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The local paper for the Upper East Side

WEEK OF FEBRUARY

ART OF FOOD 8-14 att

2018

Presented by PG. 11

THE SINGSONG OF THE SIREN NOISE The jarring wail of the Mount Sinai ambulance fleet has been unplugged as hospital execs introduce the “HiLow,” with kinder, gentler, Europeanstyle rhythms BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

Legislation before the City Council would require sidewalk sheds to be dismantled within six months of being erected — or in seven days if no work has been performed in that time. This scaffolding at Second Avenue and 92nd Street has cast shadows at that corner for years. Photo: Douglas Feiden

THE CURSE OF MANHATTAN BUILDINGS A new campaign is launched to rein in the reviled, if omnipresent, sidewalk shed — and curb the crime, clutter and congestion it brings to the urban landscape BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

They rob the city of sunlight and oxygen. They strip the avenues of their view corridors and the streetscape of its continuity. They undermine the street-grid system and engulf the treasured space of the sidewalk. If that’s what they take away, what do they add? In a word, blight. They attract vermin and invite litter. They provide a secluded den for drug deal-

ers and an impromptu bedroom and bathroom for the homeless. Not only that, they create an obstacle course and an urban wind tunnel that impedes foot traffic, heightens congestion — and poses a physical barricade to shops and businesses that often drives away customers. The scourge in question is the street scaffold, also known as the sidewalk shed. Billed as a “temporary” protective structure, it has morphed instead into a permanent feature of the city’s architecture. Now, a bill has been reintroduced in the City Council that would, for the first time, mandate the removal of a giant chunk of the scaffolds that front 7,750 buildings and envelop more than 275 miles of city sidewalk.

Simon and Garfunkel told us about “The Sounds of Silence.” Now, Mount Sinai wants to talk to us again — about the sounds of sirens. For years, the hospital system fielded complaints about the unpleasant blaring of its ambulances and their unfortunate role in abetting urban noise pollution. How awful were the sounds? Even the executive responsible for Mount Sinai Health System’s fleet of 24 ambulances calls them “horrible” and “offensive.” “Our neighbors and pedestrians hated the jarring sounds and the shrieking of the sirens,” said Joseph J. Davis, the director of Emergency Medical Services at the hospital complex. “It was wailing, it had a quick pitch, and it was very penetrating,” he added. “It’s not just that it was loud. It was piercing. It was ringing in your ears. It was horrible!” Mount Sinai says it took those complaints to heart. Last September, it devised a far more melodious offering with a lower pitch that has been playing to mostly favorable reviews since it was introduced on October 13th and then phased in over the next several weeks. Out went the “Wail,” the “Yelp” and the “Piercer.” Yes, those were the actual names for the default settings on the three-position selector switch that Sinai had long used to choose the tone emitted by its sirens, Davis said.

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“It’s not just that it was loud. It was piercing. It was ringing in your ears. It was horrible!” Joseph J. Davis, director of Emergency Medical Services at Mount Sinai Health System

Joseph J. Davis, the director of emergency medical services for the Mount Sinai hospital system, stands in front of one of the two dozen ambulances he oversees in a recent photo at Mount Sinai West on West 59th Street. Photo: Mount Sinai Health System Jewish women and girls light up the world by lighting the Shabbat candles every Friday evening 18 minutes before sunset. Friday, February 9 – 5:06 pm. For more information visit www.chabaduppereastside.com

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Photo: Phil and Pam Gradwell, via flickr

RECIPE: TIBETAN DUMPLING SOUP ART OF FOOD

To warm you up this winter, the Chef de Cuisine over at Garden Court Cafe, Tsering Nyima, is sharing his special Tibetan Dumpling Soup recipe. He’s one of the many UES chefs serving up high-end bites at the third annual Art of Food this weekend. To grab some last minute tickets to the event, visit artoffoodny. com.

at

Presented by

Tibetan Dumpling Soup Serves 4 – 6

DUMPLING FILLING 1 lb. ground chicken 2 c. chopped chives ¼ c. chopped cilantro 1 c. minced onion 1 tbsp. minced ginger 1 tbsp. sesame oil ½ c. chicken stock 2 tsp. ground Szechuan peppercorn salt & pepper to taste 1. Place ground chicken in a medium size bowl. 2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well to incorporate evenly throughout.

DUMPLING SKIN 1 qt. all purpose flour 1 ½ c. water 1 tsp. salt 2 eggs 1. Put flour in mixing bowl. 2. Add eggs and salt and mix well until incorporated. 3. Add water a little bit at a time so that it is well absorbed by the dough.

BREAST CANCER AND HEART RISKS HEALTH

4. Knead dough well and let stand for 30 minutes. 5. Cut into 1 oz. pieces and roll in hands to make round balls. 6. Flatten balls to make three inch rounds of dumpling skin. 7. Place about 1 oz. filling in center of each round and pinch edges together to make dumpling. 8. Bring a a large pot of water to a boil. 9. Cook dumplings in boiling water for 8 minutes. 10. Remove dumplings from water with slotted spoon and place in serving bowl.

SOUP 2 qt chicken stock 3 tbsp. soy sauce 1 tbsp. ground Szechuan peppercorn 1 c. sliced shiitake mushrooms 3 tbsp. thinly sliced scallions 5 oz. baby spinach 1. In a large pot, bring chicken stock to a boil. 2. Add mushrooms and seasoning. Quickly stir. 3. Add spinach and stir. 4. Pour soup over dumplings and garnish with scallions to serve.

The American Heart Association warns of possible side effects from some treatments. What women need to know BY MARILYNN MARCHIONE

Save your life but harm your heart? Health experts are sounding a warning as potential side effects of a growing number of breast cancer treatments come to light. In its first statement on the topic, the American Heart Association on Thursday said women should consider carefully the risks and benefits of any therapies that may hurt hearts. Not all treatments carry these risks, and there may be ways to minimize or avoid some. “We want patients to get the best treatment for their breast cancer,” said Dr. Laxmi Mehta, a women’s heart health expert at Ohio State University who led the panel that wrote the statement. “Everyone should have a conversation with their doctor about what are the side effects.” There are more than 3 million breast cancer survivors and nearly 48 million women with heart disease in the United States. “Most people with breast

cancer fear death from breast cancer. Even after they survive that, they still fear it,” but heart disease is more likely to kill them, especially after age 65, Mehta said. Here are some questions and answers:

Q: What are the problems and which treatments can cause them? A: Side effects can include abnormal rhythms, valve problems or heart failure, where the heart slowly weakens and can’t pump effectively. Symptoms may not appear until long after treatment ends. Herceptin and similar drugs for a specific type of breast cancer can cause heart failure. Sometimes it’s temporary and goes away if treatment is stopped, but it can be permanent. Radiation can affect arteries and spur narrowing or blockages. Other drugs can lead to abnormal heart rhythms or artery spasms, which can cause chest pain and possibly lead to a heart attack. Still others can damage DNA. Some research suggests that powerful new drugs that harness the immune system to fight cancer may, in rare cases, cause heart damage, especially when used together. “The problem is, no one has this on their radar,” so patients

are not routinely checked for it, Dr. Javid Moslehi, head of a Vanderbilt University clinic specializing in heart risks from cancer therapies, said when a study reported this problem about a year ago.

Q: What can be done to avoid harm? A: If heart failure develops early during breast cancer treatment, sometimes therapy can be slowed down or altered. Certain chemotherapies such as doxorubicin, sold as Adriamycin and in generic form, might be less risky if given more slowly, rather than all at once. Some research suggests that a drug called dexrazoxane may minimize damage if given to women with advanced breast cancer who are getting high doses of doxorubicin.

Q: What can patients do? A: Women should make sure doctors are monitoring their heart before, during and after breast cancer treatment. The diseases share many common risk factors such as obesity, smoking and too little exercise, so reducing these can help. “Make sure you’re working on your diet, exercise, managing your weight, following up with your doctor on your blood pressure and cholesterol,” Mehta said.


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 10th district for Week to Date

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

ARREST IN PURSE SNATCHING A purse snatcher was arrested recently for a robbery he committed over the holidays. At 12:30 a.m. on December 15, a 23-year-old woman about to enter her East 92nd Street building, she was accosted by a man who grabbed her purse. The woman struggled with the thief when another man grabbed the bag and ed. The items stolen included a purse valued at $40, a debit card, a pair of Beats headphones valued at $300, $180 in cash, and makeup, adding up to a total theft of $520. Police, though, eventually caught January 23 arrested a 19-year-old Manhattan man on robbery charges.

Year to Date

2018 2017

% Change

2018

2017

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

0

0

n/a

Rape

0

1

-100.0

0

2

-100.0

Robbery

1

1

0.0

12

6

100.0

Felony Assault

4

1

300.0

12

12

0.0

Burglary

7

2

250.0

23

14

64.3

PACKAGE THIEF PICKED UP

“ARMED� ROBBERY

Grand Larceny

35

23

52.2

131

102 28.4

Vigilance paid off for police looking for a package thief. At 1:20 p.m. on January 30, a plainclothes officer observed a 28-year-old man trying to enter numerous buildings on East 85th Street. The man ďŹ nally got into one building, where he took a FedEx package. The officer approached the man, but the thief resisted arrest. Once the thief, whom police did not further identify, had been subdued, he was found to be in possession of a box cutter and was charged with burglary, criminal possession of stolen property, and resisting arrest. The package was recovered and delivered to its rightful owner, a 69-year-old woman living in the building.

A senior citizen survived a frightening incident only a block away from the 19th Precinct station house. At 5:05 p.m. on Tuesday, January 23, a 71-year-old woman from Connecticut was walking by 116 East 68th Street when a man approached and put his arms around her to restrain her before jamming his hand into her jacket pocket, grabbing her iPhone 7S and $17 in cash before eeing East to Lexington Avenue. Cops are still searching for the bad guy and welcome leads from the public.

