$25 off homE DEliVErED bEVErAgES INSIDE: SIGNS OF THE BEAST P.8
• COMMUNITY NEWS BELOW 14TH STREET • JULY 12, 2012
(SEE pAgE 4)
TO FRACK OR NOT
TO FRACK? As New York nears a big decision, locals bear down to stop a drill down for natural gas P.5
RESIDENTS’ FEELINGS MIXED AFTER COP SHOOTING IN LES
Photo by Jonathan Springer
While gunman is still at large, some question safety of neighborhood P.6
ALSO INSIDE DOWNTOWN SOCIAL VISITORS AND NEW YORKERS ALIKE DELIGHT IN GREENMARKET P.2 FAMED ST. MARK’S BOOKSHOP MIGHT BE ON THE MOVE P.6 ARMOND WHITE ON OLIVER STONE’S SAVAGES P.11
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Commuters, Tourists Stop to Get Fresh Produce in Battery Park City Text by Adel Manoukian • Photos by Jonathan Springer For most, the Staten Island Ferry is part of the daily commute (for those who live on the borough) or a much-needed respite from a busy Manhattan-based vacation (for the visitor). Now, the Staten Island Ferry’s terminal is also the site of a much-praised outdoor farmer’s market. The Staten Island Ferry Whitehall Terminal Greenmarket in Lower Manhattan, open Tuesday through Friday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m., offers a bevy of farm-made goods, from Wilklow Orchards’ ciders and pies to Remsburger Maple Farm’s maple syrup and honey. “This isn’t one of our busiest markets, but it’s good enough for us to keep coming back,” said Mike Hyler, a 29-year-old worker for Wilklow Orchards. “There is a really good mix of tourists throughout the day and mainly commuters in the evening.” We spent a recent afternoon sussing out the Greenmarket crowd. “I was just about to take advantage of the free ferry and I saw this random market set up. I’m hoping it gets Americans to eat healthier. It looks nice.” MarY webbs, 53,
housewife, sYDneY, australia
“I’m here on vacation— I was about to take the ferry, and then I recognized this farmer’s market right away. They have loads of them back in Australia set up on the side of roads. I mean it pretty much looks the same, but ours are much bigger. This location looks good because tourists stop here all the time, and most of them know of these kinds of markets from where ever they’re from. Also, who wouldn’t want to eat fresh fruit on a boat?”
“I absolutely love this market. I stop here a lot as I go to my ferry because the apples are delicious, so fresh, and it is just in the perfect location. Nobody should miss it.” Denise Martin-
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“I get my apple cider here two times a week. I love this place. The cider is really good. It’s healthy and convenient—I never have to go out of my way for a good jug of this stuff.” ken
lawrenCe, 43, banker, new York
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NY Press.co m
NEIGHBORHOOD CHATTER Broad Street Piano Returns for Its Third Summer The Alliance for Downtown New York is offering residents the chance to hone their piano-playing skills by bringing back the public upright piano located in front of 25 Broad St. “For two summers now, the Downtown Alliance piano on Broad Street has given thousands of workers, residents and visitors from around the world a chance to tickle the ivories,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance, in a statement on the piano’s July 2 installation. “We are excited to keep the music playing in Lower Manhattan with our very own public piano.” The Alliance has even installed a electric keyboard on the frame of the piano to keep it in tune during extreme heat. The 88 keys will be available weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 21. Berger also thanked the Department of Transportation and the Mayor’s Office of Special Events for their part in making the piano a reality. Last year, the piano was put in place late August and was open to the public through early October.
Beverage Companies Combat Bloomberg’s Soda Ban It was welcomed by many New Yorkers when it was brought to our attention in May, but
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to restrict the purveyance of sodas over 16 ounces has, to no surprise, angered soda companies, movie theaters and restaurants. Major companies like Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola, in conjunction with many stores in the New York area, have created New Yorkers for Beverage Choices to combat the mayor’s latest efforts. The group has gained a large following. According to its site, the coalition is comprised of 434 members. An online petition they are circulating had 38,381 signatures at press time. Sponsored by the American Beverage Association, the coalition has released a series of TV and radio ads emphasizing a New Yorker’s right to choice. “This is New York City. No one tells us what neighborhood to live in, what team to cheer for or what deli to eat at,” a TV ad begins. “So are we going to let our mayor tell us what size beverage to buy?” The New York City Board of Health, whose members are appointed by the mayor, will vote on the ban on July 24, which could go into effect as early as March 2013.
Chinatown Murders Might Be Linked to Prostitution Two women, Xia L. Li, 70, and Yong Hua Chen, 36, were all over New York news stations recently when both were shot to death and left to burn in a Chinatown building. In an
unexpected twist to the case, the murders might be linked to prostitution. The building the two women were found in, 83 Henry St., a rundown apartment under the Manhattan Bridge, is possibly connected with prostitution, the New York Post reported. It is just one angle detectives think could be cause for the murders, but according to the Post, the site is a “known prostitution location.”
South Street Seaport Museum Makes Changes to Vessels The South Street Seaport Museum is rearranging and reducing its fleet of vessels to a number that can accommodate the available space at Pier 16. This comes after an agreement made by the Museum of the City of New York and the new board of trustees of the South Street Seaport Museum to “rationalize the fleet.” The museum will move the 1885 wroughtiron merchant vessel Wavertree into the prime berth at Pier 16 currently occupied by the sailing vessel Peking. Also back at Pier 16 and now open to the public is the Ambrose lightship. Alongside it is the W.O. Decker, a tug boat that takes the place of the Gloucester fishing schooner Lettie G. Howard, which is currently in Connecticut for repairs. Other vessels, like the Marion M., will be moved to an offsite location until they find a new home.
Quinn and Council Members Endorse Hoylman City Council Speaker Christine Quinn along with six council members, have announced their endorsement of Brad Hoylman, who is running for Tom Duane’s state senate seat. Hoylman, whose campaign is now endorsed by council members Daniel Garodnick, Margaret Chin, Rosie Mendez, Jessica Lappin, Danny Dromm, Quinn and Jimmy Van Bramer, has been a Democratic grassroots activist for over 20 years. He is also the former chair of Manhattan Community Board 2. “Brad Hoylman has been a fighter on issues of importance to LGBT New Yorkers,” said Van Bramer, of Western Queens, in a statement. “Brad will continue to fight for these causes as one of the only voices from our community in Albany.” Some of Hoylman’s achievements include helping secure two new public schools and creating an innovative legal defense fund for rent-stabilized tenants. Hoylman is grateful for the support. “It means a great deal to me to have the overwhelming support of my friends in the City Council,” said Hoylman in a statement. “I have had the pleasure of working with Christine Quinn and her fellow council members for years. I am incredibly proud that they have come out in support of this campaign.” Compiled by Adel Manoukian
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J ULY 12, 2012 • O UR TOW N D OW NTOW N • 3
How to Celebrate Bastille Day in New York City By Laurent Berstecher
or those who feel that this year’s Fourth of July celebration ended too early, there is still hope to keep on partying for independence and democracy, French-style. There will be more red, white and blue this weekend as Francophiles around the world celebrate Bastille Day, the French national holiday commemorating the storming of Paris’ emblematic prison on July 14, 1789, and the subsequent popular uprising known as the French Revolution. New York City will not be spared the French celebrations, and you should be getting ready for a weekend of wine tastings and pétanque tournaments in the five boroughs. Eager to help you get in touch with your French side, we have selected the best of Bastille Week for you.
Thursday, July 12 PétaNqUe toUrNameNt Tribeca’s French Bistro Cercle Rouge will be hosting its third annual pétanque tournament today. Ricard-based cocktails will also be served, giving Tribeca a touch of Marseille
Guérard. Resident DJ Maklen will also be there to make sure that the rooftop keeps shaking until 3 a.m., closing time. Sky Deck Terrace at Novotel Hotel, 226 W 52nd St. (betw. Broadway & 8th Ave.), novotel. com; 3 p.m.-3 a.m.
sunday, July 15 10th aNNiversarY PétaNqUe toUrNameNt
for the afternoon.
Cercle Rouge, 241 W. Broadway (at N. Moore St.), 212-226-6252, cerclerougeresto.com; 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
BastiLLe DaY BaLL The Committee of French-Speaking Societies (CAFUSA) organizes its yearly Bastille Day Ball under the umbrella of the French Consulate Photo by Andrew Schwartz and the New York City Mayor’s Office. This year’s edition will feature DJ Marco Peruzzi. Yes, he is Italian, but we a live orchestra as well as French singer are told he started his musical career in the Floanne and French DJ Super Jamie. General south of France. Brasserie Beaumarchais, 409 W. 13th St. admission tickets are available for $30, but a (betw. 9th Ave. & Washington St.), 212-675$120 VIP ticket will grant you access to a gour2400, brasseriebeaumarchais.com. met French buffet and an open bar. The Club 404, 404 10th Ave. (at W. 33rd St.), BastiLLe FestivaL 2012 iN times bastilledayball.org. sqUare
saTurday, July 14 BastiLLe DaY BrUNch French food, wine, cocktails and pétanque on the patio are coming to Le Meatpacking District on Saturday, with music by
This year’s edition of the Bastille Festival in Times Square will take place in the Times Square Novotel and feature over 12 hours of live music by five bands, as well as a sculpture exhibition by French artist Pierre-Henri
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Not even Brooklyn is spared by Bastille Day, as French bistros Bar Tabac and Provence en Bôite host their 10th annual pétanque tournament, the largest in North America, on Sunday. Go watch over 80 teams from around the world play it out in Smith Street while enjoying French music, food and drinks throughout the day. Bar Tabac, 128 Smith St. (betw. Bergen & Pacific Sts.), bartabacny.com; 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
BastiLLe DaY oN 60th street On Sunday, 60th Street will be taken over by over 25,000 Franco-friendly visitors for a day of festivities and celebration of French culture. Hosted by the French Institute Alliance Francaise, this is the largest celebration of Bastille Day in the United States. Events will include food samples by some of the finest French restaurants in New York City, live can-can performances, free French language workshops, street mimes, accordian players, an old Citroen car show and, of course, more wine, cheese and pétanque. 60th Street betw. 5th & Lexington Aves., www. bastilledayny.com; 12-5 p.m.
