Page 1

The local paper for the Upper East Side

WEEK OF MAY POLAR PURPOSE ◄ P. 25

11-17 2017

A new study says taxi pickups on the Upper East Side have dropped significantly since the opening of the Second Avenue subway. Photo: Michael Garofalo

UES TAXI USE DOWN SINCE NEW SUBWAY LINE OPENED TRANSPORTATION Steep decline in pickups outpaces rise in app-based rides BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Pickups by taxis and for-hirevehicles on the Upper East Side have dropped modestly since the opening of the Second Avenue subway earlier this year, according to a study by NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation. Along the corridor served by the Second Avenue subway, which opened on New Year’s Day, overall pickups decreased 4.1 percent from 2016 to 2017, the researchers found. While the drop is likely due in part to the availability of an additional transit option with the opening of the new subway line,

Demonstrators on the West Side Highway. Photo: Michael Garofalo

the data also speaks to a larger trend — the decline of taxi ridership and the rise of for-hire-vehicles hailed with apps like Uber and Lyft. Despite the slight overall drop in combined taxi and for-hire-vehicle pickups from 2016 to 2017, the app-based segment of the market actually grew significantly during the period in question. The Rudin Center, which compared peak-hour data for one-week periods in January 2016 and January 2017, found that for-hire vehicle pickups on the Upper East Side rose from 28,175 in 2016 to 32,630 in 2017. The overall drop was driven instead by a steep 15.71 percent decline in taxi pickups, which fell from 48,302 in 2016 to 40,175

CONTINUED ON PAGE 6

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Crime Watch Voices NYC Now City Arts

AN ANGRY WELCOME HOME EXECUTIVE VISIT Hundreds protest Trump’s first visit to Manhattan as president BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

President Donald Trump’s first trip to Manhattan since taking office was brief. In the span of a few hours on Thursday, May 4, the president departed from Washington, arrived at Kennedy Airport, attended a reception at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum marking the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea, and left the city for his New Jersey golf club. The demonstrations inspired by Trump’s return lasted longer than the

3 8 10 12

Restaurant Ratings 14 Business 16 Real Estate 17 15 Minutes 25

visit itself. By the time the presidential motorcade arrived at the Intrepid at around 7 p.m., many of the enthusiastic marchers lining the West Side Highway opposite the aircraft carrier had been protesting Trump’s visit for five or more hours. Hundreds of enthusiastic demonstrators chanted anti-Trump mantras and waving signs with slogans like “This village doesn’t want its idiot back!” and “NY hates you!” to welcome the president back to his hometown. “I’m sure he’ll take some kind of perverse satisfaction in this, being the narcissist that he is,” Roberta Degnore, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said as she awaited Trump’s arrival. Protester Melissa Hill waved a sign

imploring passing vehicles to “honk for revolution.” Drivers who obliged were met with cheers from the crowd. Hill explained that she was visiting from Minneapolis and had chosen to spend the final day of her trip at the demonstrations. “When I heard about this I had to stop my vacation and start protesting,” she said.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 23 Jewish women and girls light up the world by lighting the Shabbat candles every Friday evening 18 minutes before sunset. Friday, May 12th – 7:46pm. For more information visit www.chabaduppereastside.com

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GOOD REASON FOR A BAD HAIR DAY WHEELS Get Women Cycling gears up to rally support for new riders with launch of its third annual #ShowMeHelmetHair social media campaign BY GAIL EISENBERG

“The ‘hat tip’ gesture is a playful welcome to the start of bike season,” says Angela Azzolino, program creator and executive director of Get Women Cycling. “Our goal is to unite cyclists and provide support for active women, femaleidentifying, and non-gender conforming people by offering a way to engage with cyclists on post-ride appearance — an issue often cited as a deterrent to sustained bicycle riding.” Gender disparities became apparent to Azzolino in 2014 after she graduated from the Bicycle Mechanic Skills Academy, a 12-week job program launched by the Lower East Side’s Henry Street Settlement and Recycle-a-Bicycle.

Angela Azzolino (left) with Gina, a GWC member, after a few test rides. Photo: GWC She’d read about such discrepancies in reports by industry non-profits like the League of American Bicyclists, but when she was promoted from bike builder to mechanic at a Brooklyn bike shop, she witnessed them firsthand.

“As the only female in a consumer-facing gig on the main service floor I began to experience the sexism in the industry; not so much from my colleagues but from patrons and sales reps,” Azzolino recalls. “I noticed how women would en-

ter the shop and look past me to inform the male mechanic of their needs. I noticed women coming to buy bicycles with such enthusiasm and then leaving empty-handed because they were overwhelmed. I noticed a lack of repeat visits from female customers who had purchased bikes and/or accessories,” she says. A red taillight went on in her head. In 2015 the native New Yorker parlayed her twentyfive years of user experience design expertise to develop GWC, whose mission is to elevate and sustain female bicycle ridership through engagement, education, and service reform. GWC and its initiatives have received citywide support from sponsors like New York staple Veselka, NYC Velo bike shops in Hell’s Kitchen and the East Village, as well as active bike advocates Cathy and Daniel Flanzig of Flanzig & Flanzig (aka New York Bike Lawyers), the sibling-run midtown law firm whose focus is on representing seriously injured cyclists

Angela Azzolino tips her helmet. Photo: GWC throughout NYC. Azzolino’s organization may be young, but her passion for cycling is longstanding thanks to her uncle Pete. He gave her a Schwinn Varsity 10-speed when she was sixteen, and she’s had a bike attached to her hip for the nearly three decades since then. “Everyone who knows me knows me with my bike. I use my bike to commute and explore,” says Azzolino. “In fact, when I got my first car in 2005, I drove it like I rode my bike, opting for streets over highway because I was so used to riding bicycles.

It didn’t even occur to me that I could take the highways.” The #ShowMeHelmetHair campaign includes a welcome party and fundraiser on May 17th at Joli Beauty Bar, where stylists will demo hairdos and products that work well for helmet wear. Just in time for Bike to Work Day on the 19th. For more information about Get Women Cycling and the #ShowMeHelmetHair campaign, go to www.getwomencycling.com Follow GWC on social media: @getwomencycling

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MAY 11-17,2017

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 19th precinct Week to Date

Year to Date

2017 2016

% Change

2017

2016

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

0

2

-100.0

Rape

0

1

-100.0

5

1

400.0

Robbery

4

2

100.0

41

28

46.4

Felony Assault

3

3

0.0

43

38

13.2

Burglary

9

0

n/a

74

66

12.1

Grand Larceny

17

20

-15.0

445 469 -5.1

Grand Larceny Auto

0

1

-100.0

9

locker! At noon on Sunday, April 23, a 47-year-old man left his locker unlocked inside the YMCA at 5 West 63rd St. When he went to retrieve his property, $3,100 in cash was missing.

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-30.8

When she checked her wallet, she discovered that it was gone, along with an iPhone, cash and credit cards totaling $3,000.

LEGGING IT SWEET NOTHING Paying more than $20 for a lollipop wasn’t the only indignity a young woman faced recently at a chain “couture” candy store. At 5 p.m. on Friday, April 21, a 22-year-old woman

was treating herself to some sweets at the Sugar Factory located at 1991 Broadway when she placed her bag on the floor. The next time she looked, her bag had disappeared, along with credit cards and $110 in cash.

GET YOURSELF CLEANED OUT

BIG SCREEN GRAB

Police remind fitness enthusiasts yet again not to bring valuables or large amounts of cash to a gym, but if you do — not to leave them in an unsecured

Movie night proved very expensive for an area resident recently. At 7 p.m. on Friday, April 21, a 73-year-old woman was watching a film at the Loews Theater located at 1998 Broadway.

One might ask if a shoplifter was motivated by greed or something else. At 4 p.m. on Friday, April 21, a 45-yearold man entered the Lululemon store at 2139 Broadway and made off with $1,200 worth of leggings.

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4

MAY 11-17,2017

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Useful Contacts POLICE NYPD 19th Precinct

153 E. 67th St.

212-452-0600

159 E. 85th St.

311

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

157 E. 67th St.

311

FDNY Engine 53/Ladder 43

1836 Third Ave.

311

FDNY Engine 44

221 E. 75th St.

311

CITY COUNCIL Councilmember Daniel Garodnick

211 E. 43rd St. #1205

212-818-0580

Councilmember Ben Kallos

244 E. 93rd St.

212-860-1950

STATE LEGISLATORS State Sen. Jose M. Serrano

1916 Park Ave. #202

212-828-5829

State Senator Liz Krueger

1850 Second Ave.

212-490-9535

Assembly Member Dan Quart

360 E. 57th St.

212-605-0937

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright

1365 First Ave.

212-288-4607

COMMUNITY BOARD 8

505 Park Ave. #620

212-758-4340

LIBRARIES Yorkville

222 E. 79th St.

212-744-5824

96th Street

112 E. 96th St.

212-289-0908

67th Street

328 E. 67th St.

212-734-1717

Webster Library

1465 York Ave.

212-288-5049

100 E. 77th St.

212-434-2000

HOSPITALS Lenox Hill NY-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell

525 E. 68th St.

212-746-5454

Mount Sinai

E. 99th St. & Madison Ave.

212-241-6500

NYU Langone

550 First Ave.

212-263-7300

CON EDISON

4 Irving Place

212-460-4600

POST OFFICES US Post Office

1283 First Ave.

212-517-8361

US Post Office

1617 Third Ave.

212-369-2747

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WALK OF FAME BY PETER PEREIRA


