INSIDE: THE NEW YORK FAMILY 2012 ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SUMMER CAMP
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2012 NEWS: STHUEM ULT MEIMRATE GUIDE TO CAM Page 8 Dust up over air study P
PHOTOS BY ANDREW SCHWARTZ
February 2, 2012
Maloney Smells Chance to Stop Mayor’s Garbage Plant with Fish Study P. 6
Nomination Deadline: Feb 9th We are looking for nominees for the OTTY - Our Town Thanks You Awards, our annual salute to Upper East Side heroes. Tell us what your nominee does for the Upper East Side and why he or she deserves an OTTY. Visit: www.ourtownny.com
Notes from the Neighborhood Compiled by Megan Bungeroth
Vudu Lounge Closed
Bar Gets a Sports Fan Facelift When the Giants face off against the Patriots this Sunday for a Super Bowl rematch, Mayor Michael Bloomberg can rest easy knowing he’s scrubbed as many references to the New England team as possible from the city. Just as they did four years ago, the mayor’s office is targeting establishments whose names might falsely belie an allegiance to the enemy (we’re guessing anything with the words patriots, Boston or Gisele Bundchen) and asking them to make a temporary moniker switch in support of the home team. On the Upper East Side, Brady’s Bar, on Second Avenue near 82nd Street, will again take up a new mantle for the weekend: Manning’s. The quarterback switch is fully supported by owner Dan Brady, a diehard Big Blue fan. He said
O UR TOW N
F ebruary 2, 2012
Bill to Protect Jobs of P regnant Women State Sen. Liz Krueger is sponsoring a bill that would require employers to make “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant women on the job. Currently, employers are barred from discriminating against pregnant women and must make accommodations for disabled workers. Because pregnancy is not considered a disability, however, employers are not required to make any concessions for pregnant woman and can legally fire them for, say, taking too many bathroom breaks or requesting to sit. Krueger’s bill, which is being introduced in the assembly by upstate Democratic Assembly Member Aileen Gunther, would close that legal gap. The bill’s language states that employers must take action to “allow pregnant women to perform in a reasonable manner the activities involved in the job or occupation sought or held and include, but are not limited to, provision of an accessible worksite, acquisition or modification of equipment, support services for persons with impaired hearing or vision, job restructuring and modified work schedules; provided, however, that such actions do not impose an undue hardship on the business, program or enterprise of the entity from which action is requested.” Dina Bakst, founder and president of A Better Balance: The Work and Family Legal Center, wrote on Tuesday’s New York Times op-ed page that the law is a “public health necessity” and called it a necessary measure to ensure the safety of pregnant women who may not ask for accommodations if they fear being fired.
New Show Parodies Upper East Side The Upper East Side is a popular home base for fictional characters, and now ABC has commissioned a new show set in the ritzy section—this time with a
According to the 19th Precinct, the infamous Vudu Lounge on First Avenue between 77th and 78th streets is closing its doors for good and handed over its liquor license to the State Liquor Authority this week. The nightclub, which was popular with young partiers and reviled by neighborhood residents, has been plagued with problems over the past few years. The NYPD closed them down temporarily last May, but the club came back and was holding mandatory quarterly meetings with residents to address their concerns over the noise and late-night loitering. “I was relieved to hear Vudu Lounge has finally closed its doors,” said State Sen. Liz Krueger, who has worked with other local officials to quell the problems coming from the establishment. “With numerous State Liquor Authority investigations and multiple counts of violent behavior and underage drinking to its name, Vudu Lounge simply didn’t belong in our neighborhood.” Calls to manager Michael Stein for comment were not returned, but a source said that the owners were hoping to find a more amenable location downtown.
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that the mayor should be in attendance for the renaming ceremony on Friday afternoon; check their website bradysbar.com for updates and the exact time.
During a sled hockey clinic, 10-year-old Joanna Nieh gets some one-on-one instruction from a member of the Wheelchair Sports Federation at Citi Pond in Bryant Park. Sled hockey, which follows the same rules as ice hockey, is a winter Paralympic sport.
supernatural twist. The show, 666 Park Avenue, is based on a book series by Gabriella Pierce and revolves around a Midwestern couple who comes to live at and manage the eponymous address and soon discovers that the tenants have all made deals with the devil in order to attain their fantastic lives and have their darkest desires fulfilled. Produced by the team that delivered Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries, the show seems to be taking advantage of the most popular aspects of both of those successes. Something tells us that it won’t be portraying Upper East Siders in the best light, but then again, neither does Gossip Girl, and that’s been a hit.
Musical Open House for Kids The 92nd Street Y is holding a free open house for its School of Music on Sunday, Feb. 5 from 1–4 p.m. Children ages 3 to 9 can take mini classes in the different styles offered and parents can meet instructors and discuss the methodologies of each class. Offerings include Delcroze, a program for toddlers that helps them develop rhythmic skills through musical interpretation of children’s stories, courses in using
GarageBand to record original music and introductory violin instruction for little ones. At 1395 Lexington Ave. Visit 92Y.org for more information.
Local Doorman and Driver Made Richer The New York Post reported earlier this week that millionaire music exec and high stakes poker player Alan Meltzer, who died at 67 this past Halloween, left a huge chunk of change in his will to his Park Avenue doorman and personal chauffeur. Meltzer was divorced and had no children, and both of his former employees, who received about $1 million and $500,000 respectively, told the Post that their boss was always kind and generous to them.
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www.CityMD.net O u r T o w n N Y. c o m
January 19, 2012
Please join us for our February and March Meetings of
the 19th Pct Community Council Located at The 19th Precinct, 3rd FL - 153 East 67th St
Monday, February 6th 7:00 PM
Speaker: Patricia O’Connor, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Cyber Crime and Identity Theft Bureau, of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Monday March 5th 7:00 PM
Speaker: Sergeant James Alexander of The Traffic Safety Unit of the 19th Precinct. Refreshments courtesy of Butterfield Market To be added to our email list please email us at: The19PCTCouncil@aol.com
For further information call Community Affairs: 212-452-0613
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Compiled by Megan Bungeroth
Cops Search for Deadly Hit-and-Run Driver
Late Sunday night, a man was escorted out of an Upper East Side bar by what he said were the bar’s employees. When he got outside, an unknown man headbutted him, causing a bloody nose. The owner of the bar told police that the headbutter was not one of his employees; it is unclear who, exactly, the mysterious assailant was.
Gloved Robbery Pattern
Thief Wants Clear Skin
Police have identified a pattern of crimes in which one or two perpetrators, both described as middle-aged black men, enter a commercial establishment and demand money or goods at gunpoint while wearing latex gloves. In one incident on the Upper East Side, a lone man entered a drugstore and forced the pharmacist to hand over oxycontin and oxycodone. In other occurrences, the man, once with an accomplice, according to police, entered Metro PCS locations and demanded cash.
Early in the morning on Monday, Jan. 30, employees at a local chain drugstore spied a man, whom they said has stolen from their location previously, stuffing skin care products into his pockets. The man attempted to leave the store, setting off the security alarms but continuing to walk out. Employees followed him and questioned him, but the man picked up his pace. The intrepid employees called 911 and trailed the suspect until police caught up with him. Upon questioning, he admitted that he did not pay for the items. Police said the total haul was worth $112.70 and included Eucerin Calming Crème, Aveeno foaming lotion cleanser and Neutrogena body wash.
Front Door Thief In three separate incidences on the Upper East Side over the past two months, an unknown suspect broke into commercial establishments by cutting the front gate and breaking the glass on the front doors. He then made off with cash from the registers.
Last Saturday and Sunday, police believe the same perpetrator committed the same crime at almost the same •
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F ebruary 2, 2012
Assault by Head
Police report that at 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31, a white SUV was traveling northbound on the FDR Drive near East 84th Street when it struck a vehicle, sending it into two lanes of traffic and hitting a third and fourth vehicle in a nasty pileup. One of the passengers in a 2001 Toyota, a 31-year-old man whom police did not identify, was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead there. The driver of the SUV fled the scene, and police said that the investigation is ongoing.
Two-Wheeled Phone Snatch 4
location two days in a row. A man on a bike rode up behind his victims, one on First Avenue near East 91st Street and one on East 92nd Street, and grabbed their iPhones before cycling away out of sight.