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Hydrofracking Fight Drills Toward the End By Megan Bungeroth & Mayara Guimaraes
gas, which burns cleaner than coal or oil. “You have to look at what’s available and what’s viable,” said Alan Herbst, a principal with Utilis Advisory Group, a New York-based he debate over hydrofracking has oil and gas industry consulting company that been raging in New York for years, has worked with many clients on fracking for and it may be coming to a head natural gas. this year as Gov. Andrew Cuomo Some argue that energy companies should contemplates allowing the controversial be investing in alternative fuels instead of drilling technique in the state for the first pushing for more fracking. time. “We’ve known that we need clean, renewThe state currently has a moratorium on able energy for a sustainable planet for a long hydraulic fracturing, but the governor has time. But now, fracking and other extreme recently indicated that he would be open extractions are putting us in a precarious to allowing the process in certain areas of position because they’re giving us more fossil the state near the border with Pennsylvania, fuels at a very high price to our precious wawhere fracking is already underway. ter, climate, ecosystems and environment,” Fracking is a process used to extract natural gas from shale rock. Large volumes of said Elizabeth Kelley, a volunteer with the local anti-fracking group United For Action. water, chemicals and sand or ceramic beads “They are delaying renewable energy are pumped into rock at high pressures, development and they are taking climate fracturing it and releasing the gas deposits change to the brink.” that can then be piped to the surface. It’s a Herbst said that while the industry and the process that has been in practice in the oil state should be looking at other forms of fuel and gas mining industries for decades, but as well as large-scale energy conservation, a surge in natural gas production in recent natural gas will continue to be a big part of years has put the latest hydrofracking meththe United State’s energy plan for the foreseeods into the national spotlight, and many able future. New Yorkers don’t like what they’re seeing. “You can’t be against everything,” Herbst “While I understand the economic argusaid. “You just can’t produce the power you ments in favor, those arguments do not take need with solar and wind. It’s too expensive into account the potential costs—both ecoand it’s not what you call baseload—you can’t nomic and environmental—associated with rely on it 24 hours a day.” fracking,” said State Assembly Member Sen. Liz Krueger. She’s “This checks off a Micah Kellner has acbeen a vocal oppolot of boxes. It’s knowledged the potential nent of fracking in the clean, it’s cheap, benefits of accessing state, as have many of the state’s natural gas her Upper East Side it’s domestically reserves but urged the constituents. available. Is it the state to hold off until a “The experience perfect solution? thorough review can be of other states with completed. ground and surface Maybe not.” “You are not talking water contaminaabout drilling for oil in places that have tion and well blowouts, concerns about the contents of fracking fluids and the significant been used to drilling,” Kellner said. “We are talking about drilling in places throughout damage to existing infrastructure that could New York State—some of the last untouched result from allowing fracking are simply too land in the Northeast—that have never been great,” she said. disturbed.” Problems in other states—contaminated The Department of Environmental Condrinking water being the gravest among servation (DEC) is taking all of these factors them—have made New Yorkers especially cautious about allowing the process at home. into account as it conducts a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement The potential benefits, however, are what (SGEIS) on hydrofracking—essentially a have been swaying some upstate lawmakers report on the potential impacts—and conand landowners to lobby to allow fracking. siders the 79,700 comments it has received Aside from the royalties offered to landfrom the public over two separate comment owners in economically depressed areas of periods. The report should be completed by the state where farming has fallen by the the end of the year. wayside, allowing fracking has the potential The DEC recently came under scrutiny to create jobs and tax revenue. from several local lawmakers, including State There’s also a large U.S. supply of natural
Hydrofracking site in Lancaster, Penn.
Sens. Krueger and Tom Duane, for releasing some information about their study to the gas industry before making it public. Emily DeSantis, DEC’s spokeswoman, defended that decision. “DEC has regularly and routinely met with environmental groups, industry, local government representatives and other stakeholders as it develops the final SGEIS for high-volume hydraulic fracturing,” DeSantis wrote in an email. “Under the State Administrative Procedures Act, state agencies are required to assess the impacts of the regulatory action on the regulated entity. Agencies cannot gather this data without holding meetings and engaging in other forms of communication with the regulated community prior to proposing the regulation. Nothing in the regulations changed as a result,” she said. Opponents of fracking argue that even strict regulations might not be enough to sufficiently protect the state’s water supply, and that the industry will find a way to get around the regulations regardless. Gas companies are seeking to drill the Marcellus Shale, the rock formation under which most of the region’s natural gas deposits sit. It also encompasses the watershed region in the Catskills from which New York gets most of
its fresh water, and many argue that in order to protect the water supply, the state needs to maintain the outright moratorium on fracking that is currently in place. The DEC won’t say what factors they are weighing in crafting their recommendations on hydrofracking, citing the ongoing scientific studies, but DeSantis did say that “if high-volume hydraulic fracturing moves forward in New York, it will do so with the strictest standards in the nation.” That alone may be enough to keep the industry at bay, some argue, as other states open up for hydrofracking with more lax regulations. “Given the intense interest and degree of concern expressed to date…it’s difficult to imagine that those restrictions would ever be relaxed regardless of pressure from industry,” said Telisport Putsavage, an environmental and energy law attorney and former assistant counsel at the DEC. “There are multiple shale formations and hydraulic fracturing opportunities in the United States, and I believe industry will ultimately gravitate toward the areas where resistance and regulation is less extensive, rather than continue to fight against what will most likely be the strictest regulatory regimen in the country.”
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LES Residents’ Safety Concerns Mixed After Shooting Police officer saved by bulletproof vest, but gunman still on the loose By Alissa Fleck After a police officer was shot last week, some Lower East Side residents and workers have mixed feelings about the safety of the area. The incident occurred around 3:40 a.m. last Thursday during a routine patrol of the Seward Park House complex. Officer Brian Groves reportedly opened a stairwell door in the complex’s Essex Street building when he saw the suspect OFFICER bRIan j. carrying a pistol. gROvEs. The suspect allegedly fled down the stairs, but turned back to fire on Groves, who returned fire before realizing he had been shot near the heart. Fortunately, he was saved by his bulletproof vest and is expected to fully recover. At the time of the shooting, Groves, 30, and his partner were performing a “vertical patrol,” a sweep of a building starting at the top floor working down. Police Commisioner Raymond W. Kelly
said in a statement, “The vertical patrol that [Groves] and his partner engaged in is a common, proactive police practice to give some measure of safety to residents of public housing.” He added, “Approximately 4 percent of the city’s population resides in public housing, but it experiences about 20 percent of all violent crime.” The shooting took place between the 18th and 19th floors of the building after the officers began to pursue the man. Groves dropped near the 15th floor, and the gunman escaped. It’s unclear whether the gunman was shot. According to the Seward Park House Cooperative’s website, the complex was operated for over 30 years as a limited-equity co-op, allowing it to receive tax subsidies for keeping apartment prices below market rates. They now sell at market rate. Thursday afternoon, the surrounding area was cordoned off with police tape. Officers said it would be closed at least for the day. One MTA worker at the Delancey/Essex Street subway station said, “I feel safe, but the community is not safe. The Chase Manhattan Bank [at the corner of Delancey and Essex] has been robbed twice. It’s not safe for police officers; it’s not safe for anyone.” Jeff Andrews, a resident of the area, said it was the first time he had seen anything like this in the neighborhood. “This is a big thing,” said Andrews, a three-year resident
Dozens of officers gathered near the site of the shooting last Thursday afternoon. Photo by Jonathan Springer
of the neighborhood. “It looks like World War 3 over there.” Andrews believes police were being overzealous in their search for the gunman and alleged that police were searching every apartment. “They’ve been here since 2:30 [a.m.],” he stated, pointing to the long line of police vans in front of the housing complex. When asked if the incident made him feel any less safe, Andrews answered, “I guess something’s got to happen sooner or later.” Another resident, Mike Duvall, said he
had been living nearby for 22 years. Duvall said the incident “doesn’t change anything” and he still “absolutely feel[s] safe.” A construction worker who had been working nearby for months also said he felt no less safe after the shooting. Groves is the ninth police officer shot on duty this year. As of last Thursday afternoon, police were still looking for the suspect, described by Kelly as “a black male in his 20s, about 5-foot-9, thin build, with his hair braided in corn rows, wearing a black T-shirt with red basketball shorts with beige stripes.”
