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The local paper for the Upper East Side

WEEK OF JUNE PANHANDLERS AND THE LAW ◄ P. 7

1-7 2017

Rendering of a 47-story tower planned for adjacent to Holmes Towers, off East 92nd Street. Courtesy of NYCHA Mayor Bill de Blasio marches in the Little Neck Memorial Day Parade. Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

DEVELOPER CHOSEN FOR YORKVILLE TOWER HOUSING Controversial project, part of NYCHA’s “NextGeneration” initiative, expected to raise $25 million for agency BY RICHARD KHAVKINE

The city has chosen Fetner Properties as the developer of a mixed-use and mixed-income building in Yorkville that generated stinging criticism from residents and elected officials since its announcement nearly two years ago. The 47-story, 330-unit project, to be built on the footprint of a playground

at Holmes Towers, is part of the city Housing Authority’s “NextGeneration” program, launched in 2015 to help the agency generate funds and close endemic and significant budget deficits, which stood at $17 billion in 2015. Money raised from the joint project would then go toward muchneeded repairs at Holmes Towers, at East 93rd Street and First Avenue, NYCHA officials said. The new project, to be built on East 92nd Street between First and York Avenues, is the program’s first. NYCHA anticipates deriving $25 million from the partnership.

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DE BLASIO TAKES HOLLYWOOD FUNDRAISING Mayor’s “tale of two cities” now includes Beverly Hills BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

Remember the “tale of two cities” and the yawning gap between the haves and the have-nots? The contempt for those millionaire haves and the laserlike focus on income inequality? Those themes were visceral and easy to understand. And Bill de Blasio seized on them, masterfully, to capture City Hall. It was 2013, the dusk of the Bloomberg era, and affordability was back in style. Now, flash-forward four years. The mayor stands for reelection, and naturally, he needs big bucks. So off he goes into the sanctums of the uber-rich he

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so reviled, hat in hand. Destination: Beverly Hills, 90210. In the first five months of this year, de Blasio raked in at least $47,715 in campaign contributions from 15 donors in 90210, 90211 and five other zip codes in Beverly Hills and its environs, according to filings with the city’s Campaign Finance Board. The capstone: A star-studded March 5 fundraiser for de Blasio at Spago, an entertainment-industry mecca and brainchild of celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, who opened its doors in 1982 and was awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in April. You have to understand that Spago, which billed the campaign $6,545 for the event, isn’t what one would call the solution to income inequality: inevitably, its patrons are one-percenters. No matter how liberal, left or progressive their politics may be, affordability

isn’t really their thing. Consider the fete’s three co-hosts: • Jeffrey Katzenberg, ex-studio chief at Walt Disney and former CEO of DreamWorks Animation. His net worth is about $900 million, according to Forbes. The Katzenberg Family Trust gave de Blasio $4,950, which is the maximum allowable amount. A year earlier, he kicked in another $4,950 from personal funds, CFB records show.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 Jewish women and girls light up the world by lighting the Shabbat candles every Friday evening 18 minutes before sunset. Friday, June 2nd – 8:04 pm. For more information visit www.chabaduppereastside.com

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WORKOUTS FOR MIND AND BODY HEALTH A new crop of classes for fitness buffs seeking more than a six-pack from their training BY KELLI KENNEDY

It would be easy to brush off ďŹ tness guru Taryn Toomey’s The Class as another hippie trend, but you’d miss the magic. (She sprinkled crushed crystals underneath the studio oors, which she says is designed to draw out energy.) You’d also miss stargazing at celeb devotees like Naomi Watts, Jennifer Aniston and supermodel Christy Turlington Burns. Within minutes, the music swells, the mirrors in the 85-degree heated room begin to fog and sweaty ponytails come undone as participants perform 5 grueling, uninterrupted minutes of squat jumps while Toomey unleashes occasional expletive-laced insights. “We’re really using the physical body as a metaphor to deal with what’s out there,â€? said Toomey, a former fashion executive for Ralph Lauren and Dior, who opened a luxe studio in Tribeca

in January. The goal of her 75-minute class is to train the mind to create new ways to respond — rather than react in the moment — to challenging external triggers. Other spiritual workouts gaining popularity around the U.S. include the intenSati Method, Qoya and Equinox’s Headstrong. Yoga and tai chi have drawn from these principles for years, but a new crop of workouts includes more cardio and strengthtraining moves as many ďŹ tness buffs seek more than a six-pack from their workouts. Toomey leaves a moment at the end of each song to stop the physical movement and encourage participants to reect. “How are you feeling, not what are you thinking?â€? she asks the class. Headstrong uses high-intensity interval training and changing stimuli to challenge the body and brain. The ďŹ rst three sections of the class focus on stretching, agility and intensity; the class ends with a 15-minute guided meditation. Qoya founder Rochelle Schieck incorporates lots of free movement into her women-only workout that refers to “movement as medicine.â€? It’s the least physically challenging of the bunch and is good for beginners, but it has a

powerful emotional takeaway. Each Qoya class has a theme. If the theme is freedom, participants are given a moment to reect on what it feels like when they don’t feel free. Then they express those emotions through free-form dance. Schieck says there’s immense value in acknowledging uncomfortable emotions like fear or anger and “letting people embrace their wholeness instead of pretending I always feel free.â€? Part of the class includes a few minutes of shaking, which is designed to shake fear and discomfort out of the body to calm the nervous system. The class ends with a fun, choreographed dance that might include kickboxing moves to “Eye of the Tiger.â€? Both Toomey and Schieck followed a similar journey in creating their workouts. Yoga wasn’t enough for Toomey, who longed for more ďŹ re and cardio. Schieck was a yoga instructor but also felt something was missing. She also took pole dancing classes and loved its physicality, but kept getting injured. “Women kept saying as I was just developing it, ‘I’ve been waiting my whole life for this,’â€? said Schieck, who has trained some 300 Qoya teachers. Nadine Abramcyk, a 38-year-old small business owner and mother of

Going beyond yoga. Photo: WeTravel, via ickr two, attends one or two of Toomey’s classes a week, calling it her “personal therapy.â€? The change was so dramatic, her husband started going. “I had a very cathartic experience with it ... It really isn’t about the physical for me. It’s really about the mental combined with the physical. It’s so multidimensional in that way and does something that regular exercise can’t.â€? Natalia Mehlman Petrzela is an associate professor of history at The New School who is researching feminism and group fitness. She spent years working out at the gym, “but as a feminist, I was so disappointed in the culture and the language ... there was this dominant language, ‘This is for your bikini body, what did you eat last night, how many inches did you lose

ladies?’It just fell short in many ways of the much broader, deeper potential of what exercise can mean to women.â€? Petrzela started teaching the highenergy cardio and strength intenSati Method, which includes vocal affirmations. “When you’re sweating, your heart is pumping (and) there is science that shows you’re open or particularly susceptible to your mind-set,â€? she said. IntenSati, created by Patricia Moreno, starts with an affirmation reminder that you can choose how you react to things. The class includes squats, lunges, side roundhouse kicks and punches while chanting something like “I am strong.â€? “I felt I ďŹ nally had the words to express something I’d been feeling but didn’t have an outlet to,â€? said Petrzela.

DeBlasio Affordable Housing Myth #1 Mayor Bill de Blasio is creating, preserving and protecting affordable housing for families that need it most.

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De Blasio’s Housing Policies: Politics & Hypocrisy Next Week: De Blasio Myth #2


JUNE 1-7,2017

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG THE $6,400 QUESTION Thieves running the “relative in trouble” phone scam introduced a nasty new wrinkle to their scheme recently. At 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 25, an 85-year-old female Upper East Side resident received a phone call from a man claiming to be a detective stating that her niece was in jail. He instructed the aunt to go to one of several specific stores, including Best Buy, Target, Walmart and Home Depot, and purchase gift cards to pay for her niece’s bail. He also told her not to tell the store cashier what the gift cards were for and to make excuses if asked. That is because the NYPD has partnered with a number of chain stores — but so far not the ones specified — to protect seniors from these gift card phone scams. Unfortunately, this victim sent gift cards to the scammers in the amount of $6,400 before discovering later that her niece was not in jail.

MANY UNHAPPY RETURNS Duane Reade stores are usually preyed upon by shoplifters. Of late, an employee got in the act as well, police said. Between Thursday, April 20 and Sunday, May 21, a 28-year-old male employee of the chain’s location at 1550 Third Ave. was observed making

fraudulent bottle returns and pocketing $2,050 in the process. He was subsequently arrested and charged with grand larceny.

were a Tod’s snakeskin purse valued at $2,000, a Louis Vuitton keychain priced at $400, $100 in cash, $200 worth of makeup, a bottle of Tom Ford perfume priced at $300, plus a driver’s license and American Express card.

FERRAGAMO FERRET Bloomingdale’s seems wellprotected against ID thieves. At 8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24, a 38-year-old man entered the store and attempted to buy merchandise using a fraudulent credit card. The items he attempted to purchase included a pair of Ferragamo shoes, another pair valued at $260, as well as a Ferragamo belt and another priced at $480. All told, the merch was valued at $1,718. The man was arrested and charged with grand larceny, using a forged instrument and criminal possession of stolen property.

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

INHOSPITABLE HOSPITAL

Rape

0

0

n/a

5

1

400.0

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23, a 31-year-old man from Brooklyn was getting an MRI in the facility and had his valuables secured in one of their property lockers. When he returned 45 minutes later, his property was gone, including a Paul Smith wallet valued at $300, an unknown quantity of cash, and various credit cards.

