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The local paper for Downtown wn

WEEK OF NOVEMBER CELEBRATING WITH A BARK ◄P.16

9-15 2017

A cyclist passes newly installed concrete barriers on the Hudson River Park Bikeway in Lower Manhattan, near the site of the Oct. 31 vehicle attack that killed eight people. Photo: Michael Garofalo

HARD LESSONS OF VEHICLE ATTACK STREETS Hudson River Bikeway fortified with concrete barricades as authorities plan new safety measures BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

More than a week after a man drove a truck nearly a mile down the Hudson River Bikeway at high speed, deliberately striking pedestrians and cyclists and leaving eight dead and another twelve injured in his wake, concrete barriers spaced along the riverfront bike path serve as an imposing reminder of what NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill called “the worst terror attack in New York City since September 11th, 2001.”

City and state transportation officials installed dozens of barriers along the Hudson River Greenway in the days after the Oct. 31 attack in hopes of preventing vehicles from entering the park’s pedestrian and bicycle paths in the future. The Oct. 31 vehicle attack started near Pier 40, at Houston Street, where the driver steered his rented truck from West Street onto the bike path and sped south, targeting users of the crowded, narrow trail. The driver was shot and apprehended by police after he collided with a school bus near Stuyvesant High School. Police identified the suspect as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, an Uzbek immigrant who they said was inspired by the Islamic State. The attack marked the second time this year that a driver left a Manhattan street to target bystanders. In

May, an intoxicated driver made an abrupt u-turn onto a Times Square sidewalk and plowed through pedestrians for three blocks, killing one person and injuring 22 others. The vehicle in the Times Square attack came to a stop when it struck a metal bollard on a street corner, which likely prevented further injuries. Additional bollards were installed in Times Square after the incident. Mayor Bill de Blasio said after the bike path attack that while it would be “very hard” to put bollards on every corner in the city, the city will install them in “key places” and learn from each incident. Bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate that would dedicate federal money to fund the installation of such barriers.

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This log-cabin inspired birdhouse once started off as an old beer skid that Mele found behind a bar. Photo: Carson Kessler

BIRDMAN OF THE WEST VILLAGE NEIGHBORHOOD Vincent Mele handcrafts whimsical birdhouses for McCarthy Square on Seventh Avenue BY CARSON KESSLER

Taking a break from transforming a vacant storefront into a waxing and color room for the neighboring salon, the birdman of the West Village is absolutely covered in white paint, stray strokes smeared upon Downtowner

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Crime Watch Voices NYC Now City Arts

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Restaurant Ratings Business Real Estate 15 Minutes

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WEEK OF APRIL

SPRING ARTS PREVIEW < CITYARTS, P.12

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

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

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

2015

In Brief MORE HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS

The effort to help small seems to businesses in the city be gathering steam. Two city councilmembers, Robert Margaret Chin and Cornegy, have introduced create legislation that wouldSmall a new “Office of the within Business Advocate” of Small the city’s Department Business Services. Chin The new post, which have up told us she’d like to would and running this year, for serve as an ombudsman city small businesses within them clear government, helping to get through the bureaucracy things done. Perhaps even more also importantly, the ombudsman and number will tally the type small business of complaints by taken in owners, the actions policy response, and somefor ways to recommendations If done well, begin to fix things. report would the ombudsman’s give us the first quantitative with taste of what’s wrong the city, an small businesses in towards important first step fixing the problem. of for deTo really make a difference, is a mere formality will have to the work process looking to complete their advocate are the chances course, velopers precinct, but rising rents, -- thanks to a find a way to tackle business’ is being done legally of after-hours projects quickly. their own hours,” which remain many While Chin “They pick out boom in the number throughout who lives on most vexing problem. said Mildred Angelo,of the Ruppert construction permits gauge what Buildings one said it’s too early tocould have the 19th floor in The Department of the city. number three years, the Houses on 92nd Street between role the advocate She on the Over the past 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.” can’t come p.m. and 7 a.m., of these that the hollow boom, issuance reverse. owners, in business moving The increased beeps of a truck has generto a correspond and you as after-hours. soon enough. variances has led at the alarm clock The surge in permits

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

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

n OurTownDowntow

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Newscheck Crime Watch Voices

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

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

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his neck, jeans, and Timberlands. White powder is caked on his round glasses and the leathery skin of his tattooed forearms, clear evidence of his relationship with drywall and plaster. The master carpenter motions towards the window, pointing at a three story, log-cabin birdhouse, the most recent of his contributions to the neighborhood. For about nine years, Vincent Mele, 66, has been handcrafting whimsical birdhouses to decorate McCarthy Square, the triangular park at

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NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR “CON-CON” BASICS While I no longer live in Manhattan, I enjoy reading Our Town and was particularly struck by the quality of Douglas Feiden’s article “Contesting The ‘Con-Con,’” (October 19-25). This is the only article I have seen that explains what the process is, what’s at stake and who is for and against a Constitutional Convention. Having read this piece I now feel that I know enough to make an informed decision. None of the other media I am saturated with bothered to take the time to explain the basics as well as the irony of the bedfellow combinations we are witnessing. Thank you, Our Town and Mr. Feiden. Ed Fitzell New Rochelle, NY

MENACE OF E-BIKES Re “City to Crack Down on Electric Bicycles” (October 26-November 1), Caroline Samponaro of Transportation Alternatives says: “According to NYPD data, drivers speeding and failing to yield are the ones causing

death and serious injuries.” No one is disputing that. However, the two things are not mutually exclusive. Ebikes are still a menace: traveling at higher speeds than bicycles, making no “warning” sound (like a car engine), going through red lights and the wrong way on streets and avenues, etc. — flagrantly violating safety laws that even pedaled bikes are required to observe. As to “Advocates for delivery workers have said that the crackdown would unfairly burden older delivery workers,” I say, Huh? I have lived on the Upper West Side for 50 years, and since the advent of the e-bike I have never seen an “older” bicycle delivery worker. They are mostly young and middle-aged people. Finally, it should be noted that no restaurant or other establishment that delivers went out of business when there was no such thing as ebikes. When the only things available were regular bikes, food and other things got delivered, and businesses made money. E-bikes must go. Period. Ian Alterman Upper West Side

with the State Department of Labor and wanted a quieter, less frenetic environment. I have loved everything about this neighborhood except for the noise (I just now had to stop typing to hold my ears as an ambulance passed eight stories down). Ellen Diamond Upper East Side

LOSING FAVORITE STOPS

Delegates to the state Constitutional Convention convened in the state Capitol in Albany in 1867 for a speech by William Wheeler, a future U.S. vice president, who argued that the concept of racial equality should be incorporated into the Constitution. Engraving: Stanley Fox, via New York Public Library collectioN

NOISE POLLUTION ON THE UPPER EAST SIDE I lived for over 30 years on Ninth Street and Broadway in Greenwich Village and never, ever had this kind of noise issue. I wrote to the mayor (I try!) asking why we can’t use the same siren system as in Europe, a repeating twonote pattern that’s not too loud and that doesn’t go up to very high notes.

They’re a pleasing middle-range (I’m a musician so I get to say stuff like that). Among the worst offenders are the police cars late at night. They do whatever they want with the sirens — and I mean whatever they want. I honestly don’t know how the animals survive the sirens, motorcycles and of course, Marathon Sunday. I moved to the Upper East Side in 2002 after I was diagnosed with leukemia in 1998. I had retired after 33 years

I was devastated when the vegan restaurant near Mt. Sinai Hospital on Madison Avenue closed last year. It was a restaurant both my husband and I used to enjoy. I come in from Long Island every other week to get an infusion at Mt. Sinai Hospital. It often takes me two hours to get there due to the traffic. I could actually get the same infusion 15 minutes from my house, but choose to come into NYC to experience the city briefly for one day. Just yesterday I saw that the Seattle Cafe closed, another favorite stop. Clearly, having what seems like a steady stream of customers is no indication of the longevity of the establishment. Pretty soon there won’t be as much reason to come into the city, and I may as well stay closer to home. Barbara Golden Long Island, NY

ESTABLISHED 1789 A NURTURING, SMALL, JUNIOR-K THROUGH 5th GRADE CO-ED SCHOOL On 95th Street at Central Park West

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City and Country School Keeping the progress in progressive education. Two-Year-Olds – 8th Grade

Open House: Thursday, November 16, 6:00 - 8:00pm 146 West 13th Street, New York, NY 10011 Tel: 212.242.7802

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Sign Up for An Open House Tour at alexanderrobertson.org/admissions or call 212-663-2844 to make an appointment for your visit.


NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG CAR BREAK-IN NETS LARGE HAUL A motorist paid a high price for just parking his car. At 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 29, a 49-year-old man parked his gray 2016 Honda Accord at the Northeast corner of Broadway and Liberty Street. He went shopping and when he returned at 7:24 p.m., property was missing from the trunk of his car. A presumed thief or thieves had made off with 20 watches with a total value of $3,500, four pair of menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shoes together priced at $1,350, seven bags, worth $1,050, as well as belts, jeans, luggage and other items. In all, the man told police, he was out merchandise worth a total of $9,150. There were no signs of forced entry to the vehicle, and he told police he was unsure if he had locked the car. A search of the neighborhood turned up nothing.

STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 1st district for Week to Date

Year to Date

2017 2016

% Change

2017

2016

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

1

0

n/a

Rape

1

0

n/a

15

9

66.7

Robbery

0

1

-100.0

59

51

15.7

Felony Assault

2

3

-33.3

67

72

-6.9

Burglary

1

2

-50.0

57

102 -44.1

Grand Larceny

26

27

-3.7

858 889 -3.5

Grand Larceny Auto

0

0

n/a

11

43

-74.4

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

PHONES FLOWN

COMPUTER STOLEN

MISSING MOTORBIKE

EDEN OUT

Shoplifters do love their cellphones. At 7:25 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, four boys in their mid-teens acting in concert took several phones from a display in the AT&T store at 217 Broadway and then ďŹ&#x201A;ed, going north on Broadway. The stolen phones are worth a total of $2,900 stolen.

