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The local paper for the Upper East Side

2019

OTTY

Our Town Thanks You

AWARDS PAGE 11

EVEN MORE CONGESTION QUESTIONS

WEEK OF MARCH

7-13 2019

Also inside:

TRAFFIC State lawmakers could pass congestion pricing by the end of the month. What would it mean for Manhattanites? BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

More than half a century after policymakers first proposed congestion pricing as a tool to ease Manhattan’s traffic woes, and after numerous failed attempts to enact a plan in the ensuing decades, 2019 could well be the year congestion pricing finally crosses New York’s legislative goal line. A plan put forth by Governor Andrew Cuomo would impose a toll on vehicles entering a central business district encompassing all of Manhattan south of 61st Street, with the exception of the FDR Drive. The toll, in combination with the recently introduced

A CULT FAVORITE ▲ P.23

Proponents of congestion pricing say the policy would increase vehicle travel times in Manhattan and raise billions in revenue for the MTA. Photo: Steven Strasser

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THE GRAYING OF MANHATTAN TRENDS Surging senior populations are reshaping the Upper West and Upper East Sides — but the under-65 tally is waning on both sides of the park, new data shows BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

The census of Upper West Side seniors has skyrocketed over the past decade: There are now 41,194 adults north of age 65, a stunning climb of 44 percent. In the same period, between 2007

and 2017, the older population in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen shot up 38 percent and the number of Upper East Siders in that age bracket rose 31 percent. Contrast those tallies with the citywide and statewide figures, where the growth in the over-65 set, while still robust, was a much smaller 24 and 26 percent respectively. Another yardstick to gauge the explosive increase in the elderly census is the number of the very old, age 85 and over, which rose 20 percent in the city and 26 percent in the state over 10 years, according to a new report from the Center for an Urban Future, a research institute.

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But those figures are dwarfed among Upper West Siders: As of 2017, there were 4,898 residents aged 85 and above, up from 3,197 in 2007, a leap of 53 percent, a CUF data analysis of Manhattan neighborhoods prepared at the request of Straus News found. “There are more residents aged 65 and above in Manhattan than there are people under the age of 19 — that is the largest spread of any county in the state, by far,” according to the think tank’s report, “New York’s Older Adult Population is Booming Statewide.” On the other side of the spectrum, the number of residents below age 65 is stagnating or shrinking. Over the past decade, the city’s non-senior population managed only a two percent increase, while the tally in Manhattan actually declined by 2 percent,

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the CUF report found. Decreases on both sides of the park were even more dramatic: The under-65 population of the UWS dropped to 165,836 in 2017 from 185,747 in 2007, a steep falloff of 11 percent. During the same period on the UES, it fell to 172,042 from 186,015, a decline of eight percent, the data shows. “New York’s population is rapidly graying,” said Jonathan Bowles, the Center’s executive director. “In every corner of the state, older adults are driving most if not all of the growth.” Added Beth Finkel, the state director of AARP, which helped fund the report, “These eye-popping numbers are a wake-up call to address the needs of our fast-aging population.” invreporter@strausnews.com

DEPRESSION IN SENIORS: IT’S SUBTLE ▲ P.5

‘POTVIN SUCKS!’ RANGERS FANS SAY – FOR 40 YEARS ▲ P.6 Jewish women and girls light up the world by lighting the Shabbat candles every Friday evening 18 minutes before sunset. Friday, March 8 – 5:37 pm. For more information visit www.chabaduppereastrside.com.

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MARCH 7-13,2019

SOMETHING NEW AT THE HIGH LINE CITY SPACES New York’s favorite repurposed railway is bigger and better than ever BY EMILY MASON

Photo: Shinya Suzuki, via flickr

The High Line is opening the last stretch of its original expanse this spring with a new space, called The Spur. It marks the complete restoration of the original stretch of High Line from the 1930s, a project which the cofounders of the High Line, Joshua David and Robert Hammond, began back in 2003. The entrance to the Spur, at Tenth Ave and West 28th St., sits amid the epicenter of the Hudson Yards development, The Friends of the High Line organization had some trouble securing this final section. The land the High Line is on was originally owned by the MTA and was used to park trains. The bid for the land included an option to either keep or destroy this section of High Line. But following a rigorous campaign to “Save the Spur,” the developer who purchased the land agreed that is could become the next focal point of the now-famous High Line park.

A lot of people [originally] thought it was industrial and covered in weeds, an eyesore that needed to go. Joshua David and I fell in love with the weeds.” High Line co-founder Robert Hammond “A lot of people [originally] thought it was industrial and covered in weeds, an eyesore that needed to go,” Hammond said. “Joshua David and I fell in love with the weeds.” In homage to the shrubbery that initially made David and Hammond dedicate themselves to the abandoned railway, green space is a key component of every section of the High Line, and the Spur will be no exception. The space will contain the most dense greenery of the High Line, in stark contrast to its commercial surroundings. Preceding the archway that leads

into the Spur space is a narrow walkway enclosed on one side by a screen of advertisements for the soon-to-be shopping mall towering over this section. Feet away is the site of the Shed, the arts center project, and ahead one can spot the cranes working the massive development that is Hudson Yards. Communications Director for the High Line, Melissa Parsoff, works on occasion with the surrounding projects. “We call this the crossroads because it’s where all of these different organizations meet,” Parsoff said. The Spur is where visitors will find the High Line’s other newest attraction, the Plinth, where sculptures and art will be on display, changing every 18 months. The first piece to be featured is a sculpture called ‘Brick House’ by Simone Leigh. The High Line aims to include artwork from around the world, in part to ensure that everybody can find something to connect with on the High Line. “Just because it’s a public space doesn’t mean everybody feels welcome,” Hammond said. “We want to bring the best contemporary art and make it reflect [different] cultures and demographics.”

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG TUG OF WAR One resolute Duane Reade employee fought unsuccessfully to thwart shoplifters recently. On Saturday morning, Jan. 26, two men in their 30s entered the store at 773 Lexington Ave., opened a locked cabinet in the cosmetics aisle, removed merchandise and placed it in a backpack, police said. When a 36-year-old female employee attempted to intercede by grabbing the backpack, a struggle ensued. According to police, the suspects dragged the employee and eventually ripped the backpack from her hands and fled the scene. The employee suffered no

injuries. The items stolen included multiple face creams, face products, eye serum, face scrub and face cleanser with a total value of $1,030.

THREE STRIKES AND THEY’RE OUT Police arrested a couple they said were preying on parishioners and employees of neighborhood churches and a school. In the first incident, which took place Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 28, 2018, a 64-year-old female employee of a private parochial school at 351 East 74th St., realized that her wallet was missing. Reviewing

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

security footage later, she saw a man coming downstairs from her office area, dropping her wallet and leaving the premises. Her stolen credit cards were used to purchase merchandise worth $245 on a website, and there were several more unauthorized charge attempts before she canceled the cards. There were no signs of forced entry into her office. The items stolen totaled $1,250, including included four gift cards valued at $314, a Michael Kors wallet priced at $256 and $150 in cash. In the second incident, on Tuesday, December 18, 2018, someone removed property from the office of a 68-yearold employee in a church at 411 East 66th St. The woman told police that the door to her office had been closed but not locked. The stolen wallet was inside a handbag she had left hanging on a coat rack. Later, unauthorized charges were made to her credit card accounts, which she then canceled. In this case, security video showed a man in the hallway outside her office trying to open the door. The items stolen included a wallet, cash and various credit cards with a total value of $50. In the third incident, which occurred at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26, a 68-year-old woman was attending mass inside a church at 65 East 89th St. when she noticed a man leaving the pew behind her. When she checked

STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 19th precinct for the week ending Feb 24 Week to Date

Year to Date

2019 2018

% Change 2019

2018

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

0

0

n/a

Rape

0

0

n/a

3

2

50.0

Robbery

2

0

n/a

22

19

15.8

Felony Assault

1

3

-66.7

19

26

-26.9

Burglary

7

0

n/a

40

33

21.2

Grand Larceny

29

23

26.1

246

241

2.1

Grand Larceny Auto

0

0

n/a

2

6

-66.7

her bag she discovered that property was missing. Her debit card was used to pay for items valued at $323 at a CVS pharmacy and also for a $7.25 taxi fare. In addition, the thieves took $100 in cash. On February 21 and 22, police arrested Sara Alston, 35, and Leonard Swinton, 63, and charged the pair with grand larceny in connection with the three thefts.

HE AIN’T GOING NOWHERE At 10:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19,

a 26-year-old man parked his Honda Accord in front of 421 East 78th St. and went to work. When he returned at 7:20 a.m. then ext morning, all four tires and wheels on his vehicle had been removed. A female witness told police that when she was walking her dog at approximately 3:30 a.m. she saw two men jacking up the car. The items stolen included four Michelin tires with a value of total $888, four Honda Accord rims selling for $1,900, four wheel caps priced at $50 and twenty lug nuts worth $100, making a total stolen of $2,938.

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Payment of interest on CDs is based on term: For terms less than 12 months (365 days), interest may be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or at maturity (the end of the term). For terms of 12 months or more, interest may be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. A fee for early withdrawal will be imposed and could reduce earnings on this account. Special Rates are applicable to the initial term of the CD only. At maturity, the Special Rate CD will automatically renew for a term of 6 months, at the interest rate and APY in effect for CDs on renewal date not subject to a Special Rate, unless the Bank has notified you otherwise. Due to the new money requirement, accounts may only be opened at your local branch. Wells Fargo reserves the right to modify or discontinue the offer at any time without notice. Offer cannot be combined with any other consumer deposit offer. Minimum new money deposit requirement of at least $25,000 is for this offer only and cannot be transferred to another account to qualify for any other consumer deposit offer. If you wish to take advantage of another consumer deposit offer requiring a minimum new money deposit, you will be required to do so with another new money deposit as stated in the offer requirements and qualifications. Offer cannot be reproduced, purchased, sold, transferred, or traded. 3. The Portfolio by Wells Fargo program has a $30 monthly service fee, which can be avoided when you have one of the following qualifying balances: $25,000 or more in qualifying linked bank deposit accounts (checking, savings, CDs, FDIC-insured IRAs) or $50,000 or more in any combination of qualifying linked banking, brokerage (available through Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC) and credit balances (including 10% of mortgage balances, certain mortgages not eligible). 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© 2019 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Deposit products offered by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC. NMLSR ID 399801


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Useful Contacts

Drawing Board BY PETER PEREIRA

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 Keith Powers

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

1485 York 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

HOW TO REACH US:

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DEPRESSION IN SENIORS: IT’S SUBTLE AGING

The advantages of recognizing and treating depression early are myriad.� Ardesheer Talati

Identifying older adults with the disorder can be challenging

it may be new. In either case, treating these depressions is important because studies show that untreated depression can worsen outcomes for cardiovascular disease, stroke, pain, and certain dementias. It can also shorten lifespan. Not surprisingly, the National Institute of Health has classiďŹ ed depression in adults 65 and over as a major public health problem.

BY ARDESHEER TALATI

“He says he’s depressed—but he’s just getting old,â€? a friend recently said to me about her father-in-law, who had just turned 80. The perils of disagreeing with a parent-in-law aside, my friend did inadvertently hit on something important: the difficulties we face in differentiating depression in later life from everything else happening to our bodies and minds as we age. Major depression is a chronic, debilitating disorder projected to be the biggest contributor to global disease burden by 2030 in Western countries. It usually ďŹ rst appears in early adulthood, though adolescent depression (particularly among females) is not uncommon. But that does not mean that depression doesn’t occur in later life. Indeed, up to ďŹ ve percent of seniors are estimated to suffer from clinical depression at any given time. For some, it may be recurrences of a depression that started earlier in life; for others,

What to Watch For Unfortunately, several subtleties can complicate the diagnosis of depression as we get older. Here are some worth thinking about. 1. Even though the criteria for the disorder are the same across ages, depression at older ages doesn’t always follow the textbook. For example, while depression at younger ages is more common among females, the gender imbalance is much less in later life. Also, while depression in adolescence and early adulthood tends to run in families, late-life depression

CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

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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.