Precinct Community Council Meeting
The 19th Precinct Community Council will hold its monthly meeting Monday, Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. on the third floor of the station house, 153 E. 67th St. Refreshments will be served and Patricia O’Connor, deputy bureau chief of the cyber crime and identity theft unit, will be the guest speaker. All are welcome. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y
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A Fishy Business City announces bid for Asphalt Green garbage plant as Maloney and reps cry foul By Sean Creamer
O UR TOW N
F ebruary 2, 2012
lthough garbage collection is a dirty job, the old saying goes that someone has to do it. On that note, garbage must also go somewhere. That “somewhere” may soon be the old Marine Transfer Station (MTS) at East 91st Street and York Avenue, though a Hail Mary pass from Rep. Carolyn Maloney and the efforts of some tenacious residents might derail the plan before it gets started. Last week, the city announced that it was hosting a bid to construct and reopen the MTS, despite the fact that the Army Corp of Engineers is still considering a permit request and mitigation plan by the New York City Department of Sanitation over building the proposed station. The Army Corp of Engineers has to approve changes to navigable waterways, a process that is notoriously slow. In the application for the project, Maloney claimed the city provided outdated information, including environmental samples that didn’t show the presence of fish in the area, only larvae. “Local fishermen and the State Department of Environmental Conservation both say that the area around the proposed MTS is teeming with fish—including Atlantic striped bass—and is one of the best fishing spots around,” Maloney said. She asked the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to look into reports that the area around the MTS is
The old Marine Transfer Station near Asphalt Green. a striped bass habitat. While the NMFS doesn’t take an up or down vote on Army Corp issues, it does advise them. “Under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, they are required to study the impact of the MTS on the essential fish habitats in the East River in consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service,” Maloney said. The striped bass is protected under federal law. The East River was traditionally a home to the fish, but decades of pollution caused them to disappear. As the river has been cleaned up over the last 30 years, an increasing amount of marine life has returned to the Upper East Side. The city has yet to provide the updated information to the Army Corp of Engineers. Until it does, several local representatives think it’s too soon for them to be calling for proposals to build the MTS. The city’s new proposal calls for a greatly expanded footprint on the structure that is already there, which would expand over the East River. In response to the city’s announcement
of the proposal for the MTS, Maloney and several Upper East Side representatives, including State Sen. Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Micah Kellner, came together to spell out why the station would have a negative impact on the community and East River. “The city needs a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers to build over the East River. They don’t have it. And, in our view, they shouldn’t get it. It is clear that this project is an environmental disaster and that it will exert a negative impact on essential fish habitats in the East River,” Maloney said at the event. “Our community has been clear in our opposition to the construction of this facility, but now residents of the East Side have reason to be doubly outraged,” said Krueger. “In soliciting bids before completing a host of other necessary steps, the city government has attempted to jump the gun and short-circuit its responsibility to safeguard the East River environment and our communities.” Another reason Maloney said the MTS shouldn’t be built in the neighborhood is
that it is in the middle of what the city has designated as a “Hurricane Evacuation Zone A,” which is under the greatest risk of flooding from a storm surge. “In the case of a flood, the MTS would flood not only into the East River but into the community as well,” she said. The original station that stands on the location was built in the 1960s and was closed in the early 1990s. When it was built, it was situated next to a factory that produced asphalt and the water in the East River was not as clean as it is today. Since then, the neighborhood surrounding the proposed site has flourished. Long gone is the factory that gave Asphalt Green Park its name. Located nearby now are two schools, two public housing developments and a senior center that have popped up in the neighborhood. The city has claimed in the past that the plan to reopen the MTS is part of an effort to redress the disproportionate number of garbage transfer stations in low-income communities. continued on page 12 N EW S YO U LIV E B Y
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January 19, 2012
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Clean Tests, Dirty Looks Residents question MTA’s air quality tests on 2nd Avenue noting that they have initiated dust control measures and better smoke ventilation and worked to seal off as much of the dust as possible. “I think we’ve improved the dust and fume situation considerably.” Over 100 people attended the meeting to listen to the report’s findings laid out in detail and voice their concerns over its conclusions. The study was conducted by consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff, and it tracked pollutants from 10 monitoring sites over a 28-day period, collecting 3.3 million points of data. Guido Schattanek, the senior environmental engineer who wrote the study, was on hand to go point by point through the data. The study focused on particulate matter of two sizes; PM10, which means equal to or smaller than 10 microns, and PM2.5, equal to or smaller than 2.5 microns. It also tracked a number of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide.
The results of the study surprised some residents. According to the findings, which were verified by the Environmental Protection Agency, none of the pollutants registered at levels that would be harmful to residents’ health. Assembly Member Dan Quart, whose district encompasses the construction, let the community know on Wednesday night that he would be introducing a bill that would require more frequent and regulated testing of the air around the blasting sites. “My concern is that you’re looking at a 28-day period of a construction project that’s been going on for three years,” Quart 2nd Avenue construction. said. “There is no semi-annual or annual means to check the air quality. The bill would require the state You wouldn’t accept saying that you only Department of Environmental come in and inspect an air shaft every Conservation to conduct regular studies continued on page 12 three or four years,” he said. andrew schwartz
By Megan Bungeroth Those who live in the vicinity of the Second Avenue Subway construction have been concerned for several years about the potential effects that the constant blasting and construction may have on residents’ health. A few weeks ago, MTA Capital Construction released the results of an air quality study that monitored construction activity between East 69th and East 87th streets along Second Avenue. While the report essentially concludes that there is not much to be worried about, local residents aren’t necessarily convinced, and many expressed their skepticism at Community Board 8’s Second Avenue Subway task force meeting last Wednesday night. MTA Capital Construction president Michael Horodniceanu told residents at the meeting that they have been working to improve conditions since before the study came out. “We listened to your concerns about smoke and fumes,” Horodniceanu said,
The Original Teachings of
OPEN THINKING | ON A NEW SCHOOL OF THOUGHT
No. 2 IN A SERIES
CAN CHILDREN LEARN LANGUAGE LIKE MUSIC?
as recorded by H.P. Blavatsky & William Q. Judge Special Meeting
Wednesday, March 21st at 7:30p.m. “A Great Theosophist -- William Q. Judge” All are welcome to this special meeting
By Yongling Lu Curriculum Specialist, Avenues
There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, it is said - which is merely an expression and recognition of the law of recurrent impression. For the opportunities of each life come from the past; each life as it is has been produced by the life or lives preceding, and aspirations are recurrent ideas of the past.
In our global society, becoming fluent in a foreign language is a huge advantage for any child. Fortunately, learning language today doesn’t have to be an endless exercise in verb conjugation and translation. It helps to think of language as music, with its distinctive rhythm and melody. The most effective way to teach a language is to help students learn to “sing the music” of a new language — through stories, games and theatrical performances. Read the rest of Yongling Lu’s article about learning language at www.avenues.org/ylu. You’ll also find articles, video interviews and details on parent information events hosted by the leadership team of Avenues: The World School. Yongling Lu is the curriculum specialist in the Mandarin Chinese program at Avenues. Avenues is opening fall 2012 in Chelsea. It will be the first of 20 campuses in major cities, educating children ages three to 18 with a global perspective.
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Whenever there is a spiritual idea in the heart or in the mind, then is the beginning of the rising tide for that individual; then is the time for him to take advantage of the cycle - to make every possible effort in the direction of his purpose. For the time is ripe, and the time will pass again just as surely as the Sun moves northward and then south again and in that time of rising tide, we must have acquired the stamina - the power of concentrated effort which will hold us through the receding tide and give us a better standing place when the tide again rises. -Robert Crosbie
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Local Pols Knock Plan for State Election Districts By Megan Bungeroth It happens once a decade and it’s never an easy process. In accordance with the state Constitution, the state Legislature is currently in the process of creating new district lines for the Assembly, state Senate and congressional representatives. The Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) has just released a set of maps outlining the proposed new districts for the state Legislature, and local elected officials are up in arms over what they call a seriously partisan and severely flawed process that heavily favors Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the senate. LATFOR consists of six members, four legislators and two nonlegislators who are appointed by the temporary president of the Senate, the speaker of the Assembly and the minority leaders of the Senate and Assembly. It uses Census data from 2010 to redraw lines in order to reflect population shifts. While the Assembly must maintain 150 districts, according to the state’s Constitution, the number of senators may shift. LATFOR has proposed
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adding a 63rd Senate seat in upstate New York that would encompass portions of five different counties and has served as a flashpoint of criticism from Democrats and good government groups who call the district a bad case of gerrymandering an extraneous Republican-leaning district in order to preserve their majority.
