoors in such conditions is clearly demonstrating a mental impairment that warrants their involuntary removal. That sort of blanket policy flies in the face of customary thinking and perhaps a constitutional mandate that individuals cannot be forced into shelters against their will. And as quickly as critics began pointing that out, the Cuomo administration started to waffle. “Obviously, the order does not mandate involuntary commitment for competent individuals,” Alphonso David, the governor’s counsel, said in a written statement. The order, David later told the New York Times, is “a directive, an administrative policy is just that: It’s not an edict, and it’s subject to interpretation.” Mayor Bill de Blasio, who oversees the largest number of homeless residents in the state — with an estimated 58,000 in shelters and perhaps another 3,000 to 4,000 on the streets every night — dismissed the news value of the governor’s move, saying, “At this point it seems to simply reiterate what’s already in the law and the power we already have to bring people in off the streets. And we use that power.” And de Blasio’s police commissioner, Bill Bratton, who one might think has enough dustups on criminal justice questions to handle without wading into homeless policy, nevertheless backed up the mayor, saying, “I don’t see it changes anything in what we actually do or what we have done for 20 years.” The quibble, coming just as

the season’s first true cold snap descended on the city, seemed liked the latest in a wearying series of pissing contests between the state’s and the city’s dueling Democratic chief executives — many of them, frankly, initiated out of Albany. It seemed particularly distressing that New Yorkers without even the most basic of amenities — a roof over their head — would find themselves at the center of all this. Divisiveness over how to tackle homelessness widened this week in a Wednesday morning article in the New York Times, in which city officials pushed back, saying it was a $65 million cut in state rental assistance funding in Cuomo’s first budget as governor in 2011 — which triggered the loss of an additional $27 million in federal funds and was denounced by de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg — that resulted in the city’s shelter population mushrooming by 16,000 in three years’ time. Fortunately, hours later, in his annual State of the State Address, the governor offered what sounds like a substantive response to the homeless crisis that could move the debate beyond petty political maneuvering. Pledging to devote $20 billion to housing solutions over five years, Cuomo said the state would create 100,000 units of affordable housing, 6,000 new supportive housing beds, and 1,000 emergency shelter beds, as well as providing an array of other homeless services. Over 15 years, he said, the total commitment would be $28 billion and would provide 20,000 new supportive housing beds. The governor’s effort would complement an initiative announced by the mayor in November to create 15,000 new units of supportive housing. Credit de Blasio with taking the initiative there. Cuomo’s announcement also included a call for audits of local

homeless services agencies around the state by either the state or city comptroller. “Shelters they find to be unsafe or dangerous will either immediately add local police protection — or they will be closed… If an operator’s management problem is systemic, a receiver will be appointed to run that system,” the governor said, in a warning that might rankle the mayor, given the widespread talk that Cuomo doubts de Blasio’s management smarts and the fact that City Comptroller Scott Stringer is a potential 2017 challenger. But, whatever etiquette is or is not required in making such a pronouncement, the fact is that it’s hard to argue with government accountability. Cuomo aides, cited in Wednesday morning’s Times piece about the city administration pushing back on the governor’s homeless removal directive, emphasized that they keep a close eye on what works and make money available to such programs and pull it back from stragglers. That’s as it should be. Cuomo is certainly no stranger to the intricacies and nuances of housing policy and homelessness, having founded, back in the 1980s, a non-profit aimed at expanding housing opportunities for economically disadvantaged people and then having run President Bill Clinton’s Department of Housing and Urban Development. De Blasio, meanwhile, has identified making New York City more affordable as a cornerstone of his agenda and, as mentioned above, is also attuned to the need to create supportive housing for those living in poverty. Could tackling homelessness provide a safe harbor for Cuomo and de Blasio to play nice together? Don’t hold your breath. But we can at least hope — and we should certainly expect — that they will find some way to work together on this vital public need. n