At 8:25 p.m. on Friday, October 27, a 28-year-old man left his belongings on a bench inside the Tribeca Tavern & CafĂŠ at 247 West Broadway while he went to use the restroom. When he returned just ďŹ ve minutes later his stuff was gone. The items stolen included a MacBook Pro valued at $2,800, a MacBook charger worth $70, and an iPad charger priced at $50, making a total stolen of $2,920.

It seems that no bike lock can stand up to a determine bike thief. At 7:55 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25, a 50-year-old man locked up his motorbike in front of 20 River Terrace while he made a delivery. When he returned just eight minutes later, the bike lock had been cut and his ride was gone. A search of the neighborhood turned up nothing. The stolen twowheeler was an MCN motorbike valued at $1,500.

The dark arts met the ďŹ ne arts at a local gallery recently. At 11:39 a.m. on Wednesday, October 25, property was removed from the Eden Fine Art Gallery at 470 Broome St. by an unknown perpetrator. The items stolen included a 15-inch MacBook, valued at $2,800, a backpack priced at $180 and other items.

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org NEW YORK CITY

The Politics of Language: Masha Gessen and Siri Hustvedt

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10TH, 7:30PM Deutsches Haus at NYU | 42 Washington Mews | 212-998-8660 | deutscheshaus.as.nyu.edu A pair of insightful authors look at the loss of shared language in the public sphere as part of the conference Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Going On: ReďŹ&#x201A;ections on Truth, Politics, Democracy, and Language (free).

Milton Glaser Discusses â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Design of Dissentâ&#x20AC;?

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13TH, 6:30PM The Cooper Union | 7 E. 7th St. | 212-353-4100 | cooper.edu Eyeball the artist and designer Milton Glaser (of I â&#x2122;Ľ NY fame) as he speaks on the re-release of his iconic The Design of Dissent, newly subtitled Greed, Nationalism, Alternative Facts and the Resistance (free, RSVP required).

Just Announced | ScreenTimes: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Shape of Waterâ&#x20AC;? with Guillermo del Toro

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 27TH, 7PM FIAF/Florence Gould Hall | 55 E. 59th St. | 212-355-6100 | timestalks.com Director and screenwriter Guillermo del Toro is joined by New York Times journalist Logan Hill for a preview screening of del Toroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest fantasy, The Shape of Water, and a conversation ($50).

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

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

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NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

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.

212-477-7411

NYPD 1st Precinct

16 Ericsson Place

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

POST OFFICES

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VANTAGE POINTS BY PETER PEREIRA


NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

MANAFORT’S MANHATTAN HAUNTS INVESTIGATIONS The indicted former Trump campaign boss wasn’t only a Beltway fixer — he was a high-living New York wheeler-dealer who funneled overseas cash into property, haberdashery and other illgotten goods, the feds say BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

It’s a truism that New Yorkers will go to extraordinary lengths to obtain, maintain — and of course, profit from their own sliver of Manhattan real estate. The tradition dates to the Astors, Stuyvesants, Vanderbilts, Roosevelts, Rhinelanders and Rockefellers, and typically, a lot of corner-cutting has been involved. But the city’s great land-owning families were lucky: Federal prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III wasn’t around back then to police their property purchases, flips, mortgages and other transactions. Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort wasn’t so fortunate. Thus, an opaque and suspicious Soho real estate play figured in his October 30th indictment by the Justice Department’s special counsel. The 12-count indictment alleges conspiracy, money laundering, false filings, tax fraud and a scheme to conceal millions in income he derived as an unregistered agent of the Ukrainian government. Manafort pleaded not guilty to the charges. The charging document also provides a window into the lifestyle of a super-lobbyistcum-part-time-Manhattanite, the one-percent variety, who plowed millions into trophy properties and hundreds of thousands into high-end creature comforts, like bespoke suits at a Fifth Avenue boutique. The only problem: It wasn’t kosher, Mueller a lleges. Manafort, he says, deployed

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

offshore accounts to evade taxes and wire vast sums into the U.S., buying everything from housekeeping services to pricey antiques. “Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the U.S. without paying taxes on that income,” Mueller wrote. All told, the indictment calculates, he laundered $18 million from abroad. Of that amount, roughly $4.5 million in offshore funds, 25 percent of the total, was used to purchase luxury goods, services and real property in Manhattan from 2008 to 2014, an analysis of the charges shows. The cash helped Manafort cut a wide swath across the island, where he periodically worked, played, politicked, patronized an exclusive cigar club, shopped for $7,500 customtailored suits and $8,500 silk sport coats — and dined with Russians and Ukrainians. His expenditures have already resonated in Chelsea. One enterprising familyowned business, Aronson’s Floor Covering, at 135 West 17th Street, took note of the indictment, referenced a megapurchase he made in Alexandria, Virginia, and used it for a bit of savvy street-marketing: On the sidewalk by its picture windows, the 150-year-old firm placed a large signboard proclaiming, “PAUL MANAFORT spent $934,350 at an antique rug store — & no money with us ... ” This portrait of Manafort’s New York was gleaned from the indictment, which doesn’t include his five months running the Trump campaign, the ongoing Congressional probes of a Trump-Russia connection, and legal filings in separate civil cases. Since 2006, the 68-year-old international political consultant has owned a 43rd floor aerie in Trump Tower, a condo unit 25 stories below Donald Trump’s gilded triplex penthouse. Current value: $6 million, according to Manafort’s proposed bail package. From apartment 43-G, it was

TO VIEW THE FULL DETAILS IN OUR INTERACTIVE MAP, READ THE ARTICLE ONLINE AT OURTOWNNY.COM

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Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s excampaign manager, cut a wide swath through New York – where he lived, worked, played, shopped, and huddled with Russians. Among the locales he frequented, a handful figure in his indictment for conspiracy to launder money and tax fraud

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Paul Manafort, then chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 20, 2016. Photo: ABC News, via flickr just an 18-story elevator ride down to the 25th-floor office of Donald Trump Jr., where on June 9th, 2016 the two men and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner held their now-infamous meeting with several Russians, some with apparent ties to the Kremlin and Russian spy services, who offered to “bring dirt” on Hillary Clinton. While the encounter didn’t figure in the indictment, both Mueller and Congress have been scrutinizing it for months. Manafort’s real estate portfolio also went under the special counsel’s microscope, with special attention paid to his two-bedroom, two-bath, 2,150-square-foot, fourth-floor loft condo at 29 Howard Street in Soho’s cast-iron district. To purchase it in 2012, he turned to Cyprus, the Mediterranean tax haven and traditional transfer point for Russian funds. The entire $2.85 million cost was wired from offshore Cypriot entities, which he controlled but never reported as taxable income, Mueller alleges. The plot thickens: Manafort rented the Soho loft for tens of thousands of dollars on Airbnb, took advantage of favorable rental tax breaks, then applied for a mortgage — falsely telling his bank that condo unit 4-D was owner-occupied by his daughter and son-in-law, enabling him to tap a larger loan at a cheaper rate than would otherwise have been available, the indictment says. There’s more. He allegedly

compounded the bank fraud by instructing his son-in-law in January 2016 to lie to a bank appraiser who assessed the condo. “Remember, he believes you and [Manafort’s daughter] are living there,” Manafort wrote, according to Mueller’s account. “He had the benefits of liquid income without paying taxes on it,” the special counsel noted. The feds are seeking forfeiture of the Howard Street home. “I’ve never seen a property transaction more murky or convoluted in 17 years in the business,” said Michael Rose, a retired independent real estate agent who sold downtown properties. Ju st a s sketchy wa s Manafort’s $849,125 purchases of hand-tailored suits and other items between 2008 and 2014 from a men’s clothing store Mueller called “Vendor E.” A chunk of those wares came from the Boutique of Bespoke Atelier, at 3 West 56th Street, the Associated Press found. In what could be a first in the history of haberdashery, Manafort stands accused of using 34 wire transfers, from undisclosed offshore accounts in Cyprus and the Grenadines in the Caribbean, to pull together his wardrobe. All told, Mueller dryly notes, Manafort wired a $12 million windfall to multiple vendors to buy “personal items,” adding, “He did not pay taxes on this income, which was used to make the purchases.” The Bespoke Atelier, which

1. Boutique of Bespoke Atelier, 3 West 56th Street Manafort used wire transfers from Cyprus on which he paid no taxes to buy $849,215 in clothing from a men’s store, the indictment says. A big chunk was spent on suits at the high-end tailor, the A.P. reported 2. Trump Tower, 721 Fifth Avenue A. 43rd floor: Manafort has owned condo unit # 43-G since 2006 B. 66th, 67th and 68th floors: Neighbor Donald Trump owns the triplex penthouse C. 25th floor: Manafort, Donald Trump Jr. and Jared Kushner met on June 9th, 2016 with several Russians who pledged to “bring dirt” on Hillary Clinton 3. 432 Park Avenue Manafort teamed up with a pair of Russian and Ukrainian moguls in a failed 2008 bid to buy the Drake Hotel and convert it into a luxury complex, Bulgari Tower. Harry Macklowe’s 1,396-foot residential condo was built on the site instead 4. Grand Havana Cigar Club, 666 Fifth Avenue 39th floor: Scene of an August 2, 2016 meeting between Manafort and a Ukrainian businessman suspected of ties to Russian intelligence. The tête-à-tête was held as questions mounted over the

once advertised in Trump Magazine, has since closed. Manafort tailor Eugene Venanzi, now operating from a shop in Greenwich, Pitagora & Venanzi, didn’t return calls. Even a $20,000 payment to his unidentified New York housekeeper, “Vendor S,” was allegedly sourced to Cypriot and Grenadian wire transfers. And Mueller says a local antiques dealer, “Vendor G,” was wired $623,910 from abroad. Manafort’s attorney, Kevin

scope of Moscow’s interference in the presidential election 5. 29 Howard Street in Soho Fourth floor: Manafort in 2012 wired $2.85 million from offshore accounts in Cyprus to buy condo unit # 4-D Cyprus in a scheme to profit illicitly and evade taxes, the indictment says 6. 123 Baxter Street in Chinatown Fifth floor: Manafort spent $2.5 million to purchase condo unit # 5-D in 2007. Now valued at roughly $3.5 million, it was one of the properties he offered to post in a bail package ? Unknown location of “Vendor G,” an antiquarian Manafort sent five wire transfers from Cyprus, allegedly laundering funds on which he paid no taxes, in order to buy $623,910 from an unidentified antiques dealer in New York between 2010 and 2013 ? Unknown location of “Vendor S,” a housekeeper Manafort deployed three wire transfers from Cyprus and the Grenadines, concealing income on which he paid no taxes, in order to pay $20,000 for an unidentified housekeeper in New York, the indictment says Douglas Feiden

