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OCTOBER 27, 2011 | www.OTdOwnTOwn.COm

Halloween Happenings (P11)

BOO.Y. C. From college campuses to restaurants & bars, our favorite Downtown haunts. (P6)

IHOP Stop the place to cure your post-halloween hangover. (P14) Pay for Fear the three best places to scare yourself this hallow’s Eve. (P10) photo by Cody SwanSon

The Redevelopment of St. Vincent’s Community and Rudins have different visions for former Greenwich Village hospital. (P4)


� N E I G H B O R HOOD CHAT TE R

Achieve Immortality! (we’re not kidding)

To find out how you can leave a charitable legacy that will make gifts in your name forever, contact us today for our free booklet. You’ll be inspired by what you can accomplish.

Call Jane Wilton at (212) 686–0010 x379, e-mail jones@nyct-cfi.org, or visit nycommunitytrust.org.

 OU R TOWN DOWNTOWN | OCTOB E R 27, 2011

Breaking Bread on New Program: The team members of Whole Foods Market Tribeca’s new Wellness Club celebrate the opening day Monday, Oct. 17 (see below). From left to right, Mark Wilkins, Whole Foods Market, Northeast regional healthy eating associate coordinator; Bill Renna, Whole Foods Market Tribeca store team leader; Nicole Wescoe, Whole Foods Market Northeast regional vice president; Giovanna Miller, Whole Foods Market Tribeca Wellness Club team leader; Dr. Matthew Leaderman, Global Medical Executives of Health and Wellness; and Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market Northeast regional president. PhOTO COuRTEsy Of WhOlE fOOds MaRkET

Wall Street OWS’S GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY Julie Menin, chair of CB1, and State Sen. Daniel Squadron, Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer all called on Occupy Wall Street to address the quality of life concerns raised residents and business around the park. Among the resolutions passed by CB1 and supported by Squadron, Nadler and Stringer were calls for OWS to limit use of “drums, trumpets, tambourines, bugles, air horns, shouting and chanting, and all other sources of noise to two hours per day in midday,” as well as eliminating the use of retail shops and residential building doorways as bathroom facilities. tribeca NEW TRAFFIC SIGNAL FOR TRIBECA INTERSECTION Due in part to the efforts of Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Council Member Margaret Chin, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, the NYC Department of Transportation installed a traffic signal at the Tribeca intersection of Greenwich and Duane streets. The intersection is adjacent to two schools and was the site of an accident involving a young 3-year-old boy at the end of last month. WHOLE FOODS TRIBECA INTRODUCES WELLNESS CLUB Located inside Whole Foods Market’s Tribeca store at 270 Greenwich St., the Wellness Club is a new initiative to help New York City shoppers make educated, positive lifestyle choices that promote their longterm health and well-being. Membership in the program costs $49 a month and includes lifestyle evaluation, nutrition education,

skill-building classes, coaching and practical tips, as well as a 10 percent discount on healthier food choices in the store. The Tribeca Wellness Club team includes lecturers, chefs, doctors and registered dieticians. cityWide CUOMO APPOINTS JOSEPH LHOTA MTA CHAIR Facing a $9.9 billion budget gap, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s newly appointed MTA chair, Joseph Lhota, has his work cut out for him. Lhota will also face the challenge of maintaining the public transit system while at the same time preventing further fare hikes and service cuts. Transportation Alternatives, an organization working toward better bicycling, walking and public transit, and the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance said in press releases that they have high hopes for Lhota and believe he will be able to secure better funding, create better service and end cuts to the MTA. KEEPING MANHATTAN RESIDENTS SAFE FROM SEXUAL ASSAULT Following a recent string of sexual assaults in Brooklyn and Queens, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio partnered with more than two dozen elected officials and community organizations to release a guide to keeping yourself safe from assault. The guide, “How You Can Help Prevent Sexual Assault & Harassment” contains important safety precautions as well as information on free resources that escort public transit users home at night. The guide lists resources and groups available to Manhattan residents and offers practical points of advice on how to stay safe such as “plan your walking route along well-lit streets” and “have your house key in hand before you reach the door.” More than 5,000 copies have already been distributed.


downtown social A Man with Pastries

GETAWAY

i

n celebration of Eric Lanlard’s new book, Cake Boy, New Yorkers gathered for an afternoon tea hosted by the Crosby Street Hotel. Guests sipped warm drinks and snacked on the most beautiful treats, which were even veronica hoglund tastier than they appeared. Lanlard is best known for his cake boutique of the same name in Southwest London. Cake Boy is his fourth book and is comprised of various recipes and tricks on how to make your own delightful baked goods.

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Climb & Expedition

Photography: The Insider’s Perspective The North Face and Eastern Mountain Sports present a night with photographer, Tim Kemple, and mountaineer and author, Conrad Anker, sharing their tips and stories from expedition experiences. Conrad Anker Meru Expedition, Garwhal, India. Photo Jimmy Chin

October 28 ■ 7-9 PM Hostelling International, 103rd & Amsterdam RSVP at 212-966-8730

Conrad Anker, The North Face Athlete

Hosted by:

NYC–SoHo 212-966-8730 Eastern Mountain Sports SoHo

NYC–Upper West Side 212-873-4001

Eastern Mountain Sports: NYC – Upper West Side

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Tim Kemple, Photographer 10/25/11 8:41 AM

OCTOB E R 27, 2011 | otdowntown.com


� N EWS What Do Residents Want for St. Vincent’s? | By Madhura KarniK On Oct. 19, Community Board 2 rejected the St. Vincent’s rezoning proposal put forth by the Rudin Management Company. The official statement released by the board said that unless the concerns of the community, including height and bulk, health care delivery and affordable housing, among others, were addressed, the board would “deny each applicant.” The board further decided that “no upzoning, based upon the allowable bulk for community facilities, be granted to Applicant, and that only the allowable bulk for residential development be considered for this project at the site.” Until it was forced to close in 2010, St. Vincent’s was Greenwich Village’s only hospital. The property is divided in three parts—the East Site, the Triangle Site and the O’Toole Building—bordering Seventh Avenue between West 13th Street and West 11th Street. Rudin Management, run by one of the oldest real estate families in New York, bought the hospital earlier this year for $260 million and have proposed a redevelopment plan to revamp the site. Under the proposed plan, the site would be developed as a luxury residential complex, a health care center, a two-bed hospital and emergency center, a 564-seat elementary school and a 15,000-square-foot park. The residential complex would comprise seven buildings and five townhouses for a total of 450 housing units. Although the Rudins plan includes a health care center, the Coalition for a New Village Hospital claims

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this facility will not be a full-service hospital. “It is just a Duane Reade on stretchers,” wrote Barbara Reuther, 76, a member of the coalition and a resident of the Greenwich Village since 1956, in an email. The Coalition has submitted a petition with 3,500 signatures to the New York City Planning Commission to oppose the proposed plans. The Coalition for a New Village Hospital, an umbrella organization with around 8,000 members is demanding a full-service, 24-hour acute care, community-based hospital with a Level I trauma emergency center. Residents are also worried about real estate prices, as new luxury condos in the market could inflate prices in the area. “The plan ignores affordable housing. The neighborhood continues to cater to the wealthy. I have no rent control and I will not be able to afford the increased rent,” said David Alex Andrejko, a 24-year-old artist who resides in Greenwich Village. Another group comprised of parents and parent-teacher associations, the Live and Learn Coalition, wants Rudin Management to contribute to the acquisition of 75 Morton St. for local public school space. Although Rudin has proposed a school on the property, the coalition says it would operate at full capacity as soon as it starts due to the influx of new residents in the proposed apartments. The Queer History Alliance (QHA), a grassroots organization that supports the preservation and exhibition of New York LBGT history, wants an AIDS memorial to be built at the Triangle Site on 76 Greenwich Ave., a 26,000-square-foot open space. In an interview before the hearing, QHA co-founder

Rudin Management is proposing a a small healthcare center and a school at the former St. Vincent’s site. Community members want a full-service hospital. PHOTO BY andREw sCHwaRTz

Paul Kelterborn argued that the history of St. Vincent’s, the “ground zero” of the epidemic in the 1980s, should be commemorated. The Community Board, in a resolution passed Oct. 20, supported this proposal. Also at the hearing, however, were some groups that supported the Rudin proposal. Tammy Rivera, of the New York City District Council of Carpenters, said the Rudin plan will create jobs. Cheering her on were around 20 members of the Council of Carpenters. John Gilbert, chief operating officer of Rudin Management, said the proposal would foster small businesses in the area. “We want to have a conversation with this community and we hope we can continue to have it,” Gilbert added. Rudin expects the project to create more than 500 permanent jobs—including 400 in health care.

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Rates exclusive to our Park Avenue branch. Limited time only. Visit us at 225 Park Avenue South. Call 212.477.9360 or go to www.FlushingBank.com/parkavenue All offers and rates are available at the Park Avenue branch only. An existing checking customer is defined as anyone who currently has or has had a Flushing Bank checking account within the last 24 months. New money is defined as money not currently on deposit with Flushing Bank. 1 Existing checking account customers are not eligible. New accounts and new money only. The APY is effective October 7, 2011. The annual percentage yield (APY) for BestRate Checking is 1.15% and will remain in effect for 90 days after account opening. At the end of this 90-day period the rate will revert to standard pricing and rate may change at any time without notice. You must maintain an average daily balance of $5,000 for the statement cycle to receive the disclosed yield and to avoid the monthly maintenance fee of $10. Fees may reduce earnings. Speak with a Flushing Bank representative for more details and information about these offers. 2 New accounts and new money only. The APY is effective October 7, 2011. Annual percentage yield assumes principle and interest remain on deposit for a full year at current rate. Minimum deposit balance of $5,000 is required. Funds cannot be transferred from an existing Flushing Bank account. Premature withdrawals may be subject to bank and IRS penalties. 3 New checking account with new money only. Existing checking account customers are not eligible. This offer is limited to one checking account per household. Minimum deposit required to open a new checking account is $100. Debit Card Purchases – You will receive $75 for the completion of 5 debit card purchases. Each debit card purchase must be $25 or more. Online Banking Bill-payments OR Direct Deposit – You will receive $75 for completing 5 online banking bill-payments via Flushing Bank’s Online Banking portal OR signing up for and receiving a recurring direct deposit of $250 or more. Each online bill-pay must be $25 or more. Tax refunds do not qualify as direct deposits. Online Bill-payments, Debit Card Purchases and Direct Deposits must be completed prior to 60 days after the account is opened. THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT ANY CUSTOMER CAN RECEIVE IS $150. The compensation will be credited to the checking account on or about 75 days after the account is opened. A 1099 will be issued in the amount credited to your account. Other fees and restrictions may apply. See branch for further details. Flushing Bank is a trade name of Flushing Savings Bank, FSB. Member FDIC

