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CHINATOWN LAWYER TO HEAD N.Y. STATE BAR Q&A Glenn Lau-Kee was elected the 117th president of the state bar association last month
tion of New York from 1997-1999. Lau-Kee will serve a one-year term as State Bar president. In an interview at his office on Broome Street, Lau-Kee talked about his career and his hopes for the future of his profession.
BY MARY KEKATOS
When did you ﬁrst begin practicing Glenn Lau-Kee, a partner at the law?
Lau-Kee will serve as bar association president for one year.
downtown law ﬁrm Kee & Lau-Kee, assumed the office of president of the New York State Bar Association, making him the group’s 117th, and first Asian-American, president. Lau-Kee’s father, Norman Lau Kee, who founded the ﬁrm in 1956, is a long-established Chinatown lawyer, and his son has made quite a name for himself over the years. Lau-Kee has been a member of the State Bar Association for 15 years, serving and chairing several committees, and was the president of the Asian American Bar Associa-
And what has been your history with the bar?
For many years I served in the House of Delegates and then some years later, the State Bar had an Executive Committee with a plan to increase diversity by adding two diversity seats. It was a 10-year program that I was a part of and I stepped down after two years. I had a lot of people ask me, “Why would What made you decide to become an you do that?” And it’s because I attorney? Did it have anything to do wanted the seat to keep rotating. with your father or was it of your own This was all about increasing divolition? versity and giving people a chance My father never urged me to be- to serve on the committee. come an attorney. The story actuSo I came back after a year and I ally goes that a group of us just ran for an at-large seat, and eventudecided to take the LSATs. It was Well, I was ﬁrst admitted to the bar in 1975 and I went over to Coudert Brothers. I was an associate in Hong Kong for a year and then, when I came back in 1977, I joined my father at his ﬁrm and I’ve been here ever since.
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THIEVES GOT INTO 1K STUBHUB ACCOUNTS NEWS NYC officials say that a Russian-led international crime ring is behind the breach into the popular ticketing website’s operations BY JENNIFER PELTZ
Some of the hottest tickets in town -- to Broadway hits, Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake concerts -- went to an international ring of cyber thieves who took over more than 1,000 StubHub users’ accounts to fraudulently buy tickets and resell them. Ten people around the world have been indicted or arrested in connection with the case, which involved more than 3,500 tickets and at least $1.6 million in unauthorized purchases of sought-after seats, Manhattan District Attorney
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never something I wanted to do from early on. I graduated from Yale in 1971 and actually got a letter asking me to go Vietnam. I could have gone, but I was exempted and went to law school instead.
In Brief SUSPECT KILLED IN SHOOTOUT WITH COPS A California man who skipped town after being accused of molesting a child was killed and three law enforcement officers trying to arrest him were wounded in a daytime shootout inside a Greenwich Village smoke shop, officials said Monday. The suspect, wedding photographer Charles Richard Mozdir, was recently featured on a CNN show about fugitives. He was wanted in a San Diego case and charged with ﬁve counts of lewd acts upon a child younger than 14, according to a criminal complaint. Officials didn’t disclose details of the injuries sustained by the two U.S. Marshals and a New York City detective, but Police Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters all three were in stable condition. The shootout between Mozdir and a fugitive apprehension task force happened just after 1 p.m. in the West Village not far from New York University in a highly trafficked tourist area bounded by jazz clubs, restaurants, a subway station and basketball court.
BALDWIN, LABEOUF SHARE A ROLE -DEFENDANT Alec Baldwin and Shia LaBeouf never ended up sharing a Broadway stage as planned last year, but real-life dramatics landed both of them Thursday in a distinctly less celebrated venue: Manhattan criminal courts. Both stars appeared in courtrooms a few blocks apart for separate disorderly conduct cases. LaBeouf is charged with disrupting a Broadway performance, while Baldwin was accused of getting belligerent with police who said they stopped him for riding a bicycle the wrong way down a one-way street. “Looks like you have a short fuse,” Manhattan Criminal Court Judge John DeLury told Baldwin.
Our Town JULY 31, 2014
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS CHECK MODEL CRASHES PORSCHE IN WEST VILLAGE Dara Tomanovich, a model who began her career working for Karl Lagerﬁeld, rear-ended another vehicle with her Porsche Cayenne SUV at Clarkson and West Street in the West Village. Tomanovich, who started modeling at 18, has appeared in fashion shows, commercials, and ﬁlms. According to DNAinfo. com, the model was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated after blowing a .159, nearly twice the legal limit. After police arrested her, Tomanovich threatened the arresting officers by saying she’ll have their jobs citing her connections to former Mayor Bloomberg and her other political affiliations. DNAinfo. com
TATTOO-REMOVING DOCTOR FACES EVICTION The New York Post reported that Dr. Dave Ores will loose his East Second Street doctors office over a messy tax confusion, leaving him owing $30,000. Dr. Ores caters to low income people who wish to have
old gang tattoos removed. Ores offers free laser removal of signs such as teardrops and swastikas on the face, neck and hands. The Lower East Side based doctor believes that his work has helped his clients make a better impression when applying for jobs and going through interviews. Ores has launched a GoFundMe.com page, which has already helped him raise more than one third of the $30,000 he owes. NY Post
are displayed practically naked everywhere you look without any consequences, and that his photos are a call for help to our society’s desensitization of nakedness in the case of women, and the double standard when it comes to bare men. The controversial photo will remain in the window for now. Gothamist
DANGEROUS SYNTHETIC WEED The New York Post reported that ﬁfteen people have been hospitalized since last Thursday after smoking synthetic marijuana. These synthetic products contain dangerous chemicals and ingredients that
caused users to experiences symptoms such as seizures and hallucinations. These products were made illegal in 2012, but can still be found in head shops around the city under names such as K2, Spice and Green Giant. This year alone, emergency medical clinics have seen a 220 percent
increase of patients needing medical assistance as a result of synthetic cannabis. This weekend, it was reported that patients in need of medical attention were located in Harlem and Chelsea. NY Post
GALLERY DISPLAYS NAKED PHOTO IN WINDOW, LOCALS ARE NOT PLEASED Rivington Design House on Kenmare Street (between Mott St. & Elizabeth St.) has displayed a photo of a fully naked man in their window, and local residences are not pleased, reported Gothamist. The photo is part of photographer Bek Andersen’s instillation titled, “Clothed Female/Naked Male.” Some residents said that the window photo is inappropriate for a neighborhood with so many children. Andersen has rejected such criticism, claiming that women’s bodies
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JULY 31, 2014 Our Town
CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG BAD HAIR DAY A customer was arrested for assaulting a beauty salon employee. At 3:20 PM on Friday, July 18, a woman had a verbal altercation with a stylist at the Century 27 Beauty Salon located at 24 Beaver Street over “screwing up her hair.” The customer then threw a metal curling iron stand at the stylist, striking her in her right knee, causing a laceration and bruising. The irate customer, Rachel Myers, 26 years old, was arrested July 18 and charged with assault.
WHEN PUSHCART COMES TO SHOVE A valuable food cart went missing from a downtown location. At 7:30 AM on Tuesday, July 15, a 58-year-old man from the Bronx arrived at Water Street and John Street to pick up his pushcart for work. He relies on the Brooklyn Bridge Pushcart and Wholesale Food company to pick up and drop off the cart for work every day. That morning the cart was not at the appointed location. The man called the company, and they said that the cart had been
dispatched from their location at 5:30 AM, and their driver had dropped it off at the location soon after. The missing pushcart was valued at $30,000.
GIVEN THE OLD SLIP Someone stole a man’s parked car. At 3 PM on Sunday, July 20, a 30-year-old man from Staten Island parked his car at the northeast corner of South Street and Old Slip. When he returned three hours later, he found that his vehicle was gone. Police searched the area but were unable to locate his missing car, and a check of local impound lots proved negative as well. There was no broken glass on the ground where the car had been parked. The stolen car was a red 1999 Pontiac Grand Am valued at $3,000, bearing license plates FBL2198.
SHOPLIFT AND SEPARATE Three women stole merchandise from a lingerie store. At 5:50 PM on Friday, July 18, three women removed clothing from drawers in the Victoria’s Secret store at 591
Broadway and concealed the items in their bags. Police searched the area but could not locate the thieves or the missing merchandise. Video is available of the incident. he items stolen were multiples of three different styles of clothing with a total value of $1,908.
