Page 1

The local paper for Downtown wn BATTLING FOR THE SOUL OF SAKS <P.16

WEEK OF AUGUST

10-16 2017

Number of deaths

1400

19.9

20.0

1200 1000

13.6

800

11.6

10.9

15.0

11.7

9.4

600

10.0

8.2

400 5.0 200

541

630

788

730

800

937

1374

0

0 2010

2011

2012

2013

Number of deaths On one of City Hall Park’s tables, a few men take in a game of chess. Photo: Oscar Kim Bauman

THE SCENE AT CITY HALL PARK OBSERVED An eclectic assortment of performers, pedestrians and passers-by outside the center of local government BY OSCAR KIM BAUMAN

City Hall in Lower Manhattan is the seat of New York City’s government, and the actions that take place inside its historic walls can have consequences that impact every New Yorker. Although City Hall itself is off limits to the general pub-

lic, the area around it proves to be equally fascinating. As you step off the 4 train and ascend to the sidewalk, you find yourself immediately greeted by an enraptured crowd of tourists watching a group of street performers. Around the corner, you can find shade and a modicum of peace and quiet next to the Tweed Courthouse, named, of course, for the infamous William “Boss” Tweed, who ran city politics from Tammany Hall in the mid-1800s. On the steps, and everywhere

CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

O OTDOWNTOWN.COM @OTDowntown

Crime Watch Voices NYC Now City Arts

2014

2015

2016

Age-adjusted rate per 100,000

*Data for 2015 and 2016 are provisional and are subject to change.

Graphic: Caitlin Ryther

Sources: NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and NYC DOHMH Bureau of Vital Statistics, 2010-2016

COMBATING NEW YORK’S OPIOID CRISIS PUBLIC HEALTH City hopes data-driven approach will reduce overdose deaths BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

There were 1,374 drug overdose deaths in New York City last year, over 80 percent of which involved an opioid. And NYPD officials said during City Council testimony earlier this year that preliminary data for the first quarter of 2017 showed opioid-related deaths outpacing last year’s recordhigh rate.

Fatalities stemming from the use of heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain medications have skyrocketed in recent years, a trend that has proven stubbornly persistent. Since 2010, the city has seen a 143 percent increase in the rate of overdose deaths. In Manhattan, 244 residents died of overdoses in 2016, up 50 percent over the previous year — the largest increase of any borough. “It started with the over-prescription of opioid pills,” said Chauncey Parker, executive assistant district attorney for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. “That then expanded Downtowner

OurTownDowntown

Age-adjusted rate per 100,000

Unintentional overdose deaths, New York City, 2000-2016

3 8 10 12

Restaurant Ratings Business Real Estate 15 Minutes

14 16 17 21

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

9-16

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

COM

Newscheck Crime Watch Voices

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

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

12 13 14 18

CONTINUED ON PAGE

25

into a heroin market where dealers started to provide high purity heroin cheaper than pills so that people addicted to opiates switched over to heroin and the user base expanded. The latest trend is that they’re cutting it with fentanyl.” Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, is chief among the drivers of the spike in overdose deaths in the last two years, experts say. Fentanyl is significantly more potent than heroin and

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NEW YORK CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THEN, NOW, FOREVER Manhattanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s challenges, and allures, are pertinent and permanent BY LORRAINE DUFFY MERKL

This summer Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m commuting; not between Manhattan and the Hamptons, but between New York of 1884 and 1985, thanks to my newest summer read, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Address.â&#x20AC;? Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a native, hailing from the Bronx. Not only do I love my city in its current state, but its history as well. So obsessed am I with the New York of the past that people often comment that I was born too late. I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t argue. When my first book was published in 2009, my husband, Neil, took me to celebrate at the Algonquin. Yes, of all the hip, happening places in Manhattan, we went to dinner at a hotel thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been around since 1902, because in my fantasy world Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a flapper who hobnobs with Dorothy Parker and the Round Table gang. They may be long gone, but their hangout lives on, as well as many other testaments to what make New York, well, New York. According to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, there are more than 36,000 landmarked properties within the ďŹ ve boroughs. The Upper East Side alone boasts the Andrew Carnegie Mansion, which is now the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; the Henry Clay Frick House; the Guggenheim; The Met Fifth Avenue; and of course, Central Park. Actually, Park Avenue between 79th and 91st Streets as well as all of

Carnegie Hill are each designated a Historic District. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Addressâ&#x20AC;? though, has taken me across the park to the west side landmark, The Dakota. Author Fiona Davis, (â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Dollhouseâ&#x20AC;?) tells the stories of London housekeeper Sara Smythe, who jumps at the chance to rise above her station to become manager of the gilded fortress, and interior designer Bailey Camden, who seizes the opportunity to oversee a renovation in the luxury building. They may have lived 100 years apart, but both Sara and Bailey get sucked into the excesses of their respective eras â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for Sara, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the opulence of a world ruled by the Astors and Vanderbilts; for Bailey, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the bright lights, big city nightlife, where cocaine is currency. (And yes, their stories eventually intertwine.) This book is a great reminder for me that no matter how much New York changes with the times, there will always be challenges, especially for young women. With May graduations came the annual inďŹ&#x201A;ux â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 2017â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s versions of Sara and Bailey. A trio of them were ahead of me on line at Bed, Bath & Beyond, where they had stocked up on necessities for their new apartment, which I guarantee you is not in The Dakota. As I listened to them chatter, I simultaneously got a migraine and felt nostalgic for days when everything about living here was exciting. The roomies were as enthused about their new sheets as

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they were about an invite to a party by someone named Josh, totally discounting that indeed there would be tribulations. The current excesses they and others like them face are the doings of Blade-coptering 1-percenters. Will our new denizens overextend themselves ďŹ nancially to carry a Goyard or Louis Vuitton Neverfull tote (real or fake, they are still pricey) in order to appear successful? Will they feel lessthan because they havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t created an app or their own handbag line? How soon will the patina of our shimmering skyline tarnish when they realize they wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be wearing anything in the shade of Nantucket Red on the island off Massachusetts or out in the Hamptons, or anywhere, except perhaps The Great Lawn? In a few years, my daughter Meg, whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in college, will join the ranks of recent grads. It again will be a different time and place in New York City â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not only from the characters in â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Address,â&#x20AC;? but even from the Bed, Bath & Beyond triumvirate, as things change quickly here. There will be new excesses to struggle against, but the challenges as far as rent, jobs and boyfriends go will remain the same. Because, like our landmarks, some things in New York are forever. Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of the novels â&#x20AC;&#x153;Back to Work She Goesâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fat Chick,â&#x20AC;? for which a movie version is in the works.

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG STATS FOR THE WEEK

TEENS MUG WOMAN ON TRAIN

Reported crimes from the 1st precinct for Week to Date

At 9:42 p.m. on Friday, July 21, a 28-year-old woman was riding the downtown 1 train when a teenage girl punched her in the face while another took the victim’s handbag. The two teens fled the subway car at Chambers Street, while a third girl, their accomplice, pushed the victim and said, “No, don’t follow!” The first two then removed from the victim’s handbag a smaller purse that contained cards and cash, before leaving the Kors handbag on the platform. The three teens are said to be 14 to 16 years of age. The victim refused medical attention at the scene and canceled her debit card.

LARCENY ARREST A young woman tried to go on a Saks shopping spree with someone else’s credit card and was arrested. At 5:23 p.m. on Sunday, July 30, a 22-year-old Queens woman tried to buy an assortment of merchandise in the Saks Fifth Avenue store at 225 Liberty St., using a stolen credit card. The merchandise stolen and recovered included a St. Laurent jacket valued at $2,550, another item of St. Laurent

The local paper for Downtown

Tony Webster, via flickr

apparel priced at $2,190, an Iro jacket tagged at $1,265, an Alexander Wang handbag worth $825, and a Moncler jacket priced at $690, making a total of $7,520. Jiajia Chen was arrested July 30 and charged with grand larceny.

BAD DECISION A 23-year-old man taking pictures and talking on his cellphone Battery Park late on Friday, July 21, had his unattended backpack stolen. The items stolen included the $2,000 backpack,

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

Year to Date

2017 2016

% Change

2017

2016

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

1

0

n/a

Rape

1

1

0.0

11

8

37.5

Robbery

0

4

-100.0

42

37

13.5

Felony Assault

0

1

-100.0

47

46

2.2

Burglary

1

5

-80.0

39

80

-51.3

Grand Larceny

23

20

15.0

575

611

-5.9

Grand Larceny Auto

0

2

-100.0

10

37

-73.0

a gray MacBook Pro valued at $1,800.

of $3,800 stolen.

PARK MARK

MIDRIFF CRISIS

At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26, a 41-year-old man parked his vehicle at the southeast corner of Broadway and Pine Street. When he returned to the vehicle the following day at 9:45 a.m., the rear driver’s side window had been smashed and missing from the car were DeWalt drill gun 24 V set, a DeWalt test meter, a set of Milwaukee wrenches and other tools worth a total

Three lady shoplifters invading a designer boutique seemed focused on waist management. At 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, three women entered the Salvatore Ferragamo store at 230 Vesey S. and took five belts totaling $1,975 from display shelves before exiting the store.

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org NEW YORK CITY

*Double Feature* // Modern Art, the Work-Life Balance, and the Gig Economy

FRIDAY, AUGUST 11TH, 7PM The Strand | 828 Broadway | 212-473-1452 | strandbooks.com Take a look at modern art and the work/life balance of female artists, along with an examination of how the modern-day “gig economy” is upending the American dream ($20, includes free beer).

Artist Talk and Screening | Jill Mulleady: Figment

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16TH, 7:00PM Swiss In situ | 102 Franklin St. | 212-925-2035 | swissinstitute.net LA-based artist Jill Mulleady discusses Sleep and other films by Andy Warhol, as well as her own work. The event included a screening of videos and films selected by the artist (free).

Just Announced | Naomi Alderman + Margaret Atwood

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH, 7:00PM The New School | 63 Fifth Ave. | 212-229-5108 | newschool.edu Catch two writers in the spotlight as The Handmaid’s Tale’s Margaret Atwood joins her protégée Naomi Alderman, whose dystopian feminist novel The Power is a UK smash ($26 Admission & Signed Copy grants you admission for one, plus one signed copy of the book).

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Useful Contacts 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

NYPD 13th Precinct

230 E. 21st St.

NYPD 1st Precinct

16 Ericsson Place

212-477-7411 212-334-0611

FIRE FDNY Engine 15

25 Pitt St.

311

FDNY Engine 24/Ladder 5

227 6th Ave.

