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END TO E-BIKE BAN IN SIGHT? STREETS Electric bicycles and electric scooters could soon be legalized on New York City streets BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal moderated the candidates’ forum at Goddard Riverside Community Center. Photo: Erica Overton

4 KEY ISSUES AT PUBLIC ADVOCATE FORUM POLITICS Big turnout for give-and-take with 13 candidates vying to succeed Tish James BY RICHARD BARR

When New York City Public Advocate Tish James is sworn in as the new State Attorney General at the beginning of next month, Mayor DeBlasio will call a special election to fill her current office, which is first in line of succession to the Mayor. Candidates will then have a short time to get 7,000 petition signatures, and the election will likely occur in February. Local Manhattan Democratic clubs organized a candidates’ forum last Thursday at the Goddard Riverside Community Center on the UWS, and 13 candidates showed up. Each of them was asked to do a two minute presentation followed by a three

The huge turnout was an inspiring moment in local politics. I am heartened to see that the new sense of civic activism has extended past the midterm elections.” Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal minute Q and A with the audience, a standing-room crowd of about 200 people. Manhattan State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, who is affiliated with Community Free Democrats, the lead organizer of the event, was the moderator. Candidates who participated were: Bronx State Assemblymember Mi-

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For years, electric bicycles have been a significant, if illicit, component of New York City’s street transportation network, favored by food delivery workers and loathed by many pedestrians. But the motorized bikes — now illegal and frequently confiscated by police — could soon become an officially sanctioned mode of transportation under a measure now being considered in the City Council. A package of bills introduced in the City Council on Nov. 28 would legalize not only e-bikes but also e-scooters, and would pave the way for e-scooter sharing services to begin operating in the city. Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, who is a co-sponsor of the bills and the chair of the Council’s transportation committee, cast e-bikes and e-scooters as an efficient and environmentally friendly option for delivery workers, commuters and tourists at a Nov. 28 press conference on the bills. “It’s a safe, green alternative to sitting in traffic, riding the subway or for a quick trip to the bodega,” Rodriguez said. “Most people are not blind to the fact that we have electrical bikes and electrical scooters moving through the city already.” E-bikes that use a throttle, which can travel at speeds of more than 20 mph, are currently banned from city streets. Earlier this year, the city’s Department of Transportation adjusted its rules to permit pedal-assist electric bikes, which have motors that only operate while users are pedaling and

An e-scooter sharing program similar to those operated in San Diego and other cities by companies such as Lime and Bird could soon be given the green light to launch in New York City on a trial basis. Photo courtesy of Lime

“I don’t think vehicles have any place on sidewalks where pedestrians go. I like human-powered vehicles to have their own space apart from motor vehicles, and that’s why we have bike lanes.” Council Member Ben Kallos Downtowner WEEK OF APRIL

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

asphaltgreen.org

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

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

2015

In Brief MORE HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS

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

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

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

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

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typically travel at lower speeds. Rodriguez and other council members co-sponsoring the e-bike legalization bill, including Lower Manhattan representatives Margaret Chin and Carlina Rivera, said that current regulations are unfair to delivery workers, who are predominantly immigrants and against whom police enforcement is often targeted. “We refuse to accept a city that uses overpolicing as a short-sighted Band-Aid

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â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;FEARLESS GIRLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; NO LONGER STARING DOWN â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;BULLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; SYMBOLS Bronze celebrity statue is taken down; no date given for reinstallation at New York Stock Exchange BY KAREN MATTHEWS

The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fearless Girlâ&#x20AC;? statue that inspired millions with her message of female empowerment has been plucked from her spot opposite Wall Streetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;Charging Bullâ&#x20AC;? and will be reinstalled in front of the New York Stock Exchange by the end of the year, officials said Wednesday. The Boston-based financial services ďŹ rm State Street Global Advisors said the sculpture of a deďŹ ant-looking young girl was moved Tuesday night. No date for her reinstallation at the stock exchange was given. A plaque with two footsteps marks the girlâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s former spot on a traffic island near the tip of Manhattan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fearless Girl is

on the move to The New York Stock Exchange,â&#x20AC;? the plaque reads. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Until sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s there, stand for her.â&#x20AC;? The hands-on-hips bronze statue was intended as a temporary display when State Street installed it in March 2017 to encourage corporations to put more women on their boards. City officials extended her stay after she became a favorite with tourists, who lined up for selďŹ es with the 4-foot (130-centimeter) bronze celebrity. One person who was not a fan of the statue was Arturo Di Modica, the artist who created â&#x20AC;&#x153;Charging Bullâ&#x20AC;? and installed it in lower Manhattan in 1989 without permission. Di Modica complained that his 11-foottall bull was meant to embody â&#x20AC;&#x153;strength, power and love,â&#x20AC;? but having â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fearless Girlâ&#x20AC;? face off against his work had turned the bullâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s message into something negative. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The girl is right in front do-

ing this, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Now Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m here, what are you going to do?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Di Modica said last year. City officials, meanwhile, announced in April 2018 they would move both statues about three blocks away to the stock exchange because the crowds of pedestrians clustered around the statues presented a traffic hazard. A spokeswoman for Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said details on when the 11-foot-tall (3-meter-tall) bull would be moved and where exactly it would be placed were not available. Di Modica has maintained the city has no right to unilaterally move â&#x20AC;&#x153;Charging Bull.â&#x20AC;? Noman Siegel, an attorney for the Italy-based artist, said Di Modica had no immediate comment Wednesday on the bullâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s potential relocation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fearless Girlâ&#x20AC;? sculptor Kristen Visbal did not immediately return a call seeking comment on her statueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s move.


DECEMBER 6-12,2018

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG POINTED EXCHANGE

STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 1st precinct for the week ending Nov 25

One shoplifter had a sweet tooth and a sharp needle. At 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 22, an unknown individual entered a bodega at 111 John St. and began taking items of merchandise before attempting to leave the store without paying. A 36-year-old male employee approached the shoplifter, who then displayed a needle, saying “Get back, or I’ll kill you!” The shoplifter then exited through a side door and fled in an unknown direction. The items stolen were ten cartons of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream valued at $64.

Week to Date

LAP TRAP Subway riders, don’t let other passengers sit in your lap. At 10:10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23, a 32-year-old man was riding a southbound 2 train leaving from the 14th Street station when he was approached by an unknown man, who sat on his lap. The man asked the 32-year-old several times, “What is your name?” and ”How are you doing?” The 32-year-old replied, “I’m fine” before asking the other man to leave him alone. He walked to the next car, and later, when he was making a report at the Sterling Street station, discovered that his wallet had been taken during the confrontation on the train.

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

CAUSE FOR ALARM A local boutique may want to install a better alarm system. At 1 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20, a female witness flagged down a police sergeant on patrol and informed the officer that the glass door of the Moncler store at 106 Spring St. was shattered. Later, a reporter at the boutique said that jackets from a coat rack next to the front door had been taken. Apparently, the store alarm never

sounded, as there was no sensor on the door’s glass. All items of merchandise stolen were fashions by Craig Green, some running close to $2,000, making a total stolen of $8,095.

PHOTOGRAPHER ROBBED A young photographer might need an assistant to keep an eye on his gear. At

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Year to Date

2018 2017

% Change

2018

2017

% Change

Murder

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0

n/a

1

9

-88.9

Rape

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0

n/a

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15

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Robbery

1

2

-50.0

70

66

6.1

Felony Assault

0

1

-100.0

53

87

-39.1

Burglary

3

1

200.0

71

62

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Grand Larceny

19

24

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989 955 3.6

Grand Larceny Auto

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6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, a 30-yearold man was standing at the northwest corner of Sullivan and Spring Streets when he placed his camera bag on the ground while he set up his camera’s tripod. When he turned around to get his bag at 6:30 p.m. he discovered it was gone. The items stolen included a 15-inch MacBook Pro laptop valued at $2,000, a Nikon camera body worth $1,500, a Leica camera body priced at $1,500, a Rolleiflex camera body selling for $1,200, a Summicron 90 f28 Leica lens tagged at $800, two Nissin MG8000 flashes costing $800 and

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a Think Tank camera bag worth $399, making a total stolen of $8,799.

LENONO A thief scooped up a laptop from a pop-up shop. At 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 20, an unknown man entered the Chanel pop-up store at 120 Wooster St. and took a laptop off the countertop. The thief had entered through the Wooster Street entrance; it was unknown if the door had been locked. The stolen laptop was a Lenovo ThinkPad valued at $3,000.

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LOCKSMITH E-bikes remain illegal and were conďŹ scated by police over 1,000 times last year, but legislation now under consideration in the City Council would legalize the motorized bicycles. Photo: NYPD, via Twitter

E-BIKES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 for traffic safety reform, especially when the people who are penalized, the delivery workers, end up being the ones with the most to lose,â&#x20AC;? Chin said. But despite the legislatorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; enthusiasm, many e-bike skeptics remain â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has long criticized throttled e-bikes as a safety hazard and has claimed that legalization would require action by the state legislature. (Proponents of the Council legislation dispute this legal analysis and claim that the city can act unilaterally to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters.) The de Blasio administration has attempted to crack down on the use of e-bikes by targeting police enforcement against riders and businesses that employ them. Last year, police conďŹ scated more than 1,000 ebikes citywide. Asked to comment on the Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s e-bike proposal at a separate Nov. 28 press conference, de Blasio cited safety issues posed by delivery riders â&#x20AC;&#x153;going the wrong way on streets, driving recklesslyâ&#x20AC;? and said the city will continue its enforcement efforts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The only way to resolve that issue is in Albany,â&#x20AC;? he added.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;BREAK THE CAR CULTUREâ&#x20AC;? Council Speaker Corey Johnson said he is â&#x20AC;&#x153;excitedâ&#x20AC;? about

the bills and spoke of the need to â&#x20AC;&#x153;break the car culture in New York City,â&#x20AC;? but did not endorse the legislation, explaining that the Council is still in the process of reviewing legal issues relating to the state law. Ben Kallos, who represents much of the Upper East Side in the City Council, said he is still learning about the bills and listening to constituents, but said he has concerns about cyclists sharing bike lanes with motorized e-bikes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I believe there needs to be a place for different types of vehicles,â&#x20AC;? Kallos said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think vehicles have any place on sidewalks where pedestrians go. I like humanpowered vehicles to have their own space apart from motor vehicles, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we have bike lanes.â&#x20AC;? Another bill packaged with the e-bikes legislation would legalize e-scooters. The council is also considering a bill that would allow for a pilot program to test e-scooter sharing services in New York City. The pilot program would prioritize neighborhoods that will be impacted by the shutdown of the L train next year and neighborhoods that are underserved by Citi Bike. In recent years, e-scooters have risen in popularity â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and have faced accompanying backlash â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in San Diego, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and other American cities that host sharing services operated by Bird, Lime and other compa-

nies that allow users to rent battery-powered scooters for a fee. Unlike Citi Bike, the companies do not utilize docks to store e-scooters when they are not being used; rather, users can drop off or pick up e-scooters anywhere. Critics in other cities complain that users ride e-scooters on crowded sidewalks and say the dockless system results in unsightly jumbles of abandoned e-scooters that impede pedestrian traffic. Vandalism of unused e-scooters has become an issue in Los Angeles and elsewhere. Paul Steely White, who recently joined the e-scooter company Bird after previously heading the New York bicycle advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said that e-scooters are an â&#x20AC;&#x153;economical and environmentalâ&#x20AC;? option that complements public transit options and replaces car trips. White said that e-scooters and e-bikes can be safely accommodated within the New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transportation infrastructure. â&#x20AC;&#x153;E-bikes and escooters do not belong on the sidewalk,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;E-scooters and e-bikes must ride in the street, in the bike lane.â&#x20AC;? The Council legislation would cap the speed of e-scooters at 15 mph. E-bikes would be limited to 20 mph. The Councilâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transportation committee expects to schedule a hearing on the bills by early next year.

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

MARBLE COLLEGIATE CHURCH ADVENT CONCERT

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

Let Heaven and Nature Sing EDITOR’S PICK

Tue 11 ‘CAUGHT IN THE WEB: UNRAVELING THE COMPLEXITY OF SPIDER SILK GENES’

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9 AT 2:30PM Choirs and Orchestra, Kenneth Dake, director

Event listings brought to you by Marble Collegiate Church. 1 West 29th Street / New York, New York 10001 212 686 2770 / MarbleChurch.org Download the Marble Church App on iPhone or Android

New York Genome Center, 101 Sixth Ave. 4 p.m. Free nygenome.org 646-977-7000 Dr. Cheryl Hayashi will trace the history of advances made in characterizing spider silks, one of the most varied and fascinating natural materials on earth. Their remarkable mechanical properties have made them a prime area of study for many scientists, and their unique structure has provided the basis for breakthroughs in materials technology, textiles, and even architecture.

Thu 6

Fri 7

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JESSI REAVES ON ‘SARAH LUCAS: AU NATUREL’

WRITERS IN PERFORMANCE: LONGING

► LOWER EAST SIDE STREET TREE CARE

New Museum 235 Bowery 3 p.m. Free Outside the Box offers gallery-based talks given by guest speakers addressing the New Museum’s major fall exhibition, “Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel.” Join Jessi Reaves, whose work has been featured at the Whitney, Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art and elsewhere for this week’s talk. newmuseum.org 212-219-1222

BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, 199 Chambers St. 7:30 p.m. Free The Writers in Performance workshop is designed to give writers a chance to perform their written pieces. Playwrights, poets, monologists, writers of prose, and spoken word artists come together to create performance pieces out of their work. tribecapac.org 212-220-1460

Mulberry Street and Kenmare Street 9 a.m. Free Come work with NYC Parks Stewardship and Goods Mart to care for local street trees. Volunteers will learn how to aerate, cultivate, mulch, and identify street trees. They will also learn about the important role trees play in the city. Dress in clothes that can get dirty and wear closed-toed shoes. nycgovparks.org 718-392-5232


DECEMBER 6-12,2018

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

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â&#x2013;˛ ADVENT CONCERT: LET HEAVEN AND NATURE SING

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Marble Collegiate Church, Fifth Avenue at 29th Street 2:30 p.m. $40/$20 student Encounter the mystery of this sacred season with The Marble Choir, Festival of Voices, and the Chamber Orchestra directed by Kenneth Drake. Inspirational readings and dance enhance this holiday program. marblechurch.org 212-686-2770

New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, 8 West Eighth St. 6:30 p.m. $30 Laurie Anderson is one of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most renowned and daring creative pioneers, best known for her multimedia presentations and innovative use of technology. She will be joined by William Kentridge, a South African artist known for his drawings, ďŹ lms, theatre and opera productions, at this thought-provoking talk. nyss.org 212-673-6466

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IKECHUKWU UFOMADU: IKE FOR THE HOLIDAYS Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pub at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. 7:30 p.m. $15 After hitting venues all over town with his eponymous shows â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ike By Chance,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Inspector Ikeâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ike at Night,â&#x20AC;? the ingeniously funny Ikechukwu Ufomadu returns to Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pub for his tuxedo-clad winter special. joespub.com 212-539-8500

Wed 12 DOUG VARONE AND DANCERS PRESENTS: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;EVERYTHING IS FINEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; New Ohio Theatre 154 Christopher St. 7:45 p.m. $49 Inspired by the complex, haunting imagery of Billy Collinsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s poetry, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everything is Fineâ&#x20AC;? unfolds in seven interwoven narratives mapping an array of themes: love, solitude, separation, forgiveness, and aging. Performed by a multigenerational cast of 16 artists, the piece creates intimate portraits of ordinary lives. Show runs though Dec. 16. dougvaroneanddancers.org 212-675-6446

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DECEMBER 6-12,2018

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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.

