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November 05 - 18, 2015 | Vol. 01 No. 02

T H E P I X E L A C A D E MY ' S

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Unlocking Unused Air Rights Key to Midtown East Rezoning Vision


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UWS District 3 Tilting Toward Little Relief for P.S. 199 Overcrowding

MANHATTAN EXPRESS

District 3 Community Education Council president Joe Fiordaliso with Chancellor Carmen Fariña at the October 28 town hall at P.S. 191.

BY JOSH ROGERS

R

oll the dice if you want a P.S. 199 kindergarten seat for your child next September. The new zoning for the overcrowded Upper West Side school is likely to be reduced only slightly and not nearly enough to eliminate a waiting list, which was reportedly the highest in the city last spring, when P.S. 199 had barely enough room for six kindergarten classes. The chances for families to get into the coveted school will probably drop this coming year as the school plans to admit about 25 fewer children to accommodate the crowds, which have reached dangerous proportions, according to the local school advocates. They say a fire drill last month left many children lingering on the third floor for too many minutes. “Would we have to stand here like that if it was a real fire,” a fifth grader asked a teacher, according to Andrea Steinkamp, co-president of the school’s PTA. She said the matter was discussed by the School Leadership Team and new safety steps are being taken but the real problem is that administrators are “spending a lot of time on logistics and just on traffic control” instead of on education. The West 70th Street school has about 900 students in a building designed for 738, she added. The District 3 Community Edu-

cation Council has rejected both zoning options presented to them by the city Department of Education and is now leaning toward modifying the city’s first option and reducing the P.S. 199 zone by less than the city wants. There’s consensus to increase the P.S. 452 zone to the north, but by less than the city proposed, and to not expand the P.S.191 zone to the south at all. Charlie Pollak, a pre-K parent, said that based on a quick estimate, it’ll probably be about a 50-50 chance to be admitted to P.S. 199 next September under the proposal the CEC is moving toward. “They’ve got a coin flip to get in the school,” he said in a phone interview. If implemented, some families living right by P.S. 199 are once again likely to be denied admission to their zoned school. “We have had parents who literally live across the street who get waitlisted,” said Steinkamp, the PTA leader. “It’s very frustrating when you look out your front door at P.S. 199 and you can’t get a seat there.”   She’d like to see more done to relieve the overcrowding problem sooner, but said if the CEC does reduce the zone a little “something is better than nothing.” The CEC and the Department of Education have not yet discussed specific blocks that would be moved back to the proposed new P.S. 199 zone from the one the city suggest-

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | November 05 - 18, 2015

ed for 452, but the city is expected to take the CEC suggestions and present a new plan on November 19. The CEC this week set December 2 as the date to take a final vote to implement a plan, but some members favor pushing it off to early January. Joe Fiordaliso, president of the CEC, a group of parents elected by leaders of the district school PTAs, said the city’s idea of expanding the P.S. 191 zone “just will not work” because the state Education Department unfairly labeled the school “persistently dangerous,” which gives parents the right to demand placement in another school. “Unless 191 is seen as a viable option, there’s nothing the CEC or the DOE can do,” Fiordaliso told Manhattan Express after a November 2 CEC meeting. He and the other members of the council back several measures to help P.S. 191 draw more students and “community buy-in,” including expanding the pre-K there, adding a Gifted & Talented program, and increasing resources. The P.S. 199 PTA’s annual budget is more than 30 times greater than 191’s — about $750,000 compared to $24,000. The council has also agreed to “grandfather” siblings of existing students so that they would be unaffected by any zoning change. And they have agreed to not zone two new residential buildings — 200

West 67th Street and 170 Amsterdam Avenue — for P.S. 199 unless a third nearby proposed residential development, 200 Amsterdam Avenue, agrees to provide school seats within its building. This will likely meet some resistance from the DOE, which wants a new zoning plan finalized this month.

FARIÑA WEIGHS IN Schools Chancellor Car men Fariña, who visited P.S. 191 on October 28 for a town hall meeting, warned parents that whatever decision the CEC makes, many people will be unhappy. “Overcrowding doesn’t get solved by fairy dust,” she said. “It gets solved by making some tough decisions.” She also said P.S. 191 was “in transition,” but on the right track to getting better. “A school also turns around when a community believes in it, when a community says, ‘Together we can do this,’” she said. After the “dangerous” designation, Fariña added five more staff members to the school, including social workers, taking the money out of her budget, rather than the school’s. But she, like local advocates, questions the designation — “some of the statistics are done in very strange ways,” she said. P.S. 199 is mostly white, and 191

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OVERCROWDING, continued on p.14

MANHATTAN EXPRESS

The P.S. 191 chorus performs at the town hall.

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Unlocking Unused Air Rights Key to Midtown East Rezoning Vision

MICHAEL SHIREY

St. Bartholomew’s Church, on Park Avenue, has considerable unused transferrable development rights it could sell under the rezoning proposal. (The Central Synagogue, on Lexington Avenue, is shown on the cover.)

BY JACKSON CHEN

M

ore than a year into a second round of discussions about rezoning Midtown East, a steering committee established by the city has released its final rezoning plan that is filled with dozens of recommendations. The rezoning proposal, an initiative of the Department of City Planning (DCP), focuses on a 73-block area — bordered roughly by Second and Fifth Avenues and East 39th and East 57th Streets — that surrounds the iconic Grand Central Terminal. If approved, the rezoning would provide incentives to attract the construction of modern commercial buildings to maintain Midtown East’s appeal as a business district, while providing funding both to maintain properties officially landmarked by the city and to enhance public spaces and transit access in the district. The incentives offer developers a greater floor-area ratio (FAR) to create bigger commercial buildings without going through review from the City Planning Commission or the Board of Standard and Appeals, so long as projects meet basic zoning regulations. FAR is a ratio calculated by dividing the total floor space in a building by the square footage of the prop-

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erty on which it sits. According to the recommendations, developers would be allowed to exceed the current limits — a factor of 15 on or near avenues and 12 on side street mid-block locations — by making “public realm improvements” to both nearby public transit access and open space availability and through the purchase of air rights, or in urban planning parlance transferrable development rights (TDRs), from landmarked properties. To date, the district has been unable to make full use of available TDRs because their sale is typically restricted to sites near the properties able to transfer them. The rezoning plan will allow landmarked buildings to transfer their TDRs throughout the entire 73-block area. Given the significant impacts expected from this rezoning, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod created the East Midtown Steering Committee in September 2014 and designated Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilmember Dan Garodnick as co-chairs. The committee is comprised of local officials and community stakeholders and met 20 times, beginning on September 30, 2014, to formulate its extensive 102-page report. “We are delivering a framework that will unlock the economic potential of this worldclass business district, while preserving our historic resources and ensuring that the public derives a benefit from new development projects,” said Garodnick, as the rezoning plan was announced on October 29. The steering committee report recommended that air rights transfers carried out under the proposal be subject to an assessment in the range of 20 to 40 percent, which would be earmarked for a public fund dedicated to the improvement of public spaces and transit access throughout the district. According to the steering committee’s report, experts said that air rights “can be easily $400 per square foot or more,” which, based on an estimate of roughly four million square feet of total unused TDRs, could generate contributions to the improvements fund of more than $300 million, even at the lower end of the assessment range being discussed. However, three religious institutions, all of them landmarked and with a large amount of unused TDRs — which they could, under the proposal, sell throughout the rezoning district — have already signaled dissatisfaction with the terms suggested in the steering committee report. “We are concerned that the high assessment on transfers proposed in the committee report greatly diminishes the rezoning’s twin objec-

tives of promoting development and historic preservation,” St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Bartholomew’s Church, and the Central Synagogue said in a joint written statement. Elected officials, in response, argue that the mechanism opening up the TDRs for sale offers benefits that cannot now be realized and at a reasonable cost. “We are freeing up unused and unusable air rights for area landmarks,” Brewer and Garodnick said in a joint statement. “And that benefit far outweighs any burden of an assessment for the public realm in East Midtown.” An earlier, unsuccessful proposal for rezoning Midtown East, developed in the waning days

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AIR RIGHTS, continued on p.18

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The steering committee identified the landmarked properties and those currently under consideration by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, but said up to 30 buildings in the district might yet qualify.

November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Even Dozens of Blocks Away, A Neighborhood Frets New Super Towers

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Looking south on Madison Avenue in Carnegie Hill, the pencil building stands very tall.

BY JACKSON CHEN

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esidential concerns about quality of life, aesthetic values, and setting bad real estate development precedents are looming in the shadows of the super tall skyscrapers now sprouting up in Midtown. In neighborhoods throughout the Upper East Side, one particular building has caught the ire of many residents. Dubbed the pencil building for its skinniness and uniformity, the residential complex at 432 Park Avenue is currently the second tallest building in the city — behind One World Trade Center. If measured by roof height, the 432 Park Avenue building has the formerly-dubbed Freedom Tower beat by 28 feet. As residents stroll the streets and avenues that make up Carnegie Hill, the 432 Park Avenue building is an unwelcome sight for most. Set against the up-and-down street wall of the neighborhood, the pencil building clearly stands out, even from a distance of roughly 30 blocks south in the heart of Midtown. “432 Park Avenue, that one is an atrocious eyesore for anybody who looks south down Park Avenue,” said Les Marshak, a longtime Carnegie Hill resident. “This [building] destroys the whole sightline.” Beyond critical quips from local residents, a neighborhood association has spearheaded discussion about the super tower and potential

followers by making the issue the main agenda item during its recent annual meeting. On October 20, Carnegie Hill Neighbors largely devoted its yearly gathering to an informal discussion about the controversial pencil building and other high rises. “We were concerned about the shadow this building would cast on Central Park; that was the beginning of our direct involvement,” said Lo van der Valk, president of the Carnegie Hill Neighbors. “Proliferation of the super tall buildings can create a wall, or at least a shadow wall.” Many members of the neighborhood association said the shadows cast and loss of sunlight is a quality of life issue they don’t have much say in. “I can’t understand how we don’t find out about it until it’s too late,” Marshak said. “I’d like to see some more communication from the city to inform the public, not only in the immediate neighborhood, but those who are within view of the buildings.” Adrienne Schlossberg, a Yorkville resident, said skyscrapers like 432 Park can take away the charm and aesthetic of neighborhoods far afield. “I think it strips away any personality from the area,” she said. “You look and you don’t see any beauty in this thing.”

