Page 1

The local paper for the Upper East Side

CHILDREN’S EDITION INSIDE ◄ P.13

WEEK OF JUNE

6-12 2019

‘A TRUE INVESTIGATOR’ LAW ENFORCEMENT An Upper East Side detective who loves the challenge of solving crimes wins a top NYPD honor BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Detective Kevin Gieras was named Detective of the Year for the NYPD’s Manhattan North borough, which encompasses roughly 140 detectives in 12 precinct commands above 59th Street. Photo: Michael Garofalo

A 19th Precinct detective has been recognized with a prestigious NYPD award for his work bringing burglars and robbers to justice on the Upper East Side. Detective Kevin Gieras was honored last month as the Detective of the Year for the NYPD’s Manhattan North borough, which encompasses roughly 140 detectives in 12 precinct commands above 59th Street. “His investigatory skills are second to none,”

said Deputy Inspector Kathleen Walsh, commanding officer of the 19th Precinct. “The guy doesn’t leave a stone unturned. When he gets the case, I am confident it will be solved.” Gieras, who has worked in the 19th Precinct since 2012, credited members of the Upper East Side community for often lending their assistance during investigations. “Rarely do you come across someone in this area who doesn’t want to help,” he said. “I know so many of the doormen and supers from the buildings in this area, and they’re always eager to help out and get a conclusion to these cases, which is a tremendous help to me.” Lieutenant Kevin Blake, who heads the precinct’s detective squad, described Gieras as “a detective’s detective” and “a true investigator.”

INSIDE WHEN JEWISH REFUGEES WERE TURNED AWAY Upper East Side Chabad commemorates 80 years after the St. Louis ship from Germany was denied entry to Cuba, the U.S. and Canada P. 2

THE 100-YEAROLD MAN On a holiday weekend, friends and family turned out in force for the birthday of an art dealer and political activist P. 6

CONTINUED ON PAGE 5

CITY CRACKS DOWN ON BUILDING VOIDS THE RETURN OF AUGUSTA SAVAGE

DEVELOPMENT “We’re saying no to empty buildings filled with voids simply to give the one-percent better views while leaving the rest of us in their shadow.”

Council strengthens earlier City Planning Commission proposal to address so-called zoning loophole

Council Member Ben Kallos

BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

A graphic illustrating the zoning change to tighten restrictions on mechanical void space. Image: Department of City Planning

The City Council last week voted by a 47-1 margin to enact a long-awaited zoning change that will place new limits on the use of mechanical voids — a controversial development practice which some builders have utilized to inflate tower heights through the use of large-

A new exhibit seeks to restore the Harlem Renaissance figure’s rightful place in the history of the city and American art P. 24

ly empty spaces. The measure tightens a so-called zoning loophole that exempts spaces designated for mechanical use from the floor area calculations that in many districts effectively govern a building’s maximum permissible height.

Jewish women and girls light up the by lighting the Shabbat and the Shavu Holiday candles. Friday, June 7- 8:07 p Saturday night, June 8 – 9:15 pm from pre-existing flame Sunday night, June 9 –9:16 pm from a pre-existing flame. For more informa visit www.chabaduppereastside.com

CONTINUED ON PAGE 9

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1939: WHEN JEWISH REFUGEES WERE TURNED AWAY HISTORY Upper East Side Chabad commemorates 80 years after the St. Louis ship from Germany was denied entry to Cuba, the U.S. and Canada BY JASON COHEN

The Holocaust wasn’t just about the extermination of 6 million Jews, but also showing the world that no one wanted them. Hitler proved this when a ship, MS St. Louis carrying more than 900 Jews was denied entry to the United States, Cuba and Canada in May 1939. To commemorate the 80-year anniversary of this notorious incident, the Upper East Side Chabad held an event at the Bentley Hotel, 500 East 62nd Street on May 28, where survivors of the ship spoke and a movie, “Complicit” was shown. The film is the untold story of why the Roosevelt administration denied safe haven to Jewish refugees.

The film explores the impact of the WWII Jewish refugee issue on FDR’s legacy through a mythical courtroom drama that puts President Roosevelt on trial for complicity in crimes against humanity. It also features never-before-seen footage of U.S. Special Envoy Hannah Rosenthal’s expose of America’s inadequate response to the Jewish refugee crisis. “Hitler was allowed to tell the world no one wants them,” said the film’s director Robert Krakow. “The St. Louis fell into that narrative.” According to Krakow, there are approximately 15 to 20 survivors living in the U.S, one in Israel, two in the U.K. and one in Australia. Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski of the Upper East Side Chabad told the attendees that it is important to never forget how the people of the St. Louis were treated. America is supposed to be safe haven, not a place where people are shunned, he said. “It’s especially cruel to be so close to freedom you can taste it,” the rabbi said. “Our leaders did not have the courage.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 27

From left to right: Eva Weiner, Judith Steel and Sonja Maier Geismar were children on the St. Louis. Photo: Cheved Kras Photography

NORTHERN MANHATTAN STUDY OF METABOLISM AND MIND

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG THREE TEEN SUSPECTS NABBED

STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 19th precinct for the week ending May 26 Week to Date

Year to Date

2019 2018

% Change 2019

2018

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

0

1

-100.0

Rape

0

1

-100.0 11

7

57.1

Robbery

5

4

25.0

51

63

-19.0

Felony Assault

3

2

50.0

53

54

-1.9

Burglary

4

3

33.3

80

72

11.1

Grand Larceny

31

25

24.0

586

559

4.8

Grand Larceny Auto

4

4

0.0

10

15

-33.3

PURSE SNATCH SUSPECT ARRESTED Police arrested one suspect in a recent purse snatching and continue to look for a second. At 4:52 a.m. on Thursday, May 23, a 73-year-old woman was walking along East 89th St. from Third to Second Aves. when she noticed a man behind her acting suspiciously. She started to cross the street to get away from him when he approached her, pushed her to the ground and took her purse, police said. A witness told police that he heard the woman call for help, and observed two

men running away, one of them carrying a purse, which he then tossed. Police arrived and canvassed the neighborhood and the witness was able to identify one of the suspects. Officers Frank and Pokaufold stopped the suspect at the corner of First Ave. and East 90th St. Officer Viegas then recovered the victim’s purse in front of 328 East 90th Street. Branden J Harden was arrested and charged with robbery. The items stolen and recovered included a purse valued at $108, $20 in cash, a New York State driver’s license, twenty blank checks and a checkbook. Police are still looking for the second suspect.

At 11:30 p.m. on Friday, May 24, a 38-year-old man was walking at corner of Second Ave. and East 63rd St. when three teens, acting together, shoved him, grabbed his cell phone from his hand and ed on foot, police said. According to police, just ten minutes later a 31-year-old man was walking in front of 351 East 74th St. when the same three teenagers approached him from behind and snatched his Apple AirPods from his ears before eeing on foot. When police arrived and canvassed the neighborhood the two victims were able to identify the three suspects. The ďŹ rst victim’s phone, an iPhone X valued at $1,000, was recovered, as well as the second victim’s AirPods, priced at $150.