311

FDNY Engine 28 Ladder 11

222 E. 2nd St.

311

FDNY Engine 4/Ladder 15

42 South St.

311

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

Community Board 2

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

LIBRARIES

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

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BRONZE ON BROADWAY STREETSCAPE The sculptor Joy Brown’s colossal sculptures invite interaction BY ELISSA SANCI

By now, you’ve probably seen them. Standing upwards of 11 feet in some locations and collectively weighing a few tons, the enormous bronze sculptures scattered along Broadway in the Upper West Side are hard to miss. The sculptures comprise “Joy Brown on Broadway,” the Broadway Mall Association’s public art exhibition, which opened in mid-May and features a collection of bronze figures created by the Connecticut-based artist. Brown’s nine bronze sculptures stand in eight locations between 72nd and 166th Streets. Each is different, with some featuring intertwined figures, such as “One Leaning on Another,” at the entrance to the 72nd Street subway, while others are of solitary figures, like “Sitter with Head in Hands,” on 79th Street. Although massive, their size isn’t intimidating; instead, the sculptures seem delicate and tranquil. The nonprofit Mall Association has planned and maintained the malls

that bisect Broadway between 70th and 168th Streets for more than 30 years. Along with tending and lighting the malls at night, the organization is also responsible for choosing the public art exhibitions that line Broadway. “Joy Brown” is its 10th public art exhibition. Deborah Foord, the chairwoman of the association’s public art committee, said the panel has a preference for artists who live and work in New York, but that Brown’s sculpture stood out. “We want it to be art of high quality,” Foord said of the committee’s overall criteria. “We know that certain materials are better than others in terms of the safety of the work and just the way they appeal and stand out on the malls. Joy Brown’s work is an excellent example of why bronze is such a good material. For one thing, it’s indestructible.” That indestructibility has appealed to the public as well. On any given day, it’s not hard to find New Yorkers and tourists alike admiring and interacting with the massive sculptures. “There’s a serenity and kind of a welcoming nature to the work — every single one of those pieces has a little place where someone can nestle,” Foord said.

Joy Brown’s “Sitter with Head in Hands” on the Broadway Mall at 79th Street. Photo: Elissa Sanci

Joy Brown’s “One Leaning on Another” outside Broadway’s 72nd Street subway station. Photo: Elissa Sanci “The feedback has been absolutely terrific,” she added. There are upwards of 300 photos under the tag #joybrownonbroadway on Instagram of people enjoying the installations. One Instagram user, @nyc_mami_ on_the_move_vids, posted a video of her son interacting with “One Holding Small One,” with the clip showing the young boy in the arms of the bronze sculpture on 96th Street, where he danced alongside the small bronze figure already nestled within the larger figure’s arms. That ability to interact with her sculptures is among Brown’s own favorite virtues of her work. “I love that people can get on them, climb on them, sit on them and interact with them,” Brown said. “For me, these figures hold a big space of quiet, a stillness and warmth. They invite us to play and interact with them. They are kind of like how I would like to be — calm, open, aware.” Brown, who grew up in Japan, studied pottery in her youth, learning to make bowls and cups as an apprentice to a traditional Japanese potter. It was only after she returned to the United States that she began to experiment with sculptures. She has worked with clay for nearly 40 years. “In the beginning years, I would play around and these puppet heads would start to form and they turned into animals,” said Brown, who has lived and worked out of Kent, Connecticut,

for 35 years. “It was kind of an organic evolution. Those forms started to turn into more human forms and then more of the form that you see out there on Broadway.” The bronzes on Broadway are enormous, weighing from 700 to 2,500 pounds. The sculptures, though, all started as tiny maquettes — preliminary models that stand only 16 to 18 inches tall. “I make that form here in my studio and fire it in my wood-firing tunnel kiln,” Brown said, describing the 30foot kiln she uses to harden the clay and make it durable. “It takes about a week to fire and it has a beautiful effect on the clay that has actually influenced the bronze.” After those pieces are finished, Brown ships them to China, where she works with a small company in Shanghai that brings her maquettes to life. Using the Chinese workshop’s resources, Brown builds a plaster form the same size and shape of the finished pieces on Broadway. Once the form is finished, which can take several weeks, it’s then cut to pieces. “They cut the head off, they cut the arms off and all that is cast piece by piece,” she said. “Then it’s all welded back together again. Those seams are then blended to match the original texture, so it’s probably hard to tell, for most people, that it was taken apart like that.” Brown oversees the specifics dur-

ing the casting process; she blends the seams and carves the sculptures’ faces herself. “It’s a very critical part of the piece,” she said of the smiling faces of the figures. “To get the face right and to get the eyes in the exact right position — if it’s just right, it just pops alive.” Getting the sculptures to New York was the next challenge. The Morrison Gallery, which represents Brown, proposed her sculptures to the BMA. Following her selection, plans were then made to transport the thousandpound sculptures to Manhattan. To help fund the move, Brown and the Morrison Gallery raised money on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The sculptures made their way across the Pacific Ocean and through the Panama Canal in a 40-foot shipping container. Once in the city, they were installed in the middle of the night. “It was stressful and exciting,” Brown said. “It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes between stress and excitement; they kind of blend together.” The Broadway installations stay anywhere from six to nine months. Foord explained that as the first six months come to a close, the BMA and the artist will decide together whether or not they want to extend the showing. “I suspect that we will extend this exhibition,” Foord said. “The work will look wonderful in the snow.”


6

AUGUST 10-16,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

A GALLERY GOES TO THE DOGS FETCHING ART An art critic and professor takes a cue from her Morkie BY ESTELLE PYPER

An art exhibit is taking the dog days of summer to another dimension. The exhibit, dOGUMENTA, opening downtown this weekend, is being curated for our four-legged friends. The show, at Arts Brookfield downtown, is the creation of art critic and professor of art history Jessica Dawson, who often frequents New York City art galleries with her rescue pooch, Rocky, an 8-year-old Morkie, or Yorkie-Maltese mix. As she watched Rocky looking at art, Dawson had an epiphany: Why not have a gallery just for dogs? And dOGUMENTA — a riff on dOCUMENTA, the international art festival held in Germany — was born. “I felt that it was time for canines to have an art show all their own” said Dawson, who, with Rocky’s inspiration, drafted a lecture that would become the backbone of dOGUMENTA: “5 Things My Dog Taught Me About Art.” She delivered the manifesto at a Brooklyn gallery in February. Dawson, who lives in Chelsea, said it wasn’t difficult to convince 10 established and emerging artists to jump on board. Once they nailed down the venue, “we started hounding artists whose work we found interesting. We

Art critic and professor Jessica Dawson and Rocky explore work by Yinka Shonibare at James Cohan. Photo: Jason Falchoo didn’t have to beg to get them engaged in the concept,” Dawson said, puns firmly established. “Rocky has a curious nature that has made him a great curating partner,” she said. “He developed a rapport with the artists and together we had a dialog to determine which works would be most suitable for exhibition.” The artists, she said, found the idea of creating something for a new audience particularly enticing. Artists typically create for the human eye, and dOGUMENTA provided an compelling challenge. “Some make work about color and

form, some make work about social issues, some explore architecture and space,” Dawson said. But all the pieces are created to accommodate a dog’s unique point of view, with displays close to the ground, and blue, yellow and grey color combinations — with few reds or greens, to accommodate the intended audience’s color spectrum. “There will be work that is about emotional issues dogs face — anxiety, which is common,” she added. But it won’t all be visual. Expect media in forms of sound and even interactive elements. Dawson notes they are fully prepared for, and encourage,

CITY HALL PARK CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

In the summertime, City Hall Park’s fountain, designed by British architect Jacob Wrey Mould in 1872, becomes a popular spot for some unauthorized cooling off. Photo: Oscar Kim Bauman

around City Hall Park, you will find staffers. While tourists and locals alike use the park to relax, for staffers it seems to be an extension of their workplace, as they walk through the trees while taking calls or running back and forth with papers and briefcases, past the barricades and into City Hall itself. On the long stretch of Broadway that borders the park, an enticing-looking farmer’s market reveals itself to be a film set for some unknown project. Further down the block is an open stretch that is a favorite for campaigners from across the political spectrum — on any given week you might see anyone from LGBT groups to Christian conservatives

Art critic and professor Jessica Dawson and Rocky take in a few of Allan McCollum’s “Lost Objects” at Mary Boone Gallery. Photo: Jason Falchoo these natural interactions: “[Dogs] are also fearless and will engage with work in a variety of different ways — sniffing, peeing, licking. We expect a really diverse range of interactions. We look forward to learning from the show—will hounds react differently than terriers? Daschunds versus Dobermans?” Dawson hopes the gallery inspires humans to view art, and the world, differently by witnessing their pets explore the exhibit. “dOGUMENTA offers both the chance for humans to get to know their canine friends bet-

spreading their message. Inside the park, an eyecatchingly eclectic tableau of city life unfolds. At a table, a group of older men take in a game of chess, while people eat and sleep of the grass next to them, and a small herd of children marches through on a day camp trip. Elsewhere, a man in business attire tunes an electric guitar, two men in spandex zip past on bicycles, and in the center of the park, a crowd gathers around the fountain where a man in orange has climbed in to escape the summer heat. Of course, tourists are an ever-present force at City Hall. A wide range of languages can be heard on a walk through the park. With its mix of tourists and locals, commuters and performers, campaigners and staffers, City Hall Park is in itself a microcosm of Manhattan.

ter,” she said. “Attendees will gain new insights into their companion’s personality and character. It’s an opportunity for bonding and learning.” The show runs August 11-13 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a daily break 1-4 p.m. so the pups can escape the heat. The exhibit, at 230 Vesey St., is free, but tickets can be reserved at www. dogumenta.org. Don’t have a four-legged friend? On August 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bideawee will be on site with dogs up for adoption.

City Hall Park attracts visitors of all ages. here as a group of young campers walk through the park. Photo: Oscar Kim Bauman


AUGUST 10-16,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

Politico - September 10, 2016

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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.

