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shen Yun classical chinese dance—an art form tempered over thousands of years Classical Chinese dance is one of the most demanding and expressive art forms in the world. Grounded in 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture, classical Chinese dance entails systematic training in movements and postures, as well as very difficult leaps, flips, spins and other tumbling techniques. Richly expressive, it portrays personalities and feelings with unparalleled clarity, making classical Chinese dance ideal for storytelling. Built on traditional aesthetics, classical Chinese dance was once passed down among the people, in imperial courts and ancient plays. Over thousands of years, it was constantly refined, eventually developing into the vast and distinctly Chinese dance form we know today.

‘VerY elegant, VerY athletIc and VerY sKIlled.’ John McColgan, Riverdance director


shen Yun—nothing short of a miracle... Shen Yun PeRFORMInG ARTS. Audiences who have seen it recall the experience of a lifetime; a moment so powerfully beautiful, it touches the soul. Shen Yun presents colorful and exhilarating performances of classical Chinese dance and music. A performance by Shen Yun is a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and the virtues distilled from the five millennia of Chinese civilization.

‘a mesmerIzIng performance ... reclaImIng the dIVInelY InspIred cultural herItage of chIna.’ Donna Karan, creator of DKNY

During a single performance, Shen Yun transports audiences across time and space, offering a cross-cultural experience that not only entertains, but more broadly, educates and inspires. After seeing the show, one audience member marveled, “This production ... is nothing short of a miracle!”

FROM T herald th you are rable.

The Shen two of t traditions Chinese erhu and top of a f cussion, orchestra

every year, Shen Yun unveils an entirely new lineup of dances, songs, and musical scores. At the core of Shen Yun’s performances is classical Chinese dance, with China’s numerous ethnic and folk dance styles rounding out the evening. In a collection of short pieces, audiences travel from the himalayas to tropical lake-filled regions, from the legends of the culture’s creation over 5,000 years ago to the story of Falun Dafa in China today, from the highest heavens down to the dusty plateaus of the Middle Kingdom.

Above: Dance Imperial Archers, 2010 • The show moves quickly through regions, dynasties, and legends. Ethnic and folk dances fill the stage with color and energy. Tremendous athleticism, thunderous battle drums, and masterful vocalists are all set to animated backdrops that transport you to another world.

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Express: Thompson in for PAGE 4 Garodnick’s seat April 19, 2012

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Notes from the Neighborhood Compiled by Megan Bungeroth

Candidates for 4th Council District Emerge



• April 19, 2012

David Menegon, president of the Lenox Hill Democratic Club, is considering a run for the Upper East Side’s 5th District City Council seat, Our Town has learned. The bid for the council seat, currently held by Jessica Lappin, who is very likely running for Manhattan Borough President, has already attracted three declared candidates: NYU professor Hill Krishnan, attorney and activist Ben Kallos and Domenico Minerva, attorney and president of the Lexington Democratic Club. While he hasn’t made any official moves to register a run for the seat, Menegon said that he’s talking with friends and potential supporters about a possible run. “I’ve spoken to a couple of friends about this. I’m interested. I’ve lived here for almost 20 years,” Menegon said. “I haven’t filed any paperwork, I haven’t made a decision—it’s very preliminary.” Menegon is an Army veteran who served for two years in Iraq and has worked in sales at the Xerox Corporation for the past 20 years. He said that his time overseas working on development and infrastructure would be useful working on Upper East Side issues like the Second Avenue Subway construction and the opposition to the East 92nd Street Marine Transfer Station. “I think I have some skills to be a good advocate for people in the community,” Menegon said. “It’s a 50/50 thing right now.”

‘War on Women’ Forum at CUNY Local elected leaders and advocates are joining forces to hold a public forum to discuss feminism, the political attacks on women’s rights happening across the country and what citizens who are opposed to those campaigns can do to fight them. State Sen. Liz Krueger and the Center for the Study of Women and Society at the CUNY Graduate Center will host several speakers, including author of Full Frontal Feminism and founder of Jessica

Valenti, vice president of The Women’s Media Center Jamia Wilson, professor at the CUNY Graduate Center political science department Joe Rollins and author and activist with Soapbox Inc. Amy Richards. The forum, entitled “The War on Women: An Evening of Basic Training,” will be held Tuesday, April 24, 6:30–8:30 p.m. at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Elebash Auditorium, 365 5th Ave. RSVP to or call 212-490-9535.

UES Walking Tours In celebration of their 30th anniversary, the Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts will be hosting a series of walking tours through each of the six historic districts under its protection. The first walk will be Sunday, April 29 in the Henderson Place Historic District. The districts’ homes, built in 1881-82, were designed by the architectural firm Lamb & Rich in the Queen Anne style. The district became the center of German, Hungarian and Czech immigrant communities in the 19th and 20th centuries. The tour will be lead by Franny Eberhart, preservation committee chair, and Sarah O’Keefe, education director. Meet at 1 p.m. at the northwest corner of East End Avenue and East 86th Street. Tickets are $10 for members and $15 for non-members. Call 212-535-2526 or visit www.friends-ues. org/events.


Republican Steps Up Against Maloney This Sunday, local financial analyst Christopher Wight formally announced his congressional campaign, running as a Republican against Rep. Carolyn Maloney in the newly redrawn 12th District. Wight chose the site of the National Debt Clock in Times Square as the location for his press conference to declare his candidacy, using it as a jumping-off point to criticize Maloney’s fiscal record. Wight, who has worked for Wall Street firms and has been endorsed by the Republican and Conservative parties and the Independence Party of New York, has

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While none have officially declared their candidacies or filed paperwork with the state, several people’s names have been circulating as potential candidates for Council Member Dan Garodnick’s 4th District seat. Garodnick has officially confirmed his run for comptroller, so his seat will be wide open. Community Board 6 Chair Mark Thompson has confirmed that he’ll be filing for a campaign committee shortly. “I’m looking forward to running for office and representing the East Side,” said Thompson in a recent interview. “I’ve actually been working with the City Council for many years now, most recently as chair of the Community Board; I’ve worked very closely with the City Council and city agencies, getting things done.” Thompson works for government and community relations firm Capalino + Company and holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He said he plans to focus on quality-of-life issues as well as small business, transportation, developing the waterfront and senior and education issues in his campaign. Another name that has been floated in political circles is that of Brice Peyre, currently deputy chief of staff and press secretary for Rep. Carolyn Maloney. When asked if he was considering a run, Peyre said in an email that the prospect was interesting and mentioned his years of government service and local residency. “I have been encouraged to run by many community leaders who think that I could make a meaningful contribution to public service in a different capacity, and that my experience and abilities give me an instinctive feel for the issues that most concern District 4 residents,” Peyre wrote. He would only say that he is “considering all [his] options carefully”; of course, there’s still ample time to make those kinds of decisions and for other candidates to emerge in what is shaping up to be a long race.

Local Democratic Leader Mulls Runs for City Council

emphasized his banking credentials and is already throwing jabs at Maloney for her voting record on fiscal issues. “Our country has been on the path to bankruptcy and Carolyn Maloney has paved that path,” Wight said at the press conference. “When I look at Carolyn Maloney’s voting record, her priorities, I see a record that threatens the future my parents worked so hard for.” Only time will tell if jabs will be enough to defeat a powerful incumbent. Maloney herself ousted a Republican incumbent when she first won national office representing the district in 1992 and has since won re-election nine times. Maloney defeated a Democratic challenger in 2010, Reshma Saujani, who went on to work for Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio and is now considering a run for that office.

With officials looking on, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney, City Council Member Jessica Lappin and former Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, construction workers help place a stainless steel time capsule with memorabilia relating to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island.