MAY 11-17,2017

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

SHEDDING LIGHT ON SHADE BUILDINGS Buildings department maps scaffolding citywide BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

On West 29th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, one structure stands out in a row of multi-colored, ďŹ ve-story buildings. Number 339 is shrouded in scaffolding and sheltered at the street level by 22 linear feet of sidewalk shed. The permit for that cluster of wood, steel and other material was issued almost a decade ago, in December 2007. While it’s possible that the shed and scaffolding were taken down at some point over the last 10 years, a Department of Buildings spokesperson said, it is “overwhelmingly likelyâ€? that the structures have been up since their initial assembly. A new map engineered by the department charts that ediďŹ ce and thousands of others — and confirms what for New Yorkers is a truism: sidewalk sheds are everywhere. As of Feb. 1, roughly 7,500 sidewalk sheds provided temporary protection for pedestrians walking under construction sites, according to the DOB. The map also provides evidence for what many suspect: countless of these removable roofs can hardly be described as temporary. When sorted by longevity, the map shows that some of these scaffoldings are more enduring than the tenants and businesses underneath. About half of the 7,500 sidewalks sheds are located in Manhattan, since the borough is home to about 60 percent of city buildings taller than six stories, whose exterior walls must be inspected every five years. Sheds also have to be installed for construction of a building more than 40 feet high, the demolition of a building more than 25 feet high and when dangerous building conditions exist. According to DOB Deputy Com m i s sione r A rc h a n a Jayaram, publishing the map is part of an effort to “start being more transparent about our massive amount of dataâ€? that was made possible by a recent investment into the agency’s analytics team. Jayaram said the map, and the accompanying “Facade Safety Report,â€? will help tenants and owners

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More than 7,500 sidewalk sheds shade New York City, mostly in Manhattan. A new map gives a better picture of the size and safety purposes of these common features. Photo: Steven Pisano, via Flickr appreciate their buildings. “Understanding the relationship between sidewalk sheds and facades, I think, is a critical piece of information in that if you have an unsafe facade, you should have a sidewalk shed,â€? she said. “If your facade is ďŹ xed, you shouldn’t have one.â€? The map allows users to view sidewalk sheds throughout the city by the age of their permits, their size and their safety status. But for some, it isn’t a big enough step toward bringing down sidewalk sheds that have overstayed their welcome. “Residents are less concerned about the scaffolding on the other side of the city than the scaffolding that’s blocking out their light and air and causing things to drip on their head,â€? Upper East Side Council Member Ben Kallos said. “Business owners have told me that when scaffolding goes up their profits go down.â€? Though he said he appreciates the Department of Buildings’ effort, he is hoping for more concrete progress. “What you can tell is that the city is covered in green dots representing scaffolds like a sickness,â€? he said. “We need to do something about it.â€? Kallos introduced legislation in the City Council late last year that would require scaffolding to be taken down after six months, or sooner if work is not being done. The bill’s only other sponsors are

Council Members Ydanis Rodriguez and Karen Koslowitz, though it has been endorsed by the New York State Restaurant Association and the New York City Hospitality Alliance. This has frustrated Kallos, who believes “elected officials should be working for the people, not for real estate interests.â€? Sidewalk sheds were mandated by the City Council after the death in 1979 of Barnard College student Grace Gold, who was struck by a falling piece of a building on West 115th Street and Broadway. It was not the last time such a tragedy would occur — 2-year-old Greta Greene died in 2015 after a piece of terra cotta fell on her from eight stories. Roberta Semer identified sidewalks sheds as a concern of Community Board 7, of which she is chairperson, and said she was grateful for the map. “At both our land-use and business committee meetings, we discussed trying to ďŹ gure out where all the sidewalk sheds were, and then two weeks later this wonderful map appeared,â€? she said. Semer told of several cases where she noticed businesses struggling under longstanding sidewalks sheds, but conceded that “on the other hand, you want to protect people.â€? Madeleine Thompson can be reached at newsreporter@ strausnews.com

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REGISTERED NURSES REHABILITATION THERAPISTS MEDICAL SOCIAL WORKERS CERTIFIED HOME HEALTH AIDES

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TAXIS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 in 2017. The researchers noted that “although [for-hire-vehicle] pickups are increasing quickly, they have not matched the rate of decrease in taxi pickups since the [Second Avenue subway] opening,” which explains the 4.1 percent decrease in combined pickups despite the rise in for-hire-vehicle use. The timeframe examined by the study is small and the researchers call for further research, but a lasting reduction in taxi and for-hire-vehicle ridership fueled by the Second Avenue subway would be noteworthy, as Upper East Siders have historically relied on taxis for their commutes

at higher rates than residents of other parts of the city. In Manhattan as a whole, less than three percent of residents reported commuting primarily via taxi, according to 2015 American Community Survey data cited by the researchers. But in certain parts of the Upper East Side — particularly its easternmost areas — taxi use was much higher. Residents of Lenox Hill and Yorkville living east of First Avenue commuted via taxi at 9 percent and 7.3 percent rates, respectively. The Rudin Center’s data showed that Lenox Hill and Yorkville, which are served by the new Second Avenue subway stops at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets, experienced the greatest reductions in taxi and for-hire-vehicle pickups among all Upper East Side neighborhoods since the line opened.

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The Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge

THURSDAY, MAY 11TH, 6:30PM 92nd Street Y | 1395 Lexington Ave. | 212-415-5500 | 92y.org Manuel Lima, an expert in converting data into imagery, speaks on his new publication, The Book of Circles: Visualizing Spheres of Knowledge. He’ll tour through early celestial charts, the biohazard symbol, and—everyone’s favorite—Venn diagrams. ($29)

The Path Forward: Our Age of Anxiety

FRIDAY, MAY 12TH, 6:30PM NYPL Schwarzman Building | 476 Fifth Ave. | 917-275-6975 | nypl.org Taking as a starting point a W.H. Auden poem, New Yorker writer George Packer, National Review executive editor Reihan Salam, and president of the NYPL Anthony Marx get together to look at civics, politics, and the alienation conjured by accelerated societal change. (Free)

Just Announced | TimesTalks: Samantha Bee and Jason Jones

THURSDAY, JUNE 1ST, 7PM The New School | 55 W. 13th St. | 212-229-5108 | newschool.edu

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Samantha Bee is the first woman to host a late-night satirical show. She’ll be in conversation with former “Daily Show” correspondent Jason Jones, who co-produces Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (and who also happens to be her real-life husband). ($40)

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

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


MAY 11-17,2017

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

LOOKING BEYOND AN ‘ECONOMIC RENAISSANCE’ COMMUNITY Stringer’s new report highlights disparities in the city’s growth BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

A new study by Comptroller Scott Stringer starts with the good news: the city has “experienced an economic renaissanceâ€? over the last few years, with the number of businesses growing from roughly 203,000 to roughly 237,000 between 2000 and 2015. Lowincome communities saw a 41 percent jump in business establishments during the same time period, compared to just a 12 percent boost in higher income areas. But most of the ďŹ ndings for lower income New Yorkers aren’t that promising. The fastest-growing neighborhoods are largely classiďŹ ed as gentrifying, and they also have the highest rates of unemployment. Stringer’s report offers some suggestions to the city to remedy this, including installing a network coordinator to “strengthen the pipeline between local businesses and residentsâ€? and helping entrepreneurs secure storefront space. Greg David, a columnist at Crain’s New York Business and director of CUNY’s business and economics reporting program, called these ideas “effective on the margins.â€? “There are a lot of small ideas that over time have not proved terribly effective,â€? he said. “I don’t rec-

A recent study by Comptroller Scott Stringer showed that while business throughout the city is booming, many low-income and minority business owners are being left out of the proďŹ ts. Photo: Thomas Good, via Wikimedia Commons ommend anything because I think city government’s only a marginal force in this.â€? David found the report to be overwhelmingly positive, despite indications that the city’s economic gains were not being felt citywide. “As the city gentrifies, businesses are doing well outside the Manhattan core,â€? he said. “And as communities are getting better they’re luring businesses and retail. So that’s the big picture and that’s the good picture.â€? Though the midtown and downtown central business districts saw an eight percent loss of businesses between 2000 and 2015, President of

the East Midtown Partnership Rob Byrnes also looked on the bright side. “I think that’s sort of a logical outgrowth of the shifting demographics of the city at any time,â€? he said. “And that’s a good thing. Midtown and lower Manhattan always be the commercial hubs of the city, but we shouldn’t be the only hubs.â€? However, the report makes clear that minority-owned businesses are struggling to reap their share of the beneďŹ ts. “Though minorities own 34 percent of all city businesses with employees, these establishments account for only 21 percent of business employment and 16 percent of revenue,â€? the study reads. “Blacks, in particular, are signiďŹ cantly underrepresented. While accounting for 22 percent of the city’s population, they own only three perfect of local businesses.â€? Between 2007 and 2012, black-owned businesses decreased from 2,294 to 558. In a statement accompanying the release of his report, Stringer said what is needed is an economy “built on fairness.â€? “The increasing rents and economic distress that accompany gentrification are challenges that we as a city must confront,â€? he said. “As the jobs landscape changes, we need to do everything possible to support those who helped build their communities in the ďŹ rst place.â€?

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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.