THE TREES, EVENTS AND MUSIC THAT UNITE BY BETTE DEWING

You who read this column each year about this time know that the trees that unite us, people of all faiths and backgrounds, are the Park Avenue Memorial Trees. Unfortunately, those who don’t read this column or this paper (imagine!) may think these illumined fir trees are just another city Christmas holiday scene. Regrettably, most media overlook this tradition, so it’s not common knowledge that the Park Avenue trees honor all who gave their lives in this nation’s wars – all who made the ultimate sacrifice — all who made the ultimate sacrifice. And oh so memorable is how this magnificent tradition so poignantly began at the end of World War II in 1945. This was when Mrs. Stephen C. Clark and several other mothers of

fallen soldiers channeled their grief into planting several Park Avenue islands with illumined fir trees. This serenely beautiful December visual was meant to honor their cherished sons and all others who perished fighting this nation’s wars - the countless others, and still counting. How long, dear Lord, how long? Now these memorial trees bless Park Avenue from 54th to 97th Street, and in the early ‘80s, Hawthorne and cherry trees were added to celebrate Chanukah. The Fund for Park Avenue, which produces and underwrites the Memorial Trees, importantly notes how “the memorial has expanded to involve and include all faiths, and to further the crusade of peace and invoking reverence for those who have sacrificed their lives.” For the future, the tree lighting ceremony in front of Brick Church

is always held on the first Sunday in December, beginning at 6 p.m. As for reverence in general, we who recall when society was rarely irreverent feel societal reverence needs a mighty revival to further that “crusade of peace.” Singing together also furthers that cause, and surely happens at the memorial tree lighting ceremony led by Brick Church’s choir director. The Carl Schurz Park tree lighting event was also held on that first December Sunday, and its conservancy notes that “what began as a handful of intrepid carolers, is now an event worthy of being featured in Betsy Pinover Schiff’s new book, “Tis the Season New York.” But some of us sigh; it was a more neighbor-uniting event when there were “just a handful of intrepid carolers.” Phone numbers were often exchanged to work together on neighbor-

hood needs, and to just be neighborly. And another seasonal caroling event familiar to me will occur on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. when the East Sixties Neighborhood Association hosts their annual Holiday Sing on the corner of 67th Street and First Avenue. Ah, and here’s to all the carolers joining the association’s year-round endeavors, especially supporting and saving neighborhood stores that meet every day needs and truly unite us. And of course, experience the Park Avenue Memorial Trees after sundown and maybe sing some Chanukah, Christmas, peace-on-earth, joyto-the-world and yes, save-the-nabes songs. And the able-bodied will enable those who are not to share in this reverent and uniting walk. Of course, helping one another must be a year-round, New York state of mind. And isn’t that what these holy

days/holidays are so much about? And in the interest of peaceable city streets — that means safe ones — do attend the East 79th Street Neighborhood Association meeting on Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. to remind government officials that their first duty is to ensure public welfare, which is now being threatened by the invasion of the e-bikes, e-motorcycles and yes, e-scooters. Help! Threatening, too, is the fare hike for public transit, the safest and most democratic city transit mode. Temple Shaaray Tefila, the meeting place for the Dec. 13 neighborhood association meeting, is located on the corner of 79th Street and Second Avenue. Indeed, all concerned New Yorkers should be there and/or contact their elected officials. Say something – do something. Extra special Chanukah blessings to those who do.

SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE PLEASANT A Roz Chast retrospective puts the author and cartoonist’s humor, and humanity, on display BY ALIZAH SALARIO

I was having a New York moment, and not in a good way. Why is every Chelsea gallery always one avenue further west than I anticipate? Why are the avenues so long, and why are there so many of them? Why must I get stuck walking behind a smoker when an accidental inhale will surely ruin my unborn child’s prospects of getting into a good college, and how dare this unforgiving city continually put obstacles in the path of a very pregnant woman (me)? Yes, New York, I take it all personally. These were my thoughts as I made my way to “The Masters Series: Roz Chast,” a delightful retrospective of the cartoonist and author’s work now on display at the SVA Chelsea Gallery through Dec. 15. When I finally made it, I found myself among my people: Chast’s frenetic and phobic yet highly lovably characters.

I mean this quite literally. Many distinctive Chast illustrations found in the pages of the New Yorker magazine and elsewhere were transformed into life-sized foam cutouts that silently greeted me throughout the gallery. An entire wall was covered with a vibrant, hand-drawn cityscape that Chast designed exclusively for the exhibition. The effect was immersive, like I’d fallen down a rabbit hole and into the artist’s dynamic imagination. And there was Chast herself, in a short video, her green parakeet perched on her shoulder. She piled stacks of rejections on top of her file cabinet because, she explained, the drawers were already stuffed to the gills with rejections. I enjoyed seeing her “no” pile just as much as the gallery full of yeses. The retrospective features postersized reproductions of her many New Yorker covers and original sketches of cartoons that appeared in the magazine along with photos of her Brooklyn childhood, early sketchbooks and lesser-known example of her prolific mind, such as hand-painted Ukrainian style-eggs and hand-hooked rugs. Of

the latter, a mopey family bordered by the Czeslaw Milosz quote, “When a writer is born into a family, the family is finished” was by far my favorite. Tyson Skross, exhibitions manager at SVA Galleries, worked closely with Chast on designing the retrospective, which focuses on three areas of her extensive career: “Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York,” based on a small book Chast originally made for her kids when they came into the city to attend college, the many high points of her career at the New Yroker and and her early life, including many never-before-seen childhood drawings. “She wanted to show her drawings as a child. The idea that she might inspire a young artist who thinks that they’re just going around drawing, doing their own thing was important and exciting to her,” said Skross. And what was it like working with Chast? “She’s amazing. She’s naturally funny. She’s full of stories. Everything she pulled out she had a story about,” Skross continued. Though I’d admired her New Yorker

cartoons, Chast’s work made me sit up straight when she published “Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?” a graphic memoir about her parent’s final years . Finally, a book about dying parents! A friend and I had attempted to write one a few years back — we’d both lost a parent in our 20s, and there was no guide for what to do when all your friends were getting married and starting families while you were stuck at your parents home surrounded by adult diapers. Chast, though of a different generation, had captured a sentiment I’d tried to put into words, a slightly twisted truth that all the maudlin and earnest books I read about grief and dying failed to grasp: an event so existentially devastating as the loss of a parent must be infused with absurdity and humor. It is one thing to consider a single Chast cartoon amid a sea of text, but quite another to find yourself effortlessly backstroking in an entire Chastian ocean. I lost count of the times I thought “yes, exactly!” and “that’s so true.” One, titled “Manspreading in

Roz Chast’s graphic memoir. Bloomsbury, USA (2016) Art” featured a frame with “1200-pages novels” and reminded me of male writer friends who shall go unnamed. Taken altogether, Chast’s work is a reminder that life never feels clean and angular. It’s always a little squiggly around the edges. Despite perfectionist tendencies, my hair frizzes, my plans go pear-shaped. Perhaps knowing that is enough. It was a comforting thought. And then I left the gallery, overpaid for a mediocre muffin, and schlepped my way back to Brooklyn.

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Scottoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s serves up traditional Tuscan fare with a celebrity-tinged ďŹ&#x201A;are. Photo: Scottoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Best Restaurants PERIYALI 35 West 20th St. 212-463-7890 www.periyali.com

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Opened in 1987 by Nicola Kotsoni and Steve Tzolis, who also run Il Cantinori and the French bistro La Gauloise, this restaurant has become one of the most famous â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and best â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Greek restaurants in Manhattan. A romantic Greek word for coastline or seashore, the name Periyali was chosen because much of the food has roots in the Greek Islands.

Attentive waiters serve up traditional keftedakia saltysa (stewed meatballs), an amazing horiatiki sakata garides psites (grilled shrimp with sautĂŠed vegetables) and charcoal grilled lamb chops to die for. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perfect for any occasion and, with a little notice, the staff will go the extra mile to make it an even more memorable night.

West Side outpost features huge portions of comfort food served by friendly waiters in a upbeat and attractive setting. Start off with oysters or steamed clams, move on to the white bean soup followed by spit-roasted prime rib of beef or pork, or the lamb chops with eggplant tomato conďŹ t, mint and cucumber yogurt. The main dining room is large and airy, the bar is well-stocked and creative, and the windows provide nice views of the neighborhood.

THE RIBBON

FRESCO BY SCOTTO

20 West 72nd St. 212-787-5656 www.theribbonnyc.com

34 East 52nd St. 212-935-3434 www.frescobyscotto.com

Part of the vaunted Blue Ribbon franchise, this Upper

This traditional Tuscan restaurant run by the family of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Good Day New Yorkâ&#x20AC;? co-host Rosanna Scotto is a great spot for a power broker lunch or celeb-watching. Its quaint atmosphere exudes the real feel of a traditional and homey Italian restaurant, and it features signature dishes like a pan-roasted branzino, ďŹ lleted Mediterranean sea bass and grilled marinated lamb chops. An extensive wine list and great desserts like ricotta cheesecake complement a meal that will leave you happy and content. They feature special menus for holidays and heart-shaped ravioli for Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day.

Barney Greengrass is a old-style Jewish deli great for noshing on nova and schmoozing with friends. Photo: Maggie

Best Burgers MAXWELLâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S

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59 Reade St. 212-917-261-6917 www.maxwellsnyc.com A longtime New York staple, Maxwellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bar and Restaurant in Tribeca can feel a bit cramped, but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an outdoor


DECEMBER 6-12,2018

seating area when the weather cooperates, and the staff is quick and friendly. Their eclectic new menu has a variety of burgers, including a build-yourown Angus burger where you can add everything from cheese, mushrooms and onions to a fried egg or avocado. Popular with the lunch, dinner or after-work crowd, they also serve up a whiskey-ďŹ&#x201A;amed pork chop and feature a bar menu of ďŹ nger food and every kind of cocktail imaginable.

Best Luxury Rentals Downtown Expertly landscaped gardens. High ceilings. Bright play rooms for the kids. State of the art fitness centers. Tons of natural light. The list of reasons why Glenwoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Downtown luxury rentals are the best in Manhattan is endless. Located in the midst of the neighborhoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite businesses, restaurants, parks, shops, and cultural institutions, and just steps away from public transit, Glenwoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s luxe apartments give the term â&#x20AC;&#x153;homeâ&#x20AC;? a whole new meaning. Discover gold standard living at Tribeca Bridge Tower, Liberty Plaza, and Barclay Tower.

The Annual Holiday Sale at the Renowned Art Students League of New York Take home the everlasting gift of art! More than 400 works are on sale at the Art Students League of New York for very affordable prices! Every December, hundreds of art-lovers and gift-givers bring home great values, choosing from a wide variety of works by emerging artists. Paintings and printsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and abstractionsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;sell for no more than $1,000. Prices for sculptures are capped at $1,500. The show runs December 11 through December 21.

J.G. MELON

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480 Amsterdam Ave. 646-895-9388 www.jgmelonnyc.com Hamburgers, cheeseburgers, bacon burgers and turkey burgers are on the menu at this renowned but cash-only restaurant, which also has locations in Greenwich Village and on the Upper East Side. It can be quite busy at lunch or dinner, and you may have to wait to get a seat, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well worth it. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not in the mood for a burger, they have a broiled ďŹ sh daily special and a large and pan roasted salmon. Their desserts come from Magnolia Bakery and include vanilla bean cheesecake, chocolate cake and banana pudding. Nice mix of locals and tourists.

FINNEGANS WAKE 1361 First Ave. 212-737-3664 www.finneganswakepubnyc. com This longtime Upper East Side Irish pub has a warm, friendly atmosphere and a traditional menu with a wide array of daily specials. The owners boast of having the â&#x20AC;&#x153;best hamburger in New York City,â&#x20AC;? and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;best pint of Guinness in the neighborhood.â&#x20AC;? You could argue that a Guinness is a Guinness, but they undoubtedly have one of the very best burgers around. They also feature bangers and mash, Shepherdâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pie, gigantic sandwiches and a special fresh ďŹ sh of the day. Finnegans is a great place to sit at the bar and cheer on your favorite soccer team.

Best Ethnic Food COPPELIA 207 West 14th St. 212-858-5001 www.ilovecopelia.com Named for a famous ice cream parlor in the heart of

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Metropolitan Window Fashions 469 Amsterdam between 82nd-83rd windowfashions.com Metropolitan Window Fashions is delighted to announce its 85th Anniversary Sale at their beautiful showroom located at 469 Amsterdam between 82nd-83rd . On display are custom draperies and both manual and motorized shades. Metropolitan has been at their current location for 15 years and has been recognized as the National Retailer of the Year. Metropolitan offers FREE in-home consultations for custom draperies, shades, blinds, bedding and upholstery. Simply call for a no-obligation appointment and have samples brought to your home. Call now at 212-501-8282 sale and save up to $200 per window. Visit windowfashions.com for more information.

Best 4-year-old School Program on the Upper West Side Coppelia is the 24/7 place for creative and distinctive Latin cuisine. Photo: Andy

Havana, this cozy 24-hour Latin diner is great for early birds and late-night revelers from local bars, nightclubs or movie houses. Coppelia, with its constantly glowing neon sign, draws a varied crowd at the intersection of Greenwich Village, Chelsea and the bustling Meatpacking District. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a soda fountain with shakes and Latin soda and booth service surrounded by pastel-colored walls and topped off with antique ceiling fans. Cuban benedicts in the morning, vuelve a la vida at lunch and arroz con pollo and rabo encedido (braised oxtail in red wine sauce) for dinner.

