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The local paper for the Upper East Side

WEEK OF JUNE

7-13

2018 Summer

2018

GuideP.11

STUBBORN SIDEWALK SHEDS OF THE UES STREETSCAPE DOB data reveals buildings with the longest-standing scaffolding BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

On the 13-mile-long island of Manhattan, roughly 123 miles of sidewalk are covered in scaffolding. Nearly 3,900 sheds line the borough’s sidewalks, making the obtrusive structures a more ubiquitous feature of the Manhattan streetscape than the bus shelter, the Citi Bike station or even the blue mailbox. Community Board 8 is home to 537 of those active sheds, which shadow over 15 miles of Upper East Side sidewalks. It’s not just the quantity of sidewalk sheds that has prompted efforts at reform — it’s how long they stay up. Sidewalk scaffolding, long required under New York City law as a safety measure to protect pedestrians walking near buildings undergoing construction or with facades deemed unsafe, is often temporary in name only. Scaffolding at eight buildings in Community Board 8 were originally permitted more than five years ago, including a shed on Second Avenue near 96th Street that dates to 2009. The average shed in the district has stood for 240 days, less than the Manhattan average of 270 days. While city law dictates when scaffolding must be erected, there are currently no regulations requiring sheds to be dismantled if no work is being done on the building. Legislation sponsored by Upper East Side

A rendering of the new home of the Turtle Bay Music School, which plans to open its doors on September 15 in the Corinthian Condominiums on East 38th Street after it sells the double townhouse it has occupied on East 52nd Street since 1935. Rendering: Turtle Bay Music School / BKSK Architects and Chora Works

Legislation before the City Council would require sidewalk sheds to be dismantled within six months of being erected — or in seven days if no work is performed in that time. Photo: Douglas Feiden

Scaffolding goes up but doesn’t go down — for months, years, even decades — while no work is happening.” Council Member Ben Kallos

Council Member Ben Kallos would change that. The bill, first introduced by Kallos in 2016, would require all sheds erected due to dangerous building conditions to come down within six

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Crime Watch NYC Now Voices City Arts

REAL ESTATE PLAY IN TURTLE BAY DEVELOPMENT Music school to exit its 52nd Street home, move to Corinthian on 38th Street, sell building to Israeli developer who plans high-end condos BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

After 83 years in a single location, the Turtle Bay Music School will open its doors on September 15 in a modern, accessible new home where it will serve thousands of music lovers ranging in age “from age 2 to 102,” the school has announced. The school is expected to close within days or weeks on the sale of 244 East 52nd St. — the three-story, Civil War-era double townhouse it has occupied since 1935 — in a deal that will reap roughly $10 million-plus, real estate sources confirmed last week.

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Restaurant Ratings 24 Business 26 Real Estate 27 15 Minutes 29

Just in time for the fall semester, the school will relocate 14 blocks to the south. Soon, the sounds of music will resonate in a ground-floor office space it bought and is renovating at 330 East 38th St. in the base of the 57-story Corinthian Condominium complex. By the fall of 2019, Turtle Bay will launch its first music-centered preschool. It is already hiring staff to provide an early-childhood education for dozens of children — a move that’s expected to bolster school revenues and create a “feeder” for other school programs. “Music is the universal language we share as human beings,” said Lorna Jane Norris, the school’s executive director. “By expanding the school, we are increasing our ability to bring music into the lives of all New Yorkers in this global melting pot.” The move is not without consequences for both the block it is leaving and the neighbors who enjoy its free

concerts: The school’s longtime home, which is not landmarked, is likely to be demolished. A preliminary rendering shows ultra-luxe condos rising on the site where Turtle Bay now provides high-quality music education to all ages, skill sets and incomes levels. The property is being acquired by Minrav Development, a Madison Avenue-based subsidiary of Minrav Holdings Ltd., an Israeli real estate investment firm that has been building high-end residences across the East Side.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 Jewish women and girls light up the world by lighting the Shabbat candles every Friday evening 18 minutes before sunset. Friday, June 8 – 8:07 pm. For more information visit www.chabaduppereastside.com

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JUNE 7-13,2018

A BROADWAY LOVER’S ESSENTIAL BOOKSHELF THEATER Four books put the spotlight on the Great White Way BY LEIDA SNOW

Winners get to pick up their Tony Awards June 10. If we could award a Tony for theater books, here are four nominees from the recently published pile. “I Wanna Be a Producer” is by Broadway veteran John Breglio, who lent his legal expertise over a 40-year period to luminaries like Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Marvin Hamlisch and Joseph Papp. As an independent, he shepherded the revival of “A Chorus Line” to success. With this memoir-handbook, Breglio meticulously maps out the essentials of turning an idea into a viable stage production. He examines how rights are secured and explores the mystery of royalty pools. He explains the uneasy alliance between not-for-profit theaters and commercial ones. His memories of playwright August Wilson differentiate critical acclaim (as

with “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) from commercial success (as with “Fences”), and include the factoid that 90 percent of all plays on Broadway lose either all or most of their investments. Filled with real-life stories, the text also covers finding the money, dealing with the creative team, auditions, casting, marketing and the press. Breglio takes an entire chapter to spotlight an unsung hero, the general manager. Among other duties, the GM is the person who works with the lawyer to negotiate contracts and maintain the financial records. “Broadway General Manager” sets out to demystify what the cover describes as “the most important and least understood role in show business.” Seasoned pro Peter Bogyo begins by taking the reader through the steps necessary to becoming a GM, from how to get an entry level position, to achieving sponsorship in the apprentice manager program of ATPAM, the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers. Other chapters sample actual contracts and discuss negotiating tactics. This is spinach-y stuff, but arts administration students or anyone inter-

ested in the fundamentals and inner workings of the usually closed world of theater production will find Bogyo’s book essential reading. “Fraver By Design” is Frank “Fraver” Verlizzo’s record of five decades of theater poster art, with reproductions of more than 250 of his designs, including “The Lion King,” “The King and I” and “Sunday In the Park With George.” This is a cocktail-table book, and the graphics are superb. The visuals of shows seen bring rivers of memories. Also included are the different versions Verlizzo created to present to a production team, which might include producers, general manager, press agent, ad agency account executive and others. There were 21 different posters for his Follies art presentation, and we get to see a sampling of the range of concepts. Verlizzo distinguishes between Broadway and Off-Broadway, mostly because his choices rely on any production’s budget. But he also notes the “aesthetic vibe” of where he’s working, tending to edgier concepts Off-Broadway. There are subtle revelations about how Verlizzo approaches even the

smallest details, and there’s commentary by theater pros like producer and general manager Manny Azenberg, Tony Award winner Bernadette Peters and Ted Chapin of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. “Something Wonderful” is Todd Purdum’s love letter to the Broadway revolution triggered by the transformative collaboration of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein. Their names conjure Broadway musicals with enduring emotional power, and with songs that continue to resonate. Beginning with “Oklahoma!” in 1943, and continuing with “Carousel,” “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and “The Sound of Music,” Rodgers and Hammerstein inaugurated something new on Broadway: the serious musical play. Readers will learn about the flops as well as the hits, and enjoy anecdotes about stars including Ethel Merman, Yul Brynner, Mary Martin and Julie Andrews. Purdum, a former longtime White House correspondent for The New York Times, has turned his obsession with Broadway into a lively explora-

Todd Purdum’s “Something Wonderful” is a love letter to the transformative collaboration of composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein. tion of an unusually productive partnership that saw success on stage, screen, television and radio. As expected given his pedigree, Purdum has done his homework, and his appreciative book is balanced, providing, indeed, something wonderful.


JUNE 7-13,2018

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 19th district for the week ending May 27 Week to Date

Year to Date

2018

2017

% Change

2018

2017

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

1

0

n/a

Rape

1

0

n/a

7

5

40.0

Robbery

2

0

n/a

61

54

13.0

Felony Assault

3

6

-50.0

52

58

-10.3

Burglary

3

3

0.0

70

87

-19.5

Grand Larceny

21

32

-34.4

560

554

1.1

Grand Larceny Auto

3

0

n/a

15

11

36.4

CREATE A VIEW JUST AS BEAUTIFUL ON THE INSIDE THIS SPRING Save $100 on Hunter Douglas Shades until June 25, 2018 at

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

WAGE ARGUMENT LEADS TO ARREST A dispute over a claim of unpaid wages led to the arrest of one man, police said. According to police, two men, both 56, got in an argument on the evening of May 24 at the southwest corner of East 60th Street and Madison Avenue regarding payment for services, when the other man, later identiďŹ ed as Cheikh Dious, grabbed him, ripped his shirt and then picked up a wooden stool and struck him in the arm, leg and back with it. The victim refused medical treatment. Dious was arrested and charged with assault.

CELLPHONE DISPUTE At 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, a 24-year-old man lent an older teen boy his cellphone outside a grocery store at 1672 York Ave. While the latter was making his call, the older man tried to grab his phone, inciting the younger man to punch him in the face, cutting his lip, police said. The assailant then gave the victim his phone back.

MOTORIST VS. PEDESTRIAN A dispute between a motorist and pedestrian turned violent. At 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 23, a 67-year-old man crossing the street at the northeast corner of East 62nd Street and Madison Avenue was confronted by a motorist who got out of his vehicle and shoved the pedestrian to the ground before getting back in his vehicle and driving away, police said. The victim refused medical attention.

NOT-SO-SWEET CHARITY In the early afternoon of Friday, May 25, a police officer saw an 18-year-old male youth and three accomplices on the northwest corner of East 86th Street and York Avenue soliciting passers-by for money to support their alleged basketball team. The quartet would stop their people by surrounding them and/or placing their arms around them, police said. The officer and his partners conďŹ rmed this behavior with witnesses, but when the police approached the suspects, they ran down East 86th Street, discarding the clipboards and envelope they had been using to collect money. The officers apprehended one suspect, later identiďŹ ed as Dylan Garcia, 18. Police said when Garcia arrived at the 19th Precinct, he threatened violence. He was arrested and charged with terrorism.

