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The local paper for the Upper East Side

WEEK OF JULY STUDIO ART ◄ P.12

5-11 2018

PERIL IN THE PARKS CITYSCAPE Amid the magnificence of Manhattan’s green spaces, there is also decay, dilapidation and deterioration, a new report finds BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

Legislation recently passed by the state Assembly would call for air qualitiy testing around marine transfer stations, such as the one being built near Asphalt Green in Yorkville, where hundreds of children take part in activities both indoors and out. Photo: Christina Cardona

AIR QUALITY BILL PASSES ASSEMBLY ENVIRONMENT Seawright legislation would compel state to monitor near waste transfer stations, including East 91st St. facility BY CHRISTINA CARDONA

State health authorities will be obliged to track air quality near waste transfer stations, such as the one on East 91st Street slated to open next year, according to legislation passed by the Assembly earlier this month. Assembly Member Rebecca Seaw-

right, who sponsored the bill, said air quality in the Yorkville neighborhood will be a critical concern when the transfer station, on the East River between 91st and 92nd Streets near the Isaacs-Holmes houses and the Asphalt Green sports facility, becomes operational. “Increased emissions through idling garbage trucks, boat discharge and the operation of a waste transfer station will negatively aggravate the already poor air quality on the Upper East Side,” Seawright said in a statement. “By requiring constant air monitoring and consultation with local elected officials and

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Riverside Park can be a paradise for West Side joggers — except for its uneven pathways, degraded trails, displaced treads on stone stairways and pavements ruptured by cracks and potholes. Corlears Hook Park can be a downtown oasis fanned by balmy breezes off the East River — until you need a comfort station. The facilities have been closed or non-functioning for two decades. DeWitt Clinton Park in Hell’s Kitchen can be a child’s fantasyland with a dog run, frog fountain and trio of concrete play mules, Pal, Gal and Sal — but forget about getting in from 12th Avenue. Its two dilapidated entry staircases have been shuttered and inaccessible for years. The East River Esplanade near Gracie Mansion can be a glorious place to watch the tugs, barges and pleasure boats – but you have to watch your feet, too. Sinkholes are common, and a chunk of the seawall last year collapsed into the water at 88th Street. Those were among the findings of an exhaustive new report released last week by the Center for an Urban Future documenting hundreds of examples of crumbling conditions, infrastructure failures and urgent, unmet needs at the city’s 1,485 parks, including the 282 in Manhattan. The think tank’s researchers cited inadequate or overdue maintenance, chronic and long-term underfunding and a cumbersome capital process for parks projects — all leading to sky-high costs and multi-year delays

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A stretch of the East River Esplanade behind Gracie Mansion is cordoned off after last year’s collapse of a chunk of the seawall along the waterfront pathway near 88th Street. Photo: Douglas Feiden

If we don’t catch up now, it will metastasize into an even bigger problem.” Eli Dvorkin of the Center for an Urban Future

in making the fixes, which in turns exacerbates a collapsing infrastructure. Bottom line: Horticulture dies, retaining walls disintegrate, drainage systems decay, recreation centers leak, bathrooms go without water, stairs vanish, benches are overturned, pathways are pockmarked, flooding is prevalent and puddles are deep, the report found. To be sure, Eli Dvorkin, managing editor of the research institute and one of the authors of “A New Leaf: Revitalizing New York City’s Aging Parks Infrastructure,” credits the de Blasio administration with upping investment, enlarging the central budget for repairs, adding staff for maintenance and taking a planning-oriented approach to grapple with future problems. “We give the administration full credit for finally investing in chroni-

cally underfunded parks after decades of underinvestment,” he said. But more can be done: “We’re going to have to double down on this commitment to parks, go beyond what we’ve already committed to — and make new efforts to tackle unsexy, unglamorous and often invisible infrastructure needs,” Dvorkin added.

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WHEN DINING IS TOO DARN LOUD HEALTH Why the Health Department should rate restaurant sound levels BY ARLINE L. BRONZAFT, PH.D.

Empty = quiet at Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square. Photo: Rayitno, via ickr

When a couple with two children and demanding jobs want to spend an evening together, they often decide to have dinner in a nearby restaurant where they can sit, talk and eat. When young people want to get to get to know the person they have just met online, they seek out a neighborhood restaurant where they can converse and become better acquainted. Two senior friends who have not seen each other for a while seek a restaurant which will allow them to have a good meal while catching up with each other’s recent activities. Lone diners also have complained to me about loud restaurants. In other words, according to Zagat and Consumer Reports: restaurants are just “too darn loud.� New York City has a noise code that attempts to lower the din of construction, air compressors and circulation devices and music from commercial establishments. But this code does not

address loudness inside restaurants. The City Health Department does rate restaurants on environmental issues such as temperature and cleanliness but not on sound, even though sound is an environmental issue. I strongly urge that ratings of restaurants include an assessment of sound levels to which diners and employees are exposed My long-term research and writings have focused on the adverse effects of loud sounds and noise on mental and physical health. Unquestionably, workers in loud, noisy restaurants, are in danger of suffering hearing impairment. Loud sounds and noise have also been linked to adverse mental and physical health effects; readers can go to www.growNYC.org/noise to learn more about the deleterious impacts of noise. The New York Times recently reported on several studies that link loud music with eating less healthy foods and softer music with healthier food choices. Further research on the relationship between sound levels and food choices are called for before we can affirmatively state that loud restaurants contribute to health issues like obesity. I will continue to follow the research in this area.

People who wish to eat their meals in restaurants that also permit them to converse with their fellow diners can do a Google search that directs them to sites listing quieter eateries. One site, Soundprint, provides information on restaurants and also lists an app which can, with some degree of accuracy, measure sound levels. You can then decide whether the restaurant you are dining in provides the “sound� atmosphere you are comfortable with. The goal of the Soundprint app is to satisfy people who are seeking dining experiences that focus both on food and conversation. If it becomes clear that people desire to have some quiet while dining, then restaurant owners will seek out ways to acoustically treat their establishments in ways that will lower the din. They may also attempt to keep the music lower as well. Restaurant owners care about meeting the needs of their customers and if lower sound levels are called for, I believe they will consider the sounds of their restaurants for their workers and their customers. It is time for restaurant owners. workers, diners and city officials to join together to lower the decibel levels within restaurants.

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CAR-SHARE COMPANIES GET PARKING SPOTS

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

TRANSPORTATION Zipcar, others renting spaces by the year in pilot program that frustrates some residents BY MICHAEL R. SISAK

In a city where parking spots can be as hard to come by as “Hamilton” tickets, residents are at odds over a new arrangement that’s taking away hundreds of public spaces and doling them out to companies that rent out cars by the hour. In the past few weeks, New York City began repurposing 230 curbside spaces for the exclusive use of Enterprise CarShare and Zipcar. Street signs warn interlopers against parking in them; violators are ticketed and towed. Another 55 spots in city-owned parking lots and 24 at public housing complexes also are being set aside for the companies. The two-year pilot program is pitting proponents of car sharing, who see it as an efficient alternative to car ownership, against car owners, who fear fewer spaces will force them to circle the block even more. “Parking is not an easy thing to find. Period,” said Jerry Armer, whose Cob-

Zipcars, as well as those from other car-share companies, will have access to hundreds of reserved city parking spaces under a pilot program. Photo: Jason Lawrence ble Hill, Brooklyn, neighborhood has seen 18 on-street spaces gobbled up for car sharing. In his neighborhood, at certain times of the day, it isn’t unusual to have to circle for 30 minutes for an open spot, only to wind up a half-mile from home. New Yorkers also deal with

the scourge of alternate-side-of-thestreet parking, which involves having to move your car once or twice a week to make way for street cleaners. The pilot program has elicited some grumbles over the price these for-profit companies are paying for exclusive use of these hard-to-get spots: almost

Year to Date

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2017

% Change

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0

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1

0

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Rape

0

0

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7

6

16.7

Robbery

2

2

0.0

76

63

20.6

Felony Assault

3

3

0.0

65

66

-1.5

Burglary

6

1

500.0

101

96

5.2

Grand Larceny

26

23

13.0

676 658 2.7

Grand Larceny Auto

4

1

300.0

23

nothing. Zipcar and Enterprise are each paying a one-time $765 fee for the curbside spots and $1,000 to $1,200 per year for each space in the city-owned lots. Residents of city-owned public housing also will receive discounts on car sharing services. Armer, a longtime member of a community board that acts as a liaison between residents and the city, said anxious neighbors have been peppering him with questions and complaints since the program was announced. New York’s foray into publicly endorsed car sharing comes as it grapples with increased traffic on its roads

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and the looming closure, for long-term repairs, of a subway line that shuttles 225,000 people between Manhattan and Brooklyn each day. Mayor Bill de Blasio pitched the city’s program last month as a way to ease congestion and cut pollution while expanding transportation options in a city where 56 percent of households do not own a car, according to a 2014 University of Michigan study, by far the most of any big city in the U.S. “If this works, we’re going to take it citywide in a very aggressive way,” said de Blasio, sitting under a banner that read, “More sharing, fewer cars.”