BARNEY GREENGRASS 541 Amsterdam Ave. 212-724-4707 www.barneygreengrass.com Great place to nosh and schmooze in a quintessential Jewish deli â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but bring cash because they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to know from your credit cards. The four-generation family business has been around since 1908, ďŹ lling up customers with lox, cold cuts, kasha, knishes, pastrami and nova with eggs and onions. They also feature homemade pickled herring â&#x20AC;&#x201D; creamed or schmaltz â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and a hearty matzoh ball soup. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be surprised if you bump into a movie or TV crew: the place has made appearances on â&#x20AC;&#x153;Seinfeld,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Law & Orderâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sex and the Cityâ&#x20AC;? over the years.

ANGKOR CAMBODIAN BISTRO 408 East 64th St. 212-758-2211 www.Angkornyc.com Owner and chef Ming Truong reportedly ďŹ&#x201A;ed the Khmer Rouge as a child in the early 1970s, came to the U.S. in 1981 and later learned his craft in U.S. restaurants before opening this highly rated and cozy Cambodian bistro. He serves traditional Cambodian dishes like Phnom Pen roast duck and shrimp and avocado curry. Angkor was one of just ďŹ ve UES restaurants named a Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand for great and inexpensive food.

DRUNKEN MUNKEY 338 East 92nd St. 646-998-4600 www.drunkenmunkey.com Come for the name â&#x20AC;&#x201D; stay for the delicious, authentic Indian fare and craft cocktails served in a nice hideaway setting with great ambience that is both casual and romantic. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re famous for their masala short ribs, but you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go wrong with the lamb skewers, mutton shish kabobs, crispy okra and Drunken Munkey biryani, either lamb or chicken. The decor is brightly polished wood, with tables and comfy banquettes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and the prices are reasonable.

The Alexander Robertson School 212-663-2844 - admissions@alexanderrobertson.org Since 1789 the Alexander Robertson School has been providing a nurturing environment for elementary-school aged girls and boys from all walks of life and has now expanded its offerings to include a Junior-Kindergarten for children who will be 4 years old by September 1, 2019. Junior-Kindergartners will benefit from exposure to the Smithsonian Institute designed Science and Technology curriculum, early Humanities courses including French, Mandarin, Ethics, Art and Music, and by being in a little gem of a school that is on tree-lined West 95th Street just steps from Central Park and many world class cultural institutions. Call today to arrange a tour on 212-663-2844 or visit the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website: alexanderrobertson.org/admission to book an appointment online.

The Best Senior Move Manager and Real Estate Brokerage www.karpoffaffiliates.com, t Karpoff Affiliates is here for your lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transitions & real estate brokerage needs. Whether you are looking for aging in place or downsizing we make the entire process seamless and stress free. We oversee packing, arrange for movers, disconnected utilities, arranging storage, and more. As a fully licensed real estate broker, we can list and sell your current home and manage the purchasing of a new home. We provide personalized plans for caring transition for anyone and their families during their time of need. We are you one stop shop for all of lifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transitional needs.

Best Method for Achieving Ease Think AT - Think-AT.com .POB"M,B[FNJ .&E5IJOL"5DPN A new small business located in downtown Manhattan, and dedicated to teaching Alexander Technique. The co-founders, Mona and Faisal, aim to offer the very best experience of learning this profound method that has been known for more than a century among performers. Alexander Technique not only helps performers refine their skills, but it can help anyone live better, moving with more ease, balance, and coordination.

The Only Community Owned Jewish Funeral Chapel Plaza Jewish Community Chapel, A Service not a Business "NTUFSEBN"WFtQMB[BKFXJTIPSH In 2001, after an historic antitrust settlement to restore competition in NYCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jewish funeral market, the community created Plaza Jewish Community Chapel. A not-for-profit, Plazaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission is: to ensure that every member of the Jewish community has the opportunity for a dignified Jewish funeral; to lower the high cost of funerals; and to connect the bereaved to community resources for support with practical or emotional problems. Plazaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s founders and board include clergy, executives of social service organizations, and lay leaders from all major Jewish denominations. Plazaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s initial funding came from Jewish Communal Fund and the UJAFederation, plus interest-free loans from six private philanthropists (repaid early from Plazaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s operations). Plaza has sponsored over 20 major bereavement seminars, hundreds of free educational programs about funeral and advance care planning, community service programs, and grants to other community organizations. SPONSORED CONTENT


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MIDNIGHT EXPRESS 1715 Second Ave. 212-860-2320 www.midnightexpressdiner. com

Two Little Red Hens is a cupcake-lover’s paradise. Photo: Twanna A. Hines

Best Dive Bars BILLYMARKS WEST 332 Ninth Ave. 212-629-0118 This non-nonsense, nofrills dive bar in Chelsea/ Hell’s Kitchen was once described by The New Yorker as “grubby as Golem” — but it’s a great fun place featuring inexpensive shots and beer and a rowdy, diverse crew that’s as serious about drinking as about shooting pool and playing darts. The walls are plastered with movie and sports posters, including one of Captain America and another of ex-basketball coach Bobby Knight throwing a chair across the court. It’s a great place to stop before or after a Knicks or Rangers game at Madison Square Garden.

party platter — but it’s really about watching sports and the inexpensive drinks. Blondie’s is a great night out for a group of friends who want to drink and get loud.

SUBWAY INN 1140 Second Ave. 212-758-0900 History abounds at this great old sports bar that once served Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe and still doles out relatively inexpensive shots, beers and simple cocktails. Wendy Wasserstein once called it “the kind of dive in which it makes sense not to order wine.” But you can order meaty wings, waffle fries and burger wraps while hanging out with friends and watching sports, especially soccer matches. The Washington Post named it one of the eight most authentic bars in the country.

BLONDIE’S 212 West 79th St. 212-362-3311 This dimly-lit sports bar is known as one of the best places to get wings in the city — $14.95 for 10, $26.95 for a double order and $64.95 for a huge bucket of 50. The friendly staff also serves tenders, chili, burgers and pasta and a mean

Best Diners BUS STOP CAFÉ 597 Hudson St. 212-206-1100 www.busstopcafe-nyc.com The Bus Stop is the go-to place in the Village for breakfast

— and lunch and dinner, too. This family-owned, former Prohibition era speakeasy serves a wide variety of oatmeal for breakfast and offers createyour-omelets if you’re not in the mood for cereal. Among their specialties are sweet potato fries, spinach pie and a wrapped pork chop special. They offer a variety of vegan and veggie options and have outdoor seating. The owners are responsive and reply to online reviews — even the few that are not so great.

VIAND 2130 Broadway 212-877-2888 www.viandnyc.com You can’t beat the Viand if you’re looking for an old school New York coffee shop that serves huge portions of diner classics all day long, from pancakes for breakfast, a Waldorf wrap for lunch to meatloaf and — when they have them — lamb chops for dinner. The staff scurries across the blue and yellow linoleum floor to bring hungry customers such favorites as wings, salmon fillets and jumbo shrimp scampi. They also have an impressive dessert menu featuring peanut butter pie and chocolate chip cake.

This Upper East Side diner — one of the few left in the neighborhood — bills itself as “Your Anytime, Any Day Diner,” and claims to have been the first 24/7 eatery in the city. Nearly everything is locally sourced — except for the salt, which they import from Greece. You can lounge in comfortable vintage booths while enjoying their eclectic menu, which includes Mexican-style fries, guacamole, disco fries (covered with melted mozzarella and gravy) Angus burgers, frozen hot chocolates and a Greek yogurt parfait.

Best Desserts SWEET CORNER BAKE SHOP 535 Hudson St. 212-206-8500 www.sweetcorner.com Check out this snug, cozy downtown eatery to enjoy cookies, coffee, pastry, wraps, pop tarts, mouth-watering tiramisu, passion fruit mousse and Snickerdoodles. Everything is freshly baked from scratch each morning. Their signature offering is a Nutella bomb cookie, and they also sell Nutella hearts for you sweetie — and your sweet tooth. The place is cashless, so leave your greenbacks at home and bring your credit cards.

LEVAIN 167 West 74th St. 212-874-6080 www.levainbakery.com How can you beat a place that arguably makes the best walnut chocolate chip cookie on the planet? They are famous for their long lines — they even have a line cam you can check out — but it’s well worth the wait. Ranked in the top two or three of the nearly 500 dessert places in New York City, Levain also offers peanut butter chip cookies, mini pizzas, fruit tarts, lemon cake and terrific sticky buns. A little over-commercialized — they sell a variety of T-shirts and other items — but hey, when you’re the best, why not?

TWO LITTLE RED HENS 1652 Second Ave. 212-452-0476 www.twolittleredhens.com Blossom on Columbus features such delicious vegan dishes as a sourdough shake and creamy mushroom pasta. Photo: Josephine S.

This trendy and extremely

Levain features amazing cookies and long lines, but both are well worth it. Photo: Wally Gobetz

popular bake shop features the best cakes and cupcakes this side of Paris. Their specialty is the Brooklyn Blackout, four layers of chocolate cake, three layers of chocolate pudding and a creamy fudge frosting. They specialize in cupcakes and the most popular offerings include yellow, chocolate and red velvet, but you can also score seasonal carrot, banana and pumpkin ones. They even have cream-filled Brooklyn blackout cupcakes.

Best Healthy Eats SOUEN SOHO 210 Sixth Ave. 212-807-7421 www.souen.net The food at this traditional Japanese restaurant is organic, macrobiotic, and so good you won’t believe it’s actually healthy. The moderately priced, stress-free food is served in a well-lit room with floor-toceiling windows that allow in streaming sunshine during the day and nice views anytime. The knowledgeable, friendly staff serves up such delights as organic edamame, scrambled tofu, a variety of soups ranging from miso to hayato, as well as a crispy cabbage salad, fettucine with almond and veggie pesto and a macro plate of green veggies, brown rice and beans.

BLOSSOM ON COLUMBUS 507 Columbus Ave. 212-875-2600 www.blossomnyc.com Blossom on Columbus touts itself as a “pioneer in modern vegan cuisine,” with a “crueltyfree ethos,” which we guess means that none of its fare was living and breathing before it got to your plate. The inventive meals are served in an earthtoned space and are mostly locally sourced and organic. The menus are packed with starters like bourekas, nachos, buffalo arancini (quinoa-breaded risotto croquettes) and wild mushroom ravioli. Other tasty dishes include wasabi-crusted tofu, kale and grain salads, a quinoa burger, a tofu BLT, seitan piccata and a variety of plantbased pizzas, which can be made gluten-free.

CANDLE 79 154 East 79th St. 212-537-7179 www.candle79.com If you’re looking for a healthy vegan meal to light your fire, look no further than Candle 79. The two-floor dining area is small and elegant, but the menu is huge for lunch, brunch or dinner. Signature dishes include a grilled kale salad, guacamole timbale, wild mushroom crepe and spaghetti and wheatballs. The portions are hearty and filling, the wine list is deep and organic, and the cocktails are creative.


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ARTS & CULTURE Best Live Music LE POISSON ROUGE 158 Bleecker St. 212-505-3474 www.lpr.com Housed on the site of the old Village Gate in the heart of the Village, Le Poisson Rouge is a fun venue presenting a variety of artists from theater, film and music in its mission to “establish a creative asylum” for artists and audiences. The programming is eclectic, there are various performance space configurations, and they offer a small dinner and drinks menu. Artists like Bela Fleck, KD Lang and Lady Gaga have graced the stage. They have various oldies nights and recurring acts including “Linda Loves Bingo” and the “Back to the Eighties Show with Jessie’s Girl.”

PROHIBITION 503 Columbus Ave. 212-579-3100 prohibition.net This down-to-earth lounge, with its friendly, fun-loving crowd, is a great spot to see

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aspiring singers, musicians and cutting-edge poets hone their craft as they strive to make it big. There’s music every night, the entertainment is free, and the reasonably priced menu includes tacos, pizza, shoestring fries and Prohibition’s signature mini cheeseburgers. There’s an open mic night on Mondays. Relax, enjoy the community vibe and just think — you’ll be able to say you saw them before they were famous.

BRANDY’S PIANO BAR 235 East 84th St. 212-744-4949 www.brandyspianobar.com Stashed away on a side street on the Upper East Side, this casual, cozy spot with about a 30-seat capacity has been the neighborhood’s best-kept secret for more than 35 years, serving up live entertainment nightly. Staffers belt out piano classics from the likes of Elton John and Carole King and show tunes from “Hamilton” and other popular musicals. The audience is invited to join the boozy sing-a-alongs. There’s a happy hour from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and live music nightly at 9:30 p.m. No cover charge, but there’s a two-drink minimum.

Best Comedy Clubs COMEDY CELLAR 117 MacDougal St. 212-254-3480 www.comedycellar.com Famous comics often pop up at this 36-year-old Greenwich Village club. Regular performers over the years have included Louis C.K., Colin Quinn and Darrell Hammond, as well as the likes of Amy Schumer, Nikki Glaser and Ben Bailey. The club has three shows Sunday through Thursday, and 10 shows on Friday and Saturday. There’s also an upstairs restaurant, Olive Tree Café, that serves a weekend brunch including eggs, salads, griddle cakes and spinach panini. Beer, wine and cocktails are reasonably priced. Reservations suggested.

BROADWAY COMEDY CLUB 318 West 53rd St. 212-757-2323 www.broadwaycomedyclub. com A rotating crew of notquite-ready-for-prime-time

performers hone their talents and display their moxie on the club’s compact stage. There are drinks, food — even at the bar — and the staff is helpful and friendly. Their signature, twicenightly show, “All-Star Standup Comedy,” can be a little hit-or-miss, but they have featured such professional shows as “Jewish … ish” and Nicky Sunshine’s “Confessions of a Massage Parlor Madam.” There’s a two-drink minimum, but the show is usually worth at least that.

COMIC STRIP LIVE 1568 Second Ave. 212-861-9386 www.comicstriplive.com This is the longest-running stand-up comedy showcase club in New York City; Chris Rock used to clean tables and Colin Quinn was a bartender before cracking the big time. It’s a great, fun night out. Jerry Seinfeld and Adam Sandler have played here over the years, as well as an 18-year-old Eddie Murphy back in the day. There are open mics at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays, and some audition nights. The menu is limited, and the drinks can be pricey — so come for the comedy and die laughing.

Best Dancing MEHANATA BULGARIAN BAR 113 Ludlow St. 212-625-0981 www.mehanatanyc.com Mehanata, aka “House of Gypsy,” is both a dive bar and a disco. It touts itself as “one of the loudest, the most outrageous and crazy night clubs in New York.” The bar’s music ranges from break-beat to bachata. Over the years, the club spawned the new gypsy punk wave and launched the breakthrough act Gogol Bordello. Gwen Stefani and Scarlett Johansson have been spotted doing shots of rakia at the bar. Regulars boast about the good music and the bras hanging from the ceiling as décor. It has an authentic feel, and many of the bartenders and waitresses are from Eastern Bloc countries.