TRIO TERRORIZES TEEN Three individuals were arrested for the attempted mugging of a teenaged girl. At 10:50 PM on Thursday, July 17, two women and a man came up to a 15-year-old girl from the Bronx at the southeast corner of Battery Place and Greenwich Street. One of the perpetrators punched her on her head numerous times, causing lacerations to her lip, and bruising and swelling to the right side of her head. The same mugger then took the victim’s cell phone. Fortunately, police found the three thieves, and the victim was able to identify them. Tatiana Smith, age 25, Kayla Watler, age 20, and Lewis Yasharwan, age 20, were arrested July 17 and charged with robbery.
1ST PRECINCT Report covering the week 7/14/2014 through 7/20/2014 Week to Date
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Grand Larceny Auto
PAIN AT DUANE An elderly man was pickpocketed in a drugstore. At 1:20 PM on Tuesday, July 15, a 77-year-old man was shopping at the Duane Reade located at 130 William Street, when an unknown person
removed his wallet from his back pocket. Video revealed that the pickpocket was a man between 18 and 21 years of age, wearing a black-and-white striped shirt. Police searched the area but couldn’t ﬁnd the pickpocket. The items stolen included $600 in
cash, a New York State driver’s license, a Medicare card, and various credit and debit cards. Fortunately, no unauthorized charges turned up on any of the cards.
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Our Town JULY 31, 2014
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FIRST ASIANAMERICAN TO HEAD N.Y. STATE BAR
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ally I ran for president and was elected.
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Was there any criticism or controversy following your win? There wasnâ€™t any criticism or controversy that I was aware of. I take it as an indication that things are beginning to open up.
they will see the bar as an open path to them. But, even more so, I think a lot of new attorneys are just not aware of the value that the NYSBA has for them.
Do you believe that becoming the ďŹ rst Asian American president will help younger Asian American lawyers realize their available opportunities? Yeah, I think so. Hopefully it well help all younger minorities realize the opportunities available to them, to be involved in NYSBA events and all the tremendous things that it offers. Even after being on the bar for so many years, Iâ€™m still learning.
question, is: how do we engage these younger lawyers? The law profession is changing. With economic pressure, students graduating with debt and having difficulty getting jobs presents a terrible problem for us. So, going back, to the question: how do we engage these younger lawyers; how do we change the association but reserve core principles on which the profession is founded? Long ago, following law school, you went to a ďŹ rm and joined the bar but now thatâ€™s changing and itâ€™s too bad. I really hope to maybe connect the generations; younger attorneys and more experienced attorneys could learn a lot from each other. Thereâ€™s a lot to take care of and change the way we do things and it will probably be a challenge.
What is the best advice you have to offer to young lawyers just starting out in their profession? I would definitely say to get involved in bar association work. Itâ€™s like law school after law school; you just learn so much. Beyond that I would say to get broad experience, to participate in a lot of things and get out of their comfort zone. For example, Iâ€™m on the Greater New York YMCA board and I chaired the ďŹ nance committee, the audit committee and I gained a great deal a perspective from being on those committees. I see lawyers as leaders of the community and part of being a lawyer is about helping to build a community. There are many different ways for lawyers to contribute to society without just being concentrated on law.
Councilmember Margaret Chin
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THIEVES GOT INTO 1K STUBHUB ACCOUNTS
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You have said in the past that you would like more Asian Americans in the legal community to join the NYSBA. Do you feel that there is a lack of Asian-American representation? I do think there is some of lack of representation. Hopefully,
Now that you are the president of the NYSBA, can you tell us of any goals that you hope to accomplish during your term as president? Well the goal, or the central
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Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said. The scheme spooled from Russia to London to Toronto to the New York area and to Barcelona, Spain, where accused Russian ringleader Vadim Polyakov was arrested while vacationing earlier this month. Polyakov, 30, was awaiting extradition, and it wasnâ€™t immediately clear whether he had a lawyer. Three other men indicted in the case hadnâ€™t yet been arrested; two are in Russia. Meanwhile, authorities have arrested three suspected money-launderers in London and one in Toronto on local charges there. The case comes amid growing concern about data thieves targeting consumer giants. StubHub said it was alerted to â€œa small number of accounts that had been illegally taken over by fraudstersâ€? last year. While prosecutors said they werenâ€™t certain how the alleged thieves got access, San Francisco-based StubHub said they got account holdersâ€™ login and password information from key-loggers or other malware on the customersâ€™ computers or from data breaches at other businesses. StubHub, owned by eBay Inc., said there had been â€œno intrusions into StubHub technical or ďŹ nancial systems.â€? In the last few years, such major companies as Target, LinkedIn, eBay and Neiman Marcus have been hacked. Since many customers use the same email and password on multiple websites, thieves can use a combination from one site that works in many others, data security experts say. Itâ€™s like re-using â€œthe same key for every lock in your life -- especially if youâ€™re giving that key out to everyone you meet,â€? says Joe Siegrist, the CEO of LastPass, which makes password-management software. In the StubHub case, members of the ring re-sold the tickets and routed the money to others who laundered it, and the group split the proďŹ ts, Vance said. Daniel Petryszyn, 28, and Bryan Caputo, 29, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to money laundering and stolen property possession charges. Petryszyn â€œhas every intention of challenging these charges,â€? said his lawyer, Liam Malanaphy. Caputo simply re-sold some tickets, said his lawyer, Reginald Sharpe. â€œIf they were stolen, he didnâ€™t know that they were,â€? Sharpe said.
JULY 31, 2014 Our Town
Historic New York THE FOUNDING OF THE NEW YORK YACHT CLUB The beginning of organized yachting in the United States was marked 170 years ago this month by the founding of the
New York Yacht Club in the cabin of John Cox Stevens’s schooner Gimcrack. Stevens was a prominent New Yorker known for his passion for sports, and was one of nine founders of the club. Its earliest meetings were held at his
Hoboken home, Elysian Fields. The NYYC was the ﬁrst longrunning association dedicated to yachting in the United States, and began the tradition of awarding race winners with silver trophies in 1845. In 1846, the club held its
ﬁrst Corinthian Regatta, ta, a race that required amateur ateur yachtsmen to crew andd pilot competing boats. Thiss beautiful example of a Gilded Age pitcher, featuring a conch shell design on the handle and a cast spout in the form of a dolphin, n, was presented to Commodore dore John Cox Stevens (1785-1857) 857) for his victory in the race. NYYC also held the America’ss Cup from 1851 until 1983. The New York Yachtt Club’s Beaux-Arts clubhousee at 37 West 44th Street wass built in 1901, and designed byy Warren and Wetmore, the same me team that designed the exterior erior of Grand Central Terminal. inal. According to The Encyclopedia yclopedia of New York, one early visitor commented, “Except for the absence of motion, onee might fancy onesself at sea,”” due to the abundance of nautical autical motifs used in the design. ign. It was declared a National onal Historic Landmark in 1987. 987. Photos and text courtesyy the NewYork Historical Society
Working for affordable housing, piece by piece
BY COUNCILMEMBER MARGARET S. CHIN ike many other housing advocates, I applauded and was heartened by the July 10 announcement that Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration had by that point ﬁ-
nanced more than 8,700 units of affordable housing across the city. And, like the mayor, I’m passionate about working to achieve his goal of building or preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing within the next 10 years. That’s why my office has already identiﬁed numerous city-owned lots within my Lower Manhattan district that I believe would be best used for building affordable housing. Several weeks ago, as part of that effort, I asked the city to consider allowing residential development on a Lower East Side lot that is currently used as a municipal parking garage. The site — which could support around 90 units of affordable housing — had long been identiﬁed as a possible location for such development, but was never offered up by the Bloomberg administration. Large-scale development and zoning changes will play vital roles in accomplishing Mayor de Blasio’s 10-year plan, but I believe we should place an equally urgent emphasis on identifying and
acting on smaller sites. Along with the obvious fact that they provide us with many additional development options, these smaller sites throughout the ﬁve boroughs can often be converted to residential use relatively quickly and easily. Whether it’s another 25, 50 or 100 units of affordable housing here and there, those numbers will really start to add up. I understand why there’s sometimes resistance — from officials or local stakeholders — to certain proposals for new housing on city-owned lots that currently exist as parking garages or open space. It’s true that many of these lots already serve some purpose within our communities, and it can be difficult to commit to giving up a public resource in order to make way for housing. As the City Council representative of a district that already includes some extremely dense areas, I certainly recognize the need for open space and adequate transportation options within a community. There’s almost always going
to be some argument against giving up one of these cityowned lots. Some people might say, “Don’t take away my parking!” Others might say, “Don’t take away my green space!” They all generally lead back to the same question: “Can’t you just ﬁnd a different place for housing?” But if we’re really serious about completing the mayor’s plan in a decade, the fact is that all of us — council members, community boards, residents — must make affordable housing a priority in our districts. That means identifying sites now, and doing our best to act on them, so we can get new residential units under construction as soon as possible. We simply can’t spend years trying to ﬁnd those different places for housing that can please everyone. The sites are there, and we have to take advantage of them as swiftly
as possible. Let’s remember something — the sooner these new units are built, the sooner they can house the hardworking lowand middle-income families that make this city great. So I’ll keep pushing for new affordable housing on all of the sites I’ve already identiﬁed within my district. I hope all my council colleagues will join me in taking these small steps that can make a huge impact
on achieving our affordable housing goals for New York City. The mayor’s housing effort is undoubtedly one of the most important 10-year plans this city has ever undertaken. And piece by piece, we’ll all have to work together to make it happen. Chin is the City Council member representing District 1 in Lower Manhattan.
