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TRYING TO TURN UES BACK TO THE GOP P.8 BIKE SHARE COMMOTION IN TURTLE BAY P.7 THE ART OF INSECT NOIR P.9 K. BENSIMON’S GUIDE TO HEALTHY LIVING P.12 EATING CONTESTS IN NYC P.11
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Last Thursday afternoon, two ladies strolled into a high-end luxury store in the East 60s, seemingly to browse the exquisite hand bags, shoes and other leather goods. As one of the women chatted with a sales associate about a pair of shoes she was eyeing, her companion took a leather briefcase off the shelf and placed it behind a chair. Then the first shopper asked the sales associate to fetch a pair of shoes in her size from the back room. The manager came out to survey the scene, but the pair was able to distract her while one of them stuffed the briefcase under her dress. They waltzed out of the store, casually walking away with a $22,900 bag. The woman are both described as black, about 30 years old.
CRediT CaRd Fake-OUT A crafty credit card forger made a crucial error in judgment when he tried out his phony plastic in full view of a police officer. Last Thursday, the perp went into an Upper East Side electronics store and attempted to purchase
that failed to process numerous times. A manager came over and confirmed the suspicions of the cashier—the card was fake. The perp then tried to leave the store, but was stopped by the police officer. He denied trying to use a credit card at all, but when he was searched, the officer found seven more fake credit cards on him. The 22-year-old was arrested on the spot for attempted grand larceny.
sideWalk BUmP aNd sTeal A woman was walking north on Lexington Avenue toward 60th Street last Thursday around 4:30 p.m. when she felt the swell of the crowd around her. She felt a bump from behind but didn’t attribute it to anything more than normal sidewalk jostle. When she walked into a nearby store, however, she noticed that her wallet was missing from her backpack. By the time she called her credit card companies to report the stolen cards, there had already been fraudulent activity on them. The victim lost several gift cards, a school ID and driver’s license and a flash drive along with the wallet, and has no idea who might have taken it.
dRUgs ON WHeels Sometimes, a reckless cyclist poses a bigger public danger than meets the eye. Last Tuesday at about 10 p.m., police received reports of man riding his bike on the sidewalk, endangering passersby and weaving erratically for a six-block stretch along Fifth Avenue. When police officers stopped the man to question him, he granted them permission to search his backpack. There, the officers discovered 10 decks of heroin, four hypodermic needles, three large plastic containers of marijuana, 32 acetaminophen pills, three 800mg Neurontin pills, six Clonidine pills, three Remeron pills, five Lorazepam pills and nine ibuprofen pills (possibly to treat the back pain he must have been suffering as a result of carting all those illegal drugs on his back). The 26-year-old biker was arrested for criminal possession of controlled substances, leaving the sidewalks of the Upper East Side a little safer and the streets with a little less heroin.
a $400 iPhone. At the register, where an officer could see what was happening, the man tried to pay with a credit card
Police warn locals to be especially vigilant on the streets during crowded summer months and always keep belongings close.
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EspaillaT DEmaND VOTE TRaNspaRENcy
REp. malONEy Hails BENEfiTs Of all Last week, Rep. Carolyn Maloney met with local health care providers, patients and advocates to tout the benefits of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as it was recently upheld by the Supreme Court. “It’s important to remember that, because of the ACA, insurance companies can no longer remove young adults under the age of 26 from their parents’ health care policies, refuse to provide coverage to kids under age 19 with preexisting conditions or place lifetime limits on coverage, all of which have been pushing families into bankruptcy
Last week, after the preliminary counts came in for the 13th Congressional District primary race, incumbent Charles Rangel declared victory and immediately set about proclaiming the race a piece of cake based on the initially wide margin of votes in his favor. State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who many had viewed as the candidate most likely to unseat Rangel, conceded the race to the sitting representative. As the votes have continued to be counted, however, that margin of victory has shrunk to the point that Espaillat’s camp is publicly pushing for transparency in the counting process. Over the weekend, Espaillat’s campaign spokesman, Ibrahim Khan, confirmed that they are closely watching the counting process. “Four days after polls closed, we finally have a preliminary vote count, excluding thousands of paper ballots. With each new tally, Senator Espaillat’s vote total increases,” Khan said in a statement. “As paper ballots begin to be counted and this dead-heat race continues, we are grateful to all of our supporters and will continue to push for full transparency in counting every single vote.” The state Supreme Court has agreed to hold a hearing on the Board of Elections’ proceedings in the recount, and Espaillat has hired attorney Martin Connor, an election law expert, to monitor the process. The Dominican American National Roundtable has called on the Justice Department to step in to investigate allegations of voter suppression in the race. The latest count shows that Rangel leads by just 802 votes.
Ron Forlenza lets loose his ball while lawn bowling in Central Park.
when facing a catastrophic illness or condition,” Maloney said. “Already, the ACA is offering significant tax credits to thousands of small businesses in our congressional district access to help insure their workers.” Jeff Gold, chairman of the board of directors of the Metro New York Health Care for All campaign, an Upper East Sider and a general partner in the JI Associates tech firm, joined Maloney in praising the ACA’s benefits to small businesses like his own. “With the United States paying more for medical coverage than any of our industrial/commercial competitors, we must ensure that small businesses and their employees have access to highquality, affordable medical coverage,” Gold said. “The ACA will allow millions to get affordable coverage instead of going to the most inefficient hospital emergency rooms for basic coverage, and remove the burden of shoving small businesses like mine into stratified risk pools that make coverage harder to buy, afford or even evaluate.” Other local residents joined in to voice their support and explain how the ACA has personally affected them. Kenneth Davis, president and CEO of The Mount Sinai
Medical Center, also expressed his support for the law. According to data from a 2012 study prepared by the House Energy & Commerce Committee minority staff, the ACA has saved 10,200 seniors in Maloney’s district $7.7 million in drug costs and allowed 6,100 young adults in the district to retain their health insurance, among other local benefits from grants given to local health centers and hospitals and provisions that prevent patients from being denied coverage based on preexisting conditions.
HUNTER RENOVaTiON REcENTly cOmplETED Last week, Hunter College president Jennifer Raab and City Council Member Dan Garodnick cut the ribbon to reopen historic Thomas Hunter Hall. The 1913 Tudor-style building, which was named after Hunter College’s founding president, has been newly restored, with historically consistent new windows and stones. The renovation cost nearly $12 million and included replacing the roof, repairing existing wood window frames and leaded-glass windows and stone replacement and restoration. The
building at one time held Hunter College High School and will be available again to house student clubs, lounges, classrooms and the college’s dance program.
yORkVillE HisTORic REsOURcE sURVEy Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts is holding a survey of Yorkville to catalogue the neighborhood’s unique historic elements and is looking for volunteers to help with the efforts. The group will be studying a section of the Upper East Side from East 59th to 96th Street, from Lexington Avenue to the East River, encompassing a neighborhood known for its history as a center of German, Hungarian, Irish and Czechoslovakian immigrant communities. Those interested in helping can contact Matthew Coody at 212-535-2526 or email@example.com to sign up. Volunteers will get an introduction and instructions at the Friends office, then go out with clipboards and cameras to document building information (address, types of windows, characteristic features, construction material, architectural style) to add to the survey report.
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Facing Down the Odds Medical Miracles of the Upper east side
“I was strongly motivated to fight for my kids and my wife,” Dwyer said. “My wife was a big support for me. She had Hodgkin’s in college, so she understands what it means to be sick and undergo treatment.” Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, proved to be successful. Dwyer, now 64, continues to practice law, enjoy his family, play tennis and golf and even jog. Looking at him today, it would be difficult to believe this vibrant man is a cancer survivor, but he is the first to admit that his illness has impacted him. “I think it provided me with a perspective of what’s important and what’s not. It made me a calmer person,” he said.
By Beth Mellow
ospitals are populated with the ailing, those on the brink of permanent disability or even death. You can find relatives whispering to each other in waiting rooms, wondering if their loved ones will recover and lead fulfilling lives. Whether it’s cancer eating away at healthy cells or an oppressive depression wearing away at the soul, it’s easy for patients and their families to want to throw their hands up and give up the fight. Below are the remarkable stories of individuals who either live with or were treated for seemingly insurmountable diseases on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. While some made miraculous recoveries, others have managed to live well despite their illnesses. They took on their toughest moments with grace to prove to friends, families and doctors that it’s worth it to fight and have hope.
Bob Dwyer It’s rare that lightning strikes twice, but that’s exactly what happened to cancer survivor Bob Dwyer. An Upper East Side resident and successful litigator, Dwyer was only 44 years old when he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). “My biggest concern after I was diagnosed in 1992 was making sure that I
is, until a fateful day in 2005, when he found a bump on his neck. A biopsy confirmed that he had two lymph nodes with squamous cell carcinoma. In other words, he had just received the second cancer diagnosis of his life. Dwyer viewed the situation from a practical perspective, looking at his cancer as a challenge to overcome. “I’m in the business of solving problems. Being a trial lawyer, I knew it was a priority for me to maintain a normal appearance, a normal voice, and keep working,” he said. The cancerous lymph nodes were removed by Dr. Erich Voigt at New York Presbyterian/ Weill Cornell, followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Memorial SloaneKettering Cancer Center. Dwyer’s radiation oncologist, Dr. Nancy Lee, explained that his case was not easy. “It’s pretty rare and could be a challenge to treat. Bob had about a 50 percent survival rate,” Lee said. Dwyer took only nine days off from work post-surgery and returned to his job while receiving radiation and chemotherapy. Side effects from the radiation eventually made it necessary for him to have a feeding tube. Still, he managed to go into the office every morning.
It’s still dark on the mornings when Richard Bernstein heads out for his 4 a.m. training runs. Bernstein, who has completed 17 marathons and is an Iron Man, is totally at ease with running—and doing everything else, for that matter—in darkness. Bernstein, a successful lawyer, professor, human rights advocate and triathlete, is blind. Born with retinis pigmentosa, a disease that causes severe vision impairment and
“AN eAsy liFe isN’t AlwAys A gooD liFe. successFully FAciNg up to DiFFicult chAlleNges cAN help you Feel FulFilleD,” RichARD BeRNsteiN sAiD. could continue to work at a high level,” said Dwyer. “At the time, I was prosecuting claims from the first Gulf War and flying between Kuwait, Geneva and New York.” CLL, a disease that affects white blood cells and can cause bone marrow to fail, is usually diagnosed in adults over the age of 70. Dwyer’s doctor discovered the disease during a routine physical exam. Though he has lived with it for 20 years, it has not progressed to the point where he has needed treatment. With his CLL kept at bay, Dwyer was optimistic that he was in the clear—that
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sion of his family’s law practice, and the Upper East Side, Bernstein has overcome many obstacles to realize his dream of becoming a lawyer. Being blind and unable to read or write, he depended on pure memorization throughout his schooling. At Northwestern Law School, a helper read through dense legal texts he had to memorize before reciting back essays for transcription. The bar exam, which had to be conducted orally, took him eight days to complete. Bernstein admits that the work was so overwhelming that he wondered if he would ever finish law school. “I prayed to God and said, ‘If you give me the opportunity to graduate, I will dedicate my life to representing people with special needs,’” he said. After receiving his degree, that is exactly what he did. From fighting the city of Detroit to equip all public transportation with wheelchair access to collaborating with the Israeli Defense Forces to find ways for disabled people to serve, Bernstein works to improve the lives of those who most need his help. Court cases can be grueling because he has to memorize the case law, as well as 20 to 30 other cases that may be referenced during a trial. Teaching law at the University of Michigan also adds to his workload. Bernstein began running six years ago with Achilles International, an organization that specializes in helping disabled individuals become runners. A coach from the club runs with Bernstein and guides him with verbal cues. “Running, for someone who is blind, is the greatest thing. I never had a chance to participate in athletic competition as a blind kid. In school, the athletes were looked up to—I was stuck on the sidelines. That affected my self-esteem.” Now in his thirties, he is a world away from the young boy he once was. Bernstein is grateful for everything he has achieved and even believes his blindness has brought a lot of great things into his life. “When you’re blind, you are always looking for a sense of connection,” he said. “You can’t survive on your own—you have to connect with people who can assist you. That’s the gift of blindness.”