IGUANA NEW YORK 240 West 54th St. 212-765-5454 www.iguananyc.com Big name comics like Louis c.k. and Amy Schumer sometimes pop up at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. Photo: Surangk

Up-and-comers and established acts perform at Broadway Comedy Club. Photo: Surangk

This raucous three-story

Tex-Mex eatery has two actionpacked dance floors: a DJ on the lower level for the hip-hop crowd and a dance club for Latin dance lovers on the second floor to salsa and merengue the night away. They offer a dazzling 28 flavors of margaritas or mojitos to get the dance juices flowing, and spicy menu choices like rock shrimp chalupitas and red snapper Veracruz. The lower level features a “Ladies Night” on Fridays, followed by “Sexy Saturdays” every week. Friendly staff, reasonable prices and quality drinks.

SESSION 73 1359 First Ave. 212-517-4445 www.session73.com Session 73 is a lively, casual music venue that hosts live music seven nights a week and showcases bands ranging in style from blues and jazz to funk and salsa. There’s also delicious cocktails and casual dining, so it’s great for a date or a gettogether with friends. There are weekday specials, plus salsa lessons and an open mic night on Mondays. Great staff, and a good beer selection.

Under the Radar Museums CENTER FOR ITALIAN MODERN ART 421 Broome St. 646-370-3596 www.italianmodernart.org This popular downtown gallery and research center is open from October through June and features byappointment guided tours led by renowned Italian art scholars. This year, CIMA is presenting its first group show, “Metaphysical Masterpieces 1916-1920: Morandi, Sironi and Carra,” which focuses on the period ending the first phase of the avant-garde movements of Cubism. It’s great way to spend an afternoon, and learn about the history of modern Italian art.


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Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College hosts some 200 performances a year. Photo: cuny.edu

NICHOLAS ROERICH MUSEUM 319 West 107th St. 212-864-7752 www.roerich.org Russia may not be on most Americans’ favorite countries

list these days, but that’s no reason not to pay a visit to this hidden gem of a museum dedicated to the work of a Russian-born artist whose paintings focused on nature scenes from the Himalayas. Roerich was known as a

visionary who promoted peace, the protection of the world’s cultural heritage and the unity of religions — and his works reflect those ideals. Admission is free, and they offer poetry readings and piano recitals most Sunday evenings.

NEUE GALERIE 1048 Fifth Ave. 212-628-6200 www.neuegalerie.org This small museum of early 20th century German and Austrian art is a relatively new

addition to the city’s vaunted Museum Mile. Housed in the small but elegant William Starr Miller House, it features the famous Klimt painting “Woman in Gold.” The work of Franz Marc, August Macke and Wiener Werkstatte is currently

on display, and the exhibition “The Self-Portrait, from Schiele to Beckmann” opens in early 2019. There’s also a nice restaurant, Café Sabarsky. General admission is $22, but there are occasional free days between exhibits.


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Downtowner Accordion Death Squad band plays Mehanata. Photo: Nick Johnson

Best Local Theater IATI THEATER 64 East 4th St. 212-505-6757 www.iatitheater.org

KAYE PLAYHOUSE AT HUNTER COLLEGE 695 Park Ave. 212-772-4448 www.hunter.cuny.edu The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College presents some 200 plays, concerts and

dance performances a year in a small, comfortable space with great acoustics and a warm, welcoming staff. If you missed the recent run of “Uncle Vanya,” it’s not too late to see the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players’ presentation of the “Pirates of Penzance” on Dec. 27-30.

IATI is a bilingual Latinx theater company that prides itself on presenting original, bold and experimental comedies and dramas that explore and redefine Latino culture. At this small theater in the East Village, the writers and performers are a mix of emerging and established Latino artists, including Chilean actress and singer Andrea Velasco.

ENSEMBLE STUDIO THEATRE

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545 West 52nd St. 212-247-4982 www.ensemblestudiotheatre. org The venerable Ensemble Studio Theatre is celebrating its 50th anniversary season with a series of mainstage productions, including “Behind the Sheet” and “Georgia Mertching is Dead.” For the 37th year, EST will present its Marathon of OneAct Plays in the spring. There are two sets, and each offers a variety of themes. The venue is comfortable, albeit on the second floor of an old building that has seen better days, Ensemble artists and writers over the years have included Ellen Barkin, Danny DeVito and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Production of Gorilla, at IATI theater company for LatinX music and theater. Photo: iatitheater.org


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PETS

Best Grooming DOGMA 21 Seventh Ave. South 212-366-4060 www.dogmanyc.com Dogma means “space” in Japanese, and this dog and cat salon provides plenty of space and a serene environment for your pets to get the care and treatment they deserve. The staff is kind and courteous and helpful in calming your pet and providing any follow-up care that may be necessary. This seven-day-a-week pamper palace also does in-home baths on request, as well as overnight boarding and day care.

Best Vets BLUE PEARL DOWNTOWN

1 West 15th St. 212-924-3311 www.bluepearlvet.com Blue Pearl Downtown is a 24/7 emergency pet hospital serving Downtown, Union Square, Greenwich Village and the East Village. Their team of certified specialists, anesthesiologists and surgeons ranks among the best in the city. Pet owners generally give high marks to the care their pet got in Blue Pearl’s environment, and the friendly, helpful staff are happy to answer questions.

A CUT ABOVE PET STYLISTS 143 West 69th St. 212-877-7778 www.acutabovegrooming. com If you’re looking for a fullservice neighborhood grooming salon for your pet, A Cut Above fits the bill. Services include baths, full-body brushes, nail clipping, styling and sculpting — and the pets can enjoy the good, orderly atmosphere here. Their

Photo: Smiley Pets

CITY VETERINARY CARE 220 West 72nd St. 212-799-7000 www.cityvetcare.com Founded in 2003 by Dr. Andrew Kaplan, a BoardCertified Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist, City Veterinary Care is known for its high-quality general practice and specialty medical and surgical care for dogs and cats. Some of their acclaimed doctors — like Dr. Anne Cloudman and Amelia Kahn — trained at the famed Animal Medical Center, and the veterinary nursing team instills confidence in pet owners who visit their offices. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable. City Vet Care runs a non-profit dedicated to solving the city’s pet over-population problem, and they work with animal rescue groups to prepare former street dogs and feral cats for new homes.

CARNEGIE HILL VETERINARIANS 1707 Third Ave. 212-369-5665 www. carnegiehillveterinarians.com Carnegie Hill, under its director, Dr. Alexander Jon Miller, gives its four-legged patients treatment that is both holistic and specially tailored to each animal. Carnegie Hill’s team pays attention to details and is

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always available for consultations. They offer special drop-off and pick-up times for sick or anxious pets and they strive to include pet owners in the healing and follow-up process, taking extra time to demonstrate home care.

Best Pet Stores BEASTY FEAST 327 West 14th St. 212-300-4346 www.beastyfeast.com Customers are enthusiastic about this family-owned Downtown pet shop that has been serving the Chelsea and Meatpacking District neighborhoods for more than 40 years and boasts a huge selection of pet food, leashes and apparel. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they make each customer — and their pet — feel special. The merchandise is reasonably priced, and Beasty Feast carries a large line of raw foods. There is a master pet groomer on the premises. One customer called it “the best pet store in the USA.”

LITTLE CREATURES 569 Columbus Ave. 347-954-0021 www.littlecreaturesnyc.com The local family that has been running this shop for more than 25 years grew up surrounded by dogs and cats, and their expertise and dedication to animals means a lot to their loyal customers. The extensive inventory includes plush toys, high-end collars, airlineapproved bags, training crates and pet stain-removal products. They specialize in smaller dogs — and have another store on Amsterdam Ave.

PET TOWN 1671 First Ave. 212-996-6273 www.pettown.business.site This small locally owned neighborhood pet supply store carries a great selection of dog and cat food, treats, and other supplies for your furry friends. The owners are welcoming and friendly and knowledgeable and take extra time to get to know their customers – both the two-legged and four-legged varieties. They offer reasonable prices and local delivery and they take special orders. Photo: Dogma

certified groomers are wellequipped to deal with even the most temperamental pooches. Longtime customers praise the place — and their pets would too, if they could talk.

BARK PLACE 1371 First Ave. 212-737-3510 www.barkplacenyc.com This cage-free dog and cat grooming salon offers free pickup and delivery. The diligent staff is super-quick, caring, courteous and specially trained in rescue animals, so they have the patience and knowledge to deal with dogs and cats who may not have had the best of experiences with humans. After grooming, your pet will get to chill on fluffy animal beds while waiting to go home.

Best Rescue BEST FRIENDS NEW YORK 307 West Broadway 347-762-3678 www.adoptnyc@bestfriends. org

Best friends is a Soho operation that is both a space for local pets to find homes and an outlet for the national “nokill” message. They showcase adoptable animals in a playful, gallery-style setting that is clean and well-maintained. The staff is passionate and caring and some of the animals live in “cat condos” while waiting for a new, loving home.

UPTOWN CATS 2289 Broadway 646-701-1812 www.uptowncats.org This rescue service works toward stabilizing the feral cat population and offers adoption services. They use non-lethal trap-neuter-return methods to keep the population down. They provide shelter and find new homes for suitable animals. They sterilize about 300 cats a year, about 200 of which can’t be domesticated; the animals are vaccinated and neutered and placed in managed cat colonies. The 100 that can be domesticated are housed in volunteer homes and then put up for adoption at a series of events.


DECEMBER 6-12,2018

ANIMAL CARE CENTERS OF NEW YORK 326 East 110th St. 212-788-4000 nycacc.org New Yorkers ďŹ&#x201A;ock to Animal Care Centers each day to reclaim lost pets, adopt new ones or get resources to help them keep their animals at home. They help dogs, cats and rabbits ďŹ nd new homes both by adopting directly to the public or by partnering with some 200 animal placement organizations. SatisďŹ ed customers praise the staffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dedication and helpfulness.

Best Dog Walkers

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Georgia and her staff at Smiley Pets are top-notch. She treats my fur baby as though he was his own.â&#x20AC;? You can check their rates online.

SWIFTO DOG WALKING 313 West 57th St. 917-746-7633 www.swifto.com This innovative dog-walking company says it was the ďŹ rst to offer GPS-tracked walkers in Manhattan. Clients can check on their pups through pictures and live poop alerts. The walkers are experienced, collegeeducated and well-screened. They offer a meet-and-greet before the ďŹ rst walk and there is online scheduling. Prices vary by length of walk and are posted on their website.

BARE PAWS NYC

SMILEY PETS

157 East 86th St. 646-224-1155 www.fourbarepaws.com

146 West 10th St. (312) 316-0703 smileypetsny.com This outďŹ t serves the Village and Chelsea, and their carefullyscreened, highly-experienced walkers are insured and bonded. One loyal client, Rebecca, says:

Bare Paws operates on the Upper East Side and many other neighborhoods across Manhattan. GPS tracking offers updates, notes from the walker, and routes taken on any given day. They also have a roster of dog and cat-sitters

in each neighborhood who are carefully matched to your pet. Overnight care is also available. Each client has a private login to schedule appointments from their phone. Client Frances Rusnak says â&#x20AC;&#x153;Violet and her team provide excellent service,â&#x20AC;? and Stephanie Blaney says the smooth operation is simple and easy to use.

Best Day Care THE WAGGING TAIL 77 Worth St. 212-285-4900 thewaggingtail.nyc Family-owned and operated for more than 30 years, this Tribeca spot is big and can handle up to 70 dogs. They offer day care, boarding, walking, breakfast and dinner, and bathing and grooming. There are cameras in the space and they even have a doggie pool. Staff is courteous and knowledgeable, and customers generally sing the praises of the care their pets receive.

CAMP CANINE 46 West 73rd St. 212-787-3647

www.nycampcanine.com Camp Canine is a full-service space with plenty of room for your pets to socialize with others of roughly the same size and age. They specialize in skittish animals and work to cure bad habits such as chewing and jumping. Staffers are helpful and patient. Dogs are walked for a mid-day relief break. Camp Canine offers â&#x20AC;&#x153;Valet Barking,â&#x20AC;? which means you can call ahead, and someone will come out to fetch your pet when you pull up.

DOGGIE-DO & PLAYTIME TOO! 348 East 76th St. 212-288-3633 www.doggiedonyc.com This doggie day care center and grooming salon has been a mecca for pooches and their owners for more than 20 years. They provide a safe, loving environments for pets and the staff is welcoming and friendly. They offer overnight boarding, and all pets must be spayed or neutered and up-to-date on vaccines. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a small boutique with a designer collection of handed-knitted coats and sweaters. Photo: Smiley Pets

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KARPOFF AFFILIATES is your single stop for senior life transitions and real estate brokerage needs. tIf you or your family member needs to renovate their existing home to allow them to BHFJOQMBDFPSJTMPPLJOHUPEPXOTJ[F XFDBOIFMQ t*GZPVXBOUUPNPWF XFDBOTFMMZPVSIPNF BTTJTUXJUIQBDLJOH PWFSTFFQSPGFTTJPOBM NPWFSTBOEQSPWJEFTVQQPSUUPSFEVDFTUSFTT8FXJMMNPWFZPVPVUPGTUBUFPSCBDLUP /FX:PSL*GZPVBSFMPPLJOHGPSBOBTTJTUFEMJWJOHSFTJEFODF XFDBOIFMQ t*GZPVIBWFMPTUTPNFPOF XFXJMMPSHBOJ[FBOEBTTFTTJUFNTMFGUJOUIFIPNFBOEmOEB buyer for the residence in order to lessen the hardship during this difďŹ cult time. t Karpoff AfďŹ liates created the signature service Moving On NYC to address these needs. 8FIFMQNBOBHFFWFSZEFUBJM DPOOFDUJOHXJUIBUUPSOFZT FTUBUFHVBSEJBOT TPDJBMXPSLers and caregivers. You will deal with one person from start to ďŹ nish. t8FSVOUBHBOEFTUBUFTBMFTBOEQSPWJEFBQQSBJTBMTGPSKFXFMSZ FTUBUFTBOEmOFBOtiques. We also offer total auction services.

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290 Third Avenue, Suite 26C | NYC 10010


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KIDS Best Book Stores

CORNER BOOKSTORE

BOOKS OF WONDER

This compact book nook in Carnegie Hill has been offering a wide selection of books for kids of all ages for 40 years. Their small, carefully selected children’s titles begin with touch-and-feel books and are arranged by reading level through young adult books. They offer special store charge accounts for children and ask neighborhood youngsters to review advance copies of novels for kids ages 8 to 13 for their newsletter. They host storytime on Sunday mornings and an annual Christmas party for the neighborhood.

18 West 18th St. 212-989-3270 www.booksofwonder.com This spacious and popular old-school Chelsea children’s book shop specializes in books that will “stimulate and encourage young imaginations.” They feature books about New York City, as well as popular — and under-the-radar — picture books along with folktales and fairy tales. Books of Wonder hosts storytime on Saturday and Sunday mornings featuring age-appropriate books selected by their knowledgeable and helpful staff.