Despite Rent Reduction, St. Mark’s Bookshop Might Have to Move By Paul Bisceglio St. Mark’s Bookshop has been a literary fixture of the East Village since 1977. It’s where Allen Ginsberg met Philip Glass, where Susan Sontag and Annie Leibovitz spent Sunday evenings and where William S. Burroughs hung out. Since the economy took a turn for the worse, however, the shop has struggled to stay open. Co-owners Robert Contant and Terry McCoy now seek funding to relocate from their iconic spot at 31 Third Ave. to a smaller store with a cheaper monthly rent. Contant explained to Our Town Downtown last year that the move is “speculative.” The bookshop has applied for a highly competitive $250,000 Mission: Small Business grant from Chase and Living Social, which aims to support the growth of small businesses across the country. In September, a committee will select up to 12 businesses from a pool of thousands based on a lengthy application that outlines the applicant’s importance to the community and plans for development, as well as a preliminary online voting period
The interior of the St. Mark’s Bookshop. Photo by James Kelleher
that ended last month. “The grant is, realistically, a long shot,” Contant recently admitted. If St. Mark’s beats the odds, it will have no difficulty transferring its business to a smaller venue, where it will continue to focus on niche markets like small press poetry, literary criticism and theory and mid-list books. If it
6 • O UR TOWN DOW NTOW N • JULY 12 , 2 012
fails to win the award, the bookshop’s future location—and future in general—will be unclear, though Contant assured that they are in the middle of exploring a number of options to stay afloat. One thing is certain, he said: “We are not thinking of leaving the East Village.” Last fall, the burden of the bookshop’s
$20,000-a-month lease at its present location forced Contant and McCoy to request a rent reduction from their landlord, the tuition-free college Cooper Union, which refused due to its own financial strain. East Village residents and a local community group called the Cooper Square Committee rescued the bookshop by circulating a petition that garnered 40,000 signatures. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer held a meeting with the co-owners and Cooper Union to reach a compromise. “When an independent bookstore goes out of business, a part of us goes with it,” Stringer told the New York Times after a deal was reached. Cooper Union agreed to forgive a $7,500 debt and promised to lower the bookshop’s monthly rent to $17,500 for about a year. Though the college set no official date for when the reduced rate will end, Contant and McCoy know they need a more permanent solution soon. Until they find one, their message to the community is clear—posted on their door, in fact: “Find It Here. Buy It Here. Keep us Here. Thank You for Your Continued Support.” NY Press.co m
THE 7-DAY PLAN
It’s the Earth Not the Moon [7/12] BEST PICK Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave. (betw. 1st & 2nd Aves.), anthologyfilmarchives.org; various showtimes, $9.
We’ve all heard of the theory of life on other planets, but what if there is life on Earth we’ve never seen or heard of? In this NYC premiere of Gonçalo Tocha’s latest documentary, discover Corvo, the smallest island in the archipelago of the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and learn about this rarely documented civilization that has existed for over 500 years and is only inhabited by around 440 people.
FREE From Book to Screen with Writer Phil Campbell and Director Stephen Gyllenhaal
Strand Book Store, 828 Broadway (betw. 12th & 13th Sts.), strandbooks.com; 7 p.m. Writer Phil Campbell and director Stephen Gyllenhaal (actors Jake and Maggie’s father) get ready to premiere their film, but not before stopping by The Strand’s rare book room to discuss it. The duo explain how they created their latest flick based on Campbell’s book, Grassroots: Politics–But Not as Usual, and the challenges of bringing a book to life on the silver screen.
13 14 SATURDAY
15 16 MONDAY
17 18 WEDNESDAY
Visit nypress.com for the latest updates on local events. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com.
FREE Dharma Talk–Kaizen
Village Zendo, 588 Broadway (betw. E. Houston & Prince Sts.), villagezendo.org; 6:35 p.m. This talk offers advice for those interested in improving their lives spiritually; the advice can even be applied in the workplace. The Kaizen philosophy is also perfect for anyone who wants to better themselves while working as a part of a spiritual team.
❮ Union Square
Angelika Film Center, 18 W. Houston St. (betw. Broadway & Crosby St.), angelikafilmcenter.com; various showtimes, $13 adults, $9 children and seniors. If you thought you had family troubles, watch the premiere of this film starring Academy-award winning actress Mira Sorvino. The feature, directed and co-written by Nancy Savoca and Mary Tobler, explores the relationship between two estranged sisters and the dramatic results of their reconnection. The powerful tale also stars Tony Award nominee Tammy Blanchard.
FREE 4Knots Music Festival
Pier 17, 19 Fulton St., (betw. Front & Water Sts.), southstreetseaport.com; 1 p.m. This second annual music festival provides an array of sounds from up-and-coming artists. In an interesting twist, to keep attendees on their toes, the final lineup will be announced at the venue–some of last year’s performers included The Black Angels and Oberhofer. Sit out by the water in this seven-hour festival held rain or shine.
The Hooping Life
A Walking Tour of the Changing Bowery
Meet in front of the New Museum, 235 Bowery (at Prince St.), 92y.org; 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., $25. Walk the streets of the historic Bowery with John Hill, an experienced architect, blogger and adjunct professor at the New York Insitute of technology, who will pay special attention to the new structures popping up in the area from Spring Street to Astor Place. Hill is also the author of Guide to Contemporary New York City Architecture, which looks at more than 200 buildings throughout the five boroughs that were constructed after 2000.
FREE Gotham Writers’ Children’s Book Writing
The Broad Street Ballroom, 41 Broad St. (betw. Beaver St. & Exchange Pl.), brownpapertickets. com; 2:15 p.m., $20, 13+. Watch the premiere of this documentary following the lives of eight different people from around the globe who have one thing in common: the hula hoop.
Housing Works Bookstore Café, 126 Crosby St. (betw. Prince & Houston Sts.), housingworks.org; 11 a.m. Stop by this one-hour workshop taught by middlegrade novelist Matthew Cody. In addition to publishing works in McSweeney’s and Opium Magazine, Cody is also the author of Powerless and The Deadly Gentleman (both Knopf).
Arlene’s World Famous Rock and Roll Karaoke
❮ All Aboard the Soul Train
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St. (betw. 4th St. & Astor Pl.), joespub.com; 9:30 p.m., $25 and up. To celebrate Soul Train’s influential host, Don Cornelius, some of Broadway’s most talented performers will boogie onstage to tunes performed live by members of James Brown’s original band. The night of soul honoring the man who brought black culture to American homes features performers such as former American Idol contestant Anwar Robinson and Lilli Cooper of Spring Awakening. All ticket proceeds go to Hope North, a campsite in Uganda for orphans, refugees and former child soldiers.
Arlene’s Grocery, 95 Stanton St. (betw. Orchard & Ludlow Sts.), arlenesgrocery.net; 10 p.m., $10. This former grocery store plays host to its very own karaoke band, combining the intense theatrics of a rock show with some classic rock hits. Audience members can show off their talents.
FREE Sam Moore at the Fourth Annual Hudson Square Music & Wine Festival City Winery, 155 Varick St. (betw. Spring & Vandam Sts.), citywinery.com; 5:30 p.m. This festival includes the finest wining and dining, with performances by noted R&B artist Sam Moore, who was once part of soul duo Sam & Dave. The Grammy winner will perform bluesy tracks in City Winery’s Soho backyard while you enjoy the delectable food and a full open bar.
FREE Super 8
Hudson River Park’s Pier 63 Lawn, (W. 23rd St. & Hudson River), riverflicksnyc.com; 8:30 p.m. Let the Hudson River serve as the backdrop for J.J. Abrams’ blockbuster film Super 8, about a klatch of suburban children who stumble upon an alien, in this outdoor showing sponsored by the Hudson River Park. Nosh on complimentary popcorn under the stars, and don’t fret if you miss this showing, as the Park will run the film series through late August.
Fat Baby, 112 Rivington St. (betw. Essex & Ludlow Sts.), fatbabynyc.com; 10 p.m. This 18-year-old crooner made his debut on the rock scene at the age of 16 with his album The Other Side. Hear Droney perform tracks from that album and some new compositions from his current studies as an NYU Tisch student.
Delta Rae, Aunt Martha, Andy Suzuki and The Method
Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey St. (betw. Bowery & Chrystie Sts.), boweryballroom. com; $13 advance, $15 day of show, 18+. Described as Mumford & Sons meets Fleetwood Mac, Delta Rae have become known for their alt-pop four-part harmonies. Aunt Martha, who will provide some electro beats, and Andy Suzuki & The Method, known for their pop piano sounds.
Celebrating New York City in the 1970s and 1980s
The Center for Jewish History, 15 W. 16th St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), www.cjh.org; 6 p.m., $2. Historian and Director of the Gotham Center for New York City History Suzanne Wasserman will be on hand at the Center for Jewish History to present her short feature Sweatshop Cinderella (2010), which will screen before Joan Micklin Silver’s 1975 film Hester Street. Both flicks focus on thehaptic of immigration to America, specifically the Lower East Side.
J ULY 12, 2012 • O UR TOW N D OW NTOW N • 7
Edited by Armond White
New York’s Review of Culture • CityArtsNYC.com
Signs of the Beast BarBarian art mocks religion By Maureen Mullarkey
s religion the new pornography? DC Moore Gallery, pitching its group exhibition of “American (ir)religiosity” in the exhibition Beasts of Revelation, hopes so. Censorship battles over sexually explicit imagery have been won. That old X-rated thrill is gone. Nowadays, organs and orifices are as transgressive as your parish bulletin. Only demon blasphemy has enough life left to pinch-hit for beaver shots and bull whips—or so the gallery wants to think. On one level, Beasts of Revelation is a standard publicity caper, the kind that banks on the Catholic League to rise to the bait. Nothing boosts box office like a picket line of retired Knights of Columbus at the gallery door. Moreover, this is an election year, as civic minds at DC Moore remind us. The gallery is primed for Nov. 6 with latter-day riffs on Christian iconography, stand-ins for the social conservatism identified with a Republican candidacy. To underscore the point, two LDS-raised artists are showcased for their upbringing, not talent. But where is the sacrilege? The trumpeted irreverence comes gilded as a testament to “Christianity’s insidious aquifer of metaphorical power.” (Insidious /adj/ 1. cunning, deceitful 2. deleterious.) Downwind of Andres Serrano, Chris Ofili, and a thriving Broadway lampoon of Mormonism, DC Moore’s claim that religion is a taboo subject in the art world is risible. Here, promotional blather about religion diverts attention from the crucial question: Is the art any good? Some of it is, much is not. Even so, Rosary Society matrons will have a hard time finding offense. This is an unexceptional summertime porridge of appropriations and approximations of traditional iconography. Several pieces achieve a seriousness that is no less real for being unintended. The only insidious item on show is the press release. Roger Brown’s “The Beast Rising From the Sea” (1983), the keynote piece, holds its
Lyle Aston Harris, “Untitled,” 2008, part of Beasts of Revelations.