January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


EXPRESS YOURSELVES

With So Many Play Dates, Where Is the Play? BY LENORE SKENAZY

A

s Brooklyn mom Tamara R. Mose was preparing for a play date with a mom and child she didn’t know well yet, she paused to look at her home: “All the bathrooms are clean, dishes put away, beds made, floors Swiffered, laundry folded, garbage cans emptied, and toys put in their place and sorted for age appropriateness.” And then there was the food: “The kitchen is full of aromas, boiling pasta, simmering sauce, freshly sliced carrots, celery, and oranges, all displayed on sparkling white plates. Lined up are juice boxes boasting their 100 percent organic label, plastic forks and plates, and beside them some half-folded disposable white napkins.” Add to this some whole-wheat crackers, cheeses (three varieties), and the fact her daughter had straightened up her room, too, and Mose, a sociology professor at Brooklyn College, couldn’t help but notice: This was not just about fun. This was a performance — “an effort to present ourselves as a decent black family.” From there it was just a hop, skip, and a jump — and a year of interviewing a broad swath of New York parents — to writing “The Playdate: Parents, Children, and the New Expectations of Play,” which will be published by NYU Press this spring. A play date, Mose argues, is really sort of a double date — “You’re essentially dating the other parent. You’re checking them out. What do they do for a living?” Parents arrange play dates ostensibly for

their children’s fun and enrichment, but really, there’s a lot more going on. Yes, they want their kids to make friends and play, but the parents want to make friends, too. And usually, Mose observed, they want to make friends with other parents demographically the same as them — friends who might even be able to help them in the job world. At one play date Mose arranged at her son’s request, she and her then-husband invited over two couples. One was a lawyer married to an artist, the other was a screenwriter married to the curator of a book lecture series. By the end of the play date, Mose and the curator realized that they knew someone in common and he invited Mose to give a lecture at his series. “It was at this moment that I started to realize how many times the parents I had invited to a play date either knew someone I knew,” said Mose, or offered some kind of connecting: Come to this show with us, let me introduce you to so-and-so. The upside is obvious: friendship, networking, even babysitting backup. But Mose’s book looks at the downsides, too, starting with the way play date culture perpetuates class stratifications. The parents who believe in organic hummus and no television are unlikely to have many play dates with the parents who put out soda and chips with SpongeBob in the background — even if the kids really like each other at school. What’s more, simply by perpetuating the play date imperative — that is, the idea that of course children need constant supervision either by parents or caregivers — the idea of kids running around on their own seems

preposterous. When she was growing up, Mose recalled, she’d go down the street knocking on friends’ doors, asking them to come out to play. “Almost all the parents that I interviewed did the same thing,” she said. Play was kid-driven and often out in public. Now that kind of fun is considered too dangerous — even though crime is back to the level of 1963. The modern play date is organized, supervised, and private. “So if Joe and John get in a fight and they’re in the room next door, they can come out and complain to me to make it better,” said Mose. “Whereas if they’re out on the street playing they need to figure it out.” Play date-raised kids lose out on certain childhood lessons their parents got just as a matter of course: How to deal with a quarrel, or even a bully. Is this one reason we have so many anti-bullying assemblies today? Kids just don’t get any real-world practice in standing up for themselves, or shrugging off an insult? What’s more, Mose said: Kids who are indoors, surrounded by amusements, may not learn how to make a sword out of a stick, or a boat out of a square of pavement. They do, however, learn how to speak to adults. And in the end, she said, that confidence and poise may serve them well in the business world. In fact, play dates may help both generations in the business world. They just might not help children actually learn how to play. Lenore Skenazy is a speaker, author, and founder of the book and blog “Free-Range Kids.” n

Going to the Mat Against Ultimate Fighting BY DEBORAH GLICK

A

fter years of spending substantial time and money lobbying to overturn a state ban on cage fighting, the Ultimate Fighting Championship expects that Albany’s upcoming legislative session will bring it success. But to ensure the outcome it seeks, UFC has filed suit against New York State to overturn the ban on ultimate fighting. Part of the group’s messaging strategy in Albany has been to rebrand cage fighting as Mixed Martial Arts, which sounds much more innocuous. The notion that MMA is a sport is difficult for me, and many others, to accept. I am a big sports fan

who follows several sports, including professional football. Of course people who play sports can get injured and we are learning more every day about the long-term health implications of even minor concussions. But the goal of these sports — whether it is scoring points by hitting a ball with a bat, throwing a ball through a hoop, or shooting a puck into a net — is not to punish one’s opponent but to win the match. But “winning” in Mixed Martial Arts is predicated on physically beating up one’s opponent. On that basis alone, I believe that New York State should not repeal its ban on this activity. The attempt to sanitize MMA is betrayed by the facts. According

