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The local paper for Downtown wn DRAWING GENERATIONS OF FAMILY < ART, P. 12


24 2014


OurTownDowntown @OTDowntown

GREEN THUMB, CONCRETE JUNGLE COMMUNITY GARDENS Some downtown community gardens spring to life, while others fight for their lives BY DANIEL FITZSIMMONS

The Creative Little Garden, on East 6th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B, has been ranked as one of the best community gardens in the city. Photo by Daniel Fitzsimmons

LOWER EAST SIDE Tenants who built and maintained a community garden behind two East Village apartment buildings said that it will be needlessly destroyed by a management company that recently bought the buildings. Around the corner, another community garden that’s ca-

tered to children for the past three decades has had its vegetable patch annexed – illegally they say – by the owner of the lot who abandoned it in the 1980s. And yet a few blocks farther on is the Creative Little Garden, one of the most vibrant – if diminuative - in the East Village. All three cases illustrate the struggles and triumphs that come with operating a community garden in a city as dense as New York. In the first case, the gardeners are fighting for a lot more than a patch of earth. Their two buildings, at 170 and 174

East 2nd Street, were recently acquired by Westminster Management, which is owned by Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who also publishes the New York Observer. Some tenants took buyouts while others decided to stay and fight. One embattled tenant told the East Village blog EV Grieve that the garden could be destroyed any day now, which “would be of no benefit to Westminster, and to the tenants it would be a tragedy.” “Our garden is not just a deco-


A new report highlights severe shortfalls in city arts funding BY MARY NEWMAN

Emily Diamond has been the art teacher at P.S. 6 for the past 16 years. She knows she’s one of the lucky ones: the school, and its parents, have worked to ensure she has the supplies she needs. But, having worked at other schools around New York, she also knows that such support is no longer a guarantee. “Art supplies are expensive, let’s face it,” Diamond said. “When you’re a specialist, you are basically working alone. Lots of schools just don’t have the money, so many art teachers don’t feel supported.” A recent report from city Comptroller Scott Stringer shows the extent of the funding gap. Twenty-eight per-

cent of NYC schools are without a fulltime, certified arts teacher, the report states, and 30 percent are without any certified arts teacher at all, despite a state mandate that they be provided. Over the last seven years, there has been a 47 percent decline in funding to hire arts and cultural organizations to provide programming for students. Stringer, in an Our Town op-ed last week, noted that the arts funding shortfall hits lower-income neighborhoods particularly hard, with nearly half the schools without art teachers located in the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn. “You’d think that with a $25 billion budget, our Department of Education could afford to provide arts education and comply with state law,” Stringer wrote. “But New York City’s financial support for arts education has been shrinking dramatically.” The comptroller says bringing a full-time, state-certified art teacher

MAJOR DRUG BUST IN NYC Authorities in New York arrested three suspects in a major drug bust last week. The Drug Enforcement Administration announced Wednesday that more than $12 million in heroin and crystal meth reportedly was confiscated in the arrests. The acting head of the DEA in New York, James Hunt, tells Newsday the seizure from a Washington Heights apartment building is a “significant hit.” Authorities say the drugs were intended for distribution in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other locations. They say there were enough drugs to fill 600,000 glassine bags sold at street level. The suspects were arraigned Tuesday in Manhattan on multiple counts of drug possession. Their lawyers could not be reached for comment.



In Brief

to every school that does not have one would cost the Department of Education $26 million, a drop in its annual budget. Diamond worked at a public school in Queens for a time before joining P.S. 6, and remembers being asked to take on many different roles in addition to art -- monitoring study halls, homerooms, and helping other teachers. That, she says, is common among art departments that have little to no funding. “What I really feel is that as an art

teacher, you really have to love kids and love the chaos of the art room,” Diamond said. While the shortage of arts funding has been on teachers’ radars for years, the striking numbers in the Stringer report may finally bring the issue to a larger public debate. “Making sure that the arts are included in our schools at every age level is essential in providing a well rounded education,” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Pier 26 in Manhattan will be home to an environmental and education center to promote scientific research of the Hudson River estuary and surrounding bodies of water. On Friday Cuomo said the state will solicit proposals from organizations to establish and operate the research and education center. The Hudson River Park Trust has already secured $10 million in funds to advance the construction with donations from the Port Authority, the Department of Environmental Conversation and the Department of State. The site’s footprint will allow for a 10,000 and 12,000 square foot facility and will feature a nonmotorized boathouse as well as a new restaurant in 2015. The Hudson River Estuary stretches from the upstate city of Troy to New York.


Our Town APRIL 24, 2014



The NYPD has been instructed to ease up on jaywalking enforcement methods. Photo by Felix Ling via Flickr.

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COMMISSIONER SETS NEW GUIDELINES FOR JAYWALKING STOPS Commissioner Bill Bratton has released a memo urging more discretion in the city’s jaywalking stops, almost four months after the major crackdown. In 2014 alone, over 900 people have had court summonses for jaywalking, compared to just 532 in 2012. However, since the very public debacle of Kang Wong, who is now suing the city for $5 million for alleged excessive force, Bratton has added guidelines to how officers conduct their stops. Among the guidelines are to issue warnings to elderly and special needs jaywalkers who are at no safety risk and to only arrest as a last resort. NBC New York

SERIAL BANK ROBBER CAPTURED James Walton, a bank robber wanted in 11 robberies spanning Greenwich Village and the Upper West and East Sides, was captured last week. Walton was caught after attempting to rob the Capital One bank on University Place. He handed the bank teller a threatening note, but the teller walked away. Walton’s description was then sent over the radio waves and

Officer Brian Daniels took the call. Using his knowledge of the area, Daniels drove along Park Avenue South scanning pedestrian faces. Daniels soon spotted Walton, exited his cruiser and grabbed him. A police source said that this is when Walton groaned, “You got me.” NY Post

NYPD SERGEANT PUSHED GIRLFRIEND THROUGH WINDOW Tamara Beauzile, an off duty NYPD sergeant, was arrested last week when she pushed her girlfriend through a window outside Canal Furniture at 402 Broadway. The incident stems from a physical altercation between the two and culminated with the girlfriend, Samantha Douglas, receiving cuts along her face and back from the shattered glass. Both were treated for minor injuries and are charged with assault, criminal mischief and harassment.

DEAD WHALE FOUND IN NEW YORK HARBOR After finding a dead whale in the New York Harbor over the weekend, researchers from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center have been conducting tests to determine the cause

of death of the nearly 60 ton finback. It isn’t uncommon for whales to make their way into shipping lanes along the East Coast, but it is remarkable how intact the the body was, according to Jay Pagel, senior technician of the center. “Finding something this intact is an unusual opportunity,” he said. Wall Street Journal

LAFAYETTE STREET MAY SEE SAFER BIKE LANE According to a plan from the Department of Transportation, Lafayette Street may see a safer bike line in the near future. The current bike lane, which runs along the west side of Spring Street, transitions to 4th Avenue and up into Union Square, has seen a 20 percent commuter cycler increase due to Citi Bike stands being lined along the route. The DOT has deemed the current bike lane, which offers no protection from speeding cars and trucks that pull over to idle indefinitely, unfit for the amount of traffic. DOT officials presented the new plan, which includes a median island to buffer from traffic, to Community Board 3 last week. Bowery Boogie

CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG Hope for Citi Bike, after all

Citi Bike may not be as bad off as many people thought. A story this week in The Wall Street Journal quotes a report from the company that runs the program saying it may well be able to survive, and even thrive, without public funding. The company has proposed dramatically raising rates to cover its costs.

