YOUR WEEKLY COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER SERVING CHELSEA, HUDSON YARDS & HELL’S KITCHEN
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month; a time for us all to redouble our efforts to eradicate the second leading killer of women in America. NYC Community Media and Community News Group’s annual “pink paper” is dedicated to our local resources, researchers, support teams, and survivors — because we share the struggle, and are mindful of the sobering statistics and excruciating toll of this deadly disease: • Approximately 40,610 women and 440 men will die from breast cancer before the year’s end, estimates the American Cancer Society. • One in eight American women will be diagnosed with the disease in her lifetime. • Every two minutes, an American woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. • Every 13 minutes, a woman dies of breast cancer in our country. • About 85 percent of cases occur in women with no family history of breast cancer. Like most people, we have had friends and family battle cancer. Anyone who has watched the impact of this terrible disease on sufferers and their loved ones understands the urgency for a cure. The good news is, progress is being made. Lisa Malwitz, our first woman profiled in 2014, just celebrated her five-year anniversary of being cancer-free. More good news: • There are over 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States today. • The five-year relative survival rate for female invasive breast cancer patients has jumped from 75 percent in the mid-1970s to 90 percent today. These strides can be attributed in no small measure to ordinary people who rise to the extraordinary occasion, demonstrating time and again the incredible strength and power of unity when affliction strikes. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity for our newspapers to share the stories of how local communities come together to battle breast cancer, and herald those suffering for the spirit needed to fight this disease during their difficult journey to good health. We hope you enjoy our “pink paper” edition and its inspirational stories. If you are looking for additional details about breast cancer, opportunities to volunteer, or resources for someone fighting the disease, please reach out to the American Cancer Society at cancer.org/about-us/local/new-york.html. JENNIFER GOODSTEIN PUBLISHER, NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA
This Week’s Pink Newspaper in Recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is Sponsored by © CHELSEA NOW 2017 | NYC COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
VOLUME 09, ISSUE 33 | OCTOBER 12 – 18, 2017
Partners in the fight against breast cancer.
Stop smoking + Limit alcohol + Be physically active + Watch your weight Women between 50 and 74 should get regular mammograms. But thereâ€™s more you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
MORE THAN MAMMOGRAMS MKT 16.190
October 12, 2017
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At Bellevue Hospital Center, the Highest Level of Care BY LEAH LU Bellevue Hospital Center’s workforce of experts are steering the earliest institution of NYC Health + Hospitals — America’s largest public health care system — to new heights. Bellevue’s chief of breast surgery, whom Caribbean Today magazine recognized as one of the “10 Top Caribbean Born Doctors In The U.S. You Should Know,” is committed to caring for breast cancer patients and going great lengths to combat the disease. “The patient can be assured that he or she is receiving the highest level of care by a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and support staff,” said Dr. Kathie-Ann Joseph, an associate professor of surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, who initiated programs in underserved districts where cancer rates are high and screening rates are low, such as creating a community tumor board allowing clinical staff throughout the health system to present and discuss interesting, difficult, or unusual cases.
Photo by Leah Lu
Bellevue Hospital Center, at 462 First Ave. (off E. 27th St.).
BEST IN BREAST CARE SERVICES The American College of Surgeons awarded Bellevue’s breast care services a Center of Excellence accreditation in 2014, the highest form of clinical and quality care recognition for breast cancer centers in the country, thanks to a highly skilled breast team dedicated to providing quality, customized care. “We have patient navigators that speak several languages, and survivors that help our patients get through what can be a very scary and stressful situation,” said Dr. Joseph. “We do what we can to make the process easier for our patients.”
MULTIDISCIPLINARY Bellevue is a leader in repairing the space left in the body after the cancer has been removed. “We are the only Health + Hospitals hospital that offers microvascular-free flap reconstruction,” says Dr. Joseph, who strives to provide patients with the best options — sometimes against all odds. A patient who was diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer needed a mastectomy, but she was too thin for a tissue-based reconstruction of the breast mound and did not want an implant, the physician said. “Rather than just telling her she was out of options, our plastic surgeons NYC Community Media
put their heads together, spoke with other colleagues, and tried a new procedure called a breast-sharing procedure, transferring a portion of her unaffected breast to create a new breast,” she said. “The woman was thrilled and she is doing well.” The hospital’s full range of multidisciplinary care includes: • Neoadjuvant therapy (chemotherapy prior to surgery) for locally advanced breast cancer. • Genetic counseling, nutrition, and psychological support, and services such as massage, legal aid, and financial services. • Nipple-sparing mastectomy and tissue-based reconstruction. • Survivorship clinics.
HEALTH PLANS AND CANCER CARE MetroPlus Health Plan — NYC Health + Hospitals’ health services plan — tries to minimize the trauma and defray the tribulations of breast cancer with a wide range of affordable plans, with premiums as low as $0 to $20 per month and screenings free-of-charge. “For most of our MetroPlus members, the majority of breast cancer care will be covered by MetroPlus, though a few members may have co-pays, depending
upon their type of insurance plan,” said Dr. Kathie T. Rones, the deputy chief medical officer and a breast cancer survivor. MetroPlus’ long history of supporting breast health includes sponsoring and walking in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. “Many of our staff, including myself, have walked to raise awareness and funds for this important cause,” said Dr. Rones. “As a doctor, and a 20-year breast cancer survivor myself, I realize how critical screening and early detection are.” Gotham has long been a trailblazer in health care, with a system that pre-dates
our nation. Bellevue Hospital Center started as a humble, six-bed infirmary in 1736, 40 years before the colonials declared independence from the British. Its original location was on the site of present-day City Hall. Today, it remains the nation’s oldest continuously operating hospital. And NYC Health + Hospitals’ impact has remained far-reaching, now providing essential services to 1.2 million New Yorkers in more than 70 locations across the five boroughs. Bellevue Hospital Center is located at 462 First Ave. (off E. 27th St.). Call 212-562-5680 or visit nychealthandhospitals.org/Bellevue.
Breast Cancer Services and Treatments in Harlem NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem is devoted to providing comprehensive, high-quality care for residents of Central Harlem, West Harlem, Washington Heights, and Inwood. The prestigious medical faculty offers a host of services and treatments for all breast cancer patients, which include: • Screenings and diagnostic mammograms
• Breast sonograms • Stereotactic core biopsies • Breast MRI and breast MRI biopsies • Needle localizations for surgeons • 2-D digital mammographic equipment • Latest ultrasound equipment For more information, visit nychealthandhospitals.org/harlem. —LEAH LU
October 12, 2017
Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer Brave Hard Choices BY EILEEN STUKANE Life as they know it changes for women when they learn that one of their two Breast Cancer (BRCA) genes — which is supposed to offer cancer protection — has a mutation, a glitch that causes an increase in their risks of developing breast and ovarian cancer. During this October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a number of women who have tested positive for BRCA1 or 2 mutations have shared the pathways they have followed to reduce their risks and live their best lives. Many have turned to the organizations SHARE Cancer Support (sharecancersupport.org; 844ASK-SHARE), a unique self-help organization for women with breast or ovarian cancers, and Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered or FORCE (facingourrisk. org; 866-288-RISK), a grassroots organization dedicated to improving the lives of women who have hereditary breast, ovarian, and related cancers. The American Cancer Society (cancer.org) estimates that in 2017 there will be an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 63,410 in situ cases, totaling over 315,000 women being newly diagnosed with breast cancer in a year where an estimated 40,610
October 12, 2017
Nathaniel Johnston Photography
Christine Benjamin LMSW, Breast Cancer Program Director at SHARE, was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer at age 36 in 2000. At the time, she did not know she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation.
women will die from the disease. (There will also be 2,470 cases of breast cancer diagnosed in men.) Breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in women, the first being lung cancer.
Photo by Joann Guerilus
Andrea Herzberg, Ovarian Cancer Helpline Coordinator at SHARE, had been diagnosed and treated for late-stage ovarian cancer prior to learning at age 39 in 2000, at the time when she had a four-year-old daughter, that she carried the BRCA2 gene mutation.