“The maps that came out are typical and reflect no sense of the push for a nonpartisan reform of redistricting,” said Richard Emory. “The maps that came out are typical and reflect no sense of the push for a nonpartisan reform of redistricting,” said Richard Emory, an attorney who was involved in litigation over the last set of redistricting lines in 2003-2004. “They are purely political. They are obviously an attempt of what we call the unholy alliance of the Assembly and the state Senate by using the majority of each body to favor the majority.” The proposed districts, especially
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Assembly, I have been a supportive of independent redistricting,” said Upper East Side Assembly Member Micah Kellner. “Any time an elected official has the ability to pick his votes, that’s a subversion of democracy.” Kellner said that even though his own district would not change much under the current proposal, he supports the governor’s veto promise and hopes there will be major reform before they are brought for a vote by the Legislature. “Some of these districts are connected by a highway, connected by a shoreline. They are purposefully connecting some districts while avoiding others,” Kellner said. “I think the public realizes the ridiculousness of this.” Public hearings are scheduled to continue around the state through Feb. 16. Many expect LATFOR to release new maps based on feedback some time after that, at which point the Legislature will have to approve them before they go to the governor. Senate Democrats have already filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the 63rd Senate seat, and other lawsuits may surface before the hearings are concluded.
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for the Senate, have been criticized by Democrats as stringing together certain communities by tenuous geographical connections and separating others that should be included in the same district. “I think that this is not a proposed actual redistricting plan, it’s a political scheme that the Republicans actually put out knowing that everyone would scream, ‘Are you kidding, is this a joke?’” said State Sen. Liz Krueger, whose district would shift considerably and encompass parts of the west side of Manhattan and a small sliver of eastern Midtown if the current maps are approved. “They are likely to already have plan B in a back pocket, and they will come out with plan B after these nine hearings that they’ve agreed to have.” Emory said they’re overpopulating and packing downstate Democratic districts in order to create more Republican seats. “That’s why the shapes are so peculiar, because they’re picking voters instead of voters picking representatives,” he said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vowed to veto the lines unless they are created by an independent panel. If he does, it’s likely that the case would have to go through the courts. “Since the first day I came to the
The baby boomers are coming! 76 million of them are starting to edge towards their retirement. What are boomers doing as they age? Savvy individuals, even by age 55, are planning for their “next act.” For boomers, older adults, and those on the edge of retirement, continuing education has become very popular. The mind is refreshed, social connections are invigorated, and interests, new and old, are stimulated. Volunteering and political advocacy have also become meaningful sources of energy for those looking to make a difference in society. Find out about all these possibilities and more. On February 12, adults over age 55 are invited to explore educational and cultural programs at John Jay College at the free Open House of “Sundays at JASA,” from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. That is also the opening date for Registration for the spring semester, including classes and programs from February19 through May 20. John Jay College is located at 899 Tenth Avenue, between 58th and 59th Street. Sundays at JASA, a continuing education program for adults 55 and over, has been providing high caliber courses and lectures for 28 years. It is one of the few programs to provide Sunday classes. Sundays at JASA provides informal and intellectually stimulating classes, such as Current Events, Comedy, Shakespeare, Creative Writing, Opera, Acting, Basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, bridge, and computer. In addition, there is a Sunday Morning Workout and a Tai Chi class. Some new courses this spring include Genealogy 101, Laughter Yoga, a digital photography class, and Campaign 2012 – The Primaries and Beyond. There is also a crossword construction course – “Get A Clue!” – during which the students will construct a puzzle for submission to The New York Times. The class has had three puzzles in the New York Times. Classes and lectures on Jewish topics will also take place during the season. Are you concerned about budget cuts, changes to pub-
lic transportation, senior center closings & Social Security? Join the Institute for Senior Action (IFSA), a program of JASA, and learn how to get more involved in the legislative process and be an effective advocate! The 10-week IFSA program integrates critical aging policy issues, with practical grassroots action. The workshops are led by a diverse and knowledgeable group of instructors from New York City, Albany and Washington D.C., and focus on a wide variety of subjects, including: navigating the federal, state and local legislative processes, public speaking, understanding senior benefits and entitlements, and much more. The fall term will be held on Wednesdays from February 22nd to May 2nd (10am-2:30pm) at Cooper Square, 200 East 5th Street, Manhattan. To learn more about IFSA, or to request an application, please contact Rebekah Glushefski at 212-273-5262 or email ifsa@ jasa.org. All adults 55+ are invited to apply. JASA’s NextAct program has a series of upcoming events, kicking off the spring season on the evening of February 28th with a lecture by David Edelstein, New York magazine film critic: “Aging Gracelessly in Hollywood: The Obsession with Youth in Film and Culture.” This event takes place at UJA-Federation, 130 E. 59th Street, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese reception. On Thursday, March 15th NextAct will offer a Career Panel: The Art of Networking, also at UJA-Federation from 6:00 – 7:30, followed by a wine and cheese reception. The JASA Volunteer Ventures Expo takes place on Wednesday, March 7th, from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at UJA-Federation – a free conference and volunteer opportunities fair for adults 50+. For more information or to register call 212-273-5222 or email volunteer@ jasa.org . For additional information on Sundays at JASA, Institute of Judaic Studies and NextAct , or to receive a catalog, please call Sara Tornay at 212- 273-5304.
N EW S YO U LIV E B Y
Playing Host to Celebs and Newcomers Alike By Angela Barbuti Tucked away on West 72nd Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue is the 130-seat Triad Theater. Inside, actors make their Off-Broadway debuts, celebrities take the stage with friends and audiences are always entertained by an eclectic variety of shows, from Erotic Broadway to the smash hit Celebrity Autobiography. We spoke to owner Peter Martin about what to expect there.
Peter Martin. There were two sold-out shows one New Year’s Eve and the coat check girl misplaced all the numbers. People were trying to get their coats out from the first show while others were coming up the stairs for the midnight show. It was a disaster. Another time, John Simon, a well-known theater critic, came in to review Forbidden Broadway. He checked his umbrella and somehow it got lost. A couple of days later, he sent us a bill for $300.
To what do you attribute your success? Times have changed Off-Broadway. What is your favorite show at the the- In the last 10 years, tons of theaters ater currently? have closed. I’ve really had to adapt by Celebrity Autobiography. Celebrities instating a new booking policy. In the read from other celebrities’ memoirs course of a month, we can have 30 difin a comedic tone. ferent shows. I’m always You’ll have Matthew thinking of how I can Peter Martin Broderick reading improve the theater and Owner of The Triad Theater from Tommy Lee’s what’s going on in the 158 W. 72nd St. autobiography. On entertainment industry. (betw. Broadway & Columbus Ave.) another night, you’ll On Broadway, a musical www.triadnyc.com see Kristen Wiig costs about $15 million. reciting the poetry Off-Broadway, you can of Suzanne Somers. We’ve probably had experiment more. Things get started Offmore famous people in it than any show Broadway then move to Broadway. For on Broadway. instance, there’s a new musical in the works about [’50s teen idol] Dion called Have there been any memorable The Wanderer. The first reading was at mishaps? The Triad six weeks ago. O u r To w n NY. c o m
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What is the history of the theater? It started in the early ’80s with Forbidden Broadway. It wasn’t even a theater back then; it was a bar/restaurant called Palsson’s Supper Club. Actor Gerard Alessandrini started writing spoofs of Broadway shows and they were performed there on weekends.
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West Side Spirit: How did you get started at the Triad? Peter Martin: I was the company manager of a show called Forever Plaid at the theater; it went on to become one of the five most successful shows OffBroadway—the producer put in $135,000 and it grossed $300 million worldwide. It seemed like a great business. In 1995, when I was 30, I had the opportunity to buy the theater. I was able to get in at the right time. The theater was a black box originally. About four years ago, I redesigned it based on 1930s movie palaces. I love those kinds of theaters and did a lot of research. I recreated the bathrooms, added a VIP performer lounge. People tell me, “I’ve seen this in Europe.”