MULBERRY MARAUDER A man shoplifted a number of pricey wallets. At 2:25 PM on Sunday, April 13, a 26-year-old female employee at a clothing boutique on Spring Street was assisting a customer near the front of the store. An unknown man walked in and went to the rear of the store before exiting the shop five minutes later, setting off alarms. The employee checked the rear of the store and found that four wallets were missing. The wallets taken included two Mulberry Continental Dana wallets each valued at $500, and two Mulberry natural oak eight-card wallets each valued at $330. In all, the total haul amounted to $1,807.34.

fight with the other man. He was walking back to his hotel when the other man approached him from behind at the northeast corner of Varick and Spring Streets. The 24-year-old tried to back away from the other man and walked into a street pole, when the other man swung his closed fist holding a knife into the 24-year-old’s back. he man clutching the knife walked away, heading north on Varick, and the knifing victim was unaware that he had been stabbed until he entered his hotel’s lobby. The victim refused medical attention.


Someone made off with a bag containing property belonging to three young basketball players. At 4:20 PM on Saturday, April 12, three young men aged 13, NIGHTCLUB KNIFING 15, and 17 left their property unattended in a blue bag while A man was knifed in the they were playing basketball back after a verbal dispute in a nightclub. At 3:50 AM on Friday, in Washington Market Park on April 11, a 24-year-old man had a Chambers Street. One of the verbal dispute with an unknown young men saw a 17-year-old male stranger pick up the bag man inside a club on Varick and put it back down. When the Street. The 24-year-old left three youths stopped playing the club to avoid getting into a

basketball, they noticed that their blue bag was missing. Items stolen were an iPhone 5 valued at $400, a Samsung galaxy S3 priced at $300, an iPhone 4S costing $200, plus a wallet, school ID, keys, a string bag, and track pants. The total amount of the items stolen came to $960.

PROMOTION COMMOTION A man suffered extensive facial injuries during a nightclub brawl. At 3 AM on Friday, April 11, a 28-year-old man entered the VIP section of a club on Varick Street to take care of some promotional work. Soon an argument erupted with a 22-year-old man, who grabbed a hookah and struck the 28-yearold on the left side of his face. The assailant was then joined by two other men, who began punching the victim in his face. The victim stumbled out of the club, jumped in a cab, and went to the emergency room at the Metropolitan Hospital, where he was admitted and underwent four hours of surgery to repair extensive damage to his face.

APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 3


Our Town APRIL 24, 2014

Useful Contacts POLICE NYPD 7th Precinct

19 ½ Pitt St.


NYPD 6th Precinct

233 W. 10th St.


NYPD 10th Precinct

230 W. 20th St.


NYPD 13th Precinct

230 E. 21st St.


NYPD 1st Precinct

16 Ericsson Place


FIRE FDNY Engine 15

25 Pitt St.


FDNY Engine 24/Ladder 5

227 6th Ave.


FDNY Engine 28 Ladder 11

222 E. 2nd St.


FDNY Engine 4/Ladder 15

42 South St.


ELECTED OFFICIALS Councilmember Margaret Chin

165 Park Row #11


Councilmember Rosie Mendez

237 1st Ave. #504


Councilmember Corey Johnson

224 W. 30th St.


State Senator Daniel Squadron

250 Broadway #2011


COMMUNITY BOARDS Community Board 1

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Community Board 2

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Community Board 3

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Community Board 4

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Hudson Park

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Elmer Holmes Bobst

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SWAPPING FRIENDS FOR RESTAURANT DISCOUNTS RESTAURANTS The new NYC-based app uses social media data to get local restaurants to offer discounts BY OMAR CRESPO

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RESTAURANTS TO HAGGLE West Village Vien NYC Nolita La Churreria Midtown East, Murray Hall Desi Shack Lalibela PS 450 Caliente Cab Co Kips Bay Baluchiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bamiyan Greenwich Village Barbuchi Deal Uncle Tedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Cafetasia Gramercy Mason Jar Ethos Meze Ponty Bistro Perk Kafe Flatiron Salad Pangea East Village Archie & Sons 7 Spices handful of restaurants using the service are located in the downtown area, such as La Churreria, a Spanish restaurant, and Cafetasia, a Yelp favorite with their blend of Asian and Thai Cuisine. The Haggle team hopes to expand their app, which is still in its beta phase, by utilizing an open sign up for restaurants in the future.

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Ever wondered if you could get paid just to be yourself? A new smartphone app start-up called Haggle is hoping to do just that. It collects your social media data from sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare and uses it to give discounts from restaurants. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We wanted an easy way for people to share their value,â&#x20AC;? said Raji Salimath, CEO of Haggle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For people to take all of their online data and use it in a way which could be under-

stood by businesses.â&#x20AC;? The application uses your posts, status updates, pictures, check-ins, friend lists, and a multitude of other similar data to let you â&#x20AC;&#x153;haggleâ&#x20AC;? down your bill. But it is not haggling in the traditional sense. You wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be trying to barter your mealâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s price down until someone relents or gets fed up and flips over a table. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If we could empower both sides with data and ďŹ gure out whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a fair price for the transaction, then it could be a good thing for both sides,â&#x20AC;? said Salimath. The New York-based company, which also has a sister office in Bangalore, India, originally got the idea for the app from the stigma thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s present in haggling in Western countries.

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s often considered cumbersome and difficult because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s usually only ever used in expensive items such as automobiles or very informal situations such as ďŹ&#x201A;ea markets. For other services, bargaining is non-existant. Eastern countries utilize haggling on a wider array of goods and services, from the scene of the local street market to booking a room at a hotel. The tradition of haggling in foreign countries is alive since itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s often seen as a cultural adaptation of tourists trying to ďŹ t in. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Haggling without any data tends to make both parties upset tense and angry, because both parties do not know about each other and tend to take extreme positions,â&#x20AC;? said Salimath. The application uses four parameters, which it converts from your social media data: History, which is how many times you go to a certain type of restaurant; loyalty, how many times you go to the same place to eat; inďŹ&#x201A;uence, which is how often you do go out to eat; and bankroll, how much money you spend on average going out. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We do not blast this data out to anybody. No one gets access to your data. Only you have access to your data and now you could use these four scores to negotiate,â&#x20AC;? said Salimath. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We take your data, crunch it and put in these different algorithms and give the scores back to you.â&#x20AC;? The app was just released this February, so the number of participating restaurants is still growing. Currently a

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rative tableau, but a part of our daily lives: during the day, it is a place to do our professional work, and to make use of the carefully constructed space dedicated to meditation,” said the tenant. “In the evenings, it has long been a place for neighbors to meet one another.” The tenants have taken legal action to stay in their apartments, but said the management company may be moving too fast for them to save the garden. “In fact, we believe that it is this use of our garden – as a place to foster community – which is the reason why it has been targeted.” At the Children’s Magical Garden at Stanton and Norfolk Street, which has been used as a community classroom since the 1980s, residents were shocked last May when workers constructed a fence that cut off their sizable vegetable patch - about half the garden. Members said the lot’s owner, Serge Hoyda, who sold it to the developer that put the fence up, had abandoned the lot some 30 years ago and it was since taken over by people who turned it into what is now a community hub of agriculture and education. In court papers filed this past March, lawyers for the garden are citing the NYS “Law of Adverse Possession,” which states that someone has a right of ownership to a property if they’ve occupied it for at least 10 years. The lawsuit names as defendants both Hoyda and the developer, 157 LLC, who bought the property in January for $3.35 million. The garden’s executive director, Kate Temple-West, told Our Town Downtown that she and other members are prepared to fight for what’s theirs. “The land belongs in the hands of the community,” said TempleWest. “We’re happy to have legal representation to make sure everyone understands that.” The portion of the garden that wasn’t annexed is still in operation, and members have since been able to bring it under the purview of the city Parks Department’s Green Thumb program. The Creative Little Garden, on East 6th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B, is also part of the Green Thumb program, along with over 500 other parks citywide. However, according to former garden president Steve Rose,