WOMAN GROPED, SUSPECT SOUGHT Police are asking the public for assistance after a woman was forcibly touched in a northbound Q train. At 4:02 a.m. on Sunday, May 26, police said, a man entered the car the 42-year-old woman was sitting in, approached her and touched her genital area through her sweatpants. The victim pushed the man away and reported the incident to the train crew.

      

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Police are seeking the public’s help in identifying this man, a suspect in a May 26 forcible toughing incident on the Q train. Photo: NYPD

She told police that the suspect then exited the train at the 96th St. Second Ave. station. Police have released photos of the suspect and ask anyone with information to call 1-800-577TIPS. A $2,500 reward is being offered, and all information will be held in strictest conďŹ dence.

HODGEPODGE BURGLARY On Monday, May 27, a 53-year-old woman reported to police that a man had climbed over a service entrance gate and taken certain items from her employer’s residence on East 78th St.

There were no signs of forced entry, and the owner apparently was at home during the burglary. The items stolen included a Makita leaf blower valued at $400, a box of Bounty paper towels worth $40, a blue grocery cart priced at $35, an umbrella selling for $15, a pair of Nike Pegasus sneakers valued at $100 and a pair of Vans sneakers tagged at $50, making a total stolen of $640.


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BY PETER PEREIRA


I know so many of the doormen and supers from the buildings in this area, and they’re always eager to help out ...” 19th precinct detective Kevin Gieras Diligent and Thorough Blake, a former detective himself, said Gieras is particularly adept at solving home burglaries — a significant concern on the Upper East Side, where affluent residents are often targeted. “These perpetrators are violating people’s homes and their sense of security,” Blake said. “You want to protect the public, protect their property and put a stop to it before it can continue.” Blake cited Gieras’ work catching the individual responsible for one recent string of burglaries as representative of his diligence and thoroughness as a detective.

A surveillance video that showed the perpetrator leaving the scene of a crime initially appeared to be a frustrating dead end — only the individual’s back was visible as he exited the frame, seemingly making identification impossible. But Gieras kept the video rolling. “Where most people would have turned the video off, Kevin watched it to the very, very, very end,” Blake said. “And at the last possible second, he sees the perpetrator interact with someone on the street in a familiar way.” The brief interaction, which could have easily been overlooked, turned out to be the key piece of evidence that broke the case. Gieras was able to find and speak with the second person in the video, who identified the perpetrator; the burglar confessed to Gieras during a subsequent interview. “Kevin’s interview skills are excellent,” Blake said. “More often than not he’ll get his guy to talk to him, even if they have no reason to.” Gieras, who worked in the Midtown South Precinct for 12 years before joining the 19th, finds satisfaction in his service. “I always wanted to be a cop and I always wanted to be a baseball player,” said Gieras, who played college and independent ball before joining the force, and was the ace of the NYPD baseball team’s pitching staff for many years. “I don’t really call it work because I enjoy it,” he said. “I like being out on the street, chasing down different leads, getting tips. I just love putting the pieces of the puzzle together.”

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ALEX ROSENBERG, THE 100-YEAR-OLD MAN SENIOR LIVING On a holiday weekend, friends and family turned out in force for the birthday of an art dealer and political activist BY EMILY JANE GOODMAN

A lot can happen in a century and what Alex Rosenberg has accomplished so far in this one precious lifetime was celebrated on May 25, exactly 100 years from his birth in 1919. The rare occasion of a 100th birthday ďŹ lled the West Side’s Stephen Wise Free Synagogue where Rosenberg was a bar mitzvah boy at the age of 73. Despite the Memorial Day holiday, a traditional getout-of-town weekend, the music-accompanied service and

luncheon were attended by more than 200 friends, family and comrades who passed through security guards and magnetometers. The guest of honor, sporting silver hair that reached his collar, was on his feet (with a little support) whenever the congregation was asked to rise. Throughout the day, he accepted praise and recognition in the presence of his wife, two siblings and four generations of family. Having a room full of fans is not the image of, well, old age. But Rosenberg collected people along the way, as a leader in local and national Democratic politics, a civil rights, civil liberties and anti-war activist, a prominent art dealer, a bon vivant and man about town, the ultimate New York-

er. Born in Brooklyn, he has spent most of his post WWII Air Force life in Manhattan on the West Side with his ďŹ rst wife, Dorothy and their sons Lawrence and Andrew, on the east side with Carole, his wife of 42 years, his 57th Street art gallery and at home in Water Mill on Long Island. The rest of the time he might be found in Mexico, Europe, Israel, or Cuba where he received a Doctorate in Fine Arts. This, a glowing Carole Rosenberg, 82, emphasized, “was not just an ‘honorary’ degreeâ€?. Rosenberg’s early background in socialism, Judaism and his passion for progressive social action and justice, set his path. Looking back at all he has done, he says, “Maybe I could have contributed more, but I won’t get a second chance.â€?





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The author with Rosenberg at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. Photo courtesy of Emily Jane Goodman

Rosenberg had announced more than a year ago [that his beloved synagogue] would be the venue for his memorial service whether or not he made it to this birthday. “Save the date either way,� he told friends.





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After rejecting the family pillowcase business, Rosenberg bought a telephone answering service but sold it at a good proďŹ t before it was made obsolete by answering machines, voice mail, IM, email, cellphones, texting and tweeting. What mattered to him was change and challenge in and out of electoral politics. He was out front early for Eugene McCarthy for President, and Bella Abzug for everything: Congress, Senate, Mayor. Also the American Labor Party, the West Side Democratic political club where he was District Leader, but that he later left because “they lost their wayâ€? and SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). Especially important to Rosenberg was NECLC (National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee), which in a faux wedding ceremony where Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame was “best man,â€? merged with the Center for Constitutional Rights

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that he long served as a board member and financial advisor. While enjoying French Champagne, salmon and strawberries, guests also enjoyed thanks-for-the-memories from Rosenberg’s sons and others. Sam Rosenberg, poet and medieval scholar, described his older brother as always thinking of, “how he could make the world move in a sounder direction.” Greatgrandson Jacob Halsband, 7, standing on a chair to reach the mic, faced “Grandpa Alex,” and delivered the speech that spoke for everyone. “That you are 100 is ... WOW!” NY State Assembly member Richard Gottfried, speaking for himself and Congress Member Jerry Nadler who had been expected but had taken ill the day before, said that it was Rosenberg plus a cadre of “adults” who nurtured their group of high school boys, “The Kids,” as they broke into West Side politics in the sixties. “Alex helped move Jerry and me several notches to the left, both in our careers and our principles,” said Gottfried.