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F ebruary 2, 2012
O U R TO W N
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Sundays atJASA A Program of Sunday Activities for Older Adults
Sunday, February 12 • 10 a.m.– 2 p.m. John Jay College, 899 Tenth Avenue (58th-59th Streets), NYC
Classes February 19 – May 20, 2012 For additional information and catalog, please contact Sara Tornay at (212) 273-5304 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Save the Dates for Lively and Engaging Programs for Adults 55+ Aging Gracelessly in Hollywood: The Obsession with Youth in Film and Culture Tuesday, February 28 • 6 -7:30pm followed by a wine and cheese reception. UJA-Federation of New York, 130 E. 59th Street
NextAct a pr o g r a
Presented by David Edelstein, film critic for New York magazine, NPR’s Fresh Air, and a commentator on film for CBS Sunday Morning. Please contact Sara Tornay at 212-273-5304 or email@example.com to register.
JASA Volunteer Venture Expo Wednesday, March 7 • 10:30am -1:30pm UJA-Federation of New York, 130 E. 59th Street A free conference and volunteer opportunities fair for adults 50+. For more information or to register call 212-273-5222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. FIND
US ALSO AT WWW.JASA.ORG
Feel younger. Stay wiser.
Garbage continued from page
According to a study done by the Macaulay Honors Society at CUNY on the MTS, these facilities have been located in low-income areas, such as Williamsburg or the South Bronx, to which trucks drive trash from Manhattan. Over half of the existing stations are in Brooklyn, where the median income for households is $40,000. Household incomes near the MTS in the
feature the community, feels that due to higher than normal air pollution on the Upper East Side, the city should rethink its proposal. “New York City has the highest rates of asthma due to the No. 6 fuel oil that most buildings’ boilers use,” he said. The Upper East Side has the highest number of buildings using No. 6 oil in the city and that, on top of the new station, he said will create an even more polluted environment for neighborhood residents. On an unusually warm winter day, Suzanne Antonelli, a grandmother, sat
“Local fishermen and the State Department of Environmental Conservation both say that the area around the proposed MTS is teeming with fish—including Atlantic striped bass—and is one of the best fishing spots around,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney said.
Presented by NYU Cancer Institute, an NCI-designated Cancer Center Ever feel like your age isn’t just a number? If so, remember you can feel your best at any age by taking care of yourself both physically and emotionally. This lecture will provide tips for relaxation and help you discover which foods can boost your energy. You will also learn exactly how stress impacts the way you feel.
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South Bronx are even lower; $21,000 is the average. The mayor’s office and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s office didn’t return calls or messages seeking comment. Peter Sapienza, a lieutenant in the Fire Department and 25-year resident of
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of the air around the project and respond accordingly to the findings. “Right now, the community’s only avenue is essentially only the MTA hiring a third party,” Quart said. “That’s not good public policy.” Quart said he worked with Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer to craft the legislation. Stringer also attended the meeting to encourage residents and city agencies to work to get real solutions, not-
with her grandkids at Asphalt Green Park. She voiced her concern over how traffic to the waste station would make an already dangerous intersection even worse. “It is just going to congest it so much more,” she said. “I just don’t know where Bloomberg’s head is with this whole thing.”
ing that residents have been complaining about dust, debris and unpleasant odors related to the construction for years now. “We have to work together to keep small businesses and improve the air quality,” Stringer said, asking for support of Quart’s bill. The good news for residents is that there is an end date for the blasting, which Horodniceanu said was already 60 percent complete. “Blasting in the main cavern will be done this summer,” he said. In April, they will begin blasting at East 86th Street, which is expected to last 15 to 19 months, putting the end at November 2013. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y
From ‘Hello’ to ‘Hola’
new york family
Spearheaded by a NYC mom, the popular early language learning program ‘Little Pim’ offers scientifically based videos and a generous dollop of fun By Christine Wei
e’s a jolly panda with big furry ears and an infectious giggle. There’s much to love about Little Pim‚ the popular cartoon bear that has been teaching foreign languages via conversation skills to children ages 6 months to 6 years since 2008. Little Pim is the cuddly creation of New York City mom Julia Pimsleur Levine, the daughter of the mastermind behind the Pimsleur audio language learning method for adults. First featured in foreign language-only DVDs, the adorable bear has now spawned a series of flashcards, music CDs, online games and books for children. This educational ecosystem—at first glance a natural trajectory of a growing business—speaks to the very backbone of the Little Pim philosophy. “Language learning is not a one-stop shop. We really see ourselves as a starting point for children to love language learning and want to engage with it,” explained Pimsleur Levine. “Our goal at Little Pim is to be every child’s first introduction.” Pimsleur Levine, who speaks more than three languages herself, conceived the series while hunting for tools to help her oldest son learn French. When she found nothing that fit the bill, this former language instructor and filmmaker merged her professional and personal experiences to
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Laugh at the Museum Looking for a laugh? The hilarious and talented Story Pirates will perform content written by kids to celebrate the self-expression of young authors at the American Museum of Natural History this Saturday. See the humorous museum edition of their sketch comedy show, which features actors, puppets and live music. Great for children ages 4-11. For more information, visit amnh.org. And for even more family fun, visit newyorkfamily.com.
O u r To w n NY. c o m
create her own teaching tool. The result? A lively, laughing panda who narrates day-to-day scenarios, popping in and out of real-life vignettes to call out common objects and actions. The high-energy videos in which Little Pim appears tap into something that’s become more and more valuable to educators and parents everywhere. “If it wasn’t fun or high-quality, kids wouldn’t watch and they wouldn’t learn—that’s why fun is really important to us,” Pimsleur Levine said of working with her award-winning team of producers in the early stages of the company. “[We wanted] to come up with something just as exciting as watching Curious George or Elmo or whatever else kids might be watching.” But she noted that Little Pim is categorically distinct from other TV shows whose educational values have been recently questioned. “We chose the DVD medium because
we wanted to make it easy for parents and kids,” she said, “but ours is a teaching series that just happens to be as fun as the entertainment series [that] don’t have an expressed teaching method.” Pointing to the Entertainment Immersion Method she developed with input from neuroscientist Dr. April Benasich, Pimsleur Levine argues that Little Pim starts with a scientifically supported approach, then adds a major splash of fun. That’s where the “booster products”—the online games, coloring pages and pull-tab books—all come in, to support the core DVDs that are available for download. “The brain is actually hard-wired to absorb and reproduce sounds of other languages and learn vocabulary through the age of 6,” Pimsleur Levine cited. “After the age of 6, children are neurally committed to [their native language], so
Julia Pimsleur Levine and family. it gets exponentially harder every year after a child turns 6 to pick up a new language.” At an age when kids are especially sensitive to the vocabulary repetition found in the videos, the booster products serve as additional reinforcement. Foreign language learning has exploded across the nation in recent years—especially given the academic benefits correlated with bilingualism—and Pimsleur Levine spoke to the importance of lowering the bar for what’s required of moms and dads to participate in their child learning a new language. “Most parents want to introduce their kids to a second language, but don’t speak [it] themselves,” she said. With phonetic spellings and free downloadable scripts, all parents can be easily involved in the Little Pim program. But the series is quite practical in more ways than one; Little Pim is fully focused on conversational skills. “We picked words that are relevant to young children,” Pimsleur Levine said. “If you were to try to do another [company’s] film with your 4-year-old, [she] would be learning how to say things like, ‘Where’s my passport?’ or ‘Can I get a cab?’—when really what your child needs to know how to say is ‘I want chocolate cake.’” For children beyond Little Pim’s target years, Pimsleur Levine suggests parents opt for formal classes. “When kids are 5 to
10, they’re very social, and it’s very important for them to have a learning experience with their peers,” she said. “You also want to teach them reading and writing then—Little Pim is totally focused on the early years, pre-reading, with hearing and repeating intuitively.” While Pimsleur Levine and her company are keeping their eyes on cornering this window of opportunity for learning, they’ll be cracking down on digital initiatives in the near future. Beyond the current iPad and iPhone games, they plan to bring the video series to mobile gadgets. They’re also likely to expand to the muchdemanded languages of Portuguese and Korean. At the end of the day, Pimsleur Levine advises parents serious about teaching their children a second language to keep it fun and keep at it. “The trick is to keep a little bit going all the time,” she said. “You don’t have to force it on them, but you can keep speaking [in a second language] even if they don’t answer. Like anything, it takes some research and dedication.” However frustrating the process may be, a cuddly panda might just make it easier for little ones. For more on language learning, check out our story on raising a bilingual child—“Que Pasa, Mommy?”—at newyorkfamily.com. F ebruary 2, 2012 •
O U R TO W N
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January 19, 2012
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Cecil Fabulous Beaton’s New York years revived By Marsha McCreadie One high aesthetic compliment is to call an artist ahead of his time. Yet, the real trick is to be both of your time and ahead of it. Cecil Beaton—photographer, illustrator, set and costume designer, even author—turned that trick, and nicely, too. The fabulous results and even a hint at his motivation are currently exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York. Courtesy CeCil Beaton studio arChive at sotheBy’s
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1-888-709-TECH (8324) www.iDTeenAcademies.com O u r To w n NY. c o m
“Truman Capote and Cecil Beaton,” ca. 1952, © Cecil Beaton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s. Why there, why now? Well, it’s Beaton’s “New York Years,” the 1920s through the 1960s—the fun decades, at least for him and his crowd. Beaton was a soigné mover in the top artistic and social tiers in both his native England and his semipermanent residence of elegant Manhattan hotel suites. There’s already something gemülichkeit about the approachable museum portico, so the “Beaton Rose,” his cozy 1940s fabric design papering the entrance hall, is a needed transition into a glittery world presented with a clever structure, both chronological and thematic. Let’s face it: We don’t really go to this exhibit to get a career history, though it’s there if you want it—from his early surprisingly “romantic” painting and drawing through his magazine photography years and costumes for the Metropolitan Opera. Subsections are devoted to his pictures of Marilyn Monroe, Wallis Simpson, Greta Garbo (one of Beaton’s heartfelt but rare heterosexual love quests and the only “candid” image of her laughing I’ve ever seen), Elsie de Wolfe, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali. Also view a sweet-looking young Marlon Brando and a cheery Mick Jagger; both Hepburns— Kate and Audrey, separately; and a sprinkling of socialites.
