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The local paper for Downtown wn

WEEK OF MARCH AMERICAN BEAUTY ◄P.12

15-21 2018

SAVING THE PAST IN NOMAD PRESERVATION Untrammeled high-rise development has redefined the district north of Madison Square Park — but the wrecking ball will never claim two century-old structures that were just awarded landmark status BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

Joe Rizzo, the owner of Langdon Florist in Tribeca, and Stephanie Gregg, his oldest daughter, stand under the awning of his storied shop at 62 Reade Street. After running the business for the past 35 years, and tending to customers from first lady Chirlane McCray to former first lady Laura Bush, Rizzo closed the store on March 10 and is relocating to Staten Island. Photo: Courtesy of Langdon Florist

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE? SMALL BUSINESS Sadly, they’ve gone to Staten Island, everyone. When will they ever learn? Oh, when will they ever learn? BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

First lady Chirlane McCray and former first lady Laura Bush would appear to have scant little in common: One is a left-leaning progressive with

“Volume used to be high, and costs were low. Now, costs are high and volume is low.” Joe Rizzo, owner of Langdon Florist in lower Manhattan

ties to Brooklyn, the other a moderate conservative hailing from Texas. But actually, they do share a common bond — their florist. Both women, along with one spouse, a certain Bill de Blasio, have been loyal and longtime customers of Joe Rizzo at 62 Reade Street in Tribeca. Unfortunately, the owner of Langdon Florist — faced with rising rent, a brutal barrage of

So dramatically has NoMad been transformed in the 21st century that developers have concocted a new vocabulary for their creations: “Slender-scrapers” and “skinny climbers,” “needle towers” and “super-talls,” all boasting “high slenderness ratios,” have punctured the skyline. “It seems that a super-tower is being built or proposed on every single corner of NoMad these days,” said Mario G. Messina, president of the 29th Street Neighborhood Association. But the neighborhood’s architectural conversation got a reboot, at least briefly, on March 6 when a pair of treasures from the early 1900s were officially designated by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. The LPC awarded landmark status to the Hotel Seville, at 22 East 29th Street, now operating as the James NoMad Hotel — a modestly scaled, limestoneand-red-brick, 12-story Beaux Arts-style classic with a highly ornamental base and crown that was completed in 1904.

The Hotel Seville on East 29th Street in NoMad, a Beaux-Arts treasure currently doing business as the James NoMad Hotel, was awarded landmark status last week by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Photo: Historic Districts Council

Parts of Fifth and Madison Avenues in NoMad are now turning into a combination of Hong Kong and Dubai.” Mario G. Messina, president of the 29th Street Neighborhood Association

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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

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

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MANHATTAN'S APARTMENT BOOM, > PROPERTY, P.20

2015

In Brief MORE HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS

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

SLEEPS, THANKS TO THE CITY THAT NEVER UCTION A BOOM IN LATE-NIGHT CONSTR NEWS

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

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MARCH 15-21,2018

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MINT TO SELL PINK BREAST CANCER AWARENESS COIN FUNDRAISER Coins could raise up to $8.5 million for research through legislation sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

The U.S. Mint is set to release a series of commemorative coins, including the first ever struck in pink gold, to spread awareness of breast cancer and raise funding to support research on the disease. Rep. Carolyn Maloney co-sponsored the legislation that authorized the program. “It’s critical, because one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime and it is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women,” Maloney told Straus News. “These coins will provide a new

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way to raise needed funds for breast cancer research.” The three-coin set includes a fivedollar gold coin, a silver dollar and a clad half-dollar coin. The design on the coins was selected in an open competition and features two women expressing determination and a butterfly symbolizing hope. The legal tender coins go on sale March 15 through the U.S. Mint. A surcharge on the sale of each coin will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, one of the leading non-profit organizations dedicated to preventing and finding a cure for the disease, with headquarters on Manhattan’s East Side. “I’m proud that the very best foundation for breast cancer research is in the district that I represent,” Maloney said. If every coin is sold, the program will raise up to $8.5 million in private

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (center, holding coin) co-sponsored legislation authorizing the sale of commemorative coins to raise money for breast cancer research. Photo: Patrick Lyn funds dedicated to breast cancer research. The five-dollar coin n will be struck in pink-hued gold, a first for the Mint that required a special composition produced specifically for the coin. Maloney called d the pink coin “a fitting ing tribute to Evelyn Lauder,” auder,” the founder of BCRF, F, who died in

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

2011 and was the creator and popularas a symbol of izer of the pink ribbon rib awareness. breast cancer a “Since its founding “Sin by Evelyn Lauder in 11993, BCRF funding has been essential to every major breakthrough in

breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship,” Maloney said, noting that breast cancer mortality rates have dropped by 38 percent of the last 25 years. “If we keep working and stay determined to get money for research we will find a cure, and this is part of that effort,” Maloney said.

The first pink-hued gold coin ever produced by the U.S. Mint goes on sale March 15, as part of a series of breast cancer awareness coins championed by Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Image: U.S. Mint

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG SHOPLIFTERS CAN’T BE CHOO-SERS We’ve all heard of buyers’ remorse but – shoplifters’ remorse? At 6:25 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, three women entered the Jimmy Choo store at 111 Greene Street and removed items of merchandise before leaving the store without paying. Police said that sometime later an individual called the store from a blocked number and said her friend Hana had stolen the sandals and wanted to return them. She gave information on Hana, including her cell phone number and said she went to Berkeley College. The informant gave details on the other two shoplifters as well, saying Irene attended Baruch College and Emily was a student at Parsons, according to the police account. The items stolen were a pair of Lance Crystal sandals valued at $1,995 and a pair of Romy pumps priced at $625.

NIGHTCLUB THEFT In this instance it seems that VIP stood for Very Illicit Perpetrator. At 1 a.m. on Sunday, March 4, a 36-year-old woman placed her purse in the corner of the seating section in the VIP area inside Paul’s Casablanca at 305 Spring Street, hiding the clutch under her coat,

STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 1st district for the week ending Mar. 4 Week to Date

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

police said. It was gone when she came back for her stuff at 3:50 a.m. Police searched that area but couldn’t turn up the thieves or her missing belongings. The items stolen included a cellphone valued at $710, the purse, a debit card and an ID.

BAD RESTROOM BREAK Police remind the public not to leave your valuables unattended when you

use a restroom in a commercial venue. At 5:41 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, a 25-year-old woman left her jacket at a table in the Starbucks located at 55 Broad Street while she went to the restroom. When she returned at 6:30 p.m. she found that someone had taken her belongings, police said. The items stolen included an iPhone 6 Plus valued at $666, a wallet worth $30, a St. John’s University student ID card, and various bank cards.

Year to Date

2018 2017

% Change

2018

2017

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

0

1

-100.0

Rape

1

0

n/a

5

2

150.0

Robbery

1

2

-50.0

13

13

0.0

Felony Assault

0

0

n/a

6

10

-40.0

Burglary

2

1

100.0

7

10

-30.0

Grand Larceny

17

19

-10.5

168

171

-1.8

Grand Larceny Auto

0

1

-100.0

1

1

0.0

WALLET SNATCH The Artful Dodger had nothing on one subway pickpocket recently. At 9:40 a.m. on Tuesday, February 27, a 30-year-old woman entered the subway at 14th Street and Eighth Avenue and took a southbound A train. She got off at Canal Street, and as she was walking up the staircase from the platform, she realized that her purse felt lighter, according to police. She looked inside and saw that her

wallet was missing. She went back to check the platform bench to see if she might have dropped the wallet but found nothing. She later received a cell phone message alerting her that someone had tried to use her credit card at FinishLine.com. The items stolen included a Bloomingdales gift card valued at $700, a Deux Lux wallet worth $100, $20 in cash, a California driver’s license, and various credit cards, presenting a total value of $820.

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org NEW YORK CITY

Magical Art: The Power of Images in Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’

March 12-25

MONDAY, MARCH 19TH, 6PM Cornelia Street Cafe | 29 Cornelia St. | 212-989-9319 | corneliastreetcafe.com Philosophy professor Nickolas Pappas takes on Vertigo. James Stewart’s Scotty has been compared to Orpheus; Pappas will argue that he’s worth comparing to Admetus—who wished he could be Orpheus—while delving into the spell cast by a masterpiece ($10, includes one drink).