SIGNATURES & MAD AVE MADNESS EAST SIDE OBSERVER BY ARLENE KAYATT

Petition prize — Collecting petition signatures to get on the ballot is a daunting task. Rain or shine — well not rain — the mighty signature-getters stand (usually on street corners) and ask registered voters of a political party to sign to get a candidate or candidates on the ballot. Sometimes it gets to be a heady experience. And so it was for a Democrat district leader candidate on the UWS when uber-West Sider and New York’s favorite son, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, was the first to sign his petition. I’m guessing that candidate, Joshua Benjamin Kin-

berg, would want to save and savor the precious petition with Nadler’s signature. But if Kinberg’s in a contested primary and another candidate is seeking the same seat, he’ll need every signature. It’s always possible, of course, that a follow-up Nadler endorsement could scare off a contender. Stay tuned. Reader readback — Some columns ago, I noted the closing of Infirmary, an UES restaurant (and bar) and the incongruity of its name for a NYC bar. Like who knew that “Infirmary” was intended to celebrate New Orleans. I took exception to the restaurant’s not celebrating, or at least making known, its New Orleans origins. Washington Heights reader Judy Hamudy pointed out that

the Infirmary name probably came from the old New Orleans blues/jazz ballad, “St. James Infirmary,” made famous by Louis Armstrong. With all due respect, how many Gothamites would make that connection at a restaurant with no obvious hint of its New Orleans origin? Another reader, Stuy-Towner Hazel Feldman, loved the Billie Ward Grace cat photo that accompanied the column about the missing cat in the Chinese zodiac. Perhaps in these proactive times a campaign may be in order to bring the cat to the calendar. Any takers? Mad(ison) Ave madness — A 13-story building is coming to Madison Ave. between 65th and 66th Streets. Look for 19 apartments

units and commercial space. And keep an eye on the northwest corner of 92nd and Madison where the halfblock building at 1288-1290 stands emptied of residential apartments and commercial space. The once elegant apartment building is an eyesore. One of the businesses, a restaurant, moved around the corner and is now known as Gina’s Italian. It’s been out of the old space for at least four years. However, the name “Gina Mexicana” remains on the door at the old location. Wonder what the landlord/building owner is up to? And when it will happen. MTA skips — News for M15 Select bus riders — you heard it here — the Select no longer stops at 72nd Street and Second Ave.. The stop after 74th

or 75th St. is now 68th St. That nice lady’s voice that announces stops over the bus speaker goes silent every now and then. So unless you’re tuned in to what’s going on in MTA la la land, you would never know that the stop has been taken off the route. No more secrets. Old time mail — Now that the blue box mailboxes that stand on the city streets are set to be redesigned, it was interesting to pass a letterbox mounted on the outside of the residential building at 333 East 68th St.. The shiny gold relic, which once probably accepted letters, is now just a reminder of time gone by. No more mail drop.

‘POTVIN SUCKS!’ RANGERS FANS SAY — FOR 40 YEARS PUBLIC EYE BY JON FRIEDMAN

On Feb. 25, New York Rangers diehards marked a cherished anniversary: the birth of the most notorious rallying cry in New York sports history. It has united Rangers fans of all ages, ethnicities and tax brackets for 40 years: “POTVIN SUCKS!” I know all about it. I was at Madison Square Garden that night, on Feb. 25, 1979, when the chant was first heard. It started in the blue-collar upper reaches of the blue seats and cascaded down to the seats closer to the ice. In a neat bit of symmetry, I was at the Rangers-New Jersey Devils game at MSG as recently as Feb. 23. Sure enough, I heard it once again (several times, in fact). The hubbub all began during a typically intense Rangers-New York Islanders game on that long ago Sunday night, so far back in 1979 that the Iranian “students” hadn’t yet kidnapped Americans at the embassy in Tehran. Bob Dylan hadn’t yet been declared

born again. And it would be about half a year til Yankees catcher Thurman Munson died in a plane crash. The war cry was born at an exciting time. Back on Feb. 25, 1979, the ice hockey stakes were high. The Islanders were on their way to compiling the best record in the National Hockey League and hoping to win the first Stanley Cup in the franchise’s seven-year history. And the Rangers? My Rangers! We figured to be a stone in the Islanders’ shoe on their march to destiny. When it comes to local sports rivalries, this one has no match. Forget Yankees-Red Sox. Compared with Rangers-Islanders circa 1979, Yanks-Sox has all the intensity of a debate about which town serves up the best clam chowder. During the Feb. 25, 1979 game, Islanders captain Denis Potvin smashed Ulf Nilsson, the Rangers’ best player, into the end boards so hard that Nilsson suffered a broken ankle. The Rangers’ home crowd was understandably furious as Ulfie Nilsson limped to the bench and didn’t return to the ice that evening. That the Rangers scored a goal a few feet away at that exact moment — and ultimately won the game

— was little consolation, for Nilsson was never the same speedy skater when he came back from his injury. Since that fateful night, the chant heard ‘round Madison Square Garden became a staple at every Rangers home game. It continued after the Islanders stopped winning championships and became a mediocre team, and even after Potvin himself retired from the NHL (and was eventually inducted into the sport’s hall of fame). You don’t have to be a sociologist to conclude that the rallying cry reflects poorly on Rangers fans. Until the Rangers won their first Stanley Cup in 54 years, in 1994, “Potvin Sucks” was really all the fan base had to hang on to, to feel good about itself. Yelling that nonsense is akin to a poor person ringing Warren Buffett’s doorbell and running away. Big deal. But that won’t stop Rangers fans. They liked their role as New York hockey’s lovable Brooklyn “Dem Bums” Dodgers to the perennial 1980s champion Islanders. They imagined that they had the moral high ground. They embraced their second-class status on the ice. And they always had the chant. And they still do. Just listen.

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LESSONS LEARNED AROUND THE CAMPFIRE CAMPING A summer camp director started a podcast to share insights on building lives of meaning for kids. Four key themes that keep coming up: BY COLE KELLY

I’ve been lucky to be a summer camp director for the past seventeen years. It’s a gift to see our campers (and staff) laugh and learn over time. Most arrive not knowing a soul and leave with friends for life. I see it over and over ... and it’s a joy every time. In hopes of continuing our learning and spreading the idea of camp, our team has started a podcast. It’s not about our camp. The Campfire Conversation podcast is all about the insights camp professionals have on raising kids and building lives full of meaning. I’ve spoken with dozens of camp directors and thought leaders from around the country. While the conversations have covered lots of topics, four themes consistently come up in our conversations: the importance of “near peers,” connecting without technology, the change in parents and something interesting about our kids.

The Power of Near Peers As camp directors, we believe you

can have a great camp in a parking lot if you’ve got the right people. In most cases, 19 to 22-year-old staff have an enormously positive impact on the campers’ lives. How is that possible? Camp counselors are saying pretty much the same thing as parents back home: “Make your bed.” “Be kind and respectful.” Campers just seem to listen more to these near peers than their parents. Jeff Leikin, a teen psychologist and counselor from California, explains the difference between camp staff and parents as “right message, wrong messenger.” Having someone who is older but within the same realm of development makes the message more impactful than even Mom or Dad.

Connection Minus Tech We’re all concerned about the rise in anxiety among our young people. One in four children under 18 years old has been diagnosed with some type of anxiety disorder. Bob Ditter, a family therapist and “camp whisperer” from Boston, has spent time researching this and found the rise of “curated lives” on social media to be a leading cause of increased anxiety. Our campers’ young brains don’t have the resources yet to differentiate between what is real and the airbrushed, filtered “reality” displayed

online. Running through the comparison trap of social media is truly challenging for our young people. Because most summer camps remove or restrict the use of technology, young people connect and live face-toface and more fully in the present. By disconnecting from tech, campers build greater empathy, independence and happiness. And, relative to their still connected friends, they also develop a superpower: being able to put their phones away.

Parents are Changing Several longtime camp directors mentioned increased anxiety among their camp parents. Parents are having a harder time at the bus pickup spots than their campers. They make anxious calls to the camp office when they haven’t seen photos of their children. Bunk placements are fraught decisions. Wendy Mogel, author of “Blessings of a Skinned Kneed” — the book most mentioned on the podcast — tells of parents once dropping their child off at the bus and heading off for a celebratory drink. Now, one of the biggest fears she hears from parents in her clinical practice is allowing their children to go to camp at all. The 24/7 news cycle and attentiongrabbing headlines have our collective lizard-brain going at too a high a rate.

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“Neer peer” counselors have a positive impact on camper’s lives. Photo courtesy of Camp Weequahic Rather than seeing the good in the world, we hold our children back from threats we perceive to be imminent rather than what they are: unlikely. I feel it, too. I had a hard time sending our oldest off to his own camp, and I’ve been a camp director for 17 years.

Kids are Still Kids Here’s the really good news: experienced camp directors say kids haven’t changed much at all over the years. They want to play, connect, explore, goof off and create. They want to cook s’mores, tell stories, laugh and learn. They are going to try and wear the same shirt three days in a row, flail at telling a joke in the bunk, learn from mistakes and come out of the experience shining in all the right ways.

Parents who say their child “really doesn’t connect well with others” or “won’t try anything new” or “will only look at his phone” are often shocked to see their camper build true friendships and expand their horizons at camp, all without tech. The kids will look back at those weeks without their phone fondly. I’m excited to keep learning through the Campfire Conversation podcast and putting the knowledge into play. The positive outcome of the right camp for a child is important. Let’s help them keep the learning going back home. Cole Kelly is the camp director at Camp Weequahic in Lakewood, PA and host of the Campfire Conversation podcast.


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MARCH 7-13,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

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

EDITOR’S PICK

Tue 12 MARILYN NONKEN Miller Theatre 2960 Broadway 6:00 p.m. Free millertheatre.com 212-854-7799

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org

Marilyn Nonken is known as “one of the greatest interpreters of new music” (American Record Guide), especially in her mastery and knowledge of the music of Tristan Murail, with whom she has closely collaborated. Here, she explores the relationship between teacher and student with works by Murail and his teacher Olivier Messiaen. Photograph by Ventiko, via www.marilynnonken.com

NEW YORK CITY

The Black Market World of Rhino Poaching Kingpins

MONDAY, MARCH 11TH, 7PM The Explorers Club | 46 E. 70th St. | 212-628-8383 | explorers.org Former United Nations arms trafficking expert Kathi Lynn Austin leads an exploration of a global gunrunning network behind industrial-level rhino poaching in Southern Africa. She’ll describe her three-year, six-country investigation, conducted as the species nears extinction ($25).

The Privacy Paradox | The Alliance Series

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13TH, 6:30PM Albertine | 972 Fifth Ave. | 212-650-0070 | albertine.com Cloud storage, data mining, and social media sharing all chip away at the privacy rights that most of us take for granted. Bernard E. Harcourt of the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought joins Lecturer in Digital Economy Asma Mhalla to examine the disconnect (free).

Just Announced | Michael Ondaatje Discusses Warlight

TUESDAY, MAY 7TH, 7:30PM Brooklyn Library | 10 Grand Army Pl. | 718-230-2100 | bklynlibrary.org The best-selling author of The English Patient visits Brooklyn in support of Warlight, his 2018 novel, which is set amid a dense web of secrecy in the years after World War II. A book signing will follow (free, registration required).

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

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

Thu 7

Fri 8

Sat 9

FILM SCREENING: BEAU GESTE

EXHIBITION TOUR — ART OF NATIVE AMERICA: THE CHARLES AND VALERIE DIKER COLLECTION

DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS IS ... THE THIEF OF BAGDAD

96th St Library 112 East 96th St 2:00 p.m. Free In this 1939 film, three brothers join the French Foreign Legion to escape a dark past. Directed by William A. Wellman. nypl.org 212-289-0908

The Met 1000 Fifth Ave 10:30 a.m. Free with museum admission Tour this landmark exhibition that showcases 116 masterworks representing the achievements of artists from more than 50 cultures across North America. Space is limited; first come, first served. Stickers distributed at all admissions, information, and membership desks. metmuseum.org 212-535-7710

Library for the Performing Arts 40 Lincoln Center Plaza 2:00 p.m. Free This movie, starring Douglas Fairbanksis, is a visual extravaganza and perhaps his greatest adventure — complete with a magic chest, flying carpet, fire-breathing dragon, and a princess in distress. nypl.org 917-275-6975


MARCH 7-13,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Women suffragists picketing in front of the White house, 1917. Library of Congress reproduction #LC-USZ62-31799, via Wikimedia Commons.