Robbery

6

2

200.0

53

32

65.6

Felony Assault

2

4

-50.0

51

45

13.3

Burglary

3

2

50.0

87

73

19.2

Grand Larceny

17

26

-34.6

513

535 -4.1

Grand Larceny Auto

2

4

-50.0

11

19

-42.1

TURN FOR THE PURSE Female bar patrons, be careful to whom you give your purse for safekeeping! At 2:30 a.m. on Friday, May 26, a 48-year-old woman was in Ethyl’s Alcohol & Food at 1629 Second Ave. when she asked a man at the bar to look after her purse while she took a turn on the dance floor. When she returned to retrieve her property 15 minutes later, the man -- and her purse -- were gone. The items stolen

photo by Tony Webster via flikr

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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

HOW TO REACH US:

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JUNE 1-7,2017

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NYPD PUBLIC MEETINGS DEBUT POLICE Initiative seeks to build copcommunity relations at local level BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

The New York City Police Department is launching a new public engagement initiative designed to foster communication between patrol officers and neighborhood residents. A new series of meetings, announced last month by the NYPD, will bring community members together with the police officers serving their neighborhoods for regular discussions focused on crime at the hyperlocal level. The meetings are the latest feature of a NYPD’s neighborhood policing plan launched two years ago, and will be held in precincts where the department’s neighborhood coordination officer program is in place. The NCO program, which the NYPD plans to eventually install in all precincts, assigns two officers to work as community liaisons within each sector in a given precinct. Neighborhood coordination ofďŹ cers will lead the new meetings at least once quarterly in each of the

three sectors in the 10th Precinct, which covers much of Chelsea and where the NCO program was rolled out earlier this year. Detective Mike Petrillo of the 10th Precinct described the meetings as a “small, intimate� venue in which officers will strengthen relationships with residents and work together to solve crime issues at the most local level possible. The first meeting for Sector A, which covers the area between 14th and 21st Streets west of Seventh Avenue, was held May 16 at the Fulton Houses complex on West 17th Street. Sergeant William Coyle, who oversees the precinct’s NCO program, ran the meeting alongside Sector A’s NCOs, Officers Robert Karl and Matthew Maddox. Precincts will continue to hold monthly community council meetings attended by commanding officers and executive staff; the new meetings, which Petrillo described as “security summits,� will be more informal meetings geared to the needs of each sector. “At these meetings the captain’s not there, the lieutenants aren’t there,� Petrillo said. “It’s just the sergeant and the two NCO’s. It’s a more microscopic type thing, just for a certain area.�

The new community initiative, called Build the Block, was launched last month and is backed by a $1 million ad campaign, funded by the New York City Police Foundation, to inform residents about the meetings. “These ads and meetings are built on the idea that we need everyone at the table to keep our neighborhoods safe and to build better relationships between cops and residents,â€? NYPD commissioner James O’Neill said in a statement announcing the program. “We want to engage in conversations locally, between the cops and the people they serve wherever possible, because that is who can move policing, safety, and trust forward.â€? The first meetings for the 10th Precinct’s other sectors are scheduled for later this month. Sector B, which covers the area between 21st and 29th Streets west of Seventh Avenue, will hold its first meeting at the Holy Apostle Church at 296 Ninth Ave., June 22 at 6 P.M. The ďŹ rst meeting for Sector C, which covers the area between 29th and 43rd Streets west of Ninth Avenue, will be at 6 P.M June 6 at Hudson Yards Conference Room A, 460 West 34th Street, Eighth Floor.

Officers will hold regular meetings with local residents as part of a new neighborhood policing initiative. Photo: edwardhblake, via Flickr

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PANHANDLERS AND THE LAW STREETS A Sutton area attorney on familiar street people in the neighborhood — and what kind of “loitering” is legal BY BERNARD DWORKIN

If you regularly pass Dunkin’ Donuts at First Avenue and 56th Street, you will have seen Vincent, 60 years old, British West Indies-born, leaning against the wall or phone booth and reading his latest history or fiction novel, while occasionally glancing up to check you out. He says nothing, but regulars in the area know he is panhandling. Vincent is disabled as a result of spinal surgery in 2014 and he survives on Social Security disability — about $736 a month and the kindness of others, all of whom add perhaps $50 a day to his income. Vincent proudly says he does not drink, smoke or do drugs and would be working if not for his disability. In fact, he has completed several courses in computer technology, but his surgery adversely affected his ability to use his hands. He hopes when he completes his physical therapy, probably in September, he will improve enough to get off the street and into a job. A resident of Queens who lives alone, Vincent convinced his landlord to reduce his rent to $650 a month. He has two daughters and has never been married. In the old days he worked on an off-shore rig. He is an avid reader and his book is not merely a tax-deductible occupational device to create an impression. We noticed a small refrigerator on a dolly near where Vincent was doing his thing and asked him if he really brought a portable appliance with him to keep his food cold. With a smile, he assured us it was not his refrigerator. Vincent has had no problems with the law. Ray, on the other hand, another panhandler who occupies the same corner when Vincent is not there, has been arrested four times but never convicted. Ray is considerably more verbally aggressive than Vincent, which no doubt may

?

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account for his arrests. “Help a guy out!” Ray will shout as you pass. He said the cops exaggerated his aggressiveness at the time of his arrests. Ray is 65 and lives in a shelter in Brooklyn, assigned to a room with three other men among four beds with no partitions. According to Councilman Ben Kallos, many street denizens (he does not refer to them as the homeless because many have homes) refuse to go to shelters for fear they will be victims of crime. Ray is not afraid to go to a shelter because, he says, he knows his way around. With little education, Ray came as a young man to the United States from the Virgin Islands in 1975. He is technically married and has a 31-year-old son and two grandchildren in New Jersey, but has little to do with his family. Ray and Vincent have an unspoken agreement: the first guy at the corner has priority and the other goes elsewhere. They agreed that on a normal day, working four to six hours, the take is anywhere from $30 to $50 (Christmas Day can bring in $400). Ray, too, receives Social Security disability. Ray does not show an obvious physical disability but assured us he cannot work. He is annoyed when people tell him to get a job, while refusing to give him money. Ray worked as a bricklayer prior to becoming disabled. He explained that he chose to work that particular corner because of its proximity to one of the largest residential building in our area — a building which has many residents who treat him well. Linda, an apparently quiet woman (rumor has it she can become verbally aggressive when provoked) can be seen in almost all weather, bent over her shopping cart between Tal Bagel and a candy store on First near 54th. She will ask for money in a voice barely above a whisper. Linda refused to let us interview her or take her picture, so we learned little about her. Vincent, Ray and Linda violate no law when they “loiter” and ask for money. It’s when begging gets aggressive that the line is crossed. Deputy In-

Vincent, with a book. spector Clint McPherson, former commanding officer of our 17th Precinct, while boasting that our precinct is 70th out of 77 in reducing crime, indicated our street people cause little crime and most criminal activity in our area is from people coming here from the outside. Lieutenant William Gallagher, attorney and legal advisor to the NYPD, explained in a recent address to the 17th Precinct Community Council that the loitering statute prohibiting loitering and panhandling, as such, was declared unconstitutional 10 years ago by New York’s highest court. However, when panhandling is coupled with following you, touching you or blocking you or traffic, it is illegal activity. We may not like to see street people and be reminded of the misfortune of others, and we may feel uncomfortable refusing the entreaties of the poor, but as long as panhandlers exercise restraint, they have the right to solicit on our sidewalks. The United States Constitution, in guaranteeing their freedom and ours, does not guarantee freedom from all unpleasant behavior. We in the Sutton Place area are fortunate that the inconvenience and discomfort we may experience is a minimal inconvenience, compared with what could be the result of draconian rules restricting our and others’ dayto-day life.

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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.

CHANGING CITYSCAPES EAST SIDE OBSERVER BY ARLENE KAYATT

No news stand — Those silvery stands on the corner or mid-block on our city streets look to me like newsstands. In less shiny stands I’ve seen them over a lifetime. They were the place you went to buy a newspaper and to read what was then up-to-the minute headlines blaring the latest scoops or news of the day — or afternoon or early evening — and where you could eye an array of magazines, from Time to the Economist to People. Not so anymore. Maybe a Time. Sometimes a People. Less so an Economist. But they were there. Staples of sorts. Not anymore. These new — I’ll call them newsstands — don’t sell newspapers or magazines or anything resembling print merchandise. There’s candy. There are cigarettes. There are lottery tickets. Little, if anything, else. You can buy the same merchandise in brick and mortar convenience stores. I’ve asked the people working at the locations. They either don’t know what I’m talking about or say they’re newsstands but they can’t/don’t/won’t sell newspapers. Nobody’s been clear. What I’m try-

ing to find out is why there are more news or non-news stands suddenly — at least it seems suddenly — on the already inaccessible, crowded city sidewalks? It seems that, with people and pets and carts and vendors and bicycles and skateboards and wheelchairs and other moving or non-moving objects vying for valuable sidewalk space, another oversized street structure for selling candy and cigarettes is an intrusion without a public purpose. These imposing structures pose a public safety and access issue on the city’s sidewalks and are unnecessary. Lucky Katz — All the one-level stores are history — as in no more — on the LES street on East Houston between Orchard and Ludlow Streets. Except for Katz’s Delicatessen. Now co-owned by the Dell family (they are the first owners not of the original Katz family), Katz’s sold its air rights to developer Ben Shauol in 2014 and was able to insure that Katz’s salamis, pastramis, pickles would live on and on and on forever. All the other stores remaining on the block — from Bereket on the Orchard Street corner to Ray’s Pizza to Lobster Joint to the convenience store are gone. The empanada store moved to Allen Street. With