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April 19, 2012




An American Ballhawk Goes to Tokyo

By Robin Kilmer whom Hample is famous for his quirky Most people go to sporting goods tactics: he can ask for baseballs in 35 difstores when they need baseballs. Zack ferent languages and uses a jerry-rigged Hample goes to Major League baseball baseball glove to retrieve the ones that games; the renowned ballhawk has col- are out of reach. The contraption— lected 5,852 of them in his lifetime. appropriately dubbed “the glove trick”— Hample, a longtime Upper West Sider, is propped open with a sharpie, fitted has discussed his collection on numer- with a long rubber band and suspended ous talk shows, including The Rosie on a string. O’Donnell Show and The Tonight Show. “Snagging baseballs is just not part of Though his love of baseball could be the Japanese culture,” said Hample. “The quantified by the amount of baseballs fans are not even allowed to keep most of he owns, it has manifested itself in many the balls that go into the stands.” forms. Hample has written three books Hample used this to his advantage and on the subject and raised over $19,000 for Pitch in for Baseball, a charity that provides baseball equipment to underprivileged kids around the world. Last season he visited all 30 Major League stadiums, attended 131 games and snagged 1,157 baseballs. This March, his love of baseball took him all the way to Japan, where he played the unofficial role of United States Ambassador of American Baseball Fan Culture. Zack Hample attended the Seattle Mariners and At the Tokyo Dome, where Oakland Athletics game in Tokyo. He’s collected the Seattle Mariners and Oakland more than 5,000 baseballs and written three books Athletics faced off to open the sea- about the game. son, Hample discovered that while the game was the same and the stadium snagged a total of 23 balls in two games. was similar to many back home, the fan cul- Though most were thrown to him during ture was much different. Baseball games in batting practice, Hample drew extra attenthe States are noisy affairs, but the opening tion to himself by using the glove trick twice. games in Tokyo were marked by a silence “In typical fashion, the fans loved it and usually associated with the PGA Tour. stadium security hated it,” said Hample. “It was so quiet I could hear the pitch- “I got scolded by the guards each time.” es smacking into the catcher’s mitt from While Hample and his hobby remain across the stadium,” Hample said. largely unknown overseas, this might Because of Ichiro Suzuki, Japanese change soon, as Sankei Sports, a Japanesefans where overwhelmingly rooting for language daily newspaper with more than the Mariners, and the silence that blanket- 1 million readers, is slated to run a feature ed the game was interrupted only when he story on him later this month. came to bat or when the Mariners scored. In the meantime, Hample got to witHample decided it was his duty to infuse ness a future ballhawk in action. the game with some noise and found an “I saw a little boy who was probably 8 opportunity sitting in left field, just behind years old catch a home run on the fly with Athletics left fielder Coco Crisp. his glove. I thought the ball was gonna kill “I know I could’ve spoken in a normal him, but he just reached his glove up like voice and he would’ve heard me—It was he was the coolest dude in all of Japan a heckler’s delight,” he recalled. “I didn’t and caught that thing one-handed. Then say anything particularly mean or funny, the security guard stormed over and took but my whole section was cracking up. the ball from him. I’m happy to say that The crowd was interested in American when the usher tossed it back onto the baseball, so I wanted to give them the field, the nearest player threw it back into full experience by showing them what the crowd for the kid to keep.” American fans are like.” Now that he is back in the States, Aside from the lack of noise, there Hample plans to spread the love of basewas also a dearth of ballhawks, amongst ball to as many people as possible.



• April 19, 2012



Local Dem Leader Joins Hunt For Lappin’s Seat By Megan Bungeroth The latest candidate to jump into the race for the Upper East Side’s 5th Council District didn’t count on entering New York City politics. Growing up in a conservative-leaning area of Long Island, raised in a Republican family and living in various cities around the country, Domenico Minerva wasn’t always certain where his liberal, Democratic values would fit. Minerva’s family moved to Florida when he was in school, and after he graduated from college, he went to Atlanta to work for Morgan Stanley. When the stock

as treasurer and is now a third term president. Minerva is also a member of Community Board 8, and said that during his relatively short time in the neighborhood, his immersion in the local scene has prepared him for the challenges that would face a City Council representative. “I’ve been very involved. We’ve had very successful forums talking about issues that are facing the Upper East Side specifically or the city generally or the state,” he said. Minerva shares many similar view-

points and priorities for the East Side as current Council Member Jessica Lappin, who is likely running for Manhattan borough president in 2013, as well as fellow candidates Benjamin Kallos, also a politically active attorney, and Hill Krishnan, an NYU professor: opposition to the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station (he lives right by the site), a concern for air quality (his wife is about to give birth to their first baby), advocating for more school seats. He said that he’d like to focus on get-

ting more support for businesses along the Second Avenue Subway construction route and finding creative solutions for building new schools. He would push for better bike lanes and more green taxis, as well as more accountability of restaurants for renegade deliverymen on electric bikes. Minerva said that it’s still early to be formulating more specific policies, but that he plans on continuing his work with the club and meeting people in the neighborhood to gear up for his campaign.

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Domenico Minerva. market nosedived, he took some time off to help his sister and nephews out in Los Angeles, then started thinking about becoming a lawyer. He relocated to San Francisco for a job a law firm and, while there, the political bug finally bit him. “It’s nice, because [San Francisco]’s a liberal setting, so the values were pretty much in line with everything that I already believed. Everyone is so active and involved with local politics that you can talk to anyone about politics,” Minerva said in a recent interview. When he began doing just that—talking to everyone around him about local politics—he realized how transformative the process could be. “That really focused me and got me understanding that one person can make a difference; before that, I was sort of one of those pessimistic non-believers,” Minerva said. After law school in New Orleans (he lost his apartment there during Hurricane Katrina), he got a job with a securities litigation firm and ended up living on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “When I moved to New York, I knew it was important for me to start getting involved. I’m a lawyer; I have a legal education, which really helps on the policy side,” he said. He soon found the Lexington Democratic Club, where he served n y pr e s s. c o m

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Tightening the Law on Street Vendors bills and hear from the public about what they should make legislative priorities in terms of dealing with vendors. The proposed bills strike a balance between easing up on vendors and tightening or clarifying restrictions placed on them. “There are seven bills that are on the committee’s agenda, and the common theme of all of them is fairness—fairness to residents and businesses, fairness to vendors and fairness to taxpayers,” said

Council Member Dan Garodnick, who chairs the committee and whose Upper East Side district routinely deals with a high number of vendors at popular spots along Central Park South and Fifth Avenue. The arrivals of food vendor trucks outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art and in the spot where Tavern on the Green used to operate has stirred major controversy along with culinary delight among residents who debate just how these trucks should be regulated.

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By Megan Bungeroth As street vendors of various stripes have proliferated in recent years, the city has struggled to keep up with enforcement of laws and regulations that don’t adequately address the issues that vendors and the public who interact with them encounter. Several city council members are hoping to change that, and the Consumer Affairs Committee will be holding a hearing this Tuesday, April 24, in order to discuss seven new proposed

A vendor cart selling peanuts on the streets of New York.