Statistically in the USA, a woman has about a 1 in 8, or roughly 12 percent risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. Women who have a BRCA1 or 2 mutation (or both) can have up to an 80 percent risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetimes, usually when they are in their younger premenopausal years, and the cancer can appear in both breasts more often for them than for women who do not have the abnormal genes. (In addition, American Cancer Society statistics show that the risk for developing ovarian cancer by age 70, jumps from less than 2 percent in the general population, to 35–70 percent for the BRCA1 mutation, and 10-30 percent for the BRCA2.) Although less than 1 percent of the US population carry the BRCA gene mutations, they are about 10 times more common among women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, and also high among Norwegian, Dutch, and Icelandic populations. Women seek out genetic testing (through blood or saliva) when they recognize a family history of breast and ovarian cancers (which was the case for actor/director Angelina Jolie), or they are diagnosed with a breast or ovarian cancer themselves. The abnormal genes can be passed from generation to generation either by a mother or a father, and each daughter or son has a 50/50 chance of acquiring them. Testing positive for one of the mutated genes then calls for inner strength and courage as cancer risks increase before a woman’s eyes and decisions involving whether or not to undergo extensive surgery must be made.
CHALLENGES AND CHOICES A breast surgeon who sits across from a woman who has tested positive for the BRCA1 or 2 gene mutations will undoubtedly tell her that she can undergo a preventive double mastectomy, technically a “bilateral prophylactic mastectomy,” with reconstruction if she chooses, and she will reduce her risk of developing breast cancer by 90 percent. If she chooses not to have this surgery, she has the option of careful monitoring, alternating every six months between mammography screenings and MRIs, to detect any changes in her breast tissue. In some cases, drugs such as Tamoxifen or Raloxifene are recommended. Christine Benjamin LMSW, Breast Cancer Program Director at SHARE, was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer at age 36 in 2000. At the time, she did not know she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation. The BRCA1 gene mutation was discovered in 1994, and the BRCA2 in 1995. In 2000 they were still being researched, and health insurance companies had not yet gotten around to covering genetic testing. Benjamin entered a study at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and learned she had the abnormal BRCA1 — which meant she had to go beyond standard treatment for breast cancer. Grappling with issues of body image, some women who learn of their gene mutations would rather do the precision GENES continued on p. 14 NYC Community Media
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October 12, 2017
She’ll Show Cancer: A Survivor Brings Her Story to the Stage BY SCOTT STIFFLER Nancy Rappaport, MD sought solace in long walks or small acts kindness offered by others — but in doing so, setbacks often found a way to assert themselves. Whether getting shooed out of a comforting cemetery, being fined for letting her unleashed dog roam the beach, or having hospital staff insist she part with the excellent socks given as a gift by an empathetic neighbor, indignities seemed to pepper her transition from doctor to patient. “The decisions,” she noted, “are coming at me fast and furious; lumpectomy, radiation, mastectomy, plastic surgery, genetic testing. … October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. My operation is October 6th. Maybe I could get a discount?” That’s typical of Rappaport’s knack for mining irony, at least as told by a lightly fictionalized version created to dramatize her unexpected diagnosis. Photo by Jennifer Johnston In August 2015, Rappaport Nancy Rappaport, from when she performed “Regeneration” was a 55-year-old psychiatrist, at a Mount Auburn Cemetery chapel. Harvard Medical School associate
professor, author, athlete, wife, and mother of three. Running 20 minutes late for an MRI test done as part of a routine screening, she assured her husband, “We eat kale, broccoli, quinoa, and boatloads of salmon.” But when the results came back and reality sank in, she closed the door on rationalizations. This was a time for “Regeneration” — the title of the theatrical work currently being performed at United Solo Festival as “a love letter to the ‘flock’ that surrounded me” during and after the left breast mastectomy she describes in her show as feeling “like a planned catastrophe, as if deciding to drive into a brick wall at 100 miles per hour.” As for how the show came to be, “I was writing to friends and family after my mastectomy,” Rappaport recently told us in a phone interview. “I wasn’t used to being in bed [inactive] for a month, and I got lonely. I began taking walks in Mount Auburn Cemetery with a friend [the cemetery’s art curator], and people
would write back when I would describe it.” Another friend suggested translating her written accounts into a live performance, and over the six months it took to “get back to speed seeing patients and teaching, I worked with various people to help me take what were just personal reflections and emails and make it into an active script.” Rappaport, then a 13-time veteran of the Boston Marathon, found in the development of “Regeneration” an outlet for the long-distance runner’s devotion to intense preparation in pursuit of an epic goal. “I like going for the top and challenging myself,” she said. Even so, why would a person whose last acting gig was the seventh grade play choose to express herself in a manner that required the rapid acquisition of a whole new skill set? Referring to the 2009 publication of “In Her Wake: A Child Psychiatrist Explores the Mystery of Her Mother’s Suicide,” its SURVIVOR continued on p. 27
October 12, 2017
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October 12, 2017
This link is no stretch: Physical activity has been associated with a significantly decreased risk of colon, endometrial, breast, esophageal, liver, stomach, and kidney cancers, among others.
Exercise Can Reduce Risk, Assist Post-Surgery Recovery
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October 12, 2017
ancer can strike without warning. There is no way to prevent cancer, but there are certain measures people can take to help reduce their risk, and exercise is one of the more effective ways to do just that. The National Cancer Institute, aka NCI (cancer.gov), notes that there is substantial evidence to support the idea that higher levels of physical activity are linked to lower risks of several cancers, including colon cancer, endometrial cancer, and breast cancer. In addition, a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that leisure-time physical activity was associated with a significantly decreased risk of not only these three cancers, but also esophageal cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, and myeloid leukemia, among others. As many as one-third of cancer-related deaths can be linked to obesity and sedentary lifestyles, so itâ€™s easy to see the relationship between exercise and a reduced cancer risk. One of the more important ways that exercise may lower cancer risk is through the reduction of estrogen and insulin levels in the body. Women with high estrogen levels in their blood have increased risk for breast cancer. Although estrogen is a reproductive hormone, it is also contained in fat cells. Exercise can help burn fat and lower the amount of blood estrogen in the body, thereby lowering a womanâ€™s risk of developing breast cancer. Exercise also can decrease the potentially harmful effects of obesity, which are linked to the development of insulin resistance. According to the study, â€œThe Links Between Insulin Resistance, Diabetes, and Cancerâ€? by Dr. Etan Orgel and Dr. Steven D. Mittelman, although the precise mechanisms and pathways are uncertain, it is becoming clear that hyperinsu-
linemia (insulin resistance), and possibly sustained hyperglycemia, are important regulators of not only the development of cancer but also of treatment outcome. Insulin resistance has been linked to the development of tumors in cases of breast and colon cancers. The NCI states that exercise also can reduce cancer risk by: â€˘ Reducing inflammation. â€˘ Altering the metabolism of bile acids in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to decrease exposure of the body to suspected carcinogens. â€˘ Improving immune system function. â€˘ Boosting mood and feelings of wellbeing. Additional research is needed to study the link between exercise and cancer risk. However, based on observational studies, existing studies support the notion that regular exercise can go a long way toward reducing cancer risk. For those who do have surgery related to cancer, it can come with some side effects. The American Cancer Society (cancer.org) notes that breast cancer surgery can impact how well women move their shoulders and arms, as pain and stiffness can weaken both areas. In addition, womenâ€™s ability to take deep breaths may be compromised after surgery, and they may have difficulty performing normal everyday activities like dressing, bathing, and brushing their hair. Exercise may seem impossible after breast cancer surgery, but the Society recommends women exercise after surgery to get their arms and shoulders EXERCISE continued on p. 12 NYC Community Media
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October 12, 2017
Judy’s Magic Wand
My Aunt Reba was the other person who liked to talk to me She’d pick me up in her car and I’d keep her company as she did her errands She called me “her little passenger” I was about nine when she died I’d been told I couldn’t visit her because she’d hurt her back My parents went without me When they came home they revealed that they’d gone to her funeral Every time my mother’s back hurt I thought that she would die Years later, I understood why the women disappeared Nobody ever said it loud or used a normal tone of voice Cancer they’d whisper Or The Big C Judy and Reba and my friend Bonnie’s mother, who let me eat lunch at her house every day She always made My-T-Fine pudding We’d eat it while it was still hot The lady down the block who sat by the window one eye on her grandchildren, the other on a pot My pretty fourth grade teacher, who was suddenly replaced by a mean substitute with a mustache Judy Holliday, my mother’s favorite actress, who shared both a name and a disease with her friend Breast Cancer Breast Cancer Breast Cancer Nobody talked above a whisper Nobody said the name Decades later, I went for my first mammogram A natural density required me to return for further testing Once I learned that it was routine I stopped panicking
October 12, 2017
Courtesy the Perl family
BY PUMA PERL Judy was my mother’s best friend Even her name distinguished her from the other friends Elsie and Gertrude and Ann with their short hair and Brooklyn voices Judy lived in a midtown Manhattan high-rise She worked in the garment district and gave me clothes like those other girls wore Poor boy sweaters, striped tights, little white boots She had long black hair and she was very tall When we visited she’d put her hands on my shoulders, look me in the eye, ask about my life Then she’d listen to my responses When Judy died, my mother composed a eulogy She said she it felt like Judy waved a magic wand wherever she went When Judy walked into the room, she wrote, everything sparkled
Laura Nyro had died, Brigitte Bardot had survived and Greta Garbo, Sheryl Crow, Marianne Faithfull, my friend Susan’s sister and my downstairs neighbor Melissa Etheridge, Betty Ford Edie Falco, and several of my friends Zoe, Alice, Ronnie, Esther All have outlived breast cancer Women are talking above a whisper Some of my friends have had mastectomies They help others, they make art, write poems Live their lives above a whisper I started an art project Photographing women’s bodies A reality collage Nobody is perfect in these photos but everyone is beautiful Zoe lifted her shirt in the bathroom of a club A double mastectomy and she was beautiful In another club, another bathroom, three of us compared breast shapes in front of the mirror One of us a breast cancer survivor And we were all beautiful I never finished the project because there is no ending Except to continue speaking Above a whisper NYC Community Media
Cancer didnâ€™t care if I lost my hair. But Mount Sinai did. My Mount Sinai is
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October 12, 2017
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Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing can make it easier to do exercises, especially after surgery. EXERCISE continued from p. 8
moving again. It notes that exercise can be especially important to women who underwent radiation therapy after surgery, as radiation can affect movement in the arm and shoulder long after treatment has ended. Regular exercise after radiation treatment can help women maintain mobility in their arms and shoulders. Exercising after breast cancer surgery can restore movement, but itâ€™s important that women take into account the following pointers, courtesy of the American Cancer Society, before beginning a regimen:
SPEAK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN Doctors may prescribe physical or occupational therapy, and some may even refer patients to cancer exercise specialists. Simply jumping back into your presurgery exercise routine can be dangerous, so bring up exercise immediately after surgery or during a follow-up visit.
