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COMRADES IN ARMS... AND IN LIFE Veterans are Chinatown’s pride Page 3

Tommy Ong of American Legion Post 1291, who grew up in Chinatown, par ticipating in a past Veterans Day Parade.


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Januar y 24, 2019



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Aging Chinatown vets’ esprit de corps on Canal BY GABE HERMAN


he American Legion Post 1291 is headquartered in a nondescript building along Canal St. in Chinatown that is easy to miss. But inside is an organization full of life and community, and work being done to honor the local Chinese-American veterans who served the nation through the generations. Lieutenant B.R. Kimlau Chinese Memorial Post 1291, named for a Chinese-American bomber pilot who died fighting in World War II, is open every day at 191 Canal St. Its rooms on the second floor have the feel of a relaxed community center, with regulars playing dominoes and chatting while others grab a nearby coffee or tea and sit to read a newspaper. There is also more official business, like meetings, and preparing for events, like an upcoming trip to the White House for a ceremony commemorating the Dec. 20 passage of the ChineseAmerican World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act. The act had unanimous bipartisan support in Congress and honors the 20,000 ChineseAmericans who served in World War II. Post 1291 currently has 46 vets from World War II. But Corky Lee, commander of the Sons of American Legion Post 1291, noted that they are getting older, many in their 90s or past 100, and unfortunately many are dying, leaving fewer left each year. Chairman Peter Woo, a World War II vet, died on Dec. 15. He served in the famed Flying Tigers Unit, a fighter pilot group in the China, Burma and India theater. The Chinatown post has a total of 530 members, down from 600 just two years ago due to older members passing away. There are 180 members of the post’s Auxiliary, for female family of vets, and 90 in the Sons, for male family members. Vietnam War veterans are currently the largest group at Post 1291, followed by those who served in the Gulf War. It is older members, though, who are more frequent visitors to the post’s headquarters, according to member Tommy Ong, who served in the later years of the Vietnam War and turns 67 on Jan. 25. Ong, a jovial and friendly man who is semiretired and comes here about once a week, said the older members who are fully retired will come five days a week. “It’s fun, it’s fraternal,” he said of spending time at the American Legion. Ong grew up in Astoria but moved to Chinatown with family when he went to Brooklyn Tech for high school, for the shorter commute. Coming from a poor background, he took an ROTC scholarship to attend the University of Akron in Ohio. Schneps Media


Chinatown veterans and family members gathered at the Lt. Kimlau American Legon Post on Canal St. last month in suppor t of a bill to honor Chinese-American World War II veterans.

Peter Woo, the former chairperson of the Lt. Kimlau American Legion Post, recently passed away. He is just one of many elder members that the Canal St. post has lost in the past couple of years as many members are now in their 90s and 100s.


“I wasn’t keen on the war,” he said. “I took it for the scholarship.” When Ong turned 18 in 1970, he was entered into the draft lottery. He vividly remembers the dread of driving in his car and listening to the announcements of which birthdays would be drafted. His day, Jan. 25, came up second, and he was so upset that he pulled his car over on the road. “I contemplated my future, dying in Vietnam,” he remembered. Ong trained at Fort Dix, but didn’t see combat, serving in Korea at a missile base. He joined the Legion in 1983 and is a lifetime member. He serves on the board and participates in events like parades that the Legion participates in every year for Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Sept. 11. The parades go down Mott St. to Kimlau Square, at East Broadway. Ong really enjoys the community, the friendly feel of people who went through similar experiences. “When you joke and make nonsense, everyone understands you,” he said. “It’s a good camaraderie.” Januar y24 - Februar y 6, 2019


Blaz slams the rich and landlords, touts prison reform, ‘3-K’ in his State of City BY SYDNEY PEREIR A


ayor Bill de Blasio laid out a cornucopia of new plans for the Big Apple in his annual State of the City address on Thursday — including for a mayoral office of tenant protection and free eye exams and glasses for kindergartners and firstgraders. Some of his talking points seemed to speak to the national mood among progressives — like pushing Washington, D.C., to fight for Medicare for All and redistributing wealth — which seemed to reflect what some see as de Blasio’s recently edging toward a 2020 presidential campaign. The speech came days after he pledged he would pass a law to provide 10 days of paid time off for all workers — expected to impact a half-a-million people — and an expanded healthcare program for uninsured people, as reported in the national media by MSNBC and the Washington Post. “Brothers and sisters, there’s plenty of money in the world,” de Blasio said. “There’s plenty of money in this city. It’s just in the wrong hands. “It’s no accident,” he said. “It’s an agenda — an agenda that’s dominated our politics from Reaganomics to the Trump tax giveaway to the wealthy corporations.” However, speaking of Long Island City’s new Amazon headquarters offices — for which the company got $3 billion in tax breaks from the city and state — and Google’s expansion on Manhattan’s Lower West Side,


Mayor Bill de Blasio delivers his sixth State of the City address at the Symphony Space in Manhattan on Thursday, Januar y 10, 2017.

respect they deserve.” In his State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio laid out his plans on everything from healthcare to bus speed Another city department, the Department of Consumer Affairs, will be expanded and renamed the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, the mayor announced. De Blasio said the city’s jail population has dipped below 8,000 for the first time in 40 years — a part of the broader effort to close Rikers Island’s jails and instead have four smaller, neighborhood-based jails.

de Blasio said it shows “the world’s most innovative companies want to be here, and they want to hire New Yorkers.” De Blasio had new promises, too. On the stage at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side, he signed an executive order to establish the Mayor’s Office of Tenants’ Protection. “We’ll use every tool we have to fi ne the landlords,” he said. “But when the fines and penalties don’t cut it, we will seize their buildings and we will put them in the hands of a community nonprofit that will treat tenants with the

“Mass incarceration did not begin in New York City, but it will end in New York City,” he vowed, echoing his December comments in Chinatown on the matter. He called on Albany to pass bail reform and improved speedy-trial laws, which some experts say is critical to City Hall’s hope to reduce the jail population to 5,000. For the coming school year, de Blasio said roughly 20,000 children over age 3 will be in free, full-day “3-K,” with expansions this year in Northern Manhattan, the Bronx and East New York, to name a few. Also for children, a partnership with Warby Parker will be expanded to provide free eye exams and glasses to all kindergartners and first-graders, he said. The mayor announced new plans to expand ferry service from Staten Island to Manhattan’s West Side, from Coney Island to Lower Manhattan, and in the Bronx from Soundview to Ferry Point. He also said the city would increase bus speeds by 25 percent by the end of 2020, by means such as nearly doubling the pace of bus-lane installation and creating seven tow-truck teams for bus-lane enforcement. He tasked Albany with saving the subway system. “Whatever the package of solutions, working people cannot wait,” de Blasio said of funding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “We cannot let 2019 go by without a solution.”

