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The local paper for Downtown wn

WEEK OF APRIL MIDWESTERN METAPHORS ◄ P.12

19-25 2018

Panel members at the homelessness forum. Photo: Ben Kallos, via Twitter

HELP FOR THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY A forum on the UES focused on affordable housing, job placement and resources for independent living BY SHOSHY CIMENT

“We are a welcoming community. And whether it is women in need or others, we are going to work with you.” City Council Member Ben Kallos

For New Yorkers, the issue of homelessness is virtually impossible to ignore. Approximately 63,495 people are homeless in New York City, 22,293 of whom are children in the public school system and 17,085 are parents with children, according to the NYC Department of Homeless Services, in figures from April 12 cited by City Council Member Ben Kallos. These numbers only account for people in shelter system and do not represent the minority of homeless individuals — about 3,700 people — who sleep on the streets. City leaders and homelessness experts discussed the situation on April 12 at the Ramaz School during

a forum that addressed avenues for alleviating the problem in New York City, specifically on the Upper East Side. “It really is more of a think tank,” said Barbara Rudder, a co-chair on the Health, Seniors, and Social Services Committee of Community Board 8. The forum, which was attended by over 60 people including Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, was meant to share information about the homeless problem with the public and discuss workable solutions to fix it.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 19

Commissioner Julie Menin with school kids. Photo courtesy of the NYC Office of Media and Entertainment

ONE BOOK, 8.5 MILLION READERS READING New Yorkers can’t agree on anything. Can reading the same book bring them together? BY ALIZAH SALARIO

The book, though still undetermined, will be a singular sensation. “One Book, One New York,” the nation’s largest community reading program, returns for a second year to unite citizens of the five boroughs through the universality of an individual book, read together. The program gives New

Yorkers the opportunity to vote for one book among five nominated titles. Each nominee captures one world within our multifaceted city, from Brooklyn’s Navy Yard during World War II to early 1970s Harlem. The winner will be announced on May 3. “No matter which book wins, they each celebrate New York City, and the love affair that these authors have with [it]. They speak about so many important themes, about immigration, inclusion, exclusion, really important issues, particularly in today’s turbulent political times,” says Julie Menin, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner, which is sponsoring Downtowner

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Crime Watch Voices NYC Now City Arts

3 8 10 12

Restaurant Ratings Business Real Estate 15 Minutes

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WEEK OF APRIL

SPRING ARTS PREVIEW < CITYARTS, P.12

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

n OurTownDowntow

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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

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the program with New York magazine and Vulture. The five nominees were determined by a group of literary scholars, professors and academics, and each book reflects a different neighborhood. While community reading projects that encourage people to read the same book at the same time are not new, New York is the only city that brings its citizens into the decision-making process. “The public element of it is very important,” says Menin. “There’s no better way to have a civic conversation than to have New Yorkers engage directly, and to choose.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 9

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APRIL 19-25,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

BUGGING OUT FOOD A U.N. report urged us all to “eat more insects” — and you can find them on the menu at NYC restaurants BY CAROL ANN RINZLER

A serving of chapulines. Photo: amanda kelso, via flickr

Entomophagy (from the Greek word “entoma” meaning insect and “phagein” meaning to eat) has been around ever since humans first walked the earth, especially in places where bugs are way more available than, say, sirloin steaks. Right now, nearly 100 of the 2,000 insect species on earth are already on the menu for more than two billion humans in Africa, Asia and even parts of Europe. Modern bug-crunchers say the menu is both economical and environmentally sound. Raising or capturing insects takes less time and uses less land and food than raising cows, pigs or sheep, two good reasons why a 2013 report from the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization urged us all to “Eat more insects.” Before you go yeccchhh, consider this: Who’s to say a large grasshopper

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is less appetizing than a lobster? Both have long skinny bodies and plenty of legs, but USDA numbers show that, nutritionally speaking, the bug beats the lobster with more fat, carbs and iron per serving. The only category in which the lobster is a teensy little step ahead is protein: 22 grams per 3.5 ounce/100 grams serving of the shellfish vs. 20.6 grams for the creepy crawly. People who eat bugs say they actually taste good. Wasps are similar to pine-nuts; ants exude a vinegar-flavor acid that adds zip as a simple seasoning or in “ant-salt” around the rim of a cocktail glass. Chapulines — grasshoppers — have no distinct flavor of their own. They pick up the taste of whatever they’re mixed with, making them probably the most common insect ingredient. You can try chapulines crunchy-fried as an appetizer at Toloache (166 East 82nd Street, 251 West 51st Street and 205 Thompson Street), atop guacamole at Dos Caminos (50th and Third, 675 Hudson Street and 475 West Broadway) or in tacos from the El Rey Del Sabor food cart (60th and Third and 43rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues). If you’re willing to travel

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

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south on the Second Avenue bus, the Black Ant (60 Second Avenue) serves up a grasshopper and cheese stuffed tortilla, plus gusanos de mahguey, the worms usually found in Tequila bottles, with veggies, flower petals, more grasshoppers and yes, those vinegar-y ants. Prefer home cooking? The truly adventurous can DIY hunt-and-capture with Stefan Gates’ “Insects: An Edible Field Guide” (Ebury Press, 2018). Those who like their ingredients neatly packaged can just type “edible bugs for humans” into the search bar on Amazon to bring up 34 different yummies ranging from variously flavored grasshoppers to cricket flour and ready-made treats such as chocolate-dipped crickets and worms. Yes, Amazon’s also got recipes: “Eat Grub: The Ultimate Insect Cookbook,” by Shami Radia & Neil Whippey (Francis Lincoln, 2016) and “The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook, Revised: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ants, Water Bugs, Spiders, Centipedes, and Their Kin,” by David George Gordon (Ten Speed Press, 2013). So go for it. Maybe once. After all, as those U.N. folks suggested, your bug a day helps save the planet.

PEN World Voices/Literary Mews: Tell Me What Democracy Looks Like

FRIDAY, APRIL 20TH, 6PM Deutsches Haus | 42 Wash. Mews | 212-998-8660 | deutscheshaus.as.nyu.edu Writers, thinkers, and journalists join a panel on the current crises that democratic institutions are experiencing in the face of populist movements; the guests include author Siri Hustvedt (free, reservations recommended).

A Rebellious Brew: New York’s Tea Party of 1774 | Walking Tour

SATURDAY, APRIL 21ST, 11AM Fraunces Tavern | 54 Pearl St. | 212-968-1776 | frauncestavernmuseum.org

Your neighborhood news source

Boston wasn’t the only colonial town to host a tea party; learn about New York’s version from New York City Tour Guide Fred Cookinham, who’ll bring the city’s 1774 waterfront to life ($20, includes museum admission).

Just Announced | The President Is Missing with Bill Clinton and James Patterson

TUESDAY, JUNE 5TH, 12PM Barnes & Noble | 555 Fifth Ave. | 212-697-3048 | barnesandnoble.com President Clinton and best-selling author James Patterson appear in support of their new thriller, an authentic look at three days of executive branch crisis (free with book purchase).

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

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


APRIL 19-25,2018

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 1st district for the week ending Apr. 8 Week to Date

BACKPACK SNATCH

SAKS LARCENY ARREST

If you are going to lay down a bag or backpack on the floor in a restaurant, you’re advised to secure it. Sometime between 1:30 and 1:50 p.m. on Monday, April 2, someone took the backpack belonging to a New Haven, Connecticut, woman sitting eating lunch at the Broad Street Potbelly. The victim had placed her backpack on the floor next to her chair. No one at the table saw anyone approach and take her belongings. The items stolen included a laptop valued at $1,400, the backpack. priced at $200 and other items.