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POLICE NYPD 19th Precinct

JULY 5-11,2018

153 E. 67th St.

212-452-0600

159 E. 85th St.

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CITY COUNCIL Councilmember Keith Powers

211 E. 43rd St. #1205

212-818-0580

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212-860-1950

STATE LEGISLATORS State Sen. Jose M. Serrano

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212-828-5829

State Senator Liz Krueger

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Assembly Member Dan Quart

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Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright

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SUTTON TOWER GETS GREEN LIGHT BUILDINGS City rules in developer’s favor in appeal; local group vows to take case to court BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

An 800-foot-tall condominium tower is poised to rise on East 58th Street following a June 26 ruling by the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals to allow the project to move forward, but a local opposition group has vowed to continue its long-running fight to block the skyscraper in court. Work on Gamma Real Estate’s proposed 64-story tower at 430 East 58th St., a mid-block lot between First Avenue and Sutton Place, was temporarily stopped late last year following the City Council’s approval of a zoning change intended to prevent supertall developments in the Sutton Area neighborhood. Gamma brought its case to the Board of Standards and Appeals, the city agency responsible for reviewing land use determinations, arguing that construction on the 159-unit condo building should be allowed to proceed because its foundation was sub-

stantially complete when the rezoning was enacted last November. The Board of Standards and Appeals ruled in the developer’s favor, paving the way for the project to continue. The East River Fifties Alliance, a local group that helped lead the 2017 rezoning effort, criticized the Board of Standards and Appeals’ decision and pledged to file a lawsuit to stop the project. “The East River Fifties Alliance will now take the community’s fight against this monstrous, out-ofplace mega-tower to the courts and away from a city agency,” Lisa Mercurio, the East River Fifties Alliance’s communications director, said in an emailed statement. The group and other opponents of the development accused Gamma of violating city construction regulations in a rush to finish the building’s foundation before the zoning amendment was approved. “Unfortunately for the community and the City at large, the Board of Standards and Appeals abrogated its responsibilities under the Zoning Resolution, including especially its obligation to independently assess the invalidity of ill-gotten, after-hours work variances and

alleged street closure permits that allowed the tower’s developer to engage in a race to complete the foundation,” Mercurio said. There is currently no timeline for when the group expects to file its lawsuit. Gamma Real Estate did not respond to a request for comment. The Daily News reported in June that the law firm representing Gamma Real Estate in its appeal, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, had lobbied the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017 on Gamma’s behalf to add a grandfather clause to the rezoning proposal that would have allowed for the completion of the building. The administration added the provision to a draft of the zoning amendment, but the City Council subsequently voted to remove the clause in the final text. As reported by the Daily News, Kramer Levin represented de Blasio during state and federal investigations into his fundraising practices (prosecutors concluded the probes in 2017 without bringing charges against de Blasio), for which the mayor owes the firm $300,000 in outstanding legal debts. The administration has denied that the rela-

tionship played any role in the decision reached by the members of the Board of Standards and Appeals, who are appointed by the mayor. “The fight to preserve our residential communities against super-tall buildings will likely have to continue in court before a judiciary less likely to be tainted by the political process after today’s irresponsible decision by the Board of Standards and Appeals,” Ben Kallos, who represents the area in the City Council and championed the 2017 rezoning, said in a statement following the June 26 decision. “Once again the city is allowing a developer to ignore the laws, having hurtled forward with its illegal foundation, in full knowledge of the zoning change, then asking the city for special treatment after the fact,” he continued. “If [Gamma Real Estate President Jonathan] Kalikow’s behavior is any indication of what the city is prepared to let developers get away with, then no law on the books will prevent developers from abusing the system and winning, until the courts step in,” Kallos said.

FRICK EXPANSION APPROVED

A rendering of the Frick Collection’s façade as it will appear following a planned expansion that won city approval in June. Image: Selldorf Architects

The Frick Collection won approval for its $160 million expansion proposal from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on June 26, over the objections of some preservation groups. The Frick will add 27,000 square feet of new space and repurpose 60,000 existing square feet at its 1914 mansion at East 70th Street and Fifth Avenue, adding room for its collection and special exhibits, conservation work and educational programming. The approved expansion plan followed a failed 2014 expansion pitch that museum officials abandoned after being met with community opposition over the proposed elimination of the museum’s 70th Street garden. The garden will be preserved and restored under the current plan. Museum officials hope to break ground in 2020.

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A rendering of an earlier proposal for the East 58th Street site that called for a 950-foot condominium development.


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NEW YORKERS RALLY AGAINST TRUMP POLICIES ACTIVISM Thousands cross Brooklyn Bridge in protest of administration’s immigration tactics BY NATASHA ROY

In 90-degree heat Saturday, thousands marched across the

Brooklyn Bridge to protest the Trump administration’s policy of separating immigrant families at the country’s southern border. Protesters convened midmorning in Foley Square and from there headed to the bridge, many holding signs with phrases such as “families belong together” and “where are the children?” Families

with young children showed up, and old and young marched and volunteered. Volunteers from Neighbors Link, a Westchester-based nonprofit that works to integrate immigrants into the community, marched across the Brooklyn Bridge with a long banner. Jeremy Sussman, 50, of Bedford Hills, said that immigrants made America the country it is, and that the country should be more welcoming to immigrants than it is now. “That’s what keeps America vibrant,” Sussman said. “That’s what makes America a great country to be in.” The protest, which locally was sponsored by dozens of organizations, including the New York Immigration Coalition, the American Civil Liberties Union and Sanctuary for Families, was part of the Keep Families Together rallies that drew tens of thousands across the nation Saturday After crossing the bridge, protesters gathered in Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza Park. People gathered in the shade and surrounded the main stage to listen to speakers. A kid’s station provided paper and markers for children to draw and play. Speakers included leaders of unions and nonprofits. They urged people to vote, to call elected officials and to keep informed. Talks went on for roughly two hours, during which marchers continued streaming into the park. The last batch of them had left Foley

People opposed to the Trump administration’s immigration policies gathered in Manhattan’s Foley Square Saturday morning. Photo: Natasha Roy Square just after noon. Actors Kerry Washington, Padma Lakshmi and Amy Schumer also spoke to the crowd. Washington, a mother of two, called family separation a gross violation of human rights and led the crowd in a chant of “I matter, we matter. I am the people, we are the people.” “I love this country because it has the potential to be a more perfect union,” Washington said. “But do you know what it means to be a more perfect

union? It means you. It means us. It means to believe in the idea that we matter. Every single one of us.” Washington called on the protesters to be strong, said that their fight would be a marathon. She then spoke on her own experience and anger about the practice of family separation. “I am here as a lot of things today,” Washington said. “I am here as an American. I’m here as a woman who’s concerned about my ability to control my

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body. I’m here as the granddaughter of immigrants. I’m here as the member of a union. I am also here as a mother — and as a mother, I am outraged.” She joked that her day job is to read the words of other people, and she then read an affidavit by a mother whose son was held at an immigration center. Washington asked the crowd to keep the mother and all the families in their hearts. “This isn’t about politics,” Washington said. “This is about people.”


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The East 91st St. Marine Transfer Station is scheduled to open next year. Legislation recently passed by the state Assembly would call for air qualitiy testing around marine transfer stations. Photo: Christina Cardona

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elected officials by the New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, she said the same four districts produced less than 540 tons per day last year. She said the less trash produced, the fewer trucks that would need to travel through the surrounding area. State authorities declined to comment on the legislation, with the Department of Health deferring to the Department of Environmental Conservation. A DEC spokesperson did issue a statement saying that “if DEC determines air quality monitoring is necessary at a specific location, then the agency has the authority to require such monitoring to protect public health and the environment.” The legislation will now be taken up by the state Senate’s Rules Committee, and Seawright is working for Senate passage.