0YRGLř(MRRIV

Signs of Resistance: A Visual History of Protest in America

TUESDAY, MARCH 20TH, 7PM The Strand | 828 Broadway | 212-473-1452 | strandbooks.com The poster “Rosie the Riveter” was seen by Westinghouse employees for two weeks in 1943 and not again for decades. Catch a panel with Bonnie Siegler, whose new book tells stories like these while mining rich veins of history, democracy, and design ($17.95, includes book).

Just Announced | Skirball Talks—Eckhart Tolle: Awakening Consciousness in Higher Education

MONDAY, APRIL 2ND, 6:30PM NYU Skirball Center | 566 LaGuardia Pl. | 212-998-4941 | nyuskirball.org Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) joins Reka Prasad, Assistant Director of MindfulNYU, for a night of conversation and spiritual teaching (free, reservation required).

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

sign up for the weekly Thought Gallery newsletter at thoughtgallery.org.

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Useful Contacts

Word on the Street

POLICE NYPD 7th Precinct

19 ½ Pitt St.

212-477-7311

NYPD 6th Precinct

233 W. 10th St.

212-741-4811

NYPD 10th Precinct

230 W. 20th St.

212-741-8211 212-477-7411

You: a netsuke with eyes of amber, a language I long to master. We’re ambling down the length of Broadway pausing in Chinatown to listen: an erhu whining, haunting. On the dumpling trail again: I’m overcome.

212-334-0611

FIRE FDNY Engine 15

25 Pitt St.

311

FDNY Engine 24/Ladder 5

227 6th Ave.

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222 E. 2nd St.

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These days I’m so easily overcome often trapped like a wasp in amber with every taste bud firing. Dumpling of my dreams, I don’t want to master my response to you, I am an erhu: one string vibrating on Broadway.

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.

212-564-7757

State Senator Daniel Squadron

250 Broadway #2011

212-298-5565

Community Board 1

1 Centre St., Room 2202

212-669-7970

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3 Washington Square Village

212-979-2272

Community Board 3

59 E. 4th St.

212-533-5300

Community Board 4

330 W. 42nd St.

212-736-4536

Hudson Park

66 Leroy St.

212-243-6876

Ottendorfer

135 2nd Ave.

212-674-0947

Elmer Holmes Bobst

70 Washington Square

212-998-2500

COMMUNITY BOARDS

Yellow taxis stream down Broadway, a waterfall, I feel it, I’m overcome, my nerves twanging like an erhu, we’re crossing a river of amber and dopamine. I’ve become a master sinking my teeth into another dumpling

LIBRARIES

not just any dumpling, but a soup dumpling, the kind you nibble and then slurp on Broadway: a difficult skill, or you burn your tongue, master it and you will be often flayed, overcome with sensation, overwhelmed, amber salty liquid speaking like an erhu,

HOSPITALS New York-Presbyterian

170 William St.

Mount Sinai-Beth Israel

10 Union Square East

212-844-8400

212-312-5110

CON EDISON

4 Irving Place

212-460-4600

TIME WARNER

46 East 23rd

813-964-3839

US Post Office

201 Varick St.

212-645-0327

US Post Office

128 East Broadway

212-267-1543

US Post Office

93 4th Ave.

212-254-1390

telling you this life is good, an erhu singing its one-note song about a dumpling, uniting your senses into synesthesia, amber light suffusing your being on Broadway, numbers becoming colors, becoming overcome now you know what the haiku master

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dawn, an obscure sorrow to fix in amber, to feel forever this ambedo on Broadway, you and I on this trail of the dumpling. Originally from Minnesota, Julie Hart has lived in London, Zurich and Tokyo and now in Brooklyn Heights. Her work can be found in PANK Magazine, The Rumpus, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Poets Anthology and at juliehartwrites.com. She is a founder with Mirielle Clifford and Emily Blair of the poetry collective Sweet Action.

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hinted at, a haunting fragility, master of the melancholic trance that the erhu can pull you into, senses overcome by a swirl of cream in coffee, a dumpling releasing its steam, the flow of traffic on Broadway, the flickering of ginkgo leaves, an amber

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FLOWERS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 parking tickets, even the crush of film crews on Valentine’s Day — shuttered his downtown shop forever on March 10. “It’s Not Goodbye,” Rizzo wrote on a sign posted in the window under Langdon’s green awning. “It’s See ‘Ya Later ...” True enough. He’s not closing his business. But the store — a City Hallarea fixture, a few doors west of Broadway, founded at 57 Reade Street in 1947 — is pulling up stakes and relocating to distant Staten Island, where Rizzo lives with his family. That can’t be good news for the wife of former President George W. Bush, who has been known to sweep in, Secret Service detail in tow, to buy plants for their daughter Jenna, who lives in the neighborhood. And another regular, the actress Mariska Hargitay, who plays NYPD Lieutenant Olivia Benson on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” will also have to go elsewhere for her orchids and flower baskets. “It’s been a good 35 years,” Rizzo said. “It’s bittersweet, that’s the best way to describe the feeling.... But I’m a luxury now, I’m not a necessity.” Perhaps. But sending flowers to a loved one is a luxury that’s pretty tough to resist. Consider the private visit McCray and de Blasio paid to Langdon Florist on February 27 — and the pair of little-noticed Facebook postings the duo sent afterwards. “She came by with Bill the other day

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MARCH 15-21,2018

to say goodbye,” Rizzo said. The first lady didn’t leave empty-handed. “She loves lilies,” he added. Rizzo ought to know: He’s supplied them with flowers since 1991, the year they met while both worked in the Dinkins administration. McCray would come in, as he tells the story, and suggest the kind of lilies she might prefer — should her beau decide to send them.

HOW DANTE GOT HIS FLOWERS When they wed, in Prospect Park on May 14, 1994, Rizzo provided the floral arrangements. So a quarter-century later, their floral preferences were no surprise. “It was a loose wildflower bouquet with lilies and hydrangeas,” said Stephanie Gregg, one of Rizzo’s daughters, who has worked with him for 20 years. A mayoral photographer dutifully snapped a picture of the couple with the multi-colored array, and shortly after, each took to Facebook. McCray hailed Rizzo for “30 years of friendship and fabulous flowers!” She wrote of their “wonderful” shared memories — “from our courtship to our wedding and our return to City Hall,” adding, “Bill and I will miss having you in the neighborhood, but we’ll visit you on Staten Island!” The mayor replied, “From our wedding day to Dante’s graduation, and countless Valentine’s Days in between, Langdon Florist’s flowers have brightened our lives — the same way they will brighten their new neighborhood on Staten Island.” Not a bad recommendation for a small business. “What my dad created was pretty

First lady Chirlane McCray, holding a bouquet of wildflowers, and Mayor Bill de Blasio pay a fond farewell to Langdon Florist near City Hall on February 27. The 71-year-old institution – which they’ve patronized for more than a quarter-century and which supplied the flowers for their wedding in 1994 – is relocating to Staten Island. Photo: Benjamin Kanter, via Mayoral Photo Office great,” said Gracie Rizzo, the younger of his daughters. “He took this tiny little hole-in-the-wall on Reade Street and built it from nothing into this incredible empire that’s loved by so many people.” So what happened to drive from Manhattan a 71-year-old institution that’s served mayors, models, min-

Joe Rizzo, the owner of Langdon Florist in Tribeca, holds a bouquet of wildflowers he prepared for two of his longtime customers, first lady Chirlane McCray and Mayor Bill de Blasio, during a farewell visit they paid to the shop near City Hall on February 27. He is relocating the 71-year-old institution to Staten Island and shuttered the shop at 62 Reade Street earlier this month. Photo: Benjamin Kanter, via Mayoral Photo Office

isters, municipal workers, actors, accountants, hard hats, hoteliers and stockbrokers?