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | January 14 - 27, 2016

to a study in the March 21, 2014 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, about one-third of professional MMA matches end in a knockout or a technical knockout. A technical knockout occurs when a fight is stopped by a referee who determines that a fighter is no longer able to defend him or herself. This study indicates that there is a higher incidence of brain trauma in MMA than in boxing or other martial arts. MMA is cage fighting, a no-holdsbarred fight using punches and kicks, as well as wrestling holds and moves from judo, boxing, and kickboxing, with the fighters wearing fingerless gloves and no head protection. The cage itself adds to

the reality that this is a more violent version of the familiar boxing match held in a ring. In a fight that goes to a knockout, repeated blows to the head are common. In other contact sports, such as football and ice hockey, which proponents of MMA point to in order to demonstrate that all sports are dangerous, significant protective gear is utilized, and even this protection doesn’t prevent frequent severe injuries. In response to increased understanding of the dangers of repeated concussions, the NFL has instituted a “concussion protocol” to monitor head injuries. If

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GLICK, continued on p.21

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GLICK, from p.19

there is any question, an independent doctor on the sidelines can remove a player from the game. In football and other sports, we see teams engaged in the effort to score points. In MMA, the combat is oneon-one, with the only goal being to disable an opponent. Aside from the potential longterm physical damage to young fighters, legalizing this type of fighting as a sport is a negative, even destructive message to young people. As larger questions are being asked regarding contact sports like football, some high schools have suspended their programs, and many programs are actively working on new techniques to reduce potential injuries, such as changes in tackling tactics. What is the rationale for New York to legalize a new and more violent “sport”? Proponents of MMA claim that New York State is missing out economically because of the ban, which prevents matches from being hosted by local venues. But we don’t know if the long-term healthcare costs to New York will out-

weigh the benefit to New York venues. There is no question that it will greatly enrich UFC, but is that a reason to eliminate the ban? New Yorkers need to ask whether this “sport” is so important to our future that we will change the law and risk fighters’ exposure to greater long-term healthcare and long-term disability costs. The recent NFL settlement is roughly $1 billion, to be paid out over the next several decades to players who suffer from specific debilitating conditions recognized to be a result of their playing football. Is UFC, a much newer entity, going to be in a position to provide the same level of compensation? Or will New York find itself providing for fighters who face long-term care needs that they and their families cannot afford? New Yorkers need to ask their state legislators where they stand on this issue and whether they support eliminating the ban on cage fighting and, if so, why. Deborah Glick has represented the West Side’s District 66 in the State Assembly since 1991. n

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Self-Righteous Infidelity

DISTRIB FILMS

Stanislas Merhar and Clotilde Courau in Philippe Garrel’s “In the Shadow of Women.”

BY STEVE ERICKSON

I

n an interview last year, director Serge Bozon divided filmmakers into two categories: those who draw everything from their imagination and those who essentially fictionalize their own lives. He placed Philippe Garrel and the late Jean Eustache in the latter category. Garrel’s latest film, “In the Shadow Of Women,” is a radically austere melodrama of adultery. I don’t know enough about the filmmaker’s personal life to have any idea whether it’s autobiographical, but in the past Garrel has based his work on his involvement with radical politics, his struggles with heroin addiction, and his relationship with singer Nico, whom he has acknowledged as the love of his life. Garrel is also a child of the French New Wave; he began working at age 16 in the mid ‘60s, although his first decade or so of films were non-narrative. While he finally seems to have found steady, if marginal, American distribution, his early work merits an Eclipse/ Criterion box, particularly the beautiful “The Inner Scar,” in which he and Nico traveled the world to find stunning locations for