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stakeholders, residents will be provided with accurate information on the occurrence of air pollution and show the success or failure of pollutionreduction efforts.” The bill directs the state Department of Environmental Conservation to permit air monitoring equipment at an appropriate distance from permitted waste transfer stations. They are to measure data for ozone, sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and carbon dioxide. According to the New York City Department of Health, the area surrounding the MTS has disproportionately higher rates of asthma compared to the city-wide average. Asphalt Green is a nonprofit organization that provides sports, swim and fitness programs to children and adults in New York City. Asphalt

Green is located directly adjacent to the MTS site, and they host many outdoor activities at their East 90th Street site. “Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright has been a great friend to Asphalt Green, and we support her efforts to ensure safe air quality in our community. As a facility with a broad range of outdoor youth athletic programs, we are very attuned to air quality issues, and we look forward to seeing the results of the monitoring,” Maggy Siegel, executive director of Asphalt Green, said. The MTS was proposed in 2004, and since then the size of the station has been reduced. In 2003, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted a facility that would process all residential waste from Community Boards 5, 6, 8 and 11. And at that time, those four districts produced more than 720 tons of waste per day. According to a letter sent in January 2018 to East Side

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Voices

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

THE COMMUNITY RX BY BETTE DEWING

Civic meetings’ local concerns need coverage even when members’ minds and hearts are on the murder of 15-year-old Lesandro (Junior) Guzman-Felix, which happened the night before the East 79th Neighborhood Association’s June meeting. And just now a news flash — five persons shot to death in the newsroom of their Maryland community newspaper. How long, dear Lord, how long? And this latest mass murder of innocents, must remind us how Hasidim call every such murder a cataclysm.

The slaughter of Junior was a case of mistaken identity. And no one came to his rescue when gang members dragged him from a bodega to the street where he was repeatedly stabbed to death. Imagine! You know how it was all caught on video cameras and soon went viral so thousands were outraged and saddened that this good young man suffered such a terrible and wrongful death. Yes, and how no one in the bodega and on the street came to his aid. The priest at Junior’s funeral, overflowing with mourners, said: if we see something we must do something — not just take videos.

But these videos so importantly showed the world the extreme viciousness of this abominable act — and enabled the capture of up to eight suspects, all but one in their early 20s. They all face life in prison if convicted of Junior’s killing. Although the Scared Straight program is directed to juveniles, prison life needs to get out there for every age group to see. This program must be revived! And yes, we need to build communities in a time when again, too many go it alone. And surely faith groups should lead this “no man is an island” crusade. The meeting of the East 79th Street Association was held at Temple Shaaray Tefila on East 79th Street, which decades ago replaced the Colony movie theater where showings, especially compared to today’s

films, were fairly benign. And some of us believe violence of the fictional kind can lead to the real thing. Not so unrelatedly ... some called for protests at Gracie Mansion to protest proposed zoning changes that could endanger low-rises, Deplored were the new high-rise luxury condos going up in every neighborhood — whole blocks reduced to rubble and along with them affordable homes and small businesses. And public protests are so needed on all the above. But also millennials and more men must get into the act. I just learned that Loretta Ponticelli has departed this life at age 96. Ah, Loretta was such a stalwart member of the East 79th Street Association and her efforts were invaluable in saving the Cherokee Post Office on York Avenue. Until age took its often inevitable toll, she was responsible

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR TRAFFIC PRACTICES Several comments on the mess that is Manhattan traffic: 1. When I enter a cab, I leave the door open until I hook up the seat belt; this way the driver can’t zoom away with me unbelted. 2. It’s important to see the big picture here; by not limiting the number of ride-share vehicles, as the city does with medallions, the city is wrecking the lives of yellow cab owners and drivers, jamming up the streets of Manhattan to the point of insanity, and most important of all, causing declines in the number of subway and bus users, which means less and less income to the MTA. Every time I drive in Manhattan I see these cars with T&LC license plates stopping abruptly in moving lanes, cutting across two to four lanes of traffic, double parking to pick up customers and just jamming up the roads, which makes for longer drives. The NYPD does next to nothing to enforce traffic laws on drivers, bikers or pedestrians!

Plan”: Mayor de Blasio is correct in moving ahead with his plan to modify admission criteria at the city’s specialized high schools. Such a move is long overdue. The plan presented will take into consideration several components as to a student’s qualifications for admission rather than using one single test. Margaret Chin and New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright in their opposition are merely playing to their constituents. Other than calling for more discussions, they have not submitted any real counter proposals that would address the double issues of a very flawed admission policy as well as a school system which is one of the most segregated in the country. DOE officials, the political eduation committee in Albany along with the schools chancellor should move ahead and put into place the needed reforms concerning these “elite schools.” B. Wallace Cheatham Tribeca

SUBWAY CHALLENGES James Battaglia Upper East Side

SCHOOLS AND DIVERSITY Re your article of June 14-20, “AsianAmerican Assail School Diveristy

How will New York City Transit President Andy Byford deal with some of the many daily challenges millions of customers face in our travels? As subway riders, we have to deal with conductors who close the doors while

for tenants City & Suburban Homes tenants looking after one another, especially vulnerable elders. If she were around now. she’d be actively concerned about those without air conditioning. One wonders did she get enough caring help in her time of need? Heartfelt thanks, dear Loretta — you are very much missed. Of course, heartfelt thanks, too, to all members the East 79th Street group and to its president, Betty Cooper Wallerstein, who do so much to make city life more of a community so needed for mental as well as physical health. We are grateful for all such groups but in a city of almost 8 million, their numbers are like the proverbial drop in the bucket. Caring communities are needed like never before. Like never before. Your help is needed.

subway stations. Many riders would gladly pay this small price to ensure working bathrooms rather than face the current unpleasant alternatives which contribute to dirty subways. Larry Penner Great Neck, NY

PARKING PERMIT DEBATE

Opponents of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal to overhaul admissions to specialized high schools held a rally at City Hall June 10. Photo: State Senator Marty Golden, via Facebook passengers attempt to transfer from a local to the express train. Try looking for the proper way to depose of your old newspaper as more trash cans are removed from more stations. Riders have to deal with aggressive panhandlers, those hogging two seats, yawning, coughing or sneezing without covering up and acrobatic performers swinging from subway car poles. Many have grown tired dealing with rats, mice and litter. New York City Transit should consider installing separate cans for recycling newspapers, plastic and glass along with

regular garbage. Selling advertising on the side of cans could generate revenue to help cover the costs of more frequent off-peak and late-night collection and disposal. The odds of finding a working safe clean bathroom are limited. Until the early 1960s, most subway stations had clean, safe, working bathrooms with toilet paper. Revenues generated from a 10-cent fee helped cover the costs. Why not consider charging a fee between 25 cents and a dollar? This could help provide secure, fullyequipped bathrooms at most of the 471

Re “Safe Spaces,” (May 3-9), I disagree with the City Council’s proposal to designate parking permits for residents above 60th Street. This proposal is not only impractical, but very expensive to accomplish, let alone enforce. Cars and commercial vehicles come into Manhattan every day and they have a right to park. Some motorists have problems parking, but this is mainly because of Citi Bike taking up parking spaces, and the constant digging up of our streets by construction companies and Con Edison. How do they propose issuing permits when there is no places to park whil construction work is going on? I own a car, and live in the proposed area. I have never had a problem parking my behicle. These City Council members who proposed this should leave well enough alone. If they want to alleviate congestion, they should allow truck deliveries to supermarkets and restaurants after the rush hours are over. Charles Petz Upper East Side

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CREATING COMMUNITY

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

AGING The all-volunteer Bloomingdale Aging in Place provides UWS seniors with an active social life and a sense of civic involvement

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

BY STEPHAN RUSSO

The term “Aging in Place� has become imbedded in our lexicon when discussing the realities of growing old and the importance of staying active. “In place� means New Yorkers are not leaving the city or running off to retire elsewhere. And who can blame them? What better place to spend these years than in this beloved city that offers myriad opportunities for continued personal growth and civic involvement? In 2009, a group of active West Siders decided to answer this question for themselves by creating an all-volunteer network called Bloomingdale Aging in Place (BAiP). Their mission was to build community among older adults who live between West 96th and 110th Streets. From a block association newsletter survey and a steering committee meeting, residents were asked what was most needed to help their elderly neighbors stay in their homes. The overwhelming response was the need for an active social life and connection to other residents who were concerned about feeling isolated. Fast forward ten years, and what began as a handful of volunteer group activities and helping-hand visits has blossomed into an a full-blown organization with over 1200 members, 70 group activities, and panel discussions and social events organized by the volunteers themselves. Why are efforts like BAiP so necessary today? The data is very clear about the shifts in our population. The baby boomer generation leaving the workforce is becoming one of the fastest growing demographics. In New York City alone, the Department for the Aging projects that by the year 2040 the number of residents over the age of 60 will rise to close to 2 million — over 20 percent of the population, There is probably no city in the country that does more than New York to create a safety net of programs that enables residents to stay in their homes

• Beautiful Upper East Side Environment • Each floor a “Neighborhoodâ€? with Family Style Dining & Living Room • 24-hour Licensed Nurses & Attendants specially trained in dementia care • Medication Management • Around the clock personal care, as needed • Housekeeping, Linen & Personal Laundry • Courtyard & Atrium Rooftop Garden • Chef prepared Meals