ASSAULT ON VEHICLE A driver’s mistake led to a group assault on his vehicle. At 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 27, a 23-yearold motorist changed lanes at the southwest corner of East 62nd Street and York Avenue in front of four cars that he told police he thought were parked. He was wrong, however, as eight men got out of the cars and began to pummel his vehicle, according to a police account. The victim told police he saw a black ďŹ rearm on one of his attackers. The men damaged the motorist’s passenger’s-side window, mirror and rear quarter panel, causing $500 worth of damage. The eight men then got back into the four cars — three Honda Accords and an InďŹ niti — and ed, two heading northbound on the FDR Drive and two heading southbound on York Avenue.

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STORE LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT NYC

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Useful Contacts

Drawing Board

BY MARC BILGREY

POLICE NYPD 19th Precinct

153 E. 67th St.

212-452-0600

159 E. 85th St.

311

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

157 E. 67th St.

311

FDNY Engine 53/Ladder 43

1836 Third Ave.

311

FDNY Engine 44

221 E. 75th St.

311

CITY COUNCIL Councilmember Keith Powers

211 E. 43rd St. #1205

212-818-0580

Councilmember Ben Kallos

244 E. 93rd St.

212-860-1950

STATE LEGISLATORS State Sen. Jose M. Serrano

1916 Park Ave. #202

212-828-5829

State Senator Liz Krueger

1850 Second Ave.

212-490-9535

Assembly Member Dan Quart

360 E. 57th St.

212-605-0937

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright

1485 York Ave.

212-288-4607

COMMUNITY BOARD 8

505 Park Ave. #620

212-758-4340

LIBRARIES Yorkville

222 E. 79th St.

212-744-5824

96th Street

112 E. 96th St.

212-289-0908

67th Street

328 E. 67th St.

212-734-1717

Webster Library

1465 York Ave.

212-288-5049

100 E. 77th St.

212-434-2000

HOSPITALS Lenox Hill NY-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell

525 E. 68th St.

212-746-5454

Mount Sinai

E. 99th St. & Madison Ave.

212-241-6500

NYU Langone

550 First Ave.

212-263-7300

CON EDISON

4 Irving Place

212-460-4600

POST OFFICES US Post Office

1283 First Ave.

212-517-8361

US Post Office

1617 Third Ave.

212-369-2747

HOW TO REACH US:

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

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JUNE 7-13,2018

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MARBLE COLLEGIATE CHURCH Upcoming Events

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

EDITOR’S PICK 40TH ANNUAL MUSEUM MILE FESTIVAL Fifth Avenue between 82nd to 105th Streets 6 p.m. Free artsinitiative.columbia.edu The city’s finest museum will collectively offer free admission at this annual celebration of art and community. Visit The Met, the Guggenheim, The Jewish Museum and El Museo del Barrio, to name just a few, and enjoy a festive block party complete with music and food down the magnificent mile of Fifth Avenue from 82nd to 105th Streets, Opening ceremony takes places at The Met at 5:45 p.m.

Vist MarbleChurch.org for a full schedule of our PRIDE 2018 events.

2018 Marble SUMMER ARTS FESTIVAL

Monday, June 25 to Friday, June 29 Join us for a week of various programs, 6:00-8:30pm, featuring music from classical to jazz, dance, film, poetry, plays and fine art including paintings and photography. Artwork will also will be on display each day 4:00-6:00pm. Sponsored by the Arts Ministry. FREE ADMISSION.

Our Labyrinth Walks Labyrinth walks at Marble Collegiate Church are open to all: • First Sunday of each month: 1:00-3:00pm • Wednesdays before WeWo: 5:00-6:00pm (Please call the church to confirm schedule) Our Labyrinth Facilitators will be available to help guide you and answer any questions you may have, while allowing you the space to walk in your own way, at your own pace. Event listings brought to you by Marble Collegiate Church. 1 West 29th Street / New York, New York 10001 212 686 2770 / MarbleChurch.org Download the Marble Church App on iPhone or Android

Image: wellcomeimages.org, via WikiMedia Commons

Thu 7

Fri 8

Sat 9

► DEMOCRACY UNDER DURESS WITH ALEXANDER HEFFNER

▲ LUNCHTIME LECTURE: SODA WATER

MOVIES UNDER THE STARS: ‘WONDER WOMAN’

Shakespeare and Co. 939 Lexington Ave. 6:30 p.m. Free Join Alexander Heffner, host of “The Open Mind” on PBS, in conversation with veteran political columnist Walter Shapiro, to celebrate the launch of the 10th expanded and updated edition of Heffner’s “A Documentary History of the United States.” 212-772-3400 shakeandco.com

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden, 421 East 61st St. 12:30 p.m. Free with admission, tour and refreshments included Soda water. a fashionable cure-all for what ails you in the 19th century, was also the rage in riverside boites along the Erie Canal. This informal talk takes a sparkling dive into the origins of this popular drink, so bring your brown bag, learn about life in the past and enjoy old-fashioned soda water on the house. 212-838-6878 mvhm.org

John Jay Park, FDR Drive between East 76 and East 78 Streets 7 p.m. Free An Amazonian warrior-intraining leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny: to become the powerful “Wonder Woman.” Come early and enjoy complimentary ice cream, popcorn, face painters and more activities related to the movie before the screening. 212-408-0243 nycgovparks.org


JUNE 7-13,2018

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JOHN KRTIL FUNERAL HOME; YORKVILLE FUNERAL SERVICE, INC. Dignified, Affordable and Independently Owned Since 1885 WE SERVE ALL FAITHS AND COMMUNITIES 5)/'&1/'+$1)-,0$2250 -+.*'1'5)/'&12/)$*0$2850 54.'/1/'*$,,),(3$)*$%*'



 

1297 First Ave (69th & 70th &+#"$& )"$"$ ) *"#(&" $+)))$& '"$ #!#! Each cremation service individually performed by fully licensed members of our staff. We use no outside agents or trade services in our cremation service. We exclusively use All Souls Chapel and Crematory at the prestigious St. Michael's Cemetery, Queens, NY for our cremations unless otherwise directed.

I BUY RECORD COLLECTIONS Photo: Michael Beaton

Sun 10 Mon 11 Tue 12 â–˛ FAMILY DAY AT THE GUGGENHEIM

‘AGELESS BEAUTY THE FRENCH WAY’

BOLSHOI BALLET AT THE BEEKMAN

The Guggenheim 1071 Fifth Ave. 10:30 a.m. $20 per family, includes two adults and up to four children On the second Sunday of every month, explore the museum on a family-friendly tour that includes conversation and creative, hands-on gallery activities. Tours are organized around a single theme and highlight artworks on view from the permanent collection and special exhibitions. 212-423-3500 guggenheim.org

Albertine 972 Fifth Ave. 7 p.m. Free When it comes to food and beauty, trust the French. Join Clemence von Mueling and Elizabeth Musmanno for a conversation on von Mueling’s latest book, “Ageless Beauty the French Way,â€? which collects hair, makeup and skin tips and beauty secrets from three generation of French women. 212-650-0070 albertine.com

The Beekman Theatre 1271 Second Ave. 7 p.m. $20 In the classic ballet “Coppelia,â€? Swanhilda notices her ďŹ ancee Franz is infatuated with the beautiful Coppelia who sits reading on her balcony each day. Coppelia is not what she seems, and Swanhilda decides to teach Franz a lesson. Enjoy this ebullient comedy involving a feisty heroine, a boyish ďŹ ancee with a wandering eye and an old dollmaker. 212-249-0807 beekmantheatre.org

Wed 13 YIDDISH UNDER THE STARS SummerStage, Central Park near East 72nd St. and Fifth Ave. 7 p.m. Free Celebrate New York’s Yiddish heritage at this concert ďŹ lled with Klezmer artistry, Yiddish theatre gems and performances by Frank London & His Klezmer All Stars, Andy Statman, Cantor Magda Fishman, Pharaoh’s Daughter with Cantor Basya Schechter and others. nytf.org

NY collector looking to purchase 78rpm record collections. Looking for Blues, Jazz, Country, Gospel on such labels as Paramount, Okeh, Vocalion, Library of Congress, Asch, Chess, Columbia, or Brunswick. Also looking for Rock and Jazz LPs and 45s from the 1950s and 1960s

CALL 917-676-6615 OR EMAIL NY78RPM@GMAIL.COM


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JUNE 7-13,2018

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

NEXTDOOR NEIGHBOR BY LORRAINE DUFFY MERKL

I’m usually not a “joiner,” but when the postcard showed up inviting me to become a member of Nextdoor Yorkville, I felt obliged to at least sign up to be more plugged into the ‘hood. The postcard, directed to UES residents, read: “On this website, we share service provider recommendations, items for sale/free, lost pet notifications, local events and much more ... including posts about Crime & Safety issues.” The mission of Nextdoor, located in San Francisco, is based upon the idea that the neighborhood is one of the most important and useful communities in a person’s life, and this platform will build stronger and safer neighborhoods around the world. Am I skeptical? Would I be a born and bred New Yorker if I weren’t?

Right now, the site is new and everyone is still minding their manners, introducing themselves in polite, helpful ways — the equivalent of the digital muffin basket. Most of the posts are quite benign: “Did you lose your keys?” a good neighbor wants to know, adding a picture of the errant belongings. Others are offering items for sale (pre-owned futon anyone?) and some want you to take their goods off their hands for free. Yes, everything from couches to cats, car seats to kids’ furniture. All you have to do is swing by and pick the item up, which is a lot more dignified than dumpster diving. Some neighbors need advice about finding a specific type of lawyer, a knife-sharpening service, or a babysitter. Quite a few are going on vacay and have apartments to let for July and August.