Sun 10 Mon 11 Tue 12 ▼ SUNDAY PLATFORM — JOE CHUMAN: EINSTEIN’S RELIGION

▲ WAGNER, THE WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT

PETER GEORGESCU IN CONVERSATION WITH DAVID WESTIN

NY Society for Ethical Culture 2 West 64th St 11:00 a.m. Free It’s worth $2.9 million, and it has created quite a buzz in intellectual circles. The center of attention is a brief missive written by Albert Einstein, nicknamed “the God Letter,” that was recently auctioned by Christie’s and purchased for that amount. Written in 1954, a year before his death, it summarizes Einstein’s thoughts about God, as well as his Jewish identity. ethical.nyc 212-874-5210

The New York Society Library 53 East 79th St 6:30 p.m. $15 In connection with the Library’s exhibition, “Women Get the Vote,” Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner tells the stories of those who made women’s suffrage happen, based on her new book “The Women’s Suffrage Movement,” which unfolds a new intersectional look at the 19th-century women’s rights movement. nysoclib.org 212-288-6900

92y 1395 Lexington Ave 6:30 p.m. $29 Join Peter Georgescu as he offers concrete actions that capitalists themselves can take to benefit both society and shareholders to create a thriving and prosperous society. 92y.org 212-415-5500

Wed 13 SELECTED SHORTS: COMEDY TONIGHT!

Photograph of Albert Einstein in his office at the University of Berlin, published in the USA in 1920. Unknown photographer, via Wikimedia Commons.

Symphony Space 2537 Broadway at West 95th St 7:30 p.m $32 To paraphrase Stephen Sondheim, sometimes it’s best to laugh now and leave the tragedy for tomorrow. This evening, a crack cast of comedic performers, including Jane Curtin and Dick Cavett and led by host John Fugelsang, perform lighthearted tales that explore the childishly profound and the profoundly childish. Step away from the news, the phone, the bills, the kids and/ or the parents, the pets and the dreary end of winter for a night of laughter and escape. symphonyspace.org 212-864-5400

Inspired Music of Women Composers and Poets

Thursday, March 14 at 7:30pm The Marble Choir in Concert directed by Kenneth Dake

Admission: $20 at door | $15, seniors Save $5 by ordering in advance online at MarbleChurch.org

Event listings brought to you by Marble Collegiate Church. 1 West 29th Street / New York, New York 10001 212 686 2770 / MarbleChurch.org Download the Marble Church App on iPhone or Android

9


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March 7-13, 2019

CONGESTION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

manoff, average travel speeds could rise 20 to 23 percent from current levels.

How much will the toll cost?

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surcharge on trips below 96th Street in taxis and other for-hire vehicles, would create a new stream of dedicated revenue for the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Cuomo — whose plan now has the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio, a longtime congestion pricing skeptic — is pressing Albany lawmakers to approve congestion pricing by the April 1 state budget deadline. In addition to funding sorely needed transit improvements, advocates say a congestion toll would serve as a disincentive against unnecessary car trips, turning away drivers who would otherwise clog Manhattan’s most crowded streets, resulting in smoother bus service and reduced travel times. But questions abound.

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Many key details that will determine the ultimate impact of Cuomo’s plan — including the toll’s cost, the number and types of drivers who will qualify for medical and other hardship exemptions (such carve-outs are a key pillar of de Blasio’s support), and the share of revenue directed to subways and bus service as opposed to regional rail (to say nothing of how effectively the MTA spends it) — remain unclear and are subject to ongoing negotiations. But if the legislature approves a plan as robust as the governor’s stated aims, the results will be immediately tangible, according to Charles Komanoff, a transportation and energy policy analyst who has studied congestion pricing extensively. “The lion’s share of the benefits are going to accrue to residents of Manhattan,â€? Komanoff said, adding, “The number one beneďŹ t is drivers’ time savings.â€? Komanoff’s traffic model projects a 12 to 15 percent increase in vehicle travel speeds within the central business district once congestion pricing is implemented, which under Cuomo’s plan would take place in 2021. Further benefits, he said, will manifest over time as congestion revenue investments translate into improved transit service and more New Yorkers opt to ride the subway. Within ďŹ ve to 10 years, said Ko-

?

Cuomo’s plan does not specify rates for the congestion toll, which would be variable to provide discounts for drivers entering the zone during off-peak hours. Instead, the congestion toll amounts would be set next year by a new six-member panel. Key details of the panel — including who would hold responsibility for appointing its members — are under negotiation. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, an advocate of congestion pricing, cited an “unaccountable, unnamed panel that will eventually set the pricesâ€? as one reason he opposes the plan supported by the governor and mayor. Johnson also criticized the proposal for its lack of details on the types of MTA capital projects congestion revenue could fund. “I’m surprised the mayor would sign on to the plan without having a greater level of commitment on how the money was going to be spent,â€? Johnson said. The governor has said that his congestion pricing plan would raise $15 billion for the MTA’s next capital plan, but he has not speciďŹ ed how much he thinks drivers should be charged. Last year, a commission formed by the governor recommended a peak-hour charge of $11.52, which would correspond to the two-way E-ZPass toll rate for the Queens-Midtown and Hugh L. Carey Tunnels. As of March 31, those toll rates will rise to $12.24. The plan would not “double toll’ drivers who already pay a toll to enter the congestion zone from the East River tunnels, the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels or the Henry Hudson Bridge at the northern tip of Manhattan. Drivers paying a toll to enter Manhattan from the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, for example, would have the cost of that toll offset from the full congestion charge, so that they would pay the same effective toll rate as a driver using the Brooklyn Bridge. On the East River, this would have the effect of reducing congestion caused by the “bridge shoppingâ€? incentivized under the current system of tolled tunnels and untolled bridges. “You want to harmonize the tolls so it doesn’t matter which

crossing you choose,â€? said Alex Matthiessen, the founder of the inuential congestion pricing advocacy campaign Move NY. But on the West Side, the peak-hour E-ZPass toll rate for the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels is $12.50 — meaning that if the congestion toll isn’t greater than $12.50, New Jersey drivers using these crossings to enter the congestion zone would see no change in the cost of their daily commute. Komanoff said it might be worth exploring an added congestion toll on the Hudson River tunnels “to grab additional revenue and deal with the trafďŹ c disaster that is the West Side of Manhattan.â€?

What about Manhattan residents? The lack of a further disincentive for out-of-state commuters would not sit well with some Manhattan drivers. who argue that they should receive relief or exemptions from the congestion toll, akin to existing toll discount programs for residents of Staten Island and the Rockaways. “If you want to strangle congestion pricing in the cradle, go ahead and insist on Manhattan resident carve-outs,� Komanoff said. “If that drum is beaten loudly enough, then outer-borough and suburban legislators are going to fold their cards and say to hell with the whole thing.� Another concern cited by some Upper West Side and Upper East Side residents is that congestion pricing will cause their neighborhoods’ streets to become crowded with the parked cars of commuters who formerly drove into the congestion zone but will instead park outside the boundary and transfer to the subway to avoid paying the toll. A bill sponsored by Manhattan City Council Members Mark Levine, Helen Rosenthal, Keith Powers and Diana Ayala would create a residential permit system to give locals parking priority. But to dwell on “secondorder� details that could be tweaked later is to risk missing the forest for the trees, according to Komanoff. “I hope that New Yorkers can look at the big picture here,� he said. “This is a generational chance to pull the subways out of catastrophe and finally, after 100 years of streets ruled by traffic, to grab the solution.�

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU’D LIKE US TO LOOK INTO? EMAIL US AT NEWS@STRAUSNEWS.COM


MARCH 7-13,2019

11

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

2019

OTTY

Our Town Thanks You

AWARDS

Judith Lowry, Adina Cohen, Naomi Hample Argosy Bookstore

Ben Kallos NY City Council

Laura Kavanagh FDNY

Thomas Prendergast Former CEO of the MTA

Sahar Husain Muslim Volunteers for NY

Cantor Dov Keren Sutton Place Synagogue

Bob Swanton Holy Trinity Shelter

Dr. Sabina Lim Mount Sinai

Kathleen Walsh NYPD 19th Precinct

Daniel Huttenlocher Cornell Tech

Valerie Mason E 72 Neighborhood Assoc.

Martin Woodard PS 183


12

MARCH 7-13,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Sisters Judith Lowry, Adina Cohen and Naomi Hample (left to right) are the third generation to run the family-owned Argosy Book Store. Photo: Meredith Kurz

Strengthening Communities

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OTTY Awards AND CONGRATULATE ITS 2019 HONOREES

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13

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Get help

2019 OTTY WINNER

NY Connects can help you: t'JOEDBSFBOETVQQPSU t3FNBJOJOEFQFOEFOU t6OEFSTUBOEDBSFPQUJPOT t'JOEUSBOTQPSUBUJPO t-FBSOBCPVUDBSFHJWFSTVQQPSUT t'JOEBTVQQPSUFEFNQMPZNFOUQSPHSBN t(FUBOTXFSTBCPVU.FEJDBSF t"QQMZGPS.FEJDBJEBOEPUIFSCFOFmUT

A family-owned bookstore for three generations, the Argosy is a cultural jewel on the Upper East Side

A Family Business and a Neighborhood Treasure The oldest independent bookstore in New York City, the Argosy was founded in 1925 and is in its third generation of family ownership. The current caretakers of the store are three sisters, Judith Lowry, Naomi Hample and Adina Cohen. While all three sisters can switch hit for one another, Adina is the all-around expert in everything, Naomiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specialty is the sixth floor autographs and papers, and Judithâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sphere is literary ďŹ rst editions. Most small business families raise their children at their stores. The sisters were not encouraged to work in Argosy, yet every day at the dinner table they heard stories about their parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; adventures on their book quests, ďŹ lled with movie stars, politicians, and spacious estates. When Adina was looking for a between-semester job during college, she asked her dad if she could work in the store. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Can you type?â&#x20AC;? he asked her. She shook her head no. Several years went by, and still she couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t type, but he begrudgingly offered a job, at a pretty low salary, so she chose a higher paying city job. When she finally graduated, she got her

wish and got to work in the store. All three girls couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t wait to enter their parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; world.

Presidents and Hurricanes â&#x20AC;&#x153;President Clinton came by a few months ago,â&#x20AC;? Naomi said in an interview. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He loves the sixth floor and will go on and on about history and the politics behind some of the letters written. Dick Cavett is also a frequent visitor and has been shopping here for decades.â&#x20AC;? The store has survived, and thrived, through the Great Depression and World War II. In 2012, after a Hurricane Sandy flood, the damp, damaged documents were placed in the freezer, which helps preserve them. Many presidents have visited the store, some of them frequently, though President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a representative call on his behest. The sisters are fully on board with the internet, where all their wares are available on the Argosy website. The latest challenge is the major construction projects happening all around them, with their scaffolding and noise. But the store is still bustling. Flourishing, even. If you are a reader, it brings a lump to the throat and a little heat to the eyes.

Inside the Store The first floor is wall-towall books. Above the shelves hang oil paintings and framed prints. The Argosy operates in the circa 1900s British Library style, with broad tables and desks to plop down your ďŹ nds, pluck out your glasses (if you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find them, I bet thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

an extra pair of cheaters on the premises) and take a long look at your treasures. The manager of the map and print collection on the second floor, Laura Ten-Eyck (and if you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t love that old elevator, there must be something wrong with you) independently runs the room, where the organization rules and choices are delightfully numbing. War propaganda posters brazenly rub against old New York City maps that in turn tickle dog engravings. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an enormous, chest-high table to slip out your maps and roll out your options. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The map collection started in the 1960s, when we received hundreds of boxes from the American Museum of Natural History,â&#x20AC;? Laura said. Naomi explained that they buy large collections, the whole kit and caboodle, from estates in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Washington DC.

Books, Books and More Books Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a guesstimate store inventory of between 200- and 300,000 volumes, not including the maps. The gilding here are the books that transcend bargain hunting. Hand-tooled leather, the artwork of leaf pages, fonts, pale ink and the words. These books were made when few people read and fewer wrote, when words mattered, when books were dear, precious things. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why they were bound with such care, to last and be handed down through generations. This is the worship of words, of knowledge, of the craft of the phrase. This is the Argosy Bookstore.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE! at OURTOWNNY.COM M

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MAZAL TOV to Cantor Dov Keren on being a 2019 OTTY Award winner.