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | November 05 - 18, 2015

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CARNEGIE, continued on p.15

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Resounding No on Doubling Height of Historic Fifth Avenue Building

The rendering below shows the additional six stories proposed for 1143 Fifth Avenue.

BY JACKSON CHEN

A

mid towering concerns from neighbors, Community Board 8 decided against an application for a six-story vertical extension of a seven-story luxury apartment building in the Carnegie Hill Historic District. During the full board meeting on October 21, droves of Carnegie Hill residents showed their disapproval of the plan and cited concerns about setting a development-favoring precedent in their historic neighborhood. The building being considered for expansion, at 1143 Fifth Avenue between 95th and 96th Streets, was original-

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ly constructed in the early 1920s and was designed by renowned architect James Edwin Ruthven Carpenter, Jr. Better known by his initials, J.E.R., he’s largely remembered for his contributions to the rise of luxury residential apartments in the city a century ago. For some residents, the shorter Carpenter building sandwiched between two taller buildings is part of the neighborhood’s unique street wall. According to Lo van der Valk, president of Carnegie Hill Neighbors, a local residents’ association, the varying heights of buildings highlight the neighborhood’s historical shift from modest apartments to luxury mansions. “When you walk in Central Park and look over and see the skyline, you see it going up and down,” van der Valk said. “That becomes a characteristic or feature of this part of Carnegie Hill.” The building was previously owned by the French government and used as consulate staff quarters before being sold to the current owner, Jean-Claude Marian. The founder and board chair of Orpea, a French elder care company, Marian bought the building for $36.4 million in November 2014, according to city records. On top of the six-story addition, the new plan calls for a reconfiguration of the current setup of seven residential units into ground floor medical offices with six expanded units above, according to Stephen Gallira, who represents Marian. Additionally, Gallira explained, Mar ian aims to renovate the building up to city code, by adding needed new fire safety stairs, an elevator compliant with the requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and other improvements. “Preservation is about sustainability,” said Gallira. “In this case, the building in its current structure does not have the ability to evolve and sustain itself. It needs help.” Still, the board ultimately sided with the sea of upset voices in the crowd by voting down the controversial application, with a 29 to 14 tally. This vote is CB8’s final advisory action on the building before the application heads to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for an ultimate decision. “If we recommend this approval, it will be the downfall of our historical district,” said board member Marco T amayo, agreeing with residents who warned of establishing a bad precedent. Tamayo, who serves on the

board’s Landmarks Committee, said that the main goal of historic districts was to maintain and preserve culture and history, with only minor changes. Community members on hand seemed to largely agree that the proposed expansion was far from minor in doubling the height of the historic building. For van der Valk, the height adjustment is “of f-the-charts,” and he is concer ned it would encourage a move toward taller buildings throughout Carnegie Hill. “When applicants apply, they look for examples for what looks closest to what they want to do,” van der Valk said. “This would give them an example of building up substantially on top of a building.” However, Karen Meara, an environmental and land use attorney representing Marian, said the LPC considers landmark applications on a case-by-case basis. She added that 1143 Fifth Avenue represented a very unique situation, one that would not set a precedent if the LPC were to approve the building’s application. “How many other buildings have exactly the same architecture, the same context in terms of the two other taller buildings on either side, exactly the same history,” Meara said. “We do not see that there is another building with all those factors in this district or nearby districts.” Meara explained that the building was originally constructed under a city regulation limiting it to 75 feet, a standard later overturned in favor of a 150-foot limit. Agreeing with Meara, David Halper n, co-chair of the board’s Landmarks Committee, said that this project would not set a precedent if approved. Halper n had voted against the plan in an October 19 Landmarks Committee meeting, but changed his vote during the full board meeting two nights later. The co-chair asked his fellow board members to give an objective look at what he termed a “decent building.” “ We ’ r e n o t t a k i n g a b o u t p u t t i n g 2 1 0 feet on top of a townhouse,” Halpern said, before casting his vote of approval. “What we’re talking about is Fifth Avenue, where the architect was struggling to see if she could come up with something that met the original intent of the design.” As the CB8’s vote was only advisory, Gallira’s team of attorneys and architects will next be in front of the LPC on November 10 for final consideration. n November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Push For an East 86th Street BID Steps Up This Week

JACKSON CHEN

Overflowing trash cans, like this one at 86th Street and Third Avenue, are one of the issues that is prompting a new push for a BID.

BY JACKSON CHEN

L

ocal officials and stakeholders are working together in an effort to bring a Business Improvement District to the busiest stretch of East 86th Street and surrounding commercial strips. Home to one of the more stressed train stations in the city, East 86th Street has garbage cans that are often filled past the brim,

with sidewalks littered with floating scraps. “The garbage cans are overflowing, there are vendors who are not obeying the rules, there’s paper on the sidewalks and in the gutter,” said Susan Gottridge, vice president of the East 86th Street Association. To resolve the sanitation situation, among others issues, the idea of a Business Improvement District (BID) has recently been in the works. Gottridge, who sits on the steering committee charged with creating the East 86th Street BID, said the problem stems from the area being heavily trafficked, especially immediately surrounding the extremely busy 86th Street train station for the 4, 5, and 6 lines at Lexington Avenue. Usually located in areas that face unique challenges or economic or environmental stresses, BIDs are nonprofit organizations that rely on modest assessments on nearby businesses and property owners and more token con-

tributions from residential buildings to keep a neighborhood well maintained. Providing services including sanitation and neighborhood beautification, 72 BIDs have already cropped up across the city. For the area around East 86th Street to become Manhattan’s 26th BID, City Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Daniel Garodnick have been leading a steering committee that includes the participation of the East 86th Street Association, Carnegie Hill Neighbors, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, and area businesses. “86th Street is one of the busiest commercial corridors in the city,” Kallos said, noting that the 86th Street stop on the Lexington Avenue line is among the subway system’s top 10 in commuter usage. “Many other locations have BIDs, and this one was long overdue.” The effort to create the district will step up this week as a survey is sent out to take the neighborhood’s temperature on having a

BID. The survey includes basic information about BIDs and a questionnaire regarding neighborhood conditions, quality of life problems, and desired services. “Rather than trying to deal with the problems on a case-by-case basis, it would be better to deal with it in the long term by creating a BID for that part of the neighborhood,” Kallos said. BIDs vary one from another based on what local stakeholders deem as priorities. According to the survey, which was provided to Manhattan Express, residents and owners can check off services like sidewalk sweeping, trash pick-ups, seasonal flowers, safety and security initiatives, and business marketing, among many others. At this early stage in the process, the borders of the East 86th Street district have yet to be determined. While the district could range as widely as from East 80th

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86TH BID, continued on p.18

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In “Caves” Below Grand Central, East Side Access Project on Track T

YANNIC RACK

Michael Horodniceanu, the MTA’s president of capital construction, at the entrance to the future LIRR concourse at Grand Central Terminal.

YANNIC RACK

Workers studying construction plans at the concourse level of the new LIRR terminal, which is scheduled to open by December 2022.

YANNIC RACK

The view inside one of the two main caverns below Grand Central, which will be split by a mezzanine level.

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BY YANNIC RACK

rains from Long Island will start rolling into Grand Central Terminal within the next seven years, according to the MTA’s chief engineer in charge of the monumental East Side Access project. “We plan to complete the construction by 2020,” Dr. Michael Horodniceanu, the authority’s president of capital construction, said this week during a tour of the new eight-track Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) station that is currently being built below the terminal. “However, we allow ourselves two years of contingency because this is such a complex project that things can happen,” he quickly added, citing the official December 2022 deadline for the project. Indeed, things have already happened: East Side Access, which the MTA touts as the largest mass transit project in the country, has been pushed back multiple times beyond its original opening date of 2009. Back then, the cost was estimated to be $4.3 billion, but the price tag has since swelled to the current estimate of $10.178 billion. “Like anything else, when you build something this complicated, you’re always going to have to deal with issues,” Horodniceanu said, blaming the cost overruns on unrealistic budgeting by the MTA. “No longer so, we’re now on budget and we’ll stay on budget,” he declared. Other MTA capital projects have also come under fire in recent years for running over time and budget, including the recently opened 7 subway extension at 34 St.-Hudson Yards and the Second Avenue subway extension, whose second-phase funding the authority just slashed by $1 billion (see story on page 12). Horodniceanu said work on the East Side Access project, which started construction in Manhattan and Queens in 2006, is now around 60 percent complete. It is the first expansion of the LIRR in more than 100 years and will transport passengers from Queens and Long Island directly into Grand Central. LIRR trains currently only run into Penn Station (and Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn), and the new link is supposed to reduce crowding there as well as on the subway lines that feed the East

Midtown business district. “The goal is to allow 160,000 passengers to come directly to their destination on the East Side, and save 30 to 40 minutes of their commute every day,” Horodniceanu said. So far, the new tunnels are only used to transport excavated rock and other material north from Grand Central and then east through the 63rd Street Tunnel below the East River, to end up at the Sunnyside rail yard in Queens. But in a few years, LIRR trains will make the same trip and back, 24 hours a day. The 63rd Street Tunnel itself was completed in 1989, but only its two upper floors were put into operation for the subway system. The two lower levels were always destined for LIRR use but have been sitting idle for more than 25 years — the MTA actually had to spruce them up and free them of asbestos and signs of decay. “From the day [the tunnel] was planned in the ‘60s, it was planned to have a lower level for Long Island Rail Road, so this goes all the way back,” Horodniceanu said. To complete the connection, the MTA has over the last eight years bored and lined 6.1 miles of tunnels in Manhattan and 2 miles in Queens, excavating more than two million cubic yards of rock and dirt in the process. The two tracks now emerging from underneath the East River eventually converge in two caverns below Grand Central, roughly along Park Avenue between 42nd and 50th Streets, where they form an eight-track terminal that will be accessible on two platform levels divided by a planned mezzanine. To get to it, passengers will use a network of escalators descending from a brand new 350,00-squarefoot concourse that will include 25,000 square feet of retail space (by comparison, the current Grand Central Terminal encompasses 2 million square feet and 150,000 square feet of retail). Where the concourse will be, trains from Metro North were stored until recently — and right now, the area mostly still looks and feels like a cave. Now that the caverns and tunnels in Manhattan have all been