OUR UNSUNG HEROES GRAYING NEW YORK BY MARCIA EPSTEIN

I walk up Broadway with my aching knees and watch the people all bent over, with walkers and canes, some just using shopping carts for support. It reminds me of being pregnant; I noticed everyone who was also pregnant, though I never had before. Now I see all the halt and the lame gamely plodding on; shopping, eating out, just living their lives. Most of them must be in more pain than I am. I don’t have a cane or walker (yet!). I do look bent over, I’m told. Friends are constantly trying

to straighten me up as I yelp in surprised pain. My spine has multiple problems though I don’t know what they are; my doctor has learned that I am a minimalist (another word for phobic) and don’t want tests and scary diagnoses. As long as I can get out of bed in the morning I consider it a good day. And so far, so good. But I digress. It’s the brave souls in much worse shape than I am who leave me in awe. I wonder if they are alone. I am grateful to have a supportive partner, and he’s saved me from many a scary situation (like being run over) by grabbing my arm. Of course he’s not with me all the time, but I can’t imagine

being totally alone and braving the streets to do necessary chores when your spine looks like the letter C. These brave and intrepid souls make me feel like a wimp when I say “ouch” or I have trouble going down stairs. These folks are our unsung heroes. This leads me to a relevant topic. The Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY (CIDNY) is a non-profit organization, founded in 1978, that is part of the Independent Living Centers movement. This is a national network that enhances opportunities for people with disabilities to direct their own lives. CIDNY does not provide housing but it helps people with disabilities and also employs people with disabilities. The staff includes social workers, lawyers and other professionals, including those who speak the many languages used throughout our diverse city. They

have many services, including counseling, independent living skills, healthcare access, peer counseling and nursing home transition. CIDNY has advised government officials on how to make public service better for the disabled. Some of their priorities are transportation, health insurance, education and entitlements. The organization offers training and assistance to public officials, healthcare workers and other service providers on disability issues. It also offers help with skills such as finding housing, transportation, budgeting and goal-planning. CIDNY has two offices, one in Manhattan and one in Queens. Their address in New York is 841 Broadway. They can be reached at info@cidny.org and their telephone number is 212-674-2300. A worthwhile organization indeed. Since I am writing this on the day

after the House Republicans’ vote to repeal Obamacare, I feel the need to add that I might be wise to overcome my fears and have some tests and procedures done now, before it’s all taken away from us. I have a constant pit in my stomach about what’s going on in this country, and I know many of you do also. So very scary, so very immoral and heartless. How can these people (you know who they are) jump around with glee while taking away our basic human rights, which of course don’t affect them. I have remained in a state of shock since Election Day. I wish I knew what else to say. If I prayed, I’d say let’s all pray. And hope. And protest and take action. Here’s hoping the Senate will come through for us.

A SALUTE TO A NEIGHBORHOOD EXEMPLAR BY BETTE DEWING

A makeshift memorial grew outside the Super-Del Market on York Avenue near 78th Street, hours after Manikkam Srymanean, a manager at the market, was struck and killed April 22 by a yellow cab nearby.

If ever there was a “love-one-another” New Yorker, it was Manikkam Srymanea, known to all as “Mano.” Many of us wouldn’t have known about him, had he not been so tragically killed, reportedly by a turning cab as he crossed York Avenue near 78th – just outside the Super Del Market he managed for decades. (The police investigation is ongoing and no charges had been filed as of this week.) And had he not been such a mensch as noted in a memorial sign now outside the deli, his tragic death, on April 22, would not have received considerable media coverage or remembered in a packed memorial service at St. Monica’s. Mano, incidentally, was Hindu. He was surely the epitome of someone who takes the “love-one-another” commandment to heart; a role model of the very finest kind, as speaker after speaker at his memorial service recalled. He was known, they said, for his everyday kindnesses, his smiles, his greetings by name. (But how we need those in general in a less and less

connected culture). They recalled his numerable generous, “second mile” acts for people down on their luck or ill or unable to get to the store. When an elderly woman’s computer broke and Mano gave her his own. He paid for another elderly woman’s funeral after no one claimed her body at the morgue. Mano, 50, who lived on East 78th Street nearby, was a great everyday friend to all, including to the children, parents and teachers from nearby PS 158. And I just now learned how grief counseling was needed after Mano’s so untimely, so tragic and yes, preventable death. But we must hear again and again how vehicular failure to yield when turning into a crosswalk is the number 1 killer and maimer of pedestrians. We need on-the-spot warning signs and stencils the Transportation Department is reluctant to provide. The word must really get out there and stay out there until it becomes as abhorrent a traffic crime as driving drunk. Ah, think how Mothers Against Drunk Drivers made the real difference. And let Mother’ Day this May be the start

President & Publisher, Jeanne Straus nyoffice@strausnews.com

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of Mothers Against Failure To Yield. The same for Father’s Day in June and Grandparents Day in September. And may this small but densely populated Yorkville community become renown for this continuing crusade — a role model for all neighborhoods — as safe traffic activists. So much to say and do with a need for many a column, editorial and sermons, including memorial service notes taken by my son Todd because my hearing is no longer “20/20.” And while little was said at the memorial service about Mano’s so tragic and wrongful death, now we need to hear, to remember, about the lasting loss and grief especially for those who so personally loved Mano – and how, as my son Jeff said, “so that the changes needed to prevent such traffic tragedies really get made – at long last, are made.” It can be done if enough of us try – if enough of us try. To be continued, of course. BETTEDEWING@aol.com

Editor-In-Chief, Alexis Gelber editor.ot@strausnews.com Deputy Editor Staff Reporters Richard Khavkine Madeleine Thompson editor.otdt@strausnews.com newsreporter@strausnews.com Michael Garofalo Senior Reporter reporter@strausnews.com Doug Feiden invreporter@strausnews.com


MAY 11-17,2017

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

CL.

One-bedroom apartment shown. Visit TheOsborn.org for more oor plans.

Stylish Retirement. Live and thrive in a modern, light-ďŹ lled apartment on our 56-acre arboretum campus, just 40 minutes north of Manhattan. Our WellSpring programs — featuring nationally recognized speakers — will engage your mind; wellness activities will keep you ďŹ t and focused. Enjoy delicious meals in 3 dining rooms and the WellSpring cafĂŠ. All entrance fees are 100% refundable. Visit TheOsborn.org to learn more. Nighttime road work contributes to sound stress. Photo: Billie Grace Ward, via ickr

QUIET, PLEASE! HEALTH How reducing noise can improve your mental and physical health BY ARLINE L. BRONZAFT, PH.D.

Sound starts out as a physical phenomenon: audible pressure waves in the air are converted into nerve impulses as they travel from the ear to the brain. In the brain, sound takes on meaning, and when sound is determined to be unwanted, unpredictable and uncontrollable, it then becomes noise. But loud sounds, even when enjoyable, can harm the ear and lead to impaired hearing. One loud blast of sound near the ear may cause permanent damage, but it is the continuous exposure to loud sounds over time that reduces hearing ability. While hearing impairment is a common problem of aging, national studies have found growing hearing loss among younger people because of overexposure to loud music or vehicles. Noise can also add to stress which, in turn, may raise blood pressure, increase the heart

rate, or make our muscles contract. Sustained stress over time can lead to high blood pressure or insomnia. Scientific literature has found a link between exposure to noise and increased risk for cardiovascular and circulatory disorders. In addition, noise from neighbors, construction sites, or nearby bars that intrudes on our daily activities, especially in our homes, diminishes the quality of life. As the World Health Organization has stated, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or inďŹ rmity.â€? As anyone who lives in a big city can attest, the growing din in our community affects our well-being. In my position on the environmental non-profit organization GrowNYC, overseeing its noise activities, I am frequently called upon by New Yorkers who are impacted by noise. Some of the older callers let me know they are hearing impaired, but then add that they can still hear intrusive noises that are bothersome. Both the hearing-impaired and people with good hearing complain to me that it is difficult to dine in “loudâ€? restaurants

where conversation at the table is virtually impossible. New Yorkers can take an active role in lessening the din in their lives. Diners can ask restaurant personnel to lower loud music, and owners can get information about acoustical treatments that can lessen the decibel levels in their establishments. Residents can let managing agents and landlords know they are entitled to quiet in their apartments under the “warranty of habitability� clause of leases. Local public officials and community board leaders should be enlisted in abating the noises in neighborhoods. Readers can go to www.growNYC.org/noise for more information on the hazards of noise and how to reduce the noise in their lives. If you hear something that is disturbing, then do something to correct the problem. Your health is at stake! Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of the City University of New York, serves on the board of GrowNYC. She does research, writes and lectures on the adverse effects of noise on health. She is a co-author of “Why Noise Matters� (2011) and author of the children’s book “Listen to the Raindrops� (illustrated by Steven Parton).