ground as a modern version of an ancient motif. The seven-headed symbol for Satan and his wiles has warned against mistaken conceptions of God—i.e., against idolatry— since The Book of Revelation was written early in the common era. Chris Hammerlein follows Brown with a ceramic Whore of Babylon astride a suitably grotesque version of the Beast. The sculpture accompanies a suite of sketchy illustrations of the Passion. Hammerlein’s line is weak, yet several of the compositions do justice to the emotional tenor of the Stations of the Cross. Robert Smithson’s expressionist drawing “Christ Carrying the Cross” (1960) is a glad surprise. A bent, bloody, striped figure, rendered in red-purple ink, evokes the lethal brutality of a Roman scourging. It recalls Lovis Corinth’s “The Red Christ” (1922) and reveals how far Smithson traveled to become himself. Kay Rosen’s stylish stained-glass design using the letters of the name Jesus would be welcome in rectories anywhere. By contrast, Dana Frankfort’s graphic and semantic nullity, “TSIRHC” (2011)—Christ spelled backward— suggests a high schooler trying to be cool. Carrie Mayer’s portrait drawing “Head” (1999) is eligible for inclusion on the assumption that a generic Haight Ashbury melancholic, ’60s vintage, is a ringer for a 1st-century Palestinian Jew. It is a popular cliché, a secular parallel to
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the products of Sulpician piety. Erika Rothenberg’s signboard announcing parish activities in moveable letters is a delicious send-up of typical church notice boards. Social service (“Tues: Eating Disorders; Wed: Abusive Spouse; Sat: Soup Kitchen”) takes precedence over prayer; the social gospel trumps the Synoptics more often than not. Janine Antoni’s photo of a woman cradling her own leg in the attitude of a madonna and child is a pitch-perfect image of amour propre. Meant to burlesque a conventional composition, “Coddle” (1999) rises in spite of itself to a sharp comment on narcissism. The Spirit blows where it will. Art is both the work of hands—craft—and an act of mind. Joyce Kozloff’s “JEEZ” (2012) runs a deficit either way. Its inane gigantism and crude execution is the apotheosis of every adolescent, aimless or resentful thread elsewhere in the ensemble. Unequal to the grandeur of the inheritance it cannibalizes, Kozloff’s altarpiece, an anarchy of fragments and fribbles, tries an end-run around creative debility. Enamored as we are of the idea that art is a civilizing force, we forget that barbarians, too, have their art. Beasts of Revelation Through Aug. 3. DC Moore Gallery, 535 W. 22 St., 212-247-2111, dcmooregallery.com.
Ted: On a mission to sully everything, TV showrunner Seth McFarlane denigrates childhood’s teddy bear totem by turning it into an alter-ego for infantile 35-year-old Boston bachelor John (Mark Wahlberg). Voiced by McFarlane, bear and boy-man share potty-mouth immaturity—the same vulgarity as in Bad Santa but with McFarlane’s rabid sarcasm. Fans of TV’s Family Guy and American Dad won’t ask for meaning (which personalized Jodie Foster and Mel Gibson’s The Beaver); instead, McFarlane’s repertoire of crass jokes insists that brazen, anti-religious tastelessness is enough. Ted gets described as “a Christmas miracle. You’re just like a baby Jesus,” an easy way to pervert the poignant super-ego identification (and innocence) of the teddy bears in Spielberg’s movies. McFarlane avoids confronting surrealism (“A miracle is what seems impossible but happens anyway”) by resorting to Family Guy cliché, as in a raucous battle royale between Ted and John. Despite some funny lines in the blackout-sketch narrative, there’s not even enough thought to satirize Luke Skywalker’s allegiance to Yoda or Elliott’s to E.T. Ted is a vulgar fantasy without a decent sense of wonder—or decency. Co-starring lewd Mila Kunis. To Rome with Love: What’s the polite term for a filmmaker who keeps “rebooting” himself? Woody Allen used to call it “Sex with someone I love”; now critics praise his routine ventures into bourgeois narcissism, no different from Midnight in Paris, Vicky Cristina Barcelona or Match Point. This time, Allen’s Club Med excursion docks in Italy with at least four interconnected tales of lust, privilege, infidelity and, maybe, insanity. Romantic? No, just formulaic. Enlisting trendy actors Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg and Greta Gerwig doesn’t make the film fresh, it merely shows how bad these young performers can be without a filmmaker who cares to direct them. Mumblecadette Gerwig would be forgettable if her posture weren’t so regrettable, a clear sign of Allen’s deep-seated contempt for audiences and shill critics. Unforgivable: A head- and heart-spinning ensemble of love-searchers in the year’s deepest and most dazzling human display. Carole Bouquet and Andre Dussollier discover middle-aged passion comparable to the confused young sexual experimenters surrounding them. Set in the teeming waters and secretive streets of Venice, their unpredictable modern-day lives evoke each character’s complicated past. Relationships with their friends and their children reveal the eternal conflict of private emotion and social imperative. It’s the rare movie about personal truths we all recognize—one of director André Téchiné’s best. [Armond White]
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Patriotism and Fervor The Philharmonic’s new YorkY FourTh By Jay Nordlinger
he New York Philharmonic gives an annual Fourth of July concert, and this year the orchestra gave it three times. I attended on July 3. As usual, the concert was conducted by a Brit, Bramwell Tovey. He is one suave and talented Brit, too. I have always called him “your genial host,” for he talks charmingly to the audience: twitting latecomers, riffing on Kim Kardashian, etc. He has the verbal facility you expect from our cousins. I was shocked to hear him say “For you and I . . .” The concert began with Three Dance Episodes from Bernstein’s On the Town. I have often wondered why someone who could write so brilliantly in this idiom would ever have bothered with classical music. Tovey and the Philharmonic were really good in the dance episodes, really swingin’. They were not merely fun, they were excellent. I had the feeling they had actually rehearsed. Now, the Philharmonic is supposed to be good in New Yorky music. But I have to ask:
Why should Chinese-born young people who join the Philharmonic be better in this music than Chinese-born young people who join other orchestras? Traditions linger, somehow. Tracy Dahl, a coloratura soprano from Canada, took the stage to sing “Glitter and Be Gay,” the glittery and gay aria from Bernstein’s Candide. She gave it the old college try. Her heart was in the right place, and so were the notes, mainly. Her E flat had no vibrato, but it was bang on pitch. Even suaver than Tovey is Gershwin’s Promenade, or “Walking the Dog,” the next piece on the program. The orchestra played it nicely, and this was especially true of Pascual Martínez Forteza, the principal clarinet. “Walking the Dog” gives the clarinet a delicious part. Tracy Dahl returned for four songs by Gershwin, in which she was superb—both tasteful and heartfelt, both formal and informal, if you know what I mean. Every inflection was right. The arrangements were done by Tovey himself, who also played the piano. In “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” the singer sings, “The way you sip your tea . . .” Here, Tovey tinkled a bit of “Tea for Two.” As he did so, he gave the audience sort of a proud look.
His arrangement for the verse of “Fascinating Rhythm” sounded like Carmina Burana, so help me. Weird but effective. As a pianist, Tovey may not threaten André Previn’s reputation; he was sometimes stiff and jabbing. But he was creditable. Besides, Previn doesn’t always play like Previn either. The second half of the program featured ensembles from West Point, as well as the Philharmonic. We heard big-band music and marches. We also heard some patriotic
and pro-military statements spoken by the West Pointers. I wasn’t sure this would fly in Manhattan, but it seemed to. The evening ended with John Philip Sousa’s masterpiece, The Stars and Stripes Forever. Let me quote Bernstein, in a humble and discerning mode: “I would give five years of my life to have written that piece.” It was a long night, but a wonderful one, and this was thanks largely to the manifold talents of Tovey—and also to those of Sousa, Gershwin, Bernstein, et al.
BAM Takes Shape melillo enables arTisTs and audiences By Elena Oumano Responsive and initiating in just the right proportions, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), at 38 Lafayette Ave. in Fort Greene, seems inextricably linked to its home borough, with BAM’s offerings—all the performing arts, cinema, a café, even hosting Memorial Day weekend’s sprawling outdoor African bazaar—radiating and refining the scrappy but worldly consciousness that has come to define today’s Brooklyn. Joseph V. Melillo, BAM’s executive producer since 1999, first came to the cultural institution nearly 30 years ago to produce the first Next Wave Festival, and his sage leadership is clearly the point of equilibrium from which every BAM element flows and, at the same time, ingathers. One of his more recent successes is the completion in June of the Richard B. Fisher Center, a flexible black box space that seats 300 designed to nurture young, more experimental talent. It joins the Academy’s 2,100-seat Howard Gilman Opera House and 900-seat Harvey Theater. Melillo was a fun-loving English major when a chance encounter in his college cafeteria steered him towards the theater. “I saw
a group of kids being colorful and boisterous, and my friend said they were theater majors, so I inveigled myself into their social network and started taking theater courses, which I enjoyed immensely. It started as a social outlet. I like people very much. “After graduate school, I realized my path was not as a director but a producer, enabling artists to do their work. After producing a theater festival in Miami, I was hired by Harvey Lichtenstein [BAM founding executive producer] to produce Next Wave and I never left. The early years gave me a tremendous education that broadened my perspectives in music and dance.” Enabling artists working in many different forms has been a matter of “training,” Melillo says, “Pavlovian conditioning. It’s in my DNA now. A lot of research goes on with my assistants in my office. I go to performances nightly — if not here, then somewhere else. I was in Paris and Le Havre over the weekend, then at American Ballet Theatre’s gala. I’m constantly in the game and talking with colleagues about artists and projects. It’s a specific kind of existence when servicing an institution like BAM—I spend a lot of time thinking and reflecting upon a work of art I’ve experienced or researched or individuals I’ve engaged in conversation. “Most artistic seasons are shaped by that research and experience. It’s also concomitant
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Joseph V. Melillo.