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EAST SIDE ACCESS, continued on p.10

November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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EAST SIDE ACCESS, from p.8

excavated, workers still need to actually build the station and tracks within them, including train signals, electricity, and other communications infrastructure. In Queens, four tunnels have also been dug and lined with concrete, and new switches and bridges are being built at the Sunnyside rail yard, while workers are also laying new track to connect the existing network to the 63rd Street Tunnel. Horodniceanu said that the scope of the project was a challenge in itself, but was exacer bated by the MTA’s desire to limit street-level disruption. “The point is, if you do massive underground transportation connections in a densely populated city — if you look at the Upper East Side, 100,000 residents per square mile — you can’t get away without doing it in such a way that you minimize the impact on the people,” he said. “There is a tradeoff there. Way back they used to dig a trench, they didn’t care. You can see the pictures in my office, of

when they built the Broadway line from Columbus Circle up. They just dug up both sides, there was no access to anything. This is not how we do the job today.” The work also had to be done at an unusual depth — the lowest tracks run about 150 feet below street level — because the MTA wanted to build on its own property below Grand Central and Park Avenue, rather than acquiring additional property. “As a result, eminent domain was not needed to do it,” Horodniceanu said. In addition to the tunneling, new train yards and maintenance facilities are also being built in Queens and also the Bronx, and modernized vent facilities — some of which have already been completed — are required along the entire length of the new tracks. Most challenging of all, according to Horodniceanu, a lot of work has to be done at the crowded Harold Interlocking in Queens — the country’s busiest rail junction (part of the Sunnyside rail yard), where the new tunnels have to snake their way below existing

YANNIC RACK

The tunnels in Manhattan and Queens have been fully excavated, but work will continue on tracks and platforms for at least five years.

Amtrak, LIRR, and New Jersey Transit tracks. “What we’re doing in Queens is incredibly complex,” he said. “We’re allowing the railroads there to operate absolutely while we’re building — that’s like changing the wheels when you’re in the Tour de France and you still have to ride the bike” at the same time. With almost 80 percent of con-

struction funds already committed, Horodniceanu said he’s confident the money allocated for East Side Access in the MTA’s latest five-year capital plan was enough to get the project done —–and he plans to be there for the opening. “We are ready to continue,” he said. “Overall, I believe we have made a lot of progress in the last three years. We’ll get there.” n

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Rosenthal Hails Enactment of Law Strengthening Support for Caregivers BY PAUL SCHINDLER

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egislation aimed at ensur ing better hospital training for caregivers — and empowering them to advocate on behalf of their loved ones — which was shepherded through the State Assembly by Upper West Side Democrat Linda B. Rosenthal, has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable (CARE) Act, to which the governor gave his approval on October 27, establishes requirements for hospitals to ask patients to designate an official caregiver and to offer that caregiver any training they might request about carrying out home aftercare. According to Chris Widelo, the associate state director at AARP New York, which was a leading advocate for the bill, the standards imposed by the law reflect what have been best practices at some hospitals but were not universally observed. “We want to avoid instances where patients are discharged and then have to be readmitted because they didn’t receive adequate care at home,” Widelo told Manhattan Express. “Hospitals want to avoid readmission, so now at different points they may ask if there is a caregiver. That could be just overlooked if there is no legal obligation.” He noted that home aftercare can include cleaning and dressing wounds, administering complicated medication regimens, and operating and cleaning medical machinery. “Now, caregivers would be given, for example, a live demonstration on dressing a wound,” Widelo explained. “This gives another set of eyes and ears when you are discharged. According to AARP, more than 2.8 million New Yorkers provide unpaid care to family members at home and 1.6 million adult New Yorkers are discharged home from the hospital each year. Rosenthal, in a written statement announcing the law’s enactment, noted that

with the population of seniors in New York growing, those figures are also on the rise. By hospitals making an effort to identify an official caregiver, patients’ families will avoid a common problem — phoning the hospital to learn the condition of a loved one only to be told that information cannot be given out. Widelo noted that the privacy provisions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) offer patients important confidentiality protections, but can also get in the way of adequate communication between medical professionals and a patient’s caregiver. “We’ve heard stories of ‘Mom being in the hospital and then sent to another hospital and we didn’t know,’” he said. Noting that all sides share an interest in improving patient outcomes while complying with HIPPA and other privacy considerations, Widelo said that the state’s hospital association and groups representing nurses were on board in putting the CARE Act together. In her statement, Rosenthal said, “We all heave a sigh of relief when a loved one or family member is discharged home from the hospital after an illness or injury, but until now, we haven’t been doing nearly enough to ensure that caregivers are given the tools to provide safe and effective aftercare at home. With this law in place, caregivers will be given support that will help to prevent infection and costly readmission to the hospital.” Beth Finkel, who is AARP New York’s director, credited the efforts by Rosenthal, the Senate sponsor, Long Island Republican Kemp Hannon, and Cuomo. Other advocacy groups involved in pushing the legislation included the New York State Alzheimer’s Association, New Yorkers for Patient and Family Empowerment, and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). Catherine Thurston, who is SAGE’s senior director of programs, noted that an ancillary

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | November 05 - 18, 2015

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ROSENTHAL, continued on p.15

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Outcry Deepens Over $1 Billion Cut to Second Ave. Subway’s Phase 2 BY JACKSON CHEN

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n approving its 2015-2019 capital plan, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s board has cut nearly $1 billion in funding from the long-delayed Second Avenue Subway project. The cut, announced October 28, comes on the heels of the city’s promise earlier in the month to more than triple its original $657 million contribution to the capital plan. Even with that increase, the plan was still short $3 billion from last year’s projections. The proposed $32 billion MTA capital program from September 2014 allotted $1.5 billion for the Second Avenue Subway’s second phase. Last week, however, the MTA board unanimously voted in a scaled-down $29 billion capital program that included only $535 million in funding for phase 2. The $1 billion reduction left many local politicians up in arms because, for them, the light at the end of the tunnel is yet to be seen. In the wake of the criticism, by November 3 MTA chair Thomas F. Prendergast felt compelled to issue a statement assuring critics that the agency would move as quickly on Phase 2 as operational considerations would allow. “New Yorkers have been promised a full-build Second Avenue Subway since the 1920s,” Congressmembers Carolyn Maloney, whose district covers Manhattan’s East Side, and Charles Rangel, whose district covers most of Upper Manhattan, said in a joint statement critical of the MTA. “Based on the current schedule, 100 years will have passed and we will still be waiting. This ‘go slow’ approach to the Second Avenue Subway is a huge mistake.” For Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez, the $1 billion cut highlighted “economic injustice.” Rodriguez, whose district covers East Harlem and Randalls Island, said that his lower-income communities needed the subway access just as much as the constituents that will benefit from the first phase of the project.

JACKSON CHEN

State Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez denounces plans to cut $1 billion from Phase 2 funding over the next four years as Comptroller Scott Stringer (l. of Rodriguez) and State Senator Liz Krueger and Borough President Gale Brewer look on.

The new subway line will eventually traverse 8.5 miles down the East Side from East Harlem to Lower Manhattan. Split into four phases, the first phase — expanding the Q line from 63rd Street to 96th Street by opening three new stations — is expected to be complete by December 2016. Phase 2 will extend the line north along Second Avenue and then link to the Lexington Avenue line’s 125 Street Station. “For over a century, New Yorkers from the Lower East Side to Harlem have patiently waited for transit equality to become a reality,” Rodriguez said. “The MTA’s vote to drastically cut the Second Avenue Subway budget is shocking and indefensible.” Rodriguez led the opposition to the Second Avenue Subway funding cut during a press event at 96th Street and Second Avenue on November 3. City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senators José M. Serrano and Liz Krueger, City Councilmembers Ben Kallos and Daniel Garodnick, and local civic groups joined his call for the MTA to remedy the funding cut. In a November 3 letter to Prendergast, Maloney and Rangel noted that the Lexington Avenue subway line is the nation’s most crowded

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SUBWAY, continued on p.16

November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Fear of Tenant Harassment Lingers Even After “Imposters” IDed

Photo by Patricia Pingree

Historian & Bestselling Author

James Carroll

Christ Actually, Constantine’s Sword JACKSON CHEN

The Westwood House complex at 50 West 93rd Street.

BY JACKSON CHEN

R

esidents of an Upper West Side housing complex remain wary of the threat of tenant harassment, despite a previous incident of so-called police “impersonators” being debunked. For several months, residents at 50 West 93rd Street were under the impression that three armed men who inadequately identified themselves entered the Westwood House complex looking to harass tenants out of their rent-stabilized units. However, during the building’s tenant association meeting on October 22, police from the 24th precinct informed the residents that the “impersonators” were in fact city officials investigating a complaint. The group included two NYPD officers and a Department of Buildings investigator — operating as part of the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement — responding to a 311 complaint, according to the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. City records indicate that a complaint was filed on July 8 claiming there were two apartments being rented as illegal hotel rooms. After the apartments were checked on August 19, the three officers found no violations, city records state. While the three officers were identified, Sharon Canns, president of the 50 West 93d Street Tenant Association, felt the whole

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situation could have been han212.247.0490 • fapc@fapc.org dled much better. “There was not a murder, assault, ********** or robbery going on,” Canns said. All are welcome. Admission is (always) free. A book signing follows. “This was a situation where they suspected Airbnb. Nobody was in physical jeopardy. This is not a situation where the cops should come flying in here.” She said if the police officers properly identified themselves to the building’s doorman, the situation wouldn’t have escalated. Despite the case being closed, Borough President Gale Brewer’s office said they are looking into it and have been in contact with the tenants regarding the August incident. Open House | City and Country Canns also said there was a simWednesday, November 13, from 6-8pm ilar incident on September 17 with the same officers, but city officials didn’t know about a repeat inspection and city records don’t show another visit to the building. Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade In addition to the question of the inspections, the tenant associaOpen House | City and Country tion meeting afforded residents an Wednesday, November 13, from 6-8pm opportunity to learn about what Please visit www.cityandcountry.org for information they can do when actually faced and application materials. with what they say is the common 146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802 occurrence of landlord harassment. Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade Housing advocates, local officials, Progressive Education for Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade and the police all offered advice. “These are tenants that are routinely getting harassed by landlords Wednesday, November 13, from 6-8pm in various ways such as telling the 146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802 tenants they owed rent,” said City Please visit www.cityandcountry.org for information

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | November 05 - 18, 2015

How a child learns to learn will impact his or her life forever.

a child learns learnwill will HowHow a child learns totolearn impact forever. impact his his or or herher lifelifeforever.