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October 12, 2017
EXPECT SOME TIGHTNESS Doctors may suggest women begin exercising a week or more after undergoing breast cancer surgery. Itâ€™s normal to feel some tightness in the chest and
armpit after surgery, but the tightness will begin to subside as you exercise. Report any persistent tightness or pain to a physician immediately.
SOME BURNING, TINGLING, NUMBNESS, OR SORENESS MAY ALSO OCCUR These symptoms may be felt on the back of the arm or on the chest wall and are often a result of the surgery irritating some of your nerves. The sensations of burning, tingling, numbness, and soreness may even increase a few weeks after surgery. But the Society advises women to keep exercising through these symptoms unless they notice unusual swelling or tenderness, which should be reported to physicians right away.
EXERCISE AFTER A WARM SHOWER A warm shower may warm and relax muscles, making exercise less painful.
DRESS APPROPRIATELY Comfortable, loose-fitting clothing can make it easier to do exercises, as such attire is not restrictive. NYC Community Media
IMAGINATION TAKES FLIGHT VISIT THE INTREPID SEA, AIR & SPACE MUSEUM TO DISCOVER A LEGENDARY AIRCRAFT CARRIER, THE SPACE SHUTTLE ENTERPRISE, THE WORLD’S FASTEST JETS AND A GUIDEDMISSILE SUBMARINE. AND DON’T MISS THE SPECIAL EXHIBITION DRONES: IS THE SKY THE LIMIT? FREE WITH MUSEUM ADMISSION.
OCTOBER ON INTREPID WELCOME TO THE FUTURE October 18, 7:30pm Experts discuss new technologies that will challenge every facet of society and inspire new ways of thinking. Wine and beer available for purchase. Buy tickets online. $15 general / $12 members. FAMILY ASTRONOMY NIGHT October 20, 7:30pm Hear from NASA’s Noah Petro about Apollo 17’s exploration of the moon, and stargaze with telescopes on the flight deck. Free. Admission is first come, first served.
HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS HALLOWEEN-THEMED OPERATION SLUMBER October 28 Spend a night aboard Intrepid ! Get exclusive access to the ship and Space Shuttle Pavilion, and sleep among the aircraft, just like enlisted sailors once did. Reserve your spot today. Email email@example.com or call 646-381-5010. MEMBERS-ONLY HALLOWEEN FILM SCREENING October 28 Watch Toy Story of Terror and Hocus Pocus— a double feature that will get you into the Halloween spirit. Between films, hear a talk by a Museum educator about the “magic” of science. To learn more or become a member, visit intrepidmuseum.org/membership or call 646-381-5030.
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October 12, 2017
GENES continued from p. 4
monitoring than have a preventive double mastectomy. Benjamin felt differently. “It was more about lifestyle and what I thought I could handle emotionally,” she recalled. “From the time I was diagnosed to the time I had surgery I think I had 18 doctor appointments, just a gazillion appointments, and I just thought, I don’t want to live my life this way.” She had the preventive double mastectomy, chemotherapy, and reconstruction. A year later she underwent further surgery. “I felt I needed to be as proactive as I could,” Benjamin said, “not that there was any evidence, but I had my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.” Without hormoneproducing ovaries, a woman reduces her risk of breast cancer. Benjamin, who had no children but was in a relationship, had deep discussions with her partner over this life-changing decision: “I remember feeling like I really needed to do this, it was very clear to me.” Benjamin, like the rest of the women in this article, emphasized that there is no “right” decision about how to proceed since science cannot yet predict what the future holds. “If you knew that when you’re 78 you’re going to develop some kind of cancer, would you do anything prophylactically now? Science is just not there yet,” she said. However, today, SHARE and FORCE have many peers who have gone through the process and are there to help. “People don’t have to go through it alone,” she noted, recalling, “I had to do it alone.” Andrea Herzberg, Ovarian Cancer Helpline Coordinator at SHARE, also recommends that women with BRCA1 or 2 mutations reach out to women at SHARE and FORCE. Herzberg herself learned at age 39 in 2000, at the time when she had a four-year-old daughter, that she carried the BRCA2 gene mutation. She had been diagnosed and treated for late-stage ovarian cancer prior to finding out. She decided that since her total hysterectomy and chemotherapy had already lowered her risk of breast cancer, unlike Benjamin, she would opt for surveillance through the screenings. “Women who discover that they have increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer, are going to come at the decisionmaking process from different perspectives, based on their own individual, personal situations. At SHARE we encourage everyone to make informed decisions,” Herzberg said. “By the time I was 40 I had had two major surgeries, a lot of chemotherapy. Unlike ovarian cancer, breast cancer has early screening.” She decided to follow through on surveillance screenings, and has done so for the last 17 years. “I decided I could live
October 12, 2017
Courtesy FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
Hereditary cancer and the mutations that cause it affect multiple people within families, as in Dave Bushman’s family. L to R, his niece, Carrie Kreiswirth; his sister, Annie Brickel; Dave Bushman; Dave’s wife, Jessie Bushman; and their daughter, Dana Bushman. Dave and Annie’s mother died at 42 from breast and ovarian cancer and in addition to those pictured here, many others within their family have been affected by the BRCA1 mutation.