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 OU R TOWN DOWNTOWN | OCTOB E R 27, 2011

10/5/11 11:09 AM


O CTO B E R 27, 2011 | otd ow n tow n . c o m


Haunted Ground The superlative ghostly hangouts of Downtown Manhattan

Most Haunted Restaurant:

Most (Proven) Haunted Place:

One if by Land, Two if by Sea

Merchant’s House Museum

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he Merchant’s House Museum is the oldest New York City home to have survived virtually intact. Built in 1832 and occupied by the same family for 100 years, the house would be interesting if only because it’s a portal into the New York of the past. But walk amongst the 170-year-old furnishings, clothing and personal items and you might feel a slight chill in the air or hear some distant footsteps. That’s because the Merchant’s House is famous for another reason: In the realm of things that go bump in the night, it is as close as any place gets to the real thing. “The human brain has a great deal of power, so who knows if all this stuff isn’t manifested from us thinking about it,” said Anthony Bellov a museum board member with over 30 years of volunteer time invested in the home. “But as far as I’m concerned, there is something very unexplainable about this house.” As Bellov pointed out, many of the stories from decades ago are exact duplicates of those happening to people today. Audio recordings of voices, footsteps, already closed doors slamming shut and the mysterious ringing of bells, just like the Treadwells would have done to call their servants, are among the commonly reported incidents. “It leads me to think there is something going on in this house,” said Bellov. But it’s one thing to think and another to know for sure. So for the past few years, the museum has been engaged in an investigation led by paranormal expert Dan Sturges, who brings a team in once a month and uses tools such as EVPs (electronic voice phenomenon) to find out whether the accounts of strange occurrences are real or imagined. The results startled even Bellov. “We had recordings of [spirits] speaking very clearly, responding to comments and questions being asked of them,” said Bellov. One such recording is of an investigator saying, ‘You don’t need to be afraid, we’re not here to harm you,’ and only in playback does the crystal clear voice of a child come through: ‘I am not afraid.’ The in-

 OU R TOWN DOWNTOWN | OCTOB E R 27, 2011

| BY ANNIE LUBIN

vestigators caught something similar on tape when they entered the kitchen and asked, ‘If anyone is here, what was your role in the house?’ Upon playback they heard the clear voice of a male answer back, ‘Servant.’ “This family committed themselves to that house when everyone else was leaving the neighborhood,” Bellov continued. “They stayed in that house because they loved it. Why wouldn’t they want to stay on afterward?” Bellov said he and the other staff acknowledge the spirits; they greet them with a good morning, forewarn them of any events that might bring a mass of unfamiliar people and tread lightly when it comes to home repairs, which always seem to stir things up. While the collected evidence might be proof enough for some, Sturges thinks there’s more to be had. “We need the kind of proof that no one can ever refute, the kind that is going to make a nonbeliever a believer. But we haven’t gotten that yet,” said Sturges. So for his next investigation, Sturges wants to bring in a psychic medium who will attempt to speak to one of these apparitions and ask the sort of questions that only a Treadwell or a member of their staff could answer. Bellov and the rest of those involved in the museum are excited to see what else Sturges’ team might find. “For a lot of us, it’s not even scary anymore,” Bellov said of the staff and board members, who have all had their fair share of strange occurrences. For those who want the chance to witness this firsthand, the museum is running ghost tours the last two weekends of October in which they share with the public some of the audio findings from the investigation. And on Halloween night, they will hold a drawing in which one lucky winner and a guest will be able to accompany the team on an upcoming investigation. The Merchant’s House Museum isn’t the only place where spirits linger, so if you’re looking for more Downtown haunts whose folklore and character will leave you spooked, you won’t have to travel very far. To hear audio snippets from Paranormal Expert Dan Sturges’ investigation of the House visit otdowntown.com.

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he West Village restaurant, at 17 Barrow St., was once the carriage house of Aaron Burr, and is supposedly haunted by Burr and his daughter, Theodosia. Theodosia was on her way from South Carolina to see her father when legend has it pirates kidnapped her and made her walk the plank. The ghosts have been known to mess with diners, tipping over glasses and pulling off the earrings of bar patrons, pushing people down the flight of stairs and so on. The staff confirms this, saying they will have things disappear only to reappear somewhere else entirely, and they can’t shake the feeling that they’re being watched—and not by an overzealous manager. Dom Villella, the leader of Paranormal Investigations of NYC, the oldest paranormal group still active in NYC, has conducted a few investigations into the restaurant. On his website, he pointed out several odd experiences during a 2008 investigation, including a strange presence in the bathroom, an unexplained image and a phantom leg that appeared in a photo he took and audio of an unusual music note that was not heard during the time of the recording.


Most Haunted Campus: NYU

The Bridge Café

Most Haunted Brownstone:

PHOTO BY CODY SWANSON

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YU is not only the jewel of New York’s private university education, it’s also the eeriest campus in Downtown Manhattan— nay—New York City, possibly even New York State and beyond. In the 1830s, NYU used cheap prison labor rather than local stonemasons to construct the facades of its new buildings. This not only sparked the Stonecutter’s Riot in 1834—the first labor riot in New York City—but as rumor has it, propelled a lot of rage aimed directly at the University. The Brittany Hotel, which is now an NYU dorm building, is said to be haunted, as reports of strange noises and eerie feelings are continuously brought up. And the current NYU Physics building? It was once the site of one of the early 20th century’s most gruesome work disasters: the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, in which 146 factory workers, mostly young women, were killed. Reports of seeing women in the ninth and 10th floor windows of the building, where the fire took place, have made many a science geek reconsider their course load. But it is Washington Square Park, the unofficial quad of NYU, which has the eeriest past of all, a history that is probably unknown to the hordes of students, tourists and locals who cross through the park every day. Buried underneath the grounds are somewhere close to 20,000 bodies, as the area was used as an execution and burial ground in the early 1800s. “Cemeteries are lousy places. They’re dead, they’re not getting up,” said Gordon Lizner, a guide who leads ghost tours throughout Manhattan. “But execution grounds, those are big exceptions. You’ll find a lot of angry spirits there.”

Most Haunted Bar/Eatery:

14 W. 10th St.

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est 10th Street is perhaps one of the nicest streets in Manhattan, populated with picturesque brownstones within the congestion of New York City. But one of those brownstones holds a dark past. Constructed in the 19th century, this brownstone is where 22 different people took their final breaths of life. And all of them supposedly haunt the house, including one famous ghost, Mark Twain, who lived there briefly from 1900-1901 and whose ghost supposedly haunts the

house’s stairwell. This house might just be a blip on the city’s haunts if not for a gruesome crime that took place there a while back. In 1987, a New York lawyer by the name of Joel Steinberg was living in the brownstone with his partner and two illegally adopted children when, under the influence of cocaine he beat the eldest child, a 6-year-old girl, to death. The grisly case not only caused a media frenzy, but for those who believe in the psychosis that the presence of evil apparitions can bring about, it also served to add modern-day proof to the legend that there is something not right about 14 W. 10th St.

PHOTO BY CODY SWANSON

Most Haunted Church:

St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery

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he second-oldest church in Manhattan is said to be haunted by New Amsterdam’s last Dutch governor, Peter Stuyvesant. Stuyvesant owned a large portion of what is now the East Village and built a family chapel on the land that is now St. Mark’s Church, 131 E. 10th St. He was buried in a vault under the chapel in 1672. Stuyvesant’s grandson later sold the land to the Episcopal Church and in 1799, construction was completed on St. Mark’s Church. But Stuyvesant’s legend remained even after death, and rumors have persisted that he haunts the church. People have claimed they’ve heard Stuyvesant’s unmistakable peg-legged walk throughout the church, and rumors of church services interrupted by Dutch hymns and the mysterious clanging of church bells have all contributed to the preservation of the legend.

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W

ith the number of writers, artists and tortured souls who met their untimely deaths at the bottom of a double old-fashioned, the folklore surrounding the bars of Downtown Manhattan is rampant—and rightly so. Whether they were once speakeasies, brothels, boarding houses or the chosen hangout of Washington Irving or Dylan Thomas, the number of pubs that claim to be haunted is a little too high for comfort. The White House Tavern, The Ear Inn and Chumley’s have all reported the presence of ghosts lingering around their watering holes. But if there has to be one that stands out amongst the crowd, it is the Bridge Café, at 279 Water St. The oldest drinking establishment in New York City would be the first place one looks for ghostly spirits. Built in 1794, the café has a long and tumultuous history, one involving boarding houses, brothels and an attraction for rowdy pirates and criminals. But it is the bar’s old bouncer who is said to haunt the place. The 6-foot tall Gallus Mug would drag rowdy customers out of the establishment, then named “The Hole in the Wall,” with her teeth clamped down on their ears—the unlucky ones got their ears bitten off, which were then put in pickle jars behind the wooden bar. This tactic was Mug’s undoing, when in 1861 she was shot and killed by a criminal whose ear she had previously bitten off. The Hole in the Wall was soon shut down, but rumor has it that Mug never left and continues to harass the bar’s patrons.

Most Haunted Neighborhood

s is the case with most territorial rivalries, this one is chalked up to East vs. West. Dr. Phil Schoenberg, who runs ghost tours throughout the city, said it comes down to the East Village’s Peter Stuyvesant versus Greenwich Village’s Edgar Allan Poe in the all-out bout for ghostly supremacy.

Schoenberg lists the ghosts and different haunts as if he’s an overly enthusiastic announcer introducing a fight: “We’ve got Lincoln, we’ve got Washington and we’ve got celebrity ghosts! We’ve got all these great ghosts we can tell people about!” But is there actual legitimacy to the notion that these places are haunted? Is it just a way to attract customers? For Schoenberg, it’s more about the legends themselves

than the promise of a ghostly sighting. “Some have had experiences, others have not,” said Schoenberg. “But it’s more about the story. We do our best to provide information about the folklore and the history.” But ask anyone who’s witnessed firsthand the presence of a ghost and they’ll tell you, they can’t make this stuff up.

