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The local paper for the Upper East Side ART NOUVEAU FOR THE MASSES ◄ CITY ARTS, P. 12

NUTRITION

Elected officials head off a proposed budget cut P. 5

BY EMA SCHUMER

OurTownEastSide

O OURTOWNNY.COM @OurTownNYC

2019

BREWER HELPS KEEP SENIOR CENTERS OPEN

A city program provides breakfast and lunch at no cost for children 18 and under

CONTINUED ON PAGE 9

11-17 INSIDE

FREE MEALS FOR A HEALTHY SUMMER

School’s out for summer, and while some kids are thinking about how to have fun in the sun, others have a different worry on their mind: going hungry during the day. Every day of the school year, the New York City Department of Education (DOE) serves over 700,000 free meals, according to the Manhattan borough president’s website. For students who rely on these meals, summer recess can be a source of angst. That’s why — from June 27 to August 30 — the DOE serves free breakfast and lunch to children 18 and under at approximately 1,200 sites throughout the five boroughs. “Our focus on the health and wellbeing of young people continues throughout the summer months, and we want all New Yorkers to know that we provide free breakfast and lunch across the City,” Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said in a DOE press release. “Free Summer Meals for Kids” is a federally-funded program that operates in public schools, community pool centers, recreation facilities, public parks, churches, and more.

WEEK OF JULY

Cyclists on a memorial ride along Central Park West last August in honor of Madison Jane Lyden, a 23-year-old Australian tourist who was killed by a truck as she biked on the avenue. Photo: Michael Garofalo

BLOOD ON THE STREETS SAFETY After a rash of cyclist deaths, the mayor calls for a new bike safety plan BY STUART MARQUES

Hours after a cement truck killed a 29-year-old cyclist — the third bike death in a week and 15th of the year — Mayor Bill de Blasio declared an “emergency,” ordered an NYPD crackdown on reckless motorists and told transportation officials to develop a new bike safety plan.

Crime Watch Voices NYC Now City Arts

“We absolutely have an emergency on our hands,” the mayor said, calling the rash of deaths “a dangerous surge.” He said his Vision Zero strategy has been working, “but what we’ve seen these last weeks and months is not acceptable. We’re going to do a full court press to stop it.” But some bike safety advocates were skeptical. Marco Conner, interim co-executive director of Transportation Alternatives, said de Blasio’s words “are only as good as the tangible action they produce.” Connor urged the City Council to pass a “Vision Zero State of Emergency

3 8 10 12

Restaurant Ratings 14 Business 16 Real Estate 17 15 Minutes 20

WHEN BREATHING IS NOT SO EASY

Omnibus Bill” to upgrade safety measures and use new technologies to protect bike lanes. He said the mayor “must have the courage to say that every New Yorker’s life and limb is worth more than any of the three million free parking spaces (in New York).” Gersh Kuntzman, editor of streetsblog.com., was equally blunt. “The devil is in the details,” he said. “We have heard this mayor talk like this before. It’s a matter of persistence, not just a reaction ... He must make this the norm.” Kuntzman also noted that the

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How to manage asthma in hot, sticky weather, P. 2

REMEMBERING JFK JR. Twenty years after his death, a look at 10 books about an American icon, P. 13 Jewish women and girls light u the world by lighting the Shabb candles every Friday evening 18 minutes before sunset. Friday, July 12– 8:09 pm. For more information visit www.chabaduppereastrside.co

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JULY 11-17,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

SUMMERTIME, WHEN THE BREATHING IS NOT SO EASY HEALTH How to manage asthma in hot, sticky weather BY DAVID STEIGER, MD

For most of us summer means more rest and relaxation, but for millions of Americans with asthma, summertime can also mean greater respiratory problems. During the summer, sudden changes in weather such as extreme humidity or sudden cooling can trigger an asthma attack. Winds can spread pollens and molds that affect asthmatics who have grass, tree pollen or mold allergies. And the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that levels of ozone — a gas responsible for smog/hazy conditions — is increased in the summer due to more sunlight and decreased winds. As the temperatures rise, so do levels of ozone, and ozone can trigger asthma.

What is asthma? There are at least 25 million Americans who have asthma, represent-

ing approximately eight percent of the population, affecting more than seven million children up to age 17. Asthma is associated with intermittent symptoms of shortness of breath, cough and wheezing. A patient with asthma may have one to all of the above symptoms. Since these symptoms can be mimicked by other conditions, the diagnosis is confirmed following a complete medical history, physical examination and from diagnostic tests such as pulmonary function tests, which may show variable, and reversible airway obstruction. Asthma is diagnosed by age seven in 75 percent of patients. Asthma severity varies in intensity and may be triggered by diverse stimuli, resulting in an excessive narrowing of the airways, resulting in inflammation of the airways and asthma symptoms.

So what can an asthmatic do? Avoiding triggers, such as environmental allergens like pollens and grasses, molds, cold air, exercise, house dust mites, animal dander, respiratory infections and occupa-

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Asthma check. Photo: Bread for the World, via flickr

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JULY 11-17,2019

3

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 19th precinct for the week ending June 30 Week to Date

Year to Date

2019 2018

% Change

2019

2018

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

0

1

-100.0

Rape

0

0

n/a

11

7

57.1

Robbery

6

2

200.0

72

79

-8.9

Felony Assault

5

4

25.0

70

74

-5.4

Burglary

7

6

16.7

102

110

-7.3

Grand Larceny

39

34

14.7

747

714 4.6

Photo by Toni Webster via Flickr

Grand Larceny Auto

2

1

100.0

13

22

that she would need to wire and mail money from her bank account before her account was frozen. She complied with the request and sent $38,000 by Fed Ex and wired $35,000.

it temporarily. The man became angry, the report said, and grabbed the driver by the shirt and punched him with a closed fist in his right eye. The suspect then fled in a white work van with New York commercial plates 316104MN. The victim refused medical treatment for his eye, which was red and swollen.