Downing, pooh-poohed the transfers, arguing in court papers, “It goes without saying that in an international scheme to conceal assets, individuals generally move them offshore, not to the U.S.” But there was an odd typo in Downing’s filings: Referring to Cyprus, the island, he confused it with cypress, the tree: All the “funds deposited in the Cypress accounts were from legal sources,” he wrote.


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NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

“A REALLY GOOD HUMAN BEING” REMEMBRANCE Nicholas Cleves, the Greenwich Village resident killed in the terror attack, is remembered as a “sweetheart,” “a terrific friend.” BY RICHARD KHAVKINE AND MIHIKA AGARWAL

For Halloween, Nicholas Cleves had put the perfect costume together. He would be Blondie, the “good” character played by Clint Eastwood, whom Cleves resembled, in the classic western, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” And Cleves was all good, friends recalled in the days after the Greenwich Village man was among eight killed in Tuesday’s rampage along the West Side Highway in what authorities are characterizing as a terror attack by an ISIS acolyte, Sayfullo Saipov, a Paterson, New Jersey, man who had planned his Halloween slaughter for two months. Cleves, 23, of Greenwich Street, and Darren Drake, 32, from New Milford, New Jersey, were the two Americans killed by Saipov, who drove a rented truck onto the bike path at Houston Street and wreaked carnage for nearly

a mile on Oct. 31. Five of those killed were from Argentina and one was from Belgium, police said. “Nicholas was the true definition of what a really good human being is,” said Bobby Carlton, who had met Cleves at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs when Nicholas was a freshman. “We would first talk about technology and as he visited more often ... we became friends,” Carlton, who was then the Apple coordinator at the campus store, said in a Facebook Messenger conversation. “He’d stop in and see me a few times a week. Just hang out at my desk and talk.” Their friendship grew and Carlton would invite Cleves to his house to have dinner with him and his family. “He was always welcome in my home,” Carlton said. Cleves would eventually tutor Carlton’s stepson. The two men stayed in touch even after Carlton left campus. “I had left Skidmore before he graduated ... but I returned to see him graduate” in May 2016, Carlton, 47, said. That was the last time they would see each other. The two had arranged to meet at New York Comic Con but Carlton needed to return a day early and they

VEHICLE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Jenni Hesterman, a retired Air Force colonel and author of the textbook “Soft Target Hardening,” said that she recognizes that traffic safety measures can sometimes inconvenience bikers and pedestrians. “When you put up bollards and barricades it can really start to impact daily life for people, but there are examples of how to do it effectively,” she said. “In a city like New York, there’s just a soft target on every corner,” Hesterman said, adding that authorities must focus on areas of particular vulnerability. “What towns and cities need to look at is where these promenades are where a vehicle could mount the curb and get to a high rate of speed,” she said. Hesterman said that decision makers

did not see each other, “something I regret,” Carlton said. They spoke on the day Cleves was killed, when Nicholas called Carlton to ask his opinion of the Halloween costume. “He looked great and he wanted to know if I knew who he was,” Carton said. “Nicholas was always having fun. he loved life he loved his family and he loved his friends ... he just enjoyed life. Every moment was important. Every moment had value.” Another friend, Zoe Dartley, who, like Cleves, attended Skidmore College, wrote on Facebook that Cleves was “one of the kindest people I have had the pleasure of knowing.” “There are tragedies too terrible to name — this is one of them,” Dartley wrote. “The rest of us can only hope to honor him by treating others with the generosity and open-heartedness that he offered.” Cleves, who graduated from Skidmore with degrees in computer science and physics last year, was working as a software engineer and analyst at United Digital Group, according to his social media pages. Cleves attended the Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School in Greenwich Village from

can find useful input about vulnerable locations from the people who use public spaces every day and know them best. “The users often see spaces through different eyes than the people who design them,” she said. “The bad guys want us to get comfortable and complacent and not fight back,” she added. “We can’t feel helpless. There are things that we can do based on learning from past attacks.” Officials said that the bulky concrete barricades placed along the West Side bike path last week were a temporary measure until permanent solutions, possibly including metal bollards, could be put in place. Paul Steely White, executive director of the bicycle safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives called the temporary barriers a “safety hazard,” claiming in a statement that the concrete

Nicholas Cleves, 23, of Greenwich Street in New York City, was among the eight persons killed in yesterday’s attack. Photo: Facebook. kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating in 2012. Phil Kassen, the schools’ director, described Cleves as a “kind, smart” person who was a “terrific friend” to classmates. “Many of his closest friends in adulthood were friendships from his time here,” he said. Cleves was an intellectually curious student who teachers at the school remember for his genuine love of learning, Kassen said. “Even as a young adult, he was eager to understand the world and solve problems,” he said. Carlton said Cleves took nothing for

walls dangerously channel two-way bike traffic into narrow spaces. White called on authorities to “immediately remove these concrete barriers, and instead install permanent, precisely placed bollards on high volume bike and pedestrian paths citywide” A week after the attack, Ryan Thomas, 25, biked to the site of a makeshift memorial to the victims near Pier 40 to pay his respects. Thomas, a Staten Island resident who until recently worked on the West Side and used the path every day, said that he hadn’t noticed much of an impact from the concrete barriers on light midday bike traffic as he rode to the memorial. “It could create a bottleneck of bikers when it’s crowded, but I see the need for them,” he said. “It’s a precaution that we can see now should probably already have been in place.”

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granted, “and that’s what made him such a loving and caring human being.” Cleves, he said, used to come to Carlton’s work desk and have lunch. “And every single time, he’d have extra potato chips, and every single time he’d have leftover chips that he’d leave with me. I’m sure he did it on purpose. It was his way of just being a special person and using that moment to build on to our friendship. All through potato chips.” Sophie Herbut and Michael Garofalo contributed to this report.


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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.

LOSING THE STREETS BY BETTE DEWING

Rome is burning but the kind we planned to rail about before the heinous deadly truck attack was the record number of small biz closures in 2017 and how we’ve just got to stop fiddling. But first, thankfully, there’s no fiddling reaction to a one-man terrorist fatally mowing down eight young people bicycling and walking on a secure bike/walking path in Manhattan. Many others were terribly injured. The whole world is appalled and concerned that such abominable acts can happen — anywhere. But while all-out attention is being paid to prevention and justice, let’s not forget the continuing all-out support the grieving and the injured desperately need. But the Burning Rome we’ve long

been concerned about — losing our neighborhood small-business lifelines, was brought further to the fore by Arlene Kayatt’s Nov. 1 column in this space, “Beauty Street and Future Avenue,” warning about East 86th Street’s stores and eateries likely being replaced by yet more condo high-rises. That is except for a bevy of “beauty salons” we really don’t need. The last 86th Street movie house may also go. Even a medical center seems doomed. So many small retail stores and eateries have already been lost, including my favorite corner diner on First Avenue. And not to mention the loss of relatively affordable rental housing — homes. But where is the protest? We’ve got to get Nero to stop fiddling — in general, all over the city,

to save and restore these veritable lifelines, which make the city so livable for all. Why, oh why is Nero still fiddling? I recall U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s press conference welcoming Fairway to East 86th, which some of us worried could burden small grocery stores and even the large corner Gristedes, which is now also a memory along with the East End Gristedes where its longtime staff are still in touch with some of their elder patrons, Ah, far too little is said about the profound loss also felt by displaced business workers. Again, not only on the East Side I’m most familiar with, but all over the city — all over the city. Sure, of course, you’re concerned and want to help if you just knew how or “had more time.” Well, again, for starters, check out this paper’s Useful Contacts column and call the officials listed there. Sure thank them, but also gently

(at first) remind them that government’s first duty is to protect public welfare and these small stores and affordable eateries are veritable lifelines, especially, but not only for disabled or elder New Yorkers. They create community and neighborliness – prevent isolation. They make the city safer. Ah, yes, tell them how you suffer from the loss of your neighborhood lifelines. And use that strong verb! Indeed so much untold suffering results – and these stories must get out there, and in media, media, media. Not to mention the “social kind.” Most unfortunately, these losses have not become an election issue, which could get voters out, if not in record numbers, then in higher ones that the record low we could approach. And it might just be standing-room-only at civic meetings where saving and restoring these lifelines are the number one order of public business. I wish the

so many times during the day, you would’ve thought the food was animated, and I was peeking in to say hi and make sure everyone was OK. Now that I’m working outside the home, I’m down to three squares a day and actually seeing — in small increments — the numbers on the scale going in a more positive direction.