Advocacy group pedals ‘bike mayor’ for New York BY GABE HERMAN


ow that the city has a ‘nightlife mayor,’ could a ‘bike mayor’ be next? The nonprofit group Transportation Alternatives, which advocates for street safety in the city and nonvehicular forms of travel, is calling on Mayor de Blasio to appoint the city’s fi rst socalled bike mayor. The group says this person would be an “an interagency representative who would serve as a liaison between city government and people who ride bikes in the five boroughs.” The group also started an online petition for the cause (campaigns.transalt.org/petition/nyccyclists-demand-bike-mayor). Transportation Alternatives stressed several reasons why a bike mayor is needed: Protected bike lanes are not growing fast enough; two-wheeled


Januar y24 - Februar y 6, 2019

zation called BYCS has led the international Bicycle Mayor Program, “to bring together the public and private realms to uncover the massive economic, health and environmental benefits of increased cycling.” In fact, New York wouldn’t even be the fi rst American city to have a bike mayor. That distinction belongs to the bustling metropolis of…Keene, New Hampshire, population 23,000. Its fi rst bike mayor, Tiffany Mannion, was inaugurated in 2017 and has launched programs such as bike share, community rides, business partnerships that give discounts to cyclists, and a “bike kitchen” that provides tools and training for people to fi x their own bikes. Anna Luten, who was Amsterdam’s bike mayor from June 2016 to November 2017, said in a statement, “Since [I moved] to New York, it’s clear that people who ride bikes in the five bor-

transportation will be expanding with expansions to the CitiBike program and pending City Council legislation to legalize electric scooters and all ebikes; and there were four recent cycling deaths in the city, including two in just the fi rst week of 2019. “It’s no secret that streets where people have physical protection from moving vehicles are safer and more attractive for biking,” said Ellen McDermott, Transportation Alternatives interim director. She credited the city’s Department of Transportation for expanding bike lanes. However, she added, “There are still too many streets that repel would-be riders because they lack safe space for people on bikes.” Several international cities already have a bike mayor, including Amsterdam, Mexico City, Sydney and Sao Paolo. An Amsterdam-based organiDEX

oughs are not well-represented in city government. “The bike mayor can take the lead in building meaningful campaigns to spread the right message toward all road users,” she added. “In Amsterdam, we were able to build safe infrastructure for all citizens. This would not have been possible if not for the city making a commitment to people on bikes and making sure their interests had a voice in the administration.” McDermott of Transportation Alternatives said, “A bike mayor would be instrumental in bringing safe bike accommodations to more neighborhoods, and could help advance the Vision Zero Street Design Standard, which would speed up the growth of the protected bike-lane network by syncing street redesigns with repaving projects.” Schneps Media

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Januar y24 - Februar y 6, 2019



Chinatown residents turned out to protest the development that has targeted their community with 80-stor y towers.

In spirit of MLK, marchers decry displacement BY R AINER TURIM


n a bitter-cold Martin Luther King Day, hundreds of people marched on the Lower East Side, their indignation fired up by the December approval of three luxury towers in the Two Bridges area, plus the city’s deal with Amazon for it to open a new headquarters in Long Island City. Fliers handed out at the march demanded a stop to the skyscraper developments and the expected displacement of low-income residents that will come with it. The march was led by the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side, as well as Youth Against Displacement — two organizations focused on fighting local residential displacement. Starting off at Cherry and Pine Sts., the marchers braved massive wind gusts and frigid weather to make it to City Hall, where individuals and representatives from a wide variety of organizations spoke. Among the speakers were activists Arnette Scott and Lena Meléndez. Scott, a Lower East Side local, called for a stop to resident harassment. Calling out Mayor de Blasio, she vowed she’s not going anywhere. The marchers included not only those in the Chinatown and Lower East


Januar y24 - Februar y 6, 2019


Marchers braved the bitter cold on Monday to protest residential displacement in the Two Bridges area and elsewhere in the city.

Side community, but New Yorkers from around the boroughs who are being affected by development pressure and gentrification. Reverend Billy’s Stop Shopping Choir lent their support in the form of protest songs. Their tunes ranged from

de Blasio and displacement to racism and Trump’s wall. At the end, Zishun Ning, an organizer with Youth Against Displacement, said he was focusing about next steps for combatting de Blasio’s power, reminding the audience of the special election DEX

for public advocate in February. With more than 20 candidates vying for the position, Ning encouraged people to ask of every candidate, “Which side are you on? Are you on the side of the community or are you on the side of the mayor and his rich developer friends?” Schneps Media





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Schneps Media

GRISTEDES SUPERMARKET CEMENTS POSITION AS LOCAL SHOPPING DESTINATION OF CHOICE WITH GRAND RE-OPENING ON WEST SIDE Newly Remodeled Store Features New Coffee Bar & Sitting Area, Sushi; Expanded Organic & Natural Foods; and More Locally Grown Produce

{New York, NY} – Gristedes’ Supermarkets announced the Grand Re-Opening of their West Side store, located at 907 8th Avenue on West 54th Street. The exciting news continues the company’s goal to be the shopping destination of choice for New Yorkers.



John Catsimatidis, Chairman and CEO of Gristedes stated, “We have survived as the largest grocery chain in Manhattan because of our focus on responding to customer demands. Residents of the West Side now have a renovated store with a brand new cafe and sushi section, expanded organic and natural foods, the best international cheeses, and more locally grown produce. We are proud of the vast improvements that have been made and I hope our customers will be also!” Physical improvements to the location include new floors, shelving, and an overall more spacious and comfortable shopping environment. The new sitting area will allow customers to enjoy the outstanding deli and cafe products right on the premises.



Renee Flores, the Chief Operating Officer of Gristedes said, “The Catsimatidis family and I share a vision where our customers and the communities we serve are our number one priority. We want to be the shopping destination of choice for New Yorkers with a focus on quality groceries; fresh, natural, and organic perishable foods; and outstanding customer service.”


Gristedes also recently enhanced their organic and specialty selections by adding the Best Yet and Greenway private labels to their stores.




D\XkGflckip Photos Credit: Jillian Nelson Schneps Media


Januar y 24, 2019


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Competing Women’s Marches decry Trump’s policies BY PAUL SCHINDLER


wo years after women and their allies in untold numbers turned out the day following Donald Trump’s inauguration to protest the new president, Women’s Marches were once again staged in numerous cities on Jan. 19. As is not unheard of in protest movements, this year’s events were marred by internal divisions. In New York, specifically, there were competing charges of anti-Semitism and non-inclusiveness. The Women’s March Alliance, which has produced the New York event since 2017 and is not formally aligned with the Women’s March held in Washington, held a brief rally on Central Park West before marching from W. 62nd St. to the W. 40s. Leaders from the D.C. event, including Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory, had approached the Women’s March Alliance last year to forge a relationship. But Alliance organizers voiced discomfort with Sarsour’s endorsement of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions aimed at Israel and, more important, with Mallory’s unwillingness to personally condemn Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, even though she has called out that organization’s anti-Semitic and ho-


Near the star t of the Uptown march, activists kicked it outside of the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

New Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cor tez spoke at both the Uptown and Downtown versions of this year’s New York Cit y Women’s March.

mophobic history. The Alliance, in turn, was criticized for what critics said was a lack of inclusivity of women of color. When talks between the two groups failed to make headway, a separate Women’s March NYC was planned for Foley Square in Lower Manhattan. Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, the leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, the city’s L.G.B.T.Q. synagogue, was among a group of nine prominent rabbis who engaged in a lengthy process of dialogue with Sarsour and Mallory. While the rabbis, in a written statement, said, “We have not resolved our differences,” they also argued that “divisions between Jews and People of Color only serve to further the aims of white supremacists and their enablers, and to erase the strong presence in our Jewish communities of Jews of Color.” The group went on to say, “We encourage members of the Jewish community to participate in the Women’s March on 1/19/19. In Washington, D.C., and New York City, there are contingents of Jews marching together, and those who wish to express Jewish pride and solidarity may wish to join them.”