Grand Larceny Auto

1

0

n/a

5

0

n/a

CELLPHONE GRAB

LIBRARY LOSS

At 8:15 p.m. on Sunday, January 21, a 72-year-old woman was talking on her cellphone outside Lenox Hill Hospital at 100 East 77th Street when two men in their early 20s grabbed her phone and escaped into the Lexington subway station on East 77th Street. The woman was not injured, but she lost her phone valued at $750.

Libraries are generally tranquil places, but they’re hardly crime-free. At 3:30 p.m. on Friday, January 26, a 70-yearold man left his laptop unattended inside the New York Public Library at 112 East 96th Street while he used the restroom. When he returned about 10 minutes later his HP laptop, worth about $300, was missing.

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We invite the community to join us for

NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH Come and Sample Healthy Treats Each week we will cover a different topic and provide prizes and healthy food samples to participants.

Wednesdays March 7, 14, 21 and 28. 12 noon - 2pm

Location Main Lobby, Gracie Square Hospital 420 East 76th Street between First and York Avenues


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FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

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Useful Contacts

Drawing Board

POLICE NYPD 19th Precinct

153 E. 67th St.

212-452-0600

159 E. 85th St.

311

FIRE FDNY 22 Ladder Co 13 FDNY Engine 39/Ladder 16

157 E. 67th St.

311

FDNY Engine 53/Ladder 43

1836 Third Ave.

311

FDNY Engine 44

221 E. 75th St.

311

CITY COUNCIL Councilmember Daniel Garodnick

211 E. 43rd St. #1205

212-818-0580

Councilmember Ben Kallos

244 E. 93rd St.

212-860-1950

STATE LEGISLATORS State Sen. Jose M. Serrano

1916 Park Ave. #202

212-828-5829

State Senator Liz Krueger

1850 Second Ave.

212-490-9535

Assembly Member Dan Quart

360 E. 57th St.

212-605-0937

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright

1365 First Ave.

212-288-4607

COMMUNITY BOARD 8

505 Park Ave. #620

212-758-4340

LIBRARIES Yorkville

222 E. 79th St.

212-744-5824

96th Street

112 E. 96th St.

212-289-0908

67th Street

328 E. 67th St.

212-734-1717

Webster Library

1465 York Ave.

212-288-5049

100 E. 77th St.

212-434-2000

HOSPITALS Lenox Hill NY-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell

525 E. 68th St.

212-746-5454

Mount Sinai

E. 99th St. & Madison Ave.

212-241-6500

NYU Langone

550 First Ave.

212-263-7300

CON EDISON

4 Irving Place

212-460-4600

POST OFFICES US Post Office

1283 First Ave.

212-517-8361

US Post Office

1617 Third Ave.

212-369-2747

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BY PETER PEREIRA


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

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Join Us As We Honor the Year of the Dog Saturday, February 10, 2018 11:00 AM –3:00 PM — — Shop with your dog and walk with our Lion Dancers between 42nd and 86th Streets as they visit 50 Madison Avenue businesses, Greet the Lion Dancers at our 11:00 AM opening ceremony on Madison Avenue at East 76th Street.

each with special dog-friendly programming celebrating Lunar New Year and supporting The Animal Medical Center.

Join us for free family and dog-friendly activities on Madison Avenue at East 54th Street, including face painting, calligraphy, a lunar new year-themed photo booth, and a special Animal Medical Center doggy health tent.

Enjoy free performances at the Harman Store, 527 Madison Avenue, including the Eastern Chamber Orchestra, Chinese Theatre Works, Martial Arts by Sitan Tai Chi and Martial Arts, and traditional Chinese face changing.

www.madisonst2madisonave.nyc

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Discover the World Around the Corner

Discover the world around the corner. Find community events, gallery openings, book launches and much more: Go to nycnow.com

EDITOR’S PICK

Wed 14 THE MET AFTER HOURS: FRIENDS + LOVERS The Met, 1000 Fifth Ave. 6 p.m. Free 800-662-3397 metmuseum.org Enjoy nighttime access to The Met’s galleries and take part in gallery chats covering Valentine’s Day themes throughout art history, from courtly love to famous friendships.

Get the best Neighborhood Arts & Culture newsletter emailed to you each week Free wine tastings Exclusives at the Met, Guggenheim, and other East Side institutions Photo: Stuart Webster, via Flickr

Music performances at local bars Group exercise classes Seasonal events Lectures

Sign up today at

OurTownNY.com

Thu 8

Fri 9

Sat 10

HISTORIC COCKTAIL WORKSHOP: A BRIEF HISTORY OF FLIP ▲

CENTRAL PARK TOUR: SOUTHERN WELCOME TOUR

FRENCH COOKING WITH CHEF CLAUDE GODARD ►

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden, 421 East 65th St. 6:30 p.m. $20/$15 members. Libations expert and cultural historian Rebecca Silverman, leads an informal workshop on the history and making of Flip and other historic drinks. Tastings and recipes included. 212-838-6878 mvhm.org

Central Park Fifth Ave. and 61st St. 2 p.m. Free Join Central Park Conservancy guides for an introduction to some of the southern park highlights, including Grand Army Plaza, the pond, Gapstow Bridge, Wollman Rink, Chess & Checkers House and the Dairy. 212-794-6564 nycgovparks.org

Bloomingdale’s 1000 Third Ave. 1 p.m. Free Godard, the chef and owner of the Madison Bistro, will do two demonstrations and showcase his recipes. Godard has worked with some of Paris’ most renowned chefs, including Alain Dutournier and Jean-Pierre Vigato. 212-705-2000 bloomingdales.com


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

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ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org NEW YORK CITY

Black Communities of Early New York

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10TH, 12PM Museum of the City of New York | 1220 Fifth Ave. | 212-534-1672 | mcny.org As part of the Black Gotham Experience day, a panel of experts discusses early black communities in NYC, which date back to the 1600s and include New Amsterdam, Weeksville, and Seneca Village (free with museum admission).

1492 Retold: A Bicultural Reexamination of Columbus’s Epic Voyage

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH, 6PM The Explorers Club | 46 E. 70th St. | 212-628-8383 | explorers.org Andrew Rowen, author of Encounters Unforeseen: 1492 Retold, visited first-hand the key sites in Columbus’s travels, from Europe to the Caribbean. Hear him juxtapose Native American and European thoughts, beliefs, and actions, drawing heavily on primary source ($25).

Just Announced | Leonard Mlodinow/Deepak Chopra: The Elastic Mind

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 28TH, 7PM Rubin Museum of Art | 150 W. 17th St. | 212-620-5000 | rmanyc.org Theoretical physicist Leonard Mlodinow (Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change) joins mind-body medicine pioneer Deepak Chopra to talk the mind’s ability to adapt to dizzying change ($95; includes exhibition, signed copies of both authors’ books, and post-program reception).

Sun 11 Mon 12 Tue 13 MOZART IN THE JUNGLE: INSIDE THE MUSIC

‘EQUALLY DIVINE’: THE REAL STORY OF THE MONA LISA ▲

The Guggenheim 1071 Fifth Ave. 3 p.m. $45 Audiences are invited inside the world of the hit Amazon show “Mozart in the Jungle,” a series set in the orbit of the fictional New York Symphony. Composer Caroline Shaw joins showrunner Will Graham and creative consultant Elena Park in a program that takes the audience inside the music. 212-423-3500 guggenheim.org

New York Society Library 53 East 79th St. 6 p.m. $25 Told from the point of view of the world’s most famous painting, this solo true-crime whodunit begins with the 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. “Equally Divine” is a time-hopping, gender-bending drama about art, inspiration and becoming who we are. 212-288-6900 nysoclib.org

‘CRAZY EXGIRLFRIEND’ 92Y Kaufman Concert Hall 1395 Lexington Ave. 7:30 p.m. $40 Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna, the comedy masterminds behind the critically-acclaimed show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” chat. 212-415-5780 92y.org/events

Wed 14 DANIEL MENDELSOHN: ‘AN ODYSSEY’ 972 Fifth Ave. 212-461-3670 albertine.com Join the bestselling author of “The Lost” as he discusses his new memoir, “An Odyssey, A Father, A Son, and An Epic” with Anka Mulhstein. This deeply moving tale of a father’s and a son’s transformative journey in reading and reliving Homer’s epic masterpiece, and its timeless themes of deception and recognition.

For more information about lectures, readings and other intellectually stimulating events throughout NYC,

sign up for the weekly Thought Gallery newsletter at thoughtgallery.org.


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Voices

Write to us: To share your thoughts and comments go to ourtownny.com and click on submit a letter to the editor.

THEATERS, POLITICAL AND OTHERWISE

changed by Percoco and an alleged co-conspirator who referred to the cash they were getting as ziti. Like in the Sopranos.

rooms, the other to get to the concession. To say nothing of how you get to the restrooms. It’s a challenge. And I don’t understand how they get away with it in this age of disability access. In all honesty, though, the layout is also a deterrent to those without disability. No question I’d be complaining if the Beekman closed down. But there has to be some accommodation so that the theater is user-friendly and accessible. Yes? Please. Thanks.

Bittersweet suites — After more than 50 years, some families are coming home. Not to the homes they left, but to the place where their homes once stood. In a poignant article on January 30, “Yes, You Can Go Home Again, Even 50 Years Later,” The Times told the story of the Santiago family forced out of their home on the Lower East Side in 1967 because of an urban renewal project that went — or didn’t go — on and on and on for a half century. The families, including the Santiagos, were promised at the time that they would be able to return to the location where their homes once stood. And now, 50 years later, the time

EAST SIDE OBSERVER BY ARLENE KAYATT

Beekman blues — If ever a movie theater was designed for inaccessibility, it’s the Beekman on Second Avenue between 66th and 67th Streets. I just don’t get it. In order to get to the box office, you have to navigate several stairs going down. Then, when you enter the theater, there are two escalators — one for each screening room. Once you get down the escalator, there are more steps — one to get to the screening

The ex files — An odd couple out on the political trail these days, in the wake of the federal bribery trial of ex-Cuomo aide and comrade, Jo-

seph Percoco, are two other exes: state GOP Chairman Ed Cox and Manhattan GOP Chairwoman Andrea Catsimatidis, who is divorced from Cox’s son, Christopher. Cox and Catsimatidis joined forces as part of the state Republican Party’s campaign to bring attention to the federal bribery trial of Percoco and to bring home the connection to Cuomo. The Catsimatidis/Cox exes and their supporters rallied outside U.S. District Court in Manhattan at the start of Percoco’s trial with signs displaying colorful mock-up boxes of ziti under the brand name “Cuomo’s Bribezoni.” The reference to ziti is said to come from emails ex-

has arrived. And home is now in the massive development that is known as Essex Crossing. David Santiago, who is one of Essex Crossing’s first tenants, recalled the old days when the neighborhood was populated by mostly Puerto Rican, AfricanAmerican, Italian, Jewish and Asian families. In those years, there were small businesses owned or run by individuals. What we came to know as or call mom and pop stores. The new neighborhood will have the mandatory blockbuster “grocery” — here, Trader Joe’s — as well as a 14-screen movie theater. No more single locally owned or run businesses. Just mega mega. Bigger may or may not be better, but it’s nice to know that some of the original tenants were able to reclaim their piece of Manhattan and go home again.