Alison, Nicole and Krista Fourounjian RIchard Bernstein.
blindness, Bernstein has managed to view his blindness as a blessing and accomplish miraculous feats despite it. “An easy life isn’t always a good life. Successfully facing up to difficult challenges can help you feel fulfilled,” he said. Splitting his time between Detroit, where he heads up the public service divi-
Like all siblings, the Fourounjian sisters have a lot in common. The pretty young women look alike, share the same laugh and are passionate about giving back to the community. Yet, unlike other siblings, Alison, 26, Nicole, 23, and Krista, 20, share a potentially deadly disease called familial adenomatous polypsis (FAP). FAP is an inherited condition in which numerous polyps form primarily in the large intestine but can also form along the digestive tract. Left untreated, the disease
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feaTURe administration at James Madison University in Virginia. They volunteer for Ronald McDonald House of New York, which was a second home for them while they underwent treatment. Although it could have been devastating to a family to be hit with such a ravaging disease, Krista claimed, “We never felt sorry for ourselves.” Sara added, “Each diagnosis was emotional at first, but then I knew I had to get into gear.” Alison, who experienced a complication with her j-pouch as a senior in college that required additional surgery, chuckled, “I even went to the bar with my ostomy bag. It’s really what you make of it.”
Alison, Nicole and Krista Fourounjian.
will progress into colon cancer. Treatment requires removal of the large intestine and a careful watch for polyps throughout the patient’s lifetime. Alison initially exhibited signs of the disease, including rectal bleeding, when she was 12. After multiple tests, she was diagnosed with FAP and at the young age of 15 made the decision to have her colon and rectum removed. She explained, “I knew I was going to have to have it removed sooner or later, and I felt it would have been more frustrating to wait and wonder if the disease had progressed.” Nicole, who was diagnosed with the disease only a few years after Alison, decided to have her colon removed at 15. “We didn’t want to live in fear of cancer,” she said. Krista had the operation as a high school sophomore as well. The sisters had their surgeries and continue to be treated at Jay Monahan Center for Gastrointestinal Health at New York Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center on the Upper East Side. In addition to the removal of the diseased part of the intestine, surgeons also created what is referred to as a “j-pouch,” which serves as an alternative route for channeling bodily waste. Post-surgery recuperation is extensive and all three sisters missed most of their sophomore year of high school. Until they recovered, the tight-knit New Jersey community where they reside, Parsippany, rallied around them. Friends from the family’s church were supportive and the girls’ classmates visited often. “All of our friends would come over after school and make us cards. We were pretty fortunate,” Krista said. Today, the young women live normal and highly productive lives: Alison is an accountant who will be wed in the fall, Nicole is a math teacher and Krista is studying hospital
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of temporal lobe epilepsy, Shane was able to lead a remarkably normal life. He lost his driver’s license, and while his job as an advertising account executive required him to travel to clients throughout the tristate area, he handled the situation by hiring car services or taking public transportation. He continued to date, travel and even ski every winter. He eventually launched Treasure Chest, a successful direct mail business servicing the travel industry. “If you don’t make a big deal about it, other people won’t either. I would handle [epilepsy] with a shrug of the shoulders,” he said. Never losing his will to win over the disease, Shane maintained his equanimity in the face of challenges. Epilepsy wreaked havoc on his short-term memory, so when he attended trade shows, he had to keep Richard Shane Richard Shane was 22, a former semi- track of meetings by recording details into a dictaphone. It affected his personal life as professional baseball player beginning well. “I had two very serious relationships a promising career in advertising, when he was hit with his first epileptic seizure. and I have to admit that a factor in the break-up of each was the epilepsy,” he said. “It came out of nowhere. I was on the After coping with the disease for more phone with my father and somehow lost than two decades, Shane realized it was awareness for about a minute or so,” said time to make one final play to save his life: Shane. brain surgery. He set up an appointment to At first, the Upper East Sider’s seizures see Dr. Orrin Devinsky, who specializes in were mild, causing him to lose awareness, treating epilepsy at NYU Langone Medical but eventually he progressed to grand mal Center. Placing his fate in the hands of brain surgeon Dr. Werner K. Doyle, also based at NYU, Shane underwent sophisticated surgery to remove the part of his brain causing the seizures. Devinsky explained that while Shane faced an 80 percent chance of being cured, taking measures as drastic as surgery can be hard for a patient. “Richard faced a very difficult decision, as his life was in many ways successful, and brain surgery is always a frightening prospect to consider,” Devinsky said. Shane’s leap of faith paid off, though. He has been seizure-free since the surgery eight years ago. The first thing he did once the seizures were gone? He got his driver’s license. “Twenty-two years after I lost my driver’s license, I booked a flight to Nice, rented a car and drove around the French Riviera,” Shane laughed. Dr. Orrin Devinsky, Jane Seymour and Richard These days, in addition to enjoying Shane at the FACES Gala. the rediscovered freedom of driving, a successful business and spending time seizures, which involves loss of consciouswith family and friends, Shane contributes ness, muscle contractions and convulsions. to FACES, a nonprofit organization focused His seizures initially took place every three on epilepsy research that is affiliated with weeks, but had increased to 30 per month NYU Langone Medical Center. by 2004. For Shane, it’s been a happy ending. He “There was this one time when I was out counts his blessings and feels fortunate for with friends at Amsterdam’s, a bar on the his experiences, “because I can help people Upper West Side. I was just sitting, having a good time when a seizure hit me. I ended up with what I have been through.” Still, there leaving the place on a stretcher,” Shane said. are times when he reflects on the decades of struggle, admitting, “I’ve wondered who Although he suffered from a severe form
I would be if I had not had epilepsy.”
Susan Hansel Like any other retiree enjoying her golden years, Susan Hansel takes delight in pleasures like the antics of her maltese, Sasha, or a cozy night catching up on programs in her DVR cue. A passive observer wouldn’t recognize this sixtysomething woman as the poster child for manic depression or electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). But she is. At the age of 25, a year after giving birth to her daughter, Hansel experienced her first manic episode. Two years later, in 1970, she received six ECT treatments. She remained symptom-free for the next 20 years. Then, in 1990, her life fell apart. Her mother was diagnosed with emphysema and she lost her job as an administrative assistant at E.F. Hutton. Divorced, it was her sole source of income. She plunged into a severe depression that was recalcitrant despite treatment with various types of medication. “It felt like there was a black cloud hanging over me all the time,” Hansel said. Four years later, Hansel coped with the heartbreaking losses of her mother and her brother, who took his own life. In 2010, she was hospitalized for 10 days and was treated as an outpatient with cognitive behavioral therapy, a psychotherapeutic approach that addresses dysfunctional thoughts and emotions through a goal-oriented process. The treatment failed to cure her and Hansel was hospitalized for depression again. Finally, recalling how her symptoms had been alleviated 40 years prior, she sought out ECT treatment. That led her to the outpatient ECT program at Lenox Hill Hospital and Dr. Roberto Estrada, chief of ECT services. While electroconvulsive therapy evokes images of Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest or the electrotherapy machines utilized in an effort to cure a multitude of illnesses in the 1800s, ECT today is considered a safe and efficient treatment for severe and drug-resistant depression. Hansel was anesthesized for each treatment and experienced no discomfort. After 20 treatments, she was symptom-free. Estrada is cautiously optimistic about Hansel’s recovery. “Although ECT remains the most effective treatment for depression, with an incredible success rate of 80 percent, it is a recurrent medical condition that will require treatment again at some point in her life,” Estrada said. “It’s brought me back to being myself again, and I’m very grateful for the treatment. I don’t know where I would be without it.” Hansel said. However, she added, “I also don’t think I would be where I am today without my support system. I’m extremely close with my daughter and have a great family.”
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By Amanda Woods
lans are in the works this summer to bring two Citi Bike docking stations to Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza across the street from the United Nations, a proposal that has generated both vigorous support and vocal opposition from people who live and work in the community. This station is one of roughly 53 that are expected to come to Manhattan’s East Side between East 13th and 60th streets. Opponents are concerned that placing the stations, which would hold 74 bikes combined, in the plaza will take away from the character of the spot, a serene resting place in the midst of the city’s bustle. They fear that placing bike share stations there would create congestion and disrupt pedestrians in the plaza. “It’s a plaza, not for heavy sport. It’s for people to have space to walk,” said Sherill Kazan, president of the Friends of Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza. “If we have to run for our lives, who needs it? We’re supposed to
try to make peace in other countries. Let’s have some peace here at home.” Bruce A. Silberblatt, vice president and zoning, land use and transportation chairman of the Turtle Bay Association, also thinks the bikes would interrupt the natural feel of Dag Hammarskjöld. “We worked very hard in the 1990s to get this thing created. It became an instant gathering space for the whole community,” Silberblatt said. “[This is] the potential destruction of a community centerpiece.” He believes the Department of Transportation (DOT) hasn’t been clear about the number of bike share docks that will be placed in the plaza. Originally, according to Silberblatt, the DOT said that the largest station would have only 20 docks. But many of the proposed bike stations—including the Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza one—are set to be far larger. Silberblatt would feel more comfortable with the stations, he said, if each held only 10 bikes. Neither Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza nor anywhere in Turtle Bay is an appropriate
place for large stations, as Silberblatt sees it. “I can’t approve any big stands anywhere in our neighborhood,” Silberblatt said. “We are a primarily residential neighborhood. Our main priority right now is to keep Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza they way it is and not have it overrun by rental bicycles.” Romeo Mizzaro, a local resident, sees another potential danger with placing the stations in the plaza. “Do you see all the little kids over here?” he asked, pointing out that local schoolchildren often pass through the plaza. “There are kids in the park all the time—little kids— and it could be dangerous.” But Ann Seligman, a local resident and member of Community Board 6’s Transportation Committee, doesn’t see the problem and believes that the bike share docks are a good fit for Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza. The argument that the bikes would disrupt the plaza’s peaceful setting is not true, according to Seligman. “I’ve been here about 15 years and I would not say it’s serene,” Seligman said. “It’s very nice, but it’s more bustling than serene.”