A community garden that’s in danger of being destroyed behind 170 and 174 East 2nd Street. Photo courtesy there are no real protections to community gardens that belong to the Green Thumb program, as “the city legally owns the property and can do with it what they please,” said Rose. “Once a garden is established, Green Thumb and other organizations support its ongoing existence. I would also assume that there would be a large local resistance to the city closing a garden which is visited by so many people. The neighborhood simply would not stand for it.” Green Thumb NYC could not be reached for comment, but according to their website, community gardens under their jurisdiction are preserved as gardens as long as they are registered with the Parks Department and meet the community garden criteria. Green Thumb is one of several local, state and national organizations that are involved in protecting community gardens in the city, many of which started on an ad hoc basis. Parks across the city are also protected and maintained by organizations like the National Wildlife Federation, the New York Restoration Project and the Manhattan Land Trust, among others. According to Lenny Librizzi of Grow NYC, community gardens in New York are doing just fine. “The numbers have fluctuated over the years,” said Librizzi. “There are between 500 and 600 community gardens in

New York City. There recently has been a slight increase in the number of community gardens with increased awareness of the environment and interest in healthy lifestyles.” Grow NYC is another citybacked program that fosters the growth and sustainability of community gardens in the city. For Sara Jones, chair of the LaGuardia Corners Gardens in Greenwich Village, community gardens are about turning bad neighborhoods around and fostering a safe environment for residents. “We were created on an empty lot in Greenwich Village in 1979. The 1970s were an economically depressed time in the city,” said Jones. “Communities got together in the Bronx, Harlem, and in the Village and started to clear rubble from empty lots and started creating gardens.” Jones said that neighbors joined forces and created a safe place where their children could play and learn, and where people could grow their own food and share in the bounty. “The people took their neighborhoods back with community gardens,” she said. “We created our own parks with plenty of hard labor and pride. We turned bad neighborhoods around.”

APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 7


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NEWS Members of PETA and NYCLASS came together to protest the actorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recent statements in support of the carriage horse industry BY VERENA DOBNIK

UPPER WEST SIDE Animal welfare activists picketing Liam Neesonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home on Saturday said they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t agree with the actor that the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s carriage horses should keep working. Neeson didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t appear as about 50 demonstrators ďŹ lled the sidewalk in front of his apartment building on the Upper West Side. Police watched, and doormen photographed protesters hoisting signs with such slogans as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Liam Neeson: Stop Supporting Cruelty!â&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Worked to Death!â&#x20AC;? with an image of a dead horse in a park. Holding the second sign was Peter Wood, an animal protection investigator for various organizations that say itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cruel for the horses to be subjected to traffic, pollution and possible accidents. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2014, not 1914. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time for a change,â&#x20AC;? said Wood, who lives in Manhattan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Horses donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t belong in traffic, surrounded by buses. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t belong in the city; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outdated, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cruel,â&#x20AC;? he said, adding, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Life attached to a carriage with a poop bag attached to your rear end - thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no life.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Neeson, whose movies include â&#x20AC;&#x153;Schindlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s List,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Takenâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;Non-Stop,â&#x20AC;? is a vocal supporter of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s carriage horses, which are kept in stables he toured recently with lawmakers. He says the horses are not being mistreated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It has been my experience, always, that horses, much like humans, are at their happiest and healthiest when working,â&#x20AC;? Neeson wrote in an April 14 editorial in The New York Times. He called the horse carriage trade a â&#x20AC;&#x153;humane industry that is well regulated by New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Consumer Affairs.â&#x20AC;? Neeson said the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s horse-drawn carriages have made an estimated 6 million trips in traffic in the past 30 years, most ending up in Central Park. Four horses have been killed in collisions with motor vehicles, with no human fatalities. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In contrast to the terrible toll of traffic accidents generally on New Yorkers,â&#x20AC;? Neeson wrote, â&#x20AC;&#x153;the carriage industry has a remarkable safety record.â&#x20AC;? His publicist declined to comment on Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s protest. The City Council must vote on the issue, but legislation has yet to emerge. Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to ban the carriages and replace them with electric vintagestyle cars, commissioned by a group called


A protestor donned a horse costume for Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s demonstration. Photo via NYCLASS Facebook. NYCLASS. On Saturday, NYCLASSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; members joined protesters from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They noted that the horse-drawn carriage trade was ended in at least three other cities: London in 1947, Paris in 1965 and Toronto in 1998. The electric vehicle was unveiled several days ago at the New York International Auto Show. But Neeson said it canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t replace the horse-drawn carriages, which he calls a â&#x20AC;&#x153;signature element of New Yorkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s culture and history.â&#x20AC;?

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Our Town APRIL 24, 2014




PROTECT THE HORSES, BAN THE CARRIAGES Comment on our February 6, 2014 story “What Will Happen to the Horses?”: Hopefully, carriage rides will finally be banned. PETA should stay out of this because they have a dark history and cannot be trusted to protect animals. I hope the OWNERS prove how much they really love their horses by making SURE that not even one displaced horse winds up with an Amish farmer or at a slaughterhouse. The City should pay to board the horses until proper homes can be found. Rivergull

MEGABUS ISN’T THE PROBLEM The April 10th letter to the editor, Give the Free Parking Charter Buses the Boot, by Charles Eshelman, incorrectly categorizes as an “out-of-state charter tour bus” that is “clogging up the streets and creating hazards for neighborhood residents and businesses.” We are proud that megabus. com is a New York / New Jersey based company that employs thousands of New Yorkers and New Jersey residents. Additionally, transports millions of NY/NJ residents to and from other cities and brings millions of tourists from other cities to New York City in an affordable, safe, reliable and comfortable ride. While Mr. Eshelman’s letter to the editor does not specifically name as the culprit, however a large photograph of appearing above his letter to the editor implies that his letter to the editor is about our company. Finally, does not operate in Chinatown, Tribeca, or SoHo as Mr. Eshelman’s letter states. Sean Hughes Associate Director Corporate Affairs North America, Coach USA/

DON’T LET BOXBLOCKERS SLIDE The city needs to enforce the rules against “blocking the box” in downtown traffic BY CHARLES ESHELMAN

SOHO Mayor Bloomberg did not get voters’ approval for his “Congestion Pricing” scheme so he did everything he could to make

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life miserable for downtown residents. Here’s one example - the city stopped enforcing rules against “Blocking the Box.” Above are examples of the unenforced “Blocking the Box” rules by out-of-state autos on Broome Street. This occurs on a daily basis and not only costs local businesses and residents time and money, but quality of life. It’s been going on for so many years that it has become normal. It’s time to enforce the traffic laws on out of state violators. The city could use the revenue and residents and local businesses could use the relief. Please help.

Publisher, Gerry Gavin Associate Publishers, Seth L. Miller, Ceil Ainsworth, Kate Walsh

Should the city ban horse carriages?

“ Yes. The carriage rides don’t fit into modern society. It’s cute and it’s quaint, but it’s inappropriate.” Ben S.

“ No. It’s nice. A carriage ride in the park. It’s for the romantic people.” Darnell P.

“ No. It’s exciting for Honking is a byproduct of box-blocking.

Classified Account Executive, Susan Wynn

Editor In Chief, Kyle Pope

Distribution Manager, Mark Lingerman

Editor, Megan Bungeroth

Staff Reporters, Gabrielle Alfiero, Daniel Fitzsimmons Block Mayors, Ann Morris, Upper W Side

all the kids. They’re not mistreated. It’s a New York tradition!” Fred W.