PARKING SPACE PUNCH UP

FRUIT VENDOR MUGGED

Police said a 55-year-old man was assaulted June 27 during a dispute over a parking space at the corner of Second Ave. and East 95th St. After parking his car, the driver was approached by an unknown man who said that he had intended to park in that spot, but had stepped away from

A 62-year-old man working as a fruit vendor on Second Ave. and East 93rd St. told police that a man came up behind him and stole $300 from his back pocket on June 27. The suspect then pushed the vendor to the ground and fled toward Third Ave, police said. The victim followed the

$73,000 SOCIAL SECURITY SCAM Police report that a 68-year-old woman living on the Upper East Side was defrauded of $73,000 through a Social Security scam call. The woman told police that she received a phone call on June 28 from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration, telling the woman that her Social Security number was compromised and that they would need to issue her a new one. She was then transferred to someone posing as a police officer, who told the woman

-40.9

man for a short distance before giving up the pursuit. The vendor suffered a small bruise to his elbow and refused medical treatment. A Second Ave. doorman witnessed the incident.

said. The boy then reportedly punched the employee in his face and chest. He was later arrested and charged with robbery. The ice cream was valued at $6.

ICE CREAM ARREST

STOLEN MOTORCYCLE

A 15-year-old boy punched a Rite Aid employee on the evening of June 29 after stealing ice cream from the store at Second Ave. between 95th and 96th streets, according to a police report. The suspect entered the store, walked to the freezer and put the frozen treats in his pants. A 36-yearold male store employee approached the suspect and took the ice cream back from him at the store’s exit, police

A motorcycle was stolen from its parking spot on East 88th St. between Second and Third Aves. sometime during the day of June 27. The 33-year-old owner parked his blue 2017 Yamaha at 7:45 a.m. and when he returned at 8:18 p.m. the motorcycle was gone. A search of the neighborhood proved fruitless. The motorcycle, which has New Jersey plates, is valued at $3,500.

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Useful Contacts

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POLICE NYPD 19th Precinct

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212-452-0600

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311 311

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311

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311

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BP BREWER HELPS KEEP SENIOR CENTERS OPEN FUNDING Elected officials negotiate with the de Blasio administration to head off a proposed budget cut BY JASON COHEN

A dozen senior centers were set to close this summer, but now, with the help of Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and other elected officials, 10 of them will remain open. In a cost cutting move that would have saved the city $9,000, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget proposal originally called for the closure of 12 NYCHA senior facilities. According to Courtney McGee, a spokesman for Brewer’s office, the BP worked directly with the centers to learn their concerns and advocate for them. She also wrote a letter to the administration asking them to keep the centers open, and worked to keep the issue at the forefront of the budget talks by putting it front and center in her letter to the Mayor outlining her budget priorities. Jennifer Fermino, communications director the New York City Council, said that the council negotiated with the administration to keep the clubs open and that they will be funded by the administration. Fermino added that work will be done to improve the centers. Under the 2020 budget, the Frederick Dou-

glass Social Club at 868 Amsterdam Ave., the Senior Center at the Martin Luther King Jr. Towers, 50 Lenox Ave. and the Lincoln Houses Senior Center, 60 East 135th street, will all stay open. Of the 12 centers originally targeted for closure, Baisley Park Houses in Queens and Taft Senior Center, 1365 Fifth Avenue, will shutter their doors. While an alternative senior center, Lehman Social Club, 1641 Madison Ave., will be located within three-quarters of a mile from Taft, Fermino said the council is still ďŹ ghting to keep Taft open. “The council worked really hard to advocate for our seniors in this year’s budget,â€? Corey Johnson, “and we are proud of the end result, which will not only restore funding for ten senior clubs, but also will transfer operation of all clubs to the Department for the Aging,â€? With the Department for the Aging now operating all of the centers, the agency will work to address problems at the facilities. According to DFTA Commissioner Lorraine CortĂŠs-VĂĄzquez’s budget testimony, many of the senior clubs do not meet essential senior center health and safety standards, are not ADA compliant and have chronic leaks, ooding and sewage back-up. Charles Taylor, a long time visitor to Douglass, was upset when he initially heard it was closing, but is now elated. “I’m just happy that it is open,â€? Taylor said. “You got people that have been coming here since they retired.â€?

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU’D LIKE US TO LOOK INTO? DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU’D LIKE US TO LOOK INTO? DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU’D LIKE US TO LOOK INTO? Email us at NEWS@STRAUSNEWS.COM

Charles Taylor, shooting pool, and June Jordan inside the Douglass senior center. Photo: Jason Cohen

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JULY 11-17,2019

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BIKES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

CPW BIKE LANE APPROVED AFTER RAUCOUS MEETING COMMUNITY A controversial plan that sacrifices 400 parking spaces in favor of cyclist safety sparked a furious debate BY JASON COHEN

Street safety advocates gathered last fall to dedicate a “ghost bike” in memory of Madison Jane Lyden, a cyclist who was struck and killed on Central Park West near 67th Street. Photo: Michael Garofalo

NYPD’s “crackdown” is just a three-week ticketing blitz focusing on moving violations and cars that block bike lanes. The war of words erupted shortly after a cement truck crushed Devra Freelander in Brooklyn. She was the 15th cyclist killed on city streets this year — five more than in all of 2018. The horrendous three-death week started June 24, when bike messenger and aspiring Olympian Robyn Hightman, 20, was killed on Sixth Ave. and 24th St. in Chelsea. Three days later, a driver struck and killed cyclist Ernest Askew, 57, in Brooklyn. The deaths sparked outrage, “ghost bike” protests and a vigil where more than 100 cyclists blocked traffic and condemned what they called “legal murder,” because drivers are not charged with vehicular homicide unless they were drunk or high.