Drumbeat of Discontent Over Dag Hammarskjöld Bike Share Station
Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza.
She also points out that the stations are portable and can be taken away on days that they may be too much of a nuisance. “The first few days of the [U.N.] General Assembly, when Obama is in town, things get really hairy, and maybe they could remove them for one week,” Seligman said. Others agree that the bike share would make Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza a buzzing place, but not necessarily a chaotic one. “I wouldn’t think it would be a problem,” said Rich Ruderman, a local resident. “It’s a positive thing. It would bring more people around.” Seligman believes that in this case, it’s important to give the bike share a chance and see how it goes. “One of the things we can do in the city is try things, and if they don’t work, they don’t have to be there forever,” she said. “As an individual, it’s good to be open to trying new things.”
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Maloney Opponent Says District Can Swing Back to GOP By Megan Bungeroth
n a district that leans heavily Democratic, one Republican is hoping to upend the political establishment this fall and defeat the longtime incumbent, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, to represent the Upper East Side. Chris Wight, an investment banker who has lived in the neighborhood for the past decade, is quick to remind his naysayers that Maloney herself got into office in a surprise upset against an entrenched opponent from the other party. He points to that as proof that Upper East Siders will listen to individual candidates with an open mind. “To legislate and to effect meaningful change for citizens, I think it’s Carolyn Maloney that’s at the disadvantage,” Wight said. “Going to Washington as a representative of the people and having experience working in the private sector is much more important than having been isolated and in Congress.” Wight is the type of Republican who might stand a chance with Manhattan voters—that
is, fiscally conservative but socially liberal. While he disdains Maloney’s heavy involvement fighting what he sees as a disingenuously labeled “War on Women,” he said that he believes that the government shouldn’t get in the way of a woman’s right to chose, an opinion that aligns with his political philosophy of getting government out of the way. “Health care decisions should be between doctors and patients,” he said. “There shouldn’t be Chris Wight. a menu of two or three acceptable options that are mandated by the government.” Wight also wants to streamline regulations and reduce burdens on small businesses. “We need to create incentives for people to do business, for small businesses to grow and hire more workers,” Wight said. “One thing we have to focus on is tax relief for
small businesses, to give them more free capital to invest and hire more workers.” He supports cutting the corporate tax rate in order to stimulate growth, a move that he said will increase overall tax revenues as more businesses open. He is also in favor of a simplified, flatter tax structure and closing the gap of unpaid taxes owed to the government by overhauling the tax code. Wight aims to make the health care system cheaper and more accessible through tort reform, protecting doctors and hospitals from frivolous lawsuits and incentivizing doctors to make better, more costeffective decisions on patient care. “I believe patients need to have a more vested interest in how much they’re paying for health care, for procedures. They need to be aware of how much things cost and they need to have a vested interest in, for example, not over-testing,” Wight said. Originally from Ohio, Wight graduated
from Ohio State University with a degree in business administration and went straight into the banking world. He worked at Goldman Sachs as an analyst studying equity markets for four years, then moved to Deutsche Bank for five years to manage an operations team. He currently works for JP Morgan and touts his experience in the private sector as vital to serving in Congress. “I think we need more people coming from the private sector who understand how our financial systems works, who understand business and who understand how to create jobs and economic growth; we need more experts in Congress,” Wight said. Wight is aware of his opponent’s popularity, but thinks Upper East Siders will be open to change. He criticizes Maloney for fixing every problem with a new piece of legislation and says that what the district and the country need is fewer complicated laws, not more of them. He also wants to tone down the partisan rhetoric he feels is overwhelming Congress right now, contributing to the distrust many Americans have for the government. “I consider myself more of a moderate and a centrist. I think too many people get tied up in labels of Democrat or Republican and they make it partisan,” Wight said. “I think this election is not really about being a Republican or a Democrat, it’s about solutions and ideas and economic growth and job creation.”
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The Art of Insect Noir Steve LafLer on hiS ‘BughouSe’ graphic noveLS and oaxacaBiLLy muSic By Rebecca Harris
s he embarks on a tour across the United States, cartoonist Steve Lafler will make a stop in New York City to showcase Menage a Bughouse, a 408-page collection of his three-book series of graphic novels. Bughouse, the first comic in the trilogy, was ranked 22nd on critic Rob Clough’s list of the top 100 graphic novels of the 2000s. Lafler will host a panel Steve Lafler. discussion about the graphic novel and present a brief musical performance on July 12 at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA). He recently talked with us to discuss insect noir and his upcoming book tour. What prompted you to write and draw the Bughouse trilogy? When I started Bughouse, I’d been thinking
4 years old. My mom would sit me and my siblings down with crayons in the afternoon and we’d just sit there and draw and draw.
a lot about doing something with all insects. I had seen a movie, Kronberg’s adaptation of Naked Lunch, and it had an odd, off-hand, stark humor and a great soundtrack that inspired me a lot. I also read the autobiography of Miles Davis—he spun such great narratives about his life, about the moment when swing jazz gave way to bebop. That just set me off. I sat down and just started drawing bugs in these sharp little suits. Where did you draw inspiration for Jimmy Watts and his jazzplaying comrades? Jimmy is the lead character, so I needed something dynamic and iconic. He was a red ant in terms of a bug, but because it’s jazz, I wanted the characters to seem like they were African American but also different racial mixes. There’s also the sensitive thing of not making really unfortunate-looking stereotypes. I wanted to illuminate the characters by writing dialogue that would shine a light on their personalities, rather than have a top-down story with stereotyped personalities. Jimmy Watts is brilliant, he’s enthusiastic, but he’s also selfish, and I wanted to show that through dialogue.
What comics had the greatest influence on your work? I was a kid in the late ’60s, when Marvel Comics were in their first glory and the artist Jack Kirby created so much of that stuff that inspired me. In the late ’60s/early ’70s, Underground Comics came out with Robert Crumb. I literally learned the facts of life from reading Robert Crumb comics at a very tender age. He’s gone on to be a great satirist.
What do you mean when you say Bughouse is “insect noir”? Well, film noir, of course, is just like a dark movie. It’s atmospheric, it might be funny, but bad things might happen too. It’s about style and mood. Bughouse is my attempt at noir style, but with an insect case, so there you have it: insect noir. When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist? I probably had that figured out from the time that I was really, really young, like 3 or
What is “Oaxacabilly” and how does your music tie into your comics? Five years ago, I moved to southern Mexico with my family—my wife and my kids. I fell in with a group of ex-patriots who would get together and play country and blues—it’s this big, motley group of people. We started a country punk band down there called Radio Insecto. I fell into the music scene and, as someone who has spent a lot of time at the table, alone, drawing, it’s fun to stand up with a bunch of people and make shit-kicking music. Bughouse is about jazz, it’s about bebop, as well as about addiction. It’s about how addiction and creativity are partners, it tries to investigate and ask the question “Why are so many musicians and artists addicts?”
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DINING spicy, often using tomato as a base. It’s good to match that acidity with a little acidity in the wine, as well. A New Zealand pinot noir like the 2007 Brancott Vineyards Pinot Noir ($21.99 at K&D Wines and Spirits, 1366 Madison Ave. your tastebuds, all you’re going to get is betw. 95th & 96th Sts., 212-289-1818, a garbled mess and a discombobulated kdwine.com) is light enough on tannin palate. that it won’t mess with the spice, but That being said, there are some easy sports a refreshing tang that will mingle go-tos to remember if you’re stuck well with any tomato involved. making the big vino decision for the The Korean delicacy table. For (and maybe my favorite my friend’s condiment of all time) Thai kimchi is tricky to match quandary, I with a wine. One of the would have By Josh Perilo few things I’ve tried that recomreally works is Portugal’s mended a vinho verde. It is crisp, gewürztralow in alcohol and slightly fizzy and acts miner. This grape has its roots in Geras the perfect foil to the intense and many and the Alsace region of France bold flavors of kimchi. A great example but is now being grown everywhere. of this light, fun wine is 2009 Casal GarUsually fermented leaving a touch of cia Vinho Verde Branco ($9.99 at Yorksweetness, this grape produces wines shire Wines and Spirits, 1646 1st Ave., at with complex floral and lychee notes, 85th St., 212-717-5100, yorkshirewines. accenting the complex flavors of Thai cooking perfectly. The 2008 Chateau St. com). My friend ended up dropping an extra Michelle Gewürztraminer ($10 at Astor ten-spot on a glass of gewürztraminer Wines, 399 Lafayette St., at E. 4th St., in order to salvage his meal. It’s so rare 212-674-7500, astorwines.com) from that I’m right about anything that I just the Columbia Valley in Washington is a sat back and enjoyed the hot and spicy great example. victory. American Mexican food tends to go
When Tastes Collide Wines for your spicy entrée
’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million more times: Drink what you like, no matter what the “rule” is. That being said, there are suggestions (I won’t call them rules) that are in place because, well, some things just go together better than others. And some things don’t go together at all. My friend Ben sat across from me at our favorite Thai restaurant. He went with his whim and ordered a glass of a Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon with his green curry chicken. I reserved any comment as he followed his first bite of food with a large gulp of wine. There was no need for me to say anything. The look on his face spoke for itself. After four or five more bites and sips, he finally pushed the glass of wine away from him, glaring at me with a stank-faced scowl. “I figured that cab wasn’t going to work well with that curry.” “Why didn’t you say something?” he huffed. “Drink what you like!”
“Well, I don’t like this!” The thing about spicy food and wine isn’t so much “what should I drink?” as “what shouldn’t I drink?” The first thing to avoid is a red wine that is high in tannin. Tannin is the chemical that gives you that distinctive mouth drying effect after swallowing. While this is great for balance when you are eating something that has a high fat content, with spicy food it just makes the wine taste abrasive and smashes any lighter, more nuanced flavors in the food. Something else to think about when matching wines with spicy fare is alcohol content. The higher the alcohol in the wine, the hotter the finish is going to be. When the heat from the food combines with the heat from the alcohol, it’s one time when two flavors don’t cancel each other out. You won’t taste anything but fire. Wines that are heavily oaked don’t tend to fare all that well with hot and spicy food, either. Oak is a flavor that matches well with subtler, creamier foods. With two big, bold flavors that have little in common battling it out on
Okah samastah sukhinO bhavantu
1 0 • O UR TOWN • July 5 , 2 012
NY Press.co m
Eating compEtitions around nYc cElEbratE thE uniquElY amErican pastimE By Regan Hofmann
he eating competition is one of those American traditions you can’t quite explain without coming across as an apologist for obscene overconsumption. And while the Major League Eating circuit—yes, an actual organization that considers eating competitions sporting events—is an easy target with few redeeming qualities, there’s something anachronistically charming about smalltime eat-offs. The Hooters World Wing-Eating Championship is an example of gross corporate brand extension; the state fair pie-eating contest is good old family fun. Movie watchers will remember Stand By N ORDER EmailsetArt Me,- which, in the ’50s, had an infamous rth scene of a town pie-eating contest (blueberry, Media natch) gone horribly wrong. At that point, the practice was a well-established trope, short-
h St. Y 10018 724 Fax: (212) 268-0502 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
hand for mom and baseball and small-town values, which allowed it to be subverted to explosive (sorry) effect in the movie. Of course there’s the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest, 97 years strong (well, sort of— more on that in a moment) and the premier competition in the MLE season. While it now attracts the all-stars of the competitive eating circuit, names even non-eaters may know like Joey Chestnut, Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas and that wildcard Takeru Kobayashi, it was once a homely little event open to all comers—like if the All-Star game had started out on your local Little League diamond. Though the official Nathan’s story says their contest started in 1916, held between four Irish immigrants on the Fourth of July to settle an argument over which was the most patriotic, that’s all a little too convenient. Really, the contest began in 1972 and was won by a Brooklyn college student, whose prize was a certificate for more hot dogs. These days the Nathan’s contest is still going strong, but for a more down-home summertime competition, there are a number of eating contests in and around the city that lean more
Photo courtesy of Cook Out NYC
As American as (All-YouCan-Eat) Apple Pie
Participants in last year’s Super Spicy Kimchi Eating Contest. county fair than corporated blowout. This weekend, July 7-8, Cook Out NYC is taking over Governors Island for a second year of grilling, beers and kimchi—an all-American party to follow the Fourth in style. Kimchi? Damn right—this is New York, after all. As part of the event’s kimchipalooza, Kheedim Oh, owner of Mama O’s Premium Kimchi, convinced the event’s organizers to hold a eating contest featuring his superspicy variety, which uses the notorious ghost pepper in its chili paste base. Last year, the winner ate 12 jars of the stuff—think you can do more? Email email@example.com to enter the contest. Otherwise, just show up this weekend (get tickets at cookoutnyc.com) to watch others suffer.