Our Town JULY 31, 2014
A COUNTERPOINT ON THE FRICK To the Editor: Re: Ian Alterman’s “ In Favor Of The Frick Expansion” (July 24). My good friend but sometime-nemesis Ian Alterman -- a ﬁne fellow, really, and a model of engaged citizenry -- is, I am certain, as he says,
“a huge fan of the Frick.” But to this preservationist, the way to preserve, protect, and defend a gem like the Frick is simply to lavish the care upon it which is it’s due while leaving its original proportion alone. This latest mania to expand, and thus to
crowd out, historic properties -- museums and otherwise -- is adding greatly to a New Uglification which distorts perspective and bastardizes unique originals. Look, for example, at what they did to the Guggenheim up the street: Lloyd Wright ought
be turning in his grave. Thus, I opine: Let the Frick be the frickn’ Frick, for Heaven’s sake! Yours In Preservation, Howard Charles Yourow, SJD
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THE MENACE OF HELICOPTER TRAFFIC A letter in response to our July 24 article, “Tourist Thrill Become a Residential Nuisance,” on tourist helicopters downtown: I live by the East 34th St. Heliport facing the river STRAUS MEDIA-MANHATTAN President, Jeanne Straus firstname.lastname@example.org Group Publisher - Manhattan Vincent A. Gardino email@example.com
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and United Nations. I’m outside on my terrace daily. The helicopters are going back and forth every few seconds. I have to take anxiety medicine from it. I feel like I’m going crazy from the noise. Please try and do something. Its been 20 years now. Account Executive Sam R. McCausland Classified Account Executive, Susan Wynn
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Nothing has changed. Send them over to the mayor. Linda Friedman E. 40th Street
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JULY 31, 2014 Our Town
Out & About 3 SHAPE UP NYC
1 GET POP CULTURED: FROZEN FRIDAY Barnes and Noble, 33 E. 17th Street 6:00 p.m.; free Join us for Frozen Friday: Cool Off With Olaf! Crafts and activities with everyone’s favorite summer-loving snowman start at 6:00 pm and stay for the Story time and singalong that starts at 7:00 pm. barnesandnoble.com
OUTDOOR MOVIE ON THE RIVER Pier 46 (Cross at Charles St.) 8:30 p.m.; free Bring your whole family down to Pier 46 this Friday for a showing of the sequel to a classic children’s tale. Watch as Flint and his friends head out on a delicious mission of battling food monsters in “Cloudy udy With a Chance of Meatballs 2”. Don’t forget a sweater and a blanket to sit on! Hudsonriverpark.orgg
2 LAUGHTER IN THE HE PARK: SUMMER STREETS NYC Foley Square (btwn Duane Street and Centre Street) eet) 12 – 12:30 p.m.; freee NYLaughs’ signaturee
free outdoor summer comedy series, is in its 8th Season on The 2014 season of “Laughter in the Park” features 5 weeks of programming. We are also pleased to announce our ﬁrst collaborative show, which will be presented by NYC Summer Streets on August 2nd at Foley Square. All headliners and most performers have television credits. laughterinthepark.org
SUMMER SEAPORT FESTIVAL Water Street (Runs from Fulton to Wall Street) 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; free This Saturday, Water Street will house an old-fashioned seaport carnival. Bring the whole family to explore a festival with over 300 craft artisans, art exhibits, general merchandise, food and restaurant vendors, petting zoo and hay wagon rides. This event is sponsored by the Seaport Community Coalition. southstreetseaport.com
14th Stre Street Park 7:30 p.m.; free 6:30 – 7: Shape Up NYC, a free citywide ﬁtness prog program offered by NYC Parks in partnership with Equinox, NYC NY Service and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield brings you ﬁve weeks of ﬁtness! Shape Up N NYC will offer Dance Xcross Fitness, a combination Fitn of dance, ki kickboxing, strength training, and soul line dancing. Classes are limited to 75 people on a ﬁrst-come, ﬁrst-served basis. hudsonriverpark.org
JAMES PATTERSON DAY Barnes and Noble, 33 E. 17th Street (Between Broadway & Park Ave. S.) 12 p.m.; free Come to Barnes and Nobel this Sunday to celebrate best selling author, James Patterson. Bring your kids for a day of trivia and discussion. For this day only, all Patterson novels will be sold at a special reduced price. barnesandnoble.com
4 “WHERE ART AND LITERATURE MEET” New Amsterdam Library, 9 Murray Street (btwn Church Street and Broadway) 5:30 – 6:45 p.m.; free Celebrating the new up upcoming Avengers movie, this month’s mon comic book will be Age of Ultron by Brian Bendis. For years, years the Marvel
Universe has lived in fear that the artiﬁ ar cial known as intelligence know Ultron would one day eevolve to fulﬁll its greatest desire: tto wipe out all organic life and take tak over the Earth. That day has aarrived! See what happens when whe the Marvel superheroes cl clash with Ultron! First come, com ﬁrst served. For ages 113 – 18 years. nypl.org
over Manhattan this Tuesday. MULAN: THE PERCUSSION MUSICAL The Amateur Astronomer
RESTAURANT WEEK AT THE HARRISON
66 E. 4th St. (Between 2nd and 3rd Avenue) 8 p.m.; Tickets on sale starting at $25 Catch this modern take on the beloved tale of Mulan. The Red Poppy Ladies’ Percussion (China’s ﬁrst all female percussion ensemble) will be telling this legendary tale of bravery, leadership and girl power at The Ellen Stewart Theatre this Monday. Mulanthemusical.com
355 Greenwich St. (Greenwich St/Harrison St) $38 per person Make a reservation at Jimmy Bradley’s The Harrison this Wednesday to celebrate restaurant week! Enjoy a threecourse meal at a set preﬁx price. Choose from dishes such as chilled corn soup, peppercorn crusted porgy, long island duck conﬁt and strawberry cream cheese shortcake. Nycgo.com
Association will be providing high-powered telescopes for your pleasure on The Highline. After you gaze, chat with one of the many experts that will be ﬂoating around the event about what you saw through the lens. All ages’ welcome. thehighline.org
2014 ANNUAL JURIED EXHIBITION
SUNSET JAM ON THE HUDSON: RIVER & BLUES
SOHO20 Chelsea, 547 W. 27th Street (btwn 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue) 12 – 6 p.m.; free SOHO20 Chelsea Gallery is pleased to announce its 16th Annual Juried Group Exhibition, Under Construction. Twentytwo exhibiting artists were selected by Sharon Matt Atkins, Managing Curator of Exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition presents a multidisciplinary showcase of works that highlight phases of formation in content and materiality. Pieces on view reveal the particularities of their foundation and expose the diverse developments in their process and production. soho20gallery.com
Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park, 20 Battery Par Place 7 – 8:30 p.m.; free Defying description, this eclectic big band ensemble plays ragtime, be-bop and avant-garde interpretations of the jazz canon. Following in the styles of founder Sun Ra, an improvisational jazz composer and poet-philosopher, the group makes use of their free THE DAVE STRYKER skills. EIGHT TRACK PROJECT improvisation bpcparks.org Jazz Standard, 116 E. 27th Street (btwn Lexington Avenue LUNCHTIME JAZZ and Park Avenue) 7:30/9:30 p.m.; $20 Union Square Park (West side seating area) Dave Stryker plays his 12:30 p.m.; free interpretations of songs by Bread (“Make It With You”), Bring your lunch to Union Curtis Mayﬁeld (“Pusherman”), Square Park this Thursday for and Earth, Wind and Fire a free Jazz concert. Students STARGAZING ON THE (“That’s the Way of the World”) from The New School of Jazz HIGHLINE among other chart–toppers of and Contemporary Music will be performing during your Highline 14th Street Passage his youth from his album Eight Track. With Warren Wolf on lunch hour this week. So, enjoy (Event held between 14th and vibraphone, Jared Gold on organ a midday break with some 13th Street) and Kish Abedey on drums. soothing Jazz. 7:30 – 10:30 p.m.; free Examine the stars and galaxies jazzstandard.com Unionsquarenyc.org
Our Town JULY 31, 2014
PAINTING THE TOWN, ONE LANDMARK AT A TIME EXHIBITIONS The Society of Illustrators celebrates the 50th anniversary of NYC’s Landmarks Law with a summer show BY VAL CASTRONOVO