YOU’LL BE A LOT SAFER IF ... BY BETTE DEWING

That rather bland headline is to get you to read how we need pay more attention to traffic tragedies in order to prevent them. It’s really all about safe travel. Walkers are the most vulnerable travelers and bring only themselves into this high density city. I took on the challenge decades ago, founding the group Pedestrians First to draw attention to bicyclists’ disdain for the laws of the road, a matter not taken seriously enough by the folks in City Hall and other authorities. I’ve written countless columns

about city walkers who’ve been killed and most often — hear this — by drivers’ failure to yield to pedestrians while making turns. Yes, it’s a law, but one too rarely enforced. Speeding, of course, is a deadly factor, especially in some boroughs, and incidentally, why I am so against traffic lights changing so city buses can make better time. Again, even though government’s primary duty is to protect public welfare and safety, the city’s Department of Transportation appears more concerned with allow-

ing people to get wherever they’re going fast, rather than safely. But back to victims’ traffic tragedy-caused pain. I so believe it must be stressed — perhaps with photos of victim’s bodies lying prone on the street. The public must be more exposed to the awful reality of this wrongful and preventable taking of innocent lives, which is so commonplace that it barely makes the news. One news brief on the traffic death of 80-year-old Barbara Horn, struck by a cab as she crossed with the light on the Upper East Side last month, showed a photo of the cab driver yet. The severe trauma suffered by the victim when mowed down must also be stressed. The overall sheer

abject horror needs to get out there, and yes, to make traffic violence as abhorrent as gun violence. Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church deacon’s, Anne Connor, tells us that Horn lived at the James Lenox House residence for those age 65-plus, next door to the church. Connor said the James Lenox House’s director, Joe Given, is working with local officials to start a groundswell effort for traffic safety. The cab driver was arrested on charges of failure to yield. Elected officials, despite the Vision Zero initiative, have yet to declare war against this pedestrian killer and maimer. It’s any corner where vehicles can turn into you, and yet there

are few if any related warning signs or stencils. How many times must this be said? Just so much more that cries out to be said and done — and also that elderly walkers are the primary victims despite being the safest. So here’s to all senior groups joining James Lenox House to help make this a real war against failure-toyield. And may all the concerned call local officials phone numbers located in this paper’s Useful Contacts column. Remind them, especially, to declare all-out war on traffic crime. It can be done if enough of us try! dewingbetter@aol.com

LIPSTICK FIXES EAST SIDE OBSERVER BY ARLENE KAYATT

MAC’s got LIPstick... Could be confusing — there’s a City Cinemas near the corner of 86th and Third on the east side of the street. “Mean Girls” or “Wonder Woman” could be playing there. Not. So why the throngs of “girls” crowding and lining up in front of the theater? Look a little closer and you’ll see that there’s a MAC cosmetic boutique several steps from the cinema. On this Saturday morning, girls were lining up for free lipstick samples. And if calling the women waiting “girls” offends, sorry, but that’s how MAC promotes their products — and with alliteration such as Fashion Fanatics, Mischief Minx, Prissy Princess, Bold and Bad Lash. And another “B” combo, “Basic” and the B word. If that turns you off and you’ll do without a freebie lipstick, go west to Sephora and the soon-to-open Ulta for your lipstick fix. They may be more to your taste. Optional or optics. You pick. Mooch and Moore — Can’t make some things up. There on West 44th Street in the Theater District, on the same street, within feet of each other,

you have the perennial Michael Moore performing nightly in his one-man anti-Trump rant, “The Terms of My Surrender,” at the Belasco, and you have the so-not-perennial Anthony Scaramucci spinning his hurried departure from the Trump White House at his Hunt and Fish Club. Maybe Moore and the Mooch can break bread at Mooch’s restaurant, and maybe the Mooch can get some face time on stage at the Belasco? Could lead to dinner cum theater performing arts... Oh, and talking about not making some things up? “1984” is playing at the Hudson Theatre several doors down from the Mooch’s watering hole. Hoppy days ahead. City streets, circa now — Manhattan streets are alive with all manner of juice bar, salad spot, wine bar and wine store. In the ‘70s and maybe ‘80s calling an establishment a “juice bar” meant that it didn’t sell alcohol but allowed for quaaludes on the premises. Not today when a juice bar is what is sounds like, a place to get all manner of fruit juices stirred, shaken, whipped up, you name it. On the East Side I’ve seen Juice Press, Juicery. Liquiteria, among others. The salad spots include Just Salad, Sweetgreen, Chopt, Dig Inn, Garden of Eden, Red

Photo: Open Grid Scheduler/Grid Engine, via flickr Olive, Amish Market. Some salad bars are self-serve. Others have counters with servers doing the plating. Wine bars are popping up all over — on the UES there’s the newly opened Siena; the not-so-new Kaia; the casual coffee-wine-beer lounge, DTUT, where you serve yourself. There’s the wine stores. Some sell have craft beers. Some have tastings — Mister Wright, Bottle and Soul, Garnet, Dr. Wine (appropriately located, but unaffiliated

with, the Hospital of Special Surgery). Speaking of salad bars — In my memory at least, THE salad bar extraordinaire in its early incarnation was the one at Whole Foods at Columbus Circle in what was then known as the Time Warner building. The bar was spread across a large section of the lower level with fruit aplenty, crisp salad makings, hot food, cold food, ethnic food, desserts. If you can envision any other manner of food, it was

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probably there along with a soup bar with at least eight choices. Now Whole Foods itself is spread and spreading across the face of Manhattan — from the recently opened megastore opposite Bryant Park to the newly opened Lenox Avenue location, which turns out to be a favorite if for no other reason than they serve a divine cup of Mexican Oaxacan coffee you can drink in the inside café with a view of the street life along the avenue. Heavenly.

Editor-In-Chief, Alexis Gelber editor.ot@strausnews.com Deputy Editor Staff Reporter Richard Khavkine Michael Garofalo editor.otdt@strausnews.com reporter@strausnews.com Senior Reporter Doug Feiden invreporter@strausnews.com


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RACING THE WRECKING BALL ARCHITECTURE Preservationists campaign to save a once-proud Fifth Avenue charmer – as a developer tries to reduce it to rubble BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

Preservation or hyper-luxe development? Continuity with a century-old streetscape or an in-your-face, skyline-defining tower? The quirkiness of old Manhattan or modernity’s embrace of the shiny, glitzy and sleek? While those stark choices reflect nothing less than the future of the city itself, they are now playing out in a pitched battle over the fate of the celebrated Kaskel & Kaskel Building at 316 Fifth Avenue at 32nd Street. At issue is a developer’s proposal to knock down the six-story, whitemarble, Beaux-Arts treasure, which was built in 1902 for Kaskel, one of the city’s premier custom shirtmakers serving the carriage trade. A 40-story, 535-foot sliver tower – housing just 27 high-end condos – would rise in place of the small-scale, showroom-and-headquarters space where President Theodore Roosevelt once bought his shirts. Preservationists dread the prospect. They’re racing the clock to seek landmark status for the old dowager – as Los Angeles-based developer Cottonwood Management LLC gets ready to swing the wrecking ball. “One single building can create a great deal of destruction,” said Mario G. Messina, president of the 29th Street Neighborhood Association. “It would basically destroy the Fifth Avenue view corridor from Madison Square Park looking north up to the Empire State Building because of its height.” The glassy newcomer would doom Kaskel & Kaskel’s striking copperclad French mansard roof, bold decorative work, marble cartouches emblazoned with the carved letter “K,” and other relics from an era when it was a crown jewel in the then-elegant shopping district. “It’s a real beauty,” Messina said. “It’s part of the fabric of the city and the neighborhood – an example of the architecture of New York that made New York world-famous.” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer agrees. On July 18, she fired off a letter to the chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Meenakshi Srinivasan, saying she was “appalled to learn the stunning structure” faces the imminent threat of demolition – and would soon be replaced by “yet another high-end residential, overly tall banal glass box building” if LPC doesn’t immediately

The original Waldorf Astoria Hotel, site of today’s Empire State Building, dominates this 1903 photo. Two blocks to the south (center left, with sign on top) stands the 1902 Kaskel & Kaskel Building, at 316 Fifth Avenue. Its fate is now the subject of a pitched battle. Photo: New York Public Library collection act to landmark the property. The very identity of a 150-year-old neighborhood is “hanging in the balance,” Brewer wrote. Then on July 25, state Senators Brad Hoylman and Liz Krueger followed up with a joint letter to Srinivasan arguing the loss of Kaskel would be “yet another blow to a neighborhood that is rapidly losing the buildings that contribute to its sense of place and character.” In an interview, Hoylman added, “Another luxury condo is exactly what the city does not need. The idea of that building being replaced with a 40-story glassy tower developed by someone from Southern California is objectionable on the face of it.” The scramble to protect the architectural and historical gem before it is lost to the city forever began on July 6 when Cottonwood and architect of record Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates submitted plans to the city’s Department of Buildings to erect the slender tower. Six days later, the developer applied for a demolition permit, which is still pending with DOB. “It would be a tremendous loss for a neighborhood that has already seen the disappearance of too many of the buildings that give it its unique character,” wrote City Council Member Dan Garodnick to the LPC. The outpouring that followed shows how passionately New Yorkers often feel toward their buildings: • Community Board 5 passed a resolution calling on LPC to “calendar” the building for immediate review. In listing the glories of the Kaskel property,

it cited a 1902 issue of Electrical World and Engineering Magazine that said the building was among the “first to innovate using electricity and lighted store windows.” • The 29th Street Neighborhood Association helped spearhead a Care2 Petition campaign to “Stop the Demolition of 316 Fifth Avenue and NoMad District!” A staggering 10,638 supporters signed up online, with 662 of them based in the city. • Separately, a letter-writing campaign was launched by the Historic Districts Council, a coalition of community groups in landmark districts. At least 167 letters supporting landmark designation were sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio and LPC. “In most other cities in the country, if not in the world, if they had a building like that, people would say, ‘Yeah, of course, let’s save that building!’” said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the advocacy group. “It both captures and creates a sense of place.” If there’s an argument for tearing down Kaskel & Kaskel, Cottonwood hasn’t yet made it publicly: The developer has not released renderings of its proposed tower. It won’t discuss its merits. It didn’t even address the status of its application for a demolition permit. “Cottonwood Management LLC has submitted public project filings to the New York City Department of Buildings,” it said in a statement on August 3. “Cottonwood will be contributing further information as the project evolves.” The Kaskel & Kaskel Building is “currently under review” by the Land-

The white-marble Kaskel & Kaskel Building at 316 Fifth Avenue, built for the custom shirtmaker in 1902, is the focus of a battle between preservationists seeking landmark status and a developer ready to swing the wrecking ball. Plans call for a sleek 40-story luxury condo tower to replace the 6-story Beaux-Arts charmer. Photo: Beyond My Ken, via Wikimedia Commons marks Preservation Commission, said spokeswoman Damaris Olivo. The agency received two requests for evaluation of the site from community members, as well as letters from the four elected officials and multiple letters from the public, she said. But the clock is ticking. If an active demolition permit is issued, and the building doesn’t have landmark status, Cottonwood can legally raze it. If LPC decides the building has potential landmark value, it can calendar it for a public hearing and review, in which case DOB would be unlikely to issue a permit to take it down. Bottom line: It’s in a state of limbo

right now. As a landmark, it could survive in perpetuity. Without that status, it can be demolished as of right. The choice is pretty simple, according to an e-bulletin from the Historic Districts Council. It asks, “Do New Yorkers deserve a district rich with history and personality, with small stores, human-scale buildings and a fascinating story that includes characters like Alfred Stieglitz, Irving Berlin and Zero Mostel in the heart of Manhattan? “Or should it become an area of large drug stores, placeless fern bars and gleaming towers of solitude?”