Arlene Seffern (far right) with her BAiP-sponsored knitting group. Photo: Stephan Russo and continue to live productive and meaningful lives. Some of these services are geared for lower-income seniors, but the public investment is clearly aimed at ensuring that all of our neighbors continue to thrive as they age. Over ten years ago, the city launched its Age-Friendly NYC initiative to address the needs of an aging population. The project has focused on civic engagement, housing, public spaces, transportation and health and social services. The current city leadership has increased funding over the prior administration by more than $82 million dollars to improve its more than 250 senior centers, decrease home-care waiting lists, provide weekend meals to those receiving homedelivered food and enhancing its case management services. I recently joined BAiP as I retired last year from my career in the non-proďŹ t sector. I also just turned 67 and am facing the challenge of figuring out how to spend my next twentyplus years (depending on the actuarial assumptions I use). Last November, I moved my 92 year-old mother to a senior residence in Florida when she decided she could no longer tolerate the NYC winters. Like many of my sandwich generation, I recognized through helping her how challenging life can be as the aging process kicks into high gear. Last month I attended a BAiP panel discussion led by two knowledgeable attorneys titled “Over My Dead Body.â€? I thought there would be few attendees, but when I entered the second floor of the Bloomingdale library on West 100th Street, I encountered a throng of more than 100 people who had gathered to learn about wills, revo-

cable trusts, health proxies and what happens to your apartment if you are alone and die in the hospital. (Did you know that you could disinherit your children but not your spouse?) Want to feel uplifted? Sit in on one of BAiP’s activities. Arlene Seffern is 82 years old, and used to work in a knitting store on Broadway. She also spent part of her working life as a bookkeeper at several nonprofit organizations. Arlene felt that she had a special artistic ability. Her weekly BAiP knitting group has become a godsend to her. “Every time I am in my knitting group, my face lights up,� Arlene said. “I get so much joy out of teaching the group and the members care deeply for each other. When one group member was having cataract surgery and had no one to be with her, another member picked her up and stayed with her.� It was a wonderful example of what BAiP calls calls N2N — its Neighbor-to-Neighbor program — and considers a core organizing principle. Caitlin Hawke, one of the many forces behind BAiP, characterizes the effort as “connecting democracy to action.� “It’s like threading a needle between having a structure and encouraging members to create opportunities themselves,� Hawke said. Membership is open if you live within the area bounded by West 96th and 110th Streets from Riverside Drive to Central Park West. To learn how more about BAiP and how you can become involved, visit their website at bloominplace.org or call 212-842-8831. Stephan Russo is the former Executive Director of Goddard Riverside Community Center.

Nation’s first recipient of AFA’s Excellence in Care distinction.

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

430 East 80th Street, New York, NY 10075 Tel. 212-717-8888 www.80thstreetresidence.com

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We provide peace of mind and ensure that each project is handled with respect and integrity.

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

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

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

EDITOR’S PICK

Wed 11

Busy? Live stream Sunday Worship with us at 11:00am at MarbleChurch.org.

MOONLIGHT AND MOVIES: UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE MAYSLES BROTHERS

Summer Spirituality Series Sundays, June 17 through August 26 at 10:00am Exploring a variety of topics which will be utilized to engage in a number of theological discussions.

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. 8 p.m. $10 212-534-1672. mcny.org Revisit 1960s New York through the eyes of legendary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles. As early creators of direct cinema, the Maysles brothers were among the first to capture life as it unfolded before their camera without scripts, sets or narration. This screening features four of the Maysles’s iconic shorts, including a radical Yoko Ono performance at Carnegie Hall and a drop-in visit with Truman Capote at his Long Island retreat.

All sessions meet in the Labyrinth Room and will also be live streamed.

Marble Collegiate Church Mobile App Download on iPhone or Android With the Marble Collegiate Church app, discover a new way to connect with Marble anytime you want. Live stream, catch up on last week’s sermon, connect with ministries, keep informed and register for Marble events, make a gift and sign up to volunteer. Alberto Giacometti at the 31st Venice Biennale in 1962. Photo: Paolo Monti (Fondo Paolo Monti, BEIC), via WikiMedia Commons

Our Labyrinth Walks Labyrinth walks at Marble Collegiate Church are open to all: • First Sunday of each month: 1:00-3:00pm • Wednesdays: 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

Thu 5

Fri 6

Sat 7

TRIVIA WITH MAD TIM

▲ FILM SCREENING: ‘ALBERTO GIACOMETTI’

SUMMER ON THE HUDSON: SILENT DISCO

The Guggenheim 1071 Fifth Ave. 3, 3:30 and 4 p.m. Free with admission This short documentary focusing on Alberto Giacometti features exclusive footage of the artist at work in his studio. Co-director Ernst Scheidegger first met Giacometti in 1943; their encounter developed into a lifelong friendship, out of which grew the most comprehensive collection of photographs and films to document the life and works of the artist. 212-423-3500 guggenheim.org

Pier I in Riverside Park South West 70th St. 5:30 p.m. Free Party alone, together. Don headphones and party on the pier with hundreds of revelers at this “quiet clubbing” event featuring two live DJs spinning tunes of different genres. Switch DJs with a flick of a switch and sway along to the same song as friends, or tap to your own tune. nycgovparks.org

Biddy’s 301 East 91st St. 9:30 p.m. Free This welcoming hole-inthe-wall lacks pretension, so don’t get on your high horse about trivia. The weekly game is epic, though and there are two chances to win — one for best team name, one for trivia savvy. Come out this and every Thursday to whet your whistle and test your knowledge with friends old and new. 212-534-4785 biddysnyc.com


JULY 5-11,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Photo: Maria Azzurra Mugnai, via WikiMedia Commons

Sun 8

Mon 9

Tue 10

FAMILY AFTERNOON: FOUND AND REPURPOSED

▼ LAW OF THE LAND: THE SUPREME COURT’S YEAR IN REVIEW

▲ ART DECO IN THE EAST 50S

The Met 1000 Fifth Ave. 1 p.m. Free with museum admission Come ready to look, imagine and create at this afternoon of hands-on family fun. This afternoon’s theme is Found and Repurposed. For families with children ages 3–11. 212-535-7710 metmuseum.org

92Y 1395 Lexington Ave. 7:30 p.m. $35 Join expert lawyers and legal scholars Ron Klain, Kenji Yoshino, Jessica Gresko and Richard Wolf, along with moderator Thane Rosenbaum, for a fascinating look at the Supreme Court’s recently concluded term. 212-415-5500 92Y.org

Meeting Location to be announced to those who register 6:30 p.m. $54 Join architectural historian and Deco expert Tony Robins on a new Art Deco Society tour exploring the varied Art Deco architecture along Manhattan’s East 50s, from Beekman Place to Rock Center. Visit a handful of Art Deco and modernistic buildings, including apartment houses designed for the fabulously wealthy. 212-679-3326 artdeco.org

Wed 11 KENN MORR BAND Carl Schurz Park, John Finley Walk at the top of the East 86th St. staircase 7 p.m. free Annual concerts in the park return to Carl Schurz. This season kicks off with the Kenn Morr band; their songs have an elemental quality — water, earth, relationships, seasons, time, change, loss — like the great songwriters who inspired them. Come enjoy the great outdoors. carlschurzparknyc.org Photo: Joe Ravi, via WikiMedia Commons

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JULY 5-11,2018

VISITING AGNES GUND’S STUDIO MoMA’s glimpse at a great patron’s impact BY MARY GREGORY

Without patrons, we wouldn’t have art. It was true in the Renaissance. It’s true today. Visitors to the Uffizi in Florence can experience the influence, taste and refinement of the Medicis, bankers to kings and popes, through the artworks they collected and then bequeathed. Visitors to MoMA’s “Studio Visit: Selected Gifts from Agnes Gund” can see how it works today. Roughly 50 of the more than 800 major works of modern and contemporary art collected by and gifted to the Museum of Modern Art by its president emerita, New Yorker Agnes Gund (daughter of a successful Ohio banker), are included in this extraordinary exhibition. It fills several galleries and spans decades, styles, media and social realities. The show opens with a beautiful 1941 painting, “Children,” by William H. Johnson, a triple portrait that’s just about as flattened, vibrant and modern as a Matisse cut-out, and ends with an enormous, potent 2017 work on paper by Kara Walker, “Christ’s Entry into Journalism,” that presents ideas on sexism, racism, and social injustices. Bookending the exhibition with 20th and 21st century African-American artists’ works was an astute choice by the curatorial team led by Ann Temkin. “My friendships with artists,” Gund has said, “as well as a sensitivity to the challenges facing women artists and artists of color, have been formative in shaping my collection.” Like the Cone sisters, whose support of Matisse and Picasso was foundational for Modernism, Agnes Gund (Aggie, as she introduces herself in the exhibition’s audio) befriended, collected and championed world-famous artists as well as those just starting out. In the exhibition, major works by iconic 20th century American masters like Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns have been intentionally placed in conversation with pieces by less-known con-