Saks Fifth Avenue security personnel and the police brought down yet another ID thief. At 5:20 p.m. on Sunday, April 8, a 29-year-old woman was seen by store personnel at 225 Liberty Street branch purchasing merchandise using a store card and account that she was not authorized to use. The woman, later identified as Shuang Liu, also forged an account owner’s signature on the receipt, police said. The items she tried to buy included cosmetics from La Prairie and Hermès, an Yves St. Laurent handbag, and a Balenciaga handbag. Shuang was arrested and charged with grand larceny.

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

Year to Date

2018 2017

% Change

2018

2017

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

1

1

0.0

Rape

0

0

n/a

6

4

50.0

Robbery

0

0

n/a

19

17

11.8

Felony Assault

1

2

-50.0

11

16

-31.3

Burglary

3

0

n/a

15

14

7.1

Grand Larceny

11

13

-15.4

254 262 -3.1

Grand Larceny Auto

0

0

n/a

3

3

0.0

LIFT CONTROLLERS LIFTED

FIVE TAKE

BAD SANDA

Costly construction equipment also appeals to enterprising crooks. Sometime between 2 p.m. on Friday, March 23 and 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 29, construction equipment was taken from the 3 World Trade Center construction site located at 175 Greenwich St. The items stolen were 2 JLG scissor lift controllers totaling $2,400.

Of course, phones remain high on shoplifters’ most wanted lists. At 2:42 p.m. on Monday, April 2, five men entered the AT&T store at 217 Broadway, snatched several phones from a display and ran out of the store. The stolen phones included an iPhone X, valued at $1,000; an iPhone 8 Plus, priced at $850; and an iPhone 7 worth $650.

Police seek the public’s help in locating a suspected shoplifter. At 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 1, two women said to be in their early 20s took merchandise from the Victoria’s Secret store at 591 Broadway. Police said store personnel identified one of the perpetrators as Sanda Blending. The total amount stolen came to $2,380.

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APRIL 19-25,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

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

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230 W. 20th St.

212-741-8211

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230 E. 21st St.

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16 Ericsson Place

212-477-7411 212-334-0611

FIRE FDNY Engine 15

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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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212-533-5300

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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

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170 William St.

212-312-5110

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Mirielle Clifford’s great-great grandparents on the porch of their house in Carencro, Louisiana. Photo courtesy of Mirielle Clifford

CREOLE BY MIRIELLE CLIFFORD

I hope to speak the language de ma grand-mère, not the language du colonialisme but words spoken when stranded on a bayou. Not the discreet murmur of Parisian women who eat but never get fat, but la langue des femmes who eat butter, cornmeal sautéed in butter, the occasional fried alligator, and boudain, a sausage of mysterious interiors. I want to two-step with each sentence mais, but it’s hot yes! and drawl the nasally tones of women who grow grosses but who shrink once more to their farm-day girlish figures when dementia takes their appetites away.

For now mamma and I head to the music store after yet another funeral, and I seek the intersection of zydeco and hip hop. She stiffens when I tell her a Redemption Song-singing Harlemite Haitian in leather pants has offered to teach me his Kreyòl. I know what she’s thinking: Why not learn our Creole first? and the internet agrees with her. Cajun French is not to be confused with créole louisianais or créole haïtien, both spiced with les mots d’afrique. But my mother is appeased when I tell her I could pray with my neighbors in Haitian Kreyòl and that after mass, I’d stream Radio Acadie from Lafayette.

I don’t say I already struggle to keep up with Dimanche Après-Midi each Sunday afternoon distracted by the task of sautéing kale in coconut oil with gandules. As I try and fail to form une phrase complète, I ask Mary to priez pour moi, a poor sinner with a blocked stomach chakra, according to a Nepali chef and reiki practitioner. Sainte Marie, help me to better digest this world without end, and intercede on my behalf to Nietzsche, who proclaimed the futility of translating a people’s metabolism from their tongue.

Mirielle Clifford is originally from Texas, but she now lives and writes in Crown Heights. She is a co-founder of the poetry collective Sweet Action and has been poet-in-residence at Gemini Hill. Her work can be found in “The Dime Show Review,” “Everyone is Asleep But Me: a Collaborative Project Considering Night,” and elsewhere. She is working on a chapbook, entitled “All the Ways I am Saved.”

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Athletes are happiest on the field. We can help keep them there. Even young athletes are prone to injuries—and if they aren’t treated properly, they may become lifelong conditions. Join us at our upcoming seminar, Common Injuries in the Everyday Athlete, to learn more about: – Knee injuries in the everyday athlete: diagnosis, prevention and treatment – Injury prevention tips to help keep young athletes on the field – Hip injuries: understanding and treating the problem – Sports-related foot fractures and injuries and how to overcome them

Common Injuries in the Everyday Athlete Cost:

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APRIL 19-25,2018

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Diversity and inclusion: two words thrown around in polite, and not-so-polite, conversations in the workplace, schools and halls of government. But what do they mean? Are they more than just buzz words to be championed? In this blog post, I would like to share a couple of facts with you and a couple of opportunities to address as we continue the tireless work of changing lives through camp.

FACT: The United States is more racially and ethnically diverse than in the past, and is projected to become even more diverse in the coming decades. According to a 2015 Pew Research Report, the United States will not have a single racial or ethnic majority by 2055. With Asians and Hispanics leading the growth, the face of America is changing. FACT: According to ACA, in 2013, 27 percent of residential campers were racial/ethnic minorities with black and Latino making up the vast majority of these campers. Thirty-four percent of day campers were racial/ethnic minorities, again with black and Latino making up the majority. Despite

the camper demographics that mirror the changes in the country, Caucasians make up 92 percent and 91 percent of residential and day camp directors, respectively. As a Latino camp director, serving young people from a broad range of backgrounds, these facts motivate me daily. In the simplest of terms, I think of diversity as the crayons in the box and inclusion as the works of art they can create together. One opportunity camp professionals have is to tap into the diversity of our own campers and build pipelines of future staff. By championing our profession and using leadership opportunities like LIT and


APRIL 19-25,2018

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

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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.

ON THE BLOCK EAST SIDE OBSERVER BY ARLENE KAYATT

What’s missing — When a local business goes out, my thoughts are generally about the loss to the neighborhood and the business that is no more. And then I got to talking to Simon, whose eponymous jewelry store, Forever Simon, on Third Avenue between 91st and 92nd

Streets, was originally located on the opposite side of the street, between 94th and 95th Streets. When the businesses along that block were demolished to be replaced by an avenue-long high-rise (which is still under construction), Simon found space nearby where he has been for several years. His jewelry store shares the block with a convenience newspaper store, a beautytype salon, a UPS store, a Korean restaurant, and other businesses that survive on foot traffic. So Simon bemoaned the unexpected closing of Starbucks on the corner of 92nd. How come, I wanted to know. “Be-

cause customers going to Starbucks used to stop by and look at the jewelry and sometimes buy. We would talk.” Same sentiment from a customer in the UPS store who was sad to say that he’d miss stopping by to chat with the guy who worked there and get supplies. The kind of things that don’t happen in the online universe of shopping.

Today Target’s, tomorrow? — Everybody blames the landlord. And why not? They bring in the tenants who take over all those moms-and-pops and build the big boxes that everyone loves to hate when they hit their

neighborhood. Big-box stores are great for one-stop shopping when you’re not shopping online. Better than online shopping in some ways — the food, the produce, the groceries, the beverages, the clothing, you name it... all right before your eyes and a shopping cart away. Your heart may be in the right place about wanting to keep small businesses alive and in the neighborhood, but heck, if it’s all in one place and you don’t have to wait to walk in and out of store, why not? Back to the landlord. These days Manhattan’s streets and avenues are chockablock with cooperative apartment

ownership. Most have commercial space on the street level. The rents tenants pay for commercial space in co-ops impacts the co-op residents’ maintenance and other costs. These residential co-op owners, in many cases, have the ability and maybe the financial wherewithal to leave storefronts empty to assembly for a mega tenant like the Target coming to Third Avenue in the 70s. If the naysayers want moms-and-pops to exist, co-op owners may want to give more thought to the impact on the neighborhood and beyond and the role they play in the loss of small businesses.

