Page 1

The local paper for Downtown wn BEYOND MUSEUM MILE < P. 12


12-18 2017

MAPPING HISTORY IN GREENWICH VILLAGE A new project pinpoints key sites in the LGBTQ, women’s and civil rights movements BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

LGBT History

Social Justice and Political Activism

Women's History

African-American History

Hispanic History

Little Africa

What do the Oscar Wilde Bookshop, Café Society and 18 West 10th Street have in common? These sites are all significant to civil rights and social justice movements that have taken place in Greenwich Village. They are some of the nearly 100 important places listed on a new map created by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) to raise awareness of key moments in history relating to LGBTQ, women’s and

14th Street, near Union Square. Residents fear that the L train closure project could innundate neighborhoods along the street. Photo: Violette79, via flickr

A ‘PARKING LOT’ OVER THE L TRAIN? Residents near 14th Street worry that the subway closure will add to street congestion BY RUI MIAO

Commuters are not the only people anxious about the L train closure scheduled to begin in January 2018. Downtown residents, especially those who live near 14th Street, worry about how congested their neighborhoods may become. “I’m very concerned that 14th Street will be a permanent parking lot during the 18 months,” said Luc Nadal, who has lived on the street for 10 years, “unless we take really strong measures to tackle the problem.” Nadal is among dozens of neighbors who showed up at a Manhattan Community Board 2 Traffic & Transportation Committee meeting on Jan. 5 to voice their concerns over the impact that the train closure will have on the area. In July 2016, the MTA officially announced the 18-month shutdown of the L train, due to a needed reconstruction of the Canarsie Tunnel flooded by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Thousands of

Being conscious of what’s going on in the country and the world around us right now, we just thought it was especially important to document and celebrate these accomplishments, these people, these institutions”


Andrew Berman, president of the GVSHP


ART OF FOOD Our Town’s


Presented by

minority rights. The inspiration for the map came out of the current political climate. “Being conscious of what’s going on in the country and the world around us right now, we just thought it was especially important to document and celebrate these accomplishments, these people, these institutions,” said Andrew Berman, president of the GVSHP. “I think that you never appreciate something so much as when you know it’s under threat and that it’s in danger of being lost.”

One key site on the map is 18 West 10th Street, home to writer and immigrant rights activist Emma Lazarus during the mid1800s. Her best known poem is the sonnet that graces the monument of another famous New York City woman: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”


Saturday, February 4




Buy Tickets at

To see the full interactive map, read the article online at:

FOR HIM, SETTLING SMALL CLAIMS IS A BIG DEAL presided over Arbitration Man has three decades. for informal hearings about it He’s now blogging BY RICHARD KHAVKINE

Hosts Margaret & Geoffrey Zakarian

is the common Arbitration Man their jurist. least folks’ hero. Or at Man has For 30 years, Arbitration court office of the civil few sat in a satellite Centre St. every building at 111 New Yorkers’ weeks and absorbed dry cleaning, burned lost accountings of fender benders, lousy paint jobs, and the like. And security deposits then he’s decided. Arbitration Man, About a year ago, so to not afwho requested anonymity started docuhe fect future proceedings, two dozen of what menting about compelling cases considers his most blog. in an eponymous about it because “I decided to write the stories but in a I was interested about it not from wanted to write from view but rather lawyer’s point of said Arbitration view,” of a lay point lawyer since 1961. Man, a practicing what’s at issue He first writes about post, renders and then, in a separatehow he arrived his decision, detailing blog the to Visitors at his conclusion. their opinions. often weigh in with get a rap going. I to “I really want whether they unreally want to know and why I did it,” I did derstood what don’t know how to he said. “Most people ... I’d like my cases the judge thinks. and also my trereflect my personalitythe law.” for mendous respect 80, went into indiMan, Arbitration suc in 1985, settling vidual practice





The effort to help small seems to businesses in the city be gathering steam. Two city councilmembers, Robert Margaret Chin and Cornegy, have introduced create legislation that wouldSmall a new “Office of the within Business Advocate” of Small the city’s Department Business Services. Chin The new post, which have up told us she’d like to would and running this year, for serve as an ombudsman city small businesses within them clear government, helping to get through the bureaucracy things done. Perhaps even more also importantly, the ombudsman and number will tally the type small business of complaints by taken in owners, the actions policy response, and somefor ways to recommendations If done well, begin to fix things. report would the ombudsman’s give us the first quantitative with taste of what’s wrong the city, an small businesses in towards important first step fixing the problem. of for deTo really make a difference, is a mere formality will have to the work process looking to complete their advocate are the chances course, velopers precinct, but rising rents, -- thanks to a find a way to tackle business’ is being done legally of after-hours projects quickly. their own hours,” which remain many While Chin “They pick out boom in the number throughout who lives on most vexing problem. said Mildred Angelo,of the Ruppert construction permits gauge what Buildings one said it’s too early tocould have the 19th floor in The Department of the city. number three years, the Houses on 92nd Street between role the advocate She Over the past on the is handing out a record work perThird avenues. permits, there, more information of Second and an ongoing all-hours number of after-hours bad thing. of after-hours work the city’s Dept. problem can’t be a said there’s with the mits granted by nearby where according to new data jumped 30 percent, This step, combinedBorough construction project noise Buildings has data provided in workers constantly make efforts by Manhattan to mediate BY DANIEL FITZSIMMONS according to DOB of Informacement from trucks. President Gale Brewer offer response to a Freedom classifies transferring they want. They knows the the rent renewal process, request. The city They 6 “They do whatever signs Every New Yorker clang, tion Act go as they please. work between some early, tangible small any construction on the weekend, can come and sound: the metal-on-metal or the piercing of progress. For many have no respect.” p.m. and 7 a.m., can’t come of these that the hollow boom, issuance reverse. owners, in business moving The increased beeps of a truck has generto a correspond and you as after-hours. soon enough. variances has led at the alarm clock The surge in permits


A glance it: it’s the middle can hardly believe yet construction of the night, and carries on full-tilt. your local police or You can call 311

n OurTownDowntow


Newscheck Crime Watch Voices

for dollars in fees ated millions of and left some resithe city agency, that the application dents convinced

2 City Arts 3 Top 5 8 Real Estate 10 15 Minutes

12 13 14 18



Barely five blocks from Lazarus’s former home is the original location of the Oscar Wilde Bookshop. According to a New York Times article from 2009, it was believed to be the oldest LGBTQ bookstore in the country until it closed in March of that year. “In 1967 Craig Rodwell started this landmark store that not only sold Gay and Lesbian literature but also became a meeting place for the LGBT community,” Kim Brinster, the store’s


We deliver! Get Our Town Downtowner sent directly to your mailbox for $49 per year. Go to or call 212-868-0190


JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner

MEET THE CHEF: 5 NAPKIN BURGER’S ANDY D’AMICO Taste what Andy D’Amico is serving up at Our Town’s Art of Food at Sotheby’s on February 4. Tickets available at What’s the story behind 5 Napkin Burger? In 2003 I opened a French restaurant, Nice Matin, on the Upper West Side with my partner Simon Oren. He asked if I’d put a burger on the menu—he had an idea for the name, “5 Napkin Burger,” so I said sure, and I built a burger that was somewhat provençale: it has rosemary aioli, comté cheese, and caramelized onions. The burger itself got a lot of press, and down the road Simon wanted to open a restaurant called 5 Napkin Burger—he always did. So we opened the first one in 2008. The same burger is on that menu, and is still the best selling one. So 5 Napkin is a premium burger concept featuring 10 ounce burgers. We’re one of the only premium, chefdriven, burger chains. And along with the burgers, we serve both comforting and interesting sides and appetizers;

It was one of those odd things, I had started to set myself up to go back to school and find a job, and I wound up working with a friend in the restaurant at the front of the house, and I worked my way to the back because I wanted to work in the kitchen. And a friend of a friend told me to look into the Culinary Institute, and one thing led to another and I ended up leaving community college and going to the CIA. I did it on the flip of a switch. I got straight to work in a hotel in Manhattan when I finished school—it was 1978, which was right at the beginning of the American Renaissance of food. It just so happened that Wolfgang Puck was the consulting chef on the job at this hotel at the time, and Emril was the cook that was next to me. It was a typical hotel staff of young guys like us.

we do a nacho dish with waffle fries that is very popular. The newest burger we’ve been featuring is a truffle egg burger. It has truffle butter on it, a fried egg, and mushroom ketchup. It’s very good. But I’m not doing a burger for the Art of Food Event.

Why not? I knew right away, after reading about The Art of Food, that my dish was supposed to have an artsy quality to it. I had, at the time, just started doing an avocado hummus that I’m really fond of. I knew right away, plating wise, that I’d be able to do an abstract kind of plate using the garnishes on the dish, and that I could make something pretty and artsy while showing the other side of 5 Napkin. We do burgers, and we’re famous for them, but we also have these very creative appetizers and sides, so I wanted to show this other dimension of who we are.

What’s your number one cooking tip?

How did you get started in the culinary world? I wasn’t cooking since I was 15, or doing dishes as a child. I got started late, and it really was a second career for me. My father was a musician, so I grew

up around music. I was always in the school band, and ended up picking up the base guitar in high school, wanting to be a young rock musician. I wound up in a club band. We’re talking early-seventies, so we played rock and disco. But, I eventually decided it was time to do something else.

People don’t realize how important it is to work with a sharp knife. When you go to school it’s the first thing you learn: the different cuts. It’s endlessly boring, and you’re terribly scared of cutting your fingers off, but there’s just a real difference when you prep ingredients properly with a sharp knife. Even if you’re just garnishing with cilantro or parsley—if you don’t cut it properly it bruises and doesn’t taste right.