BOOK CULTURE 450 Columbus Ave. 212-595-1962 www.bookculture.com Book Culture on Columbus prides itself on its diverse selection of titles and activities. Owners say they were inspired by the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign to “reflect and honor the lives of all young people.” Its shelves hold books about a Hasidic Jewish girl who fights monsters, a homeless boy growing up in the Bronx, and a girl who fled Vietnam and ended up in Alabama. They have storytimes on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and a bilingual Turkish storytime on the last Saturday of the month in partnership with Makam New York.

1313 Madison Ave. 212-831-3554 www.cornerbookstorenyc. com

Best Places to Eat with Kids COWGIRL 519 Hudson St. 212-633-1133 www.cowgirlnyc.com This bar and restaurant was founded in 1989 and has been offering Texas-friendly fare, killer margaritas and a substantial kid’s menu ever since. The children’s menu features wooden nickel pancakes, “Texas” scrambled eggs and biscuits, along with a “get along little corndoggie” and “granny’s grilled cheese” (all $6.50 each) plus burgers and a pulled pork sandwich. For adults, they have a wide selection of Tex-Mex dishes and

Photo: Children’s Museum of Manhattan

seasonal specials, like a “Dios de Los Muertos” menu in late October and early November with roasted acorn squash and chicken tortillas.

GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT 520 Columbus Ave. 212-496-0163 www.Goodenoughtoeat.com Carrie Levin started this kidfriendly eatery serving American comfort food in a small but cozy Upper West Side location in 1981. Most of the food is made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients. Breakfast includes a variety of pancakes, waffles, eggs and omelettes served with homemade biscuits and strawberry butter. The dinner menu features starters like grilled corn bread and fig focaccia, and such favorites as meat loaf and buttermilk fried chicken.

THE BARKING DOG 1678 Third Ave. 212-831-1800 www.barkingdog94.com Brunches, a filling and flavorful children’s menu, an outdoor doggie drinking fountains and doggie treats bring flocks of New Yorkers to this canine-themed Upper East Side eatery. It appeals to the stroller set and their grown-ups with a menu chock-a-block with salads, sandwiches, Americanstyle comfort foods like meat loaf and pot roast, plus some British favorites like fish and chips and Shepherd’s Pie. Loyal customer Chastity raves: “If you have a pooch and want to have a nice doggie date, this is the place for it.”

Best Museums

MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE ARTS

MCNY is truly a hidden gem of a museum. It engages kids and their parents by “celebrating, documenting and interpreting the city’s past, present and future.” Current exhibits include “Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis,” which explores the story of the city’s long battle against diseases, and “Rebel Women,” which looks at 19th century women who challenged the status quo, including Elizabeth Jennings Graham, a black woman who refused to get off a segregated trolley in 1854, and Hetty Green, a businesswoman dubbed “the witch of Wall Street.” Admission is free if you’re under 20; $18 for adults and $12 for seniors.

103 Charlton St. 212-274-0986 www.cmany.org This spacious Soho museum offers hands-on arts experiences for kids and families, including after school classes, exhibits and performances. It has several art labs, an art studio, a media lab, a sound booth where kids can record their own music, and even a quiet room. Exhibits like “Acts and Activism: Drawing the Line,” try to instill a sense of community involvement. There also are Saturday family studio events and art colony day camps. One parent says that “the children’s museum is great. I love the way they sing to the children ... [and] they express the idea of art in different ways.”

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF MANHATTAN 212 West 83rd St. 212-721-1223 www.cmom.org This five-story Upper West Side museum is a great place to spend a rainy day — or any other day — with kids interested in arts, sciences and the humanities. Each floor features a hands-on environment for discovery, exhibits, workshops and performances that will enthrall kids with a bent for the artistic. Special exhibits include “EatSleepPlay,” to encourage children to eat healthy, and “Let’s Dance,” to introduce them to the varied world of dance. CMOM hosts an annual “Sunday Funday” benefit in January, and year-round is admission is $14 for children and adults and free for kids under 1 year of age.

Photo: The Art Farm

1220 Fifth Ave. 212-534-1672 www.mcny.org

Best Indoor Play CITY TREEHOUSE 129A West 20th St. 212-255-2050 www.citytreehouse.com Young ones can play, learn about dance and take “RockA-Baby” or “Tots and Tutus” classes, or attend sleepover parties at this award-winning play space in a cheerful and intimate environment supervised by friendly staffers. Satisfied parent Isabel says: “We’ve been coming here since my daughter was one and-ahalf. We’ve brought friends and family alike ... the water table is my daughter’s favorite.”

ELLIOT’S GYMNASTICS 131 West 86th St. 917-517-8721 www.elliottsclasses.com

CMANY offers classes and exhibits for kids with an artistic bent. Photo: Children’s Museum of Arts New York

Kids can frolic, play and learn in this spacious indoor gymnasium that offers scheduled classes along with open play from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. daily. Their gymnastics and movement classes for newborns to pre-teens are designed to make kids feel more confident in their bodies. Elliot’s also offers “Mooski Music” classes, art classes in various mediums, as well as a community art project where kids can make murals with finger paints and sponges. Playtime is free for kids enrolled in classes.

THE ART FARM 419 East 91st St. 212-410-3117 www.theartfarms.com Founded in 2002, this innovative play space offers creative classes all year-around, as well as special camps in the fall and summer. There are classes on cooking, animal care and, of course, art. They offer drop-in open playtimes for youngsters ages 6 months and up from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, “Fun Fridays” for children 18 months and up, and regular storytimes. One satisfied customer calls it a “magical gem of a safe haven for your child to grow.”


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2019

BEST FITNESS CENTER

Sweat it out at Asphalt Greenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s two beautiful locations on the Upper East Side and in Battery Park City. BOTH FACILITIES FEATURE TOP-OF-THE-LINE STRENGTH AND CARDIO EQUIPMENT, FUNCTIONAL TRAINING AREAS, AND SPACIOUS FITNESS STUDIOS. UPPER EAST SIDE

555 E. 90th St.

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BATTERY PARK CITY

212 North End Ave.

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asphaltgreen.org

/asphaltgrn

@asphaltgreen

@asphaltgreen


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WORKOUTS

Best Mind/ Body Workout MODO YOGA 434 Sixth Ave. 212-780-9642 www.nyc.modoyoga.com This popular yoga spot in the West Village offers hot yoga classes, with or without music. Modo’s sweaty program combines hot yoga with the precision of therapeutic yoga and the foundation of traditional yoga. They offer classes all-day long and accept drop-ins for $20. It’s a small space that attracts a youngish crowd that fills virtually all classes. Member Marcelline says she has been doing it over a year and it has helped her lose 54 pounds and “has changed my life [and] attitude.”

X 93 Fitness has serious trainers for serious workout enthusiasts. Photo via x93fitness. com

PURE YOGA 204 West 77th St. 212-877-2025 www.pureyoga.com Memberships can be a bit pricey at this high-end yoga “spa,” but devotees say it’s well worth it. Founded in 2002, and popular across Asia, Pure Yoga arrived in New York in 2008. The club’s mission is to “empower seekers to create their new yoga body and mind.” Clients praise the serene surroundings, friendly, knowledgeable staff, spacious showers and saunas. Pure offers 350 classes across 20 yoga styles, including hot yoga, meditation and ashtanga.

BODE NYC 173 East 83rd St. 212-288-9642 www.bodenyc.com Walk-ins are welcome at this traditional yoga studio that offers a challenging, invigorating selection of classes. Owners Donna Rubin and Jennifer Lobo opened their Bikram practice in 1999, as a total experience featuring core strengthening classes and guided meditation — Hot Bode Flow for upper body and Yin Nidra for deep stretching. They offer a 21day introductory membership for $49; drop-in classes are available for $30. Clients say the staff is friendly and the instructors are nurturing and patient.

Best Indoor Pools COMMUNITY CENTER AT STUYVESTANT HIGH SCHOOL 345 Chambers St. 212-267-9700 www.bpcparks.org This Battery Park City rec center is a great, relatively inexpensive place for you or your children to swim, play sports or get fit. It features a half-Olympic-size pool, as well as basketball courts and a fitness center. Memberships start at $79 for kids and there are discounts for Battery Park residents and veterans. The Center also offers day passes: $15 for adults and $10 for youth.

GERTRUDE EDERLE RECREATION CENTER 232 West 60th St. 212-397-3159 www.nycparks.org Named for a New Yorker who became an Olympic Medal winner and the first woman to swim the English Channel, this no-frills recreation center offers

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year-round swimming, lessons and an aquatics program for members at very low rates. Classes include Learn to Swim, Adaptive Swimming for people with disabilities and senior and adult water exercise. Youth under 18 can become members for free. Users say the facility is clean and the staff is helpful.

ASPHALT GREEN — UPPER EAST SIDE 555 East 90th St. 212-369-8890 www.asphaltgreen.org Asphalt Green is a multipurpose health and fitness facility with a beautiful, 50-meter Olympic swimming pool that offers free and low-cost programming for kids as well as seniors. You can buy one of three types of memberships or pay a $35 day-rate to use all the facilities. Their swim program includes “waterproofing,” free swimming instruction and water safety classes for children who attend New York City public schools. Fans applaud the “beautiful facility and friendly staff.”

www.flexptny.com Flex offers holistic treatment and one-of-a-kind treatment plans that adapt to your everchanging needs. Licensed physical therapists treat each patient to fix your aches, pains and sports and orthopedic injuries in 30-minute sessions. Patients give high marks to the staff and report remarkable results in a relatively short period of time, depending on the extent of your injuries.

HSS SPINE THERAPY CENTER 450 East 75th St. 646-714-6850 www.hss.edu The Hospital for Special Surgery offers specialized care for spine patients with lower back problems through a variety of techniques tailored to the individual. Therapists work with your doctor to develop a menu of activities to restore and maintain strength, flexibility and balance, as well as the Schroth method of Pilates. The therapists are experienced, well-trained and helpful and the facilities are clean and wellmaintained. The website lists over 250 patient testimonials.

Best Trainers TRIBECA HEALTH AND FITNESS 107 Chambers St. 212-732-9466 www.tribecagym.com Allison and Frederick Thompson took over this gym and have turned it into a fitness factory using holistic methods, or what they call “Lifestyle Optimization.” Their staff of professional trainers take clients through challenging workouts in the tri-level, 10,000 squarefoot space, which is clean and well-maintained and stocked with strength machines and free weights for fitness buffs or people recovering from injuries. Customer Chiara says, “it’s a terrific, no-nonsense gym that very few people know about.” They do take drop-ins.

X 93 FITNESS 673 Amsterdam Ave. 212-280-0689 www.x93fitness.com Trainer Chris Fernandez and his colleagues pay attention to detail to design individual plans based on the client’s needs and level at this Upper West Side

gym that specializes in “total body training.” One customer said of his trainer: “He listened and created a workout that was made just for me.” Their motto is “Training you Can Afford,” and there are no enrollment or membership fess — you pay for each class or workout session.

EXCEED FITNESS 1477 Third Ave. 212-481-5300 www.exceedphysicalculture. com Trainers at this Upper East Side boutique gym specializes in HIIT — High-Intensity Interval Training. Exceed’s signature session, “The Workout,” is a serious 50-minute piece designed for athletes or wannabe athletes at all levels. Trainers like kick-boxing specialist Ian Allen craft individual plans for their clients, who rave about the “high-energy” workouts.

Best Indoor Tennis MIDTOWN TENNIS CLUB

Best Physical Therapy

341 Eighth Ave. 212-989-8572 www.midtowntennis.com You can schedule playing time on one of their eight courts, enroll in their adult or junior programs or take lessons from established pros at reasonable rates in a conveniently located club that’s been around since 1965. There are no membership fees, staffers are friendly and accommodating and the place is spiffy clean. Hourly rates start at $90 — and they’ll even fix your strings.

SPEAR PHYSICAL THERAPY

MANHATTAN PLAZA RACQUET CLUB

269 West 16th St. 646-841-1411 www.spearcenter.com Therapy with a view! This spacious, Chelsea loft clinic boasts a talented, experienced “salt-of-the-earth” staff that will take you through your paces on modern equipment with good street views. Spear has 15 Manhattan locations and satisfied customers say the staff patiently explains the exercise and benefits. The Chelsea clinic is conveniently located near many subway lines.

450 West 43rd St. 212-594-0554 www.advantagetennisclubs. com The club, just a block from Times Square, has five newly resurfaced hard courts in an airconditioned year-round bubble. Hourly rates start at $62 and monthly rates are available — as are private lessons from pros for from $60 to $175, plus court fees. Staffers will help you arrange games with competitors of roughly your level and ability.

FLEX PHYSICAL THERAPY

SUTTON EAST

278 West 81st St. 212-579-3539

Clay courts and junioir programs at Sutton East Tennis. Photo via suttoneasttennis.com

488 East 60th St. 212-751-3452 suttoneasttennis.com


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Your neighborhood news source

otdowntown.com Photo: Asphalt Green

There are no membership fees at this Yorkville facility which boasts eight indoor red clay courts. You pay for court time or classes and they have programs for all playing levels â&#x20AC;&#x201D; including ones just for intermediate and advanced players. The club also has a junior development program for kids 6 to 18, and Pee Wee Tennis for kids aged 2½-to-5 years. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also match play and an evening league. Hourly rates range from $80 to $165 for singles courts â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but they periodically offer off-peak court time promotional packages.

Best Strength Workout SOHO STRENGTH LAB 182 Mulberry St. 646-926-1182 www.sohostrengthlab.com If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a tough,

strength-building workout that combines old-school grit and new-school personal training, Soho Strength Lab is your kind of place. Trainers Andy Speer, Ryan Hopkins and their experienced colleagues will help you get strong in either group or personal training drills over two ďŹ&#x201A;oors in their 39,000-squarefoot emporium. Their clients are serious â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and some are even famous, like Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard and model Christy Turlington.

SLOW BURN PERSONAL TRAINING 168 West 78th St. 212-579-9320 www. slowburnpersonaltraining. com Trainer Fredrick Hahn developed a highly touted low-force, slow motion training routine called the Slow Burn method, which he guarantees will make you a leaner, stronger version of yourself in just 30 minutes a couple of times a

week. Hahn and his team work in a small space with a maximum of four clients to reach controlled muscle fatigue. Slow Burn can be pricey, but they offer one free introductory workout. And, hey, they were on the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Todayâ&#x20AC;? show last year with Hoda Kotbe and Kathie Lee Gifford.