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MAY 11-17,2017

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

More Events. Add Your Own: Go to ourtownnycom

Have you been diagnosed with heart failure? Are you caring for someone with heart failure? You can still lead a full and active life. Learn more at our FREE seminar Mini-Med School for Women

Broken Hearts: Living with Heart Failure Tuesday, June 6, 2017 • 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Myrna L. Daniels Auditorium, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital 173 Fort Washington Avenue • New York, NY 10032 Brought to you by

Photo by Pablo Costa Tirado (Sotti) via Wikimedia Commons

Thu 11

Fri 12

Sat 13

‘SHE DONE HIM WRONG’ | FILM

GLORIA! GLORIA! | CONCERT

HUNGARIAN FOLK DANCE ►

Kips Bay 446 Third Ave. 1 p.m. Free In the Gay ‘90s, a seductive nightclub singer (Mae West) contends with several suitors, including a jealous escaped convict and a handsome temperance league member (Cary Grant). 212-683-2520 nypl.org

Immanuel Lutheran Church 122 East 88th St. 8-10 p.m. Annual Spring concert with Baldwin Festival Chorus featuring compositions by Italian masters, including Puccini, Vivaldi, Gabrieli and Verdi, based on the text of “Gloria in Excelsis.” 212-289-8128 immanuelnyc.org

Hungarian House 213 East 82nd St. 6:30 p.m.-Midnight. $15 adult/$10 student Global event celebrating traditional Hungarian folk music & dance. 6:30 p.m.: Flash Mob in front of the Met Museum. 7 p.m.Midnight: workshop and party. 212-249-9360 magyarhaz.org

CENTRAL PARK WALK & TALK ▲

STUDENT VOICES 2017

MEDICAL ARCHITECTURE | TALK Learn from physician experts about heart failure, its symptoms, and treatment options. Get inspired to take ownership of your health and work with your physician to manage your symptoms. Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

Register for free at crf.org/whhi

N.Y. Academy of Medicine 1216 Fifth Ave. 6-7:30 p.m. $12 “Facades and Fashions in Medical Architecture and the Texture of the Urban Landscape.” The lectures invites attendees “to wander the city with new eyes for medical heritage. (212) 822-7200 nyam.org

The Corner Bookstore 1313 Madison Ave. 3:30-6 p.m. Meet at 100th Street and Central Park West for a walk through Central Park’s North Woods and Conservatory Garden with Richard Prum, author of “The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World — and Us.”

Town Hall 540 East 76th St. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. $40-$50 This year the “Sustainability in School Communities Through Student Voices’” conference theme of is “Advocacy and Activism.” ”Now, more than ever, we must be vigilant in the protection of the planet we inhabit.” nysais.org


MAY 11-17,2017

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

REAL POLITICS 101 Church of The Heavenly Rest 2 East 90th St. 6:30-8:30 p.m. $5-$40 Systems and procedures that drive democracy are often obscured from the view from the very people it’s meant to serve. This workshop opens up these topics. 212-289-3400 heavenlyrest.org

Sun 14 TUNISIAN CROCHET 92nd Street Y 1395 Lexington Ave. 11 a.m. $115 Learn how to make the basic Tunisian crochet stitches, expand those skills to incorporate the use of two color and create variations in lace. Leave with one or two small projects completed. 212-415-5500 92y.org

BRAHMS & DVORAK | PIANO ▲ The Kosciuszko Foundation 15 East 65th St. 7 p.m. An evening of classical music features chamber music masterworks by Brahms and Dvorak. Light reception after the concert. 212-734-2130 thekf.org

Christine Germain-Donnat, director of the Department of Heritage and Collections for the Sevres Porcelain Manufactory, will be the featured speaker for the museum’s seventh Design by Hand series. 212-849-8400 cooperhewitt.org

Wed 17 ‘HOW TO WRITE LIKE TOLSTOY’

Tue 16

Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore & Cafe 939 Lexington Ave. 6:30 p.m. Free Informed by a career in publishing and a lifetime of reading, Richard Cohen takes readers on a journey into the minds, techniques, concerns, tricks, flaws (and occasionally obsessions) of great authors. shakeandco.com

ACA-CHELLA, SPRING A CAPPELLA | CONCERT

‘ANCIENT SKIES, ANCIENT TREES’

Hunter College 695 Park Ave., room 424N 7 p.m. Free. Imagine Coachella and a cappella — a night of hot jams featuring Hunter College’s a cappella group Hawkappella and guest-starring The Macaulay Triplets. 212-772-4000 hunter.cuny.edu

Los Sueños del Caribe (Dreams of the Caribbean): People, Land, and Place Saturday, May 13 | Noon–5 pm FREE FOR MEMBERS OR WITH MUSEUM ADMISSION

This Saturday, celebrate the natural and cultural diversity of the Caribbean at a family-friendly festival! Enjoy activities and the premiere of a new work of music and poetry co-developed by students from the Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music and Cuban-American legend Paquito D’Rivera, a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and recipient of the 2005 National Medal of the Arts.

Mid-Manhattan Library 455 Fifth Ave. 6:30-8:30 p.m., Free. RSVP Celebrating the publication of the new book, photographers Beth Moon and Renate Aller discuss Moon’s encounters with the world’s most ancient collection of great arboreal specimens. 212-340-0863 nypl.org

Mon 15 ‘CROOKED: THE BACK BOOK’ Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore & Cafe 939 Lexington Ave. 6:30 p.m. “Crooked,” by investigative reporter Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, is about the back pain industry. Reading, discussion and signing. shakeandco.com

Support for Celebrate Culture programs is provided, in part, by the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.; the Sidney, Milton and Leoma Simon Foundation; and the family of Frederick H. Leonhardt. Los Sueños del Caribe: People, Land, and Place is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Special thanks: Café Frida and Jazz at Lincoln Center. Photos © AMNH / R. Mickens

DESIGN BY HAND | LECTURE Cooper Hewitt 2 East 91st St. 6:30 p.m.

Open Daily | Central Park West at 79th St. | 212-769-5100 | amnh.org Photo by Outesticide via Wikimedia Commons

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MAY 11-17,2017

THROUGH A LENS, FONDLY Two exhibits showcase the postwar NYC photographs of Todd Webb BY VAL CASTRONOVO

Todd Webb (1905-2000) is one of those figures who achieved a certain degree of fame in his lifetime, then faded from view. He came to New York in November 1945 after being discharged from the Navy, managed to pull off a solo show of his photographs at the Museum of the City of New York in 1946, then followed Georgia O’Keeffe to New Mexico around 1961, photographing her and pretty much flying under the radar before ultimately settling in Maine. Today, he is largely unknown, though in the postwar period he traveled in rarefied circles, hobnobbing with the likes of O’Keeffe, her husband Alfred Stieglitz, Berenice Abbott, Gordon Parks, Walker Evans and Beaumont Newhall, among others. Newhall, head of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art, recom-

Todd Webb, Under the 3rd Avenue EL, New York, 1946. Courtesy Museum of the City of New York and the Todd Webb Estate.

mended Webb to MCNY and curated his postwar show, “I See A City.” The press release from that exhibit is on display at the museum. “He has seen our city not as a glittering megalopolis, but as a community. He has chosen to focus mainly [on] those blocks where the shops are small and living quarters crowded,” it reads. Indeed, Webb was drawn to people and neighborhoods as much as, if not more than, the city’s landmarks and soaring architecture. The streets of immigrant New York on the Lower East Side and Harlem are pictured with great affection and humanity — even when they are devoid of people. As Bill Shapiro, curator of the show at The Curator Gallery in Chelsea and former editor-in-chief of LIFE, writes in the handout, Inside Todd Webb’s Pictures: “Webb shot both the iconic and the idiosyncratic sides of New York, her sweeping skylines as well as those tiny, fleeting moments that define life in the City.” Stieglitz paid Webb the ultimate compliment when, comparing him to Ansel Adams, he said: “Your photographs have tenderness.” That tenderness is palpable in the 131 vintage prints at the museum and the 33 vintage and modern prints at the gallery, where photographs are for sale. “What you really get to see is what New York was like for a newcomer coming to the city,” MCNY Director Whitney Donhauser said at a preview of the museum’s exhibit. “He used photography to familiarize himself with an unfamiliar setting.” With the encouragement of Stieglitz, who Webb first met in New York in 1942 when he was en route to active duty, he determined to spend one year after the war roaming the streets and photographing what he saw — though one year turned into some 10 years documenting the cityscape. When Webb first moved to New York, he shared an apartment with photographer Harry Callahan and his wife on West 123rd Street near Amsterdam

Todd Webb, The Battery, New York (Peanut Peddler), 1945. Courtesy Museum of the City of New York and the Todd Webb Estate. Avenue. “He lived off his savings from his military pay — he had no job. He just photographed and explored the city,” MCNY’s curator Sean Corcoran said. He habitually took a streetcar across 125th street to the east side of Manhattan, where he would hop the Third Avenue El to Midtown, the Lower East Side and the Financial District. He captured images from the top of the El and from under the El. His subjects ranged from a peanut peddler at the Battery (1945) to a man in uniform getting his shoes shined on a street corner in Harlem (1946). New Yorkers of a certain age will wax nostalgic at the sight of old-style establishments like McSorley’s in the East Village (1946) and Barbetta in Midtown (1946), not to mention long-defunct Sloppy Louie’s on South Street (1959) and bygone bars and storefronts on Sixth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets (1948). Webb was driven. In his gallery handout, Shapiro has paired some of his favorite photos with entries from the lensman’s journal, which he started when he arrived in New York. His dedication and enchantment with the city is expressed in an entry from Feb. 25, 1946: “In spite of the cold and windy weather, I had to go out today. The light was beautiful and I was full of New York.” Work was his passion, but he was not in it for the glory — or the money. “I think I understand now that work, not worry about material things, is the key to happiness for me,” he wrote on Dec. 31, 1946.