‘BIG LITTLE LIES’ OF THE EAST COAST BY LORRAINE DUFFY MERKL

May old acquaintance be forgot — especially if you’ve moved to NYC to reinvent yourself. In Caitlin Macy’s upcoming novel, “Mrs.” (out February 13), the corridors of the Upper East Side serve as the place where three well-heeled moms — the coolly elegant Philippa Lye, down to earth Gwen Hogan, and rags-to-riches Minnie Curtis — get reacquainted. Long ago, Philippa and Minnie toiled at the same company; Gwen and Philippa grew up in the same small town; Gwen, her husband, Dan, a heavydrinking prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office, and Minnie’s husband, the perennial striver John, all went Yale together; and Philippa and John had, well, let’s call it an encounter. In this east coast version of HBO’s “Big Little Lies,” they all, plus Philippa’s innocent bystander husband Jed, a true captain of industry from a New York family that owes its wealth and status to the banking industry, end up as parents at the same private school. It’s not exactly old home week. Still-festering grudges play themselves out at drop-off, pick-up, and

townhouse cocktail parties. Although the requisite one-upmanship, brinkmanship, and mean mommies do make appearances, “Mrs.” is not your typical momzilla-esque story; it’s about what happens when the past comes back to haunt you. While my own blasts from the past never included insider trading, blackmail, and prostitution, as in “Mrs.”, they were uncomfortable all the same, whether I was on the giving or receiving end. The first day of my now 20-year-old daughter’s pre-K, I saw a mother I’d known years before. She was a headhunter who once even made money off me when I got a copywriter job for which she’d presented my work. We had had a pleasant professional relationship, so naturally when I saw her behind the welcome desk, I waved. She gave me a pained smile and quickly turned her attention elsewhere. I realized she probably thought I was going to use school events to hound her

about career opportunities, when in fact, I didn’t know if she was even in the business anymore; besides, I had become a successful freelancer, getting almost all my gigs on my own. Whether my assumptions were wrong or right, to prove I was not there to network, I ignored her the rest of the year. Of course, I thought her setting a negative tone was ridiculous, but everything is until it happens to you. “Aren’t you ... ?” asked another mother at one of my son’s sporting events about 15 years ago when he was eight. I knew who she was. We had grown up in the same area of the Bronx. We’d never hung out; I had just known her from around. There were reminiscences about the ‘hood, which I had taken great pains to escape so I could make my way in Manhattan,

and names of people I’d long forgotten, and names of others I didn’t recall at all. I guess my impatience with the whole conversation was too obvious to ignore. “Well, I just wanted to say hello. See you next time,” she said before heading back to the side designated for her son’s team. When our boys played each other, I often avoided common areas, like the food stand or the restrooms. I believe once I forwent a game entirely. Being the avoider seemed equally as absurd as being the avoidee. I didn’t understand these feelings, until one day I read an essay by a D-list actress who described how her one-time roommate and now A-list star had gotten her booted from the lead actor’s major TV show, where the author had landed a bit role on one episode. “Why would such a successful celebrity deny a struggling one a small part on a hit program?” I asked my husband, Neil. His response: “Do you really think this big shot wants someone around regaling the cast and crew with stories about how she didn’t make her bed when she was 19?” It all made sense. We mature and change, and regret things we did when we were struggling to grow up that

Author Caitlin Macy. Photo: Deborah Copaken we indeed want to put behind us, but then someone shows up and reminds us that, even though we might not be that person anymore, it’s still a little bit of who we are. Whatever your past indiscretions, just be grateful if they don’t resemble those of the characters in the pageturner, Mrs. Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of the novels “Back To Work She Goes” and “Fat Chick, “ for which a movie is in the works.

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Ben Kallos and his wife have their first child — and the new father steps back from his day job on the City Council

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BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

Photo By Ellen Dunn

A D O P T A P E T T O D AY !

2 5 D a v i s Av e . , P o r t Wa s h i n g t o n , N Y 1 1 0 5 0

A healthy baby girl weighing in at eight pounds, seven ounces was born late last week to Upper East Side City Council Member Ben Kallos and his wife, his office announced on Monday, February 5th. In anticipation, the 37-yearold Democratic incumbent began a fully paid six-week paternity leave on Thursday, February 1st, which he had disclosed to fellow Council members and constituents only the day before. He is putting aside his Council tasks in the month of February and will stagger two additional weeks off after that to attend to child-rearing duties. “My wife and I are more than a little nervous,” Kallos told Council members. “Helping to settle our nerves is knowing that we will be there for each other ... I mean this literally, as we are both lucky to have the option of paid parental leave — an option that is extended to far too few Americans.” Fellow officeholders greeted his leave-taking with warm and sustained applause. The leave comes less than three months after Kallos romped to reelection in the general election on November 7th by a lopsided margin of 80 percent. It also follows by three weeks a reshuffling of committee assignments by newly installed City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in which he lost his post as the chair of the Council’s Governmental Operations Committee, a coveted portfolio, and became chair of its Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions.

A FAMILY’S PRIVACY The third-generation East Sider, who was first elected in 2013, declined through a spokesman to identify his

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City Council Member Ben Kallos is taking a paid, six-week leave from the Council after the birth of his first child. Kallos is pictured last summer at the Manhattan Schoolhouse, a preschool in his East Side district. Photo: Ben Kallos campaign daughter — and newest constituent — by her full name. Citing privacy concerns, he also declined to provide the name of the hospital where she was born, and such details as height, eye color and even the exact date of birth. As for the mother, who uses her husband’s last name, she is being identified only as “Mrs. Kallos,” the spokesman said. Around the office, Kallos said in December, she is simply known as “Ben’s wife.” The first male City Council member known to have taken paternal leave was Dan Garodnick, who left office on December 31st because of term limits and took two separate leaves, in 2011 and 2013, when his wife, Zoe, gave birth to their sons, Asher and Devin. Brooklyn City Council Member Antonio Reynoso is also currently on paid paternity leave, and Kallos is believed to be the third male Council member to take family leave for the birth of a child. Kallos hadn’t mentioned his

wife’s pregnancy during his reelection campaign, and he also did not say that he’d be taking a leave, although it wasn’t immediately clear at what point he actually made the decision to take the six weeks off. He had briefed staffers about his wife’s pregnancy around the time of the election last year. Constituents learned she was expecting, and he was going on leave, only when he announced it at the Council meeting. In Kallos’ absence, Jesse Towsen, his chief of staff since 2014, will be running the office, but he won’t be able to vote at stated Council meetings. “I hope that our society begins to expect from its fathers that they will take full paid paternity leave,” Kallos told his colleagues. Kallos also noted that he “proudly” supported Governor Andrew Cuomo’s paid family leave, which started on January 1 and provides private-sector employees with up to eight weeks off at 50 percent pay.

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FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

MUSIC IN THE WILD (UPPER) WEST “Mozart in the Jungle” author Blair Tindall on the new season of the hit show — and what she likes most about her old neighborhood BY ALIZAH SALARIO

Every New Yorker has a building that makes the heart sing. For classical oboist and “Mozart in the Jungle” author Blair Tindall, it’s the Allendale at 808 West End Avenue, where she spent 21 years living among an eclectic community of classical musicians. For the uninitiated, “Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Lies and Classical Music” was the book that inspired “Mozart in the Jungle,” the Golden Globe-winning series on Amazon Prime Video. The latter follows Hailey Rutledge, (Lola Kirke) an ambitious young oboist who develops an intricate and utterly addictive relationship with the quixotic conductor Rodrigo De Souza (Gael Garcia Bernal) of the fictional New York Symphony. Viewers can stream season four on February 16. MITJ is a love letter to New York City, and all the musicians, artist and erstwhile creatives who’ve ever tried and failed and tried to make it here. We caught up with Tindall (who lives pri-

marily in Los Angeles now) about her old digs and the sonically rich Upper West Side.

How did you wind up at the Allendale? I went to the North Carolina School of the Arts and my piano teacher had given me a reference, and I rented the apartment in 1978. If you walk by, the building is on West End between 99th and 100th, you’ll hear just tons of musicians practicing. I always called it the Ellis Island of classical music. It’s sort of where everybody landed.

“Mozart in the Jungle” really captures the energy and spirit of New York. Can you tell us what parts are filmed on location?? When you see the exterior of Lincoln Center, it’s not Lincoln Center, it’s the Public Theater at Astor Place. The interior shots are at SUNY Purchase, which has a much-used auditorium, great acoustics, no subway noise, no traffic. There’s parking for days. The first time I drove up to the set I thought I was going to have a heart attack. There were maybe 25 trailers outside and just hundreds of people working, it was a bit of a shock. And they have a gazillion extras — actually, they’re always looking for older people, the casting department. They’re looking for people over 80. How often does that happen? And also you have to bring your own clothes, so if you have some kind of society lady gown or something, that’s going to be a big plus.

