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Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Wednesday, March 16, 2011



Maria Yoon’s “Maria the Korean Bride” film is wedded to a concept: getting married all over U.S.

Time to improve boro commutes W with these trends, and the state Legislature has not provided the resources for them to do so. New York’s subway system was never intended to facilitate these kinds of trips. As a result, mean commute times in the boroughs are now some of the longest in the country. For public transit riders, they range from 52 minutes each way in Brooklyn to 69 minutes each way on Staten Island. The biggest losers in all this are the working poor, who are enduring longer commutes than ever and, in many cases, are off from deDavid Giles cut cent-paying job opportunities because of limited transit connectivity. Behind the rise in nontraditional commutes is a rapidly changing local economy. For decades, Manhattan has been steadily losing its share of jobs to the other boroughs, but over the last several years this process has sped up significantly. Since 2000, Manhattan has lost 110,000 jobs. New York City as a whole has lost 41,000. But every



fices, universities and technical colleges are located in the boroughs. Even the city’s manufacturing sector, which has been shrinking in Manhattan and along the Queens and Brooklyn waterfronts, has seen tremendous growth in areas like Maspeth, Hunts Point and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, none of which is wellconnected to the subway.

Bus travel across boroughs is a frustrating experience, a study says. Photo by Robert Sabo/Daily News

other borough has seen significant gains, with Brooklyn leading the pack at 35,000 new jobs. During the recession of 2008-2009, when Manhattan was hemorrhaging jobs, the Bronx actually saw modest gains — 3,647 in that one year, compared to a loss of 100,799 in Manhattan. Driving the growth in the boroughs are impressive gains in the education and health care sectors. Unlike the city’s financial services and media industries, the vast majority of the city’s hospitals, community health clinics, doctor’s of-

mployers told us that a lack of mass transit shrinks their labor pool and causes more turnover as disgruntled employees decide to leave rather than suffer through two-hour commutes every day. SUNY Downstate Chief Operating Officer Ivan Lisnitzer even says that a lack of sufficient transit could cause the hospital to rethink its plans for expansion: “Kings County and SUNY Downstate Hospitals are the second and fourth largest employers in the borough,” he said, “ but we get ignored.” Investments in the city’s underperforming bus system would be, by far, the quickest and most costeffective way to alleviate long commutes and support continued


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job growth in the boroughs outside Manhattan. The MTA could expand current efforts to allow passengers to board through any bus door, for example. They could add dedicated lanes and extended green lights to more bus lines in the outer boroughs. Perhaps easiest of all, the agency could install GPS devices on all city buses so that time-arrival information could be made available to waiting passengers by way of digital signs at bus stops or via smart phone applications. The MTA has started to take tentative steps toward these goals, but much more can and should be done to improve the bus system in the outer boroughs. While the agency needs to think bigger about buses, it also needs much more support from the governor and state Legislature than either have shown in the past.

Pictures of diversity BY JI HYUN PARK

Be Our Guest column is an occasional feature that will focus on important issues affecting our communities.


he Korean American Film Festival New York brings moviemakers from different ends of the world, but when the fifth edition opens tomorrow in Manhattan, three local directors will take their turn in the spotlight. Dai Sil Kim-Gibson is featured in the festival’s first retrospective, with six compelling documentaries about the Korean and Korean-American community. A decade-long New Yorker, Kim-Gibson says she turns to Fort Tryon Park, her “backyard,” for quiet moments of recollection. It’s a break from what she calls the electric pulse of creativity and diversity necessary to survive in the city. “More than any other time, the forgotten issues in my films must be revisited,” she says. In “Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women,” she presents Korean women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese in World War II. In “Motherland,” she introduces Koreans who live in Cuba and asks questions about the meaning of home. Following screenings Sat-



David Giles is research associate for the Center for an Urban Future and author of “Behind the Curb,” a recent report issued by the center about transit gaps in the boroughs outside of Manhattan.