SELF-IMPROVEMENT THROUGH SEASONAL WORK BY LORRAINE DUFFY MERKL

I have not had a job in 22 years. That’s not to say I haven’t worked. My time was divided between shuttling my children around the Upper East Side for school as well as activities and doing freelance writing jobs. (I was an original member of New York’s gig economy.) My assignments were done at home, with the occasional attendance at on-site meetings, which could be considered more like drive-bys than working on premises. With both kids in college now, I began to consider my re-entering the workplace. But since my writing life from a home office has served me well, I thought I’d look for a new challenge. Enter an opportunity for seasonal (aka holiday) work at a high-end midtown store that would allow me to dip my toe in the full-time employment waters and try my hand in an industry that was new to me. So far, it has not only let me once again be known as a staffer, but has offered some forced

6. “No Vacancy”

self-improvement that I want to last well beyond my twelve-week stint.

1. Lorraine Unplugged Have iPhone Will Travel has been my motto since I got my first circa 1995 (also the year I began contract work). Throughout my day, I looked at the screen constantly, checking my email, texts, Facebook, and Twitter as though national security depended on my being updated. Because no devices are allowed on the sales floors of my new company, and I can only check social media and email at lunch and on breaks, I realized that most of what I get is either junk, or a message that can wait at least a couple of hours to answer.

2. Water, Water Everywhere I’ve been hearing since childhood: drink eight glasses of water a day. I have ignored that dictum for that same length of time, living a cactuslike existence. Now that I need stamina to stand most the day, sometimes in one place, drinking as much water as I

meeting notice for the highly active East 79th Street Neighborhood Association read “ROME IS BURNING – HELP US SAVE NEIGHBORHOOD BIZ!” It’s Thursday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. — at Temple Shaaray Tefila (79th and Second). Oh, the association’s catchment area includes much of the Upper East Side and with citywide concerns. Ditto also for the 19th Precinct Community Council meetings that take place each first Monday of the month at the 67th Street precinct. Next time make it “HELP SAVE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD BIZ TO PREVENT CRIME!” but do urge community relations officers (They’re at 212-4520613) to make this a priority. Rome is burning. And again, it can be done if enough of us try — if enough of us try. Thank you, Arlene, for your warning bells. Concerned thoughts/ideas to dewingbetter@aol.com. To be continued, of course.

Have iPhone, Will Travel: commuters on the 2 train. Photo: susanjanegolding, via flickr can throughout the day keeps me alert and simply feeling better.

3. A Not So “Remote” Possibility For decades, parents have been accused of using television as a babysitter. The adult version of that is stayat-home mothers and/or freelancers using it as background, when home alone all day. Every now then, however, something would catch my ear and I’d sit and watch. I then started to have a program or two, for which I’d stop chores or assignments. I also tried to have at least one show per evening for my viewing pleasure, even if it was a Law & Order rerun. Now, when I come

home from work, I’m more than a little beat. I don’t want to spend my few pre-bedtime hours with a glaring blue light in my face. If there’s something that really interests me, I watch it on demand at a more convenient time.

4. Efficiency Expert When I made my own schedule, tomorrow was always another day for my to-do list. Now with only two days off, productive is my middle name.

5. Food: My BFF No More As a home-based worker, I never snacked — I grazed. There was no candy/fruit bowl safe from my automatic grasp. I opened the fridge door

I read a quote once that said: “Writers have to convince people that they’re actually working when they’re staring out the window.” Yes, in order to compose, scribes sometimes have to let their minds wander. Sometimes it is fruitful. Other times, something triggers a recall of an unpleasant situation that results in renting space in my head to people I don’t even know anymore. In my current position, I need to be present and focused. Brain clutter is not an option. 7. I’m more interesting I really don’t think I was a bore before, but my topics had gotten a little stale. Now with a new job to talk about, colleagues to describe, tales of customer escapades, and the goings-on in my company’s active neighborhood, when my family asks about my day, I tell them — ad nauseam. Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of the novels “Back to Work She Goes” and “Fat Chick,” for which a movie is in the works.

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Director, Arts & Entertainment/ NYCNow Alizah Salario


NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Composed chickpea bowl at Inday. Photo: Susan Marque

A HEALTHY TAKE ON FAST FOOD HEALTHY IN THE CITY The proof is in the bowl at Inday, an Indian-inspired restaurant on West 26th Street BY SUSAN MARQUE

Viraj Borkar greeted me the first time I ever tried the food at his restaurant Inday, a cleaneating spot on 26th street, just around the corner from Broadway. Inday offers a modern take on fast food, and Borkar assured me that the ingredients were as free from additives or things I avoid (like cane sugar) as I was going to find anywhere. The proof was in the bowl. Inday offers balanced food combinations that are designed to be suitable for everybody. Borkar and Basu Ratman are hands-on owners in their restaurant and the name itself encompasses their vision of creating Indian-inspired food similar to the meals that Ratman’s own mother might have made him when he was growing up in Oyster Bay, Long Island. Bowls with lots of interesting flavors that make up a complete meal are served up in assembly-line fashion. Borkar and Ratan plan to open a second restaurant by December in Midtown (between 44th and 45th Streets on Third Avenue) that will offer table service, instead of having customers line up as they do at the inaugural location. I had a learning curve with Inday’s menu since it isn’t like

any other Indian food I’ve eaten before. It is actually a combination of Indian, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, and Southeast Asian ideas. On a recent visit, Borkar explained that in designing their ingredient pairings, they use the principles of Ayurveda, a mind-body system to support good health that originated in India. They have thought about flexible dietary combinations that could be suitable for everybody to enjoy their food. Inday doesn’t want you to have to think about much except what sounds good to you, so they put in the time to figure out what works all around to possibly facilitate optimal health, or at least a satisfying experience. They include six tastes: bitter, sweet, salt, sour, pungent, and astringent, by including a little pickle or a sauce, along with the array of vegetables and proteins. In the seasonal bowls, they think about what items are more warming and comforting as the weather turns cool, and what spices or vegetables will help one clear the heat during summer. You might not even notice the thought that goes into each bite of your bowl, but Ratman and Borkar aim to have you feeling great both during and after you dine. Ratman came up with the name Inday from thinking about the kind of Indian food he wanted to eat every day. Ratman and Borkar met through one of their investors, Phil Suarez. Borkar worked with Suarez at Jean-Georges for a time and he made a good

impression on the restaurateur. Ratman was in finance, though he had a dream of opening a restaurant. He told Suarez his ideas for Inday and the more experienced man agreed that it could be terrific. He started helping Ratman put it together. Suarez contacted Borkar, who was living in Washington D.C. at the time and asked if he wanted to move back to New York and start a new restaurant with Ratman. Bowls were the theme right from the start. “A balanced bowl is the food for the millennium,” said Borkar. “Millennials are always on the run and what’s better than having a beautifully designed bowl in your hand?” The colorful portions are arranged neatly, keeping each item separated, with added toppings sprinkled on for crunch, and sauce swirled around the rim. There is an additional hot sauce on the tables for people who crave fire with a bit of lemon in it. They offer meat, fish, tofu and beans to accommodate all types of diets. You could easily skip those and fill up on grains and vegetables with a generous sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds. There is no bread in the restaurant. Inday said they want to avoid gluten and have not found a delicious gluten-free bread they wish to include just yet. I hope that will be added at some point. For now, having a quick and flavorful place to pick up a meal that is sourced with mostly local and organic ingredients makes Inday a spot to return to again and again.

YOUR FATHER KEEPS WANDERING AWAY FROM HOME. BUT IT’S YOU WHO FEELS LOST.

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

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

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NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

REGISTERED NURSES REHABILITATION THERAPISTS MEDICAL SOCIAL WORKERS CERTIFIED HOME HEALTH AIDES

Your elderly mother just told you she fell in the bathroom last night at 4 A.M. Now what? Your parents want to live in their own home. You can’t be with them 24/7. That’s why the Visiting Nurse Service of New York offers more senior home care services than any other home healthcare organization in New York. With care options to help both generations feel better – including nursing, personal care and companionship – the Visiting Nurse Service of New York is the right care now.

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

EDITOR’S PICK

Sun 12 TENEMENT CHIC: WALKING TOUR OF LOWER EAST SIDE 10:45 a.m. $20 Straus Square 165 East Broadway 212-374-4100 nycjewishtours.org The Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy presents a historical walking focusing on the beasts, busts and botanical architecture of the Lower East Side’s tenement buildings. Participants will learn why embellishments adorn otherwise drab 19th century tenements, better known for their overcrowded conditions than their exterior opulence. Tour guide and historian Barry Feldman, an expert on housing and the immigration history of American Jews, not only leads the way but interprets neighborhood dynamics to bring alive the Lower East Side of days gone by.