SPREADING THE LACROSSE GOSPEL How minority youth in city public schools are becoming part of the sport’s community BY STEPHAN RUSSO

The onset of spring has a special meaning for me. No, I am not referring to the blooming of the April tulips. Rather, I pine for the smell of cut grass on a 110 yard playing field, the clanging of sticks and helmets, and the sensation of pinging the “back of the net.” I am talking about the advent of another season of lacrosse, a sport that had its origins in the tribal games played by Native Americans in the United States and Canada. European immigrants to North America modified the game to its current form. Today, there are over 800,000 young people playing the sport that carries the mantra as “the fastest game on two feet.” Full disclosure: I grew up playing lacrosse and was accepted into a top college primarily because of my stick skills — not my SAT scores. My friends and family know that I am wont to remind them (ad nauseum) that I was an All-American player and the 1973 national leader in total goals and assists. I now play in the over-60 division in what is called past-masters tournaments hoping that I make it though the weekend in one piece. (In January, I came back from Florida with a cracked

rib harkening to the old maxim that “Old Soldiers Never Die.”) The sport also has a reputation for being the exclusive domain of welloff prep school and suburban white kids who have access to fields, the latest equipment and top-tier coaching. However, there is now a movement to spread the sport to the hardtop playgrounds and streets of New York and other cities. Twelve years ago, only six high schools in the New York City Public Athletic League (PSAL) had varsity lacrosse teams — four in Staten Island. This was when Matty Levine, former All-American goalie at Williams College and passionate promoter of the game, started on his mission to spread the lacrosse gospel among public school and primarily minority youth. With donated equipment and excollege player volunteers, Levine created CityLax in 2005. He had begun a youth lacrosse program called Doc’s NYC in 1996 (in memory of Bernard Doc Schoenbaum, a NYC club lacrosse teammate) but was determined to reach a far different group of young people. Levine merged his business and dedicated his efforts full-time to develop school teams in all five boroughs. But he faced significant bureaucratic challenges dealing with the PSAL. By sheer will and determination, he has helped create fifty-two boys’ and girls’ varsity PSAL teams in throughout NYC. There is now a

vibrant avenue for public school kids to reap the benefits of the sport and become part of the growing lacrosse community. But CityLax was not the only lacrosse effort in New York City. In 2008, a young man by the name of Simon Cataldo, a Teach for America special education math teacher at Frederick Douglass Academy (FDA) in Harlem, watched a CityLax clinic at FDA and had an idea. Simon began a middle school lacrosse program as a way to provide a positive athletic experience for his students. Harlem Lacrosse was born. Today, building on CityLax’s success, Harlem Lacrosse works with over 300 boys and girls in seven different Harlem schools, teaching the skills of lacrosse and providing academic support. The results speak for themselves. The CityLax and Harlem programs boast that over 90 percent of their participants graduate from high school and are accepted into college. Owen Van Arsdale was an attackman on the University of Virginia’s (UVA) 2014 nationally-ranked lacrosse team when the Harlem group visited Charlottesville that year. Having grown up as the son of a lacrosse coach, he recognized the influence the sport had on his life and was struck by the enthusiasm of the middle-schoolers from NYC. Van Arsdale spent an extra year at UVA getting his masters in education but knew that what he really wanted to do was work with the kids

The Frederick Douglass Academy Lions. Photo: Stephan Russo from Harlem who had visited. Unlike many of his teammates who came to New York to join the Wall Street crowd, Van Arsdale set his sights much further uptown. “I came from a small community that took care of its own,” said Van Arsdale, “and the life values (hard work, discipline and teamwork) I learned being around the sport of lacrosse are so much a part of who I am today.” Van Arsdale is as much a social worker and educator as he is a lacrosse coach. At FDA, he walks the halls and knows all the administrators, teachers and students. He shares a small office on the second floor with his co-workers, Natasha Blackburn who runs the girl’s team, Matt Mason who is charge of the middle school team, and Sheree Trotman who helps keep them organized. The room is filled with sticks,

gloves, pads and helmets and a steady stream of kids who look to Owen for approval and guidance. The FDA Lions, last season’s PSAL champs, traveled to Staten Island recently to take on the parochial school powerhouse Monsignor Farrell High School. It was a rainy, dreary day but you could feel the excitement on the bus. “This is what they have practiced so diligently for,” Van Arsdale said. He had his coaching game face on. His players listened intently when he barked out instructions. FDA upended Monsignor Farrell, 10-9, in a thrilling overtime victory. Van Arsdale beamed and finally broke a smile at the end of the game. He told the students to enjoy the win but admonished them to focus on “what’s next.” He knew it was only the beginning of the season and there was still much work to be done.

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APRIL 19-25,2018

BOOK CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Last year’s winner, “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, led to a unique “commonality of experience,” says Menin. “I can’t tell you how many people contacted us and told us, anecdotally, that they were on the subway reading “Americanah” and the person next to them was reading “Americanah.” “One Book, One New York” also spawned something of a New York book club diaspora. Cities from across the country and in Germany, Israel and Turkey expressed interest in

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

launching their own programs. The program is designed to create an affordable, shared cultural experience; to that end, thousands of copies of the nominated titles will be available at the 219 public library branches throughout the city. The majority of the city’s many independent booksellers also participate in and benefit from extra foot traffic thanks to the program; they’ll stock extra copies as well. Once the winner is announced, events throughout the city will celebrate the book and its author, who is likely to occupy a unique cultural position in a city known for its bookish inhabitants.

The curious can come for a sneak peek on April 19th, where as part of the PEN World Voices literary festival, a private reception and panel discussion featuring the nominated authors will be held at The New School. One presenter will be Barry Jenkins, whose film “Moonlight” won the Academy Award for best picture and is currently directing a film based on one of the five nominees, James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Don’t have time to read through all the nominees before voting closes? The denizens of literary New York gave us the scoop on the nominees:

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan “The gangsters may be the best part of “Manhattan Beach,” an elegantly written, absorbing work of historical fiction that takes readers back in time to the years before, and then during, World War II. It follows a flawed but loving dad who mysteriously disappears and his independent, gutsy daughter who’s determined first to support what’s left of her family and then to find him. Egan tours readers around the tenements in Brooklyn and the nightclubs of Manhattan, and from Navy Yard factories to warships at sea, never losing her grip on what’s most interesting about the story - and how the past can feel like, and teach us, about today.”

— Ester Bloom, Senior Editor at CNBC.com and a former book reviewer for Barnes & Noble

Behold the Dreamers

When I Was Puerto Rican

by Imbolo Mbue

by Esmeralda Santiago

“‘Behold the Dreamers’ offers an interesting take on the American Dream. It takes place after the 2008 stock market crash and tells the story Jende Jonga, a recent immigrant from Cameroon, who finds himself the personal limo driver of a Lehman Brothers executive. The novel grapples with a part of the city that people try to avoid looking at — the inequality between the wealthy, and the people who are working for those with money, and how the issues facing the people like Jendge are much more significant than those of his employer.”