Sutton Place Synagogue is honored and blessed having you as our Cantor for the past 36 years. Lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;chaim!

Rabbi Rachel Ain | Cantor Dov Keren 225 East 51st Street New York, NY 10022 212-593-3300 | www.spsnyc.org

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The Argosy Book Store is where the elite and the un-elite meet, where books costing less than a small cup of coffee are displayed outside in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;gallery,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; which is the store entrance, and rare, leatherbound volumes from past centuries rest inside in barristersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; bookcases. When the New York Public Library is searching for the right book, they call the Argosy; so does the Library of Congress. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a biblio-bargain, this is also your port of call.

President Clinton ... loves the sixth floor and will go on and on about history and the politics behind some of the letters.â&#x20AC;? NaomiHample, co-owner of Argosy Book Store

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BY MEREDITH KURZ

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MARCH 7-13,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

2019 OTTY WINNER

SERVING OTHERS, AND SETTING AN EXAMPLE Muslim Volunters for New York do the work and spread the word about the rewards of volunteering BY EMILY HIGGINBOTHAM

When Sahar Husain gets to talking about her work with Muslim Volunteers for New York, it’s hard for her to stop. She can certainly go on about the projects MV4NY takes on every year, but what she really wants to convey about the work is the effect it has on the volunteers and the community. “I think it brings inner peace when you help others,” Husain said. “You see the benefits all around you and then you want to get more and more entrenched in that work.” It’s this passion and enthusiasm for the service work that gives you a clue as to how the organization has accrued 600 active members in four years.

That’s a long way from the seven Muslim women who started the organization in 2015. “The idea came from our faith,” said Husain, one of the founding members. “Charity and community service is a big part of our religion.” Each of the women brought different personal and professional experiences to the table that helped them shape the organization and determine what kinds of projects they would tackle. Some women worked as doctors, other as educators and some in finance. Husain, 42, grew up in Karachi, Pakistan and has spent the last 17 years in the United States working in marketing and raising two children with her husband. The women created a fourpart platform, including education, health, hunger and poverty alleviation, and the environment. Soon, they began partnering with more es-

The founders of Muslim Volunteers for New York outside Ruppert Park in 2017. Left to right are Sahar Husain, Mubeen Siddiqui, Sanober Khan, Homera Zaman, Dr. Hina Irshad and Dr. Saima Saad. Photo courtesy of MV4NY

Community service is a big part of our religion.” Muslims for New York co-founder Sahar Husain tablished organizations, asking how MV4NY could fill in the gaps. Husain and her team have attracted a large group of volunteers that extends beyond the Muslim community. “We have a very diverse base of volunteers and donors,” said Husain. “We really feel very proud of that, and we work really hard towards that. We think that’s how you can help others ... when everyone comes together.” Over the years, MV4NY has worked with Meals on Wheels

to deliver food to homebound elderly, collected produce for New York Common Pantry and helped public schools sort and transport books during Project Cicero, among other initiatives. One of the group’s first projects was cleaning up the Upper East Side’s Ruppert Park, which had been plagued by rat colonies. MV4NY now serves as the park’s official steward and comes back several times a year. With a jazz band, refreshments and activities for kids, it’s become one of their most popular projects. “Last time we had 165 volunteers that came to our spring event,” said Husain. It’s important to continue to come back to the park and participate in other projects each year, she said, because the need for MV-

4NY’s services is continuous. “We cannot just come in once and then withdraw. We need to be there and keep supporting.” This continuity, Husain said, helps show the next generation not only the value of service work, but also how to organize their own drives and projects. “You know the concept of having the kids read for 15 to 20 minutes every night and it becomes a part of their personality, their fabric?,” Husain said. “That’s the idea we wanted to bring to community work.” One of the best moments of running MV4NY, Husain said, has been seeing the young people take it upon themselves to further the mission. For example, at the beginning of summer, MV4NY runs a food drive during Ramadan — a month

in which Muslims fast — as it overlaps with a time of need for food pantries. “We thought why not reach out to the schools to partner with us,” said Husain. “There was a young girl who wanted to speak about Ramadan and poverty in her class. She reached out to us about our drive. Her entire school participated. We were like in awe with her.” Now, student leaders at other schools are organizing their own Ramadan drives with MV4NY. It’s a sign to Husain that the group’s work is paying off. “Our work is not just about getting that tin of oatmeal to someone. We want to teach students and kids to engage in this work, lead such projects and understand how to respectfully help another individual.”

2019 OTTY WINNER

BOOTING UP A TECH SCHOOL Under Daniel Huttenlocher’s leadership, Cornell Tech has emerged as an institution at the leading edge of New York’s new economy BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Less than seven years after Cornell Tech launched its programs as a temporary guest in Google’s Chelsea headquarters, the school is well on its way to transforming its new Roosevelt Island campus into a key hub for one of the city’s most promising industries. Cornell Tech’s evolution from nascent idea to influential institution took place under the leadership of Daniel Huttenlocher, who has served as the school’s dean since its inception. Cornell Tech’s pioneering model brings graduate students, researchers, and business leaders together

under the same banner to develop new companies and technologies. “The idea is under one roof to get academics, bigger companies, smaller companies, all there interacting,” Huttenlocher said. Huttenlocher will leave Cornell Tech in August to take a new position as dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Schwarzman College of Computing. But he leaves behind a school poised to contribute to New York City for decades to come. “It’s this amazing opportunity both to build the organization from scratch — we’re hiring faculty and staff who are coming here because we’re building a different kind of thing from a programmatic point of view — and then there’s also the physical infrastructure, where we’re also trying to take different

In many ways one of our contributions is being a symbol of the commitment to tech in the city.”

approaches,” he said.

Daniel Huttenlocher, Cornell Tech

A Campus to Match a Mission Cornell Tech’s h’s Roosevelt Island campus,, which opened in 2017 and will continue to expand through ugh 2043, is designed to reflect lect the school’s interdisciplinary nary mission. Its ample open areas, reas, transparent glass facades and d collaborall b tive spaces are intended to remove barriers and encourage partnership between leaders in computing, engineering, business, law, and design “These are all important aspects of building modern-day digital stuff and they’re often still very separate from each other in the academic world, and also in many companies, frankly,” Huttenlocher said. “I think we’re at the place where we really are the future in bringing those together in a more integrated manner.”

Daniel Huttenlocher, dean and vice provost of Cornell Tech. Photo: Cornell Tech

A Deep Tech Talent Pool It’s no coincidence that Cornell Tech’s rise occurred in tandem with the ascendance of New York City’s tech sector, which now accounts for hundreds of thousands of jobs at companies ranging from blue chips to startups—about 50 of which trace their roots to Cornell Tech. The school itself is a product of the strategic

effort, begun under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and continued by Mayor Bill de Blasio, to promote growth in the city’s technology sector by fostering a pipeline of elite talent. The city’s talent pool, and Cornell Tech specifically, were major selling points in Amazon’s since-abandoned decision to build new corporate offices in Long Island City. Huttenlocher, who sits on Amazon’s board of directors and recused himself from matters relating to the new campus, said the decision won’t affect Cornell Tech’s commitment to working with companies of all scales in the city’s vibrant tech scene, including Amazon. “Am I disappointed? Cer-

tainly,” he said. “But it doesn’t really change what we’re doing here. Amazon would have been one of a number of large companies that we’d be working with here in New York. And frankly they’re still in New York. They’ve got thousands of employees here. We work with them and we will continue to work with them.” Cornell Tech’s current student body of roughly 300 is expected to swell to more than 2,000 as the school expands over the next two decades. “I can point to great contributions we’ve made, but in many ways one of our contributions is being a symbol of the commitment to tech in the city,” Huttenlocher said.


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2019 OTTY WINNER

WRITING LAWS FOR EVERYONE Council Member Ben Kallos has roots on the UES — and an eye on higher office BY CHRISTOPHER MOORE

East Side Council Member Ben Kallos says his answer is “cheesy.” The 38-year-old rising star in Manhattan politics has been asked about his greatest accomplishment. He points first to the little girl that he and his wife welcomed last year. “My daughter is the end-all and beall of my life. And to the extent that’s an accomplishment, it starts and ends there—just to have the privilege of being a father. But I think that’s just a personal milestone,” he says, speaking at his desk in his East 93rd Street office. Snow falls on the other side of the window. He’s wearing a blue suit, white shirt and no tie, talking easily and without the requisite staff members that so often sit in on a politician’s interview. “I take paternity leave pretty seri-

ously and family leave pretty seriously,” he adds, “and I admit I’ve been a little bit of a bully with any men that I know who aren’t taking leave because I think both partners regardless of gender should be taking an equal and active role in the child-rearing process.” Kallos says he’s proud to have led the fight for public matching funds, an idea backed by voters in November 2018. “Good-government issues usually aren’t the things that people care about and I can be a little bit down on myself and even self-critical there,” he says, “but in November 1.4 million flipped over the ballot, 1.4 million people voted yes on Question 1.” The charter amendment lowered the amount of money a candidate for city office can accept, but increased the public funding available for those who participate in the public matching funds program. When he began running for his council seat, which he won in 2013 and again in 2017, Kallos refused to take money from real estate donors. “At the time, people called me self-righteous

I am interested in participating in a campaign finance system that I helped create.” City Council Member Ben Kallos

Ben Kallos says he’s proud to have led the fight for public matching funds, an idea backed by voters in November 2018. Photo courtesy of NYC Council photographer William Alatriste and felt that I was being idealistic.” But being in the forefront on goodgovernment issues now seems like a winning side, politically. Kallos is considered a likely candidate in 2021 for Manhattan borough president. The term-limited incumbent, Gale Brewer, is widely viewed as likely to run for her old West Side council job. “I am interested in running for higher office,” Kallos says. “I am interested in participating in a campaign finance system that I helped create.” Asked specifically about Brewer’s current job, Kallos smiles and says, “It’s no secret that I want to be Gale Brewer when I grow up. I don’t know

very many people who don’t want to be Gale Brewer when they grow up.” The two don’t agree on term limits, which Kallos favors and Brewer opposes. “Anywhere I don’t see term limits I don’t see functional government. Albany has been broken for a very long time,” he argues. “I think it’s important for folks to get out of the way,” he adds, maintaining that making room for new voices makes sense. His own voice is rooted in his experience of growing up on the Upper East Side. He’s a graduate of the Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School and the Bronx High School of Science. He attended SUNY Albany and then paid his way through University at Buffalo Law School. A practicing attorney before his political career took off, Kallos eventually served as chief of staff for Assembly Member Jonathan Bing from 2007 to 2009. But his interest in government started much earlier. “I thought I might like to be an elected official when I was 12,” he says. As a youngster who attended an Orthodox synagogue, he remembers wrestling with issues surround-

SUPPORTING FIREFIGHTERS FOR A SAFER CITY BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

“Being able to advocate for the men and women of the FDNY is the honor of a lifetime,” she said.

A New Career As first deputy commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, Laura Kavanagh is responsible for ensuring the department has the resources it needs to maximize the performance and safety of firefighters on the front lines — and, in turn, the well-being of all New Yorkers. Kavanagh’s work takes many forms, ranging from public outreach to interagency coordination to pushing for important legislation. But her energy is always directed toward a singular — and singularly worthwhile — goal.

Kavanagh joined the FDNY in 2014 after years of experience in political advocacy and campaign consulting, culminating in stints on former President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2013 campaign. “I really felt a passion toward the end of that work about coming to government and starting to implement the things that I had spent years advocating for or advising candidates to advocate for,” she said. An opening at the FDNY represented “a fantastic opportunity to work for one of the greatest fire depart-

Our mission was to recruit more women and more people of color than we ever had before, and we went about that in a really strategic and serious way.”