THE CUSTOMERS WENT TO QUEENS “Volume used to be high, and costs were low,” Rizzo said. “Now, costs are high and volume is low.” Take the rent. His lease expired two years ago, and he’s been paying on a month-by-month basis ever since. Luckily, Rizzo said, he gets along with his landlord, the same one he’s had for 25 years, but a renewal would have entailed a prohibitively steep hike. “Who knows what he’d have charged,” Rizzo said. “The rents in Tribeca are ridiculous, and they’re threatening to drive all the small business people here out of business.” Staten Island doesn’t boast downtown’s cachet or star power. What it does have is cheap rent: Today, he shells out $10,000. At his new home, he’ll pay less than $5,000. Meanwhile, changes in the municipal work force wrought a decade ago by ex-Mayor Michael Bloomberg — the relocation to Long Island City of thousands of City Hall-area employees – denuded his customer base. “Thousands of cups of coffee a day, thousands of slices of pizza, thousands of flowers left the neighborhood,” Rizzo said. As those office workers decamped to Queens, and their buildings were converted to residential use, many as high-end condos, floors that once provided cubicle space to dozens of city employees, his patrons, now became private homes for just a handful of affluent families.

“The new residents might come in for Valentine’s Day,” Rizzo said. “Or they might not.” There were other factors: • September 11, 2001. Business interruption doesn’t compare to the catastrophic loss of three of his friends. But the terror attack cost Rizzo nearly $400,000, and the accounts he lost that day – Deloitte Touche, Dean Witter, Fidelity Investments — never came back. • Parking tickets. A florist can’t function without delivery trucks. The city is always hungry for ticket revenue. The unhappy result? Rizzo paid $1,600 in tickets last month and owes another $1,000. • Societal changes. Remember Secretaries Day? Founded in 1952, it was second only to Valentine’s Day in the floral trade, and marked the day when bosses, mostly male, bought flowers for their secretaries, mostly female. Now known as Administrative Professionals’ Day and falling this year on April 25, it doesn’t generate the volume of business it once did. “There are no more secretaries anymore,” Rizzo said. “There are no more administrative professionals in the neighborhood either,” Gregg added. • “Law & Order.” They film nearby practically every week, Rizzo said. The actors have become customers. “I love the show,” Gregg said. “They’re awesome.” The downside? They filmed in the bar across the street on Valentine’s Day, limiting access on the busiest day of the year. invreporter@strausnews.com


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EARLY BIRD PRICING AVAILABLE Register by May 18 + Save!

The Emmet Building on Madison Avenue at East 29th Street in NoMad, a Neo-French Renaissance-style office building graced with gargoyles and sculptures, was designated an official landmark last week by the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Photo: Historic Districts Council

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super-tall, will become NoMadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tallest tower, rising 1,009 feet and 54 ďŹ&#x201A;oors. â&#x20AC;˘ 277 Fifth Avenue, at East 30th Street, a Rafael ViĂąolydesigned, 55-story, 663-foot tower, topped out earlier this month. â&#x20AC;˘ 316 Fifth Avenue, at 32nd Street, the site of the 1902 Kaskel & Kaskel Building, currently under demolition, will morph into a 40-story, 535foot condominium with just 27 apartments. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ďŹ ghting tooth and nail to save the buildings we still have,â&#x20AC;? have, Messina said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Parts Parts of Fifth and Madison Avenues in NoMad are now turning into a combination of Hong Kong and Dubai.â&#x20AC;?

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Directly across 29th Street, at 95 Madison Avenue, the agency also designated the Emmet Building â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a 16-story, Neo-French Renaissance-style office building, complete with gargoyles and sculptures, that was built for pioneering gynecological surgeon Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet in 1912. Before the construction of the Seville and the Emmet, the area to the north of the original Madison Square Garden on East 26th Street had been best known for its affluent, if sleepy, residential blocks. With the debut of the twin structures, the neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s character was transformed, and its evolution into a bustling commercial and business district that could sustain ďŹ ne hotels and office suites was underway. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These elegant buildings are not only distinctive and exemplary on their own, but together they represent an era of change and development in the area north of Madison Square during the early 20th century,â&#x20AC;? said LPC chair Meenakshi Srinivasan in unveiling the designations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Their location across the street from each other reinforces this intersection as a reminder of the architectural exuberance of their historic period,â&#x20AC;? she added. Applauding the designations, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer called both buildings â&#x20AC;&#x153;well-known gems that future generations of New Yorkers deserve to see in their streetscapes.â&#x20AC;? Each had been vulnerable to development pressures. Both the Seville and Emmet lie just north and east of the existing Madison Square North Historic District, which was designated in 2001, and

since they fall outside that protected zone, they could have been demolished as of right had landmark status not been conferred. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exactly why preservationists have long been fighting â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thus far, unsuccessfully â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to get the LPC to designate a Madison Square North Historic District Extension, which would comprise 286 buildings dating from the 1840s through the 1930s. The proposed expanded district would add roughly 150 buildings to those in the existing historic district. In the meantime, absent an extension, these developments are altering the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s skyline: â&#x20AC;˘ 262 Fifth Avenue, at West 29th Street, a planned

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Voices

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

VICTIM PREVENTION BY BETTE DEWING

While this column is about the traffic tragedy on prime time and the front pages, thousands in the Tri-State area and outer boroughs suffered for days from natural disasters that left them without power — without heat — Imagine. And another northeaster is forecast. And this incredible hardship needs to get out there on prime time and the front page. And the governor, the mayor, and yes, the president should have been on these natural disaster scenes and asked other states for additional help? Sure, blame the power companies, but consider how

dangerous and difficult power restoration can be. Even more, stress the need for residents to help one another — and in general — and in general. Now about the prime-timed frontpage story about the 4-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy senselessly and brutally killed by an out-of-control driver and yes, indirectly, by a government which takes traffic violations too lightly. Thankfully, more attention is now being paid, but for how long? And this longtime safetraffic activist believes not only young victims should get prime time-front-page coverage in order to spark renewed action and outrage

against killer driving. Consider how these dearly loved children’s and countless other lives might have been saved if every traffic victim received significant coverage and outrage? In truth, adults are the most frequent traffic crime victims, especially adult males, which again recalls how Srymanean Manickam, the 51-year-old beloved Upper East Side deli manager known to all who knew him as Mano, was killed by a taxi which turned into his crosswalk. April 22 will mark the first anniversary of his death. All this was written before reading Ginia Bellafante’s March 11 column in The Times in which she considers how charges are slow to be filed or never filed against drivers involved in fatal accidents. So many stipulations and requirements that need

to get out there and overcome. Bellafante’s piece should be required reading by government officials and all concerned with overcoming these unnatural and tragic, often criminal, disasters. Indeed Vision Zero would likely not exist if it hadn’t been for the so wrongful traffic crime deaths of children whose grieving parents demanded all-out attention be paid. Mothers Again Drunk Driving made such a magnificent difference. Also needed are Adult Sons and Daughters Against Drivers who Killed their Parents. Ah, this is in no way diminishing the awful, wrongful and cruel deaths of these two little children — just that so much else needs to be done ... needs to be done. And, of course, an all-out crackdown on failure to yield, the number one cause

of pedestrian injury and death and injury — and don’t forget injuries so often enduring, painful and costly. Again, April 22 marks the first anniversary of Mano’s death. but the memorial plaque in his honor is still seeking a home on or near the store he so caringly managed for many years. Patricia Banks, a grateful neighbor and friend keeps trying. But I urge you to Google “Mano, killed by Taxi” to learn why he was so greatly beloved and a caring neighbor to all. Traffic crimes against all age victims need significant media coverage and outage. And, yes, of course, pedestrians must obey the rules of the road — and so must bicyclists. It can be done if enough of us try. dewingbetter@aol.com better@aol.com