OCTOB E R 27, 2011 | OTDOWNTOWN.COM


FREE Highline: The Inside Story of

New York’s Park in the Sky (11/1)

Hudson Park Branch Library, 66 Leroy St. (betw. 7th Ave. & Hudson St.); 6:30–8 p.m.

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

❮ FREE

Youthmarket Abrons Art Center, 466 Grand St. (betw. Bialystoker & Pitt Sts.); 3–7 p.m. The Abrons Art Center presents this GrowNYC program, made up of a network of urban farmstands operated by neighborhood youth, supplied by local farmers and designed to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to NYC. This will be the last market of the year, so don’t miss out!

FREE T.G.I. Gaming Day

Battery Park City Library, 175 North End Ave. (at Murray St.); 4:30–5 p.m. Calling all gamers! Challenge your friends to battle on Rock Band, Super Smash Bros and many other games. Find out who really rules the joystick and who should stick to board games. The event is for ages 12–18.

Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery (betw. E. Houston & 1st Sts.); 8 p.m. City Winery has created a new wine with the spirit and imagination of poetry. Red Poetry celebrates wine and words with specially invited poets, wordsmiths, songwriters, thinkers and drinkers as they ruminate on the poetry inherent in the ground, the grape and the glass.

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

Tenement Museum, 108 Orchard St. (betw. Broome & Delancey Sts.); 6:30 p.m. John Tauranac will be holding a discussion on NYC architecture. The NYC historian and architecture aficionado knows architectural New York, but even he was stumped by some of the subjects that the great aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand shot for his newest book. Tauranac will show some of his favorite photographs and tell the tales behind them.

Black Lips Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St. (betw. 3rd & 4th Aves.); doors at 6 p.m., $20. The self-described “flower-punk” band from Georgia will be putting on a pre-Halloween show dubbed “Hell at the Hall.” The set will also include Davila 666, a rock band from Puerto Rico, and XRay Eyeballs, a pop-punk band from Brooklyn.

Gutterdrunk: The Poe Revisions John St. Church, 44 John St. (betw. William & Nassau Sts.); 8 p.m., $18. Nothing says Halloween quite like the work of Edgar Allan Poe. The performance unites seven international playwrights whose original works reimagine many of Poe’s famous stories and poems, such as “The Tell-Tale Heart.”

Halloween Costume Ball Theater for the New City, 155 1st Ave. (betw. 9th & 10th Sts.); outdoor entertainment 3–7 p.m., doors at 7:30 p.m., $20. The Theater for the New City will be throwing its 35th annual costume ball. Last year’s ball drew over 1,400 costume-clad partiers to partake in the dancing, dining, showing off costumes and viewing acts from the cutting-edge of cabaret and theater. The event will start with a block party outdoors and move inside at night. Costumes or formal wear are required.

The Other F Word Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St. (betw. 6th & 7th Aves.); $12.50. The NY premiere of The Other F Word, directed by Andrea Blaugrund Nevins, follows Jim Lindberg, a 20-year veteran of the skate punk band Pennywise, on his hysterical and moving journey from belting his band’s anthem “F*** Authority,” to embracing his ultimately authoritarian role in mid-life: fatherhood. Tickets will go on sale Oct. 26, show times are TBA.

FREE Halloween Eve: Macabre Stories

KGB Bar, 85 E. 4th St. (betw. Bowery & 2nd Ave.); 7–9 p.m. The top purveyors of creepy will be reading original horror stories to get in the Halloween mood. The spooky set will include medically accurate zombie neurobiology from a professor in psychiatry at Harvard University, expert lessons in taxidermy and much more.

Webster Hell Webster Hall, 125 E. 11th St. (betw. 3rd & 4th Aves.); doors at 6 p.m., $20. When the Village Halloween Parade winds down, Webster Hall comes to life. The parade after-party will give marchers and spectators a good dose of music and mayhem, featuring a $5,000 costume contest, theatrics and entertainment. All four floors of Webster Hall will have scary themes with all kinds of Halloween characters roaming about.

❯ ❮ FREE

Run the Night Highline Ballroom, 431 W. 16th St. (betw. 9th & 10th Aves.); doors at 6 p.m., $15. The self-proclaimed “most explosive dance competition in NYC” hits the Highline with hip-hop, jazz, tap dance, contemporary and stepping performances. Watch the live acts, then vote to decide who really “ran the night.”

 OU R TOWN DOWNTOWN | OCTOB E R 27, 2011

FREE New York from the Air

The Films of Joyce Wieland Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave. (betw. 1st & 2nd Sts.); 7:15 p.m., $9. The pioneering feminist filmmaker’s earliest works will be screened on the opening night of this week-long tribute. The six short films are some of the first works she produced after moving from Canada to NYC in the 1960s. Throughout the week, her films will be played in chronological order. Come and watch an artist evolve before your eyes.

FREE Red Poetry

SUNDAY

MONDAY

Submissions can be sent to otdowntown@manhattanmedia.com.

Food, Celebration and Day of the Dead The National Museum of the American Indian, 1 Bowling Green (at Wall St.); 11 a.m.–4 p.m. As part of an ongoing celebration of Dia de los Muertos, the museum will host screenings of food-themed films like Corn is Who We Are and La Cumbia del Mole.

FREE Fiction Circus

KGB Bar, 85 E. 4th St. (betw. Bowery & 2nd Ave); 7–9 p.m. The circus is coming to town! Fiction Circus is a mashup of art, music, surreal videos and, of course, fiction. KGB Bar will turn into a live circus for one night only and play host to the bad boys of the fiction world.

THURSDAY

27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Visit otdowntown.com for the latest updates on local events.

Join Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line and coauthor of the new book High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky, and find out how he and his partner, two people with no prior experience in planning and development, helped create this remarkable space. Reservations required, rsvp@gvshp.org or 212-475-9585, x35.

THE 7-DAY PLAN

BEST PICK


CUNY Month ad 2011_ManMedia 10/25/11 3:19 PM Page 1

A celebration of the people and programs that enrich every part of the University. – Chancellor Matthew Goldstein

Visit CUNY campuses in all 5 boroughs O

pen houses, admissions and financial aid workshops, lectures, museum exhibits, sports tournaments, book talks and panel discussions with world-class faculty, achieving students and honored guests

NOV. 7

NOV. 16

AN EVENING WITH ART SPIEGELMAN

ALL MONTH

MARTINA ARROYO

YEAR OF TURKEY EXHIBIT

Queens College 9 A.M. 8 P.M.

Master Class

Author of “MetaMaus”

Hunter College 7:30 P.M. $5-$12, Free with Hunter ID

Baruch College 6 P.M. NOV. 9

“DARK SISTERS”

A new American opera

NOV. 17

SEE THE SKY AT CSI

John Jay College of Criminal Justice Also Nov. 11, 12, 15, 17, 19 – 8 P.M. $30-$12

College of Staten Island Observatory 7:30 P.M.

NOV. 13 Broadway Close-up

JAZZ FESTIVAL

“NOEL AND COLE IN LOVE”

NOV. 19 Gilberto “Pulpo” Colon Jr.

ALL MONTH

DUALITY: STONEWARE & BRONZE

Life-size ceramics by Chinese artist Wenzhi Zhang

SALSA CONCERT

Hostos Community College 7 P.M. Free with ticket

CUNY GRADUATE PROGRAMS FAIR

Baruch College Newman Vertical Campus 3 P.M.-7 P.M.

Anita Hill NOV. 29

(Call in advance of attending all events to confirm date/time details and whether registration is necessary.)

College of Staten Island

NOV. 3

Lehman College 10 A.M.-4 P.M. & 7:30 P.M.

Jazz

THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF RALPH LIEBERMAN

Queensborough Community College

NOV. 18 3rd Annual

Kingsborough Community College 3 P.M. – $25

ALL MONTH Donatello, Michelangelo, and Bernini:

SHIRLEY CHISHOLM DAY

NOV. 15

CUNY COLLEGE FAIR FOR VETERANS

Wenzhi Zhang

Borough of Manhattan Community College 3 P.M.7 P.M.

Professor Anita Hill

Brooklyn College 11 A.M.

More CUNY Award Winners Than Ever! For a complete listing of Open Houses at all CUNY colleges and details on hundreds of other events during CUNY Month, VISIT WWW.CUNY.EDU/CUNYMONTH

O CTO B E R 27, 2011 | otd ow n tow n . c o m


� SE E An InsIde Look At

tHe HAunted Houses of downtown MAnHAttAn

Fierce red queens. Apocalyptic 3-D zombies. Hansel and Gretel’s vengeance. This year, Downtown Manhattan has three haunted houses to choose from, each with its own distinct way of evoking fear. Here’s how each one is best at making your heart race. | By leonArA DesAr Best Beautiful Nightmare

Best fairy tale your mother Never tolD you

Steampunk Haunted HouSe

“Have I stepped into a dream or a nightmare?” you ask yourself when a hand reaches out and pulls you across the threshold of a life-sized looking glass. suddenly, you find yourself separated from your group and faced with the ghostly presence of Alice little, who guides you into Third rail Projects’ ethereally macabre rendering of lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. This is not your blood-and-guts haunted house. Instead, your pulse quickens when you find yourself nearly alone and displaced in an imagesaturated purgatory that is part immersive theater, part neo-Victorian fashion show. everyone’s experience is potentially different. you may find yourself led into a lush sitting room where the red Queen, a shimmering apparition in blood red, pins you down with her gaze. or perhaps a masked knight will challenge you to a game of chess, the doors shutting tightly behind you. In any case, even as the dream begins to dissolve, you are already wondering what would happen if you returned for a second spill down the rabbit hole. Through Oct. 31, Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand St. (at Pitt St.), 212-598-0400, www.steampunkhauntedhouse.com; $10–$50.

nIGHtmareS: FaIry taleS

Best heart attack DouBliNg as Dark comeDy Blood manor

suddenly the creature—you don’t know what else to call it—is leaning in for the kill, her breath hot on your neck: “I bet you taste soooo good. Just one little bite? Come back here…noW!” This is just one example of the relentless torment awaiting you inside the bowels of Blood Manor. There is no time for reflection, from the moment a looming monster lures you inside to your final maddash escape through machine-gun fire. The momentum builds quickly with constant sensory overload—a whirling green laser vortex, glow-in-the-dark 3-D zombies—but through it all, you still manage to catch glimpses of dark humor that, while hokey, elicit a chuckle in the midst of all the action. A blur of newspaper clips scream campy headlines, while in another scene vampire strippers of three sexes—male, female and other—slither up and down silver poles in a From Dusk Till Dawninspired montage. If stephen King and Quentin Tarantino had collaborated on a sick joke, they may have very well come up with something like this. Through Nov. 5, 163 Varick St. (at Charlton St.), 212-290-2825, www. bloodmanor.com; $28.50–$50.