A Diverse Department

Laura Kavanagh, FDNY FDNY First Deputy Commissioner Laura Kavanagh Photo: Courtesy FDNY ments in the world, and also one of the greatest agencies in the city.” Kavanaugh was appointed to her position as the department’s secondhighest ranking civilian administrator in January 2018. In that role, she applies many of the same talents she honed running political campaigns. “It was quite a natural fit to use those skills for such a wonderful cause,” she said.

ing Jewish law. A rabbi suggested that maybe Kallos should grow up to write laws for everyone. Kallos’s district includes the Upper East Side, Midtown East, Roosevelt Island and East Harlem. For his first three years on the council, he was the chair of the council’s Government Operations Committee, where he tackled more than the campaign finance issue. He also focused on using technology to aid access to government and took aim at patronage. He helped get rid of outside income for council members, and to end the practice wherein the council speaker had the discretion to give “lulus,” or specific financial disbursements. What has he not done? He hasn’t stopped the city’s plan for a marine transfer station in the area. “Doesn’t mean I have given up yet,” he says. One big surprise when he got to the council: the corruption. He remembers being told that he needed to “go along to get along” and hearing advice against making any waves. “These are all the things that you might read about in a book,” he says. Quoting Justice Louis D. Brandeis and the line about how “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants,” Kallos stresses the importance of whistleblowers and a free press. The news media helps him hold the mayor and institutions in the city to account. He mentions Our Town reporters who’ve written about the issues he’s been involved with. Journalists get credit from Kallos for “holding power accountable — including me — that’s a good thing.” tion of uniformed chiefs and civilian IT personnel. “We’ve been able to advocate for innovative tools that help all of our members in the field,” she said. “We’ve rolled out mobile applications that allow the firefighters on scene to have greater situational awareness.” “I’m proud of everything we’ve been able to secure for our members in the budget over the last few years,” she added.

2019 OTTY WINNER

Laura Kavanagh, a devoted champion of New York’s bravest

MARCH 7-13,2019

Kavanagh’s strong relationships, both within the FDNY and elsewhere in city government, have produced real-world results. These include station and equipment upgrades secured through her budgetary work with partners in the City Council, and new technologies that support firefighting operations, which she helped implement with the close collabora-

Kavanagh also oversaw recent firefighter recruitment efforts that resulted in the largest and most diverse pool of applicants in the FDNY’s history. “Our mission was to recruit more women and more people of color than we ever had before, and we went about that in a really strategic and serious way,” she said. She is particularly proud of the FDNY’s fire prevention efforts, which include fire safety education events that reach over 700,000 New Yorkers each year, and the Get Alarmed NYC initiative that has resulted in the free installation of 100,000 smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in New Yorkers’ homes. “These things help ensure the safety both of our members and the public,” she said.


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2019 OTTY WINNER

THE EGALITARIAN CANTOR Dov Keren is one of the great tenors of the Jewish musical world — and a religious traditionalist who came to embrace change, modernity and the arrival of women on an equal footing with men BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

When Cantor Dov Keren first chanted the worship service at the Sutton Place Synagogue in 1984, it was a vastly different era in Jewish liturgical life — and women were effectively relegated to second-class roles. They weren’t counted for a minyan, the quorum of 10 Jews over age 13 required for public prayers. Dancing with the Torah was frowned upon. And they were expected to read the prayers in English, not in Hebrew. Flash forward 35 years. The only constant at the Conservative shul on East 51st Street is that the 77-year-old, Israeli-born, former economist is still the musical prayer leader — and his rich lyrical voice can still make tears well up in the eyes of the devout as he lifts them closer to God. But the women have been co-equal with the men for a long time now:

They ascend the bimah, the raised platform from which the Torah is read, intone the Hebrew prayers, open and close the Holy Ark housing the Torah scrolls, and daven, or recite the prayers, with the same back-andforth swaying motion that was once the province of the men. Sutton Place became officially egalitarian on Jan. 15, 2005. Seven years later, Rabbi Rachel Ain, the first woman to hold the position, was hired. Recently, the matriarchs — Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah — have taken their rightful alongside the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the blessing of the ancestors. These were all sea changes in the life of a formerly Orthodox shul that was founded in 1906 and affiliated with the Conservative movement only in the mid-1950s. And no one embraced them more than the sabra who was born before the creation of the state of Israel — and came of age in Haifa, where he received his musical and cantorial education in the 1950s. “I came here to serve the community,” Keren said in an interview in the rabbi’s study. “The community is not

here to serve me.” Keren considers himself a traditionalist. But he views himself as a public servant, first and foremost. That has been his calling since his military service as a lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces in the 1960s. Thus, when it came to the right of a woman to be called upon for an aliyah, a reading from the Torah, the will of the public at Sutton Place was very clear, and so it quickly became his will, too: “It was the right thing to do, and the right time to do it,” the cantor says. “Becoming egalitarian helped us get more young families to join — and it helped our reputation as a warm, welcoming synagogue.” Something must have been working: Over the past five years, Ain said, at a time when membership in Conservative shuls nationwide is on the wane, Sutton Place has grown by an average of five percent per year, to 505 member families from around 430. Keren has never stopped evolving or embracing change, including, most recently, the use of musical instruments in the Friday night services, she said. “He is steeped in Jewish tradition

I see myself as the people’s messenger to God, and when I see their faces, and get their feedback, it makes me do a better job.” Cantor Dov Keren, Sutton Place Synagogue

Cantor Dov Keren at the Sutton Place Synagogue on East 51st Street, where he’s enraptured the Conservative congregation for 35 years. Photo: Courtesy of Sutton Place Synagogue — even as he keeps an eye toward the modern sensibilities,” the rabbi said. Examples abound: For 28 years during cantorial renditions, Keren, in keeping with tradition, mostly faced the Ark, the cupboard bearing the Torah. But that meant congregants typically saw his back as he sang. Then in 2012, the year of Ain’s arrival, he decided to turn around to face the worshippers: “I see myself as the people’s messenger to God, and when I see their faces, and get their feedback, it makes me do a better job,” he said. Celebrated for his rich tenor voice, Keren, who has guest-soloed in Carne-

gie Hall and performs Yiddish, Hasidic and Israeli works, is a self-described “professional old-time cantor.” Keeping traditional Jewish music alive is a part of that calling. Keren melds it with new melodies, Israeli popular songs — and even Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which he adopted last year for High Holiday prayers . “He provides continuity in that he’s both representative of the past and willing to broker the future,” said Dr. Shari Pochapin, the synagogue’s president. Then there’s that voice — after 35 years, Keren still sees a vocal coach so he can continue to perfect his craft. He is planning to step down in July 2020, becoming cantor emeritus. Sutton Place will hold a gala in his honor on April 10 at the Bohemian National Hall on East 73rd Street. Why is he leaving? “I’m still at my best,” the cantor said, “and I want to retire when I’m at my best.”

The East Midtown Partnership Salutes Adina Cohen, Naomi Hample, and Judith Lowry of ARGOSY BOOK STORE Deputy Inspector Kathleen Walsh - 19th Precinct Commanding Officer COMMANDING OFFICER, NYPD 19th PRECINCT and all the 2019 OTTY Award Winners!

www.EastMidtown.org


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2019 OTTY WINNER

THE GOLD STANDARD Dr. Sabina Lim is a mental health pioneer whose innovative methods are humanizing patient care BY MEREDITH KURZ

How do you talk to someone you believe may be experiencing some mental health issues? “I don’t think there’s any wrong way or right way,” said Dr. Sabina Lim. “You need to approach them in a way that reflects non-judgment. Think about talking to a person in a way that motivates a better way to address their symptoms. Ask questions like, ‘What do you want out of life?’ It can be a big goal or a small goal. Focus on the positive. Lim, vice president and chief of strategy, behavioral health, for the Mount Sinai Health System, oversees about 60 outpatient clinics, 350-plus inpatient behavioral health beds, several pilot programs and more than one million ambulatory

visits. Her core tenet is deceptively simple: “Mental illness shouldn’t be feared. You can live successfully with the right strategies in place.” Part of the solution, Lim explained, is talking to other people who have been through your experience. If you have diabetes, hypertension, or asthma, you feel more comfortable talking to someone who has lived it. The same goes for mental health. You need to be with a circle of people who “get it.” “We’re increasingly finding how valuable peer counseling is to engage mental health patients into treatment,” said Lim. The old model, where people in white coats tell patients what’s wrong with them, is, well, the old model. Lim uses the term “Demedicalized” to describe the new, more successful strategy she promotes to help patients. Peer counselors are people who successfully manage their mental health challenges and work with others to help them

Mental illness shouldn’t be feared. You can live successfully with the right strategies in place.” Dr. Sabina Lim

Drr. Sabina Lim is vice president and chief of strategy, behavioral health, for the Mount Sinai Health System. Photo: Courtesy Mount Sinai

The 19th Precinct Community Council Congratulates &RPPDQGLQJ2൶FHURIWKHWK3UHFLQFW Dep. Insp. KATHLEEN WALSH On her well deserved Otty Award.

19th Precinct Community Council President Nick Viest Vice President Kathy Jolowicz Treasurer Bridie O’Reilly

Secretary Susan Gotteridge Asst. Secretary Abbie Sheridan Sergeant of Arms David Gillespie

address their own. These counselors are part of a new pilot program that deploys teams of trained specialists who intercede during mental health crises where they happen; in the neighborhood, family home, or even a subway platform. In this effort,Lim’s department works with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a national grassroots mental health organization, and with Vibrant Emotional Health organization (formerly the Mental Health Association of New York City), which is on the forefront of public policy advocacy and education. These organizations, along with the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), the state Office of Mental Health,the city Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Council Member Ben Kallos would like to thank Our Town Newspaper for recognizing 2019 OTTY Award honorees. “We all share a commitment to making the Upper East Side an even better place to live.”

and others, form a literal mental health support army for the mobile outreach teams. Mobile mental health teams have been in existence for years, but times and strategies have changed.“Our services used to be ‘medicalized,’” said Lim. “Our approach is now ‘patient based.’” Response times used to be as much as 48 hours. “We’ve now reduced this to two hours,” Lim was happy to report. The teams can respond faster, meet with the patient at their location, determine if they need assistance, and if so, what kind. This greatly reduces the stress on emergency rooms, and places the patients in programs that best suit their diagnoses. One exciting result of the program’s success is that it can be replicated. Dr. Lim recently shared her mobile response program, and its results, with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We want to be the Gold Star Standard on how behavioral health services are delivered,” said Lim, “leading the way forward, and a major contributor to the national outreach for patient-centered treatment”


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2019 OTTY WINNER

THE PROBLEM SOLVER OF THE UES From mid-block subway entryways to trash in the tree pits, Valerie Mason is on the case

bors and the blockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s co-op boards, she helped raise money, circulated petitions, ďŹ led lawsuits, enlisted elected officials, demanded public hearings and environmental impact studies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We packed the meetings â&#x20AC;&#x201D; sometimes we over-packed the meetings â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and we could be a little bit rude and boisterous!â&#x20AC;? she recalled. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of the electeds were like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very happy to support you, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re never going to win. The MTA is this big monolith. How can you take it on?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? As for the transit goliath, Mason said, its attitude seemed to be, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Who do you think you are?â&#x20AC;? To which she and her spirited cohorts were quick to reply, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Who do you think you are?â&#x20AC;? Against all odds, the campaign worked. The agency backed down. The mid-block entry point was nixed in 2008. The MTA said â&#x20AC;&#x153;issues with electrical wiringâ&#x20AC;? led to its change of heart. But on 72nd Street, everyone knew the voltage came from Mason. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I hadnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t gone up against the MTA before, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have battle fatigue, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what I was getting into, and sometimes, ignorance can be bliss,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It set me down a path that was eye-opening.â&#x20AC;? Over the decade that followed, as

BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

The MTA bureaucrats were unyielding. They had devised a plan to tear up a chunk of the stately residential block on East 72nd Street between First and Second Avenues, and their decision appeared non-negotiable: They would rip up the sidewalk, obliterate the streetscape, dig a hole in the earth, bore underground and embed a new Q train entrance smack dab in the middle of the block under a gargantuan glass canopy. Then Valerie Mason entered the picture. A leading banking and finance attorney, she was new to community activism. In fact, as she tells it, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I honestly did not know about the existence of the community boards.â&#x20AC;? No matter. She was soon rallying outraged fellow residents in battling what they saw as a safety hazard that would invite jaywalking, imperil children, and inevitably, degrade the character of their neighborhood. It was 2007, and Mason was in the ďŹ ght of her life. Along with her neigh-

Second Avenue Subway construction turned her immediate environs into a war zone, Masonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s band of citizenactivists held the agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s feet to the fire, seeking relief from power outages, overďŹ&#x201A;owing garbage, unsightly or unsafe equipment stockpiled on sidewalks and the narrowing or disappearance of pedestrian paths. By Feb. 2016, she decided the time had come to formalize the group that had humbled the MTA. The subway was ďŹ nally set to open on Jan. 1, 2017, residents at long last were about to reclaim their block, and thus, with Mason as the president and founder, the East 72 Street Neighborhood Association, or E72NA, was born. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Things were already happening without our input, and we needed to be a part of it to have a real impact,â&#x20AC;? Mason said. E72NAâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s growth was turbo-charged: Three years ago, it had six member buildings, all on 72nd Street. Today, it has 21 member buildings between 69th and 74th Streets that are home to some 4,750 owners and tenants. Unlike many neighborhood groups, E72NA has a sophisticated website, a presence on Twitter and Facebook â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and even a communications director.