Further to the left was Cuba’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Ana Silvia Rodriguez Abascal, who attended with a delegation from the Cuban mission to thank Rosenberg for decades of friendship that started with the struggle to prove that art and culture fit into the definition of “informational material” that were exceptions to the United States embargo. Decades before, the former art student had found the art of commerce and the commerce of art. The Alex Rosenberg Gallery, doing business as TransWorld Art, has specialized in graphics, publishing lithographs, silkscreens, posters and representing leading artists of the postWorld War II art world. His artists and their art, like him, are decidedly left wing. His list includes Elaine DeKooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Alexander Calder, Romare Bearden, Gordon Parks, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Larry Rivers. As a dealer, consultant, appraiser, expert witness, Rosenberg still works every day and has no retirement plans.

Always there is the beloved synagogue that Rosenberg had announced more than a year ago would be the venue for his memorial service whether or not he made it to this birthday and the party. “Save the date either way,” he told friends. According to Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, Rosenberg describes himself as “agnostic on the subject of God.” Rosenberg says, “What’s important is being Jewish living the values of charity, justice, education, progressive Judaism.” During his luncheon remarks, referring to the history of atrocities against Jews and the current rise of anti-Semitism, Rosenberg, choked with emotion, cried briefly. But tears soon turned to bittersweet laughter when thanking his wife Carole for all she has done for him, Rosenberg added, “Maybe if I ate gluten-free I’d keep going. But at my age, there is only today. Tomorrow is forever. You can’t look forward.” Still, at the end of the day, 100-year-old Alex Rosenberg, an unrepentant flirt, asked this reporter, “What are you doing tonight?”

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Voices NYC’S APARTMENT HOUSE LIFELINES Write to us: To share your thoughts and comments go to

ourtownny.com and click on submit a letter to the editor.

they are often surrogate family members to the building youngsters and everyone else who may be in need. And that works both ways, especially for single staff members. A heartfelt thanks to all the doormen, I mean doorpeople, because there’s now a very agreeable doorwoman on deck. And let’s not forget supers and maintenance personnel. And how inordinately blessed are tenants who have this in-house help, with a capital H. Far more must be said and done about “the great neighborliness need” in buildings without it. And indeed, in the buildings that have it, not being intrusive or nosy, but never being a building of strangers. Michael and other staff members couldn’t be better role models. They also tactfully deal with neighborly conflict — often a noise problem due to inadequate floor covering. “The rug thing,” anti-noise pollution expert Dr. Arline L. Bronzaft calls it. Special thanks to a former doorman, Michael Galvin, who, despite a full time job

BY BETTE DEWING

Heartfelt thanks to Michael Kearney, who was a veritable lifeline for this apartment house for 22 years. As a doorman, he not only did the myriad required doorman duties, but became an invaluable friend, especially, but not only, for those who became disabled or home bound. Thankfully, Michael is not unique, but it takes time for such bonding to occur and yes, a certain kind of character that this social media age may not so likely produce. And that’s a concern to address. Incidentally, Michael retired for a very good reason — to become a more involved grandfather to his grandchild, and how we need involved grandparents. Also so needed was his “being there” for his widowed mother, aided by his wife Rose, a nurse by profession.

The Blessing of In-House Help But we are talking about apartment house staff creating community in the place where they work, and where

THE KVETCHY BRAG: MANHATTANITES’ GREAT PASTIME PUBLIC EYE BY JON FRIEDMAN

We New Yorkers are much reviled for our crankiness and penchant for complaining about nothing — or, when the spirit moves us, anything. But a few weeks ago, a friend of mine raised the game to a new level. “My building,” she lamented, “hasn’t been the same since Philip Roth died.” After giving me a moment to take in that non-bombshell, she dramatically intoned: “He lived upstairs from me.” Riding the wave of surreal melodrama, she concluded: “Nice guy.”

Lately, we dazzling urbanites have had a lot to bitch about. This year, it rained for what felt like 564 days in a row. Bloomingdale’s might have considered selling arks in the home furnishings department. Plus, our mayor — who has too much sense to ask any of the voters of the city, Ed Kochlike, “How am I doing?” — is running for president. (Doesn’t it defy the law of physics to have a mayor who might not win re-election broadening his horizons by running for POTUS?). But back to the kvetchy brag, a rallying cry for these me-me-me times — the invention of my Facebook friend Megan N., by the way (I’m not clever enough to think of something this urbane). The neat turn of phrase suits us

New Yorkers, doesn’t it? Think of how much it liberates us, too. When you want to feel cool and brag about something utterly inconsequential in our little town, the kvetchy brag frees you up to do just that. Here a few that came to mind, based on an informal survey of New Yorkers I know: “Can you believe how expensive it is nowadays for me to send my kid to Harvard? (Oh — didn’t I mention that the little genius decided to say no to Stanford, Brown, Penn, M.I.T. and Yale!”) “Sitting in field-level box seats at Yankee Stadium isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, y’know — I mean, those batted balls can come at you so fast, you

could hardly defend yourself.” “I won the lottery to see ‘Hamilton’ — after applying at least seven times before!” “I GUESS it’s ok that we got $1.3 million for our place in Sag Harbor, since the Times just wrote that this is a buyer’s market and all. But remember, we listed it for $1.6 million — and it took us THREE MONTHS to unload it!” “‘Dear Evan Hansen’ was definitely better the last two times I saw it.” “You wouldn’t believe how long I had to wait in the green room before it was time for my appearance on Rachel Maddow’s show.” “Anderson Cooper’s show really let me down. They said on the crawler

elsewhere, always fills in when he’s needed.

Respect, Concern and Thanks There’s just so much our building staff does, like mail carefully sorted, not to mention the blizzard of boxes delivered. Ever wish on-line shopping had not been invented? And don’t forget how doormen and doorwomen at the building entrance also make the street safer, as well as their building. We wish their homes and neighborhoods were as safe, and their commutes much shorter. So many things to consider that staff members need — above all respect, concern and thanks. Oh, and a compatible work place. We are also losing our lobby decor, and I have a dream that the people who spend the most time there should determine the design. But that’s another column or volume — the lobby thing! Help! Again, heartfelt thanks Michael, and every good wish for what you need most. dewingbetter@aol.com.

that my last Trump book was a New York Times best-seller for nine weeks. IT WAS A TIMES BESTSELLER FOR TEN WEEKS, thank you very much! Can you believe such shoddy journalism!” “It’s cool that 845 of my Facebook friends ‘liked’ my selfie with Jerry Seinfeld — but the least he could have done was smile!” “I was hoping for a bigger advance for my next book.” “I can’t believe that the Times Magazine didn’t put my most recent piece on its cover.” “That restaurant that New York magazine said was the hottest new spot in the city? Well, take it from me, it isn’t so great.” If you have kvetchy-brag observations to share, please email thWem to nyoffice@ strausnews.com.