UPLIFT STUDIOS 24 West 23rd St. 212-242-3103 www.upliftfitness.com This women-only, female power palace offers cardio and strengthening classes in an airy boutique gym in the Flatiron District. Trainers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; many of whom sport T-shirts or tank tops that say â&#x20AC;&#x153;Strong Women Uplift Each Otherâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; design body-sculpting and training routines will get and keep you toned and ďŹ t. Their signature program, Power X, is a 55-minute circuit-style routine. They offer a $20 one-time-use pass for a group class.

The Best Shopping in Lower Manhattan Everything twinkles a little brighter in Lower Manhattan during the holiday season. Our ice rinks have Olympians and Brooklyn Bridge views, and Santa sits in the tallest tower in the western hemisphere. No worrying about where to park or what to wear, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a quick train ride away and protected from the cold weather with tons of indoor shopping. We have over 1,300 diverse shops, world-class restaurants and hotels, and iconic attractions in less than one-square-mile. Lower Manhattan is exactly where you want to be to get your Holiday shopping

Best Credit Union At Bethpage Federal Credit Union, we care about what you care about. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why our Money Market account offers you a faster way to grow your savings. With an APY of 1.75%, a Bethpage Money Market account makes your money work hard for you while giving you easy access to it. Plus, you can open an account with as little as $500. Get started by visiting our Chelsea branch or lovebethpage.com.

Best Writing Classes for All Level West Side YMCA Writerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Voice is one of New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s longest-running and well respected creative writing programs. Each class offers writers of all levels a great opportunity to generate new or hone existing material with the support of our faculty and writing peers. We offer classes in eight week sessions in the writing stylesof Memoir, Fiction, Non-fiction, Comedy, and Playwriting/Screenwriting. The West Side YMCA is located at 5 West 63 Street New York, NY. Registration opens for Members December 15 and for Community Members on December 22. For more information, visit us at http://ymcanyc.org/communityarts.

Best Performing Arts Classes for all Ages Do you have a rising star in your family? Are you the next triple threat?You have the talent, we have the stage. Come join us at West Side YMCA, located at 5 West 63 Street New York, NY. We offer classes for Youth in Musical Theatre, Ballet, Contemporary, and Drama and for Adults we offer Theater and Vocal Music classes. Studentsof all levels have the opportunity to learn from performing arts professionals who provide an in-depth learning experience. Registration for classes begins December 15 for Members and December 22 for the Community. For more information, please visit us at http://ymcanyc.org/communityarts.

Best Theater in Chelsea Irish Repertory Theatre, called â&#x20AC;&#x153;one of the finest theater companies in Americaâ&#x20AC;? by Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal, is currently celebrating its 30th Anniversary Season. You donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to travel far or pay much to see world-class theater. Irish Repâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 22nd Street home features the best of Irish and Irish-American dramayear-round. Chelsea residents can access rush tickets (50% off!) up to one week in advance of Wednesday evening performances. Stop by today and plan your next outing! Current productions: Two by Friel (ends Dec 23) and A Childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Christmas in Wales (ends Dec 30).

Best Doggy Daycare Facility on the Upper West Side Playground Pups, "NTUFSEBNCFUXFFOOEBOESEttQMBZHSPVOEQVQTDPN Established in 2009, Playground Pups is the Upper West Sideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier doggy daycare facility, offering daycare, crateless boarding, grooming, training, a free weekly puppy playgroup and a small boutique. Owner run and operated, we are known for our passion for our dogs. Our experienced daycare staff treat every dog as if they were our own. Offering an introductory 1â &#x201E;2 day of daycare ($40) at no charge, now through the end of January. First half day assessments are done 7 days a week, by appointment only. Free puppy playgroups are for new puppies up to 8 months of age and are given every Saturday and Sunday from 10 -11am. No reservations required and your puppy needs only age appropriate vaccines to come. Check us out on Yelp, Google, Facebook or our website at www.playgroundpups.com. SPONSORED CONTENT

:HDUHDSURXGPHPEHURIWKH $VVRFLDWHG3UHVVDQGWKH 1DWLRQDO1HZVSDSHU$VVRFLDWLRQ Female-focused Uplift Studios offer strength and cardio classes. Their motto is â&#x20AC;&#x153;Strong women uplift each other.â&#x20AC;? Photo: Uplift Studios


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S E R O T S D O NEIGHBORHO

Best Toy Stores KIDDING AROUND 60 West 15th St. 212-645-6337 www.kiddingaroundtoys.com This long-standing specialty toy shop has been around for more than 20 years and — aside from its warm, neighborhood feel — boasts a huge and somewhat eclectic selection of reasonably priced toys, dolls, puppets, starter “bikes,” dress-up options and books. Owner Christina Clark’s helpful and friendly staff is full of suggestions to satisfy any child’s desires. They have a dizzying array of Thomas the Tank Engine paraphernalia, stuffed animals and puzzles.

WEST SIDE KIDS 498 Amsterdam Ave. 212-496-7282 www.westsidekidsnyc.com For more than 35 years, Alice Bergman and her daughter Jenny have run this small toy emporium that prides itself on carrying a collection of well-chosen toys for kids from toddlers to teens. In addition to staples like Legos, action figures and train sets, they sell educational toys like “Magnetic Wooden Alphabet” and “Math Magic,” which they will wrap and deliver. Customer Susan says: “This is the first place I go to find toys ... and I never walk away empty-handed.”

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MARY ARNOLD TOYS

MURRAY’S STURGEON

1178 Lexington Ave. 212-744-8510 www.maryarnoldtoys.com Mary Arnold Toys first opened its doors in 1931 and boasts of being “America’s oldest, continuously run toy store.” Mary Arnold carries a wide range of educational and imaginative toys, including a deluxe puppet theatre and a “Columbus Girl Basket” for newborns up to oneyear-olds. The selections range from the newest creations to the toys and games you played with as a child.

2429 Broadway 212-724-2650 www.murrayssturgeon.com This 72-year-old little gem is smaller, and a little bit up Broadway from the worldfamous Zabar’s, but it’s definitely in the same league — and its prices are often slightly lower. The lox and caviar are yummy, but they also carry Kosher deli meats, chopped liver like grandma used to make, a “Kosher” Alaskan seafood salad and an array of delicious knishes.

Best Appetizing Shops SADELLE’S 463 West Broadway 212-776-4926 www.sadelles.com This New York City brunch restaurant and takeout place in the heart of Soho consistently makes every “Best of” list. It features signature items like bagels on a baton and lavishlyarranged smoked fish towers, salami and eggs, babka loaves and every style of blintzes imaginable. But its most popular item is its French toast, which is soaked in egg, milk and cinnamon overnight and then deep fried. Lines can be long but Sadelle’s is worth the wait.

SABLE’S 1489 Second Ave. 212-249-6177 www.sablesnyc.com Brothers Danny and Kenny Sze learned the trade during their 12 years as lox slicers and managers at Zabar’s. This small, often-crowded takeout-only shop offers fabulous fish at fabulous prices. Aside from fish, they also offer cold cuts, exotic cheeses, salads and desserts, including rugalach and babka. One longtime customer says, “They have the best Nova and bialys you can find anywhere.”

Best Shoe Repair ROMANO COBBLER 224 Eighth Ave. 212-675-7463 The team at Romano’s repairs and restores boots and shoes of all types at reasonable prices and gets raves for great customer service. Voted “Best of New York” by New York Magazine in 2014. Satisfied customer Stephanie gushes: “I don’t trust many people with my expensive shows, but I do trust this place.” They offer free pickup and delivery and do watch and jewelry repair; no listed website, but they’re on Facebook.

MEL’S SHOE REPAIR 262 West 72nd St. 212-877-3517

Danny and Kenny Sze of Sable’s. Photo via sablesnyc.com

This longtime shoe repair shop is under new management and underwent a complete remodeling. Customers give the new owners a big thumbs-

up for friendliness, expertise and workmanship. Satisfied customer Valencia says it is “the best shoe work I have ever had.” Mel’s offers an awesome selection of polishes, inserts and related supplies.

You can get this hoodie at Choices. Photo via choicesgifts. com

YANZ LEATHER SERVICES 1427 Lexington Ave. 212-722-0041 www.yanzleather.com This relatively new shop offers quality shoe repair, shines, stretching, dyeing and steam cleaning — as well as handbag repair — in this small but attractive store Upper East Side store. Many regard the friendly, experienced owner as the “Shoe Genius.” Loyal customer Chris says: “I am beyond satisfied with Yanz. They are very professional. I have been recommending them to all my friends and I will continue to do so.”

Best Jewelry Store GREENWICH ST. JEWELERS 64 Trinity Place 212-964-7592. www.greenwichjewelers.com Despite the name this small, family-owned high-end jewelry store is not on Greenwich St., but it has been selling, repairing and restoring gems since 1976. They carry pieces for everyday wear and special occasions. They feature such top designers as Chris Ploof, Jane Taylor and Jennie Kwan. The friendly staff will even steam clean your wellworn rings as you wait for them to wrap your new purchases.

THE JEWEL BOUTIQUE 2586 Broadway 646-684-4888 www.tjbnyc.com This elegant “top-notch” jewelry store specializes in custom designs, high-end watches and repairs and stone resetting. Owner Harmeet boasts on the website: “You dream it, we make it.” His staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and they have an in-house designer who will bring your idea to life with a sketch, wax and rubber mold and finally the metal of your choice.

ALEX’S JEWELRY 1435 Lexington Ave. 212-988-5135 www.alexsjewelrynyc.com

This trendy but traditional family-owned shop carries a wide array of wedding rings, diamonds, necklaces, watches and bracelets, many at reasonable or discounted prices. Alex’s offers same-day service on sizing and some repairs. One longtime customer, Penny, says: “They are incredibly talented jewelers who put a premium on excellent customer relations.”

MAGPIE

Best Gift Shops

488 Amsterdam Ave. 212-579-3003 www.magpienewyork.com Sylvia Parker opened this neighborhood gift store six years ago, offering a mix of stylish, eco-friendly gifts including home décor, jewelry, stationary and toys. She sells a whimsical collection of locally made or designed merchandise, including artisanal toffee made in Harlem, as well as fashionable silk bracelets from Turkey. There’s a blue octopus rattle for the baby in your life, pocket wallets for men and Victoria Bekerman earrings.

VILLAGE GIFTS NYC

CHOICES

175 Bleecker St. 917-675-7366 www.villagegiftsnyc.com This somewhat offbeat modern shop offers a twist on the usual tourist-oriented city-themed gifts. They sell bracelets, watches, keychains, lighters, fancy cigar cutters, vape goods, a variety of flavors of e-juice, and an eclectic collection of tchotchkes. This is not your grandmother’s gift store.

220 East 78th St. 212-794-3858 www.choicesgifts.com Choices is one of the oldest bookstores in the country specializing in wellness and recovery from addiction, be it alcohol or substance abuse, love or codependency. Products at owner Jay De Paolo’s “selfimprovement mecca” include incense, essential oils, recovery books and glow-in-the-dark medallions, not to mention the “Grateful I’m Not Dead” hoodie.


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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Pizzaâ&#x20AC;? -NYPress Best of Manhattan â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Pizza Restaurantâ&#x20AC;?NYPress Best of Manhattan Readers Poll â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Slice of Pizza (Below 42nd St.)â&#x20AC;? -NYPress Best of Manhattan Readersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Poll â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Deliveryâ&#x20AC;? -NYPress Best of Manhattan â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best Pizza: Whole Pie Varietyâ&#x20AC;?-Best of Borough- OT/WSS

COAL OVEN PIZZA

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Pizza

white pizza

Our standard pizza is made with fresh mozzarella, a San Marzano tomato sauce and topped with romano and fresh basil.

mozzarella, ricotta, romano cheese and fresh garlic. No Sauce. large eight slice ........................................................................... $27.50 small six slices ............................................................................ $23.50

large eight slice ........................................................................... $24.50 small six slices ............................................................................ $21.50

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toppings

0VSIPVTFTBMBEJTBCMFOEPGPSHBOJDNFTDMVOHSFFOT NVTISPPNT POJPOT  tomatoes, and our house vinaigrette. It is large enough for two.

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DECEMBER 6-12,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Best Hair Salon Salon West (646) 876-1127 (212) 579-8097 www.salonwestnyc.com For 21 years, Salon West has served as the Upper West Sideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading salon. With hair color, haircut, extensions, keratin treatment and eyebrow specialists, this salon is the one stop shop for having the very best hair. Salon West has 2 locations - 625 Amsterdam on 90th and West 85th on Amsterdam. Open 7 days a week with extended hours for the holidays, call or book online for 20% off your first service!

HOME IMPROVEMENT

Best Bilingual Independent School For Ages 2-13 International Academy of New York. 4 East 90th Street. 212-641-0260 www.ianyc.org A gem on the Upper East Side next to Central Park, the International Academy of New York has been featured on television (Babbel, SinoVision, China News Service, Fox5) and in print for its outstanding bilingual program. Children choose the Spanish or Mandarin Chinese track, with the goal of fluency. The school is committed to maintaining a multi-cultural and diverse student body and faculty, and keeps a low teacher to student ratio to deliver personal attention to each student, teaching them the skills to contribute and thrive in todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s world. Accepting applications for Pre-Nursery through Grade 4, and adding a grade each year through Grade 8.

The Private School Redefining Education on the Upper West Side BASIS Independent Manhattan 795 Columbus Avenue | 347-305-4960 | manhattan.basisindependent.com . BASIS Independent Manhattan is a PreKâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;grade 8 private school that raises the standards of student learning to the highest international levels. The nationally recognized BASIS Curriculum, offers a liberal arts and sciences program that is benchmarked to the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top education systems. Passionate, expert teachers with advanced degrees or experience in their fields lead each subject and every grade level, bringing classrooms to life and preparing students with the content knowledge, critical-thinking skills, and confidence to succeed in their education and beyond. Accepting applications for fall 2019.

Best Fitness Center Asphalt Greenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Upper East Side duplex fitness center overlooks the East River and features top-of-the-line strength and cardio training equipment. Alongside free weights, Olympic lifting platforms, and TRX suspension trainers is dedicated turfed space for functional fitness, encouraging gym-goers to be creative with their workouts. Ample studio space allows for over 100 weekly group exercise classes, including a variety of strength, cardio, core, Pilates, yoga, cycling, and AG6TM, our arcade-style workout. Asphalt Greenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s downtown location in the heart of Battery Park City offers an equally excellent fitness experience with comparable amenities and friendly staff.

Best Vision and Healthcare Lighthouse Guild 8FTUUI4USFFU BU8FTU&OE ttMJHIUIPVTFHVJMEPSH Provides coordinated vision and healthcare. We can maximize your functional vision and address underlying medical issues. We offer primary healthcare and specialty care, vision assessments (optometry), physical and occupational therapy. Our American Diabetesaccredited self-management program includes nutritional counseling and support groups. Our behavioral health services can help you cope with vision loss and other issues such as depression, trauma, addiction and PTSD. Our Adult Day Health Care program is for people with vision loss and chronic medical conditions. Anyone can benefit from our healthcare services regardless of vision loss.