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and application materials. IMPOSTERS, continued on p.18

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OVERCROWDING, from p.3

mostly youth of color, and Fariña said she values increasing diversity, but not of the sort she described as “artificial.” In addition to race and ethnicity, school diversity to her also includes income, as well as the number of special education students and English Language Learners enrolled. The Department of Education believes the percentage of nonwhite students under its first two options would move to between 40 and 50 percent at both 191 and 199 — which is close to 199’s current 36 percent. Pollak, whose child is in pre-K at P.S. 191, is part of a group of parents who say there is a much better way to increase diversity — linking the schools so that different grades are taught in different buildings. When P.S. 342 opens near P.S. 191 on West 61st Street in two years, the three schools would go from pre-K to 8, but proponents maintain a new structure could begin next September. It’s an idea that has been used in the past in the city, but the DOE currently opposes. Fariña didn’t reject it completely last week. Though she has generally opposed an overemphasis on test scores, Fariña said one complication is that it is harder to asses a principal of a school that only goes to second grade, because those students are not given standardized tests. At another meeting last month, the DOE’s Sarah Turchin, who has been presenting the District 3 zoning proposals, said Fariña and other administrators think splitting up elementary schools is not “instructionally sound.” Similarly, the district’s superintendent, Ilene Altschul, said of “pairing” the schools, “I am opposed to that... I feel that it doesn’t provide the students with a continuous education — [you have] a different leadership style, different visions, different missions — so it does cause a difficult transition for children.” But when a modified version was presented to Altschul at a CEC meeting this week, she said she and the DOE would give it some thought. The new idea would be to only “pair” P.S. 191 with 342, when the new building opens a block away in 2018. The modified “pairing plan” was suggested by P.S. 191’s School Leadership Team. Kajsa Reaves,

the school’s PTA president, said P.S. 191’s leaders oppose the DOE suggestion to share a zone with P.S. 342 because there’s a danger that too many families would want to go to 342, and 191 would always be seen as a second choice. She said there’s a lot more to study before the proposal is concrete, but added it is a “manageable” goal to put together enough information so it could be part of the formal presentation on November 19. CEC members have not been receptive to the idea of splitting three schools by grades, but on November 2, several members said the idea of splitting two was worth exploring more.

MANHATTAN EXPRESS

The audience at the October 28 town hall.

The big time pressure on the CEC is that the kindergarten application period has been moved up a month from its timing last year and is currently scheduled to go from December 7 to January 15. The change was celebrated in a DOE press release last month, in which Fariña said, “By making kindergarten offers earlier, we will make the process easier for families and strengthen the transition between pre-K and kindergarten.” For families across the city who get their first choice, the early news will undoubtedly be welcomed, but for waitlisted families it will prolong the period in limbo. Waitlists tend not to clear much until Gifted & Talented offers go out near the end of the school year, and the G & T timetable has not been changed. The key date on kindergarten applications is the last one, since there is no limit on how many times parents can change their desired school rankings. Last year, the city pushed back the deadline a few days to February 18. n

November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Painful Varicose Veins? JACKSON CHEN

Lo van der Valk, president of the Carnegie Hill Neighbors, addresses the group’s annual meeting on October 20.

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CARNEGIE, from p.5

According to van der Valk, Carnegie Hill residents have witnessed the trend of skyscrapers taking over Third Avenue, now East 57th Street — the cross street of 432 Park Avenue — and are wary of future development in areas even closer to their homes. “I think before it was never a threat because technology didn’t allow you to go that high,” van der Valk said. “Now, the only thing that limits it is planes flying overhead, by the [Federal Aviation Authority].” For Margaret Newman, former executive director of the Municipal Art Society of New York who was invited to lead the evening’s discussion, the shadows cast by the buildings are only the tip of the iceberg. She said that the majority of the discussions she’s been involved in have revolved around whether their developers would make positive contributions to transit, creating open public spaces, or enhancing local parks as part of constructing skyscrapers. “If they go up as-of-right, which most of these buildings in Midtown are,” Newman said, referring to the zoning term under which developers can bypass discretionary review by city agencies, “they amass their zoning rights to put up taller towers on

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ROSENTHAL, from p.11

benefit of hospitals making it their business to identify official caregivers will come in their ability to identify those patients without support networks around them. Saying that a portion of SAGE’s constituency falls into that category, Thurston said, “This will allow hospitals

their site. Once they do that, there’s no accountability and the only recourse the city has at that point is some taxes that will come in.” Newman, who now works as the head of More Urban, a consulting firm, said she’s been advocating for reform regarding the accountability of developers who are seeking to build towers that pierce the sky. As for the aesthetic appeal of the 432 Park Avenue building, Newman said that while there’s something compelling about the towering residential complex’s minimalism, it is way out of scale. She noted, however, that could change if the city’s overall skyscape changes over the next 20 years and becomes more in tune with the pencil building. “It’s kind of like a very tall elegant background building,” Newman said. “It may be, in fact, 20 years from now, the whole level of Manhattan goes up and it won’t stand out so much.” That offers no consolation to Marshak, who said he’s unable to enjoy the New York City skyline he grew up admiring. “I was driving into the city from the LIE, looking at the Manhattan skyline,” he complained. “I could barely find the Chrysler and the Empire State Buildings. The two buildings were dwarfed by every shape and style you can imagine.” n

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ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | November 05 - 18, 2015

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SPORTS

My Team For All Seasons BY JOSH ROGERS

I

t’s okay Met fans, we can still love this year’s team. Winning everything isn’t always everything. Before the World Series started last week I wrote that this was a moment to savor, win or lose. I felt confident they were going to win (ya gotta believe), but I’ve been rooting for this team long enough to know that heartbreak is always possible. Then they lost the first two games of the series and I began to have writer’s regret. The heartbreak was even more than I imagined it could be. The Mets lost three games to the Royals after leading in the eighth or ninth innings. Misplays by Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda led to two of the three blown saves by Met closer Jeurys Familia, who had been near perfect against the Dodgers and Cubs. But no one can take away the joyful surprise of reaching the World Series, when no “expert” predicted it in April or even at the end of July. “I don’t want to hear that crap,” a WFAN announcer said Monday anticipating that line of reasoning, but he’s wrong. This is a team to love even more than the ‘86 Mets — one of the team’s two championships and the only one I can appreciate. Without a doubt, those Mets were one of the most talented teams of all time, and had plenty of heart and character. I still remember the painful feeling when it looked like the Red Sox would win — and the joy when Mookie’s grounder went through Bill Buckner’s legs. But…

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SUBWAY, from p.12

transit route and that the median income in the East Harlem neighborhood waiting on the extension is less than $34,000 — and as low as $15,625 near 125th Street. “The Second Avenue Subway will make a huge difference in their lives,” the two wrote. Citing “repeated incidents of funding allocated and withdrawn, plans made and cancelled, ground-breakings celebrated and construction halted,” Maloney and Rangel continued, “We hope that this substantial funding cut does not signal the MTA’s lack of commitment to building phase 2 of the project,” before spelling out 15 questions they would like the agency to answer in terms of the project’s future progress. As it now stands, the troubled sec-

16

That team had the talent to win more than once, and whether the culprit was cocaine, egos, or something else, it does take away some of the luster. And no doubt, back when I was younger than the players, the team’s cockiness was more alluring than it would be to me now. Not that I have any revisionist feelings. I loved them then, love them now, and that love will never die. It’s just, sorry Mex, Doc, Mookie, Ray, and the rest, the 2015 Mets are my special team. Even Ron Darling, the ‘86 star, told SI.com before last week’s series that this year’s team “is a much better story, ’86 was a team of superstars that were supposed to win it.” He was right, but this team also had loads of talent. Start with the starters. As an MLB Network commentator, comparing the 2015 pitching staff to 1986’s, said, it’s like they “have three Doc Goodens.” Not only do deGrom, Harvey, and Syndergaard have dominating, overpowering stuff, they managed to not let their talent or youth get in the way of the team. That wasn’t so much a problem almost 30 years ago either, but back then Gooden was the undisputed ace, and even if the pitchers did get along, there were clearly personality clashes elsewhere on the team. Was there any jealousy among the young phenoms or anyone else this year? It appears not. Harvey and deGrom had strong claims to be the Game 1 starter last week, but deGrom took his assignment for the second game in stride. Harvey showed himself to be a team player, blowing well over the innings limit his agent tried to set. (Terry Collins, I thought, was right to let Harvey pitch the ninth inning of the last game, although a reliever should’ve come in after the leadoff walk.)

ond phase is expected to be pushed into MTA’s 2020-2024 capital plan, according to the transit agency’s spokesperson, Adam Lisberg. He explained that the major challenge for the second phase was not financial but rather getting a tunnel-boring machine in place. “We took a hard look at what we can accomplish in the last four years [of the capital plan],” Lisberg said. “Can we really get a tunnel-boring machine in place and chewing rock by 2019? The answer is no, probably not.” Without the ability to secure and place the massive machine to carve out the tunnels by 2019, Lisberg explained, there was no reason to keep the money in the second phase funding. The money could instead be programmed for budget items ready to go. Lisberg insisted that the $535