RETURN TO MY PEACE CORPS HOME BY STEPHAN RUSSO

In 1973, when I was 22 and fresh out of college, I was unsure of my next act and decided to join the Peace Corps. I had met a Peace Corps recruiter on campus, and while all of us college graduates were figuring out how to live out our idealism and evolving world-view in the Vietnam War era, I decided to leave friends and family behind. Ten days after graduation, I was on a plane to Bogota, Colombia to work in a youth and recreation program. My suburban Long Island parents had little context for this decision. On the way to the airport, my father turned to my mother and said, “Let’s pretend he’s going into the army for two years.” I didn’t believe that I was going off to change the world. I had a cursory interest in Latin America, a foundation of high school Spanish, but a deep curiosity about immersing myself in another culture. Like most 22-year-olds, I was somewhat brash, with a jaundiced view of the United States role in the world. In my mind, the JFK idealism of the Peace Corps had evolved into a Nixonian form of imperialism, in which the United States was to

blame for fomenting the economic disparity in countries like Colombia. When I left the Peace Corps in 1975, I wrote a scathing letter to my supervisor advocating that the Peace Corps pull out of Colombia since it played no viable role in Colombia’s development. What I failed to recognize at the time was that the experience was life-changing. I returned to the States fluent in a second language and with a deep appreciation of South American history and culture. The decades I later spent as a community worker at Goddard Riverside Community Center took shape in the rural hills of Colombia, where I used my athletic skills to teach physical education and become an accepted co-worker in a local school. While I recognized the inherent contradictions of my presence in the country, I ended up being the perfect ambassador — exactly what the Peace Corps wanted. On my post-retirement bucket list has been my desire to return to my Peace Corps home in the town of Velez, in the beautiful central range of the Colombian Andes five hours outside of Bogota. For the past four decades, I have carried wonderful memories of the “colegio cooperativo” (coopera-

tive high school) where I taught and the people who took me in as their resident “gringo,” along with the Colombian music, food and more simple way of life. I had that incredible opportunity last month. The return to Colombia after a 43 hiatus was spurred by a wedding in Bogota that my daughter was attending. Her close high school friend, who has family in Colombia, was getting married at a beautiful venue an hour outside of the capital. We decided to make it a family trip and I would finally have the chance to return to the place that had such an influence on me. I approached the trip with some trepidation, not knowing how I would be received or if anyone I knew was still in Velez. The month before we left, my wife went online to research Velez, and sure enough, the town had its own website, “Visite Velez.” I contacted the name mentioned on the site and sent a long email with the names I plucked from old letters I had written home and saved to this day — the local priest, the family who owned the farmhouse and my co-worker Serafin Rodriguez, the physical education teacher in the elementary school who became my closest friend. The week

before we left for Colombia, I received a call (WhatsApp is a wonderful thing) from Serafin, who couldn’t believe that I was really planning to visit. The return to Velez capped a remarkable ten days in Colombia. Seeing Serafin again brought a wave of emotion. He and his wife, Luz Marina (a student during my time there), opened their home and hearts to us. There were tears of joy when we went to the home of Don Juan Quiroga Reyes, now well into his 80s, who had headed the school and was the one who had requested a Peace Corps volunteer. His daughter Lulu reminisced about how we won the departmental female basketball championship and claims Velez never won another after I left. We visited Cecilia Meneses who still lived in the same house at the bottom of the hill. Daily she would come up to the house, milk the cow and leave me with a fresh liter of milk for my morning breakfast. “Hola Don Esteban!’’ she shouted when she saw me. Colombia certainly has changed in the four ensuing decades. As Serafin pointed out, the “campesinos” (peasant farmers) now ride motorcycles instead of horses and donkeys, and the world is much smaller with ubiq-

Russo with Cecilia Meneses. Photo: Susan Souder uitous Wi-Fi. Still, much was how I remembered Velez — the side-entrance church, slanted plaza, and roadside picnic places. The “pechuga a la parilla” (grilled chicken breast), “arroz de coco” (coconut rice), “arepa con queso” (cheese corn bread) and fresh fruit juices were as delicious as ever. “Colombia mi querida” (my dear Colombia)! How lucky to have had the good fortune to rekindle old friendships.

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STARING INTO THE CHASM OF WOMENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S LIBERATION

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#METOO At The Tank on 36th Street, Rebecca Patekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s performance piece raises provocative issues about how artists treat each other

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BY MARC B BOUCAI

With the celebration of National Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Month, New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stages this month are teeming with work by and about women, both large- and small-scale. These performances, riding the coattails of the #MeToo controversy of the past six months, are not occurring in a bubble but in solidarity with real world events, such as a highly politicized NYC womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s march and events city-wide for women to tell their stories about sexual harassment and assault. Uptown, theater is responding, as exempliďŹ ed by Bartlett Sherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new production of Lerner and Loeweâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;My Fair Lady,â&#x20AC;? cast with actors of the same age, and directed to portray Eliza Dolittle as an emancipated proto-feminist. A mile away from Lincoln Center, a different kind of feminist performance practice is onstage at small theaters like The Tank, recently installed in a new space on West 36th Street. The Tankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most recent presentation was Rebecca Patekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chasm,â&#x20AC;? directed by the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new artistic director, Meghan Finn. The piece asks: What does it mean for women to be good to each other as artists and people in our current #MeToo era? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chasmâ&#x20AC;? is Patekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ rst major piece since she performed her duet INETER(A)NAL F/EAR at the American Realness Festival at Aborns Art Center in 2014. This piece was a shockingly satirical work about Patekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s experience as a rape victim. During one showing, performance artist and provocateur Ann-Liv Young (aka Sherry) interrupted the show, got on stage and berated Patek publicity for making â&#x20AC;&#x153;bad workâ&#x20AC;? and trivializing rape. The New York Times called Patekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work glorified â&#x20AC;&#x153;prostitution,â&#x20AC;? hurting the careers of both artists. After that experience, Patek stopped her creative work and is currently applying to medi-

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Rebecca Patek in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chasm.â&#x20AC;? Photo: Skye Morse-Hodgson cal school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chasmâ&#x20AC;? is Patekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attempt to take back her own narrative and to not let her public shaming stop her from creating. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When your whole life youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve made art, [and] itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s who you are, no one should take that ability away from you,â&#x20AC;? Patek stated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chasmâ&#x20AC;? is her chance to use performance art to tell her side of the story. When asked about her initial interest in the project, director Finn said Patekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story is important because â&#x20AC;&#x153;it happened, the community made a decision and they decided to side with Ann-Liv,â&#x20AC;? dismissing Patek. Chasm is an opportunity for the artist to take control of her own story. And take control of it she does. In â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chasmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;sâ&#x20AC;? most theatrically audacious sequence, Patek re-stages a public Q&A that Ann-Liv Young had in connection to a show at the Brooklyn performance space JACK, related to her piece â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ann-Liv Young in Jail,â&#x20AC;? in which the artist was â&#x20AC;&#x153;paying timeâ&#x20AC;? for behavior like interrupting Patekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s show. In â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chasm,â&#x20AC;? Patek turns this Q&A on its head, often breaking the fourth wall, taking off her wig and speaking from her point of view. This sequence demonstrates how concepts of truth and authenticity connected to narratives of sexual assault and harassment are always being

put into question, something that happened long before the #MeToo movement gained momentum. In fact, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chasmâ&#x20AC;? was ďŹ rst workshopped in summer 2017, just months before the Harvey Weinstein controversy erupted. What makes â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chasmâ&#x20AC;? so salient is the way it shows how the battleground instigated by the #MeToo movement is not just one pitting men against women, but also women against each other. What began as a performance intervention critiquing art about rape and sexual assault turned into a public debate about what kind of art women should be allowed to make. The Patek/Young controversy makes clear how even within the small world of woman-centered performance art, there is still a great deal of contention about telling stories of female victimization in a complex and empowering way. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chasmâ&#x20AC;? offers no easy answers. Rather, it provides a starting point for important conversations about what it means to be a radical female artist in the #MeToo era. It also shows us that it is through critical art work, not online hashtag activism, that we are able to see the real complexities, nuances, complications and contradictions of a new movement towards gender equity.

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FORM function and $100 REBATE

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EDITOR’S PICK

Mon 19 POETS IN CONVERSATION: MAHOGANY L. BROWNE & ARICKA FOREMAN The Poetry Project, 131 East 10th St. 8:00 p.m. Free 212-674-0910. poetryproject.org Join two outstanding poets in conversation as they talk about their work and the power of the written word. Mahogany L. Browne, a Cave Canem, Poets House & Serenbe Focus alum, is the author of several books including “Redbone” and “Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out On-line.” Aricka Foreman is a poet, editor and educator from Detroit, whose poems, essays and curation have appeared widely. Hear them bridges the gap between lyrical poets and literary emcee.