JUNE 6-12,2019

VOIDS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 In recent years, a number of developers had exploited the fact that these mechanical spaces were not subject to height restrictions by designing buildings with tall voids in their middle sections. Such spaces ostensibly hold mechanical equipment but primarily serve to enhance the views and price tags of residential units on the floors above. The zoning text amendment approved by the Council at its May 29 meeting will limit mechanical voids to 25 feet in height; spaces exceeding 25 feet will count toward a project’s buildable floor area. In issuing its approval, the Council modified the amendment to tighten earlier language proposed by the City Planning Commission that would have permitted voids up to 30 feet tall. Developers will be permitted to claim the exemption for multiple mechanical voids within a building, provided that each void space is separated by at least 75 feet in

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com vertical distance. “We’re saying no to empty buildings filled with voids simply to give the one-percent better views while leaving the rest of us in their shadow,” said Upper East Side Council Member Ben Kallos, a longtime supporter of efforts to address the voids loophole. “By strengthening and passing the proposal to limit the height of mechanical voids to 25 feet, we are taking a significant step forward toward stopping developers from getting around the zoning to give billionaires views instead of building affordable housing for New Yorkers.” The new rules would effectively prevent developers from designing buildings like Extell Development’s controversial 775-foot tower now under construction at 36 West 66th St., which includes several tall mechanical spaces. Voids on the building’s 15th, 17th, 18th and 19th floors are 20, 64, 64 and 48 feet in height, respectively, and collectively account for more than a quarter of the building’s total height. The Extell project is the subject of a pending zoning ap-

peal and an ongoing lawsuit. The Department of Buildings issued permits for the building earlier this year, before the new void restrictions were approved. For now, the zoning change approved by the Council applies only in certain residential zoning districts, primarily in Manhattan. The Department of City Planning plans to expand the scope of the void restrictions to other parts of the city through a second zoning text amendment to be proposed later this year. The amendment applies only to enclosed spaces, meaning that voids classified as outdoor space would be exempted. Kallos and other members of the Council’s Manhattan delegation have vowed to pursue further changes to zoning law to address other perceived loopholes that have resulted in buildings taller than planners originally anticipated under the city’s 1961 Zoning Resolution, including unenclosed voids, excessive ceiling heights on non-mechanical floors, and so-called “gerrymandered” zoning lots.

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extraordinary celebrations. There are times when nothing short of the best will do. A funeral service is one of them. It is a final expression, the culmination of a lifetime orchestrated into a singular event. What leaves a lasting impression? A ceremony that is as unique as the individual. By planning in advance, you can design your own brilliant Celebration of Life. Contact us today to speak with a Premier Planning Professional.

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1076 Madison Avenue | New York, NY 10028 212-288-3500 | FrankECampbell.com

New York state law mandates that all contracts for prearranged funeral agreements executed by applicants for or recipients of supplemental social security income or medical assistance be irrevocable. Frank E. Campbell – The Funeral Chapel is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Service Corporation International, 1929 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas 77019. 713-522-5141.


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JUNE 6-12,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.

Calendar NYCNOW

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

- 1 John 4:7

EDITOR’S PICK

Thu 6 - Sun 9 BACH & BLEACH La Mama 66 East 4th St 1 p.m. Free lamama.org 212-254-6468 In this music performance by Esther Apituley, directed by Erwin Maas, a cleaning lady from Bosnia and a vibrant band leader from Holland are locked in battle for their right to occupy an empty stage. Add seven talented band members, a wandering choir, and the power of music to overcome and release the imagination trapped inside — and voila! Bach and Bleach is a play about two opposites merging into an unexpected and wonderful understanding of life and themselves. It’s funny, it’s profound, it’s not to be missed.

Thu 6

Fri 7

Sat 8

FILM — THE MORTAL STORM (1940)

▲LATE NIGHT WITH VULTURE: A CONVERSATION WITH LATE NIGHT TV COMEDY WRITERS

SATURDAY SKETCHING

96th St Library 112 East 96th St 2:00 p.m. Free In this film, with Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart, when the Nazis come to power, the Roth family is divided and a family friend is caught up in the turmoil. nypl.org 212-289-0908

MarbleChurch.org

92y 1395 Lexington Ave 7 p.m. $35 Join Vulture’s Senior Editor and Good One podcast host Jesse David Fox as he leads a panel discussion on the inner workings of the toughest — and most fun — job in television. Writers from “Desus & Mero,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” and other top shows gather for a conversation about the trials and tribulations of the job, late night TV’s role in the broader landscape of American comedy, how a good joke gets written and much more. 92y.org 212-415-5500

The Guggenheim 1071 Fifth Ave 10:00 a.m. Free with Museum Admission Feeling inspired? Art materials are available for loan at the Family Activity Kiosk for exploration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural shapes and spaces during your visit. guggenheim.org 212-423-3500


JUNE 6-12,2019

Sun 9 AMAZING RACE-STYLE SCAVENGER HUNT ADVENTURE Central Park Columbus Circle, 59th St Eighth ave 2:00 p.m. $39.20 Combine the excitement of “The Amazing Race” with a two/three-hour park adventure. Guided from any smartphone, teams make their way among the well-known and also the overlooked gems of Central Park, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. centralpark.com 212-310-6600

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Mon 10

Tue 11

▼ON BROADWAY!

ENSEMBLE ÉCHAPPÉ

Library for the Performing Arts 40 Lincoln Center Plaza 6:00 p.m. Free Harwood Management vocal atists sing show tunes from their favorite Broadway musicals. nypl.org 917-275-6975

Miller Theatre 2960 Broadway 6:00 p.m. Free The NYC-based Ensemble Échappé makes their Miller debut with a program highlighting their focus on collaboration with living composers, including a world premiere by their composerin-residence, Selim Göncü. In a chamber music configuration for this performance, their commitment to virtuosity in the contemporary concert experience will be on full display. millertheatre.com 212-854-7799

Wed 12 SELECTED SHORTS: A CELEBRATION OF JAMES BALDWIN Symphony Space 2537 Broadway 7:30 p.m. $32 Hosted by Lisa Lucas, from the National Book Foundation, Selected Shorts honors one of the most influential and groundbreaking writers of our time. This evening will feature a wide range of material from Baldwin’s works, delivered by a coterie of Shorts actors including Nathan Hinton (“Madam Secretary”), Joe Morton (“Scandal”), Carra Patterson (“Straight Outta Compton”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), and Charlayne Woodard (“Pose”). symphonyspace.org 212-864-5400

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Edition 2019 Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re pleased to present the delightful poems and drawings of second graders at P.S. 183 in the next few pages. Principal Martin Woodard says the students took a walking trip in the neighborhood and took note of important local places. After returning to their classrooms, the students wrote poems about a place that interested them as part of their Unit of Study in March and April with their teachers Ms. Maria Camaj and Ms. Ashely Birchall. We trust what follows will make you smile.