for someone of my age and in my professional life to give license to a younger curator that invites a new generation into your cultural institution. I produced Crossing Brooklyn Ferry, but I hired twin brothers, Aaron and Brice Dessner, guitarists in The National, to curate it for us. They live in the borough and know the younger generation of indie musicians. “The truth is I just follow my instincts on
how to service New York City and BAM-at the same time, as an international cultural capital, we have the opportunity to broaden our understanding of the globe by experiencing work coming to us from pockets of artistic energy all over the world.” Check www.bam.org for the calendar of events and other information. NY Press.co m
He’s Got an Oeuvre An Oliver StOne retrOSpective in SavageS By Armond White
liver Stone’s cinematic command turns Savages, his 19th film, into a reconsideration of his entire previous oeuvre. Its story of three white California-carefree young adult progeny whose post-hippie, post-yuppie initiative in the drug trade conflicts with a Mexican cartel recalls Stone’s past hits: the martyred youth Vietnam saga Platoon, the hyperbolic satire Natural Born Killers, the noir-sinister U-Turn and the drug dramas he wrote but did not direct, Midnight Express, 8 Million Ways to Die and the epochal Scarface. Stone is as much an aesthete as Terrence Malick, deliberately manipulating fancy cinematic grammar to stimulate viewers’ awareness. But he’s also politically attuned, a different motivation than mere “social consciousness” that suggests a concern for contemporary issues of community interaction and public welfare. Stone, a political gadfly, likes to examine wayward social behavior, especially implicating his pro-
tagonists. The high-living menage a trois in Savages waste their privileges—trophy chick Ophelia (Blake Lively), their intelligence, Ben (Aaron Johnson), who devises high-THC weed then barters it hypocritically, ignoring the mercilessness learned from warped military experience by his Afghanistan-vet partner, Chon (Taylor Kitsch). These spoiled products of their generation are contrasted with Mexican drug lords Lado (Benecio del Toro) and Elena (Salma Hayek), who also pursue privilege but with a ruthless, self-conscious sense of power; they’re hungry for what the Cali kids take for granted. It’s hard to think of another American movie that so sharply conveys the difference between the haves and have-nots. Stone doesn’t go for naïve Occupy petulance. In Savages, Stone depicts the cultural fallout of the North American Free Trade Agreement, the recent history of international disparity. He breezily, boldly outlines race and class differences but also the United States’ and Third World’s common ruthlessness. The sequence of Ophelia shopping at the Sun Coast Galleria unaware of indulgent cartel princess Magda (Sandra Echeverría) alongside her is as brilliant as the earrings montage in Stone’s underrated Money Never Sleeps.
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Both American and Mexican characters refer to each other as “savages,” uninterested in the corrupted mores they share. Stone dares to illustrate this cutthroat comedy with a prodigious cinematic wit, though toned down from his usual extravagance, leaving the avant-garde extreme to Neveldine-Taylor. Having already shot the moon in Natural Born Killers, he goes for a more mature, post-9/11 sense of horror — yet this is where Stone’s own aesthetic irony gets confused with his characters’ moral chaos, a genre glitch. His double ending is less effective than the ironic endings of Death Race and Chronicle. Still, Savages presents an exciting, principled satire of modern decadence.
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Lively and Kitsch in “Savages.”
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Unlike ivory tower Malick’s quasi-biblical allegories, Stone charts evolving public mores. Johnson, Kitsch and Lively are strikingly perfect petulant types and Del Toro and Hayek only fall short of full tragic dimension-not their fault; their roles call for a different dramatic quality than Stone practices. But Stone dares to challenge his own previous statements about the extremes of political engagement among leaders (Alexander, Nixon, JFK, W.), civilians (Any Given Sunday, Scarface, Salvador, Talk Radio) and plebians of unique dedication (World Trade Center, Born on the Fourth of July, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps). It’s an unusual oeuvre, oddly conscientious for this period of large-scale, unembarrassed escapism. In Ophelia, Ben and Chon’s fates, Stone muddles his sense of American privilege and opportunity run amok. Yet Savages’ study of arrogance as national character is amusingly epic. It evokes the classic paradoxes of Westerns-pleasure vs. satisfaction, business vs. idealism-with war movie metaphors (externalized psychic conflicts) all over the place. This abundance keeps Stone ahead of most of his contemporaries.
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The CityArts Interview Béatrice Massin By Joel Lobenthal
éatrice Massin is a specialist in Baroque dance. She was co-choreographer of Lully’s Atys when the opera was presented by Les Arts Florissants at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last fall. She has choreographed for several films and directs her own dance troupe, Compagnie Fêtes Galantes, and school, the Atelier Baroque. She brings her company to Bard College July 6-8 to perform Massin’s work, Let My Joy Remain. What drew you to baroque dance? I think two reasons. First, I was a contemporary dancer before. I worked with a lot of people. When I discovered the baroque, I had the sense that music and space were together. The dancers, the dance was showing the space of the music. And the second thing [is] the idea that this dance is not an old dance—that
The audience was able to respond to stately rhythms and tempi. How do you develop that kind of performing capacity in your studio, the Atelier Baroque? By a way of working with the floor, using the floor, using the idea of the volume of the body. That’s something very important in the baroque period, this idea that the body is not flat but is really a volume, like in sculpture. It has to do with a way to move in the space, bringing out all the volume.
if I was able to really go to the fundamentals, the way to move from the inside, I will find the contemporary dance. And that’s my big project: to show something so clear, not so much connected to the story, with the history, but connected really to the way of moving in the body. No one was more influential to baroque dance and the genesis of classical ballet than Louis XIV. How was it performing at his old stomping grounds at Versailles? Of course it was incredible. But for me, it’s more important to perform baroque dance in the streets than in Versailles, because in Versailles we are waiting for this kind of dance. But how to bring it, for example, here in the streets? To have the difference between the buildings, the contemporary way of life, and this dance? How is it possible to bring them together?
Which creates dynamism also— even in stillness you have a sense of a potential. Yeah, moving inside. Which you’re supposed to have in ballet, but you don’t see it a lot today. Perhaps everyone in ballet should spend some time at your school! Maybe they need to go back to the basics.
It’s interesting that even though the pace of Atys was very slow, the attention level was high at BAM.
Read more by Joel Lobenthal at Lobenthal.com
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Lights On…in LOwer Manhattan
Downtown Alliance’s Kelly Rush lets us know what’s opening and closing
hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July holiday. I spent the day at the beach because it was much too hot to stay in my apartment all day and watch my cats, who pant and generally look even hotter than I feel. It is guilty escapism with a holiday twist. For this edition of Lights On, we see the Duane Reade presence expanding in Lower Manhattan, while a nightclub replaces a nightclub and several well-known names move to new homes. As usual, if you see any new retailers or spot changes to a long-time establishment, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check them out.
Openings Duane reaDe
100 Broadway (betw. Pine & Wall Sts.), 212-227-2186
The newest Duane Reade feels a bit more like a department store than a pharmacy. The two-level space features
several Duane Reade staples, such as the Up: Market brand, with a few extras. There’s a café with a selection of coffee and breakfast items, a self-serve frozen yogurt bar, salad bar, selection of soups and a wide variety of grab-and-go options such as wraps and sandwiches. The bottom floor is devoted to fresh food options, while the upper floor contains the pharmacy, beauty section, a large selection of greeting cards from Papyrus and a lovely view of the Trinity churchyard. Quest
27 Park Pl. (betw. Broadway & Church St.), 718-300-9647
Replacing Club Remix is Quest, just a couple of hops from City Hall, in case anyone there needs a refreshment break from running the city. They’re advertising “Escape After Work Thursdays” featuring DJs, drink specials and food deals.
Moved to a larger permanent space in the same building, Ste. 1010 at 75 Broad St.
Moved from 125 Church St. to 25 Murray St.