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In a Facebook post, however, Kleinbaum elaborated, “CBST is not endorsing or formally participating in” either of the New York events and that for her the important goal is to “find a way to build toward the day after” the two gatherings. The Women’s March Alliance event on Central Park drew the larger crowd, with Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the highest-profile speaker in a brief pre-march program. Ocasio-Cortez also spoke at the Women’s March NYC Downtown, and was joined there by other prominent women, including Gloria Steinem, Kleinbaum and her wife, teachers’ union leader Randi Weingarten. The direct-action group Rise and Resist, unhappy with the Women’s March Alliance’s commitment to disability access, hosted a third event on Saturday at Grand Central Terminal, timing it for the afternoon so that its members could also participate in the morning rally that Women’s March NYC held in Foley Square. Gays Against Guns, ever seeking to raise the visibility of the gun-regulation issue, fielded contingents in all three events.

A contingent of pink-hatted young protesters raised their voices against the Trump administration.


Januar y 24, 2019


Letters to the Editor A well-deserved salute

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To The Editor: Re “Village doyenne Doris Diether turns 90! Feted by friends at Judson bash” (news article, Jan. 17): What a magnificent and well-deserved salute to Doris Diether, a mainstay of Greenwich Village and and our resident expert on zoning. It was a pleasure working with her in the late ’70s on Community Board 2’s Zoning Committee and following her exploits thereafter with my good friend and her fan, the late Ed Gold. Diane Lebedeff

Garden is irreplaceable

Covering Manhattan in more ways than one

To The Editor: Re “What is Margaret Chin thinking? Save the garden!” (viewpoint, by Donna Schaper, Jan. 17): The voice of the community to preserve Elizabeth St. Garden remains loud and clear! Do not divide the community, pitting needs of open space and community gardens against low-income housing. The community deserves both for a thriving sustainable life. There are alternative sites for housing. The Elizabeth St. Garden is an irreplaceable asset free of cost to the city that should remain in perpetuity serving the local community and public. It is recognized around the world as a treasured landmark and promoted as one of the must-see sites in Soho/Nolita. The magnificent garden and open space once developed will never be reclaimed and the housing has other site options. The proposed low-income senior housing is capped at 40 years and then could go market rate, thus serving these needs and a small group of seniors for a generation. The garden’s preservation would serve community and public forever. Felicia Young Young is founder/executive director, Earth Celebrations

Just don’t hit me! To The Editor: Re “Advocacy group pedals ‘bike mayor’ for New York” (news article, Jan. 17): Just watch out when I’m crossing the street. I


Januar y 24, 2019


Publisher of The Villager, Villager Express, Chelsea Now, Downtown Express and Manhattan Express PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER VICTORIA SCHNEPS-YUNIS






don’t want to get hit by a bicycle! Frankly, far too many bikes and far too many irresponsible riders seem to be on our Village streets. Sylvia Rackow

Marcus doesn’t speak for us To The Editor: Re “An open letter to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson” (Viewpoint, by David Marcus, Jan. 10): David Marcus is not a member of the 14th St. Coalition Steering Committee and has not been involved with the Coalition for some time. We want to be clear, his “Open Letter to Council Speaker Johnson” reflects his personal views, and not those of the Coalition. Elissa Stein and Judy Pesin Stein and Pesin are members, 14th St. Coalition Steering Committee

Streets aren’t for cars To The Editor: Re “An open letter to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson” (Viewpoint, by David Marcus, Jan. 10): Sorry to disappoint you, David Marcus. This neighborhood is full of people who live here, raise our children here, prosper and grow every day without private motor vehicles. Enough with this rhetoric about “other people” and “nonresident Transportation Alternatives.” Twenty-four percent of the people who live in Community Board 2 own vehicles. In other words, 76 percent of the people do not own motor vehicles. Streets are for people, not a way to move motor vehicles across town, not space to store private motor vehicles, but a place where people can use nonpolluting, quiet, efficient ways to go across town. Choresh Wald E-mail letters, maximum 250 words, to news@ thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES GAYLE GREENBURG JIM STEELE JULIO TUMBACO ELIZABETH POLLY PUBLISHER’S LIABILITY FOR ERROR The Publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for others errors or omissions in connection with an advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue. Published by Schneps Media One Metrotech North, 10th floor Brooklyn, NY 11201 Phone: (718) 260-2500 Fax: (212) 229-2790 On-line: www.thevillager.com E-mail: news@thevillager.com © 2019 Schneps Media

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In Pictures


Marchers posed for a picture in front of one of Trump’s “houses,” rubbing it in that Nanc y Pelosi is back in charge of the House.

Women’s Marchers take it to Trump ‘bigly’ again On Saturday, the Women’s March once again took it to Trump. Again he was demonized by the protesters, as seen by one marcher’s button. But then again, who hasn’t he demonized? Immigrants cer tainly top his list, followed by what he called “s—hole” countries, kneeling pro football players, NATO, our allies…the list is “yuuge.” The Notorious R.B.G., Supreme Cour t Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was held out as a countervailing force of light to Trump’s darkness. A three-par t-placard-toting contingent posed, fittingly, in front of Trump’s “house” to rub it in that Speaker Nanc y Pelosi is back in control of her House. Protesters also skewered by association First Daughter Ivanka Trump and — speaking of notorious — hubby First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner, the notorious East Village landlord.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in the crosshairs of a protester’s sign. Schneps Media

Demonizing the demonizer. TVG

The Notorious R.B.G. Januar y 24, 2019


Natural foods pioneer couldn’t stomach costs BY MICHELE HERMAN


he Integral Yoga Natural Foods Store on W. 13th St. closed on Dec. 9, but don’t blame the landlord. The store, around since 1973, was the ground-floor tenant of the Integral Yoga Institute. The two were separate entities with a shared commitment to the teachings of the Institute’s founder, Swami Satchidananda, and the Institute always kept the rent far below market rate. Even so, the store had been struggling to remain viable for at least the past two years. Chandra/Jo Sgammato, the Institute’s general manager, said that changing demographics were one factor. Some new residents,

she said, live in the area only part time and tend to eat out more. Not knowing the store’s importance to the neighborhood’s history and to the natural-food movement, they felt no particular allegiance to it. The other main factor has been increasingly fierce competition. The store offered free local delivery, but even that couldn’t compare to the ease of one-click shopping from Amazon and FreshDirect. Nor could the little store compete with the massive chains Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s on price. Mrs. Green’s on Hudson St. also had an outsize impact, considering how quickly it flared out, causing a noticeable drop in sales at the W. 13th St. natural-foods store. Sgammato, a neighborhood resident, is as disappointed as the rest of the store’s devoted shoppers,


Integral Yoga Natural Foods, on W. 13th St., closed last month after no longer being able to make ends meet.