Jennifer Peterson, Upper E Side Gail Dubov, Upper W Side Edith Marks, Upper W Side

APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 9

The Sixth Borough

A Passover story from the farm



t was midnight when we bounced up our long, rutted driveway. I wasn’t actually concerned. Yes, we were getting home late, but we occasionally close the chicken coop in the wee hours for one reason or another, and it’s only been a problem twice. Once was exactly a year ago. What was the likelihood of a predator attacking our chickens on Passover, two years running? Last year, when we pulled in from my family’s seder in the city, I took the baby inside, laid down to nurse her and – intending to brush my teeth after she fell asleep – woke up in the morning to hear a bloody tale from husband Joe. The last I had seen of Joe, he was headed to the coop, still wearing his slim fitting jacket and tie, to close the chickens in. What Joe found inside the coop was mayhem: an opossum in the corner and six missing chickens. Joe chased

the awkward, lumbering little marsupial out of the coop, but it kept trying to get into the barn through a chink in a wall that it obviously knew well. Too well. In the end, Joe – still wearing a tie – clubbed it to death with a two-by-four. (Let me just say right here, it is not our idea of a good time to kill sentient beings. It sucks, actually, but it is the unavoidable reality of living on a farm.) That one of the deadliest nights on the farm had occurred on Passover seemed a fitting coincidence. The holiday, after all, is a bloody rite even by Biblical standards. As the story goes, God brought down 10 plagues on Egypt, culminating in the death of first-born sons. To let the Angel of Death know to smite only the Egyptian first-borns, the Jews painted lamb’s blood above their doorways. That there was any connection between Passover and our opossum visitor never crossed my mind. Until last night. We have two coops now; the second is a fenced-off section of a shed, an open-air affair just for warm weather that Joe had thrown together earlier that week for our brand new flock. These orange-andcream-colored hens were turning out to be the bargain of a lifetime. They were laying eggs so big that some didn’t fit into cartons. I hate to admit it, but they were a lot more pleasant to hang around than our other chickens, which sometimes jump up and peck a hand they think might contain a goody, or fly directly into my head just ‘cause. I could put the baby down in their midst and go about my chores without fear that I would turn around to discover my child had lost an eye.

So when Joe came inside and whispered that there were only six of 10 chickens in the new coop? Dismay. My first instinct was to go out and look for the chickens. But wherever they were, if they were still alive, they’d be roosting in some out-of-the-way place – and if they could, they’d be back in the morning. There was nothing to do now except usher morning along by going straight to sleep. As I drifted off, my thoughts turned strange and primitive. Was it superstitious to wonder whether there was something about Passover that was treacherous, still, to this day? And what was it I had heard about a blood moon? Yes, tonight – right around now – there was going to be a solar eclipse. Could it be the full moon? I feared the worst for the four MIA chickens. I slipped out of bed early. As I approached the new coop, I counted: one, two chickens pecking in the dirt outside. Then three. And then, as I poured grain into their feeder, a fourth popped out of a cardboard box. Ten chickens present and accounted for. I admired them anew. Although they were newcomers on the farm, they had found hiding places, evaded whatever hungry marauders of the night had tried to get at them. They had been passed over by the Angel of Death. These new chickens were survivors. They must be Jewish chickens.


Becca Tucker is a former Manhattanite now living on a farm upstate and writing about the rural life.

INTRODUCING THE PRESTON ROBERT TISCH CENTER FOR MEN’S HEALTH. 555 MADISON AVE. BETWEEN 55TH AND 56TH ST. Now, men have a state-of-the-art medical facility they can call their own, right here in the heart of Manhattan. The Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health provides men with access to NYU Langone specialists in cardiology, internal medicine, gastroenterology, urology, orthopedics/sports medicine, physical therapy and physiatry, dermatology, ear, nose and throat, mental health, plastic surgery, pulmonology, endocrinology, neurology, and radiology. Experience what it feels like to have your healthcare tailored specifically for you. To make an appointment with an NYU Langone doctor, call 646-754-2000. Visit


Our Town APRIL 24, 2014

Prep classes for the entrance examination (SHSAT) for New York City's SPECIALIZED HIGH SCHOOLS Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, American Studies, Mathematics And Engineering, Queens H.S. For The Sciences, Staten Island Tech, and Brooklyn Latin


Our summer course begins July 28, 2014 and meets every Monday and Thursday evening until August 28.

Test Prep

Fall courses begin either September 6th or 7th, 2014 Test taking techniques taught 6 complete practice exams Ten 3-hour classes 2014 will be our 34th year

Cost: $925 GRF TEST PREP CLASSES Call: (201) 592-1592 Visit our website: To request a brochure: e-mail us at:

Out & About 25 crafts, wood carving, live music, local food vendors and more. Rain or shine. 212-748-8600

WEE ONES READ AND CRAFT FRIDAY Seward Park Library, 192 East Broadway 3 p.m., Free Join us for a reading of one favorite Picture Book followed by a related, simple craft activity. For ages 2 to 5, accompanied by a parent or caregiver.


Tada Youth Theater, 15 West 28th Street 6:30 p.m., $8 - $25 Samantha is a lonely kid who prowls the black-andwhite, rain-washed streets



Brotherhood Synagogue, 28 Gramercy Park South 5 – 6 p.m., Free For the fifth year in a row, there will be ASL interpretation for the annual Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) Commemoration being presented by the Downtown Kehillah, a collection of Synagogues in Lower Manhattan. The ceremony will include remarks from Rabbis from several of the Kehillah’s Synagogues, along with songs from the Cantors and Chorus of the Downtown Kehillah, a Candle-Lighting Ceremony and Memorial Prayers. Also, Survivor Paul Brottman will speak about his experiences. 212-677-0368


Fei-Fei Dong

T H U R S D AY, M AY 8 AT 8 P M " - * $ &  5 6 - -:  ) " - -  t  - * / $ 0 - /  $ & / 5 & 3

Rosalie O’Connor

CLEMENTI Sonata in F-sharp Minor, Op. 25, No. 5 SCHUMANN Novelette in F-sharp Minor, Op. 21, No. 8 CHOPIN Rondo in E-flat Major, Op. 16 LIEBERMANN Gargoyles, Op. 29 LISZT Sonata in B Minor Tickets $20 at or call CenterCharge (212) 721-6500 $10 Senior/Student tickets available only at the Alice Tully Hall Box Office

PARSONS FESTIVAL 2014 The New School, 66 West 12th Street All day, Free Established to showcase the creativity, innovation, and scholarship of Parsons students in a diverse range of disciplines, the Parsons Festival offers an array of exciting thesis exhibitions, presentations, installations, workshops, symposia, gallery openings, and special events. 212-229-5600

26 CELEBRATE SPRING REVIVAL South Street Seaport, Pier 16 12 – 5 p.m., Free South Street Seaport Museum: Spring Revival Visit the Bowne shops at Water Street. A very special bellringing ceremony and remarks will be at 2 p.m. There will be historic ship tours, nautical

as Samantha Spade, Ace Detective, the go-to gumshoe who always solves the case. 212-252-1619

27 NAI-NI CHEN DANCE COMPANY PERFORMANCE Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance, 126 East 13th Street 3 p.m., $25 general, $15 students/seniors The Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company celebrates its 25th Anniversary Season with a World Premiere and repertory works all performed to live music by Chen’s frequent collaborators over the last fifteen years. Noted for the richness of both the dance and music elements of her performances, Ms. Chen will present her company of dancers joined by eminent musician/ performers Joan La Barbara, the Ahn Trio, Glen Velez, and the Prism Saxophone Quartet. 1-800-650-0246 or www. nainichen.oeg/NYSeason

28 PROOF: MEDIA FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE BENEFIT AUCTION Sundaram Tagore Galley, 547 West 27th Street 6 – 9 p.m., Auction The event will include a silent auction featuring pieces that have been donated from renowned photographers such as Allen Ginsberg, Mark Seliger, kenro Izu and many more. The money raised on the night will go towards ‘Legacy of Rape’ a series of workshops and exhibitions that are designed to combat sexual violence and are scheduled to travel to Colombia, Nepal and India. 212-213-2788

APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 11

BFA FINE ARTS OPEN STUDIOS SVA, 335 West 16th Street 5 – 9 p.m., Free New work by BFA Fine Arts students, shown in their studios. 212-592-2164

company’s virtuosic ensemble dancing. Live music is featured on selected performances. Runs through May 4.

30 29 BIM BOM BABY Town and Village Synagogue, 334 East 14th St (btwn 1st & 2nd Ave) 11:15 a.m., $90;$120/nonmembers Jewish music classes for babies and young toddlers to sing, dance, rattle and roll with Cantor Shayna Postman Israeli songs, Shabbat, and holiday tunes. Six Tuesdays until June 3. Snacks will be served.