• April 19, 2012

“We have had a real challenge on the Upper East Side of vendors who are not operating within the applicable rules, either blocking entrances or exits of buildings or simply being in other areas where they are not permitted,” Garodnick said. The bills he has sponsored would straighten out some discrepancies in how vendors are regulated as well as clarify where, exactly, permitted vendors are allowed to set up their wares. One bill would disallow any vendors in front of the no-standing zones outside hospitals, areas designated for patient drop-off and pick-up; another standardizes the required distance from a store’s entrance or exit at which a vendor can set up at 20 feet. Previously, that distance varied depending on multiple factors, resulting in confusion not just for vendors but for police officers trying to enforce the rules. Garodnick has also penned a bill that would tie the holders of a vending permit (for example, the owner of a taco truck) to the holder of the vending license (the employee on site who actually makes and sells the tacos) so permit holders are held responsible for settling the fines of their licensees. City Council Member Gale Brewer, who is sponsoring a bill that would ensure that food truck vendors are not allowed to park in taxi stand zones, said that she hears about vendor issues from constituents all the time, and that the laws aren’t always entirely clear, even to those who deal with them every day. “I support vendors in general. It’s very hard; they have to follow the law and they have to follow protocol, although some don’t,” Brewer said. “The laws are so confusing, I think it’s good to make them as streamlined as possible.”. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y

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April 19, 2012




La Diada de Sant Jordi on the UES

By Jesse Greenspan When Joan Salavedra first moved to the New York area in 1992, he couldn’t find anywhere to celebrate La Diada de Sant Jordi, a Catalan holiday held every April 23 in which, traditionally, men give flowers to women and women give books to men. He and a few friends eventually took matters into their own hands. With some help from the government of Catalonia—an autonomous region in northeastern Spain with its own distinct language and culture—they formed the Catalan Institute of America and began to put on Sant Jordi and other events for the public. Sant Jordi, or Saint George, is the patron saint of Catalonia. His holiday is “the most important cultural event that the Catalans do,” said Salavedra, who has been president of the Catalan Institute of America for the last seven years. “It’s an amazing tradition, and it’s something that we have to use as Catalans to put ourselves on the map,” he added. “Scotland is similar to us, and everyone knows what Scotland is. But many people look at us as Spanish, not Catalans.”

This year’s Sant Jordi event will take place on Saturday, two days before the official holiday, at an Upper East Side Barnes and Noble. It will include a workshop for kids, an exchange of books and roses and discounted books on sale. Author Roger Evans will read from his recently published work on Catalan composer Xavier Montsalvatge, and there will be a short concert dedicated to Montsalvatge. Many of the attendants will then head to a nearby bar to watch Barca play Real Madrid in soccer. As usual, the two teams are battling it out for first place in the Spanish liga. “Visca Barca!” said Mary Ann Newman, a translator of Catalan literature and former director of the Catalan Center at New York University. “It’s wonderful to be able to get together with the Catalan community, and the Catalan Institute is the only game in town in that sense.” On Monday, the Instituto Cervantes, a language school and cultural center on East 49th Street that is endorsed by the Spanish government, will hold its own event “in the spirit of the Catalan tradition.”

example, in Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, book vendors and florists line the major streets and many people hang Catalan flags from their balconies. “It’s a very pretty day for circulating through the streets of Barcelona,” María Vázquez Estévez, head librarian of the Instituto Cervantes’ New York center, said in Spanish. These days, the gender lines are not so rigid. Roses and books are traded indiscriminately between men and Retired pastry chef Josep Bujol despenses hot women, and giving a gift to a friend or chocolate during a Sant Jordi Day event at co-worker does not necessarily indiBarnes and Noble. cate anything romantic. It will give all visitors that day a rose Nonetheless, Salavedra said it is a and a book, and schoolchildren will come good time for flirting. by to read passages from Don Quixote in “I remember in high school, this was multiple languages. the day that guys would make approachMiguel de Cervantes, the author of Don es,” he said. “It’s kind of like Valentine’s Quixote, and William Shakespeare both Day. It’s a declaration of intentions.” died on April 23, 1616, which—along with the influence of Sant Jordi—prompted Saturday’s Sant Jordi event at the UNESCO to declare April 23 “World Book Barnes and Noble on East 86th Street and Copyright Day” in 1995. and Lexington Avenue is free and open But although April 23 is now rec- to the public. The kids’ event starts at ognized around the world, nowhere 10:30 a.m. and the general event starts is it celebrated like in Catalonia. For at noon. Joshua South Photography


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The World According to Rachel Dratch Hilarious Rachel Dratch joined the cast of Saturday Night Live at the time of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, creating a trifecta of female comedy gold. After countless memorable skits in her seven-year SNL stint (Debbie Downer was a favorite character) she was cast in the pilot of Tina Fey’s 30 Rock only to be replaced by Jane Krakowski. Dratch recounts all of her ups and downs in showbiz in her new humorous, heartwarming and compulsively readable memoir Girl Walks Into a Bar...Comedy Calamities, Dating Disasters, and a Midlife Miracle.

When did you first feel like a New Yorker? What happened? I guess when I figured out the subway system. So after about eight years.


At what address would you like to live? Maybe right on Gramercy Park, with a key to the park so I could stand inside and look at passers-by through the fence and say “Mwah ha haaa! You can’t come in here!”

What was your worst-dressed New York moment? Recently I wore a red T-shirt and red hooded sweatshirt into the Duane Reade and a woman in the aisle immediately asked if I worked there. That was probably a fashion low.

What is your favorite watering hole for lunch? For dinner? I like Good in the West Village for Comedian Rachel Dratch. brunch. (Does this mean I get free lemon ricotta pancakes next time I go in What is your favorite way to get there?) For dinner I always love going to around New York, and why? Supper in the East Village. Love the vibe Walking—because you don’t have to in that place as well as the food. deal with traffic jams and subway delays, and you can strut down the street and What part of the New York lifestyle sing “Stayin’ Alive” to yourself in your can’t you live without? head as your own soundtrack. “Well, you That it’s open all night and that you can tell by the way I use my walk I’m a know if you wanted to order food at two woman’s man, no time to talk...” in the morning, you could. What’s your favorite transportation What is your most memorable New moment in the city? York moment? That time I got to that place in a cab Walking out of my apartment door and without having an anxiety attack. seeing a completely naked homeless man getting ready for his day in the driveway What do you want to be when you grow next door. Oh, is this is supposed to be up? a good memorable moment? Umm—my Honestly, I’d want to be a therapist, debut on SNL? and I think NYC is probably the therapy capital of the world... What is your favorite New York sound? This story first appeared in the April When the Jets and the Sharks get into issue of AVENUE. For more, visit avea street fight and they sing it out. n y pr e s s. c o m