Januar y 24, 2019

who especially appreciated the organic locally sourced produce. But as befits a longtime yogi, she accepts what exists. “It was pioneering,” she said. “No one knew what health food was in the Seventies, but now you can get organic and gluten-free food everywhere, which we’re glad of. In a sense, the store accomplished its mission.” She even wishes all the best to the competition, including the recently expanded Health and Harmony on Hudson St. The store tried mightily to make a go of it by shortening hours and reducing staff. “They did their best trying to keep up payments to their vendors,” Sgammato said, “so that items wouldn’t be out of stock for too long. But it probably should have closed two years ago. They just couldn’t make ends meet.” One other factor played into the store’s struggles: its commitment to the Integral Yoga Institute’s mission. Once, she recalled, a store employee came into the Institute with a case of salad dressing to give away — the ingredient list included eggs. “For decades this was New York’s only 100-hundred percent vegetarian health-food store,” she explained. “Other stores sold meat, but that’s not acceptable to I.Y.I.’s teachings, which hurt the store.” Now the Institute has a tough needle to thread: It needs a market-rate tenant that will provide a service consistent with the swami’s teachings. “We have dreams,” Sgammato said. “We would love a vegan all-day cafe and grocery store with items not found elsewhere. I would really love a gathering space for the community, but we also have to be realistic — it has to be a reliable tenant who can pay the rent every month.” Proposals are welcome. She also said she wanted to let everyone know that the Integral Yoga Institute is doing just fine.



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Jessica Orleans, of the new River School, second from left, received a Blackboard Award for Outstanding Principal from, from left, Schneps Media President and Publisher Victoria Yunis-Schneps; Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; and Mia Weber, New York Family executive director.

Blackboard Awards honor tops in education BY SCHNEPS STAFF


ictoria Schneps-Yunis, president and publisher of Schneps Media, far left, and Mia Weber, executive editor of New York Family, far right, present a Blackboard Award for Outstanding School to Ellen Offen and Kevin Artale of the Park Preschool. Artale is the Tribeca school’s executive director and Offen is its educational director. Photos by Trey Pentecost On Mon., Jan. 14, the 2019 Blackboard Awards for Schools and Principals, presented by New York Family, honored 14 of the city’s finest schools and principals in a special ceremony at the New York Institute of Technology. The event was hosted by Vicki Schneps, the president and publisher of Schneps Media, and Mia Weber, the executive editor of New York Family. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. were both on hand each to present an award. The Blackboard Awards honor excellence in local education in all sectors (public, private, charter and parochial), and all grade

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Victoria Schneps-Yunis, president and publisher of Schneps Media, far left, and Mia Weber, executive editor of New York Family, far right, present a Blackboard Award for Outstanding School to Ellen Offen and Kevin Ar tale of the Park Preschool. Ar tale is the Tribeca school’s executive director and Offen is its educational director. TVG

levels (nursery through high school). The annual schools and principals’ ceremony is in the winter, and the annual teachers’ ceremony in the spring. Parents are welcome and encouraged to nominate their beloved schools and educators, and several thousand local families do so in the course of the year. A board of advisers, experts in local education, make recommendations as well. (With the 2019 Blackboard Awards for Teachers coming up next, New York Family would especially welcome nominations for wonderful teachers right now. Make your nominations at newyorkfamily.com.) Many of this year’s Blackboard Awards for Schools and Principals were from Manhattan. Among the honorees for Outstanding School were the Park Preschool, at 275 Greenwich St., between Warren and Murray Sts.; the Caedmon School, at 416 E. 80th St.; P.S. 452, at 210 W. 61st St.; and the Speyer Legacy School, at 925 Ninth Ave., at W. 59th St. Winning for Outstanding Principal in Manhattan were Jessica Orleans, of the River School, at 425 E. 35th St.; and Katharine DeBenedictis, of the Isidor and Ida Straus School, at 1700 Third Ave., at 96th St. Januar y 24, 2019


Overthrow hits it off with new youth training; BY CL AY TON PATTERSON


n Sun., Jan. 20, Overthrow New York, at Nine Bleecker St., put on a free event for 50 youths from ages 10 to 23. The idea was that boxing can improve health, like eating the proper foods, and helps young people learn to channel and release aggression and anger. There were two levels of participation. The youngest started the process first, followed by the older youths. The event was structured around a 10-minute “shakeout” light jog down Bowery with the NYC Bridgerunners. That was followed by a 25-minute boxing session, led by male and female boxing world champions. Next came a 15-minute mindfulness/ meditation/yoga session using Mingy Zingy, a 10-minute Q&A with the champs, another 10 minutes with a mindfulness expert, and a primer on nutrition and food, plus a gift bag filled with a set of boxing gloves, socks, a T-shirt, wristband and other boxing-related goodies. John Joseph, of Cro-Mags hard-core punk band fame, who is also a triathlete and a vegan, cooked food for the affair. The youths came from all around the city, mainly through connections with the boxers who use the gym. Overthrow plans to make it a monthly event. No. 9 Bleecker was formerly the Yippies headquarters before they lost the building and Overthrow took it over.


Working on punches with pro boxer Edgar Santana.

Boxing world champions — from left, Ronica Jeffrey, Alicia Napoleon and Edgar Santana — did a Q& A session with the youths.

Ever ybody put your hand in! Getting psyched up for the workout.


Januar y 24, 2019


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Yoga, meditation, health — and kicking butt!

Young athletes strike a boxing stance.

Going for a “shakeout” light jog down the Bower y.







get up! t ’ n a c I d an I’ve fallen


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Januar y 24, 2019



Locavores dig it: Dig Inn opens in the Village BY GABE HERMAN


ig this! Dig Inn has opened its first location in the Village. The fast-casual restaurantt is known for using locally sourced farm arm foods and a menu that changes with the he seasons based on what foods are availlable. The new spot, at 691 Broadway,, between W. Third and W. Fourth Sts.,, offers more of the same custom-bowl quality. Dig Inn changes its menu six timess a year and bases it around what local al farmers have grown. The restaurant nt also has its own farm in Chester, N.Y., Y., and works with more than 50 other local ocal farms. It focuses on a green diet. “Seventy-five percent of the food we serve is vegetables, because we believe ve a plant-based diet is better for our health, lth, the environment and the communities i we support,” Dig Inn says. Its farm in Chester, which is northwest of the city in Orange County, grows more than 120 vegetable varieties, which Dig Inn says reaches its restaurants within 48 hours of harvest. I recently visited the new Broadway location in the Village and ordered from the

A bowl with herb-roasted chicken, broccoli, cauliflower and brown rice at Dig Inn. Photo by Gabe Herman

current Winter Menu. I chose brown rice with parsley for the base; sautéed broccoli with lemon, plus maple cauliflower with chickpea crumble for the two sides;

herb-roasted chicken breast for the main dish; and pesto for the sauce. Everything was very good and fresh, and I could definitely taste the quality ingredients.

Other Winter Menu options included spiced farro with butternut squash for sp the th base; cashew kale Caesar, Jasper Hill mac m and cheese, and acorn squash with pear pe and frisee for Market Sides; and wild w Alaskan salmon and grilled organic tofu for Main options. t My bowl cost $13 after tax, which is rather pricey even by fast-casual bowl standards, but it makes sense that real food from local farm sources would cost a bit more. The bowls are ready-made to take out. But there is also seating available and a pleasant environment, with a a minimalist feel, wood decor, plants and m a very friendly staff. Dig Inn started in 2011 in New York City, Ci which is where most of its locations are. ar This Village location is number 20 in Manhattan, with 21 soon to open at 709 M Lexington Ave. between E. 57 and E. Le 58 Sts. The chain has locations in Soho, Hudson Square, Tribeca and the Financial District. There is also one in Brooklyn, in Williamsburg, one in Rye Brook, in Westchester, and three in Boston. The new Village Broadway location is open every day from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. More information can be found at diginn.com.




Januar y 24, 2019


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Puss n Boots per forming at Coney Island Baby on Jan. 15, from left, Norah Jones, Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper.