 OU R TOWN DOWNTOWN | OCTOB E R 27, 2011

you slip a blindfold over your eyes. “no peeking!” rapunzel admonishes as you grab hold of her coarse rope of hair and tread into a pop-up storybook world. These are not your childhood bedtime stories. Here, the iconic and familiar fairy tales of youth are boiled down to their most climactic moments or, in a few instances, twisted into something nearly unrecognizable. you enter the story but also become a character in it, acting as both witness and complicit accessory. In the absence of relentless stalking by the characters, you can pause to appreciate the aesthetic delights of the world coming to life around you. on the other hand, though, there is also time to register its inauthenticity—the flat, two-dimensionality of the set design, the permanent environment beyond. suspension of disbelief never fully takes hold, especially after the first half ends and you are ushered back into the well-lit main lobby—and effectively out of the narrative—before embarking on the second half of the experience. But overall nightmare: Fairy Tales, while not riveting on a visceral, gut level, teases the intellect and engages the senses. Through Nov. 5, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, 107 Suffolk St. (betw. Delancey & Rivington Sts.), 212-352-3101, www.hauntedhousenyc.com; $30–$100.


� SE E Creepy and Kooky Here are your most terrifying options to celebrate Halloween Thursday 10/27

the Pumpkin Pie Show Under St. Mark’s, 94 St. Mark’s Pl. (betw. 1st Ave. & Ave. A); 8 p.m., $18. Its name derives from the Southern tradition, when true horror came through storytelling in the fields. Creators Clay McLeod Chapman and Hanna Cheek bring chilling tales of romance gone wrong. Stories include Lovey Dovey, Michelle, Condo Lothario and Ascending the Stairway, four tales that promise to terrify. the Freakiest and Funniest Food tour New York Food Tours, 220 Canal St. (betw. Baxter & Mulberry Sts.); 2:45-5:15 p.m., $55. Spend the evening walking through Chinatown and sampling some freaky (to those raised on American cuisine) foods, including chicken feet, Durian, and thousand-year-old, or Century, eggs. Carsten Höller: Experience The New Museum of Contemporary Art, 235 Bowery (nr. Prince Street); $12. The German artist behind the revolving “hotel room” in the Guggenheim in 2008 is back at it, this time transforming the New Museum into a highbrow and interactive fun house. Just in time for Halloween, the installation includes slides, perforated ceilings, a mirrored carousel, and a sensory deprivation pool called the Psycho Tank.

Friday 10/28

Blood manor Blood Manor, 163 Varick St. (betw. Charlton & Vandam Sts.); 7:30 p.m.-2 a.m., $25 advance, $35 at the door. Take the tour, if you dare, of one of NYC’s best haunted attractions. Blood Manor features 5,000 square feet of themed rooms and a labyrinth of hallways designed to terrify. The tour is not recommended for children under 14. Gotham city Ghost tour For reservations & meeting place info: 212465-3331; 5:30 p.m., $20. The walking tour explores the historic, infamous, eerie and macabre of Greenwich Village history. The group will see the spooky cemetery at St. Mark’s; the hanging elm, a 19th-century execution site; the site of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; the home of Edgar Allan Poe; and the burial ground at Washington Square, just to name a few. candlelight Ghost tour of “manhattan’s most Haunted House” Merchant’s House Museum, 29 E. 4th St. (betw. Lafayette St. & Bowery); 6-7 p.m., $25; 8-9 p.m., $30; 9:30 p.m., $40. Tour the Merchant’s House Museum by candlelight and hear about the freaky and spooky occurrences from the people who experienced them.

saTurday 10/29

Halloween drinkfest Chelsea Manor, 138 W. 25th St. (betw. 6th & 7th Aves.); 9 p.m., $15. Look no further than Chelsea Manor for a good monster bash. Come dressed to impress and ready to dance. A guest DJ will be playing until 4 a.m., so break out your best costume and join the freaks that come out at night. Halloween Haunted Pier Party South Street Seaport, 89 South St. (at Pier 17); 9 p.m.-4 a.m., $20. Dance the night away at this 21 and over costume-mandatory party with music by Hot 97 and Heavy Hitter. Play Dead Players Theatre, 115 Macdougal St. (near Minetta Lane); $40. Had enough of the run-of-the-mill ‘death-defying’ stunts performed by magicians? Check out Todd Robbins, an illusionist who prefers death-embracing stunts. The fake blood and real amazement flows plentifully at this show directed and written by Teller of Penn &Teller.

sunday 10/30

From Parlor to Grave: Funeral Reenactmant Merchant’s House Museum, 29 E. 4th St. (betw. Lafayette & Bowery); 3–5 p.m., $30 ($10 for graveside service and cemetery tour only). The parlors will be draped in black crepe as the museum recreates the 1865 funeral of Seabury Tredwell. After the service, mourners are invited to follow the coffin to nearby New York City Marble Cemetery—rarely open to the public—for a tour. Nineteenth-century mourning attire encouraged; black crepe armbands will be provided.

Monday 10/31

FrEE Village Halloween Parade Meet at 6th Ave. & Spring St.; 7 p.m. Every year, NYC’s weirdest crawl, slither and fly down to the Village in their most impressive costumes. Head downtown to march with the freakiest NYC has to offer or just watch the spookery unfold.

Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place (at 1st Place); $12. Get yourself good and scared with some real-life monsters from our past. This exhibit takes a look at the Nazi regime’s efforts to alter the populations genetic makeup through “racial hygiene,” or eugenics.

OCTOB E R 27, 2011 | otdowntown.com

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� SE E The Three Faces of Elizabeth Olsen A minor film begets a major new star | By mARK PEIKERT

S

ome film performances manage to be so memorable, so unexpected, that they render the less imaginative framework of the movie negligible. That’s certainly the case with Elizabeth Olsen and Martha Marcy May Marlene, a sexy movie about violence, group sex, commune cults and yuppie ambition. All of those are apart from Elizabeth’s Martha, though. Escaping from an upstate New York farm where groups of young men and women are practically enslaved by the charismatic Patrick (John Hawkes, reprising his role from Winter’s Bone in a smilier key) to the tranquility of her estranged sister’s Connecticut vacation home, Martha finds the difference between memory and dreams beginning to dissolve. Her sister

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Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and new brother-inlaw Ted (Hugh Dancy) try to be supportive, but they are ultimately so disinterested in this feral young woman that their questions feel like cocktail conversation prompters. Neither of them wants to know the truth about the two years Martha was away, because neither of them wants to confront the possibility that she might have been in real danger. Far better to simply assume she was in a bad relationship for that period of time. Of course, Martha was in a bad relationship, to some extent. Working and living in an environment where “cleansing” means being drugged and raped and women aren’t allowed to eat until men have, Martha—dubbed Marcy May by Patrick—begins to find the place where she belongs. Eventually, her sense of serenity is shattered when violence abruptly erupts (writer-director Sam Durkin is unable to confidently yoke the minor-key emotions of an indie film with the psychological suspense of a thriller),and she ends up at Lucy

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Elizabeth Olsen and Sarah Paulson are sisters in Martha Marcy May Marlene. PHOTO COu RTEsy Of fOx sEaRCH lig HT

and Ted’s, walking around naked, crawling into bed with them while they have sex and generally acting like a neurasthenic. Olsen makes every twitch, every sudden screaming fit seem both natural and inevitable; the world has become a dangerous place for Martha now and terror lurks around every corner. She knows what Patrick is capable of convincing his “family” to do (anyone who has ever read Helter Skelter will remain unsurprised by Durkin’s twists), and Lucy and Ted’s massive glass house offers slim protection. Somehow, Olsen’s performance almost erases the massive leaps of faith that Durkin’s screenplay requires of the viewer. Would an 18-year-old girl, even one who

has been subtly brainwashed for two years, ever forget that it’s inappropriate to climb into bed next to her fornicating sister? Would Martha really be so incapable of caring for herself that she hides her urinestained dress under her mattress? Just months before she was caring for babies and hanging laundry out to dry on a farm, between working in the garden and learning how to shoot. And Durkin’s finale, a combination of the closing shot from Michael Clayton and the gotcha climax of every horror film of the last 40 years, cheapens what was, until that point, a slightly ludicrous but nonetheless absorbing look at returning to civilization from a cult and finding that civilization is little better as an option.

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The Business of Fun in Zurich By Penny Grey

Professional

Childrenʼs

School

Open House November 1, Tuesday 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. PCS provides a fully accredited, academic education to young people in grades 6-12 who are pursuing challenging goals that may sometimes require time spent away from school -to attend an athletic competition, for instance, or to prepare for a concert or shoot a film. PCS is a real school and values the importance of classroom learning, with regularly scheduled classes every school day from 8:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. To learn more, visit our website, call our Admissions Office, and makes plans to attend our Open House. 132 West 60th Street New York NY 10023 212-582-3116

www.pcs-nyc.org

OTDOWNTOWN.COM

As one of the world’s busiest capitals of finance, Zurich is a city that tourists often miss. Written off as a boring business city, Zurich is ignored as leisure travelers head straight for the Swiss Alps and the Lake District. But to bypass such a city is a mistake: As a lifestyle capital of the world, Zurich offers an unsurpassable combination of nature, culture and pleasure not to be missed. American Airlines flies from JFK to Zurich daily, with Flight 64 leaving New York at 6:10 p.m., and arriving in Zurich the next morning at 7:55 a.m. After arriving in the pristine Zurich International and traveling into the city on the impressive Swiss transit system—the only trains in the world guaranteed to run on time—why not start your morning with some local yoghurt and muesli, a Swiss invention? After breakfast, take a stroll around Zurich’s Old Town and observe as past and present collide. Medieval and Renaissance architecture now house some of the most incredible shops in the world. Trend and tradition collide in the Old Town, with luxury Swiss brands like Bucherer and Beyer set against the backdrop of the double towers of Grossmunster (Great Minster), Zurich’s most famous landmark. On a walk, it’s impossible to miss the Peterskirche (Peter’s Church) with the largest clock face in Europe, and also the Fraumunster (Minister of Our Lady), which contains stained glass windows by both Chagall and Giacometti. Due to Switzerland’s location as the intersection point of France, Italy and Germany, Zurich boasts a wide array of authentic French, Italian and German cuisine. So, for lunch, stop in at any one of the cozy restaurants on a quiet, cobbled side street for the fare of your choosing. After lunch, make a visit to the Kunsthaus Zurich (Museum of Fine Art), which houses one of the most important modern art collections in Western Europe. Spanning both 19th and