The Most Bike-Friendly Cities The deaths also came shortly after a Danish-based urban design company issued a list of the 20 most bike-friendly cities in the world: New York was not one of them. The three safest cities for cyclists, according to Copenhagenize, which has issued the biennial bike-friendly list since 2011, are Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Utrecht. No U.S. city made the list. New York made the 2011 list but has not made the cut since because, a company spokesman said, the city “has not seen the same sustained investment and development” as those on the list. “We lead the world in a lot of ways, but definitely not in bike safety,” says Joe Cutrufo, a Transportation Alternatives spokesman. The city’s Department of Transportation says it has installed 83 miles of protected bike lanes since de Blasio took office in January 2014 as part of Vision Zero. It called the latest death “another senseless tragedy on our roads,” and said the agency would redouble efforts to “engineer safer streets and add more bike lanes.” Advocates and people who have lost loved

We lead the world in a lot of ways, but definitely not in bike safety. Joe Cutrufo, a Transportation Alternatives spokesman ones or friends to fatal collisions say it’s outrageous that community boards, including some on the Upper East Side and Upper West Side are “playing the NIMBY game” and giving in to residents who oppose losing parking space to bike lanes. At a raucous meeting on July 2, Community Board 7 voted to approve a protected bike lane on Central Park West. Every new death brings back “horrific” memories for Mary Beth Kelly, whose husband, Dr. Carl Henry Nacht, was hit near the city tow pound at 38th Street and the West Side Greenway right in front her eyes 13 years ago. “We had the green light and were in the middle of the intersection when a tow truck suddenly veered in and killed my husband,” she said. “The city is moving at a snail’s pace as far as Vision Zero is concerned. This will continue if community boards put parking spaces over lives.” Jason Lewis, a friend of the young woman killed in Chelsea last month, said Hightman was a “tremendous athlete who was on the way to a career as an Olympics competitor ... Robyn was an accomplished cyclist and the safest rider we all knew.” He said the carnage won’t end until Albany legislators toughen up the vehicular homicide laws. “It’s crazy that drivers can’t be charged with manslaughter unless they were drunk or high.” Lewis said. “If you kill a cyclist you should go to jail. 100 percent.”

Residents and Community Board 7 members yelled and interrupted each other for more than two hours in a tension-filled meeting last week before the board passed a resolution approving a northbound protected bike lane on Central Park West. The contentious session, on July 2nd, came after three cyclists were killed in the city in the space of just eight days. A total of 15 cyclists have been killed on city streets so far this year, compared to 10 in all of 2018. During the meeting, people chanted “Someone died!” and held up signs that read “Board 7 do the right thing.” The anger on display was in sharp contrast to a CB7 transportation committee meeting in June, where the bike lane was discussed and approved with calm civility. The Department of Transportation proposal for the CPW bike lane includes dedicated space for cyclists, safer pedestrian and cyclist crossings, dedicated turn lanes and the removal of 400 parking spaces. Sara Lind, co-secretary of CB7, expressed her frustration with the constant rude behavior throughout the evening. She told the audience the protected bike lane had been under discussion for about a year. “I think the bike lane should be implemented as quickly as possible,” said Lind. “If people had concerns, there’s been plenty of time for input. If someone else dies, that can’t be taken back.” Board member Jay Adolf introduced a substitute resolution, which would have required the DOT to take six months to conduct traffic and environmental studies. It was voted down. “I feel like the board was asked to make a decision with a lack of information,” Adolf said.

A Death on CPW It was the death of tourist Madison Lyden on CPW last summer that triggered efforts to add a protected bike lane on the busy avenue. As Lyden was riding north on Aug. 10, 2018, a livery vehicle blocked the painted bike lane, forcing her into the traffic lane, where she was struck and killed by a private sanitation truck. Lyden’s death prompted renewed calls from bike activists and local politicians for the DOT to replace the painted bike lane with a protected lane, a step supporters say would almost certainly have prevented the collision. In addition to Lyden’s death, the DOT found that 22 people have been severely injured on Central Park West from 2013 to 2017. On streets where protected bike lanes were installed, such as Columbus Avenue from West 59th St. to West 110th St., there has been a 15

Some residents at the meeting waved yellow signs reading “Board 7 do the right thing.” Photo: Jason Cohen

percent decrease in all crashes with injuries and a 21 percent drop in pedestrian injuries from 2007 to 2017.

Bike Lane Proponents Resident Nevona Friedman held back tears as she spoke. She could not fathom how people could care more about losing 400 parking spaces than someone’s life. “People here really value parking over neighbors’ and friends’ lives?” she said. “Oh my God it’s unbelievable. We need bike lanes.” Board members Richard Robbins and Kenneth Coughlin said delaying the vote or not implementing the bike lane will hurt the community, not help it. Coughlin noted that having parking spots is important, but safety comes first. “We’re risking lives if we delay this,” Robbins said.