“I teach ‘When I was Puerto Rican’ in a literary seminar called ‘New York’s Literary Women.’ Students love Santiago’s book, not only because the writing is so readable and engaging, but because she paints such vivid pictures of everything from her childhood in Puerto Rico to her very first time being in New York. Many of my students are living in NYC for the first time, and while their individual experiences inevitably differ, there is something recognizable in Santiago’s melancholy story of leaving a beloved home and childhood to face an uncertain future.”

— Amy Ribakove, a bookseller at The Corner Bookstore

— Tahneer Oksman, Assistant Professor, Marymount Manhattan College

White Tears If Beale Street Could Talk

by Hari Kunzru

by James Baldwin

“‘White Tears’ was maybe the book that most blew my mind in 2017. Kunzru’s examination of the history of blues music, the vivid characterizations of the main two young white male characters and their wanderings throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan, and their travels around Mississippi, felt at various times dead-on sharp, intensely terrifying, satirically humorous, haunting, and exhilarating. The book explores our nation’s history of racial violence, power and greed, and I think it’s especially relevant for our city, which takes such pride in its cultural richness and racial diversity.”

“It’s my secret, favorite novel of Baldwin’s. This is just a wonderful novel about love and hardship in 1970’s Harlem — about messed up families and love and injustice. Tish and Fonny, the main characters, are madly in love. They become engaged, Tish becomes pregnant, and then Fonny is falsely accused of rape and imprisoned. It is not a light novel, but it is incredible.”

— Nick Buzanski, bookseller at Book Culture

— Bonnie Chau, bookseller at McNally Jackson


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APRIL 19-25,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

FORM function and $100 REBATE

Discover the world around the corner. Find community events, gallery openings, book launches and much more: Go to nycnow.com

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Thu 19 - Fri 20 Tue 24 - Wed 25 ON LOVE: THE ART OF LINES, SHAPES & SYMBOLS Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St. 12:30 p.m. Free Sonnette™ Cellular Roller Shades

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Over the course of two weeks, artists from Iran, Japan, India and the United States will communicate in the universal language of love. They’ll use words, letters, shapes and symbols from their respective languages and alphabets to explore the linguistic and artistic connections to calligraphy. The public can watch these temporary art installations as they’re being crafted on the windows of the Winter Garden; workshops and performances will accompany the art installations. artsbrookfield.com

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MAIL-IN REBATE Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases made 1/13/18 - 4/9/18 from participating dealers in the $"542?7;'2/,?/4-6;8).'9+/9*+B4+*'9'6;8).'9+5,'4?5,:.+685*;):35*+299+:,58:.2/9:+*54,854:5,:./9)'8*/47;'4:/:/+92/9:+* 54,854:,?5;6;8).'9+2+99:.'496+)/B+*7;'4:/:??5;=/2245:(++4:/:2+*:5'8+(':+!+(':+=/22(+/99;+*/4:.+,5835,'68+6'/*8+='8* card and mailed within 4 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 6 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations may apply. Ask participating dealer for details & rebate form. 2018 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners.

Thu 19 Fri 20 Sat 21 UNCHARTED CONCERT SERIES: ANI CORDERO AND JOATA Greenwich House Music School, 46 Barrow St. 8 p.m. $15, includes free beer Singer, songwriter, drummer, guitarist and Latin American music researcher Ani Cordero will debut new material, with special guest Joata. Concert proceeds will be donated to Puerto Rico Independent Musicians and Artists. 212-242-4770 greenwichhouse.org

HER KIND: A CLASSICAL CABARET CELEBRATING WOMANKIND The Flea Theater 20 Thomas St. 9 p.m. $17-$52 What does it mean to be a woman in the time of the #metoo and #timesup movements? Brooklyn outfit Opera on Tap explores this question via classical cabaret, and brings their irreverent, heartfelt and entertaining approach to the Flea for the first time. 212-226-0051 theflea.org

THE WHISTLEBLOWER SERIES The Paradise Factory 64 East 4th St. 5 p.m. $20 general admission, $45 discount package to all three shows The Seeing Place Theater presents The Whistleblower Series, three plays in rep, each exploring the female protagonist as anti-hero. “The People vs. Antigone,” “I Am My Own Wife” and “My Name is Rachel Corrie.” Through May 13. 646-765-4773 seeingplacetheater.com


APRIL 19-25,2018

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

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Sun 22 Mon 23 Tue 24 ▲ ¡ADELANTE, CUBA! FESTIVAL KICKOFF The Greene Space 44 Charlton St. 6 p.m. $20 Join jazz giant Arturo O’Farrill, tap artist Ayodele Casel, trumpet player Yasek Manzano Silva and other amazing artists for a lively evening of music and conversation to launch the ¡Adelante, Cuba! Festival, a celebration of Cuba through dance and music. Though April 28. 646-829-4000 thegreenespace.org

CONS AND SCAMS: THEIR PLACE IN AMERICAN CULTURE

‘TRUE STORIES FROM AN UNRELIABLE EYEWITNESS’

The New School 66 West 12th St. 12:30 p.m. Free Cons and con men have long been present in American culture and are often represented as romantic figures. At this year’s Center for Public Scholarship at The New School symposium, experts will explore cons and scams in their many guises and what makes us vulnerable to them, with particular attention to the current political scene in the U.S. 212-229-5108 newschool.edu

Tishman Auditorium 63 Fifth Ave. 7 p.m. Free, advance registration suggested You know actor and director Christine Lahti from her roles in “Chicago Hope,” “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” and others. Now she’s turning her talent to the page. Join her in conversation with documentary filmmaker Michael Moore as they discuss her new essay collection, “True Stories from an Unreliable Eyewitness: A Feminist Coming of Age.” events.newschool.edu

Wed 25 ◄‘FULL METAL JACKET’ Village East Cinema 181-189 Second Ave. 7:30 p.m. $15 In this Stanley Kubrick classic, a pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting. This screening wraps up a monthlong tribute to the one and only Stanley Kubrick. 212-529-6998 citycinemas.com

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APRIL 19-25,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

MIDWESTERN METAPHORS A retrospective at the Whitney argues for Grant Wood’s greatness BY MARY GREGORY

“American Gothic” is an icon. As such, it’s mysterious, metaphorical, powerful and unexplainable. Yet, explaining it, or at least telling its story, is just what Whitney curator Barbara Haskell has set out to do. She’s introducing a painter we’re all familiar with, but few really know, in “Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables.” It’s a sweeping survey of Wood’s paintings, drawings, metalwork, stained glass and other pieces, and it constitutes just the third retrospective of this great American artist’s work.

Grant Wood was born in 1891 into a Midwestern and Quaker farming family. He saw the world through that lens, but differently. He was shy, gentle and talented, and liked drawing more than plowing. He worked a bit as an artist, found a local undertaker who became his patron, and was able to travel to Europe to study Old Masters like Van Eyck and Durer, falling in love with soaring arches and Northern Renaissance precision and crisp, clear atmosphere. He returned to Iowa and painted an astonishing picture. Through classical techniques like glazing and the use of almost imperceptible brushstrokes, he created heroic images of American archetypes. “American Gothic,” like all Wood’s paintings, is seductive and seditious.