Woman as Other, Woman as Lover: The Search for Self and the Politics of Love

FRIDAY, JANUARY 13TH, 7PM The Strand | 828 Broadway | 212-473-1452 | Examine Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex and its relevance today at a Think Olio session. ($20, includes free wine)

The Way of Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 18TH, 7PM Sept. 11 Museum | 180 Greenwich St. | 212-312-8800 | national correspondent Graeme Wood talks about his new book, based on wideranging interviews exploring ISIS’s theology and appeal. (Free ticket required)

Just Announced | An Evening with Deepak Chopra: You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7TH, 7PM The Riverside Church | 490 Riverside Dr. | 212-870-6700 | Chopra looks at higher consciousness, transformation, and healing at a lecture and book signing concerned with our place in the world. ($37, includes copy of Chopra’s new book)

For more information about lectures, readings and other intellectually stimulating events throughout NYC,

sign up for the weekly Thought Gallery newsletter at

JANUARY 12-18,2017


Our Town|Downtowner

CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 1st precinct Week to Date

Tony Webster, via ï¬&#x201A;ickr



Here is something unusual: a manlifting truck was itself lifted. At 9 a.m. on Dec. 15, a man-lifting truck rented from Pride Rental Equipment was locked and secured outside a job site at 185 Greenwich St. When workers next returned to the site, they discovered that the truck was missing. The stolen vehicle was a JLG Construction manlifting truck valued at $16,000.

Gym goers who leave expensive timepieces in unlocked lockers might need to exercise their brains rather than their bodies. At 5:45 p.m. on Dec. 20, a man going for a workout at the Equinox gym on Liberty Street left his silver Rolex watch in an unlocked locker. Apparently he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize the $5,000 watch was missing until the following day, when he returned to recover it but

2017 2016

% Change



% Change






















Felony Assault














Grand Larceny







Grand Larceny Auto







found that it had been stolen. A search of the facilities turned up nothing. A few days later, a man left his locker open while showering following his workout at the Equinox gym located on Murray Street found that his $2,700 Cartier Ronde Solo watch gone when he returned.

Come Experience Auctions at Showplace th

Sunday, January 15 at 11am! )LUVW7LPH%LGGHUV:HOFRPH1RUHVHUYHV

Year to Date

TOOL CRIME A rash of recent construction tool thefts continues. Early on Dec. 27, a 36-year-old man arrived at the construction site inside 233 Spring St. when he discovered that construction tools were missing from inside a makeshift storage room. The door of the room had been pried open and the man told police that more than 110

The local paper for Downtown

employees and vendors had access to all locations in the building. The missing tools included an impact drill, a rope grab, a laser point, hammer drills, cordless drills, impact guns, and other items. Their value was put at $3,275.

Advertise with Our Town Downtown today! Call Vincent Gardino at 212-868-0190

)HDWXULQJVHYHUDOHVWDWHVIURPWKH1<PHWURDUHDLQFOXGLQJWKH HVWDWHRIUHQRZQHGEHOO\GDQFHU6HUHQD:LOVRQ -RLQXVIRUDFKDPSDJQHUHFHSWLRQLPPHGLDWHO\SULRUWRWKHDXFWLRQ ZLWKKRUVG¶RHXYUHVOLYHPXVLFDQGDVSHFLDOEHOO\GDQFHSHUIRUPDQFH Preview: January 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 15 8:30am â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5:30pm weekends & 10am â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6pm weekdays Absentee and phone bids accepted! View the catalogue at! Showplace Antique + Design Center | 40 West 25th Street 212-633-6063 ext. 808 |



JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner

Useful Contacts POLICE NYPD 7th Precinct

19 ½ Pitt St.


NYPD 6th Precinct

233 W. 10th St.


NYPD 10th Precinct

230 W. 20th St.


NYPD 13th Precinct

230 E. 21st St.

NYPD 1st Precinct

16 Ericsson Place

212-477-7411 212-334-0611

FIRE FDNY Engine 15

25 Pitt St.


FDNY Engine 24/Ladder 5

227 6th Ave.


FDNY Engine 28 Ladder 11

222 E. 2nd St.


FDNY Engine 4/Ladder 15

42 South St.


ELECTED OFFICIALS Councilmember Margaret Chin

165 Park Row #11

Councilmember Rosie Mendez

237 1st Ave. #504

212-587-3159 212-677-1077

Councilmember Corey Johnson

224 W. 30th St.


State Senator Daniel Squadron

250 Broadway #2011


Community Board 1

1 Centre St., Room 2202


Community Board 2

3 Washington Square Village


Community Board 3

59 E. 4th St.


Community Board 4

330 W. 42nd St.


Hudson Park

66 Leroy St.



135 2nd Ave.


Elmer Holmes Bobst

70 Washington Square




HOSPITALS New York-Presbyterian

170 William St.

Mount Sinai-Beth Israel

10 Union Square East




4 Irving Place



46 East 23rd


US Post Office

201 Varick St.


US Post Office

128 East Broadway


US Post Office

93 4th Ave.






Include your full name, address and day and evening telephone numbers for verification. Letters that cannot be verified will not be published. We reserve the right to edit or condense letters for libel, good taste, grammar and punctuation. Submit your letter at and click submit at the bottom of the page or email it to

TO SUBSCRIBE: Our Town Downtown is available for free below 23rd Street in select buildings, retail locations and news boxes. To get a copy of downtown neighborhood news mailed to you weekly, you may subscribe to Our Town - Downtowner for just $49 per year. Call 212-868-0190 or go online to and click on the photo of the paper or mail a check to Straus Media, 20 West Ave., Chester, NY 10918

NEWS ITEMS: To report a news story, call 212-8680190. News releases of general interest must be emailed to our offices by 12noon the Thursday prior to publication to be considered for the following week. Send to

BLOG COMMENTS: We invite comments on stories at We do not edit those comments. We urge people to keep the discussion civil and the tone reflective of the best we each have to offer.

PLACE A CLASSIFIED AD: Call 212-868-0190. Classified ads must be in our office by 12pm the Friday before publication, except on holidays. All classified ads are payable in advance.

PREVIOUS OWNERS: Tom Allon, Isis Ventures, Ed Kayatt, Russ Smith, Bob Trentlyon, Jerry Finkelstein



Information for inclusion in the Out and About section should be emailed to no later than two weeks before the event.

Our Town Downtown is published weekly by Straus Media-Manhattan, LLC. Please send inquiries to 20 West Ave., Chester, NY 10918.

The New York State Senate Chamber. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

STATE LAWMAKERS GET TO WORK Democrats, Republican start session bickering about transparency


New York state lawmakers began their work for 2017 last week with a vote to prohibit the use of cellphones as recording devices in the Senate chambers. The ban is intended to protect the chamber’s decorum, according to lawmakers who included it in the Senate’s internal rules. Democrats, however, called it an infringement of free speech that could make it harder for journalists and the public to share information about state government. “It’s an insult to New Yorkers,” said Senator Brad Hoylman. “We are curtailing an opportunity to bring transpar-

ency to this chamber.” Photojournalists have long had permission to take pictures from the Senate gallery, a practice that Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco said would continue. He dismissed concerns over the ban, noting that live Senate proceedings are already broadcast on the Senate’s website and that traditional photojournalists will still be allowed to shoot photos from the public gallery. “It’s pretty logical,” DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, said of the rule change, which passed on a voice vote. “We are as transparent as (we) could possibly be.” Highlights of the six-month session will likely include state voting laws, Uber’s proposal to expand upstate and a proposal from Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make state university tuition free for middle-class residents.

Other proposals expected to draw debate this year include bills to end the practice of prosecuting and imprisoning 16- and 17-year-old offenders as adults and to authorize people with terminal illnesses to request life-ending drugs from a physician. Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, said lawmakers will also work to resist Presidentelect Donald Trump if he and congressional Republicans move to rein in abortion rights, immigration, health care benefits or efforts to fight climate change. “There is little doubt that the change in our federal government will create serious challenges for us in New York,” he told the Assembly. “We will continue to stand guard for all of the constitutionally-protected freedoms and inclusive public policies that we have always championed.”

Republicans, however, said lawmakers must devote the year to improving the state’s business climate. “We’re going to stay very, very, very focused on job creation,” said Senate Leader John Flanagan, R-Long Island. Cuomo skipped the Legislature’s first day. He has had frosty relations with lawmakers in recent months and chose to hold an event in New York City at the exact hour the Legislature was set to convene. Cuomo is also choosing to forego the traditional state of the state address to lawmakers this year, instead planning a series of six regional addresses delivered next week at locations around the state. Many lawmakers blamed Cuomo late last year when talks about a legislative pay increase — the first in 18 years — fell apart.

JANUARY 12-18,2017


Our Town|Downtowner

lower manhattan has many landmarks. but only one hospital. NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital. Just two blocks southeast of City Hall at 170 William Street.