It was sheer joy to watch the star pitchers’ talent and maturity grow. The fourth starter, Steven Matz, could tur n out to be as good or better than the other three. NEWYORK.METS.MLB.COM It’ll be fun to take the time to see. The starting pitchers hopefully will be there the next few years, and could be joined by Zack Wheeler, who was injured this season. But even if they stay healthy and as effective as they are now — two big ifs — the realities of baseball economics are that the Mets won’t be able to keep all five for many years. This is a special pitching staff to enjoy while we can. But this year’s Mets were about more than just the pitching. Yoenis Céspedes energized the offense for the stretch run and Murphy did it for most of the playoffs. Players said all of the right things when they got up 3-0 on the Cubs. When Dodger Chase Utley went out of his way to hurt Ruben Tejada in Game 2 of the division series, the umpire’s blown call probably cost the Mets the game, but the team didn’t complain much and ignored the desire for revenge. They focused on winning. Those moments against the Dodgers and Cubs are forever. So are the ones recapping the games to one of the team’s newest fans — my five-year-old son, who for now likes watching locker room champagne celebrations more than the games. I may come to love a Mets team more than 2015 — I hope I do. Pitchers and catchers report in February. Let's go Mets. n

million in the budget is a “full-speed ahead commitment” on the second phase. He added that over the next four years, the MTA would be working on a draft environmental statement, relocating utilities, and other design work. “The MTA is committed to bringing the Second Avenue Subway,” Lisberg said. “By the end of 2019, the people of East Harlem are going to see signs of this thing coming together… it just won’t be tunnel boring.” In an ideal world, he added, the MTA wouldn’t have lost the last year in a funding battle over the amount the city would contribute to the capital plan. Prendergast’s release this week echoed the comments Lisberg had earlier made to Manhattan Express. He explained that the $535 million reflects the work the

agency can realistically accomplish in the next four years, but he also hinted there may be possibilities for change. “We have committed that if we can speed up the schedule to begin tunneling the East Harlem phase sooner, we will pursue a Capital Program amendment to do so,” he said. But commuter advocacy organizations, like the Riders Alliance, predict that if the second phase gets pushed to the next five-year capital program, the MTA would face the same problems again in five years. “In 2020, we’re going to have the exact same fight to get the capital fund funded,” said Nick Sifuentes, deputy director of the Riders Alliance. “Why do they want this to be subjected to another nightmare round to get the billions of dollars they need?” n

November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Jacob a. Riis Revealing New York’s Other Half Inequality remains a fact of life in America. A century later, this New York master’s photos still explode with outrage.

“heart - rending retrospective ” – The New York Times

mcNY.ORg 1220 FiFtH ave at 103Rd st

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | November 05 - 18, 2015

17


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AIR RIGHTS, from p.4

of the Bloomberg administration, would have allowed the city itself to sell air rights for $250 per square foot, which would have depressed the value of the TDRs held by landmarked properties. Under the new plan, the city would not compete in offering its own air rights sales. The steering committee report also included recommendations regarding sustainable development, historic preservation, and the creation of a new governing entity to oversee the public funds generated from the air rights transfers. This East Midtown Improvement Fund, which would operate in a “lock box” style, would be overseen by a governing body tasked with balancing government input and “highly-qualified outside voices” on how best to target projects for support.

JONATHAN MARTIN/ MANHATTANBP.NYC.GOV

St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue also has considerable unused TDRs.

The steering committee, mindful of the risk of funds simply sitting stagnant in untouchable coffers, recommended the city invest in creating a “Concept Plan” detailing the range of public space projects to consider and the criteria by which to make selections. The steering committee also recommended that the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission calendar and designate as many buildings as it deems worthy of preservation within the Midtown East rezoning borders before the plan moves forward. Despite the Midtown East area being home to a large number

18

of high profile landmarks — such as Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building, and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, in addition to major religious institutions — the committee said there are at least 30 properties within the rezoning proposal’s borders that could merit a landmark designation. Throughout the dozens of recommendations in the report, the committee emphasized the goal of making developers subject to standards that would score a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation and help reduce the city’s carbon emissions. “These recommendations will help enhance the East Midtown area as a world class commer cial district in the 21st century” said Brewer. “They will ensure that development doesn’t happen haphazardly and that landmarks, open space, and transit upgrades are at the forefront of the development process, rather than an afterthought.” Prior to this large-scale rezoning proposal, a five-block area along what is known as the Vanderbilt Corridor was rezoned by the City Council to allow for a 63-story tower at the intersection of East 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue. In winning approval for the project, developer SL Realty had to provide for roughly $210 million in infrastructure improvements to Grand Central Terminal across the street. Building on the Vanderbilt Corridor model, the much-larger Midtown East rezoning’s linkage between financial support for nearby transit improvements and a higher FAR limit on a developer will, according to the steering committee report, have a major impact on improving bus service in the neighborhood as well as airport access. Now that the report is submitted, the steering committee’s recommendations will be subject to the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure that includes reviews by the Planning Commission among other city agencies, before final approval by the City Council. “The East Midtown Steering Committee report provides an extremely constructive framework to advance the second track of our strategy to strengthen East Midtown as New York’s premier business district,” said Weisbrod. n

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86TH BID, from p.7

Street north to East 92nd Street and from Lexington Avenue east to First Avenue, Kallos said final boundaries would be determined through community input and the steering committee’s recommendations. In addition to addressing this issue, the steering committee will also determine the operating budget to be funded through community assessments. Residential buildings can expect to pay $1 a year, according to Kallos, while commercial properties’ contributions will be based on either square footage or property value. Kallos said he expects the budget to most likely come in somewhere in the six figures. In comparison, BIDs in Midtown have budgets exceeding $5 million, while other districts in Brooklyn and the Bronx get by with less than $250,000. “It doesn’t have to be a BID that has to advertise worldwide,” said Lo van der Valk, president of the Carnegie Hill Neighbors. “We don’t have to do the extra bells and whistles that BIDs sometimes do. We can devote it to the cleaning.” While many members of the

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IMPOSTERS, from p.13

Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, who attended the meeting. “We’re dealing with a building where we get those kinds of complaints on a regular basis.” Rosenthal, whose district covers the Upper West Side, said her office received 1,600 housing and building harassment calls last year out of a total of 2,800 queries from district residents. Canns said that within the last two years, seven cases of harassment arose within the building that are being reviewed by the state’s Tenant Protection Unit. Created in 2012 by Governor Andrew Cuomo, the TPU aims to preserve affordable housing by stopping and preventing landlord fraud and harassment. The tenant association president added that the seven cases were a lot for a building with just over 70 rent-stabilized apartments. Canns claimed that the management company and building owner, Stellar Management, has filed frivolous

steering committee have seen generally positive attitudes toward the idea of a BID, this will be the third attempt at forming one around East 86th Street. According to Nancy Ploeger, president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, the first two attempts fizzled after major property owners in the middle of the proposed BID showed strong opposition. Ploeger, who sits on the steering committee, said the latest BID proposal has cast a wide net for stakeholders, and she doesn’t expect many naysayers. The general public, she explained, has developed a more positive view of BIDs in recent years, having seen the benefits they have brought to other neighborhoods. Kallos said he’s been able to lear n fr om past failur es and expects this BID to garner a strong community vote. “The goal is if we can get 50 percent plus one of the stakeholders to come to the meetings, we should be in great shape,” he said. “We’re just trying to make sure the community, businesses, and commercial property owners have a voice in the decision.” Any final plan for a BID would require City Council approval. n

lawsuits, offered buyouts, and kept parts of the building in disrepair. However, a representative from the management company of the housing complex said, “The management of 50 West 93rd Street has never, in any way, engaged in harassment towards residents in the building.” Addressing the prevalence of tenant harassment, Rosenthal said her office runs a monthly housing clinic where they offer free attorney advice to any tenant who feels they are being harassed. The Council member added she’s working on various tenant protection initiatives with her colleagues on the Council, including the recently enacted Intro 757 that classifies repeated buyout offers as tenant harassment. Still, Canns said it’s tough for tenants to go against landlords and management companies. “For the average person, you have to take off days from work; management doesn’t, they have lawyers,” she said. “There’s very little you can do about that kind of thing.” n

November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


Police Blotter MURDER: FIVE YEARS LATER, HUSBAND CHARGED WITH UWS WIFE’S MURDER (20TH PRECINCT) The Manhattan district attorney announced on November 2 that Roderick Covlin, a resident of New Rochelle, has been indicted on two counts of second-degree murder in a case that had gone unsolved since late 2009. At 7 a.m. on December 31 of that year, Shele Danishefsky Covlin, his estranged wife, was found dead inside the bathtub of her apartment at 155 West 68th Street. Four months later, the Medical Examiner’s Office deemed the case a homicide. “An investigation over the ensuing years has resulted in her husband being charged with her murder,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. “It is our hope that this prosecution will bring justice for Ms. Danishefsky Covlin, and provide closure to her grieving family and friends.”

SHOOTING: DIRT BIKE DRIVE BY (28TH PRECINCT) Police are on the lookout for three males who shot at a 49-year-old man in front of his building at West 118th Street on October 27 at around 2 p.m. Police said the three suspects, approximately 18 to 25 years old, approached the victim on dirt bikes before opening fire and leaving him with a graze wound on his head. The suspects fled east on West 118th Street, and the victim was transported to St. Luke’s Hospital in stable condition.

HOMICIDE: KILLER ON THE LOOSE (28TH PRECINCT) Responding to a shots fired call on October 28 at around 8 p.m., police discovered a man shot multiple times in the chest and once in the head. According to police, the victim, 23-year-old

Muhammad, Abdul-Aziz, was found on the southwest corner of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and West 112nd Street and pronounced dead at St. Luke’s Hospital shortly after. Another male victim, who was also shot in the chest, hailed a taxi a block over to get to Harlem Hospital, where he is listed as critical, but stable, police said. Police released a video (available at manhattanexpressnews.nyc) of a black male suspect seen wearing a baseball cap, dark jacket, and blue jeans, and carrying an umbrella.