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Battery Park City Library, 175 North End Ave. It’s time for science, technology, engineering, arts and math. Come to the library for some simple science projects and create. This event is limited to first 20 children, grades K-6. 212-790-3499. nypl.org

TIMESTALKS: ROBERT PATTINSON ► Cadillac House, 330 Hudson St. 7 p.m. $50 An opportunity to see and hear actor Robert Pattinson and acclaimed filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie riff on their upcoming film “Good Time,” lauded by The New York Times’ chief film critic as “pure cinematic pleasure,” and what many are describing as Pattinson’s best performance yet. 212-418-3477. timestalks.com

Fri 11 ▲‘DOGUMENTA, NY’ Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey St. 4-8 p.m. Free Not by or about dogs, dOGUMENTA is a curated art show for dogs, asking artists to address the canine community’s concerns, interests and

worldview and to make artwork catering to a four-legged sensibility. 212-978-1698. brookfieldplaceny.com

VOLUNTEER PACKING LUNCHES Trinity Church, Broadway and Wall Street 10 a.m. Free Trinity’s Brown Bag Lunch Ministry is feeding people in need in Lower Manhattan. Help pack non-perishable lunches on Friday mornings. 212-602-0800. trinitywallstreet.org

Sat 12 DRAWING SOUND Rubin Museum of Art, 150 West 17th St. 11 a.m. $15 Find out what sound looks like by joining artist Morgan O’Hara in the galleries as she guides the class in drawing what you hear in the Rubin’s “The World Is Sound” exhibit. 212-620-5000. rubinmuseum.org


AUGUST 10-16,2017

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Through January 8, 2018

LOMOGRAPHY original works of high artistic WORKSHOP AND WALK merit. Strand Book Store, 828 Broadway. 2 p.m. $40 Build your own fully functional 35mm Konstruktor F SLR camera, then after reviewing some photography basics like exposure to make sure your photos turn out picture perfect, it’s to the streets for a loosely guided photography tour of Greenwich Village. 212-473-1452. strandbooks. com

Sun 13 ▲ FAMILY ECOLOGY SAIL South Street Seaport Museum 12 Fulton St. Noon. $45 Board a historic 1885 schooner and set sail past Governors Island for the fishing grounds of Bay Ridge. The Seaport’s pros will set a trawl net and participants haul it in, bringing up a variety of creatures from blue crabs to flounder. Will you catch a sea horse? A puffer fish? 212-748-8600. southstreetseaportmuseum.org

THE BATTERY DANCE FESTIVAL Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park, 20 Battery Pl. 7 p.m. Free. Now in its 36th year, the Battery Dance Festival provides a unique opportunity for outstanding dancers and choreographers to present

212-219-3910. batterydance. org

Mon 14 ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SESSION Chelsea Piers, Pier 62 4 p.m. $32 Expert instructors lead groups through 45 minutes of gymnastics and 45 minutes of rock climbing for kids ages 5-16. Space is limited and RSVP is required. 212-336-6500. chelseapiers.com

DISCUSSION WITH INSTYLE’S EDITOR-INCHIEF Barnes & Noble, 97 Warren St. 6 p.m. Free A talk with InStyle’s editorin-chief: “You’re Gonna Make it After All: InStyle Editor Laura Brown on How to Succeed in Fashion.” Purchase of InStyle’s September issue includes a tote bag and makeup brush kit. 212-587-5389. bn.com

Tue 15 URBAN DESIGN WALKING TOUR Ganesvoort Peninsula 6:30 p.m. $15 Discover the design history of the Meatpacking District, the West Village and Hudson River Park. Along the way, you will witness firsthand the ways in which the urban fabric is shaped by community groups,

governments and individuals. 347-292-7246. brooklynbrainery.com

STAMP CARVING CraftJam, 33 West 17th St. 7 p.m. $50 Are you ready to make some prints? Stamp carving is a fun way to make personalized paper goods and print fabric. In this BYOB craft class you get to design a stamped tote bag and make a cute stationary set to fit your style. All supplies provided. 917-690-8287. craftjam.co

Wed 16 BLESSING OF THE DOGS The Basilica of Old St. Patrick’s, 273 Mott St. 6 p.m. Free Bring your pup to the basilica courtyard for the Blessing of the Dogs. The event celebrates the feast of the Patron Saint of Canines (and their owners) — St. Rocco. Light refreshments, including, dog biscuits, will be served. All are welcome. 212-26-8075. oldcathedral. org

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Strand Book Store 828 Broadway. 7 p.m. $10 Does the smell of books make your knees weak? Then start your search for love with a night of literary speed dating. Pizza will be provided. Entry purchase includes a $10 gift card to use at the book store. 21 and up only. 212-473-1452. strandbooks. com

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This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of HARMAN. Major support is provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and Rasika and Girish Reddy. The Rubin also thanks Preethi Krishna and Ram Sundaram and contributors to the 2017 Exhibitions Fund.


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AUGUST 10-16,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

A DESIGN VISIONARY The Met Breuer celebrates the 100th birthday of idiosyncratic architect Ettore Sottsass with a kaleidoscopic show BY VAL CASTRONOVO

The Brutalist architecture of The Met Breuer is the perfect foil for the whimsical designs of Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007), best known for his work for tech giant Olivetti and the gonzo Postmodern design collective, Memphis, which made a splash in the 1980s. Pop colors meet concrete in an ambitious show that seeks to put the obscure architect and designer’s 60-year career in context by showcasing items from The Met’s collection that influenced Sottsass — and which were, in turn, influenced by him.

“This is not a retrospective,” Christian Larsen, the curator who put the exhibit together in only nine months, said. “That has the effect of yet again presenting Sottsass as a sui generis, lone genius who doesn’t relate to anything else and can be dismissed as a blip in history. By anchoring him in a historical tradition ... all of a sudden you can make the connections and can understand his importance.” It’s a tight show that moves roughly chronologically before breaking down into mediums. There’s furniture, industrial design products, ceramics, glass, jewelry, textiles and architectural drawings, displayed alongside ancient and modern touchstones — mandalas, tiny stupas, kachina dolls, Bauhaus textile designs and more. A small ancient Egyptian box with provisions for the afterlife, including

Ettore Sottsass (Italian, 1917–2007). “Carlton Room Divider,” 1981. Wood, plastic laminate. 76 3/4 x 74 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. (194.9 x 189.9 x 40 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, John C. Waddell Collection, Gift of John C. Waddell, 1997 © Studio Ettore Sottsass Srl

slaves, plays off two of Sottass’ visionary Superboxes (1969, ca. 1970), totemic all-in-one cabinets designed to hold “what you need for modern life,” Larsen said of the conceptual pieces, covered in plastic laminate. The Superbox was a ritual item — a domestic altar — that was not supposed to touch the walls and was never mass-produced. “Throw your stuff in there and ... put it in the center of the room and psychically engage with it,” the curator said, adding: “This little box contained your afterlife needs, while this one contained your modern-life needs.” The same room boasts one of Donald Judd’s Minimalist stack sculptures (“Untitled,” 1968), whose verticality mirrors that of Sottsass’ boxes. Sottsass was born in Innsbruck, Austria, in 1917 and studied architecture at a technical university in Turin, where his father maintained a studio and reverence for Otto Wagner, the father of Modernist architecture in Austria. As the curator framed it, Sottsass’ objects “have something of the rigor of the Germanic as well as the lyricism and the color of the Italian.” He went to New York in 1956 and worked briefly for the industrial designer George Nelson before being recruited by Olivetti in 1957, an association that lasted 23 years. Sottsass kept his own studio in Milan and worked as an outside consultant for the company, which was located near Turin. He famously designed Olivetti’s Elea 9003 (1959), the first all-transistor mainframe computer, and its lipstickred manual typewriter, “Valentine” (1968), a portable machine with a plastic case and erotic-looking scroll caps in orange. The latter, a Pop Artinspired icon, is widely seen as a forerunner of Apple’s rainbow-colored iMacs, introduced in 1998. In 1961, Sottsass and his first wife traveled to India, a journey that had a lasting impact on his aesthetic. “Today we want uniqueness, we want individuality,” Larsen said, citing online retailer Etsy, which markets handmade and vintage items. “He’s the one who started that. He found his way of being individual and unique by going to India.” The colors, the art, the architecture and the artifacts of the country made a profound impression. But it was a near-death experience in 1962 that was the catalyst for some of his most inventive pieces — the totems. They dramatically rise up on a platform in the center of a gallery filled with the designer’s small-scale ceramics and the non-European art they parallel. Recovering from a rare form of ne-

Ettore Sottsass (Italian, 1917-2007). “Ivory Table,” 1985. Formica, wood, glass. H. 39-3/4 x Dia. 24 in. b: Glass top; Dia.19-1/2 x Thickness 1/4 in. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. Michael Sze, 2002 © Studio Ettore Sottsass Srl phritis at a hospital in California, Sottsass sketched a vertical stack, mimicking the medicine containers that filled his world. The drawing led to a series of 21 ceramic totems, first exhibited in Milan in 1967 under the title “Menhir, Ziggurat, Stupas, Hydrants & Gas Pumps,” a nod to the designer’s myriad sources of inspiration. Five works can be seen here, each with a spiritual or snarky socio-political message — e.g., “Large Carcinogenic Vase to Conserve State Cigarettes” (1964–67) and “Two Menhirs and a Large Phallus (To Introduce into Authority)” (1964-67). But as Larsen explained, Sottsass’ real innovation boils down to color and pattern: “It’s about celebrating the skin — color and surface pattern. In plastic laminate or textile form, the patterns become the foundation for the palette for Memphis designers to pick and choose whatever they want.” The emphasis on skin, he added, is “all about sensation, excitement, stimulation, memories — these are

the functions [that matter],” a jab at modernism, which Sottsass ultimately rejected. The Memphis pieces wow with their sheer audacity and playfulness. The “Carlton Room Divider” (1981), a collective classic, is a hybrid bookcase, chest and space divider that looks like it’s topped by a stick figure. Per the wall text: “It may be read variously as a robot greeting the user with open arms, a many armed Hindu goddess, or even a triumphant man atop a constructed chaos of his own making.” Or not.