Decorator de Wolfe got Beaton social access and he flattered, cunningly: “I only photograph those I like and admire.” (Summation-type Beaton quotes are posted throughout.) From a wealthy but not aristocratic background, he was clearly more comfortable in a Manhattan filled with other arrivistes than in class-fixed old England. When the stylistic tide turned against his lush Vogue and Vanity Fair painterly tableaux, shifting to the informal action photography of Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, Beaton didn’t wail, he moved on—to sets and costumes for Broadway and Hollywood, though he resented time spent in L.A. The show highlights details of the Ascot Race set from My Fair Lady, famously imitated by Truman Capote’s Plaza Hotel Black and White Ball. Peek at Beaton’s letters and other writing for an ironic self-view. See a handsome-looking woman in a shiny dress and bob, shot from behind, glancing over her shoulder. It’s Beaton in drag, clever enough to omit pearls thrown carelessly down the back to tip you off. Is there a discernable Beaton style? Was he the Picasso of the photography and design world—with a clear signature, even when using multiple modes? No and no. Who cares? He caught various zeitgeists and their emblematic people, made viewers want to look and dress like them and unapologetically took bits and pieces from every genre. You could call it artistic shoplifting (some did)—or, eventually, homage. Cecil Beaton: The New York Years Through Feb. 20, Museum of the City of New York, 1220 5th Ave., 212-534-1672, www.mcny.org. On Saturday, Feb. 11, join curator Donald Albrecht for the all-day symposium Gay New York and the Arts of the 20th Century at the Museum of the City of New York. Joining Albrecht— who curated The New York Years— will be Yale University professor Geoffrey Chauncey and Beaton biographer Hugo Vickers, along with other authors and authorities on the city’s artistic life from the 1920s through the 1960s. Tickets are $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers. Reservations and pre-payment are required. A $15 box lunch is available for preorder if reserved by Feb. 3.
F ebruary 2, 2012
O U R TO W N
New Series Features New York’s Most Macabre
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By Anam Baig macabre stereoviews, in particular my Ronni Thomas, a filmmaker and oddity set of diableries, which are French steenthusiast, has created a new web series reo tissues from the 1860s that depict documenting the darkness, eccentricity Satan’s daily life in hell. I always kind of and mystery of the uncharted and unimag- sat on these macabre demented things, inable happenings of New York City. these private fetishes. When I saw the Fittingly named The Midnight variety of people who showed up for my Archive, these videos boast an eclectic lecture, from Harvard professors to gutclass of characters such as Sue Jeiven, ter punks to people I didn’t even know a tattoo artist at East River Tattoo, and from my old high school, I decided, let’s Madame Cagliastro of Brooklyn. Jeiven, make a film out of this stuff.” who is featured in episode three, speMany of the eclectics filmed for The cializes in anthropomorphic taxidermy, Midnight Archive are lecturers at the creating lifelike tableaux from dead ani- Brooklyn Observatory, an event space at mals that she guts, stuffs and lovingly 543 Union St. in Brooklyn that serves as clothes in vintage human attire. Madame a multipurpose room for artists. That’s Cagliastro also deals with animals, performing mummification for pets weighing 20 pounds or less—she mummifies a dead toad in the first episode. Episode eight, the latest on the Midnight Archive website, is entitled “Wax.” Sigrid Ronni Thomas, creator of The Midnight Archive. Sarda, an artist who started making hauntingly human where Thomas met Joanna Ebenstein, wax sculptures after the death of her the curator of Morbid Anatomy at the father, hosts with her spooky collection Observatory and now the producer of of wax figures that line every inch of her the series. house. Thomas said that after the first epiOther members of the odd ensemble sode, TV networks were offering to air who work on the series include Mitch the show, but it would have meant less Horowitz, author of Occult New York; creative control for Thomas and the guys Jere Ryder, conservator for the Guiness at IKA Collective, whom he says have Automata collection at the Morris “fostered a very artistic environment” Museum in New Jersey; and profes- for him to pursue his work. Television sor Paul Koudounaris, who traveled the might also “exploit these people or make world photographing ossuaries and char- them look stupid,” and even though the nel houses, places constructed of human money would be good, Thomas remains bones. speculative about selling out his perverse In his IKA Collective office at 15 E. brainchild. 32rd St. in Midtown, Thomas sits among “I want people to see these everyday a giant Grim Reaper, scary child dolls and people doing extraordinary things, and I other spine-chilling items as he edits a wanted to give them a view from an insidnew episode of the show. er, myself, who has had a lifelong fascinaThe episode features Thomas himself tion and respect for these things. There is discussing his collection of stereoviews, a dark underside to all things, and I want a late 19th century entertainment con- to open up that side to those who are outsisting of 3-D images projected through a wardly interested and to those who live stereoscope—a much older and intricate two lives,” he said. ancestor of 3-D View-Masters. To watch, visit themidnightarchive. “The lecture was on my collection of com. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y
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O u r T o w n N Y. c o m
January 19, 2012
Lucas crashes ‘Red Tails’
PHOTO cOurTesy Of TwenTieTH cenTury fOx films
Jar Jar Binks Goes to War
By Armond White (Terrence Howard) and Maj. Emmanuel George Lucas’ sales tactics for Red Stone (Cuba Gooding Jr.) are shallow Tails, his $93 million production about lifers given to speeches about perseverthe Tuskegee Airmen, the first African- ance. All are cartoon figures; visually, the American pilots in the armed forces, film also resembles a cartoon: postcard make a bigger bang than the film itself. colors that make the squadron’s base at On the publicity rounds, Lucas has the Ramitelli Airfield in Italy look like it talked about the dearth of movies with was shot in Southern California (oops!). African-American heroes, promising that Cartoonishness defines Lucas’ Red Tails will give black teens the kinds approach to Hollywood revisionism; he of on-screen heroes and patriotic good doesn’t take World War II any more serifeeling they’ve been denied. Apparently, ously than he took the Galactic Empire, Lucas has missed all blaxpoitation, and the Tuskegee Airmen mean no more post-blaxploitation and post-hip-hop to him than the Jedi knights. cinema, not to mention the 1995 TV film The pilots, who due to military segreThe Tuskegee Airmen. Lucas’ ignorance gation were denied the right to fly combat condemns Red Tails to be irredeemably missions but were used as escorts and condescending. decoys for white fighter pilots, perform It’s also one poor piece of filmmak- selflessly to unspecific codes of conduct, ing. Red Tails’ 332nd Fighter Group are a as if they were uninvolved in history. bunch of superficial GI stereotypes, black This is goofball heroism, though totally only in the brown-skinned Obama sense, without a sense of humor—less, even, displaying superficial personal traits. than Snoopy’s fantasy dogfights with The Their captain, Easy (Nate Parker), drinks Red Baron, which Red Tails frequently for courage, and pilot Lightning (David evokes. Oyewolo) is a brash daredevil. Why comic stripPage artist Aaron Q01244 FEC-Personal Planning:Layout 3 1/30/12 11:50 AM 1 Their commanders, Col. A.J. Bullard McGruder (The Boondocks) participated
The Tuskegee Airmen in Red Tails. in co-writing the screenplay is mystifying given the film’s total lack of his usual sarcasm. McGruder, too, must believe in The Force, which has infantilized American cinema since Star Wars, and so answered Lucas’ call to sign up. That meant signing on to the notion that moviegoers wouldn’t respond to a serious depiction of young men who fulfilled the intellectual requirements of aviation or comprehend the complexity of young black people who felt duty-bound to fight for the country that denied them basic civil rights. By promoting Red Tails (named for the Airmen’s customized new P-51 Mustang aircraft) as a correction of Hollywood bigotry, Lucas shows that he knows nothing about how popular culture works. In a New York Times magazine puff piece, Lucas explained his wish for cul-
tural crossover: “...which is what you get with sports. Which is what you get with music. I wanted to do it with just being an American citizen.” He ignores how black moviegoers have often identified with white movie heroes and enjoyed cinematic patriotism—and not vicariously. When Red Tails’ Airmen fraternize with white officers, they never so much as ask which states they came from. This isn’t American culture; it’s beer commercial bonhomie. Red Tails not only insults the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen, it is disconnected from the figures of black male dignity that audiences embraced when forged by Rex Ingram, Paul Robeson, Juano Hernandez, James Douglas, Canada Lee, Woody Strode, Ivan Dixon and others that George Lucas forgets. He’s Jar Jar Binked us again.