Grant Wood’s iconic painting, “American Gothic,” is on loan from the Art Institute of Chicago and on view at the Whitney through June 10. Photo: Adel Gorgy

“Spring Turning” is one of the many delightful landscapes included in “Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables.” Photo: Adel Gorgy It’s filled with technical virtuosity. Note the vertical lines of the pitchfork repeating on the farmer’s shirt and overalls, and again on the Gothic arch-shaped window and the siding of the house. A smooth, pale blue sky contrasts with the couple’s worn, dark clothes. The woman is clearly younger than the man. What’s their relationship? And then, there are the gazes of two of the most inscrutable pairs of eyes in art. The woman looks away, past him, past the viewer, to something unseen, off to the right. He stares directly out, holding the pitchfork (symbolizing the devil, sustenance or both?) between them and the world outside. “It doesn’t resolve into one superficial dimension.... It has that sort of emblematic quality of America, but at the same time, it’s so complicated. What is actually going on? Scholars have probed the picture and come up with a range of interpretations, but the fact that they have and the range is so wide and diverse, shows that it’s a compelling picture,” Haskell said. Wood’s sister and his dentist were the models, but the spirit of the country was the subject. And it was a complicated, conflicted one. It was painted in 1930, into a darkening Depression where countless farmers had lost their land, and as the culture was morphing from agrarian to urban. Meanwhile, European Modernism was the au courant flavor for the smart sets in New York and Hollywood. In the heartland, it was a taste they hadn’t developed. Those who tilled the soil saw in this couple the kind of gravity and fortitude they aspired to and admired. Those who filled bookshelves with novels, museums with art, and movie

theaters with films, saw it as a satire. One thing both sides agreed on: it was a great picture. It became an overnight sensation, was published nationally, and made Grant Wood famous. Stories, particularly American ones, filled Wood’s imagination and define the works in the exhibition. There’s a painterly retelling of “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,” a bird’s eye view of a tiny town. Wood used a hobby horse to set up the scene before painting it, helping it retain a fairy-tale quality. “Parson Weems’ Fable” shows Weems in the foreground pointing to a surrealistic little George Washington, with a child’s body and a man’s head, confessing to cutting down a cherry tree. The tree in question is covered in cute red pom-poms that stand in for cherries. The same pom-poms decorate the curtain Weems pulls back to reveal the scene. “The abstraction of that cherry tree was like a round, minimal ball that somebody in the ‘60s might’ve created ... and then Parson Weems pulling back the curtain, that’s a very typical kind of trope,” Haskell said. But again, there’s an unresolved tension. “In this case the father is not the Washington senior that’s forgiving the child, saying ‘I’m so proud of you. You told me the truth.’ It’s a very menacing gesture.” In “Appraisal” a lovely, young woman in a threadbare coat held together by a safety pin offers a chicken for sale. The potential buyer, portly and older, dressed in furs and tightly clutching her purse, considers it. It’s a tale of haves vs. have-nots, city vs. country, youth vs. age, fecundity vs. barrenness, purity vs. corruption, all told through a barnyard transaction. Beyond these more familiar works,

two galleries are filled with glorious magical realist landscapes that extend Wood’s mythologizing to the countryside. All seen from above and filled with emerald green grass, funny little trees and crops in fields neatly lined up like decorations on cakes, they’re a mixture of America and Oz, and absolutely delightful. Possibly the most telling tale is found in Wood’s own self-portrait, “The Return from Bohemia,” a pastel, gouache and pencil on paper done in 1935, some years after his trips to Europe. The artist glares out from behind his easel, brushes in hand. Surrounding him are men and women, boys and girls, young and old, all literally looking down on him. If you ask people to name a great American painting, “American Gothic” would probably come up a lot, but if you asked about a great American painter, Grant Wood probably wouldn’t. “Isn’t that crazy?” Haskell asked. “The work is so compelling. I think people all of a sudden are going to see this artist. I’m really hoping for a much greater appreciation of Grant Wood.... There’s a reason why ‘American Gothic’ is mesmerizing, but the whole body of his work is mesmerizing. I think it will change people’s appreciation of him, and the timing is right. America is kind of grappling with its own national identity again.”

IF YOU GO WHAT: “Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables” WHERE: Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort St. WHEN: Through June 10 whitney.org


APRIL 19-25,2018

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RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS Meet Fresh

37 Cooper Sq

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. 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. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Three Jewels

5 E 3rd St

A

APR 4 - 10, 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. Friend Of A Farmer

77 Irving Place

Grade Pending (23) 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 nonfood areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Big Bar

73 East 7 Street

A

Solas

232 East 9 Street

A

Tsurutontan Udon Noodle Brasserie

21 E 16th St

A

Union Square Cafe / Daily Provisions

101 E 19th St

Grade Pending (38) 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. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Mayahuel

304 E 6th St

A

Kellogg’s NYC

31 E 17th St

A

Villanelle

15 E 12th St

Not Yet Graded (25) Food worker does not use proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate additional heat treatment. 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.

Beetle House

Blue Water Grill

308 E 6th St

Not Yet Graded (20) Evidence of mice or live mice 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.

31 Union Square West Grade Pending (16) Evidence of mice or live mice 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.

Old Town Bar & Restaurant 45 East 18 Street

A

Karaoke Nemo / Trece

54 East 13 Street

A

Num Pang

28 E 12th St

A

Le Coq Rico

30 E 20th St

A

Ten Degrees

121 St Marks Place

Grade Pending (27) Food worker does not use proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate additional heat treatment. Evidence of mice or live mice 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. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Crif Dogs / Please Don’t Tell

113 St Marks Place

Grade Pending (23) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Manitoba’s

99 Avenue B

A

Angelina

37 Avenue A

A

Fei Ma

79 Avenue A

A

Ace Bar

531 East 5 Street

A

Drop Off Service

211 Avenue A

A

Pardon My French

103 Avenue B

Grade Pending (19) Evidence of rats or live rats 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.

Virginia’s

647 E 11th St

Grade Pending (23) 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. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Apna Masala Indian Cuisine 344 E 6th St

Grade Pending (9) Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or nonfood areas.

Ogawa Cafe

36 E 4th St

A

Good Night Sonny

134 1st Ave

A

Vivi Bubble Tea

30 3rd Ave

A

Trece Taqueria

353 W 14th St

Not Yet Graded (34) Food from unapproved or unknown source or home canned. Reduced oxygen packaged (ROP) fish not frozen before processing; or ROP foods prepared on premises transported to another site. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Do Hwa

55 Carmine Street

Grade Pending (26) 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. Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Il Forno Pizzeria Restaurant 343 2nd Ave

A

98 Favor Taste

37 Saint Marks Pl

A

Pie

124 4 Avenue

A

Posto

310 2 Avenue

A

Gemma

4 East 3 Street

A

Chipotle Mexican Grill

117 East 14 Street

A

Baohaus

238 East 14 Street

A

Coco

33 Saint Marks Pl

CLOSED (34) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Checkers

225 1st Ave

Grade Pending (17) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Evidence of rats or live rats 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/ sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies.

Vin Sur Vingt

201 West 11 Street

A

While We Were Young

183 W 10th St

A

Baker & Co.

263 Bleecker St

A

Rebel Coffee

19 8th Ave

A

Squarespace

225 Varick St

A

A

Taco Mahal

73 7th Ave S

A

Pure Green

60 E 8th St


APRIL 19-25,2018

15

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Neighborhood Scrapbook

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Cultural Events

Waterproofing student. Photo: Poby/Asphalt Green

INTO THE POOL Asphalt Green’s annual Big Swim Big Kick offers kids a chance to swim and play soccer games — and meet star athletes If it’s spring, it’s time for Asphalt Green’s Big Swim Big Kick, a free swim meet and soccer festival for kids. On Saturday, April 28, the New York City nonprofit will host its 23rd annual event celebrating the power of sports and fitness, which has raised more than $10 million since 1993. Kids ages 6-10 can jump into an Olympic-size pool for their first-ever swim race and play soccer-themed games on Asphalt Green’s outdoor turf field — all for free. Participants receive a medal, a t-shirt, and ice cream. Big Swim Big Kick will also offer an opportunity to meet this year’s featured athletes: five-time Olympic swimming

gold medalist Dana Vollmer, and University of Florida head soccer coach Becky Burleigh, who led her team to an NCAA national championship. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to inspire the next generation of swimmers at events like Big Swim Big Kick,” said Vollmer. “I know it’s my role to motivate young kids, but it’s amazing how much kids motivate me. To hear their dreams and feel like I have had a little piece in helping them get there is really fulfilling.” “I’ve heard a lot of amazing things about Asphalt Green,” said Burleigh. “I’m excited to be in the environment at Big Swim Big Kick.” Vollmer and Burleigh will also participate in a panel discussion on Friday, April 27: “Women Empowered by Sports,” at Sacred Heart Athletics and Wellness Center (406 East 91st Street, between First and York Avenues).