Quest nightclub on Park Place. Photo by Jonathan Springer
Lobby of 120 Broadway
27 Park Pl.
Internationally Independent National celebrations from around the world are in NYC this summer By Regan Hofmann The Fourth of July has come and gone, and with its weird mid-week placement on this year’s calendar, it left many feeling underwhelmed. Sure, there were fireworks and rooftop grills and too many cans of patriotically branded cheap beer, but some people took the days leading up to it off, some took the subsequent days off and some didn’t take any and stayed in the city resenting the others; there was no communal sense of vacation on the streets. Luckily, there’s something about the sweltering summer months that foments revolution around the world; July and August are awash with national independence celebrations from all four corners. Let’s be honest: American patriotism is pretty easy to come by any day of the week, but when was the last time you got a chance to celebrate with some diehard Jamaicans? French? Here are a few other independence days coming up this month, and how to make the most of them. Bastille Day celebrates one of the most iconic, if less than immediately successful, NYPre ss.com
fights for independence in modern history— and the chicest by a long shot. French revolutionaries were distinguished by their rejection of all things aristocratic, including their clothes, and citoyennes (female revolutionaries) went corsetless while men were identified as sansculottes, for their rejection of fancy breeches for Regular Joe pants. And while clamoring for a crust of bread sounds grim, it becomes a lot more understandable when you remember they were after perfectly crusty baguettes— maybe with a little Camembert to go with? Celebrate the French way of life at the French Institute Alliance Francais’ annual block party on Sunday, July 15 from 12-5 p.m., on 60th Street from Lexington to Fifth Avenue. The city’s premier Bastille Day party, it’s guaranteed to have the most genuine French people—but may also have the most mimes. Buy a $20 all-access pass to the wine, cheese and cocktail tastings, and maybe by the time the roving mime makes her way to you, you’ll be willing to play along when she gets trapped in that darned box. Jamaican independence was gained from the United Kingdom in 1962, after a slow, civilized process of governmental reform (take that, France!). The country still retains the British monarchy, and the head of state is technically the queen’s governor general, but all the power is wielded by the prime minis-
ter—just think of it as a Caribbean Canada, but with better music. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the celebration, which means the normally ebullient festival is going into overdrive. The country itself is celebrating for an entire year—you’ve still got a few months to book a trip to experience the real thing—but in New There will be mimes at the FIAF Bastille Day celebration. Don’t worry. Photo by Andrew Schwartz York City, it’s a day of muing Quito and Chile; finally, working-class sic, food, awards and cultural presentations in and rural Peruvians had enough and began Roberto Clemente Park in the Bronx on Aug. fighting the “Lima oligarchy,” as they were 4 (go to www.jamaica50anniversary.com for tickets). The city’s entire Jamaican community known. Now, the party officially lasts for two days, July 28-29, though most focus on the will be at the star-studded party, hosted by the 28, the date victory was actually declared. “Jamaican King of Comedy” Oliver Samuels; It’s celebrated with the country’s iconic food mix and mingle while you enjoy roving steel and drink, which just so happen to also be drummers and all the patties, ginger beer and perfect for summer: pisco sours and ceviche. jerk chicken your spice centers can handle. The refreshingly tart cocktail and cool seafood Peruvian pride is celebrated at the end salad are made for enjoying a sultry day; give of July every year to commemorate the it a go at Mancora (99 1st Ave., at 6th St., 212country’s victory in its 12-year-long war for 253-1101), where complimentary plantain independence from Spain. The country had chips and salsa are the perfect salty-rich counserved as a stronghold for Spanish royalists terpoint to all that lime. ¡Viva el Peru! as they fought similar rebellions in neighborJ ULY 12, 2012 • O UR TOW N D OW NTOW N • 1 3
Infertility Causes and Tips for Getting Pregnant By Dr. Cynthia Paulis Wherever you go now, there seem to an explosion of babies in buggies, two, sometimes three to a stroller—but for those couples who are trying to get pregnant and can’t, you’re not alone. About one in 10 couples in the Unites States is infertile. Infertility is a disease or condition of the reproductive system and can be present in the woman, the man or both. Certain health conditions and factors, such as age, can affect a woman’s ability to conceive. A healthy
30-year-old woman has about a 20 percent chance of getting pregnant every month, but that percentage drops by age 40, when her chances are about 5 percent each month. Infertility can affect women regardless of age and background. When you look at the process of conception, it is remarkable that pregnancy happens at all. When a man ejaculates, 200 million sperm are mixed with semen. In most men, only 15 to 45 million of those sperm will be healthy enough to fertilize an egg,
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and only 400 of those will survive after a man ejaculates. Traveling up the vagina, which is hostile to sperm as well as the toxic environment of the semen, only around 40 of the 400 will reach the vicinity of the egg. Then, only one sperm will be able to drill through the tough layer of the egg to fertilize it, and voilà, a baby is on the way—well, maybe. There are other circumstances that can end the pregnancy. For sperm to make it to the end goal, three factors come into play: quantity, quality and movement. Conception is a numbers game, so the more semen discharged in an ejaculation, the better. The quality of the sperm—with an oval head and long tail—is important, as is the ability to move quickly through a hostile environment. Certain factors can create problems for sperm, with the No. 1 problem being temperature. Increased scrotal temperature can interfere with sperm production. If you are trying for a family, avoid hot tubs, saunas and steam baths. Even though exercise is important, bike riding or remaining seated for long periods at a time can interfere with
sperm production. Tight-fitting clothes such as briefs or athletic shorts will increase your body temperature, so switch to boxers. Sperm movement and shape can be altered by smoking and marijuana, cocaine and heroin use. Excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the quantity and quality of the sperm produced. Lubricants, such as KY and skin lotions, will slow down the movement of sperm so they never reach the egg. Certain medications can also contribute to infertility issues, such as calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, steroids, chemotherapy and radiation treatment. For women, infertility issues are more likely structural or age-related problems. Damage or blockage in the fallopian tube caused by inflammation can prevent the egg from moving down to the uterus. The most common cause of this is chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection that can affect both men and women. Uterine fibroids, tumors in the uterus, and endometriosis, uterine tissue implants growing outside of the uterus, can affect the function of the egg, ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes.
Center for Women’s Reproductive Care (CWRC) at Columbia University: World-Class Fertility Services Within Financial Reach A common misconception is that fertility treatments such as IVF (in-vitro-fertilization) is never covered by insurance. The truth is that insurance benefits for fertility vary dramatically depending on the type of contracts that employers have with insurance companies. Nowadays, a growing number of insurance plans offer fertility care that goes beyond the initial consultation and testing to include IVF. At CWRC, 85% of IVF and Donor IVF patients pay for care using their “In-Network” benefits. For those who have insurance for IVF, a key ingredient in saving money is to select an ‘In-Network’ service provider, such as CWRC. That means that the coverage provided by the insurance will generally cover the full cost of the IVF cycle, leaving the patient responsible only for co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles. This is important because if the patient decides to go to an ‘Out-of-Network’ facility, she will have to pay cash for doctors’ visits, laboratory testing, and procedures, then try to get insurance reimbursement. This may amount to thousands of dollars of additional expenses per IVF cycle. For those without insurance coverage, financial assistance options are also available at CWRC making treatment possible for many who otherwise might never be able to afford it. Call our Fertility Information and Appointments Line to find out your options: 646-756-8294 Information and Appointment Line:
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You’re invited to our FREE Patient Fertility Education Workshops every Wednesday evening at 6:30pm. For the full schedule and registration, visit: www.columbiafertility.org NY Press.co m
Healthy Manhattan Another cause of infertility is polycystic ovarian syndrome, in which the body produces too much androgen, a hormone that in turn causes ovulation problems. Pelvic adhesions secondary to pelvic infections, appendicitis, pelvic and abdominal surgery can also impair fertility. Medications, thyroid problems and cancer treatments can also affect fertility. Fertility for women starts to decline after age 30, whereas men can maintain their fertility well past 40. For both sexes, it is important to maintain a healthy body. Stop smoking and use alcohol in moderation. A healthy weight is important, but too much exercise can be associated with ovulation problems. A sedentary lifestyle, which can contribute to obesity, can also be a contributing factor to infertility. For those couples who are infertile, there is still hope. Through in vitro fertilization (IVF), many couples have gone on to have successful pregnancies. Another option that may
help that many specialists now recognize is acupuncture. Mary Sabo, one of the clinical directors at the Yinova Center on 11th Street and Broadway, uses acupuncture to support IVF. “When couples come in to us, we look at their entire bodies and see how they are functioning,” she said. “If they have a diagnosis from their gynecologist or endocrinologist, we can help. If the uterine lining is too thin or if the blood flow to the uterus or ovaries is not ideal, we can increase the blood flow, relax the uterus before transfer in an IVF and help balance the hormones to improve fertility. The leading reproductive endocrinologists in the city are now recognizing the importance of acupuncture.” If you are experiencing problems with infertility, don’t despair: Reproductive medicine has advanced over the years and it is still possible for you to have a child or, sometimes with fertility clinics, multiple children. Then you can buy one of those double-wide buggies and get a nice house in Brooklyn.
Central Park Fertility Center Brooklyn Fertility Center opened in 1986 in Brooklyn. At that time, it was the first clinic in Brooklyn to provide high-level comprehensive fertility service. It had not only a complete diagnostic laboratory for endocrinology, the science of hormones involved in all parts of body functions (the brain, ovaries and testicles in particular), but also a special laboratory for andrology, the science of sperm production and sperm ability to fertilize the eggs.
Central Park Fertility Center 55 Central Park West Suite 1C • New York, NY 10023 Phone 212.721.4545 • email@example.com
We were able to diagnose female anovulation (the lack of egg production or release) and azoospermia (the lack of sperm production/quantitative and qualitative sperm problems related to infertility). In addition, we performed Intrauterine Inseminations that require a laboratory process of sperm washing and preparation prior to injecting the sperm directly inside the uterine cavity close to the area where the egg (Oocyte) arrives. We were the first in Brooklyn to perform In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) with the first IVF babies in 1988. In Manhattan, we opened the Central Park Fertility Center (CPFC) in 1989, but in 1987 we already had the first New York IVF baby boy born at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital, where the original IVF program was created in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Goldstein graduated from Technion Medical School in Israel and completed his first residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rothchild University Hospital in Haifa, Israel. His second residency program in Obstetrics and Gynecology was completed at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. He finished a Clinical Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) at SUNYDownstate Medical Center and a research fellowship in Reproduction at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, concentrating on the neuro-endocrine physiology of ovulation and menstruation in primates. This was followed by a visiting fellowship at the Jones Institute in Norfolk, Virginia where he learned the basics of In Vitro Fertilization procedures and another fellowship at Yale University’s Division of Reproductive Endocrinology. In 1986, together with a newly erected IVF program, the first baby was delivered in 1987 followed by many others generated through dedication and hard labor in his two clinics in Brooklyn and Manhattan. On July 1st 1991 Dr.Goldstein was instrumental in creating the New York Reproductive Medical Society which gathers Reproductive Endocrinologists, Scientists, fellows and residents offering superb Educational Activities to these days. (212) 721 4545 • www.fertilitynewyork.com NYPre ss.com
THE SCOPE OF OUR PRACTICE 1. History and Physical Examination 2. Plan of Investigation (Female and Male) 3. Sonohysterogram 4. Semen Anaylsis ( WHO, Kruger -strict Morphology) 5. Ovulation Induction (clomiphene, injectables etc..) 6. Intrauterine Insemination (Partner or Donor Sperm)
7.In Vitro Fertilization with or without: -Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) -Assisted Hatching -Extended Embryo growth (Blastocyst) 8.Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (Detection of Diseases, Gender Selections) 9.Donor Egg program 10.General Gynecology
www.fertilitynewyork.com If you have any questions please feel free to call us at (212) 721-4545
J ULY 12, 2012 • O UR TOW N D OW NTOW N • 1 5
A Colonoscopy Can Save Your Life Get screened for colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy is one of the few tests that can help in early cancer detection and prevention. Dr. Forrest Manheimer is the Chief of Gastroenterology at New York Downtown Hospital. He oversees an interdisciplinary group of physicians and the skilled endoscopy nursing team. The Hospital’s multi-lingual endoscopy staff has decades of experience, which ensures safe, efficient and comfortable examinations. Dr. Manheimer is a board certified gastro-enterologist with more than 20 years of experience in the field.