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Infective larvae enter the dog’s body With this disease, an ounce of preMade in QuarkXPress 8.1 vention is truly worth a pound of cure. when the mosquito bites the dog. They Version: Advertisement prepared by migrate into the bloodstream and move Treatment for heartworm is very expenCardinal Communications 295 Madison Ave. NY NY 10017 • 212.997.3200 to the heart maturing, mating and repro- sive ($1,000 and up) and can have side JE DM CC effects BL JBthat CCare JP TE dangerous as the ducing microfilariae (heartworm babies) just as Spell Chk. within six to sevenGrammar months. It is the micro- disease itself. Preventing infection is the filariae that, in turn, are consumed by the best course of action and can be done Artwork Treat. her a future female mosquito, Title making with a prescription for a monthly mediWork Req inoculator. Since F.transmission requires cation from your veterinarian. Your vetTimes the mosquito as anTheatres intermediate host, the erinarian will require a blood test first Ad Size disease is not spread directly from dog to before prescribing the preventative mediBugs dog. Spread of the Reader disease therefore coin- cation, as putting your dog on preventacides with mosquito season, which can tives without knowing its heartworm Academy Websites be year-round in many parts of the United infection status can be dangerous. # States. HeartwormRes disease is diagnosed The monthly cost of this oral or topiAT 100% THIS BOX IS INCHESisWIDE in every state. cal 3medication less than a burger and It usually takes several years before fries at your favorite fast-food restaurant. dogs show clinical signs of infection. The Prevention should be maintained yearworms can grow to 12 inches in length round, as these medications also protect and live five to seven years! A dog can your dog from intestinal parasites. Some actually have hundreds of these icky topical preparations also contain mosquiworms living inside the heart at one time. to repellent to further diminish exposure. Adult heartworms cause disease by Most people don’t realize that heartclogging the heart and major blood ves- worm disease affects cats as well, but sels leading from the heart. By clogging their infection rates are much lower. They the main blood vessel, the blood supply are an atypical host and often only have to other organs of the body is reduced, one or two worms living in their heart. causing them to malfunction. Symptoms in cats are not due to worm The most obvious clinical signs of burden but rather an allergic reaction heartworm disease are a soft, dry cough, when the worms naturally die off. Cats shortness of breath, weakness, exercise manifest the infection with symptoms intolerance and fainting. All of these similar to asthma (coughing, wheezing, signs are most noticeable following exer- shortness of breath). Some cats will have cise. In advanced cases, congestive heart nondescript symptoms of malaise or vomfailure occurs and dogs have a difficult iting. However infection can cause sudtime breathing from fluid accumulation den death in otherwise healthy-appearing in their lungs. cats. Interestingly, a recent study from A simple blood test can detect the North Carolina University found that 25 presence of heartworm far in advance of percent of cats infected with heartworms them showing clinical signs of disease. were totally indoor cats. This blood test can easily be performed There is monthly preventative mediby your veterinarian. If your dog tests cation for cats and, recently, a blood test positive, your vet will recommend some has been introduced that can be peradditional tests to assess the stage of formed by your veterinarian. Treatment disease, and from there, a recommended options are very limited at this time, but course of treatment can be suggested. knowing the infection status of your cat Treatment is aimed at killing the adult can be helpful. heartworms and microfilaria. It is done in Robin Brennen is chief of veterinary stages to minimize reactions. Treatment services and vice president of operations consists of injections to kill the adults, at the Animal Hospitals at Bideawee.











High, Low, Surreal

Joseph Kahn’s ‘Detention’ vs. the world of pop By Armond White Future and Saw—would be diabolical if Pop culture moves fast, but not as fast it weren’t so dead-on funny and executed as Joseph Kahn’s Detention, a rampage with drop-dead panache. There’s a continthrough recent pop history that is so delir- uous 360-degree pan through 11 years of ious—and so sharp about the cynicism pop song totems and teen fads that sneaks ingrained in commercial pop’s almost up on you as one of the most fantastically hateful seductions detailed set pieces in of youth—that it modern movies. It’s sometimes seems also an homage to one and the same Brian De Palma’s verwith the target tiginous 360-degree Kahn is satirizing. pan in Blow Out. Students at Both De Palma and Grizzly Lake High Kahn use their techare being stalked nical aplomb and by a maniacal social acuity to simikiller who chops larly encircle a moral heads and limbs void. with a scythe. Yep, Detention gets at this Grim Reaper the urge toward cool is time itself, the that is intrinsic to pop digital countdown marketing. Perhaps on products and only an artist toilbranding and selfing in the marketing esteem that, for this trade like Kahn can millennial generarealize this complextion, have become ity so clearly. the only measure of A scene from Detention. Detention’s othwhat matters. er antecedents include Gregg Araki’s Such desperate dizziness describes “Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy”—especurrent pop consciousness. The Grizzly cially its pinnacle, Nowhere (which Kahn Lake kids are interchangeable consum- has the inspiration to mash up with ers—Riley (Shanley Caswell), Clapton Cronenberg’s The Fly)—the modern (Josh Hutcherson), Ione (Spencer Locke) gothic Final Destination movies and and Billy Nolan (Parker Bagley) are all the works of Neveldine/Taylor, the avantcaught up in an existential whirl of bait- gardists whose brilliant, disreputable and-switch that is the consequence of genre parodies have been completely capitalism’s rise and morality’s decline. ignored by the smart-about-movie elitists Kahn, a music video director of true visu- worshipping the literally hopeless Pedro al imagination (Britney’s “Toxic,” Kylie’s Costa, Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, “All the Lovers,” The Pussycat Dolls’ Lars von Trier and Michael Haneke, “When I Grow Up”), has co-written a artistes who remain out of touch with the script that comically expresses this fast- zeitgeist. moving hysteria. Kahn’s keen pop critique earns its jusIn the near-decade since Kahn’s still- tification through self-parody. Depicting remarkable action movie Torque, pop his own directorial credit as vomit is silly culture has gone through so many head- and blatant, yet the further Kahn indulgspins that satire has virtually disappeared es pop excess, he sketches a vagrant from the culture. Torque was castigated poignancy that nearly resembles Edgar for Kahn’s avant-witty technique; he Wright’s vivifying pop consciousness in knew what was thrilling and absurd in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Kahn’s ’80s action tropes and heroic bravado and yet and ’90s pop references declare nostalgia showed the ability to parody it. for a time when pop wasn’t as frantic or Detention mocks that brazen self-sat- ironic but could be genuinely touching. isfaction when an unbearably obnoxious Now Riley is accosted “Who taught you high-schooler meets the Reaper. From how to make a snuff porno, Lady Gaga?” there, Kahn’s script rings the alarm on When pop adept Kahn conceives a modern, cultural-wide homicide. romantic dance for Riley and Clapton, Kahn’s premise—combining John he evokes both Dirty Dancing and Hughes’ The Breakfast Club with Scream, Napoleon Dynamite—his vision suggests amping it with a mash-up of Back to the high and low surrealism. n y pr e s s. c o m

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April 19, 2012




Shake That Body Vital parts rearranged at MoMA By Marsha McCreadie A show to give you nightmares and rip through your subconscious, Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration at MoMA is not so much about decay as rearrangement. The slight misnomer of the title hints at the gothic quality of the 90 paintings, drawings, images, penand-inks—you name it—by artists as disparate and wide-ranging as Louise Bourgeois and George Condo, with a seedbed in de Chirico, Max Ernst, Miró and other artists, from 1917 through 2004. With the displacement and exaggeration of certain body parts comes the questioning. What is that breast doing over there (and, then, what is the function of a breast anyway)? Why does “Whip Woman” (Georg Baselitz), with her huge body and minuscule head, work as art/caricature and make us laugh like hell? Other titles terrify: “Hand Tree,” by Marcel Jean, with hands scarily reaching out of a tree trunk; “The Flesh Fly,” by Andre Racz; “Baboon Bride,” by Chris Finley. Then there’s that malevolent-looking leatherette phallus hanging overhead con-

structed by Bourgeois (with the paradoxical title “Little Girl”) which also—deliberately—suggests a female torso. She explains, in an excerpted statement, “From a sexual point of view, I consider the masculine attributes to be very delicate.” Grotesque, yes, and now I understand the moved-around features of Picasso women. He’s shown too. It’s such a wild world that it can be fun to see it on a free (freaky) Friday night as I did, with the hoi polloi shaking their heads in wonderment. Plus, it’s a lot more imaginatively cinematic to see a human head turning into a lion, then a misshapen, ant-infested profile (Dali, 1930), than to pay $13 for a 3-D decapitation. Is there an occasion for the exhibit or just a curator’s mind gone mad? Unclear. Though there is the obligatory statement on the wall at the beginning of the show, a somewhat overwritten “stretching it” rubric about the game of “Exquisite Corpse” in Paris during the 1920s, when surrealist artists topped each other’s work of “aberrant figuration,” taking a metaphor from the parlor game of expanding on the

Steve Gianakos, “She Could Hardly Wait,” 1996, Oil and ink on cutand-pasted printed paper. drawing of another, with the impulse continuing through abstraction and beyond. Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration Through July 9, MoMA, 11 W. 53rd St.,

212-708-9400, This article first appeared in the April 4 issue of CityArts. For more from New York’s Review of Culture, visit

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Kehinde Wiley’s cross-cultural pageant By Armond White Kehinde Wiley uses deliberately flamboyant colors. Loud as hip-hop music and just as assertive are the grand claims Wiley makes for the subjects he paints: Young men of, yes, color stand out among the traditional, time-muted tints of the ancient and holy fabrics that frame them in the exhibition The World Stage: Israel at The Jewish Museum. Wiley picked his models, Ethiopian- and native-born Jews as well as Arabs, from dance clubs, arcades and street fairs in Israel. He looked for attitude that shows “how one puts oneself gracefully in the world.” This is not hipster exoticism; their postures recall the imperiousness of Old World doges and potentates. Outside the museum realm, these poses would be called “swagger.” The exhibition’s name reflects Wiley’s awareness that the eyes of the world watch the underclass, whose members project exploitable, energized music and original personal style. He places their class struggle in flamboyant settings—in this case Torah ark curtains, wall hangings and bedcovers—that integrate alienated cultures.