Looking for something a little less incendiary? Try Astor Bake Shop’s (12-23 Astoria Blvd., Astoria, astor-bakeshop.com) pie-eating contest to celebrate its first anniversary. Owner George McKirdy opened the Queens bakery after years as a pastry chef in Manhattan, working at such haute restaurants as Nobu, Café Boulud and Tribeca Grill. Now, his shop sells one of the neighborhood’s best burgers and has a small-town feel that belies its technically impeccable sweets. On Sunday, July 15 at 3 p.m., they will provide five male contestants, five women and five “juniors” with a pie to be eaten in the traditional, hands-behind-the-back fashion as quickly as possible. According to the rules, in the event of a tie, the contestant with the “biggest pie smile” will be declared the winner. Grab yourself a mirror and get to practicing, then show up dressed to impress in your best red, white and blue. And if you really want to go back to basics, the Saratoga County Fair (July 17-22, saratogacountyfair.org) will be holding both a pie- and a donut-eating contest during its five-day extravaganza. One of the oldest county fairs in the country, the contests will be bookended by 4-H exhibitions and tractor pulls unlike anything to be found in these five boroughs. Sure, it’s a long train ride, but it’s worlds away from the Nathan’s contest—just as the Founding Fathers would have wanted.
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J uly 5, 2012 • O UR TOW N • 1 1
NEW YORK FAMILY
Welcome to Kelly World How Kelly Killoren Bensimon is raising two tween girls, running manHattan and staying as Hot as ever By Whitney Casser
Hot Tip of the Week
Dinos Alive! New to the American Museum of Natural History this weekend, Flying Monsters brings powerful pterosaurs to life in a vivid National Geographic IMAX film. Your little dino lovers’ jaws will drop wide open as they see the rulers of prehistoric skies animated bone by bone and discover just how the reptiles took flight. For more information, visit amnh.org. And for even more family fun, visit newyorkfamily.com.
1 2 • O UR TOWN • July 5 , 2 012
elly Killoren Bensimon is a name that rolls off the tongue with unusual grace, but it’s a name that was relatively unknown to those outside the fashion world until the former model hit the reality TV scene with Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City in 2009. From then on, Bensimon’s life in the spotlight took on a whole new dimension. Rather than spending her days posing for fashion photographers and writing about style, the leggy mom found herself letting cameras inside her home and into the most personal parts of her life as a New Yorker. The result was a whirlwind two-plus years of filming, socializing and embodying her Housewives mantra: “I’ve created a great life and I love living it,” which eventually evolved into the more playful “I’m living the American Dream, one mistake at a time.” To her credit, Bensimon is usually the first to admit her mistakes, but the past year seems to have been one of very few missteps. The prolific writer, successful career woman and mother of two tween girls has become a celebrity ambassador for the Food Bank for New York City, worked as guest editor for AVENUE magazine and acted as a judge for the Miss New York USA 2012 pageant. This spring, she also ran a local halfmarathon to raise nearly $10,000 for Generosity Water, a nonprofit that brings clean drinking water to areas in need. During the
race, a paparazzo stopped her midstride. Fearing the worst, Bensimon braced herself for the expected onslaught. “He said to me, ‘I just want you to know that you’re the only celebrity I’ve ever seen who says you’re going to do something and then actually do it,’” Bensimon recalled. “I was sweating like a pig, but I literally started to cry because I was so moved.” Aside from running around the city (in more ways than one), perhaps most exciting in Bensimon’s life right now is her latest publishing venture. She has just released her fourth book, I Can Make You HOT!: The Supermodel Diet (St. Martin’s Press), and is donating a portion of the proceeds to Generosity Water. In a nutshell, the book is an easy-tonavigate guide to nutrition and wellness, with recipes and hot tips by which Bensimon lives her life. The acronym in the title, “Healthy Options Today,” is meant to inspire readers to make the best choices for themselves, whether it’s deciding on a dish to make for lunch or picking out what to wear to feel confident. “Anyone can look like [this]; you just have to work at it,” she said, referring to her fit-as-a-fiddle figure. For Bensimon, what originally started out as an idea for a cookbook evolved into something much greater. And though it took her only a month to write the book, the lessons found within its pages were learned over time. “When you meet people who are living on $39 a week for food, you have a totally different perspective on making healthy choices,” she said, thinking of her charity work with the Food Bank. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bensimon details some of the extreme measures that supermodels go to in order to stay thin—and some of the methods she tried during her early days in front of the camera. As a former pro model, she’s learned a lot about health and nutrition. “I was a healthy American girl from Rockford, Ill., and when I came to New York they were always telling me to lose weight—always telling me to lose 10 pounds,” Bensimon remembered. Fast-forward 10 years. As an expectant mom, she gained 50 pounds during both pregnancies, eating what her body craved and letting nature take its course. But she didn’t let weight issues or motherhood keep her from following her career ambitions, such as writing for Hamptons magazine, launching ELLE Accessories, penning three books on culture and style and blogging about her daily adventures. In fact, all her weight-watching and mothering seem to have done quite the opposite. “I’ve done a lot in the past 15 years, and my whole perspective changed because [of]
my desire to be a better person for my kids,” she said. But her résumé of career accomplishments—from book deals to fashion features—seems to pale in comparison to her family life at home. “I’m most proud of my girls,” Bensimon gushes. “When you have kids, all of a sudden, your priorities change.” To get a sense of where those priorities started, consider that Bensimon began modeling at the age of 16. As a result, she experienced all the glitz and glamour of New York’s fashion scene early on. It’s a fast and fabulous lifestyle that might lure other women into a routine of living for the moment, but Bensimon seems to have transcended the here-and-now. As a working parent, Bensimon has always known that the juggle can be a struggle. “With working, everything I do that is away from my kids has to be 100 percent exactly what I want to do,” she said. “Otherwise, I would be taking time away from my kids.” Bensimon’s daughters, Thadeus Ann, 11—who goes by “Teddy”—and Sea Louise, 14, are “New York kids with a Midwestern attitude,” according to their mother. “They’re synthesizers. They’re able to acclimate, too, which is very unusual for that age, because most tween kids are just so narcissistic,” Bensimon said. “My girls, fortunately, are super interested in a lot of different things.” As far as parenting philosophies go, Bensimon runs a tight ship. “I just want my kids to have really strong values and to be raised with integrity more than anything,” she said with conviction. “The Bensimon girls, they have rules. They’re not like other girls. They always have to be polite and shake people’s
hands. They always have to say ‘thank you’ and ‘please.’ They always have to write thank-you notes. They always have to be respectful of other people.” It’s clear that the mom of two has given her mothering strategy a lot of thought—not to mention the consideration she gives to how she coparents with the girls’ father, fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon, who lives next door. The former model takes a refreshing approach to her relationship with her ex-husband, whom she first met on set while shooting for ELLE. “One thing that bothers me about some divorced parents is that they’re always criticizing the other person. Well, if you didn’t love them so much, then why did you marry them in the first place?” she wondered. “I also think it’s really disrespectful to the children.” Her approach seems to be working. Sea and Teddy come across as lively, gracious and highly self-aware young girls. They’re playful with one another, loving toward their mom and not afraid to try new things. With summer on the horizon, the Bensimon girls look forward to a sun-soaked season on the East End of Long Island, where the haze of the city fades at the shoreline. “I can’t wait to be out there, [horseback] riding, bike riding and just being at the beach,” Bensimon said. “I love the Hamptons. The beach culture is such a huge part of my life.” Whether it’s making pancakes, letting the dogs and kids run around or simply getting some sun, Bensimon is anticipating the sweet release of finding some downtime. But that’s not to say that she won’t miss Manhattan. Some of her favorite local spots include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she’s involved with the Costume Institute; SoulCycle in Union Square; Nobu in Tribeca; Delicatessen, where executive chef Michael Ferraro is a great friend of hers; and Barrio Chino for Mexican cuisine on the Lower East Side. “I just love their spicy margaritas,” she said. “You have to wait two hours, but the food is really, really good and worth the wait.” In the meantime, she apparently has a lot of love for New York City. “I feel really lucky to be able to live in a city like this, because I’ve met so many unbelievable parents and they’ve been such great friends,” she says. “They encourage me to do all of this!” For more of our interview with Kelly, visit newyorkfamily.com.
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The reflecting mind is filled with astonishment upon reviewing the history of the rise of the United States of N. America, when it perceives that dogmatic theology has no foundation in any part of the Declaration of Independence or Constitution for the structure which it fain would raise... We are astonished because these documents were formulated and that government established at a time when dogmatism of one kind or another had supreme sway... The great Theosophical Adepts in looking around the world for a mind through which they could produce in America the reaction which was then needed, found in England, Thomas Paine. In 1774 they influenced him, through the help of that worthy Brother Benjamin Franklin, to come to America. He came here and was the main instigator of the separation of the Colonies from the British Crown... Seeing that a new order of ages was about to commence and that there was a new chance for freedom and the brotherhood of man, they laid before the eye of Thomas Painewho they knew could be trusted to stand almost alone with the lamp of truth in his hand amidst others who in “times that tried men’s souls” quaked with fear,- a “vast scene opening itself to Mankind in the affairs of America.” The result was the Declaration, the Constitution for America. And as if to give point to these words and to his declaration that he saw this vast scene opening itself, this new order of ages, the design of the reverse side of the U.S. great seal is a pyramid whose capstone is removed with the blazing eye in a triangle over it dazzling the sight, above it are the words “the heavens approve,” while underneath appears the startling sentence “a new order of ages.” That he had in his mind’s eye a new order of ages we cannot doubt upon reading “Rights of Man,”... She (America) made a stand not for herself alone, but for the world, and looked beyond the advantage she could receive”... More then is claimed for the Theosophical Adepts than the changing of base metal into gold, or the possession of such a merely material thing as the elixir of life. They watch the progress of man and help him on his halting flight up the steep plane of progress. They hovered over Washington, Jefferson, and all the other brave freemasons who dared to found a free Government in the West, which could be pure from the dross of dogmatism, they cleared their minds, inspired their pens and left upon the great seal of this mighty nation the memorial of their presence. --William Q. Judge
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the community NEWYORK-PRESBYTERIAN/WEILL CORNELL
Help Save Lives by Donating Blood
New York Magazine: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Has Most Top Doctors
Did you know one pint of blood can save three lives? Stop by the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Blood Drive:
or the 12th straight year, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has more physicians listed in New York magazine’s prestigious “Best Doctors” annual survey
than any other hospital.