CALL NOW TO LEARN MORE ABOUT PROFESSIONAL, PERSONALIZED CARE TO MEET YOUR LOVED ONE’S INDIVIDUAL NEEDS. 1-855-VNSNY-NOW • VNSNY.ORG

Services are usually covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurers. VNSNY also offers private care. © 2017 VNSNY

Thu 9

Fri 10

Sat 11

RELEASE OF THE FISHES! ▲

MIND READING AND MYSTICISM

‘FROM FREIGHT TO FLOWERS’ ►

South walkway of Pier 40 at West Street and Houston Street 4 p.m. Free The River Project’s annual “welcome back” for sea life. Fishes, crabs and other marine organism take a plunge into the Hudson and you’re asked to come help, learn and celebrate. Refreshments and prizes. www.hudsonriverpark.org

Merchant’s House Museum 29 East Fourth St. 6:30 p.m. $40 Mentalist Kent Axell recollects and invokes spiritualism’s capacity to transcend earthly existence. The caveat: Axell will attempt to read the minds of those in attendance. 212-777-1089 merchantshouse.org

The High Line, meet atop the stairs at the Gansevoort Street entrance Noon-12:45 p.m. Take a 45-minute walk along The High Line in the throes of autumn accompanied by park docents, who will share their knowledge of the park’s history, design and landscape. Tours are subject to cancellation due to weather. www.thehighline.org


NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Sun 12 Tue 14 Wed 15 ‘THE LOST LANDSCAPES OF NEW YORK’

‘THIS IS THE PLACE: WOMEN WRITING ABOUT HOME’

Skirball Center for the Performing Arts 566 LaGuardia Place 3 p.m. $20; $17 for NYU alumni/ faculty/staff; $15 for NYU students. Film historian and archivist Rick Prelinger brings his urban history project to New York City for the first time. His feature will span much of the city’s daily life in the 20th century. nyuskirball.org

McNally Jackson 52 Prince St. 7 p.m. Free “Home” — the word denotes something both simple and incredibly complex. Contributors to a new volume discuss and contemplate the concept’s multiplicities with the anthology’s co-editors, Margot Kahn and Kelly McMasters. 212-274-1160 www.mcnallyjackson.com

WRITER’S CIRCLE ▲ Mulberry Street Library 10 Jersey St. 4:45-6:45 p.m. Free, but registration required Come join a community of creatives, actual and aspiring, to talk about the craft and how to, perhaps finally, put pen to paper and stain the water clear. Bring a notebook, pen and inspiration. 212-966-3424

Mon 13 BILL MCKIBBEN’S ‘RADIO FREE VERMONT’ The Half King 505 West 23rd St. 7 p.m. Free Bill McKibben reads from his first novel, whose protagonist, 72-year-old Vin Barclay, broadcasting from a clandestine location, is advocating for Vermont’s secession from the United States. 212-462-4300 www.thehalfking.com/ Photo by Beyond My Ken, via Wikimedia Commons

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NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

VIENNESE STYLE IN NEW YORK At the Neue Galerie, the first major American retrospective of the Wiener Werkstätte, the Austrian design collective BY VAL CASTRONOVO

It’s been more than a century since architect Josef Hoffmann, artist Kolomon Moser and textile industrialist rfer founded the WieWie Fritz Waerndorfer e (Vienna Workshops) ner Werkstätte rts and to unify the arts marry form and function in the manner of the 19th sh century English afts Arts and Crafts movement. Its goal: to to everyday sow beauty into life. e’s idealistic prinThe collective’s unstwerk (total work ciple, Gesamtkunstwerk ed from the Vienna of art), adopted Secession, has been taken to heart by co-curator Christian Witt-Döram has created three ring, whose team eue Galerie that imrooms at the Neue merse visitors in the modern aesa in the early 1900s. thetic of Vienna ng to be dipped in “You are going three differentt atmospheres goe exhibition,” Witting through the n a tour of the show, Dörring said on which eschewss labels in favor of h room to guide visibooklets in each eate an atmosphere tors. “I first create en read a label or a before you even text. You are putt in this atmosphere and then you start questioning.” es get the better of Let your senses you and allow itt to seep in. “Every Wienerr Werkstätte exhibd as a total work of it was designed art. That’s whatt we wanted to create here. A totall work of art means they dealt with every aspect of the he architecture to arts — from the

Josef Hoffmann ((1870-1956). Table, 1904. Execution:: Wiener Werksta¨tte. th pores chalked white; Ebonized oak with lver-plated mounts. boxwood inlay, silver-plated itute of Art. The Minneapolis Institute nwoody Fund William Hood Dunwoody

IF YOU GO WHAT: “Wiener Werkstätte, 1903-1932: The Luxury of Beauty” WHERE: Neue Galerie New York, 1048 Fifth Ave. (at 86th Street) WHEN: through January 29 www.neuegalerie.org/

interior decoration to jewelry to graphic design.” Faithful to the concept, there’s silverware, ceramics, glass works, furniture, lamps, leatherwork, metalwork, textiles, wallpaper, friezes, postcards and architectural models and design drawings displayed in tall vitrines that line the walls and in n free-standing cases, some e of them hand-paint-edwith ed with florall

decorations. The more than 400 objects and their distinct environments illustrate the design group’s full range and evolving aesthetic. The first, very austere room pays tribute to the early production — the “Founding Years” from 1903 to 1905 — when black-and-white designs and the simple geometric forms of Josef Hoffmann Hoffmann for the luxury market ruled. The second room, showcasing products from the “Harvesting Years” from 1906 to the outbreak of World War I in 1914, introduces color and ornamentation and bears witness to the beginning of mass-produced goods like postcards and fabrics. The third room, WittDörring’s favorite, is devoted to the later production — the “Years of Reinvention” from 1915 to the liquidation of the firm in 1932 — when exclusive, one-of-a-kind

Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956) Centerpiece, 1924. Execution: Wiener Werksta¨tte Brass. Minneapolis Institute of Art. The Modernism Collection, gift of Norwest Bank Minnesota pieces in gold, silver and semi-precious stones increasingly gave way to cheaper, mass-produced items in glass, ceramics, wood and paper. (No worries, though, luxury was hardly dead as the silver bottle-stoppers attest.) As the curator said: “In 1914, this world that was enabling this kind of luxury production collapses. The country is suffering an economic disaster. There’s no food, no heating material. The haute bourgeoisie that was the main clientele of this production lost most of its money because they were signing up for war bonds. That was all problematic, so [the workshops] have to reinvent themselves, which leads us to the last room.” Because of conscription, the Wiener Werkstätte lost most of its male craftsmen; next generation designers like Dagobert Peche were drafted. In response to the talent drain and scarcity of materials, in 1916 the group established artists’ workshops on the premises, which were dominated by women, and started making ceramics, which until then had been outsourced. “It’s the beginning of expression-

ist ceramic production,” Witt-Dörring said. Female artists also began creating their own designs for textiles and fashion accessories. Relics from Vienna’s extravagant Cabaret Fledermaus, established in 1907 with interiors designed by the Wiener Werkstätte, can be seen in the second room and illustrate the group’s early spare-no-expense vision. “This is a program for a production that maybe lasted one week—all hand-printed,” the curator said, surveying the remnants. “Hoffmann designed the famous Fledermaus chair for it in bentwood. bentwood It was this idea that the quality has to be in every detail. They brought the cook from Paris to produce the meals in the cabaret” and designed the gravy boats, serving dishes, cutlery and more. “It’s wonderful this saucepot.” But a parallel aesthetic developed in response to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after defeat in World War I and the subsequent loss of the empire’s markets. The Arts and Crafts philosophy, which elevated functional items into works of art, was called into question and an effort was made to appeal to a wider audience. “A small class of major industrialists serving as patrons was increasingly replaced by the broad class of bourgeois customers,” Witt-Dörring writes in the lavishly illustrated catalog. Form and function were no longer married. “Either it’s art or it has to function,” he said, invoking Dagobert Peche. Hence the reemergence of old techniques, like overlay glass, and retro styles — tea services with baroque shapes and handles. As he concluded about an ornate centerpiece designed by Hoffmann, circa 1924: “Designers were not afraid of the old styles any more. They could be inspired by them again and create something new from them. It’s like a piece of Rococo. You could buy it in brass or silver.”


NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

13

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

BIRDMAN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 the intersection of Seventh Avenue, Charles Street, and Waverly Place. “Whatever is in my head, I build it,” he said. Frank Crapanzano, 83, a close friend and neighbor of Mele’s, maintains McCarthy Square. Crapanzano began adding shrubbery and benches to spruce up the barren ground surrounding the historic World War II monument, a square flagstaff base with an inscription that reads “Brave Men and Worth, Patriots Dear to God, And Famous to All Ages.” Soon, Mele wanted to contribute too. “It’s like our backyard,” Crapanzano said. One of Mele’s first installations was an exact replica of the adjacent red apartment complex where he lives. Meticulous, Mele left nothing out, from the corner stop sign to the olive awning. “Everybody in the neighborhood went crazy!” Crapanzano recalls. “I was awed. I didn’t know he could do this!” People began taking pictures and asking questions as speculation grew about the birdhouse’s masterful creator. Within hours of its installation, the masterpiece was stolen, then found, and then stolen again last year — that time for good (or until Mele finishes the new replica he’s been painstakingly working on). Just like his birdhouses, Mele himself is a West Village staple. Every morning he wakes up at 5:30, drinks a Budweiser (he corrects himself, “Just kidding ... coffee!”) and roams the neighborhood with his four Siberian huskies. His four cats have to stay at home. “Everyone here knows me, they say hi to me, and that’s it!” he says with a thick, New York accent. In testimony to his straightforward attitude, Mele has a habit of ending sentences with “that’s it” or “that’s what it is.” A native New Yorker, Mele (whose last name at birth was Baley) took his first breath in the former St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center in 1951. “Everything in life goes around full circle. You wind up exactly where you were born, and it’s exactly where you’re going to die,” he jokes. He has lived in the West Village for 29 years. “I didn’t grow up like a normal kid would,” he recalled. While most kids would get a job “delivering newspapers or cutting lawns,” he said, “I went out and I had to be a big shot.” At the age of 15, Mele secured a job as a commercial fisherman in Montauk.

Vincent Mele working on the Limitone Salon renovation, right across from his apartment and birdhouses. Photo: Carson Kessler Shortly after, Mele joined the Marine Corps, a 17-year experience he prefers not to discuss. He soon returned to his work as a commercial fisherman, spending his workdays on the waters in Montauk and his free time dabbling in oil paints and carpentry work. He continued his work as a commercial fisherman until the audacious Marian Mele waltzed into his life. “Some woman from Greenwich Village came to Montauk and decided that she was going to make me her husband and that was the end of it,” he says. “I never went back to fishing. I left everything on the boat.” Within six months of their encounter, the two were married — and he took her last name. After Mele moved back to the West Village, his ingenuity for carpentry took center stage. He nonchalantly rattles off a few of his gigs — stagehand at NY1, carpenter at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and head carpenter at Radio City Music Hall for the iconic Christmas show. Now retired, Mele still finds himself doing odd jobs around the neighborhood. From designing a CD wall for Nobu Downtown to his current renovation of the Salon Limitone, he still finds time to tend to his birdhouses. “When they start to look a little shabby, I’ll just telephone Frank and a build a new one,” he casually explains. “That’s it.”