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ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | November 05 - 18, 2015

19


EXPRESS OURSELVES

The MTA, Transparency, and the Second Avenue Subway

PUBLISHER JENNIFER GOODSTEIN jgoodstein@cnglocal.com

EDITOR IN-CHIEF PAUL SCHINDLER editor@manhttanexpressnews.nyc

EDITOR AT LARGE JOSH ROGERS

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

ART DIRECTOR MICHAEL SHIREY

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS RHIANNON HSU CHRIS ORTIZ

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

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

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

20

BY PAUL SCHINDLER

N

obody has ever held their open palm out while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was making a public disclosure and said, “Too much information.” And the Second Avenue Subway has long been the butt of jokes about its firm place in the universe of things that ain’t never goin’ happen. Still, coming as it did after months of bickering over the city’s share of the MTA 20152019 capital budget — a dispute resolved when Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would more than triple its contribution, from $657 million to $2.5 billion — it was a bona fide shock when the transit agency’s board announced that it was cutting nearly a billion dollars in funding for phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, reducing outlays on the extension from 96th Street to 125th Street to just $535 million over the next four years. “Announced” might actually not be the right word, since what transpired is that its board met, approved an overall capital plan totaling three billion dollars less than originally projected, and then released the written back-up in which the phase 2 line item had been reduced. What this means is that while it hopes to begin Second Avenue service between 96th and 63rd Streets late next year, the MTA will not begin “chewing rock” on the tunnel needed for the extension north through East Harlem until at least 2020. Just two weeks ago, the agency’s spokesperson, Adam Lisberg, was sounding a whole lot more upbeat about the prospects for moving the project along, saying, “In the next five years, we can finish designing and planning what the next phase will look like. We’ll acquire any necessary properties and hopefully actually get some shovels in the ground and start work.” Now Lisberg is explaining that, operationally, the agency would not be able to “get a tunnel-bor-

ing machine in place” within the next four years, comments that his boss, MTA chair Thomas F. Prendergast, felt compelled to reinforce in a written statement on Tuesday. Prendergast, apparently finally feeling some heat from exasperated elected officials and transit advocates, pledged to be as aggressive as possible in accelerating the schedule on which the capital plan that was adopted relied. Not being a transportation engineer, it’s beyond my range to judge the operational contingencies constraining progress on the 96th to 125th Street extension, though even if I were, it’s doubtful I could wrangle the information out of the MTA needed to make an informed decision. Because what’s really at issue here is transparency. How can it be that a decision of this import on a critical Manhattan transportation infrastructure need comes as a surprise not only to the public and transit advocates, but also to the mayor, the city comptroller, the borough president, the City Council speaker who represents the neighborhood affected by the delay, two other East Side councilmembers, the neighborhood’s state assemblymembers and senators, and Carolyn Maloney and Charlie Rangel, the two veteran members of Congress who represent the area? It can only happen when the agency responsible for mass transportation in the nation’s most congested, transit-dependent but also most economically vibrant city is wholly immune from public accountability. When de Blasio stepped up with a bigger commitment to the MTA capital plan several weeks ago, he said, “Our transit system is the backbone of New York City’s, and our entire region’s, economy. That is why we’re making an historic investment — the city’s largest ever general capital contribution — while ensur-

ing that NYC dollars stay in NYC transit, and giving NYC riders and taxpayers a stronger voice.” That last phrase now seems like a pipe dream. And it’s not like the mayor was some sort of political naïf when it came to trusting the MTA. Both he and Comptroller Scott Stringer, among others, complained throughout the fight over city funding for the capital plan that MTA finances and operations suffer from a lack of transparency that forces New York City to shoulder more than its fair share of fiscal responsibility for the system. Assemblymember Robert Rodriguez, who represents East Harlem, raises another disturbing aspect of all this — the “economic injustice” of asking his community to bear the brunt of this delay. In a letter to Prendergast, Rangel and Maloney highlighted the income disparities between East Harlem and the neighborhoods south of 96th Street. Phase I was the logical place to start on the Second Avenue effort, since connections at 63rd Street allowed a 33-block stretch of the new line to connect up with the rest of the subway system while beginning to ease some of the crushing overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue line. Still, Rodriguez has every right to demand that his neighborhood be brought on line at the earliest possible date. Again, the problem here may or may not be an operational or technical one. But it is surely one of public disclosure and transparency. The manner in which the MTA informed the public — and, in particular, a community which already suffers on many other accounts in the delivery of public services — of a wholly unanticipated delay in an important infrastructure improvement is simply not acceptable. This episode should strengthen the resolve of local elected officials in demanding that the transit agency reform its practices and open itself up to greater public scrutiny and input. n

WRITE US: at Editor@ManhattanExpressNews.nyc. November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


EXPRESS YOURSELVES

A Teacher Making a Difference BY LENORE SKENAZY

P

eek into any school on any day, and chances are you will see a little magic. Or a lot. I peeked into P.S. 347 on East 23rd Street in Manhattan a couple of weeks back and who should be there but Gregory Jbara, star of stage (winning a Tony Award as Billy Elliot’s dad) and screen (he is on CBS’ “Blue Bloods”), reading out loud about some very scary carrots. Next to him stood an interpreter signing every word, because this is the American Sign Language and English Lower School. “Jasper knew his parents were wrong. Creepy Carrots were real!,” Jbara intoned as a group of about a dozen first graders sat at his feet on the rug, wriggling a bit, of course, but wide-eyed with interest. “Where are the carrots?” Jbara asked the kids, pointing to a page of tombstones. “In the deadness!” yelped a little boy. “In the graveyard, yes,” Jbara nodded. So what brought a Tony Award-winner to a school where all the kids are deaf, hard of hearing, or “deaf-allied” (that means children of deaf adults)? Facebook and fandom. Gary Wellbrock, the kids’ teacher, has always been a Broadway fanatic. He was a performing arts major back in the day. Now he has a doctorate in deaf education. But if you’re a theater fan and you work in New York City and you’re active on Facebook, after a while, your worlds merge. So on July 3, just to see what would happen, Wellbrock posted about an idea he’d been percolating. He called it “Broadway Books First Class.” His idea was to invite Broadway performers to come to his firstgrade class and read aloud a book. Why not? The city’s budget for arts education had been dwindling. So here was a way to give the kids a glimpse of the theater world and a hint of the gift that belongs to all New Yorkers: We live in the capital of the arts. Drink it in! “I just posted, ‘Is anybody interested?’ And within hours, he

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kid asked. “I have.” “How do you make movies?” asked another, to which Jbara gave a kid-friendly description of a typical filming day. “Did you always want to be an actor?” Bingo! That question sent Jbara back to the time he was exactly the same age as these kids. “We learned a song called ‘Frosty the Snowman,’ and the teacher decided she wanted one of the students to dress as Frosty,” he told them. “Everybody wanted to be Frosty, but the teacher decided it was actually going to be me.”

He looked a little misty, recalling his first gig. After all, it set the stage — as it were — for the rest of his life. The kids seemed to under stand, and one came over wearing a bunny puppet on his hand which he hopped up and down Jbara’s arm. “What’s this?” Jbara asked. “A lion,” the boy replied. First grade can be a magical time. Especially if there’s a teacher who makes sure it is.

Tony Award-winner Gregory Jbara.

was like, ‘Yes. I’m in,’ ” Welbrock recalled, nodding at Jbara. “I typed back, ‘That would be cool,’ but I was really running around like, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God!’ ” The two had never met, but here was Broadway royalty saying, “See you soon!” By the Fourth of July, Wellbrock had four stars signed up. And now his growing list includes drag legend Charles Busch (should be a great class!), actress Alison Fraser (the stripper Tessie Tura in “Gypsy”), as well as Brooklynite Eden Duncan-Smith, age 15, who starred in “The Lion King” on Broadway. She’s also in the movie “Meadowland” with Olivia Wilde and Luke Wilson. And she also happens to be a former student of Wellbrock’s. Like I said, if you’re in New York and love Broadway, your worlds will eventually merge. “Let’s thank Mr. Jbara,” said Wellbrock, as the actor closed his book. In addition to a chorus of audible thank you’s, many hands waved in the air — the deaf equivalent of clapping. “Some of the kids want to grow up and become actors too,” Wellbrock told him. “I want to be a doctor!” shouted one boy. “I want to be a slapper of things!” shouted another, proceeding to slap himself in the face until everyone told him to cut it out. “Do we have any questions for Mr. Ibara?” Wellbrock jumped in. “Have you danced on TV?” one

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | November 05 - 18, 2015

Lenore Skenazy is a speaker, author, and founder of the book and blog “Free-Range Kids.” n

ANNUAL GRISTEDES THANKSGIVING TURKEY DRIVE LAUNCHED Between now and Thanksgiving Weekend, shoppers at Gristedes’ 31 supermarkets in Manhattan and Brooklyn can make donations at the cash register to provide holiday turkeys to families in need. Donations, which in past years have exceeded $20,000, support the efforts of St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters. St. Francis, in turn, supports more than 40 non-profit food pantries, soup kitchens, safe havens, drop-in centers, and shelters in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Long Island, Westchester, and New Jersey. John Catsimatidis, Gristedes’ chair and CEO said, “St. Francis Food Pantries does an outstanding job supporting our needy in a dignified and supportive way, and Gristedes is proud to join them to help more New Yorkers have a happy Thanksgiving. Gristedes is fortunate to have so many loyal and caring customers who pitch in to support worthy charitable causes, such as this one.” Father Francis Gasparik, a co-founder of St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters said, “Gristedes’ Thanksgiving Turkey Drive helps us at St. Francis Food Pantries give many deserving families in the New York area an enjoyable and happy Thanksgiving dinner. Without Gristedes this would not be possible. We are profoundly grateful to Gristedes for their commitment and support.”