Our Town|Downtowner

L TRAIN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 riders who rely on the downtown line will have to find alternative shuttles for their crosstown or cross-river trips. Many worry that the vehicular traffic on 14th Street, under which the L train runs, will get out of control. A campaign called “PeopleWay” advocates that the city and the MTA close 14th Street to private cars during the absence of the L train, making it exclusive to buses, bikes and pedestrians. “Even if we get 14th Street closed,” said Nadal, “just putting all these people who are using the L train corridor to go crosstown on buses — it’s [still] going to transform 14th street into a parking lot, unless the buses are managed in an extremely efficient way.” “Street closures fall under the purview of NYCDOT,” said Kevin Ortiz, MTA & NYC Transit Spokesman. “That being said, we are working closely with DOT to mitigate the impact of this vital work on our customers.” “It’s a continuation of discussion that has begun in this committee,” said Terri Cude, chairwoman of CB2. Since last May, the MTA has held several community meetings in areas affected by the upcoming closure — in addition to its visits to the 11 Community Boards along the L Line,

CB2 among them. According to an announcement in late July, the MTA “plans to work closely with the city and state to develop routes and determine service levels needed to accommodate projected ridership.” To date, no plan has been revealed regarding substitute transportation for L train riders, or plans for street traffic in affected areas. “I’ve lived on 14th Street for 20 years, between University and Fifth — really a ground zero,” said David Koch, who also attended the CB2 meeting. “We have to come up with a great, great long-term solution to the problem it is because of the traffic and residential movements — and an interim solution that really make people … say ‘New York can do it’.” Ideas proposed at the meeting included trolley cars and Select Bus Service. The next “L train shutdown brainstorm workshop,” hosted by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. the Hudson Guild Fulton Senior Center, on Ninth Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets. Representatives from the MTA and DOT are scheduled to attend. “We are working closely with the MTA to look at all ways to mitigate the impacts of the L-train’s shutdown,” a DOT spokesperson said in an email. “With a focus on mass transit, bikes and ferries.”

JANUARY 12-18,2017

MTA employees used a pump train as they worked around the clock to pumping seawater out of the L train’s tunnel following a storm surge in November 2012. Reconstruction of the tunnel, starting in a year, will likely to close the tunnel for the duration, leading to what some fear will be traffic chaos above ground, particularly along 14th Street. Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Patrick Cashin.

GREENWICH HISTORY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 then-owner, said at the time. Across Washington Square Park from the former bookstore is Café Society, where singer Billie Holiday first performed the song “Strange Fruit” to protest lynching and racism. Barney Josephson opened the nightclub in 1938, and it became the first in the city to integrate. “Very few people know that this part of town was the center of AfricanAmerican life in New York City in the middle of the 19th century,” said Berman. “There were a variety of churches and institutions that were connected to that community there, almost all of which have been demolished or gone.” Donna Schaper, senior minister at Judson Memorial Church, is planning to use the map in some of her classes. Berman said that thousands more sites could easily be added to the map. “We consider it a work in progress,” he said. ”In fact, we’re inviting the public to submit nominations to us, of which we’ve already received some great ones.” Berman’s team researched each location thoroughly in the six months between the inception and execution of the idea. “It’s not just about the past,” Berman said. “These are the underpinnings of our present. They tell us a lot about how we got where we are and where we’re going.”

Billie Holiday, pictured performing in New York in 1947, first sang the haunting “Strange Fruit” at Café Society in Greenwich Village, one of dozens of sites pinpointed on a map where significant events of the LGBTQ, women’s and minority rights movements took place. Photo: William P. Gottlieb

Madeleine Thompson can be reached at

Another mapped site is 18 West 10th Street, which was home to writer and immigrant rights activist Emma Lazarus during the mid-1800s. Photo: T. Johnson - The New York Historical Society.

JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner

Nothing beats newspapers as the most reliable source of local news in print and online Recent studies show:


Newspapers led online consumption for local news” Coda Ventures Survey August 18, 2016


Local media users named newspapers as their “most relied on” source for deals across a range of goods and services.” Coda Ventures Survey August 18, 2016


What accounts for print’s superiority? Print - particularly the newspaper - is an amazingly sophisticated technology for showing you a lot of it.”


Local newspapers are still the top source of news about readers’ communities, including their branded Web sites and social media channels.” Publisher’s Daily - August 30, 2016


Residents are eager for news about their own communities, which, increasingly, only local news organizations can provide” Editor & Publisher - June 1, 2016

Politico - September 10, 2016

STRAUSMEDIA your neighborhood news source 212-868-0190 |



JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner

Write to us: To share your thoughts and comments go to and click on submit a letter to the editor.


Manhattan moms’ memories: New Year’s Day, longtime neighbors standing in apartment building lobby. First neighbor reminiscing, “My daughter just got married at Tavern on the Green. Made me cry a little when I remembered her sitting in a high-chair in the Crystal Room.” Second neighbor, “Oh, do I remember her. She was a real little brat, always terrorizing my 3-yearold.” First mom, “I like my memory better. Happy New Year.” In praise of public service ads: In a recent 2016 end of year issue, the Wall Street Journal took notice of The Best and The Worst in some advertising campaigns in an article headlined, “Ads Flirted With Boundaries of Taste.” They gave thumbs up

to Sprint’s successful ads resulting from their having poached Verizon’s pitchman, and to Taco Bell’s ads with selfies transforming heads into giant tacos with drizzling Diablo sauce. And then there were The Worst. Will pass on those. Don’t know why a really effective public service ad wasn’t recognized among The Best. Other no-smoking ads have graphically emphasized the devastating physical consequences of smoking. Never being a smoker myself, I could only wonder how anyone could smoke after seeing those ads. Friends who are or were smokers found them a turn-off because, you know, thatwouldn’t/couldn’t-happen-to-me attitude. But the “Que Sera, Sera” no-smoking ad deserves recognition and takes the issue to another level. A couple, probably husband and wife, at home, and a young child sitting at a table probably doing homework is looking on. Husband,

in his 40s, rises out of bed in hospital type PJs, oxygen tube through his nose circling his ears, into the arms of his wife. The couple hold each other, dance in place, and look soulfully, sadly into each other’s eyes as their child looks on. No talking. Just words and music of “Que Sera Sera” in the background with the public service announcer saying, as the words appear on screen, “What will be doesn’t have to be,” along with 1-866-NYQuits phone number on the screen. Tasteful. Powerful. Deserves recognition. Online sales the old-fashioned way: Long lines are the dream of all businesses. Nowadays customers are willing to wait. You can’t sell iPads or Apples or iPods by giving them to those standing on line. But if you’re in the food business in a brick-andmortar store, you can boost sales by enticing the on liners with a taste — maybe of lobster or shrimp salad or some gravlax or a chopped liver nosh — as they wait. That’s what happened at a local appetizing store during Christmas-Hanukkah week


as behind-the-counter staff passed canape-sized servings to those waiting on line. It worked. Sales picked up. The immediate feedback, literally and figuratively, worked. And everyone was smiling. Doesn’t happen with Amazon. For sure. Right of way: City street traffic needs an intervention. Some higher authority to let the public know who and what goes first. It’s maddening. A corner on almost any avenue is home to a supermarket or a CVS or a Duane Reade with a good deal of foot traffic going in and out of the establishments. Supermarkets such as Whole Foods, Fairway, Trader Joe’s and the like have food carts and delivery people as a continuing presence on the street. So what’s a pedestrian or cyclist or skateboarder or someone in a wheelchair or with a walker or a stroller or a dog to do? Or maybe a street vendor or two selling food or wares. Everybody’s got the right to be there. Right? But who goes first when they’re all there at the same time? Can’t ask the City Council because they’ll come up with


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 50 percent of Americans older than 60 have no living will or advance directive spelling out end-of-life preferences. This is foolish, as many of the treatments that are implemented at the end of life are ineffective and can be very expensive. One way to circumvent this problem is to participate in the Stanford Letter Project, an initiative of the Stanford Successful Aging Program. The project includes a “What Matters Most” letter and is very specific as to one’s wishes. You complete a simple online questionnaire, addressing multiple topics about end-of-life wishes, such as how much sedation you might want and who should make decisions. It also includes questions about whether you’d want hospice care, to be at home or in a hospital and when

your appointed decision-maker should take over. After the form is completed you simply click print and the computerized tool at Stanford gives you a prefilled advance directive, along with a letter to your doctor stating your wishes. The advance directive should be notarized and copies given to several different people and agencies, such as your healthcare agent or proxy, your local hospital, your family doctor, your state’s Advance Directory Registry and others. Much more information about this new and important project can be obtained by emailing (Dr. VJ Periyakoil is clinical associate professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine). You can also call 650-493-5000, x65039. I am going to use this tool myself and hope that this information prompts my readers to research the project for more specific details. Maybe someday I’ll understand how the government computes annual

Photo: 401(K) 2012, via flickr Social Security increases, but as of now I don’t have a clue. All I know is that after waiting to hear how my 0.3 increase would affect my Social Security, I was sent a letter and found out that my annual increase is ... nothing. I’m getting the exact same amount as last year. However, my drug premium is going up, my monthly Medicare Supplement is going up, and undoubtedly my medications are going up. So where is the logic here? Something to do with gas prices? Can’t they find a better way to decide what kind of increases people really need? We do have to eat, after all. Maybe I should be thankful that I still have Medicare and Social Security, what with the new administration determined to deprive

us of what we did, after all, pay for all those years of working. I can’t take my eyes off the news, but it’s more like rubbernecking a car wreck. You know how traffic slows just so people can see how bad the accident is? That’s me and the cable news stations. MSNBC, CNN, back and forth, back and forth. I have to put it on mute with sub-titles because John can’t stand to listen anymore. But I can’t stop. I need to hear the scary parts, just to be prepared. Sorry, I know that 20 percent of New Yorkers voted for our president-elect; most of us are terrified. However, recently I was energized and uplifted by hearing Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Bernie Sanders on the Rachel Maddow show voic-

Photo: Eden, Janine and Jim, via flickr someone or something else giving them the right to be there. Right? What’s a person to do?

ing their plans for engaging people in the fight to preserve and expand the things that really do make America great. For the first time since the election, I felt a ray of hope. What a great show it was — just the boost many of us needed. I felt some of the awful fear melt away listening to the two of them voicing their plans and strategies. Especially important for us seniors was their total commitment to seeing that Medicare and Social Security, as well as the essence of The Affordable Care Act, not be easily overthrown by the new leadership. Organize, be involved, and don’t give up hope. That’s their message, and it lifted my spirits immeasurably. I thought you might want to know about an organization called Friends in Deed. It provides supportive programs and services to people with life-threatening illnesses. Also to their family friends and caregivers and people dealing with bereavement. There are facilitated Big Group meetings six times a week and also groups targeted to caregivers. All services are free and open to everyone. The location is 594 Broadway, Suite 706. The telephone number is 212-925-2009 or go to www. on your computer.