IF YOU GO WHAT: “Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical” WHERE: The Met Breuer, 945 Madison Ave. (at 75th Street) WHEN: through October 8. metmuseum.org/visit/met-breuer


AUGUST 10-16,2017

Naloxone, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, is now available free of charge through many community-based health organizations and without a prescription at major chain pharmacies in New York City. Photo: Jeff Anderson, via Flickr

OPIOID CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 prescription opioids, but also significantly less expensive —about one-tenth the cost of heroin on the wholesale market. A flood of black market fentanyl produced in China and Mexico has created an economic motive for distributors to mix the product with heroin to increase profit margins. Users are often unaware that they have purchased heroin laced with fentanyl and, without knowing that they are using a vastly more potent drug, the potential for overdoses skyrockets. The fentanyl problem is a relatively recent development. Before 2015, fentanyl was generally involved in less than 3 percent of overdose deaths in New York City. In 2015, that figure increased to 16 percent. By 2016, 44 percent of all overdose deaths in the city involved fentanyl. Fentanyl is most commonly mixed with heroin, but it is also sold in pure form and is increasingly mixed with cocaine or counterfeit prescription pills. Last year, 35 non-heroin overdose deaths in Manhattan involved fentanyl and cocaine, and fentanyl was involved in 37 percent of overdose deaths citywide involving cocaine but not heroin. New York City has emphasized data collection and analysis in its efforts to combat the opioid crisis. In 2012, the city launched RxStat, a datafocused interdisciplinary initiative to develop comprehensive strategies for reducing overdose deaths. Based on the model of the NYPD’s CompStat crime data collection program, RxStat brings together officials from the public health and public safety realms to present and analyze the latest records on relevant data points such as overdose deaths, emergency room admissions, treatment center intake, dispensed prescriptions and drug-related prosecutions. At monthly meetings, representatives of over 20 agencies — including the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, city police, district

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

attorneys’ offices and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner — meet to review the most recent available data from an array of local, state and federal government sources. “New York City has the most timely analysis of overdose data of anywhere in the country,” said Parker, who is also director of the NY/NJ HighIntensity Drug Trafficking Area. “In some places, people are still looking at 2015 data, whereas New York City is probably just about done with data for the second quarter of 2017.” “That timely data becomes absolutely critical, because you can then map and see who’s dying, where are they dying, are they dying from sniffing or shooting the drug,” he added. “If you’re answering those questions with data from a year and a half ago, you’re really handicapped.” Despite this concerted multiagency push, overdose deaths in New York City rose for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. In March, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an initiative to reduce overdose deaths by 35 percent over the next five years. The mayor’s plan calls for the city to spend $38 million annually to expand access to addiction treatment, invest in laboratory testing and information sharing, and fund dedicated opioid units within the NYPD to disrupt supply chains. The city has been aggressive in its distribution of naloxone, a drug that can reduce the effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone is now available free of charge through many community-based health organizations and without a prescription at major chain pharmacies in New York City. Under a new program announced August 7, individuals with prescription health insurance, including Medicaid and Medicare, can receive co-payment assistance to purchase the drug at pharmacies in New York state. Soon, all NYPD officers and all court officers in New York State will be equipped with naloxone and trained in its use. Without the broad availability of Naloxone, experts say, overdose rates would be even higher. In Manhattan, EMS alone reported administering the drug nearly 2,000 times in 2016, according to state records.

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AUGUST 10-16,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS JUL 20 - 26, 2017

Mille-Feuille Bakery Cafe

552 Laguardia Place

A

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.

Il Corallo

176 Prince Street

A

Lite Delights

51 East Houston St

A

Upstairs Bar

59 Canal Street

A

Cafe Grumpy Les Llc

13 Essex Street

A

Otto Enoteca Pizzeria

1 5 Avenue

A

Peasant Stock

120 Essex Street

A

Side Bar

120 East 15 Street

A

Adventure Cafe

85 Delancey St

A

Argo Tea Cafe

75 University Place

A

Speedy Romeo

63 Clinton St

A

Le Cafe Coffee

7 East 14th Street

A

The Pavilion Market Place

20 Union Sq. W

Grade Pending (11) Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewageassociated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies.

J J Noodle

19 Henry Street

Aziza’s Cafe & Lounge

45 1 Avenue

A

Grade Pending (32) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. 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. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.

Dylan’s Candy Bar

33 Union Sq W

A

A

302 E 12th St

A

Whynot Coffe & Wine Art Gallery

175 Orchard St

John’s Of 12th Street Knickerbocker Bar & Grill

33 University Place

A

Benson’s Nyc

181 Essex St

A

Soba-Ya

229 East 9 Street

A

Yonah Shimmels Knishes

137 East Houston St

A

Mari Vanna

41 East 20 Street

A

Sebastian - Chloe 81 / Farm House

81 Ludlow Street

A

Triona’s Bar Restaurant

192 3 Avenue

A

A

170 2nd Ave

A

Rockwood Music Hall (Stage Zero)

196 Allen Street

Liquiteria Fancy Juice

69 1st Ave

A

Little Canal

26 Canal St

A

Mcsorley’s Old Ale House

15 East 7 Street

A

Great N.Y. Noodletown

28 Bowery

Grade Pending (3)

The W Hotel Banquets

201 Park Ave South

A

Sushi Delight

157 Hester Street

Bluestone Lane

51 Astor Pl

A

Grade Pending (6) Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Cornerstone Cafe

17 Avenue B

A

Beautiful Memory Dessert

69A Bayard Street

A

Juice Vitality

192 1st Ave

A

Buddha Bodai Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant

77 Mulberry St

A

Drexler’s

9 Avenue A

A

Zef Cafe

70-74 Bowery

A

Guac

179 Avenue B

A

Manhattan Elite

Pier 62 Chelsea Piers

A

Souen Restaurant

210 6 Avenue

A

The Mezz (Google)

75 9th Ave

A

En Japanese Brasserie

435 Hudson Street

A

Five Iron Golf

138 5th Ave

Not Yet Graded (5)

Valbella N.Y.

421 West 13 Street

A

A

28 7th Ave S

Not Yet Graded (19) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Food worker does not use proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate additional heat treatment. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins

269 8 Avenue

Icelandic Fish & Chips

Malibu Diner

163 West 23 Street

A

Pierre Loti Cafe & Wine Bar 258 West 15 Street

A

Flex Mussels

154 West 13 Street

A

Doughnut Plant

220 West 23 Street

A

Mamoun Falafel

119 Macdougal Street

A

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AUGUST 10-16,2017

15

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FASHIONABLE FELINES STRUT STUFF CAT LIVES At benefit, kitty chic takes a cue from Broadway

Tired of Hunting for Our Town Downtown?

BY CHARMAINE P. RICE

It was a meow-velous send-off at the Algonquin for Matilda III, the feline doyenne of the landmark hotel. After seven years of purrfect service, Matilda is retiring from public life. Guests donned their fanciest feline-inspired frocks August 3 to celebrate Matilda and admire the latest in kitty couture. This year’s celebration paid homage to Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals, with a live performance of “Memory” by cast members of the Broadway show “CATS.” Handled by their owners, the cats strutted up and down the catwalk modeling custom outfits referencing “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Les Misérables,” “Cabaret,” “The King & I” and half-dozen other Broadway shows. The festivities, however, were not just about showcasing the latest in feline fashions — all of the proceeds would benefit the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals. The nonprofit organization’s key programs include the NYC Feral Cat Initiative and adoption events, as well as the Alliance’s Wheels of Hope program. Begun in 1995, Wheels of Hope involves the dispatching of six vans 365 days a year to rescue animals that might otherwise be euthanized. The organization partners with nokill shelters, rescue groups and a network of foster caregivers across the city to place animals they rescue. Last year’s celebration and cat fashion show raised $10,000, according to the mayor’s office. Mobile adoption units were stationed in front of the hotel starting at 3 p.m. and throughout the event’s duration. “The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals is such a great partner because of their reach and vast network of no-kill shelters,” the Algonquin’s marketing manager, Nicholas Sciammarella, said. He noted that a frequent hotel guest had adopted Matilda and that her new home will befit her keen sense of aesthetics, honed from her residency at the elegant hotel. The regal Ragdoll is the hotel’s 11th resident cat mascot. She did not always lead a charmed life. “Matilda was left in a box outside of the

Subscribe today to Downtowner News of Your Neighborhood Luna takes a well-deserved catnap from cabaret at the Algonquin Cat’s Annual Celebration. Photo: Charmaine P. Rice

that you can’t get anywhere else

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

Cultural Events Sumi takes a water break. Photo: Charmaine P. Rice North Shore Animal League and that’s how she came to us,” Sciammarella said, referring to a no-kill shelter in Port Washington, Long Island. All of the hotel’s resident felines come from area shelters, including Matilda’s successor, Hamlet, a young orange tabby from Bideawee. Hamlet will be the first male mascot in more than 40 years. According to hotel lore, actor John Barrymore renamed Rusty, the resident male cat at the time Barrymore was a guest, Hamlet, in honor of his greatest stage role. The Algonquin has hosted a resident feline dating as far back as the 1920s, with all females named “Matilda” and males, “Hamlet.” A portrait was commissioned to commemorate Matilda’s time at the hotel. New Yorkbased painter Marcus Pierno presented the painting to Alice de Almeida, the longtime “chief cat officer” at the Algonquin, whose many duties include managing the Algonquin cat’s social media accounts, its feedings and vet appointments and generally looking after the hotel’s resident feline.