20th centuries, the Kunsthaus offers visitors the opportunity to see works from artists ranging from Munch, Picasso and Van Gogh to more recent artists like Twombly, Rothko and Bacon. For the next several months, the Kunsthaus is hosting an exclusive premiere of the Nahmad family’s private collection of significant works by Matisse, Kandinsky, Monet, Picasso and Miro, and offering excellent Hotel+Museum package deals to boot. This alone is worth a visit to Zurich. We also recommend you experience the natural world of Zurich. While “outdoors” and “major city” rarely seem to make it into the same sentence nowadays, Zurich is one of the rare cities of the world in which adventure travel is possible in an afternoon. Take the 10-minute train ride to Uetliberg, and enjoy a brief but invigorating hike to the top of the 3,000-foot summit at the edge of the city and experience a panoramic view of the city, Lake Zurich and the famous Alps. Or join a boat tour on Lake Zurich itself for a different perspective on the city. And in the summer months, enjoy free bicycle rentals around Zurich. An evening in Zurich brings an abundance of possibility. Whether it’s a visit to the famous Zurich Opera House for a swelling spectacle of culture, or a journey to one of the popular nightclubs in the Old Town, or even a nighttime trolley ride along the lake, it will shed new light on the city after dark. And no robust day in Zurich is complete without a traditional Swiss dinner to ensure a good night’s sleep. Step into a “Swiss House” style restaurant and watch as a “Swiss Miss” prepares rich fondue, potato rosti (like hash browns) and Zurcher Geschnetzeltes, the local Zurich variation of wiener schnitzel. After dinner, step into the night and enjoy the fresh mountain air, as clean as you will find in any major city of the world, and prepare for another day in Switzerland’s unexplored gem of a city.

O CTO B E R 27, 2011 | otd ow n tow n . c o m

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� EAT No More Hiding on Halloween Safe spaces for taking back the hallowed night

| By REGAN HOFMANN

K

ids all love Halloween in the same way. Candy abounds, decorum goes out the window and you get to pretend to be anything you can dream up, no questions asked. Unfortunately, all of the elements that make the night so charming for children are a recipe for disaster for grownups. Replace candy with alcohol and you get belligerent, entitled sexy cats and Supermen. Grownup bad behavior tends less toward TPing trees and prank-calling teachers and more toward starting fights and puking on your shoes. On the other side are the Halloween purists, those who would rather sit in the dark with a bowl of peeled grapes—or are they eyeballs?—and a stack of ’80s B

movies. We’d rather repeat “Bloody Mary” into the bathroom mirror than spend an evening with the first group, but the trick-or-treater’s pull to wander the cool autumn streets can be too hard to resist. Luckily, while most of the city’s bars are overrun with Halloween novices, there are a few places that manage to weed out the swarm and let you play pretend at your own speed. Walk down Avenue B between Second and Third streets and you’ll see a number of bars. The one you won’t see, however, is the only one worth going into—Idle Hands, at 25 Avenue B downstairs. Even with the address, you may not catch it on the first pass or you may accidentally wander into Billy Hurricane’s, the New Orleans-themed neon pit at street level. On either side of that blazing storefront guaranteed to have lured sexy cops and robbers like moths to a zapper, however, are unmarked steel doors and unassuming stairwells that will lead you down to a haven of rock ‘n’ roll and civility.

Run by a triumvirate of exmusic industry types, the bar houses an amazing collection of original tour posters from the last two decades as well as the city’s largest bourbon selection and a diverse craft beer roster that rotates regularly. Settle in to the Edisonbulb-lit basement den, get a bourbon recommendation or three and wait for your favorite headbanging classic to come on the soundtrack. Perfect for those dressed as: Ronnie James Dio, Joan Jett. PKNY (49 Essex St., betw. Hester & Grand Sts.) is an ode to two seemingly conflicting eras gone by: the tiki kitsch heyday of the ’50s and the New York of the ’70s. The entrance is unmarked save for the perpetually closed, graffitied shutters marked with the words “Tiki Bar.” Passersby might suspect the place is an abandoned relic of the Lower East Side’s uglier days, caught in a drug sting gone bad and left untouched because no one could be bothered to clean up the mess. The drinks are no kitsch

Idle Hands on Avenue B in the East Village is a basement haven for bourbon, beer and rock. PhOTO COuRTEsy Of www.sTREETandsTagE.COm

afterthought, though—the bar’s owners have worked at the who’s who of New York’s cocktail revival, including Milk & Honey and Little Branch, and are the proprietors of Dutch Kills in Queens. Pick a category of beverage from suffering bastards, daiquiris, swizzles and more, tell the server what you’re in the mood for and let the bartenders ply their housemade syrups, fresh fruit juices and connoisseur’s liquor collection into a deliciously deadly concoction. Perfect for those dressed as: The Warriors extras, Bunny Yeager. Should you be unlucky enough to find yourself in the West Village on Halloween night, don’t despair that you’re doomed to a night of

dodging parade leftovers. 124 Rabbit Club (124 MacDougal St. at Minetta Lane), though in the heart of the Bleecker/ MacDougal Street axis of NYU evil, lurks safely below street level. Getting to the door requires navigation of a precariously steep steel stairwell, a challenge to the perfectly reasonable and downright impossible to a sexy nurse in six-inch heels. Inside, ancient brick and discreetly baroque fixtures give the place a decaying Southern feel, more Tara post-fire than Mardi Gras. It’s spookier than a bowl of eyeballs and twice as grown up. Perfect for those dressed as: Elizabeth Taylor in Suddenly, Last Summer, Truman Capote.

Your steadier companion may decide to keep the party going with a more Willy Wonka-esque innovation. Cinn-A-Stack™ pancakes are layered with a cinnamon ooze and topped with cream cheese icing, while New York cheesecake pancakes have pellets of cheesecake scattered through the batter before cooking. The effect is less jarringly dessertlike—as if a real person making pancakes with real buttermilk took these off the griddle a second too soon, leaving a slightly creamier interior and a hint of tang. They come drowned in a strawberry topping that is diabetes on a plate and should be asked for on the

side or not at all; these do best with the warmed original syrup brought out with the dishes. After a few bites, the sugar and starch will work their magic and you’ll start to feel human once again. When you do, you may notice that, though visually perfect, the pancakes taste onenote and mildly chemical, the “butter” reeks of artificial butter flavor and the syrup is more highfructose corn than maple. Leave those thoughts for another day, though, when you’ve got your strength back and have washed all of the Cleopatra eyeliner off. Right now, it’s as much like food as you can manage.

Pancakes and Syrup and Jam, Oh My: IHOP lands in the East Village and serves up all the sugary breakfast foods needed to quell your Hallow’s Eve hangover. PhOTO By andREw sChwaRTz

Pancake Masquerade Soak up a post-Halloween hangover at IHOP

| By REGAN HOFMANN

A

t some point in the Halloween celebration, your addled brain will to realize you need to eat something. This may happen at 4 a.m., while you’re still out and about, or it may happen at noon the next day. When it does, the vague concept of food that starts to form in your sodden head most likely coalesces into something carb-heavy, childish, unchallenging: pancakes. Thanks to an amazing market saturation and its de facto trademarking of the very word, when most of the country wants pancakes, consumer instinct pulls them to IHOP. Until recently, however, New Yorkers somehow muddled through with Greek diners, and delis. Now we too have this oddly

sterile breakfast depot at our disposal, on East 14th Street between Second and Third avenues. So when you regain the ability to form complete sentences and manage to say to your friends, boyfriend/ girlfriend or that stranger who’s in your house for some reason, “Let’s get pancakes,” your consumer instinct will kick in and lead you straight there. It’s an oddity for some, a taste of home for others, and is so far drawing a huge business—so much so that at prime weekend brunch time the wait can be over an hour and at night (it’s 24 hours, as all good diners should be) there’s a bouncer at the door to keep the crowds civilized. IHOP’s menu offers a great number of things, and they’re clearly hoping to be your one-stop chain restaurant for breakfast, lunch, etc. However, everyone’s here for the pancakes and they know it. Even the one woman I saw who ordered a sandwich also got a side of pancakes, just to keep the universe in balance.

 OU R TOWN DOWNTOWN | OCTOB E R 27, 2011

There are basically three types on offer – plain, fruit-based and ludicrously extravagant—all available in combinations that include a second full meal of eggs, hash browns and meats. Do not venture down that path, even if you’re convinced you’re ravenous—the pancakes alone will sink you like a stone, guaranteed. Get bacon or sausage on the side, if you insist. If you’re still feeling shaky by the time you’re seated, stick to the plain (sorry, “award-winning original buttermilk”) and curl up with the thermos of coffee provided to every table—a genuinely brilliant innovation. I don’t know what award they won, but these are indeed the Platonic ideal of pancakes, a feat of corporate cooking that looks and tastes exactly the same every time. Uniformly fluffy interior, golden brown crust ringed with a pale spine where the cake missed the griddle—you’re not quite sure they’re real, even as you eat them.


WHEN IT COMES TO RETHINKING EDUCATION, EIGHT HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE.

MEET THE AVENUES EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP.

Benno Schmidt Chairman Former President of Yale

Gardner Dunnan Academic Dean & Division Head: Upper School Former Headmaster, The Dalton School

Tyler Tingley Co-Head of School Former Head of Phillips Exeter Academy

Robert “Skip” Mattoon Co-Head of School Former Head of The Hotchkiss School

Sarah Bayne Director of Educational Design Former Head of Hillbrook School

Nancy Schulman Division Head: Early Learning Center Former Director, 92nd Street Y Nursery School

Libby Hixson Division Head: Lower School Former Middle School Head, The Dalton School

Tom Bonnell Division Head: Middle School Former Associate Head of School and Middle School Head, The Dalton School

WWW.AVENUES.ORG TO MEET THE LEADERSHIP TEAM AT OUR UPCOMING INFORMATION EVENTS, VISIT AVENUES.ORG OR CALL 212.935.5000.