22

360-degreee pans. Pierre (Stanislas Merhar) and Manon (Clotilde Courau) are a married couple who work together on documentaries directed by Pierre. She takes on the less glamorous task of editing the films, although she accompanies him to interviews. (In an early scene, Pierre talks to an elderly World War II resistance fighter.) Pierre takes a young woman, Elisabeth (Lena Paugam), as his lover, quite casually. He treats both her and Manon shabbily. Unbeknownst to him, Manon is also having an affair, which Elisabeth discovers by peeping through a café window. When she reports that back to Pierre, he reacts with outrage but remains quiet about his own infidelities. Like most of Garrel’s films, “In the Shadow Of Women” is in black and white. The 35mm cinematography is high-contrast. It’s rare for movies to be shot on actual celluloid these days, and perhaps as a consequence, Garrel shot each scene in only one take. The film’s look evokes the rough-hewn photography of early French New Wave films, although “In the Shadow Of Women” is slightly slicker. When Manon and Pierre argue for the

first time, the room is lit so that Pierre is sunk in deep darkness and she is sitting in bright light. The one French New Wave film to which “In the Shadow Of Women” seems overtly indebted is François Truffaut’s “The Soft Skin,” another drama of adultery. The Truffaut-inspired feel is enhanced by a voiceover supplied by Garrel’s son Louis. The whole plot of “In the Shadow Of Women” rests on a Parisian culture of outdoor cafes, as well as a kind of bohemia that may only exist in art these days — or, at least, in cities whose rents are cheaper than Paris or New York. In the opening scene, the landlord barges in on Manon to demand the rent and tell her that the couple has 48 hours to pay up or move out. But this subplot has nothing to do with the main narrative of the film and is never followed up on. Nevertheless, the film returns repeatedly to the couple’s precarious economic status. Manon’s mother tells her that she should have gotten a degree in Oriental Studies so she could have worked as an interpreter, and, late in the film, we see that she’s gone back to school to study that subject. “In the Shadow Of Women” was

written by a team of four screenwriters. Two of them are male, two female. This group includes the legendary Jean-Claude Carriere (who worked with Luis Buñuel) and the should-be-legendary Arlette Langmann (who wrote “A Nos Amours,” directed by Maurice Pialat and perhaps the best female coming-of-age film ever made.) The film does justice to both male and female perspectives on adultery, although the fact that it features a male voice-over gives Pierre’s P.O.V. a slight edge. It captures Pierre’s rank hypocrisy quite well; while it’s true that both partners cheat, Manon gives up her affair as soon as Pierre discovers it and calls her on it. Pierre treats her with an anger to which his behavior leaves him no right. It takes her much longer to learn about his infidelity, a period during which he continues to sleep with Elisabeth. The film never plays like a male fantasy of middle-aged attractiveness in which 50-year -old men have teenage girls falling for them; Merhar is reasonably young and still handsome enough that it’s understandable for a 21-year-old to sleep with him. In the end, “In the Shadow Of Women” is a film about betrayal, and its final scenes suggest how that betrayal has consequences in the political realm beyond one marriage. n

IN THE SHADOW OF WOMEN Directed by Philippe Garrel Distrib Films In French with English subtitles Opens Jan. 15 Film Society of Lincoln Center 70 Lincoln Center Plaza filmlinc.org IFC Center 323 Sixth Ave. at W. Third St. ifccenter.com

January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


MUSEUM SPOTLIGHT

Cretaceous Park Titans Sun, Jan 24, 12-2 pm

DR. ALEJANDRO OTERO/ COURTESY: AMNH.ORG

A member of the paleontologist team that unearthed the 122-foot titanosaur is dwarfed by one of the massive creature’s bones.

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BY PAUL SCHINDLER he Earth’s Cretaceous Era is more recent than the Jurassic Era popularized by the biggest dinosaur movies of all time, but it featured a more diverse dinosaur population than its preceding period. This coming weekend, the American Museum of Natural History opens a new exhibition in its Fossil Halls featuring a cast of a 122-footlong dinosaur, one of the largest ever discovered. Paleontologists, working in a desert region of Patagonia, unearthed remains of the giant herbivore in 2014 and say the creature lived approximately 95 to 100 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous period. This dinosaur, which belongs to a group known as titanosaurs and is estimated to have weighed around 70 tons, has not yet been named.