Animal fashion designer and animal talent manager Ada Nieves designed and created all of the costumes, with her own cat, Martini, modeling an ensemble inspired by “The Music Man.” Nieves found Martini, now 10, wandering on a Brooklyn street when he was 3 years old. Nieves co-chairs and acts as creative director of The New York Pet Fashion Show and coordinates the Algonquin’s cat fashion show each year. “All the costumes I make keep the cat in mind. If my own cat can’t jump and act like a cat while wearing it, then it won’t make it into the show,” she said. “Events like these are a winwin situation. We help animals in need while having fun and meeting other like-minded pet lovers. Pet fashion shows raise animal awareness.” Guests at the pawty enjoyed crudités, hors d’oeuvres and desserts and sipped from signature Algonquin cocktails from an open bar. Attendees also had the opportunity to bid on items from the silent auction. A grand cake for a grand dame cat crowned the table. Matilda would’ve been very pleased indeed.

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AUGUST 10-16,2017

Business

BATTLING FOR THE SOUL OF SAKS Fireworks on Fifth Avenue: “Bastardizing” an icon or unlocking shareholder value? BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

Saks Fifth Avenue doesn’t need to be on Fifth Avenue. It should shrink its footprint. Or put the trophy property up for sale, reaping billions. Retail is so passé. Brick-and-mortar? So 20th century. Real estate is king. Sound preposterous? That’s only the beginning. Why not repurpose the icon as a hotel or office? Its top floors could be redeveloped as palatial condominiums. Its lower floors could host boutiques for the mega-rich.`This isn’t a joke: Those proposals are being advanced by a hedge fund that holds a 4.3 percent stake in the parent company of Saks, which has symbolized Fifth Avenue class since the day it opened its doors in 1924. Clearly, Saks Fifth Avenue emblemizes something very different for the activist investor Jonathan Litt — and it isn’t the latest from Givenchy or Jimmy Choo, or the $4,600 Gucci “power bag” from the “Saks It List.” Litt, founder of Land & Buildings Investment Management LLC, argues that there’s “substantial untapped real estate value embedded” in the property holdings of Saks’ Canadian owner, Hudson’s Bay Company. How to “unlock” said value? “Aggressively move to monetize and redevelop” such “irreplaceable crown jewel locations” as the Fifth Avenue flagship, he says. In other words: Cash out. Now, it might be a tad unkind to recall the Oscar Wilde riposte about the “man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” And never mind that if you spin off a crown

jewel, you have, in fact, “replaced” it. Also worth noting: The department store was designated a landmark in 1984. “A handsome, but restrained and dignified neo-Renaissance style retail palazzo,” the Landmarks Preservation Commission found. “It still lends grace and dignity to the city’s most famous avenue.” That means the 10-story building can’t be demolished, though it could be reconfigured, with LPC permission, which wouldn’t be easily obtained. Still, like it or not, Litt is making an argument that, should he prevail, would have an outsize impact on the streetscape and view corridors of Fifth Avenue’s central monumental grouping, which includes Saks and St. Patrick’s Cathedral to the east, Rockefeller Center to the west. For that reason alone, he’s worth listening to. A real estate strategist who founded Connecticut-based Land & Buildings in 2008, Litt on June 19 fired off a letter to the board of Toronto-based Hudson’s Bay that pulled no punches. Noting that Saks occupies “one of the most valuable locations not only in Manhattan, but in the U.S.,” he asked, “Is the best use truly a department store? What about a hotel? Or office? Or boutique retail stores, the likes of Apple and Gucci? “Or an Internet retailer looking to go upscale through a bricks-and-mortar presence, as Amazon appears to be doing with its purchase of Whole Foods? The point is that with real estate this valuable, there are myriad options for value creation, all of which must be explored.” On July 31, Litt dashed off another missive, this time to company shareholders, arguing, “A 650,000-square-

foot department store is likely not the highest and best use of the real estate at one of the best locations in the U.S. “Adding boutique retailers on the first three floors, redeveloping the upper floors to high-end residential condos with terraces and extraordinary views of Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Central Park ... and shrinking the department store footprint would likely help maximize value,” he wrote. What to make of all this? Try asking New Yorkers a simple question: Should Saks be “monetized”? “Don’t you dare,” said Doris Hoover, who declines to give her age but says the first time she shopped at Saks was after her college graduation in 1951. Last week, she came back, to pick up a pair of shoes. “I celebrated my marriage, my first job, and my first apartment on 54th Street by shopping at Saks,” she added. “I still try to go once every couple of years, and all I can say is, ‘Don’t try to take it away from us!’” State Senator Brad Hoylman, whose district includes Saks, had equally strong views. “It would be the bastardization of an icon,” he said. “The idea of some hedge-fund guy coming in and putting luxury condos into Saks is appalling.” Saks has been around for nearly a century, its history is intertwined with the city’s, it’s a magnet for tourists and shoppers, contributes significantly to the New York economy, and provides good jobs on the store’s floor to a unionized work force, Hoylman said. “This would put jobs on the chopping block,” he added. “Every New Yorker should be concerned with the consequences of such short-term investing.” It’s based “solely on trying to make a

Saks Fifth Avenue’s trophy property could be reinvented as a hotel, offices or high-end residential condos with terraces if a hedge fund investor gets his way. Photo: David Shankbone, via Wikimedia Commons quick buck,” and Hudson’s should reject it, he said. Let’s not forget the resonance of the department store’s name, said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the advocacy group Historic Districts Council. “This is Saks Fifth Avenue,” he said, emphasizing the address. “Do words mean nothing?” A condo-ization or hotel conversion is “certainly the dumbest idea I’ve heard” all week, he added. “Monetizing a property by wringing all the value out of it, then abandoning it, is kind of a crummy, short-sighted thing to do.” And it’s bad timing, too, because, “The effect of the presidency on Fifth Avenue is still being felt in that the area around Trump Tower is a dead zone,” Bankoff said. A Saks spokeswoman didn’t respond to a request for comment. “We welcome feedback from all of the company’s shareholders, and look forward to continued dialogue with

ON THE SIDE STREETS OF NEW YORK PINTO GARDEN — 110 WEST 10TH STREET Chef and owner Teerawong “Yo” Nanthavatsiri’s goal with Pinto Garden is not to create a typical Thai restaurant, but rather to design an environment that looks and feels more like one’s own home. Subversion of presumptions plays into Yo’s menu. “I want to take out any expectation for a specific type of cuisine — there’s more to

ethnic food in New York than that.” He notes that while many will anticipate typical spicy pad dishes with plenty of fish sauce, he prefers to develop his menu based on what is available at the farmer’s market in Union Square, all the while imagining the smells and flavors of his mother’s cooking while he grew up in Thailand. “What I enjoy best is recreating these tastes of traditional Thai cuisine while adding my own flair.”

Photo: Alex Nuñez Caba, Manhattan Sideways

Land & Buildings,” Hudson’s Bay said in a July 31 statement. “We are committed to our strategy of operating leading retail banners, and creatively unlocking the value of our associated real estate holdings.” There is a precedent for shutting down a prominent Manhattan department store and redeveloping its real estate, Litt wrote in his letter to Hudson’s Bay. Remember Alexander’s? The East Side store closed in 1992, the building was demolished in 1999, and in 2004, under the ownership of Vornado Realty Trust ... well, let Litt have the last word: “Vornado and Alexander’s redeveloped the full city block at 59th Street and Lexington Avenue into what is today the Bloomberg Building, which now includes retail, office and condos, making investors over a billion dollars,” he wrote.


AUGUST 10-16,2017

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AUGUST 10-16,2017

UNITING OPPOSITION TO TRUMP ADVOCACY “Indivisible” project has nearly 6,000 chapters nationwide, including one on the Upper East Side BY BRYSE AYN CIALLELLA

When U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney spoke at a District 12 town hall meeting early last month, she opened with this remark: “I’m Carol Maloney, I live a few blocks from here, and I’m part of the resistance.” The July 6 town hall was organized by NY Indivisible, New York State’s division of the national Indivisible project, a grass roots advocacy group that has focused on “resisting the Trump agenda” since Donald Trump’s election as president. “What all of you have done since President Trump was elected has really been empowering and inspiring. The bottom line is, we are five months into the administration and they haven’t been able to repeal and replace health care. And, that I would say, is because of community activism and leadership across this country. It is phenomenal,” Maloney said. Although the fate of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was yet unknown, it didn’t stop Maloney from heaping praise on the Indivisible coalition and other advocacy groups that had taken measures to see that the

proposed bill did not pass in the Senate. “A lot of energy had been focused on the pending health care legislation. We were able to work with about 25 organizations that were affiliated with Indivisible to create a statewide day of sit-ins at Senator Chuck Schumer’s offices around the state. Senator Schumer caught wind of the sit-ins,” said Ricky Silver, a founding member of NY Indivisible’s executive committee. “He has directly mentioned the statewide day of actions as one of the reasons for pushing forward, knowing that the folks he represents were standing behind him.” Indivisible coalition groups also promoted a number of other activism events centered around health care legislation. The various groups set up phone drives, rallies and provided members ways to voice concern about the impending Senate vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. “At the heart of the Indivisible movement was a recognition that most folks, despite great intentions, maybe had lost that direct connection and that direct understanding of how to influence and how to stay connected to their elected officials,” Silver said. The Indivisible movement began as a vision of former congressional staffers who wrote a 24-page pamphlet, “Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda,” they then posted it online on Dec. 14. They also posted a link to the guide on Twitter. It caught on

like wildfire. The former staffers wrote the guide, they said, because they saw first-hand how effective the tea party movement had been at trying to stop President Obama’s agenda. They wanted to create a similar organization that would push back against Trump’s policies. The Indivisible guide explains how grassroots advocacy groups like the tea party used local strategy to target individual members of Congress in order to thwart President Obama’s political agenda. It explains how members of Congress can be influenced by their constituents because they are so often up for reelection. The guide instructs would be activists to identify, find or organize a local advocacy group. And finally, the guide describes “four local advocacy tactics that actually work: town halls, other local public events, district office visits, and coordinated calls.” There are 5,800 registered Indivisibleaffiliated groups and at least two groups in every congressional district in the nation, according to the Indivisibleguide. com website. One of those is Indivisible Upper East Side, which meets on the second Thursday of every month at The Unitarian Church of All Souls (1157 Lexington Ave., at 80th Street). The executive committee members of Indivisible Upper East Side set the group’s weekly and monthly agendas by reading the news and figuring out the likely hot topic of the month.