Bike Lane Opponents Resident Sean Donovan was angry that the DOT would attempt to install a protected bike lane without an environmental study. He stressed that the bike lane would create more havoc, not less. “Where is the environmental study?” he asked. “None of this should be done until that has taken place. It’s bullshit. As an engineer, I’m appalled at what you’ve done.” Many speakers said the real issue is that bikers don’t obey the laws or know them. “This is a new and terrifying movement,” said Gregory Nixon. “Bikers often ignore whatever lanes have been set up.” An emotional Laura Jenkins said it would be a disaster if 400 parking spots were removed. She said that not everyone on the UWS is rich and can pay the $500 or $600 fees for parking garages. “I’m a middle class person,” said Jenkins. “I’m not rich. I have a garbage Pontiac. A lot of Upper West Side parents are struggling to survive. It’s very hard, and I can’t afford to not have my car. We need our parking spots.” Board member Sheldon Fine opposed the bike lane and supported Jay Adolf’s substitute resolution. Fine said he wanted a traffic study done, and needed to know what would happen with parking if the spots were removed. “We’re seeing tonight that there are many issues that have not been addressed,” Fine remarked. “Delaying is not going to hurt anybody.” The protected bike lane was approved by a vote of 27-7, with three abstentions.


JULY 11-17,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Bull Moose Dog Run Schematic Design Image: NYC Department of Parks & Recreation

PETS The year-long project will transform the popular but worn-out facility in Theodore Roosevelt Park BY JASON COHEN

Starting this month, a dog run next to the Museum of Natural History will receive a nearly $700,000 facelift. Work will begin on July 27th to renovate the Bull Moose Dog Run in Theodore Roosevelt Park. The project will cost $684,000 and is being funded by Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Helen Rosenthal. It is expected to be completed in a year. According to Crystal Howard, assistant commissioner of communications for the Parks Department, the upgrade will repair the broken drainage system, provide ADA accessible seating areas, reconfigure the small-dog area and protect existing mature trees. Improvements will include a new fence, a drinking fountain with a dog bowl, a double gate and steel mesh tree guards. “This project, when completed, will address the long term issues of concern,” Howard said. “In the short-term, as recently as last summer, we purchased a sump-pump and have worked with the community that uses the run ... to address pooling after excessive rains.”

Brewer’s Role Borough President spokesperson Courtney McGee said helping repair the dog run was important for Brewer. The BP has allocated a total of $582k for the project over the years, in four installments, beginning when she was a council member and allocated $250k. She added $332k as BP. “The Bull Moose Dog Run was a long haul,” McGee said. “The dog owners have been nothing but patient and responsive during this process. Gale has been in contact with them regarding this for years. The parks department painstakingly listened to concerns of both dog owners and community members. This is important to her because it’s important to the community members to have a safe, clean place for their beloved dogs.”

What Took So Long? While work is now underway, not everyone

The Bull Moose Dog Run was a long haul. The dog owners have been nothing but patient and responsive during this process. Manhattan Borough President spokesperson Courtney McGee is thrilled. Elaine Boxer, of the Bull Moose Dog Run Association, said the organization is grateful for the help from elected officials and is looking forward to the work’s completion. But, she added, it’s been a long time coming. “It took over seven years just to get here,” Boxer said, “... including one three-year stretch when absolutely nothing happened, causing Community Board 7 to have to pass a second resolution to kick-start the project.” Boxer said the drainage has been a problem for more than a decade, and rain causes major flooding that persists for two to three days. She also said the run is filthy and animals catch giardia from the standing water, which inevitably has feces in it. After years of use, Boxer explained, the run is no longer a flat surface, but deeply bowlshaped. Without necessary surface maintenance or replacement of surface material, she added, the base layer has been exposed, which includes sharp rocks that cut the dogs’ paws. Boxer said she and her organization could not fathom why the run will be closed for a year. “It’s only a quarter acre of land, and the project has no demolition or construction, so a year seems ridiculously excessive,” she said. The cost of the project also seems excessive, she said. “The budget is eye-watering. We are not just dog owners but also taxpayers, so we’re not thrilled that what started as a simple plea to repair the drainage has turned into a $684,000 project”

Fund-raiser Planned The Bull Moose Dog Run community is hosting a Farewell-for-Now party and doggy playdate on July 20 (rain date July 21) from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. There will be homemade dog treats available, and people can make an optional donation to the Bull Moose Dog Run Association. Funds raised are for future maintenance of the dog run.

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JULY 11-17,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Voices

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

MAILBOXES AND LATE NIGHT NOISE EAST SIDE OBSERVER BY ARLENE KAYATT

Reader readback — All in a day’s work; it’s part of the job. In the last issue I observed what I thought was funny, a “Mailman/postal worker wheeling an empty mail cart to a street mailbox to mail a bunch of letters.” Well, reader extraordinaire, “Alan Mr. Flacks,” disabused moi of the “funny” notion by providing an historical (not hysterical) explanation. Here goes: “Years

ago (around the time of Ted Weiss’s death), the post office stopped collections from the mailboxes inside multiple dwellings. That is to say, no collectors like those who collected mail from the street collection boxes. Instead, the delivery carriers now take the mail from the house collection boxes in residential and commercial buildings and may carry the mailed items back to their p.o. station OR deposit them in a street collection box. What does this most often do? Delay the mail one day. You deposit a letter in your building’s collection box inside; it’s

taken out and put in a street collection box which is collected the next day.” So now we know — and for those who may not — Ted Weiss, who died in 1992, held the congressional seat now held by Congressman Jerrold Nadler. Noisy rich — The late night noise coming from what was supposed to be a “top-tier” restaurant is the basis of a legal wrangle between the residents of The Beekman, a top-tier co-op at East 63rd Street and Park Avenue, and its restaurant tenant Vaucluse. Venue to the rich and famous, Vaucluse converted half of its

restaurant space into Omar’s Club in March 2018, without prior notice, according to The Beekman. In the lawsuit, filed in NY County Supreme Court, as reported in the Patch, the conversion is a violation of Vaucluse’s “contractual obligation to operate only a top-tier restaurant,” as is the noise and vibrations coming into residential apartments late at night which interferes with the residents’ “quality of life and the building’s reputation.” Sounds (pun intended) like noise may be good for Vaucluse’s bottom line, but not for the residents’. Unless there’s

an agreement, a gavel will make the final sound. Or there will be a resounding appeals process through courts of NY. Sounding off costs. Strange pairing — The bus stop at Hudson and Horatio Streets is odd. No, make that dangerous. Within the boundaries of the bus stop, there’s a parking garage. Yes, where cars are driving in and driving out of the parking garage as you stand and wait for the bus, get on and off the bus, or just pass by. It’s just so so obvious? Is there something I’ve missed?