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Thu 15 Fri 16 MEN EXPLAIN THINGS TO ME: REBECCA SOLNIT IN CONVERSATION Great Hall at Cooper Union 7 East Seventh St. 7 p.m. Free On the 10th anniversary of her influential essay “Men Explain Things to Me,” Rebecca Solnit will read from the essay and discuss the current feminist upheavals and the evolution of a newly energized and transformative movement with writers Aruna d’Souza, Mona Eltahawy and Marina Sitrin. Register at eventbrite.com. cooper.edu

Sat 17

▲ UNSILENT FILM NIGHT: IMPROV EDITION

SOCIALLY RELEVANT FILM FESTIVAL

Tishman Auditorium at The New School, 63 Fifth Ave. 7 p.m. Free For this special “improv edition” of the popular series that combines silent film with live music, faculty members of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music will lead small ensembles in improv performances of new music to short silent films, including Charlie Chaplin’s “The Pawnshop.” 212-229-5150 events.newschool.edu

Cinema Village 22 East 12th St. 1 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Be inspired by some of the 70 films from 35 countries featured in this festival, covering a broad range of socially relevant stories regarding immigration, women and girls, human trafficking, climate change, ageing, mental health, disability, social justice, homelessness, LGBTQ rights and more. Limited early-bird tickets at eventbrite.com. 212-924-3363 cinemavillage.com


MARCH 15-21,2018

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Sun 18 Mon 19 Tue 20 ▲ A BEAUTIFUL CELEBRATION OF JAZZ City Winery 155 Varick St. 12:30 p.m. $20 Join Julie Eigenberg, who cowrote the song “Why Not!” for which The Manhattan Transfer won a 1983 Grammy, and extraordinary bassist Alex Blake, for a boozy brunch accompanied by a little jazz. 212-608-0555 citywinery.com

▼ MALLORY ORTBERG & ALEXANDER CHEE: ‘THE MERRY SPINSTER’

‘AND THEN THEY CAME FOR US’ SCREENING AND DISCUSSION

The Strand, 828 Broadway 7 p.m. $15 includes admission & signed copy of the book, or a store gift card Writer Mallory Ortberg has established her knack for twisting children’s tales in her popular online series “Children’s Stories Made Horrific.” Now she’s continue her journey into the macabre with her new collection of stories. “The Merry Spinster” will forever change how one looks at classic fairy tales. 212-473-1452 strandbooks.com

International Center of Photography Museum 250 Bowery 6:30 p.m. $15 Featuring actor George Takei, as well as newly rediscovered photographs by Dorothea Lange, the “And Then They Came for Us” documentary retells the difficult story of the forced incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans and follows Japanese-American activists as they speak out against present-day calls for a Muslim registry and travel ban. 212-857-0000 icp.org/museum

Wed 21 RADICALIZATION AND DE-RADICALIZATION National September 11 Memorial & Museum 180 Greenwich St. 7 p.m. Free How do groups like ISIS attract and recruit people in Western nations? Hany Farid, Dartmouth computer science professor and senior advisor to the Counter Extremism Project, and Daniel Koehler, founder/director of the German Institute on Radicalization and De-Radicalization Studies, will discuss this and other timely questions. 212-312-8800 911memorial.org

Downtowner


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MARCH 15-21,2018

AMERICAN BEAUTY At The Met Fifth Avenue, Thomas Cole’s sublime landscapes are given a global context BY VAL CASTRONOVO

Viewers may be surprised to learn that Thomas Cole (1801-48), who famously launched the Hudson River School of landscape painting, was not born in the United States. His roots can be traced back to northwestern England, to Bolton-le-Moors, where he witnessed the gritty realities of the Industrial Revolution before his family crossed the Atlantic in 1818 in search of a better life on these shores. They were economic migrants, in the show’s parlance. Cole’s father had lost his job. The 200th anniversary of that fateful crossing has prompted The Met to undertake a long-overdue “rethink” of Cole’s oeuvre, the museum’s cocurator Elizabeth Kornhauser said in an interview, and to view this very American artist’s works in a broader, global context. The result is an inspiring display of some three dozen paintings by Cole, presented alongside major works by his European influencers — contemporaries like J.M.W. Turner and John Constable, past masters like Claude Lorrain. Cole’s legacy, as seen in the Hudson River School paintings of protégés Frederic Edwin Church and Asher Brown Durand, is examined in the final gallery. More than 30 lenders have contributed to the show, including The National Gallery in London, Tate Britain and the Yale Center for British Art. Tim Barringer at Yale co-curates. “The whole idea of him being Britishborn and traveling extensively had been pretty much eliminated from the standard biographies and presentations of Cole,” Kornhauser said. “We felt it was really important that that be redressed.” Critically, she said, Cole “sees the American wilderness through the lens of a kid who has grown up seeing smokestacks spewing smoke in his own town. He was able to see the promise and the sublime aspects of the American landscape in the way that native-born American artists did not

Thomas Cole (American [born England], Lancashire 1801–1848 Catskill, New York). “View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm — The Oxbow,” 1836. Oil on canvas, 51 1/2 x 76 in. (130.8 x 193 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Mrs. Russell Sage, 1908 (08.228). Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art see it.” Think of him as eco-friendly — a proto-environmentalist, intent on sounding the alarm against environmental degradation and development. After roughly a decade in the U.S., where he achieved quick success as an artist and produced expansive wilderness scenes like “View of the RoundTop in the Catskill Mountains” (1827), “Scene from ‘The Last Mohicans’” (1827) and “The Garden of Eden” (1828) — all on splendid display in the first gallery — Cole felt there were no more worlds to conquer and embarked on a three-year journey back across the Atlantic, first to London (1829-31) and then to Italy (1831-32), to study and meet with the greats. In England, he met Turner, befriended Constable and worshipped Lorrain’s “Seaport with the Embarkation of Saint Ursula” (1641) at The National Gallery. “He perfected his skills at the Academy in Florence and then fully embraced plein air oil paint-

ing by studying Turner and Constable and others,” Kornhauser said. “He becomes a much better painter than he was before. Had he not taken this journey and returned and painted masterpieces and then taught the next leaders, there might not have been a strong national school of landscape art in America.” “The Course of Empire” (1834-36), a five-part series of landscapes detailing the rise and fall of an imaginary ancient civilization, and “The Oxbow” (1836), a wide-angle view from the top of Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts after a thunderstorm, are the show’s star attractions. Everything we’ve seen lead there. They each bear a similar warning, which the curator frames as: “Honor God’s sublime creation, nature. Preserve some aspects of it. Do not alter every square inch of the American landscape out of greed. That was his message.” In the panoramic “Oxbow,” pure wil-

derness is juxtaposed with cultivated lands and, ominously, in the distance, a deforested mountain and menacing storm clouds à la Turner (derived from his “Snow Storm: Hannibal and His Army Crossing the Alps,” on view in the galleries). In an investigative coup (watch the video), The Met’s conservators uncovered under-drawings for the third painting in “The Course of Empire” series — “The Consummation of Empire” — beneath “The Oxbow.” Both were same-sized and painted in tandem at the artist’s studio in the Catskills. Whereas Cole preached against expansionist policies like Manifest Destiny, many of his followers embraced them. He may have taught them everything they knew about art, but he couldn’t foist his eco-views on them. The disconnect is telegraphed in the last gallery, where Cole’s untrammeled memory piece, “View on

the Catskill — Early Autumn” (183637), contrasts with the show’s coda, Durand’s “Progress (The Advance of Civilization)” (1853), an homage to forward thinking with a road and distant bridge, train and factory town. Pro tip: Take the organizers’ advice and continue the journey to the second floor of the American Wing (Galleries 759, 760 and 761), where The Met’s core collection of Hudson River School art is housed and contemporary painter Stephen Hannock’s riff of “The Oxbow,” created in 2000, rules in Gallery 761. Don’t miss the adjacent book display, with prints by Hannock and song lyrics by Sting from “The Last Ship.” It resonates with the Coleian themes of industrial change and journey — so much so that Sting, in complementary programming, is scheduled to perform at The Met on April 24 (members only), April 25 and April 26.


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90 Baba Brinkman’s latest hip-hop comedy. He shines a light on free will, brain cells, and climate change.

Billy Crudup stars as a shy midwestern man leading an outrageous double life.

Encore run! Drew Droege’s solo comedy about what gets left behind as homosexuality moves into the mainstream.

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A new staging of the Broadway hit, about Berlin’s most glamorous crossroads at the end of the Weimar Era.

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A solo piece about growing up in an apartment on the top floor of a New York Public Library.

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A darkly comic modern myth about twin sisters out for revenge. SOHO REPERTORY THEATRE - 46 WALKER ST

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MARCH 15-21,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS FEB 28 - MAR 6, 2018 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 www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/restaurant-inspection.shtml.