T-shirted torsos are wrapped in ornamental patterns—vines, serifs, animal figures—that grasp and cling like psychedelic tendrils. For Wiley, these young men act as iconic ambassadors of desire. Politicizing the ripeness of youth, Wiley demonstrates how hip-hop music and fashion, linked to foundational cultures that continually struggle for worldwide respect, have captivated the global imagination. Previous shows in Wiley’s World Stage series featured brash young men from China, Africa, Brazil and India/Sri Lanka. It’s an eye-catching brotherhood similar to the effrontery of Benneton and Desigual billboards— and these portraits are ads, too. They are products that endow the working class with the bright vibrancy of fancily dressed comic-book heroes. They are meant to pop. The Los Angeles-born Wiley was an impressionable 11-year-old when the L.A. rap group N.W.A. released Straight Outta Compton, the album with the notorious single “Fuck tha Police.” It must have been strangely exciting to grow up on the outskirts of apartheid Hollywood, to see young


Iconic Ambassadors

Kehinde Wiley, “Leviathan Zodiac (The World Stage: Israel),” 2011, oil and gold enamel on canvas. Private Collection. black kids challenge police authority and rival a legendary cultural institution with gangsta rap, its own impudent music culture soon to claim the world. Strange infatuation radiates from the 14 portraits in The World Stage: Israel. Hip-hop’s original rebelliousness, by now reduced to commercialization, becomes part of these paintings’ mildly subversive

undercurrent. Wiley’s portraiture combines fashionable impudence with assimilation— an improvement from those black-andwhite Vibe magazine mugshot covers that stereotyped youths of color as criminal, erotic threats. Between the street and his studio, Wiley finds space to captivate and tease the social status of the Other, be it the host country’s quizzical scrutiny or the second-class citizen’s preening. The portraits must be especially striking in the Middle East. The pastel and gold backdrops with contrasting electric, phosphorescent stylings create a demilitarized zone for pop contemplation. Wiley says he means to “marry tradition with these painfully young and present models.” He needn’t pity them; the combination of modern and ancient contexts catch the beginnings of cultural change. His young men with liquid eyes stare back at you not to accuse, but so that you’ll see them in your dreams. Kehinde Wiley / The World Stage: Israel Through July 29, The Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Ave., 212-423-3200, This article first appeared in the April 4 issue of CityArts. For more from New York’s Review of Culture, visit


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Get ‘Em While It’s (Not So) Hot New York’s elusive springtime deserves its own set of treats

world’s most unpleasant rainforest—then sophisticated kick. and only then can you bust out the flipThe Soft Serve Fruit Company flops and eat pints of Ben & Jerry’s with (1371 3rd Ave., at 78th St., or 25 E. 17th St., your head in the freezer. at Broadway, Right now, even frozen treats should is just what its name implies, to shockbe refined, delicate, virtuous; a minor ingly good effect. It’s just fruit, water and thrill in your spring-cleaned day, still cane sugar, but the texture they get out of healthy and light—the cherry blossom to their magic machines is light years from August’s overblown gardenia. that time you tried to make “instant ice The drinks from the Kelvin Natural cream” by pulverizing frozen bananas in Slush Co. (various locations, find them your food processor, shorting the engine daily at @kelvinslush or this Sunday, April 22 at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar, 39th Street & 9th Avenue) are Vendy Award-winning Slurpees that come in flavors actually found in nature. More reasonable beverage than gut-busting dessert, their ginger, citrus or tea slushes are all perfect for sipping on an afternoon stroll. If you’re feeling feisty, add one of their fruit or herb mix-ins for a grownup version of Coldstone Kelvin Natural Slush. Creamery’s candy-coated free-forall. Caramelized pineapple in the spicy in the process. For everyone who’s ever ginger base is a match made in tropical cursed sorbet for being too icy and hard heaven; add basil for an unexpectedly to scoop, this is a revelation. Banana

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By Regan Hofmann It is way too early to be thinking about the summer. It’s mid-April—taxes are behind us, Memorial Day looms far off on the horizon and you can’t walk past a garden in bloom without stopping to exclaim, like a 4-year-old, “Flowers! Pretty!” No way is it time to think about the summer yet. But. There’s a fine line between spring and summer, especially in New York, where the one can notoriously blend into the other in the blink of an eye. This week saw an uncomfortable preview when the temperature spiked on Monday to a nearrecord high, and even on steadier days, the midday sidewalks feel positively equatorial. There’s a fine art to this slippery semiseason. You can’t leap right into summer standbys; there are a solid four months of real heat ahead, and anything you start doing now will be worn threadbare by Labor Day. Though we’re champing at the bit to unpack the sandals and shorts, that way madness lies. You must save yourself somewhere to slide to when August humidity turns the subway into the

is the most treat-like, especially when topped with crushed pretzels and warm peanut butter or maple syrup (yes, it’s natural, but I never said it was virtuous), but mango and strawberry are simply delightful, no adulteration needed. A proper Italian affogato is a perfectly respectable adult diversion, no kid’s bribe wrapped in classy packaging. OK, so it’s gelato, only a tiny linguistic step away from ice cream. But it’s a dainty portion of the stuff that is drowned in a shot of espresso, less blowsy than a Starbucks Frappuccino and far more satisfying. At Maialino (2 Lexington Ave., betw. 22nd St. and Gramercy Park,, a Roman-styled trattoria perfect for leisurely lunches or a midday pick-me-up, the gelato is fior di latte, sweet milk, and the espresso is dark and rich. Dawdle over this with a tiny silver spoon, watching the opposing textures merge and meld into a third while gazing upon the gated glory of Gramercy Park. Enjoy these now while your sanity lasts and you can still appreciate something more flavorful and interesting than the blunt-force frozen trauma of a Mister Softee cone. After all, those spring blossoms are already dropping fast—didn’t somebody once say something about gathering rosebuds while ye may? This is definitely what he meant.

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• April 19, 2012

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Put Down That Beer!

ally cancel out the overly sour qualities of the vinegar in the sandwich. The pork will taste richer and the smokiness of the sandwich will become the main event. In St. Louis, it is pork ribs braised in a sweeter sauce that are then returned to the grill that take center stage. I am going to recommend something that may sound crazy, but if you try it, you too will be a convert. Fonseca Ruby Port ($18.99 at PJ Wine, 4898 Broadway, betw. 204th and 207th streets, 212-567-5500) is an unusual but mind-blowing match-up for these sticky, caramelized ribs. The sweetness from both the port and the ribs will cancel each other out, and you will taste the subtler flavors of the smoky meat and the fruitiness of the port in a way that is impossible should you taste the two independent of one another. Let us also remember that port is a red wine and, like all red wine, has tannins. The tannins will cut through the fattiness of the ribs and make them even more succulent than they were before. So the next time you hit your favorite barbecue joint here in the city or elsewhere, check out the wine list before you fill up on suds!