JUNE 6-12,2019


JUNE 6-12,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Stay cool this summer with

10

Delicious Flavors

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Made with Real Fruit and Cane Sugar

Try them all!

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JUNE 6-12,2019


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It’s not too late to reserve your camper’s spot!

92Y.ORG/YOMI

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AUGUSTA SAVAGE RETURNS TO NEW YORK A new exhibit seeks to restore the Harlem Renaissance figure’s rightful place in the history of the city and American art BY VAL CASTRONOVO

This show comes to the New-York Historical Society by way of the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, Florida, not far from where Augusta Savage (1892-1962) was born, in Green Cove Springs in the Jim Crow South. The Florida native battled poverty and race and gender discrimination to become a revered sculptor, teacher and community organizer, nurturing the likes of Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis and Gwendolyn Knight along the way. “She is not known today, but she was one of the great movers and shakers of the art world in her time,” associate curator Wendy Ikemoto, who coordinated the show at the Society, said on a tour. Savage worked tirelessly to raise the profile of African-American artists, male and female. The exhibit is comprised of more than 75 items — sculptures, paintings, photographs and archival material — that showcase her talent and that of the masters who flocked to her Harlem studio during the “Negro Renaissance.” It was a period of cultural and artistic flowering in the 1920s and 1930s when “work was produced by Black artists about the Black lived experience,” exhibit curator Jeffreen Hayes writes in the catalog.

Artist, Activist and Teacher Savage’s gift was apparent at a young age, when she sculpted ducks out of the red clay in her backyard in Green Cove Springs. She made her way to New York in 1921 and enrolled in the tuition-free Cooper Union School of Art, completing a four-

JUNE 6-12,2019

A Commitment to Racial Uplift

Works by Savage’s students and associates — Lawrence, Knight, Lewis, Romare Bearden, Ernest Crichlow, William IF YOU GO Artis — are exhibited in tandem with those WHAT: HAT: Augusta Savage: naissance Woman Renaissance of the artist herself, in HERE: The New-York WHERE: part because so many storical Society Historical of Savage’s sculp0 Central Park West 170 tures no longer exHEN: Through July 28 WHEN: ist. One reason why? ww.nyhistory.org www.nyhistory.org She didn’t have the funds to cast many in bronze, so most of year program early. Her efforts her production was were e rewarded with a summer left in plaster, a fragscholarship olarship to the Fontainebleau ile material. School ool of Fine Arts in France Ikemoto commented — an n honor that was famously on the stylistic differrescinded inded when a commitences between Savage tee of white American men and her pupils: “That learned ned that she was black. speaks to generational Correspondence rrespondence by W.E.B. differences, but it also Du Bois and others regarding says something about Savthe decision is on view. A 1923 age’s own teaching philosletter er documents that the comophy. This was somebody mittee ee felt “... it would not be who wasn’t trying to wise e to have a colored studictate a style to dentt ... disagreeable her students. complications plications would She was tryarise…” e…” ing to comIkemoto moto said: “Savage mu n icate a alerted ted the press and encommitment to gaged ed directly with the meAugusta Savage racial i l uplift, lift a dia and headlines. This d made d h dli hi was (1892–1962)”The commitment to a black woman speaking out in the Diving Boy,” c. 1939 self-definition.” Jim Crow era. She was catapulted Bronze, 33¾ x 8 “ The Div i n g onto the national stage.” The in- x 9¼ in.Cummer Museum of Art & cident was transformative, moti- Gardens, Jacksonville, Boy” (ca. 1939), a realistic and vating Augusta to become a “race Florida, Bequest of ver y tender woman,” a dedicated activist on Ninah M. H. Cummer, C.0.602.1 Public work, was chobehalf of the black community. sen to open the A dearth of portrait commis- domain in practice show here besions during the Depression led her to pivot to teaching. In 1932, her cause it is one of the few pieces that Harlem studio became the Savage the sculptor cast in bronze. It was Studio of Arts and Crafts, offering featured in 1939 at the opening of free art education to the public. She her own gallery, the Salon of Conlater founded the Harlem Communi- temporary Negro Art, the first art ty Art Center at the invitation of the gallery founded by a black woman. WPA’s Federal Art Project. Note her It closed after only three months. Said Ikemoto: “Savage underphotograph with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt at the center’s opening in stood the need for an infrastructure for black artists to work. 1937, the ultimate validation.

Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000)”The Card Game,” 1953 Tempera on board, 19 x 23½ in. SCAD Museum of Art Permanent Collection, Gift of Walter O. Evans and, Mrs. Linda J. Evans© 2018 The T Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society So (ARS), New York.

She said that in her whole life, in all the African-American homes she African-A visited, only two tw contained works by African-American artists: so African-Am how is the African-American artist Afri to survive? She Sh really tried to build that infrastructure.” infrastruc

A Masterpiece Destroyed “Gamin” (ca. 1930; street urchin presumed likeness of in French), a p

Augusta Savage (1892–1962)”Lift Every Voice and Sing,” 1939Bronze, 10¾ x 9½ x 4 in. University of North Florida, Thomas G. Carpenter Library Special Collections and Archives, Eartha M. M. White Collection ©1939 World’s Fair Committee and the Artist.

Savage’s nephew, is one of her bestknown works. It’s a small, classicalstyle bust that was lauded for its sensitive portrayal of an AfricanAmerican boy, countering demeaning stereotypes of black youth. The child’s shirt and cap are wrinkled though “you also see a resilient figure, someone who is thoughtful, someone who is grounded despite his impoverished circumstances,” Ikemoto said. But Savage’s crown and glory was a commission for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Inspired by the lyrics of the eponymous hymn (the socalled Black National Anthem), the 16-foot-high plaster imagined a chorus of African-American youth as the strings of a harp, cradled in the arm of God. Alas, as she did not have the wherewithal to cast the piece in bronze or store it, it was razed as part of the Fair’s cleanup — this in spite of the fact that it attracted over five million visitors. Souvenir replicas, like the one here, are all that remain. Ikemoto said, “In her life, Augusta Savage increased the visibility of African-American artists, created an infrastructure for their work and created an intellectual space for its discussion. And it’s still happening. It happens through stories like hers and exhibitions like this.”


JUNE 6-12,2019

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

The balance between arts and academic curriculum at LaGuardia High School is at the heart of a dispute that sparked student protests at the renowned conservatory-style school. Photo: Michael Garofalo

PROTESTS ROCK LAGUARDIA HS SCHOOLS Students say arts have been put on the back burner at â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Fameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; school By Michael Garofalo Dozens of LaGuardia High School students, parents and alumni gathered outside the elite Upper West Side public school June 3 to protest what they characterize as a shift in focus away from the performing arts education at the core of the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mission. Holding hand-drawn signs with slogans like â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is an Art School,â&#x20AC;? the demonstrators voiced their displeasure with increased academic requirements at LaGuardia that they say have detracted from studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; creative pursuits and departed from the conservatory-style education that inspired the ďŹ lm â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fame.â&#x20AC;? The demonstration at the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s entrance followed a sit-in staged by students May 31.