Saluggi’s

399 Grand St

A

Hotel Chantelle

92 Ludlow Street

Grade Pending (19) 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. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Pig And Khao

68 Clinton Street

Grade Pending (25) 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, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Pret A Manger

100 Church Street

A

A Saffron Thread

98 Chambers Street

A

Atomic Wings

311 Broadway

A

Two-Bits Retro Arcade

153 Essex Street

A

Epicerie Boulud

185 Greenwich St

A

Hill And Dale

115 Allen Street

A

Best Of The Best Delicatessen

11 Park Place

A

Manna House Bakery

87 East Broadway

A

Benares

45 Murray Street

Grade Pending (37) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Evidence of rats or live rats 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. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.

Wolfnights

99 Rivington St

A

Tang Hotpot

135 Bowery

Not Yet Graded (17) 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. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.

Kaede Sushi

90 Chambers St

A

Falucka

162 Bleecker Street

A

Vivi Bubble Tea

325 Broadway

A

Mcnally Jackson Cafe

52 Prince Street

A

Manna One Bakery

27 Catherine Street

A

Gato

324 Lafayette St

A

Captain Fried Chicken

39 Madison St

A

Hello Saigon

180 Bleecker St

Tria Diner

22 Chatham Sq

A

Poke Bowl

104 Fulton St

A

Sprinkles Land

38 Park Row

A

Not Yet Graded (30) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. 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. 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.

Jupioca

39 John Street

A

Pomodoro Ristorante

51 Spring Street

A

Bayard Bo Ky Restaurant

78-80 Bayard St

Grade Pending (27) 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. Evidence of rats or live rats 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.

Starbucks

78 Spring Street

A

Madame X

94 West Houston Street

A

Kith Retail

337 Lafayette St

A

Karakatta

230 Thompson St

Not Yet Graded (30) 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. 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.

Bond St

6 Bond Street

A

Mama Eatery

46 Mulberry Street

A

Harney & Sons Tea

433 Broome Street

A

Lupe’s East L.A. Kitchen

110 Avenue of the Americas

A

Capitale

130 Bowery

A

Golden Steamer

143 Mott Street

CLOSED (86) 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, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. 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. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewageassociated (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. Tobacco use, eating, or drinking from open container in food preparation, food storage or dishwashing area observed. 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.

Chefs Club By Food & Wine 295 Lafayette St

Grade Pending (17) Food worker does not use proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate additional heat treatment. 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.

Goa Taco

101 Macdougal St

CLOSED (43) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

High Street On Hudson

637 Hudson St

Grade Pendings (27) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Evidence of mice or live mice 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.

QQ Bakery

50 E Broadway

A

Lounge 247 I M O K

247 Eldridge Street

A

Simply Hooked

353 W 14th St

A

Souvlaki Gr

116 Stanton Street

A

King

18 King St

A

M & W Bakery

25 East Broadway

A

Kava Cafe

803 Washington St

A


MARCH 15-21,2018

AHEAD OF HER TIME, AND OTHERS’ CRUSADING Exhibit at St. Paul’s Chapel celebrates and explores the complex, manifold life of Pauli Murray

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BY CLARRIE FEINSTEIN

Amid downtown’s skyscrapers, hotels and the still budding World Trade Center complex, stands St. Paul’s Chapel. Built in 1766, it is the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan. The chapel, part of the Episcopal Parish of Trinity Church Wall Street, is grounded in Manhattan history — and allied to social justice and reconciliation. It is a fitting host, then, for an examination of Pauli Murray, the civil and women’s rights activist, lawyer, author, professor, poet and priest whose mixed ethnic heritage and struggles with sexual and gender identities would, were she were alive today, likely put her in the vanguard of debates about identity politics and intersectionality. Murray, who was born Anna Pauline Murray in 1910 in Baltimore and died the Rev. Pauli Murray 75 years later in Pittsburgh, is, so far, not as well known as some of her contemporaries. “Pauli Murray: Imp, Crusader, Dude, Priest” looks to change that, at least somewhat. She attended Hunter College and worked as remedial reading teacher in city schools. She would start advocating for civil rights in the late 1930s, by trying to enroll in the thenall-white University of North Carolina. In 1940, Murray, the great-granddaughter of slaves and slave owners, was arrested in Virginia for sitting in the white-only section of a bus, 15 years before Rosa Parks would do the same in Montgomery, Alabama. Murray became a lawyer shortly after this incident. She would become deputy attorney general in California. She was later appointed to the civil and political rights committee of President John F. Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women. Murray also was the first African-American woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest, in 1977. “She was ahead of her time,” said Ruth Frey, program officer for justice and reconciliation at Trinity Church Wall Street. “I think she’d be pushing us now.”

15

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Downtowner News of Your Neighborhood that you can’t get anywhere else

Dining Information, plus An exhibit at at St. Paul’s Chapel explores the complex and manifold life of Pauli Murray, the civil and women’s rights activist, lawyer, writer, professor, poet and priest. Photo: Clarrie Feinstein Throughout her life, Murray struggled with gender identity, saying she had an “inverted sex instinct.” Believing her tendencies to be more male than female, she changed her name from Pauline to Pauli to fit her more androgynous identity. The exhibit, in partnership with the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, is curated to emphasize each aspect of her person. The display works to highlights the various strands of Murray’s life and how she embodied not just one, but many, identities. And she was well place to recognize how social movements affected others and brought them together with her advocacy – and worked to promote true inclusion. “Often people are categorized and pigeonholed,” Frey said. “Many people would see Murray as being binary, but she encompassed all. These different fractions of her life create a full person. That message is needed in this time of divisiveness. More figures like Murray need to be known.” Murray, like many women and especially women of color, is scarcely mentioned, if at all, in high school curriculums. “I didn’t know about Murray,” said Maria Rodriguez, a 10th grader at Leadership and Public Service High School, just a few blocks south of St. Paul’s. “But learning about someone like her has given me a new role

model. I’ve felt empowered to explore my own identity.” There is a longstanding partnership between Trinity Church and the Leadership and Public Service High School when it comes to community building and outreach. Trinity Church offered the high school advanced art class taught by Anne Schellhorn an opportunity be part of the exhibit. The students each created a triptych, each panel representing a different aspect of their identity. “We sat down and discussed what the project would like,” said Trinity Parish Center’s program manager, Jennifer Chinn. “How would we do a self-portrait about identity? What does it mean? What would the archetypes be?” Eventually they decided each panel represent; people see me as, I see myself as, and I want to be seen as. For a month, students worked on their art project now on view at the chapel. The curators specifically designed the exhibit to display the students’ artwork as a continuation of Murray’s timeline to indicate the continued impact her lifework has on various communities. “We’re carrying on her legacy,” said Frey, Trinity’s program officer. “Oftentimes, human beings like to keep things narrow. But Murray leaves everything wide open.” The exhibit is on view until March 21.

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MARCH 15-21,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Business

NOT HIS GRANDFATHER’S BRATWURST FOOD Schaller & Weber’s spinoff sausage stand goes (partly) vegan BY MICKEY KRAMER

The Sweet Sicilian, a sweet Italian “sausage” served up with caramalized onions and peppers and a balsamic drizzle is among the recent vegan additions at Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar. Photo: Katie Foster

A sausage stand with old-school, carnivorous connections selling links made with peas, fava beans and rice? It might seem a stretch, but it’s exactly what you can get at Schaller’s Stube Sausage Bar in Yorkville. Just over a month ago, representatives from Beyond Meat, a Los Angeles company, got in touch with Jeremy Schaller, the third-generation owner of Schaller & Weber’s butcher shop, and offered him the opportunity to be the first to sell one of its “Beyond Sausage” creations in the

city. He took a chance, and then a bite. “It was overwhelmingly better than I expected, I was amazed by the texture, which was very meat-like, and the spice blend, which tasted like a real sausage,” said Schaller, 39, recalling that first taste. Two short weeks later, the Second Avenue stand had new menus and was selling three varieties of vegan “sausage”: the Beyond Classic, a “bratwurst” with sauerkraut and mustard; the Sweet Sicilian, a sweet tuber with onions, peppers and balsamic reduction; and the Banh Meat, a spicy link with carrot-daikon slaw, cucumbers, cilantro, jalapenos and Sriracha aioli. All are served on a pretzel bun. “I’ve got a great team working for me and they really pulled it off,” Schaller said about the fast incor-

poration of the new products. The stand’s manager, Opes Sehindemi, said they are selling very well. “It’s something that tastes just as good as the pork sausage,” she said. Schaller said there have been days that Beyond Sausage has outsold his other offerings. “It’s been about 35 percent of all sausage sales at the Stube. And the best part is that the clientele is all new customers,” he said. “If and when the initial buzz dies down, we think it’ll be between 10-20 percent of the business, which is outstanding.” On a recent Monday evening, Matt Schutzman, 26, usually a meat eater, waited for his Banh Meat link. “My girlfriend’s vegan, so I’m a parttime vegan. This is my third time and I’m a big fan. For me, to get a very similar taste while impacting

the environment much less, is very important.” Brandon McGregor, 45, who lives in the neighborhood, said the vegan offerings were “wonderful.” “I’ve ordered five or six times in two weeks.... The preparation — the sauerkraut, really good mustard and the pretzel bun make it so very satisfying.” Later this year, Schaller and his business partner, Jesse Denes, plan to open Stube Sausage Bars on the Lower East Side and in Austin, Texas. “Both locations have a high demand for vegan options,” Schaller said. “There’s always going to be an increased demand for vegan products and this has made a huge impression on our business and will remain a staple on the menu going forward.”