For Puss n Boots, the alt’s all in the mix BY BOB KR ASNER


he band Puss n Boots packed the house with a surprise show last week at Coney Island Baby, a new East Village bar that already feels like it’s always been there. The “alt country” trio includes Sasha Dobson, Catherine Popper and Norah Jones. All three traded lead vocals, inside jokes and musical styles, as well as instruments, in their two-hour mix of originals and covers at the bar, at 169 Avenue A at E. 11th St. Country music was the starting point, but they covered the bases with forays into garage rock and even a spacey jam-band instrumental, having as good a time performing as the audience did listening. Dobson, Popper and Jones all contributed their own tunes — mixing them in with covers of Tom Paxton, Neil Young, Tom Petty and others. They took time in between to check their notes on the new songs and joke around while rearranging themselves

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Puss n Boots’ Catherine Popper.


on stage. Popper moved from bass to guitar, Jones would switch to drums, and Dobson went back and forth between drums and guitar. “It’s a game we play,” Popper explained. “It’s called ‘musical instruments!’” While the Grammy Award-winning Jones may be the most recognizable name in the group, she’s not the leader. You could call the band a democracy, but Dobson doesn’t like the sound of that. “Our music isn’t political,” she explained later. “The part that’s astounding about this band is the multiple roles we all play. It is never really a matter of juggling power — more so colors. And it’s a different canvas for every song.” Dobson mused on the “egoless” nature of the trio. “It’s 100 percent about the moment, the song,” she said, “and creating as many different ways or options to serve that tune.” You can catch Puss n Boots at City Winery on Feb. 18. For more information about the band, visit pussnbootsmusic.com. Januar y 24, 2019


See great art at The Met while avoiding the crowds BY GABE HERMAN


he city recently announced a record 65 million visitors last year, the ninth straight year of increased visits. This was hardly surprising for locals, who see the streets and city’s great institutions get more clogged by the day. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one such crowded gem of the city. Its 7 million yearly visitors all seem to be in the way, blocking views, jostling and preventing you from enjoying a good, long look at the great collections. But there are ways to avoid most of the crowds and get the most out of a Met visit. Veteran museum workers recommend finding breathing room in some of the best but often overlooked areas like the Islamic galleries, modern art and a quiet Chinese garden court. Hopefully, locals already know to enter through the Met’s side entrance at E. 81st St. This entrance usually has much shorter lines for admission and coat check, according to Dr. Grazia Montesi of the Met’s information services. “If you’re meeting friends, meet down there,” she said. A short elevator ride will bring you to the second floor and right next to the Islamic art section. Tour guide Nancy Posternak said this wing is under-ap-


“ Water Stone,” by Isamu Noguchi, is one of the lesser-known, meditative spaces at The Met.

preciated. Its works span 1,300 years and include large, colorful and finely detailed carpets, some spanning across

212 - 254 - 1109 | www.theaterforthenewcity.net | 155 First Ave. NY, NY 10003

THUNDERBIRD American Indian Dancers In Concert! Fri - Sat 8PM, Sat - Sun 3PM Jan. 25 - Feb. 03, Tix $15 Sat & Sun Matinee Special Children under 12 yrs old: $1

Intarsia, or wooden-inlay ar twork, is another under-the-radar offering at The Met.

Traditional music, dances & stories of the Native Peoples of North America

Betty & The Belrays



Written & Directed by:

Written by Peter Welch

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William Electric Black

Directed by Jonathan Weber

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Thur - Sat 8PM, Sun 3PM

Thur - Sat 8PM, Sun 3PM February 7 - March 03

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Januar y 24, 2019

an entire wall. There is a mihrab, or prayer niche, from 14th-century Iran with intricate arabesque and calligraphy designs. And ceramic tableware features geometric patterns in vibrant blue colors that jump out at you. “The Islamic galleries I think are really under-seen,” said Posternak, who has been a guide for nearly 15 years. “They are really spectacular.” It is a short walk from Islamic art to the Met’s modern art collection. Montesi said this area includes many great works but is not often crowded because it is tucked behind the popular Impressionist wing. A highlight in the modern art section

February 16 - 24 TVG

for Posternak is Picasso’s “Reading at a Table” from 1934. It depicts Picasso’s lover and model Marie-Therese Walter, painted in pastels and with the signature Cubist elements of broken images and a flat depth of field. “We can see his tenderness for her in the color choices he’s made,” Posternak said. “It’s just great, very simplified.” Next, go down to the first floor for some of the Met’s smaller rooms. Such spaces are practically hidden, according to tour guide Charles Mayer. It isn’t a question of people not liking them, he said. Rather, he noted, the rooms can be tucked away from the large main hallways, “so you don’t know to go there.” Two such rooms are in the Italian Renaissance wing. The rooms feature intarsia, a method of inlaying wood of various natural colors to create images. One space contains work from a 16thcentury chapel and includes stainedglass windows and intarsia images on the walls that are detailed enough to be paintings. “It’s kind of off the track,” Mayer said. “You’re headed toward Arms and Armor, you’re not aware it’s here.” Just next to the chapel is an even smaller space, a 15th-century studiolo, or study room, that also features intarsia wooden inlay. Only a few people can fit at a time, so Mayer can only take tours to the chapel room. But the studiolo’s artwork is greatly detailed, and Mayer said it makes the chapel room “look amateurish.” The museum’s Impressionist and Ancient Egyptian wings tend to be the most crowded, according to Wilhelm. She wishes more people would visit the Asian art section on the museum’s third floor, and in particular the Astor Chinese Garden Court. The space is large and naturally lit through a high glass ceiling. Patches of the ground have been filled with soil and plants, and are surrounded by groups of large jagged stones. Running water can be heard from a koi pond in the corner, which Wilhelm especially likes. “It’s so peaceful there,” she said. Another work with running water is “Water Stone,” by Isamu Noguchi, from 1986. It features one large stone with many small rocks scattered about, all of which came from Japan. Nearby seats make it a good place for a rest from museum walking, which is somehow much more strenuous than ordinary walking. Fans of this work can also visit the Noguchi Museum, which features his work exclusively, in Long Island City. Wilhelm said that museum visitors should be willing to explore and find sections like the Asian art wing. “People tend to stick to the same areas, which is a shame,” she said. “But the Asian art is beautiful.” Schneps Media

From the Bench


They’re still talking about the Village Independent Democrats’ holiday par ty at Frieda Bradlow’s place on Charlton St. Judges and judicial candidates, that is, who are always in plentiful supply at the politician-packed confab. John J. (“J.J.”) Kelley, left, was elected as a New York City Civil Cour t judge in 2014 and is currently assigned to New York State Supreme Cour t. Elyssa Kates, right, is a candidate for Civil Cour t judge. SPOTLIGHT ON DOWNTOWN

10 Things That Fuel our Romance with Lower Manhattan satisfy it here.

Valentine’s Day is upon us! What began as a largely religious event morphed into a celebration of love in 18th-century England, when it first became an occasion for lovers to express their feelings for one another by giving flowers, candy and sending greeting cards.

s¬ The Architecture - We are home to both historic, iconic skyscrapers and cutting edge modern architecture. The entire history of New York’s built environment is on display here.