In 1949, he went to Paris, where he met his future wife, Lucille Minqueau. u. When the pair, now married, returned ed to New York four years later, they lived ed on St. Luke’s Place in Greenwich Vilillage, where Webb shot snowy street et scenes and bannisters. He nabbed back-to-back Guggennheim fellowships in 1955 and 1956 and nd went on to photograph the UN Genneral Assembly before finally leaving ng New York to pursue his calling in New w Mexico and elsewhere. (Eight of his is portraits of Georgia O’Keeffe in the he Southwest can be seen at the Brooklyn yn Museum in “Living Modern,” through gh July 23.) That first summer in the city was a heady time, though. As he enthused ed in July 1946, “It seems like a very good od life ... I am broke. But what the hell, you ou can’t have everything.”

Todd Webb, Lexington Avenue, Near 110th Street, Harlem, 1946. Courtesy Museum of the City of New York and the Todd Webb Estate.

IF YOU GO WHAT: “A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York 1945-1960” WHERE: Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave., at 103rd Street WHEN: through September 4 www.mcny.org

WHAT: “Down Any Street: Todd Webb’s Photographs of New York, 1945-1960” WHERE: The Curator Gallery/ Chelsea, 520 West 23rd Street WHEN: through May 20 www.thecuratorgallery.com


MAY 11-17,2017

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in 2014. Photo: Paulo JC Nogueira, via Wikimedia Commons

A DIVINE MAGNIFICENCE HISTORY 125 years after construction began, St. John’s is unfinished, but still regal BY RAANAN GEBERER

Aside maybe from Columbia University, the best-known landmark in Morningside Heights is surely the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. It’s one of the largest Episcopal cathedrals in the world and one of the city’s newest landmarks. Even to the “un-churched,” the cathedral is known for its concerts, its annual ceremonial blessings of animals and of bicycles, and its social outreach programs such as a Sunday soup kitchen. And the church is still not finished. The cathedral had its genesis in 1828, when the Episcopal bishop of New York, John Henry Hobart, discussed the feasibility of building a church with city Mayor Philip Hone, according to the church’s website. The project would be decades in the making, with a site for the nascent cathedral selected only in 1887, when Bishop Henry Codman Potter of the Episcopal Diocese called for a cathedral that would rival the Catholic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in size and in grandeur. The cornerstone was laid in 1892. The first services were held in 1899, as work on the site continued. Construction was stopped during both world wars, but has otherwise continued. Lest anyone erroneously think that the Diocese is dragging its feet, Commissioner Wellington Chen of the Landmarks Preservation Commission pointed out that, historically, it takes about 300

years to build great cathedrals. The cathedral and its surrounding buildings and gardens form an 11.3-acre complex known as the close. In addition to the cathedral itself, the site’s other buildings include the Choir School (built 1912-13), St. Faith’s House (1909-11), the Synod House (1912-14), the Deanery, the Bishop’s House, and the original building of the Leake and Watts Orphan Asylum. The buildings are also home to some notable monuments and artworks. The choir parapet has a series of sculptures of the world’s spiritual leaders since the birth of Christianity. Among them are likenesses of William Shakespeare, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, Susan B. Anthony and Mahatma Gandhi. On the wall of the American Poets’ Corner are the names of some of the country’s bestknown poets and writers, such as Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Edgar Allen Poe, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Langston Hughes, Herman Melville, Ernest Hemingway, Emma Lazarus and others. As far as art is concerned, the cathedral houses the Barberini Life of Christ tapestries, designed by baroque master Giovanni Francesco Romanelli and produced in Rome before 1644 and 1656. The name comes from Francesco Barberini, nephew of Pope Urban VIII, in whose tapestry workshop the 12-panel series was produced. (Ten of the tapestries are on view in the cathedral’s chapels through June 25.) The church has always been a center for music, both organ recitals and music by larger groups. Its New Year’s Eve

concerts draw people from throughout the city. Jazz great Duke Ellington performed several sacred concerts here, one of which was recorded and issued as an album in 1968. Eclectic “world music” saxophonist Paul Winter has often performed at St. John the Divine, and is scheduled to perform his 37th annual Winter Solstice concerts this December. Among the most-beloved activities at St. John’s is the Blessing of the Animals, held in October to celebrate the Feast of St. Francis. While other churches also host similar blessings, most such ceremonies mainly attract dog and cat owners. At St. John the Divine, cows, sheep, llamas, hawks a and donkeys get blessings. Since 1999, another mass benediction, the Blessing of the Bikes, takes place at St. John’s. It’s held the day before the Five Boro Bike Tour, with bicycle riders attending from as far away as Albany before taking part in the big ride. In February, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the cathedral as a landmark. “The Cathedral is among the most famous church buildings in the world and is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year who want to experience this 125-year-old masterpiece and complex with its varied and unique architectural styles,” Commission Chair Meenakshi Srinvasan said. “I’m very proud that this commission has advanced the successful designation of both the cathedral building and six historic buildings in the Close complex.”

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MAY 11-17,2017

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

SOCIETY LIBRARY AWARDS CITY-CENTRIC BOOKS The New York City Book Awards emphasize storytelling that touches on some current political themes BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

In a cozily furnished room on the second floor of the city’s oldest library, one could easily imagine curling up with a winner of this year’s New York City Book Awards. Last Wednesday, the New York Society Library presented four books with the award, which honors “books of literary quality or historical importance that … evoke the spirit or enhance appreciation of New York City.” The 2016-2017 w inners are Tyler Anbiner’s “City of Dreams: The 400-Year Epic History of Immigrant New York,” David Oshinsky’s “Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine & Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital,” Roxane Orgill and Francis Vallejo’s “Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph” and Corey Pegues’ “Once a Cop: The Street, The

Warren Wechsler, chair of the New York City Book Awards jury, with Roxane Orgill, co-author of “Jazz Day.” Photo: Karen Smul Law, Two Worlds, One Man.” In their brief acceptance speeches, the authors touched on the writing process and the reasons they felt compelled to

bring their stories to life. Ellen Iseman, a trustee of the Society Library and sponsor of the awards, emphasized the importance of storytelling.

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS APR 22 - 28, 2017 The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website and include the most recent inspection and grade reports listed. We have included every restaurant listed during this time within the zip codes of our neighborhoods. Some reports list numbers with their explanations; these are the number of violation points a restaurant has received. To see more information on restaurant grades, visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/ restaurant-inspection.shtml. Joe & The Juice Lexington

150 E 72nd St

Not Yet Graded (2)

Pinkberry

1577 2nd Ave

A

Beyoglu

200 East 81 Street

A

Kings Carriage House

251 East 82 Street

Grade Pending (22) 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.

Dunkin’ Donuts

1571 York Avenue

A

Sushi Suki

1577 York Ave

Grade Pending (23) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Starbucks

1261 Lexington Avenue

A

Panera Bread

120 East 86 Street

A

King Dragon 88

1548 Madison Ave

A

Dunkin’ Donuts / Baskin Robbins

1880 3 Avenue

A

“When times are as unsettling as they are today, with headlines about chemical warfare and new nuclear missile tests in Asia, getting lost in an intentionally escapist way ... is the best salve one could wish for,” she said. “Good libraries like this one also hold books and periodicals that can provide a truth or close to it, when the notion of alternative facts and fake news has been accepted by millions of people.” But the books awarded by the Society Library can’t be entirely separated from the current political landscape. “City of Dreams” highlights the contri-

butions of immigrants from Alexander Hamilton to Oscar de la Renta, some of whom would might not have made it here had they attempted to make the journey today. “The theme of the book is basically that immigrants throughout the centuries have not changed very much,” Anbinder said. “People come to the United States for the same reasons, they’re treated as outcasts when they get here, they have to fight for respect, and yet they persevere.” Oshinsky, too, touched on the politically relevant aspects of “Bellevue,” which chronicles

The award-winning books. Photo: Karen Smul

the history of the city’s oldest hospital. “New York City, to its everlasting credit, is the only place where the indigent get medical care free of charge, and Bellevue is the flagship hospital that provides that,” he said. Pegues’s “Once Upon A Cop,” about the author’s rise from teenage drug dealer to deputy inspector in the NYPD, also brings to light problems the city and the country as a whole continue to struggle with. “Jazz Day,” a beautifully illustrated collection of poems, provides the purest escapism of the four winners. The book was inspired by Art Kane’s famous photograph “A Great Day in Harlem,” which features 57 notable jazz musicians, dressed in their Sunday best, on the steps of a Harlem brownstone. “It was 10 o’clock in the morning,” Orgill said of the story behind the picture. “A lovely time to take a photograph, but not for jazz musicians. [Kane] didn’t know if anyone would show.” In addition to facts and fictions, Pegues reminded the audience why it’s important to find a personal connection with any book. “What I want people to get out of the book is ‘don’t let your past define your future,’” he said. “The kid on the back of that book — you’d never have known that he would be this guy in the front of the book.” Madeleine Thompson can be reached at newsreporter@ strausnews.com


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MAY 11-17,2017

Business JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF BRIGHT The bespoke lampshade shop Blanche Field has been customizing light for more than a century BY LAURA HANRAHAN

Anyone walking into the East 56th Street office of Blanche Field is immediately immersed in the littleknown world of couture lampshades. Every surface in the part-showroom, part-factory, part-design studio and overflowing with wire frames, ribbon spools, lamp bases and shades. “As much as this looks like grandma’s attic, we kind of know where everything is,” said Lisa Simkin, Blanche Field’s head designer and New York director. “It’s organized mayhem.” Blanche Field is an old-school business, having been in operation in Manhattan for more than a century. Everything, including the filing system, is still paper-based, with email being the only task done online. Near the store’s entrance, between Third and Lexington Avenues, a team of six women quietly sit at a long table, sewing intricate patterns onto the custom, handmade lampshades on which Blanche Field has built its 112-year reputation. Meanwhile, in the back, Manuella, the electrician, works on converting just about any object you can imagine into a light fixture. Most of Blanche Field’s customers are New York City-based interior designers looking for pieces for their cli-