Besides the Allendale, where else can we see musicians hanging out? If you get on the subway at 96th Street going downtown between 7:15 and 7:30 in the evening, you’ll see a bunch of people carrying instruments in black clothes. They’re going to Broadway or Carnegie Hall, or Lincoln Center, and it’s kind of a fun meeting point. Even now, I see people I haven’t seen on the subway in 20 years when I’m in town.

When you would make that trek downtown, where did you go before or after your shows? Blair Tindall at the show’s premiere in 2016. Photo courtesy of Blair Tindall

Before the show, my friend and I often got this one meal that I absolutely loved at The Cottage restaurant at 103rd and Broadway. Steamed chicken

Musical moment in Season 4 of “Mozart in the Jungle.” Photo: Amazon Prime Video and broccoli, and we got peanut sauce on the side.

One my favorite episodes is filmed outside Manhattan, on Rikers Island. Can you tell me more about the inspiration behind it? I loved the Rikers Island episode. That’s one of my two favorite episodes. I had absolutely no input on that. That was Jason Schwartzman’s [idea] ... he directed it, he’s in it, I think it’s magnificent, and all the people you see onscreen are actual inmates at Rikers Island ... The piece they performed was from Messiaen, and it was written when he was incarcerated [in a prisoner-of-war camp during World War II], and that was quite meaningful. I was just really struck by it. They couldn’t really bring in equipment, so it was all done on handheld cameras and iPhones and such.

I love Hailey’s character arc, and how she starts at the bottom playing in offoff-Broadway shows, running from gig to gig sometimes. You worked on various musicals. What’s it like down in the pit? It’s a whole routine, just like coming to the office for anybody. It’s not the most glamorous thing down there. It’s a little dusty and dirty, and they don’t really vacuum that often, and there are rat traps with dead rats in them, because it is Manhattan and it’s underground, so what can you do? But I call these people my tribe, and the vast majority of them probably live on the Upper West Side and you see them

every day.

A lot has changed since your book came out [12 years ago]. Do you still maintain good relationships with your fellow musicians from back then? When it first came out, people didn’t understand what I was trying to do. I have a journalism degree that I got from Stanford when I was 40 — so the book was meant to be about the rise of culture in late 20th century America, and I knew nobody was going to read that, but it’s important information that’s actually being used in a lot of college courses now. So I realized that time period exactly paralleled my lifespan, so I alternated chapters of that with memoir ... now I’m an ingénue at 58.

No spoilers, but what can you tell me about the new season? Well I can’t say too much or they’d have to kill me. Some of it was filmed in Japan, Sapporo and Tokyo. As for the New York part, much of it takes place in this phenomenal apartment complex. It’s actually beautiful — I thought it was the Bradford on 86th Street, but it’s in Harlem. I live at the beach in Los Angeles and I still feel like I’m an Upper West Sider. The majority of my years on this planet have been on 99th Street. The fourth season of “Mozart in the Jungle” launches February 16 on Amazon Prime.

BLAIR TINDALL’S MUSICAL NEW YORK Want to hear classical on the cheap? “Just stand outside 808 WEA,” Tindall quips. Or feast your ears and nourish the soul at a few of Tindall’s favorite old haunts for about $25 or less.

Mezzrow Classical Salon with David Oei, 163 West 10th St. Classical pianist David Oei and his wife, violinist Eriko Sato, run this intimate salon. “They are wonderful people and get the very, very best musicians to play there in an intimate setting.” 646-4764346

Manhattan School of Music, 120 Claremont Ave. (Tindall’s alma mater). “The building was Juilliard until that school moved into Lincoln Center in 1965, and it’s a lovely 1910 Edwardian, hilariously built on the site of a former insane asylum.” 917-493-4428 There are also near-daily concerts at the two other music conservatories,

Mannes School of Music — The New School and Juilliard. Christ and St. Stevens Church, 122 West 69th St. 212-787-2755

New York Philharmonic open rehearsals: 10 Lincoln Center Plaza The Peoples’ Symphony Concerts, various locations

The Harlem Chamber Players, 191 Claremont Ave. 917-744-6948 St. Michael’s Church, 99th St. between Broadway and Amsterdam. 212-222-2700


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Our Town’s

ART OF FOOD at

Presented by

30 TOP CHEFS 30 PIECES OF ART 1 NIGHT ONLY Saturday, February 10 LIMITED TICKETS LEFT DON’T MISS OUT: artoffoodny.com 5 Napkin Burger Andy D’Amico

Amali/Calissa Dominic Rice

Crave Fishbar Todd Mitgang Garden Court Cafe Tsering Nyima

Bistro Chat Noir Mario Hernandez

Flex Mussels Alexandra Shapiro

Il Valentino Rogelio Limon Largo

La Pulperia UES Carlos Barroz

Little Frog Xavier Monge

Mighty Quinn’s Barbeque Hugh Mangum Quality Eats Rachel Dos Santos

Socarrat Paella Bar Lolo Manso

Freds at Barneys New York Mark Strausman

Jones Wood Foundry Jason Hicks Magnolia Bakery Bobbie Lloyd

Orwashers Bakery Keith Cohen

Sahib Hemant Matur

Sen Sakana Mina Newman

T-Bar Steak Benjamin Zwicker

The Meatball Shop Daniel Holzman

Candle 79 Angel Ramos La Esquina Fabian Gallardo Maya David Gonzalez

Paola’s Stefano Marracino Serafina Always Vittorio Assaf

Great Northern Food Hall Claus Meyer

The Penrose Nick Testa


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Our Town’s

ART OF FOOD att a Presented d by

FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10

WHERE THE CHEFS ARE ARTISTS TOO

At Our Town’s 3rd Annual Art of Food Saturday February 10, top tier chefs of the Upper East Side and their restaurants serve up one-of-a-kind dishes alongside the specially-curated works of art that inspired them. Our Town, the Upper East Side’s local newspaper, presents this event each year to shed a light on the incredible restaurants the neighborhood has to offer, and bring members of the community together for a quintessential New York evening at the iconic Sotheby’s Auction House. Over the past few months, each participating Art of Food chef provided a favorite recipe for us to publish in print and online. Some shared restaurant favorites. Others turned in recipes they can’t live without. In the pages that follow, you’ll find the top five recipes our readers loved most. Special thanks to our hosts, world-renown chef Claus Meyer, and acclaimed artist and architect Richard Meier, and our sponsors for making this special event possible.

Claus Meyer, cofounder of Noma, voted best restaurant in the world and the gastronomic entrepreneur behind Grand Central’s Michelin restaurant Agern and Great Northern Food Hall.

Jeanne Straus Publisher

Vincent Gardino Chief Revenue Officer

Alexis Gelber Editor-in-Chief

Meet the man behind the masterpiece. Original collages by acclaimed artist and architect Richard Meier will be amongst the artwork on display from Sotheby’s contemporary collection.

east side restaurants to check out 5 NAPKIN BURGER 1325 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10021 tel. (212) 249-0777 5napkinburger.com

FLEX MUSSELS 174 E. 82nd St. New York, NY 10028 tel. (212) 717-7772 flexmussels.com

JONES WOOD FOUNDRY 401 E. 76th St. New York, NY 10021 tel. (212) 249-2700 joneswoodfoundry.com

MAYA NEW YORK 1191 1st Ave. New York, NY 10065 tel. (212) 585-1818 eatmaya.com

THE PENROSE 1590 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10028 tel. (212) 203-2751 penrosebar.com

AMALI/CALISSA 115 E 60th St. New York, NY 10022 tel. (212) 339-8363 AmaliNYC.com

FREDS AT BARNEYS 660 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10065 tel. (212) 833-2200 barneys.com/restaurants/freds

LA ESQUINA 1402 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10021 tel. (646) 861-3356 esquinanyc.com

THE MEATBALL SHOP 1462 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10075 tel. (212) 257-6121 themeatballshop.com

QUALITY EATS 1496 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10075 tel. (212) 256-9922 qualityeats.com

BISTRO CHAT NOIR 22 East 66th St New York, NY 10065 tel. (212) 794-2428 bistrochatnoir.com

GARDEN COURT CAFE 725 Park Ave. New York, NY 10021 tel. (212) 570-5202 asiasociety.org/new-york/ garden-court-cafe

LA PULPERIA 1626 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10028 tel. (212) 933-0757 pulperianyc.com

MIGHTY QUINN’S BARBEQUE 1492 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10075 tel. (973) 906-3070 mightyquinnsbbq.com

SERAFINA ALWAYS 33 East 61st St., New York, NY 10065 tel. (212) 702-9898 serafinarestaurant.com

CANDLE 79 54 E. 79th St New York, NY 10075 tel. (212) 537-7179 candle79.com

GREAT NORTHERN FOOD HALL 89 E. 42nd St. New York, NY 10017 tel. (646) 568-4020 greatnorthernfood.com

LITTLE FROG 322 E. 86th St. New York, NY 10028 tel. (347) 537-5786 littlefrognyc.com

ORWASHERS BAKERY 308 E. 78th Street New York, NY 10075 tel. (212) 288-6569 orwashers.com

SOCARRAT PAELLA BAR 953 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10022 tel. (212) 759-0101 socarratnyc.com

CRAVE FISHBAR 945 2nd Ave. New York, NY 10022 tel. (646) 895-9585 cravefishbar.com

IL VALENTINO 1078 1st Ave. New York, NY 10022 tel. (212) 784-0800 ilvalentinonyc.com

MAGNOLIA BAKERY 1000 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10022 magnoliabakery.com (212) 265-5320

PAOLA’S 1295 Madison Ave. at 92nd St. New York, NY 10128 tel. (212) 794-1890 paolasrestaurant.com

T-BAR STEAK 1278 3rd Ave. New York, NY 10021 tel. (212) 772-0404 tbarnyc.com

event sponsors


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

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FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

BREADY FOR THE ART OF FOOD World-renown chef Claus Meyer, the culinary force behind nordic UES restaurant Agern and Great Northern Food Hall, and co-founder of Noma, voted best restaurant in the world, is headlining this year’s Art of Food. The annual event brings the Upper Esat Side’s top chefs together for one night only, where each is challenged to create a unique dish based on an assigned piece of contemporary artwork. In anticipation for the upcoming event, Claus is teaching readers how to make his top-selling bread.