IF YOU GO WHAT: “Studio Visit: Selected Gifts from Agnes Gund” WHERE: Museum of Modern Art, Floor Two, Collection Galleries WHEN: Through July 22

temporary artists. Mona Hatoum is a British artist of Palestinian descent. Her “Pin Rug” made of upward facing straight pins, subverts a familiar form with contradictory, menacing material, and at the same time references the use of rugs and carpets in different cultures. Willie Cole used a steam iron to scorch images onto paper in “Domestic I.D. IV” an allusion to the history of household workers, largely female. Nick Cave’s fantastic “Soundsuit” is worn by a mannequin. Its legs are covered by small green mirrors, while the torso and head present an expansive, swirling assemblage with a gramophone horn and wires holding dozens of porcelain sculptures of birds. Cave, in his statement, explains that his first Soundsuits were created in response to the 1991 police beating of Rodney King — an effort to disguise oneself, to disappear behind a mask. It also hearkens back to a rich history of African masks, sometimes with moveable and auditory components, that often cover the entire body. Art by women comprises much of the work in the exhibition, even though Gund, a woman collector, reveals that it was sometimes challenging to acquire. “I was told really by gallerists, and some of them women, too, that they just couldn’t sell women artists very well, because people wanted even in those days, in the ‘60s, ‘70s and 80s, they wanted a person that they could count on rising in value. I was very distressed by that,” she states in the exhibition video. Sculptor Lynda Benglis, whose elegant, torquing, gold-leafed bronze, “Ghost Dance/Pedmarks” sparkles with energy, calls Gund “the mother of contemporary art.” There’s a striking, lively 2007 abstraction, “Painters Progress” by Elizabeth Murray, and a double portrait

Nick Cave’s “Soundsuit” from 2011 might appear whimsical, but was born from outrage. Photo: Adel Gorgy. by Alice Neel that palpably evokes the personalities of its subjects, “Benny and Mary Ellen Andrews.” Complex text-based work by Jenny Holzer, Laurie Anderson’s “Self-Playing Violin” and photographer Catherine Opie’s powerful portrait “Dyke” add to a sense of the range and sophistication of Gund’s interests and vision. “Studio Visit” is far from the only place to see Agnes Gund’s impact on New York, passing through the Agnes Gund Lobby of the museum reminds us. She serves as chairman of the board of directors of MoMA PS1. She founded the Studio in a School program in the late 1970s; for more than 40 years it’s been bringing supplies, teachers and famous artists like Jeff Koons to New York public school classrooms and kids. When Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” visited the Frick Collection in 2013, Gund donated the money needed for free Friday-evening viewings, making the treasures of Holland’s Mauritshuis available to all who were willing to wait in line. In 2017, she sold her Roy Lichtenstein painting, “Masterpiece,” for $150 million, using the proceeds to start the Art for Justice Fund, an initiative to reform the criminal-justice system. MoMA’s selections from her more than half-century of contributions offer a glimpse of Agnes Gund and her impact — she’s a superhero of the arts with a painting for a cape.

Elizabeth Murray’s “Painters Progress,” an artwork that takes 19 panels to contain. Photo: Adel Gorgy

“Benny and Mary Ellen Andrews” by Alice Neel. Even a major collector like Agnes Gund had difficulty buying art by women in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s. For decades, Gund has challenged and changed conventions. Photo: Adel Gorgy


JULY 5-11,2018

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Your Neighborhood News Source

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS JUN 20 - 26, 2018 The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website and include the most recent inspection and grade reports listed. We have included every restaurant listed during this time within the zip codes of our neighborhoods. Some reports list numbers with their explanations; these are the number of violation points a restaurant has received. To see more information on restaurant grades, visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/restaurant-inspection.shtml. La Crosta Restaurant

436 East 72 Street

A

Starbucks

1445 1 Avenue

A

Namaste

1448 1st Ave

Grade Pending (26) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Tal Bagels

1228 Lexington Ave

A

Metropolitan Museum of Art

1000 5 Avenue

A

William Greenberg Jr Desserts

1100 Madison Avenue A

Cascabel Taqueria

1556 2nd Ave

A

Asian 83

1605 2nd Ave

A

Famous Famiglia Pizza

1248 Lexington Ave

A

87St Deli Inc

1665 1st Ave

Grade Pending (30) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/ or non-food areas.

Yorkville Bagel & Cafe

1821 2nd Ave

A

Cafe D’alsace

1695 2 Avenue

A

Libertador

1725 2 Avenue

A

Ooki Sushi

1575 3 Avenue

A

Infirmary

1720 2nd Ave

Grade Pending (30) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/ refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Selena Rosa Mexicana

1712 2nd Ave

Grade Pending (28) Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Bluestone Lane

2 E 90th St

A

Otto’s Tacos

1568 3rd Ave

A

American Wing Company

159 E 116th St

Not Yet Graded (32) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared. Tobacco use, eating, or drinking from open container in food preparation, food storage or dishwashing area observed.

Triple A Diner

2061 2 Avenue

A

Brisas Del Mar Seafood Market

1785-1787 Lexington Avenue

Grade Pending (2)

A.M. Deli Juice Bar Food

308 E 116th St

A

FEELING THE LOVE ON BROADWAY FOOD Six months after a fire, neighbors welcome back an old-style diner BY CHRISTOPHER MOORE

The Broadway Restaurant is back. The longtime diner on Broadway, between 101st and 102nd Streets, reemerged on June 27, with patrons repeatedly walking below an assortment of flags out front, opening the door and frequently using the same words: “Welcome back.” The next day, the gratitude vibe was the same. A woman at the cash register handed over cash to pay her bill. And she said, “Wonderful, wonderful to have you back.” That return surprised some neighbors, who wondered and worried about the fate of the old-style diner, which closed due to a fire on Jan. 1, 2018. The New Year’s nightmare meant a half-year of wrangling and

Flags marked the return of the Broadway Restaurant. Photo: Christopher Moore struggle for owner Angelo Arsenis and his team. First, he faced more than two months of insurance work. Then came the challenge of dealing with Con Ed, which closed off the gas.

Tony Arsenis, left, and Angelo Arsenis at the Broadway Restaurant on the Upper West Side. Photo: Christopher Moore

Arsenis says he has about eight employees. Some of the staffers who had worked there before the fire found other jobs. “Some have come back,” says Arsenis, who bought the place back in 1980. He said the exact cause of the fire had not been determined, but the damage was in the area around the kitchen ducts in the rear. Arsenis is not the only family member on the scene. Customers sometimes think his first cousin and fellow restaurant presence, Tony Arsenis, is the owner. With the cash register between them, the two talked about the last six months and the struggle to get the restaurant back up and running. Tony, who lives in Queens, said fresh food, decent prices and a friendly approach to service have been a key to success over the years. He said there’s incredible diversity in the customers he serves. “We’ve been here so long and we know everybody,” Tony Arsenis said. “The most important thing is the reasonable prices. You can’t find these prices anywhere.” He was feeling the love as customers came in, happy to find the spot largely unchanged. Old movie star photographs were back in their place on the walls, just like always. “I love it here,” he said. “I love it.”


JULY 5-11,2018

15

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

REMEMBERING CONAN FREUD LIVES

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org NEW YORK CITY

After a distinguished career in city government, one of New York’s brightest lights succumbs to a 9/11-related illness

Law of the Land: The Supreme Court’s Year in Review

MONDAY, JULY 9TH, 7:30PM 92nd Street Y | 1395 Lexington Ave. | 212-415-5500 | 92y.org As the Supreme Court wraps up an especially eventful term catch a panel of experts gathered together by the Y and the Forum on Law, Culture & Society at NYU School of Law to put it all into perspective ($35).

BY TOM ALLON

In seventh grade at the McBurney School on the Upper West Side many of my classmates yawned and scribbled in their notebooks during Mr. Barnes’s “New York City Historyâ€? class. Except for wide-eyed intellectual Conan Freud, whose precocious knowledge of arcane city history impressed me even then. When we were asked in 1976 in that class to write a manifesto for the secession of Staten Island from the other four boroughs, I recall that Conan’s presentation stood out and made a compelling ďŹ nancial case for the forgotten borough. Even then, Conan understood that to really analyze a municipality, you had to roll your sleeves up and study its complicated ďŹ nances. Following the money was key to following its destiny. We both transferred to the same high school, the esteemed Stuyvesant High School in lower Manhattan. Even among the 3000 eggheads there, Conan carved out his distinct niche. He became the student government treasurer, not the sexiest perch for teenagers, but an extremely vital and important cog in the wheels of student government. Conan was the guy I went to when I felt the student news-

Photo courtesy of Judith Pincus

Book Launch | A Bite-Sized History of France: Gastronomic Tales of Revolution, War, and Enlightenments

TUESDAY, JULY 10TH, 6PM Albertine | 972 Fifth Ave. | 212-650-0070 | albertine.com Join husband and wife co-authors, French cheesemonger StĂŠphane HĂŠnaut and war studies professor Jeni Mitchell, as they discuss tensions like tradition versus innovation (free).