A List of Complaints â&#x20AC;&#x153;No one feels they can trust the administration to do whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s right for the arts,â&#x20AC;? said senior Isabel Janovsky. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come here to have the same education as someone at Stuyvesant

LaGuardia is the place where we came to develop our existing passion.â&#x20AC;? Senior Isabel Janovsky [High School, another specialized high school with a more traditional academic focus],â&#x20AC;? Janovsky, a violinist in LaGuardiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s instrumental program, said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;LaGuardia is the place where we came to develop our existing passion, and whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happened is that no one can focus on that.â&#x20AC;? Frequently cited complaints included poor communication from school administrators, unexplained cuts to rehearsal times and an added emphasis on Advanced Placement courses, which some students say has come at the expense the rigorous arts education they came to the school for. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of extra work, and sometimes people arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t up to it, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re forced into these classes,â&#x20AC;? said Isabella GastelAlejandre, a sophomore. Underlying these issues, GastelAlejandre and other students

said, is poor communication between school administrators and students and teachers.

Unhappy With the Principal A number of demonstrators called specifically for the departure of Principal Lisa Mars, who has received low marks in evaluations from parents and teachers. In a DOE survey last year, 23 percent of LaGuardia teachers reported that they feel respected by Mars and 12 percent said she is an effective manager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our art school is not adequately preparing our talented children for the conservatory education that they want when they go to college,â&#x20AC;? said Natasha Labovitz, the parent of a LaGuardia senior. Students and parents say Mars has enforced admissions standards that have turned away talented students on the basis of middle school grades in courses unrelated to their art. According to the DOE, the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s admissions requirements have been in place for over a decade, and academic information is only considered for those students who successfully audition. â&#x20AC;&#x153;LaGuardia has a long and

proud history of both artistic and academic achievement, and the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s admission policy has long included audition and academic requirements,â&#x20AC;? DOE spokesperson Doug Cohen wrote in an email. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rehearsal times have been changed to get kids home earlier in the evening,â&#x20AC;? he added.

Challenges for Specialized Schools The discontent at LaGuardia is unfolding against the backdrop of a debate over admissions testing that has roiled New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eight other

LaGuardia High School students met with DOE administrators following a June 3 demonstration to voice their displeasure with school leadership. Photo: Michael Garofalo

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JUNE 6-12,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Neighborhood Scrapbook

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS MAY 22 - 28, 2019 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.

Tanoshi Tei

1374 York Ave

A

Subway

1613 2nd Ave

A

Williamsburg Pizza

1615 2nd Ave

A

Sushi Jin

316 E 84th St

Not Yet Graded (77) Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer or thermocouple not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding. 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. Insufficient or no refrigerated or hot holding equipment to keep potentially hazardous foods at required temperatures.

Rathbones Pub

1702 2 Avenue

A

Franklin Hotel

164 East 87 Street

Grade Pending (34) 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. 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.

Barking Dog

1678 3rd Ave

A

The Painted Lady Saloon

1825 2nd Ave

A

Hughes Tavern

1682 1 Avenue

A

Ues.

1707 2nd Ave

A

Superior Cafe

1490 Madison Ave

A

Joosed By Lloyd’s

1555 Lexington Ave

A

Hong Kong Restaurant

1703 Lexington Ave

Crown Fried Chicken

1867 Lexington Ave

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. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

AWC Wing Plus+

1914 3rd Ave

A

The Jaguar Restaurant

1735 Lexington Avenue

A

La Amistad Pizzeria & Grill

2067 2nd Ave

A

Dunkin’, Baskin Robbins

1880 3 Avenue

A

Johnathon Silva, left, and Muharem Kristic, of City 1 Maintenance, gave their green thumbs a workout. Photo: Karen Nielsen

BEAUTIFICATION IN ACTION Spring was definitely in the air last week as the Sutton Area Community neighborhood association planted perennials in 58 tree beds along First Avenue, from 52nd to 59th Streets. The organization chose yarrows for the tree beds and a combination of Knock Out Rose bushes, nepeta junior walkers and yarrows for the bike lane beds. The plantings are part of

at OURTOWNNY.COM

nial Gardens LLC and City 1 Maintenance provided the crew for the plantings. Sutton Area Community has been promoting the neighborhood’s character and preservation since 1976. Its mission is to actively engage residents and business establishments in efforts to maintain and enhance the quality of life in the Sutton Area Community.

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SAC’s annual beautification efforts for the Sutton area neighborhood, which spans from Sutton Place to Second Avenue, from 52nd to 59th Streets. “Thanks to the generosity of SAC’s members, the organization is able to offer the community new plantings each year,” said Vangeli Kaseluris, chair of SAC’s Beautification Committee. This year’s plants came from Pinewood Peren-

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Email us at news@strausnews.com


JUNE 6-12,2019

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

JEWISH REFUGEES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 In May 1939 the Motorschiff St. Louis left Germany with 937 Jews, intending to embark in Cuba. However, Cuba, America and Canada, all citing visa quotas, did not let them disembark. The ship was forced to return to Europe, where various European countries, including the U.K., Belgium, Netherlands and France, accepted some refugees. Many were later caught in Nazi roundups of Jews in occupied countries, and some historians have estimated that approximately a quarter of them died in death camps during World War II. In 2012, the United States Department of State formally apologized in a ceremony attended by 14 survivors of the incident. In 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized as well. Eva Weiner, Judith Steel and Sonja Maier Geismar were children on the ship, but know what took place was a travesty. Maier Geismar, 84, a native of Baden in Southwest Germany, lives in the Bronx and was on the St. Louis at the age of 4. While she was too young to fully grasp what took place on the ship, she remembers a few things. She recalled how the elegant cruise ship had fancy food, chandeliers and how she saw black people for the first time there. “I remember Kristallnacht and I remember the ship,” she said.

Judith Steel (center) speaking at the Upper East Side Chabad event, with Sonja Maier Geismar (left) and Eva Weiner. Photo: Cheved Kras Photography

When the ship dispersed passengers in various countries she was fortunate that her family was put in England. They lived there for eight months before immigrating to America. As she looks back at what took place, she is angry, but understands there were immigration laws and quotas. “It was a mistake definitely,” she said. “It was cowardly, but if you look at the circumstances they would not have made exceptions. I was a child. I didn’t know something bad was happening.” Steel, 81, a resident of Kew Gardens, was only 14 months old on the St. Louis.