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10/10/11 10:06 AM

O CTO B E R 27, 2011 | otd ow n tow n . c o m

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O CTO B E R 27, 2011 | otd ow n tow n . c o m

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� DI G ITI ZE Strand Book Store Remains Strong

C

ompetition from tablets and ebooks have shaken the stability of many bookstores in New York and across the United States in the past few years. While a shift in the bookstore landscape started years earlier, with large chain booksellers forcing lesser-known independent stores out of business, the new digital shift is pushing those very chains, like Borders, into bankruptcy. Strand Book Store on Broadway, which first opened in 1927 and moved to its current location in the ’50s, stands as the sole survivor of what used to be New York’s legendary “Book Row,” which consisted of 48 bookstores that ran from Union Square down to Astor Place. Occupying 55,000 square feet of space—it famously bills itself as “18 miles of books”— Strand stands as a “fiercely independent” family business. It’s currently run by the founder’s son, Fred Bass, who started working in his father’s store at the age of 13, and his daughter, Nancy Bass Wyden. In the early 1990s,

the bookstore went online and customers can now browse its entire collection at strandbooks.com. While tablets of all kind, from the Amazon Kindle to Barnes & Noble’s Nook and the Apple iPad, are making digital books accessible to people, Andrew V., who has worked as an operator at Strand for over a year and a half, noted that Strand stands apart from other sources. He said it maintains its strength due to its rare collections. “I like to read classics and more obscure things that they might not carry on Kindle—they tend to carry more massmarket books,” he said. Wyden, the founder’s granddaughter, has previously noted that serious collectors visit the store and that its collection is the envy of major libraries. For the average shopper, Andrew noted that there are certain challenges that come with being an independent seller. “One of the biggest challenges is that a lot of people want to go to the bigger name bookstore because they’re

 OU R TOWN DOWNTOWN | OCTOB E R 27, 2011

most likely to carry a lot of things. A lot of times, we won’t deal with a certain publisher for some reason—we might not have an established relationship with them, for instance. So we might only get a few used copies [of a book] in, but it’s not something we’ve actually ordered.” With the current economic climate, however, Strand’s low prices and carts of discounted books lining the sidewalks outside appeal to many. “A lot of our stuff is used as well as new, but that’s also what is keeping us in business at the same time,” noted Andrew. “We have good prices. People who wind up coming here, when they do discover us and see our prices, it makes them inclined to come back again and again.” While the store does not sell any kind of tablet, it has reaped profits from selling merchandise alongside the books, adding another element to the bookstore experience and spreading the family’s historic brand outside the building’s borders. “We do sell a lot of merchandise,

which is one of our hits—like the tote bag—and that’s helped us stand out,” Andrew says. With five floors of books, georgia suter Andrew points out that the store is also using gatherings of interested and passionate book lovers as a means of boosting revenue. “Our events used to be free, but we’re starting to charge for them now. We ask that people contribute a minimum of $10, which goes toward a gift card they can use at the store. The events are also a way to encourage them to buy books at the event.” And Wyden has previously stated, “Tourists love to go stores that they can’t find anywhere else. Customers always tell us they love shopping at Strand because it’s like a treasure hunt—you never know what you’re going to find. And because we’re part of New York City history.”


November 2, 2011

O CTO B E R 27, 2011 | otd ow n tow n . c o m

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Yoga Done Right is Good for the Bones Some forms of yoga help people with osteoporosis By Laura Shin

Y

oga and Pilates classes have become increasingly popular in the fitness world in recent years. Now, experts say that if practiced in a modified way, these exercises could prevent—and even treat—osteoporosis. “When you stimulate the bones, it builds up bone density. If you start out with good bone density you’ll be better off when you start losing it—and everyone loses it as they get older,” said Ellen Saltonstall, a certified Anusara yoga teacher and co-author of the book Yoga for Osteoporosis. Yoga is beneficial because it puts specific stress on critical areas such as the hips and lower back, Saltonstall said. Good alignment is also emphasized, which is crucial. But not all types of yoga are safe for those who already have osteoporosis. “Harmful positions are the forward bend, when the spine rounds forward,” she said. “That’s dangerous for people with osteoporosis because fractures tend to occur, so you want to avoid that if you know you have it.” Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that is estimated to affect one out of five American women over the age of 50. Gusti Ratliff, a yoga therapist in Dallas, was diagnosed with osteoporosis five years ago. She said the type of yoga she was practicing was actually hurting her back. “I developed osteoporosis and I was fracturing my back doing yoga,” Ratliff said. “The type of yoga I was doing was a flowing yoga and it was working against me.” Flowing yoga consists of many forward-bending positions. Ratliff switched to a weight-bearing yoga, which incorporates more standing positions. After two years of practicing weight-bearing

 OU R TOWN DOWNTOWN | OCTOB E R 27, 2011

yoga, along with increasing her calcium intake, Ratliff’s bone density improved and her osteoporosis was downgraded to osteopenia. Saltonstall agrees that in order for yoga to treat osteoporosis, it must be a vigorous yoga that uses muscles. “Relaxing yoga won’t change the bones,” she said. “For example, Anusara yoga is excellent because it invigorates muscle strength.” In addition to seeing bone density scores improve, Saltonstall said she has seen clients become stronger and more confident. When looking for the right kind of yoga class, Saltonstall says students should look for a good teacher who has experience working with different levels of fitness, age and experience. “I recommend talking to the teacher. Tell them, ‘I have osteoporosis and I can’t bend forward,’” Saltonstall said. Many of these recommendations also apply when considering Pilates for the treatment of osteoporosis, said Rebekah Rotstein, a certified Pilates instructor and creator of the Pilates for Buff Bones workout. Though there is little research on how much Pilates can actually prevent or treat osteoporosis, it can definitely prevent excessive bone loss, said Rotstein, who became even more interested in the topic when she was diagnosed with osteoporosis at age 28. “If a class is modified for people with osteoporosis, one of the things it should do is emphasize stability through the spine and through the shoulders—working the back as well as working through standing and weight bearing,” Rotstein said. Working the back works the muscles that pull against the bone, which ultimately strengthens the bone, she said. But, like yoga, it is important to avoid any positions that involve bending forward to avoid the risk of a fracture. Finding a Pilates class modified to be safe for those with osteoporosis might be challenging. Aside from the classes she teaches and those by instructors she certifies, Rotstein said she doesn’t know of any Pilates classes in New York City that are designed specifically for those with osteoporosis. When considering a regular Pilates class, Rotstein recommends asking the instructor if they’ve had

osteoporosis training and if they’re familiar with exercises they should modify or avoid. Rotstein said she has witnessed many success stories where clients conditions have improved. “Most everybody I’ve worked with, there’s always some kind of improvement— not just the score of their bone density but also their overall strength and their overall emotional state,” she said. One of the most critical things Pilates does is emphasize proper alignment and good posture, which is great for everyone but especially those looking to prevent or treat osteoporosis, Rotstein said. While Pilates can help improve bone density, other treatments should not be avoided. Rotstein said it is important for patients to follow their doctor’s orders and practice other exercises as a complement to the Pilates workout.

‘Relaxing yoga won’t change the bones.’


Alternative Healthy Manhattan

Alternatives Assist in Breast Cancer Treatment Yoga, acupuncture and herbs may work well with radiation and chemo By Ashley Welch

A

fter Dr. Allison Stern Rosen was diagnosed with breast cancer over 10 years ago, there were some constants she could count on in her life. Fatigue, muscle and bone pain and overall difficulty in moving plagued her on a daily basis. Depressed by her physical ailments, Rosen turned to the one thing that still brought her great joy—music. One day she began dancing, swaying and rocking her hips gently. “I was exhausted all the time from the chemo,” she said, “but even though it hurt to walk, I found it exhilarating that I could move to the music without pain.” Rosen, a psychologist and psychoanalyst, looked into existing research and found studies suggesting exercise was an important part of the rehabilitation of breast cancer patients. However, there were no classes or exercise DVDs tailored to people with cancer. Rosen decided to change that. She approached her friends, Jan Albert and exercise physiologist Martha Eddy, about creating a dance class specifically for cancer patients. That’s when Moving On Aerobics was born. Eddy designed the class based on the symptoms many cancer patients experience, including fatigue, pain and loss of range of motion. “Only when you push your body will you strengthen it,” Eddy said. However, participants of the class are allowed to go at their own pace. Today, Moving On Aerobics offers free classes to cancer patients at community centers and hospitals throughout the city, including the JCC on the Upper West Side. Such exercise classes are part of the growing number of doctor-recommended complementary treatments for cancer patients—treatments in addition to existing methods like radiation and chemotherapy. As more research emerges proving the benefits of these supplemental treatments, they have gained a much wider acceptance from the medical field. Dr. Alyson Moadel of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine has been researching the effects of yoga on breast cancer patients since 2007. “We’ve found that breast cancer patients participating in a 12-week yoga program show a significant increase in mood, spiritual well-being and overall quality of life,” she said. In addition, she said, other forms of exercise can “improve energy levels and decrease fatigue and stress in cancer patients before

and after treatment.” Other, less traditional treatments are also being integrated into overall treatment plans for cancer patients. Dr. Pamela Yee, integrative internist at the Continuum Center for Health and Healing affiliated with Beth Israel Medical Center, sees patients both before and after radiation and chemotherapy treatments and surgeries. “Patients come to me before traditional treatments to find ways to reduce side effects, increase their immune system and do anything to strengthen their bodies to receive the treatment,” Yee said. After patients undergo the radiation or chemotherapy, Yee will also suggest ways they can rebuild their strength and remain healthy. One of the methods she recommends is diet change. “Though during treatment is not the time to make sweeping dietary changes, there are some alterations that can be made,” she said. Yee suggests patients try to avoid sugar, as studies suggest it may feed cancer. She also said introducing anti-cancer food like cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts, can be helpful. These vegetables contain compounds that are believed to help prevent many types of cancer, especially breast cancer. Many cancer patients also find comfort in energetic techniques like acupuncture, the insertion and manipulation of needles in the body to relieve pain and treat other ailments. According to Yee, acupuncture has been proven to reduce some side effects of chemotherapy like nausea and vomiting. However, many of her patients say they benefit from the traditional Chinese practice because it helps balance their whole body. Yee recommends different herbs or supplements based on the type of chemotherapy a patient has undergone, but she said some are beneficial for most conditions. For example, medicinal mushrooms have been proven to help boost immunity. While supplements are sometimes difficult to recommend because of the lack of scientific research available, Yee said she does so by analyzing the studies and making suggestions based on the most prevalent available evidence. Though Yee said conventional methods of treating cancer have certainly proven to be effective, complementary treatments such as these can only help the process. “When you think of the treatment of cancer, you think about chemo and radiation essentially blasting everything away,” she said. “It’s sort of like a war tactic, bombing and hitting as much as you can. The reason I use other unconventional methods is to attack the cancer in other ways—using other methods that can potentially get a hold on the cancer.