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR REMEMBERING MANO I sent this note to Community Board 8 and to Ben Kallos as well: Our neighbor Mano recently was killed on York and 78th Street in Manhattan. Mano was the deli manager and greatly beloved by the community, all age groups including the students at P.S. 158 across the street. He would send special meals to some and had been doing so for years. I was wondering what it would take to have his name added to 78th Street in his honor. He had so many people at his memorial service. He was killed crossing the street on April 22nd in the evening by a taxi which was turning into his crosswalk. I think having Mano Way or something similar added to 78th Street where the deli is located and where he resided would be a great memorial to him. Please let me know if this is something that may be considered and what has to be done to get it started. Patricia A. Banks Upper East Side

all the razing going on around town, Katz’s preserved itself for the next generations of fearless foodies. Let’s face it, Katz has survived vegans, vegetarians, fresh-food mania, salad bars. Just walk into the beloved 100 years-plus deli, take a ticket from the ages-old dispenser used for marking purchases (you pay when on the way out). Walk over to the counter for a frank or knoblewurst, pile on some sauerkraut. Move down where the counter staff will hand cut some of the world’s best pastrami and corned beef and offer up some of the crispest pickles, sour or half sour pickles gratis, along with sass, also gratis. No matter how long the line along the counter, sometimes three-deep, everyone gets a sample, a nosh of corned beef or pastrami. It’s killer food for sure. Delicious and deadly. Despite its ability to clog arteries and shorten life spans, Katz’s remains forever. I’m happy that the next generations will get to partake and enjoy what will be a centuriesold institution and maybe learn about those who shared the same space. It’s sad that Katz’s will stand alone among the condos, high rises, and chain stores that make up early 21st century Manhattan. And that future generations won’t know life

Cleaning the exterior of a newsstand. Photo: Billie Grace Ward, via flickr when small businesses were not only part of the landscape but part of everyday life. Life goes on. To life. No more antiques — The watch repair shop which also sells various and sundry items, including antiques, maybe a chair or lamp, and located on 77th between 1st and 2nd Avenues, is no more. Owner Elias Lifshitz, who was profiled in New York magazine several years ago, is a transplant to New York from Mexico City since the late ‘60s. His passion and primary source of business was watch repair and selling antique watches and pocket watches — and collecting folding bicycles. If you traversed 77th Street on the way to the subway, you knew Elias. Victim of high rent. Bye to another

HANDLEBARBARIANS AT THE GATE: A BICYCLE POEM This morning when awakened, as you tend to your ablutions, keep in mind the threats you’ll face and heed this allocution. Just ‘cross town your greatest foe is prepping for his day, he’s putting on his spandex and will soon be on his way. After juicing up some breakfast, to fuel his body’s needs, he puts on his Cinzano hat and feels the need for speed. He will not follow any rules, he will not stop for lights, and even on the sidewalk you are still within his sights. New York City cyclists are the bane of one’s commute, their attitudes are lousy and they’ve earned their disrepute. Last week I saw a cyclist doing laps in Union Square, he zoomed right by a woman with two babies in her care. The cyclist reached such speeds that when he came around again, he had aged one minute but the babies were old men. With Einstein’s theory proven there was little left to do, he took a drink and hocked a clam and pedaled out of view. And lest we not forget the greatest eyesore of our day,

the omnipresent iridescent hulks that block your way. Citi Bikes are ugly and Citi Bikers brash, Citi Bike promotes a bank that caused the housing crash. Those bikes would be a memory were it not for Gracie Mansion. If Citi Bike is all the rage, why sponsor its expansion? The bike lanes wedged into our streets have made congestion worse, by the time you get an ambulance you’ll probably need a hearse. But today I saw a miracle, the sight was most divine. Two of New York’s Finest greeting cyclists with a fine. They reeled in sheer amazement, and thought it was obscene, that penalties exist for all the rules they contravene. Perhaps if this continues, from our gutters we may wrest, those who commandeer our streets to beat their personal best. Until that day arrives, you’re wise to watch your step, beware the city cyclist if you sidle, skip or schlep. Gary Taustine East 19th Street

President & Publisher, Jeanne Straus nyoffice@strausnews.com

STRAUS MEDIA your neighborhood news source

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neighborhood business and business man. Food from the outside — It always amazes me when people bring outside food into another restaurant. I’ve endured the smells of curry, corned beef, pizza, pickles in the air as I’ve had a spinach salad at Lenwich’s, a protein pack at Starbucks, a lentil soup at Corner Cafe. Bad enough when customers do it, but employees? I can remember seeing an employee at a Fika’s on Lexington and 89th grabbing bites of what seemed like a brown bag sandwich between bouts of pouring coffee for customers. And most recently an employee at Panera’s Union Square unpacking tacos and quesadillas. Definitely out to lunch.

Director of Digital Pete Pinto

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


JUNE 1-7,2017

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WHAT’S NEXT FOR PIER 40?

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DEVELOPMENT Community weighs in on redevelopment plans for riverside ballfields

Ensconced in the landmark neighborhood of the Upper East Side, Residents continue to enjoy the heart and soul of this incomparable city they have always loved.

BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Months after the City Council approved an air rights transfer deal that will fund repairs of Pier 40’s crumbling pilings, attention has shifted away from the pier’s structural demise and toward plans for its potential redevelopment. At a May 25 meeting of Community Board 2’s Future of Pier 40 Working Group at the Village Community School on West 10th Street, local residents discussed the future of the 15-acre recreational complex on the Hudson River near West Houston Street. In December, the City Council voted to approve a $100 million deal transferring 200,000 square feet of air rights from the pier to the developers of a planned high-rise residential and retail complex at St. John’s Terminal, which sits opposite the pier across the West Side Highway. The funds from the air rights transfer will be used to repair the deteriorating pilings that hold the pier above the Hudson. Even after the deal, Pier 40 retains signiďŹ cant air rights that could be used for further development at the site to generate additional revenue for the Hudson River Park, possibly in concert with commercial interests. A future iteration of Pier 40 could conceivably include recreational space alongside residential housing and retail space, which some fear could change the character of the park and surrounding neighborhood. The Hudson River Park Trust did not respond to a request for comment on redevelopment plans for the pier. Apart from serving as home to recreational sports organizations, Pier 40 is a crucial revenue generator for Hudson River Park Trust, which operates the four miles of West Side riverfront park space that includes the pier. Income from Pier 40’s parking garage currently helps fund operations elsewhere in the park, and any future plans for the pier would likely need to replicate — or potentially add to — that revenue. “We have to start talking about the park as a park in general, and not isolated development pieces,â€? state Assembly Member Deborah Glick said in an interview after the meeting. She added that opportunities for new revenue and open space should be explored elsewhere along the Hudson, such as at Pier 76, which currently serves as an NYPD tow pound. Any successful proposal will have to strike a delicate balance, satisfying the park’s revenue requirements, preserving or expanding existing recreational opportunities, and, possibly, meeting the commercial needs of private partners — all while simultaneously allaying community concerns about overdevelopment. Two previous pushes to redevelop Pier 40 failed in the fact of community opposition, including one plan, derided by critics as “Las Vegas on the Hudson,â€? that would have moved the fields to the roof of a redesigned complex housing a permanent Cirque du Soleil venue. Tobi Bergman, the Community Board 2 member who chairs the Pier 40 working group, emphasized the need to root any future redevelopment efforts in popular consent from the outset. “It’s important that we not go down the same failed road we went down

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Community members last week discussed the future of Pier 40, located on the Hudson River near West Houston Street. Photo: David Shankbone, via Flickr twice,â€? Bergman said. “In order to do that, the idea is to build some kind of consensus about what the constraints of development are from a community standpoint.â€? “The ďŹ rst priority of this process can’t be that it’s got to bring in a lot of money,â€? he added. “The ďŹ rst priority is that it has to be great open space.â€? The chief concern of many at last week’s meeting was the preservation of existing park space in any future redevelopment. Various constituencies — soccer players, Little League parents, dog owners — attended the meeting to express their wishes. Members of the Village Community Boathouse, for example, turned out in droves to request that redevelopment plans, in whatever form they take, include a spot for their group along the pier’s southern side, where the boats are protected from prevailing currents. The individuals present at the meeting emphasized that the pier is a vital amenity to residents from well beyond the immediate West Side community. New Yorkers from as far as Hell’s Kitchen and Brooklyn spoke of how they regularly use the facilities. The pier’s importance will only grow, according to several residents, as population density increases in Greenwich Village, spurred on by new developments like the St. John’s Terminal project, and the park attracts additional users from further aďŹ eld, such as residents of the Hudson Yards development roughly two miles north. Ideas presented by community members ranged from the modest — improved restrooms and concessions, shipping containers retroďŹ tted to serve as offices and storage, perhaps a dog run or a running track — to grandiose visions of a new pier with multiple levels of indoor and outdoor ďŹ elds, funded by commercial development on the site. “I don’t mind thinking big but we also have to think smart,â€? Glick said. “I think there’s always a middle ground and there’s always a way to ďŹ nd it. But you can only ďŹ nd it if you have a true public conversation and do some market research,â€? not only on potential commercial uses, but on public preferences as well. Glick suggested that a survey would be needed to gather input from community members not represented at meetings like the one last week.