Claus Meyer’s Famous Øland Wheat Bread Size: 1 large loaf or 2 small ones NOTE: Don’t be intimidated by the Øland wheat, if you can’t find it, it can be replaced with any wholegrain heirloom flour, such as emmer or spelt, or any whole-grain flour--just shoot for the one with the highest possible protein content.

INGREDIENTS Young Starter 4 tbsp. wheat stock starter 1/2 c. water 4 tbsp. bread flour 4 tbsp. whole-grain Øland wheat flour (or other whole-grain wheat flour) Dough 2 1/4 c. cold water 4 tbsp. young starter 1 1/2 tsp. fresh organic baker’s yeast 1 1/4 c. whole-grain Øland wheat flour (or other whole-grain wheat flour) 3 1/2 c. bread flour 2 1/2 tsp. salt

DIRECTIONS For the starter 1. Refresh your stock starter approximately 8 hours before use. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl with a removable lid, cover loosely, and let stand at room temperature.

beating for approximately 10 minutes or longer, until the dough has transformed from a floury “glue” to a smooth, shiny, and supple dough that easily comes away from the inside of the bowl. 2.The Gluten Test: To check whether your dough has been mixed enough, lift a little of it and very gently pull it until it becomes somewhat like parchment. If you can stretch it thinly without breaking it, you have perfect dough that’s ready to rise.

FOR THE RISING 1. Grease the inside of a bowl or a plastic container with oil. Transfer the finished dough to the container and place a lid or some plastic wrap on top to keep it from drying out. 2. Let the dough stand at room temperature for about one hour. Then, place it in the fridge and leave it there for at least 12 hours, until it has approximately doubled in size. It may be a good idea to check up on your dough a few hours before you want to bake your bread. If it hasn’t risen sufficiently, you can take the container out of the fridge and let it stand at room temperature for a few hours. The warmth will stimulate the yeast cells and the dough will rise to completion.

FOR THE SHAPING 1. Preheat the oven before shaping your bread. Depending on how quickly your oven heats up, place your baking stone or pizza stone on the middle rack and switch the oven on a good 30 minutes before you start shaping your bread. If you don’t have a baking stone, you can get almost the same effect by placing a cooking sheet upside down on the middle rack. 2. Sprinkle plenty of flour on your work surface then carefully tip the dough out of its container onto it, without knocking the air out of the dough. use one or two large baking spatulas to properly tighten the surface of your dough. Brush flour on the side of the spatula you plan to use to tighten your dough. Avoid trapping extra flour inside the dough because it can create unwanted pockets of flour in the finished bread.

FOR THE BAKING FOR THE DOUGH 1. Add the water and starter to a large mixing bowl. Then add the yeast, the two different types of flour, and the salt. Mix, or rather beat, the dough with a wooden spoon, while scraping the dough off the sides of the bowl from time to time (this will allow air to seep into the dough). You should give it a good

1. Carefully lift your dough onto a piece of nonstick parchment paper, using your spatulas. Then gently slide the paper and dough onto the hot cookie sheet or stone already in the oven. 2. Bake for approximately 5 minutes at the oven’s highest temperature (480°F to 530°F). Then lower the temperature to 450°F.

3. If the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it and it is nicely dark brown in color, your bread is usually done. If you’re not entirely sure, you can measure the bread’s core temperature by sticking a thermometor into the center of your bread. The temperature here should be 210°F to 212°F. 4. When in doubt, it’s better to bake your bread a little longer, but make sure you don’t scorch the crust. Move the oven rack up or down a level depending on which position darkens the bread more. You can also turn down the heat or cover the bread with aluminum foil, or simply place a cookie sheet between the bread and the heating element in the oven. 5. When done, transfer the bread to a wire rack and let cool before slicing it. If you slice it the moment it’s out of the oven you may well press down on it and ruin the texture. So do your best to ignore temptation and be patient.

Reprinted with permission from Meyer’s Bakery


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

AMAZING IS putting your liver back to work so you can retire. Jentai didn’t retire at 80 to undergo chemo. NewYork-Presbyterian gave him a better option. Get the story at nyp.org/amazingthings

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FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

OUR FAVORITE RECIPES

Over the past few months, we’ve been publishing recipes from this year’s Art of Food Chefs: from family traditions, to popular dishes in their restaurants. The following selection were the most favored among our readers.

Five Napkin Burger Serves 4

1. MAKE THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS 2 tbsp. olive oil 2 lbs. onions, thinly sliced 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. thyme leaves

Whisk egg yolks in a medium sized stainless bowl until light in color. Add garlic and begin to add the oil very slowly, in a thin stream, while beating. As the emulsion forms, oil may be added faster. Add the lemon juice and reseason with salt & pepper.

Heat oil in a large skillet, add onions and salt, cook over low heat for 45 minutes. Stir onions every 10 minutes, being careful not to let the onions brown. After the onions have softened and have turned golden add the thyme & salt, cook 5 minutes longer and remove from heat.

3. MAKE THE BURGERS

2. MAKE THE AIOLI

Divide the meat into 4 equal portions and form each into a burger about 1 inch thick. Cook to desired doneness over a hot grill, preheated iron skillet or under the broiler. Top each burger with two slices of cheese and melt, place the burger on the bottom half of a toasted bun. Top each burger with a generous portion of onions and a heaping spoon of aioli.

2 large egg yolks 8 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste with a pinch of salt 1 cup olive oil 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

2 ½ lbs. fresh ground beef 4 soft white hamburger rolls ¼ lb. gruyere cheese, sliced thin 1 ½ cups caramelized onions 1 cup aioli

Processed food is scary... Get cooking! Dash celebrates Our Town’s Art of Food at Sotheby’s on February 10th, 2018 Learn more at bydash.com.


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

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Mighty Quinn’s Texas Red Chili In a large Dutch oven or stockpot…

BROWN FOLLOWING: 5 lbs beef stew meat 3 lbs ground pork

THEN ADD ONIONS TO SWEAT: 3-4 onions, chopped

BUZZ THE FOLLOWING IN A FOOD PROCESSOR AND ADD TO ABOVE: 1 tbsp ground cumin 15 cloves garlic 1 tbsp ground cayenne 10 jalapeños, halved 2 lbs plum tomatoes, diced

HYDRATE IN WATER, SEED AND PURÉE IN A FOOD PROCESSOR. THEN ADD TO POT WITH ABOVE: 15 dried anchos chiles 2-3 dried New Mexico chiles

ADD TO POT: 2 beers of your choice 2-3 oz chocolate of your choice. Bitter sweet recommended. After simmering for 3-4 hours and once meat is tender, make a slurry with the below and add to pot while stirring. Simmer an additional 20-30 minutes and serve. 2 qt water 1 c corn flour Mighty Quinns serves this with Beer “chicharone,” but that recipe is top secret.


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Orwashers Turkey Sandwich 1. Start with an Orwashers Baguette 2. Cut the baguette open and schmear the inside with dill mayo 3. Add 6 slices of freshly cut organic turkey breast 4. Top with 3 slices of white cheddar cheese, 4 slices of cucumber, one quarter of an avocado and a small handful of alfalfa sprouts

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

FEBRUARY 8-14,2018


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Tortilla Española Serves 8-12

INGREDIENTS: 10 large eggs 4 cups extra-virgin olive oil 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 ½ pounds peeled and sliced russet potatoes 1 ¼ pounds diced onions 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped Dash of kosher salt

DIRECTIONS: 1. Place the onions, pepper, garlic and potatoes in a large bowl. Season with a dash of kosher salt. 2. Heat the oil over high heat in a 12-inch, deep-sided skillet. Carefully add all the potatoonion mixture and stir gently. Cook the potatoes at a simmer, stirring occasionally so they become soft, not crispy, for 20 to 25 minutes. Drain the potatoes through a colander and let them cool until warm. 3. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs and season with kosher salt and pepper. Stir the potatoes gently into the eggs. 4. Place skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Then, pour in the potato & egg mixture, spread evenly throughout the skillet. Using a spatula, gently pull the edges of the tortilla towards the center to release them from the pan and let any liquid egg run out the sides. 5. After about 4 minutes, cover the pan with the bottom of an oiled baking sheet. Using towels or oven mitts, carefully invert the tortilla onto the sheet, and slide back into the pan. Cook, without stirring, for about 3 minutes. Both sides of the tortilla should be golden brown. Slide tortilla onto a serving plate and serve warm.

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FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Mini Buffalo Chicken Meatballs Makes about forty 3/4 -inch meatballs

INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp vegetable oil 4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1/3 c. Frank’s RedHot Sauce 1 lb ground chicken, preferably thigh meat 1 large egg 1/2 celery stalk, minced 3/4 c. bread crumbs 1 tsp salt

SEE WHERE GOOD TASTE TAKES YOU

#EFFENVODKA Drink Responsibly. EFFEN® Vodka, 100% neutral spirits distilled from wheat grain, 40% alc./vol. ©2018 EFFEN Import Company, Chicago, IL

PREPARATION

3. Combine the hot sauce mixture, ground chicken, egg, celery, bread crumbs, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated. 4. Roll the mixture into round, 3/4 inch balls, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the vegetable oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

5. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.

2. Combine the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

6. Allow the meatballs to cool for 5 minutes in the baking dish before serving.

Reprinted with permission from The Meatball Shop Cookbook.