Mele prefers to use whatever he has on hand to ensure the birdhouses are kept interesting. To make it even more challenging, he very rarely uses metallics, which includes screws and nails. For many, building a three-story log cabin birdhouse out of an old beer skid seems unconventional. For Mele, “that’s just what it is.” Given the right time and equipment, Mele can build a birdhouse of this size in a mere two days. The birdhouses range from a Grecian temple to a water mill to the beloved Charles Street apartment replica. “Anything he does with his hands is incredible,” Crapanzano raved. “His hands are blessed.” Unplanned and unpredictable, the birdhouse man’s spontaneous creations continue to excite, and confuse, neighbors. “They’re very cute,” Andrew Drushilowsky said. Leslie Heimlich referred to the houses as “a little strange” because there are “just so many of them.” “It gives other people a little bit of enjoyment,” Mele said about his park contributions. “Make ‘em a little happy. It don’t hurt.” What is next for Mele? “Death!” he snickers under his breath. “Being peaceful, that’s about it. Maybe one day I’ll get a little recognition, and somebody will know who I am.”

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

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NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS

The City Bakery

3 West 18 Street

Grade Pending (49) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours. 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

OCT 20- NOV 1, 2017 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. Five Iron Golf

138 5Th Ave

A

Dunkin’ Donuts

101 West 23 Street

A

Hollywood Diner

574 6 Avenue

A

Village Natural

46 Greenwich Ave

Pecorino

197 7Th Ave

Not Yet Graded (36) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewageassociated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Grade Pending (22) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. 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.

El Temerario

198 8Th Ave

Grade Pending (20) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. 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.

Meatball Obsession

510 Avenue Of The Americas

A

Intelligentsia Coffee

180 10 Avenue

A

Rasa

25 W 8Th St

A

Dunkin’ Donuts

544 6Th Ave

A

Mexicue

160 8Th Ave

Grade Pending (24) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Elephant & Castle

68 Greenwich Avenue

A

Boston Market

273 West 23 Street

A

Zagara Wine Bar

216 7Th Ave

Grade Pending (25) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Westville

246 West 18 Street

Grade Pending (26) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Bar

457 West 17 Street

Grade Pending (40) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, crosscontaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Coppelia Cuban Luncheonette

207 West 14 Street

Grade Pending (40) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Magnolia Bakery

401 Bleecker Street

A

Caffe Vivaldi

32 Jones Street

A

Lelabar

422 Hudson Street

A

Anfora

34 8 Avenue

A

Skinny’s Satay

353 W 14Th St

A

Maman

837 Washington St

Closed By Health Department(22) Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewageassociated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

The Rail Line Diner

400 West 23 Street

Grade Pending (47) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/ sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies.

Google-Truck Pit

111 8 Avenue

A

Papa Kebab

361 West 17 Street

A

Pizza Italia

307 W 17Th St

Grade Pending (39) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, crosscontaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewageassociated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Blue Bottle Coffee

450 W 15Th St

A

Hot N Juicy Crawfish

243 W 14Th St

Not Yet Graded (19) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Dunkin Donuts

225 7Th Ave

A

Green Symphony

547 6 Avenue

A

The Dish Restaurant

201 8 Avenue

A

Don Angie

103 Greenwich Ave

Not Yet Graded (23) Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewageassociated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.


NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

15

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST The local paper for the Upper East Side

April 6

April 14

‘CITIZEN JANE’ DOCUMENTARY PROFILES URBAN ACTIVIST PLANNING A timely new film spotlights the groundbreaking author of ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’ BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, center, joined with the Manhattan Borough president, Gale Brewer, third from left, and the Park’s Department’s commissioner, Mitchell Silver, fourth from right, and Girl Scouts to announce plans for the placement of a monument honoring the suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in the Central Park Mall. Photo: Sophie Herbut

A MONUMENTAL ACHIEVEMENT THE VOTE A century after women won the right to vote in New York, Central Park will get its first monument dedicated to real women. BY SOPHIE HERBUT

It took almost 70 years following the Seneca Falls Convention for women to get the right to vote in New York. It took a hundred years after that for there to be a plan for a monument to real women in Central Park. This week officials announced that a monument of the suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony would be placed in the Mall. On Monday, the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote in New York State, the city parks commissioner, Mitchell Silver, was joined in the Mall by several people who have been instrumental in selecting the spot and raise funds for the monuments. “It’s about time,” one of those attending the event responded when he announced the plan for the statues. “Behind me, on the Central Park Mall, in a few years, the Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Monument will stand on the sight right behind us,” Silver said. The Parks Department and

The Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Statue Fund opened call for artists to submit designs for the monument. Silver drew attention to the fact that there are just four statues of real women in all parks across the city, with three them erected within in the last 20 years. There are none in Central Park. Parks and Statue Fund officials settled on the Mall because of the traffic and visibility. “We started about three years ago, discussing this,” said Gale Brewer, the Manhattan Borough president. “And we found different spots in the park that we did not like.” The speakers all agreed on one thing: the monument will be symbolic for not only how far women’s rights have come, but how much more needs to be achieved. “The right to vote did not grant equality,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said. “We are still struggling to be paid equally and be treated respectfully without harassment in the workplace.” U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney said she spent her time in Congress fighting for rights women have already won. “I’m not surprised that there’s such an anti-woman movement in Congress. Where harassment, up until recently, was treated almost as part of the job,” Maloney said. “Where

you reported rape and harassment [and] they never did anything. Now all of a sudden, they’re waking up and they say they’re going to prosecute. Well, let’s see.” She echoed other speakers in urging women and men to continue fighting for the Equal Rights Amendment. The great-great-granddaughter of Cady Stanton, Coline Jenkins, who is the vice president with the Statue Fund, said the statue represents a mass movement and the “greatest bloodless revolution.” She gave Silver a replica of the women’s suffrage flag, a gold-white-purple horizontal tricolor flag with stars for every state that ratified the 19th Amendment, which when adopted in 1920 granted women’s right to vote to all who were U.S. citizens. Brewer said the monument, would be likenesses of Stanton and Anthony, it also will include the names of women who were a part of the suffragist movement. It is one of the qualifications for the design the artists have to abide. “I wish I could say the fight is over, but we know it’s not,” Brewer said. “True equality is something we need to fight for.” The monument is also funded by the Girl Scout’s cookies. Specifically, troops 3484 and 3482. “If we keep eating thin mints, we can get things done a lot faster,” Hochul said.

Jane Jacobs, with her signature oval glasses, began a lifelong dedication to fighting urban renewal when plans emerged to continue Fifth Avenue through Washington Square Park. Critics labeled her a “housewife” who couldn’t possibly be more than a fly in the ointment of the project, but Jacobs had been writing and reporting about cities and architecture long before the park was threatened. Her story and the lessons of her groundbreaking book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” are the focus

on April 21 at select theaters. Matt Tyrnauer, the film’s director, and producer Robert Hammond, who is also the executive director of Friends of the High Line, got the idea for the documentary several years ago when they realized there had never been a film about Jacobs before. “We thought we’d be introducing this film about a very brilliant woman who was sort of a seer, a visionary in a lot of ways, and politically active, in an atmosphere when we had the first woman president,” Tyrnauer said at a screening last Thursday. “Much to our surprise, it went the other way. There’s some resonances in the film that maybe were unintended but it’s interesting to see how the public has received them.” Hammond described the film as “a playbook for resistance,” and hopes that viewers will be able to learn from Jacobs how best to fight their battles. “What’s interesting now is people getting out in the street — it’s not just

The local paper for the Upper East Side

April 17

October 10

NO NEWS ON SECOND AVENUE SUBWAY SUBWAYS Four months after the subway line opened, newsstands at the new stations remain vacant BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

It was a New Year’s Eve party a century in the making. One hundred years after the Second Avenue subway was first proposed, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio and other dignitaries rang in 2017 at an invitation-only soiree in the new station beneath 72nd Street, enjoying hors d’oeuvres and drinks as the Q train took its inaugural trip on the new line. Memorably, a pristine

zanine was repurposed into a bar, with bottles of beer from New York breweries lining the shelves in place of candy and magazines. The newsstands in the Second Avenue stations haven’t been put to use since. Nearly four months after the turnstiles started spinning in New York’s newest subway stations, the Metropolitan Transit Authority has yet to contract a vendor to operate four newsstands on the Second Avenue line. Black kiosks branded with the MTA’s Second Avenue subway logo sit shuttered and empty on station platforms as riders wait for trains to arrive. Anyone in need of a cold

The local paper for the Upper West Side

August 17

October 30

A NEW TEA HOUSE COMES TO THE UWS Silence, light and art are the hallmarks of a tranquil space on West 72nd Street BY ELISSA SANCI

Each morning, Elina Medvedeva starts her day by sitting in silence and drinking

tea at Floating Mountain, the recently-opened tea house she co-owns with business partner Roza Gazarian on West 72nd Street between Broadway and West End Avenue. She believes that a silent tea bowl ceremony is the proper way to start the day, and so, from 11 a.m. to noon, she sits cross-legged on

FI R S T I N YOU R N E I G H BO R H O O D

(212) 868-0190


16

NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Business

FROLIC CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING WITH A BARK Kids can bond with service dogs at this new Upper East Side spot BY CHARMAINE P. RICE

It’s an animal lover’s dream on First Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets. For cat owners, there’s Feline Health, a cat-centric veterinary practice.