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IN THIS ISSUE:
F ebruary 2, 2012
Met’s La traviata N EW S YO U TheLIV E hasB Y JAY NORDLINGER seeing Decker.
Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera
JOEL LOBENTHAL refutes Black Swan backstage behavior. Marina Poplavskaya starring in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Traviata.
LANCE ESPLUND praises Noguchi renovation & show.
Ground Line Redefines How Women Artists Have Evolved By Joe Bendik Daniele Marin’s current exhibition, Ground Line, at Noho Gallery explores how women in art and society have evolved over time. By using iconic imagery along with the mundane, Marin recontextualizes these images to create nonlinear narratives. Doing this makes the historical information seem fresh. Marin also uses fabric in the acrylic paintings, creating texture and delineating space. As Marin said, “The incorporation of fabric shifts the expectation about traditional feminine arts.” It also serves as an anchor point for the eye, a place of return. Marin considers the painting surface a stage where different techniques communicate with each other. In fact, the paintings themselves seem to speak to each other. The color of each painting works within the bigger concept of the show. Marin is particularly interested in “the ground line,” the foundation for this exhibit, which is the horizontal plane on which objects sit. She weaves this into all of the works, establishing unity while referencing “still” images from the past, thereby reclaiming and redefining their
“Ground Line #1.” Painting (Acrylic & Mixed Media. 9’x30”x22”). roles as ‘feminine.’ The result is a new way of viewing traditional materials. Marin was born in Paris but lives in the United States. She has an MFA from the Pratt Institute and has won two painting awards from the Visual Arts Center in New Jersey. She has been featured in Art in America and Woman’s Art Journal
American Heart Month 2012
(Rutgers), among other publications. Some of her works are in the collection of the Newark Museum, the Montclair museum and Merrill Lynch, as well as private collections. This show runs through Feb. 4. While visiting the exhibition, I had the eerie feeling of walking through a different state of
Thursday, February 2, 2012
being; somehow becoming a part of the ground line myself, as if I was inside the paintings. Daniele Marvin: Ground Line Noho Gallery, 530 W. 25th St., 4th Fl., 212-367-7063, www.danielemarin.com. Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
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F ebruary 2, 2012
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Best Bets for Super Bowl XLVI By Andrew Rice Best Super Bowl Party Playwright Irish Pub, 27 W. 35th St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), playwrightirishpubnyc.com. It’d be hard for almost any bar to top the Playwright for square i n c h e s of screen space, as this Irish sports bar has over 80 of them in their twofloor establishment. For a pair of Andrew Jacksons, you’ll get an open bar and buffet to enjoy as you watch the G-Men battle it out with the Pats. Patriots Bar The Three Monkeys, 236 W. 54th St. (betw. Broadway & 8th Ave.), thethree-
monkeysbar.com. Two floors of TVs. One giant screen. 36 beers on tap. 13 wins—I could keep going on about the ultimate Patriots bar in the city tucked away in the theater district. Unlike most of its competitors, drinking here won’t break the bank, and all the food from nachos to wings to burgers, is all stellar. Long live the gastropub! Big Screens Galore Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant and Sports Bar, 42 Central Park S., mickeymantles. com. Holy guacamole. This place has more big-screen TVs than you can shake a stick at; they adorn every surface. Get yourself a giant steak, a giant pint of beer, and go root for the Giants. When we take home the Lombardi trophy, you can snag a boisterous carriage ride
through the park to let everyone know that you bleed blue. The Place to Drink Slattery’s Midtown Pub, 8 E. 36th St. (betw. 5th & Madison Aves.), slatterysmidtownpub.com. Slattery’s is probably hosting the best drink special in the entire city on Super Bowl Sunday. For an even $50, there is unlimited open bar and combo plate filled with all of your game goodies. But this isn’t your typical open bar where you’re stuck with watery domestics—every. Shelf. Is. Top. Shelf. Savor it. Best Eats Landsdowne Road, 599 10th Ave. (betw. 43rd & 44th Sts.), lansdowneroadnyc. com.
Every football fan knows that the quintessential food for the big game is wings, delicious, delicious wings. Lansdowne is known for having the best wings in the city, with a huge variety. And tons of huge screens means you’ll always catch someone being pummeled into the AstroTurf. Place to Watch Jack Russell’s Pub, 1591 2nd Ave. (at 83rd St.), jackrussellsnyc. com. You can’t beat Jack Russell’s when it comes to watching the game uptown. They have 13 large HD screens and the tables each have their own HD flat-screen TV. If the cheap drinks and all those TVs can’t keep you entertained, there is always the beer pong tables, pool tables and arcade games.
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Go Light with Torrontes
up even more, the Bodegas y Vinedos La Esperanza Torrontes Cafayate Menduco Reserve 2010 ($12.75 at Garnet Wines and Liquors, 929 Lexington Ave., betw. 68th & 69th Sts., 212-7723211) is possibly the spiciest torrontes I’ve ever tried. Right out of the bottle and into the glass the wine smells simpler than it tastes, with scents of pear and orange peel. Up front on the palate, however, there’s a good amount of white pepper and starfruit. This leads to a mid with white peach and ripe orange flavors. The finish is full and floral with magnolia blossom and papaya notes. This is the Torrontes to pair with a spicy Pad Thai. And for those who love the classic flavors of French, old-world-style white wines, try the Bodegas y Vinedos La Esperanza Torrontes Cafayate Valley Finca El Origen Reserve 2010 ($12 at Garnet Wines and Liquors). This wine has all the telltale scents and flavors of a lean and racy Chablis; wet granite is the main event on the nose. The palate continues the minerality throughout with green apple, pear and lemon zest on the finish. So don’t be afraid to go light this winter. Think of it as a preview of our (hopefully) beautiful spring!
Argentinean white goes perfect with warm winter
PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, PURSUANT TO LAW, that the Department of Consumer Affairs will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at 66 John Street on the 11th floor, on a petition from Old Heidelberg Corp. to continue to, maintain and operate an unenclosed sidewalk cafe‘ at 1648 Second Avenue in the Borough of Manhattan for a term of two years. REQUESTS FOR COPIES OF THE PROPOSED REVOCABLE CONSENT AGREEMENT MAY BE ADDRESSED TO: DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, ATTN: FOIL OFFICER, 42 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, NY 10004.