Wines to pair with barbecue We walked, Natali, our Yorkie Phin and I, down Prospect Park West after a sunny and relaxing day watching kite flyers and picnickers. As we cleared the corner and started toward 7th, where our car was parked, a familiar smell wafted through the air; a smell that I had almost forgotten existed, having been born in the Midwest and moved to New York. “That’s a smoker,” I said, licking my lips. “I think it’s a fireplace,” corrected my wife. “Nope,” I smiled, nodding. “That’s definitely a smoker.” I tipped my imaginary hat to the person or persons illegally smoking meat in their backyard and officially clicked my internal clock from winter to summer. While you can, obviously, smoke meat at any time of year, there is something unmistakably summery about the smell of barbecue. And now, with so many decent barbecue joints here in the city, there’s no reason to leave it to the

Midwest and the South. 2010 ($28.99 at Beacon Wines and Spirits, Now, for a wine to match! 2120 Broadway, at 74th St, 212-877-0028). “Wine,” you say. “Wouldn’t you rather It starts with ripe plum fruit notes and have a beer with your ribs?” finishes bold with pepper, clove and cinActually, no. I have never understood namon flavors that do battle nicely with INSERTION EmailofArt why beer is so inexorably linked to ORDER bar- any- piece smoked beef you can throw becue. Barbecue is heavy, so what sense its way. Ceil Ainsworth does it make to drink something that is, If you are feasting on the very differManhattan Media itself, also heavy? In addition to the full- ent, but equally tasty, North Carolina63 West ness factor,38th thereSt. are style pulled pork, you are eating a sauce York 10018that is not tomato-based but is, instead, soNew many redNY wines that have284-9724 flavor notes While vinegar can be a bit (212) Fax:vinegar-based. (212) 268-0502 that are so perfectly of a challenge to match wine with, a peremail: By Josh Perilo matched to those fect flavor pairing for this lighter style of cc: in barbecue that it barbecue would be the Willm Riesling seems a crime not to pair them together. Reserve 2011 ($11.95 at SherrySo let me offer you a couple xof2.687”H, wines Lehmann, 4.917”W 1/8 page 505 Park Ave., at 59th Street, to pair with a couplePlease different types of 212-838-7500). You heard me right: I am Run Ad on Thursday, 4.19.12 regional barbecue (all available at many recommending a white wine with barbedifferent places throughout the five cued pork. boroughs). While Alsatian-style rieslings tend to Let’s start with a Kansas City-style be a touch less sweet than their German burnt ends sandwich. This is a smoky cousins, this particular wine still mainbeef brisket sandwich slathered in tains a touch of residual sugar on the piquant sauce. I can think of no better finish. The sweetness will counter the match up for this behemoth than the spiciness of the marinade, but the natuSeghesio Zinfandel Sonoma County ral acidity of the riesling grape will actu-

Follow Josh on Twitter: @joshperilo.

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new york family

The Big Unknown

Pregnant women have lots of questions. They often turn to people like Renee Sullivan for guidance and support. By Heather Ouida


n honor of New York Family’s upcoming Baby Show, we had the privilege of talking with doula, parent coach and Mommybites support group director Renee Sullivan about the many common questions and concerns on the minds of expectant moms. The first thing I want to talk about is a mom’s birthing choices—I feel like there is a lot of judgment around this. What should moms consider when deciding what scenario they and their family unit are most comfortable with? You bring up a really good point. In the world today there are so many choices, from a traditional birth with just your OB/ GYN at the local hospital to working with a midwife or a doula in other settings, including possibly your home. When you become pregnant, other people start sending lots of opinions your way. Some people do great with lots of opinions and resources and then sort through them to make a decision, while others like to act a bit more intuitively to decide what may be best for them. The hardest part is being able to spend the time to figure out what is really right for the family unit and not heed all of the different advice that is offered. What do you think is the best way to tell people you are pregnant—especially your boss? I’ve had moms who have very close relationships with their employers just come right out and say it. I’ve also had

Hot Tip of the Week

Figaro for the Fam The Dicapo Opera Theatre presents La Traviata this weekend in a family-friendly one-hour production, part of its Opera for Kids series. Children will get to experience Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece, which portrays a classic love story. Stick around for the post-performance Q&A session! For more information, visit And for more family fun, visit



• April 19, 2012

moms in the groups who have been six months pregnant and still hadn’t told them. Getting clear on what timing works best for you is really the best way. For me, the theme of there not being black-and-white answers to becoming a parent carries through to almost everything we will talk about. Parenting just does not happen like that! [Laughs] In the groups, moms always ask, “When does it get easier?” and I say, “Well, I have a 6-year-old—I’ll let you know.” The cool thing is that we get wiser and we get more proactive, so parenting doesn’t get easier per se, but we get smarter. One of the moms in the groups said, “I realized that becoming a mom has activated a super gene in my brain.” Becoming a mom helps us do so much more, take on so much more and be so much more. There’s a pot of gold on the other end, but we’re not sure if we’re going to meet a troll or a leprechaun along the way. Speaking of meeting trolls along the way, even though I was warned about not sleeping after having a baby, I was truly unprepared for what chronic sleep deprivation felt like. Yes, it’s one of those things that you can try your best to describe, but until you’ve actually had your baby, you really don’t know how prolonged sleep deprivation can feel like. It’s the intensity of it. Never in our lives have we ever needed to always be on. Once you’re a parent, you’re always a parent. So I look at this not just as the difficulty of sleep deprivation but the whole bigger umbrella, which is that we’re always in motion, always moving forward, always changing in ways we were not experiencing pre-baby. How can pregnant moms deal with changing body issues? It’s hard to see when you’re pregnant, but as soon as you have the baby, so much of our body concerns wash away. We all of a sudden get what’s real—it makes us understand what’s really important. It’s

Keeping in mind that moms return to work after having a baby for many reasons, what are some of the things that come up in your groups around going back to work? Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a mom who works outside of the home, both want the same thing: balance. Everyone just wants to do what’s right for their family. How we define balance is different for everybody. Every few months, you should ask yourself, “Am I fulfilled? Am I happy? Am I getting enough ‘me’ time? Enough baby time?” I hesitate to even ask this next question because I don’t want to perpetuate the craziness, but should new moms even begin to think about the whole New York City preschool scene? You know, the whole idea of trying to predict the future doesn’t work well for anybody. I’ve seen so many women worry and worry about preschool, only to be transferred for work or move to the ’burbs or overseas. But if you feel like you’re hearing too many rumors and could use a solid overview of the process, I like Victoria Goldman’s Manhattan Directory of Private Nursery Schools.

like when you’re in the airplane, it’s really hard to see the destination. No matter how much you prep for the trip, read the guidebook and do all your research, you never really know what it’s like until you land. Just to get a little shallow for one second—what’s your magic secret for stretch marks? One of the best things is to stay as moisturized as possible, whether that’s using expensive creams, olive oil or cocoa butter. Another thing that helps is doing our best to gain weight slowly during the pregnancy and losing weight slowly postpartum. OK, let’s talk sex—pre-natal sex! Ah, the first question a pregnant woman should ask herself is “Do I want to have sex?” [laughs] Some moms want to have sex—keeping in mind you should always check with your OB/GYN) But for other moms, with all the changes of body and emotions, they just don’t want to and that’s OK, too. It’s important to communicate to your partner that not wanting to have sex does not mean you’re not attracted to them, but rather that with all the changes going on, you may not be feeling the need for it right now.