Here at the Downtown Alliance, we are unabashed romantics who are in love with our neighborhood. So, in the lead up to the holiday, we thought we’d offer the neighborhood a Valentine and share 10 reasons why we are smitten with Lower Manhattan:

s¬ The Roof at Pier 17 - Lower Manhattan’s newest outdoor venue offers year-round fun with skating and hot chocolate in the winter and concerts featuring world famous artists in the warm months -all with a spectacular view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

s¬ The Water - It’s the rare place in Manhattan where you feel connected to the harbor and like you’re living on an island.

s¬ Alexander Hamilton - On the streets where he lived and worked and in the hallowed ground of Trinity Church where he lies buried, the spirit of Alexander Hamilton literally and figuratively shapes Lower Manhattan to this day.

s¬ The Public Art - From the shadowy silhouettes in Louise Nevelson Plaza (the first in NY to be named after an artist) to Noguchi’s big red balancing cube (a perennial Schneps Media

selfie stop), inspiration is often lurking right around the corner. s¬ The Ease of Transportation - You can get here from anywhere. We are connected to the rest of the region by 13

subway lines, PATH trains, express buses and ferries. s¬ The Food Scene - From Bennie’s Thai to Manhatta, Pisillo to Delmonico’s, or Nobu to Sophie’s Cuban: if you have a craving, you can TVG

s¬ Green Space - Whether its hidden gems like the Ele-

vated Acre, the new Liberty Park overlooking the 9/11 Memorial or Lower Manhattan’s grand “backyard”, Governor’s Island, there are a myriad of places to escape the concrete and bask in green. s¬ Stone Street - Lower Manhattan’s own secret outdoor dining paradise, this street’s collection of restaurants serves hearty food, cold beers and bonhomie. s¬ No Grid - Down here, you are literally off the grid. And while some folks get turned around, we love our winding streets and alleys. They always seem to lead us to new discoveries and encourage us to walk and wander. We could go on and on. There is so much to love about our neighborhood. Hoping this Valentine’s Day everyone renews their vows with this special place and takes advantage of all it has to offer. Januar y 24, 2019


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Januar y 24, 2019


Manhattan Happenings tration can be found at: https://www.nypl.org/events/ programs/2019/01/30/poison-squad-deborah-blum. Free.



“The Art Happens Here” Book Launch: Generation NYZ is back for a limited engagement at La Mama from Jan. 24 to Feb. 3 after a critically acclaimed run at the New Victory Theater last year. The production, conceived by Ping Chong and written and directed by Sara Zatz and Kirya Traber, has seven young New Yorkers share their experiences growing up in the city and in our fraught political climate. The show is being staged at La MaMa’s Ellen Stewart Theatre, at 66 E. Fourth St. Tickets $20-$25, plus $1 fee. Ages 12 and up. More information can be found at: 212-352-3101 and http:// lamama.org/.

ArtSee: Papercutting: Kids will get to look at the Museum at Eldridge Street’s new Deborah Ugoretz exhibition, “Releasing Words,” and learn about the Jewish art of paper-cutting and how the form could be used to convey stories and ideas. Children will then have the opportunity to create their own paper-cut art. Recommended for ages 5 and up. The event will be held Sun., Jan. 27, at 11 a.m. at the Museum at Eldridge Street, at 12 Eldridge St. Tickets cost $8 for seniors and children 5 and up, and $14 for adults. Children under age 5 are free.

CLASSES Bouquets of Love: Attendees will learn tips for creating bouquets. Champagne and snacks will also be served. The class will cost $50 and be held at God’s Love We Deliver (166 Sixth Ave., fifth floor). RSVP is required due to space being limited to 20 people. Tickets can be purchased here: https://www.glwd.org/ events/bouquets-of-love/. Zumba Classes: Ryan Health is offering Zumba Dance classes three days a week at its Chelsea-Clinton linton Clinic, at 645 10th Ave., every Monday and Wednesday nesday at 6 p.m. and every Friday at 5:30 p.m. Call 212-484-4845857 for more information.


Kids can see the new exhibition of papercutting by Deborah Ugoretz at the Museum on Eldridge Street and also learn how to do paper-cutting.

“BlacKkKlansman” will be showing at Epiphany Library (228 E. 23rd St.) on Fri., Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. The 2018 movie is based on a true story about Ron Stallworth, a black police officer in Colorado Springs who successfully infiltrated a local K.K.K. chapter in the early 1970s. Starring John David Washington and Adam Driver and directed by Spike Lee. Free.

TALKS The Space of Appearance: Appe Infrastructures of Whiteness: Visual activist Nicholas Mirzoeff presents a lecture at The Cooper U Union in which he will argue how museums, monuments monument and prisons help reinforce the institutions of whit white supremacy and segregation. The lecture will be delivered on Tues., Jan. 29, at 7 p.m. in The Cooper Union’s Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, Auditori at 41 Cooper Square. The event is i part of The Cooper Union’s free Intra-Disciplinary Intra Seminar Lecture Series, ries which runs through May 7. Free.

COMMUNITY Holiday Diaper Drive: The Food Bank of NYC, YC, in association with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York, is asking for donations of new, sealed diapers ers in either 3, 4, 5 or 6 sizes. Donations can be dropped ed off at either of Brewer’s offices, at 1 Centre St., 19th th Fl. South, or 431 W. 125th St. Donations can also be made via The Food Bank’s Amazon Wish List at http://a. p://a. co/2FDxgEH. Match in Style at Macy’s: Fashion-conscious singles ngles will have the opportunity to dress potential partners rs at an event hosted by The Love Maze at Macy’s Herald ald Square starting at 6:30 p.m. on Fri., Feb. 1. Tickkets are $28 - $42. RSVP is required and space iss limited. More information can be found at either https://www.thelovemaze.com/ or 646-5804554.

P PRECINCT COUNCIL MEETINGS First Precinct Community C Council meets at 16 Ericsson Place, on Thurs., Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m. Fifth Precinct Com Community Council meets at 19 Elizabeth St., on Wed., Ja Jan. 30, at 7 p.m.

HISTORY The Poison Squad: It is estimated that prior to the passage of the 1906 Food and Drug Safety Act that more than 1,000 children were poisoned every year in New York City as a result of chemicals, such as formaldehyde, being present in foods. Author Deborah Blum will talk about her book “The Poison Squad” and the work of journalists and activists (and business interests that opposed them) at the turn of the 20th century to regulate the food industry at 6:30 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 30, in the Mid-Manhattan Library at 42nd St., Program Room. Blum will be interviewed by author and journalist Maria Konnikova. More information and preregis-


Januar y 24, 2019

Sixth Precinct Community Council meets at Our Lady of Pompeii Church, 25 Carmine St., on Wed., Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. 10th Precinct Community Council meets at 230-232 W. 20th St., on Wed., Jan. 30, at 7 p.m.

Visual activist Nicholas Mir zoeff will speak at The Cooper Union about how an “infrastructure of whiteness” — including prisons — helps enable white supremac y.


17th Precinct Community Council meets at the Sutton Place Synagogue, 225 E. 51st St., on Tues., Jan., 29, at 6:30 p.m. 20th Precinct Community Council meets at 120 W. 82nd St., on Mon., Jan. 28, at 7 p.m.

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Smoke eaters from Engine 28 were on the scene on Orchard St.

Heating up the ’hood on the Lower East Side On Sunday afternoon, firefighters from Engine 28 at the E. Second St. stationhouse responded to a gas leak at the building at 188 Orchard St., which contains a smoke shop on the ground floor. Meanwhile, Gerr y Visco, a fabulous figure from the New York nightlife scene (and also Columbia’s classic s depar tment), stopped by the photographer’s famed “Front Door” on Allen St. for a picture.