Of course, what really gives the site an “over the backyard fence” feel, is the group mourning of the upcoming closing of Glaser’s Bake Shop and the recent demise of Capitol Chemists, both on First Avenue; some have questions about what will replace the now reduced-torubble Mega Gristedes on East 86th. New businesses and entrepreneurs are making their presence known as well. So, what’s not to like? Well, although I can see the positives of this localized online network, I wonder how wise it is to announce that one is not going to be home for a couple of months or to get a caregiver from there either. After nanny Yoselyn Ortega was convicted of murdering Leo and Lulu Krim, I would think that, going forward, childcare would be procured from agencies that heavily vet their applicants. Also, I’m always wary that these types of internet venues will go the way of the infamous Park Slope Parents site, whose notoriety in

Voices

2006 was kicked off by what is now remembered as “The Blue Hat” incident. A mom had posted that she’d found a boy’s blue hat, which was countered by a snarky charge of sexism. (What, girls don’t wear blue?) That remark was then called out as too PC. The comments that followed (and there were many) went from sanctimonious to mocking. Even after the thread had run its course on the site, it remained alive thanks to mass media coverage referring to the Brooklyn parents as privileged and indulgent, with the word “awful” bandied about. Although I have yet to see such a discourse on Nextdoor Yorkville, there are potential signs. A co-op shareholder of Puerto Rican decent expressed his frustration at often being mistaken for the janitor, superintendent, dog walker, and most notably, an intruder. Of this writing there are 31 replies, mostly in solidarity. Apparently, he is not the only UES resident of color often confused with hired help. Another person got the ball roll-

ing with a post about noise — carhorn honking to be specific. Others jumped on the bandwagon about what can be done to combat this issue. Currently no one has suggested: “Buy a quiet place in the country.” A “lady driver” was called out for exiting the circular driveway of a high-rise without slowing down or stopping. I’m shocked her license plate wasn’t posted. But, still, even these listings are rather tame and the comments are neither critical nor snide. I am going to give Nextdoor Yorkville — and my neighbors — the benefit of the doubt that this online group interaction will be a good thing and will not turn into an UES “Blue Hat” situation. Perhaps, eventually, I’ll even want to contribute my own helpful hints and comments; or perhaps I’ll realize I don’t want to be part of an organization that would have me as a member. Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of the novels “Back to Work She Goes” and “Fat Chick.”

THE YOUNG ROYALS AND DADDY’S DAY BY BETTE DEWING

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Belfast a few weeks before their wedding. Photo: Northern Ireland Office

A lotta June holidays — above all, there is Father’s Day on June 17, which too often gets down-shifted. And as we always remind ourselves on Mother’s Day, or any significant holiday, really, “Let it not be one day of remembering in a year of forgetting.” And my greatest regret is not having enough time for my widowed dad, 44 years older than his only child. And he could not have been kinder, gentler — too much so really. But men often don’t share personal problems or sadness — not nearly enough. Yes, it is nature, but also nurture — societal in nature — and in need of a-changing. And I needed an intervention by kindred and friends to spend more — no, enough — time with my dad, whom I truly loved deeply. But even therapists rarely do that type of intervention

— that too needs changing. But above all, raise the value of fathers, fathering, paternal nurturing — and for society’s sake. And not least, in the White House — and not least with the young royals we’re discussing this column — to keep the peace, and yes, the world kind — the world kind. June is, of course, for weddings. And the world sure did have a big one in May. And related to Father’ Day, the 74-year-old daddy of the bride wasn’t there due to a heart woe presumably brought on by a paparazzi chase, This safe traffic activist can’t help wishing the minister’s wedding speech about racial injustice might have also denounced the paparazzi’s reckless and lawless endangerment which killed the groom’s beloved mother. You recall how the whole world mourned — with even a service of remembrance in Central Park. But it

did not challenge the cause. Incidentally, most people become more concerned about safe traffic — safe everything when there are offspring to worry about. I said most and more. I don’t think Ralph Nader has children. To stay with the royals. The newlyweds plan a Big Apple honeymoon trip, but here’s hoping time is soon spent with the bride’s father, who reportedly lives alone in Mexico. And until then, may they spend enough time on Skype until in an inperson visit. And we have a dream he’ll move to the UK. And so will the bride’s mother, and they’ll reconcile and live happily ever after in that multigenerational extended family. Indeed such arrangements in general should be encouraged — it takes a village, so nobody is left out. But for now, how great, how connecting if the new royals revived the reach-out-and-touch-someone vis-

its. And the groom’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip (he needs more inclusion) will really love those calls and remember when long distance was only affordable for special occasions and emergency use. Ah, these beneficent phone calls can really bridge these family and friend divides when they’re frequent and lengthy enough and talk that matters is the main course. Forget the weather, and we don’t say “we’re fine,” when we’re not. And clergy should be teaching those caring communication skills — intergenerational ones — so no one is left out – and Father’s Day will not be a day of remembering in a year of forgetting. In loving tribute to your father and mine. dewingbetter@aol.com

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TURTLE BAY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Minrav, which is developing projects at 427 East 90th St. and 368 Third Ave., didn’t return calls. Site plans haven’t yet been filed or permits issued. But an image posted on the Minrav website shows a 15-unit, eight-story, 26,000-squarefoot condo building, sleek and glass-walled, stretching along the school’s 50 feet of 52nd Street frontage. “Investment: Coming Soon,” Minrav says on its site, a reference to an imminent closing. “Expected completion: Winter 2020.” The community music school, founded in 1925, spent a couple of years developing its ambitious expansion plans, which were first revealed in Our Town on January 16 describing how it had “outlived” its cramped space, and was poised to pull up stakes and make music and mint musicians in another neighborhood. At the time, Turtle Bay administrators declined to comment on a prospective move. Now, it is filling in the gaps: The school’s usable space will jump by 50 percent, from 9,500 square feet in its current home to about 14,000 square feet in its new space, executives said.

HORIZONTAL HARMONY And the configuration itself will be transformed. Today, classrooms and practice and performance rooms are vertically stacked on three floors and a basement level — accessible only by stairs — in a walk-up with no elevator that can be entered only by climbing eight steps. In the 38th Street space, a fully ADA-compliant facility, the street-level entryway provides access to the school’s full sweep, and its 13 studios, five multi-use teaching rooms, performance hall, gallery, piano lab, library, lounge, pantries, offices and meeting rooms are all arrayed horizontally. The layout is defining. It’s designed to project a vibrant onthe-street presence in which passers-by on the sidewalk, looking through tall glass picture windows, can glimpse practice sessions, concerts, workshops, performances and community programming. And that exposure — to what the school calls the “transformative power of music,” the “integral role it plays in daily life” — is intended to draw future participants. It’s all about accessibility: Early-childhood programs require it, Norris explains, and the user-friendly space will

The only dedicated Assisted Living Facility in New York City specializing in Enhanced Memory Care.

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. The longtime home of the Turtle Bay Music School at 244 East 52nd St.. After 83 years of making music and minting young musicians in the three-story, double townhouse, the community music school is selling its building and moving on September 15 to the Corinthian Condominiums on East 38th Street. Photo: Douglas Feiden also open the door to older audience members and adult students with limited mobility. “It will allow us to better fulfill our mission by being fully accessible for all populations and abilities,” she said. “We live in a time when people are looking to music for healing, joy, comfort and community. We have to provide a space where everyone can be a part of that,” Norris added. To that end, the relocated school, which has a 13-person staff and $2 million-plus budget, will open seven days a week, adding Sundays to its current six-day schedule. Still, some neighbors are already mourning its prospective replacement. “Land is so valuable in Manhattan, it’s sad that moneyed interests can destroy great unique old buildings for maxi-

mum profit,” said Sylvain Michaelis, a graphic designer who lives around the corner at 251 East 51st St. and enjoys his northern view of the building from a sixth-floor apartment. “The charm of an old neighborhood is definitely altered,” Michaelis added. “You don’t find that happening in most European cities.” Jeffrey Schlosser, the school’s president, says Turtle Bay’s new home will be a “welcoming, safe, comfortable place to engage with the arts.” “The needs of our community, from those that are very young to our senior citizens, are our first priority in building out the school,” he added. “This beautiful new space will provide the environment we can grow into over the next 100 years.” invreporter@strausnews.com

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80th Street Residents in Central Park with the Essex House Hotel peeking from behind.

Frank E. Campbell – The Funeral Chapel Hosts Annual Bus Trip to Calverton National Cemetery As the seasons change and Memorial Day approaches, we find ourselves thinking about the men and women who are serving our country around the world. We also remember those who gave of themselves when our freedom was threatened, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our nation. 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 30, 2018. 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 25, 2018, to reserve your place. Please have your section and grave information available when you call.