Just Announced | TimesTalks: Glenn Close and Meg Wolitzer | SacriďŹ ce & Sexism

TUESDAY, JULY 31ST, 7:00PM The TimesCenter | 242 W. 41st St. | 888-698-1870 | timestalks.com Six-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close joins best-selling author Meg Wolitzer to talk about the new ďŹ lm The Wife, based on Wolitzer’s acclaimed novel of the same name ($55).

For more information about lectures, readings and other intellectually stimulating events throughout NYC, Photo courtesy of Judith Pincus paper I edited wasn’t getting its fair share of student government funding. He carefully looked over the ledger to find some pocket of loose change and creatively moved it to satisfy his ink-stained friends request. Conan was a whiz with budgets and he worked his magic even then. Unlike his fellow Stuy grads, Conan wasn’t looking for fame in law or medicine or string theory physics. He always aspire le to work in City government; his parents were civically active Westsiders and he learned the importance of community involvement at the dinner table.

sign up for the weekly Thought Gallery newsletter at thoughtgallery.org. In fact, as I recall, his feisty mother, Olive, was one of the biggest thorns in the path of a greedy West Side developer named Donald Trump. Her activism in opposing his West Side project, Trump City, was one the reasons it took him decades to get approval for even a scaled back version of his original project. After a distinguished 30year career in government that included stints at OMB, DOT, TLC and probably countless other acronyms — all in a budgeting capacity — Conan succumbed to a 9/11-related illness last week at the way too early age of 56. I knew him as a classmate, a friend, a husband, a father (our children attended preschool together) and as a committed and engaged New Yorker. Like legions of his former colleagues and friends, I was very saddened to hear the news of his passing last week. Our city has lost one its brightest lights. I hope that his legacy of training young New Yorkers in the arcane ins and outs of municipal ďŹ nance will continue to benefit our great metropolis. Tom Allon is the president of City & State.

The Original Teachings of

Theosophy as recorded by H.P. Blavatsky & William Q. Judge

PROGRAM FOR JULY 2018 SUNDAY MORNINGS BNUPOPPOt%PPSTPQFOBN Discussion Group: Exploring Tenets of Theosophy

SUNDAY EVENINGS QNUPQNt%PPSTPQFOQN TALKS AND PANEL DISCUSSIONS July 8 The Psychology of Reincarnation 22 Are Dreams but Idle Visions?

All Meetings Free No Dues No Collections TV Channel 3 Fri @ 9:30PM

WEDNESDAY EVENINGS QNUPQNt%PPSTPQFOQN STUDY CLASS in - Selected excerpts from the writings of H.P. Blavatsky & William Q. Judge on the theme of Dreams and the Dreamer

For full program contact:

The United Lodge of Theosophists Theosophy Hall Phone (212) 535- 2230

347 East 72nd St., New York www.ULT.org


16

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

JULY 5-11,2018

Business

Lines went down the block in the last week before Glaser’s closed. Photo courtesy of Office of Ben Kallos.

ONE LAST TREAT FROM GLASER’S Sadness and support after a century of service from the iconic Upper East Side bakery BY OSCAR KIM BAUMAN

The air is oppressively hot, with official sources saying it’s somewhere in the mid-90s, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at the line wrapping around the corner of First Avenue and 87th Street. In the final week of June, those in line braved heat, humidity and rapid-onset summer storms, all in the hopes of getting one last treat from Glaser’s Bake Shop before its final day of operation on July 1st. In a post on the bakery’s Facebook page on March 2, Herb Glaser, the grandson of founder John Herbert Glaser, broke the news of Glaser’s impending closing. The response was passionate and immediate. The post garnered over 1,300 reactions, more than 900 of which were Facebook’s “sad” reaction, as well as nearly 600 comments expressing sadness and support. One such supporter, Robyn RothMoise, who waited two and a half hours to get her last haul from Glaser’s, said she will miss the place the

shop held in the community. “I love mom and pop shops, and places where people recognize you when you come in.” She also shared her own memories of Glaser’s, remembering the way the cakes she bought always “were baked and decorated with love.” While Glaser’s remained steadfast for over a century, the neighborhood around it has seen dramatic change. Glaser’s opened in 1902, the creation of John Herbert Glaser, who immigrated from Germany and came to settle in the area now known as Yorkville, then known as “Germantown” due to its reputation as a haven for German immigrants. These days, however, it’s hard to see much German in the former Germantown. Glaser’s was one of the few remaining German businesses left, with the Schaller & Weber market a few blocks away a rare exception. A cursory look around the neighborhood will find an Irish flag at a bar around the corner to be a solitary identifier of any national identity. Despite their enduring popularity, Glaser’s’ long run has not been without bumps. In December 2012, the store was briefly shut down by the Health Department after mice were discovered during an inspection. Al-

though the shop was forced to miss out on the lucrative Christmas business, it quickly returned to serving Yorkville, and received an “A” on every health inspection since. As Glaser’s’ last week neared, the shows of support only escalated. On June 29, City Council Member Ben Kallos presented the shop with a proclamation, enumerating details from its illustrious history. Amid the myriad details is one that took Glaser’s’ impact beyond the local — its fame as the possible originator of the iconic black and white cookie. While July 1st may have marked the end for Glaser’s Bake Shop, it was also a new beginning for the man who bears its name. Herb Glaser, along with his brother John, say that they plan to sell the building that houses the shop, and Herb plans to retire to his house in New Paltz. Although the Glaser family will soon depart, it was their ownership of the building that allowed them to stay open for so long. Roth-Moise noted that “it is nice that they made the choice to retire and close the shop instead of being forced to close due to rent,” while also expressing worry for the future of the neighborhood. “What we don’t need is another tall building

Council Member Ben Kallos (left) honors Glaser’s with a proclamation. Photo courtesy of Office of Ben Kallos coming in and tearing down these old buildings.” As the heat of the late afternoon sun burned on Sunday, the heat of the ovens at 1670 First Avenue died down for the last time. A few hours earlier, the block had been packed with locals and visitors alike, eagerly hoping for an edible souvenir of their own. Now, the street is quiet. Pedestrians stroll past at a brisk pace, hoping to escape the sun. Glaser’s eggshell blue sign looks a bit duller, as bright afternoon light

casts long shadows across it. Although Glaser’s may be gone, its memory lives on in all those who frequented it. Roth-Moise recalled an exchange she had with Herb Glaser, inquiring about what would become of the shop’s displays. “He said if you can take them out, they are yours. He doesn’t need any physical pieces of the store. All of his memories [pointing to his head] are up here.”


JULY 5-11,2018

17

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

 











 



 





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18

JULY 5-11,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

THE BATTLE OVER ELIZABETH STREET GARDEN DEVELOPMENT Debating dual needs of the community: green space vs. housing for low-income seniors BY NATASHA ROY

The tension in the room was palpable during a June 25 community meeting concerning the future of Elizabeth Street Garden. In December, the city announced its plans to raze the nearly one-acre stretch of a sculpture garden in Nolita to make room for low-income housing geared toward LGBTQ seniors. The future development, called Haven Green, will also house Habitat for Humanity New York City and SAGE, according to a press release from the city. “In addition to continuing to serve low- and moderateincome New Yorkers across the city, Habitat NYC will provide credit counseling and education services to residents and community members, as well as manage the ongoing maintenance and programming for the open public space,” the press release said. “A portion of the Habitat NYC space will serve as a flexible workspace for community activities.” Haven Green would house 123 low-income senior citizens. However, the Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden are fighting to save their green space. At the community board meeting, the group’s president, Jeannine Kiely, spoke about saving the garden, and she later told Our Town that it would be preserving an essential community space. “What I love about the garden is it’s one of the few public spaces that brings people together from all different ages and walks of life, and it’s sort of a melting pot,” Kiely said. “You don’t really get that anywhere else in this neighborhood ... I’ve met so many different people who live in the community, and it really becomes sort of a informal community center.” While most people at the meeting hoped to save the garden, many citizens and nonprofits advocated for the low-income housing. Several of those in favor of the devel-