Tucked away on an exclusive block in the East 60s, off Lexington Avenue and across the street from J. Pocker, a bespoke frame shop and neighborhood institution, is the Society of Illustrators, founded more than 100 years ago and situated in a former carriage house. Devoted to the appreciation and promotion of illustration, the society hosts exhibits throughout the year, all open to the public. To commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the New York City Landmarks Law in 2015, the society, as a member of the NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Alliance, is presenting Illustrating Our Landmarks, a show now on view through August 16, 2014. Walk up two narrow staircases in this elegant, ﬁve-story townhouse, with walls lined with works from the Permanent Collection, and you will arrive at the Hall of Fame Gallery and Dining Room, the setting for this gem of an exhibit. The space is long and wide, peppered with tables and chairs that lead out to a small terrace, where diners can also enjoy the lunchtime buffet Tuesday-Friday. (The Hall of Fame Dining Room is open for lunch to non-members who purchase the “Museum Experience Package.”) But the main attraction here is the art, which crowds both sides of the main dining area and the bar and can be viewed to the sound of smooth jazz or Jersey Boys, depending on when you arrive. Society members were asked to illustrate
their favorite New York City landmark. The result is a wild and eclectic mix of some 65 buildings, neighborhoods, interiors and iconic structures—from the obvious, like the Empire State and Flatiron buildings, to the less obvious, like the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona (“Satchmo’s”) and the Coney Island Cyclone.
Stephen Gardner loves New York City bars. It was the subject of his sketchbook when he was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He contributes colorful, realistic scenes of P.J. Clarke’s and the White Horse Tavern, all in gouache. His interior view of P.J. Clarke’s (“P.J. Clarke’s Bar Scene”) faces off with the real-life bar,
aptly enough. Joan Pels Chiverton pays homage to the Ansonia (“I Grew Up in the Ansonia”), a former residential hotel on Upper Broadway, with text that runs alongside delicate images in pen-andink and watercolor. Fabled residence of Babe Ruth, Enrico Caruso and Theodore Dreiser, the building once housed her family’s art school, Pels School of Art, on the second ﬂoor (the space, she relates, is now occupied by North Face; the building is a condo). Chiverton lived on the 11th ﬂoor and fondly recalls the wide hallways of her two-bedroom apartment—and less fondly recalls the subdivision of large apartments into smaller ones. The landmarked cityscape is depicted here in a variety of ways and in a variety of mediums, from oil, watercolor, gouache, pen-and-ink, pastel,
charcoal, and collage, to digital images and a single sculpture. In two separate works, Grand Central Terminal is encapsulated by human foot traffic, not architecture. “Grand Central” by Stephen Kroninger is a dense and diverse collage of cut-and-paste paper figures—people of all shapes, sizes, races and religions, cellphones, cameras and newspapers in hand— traversing the Main Concourse. Kroninger’s piece was awarded the society’s 2014 Stevan Dohanos Award for best illustration in a members exhibit. The second work, “Grand Central Terminal” by Steven Stroud, is a more somber oil portrait of solitary men and women purposefully traversing the station, armed with pocketbooks, backpacks and briefcases. Some of the images are instantly recognizable, while others are less so. The Guggenheim Museum’s distinctive form is memorialized atop a woman’s head, as a hat, by Stefano Imbert, while Central Park’s Conservatory Garden is represented as a vivid blue-and-green close-up of a pool of water lilies by John Thompson. The works are a tribute to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, which has designated some 1,400 individual landmarks, 115 interior landmarks, 10 scenic landmarks, and 109 historic districts (plus 10 historic district extensions) since Mayor Robert F. Wagner signed the Landmarks Law in 1965. As it celebrates the law’s half-century, the Society of Illustrators, one of 80 members of the NYC Landmarks50 Advisory Alliance, seeks to cultivate an appreciation for the city’s architecture—and an awareness of historic preservation—in a new, younger audience. Says exhibit curator Leslie CoberGentry, daughter of the late Hall of Fame illustrator Alan E. Cober: “Viewers can observe the many captivating landmarks through the eyes of some of the most important illustrators of today. They will leave with an understanding of the importance of the preservation of the wonderful history and design of the New York City skyline.” Illustrating Our Landmarks at the Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street (between Lexington and Park), now through August 16, 2014. http://www.societyillustrators.org/
“Grand Central” Stephen Kroninger (Courtesy of Stephen Kroninger)
JULY 31, 2014 Our Town
YOU READ IT HERE FIRST
FOR THE WEEK
The local paper for the Upper West Side
BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO
SOUP BURG CLOSED AFTER RENT INCREASE SAVING SMALL BUSINESS
Venerable Upper East Side restaurant to be replaced by a TD Bank branch BY CATHERINE ELLSBERG
Soup Burg has served up its last bowl. The restaurant, which had called its Lexington Ave. and 77th Street location home for the past 10 years, was ďŹ nally forced to call it quits June 29 after the buildingâ€™s landlord tried to raise the rent exponentially. Unable to pay the higher rent, Soup Burgâ€™s owner, Jimmy Gouvakis, had to make the difficult decision to close the restaurantâ€”a family-owned business since 1963â€”to make way for the buildingâ€™s new tenant, TD Bank. Gouvakis has had the difficult news hanging over him since April; since then, his customers have showered him with support -- as well as a healthy dose of outrage. Many neighborhood fans and long-time customers see the closing of Soup Burg as part of a sad, and larger, epidemicâ€”the ousting of small businesses, and the rampant excess of banks and chain stores that replace them. Nikki Henkin, who lives above the Soup Burg and who has been a devoted customer from the beginning, described the restaurant as a favorite local hangout. Located directly across the street from Lenox Hill Hospital, Soup Burg has long â€œserved a neighborhood function,â€? says Henkin, catering to the hospital staff, neighborhood doormen, and â€œjust people.â€? The restaurant, which was open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., represented a neighborhood spirit for many people, including Henkin, who describes such small restaurants as â€œ(necessities) in every community.â€? Other Soup Burg patrons have taken the restaurantâ€™s closing as a particular blow and, to a degree, a sign of a wider decay:
SHINE AND THE MOONBEAMS Kid-friendly singer-songwriter Shawana Kemp and guitarist Jon Heagle bring soul music to the young masses as Shine and the Moonbeams. Kemp, an alum of the High School of the Performing Arts, writes positive, upbeat songs about a range of youth-friendly subject matter, from confronting bullies to giving high ďŹ ves and thumbs up. Thursday, July 31 Madison Square Park Entrance at 23rd Street and Broadway 10:30 a.m. FREE
â€œHow far can we go with this? Are we just going to end up with a lot of banks?â€? added Henkin. Joie Anderson, another local devotee, chastises Mayor de Blasio, who in her eyes has allowed everything to â€œturn into a Duane Reade and a TD Bank.â€? For Anderson, these â€œmom and pop stores give characterâ€? to the area, and are welcome remedies to the ubiquitous Starbucks or Panera chains. At places like Starbucks, Anderson complains, there are different workers there every time you visit; Soup Burg, on the other hand, promises personalized attention, regularity, and consistency. â€œYou go into Soup Burg and they act like youâ€™re their favorite customer,â€? Anderson says, noting that such local joints keep â€œNew York from being a suburban shopping mall.â€? But as angry as Henkin, Anderson, and a slew of other customers are, Gouvakis, has
been equal parts levelheaded and nostalgic. Recognizing that â€œa lot of people are upset,â€? Gouvakis acknowledged that this is â€œall part of business; itâ€™s nothing personal against us.â€? Gouvakis, who owns Soup Burg with his two partnersâ€”his brother John and his brother-in-law Timmyâ€” plans on relocating to somewhere else on the Upper East Side, an area they love and are now long familiar with. In the meantime, Gouvakis spent Soup Burgâ€™s ďŹ nal day serving up last meals, to people and dogs alike. Joking that in his next life heâ€™d â€œrather live with dogs than most humans,â€? Gouvakis has been known to hand out bits of ham to neighborhood pets. Gouvakis also made one of his famous cheeseburgers for his mother. â€œIt was a pleasure being here for ten years,â€? Gouvakis told me: â€œThis was my second family.â€?