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JUNE 7-13,2018

WHIMSY UNDER THE STARS At MoMA, Bodys Isek Kingelez’ 3-D fables enchant BY VIRGINIA RANDALL

It is impossible to stay in a bad mood at MoMA’s new exhibit, ”Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams.” This U.S. first retrospective of Bodys Isek Kingelez (1948-2015), a Congolese artist who created miniature models of fabulously whimsical future cities, is a tonic for modern angst. Visitors will recognize ordinary materials — thread spools, soda cans, corrugated cardboard, bottle caps, ballpoint pen shafts, cardboard tubes and more — transformed into construction materials for fanciful structures: hotels that fan out like peacocks’ tails, a United Nations building with what looks like a Ferris wheel, and entire cities reimagined in bright colors with scalloped edges, festooned with stars. Kingelez’ 30-year career was as improbable as his art. This self-described “designer, architect, sculptor, engineer and artist” was born in Kimbembele-Ihunga, a rural village in the Belgian Congo, and educated in missionary schools. About 10 years after the country gained independence from Belgium, Kingelez, then in his early 20s, moved to the capital, Kinshasa, to study industrial design amid an environment charged with post-freedom energy and enthusiasm about the future. He must have picked up on the excitement. One day, compelled by a vision, he picked up an exacto knife, some glue and cardboard, and created his first model building. He took his second work, “Musée National,” to the Institut des Musées Nationaux du Zaire, and produced another work, the “Commissariat Atomique,” as disbelieving staffers watched. They offered him a job as an art restorer, which fueled his growing obsession with what he called “extreme maquettes.” A blurb about him in a feature about art in African capitals led to an invitation to display at the Pompidou Center in Paris in 1989 and sparked his career. From then on, he focused on crafting wildly inventive buildings and, even-

Bodys Isek Kingelez (Congolese, 1948-2015). “Africanisch.” 1994. Paper, paperboard, plastic and other various materials, 19 11/16” × 22 7/16” × 24”. Private collection, Paris. Photo: Kleinefenn.

Bodys Isek Kingelex with “Étoile Rouge Congolaise” in Nantes, 1993. Photo: André Bodys Magnin, Mag gnin, courtesy André Magnin, Paris

tually, entire cities within “a better, more peaceful world.” “To create a future, you need a model. Without a model you can’t have a vision” he explained in “Kingelez: Kinshasa, A City Rethought,” a 30-minute documentary by Dirk Dumon being shown in conjunction with the exhibit. His works ranged from single models small enough to fit in one hand to large-scale cities (three of them are shown here) with dozens of fanciful buildings amid colorful boulevards, near-blue canals and verdant parks.

on to take in at once: skyscrapers wrapped in metallic paper, soda-can towers, curves, slides, stepped facades and even stars. One round skyscraper, sheathed in silver paper, resembles the office tower at Lexington Avenue and 57th Street, while another, topped by three bright red stars, would not be out of place in Las Vegas. Several buildings, with their undulating façades, are reminiscent of Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau Hotel (there are even miniature palm trees). If it’s all too much to survey, the exhibit includes a virtual reality experience that allows visitors to “walk” the streets of Villa Fantome. Somewhat ironically, Kingelez in the documentary comments that “people can’t work with their hands any-

THE WORKS Everything on display combines uplifting optimism and hope about a literally bright future — bursts of yellows and reds, sky blues, deep greens and oranges color his craft — and richly patterned designs. Stars, diamonds, scalloped edges, slides, circles, semicircles, fantastically shaped towers, (he loved skyscrapers) and improbably fan-shaped buildings rise from inventive bases. His “Stars Palme Bouygues” looks ready to take flight. (This work, created during six months in Paris, is his response to the Grande Arche de la Défense, just west of Paris, and Bouygues, the multinational conglomerate that built it.) There’s a spin on traditional African architecture in his homage to Kinshasa, where he went to university. “Kinshasa La Belle,” is a fanciful, round building with a twist on the brise-soleil, an architectural feature used by post-independence African

architects. He reimagined these window overhangs, which reduce heat by deflecting light, as gracefully scalloped pediments in bright blue over each window. He said in an interview he wanted to create a swarm of butterflies, “sky blue butterflies, flying around and around the building.” His first attempt, in 1994, to create a city transformed his birthplace, Kimbembele-Ihunga, into a cosmopolitan city with architecture straight out of the Jetsons. “This town” he wrote, “represents the shape of my imagination; it is the very image of my ability to create a new world.” It took him a year to fashion this glittering metropolis with skyscrapers, broad boulevards, a soccer stadium and restaurants where, he wrote, “everyone can feel at home.” Nestled amid the towers shaped like rockets or minarets, curved roofs and star-spangled apartment buildings, are the names of local families. Atop one shining edifice is a single meticulously cut out and painted human figure: his father. The showstopper is his largest cityscape, “Villa Fantome,” a fantasy city with shops, hotels, a sports stadium, a power plant, a post office, apartment and plenty of parking, but no police station or hospital. Kingelez described it as “a peaceful city where everybody is free. It’s a city that breathes nothing but joy, the beauty of life. It’s a melting pot of all races in the world. Here you live in a paradise, like heaven.” There is almost too much going

more, they do it all on computers.” Of all the motifs in this show, the most frequent is the star, sprinkled on pavements and buildings. Religion was an integral force in his life. Kingelez’ career was sparked by a divine vision, and it continued to inspire him throughout his life (he never made preparatory drawings). “God is the first artist, He created the mountains and forests,” he said, “It is our duty to follow His example.” The star, he said, is“a magisterial symbol for which all powerful God the Creator communicated to His people on earth.” Regrettably, none of the buildings envisioned by this inventive soul exists, but we can always hope. After all, we have the models.

Bodys Isek Kingelez (Congolese, 1948-2015). “Sports Internationaux.” 1997. Paper, plastic and other various materials, 35 7/16” × 33 7/16” × 9 13/16”, irreg. Purchased 2013 with funds from Tim Fairfax, AM, through the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art Foundation. Collection Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. © QAGOMA, Natasha Harth


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2018 Summer Guide BY CHRISTOPHER MOORE

When the neighbors hit the road, you can double-down on the city streets. And you can be a summertime tourist without ever leaving home. Lovely little victories await. Dinner reservations you can’t get at other times of the year, and a feeling that there’s a little more space when the neighbors are away. And there’s more, in our summer guide and in your summer. There’s lounging before Shakespeare in the Park, laughing with the family at the Father’s Day festivities, confiding in a pal at a wine bar and taking in a movie at the pier. They’re all memories in the making. So enjoy your town. Watch it calm down and open up, and remember why you wanted to be here in the first place.

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FAIRS AND EVENTS The city streets come alive

The annual one-night-only Museum Mile Festival brings access to Fifth Avenue museums. Photo: f minus, via ickr

Expected back at the Rubin Museum’s block party this year: Ajna Dance. Photo: Michael Seto/Rubin Museum

MAKE MUSEUM MEMORIES

STILL PROUD

Museum Mile Festival Free June 12, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fifth Avenue, 82nd to 105th Streets museummilefestival.org It’s the night of a million museums. No, it only feels that way, but it’s now a great New York night, one with open museums and openly enthusiastic visitors embracing them. Free access to famed institutions along Fifth Avenue, complete with art activities for kids and live musical entertainment. Also, an additional beneďŹ t for walkers: no cars.

The March Free June 24, stepping off at noon nycpride.org The ďŹ rst march was in 1970. There’s been progress — from the Supreme Court on down — but challenges remain. Expect both a political message and also enthusiasm when the march kicks off on June 24, with more than 450 continents and over 100 oats.

SUMMER CAMP & SCHOOL PHYSICALS Medical and Dental Exams WEEKDAY AND EVENING APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE!

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2265 Third Avenue (corner of 123rd Street) For an appointment call 347-491-8109 .PO8FEBNQNt5VFT 'SJ4BUBNQN

Medicaid & Private Insurance Accepted. No Insurance? No Problem. Bring proof of Income. Proof of Address. Photo ID


JUNE 7-13,2018

THE BIG PICTURE Manhattanhenge at American Museum of Natural History Tickets: $15, $12 members, $13.50 for students & seniors) July 12, 7 p.m. Hayden Planetarium, enter at 81st Street amnh.org Manhattanhenge is our local take on Stonehenge, when the sun sets in a special way in our big city. Yes, you can see it for free on the crosstown streets, or you can head to the American Museum of Natural History, where astrophysicist Jackie Faherty will explain the history and astronomy behind it all.

GREET THE FUTURE Rubin Museum Block Party Free June 17, 1 to 4 p.m. West 17th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues rubinmuseum.org/blockparty The Rubin Museum’s annual bash mixes family art-making with live musical performances. And don’t forget the free museum admission. With an emphasis this year on the museum’s yearlong

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theme of “The Future,� expect multigenerational activities, futuristic art-creating stations, drone demos and activities led by community partners. Jane Hsu, the head of interpretation and engagement at the Rubin, promises: “At the Block Party, families and kids of all ages will be able to make the future with art-making activities, performances, and intergenerational learning.�

NYCHORAL Sings – Join us Wednesday evenings in August to sing and toast to Summer Sings!

DOWNTOWN’S DELIGHT River to River Festival Free Various downtown venues lmcc.net/public-programs/river-to-riverfestival/ June 15 through June 24 It’s time to expect the unexpected again. At the 17th annual River to River Festival, all events are free and open to the public — and there are plenty of events, and musical styles, to choose from. Expect to be on the move, since this festival utilizes more than 40 different venues. Genres blend here, with dance, music, theater and the visual arts mixed together. Check the website to make a plan.

David Hayes, Music Director

The New York Choral Society Hear us now.

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TICKETS: $15 per person at the door or through Brown Paper Tickets at: www.nychoral.org/pages/summer-sings Visit NYCHORAL.org for additional information.

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OurTownNY.com This annual Pride March mixes celebration with political activism. Photo: Elvert Barnes, via ickr


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MOVIES

On big screens, a wide selection

The patio at Ardesia Wine Bar awaits visitors to Hell’s Kitchen this summer. Photo: Daniel Krieger

EATS AND DRINKS Indulging in the tastes of summer ARDESIA WINE BAR The staff of Film Forum eagerly awaits its renovation, currently underway. Photo: Jorge Torres

OUTSIDE FLICKS Movie nights at Bryant Park Free June 18 through August 20, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. bryantpark.org/programs/movie-nights How many of us have enjoyed food, friends and films in this midtown setting over the years? Snacks, dinner and drinks are also part of the scene, which begins when the lawn opens on Monday nights at 5 p.m. Check the website for the movie lineup, expected soon, and the rules (no dogs on the lawn, for instance).