East Siders are lucky to have her.â&#x20AC;? Eas City Council Member Keith Powers

Valerie Mason, the driving force behind the East 72 Street Neighborhood Association. Photo courtesy of Valerie Mason Elected officials have taken notice. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ms. Mason has empowered hundreds of neighbors to advocate for a better quality of life,â&#x20AC;? said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright.Adds Council Member Keith Powers, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Valerie Mason puts her neighbors ďŹ rst. East Siders are lucky to have her.â&#x20AC;? A native New Yorker raised in Astoria, Queens, Mason graduated from Barnard College in 1980 and Duke University Law School in 1983, and sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lived on the UES since 1984. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a trustee of the Brick Presbyterian Church on Park Avenue; a board member for more than two decades at the Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Prison Assn.; a member of Community Board 8 who serves as its parliamentarian and on three of its committees; and a member of the New

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York Junior League since 1993. Between nonprofit work and community advocacy, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also got to make a living: Mason is a partner at the Otterbourg P.C. law firm, which she ďŹ rst joined in 1984, specializing in the complex structuring and restructuring of ďŹ nancing transactions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s able to look at an issue that seemingly has a very narrow focus specific to one street or one neighborhood â&#x20AC;&#x201D; like trash in the tree pits on 72nd Street â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really a ďŹ&#x201A;ag about overall conditions in a much larger context within the community,â&#x20AC;? said Alida Camp, the chair of CB8. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next? Lots of things, including a push to cap building height on First, Second and Third Avenues at 210 feet. That would redress what she views as a historic inequity in municipal zoning and land use. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fifth and Park, Lex and Madison, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re all capped at 210 feet,â&#x20AC;? Mason said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Everybody has a height limit except for the most densely populated part of the Upper East Side â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just wrong, wrong, wrong!â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;The electeds are mostly supportive, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the right thing to do, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the will of the community, and so weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to try to make it happen,â&#x20AC;? Mason added.

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2019 OTTY WINNER

SUBWAY SERVICE Former MTA chairman Tom Prendergast has dedicated decades of his life to public transit BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Tom Prendergast’s tenure as chairman and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority culminated with the completion of a project of unparalleled significance for the Upper East Side: the Second Avenue subway. The Jan. 2017 opening of the longawaited line — the largest expansion of the subway system in 50 years, which was first proposed nearly a century earlier — was the talk of the town, drawing curious visitors from around the city. “When we had the station open-houses prior to starting service, people in the neighborhood would line up, hundreds of people, to come down and look at the stations,” Prendergast recalled. Aside from the striking ambience of the gleaming new stops — brightly

lit, spacious and filled with art — the commencement of Q train service had an immediate impact on the daily experience of transit users. “It was a tremendous benefit to the Upper East Side because it offloaded the overcrowded and overused Lexington Avenue line,” Prendergast said. “I think it’s made a marked difference for the people on the Upper East Side who had to depend on only one line and now have two.” “To be able to be part of something that helped that neighborhood was invigorating,” he said.

A New Chapter Soon after the Second Avenue subway opened its turnstiles to passengers, Prendergast announced his retirement from the MTA after more than 25 years with the agency, during which he also served as president of New York City Transit and the Long Island Railroad. Prendergast now works on transitrelated projects as executive vice president and chief strategy officer

To be able to be part of something that helped that neighborhood was invigorating.” Former MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast

Tom Prendergast speaks at the grand opening of the Second Avenue subway, Dec. 31, 2016. Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/ Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo for the consulting firm STV Incorporated. He enjoys the improved worklife balance of the private sector, but said the challenges, rewards and excitement of public service are impossible to replicate. “It’s a tremendous esprit de corps in the MTA,” he said. “When you make the conscious decision to withdraw from that it’s a little bit of a letdown, because the adrenaline doesn’t flow and you miss the people you work with.”

2019 OTTY WINNER

A HELPING HAND FOR THE HOMELESS With a zeal for community service and a track record of seeing projects to fruition, Bob Swanton has been aiding the unfortunate since the early 1980s. Photo courtesy of Bob Swanton

With Bob, it’s always, ‘Don’t worry about it, we’ll take care of it, we’ll make it happen. And that’s exactly the way it works out ... He’s got an idea, he runs with it. He accomplishes it.” The Rev. John F. Beddingfield, rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity

Bob Swanton is making life a little bit easier for the needy residents of the Holy Trinity shelter — and healthier, too, as he introduces them to fresh, locally farm-sourced foods. BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

A passion for volunteerism. Experience at some of the planet’s largest corporations. A coach to senior-level executives. Active-duty service in the U.S. Navy. A long run as a high school social studies teacher. Bob Swanton has acquired a deep skill set over his 74 years. Above all, it is grounded in service to community and nation. And it’s made him the model volunteer at the Church of the Holy Trinity homeless shelter. For the past decade, the 37-year Carnegie Hill resident has proven a remarkably calming presence to the dispossessed men who stay as overnight guests in the basement of St. Christopher’s House on East 88th Street.

“We’re there to listen if they want to talk, and to share our thoughts, if asked, and to be a friendly face at the end of a long day – but we’re not there to pry, and we take our cues from our guests,” Swanton said. Offering healthy, high-quality food on a nightly basis to 12 to 15 hungry men, who often have poor diets or substance-abuse issues or both, is one of his breakthrough accomplishments, fellow volunteers say. It happened like this: In mid-2017, Swanton was eating at the Dig Inn restaurant on Lexington Avenue and 87th Street, an eatery known for top-notch, farm-to-table food, when he noticed that the workers were in the process of discarding unused edibles. Approaching the manager, he asked if the foodstuffs might be donated to the homeless. “Absolutely,” he was told. It turns out that Dig Inn has a policy of seeking to re-route excess food to places in the communities it serves where it’s most in need. So now, every night at around 10

The memories that stand out years later — snowstorms, power outages, and other crises — highlight the exhilaration of working as a team to meet the daunting responsibility of providing service to millions of New Yorkers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The Ultimate Challenge Prendergast was president of NYCT in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy flooded nine of the system’s 14 under-river tubes. “I can honestly say if I never go through another one of those I will be happy,” he said. “It was by far the most sobering, challenging and — on the back end — invigorating experience” as the agency worked around the clock to repair flood damage and restore service in a matter of days. A native of Chicago, Prendergast p.m., two homeless men wheel a big shopping cart over to the restaurant to pick up the unsold food, which is promptly refrigerated and becomes the next night’s meal Indeed, the offerings include sustainably grown or harvested foods like sea bass, quinoa, steak, chicken, fresh vegetables and a range of other locally farm-sourced products. “Typically, when I hear a big idea, I immediately worry about the logistics, who’s going to follow up on it, and how it will work,” said the Rev. John F. Beddingfield, who has served as rector of the Episcopalian church since 2015 and is himself a volunteer at the shelter. “But with Bob, it’s always, ‘Don’t worry about it, we’ll take care of it, we’ll make it happen,’” Beddingfield said. “And that’s exactly the way it works out ... He’s got an idea, he runs with it. He accomplishes it.” But he doesn’t do it alone, Swanton is quick to point out. “It’s a team effort in every sense of the word,” he says. Fifteen volunteers, led by Mark Roshkind, Holy Trinity’s shelter site coordinator, each take a few nights each month and cover for each other as needed. Raised on Long Island and living on the Upper East Side since 1982, Swanton graduated from Holy Cross College in 1966, served in the Navy on a ship at sea and was stationed in Guantanamo Bay in the late 1960s. He taught high school in Levittown in the 1970s. After studying for his master’s from NYU in China during the Cultural

started his career at the Chicago Transit Authority before joining the MTA in the early 1980s. Chicago’s system “was 24/7 and it carried a lot of people, but I came to New York and my head spun,” he said. Prendergast maintains a sense of reverence for the scope and scale of public transit in New York to this day, and reminds New Yorkers at every opportunity how unique their system is. “There is no other system in the world that has 472 subway stations and can say that 75 percent of the population lives within half a mile of a station,” he said.

Looking Ahead The challenge for today’s transportation planners, Prendergast said, is balancing the maintenance needs of such a vast transportation network, in which the oldest subways stations date to 1904, while also committing resources to expand the system’s size to accommodate a growing population. The Second Avenue subway will serve as a reminder of the enduring impact major transit investments can have. “We’ve got to do a better job delivering projects faster and more cost-effectively,” he said. “But it’s a tremendous accomplishment and a benefit to the City of New York.”

Revolution, and then getting his MBA from Columbia Business School in 1980, he worked in human resources, first for Exxon and then for Merrill Lynch, in the 1980s. By 1990, he’d set up his own consulting practice, Executive Dimensions, and flew around the world coaching corporate clients in Europe and Asia on leadership skills until his retirement three years ago. Yet volunteerism was a constant throughout his long career in business. Starting some 20 years ago, Swanton began pitching in at Yorkville’s homeless shelters, aiding the destitute at St. Stephen of Hungary on East 82nd Street, and then Our Lady of Good Counsel on East 90th Street, before moving to Holy Trinity in 2010. What motivates that level of giving? “I felt as I was pretty fortunate, I wanted to be of assistance to those who were less fortunate,” he said. Is it tough to aid so many troubled men? Does he ever get discouraged? And what keeps him going? “Actually, working with them can be quite inspiring,” Swanton said. “These men have for the most part been born into poverty, have had very little education and can’t afford a room of their own. Many of them are also alone without family support. “Despite these obstacles, they’re trying to get their life back in order,” he added. “Their fortitude is impressive. It makes me appreciate what I have, and the thought that I might be of some help is what keeps me doing it.”


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2019 OTTY WINNER

A SURE SENSE OF MISSION For Deputy Inspector Kathleen Walsh, commander of the 19th precinct, it’s all about helping people BY DAVID NOONAN

The 19th precinct, which reaches from Fifth Avenue to the East River, from 59th St. to 96th St., is one of the most interesting places on the planet. Its residents live within walking distance of some of the finest museums in the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The precinct is home to world-renowned hospitals, like Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. There are dozens of foreign consulates and diplomatic residences within its boundaries, along with more than 75 schools, among them Hunter College. It has more than three dozen churches, synagogues and mosques. It boasts some of the most valuable residential real estate in the U.S., as well as scores of luxury retailers, including the fashion flagship Bloomingdale’s, which draw shoppers from around the globe. Keeping this unique city-withina-city safe for its 250,000 or so resi-

The Upper East Side is a great place to live and work, and it’s our job to keep it that way.”

dents, and the many thousands more who work in and visit the precinct every day, is the responsibility of Deputy Inspector Kathleen Walsh, who took command of the 19th in January 2018. It’s a tough job, and she loves it. “The Upper East Side is a great place to live and work and it’s our job to keep it that way,” Walsh said in an interview. “Reducing crime and improving quality of life for all is our number one priority.”

encouragement of mentors like Chief James Murtaugh, and Chief Kathleen O’Reilly, Walsh made her way up through the ranks. From 2005 to 2010 she was a sergeant in the 19th, when Murtaugh was commander. It was then that she grew to love the neighborhood, and its people. “It’s a great community. The people here really respect and like the police. They’re good partners.”