July 3, 2014
July 6, 2014
The local paper for the Upper East Side
UPS tells employees to lie, overcharge customers: suit
U.P.S.â€™S SECRET MANHATTAN PROBLEM One of the Hagan brothersâ€™ 11 Manhattan UPS stores, now closed.
â€œ Employees in virtually every Manhattan (UPS
Store) location were so comfortable with the practice of â€Ś lying about expected delivery dates, withholding accurate price quotes and overdimensioning boxes to trigger higher retail billable rates, that they would gladly engage in conversations on the topic.â€? A former UPS franchisee
MUSIC BETTYE LAVETTE The legendary soul singer, born Betty Jo Haskins, cut her ďŹ rst record in her hometown of Detroit at age 16, took on a stage name and broke onto the Billboard charts with her single, â€œMy Man-Heâ€™s a Lovinâ€™ Man,â€? shortly thereafter. The raspy-voiced singer now celebrates 50 years in the business with a free show in Battery Park. Thursday, July 31 Robert F. Wagner Park Between West Street and 1st Place 7 p.m. FREE
DR. JOHN AND THE NIGHT TRIPPERS Legendary musician Dr. John is known for his embodiment of a range of New Orleans musical inďŹ‚uences, including zydeco, boogie-woogie and jazz. An eccentric stage performer, Dr. John won a Grammy award for his last album, which he recorded with Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, and is currently at work on a Louis Armstrong tribute album. Saturday, August 2nd Central Park SummerStage at Rumsey PlayďŹ eld Entrance at Fifth Avenue and East 72nd Street Doors 3 p.m. FREE
LEARN STARGAZING AT THE HIGH LINE
UPS, and their right to operate a UPS store was revoked. But, in an effort to clear their name, the Hagans have ďŹ led an extraordinary claim against UPS in Federal Court that lays out, over 200 detailed pages, what they say is a systemic effort by UPS to rip off its Manhattan customers. The Hagans, UPS franchise owners since 2008 whose business grossed $6 million a year at its peak, even brought in a private investigator to secretly document the abuses they say occur at every UPS store in the city. Among their claims: Customers are routinely duped into paying more than necessary for shipping Employees are encouraged to lie about the weight and dimensions of packages to result in a higher bill Customers are told that one method of shipping is the cheapest, when often it is not The Hagans, in their lawsuit, says the deception is so widespread at UPS in
May 1, 2014
May 11, 2014
The local paper for Downtown
Our Town MAY 8, 2014
From Vandals to Artists: Time Rouses More Appreciation for Graffiti
THESE WALLS CAN TALK ART Current exhibits explore NYC streetsâ€™ past and present BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO
Peek through high-tech telescopes at stars, constellations, planets and the moon without a trip to the planetarium. The Amateur Astronomers Association leads guests on a tour through the galaxy, all from the High Line, while experts from the organization identify whatâ€™s in view from the elevated park. Every Tuesday through October 28. Tuesday, August 5th High Line (speciďŹ c locations vary week to week); entrance between West 13th and West 14th Streets Viewing begins at dusk FREE
BY KYLE POPE
Last month, when nearly a dozen UPS Stores across the city closed down in a single day, the initial focus was on the customers put out by the shutdown: dozens of people found themselves unable to access their rented mailboxes, while others complained of packages lost in the The UPS Store believes shuffle. On the West Side, a blog surfaced the allegations made against to swap information about the fate of a store on West 57th Street. it and UPS ... to be false. What none of these customers knew at The UPS Store customer service team is doing all we the time, though, was that they had uncan to assure the customers wittingly become part of a much bigger in the Manhattan store area â€“ and at times bizarre â€“ dispute involving affected are taken care ofâ€? the franchisee who until the shutdowns
SOMI Songstress Somi celebrates the release of her ďŹ rst major-label record, â€œThe Lagos Music Salon,â€? the soul and African jazz-infused result of an 18-month inspirational trip to Lagos, Nigeria. Also an internationally-recognized arts scholar, Somi is a TED fellow and has performed at the United Nations General Assembly, at the behest of Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. Wednesday, August 6th The Cutting Room 44 E. 32nd Street near Park Avenue Doors 6 p.m. TICKETS $25
A former franchisee accuses the shipping giant of routinely gouging customers throughout the city
What can Brown screw from you? Two former UPS franchisees accuse the worldwide delivery service of telling employees to lie about the size and weight of packages in order to jack up prices on unsuspecting customers. Brothers Robert and Thomas Hagan, who owned and operated 11 UPS stores in Manhattan, claim in a federal lawsuit that a typical scam was to â€œadd inches to the sides of measured boxes,â€? as well as an â€œenhanced declared value,â€? which allowed clerks to charge customers more. For example, a package with a length, width and depth totaling 26 inches would cost $106.85 to overnight from New York to Pittsburgh, but a 29-inch package would cost $117.19. In some cases, customers were overcharged as much as 400 percent, legal papers allege. â€œItâ€™s pretty ugly,â€? said Steve Savva, the Hagansâ€™ attorney. â€œIt seems to be systematic, and the customers have no way of knowing.â€? The Hagans allege in court filings that The UPS Store, a subsidiary of the publicly traded United Parcel Service, was responsible for violating â€œthe covenant of good faith and fair dealingâ€? by: t5FMMJOHDVTUPNFSTUIBUHSPVOEEFMJWFSZDPVMEOPUCFHVBSBOUFFEBOEXPVME take longer than it actually would, in order to entice them to buy expensive, guaranteed air delivery. t$PODFBMJOHUIFDPTUPGDIFBQFSTIJQQJOHTFSWJDFT t$IBSHJOHDVTUPNFSTGVFMTVSDIBSHFTGPSBJSEFMJWFSZ FWFOXIFOQBDLBHFTXFSFOU shipped by plane but by truck. Videotapes offered as evidence show UPS Store employees cheating customers,
Last November, one of New Yorkâ€™s most iconic art exhibits was uncermoniously whitewashed. Outdoor art space 5Pointz, a destination in Long Island City where graffiti writers from all over the world came to leave their mark, was covered over with white paint last November at the behest of the buildingâ€™s owner, Jerry Wolkoff. When the vast walls of colorful graffiti were covered, Long Island City resident Jeffrey Leder took notice. Wolkoff had allowed graffiti writers to legally create work on his property for more than a decade, but now plans to demolish the building and construct residential high-rises after winning legal disputes with the 5Pointz artists. Leder, who operates an art gallery a block away, joined forces with Marie Cecile-Flageul, a member of the 5Pointz community who also manages its press, to curate â€œWhitewash,â€? an exhibition responding to the destruction, featuring work by nine artists who once painted at 5Pointz. Included in the exhibit are paintings by Meres One, the longtime curator of 5Pointz as well as prints