A “classic” shot: Gerr y Visco in front of the “Front Door.”

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One of the owners of the smoke shop. He and his brothers own three shops on the Lower East Side. TVG

Januar y 24, 2019



All rooting that they can ‘break this bad president’



Toward the end of the Women’s March — the Uptown version — as the procession passed through the Times Square area, actor Br yan Cranston, of “Breaking Bad” renown, currently starring on Broadway in “Network,” came out on a ledge to salute the anti-Trump faithful.


A sign attacked the “Tweeter in Chief” — who loves to cr y, “Fake News!” — for his allegedly untruthful tweets.


Januar y24 - Februar y 6, 2019


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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Clutter Whispererâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; helps â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Tidy Upâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; NOTICE OF FORMATION OF THBD 2064 LLC Arts. of Org. ďŹ led with NY Dept. of State on 12/7/18. OfďŹ ce location: NY County. Sec. of State designated agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served and shall mail process to: c/o Thorobird Companies LLC, 1350 Ave. of the Americas, Fl. 2, NY, NY 10019, principal business address. Purpose: all lawful purposes. Vil: 12/20 - 01/24/2019

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an on-premise license, #TBA has been applied for by Murray Street Restaurant Co LLC d/b/a Whiskey Tribeca to sell beer, wine and liquor at retail in an on premises establishment. For on premises consumption under the ABC law at 6 Murray Street New York NY 10007. Vil: 01/24 - 01/31/2019

NOTICE OF FORMATION OF 2064 TIC, LLC Arts. of Org. ďŹ led with NY Dept. of State on 12/7/18. OfďŹ ce location: NY County. Sec. of State designated agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served and shall mail process to: c/o Thorobird Companies LLC, 1350 Ave. of the Americas, Fl. 2, NY, NY 10019, principal business address. Purpose: all lawful purposes. Vil: 12/20 - 01/24/2019

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that an on-premise license, #TBA has been applied for by LouLou LLC d/b/a Babs to sell beer, wine and liquor at retail in an on premises establishment. For on premises consumption under the ABC law at 72 MacDougal Street New York NY 10012. Vil: 01/24 - 01/31/2019

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a restaurant wine license, #TBA has been applied for by Sgrill Plan A Group LLC d/b/a Shermanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s to sell beer and wine at retail in an on premises establishment. For on premises consumption under the ABC law at 121 Division Street New York NY 10002. Vil: 01/24 - 01/31/2019 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Liquor License, serial number 1313783, for beer, wine, cider and liquor has been applied for by the undersigned to permit the sale of beer, wine, cider and liquor at retail in a restaurant under the Alcoholic Beverages Control Law at Regal Cinemas, Inc., located at 115 Delancey Street, New York, NY 10002 on premise consumption. Regal Cinemas Inc. Vil: 01/24 - 01/31/2019

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a Liquor License, serial number 1315579, for beer, wine, liquor and cider has been applied for by the undersigned to permit the sale of beer, wine, liquor and cider at retail in a concert venu under the Alcoholic Beverages Control Law at DLS Events LLC, located at 127 E 23 rd St., New York, NY, 10010 on premise consumption. DLS Events LLC. Vil: 01/17 - 01/24/2019 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a license, number 1313809 for liquor, beer and wine license has been applied for Rishank LLC d/b/a NORTH FORK RESTAURANT to sell liquor, beer and wine in a restaurant under the Alcohol Beverage Control Law located at 122 Christopher Street, New York, NY 10014 for onpremises consumption. Vil: 01/17 - 01/24/2019

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ost New Yorkers are familiar with the neverending battle against clutter that is a feature of life in a small apartment. If it were easy to organize, the â&#x20AC;&#x153;de-clutteringâ&#x20AC;? industry wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist and be as big as it is. One such industry titan is â&#x20AC;&#x153;tidying expertâ&#x20AC;? Marie Kondo, a Japanese woman with a new Netflix show called â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tidying Up.â&#x20AC;? The show builds off her empire of a No. 1 bestselling book and a brand called KonMari that offers advice and a network of counselors â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who go to peoplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; homes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including 16 such experts in the local New York area. The company will even hold a conference in Midtown during March 29-31 to train new counselors for the brand. Registration cost is a cool $2,200. The Netflix show was released Jan. 1 with eight episodes. In short, the plot is Kondo goes to homes and teaches the KonMari method, which involves tidying by category rather than area. The order goes clothing first, then books, papers, miscellaneous items, and, in a smart move, sentimental items are saved for last. The test for whether to keep an item is deciding if it â&#x20AC;&#x153;sparks joy,â&#x20AC;? according to Kondo. If it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, she advises, thank the item for its service (seriously) and then send it on its way. The eight episodes are all set in Southern California. Apparently, tiny New York apartments were too much of a challenge â&#x20AC;&#x201D; though maybe Kondo will build up to them in Season 2. Episode 3 is called â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Downsizersâ&#x20AC;? and has Kondo helping a family of four, the Mersiers, who moved from a Michigan home into a cramped apartment. Clothes are strewn across rooms, along with instruments and papers and all the other apartment items that mysteriously build up in peoplesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; homes. The clutter causes stress, especially for mom Katrina, who gets emotional in explaining that she is the only one who knows where things are, and feels she is failing to keep the family organized and running smoothly in the large role she has taken on. The situation is not hoarding but rather stressful clutter, which may be less dramatic but also more relatable for the average viewer. As Kondo takes the family through her process, she teaches empathy for the messes, and before beginning, kneels and bows in the home to connect with the space, as the family looks on.

Marie Kondo says her tips can help you tidy up your condo â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or co-op or rental apar tment.

Later, the two kids, a 12-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl, talk to their clothes as they decide to keep or discard them, which all sounds a bit awkward but does seem to give more empathy and meaning to their process and allow for clarity over which items will actually be used going forward. Kondo notes the momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role in being responsible for everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s items in the house, and says through a translator, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I would like to teach the family how to be responsible with their belongings.â&#x20AC;? By the end of the 35-minute episode, the kids are putting away their own

clothes and the husband, Douglas, helps with kitchen and cleaning duties because he knows where things are and feels more responsibility to help. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m growing up here,â&#x20AC;? he says, and son Nolan adds about Kondo, â&#x20AC;&#x153;She lifted the weight off my momâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shoulders.â&#x20AC;? The show isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t about high-stakes drama but more subtle everyday struggles with clutter and responsibilities within families. Viewers can even learn some tips for decluttering, which of course is easier than implementing them, and is why â&#x20AC;&#x153;tidying expertsâ&#x20AC;? like Kondo are able to build such big empires in the first place.