FILM FORUM: COME BACK SOON “Rendez-vous in July” Tickets: $15 ($9 for members) This summer, after theater reopens Film Forum 209 West Houston Street filmforum.org The theater’s under construction, and the official word on the anticipated return — “reopening this summer” — is a tiny bit vague. But

those who love heading to Houston Street for their film fix have no choice but to be patient. The renovations will bring about a fourth screen, new seating and an anticipated $6 million worth of improvements. Not bad for a singular film institution, which began with 50 folding chairs almost 50 years ago. Up first after the reopening: Jacques Becker’s “Rendez-vous in July,” part of a 15-film festival dedicated to Becker’s work.

MOMA MOVIE MAGIC “Modern Matinees: Hitchcock/Truffaut” Through June 29 Tickets: $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $8 with student ID 11 West 53rd Street moma.org/calendar/film You could spend Independence Day with “Psycho,” thanks to the Museum of Modern Art’s latest celebration of the works from filmmakers Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut. Others in the series, which runs throughout June: “Rear Window,” “To Catch a Thief” and “Jules and Jim.”

510 West 52nd Street ardesia-ny.com Wine, beer, cocktails and small plates mix ably at Ardesia Wine Bar, between 10th and 11th Avenues. During the summer months the backyard patio makes a big impression on visitors, who seem to be streaming to Hell’s Kitchen as the far West Side becomes a key hot spot in our city. The wine list here has more than 10 options by the glass and more than 100 by the bottle. The special summer menu will be heavy on the rosé.

HUNGRY FOR DIVERSITY Taste of Jewish Culture Street Festival Free June 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sixth Avenue, between 48th and 49th streets circle.org/event/taste-jewish-culture-streetfestival/ Ben’s Kosher Deli, a premiere New York dining

experience, is the headliner at this annual event. The theme this year is from the Workmen’s Circle, which presents the event: “Diversity is Delicious.” Expect proof at this mashup, which includes nonJewish establishments putting their best Jewish spin on traditional dishes. Since it’s Father’s Day, the plan is for dads to get a free egg cream. Family-friendly activities, dancing and musical performances round out the day.

OLD MARKET, NEW FESTIVAL Fairway Food Festival $5 The Armory, 216 Fort Washington Ave. fairwaymarket.com/foodfestival/ The Upper West Side mainstay made news by going to the East Side — and beyond the city. Now the market’s hosting a big event uptown. Signature sandwiches, pastries, cheeses, chips and snacks are all on the menu, as Fairway joins the parade of food festivals for the first time.

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Fairway, embodied by its Upper West Side store, will make an impression uptown — way uptown — at its first-ever summer food festival. Photo: Teri Tynes, via flickr


JUNE 7-13,2018

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KARPOFF AFFILIATES 4FOJPS.PWF.BOBHFSt3FBM&TUBUF#SPLFS KARPOFF AFFILIATES is your single stop for senior life transitions and real estate brokerage needs. tIf you or your family member needs to renovate their existing home to allow them to BHFJOQMBDFPSJTMPPLJOHUPEPXOTJ[F XFDBOIFMQ t*GZPVXBOUUPNPWF XFDBOTFMMZPVSIPNF BTTJTUXJUIQBDLJOH PWFSTFFQSPGFTTJPOBM NPWFSTBOEQSPWJEFTVQQPSUUPSFEVDFTUSFTT8FXJMMNPWFZPVPVUPGTUBUFPSCBDLUP /FX:PSL*GZPVBSFMPPLJOHGPSBOBTTJTUFEMJWJOHSFTJEFODF XFDBOIFMQ t*GZPVIBWFMPTUTPNFPOF XFXJMMPSHBOJ[FBOEBTTFTTJUFNTMFGUJOUIFIPNFBOEmOEB buyer for the residence in order to lessen the hardship during this difďŹ cult time. t Karpoff AfďŹ liates created the signature service Moving On NYC to address these needs. 8FIFMQNBOBHFFWFSZEFUBJM DPOOFDUJOHXJUIBUUPSOFZT FTUBUFHVBSEJBOT TPDJBMXPSLers and caregivers. You will deal with one person from start to ďŹ nish. t8FSVOUBHBOEFTUBUFTBMFTBOEQSPWJEFBQQSBJTBMTGPSKFXFMSZ FTUBUFTBOEmOFBOtiques. We also offer total auction services.

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Marilyn Karpoff Founder & CEO Heather Lind and Chukwudi Iwuji in “Othello.� Photo: Joan Marcus for Public Theater

THEATER AND DANCE Some city stages never go dark ‘OTHELLO’ RETURNS

MOVING MOVEMENTS

Shakespeare in the Park Free Through June 24 Delacorte Theatre, Central Park publictheater.org/Free-Shakespeare-in-the-Park For the ďŹ rst time since 1991, “Othelloâ€? is back this summer in Central Park. Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson is directing the classic Shakespearean drama. Expect a lush, romantic and violent evening the park — and that’s just the beginning, because a second show, “Twelfth Night,â€? opens on July 17 and runs through Aug. 19.

Battery Dance Festival Free Aug. 12 to 17, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Robert F. Wagner Park in Battery Park City. Closing, ticketed event: Aug. 18, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Schimmel Center at Pace University. Tickets for this night are available beginning Aug. 1. batterydance.org/battery-dance-festival Established back in 1982, the Battery Dance Festival is the city’s longest-running free public dance festival. An expected audience of more than 12,000 people this year will greet dancers from New York City, along with talents from Botswana, Canada, Gabon, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Spain, Turkey and a collection of India’s greatest Kathak dancers. Jonathan Hollander, artistic director of Battery Dance, says, “Having the opportunity to perform and teach around the world, it is only natural that we would bring back to our home in lower Manhattan the amazing treasures we discover overseas.�

‘PRETTY’ KARL ON STAGE ‘Pretty Woman’ on Broadway Tickets: from $99 Nederlander Theatre 208 West 41st Street telecharge.com You’re wary of Broadway versions of old movies? Of course you are. It’s a sign you’re a New Yorker. But your out-of-town relatives and pals might want to know the Broadway summer news: “Pretty Woman� begins previews July 20. At least the heralded Andy Karl, who overcame injury to become a Tony-nominated phenom in last season’s “Groundhog Day,� has recently been added to the cast. Samantha Barks has the Julia Roberts part.

FABULOUS FIDDER “Fiddler on the Roof� at The National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene $52 and up July 4 though Aug. 26 Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place, Manhattan nytf.org Oscar- and Tony-winner Joel Grey gets the directing credit for a highly-anticipated new production of “Fiddler on the Roof.� The show’s in Yiddish, with English and Russian supertitles. The emotions will be universal, if “Fiddler� stays true to form.

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Bill de Blasio Mayor Department for the Aging

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KIDS

A city full of adventure, for children and their caretakers COOLING OFF Sprinkler Day at Asphalt Green Free July 21 and August 10, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Athletic ďŹ eld at 555 East 90th St., New York, NY 10128 asphaltgreen.org If hot weather’s back, then the kids will need another Sprinkler Day at Asphalt Green. Luckily, there are two slated for this summer — opportunities for youngsters to enjoy free outdoor play in high-powered sprinklers. And there’s even another treat: a free frozen dessert on the way out.

WHERE CREATIVITY COUNTS “Art, Artists & You� exhibit Children and adults: $14. Seniors: $11. June 2 through Dec. 31, 2018 Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd Street cmom.org The art exhibit goes interactive in “Art, Artists & You,� a new experience that might just liven up the family summer. Running through the end of the year, the part-exhibit, part-art-studio event

The New-York Historical Society DiMenna Children’s History Museum awaits summertime visitors.

draws on the talent of four artists who will be in residence during the show. On hand this year: Sara Jimenez (assemblage/collage), Deborah Morris (ďŹ ber arts), Ezra Wube (technology/new media), and Yeon Ji Yoo (paper).

Stay cool this summer with

HISTORY COMES ALIVE “Independence Day: Freedoms and Food in WWII� Free museum admission for visitors under 17 Wednesday, July 4, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. DiMenna Children’s History Museum, NewYork Historical Society 170 Central Park West nyhistory.org/childrens-museum To mark its exhibit “Rockwell, Roosevelt and the Four Freedoms,� the society celebrates July 4 with an immersive family event. Activities will emphasize the freedoms cherished, the daily lives of soldiers and food — for soldiers and on the home front. All that history and a treat too: all visitors will get M&Ms!

HIGH LINE HAPPENINGS

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Family Festival Free June 30, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. On the High Line between 15th and 16th Streets thehighline.org/activities/go-it-s-a-familyfestival

A chance to RSVP and a list of events for the family-oriented fun are listed on the High Line’s website. Expect art, storytelling and hands-on experiences during the event, which will be held rain or shine. And you should expect a little New York sparkle too, since Drag Queen Story Hour is on the agenda.

TENNIS, ANYONE? Tennis, golf and varietal day camps for ages 4 through 17 Tennis Club of Riverdale Cost: As low as $725 a week. 2600 Netherland Avenue, Bronx, N.Y. tcr-nyc.com Door-to-door transport is a convenience that Manhattan parents appreciate when they sign their kids up for day camps at the Tennis Club of Riverdale (TCR). Tennis camp includes airconditioned tennis instruction. There are other options available at TCR, where there’s a multisport approach and costs get less expensive the more weeks you sign up for.