Leder about the debut of the exhibit. â€œIt was a celebration 5Pointz of the life of 5Pointz and also showed that there mourning its death.â€? was a need for While â€œWhitewashâ€? is a di- graffiti culture rect response to the recent as a tourist events at 5Pointz, the Jeffrey destination spot, Leder Gallery is not the only and so therefore local space exploring graf- any gallery or art fitiâ€™s presence in New York institution that City. In February, Museum of can provide people the City of New York opened with their graffiti â€œCity as Canvas,â€? an exhibi- ďŹ x will do so.â€? tion of 1980s graffiti art. City Gregory J. Lore, a non-proďŹ t organiza- Snyder, author tion that preserves and pro- of â€œGraffiti motes folk and grassroots Lives: Beyond arts movements, opened its the Tag in New new gallery space in April Yorkâ€™s Urban Undergroundâ€? with â€œMoving Murals,â€? a photographic display of graffiti-covered subway cars shot by photographers Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper during the 1970s and early 1980s. â€œGraffiti is so emblematic of the way people can be creative in their own environment,â€? said Steve Zeitlin, founding director of City Lore, who noted that, while graffiti still exists in the city, painted train cars are rare. In August, Gothamist reported that a tagged 4 train was spotted in the Bronx, though Zeitlin said it didnâ€™t stay in public view for very long. â€œThey never make it out of the train yard,â€? Zeitlin said. While graffiti is more policed now than in the 1970s and 1980s, street art has become a more accepted public display in urban areas, thanks in no small part to the international celebrity of clandestine British street artist Banksy, who completed a month-long â€˜residencyâ€™ on New York Cityâ€™s streets in October. Gregory J. Snyder, a sociologist and professor at Baruch College whose book â€œGraffiti Lives: Beyond the Tag in New Yorkâ€™s Urban Undergroundâ€? resulted from a decade of immersive research into graffitiâ€™s subculture, makes a distinction between the two forms. â€œA lot of what we consider street art was antici
Above, a train mural from the City Lore exhibition. Photo by Henry Chalfant Left, Henry Chalfant and graffiti writer SHARP at the City Lore exhibition opening. Photo by Fernanda Kock
the early 1990s stared deďŹ antly at Mayor Rudy Giulianiâ€™s cleanup efforts. Snyder also acknowledged the open tension between graffiti writers and street artists. â€œStreet artists do not necessarily have to answer for their vandalism the same way that graffiti writers do,â€? he said. â€œGraffiti is thought to break windows, where street art is just, â€˜hey, Iâ€™m putting up art.â€™ So itâ€™s a little bit easier in the public mind to be a street artist than to be a grafďŹ ti writer, and I think both of those subcultures like it the way it is.â€? Abby Ronner, director of the City Lore gallery, echoes Snyderâ€™s sentiments. â€œTheyâ€™re totally different aesthetics,â€? Ronner said, noting that the City Lore exhibit explores an era when graffiti was transitioning from pure vandalism to legitimate expression in the art worldâ€™s view. Graffitiâ€™s presence in galleries and museums isnâ€™t new, Snyder said, nor is its alignment with ďŹ ne art. Brooklyn Museum exhibited graffiti in 2006 and included some of the same artists as the Museum of the City of New York show which
sent artists rooted in graffiti and street art. Many artists who were part of graffitiâ€™s halcyon days have gone on to professional art careers, including Barry McGee, also known by his tag name Twist, and Steve Powers, known as ESPO, who are now successful studio artists. Still, Ronner notices a recent uptick in public interest. â€œIn New York City, the cost of living is increasing so signiďŹ cantly and quickly, and thereâ€™s so much commercial development,â€? said Ronner. â€œA lot of people feel New York is being lost. The very deďŹ nition of New York and the character of it are lost. People are seeking old New York City culture.â€? Snyder suggests that Banksyâ€™s mainstream success and the current popularity of street art renewed some interest in graffiti art and its culture, though he wonders if the recent events at 5Pointz affected gallery and museum attention. â€œCurators have a good sense of the moment,â€? said Snyder, who said that, though 5Pointz became a prestigious space for graffiti writers from all over the world it wasnâ€™t necessarily home to
May 8, 2014
May 13, 2014
FIRST IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD The local paper for the Upper East Side
The local paper for the Upper West Side
The local paper for Downtown
Our Town JULY 31, 2014
Food & Drink < D.O.E. TO CUT THE FAT FROM SCHOOL LUNCHES The Department of Education vowed to cut more unhealthy foods from the city’s school meals, the New York Post reported on Monday. Since fall of last year, the DOE has eliminated 24 unhealthy items from school cafeterias, including bread products containing azodicar-
bonamide, a foaming agent that made headlines when it was discovered the bread at Subway sandwich shops contained the chemical. The DOE requires its food providers to conﬁrm that lowfat, low-sodium products are delivered to the city’s schools, and will cut an ad-
PAYING A PREMIUM FOR THE CORNER TABLE RESTAURANTS New apps hope to transform the way we make dinner reservations but not all are on board BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO
Margaret Walker loves French food and impeccable service. The psychotherapist, Midtown East resident and self-professed Manhattan foodie has dined at some of the hottest—and priciest—restaurants in the city, including Gramercy Tavern, Eleven Madison Park and Upper East Side restaurant Daniel. She hopes to land a table at Columbus Circle restaurant Per Se before year’s end. “That’s a really tough reservation to get,” Walker said. “You literally have to calculate the days, and then call on the day they open up reservations for the day you want to go. But I know these things because I’m insane about these things.” In other words, Margaret Walker is not your average diner. And for many restaurant-goers in the city, a primetime table at Per Se may seem as elusive as an open cab during the 4 p.m. shift change. But, as Uber did for ground transportation, a batch of new mobile applications are hoping to make sought-after restaurant reservations more easily and quickly available. New app Resy, which launched in June, is partnering with restaurants to sell last minute reservations at exclusive restaurants. And Resy’s not alone in the space: Killer Rezzy offers a similar service, and Zurvu sells reservations for a $5 ‘convenience fee’ per head. Ben Leventhal, creator of dining news site Eater, founded Resy with
entrepreneur and Uber investor Gary Vaynerchuk. Resy, Leventhal said, is designed to advance a dusty reservation system dominated by last-minute phone calls, back and forth emails to reservationists, and OpenTable, which offers a consumer-friendly interface, but not last-minute access, and charges restaurants for the service. Resy shares the revenue for each reservation with the restaurants. “The most important thing that we’re trying to ﬁx is the user experience of making restaurant reservations,” said Leventhal. “Whether you’re paying some premium for the table or not, the thing that’s broken is, you should be able to get the table that you want, when you want it. And it should be very fast on your phone to do that.” Among Resy’s partners is Greenwich Avenue restau-
rant Rosemary’s, which doesn’t take reservations, making the typical wait a few hours. But diners can cut that step and purchase a table on Resy; a table for two at Rosemary’s on a Friday night is $10 and is one of the cheaper reservations on the app (though so far, nothing exceeds $50). “If we execute, then you’re not going to be thinking about Resy as the place you go to pay for a reservation,” said Leventhal. “You’re just going to think about Resy as the place you go for a reservation.” Opinions on the concept are mixed. Some, including Resy’s founders, consider it egalitarian. Alex Stupak, chef and owner of Empellón Taqueria, one of Resy’s partner restaurants, told the New York Times that reservation fees “discourage a no-show.” Others find it alienating and even more exclusionary. Max Falkowitz,
ditional 12 hazardous health items from cafeteria menus before the school year starts up again at the end of the summer. DOE spokeswoman Marge Feinberg told the Post that the department “has been ahead of the curve” in offering healthy food options.