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

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PREPPING FOR LIFE Summer camp is the ideal setting for necessary “experiential learning� BY THOMAS WIENER

To say that expectations and pressures for high school students have increased is an understatement. The competition to get into the best universities dominates the minds of teenagers and parents alike, with colleges seemingly ever more selective. This shift has put renewed emphasis on augmenting adolescent learning experiences. For most people, learning conjures up images of classrooms. But there are other important categories as well. A less obvious one can occur during the summer through “experiential learning,â€? which includes gaining skills and understanding through organic, hands-on exposure. During my last six summers, such learning has come primarily from my time at camp, as both a camper and teen leader. Spending up to seven weeks with my fellow campers has allowed me to foster skills — some seemingly basic but essential — as well as qualities of character that would probably not have developed in the classroom. Most importantly, what I have gained from these experiences has also enabled me to ďŹ nd success elsewhere. This past summer, in addition to returning to camp, I chose to embark on foreign study, participating in a four-week language program in Rennes, France. During this “School Year Abroadâ€? (SYA), I stayed with a host family while taking language classes and exploring the culture of northwestern France. My friends and family were as excited as I was about this new adventure. They asked if I was nervous, thinking it might be scary to jump into the unknown, far away from home and not knowing a single person. Actually, I wasn’t worried at all. Except for possibly making a fool of myself by crashing into the language barrier with my ninth-grade, subpar-at-best French, I had done this before. Indeed, the skills that I had acquired over my ďŹ ve years at camp became some of my most valuable assets during my journey in France.

Living at camp obliges people to interact and build relationships faceto-face, not just from one side of a phone or computer screen. Photo: Jónatas Luzia, via ickr Living at camp had forced me to interact and build relationships with others face-to-face, not just on one side of a phone or computer screen. I learned how to create strong, healthy, and close friendships. From eating meals together to teaching kids tennis with fellow junior counselors, I connected with campers of different ages and genders. At SYA, despite being one of only seven boys in the 33-student program — as well as one of the youngest — I was easily able to break through age and gender gaps. I brought people together, even those who were shy initially. At camp, I had met kids and adults from differing backgrounds within the US and abroad. I developed a keener awareness of cultural dissimilarities and learned how to handle such barriers, whether they were eating habits, hygiene regimens, or fashion choices. Of course, constant close contact with peers can lead to problems along the way, such as conict over personal space or sharing. While such seemingly minor issues are typically avoidable in the classroom, in cabins campers must confront and resolve them. The greatest challenges I faced while abroad, however, often came from within. Selfmanagement was the makeor-break task of a successful experience in Rennes. My ability to take care of myself did not magically coalesce on the plane to France; much of it came from summers of understanding that my freedom away from home necessitated my completing tasks without regular reminders or aid. I’ve realized that a healthy dose of responsibility early on goes a

long way toward independence down the road. Taking responsibility for myself as well as for my requirements and personal goals as a junior counselor had instilled in me the same positive habits that enabled me to manage both my daily 40-minute, two-bus commute and my progress with the French language. At camp I also experienced a culture of leadership among the junior counselors and gained essential values from that. These values have made me an asset, rather than simply a guest or participant, in other programs. In fact, the more I spoke of my time abroad, the more compelling a connection I saw between my learning experiences at camp and those in France. Last fall I began yet another new life chapter, starting my ďŹ rst year at Phillips Academy Andover. The same challenges I faced at camp and in France awaited me there. But I knew that my last six summers had equipped me with the skills, conďŹ dence, and character not only to survive, but also to thrive at Andover. At camp, I had found a preparation for life. Thomas Wiener is a sophomore at Phillips Academy Andover, in Massachusetts, where he plays soccer and tennis. A native of Greenwich, Connecticut, Thomas is a member of the teen leadership program at Cape Cod Sea Camps and, last summer, also participated in an educational exchange program in France. He enjoys volunteering and working for tutoring and after-school programs for younger students in the Andover area. Originally published in Camping Magazine. Reprinted by permission of the American Camp Association.


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RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS JAN 24 - 30, 2017 The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website and include the most recent inspection and grade reports listed. We have included every restaurant listed during this time within the zip codes of our neighborhoods. Some reports list numbers with their explanations; these are the number of violation points a restaurant has received. To see more information on restaurant grades, visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/restaurant-inspection.shtml. Seamstress

339 East 75 Street

Grade Pending (24) Evidence of rats or live rats present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Paku Pakus

1393B 2nd Ave

A

Domino’s Pizza

1396 1st Ave

A

Latin Bites

419 E 70th St

Grade Pending (10) Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewageassociated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies.

Dorrian’s Red Hand Restaurant

1616 2 Avenue

A

Subway

1613 2nd Ave

A

Chirping Chicken

1560 2nd Ave

A

Famous Famiglia Pizza

1248 Lexington Ave

A

Hutch & Waldo Coffee

247 E 81st St

A

Caledonia

1609 2nd Ave

A

Alice’s Tea Cup

220 East 81 Street

A

Zebu Grill

305 East 92 Street

Grade Pending (23) Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Rathbones Pub

1702 2 Avenue

A

Biddy’s Pub

301 East 91 Street

Grade Pending (18) Evidence of rats or live rats present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Mimmo

1690 York Ave

Not Yet Graded (18) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation.) vidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Sfoglia Restaurant

135 East 92 Street

A

Dunkin Donuts / Baskin Robins

147 E 116th St

A

Amy’s Bread

1220 5th Ave

A

Frenchy Coffee NYC

129 E 102nd St

Not Yet Graded (4)

Camaradas El Barrio

2241 1 Avenue

A

Ricardo Steak House

2145 2 Avenue

A

The Duck

2171 2 Avenue

Grade Pending (31) Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, crosscontaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewageassociated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Taco Mix Usa

FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

234 East 116 Street

A

CURSE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Sponsored by Council Member Ben Kallos, whose district on the Upper East Side is pockmarked by hundreds of sheds, the legislation would require a structure to be dismantled within six months of being erected — or in seven days if no work has been performed in that time. Failure to complete necessary building repairs and demolish the nuisance structure after 180 days would call for the city to intervene, finish the job, take down the shed and bill the property owner for all costs, according to the language of the bill. Built with planks, poles and a steel roof, the pop-up eyesores are designed to keep pedestrians safe as they pass beneath construction sites. But the structures typically stay put when a project is delayed for years, runs out of financing or encounters other stumbling blocks. “Sidewalk sheds are like the once-welcomed house guest who never leaves,” Kallos said. Addressing fellow City Council members on Wednesday, January 31, he termed scaffolding “my number one pet peeve.” The issue has long been one of his top priorities, and it was the last topic he brought up in his last appearance at City Hall before starting a six-week paid paternity leave. “The scaffolding goes up, and it doesn’t come down — for months or years, even decades — all while no work is taking place,” he said. “Some scaffolding is almost old enough to vote!” In cases where the city is forced to step in to remedy the problem, Kallos added, the solution is to “make bad landlords pay.” The measure, which he first introduced in 2016, faced steep opposition at the time from the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents residential landlords, and the Real Estate Board of New York, which represents mostly large commercial property owners. Both RSA and REBNY argued that it would place an unfair burden on building owners, and said that the majority of sidewalk scaffolding is taken down in roughly one to two years.

PAINFUL TOLL ON SMALL BIZ Trade groups supporting the bill include the New York State Restaurant Association and the New York City Hospitality Alliance.

A northbound view up Second Avenue from 91st Street captures an unsightly row of sidewalk sheds that has marred the vistas on Second Avenue for several years, casting shadows, scarring the streetscape and creating an unfriendly climate for pedestrians on the East Side. Photo: Douglas Feiden “Scaffolding that’s left up for months or years on end can devastate restaurants and bars,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the hospitality group. “It deters customers, reduces foot traffic and decimates sidewalk café business.” The bottom line in many cases: Owners of the establishments are forced to reduce employee hours, lay off workers — and even shutter their businesses, Rigie said in a statement. In Kallos’ first attempt to steer the bill to passage, he won support in 2017 from the Council’s Committee on Housing and Building. But it never advanced in the full Council. Now, the legislative process starts all over again – at a time when hundreds of new sheds are going up amid a development boom and a robust construction-industry economy. It’s hard to miss them: There are currently 3,510 scaffoldings installed throughout Manhattan, almost half of the citywide tally, according to data from the city’s Department of Buildings. That includes 491 structures in Community Board 8 on the Upper East Side; 390 in CB7 on the Upper West Side; 302

in CB4, which takes in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen; and 245 in CB1, which runs from Tribeca to the Battery. Among the West Side’s longtime street fixtures is a 90-foot length of scaffolding that has fronted 360 Central Park West — a 1929 Rosario Candela-designed limestone apartment building at West 96th Street — since October 2008. Meanwhile, on the East Side, a 44-foot-long shed has stood outside 1850 Second Avenue, an apartment tower at 96th Street, since September 2009. And right around the corner from Kallos’ district office, an unsightly 56-foot-long structure has fronted 1772 Second Avenue, an old tenement at 92nd Street, since August 2009. “It’s like walking through an urban catacombs,” said Donald McCabe, a software consultant who lives off Second Avenue and passes under the two structures almost daily on his way to or from the 96th Street Q train station. “It’s supposed to be 2018, but I still see beer cans and the occasional drug paraphernalia on the sidewalk,” McCabe said.


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

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SIRENS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 In came the “Hi-Low,” a European-style siren familiar to anyone who has ever strolled a Parisian boulevard. It will still capture the attention of passers-by and induce them to get out of the way, but it’s less likely to grate, annoy or antagonize. “It still makes the same amount of noise, but it’s no longer an offensive noise,” Davis said. “It cascades up, and then it comes down ... It tapers off. It’s more rhythmic, a lot more pleasant, much less offensive. And all of a sudden, the complaints basically stopped.”