For more information about the work of St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters, visit stfrancispantries.org

21


So We’re Gay Dads. Now What? BY DAVID KENNERLEY

I

f “Dada Woof Papa Hot” is one of the most cryptic titles of the theater season, it’s also one of the most brilliant. Peter Parnell’s of-the-moment comic drama, now in previews at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center, considers the minefields inherent in becoming new parents, particularly when those parents happen to be a gay male couple. “Dada Woof Papa Hot” refers to the first four words uttered by the daughter of Alan (John Benjamin Hickey) and Rob (Patrick Breen). Each word is innocuously cute on its own, but strung together, it speaks to the pressing need to reconcile the schism between the couple’s past “gay” lives and their current “parent” lives. The experience of Alan, who is 50, and Rob, in his mid 40s, is contrasted with that of much younger gay dads, Scott (Stephen Plunkett) and Jason (Alex Hurt). Can you answer to Dada or Papa (as many gay dads are called by their kids) and still be a self-actualized sexual being? That’s the thorny question that lies at the center of this inspired new work. The play, directed by Scott Ellis, aims to capture urban parent angst at a crucial cultural moment when gays nationwide are now allowed to marry and become full-fledged legal parents. Sure, many of these issues — in vitro fertilization versus adoption, applying to preschools, making time for the gym, juggling sleeping schedules, age difference between parents, fidelity — are shared by straight couples. But when seen through the lens of gay dads, they promise to take on a fresh urgency. Hickey is a supremely versatile actor equally at home on stage and screen. In 2011, he won the Best Featured Actor Tony for his portrayal of Felix in “The Normal Heart.” For the past two years, besides guest starring on “The Good Wife” and “Modern Family,” he’s played the lead in WGN’s period drama “Manhattan” about the Manhattan Project. He appears opposite Cate Blanchett in “Truth,” the political biodrama that hit movie theaters in mid-October. In his West Village apartment, Hickey chatted about his role in “Dada Woof Papa Hot,” gay dads, choosing sperm, and negotiating extramarital sex. DAVID KENNERLEY: You’ve been busy doing TV and movies since your Tony-winning turn in “The Normal Heart.” What brought you back to the New York stage?

22

JOAN MARCUS

John Benjamin Hickey and Patrick Breen in “Dada Woof Papa Hot,” directed by Scott Ellis, at Lincoln Center through January 3.

JOHN BENJAMIN HICKEY: What brought me back was this play specifically. As soon as we did the first reading a couple of years ago, I knew it was something very special. Peter Parnell is an insightful author who’s written brilliant plays — highly imaginative, theatrical pieces often steeped in history. This play felt extremely personal to me, so I responded to that. More importantly, it opened up a new chapter for me in queer theater. It’s not a play about coming out or fighting for gay rights or the war years of the epidemic. I came of age when Tony Kushner was writing plays and we had urgent political reasons to be performing theater. It is not a play that asks straight people to understand, accept, or love us. It’s a brand new thing. Of course there are echoes of where we come from and how much we’ve sacrificed to get to this moment. But it’s the first play that doesn’t ask for tolerance from anyone. We are now assimilated. DK: The play is astonishing. Within the first minute there’s talk of treasure trails, crotch adjusting, cocaine, a threesome with an ex-boyfriend, and bottoming — all casually discussed over dinner at a trendy Manhattan restaurant. How do you feel about such a candid portrayal of contemporary gay dads, especially at Lincoln Center?

JBH: That stuff doesn’t shock me because I’ve heard it many times before, but to a straight audience it may be pretty shocking. But what’s most shocking is how unpolitical the play is. For all the candor of that first scene and throughout the entire piece, the play is essentially about existential malaise for both gay men and for straight couples in their late 40s and early 50s. How do you stay a couple when you are now more than a couple, a family? This is a brand new question for gay guys. Now that you mention it, I guess some subscribers are going to freak out a little. DK: What are some of the themes? JBH: The play portrays the experience of same-sex couples. What does the child call each of you? Whose sperm do you use? Who does the child biologically belong to? How do you negotiate that triangle? My character is not the biological parent, and he feels slightly on the outside. That’s really interesting stuff to bring up. We face some of the same challenges [as straight couples] and yet we are different. A child will ask questions like, “Where is my mommy? Where did I come from? Who do I belong to?” A friend’s child put it very beautifully, “Oh I get it Daddy, your sperm just got there faster.”

c

WOOF, continued on p.23

November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


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happens with straight couples also. And two of them share DNA. My character misses being the center of his husband’s universe. In some ways, the play is about the end of narcissism in gay culture. We love the gym, we love our bodies, we love each other’s bodies. We celebrate that. But in many ways, parenting is about forgetting about all that.

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WOOF, from p.22

DK: Tell me about your character, Alan. JBH: I was deeply attracted to this character because he is not entirely ready. He always wanted to be monogamous, but he never thought he’d ever live in a world where he could be married and be a parent. It’s a play about growing pains and a huge shift from who we were, signaling a new paradigm, a new normal. As somebody who has done a lot of gay parts — and a gay man myself — I was incredibly excited by it. DK: At one point, Alan says, “I just don’t feel gay anymore.” What does he mean by that? JBH: It’s an amazing speech he has halfway through the play, describing coming out in the early ‘80s. He says he wanted faithfulness, he didn’t want to tart around. But he never imagined he’d get married and become a parent, and now he doesn’t feel gay the way he used to feel. Becoming like everybody else isn’t exactly what he wanted either. I think that’s where we are right now. How do we move forward with an identity that separates us from everybody else? It’s nice to be different. We’ve celebrated this difference for many years. DK: Alan pines for the good old days with Rob before parenthood. He misses not having to compete with his child for his husband’s attention. He is brutally honest, wouldn’t you agree? JBH: I am not a parent and hadn’t thought about that. You live as a couple on this beautiful island of love. Then along comes this miniature person who demands all of your attention. You co-parent, and hopefully do it equally. But in this specific situation, one wanted a child more than the other, which

DK: One character feels that gay marriage is duplicating heterosexual normative behavior. Is that such a bad thing? JBH: One of the characters says, well, you asked for it, so you are getting all the problems that go along with it — good luck with that. It reminds me of that New Yorker cartoon with an elderly couple [watching the news on television]. One says to the other, “Gays and lesbians getting married — haven’t they suffered enough?” DK: The script is so sharp and authentic. I’m not even a gay dad, but it feels like playwright Peter Parnell is secretly recording conversations I’ve had with gay dads. Do you feel that way? JBH: I agree. The minute I read the script, it struck me that it sounded like me, like a lot of people I know. A couple of friends read it, and it scared them in a beautiful way. It was so perceptive about the melancholy attached to the liberation. Once you have all of your rights, now what? We are a group, a tribe, and for our entire history we’ve had to bang on the door — the closet door, the door of marriage equality, a door of a club you want to get into. Now, a lot of doors are open. What do you do now? Also, the play is not whiny. It asks, although I have every reason in the world to be happy, what’s wrong? Any human being in the world can appreciate that existential paradox. DK: The play depicts couples negotiating rules about extramarital sex. Do you think that’s authentic? JBH: That’s one of the great moments of the play. The younger guy, Jason, goes through this long list of do’s and don’ts and then ends with something about licking ass. My character, Alan is gobsmacked and says, “Wow, that last one must have taken a lot of negotiating.” Jason replies, “You have no idea.” n

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | November 05 - 18, 2015

To Marry or Not to Marry The Question Facing LGBT Couples Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, 6PM - 8PM Manhattan Chamber of Commerce 1120 Avenue of the Americas, 4th Floor - Hippodrome Building New York, NY 10036 The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce LGBT2-B Network is pleased to invite you to come and hear professionals discuss estate and financial planning. Tax Filing Prenuptial Agreements Healthcare Proxies Life Insurance

Beneficiary Designations Social Security

Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served and networking will follow the program.

212 473 7875 | manhattancc.org/lgbt 23


Manhattan Treasures

LOU ROMANO, THE INCREDIBLES/ COOPERHEWITT.ORG

PIXAR: THE DESIGN OF STORY The Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum, presents a capsule examination of the collaborative design process behind Pixar Animation Studios. On view in the Process Lab, the installation features original artwork — including rarely seen hand-drawn sketches, paintings, and sculptures from more than 25 years of Pixar filmmaking — and creative exercises inspired by the Pixar design process. 2 E. 91st St. Through Aug. 7, 2016: Sun.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. $16; $10 for seniors; $7 for students at cooperhewitt.org Add $2 for admission at the door. On Nov. 12, 6:30 Pixar’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter, leads a design talk; reservations are suggested.

discussion about the future of journalism that features David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker (Nov. 8, 5 p.m.); a discussion about dance featuring legendary choreographer Yvonne Rainer (Nov. 8, 3 p.m.); a look at the explosive growth of coming of age graphic novels featuring Phoebe Gloeckner (“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”); and a panel exploring whether women are still “the second sex” (Nov. 7, 6:30 p.m.), with Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author Margo Jefferson (“Negroland”) and author Katie Roiphe (“The Morning After: Fear, Sex and Feminism”). 972 Fifth Ave. at 79th St. All events are free. Complete details at albertine.com. BEACONTHEATRE.COM

PATTI SMITH CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF “HORSES” In 1975, spoken word artist and author Patti Smith and her band gathered in New York’s Electric Lady Studios to record her debut album, “Horses,” a landmark blend of song and hallucinatory imagery that was released on November 10, the anniversary of the death of a key influence on her work, poet Arthur Rimbaud. Smith and her band celebrate the album’s 40th anniversary with a concert at Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, btwn. 74th & 75th Sts. Nov. 10, 8 p.m. Tickets are $49.50$79.50 at beacontheatre.com.

FESTIVAL ALBERTINE Albertine, New York’s only bookshop in New York devoted solely to books in French and English, hosts its second annual Festival Albertine, Nov. 5-9. The festival’s highlights include a

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MIDWIFE TO THE DIGITAL AGE Every 15 minutes, for nearly a year, 500 men, women, and children rose majestically into “the egg,” Eero Saarinen’s idiosyncratic theater at the 1964 World’s Fair. It was very likely their first introduction to computer logic. Computing was not new, but for the general public, IBM’s iconic pavilion was a high profile coming out party. “Silicon City: Computer History Made in New York” draws on images, artifacts, interactives, and oral histories to look back at local innovations that were key to computer development, from vacuum tubes and punched cards to transistors. New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, 170 Central Park W. at W. 77th St. Nov. 13-Apr. 17, 2016: Tue.-Thu., Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-5 p.m.. Information at NYHistory.org.

CBS’ THE GOLDBERGS/ JEWISH MUSEUM

92Y.ORG

IS IT GOOD FOR THE JEWS?

ning one-man shows, appears in conversation with Fisher Stevens. Leguizamo will talk about his early years in blue-collar Queens, his offstage life in love and marriage, his salvation through acting and writing, and his colorful career trajectory. Kaufmann Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. Nov. 13, 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 at 92Y.org.