O u r To w n NY. c o m
ten, which is how I ran into my long lost friend torrontes. Torrontes is a grape that is indigenous to Argentina. It is also, sadly, a varietal that rings few bells with the vast majority of United States wine drinkers. That’s unfortunate, because these are some of the best bang-for-yourbuck white wines from anywhere. It’s also strange, because By Josh Perilo torrontes is the most produced white wine in Argentina. The typical flavor profile is fruit-forward and light- to medium-bodied with citrus and apple notes, but as you’ll see from my selections, there are a number of ways the profile for this versatile grape can go. So, allow me to take you by the hand and lead you through the delicious and inexpensive field of Argentinean torrontes. If you haven’t tried torrontes before, a great one to start with is the Bodegas Callia Torrontes Tulum Valley Alta 2010 ($9.45 at Morrell and Company,
1 Rockefeller Plz., 48th St. & 5th Ave., 212-688-9370). This is a simple, pareddown, refreshingly delicious wine that will kick the door open for those who are new to the grape. On the nose, there’s a good amount of fresh orange zest. The citrus flavors continue on the palate with riper tangerine notes up front. The middle becomes sparer and more herbal with notes of chervil, and the finish has a clean, bright minerality. For a torrontes that stays simple but has a little more body to it, look no further than Bodega Monteviejo Torrontes Argentina Festivo 2010 ($13 at Yorkshire Wines and Spirits, 1646 1st Ave. at 85th St., 212-717-5100)—it takes the basic profile of torrontes and kicks up the intensity several notches. Scents of intense wildflowers waft from the glass. Honeysuckle and orchid are the main event. On the palate, though, it’s all about tropical fruit and melon; lots of mango up front with notes of honeydew through the middle and a dollop of lychee on the finish. Taking the intensity and dialing it
Follow Josh on Twitter: @joshperilo.
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I left the house on Tuesday to move my car and I wasn’t wearing a coat. Yes, this is the wine column, but I felt that sentence needed to be said. It’s both thrillingly amazing (considering the snow spanking we got last year) and very, very scary. By the way, thanks, Al Gore! I still have trouble sleeping whenever it’s unseasonably warm. But let’s focus on the positive, which is that this weather is kicking some serious butt! Winter is usually the time when I stock up on heavy reds like Cali cabs, those amped up, high-alcohol shirazes from Western Australia and big, earthy tannin monsters from northern Italy. This year, however, those wines just seem out of place and a bit smothering. So instead I’ve been turning to wines I usually don’t give a second glance until April or May. It’s allowed me to go back and reconsider some selections that I’ve never tried or completely forgot-
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Celebrating Black History Month Black History Month is being celebrated all over the city, including many places uptown. Below are just a few of the highlights.
Free at Lincoln Center Lincoln Center is staging free concerts this month for Black History Month. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis at the David Rubenstein Atrium, Broadway between 62nd and 63rd streets. For more information, visit www.lincolncenter.org/Atrium. The music of Duke Ellington will be performed Feb. 4 at 11 a.m., the Harlem Feb. 7 at a free concert. Gospel Choir will lead a program for families. of the Birmingham, Ala., 16th Street Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Loren Schoenberg Baptist Church. and the National Jazz Museum All Stars The Historical Society is located at will present “Drop Me Off in Harlem: An 170 Central Park West and is open 10 Evening of Ellingtonia,” highlighting the a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays and work of Duke Ellington. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. New-York Historical Society Admission is $5–$15 and children under The New-York Historical Society is 7 are free. For more information, call hosting several events and exhibits in rec- 212-873-3400 or visit www.nyhistory.org. ognition of Black History Month. Feb. 5 and 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Films for Youth re-enactors will bring the 1st Rhode Island The Schomburg Center for Research Regiment back to life. The unit was one in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd., of the earliest regiments in America to will be screening free films for youth and actively enlist African Americans. The teens Feb. 14–16. Online registration is 1st Rhode Island Regiment fought in the required at www.NYPL.org. For more Battle of Newport in 1778 and spent the information, call 212- 491-2200. infamous winter at Valley Forge without Feb. 14, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., On receiving any post-war compensation for The Shoulders of Giants: The Story their efforts. of the Greatest Basketball Team You Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m., “The Battle for Never Heard Of will be shown. The 2011 Civil Rights,” a conversation between film by basketball great Kareem AbdulDavid Levering Lewis and Khalil Gibran Jabbar explores the Harlem Renaissance Muhammad, will be held. through the eyes of Abdul-Jabbar as he The discussion is presented in con- presents the life and times of the Harlem junction with one of the society’s exhib- Rens basketball team. Recommended for its, Freedom Now: Photographs by ages 5–18. Platon. The installation of large-scale Feb. 15, 10 a.m.–noon, Freedom images by the celebrated photographer Riders, by Stanley Nelson, will be shown. shows the historic struggle of the 1950s The true story of an integrated band of and 1960s. young college students who risked everyAmong the subjects are the Little thing by boarding a Greyhound Bus headRock Nine, whose attempt to enter ed to the Deep South. Recommended for Little Rock Central High School in 1957 ages 13–18. became a national cause célèbre; Joseph Feb. 16, 10–11 a.m., The Prep School A. McNeil and Franklin E. McCain, par- Negro, by André Robert Lee, will be ticipants in the 1960 Greensboro lunch- shown. This documentary explores the counter sit-in; and Chris and Maxine experiences of Lee and present-day prep McNair, the parents of Denise McNair, school students of color. Recommended who was murdered in the bombing for ages 13–18. O u r To w n NY. c o m
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F ebruary 2, 2012
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Capital ConneCtion President/CeO
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exeCutive editOr Allen Houston firstname.lastname@example.org sPeCiaL seCtiOns editOr Josh Rogers email@example.com staFF rePOrter Megan Bungeroth firstname.lastname@example.org PHOtO editOr/editOriaL assistant Andrew Schwartz email@example.com Featured COntriButOrs Alan S. Chartock, Bette Dewing, Jeanne Martinet, Malachy McCourt, Lorraine Duffy Merkl, Josh Perilo, Thomas Pryor
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OUR TOW N
F ebruary 2, 2012
What Obama’s State of the Union Means for New York By Alan S. Chartock In politics, there is an old saying: “First you have to win.” A corollary is “Winning is everything.” Another companion idiom in American politics is “There are no co-winners.” I was speaking with someone the other day who said that in the American presidency, Democrats get the chance to be either Jimmy Carter, a man with integrity who lost, or Bill Clinton, who was all about winning. With that in mind, let’s take a look at President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and just a few of its implications for New York State and its voters. A lot of people voted for Obama when he said, “Yes we can!” They thought he meant, “Yes we can [fill in the blank].” Many of them were disappointed when he showed that he’d rather be a Clinton winner than a Carter loser; he had the center left, and they weren’t going anywhere. He needed to win the folks in the middle and those who held the purse strings in the skewed economic system in which we live. You need money to win. You can call these people the 1 Percenters. If you are not taking from their pot, they might actually let you live. There were many folks who wanted to punish the bankers whose antics left so many people with homes that were underwater, but many of those
To the Editor: In response to “Neighbors Won’t See the Light of New Cancer Center” (Jan. 26), I must speak up for my building (440 E. 62nd St.) and the community of the Upper East Side. Your account of the meeting was different than what I witnessed and missed or dismissed the most important points. Those points are: 1) The effect on traffic. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) admittedly did not perform a traffic feasibility analysis. Currently, traffic often backs up onto the FDR Drive in either direction. Currently, traffic backs up onto the Queensboro Bridge. This will worsen considerably. Consider this: MSKCC’s building will have no garage, only a driveway. Postoperative patients, by law, must be accompanied out of the building by someone. Do you think they will walk with
in key economic positions around Obama were way too close to the bad guys in the great American economic disaster. If you examine the State of the Union message, you can see two Obamas. One is the progressive president. He tells the college-aged that he is with them when it comes to how much their education is costing them and their families. This is the group of people who helped put Obama over the top in the last election and he needs them back. He needs their passion. By telling young people that the federal government will punish states and colleges that raise tuition, he reenergizes those kids to get out and vote and work for him. On the other hand, in New York, State University Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, a ball of fire, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo came together with the Legislature in an agreement to save SUNY in this very tough economic climate. In order to do that, the University, which has always been a relative bargain, is raising tuition. My bet is that the folks who fashioned that deal cannot be happy with what they heard from the president. To some degree, I imagine they thought they were being punched in the solar plexus. They weren’t the only ones. There was
the proposal by Obama that we move ahead with hydrofracking, a drilling process that employs dangerous chemicals to extract natural gas from shale. Here in New York, there has been so much passion appropriately raised about hydrofracking that Cuomo, thought by some to have been in favor of it, seems to have cooled on the idea. No matter how much politicians want the revenue and energy that hydrofracking might provide, they can’t seem to convince the people to accept a process that threatens to poison our drinking water. So here we have just two of the many things that the president spoke about that may be good for his politics but not necessarily good for the people of New York State. Let’s face it: The president knows what he has to do to win. Under no circumstances will he lose New York State. He will get these electoral votes, so he doesn’t have to worry about New York the way he might about Florida or Ohio. It’s sort of like a wife who will always be there as opposed to a fickle mistress. Get the analogy? Alan S. Chartock is president and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio and an executive publisher at The Legislative Gazette.