President & Publisher, Jeanne Straus

STRAUS MEDIA your neighborhood news source

Vice President/CFO Otilia Bertolotti Vice President/CRO Vincent A. Gardino

Associate Publishers Seth L. Miller, Ceil Ainsworth Regional Sales Manager Tania Cade

Account Executive Fred Almonte Director of Partnership Development Barry Lewis

Director of Digital Pete Pinto

Editor-In-Chief Alexis Gelber Deputy Editor Richard Khavkine

Staff Reporter Madeleine Thompson Michael Garofalo

JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner

WHERE HAVE ALL THE WOMEN GONE? Rosenthal and Mark-Viverito push to get more female politicians to run for City Council BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

By the end of 2017, the New York City Council’s 51-member body could have fewer than 10 women. That’s a sharp decline from a high point of 18 women in 2009. What accounts for the falloff? One reason is a coincidental alignment of female members whose term limits are approaching, as well as the resignation of one member and another moving to the state Assembly. But the larger reasons are unclear. “I don’t know how the number got to be so small,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said. “It’s very, very small and it shouldn’t be. That should be 50 percent, particularly at this local level.” Council Member Helen Rosenthal, who represents the Sixth District on the Upper West Side, is taking matters into her own hands to remedy the situation. Rosenthal hosted two fundraisers on Jan. 8 and 10 for three female Democrats in the Bronx who are running for election this year. “A lot of times, women don’t even get to have a platform to engage with the people who are making endorsements, or who are contemplating giving money,” Rosenthal said. “That certainly was what happened to me. And now I’m in office and I can help give these women a platform so they can present their ideas.” Democrats Diana Ayala, Amanda Farias and Marjorie Velazquez benefited from the fundraising, which Rosenthal and Brewer both cited as a particularly challenging endeavor for women. “It’s hard to call people and say ‘Believe in me, this is a political campaign. You’re not going to get a tax deduction, and could you please give me whatever you can,’” Rosenthal said. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who co-hosted Rosenthal’s event, has made a point of speaking out against the male-dominated political climate of the city. “When you’ve got such a disparity in this legislative body in this most progressive city, it should be alarming to everybody,” Mark-Viverito told the New York Daily News last week. A 1991 report by the Center for the American Woman and Politics at Rutgers University, “Gender and Policymaking: Studies of Women in Office,” showed that

Councilwomen Helen Rosenthal, third from right, and Laurie Cumbo, second from right, co-chairwomen of the Women’s Caucus of the New York City Council at an event in April. Photo courtesy of Councilwoman Cumbo’s office. women’s paths do not get easier down a little bit,” said McSweeonce they are elected. Based on ney, who also co-hosted Rosenthe report’s findings, women are thal’s fundraiser. equally as successful at passing The New York City Council is and signing legislation as men, at a record level of racial diverbut their proposed bills tend to sity, however, with 26 members receive twice as much “hostile who are black, Latino or Asian, witness testimony” in opposi- according to the Daily News. tion. “To argue that we need Women of color who hope to women politicians, or ethnic achieve political office face a minorities, often implies more different set of challenges from than simple equal opportunity,” white women, both during their the report states. “It implies campaigns and after they are that public policy would be bet- elected. According to Political ter served, more sensitive and Parity, a nonpartisan organizaresponsive to differing social tion that aims to elevate women needs, if our body of lawmakers in government, “The typical were drawn from our many di- politician is a non-Hispanic verse societal groups.” white male, meaning that womBrewer pointed out that being en of color are likely to have a a woman in politics can have higher credibility threshold its advantages, like loyalty and to surmount with voters combig voter turnout. “The women pared with other candidates.” have always been my base,” Stereotyping, recruitment and she said. “Men, too, are always even the composition of the dislooking for women’s votes be- tricts they run in are other barcause the women vote in bigger riers women of color face more numbers than men.” Brewer acutely than anyone else. emphasized the importance A special election will be held of county leaders in endors- on Feb. 14 to fill former Council ing female candidates. Each Member Inez Dickens’ seat, as of the city’s five counties has she was recently elected to the a Republican and Democratic State Assembly, and McSweecounty leader — Adele Malpass ney urged voters to participate. and Assemblymember Keith “Women running at state and Wright in Manhattan — who local [levels] and the impact represent each party’s mem- that state and local governbers and endorse candidates ment has in our lives, especially for various offices. “That’s in [President-elect Donald] something to look at very, very Trump’s America, can’t be overcarefully,” Brewer said. “How stated,” she said. “All of those many women are the county calls to action have to go not leaders really supporting?” just down to the Beltway but up Still, the specific case of the to Albany and to our city halls.” City Council and its declining New York City has never had number of female members a female mayor and, of course, is difficult to pinpoint. Brette the highest office in the counMcSweeney, president of Elea- try remains closed to women. nor’s Legacy, an organization But Hillary Clinton’s historic that supports Democratic, presidential campaign and pro-choice women in politics just-as-historic loss may well throughout the state, said it energize women and minoriwas something she had spent ties rather than discouraging considerable time thinking them. This November’s City about. She described state and Council elections will begin to local politics as a “carousel that reveal whether the uptick in never stops,” and stressed that post-election grassroots orgathere is always room for more nizing has paid off. groups to support female can- Madeleine Thompson can be didates. “It’s up to us to provide reached at newsreporter@ opportunities to welcome them aboard and to slow the carousel


INTRODUCING THE ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND RELATED DEMENTIAS FAMILY SUPPORT PROGRAM. Caring for a family member who has trouble with thinking and memory can be extremely challenging. So challenging, in fact, that caregivers may feel overwhelmed, struggling to maintain their own health and well-being. NYU Langone’s Family Support Program provides convenient, personalized, and ongoing support to people caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other thinking and memory disorders. The program is provided free of charge to individuals living within the five boroughs. You will receive access to counseling; connections to doctors and support groups; and compassionate guidance by being paired with a caregiver who has had a similar experience. Join a community dedicated to providing the support and guidance you need, for as long as you need it.

For more information or to enroll, call us at 646.754.2277 or visit The Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Family Support Program is supported by a grant from the New York State Department of Health.



JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner

Follow Our Town Downtown on Facebook and Twitter

Out & About More Events. Add Your Own: Go to




Photo credit:

Thu 12 Fri 13



Poet’s House, 10 River Terrace 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free Exhibit featuring photography and mixed media works by poet, photographer and visual artist Rachel Eliza Griffiths. Through Feb. 25. 212-431-7920.

Rockbar, 185 Christopher St. 9 p.m.-3 a.m. $5 cover NYC’s only, all-Madonna, monthly dance party. Free prizes and giveaways all night long, courtesy of DJ jene. 212-675-1864. rockbarnyc. com

9/11 MUSEUM ▲

Registration Ongoing

Sky Rink has been New York’s favorite place to skate since 1969. For our holiday hours and full General Skating schedule, visit


9/11 Memorial & Museum, 200 Liberty St., 16th Floor. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. $24 The historical exhibition explores the background leading up to 9/11, the event itself, and the aftermath and continuing implications. 212-312-8800. 911memorial. org

SCHERMERHORN ROW South Street Seaport Museum, 12 Fulton St. Noon-2 p.m. $15 Tour and discover treasures hidden inside Schermerhorn Row, one of the oldest warehouses of NYC. Preregister. 212-748-8600 southstreetseaportmuseum. com

Sat 14 ANCIENT MARINER Cornelia Street Cafe, 29 Cornelia St. 5:30-8 p.m. $10 (includes 1 drink) Italian American Writers Association celebrating 26th Anniversary; readings begin with an open mic. 212-989-9319.

CHAMBER PLAYERS (Le) Poisson Rouge, 158 Bleecker St. 7-10 p.m. $20 (table seating) Manhattan Chamber Players and J.P. Jofre “Inspired by the Homeland.” 212-505-3474.

JANUARY 12-18,2017


Our Town|Downtowner

Tired of Hunting for Our Town Downtown? Subscribe today to Downtowner News of Your Neighborhood that you can’t get anywhere else

Dining Information, plus crime news, real estate prices - all about your part of town



STEVE EARLE City Winery, 155 Varick St. 6-10 p.m. $45-$65 The musician’s annual winter residency, with special guest Amy Helm. 212-608-0555.

South Street Seaport, PIer 16, Hoffman and Swinburne Islands with NY Water Taxi. Noon-2 p.m. $35 Enjoy surprising urban wildlife experiences off the South Street Seaport with the Audubon Society. 212-691-7483 ext.304.

Tue 17



Pier 40, 353 West Street. Noon-2:30 p.m. $74.95 Gather family and friends to enjoy brunch from a boat on the Hudson while listening to jazz and enjoying the Manhattan skyline. 212-989-9536.

Mon 16 PROJECT PLAYWRIGHT ▲ SoHo Playhouse, 15 Vandam St. 7-10 p.m. Free Enjoy excerpts from finalist plays, the audience votes for the play they would like to see produced. 212-691-1555. sohoplayhouse.