Thursday, July 12 Wednesday, July 18 Tuesday, July 24 Wednesday, July 25 8 am to 6 pm
The survey, published in the June 11th issue of the magazine, listed 198 NewYork-Presbyterian physicians, representing 17 percent of the 1,160 doctors in metropolitan New York. For the complete “Best Doctors” list, visit
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical Center 525 East 68th Street at York Avenue Cayuga Room / Basement Level
Laura Vogel, 27 Orthopedic Surgery Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
the magazine’s website at nymag.com/bestdoctors. The magazine issue also featured nearly a dozen profiles of 2012 medical college graduates representing Weill
Nathan Osbun, 28 Urology Weill Cornell Medical College
Cornell Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Six Weill Cornell and five Columbia graduates were profiled about their professional goals and aspirations. Marianne Legato, MD, an internist, and Desiree Ratner,
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MD, a dermatologic surgeon, were among the top doctors who responded to health and wellness queries from the
If you have any questions about eligibility to donate due to travel outside the U.S., medications, or medical conditions, please call 1-800-688-0900. Please bring an ID with photo or signature. Eat well and drink fluids before you donate. Remember, all lifesaving blood and platelet donations earn Donor Advantage points redeemable for a wide variety of gifts and gift cards. You can even donate your points to support selected charitable organizations. For more information, please visit www.mydonoradvantage.com Thank you for being a blood donor!
New York magazine’s readers as part of the magazine’s new feature, “Ask a Best Doctor.” Jason Corey Dukes, 29 Internal Medicine Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Son McLaren, 28 Pediatrics Weill Cornell Medical College
U.S.News and World Report: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital No. 1 Children’s Hospital in New York Metro Area NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital ranked in more pediatric
“Aside from the ranking, a region needs a great place
specialties — including two in the top 10 — than any
where tough cases can go. We are able to do that for
other hospital in metropolitan New York in U.S.News
the public good in a great city,” said Dr. Corwin.
and World Report’s annual Best Children’s Hospital’s rankings. The Hospital ranked in nine of 10 specialties surveyed
This year U.S.News surveyed 178 pediatric centers to obtain data, such as availability of key resources and the ability to prevent complications and infections. The
in the 2012-13 report. Cardiology and Heart Surgery as
hospital survey made up 75 percent of the rankings. A
well as Diabetes and Endocrinology ranked among the
separate reputational survey, for which 1,500 pediatric
top 10 nationally, while Gastroenterology, Neonatology,
specialists — 150 in each specialty — were asked where
Neurology and Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and
they would send the sickest children in their specialty,
Pulmonology ranked among the top 20.
made up the remaining 25 percent.
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in Manhattan on the Upper East Side at York Avenue and 68th Street, comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College.
1 4 • O UR TOWN • July 5 , 2 012
NY Press.co m
ABC News Premieres Medical Documentary Series on NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
rom the award-winning producers of Hopkins and Boston Med, ABC News’ new eight-part medical documentary series, NY Med, takes a raw and intimate look at life inside one of the most famous hospitals in America. ABC’s 20-person news team had unprecedented access to document the dramatic and inspirational stories of the patients and healthcare providers that define NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
On July 10, ABC News will premiere its highly anticipated
medical documentary series NY Med, chronicling the inspira-
focused on providing them with the highest quality and most compassionate care,” says Dr. Steven J. Corwin, CEO
tional stories of patients and staff at NewYork-Presbyterian
of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. “NewYork-Presbyterian
Hospital. This is the first time that a New York hospital or
is proud of our amazing Hospital team and all who were
academic medical center will be profiled in a prime time
involved in the making of this informative and poignant
television medical documentary series.
The eight-part series, which will air at 10 pm every
ABC News President Ben Sherwood says, “Real and
Tuesday, will take a fresh look at life inside a top-ranked
riveting, NY Med is sure to enlighten, engage and inspire
academic medical center as told in the words and from the
viewers this summer.”
point of view of the patients, faculty, and medical staff. “NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital relies on extraordinary
“Medicine is a universal subject,” says Executive Producer Terry Wrong. “At some point in our lives, we or those we
and dedicated physicians, nurses, and staff to deliver the best
love will become patients, for one reason or another. This
in care and caring. Our patients and their families come from
series takes you behind the curtain to learn about those we
near and far to find the help they need to face the most
depend on to fix us and how sometimes they just can’t.”
challenging and complex medical problems, and we are
Tune in July 10 at 10 pm on ABC
For a preview, go to: www.nymedshow.com
For general information, call (212) 746-5454. For information about physicians and patient programs, call (877) NYP-WELL. www.nyp.org • weill.cornell.edu Produced by the Department of Public Affairs of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell, (212) 821-0560.
J uly 5, 2012 • O UR TOW N • 1 5
A “hotbed of intellectual and aesthetic adventure.” — New York Times
SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM 2012
july 6 – august 19, 2012
BARDSUMMERSCAPE Bard SummerScape 2012 presents seven weeks of opera, music, theater, dance, films, and cabaret. The season’s focal point is the 23rd annual Bard Music Festival, which this year celebrates the French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, whose remarkable career shaped not only the history of French music, but also the ways in which that history was transmitted and communicated to the public. SummerScape takes place in the extraordinary Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and other venues on Bard College’s stunning Mid-Hudson Valley campus. Opera
THE KING IN SPITE OF HIMSELF (Le roi malgré lui) Music by Emmanuel Chabrier American Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Leon Botstein Directed by Thaddeus Strassberger
A brilliant opéra comique, scored by a master of harmony, about a reluctant 16th-century French noble elected by the people of Poland to be their king. sosnoff theater July 27 – August 5
Bard Music Festival Twenty-third Season
SAINT-SAËNS AND HIS WORLD
Two weekends of concerts, panels, and
We are proud to announce our 6th UNIQUE Summer Youth Program, in collaboration with IUAES at the UNITED NATIONS and in MANHATTAN from July 23th to August 3rd, 2012. The Summer Youth Program increases intercultural awareness that can create lifelong respect for other cultures, thereby reducing racial, religious, and intercultural tension. Through exposure to people of a diverse range of backgrounds, teens in New York City will gain a greater appreciation and understanding of one another’s difference and similarities.
Youth age 16 - 21 Meet incredible people your age from all different cultures and backgrounds!
SPACE IS LIMITED! Registeration is open untill July 10 , 2012 Please call for more information about our rates and interview appointment.
Call: 212 717 5885 or 646 420 6633 Visit our website: www.mmcnyc.com
other events bring the musical world of French composer Camille Saint-Saëns vividly to life. Weekend One Paris and the Culture of Cosmopolitanism Weekend Two Confronting Modernism August 10–12 and 17–19
COMPAGNIE FÊTES GALANTES LET MY JOY REMAIN
Choreography by Béatrice Massin Taking Baroque dance into the 21st century sosnoff theater July 6 – 8
THE IMAGINARY INVALID (Le malade imaginaire)
By Molière Directed by Erica Schmidt The final play by a master of comedy, The Imaginary Invalid is among Molière’s greatest works. theater two July 13 –22
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York Photo: ©Scott Barrow
1 6 • O UR TOWN • July 5 , 2 012
FRANCE AND THE COLONIAL IMAGINATION
The legacy of French rule in Africa and Southeast Asia Thursdays and Sundays, July 12 – August 12
CABARET and FAMILY FARE
Live entertainment, music, fine dining, and more July 6 – August 19
Tickets and information:
845-758-7900 fishercenter.bard.edu Sign up now for the Fisher Center e-newsletter. E-members receive special offers, including discounts, throughout the season. Text “FISHERCENTER” to 22828 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up.
Tommi Parzinger Lamp Table
Leroy Neiman Lithograph
Sensational Summer Auction
Featuring The Estate of Zelda Kaplan Thursday July 12th at 11am
Including Zelda Kaplan’s Custom Made Wardrobe, African Art, and Jewelry. Also in this Auction - Mid-Century Furniture, Fine Art, Decorative Objects, a Collection of Empire Period Bronze Art with Grand Tour and Period Candelabra Lamps, and much more.
Preview: Tuesday 7/10 & Wednesday 7/11 from 10am - 7pm
Wine Reception Celebrating this Fashionista and Activist: Tuesday 5 – 8
444 West 55th Street (Between 9th and 10th Avenues) 212-247-4791 ~ 917-701-5301 ~ email@example.com Bid Live in our Gallery or Online | Catalogue at www.HutterAuctions.com NY Press.co m
CRITICS PICKS GALLERIES Weather Report: “Weather,” paintings and sculpture inspired by weather at Ricco Maresca Gallery, offers funny and sometimes terrifying riffs on the forces of Mother Nature. Bring your galoshes. Through Aug. 17. Ricco Maresca Gallery, 529 W. 20th St., 3rd Fl., 212627-4819, riccomaresca.com. [Melissa Stern]
Edited by Armond White
New York’s Review of Culture • CityArtsNYC.com
JAZZ Jumpin’ July: The 27th annual fest at the 92nd Street Y is flush with pianists and singers: artistic director Bill Charlap, his wife Renee Rosnes, Ted Rosenthal and Dick Hyman among the former; Ernie Andrews, Freddie Cole and Sachal Vasandani the latter and Barbara Carroll in both roles. Looks back at the legacies of Art Blakey and Count Basie, too. July 16-26; $25+. 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 212-415-5500, 92y.org. [Howard Mandel]
2012’s best so far and sarris remembered By Armond White
his year, I want to do the Mid-Year Reckoning differently, as a tribute to film critic Andrew Sarris’ recent passing. It was Sarris, during my grad school years at Columbia, who wisely advised that the percentage of good movies has not changed from the old days; now that the output is larger, the significance of sifting out the trash is more important than ever. Sarris’ indispensable work The American Cinema, first published in 1968, used the Nouvelle Vague’s notion of auteurism (cinema authorship) to categorize all Hollywood film history up to that point. Sarris’ commentary on over 200 directors was an awesome feat, combining scholarship with sharp perception. His extraordinary assessments should still structure anyone’s thinking about movies, American or global. Because The American Cinema emerged from cinema’s first half-century, it preserves aesthetics and values (pillars from Griffith to Sternberg) that have been lost in the recent years of criticism’s decline, in which media and box-office presence is given importance over the individual visions that Sarris knew were what made cinema an art form. He articulated that belief with idiosyncratic precision that to this day—when both Hollywood and the critical “community” have lost self-respect—is still awesome to read. Each summer, my mid-year assessment has been a way to keep track of the movie year’s deluge, which, given the dozen or more films that open every week, is more than can be reviewed. Perhaps the reckoning might this time benefit from following Sarris’ model, as a reminder of the standards a film-lover has every right to uphold. I take great exception to the TV pundit whose memorial to Sarris cited that he “loved movies.” Sarris’ work was greater than any fanboy obsession—everybody “loves” movies, but Sarris turned his interest
MUSEUMS Midway Modernism: The second of a threepart exhibition titled “Modernist Art from India” features ravishing colors and raging perspectives from the post-independence and post-Partition eras. Abstraction dominates. It’s a display of creative freedom and artistic emancipation. Take a Darjeeling Express to this amazing show. Through Oct. 16. Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th St., 212-620-5000, rmanyc.org. [Phyllis Workman]
Carole Bouquet and André Dussollier in Unforgivable.