THE LIMÓN DANCE COMPANY PREMIERE PERFORMANCES The Joyce Theater, 175 Eighth Avenue 7;30 p.m., $10-$59 Limón Dance Company will be performing two world premieres. For one premiere, Dianne McIntyre, the legendary dancer/choreographer, has created a special solo for Roxane D’Orleans Juste, honoring her 30-year tenure with the company. The other premiere features the exceptionally gifted choreographer Seán Curran, who has collaborated with composers Lucia Caruso and Pedro H. da Silva to create a full company work. Paired with these new creations will be Limón’s musical gem Mazurkas, and Psalm, a ritual of rhythm and song that showcases the

CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN ARTS AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS, COLLEGES, AND UNIVERSITIES Baruch Performing Arts Center (BPAC), 55 Lexington Avenue 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., Free This discussion will examine collaborative initiatives between art and cultural institutions, higher education and government in New York City and elsewhere. What are the lessons learned and how can we design and implement successful programs?

MORTON’S THE STEAKHOUSE: SPARKLING TOUR AROUND THE WORLD Morton’s World Trade Center, 136 Washington Street 6-8 p.m., $60 Join Morton’s on a bubbly excursion, featuring sparkling

wines from France, Italy, California and Washington State, paired with our signature hors d’oeuvres. Signature Hors d’Oeuvres: Plymouth Bay Oysters, Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus, Port Reduction Glaze, Petite Lamb Chops, Chocolate Covered Cheesecake Truffles sparklingtourmtwt.eventbrite. com

1 RELATIVE STRANGENESS: ROSMARIE WALDROP AND NIKOLAI DUFFY Poets House, 10 River Terrace 7 - 9 p.m., $10; $7 students Rosmarie Waldrop is one of poetry’s most persistent and prolific innovators. Associated with a diverse array of post1945 literary movements, cofounder of the celebrated Burning Deck Press, and the award-winning translator of the great Egyptian Jewish poet Edmond Jabés, Waldrop continues to defy categorization or border. She is joined by Nikolai Duffy, author of Relative Strangeness: Reading Rosmarie Waldrop, for an evening of readings and discussion.

CITY SPORTS RUN CLUB City Sports Downtown NYC, 50 Broadway 6 p.m., Free Meets Every Tuesday evening meet at City Sports Downtown NYC. City Sports provides a secure place to store your belongings during the run! Free with waiver provided on website.;

15 1


ways to your old newspaper

Use it as wrapping paper, or fold & glue pages into reusable gift bags.



Add shredded newspaper to your compost pile when you need a carbon addition or to keep flies at bay.



Use newspaper strips, water, and a bit of glue for newspaper mâché.


10 13

Crumple newspaper to use as packaging material the next time you need to ship something fragile.

Tightly roll up sheets of newspaper and tie with string to use as fire logs.

After your garden plants sprout, place newspaper sheets around them, then water & cover with grass clippings and leaves. This newspaper will keep weeds from growing.

Make origami creatures

Use shredded newspaper as animal bedding in lieu of sawdust or hay.


Make your own cat litter by shredding newspaper, soaking it in dish detergent & baking soda, and letting it dry.


Wrap pieces of fruit in newspaper to speed up the ripening process.

3 6 9

Cut out letters & words to write anonymous letters to friends and family to let them know they are loved.

Roll a twice-folded newspaper sheet around a jar, remove the jar, & you have a biodegradable seed-starting pot that can be planted directly into the soil.

Make newspaper airplanes and have a contest in the backyard.

12 15

Stuff newspapers in boots or handbags to help the items keep their shape. Dry out wet shoes by loosening laces & sticking balled newspaper pages inside.

a public service announcement brought to you by dirt magazine.


Our Town APRIL 24, 2014

“Bedtime,” a watercolor of the artist’s daughter, Samantha, and her granddaughter Mia. Images courtesy of Wendy Shalen

WENDY SHALEN “Family Matters” Prince Street Gallery 530 West 25th Street, Fourth Floor April 22-May 17 Opening reception: April 26, 3 - 7 p.m. Hours: TuesdaySaturday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Shalen’s portrait of her mother, “Mom at 101,” done in charcoal

FAMILY PORTRAIT ARTIST GALLERIES Wendy Shalen’s newest show incorporates several generations of her family as its subjects BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO

SOHO About a year ago, artist Wendy Shalen visited her elderly mother at her home in Bridgeport, Conn., and began drawing a portrait of her in silverpoint, a type of sterling silver pencil that tarnishes and turns brown on paper over time. Her mother, who will turn 102 in June, is bedridden and can no longer speak. She wears a hospital gown every day so that her full-time nurses can care for her more easily. As she sketched, Shalen wasn’t sure her mother even

knew she was there. “It’s just so difficult to go through this stage,” said Shalen, 63, as she sat in the cafeteria at the Arts Students League of New York at West 57th Street, where she teaches. “You know she would just have a fit if she knew what was going on.” Around the same time, Shalen discovered an antique photo album tucked away at her mother’s house, along with her father’s college yearbook from New York University. In the album, which is 70 years old, Shalen found photographs of her older brothers and her grandmother, and portraits of her parents on their wedding day. Her mother’s hair was pinned in an elegant bob and her father was dressed in a tuxedo and wore a white tie and a handkerchief tucked in his pocket.


Wendy Shalen drawing her self-portrait, which she titles “Remembering Babs.”

APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 13


DANCE DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM 45TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON As part of the company’s 45th anniversary season, Dance Theater of Harlem will present three new works during its upcoming run at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell, the first African-American dancer in New York City Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem will premiere past-carry-forward, a study of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the Southern United States to the north during the early 20th century. Dance Theater of Harlem also presents Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, which will show for the first time in New York City since its debut in 1993, as well as the New York premiere of Pas de Dix from Raymonda, along with other new and revived pieces. Lincoln Center Frederick P. Rose Hall 3 Columbus Circle Wednesday, April 23-Sunday, April 27 Assorted show times Tickets $30-$90

The discovery of the photo album, coupled with her mother’s decline, inspired her latest show, “Family Matters,” a collection of 46 family portraits and images that opened at Prince Street Gallery on April 22. Incorporating a range of mediums, including charcoal, watercolor, dry point etchings and handmade paper, Shalen’s exhibit features graphite portraits of her mother and father, drawn from the photographs she found in the album, alongside “Mom at 101,” the portrait of her mother in bed at her home in Bridgeport. While the show contemplates the process of aging, it also nods at generational continuum. Portraits of Shalen’s twin children, Samantha and Luke, now 33, are also central to the show. A watercolor of Luke as a young boy is paired with a graphite drawing of him as an adult, dressed in a jacket and tie, and smiling. “He’s so handsome now,” said Shalen. Samantha recently gave birth to a little girl, Mia, whom Shalen draws while she’s sleeping, just as she did with her own children. Watercolors and etchings of Samantha cradling Mia suggest a deliberate symmetry with a silverpoint

drawing of Mia as an infant, sleeping on her father’s chest. Though she’s always done figurative work, some of Shalen’s recent shows had a more political bent. In 2010 she exhibited portraits of homeless people, and her 2012 mixed media show “Washed Ashore” in Pound Ridge, New York, incorporated trash she found on beaches into watercolor and pastel seascapes. A few pieces directly responded to the BP oil spill. Shalen has also taught art since she graduated from Brandeis University in 1973. While a teacher at Birch Wathen Lenox School on the Upper East Side in the 1970s, she took courses at the Art Students League, where she now teaches. “In the summer I teach in the same room where I took classes,” Shalen said. “Which is really kind of crazy cool. I want to pinch myself.” The oldest piece in “Family Matters” was done in 1980, the year her grandmother died, at the age of 90, and the year Shalen’s twins were born. Her strongest memories of her grandmother Sophie are of her knotted, arthritic hands constantly in motion as she knitted, crocheted and

sewed cloth napkins, lace and beaded collars. Shortly before Sophie’s death, Shalen drew a charcoal portrait of her grandmother wearing a shawl she’d knitted herself. “Much of the show is dedicated to her creative spirit,” Shalen said. “My mother was never happy about me remembering [Sophie] that way, unfortunately. It’s difficult to look at.” In a nod to her grandmother’s own artistic expression, Shalen, who also makes paper from her own recycled watercolor paintings, created a series of thick, stark white paper for the show, imprinted with pieces of her grandmother’s lace and crocheted linen. “You know, you’re getting older and you really do have a certain perspective on what is important here,” said Shalen. “And really, your family is important. Especially as an obsessed artist. Most of us, we do this, we think about it all the time, and I think it’s important to have the perspective that your family is really important and maybe figure out a way to do the work that you do but also show your love for your family.”