Wed 18 ‘DO NOT DESTROY’ The Camera Club of NY, 126 Baxter St. 6-8 p.m. Free Solo show of Sadie Barnette’s new works using as primary source material, a 500page FBI surveillance file on Barnette’s father who was a Black Panther. 212-260-9927. cameraclubny. org

Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Pl. 3-4:30 p.m. Free (pre-register) James Carpenter, creator of the installation “Reflection”Passage’ on the Museum’s third floor, discusses his use of materials and light to transform public spaces. 646-437-4202.

‘ONE WITH EVERYTHING’ Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd St. 7-8 p.m. $20 cover, $25 min food/beverage Lounge singer Victoria Lecta Cave performs. 212-206-0440.

Cultural Events in and around where you live (not Brooklyn, not Westchester)

Now get your personal copy delivered by US Mail for just


49/Year for 52 issues

DANIEL BARENBOIM▲ The Greene Space at WNYC/ WQXR, 44 Charlton St. 7-8:30 p.m. $40 The conduct and pianist comes to The Greene Space with the Berlin Staatskapelle String Quartet for exclusive evening of conversation and performance. 646-829-4400.

To Subscribe : Call 212-868-0190 or go online to and click on subscribe


Our Town|Downtowner

JANUARY 12-18,2017

BEYOND MUSEUM MILE Off the beaten path: hidden gems of New York’s art world include ancient and modern works BY VIRGINIA RANDALL

Although New York’s Museum Mile has the title, there are plenty of hidden gems off the beaten bath, offering a variety of options for culture, art or history — both ancient and modern — with the start of the new season. For instance, behind the wooden doors of a stately townhouse near The Met Fifth Avenue is a world-class center of scholarly research and graduate education. Since 2006, The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University at 15 East 84th St. has welcomed scholars and visitors alike. The inside looks as if Indiana Jones might barrel down its spiral staircase two steps at a time to lecture on its current exhibit: “Time and Cosmos in Greco-Roman Antiquity,” on view through April 23. However, it’s not Indiana, but Alexander Jones, interim director of the ISAW, who curated this exhibit. Professor of the History of the Exact Science in Antiquity, Jones explained recently that sundials didn’t just tell time for the ancients. “Sundials represent what they thought the world looked like,” he said. “They were also status symbols, since many of the sundials would have been on private estates.” Unlike modern sundials, the ancients used hollow inverted bowls with a hole at the top to admit sunlight, which moved around the inside to highlighting the hours carved in-

side the domes. Beautifully mounted and lit, the current show packs a lot into two rooms, with additional context via touchscreens. Besides intricately carved sundials and sculptures, the show features artifacts like “pocket sundials,” used by the wealthy, a surgeon’s field medical kit, and vibrant mosaics of philosophers (“You can tell by the raised drinking vessels” Jones noted) or meditations on mortality. Viewers can reorient themselves to the present day by visiting the small gift shop near the entrance. Meanwhile, around the corner from Versace and Cartier, there’s a highrise tower that can transport visitors from midtown to antiquity with a walk through the lobby, or a trip downstairs. The lobby walls at 645 Fifth Ave. (aka the Olympic Tower) are adorned with plaster cast replicas of fragments from the Parthenon, cast directly from original molds made in the early 19th century and lent by the City College of New York. The display hints at the tower’s role as home to the Onassis Cultural Center of New York. Guided by Amalia Cosmetatou, its new executive director and cultural director of the Onassis Foundation USA, the Center aims to demonstrate how ancient Greece’s ideas still impact present day, using visual arts, performing arts, lectures and exhibits — all free to the public in its newly renovated space downstairs. Although open since 2000, according to Maria Galanou, a Center representative, the Center’s recent, museum-level quality renovation lets it present major antiquities, such as

The Czech Center, on East 73rd Street, puts on contemporary art shows. In December, the center previewed the animated narrative feature “Too Loud a Solitude.” Photo: the Czech Center those in “A World Full of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700 BC-200 AD,” (March 9 -June 24, 2017). Many of the more than 130 items — vase paintings, sculptures, theatrical masks, artifacts, coins and more — will be on view in the U.S. for the first time and have been drawn from the Acropolis Museum, the Louvre, the British Museum, the Vatican Museums and elsewhere. Some works will leave Greece for the first time, specifically for this show. The collection will show the range of emotion — some familiar, some not — depicted in antiquity, to provide a

“Time and Cosmos in Greco-Roman Antiquity” at NYU”s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World on East 84th Street.

way to consider the role of feelings in our own personal, social and political lives, while helping to advance the relatively new field of the history of emotions. At the other end of the time spectrum, there’s no need to go to the Guggenheim when the Czech Center of New York mounts contemporary art shows and much more. The center, housed in a landmarked Renaissance Revival building on 73rd Street, uses the arts to strengthen cultural ties between the Czech Republic and the U.S. Visitors can see films, borrow books from its library, hear lectures and enjoy art in its gallery from contemporary artists and up and comers. Through Jan. 26, the gallery will show dramatic photography (both drone and still) by Petr Jan Juracka and Czech expert climber Klára Kolouchová when they scaled K2, the world’s second highest peak, as part of the USA International K2 expedition. The center also offers opportunities to see the work of aspiring artists in different mediums through its Bohemian Creative Hub. Inspired by Thomas Messer, the director of the Guggenheim Museum for 27 years (who was of Czechoslovakian heritage), visual and performing artists under 30 years old can apply to exhibit or perform at its gallery and cinema space in July and November of 2017.

Although not a niche in terms of sheer size (it takes up an entire city block), the Park Avenue Armory is becoming a source of some of the most unusual art experiences in the city — without a long trip to Brooklyn or downtown. Within its wood-paneled rooms and galleries, and especially in its huge (55,000 square feet) Drill Hall, the Armory hosts concerts, lectures and modern or original, commissioned art. A recent show at the Armory, “Manifesto,” by artist/filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt, featured a history of the manifestos of 20th century art movements, edited and re-imagined as dramatic monologues by 13 different characters, all played by Cate Blanchett. Blanchett assumed the personas of a Russian diva, a day trader, a teacher, a homeless man, a CEO, a puppeteer, a punk rocker, a news reader and more — all portrayed in huge video screens hung throughout the cavernous Drill Hall. The Armory’s Manifesto was the kickoff to a new cultural season at the Armory (the next big event is O’Neill’s “The Hairy Ape” with Bobby Cannavale in March), and proves that there’s more to New York’s art scene than Museum Mile, SoHo or Brooklyn. Dive in.

JANUARY 12-18,2017

Judy Crawford and John Doyle of Crawford Doyle booksellers. Photo: James Freund

FAREWELL TO A BELOVED BOOKSTORE Fans turn out from near and far as Crawford Doyle closes on Madison Avenue


The booksellers were on duty, even during the Jan. 5 reception marking the closing of Crawford Doyle, a retail mainstay on Madison Avenue for the last 21 years. A customer came up to co-owner Judy Crawford and said, “You can give me advice,” and then wondered aloud about what to read next. As longtime fans of the store drank wine, ate cheese and shared memories, Crawford suggested Ian McEwan’s new book, “The Nutshell,” explaining, “It’s very clear and it’s not too long.” The customer seemed satisfied with the suggestion. Crawford and her husband John Doyle had another ongoing task that night: comforting customers upset at the loss of a bookstore in the neighborhood. “This is bittersweet,” Crawford acknowledged. “We didn’t want to wait until we were forced to make a decision.” One staffer, Emma McNairy, said it was weird to see the store being physically dismantled. “It’s like a wake,” she said. Customers came from near and far. Maureen Berescik lives in Connecticut, but showed up for the farewell because she treasured her memories of the shop, which she used to visit when her daughter lived nearby. “This was my favorite


Our Town|Downtowner

place to be,” she said. “So I had to make the closing night. It’s so worth it.” Marjorie Hilton, an Upper East Sider and self-described “interior decorator to the stars,” described how a friend of hers, during a difficult time, visited the store every day. “She felt safe here,” Hilton said. “That’s the kind of thing people need to know.” As booklovers mingled, another fan of the store asked Doyle, “Was it profitable? I know you owned the space.” “Bookstores are never profitable,” Doyle quipped. “It wasn’t meant to be.” The store, he explained in an earlier interview, was really a post-retirement exercise after his years working for IBM. “I was 59 at the time,” said Doyle, now 82. “We thought we could maybe do a 10-year project at that time. A bookstore sounded like a good idea, so we got it going. Time passed and the store’s done pretty well.” The store’s final day would be Jan. 10, but Doyle plans to continue selling first editions and unique books out of his home. “We have a library attached to our apartment on 90th Street and it’s accessible to the public the way it’s built,” he said. Manager Thomas Talbot was a key reason for the store’s success, Doyle said. Talbot and his team offered advice to customers. “That’s the difference with the chains or even Amazon,” said Doyle, pointing to the interaction between booksellers and customers. New Yorkers think of themselves as sophisticated and

steeped in literary tradition, but the city has provided a challenging retail landscape for independent bookstores over many years. While Doyle says such stores will “never play the role they once did,” he heralds his location between 81st and 82nd streets. “For any retail business, it starts with the location,” he said. Even without Crawford Doyle, there will be independent survivors. The Corner Bookstore, north on Madison Avenue, may inherit some Crawford Doyle customers. Shakespeare & Company survives to the south on Madison Avenue, near Hunter College. On the West Side there are three Book Culture shops, owned by Chris Doeblin. “Indie bookstores are having a moment and several, even in New York, are expanding,” Doeblin said. He explained how Crawford Doyle was aided by Doyle’s having purchased his retail space, but insisted there was another secret to success: “John’s love of books and his ability to select the people that could run the place. They probably deserve a great deal of credit.” Doyle said he’s hoping to send some of his staff members to Doeblin and Book Culture. On the night of the closing reception, though, Doyle took a moment to wonder about the future. He looked down from his upstairs office to the bookstore below, customers bustling, and thought about what would come next for the space. “It will be full of women’s clothes or perfume,” he predicted.