WHAT ARE THE KIDS DOING THESE DAYS? BY MARGARET BARNSLEY

Photo: Margaret Barnsley

Well, for one thing, they’re reading feminist literature and drinking tea. Nestled on the sixth-floor of The Calhoun School on 81st and West End Avenue, better known to some as the TV building, is a tight-knit high school club dedicated to those two pursuits. After being inspired during spring break of my sophomore year, I reached out to another student, Theo, and proposed that we join forces to start that very club. Theo was already running a club about tea, and I wanted to pair it with a feminist book club. We agreed that we wanted to create a fun, supportive, and thoughtprovoking space dedicated to feminist issues. It would be open to all high school students and geared towards those who wanted to expand their feminist knowledge. For Theo, as someone who identifies as a feminist but still didn’t know much about the subject, this new club would provide a place “to

learn from people whom [he] respected.” Once the club was set in motion, we met weekly to discuss the literature we read and its connection to our personal experiences, as well as brew delicious tea. Our tea selections included birthday cake tea, Christmas tea, black tea, and the club favorite — rooibos. With caffeine to stimulate our early morning brains, we had many lively discussions centered on student-chosen literature such as Bell Hook’s collection of essays “Feminism is for Everybody, and “Women, Race, and Class” by Angela Davis. As one club member, Phoebe, put it, “The things we read opened my eyes ... and made me look at parts of the world in a different light.” These discussions not only helped club members gain a critical feminist perspective, but also developed the sense of community within the club. With the freedom and desire to read and discuss academic texts without a teacher around, we had to set our own agenda, hold ourselves

accountable, and be responsible for each other’s learning. By simply deciding to read a book and then talk about it, we had collectively formed a space where we grew both as learners and people, deepening our friendships along the way. And isn’t that what feminism is all about? During one of our meetings, a club member, Kitty, pointed out that “the origins of the feminist movement are women, sitting around kitchen tables talking about experiences shared and not shared.” The club had served as a reminder of the roots of what is now a hugely influential social movement. Despite how feminism has recently expanded into corporate and academic realms, what really makes feminism so unique and powerful is its kitchen table origins. “It evolves from experience,” said Kitty. “And when we practice this type of feminism, like we do with our club, we make it a movement that will always be able to evolve and change with our experiences, both internal and external.”


JULY 11-17,2019

9

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

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Free breakfast and lunch “for everyone 18 years old and under� are available at more than 1,200 sites in teh city, including P.S. 9 Sarah Anderson, at 100 West 84th Street. Photo: Ema Schumer

From Monday through Friday, children can show up at any of the locations to eat breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. The menu features pancakes, cheese omelettes, beef tacos, cheese pizza, fruit salad, and more.

All Are Welcome Brooklynite Joshua McKie, 20, said that growing up he and his three siblings depended on food provided by the DOE. “My mom was able to use the public school breakfast and lunch program to feed us over the summers, and it saved massive amounts of money. We would go pretty much every day in all honesty,â€? he said. McKie — who graduated from the Trinity School on the Upper West Side and attends college at the University of Chicago — remembers using the program one summer during high school when he was working at the New York Public Library. “I would jog over from 42nd and Seventh to about 54th and Tenth every day to get free lunch. It was a great way to cut expenses. It saved me about $1,000,â€? McKie said. To Angela Rodriguez, an Upper West Side mother whose children used the summer meals program when they were in elementary school, the city has a responsibility to provide free meals to kids over the summer. For many kids, Rodriguez said, the free meals they eat during the school year are their main source of food. “The city can’t look the other way and think they’ll get meals for those eight weeks,â€? she said. Linda Carter-Cooper, a school aide for the DOE, with 20 years experience assisting with the program, said that the summer meals program beneďŹ ts a wide range of New Yorkers. Families who cannot afford to provide meals for their children and more ďŹ nancially-stable families alike bring their children, she said. “We’re allowed to feed anyone. We’re open, and there is no discrimination,â€? said CarterCooper, who is working this summer at P.S. 9 Sarah Anderson on West 84th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. As a mother of four, Carter-Cooper said the program beneďŹ ted her family personally. “I

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Raising Awareness of the Program For Roxanne Mootreddy, a mother of two boys ages four and six, the summer meals program is convenient and cost-effective. Mootreddy, who has taken her sons to sites at various locations across the city for the past four summers, appreciates the programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s efforts to introduce healthier foods into kidsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; diets. The meals are â&#x20AC;&#x153;trying to push something fresh...trying to incorporate things that kids might not want to eat...I like that they put a whole food item in there, like bananas, apples, and oranges,â&#x20AC;? Mootreddy said. Not all New Yorkers might be able to take advantage of these healthy offerings, however. Though Carter-Cooper said that the program beneďŹ ts New Yorkers from all backgrounds, she recognizes there may be barriers to entry for families who do not have access to the internet, where information regarding the program is posted. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer works to spread awareness of the program so that more families can take advantage of the summer meals. Her office disseminates program information at schools during the school year and hands out ďŹ&#x201A;iers with site-speciďŹ c information available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Too many New York City children go hungry during the summer break from school â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that will never be something that sits well with me,â&#x20AC;? Brewer wrote in an email to Straus News.