A Cop From the Start

In Command

Walsh, the youngest of 10, was born in Yonkers and lived in Ireland from age 3 to 18, when she returned to the U.S. for college. She thought about becoming a nurse, like two of her sisters, but she didn’t like the idea of being inside all the time. “I wanted to be out and about,” she said. She certainly achieved that goal. Walsh joined the NYPD Cadet Corps while earning a degree in forensic toxicology at John Jay College, and went straight to the academy after graduation. This month will mark her 19th year on the force. She took to the work, and with the

A natural leader, Walsh exuded a quiet but unmistakable authority as she made her way around precinct headquarters one recent weekday morning. She is the boss, as some of the officers greeted her, but she had friendly words for everyone she encountered. In the muster room, as she addressed the officers on the 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift, she congratulated two of them for successful foot pursuits and arrests the day before. Walsh takes great pride in the work of the officers of the 19th precinct. “It is rewarding for sure to run a precinct,” she said. “I have a very good team.

Deputy Inspector Kathleen Walsh, commander of the 19th precinct

Deputy Inspector Kathleen Walsh, commander of the 19th precinct, joined the NYPD in 2000. Photo: David Noonan They’re in it, you know, they want to do good, and they want to do better. They want to catch the bad guy.”

Respect is the Rule For Walsh, good police work starts with the cops on the beat, and it’s all about respect. “What I tell the officers . . . is to treat everybody with respect. From the homeless person on the street, to the business owner, to the resident, whoever you come in contact with, treat them all with respect. They’re human beings. ” Walsh said she gets more letters

from people who have good experiences with her officers than complaints. But she takes nothing for granted. There are supervisors in the 19th who are mandated to look at the bodycam footage, but Walsh keeps an eye on it as well. “I try to check different people, just to see how they are talking to folks and how they handle the job,” she said. “The majority, I’m impressed with. It’s very rare that I have to say watch your language or any of that.” Walsh’s career in the NYPD has been propelled by her intelligence and by her sure sense of mission. She knows that being a police officer in New York City can be a stressful and dangerous job. But she has never lost sight of the fundamental task, and she tries to instill that approach in her officers. “I say to them, ‘You have put the uniform on. Nobody forced you to put your hand up and swear the oath. You came on to help people, it’s your job, so help them. That’s what we’re here for.’”

2019 OTTY WINNER

GIVING KIDS ‘THE EMOTIONAL ABILITY TO LEAD’ Principal Martin Woodard and his team at P.S. 183 focus on creating a safe and joyful environment BY EMILY HIGGINBOTHAM

Like many other educators, P.S. 183 Principal Martin Woodard’s decision to become a teacher was influenced heavily by own his teachers. But perhaps unlike many other future educators, Woodard found his least favorite teachers the most instructive for his own career. “I enjoyed school a lot so when I had a bad teacher or a teacher not giving it their best I felt like I was missing out on something,” Woodard said in a recent interview. “I knew there could be a lot better for kids.” After moving from a small town in Ohio, Woodard began his teaching career as a fourth grade teacher at P.S. 158, where he stayed for nearly ten years. From there, he moved on as the assistant principal at the P.S. 151 in Yorkville. His desire to shape the student experience for kids all the way through

elementary school motivated the decision to make the move to administration. “I realized that as a teacher you could only influence some of the small number of students that were in my class every year,” he said. “But as an administrator I can have an influence on the experience for a child kindergarten through fifth grade.” Six years later, Woodard joined the staff of P.S. 183 as principal, where he is now in his second year at the helm. “One of the things for a new person coming in, I knew nobody here when I started. I didn’t know the families. I didn’t know the students. I didn’t know the staff,” he said, “But they were so welcoming.” P.S. 183 has long been known as a high-performing school. In 2018 it was awarded for academic achievement and named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

Achievement Beyond Test Scores Woodard said the school’s success is thanks to the staff at the school and his assistant principal, Kim

Banks, who has been at the school for 14 years. “There’s a sense of collectiveness among the staff towards everyone doing well and helping each other out,” he said. “And I have a fantastic [assistant principal] in Kim who has been really supportive — and she’s a tremendously hard worker.” Banks and Woodard said that the academic success is a big focus for the school’s families already, and that it is their job to facilitate the success and to provide a safe and joyful environment. “At the end of every year, I ask was this a safe year? Was this a year where students were happy?” said Banks. “I think that’s one of the things that makes our school stand out is that it’s a very comfortable environment.” Woodard agreed, saying test scores were not the only way to measure achievement. “To me success is when I see kids running in the building because they’re so excited to come to school,” he said. One way the administration creates that environment is through

programming. This year, kindergarten through second graders are learning to play chess. Third graders are learning the art of ballet through a partnership with the New York City Ballet. They’re also getting visits from Fulbright scholars who teach the students about their culture and what it was like growing up in their home country. Fourth graders are learning a unit on art and slavery with the New York Historical Society. And fifth graders just finished a residency with the Justice Resource Center where they researched a First Amendment issue and argued a fictitious case at the Brooklyn Court House. Woodard said he wants to continue programming at P.S. 183 that helps students identify what it is in the world that interests them.” “Elementary school is all about finding independence and self-confidence,” Woodard said. “When our students leave fifth grade, and they go off to the various middle schools, my hope is that they’re confident in who they are as a person and they feel that they have developed the emotional ability to lead.”

Martin Woodard and Assistant Principal Kim Banks. Photo: Sonia Gonzalez-Cruz

To me success is when I see kids running in the building because they’re so excited to come to school.” P.S. 183 Principal Martin Woodard


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ADINA COHEN; NAOMI HAMPLE; JUDITH LOWRY Argosy Bookstore

CONGRATULATES

THE 2019

â&#x20AC;&#x153;OTTYâ&#x20AC;? HONOREES

SAHAR HUSAIN Muslim Volunteers for New York

DANIEL HUTTENLOCHER Vice Provost, Cornell Tech

BEN KALLOS New York City Council Member

LAURA KAVANAGH First Deputy Commissioner FDNY

CANTOR DOV KEREN Sutton Place Synagogue

SABINA LIM, MD MPH Mount Sinai

VALERIE MASON E 72nd St. Neighborhood Association

THOMAS PRENDERGAST Former CEO of the MTA

BOB SWANTON Holy Trinity Episcopal Church

DEPUTY INSPECTOR KATHLEEN WALSH

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NYPD 19th

MARTIN WOODARD Principal, PS 183

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A CULT FAVORITE Moroni, a little known Italian Renaissance painter, is having a big moment at The Frick Collection BY VAL CASTRONOVO

There’s a Lady in Red and a Man in Pink in the Oval Room at the Frick, part of an opulent new show of 23 portraits by Albino-born Giovanni Battista Moroni (1520/24-1579/80), the first major exhibit of this regional artist’s oeuvre in North America. Moroni is better known in his native Italy and in England, which possesses the largest number of Moronis outside the painter’s homeland and hosted a comprehensive show at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, in 2014. As Ian Wardropper, director of the Frick, noted at a recent preview: “He’s

IF YOU GO WHAT: “Moroni: The Riches of Renaissance Portraiture” WHERE: The Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street WHEN: Through June 2, 2019 a little bit of a cult favorite. I think people who love Old Master pictures have known about Moroni.” A contemporary of Titian and Bronzino, this painter worked mainly outside the major artistic hubs — Venice, Florence and Rome — confining himself for the most part to Albino and nearby Bergamo, in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. He kept it local. That may be why Giorgio Vasari didn’t include Moroni in his famous compendium of artist biographies,

“The Tailor” (ca. 1570), seen here in the East Gallery with a pair of 16th century shears, is Moroni’s most famous painting. Photo: Michael Bodycomb

“Portrait of a Young Woman” (ca. 1575) shows Moroni’s genius for “capturing that person exactly as she was,” said the Frick’s associate curator Aimee Ng. Private collection. Photo: Michael Bodycomb

“Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects” (1550; 1568). Renaissance art historian Bernard Berenson (1865-1959) also slighted him, writing him off as a “mere portrait painter,” who “gives us sitters no doubt as they looked.” There was not enough “art” in his art, apparently. But a reputation rehab has been underway for decades, with one scholar lauding the painter’s diligent likenesses, claiming they anticipated the realism of Caravaggio. Still, as the press release for the show states, “Moroni’s characterization as an artist who faithfully recorded the world around him — whether understood as a positive quality or a weakness — has obscured his creativity and innovation as a portraitist.” At the Frick, Moroni is presented as an artist more artful and interesting than he’s been given credit for. Take the full-length picture of “Isotta Brembati” (ca. 1555-1556) in the Oval Room. A poet from an aristocratic family, Brembati wears a gown patterned with a motif that grows larger and larger as it travels down the length of the garment, most likely an embellishment rather than something real. “It seems as if he had a dress, and he’s fictionalized part of it to create a more impressive visual effect,” co-curator Aimee Ng said. “We don’t really notice it, because it’s painted so naturalistically.” More than anything else, Isotta was a woman who knew how to accessorize

— and show her money. She holds a gold-or-gilt-bronze-handled fan with feathers, usually mistaken for a purse, and has a fur wrap, with a jeweled marten’s head, hanging around her neck. We wouldn’t necessarily notice the fur if an actual pelt was not on display in a case nearby, along with other luxe accessories that resemble the items in the painting. The period swag is a window into Moroni’s “material world,” in Ng’s words, what he really saw when he painted. As Wardropper put it, the objects sprinkled throughout the Oval Room and the East Gallery “underscore the theme of the riches of Renaissance portraiture.” The marten’s head (ca. 1550-1559), in gold with rubies and pearls, is one of the most eye-catching items on view. “It’s so great that it has survived from the Renaissance,” Ng said of the loan from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, which is shown with a modern pelt. “If you had one, you had a lot of wealth, and people knew it.” Moroni admired beauty, but he did not make his subjects conform to Renaissance ideals of beauty. In “Portrait of a Young Woman” (ca. 1575), he demonstrates his genius for “capturing that person exactly as she was ... There’s nothing generic about that expression. I would not want to get on the bad side of this woman,” said Ng. The artist painted the material world

at the same time that he painted the spiritual world. He is credited with inventing a new genre, “sacred portraits,” a mix of contemporary donor portraits and devotional imagery. Three such paintings survive, all displayed here. In these, the contemporary figures practice a type of meditative prayer popularized by books such as St. Ignatius of Loyola’s “Spiritual Exercises” (1548), a rare copy of which is part of the exhibit. As Ng explained: “Just as you have to work out your body, through running or walking, you work out your prayer as well. It’s a four-week program,” involving imagining the sight, sound, smell, touch and taste of heavenly beings. Amen. Moroni, it seems, could move seamlessly from the sacred to the mundane, from patricians to tradesmen. Be sure to see his most famous painting, “The Tailor” (ca. 1570), in the East Gallery. The curator called it “the gateway drug to Moroni” for its genre-bending depiction of a prosperous tailor on the verge of cutting a piece of cloth — it’s a cross between a portrait and a genre painting. A pair of shears, pictured in the foreground, is the gateway to the tailor’s material world. A vitrine showcases the real thing from the 16th century. Said Ng: “Only by having them here [can you] imagine your hand in there, the weight of that ... I kind of understood why he’s resting them on the table. They are so heavy.”


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RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS FEB 20 - 26, 2018 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. Cafe Evergreen

1367 1 Avenue

A

Alex Cafe & Deli

1018 Lexington Ave

A

Bagels & Co

500 E 76th St

A

Ko Sushi

1329 2nd Ave

A

Putawn Local Thai Kitchen

1584 1st Ave

A

China Taste

1570 2nd Ave

Grade Pending (26) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.

Hutch & Waldo Coffee

247 E 81st St

A

Starbucks

1280 Lexington Ave

A

Subway

1256 Lexington Ave

A

Starbucks Coffee

400 East 90 Street

A

Nocciola Ristorante

237 E 116th St

Grade Pending (27) Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. 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.

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

1908 3rd Ave

A

El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant

209 East 116 Street

Grade Pending (34) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/ refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/ or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Wimpys Restaurant

23 East 109 Street

Grade Pending (44) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours. Live roaches 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.

Great Wok

1631 Lexington Ave

Grade Pending (27) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations.

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Neighborhood Scrapbook

Business Photo courtesy of Modern Bread and Bagel

LOOKING FOR A KOSHER, GLUTEN-FREE BABKA? RESTAURANTS Photo courtesy of Canine Retreat by AKC

‘SMOOCH YOUR POOCH’ In honor of National Love Your Pet Day recently, dog owners stopped by to “Smooch Your Pooch” at the East 60th Street location of Canine Retreat by AKC. The doggy kissing booth drew an array of canine friends, accompanied by clients new and old.