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JUNE 1-7,2017

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

Thu 1

Fri 2

Sat 3

‘IT HAPPENS IN THE HAMPTONS’

‘TROPHY WIFE’ | FILMS ON THE GREEN

CLASSICAL MUSIC OF CARIBBEAN

Shakespeare & Co. Bookstore & Cafe, 939 Lexington Ave. 1:30 p.m. Free. Holly Peterson, best-selling author of “The Manny,” signing copies her new novel, a thriller exploring the relationships between the Hamptons’ elite circles and the hardworking locals. 212-772-3400. shakeandco. com

Central Park, 79th St. & Fifth Ave. 8:30-10:30 p.m. Free. A Gerard Depardieu comedy selected by comedian Wanda Sykes. In ‘77, women’s lib is in the air, Robert is taken hostage by his striking employees, his wife steps in to manage his factory and proves to be an effective leader. English subtitles. frenchculture.org

The Park Avenue Christian Church, 1010 Park Ave. 7:30 p.m. $25 The Red Door Chamber Players head closer to the equator, performing chamber music from the islands of the Caribbean, by composers from Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas. 212-288-3246. parkavenuechristian.com

▲NEW YORK JAPAN CINEFEST 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 or call 646-434-4608

Asia Society, 725 Park Ave. 6:30 p.m. Highlighting exciting new voices in cinema, New York Japan CineFest 2017 presents two nights of short films by emerging Japanese and Japanese-American filmmakers. Through 6/2. Followed by a reception. 212-288-6400. asiasociety. org

LES INDES GALANTES: PART IV Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave. 7 p.m. $25 In 1725, a group of Native Americans performed for King Louis XV, and inspired Rameau’s “Les Indes Galantes,” or “The Amorous Indies.” Opera Lafayette, devoted to 18thcentury French repertoire, presents selections from the entire opera. 212-535-7710. themet.org

AMERICAN CRAFTS FESTIVAL Lincoln Center, 64th St. @ Columbus Ave. Noon- 9 p.m. Free. 250 juried craft displays selected from every region of the U.S. Continuous entertainment, craft demonstrations. Ample parking at indoor garage. Two weekends. 973-746-0091. craftsatlincoln.org


JUNE 1-7,2017

Sun 4 PARIS 19TH C./NEW YORK 20TH C. The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. Noon. Free with museum admission In conjunction with exhibit “The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin,” composer John Zorn and poet Kenneth Goldsmith perform musical collaborations inspired by Benjamin’s masterpiece “The Arcades Project.” 212-423-3200. thejewishmuseum.org

WORLD OCEAN FESTIVAL▼ Governor’s Island, Picnic Point 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free Meet people and organizations dedicated to protecting the ocean, in advance of “The Ocean Conference” at United Nations in June: Ocean march, boat parade, activities for all ages including virtual reality experiences. 212-440-2200. worldoceanfest.org

Mon 5 ‘BEHIND HER EYES’ | BOOK 67th St. Library, 328 East 67th St. 4 p.m. Free

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Discuss mystery novel by Sarah Pinborough. “An eerie thriller...Pinborough keeps us guessing about just who’s manipulating whom — until the ending reveals that we’ve been wholly complicit in this terrifying mind game.” (NYT Book Review) 212-734-1717. nypl.org

FINDING IN PICTURES | TALK Mid-Manhattan Library, 455 Fifth Ave. 6:30 p.m. Free Gary Hershorn has been documenting the ever changing skyline of NYC. From sunrise to sunset and each month with the rise of a full moon using Instagram and social media as the platform to display the photos. 917-275-6975. nypl.org

Tue 6 ALBERTINE PRIZE AWARD CEREMONY Albertine, 972 Fifth Ave. 7 p.m. Free. RSVP Award ceremony to celebrate winner of the inaugural Albertine Prize, “Bardo or Not Bardo,” by Antoine Volodine. Albertine Prize co-chairs, author Lydia Davis and journalist and literary critic Francois Busnel discuss the winning title with its author. 212-650-0070. albertine.com

‘THAT TRIP WE TOOK WITH DAD’ Czech Center, 321 East 73rd St. 7-9 p.m. Free. RSVP Romania, 1968. Two very different brothers: Mihai is a secret police informant, Emil is a dedicated dissident. When they have the opportunity to have their ailing father’s eyes operated on in East Germany, the three set out on a moving odyssey which finally takes them to West Germany. 646-422-3399. czechcenter.com

Wed 7

MARBLE COLLEGIATE CHURCH Sunday Worship at 11:00am Sunday Worship, led by Dr. Michael Brown, is the heart of the Marble Church community. It is where we all gather to sing, pray, and be changed by an encounter with God. Marble is known throughout the world for the practical, powerful, life-changing messages and where one can hear world class music from our choirs that make every heart sing. Busy? Live stream Sunday Worship with us at 11:00am at MarbleChurch.org.

WeWo: Wednesday Worship at 6:15pm

‘SCOUTS RISING FROM THE DUST’

Marble's weekly Wednesday Worship, lovingly nicknamed WeWo, is a service that blends traditional and contemporary worship styles, taking the best of both, creating a mixture that is informal and reverent, often humorous and always Spirit-filled.

Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd S. 7-9 p.m. $5 suggested. RSVP Czechoslovak Society of Arts & Sciences screens documentary film about the persecution of Scout organization members during the communist regime in Slovakia. English subtitles. newyork@svu2000.org

LGBT ART @ THE MFA Museum of Fine Arts, 1202 Lexington Ave. Rm. 141 7-8 p.m. $20 First joint event of Boston Pride with the Museum of Fine Arts: a lecture by Professor Andrew Lear on the LGBT art in the MFA’s collection (including works not on display). 646-560-3205. mfa.org

Upcoming Events

Vist MarbleChurch.org for a full schedule of our PRIDE 2017 events. Event listings brought to you by Marble Collegiate Church. 1 West 29th Street / New York, New York 10001 212 686 2770 / MarbleChurch.org

Photo by apasciuto via Flickr


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JUNE 1-7,2017

FEARLESS CREATIVITY Robert Rauschenberg’s eclecticism on view at MoMA BY MARY GREGORY

Don’t be afraid of the Robert Rauschenberg retrospective at MoMA. While crowds are flocking to the once-in-a-lifetime exhibition that fills the fourth floor of the museum, there are some who might have trepidations. After all, there’s a dead goat in one of the works, for heaven’s sake. There’s also an unmade bed, a cantankerous looking stuffed eagle, a vat of bubbling, molten goop and other possibly off-putting visual messages. Those who love Rauschenberg’s wildly inventive works will love them even more. But art enthusiasts who are on the fence will probably gain the most from the comprehensive, carefully curated and beautifully mounted exhibition.

IF YOU GO WHAT: “Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends” WHERE: MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street WHEN: Through Sept. 17 www.moma.org/ What we find in “Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends,” developed in collaboration with London’s Tate Modern and organized by MoMA’s Leah Dickerman, is some 60 years worth of the brilliant output of an extremely collaborative, reciprocally inspiring painter who was also a sculptor, a photographer, a choreographer, a performer, a printmaker, an experimenter with new technologies, a fearless inventor and a creative genius. The exhibition spans Rauschen-

The initial shock value of the now iconic “Monogram” has morphed into fame, familiarity and even user-friendliness. Photo: Adel Gorgy

Rauschenberg’s 1962 painting “Ace” is a monumental, ebullient evocation of the artist’s enthusiasm and joy. Photo: Adel Gorgy

berg’s entire career and focuses on the way his work fits with others’ while remaining entirely original. “Curiosity,” Rauschenberg once said, “is probably the most important energy that any creative person can have.” The works in the exhibition bear witness to an endlessly searching mind. But Rauschenberg’s questions don’t seem to be the “what are we here for” kind, rather more “what would happen if I did this?” and “how can I use that?” The whole world provided fodder for his artistic vision. What he encountered in daily life showed up on canvases and “combines,” the term he coined for the groundbreaking multimedia works for which he’s probably best known. Rauschenberg confessed an “insatiable curiosity about everything that I am unfamiliar with” and said he operated in “the gap between art and life.” It was the eternal newness of the world, the unrepeatable nature of experience that he sought to capture and portray. Born in Texas in 1925, Rauschenberg grew up in a close family that struggled through the Depression. He studied pharmacology and served as a medical technician in the U.S. Navy. In 1947, he went to the Kansas City Art Institute and, in early 1948, departed for studies in Paris, where he met his future wife, the artist Su-

san Weil. Returning to the U.S. the fall, Rauschenberg then entered Black Mountain College, in North Carolina, a mid-century cauldron of creativity. There he studied under Josef Albers, became friends with the painter Dorothea Rockburne (whose quilt became the iconic “Bed”), as well as Merce Cunningham and John Cage. Weil’s and Rauschenberg’s early photogram collaborations are some of the first images in the exhibition. The in itia l ga l ler y featu res Rauschenberg’s crisp, cool, blackand-white photographs of objects, interiors and artists (Cy Twombly, John Cage and others), assemblages, collages and conceptual paintings that show that even as a student, Rauschenberg was reaching for the unknown. But it’s the work in the following galleries where he breaks free, by dragging the detritus of the city into the studio, repurposing life into art. “I would go out on the streets for everything,” he said. “I spent my time trying to mimic what I saw outdoors.” The magic of Rauschenberg’s work is that it doesn’t matter if it’s a piece of crumpled metal or a highly polished silkscreen; it’s his voice that comes through, in color, line, proportion and attitude. “Ace,” a glorious, energetic painting filled with light and joy (and an umbrella, a doorknob, fabric, wood

and nails) stretches 20 feet. A selection of oil and silk-screen-ink prints on canvas from the ‘60s, capture the flickering blue light of television screens, images of astronauts, John F. Kennedy, and the feel of downtown New York. Though the dominant voice is Rauschenberg’s, harmonies are provided by a panoply of 20th century artists he worked with, riffed off, influenced, and loved. The exhibition includes pieces by Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Eva Hesse, Hans Haacke, Merce Cunningham, Niki de Saint Phalle, Willem de Kooning, John Chamberlain and the artist he lived and worked most closely with, Jasper Johns. Because it’s at MoMA, there’s an added delight in being able to head to the fifth floor and consider some of the works that influenced him, like Miro’s 1936 taxidermied parrot sculpture/ assembly, as well as some of the many he influenced, like a 1984 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat. If you’re still not sure if his work is for you, consider Rauschenberg’s own words about why he grabbed everything around him and turned it into art. “I want you to feel at home, so that you’re not living in an environment that you’re not experiencing. It’s so easy to get accustomed to everything that’s around you.”