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MUSIC

The sweet sounds of summer

June 11, “Yiddish Under the Stars” on June 13, Oh Wonder on July 9, Alonzo King Lines Ballet on July 25. That’s a taste of what plays out — and plays to eager crowds — in Central Park, and keep in mind that SummerStage is not a Manhattan-only affair. Parks throughout the five boroughs play host to other SummerStage events.

SWINGING AT THE CENTER SUMMER GROOVES Jazz in July Tickets: $35-$85 92nd Street Y 1395 Lexington Avenue 92y.org/events The “Crazy Rhythm/Prohibition” concert, featuring the stylings of vocalist Mary Stallings, kicks off “Jazz in July,” a six-part series at the 92nd Street Y. The Y recently unveiled a $180 million, top-to-bottom renovation plan. Investing in the facility’s future is good news for jazz fans, who look to Kaufmann Concert Hall as a key spot to visit during the summertime.

ECLECTIC LINEUP

“Yiddish Under the Stars,” a free concert, will take place on June 13 at SummerStage in Central Park. Photo courtesy of NYTF

SummerStage Free June 2 through Sept. 27 East 71st and Fifth Avenue in Central Park cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage/ SummerStage, a mainstage and a mainstay of a New Yorker’s summer, isn’t just a good idea for a night out. It’s also eclectic. Look at the styles reflected in this summer’s lineup: The Metropolitan Opera summer recital series on

Midsummer Night Swing Free June 26 through July 15 Advance tickets start at $17. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts lincolncenter.org/midsummer-night-swing That iconic social dance party is back, for 15 nights this summer. The swing event features outdoor dance lessons, live performances and tributes to the histories of swing, mambo, salsa, blues and much more. This is an event for both newcomers and dance pros.

RAINBOW MUSIC Pride at the Whitney Free with advance registration June 15, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. whitney.org The Whitney marks Pride with a special performance by artist NIC Kay. The topic is love, and the work considers RuPaul’s well-known question about how people can love others if they don’t love themselves. Hosted in collaboration with Discwoman, the evening also will feature a DJ set that’s inspired by the Meatpacking District’s rich queer history — and current exhibitions that are on display at the Whitney.

©2018 VNSNY


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JUNE 7-13,2018

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NEIGHBORHOOD’S BEST To place an ad in this directory, Call Douglas at 212-868-0190 ext. 352.

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SENIORS For longtime New Yorkers, a season to get out and get going CELEBRATING CULTURE

PARKS ARE THE PLACE

Intercultural Festival Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, 343 East 70th Street July 23 through 27 lenoxhill.org At the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, they’re still ďŹ nalizing plans for their fourth center-wide intercultural festival. Highlighting and celebrating the mix of cultures on display at the center, this year’s showcase will include performances by members, volunteers and guest presenters. On tap: a Balinese dance demonstration, expo-style information tables and a panel discussion on cultural traditions. Attendance is free, although visitors must register as members (that’s free and open to New York City residents) to participate.

Tennis, yoga and walking Free; online registration Weekdays throughout city CityParksFoundation.org The spring season of free yoga, tennis and ďŹ tness walking instruction continues in city parks through June 15. The City Parks Foundation welcomes New Yorkers 60 and older to the CityParks Senior Fitness program, an initiative playing out in Carl Schurz Park (walking on Mondays and Fridays, yoga on Tuesdays and Thursday) and in Central Park (tennis on Friday afternoons). Check online for details on the program, which began in 2006 and has served more than 10,000 participants.

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A fashion show during an intercultural festival shows how the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House celebrates diversity.


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On June 30, circus acts are among the fun slated for the annual “Family Fun Festival” at the FDR Library in Hyde Park. Photo: FDR Presidential Library

ROAD TRIPS Overnight jaunts worth taking

DAY TRIPS

OOut off the h city, andd into a new adventure d Sagamore Hill is worth a visit to Oyster Bay, Long Island. Photo: Sue Manus, via flickr

CLASSICAL — AND MORE Caramoor summer season opening night Tickets: $45 to $110 June 16 149 Girdle Ridge Road, Katonah, N.Y. caramoor.org Tony-winner Audra McDonald kicks the summer off at Caramoor’s opening night concert. And it should be an interesting summer, one that runs through July 27 and is the first since the departure of longtime bel canto expert Will Crutchfield. He’s taking his expertise to Purchase College, while at Caramoor the schedule in a bucolic session includes appearances by Kronos Quartet, the Jasper Spring Quartet and a jazz festival on July 21. It’s a dizzying mix, and even a short drive here takes you into a new world.

STATEN ISLAND’S GIFTS Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden snug-harbor.org Instead of making fun of Staten Island, try visiting. The Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden would be a treasure for any borough — and it’s well worth a day trip from

Manhattan. It’s more than one place, and there’s more than one way to visit. History, art, architecture and horticulture all get attention at Snug Harbor. Only two attractions, the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art and the lovely New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, have admission fees. Every Saturday from June through September, you can take a 90-minute tour that gives you a sense of all there is to offer in this multifaceted part of your city.

HILL OF A PLACE Sagamore Hill National Historic Site Oyster Bay, Long Island nps.gov/sahi/index.htm Anyone who thinks history is dull hasn’t been to Sagamore Hill — or heard of the 26th President of the U.S. either. Visit Theodore Roosevelt’s “Summer White House,” where individual tour tickets are required, cost $10 (children 15 and under are free) and are well worth the investment. Almost all of the home furnishings are original, making this seem like a step back to another era, one where a Republican president pushed a progressive agenda. You can see why foreign dignitaries were happy to visit here.

OCEAN RESORT CASINO

BANK ON IT

Opens June 28 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, N.J. theoceanac.com Atlantic City keeps reinventing itself, and now there’s a brand-new perch from which to explore. The old Revel hotel, a high-profile effort to create buzz in Atlantic City, declared bankruptcy and went into history. Now the site has a new spot, Ocean Resort Casino, which already netted gossip-page headlines because Mark Wahlberg invested in HQ, the hotel’s nightclub. Expect more attention at the new resort — opening later this month. At Ocean Resort Casino, they’re advertising suite accommodations, deep soaking tubs and stunning views.

Red Bank, New Jersey visitredbank.com Charming without being claustrophobic, Red Bank, N.J. offers a visiting New Yorker a compelling mix of culture and relaxation. The downtown is a vibrant mix of shops and restaurants, and there’s an array of events throughout the year, from jazz and movies in the park to a sidewalk sale and an oyster festival. You might use the Federal-style Molly Pitcher Inn on the waterfront as your headquarters for a night or two. Nearby, the Count Basie Center for the Arts draws diverse acts even in the summertime, as when Leslie Odom Jr. appears later this month.

HYDE PARK HISTORY ‘Family Fun Festival’ Free June 30, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum Hyde Park, N.Y. fdrlibrary.org There’s as fresh reason to visit the richly historic and relaxing hamlet of Hyde Park, N.Y, where the Democratic Roosevelt is remembered. Later this month, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site will join for their third annual “Family Fun Festival.” It’s on the library’s lawn and the grounds of the home. Activities will include a bird walk, circus acts, a live radio broadcast and radio activities. The festival’s free — and so is your visit that day to the library and the home.

A DIFFERENT DOWNTOWN Wilmington, Delaware visitwilmingtonde.com delart.org Amtrak isn’t just for getting from Penn Station north to Boston or south to D.C. Try getting off at one of those other stops — and you might be surprised what you’ll find. In Wilmington, Delaware, for instance, there’s old-school elegance at the Hotel du Pont, a walkable and historic downtown, food galore, and a renovated waterfront. Coming June 30 at the Delaware Art Museum, visitors can gain new understanding with a new exhibit, “Danny Lyon: Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement.” Sometimes city dwellers need a vacation not at the beach, but in a different downtown — and this small city has a pace and personality all its own.


Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

HEALTH AND WELLNESS Exercising your right to finding better health — and inspiration Summer Streets Aug. 4, 11 and 18, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free nyc.gov/summerstreets The city seeks artists, performers and ďŹ tness experts as part of its Summer Streets event, where participants enjoy a car-free environment. On three special Saturday mornings, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park, the streets feel especially welcoming. There’s walking, biking, running and, well, just enjoying. The event extends along Park Avenue and connecting streets, with easy access from all points in New York City.

6 p.m. to 7 p.m. South Public Plaza, Flatiron District atirondistrict.nyc/summer2018 The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District doesn’t seem to take the summer off. There are free tech classes, performances — and enough free ďŹ tness classes to keep you in shape for summer. The classes will be taught by instructors from local studios, including Exhale Flatiron, Uplift Studios, Bode NYC, New York Health & Racquet Club, and Tiger Schulmann. Check online for the details about which class is on which date. No July 4 class is slated.

THEY TEACH, YOU DANCE

VACATION VOLUNTEERS

WHEN WALKERS RULE

Alvin Ailey Extension classes The Joan Weill Center for Dance, 405 West 55th Street One free class for newcomers; intro offer — two classes for $38. June 14-23 aileyextension.com/ncdanceweek Alvin Ailey is inviting you to dance. The dance organization, heading into its 60th year, has an ongoing initiative emphasizing “real classes for real people.� It’s called Alvin Ailey Extension, and it’s been around since 2005. This month more than 30 classes will be offered at the Ailey Studios to celebrate NYC Dance Week, which begins June 14. New students can take a free class; subsequent classes require payment. Check out the online calendar for details, and get ready to put some movement in your summer. If you’re more interested in watching others dance, see alvinailey.org for details about the dance theater’s summer season at Lincoln Center.