into teaching, study and personal expression, the things that make criticism valuable, an art in its own right. With continued respect for Sarris, one of the two critics who have meant the most to me, professionally and personally, I repeat The American Cinema’s first nine top-tobottom categories, citing the work of individual directors. It could help to understand how 2012’s best films so far might ultimately rank in film history or, as Sarris crucially demonstrated, in a personal pantheon rigorous enough to share with the world. Pantheon Directors Unforgivable (André Téchiné)—a tumultuous view of private lives as society and society as family. The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies)—examines the linkage of desire and despair to find the value of personal resurrection. The Far Side of Paradise Damsels in Distress (Whit Stillman)—the rare campus comedy genre visits private worlds that reflect the eccentricities we recognize deep down. Moonrise Kingdom (Wes Anderson)— compares the innocence of youth and maturity. Dark Horse (Todd Solondz)—tragedy found in the comedy of hopes squandered
by misguided fashions. The Skinny (Patrik-Ian Polk)—clarifies the blur of sex and friendship that gay life faces straight-on. A Thousand Words (Brian Robbins)—a Hollywood satire so casually profound it scared off the industry and its fans. Expressive Esoterica Americano (Mathieu Demy)—an Oedipal odyssey that finds cultural heritage in family legacy. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor)—addresses action movie tropes to satirize the deficiencies of contemporary genre excess. The Lady (Luc Besson)—eloquently acted political biopic, refined non-comic-book heroism. The Flowers of War (Zhang Yimou)—common tragedy and possibility, rapturously envisioned. Fringe Benefits Detention (Joseph Kahn)—traces moral chaos throughout recent pop history. Chronicle (Jonathan Trank)—youth’s visionary search for meaning. Wanderlust (David Wain)—audacious mockery of Occupy sentimentality and its
Good Vibes: A vibraphone cannot sound ugly. Bobby Hutcherson, its best living practitioner, is ill with emphysema, so four of his accomplished acolytes—Jay Hoggard, Steve Nelson, Mark Sherman and Warren Wolf—plus a fine rhythm trio pay tribute in a one-night stand. July 8; 9 p.m., $30. Birdland, 15 W. 44th St., 212-581-3080, birdlandjazz. com. [HM] Bassist’s Big Band: Christian McBride, the much-in-demand bassist, found time to assemble an all-star big band and record an acclaimed album, The Good Feeling. His orchestra occupies the elegant Jazz at Lincoln Center nightclub for an unusual four nights. July 12-15; 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., plus an 11:30 p.m. show on Friday and Saturday, $35+. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in the Time-Warner Center, Broadway and 60th St., 212-258-9800, jalc. org. [HM] Odd Couple: Gerri Allen, the elegant Detroitraised jazz pianist-composer, and Laurie Anderson, the performance artist and electronics innovator, appear in their first-ever team-up, inevitably creating some new sort of hybrid. July 17; 8 & 10 p.m., $20. The Stone, corner of Ave. C & 2nd St., 212-473-0043, thestonenyc.com. [HM] FILM Remember “Cholly”?: Rock doc Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone recalls that heady moment when hip-hop and punk mixed, a memory of one of pop’s freest and most joyful bands—and a history of their madness into middle age. Maybe it’ll drive viewers to buy the great Fishbone album Truth and Soul. Part of the CBGB Festival. July 6; 5:45 p.m., $10. Anthology Film Archives, 32 2nd Ave., cbgb.com. [Armond White]
Continued on next page J uly 5, 2012 • O UR TOW N • 1 7
In Transit art of the Poster By Caroline Birenbaum
terrific selection of original artwork for posters commissioned by the London Underground and its successor, London Transport, is on exhibit at the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex in Grand Central Station through July 8. Never before shown in the United States, the works are on loan from the venerable London Transport Museum, whose collection includes over 700 maquettes and 5,000 vintage posters. Charged with expanding use of public transit beyond weekday commuting, Frank Pick, publicity officer for the Underground Group in the first decade of the 20th century, applied the new concept of travel posters to promoting local attractions and handpicked artists to submit designs. In the course of his lengthy career, he enriched the urban environment by setting high artistic standards while being receptive to diverse styles of expression. The unifying factor was a distinctive typeface designed in
mId-YeAR ReCkonIng Continued from previous page
1917 by Edward Johnston. The 51 works on view in New York range from the very first pictorial poster commissioned by Pick, John Hassall’s comical 1908 gouache, “No Need to Ask a P’liceman,” to Paul Catherall’s 2007 color linocut, “Primrose Hill,” and include examples by famous artists and unfamiliar names alike. All but four works in the show were approved for production. Thumbnail photos of the printed posters enable comparison between the model and the final version— often colors were heightened or simplified and lettering added. Anyone in a hurry can enjoy the exhibit purely for the visual pleasure it affords. With a bit of time, the simple, clear wall labels and unobtrusive thematic installation will make you aware of the variety of media, artistic styles, production requirements and processes and criteria for acceptance involved in the long-running endeavor. The New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex is located adjacent to the station master’s office on the main level of Grand Central Station. Admission is free and the museum is open daily, except major holidays. If you like the Annex, why not pay a visit
outdated hippie heritage. That’s My Boy (Sean Anders)—empathy, heredity and its discontents. Joyful Noise (Todd Graff)—the anodyne effects of music and the movie musical. Less Than Meets the Eye Roadie (Michael Cuesta)—great performance by Ron Eldard. The Kid with a Bike (Dardennes brothers)— modern neuroses given fairytale attention. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Timur Bekmambetov)—trash made uncommonly spectacular. Lightly Likable: Being Flynn, Darling Companion, Man on a Ledge, Where Do We Go Now? Vintage ad from London Transit.
Strained Seriousness: The Turin Horse, Safe, Neil Young Journeys, Magic Mike
to the Transit Museum itself? Located on Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn Heights, it is one of the major institutions of its kind in the world, offering numerous exhibitions and special programs. For more information, visit www. mta.info/museum.
Make Way for the Clowns: Ted, The Dictator, Casa de mi Padre Oddities, One-Shots and Newcomers: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Gerhard Richter Painting, Locked Out, John Carter
Where Music Lives Craig harris salutes the dwyer Cultural Center By Howard Mandel
bout 45 people heard the rambunctious nonet led by highenergy trombonist Craig Harris in a cozy basement studio at the Dwyer Cultural Center on June 25. It was the last “Musical Monday” of the band’s seven-month, once-a-week gig, because the Dwyer, on 123rd Street between St. Nicholas Avenue and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, is cutting hours and reducing public programs while seeking funding. Good luck with that. The audience included black and white folks, singles, elders, couples and one family with young, semi-attentive kids. The music ranged from a wicked vamp—people danced in their seats—to spacey sound effects triggered by an electric keyboardist on a computer set at his feet. A version of Thelonious Monk’s “‘Round Midnight” was arranged over a rhythm as cushy as that of Grover Washington’s smooth jazz classic, “Mr. Magic.” Soprano saxophonist Jay Rodriguez blew a knotty yet flowing solo atop a samba beat, like 1 8 • O UR TOWN • July 5 , 2 012
something Wayne Shorter might have done in Weather Report; two other saxes and two trumpets joined with brisk riffs which Harris waved in, spontaneously. The performance climaxed with an episode of tradition-steeped collective improvisation. Adept listeners followed the tangle of melodic threads that emerged from and resolved back into a full statement of Harris’ sweeping, lyrical melody, “Lovejoy.” It ended in a slow fade. The music was first-rate, and immediacy ruled. “It’s not that we don’t know what we’re doing,” Harris, a 59-year-old committed Harlem homeowner, explained at the show’s start. “It’s that we don’t want to know. This is how we roll. We do a lot of making up.” The crowd was delighted to go where his band took them; they had come for sonic adventure. The musicians were pleased with their efforts. The room pulsed with trust. As a venue, it was neither expensive or boozy but homey. Plastic champagne glasses of bubbly cider were free with the $10 admission. Light bulbs shaped like votive candles glowed on little round tables draped in black. Strangers made pleasant conversation with each other. The loss of a community arts center can seem a small thing in culturally abundant
New York City, but it matters. The Dwyer opened in 2009 as the nonprofit institution the city required for a real estate developer to turn what was an abandoned warehouse into residential condos and street-level stores. For three years it has hosted visual arts exhibits, film screenings and dance performances as well as music. Its main income stream has been rentals for private events, but it can’t meet its relatively modest overhead. Common story: A nice place with a localized mission needs money. There goes
a seven-month, once-a-week gig. Oh, the musicians will find another room; they’ve got to play. The customers will look for a new hangout. But the city is poorer for the loss. “We’ll be back in September,” promised Harris, a veteran of ensembles fronted by his pal David Murray and the great Sun Ra and a determined optimist. “Right now we just don’t know where.” Reach Howard Mandel at jazzmandel@ gmail.com. NY Press.co m
Art Adverts Start a New Wave advertising strategies take art out the wilderness. CityArts surveys the new media taCtiCians who bring broadway shows, museums and other art venues to PoPular attention. art and its Patrons all benefit from millennial art advertising’s new taCtiCal strategies. Second of a two-part SerieS. By Gregory Solman
hen Clint White, president of New York’s WiT Media and lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, looked at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s brief, he saw the premarketing issue involved educating younger audiences to the differences between chamber and orchestral music. WiT’s “Get Closer to the Music” campaign, subsequently, emphasized the music’s intimacy rather than grandiosity. “The commonality of all clients is that they need to make sure that the audiences of the future are full of awareness of what they are doing and what role arts and culture can fill in their lives,” said White. To accomplish that lofty goal, arts clients need to “tell a story and relay a narrative that says this is for them,” White advises. Here, the new marketing platforms offer an invaluable advantage, in that campaigns can do that “with video and music online, so there’s decreasing ambiguity about what the art form is.” Fortunately, White says, the web bridges age, race and geographic gaps, allowing WiT to develop campaigns without creative that pander to younger prospects. An effective tactic could be as simple and compelling as sending a segmented email (by no means spray-and-pray spam) with a branded MP3, “so when it comes up,” says White, “you remember that it’s from the Chamber Music Society and it keeps them top of mind.” Marketers can electronically deliver coded promos and coupons that allow the agency to track the offer’s performance, experimenting and changing on the fly as they never could with a print ad. Reviews still matter some, White says, but Facebook recommendations by trusted friends increasingly matter more. And in the end, the show matters most: “We can disseminate the right message at the right time, but the reason someone comes back is because of the trans-
formative, meaningful, enjoyable experience.” New marketing technology might bridge the age gap between arts consumers, contends Doug Mobray, president of MoGo Arts Marketing. “Surely there’s been a massive shift in media consumption habits,” he says, “but even older patrons are using Facebook. Just the other day, my mother ‘friended’ me”—an act one imagines as equally comforting and disconcerting. Arts organizations were slow to embrace digital marketing but latched on to MoGo Arts’ “media agnostic approach,” where a digital media buy could cost-efficiently target people across the web, often in lieu of print and broadcast, where Mobray sees “an erosion.” MoGo Arts sells the arts via online display ads, video, search and social marketing that spans all demos, from “the older, most affluent on Forbes and the New York Times’ websites to the youngest on Facebook.” Back-end technology tracks revenue and ticket value to define a client’s return on investment. “Digital is the one-to-one conversation vs. the one-to-many model,” Mobray says. A Google-certified partner, MoGo helps clients take advantage of Google’s gift to nonprofits: $10,000 a month worth of Google AdWords, gratis. You can build a whole campaign around that, Mobray says. The use of video beyond conventional broadcast has driven innovation to avoid that old Evita-era marketing monotony. Mark Ciglar, founder and creative director at Cinevative in Los Angeles, produces commercials, promos and lobby videos for performing arts organizations that address the preproduction issues hampering creativity. “When you move from paper to screen, the way you communicate has to be different. Newspaper ads miss the power of the on-screen medium,” Ciglar says. “For comedy, it has to be hilariously funny. On screen, you have to make them laugh.” Ciglar, a former theater director, recalls the days when there was no option but print. “Finding that cross-platform nature of media has been good for arts orgs from an effectiveness and budget standpoint,” he concludes. “A TV spot will play on local cable, you reformat for the web then reformat it again for [online] banner ads, then for use in the lobby and projections and for video as imbedded e-mail with link to ticket sales. That doesn’t exclude the eyes of the blue-haired lady, but adds all those touch points.” Aging patrons of the arts “may not tweet, they may not interact, but they will do a Google search, write email, send photos,” says Ciglar. “They’re still out there.”