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The excavation was carried out by a team from the Museum of Paleontology Egidio Feruglio in Trelew, Argentina, led by José Luis Carballido and Diego Pol. The dinosaur is so large that it grazes the fourth floor exhibition hall’s 19-foot ceiling, and its neck and head extend out toward the elevator banks to welcome visitors to the museum’s dinosaur floor. The exhibit runs January 15 of this year through January 19, 2020. n

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Manhattan Treasures FROM ELIZABETH CADY STANTON TO ELEANOR ROOSEVELT “Women Take the Lead: From Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Eleanor Roosevelt, Suffrage to Human Rights” is an exhibition of important treasures dating back to the early days of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, some of them unseen for more than a century. Featuring some 75 rare posters, broadsides, pamphlets, books, and manuscripts, the show features items used in the early 20th century to promote voting rights for women, which were finally won in 1920. Most of the pieces in the exhibit are on loan from the privately held Dobkin Family Collection of Feminist History, built over 25 years by New York philanthropist Barbara Dobkin to chronicle women’s experiences and achievements in both the political and domestic realms. The show will feature material about Eleanor Roosevelt, who, once women won the right to vote, joined the League of Women Voters and other political and labor groups, and immersed herself in Democratic politics. The exhibit takes place in the home Roosevelt and the future president shared prior to their move to Washington and where FDR began his recovery from polio in 1921. Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, 47-49 E. 65th St. Jan. 14- Apr. 2; Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free. More information at roosevelthouse.hunter.cuny.edu.

INTIMATE MOMENTS WITH FRED HERSCH AND FRIENDS

vibraphonist Stefon Harris. Hersch also performs solo and in duets with clarinetist Anat Cohen and guitarist Julian Lage. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room, 10 Columbus Circle. Jan. 15-16, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $55.50-$75.50 at jazz.org.

buildings. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St., Kaufmann Concert Hall. Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 at 92y.org.

A BIT OF THE WEST END ON UPPER BROADWAY

CRISIS POINT: OVERCOMING OUR BROKEN POLITICS Democrat Tom Daschle and Republican Trent Lott, both former majority leaders of the US Senate, have come together to write a book sounding an alarm about the partisan gridlock that has paralyzed Washington in recent years (including during their tenures as leaders). Tonight, the two authors of “Crisis Point: Overcoming Our Broken Politics” are joined by Atlantic magazine staff writer Molly Ball to discuss their ideas at the start of what could be the most politically polarized year yet. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St., Buttenwieser Hall. Jan 20, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 at 92y.org.

LAURIE ANDERSON GETS TO THE HEART OF IT ALL

MANUEL HARLAN

Over the next several weeks, Symphony Space hosts several NTLive screenings of National Theatre stage productions from London. Sally Cookson’s adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” strays from the 1847 novel but with a cast that includes Madeline Worrall, Felix Hayes, and Melanie Marshall creates what New York critic Andy Humm, in Manhattan Express’ sister publication Gay City News, has called “an engrossing play… [that] has tremendous theatrical and emotional coherence and resonance.” Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theater, 2537 Broadway at 95th St. Jan. 17 & 27, 7 p.m.; Jan. 20, 1 p.m. Tickets are $24; $22 for seniors; $16 for those 30 & under at symphonyspace.org. On Jan. 27 & Feb. 16, 1 p.m. & Feb. 6, 6 p.m., Symphony Space screens the new Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s production of “The Winter’s Tale,” starring Branagh, Judi Dench, Tom Bateman, Jessie Buckley, Hadley Fraser, and John Dagleish. “Pulling off ‘The Winter’s Tale’ is a high-wire act, and Branagh and company succeed in an auspicious start to their season,” wrote critic Humm.

METMUSEUM.ORG/ LANDESMUSEUM WÜRTTEMBERG, STUTTGART

LET’S PLAY CARDS Only three decks of European hand-painted playing cards are known to have survived from the late Middle Ages. These include the Cloisters Playing Cards, which form the core of a small exhibition highlighting one of the more intriguing works of secular art. Examples of cards from the earliest hand-painted woodblock deck as well as 15th century German engraved cards, north Italian tarot cards of the same period, and the finest deck from the early 16th century complete the display. Collectively, the figures and scenes depicted reflect shifting worldviews during a period of change, as Europe emerged into modernity. The Cloisters, 99 Margaret Corbin Dr. at Ft. Tryon Pl. Jan. 20-Apr. 17, daily, 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Admission is $25; $17 for seniors; $12 for students. Information at metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2016/world-in-play.