For an appointment with Dr. Manheimer call: (212) 238-0189 or (212) 312-5090
Tired of Rushing to the Ladies Room? Thanks to the specialists at the Center for Pelvic Health for Women at New York Downtown Hospital, women of all ages can be free from the embarrassment of a frequent need to urinate as well as urine leaking while they’re exercising, laughing, coughing or sneezing.
Dr. Giti Bensinger, a Urogynecologist, leads the Hospital’s Center for Pelvic Health for Women.
She and her team at New York Downtown Hospital offer a wide range of treatments from simple exercises to medications to noninvasive surgery.
Call (212) 238-0180 to learn how they can help you, or to make an appointment with Dr. Bensinger today. Giti Bensinger MD, FACOG Director of Urogynecology THE WOMENS’ HEALTH CENTER a component of the WELLNESS & PREVENTION CENTER
156 William Street, New York 10038 www.downtownhospital.org 1 6 • O UR TOWN DOW NTOW N • July 12 , 2 012
170 William Street, New York, NY 10038 Telephone: (212) 312-5000 www.downtownwellness.org NY Press.co m
Understanding Artificial Insemination and IVF By Laura Shin
rying to conceive a baby can be a challenging time for some couples, and when it comes to understanding the different fertility treatments that are available, it can be even more stressful. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an effective and well-known procedure. It involves removing eggs from the woman’s body, fertilizing the egg or eggs outside of the body and then placing the embryo in the uterus to establish pregnancy. Though IVF has become much more common since it was first done in the late 1970s, it is still costly and invasive. Because of this, most patients begin with intrauterine insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, said Dr. Jamie Grifo, director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at NYU Langone Medical Center. IUI is a simple, less expensive procedure that involves injecting sperm into the uterus with a catheter. Grifo explained the benefits and risks of both procedures.
In what situations are intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization used? It’s highly individualized and it depends on a lot of things, including patient age and diagnosis. In general, for patients who have unexplained infertility, IVF is a last resort option, not a first resort option. Depending on the kind of male factor infertility—how low the sperm count, how low the mobility—we offer IUI before IVF. In general, IUI is done in addition to fertility medicine to improve the odds. The first round of IUI therapy usually involves Clomid, which is a fertility medicine that stimulates ovaries. We usually do Clomid with IUI three to six tries before moving on to IVF. What is the risk of multiple births with IUI and IVF? The risk of multiple births comes from NYPre ss.com
the stimulation you use for the ovaries. Clomid, the oral medication used with initial IUI attempts, has a very low multiple pregnancy rate—it has an 8 percent multiple pregnancy rate, and the majority are twins. Most of the high order multiple pregnancies these days don’t come from IVF, they come from the injectable medications—the stronger fertility medicines—that we use for IVF and with IUI. In those cases, patients make multiple follicles, multiple eggs, and are more at risk. There was a study done to see what was more cost-effective after three failed Clomid IUI cycles. The question is, do you go right to IVF or to injectable IUI? The conclusion was that it was cheaper and safer, with less risk of multiples, if you went to IVF. Even though IVF is more involved, more invasive and more expensive, the actual cost was lower, and part of the reason was that the multiple pregnancies that occur from injectable IUI eat up a lot of health care dollars, taking care of triplets and quadruplets and beyond. You don’t get those with IVF because you can manage which embryos you put back. I think multiple births will be less and less of a problem as we shift away from injectable IUI cycles and go straight to IVF.
Does insurance typically cover both IUI and IVF? It depends on the policy. It varies so much, and it often influences patients’ decisions about what to do. A lot of policies cover IUI but don’t cover IVF. Some cover none of it and some cover all of it. But those that cover all of it often require three to six cycles of IUI before covering IVF. What are the success rates for these procedures? All of it is age dependent. But in general, if X is the at-home, in-bed pregnancy rate, Clomid IUI is 2X [twice as likely], injectable IUI is 2.1X and IVF is 5X. Are there any negative effects of trying IUI multiple times? No. IUI is really simple. It’s like a pap
See IVF on page 20
HELP GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE Become An Egg Donor Infertility affects millions of women every year. By donating your eggs you can help someone have the family they are trying to achieve.
You could earn
$8000 per donation*
• Our program is anonymous & completely confidential. • All pre-approved applicants receive a comprehensive medical screening. Health insurance coverage for the procedure is provided. • Your care is our top priority. • If you are a healthy woman between 21-32 with some college education
Apply on-line today!
www.eggdonorcornell.com The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College
646-962-3447 *donors may donate up to six times. Must be eligible to work in the US.
HELP GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE BECOME AN EGG DONOR Millions of women are diagnosed with infertility each year. Egg donation enables these women to realize their dreams of having a family when they are unable to do it on their own. Being an egg donor at Weill Cornell's Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility is a positive and rewarding experience. Our program is compliant with all national and state regulations surrounding tissue donation and our doctors make your medical care our top priority. You will receive a full medical, psychological and genetic screening and your medical records and testing results are yours to keep. Our exclusive program is anonymous. We do not show adult photos. We will restrict your donations to the types of families you wish to donate to. Many of our donors have a positive experience and return to donate multiple times. Once you have been approved to donate you become a member of the Donor Egg team and could potentially donate up to six times. If you have ever known anyone to experience infertility you know what a difference your donation can make. Being an egg donor is an extraordinary way to make your contribution. Visit our website for our on-line application and for more information.
www.eggdonorcornell.com The Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College 646-962-3447 J ULY 12, 2012 • O UR TOW N D OW NTOW N • 1 7
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NY Press.co m
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Visit either our Manhattan or Morristown office: New York, NY 530 First Avenue, Suite 6D 1-877-VEIN-NYU (834-6698) Morristown, NJ 95 Madison Avenue, Suite 415 1-973-538-2000
The Truth About Vein Center... Its Really Not About Being Vein Those bulging, inflamed and unsightly veins on your legs may be more then simply a cosmetic issue. In fact, veins that protrude from your skin like small sections of rope are really unhealthy veins that no longer function properly. Instead of acting as one-way valve that keeps blood moving toward the heart and lungs, varicose veins allow the blood to leak back down, away from the heart and lungs, and pool in the leg. This often results in fatigue, swelling, throbbing, heaviness, and aching in the leg. But there is good news...veins that are cosmetically unappealing or cause, pain or other symptoms are prime candidates for newly developed treatments. Minimally invasive techniques are now used by
vascular surgeons to effectively eradicate the symptoms and unsightly appearance of varicose veins. In fact, NYC Medical Center has recently established a full service Vein Treatment Center, the first of its kind in New York. Its faculty of surgeons has developed many procedures for simple and convenient vein care (most of which are covered by insurance) The NYU Vein Center is located 530 First Avenue, Suite 6D (at 31st Street)
For more information, contact the NYU Vein Center at 212.203.8346 (VEIN) or 877.834.6698
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Dr. Jamie Grifo said because “IVF is more involved, more invasive and more expensive,” he usually recommends that infertile couples try intrauterine insemination (IUI) first.
IVF from page 17 smear in terms of what you experience as a patient. You may feel more cramps when you push the sperm into the uterus, but basically you use a speculum, put a little plastic tube in the cervix and inject the sperm. Injection implies needle, but there’s no needle, just a small tube that goes in the natural opening of the cervix and the sperm is then inserted. It usually takes a few minutes and you’re done.
In what situations might a patient skip IUI altogether and go to IVF?
I think most patients don’t skip IUI. A patient over 40 might, but still, a few months of IUI is usually done because a few months wouldn’t change the outcome. Patients don’t choose IVF right away. If they did, people would get pregnant a lot faster, but there’s always the cost barrier. IVF is much more expensive, usually around $10,000, whereas IUI might be around $2,000, so it’s five times less, but it’s also two and half times less efficient. It’s highly individual. It depends on the patients; that’s why you really need to have a good dialogue with your doctor and talk about the pros and cons of the different options. NY Press.co m
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NEW HOPE FERTILITY CENTER That first year of trying to conceive without luck may mean you’re struggling with infertility. In fact, infertility affects 7.3 million women and couples in the United States alone. Anything from endometriosis to a bad diet can contribute to your difficulty conceiving, and if you don’t understand why you’re having trouble, New Hope Fertility can help. At New Hope Fertility Center we offer fertility treatment plans for everyone. Dr. John Zhang and his team of fertility specialists have developed the most innovative techniques using the most state-of-the art technology available today. With centers located around the world, New Hope has helped a diverse set of women realize their dreams of motherhood. You’re not alone in your struggle with infertility. We promise to guide you every step of the way to build a fertility treatment plan that is customized to meet your personal health history. Call us at 212-400-9614 or visit us at www.newhopefertility.com NYPre ss.com
212-279-7455 800-875-7455 Monday - Friday 7am-6pm 140 West 31st Street between 6th & 7th Avenues Shop online at www.jasonoffice.com J uly 12, 2012 • O UR TOW N D OW NTOW N • 21
Turning Patients into Parents
The Fertility Preservation Program at the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine of Weill Cornell Medical College gives cancer patients the greatest chance of having a baby. Infertility is often a by-product of life-saving treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. And whether you’re newly diagnosed about to begin treatment, in the middle of that treatment or in remission, our team stands ready to expedite the process and support you through this challenging time. For many women, the path to fertility preservation begins with freezing eggs or embryos. Before beginning cancer treatment, women can undergo a cycle of ovarian stimulation. The eggs are then removed and either frozen or fertilized with available sperm. Both frozen eggs and embryos can be used after cancer treatments are completed. Women who cannot delay their treatments and take the time for an IVF cycle can have their ovarian tissue frozen.