Everything you like about Our Town Downtown is now available to be delivered to your mailbox every week in the Downtowner From the very local news of your neighborhood to information about upcoming events and activities, the new home delivered edition of the Downtowner will keep you in-the-know.

And best of all you won’t have to go outside to grab a copy from the street box every week.

It’s your neighborhood. It’s your news.


Yes! Start my mail subscription to the Downtowner right away! 1-Year Subscription @ $49



Address _________________________________ Apt. #


New York, NY Zip Code __________ Cell Phone _________________ Email Address___________________________________________ Payment by

Check # __________

Money Order

Credit Card

Name on Credit Card (Please Print) ___________________________ Card # _______________________ Exp. Date

____ //____ // ____

Signature of Cardholder ___________________________________

Return Completed Form to: Straus News, 20 West Avenue, Chester, NY, 10918 or go to & click on Subscribe


JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner


Muscle Maker Grill

70 7Th Ave

The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website and include the most recent inspection and grade reports listed. We have included every restaurant listed during this time within the zip codes of our neighborhoods. Some reports list numbers with their explanations; these are the number of violation points a restaurant has received. To see more information on restaurant grades, visit

Grade Pending (22) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Cafe Water

519 6Th Ave

Grade Pending (45) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, crosscontaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

The Big Slice

146 5Th Ave

Not Yet Graded (48) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided.


482 Avenue Of The Americas



1000 S 8Th Ave


Pizza 23

268 W 23Rd St

Grade Pending (21) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Black Tap

248 W 14Th St

Grade Pending (24) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided.

2 Bro’s Pizza

601 6Th Ave


Le Singe Vert

160 7 Avenue

Grade Pending (24) Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewageassociated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Famous Bagel Buffet

510 6 Avenue


Friedman’s Lunch

75 9 Avenue


Vivi Bubble Tea

170 West 23 Street


Original Sandwiches


Go Go Thai

144 West 19 Street


58A Greenwich Avenue

The City Bakery

3 West 18 Street

Chuck And Blade - Buns Bar

184 8Th Ave


Casa Apicii

62 W 9Th St


Grade Pending (30) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.


579 Avenue Of The Americas



202 8 Avenue


37 7 Avenue


Cafe Prague

2 West 19 Street


Grade Pending (21) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Google Chelsea Market

75 9 Avenue



75 9Th Ave


63 W 8Th St

Grade Pending (27) Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer or thermocouple not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Grade Pending (18) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer or thermocouple not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding.


590 Avenue Of The Americas


Beans & Greens

121 W 19Th St


Swerve Fitness

30 West 18Th Street


Go Go Curry Chelsea

144 West 19 Street



119 7 Avenue


Los Mariscos

409 W 15Th St



75 9Th Ave


Padthai Noodle Lounge

Meatball Obsession Caffe Bene

114 8 Avenue

Grade Pending (31) Food not cooked to required minimum temperature. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

510 Avenue Of The Americas


4 W 14Th St

Grade Pending (19) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/ sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies.

Sons And Daughters

85 10Th Ave


Markle Residence

123 W 13Th St


Coppelia Cuban Luncheonette

207 West 14 Street


Peloton Lounge

140 W 23Rd St


Guckenheimer @ Twitter Cafe

245 W 17Th St


Green Cafe

599 6Th Ave

Grade Pending (41) Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or nonfood areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Chelsea Papaya

171 West 23 Street


Salsa Y Salsa

206 Seventh Avenue


JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner

RICHARD SANDOVAL PREPS FOR THE ART OF FOOD Taste what Richard Sandoval is serving up at Our Town’s Art of Food at Sotheby’s on February 4. Tickets available at What sparked your interest in the culinary world? My love of cooking started by watching my grandmother cook in Mexico City when I was growing up. I would always gravitate into the kitchen and watch her cook. She would prepare these huge feasts for my whole family, I’ll never forget the authentic and fresh ingredients she used and how her food brought everyone together. My father was also a restaurateur in Acapulco who taught me how to run a business. Between the two, I was almost destined to have this profession. How did you get started in the culinary business? I actually started out as a professional tennis player and had the privilege of traveling around the world and playing – which would later play a huge role in my culinary career.

Somewhere along the way, I realized that I wasn’t going to make it on the satellite circuit, so I needed to decide if I was going to teach tennis or find a different career. I thought about what I really enjoyed and kept going back to cooking. It was then I took the leap & enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America. After graduating, I moved to Acapulco to work at my father’s restaurant. After four years there, I set off to New York with the dream of opening my own restaurant. What inspired the menu at Maya? What are some of the signature dishes? My vision with Maya was to achieve “Modern Mexican” which is what I like to describe as simply old ways in new hands. Elevating Mexican food has been my goal from the start. When I began my career, I wanted to overcome the perception that Mexican food was just “Tex-Mex” cuisine: smothered burritos, chimichangas, and so on.

What is your favorite ingredient to work with? Huitlacoche, or “corn smut.” It has a soft and velvety taste that is unlike any other ingredient. I also love working with all kinds of chiles, both fresh and dried; they add a flavor depth without added fat. What have been some of your career highlights along the way? The amazing restaurant teams I’ve created over the past twenty years, receiving Bon Appetit’s Restauranteur of the Year award & my James Beard nomination. This is Maya’s second time participating in the Art of Food event at Sotheby’s. Any favorite memories? The Art of Food does a wonderful job capturing the food scene in NYC. I loved getting to see some familiar faces of chefs that I started out with and chefs I look up to. Your number one cooking tip? Taste as you go!


BE THE SOMEONE. Every day, we think to ourselves that someone should really help make this city a better place. Visit to learn about the countless ways you can volunteer and make a difference in your community.

Cat New York Cares Volunteer



Our Town|Downtowner

JANUARY 12-18,2017


CUOMO OUTLINES PROGRESSIVE PATH In state of the state address at World Trade Center, governor prioritizes infrastructure, education, high-tech BY DAVID KLEPPER

New York state must stand as an alternative to the policies and pronouncements of President-elect Donald Trump and show the nation progressive achievements, racial and religious tolerance and that big investments in education and infrastructure can create a dynamic economy that works for all, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday. Cuomo, a Democrat, did not men-

tion the Republican president-elect by name in his state of the state address at Manhattan’s World Trade center, but he returned again and again to the political upheaval that propelled Trump to the White House. “We all heard the roar on election day, and we must respond,” Cuomo said. “The nation once again looks to New York to find the way up,” the governor said. Cuomo’s answer: a focus on infrastructure, like an overhauled Kennedy Airport, the new Tappan Zee Bridge and an upgraded New York subway system; big investments in education, including free state uni-

versity tuition for middle-class students; subsidies for growing hightech industries and fiscal discipline that keeps taxes low. Cuomo said his approach is intended to improve the lives of all New Yorkers by helping people rise out of poverty, expanding their career opportunities and supporting those most vulnerable. Other proposals from Cuomo include an expansion of ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft into upstate cities such as Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester; an expanded child care tax credit and significant changes to the state’s cumbersome and outdated voting rules. Monday’s speech was the first

Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his state of the state address at the World Trade Center this week. Governor’s Office, via flickr of six addresses planned for locations around the state this week. Governors traditionally deliver the address to lawmakers in the state Capitol, but Cuomo’s administration said this year’s approach is an effort to communicate directly with

New Yorkers. Top lawmakers are skipping the speeches in a sign of the tense relationship between lawmakers and Cuomo. Many lawmakers blame the governor for killing their first pay raise in 18 years last month.

LATE-YEAR BOOM IN CITY REAL ESTATE PUNCTUATES 2016 How well Congress and Trump administration work together will help determine sector’s health this year BY FREDERICK PETERS

Like the presidential elections, the 2016 New York real estate market ended with a bang. Within a week of November 8, the market, which had been idling since July, kicked into gear. The early weeks of December saw more transactions over $4 million than any time since the spring, and other sectors benefited as well. The last six weeks of 2016 saw a level of transactional activity which ordinarily accompanies a looming tax change. But no tax change loomed. Instead, anticipation of a business-friendly administration on Capitol Hill, combined with relief that the whole wrenching election process was finally over, generated a dynamic response to well-priced listings, even those which had been languishing on the market for months. The turn was most dramatic in the upper market. While there still exists an oversupply of ultra-high-end condominiums, buildings like 432 Park have experienced renewed market activity as they move into their final selling phase. In the oversupplied areas, like the greater 57th Street corridor and river to river below Canal Street, this renewal has been spurred by substantial discounting, both in the form of developer-paid closing costs (usually a buyer’s responsibility) and prices agreed at 5 to 10 percent below

the ask. The co-op market will recover more gradually; many of the luxury co-op units are still overpriced and in relatively poor repair. The prospect of facing both the board approval process and a renovation sends increasing numbers of buyers, both local and foreign, fleeing to the condo market, where they can acquire spacious, toothbrush-ready homes with every modern amenity. The more moderately priced condominiums being built in the 80s and 90s on the Upper East and West Sides fared extremely well during the latter half of 2016 (of course, “moderately priced” is a relative term, as these units tend to cost between $1.5 million and $8 million.) These units, constructed in established residential neighborhoods and offering modern conveniences close to schools and parks, entice families and other buyers looking for spacious new quarters; the opening on January 1 of the Second Avenue Q line subway will only add value to these new residences east of Third Avenue. For this constituency co-ops increasingly attract by relative value; when the discount compared to a new building is substantial enough, the hassle of board approval and upgrading become tolerable. Smaller apartments drove real estate markets in every borough throughout the year. One- and twobedroom apartments, priced under $2 million, outperformed every other sector both in volume and in relative sales prices. These smaller homes