Taking Patience through the agility course. Photo courtesy of Frolic

Right next door is Biscuits & Bath, the popular doggy day care and wellness center. And on October 3, Frolic Kids joined the furry fray, opening its doors to welcome kids and their parents. Launched by Biscuits & Bath, Frolic Kids offers educational programming geared to children ages 4 to 12, with space for hosting birthday parties and special events. The heart of Frolic’s programming is centered on the service dogs adopted from the Guide Dog Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Smithtown, Long Island that has trained and placed guide and service dogs for over 70 years. The Frolic dogs include Patience, a yellow lab Golden Retriever mix, and Galileo, a black lab. Two more dogs are slated to join the Frolic family. “Patience and Galileo are service dogs and [are trained] to help people with special needs. Though these dogs did not obtain the certification needed to become service dogs, they were raised as working dogs and we want them to keep that honor,” explained Lina Lerentracht, Frolic’s director. “These dogs formally undergo what is known as a “canine career change” and they are going to be utilized in programming for kids.”

Lerentracht holds a master’s degree in child development and early childhood education. Prior to overseeing Frolic’s programming, she ran her own day care center in Brooklyn for 16 years and is an experienced volunteer with animal rescue groups, having fostered more than 40 dogs in the past year. To get the word out, Lerentracht canvassed in the immediate area, going to nearby schools, local shops and attending events geared to kids all over the city. “I literally attended every kid event this summer,” said Lerentracht. “Word of mouth has been great. The first birthday party we hosted came from a Biscuits & Bath client and the one following that came from a school administrator who I reached out to. We’re now booked through November and December.” An open house on Halloween allowed kids and their parents to come in, trick-or-treat, meet the dogs and tour the space. During the birthday parties, Lerentracht begins with explaining Frolic’s mission and how the dogs are adopted from the Guide Dog Foundation, followed by a brief lesson on how to properly approach a dog. A stuffed animal dog is on hand to allow more jittery

Kids and dogs at Frolic Kids. Photo courtesy of Frolic kids to practice before Patience and Galileo are brought out by their trainers who remain alongside the dogs throughout the party. The dogs demonstrate their learned behaviors including sitting, staying, turning on the lights, opening the door, and giving kids high-fives. Kids have the opportunity to take the dogs through an agility course. Photo-ops and a dance party further encourage the kids to interact directly with the dogs. Frolic offers an “Ambassadorship Program” for kids who love dogs, eager to learn more, and potentially explore future career paths working with dogs. Kids are designated as ambassadors after completing the program’s three levels.

For the younger set, smaller classes comprised of three or four kids include “Tea time with Patience,” which gives them the opportunity to have a tea party and cuddle with Patience. “Hero day with Galileo” encourages kids to put on superhero outfits while they learn about all the heroic things Galileo is trained to do, such as open doors, turn on the lights, and bring things to people. Frolic recently hosted an event with a local Girls Scout troop who made signs for a local adoption event and decorated dog collars for a rescue group. “Unleash your inner dog is our motto,” said Lerentracht. “Kids can come here and have fun while learning about dogs.”

NEIGHBORHOOD SIDE STREETS sideways.nyc

MEET 14TH STREET

LILLA P 420 WEST 14TH STREET I have been wearing Lilla P t-shirts for years and years, purchasing them whenever I came across one in stores that carried the brand. So I was absolutely thrilled to encounter Lilla P’s first boutique during my initial Sideways walk on West 14th Street back in 2012. Five years later, I had the pleasure of meeting Pauline Nakios, the owner and creator of this casual, feminine line of clothing. Lilla P exudes warmth through the soft colors in the space, the charming women who work there and the welcoming, cozy atmosphere Pauline has designed, in which shoppers can relax and try on her clothing. For more photos and side streets, go to sideways.nyc


NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

17

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

        

 

    

 

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18

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

NOVEMBER 9-15,2017

NONPROFIT BUYS INDEPENDENCE HOUSE HOUSING Planned rent increase has tenants fearful, but city officials say no one will pay more than 30 percent of income BY SOPHIE HERBUT

Some tenants of Independence House have been there since the final brick was laid on the West 94th Street development. The building has provided affordable housing for middleclass earners since 1967. Tenants have experienced many changes in that time, including, recently, three ownership and management changes within a few years. Many now fear they may no longer be able to live there. Independence House, a 120-unit building on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue, has been bought by a nonprofit, the West Side Federation for Seniors and Supportive Housing, with the help of a grant from the city’s Housing Preservation and Development Department. WSFSSH, which owns 26 affordablehousing developments in the city, most of them on the Upper West Side, recently received approval from the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to raise rents 221 percent, which city officials said was necessary to, paradoxically, keep rents at a mini-

mum by allowing the nonprofit’s owners to maximize payments and other benefits from state and federal sources, including through the Section 8 subsidy program, and keep tenants’ rents at the maximum of 30 percent of their income. WSFSSH’s executive director, Paul Freitag, said the nonprofit was committed to keeping rents affordable and said tenants should be more at ease in the coming months. “We’re going to have tenants see their rents go down by a couple hundred dollars,” he said. Tenants, though, are skeptical and are fighting the increase in court. “As a senior, we don’t want to be forced to sign a lease we can’t afford,” said Genovia Wheeler, an Independence House tenant since it opened. Wheeler detailed how four leases came to her door, one slightly different than the other. She said the way the rent hikes are being presented has made tenants nervous. Jack Lester, the attorney representing the Independence House Tenants’ Association, called the rent hike “illegal” because it did not follow statutory obligations stipulated by the state’s Mitchell-Lama affordable-housing program. Accordingly, he said, rents are supposed to be based on cost and projected profits of the management company, with increases determined by subsidies received, costs incurred and some financial return to ownership. Lester said the planned rent in-

crease “is not supported by any legitimate rationale.” Freitag dismissed those allegations, saying WSFSSH had submitted a budget-based rent increase to city officials, who in turn facilitated an increase in Section 8-eligible apartments. WSFSSH closed on the property two weeks ago. Freitag said contractors have begun doing exploratory work on about $10 million in needed infrastructure renovations, including the building’s roof apartment interiors. The previous owners, an LLC with ties to a Maine concern, were said to be exploring how to take the building out of affordable housing. A deal was subsequently brokered to allow WSFSSH to buy the development. A confidentiality agreement precludes WSFSSH from disclosing its purchase price, but Freitag said it amounted to 80 percent of market value. City officials said that although the building was eligible to come out of the Mitchell-Lama housing program, which helps keep rents below marketrate by providing building owners tax breaks and other benefits, Independence House will remain in the program for 40 years, although Freitag said the building would remain affordable for much longer. “Independence House will be acquired by a reputable non-profit developer and will receive much-needed rehabilitation of all of the develop-

ment’s major systems,” a spokesman for the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development said in an email before WSFSSH closed on the building. “Notwithstanding the officially stated increase, because of subsidies, no tenant will have more than a 2.5% increase in rent, while some tenants will actually experience a rent reduction. Additionally, the terms include a guarantee that for the next 20 years, no tenant will pay more than 30% of their income towards rent.” According to a transcript of her deposition in the court action by tenants fighting the rent increases, Gale Brewer, the Manhattan Borough president, said rents at Independence House needed to be “restructured” to insure that all of the building’s tenants, and not just its Section 8-eligible renters, would be spared increases they could not afford. “In this way, WSFSSH could provide rental assistance to the non-Section 8 tenants, keeping their rent at no more than thirty percent of their income,” Brewer said. WSFSSH bought the 12-story building with the help of a $25 million city grant that had initially been earmarked for new construction. The grant came from a $50 million payment from the Collegiate School to the city. The school made the payment in exchange for city approval for a new complex at Riverside South. It had initially proposed build-

Independence House, a 120-unit building on the corner of Amsterdam Avenue and West 94th Street, was recently bought by a nonprofit. Photo: Sophie Herbut ing affordable nearby but that plan and another fizzled. Lester said he was highly skeptical of that arrangement. “This is the smoking gun,” he said. “This is just money lining pockets.” Told of Lester’s contention, Freitag reiterated that tenants would not pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent. He said that tenants that don’t qualify for Section 8, WSFSSH would offer what he called a Landlord Assistance Program, a 20-year legal agreement that has the added benefits of Section 8 without the government subsidies. For now, pending resolution of the court action, the rent increases are on hold.

APPEALS FILED TO BLOCK 200 AMSTERDAM TOWER BUILDINGS Two groups, fearing similar “inappropriate developments,” file challenges to DOB building permit BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Two Upper West Side groups have filed appeals with the city in an effort to block the construction of a 668-foot residential tower at 200 Amsterdam Ave. that would be the tallest building on the Upper West Side. Work on the controversial 55-story luxury condominium development was halted over the summer by the Department of Buildings in response to an earlier zoning challenge, but in late September the agency lifted the hold and issued the project a building permit. Two groups opposing the tower, the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development and Landmark West, have now filed appeals with the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals in hopes of overturning the DOB’s decision to allow construction of the tower, which they claim would not fit the neighborhood’s scale or context.