FLATIRON-STYLE FITNESS Wellness Wednesdays Free Summer Wednesdays, June 20 through Aug.8

When summertime is a time to give back and do good Woodstock Farm Sanctuary 2 Rescue Road, High Falls, N.Y. woodstocksanctuary.org On Saturdays and Sundays, you can tour this animal sanctuary (suggested donation is $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors). It’s 60 to 75 minutes and gives you an inside look at a place that’s saving more than 400 animals. Or you can go one better — volunteer to help those animals yourself. There’s a three-hour minimum, and plenty of opportunity given the daily six-hour opportunity to assist. “The animals poop 365 days a year,â€? reports Todd Friedman, an animal caretaker and volunteer coordinator at the sanctuary. He started as a volunteer himself. Now he coordinates groups of helpings, who come from many different walks of life. Educational institutions, businesses, offices — all come up with teams who stack hay and clean pig stalls and clear ďŹ elds and coops. “It’s a team-building thing,â€? he says. “We have a ton of schools that come.â€? There’s a contact form on the sanctuary’s website, where you can ďŹ nd out more about how to assist at the successful sanctuary. The 160-acre operation is in High Falls, 25 miles from Woodstock.

Animal caretaker Todd Friedman helps out a beneďŹ ciary of the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. Photo: Melissa Cacioppo

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JUNE 7-13,2018

Celebrate Summer in the City! From rooftop bars to al fresco dining… From cool boutiques to hot deals… From air-conditioned theaters to open air gardens…

East Midtown Manhattan Is Your Destination of Choice All Summer Long anhattan’s

Visit us at www.EastMidtown.org And start planning your Summer in the City! 875 Third Avenue, Mezzanine, New York, NY 10022 212-813-0030


JUNE 7-13,2018

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Your Neighborhood News Source

BEYOND BROADWAY - EAST SIDE The #1 online community for NYC theater:

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A comic drama about an ordinary man and his attempts to secure a small bank loan.

Archeology, philosophy, and history collide in this play inspired by ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.’

An adaptation of Henry James’s 1903 novella, fusing dance and drama, in a tale of love and loss.

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First major NYC revival of Oscar Hammerstein II’s adaptation of Bizet’s ‘Carmen,’ reset with an African-American cast.

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A group of former students return to Harlem after the death of a beloved teacher in this brash and dark comedy.

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A new comic take on ‘Richard III,’ which reimagines the famous king as a 16-year-old outsider in the deepest winter of his discontent.

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A timely look at the changes a community endures through the story of a trumpeter and club owner.

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JUNE 7-13,2018

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MAYOR’S SCHOOL DESEGREGATION PUSH CONTINUES EDUCATION Plan would set aside additional seats at elite institutions for students from high-poverty schools BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

In a bid to increase diversity at the city’s top public high schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to jettison a highstakes single-exam entrance system that some have suggested works to exclude black and Latino students. Eight of the city’s nine elite specialized high schools — among the most competitive and prestigious public schools in the country — determine which students receive coveted offers of admission based on a single factor: scores on the Specialized High School Admissions Test, a three-hour standardized exam that all applicants must take. The single-test system, mandated since 1971 under state law, has produced a student body at specialized high schools that bears little resemblance to the demographics of the public school system as a whole. Black or Latino students make up 70 percent of New York City’s public school population, but comprise just 10 percent of the student body at specialized high schools. At Stuyvesant High School, the incoming freshman class of more than 900 includes just 10 black students. “Basically for thousands and thousands of students and neighborhoods all over New York City, the message has been these specialized schools

Mayor Bill de Blasio detailed a major overhaul of the admissions process for New York City’s specialized high schools at J.H.S. 292 in Brooklyn June 3. Photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office aren’t for you,” de Blasio said at a June 3 press conference in Brooklyn announcing the proposal. The city aims to begin addressing the disparity immediately by expanding an initiative known as the Discovery program that provides a path to admission at specialized high schools for low-income students who score just below the cutoff score on the admissions test. According to Department of Education projections, the expansion would boost the proportion of specialized high school admissions offers to black and Latino students from nine to 16 percent. The second, and potentially more impactful aspect of de Blasio’s twopart proposal calls for the wholesale elimination of the Specialized High School Admissions Test, a step that

would require action from the state Legislature. Under the plan, the single-test criterion would be phased out over three years and replaced with a new admissions metric evaluating students based on course grades and state standardized test scores. Currently, students from a handful of top middle schools account for an inordinate number of offers to specialized high schools. The mayor’s plan would extend offers to the top 7 percent of students from each middle school in the city. Ultimately, full implementation of the plan would result in 45 percent of offers going to black and Latino students, the city projects, as compared to 9 percent currently. The mayor invoked the example of admissions to elite universities in making his case for the unfairness

of single test admissions, a system in which some students have the resources to afford expensive test preparation books and classes and others do not, saying, “there is no great college in America that chooses its students based on a single standardized test” “It doesn’t matter if you’re having a good day, a bad day, if you’re sick, if you’re not sick,” de Blasio said. “You get one shot only for three hours that determines your future. Nothing could be more insane than that.” Legislation to end the test has been introduced in Albany, but its prospects in the current legislative session, which ends this month, are unclear. Though some legal experts believe that under state law the city could immediately eliminate the Specialized High School Admissions Test in five of the eight specialized high schools that use it, de Blasio explained that his administration is of the opinion that “the law right now isn’t clear on this issue and the best way to win is to go change the law.” Two of the schools that would be impacted by the plan are in Manhattan: Stuyvesant High School in Battery Park City and High School for Math, Science and Engineering in Hamilton Heights. (The borough’s third specialized high school, LaGuardia High School on the Upper West Side, does not use the test and would not be impacted by the changes.) The plan to bolster diversity in the city’s highest-profile public schools is the latest effort in a broader push to end segregation in the New York City school system, which is among the

most segregated in the nation. Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza, who took office in April, has criticized admissions screening in public schools and took an early and visible role in championing a plan to increase diversity in Upper West Side middle schools. Carranza drew on his experience as a teacher in critiquing the current single-test admissions model at the June 3 press conference, saying, “very often the students with the grit, the students with the tenacity, the students with leadership skills weren’t always my best test-takers, yet when given the opportunity to demonstrate those skills, when given the opportunity to actually act and be the leaders that they could be, they blossomed.” The announcement was met with opposition from several specialized high school alumni groups as well as some Asian students (who along with whites receive an outsized proportion of admissions offers to specialized high school), but a number of education groups and local elected leaders voiced support for the mayor’s initiative. Helen Rosenthal, who has been a vocal proponent of ending public school segregation in the Upper West Side district she represents in the City Council, praised the mayor’s effort in an emailed statement, saying, “There will never be equality of opportunity for every New York City child as long as admissions criteria are based on one test alone, when privately paid test prep is pervasive among families who can afford it. The current system only reinforces the deep socio-economic disparities that exist in our society.”

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS MAY 23 - 29, 2018

KFC

1774 Lexington Ave

Grade Pending (27) Hot food item that has been cooked and refrigerated is being held for service without first being reheated to 1 65º F or above within 2 hours. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food prepared from ingredients at ambient temperature not cooled to 41º F or below within 4 hours. Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared.

New Dragon Town of Manhattan

2030 3 Avenue

A

118 Kitchen

1 E 118th St

A

Subway

1885 3 Avenue

A

Love Cafe

283 Pleasant Avenue

A

Maoz Vegetarian

0 106 Street & 5 Ave

Grade Pending (20) 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.

Piatto D’oro

347 E 109th St

Not Yet Graded (50) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. No facilities available to wash, rinse and sanitize utensils and/or equipment. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Made in Mexico

247 E 111th St

A

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. La Pulperia

1626 2nd Ave

Grade Pending (26) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Chicky’s On 86

355 E 86th St

A

Starbucks

1378 Madison Avenue A

The District

1679 3 Avenue

A

Subway

455 East 116 Street

A

Amor Cubano

2018 3 Avenue

A

El Paso Taqueria

1643 Lexington Ave

A

Lechonera Tropical & Grill

172 East 103 Street

A

Harley’s Smoke Shack

355 East 116 Street

A

Subway

1392 Madison Avenue A


JUNE 7-13,2018

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JUNE 7-13,2018

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COVER TO COVER AT BOOK EXPO From Potterheads to literary professionals, 6 rules for mastering NYC’s biggest publishing event BY ALIZAH SALARIO

The first rule of Book Expo America is to bring a suitcase. Preferably one on wheels that’s suited to stacking advanced reader copies (ARCs) and bookish swag. Otherwise, prepare to spend hours walking around the Javits Center with bulging canvas totes weighing down each shoulder like saddle bags. It’s a real amateur look. Book Expo America (BEA), and its slightly wilder sister event BookCon, are the biggest publishing events in North America. Every year in late May and early June, publishers, authors, booksellers, literary agents, librarians and book bloggers descend upon the Javits Center to talk shop, get a sneak peek at upcoming titles and glean wisdom from their favorite authors. Like any other industry-specific conference, BEA is about making pro-

fessional connections, and of course it’s hard work for the many exhibitors and panelists. For the canvas tote set, it also serves as a literary amusement park, where book lovers can nerd out without judgment. Which brings us to the second rule of BEA: beware the superfans. Potterheads clamored to snap photos of the new 20th anniversary editions of all seven Harry Potter books, featuring stunning cover art by Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book illustrator Brian Selznick. When placed side by side, the covers form a panoramic view that depicts Harry’s journey throughout the series. A line running the entire length of a Javits Center aisle buzzed with excitement; many in line sported pastel hair and glittery nail polish. “The Wicked King” by bestselling YA author Holly Black was dropping right then and there; distributors handed out the new title like hotcakes. Take note, superfans: really big names can’t be found on the conference floor. Their events gener-

A section of the “Share the book that changed your life” wall. Photo: Alizah Salario