Seniors stop by Elizabeth Street Garden regularly to spend time together. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Romine opment accused the garden’s supporters of not caring about senior and homeless New Yorkers who need affordable housing. The Friends countered this sentiment, saying the group had proposed an alternate site for the development at 388 Hudson St. The Friends said that by building at 388 Hudson St., the city could create five times as much housing for low-income seniors. But Cooper Square Committee Executive Director Steve Herrick said he doesn’t believe the number of apartments that could be built at the alternate site can feasibly be that high, and that more research needs to be done on the site. “I’m thinking you can build maybe 150 to 200 apartments, assuming there aren’t major impediments to building there,” Herrick said. The Cooper Square Committee works with many seniors in need of affordable housing, and Herrick said the board of directors is in support of the development. Herrick had attended the community meeting, and he said he understood that residents want to preserve the garden, but he also believes some don’t want to see a changing demographic in the area. “There’s a crisis,” Herrick said. “There’s 1.2 million seniors in New York City, and the population’s gonna go to 1.6 million in 20 years. Where are they gonna live? They’re aging in place in tenement buildings, including in Little Italy. They need housing. That’s the reality.” At the meeting, several families and seniors voiced their desire to save the garden because

of its position as a community center, but business owners in the area, like Lovely Day’s Kasuza Jibiki, are also concerned that with the departure of the garden comes the departure of customers. Jibiki said many people who eat lunch at the garden during the day will come into her restaurant to pick up food. “I think lots of businesses actually chose this block because of the garden,” Jibiki said. Several low-income residents themselves feel strongly about the garden’s potential erasure. Jennifer Romine lives in affordable housing on Spring Street, and she said that while there’s been a misrepresentation that only rich, selfish people want to save the garden, low-income New Yorkers in the area need the park space. “It’s one of the most congested, heavily trafficked neighborhoods in the five boroughs,” Romine said. “I’ve seen the health of the community transformed in a myriad of wonderful ways since this garden has become open to the public.” Romine said several seniors in her building are concerned because they physically can’t walk to parks, like Washington Square Park, that are farther from their homes. Families with children in her building have also expressed sadness over the idea of the garden disappearing. “These people really, they can’t afford fancy after-school programs and lessons and things,” Romine said. “They need a park. They need a park to go on the weekends.”

PARKS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 A CENTURY WITHOUT A MAJOR FIX Based on an analysis of historical records from the city’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation, as well as data on capital projects and site surveys of 65 parks, “A New Leaf” determined that: • The average Manhattan park last underwent significant infrastructure rehabilitation work in 2002, or 16 years ago. • Manhattan has the city’s oldest parks – the average age is 86 – and of its nine largest parks, all of them covering more than 50 acres, eight of them, or an impressive 89 percent, received substantial capital upgrades in 2017. • But the borough also has 105 medium-sized parks, defined as one acre to 50 acres in size, and of those, only 36, or 34 percent, were renovated last year. • The island’s 164 small parks, defined as less than one acre, received the least attention. Only 26 of them, or 16 percent, received upgrades. • At least 46 mini-parks citywide, including triangles, traffic islands and plazas, haven’t undergone capital work in nearly a century. • One such site is Sherman Square, a fenced-in traffic triangle dating to 1891, where Broadway, Amsterdam and 70th Street come together. Long associated with the 1971 film “Panic in Needle Park,” it has been cleaned up, but it hasn’t been significantly upgraded in 100 years. • Another is Lafayette Square, a park since 1870, where Morningside Avenue, Manhattan Avenue and 114th Streets intersect. Its centerpiece is a statue of the Marquis

An uprooted bench tilts askew in Sara D. Roosevelt Park south of Houston Street downtown. Photo: John Surico / Center for an Urban Future de Lafayette and George Washington shaking hands, and it looks splendid. But it hasn’t been renovated in a century. “This administration has invested in strengthening the city’s parks system from top to bottom,” a Parks Dept. spokesperson said in responding to the report. “Capital programs, including the $318 million, 65-park Community Parks Initiative and the $150 million Anchor Parks project, are bringing the first structural improvements in generations to sites from playgrounds to large flagship parks,” she added. Indeed, in Riverside Park, for instance, the reconstruction of pathways and shoring up of retaining walls, as well as interior plumbing projects and general capital site work, is well underway. Design work has been completed to reconstruct the Corlears Hook Park comfort station. Procurement, now 60 percent finished, is expected to wrap up in October, followed by a construction cycle that could take up to 18 months. That means, after a two-decade wait, a new facility could open by 2020. Meanwhile, a $1 million to $3 million project to rebuild the

The entryway to DeWitt Clinton Park at 12th Avenue and 52nd Street has been fenced off for years because of a pair of dilapidated and inaccessible stairways. Photo: Google Street View

DeWitt Clinton Park staircases has been funded, but only five percent of the design work has been completed, according to the Parks Dept. website. Neither procurement nor construction can begin until the scope of work for the project is designed, which means that the reopening of the western approaches to the park is still years away. As for the East River Esplanade, a $15 million first phase of a city initiative to reinforce and reconstruct river-facing seawalls on the East Side is underway. But unforeseen design work has resulted in delays of several months on a project originally scheduled to be completed back in May. The Parks Dept. spokesperson said that Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver has “streamlined the capital process” to bring infrastructure improvements online faster, a policy reform that is acknowledged in the Center for an Urban Future’s report. “Looking forward, initiatives like the newly funded catch-basin program and an ongoing capital needs assessment program will ensure that New York City parks needs are accounted for and addressed in the years to come,” she added. Dvorkin said it’s encouraging that the Parks Dept. has finally initiated a full systemwide assessment of its future infrastructure needs, better positioning it to address and anticipate problems down the road. But he questioned the time frame: “At the current rate, we believe the assessment will take 20 years to complete,” he said. “At that point, major infrastructure categories will have exceed their natural lifespan.” And Dvorkin added, “If we don’t catch up now, it will metastasize into an even bigger problem.” invreporter@strausnews.com


JULY 5-11,2018

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

One Person’s Manhattan

HELP AND HOPE Lisa Honig Buksbaum is a woman with a mission to alleviate the suffering of others BY HARVEY COHEN

It’s 4 a.m. and the phone rings: you learn your brother has died of an asthma-induced heart attack. Two hours later, you cry as you inform your parents that their son is dead. Five weeks after that, your father is diagnosed with cancer and receives a bone marrow transplant, but the doctors say recovery is impossible and the family needs to prepare for his death. Then 10 months later, the tragedies contin- Lisa Buksbaum presents a puppet and other gifts to a patient at Beth Israel Medical Center. ue as you learn your young son has rheumat- Photo: Angeline Eckbert ic fever with heart damage and neurological impairment. Sachs, American Express, Viacom and NYC But sometimes suffering can lead to inspioffices of Cisco, Facebook, Google, Deloitte ration and hope, and a mission to alleviate and Verizon. Creating shifts in your attitude, your the suffering of others. Buksbaum, who has an MBA degree from body and overall wellbeing. So it was for Lisa Honig Buksbaum, a resiColumbia and formerly worked at major New dent of the Upper West Side and the CEO and York advertising agencies, has also used her founder of Soaringwords, a not-for-profit business and marketing skills to form sucorganization. Lisa’s father lived for 19 years cessful alliances that benefit the children. Choosing to notice and celebrate good after the doctors gave up hope and her son is These partners include New York City public things even when times are difficult now 28 years old, over six feet tall and fully schools like P.S. 1 in Chinatown and P.S. 152 or painful. recovered. in Washington Heights; the Metropolitan Through her experiences with sickness Museum, MOMA, the Museum of Art and and death and recovery, Buksbaum learned Design and community groups such as the how to bring hope and healing to hospitalJCC, YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs and local Gaining a sense of control by sharing ized children who face chronic or serious illchurches and synagogues. your creativity, kindness, strengths nesses and to offer support to their families. It’s hard to imagine, but besides all of this, and hope with others. And she is now a woman with a mission — a Buksbaum finds time to enjoy activities in mission to inspire ill children and their famiManhattan. Though she was raised in New lies to take active roles in their own healing. Jersey, her earliest and fondest memories are Soaringwords is unique among other crossing the George Washington Bridge to Flourishing even in difficult times. groups assisting sick children and their visit her grandmother in Manhattan. families as it is guided by the principle that She remembers sleeping over at her grandyou can heal by helping others who also need mother’s apartment and being too excited help. So the organization goes into hospitals to fall asleep. She fondly recalls the thrill of Connecting to your inner knowledge and works with children to create art, video, seeing Broadway plays like “Pippin,” “Cats” to heal. fiction and other projects that are then given and “Phantom of the Opera.” as gifts of hope to other ill children. And many These days, she walks through Central is the day that Buksbaum will hear a child say, Park six days a week to get to the Manhattan “Today was the happiest day of my life.” And JCC where she starts her day with a morning Sharing the power of positive that, of course, is what makes her day. swim and twice a week takes a Pilates class. storytelling, reading and writing. Bucksbaum developed the “soaring into In the evening, she can often be found strength” model that has been tested among walking through Central Park with her thousands of children, based on concepts of husband Jacob or visiting a museum. Every positive psychology. The model has proven Saturday morning she attends services at Recognizing and celebrating to be a source of comfort and healing, guided B’nai Jeshurun and often attends lectures moments of appreciation. by seven components: and social events at The Jewish Center. “My faith informs everything I do.” she says. Shifting: creating shifts in your attitude, “Waking up each morning is a gift and someyour body and overall wellbeing. thing I do not take for granted.” And clearly Optimism: choosing to notice and celebrate she has used that gift to find meaning by helping children and their good things even when times are difficult or painful. Altruism: gaining a sense of control by sharing your creativity, families work through difficult situations with hope and optimism. Buksbaum has also completed a manuscript for a new book: “Soarkindness, strengths and hope with others. ing into Strength: The New Science Approach to Help You Heal.” Resiliency: flourishing even in difficult times. The book highlights fifteen inspirational stories of children and Imagery: Connecting to your inner knowledge to heal. their families who grappled with illness and are now thriving. After Narrative: sharing the power of positive storytelling. Gratitude: recognizing and celebrating moments of appreciation. each chapter there is a workbook section where readers can journal Soaringwords has grown and has now assisted over 500,000 chil- to bring about changes in their thoughts and actions to help them experience transformative healing in their own lives. dren and their families in 196 hospitals around the world. Here in Manhattan Buksbaum has worked with Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Weill Cornell and NewYork-Presbyterian, NYU Medical Cen- If you want help Lisa Honig Buksbaum help others, you can contact her at: lisa@ ter and Bellevue Hospital. Her corporate sponsors include Johnson soaringwords.org & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, New York Life, BNYMellon, Goldman