with the increased surveillance. I didn’t want to run after more surgery unless I needed it and this turned out to be a plan for me.” It is not uncommon for women at high risk to say they have reached a certain level of tolerance with surgical intervention, and therefore prefer breast surveillance through screenings. Deborah Polinsky LCSW, mental health therapist and volunteer at SHARE and FORCE, had a response similar to Herzberg’s. Polinsky did not know that she carried the BRCA1 mutation when she was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer in 2006 at age 52, but learned shortly thereafter. When the surgery and chemotherapy treatments for her ovarian cancer left her with chronic neuropathy, nerve damage that causes pain, in her hands and feet, she did not want to go through any further surgery. She chose to have surveillance through breast screenings rather than undergo a preventive mastectomy, a decision reached after consulting
with genetic counselors who researched statistics for her. “Their data showed that as you get older the risk of breast cancer due to genetic mutation comes closer to the risk for women in the general population. If you find out when you’re 25 that you have this (a gene mutation) then you have all those years of being at risk, but I was already in my 50s,” Polinsky said. Based on the medical literature, which also showed that the screenings could identify early stage breast cancer and overall survival rates were similar to those of older women in the general population, Polinsky concluded that she was comfortable with surveillance through screenings. Eleven years later, she has not shown any sign of breast cancer. Every high-risk woman is really on her own in charting her future. Linda (who did not want her last name used) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 47 and she felt similarly to Deborah Polinsky. After surgery and chemothera-
py, and learning she carried the BRCA2 mutation, her inclination was to refrain from further surgery. She decided to do breast surveillance through screenings, but also took the drug Tamoxifen as a preventive measure. When she reacted badly to the drug, she changed her mind and chose to undergo a preventive bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction using silicone implants. Her breast surgery revealed atypical lobular hyperplasia, distorted cells within her breast that are a sign of an increased risk of breast cancer, and these cells cannot be detected though imaging. Linda’s change of course turned out to be the right decision for her. Life experiences, relationships, support groups, and medical experts create a mix that for each woman is different. Herzberg made the important point that women who have witnessed family members die before age 40 due to hereditary GENES continued on p. 20 NYC Community Media
(JSPUPJHSYLZLHYJOZ[\K`MVYKLWYLZZPVU Have you been diagnosed with depression, and have antidepressant medications not been effective? You may qualify for a study that is evaluating whether an investigational medication taken along with an antidepressant can reduce symptoms of depression in people who have not responded well to medications before. To be eligible, you must: - Be 21 to 64 years old - Have been diagnosed with depression - Currently be taking an antidepressant medication but not fully benefiting from it Additional requirements apply. The study will last up to 26 weeks, and you will receive the study medication and all study-related care at no cost. For more information, please call the study research staff at:
Brittany Cho, 212-241-7906
+BOTTFO3FTFBSDI%FWFMPQNFOU The image depicted contains models and is being used for illustrative purposes only.
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October 12, 2017
Cyclist Fatalities Addressed: Route Adherence Stressed, Crosstown Bike Lanes Suggested BY DUSICA SUE MALESEVIC For the first time since two cyclists were killed this past summer after being struck by charter buses, bus companies sat down last week with the community, elected officials, the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) and the NYPD. Brandon Buchanan, director of regulatory affairs for the American Bus Association, said it was the first time they had been invited. The meeting, which took place on Thurs., Oct. 5 and was convened by Councilmember Corey Johnson’s office, was a good opportunity to establish a partnership, Buchanan, who attended the meeting, said by phone. The association includes around 800 bus companies across North America as members along with tour operators and companies, Peter Pantuso, the association’s president, said by phone. About 65 percent of the motor coach companies on the road are part of the association, he said. Representatives from the Bus Association of New York, United Motorcoach Association, Academy Bus,
Via Twitter, @CoreyinNYC
On Oct. 5, @CoreyinNYC tweeted this photo, noting, “Today my office convened a mtg of bus companies & trade associations, @ NYC_DOT, NYPD, CBs 4 & 5 and my colleagues in govt. to discuss pedestrian/cyclist safety, particularly in Chelsea/W.Midtown. All stakeholders need to be involved in this important effort. #VisionZero #BikeNYC.”
NJ Motor, Coach USA and Trans-Bridge Lines, Inc. also attended to the meeting, according to Johnson’s office. One of the main issues is bus com-
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October 12, 2017
panies using appropriate routes — the same ones trucks utilize — while in New York City. Buchanan said that in one of the incidents over the summer, the bus company was not locally based — it was from the Midwest — and that bus routes need to be “easily accessible for those who are not locally familiar.” Christine Berthet, who attended the meeting, said bus companies need to familiarize themselves with the local laws. Berthet is the co-chair of Community Board 4’s Transportation Planning Committee and one of the founders of the pedestrian advocacy group CHEKPEDS (Clinton Hell’s Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety). “That’s their job,” Berthet said by phone. State Senator Brad Hoylman said, “If the bus companies are coming into New York City, they need to follow our laws and regulations.” Berthet said the bus companies need to use proper routes to avoid fatalities in the future. Depending on a bus’ destination, there are instances they can go on streets outside those designated for trucks. For instance, if they are picking up passengers on W. 15th St., they are allowed to do so, she explained. However, bus “drivers must leave the truck routes at the nearest intersection to their destination and return at the nearest possible location,” according to the DOT’s website. “Bus operators should always plan ahead before traveling in
New York City to familiarize themselves with appropriate routes, planned construction work and traffic conditions,” according to the site. On Mon., June 12, 36-year-old Brooklyn resident Dan Hanegby was using a Citi Bike to get to work when he was hit by a charter bus on W. 26th St., between Seventh and Eighth Aves., according to police. Five days later, on Sat., June 17, a charter bus making a right turn on W. 29th St. hit an 80-year-old Chelsea resident, Michael Mamoukakis. Both died. “We pressed the bus companies to use GPS systems that clearly show the truck routes they are required to use, as truck companies do,” Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, who attended the meeting, said in an email statement to Chelsea Now. Gottfried added the bus companies need to improve the education and training of their drivers. “We called on city DOT and the NYPD to join in pressing and requiring the companies to make these changes,” he said. Pantuso, the president of the bus trade association, said by phone that “having the information available to them is a really good first step,” for out-of-town bus companies. Buchanan said that the DOT has an education campaign that they are looking to support. “We look forward to continued dialogue and being part of the solution,” he said. CYCLING SAFETY continued on p. 30 NYC Community Media
TOP DRIVER DISTRACTIONS Using mobile phones Leading the list of the top distractions behind the wheel are mobile phones. Phones now do more than just place calls, and drivers often cannot pull away from their phones, even when driving. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell
NYC Community Media
phone conversations. The use of a hands-free device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and nearcrashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening.
Daydreaming Many people will admit to daydreaming behind the wheel or looking at a person or object outside of the car for too long. Per-
haps they’re checking out a house in a new neighborhood or thought they saw someone they knew on the street corner. It can be easy to veer into the direction your eyes are focused, causing an accident. In addition to trying to stay focused on the road, some drivers prefer the help of lane departure warning systems.
Eating Those who haven’t quite mastered walking and
chewing gum at the same time may want to avoid eating while driving. The majority of foods require a person’s hands to be taken off of the wheel and their eyes to be diverted from the road. Reaching in the back seat to share some French fries with the kids is also distracting. Try to eat meals before getting in the car. For those who must snack while en route, take a moment to pull over at
a rest area and spend 10 minutes snacking there before resuming the trip.
Reading Glancing at an advertisement, updating a Facebook status or reading a book are all activities that should be avoided when driving. Even pouring over a traffic map or consulting the digital display of a GPS system can be distracting.
October 12, 2017
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October 12, 2017
BY LEVAR ALONZO Community Board 4 (CB4) was up in arms as lapses by the Department of Buildings (DOB) allowed for two more residential buildings to be demolished. The pair of four-story residential buildings at 335-337 W. 55th St. (btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.) that are zoned in the Special Clinton District currently sit surrounded by scaffolding and construction netting. According to DOB records, the building owner filed for a series of alterations that included adding two more floors, extending the rear, removing the interior stairway, and placing a passenger elevator in the building. DOB approved the application for the alterations in 2012 but the form made no mention of full-scale demolition. “We learn that the DOB tolerates when developers lie to them on forms that are filed... I get angry when people lie to me,” said Assemblymember Richard Gottfried at the Oct. 4 full board meeting of CB4. “It doesn’t seem to bother the DOB much, because when they follow up on a complaint they tell the developers just file new paperwork.” CB4 believes that landowners checked off on the work as alterations in order to mask the complete demolition and restoration of the buildings, a technique they are very familiar with. The board also noted that the owner had managed to eliminate all the residential units in the buildings.