PRESENTS:

OPPORTUNITIES for our NEIGHBORHOOD to BENEFIT from BICYCLING

Wednesday 10/26/11 6-8:30PM Boys + Girls Club 888 E. 6th St. at Ave D

(meeting in English and Spanish reunion en Español y Ingles)

Wednesday 11/2/11 6:30-9PM Middle School 131 100 Hester St.

at Forsyth St. (meeting in English and Chinese, 中文会议)

Tuesday 11/15/11 6:30-9PM

Two Bridges Neighborhood Council

82 Rutgers Slip at Cherry St.

(Spanish and Chinsese translation provided Facilitación de Español. 有中文翻译)

BICYCLING IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Share your vision! Local Spokes is 9 groups engaging residents of Chinatown and the Lower East Side to envision the future of bicycling in our community. Asian Americans for Equality, Good Old Lower East Side, Green Map System, Hester Street Collaborative, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Times Up!, Transportation Alternatives Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, and Velo City

www.localspokes.org

OCTOB E R 27, 2011 | otdowntown.com

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� S E N I ORS Get Wise to Scams Targeting Seniors | By Dan RosenBlum A few years ago, one of the residents of a West Side senior center began to sell their neighbors an alternative to Con Edison. “They began to sell to them a different kind of lighting company,” said Micki Navarro, director of the Manhattan Valley Senior Center. “Well, it was all a scam. And they had to put a deposit down to get this.” It wasn’t until one of the seniors mentioned it to one of the center’s social workers that they were finally able to start tracking the crime and looking for the scammers. By then it was too late. “We traced it to somebody we couldn’t really trace,” Navarro said. This isn’t an anomaly. Many elderly New Yorkers know the traditional safeguards to prevent pickpockets and burglaries. But, because they prey on trust, scammers can be much harder to avoid. According to Ken Onaitis, head of the elder abuse department at the Carter Burden Center for the Aging, many scam-

mers target the elderly, who can often be lonely or vulnerable. Ageism is another reason scammers seek out senior citizens. Some see seniors’ physical or mental limitations as an invitation to go after them. Navarro said scammers target some elderly victims because of mental issues like depression, Alzheimer’s and dementia. “Those people who commit the fraud, they know all of this,” she said. “They prepare. They do research and watch. They watch their prey and they attack when they know it’s the right time.” Because scams can happen in person or by mail, phone or computer, there’s no sure-fire rule to avoid scams. But common sense is the best way to keep out of the crosshairs of con artists. “If an offer sounds too good to be true,” Onaidis said. “It probably is.” Here are some common scams to be wary of: • While the mail is still used, email and computer-based scams are more common

today. Never give out your social security number, bank information or other sensitive information over the Internet unless you absolutely trust the source on the other end. Even then, it’s good to make sure you verify as much as you can and never give money to people you don’t know. • Phone scams are also common, according to Onaitis. Some scammers call dozens of people a day trying to gather sensitive data or sell fake products. “The main thing is that if you get someone on the phone requesting information, trying to get information out of you, just hang up,” said Onaitis. • According to Navarro, another common scam is those who wait until seniors receive social security money. When seniors go to withdraw money from ATMs, some people follow them home and try to sell them things. • Make sure you feel comfortable with the person on the other side of the door before you open it. If someone says they are in a position of authority, always ask

them for identification. Navarro said that many seniors grew up when door-to-door salespeople were much more common. Some scammers take advantage of that trust to enter people’s homes. “They don’t know who they’re letting in,” she said. The first thing anyone should do if they feel scammed is call the police in the precinct in which the crime happened. Many people are ashamed to admit they’ve been had. Beyond the police, there are resources like the city’s Department for the Aging and community organizations like the Carter Burden Center, which help people respond to scams and go to court if necessary. Still, prevention is much more simple than the cure. People should take simple steps to keep all personal information private and never give money to people based on a promise, because once scammed, it can be very hard to get the money back. “Usually when the money’s gone, the money’s gone,” Onaitis said.

Acting Young.

Acting Young.

There’s one thing to feel young but another to act young. The residents at Isabella House have found an entirely different way of acting young. During performance days you might be walking by and hear a dramatic rendition of Macbeth or a famous line from King Lear may capture your attention. But these are not professional actors being brought in to put on a show for the residents. Nope, these are the residents of Isabella.

There’s one thing to feel young but another to act young. The residents at Isabella House have found an entirely different way of acting young. During performance days you might be walking by and hear a dramatic rendition of Macbeth or a famous line from King Lear may capture your attention. But these are not professional actors being brought in to put on a show for the residents. Nope, these are the residents of Isabella.

Partnering with the People’s Theatre Project of Northern Manhattan, Isabella began to offer acting classes for their residents. The classes provide the opportunity for our residents to live someone else’s life for a few hours each day. Classics such as Macbeth and King Lear are performed live in front of their fellow residents—who can be the harshest critics. The classes’ help our residents feel lively and vibrant and more importantly, it keeps them fresh.

Partnering with the People’s Theatre Project of Northern Manhattan, Isabella began to offer acting classes for their residents. The classes provide the opportunity for our residents to live someone else’s life for a few hours each day. Classics such as Macbeth and King Lear are performed live in front of their fellow residents—who can be the harshest critics. The classes’ help our residents feel lively and vibrant and more importantly, it keeps them fresh.

The acting classes are in addition to Isabella House’s Tai-Chi, Chair Yoga, Posture Exercise, poetry and painting classes. For more leisure-oriented activities they offer Game Nights and Movie Nights.

The acting classes are in addition to Isabella House’s Tai-Chi, Chair Yoga, Posture Exercise, poetry and painting classes. For more leisure-oriented activities they offer Game Nights and Movie Nights.

Residency at Isabella House also comes with lunch and dinner served restaurant style in our elegant dining room. Getting out and about is easy – whether you choose our weekly transportation to local stores – or decide on local buses, subway or taxi to nearby midtown Manhattan.

Residency at Isabella House also comes with lunch and dinner served restaurant style in our elegant dining room. Getting out and about is easy – whether you choose our weekly transportation to local stores – or decide on local buses, subway or taxi to nearby midtown Manhattan.

Isabella House offers the best of life, whether you want a dynamic schedule of activities – or the freedom to relax in the quiet of your home.

Isabella House offers the best of life, whether you want a dynamic schedule of activities – or the freedom to relax in the quiet of your home.

For more information or to arrange a visit, please call (212) 342-9539. Isabella House is located at 525 Audubon Avenue, New York, NY 10040. Visit their website at www.isabella.org

For more information or to arrange a visit, please call (212) 342-9539. Isabella House is located at 525 Audubon Avenue, New York, NY 10040. Visit their website at www.isabella.org

 OU R TOWN DOWNTOWN | OCTOB E R 27, 2011


It’s Not Too Early To Think About Summer Camp For 2012!

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O CTO B E R 27, 2011 | otd ow n tow n . c o m

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a petition from C.S.L.L. Rest. Corp. to continue to, maintain, and operate an enclosed sidewalk café at 1271 Third Avenue in the Borough of Manhattan for a term of two years. Requests for copies of the proposed revocable consent agreement may be addressed to: Department of Consumer Affairs, ATTN: Foil Officer, 42 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. nyc dEPt. oF conSuMEr aFFairS will hold a public hearing on Wed. 11/9/2011 at 2pm at 66 John Street, 11th Fl., on a petition from Hi-Life Second Avenue LLC. to continue to maintain and operate an enclosed sidewalk cafe at 1503 Second Avenue in the the borough of Manhattan for a term of two years. Requests for copies of the proposed revocable consent agreement may be addressed to: Department of Consumer Affairs, Attn: FOIL Officer, 42 Broadway, NY, NY 10004.

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Mike Impollonia actor, blood manor

| By REMy MELINA

I

t’s 6:45 on a warm October night, and Mike Impollonia is patiently waiting in line to get his face and arms spray-painted green, orange and black and covered in fake blood. This is the 27-year-old’s third year working at Blood Manor, “New York’s premier haunted attraction,” located at 163 Varick St., running every night this month except Oct. 24. What’s your costume for tonight? An evil-looking bouncer that will take the groups through the Vampire’s Lair, which is where the vampire exotic dancers are. This is the first year we’ve had an official male dancer who’ll be in there all season, wearing hot shorts along with the girls.

sive, jumping around and touching stuff or bumping into things and breaking props. Breaking props? Yeah, but that also happens unintentionally. Some people get really terrified and just go nuts, start tearing things apart. One time, a group of teens—people usually walk through in groups of six—got so scared in a room I was working in that one of them ran right into a huge grandfather clock. There was glass everywhere, the kids were screaming and freaking out like crazy. I had to calm them down, call security to clean up the glass and keep new people from coming in. It was a mess.

I’m sure he’ll have a lot of fun. Do the dancers have a “no touching” rule? All of Blood Manor has a no touching rule! If a customer touches any of the performers in any way, they’re removed by security right away. The rule is that we can’t touch the customers and they can’t touch us. Sure, we’ll get up in their faces and get real close, but we never touch them.

Is it hard to stay in character throughout the night? It can be exhausting. But we unwind during our break, when we all just hang out and relax together. The owners are really nice and always give us food, like pizza and hot trays of Chinese or Italian food. They also keep huge fridges stocked with water and juice, along with multivitamins and cough drops, because our throats get pretty sore from roaring and screaming at people all night. I always lose my voice by the end of the season.

Does that rule get broken a lot? Usually not, but some people can be out of control. One time, a very, very drunk woman was going from room to room and propositioning every single one of the male performers. Just grabbing them all over. We eventually had to call security on her.

That sounds pretty rough! What keeps you coming back to work at Blood Manor every autumn? It’s an amazing atmosphere, very high energy and fun. Plus, just the ridiculousness of it, that I get paid to do this—otherwise I’d probably be doing this for free.