There’s a great John Lennon quote that says, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” Exactly! We fully experience emotions and stress and then it shifts, and all of that stressing was really wasted energy. The more we can trust ourselves, believe in our child and live in the moment, the less stressed we’ll be with everything— not just preschools! I know some moms worry that they are doing their children a disservice by raising them in such a fast-paced city. What do you tell them? Yeah, New York City definitely has a different energy than other places. I think it’s important to consciously build in daily downtime for your children. There is so much activity in the city and often not enough quiet time. Researchers have said that children need quiet time to process and synthesize all the external input and everything they have learned through the day. If you can create this balance, New York City is a wonderful place to raise a family. Heather Ouida is the co-founder of Mommybites, formerly known as babybites. Renee Sullivan leads expectant and new mom groups around the city. Visit the new network for extended education, support and advice to families with children of all ages. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y

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We received such an overwhelming number of comments on our story “Too Rough For Horseplay,” about the push to ban the Central Park horses, that we have decided to dedicate a page to showcase some of the emails, letters and web comments we received. You can join the debate by emailing —The Editors


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It is not a surprise to read that those making a living off the backs of the New York City carriage horses want to see the industry continue. It’s the people WITHOUT a financial interest in it whose opinion should be taken most to heart, and the great majority of those people want to see an end to this antiquated business. Note that the recent reports of accidents and deaths are only the ones that have been captured by cell phone and camera; it’s logical to assume that there are many other stumbles, spooks, collapses and, maybe, deaths that go unreported. Please support State Sen. Tony Avella and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal’s bill to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City, and then let’s do all we can to prevent Christine Quinn from becoming mayor in 2013, as she is a staunch supporter of the carriage industry. —Mickey kraMer

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• April 19, 2012

Right From Wrong

Having just finished reading the article with great hope that it would be in favor of abolishing the carriages, I was dismayed to see it take a turn toward the opposite. I’m certainly not against the presentation of both sides, but it seemed to me it weighed heavily in favor of the carriage industry. Then on to the comments (sigh), all of which seemed to be written only by carriage supporters. Excerpt: “look at the faces of the children when they see the horses, when they get to TOO ROUGH FOR pet the horses and, HORSEPLAY? NEW DRIVE TO BAN THE CENTRAL PARK HORSES P.8 if they’re lucky, get to feed the horses a carrot.” As if this cruel industry was all sweetness and light (not to mention this is not about the delight of children). But I suppose any press is good that brings this situation to light. Those with a conscience will know right from wrong. —catherine Messina April 12, 2012

Just finished reading the article by Anam Baig and Sean Creamer. I am not a city resident but a frequent visitor, living in Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County. Having owned and ridden horses for the better part of 15 years, I have some knowledge of the horse world. It appears that the New York Horse and Carriage Association has done its due diligence for the profession. The formation of ClipClopNYC to distribute information and open its doors to the general public is a gold standard for any profession. The fact that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene licenses the horse and carriage industry is another gold standard. Have horses sustained injuries in the carriage business? Yes, they have. If one were to really examine the circumstances surrounding these incidents, I am sure that much less sensational stories would emerge than what appears in the local papers and would certainly diminish the fire behind the so-called activism. —JiM Masiello JONATHAN FRANZEN’S BIRD’S-EYE VIEW OF UPPER EAST SIDE P.10 YORKVILLE’S NEWEST LANDMARKED BUILDING P.6


OUR TOWN is a division of Manhattan Media, LLC, publisher of West Side Spirit, Our Town Downtown, Chelsea Clinton News, The Westsider, City Hall, The Capitol, The Blackboard Awards, New York Family and Avenue magazine.

The bottom line is that it is far safer to take a carriage ride than ride a bike. Or walk or exist. The argument “carriage horses are abused because the city is a risky place to live” is hilarious. Ban all animals and living beings in New York City because they are mortal. Grow up, peeps. The stables are great, the horses are great. The only abuse is in your own heads. —cWgirlvalerie1

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It seems to me that if the stables and horses are well kept, as the experienced horse people seem to be saying (horse people are generally the FIRST to shut down horse abuse!), then the animal rights people have forgotten that America was founded on the relationship between people and horses. How did we transport

ourselves and our belongings to the West Coast to achieve “Manifest Destiny”? How do we catch and medicate cattle on 600,000-acre ranches—will we ban the use of horses on ranches and relegate those cows to live in large sheds instead of roaming the range? —k. taylor-rhys

Well Taken Care Of

We went to ClipClopNYC to see for ourselves what was going on with the New York carriage horses. We found a pleasant, well-kept working barn. The horses looked good and were wellgroomed. They were friendly and wanted to interact with our large group as we wandered about the building. An abused or stressed animal would go to the back of the stall and attempt to ignore us or turn away. Not these guys; they were very friendly—something a horse out in public needs to be. The stable was airy, with good ventilation. Fans and misters were available for summer heat. There were sprinklers throughout the building. Each stall was matted and well bedded. There was free-access hay and water. Manure was managed well enough that there was next to no odor in a building housing 75 horses—something that is not possible if it is not regularly kept up with. The workers we saw throughout the building were calm and gentle with the horses and we saw several being prepared for their day’s work—including walking down the ramps. The horses negotiate the ramps at a normal walk, not sliding down or walking with a hesitating step as if to keep their balance. Not an issue to be concerned with. —t. haertlein

Horses Can’t Cope

I don’t know if you folks missed the fact that there are no sprinklers on street corners, no hay beds in the roads, no fans or heaters. New York City climates are hard to endure at times, but people can cope—we can stop in air-conditioned stores or heated cabs. For the horses, it’s not all that simple. You speak of ignorance, but there is no greater ignorance than the refusal to change. How can you possibly say that a horse is better off living in crowded New York City than in an open field, free to roam where they please? If you want your kids to see a horse, take them to a farm, not Central Park. —v. rebel N EW S YO U LIV E B Y


The High Cost of Giving Nothing Even the MTA has an opinion on reacting to panhandling pleas By Christopher Moore The MTA cannot usually be counted on to raise deep philosophical and moral questions. But it happened last month during a ride on the 1 train. The voice came through loud and clear. You know the voice—it’s the one that has replaced an actual person to provide announcements on the train. “We ask you not to give,” the voice told passengers, who, being New Yorkers, were not listening anyway. “Please help us maintain an orderly subway.” The message is simple enough, but I question whether the MTA really needs to take a stand on whether its passengers should give cash handouts to panhandlers. Especially given that the MTA itself is so good at taking our money—without asking. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not walking around with a lot of cash. And I tend not

to part with it. I’m generally in the Don’t Give camp on the panhandling question, but that’s mostly because I think it’s unwise to flash money around belowground. Or aboveground. Or at a family dinner. I wonder, though, if there are not costs to not giving. When I do hand over a little cash, I usually feel better than when I do not. Yes, I’ve heard all the arguments against giving, mostly when they were coming out of my mouth. Like how the money is just going to be spent on booze or drugs; the money would better be spent in a donation to a social service agency; the money is not as important as stopping and speaking to the person in need and then going and buying them a sandwich or even a bottle of water. The last piece of advice seems most valuable to me. I was moved a few

months ago when I saw someone on West 78th Street, a customer of La Caridad, heading out the door to deliver a special order to a homeless man on the street. Realizing I cannot remember the last time I did something like that makes me feel ashamed. So does the act of not giving, of passing someone in need—even just a human being who is asking for something, whether he or she is really in need. For about a decade I have lived here full-time. Somehow, this question of giving or not giving never really goes away. Neither does the larger subset of questions on the best ways to give. These issues resonate even more after surviving—sorta—the Great Recession. After a lost job and unemployment checks a while back, I have a lot less trouble imagining myself as the person doing the asking. Still, I hesitate to give, partly because by not giving, I get to opt out of what

feels like a bad reality show. Responding to pleas at some times and not at others may seem like a reasonable response, but it winds up requiring a constant series of judgments. I don’t like the idea of trying to size up whether someone is telling the truth, or the hugeness of his or her horrible circumstance, after listening to a brief diatribe. I feel like I’m the panelist on a bad game show, one called Are Your Troubles Bad Enough For Me to Care? Instead, I choose to try to ignore the plea and finish a Gail Collins column. I guess I’m fairly good at shutting myself off into my own little world. Sometimes I’m proud of that; other times I think it’s a necessity in the bustling big city. But when the MTA voice told me not to give and I realized that I’ve been mostly following that advice, it gave me a start. When the MTA and I are on the same page, something’s gone wrong. Christopher Moore is a writer living in Manhattan. He can be reached by email at and is also on Twitter (@cmoorenyc).