The Compression Store has arrived to NYC! The Compression Store, centrally located at 1476 1st Avenue is delighted to announce its GRAND OPENING. We are a Surgical Sock Shop Company, established in 1998. Our state of the art showroom includes the largest selection of compression socks and garments in NYC. We staff experienced certified fitters that are trained to determine the appropriate garment for each individual and need. We sell products from top quality brands such as Medi, Sigvaris, Juzo, Jobst, Therafirm etc. Our stock includes compression garments, ready to wear and custom, maternity supporters, sport socks, orthotics, and braces. Most major insurances accepted! Our prices are discounted and the lowest offered. Fax or email your prescription today! F:(212) 224-9560 E: rx@thecompressionstore.com

Manhattan Cabinets is a ďŹ xture on the Upper East Side. Photo: Manhattan Cabinets

Best Kitchen/ Bath Remodeling MCK+B 41 West 25th St. 212-995-0500 www.mkcb.com The Manhattan Center for Kitchen and Bath promises that their experienced staff of designers and builders will provide stress-free renovation and wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bust your budget â&#x20AC;&#x201D; whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $10,000 or $100,000. They have a complete line of kitchen appliances and vanities for sale whether you want a contemporary design or favor a more traditional approach. MCK+B can be a bit pricey, but customers say the quality of material and workmanship are worth it.

INTELLIGENT KITCHEN 521 Amsterdam Ave. 212-501-8000 www.ikdny.com This renovation studio gets most of its cabinetry, appliances and material from leading European and U.S. suppliers. Lauren and her team of designers will listen to your ideas and steer you in the right direction with clear, creative plans to ďŹ t your budget. Happy customer Ariel says â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lauren is very easy to work with ... [she] is proud of her work and stands by it.â&#x20AC;?

MANHATTAN CABINETS 1349 Second Ave. 212-548-2436 www.manhattancabinets. com Zee, Rob and their crew of techs have been plying their trade at Manhattan Cabinets â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a ďŹ xture in this Upper East Side neighborhood â&#x20AC;&#x201D; for years. Their showroom boasts

The Expanded National Museum of the American Indian The Smithsonianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s National Museum of the American Indian is a cultural staple of Lower Manhattan. Located in the stately Beaux Arts Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, the museum offers a rotating slate of exhibitions, programming and film that embrace Native American cultures throughout the Western Hemisphere. The museum greatly expanded their offerings in 2018 with the addition of the imagiNATIONS Activity Center, an interactive new space that explores Native innovations in science and technology, as well as a newly renovated museum store that is three times larger. The museum is open every day except December 25 and admission is free. SPONSORED CONTENT

premier cabinetry, countertops and built-in shelving designed to show off your kitchen and make your bathroom sparkle. SatisďŹ ed customers say the team of experts provides good services, great ideas and tips to bring your vision to life. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am extremely happy with my new home,â&#x20AC;? loyal customer Joan says, noting that she got exactly what she wanted at exactly the right price.

Best Handyman NYC HANDYMAN 235 West 45th St. 917-915-5732 www.bigapplehandyman.com Owner Kamani is a selfproclaimed â&#x20AC;&#x153;handyman extraordinaireâ&#x20AC;? who runs a oneman operation that has been assembling furniture and gym equipment, mounting TVs and hanging mirrors, curtains and blinds for more than 10 years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If it comes in a box, I can probably assemble it,â&#x20AC;? he proclaims on his website. But thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a catch: Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s allergic to cats, so if you have a feline, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re out of luck.

HAYS NYC 115 West 74th St. 646-875-5050 www.hays-nyc.com

Veterans Chair Caning & Repair was founded in Hellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kitchen in 1899. Photo courtesy Veterans Caning

Have a middle-of-the-night plumbing emergency? No problem for these jack-of-all trades handymen who also do


DECEMBER 6-12,2018

electrical work, painting, shelf installation, picture-hanging and kitchen renovation. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll even assemble those IKEA purchases that look easier than they really are. Take it from satisďŹ ed customer Jess: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had a plumbing emergency around midnight. They arrived 45 minutes after I called, and they ďŹ xed the problem perfectly and fast.â&#x20AC;?

Alexander Technique Get Comfortable in Your Body Introductory Session $40

TOM EURO-3000 434 East 89th St. 917-450-9449 www.handyman-nyc.com

How comfortable are you sitting at your desk? Do you feel any pain or tension in your shoulders, neck, or back? Lessons in Alexander Technique might be the solution out of pain, freeing you into balance and coordination!

This handyman service has been operating out of the Upper East Side since 1927, doing major and minor repairs, tiling, appliance installation, plumbing, electrical work, ďŹ&#x201A;oor reďŹ nishing, wallpapering and locksmithing. Loyal customers rave about their prompt service, good workmanship and reasonable prices. They work primarily between 79th and 96th Streets, between Fifth Ave. and East End Ave., but will go a bit further at an extra cost.

Book Your Session Now Manhattan Center for Kitchen and Bath promises stress-free renovation. Photo via mkcb.com

176 Broadway 212-257-0090 www.broadwaypainters.com Owner Mez Diamond has been running this relatively new â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but well-regarded â&#x20AC;&#x201D; painting company for seven years. They paint and stain apartments, houses and offices across the city. But his best talking point is coop and condo boards and management companies to get the needed permits and approvals quickly. SatisďŹ ed customers say the company is responsive, helpful and their prices are competitive. Loyal customer Dan says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;working with Mez was a pleasure.â&#x20AC;?

www.think-at.com To book your session contact:

Best Painters BROADWAY PAINTERS

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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

BRUSHED INTERIORS 101 West 85th St. 917-400-4025 www.brushedinteriors.com Owner David Sartoriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roots are in Milwaukee and he says he has brought his â&#x20AC;&#x153;Midwest work ethicâ&#x20AC;? to this Upper West Side outďŹ t that takes pride in its ability to paint, plaster, and restore the beauty to your home or apartment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Updating your space should be a pleasure, not a pain,â&#x20AC;? he states on his website. One happy client says Sartori â&#x20AC;&#x153;is a fantastic painter and a great guy.â&#x20AC;?

WARSHOW PAINTING AND DECORATING 236 East 78th St.

212-368-5600 www.warshowpainting.com Owner Sheldon Warshow has been running this 98-yearold company for the past ďŹ ve decades. His experienced crew does straight painting, skim coating, staining and tile and wallpaper installation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and they are happy to work with their customers to carry out their vision. He also boasts an impressive client list which includes the USS Intrepid, Sarah Meir Photography and Barbara Fairchild, the editor-in-chief of Bon Appetit magazine, who said in a testimonial that she was â&#x20AC;&#x153;delightedâ&#x20AC;? with Warshowâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work and â&#x20AC;&#x153;will not hesitate to recommend you to our friends.â&#x20AC;?

.POBNPOB!UIJOLBUDPNt'BJTBMGBJTBM!UIJOLBUDPN AMEX Tower, 200 Vesey St, 24th Fl

The local paper for Downtown

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

otdowntown.com Beckenstein Fabric & Interiors custom-designs pieces to ďŹ t personalities. Photo: Beckenstein, via Facebook


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DECEMBER 6-12,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

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DECEMBER 6-12,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

FROM OBJECT TO SUBJECT The Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia’s new Manhattanville campus stages a groundbreaking show about the evolving representation of the black female figure BY VAL CASTRONOVO

“Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today” is a major exhibit, co-organized by Columbia University’s Wallach Art Gallery in West Harlem and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. It has its origins in a 2013 doctoral dissertation by Columbia grad student Denise Murrell, now a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the gallery and the exhibit’s curator. Murrell had the idea to trace depictions of the black female figure in art history, inspired by the overlooked black maid in Édouard Manet’s iconic

and, by the standards of the time, quite scandalous “Olympia” (1863), a picture of a reclining white courtesan in slippers and jewels sans her clothes. “It’s considered to be the foundational painting of modern art. It flashes up on the screen in courses, and you’re sitting there listening, taking notes, and the entire narrative is about the reclining, nude white woman, but I’m always seeing two women in this painting, who are presented in a manner that suggests they should both be brought to our attention,” Murrell said in an interview. “It was just one of my early curiosities for research purposes to look into what else could be said about the black model who posed with Olympia.” And to examine her legacy — the re-imagining, deconstructing and unpacking of the painting, “the way the Olympia maid figure was a major project of artists, including those of our current generation.”

The extravagant “Young Woman with Peonies” (1870) by Frédéric Bazille, believed to represent a flower vendor not a servant. Oil on canvas, 23 5/8 × 29 9/16 in. (60 × 75 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. Image courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

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IF YOU GO: WHAT: “Posing Modernity: The Black Model from Manet and Matisse to Today” WHERE: The Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, Lenfest Center for the Arts; 615 West 129th St. (west of Broadway) WHEN: Through Feb. 10 wallach.columbia.edu Works by Manet (1832-83) and his avant-garde circle kick off the show, which includes loans of more than 100 paintings, sculptures, photos, prints and book illustrations. The maid avec bouquet in “Olympia” was a woman named Laure, who the artist painted three times in one year (the original “Olympia” will be featured in an expanded presentation next spring at the Musée d’Orsay). In each painting, Laure assumes a different role: brothel worker (“Olympia”), nanny (“Children in the Tuileries Gardens”), and, in the expressive portrait at the exhibit’s entrance (“La négresse”), not a servant but “a young woman who might be working in a shop or be an actress. You just see all of these social roles that black women played in 19th century Paris,” the curator said. In contrast to academic artists like Jean-Léon Gérôme, who portrayed black women as exotic and barebreasted, Manet painted these women as he saw them—free blacks living in the northern neighborhoods of Paris in the aftermath of the second French abolition of territorial slavery in 1848. Their presence was small, but they were an undeniable part of the social fabric. They were servants, dancers, actresses, equestrians, circus stars, matrons and working-class stiffs. Some were part of the painter’s immediate social and artistic milieu. As Murrell said, “The changing mode of representing the black female figure is part of what makes modern art modern. Because in the traditions of Orientalism and Romanticism, the black female figure was always exoticized, [put] in a remote locale, with all this exotic, romantic attire. What Manet and the painters of modern life did was re-situate that figure in the heart of everyday 1860s Paris.” Frédéric Bazille (1841-70) was a fan of Manet and changed his style in response to the master’s depictions of modern life. The gorgeous works on display illustrate his transition from the academic style of painting popular at the Salon de Paris to the modernist painting of everyday scenes champi-

New York-based artist Mickalene Thomas is known for her rhinestone-studded portraits. Mickalene Thomas, Din, une très belle négresse #1 (Din, a very beautiful black woman #1), 2012. Rhinestones, acrylic, oil, and enamel on wood panel, 102 × 84 in. (259.1 × 213.4 cm). Jiménez-Colón Collection, Ponce, PR. © Mickalene Thomas / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York oned by his hero. On the one hand, there’s “La toilette” (1869-70), with the requisite Orientalist, bare-breasted black woman in a servile position. “She’s kneeling, she’s working, she’s helping the woman dress,” Murrell said. “But then that painting is rejected by the salon, and Bazille decides to become an acolyte of Manet.” He takes the same black model, whose name is not known, and gives her a modern spin in the extravagant “Young Woman with Peonies” (1870), on display. “She’s not necessarily a servant. I read her to be a flower vendor. That’s another step up in the social hierarchy, of making your way [and having] an economic toehold in the society,” the curator said. “She’s in French attire, she’s not bare-breasted, and she’s portrayed in a very sympathetic way. There’s a sense of an individual personality.” The work is a symbolic tribute to Manet, of course: the subject is offering

peonies, which the artist famously loved. He painted them and cultivated them at his country house. There is a riveting cache of works by Henri Matisse (1869-54) here. Murrell serendipitously discovered that the artist visited New York four times in the 1930s. “We learn from his letters… that he was in the daytime visiting The Met and being hosted by the Rockefellers, but at night he is visiting jazz clubs and attending black theater,” she said. He engages with artists and writers in the city and sees the modernist works of the Harlem Renaissance, which had a profound influence on his aesthetic. Cumulatively, the black model moves “from object to subject over the course of the 160 years covered by the show,” Murrell said. There are now portrayals “based on how black women are seeing themselves and their history. But we still have too few contemporary artists of color on view.”


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Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

DECEMBER 6-12,2018

STUDENTS PROTEST CUNY BACKING OF AMAZON PLAN PROTESTS Despite “great promise of opportunity,” agreement for tech giant’s plan doesn’t mention City University by name BY ORLA MCCAFFREY

The City University of New York’s support of the new Amazon headquarters in Long Island City is the latest example of disinvestment in the system’s students, protesters said last Friday. About 30 people gathered outside the Wall Street office of CUNY Board of Trustees Chairman William C. Thompson Jr., chanting “Colleges not corporations, you should fund our education.” Students took Amazon delivery boxes and drew black eyes beneath the company’s signature arrow. Then they flipped them upside down, creating a frown. “We’re here today to advocate for students because the board of trustees can’t do that,” said Sebastian Uchida, a City College student. “CUNY is plagued by crumbling buildings and student homelessness, and what do we get? Tax breaks for one of the richest men in the world.” Protesters took issue with a New York Daily News op-ed penned in late November by Thompson and Vita C. Rabinowitz, CUNY’s interim chancellor. Forgotten in much of the Amazon discussion, the piece says, is “the great

FORUM CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 chael Blake; Bitcoin businessman Theo Chino; Columbia University Professor David Eisenbach; Brooklyn City Council Member Rafael Espinal; attorney Ifeoma Ike; investigative journalist Nomiki Konst; former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Manhattan Assemblymember Danny O’Donnell; Manhattan City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez; Attorney Dawn Smalls; Brooklyn Assemblymember Latrice Walker; Brooklyn City Councilmember Jumaane Williams; and State Democratic Committee member Ben Yee. In the lively give-and-take, several themes emerged repeatedly, both from the candidates and the audience:

The need for the public advocate to be independent of the mayor: One of the event’s strongest themes was directed at an effective check on the mayor and his agencies when necessary. Several candidates said they would seek subpoena powers and the right

Students turn Amazon boxes into protest signs outside the office of CUNY Board of Trustees Chairman William C. Thompson, Jr. on Wall Street. Photo: Orla McCaffrey promise of opportunity, guaranteed in the agreement, for thousands of New Yorkers of diverse backgrounds and means.” “CUNY is positioned to be one of the key engines of that success, and to help the tech community diversify its ranks on a grand scale,” the chairman and chancellor wrote. But protesters said there’s no such agreement in the memorandum of

understanding, the 32-page document between the city, state and Amazon that lays out the initial agreement. “We know the idea of CUNY students getting jobs there is an outrageous thing,” said Urchida. “There is no guarantee.” The agreement says the city, state and Amazon will each contribute $5 million to tech training programs. That could include expansion of the

NYC Tech Talent Pipeline, a partnership between the tech industry, city and some CUNY schools. But the investment is scheduled to roll out over the next decade and doesn’t mention CUNY by name. Students said they’ve been told for years that there isn’t enough money to fund investments in CUNY, despite tuition increases. The $1.5 billion incentive package promised by the city and

to bring lawsuits. (As public advocate, James sued several times only to have the lawsuits thrown out by the courts because she lacked standing to sue.) Also discussed was a need for the public advocate to have a bigger budget and investigative staff, and for that budget to not be decided by the mayor, as it currently is.