“Heart of a Dog” is musician, artist, and director Laurie Anderson’s first feature since her 1986 concert film, “Home of the Brave.” A valentine to her beloved Lolabelle, it is also a meditation on the security state that has grown up in the midst of her West Village neighborhood in the decade and a half since 9/11. The film doesn’t touch on the death of her husband Lou Reed, but he’s listed in the credits. As critic Steve Erickson wrote, “Human and animal mortality are clearly on her mind. We should all be so lucky as to have a method of dealing with it as productive as making ‘Heart of a Dog.’” Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St. Jan. 24 & 31, Feb. 7, 7 pm. Tickets are $14; $12 for students & seniors at symphonyspace.org.

NEIGHBORS EVOLVING: THE UPPER EAST SIDE & DUMBO Development, real estate, and urban history come together for an interactive discussion about how two very different

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MANHATTAN TREASURES, continued on p.27

OUR SKYLINE’S FUTURE JAZZ.ORG

J a z z p i a n i s t a n d c o m p o s e r Fr e d Hersch has produced some of the most arrestingly beautiful solo and trio projects in recent years, and in four shows over two evenings, the eight-time Grammy nominee welcomes several fellow world-class players to join him in a variety of combinations, including several intimate duos. Guests include Hersch protégé Sullivan Fortner, on piano, performing solo and in duet with

Some of the most influential names in determining the shape of the New York skyline come together to discuss what’s in store in Manhattan’s future. New York Times real estate writer C.J. Hughes moderates a panel that includes Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Meier, Bjarke Ingels, whose firm was chosen to design Two World Trade Center, Annabelle Selldorf, known for her work on New York City museums, libraries, and historic renovations, and Rick Cook, a leader in environmentally responsible, high-performance 92Y.ORG

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January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


A Long Submerged Operatic Jewel Rises Again BY ELI JACOBSON

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eorges Bizet’s “Carmen” is the “C” in the operatic “ABC” triad of most popular works. While “Carmen” has totaled more than 1,000 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, this season’s New Year’s Eve premiere of Bizet’s “Les Pêcheurs de Perles” marked only its fifth Met performance and the first since the 191617 season. Bizet’s youthful exercise in exotica has been performed in New York in two productions by the New York City Opera and in concert by the Opera Orchestra of New York. It’s also been performed in regional houses. Still, while most listeners have heard the tenor-baritone duet “Au fond du temple saint” many times in concert and on recordings, the opera itself is unfamiliar. Bizet wrote the opera in 1863 when he was only 25 on a commission from the Théâtre Lyrique, which was sponsoring new operas by young composers. The melodic inspiration, evocative orchestration, and dramatic touches of Bizet’s score foreshadow his greater achievement a decade later with “Carmen.” Young, untried composers generally don’t have the benefit of good librettos, and “The Pearl Fishers” has a contrived, overfamiliar plot concerning a romantic triangle of two fishermen in love

with a Hindu priestess vowed to chastity. The story seems to run out of steam in Act III, with a tacked-on happy ending. The setting in ancient Ceylon (modern Sri Lanka) played into the craze then for Orientalia. The story seems to take place in a kind of mythical exotic “Operaland” of palm trees, ruined temples, and starry skies. Penny Woolcock’s production originated at the English National Opera in 2010, garnering poor reviews. It underwent revisions in a 2014 revival and was unveiled at the Met on the last day of 2015. Woolcock evidently got third-time lucky — cheers overwhelmed a few scattered boos when the production team took their curtain call. The setting is updated to the latter part of the 20th century in a seaside shantytown somewhere on the Indian coast. Kevin Pollard’s costumes for Leïla and Nourabad are colorfully traditional, while those for Nadir, Zurga, and the chorus are more modern. The beauty and potential destructive power of the ocean are omnipresent; almost every scene is dominated by water suggested by rolling cloth or video projections (by 59 Productions). During the prelude, deep sea divers swim the watery depths searching for the titular pearls. Jen Schriever’s lighting is atmospheric, evoking light reflected on water. The sets by Dick Bird are temporary dock-like structures of recycled wood and corrugated metal. A pervasive