Photo courtesy of Canine Retreat by AKC

“There are so many ways to show love for your dog including nutrition, training, grooming, the time spent together and much more,” said James Tysseling, COO of AKC Canine Retreat. “Our ‘Smooch Your Pooch’ event was a fun way to show appreciation to dog lovers’ best friend.”

Modern Bread and Bagel, a new brunch spot, opens on the Upper West Side BY JASON COHEN

A new brunch spot featuring chocolate chip scones, rugalach, babka, cinnamon buns, bagels and pancakes recently opened on the UWS. Oh, it also happens to be kosher and gluten-free. Modern Bread and Bagel, located at 472 Columbus Avenue, between 82nd and 83rd Streets, is the brainchild of baker Orly Gottesman, 32. Gottesman, along with her husband Josh, 33, opened their first restaurant on Feb. 24. “Our whole thing is we wanted to introduce [the restaurant] to not only the Jewish world, but the Upper West Side community,” Gottesman said. “It’s a time when kosher people on the UWS are dying for a place like this.” Her husband’s work as an entrepreneur took them to other countries, which is where Gottesman discovered her interest in food. They lived in Paris from August 2010 to December 2011. During that time, she took an apprenticeship at a pastry shop. She quickly immersed herself in baking, and from 2011 to 2012, when the couple

were in Australia, she studied at the Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute in Sydney. In addition to Gottesman’s passion for baking, her husband has celiac disease, so she was intrigued by gluten-free food. Gottesman decided to pursue an independent study on gluten-free baking and worked closely with the school’s head pastry chef to figure out how different flour blends work for different products. After several years of research, she came up with various glutenfree recipes for baked goods, breads and pastries using ancient grains, rather than traditional flour. Ultimately, this spawned the creation of Blends by Orly in 2014. “Each blend is formulated for a specific purpose,” Gottesman said.

Food and Service After living in Sydney until March 2017, and splitting time between Las Vegas and New Jersey, the couple finally settled down in Gottesman’s hometown of Englewood, N.J. The duo, who keep kosher, realized it was the right time to open their first restaurant. “For us, we saw a real void in good gluten-free,” she said. Gottesman noted that it was important for them to be known for quality food and service, not just being gluten-free. “It [gluten-free] really scares

people away,” she stressed. “It turns them off.” According to Gottesman, not only do many people come to the restaurant not aware that it is gluten-free, but they may not be Jewish, either. She stressed they do not say it is gluten-free unless someone asks. “We’re doing crazy things that gluten-free people can’t find anywhere,” she exclaimed. “People are excited to have an awesome brunch place on the UWS regardless of it being gluten free or kosher. We knew if we only opened as a bagel shop, we wouldn’t make it.” In addition to serving breakfast and lunch Sunday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., the plan is to turn the location into a restaurant at night called Arba. In the evening, the seating will expand from 34 to 50 and the menu will feature Mediterranean food, changing every week and season. However, it will not open until they obtain a beer and liquor license. Gottesman said the plan is to have the biggest selection of kosher wines in the country, with 200 by the bottle and 20 by glass. Looking ahead, she is nervous, but sees great things for the restaurant in the UWS community. “Everything happens for a reason,” Gottesman said. “I think this was my purpose. At the very least, I know people are really excited about us.”


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NEIGHBORHOODâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BEST To place an ad in this directory, Call Douglas at 212-868-0190 ext. 352.

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DEPRESSION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5 doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. So the â&#x20AC;&#x153;my mother had depression, will I get it too?â&#x20AC;? sleuthing doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t work. And whereas earlier-life depression typically comes and goes in episodes, later-life depression tends to be more chronic. What this all means is that population-level patterns are less reliable guideposts when it comes to diagnosing depression among older individuals. 2. As reďŹ&#x201A;ected by my friendâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comment, symptoms can be difficult to disentangle from the ups-and-downs of daily living. As we age, we invariably develop more chronic diseases, use more medications, and have reduced memory and mobility. To be sure, these can sometimes themselves lead to depression. But they also add a layer of fog that clouds the ability to pick up on true depressive symptoms. Is she sleeping less because of depression or because of that new thyroid medication? Is he irritable because he is depressed or because they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t renew his driverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s license? The answer can vary by person and by situation, and it takes time and an experienced clinician to differentiate between these scenarios. 3. Even though low mood is a hallmark symptom, many older patients may experience other symptoms first. These can include insomnia, agitation, gastrointestinal problems, and loss of sexual interest. Mood changes may not emerge until later. This

can make screening for depression challenging, for if our spotlights are so focused on mood disturbances, we may miss some of the other early warning signs. 4. Older adults may underreport mood symptoms even when they do occur. Some may believe that their symptoms are part of the natural course of aging. But there is also stigma about mental illness, which studies show to be greater in older populations. Sharing may be quite the norm for millennials, who grew up on social media, but those who came of age before conversations about mental illness became common may still be unable to channel the right language to express their symptoms. And this is truer still for some minority populations, where having a mental illness may be viewed as a dishonor.

How to Help What can we do to help? As we live longer, medical schools are devoting increasing training on the speciďŹ cities and subtleties of disease management at older ages. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good thing. But meanwhile, what might my friend have done differently? Perhaps the next time her father-in-law says heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been feeling down, she shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t assume heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just getting old. Moods come in many ďŹ&#x201A;avors, and yes, sometimes an older family member may just be having a bad day. But the takehome message is to not jump to that conclusion reďŹ&#x201A;exively. Instead, ask them about what is going on, why they might be feeling that way, or if any-

thing has changed recently. Keep a track of their daily activities â&#x20AC;&#x201D; eating, sleeping, walking, talking, even complaining â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so that changes from their normal baseline become easier to identify. And try not to dismiss symptoms that seem esoteric or donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t fit neatly together (e.g., too much sleep one day, too little the next). When possible, invite them to consult a professional with experience in later-life mental health. This could be their general practitioner, or a psychiatrist or psychologist. The good news is that there are effective medications for depression â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and although side-effects need to be managed more carefully in older populations, they still work. The advantages of recognizing and treating depression early are myriad. As mentioned, leaving depression untreated can increase the risk for other adverse medical outcomes and death. But there is broader advantage, too. Improving mood increases hope. And hope increases motivation to seek treatment. Thus, successfully treating depression can have a spillover effect, with the potential to improve treatment outcomes and quality of life for just about every other medical problem. Ardesheer Talati, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of clinical neurobiology (in psychiatry) at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, and a research scientist at New York State Psychiatric Institute. For more information, contact adi. talati@nyspi.columbia.edu

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MARCH 7-13,2019

29

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

YOUR 15 MINUTES

To read about other people who have had their “15 Minutes” go to ourtownny.com/15 minutes

AN ‘ACCIDENTAL ACTIVIST’ The co-founder of Tenants United Fighting for Lower East Side (TUFF-LES) is taking action against the proposal to build four super-tall towers in the Two Bridges neighborhood BY CULLEN MONROE ORMOND

Trever Holland is tired. He has been thrust into the public eye — a position he’s not entirely comfortable with — which forces him to participate in several interviews. So many interviews that it takes him a while to remember which journalist he had an interview with during our specified time. But his popularity is understandable. The 52-year-old former attorney and resident of the Two Bridges neighborhood has been integral to the opposition against the proposal to build four super-tall (over 700 feet) towers on one block. The mitigations proved to be controversial as residents feared gentrification and another lengthy construction period. The Extell building, otherwise known as One Manhattan Square, an 80-story, luxury apartment behemoth already took five years to complete. Holland, co-founder of Tenants United Fighting for Lower East Side (TUFFLES), has been waging a re-zoning war with the City Planning Commission. He was recently rewarded with a small victory when the proposed mitigations were halted because of impending litigation. The next court date is March 28, where the judge could lift, modify or continue the hold on the construction of the towers.

Where do you live? I live at 82 Rutgers Slip, which is in the center of all the Two Bridges development. It’s very close to the water and also right next to the Extell building that’s 80 stories and is currently in its completion phase.

Did you raise a family in Two Bridges? No, but I have family in the area. Including across the street, my wife’s aunt and her cousins. Most of the family live across the street or right across the bridge.

And how did you come to be a founder of TUFF-LES? This was to make sure the people who lived along the waterfront, which we knew was prime real estate and a prospective area, had a voice in what was going to happen. So, we got together all the tenant leaders who lived on the waterfront. I was one of the co-founders, I use that term loosely because it was really a collaborative effort of folks who lived in the area.

Why do you oppose these buildings? When you look out your window, you’ll see that large finger sticking out of the ground, that 80 story thing that is completely out of scale. I don’t know one single community planner or anyone who follows architecture can say that it’s appropriate for the area. It’s an immediate transformation of the neighborhood because it’s mostly luxury apartments. This is primarily a low-income neighborhood and the city has decided to target this particular area, one block, for putting, what they say, is the greatest amount of affordable housing in the city. It’s not appro-

priate, it’s out of scale, it destroys the skyline as we see it.

What was it like when the Extell building was being constructed? The construction nightmare we experienced with the Extell building, those five years out of my life that I will never recover from. It was extremely hell-ish. I can’t imagine them building four buildings essentially on one block and just because we’re in an area that doesn’t have appropriate zoning and the developers knew that.

How does having a family in the neighborhood heighten your opposition to the proposal? I mean it’s not just me who is impacted directly as a resident. We are a family that have different socio-economic conditions, so some may not be able to recover or are not as able to be as mobile or handle changes in the neighborhood as I can. A lot of my family cannot do the same.

I read online too that along with the affordable units that would be coming they said they were going to put $4.5 billion into the neighborhood. Isn’t that a benefit of it? The mitigations were not discussed with the community, it was made by city planning. The recommendations that we gave, none of them were followed. None of the parks that they proposed for re-doing were in the Two Bridges direct impact area.

Do you have an example? To give you an example, we recommend that the Allen Street Mall, which borders Two Bridges into Chinatown, into a particularly poor immigrant neighborhood, that area has been neglected, we recommended improving that. They did nothing for that. If these buildings do not happen, we’re perfectly fine. What we’ve said all along is, “give us the supermarket,” because that’s what we lost, and we’ll be fine. But there isn’t anything that they’re proposing that we’re going to be sad about if it doesn’t happen. Not one single thing.

Have you always been an activist? I’m an accidental activist. I just consider myself a resident to the neighborhood that is concerned in keeping the neighborhood as is. If these towers go up this neighborhood is done. It will never be the same and if we don’t do something right now, history is going to look back and say, “what were you guys doing? How did you let this happen?”

Trever Holland at a Halloween event in his community room. Photo courtesy of Trever Holland

Trever Holland and Mayor Bill de Blasio discuss zoning for Two Bridges and a push for a ULURP in September 2017 at Joseph Sauer Park. Photo courtesy of Trever Holland if you put upwards of 10,000 people on one block in a neighborhood, 80 percent of them affluent, the smaller apartment buildings are going to raise their rents. The same thing is going to happen with the rent of the shops. I’ll go the next the day to the deli and they’ll be selling artisanal mustard. I’m not kidding. Rents of the surrounding areas will go up and anyone that says it won’t doesn’t know anything about economics and city planning. There’ll be a Starbucks on the corner, like it or don’t like it, but the dynamics of the entire neighborhood will change. All the local places that you used to go that you could get something that was affordable will change and people will be forced out. No one heard of Two Bridges until two years ago. Now, it’s becoming the “it” neighborhood.

How will the effects of these buildings trickle into surrounding neighborhoods such as Chinatown?

If the proposed towers are built, will you stay in the neighborhood?

All it takes is common sense to think

I threaten that I’m going to leave but

we all know that it’s tough to find places to live in New York City. I’ve been in this neighborhood for 22 years and saying that I would leave would just be out of frustration, but I as of right now I fully intend to stay in my neighborhood.

What is one thing that you would like people to know? We just need other torchbearers who know what they’re doing to navigate this process because it’s large plan and a big neighborhood with lots of different opinions. I’m waiting for Apple to create a time machine, so I can go take a peek at what’s going to happen.

Know somebody who deserves their 15 Minutes of fame? Go to ourtownny.com and click on submit a press release or announcement.


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MARCH 7-13,2019

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MARCH 7-13,2019

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