One community program that Big Swim Big Kick supports is Waterproofing, which provides free swim instruction to 2,600 underserved students from 47 public NYC elementary schools — including 39 in Manhattan. Once a week for 30 weeks, students travel to one of Asphalt Green’s two campuses, or one of the organization’s partner pools, where they learn water safety and swim skills. The program aims to eliminate childhood drowning in NYC, a problem that disproportionately affects minority communities. Many Waterproofing students participate in Big Swim Big Kick, including the entire Waterproofing class from the South Bronx’s P.S. 170, which will be making the trip to Manhattan with their teacher for the event. Parents are encouraged to register their kids online in advance at asphaltgreen.org/ bsbk.

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16

APRIL 19-25,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Business

Real Estate

Photo: Sarah_Ackerman, via flickr

ASK A BROKER BY ANDREW KRAMER

My job is relocating me from Los Angeles to Manhattan this year. I’m used to living in a high-rise, however I find it confusing to determine the size of an apartment when it’s advertised on the internet by room count. Welcome to the world of New York City apartments! Prewar apartments were built by room size, counting the kitchen, living room and number of bedrooms was the primary indicator of an apartment’s size — two rooms constitute a studio; three rooms, a one-bedroom; four rooms, a small two-bedroom; five rooms adds a formal dining; six rooms, also known as a “Classic 6”, gets you a maid’s room; and each additional digit (“Classic 7, 8, 9 and above) adds another bedroom, with a half-room representing a foyer or dining area. Today, it is commonplace for prewar buyers to bring their homes into more modern times by turning a maid’s room into an open kitchen or making a bedroom out of a dining room. Prewar apartments are known for their ornate details, including arched door openings, herringbone floors, moldings and French doors. The postwar years of the 1950s and 1960s brought us less compartmental rooms with more open layouts and one, two and three bedroom counts. In new developments going up these days, which are typically condominiums, square footage is the unit of measure. However, when translating square footage to apartment layout it is often helpful to go by bedroom count and ad copy if a floorplan is not available. Andrew Kramer is a licensed associate real estate broker with Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales

Photo: longlostcousin, via flickr

Photo: Henry Hemming, vial flickr

WOMEN’S WORK REAL ESTATE Sexism, however covertly and infrequently, does manifest itself in real estate BY FREDERICK W. PETERS

Us too? Even in a historically “women’s business,” has sexism manifested itself in the purchase and sale of homes? Ours is a business that always enabled smart entrepreneurial women to rise to the top of the profession. And yet, subtle forms of discrimination remain. There is no residential brokerage “casting couch.” No listing I have ever heard of has been awarded on the basis of the granting of sexual favors. And while female agents have been (appropriately) apprehensive

about meeting strangers alone in empty houses or apartments, the incidence of actual inappropriate behavior or violence remains minimal. The expressions of prejudice inform conversations and behaviors in less overt ways. First, clients and customers treat women agents disrespectfully more frequently than they do men. Not that it happens so often. But if buyers or sellers are dismissive or even hostile in the way they react to advice or guidance, the agent, at least in my office, is more likely a woman, even when the client has selected the agent himself. I have witnessed a number of situations in which the same advice, delivered by a man, receives a substantially different and more positive reaction than when delivered by a woman, even if the latter trumps the former in experience. Is it any accident

that the stars of “Million Dollar Listing” are men? The perception that, by and large, that level of ultra-high price deal making belongs to the guys subtly reinforces the notion that, if you want to buy or sell for big bucks, a man will have a better business head and represent you better. And then there is the question of math! In my generation, it was assumed that women were poor at math and this frequently became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Of course this assumption never had a basis in fact. Successful agents in our business require both strong arithmetic and conceptual skills; deals need to be carefully financially structured and board packages need to be massaged to make sure the presentation of assets shows in its most positive light. Fortunately I think this prejudice, which is both sui generis and externally imposed, seems to have disappeared in the generation of women under 50 who now make up many of our top agents. They often put my arithmetical skills

to shame, about which I could not be more delighted. The great agents of the generation above mine, almost all women, were often known as “barracudas.” That meant that they did not display appropriately “feminine” behavior in their negotiations; they displayed business savvy and strength that would have gone unremarked or praised in a man. In the 1950s and ‘60s and ‘70s, given prevailing attitudes towards business, those women HAD to be tough to succeed. Today, men and women share equal success in real estate; as men increasingly inhabit higher echelons in the residential business, women become more and more successful on the commercial side. Some gender prejudices linger, whether about ability, or skills, or the appropriateness of certain types of behavior. Maybe it will take another generation before they really disappear. Frederick W. Peters is chief executive officer of Warburg Realty Partnership.


APRIL 19-25,2018

17

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

        

 

    

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18

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

APRIL 19-25,2018

ANOTHER MAJOR DEVELOPMENT ON WEST 66TH? PROPERTY Silverstein Properties will reportedly acquire ABC’s UWS headquarters BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

The block of West 66th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue became a focal point for Upper West Side real estate observers last year, when Extell Development unveiled plans for a 775-foot residential tower on the block’s south side that would be the tallest building in Manhattan north of Midtown. Now, a property deal across the street from the Extell site could be an early indicator of a second significant project on the block, this one at the longtime home of the American Broadcasting Company. Silverstein Properties, perhaps best known for developing the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, is in contract to acquire ABC’s West 66th Street headquarters, according to multiple reports. The sale was first reported by the Commercial

ABC’s West 66th Street headquarters will be sold to Silverstein Properties in a billion-dollar-plus land deal, according to multiple reports. Photo: Michael Garofalo Observer. Silverstein will reportedly pay more than $1 billion in the transaction. ABC’s campus includes several buildings on the block, including its 22-story corporate headquarters at 77 West 66th Street and the ABC News studios at neighboring 47 West 66th Street, also known as the Barbara Walters Building, as well as the stu-

dios of local affiliate WABC at 149 Columbus Avenue. It is unclear which of the ABC buildings will be included in the sale, though reports indicate the deal will likely include both 77 West 66th Street and 47 West 66th Street. A spokesman for Silverstein declined to comment on the reported deal, and the company’s plans for the site remain unclear. Officials with Disney,

ABC’s parent company, did not respond to requests for comment. Some ABC-owned lots on the block fall within the Upper West Side/Central Park West Historic District and would be protected from demolition or major alterations. Neither 77 West 66th Street nor 47 West 66th Street fall within the historic district. Sean Khorsandi, executive director of the land use and preservation nonprofit Landmark West!, said that every ABC lot on the block except for 77 West 66th Street has remaining air rights that could be transferred to contiguous properties on the block through zoning lot mergers. Khorsandi said it is possible that one or more ABC buildings could be torn down to make way for new development. “The funny thing is, nobody would have thought five years ago that the ABC headquarters was a tear-down,” Khorsandi said. “But when we see things like 273 Park Avenue, the former Union Carbide headquarters that’s now JP Morgan Chase headquarters, as a tear-down that’s going to be rebuilt several hundred feet taller, it’s completely plausible that something like this would come down. It’s ironic, because it could completely be

reused and transferred to residential.” Development at the ABC site could conceivably overlap with construction on the Extell project on the opposite side of West 66th Street. “If a developer on one side of the street is doing something at the same time a developer across the street is doing something, the city’s not going to say to wait until one is finished,” Khorsandi said. There are no contextual zoning height restrictions on the block, raising the possibility that the ABC lots could be the site of another sizable project in the neighborhood, in addition to the proposed Extell building at 50 West 66th Street and a planned 668-foot condo tower a few blocks away at 200 Amsterdam Avenue, which is the subject of a pending zoning appeal filed by the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, a local group that opposes the project. “I don’t know what’s happening to our Upper West Side,” said Olive Freud, the president of the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development. “If it’s another Midtown, 57th Street skyscraper, the community will do whatever we can to stop it.”