Lisa Simkin, Blanche Field’s head designer, in the East 56th Street store. Photo: Laura Hanrahan

ent’s homes. But Blanche Field has also designed lamps for the SoHo House hotel and club, Chanel stores and the Campbell Apartment in Grand Central. When it comes to creating a new custom design, Simkin emphasizes the need to find the perfect size for each individual lamp. To do this, she has her clients bring in to the shop the base they want to use. “Because I have so many molds and samples here, it’s like trying on hats for your head,” said Simkin, who has been with Blanche Field 17 years. “You don’t know what’s going to fit until you try it.” Once the size and shape are chosen, a wire frame is created. “We have a frame maker who hand-makes every single frame,” she said. “It comes back to the shop, and then the ladies start to work on them.” Choosing the exact material and style for the shade’s fabric, however, might feel like an almost impossible feat to someone unacquainted with the craft. Pleated or laminate? Colorful or neutral? Patterned or simple? The options are seemingly endless. Like an interior-design matchmaker, Simkin says she likes to pair the shade’s style to the client’s personality. “How do we make it yours? Who are you? Who’s the personality that you’re designing for? Even the lampshade has to have a personality,” she said. “You can have a classical lampshade

ON THE SIDE STREETS OF NEW YORK RUSTIE’S BOOKBINDING — 323 EAST 75TH STREET Rustem Gungor, who arrived in the US via Turkey several decades ago, is one of the last of his kind. Entering his tiny shop feels more like walking into a museum exhibit, filled with rare tools for embossing, ancient presses, and piles of books with and without covers. Rustie has been in business since the early 1990s, proving an invaluable asset to collectors in the city and beyond. As Rustie tells it, he has always been an avid reader, and his love of books and craftsmanship naturally led to skill in bookbinding. After many years in the business, Rustie’s passion for the art has not dimmed. “If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t do it.” To read more, visit Manhattan Sideways (sideways.nyc), created by Betsy Bober Polivy.

Photo: Tom Arena, Manhattan Sideways.

and totally make it whimsical with some little detail, and that to me is the fun part.” Simkin has seen a Remington statue and even a cowboy boot turned into a lamp. “I always tell people you can take the most inexpensive object, like from West Elm, or a candlestick, and convert it into a lamp,” she said. “You can buy something in a flea market, but put a great shade on it and it becomes a great lamp.” She mainly works with silks and handkerchief linens, but has created lampshades with Hermes scarves, a silk blouse and even a Levi’s shirt with snaps on it. “I always tell people bring me a shirt, bring me a good old shirt, because the cottons in shirts are beautiful,” she said. With the extra care and personalized detail that goes in to each piece, there is a price tag to match. Small chandelier shades start at $165, while larger shades average around $450. Each day brings its creative challenges, which keeps the office fun and the passion flowing. “I’m still amazed, I can look at something after 17 years when it’s in my workshop and go ‘oh my god that’s so beautiful,’” she said. “It might not even be my taste or in my home, but I can just appreciate how beautiful it is. Maybe just because I know the work that goes in, the handwork that goes in behind it.”


MAY 11-17,2017

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MAY 11-17,2017

WAIT LIST – STUDIO/ 1 BED ONLY 55-75 West End Avenue / One Columbus Place Beginning in MAY 2017, a WAIT LIST ONLY for low income apartments STUDIO/ 1 BED ONLY located at 55-75 West End Avenue / One Columbus Place will be opened to individuals whose incomes meet the following guidelines: Apartment Size

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to occupancy criteria **Includes Gas ***Income requirements subject to change Applicants will be required to meet income guidelines and additional selection criteria. Send Post Card ONLY to: URBAN ASSOCIATES, LLC P.O. Box 4089 New York, NY 10023 Requests for an application must be received by May 22, 2017. Completed applications must be returned by REGULAR MAIL ONLY to the P.O. Box that will be listed on the application. Application must be postmarked by May 26, 2017.

No Broker’s Fee. No Application Fee. Bill de Blasio, Mayor New York City Housing Development Corporation Gary Rodney, President

www.nychdc.com


MAY 11-17,2017

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UWS TOWN HALL N U F E R R E PROTESTS PROPOSED MMEARTS H U SUPERTALL BUILDING S ST DEVELOPMENT

Activists, residents cite increased population density, shadows as threats BY RAZI SYED

Around 80 people came out to a May 3 town hall to oppose the building of a 668-foot skyscraper at 200 Amsterdam Avenue, which, if built, would be the tallest building on the Upper West Side. The two-hour town hall was organized by the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, an organization which works to prevent the construction of megatowers in the city. Olive Freud, resident of the organization, said she first became concerned when she saw renderings of the proposed building. “Something had to be done about it,” Freud said. “Even though some people thought it was a done deal, it’s going to be undone.” Freud argued that the construction of the tower would set a precedent for supertall buildings that could change life on the Upper West Side. She also pointed to the fact that the units in 200 Amsterdam Avenue are to be luxury units.

George Janes, principal of George M. Janes & Associates, presents an overview of the zoning issues with 200 Amsterdam Avenue on May 3. Photo: Razi Syed “They don’t even have to excuse to say it is affordable housing because it isn’t,” Freud said. George Janes, the principal of George M. Janes & Associates, was hired by the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development to analyze the development and help challenge the zoning approval of the building. At the town hall, Janes presented a review of the proposed development. Janes said the reason the building is allowed to be so tall is due to the zoning lot, which was gerrymandered over a superblock to create a lot that is more than 110,000 square feet — or five times the size of a normal lot. “The way we regulate build-

A presentation by George Janes shows how 200 Amsterdam Avenue is allowed to be a proposed height of 668 feet tall by using an abnormally large zoning lot. Photo: Razi Syed

ing mass in New York City is something call FAR — floor area ratio — the ratio of the building size to the lot size,” Janes said. “Since this lot is absolutely enormous, the building can be enormous.” Kate Wood, president of Landmark West, said this project shows that landmarking and historical districts aren’t enough to make the Upper West Side safe from overreaching development. “The question we need to get to really quick is what do we do about it,” Wood said. “What we’re seeing is that there are problems, not just with the rules, but with the process itself — the procedures that the city uses to regulate and monitor development projects.” Sean Fitzpatrick, who works in Council Member Helen Rosenthal’s office, was present to read a statement from Rosenthal. “The proposed project is completely out-of-context for the neighborhood, both in terms of scale and character,” the statement read. CIty Council candidate Mel Wymore said he’s watched the Upper West Side get overtaken by big developments. “I’m running for city council for exactly this reason,” Wymore said. “What’s missing in every single case is a defense of the people who already live here.”

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MAY 11-17,2017

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Health & Wellness Seminar Series Spring 2017 A transgender woman found unconscious and unresponsive on this Seventh Avenue sidewalk April 25 has died.

TRANSGENDER WOMAN DIES AFTER BEATING CRIME Succumbs after she was found with head trauma on a Chelsea sidewalk

May

16 Hearing and Ear HealthÄŽ Diagnosing and Treating Adults with Hearing Loss Diana Callesano, Au.D, CCC-A Eric G. Nelson, Au.D, CCC-A

BY RICHARD KHAVKINE

A transgender woman who died nine days after being found unconscious on a Seventh Avenue sidewalk was beaten to death, the city’s medical examiner said. Paramedics found Brenda Bostick, 59, with head trauma in front of 343 Seventh, a Five Guys outlet on the east side of the avenue just north of 29th Street, about 10:30 on April 25. She was taken to Bellevue Hospital where she died on May 4, police said. Police are investigating her death as a homicide.

The city’s medical examiner said that Bostick died of “complications of blunt impact injury� to the head. The southern portion of the block where Bostick was found is draped by scaffolding and while well-traveled daytimes is relatively empty of commerce during the evenings and at night. The restaurant was closed at the time. Employees of a deli on the corner of 29th Street, next door to the Five Guys outlet, said police had been inquiring of the night in question but that workers that Tuesday night had not noticed any commotion outside. Police said Bostick lived at the BRC transition shelter on West 25th Street. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs said Bostick was the 10th reported killing of a transgender person

of color this year. Bostick was black. The organization said that last year it responded to 23 killings of transgender and gender-nonconforming people, the highest number of homicides recorded by the coalition. “We are facing a crisis of violence,� Beverly Tillery, the executive director of the AntiViolence Project New York chapter, said in a statement. “As a society we can stop this epidemic by hiring trans women of color, making sure they have safe places to live and standing up when we see or hear them being demeaned and attacked and simply by valuing their lives. The moment to act is now.� Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stopper hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477).

Day of Hungarian Folk Music & Dance Time 6:30–8:00 pm Place All seminars held at Uris Auditorium Meyer Research and Education Building Weill Cornell Medicine 1300 York Avenue (at 69th St.)

All seminars are FREE and open to the public. Seating is available for 250 people on a ďŹ rst-come, ďŹ rst-served basis. We encourage you to register via Eventbrite here: https://nypwcmhealthandwellness.eventbrite.com If you require a disability-related accommodation, please call 212-821-0888 and leave a message.