LET T ER S
their escort up the hill to the subway? No! Someone will be waiting for them in a car, probably on York Avenue. 2) MSKCC’s unwillingness to even talk to its neighbors. MSKCC filed its request for variances (allowances to build beyond what New York City code allows) and fast-tracked approval just as the holiday season began. Perhaps our all-volunteer board was remiss, but the residents of the building learned of the Community Board 8 meeting with only a week’s notice. 3) Our building supports a MSKCC facility here. This is what prompted me to write this letter. Overwhelmingly, the people who spoke that night clearly stated that they had no problem with MSKCC building next door. They only wanted MSKCC to respect previous agreements negotiated with the help of Community Board 8. Many current and former MSKCC employees live in this building. Several people living here are patients of the hospital. They merely want the building to fit into the neighborhood.
4) While residents of the affected building learned of MSKCC’s plans only a week before the community board meeting, somehow, a patient managed to show up with a prepared speech, a speech that had nothing to do with the debate or even with reality. The speech cast my building’s residents as rich people trying to deny convenient medical care to poor people like him. This is a ridiculous and insulting lie. Your paper purports to serve the Upper East Side. Sadly, you missed the points that affect this community, namely a neverending traffic nightmare foisted on us by an uncaring, rich organization that indeed has alternatives. MSKCC has 20 other sites and presumably other “sleeper” sites like the one under discussion. Surely, a wiser location can be found. Steve edelStein 440 E. 62nd St. Letters have been edited for clarity, style and brevity. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y
DewIng THIngs BeTTer
Value Content Over Style Heed those who see the big picture By Bette Dewing Hey, journalists Jeff Greenfield and Mark Barabak, don’t call yourself “old fogies” because you think that televised debate audiences shouldn’t react verbally, and chuck that ageist label. It implies that decorous behavior in an era of loud mouths is somehow regressive. This comment was made in reference to Newt Gingrich benefiting from strong audience reaction in one debate but not in another where the audience was told to hush up. Gingrich is a never-at-a-lossfor-words facile speaker, and we fallible humans often value style over content. Although I have countless ideas, words often fail me, especially when speaking in public. My Norwegian-dominant ancestry and being born left-handed likely account for my nonverbal right brain dominance. Ah, but right-brainers are very intuitive. They also see the big picture more clearly than left-brainers—and don’t we need that!
Well, I surely see the big picture on safety. Although my traffic safety “trailblazing” was officially recognized in 2006 by Upper East Side federal, state and city elected officials, I’m never consulted. Nope, the bicycling group Transportation Alternatives is the chief adviser for the city, even on planning safe streets for seniors. No matter that TA members don’t know the elder experience or worry that bicyclists’ strong aversion to the laws of the road is what scares these vulnerable walkers the most. And why isn’t the most deadly traffic crime, motorists’ failing to yield when turning into a crosswalk, a TA priority? And if it’s true, why doesn’t TA protest how the Daily News, with its new British editor, seems to be slighting local traffic tragedy news. Ah, but I don’t have a big mouth, charisma or chutzpah. And my anti-ageism work hasn’t yet reduced the bias against my being old. Anyway, my generation
was taught that hogging the talk was selfish and boorish. Now it’s de rigeur if you want your ideas to be heeded—or even heard! But please, you who agree with me, never call yourselves “old fogies” or “oldfashioned,” but rather recount how countless civil, commonsense and democratic ways of life were tossed out with the bathwater of ill-advised change—mostly by those without big-picture vision. Remember my inaugural column’s quote from Ogden Nash’s New York magazine piece: “Progress was all right once, but in my lifetime, too much seems headed in the wrong direction. I think it started in Kitty Hawk when two Wrights made a wrong.” Consider how that “wrong” sure did uproot us and ripped up the train tracks that safely connected every city and
town. Traffic tragedies soared as private wheels became the land travel norm. So here’s to ordering our leaders to lower the speed limit pronto and giving all-out support for the infinitely safer and more democratic mass transit. And while I mostly assail terrorist wheeling, kamikaze walking has got to go; thus this respectful reproach to Lorraine Duffy Merkl: Your last column told how happy you were that your favorite wallet was eventually returned (albeit without any money) after it had slipped from your purse as you crossed a busy intersection wearing earphones. Dear Ms. Merkl, you have a mother, a daughter and a husband who need you. You also influence readers. The next time you go walking, unplug those ears. Need music? Then whistle or sing, and join my safe traveling brigade! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sound Heart but Giant Headaches about the Super Bowl Fingers crossed Big Blue will repeat Patriot win By Josh Rogers My head says the Giants won’t win the Super Bowl this Sunday. It’s not that I’m one of those doom and gloom Giants fans, although admittedly I was raised by one. No matter how bleak things look at the beginning of the season, I usually go in with the attitude of “Hey, if things break right this year, we could win it all.” It didn’t start that way. The Giants were terrible my first few years watching football. To me, they were the team to root for at the beginning of the season, before teams like Dallas and Pittsburgh marched through the playoffs. I don’t ever remember thinking—or even hoping—the Giants would make the postseason. That all changed after Lawrence Taylor came to the Giants and they started making the playoffs somewhat regularly. For the team’s past Super Bowls, my head and heart said they could win each time. O u r To w n NY. c o m
This year, it feels like a win so soon after the Giants shocked everyone and denied the Patriots’ bid for perfection is asking too much. Of course the Pats would play hard, regardless of their opponent. Yes, they’re not as seemingly invincible as they were four years ago, and yes, they have had a lot of turnover since then. But when you get a win as sweet as Super Bowl XLII, human nature says you can’t help but expect some payback—at least, my human nature does. I understand that there are people out there who always expect to be on top and are almost never disappointed. I’m an optimist: I think you can get more good than bad, but there have to be some limits. Beating the Patriots again may be over the line. The 2008 game was not only the most satisfying one to me and undoubtedly
most other Giant fans Fox Sports has just ranked that game as the greatest of all 45 Super Bowls. After a frustrating 2007 season, the Giants barely limped into the playoffs with no reason to think they could make the big game, let alone beat a team they had just lost to, a team with a perfect record that appeared to be about to make history. But Eli Manning outplayed Tom Brady, escaped that rush at the end and heaved that ball that David Tyree pinned to his helmet to set up the winning touchdown. If they win this time, Eli would finally get his due as being as good or better than any other quarterback playing now. After a career spent underrated, he’d probably spend the rest of it getting as much or more credit than he deserved. But then there’s that damned and beloved heart talking again. It’ll do what it can. It’ll make sure my
body wears no Giants paraphernalia on game day because—to state the obvious—that would bring bad luck. Such subtlety is lost on my 2-year-old son, who, like you, will be unlikely to even understand it when he’s an adult. He’ll do what he did for last week’s championship game. He’ll wear his Giants pajamas the night before, and while the game is presumably far from decided, he’ll wear them again and hopefully Daddy will be happy in the morning. We’re doing what we can, including writing this column. If I thought there were strong arguments suggesting the Giants were very likely to win, I would certainly not write them down. That’d be a jinx. Saying I think they’ll lose might work as a reverse jinx. It’s all I can do. Go Big Blue. Josh Rogers, contributing editor at Manhattan Media, is a lifelong New Yorker. Follow him @JoshRogersNYC. F ebruary 2, 2012
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The February 2, 2012 issue of Our Town. Founded more than three decades ago, Our Town serves the East Side of Manhattan from Turtle Bay to C...