“This is a far to common problem in our neighborhoods, landlords or owners file with the DOB for alterations to be done on their buildings, but those changes often include a full scale demo,” said CB4 member Joe Restuccia, who also serves as executive director of Clinton Housing Development Company. “If you walk by these buildings today,” Restuccia noted, “you will see for yourself the full scale demolition that is happening.” In the CB4 Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen Land Use committee’s proposed letter to the DOB, along with unanimous support from the full community board, they asked the city to place an immediate Stop Work Order on the buildings. Their letter expressed the board’s outrage and requested that the DOB to “treat this matter with the urgency it requires.” Elsewhere in letter, the committee noted, “The owner, who filed renovation work under the DOB, has not only exceeded the scope of work described in the job application, but also successfully vacated the building and demolished all the residential units.” Gottfried urged CB4 to be relentless in writing letters, and then decide when they are going to start sending copies of the letters to the press. This was in response to a question asked about what can be done regarding the DOB allowing faulty demolition applications to go FALSE FILINGS continued on p. 29 NYC Community Media
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October 12, 2017
GENES continued from p. 14
genes, approach their decision-making differently than women who have not had these experiences: “Having the mutation doesn’t mean you’re definitely going to get cancer,” she noted, “but having spoken to women through the SHARE Helpline, I think some cannot live with that sword of Damocles and they’ll make a decision.” Jane Herman, writer/editor for the Union Reform for Judaism and a Peer Support Group Leader for FORCE, sought genetic testing at age 47 in 2010 after her mother died of metastatic breast cancer. Even though her mother passed away in her 70s, Herman knew of the higher risk among Ashkenazi Jews. She was fortunate to have followed her instincts. She tested positive for a BRCA2 gene mutation and underwent a full hysterectomy in 2010 to lower her risks. After that surgery her intention was to follow through with breast surveillance. She had never been diagnosed with a cancer but when she was diagnosed with the abnormal gene she “used to tell people that I fall asleep every night thinking about breast cancer and I wake up every morning thinking about breast cancer. I was convinced I had it and it was growing.” When her MRI first showed something suspicious, Herman underwent more testing, an ultrasound, and a needle biopsy. “I spent more time having tests than I could ever have imagined,” Herman recalled, “and that was a real eye-opener for me to realize that I didn’t have the personal tolerance to do this every six months for the rest of my life.” She made the decision to undergo a complete prophylactic bilateral mastectomy with breast reconstruction using her own transferred abdominal tissue. It was a 12-hour surgery. Today she says that
Emily Frances Photography
SHARE Cancer Support has many educational resources for those navigating difficult decisions about their health.
the decisions she made “were absolutely the right decisions for me. I came to this having watched my mother decline within seven weeks, from being active and not ill, to being in a hospice.” Every woman’s story is unique. Annie Brickel, a retired New York City educator and a Peer Support Group Leader for FORCE, lost her 42-yearold mother to ovarian cancer when she was eight years old in the 1950s, when the mutated genes were still unknown. In more recent years, her NYC doctor persisted in telling her to be genetically tested. In 2010, she relented and learned that she was positive for the BRCA1 mutation. She found emotional support through FORCE volunteers who also gave her research information and direction. Brickel, who is the mother of fra-
ternal twin daughters and a son, had undergone a complete hysterectomy in 1994 due to the foresight of her physician who knew her family history, so her breast cancer risk had already been reduced. However, one twin daughter and her son also tested positive for the mutated gene. Brickel and her daughter Carrie chose to follow through with the mammography/MRI screenings on alternating six months until 2013 when, at age 36, Carrie was diagnosed with a stage 1 triple negative breast cancer, and her doctor said she had six weeks to make surgical decisions. “Even though I wasn’t the one with the cancer, you’re watching your child go through this and it takes an emotional toll. It’s a very helpless feeling. But I did know that when she was finished with her journey that I was going to become very proac-
Extra! Extra! Local News Read all about it!
October 12, 2017
tive with mine,” Brickel said. Carrie underwent extensive surgery that included a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction using a tissue-transfer from her own abdomen, a procedure called DIEP (deep inferior epigastric perforator) flap surgery. She is in good health today. Brickel then changed her approach to dealing with her own situation and in 2014 chose to do a preventive bilateral, nipple-sparing mastectomy with reconstruction using adjustable saline implants. The implants are slowly expanded through tubes that are removed when the expansion is complete. Brickel hopes that by the time her son’s children are adults there will be medical breakthroughs in ways to manage the genetic mutations.
MORE FINDINGS FROM GENETIC TESTING Since the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic discoveries, over a dozen more genetic mutations have been found to affect the risk of breast cancer, and more are being researched. These genetic discoveries will help to individualize the way cancer is treated. For women already diagnosed with genetic mutations, however, an “individual” approach has always been the way. Eileen Stukane is a frequent contributor to Chelsea Now. She is co-author of “The Complete Book of Breast Care” (available at amazon.com). Her ebook memoir, “Running on Two Different Tracks,” published by Shebooks, is available at amzn.to/1PqZens. NYC Community Media
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October 12, 2017
Cape and Crown: How Rev. Jen Got Her Booty Back She pursued a treasure chest full of new stories
Photo by John Foster
Popcorn-loving ducks bonded with Rev. Jen on a Cape Cod beach.
BY REV. JEN MILLER Greetings, Earthlings and dear readers! I last wrote this column almost nine months ago, after losing my Chihuahua BFF, Reverend Jen Junior. I was heartbroken then, and am still heartbroken. But, the good news is, Jen Junior will always be with us. In fact, I recently received a postcard, simply postmarked “Hell.” It read: Hey, Rev.! It’s JJ. I am in Hell! I was sent here for lustfully humping human legs and being envious of other female dogs. But everything is cool. I’ve started a supergroup with Prince, Bowie, and Johnny Cash. Marilyn Monroe and I often stay up all night, swapping stories about being fabulous blondes. Because I greedily begged for food so much in life, my punishment is to eat myself to death every day, but then I get to come back to life and do it all again! Tell everyone back home I miss them, and that when they all die (hopefully not too soon) and go straight to Hell, we’ll have a big party! Love Always, Reverend Jen Junior I guess she didn’t have time to write more, given Hell is so busy and fun, but she often visits me in dreams and is always by my side. Moving on, enquiring minds might wonder where I’ve been. Like Hillary, I simply vanished. Extremely long story short: Due to a
October 12, 2017
psychotic roommate situation, I was forced to evacuate the city along with my trusty column cohort and roommate, John Foster. Having nowhere to live and only our cat and the clothes on our backs, we headed north to Cape Cod, where John’s parents reside. It was time for my “Old Man and the Sea Monkey” phase. Much like the tiny crustacean, I was fragile and in need of care.
CAPE COD When people picture Cape Cod, they often think of bros in white pants, boiling lobsters and playing golf — but there is much more to the hook-shaped peninsula than preppy culture. First, it is full of wildlife including foxes, bunnies, wolves, coyotes, whales, ducks, seals, sharks, and wild turkeys who walk in a line like they are posing for the cover of “Abbey Road.” While we were there, we saw a wolf smelling pink flowers and two seals “doing it” on the beach. A group of ducklings and their mother duck befriended me, mostly because I had popcorn. And, warning to everyone in the Atlantic: John taught me to drive a boat! It’s a lot like driving on 95, but there are no lanes. We gardened and swam every day, but the food there is so good, I am going to need Richard Simmons to cut
Photo by Jason Thompson
She’ll see you in Hell: Reverend Jen Junior (2002-2016) still keeps in touch with our intrepid columnist.
me out of my current apartment if I am to cover events again. Inspired by the sea and the state’s legal marijuana, we also watched approximately 300 episodes of “SpongeBob.” But, realizing we were becoming useless human beings, we were both determined to return to New York City. I was getting no writing done and wanted the greatest booty one can cull from the treasure chest that is life: stories. Like Captain Jack Sparrow right after he helped lift the Curse of the Black Pearl, I had to get back on the boat and get lost at sea one more time. On a day trip to NYC, we managed to find an apartment and I managed to find a job at a retail establishment. Can’t tell you exactly where I live now, only that it’s very close to my favorite roller coaster.
THE MISS SUBWAYS PAGEANT A friend of mine contacted me while I was on the Cape and asked me to help organize and judge a rebooted version of the “Miss Subways” Pageant, which initially ran from 1941 through 1976. During those years, it was very much a “beauty pageant” that encouraged companies to advertise on the subway. (While gazing up at a lovely Miss Subways, you might also glance
upon an ad.) But the new pageant was to be very different. Open to all genders and ages, it was a benefit for both the City Reliquary (a museum that celebrates NYC’s heritage with artifacts) and the Riders Alliance (a group devoted to combating the “Summer of Hell” while advocating for straphanger’s rights). Having organized the “Mr. LES Pageant” for 18 years, I knew I could certainly throw a better beauty pageant than Trump. Three other judges were also recruited; comedians Janeane Garofalo and Baratunde Thurston and NY1 host Roger Clark. I brought along two extra “hand-puppet” judges: Gay-Tor (a wise alligator who has lived under the subway for 112 years) and the “Ghost of IRT Past.” Fourteen contestants entered, but only would walk away with the crown (designed by me), complete with plastic roaches, a pizza rat, and a 50-yearold token. By the final round, there were only four left standing: fi lmmaker, Dylan Mars Greenberg; drag queen tour guide, Glace Chase; Hedra, aka “Miss Derailment”; and performance artist, Lisa Levy. Lisa’s heartfelt memories of having ridden the subway for 61 years is what finally brought us to the conclusion that she should be bestowed the crown, making her the REV. continued on p. 25 NYC Community Media
Photo by KL Thomas
Out of their gourd: After 20 years of chilling tales, “The Pumpkin Pie Show” willingly pulls its plug. L to R: Brian Silliman, Hanna Cheek, Abe Goldfarb, Kyle Jarrow and Clay McCleod Chapman (from the encore of “Seasick”).