REMEMBRANCE AND THE GREAT WAR HISTORY Or how a legendary warrior gave his name to an avenue — and how the East Side pays tribute to pluck, heroism and valor BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

It is the ultimate Upper East Side trivia question. But first, a warning: Most lifetime neighborhood residents get it wrong. How did York Avenue get its name? Did it come from A) The Duke of York? B) New York City itself? C) Yorkville, the community it traverses? D) The Continental Army’s triumph at the Battle of Yorktown? Or E) None of the above? If you answered “E,” give yourself a free, 1.6-mile victory promenade up York from East 59th Street to East 92nd Street. The 33-block swath between the Queensboro Bridge and Asphalt Green is actually named for Sgt. Alvin C. York, the citizen-soldier-hero of the U.S. Expeditionary Forces in World War I whose exploits 100 years ago, under withering German machine gun fire, won him a Medal of Honor. In the last great push of what was then known as the Great War, in the

Forest of Argonne in France, on October 8, 1918, York’s company was trapped behind enemy lines, and with most of his fellow soldiers killed or injured, he advanced toward a machinegun nest. By the time the smoke cleared, he had killed at least 25 German gunners, silenced 35 machine guns and captured 132 soldiers, who he marched backed toward American lines, according to 1919 Army citations and contemporaneous press accounts. He was hailed as the “greatest civilian solider of the war” by General of the Armies John J. Pershing. York’s deeds were called the “greatest act by any private soldier of all the armies of Europe” by Marshal Ferdinand Foch, the French commander of Allied forces in World War I. New Yorkers took notice: He got a ticker tape parade in 1919, the New York Stock Exchange halted trading as brokers hoisted him on their shoulders and carried him around the floor, and on April 11, 1928, after a vote by the old Board of Aldermen, forerunner of today’s City Council, the uptown portion of Avenue A was named in his honor. Flash forward exactly 90 years: On Wednesday, April 11, outside the Webster Library branch, at 1465 York

Avenue near 78th Street, a group called the East Side World War I Centennial Commemoration marked the anniversary of the street renaming and recalled York Avenue’s colorful history as part of the celebrations to mark the end of the war. The York Avenue Ramblers performed period classics like “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.” U.S. flags were proudly waved. Beannochio’s, at 1413 York Avenue, served up savory apple muffins. And organizers promised it was just the beginning of a series of events commemorating what was once called as “The War to End All Wars.” “The more heroes that people have to look up to, the better it is for all of us,” said Howard Teich, co-chair of the centennial events. As a longtime East Sider who lives only a few blocks away, Teich said he never knew until last year that York Avenue was named for Sgt. York, who was born in 1887 and died in 1964. Even Gerald York — the 70-year-old grandson of Sgt. York and a Vietnam War veteran who retired from the Army after 31 years in 2000 with the rank of colonel — had no idea until a year ago his grandfather had given his name to the street. “I only learned when I recently saw

A 1919 photo of Sgt. Alvin C. York revisiting the hillside in the Forest of Argonne in France where his World War I heroics in 1918 won him a Medal of Honor. He is credited with killing 25 German soldiers, capturing 132 more and silencing 35 machine guns. Photo: New York Public Library / Digital Collections a newspaper article my grandmother had kept from the renaming ceremony in 1928,” York said in a phone interview from his Tennessee home. Though he had been stationed at Fort Monmouth and made trips to Fort Hamilton during his military service, he had never been to York Avenue until he was invited to participate in the commemorative event. “The locals couldn’t have been friendlier,” York said. He said he was impressed when the

owner of Beannochio’s said he had watched “Sergeant York,” the iconic 1941 film portraying his grandfather’s heroics for which Gary Cooper in the title role won a best actor Oscar. The enthusiastic reaction was no surprise to Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, the other centennial co-chair. “Patriotism is alive and doing quite well on the Upper East Side and Yorkville,” she said. invreporter@strausnews.com


APRIL 19-25,2018

19

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Although the voting age in the Participatory Budgeting process was lowered to 11 citywide, Upper West Side City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, pictured at a recent hearing at City Hall, chose to keep it at 14. Photo: Council Member Helen Rosenthal

City Council Member Ben Kallos at the homelessness forum at the Ramaz School. Photo: Ben Kallos, via Twitter

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hotel facilities to transitional, high-quality housing centers, the ultimate goal is to equip down-on-their-luck New Yorkers with the tools to regain stability in shelters close to their hometowns. It seeks to strengthen networks of support within their community. So far, this model has worked. For the first time in decades, the growth in homelessness has ceased. The shelter census is flat and upwards of 81,000 people have left or avoided the shelter system altogether since de Blasio has taken office. But there is still a long way to go. The homeless crisis in New York City is a deep-rooted problem, born from decades of income inequality, mental illness and apathy. “The national challenge of homelessness didn’t occur overnight and it won’t be solved overnight,” said Isaac McGinn, the NYC Department of Homeless Services’ press secretary in an email. “But our City’s comprehensive strategies are taking hold.”

us to

look

Email us at news@strausnews.com

into

To the experts on the panel — who included representatives from the NYC Department of Homeless Services, the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, the Doe Fund and the Women’s Mental Health Shelter — affordable housing is the first step. In the years between 2005 and 2015, rents have increased by 18.4 percent while incomes have increased by just 4.8 percent. Kallos, whose district includes Yorkville, Lenox Hill and Carnegie Hill, discussed his efforts to increase the number of supportive housing facilities in the city. He mentioned his success during his re-election last year when he assisted in the acquisition of seventeen two-bedroom apartments for homeless women and their families. “We are a welcoming community,” remarked Kallos. “And whether it is women in need or others, we are going to work with you.” Ann Shalof, executive direc-

tor of the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter, agreed that affordable housing is necessary to start the process towards stability and independence. “The best way to serve homelessness is through housing,” she said. The NCS operates two supportive housing residences, one that caters to young adults who have graduated from the foster care system and another for adults, primarily those that are mentally ill. In addition to affordable housing, panelists emphasized the need to provide resources for permanent independence. Felipe Vargas, the vice president of programs for the Doe Fund, stressed his organization’s emphasis on job placement and self-sustainability. Last year, the Doe Fund placed 430 men into jobs and independent housing. Central to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Turning the Tide” plan on homelessness from February 2017 was this idea of staying on track for the long term. While the 114-page plan emphasizes a shift from outdated cluster programs and

like

HOMELESS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

?