JUNE 1-7,2017

YORKVILLE TOWER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 NYCHA said building units would be 50 percent permanently affordable and 50 percent market-rate housing. The affordable apartments will be available to city residents making up to 60 percent of area median income, which, according to the city’s Housing Development Corp., is $40,080 for one person and $57,240 for a family of four. Current NYCHA residents will have a preference for 25 percent of the affordable housing. The development will include an 18,000-square-foot recreational and community center administered by Asphalt Green. The community center, with a basketball court, will be located across the street from the nonproďŹ t’s current 5.5-acre campus. A rooftop turf ďŹ eld for soccer and other outdoor sports and activities will also be built. “NextGeneration Neighborhoods enables NYCHA to raise critically needed funds, improve residents’ quality of life and provide new affordable housing,â€? NYCHA’s chairperson and CEO, Shola Olatoye, said in a press release announcing Fetner as the developer. “This project will fund badly needed repairs, and we will provide resources and amenities such as new playgrounds, a large community center and job opportunities.â€? Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer said the development will provide affordable housing, job opportunities for residents, and

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com “much-neededâ€? revenue. “I’m grateful to the community leaders, local residents, and all of our partners for collaborating to ďŹ nd innovative solutions to our city’s housing crisis,â€? she said in the release. Torres-Springer said the project “reflects many months of extensive community engagement.â€? NYCHA said it held 23 meetings with residents and went door-to-door to speak with more than 400 of them about the planned project. But Lakeesha Taylor, a longtime tenant at Holmes Towers, called those efforts “a sham.â€? She said the authority deceived residents by ďŹ rst telling them they would have a say in whether a development would even be built nearby. That option was soon scrapped, Taylor said, and residents were then surveyed about the type of construction they would like. “There was never a choice,â€? Taylor, 43, who has lived at Holmes for most of her life. “It made it seem you had a choice. It was always a marketing scheme. It was a big white pill.â€? Milagros Velasquez, a Holmes Tower tenant leader, who was critical of the plan when it was announced nearly two years ago, was quoted in NYCHA’s press release as praising the process. “NYCHA’s commitment to resident engagement during this process was thoughtful and important in understanding the needs of Holmes’ residents,â€? Velasquez said. She could not be reached for further comment. Taylor, though, said most Holmes residents remain op-

posed to the project. The proposed construction, she said, is “going to dwarf the building here.� Holmes Towers, wh ich NYCHA said needs about $35 million in capital improvements, is already deficient, Taylor said. “You’re making a bad situation worse,� the mother of two young children said. “You’re taking our sunlight, our air ... Everyone’s view is going to be obstructed.� The neighborhood, she said, is already packed. “Why do we need a building here? This area is over-congested as is. Why here? It doesn’t make sense,� she said. Elected officials who represent the area, including Council Member Ben Kallos, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Borough President Gale Brewer and state Senator Liz Krueger, have also denounced the plan. Fetner was chosen in part because of the company’s “commitment to communityfocused features in its proposal,� NYCHA said, particularly playgrounds, open space and the recreational and community center. While NYCHA said the new development would be built on “underutilized land,� a major point of contention was that it would be built on what is now a children’s playground at Holmes Towers. In rolling out NextGen, the agency two years predicted the program would raise $300 million to $600 million over 10 years, revenue that will be split between existing infrastructure needs at NextGen sites like Holmes and NYCHA’s larger capital needs.

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JUNE 1-7,2017

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS MAY 15-27, 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.

Marinara Pizza

1376 Lexington Avenue

A

Dunkin’ Donuts/ Baskin Robbins

1760 2 Avenue

A

Rosina

1690 York Ave

Not Yet Graded (27) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Tal Bagel

333 East 86 Street

A

Pascalou

1308 Madison Avenue A

Caffe Grazie

26 East 84 Street

A

Corner Cafe And Bakery

Just Salad

1471 Third Ave

A

1645-1651 Third Avenue

Cafe Jax

318 E 84Th St

A

Casa Pizza

1427 3Rd Ave

A

Grade Pending (21) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Tasti D Lite

300 E 86Th St

Not Yet Graded (36) Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Pio Pio Express

1746 1 Avenue

Grade Pending (29) 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.

Little Luzzo’s

119 East 96 Street

A

Manny’s On Second

1770 2 Avenue

Cafe Maggio

1750 York Avenue

A

Luigi Pizzeria & Ristorante

1701 1 Avenue

A

Rathbones Pub

1702 2 Avenue

A

Grade Pending (25) 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. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Corner Cafe & Bakery

1246 Madison Avenue A

Akami Sushi

1771 1St Ave

Pho Shop

1716 1St Ave

A

Three Decker Restaurant

1746 2 Avenue

A

Basile Pizza

1728 2Nd Ave

Closed By Health Department (55) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food contact surface improperly constructed or located. Unacceptable material used. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Grade Pending (22) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution. Facility not vermin proof. Harborage or conditions condu

Starbucks

1642 3 Avenue

A

Cafe D’alsace

1695 2 Avenue

A

Bocado Cafe

1297 Lexington Avenue

A

Yura & Company On Madison

1292 Madison Avenue A

Green Cafe

1324 Lexington Avenue

A

Shoga-Sushi & Oyster Bar

1698 2 Avenue

A

Infirmary

1720 2Nd Ave

A

Via Quadronno

1228 Madison Ave

A

Domino’s

153 East 116 Street

A

Lex Restaurant

1370 Lexington Avenue

A

El Barrio Restaurant

158 East 116 Street

A

Squeeze

1729 1St Ave

Not Yet Graded (22) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Tobacco use, eating, or drinking from open container in food preparation, food storage or dishwashing area observed. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Starbucks

1491 Lexington Avenue

A

Halah Kitchen

2135 2Nd Ave

A

The Kiosk

7680 East 116 Street

A

Red Star Restaurant

112 East 116 Street

A

Quechua Nostra

1634 Lexington Avenue

A

Domino’s

200 East 89 Street

A

Paola’s

1295 Madison Avenue A

Hughes Tavern

1682 1 Avenue

A

Milenio Bakery

2030 Third Ave

A

Pic Up Stix

1372 Lexington Ave

A

R & J Lounge

109 E 116Th St

A

Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin Robbins

1703 Third Avenue

A

Mcdonald’s Restaurant

1871 2Nd Ave

A

The Guthrie Inn

1259 Park Avenue

A

Vietnaam

1700 2Nd Ave

A

Sapito’s

172 E 106Th St

A

Yeti Spice Grill

1764 1St Ave

A

Camaradas El Barrio

2241 1 Avenue

Bobamosa

1300 Madison Ave

Grade Pending (4)

Grade Pending (17) Evidence of rats or live rats present in facility’s food and/or nonfood areas. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Le Pain Quotidien

1309 Lexington Avenue

A

El Paso Restaurante Mexicano

1643 Lexington Avenue

A


JUNE 1-7,2017

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Got an EVENT? FESTIVAL CONCERT GALLERY OPENING PLAY GET THE WORD OUT! Add Your Event for FREE

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JUNE 1-7,2017

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Business

REINVENTING GRACIOUS HOME The luxury retailer honors its roots while moving forward BY CHARMAINE P. RICE

It’s hard to believe that behind the beautiful window displays, ultra-luxe linens, luminous lights, and premier brands on display, is a struggling storied business. Gracious Home, the beloved luxury home retailer, was not immune to the aftereffects of the 2008 recession. After filing for bankruptcy and closing locations at the end of last year, Gracious Home is now in the midst of a reinvention. For more than 50 years, Gracious Home graced the corner of Third Avenue and 71st Street, offering a wide array of products from light bulbs to plumbing fixtures and appliances. When Cuban émigrés Natan Wekselbaum and his brother, David, started the business in 1963 — a hardware store at the time — with a firm belief in customer service. “They stood out because they were literally a hardware store and they

made a commitment to their customer — they were nice and they just said, ‘yes,’” said Robert Morrison, CEO of Gracious Home. Morrison, a seasoned retail executive, joined the company in 2014. “Natan made a point of hiring other people like himself. ‘Be nice’ was the company mantra.” David Wekselbaum eventually parted ways with his brother, and Natan, together with his wife, Nancy, grew the business. The retailer eventually morphed from a traditional hardware store, adding appliances, housewares, plumbing hardware, lighting fixtures, bedding and bath, and decorative accessories. “They were known as a store for carrying everything,” says Morrison. Expansion led to a neighboring storefront on Third Avenue and 70th Street, a location on the Upper West Side and a store in Chelsea. The Chelsea location appeared doomed from the start due to bad timing when it opened in 2008. “They put the key in the lock the same day Lehman Broth-

CEO Robert Morrison. Photo courtesy of Gracious Home

ers filed for bankruptcy,” said Morrison. By August 2010, the family filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and was subsequently acquired by Americas Retail Flagship Fund LLC in December 2010. However, the acquisition did not solve the company’s woes. “The business hadn’t been invested in since 2007 and you cannot do that with a retailer. Substantive changes were not made and the business didn’t grow,” said Morrison. The expansive Chelsea location eventually shut its doors and moved around the corner, focusing on plumbing and hardware. Americas Retail Flagship Fund ran the business until 2013 and by 2015, it sold a 51 percent stake to former WalMart executive Dottie Mattison and David Mitchell a real estate executive. The retailer’s struggles continued and by December 2016, Gracious Home filed for chapter 11 protection again. Three of the four stores were closed by 2016. However, the New Year ushered in a new beginning for the struggling retailer. In January 2017, Gracious Home received a $3 million loan from JMB Capital Partners. The cash influx allowed them to acquire new inventory and time to refocus the business model. Although the company has not yet emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy, it has moved forward with a clearer picture of where to invest for future growth. “We are focused on high-end bed, bath, and lighting, which are the businesses that have grown in the last five years,” said Morrison. A digital transformation is key to the new model for growth. According to Morrison, 30 to 35 percent of Gracious Home’s cus-

Lighting display. Photo: Charmaine P. Rice tomers visit the site on mobile devices. “In the past, the website was primarily used as the store’s marketing vehicle,” said Morrison. “We’re evolving our model to be a digital model supported by stores. Sixty-five percent of our web business derives from outside of the New York City metropolitan area. Our customer lives everywhere and they have multiple homes, even overseas. And they need sheets, towels, and table linens. They trust us, know us, and we have the right brands.” Morrison noted that the current Upper East Side store at 1220 Third Avenue and 70th Street will remain open, and the in-store experience has remained intact. “We’ll begin to be a bit of a showroom with items that people can buy and take away. But, there will be lots of stuff on the website that we are not going to have in-store.” “Customers shop here because of the things that we’re known for and the brands that we carry. And exceptional service. There’s no sales associate that has been here for less than 10 years,” emphasized Morrison. “They know our customers but they also really know our products. It’s not like people

come in and say, ‘I just want a nice white sheet.’ They want, like a really nice white sheet.” Store manager Henry Tilo has been with the company for 14 years. “Business has been good, we’ve been busy. We have a loyal customer base,” Tilo said. Appealing to a younger customers is also part of the new strategy. “We’re aiming to attract a younger demographic and somewhat educate them,” said Morrison. “For two reasons: one, that customer needs to sleep on better sheets and, two, they need to understand why,” To that end, the company is partnering with younger bloggers to spread the word, in addition to taking out print ads in local newspapers, and optimizing the site for SEO. “We’re being very judicious on our marketing spend. We’d rather grow at a modest pace then run around like chickens without heads and disappointing our customers,” Morrison added. The current location was relaunched on March 1st, with a soft launch of the redesigned website on April 28. An email blast went out to customers on May 2.