Shifting:

Optimism: Altruism:

Resiliency: Imagery:

Narrative:

Gratitude:

Know someone we should profile in One Person’s Manhattan? Call 212-868-0190 or email nyoffice@strausnews.com.

AT FIRST I WAS EMBARRASSE D. ME, A CAT, LIVING WITH A SINGLE GUY. BUT WH EN I WATCH HIM PICK SOMETHING UP WITH HIS HANDS AND EAT IT, I CAN’T H ELP BUT LOVE HIM. — MARU adopted 01-10-10


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YOUR 15 MINUTES

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

AIRING IT OUT Theasa Tuohy draws on her own experiences, and on her mother’s, in her new novel BY SUSHMITA ROY

Open cockpits dominated the skies during the 1920s and ‘30s. And that freedom to roam the heavens was, for a time, a metaphor for an epoch when everything seemed limitless. On the ground, too, optimism spread like fog on a summer morning. And, in greater and greater numbers, women were in the forefront during those heady days. They would gain the right to vote in 1920. And, increasingly, they would take liberties not explicitly granted to them, including flying. “My mother was a flyer in the ‘30s so I just sort of grew up thinking that you do what you gotta do and it didn’t bother me when people would turn me down because I was a woman. I was like — OK, go on to the next one,” said Theasa Tuohy, 83, a veteran journalist who had tenures at Newsday, The Detroit News, The Associated Press and The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger. Tuohy, who lives on the Upper East Side, recently wrote “Flying Jenny,” a fictional tribute to early days of wom-

en’s aviation. Taking place in 1920s and ‘30s, and loosely based on her mother’s exploits, the story explores the journey of two women: Jenny, the daring stunt pilot, and Laura, the first woman journalist at a New York City tabloid. Drawn from the true events in Elinor Smith’s life, who, at 17, and on dare, flew under all four of the New York City’s East River, Tuohy does what, maybe, she was born to do: explore the journey of various women in male-dominated fields.

How would you describe New York in the 1920s? New York of 1929 was just really fun. Laura (one of the two female protagonists) lives on Gay street and a lot of scenes come from memories; my sister-in-law lived down there for a bit. I used to live in the Village in those days and the scene with the woman screaming from the women’s house of detention came from my memory of hearing a lot of those women. My first apartment was on Bedford Street in the Village so the stuff about Chumley’s came from the memory of its back entrance being on the same block where I lived so I thought it was something really cool that I could sneak in.

Theasa Logan Tuohy, the author’s mother and her “crate.” Photo courtesy of Theasa Tuohy

Would you say that the main character, Jenny, is inspired by your mother and the stunt pilot Elinor Smith? My mother had a pilot’s license which of course was very unusual at that time but I think she was just there for the fun of it or to join the boys. My father’s friends were pilots and even though he wasn’t a pilot himself, he flew all the time with these goofy guys. Whenever there was an air show, here is a woman, they would drag her along, to enhance the visuals or something. A lot of the stunts that Jenny pulls off, Elinor Smith did: stealing the plane, flying under the New York City bridges. The kernel of who Jenny was came from Elinor smith as a stunt pilot. My mother was so tiny that she always tucked a pillow between her and the seat (which is how I got Jenny to do it); she didn’t even want to fly upside down because she was scared that the pillow would fall. Jenny gets her carefree attitude from my mother probably.

How much does your story of being a woman journalist back in the day lend into Laura’s development as a character? Laura faced a lot more but I could always sense the kind of things that she faced. She was the only woman in the newsroom at the time, at the tabloid, and the only way she got that job was because she had done very well in English at Barnard and a professor leaned on the publisher to give her a job and I think that’s kind of the way you got a job in those days.

Theasa Tuohy. Photo courtesy of Theasa Tuohy

Were there any setbacks when you started your career as a journalist? I think this was right after I left the Yonkers Herald Statesman; I was sending out resumes and sending them out to every place. One news manager sent me a letter saying “please call to make an appointment for an audition,” so I called and got on the phone and said, “Mr. so and so, I am Theasa Tuohy and you told me to call for an audition” and there was dead silence for a second and then the guy said, “If you are a woman, lady, the deal is off,” but that’s the way it was and so I went to apply to another place. It was then that I went to Yonkers and the guy said, “I have got an opening at my copydesk but I don’t know. I’ll give you a week’s tryout to see what you can do.” And I said to him, “How heavy can a number 2 lead pencil and copy be?” so for me it wasn’t a big deal and I wasn’t particularly offended. I got really good experience at Yonkers: I covered city hall for a while, I covered just about everything.

And how did you land in all these different newsrooms around the country? I got offered a job by the women’s editor in the women’s section at The Detroit News and I declined even though I needed a job but I had never done that kind of work before; I only did hard news. But then within a week or so, some guy from South Carolina was hired to be the state editor and the day before he was supposed to show up for, he called in and said, “I don’t think I am gonna come up there because I just found out Detroit is north of Canada” and it truly was north of

Windsor, Canada and they were rummaging around and they just called me and offered me the job, not because they wanted a woman but just because they wanted someone. And then I got hired at Newsday because they had a women’s suit against them and they were frantically searching for women with the kind of experience that I had and there weren’t many around in those days.

Did you never think about flying yourself? My father got the idea once when he had too much to drink that, you know, I should be the youngest licensed pilot in the world. There was a tiny airfield near our house in California and my father was like, “Oh yeah! We are gonna go up there; I got the sky lined up!” and my mother was like “No, you are not. No, you are not.” It was a small take-off spot, the Pacific Ocean was at the end of the runway and there were a lot of electric wires and my mother knew it was a dangerous airfield. And that was the extent of my flying: that conversation.

What advice do you have for woman journalists? I mean they are all around! I looked around one day in the newsroom and I saw all these women; there are more of them than men.

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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JULY 5-11,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Eastsider COLOR THE EAST SIDE by Jake Rose

Frick Collection Housed in Henry Frick’s New York City mansion, the Frick Collection serves as a monument to one of America’s great art collectors.

Scan or take a picture of your work and send it to molly.colgan@strausnews.com. We’ll publish some of them. To purchase a coloring book of Upper East Side venues, go to colorourtown.com/ues

CROSSWORD by Myles Mellor

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Across 1 People of a Broadway show 5 Animation platform (abbr.) 8 Girl 12 Scent 13 Coffee ___ 14 Muscle soreness 15 West coast town, ___ Point 16 My country, ___ of thee 17 Twosome 18 Combative 21 Not pas 22 Psyche 23 Honey maker locale 26 Ancient writing materials 30 Scottish cap 31 Omega or flaxseed 32 Briskness 36 Fake 39 Boxing organization, for short 40 Atop (poetic) 41 Sauce (2 words) 48 Make a portrait of 49 Infuriate 50 Military group 51 Alkali’s opposite

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