Now Every Week!
Gregory Solman was for years the West Coast editor of Adweek in Los Angeles. J uly 5, 2012 • O UR TOW N • 1 9
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Tatum and troupe.
another example of Soderbergh’s strange detachment: he’s always distant from his subject yet gives no perspective. Mike’s attraction to Adam’s motherly sister, Brooke (Cody Horn), is as clichéd as the bits from Flashdance, 42nd Street, Showgirls and Saturday Night Fever, although Soderbergh avoids their emotional payoffs. His drabness prevents dramatic satisfaction which ultimately prevents comprehension. In Magic Mike, Tatum trades in his experience as stripper, dancer and actor for Hollywood glibness. Soderbergh seems uninterested in contemplating male sexuality (Tatum’s body) or the work of performance and public interaction, the things Ice Cube got superlatively right in his 1998 female stripper movie, The Player’s Club. This film is even more aggressively hetero. Among the gallery of specimen, from pretty-boy Pettyfer to studly Joe Manganiello and the briefly exoticized Adam Rodriguez, Tatum’s charismatic athleticism is the most inviting. He’s open and energetic, unlike his gloomy, introspective muse characterizations for the urban poet Dito Montiel, yet Soderbergh disingenuousness encourages the self-defeating (so far) Hollywood stardom Tatum escaped his roots to accept. Tatum’s Southern white boy essence and dancer’s eagerness could provide insight about the discipline of breakdancing culture, the working-class ambition and sexual currency of his pre-Hollywood years. But Mike’s glib soliloquies (“I’m not my goddamned job!”) offer only recession-ready delusions. So does McConaughey’s impresario, a decadent business figure whose Dennis Hopper craziness (“Fuck that mirror like you mean it!”) contrasts Mike’s magical innocence. Like the working-class slugs in Soderbergh’s 2005 abomination, Bubble, all of these characters are shallow. They strip to reveal nothing—despite Tatum’s promise of new physical truths. Follow Armond White on Twitter @3xchair. NY Press.co m
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fILM Under the Stars in Riverside Park As usual, Bryant Park’s summer film schedule features a slate of timeless classics. But let’s face it: That lawn is too damn crowded. Fortunately, for those who’d prefer not to trip over a dude in a bowler hat and miss the climax as we search for our blanket whenever we use the Port-a-Potty, there are a number of other city parks with outdoor films. Most notable is Pier 1 in Riverside Park, which follows up its invasion filmthemed 2011 with an eclectic mix that includes Cinema Paradiso (July 11), Amélie (Aug. 1) and Pee-wee’s Big Adventure(Aug. 8). Chairs await you, and you won’t need to arrive four hours early to snatch one. Wednesday evenings, July 11-Aug. 15, 8:30 p.m.; free. Pier 1, Riverside Park South, 70th St. at the Hudson River, riversidepark.org.
ChoiCe Cuts for the dog days of summer MUSIC
THeaTeR Fringe Fest Even at 16 years old, this annual marathon of offbeat, cutting-edge theater— which birthed Rent, among other memorable shows—is devoted to the new and the strange. This year’s performances will include From Busk Till Dawn: The Life of an NYC Street Performer, Love Death Brains (A Zombie Musical), Occupy the Constellations: A Collaborative Revolutionary Puppet Tale and, all the way from California, a show called What I Learned From Porn. Not everything you’ll see at the Fringe is great, but it’s always done with humor and spirit, making it more interesting—if not quite as professional—than most other festivals. Aug. 10-26. fringenyc.org. New York Musical Theatre Festival Featuring live music, workshops and full productions of brand-new musicals, the NYMTF has been giving New York audiences a chance to experience exciting musical theater without Broadway price tags (or tourists) since 1994. This year’s lineup is particularly strong, with 30 musicals including A Letter To Harvey Milk, about a butcher sending a letter to Milk; Baby Case, Michael Ogborn’s take on the Lindbergh baby’s disappearance; and Prison Dancer. July 9-29. Various locations, nymf.org.
CULTURaL eVeNTS Bastille Day If you secretly wanted to protest at Zuccotti Park but didn’t want to deal with the
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Catalpa Festival Kicking off its first year, the Catalpa Festival offers yet another chance to see top-tier musical acts playing outdoors within the city limits. The fest will feature more than 40 performers, including blues rock superstars The Black Keys and Snoop Dogg rocking his seminal album Doggystyle in its entirety. Other highlights include NYC faves TV on the Radio, Girl Talk and hip-hop instrumental wizard AraabMUZIK. There will also be a reggae stage sponsored by High Times magazine, a “sculpture” that belches fireballs in the air and various other novelties (inflatable “sham marriage” church?) included to distract from the fact that music lineup is mostly weak, aside from the headliners. July 28-29; $140–$180 for the weekend. Randall’s Island Park, www.catalpanyc.com.
lack of showers and that whole sleeping outside thing, Bastille Day on 60th Street is for you—it’s like the sanitized, more fun version of protesting. After all, it was the poor French who decided they weren’t going to take it anymore from that bossy monarchy. The good news is no one is going to be guillotined at this Bastille Day. Instead, visitors can play pétanque, sip on kir royales and eat some smelly cheese. July 15, 12-5 p.m. 60th St. betw. 5th and Lexington Aves., www.bastilledayny.com. India Day Parade Celebrated to commemorate Indian independence from Britain, there is usually a Bollywood star or two in attendance at this glittery parade to which Indians from all over the tristate area come to party like it’s 1999. There’s food and goodies sprinkled along the parade route, so you can chow down on your favorite goodies like samosas and kebabs. Aug. 19; 12 p.m. Madison Ave., from 38th to 28th St., fianynjct.org.
MUSeUM eXHIBITS The Parade: Nathalie Djurberg with Music by Hans Berg Bird is the word at the New Museum’s Studio 231 space as Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg, known for her nightmarish animations, and videographer Hans Berg show off five trippy animations and an unnerving menagerie of more than 80 free-standing bird sculptures. These hybrid, sometimes monstrous forms speak to the artist’s interest in physical and psychological transformation, as well as pageantry and perversion. Through Aug. 26, The New Museum, 235 Bowery, newmuseum.org.
Josef Albers in America: Painting on Paper What better way to spend your summer than hanging out in a library, especially if you’re going to see the Morgan Library & Museum’s Josef Albers exhibit? Albers, the iconic 20th-century artist who died in 1976, is best known for his painting series Homage to the Square, in which he explored color relationships in concentric squares. July 20 – Oct. 14, The Morgan Library & Museum, 225 Madison Ave., themorgan.org.
Out of Town Howard Pyle at Norman Rockwell Dubbed a “historian with a brush” by Norman Rockwell, Golden Age illustrator Howard Pyle (1853-1911) will be the focus of a retrospect at the Norman Rockwell Museum this summer. Howard Pyle: American Master Rediscovered is on display through Oct. 28. The Delaware Art Museum has loaned 79 original paintings and drawings created between 1876 and 1910 to this museum exploring Pyle’s depictions of history. These include works featuring Roman gladiators, Medieval knights and pirates. Also on display are his fairy tales, children’s illustrations and artworks that honor America. In addition to this celebration of Pyle’s most influential work, the museum will feature an evening lecture and performance series every Thursday through Aug. 30 entitled “Buried Treasures: Perspectives on Pyle.” The discussion focuses on Pyle’s influence on modern visual storytellers such as James Gurney and movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. The lecture starts at 5:30 p.m. and is free with museum admission.
Central Park Film Festival Now in its 10th year, this festival is known for pairing themed movies—past favorites have included Coal Miner’s Daughter and Dreamgirls—with live DJs for a week every August. The gates around Rumsey Playfield open at 6:30 and visitors are free to relax and frolic—no glass bottles!—until the screenings begin. The roster for this year’s fest has yet to be announced, but there’s rarely a bad pick in the bunch; with a whole summer guide’s worth of things to do, who knows how much time you’ll even have left in your schedule. Aug. 21-25; films start at 8. Rumsey Playfield in Central Park, enter at E. 69th St. & 5th Ave., centralparknyc.org.
Bard Summerscape Festival The ninth annual Bard Summerscape Festival opens July 6 and will feature music, opera, theater, dance, film and cabaret for seven weeks in venues on Bard College’s Hudson River campus. The festival explores “Saint-Saens and His World” through artistic performances that reflect the promising era of European history right before World War I, including work by French Saint-Saens among other fellow composers. Summerscape brings rare revivals of some operas, such as Emmanuel Chabrier’s comedic opera The King In Spite of Himself in the first staged revival of the original 1887 version. Summerscape also features the mini-film fest “France and the Colonial Imagination,” featuring films such as Casablanca. Theater buffs can also enjoy a theatrical performance of Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid. The festival kicks off with dance performances by French Compagnie Fetes galantes, founded in 1993 by choreographer Béatrice Massin. Ticket prices vary; more information can be found at fishercenter. bard.edu.