Saturday, May 13 6pm - Flash Mob in front of the Metropolitan Museum

7pm - Folk Dance Party with Live Music at the Hungarian House, 213 E 82 */'0t)6/("3*"/)064&03(


MAY 11-17,2017

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MOTHER’S DAY WITH DONATELLA ARPAIA Food Network star shares holiday memories and recipes

spring pea & mascarpone risotto Ingredients: 1 lb. Arborio rice 1 oz. butter 1 medium onion 1 glass dry white wine 1 qt. vegetable or chicken broth Salt and pepper to taste Spring peas (2 cups) 4 tbsp. of grated parmesan 3 tbsp. of mascarpone cheese (optional) Bunch of spring pea shoots (garnish)

Like all East Side mothers, Donatella Arpaia is an expert at multitasking. She has run awardwinning restaurants — Davidburke & Donatella, Anthos, and Kefi — and last fall launched her latest venture, Prova Pizzabar in Grand Central Station. She writes cookbooks and guest-stars on The Today Show. And when you flip on The Food Network after a long day, there she is performing as a judge on Iron Chef America. Her success in the culinary world all ties back to the summers spent at her family’s olive oil farm where she spent her days jarring homemade sauce and learning family recipes from Mama Maria as she stood on a stool and Donatella Arpaia peeked up at the stove. “My mom was the cook in the family when I was growing up and she really steered me out of the kitchen! But on Mother’s Day, I always got up extra early to make her coffee in bed. She loved espresso and I would use the old-fashion espresso maker on the stove top — not a machine,” says Donatella. “I would always give her a homemade Mother’s Day card, which she still has saved to this day.” Now she’s the one getting homemade cards and breakfast in bed, courtesy of her husband and her 5-year-old son, Alessandro. “We spend Mother’s Day at our weekend home and have made a tradition of breakfast in bed, followed by packing a picnic and going on a family hike,” she says. “We end the night with a sunset cruise on the lake with wine, cheese, and snacks as we look at the stars — what’s better than that?”

Photos courtesy of Donatella Arpaia

Ingredients: 2 parts chilled Brut Champagne 1 part orange juice Method: Pour orange juice into flute glass. Top with Martini Asti and garnish with strawberry.

fettuccine with salmon in a lemon cream sauce Ingredients: 1 lb. fettuccine 4 tbsp. unsalted butter 1 pint heavy cream Zest and juice of 2 lemons 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp. tarragon, chopped 8 oz. flaked salmon (grilled or baked) Salt and pepper, to taste

Method: Saute chopped onions in olive oil and butter until golden brown Add rice and stir for 2 minutes Add wine and stir until it evaporates Add warm broth untiil rice is covered Let simmer and cook and stir adding broth every time broth is almost completely absorbed by the rice Add in bag of peas and let cook When rice is cooked and broth is almost completely absorbed, remove from the heat Add some grated cheese Stir until the risotto reaches a creamy consisteny Garnish with pea shoots Variation: Add 3-4 slices of bacon, saute for 2 minutes before adding broth for added flavor

the ‘mom-osa’

Donatella and her son, Alessandro

Method: 1. Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Draine, rinse, and set aside. 2. In a large skillet, melt the butter, then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Pour in the heavy cream and stir untili mixture thickens. Add lemon zest, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tsp. tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Add the pasta to the cream sauce and toss. If too thick, add some pasta water to the pan. 4. Add the salmon and 1 tsp. tarragon. 5. Serve immediately.


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MAY 11-17,2017

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FRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts Presents:

Ä?ĆŒÄ‚Ć?ĹšÄ?Ĺ˝ĆľĆŒĆ?ÄžŽŜƚŚĞÄ?Ä‚Ć?Ĺ?Ä?Ć?ŽĨÇŒĹ˝ĹśĹ?ĹśĹ?ĂŜĚĆ‰ĆŒÄžĆ?ÄžĆŒÇ€Ä‚Ć&#x;ŽŜ ...and how you can be an advocate for your neighborhood.

Saturday, May 13th 10:00 am - 1:00 pm ^Ć&#x161;Í&#x2DC;:Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x2030;Ć&#x;Ć?Ć&#x161;Ä&#x17E;,Ĺ?Ĺ?Ĺ&#x161;^Ä?Ĺ&#x161;ŽŽů 173 East 75th Street ŽčÄ&#x17E;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;ĨĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ć?Ĺ&#x161;ĹľÄ&#x17E;ĹśĆ&#x161;Ć?ĨĆ&#x152;Žž ƾƊÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x152;ÄŽÄ&#x17E;ĹŻÄ&#x161;DÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x152;ĹŹÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x161; ΨϭϏĹľÄ&#x17E;ĹľÄ?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć?Í&#x2022;ΨώϏŜŽŜͲžÄ&#x17E;ĹľÄ?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć? Ä&#x161;Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x201A;ĹśÄ?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ĺ?Ĺ?Ć?Ć&#x161;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜĆ&#x2030;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;ĨÄ&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ä&#x161;Í&#x2DC; Please call 212-535-2526Ĺ˝Ć&#x152; Ç&#x20AC;Ĺ?Ć?Ĺ?Ć&#x161;Ç Ç Ç Í&#x2DC;ĨĆ&#x152;Ĺ?Ä&#x17E;ĹśÄ&#x161;Ć?ͲƾÄ&#x17E;Ć?Í&#x2DC;Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;Ĺ?ÍŹÄ&#x17E;Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x17E;ĹśĆ&#x161;Ć?Í&#x2DC; This project has been funded in part by a grant from the John E. Streb Fund for New York ŽĨĆ&#x161;Ĺ&#x161;Ä&#x17E;EÄ&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜÄ&#x201A;ĹŻdĆ&#x152;ĆľĆ?Ć&#x161;ĨŽĆ&#x152;,Ĺ?Ć?Ć&#x161;Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;Ĺ?Ä?WĆ&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ć?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ç&#x20AC;Ä&#x201A;Ć&#x;ŽŜÍ&#x2022;Ä&#x201A;Ć?Ç Ä&#x17E;ĹŻĹŻÄ&#x201A;Ć?Ä&#x201A;Ä&#x161;Ä&#x161;Ĺ?Ć&#x;ŽŜÄ&#x201A;ĹŻĆ?ĆľĆ&#x2030;Ć&#x2030;Ĺ˝Ć&#x152;Ć&#x161;Ä?Ç&#x2021;ŽƾŜÄ?Ĺ?ĹŻDÄ&#x17E;ĹľÄ?Ä&#x17E;Ć&#x152;Ä&#x17E;Ĺś<Ä&#x201A;ĹŻĹŻĹ˝Ć?Í&#x2DC;

SCOPING OUT MANHATTAN Readers responded vehemently â&#x20AC;&#x201D; pro and con â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to our â&#x20AC;&#x153;Disrupting the Gridâ&#x20AC;? column BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

Bicycles, for better or worse, are swiftly multiplying on the streets of Manhattan. So too, it seems, are the self-referential celebrations mounted by advocates to trumpet their ascension. Did you know May is National Bike Month? Or that Bike to Work Week runs from May 15 to May 19, climaxing with Bike to Work Day on May 19? Of course, the Five Boro Bike Tour on May 7 was inescapable. But perhaps you missed Bike Expo New York on May 5 and 6? It was against backdrop that we turned to readers to ask two simple questions: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is the bicycle the scourge of the city or a saving grace? Does it diminish our street life and imperil the grid, or does it green Manhattan and make urban life more livable?â&#x20AC;? The context was a column, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Disrupting the Grid,â&#x20AC;? that ran in the May 3 issue and proved a bit controversial, in which I argued that the orderly patterns of Manhattanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s street-grid system, which dates to 1811, were being undermined in the Age of the Bicycle. As the signature design for the islandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roadways, the grid bestowed discipline and order with its straight lines, right angles and linear street walls. It was my contention that an untrammeled, unregulated proliferation of bikes, accompanied by an ill-planned, ill-designed grafting of bike lanes and infrastructure onto the grid, sowed disorder, diminished street life and fostered a climate of fear among pedestrians. Reader response came fast, and sometimes furiously. Typically, it was thoughtful. Always, it was interesting. Via emails, phone calls, tweets and online comments, at least 64 people with strong opinions vented. Roughly 40 percent sang the praises of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biking culture; 60 percent demonized it or criticized the pedal commu-