ON THE SIDE STREETS OF NEW YORK WOODARD & GREENSTEIN — 303 EAST 81ST STREET Before they went into the antique quilt business, Blanche Greenstein was a stylist for photographers and Tom Woodard managed the box office at the Public Theater. During this time, Blanche would travel around the country collecting quilts. She did it as a hobby before Tom joined her. A show by Jonathan Holstein at the Whitney Museum in 1971 provided the catalyst to launch the two friends into business together. Blanche said that the show was called “Abstract Design in

American Quilts,” and it demonstrated how old quilts could be fine art. She also mentioned walking by a window on Madison Avenue where the store was using antique quilts as props. She realized that there was a demand for “America’s favorite folk art” and that people were beginning to see the artistic merit of quilts. To read more, visit Manhattan Sideways (sideways.nyc), created by Betsy Bober Polivy.

Quilt detail. Photo: Tom Arena, Manhattan Sideways.


JUNE 1-7,2017

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JUNE 1-7,2017

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

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BEHIND THE CURTAIN REAL ESTATE Dispelling misinformation about multiple listing services BY FREDERICK W. PETERS

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CHELSEA 215 7TH Avenue @ 23rd St 212-646-5454 212-645-5454

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MLS. These three little letters have for years struck fear and loathing into the hearts of some real estate executives in New York City? And as the industry debates its relations with those dread letters, reporters have one after another misunderstood the meaning of an MLS in the context of our marketplace, blaming the lack

of one for practically every real estate ill to which an urban area can fall heir. The concept of a multiple listing service is quite straightforward: a community of real estate brokerages band together and retain an outside vendor to build a listing system which they can all use, both internally so each firm’s brokers can search a database of listing information to find appropriate properties for their buyers, and externally so each firm can share its exclusive listing to the other firms in the consortium. Beyond that, an MLS may choose to create a public

website that displays to the consumer all of the listings in the MLS, enabling members of the public to search for listings on their own. Or it may choose not to do so. Why so much concern and misinformation about such a simple concept? Well, THAT is complicated. But I think it is important for the public to understand the back and forth which has led the industry to the interesting place in which we ďŹ nd ourselves today. In New York, perhaps even more than in other places, reaching consensus can be like herding cats. When dis-

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

cussion about instituting a single MLS listing system ďŹ rst arose at REBNY (The Real Estate Board of New York), most firms had already invested in systems, which they had either built themselves, as Corcoran or Elliman did, or customized to their specifications from local vendors like RealPlus or OnLineResidential. Of course, no one was able to agree about which system to use or how to organize it. So that didn’t happen. And when the MLS public website issue ďŹ rst arose, different ďŹ rms believed they had different advantages which they were reluctant to abandon; this one believed its size gave it an enormous market advantage because it could drive traffic directly to its OWN website, while that one thought its incredibly fancy and expensive listings too good for the hoi polloi online to be sniffing at. So the community did nothing about the public website either. We did create, in 2004, the RLS (REBNY listing service), which exchanges listings between the firms, enabling all to have the full inventory of listings in the marketplace at our desktops, but as noted above we did neither of the other two practical things

which could have saved us all effort, money, and control. We did NOT all agree to all use the same listing system both internally and externally, as brokerages do across most of the country, thus saving themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, nor did we create a public website. I think for many in the industry, it was only when StreetEasy was created to do precisely what we had failed to do, create transparent public access to listing data for consumers, and then sold to Zillow for $50 million, that they realized the value of the data which had been given away. Here’s where the failure of reporting comes into play. One after another, reporters have written about the lack of an MLS in New York as if that means there is no central exchange of listing data which guarantees that every agent has access to, and the ability to show, every listing. Actually we do have such access through the RLS. No buyer or seller is ever disadvantaged by the need to retain more than one agent in order to either buy or sell. Every one of us has access to every listing in the RLS database, which includes the

listings of every member of the Real Estate Board of New York and quite a few numbers (which for all practical purposes is everyone.) Our self-inicted wounds, as a result of which we all still pay for our own different listing systems, and we have permitted StreetEasy to dominate the market for consumers looking on line for homes in New York, hurt only us. The misunderstanding of reporters, however, has simply exacerbated the problem. And even these issues evolve, if slowly. In January, the board of directors of the REBNY residential division, of which I am a member, raised annual dues to enable us to expand the staff which runs the RLS to both improve data quality and the way we exchange data with each other and third party sites like StreetEasy and Zillow. This will mean better, more accurate data for everyone, delivered in a more consistent and timely fashion. 2017 looks like the year we ďŹ nally begin to put fear and loathing behind us and work together towards our industry’s future.

PETCO 860 Broadway @ E.17th St NEW YORK, NY SUN JUNE 4 11 AM - 4 PM

We here at Frank E. Campbell, “The Funeral Chapel� are sponsoring a trip to Calverton National Cemetery for those individuals who do not get an opportunity to visit their loved one who served our country. This FREE trip will take place on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. The bus will leave from 81st Street and Madison Avenue at 8:30 am and will return approximately 4:30 pm. A continental breakfast will be served at Frank E. Campbell between 7:30 am – 8:15 am. A box lunch will be provided on the bus at Calverton National Cemetery. If you are interested in joining us, please call 212-288-3500 by May 26, 2017, to reserve your place. Please have your section and grave information available when you call.

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Discover one of the best ways to live in New York! At Isabella, there’s always something going on with a wealth of activities, programs, and excursions. We’re located in a safe neighborhood, perfect for an afternoon stroll, and conveniently located near restaurants and shopping. You can have big city living with all the comforts of home. This is a true community where you’ll feel welcomed from the moment you walk through our doors. Enjoy on-site amenities like a beauty salon, library, gift shop, laundry and even check-cashing facilities. There’s so much, you’ll have to see it for yourself! For additional information or to schedule a private tour, please call: 212-342-9539 or Visit www.isabella.org

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JUNE 1-7,2017

PENN STATION TRACK REPAIR TO START IN JULY TRANSPORTATION Recent incidents compress timeline for fixes, but summer train travel will be affected BY DAVID PORTER

Three tracks at a time will be closed at Penn Station as part of extensive repair work there that is expected to inconvenience thousands of rail commuters this summer, an Amtrak official said. Michael DeCataldo, the national passenger railroad’s vice president of operations, offered details on the repair work, which Amtrak announced in April after two derailments and other major service disruptions highlighted the station’s aging infrastructure. It isn’t known yet how train schedules will be affected since final details haven’t been released. Amtrak has been negotiating with the Long Island Rail Road and New Jersey Transit, which combine to carry hundreds of thousands of people into and out of the station, the nation’s busiest, each weekday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie last week unveiled a plan to divert some of NJ Transit’s lines to Hoboken, while

Waiting for track assignments at Penn Station. Photo: Dion Hinchcliffe, via flickr Gov. Andrew Cuomo has predicted a “summer of hell” for commuters. The bulk of the work will focus on an area just west of the passenger platforms known as A Interlocking, a crisscrossing series of tracks where trains emerge from a tunnel under the Hudson River. It’s the spot where dispatchers route trains to the station’s 21 tracks via switches, essentially

movable pieces of rail. Penn Station handles about 1,300 train movements each weekday, twice what it did in the 1970s, according to Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman. Both recent derailments, one on March 24 and another on April 3, occurred in that general area, though they were unrelated and caused by different factors, Amtrak officials have

said. The April derailment, caused by aging wooden cross-ties underneath the rails, knocked out eight of the station’s 21 tracks for several days, causing extensive service disruptions. Three tracks will be taken out of service at a time because two are needed for staging and removing old equipment while work proceeds on a third track, DeCataldo said last week. He

added that the replacement of track switches will have a greater effect on service because it limits dispatchers’ flexibility in routing trains. Christie has been particularly harsh in his recent criticism of Amtrak, saying this week that the railroad couldn’t be trusted because of its “duplicity, dishonesty and their inability to keep infrastructure in a state of good repair.” The replacement of aging tracks and other equipment, much of which dates to the 1970s, initially was scheduled to be completed over a two- or threeyear period, mainly on nights and weekends. But the recent problems prompted Amtrak to condense the process to include weekdays. A preliminary plan obtained by The Associated Press last month called for weekday work to be performed during six weeks spread across July and August. “We are very confident in our time frame,” DeCataldo said. “We recognize how much of an inconvenience this is going to be and wish there was another way we could do it, but the reality is this work has to be done. The idea of doing this in a compressed time frame is that we’ll get it done much more quickly.”