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Calendar NYCNOW

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

EDITOR’S PICK

July 11 - July 14 TIEPOLO IN MILAN: THE LOST FRESCOES OF PALAZZO ARCHINTO The Frick 1 East 70th St 10:00 a.m. Free frick.org 212-288-0700 The Frick Collection presents a selection of paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs related to Giambattista Tiepolo’s first significant project outside of Venice, a series of ceiling frescoes for Palazzo Archinto in Milan.

Thu 11 FILM - THE LETTER ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

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96th St Library 112 East 96th St 2:00 p.m. Free In this 1940 film, based on a W. Somerset Maugham play, Bette Davis plays a wealthy woman who kills a man, supposedly in self-defense. But a letter may come back to haunt her. nypl.org 212-289-0908

Apollo’s Muse: The Moon in the Age of Photography | Conversations with…

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FRIDAY, JULY 12TH, 6:30PM

GMA SUMMER CONCERT SERIES: THE STRUTS

Metropolitan Museum | 1000 Fifth Ave. | 212-535-7710 | metmuseum.org Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, join Met experts for /conversations about works in the new Met photo exhibition. Moon gazing on the roof follows (free with museum

What’s in Your Faucet? Climate Change and New York City’s Water Supply

TUESDAY, JULY 16TH, 6PM Stephen A. Schwarzman Building | 476 Fifth Ave. | 917-275-6975 | nypl.org

Central Park Wollman Rink 6:00 a.m. Free Good Morning America presents rock band The Struts. Watch this band perform old hits and new songs in this summer show. centralpark.com 212-310-6600

Catch a monthly talk inspired by The Climate Report. Paul Gallay, president of Riverkeeper, joins a conversation contextualized by municipal water supply disasters like Flint, Michigan (free).

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New York Society for Ethical Culture 2 West 64th St 1:00 p.m. Free Join this diverse community of knitters. Based in Manhattan, their members hail from all across the metropolitan and tri-state areas and beyond. Present your finished projects to an appreciative audience! nysec.org 212-874-5210


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JULY 11-17,2019

ART NOUVEAU FOR THE MASSES The newly opened Poster House, the first museum of its kind in the U.S., showcases the strong, feminine graphic works of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha

IF YOU GO WHAT: “Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau/Nouvelle Femme” WHERE: Poster House, 119 West 23rd St. WHEN: Through October 6 www.posterhouse.org

BY VAL CASTRONOVO

The name may be in no way familiar, but the works are instantly recognizable. The Czech-born painter, illustrator and graphic designer Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), whose name is synonymous with Art Nouveau, rose to fame virtually overnight when he accepted an eleventh-hour commission to create a theatrical poster for actress Sarah Bernhardt, who was starring in a production of the Greek drama Gismonda in Belle Époque Paris. Call it being in the right place at the right time. It was the day after Christmas, 1894, and Mucha was checking proofs after hours at a printing house when the call came in for a poster to advertise the legendary actress’s latest play — ready for distribution on New Year’s Day. The quick turnaround proved no obstacle for the wildly inventive draftsman, even though he had never created a poster before and had had little success up to that point as an illustrator in Paris. The end product defied the cardinal rules of poster design — it was nearlife-sized, pastel-colored and highly ornamental, with gold metallic. But it was nonetheless embraced by Bernhardt, who immediately enlisted Mucha to use his poster prowess to promote her performances and to design the programs, costumes, sets and her jewelry, too. “He became her go-to guy for five years because of this poster. This poster hits the streets of Paris on New Year’s Day, and it breaks all the rules. People had never seen an ad like this,” chief curator Angelina Lippert said on an opening-week tour. Heretofore, posters were roughly 3-feet by 4-feet, used primary colors and were very “free form.”

Actress Sarah Bernhardt takes center stage. She hired Mucha to create posters, sets and costumes for her numerous roles. Photo: Stephanie Powell. Image courtesy of Poster House

An Intuitive Understanding of His Subject The first section of this inaugural show in the museum’s main gallery is dedicated to the alliance between the actress and artist. Her fame is a draw, his curvy, sensuous renderings of the female form — in spaces chock-a-block with floral motifs, Byzantine mosaics, roundels, arches, “macaroni” hair, sinuous lines and extraordinary detail

— an even bigger one. The approach, heavily influenced by Czech folk art, was dubbed “le style Mucha.” The two got on because Mucha had an intuitive understanding of his subject. Bernhardt loved the Gismonda poster, “because this is the first time an artist sees her the way she wants to be seen,” Lippert said. “Everyone who had done a poster prior to that ... represented her as an ingénue. This woman was a single mother, a powerhouse businesswoman and her own PR machine, so this is how she saw herself.” Mucha’s ingenuity extended to taking photographs of his subjects prior to creating the drawings for his posters. “No one else was doing that for advertising. He was re-inventing what commercial advertising meant, what it involved,” Lippert said.