On Fifth Avenue. Photo: Doug Davey, via ďŹ&#x201A;ickr nityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wayward ways. And yes, my central thesis was subject to some ridicule: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tell if this article is a joke or a really long satirical Onion-style piece,â&#x20AC;? wrote a reader identiďŹ ed only as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Alexâ&#x20AC;? in an online comment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Douglas Feiden, you are either really hilarious in making yourself sound like a backwards fuddyduddy, or have no real connection to reality.â&#x20AC;? A correspondent named â&#x20AC;&#x153;Voochâ&#x20AC;? agreed, saying, â&#x20AC;&#x153;It must be satire ... Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gut-busting funny.â&#x20AC;? Actually, I can assure Alex and Vooch, the column, however executed, was an attempt at a cri de coeur to alert City Hall to the follies of radically re-engineering Manhattanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s streetscape to accommodate the stampede of scofflaws. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Glad that finally someone is bucking the trend and describing the reality of the bike culture in NYC and its negative impacts,â&#x20AC;? wrote the landscape architect Edmund Hollander, whose ďŹ&#x201A;uency in the grid hails from his designs for streetlevel gardens on Murray and Sullivan Streets and rooftop gardens on Park Avenue and Central Park West. Hollander, whose eponymous firm is based on Park Avenue South, offered a modest proposal: â&#x20AC;&#x153;How about license plates for bikes and registration fees, like cars, to help pay for and support the infrastructure?â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a ďŹ rst-rate idea. User fees

are a form of taxation that might put the brakes on oversaturation, give government a means of regulating the market, maybe keep neâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;er-do-wells off the streets and even fuel a robust enforcement regimen where none currently exists. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They all should be issued â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;mini-platesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; for their bikes, and when they go thru lights, ticketed!â&#x20AC;? wrote Sherry Ahimsa, who lives on the Lower East Side. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m writing to local officials. Maybe you can also.â&#x20AC;? The columnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s focus was on the impact of bicycles on the street-level, or horizontal, grid. But Upper East Side resident James Mahoney argues theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also proving detrimental to the vertical grid, meaning the forest of skyscrapers that spring from the intersection of street and avenue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bikes are insinuating themselves right into our office buildings,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I for one do not welcome them.â&#x20AC;? Mahoney is right. Under the 2009 Bicycle Access to Office Buildings Law, cyclists are permitted to park their bicycles in or near their workplaces. As the city Department of Transportation helpfully notes on its website, many offices have unused â&#x20AC;&#x153;dead spaceâ&#x20AC;? in their reception areas that can be utilized for bike parking. Funny, I always thought a business had the right to decide how it wants to use its reception area, not the DOT. But thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a column for another day.


MAY 11-17,2017

TRUMP VISIT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 A small group of Trump supporters draped in U.S. flags and wearing “Make America Great Again” hats taunted the protesters. The pro-Trump demonstrators marched back and forth along the barricaded pens on the sidewalk occupied by protesters, chanting “You lost!” and “Thank you, Trump!” After several intense confrontations between Trump supporters and protesters, police herded the supporters into a separate pen. According to an NYPD spokesperson, there were no arrests. Earlier in the afternoon, hundreds gathered at DeWitt Clinton Park for a rally led by local politicians before marching six blocks south along the West Side Highway to the Intrepid. New York City Public Advocate Letitia James, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman and others addressed the protesters, who waved signs and banged pots and pans in approval of the anti-Trump sentiment. “This illegitimate president has waged a war on the American people,” James said. “He’s trying to strip us of our most basic fundamental rights.” The president’s itinerary

23

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DAN BROWN The Da Vinci Code

VERONICA ROTH The Divergent Series

CONNOR FRANTA YouTuber

JEFF KINNEY Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series

KRYSTEN RITTER Marvel’s Jessica Jones

KWAME ALEXANDER The Crossover

MARC MARON WTF with Marc Maron Podcast

JEFFERY TAMBOR Are You Anybody?

DAV PILKEY Captain Underpants

MARGARET ATWOOD The Handmaid’s Tale

JASON REYNOLDS When I Was the Greatest

RAINBOW ROWELL Eleanor & Park

A Trump supporter taunts protesters by waving a pacifier. Photo: Michael Garofalo initially included two stops in Midtown, at his penthouse apartment in Trump Tower and at the Peninsula Hotel a block away for a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (Trump instead met later with Turnbull aboard the Intrepid), but his arrival in New York was delayed after Republican representatives joined Trump at the White House to celebrate the House’s vote, earlier in the day, to pass the American Health Care Act. A small crowd of protesters — and a handful of Trump supporters — gathered along Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower even after word spread that Trump would head directly to the Intrepid upon his arrival in New York, but the scene was

Protesting on the West Side Highway on Thursday, May 4. Photo: Preston Ehrler

subdued in comparison to earlier protests outside the building after Election Day and the inauguration. “It actually looks like less people than normal,” one police officer remarked as he directed pedestrian traffic at the 56th Street intersection opposite Trump Tower. The NYPD maintained a significant presence outside the president’s former primary residence, as it has since the election. Days before Trump’s visit, Congress reached an agreement to allocate $68 million to reimburse local governments for costs associated with protecting the president and his family, the culmination of a months-long effort by local leaders to secure federal funding and ease the burden on the city’s budget. NYPD security at Trump Tower cost the city $24 million during the period from Election Day to Inauguration Day. Trump’s wife, Melania, and son, Barron, have continued living at the tower since Trump moved to the White House in January. Their security costs the city an estimated $127,000 to $146,000 per day. During presidential visits, that figure rises to $308,000 per day. “We know that we will be substantially be made whole for that time up to Inauguration Day, and we know that the stage has been set to get substantial reimbursement for the days after,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference May 5 announcing the appropriations. After the ceremony at the Intrepid, the president opted against spending the night at Trump Tower. Instead, he headed west across the Hudson River en route to Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. “Rather than causing a big disruption in N.Y.C., I will be working out of my home in Bedminster, N.J. this weekend,” Trump announced via Twitter the next day. “Also saves country money!”

Moms are Great!


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YOUR 15 MINUTES

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

POLAR PURPOSE A talk with conservation photographer Paul Nicklen on his new SoHo gallery BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

You might not know Paul Nicklen by name, but you probably know him by his photographs. Nicklen’s images of the world’s polar regions — stark Arctic landscapes and intimate portraits of the creatures inhabiting them — have reached the eyes of millions from the pages of National Geographic magazine and through his popular Instagram account. Nicklen, a tireless conservation advocate, views his work as a call to action — a tool for inspiring and mobilizing people to preserve imperiled ecosystems and fight the effects of climate change. The latest step in the Canadian photographer’s conservation efforts is an eponymous SoHo gallery, which launched last month on West Broadway and features large-format prints of his photos. Half of Nicklen’s proceeds from the venture support Sea Legacy, the nonprofit he started to highlight threats to marine ecosystems. Nicklen spoke with Our Town last week via telephone during a rare stint at home in British Columbia.

How often are you on the road? Probably 10 months a year, I’d say. I’m always fighting to spend some time at

home, but it’s really hard. I could be on the road 360 days a year if I let it. So many people write me every day saying “Oh my gosh, I must have your job, just to travel the world and take pictures,” and they don’t realize what it means to be living in hotels and tents and airports all year long. So I love getting home, but I also love telling these stories.

Why did you decide to open a gallery in New York? Especially in a place like New York, I just see the disconnect that people have from the environment and nature. It’s a fantastic city full of great people who are passionate and care, but they have no idea about the urgency of how quickly these ecosystems are changing. As a journalist and a storyteller, by shooting all these images, it allows me to have a microphone. I really did not want another gallery saying, “Here’s a pretty picture of a bear. I hope you like it, I hope you buy it. Thanks.” It’s a gallery to convene people to start a conversation about conservation. It’s a gallery about the urgency of our changing world. It’s a gallery that will bring in other talented artists, other photographers who can come in with their bodies of work and tell their story. And a large part of these proceeds go back to our nonprofit called Sea Legacy, which allows us to have the autonomy to go do our work. It’s a convening place. It’s a place

“Home Ice Advantage.” Juvenile chinstrap penguins on a large iceberg along the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo: Paul Nicklen where people can come and learn and become aware. They can also get a feeling of hope. It was amazing at the gallery opening, with 2,000 or 3,000 people coming through — people are looking for leadership. They’re looking for guidance. They’re scared, they’re worried, and they need someone to give them some direction.

How have recent political developments affected your outlook? With Obama — or if it had been Hillary or definitely Bernie — you think, OK, politicians kind of have our backs. We’re gonna wait and see what they do. But the silver lining with Trump is that he makes it very clear that he does not care about anything to do with the environment. He’s blowing up the EPA and the environment is his least concern. So I think that people have actually woken up and realized that nobody’s got their back now. That’s what excites me about being in New York. We all need to sort of start this movement together and we’re not going to be able to rely on any government figure or program or initiative to have our back, because they don’t. Now the people sort of have to rise up and take this into their own hands.

The experience of seeing a wall-sized photograph in the gallery is quite different from viewing the same image on a smartphone. What’s it like to see your work at that scale?

“Face to Face.” A polar bear peeks into a cabin in Svalbard, Norway. Photo: Paul Nicklen

I love to see my work big. With every image I shoot, I’m trying to find that cross-section of art, science and conservation. I want that image to be beautiful and transport people, whether it’s into a magazine or into their phone or — hopefully, definitely — into a really large, 60-inch by 90-inch print on the wall. You are transported into that world with that animal. I want people to look at these animals in the eye and feel themselves as a part of that ecosystem, and I think the fine art imagery creates that sen-

sation. It’s almost like a 3-D experience of being there with these animals.

Your nonprofit helps fund nature photographers covering climate change and threatened ecosystems. Why do you view visual storytelling as so important in promoting conservation? Science is crucial — we need science — but it has failed to drive any change whatsoever, really, in the emotional connection that we have to these habitats and these species. When science is saying polar bears are going to disappear within the next hundred years, it sucks, but you feel kind of helpless and you kind of forget about it. But all of a sudden you start to show pictures of polar bears dying and starving to death and it slaps you in the face. I’m there to sort of be a massive wake-up call to everybody. I’m there to break down the walls of apathy and to really connect people to the polar regions that are warming twice as fast as anywhere else on earth. I can honestly tell you: it sucks to care. It really does. It’s emotionally gut-wrenching. It’s a bit draining. I wish I didn’t care so much. But once you start caring, it’s really hard to go back. Portions of this interview have been edited and condensed for clarity.

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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