JUNE 1-7,2017

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THE WEST END: BIRTHPLACE OF THE BEATS HISTORY The Broadway bar was for a time also the West Side’s home of swing and bebop BY RAANAN GEBERER

For decades, until its closing in 2006, The West End bar on Broadway and 114th Street was a well-known Columbia University student hangout that also attracted members of the nearby community. Along the way, it had several claims to fame. The nucleus of the Beat Generation — Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs — convened there regularly during the early 1940s. The informal leader of the Beats who gathered at the bar was not Ginsberg or Kerouac, as one might expect, but Lucien Carr, a brilliant Columbia undergraduate who loved wordplay and playing pranks on people. Carr introduced Ginsberg, a fellow undergraduate, to Kerouac, who had dropped out of Columbia when his college football career went sour but who still lived in the area. The three friends discussed literature, music, politics, the war (all

three, at various times, had served in the Merchant Marine) and other “heavy” topics. Burroughs, an older man who had known Carr’s family in their native St. Louis, also frequently joined the group. A fringe member of the group was David Kammerer, who had known both Carr and Burroughs in St. Louis and was completely infatuated with Carr. On Aug. 13, 1944, Kammerer met Carr in the West End, and the two decided to go for a walk. According to Carr’s account, the two ended up in Riverside Park. Kammerer made sexual advances to Carr, which Carr rebuffed. Then, Kammerer reportedly assaulted Carr, who took out his knife and fatally stabbed him. After dumping Kammerer’s body in the Hudson, Carr turned himself in to the D.A. He served two years in prison and eventually became an editor at United Press International, while remaining on good terms with the Beats. The next chapter begins in 1973, when, according to jazz historian Phil Schaap, who has hosted “Bird Flight” and “Traditions in Swing” on Columbia University’s WKCR for years, the West End bought a vacant drycleaning store next door and sought to expand. In addition to the Columbia

crowd, Schaap said, “they were sort of the college bar for over the bridge,” because New York’s legal drinking age was then 18 and New Jersey’s was still 21. That same year, however, New Jersey also lowered its drinking age to 18, and the bar lost much of its clientele. Schaap, who was then a Columbia undergraduate, began to promote classic jazz in the empty space, hosting jazz shows seven nights a week, making the West End “the home of swinging jazz” in New York. It remained that until 1992, with a few interruptions. “We had a lot of swing, a lot of bebop,” he recalled. Among the regular groups were the Countsmen, an ensemble made up of well-known alumni of the Count Basie Orchestra; the Frank Williams Swing Four; and George Kelly’s Jazz Sultans, a descendant of the legendary 1930s band the Savoy Sultans. There were also special appearances by famed artists such as Dizzy Gillespie and ballad singer Arthur Prysock. Another regular, toward the end, was organist Bill Doggett, best known for his 1950s R&B hits “Honky Tonk” and “Slow Walk.” For Doggett, Schaap rented an old-school electric organ. All in all, Schaap said, the West End shows provided these musicians,

The West End, the night it closed for good in 2006. Photo: Raanan Geberer most of whom were in their 60s and older “with a nice last chapter of their lives,” where they could play the music they liked. As a further link between the generations, Ginsberg came to see some of the shows, although Schaap remembers that by then he had a more respectable appearance than in his beat and hippie-era heyday, trimming his beard and wearing a jacket. Over the years, the West End had several owners. From 1990 on, the bar was owned by Katie Gardner, a Columbia journalism graduate, and her husband, Jeff Spiegel. (Articles published when the bar reopened also

mention the late Art D’Lugoff, owner of the famed Village Gate, as an owner.) The couple expanded the West End into a full-service restaurant; opened a room for catering and parties; and in 2004 began selling the West End’s own beers, including one called “Ker O’Whac.” However, in 2006, they decided to sell the bar. “It’s time,” Gardner told The New York Times, “we’re tired.” They sold it to Jeremy Merrin, who turned it into Havana Central. Since then, it has changed hands again, and it is now Bernheim & Schwartz.

The Board of Directors of the 60-86 Madison Avenue District Management Association, Inc. cordially invites you to attend the

2017 Annual Meeting of the Madison Avenue Business Improvement District Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 8:30AM Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College 47-49 East 65th Street (between Madison and Park Avenues) Kindly RSVP by June 5 by contacting us at 212-861-2055 or information@madisonavenuebid.org To learn more about the Madison Avenue BID, visit our web site at

www.madisonavenuebid.org


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DE BLASIO CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 • Norman Lear, producer of fabled small-screen, mega-hits like “All in the Familyâ€? and “The Jeffersons.â€? His eightacre Brentwood estate just hit the market for $40 million. Lear poured $4,950 into the campaign. • Russell Simmons, hip-hop producer and co-founder of music label Def Jam Recordings. His net worth has been estimated at $340 million. The West Hollywood mogul gave de Blasio $2,500. So what’s the big deal? It’s simple. Optics in politics matter. Sometimes, they can trample your message underfoot: as when the mayor bashes the city’s plutocracy, then sips cocktails with Hollywood’s

Jeffrey Katzenberg at a Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in 2009. The ex-CEO of DreamWorks Animation co-hosted a March 5 fundraiser at Spago for Mayor de Blasio’s reelection campaign, contributing $4,950 through his Family Trust. A year earlier, he gave de Blasio $4,950 from his personal funds. Photo: Angela George, via Wikimedia Commons

elite. Or vows to eradicate income equality, then scoops up one $4,950 check from Beny Alagem, owner of the Beverly Hilton Hotel, and another from Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of the William Morris Endeavor talent agency. Other top-dollar de Blasio givers, who opened their checkbooks at the time of the Spago fundraiser include Steven Spielberg, whose Spielberg Family Living Trust contributed the max, and David Glasser, president of the Weinstein Company, who also ponied up $4,950. Of course, many or most of the check-writers are classi bi-coasters. Spielberg, for instance, has long maintained homes in the San Remo on Central Park West, and on Georgica Pond in East Hampton, along with his primary mansion in the PaciďŹ c Palisades. Even Ross Haley, CEO of Truth Enterprises, an investment fund for the legal cannabis industry, forked over $4,950.

Norman Lear in Texas in 2014. The “All in the Family� producer was one of the three co-hosts of the fundraiser at Spago for de Blasio’s reelection campaign, contributing $4,950. Photo: Larry D. Moore, via Wikimedia Commons

By tapping the Californiacelebrity-cash circuit, the mayor has opened himself to the charge of fraternizing with millionaire businessmen and entrepreneurs at the expense of the city. And the charge is being made by, well, a millionaire businessman and entrepreneur. “Dining out in LA with a glitzy, star-studded crowd sounds like fun,â€? said Mollie Fullington, press secretary for Paul J. Massey Jr., the Republican mayoral hopeful and resident of Park Avenue who made his fortune in the real estate service business. But New Yorkers need an issues-focused mayor, she added, “Not someone attempting to raise his national proďŹ le and see-and-be-seen at Spago.â€? What is it about Spago that so resonates? Start with Puck’s singular creation, the smokedsalmon-and-caviar pizza, which he’s served up to A-listers at Hollywood post-awards parties for decades. To be fair, the item isn’t on his menu. But Puck will make it by special request. Then go back to 2013. May 30. A seminal speech at the New School. As he spun his tale of two cities, then-candidate de Blasio tore into the luxuries and indulgences of the privilege, observing, “There are even restaurants that offer diners the option of a $1,000 caviar pizza.â€? It was true. The Puck pizza had migrated from California. Adopted, dressed up and repriced by other restaurateurs for the Manhattan market, it had captured de Blasio’s populist ire. So there is both irony and hypocrisy in a mayor who solicits reelection cash at the culinary laboratory that produced the selfsame caviar pizza he had

so roundly denounced just four years earlier. Will de Blasio pay the political price that the Massey campaign and others hope to exact? Don’t count on it, said Democrat political strategist Hank Sheinkopf, who has managed scores of political campaigns and helped run Mark Green’s 2001 mayoral bid. “He’s not in electoral trouble, his poll numbers are up because nobody’s attacking him, he doesn’t really have a credible opponent, his propaganda machine is working, and he still has a lot of fundraising capacity,� Sheinkopf said. “He’s repositioning himself after weathering a near-indictment and doing what he always wanted to do — building the national progressive de Blasio movement with himself at the center,� he added. To that end, the mayor so far this year has already traveled to Atlanta in February; Los Angeles, Chicago and Fort Lauderdale in March; San Francisco, Sacramento and Seattle in April, and Vermont in May. The fruits of those political jaunts showed up in his most recent financial disclosure filings, which document the contributions he received from March 12 to May 11 of this year.

Hip-hop producer Russell Simmons at Emory University in 2007. One of the co-hosts of de Blasio’s March 5 fundraiser, he contributed $2,500 to his reelection campaign. Photo: Brett Weinstein, via Wikimedia Commons While only 336 out of 2,632 donations came from out-oftown givers, or 12.7 percent, the overall take from out of town skewed the other way, comprising $319,648 out of a total haul of $663,049, or 48 percent, CFB data shows. The bottom line: Expect de Blasio’s travel agent to be very busy in the near future. He’s pocketing a lot more $4,950 checks on the road than he is in the city. “Mayor de Blasio’s campaign

Steven Spielberg at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. The Spielberg Family Living Trust contributed $4,950 to de Blasio’s reelection campaign in April. Photo: GabboT, via Wikimedia Commons has raised more than 6,400 grassroots contributions of less than $175 in 2017 alone, representing more than 85 percent of all donations raised,â€? said campaign spokesman Dan Levitan. That’s one way to look at it. Another way is that in the most recent ďŹ ling period, 56 donors gave the max, and 34 of them, or 60.7 percent, were out of towners.