Members of Indivisible chapters at a July 18 outside the offices of Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand’s offices. The rally was in opposition of Senate bills that would have undone the Affordable Care Act. Photo: Bryse Ayn Ciallella The committee then asks group members for input about what they would like to convey to Maloney, Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand about healthcare. One of the group’s five executive committee members, Rich Meitin, an attorney by trade, began his legal career in Florida as a legislative aide to the grandson of Justice Hugo Black, Hugo Black III, who served a term in the Florida House of Representatives from 1976 to 1978. That tenure got Meitin interested in politics. Law and politics, Meitin said the other day, are “two sides of the same coin.” After Trump was elected, Meitin, 67, wanted to become in involved with an organization that would help to fight Trump’s political agenda because he thinks the president is a threat. “I don’t just think that Trump is bad, I think he’s dangerous, I think it’s clear that he is a dangerous demagogue and

honestly if there had not been so many leaks and so much dogged coverage by the press, imagine what he would have gotten away with by now,” Meitin said. Meitin chose to become involved with the Indivisible organization because he trusts that congressional aides know how to influence members of Congress. “I read about Indivisible, the national organization, on Facebook. And, it struck me that they were doing things the right way because they were organized by a group of congressional aides,” Meitin said. “And congressional aides basically know what they are doing, they know when the public does stuff that will cause their members to do things or not do things, and they know when the public does stuff that has no impact on their members at all. So I thought, these people know what they are doing, how do I get involved with them.”

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION: ‘BOONDOGGLE’ OR ‘OPPORTUNITY’? The question, however figuratively, could be put to New York State voters this fall BY MARY ESCH

Corruption and a rigged political system are battle cries of both sides in a debate over whether New Yorkers should vote this fall to rewrite the state constitution. Advocates of a “yes” vote say a constitutional convention is the only way to fix dysfunction, corruption and inefficiency in government and throw the bums out of Albany. Opponents warn the convention itself would be rife with corruption, potentially stripping away hallowed protections of the environment, labor and reproductive rights. Both sides are launching media campaigns urging voters either to go for an overhaul or keep the status quo when they go to the polls Nov. 7. The ballot measure is dictated by a provision in the constitution saying every 20 years, voters must be asked if they want to revise it. “This is a oncein-a-generation opportunity,” said Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens

The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, home of several state government agencies in downtown Albany. Photo: Jessica, via Wikimedia Commons Union, a government reform advocacy group that favors a convention. “Our democracy isn’t working for the average New Yorker and the way we’re going to fix it is through a constitutional convention.” New Yorkers Against Corruption, a coalition of over 130 organizations opposing the referendum, says a convention would be a “$300 million boondoggle” that benefits only corrupt Albany insiders and big money interests that would take control of the process.

“It’s rigged. It’s fixed. I think this is a huge risk for New York to take,” said Donna Lieberman, director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which opposes a convention but is not part of a coalition. “There’s a mechanism to amend the constitution inch by inch through the legislative process. That’s how it should be done.” That process has added over 200 amendments to the state constitution since 1894, which is the last time a convention produced a new constitution. Efforts of the last two conven-

tions, in 1938 and 1967, were rejected by the electorate. Environmental groups fear a convention could open the door to delete or weaken protections for clean air and water, healthy forests and the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park. “There are a thousand ways for something bad to happen to the ‘forever wild’ clause at a wide-open convention,” said William Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council. If voters say yes, delegates would be elected next year and the convention held in 2019. Opponents fear the delegate selection process will be hijacked by powerful special interests. But voters will have to approve any proposed revisions. Convention supporters say there’s no evidence of right-wing big money getting involved. “The real money involved in this is the labor unions that are trying to block a convention because they have great sway with this government and don’t want it to change,” said Gerald Benjamin, a political science professor and co-editor of a new book, “New York’s Broken Constitution: The Gov-

ernance Crisis and the Path to Renewed Greatness.” Benjamin said no constitutional convention in New York’s history has diminished rights or protections, but have added many new ones. Along with unions, the anti-convention coalition includes some strange bedfellows: Right-to-Life and Planned Parenthood; the Conservative Party and left-leaning Working Families Party; LGBT Network and New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. “What they share is fear of what might happen against their interests,” Benjamin said. “They have an investment in the status quo.” Benjamin said a convention is the only way to fix problems with administration of elections, campaign finance, the structure of the court system and the Legislature, which he believes would be more effective with one house instead of two. Dadey of Citizens Union said support for the campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders shows that voters want change. “New Yorkers are simply fed up,” he said.


AUGUST 10-16,2017

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

DAMROSCH PARK USE AT ISSUE AGAIN OPEN SPACE Lincoln Center, residents at odds as Big Apple Circus plans return BY ELISSA SANCI

Plans to bring the reconstituted and now for-profit Big Apple Circus to Damrosch Park has drawn the ire of some Upper West Siders who say the arrangement would be in violation of a 2014 settlement that bars private, money-generating events in the city park. But officials from the Big Apple Circus — which was bought at bankruptcy auction by a Florida-based investment firm early this year — and Lincoln Center contend that the settlement applies only to Fashion Week events. “Nowhere in the settlement agreement is the Big Apple Circus even named,” Peter Flamm, Lincoln Center’s vice president of concert halls and operations, said at a Community Board 7 committee meeting last week. “It’s under our understanding and our counsel’s understanding that it is an appropriate park-like use, and that’s why we believe strongly that it is not in settlement agreement.” Flamm added that the agreement did not list the circus as an inappropriate use of the park. But Cleo Dana, an area resident, and

Dozens of new trees and plantings were planted last year in Damrosch Park, on West 62nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues, one consequence of a 2014 legal settlement between residents and the city and Lincoln Center. Photo: Melody Chan others argued at the Aug. 2 meeting of CB7’s Parks & Environment Committee that the new 10-year contract with the circus does violate the agreement. “We object to this little 2.4-acre-park accommodating a much larger circus than was there when we moved there in the 80s,” Dana said. “It doesn’t belong there, and Lincoln Center should have consulted with the community.”

The settlement grew out of 2013 lawsuit filed by a few Upper West Siders, including Dana, Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocate, and Olive Freud, the president of Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, who contended that New York Fashion Week was a disruptive, private event that closed the park off from the public. They argued that the city had vio-

lated the state’s Public Trust Doctrine, a common-law standard that holds that parkland exists for the benefit of the public at large, not just for some. Following the settlement the city and Lincoln Center, which manages the park, promised to “further expand public access to the Park by not entering into agreements for commercial events substantially similar in nature, size and duration to Fashion Week and for which access is not generally available to the public.” Lincoln Center then spent about $500,000 to reinvigorate the park, planting 38 new trees and dozens of shrubs and bushes to replace the trees, flower planters and benches that had been uprooted to make room for the tents that covered much of the park during Fashion Week events. At the committee meeting, a candidate for City Council, William Raudenbush, cautioned against the “shut down” of the park and “access to green space and respite.” “I think we need to be very careful of how we, on the sly, are privatizing public parkland, even for small durations,” he said. One resident, Takemi Uemo, took issue with the amount of time the circus would be monopolizing the park, especially during fall. The director of public safety of Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus was concerned that the circus’ site plan, which has yet to be publicly released, would in-

terfere with university activity. A few community members worried about preservation of the trees and plantings, restored last year. “This is probably the most overly developed area in Manhattan,” Dana said. “This is no place for an expanded circus. We don’t like the garbage across the street overflowing with animal waste; we don’t like fumes; we don’t like trailers that go from Columbus Avenue to Amsterdam, bigger every year; we don’t like the chaos, the traffic.” But one longtime neighborhood resident, Robert Jordan, said the circus should be welcomed. “In the past years, the Big Apple Circus created jobs for the youth in my community,” said Jordan, who has lived at nearby Amsterdam Houses for more than 25 years. The positives of hosting the circus at Damrosch outweigh the negatives, he said. “I think we all need to concentrate on who this is more beneficial to, and this is the youth,” he said. “Everybody seems to be forgetting that.” Toward the meeting’s conclusion, Council Member Helen Rosenthal suggested weekly or bi-weekly community meetings with Lincoln Center and circus representatives leading up to the circus’ October opening. “This is coming up really soon and you’ve got people’s attention. These are the people who care,” Rosenthal said.

2 TONS OF IVORY CRUSHED IN CENTRAL PARK Conservationists, state officials hope action sends message to poachers and consumers BY MARY ESCH AND JOSEPH B. FREDERICK

Trinkets, statues and jewelry crafted from the tusks of at least 100 slaughtered elephants were fed into a rock crusher in Central Park to demonstrate the state’s commitment to smashing the illegal ivory trade. The artifacts placed ceremoniously onto a conveyor belt to be ground into dust included piles of golf-ball-sized Japanese sculptures, called netsuke, intricately carved into monkeys, rabbits and other fanciful designs. Many of the items were beautiful. Some were extremely valuable. But state environmental officials and Wildlife Conservation Society members, who partnered with Tiffany & Co. for the “Ivory Crush” of nearly 2 tons of ivory, said no price justifies slaughtering elephants for their tusks.

“By crushing a ton of ivory in the middle of the world’s most famous public park, New Yorkers are sending a message to poachers, traffickers and dealers who try to set up shop right here on our streets,” said John Calvelli, the Society’s executive vice president and director of the 96 Elephants Campaign, said at the Aug. 3 event. “We won’t stand for the slaughter of elephants. Nobody needs an ivory brooch that badly.” The sale of ivory across international boundaries has been banned since 1990, but the U.S. and many other countries have allowed people to buy and sell ivory domestically, subject to certain regulations that gave smugglers loopholes. Last year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service instituted a near-total ban on the domestic commercial ivory trade and barred sales across state lines. Since August 2014, New York law has prohibited the sale, purchase, trade or distribution of anything made from elephant or mammoth ivory or rhinoceros horn, except in

limited situations with state approval. Enforcement efforts have focused on New York City, the nation’s largest port of entry for illegal wildlife goods, state officials said. The ivory pieces sent to the crusher included more than $4.5 million worth seized by undercover investigators from Metropolitan Fine Arts & Antiques in New York City in 2015. In pleading guilty last week to illegally selling ivory, the store’s owners agreed to donate $100,000 each to the World Wildlife Fund and Wild Tomorrow Fund for their endangered species protection projects. Also headed for the crusher was a netsuke, depicting three men with a fish, worth an estimated $14,000, and a pair of elaborately carved ivory towers worth $850,000. More than 270 tons of ivory have been destroyed by governments and conservation groups in high-profile public events in 22 countries, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. Some critics have argued that de-

Confiscated illegal elephant ivory was crushed in Central Park by staff from the state Deparment of Environmental Conservation and the World Conservation Society. Photo: NYS DEC stroying ivory could drive up black market prices by increasing scarcity, thus encouraging more poaching. Others argue that it’s wasteful and that it would be better to sell confiscated ivory to pay for conservation efforts in poor African countries. Wendy Hapgood, founder of Wild

Tomorrow Fund, said crushing events send a signal that laws banning the ivory trade will be strictly enforced. “It’s a way to tell the world that ivory shouldn’t be coveted, it should be destroyed. It belongs only on an elephant,” she said.