SILICON VALLEY EAST TECHNOLOGY Google’s Chelsea expansion plans are enhancing NYC’s role as a tech hub BY KAREN MATTHEWS

As New York City waits to hear whether it’s been chosen as the site for Amazon’s second headquarters, recent moves by another tech giant, Google, to expand its footprint in the city are helping to legitimize New York’s claim to be Silicon Valley East. Google is reportedly close to a reaching a $2.4 billion deal to add a landmark Meatpacking District building to its already substantial New York campus. The building, a block-long former Nabisco factory named after its ground-floor upscale food mall, Chelsea Market, sits across the street from Google’s current New York City headquarters, a massive, art deco, former shipping terminal that also occupies an entire city block. Google already leases space in Chelsea Market, which also contains offices for Major League Baseball and the local cable news channel NY1, among other tenants. If the sale goes through, it would be among the priciest real estate transactions for a single building in city

history. It would also give Google a remarkable Manhattan campus to supplement its still-growing main headquarters in Mountain View, California. Representatives for Google did not respond to requests for comment about the company’s New York expansion plans. Google already occupies another former Nabisco cookie factory just west of Chelsea Market. And, across the street from that factory, it has also announced plans to lease another 320,000 square feet of space at Pier 57, an office and retail complex built on a pier over the Hudson River. A New York Post real estate writer this week dubbed Google’s slice of Manhattan “Alphabet City,” a reference to the name of both Google’s parent company and a neighborhood on Manhattan’s east side. The pending Chelsea Market deal was first reported by the real estate publication The Real Deal. The Google expansion comes as other tech companies, including Amazon, Facebook and Spotify, are also growing in the city. In addition to considering New York among the 20 finalists for its new eastern U.S. headquarters, Amazon recently signed a deal to bring 2,000 employees to a building, formerly occupied by The Associated Press, on Manhattan’s far west side.

Photo: Andy Rusch, via flickr New York has been pitching itself as an alternative to Silicon Valley for years. And while tech may never rival financial services and Wall Street as the most important private-sector employer and economic driver in New York, it has established a legitimate footprint that goes beyond a few bigname companies. A report by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli found that New York City had 7,600 tech firms in 2016, an increase of 23 percent since 2010. The report found that the average salary for tech employees in the city was $147,300. Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech:NYC, a trade association of New York tech companies, said the pres-

ence of large companies like Google and Amazon has created “a robust ecosystem” where young engineers and others move to New York to work for the large companies and then leave after a few years to found startups. Tasso Argyros, the founder of threeyear-old startup ActionIQ, agreed. “One of the best things that happened for New York was when Google opened up their office here,” he said. Argyros said people in Silicon Valley told him he was “a little bit crazy” when he moved to New York in 2013. But his data-focused marketing company seeks to attract big companies as clients and it’s helpful to be in the New York area with its high concentration of Fortune 500 companies.

“It’s much easier to be close to your customers,” he said. Samuels and Argyros said another advantage to New York is that tech isn’t the only game in town. Samuels said she was pleased to learn that she and her husband are the only parents in her 3-year-old son’s preschool class who work in tech. “That would never happen in San Francisco,” she said. When she lived in the city by the Bay, “everyone I knew was in tech.” Argyros said there’s “a little bit of groupthink in Silicon Valley. There’s a lot of people who have similar jobs, they read similar things. But New York is really too big to be dominated by one industry.”


MARCH 15-21,2018

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

MARCH 15-21,2018

YOUTH ACTIVISTS TAKE ON GUN CONTROL ADVOCACY Student network with Dalton roots plans action in wake of Parkland shooting BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

As New York City students prepare to participate in nationwide school walkouts in response to last month’s Parkland, Fla. school shooting, Coalition Z, a youth network founded by three high school students at the Dalton School, is seeking to leverage the energy of the moment into policy action on gun control. The nationwide school walkouts planned for March 14 will mark one month since a gunman killed 17 people at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and will last 17 minutes to honor each of the victims. New York City public schools will not penalize students who participate in the walkouts with parental permission, Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced last week. Following the walkouts, Coalition Z

plans to host an “Evening of Action” at the 15th Street Quaker Meetinghouse to organize student efforts to lobby elected officials on gun control legislation, urge gun retailers to stop selling military-style rifles and take other steps to perpetuate the youth-led gun reform movement. The event grew out of a desire to tie the ideals of the demonstration to activism aimed at promoting tangible policy changes, Coalition Z co-founder Bryson Wiese, a 17-year-old junior at Dalton, said. “A common concern that came up was that walking out of school for 17 minutes carries dramatic optics from a political perspective, but at the end of the day it can feel a little bit like ‘thoughts and prayers,’” Wiese said. “Many of our members wanted to connect the walkouts to action that was more direct and more concrete.” “Our goal is to turn the passion of the walkouts into concrete policy demands and into infrastructure that can actually effect political and corporate action,” he added. Coalition Z was formed by Wiese and two of his Dalton classmates in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s victory in

the 2016 presidential election, which prompted student walkouts in a number of city schools. The group has since organized students around various progressive issues and causes, including voting rights and health care, and now has over a dozen chapters in four states. “After the Trump walkouts there was this moment of everyone coming together and agreeing that we needed change, and not waiting for adults to tell us what to do or to be given a list of instructions,” Coalition Z co-founder Zoe Davidson, 17, said. “Kids really just got out there and started to try to fix the problems that they saw. That started with Trump, in my opinion, but it has continued on and been amplified by the student leadership in Parkland.” The Coalition Z organizers said that students at the event will hear speeches from gun control activists, plan for the nationwide March for Our Lives demonstrations on March 24, and register eligible high schoolers to vote. “There’s this conundrum that young people face because we cannot participate in our democracy through

A CUT ABOVE

Street, mirrors a national trend: Barbershops, specifically those for men’s grooming, are on the rise. “The uptick began 10-15 years ago in response to men (mostly baby boomers), seeking the more traditional male domain of the barbershops and skill sets of barbers of their youth instead of the unisex salons and cosmetology trained practitioners that began during the 1970s,” said Maura Scali-Sheahan, CEO of the National Association of Barber Boards of America, which maintains professional standards in the barbering industry. Scali-Sheahan said that barbering is likely one of the fastest growing professions in the personal appearance industry in the United States, as evidenced in the increase of barber schools and licensees throughout the country over the past 15 years. “More barber schools result in more graduates, more licensees entering the workforce, and in many cases an increase in shop ownership,” explained Scali-Sheahan, who added that the growth in barbershops appears to be on par with the growth of licensed barbers in the U.S. But what is it about going to a barbershop that resonates with a populace increasingly obsessed with con-

TRENDING Grooming is booming on the Upper East Side BY SHOSHY CIMENT

Héctor Masner puts the finishing touches on a haircut at York Barber Shop. An An old-school aesthetic prevails at the Lexington Avenue shop. Photo: Shoshy Ciment

Shuttered storefronts and the decline of the mom-and-pop shop might characterize an increasing share of the business landscape on the Upper East Side. But one trade is enjoying a renaissance. Elegant Barber Shop, a men’s styling salon based in New York, recently negotiated a long-term lease in Lenox Hill, its fourth location in the city. The salon joins dozens of other barbershops and grooming salons in that neighborhood. The store’s opening, on East 61st