an editor at national food blog Serious Eats, compares apps like Resy to fast passes at amusement parks that cost more than general admission and allow guests to jump the lines. He worries that reservation apps encourage dining conformity and reinforce the idea that diners should seek “novelty” experiences instead of becoming regulars at neighborhood spots that might serve great food with fewer crowds. “There’s a very substantial, important diversity to restaurant culture,” said Falkowitz, who lives in Queens and dines out frequently, but at restaurants that aren’t as expensive or exclusive as those found on Resy and other apps. “In directing people to a very small subset of certain restaurants, it contributes to the sense that we should all go to the same places.” Storied restaurateur Pino Luongo, who was one of the original owners of Il Cantinori on East 10th Street, went on to build an Italian ﬁne-dining empire and now only operates Morso on East 59th Street near Sutton Place. He remembers customers sneaking cash into a maître d’s hand in hopes of securing a coveted table on a Saturday night. “Our industry has evolved,” said Luongo of the new apps. “And I don’t have anything against it. It’s an open market and we are all competing for customers all the time—at peak hours and not peak hours—and if there is a company that provides a service to have 100 percent occupancy during the night, so be it. I welcome it.” About 70 percent of reservations at Morso are booked through OpenTable, Luongo said, and a reservation app wouldn’t make sense for his local, regular customers. And Luongo, who has seen his own restaurants shutter, recognizes a danger in charging for reservations that won’t always remain hot commodities. “Trendiness doesn’t last forever,” he said. Walker secures most of her evasive reservations on OpenTable. She hasn’t paid for a reservation yet, but isn’t against trying Resy. “This is catered to a very specific individual, and it’s not really a large group,” she said. “The group of people who want to get in these restaurants
but don’t know how to navigate the reservations, it’s very small.” But Leventhal predicts a broader customer base. While Resy has about 20 restaurant partners in New York, including downtown spots Minetta Tavern and Balthazar, and Upper East Side restaurant Sant Ambroeus, he’s in ongoing dialogues with several restaurants in the city, and expects to grow Resy’s partner list to 50 restaurants before 2015. During a recent meeting, a well-known restaurateur (who Leventhal declined to name) compared the conversation to the ones he had with OpenTable in 1999. “I think that’s the broad sentiment,” said Leventhal, who is looking at Los Angeles, Miami and Las Vegas as the next markets for the app. “In terms of the user experience, Resy is going to be the way the world goes. If Resy wins or another company wins, this notion of reservations will exist in 12 months, [...] and in 24 months, if you’re not on Resy as a restaurant, your customers are going to want to know why.” The prospect of such ubiquity worries Falkowitz, who thinks of restaurants as social institutions. Unlike hailing a cab, he said, hospitality is a “vital part” of a restaurant meal, and diners want to feel cared for, not squeezed. “As a diner, I’m going to feel really insulted if I have to pay to get in the door,” said Falkowitz. “If these things become a new standard, it raises the cost and anxiety of dining in the city, and it’s a city that’s full of high cost and transaction fees and a lot of anxiety already.” As the platform grows, and with reservation costs based on demand, Leventhal said that, in the future, some reservations might be free, or sold at the $2 mark. And for diners who don’t want to pay, reservations can still be made the old-fashioned way, at no cost. For Walker, that’s crucial. “As long as all the options remain available, people won’t freak out,” said Walker, a lifelong New Yorker. “This is a city where you can be a millionaire and still not get into the most exclusive clubs. You don’t have to be rich to be the guy who can get past the velvet rope. If we’re creating a world where you do have to have the cash to get past the velvet rope, people will be pissed.”
JULY 31, 2014 Our Town
RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS JULY 16 - 22, 2014
47 East Houston Street
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.
138 West Houston Street
35 Orchard Street
Grade Pending (2)
196 Orchard Street
Amuse Wine Bar
121 Ludlow Street
Grade Pending (37) 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. 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. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.
170 Rivington Street
Big Hing Wong Restaurant
300 Grand Street
Not Graded Yet (18) 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. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.
85 Orchard Street
Gaia Italian Cafe
251 East Houston Street
54 Prince Street
Chipotle Mexican Grill
71 Spring Street
449 West Broadway
Galanga Thai Cooking
149 West 4 Street
51 Spring Street
Grade Pending (4)
@ The Square (Starbucks)
45 West 4 Street
119 Mac Dougal Street
113 Macdougal Street
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281 Lafayette Street
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Our Town JULY 31, 2014
Property < MEDIAMATH LEASES SPACE IN WORLD TRADE CENTER The software company MediaMath says it is leasing office space in the new World Trade Center tower in lower Manhattan, where it plans to consolidate more than 300 staff from three midtown offices. City and state officials say the company’s
headquarters in 4 World Trade Center is expected to add 200 new jobs this year and up to 800 more over the next ﬁve years. They say its investment is supported by a $5.8 million federally funded grant jointly offered by the state and city economic develop-
AMPING UP THE FIGHT OVER POOR DOORS DEVELOPMENT Elected officials and housing advocates say Extell exploiting loophole with separate building entrances BY DANIEL FITZSIMMONS
Extell Development is facing a new round of criticism after its plan to include a separate entrance for low-income residents at its Upper West Side development project was approved by the city’s Deptartment of Housing Preservation and Development. Extell is building a 219-unit luxury condo building at 40 Riverside Boulevard. The project includes an additional 55 units of affordable housing that the company agreed to in exchange for tax abatements from the city. Housing advocates and elected officials have likened the practice to segregation and claim separate entrances have a stigmatizing effect on low-income residents. That criticism was ampliﬁed after Extell founder Gary Barnett told WNYC radio that the separate entrance was necessary to comply with city zoning laws. He further drew the ire of activists and officials when he said drawing attention to the issue was political and silly. “The two entrances is mandated actually in inclusionary housing, because that’s permanently affordable and so they want to be able to — I think that’s the logic behind it, I don’t know for sure — they want to be able to manage it as a separate building,” Barnett told WNYC. “We’re in the political silly season, to be blunt. Would you rather not have the affordable housing? Ask any one of the thousands of people who are applying for that, and they don’t give a damn [about the separate entrance]. They want to have a beautiful apartment, in a beautiful neighborhood, at a super price.” Officials quickly returned ﬁre, claiming Extell and other companies are exploiting a loophole that was created when the state’s 421-a tax abate-
ment program was modiﬁed and the city’s related Inclusionary Housing Program failed to keep pace. The state requires developers who wish to take advantage of the tax breaks to include the affordable housing on site. The city requires those same developers to intersperse the affordable units with the market-rate units at a certain rate on every ﬂoor of their project. However, due to an oversight in the city’s Inclusionary Housing Program – which officials claim is a loophole - developers are allowed to put the affordable units in a separate building on the same site, which requires a separate entrance according to city code. “Unfortunately the Inclusionary Housing Program currently allows for developers to build what are called ‘segmented buildings,’ freeing them of these distribution requirements,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. “To do this, developers essentially use the option of creating the affordable housing off-site, but place that ‘off-site’ housing on the same zoning lot.” Brewer called for immediate changes to the city’s Inclusionary Housing Program, “to stop developers from segregating and segmenting buildings, separating affordable and market rate units, creating separate and unequal communities of tenants within a single building.” A spokesperson for Extell Development said there’s a legitimate reason that zoning code allows companies to construct separate buildings for affordable units. “The amendment was written by HPD and the City Planning Commission into the zoning code in 2009 and was scarcely a loophole or ambiguity of the law,” said George Arzt. “Rather it was aimed at creating additional units of affordable housing on parcels too small to construct two buildings. It received ﬁnal approval by the city council.” Because all of the affordable units at 40 Riverside Blvd. are contained in the separate building, the rationalization that a separate building was built in this case for “additional units” of affordable housing to be built on a
ment agencies. MediaMath currently has more than 450 employees, with offices in New York, San Francisco, London, Singapore and Tokyo. Chief executive Joe Zawadzki says they’re looking forward to growing the business in what he called the city’s downtown technology and media community.
It’s outrageous that we give huge tax credits to developers for including affordable apartments in their buildings – only to allow them to turn around and segregate entrances or block access to amenities for low-income tenants. I am profoundly disappointed that the developer of 40 Riverside has exploited this loophole in creating a ‘poor door’ in its building. We must do everything we can to end this discriminatory practice immediately.” Councilmember Mark Levine
smaller parcel of land doesn’t seem to apply. Arzt did not respond to a request to elaborate. According to Brewer, developers say banks won’t ﬁnance market-rate development projects with affordable units sprinkled on every ﬂoor. But she claims other developers have told her that strict segregation of affordable units is not required for a project to receive ﬁnancing. “The assertion of some developers that they have no choice in the matter, that they are required to have poor doors in their buildings, is plainly false,” said Brewer. “The law only requires a poor-door system if the developer chooses to segregate their residents.” Other elected officials have piled on, including City Councilman Mark Levine, who, along with Councilman Corey Johnson, is drafting legislation that would prevent development and management companies from excluding affordable housing tenants from amenities such as ﬁtness centers and roof gardens. According to Levine’s office, 40 Riverside Boulevard will have a basketball court, ﬁtness center and other amenities that will be off limits to ten-
We’re in the political silly season, to be blunt. Would you rather not have the affordable housing? Ask any one of the thousands of people who are applying for that, and they don’t give a damn [about the separate entrance]. They want to have a beautiful apartment, in a beautiful neighborhood, at a super price.” Extell founder Gary Barnett ants in the affordable units. As recently reported in the West Side Spirit and elsewhere, several buildings on the Upper West Side bar affordable housing and rent regulated tenants from using amenities. “It’s outrageous that we give huge tax credits to developers for including affordable apartments in their buildings – only to allow them to turn around and segregate entrances or block access to amenities for low-income tenants,” said Levine. “I am profoundly disappointed that the developer of 40 Riverside has exploited this loophole in creating a ‘poor door’ in its building. We must do everything we can to end this discriminatory practice immediately.” New York’s Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen told WNYC that the administration is already looking to close the loophole that allows a separate building for affordable units, but that it could take up to a year or more.