The Jewish Museum is presenting the first exhibition in its new “Television Project” with “Picturing a People,” which considers how Jews have been portrayed and have portrayed themselves on American television from the 1950s to the present. The exhibition features clips from programs including “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Northern Exposure,” “The Twilight Zone,” “The Goldbergs,” “The Simpsons,” “My Name is Barbra,” ABC News’ coverage of the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem, and related works of art, artifacts, and ephemera. 1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd St. Through Feb. 14, 2016: Sat.-Tue., 11 a.m.-5:45 p.m.; Thu., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri, 11 a.m.4 p.m. Information at thejewishmuseum.org.

DANISH MODERNITY A CENTURY AGO Jacob A. Riis left Denmark for New York in 1870 and here, as a muckraking journalist and documentary photographer, became one of America’s leading advocate for the urban poor. Bonnie Yochelson curates an exhibition of Riis’ photographic work, co-produced by the Library of Congress, at the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. at 103rd St. Daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., through Mar. 20, 2016. Admission is $14; $10 for students & seniors; free for those under 20 at mcny.org. On Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m., Yochelson is joined by Ambassador Anne Dorte Riggelsen, consul general of Denmark in New York, and Dr. Thor J. Mednick, a University of Toledo art history professor and expert on Vilhelm Hammershøi. A Riis contemporary, Hammershøi was a Copenhagen-based aesthete whose mysterious paintings of bourgeois domestic interiors suggested the psychological experience of modern life. The three discuss the two radically different Danish responses to understanding modernity at the turn of the 20th century.

JOHN LEGUIZAMO SITS STILL John Leguizamo, whose 30-year career has included roles in “Chef,” “Ride Along,” “Romeo + Juliet,” “Moulin Rouge!,” and “Carlito’s Way,” as well as five award-win-

JERRY SEINFELD & AMY SCHUMER TOGETHER! Two of the funniest people to emerge in the past quarter century, Jerry Seinfeld and Amy Schumer come together for a show benefiting Baby Buggy, a 15-year-old nonprofit that provides necessities of life to children in need while linking their parents to programs that will help them escape poverty. Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway, btwn. 74th & 75th Sts. Nov. 16, 7 p.m. Tickets are $130-$280 at beacontheatre.com.

WHAT’S CANDICE BERGEN UP TO? T h e s t a r o f T V ’s “Murphy Brown,” whose acting career spanned “Carnal Knowledge” to “Boston Legal,” Candice Bergen is the author JCC MANHATTAN of a best-selling memoir, “A Fine Romance.” She speaks to Abigail Pogrebin at JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at 76th St. Nov. 18, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Admission is $25; $20 for members at jccmanhattan.org.

FUNNY GIRL & BOY Two-time Tony winner Nathan Lane talks about his life in theater, including his recent lauded roles as Theodore “Hickey” Hickman in BAM’s production of “The Iceman Cometh” and as James Wicker in “It’s Only a Play.” Lane appears in conversation with comedian, actress, and original co-host of “The View” Joy Behar. Kaufmann Concert Hall, 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave. Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $37 at 92Y.org.

November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc


GALLERY SPOTLIGHT

Sober Reflection in Japan’s Age of Uncertainty

KEIJI UEMATSU/ COURTESY OF YUMIKO CHIBA ASSOCIATES

Keiji Uematsu (b. 1947), “Horizontal Position,” 1973/2003. Gelatin silver print, 57 1/8 x 35 7/16 in. Artist's collection at Yumiko Chiba Associates, Tokyo.

F

ollowing World War II, Japan enjoyed rapid industrialization and an economic surge. The mood there, however, became tinged with anxiety in the early 1950s when the US–Japan Security Treaty (Anpo) formalized a continued American military presence within the island nation’s borders. By the late ‘60s, this tension had escalated to the point where political radicalism and mass protests erupted across Japan. Yet in 1970, even as the renewal of Anpo embroiled Japan in the Vietnam War, the post-war “economic miracle” had given way to a recession — and activism quickly dissolved into apathy. An excellent group exhibition at two Manhattan venues, “For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979,” examines the groundbreaking shift in the Japanese cultural landscape during this time. Comprised of approximately 250 objects by no less than 29 artists, it documents how the social discord in Japan coincided with the emergence of a new visual language. As many Japanese artists and photographers began to embrace camera-based experiments, they developed a uniquely sober and sometimes introverted viewpoint reflective of an age of uncertainty.

By including traditional photography, photographic installations, photography books, and 16mm film projects, curators Yasufumi Nakamori and Yuri Mitsuda succeed in providing — for the first time — a good overview of an overlooked decade, when art and photography drew closer together than ever before. n

FOR A NEW WORLD TO COME: EXPERIMENTS IN JAPANESE ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY, 1968-1979

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Kids Count ers.” 550 Madison at 56th St Nov. 14, 11 a.m. This event is free, but you must RSVP at sonywondertechlab.com.

CREATING AMERICA IN UNDER AN HOUR

York City. Central Park Conservancy hosts a tour around tumbling waterfalls, rustic bridges, and picturesque pools, with highlights including Harlem Meer, Huddlestone Arch, the Loch, Glenspan Arch, several cascades, and the Pool. Gather at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, inside the Park at 110th St., btwn. Fifth & Lenox Aves. and end at the Pool, W. 103rd St. & Central Park West. Nov. 8, 2-3:30 p.m. Note that the terrain is uneven, with hills and stairs. Free, with no reservation required. More information at centralparknyc.org.

TACTILE ENGAGEMENT & ART-MAKING CMOM.ORG

CLOWNS, JUGGLERS, ACROBATS AT LINCOLN CENTER “The Grand Tour” is Big Apple Circus’ new extravaganza set in the 1920s and featuring acts from around the globe. With live music from the Big Apple Circus Band, ships, trains, automobiles, and airplanes serve as the backdrop for all the clowns, jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, and rescue animals. The Big Apple Circus tent is located at Lincoln Center, and matinee and evening performances, in a variable schedule, are available any day of the week through Jan. 10. For tickets at $25-$175 and specific performance times, visit bigapplecircus.org.

LINCOLNCENTER.ORG

As part of LC Kids, Theater Unspeakable from Chicago presents “The American Revolution,” a 50-minute romp through our country’s epic origin story filled with loads of laughs and ingenious storytelling. The cheeky Windy City troupe brings the stories to life using their bodies, voices, and (pantomimed) cannons. Appropriate for ages 7 and up. Lincoln Center, Clark Studio Theater. Nov. 7, 1 p.m. Tickets are $25 at family. lincolncenter.org.

A NORTH WOODS TOUR IN CENTRAL PARK SYMPHONYSPACE.ORG

SYMPHONYSPACE.ORG

A PUPPET BOY’S GREAT ADVENTURE Award-winning master puppeteer Faye Dupras’ “The Great Red Ball Rescue” tells the story of a family trip to the beach that goes awry when a young boy's favorite Red Ball is whisked away by the tides. Can he summon the courage to get it back? Join Jasper, a timid kid with a big imagination, as he sets out on an adventure across the ocean, under the waves, and up into the clouds, where he meets fantastical fortune tellers, thieving fishermen, and mysterious creatures of the deep. Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St. Nov. 7, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 at symphonyspace.org. Running time is an hour.

FANTASIA AT 75 Disney’s “Fantasia” is one of a handful of groundbreaking films where the soundtrack was inextricably linked the cinematic achievement of the film. Animators set pictures to clas-

sical music performed by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mickey Mouse is an aspiring magician who oversteps his limits in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” while “Dance of the Hours” is a comic ballet performed by ostriches, hippos, elephants, and alligators. Along with the film screening, Philadelphia Orchestra conductor Yannik Nezet-Seguin leads a discussion of the impact of Stokowski and “Fantasia” on the modern symphonic world. Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St. Nov. 8, 3:30 & 7:30 p.m.; Nov. 13, 7 p.m. Tickets are $18; $16 for seniors and kids at symphonyspace.org.

CENTRALPARKNYC.ORG

The North Woods is the largest of Central Park’s three woodlands, offering people and wildlife a 40-acre forest retreat in the middle of New

“Discoveries — Divine Design” is a workshop for youth, 5 to 17, with learning or developmental disabilities and those on the autism spectrum and their accompanying friends and family members. This multisensory workshop includes tactile opportunities and art-making activities, and is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Design for Eternity: Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas.” Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. at 83rd St., Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. Nov. 15, 2-3:30 p.m. The workshop is free, but RSVP is required at access@metmusuem.org

THE BIG APPLE DIGESTIBLE FOR THE KIDS “NYC & Me: A Little Bite of the Big Apple” is an interactive gallery that captures the quintessential sights, sounds, flavors, and spirit of New York City. Inside a 3,000-square-foot immersive experience, children take over the Big Apple’s sidewalks, streets, parks, plazas, public transportation, air rights, and underground world as they playfully explore the city that never sleeps. Put on uniforms and run the city, becoming traffic officers, bus drivers, taxi drivers, food cart vendors, park rangers, construction workers — and even mayor. Appropriate for all ages. Children’s Museum of Manhattan, The Tisch Building, 212 W. 83rd St. Through Jan. 18: Sun., Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Museum admission is $12; $ 8 for seniors; free for infants under a year. Information at cmom.org.

TECH FOR TOTS In “Sesame Street: Computer Caper,” Telly becomes a high-tech detective when a mysterious email invites him to play a guessing game — with each new computer clue, he gets one step closer to discovering his mystery friend. Elmo asks the musical question, “Where Are Computers in Your Neighborhood?,” and Cookie Monster takes a mega-bite out of a computer cookie. Following this 50-minute screening, experts from the Sony Wonder Technology Lab will conduct a workshop, “Tech for Tots: Learning with Comput-

ManhattanExpressNews.nyc | November 05 - 18, 2015

CMOM.ORG

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The benefit information provided is a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. For more information, contact the plan. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. Fidelis Care is a Coordinated Care plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the New York State Department of Health Medicaid program. Enrollment in Fidelis Care depends on contract renewal. Fidelis Care is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Fidelis Care depends on contract renewal.

H3328_FC 15127 Accepted

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November 05 - 18, 2015 | ManhattanExpressNews.nyc

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