Just Do Art: The Back Again Edition BY SCOTT STIFFLER
“DEATH TO THE PUMPKIN PIE SHOW”
AMY STILLER IN “JUST TRUST” Paint drying certainly is a work in progress — but you wouldn’t disconnect from your electronic devices, schlep to a theater, and buy a ticket to watch it happen. Amy Stiller, however, is worth the trip and then some. The ever-evolving, self-aware searcher’s solo performance drops anchor back at the site of its incubation, after a series of national performances during which writer, actress, and comedienne Stiller tells us she further sharpened the silly, sexy, spiritually inclined, packed-to-the-rafters workshop performance enormously enjoyed by this publication at Dixon Place back in Aug. 2016. Assured improvements notwithstanding, the rock solid story arc remains the same: Stiller riffs on her life as “the only unknown person in a family of celebrities” (sister of Ben, daughter of Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller). Flummoxed by an unworthy suitor, a therapist with more personal problems than her client, and a celebrity culture rife with vultures and short on virtues, mamma Meara drops a Yoda-like koan that becomes Stiller’s North Star (and the two-word title of her show). True to the press material’s promise, “Amy learns to ‘just trust’ that she is enough.” There are plenty of bumps along the way, though, told through a series of alternately touching and absurd flashbacks packed with spot-on portrayals of characters both grounded and kooky — plus a few cutting zingers aimed squarely at the her own flaws. As road trips to enlightenment go, Stiller proves to be the kind of vigilant presence you NYC Community Media
Photo by Alison Bert
It’s so nice to have you back: Amy Stiller’s “Just Trust” returns to Dixon Place Oct. 13 and 14.
want behind the wheel. Fri., Oct. 13 at 7:30pm, Sat. Oct. 14 at 2pm and 7:30pm. At Dixon Place (161A Chrystie St., btw. Rivington & Delancey Sts.). For tickets, ($15 in advance, $18 at the door; $12 for students/seniors; online discount code is JUSTAMY), visit dixonplace.org or call 212-219-0736.
Twenty years after he first took the ancient tradition of bone-chilling, one-upsmanship tale-telling away from the forest campfire and into a black box theater, Clay McLeod Chapman is casting himself as a ruthless homicidal nurse and pulling the plug on his still-beating, deeply disturbing storytelling series, “The Pumpkin Pie Show.” Every October, it’s given us a reliably unstable pageant of blood, guts, gore, long-held secrets, and public perversions acted with scene-chewing gusto by a revolving cast handharvested by author Chapman, whose tightly wound shockers repeatedly demonstrate that fiction is stranger than truth — and in the right hands, it’s far more dangerous. This three-week swan song brings back some of the series’ best, including unofficial national treasure Hanna Cheek. On Oct. 12, 19 and 26, she’ll shape-shift through “Commencement,” playing three women whose lives intersect in the heartbreaking wake of a high school shooting. On Oct. 13, 20 and 27, Chapman reunites with songwriter Kyle Jarrow and fellow cast members Cheek, Abe Goldfarb, Katie Hartman and Brian Silliman for “Seasick” — a cruise-ship-set musical theater take on survivalism, potty mouthery, and descents into madness. You’ll never think of buffet dining or karaoke quite the same way. The third part (of course it’s a trilogy), “Best of Blitzkrieg,” has Chapman, Cheek and special guests performing a punk potpourri of “Pie Show” JDA continued on p. 24 October 12, 2017
JDA continued from p. 23
“IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK: CELEBRATING THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE BOTTOM LINE”
favorites, chosen at random on Oct. 14, 21 and 28. Not enough for you? Pick up the recent Applause Books release “Nothing Untoward: Tales From The Pumpkin Pie Show” and you can take that cursed tome off the shelf any night of the week. There will be dreams, yes — but don’t bank on anything sweet. Through Oct. 28, with performances Thurs., and Sat. at 8pm. At UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Pl., btw. First Ave. & Ave. A). For tickets ($20), visit horsetrade.info. See all three shows for the price of two when you use the code PIE. Artist info at claymcleodchapman.com.
ERYC TAYLOR DANCE: FALL SEASON Twist, jump, and leap if you must — just don’t two-step around the opportunity to see Eryc Taylor Dance in the intimate Martha Graham Studio Theater. That’s where we last caught the muscular and nimble ensemble, at an Oct. 2016 performance (whose world premieres included “Dances on Wood,” choreographed to an original score by renowned composer and longtime Chelsea Hotel resident Gerald Busby). Nicole Baker, Chris Bell and Graham Cole — all veterans of that 10-year anniversary performance, and all fantastic in it — return for this fall season program, joined by Taylor Ennen, AJ Guevara and Alex Tenreiro Theis. Skill, sweat, and sex appeal make this a must-see, and that’s a sight-unseen recommendation we feel perfectly comfortable with. As for the specifics of what you’ll get: “Cycles” is a “sixteen-minute abstraction of space and sea” commissioned work with a soundscape by British electronic artist/DJ Swarm Intelligence and geometric exoskeleton costumes by emerging NYC-based artist Ether. The troupe’s 1992 comedic take on tango — “Chaise Lung” — gets the reconstruction treatment via new sequence created in collaboration with Latin Ballroom instructor Sidney Grant, and a new commissioned score by Salomon Lerner. Repertory works include “Song for Cello and Piano,” “The Box,” and “The Missing,” with that last one giving us the ending we needed: This is one fall arts event you don’t want miss. At 8pm on Fri., Oct. 13 & Sat., Oct. 14, then Sun., Oct. 15 at 3pm. At the Martha Graham Studio Theater (55 Bethune St., at Washington St.). For tickets ($25; $15 for students & seniors; VIP champagne toast, $250), call 858401-2456 or visit etd.nyc.
October 12, 2017
Photo by Steven Menendez
You’ll sweat just watching them: Eryc Taylor Dance returns to the Martha Graham Studio Theater, Oct. 13-15.
One group and two words: Uptown Horns. That’s really all you need to know to sell you on celebrating the iconic music venue that made 15 W. Fourth St. the place to be from 1974 to 2004. The Horns will, of course, be joined by a beyond-stellar lineup lovingly curated by Jessica Weitz, Danny Kapilian and Paul Guzzone, and conceived by Melanie Mintz, with music direction by Gregg Bendian (whose band, The Mahavishnu Project, was frequent Bottom Line presence). Hosted by Paul Shaffer, the announced talent (so many we don’t have room for them all, sorry) includes Sean Altman, David Bromberg (Fri. only), Clint de Ganon, The GrooveBarbers, Garland Jeffreys (Sat. only), David Johansen, Christine Lavin (Sat. only), Will Lee, Darlene Love with Ula Hedwig and Curtis King, Terre Roche with Feifei Yang and Garry Dial (Fri. only), and Jimmy Vivino. In addition to the great music you’d expect, the tribute will be packed with stories, audio clips and photos, and a pop-up gallery in the lobby exhibiting intimate moments of Bottom Line glory from rock photographers Peter Cunningham, Bob Gruen, and Ebet Roberts. Fri., Oct. 13 and Sat., Oct. 14, 7:30pm at the Schimmel Center (at Pace University; 3 Spruce St., btw. Gold St. & Park Row). For tickets ($29 to $55), call 212-3461715 or visit schimmelcenter.org.
Photo Peter Cunningham Photography
A stellar lineup pays tribute to the Bottom Line, Oct. 13-14. L to R, from back in the day, co-owners Stanley Snadowsky and Allan Pepper. NYC Community Media
First photo on right by Phil Buehler
This visual aid, used while talking about here lifelong relationship with the MTA, helped Lisa Levy clinch the title of â€œMiss Subways.â€? REV. continued from p. 22
first post-menopausal Miss Subways in history. When you gaze upon her visage, remember she is going your way, even if the MTA isnâ€™t.