Bernhardt and Biscuits

Mucha’s “Cycles Perfecta” (1902), a bicycle ad, markets pleasure and freedom. On loan from the Richard Fuxa Foundation. Image courtesy of Poster House

Walls of posters with Bernhardt in the guise of Hamlet, Medea and a variety of historical and Biblical figures give way to an appealing section devoted to product advertisement. Think biscuits, cigarette rolling papers, chocolate, bicycles, champagne and liqueurs. The common denominator: an attractive, self-assured woman, with big hair, subtly shilling. The biscuit maker, Lefèvre-Utile, which is still in existence, became simply “LU” for Mucha. And that’s

how the cookie is known today, the curator said. “He hides [the initials] throughout his posters as a brand re-emphasis,” she said, encouraging her audience to search for the letters embedded in the ads, rather like hunting for the “Ninas” buried in an Al Hirschfeld drawing. And Mucha imagines elegant settings for the cookie, like an opera box or a private garden (see “Flirt,” 1900). “He makes it an aspirational item. He creates environments that are lush, classy and sexy, and he makes the products associated with stuff like that” — but accessible to everyone because, hey, it’s only a cookie and the poster is behind the counter or in the window of the shops for all to see. He democratizes Art Nouveau and gives it mass appeal.

Dream-Like States The final section, in a lower-level gallery, offers Mucha’s decorative panels — allegorical images of beautiful women representing the seasons, time of the day, precious stones and flower types, sans lettering or text of any kind. The designer and the printing house that owned the rights to his work were catering to dealers and collectors who wanted to purchase “a Mucha.” Stripped of commercial claptrap, these works are like mood pieces. They are soft hued and airy, meant to transport viewers into a pleasing, dream-like state, a kind of reverie. Fed up with the daily grind of churning out incredibly intricate pieces for commercial clients, Mucha gave it all up and traveled to the U.S. in 1904, where he failed to gain traction as either an illustrator or a portrait paint-

Mucha’s 1894 breakout poster for Sarah Bernhardt’s star turn in Gismonda. It made him an overnight sensation. On loan from the Richard Fuxa Foundation. Image courtesy of Poster House

er, his dream job. He eventually found his way back to Czechoslovakia, where he completed “The Slav Epic” (1911-28), a masterful painting series marking key moments in Slavic history. None are included in the breezy show here, a long-dive into his creation of strong, empowered female figures at the turn of the last century — a.k.a. the nouvelle femme (new woman). As the organizers state, “These women were part of a budding 20thCentury world wherein they had newfound independence and social agency. Through them, Mucha changed the world of advertising and brought Art Nouveau to the streets.”


JULY 11-17,2019

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

REMEMBERING JFK JR. BOOKS On the twentieth anniversary of his death, a look at 10 books about a New York and American icon BY LORRAINE DUFFY MERKL

I did not know John F. Kennedy, Jr., but he was one of those high-profile New Yorkers who I had happily in my orbit purely by happenstance. In the early 90s, I lived on the Upper West Side. Many a morning when I walked from The Ansonia to my midtown ad agency, I would spy him in a suit coming out of Daryl Hannah’s building to join fearlessly Broadway’s downtown traffic on his bike. Because I too was a cyclist back then, I also used to pedal beside him in Central Park, along with a thousand other star struck bikers, joggers and rollerbladers. (Alas, I never saw him in his shirtless, frisbee-throwing splendor.) When I relocated back to the Upper East Side, I’d catch him entering his sister’s building on Park Avenue. Even after he moved downtown with his wife, I saw him exiting one of his haunts, Bubby’s, as I was entering. I spent many years having there-heis-again moments, but those all ended on July 16th, 1999, when the light aircraft he was flying crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. John Jr.’s senseless demise affected me as it did many New Yorkers — I missed him. And so, over the years I read a number of books written by those who knew him. Although each has its own take, there are some common themes throughout all the accounts: What he lacked in academic achievement, he made up for in sophistication, savvy, and manners; he was deferential to his mother, giving up his dream of being an actor; and most of all, John was reckless, throwing himself into extreme sports with abandon. Some works are written by the authors, while others are “as told to.” Regardless, they all give glimpses into what it was like to have had this icon be part of one’s day-to-day, and how suddenly life became bigger and more interesting for it. For those who are too young to remember him, and for those who, like me, remember all too well being captivated by his public image and personal story, I give you ...

America’s Reluctant Prince: The Life of John F. Kennedy Jr., by Steven M. Gillon (July 2019) “I took John and I put him under the

microscope,” says Gillon, close personal friend, noted historian, and New York Times bestselling author of this new, over 400-page biography. Gillon’s book bares JFK Jr.’s highs and lows, confirms hiss political aspirations and reveals ls relationships never before disiscussed publicly. Gillon also shares res 54 exclusive interviews, and details tails from previously classified Secret ecret Service documents, which discloses closes info such as Jackie’s “tense relationationship with the men assigned to protect rotect her son.” Just when you thought there was nothing new under the Kennedy nnedy sun. In the end, Gillon proves that John’s life was far more than another tragedy — rather, it’s the true key to underd standing both the Kennedy legacy and how America’s First Family continues to shape the world we live in today.

The Good Son: JFK Jr. and the Mother He Loved, by Christopher Andersen (November 2014) From the coffin salute to the aftermath of his own funeral, this recaps America’s son and his sometimesstormy relationship with Jackie O. Part I, quite frankly, is more about her than him with a whole lot of Ari; while Part II is called “John On His Own,” with a double dose of Daryl Hannah.

JFK Jr., George, & Me: A Memoir, by Matt Berman (May 2014) The author was the creative director for George magazine, and shares his daily work-bro relationship with his boss-cum-friend. Full of behindthe-scenes photos, the book gives insight into the magazine industry and George’s place in it, as well as John Jr.’s. — messy office and all. It was not a friendship of equals, though. Although it’s believable that John liked and respected Matt (he comes off as a very nice and talented guy), it’s clear that what the latter experienced was more like hero-worship. No surprise that he was crushed by his mentor’s death. Berman eventually moved to Paris and currently resides in L.A. and is still a creative director, which is a relief given that at the end of the book he seemed to want to never work again if it couldn’t be at George with John.