Sales of very-high-end condominiums buildings, such as 432 Park, had increased market activity at the tail end of 2016. Photo: Carl, via flickr experienced enormous demand with which supply could not keep up. Even during the early fall, when demand for most offerings slowed to a trickle, buyers were still competing for 3-, 3.5- and 4-room apartments – with the caveat that they were sensibly priced. 2016 was not a year during which buyers overpaid in any price range. Usually the rental market surges when sales are weak. Not so this year. Even last spring, luxury rentals were signing leases at 10, 15, even 20 percent below what they had achieved two years earlier. While overpricing hobbled some segments of the rental

market, even those units at the lower end which usually enjoy quick turnaround have been slow. Since the winter market for rentals is historically in the doldrums, we will have to wait for spring to get a sense of how strongly, and at what prices, this market will bounce back. While the Brooklyn market experienced the same ebbs and flows as those described above, the ongoing demand/supply imbalance protected prices in most neighborhoods. Competitive bidding remained common throughout the year, and prices in Brooklyn today have risen enough so that many buyers are turning back to Manhattan because neighborhoods such as the far East Side, upper Harlem and Washington Heights offer them better value. Overall, the two most significant real estate markers of the past year pertain to co-op values and shifting market dynamics. 2016 made evident in no uncertain terms the ongoing challenges implicit in co-op ownership: Board expectations and demands on the one hand and condition on the other. With a number of perfectly qualified candidates rejected by boards who believed the sales prices were too low, agents and sellers alike are placed in a quandary. No one WANTS to accept a low price; the deal that gets made is always the best deal available at the time. For boards to then reject the opinion of the market diminishes the quality of the co-op asset and drives more buyers towards the relative ease of condo-

minium purchases. For buyers to jump through the hoops required for co-op approval, only to learn that the board feels they are not paying enough, frequently drives a decision to cross coops off the list. Furthermore, almost every co-op needs SOME renovation. Little wonder that for many buyers, value versus condominiums becomes one primary motivation to consider a co-op purchase, the other being location. 2016’s other most significant development was the shift from seller’s market to buyer’s market. Increasingly, as the year went by, buyers possessed the upper hand; they balked at overpricing and waited sellers out. On the listing side, 2016 was a year of price drops, often multiple, to position the subject properties for sale in the changed marketplace. While the year began with sellers firmly in charge of the market, December saw almost every sale negotiated, often from prices which had already been reduced several times. As to 2017, we face the wild card of the Trump presidency. While I anticipate our market, like securities, will remain strong for the sale of properly priced property, predicting out beyond four to six months seems specious. Given how little we know about how well Trump and the Congress will work together, and what their disparate priorities may be, we will just have to wait and see. Frederick Peters is chief executive officer of Warburg Realty Partnership.

JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner



JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner

GET READY FOR NEW BUS LANE FINES The DOT starts issuing violations to offenders along the M23 route BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Beginning this week, any driver making illegal use of 23rd Street’s bus lanes can expect an unwelcome surprise in the mail, courtesy of the Department of Transportation. On Monday, DOT began issuing automated violations to bus lane offenders along the M23 Select Bus Service crosstown route, using traffic cameras positioned along 23rd Street. The corridor is the 10th New York City bus

route now monitored for lane violations by DOT cameras. The 23rd Street bus lanes are reserved for buses and emergency vehicles on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., except for drivers making permitted right turns and picking up or dropping off passengers. Bus lane violators face fines ranging from $115 to $150, but are not subject to points on their licenses, since camera violations are issued against the vehicle rather than the driver. Bus lane cameras generated $17 mil-

lion in revenue for the city in 2015, according to a report by the city comptroller’s office last year, which noted that the figure is expected to grow in coming years as cameras are installed along additional routes. DOT also employs automated camera enforcement of bus lane violations along the First and Second Avenue M15 SBS corridor, the M34 SBS route on 34th Street and the M60 SBS route on 125th Street. DOT plans to further expand the program, which is authorized by the State to include 16 bus routes in total.

With the introduction this week of fines for illegal use of newly installed bus lanes on 23rd Street, city officials hope to speed the corridor’s Select Bus Service. Photo: Michael Garofalo

SECOND AVENUE BIKE LANES DEBUT The thoroughfare’s protected paths now extend nearly uninterrupted from 68th Street to 125th BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

The long-awaited completion of the Second Avenue subway dominated the Upper East Side news cycle in the first week of 2017, but with the opening of the Q train came another significant, if less-heralded, project at street level: the implementation of parking-protected bike lanes along Second Avenue above 68th Street. The Department of Transportation recently finished the construction of a designated bike lane along the east side of Second Avenue from 105th Street to 68th Street. Parallel street parking and pedestrian crossing islands form a buffer protecting cyclists in the bike lane, which is painted green, from southbound motor traffic. The protected bike lane now runs uninterrupted from 125th Street to 68th Street, with the exception of the block

between 70th Street and 69th Street, where parked vehicles do not separate the bike lane from motor traffic. The Second Avenue lane joins a similar northbound lane on First Avenue in providing protected north-south thoroughfares for cyclists on the Upper East Side. Joe Enoch, an avid biker who is familiar with the area, said that the new lanes are “very visible” and offer “just about all you could ask for as a cyclist when it comes to convenience and safety.” The bike lanes remain a contentious topic for some residents, however, who say that bikers contribute to dangerous conditions for pedestrians. Cyclists, they say, too often make illegal turns, disobey traffic signals and ride in the wrong direction in the one-way bike lanes. “The city hasn’t done enough to really impress upon bicyclists that they must obey the laws,” Upper East Side resident Bette Dewing said, also noting her belief that cyclists in the bike lanes pose a hazard to people exiting

A cyclist crosses the 59th Street and Second Avenue intersection using the bus lane. There is no bike lane on Second Avenue at the dangerous crossing, near the entrance to the Queensboro bridge. Photo: Michael Garofalo

their vehicles. Miriam Silverberg, who lives near 57th Street and First Avenue, said that the bike lanes themselves are a good idea, but that police need to ensure that cyclists use them properly. “They act like pedestrians when they feel like it and like autos when they feel like it,” Silverberg said. “If you’re not watching they will slam right into you,” she continued. A pedestrian was critically injured after being struck by a cyclist in a hitand-run incident near East 70th Street and First Avenue in November. DOT also plans to install a protected bike lane from 59th Street to 43rd Street on Second Avenue. What that phase of the project is completed, the only remaining stretches of Second Avenue without protected bike lanes will be from 68th Street to 59th Street, along the approach to the Queensboro Bridge, and from 42nd Street to 34th Street, near the entrance to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. “DOT will continue to work closely with the MTA to build out the 2nd Avenue bike lanes and bus lanes,” a DOT spokesperson said in an email. Second Avenue’s 59th Street and 34th Street intersections are both among the most dangerous in Manhattan. The 59th Street and Second Avenue intersection is the single most dangerous in the borough, and is the site of 150 collisions per year, on average. The bike and pedestrian advocacy group Transportation Alternatives recently issued a report calling on DOT to extend the Second Avenue protected bike lane from 68th Street to 59th Street. Currently, the parking-protected lane shifts to an unprotected lane, running adjacent to motor traffic, at 68th Street. The bike lane then ends altogether below 63rd Street, in the blocks leading to the complex 59th Street intersection, where drivers turn left to access the Queensboro

A bicyclist on the new Second Avenue protected bike lane near 76th Street. Photo: Michael Garofalo Bridge or continue south on Second Avenue. Bikers in this area must enter the traffic flow and avoid left-turning vehicles in order to continue south on Second Avenue, though there are currently no street markings indicating shared bike lanes. The 59th Street intersection “has always been the most dangerous part of Second Avenue for a bicyclist,” Enoch said. “There’s no bike lane there. The drivers are very tense and angry there because they’re trying to get on the bridge or around traffic.” Transportation Alternatives recently published a report calling on DOT to extend the protected bike lanes from 68th Street to 59th Street. “It’s irresponsible to have a lane that funnels cyclists to one of the most dangerous areas of the city without any protection,” said Paul Steely White, the nonprofit’s director said. “That was the impetus for our report: the lane is failing cyclists when they need it the most,” he said. Councilman Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side, praised DOT for the recent improvements to

the neighborhood’s bike infrastructure, but acknowledged that the 59th Street intersection remains a problem area. “The location is complicated because it impacts inter-borough commutes,” he said. Kallos said that he has been in communication with DOT about potential changes to the intersection. “We have to balance commerce and safety, making sure people get where they need to safely,” he said. White, of Transportation Alternatives, says that his organization’s proposal for the intersection, which calls for a protected bike lane, wouldn’t impact traffic flow and could even have a positive impact by making it clear where bikers and motorists belong in the street. White said that Transportation Alternatives will issue a report with proposals on protected bike lanes for the area of Second Avenue near the Queens-Midtown Tunnel later this year. “Traffic flowing to and from the Queensboro Bridge and Queens-Midtown Tunnel is important, but it’s not more important than people’s lives,” he said.