I’m Terribly Sorry …But I am terrible at being sorry By Jeanne Martinet I was having a drink at one of my favorite Midtown eateries, one of those upscale places where the bar is secondary to the restaurant and is therefore extremely lowkey. My friend and I were happily tête-àtête when I suddenly felt someone pushing me, and I almost fell off my stool. I turned around and saw that two tall women had squeezed their way into a space next to me, endeavoring to share the one available seat. They were hanging over the bar like it was a piece of wreckage from the Titanic, and one of the women was more or less plastered against me. Annoyed, I pressed back into her a little bit and gave her what I hoped was a polite but indignant questioning look. She appeared slightly taken aback and then a bit sheepish, but only for a brief moment. “Oh, sorry,” she said. Then she smiled and turned back to her companion, not moving her position an inch. She remained smashed up against the back of my chair as though we were in the subway at rush hour and there was nothing else she could do. n y pr e s s. c o m

Now, I am not unreasonably jealous of my personal space. I’m not new to New York. It’s a crowded place. I wasn’t angry about being caused a little discomfort. The thing that really piqued me was that the woman’s “Oh, sorry” was completely fake. Where was my actual apology? Has real apology gone down the drain, along with thank-you notes and butter knives? A real apology is so much more than the words “I’m sorry.” A real apology is an admission that you have done something wrong, an explanation of why you did it and a sincere plea for forgiveness and/or offer of reparation. In other words, if you step on someone’s foot, it’s not “Oops,” it’s “Oh no, I stepped on your foot! I was dodging that waiter carrying the tray. I’m so sorry! Are you okay?” There must be acceptance of responsibility for it to qualify as a bona fide apology. Unfortunately, admissions of guilt are out of fashion these days. Most of us are afraid that if we admit we are wrong,

we will lose ground. We are taught it is a weakness to say we are sorry. Certainly world leaders can never do it. They are always saying things like, “We are so sorry you feel bad about this.” That is not an apology. “I’m sorry, I really shouldn’t have said that” is. Many people believe that if they avoid apologizing, no one will notice they have done anything wrong. This impulse to try to get off scot-free is exacerbated in a big city, where you know you are never going to see the people you’ve wronged again. You are anonymous, unaccountable, untraceable. But acknowledging culpability is still the right thing to do. The second essential element of apology is to offer an explanation for what you have done. (There’s an old saying: “Never apologize, never explain.” Actually, you should do both.) People in New York tend to be in a rush, and explanation takes time they don’t have. But what most people seem to forget is that explanation is often the key to being forgiven. “Oh my god, I didn’t see you there!” is so much better than a cool “Sorry I bumped you.” Finally, an apology has to include a sincere request for forgiveness—whether you failed to hold a door open for

a stranger or you missed your friend’s birthday party. So many people toss off a casual “sorry” in a way that translates to “I don’t really care.” It’s almost as if we only have the trappings of regret left— like having a picture of a flower instead of the flower and we no longer even know the difference. But we can’t keep skating over top of our “sorry”s if we want to remain civilized. Apologies have to be felt, gone through, experienced—not to mention that there needs to be an attempt to correct the bad behavior. After about 15 minutes, the woman at the bar, still pressing against me and threatening to push me off my stool, laid a hand on my arm as though we were best friends. “Sarah and I are drinking cosmos!” she said, holding up her glass with a gay smile. (Apparently she thought that if she could make friends with me, there would be nothing wrong with our close physical contact.) “How nice,” I replied, “I thought I was drinking a martini, but maybe I ordered a sidecar by mistake.” She did not get the joke. And I did not get my real apology. Jeanne Martinet, aka Miss Mingle, is the author of seven books on social interaction. Read her blog at A p r il 1 9 , 2 0 1 2



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the Chinese instruments with their distinct tones and styles, together create a dramatic new sound. VOCAl SOlOISTS

“Very moving in every way. It captivated all of my senses.”

— Alessandra Marc, world-renowned soprano Right: Haolan Geng, soprano. Each program is heightened by several moving selections from our singers.

The resounding voices of bel canto soloists are an integral part of the Shen Yun experience. each program is heightened by several moving selections from our singers. Their impassioned songs give voice to hopes that have shaped Chinese culture for centuries.

CLOTHING AN EMPIRE TheRe’S A ChIneSe SAYInG: “each dynasty has its own adornments,” and thus Chinese history is replete with a lavish variety of apparel. every year Shen Yun creates hundreds of gorgeous, hand-made garments spanning China’s dynasties, regions, and ethnic groups. “I saw here the best example about how fabric, clothing, and sleeves can enhance the movement and tell the story,” said famed designer norma Kamali. With traditional garb of the Manchurians, Tibetans and Mongolians, the costumes consist of imperial dragon robes, cloud capes, ornate headdresses and vestments, warriors’ armor, and celestial maidens’ long silky sleeves.

tIcKets N Y P r e s s. c o m

Dance of the Dai, 2010.

PROJECTING TIME AND SPACE VIVIDlY AnIMATeD backdrops, grand as they are intricate, extend the stage and transport the audience. They are so remarkably true-to-life that audiences forget where they are and journey to another place and time. Spectacular settings reflect China’s landscapes, dynasties, and mythology. Some scenes even transcend this world, entering a majestic paradise

where fairies dance amid the clouds or in a heavenly palace. An innovation in the world of performing arts, Shen Yun’s projection designs synchronize all aspects of the stage—costumes’ colors, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the music of the orchestra—to create “a dream world of perfection,” as one audience member exclaimed.

lIncoln center DHKT | aprIl 18-22 | | Hotline: 800-818-2393 April 19, 2012



SHEN YUN BY popular demand, sundaY eVenIng shoW added!

“an extraordinary experience... exquisitely beautiful.”

— Cate Blanchett, Academy Award-winning actress


“It’s superb.

I am going to mention it on the news ... people should see it.”


—Ernie Anastos,


Emmy Award-winning news anchor

“What I loved is

the authenticity of it … from a spiritual level.” —Donna Karan Creator of DKNY

“so inspiring...

I may have found some ideas for the next Avatar movie.” — Robert Stromberg,

Academy Award-winning production designer for Avatar

“a beautiful show... fantastic!”

— Joy Behar,


Co-host of ABC’s The View

Based in New York, Shen Yun is reviving authentic Chinese culture, which has mostly been destroyed in China under communist rule. Today, you can no longer see a show like Shen Yun inside China.

lIncoln center DHKT aprIl 18-22 Wed. APR. 18 7.30pm sold out Thu. APR. 19 7.30pm Limited Seats Fri. APR. 20 7.30pm Limited Seats



April 19, 2012

Sat. Sat. Sun. Sun.


21 21 22 22

2.00pm 7.30pm 2.00pm 7.00pm

sold out sold out sold out Just added

DON’T mISS 2012 PROgRAm.

buY TICkETS NOw! Hotline: 800-818-2393 ticket prices: $200, $180, $150, $120, $100, $80 NEWS YOU LIVE BY

Our Town April 19, 2012  

The April 19, 2012 issue of Our Town. Founded more than three decades ago, Our Town serves the East Side of Manhattan from Turtle Bay to Car...