When do the crowds get the most out of control? Later on into the night and closer to Halloween, or when people come here after they’ve had a few drinks. Drunks are the craziest. They’re usually the ones who get aggres-

What surprised you the most about Blood Manor when you first started working here? Honestly, how well we all get along and how much fun it is. The people are great and we all bond really quickly every year

 OU R TOWN DOWNTOWN | OCTOB E R 27, 2011

because we’re working so hard and going through all this awesome craziness together. We try to keep in touch throughout the rest of the year until the next Halloween season, and then it’s like seeing your family again. It actually literally is like my family—I met a girl who was working here last year and after talking we realized we were distant cousins. Which room is your favorite this season? The last room, which is called Zombie Apocalypse. But I don’t want to give too much away, because it’s this awesome, gruesome, shocking finale. Let’s just say that they put a lot of thought and work into making it really scary, but also fun and interactive. What costumes have you worn? Let’s see…Dr. Frankenstein, a crazed, cannibalistic butcher, a werewolf…I actually had an allergic reaction to the werewolf costume, because something about the mask and the makeup that goes along with it really irritated my skin. I loved that costume though! I begged them to let me wear it again, just during the first night, for old time’s sake. But they said absolutely not, because they didn’t want me to get sick from it again. How do the performers keep their heavy, elaborate costume makeup looking good all night long? It must be ready to melt off after midnight. Oh yeah, my werewolf makeup used to fall off in chunks toward the end of the night. But we have makeup artists behind the scenes and we can always ask them to do touch-ups during our breaks. That’s really important, because if the latex paint starts peeling off, then the costume gets messed up, and you have a harder time getting into character. And you don’t want that. You want to be as scary and realistic as possible!


on topic

Looking Forward to Tricks, Treats and Deindividuation

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owntown doesn’t really need a designated day devoted to dressing like Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga or Danny Zuko, but just because we don’t need it doesn’t mean we won’t embrace it. It’s human nature to dream of being someone else entirely. The popularity of Halloween isn’t the candy, the creepy or even the costumes. It’s the freedom we acquire from shedding the old and becoming the new. One night, tired of looking at our white walls and inspired by Penélope Cruz’s infectiously bold performance in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, we interpreted Jackson Pollock through wide and talentless fingers and threw paint at our walls. The next morning, we wordlessly and collectively decided the only thing worth keeping from the night before was our memories. At Home Depot, in the midst of choosing between eggshell and sand, a plucky associate checked our paintstained hands and said, “Painters huh? Let me show you where we keep our good brushes.” We purchased an entire set. We knew, of course, that one painting does not a painter make, but something about having this stranger believe it made us believe it. If only for a moment. Halloween is

like that moment 1,440 times in a row. As many a good parent would say, the only thing that matters is what you think about you. However, as many a person living in the real world would say, what other people think about you matters a whole hell of a lot. Just ask the participants of the notorious Stanford Prison Experiment. The study made a roar in the ’70s when social psychologist Phillip Zimbardo selected 24 psychologically healthy males and randomly assigned half to play the role of “prisoner” and the other half to play the role of “guard” in a simulated prison. Though there were no discernible differences between the two groups of participants before the study, once they were administered labels and costumes and placed in a prison context, their fictitious entities soon became a frightening reality. The guards took their position to the extreme and showed a flagrant disregard for the rights of the prisoners with verbal assaults, public humiliation and a total lack of scruples. In concordance, the prisoners succumbed to their new roles as well. Each prisoner was stripped of their birth name and only given an ID number to be used throughout the study—prison-

ers became emotionally drained and riots ensued. The study was terminated after only six days. Though the experiment raised eyebrows and ethical concerns everywhere, it brought forth a powerful notion: the theory of deindividuation. This theory is usually used to describe the feeling of anonymity and loss of self-identity that individuals take on when given a certain label or name in the context of a sizable group. When placed in a group setting, individuals are less accountable for their actions and have the opportunity to relish behaviors that they would not have ordinarily been able to commit. On All Hallow’s Eve, deindividuation occurs the moment you put on your Native American headdress and do a synchronized dance next to a construction worker and policeman. With the right costume and attitude, anyone has the opportunity to become who they’ve always wanted to be, whether it’s a painter, prisoner, princess or president. Not only do you get to dress like a fantasy, but your behaviors, actions and emotions are predicated on that new idea of yourself. This new identity gives the identifier the courage and ammunition to behave the way the costume

8 Million StorieS

north, stepped over the snake, kept walking, stepped over another and another. Within a few hours, I had met a dozen hikers, all attempting the same trans-country journey on foot. They seemed kind—young men, retired couples, a 30-year-old woman with big curly hair and good teeth; the curly lady smiled at me. I was curt. On my second day on the trail, I met a 20-year-old man—a former professional mountain bike racer from Switzerland. We hiked together for 700 miles and five weeks and then let the miles between us grow. He hiked faster than I did. I didn’t love him. I made friends—a twentysomething girl with a ukulele and an angelic voice and face and a photographer with a master’s in psychology he had never used and didn’t want to. And packs of fit, hungry hikers, happy to hear my stories. Happy to know me. In Bend, Ore., 1,970 miles north of that border monument dull with Campo dust and 1,500 miles from spiny pastel plants and rattlesnake teeth and venom and sadness, I met Justin. We were in town—the verdant, river-cut trail town of Bend—and we knew a handful of the same hikers. A big group of us went to dinner at the Deshutes Brewery. Justin sat next to me, close. He smiled a lot. I smiled—tried not to but couldn’t help it. Under the table, his knee brushed mine. I lifted my hot hand, moved it slowly through the space between us like a teenaged boy would when trying to float unnoticed to second base; I pressed my trembling palm against Justin’s sweating beer, squeezed the glass. Lifted and carried it through the air

to my mouth. Took a sip. I was 19. Justin knew. He was amused, contorted his face like he disapproved—but I knew he didn’t. I was pulsing, invigorated. So fit from the miles and miles, unarmed and no longer unhappy. I felt an illogical desire for Justin—my body, high on attraction and quivering, betrayed my mind. We walked, together, 600 miles into Canada. I remember our first day hiking together. Rain had poured down in sheets, smacking the soil, tearing up the trail. Earth washed away; roots loosened, left soaked and exposed. Lubricated with water, everything shone in the gray light. Justin and I shouted over the downpour, shared childhood stories and our ambitions as we walked. We were saturated with rain to the bone, both of us, but I was giddy and on the verge of laughter. My walk with Justin ended in the mistdense Cascade Mountains on a garden stage at the end of a lily-lined aisle. Storm clouds, gray, navy and low, illuminated the flowers, the fine clothing, the glassware in soft, important light. The mist was backlit by sunlight, bathing the Cascade foothills in silver. Justin and I read our vows and grinned and cried on a stone stage over the Cascade Mountain garden, lightning flashing like a camera. Camera flashes would have been invisible under that sky. My parents were there in the garden, happy and warm and not too nervous.

ASPEN MATIS Found Love After 2,650 Miles

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hen I told my lawyer parents in Boston that I was quitting college to walk 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada—alone, no less—they thought I was nuts. I didn’t tell them I was quitting school; instead, I called it a leave of absence. I flew to Los Angeles with a big backpack filled with trail mix, granola bars, chocolate, cheese and a tent. My father met me there and drove me down to Campo at the TijuanaCalifornia border. He left me at the fence, dust puffing from his tires like drab clouds. There was a border monument marking the southern terminus of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail—a trail that fades in the mist and lush of northern Washington then ends in Canada. I would walk the length of the country. I walked north from the Mexican border fence; the trail was well marked with rusty signs and scattered with lazy rattlesnakes baking in the sun’s warmth. I was eating a green apple, I remember, when I nearly stepped on the first one. I shrieked and ran south a hundred yards. I bit my apple, breathed, ate that apple—my last piece of fresh food; everything else was processed or salted or junk. I was fine. I walked back

necessitates. Moreover, the more we are treated like a naughty secretary, Michele Bachmann or a WWE wrestler, the more we will inhabit that kristine keller & persona. MArisA polAnsky In previous years, we’ve witnessed witches fly, cheerleaders shout affirmations and sailors open doors, but we can’t help but wonder if it’s not just the magic of Halloween but rather, the magic of New York City. After all, there is no place better suited for maintaining your anonymity than the 917. Freedom comes from reinvention and the notion of possibility is paved into the sidewalks of this city. There’s no one to tell you that you can’t be who you want to be. Don’t wait for someone to give you a label. We say, why not take a cue from Oct. 31 and have the fortitude to be who you dream and let New York be your mask. Of course, our brushes have been long forgotten behind dust and dish detergent and we haven’t painted a thing since that fateful night, but we just may have thought of this year’s costume. Or better yet, a new career.

� T WE ET S PEAK @occupywallStnYc #occUPYwALLStREEt Zeinab runs Rafi’s Place on the corner of #LibertyPlaza. She’s received $700+ in tix from #NYPD since #sep17. Can we help her out? How? [10/20] @PublictheaternY Happy to announce that Mike Daisey’s “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” has extended to Dec. 4! [10/20] @IFccenter Congrats also to THE TSUNAMI & THE CHERRY BLOSSOM (playing in DOC NYC: docnyc.net/film/views-on-…) on making the Best Short Doc Oscar shortlist! [10/20] @curbednY Is this the West Village’s most epic rooftop spread? curbed.cc/ojdp8i [10/20] @villagevoice Forget Book Deals: ‘My Drunk Kitchen’ Star Wants a Record Deal bit.ly/qeam3o [10/20] @dnAinfo Are you kidding, MTV? #Real World Seeking #OccupyWallStreet Protester to Join Cast [10/20] @FourthArtsBlock Bowery Historic Designation Advances at State Level http://www.thelodownny.com/leslog/2011/10/bowery-historic-designation-advances-at-state-level.html via @thelodownny [10/23] @nSAYSoHotriBeca Pop-up shops are popping up all over the EV. Andy Hilfiger brings Steven Tyler inspired style to Riff http://ow.ly/76ZY7 #shopping #nyc [10/24]

OCTOB E R 27, 2011 | otdowntown.com

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10/13/11 12:41 PM

Our Town Downtown October 27, 2011  

The October 27, 2011 issue of Our Town Downtown. Our Town Downtown (OTDownTown) is a newspaper for 25 to 40-year-old New Yorkers living, wor...

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