KEN HOWARD/ METROPOLITAN OPERA

Mariusz Kwiecien and Diana Damrau in the Penny Woolcock production of Georges Bizet’s “Les Pêcheurs de Perles” at the Metropolitan Opera.

sense of rural poverty, social isolation, the dominance of religion, and vulnerability to the forces of nature creates an environment where the story has human reality. The loss of picture book romanticism is a gain in dramatic verisimilitude. The first scene did have me worried — choristers milling around reading newspapers and smoking while Zurga and his minions are canvassing for political office. However

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+ PRESENT

Saturday, February 27th from 10am–3pm

25 Pine Street in FiDi All offerings are FREE and open to the public

Plan your summer in one day! Camp activity trials and registration all under one roof Enjoy free performances, demonstrations, family adventures and summer-themed foods as you learn more about the very best local Day and Overnight Camp options for 2016. Registration is required for drop off and drop in activities. RSVP is appreciated for family Plan & Play day attendance.

Register and RSVP at GreenIvy.com/Events ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | January 14 - 27, 2016

Battery Park Montessori Summer Camp Sampler drop off available from 10-12 and 1-3 for children 2.5-6 years old.

Pixel Academy Minecraft Club drop in to the Pine Street School Design Technology Lab available from 10-3 for kids 6-14 years old.

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January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Kids Count SKATING IN CENTRAL PARK Central Park offers two venues for ice skating in the winter time. Wollman Rink, located on the east side of the park btwn. 62nd & 63rd Sts. is open Mon.-Tue., 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Wed.-Thu., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Admission is $11.25 for adults on weekdays; $18 Fri.-Sun. and on holidays. Kids, 11 and under, pay $6 every day; seniors pay $5 on weekdays; $9 Fri.-Sun. and on holidays. Skate rental is $8 and lock rental is $5, with a $6 deposit. Check WollmanSkatingRink.com or call 212-439-6900, ext. 12 for more information. Lasker Rink is located at the park’s northern end, btwn. 106th & 108th Sts. and the Loch and the Harlem Meer. Lasker offers two rinks — one for skating and one for high school hockey teams. Hours are Mon.-Thu., 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Fri., 10 a.m.-4:50 p.m. & 6 p.m.- 11 p.m.: Sat., 1 p.m.-11 p.m.; Sun., 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Admission is $7.50 for adults; $4 for kids, 11 and under; $2.25 for seniors. Skate rentals are $6.50, with lock rentals at $3.25 with a $4 deposit. More information at laskerrink.com.

BANG THE DRUM BAM Precussion mixes slapstick comedy with explosive, electrifying, over-the-top percussion action. The characters, with powerful rhythmic abilities and offering deliriously funny sketches, look like they walked straight out of

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SYMPHONYSPACE.ORG

a cartoon and speak a unique language: BAMspeech, spoken only by them, but understood by everyone from 3 to 83. Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St. Jan. 17, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Running time is 60 minutes. Tickets are $15 at symphonyspace.org. For more information about the company, visit bampercussion.com/en.

plazas. And warm up again with free screenings of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in the David Rubenstein Atrium at noon and 3 p.m.

WINTER WARM-UP

YOU’RE NOT IT!

Lincoln Center presents a free winter party, indoors and out, for families. Dance the cold away at the Silent Disco Dance Party in Alice Tully Hall, with hour-long sessions beginning on Jan. 23 at noon, 2:30 p.m. & 5 p.m. (Even though the dance party is free, you must register at family.lincolncenter. org/events.) From noon-to 3 p.m., watch live ice sculpture carving across Lincoln Center’s

With an out-of-this-world sound evoking both the Go-Gos and ‘90s power-punk, Seattle’s The Not-Its! mix crunchy guitars and smooth, four-part harmonies, for a show full of perfectly crafted pop gems about every-day kid stuff from the first day of school to taking a bath. Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St. Jan. 23, 11 a.m., for a 60-min. show. Tickets are $15 at symphonyspace.org.