JULY 31, 2014 Our Town
YOUR FIFTEEN MINUTES
MAKING A DIFFERENCE ONE SONG AT A TIME chari is?’ and every this charity single one of them will tell you everything ever they’ve learned about a it.” Each cabaret c show benefits a d different charity, with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a frequent rec recipient. Proceeds from their August 11th production wil will go to Story Shiftprog ers, a program that takes p theater to public schools for w disabilities. children with
How did “Ca “Cabaret for a Cause” ﬁrst come about? ab
Tiffany Schleigh founded Cabaret for a Cause to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Photo by Branan Edgens
Q&A A young producer speaks about her worthwhile work BY ANGELA BARBUTI
MORE ON TIFFANY To learn more about Tiffany, visit www. tiffanyschleigh.com To purchase tickets to “Cabaret for a Cause,” visit www. galapagosartspace. com/c4ac For more information on Story Shifters, see www. kefproductions. com/education. html
At just 23 years old, Tiffany Schleigh has found a job that inﬂuences countless lives. She’s combined her love of theater with charity and the result is benefitting young people all over the nation. The show she produces, “Cabaret for a Cause,” enlists children- singers from Broadway and television, and dancers from the reality show “Dance Moms” - to use their talents to raise money for youth organizations in need of support. Schleigh is always impressed with the enthusiasm and commitment she sees in her mini performers. “You get in the room with them and ask, ‘Do you know what
It started about five years ago. My friend was working at a restaurant on 8th Avenue and he was trying to get more people to come in becaus because it was newer. It was called Rachel’s Rachel’s, where Patron is now. A couple of my friends had just left Broadway shows show and were like, “I’m bored and have nothing no to do.” So I was like, “Great, let’s put pu on a show at his restaurant.” So we would wou open up all the windows so that people walking by could see it. We did it on a w weekly basis for a while. When we realized it was getting so crazy, we had to start charging cha people and we didn’t know what the money should go to work at the restauto. My friend who worked rant donated to St. Jude every year for his birthday, so we did that. Then, a woman who volunteers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital came to see one of them because a friend of hers was singing in it. And she was like, “I want to meet with you and do this, but bigger.”
How did the children’s involvement start? That happened early last year when a friend of mine wanted to do a fundraiser for her theater company and the play had adults that were playing children. So I thought it would be funny to have children singing adult songs.
There are 38 kids in your next show. How do you get them all to participate? There’s a handful of Broadway kids I use all time and then they all introduce me to each other. And sometimes kids will come to the show and say, “I want to do the next one.” As far as the reality TV people, I had spoken to Melissa Ziegler from “Dance Moms” on Twitter, and she was like, “My daughter would love to do this.” So Maddie came and did it last year. And then another mom reached out and it became gigantic by accident.
Do you have a funny behind-the-scenes story? Sophia Gennusa, who is now ten years old, starred as Matilda in “Matilda” on Broadway. After she finished her run in the show, she was doing one of my cabarets and told me she started taking voice lessons after starring in a Broadway show for over a year.
Do you go and see the kids in their Broadway shows? Two of my cabaret kids are in “Violet,” and it’s a really beautiful show. “Matilda” is sensational. I’ve seen all the kids in all their shows.
You also produce “Spotlight on St. Jude.” Explain what that is. That is an annual event I produce with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It’s a cabaret-like event where we have speakers and vocal numbers. We have an entire committee, and Caroline, who is the head of the committee, came to one of my shows and asked me to do it. We’ve done two shows and raised over $150,000 dollars for the hospital.
You graduated from Marymount. Did you always know you wanted to pursue theater? I was into theater as a kid and thought I wanted to come to New York and pursue it, but I went on a few auditions and decided it really wasn’t for me. I would see the same people at every audition and thought, “I don’t really want to do this and wait in line every morning.” I didn’t really know that I wanted to produce until I started doing these shows all the time. And I said, “Well, I guess I know what I’m doing somehow.”
You left Ohio to come here for college. What was that like for you? My town was really small and conservative. There was not a whole lot to do there. I remember I went home for Christmas after my ﬁrst semester of college, and I went to my friend’s house, and he was like, “Do you want to go hang out at Walmart?” I guess I wanted to go somewhere so completely different than where I was. And I knew I wanted to be involved with theater and this was the place to be for that. It was kind of a culture shock at ﬁrst because I wasn’t used to it and I was terriﬁed of the subway. During my ﬁrst week of college, I remember telling my mom that I was going to Central Park with my roommates, and she was like, “Oh, don’t go there, you’ll get mugged.” And I said, “It’s the middle of the day and I’m with six people.” [Laughs]
You just moved from Astoria to Midtown. What are your favorite restaurants in your new neighborhood? Blossom has the tastiest tofu scramble. I used to work near Thalia and had lunch there almost every day. And I’ve been going to Hourglass Tavern ever since I moved to New York City. They have the friendliest staff. I had my birthday there once and the owner, Beth, brought us the most delicious chocolate cake in the entire world. She still won’t tell us what’s in it or where it’s from.
Our Town JULY 31, 2014
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JULY 31, 2014 Our Town
CLASSIFIEDS Classified Advertising Department Information Telephone: 212-868-0190 | Fax: 212-2868-0190 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm | Deadline: 2pm the Friday before publication
CAMPS/SCHOOLS Boys & Girls Harbor “A vibrant hub for education and the arts.” 1 East 104th Street, 212.427.2244 www.theharbor.org German Classes for Children NY State Accredited Language Program. No previous experience necessary. www.German-AmericanSchool.org. 212-787-7543 GRF Test Prep Classes We prepare students to take the SHSAT! 120 W 76th St, New York, NY 10025 201) 592-1592 www.grftestprep.com Huntington Learning Center Your tutoring solution! UWS. 212-362-0100 www.HuntingtonHelps.com Learn Something New Today! Free computer classes at The New York Public Library LEARN MORE nypl.org/LearnToday 917-ASK-NYPL Success Academy Charter Schools “A proven record of excellence…” We are applying to open new schools in Manhattan and encourage your input! www.SuccessAcademies. org /NewSchools
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PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, PURSUANT TO LAW, THAT THE NYC DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS WILL HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON Wednesday, August 13, 2014 AT 2:00 P.M. AT 66 JOHN STREET, 11TH FLOOR, ON A PETITION FOR BONARUE BLEU INDUSTRIES INC. TO CONTINUE TO MAINTAIN, AND OPER ATE AN UNENCLOSED SIDEWALK CAFE AT 185 SULLIVAN ST IN THE BOROUGH OF MANHATTAN FOR A TERM OF FOUR YE AR S. R EQUE ST FOR COPIES OF THE REVOCABLE CONSENT AGREEMENT MAY BE ADDRESSED TO: DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIR S, AT TN: FOIL OFFICER, 42 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, NY 10004 REAL ESTATE - RENT
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Our Town JULY 31, 2014
Nominate Your favorite doorman super or building cleaner!
Do you know a great doorman, porter or ǫ ƥ ǡ ƥ who helps make life a little easier at work? ǡǡ ǫ Join Our Town, The West Side Spirit, Our Town Downtown and 32BJ SEIU, the property workers union, in honoring the people who keep our ǡƥ ǡ Ǥǯ the people you nominate and vote for at a ͚͛ǡ͚͙͘͜ǡ ǯ Ǥǡǯ ǯǡǯ ǯǫ
Go to: ǦǤ
Nominate Today For advertising opportunities ͚͙͚Ǥ͠͞͠Ǥ͙͘͘͡ ̻Ǥ
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Published on Jul 31, 2014