JANUARY 12-18,2017


Our Town|Downtowner

Get a 150 word write up about your camp or summer program

Advertise in Straus Mediaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Essential Guide to

Summer Camps JANUARY 26, 2017 Art & Materials Deadline: January 19th 2017 Ask about monthly camp articles February-May

FOR MORE INFORMATION Contact Vincent Gardino 212.868.0190 ext. 407 The local paper for the Upper East Side

The local paper for the Upper West Side

The local paper for Downtown

The local paper for Chelsea


Our Town|Downtowner

JANUARY 12-18,2017



START TO INCREASE ENROLLMENT! ‡Insight into the Top Private Schools ‡The Latest Continuing Education trends ‡Updates on elementary schools in the neighborhood

Issue Jan. 19th Deadline Jan. 13th Contact Vincent Gardino 212.868.0190 x407 |

Tell 150,000+ Highly Educated Readers About the Best Education Opportunities

JANUARY 12-18,2017


Our Town|Downtowner


To read about other people who have had their “15 Minutes” go to minutes

TOASTING THE PAST — AND WHAT’S TO COME Tommy Burke reflects on his first deli and a forthcoming Victorianthemed bar channeling Oscar Wilde

The BBC did a miniseries in 1977 and I saw that on television and was fascinated by her. She was born in 1853 on an island called Jersey, which is off the coast of England. She met Mr. Langtry who was a shipping magnate out of Belfast because he used to vacation there. And eventually he asked her to marry him. She was still very young, like 17. So he moved her to London and put her up in a beautiful house on High Street and then he went about back to doing what he did around the world. She genuinely loved him, but he left her alone. So she met friends, including Oscar Wilde, who wound up becoming her best friend. She became the mistress of the Prince of Wales and he sent her to Paris to acting classes. And that’s how she became an actress and became very famous.


When I asked Tommy Burke what one of the keys to the success of his longstanding New York establishments is, he said, “We’re basing them on a time a long time ago. It’s not trendy. This time will never change because it’s gone, so it will last forever.” The Irish native, who came to New York in 1985 and got his start in the industry working in his family’s deli, owns several popular establishments in the city — Papillon in Midtown East, Lillie’s in both Union Square and Times Square and Ashby’s on Wall Street and in the Flatiron District. His newest venture, Oscar Wilde, is slated to serve its first cocktail next month. The bar is inspired by its literary namesake, who also happened to be the friend of actress Lillie Langtry, after which two of his places are named. Oscar Wilde, at 45 West 27th Street, near Broadway, is ensconced in a building with a rich history. “We found out that Prohibition had their headquarters there and that the Mafia took the floor above them so they could listen in and spy,” Burke said. The bar will pay homage to the period with its cocktail menu, created by Johnny Swet. “We’re going to have an extensive cocktail list because Oscar liked cocktails and champagne. We’re also going to have a section for Prohibition-era cocktails,” Burke said.

Tell us about when you came to New York and how you got your start in the industry. I grew up in the west of Ireland and after I graduated from high school and worked for my father for a while, I decided I needed to get out of there and go to America. So I came to New York in 1985. I had a relative who had a food store, like a deli, on 23rd Street and Broadway and I started working there. And that was my start in the business. I worked for the family business until ’92. And then I got some money together and opened a little store on 46th Street, between Fifth


What’s a memorable customer story?

Tommy Burke at Papillon on East 54th Street. Photo credit is Papillon Bistro & Bar. and Madison and called it Ashby’s. It was a coffee shop — soup, salads, sandwiches and coffee. Then I opened a rotisserie store on Ninth Avenue and 46th Street as well. That was 1994. The chicken store, I eventually sold. The Ashby’s concept I kept going, and still have it today. I don’t have that location on 46th Street, but I have one down at 120 Broadway, one block north of Wall Street and another on Sixth Avenue and 22nd Street.

The first bar/restaurant you owned was Papillon, which has been on East 54th Street since 1999. In 1999, I got into the bar and restaurant business, which is now Papillon. The building has a lot of history, 22 East 54th Street. It was owned by the Reidy family, who had it since 1944. Developers came in the ‘80s and bought all the buildings for demolition to put up a high-rise. But Mr. Reidy wouldn’t sell. He held out. And

there’s been books written about him since. When you go to Papillon, even today, before you go in and look up, you see it’s a little building. The developer had to buy the air rights and build over them; it’s a 60-story building. So I met William Reidy in 1999. He was an Irish Catholic from Riverdale and had nine children. He raised his kids and sent them all to school and it was time for him to retire. And he wanted someone he could trust to take over the business and rent the space ... I said to my best friend, Frank McCole, who I met in Murphy’s on Second Avenue in the early ‘90s, “Come in with me and we’ll build something amazing.” And that’s what we did. He was always in construction and in the bar business in Ireland as well, so knew the industry. We built Papillon together. It’s based on the true story of Henri Charriere, a man who went to prison for a crime he never committed. He broke

out like three times and they caught him and put him back in again. And he got released because he was innocent and moved to Venezuela and opened nightclubs and had a very colorful life. It’s a movie with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.

You met your wife at Papillon. How does she handle you working in the restaurant business? I met her in 2002. She was a customer and came in all the time. She was going to school. And then she worked with me for a while. And we got to know each other and that was it. I met her in the business and she saw what I did, so for that reason, it worked. And we’ve been together ever since. And the funny thing is, Mr. Reidy met his wife there as well. So good things happen there.

Explain who Lillie was and what intrigued you so much to name your next venture after her.

Bill Clinton was memorable. He used to come to Papillon unannounced. One night he came, he was dressed down in jeans and a jacket. It was a Wednesday night. He was with another man and went to the upstairs bar. So when he’s dressed down, his security is dressed down. He was at the middle of the bar with his friend and drank vodka and soda with a piece of lemon. The restaurant was full, and little by little, people noticed him. Everyone got excited. The memorable part about it was that when he was ready to leave, all my staff, from the kitchen and everybody, wanted to meet him. They were at the top of the stairs, 15 people lined up. This all happened spontaneously. And he went and shook every single one of their hands. And for 15 minutes he talked to basically the lowest of them, a runner from India. And that was why he was so successful. Because he made everybody feel like they were the only person.

Know somebody who deserves their 15 Minutes of fame? Go to and click on submit a press release or announcement.



Our Town|Downtowner



JANUARY 12-18,2017

JANUARY 12-18,2017


Our Town|Downtowner


Telephone: 212-868-0190 Fax: 212-868-0198 Email:

POLICY NOTICE: We make every eďŹ&#x20AC;ort to avoid mistakes in your classiďŹ ed ads. Check your ad the ďŹ rst week it runs. The publication will only accept responsibility for the ďŹ rst incorrect insertion. The publication assumes no ďŹ nancial responsibility for errors or omissions. We reserve the right to edit, reject, or re-classify any ad. Contact your sales rep directly for any copy changes. All classiďŹ ed ads are pre-paid.



Quick | Easy | Economical

Call Barry Lewis Today: 212-868-0190

Directory of Business & Services To advertise in this directory Call #BSSZ (212)-868-0190 ext.4



Elliot Forest, 212 -447-5400


Volunteering in the Arts

Antique, Flea & Farmers Market

Come listen to our panel of volunteer experts Learn about a broad range of opportunities in the arts capital of the world Talk with interviewers and sign up to volunteer!

SINCE 1979

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 6:00pm²8:00pm All Stars Project 543 West 42nd Street (Subway A, C, & E to 42nd Street) Admission is FREE! | Light Refreshments

RSVP to reserve your place 212 889-4805 or

Complex Immigration Problems? We Can Help! s s s s s s s




SALIS LAW, P.C. 347.663.7699


1179 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213 3E(ABLA%SPAĂ&#x2014;OLsh.O!PPROVAL .O!TTORNEY&EESFOR$(3#ASESv




newspaper #

300 to 20,000 square feet Licensed RE. Broker


ways to re-use

East 67th Street Market (between First & York Avenues)

Open EVERY Saturday 6am-5pm Rain or Shine Indoor & Outdoor FREE Admission Questions? Bob 718.897.5992 Proceeds BeneďŹ t PS 183

Tightly roll up sheets of newspaper and tie with string to use as ďŹ re logs.




462 Broadway MFG No Retail/Food +/- 9,000 SF Ground Floor - $90 psf +/- 16,000 SF Cellar - $75 psf Divisible Call David @ Meringoff Properties 212-645-7575


JANUARY 12-18,2017

Our Town|Downtowner

Spend a Night with The Zakarians at Sotheby’s AMERICAN CUT Daniel Eardley ATLANTIC GRILL Joyce Rivera BLAKE LANE Kevin Wilson BOHEMIAN SPIRIT RESTAURANT Lukas Pol CAFE D’ALSACE Philippe Roussel CANDLE 79 Angel Ramos CRAVE FISHBAR Todd Mitgang EAST POLE Joseph Capozzi EASTFIELDS KITCHEN & BAR Joseph Capozzi FREDS AT BARNEYS NEW YORK Mark Strausman FLEX MUSSELS Rebecca Richards JONES WOOD FOUNDRY Jason Hicks Geoffrey & Margaret Zakarian

LUSARDI’S Claudio Meneghini

Our Town’s


Presented by

Saturday February 4, 2017


MAGNOLIA BAKERY Bobbie Lloyd MAYA Richard Sandoval


Geoffrey Zakarian Star of Food Network’s Chopped, The Kitchen, Cooks vs. Cons, author of “My Perfect Pantry,” restaurateur behind The Lambs Club, The National in NYC, The National in Greenwich, The Water Club at Borgata in Atlantic City, Georgie and The Garden Bar at Montage Beverly Hills and, coming soon, Point Royal at The Diplomat Beach Resort and co-creator of Pro For Home food wstorage container system, Margaret Zakarian President of Zakarian Hospitality, co-author of “My Perfect Pantry” and co-creator of Pro For Home food storage container system.

Our Town Downtown - January 12, 2017  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you