OPERA, from p.25

as the plot progresses, it focuses more on the intimate human drama of the three main protagonists. The updating became irrelevant and Woolcock’s intelligent personal direction fully exploited the strengths of a talented trio of star singers. As Nadir, Matthew Polenzani sang his dreamy arias and duets with elegant musicality and a bewitching command of French vocal style and tone production.

JEAN SIBELIUS CELEBRATES FINNISH MYTHOLOGY The New York Philharmonic presents “Young People's Concert: Once Upon a Time: ‘Myths and Legends,” highlighting the sweeping music of Jean Sibelius, born 150 years ago, that captured the Finnish epic poetry of “Kalevala” in such a powerful way that it is credited with encouraging the movement for that nation’s independence. The program is appropriate for youth ages six and up. Lincoln Center, David Geffen Hall. Jan. 23, 2 p.m. Tickets are $13-39 at goo.gl/ rhzbo2.

A TROUBADOUR AT 75: JOAN BAEZ

MANHATTAN TREASURES, from p.24

New York neighborhoods — the Upper East Side and DUMBO — were transformed into sought-after hubs for culture, food, art, and real estate, and how they’re likely to evolve going forward. Simeon Bankoff is executive director of the Historic Districts Council, a leading New York voice for historic preservation; Julie Golia is director of public history at the Brooklyn Historical Society; Aleksandra Scepanovic is managing director of Ideal Properties Group; Jacky Teplitzky is a Douglas Elliman real estate broker with broad expertise in speaking about the Upper East Side; and Sherry Tobak is a senior vice president of sales at Related Companies who is the lead on the company’s Carnegie Park project. Kathy Clarke, the senior national reporter at the Real Deal, moderates. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. at 92nd St. Jan. 27, 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 at 92y.org.

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Folk legend Joan Baez celebrates her 75th birthday surrounded by friends and collaborators including Judy Collins, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Brown, David Bromberg, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Emmylou Harris, and the Indigo Girls. Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway at 75th St. Jan. 27, 8 p.m. Tickets are $59.50 - $149.50 at beacontheatre.com.

CELEBRATING WILD FILMS National Geographic, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Explorers Club, Exploration Science, and the University of Miami sponsor the 2016 New York WILD Film Festival spotlighting films in the exploration, adventure, wildlife and environmental genres. During the Jan. 28-31 festival, Jonathan Demme (“Silence of the Lambs,” “Philadelphia”) will receive the award for Best Conservation Hero Film for his documentary “What's Motivating Hayes,” about the pioneering investigative biologist Tyrone Hayes. The Explorers Club, 46 E. 70th St. For the complete lineup of films, visit nywildfilmfestival.com.

The hypnotic romance “Je crois entendre encore” ended with an endlessly floated high C in mixed head voice — a style of singing that has seemed to survive only on century-old Pathé 78 shellac recordings rather than on modern opera stages. As Leïla, Diana Damrau sounded vocally restored — her silvery, brilliant soprano precisely navigated the florid music but gained color and depth in the dramatic duets of the second and third acts. In fact, Leïla’s third act con-

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | January 14 - 27, 2016

frontation duet with Zurga, “Je frémis, je chancelle,” emerged as a vocal and dramatic highlight of the evening. Damrau’s sung French is excellent and she is a committed, positive performer. Mariusz Kwiecien’s naturally handsome voice and presence should be a good fit for Zurga. But Kwiecien still attempts to puff up his lyric baritone by clamping a dark cover on his tone while pushing for volume. Luckily the role isn’t excessively heavy or high-lying. When Kwiecien lightened up,

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his singing improved. Native Frenchman Nicolas Testé, who is married to the prima donna, imbued the priest Nourabad with a mellow soft-grained bass-baritone and a handsome brooding presence. Gianandrea Noseda conducts with driving rhythmic force, dramatic propulsion, and vibrant color. Noseda’s musical interpretation and Woolcock’s production revealed the muscular strength in Bizet’s opera as well as its fragile decorative charm. n

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January 14 - 27, 2016 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc

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