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“I always used to ask God, why did you keep me alive and why did my parents die,” she said to the audience. “I think it’s really important that non-Jews learn about the Holocaust and learn that it should not happen again.” Steel told Our Town that if Israel had existed in 1939 her family might have gone there instead of America.

Her family resettled in France, which was occupied by the Nazis a year later. While her parents were killed in a death camp, Steel was hidden by a French Catholic family for four and a half years. She eventually came to America in 1946 and became a cantor at the New Synagogue in NYC. While she was just a toddler on the ship, deep down she knows what happened. “There’s something in the DNA that remembers,” she said. Weiner, 80, a resident of Neptune, N.J., speaks often about the St. Louis and the Holocaust. She talks at schools and synagogues and feels it is important to educate people about what took place. “Who is going to tell our stories?” Weiner said. “Who is going to tell the stories of the survivors?” Weiner, like the other two women, has very little memory of being on the ship. She was 10 months old on the St. Louis, so her knowledge came from her parents, Cypora and Jakob Safier. Weiner recalled how her family made it to England after the St. Louis and eventually came to Astoria in 1946. “They had told me about the ship, but I had no idea it had any significance,” Weiner said. “It was actually the precursor to WWII.”

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JUNE 6-12,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

HARD TIMES FOR BEACON HARDWARE GoFundme launched for “an anchor on the Upper West Side.” But it may be too late BY JASON COHEN

In April a Gofundme was launched to help the struggling Beacon Paint & Hardware on the UWS, but it may be too little too late. John McNally, a longtime friend of

the Stark family, which has owned and operated Beacon Paint for nearly half a century, started the crowdsourcing for them on April 15. As of press time, it had only raised $4,576. “I don’t want to sound an alarm, but maybe if I said I was going out maybe more people would come and give more,” said co-owner Bruce Stark. “I wish I had a nickel for every time someone made that comment and

Bruce Stark, Ellen Gabe-Stark and Steven Stark with Bru, the store’s mascot. Photo courtesy of Beacon Paint & Hardware

Business

Beacon Paint & Hardware moved to its current location on Amsterdam Avenue in 1940. Photo: Razi Syed

plea when they visited Beacon Paint & Hardware,” McNally said on the Gofundme. “If I did, I might not have to do what I am doing here, which is trying to help my friends survive. “I have been friends with the owners of Beacon for 30 years. This store is an anchor on the Upper West Side! But running a small business these days is harder than ever. My friends at Beacon are being squeezed by big box stores and the internet like never before. They need our help. “Let’s make sure Beacon stays around for their 120th year and beyond! They are vital to the fabric of the community. We need them. They need us. I hope Beacon never leaves!” From 1900 to 1940, Beacon Paint was located on the west side of Amsterdam Avenue between 77th and 78th streets. It moved to its current location at 371 Amsterdam in 1940 and in 1971 was sold to Mel Stark. While Stark, 61, appreciates what his friend is doing for him, he isn’t sure it will help much. “Right now things are very tough,” Stark said to the West Side Spirit. “Things are more serious than I want to admit. We are staring down a barrel of a gun right now.” Stark explained this past winter was especially tough. There was very little snow, so shovels, salt and many other supplies went unused. Not to mention, today he is competing with Home Depot, Loews and online retail.

He noted that his accountant thought they would close 10 years ago. “We’ve always been private people,” he explained. “I don’t like asking, but I need the help.” Stark along with his siblings, Steven and Ellen Gabe-Stark, grew up in the business. As a child, he would come to work with his dad on the weekends and after graduating from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, he immediately came to work at the store. Ultimately, he got his first job at the age of 14 and never left. His father taught him how to fix things, treat people, be fair, respectful and to always put customers first. “I loved every minute of it [working with his dad],” Stark recalled. “He was a good teacher. He explained to me why something was done like that.” Over the years, Beacon has been an integral part of the community. The Stark family has seen three generations worth of customers and for that loyalty, they have given back. Among the numerous charitable acts Beacon does every year, includes donating materials needed to clean graffiti off mailboxes and repaint them, giving hundreds of gallons of mismatched paint to nonprofit organizations and a “Bucket O’ Tools” to nearly every school in the neighborhood for the annual auction of each school.

For nearly 20 years, Beacon Paint has sponsored a walkathon to benefit various charities, including Guiding Eyes for the Blind, raising thousands of dollars over the years. “I love this community and the community loves me,” Stark said. “They would rather support the small guy than go to the big box stores.” While Stark told the Spirit he and his family never go looking for recognition, the store has been honored on more than one occasion. In 2008, it was New York Small Business of the Year, Paint Dealer Magazine’s North American Paint Dealer of the Year and a Forbes Enterprise Award; being named the number one hardware store on the West Side. Also, in 2011, Beacon Paint was a winner of a WESTY Award from the West Side Spirit. Stark and his siblings became fulltime owners in 2005. He said working with family is not only easy, but much more enjoyable because he knows he can depend on them. “I always felt like it was my store,” he said. “We weren’t employees, it’s family.” With the lease set to expire at the end of January 2020, he isn’t sure what the future holds. He hopes the Gofundme helps, but stressed that the warm months need to bring in business or the end may be near. “It’s a reality I may have to face,” he said. “Business has to improve.”


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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could act on legislation that would give the Democrats a new, and perhaps easier, path to President Donald Trumpâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tax information. The legislation doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t target Trump by name, but it would allow the leaders of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee or the Joint Committee on Taxation to get access to any New York state tax returns filed by elected officials and top appointed ofďŹ cials. The legislation would apply to personal income tax returns, as well as business taxes paid in New York. Lawmakers approved the bill last Wednesday. Cuomo, a Democrat, hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t said what he plans to do but supporters

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveils the ďŹ nal design renderings for the new main entrance to Penn Station on May 16. Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

expect the governor to sign it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We support the principle,â&#x20AC;? Cuomo spokesman Jason Conwall said last week. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to review the bill.â&#x20AC;? Once itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signed, the bill is likely to face a legal challenge, according to lawmakers on both sides of the bill. Republican legislators called the bill a partisan proposal intended to single out a speciďŹ c individual.

MARIJUANA Albany watchers will be waiting for progress on one of the hottest topics: legalization of recreational marijuana. There is broad support among top lawmakers about legalizing marijuana, but disputes over details could derail the effort. Cuomo and lawmakers say thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still time to work out a deal this year, but theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to act fast to vote on the complicated topic before lawmakers adjourn in ďŹ ve weeks. One big question relates to whether the state should expunge decades of low-level marijuana convictions as part of legalization. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is a social justice issue,â&#x20AC;? said Assemblyman Walter Mosley of Brooklyn. Lawmakers are also undecided when it comes to specific tax rates and regulations,

and whether counties should be allowed to opt out of allowing retail dispensaries, or whether they should have to opt in instead. Advocates say lawmakers have the time and the ability to strike a comprehensive deal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This conversation is past due,â&#x20AC;? said Kassandra Frederique, director of the Drug Policy Alliance in New York. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This cannot be a piecemeal approach.â&#x20AC;?