Members of the youth group Coalition Z, founded by three Dalton School students, are helping coordinate student efforts to push for gun control. Photo: Bryson Wiese voting,” Coalition Z co-founder Alex Lehman, 16, said. “We have to sort of work to find other channels or pathways for impact. So we’re thinking about how we can take this energy and turn it into something productive.” Mobilizing MSD Alumni, a nationwide network of former Marjory Stoneman Douglas students formed in the wake of the shooting, will also have a presence at the event. Jessica Stillman, a 1999 graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas who is now a teacher at Townsend Harris High School in Queens, is a regional coordinator for the alumni group and reached out to Coalition Z to coordinate their efforts.

venience and instant gratification? “Experience is the core of where retail is heading,” said Faith Hope Consolo, a real estate broker with Douglas Elliman who often works at the nexus of fashion and retail and who negotiated Elegant Barber Shop’s latest lease. Barbershops are thriving because of the range of grooming services and treatments they offer for men and the experience that cannot be replaced by a machine. Many barbershops on the Upper East Side have capitalized on this idea. York Barber Shop, a traditional barbershop in Lenox Hill that maintains the decor and atmosphere from its initial establishment in 1928, is proof that an exceptional grooming experience cannot be ordered online. “It’s very simple,” explained Enrique Peralt, the owner of York Barber Shop. “The business is divided into two types of business: money-makers and quality-makers.” To Peralt, who has been in the barbering business for 60 years, quality service should be a barbershop’s chief priority — and enticement. “I don’t want a client for one day,” Peralt said in his Lexington Avenue shop while a Natalie and Nat King Cole duet played in the background.

Mobilizing MSD Alumni is currently raising money to send Parkland students to the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C. on March 24. Stillman said she plans to participate in the march in New York. “Something I’m planning on doing at the event is having this big banner that says ‘New York City Schools Unite’ and having all of the kids sign it will their names and schools,” Stillman said. “The vision I have is all of these students marching behind this banner and showing this strength and support to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students and to the cause.”

“I want a client to come in and out. I want them repeated and when they come back, we’ll talk, and eventually we’ll have a good friendship relationship, which is important to me.” Elegant Barber Shop, though a relatively newer business, also relies on this old-school commitment to quality service. “We want to collect many good quality customers that come in, enjoy, and stay with us for a long time,” Elegant’s owner, Maksim Khon, said. But Elegant departs slightly from old-school barbering by offering modern cuts and a trendy atmosphere to attract customers. Clients are also offered beer or liquor on the house and are given the option for a free wash with their cut. “Old-school barbering is different,” Khon said. “It’s a completely different vibe.” Khon, a third-generation barber, works seven days a week cutting hair and managing his business. His main goal, he said, is to make sure his customers experience an affordable haircut while having a pleasant experience. “For us, barbering is not about making money,” he reflected. “It’s a lifestyle.”


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YOUR 15 MINUTES

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INSPIRED BY THE PAST The CEO of The Workmen’s Circle fights for workers’ rights and acknowledges those who came before her BY ANGELA BARBUTI

“One of our family rules was we never crossed a picket line,” Ann Toback said about growing up in New York as a third-generation trade union activist. The labor movement is literally in her genes, as her grandparents actually met at a union hall. Part of her family’s ideology, she recognizes, can be traced back to heritage. “And for me, so much of my lifelong activist calling was connected to my Jewish identity,” the Turtle Bay So when she y resident explained. p found out that The Workmen’s Circle, a social justice organization rooted in the Jewish tradition, was looking for an executive director, she thought it was a good fit. And although women have held significant roles at the nonprofit, Toback, 50, is the first woman to have been appointed to the executive director post, which she’s held since 2008. She was to be honored on March 15 with the Clara Lemlich Award from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Memorial for her dedication to workers’ rights.

Toback calls Lemlich, who galvanized shirtwaist workers to strike in 1909, her hero. “She’s somebody who literally inspires me and has inspired me for decades,” she said. “So to receive an award in her name is so very meaningful to me and it’s so very meaningful today.”

You graduated from BU Law and was hired as in-house counsel for the Writers Guild of America East. Immediately after law school, I spent two years in a small boutique practice. And then I moved back to New York City and was with the Writers Guild of America East and was an in-house counsel with them. I quickly found a calling in union leadership, so by the time I left the Writers Guild, after nine years, y , I was the assistant executive director. I loved the work I did for this amazing 21st century labor union, started in the 20th century. As I was leaving, we were becoming very interconnected with the new world of new media and how to organize. And they’ve continued that in very impressive impr pressive ways. ways wa ys.

Tell us about your role in the Writers Guild strike. It started in November of 2007 and ended in February of 2008. I was the person who really directed the on-theground, day-to-day activities for the Writers Guild staff in New York.

How did your job at The Workmen’s Circle come about? I saw The Workmen’s Circle, this legendary organization so connected to the roots of the labor movement, was looking for an executive director, and thought, “This is the place for me.” It was just a very meaningful connection that I made and that they made with me. And together, we reshaped The Workmen’s Circle into a 21st century social justice organization. While I was in the labor movement, I really became aware of an opening in the progressive wo world, which was teaching activism and an engaging people collectively. And for f me, so much of my lifelong activist calling was connected to my Jewish identity. And I felt like id there was a real rea opportunity to start engaging people peop around our activist traditions and become a real partner b to the labor movement. mov

How can you des describe the organization’s mission? It’s a social justice jus organization that powers progressive Jewish identity progre through Jewish cultural engagement, Yiddish language langua learning, multigenerational educa education and social justice activism. reconnecting to acti tivi vism sm. It’s really r the roots of the the h Jewish people in the United States…. States… The 20th century roots, where we w were a backbone to the labor Hundreds of labo bo or movement. m v mo thousands European Jews thou o sa ands off Eastern Ea were the United States we ere pouring into i and reenvisioning reenvisioni their lives and place in the world and reframing the cultural landscape he here.

In what way did religion play a part in your upbringing upbringing? I had a traditional tradi Jewish upbringing in that my m family belonged to conservative synagogue and I a conservat Hebrew school. But actuwent to a He Jewish identity has been ally, my Jew more connected to tradimuch mor values. tional val

Explain yyour family’s ties to the labor mo movement. My great g grandfather, Dawho came to the United vid, w States from Russia, now the

Ann Toback, executive director dire of The Workmen’s Circle, Ci at a recent demonstration. de Photo: P Donna F. Aceto

Ann Toback with Rita Margulies, daughter of Clara Lemlich. Lemlich organized what came to be known as the Uprising of the 20,000 in 1909, which had its genesis in Cooper Union. Photo: Women’s Circle Ukraine, was a tailor and involved in the growing garment workers union in the early 1900s. My grandfather, Morris Toback, who was also born in Russia, was a member of the Pocketbook Framers Guild. He was an activist with the union and a shop steward in many of his shops. My grandmother, Elsie Toback, was part of a Millinery Workers Local. Her union hall burned down and they were given space by my grandfather’s union in their hall. That is how they met and married. My father was a member for over four decades in the Newspaper Guild of CWA, now the NewsGuild of New York, at times serving a leadership role in his Local. My sister, Eileen Toback, was the executive director of the New York Professional Nurses’ Union.

men earned. Lemlich immediately started protesting these conditions and also demanding equality.

What was her role in the Uprising of the 20,000? In 1909, Lemlich and other women gathered together in Cooper Union. There were hours of speeches. Ultimately, she took the stage and called for a strike. And it appears she was the catalyst for over 20,000 women going on strike. It’s called the Uprising of the 20,000. These women walked off their jobs in shirtwaist factories. One of the major oppositions to them was the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory, which of course, would have a very serious outcome, with a terrible fire in 1911 and 146 people would die from it.

Tell us about Clara Lemlich, whose award you are winning. She was an immigrant who came to the United States in 1905 from the Ukraine. She was 19 when she came to New York and immediately went to work in a shirtwaist factory. Immigrant workers came and they were horribly exploited. They could work upwards of seven days a week in unsafe conditions.... Women typically earned three to four dollars a week compared to the fifteen, even $25 that

www.circle.org www.trianglememorial.org

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