Choreographer and dancer Nai-Ni Chen inaugurates her modern dance company’s 25th anniversary with a weekend of dance performed to live music. The weekend is highlighted by the premiere of “Not Alone,” a new piece choreographed by Chen that explores personal identity and independence. “Not Alone” was inspired by Li Bai’s Tang Dynasty-era poetry, and is performed to a score by Chinese composer Chen Yi, played live by PRISM saxophone quartet. Additional collaborators include the classical piano and string group Ahn Trio, hand-drum master Glen Velez and singer and composer Joan La Barbara. Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance 126 East 13 St. Saturday, April 26 at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, April 27 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets $25


GALLERIES CARTER BURDEN GALLERY PRESENTS SENIOR ARTISTS The nonprofit Carter Burden Gallery opens its spring season with two exhibitions by professional artists Gerson Leiber and Arnold Wechsler. Leiber, who’s married to handbag designer Judith Leiber (with whom he opened the Leiber Collection gallery near their home in East Hampton to house their own works) presents “Rites of Spring: A Modernist View of Nature,” a series of recent drawings and bright, expressionistic paintings. Wechsler has exhibited extensively in New York and internationally for more than 30 years. Carter Burden Gallery 548 West 28 St. April 24 through May 15 Opening reception Thursday, April 24 6:008:00 p.m. Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Saturday 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

As the Film Society gears up to honor actor and director Rob Reiner with the 41st-annual Chaplin Award (previous recipient Martin Scorsese will present Reiner with the award at a gala on April 28), Film Society Lincoln Center will present four of his classic films, including two adaptations of Stephen King stories: the suspense-thriller “Misery,” starring Kathy Bates and James Caan, and the coming-of-age tale “Stand By Me,” featuring a young River Phoenix. Reiner’s comedy “The Princess Bride” is also presented during a kid-friendly matinee on Sunday, April 28. “A Few Good Men” rounds out the mini-retrospective of Reiner’s work. Film Society Lincoln Center Francesca Beale Theater 144 West 65th St. Sunday, April 27 and Monday, April 28 Assorted show times Tickets $10

BOOKS MONA SIMPSON, NORMAN RUSH AND ANN CLOSE Mona Simpson reads from her new novel, “Casebook,” which explores a failing marriage and buried secrets, as discovered by a young boy who starts investigating his parents’ private lives during their separation. She’s joined by National Book Award winner Norman Rush, whose latest novel, “Subtle Bodies” delves into the complexities of marriage and friendship through relationships between old college friends. Both authors will join in conversation with their Knopf editor, Ann Close. McNally Jackson 52 Prince Street Monday, April 28 7:00 p.m. FREE


Our Town APRIL 24, 2014

Food & Drink

< AL FRESCO DINING RETURNS TO THE HIGHLINE As the weather warmed, perennial park favorite the High Line marked the return of spring with another warm weather staple: food trucks. As Eater reported, food vendors made their seasonal debuts at the park on Friday, April 19. Park-goers can satisfy a sweet tooth

with L’Arte del Gelato, while La NewYorkina serves Mexican popsicles and Melt Bakery offers creative twists on the classic ice cream sandwich (the Elvis is made with peanut butter cookies stuffed with banana ice cream). Meanwhile, the Taco Truck and Delaney Barbeque’s Smokeline counter the sweets with sa-

vory lunch options. Terroir at the Porch, the open-air café at 15th Street at the High Line, will serve wine, beer and small plates when it reopens for the season on May 2, and Brooklyn Soda Works will start serving up homemade carbonated concoctions on June 1.

In Brief The Randolph has a beer and coffee outpost as well as a full-service restaurant.

SD26 NOW SERVING BRUNCH On Saturday, May 3, Italian restaurant SD26, which has served fine Italian cuisine on the north side of Madison Square Park since its opening in 2009, introduces weekend brunch to its repertoire. The new menu includes classic Italian brunch fare, such as asparagus and prosciutto with ricotta and soft-poached eggs and uovo in purgatorio (eggs poached in a red sauce). But executive chef Matteo Bergamini has also crafted new brunch items, including a crispy fried egg with a fava bean puree and sautéed chicory. Not unlike the restaurant’s dinner menu—which features a whole egg cooked into house made ravioli and served with truffle butter— the brunch menu highlights the breakfast staple; diners can add an egg to many of the brunch menu items, including the pizzas. SD26 (19 East 26 Street) will open for brunch from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays starting May 3.

NEW BAGEL SHOP BLACK SEED OPENS Noah Bernamoff, of Mile End Deli in Brooklyn, and Matt Kliegman of The Smile on Bond Street, debuted their much-anticipated NoHo bagel venture, Black Seed, on Wednesday April 23, Grub Street reported. According to Grub Street, the wood-oven bagel shop on Elizabeth Street will serve fresh made bagels for $1.50 each, and New York City bagel loyalists can expect the range of traditional bagel varieties along with homemade cream cheese and fish spreads, including lox and dill and tobiko caviar. Black Seed is located at 170 Elizabeth Street and will open daily from 7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., though Grub Street reports that Bernamoff and Kliegman are eventually planning to operate 24 hours a day.

DINING IN THE LIGHTING DISTRICT RESTAURANTS The Randoplh reinvents itself amidst a string of retail lighting stores BY HELAINA HOVITZ

LOWER EAST SIDE What the Randolph lacks in prime real estate, it makes up for in soul. Located off of the Bowery in the heart of the Lighting District, the Randolph at Broome (349) is primarily a craft beer and coffee outpost, and Randolph Beer (343) is a full service restaurant. While the twin spaces are just blocks from all of the action on Spring Street, you probably haven’t stumbled upon either one unless you live nearby—or if you’ve followed the sound of the Bluegrass Band. When co-owner Dylan Hales and his partners, Hari

Kalyan, Dave Plate, and Eli Hariton, showed up to see an online real estate listing in “SoHo,” they found something a little more “in-between,” nestled in the matrix of SoHo, Chinatown, and the Lower East Side. Interestingly enough, the fact that the neighborhood was still somewhat gritty when they arrived is what drew them in the most. “When we first got here, this was a dilapidated lighting store,” said Kaylan. “The realtor told us this was going to be the ‘Meatpacking of the East,’ but it was mostly old Chinese families. We loved it anyway, because we didn’t want to be surrounded by commercial space.” The boys decided to take a chance and bought Randolph at Broome. A few years later, they did it again, buying what is now Randolph Beer and installing a 37-foot-bar in the former Elite Lighting space.

Sadly, that bar has overshadowed the food prepared by Chef David Schaap, a renaissance man who has worked side by sside with Michelin Starred tr chefs, food truck cooks, and the staff of Rao’s in H Harlem. Rand Randolph Beer serves a satisfying and healthy kale and grain sal but the best thing going salad, fo that kale is its place on top for o the menu. Once your eyes of scroll down, they’ll catch its competition: double fried chicken thighs, a classic cheeseburger with add-on options that include a fried e and bacon marmalade, egg gr green curry mussels, and evil spro sprouts, which are Brussels sprou sprouts served with maple glaze and bacon lardon. For brunch, brunch you can chow down on breakfast nachos or shrimp and grits while listening to a nameless bluegrass band that features an endless rotation of random new members every Saturday afternoon. “We never know who we’re going to be listening to,” said Hales. “Last weekend we had two 17-yearold twins playing the Ukulele jamming out with the old men.” This summer, you’ll find the boys throwing regular beach party-fundraisers for the NYC Coalition Against Hunger (50 Broad Street), to which they also donate 25¢ from every burger sold. “We’ve seen their impact firsthand, with the homeless guys on the Bowery,” said Hales. “It’s a good streamlined charity whose proceeds really go toward the people who need it.”

APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 15


Ivan Ramen

25 Clinton Street

Not Graded Yet (3)

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

El Castillo De Madison

207 Madison Street


A San Fuzhou Restaurant

7 Eldridge Street

Grade Pending (18) 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.

Shanghai Asian Manor

21 Mott Street


Dunpling Cafe

153D Centre Street

Not Graded Yet (45) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer or thermocouple not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding. 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.

Silver Spurs

490-494 La Guardia Place


Vosges Haut-Chocolat

126-132 Spring Street



179 Prince St


Chobani Soho

150 Prince Street


Laduree Soho

398 West Broadway



92 Prince Street


Spring St. Natural Restaurant

62 Spring Street

Grade Pending (21) Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Happy Bones NYC

394 Broome Street


Soho Sushi

231 Sullivan Street


Lupe’s East L.A. Kitchen

110 Avenue Of The Americas



89 Macdougal Street

Grade Pending (24) Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Buona Notte Ristorante

120 Mulberry Street


Noodle Village

13 Mott Street

Grade Pending (21) 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 contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

102 Noodles Town Restaurant

102 Mott Street

Grade Pending (30) 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. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Yee Li Restaurant

1-3 Elizabeth Street

Closed by Health Department (77) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, crosscontaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer or thermocouple not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding. 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. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Manna House

125 Mott Street

Grade Pending (26) 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.

Oro Bakery And Bar

375 Broome Street


Pho Grand

277 Grand Street



245 Bowery



165 Allen Street


Wang’s Great Wall

384 Grand Street

Grade Pending (3)

Dunkin’ Donuts

250 East Houston Street


Qing Qing Handmade Noodle & Dumpling

144 East Broadway


Fortune Star

84 Eldridge Street

Grade Pending (10) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

The Sixth Ward

191 Orchard St


Cake Shop

152 Ludlow Street


Beauty And Essex

146 Essex Street


The Masala Wala

179 Essex Street

Grade Pending (27) 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. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Jin Sushi

252 Broome Street

Grade Pending (26) 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 contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.

Empanada Mama Express

189 East Houston Street


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Our Town APRIL 24, 2014


AG: AIRBNB ENABLING ILLEGAL RENTALS An investigation by the state attorney general’s office claims that over 60 percent of city apartments recently listed for short-term stays on AirBnB’s website were offered illegally. Under state law, a permanent resident of the apartment being rented must be present

when subletting the apartment for fewer than 30 days. An analysis by Sumanta Ray, an investigator with the AG’s office, said in an affidavit filed Monday that, “the majority of the listings were for the ‘entire apartment’ meaning that the host would rent the entire apartment and thus presumably would not be present during

You Asked

the rental period.” The data looked at more than 19,000 units being rented in New York City on Jan. 31, all but one of which were offered for less than 30 days. Ray said 64 percent of the listings were for the entire apartment. Ray also said that just five “hosts” were responsible for renting 203 units,

indicating that third party brokers are renting units on behalf of owners. The AG said in a memo that listings that run afoul of the law are fueling the “illegal hotel” industry. AirBnB spokesman David Hantman said in a statement that those who abuse the service are swiftly booted.

DEVELOPMENT A parking lot is being built over an area formerly used as green space by tenants of Park West Village. Photo by Daniel Fitzsimmons

Buying in a seller’s red-hot market


he headlines are true real estate inventory is at historic lows. This is the case across all price points and neighborhoods, from the Upper Eastside to the Upper West Side, from downtown to Harlem. There are no longer fringe New York City neighborhoods. Desirable properties are selling fast, and many receive multiple bids within of coming on the BY SUSAN ABRAMS days market. Here are some insider tips to help a buyer succeed in this overheated marketplace. 1, Know the marketplace. Research comparable properties. A lot of buyers make the mistake of forgoing a buyer’s agent. A good agent knows the marketplace and how best to present your bid, especially in this competitive market. 2. Decide on your no-regrets price. I advise buyers to offer the price that they can comfortably say I will have “no regrets” if I lose the property. Offer your highest price and then don’t look back. 3. If you can, waive the financing contingency. In a seller’s market, cash is king. If you can’t pay cash, sellers are typically OK with a buyer obtaining financing as long as the contract is not contingent on the buyer obtaining a mortgage. Buyers should get a pre-approval letter from a lender. Only waive the contingency if you are able to do so confidentially and always consult with your lender and counsel before doing so. 4. Write a personal letter. The letter should discuss your connection to the apartment, why you love the property and position you as the best buyer. 5. First impressions count. Be friendly, courteous and positive when you tour the property. The seller’s agent is watching to see who expresses reservations and who might be a problem buyer. In a multipleoffer situation everyone prefers to deal with the nice guy, not the difficult purchaser. Susan Landau Abrams is a Licensed Associate Broker at Warburg Realty

THEY PAVED PARADISE Park West Village tenants: green space destroyed for parking lot BY DANIEL FITZSIMMONS

UPPER WEST SIDE Tenants of Park West Village at 97th Street and Columbus Avenue are in court to prevent their landlord from converting green space they use as a recreational area into a parking lot, even though construction is well underway. Historically, tenants parked in the West 97th Street parking lot on land that is now owned by

Jewish Home Lifecare, which plans to build a 20-story nursing home on the site. JHL obtained the property in a 2011 land swap deal with developer Joseph Chetrit, who owns Park West Village. Tenants also parked at the West 100th Street parking lot, which Park West Village has its own plans to build over. As parking spaces are built into the tenants’ lease agreements, and negotiations for alternate parking accommodations failed, Park West Village decided to convert green space

located between its three residential buildings into a parking lot for tenants against their wishes. Lawyers for the tenants are appealing a decision by the state that allowed construction of the parking lot on the green space – known by tenants as the “central recreational area” – to go ahead. The case is scheduled to be heard by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Anil Singh on June 4. “Judge Singh has prohibited the landlord from compelling members of Park West Village Tenants’ Association to move their cars from the 97th Street parking lot or the 100th Street parking lot while the lawsuit is pending,” wrote lawyers Catherine Grad and Douglas Simmons in an April 20 update to tenants. “He has not, however, stopped the landlord from completing work on building parking spaces…in the central recreational area of Park West Village. We

believe that, if we win the case, the landlord will be required to restore the recreational space and open area that used to exist at Park West Village.” A Park West Village spokesperson couldn’t be reached for comment. Meanwhile, JHL’s nursing home project has stirred no shortage on controversy in the community. Critics, including State Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell and City Council member Mark Levine, contend that construction of the nursing home will disrupt students at nearby P.S. 163, cause traffic congestion in the area and threaten the neighborhood’s open spaces. Public hearings on JHL’s draft environmental impact statement are being held May 7 and 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of P.S. 163, located at West 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 17

Real Estate Sales Neighborhd



Bed Bath Agent


5 E 22 St.


Little Italy

161 Grand St.

$3,350,000 2


Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc.

Battery Park City30 W St.

$1,450,000 2


Djk Residential


16 W 16 St.

$1,925,000 3


Town Residential

Battery Park City377 Rector Place

$1,730,000 2


Douglas Elliman


16 W 16 St.



Douglas Elliman

Lower E Side

455 Fdr Drive




Loho Realty

22 Renwick St.


Battery Park City30 W St.

$1,713,000 2


166 W 18Th St.



130 W 20 St.

$1,320,000 1



333 W 21 St.







23 E 22 St.

$3,512,962 2


Brown Harris Stevens



10 W 15 St.



Modern Spaces


210 Lafayette St.

$3,100,000 2


Douglas Elliman

Douglas Elliman

Gramercy Park 145 E 15 St.