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Real Estate

E. Village: Un-hyped history, pricey properties BY MARTHA WILKIE


f you love historic architecture and the East Village, you’ll be more than interested in the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s newly unveiled East Village Building Blocks (www.gvshp.org/buildingblocks). It’s an amazingly detailed new online resource about every single building in the East Village: History, architecture, people, businesses —you name it, it’s in there. Andrew Berman, executive director of G.V.S.H.P., explained the scope and purpose of the project. “East Village Building Blocks is the result of over 10 years of research by dozens of individuals here at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation to document the history of every one of 2,200 buildings in the East Village,” he said. “This neighborhood is incredibly rich in history, dating back to the earliest Dutch settlers in the 17th century. But there is less documentation of and less attention paid to that history than that of other similar historic neighborhoods. We hope to correct that with this resource.” The glossary is a good, concise lesson in the terminology of New York historic buildings, such as what exactly defines an old-law versus new-law tenement building, plus explanations of research tools like the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps and tax-assessment records. (See gvshp.org/buildingblocks/ glossary-of-terms .) “The site is constantly being updated and added to, including with comments, anecdotes and information from the public,” Berman noted. “We’ve made it easily searchable so you can look for a specific building, examine an entire block or search by architect, year, building type, person or subject area. In addition to basic information about the history of each building, there are also current and historic images and original documents showing the construction of and alterations to each building, as well as links to further information and resources.” I commented (and posted a recent photo) about a building I’ve written about before: the Daniel LeRoy House, at 20 St. Mark’s Place. I fell in love with this beautiful Greek Revival house years ago when my husband and I looked at an apartment there; it wasn’t a co-op or a condo, but a rental — oddly, the remaining 80-some years of a 100-year lease. “East Village Building Blocks is a great tool to aid in our preservation efforts for the East Village and in enabling the public to better understand and appreciate this neighborhood’s rich


Januar y 24, 2019


A triplex on E. 14th St. features retractable walls and James Bond-like touches on the interior.

and varied history,” the preservationist continued. “From punk to pierogis, jazz clubs to the Jewish Rialto, Loisaida to Kleindeutschland, Carnegie libraries to C-Squat, the East Village has it all.” You’re encouraged to visit East Village Building Blocks and share your comments, thoughts, photos and memories. Looking to move to the East Village? As with all of Manhattan, it’s changing. Naysayers will scoff it’s nothing like it used to be back in the day. But if the ’hood has lost something in scruffy character, it is safer and cleaner. You can still have a beer at McSorley’s Ale House, which has changed little in 100-plus years. (Well, women are now welcome and even have their own bathroom.) I walked by recently and was happy to see a line around the block. Here are a few of the older or more architecturally interesting places currently for sale or rent in the East Village. On one of the East Village’s prettiest blocks, you can rent a bit of Knickerbocker history: a glorious light-filled apartment in the 1839 (or 1836? unclear) house at 102 E. 10th St., originally built for Peter Gerard Stuyvesant, son of Peter Stuyvesant, who was

director general of the West Indian Company. The only drawback: a very teensy-tiny kitchen — perfect for those Manhattanites who don’t cook. Renting for $7,500 a month. ( ht t p s : //w w w.c omp a ss. com / listing /102- east-10 th-street-unit-2-manhattanny-10003/78906649862998209/) Or there’s a furnished one-bedroom rental at 111 Fourth Ave. for $4,975. Expensive, yes, but striking. It’s in an early 20th-century converted industrial building with wonderful geometric windows and another Stuyvesant connection. From Building Blocks: “This 12-story terra cotta and brick building was completed in 1919. It was designed by Starrett & Van Vleck Architects as manufacturing lofts for the International Tailoring Company... . The site was purchased that same year from Mathilda E. R. Stuyvesant.” ( h t t p s : / / w w w. c o r c o r a n . c o m / nyc-real-estate/for-rent/greenwichv i l l a g e / 111- f o u r t h - a v e n u e - a p t 8f/5578081) At 649 E. Ninth St. is a sunny and light true two-bedroom with attractive French doors, a newly renovated kitchen and exposed brick walls. Not cheap at $3,250, but pretty good for TVG

a two-bedroom in the neighborhood. (https://streeteasy.com/building/145avenue-c-new_york/c3) For those looking to buy, at 257 E. Seventh St. is a sweet beautifully renovated one-bedroom co-op for sale at $699,000. It has nice built-ins, an attractive planted roof deck, and — best of all — overlooks a verdant tranquil garden. (https://www.bhsusa.com/ manhattan/downtown/257-east-7thstreet-6/coop/15826587) And now for something completely different: a triplex condo at 224 E. 14th St. where the parts of the facade and rear elevation completely retract at the touch of a button, like a suburban garage door opener for your home. It has a striking facade of perforated metal. Inside are plenty of futuristic gizmos and gadgets, perfect for James Bond. This place also features a private garden (with cabana, grill, refrigerator), exposed stone walls and a stunningly white kitchen. Covered by design media around the world. Watch the YouTube video, it’s bonkers! And it’ll cost you $3.6 million. ( h t t p s : / / w w w. n e s t s e e k e r s . com /765792/ brow nstone- east-v illage-triplex-east-village-manhattanny?src=4UfY7bG) Schneps Media

‘Smells like cheese fries spirit’: Ray rocks 86! BY LINCOLN ANDERSON


riends — some sporting sequined G-strings and twirling chest tassels — helped Avenue A egg-cream icon Ray Alvarez celebrate his 86th birthday on Mon., Jan 14. Dancing — combined with disrobing — on the counter at Ray’s Candy Store has become his birthday tradition for more than 10 years running now. Each year there’s a different theme, and his hole-in-the-wall hot dog-and-fried-bananas store near E. Seventh St. is decorated accordingly. Last year, for example, it was a funky “Retro ’80s” party. The year before that, Ray and friends were transported for an exotic “Night of Persian Delights.” That was in honor of the heritage of Ray — real name Asghar Ghahraman — who jumped ship, for good, from the Iranian navy to find his American dream. Pulling off these creative annual productions are Matt Rosen and a crew of likeminded Ray fanatics. This year’s theme was “Fallen Rock Stars.” The walls, the ATM machine, pretty much everywhere inside the beignetand-fried-Oreos mecca was festooned with photos of famous rockers, such as Kurt Cobain, Joe Strummer, Janis Joplin and Lou Reed, to name a few. Ray strutted out right on cue as, fittingly, Sammy Davis Jr.’s “The Candy Man” played. He was then followed by a parade of sizzling dancers who took turns heating up his worn-down formica countertop hotter than his hot-dog rollers. Pearls Daily started things off with a bang, shimmying r.” to The Archies’ “Sugar Sugar.” Lilin Lace then rocked it to Amy Winehouse’s “Valery.” She was foleeky Lane lowed in succession by Cheeky (“Pretty Woman,” by Roy Orbison), rbison) Gal Friday (“Foxy Lady,” by Jimi Hendrix), Tansy (“Touch Me,” by The Doors) and finally Nasty Canasta, who got down — down to a G-string, that is — to David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie.” As usual, Ray ate it up. Though the soft-serve ice cream guru has had some lean years — even ones where his legions of fans have had to kick in some cash to help him meet his rent — he later said things are looking up. That’s mainly because he’s now using app delivery services Uber and Grubhub, which is giving him a new revenue stream. “I have two, I’d like to have three,” he mused of the food-ordering apps. A jeans-clad Nasty Canasta feeling it as she danced to Bowie’s “The Jean Genie.” You’re definitely missing out, though, on an essential part of the Ray’s experience if you don’t go there in person to get your cheese fries, lime rickey or genuine “Obama burger” from the man himself. But, whatever — in the oxymoronic smartphone-based reality — this is letting him pay the bills. “It’s helping,” he said. “I now have a guy to cut the potatoes.”

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A jeans-clad je Nasty Canasta feeling it as she per formed to David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie.”

Dancer Lilin Lace at Ray’s bir thday bash was smoking…literally. TVG

A s usual, Ray loved his over-the-top counter top bir thday extravaganza. Januar y 24, 2019




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