Business

Book Expo attendees waiting in line for a signature from “Potato Pants” author Laurie Keller. Photo: Alizah Salario ally require tickets, like the discussion between former President Bill Clinton and author James Patterson about collaborating on their forthcoming novel “The President is Missing.” Fans may have the inside scoop on book signings and releases, but one need only wander the aisles to catch the buzz. Another line snaking around the corner led this reporter to discover “Potato Pants,” a heartwarming tale about a potato and his eggplant nemesis by Geisel-Award winning creator Laurie Keller, and “Rebound” by poet and children’s fiction author Kwame Alexander, who looked unperturbed by the long line awaiting his autograph. “For a first time author, it’s terrifying and delightful,” says Heather Kim, who was signing copies of her quirky cookbook “Sweet Revenge: PassiveAggressive Desserts for Your Exes & Enemies.” Kim, who had sleeves of tattoos that crept up to her neck, said that as a heavily tattooed cookbook author, she had received both kind and questionable remarks. That’s case-in-point for BEA rule number three: Don’t be a genre snob. Part of the joy of BEA is the exposure to different genres and authors. Seeing what small presses outside of New York are churning out is refreshing,

particularly for those saturated in the hierarchical and exclusive New York publishing scene. That being said, don’t forget that BEA is in Manhattan for a reason, so stay loyal to your city. (Rule four). Local booksellers like Housing Works made their presence known with their version of “blind date” books. The mystery titles were wrapped in brown paper with cryptic faux titles like “Sometimes the path to success is incredibly convoluted” written in marker. Publishers were promoting New York-centric titles for fall, including two books about growing up in the 1970s and ‘80s Manhattan. Readers, keep an eye out for Amanda Stern’s memoir “Little Panic: Dispatches from an Anxious Life,” and John Fried’s collection of intertwining short stories about coming-of-age, “The Martin Chronicles.” Rule five may come as a bit of a surprise, but it dovetails with 2018’s “The Reimagined Book Expo” theme. Barnes & Noble chairman Len Riggio delivered the keynote address and was introduced Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association. On the face of it, an alliance between the independent bookstore community and the nation’s corporate bookstore behemoth might seem unholy, but

the message was clear: there’s room for both in our current bookselling ecosystem. “There could never be too many bookstores of any type in America,” said Riggio, as previously reported by Publisher’s Weekly. He reminded booksellers to be nimble in the face of change (change being driven by Amazon). Did we learn nothing from “You’ve Got Mail?” Indies and Barnes & Noble can peacefully coexist. Yes, publishing is big business, and BEA helps many a publishing professional turn a dollar, but reading books? That’s still — yes, still — about hope and wonder. That’s rule six, and the message of the Children’s Books and Authors breakfast led by Jaqueline Woodson, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The panel included Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis, whose upcoming picture book “Cordury Takes a Bow,” came from a desire to put her daughter into the stories she read, so that she and other African-American girls could see themselves on the page. Davis spoke about the important work of artists and writers. “We are the truth tellers,” said Davis. “We cannot afford to let 75 manuscripts go unfinished. We are the warriors.”


JUNE 7-13,2018

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YOUR 15 MINUTES

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A DANCER COMES FULL CIRCLE An Alvin Ailey alum lends her talents to SummerStage BY ANGELA BARBUTI

When performed at SummerStage over two decades ago, Danni Gee never imagined that she would one day be at its helm. A former dancer with Alvin Ailey, she has been the curator of dance for the series, the biggest free outdoor performing arts festival in New York, since 2006. The southwest Philadelphia native came to New York in 1991 to dance with Ailey, but her life an injury curtailed her own dancing career. Also a talented vocalist, she went on to sing with Sister Sledge, Gloria Gaynor and Cher, and later led her own band. She returned to the dance world when a longtime friend and SummerStage’s former director of theater asked her to interview for the curator role. Since her involvement, SummerStage’s dance program has grown, which she credits to her experience at Ailey and relationships with former dancers. “All of the dance shows always look like a big family reunion,” Gee explained. “The park is filled with dancers coming out to see their colleagues. It’s been a really rewarding experience to be on this side of it ... and gives me great pleasure to now give dance back to the people and artists.”

What was it like when you first got to the city? It was definitely a different pace. Just even walking down the street and the speed at which people walk and bump into you. I spent a lot of time saying, “Excuse me” to people, which didn’t seem to matter. But it was very exciting; it was very busy and fast-paced. The subways were a little intimidating, but once I got the hang of that, it was fine. It just seemed like there was always something going on. It was a very late-night city, which I appreciate because I am a night owl.

What can you tell us about dancing at Alvin Ailey? It was a dream come true. It was very top notch ... just being in a company filled with such amazing performers and people who I had admired for so long luckily were still in the company when I joined. People like Desmond Richardson, Sarita Allen, Renee Robinson, Marilyn Banks.... I really felt like I made it to the big time and there were different rules. Alvin Ailey is a union company so all the rules are in place to protect us in terms of 10-minute breaks every hour during rehearsals. It was a different ballgame, a step up. And of course, the travel. At the time, when I was dancing with Philadanco, previously, at that point, we weren’t doing any international travel. And so, my first experience traveling overseas

was with Ailey. My first actual show was in Athens. So after I was told that I got the job, the company manager called me and his first question was, “Do you have a passport?” And at that time I didn’t, so that was the first thing I needed to get done besides sign my contract.

You sustained an injury that led you to stop your dance career, but then you pursued singing. Yeah, it was crazy. I mean, I had always done some singing as a child in church and throughout high school and even during the time I was in Ailey. There were several of us in the company who loved to sing and when we were on tour, we’d find these open mics to go to. After I left dancing, I wasn’t sure quite what I was going to do. I sort of dibbled and dabbled a little bit in music, moved back to Philadelphia, and ended up meeting this producer through a mutual friend there. He was looking for a vocalist to record vocals on a demo he was creating and I agreed to do it. And he said to me, “You have a really great voice; you should pursue this.”

Tell us about collaborating with Kathy Sledge. I reconnected with a member of Sister Sledge, Kathy Sledge, who was the youngest sister of the famous group. And prior to me joining Ailey, I had

Danni Gee, curator of dance for SummerStage. Photo: Sylvain Guenot worked with her just as a background dancer. So I moved back to Philly. She found out that I was back in town and I started working with her again just as a dancer, doing some simple dance moves. And one day she heard me singing backstage, working out some songs for myself. She didn’t realize I could sing as well. And so she then took me on the road with her and her sisters to fill in when all the sisters couldn’t be there together. So I started singing as quote unquote Baby Sledge for about six or seven years. I got my confidence up; I started my own band, Suga Bush, in New York.

What was it like to sing with Gloria Gaynor and Cher?

Since Danni Gee joined SummerStage as curator of dance in 2006, the series’ dance program has grown. Pictured: Brazilain soul band Liniker e os Caramelows perform at Brasil Summerfest at Central Park SummerStage August 5, 2017. Photo: Jack Vartoogian/ FrontRowPhotos

These are disco music icons and top notch professionals, really. From working with Kathy Sledge, we were on this throwback tour that included Gloria Gaynor. So I met her, she liked my energy and later on, asked if I could work with her and it was wonderful. I toured with her for four years. And Cher came out of, honestly, meeting someone on Facebook, another backing vocalist, and sharing conversations and experiences. She was already working with Cher and gave my information to Cher’s management. When Cher was out in Las Vegas doing her residency, this woman I met through Facebook had to go on another tour, so they called me. So I got to go to Las Vegas and work with Cher for six weeks. And she was amazing; she was super humble and professional. The show was amazing, sold out ev-

ery night, crazy fans. To go from Ailey, which was top of the food chain for me, then to work with somebody as incredible, famous and iconic as Cher, I can’t even understand it. It’s just the way the universe works.

Your job came about at SummerStage through a recommendation from a friend. Yeah, from our former director of theater, Freedome Bradley. We knew each other through the music and poetry scene when I moved back to New York. I had just gotten off of a tour with Kathy and he called me and said, “What are you up to these days?” And I said, “I’m looking for work.” And he mentioned that SummerStage was looking for a dance curator and that I should come and interview. I took a chance and luckily, our then-director took a chance on me. And she offered me the position. And I came in and was very honest with her that dance was my life for a very long time and I was passionate about it. And she called me the next day and I’ve been here ever since and love it. cityparksfoundation.org/summerstage

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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SUDOKU by Myles Mellor and Susan Flanagan

by Myles Mellor

R O

Eastsider 1

JUNE 7-13,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

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JUNE 7-13,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

CLASSIFIEDS HELP WANTED

Telephone: 212-868-0190 Email: classified2@strausnews.com

POLICY NOTICE: We make every effort to avoid mistakes in your classified ads. Check your ad the first week it runs. The publication will only accept responsibility for the first incorrect insertion. The publication assumes no financial responsibility for errors or omissions. We reserve the right to edit, reject, or re-classify any ad. Contact your sales rep directly for any copy changes. All classified ads are pre-paid.

NEED TO RUN A LEGAL NOTICE? Quick | Easy | Economical

Call Barry Lewis today at:

212-868-0190

MASSAGE

SITUATION WANTED

:HDUHDSURXGPHPEHURIWKH $VVRFLDWHG3UHVVDQGWKH 1DWLRQDO1HZVSDSHU$VVRFLDWLRQ

“IF ONLY SOMEONE WOULD CLEAN UP THIS PARK.”

BE THE SOMEONE. Every day, we think to ourselves that someone should really help make this city a better place. Visit newyorkcares.org to learn about the countless ways you can volunteer and make a difference in your community.

Cat New York Cares Volunteer

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

JUNE 7-13,2018

Garnet Wines & Liquors is proud to offer

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Coupon Code: VP30 *Regular Price MINIMUM DELIVERY ORDER $100.

Our Town - June 7, 2018  
Our Town - June 7, 2018  
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