VOTING FRAUGHT ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE ENGAGEMENT Despite a citywide move to open up the Participatory Budgeting process, City Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s office kept to the old voting age in her district BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

The New York City Council’s Participatory Budgeting program, which gives residents a chance to choose which among a list of capital projects should be funded in their neighborhoods, is billed as a way of introducing young people to civic life. To further encourage participation, the minimum voting age this year was lowered to 11, from the previous cutoff of 14. But on the Upper West Side, Council Member Helen Rosenthal took a different approach, stating on her website and in other materials that voting for Participatory Budgeting was open to residents age 14 or older. “We are sticking with our age requirement from last year, which was 14 and up,” said Sarah Crean, Rosenthal’s communications director. This was the seventh year of New York City’s Participatory Budgeting program, which gives residents a vote on how to allocate $1 million in capital discretionary funding within their Council district. Before a nine-day voting period concluded last Sunday, Crean said that Rosenthal’s office would not turn away 11-, 12-

or 13-years-olds if they came to a voting location, but explained that youth engagement efforts would focus on voters age 14 and up. “We’re trying to engage young people in a way that best serves the needs of everybody in the district,” Crean said during voting last week. Before this year’s move to open the vote to 11-year-olds, the voting age for Participatory Budgeting was previously lowered from 16 to 14 — a change Rosenthal’s office advocated for, Crean said. “The office felt strongly that when the city wanted to bring it down to 11 that we wanted to keep it at 14 because we felt that that would allow voters to have the biggest impact in the district,” Crean said. “We really believe in Participatory Budgeting,” she said. “We totally respect it. I think essentially this would be a respectful difference from one of the guidelines based on our experience with the process and what we’ve seen in the district.” Projects on the ballot this year in Rosenthal’s Sixth District included improvements to local libraries, sidewalks, schools and public housing developments. Residents can vote for multiple projects, and typically two or more initiatives are funded per year, depending on the price tag of each project with the most votes until the allotted funding runs out. Results will be announced later this spring.

Residents of Council District Six could vote at a number of locations on the Upper West Side, including Rosenthal’s district office, as well as online. This year, the Council’s online voting system prompted voters to affirm that they live in District Six, would only vote once, and were at least 11 years or in the sixth grade. “We have spoken with the [City Council] speaker’s office on this and they know that we have decided to stick with last year’s policy,” Crean said. In an emailed statement, a spokesperson from City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office said Council staff “has addressed [Council Members’] concerns about the participatory budgeting voting age and has encouraged Council Members to adhere to the rules and allow everyone who wishes to vote to do so.” According to the citywide Participatory Budgeting rulebook posted on the City Council’s website, “People can vote for projects if they live in the district and are at least 11 years old or in 6th Grade.” The rulebook does not detail the latitude given to individual council members in adjusting voting rules within their districts. It is unclear if any other Council members chose to not adopt the new age minimum. Rosenthal’s fellow Manhattan Council representatives Ben Kallos, Corey Johnson and Ydanis Rodriguez each advertised the new voting age of 11 in promotional materials.


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YOUR 15 MINUTES

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MASTERING MONEY Investment funds lawyer and former director at the Securities Exchange Commission takes us into his world BY ANGELA BARBUTI

April is Financial Literary Month, so what better way to commemorate the occasion than to speak with someone who dedicates his career to advising in the financial sector. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Norm Champ saw the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2008, and decided to lend his knowledge to the Division of Investment Management at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In his book, “Going Public: My Adventures Inside the SEC and How to Prevent the Next Devastating Crisis,” he gives readers a glimpse into the federal government. “Citizens have a right to know what it’s like inside the government and the good and the bad,” he explained. “I felt like there wasn’t a book out there about what it was like.” Now, the Upper East Side resident is a partner in the investment funds group at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, assisting private investment funds with being in compliance with SEC regulations. He also gives back to his alma maters, teaching investment management law at Harvard Law, and sitting on the advisory council to the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, where he earned his bachelor’s degree.

How did your job at the SEC come about? Throughout my career as a lawyer, I had worked on filings with the SEC and interacted with them on policy issues and had a lot of respect for them. And if you go back to the fall of 2008, all the federal regulators that were blamed for the crisis, the SEC easily was the one that took t he most critic i sm . You k now, t hey had failed to find

Upper East Sider Norm Champ is a partner in the investment funds group at Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Photo courtesy of Norm Champ

Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, who was connected to another big Ponzi scheme. The five largest broker dealers under the SEC’s regulation, either vanished from the face of the earth, like Lehman, or taken over by banks, like Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, or became banks, like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Their jurisdiction was changing, they were under a lot of criticism, and so it felt like, “Maybe this is a time where my expertise in investment management funds could be helpful to the Commission.” And so I started talking to some people there that I knew and one of them suggested that I apply for the job as head of examinations in New York, which I did and I got it. And I went there in January of 2010.

What were the challenges to your job there? If you ever looked into organizational management or change management, when a respected organization like the SEC, that’s had a long run of success, has a problem, like Madoff... the reaction is not, “We need to change a lot of things.” The reaction is typically, “That was just an isolated failure.” And so the real challenge is working with people to make them understand that how things are being done contributed to what happened with Madoff. So how examination was done and how the examination function was organized, that those things actually were part of what happened in missing Madoff and Stanford. And when you have that realization, then the next step is, “How should we change how we’re doing things in order to make sure we don’t miss a Madoff and Stanford the next time.”

What is an initiative you started there that you’re most proud of? Easily the most proud thing is in the examination division of the SEC, we created a manual for the whole division, which is more than 1,000 people across the country. It laid out policies and procedures for the examination program, something that would be very basic at a firm in the financial services industry. They would be required to have a manual like that. And the SEC didn’t have it, so we got one in place for the exami-

Norm Champ is a former director at the Securities Exchange Commission now in the private sector. Photo: Ireland Studios Photography + Motion nation division, to try to put in place some processes and procedures so that there wouldn’t be another disaster like Madoff or Stanford. And if you just take a concrete example of that, in the case of Allen Stanford, which gets sometimes less publicity than Madoff…Stanford stole billions of dollars down in Texas. He was supposedly investing in high-yielding certificates of deposit at a bank in Antigua...There were concerns about how we were going to investigate in Antigua. So the manual we put in place says that if you are an examiner and believe someone is committing a fraud scheme, you must escalate that through channels all the way to Washington, if need be.

Tell us a story from your book. Someone anonymously delivered to me an anonymous note accusing my predecessor of all sorts of misconduct. And they delivered that to me in a plain envelope with no return address. It was detailing all these accusations they made against the guy who had the job before me. They also included in the package, fax coversheets showing that the year before, the letter accusing my predecessor had been

faxed to people in Congress, the press, the inspector general. So that was done, obviously, as a warning to let me know that if I tried to change too much, I could suffer the same fate. It’s obviously a sad and kind of disturbing story, that that would go on inside the government. And that was not uncommon; we got anonymous notes constantly accusing people of things.

In an interview with CNBC, you weighed in on cryptocurrencies. What is your opinion on digital currency? My main message on cryptocurrency has been to urge the regulators to try to come up with some kind of consistent approach. I’m not an internet lawyer, so am not opining on whether cryptocurrency is a good or bad thing. But more, where the regulatory approach to it has been a complete patchwork. The IRS says it’s property; the Treasury Department says that it’s money so you have to have a money transfer license. The CFTC says it’s a commodity and the US Securities and Exchange Commission has said it’s a security. So we have four different interpretations by the regulators and I think it would make sense, again I

don’t know about the pros and cons of it, to have a more unified regulatory approach.

Your future plans include writing a second book, “Mastering Money.” Yes, I’m working on another book, which is really more of a personal finance book. It builds off the last chapter of “Going Public,” which talks about some of my recommendations to help people with basic decisions in their economic lives. We obviously spend almost no time teaching financial concepts in high schools or colleges, and yet we then turn the same people loose into the working world without a whole lot of guidance about what to do. So the book’s about how to make good decisions in personal finance early on in your career, when you’re younger so that you have a foundation as you get older.

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


U T F A X H L T A Z A P C C T

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