New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) developments: Problems with heat, hot water, lead and mold were on the agenda for candidates and audience. Some NYCHA residents pressed candidates about their positions on the de Blasio administration’s plans to sell off open land in NYCHA developments to private developers, who would presumably construct buildings containing some luxury residences, along with more affordable ones. Residents were clearly looking to get pledges of opposition to these plans from the candidates. Zoning issues: There were complaints, and agreement, that the administration is not inclined to put the brakes on “too tall” buildings, such as those now underway at 69th Street and Amsterdam Avenue and

Public advocate candidate Ifeoma Ike speaking (right), with moderator Linda Rosenthal (left). Photo: Erica Overton 66th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue — even when the developer bundled zoning lots in a questionable way, in the first instance, or led the city to believe that his building would be much shorter, in the second. Candidates and audience members criticized the re-zonings of some neighborhoods according to the mayor’s formulas, supposedly designed to produce affordable housing, on the grounds that they lead to increased density

and gentrification. Participants also attacked the recent announcement by de Blasio and Governor Cuomo of the Amazon plan for Long Island City.

The fate of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act: First proposed by then West Side Councilmember Ruth Messenger more than 30 years ago, this would give small business owners the right to negotiate with landlords about terms at lease renewal time, something they currently lack. Advocates say this would help stem the

state should instead be used to pay for some of the most pressing needs of the education system, including infrastructure, vermin infestations and student and faculty poverty. The rally was organized by several CUNY activist groups including CUNY Rising, Brooklyn College’s chapter of Young Progressives of America and New York City Young Democratic Socialists.

tide of vacant storefronts, preserving “mom and pop” businesses and the jobs that go with them. The bill recently had a City Council hearing, its first in many years, but has never advanced to the stage of an actual vote in all the years since its introduction, a situation which advocates say is the result of the outsized influence of the real estate industry. Rosenthal, the moderator, said about the event, ”The huge turnout was an inspiring moment in local politics. I am heartened to see that the new sense of civic activism has extended past the midterm elections. My hope is that this spirit of activism will continue and the new Public Advocate, whomever that may be, should know that the citizens are paying very close attention.” Joining Community Free Democrats as co-sponsors of the forum were: Ansonia Democrats, Broadway Democrats, Columbia Law Democrats, Hell’s Kitchen Democrats, Manhattan Young Democrats, the Manhattan Policy Forum, Northern Manhattan Democrats for Change, and Park River Independent Democrats.


DECEMBER 6-12,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Real Estate Sales

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DECEMBER 6-12,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS

Chop’t

54 Spring St

A

Springbone Kitchen

90 W 3rd St

A

NOV 21 - 27, 2018

The Phluid Project

684 Broadway

A

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

Bao Tea House

140 W 4th St

A

The Meatball Shop

84 Stanton Street

Grade Pending (19) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Grade Pending (17) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewageassociated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

The Fat Radish

17 Orchard Street

A

Pause Cafe

3 Clinton Sreet

A

Davidovich Bakery

120 Essex Street

A

V-Bread Cafe NY

11 Allen St

Grade Pending (30) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations.

Van Leewen Artisan Ice Cream

172 Ludlow St

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

Stromboli Pizza

83 St Marks Place

Panna II Garden Indian Restaurant

93 1st Ave

A

Dig Inn

17 East 17th Street

A

Yuba

105 East 9 Street

A

Rosario’s Pizza

173 Orchard Street

A

Momofuku Milk Bar

251 East 13 Street

A

Great Wall Restaurant

384 Grand St

A

Happy Bowls

61 4th Ave

A

Soho 54

54 Watts Street

A

Blue Bottle Coffee

101 University Pl

A

Ristorante Luna

115 Mulberry Street

A

7B Bar

108 Avenue B

A

Happy Bones

394 Broome St

A

Royale

157 Avenue C

Grade Pending (29) 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. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/ sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Margherita

197 Grand St

A

Double Crispy Bakery I

230 Grand St

A

Zia Maria Little Italy

138 Mulberry St

Not Yet Graded (21) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Bayard Sushi

83 Bayard St

A

A

V Cafe

345 Greenwich Street A

Greecologies

379 Broome St

Grade Pending (21) 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.

Big Wong Restaurant

67 Mott St

Grade Pending (24) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/ or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/ refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Quan Sushi & Grill

375 Broome St

A

Nickel And Diner

199 Centre St

Grade Pending (32) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Evidence of rats or live rats present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Dunkin’ Donuts / Baskin Robbins

100 1 Avenue

Grayson

16 1st Ave

A

Mala Project

122 1st Ave

CLOSED (91) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. 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. Sewage disposal system improper or unapproved. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Future You Cafe

117 E 7th St

A

Milk & Cookies Bakery

19 Commerce Street

CLOSED (38) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Boucherie

99 7th Ave S

A

Serafina Tribeca

113 Reade St

A

Quartino Bottega Organica

11 Bleecker Street

A

Canton Lounge

70 Mott St

A

Gimme Coffee

228 Mott Street

A

Shanghai 21

21 Mott St

Soho Sushi

231 Sullivan Street

Grade Pending (23) Evidence of rats or live rats present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Tobacco use, eating, or drinking from open container in food preparation, food storage or dishwashing area observed.

Grade Pending (22) Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided.

Azumma

265 Canal St

CLOSED (38) Food from unapproved or unknown source or home canned. Reduced oxygen packaged (ROP) fish not frozen before processing; or ROP foods prepared on premises transported to another site. 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.

Mottsu

285 Mott Street

Grade Pending (17) 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.


DECEMBER 6-12,2018

33

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

YOUR 15 MINUTES

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

THE CHARACTER ACTOR TAKES CENTER STAGE New York theater veteran Lou Liberatore talks identity politics, his favorite Chelsea hangouts and what success really means BY MARC BOUCAI

A Chelsea resident for decades, Lou Liberatore first gained in prominence in 1987, when he was nominated for a Tony Award for his portrayal of “Larry” alongside John Malkovich and Joan Allen in Lanford Wilson’s “Burn This.” For thirty years, Liberatore has worked as an actor and teacher in New York City, and he is currently costarring in “Daniel’s Husband,” a new play about gay marriage by Michael McKeever, now in a commercial run at the Westside Theatre after successful productions at Penguin Rep Theatre and Primary Stages. Straus News got the chance to catch up with the busy thespian about being a working character actor and how roles by and about gay men have changed over the past 30 years.

Can you talk a little about how you broke into the business? Well, as my mother says, I came out acting, and so it’s always been in my blood, I suppose. I don’t know where I got it since there was no one prior to me [in my family] who was an actor/ artist that I am really aware of. Growing in New Jersey, my mother would take me to matinees in New York City, and one of the first plays I saw was Joel

Grey in “Cabaret.” I sat there thinking, “I want to do that.” I started at Boston University, and quickly transferred to Fordham University. One of my teachers at Fordham was Rod Marriott... at that time, Rod was a professor and the literary agent at Circle Rep, so I became an intern. I was there doing a lot of grunt work and getting that handson experience...[that was] sort of my grad school, I’d say. And at that time, Circle Rep, and Manhattan Theatre Club, those were the ones you wanted to be around.

Tell me a little bit about “Daniel’s Husband.” It’s about a gay couple, and the facts are that one [partner in] the gay couple wants to get married and the other one doesn’t...and what sort of conversations and discussions come from that. It’s about relationships and commitments, and how we to take care of each other and [our] family, and chosen family. My character has a line in the play: there is “a family you are grown into and a family you create.” That [family] is a stronger bond for some people, and especially for gay people. And even if there is more acceptance, it still resonates today. It’s important for people to see this because as gay men, we have been living our entire lives watching heteronormative stories and trying to find our way into those stories...and so it’s time now certainly for others to see our story and to find their way into ours. And it’s been successful. And I don’t want to call it a gay play. It’s a great

(From left) Lou Liberatore, Ryan Spahn, Matthew Montelongo and Leland Wheeler in “Daniel’s Husband,” now playing at the Westside Theatre. Photo: Carol Rosegg play, touching, heartwarming. After over 100 performances, I can say every person has related to this play. Oh, and this a bastardization of what my costar Ryan Spahn once said in another interview. So credit him, he’s the good talker in the company. He’s a thinker!

band” and the whole gay marriage debate. It changed, for our characters, pre- and post-election, and post-Kavanaugh. That made our approach more serious and immediate and grounded, because we are immediately entrenched in our rights again and we need to fight and resist.

What was your first Broadway role? At Circle Rep one day, Bill Hoffman saw me in the hall, and said, “I have a new play.” I read a couple of scenes… later it became a play called “As Is,” and we did workshops of it and eventually Circle Rep produced [it in 1985]. As we all know now, it was one of the first plays to deal with [the AIDS crisis]...it wasn’t even called AIDS back then.

What is it like being in both “As Is” and “Daniel’s Husband,” two very different gay plays spanning 30 years, one set during the AIDS crisis and one about marriage?

Actor Lou Liberatore. Photo: Ride Hamilton

I really feel quite honored and blessed to deal with seminal issues in the profession I’ve chosen. We really hold a mirror up to humanity…during the time of “As Is,” we didn’t know what the impact was going to be, but the script was changing every day. [It] was a living document, ripped from the headlines, you know, at the same time “The Normal Heart” was being written and rehearsed. Ours was a quieter love story...and it didn’t even have a name. It was GRID, it wasn’t called AIDS at the time. And flash forward to “Daniels Hus-

What advice do you have for young actors trying to break into the business? I teach as well.…in this business, know who you are. Meaning, are you a leading man, lady, are you a character actor? You will save yourself a lot of time. Because there are roles that you can do, and roles that you are. Bill Espers, my acting teacher, said we were not all born to be Hamlet. So know who you are. And I know I am a wonderful support, a wonderful character actor. And there were a good fifteen years when I wasn’t on the stage at all since I was too young for college and not old enough for dads, and I worked in retail after being on Broadway, and let me tell you it’s not so bad!

It’s important for young actors to hear that. They think once you make it, that’s it! I like to say that the Tony nomination did not come with a check or assurances of work. And it’s persistence or naïveté to stay in the business. Also, tell young actors to believe in the project [they] wanna go for, don’t go for the money, just believe in it. Desperation smells horrible.

Any particular companies or off the beaten path venues you would recommend? Well, certainly Ensemble Studio Theatre — shout out to them. I adore them. And there’s Fiasco Theatre, who did “Into the Woods” a couple years back. Them I like. The One-Minute Play Festival is also quite wonderful. The Brick [Theatre] in Brooklyn I like. And the F*it Club with Allyson Morgan; she does a wonderful job. Page 73 does great work. The Women’s Project is great, too.

What are your favorite New York watering holes? I love my neighborhood here, between 23rd and 34th Streets. And there are a lot of great restaurants and cafes. Blossom is a great restaurant down here, it’s vegan - I’m not vegan, and it’s nice to go to a healthier place. I’ve been in Chelsea about 10 years. And I love the area around the [Westside] theatre. West Bank Cafe is such a wonderful, wonderful place. And right next to the theatre is Bea; they have been great hosts to us as well. And we love the Westside Theatre, it’s beautiful and we like to say it’s #broadwayadjacent.

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


20

H Q T O Q E G L A T O P A Z N

Y W Y S U U D N O N S Q M E S

X F N X B R I R D M L H E M T

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P T T W H L O K P Z C M S L O

F G A H E G K A O Q K K H R N

59. Washing machine action 60. “___ you kidding?” 61. Some time ago 62. “___ quam videri” (North Carolina’s motto) 63. Scand. land Down 1. Porcelain piece 2. Like some streets 3. Base of a crocus stem 4. Regulation 5. Flying saucer 6. Fat 7. She-bear and Great bear 8. Kind of center 9. Thwack 10. Get by 11. Poetic contraction 17. Retrovirus, for short 19. Cohort 22. “Losing My Religion” rock group 23. Peter, for one 25. Reunion group 26. Top-of-the-line 27. Retired, for short 28. Tangerine and grapefruit hybrid

Z I K Y B G Q E X L N Q A X O

J J T B A T M O N Y X E T E O

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62

N T C A R N E L I A N B T M D

Y W Y S U U D N O N S Q M E S

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1

WORD SEARCH by Myles Mellor

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

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58

Downtowner 1

DECEMBER 6-12,2018

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

61

34


DECEMBER 6-12,2018

35

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

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36

Our Town|Downtowner otdowntown.com

Volume 2 | Issue 5

The Pulse of

Lenox Health Greenwich Village

Ice and snow mean take it slow: 5 tips to avoid slips and falls this winter During the winter months, ice, snow and cold temperatures can make life challenging for everyone—especially as we get older. Practice these safety tips to stay upright this winter.

1. Walk slowly and carefully. Take shorter, shuffle-like steps with your toes pointed slightly outward to maintain a stable base of support. Bend slightly and walk flat footed to keep your center of gravity over your feet as much as possible. 2. Watch where you’re stepping. Stay aware of the surfaces ahead of you. Look down with your eyes only. (If you move your head downward, you may shift your balance.) 3. Keep your arms at your sides. Carrying items or walking with your hands in your pockets makes it harder to catch yourself if you lose your balance. Consider carrying items in a backpack instead. 4. Use caution exiting your car. Plant both feet firmly on the ground before moving; steady yourself on the door frame until you have your balance. 5. Remove shoes before entering your house. Take off wet shoes at the doorway, so you don’t slip when you come inside.

Did you know…

Almost 25 percent of slips and falls are caused by improper footwear. Wear shoes or boots with treaded soles to lower your risk of injury. Did you know…

More than one out of four people age 65+ falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Be open with your healthcare provider— they can evaluate your risk of falling and help you prevent another accident.

We’re providing local residents with a new model of community-based care. From 24-hour emergency services to a full range of medical specialties, we’ve got you covered. Visit us at Northwell.edu/LenoxHealth or call (646) 846-6105.

DECEMBER 6-12,2018

Our Town Downtown - December 6, 2018  
Our Town Downtown - December 6, 2018  
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