The Board of Standards and Appeals has not yet announced a hearing date on the matter, which could take months to resolve. In the meantime, construction can proceed on the tower. Olive Freud, the president of the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, said she hopes to obtain an injunction halting work until the board decides the appeal. In its appeal, Freud’s group requested that the agency expedite its review of the matter, citing its expectation that, barring an injunction, “construction will proceed as rapidly as possible in a ‘race to the finish line’” with the appeal. The board, which is the city agency responsible for ruling on appeals of zoning determinations, consists of five commissioners appointed by the mayor. “So you have long odds whenever you go to Department of Buildings, but we feel we have a very good case,” said George Janes, a planning consultant who has worked on the case with Freud’s group. The case against the tower focuses on the massive, irregularly shaped zoning lot that the building would occupy. The tower itself would occupy just a small portion of the zoning lot, at

the former site of Lincoln Square Synagogue, near Amsterdam Avenue and 69th Street, but the lot itself is significantly larger — a 110,000-square-foot parcel that stretches across much of the block. As Landmark West’s appeal states, the zoning lot “ties together irregularly shaped pieces of existing tax lots with long, extremely narrow, corridors,” meandering from the site of the proposed tower all the way to West End Avenue. The lot’s footprint winds between and around the high-rises of the neighboring Lincoln Towers housing complex to include thousands of square feet of open space on the interior of the block, including walkways, driveways and parking spaces used by Lincoln Towers residents. The building derives its exceptional height from this open space — there are no absolute height limits in the zoning district, and developers can build taller buildings by including more open space in a zoning lot. The groups opposing the tower argue that the zoning lot was improperly formed and does not meet the definition of a zoning lot because it consists of portions of several tax lots, which they contend the law does

Council Member Helen Rosenthal (right), pictured here at a May 2017 rally against the planned 668-foot residential tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue, is backing an effort to appeal the tower’s building permit. Photo: Office of Helen Rosenthal not permit. A spokesperson for the developer, SJP Properties, said the application was given “an exhaustive review and subsequent audit” by DOB. “In fact, it is the same zoning that was employed by three other completed buildings on the same block: 170 Amsterdam, 200 West End Avenue, and the Lincoln Square Synagogue. Upon receiving all necessary building permits on September 27, we commenced construction for 200 Amsterdam,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “We look forward to continuing to efficiently and safely complete a building that will be a great addition to the neigh-

borhood. We remain committed to working closely with neighborhood and community officials throughout this process.” The appeals mark the latest development in a months-long effort to block the tower’s construction. Sean Khorsandi, the executive director of Landmark West, said that if the project proceeds, it could pave the way for other developers to make use of irregularly shaped zoning lots to build taller buildings on the Upper West Side. “We feel that this could be the first of many inappropriate developments if this goes through,” Khorsandi said.


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After last week’s deadly terror attack downtown, many New Yorkers worried about security in the city as the New York City Marathon approached. But amid all the apprehension, millions of spectators lined the streets of Staten Island, Brooklyn and Manhattan on Sunday — and almost 51,000 runners gave the city something to cheer about. “It’s the world’s marathon,” said Jammie ZurSchmiede, 39, a marketing manager who flew in in from Grand Rapids, MI, to meet her longtime college friend Sarah Vander Wal, 38, to run the race together, along with 50,766 other participants from across the globe. On Nov. 5, runners lined up on Staten Island, then crossed the Verrazano-Narrows bridge and ran through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn. After crossing the Queensboro Bridge, they looped around 59th into First Avenue, where runners are rumored to find their second wind. “It’s pure adrenaline,” ZurSchmiede said. And that’s where hundreds of spectators gathered to cheer on the runners. Ringing their

cowbells, holding up signs quoting the famous Forrest Gump line “Run Forrest, Run,” shaking bright pom-poms, and even parading around the blown-up faces of the runner they supported, fans went wild despite pouring rain at the 16th mile. Cheering friends and family weren’t the only ones on the sidelines. Police officers sporting bullet-proof vests stood at their post on one short stretch of the marathon. In a statement released from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s office, he said that thousands of officers would be deployed last weekend to ensure the safety and security of the estimated 2.5 million spectators and runners. NYPD Chief of Department Carlos Gomez said the event would be protected by rooftop observation teams with snipers. Among the heavily patrolled area stood many friends and fans of the marathon. Rana Meyer, 41, had been coming to the marathon for almost 11 years to support all the runners. This year she even sported a green sign reading “Run Rachel, Run” for her friend Rachel Chang, 40, who is doing the NYC marathon for the second time. “I usually always come anyways to watch. It’s exciting to see all these amazing people,” Meyer said. “I don’t know how they do it ... on the news they show the map of the whole

route ... it’s inspiring to see all these other people doing it.” As Meyer cheered and waved her sign, Chang ran up, cellphone in hand, and snapped a quick selfie with Meyer. Chang thanked her and kept running in order to beat her time from the previous year. Whether people ran to achieve a dream, beat a personal time or just better themselves, the marathon also was an opportunity to raise money for charity. Sarah Vander Wal raised $3,200 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. All the runners who ran for the foundation collectively raised around $600,000. In preparation for the marathon, Vander Wal said the biggest challenge was finding the time to train. Vander Wal, who divides her time as a CEO of Open America Project and owning her own company, Cultura Colectiva, flying back and forth between New Mexico and New York, said she woke up at the crack of dawn to run four times a week and do two days of cross-training to build up her strength. But even with the pain and sacrifice, Vander Wal said the marathon was worth it. When running through the different boroughs, she got to see how each New Yorker celebrated. “You get to see the spirit of the neighborhood,” she said. “Running is bountiful in the gift that it gives you.”


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YOUR 15 MINUTES

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KEEPING THE UPPER EAST SIDE IN STEP Founder and director of Dance Workshop New York on her new studio BY ANGELA BARBUTI

As the daughter of a dance teacher, Nanci Grasso she was born into studio life. At two-and-a-half, she started dancing at her mother’s on Long Island. “And when I wasn’t dancing, I was soaking up every aspect of the business,” she said. Since dance was an inherent part of her being, she didn’t consider it a future profession, and went on to attend FIT, eventually becoming a celebrity stylist. She did, though, continue to keep a foot on the dance floor, traveling back to Lynbrook to teach for her mother. Two years ago, she moved to the Upper East Side and fell in love with the neighborhood. But it was lacking something — a dance studio for the neighborhood’s youth. So, last year, she took a leap, and opened Dance Workshop New York on East 64th Street, right off of Lexington. Offering classes in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hip hop and pointe, the studio’s focus is children. But the studio also hosts tap and ballet classes for adults and Grasso plans to start offering fitness classes as well. Along with managing the studio, Rossi teaches several hours a day, six to seven days a week. She wouldn’t have it any other way. The 31-yearold spoke of the rewards of watching long-term students grow and getting to play an intimate role in their lives. “That coming of age with them is a one-of-a-kind experience,” she said.

How did your mom get her start in the business? She is from Brooklyn originally and then migrated to Rosedale, Queens. She grew up dancing at a local studio. And very early on, I would say at around 11 years old, she started working at that studio so she could barter dance classes. And then it grew from there. Probably by the time she was 16, she was really teaching and then started helping with the administrative aspects of this woman’s studio in Queens. And by the time she was 21, she decided to take the plunge and open her own studio and that’s when she opened on Long Island. Did you ever think you’d have your own studio one day? I think that studio life was just such a part of my being that I didn’t think about it, really. It was my life and our

family business. I didn’t separate it from myself and always aspired to work in fashion, so that was really the goal. However, I danced almost every day all through my childhood, up until high school and college. But I wanted to work in the fashion industry and ended up doing that.

What was your experience like at FIT? Tell us about the career that followed. I majored in fashion business there. And obviously living in Greenwich Village, I soon realized I needed to start working to support every aspect of city life. I was going to school full time and took a job at Intermix as a salesperson. And that quickly led to my first job as a stylist. At 19, I started working for CBS Watch Magazine. And I was styling celebrities for editorials, cover shoots, red carpets, press junkets and doing that for many years. Simultaneously, I started teaching for my mother on Long Island. I couldn’t really quit either thing; I was really passionate about both.

When did you decide to open your own studio? I would say probably about five years ago, I decided to fully commit myself to my mom’s business and we became co-directors. And I really started building that business and falling in love with it.

How did you choose the Upper East Side as its location? I moved to the Upper East Side two years ago and was loving my neighborhood. I started to think, “Wow, we need a dance studio here.” We really needed a neighborhood place for children to call home and report into every week with friendly faces. I would say I signed two leases within six months, my personal lease and then I found a place on 64th Street and it happened at lightning speed. It was probably just meant to be.

As far as your demographic, are there a lot of local students or do they travel to get there? I would say primarily our base is local, however, because there are so many schools on the Upper East Side, we do have students who go to school up here, take their dance classes after school by us, and then go home and that may be Chelsea or Midtown, it depends.

How involved is your mother in the city studio? What are the pros and cons to working with her?

Nanci Grasso at her dance studio on East 64th Street. Photo: Dance Workshop New York  I would say there are all pros. We are extremely close and I couldn’t imagine doing this without her. She has been my mentor as a woman and as a business owner. And she has loved every second of opening this business, so she’s in the city quite a bit. She’s based on Long Island and still has her studio there, 39 years strong, and I’m still teaching there as well.

for dancing in front of 300 people and ease that fear. That’s been such a special thing; to be part of someone’s wedding day is just really wonderful. Any time we have the opportunity to work with a couple, we jump on it, because it’s just priceless.

You also teach classes to couples who are getting married.

We’re actually going to have our first event in a couple of weeks. We partnered with them and we’ll go back and forth between hosting events at our location and then hosting events at the different satellites of the New York Public Library. And the idea is to increase interest in both our studio and the library and the wonderful, free opportunities that they have. So es-

That’s been a really great thing for us. Obviously for a wedding couple, their first dance can be a bit scary. So we try to assist in that respect. So they’ll typically bring in their wedding song and we can choreograph something elaborate for them or just give them the basics to prepare them

On your Instagram page, there was a recent post about a partnership with the library. Explain what that entails.

sentially, we’ll be incorporating some creative movement and dancing to their book readings at their locations and then they’ll be coming to us to do some readings and storytime. And our dancers and friends-this is open to the public as well-will be able to get their library cards. We’re really focusing on kids from 2 to 6 and are just so thrilled to partner with such a great organization and be part of such a special thing. www.danceworkshopny.com

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CROSSWORD

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Downtowner 1

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