Using a state-of-the-art minimally invasive technique, surgeons can remove tissue from the ovary and freeze it. After cancer treatments are complete, the tissue can be transplanted back into the woman. Men who have been diagnosed with cancer can choose to have their sperm or testicular tissue frozen prior to treatment. And for men who have no sperm after cancer treatment, surgeons can perform microscopic sperm recovery. Any sperm found in the testicular tissue is then used to fertilize eggs. By using these cutting-edge techniques, our doctors try to minimize the effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments and preserve your ability to become a parent in the future.
If you or someone you know is of child-bearing years and has been recently diagnosed with cancer, please call us at (646) 962-5450.
T h e R o n a l d O. P e r e l m a n a n d C l a u d i a C o h e n
o f We i l l C o r n e l l M e d i c a l C o l l e g e
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NY Press.co m
Take Charge Of Your Fertility For anyone a diagnosis of cancer is overwhelming. And while it may be difficult to think about, it is critically important that you take steps to preserve your fertility before, during and after life-saving cancer treatments. The doctors at the Fertility Preservation Program at the Center for Reproductive Medicine stand ready to help both male and female patients have a baby after cancer.* If you or someone you know is of child- bearing years and has been recently diagnosed with cancer, please contact us at (646) 962-5450.
We can help. *IRB approved protocol
T h e R o n a l d O. P e r e l m a n a n d C l a u d i a C o h e n
o f We i l l C o r n e l l M e d i c a l C o l l e g e
New York 646 • 962 • 2764 | Garden City 516 • 742 • 4100 | Flushing 646 • 962 • 5626 | Westchester 914 • 242 • 3700
Turning Patients into Parents www.ivf.org
J uly 12, 2012 • O UR TOW N D OW NTOW N • 23
Keep the Beach Fun by Avoiding Ticks & Lyme Disease
By Dr. Cynthia Paulis
ummer is upon us, when Manhattanites flee the sweltering heat of the city for the beautiful beaches of Long Island and Fire Island, where woodland creatures, deer, raccoon, mice and opossums wander amidst densely wooded areas, spreading the threat of Lyme disease. July is peak season for Lyme disease because it’s the time when ticks are most active. Last year, there were more than 5,800 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in New York State. The disease is a serious bacterial infection caused by the bite of the blacklegged deer tick, no larger than a poppy seed. If the bite is left untreated it can lead to memory loss, joint pain, paralysis and, in some cases, heart block. Pregnant women with Lyme disease can miscarry. Ticks will attach themselves anywhere but tend to seek out the area where the blood supply is the greatest, such as the scalp, armpit or groin. A tick must be attached for 36-48 hours before Lyme disease can be transmitted. Once the tick has fed, the body becomes engorged and the tick falls off. Since the bite is painless, people are often unaware they have been bitten, so it is essential to always check for ticks, especially if you are camping or at the beach. Lyme disease symptoms fall into three stages: early, middle and late. The early stage occurs three days to one month after being bitten. The person will experience flulike symptoms, including fever, chills, stiff neck, headache, muscle aches and joint pain. The classic bull’s-eye rash can be seen during this time, but not always. The middle stage occurs one to four months after the bite, with painful and swollen joints as the most common symptom. People experience arthritis-type symptoms that migrate, though the knees are the most affected. An inability to concentrate and facial paralysis can also occur at this stage. Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter, Ali Hilfiger, herself a designer, was bitten by a tick as a child in Bridgehampton. She spoke last year at a seminar in Sag Harbor about how she suffered for years with leg pains and difficulty concentrating; it wasn’t until she
Photo by Karl Norling
July is the month when ticks are most active.
saw a psychiatrist that she made the startling discovery that she had second-stage Lyme disease. Hilfiger now speaks often for A Time for Lyme to bring awareness of how serious this disease is, especially if left untreated. The late stage of Lyme disease can cause the heart to slow down, causing dizziness, shortness of breath and at times even the need for a pacemaker. Lyme disease is treatable with antibiotics when recognized and diagnosed early.
• When you go outside this summer, here are some safety tips: • Stay off dunes and away from high
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grassy areas and wooded areas where ticks breed. Wear light-colored clothes and long sleeves and slacks if you are in a wooded area so you can see the ticks. Keep you hair pulled back and wear a hat. Use insect repellent with 20-30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing—10 percent DEET for children—to prevent bites. Treat your clothes, especially pants, socks and shoes, with Permethrin, which kills ticks on contact. NEVER use this on your skin.
Treat your pets with tick solution and check them carefully for ticks before they enter your house. • Check yourself and children daily for ticks and shower daily to eliminate any loose ticks. • If you find a tick, use fine tweezers, grasp the head and pull the tick upward, never crushing the body, which will introduce bacteria into your bloodstream. Clean the area with an antiseptic and see your doctor. Try to save the tick for identification. Now go out and enjoy the beautiful beaches, but be careful. NY Press.co m
Declawing the State Comptroller MaNhattaNMedia
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Move to strip DiNapoli’s auditing power doesn’t pass smell test By Alan S. Chartock
Political theorists have long raved about the advantages of balanced government. It is always best to have one independent branch looking over the shoulder of the others; balanced government helps prevent abuses. When the very popular Andrew Cuomo was elected governor, it could easily be said that he had a mandate from the people to clean up Albany. In fact, that’s exactly what he said he would do. Unfortunately, from this perch, Albany looks pretty much the same as it always has. We still see the powerful legislative majority leaders drawing districts that give them a better chance of winning. We still see legislators asking for raises and likely getting them while they dismiss the possibility of raises or pensions for civil servants, including our teachers. There are some very dangerous things happening in the state capital. One of the most dangerous is a move by the powerful governor to take away the “pre-auditing” function from the independently elected state comptroller. The people who wrote the state constitution made the comptroller independent so he or she could audit the other branches. Anyone who runs a business or a not-for-profit organization knows that at least once a year, businesses have to be audited.
MAN ON THE STREET
How Are New Yorkers Staying Ahead of the Heat Wave? Text by Alissa Fleck Photos by James Kelleher Our Town Downtown hit the Washington Square Park area to find out how New Yorkers are dealing with the stifling heat, which reached a high of nearly 100 degrees this past weekend. We wanted to know if they had some cool ideas in the event of another blackout, a la 2003. Despite the heat, the park was full of people finding ways to chill out and make the weather work for them.
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robert & Jeff, studio musicians in their mid-40s who sometimes play in the park, were relaxing underneath a tree. Is this the hottest New York City summer you can remember? Robert: I’ll tell you, last week I felt like I weighed a thousand pounds.
the important pre-audit function, he said the In New York State, the comptroller has move “made no sense.” And, with imaginary always had the ability to pre-audit contracts. dark music playing in the background, DiThat means that before a state contract can Napoli said that he hoped that there would be be let, the comptroller has to take a look at it no other moves like this one to to determine if there is cut down on the comptroller’s any bad smell to it. powers. He has always said, “It Is a contract about to is my responsibility to be an be let to people who are independent voice, and I take fiscally enigmatic? You that very seriously.” wouldn’t want suspicious It is no secret that DiNapoli people like the mob was not Cuomo’s choice for the pouring the concrete for comptroller’s job. DiNapoli is the soon-to-be-rebuilt the kind of guy who gets along Tappan Zee Bridge. You with everyone. Cuomo’s retiwouldn’t want suspicence in supporting his fellow cious people running a Democrat was perplexing. large gambling casino When the comptroller’s in Queens. Without this ALAN S. CHARTOCK office is vacant, it is the Legisimportant pre-auditing lature’s responsibility to fill the function, by the time the office. The Legislature elected DiNapoli, who contract had been let, the horse would have then went on to run for a full term without long been out of the barn. fellow Democrat Cuomo’s support. Anyone Unfortunately, the power to pre-audit besides DiNapoli might have resented that major contracts was taken away from the just a little, but DiNapoli is like Ferdinand the comptroller in the powerful governor’s budBull: He does not like these things to become get. When that happened, my eyebrows shot personal, he’d rather just smell the flowers. up toward the sky. Why in the world would Despite that attitude, the more bellicose you take this kind of protection away from Cuomo has carried the fight to the comptrolthe people of New York? I wrote about it in ler for no good reason that I can see. Maybe this column; I opined about it on the radio, but the response was anything but deafening. it’s that the comptroller could get in the way of some of the governor’s plans. The subject, esoteric as it was, was ignored by In any case, I’m glad I asked DiNapoli almost everyone. the question and I’m especially glad that he I recently spoke with State Comptroller answered it. Sometimes, even Ferdinand got Tom DiNapoli about it on the radio. He was angry—like that time he got stung by the not reticent in his response. When I asked him about the governor’s move to strip him of bee.
Is there anything you like to do in this weather? NAME?: We like to come down to the park in our off time, meet new friends and gamble.
Helen Hope, an 18-year-old model, was reading in the shade.
What are you doing to stay cool in this heat? I’m staying in the shade and drinking lots of water. I’m also eating a lot of Pinkberry. Is there anything you like to do outside in this weather? I like to hang out in the park and stay very still. What are you reading? I live in a women’s residence and an old woman was handing out books so I took this one [Five Quarters of the Orange].
reed Dunlea, 25, who works at WNYC, was eating french fries in the park. What do you like to do to beat the heat? I like to go swimming—this past weekend I went to
two beaches in upstate New York. I’ve also been to the McCarren Park Pool. Did you witness any violence at the McCarren park pool? Unfortunately no.
ron, 72, is retired and was tanning on a park bench in jean shorts with a bottle of cold juice and a bag of kettle-cooked potato chips.
What do you do to stay cool in this heat? I drink Crystal Light and stay hydrated, unfortunately it’s frozen right now. Is this the hottest summer you can remember here? It’s not the hottest summer but it’s definitely one of them. Is there anything you like to do outside in this heat? I like to sit in the sun. I’ve been coming here since I was 9 and it’s basically the same.
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