SMILES ON COLUMBUS AVENUE Count Upper West Side City Council Member Helen Rosenthal and her staffers among those New Yorkers delighted by the reprogramming and the “noticeably lower tones” of the “Hi-Low.” Consider the scene at 563 Columbus Avenue off West 87th Street: “Last fall, our staff was working in the district office one afternoon and heard one of the new siren sounds,” she said. “There were huge smiles all around. We are absolutely delighted with this improvement in quality of life for Upper West Side residents — while still maintaining public safety.” Rosenthal said her office had received a number of constituent complaints about the “frequent, disruptive and high-pitched wails” coming from ambulance sirens. After contacting Sinai, her staff was briefed in mid-September by Davis, who described the Europeanization of Sinai’s siren song. By October, siren-related constituent complaints had fallen steeply, she said. Significantly, all ambulance sirens still conform to all regulatory requirements, she noted. “Noise pollution is an often unrecognized but real public health issue,” Rosenthal said. “Mount Sinai has told us that they will continue to work with our office on this issue.” Initially, Sinai thought the switchover might involve buying new sirens or re-engineering the old ones to new specifications. But as the hospital researched the issue, it turned out to be much simpler. The siren manufacturer, Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering Co., told executives they could make an internal change to alter the tone, and that they’d always had the capability to choose from 10 pos-

An ambulance on West 59th Street between Ninth Avenue and Tenth Avenue after transporting a patient to the emergency room of Mount Sinai West on Sunday, February 4th. Photo: Douglas Feiden  sible options, not just the three default tones they’d long been using. So Davis — who could also have selected the “Woop,” the “Warble” or the “Howler” — opted for the “Hi-Low” instead. Sinai mechanics then removed the sirens, made the modifications, reprogrammed all the settings and reinstalled them. The bottom line: If not exactly dulcet, the more agreeable tones are now ringing out from two dozen Sinai ambulances that respond to some 86,000 emergency assignments from the city’s 911 system every year. The fleet operates from four hospital sites in Manhattan, Mount Sinai Hospital, the flagship campus, at Madison Avenue on East 100th Street; Mount Sinai West, at 1000 Tenth Avenue at 59th Street; Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, on 1111 Amsterdam Avenue at 113th Street; and Mount Sinai Beth Israel, on First Avenue at 16th Street.

LOWER FREQUENCY Of course, the ambulance sirens still generate a lot of noise. “The top output of 118 decibels has not changed,” said Davis,

who has run the hospital’s ambulances for 14 years. What has changed is the fundamental nature of the noise itself in that its frequency is lower, which is akin to a higher quality, even as its intensity, or quantity, remains unchanged. Sound is measured both by frequency, meaning the speed at which sound waves vibrate as they travel, and intensity, meaning its decibel level, said Arline L. Bronzaft, who studies the adverse effects of noise on health and is a co-author of “Why Noise Matters.” Think of it in terms of the quality of the music you enjoy: “You can deal with it if it’s a little louder,” Bronzaft said. “But somebody else’s music that you don’t like, you would probably find offensive, even if it was at the same decibel level.” Thus far, the city’s other hospital systems haven’t replicated the kinder, gentler rhythms of the Sinai ambulance siren, so that, at least for now, it is a singular sound that echoes across the urban landscape. “It is very distinctive,” Davis says with a measure of pride. “I can always tell when my ambulances are around.”

T-Bar Steak’s Ben Zwicker (right) at last year’s Art of Food

EASY TUNA TARTARE

Chef Benjamin Zwicker, of T-Bar Steak, is stepping back up to the plate for the third annual Art of Food. In anticipation for the event happening this Saturday at Sotheby’s Auction House, he’s sharing the below recipe with our readers. Last year, he created a black ink risotto doughnut with parmesan aioli, a perfect visual interpretation of his assigned artwork, Richard Serra’s Clara-Clara XI. It was easily one of the most photographed—and raved

ART OF FOOD at

Presented by

about—dishes of the night. To see what Ben cooks up at the Art of Food this weekend, Feb 10, visit artoffoodny.com.

Tuna Tartare Makes 4 appetizer portions or 12 tasting size portions 1 lb. Sushi Quality Tuna 2 tbsp. Minced Shallot 2 tbsp. Chopped Chives 2 tsp. Minced Ginger 3 tbsp. Olive Oil

3 tsp. Soy Sauce 2 tsp. Sesame Oil ½ tsp. Shichimi Pepper Pinch of Cumin Salt and Cayenne to taste

Gently mix ingredients together, as if dressing a salad. Top with slivers of deep fried wonton or spring roll wrappers.


26

FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

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Business

#METOO FOUNDER WORKING ON A BOOK PUBLISHING Tarana Burke’s memoir to be published early next year BY HILLEL ITALIE

Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, is working on a book. The Simon & Schuster imprint 37 Ink told The Associated Press last

Friday that Burke’s “Where the Light Enters” is scheduled to come out early next year. Burke, who will co-write the book with asha bandele, will tell her own “ordinary, extraordinary journey from victim to survivor to thriver” and explain why #MeToo was so necessary. “The book will also help readers understand the often overlooked historical connections of the role sexual violence plays in communities of color, specifically black com-

munities, even today, while exploring ways the same communities have been both complicit and resilient,” Burke said in a statement. “More than anything, this memoir will provide survivors across the spectrum of sexual abuse a road map for healing that helps them understand that the ‘me too’ movement is more about triumph than trauma and that our wounds, though they may never fully heal, can also be the key to our survival.”

Burke started #MeToo a decade ago to raise awareness about sexual violence. After women last fall began speaking out against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and others, actress-activist Alyssa Milano followed on a suggestion from a friend of a friend on Facebook and tweeted: “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” The hashtag was tweeted nearly a million times in 48 hours. Milano has

said she wasn’t aware of Burke’s contributions when she made her initial tweet and has since publicly credited her. Burke and Milano appeared on the “Today” show last month after Time magazine named “The Silence Breakers” — those who have shared their stories about sexual assault and harassment — Person of the Year. At the Golden Globes ceremony in early January, Milano attended as the guest of Michelle Williams.

A RIDE THROUGH TIME TOURISM

IF YOU GO

Utilizing virtual reality and live performance, an innovative new tour makes history accessible to New Yorkers and visitors alike

WHAT: THE DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE WHERE: experiencetheride.com (leaves from 200 Water Street in front of Starbucks) WHEN: Times vary

BY CHRIS DASTOOR

It’s no secret that Manhattan is steeped in history. The Downtown Experience aims to create a multifaceted experiential tour. You can encounter the Lenni Lenape people who inhabited Manhattan 500 years ago, immigrants searching for a new life in the land of opportunity, President Washington being inaugurated, the worst day on Wall Street, and a look from the top of One World Trade Center — all while sitting on a bus. “We’re going to be re-framing the concept of people boringly talking at you on a tour, and instead bring you into the heart of the city,” says Richard Humphrey, CEO and CCO of The Ride LLC, the company that produces The Downtown Experience. “These are actors, not tour guides, they’re telling you different moody stories that stick to the facts of the history, illustrated by videos and all done by hundreds of hours of research,” Humphrey says. Humphrey works to bridge the arts, entertainment and business communities together to create exciting and innovative new technologies. He has led endeavors to develop video-conferencing technology for performing arts, streaming media, and introduced Broadway to mobile marketing. “When I was entering mid-career 15

or 16 years ago, I decided I didn’t want to be left behind on digital technology,” Humphrey says. The precursor of The Downtown Experience was The Ride, the company’s eponymous bus ride through Midtown where the streets are the stage for the performers. “When I got recruited to work on The Ride, I had a pretty strong background sitting at the intersection of digital technology and content construction.” The Downtown Experience takes a different angle, as history is the focus point and passengers are guided through the history of downtown Manhattan. “The Downtown Experience is a passion play for me, I’ve always loved downtown, it’s always had a strong history and very difficult last few years,” Humphrey says. “There was really nobody living above 14th St. until the early the 20th century, so I wanted to tell a story of the thriving pulse of New York City itself, going back 500 years to the Lenni Lenape Indians.” The Downtown Experience delivers virtual reality simultaneously with live performance. As you are intro-

Passengers getting the fully immersive VR experience. Photo courtesy of The Downtown Experience duced to the virtual reality experience on your headset, a troubadour serenades you. “I built the storytelling of The Downtown Experience around virtual reality,” Humphrey says. “The aim is to create experiential entertainment, which is the future of tourism.” Because this is no ordinary tour, there is a full team operating the bus on the day and a great deal of time and expertise was required for the produc-

tion. “The virtual reality pieces were literally hundreds of hours of work. Recreating the interior of the 1929 stock exchange took countless computergenerated hours from photographs of the period,” Humphrey says. “The [depiction] of George Washington from [the] 1789 inauguration was recreated from etchings from the period.” One of the most moving parts of the tour is its 9/11 tribute, as a video plays

on monitors inside the bus with a rap song over the top. As you look down, you notice the rapper is right in front of you, on the street performing the song live. Says Humphrey: “The thing I love about the 9/11 piece was the staging, because I had to find the perfect place to do the performance, then do reveal of the building, then put on your headsets and go inside.”


FEBRUARY 8-14,2018

27

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WEIGHING THE COST OF CLOGGED STREETS TRAFFIC

ESTIMATED PERCENTAGE OF COMMUTERS WHO WOULD PAY CONGESTION CHARGE

Officials consider potential impacts of congestion pricing BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Local leaders are mulling the possible effects of a proposed congestion pricing plan that would impose a new fee on traffic travelling below 60th Street in Manhattan. Under a plan recommended by an advisory panel created by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a fee of $11.52 would be imposed on passenger vehicles entering a congestion pricing zone encompassing all of Manhattan south of 60th Street. The electronicallyassessed charge would apply to all passenger vehicles entering the zone between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays. Buses, taxis and for-hire vehicles would be exempt from the congestion fee, but a new surcharge would be applied to taxi and for-hire vehicle trips in the zone. The measure is designed to reduce the number of cars on the road in the congestion zone by an estimated 13 percent by incentivizing drivers to adjust commutes and delivery schedules to off-peak hours where possible. It also would provide a new revenue stream for the beleaguered Metropolitan Transportation Authority. And advocates note that reduced traffic would come with the added benefit of improved air quality. The plan calls for a three-phase implementation scheme that would begin this year with improved enforcement of blocking-the-box and bus lane violations and an overhaul of the city’s parking placard program. It would expand to include a new congestion surcharge on taxi and for-hire vehicle trips, and culminate in the launch of the zone pricing system for all vehicles beginning in 2020. The proposed location of the congestion zone boundary at 60th Street could result in a significant impact for residents who live just outside the zone on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side. Apart from the concerns of those who drive below 60th Street regularly for work or to take children to school, some have speculated that the streets north of the boundary could become clogged with the cars of non-resident drivers seeking to park just outside the zone and walk or take transit south to avoid paying the fee. “I’m very supportive of congestion pricing, but we have to understand that there might be some folks who will drop their cars off at 60th Street,” state Sen. Brad Hoylman said this week at a budget hearing. “So we should be looking at things like resi-