505 Greenwich St.

$5,850,000 5


Douglas Elliman


Gramercy Park 305 2 Ave.

$1,100,000 1


Cantor And Pecorella


210 6 Ave.




Halstead Property

93 Worth St.




133 W 22 St.

$2,000,000 1.5 2

Town Residential

Gramercy Park 300 E 23 St.

$1,150,000 1


Douglas Elliman



655 6 Ave.

$3,810,000 2

Douglas Elliman

Gramercy Park 34 Gramercy Park

$1,350,000 4




93 Worth St.



50 Bayard St.


Gramercy Park 145 E 15 St.





80 Chambers St.


E Village

425 E 13 St.




Town Residential

Gramercy Park 201 E 21 St.



93 Worth St.


E Village

383 E 10 St.

$1,100,000 2



Gramercy Park 1 Irving Place

$1,795,000 2

E Village

625 E 6 St.





E Village

70 E 10 St.

$2,495,000 2


Douglas Elliman

Financial District21-23 South William St. $795,000 Financial District88 Greenwich St.


Financial District55 Wall St.


Financial District120 Greenwich St.


Financial District3 Hanover Square


Financial District123 Washington St.


Financial District15 Broad St.



Financial District20 W St.


Financial District123 Washington St.

$2,234,305 2

Financial District15 William St.


AGING IN PLACE SENIORS Making plans to stay in your home now can help for the future Most people prefer to stay in their home or apartment for as long as possible. The best way to make this a reality is to plan ahead of time to make the amenities in your home as safe and accessible as possible. It can be hard to imagine that tasks around the house that were once done with ease can




Wire International Realty


one day pose a challenge. Anticipating the challenge and planning accordingly may allow you to remain in your home for an extended period of time. Often, with some minor modifications, your home can be adapted to help you stay as long as possible even with some loss of mobility.

Home Modifications Living at home longer may mean renovating a home to make it more accessible. This can include such things as installing ramps to bypass stairs, building a bedroom on the main floor, placing grab bars in the shower, changing the height of kitchen countertops or making a bathroom safer and more accessible. Before you make home modifications, you should evaluate your current and future needs by going through your home room by room and answering a series of questions to highlight where changes might be made. Several checklists are available to help you conduct this review. The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modifications is a good place to start. Go to the center’s



2 1

One Irving Place Realty


57 Reade St.




Brown Harris Stevens

Douglas Elliman


93 Worth St.


W Chelsea

447 W 18 St.

$2,475,000 2


Halstead Property

W Chelsea

410 W 23 St.


W Village

49 Downing St.

$8,300,000 3


Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc.

W Village

140 Charles St.

$1,725,000 1


Town Residential

Greenwich Village

24 5 Ave.


Greenwich Village

30 5 Ave.


Greenwich Village

41 5 Ave.

$1,125,000 1


Halstead Property

Greenwich Village

20 E 9 St.





Greenwich Village

62 W 11 St.




Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc.

Greenwich Village

60 E 8 St.


Greenwich Village

101 W 12 St.




Brown Harris Stevens is New York’s most accurate and comprehensive real estate website, providing consumers detailed sales and rental information and the tools to manage that information to make educated decisions. The site has become the reference site for consumers, real estate professionals and the media and has been widely credited with bringing transparency to one of the world’s most important real estate markets.

website at www.homemods. org and click on the link to the “Safety Checklist and Assessment Instrument.”

Getting Help Keeping a house running smoothly requires a lot of hard work. If you are no longer able to keep up with the demands, you may need to hire someone to do laundry, buy groceries, run errands, clean the house or perform any necessary repairs. Those who are unable to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as getting in and out of bed, walking, bathing, dressing, and eating, can often continue to stay at home with outside help. There are a number of services that can be brought in to assist with ADLs and other personal care. You can hire someone, such as a personal care aide or home health aide, to help you out a few hours a day or around the clock. Some health care services can be provided at home by trained professionals, such as occupational therapists, social workers or home health nurses. Check with your in-

surance or health service to see what kind of coverage is available, although you may have to cover some of these costs out of pocket. If very specific conditions are met, Medicare will help pay for all or a portion of home health care.

Transportation Declining health often causes a decline in independence and mobility. Many seniors lose the ability to drive or simply feel uncomfortable behind the wheel at night. Investigate transportation options in your area so you can maintain an active social life, get medical care and shop for necessities. You might find family members willing to take you to the grocery store, friends who will drive you to social events, nearby bus routes, reduced fare taxis or senior transportation services funded by a local not-for-profit. Staying in your home should not mean being cut off from community activities you enjoy. Finding new ways to get around, even after you are no longer driving, may allow you to stay engaged and active.


Our Town APRIL 24, 2014




Eileen Haves has been a New York talent agent for four decades. BY VALERIE GLADSTONE

Having John Travolta throw his arms around you in a midtown pizzeria was only one of the perks of Eileen Haves’ 40-year career as a New York talent agent. Born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bronx, and an Upper East Side resident since her 30s, she has worked from her office in the neighborhood, along with her new orange tabby cat, Baron.

How did you get into show business? My aunt took me along when she joined The Players, a drama school on West 72nd Street, run by June Justice, which taught children and adults. Excited to see what acting was all about, I asked my parents if I could take classes. I studied from the time I was 11 to 13. I was very shy, so the teacher started me off very simply by asking, “How are you?” When I answered, “fine,” she explained that I should say more and continue the conversation. It re eally wasn’t really so much abou ut acting, as about learning how to t talk to and approach peop ple. By 16, I people. had become even ev ven brave enough to give e some lessons myself to t kids in my build-

Why didn’t you pursue your acting career? It was just too tough to find work. I wanted something steadier. And I had begun to be intrigued about other aspects of the business. My first job was with Ashley Steiner Famous Agency, which is now ICM. I started as a relief switchboard operator and then moved up to receptionist.

Who were some of your clients when you started casting for commercials? Dustin Hoffman. I remember he was shy and would usually come in at lunchtime when the office was pretty deserted. This was before he and Jon Voight became famous with “Midnight Cowboy” and he starred in “The Graduate.” Jon and cl Ally McGraw were clients in the theater division, we called it “legit.” Funny, they al all made it around the same tim time.

Do any hug huge stars stand out? Harry Belafonte. B When he came into the office, everyone - even the men t to get a look - would try O at him. Once my friend Norma an and I set up a fake meeting in the lobby so passs we could pass

by him. We made some fake conversation. He knew what was going on.

Eileen Haves has been representing top acting talent for four decades.

What are some of the biggest differences in the business between when you started and today?

It’s amazing how much good manners count. And a pleasant voice. It takes some training.

There’s a lot more work but you have to work harder for it. We used to sell clients on the phone - now we do it all by email. And people certainly don’t look down on commercials. No one could get anyone to do Preparation H for awhile but I had a guy, who wasn’t phased by it at all. He said, “I’m an actor; I can do anything.” He ended up making an awful lot of money doing Preparation H commercials.

Do your artists ever get competitive with one another?

What makes someone good? A pleasant personality, always on time, polite, never gives anyone a hard time, and if you’re going to be late to a n aud ition, calling to say so. Same for when you go on vacation – let people know.

A lot. One might call me and say, “I saw that you sent so and so out three times last week. Why didn’t you send me?” And I’ll respond, “Are you AfricanAmerican in your 50s?” Since in that case it was a young white man in his 20s, there wasn’t much he could say.

Are they thankful for your help? They all say thank you and many of them send me gifts on the holidays but I especially remember D. Wallace Stone, who went on to play the mother in the movie “E.T.” I first ran into her at a Halloween party. She was dressed as a bunny. I asked her to come into the office the next day. Someone said to me, “Eileen, don’t you ever stop working?” Anyway, much later, after she’s made a lot of commercials and “E.T.” she came back to the office to say a special thank you.

APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 19

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Our Town Downtown April 24th, 2014  

The April 24th, 2014 issue of Our Town Downtown.

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