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Courtesy Lisa Levy
The coveted Rev. Jen-designed Miss Subways crown sports a 1950s-era token. NYC Community Media
Itâ€™s that time of year again, when autumn leaves fall gently on the ground and NFL players don pink cleats along with their tight pants before crushing each other and getting concussions, in order to remind us of breast cancer awareness. Silly as their gesture might seem, when I look at those cleats, I imagine every player has a friend or family member whoâ€™s been affected by the disease, given it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. I wanted to write something funny here or do some-
thing like run or walk, but I am not always a fan of equating physical exercise with causes. If I am running, itâ€™s generally from something or to something. So, I thought Iâ€™d write a poem instead. When I was a wee kid, my teacher asked me to write a poem about my favorite color. My favorite color is actually gold, but, technically, itâ€™s a metal so I went with pink. I only have the first four lines memorized, but I have rewritten it, as a reminder to get your boobs checked.
â€œPINKâ€? Pink is the color of a carnation flower Pink is the color of the sunâ€™s fi nal hour Pink is the color of a sweet-smelling rose Itâ€™s even the color of my kittenâ€™s nose Pink is also a cause A moment to take pause and check out your ta-tas You can do a self-exam You can even let your man There are many tasks that men do loathe Checking breasts is not one of those Even Barbara Bush said itâ€™s not deviant to let you boyfriend go and feel it So go and get your breasteses checked Because the sooner they detect The better you will rest Before they repeal Obamacare And we all have to live in fear!
MANTA SPA FOCUSING ON MAN TO MAN MASSAGE
October 12, 2017
I’ll Sing ‘Em All and We’ll Stay All Night Linda Glick takes us down New York cabaret’s Memory Lane BY TRAV S.D. This month and next, cabaret fans will have a rare chance to catch up with a New York cabaret star of the 1970s and ‘80s, Linda Glick, when she plays Pangea with her new show “Teach Me Tonight.” Back in the day, Glick was a mainstay of such venues as Les Mouches, the Duplex, Triad, Reno Sweeney’s, Judy’s, and many others, when she wasn’t playing the big rooms like the Rainbow Grill or touring internationally. Her fan base was and is largely gay; she sang in bathhouses, too, and she’s been a headliner at several national Pride gatherings in Washington. She’s also shared bills and stages with Harvey Fierstein, Sid Caesar, Shecky Greene, and Rita Rudner, understudied for Eartha Kitt, and workshopped a show with Kander and Ebb. In her heyday, her appearances got mentions and plugs in Variety, Page Six, and Earl Wilson’s syndicated column. Born and raised in Forest Hills, Glick initially taught French and Spanish in city public middle schools, performing in cabarets at night. Because she was proficient at singing in foreign languages, she was hired as a replacement for Rita Dmitri at La Chansonsette supper club. Two European agents saw her perform there and she was immediately booked on an international tour, launching her career. She’s sung everywhere from Thailand to the Catskills, but she claims, “I don’t like any other type of venue as much as I like New York cabarets.” Glick recently took me on a trip down Memory Lane to some of her old haunts to talk about the cabaret scene in days gone by and how things have changed. Along the way, she shared anecdotes about many adventures from her long career. Reno Sweeney’s (126 W. 13th St., now a pasta restaurant called Gradisca): “A lot of big names played here: Diane Keaton, Manhattan Transfer, Cybill Shepherd, Holly Woodlawn, Barbara Cook, Janis Ian, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Peter Allen, whom I later opened for at a club called Waaay Off-Broadway in Washington, DC. Reno Sweeney’s was wonderful. They made a point of always displaying these beautiful flower arrangements. It was run very professionally by a man named Lewis Friedman, a great manager. This was the first place I ever worked with my own string section. And this is where we premiered a song I cowrote called “Weekend Lady.” One time I’d forgotten my costume, I left it in the cab, and my girlfriend came to the show so we literally switched clothes so I could perform. And then at the last possible second, the cab driver burst into the club with my costume. I remember the man’s name to this day. He was a hero.” The VIP Room (120 Madison Ave. at E. 30th St.): “The house band was a bunch of Greek guys.
October 12, 2017
St.): “This location had previously been a spot called the Pearl. The Bushes was where I got my first shot at developing a following, I played these Sunday night shows and napped in the boiler room between sets. The crowd here was mostly gay, too.” Danny’s Skylight Room (346 W. 46th St., now a New Orleans-themed restaurant called Bourbon Street): “This place was run by Danny Apolinar, a songwriter who sang and played piano. Danny was responsible for getting me a gig at the Central Plaza Hotel in Bangkok.” Bike Stop West (230 W. 75th St.): “The manager was a man known as the Emerald Queen. This venue was very small. I actually performed on the bar and the audience spilled out onto the sidewalk.” Gypsy’s (1065 First Ave. at E. 58th St., now Fusha Asian Cuisine): “It was packed to the rafters when I performed there. Gypsy was the emcee, but the owner was [Hollywood dancer and impresario] Ted Hook. There was so much freedom then. I wore this cocoa-colored gown with black feathers as breastplates. Marilyn Sokol showed up wearing a boa made of rubber chickens.” Photo by Anthony Grasso
Linda Glick, who appears for four evenings at Pangea, recalls New York’s cabaret scene back in the day.
I sang there three to four times a week, for several weeks. Because I sang in several different languages, one time an important patron requested I sing a song in Russian. I had heard that there were some guys doing a Russian version of “Those Were the Days” down at one of the Ukrainian places on Second Avenue, so I sent someone there for the sheet music. I stuck the music into a book, and invented some patter and put on a shawl and sang the song from the book. The owner wanted me to ditch the book, but I said, ‘No, this has all been carefully rehearsed. I need my props!’ Then, when I did my encore on that show, a medley of Édith Piaf songs, the audience actually threw money. I gathered it all up and split it five ways with the band.” Les Mouches (559 W. 26th St.): “You got upstairs in an elevator, and it was a whole complex with dining rooms, a cabaret, and a dance space with mirrored disco ball. My director was Bill Hennessy, he had been Bette Midler’s hair stylist and mentor. He was the one who gave her the funny onstage walk that she does. It was a festive, free place, with a gay clientele. I sang a song called ‘Knights in Black Leather,’ and threw ball gags and other sex toys out to the audience.” The Bushes of Central Park West (158 W. 73rd
Many another name came up during Glick’s reminiscences: Brothers and Sisters, Grand Finale, Steve McGraw’s (which is now the Triad), Eighty Eights (now a restaurant called L’Artusi), Trude Heller’s (now Lenwich, Greenwich Village), Tramps (now an Irish bar called Shades of Green), and of course the legendary Duplex, which is one of the few places from the old days that is still going. As to why the landscape in New York changed so much over the past few decades, Glick speculated, “You can’t make a living in cabaret now. There got to be fewer and fewer rooms and different types of venues. The rents got higher, the economics changed, and AIDS hit the gay community hard.” As that happened, Glick transitioned into acting in theater, film, and television. Notable credits include stints as Mrs. Brice in two touring productions of “Funny Girl,” the role of Nancy Pelosi in the HBO movie “Too Big to Fail” about the 2008 financial meltdown, and several shows at 54 Below in 2015. But, she said, “I really love the atmosphere at Pangea, it reminds me of the classy old supper clubs from the old days. I can’t wait to perform there.” Linda Glick’s “Teach Me Tonight” is performed Oct. 18 & 25, Nov. 1 & 10 at 7:30pm at Pangea (178 Second Ave. at E. 11th St.). Tickets: $20 at pangeanyc.com; $25 cash only at the door. $20 food or drink minimum. NYC Community Media
SURVIVOR continued from p. 6
author deadpanned, “Nobody should write two memoirs. If you didn’t say it in the first one, you’re just out of luck.” With the notion of another book off the table for that very good reason, Rappaport’s stage project provided a chance not only to tell her story, but also to experience it from a much different vantage point than her profession allowed. “As a psychiatrist,” Rappaport observed, “you are much more above the action looking down on it. In acting, you have to be ‘in the moment’ and allow that moment to propel you into the next one, which is what they say about narrative therapy… building a narrative is a very protective thing.” That doesn’t mean, however, that the memoirist in her didn’t take advantage of theater’s allowances for blurring reality. Although “Regeneration” is mostly told as things actually unfolded, she gave herself a different name and profession “so I could put the play in a box when I was done, and not be reliving the trauma.” Early efforts to transfer her written words to a live performance yielded challenges both rewarding (“Coming in with a curiosity and a love for theater was wonderful.”) and frustrating (“Whenever I would mess up a line, it was often because I hadn’t gotten to the crux of the meaning of what I wanted to say.”). Rappaport began working with a director, and even enlisted the help of Erika Bailey, head of voice and speech at the American Repertory Theater. In the spirit of things coming full circle, her tale of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery was performed at the very site of those contemplative walks. “Initially, it was love letter to Mount Auburn Cemetery,” Rappaport recalled,
Photo by Rose Lincoln
A breast cancer diagnosis forced Nancy Rappaport to go from doctor to patient.