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 69 Daniel J. O’Donnell

3.0%

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 67 Linda B. Rosenthal

A proposal designed to ease traffic on Manhattan streets and fund transit improvements would impose a congestion fee on drivers travelling below 60th Street. Photo: Steven Strasser dential parking, like the last plan a decade ago considered.” State Sen. Liz Krueger, whose East Side district includes areas both north and south of 60th Street and has supported the concept of congestion parking during earlier efforts to enact the policy, said she is more concerned that a final plan won’t adequately reduce congestion caused by delivery trucks and for-hire vehicles than with a potential influx of street parking north of the boundary. “If one has spent any time in the 60s on the East or West Side of Manhattan, I dare them to tell me where they’d all be parking,” she said. Community Board 7 is set to consider a resolution requesting that the congestion zone boundary be located as far north as possible, with consideration given to the impact the boundary will have on the surrounding neighborhood and the transit system. The resolution will request that community input be included in the any final proposal considered for implementation and call for all revenue generated by the plan be dedicated by law exclusively to the MTA. The plan outlined in the Fix NYC report could generate over $800 million in new annual revenue. “The MTA sorely needs this money,” said Andrew Albert, who serves as cochair of Community Board 7’s transportation committee and also sits on the MTA board. “There are all kinds of minor issues that have to be worked out, but I think overall that this is an important thing that New York needs to do to keep our streets moving, to improve our transit system and I think our way of life, really,” Albert said at a January com-

munity board meeting held before the FIX NYC plan was released. According to a study conducted by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the percentages of commuters who would be impacted by the congestion charge on the Upper West Side and Upper East Side are among the highest in the entire region. The study, which is based on census data and organized by state legislative districts, found that 9.7 percent of commuters in Assembly Member Dan Quart’s Upper East Side district would be subjected to the charge, the highest rate of any district covered in the analysis. According to the Fix NYC report, 4 percent of outer borough residents commute to jobs in Manhattan in a vehicle. In Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright’s Upper East Side district, 7.8 percent of commuters drive to work in the congestion zone and would be affected by the congestion fee, while 58.1 percent of commuters in the district take public transit. In an emailed statement, Seawright said that while the “fundamental intentions of congestion pricing are much appreciated,” a number of important questions should be addressed as the legislature considers congestion pricing during the state budget negotiation process. “What safeguards will there be to prevent the Upper East Side and Harlem and other contiguous or nearby neighborhoods from becoming ‘parking lots’ for those drivers seeking to avoid midtown fees?” Seawright wrote. “How will the need of residents of my district with disabilities or our senior citizens who rely on vehicles to conduct their business be addressed, particularly those on fixed incomes?

6.8% ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 76 Rebecca A. Seawright

7.8% ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 73 Dan Quart

9.7% SOURCES: DATA - TRI-STATE TRANSPORTATION CAMPAIGN GRAPHIC: CAITLIN RYTHER AND CHRISTINA SCOTTI

And is congestion pricing the very best way to generate vitally needed funding to improve the mass transit system or are there less regressive alternatives that should be considered? Robust discussion of these and related questions with key stakeholders is needed before new policies are enacted through the state budget process.” Krueger said that the eventual passage of a plan will likely require leadership from Cuomo, who convened the Fix NYC task force but has not yet endorsed a detailed congestion pricing policy. “I’m actually getting pretty negative responses from a lot of the legislature,” Krueger said. “There seems to be less support than there was for the earlier proposal six years ago, and that didn’t go anywhere. It’s still not clear to me what the governor is going to do and if he’s actually going to propose anything specifically.” Krueger, Holyman, Seawright and other elected officials will host a March 1 event at CUNY Graduate Center to discuss congestion pricing and other potential measures with a panel of transportation experts. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who said last

summer he “does not believe” in congestion pricing, has called the Fix NYC plan an improvement over earlier proposals. While de Blasio has proposed a new tax on millionaires as a new dedicated revenue source for the MTA, he called the Fix NYC model “the best I’ve seen to date” in a Feb. 5 state budget hearing. The mayor said that any plan should come with guarantees that revenue be dedicated to improving bus and subway service, and that the needs of low-income and disabled drivers should be taken into account. “There are plenty of people who are not welloff who have reasons they have to go into the core of Manhattan for medical appointments and other matters,” de Blasio said. “We need to think about how we handle that.” City Council Speaker Corey Johnson has spoken more enthusiastically about the prospect. “We need new, smart, sustainable revenue streams,” Johnson said in a Jan. 30 speech. “And one piece of that puzzle is congestion pricing. We need congestion pricing, this year, this session.”


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YOUR 15 MINUTES

CULTIVATING CULTURES Chinese businesswoman devotes her career to building a relationship between her native and adopted countries BY ANGELA BARBUTI

Yanchun “Lily” Li travels so frequently between New York and China that she’s become a very familiar face on Air China flights. All that airborne time is all spent with one goal in mind: to bridge the cultural gap between the two countries. In 2016, she launched Harvard Wealth Strategy and Management with this mission at its core. Through the organization, which she started with a business partner, she hosts cultural exchanges, bringing American students and adults to China. In her opinion, that is the path to peace in the world. “By doing things together, we gradually understand why people think and talk this way,” she explained. “And then, with understanding, we can create more respect.” She grew up in China’s northeast, attended college in Beijing, and earned her MBA at Harvard. She now sits on the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board and is its only member from mainland China. This month, the Midtown East resident is preparing for the Chinese New Year Spectacular at Carnegie Hall on February 24. The concert celebrates the musical talent of artists from both China and the U.S.

Tell us how Harvard Wealth Strategy came about. After my entrepreneurship for almost 24 years in the pharmaceutical industry and with all the experiences from my travels, I started to realize how important cultural exchange could be. And also how important it is to cultivate new generations to have a better understanding about different countries, especially China and the U.S., two of the biggest powers in the world right now. So, with that motivation, I started this company.

What was your mission in creating it? One of the missions is to bridge the cultural gap, especially between the U.S. and China. I don’t view it in a very complicated way. Actually, it is very simple and practical. That is, let us do things together. I see the whole path and, I think, the starting point will be cultural exchange.... More and more young people in China are starting to come to the U.S. Half a million come to study. They are not only contributing to the growth of the economy of the U.S., but the more significant part is they learn the culture here. And also, I see

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more visionary American families have started to send their kids to China to learn Chinese culture. The real hope is the future generations. So why not use my resources, funds and experience to do this?

You’ve been hosting cultural exchanges to China for the past 10 years. I’ve been inviting Wall Street brokers, managers, lawyers, auditors, to China. Many groups came with me to China, including, in 2013, 20 members of the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board, who came with me for a 10-day trip. All of those experiences are really amazing, even to me. I’m also really surprised because for a lot of them, this is their first trip to China, and all of the women on the board are global leaders. I would have never imagined that if it didn’t happen in front of me.

Who are the students you have brought there and what have their experiences been like? Last year, with my business partner, Charles Sullivan, we took 12 PAL [Police Athletic League] performing arts high school students to China to join the Joy Dance Beijing Youth International Festival. Students paid the airfare, but all the other expenses were covered by the Beijing government. We were the first who took American students to join this event. Our company is the representative of the Beijing government for this festival. In 2016, we also took 20 Regis High School students to join this event. Some students were so excited, they cried. We couldn’t control our tears when we saw that. We also invited 18 high school teachers to come to China. They were all first timers. We couldn’t imagine. And a lot of them didn’t have passports or Visas, so we facilitated them to go through all those complicated procedures. All of these experiences really encouraged me and my company to go further along this road. We feel it is so important and meaningful.

Explain how the Chinese New Year Spectacular was born. Charles and I are the initiators of this project. At the very beginning, it was a very simple idea. Jiaxin Tian is a really talented pianist who graduated from the Manhattan School of Music. Her mom, who is a very good friend of mine, said, “My daughter is desperately eager to have an international stage. She has accumulated so many skills and is so talented, but there’s no stage for her.” So I talked with Charles, who is very experienced in the entertainment business, to help. That was the starting point. Young Chinese artists are really in the demand to have this kind of stage. It’s exciting to have the capability to have these talented artists become so suc-

cessful and to realize their dream.

What are some of the Chinese se companies you work with here? Ton Ren Tang, a 340-year ar old company. It is the number-one ne brand in traditional Chinese medicine. icine. So we have helped them to acquire re their first mainstream clinic in Manhattan anhattan on Madison Avenue. This is something very meaningful for the entire tire industry, because 90 percent of the patients are American. Harvard Wealth th also has a section of investment, so we also invest in education and high-tech h companies. One is UBI Blockchain Technology, echnology, a company using biomedicall technology to focus on food and drug safety afety issues.

Tell us about the Harvard Women’s men’s Leadership Board. What are somee initiatives you work on together? I’ve been on this board for seven years already. We exchange e opinions towards equality and issues es around equality. And also policy making, aking, and how we can make women more of an important part of the whole ole process. We also help young women omen to achieve career success and d a better balance between family y and career life. So, on the one hand, we discuss all those initiatives ives in a conference room on camampus. On the other hand, every ery year, we have conferences es all over the world. And each ch year, we have different toppics to discuss. That is a very y enriching process for me. On that board, I am also the only one from mainland China. I think one of the reasons is the language barrier. Because for young generations, like my son’s, language won’t be a problem. My son can speak English very y well. But, for my generation, ion, especially when you are a successful entrepreneur, you really devote your time to your business. iness. And in my generation, we really didn’t dn’t have the chance to study abroad to learn earn another language. I’m trying to find d Chinese entrepreneurs in different arenas with language skills to join the board.

Yanchun “Lily” Li’s mission is to bridge the cultural gap between her native ve China and the U.S. Photo courtesy of Lily Li

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