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

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JUNE 1-7,2017

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SideWalk: Yorkville Our Town and Manhattan Sideways invite you to an expert-led tour uncovering the hidden gems of the East 80s Neighborhood, featuring food, drink, and conversation with local independent business owners

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6:15pm: Maz Mezcal (316 East 86th Street) “Mama Maria� will make you feel like part of the big, happy family that runs this Mexican restaurant - a Yorkville staple since 1972. 6:45pm-7:30pm: Swed Masters Workshop (214 East 82nd Street) Listen to the enthusiastic staff as they share the history of the company while revealing the secret compartments in the handcrafted pieces that are designed and made in Jerusalem. Sutton Clocks (218 East 82nd Street) Explore this true hidden gem, owned by secondgeneration horologist Sebastian Law, filled with antique clocks and timepieces in various stages of repair.

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Ebisu (351 East 82nd Street) Discover a colorful world filled with high quality Japanese toys, gadgets, and bento boxes in this store, named for the Japanese god of fishermen and fortune. 7:45pm: Miss Madeleine (400 East 82nd Street) Sample the traditional French pastries, and hear owner Gerald Hudeau’s story of how he was finally able to bring his entire family to New York and open his own bakery. 8:00pm: Ryan’s Daughter (350 East 85th Street) Sip on a glass of wine or have a beer at this bar that has been serving drinks since Prohibition (when it was a German club), and listen to owners Mick and Jim tell stories about the neighborhood. In addition, enjoy the Manhattan Sideways exhibit of original photography hanging on the walls, showcasing many more of the side street businesses of the East 80s.

E 89th St E 88th St

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JUNE 1-7,2017

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

YOUR 15 MINUTES

EDUCATING FOR JUSTICE A talk with Karol V. Mason, incoming president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, about leadership and the law — and how policy needs to catch up with science BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

On August 1, Karol V. Mason will become the fifth president of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Mason, who will be the first woman and first minority to serve as the school’s president, previously headed the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs as an assistant attorney general in the Obama administration. Mason spoke with us last week about the state of criminal justice in America and her new job in the CUNY system.

You take office at John Jay College during an interesting moment for criminal justice, as it seems to be simultaneously an hour of reform — with the success in New York of efforts like “ban the box” and other initiatives to assist with offender reentry — and of countervailing efforts embodied by the current administration’s stances on issues like sentencing and immigration. What role should John Jay play in shaping and informing these debates? During my time in the administration, I came to know John Jay because of the wonderful work that it’s been doing in research and building the body of evidence that has informed the criminal justice reform work. To be here at John Jay when there is a void developing in terms of federal leadership on these issues, my hope is that John Jay can be a catalyst and fill that void so that we continue to move forward. It’s a bipartisan effort because it’s grounded in research. It’s grounded in evidence that we know that the policies of the ‘90s did not work. We have safer communities and crime is at its lowest rates now because we look at things differently. We look at the causal factors that led people into our criminal justice sys-

tem and are looking at what’s the most effective way to deal with issues. So, for example, with drug and substance abuse issues, putting people in prison does not address the issue. Drug treatment is what we need, and we know that. That’s what we need to get people back on track so they can be productive members of their families and their communities.

On the topic of drugs, what is your reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that the Justice Department would reverse course on the decision that was made during your tenure to move away from pursuing maximum sentences for some nonviolent drug offenses? What happens if federal policy is at odds with research? That gets back to: where does the leadership come from? For the last few years the leadership has come from the federal level, but the leadership has also been coming from the state and local levels. I think that that voice needs to be raised, and I think that’s where John Jay can play a critical role in making sure that people see — based on the data, based on evidence — that these policies do continue to produce safer communities. And when you’ve got the Georgias, Texases, Louisianas of the world embracing these issues and understanding that incarcerating low-level drug offenders is not the best use of resources, that says something. So I think we’re in a time period where I’m hoping that the leadership will come from the state and local level and that we can model for the federal government where they ought to be going based on the evidence.

Juvenile justice was one major focus of your work with the Office of Justice Programs. What are your thoughts on New York’s recently passed “Raise the Age” law, which changes how the state deals with 16- and 17-year-old defendants? I am pleased that New York did raise the age. I was surprised when I learned that it was as low as it was before that

bill. John Jay has been a leader in research looking at the age of majority and thinking about things differently. We know from research — and the Supreme Court has recognized it in several of its recent opinions — that young adults under 25 are closer to juveniles than they are to adults. And we know from brain science and brain development work that impulse control is still developing up through 25, and so we ought to recognize that in our criminal justice system and take those things into consideration. Our criminal justice policy needs to catch up with the science. But I think that the progress that New York has made is good. If you look at Connecticut, they’re trying to move it to 21. I would push all the way to 25, because, again, we know from the brain science that the ability to make informed decisions on behavior for people 25 and below is different. We know that the age of majority was an arbitrary number that people picked back in historical times because people tended to be out on their own at 18. Well, the world has changed. How young people develop has changed. I think that we need to recognize that and take that into consideration as we try to figure out how to hold people accountable for their behavior.

We’ve seen increased public debate about offender reentry, sentencing, juvenile justice, and broken windows policing in recent years. What issue in criminal justice hasn’t gotten the public attention it deserves? There was one that we were beginning to get some traction on, and that’s the criminalization of poverty through our fees and fines and bail system. All these things, we can’t discuss them in silos or in a vacuum. They’re all on a spectrum and interrelate with each other. But one of the things that we were beginning to get some good traction on is getting people to recognize that fining people and incarcerating people because they

Karol V. Mason. Photo courtesy of Department of Justice didn’t have the money to pay the fines was putting people in a cycle within our criminal justice system and basically criminalizing being poor. There is some guidance that went out from the Department of Justice to make sure people understand the constitutional requirements that you cannot keep someone in jail just because they have an inability to pay. There’s a constitutional requirement that you’ve got to assess the ability to pay. But even separate from that analysis, if you want to change behavior, is requiring people to pay a fine that they can’t pay the only way to change the behavior?

What are your goals for the college during your tenure? To be the leading voice — on criminal justice reform issues, on forensic

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science issues, cybersecurity issues — in leading people, based on evidence, to solve these longstanding issues that I hope will lead us to a more just society. The John Jay motto is “educating for justice,” and I think all of these things are intertwined in educating and leading us to a society that reflects the ideals on which we were created. 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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JUNE 1-7,2017

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JUNE 1-7,2017

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PUBLIC AUCTION NOTICE OF SALE OF COOPERATIVE APARTMENT SECURITY PLEASE TAKE NOTICE: By Virtue of a Default under Loan Security Agreement, and other Security Documents, Karen Loiacano, Auctioneer, License #DCA1435601 or Jessica L Prince-Clateman, Auctioneer, License #1097640 or Vincent DeAngelis Auctioneer, License #1127571 will sell at public auction, with reserve, on June 7, 2017 in the Rotunda at the New York County Courthouse, 60 Centre Street, New York NY 10007, commencing at 12:45 p.m. for the following account: Varun Bakshi and Nishtha Chadda, as borrower, 632 shares of capital stock of 221 East 36th Owners Corp. and all right, title and interest in the Proprietary Lease to 225 E 36th Street, Apt 8L, New York, NY 10016 Sale held to enforce rights of CitiMortgage, Inc, who reserves the right to bid. Ten percent (10%) Bank/CertiďŹ ed check required at sale, balance due at closing within thirty (30) days. The Cooperative Apartment will be sold â&#x20AC;&#x153;AS ISâ&#x20AC;? and possession is to be obtained by the purchaser. Pursuant to Section 201 of the Lien Law you must answer within 10 days from receipt of this notice in which redemption of the above captioned premises can occur. There is presently an outstanding debt owed to CitiMortgage, Inc (lender) as of the date of this notice in the amount of $178,263.36. This ďŹ gure is for the outstanding balance due under UCC1, which was secured by Financing Statement in favor of Citibank, N.A. recorded on May 9, 2014 under CRFN 2014000158753 and assigned to CitiMortgage, Inc. via a UCC-3 recorded on September 29, 2016 under

CRFN 2016000341476. Please note this is not a payoff amount as additional interest/ fees/penalties may be incurred. You must contact the undersigned to obtain a ďŹ nal payoff quote or if you dispute any information presented herein. The estimated value of the above captioned premises is $390,000.00. Pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code Article 9-623, the above captioned premises may be redeemed at any time prior to the foreclosure sale. You may contact the undersigned and either pay the principal balance due along with all accrued interest, late charges, attorney fees and out of pocket expenses incurred by CitiMortgage, Inc. and the undersigned, or pay the outstanding loan arrears along with all accrued interest, late charges, attorney fees and out of pocket expenses incurred by CitiMortgage, Inc, and the undersigned, with respect to the foreclosure proceedings. Failure to cure the default prior to the sale will result in the termination of the proprietary lease. If you have received a discharge from the Bankruptcy Court, you are not personally liable for the payment of the loan and this notice is for compliance and information purposes only. However, CitiMortgage, Inc, still has the right under the loan security agreement and other collateral documents to foreclosure on the shares of stock and rights under the proprietary lease allocated to the cooperative apartment. Dated: April 28, 2017 Frenkel, Lambert, Weiss, Weisman & Gordon, LLP Attorneys for CitiMortgage, Inc 53 Gibson Street Bay Shore, NY 11706 631-969-3100 File #01-084149-F00 #91676

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MIDTOWN & UPPER WEST SIDE 1 BEDROOMS FROM $3,295 2 BEDROOMS FROM $5,395 3 BEDROOMS FROM $7,895

TRIBECA & FINANCIAL DISTRICT 1 BEDROOMS FROM $3,795 2 BEDROOMS FROM $5,895 3 BEDROOMS FROM $8,495

UPTOWN LEASING OFFICE 212-535-0500 DOWNTOWN LEASING OFFICE 212-430-5900   !  ""      All the units include features for persons with disabilities required by FHA.

GLENWOOD Equal Housing Opportunity

BUILDER OWNER MANAGER

GLENWOODNYC.COM

Our Town - June 1, 2017  
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