noting that its 174 acres have a pull on those who don’t visit the grounds to mourn. “There are 60,000 monuments, 4,000 trees,” she said. “It’s thought of as a open air art museum. The power of that cemetery to provide healing and comfort to the living is something Mount Auburn takes a lot of pride in.” Heeding her sound design engineer’s sugges-
tion, a cellist provided the show’s early iterations with prerecorded music. Performing live, Miranda Henne is the cellist for this current version, supplying “Regeneration” with a signature sound that, Rappaport said, “becomes a character in the play. She gives it a sense of sorrow and confusion but can also be robust and moving. It really amplifies the mood… That’s where I think I’m sort of cheating [at the Solo Festival]. It’s a two-woman show now.” Rappaport said that although “Regeneration” chronicles a very specific journey, she hopes all audience members will leave with a heightened awareness of their “inner resourcefulness” that can be tapped in the face of challenges. “I also want those of use who are over 45 to become more compassionate about how our bodies change. Others might think about their own health challenges, and sometimes people are just moved by me taking a risk.” Today, when she’s not taking risks on stage, Rappaport (who was recently given a clean bill of health) is pushing herself in other challenging arenas, including CrossFit. “A lot of it is lifting [weights] over your shoulder,” she said, “so it’s about managing your fear.” Her final show in the United Solo Festival, she noted, falls on her 58th birthday. It might be curtains for this particular booking, but for Rappaport, happy to sprint through life, the run is far from over. “Regeneration” is written and performed by Nancy Rappaport. Directed by Grace Kiley, with lighting by Giovanni Villari. Runtime: 55 minutes. Sun., Oct. 15, 7:30pm at Theatre Row/Studio Theatre (410 W. 42nd St., btw. Ninth & 10th Aves.). For tickets ($35),visit unitedsolo.org/us/regeneration-2017 or call 212-2396200. Artist info at nancyrappaport.com.
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FALSE FILINGS continued from p. 18
through in special districts. Restuccia explained that even though special districts protect these buildings, reasons for slip-ups within the DOB could be due to high turnover rates and new workers in the DOB unfamiliar with how the neighborhoods are protected. “Buildings in the special districts can only be demolished if the city determines they are unsafe, or they certify the landlord did not harass tenants into leaving,” Restuccia said. “Then there is a public comment period by the community board.” He noted that since last year, 21 buildings have been called into question in special districts where landowners have sought to demolish the building contrary to special zoning requirements. One frustrated board member asked Gottfried to give them ideas of how not to throw away paper in the form of complaints, in fighting with landowners and holding the DOB accountable. “Keep at it. Keep writing letters to the District Attorney’s office. Inundate them with case after case after case,” he said. “This could have a cumulative effect and in the process add the DOB and the mayor’s office to the emails.”
Photo by Levar Alonzo
Joe Restuccia (second from left) at a Sept. 13 committee meeting of CB4.
Gottfried noted that he has been urging Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. to go after landowners that want to fool the government. “If you file faulty paperwork to the government to get anything from the government, that’s a felony,” said Gottfried. “We need to start going after these landlords and owners.” In response to the board seeking answers and to offer some solace, CB4 chairperson Delores Rubin said that the DOB has been working with local elected officials and the board to place tags
and flags on addresses in some areas to differentiate special districts. “We do have a meeting with the chief administrative officer of the agency, so hopefully we will be able to move this conversation along to a more serious level,” Rubin said. “As we know resources are thin throughout the agencies that tends to be the reason they cite that they can’t catch these offenders.” A glimmer of hope has arisen in the form of new legislation that gives tenants protection against unscrupulous landlords and building owners.
A Chelsea Now article of Oct. 5, 2017 (“New Laws Give More Muscle to Tenant Safety”) noted that the final of 12 Stand For Tenant Safety Coalition bills was passed by the NY City Council on Sept. 27 — and with it, significant advancements for the DOB in the quest for detecting landlord abuses, enforcing existing policies, and protecting tenants. “These bills,” said the article, “should bring a greater shift toward prioritizing tenant issues at the agency, but lawmaking is only a start.”
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CYCLING SAFETY continued from p. 16
“It was a good start to a longer conversation,” Hoylman said by phone. “It’s an important issue for our district.” Hoylman, who attended the meeting along with a member of his staff, said he uses Citi Bikes frequently and that the first fatality, when Dan Hanegby was hit, happened directly in front of his office, saying “it was very unnerving.” Some bus companies utilize a GPS tool to ensure that drivers stay on the designated routes and others are able to monitor idling, sending alerts to their drivers if they run their engines too long, Hoylman said. Bus idling has been a concern for the community, with Berthet saying, “I raised the idling issue because our neighborhood has the third worst air quality in the city.” The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is looking to revamp its bus terminal — on Eighth Ave. (btw. W. 40th & 42nd Sts.) — to increase capacity by 40 percent by 2040. “What we should be doing is decreasing the pollution,” she said. Buchanan, from the American Bus Association, said there was a “good dialogue” about idling at the meeting, and, “No company wants to waste money on gas.” Last week, the Transportation Committee supported a proposal from the business improvement district, Hudson Yards / Hell’s Kitchen Alliance, that is asking for protected bike lanes on W. 37 and 38th Sts., between Eighth and 11th Aves., Berthet said. The community board has already asked multiple times for protected crosstown bike lanes, which would definitely help with crashes, she said. Erik Bottcher, Councilmember Johnson’s chief of staff, said by phone the DOT plans to unveil a crosstown protected bike lane proposal late this fall or winter. The DOT did not respond to questions about the meeting, including ones regarding a crosstown protected bike lane proposal. Hoylman said the DOT is working on it, and that “it can’t come soon enough.
File photo by Jackson Chen
West 26th St., btw. Seventh and Eighth Aves., where Citi Bike rider Dan Hanegby was killed on June 12, sees many cyclists and vehicles.
Via NYC Department of Transportation
The cover page of the NYC Department of Transportation’s PowerPoint presentation, from their Oct. 5 meeting at the office of Councilmember Corey Johnson.
As a cyclist, as a husband, as a parent, I think about this a lot. It’s a city that had been built around vehicles, and our traffic laws and infrastructure needs to be updated to reflect that we have hundreds of new cyclists on the street.” Johnson declined requests for a phone
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interview, but said in an email statement, “The DOT has come forward with a number of proposals to address pedestrian and cyclist safety, and I look forward to seeing more, including protected crosstown bike lanes.” He added, “Only by getting all stake-
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holders to the table will we be able to adequately address these issues. The bus companies need to be part of the solution. There needs to be better training, better communication between DOT and the bus companies [and] better enforcement.”
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HEALTH AND WELLNESS TALKS 25th Annual
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AND THAT’S NOT ALL! Check out these other upcoming Health & Wellness talks. Curing the Incurable Through Unconventional Means Susannah Meadows with New York Times personal health columnist Jane E. Brody Wed, Oct 18, 7 pm Discussing and Facing Death Marissa Moss and Dr. Jessica Zitter with Mark Zitter Wed, Oct 18, 7 pm
Dr. Larry Norton One of the nation’s leading medical oncologists
Cells Are the New Cure: The Cutting-Edge Medical Breakthroughs That Are Transforming Our Health Dr. Max Gomez with CBS-TV anchor Maurice DuBois Wed, Oct 25, 7 pm
Running Legends Meb Keﬂezighi and Kathrine Switzer with Dr. Jordan Metzl Tue, Nov 7, 8 pm
Andrea Mitchell MSNBC news anchor, breast cancer survivor and advocate
The Spectrum of Hope: An Optimistic and New Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias with Dr. Gayatri Devi Wed, Nov 8, 7 pm
DR. LARRY NORTON with Andrea Mitchell Mon, Oct 16, 7:30 pm Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to hear the latest about risk factors, prevention, detection and breast cancer treatment.
For a full listing of talks, classes, tours and events, visit 92Y.ORG/CONTINUINGED or call 212.415.5500. Register today!
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October 12, 2017
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