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Foxes in Charge of the Hen House MaNhaTTaN Media President/CeO Tom Allon firstname.lastname@example.org grOuP PuBLisHer Alex Schweitzer email@example.com CFO/COO Joanne Harras firstname.lastname@example.org
exeCutive editOr Allen Houston email@example.com sPeCiaL seCtiOns editOr Josh Rogers firstname.lastname@example.org Cityarts editOr Armond White 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, Josh Perilo, Christopher Moore, Regan Hofmann
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ACC presents potentiAl for politiCAl Corruption
ith Chief Justice John Roberts supporting the congressional right to pass the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the politics of health care rises to the top of the list in New York state. Let there be no mistake about it: Politics in New York can get very dirty, especially when big money is involved. We had better be careful. State Sen. Pedro Espada serves as a perfect example of the toxic mixture of health care, politics and money. His Soundview Health Center clinic is now closed, thanks to his political corruption. First he raised people’s expectations about health care, then he crashed them. New York is certainly not the only state where politics can get dirty—it’s just the way the game is too often played. When you are a state senator, you are powerful. When you are a corrupt state senator, not only are you powerful, you can put your dirty hand into the pot and take money that should go to people who need it a lot more than you do. We have seen it time and again. When dirty politicians like Carl Kruger get to vote, that vote and that influence become toxic. A system that allows this kind of thing—in health care or any other area—is poison. In New York, a lot of influence is doled out to individual senators. In order to put to-
leTTeRS caRRiaGe hORSeS: TiMe TO GO To the Editor: Thank you for an excellent article about the carriage horse industry (“Go the Way of the Horse and Buggy,” June 28). How many accidents need to happen before the archaic, cruel and dangerous horse-drawn carriage industry is banned? These horses work nine hours a day, seven days a week in all temperature extremes, often at the hands of inexperienced, uncaring drivers who are talking or texting on their phones, with virtually no oversight from the ASPCA. Most of the horses are either former Amish draft horses or “retired” race horses, and at the end of their usefulness are often sold at auction to be brutally butchered alive in slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. That is their reward for two lifetimes of work for man. Since July of 2011, there
gether a winning coalition that can rule the The more complicated it is, the more points political roost, a leader has to find the votes of access there will be for the few rotten to make a majority. When the Democrats got apple politicians who give a bad name to all their chance, they needed Espada so much their colleagues. We will need to police the that they gave him enornew system—and that’s easier mous power. When the said than done. In my mind’s Republicans had to put eye, I see some politicians together a winning coalidrooling over the potential option, they likewise gave portunities here. the corrupt Kruger enorThe question, of course, is mous power in order to one of political will. If we truly get him on board. When want to make the new system people wanted something corruption-free, we will be able from him, they went to his to. In the past, however, we have bagman, Richard Lipsky, been known to present crooks who put in the order, not with opportunities. Our misunlike a waitress at the take was that we should have alaN chaRTOck extended a single payer system, local greasy spoon. When President Barack like Medicare, to all Americans. Obama, as part of his health care legislaAfter all, that system works and we know it. tion, asked that states establish “exchanges” Of course, there are crooks who try to where people could buy their health care game that system, but it has by and large insurance, state Senate Republicans balked. been highly successful and uncomplicated. As a result, instead of having a state law Now the powers that be are insisting that establishing the exchange, Gov. Andrew the insurance companies get their greedy Cuomo established the exchange in New hands into the mix, hence the complicated York by executive order. The last thing that exchange system. Republicans, taking cues from the national Once again, the foxes have been put in party of the same name, were going to do charge of the hen house. As Pete Seeger was to help Obama win re-election with his wrote in “Where Have All the Flowers signature heath care program. Gone?” “When will we ever learn?” The problem is, things are going to get complicated. The same political influences Alan S. Chartock is president and CEO of that allowed Espada and Kruger to do their WAMC/Northeast Public Radio and an dirty work will undoubtedly show their executive publisher at The Legislative faces in this complicated exchange system. Gazette.
are have been at least nine incidents involving carriage horses…and those are just the ones we know about. It’s time to end this abominable industry. Horses do not belong in traffic, period. —Rina Deych To the Editor: I am glad to see you getting behind the carriage horse issue. I live on Central Park South, and for 35 years I have watched acts of criminal neglect, traffic violations and the general cruelty of having a herder, prey animal trapped in isolation among a sea of real threats to his own well-being. They also get no water, as one water source near 5th Avenue doesn’t work and the other, just inside the park on 6th Avenue, is closed to traffic many hours a day. Also, it is where the ride starts, and I have never seen a driver stop on the way into the park when he has passengers. The whole thing is very sad, both for the animals and for us, and
it is obvious the way the unionowned city allows this to persist against the wishes of most civilized people. Tolerating this industry is sheer ignorance or pure malice. —Andrea Basile To the Editor: I agree with Elizabeth Forel that we need to put an end to the horse-drawn carriage industry in New York City. I did want to touch on something that Forel didn’t: This antiquated business is a danger to people, not only the horses. Over the years, there have been numerous serious injuries to the carriage drivers, passengers and people in motor vehicles involved in the seemingly never-ending reported collisions, accidents and carriage horse collapses. I hope it doesn’t take a human fatality for city leaders to finally get on board with State Sen. Tony Avella and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal’s bill to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York City. The time is now. —Mickey Kramer
NY Press.co m
Eastern Thought and a Better Waterfront still Far From a continuous bikeway and walkway along the east river
ou’re better off on the West Side.” The man in the bike shop wasn’t telling me anything I didn’t already know, but since it had been a few years since I had ventured over to Manhattan’s East Side to ride what purports to be a riverside bike path, I figured there might be a good place to get on in the 20s, 30s or 40s. There isn’t. I found myself riding into the same unscenic dead ends that I used to whenever I had the urge to give the East River waterfront another try. Until I backtracked at East 35th Street and headed back to ride with the traffic last weekend, it took mere minutes to see several groups of riders forced to do the same thing. One was a family of six German tourists, ranging in age from about 12 to 70.
structure and education. The father said biking in Germany was Squishy, tree-hugger-type arguments “very better.” Looking at the cars whizcan never survive in austere times, but zing by us on the foreboding FDR Drive, what should hold up and seldom does is he added, “New York—you can’t ride the notion that parks are actually smart bikes, you ride cars. Germany, everyone economic development rides bikes.” I might have investments. Just look at real explored the irony of the estate prices around Central country’s apparent averPark, Hudson River Park and sion to cars in light of the even the High Line, which autobahn and Mercedessurprisingly, has helped Benz, but he had to catch spawn luxury buildings even up to his family, and his though park visitors generEnglish probably was not ate noise and get close-up up to it. views into some of the The sorry state of homes. affairs on the East Side The elevated FDR hovers affects more than just over and haunts the East bikers. People who like to JOsh ROgeRs Side waterfront, making it stroll, jog and sunbathe difficult to make improvewould benefit from a ments. Civitas, an Upper East Side nonbetter waterfront, as would lots of others. profit, recently organized an internaBut however big the group of beneficiational design competition to “reimagine” ries is, they do not make a good argument the waterfront from East 60th to 125th for government investment in park space streets. (The group looked at the more during tough economic times. You have problematic area below 60th Street a to balance it against more pressing needs year ago.) Most of the top designs, now such as public safety, maintaining infra-
on display at the Museum of the City of New York, proposed expanding the land out in the river to create enough space for real parks. It’s easy to dismiss these design competitions as folly, but as an editor who has seen way more than my share of pretty pictures of things that will never be built—at the World Trade Center and elsewhere in Lower Manhattan—I know these efforts can be the first step to making progress eventually. After the pictures, what you need are savvy advocates, powerful government supporters and large public use. Significant park construction did not begin on Hudson River Park or Governors Island until many people started going there to see how good they were and how great they could be. Let the East River imagination continue. In the meantime, how about better signs to avoid the dead ends? Josh Rogers, contributing editor at Manhattan Media, is a lifelong New Yorker. Follow him @JoshRogersNYC.
DeWiNg ThiNgs BeTTeR
Outing Heartless Offspring and Heartless City Hall Failure to protect small businesses From second avenue subway construction chaos
and grandfather who lived 1,000 miles away. I shall never forget seeing my dad begin to weep as my cab pulled away from his house on our annual reunion. I cried a lot on my trip back to New York, but vows to make my dad an integral part of our lives came about too late. Five ven though it means a lifelong months later, my 77-year-old father‘s fuworry like no other, most parents neral was held on my 33rd say being a parbirthday. ent is the best I often write about these thing that ever happened primal connections that, to them. No regrets, even after a certain age, our if one day they become bit society finds quite forgetplayers in the lives of their table. And while I wish beloved offspring, “But the Internet hadn’t been that shouldn’t happen,” I invented, the New York tell new daddy, editor AlTimes front-page story “In len Houston, recalling my the Facebook Era, Remindown profound regret for ers of Loss After Families “not being there” for my Fracture” (June 15) shows widowed dad. BeTTe DeWiNg it can bring family neglect I loved him dearly, and estrangement out of but preoccupation with the closet. my children—his grandchildren— While it’s extremely painful for pardidn’t leave real time for this father
ents to learn from Facebook that an estranged son is married or an out-oftouch daughter has given birth, their poignant loss is sparking overdue social concern, as in the book When Parents Hurt and support groups for healing estranged relationships. But there’s a long way to go and, yes, opposition from family generation segregationists like radio guru Dr. Joy Browne. While my behavior wasn’t heartless, it was heedless, and I needed to be told how my dad suffered from this unintended neglect. Neglect is never benign. What if he’d not had a sudden fatal heart attack and was instead sent to a nursing home, where stories of abject abuse get minimal media coverage? I only learned of two elder men repeatedly beaten in a New Jersey nursing home from a brief WINS radio report. The story can be found by searching “N.J. nursing home abuse of two elder men.” Attention must be paid! And surely attention must be paid to
government’s relative indifference to the Second Avenue Subway construction’s deadly affect on small business, and why City Hall mamas and papas (and civic ones too) haven’t gone allout to patronize these besieged small shops and restaurants, let alone pushed for significant tax breaks and other credits. Now, a June 13 Times story says wannabe mayors will push for more women- and minority-run businesses, but where’s the support for, say, Eva Mahschek, the hands-on owner of the Heidelberg Restaurant on Second Avenue between 85th and 86th streets? Mahschek desperately wants to preserve this last of Yorkville’s German restaurants, but business is down over 30 percent. She laments, “People avoid walking here, with the high construction wall blocking the street view as well as taxi and car access. Delivery service problems are tremendous, with some vendors dropping their service altogether. Our sidewalk café, for which we pay extra, is unusable.” When these small businesses go, the community loses its neighborly character and overall quality of life. “Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Not to mention where there is no justice. email@example.com
J uly 5, 2012 • O UR TOW N • 27
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Published on Jul 5, 2012
The July 5, 2012 issue of Our Town. Founded more than three decades ago, Our Town serves the East Side of Manhattan from Turtle Bay to Carne...