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A gallery showing of “16 Barras” is set for March 26 at the Space on White studios (81 White St ., Tribeca, Check out videos of RIMX painting murals at Krystal Cherry loves the mural of her, above: “Art rarely goes wrong.”

prove community relations. “The good part about this project is that we are able to introduce neighbors who have never known each other exist,” says RIMX. “Hopefully, this will create a connection within the community that will form stronger bonds and maybe help solve some of the issues created by lack of communication.” Even if 16 murals and a poem

soaked cask to produce a succulent fruitiness,” says Egan “or a certain kind of oak to get those toasted notes of vanilla or caramel.” While purists drink their whisk y undiluted, or “neat,” Egan has no problem if people want to add ginger ale or Coke. “I don’t like to have too many rules,” he says. “I just want people to enjoy themselves.” Egan comes to the city tomorrow to ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange, which could be quite a tintinnabulation after a day of St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Actually, Egan is a model of restraint, even on the job. “I taste whisk y every day, but I still have to drive home,” to the tiny coastal village of Ballycastle in Northern Ireland, he says with a laugh. The 41-year-old won’t say which Bushmills blend is his favorite. “Would you ask a

don’t solve all of what bothers Bushwick, they’ll surely brighten the lives of a few neighbors. “When I saw my mural for the first time, I was so excited,” says Cherry. “I’m only 25 and I already have a painting of me up on the streets of New York. That’s a big deal. It just shows that you don’t have to be famous or dead to be honored on the streets of Brooklyn.”

Colum Egan’s Original Irish Whisky Sauce 4 tablespoons butter, softened ½ cup sugar 1 egg, beaten 2 tablespoons Irish whisk y

Korean-American film fest puts focus on 3 N.Y. directors urday of “Sa-I-Gu” and “Wet Sand: Voices From L.A. 10 Years Later,” Kim-Gibson will lead a discussion with Jung Hui Lee, who lost her son during the Los Angeles riots. n a Las Vegas trip with a friend in 2002, Maria Yoon got married twice — to a showgirl dressed as Diana Ross and to a waiter at a five-star restaurant — “just go through the motions and see what happens,” she says. “That was the beginning of it,” Yoon, 39, says. Filled with questions about what the perfect wedding means, she set out for answers in all 50 states, marrying “brides and grooms and even things” while wearing a hanbok, the traditional Korean dress. “Maria the Korean Bride” is a 15-minute look at her weddings. She proposes to random strangers and gets married on a horse in Wyoming and to


Cream butter and sugar together; blend in the beaten egg. Put mixture in top of a double boiler over gently boiling water and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the whisk y.

YOU SHOULD KNOW mother,” he says, “which of her five kids is her favorite?” Bushmills will bottle the winners’ blends, but would it make the production line? “You never know,” says the master craftsman. “If it’s a real classic, questions will be asked of my ability.”


hen Isabella Leung first started working at Crystal Window and Door Systems, a manufacturer in College Point, Queens, she had to leave her house no later than 6 a.m. in order to get to work by 8. She lived just 9 miles away, in Ozone Park, but before she was promoted and invested in a car, she spent years transferring from bus to bus and watching helplessly as each one crawled along at 5 mph during the morning rush. All across New York, commutes like this have become all too common. More and more residents are forgoing the more traditional trip into Manhattan and instead are traveling across their home boroughs or from one borough to another. But despite the fact that transit ridership patterns have been shifting, with more people working in the boroughs, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Department of Transportation have not made the investments necessary to keep up


The Korean American Film Festival New York runs from tomorrow to Sunday at the Chelsea Clearview Cinemas, White Box and Big Screen Project in Manhattan. Info: N.Y. filmmaker Dai Sil Kim-Gibson is honored with a retrospective.

a 700-pound Black Angus bull in Nebraska. “At the end of the day,” Yoon says, “it’s me collecting stories in every state and what people had to say about love and marriage.” The Cooper Union alum has worked for 15 years as a private tour guide at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “As an artist, I think you have to live here,” she says. “New York City is its own utopia.” ris Shim met Andrew Suh in 2001, when she was a freshman at the University of Chicago. Her good friend was his pen pal, and she wanted Shim at their first meeting — at the Pontiac Correctional Center in Illinois, where he was serving an 80-year sentence for killing his sister’s fiance. Suh was a 19-year-old student at Providence College when his sister Catherine asked him to shoot her boyfriend for his $250,000 life insurance. Catherine Suh, dubbed the “Black Widow” at the time, skipped out before a court appearance and was arrested in Hawaii. Still, he refused to testify against his sister. “I did it,” he says in Shim’s film “House of Suh,” “because I thought that it was the right thing to do.” Shim, now a Columbia University film student, says she simply set out to tell Suh’s story and the story of his family. In the year since the film wrapped, it has won filmfestival awards Shim says she hopes to use the film to break down communication blocks between firstand second-generation family members in Asian immigrant households. “I would love to continue making stories where there’s just an Asian-American presence, but you don’t have to really acknowledge it,” she says. “They’re just there.”



New York Daily News Pictures of diversity Ji Hyun Park


New York Daily News Pictures of diversity Ji Hyun Park