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RIDING HOME Equestrian Alexandra Crown on riding in Central Park and her hopes for the Olympics BY ANGELA BARBUTI

Alexandra Crown is at home at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. After spending the summer competing in Europe, the born-and-bred New Yorker will be participating at the event, in the Under 25 Grand Prix on Sept. 22. Crown, 22, attended Professional Children’s School, which allowed her to keep up with the sport’s demands. After deciding to pursue show jumping seriously, she looked to someone whose career inspired her, number one show jumper in the world, Kent Farrington, and he has been training her since 2013. Entering her junior year at the Uni-

versity of Miami, Crown has aspirations for the future that include having her own students and representing the U.S. at the Olympics.

When did you begin taking riding lessons? I started taking lessons when I was about 4. My older sister also took lessons. I grew up in New York, but we would ride in Connecticut on the weekend. So it was never very serious; it was just once a week. And then eventually, it became during the weekend and summers. And then, I think when I was about 11 or 12, I started going to competitions. But I was doing the hunters, which is a discipline of competition that is judged on the horse and its jumping style and movement. Jumpers are purely graded on speed and faults. I didn’t start the jumpers until I was about 16.

Alexandra Crown

What was your experience like at Professional Children’s School? How did you balance that with your training? It would have been very hard to make all of the riding work while going to normal school. People do it, but Professional Children’s School definitely allowed me to really focus on my riding, while still receiving a good education. They worked with me and made my schedule so that I could go to class in the mornings and then go to the barn in the afternoons. They had a program called guided study, which allowed me to leave for periods of time and get all the assignments from all of my teachers. As long as I kept up with my work, they were OK with it.

What’s a typical day like for you? It depends if I’m at a show or at home. Right now, I’m in Belgium and in between shows, on typical days, I go to the barn around 9 a.m., since we don’t have much to do during the day here. And I have about seven horses to ride, so I ride pretty much all day. And then I drive home and usually try and go to the gym.

What are you doing in Belgium? I come to Europe every summer for shows. The barn that I base out of in between the shows is in Antwerp, Belgium. I was just in Calgary for five weeks for another series of competitions. But then I came back here. I have two weeks off now, and then I head to Berlin for my first show.

Alexandra Crown jumping at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Photo: Courtesy Chronicle of the Horse Magazine

How did your partnership with Kent come about? About four years ago, I decided I wanted to become more serious about the jumpers. I had been doing mostly hunters at that point. And Kent had always been someone I’d looked up to when I watched the jumpers. And I had seen a few of his students ride, and I loved the way they rode and loved the horses that he had picked for them. And my parents and I had a meeting with Kent and I think we just got along very well and I really liked the way he described his training style. So we decided to give it a shot. And I think it’s worked out fantastic. It’s amazing to be able to learn from him.

How does your family support you in your career? My whole family has been fantastic with the riding. None of them really had anything to do with horses. My older sister rode a little bit, just on the weekends with me for fun when we were younger. My parents were very new to this whole industry. None of us knew anything when we came into it. And they like coming to the shows, learning about the horses and watching the competitions. They get kind of into it now; they know all the riders and who’s winning what, all of that stuff.

is from New York. The whole thing just feels very special. Every country has their own home show that feels really special to them that’s close to home. And I feel like Central Park is that for me.

You are studying at the University of Miami. I am about to enter my junior year. College has always been very important. My parents have always stressed the importance of going to college and getting a very good education. Miami has also been great with the riding. All of my professors so far have been so understanding. I organize my classes early in the week and then I go to Wellington [Florida] or travel to shows the rest of the week. I take some online classes too. I’m doing some this summer, just to make sure I’m keeping up with everything.

What are your plans for the future? I’s love to go as far as I can. I want to one day go to the Olympics and represent the United States at the highest level as well as making a business out of it. So I’d love to bring along young horses and train them and maybe have students of my own one day to train. Eventually, I want to do what Kent does. www.cphs.coth.com

How does it feel to ride in Central Park? It’s incredible, to be honest. It’s my backyard. I grew up there. I went ice skating in Wollman Rink when I was younger. You have the New York skyline in the background and everyone

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


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Downtowner

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Level: Medium

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I C T N I F H S C L B M A P Q

C F P R T C C U Z C H L G J S

A J W J H L L Q N E E E P Y M

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H O C N K N W N S D O R Z F I

A N C W Q A I L N A S B O X X

M T I K V M E S O F H F L R A

M N T E B E I Y W R Y C L J H

D C G U T P N Q A S T O R M I

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M F S T E M P E R A T U R E M

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22 Wake Island, e.g. 24 Bank vaults 25 Small egg 26 The out crowd 29 N American plant 30 Snapshot 34 Cold spell 37 Mideast capital 41 Remark, with bon 43 Sacred hymn 45 Hero home Down 46 Computer system 1 Drink that can be hot or cold Trademark 2 Coffee pot 47 “The way” philosophy 3 Negative 48 ___bug! 4 Brazilian palm 49 Resentment 5 College-based military 51 Crow cousin training 52 Atmosphere 6 Great Lake 53 Genetic initials 7 Guard duty (2 words) 8 “The Wizard of Oz” prop 9 CSI evidence 10 Often, poetically 11 Kind of deer 17 Excel chart 19 Did in 20 Baldwin and Guinness 21 Record visually

R P H I P T Q U V Q P Y F G U

I C T N I F H S C L B M A P Q

47 Unlucky number 50 Open a crack 54 Vibe 55 Floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee 56 Stretched out 57 Portent 58 Quandary 59 “___ Breckinridge” novel by Gore Vidal

R O A A G F M L H N T W A C H

R P H I P T Q U V Q P Y F G U

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U G H R Z Q L I G H T N I N G

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H D S H O W E R S Y Y Z A E T

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WORD SEARCH by Myles Mellor

H D S H O W E R S Y Y Z A E T

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Across 1 ___ sandwich 5 Chess end it abbreviation 8 Whiff 12 Son of Aphrodite 13 Neighbor of Washington state, for short 14 Facts 15 Picnic party poopers 16 Thin metal sheet (2 words) 18 One who leads a Spartan lifestyle 20 To no ___ 23 Good sense 27 Started a fire 28 Perceive 31 Church part 32 Tux and Tol followers 33 American Revolution supporters 35 Mammal coat 36 Ancient Briton 38 Computer image 39 Old age, of yore 40 Earnest 42 Receses 44 Robberies

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Each Sudoku puzzle consists of a 9X9 grid that has been subdivided into nine smaller grids of 3X3 squares. To solve the puzzle each row, column and box must contain each of the numbers 1 to 9. Puzzles come in three grades: easy, medium and difficult.

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SUDOKU by Myles Mellor and Susan Flanagan

by Myles Mellor

O M

2

CROSSWORD

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1

AUGUST 10-16,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com


AUGUST 10-16,2017

CLASSIFIEDS

MERCHANDISE FOR SALE

PUBLIC NOTICES PUBLIC AUCTION NOTICE OF SALE OF COOPERATIVE APARTMENT SECURITY PLEASE TAKE NOTICE: By Virtue of a Default under Loan Security Agreement, and other Security Documents, Karen Loiacano, Auctioneer, License #DCA1435601 or Jessica L Prince-Clateman, Auctioneer, License #1097640 or Vincent DeAngelis Auctioneer, License #1127571 will sell at public auction, with reserve, on Aug. 30, 2017 in the Rotunda of the New York County Courthouse, 60 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007, commencing at 12:45 p.m. for the following account: Donald Weber a/k/a Donald A. Weber, as borrower, 64 shares of capital stock of 350-52-54 W. 12th Street Owners Corp. and all right, title and interest in the Proprietary Lease to 354 West 12th Street, Unit 1D, New York, NY 10014 Sale held to enforce rights of CitiBank, N.A., who reserves the right to bid. Ten percent (10%) Bank/CertiďŹ ed check required at sale, balance due at closing within thirty (30) days. The Cooperative Apartment will be sold â&#x20AC;&#x153;AS ISâ&#x20AC;? and possession is to be obtained by the purchaser. Pursuant to Section 201 of the Lien Law you must answer within 10 days from receipt of this notice in which redemption of the above captioned premises can occur. There is presently an outstanding debt owed to CitiBank, N.A. (lender) as of the date of this notice in the amount of $326,545.02. This ďŹ gure is for the outstanding balance due under UCC1, which was secured by Financing Statement in favor of CitiBank, N.A. recorded on April 27, 2007 under CRFN 2007000217862. Please note this is not a payoff amount as additional interest/ fees/penalties may be incurred. You must contact the undersigned to obtain a ďŹ nal payoff quote or if you dispute any information presented herein. The estimated value of the above captioned premises is $520,000.00. Pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code Article 9-623, the above captioned premises may

23

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Telephone: 212-868-0190 Fax: 212-868-0198 Email: classified2@strausnews.com

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

PUBLIC NOTICES

be redeemed at any time prior to the foreclosure sale. You may contact the undersigned and either pay the principal balance due along with all accrued interest, late charges, attorney fees and out of pocket expenses incurred by CitiBank, N.A.. and the undersigned, or pay the outstanding loan arrears along with all accrued interest, late charges, attorney fees and out of pocket expenses incurred by CitiBank, N.A., and the undersigned, with respect to the foreclosure proceedings. Failure to cure the default prior to the sale will result in the termination of the proprietary lease. If you have received a discharge from the Bankruptcy Court, you are not personally liable for the payment of the loan and this notice is for compliance and information purposes only. However, CitiBank, N.A., still has the right under the loan security agreement and other collateral documents to foreclosure on the shares of stock and rights under the proprietary lease allocated to the cooperative apartment. Dated: July 7, 2017 Frenkel, Lambert, Weiss, Weisman & Gordon, LLP Attorneys for CitiBank, N.A. 53 Gibson Street Bay Shore, NY 11706 631-969-3100 File #01-080328- #92373

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

Antique, Flea & Farmers Market SINCE 1979

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

Open EVERY Saturday 6am-5pm Rain or Shine

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AVAILABLE IN MANHATTAN

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24

AUGUST 10-16,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

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