PAID SURROGACY New York is one of only a handful of states that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allow gestational surrogacy contracts, in which a woman is compensated for carrying another personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s child. That nearly 30-year-old law was passed in an effort to prevent exploitative arrangements that a state task force determined could be harmful to both women and babies. But it is now being targeted for repeal by many couples who say theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re forced to travel out of state to ďŹ nd surrogates they can compensate. Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat who has two daughters who were born to surrogates, has written legislation to permit and regulate surrogacy agreements in a way he says would protect parents, surrogates and children. Cuomo supports the measure, which is likely to get a vote before lawmakers adjourn next month. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m optimistic although itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a complicated issue,â&#x20AC;? Hoylman told The Associated Press on Thursday. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We plan to have a robust hearing and believe we have a bill that protects all of the parties.â&#x20AC;? The Senate planned to hold a hearing on the issue Wednesday in Albany.

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Parents joined students at the Monday protest. Photo: Michael Garofalo

LAGUARDIA CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25 specialized high schools. LaGuardia High School is the only specialized high school that does not admit students based on performance on a single standardized test. Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a controversial proposal last year to overhaul admissions standards last year in order to increase diversity in the spe-

cialized high schools. Students at LaGuardia met with DOE administrators following the June 3 demonstration. Janovsky, who attended the meeting, described the conversation in positive terms. “In previous meetings with the LaGuardia administration, I constantly felt that I was arguing with them, always on the defensive, and they never gave me a straight answer,” she wrote in an email. “In the meeting held

today, I felt like I was actually being heard for the first time. “We believe that there will be some action taken based on this meeting, as well as other meetings that were held with the chapter leader of the United Federation of Teachers and the Parent Association,” Janovsky continued. “As to what that action is, no one can say yet but we are eagerly waiting to see what will occur within the next few days.”


JUNE 6-12,2019

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com Ou

YOUR 15 MINUTES

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

called an “ethical” model photographer, and advises Audubon on photography content and ethics. Some photographers bait the birds, which cause them to be comfortable around and dependent on humans. This is why it’s illegal in many circumstances.

What’s your favorite New York City spot? In Manhattan there’s a small, unusual little quiet spot, a cemetery on West 21st Street called the Third Cemetery of the Spanish-Portuguese Synagogue. In Queens, I enjoy strolling along the park near the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria, on the water. There are a lot of shore birds there.

An ovenbird, in Union Square Park. Photo: Shayna Marchese

‘BIRDS ARE EVERYWHERE’ A photographer captures stunning images that she hopes will raise awareness of the feathered creatures who share the city with us

Is there a special camera you prefer or a new lens or technology? I use a Nikon, but if you ask any wildlife photographer they’ll tell you it’s their longest lens. I have some that are easy to carry around, but the largest one needs some planning.

in New York City. I’m trying to introduce the beauty of birds, and I think they can be a gateway to caring about conservancy. Caring leads to action.

Do you have any photography tips for our readers? The more overcast the better when it comes to getting good results. Early morning and dusk are also great lighting opportunities. If you’re looking for certain birds, learn what and when they eat, when they mate, when they call to one another, so you can find them.

BY MEREDITH KURZ

What can New Yorkers do for birds? Shayna Marchese is an art director by day, and a bird photographer, graphic artist and birder on weekends. Her work can be found in the National Audubon Society’s “Great Backyard Bird Count,” the Instagram “Audubon Takeover,” the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, on her new website, Sleeping Owl Studio, and on her portfolio website, shaynamarchese.com. She has over 5,600 Instagram followers. Her birds fly all over the internet.

How do you manage an indoor and outdoor career? Bird photographing and bird spotting are times for me to relax. I enjoy being out in the wild, and I get to use my photographs and graphic design to help the conservation nonprofits I support. My photography and graphic design is focused on rescuing and preserving what I can through the organizations I work with.

What would you tell a beginning bird spotter? Birds are everywhere. Even if you don’t hear them singing, they are all around you. You don’t have to go to somewhere special. You don’t need to know everything. I’m learning every day about how to take a better picture, where the best habitats are for certain birds. There are a lot of beginner birdwatchers, especially

New York City is part of what is called the “Atlantic Flyway,” a great turnpike in the sky for migratory birds. [The city] is actually doing quite a bit. Prior to renovation, the Jacob Javits Center was a major site for bird deaths. The facade acted like an enormous mirror, causing the birds to crash into the glass. The new glass panels are imprinted with patterns. This cut bird deaths by about 90 percent. The green roof attracts birds, and is the second largest one of its kind in the United States. A second place that caused a great deal of bird deaths was Freedom Tower’s light show. Migratory birds often fly by night and the bright beams of the tower confuse them. A typical count of birds around the tower shot from 500 to 16,000 during the “Tribute to Light.” To address this, the lights are periodically turned off to reorient the birds. Audubon Volunteers stay at the site overnight observing.

Marchese says that spotting and photographing birds is how she relaxes. Photo: Douglas Ensel

The parents may not return if you’re around. If you can, put the baby back in the nest. You can call the Wild Bird Fund at 646306-2862. The Animal Raptor Center is only for raptors and waterfowl. Their number is 212-838-8100. The Urban Park Rangers pick up injured New York City park birds that are not pigeons or starlings. Their number is 212-628-2345. New Yorkers saved tens of thousands of birds with their advocacy efforts with the Freedom Tower and Jacob Javits Center. If you want to lend a hand you can sign up for Audubon’s ‘Avian Advocates’ here.

Who’s your favorite photographer? Definitely, Melissa Groo. S h e ’s w h a t ’s

What can an individual do? If you don’t need a lot on in your apartment, turn it off. If you see a bird lying sideways on the ground, give it a minute. It could be just stunned. You should never touch a large bird. If you see a baby bird that has feathers that is hopping on the ground, leave it alone, the parents are feeding it. A yellow-bellied sapsucker in Washington Square Park. Photo: Shayna Marchese

What’s your own photo capture favorite? I had been looking around for quite a while, and it was mid-afternoon. A group of sparrows were trying to avoid me and they went in, and immediately out, of a holly tree. There tucked against the trunk, fast asleep, was a Saw-whet Owl. I was thrilled, but knew I couldn’t even breathe for fear of wakening it. I was able to hold my excitement and quietly snap the shot. That was a great moment.

Tell me about your new website, Sleeping Owl Studio. This is part of my nonprofit support. I’m both a graphic artist and a photographer. I hope to use [my works] to help wildlife conservancy. There are embroidered patches, buttons, stickers and a bookplate pattern. You can find them here. Proceeds go to my nonprofits.

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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