Fairy Tale Interrupted: A Memoir of Life, Love, and Loss, by RoseMarie Terenzio (January 2012) The fairy tale the author recounts is not that of the marriage between John and Carolyn, but her own as the Bronx Cinderella who became the personal assistant to a prince, aka the George

Photo s via a mazon .com

editor in chief. She portrays her late boss as patient, protective, goofy, occasionally thoughtless and self-involved, yet capable of extraordinary generosity and kindness, and herself as more of a friend than an underling. Terenzio can’t be blamed for wanting her job and the exciting, high-profile, fame-by-proxy life that went with it to last forever. When that didn’t happen though, let’s just say, Caroline Kennedy appeared to move on with her life sooner.

Come to the Edge: A Memoir, by Christina Haag (March 2011) Although a lot of the book’s focus is on the author’s Upper East Side childhood and her struggles to become an actress, Haag does chronicle their poignant story of young romance, with NYC of the ‘70s and ‘80s as the backdrop. John was a prep school friend, before they went to Brown together, but didn’t start dating until after graduation when both were cast in an offBroadway play. “One day he’ll leave you,” said actor Bradley Whitford, the college boyfriend she’d broken up with for the prince of Camelot. And he was right. After five years, John thought they should see other people (in his case, the aforementioned star of “Splash.”) But there’s no bitterness here, only fondness for Haag’s first adult love.

Forever Young; My Friendship with JFK Jr., by William Sylvester Noonan (September 2006) “He told me many times, ‘If I stop to think about it all, I would just sit down and fall apart.’” So, John never sat still. “He was always moving.” Noonan’s father served in the Kennedy administration, and eventually, the sons of the fathers became friends. Actually, it was more like big and little brother, but with a role-reversal twist:

the younger was the star. The author paints a picture of a young man, capable of organizing the clandestine nuptial event of the century, yet needed a Post-It note on his front door to remind him to take his wallet and keys. The night Kennedy died, it was “Billy” whom JFK, Jr. was going to visit to help celebrate his best friend’s fifth wedding anniversary.

What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love, by Carole Radziwill (September 2005) If you only know this author as a Real Housewife of New York City, all I can say is: don’t judge. Radziwill is an Emmy- and Peabodywinning journalist and war correspondent, as well as a novelist. Hers is a story of love and loss at its most heart wrenching. Beautifully written, the book shares how she and her husband, Jackie O.’s nephew Anthony (an actual Polish prince) met at work, married and become a foursome with his cousin John Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette. After five years of marriage, Anthony died of cancer, and three weeks before that, Radziwill buried her two best friends. This is a story crafted by someone with resilience, who truly had it all, at least for a little while.

The Men We Became: My Friendship with John F. Kennedy, Jr., by Robert T. Littell (June 2004) From Brown University pal to NYC roommate to secret Cumberland Island wedding guest to honorary pallbearer (John’s body as well as those of Carolyn and Lauren Bessette were cremated), what this author offers reads like an extended eulogy. Littell met JFK, Jr. during college orientation, and his I-don’t-care-whohe-is-I’m-treating-him-like-anybodyelse attitude became part of his appeal

or “irreverence” as John referred to it. He recounts the debauchery young men are known to embark upon, until the day Jackie summoned them from their post-grad Upper West Side apartment to 1040 Fifth Avenue so she could “suggest” they grow up. Only one of them actually got to go the distance.

The Other Man: John F. Kennedy Jr., Carolyn Bessette and Me, by Michael Bergin (March 2004) Ok, if you want a smidge of tabloid, this is it. The author was a Calvin Klein model who dated Carolyn, the director of publicity for CK’s flagship store in Manhattan, then got dumped for JFK, Jr. Bergin hung around in the wings, an available muscular shoulder — although in the modeling biz he was actually known for his “abs” — that Carolyn could cry on whenever she was mad at her husband. In his fantasy world, if she’d lived, they would have ended up together. A guy can dream.

American Son: A Portrait of John F. Kennedy, Jr., by Richard Blow (May 2002) The only book in the bunch where the author does not claim to be John Jr.’s friend. Blow knew Kennedy only in a professional capacity during his four years as a writer at George; a POV experienced from a close distance. His journalistic objectivity gives a respectful and matter-of-fact report, which concentrates on the progression of the celeb-covered monthly into a mustread, and especially the evolution of the heir-to-Camelot into a magazine editor. On November 25, 2019, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. would have been 59 years old. Lorraine Duffy Merkl is a NYC freelance writer and novelist.


14

JULY 11-17,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS JUNE-JULY 26 - 2, 2019 The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website and include the most recent inspection and grade reports listed. We have included every restaurant listed during this time within the zip codes of our neighborhoods. Some reports list numbers with their explanations; these are the number of violation points a restaurant has received. To see more information on restaurant grades, visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/restaurant-inspection.shtml. Corner Cafe & Bakery

1246 Madison Avenue A

Mel’s Burger

1450 2nd Ave

A

Gfc Cafe 2

413 E 69th St

A

La Esquina

1402 2nd Ave

A

Neil’s Coffee Shop

961 Lexington Avenue A

Jack And Fanny’s

1591 2nd Ave

Grade Pending(18) 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/sewageassociated 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.

Juice Generation

1486 3 Avenue

A

Chirping Chicken

1560 2nd Ave

Grade Pending(25) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. 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 not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Q Marqet

38 E 98th St

Grade Pending(25) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. 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. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewageassociated (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.

Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robins

147 E 116th St

A

Chef Aless

2100 2nd Ave

A

Subway

201 E 116th St

Grade Pending Establishment authorized to reopen after inspection conducted on 07/01/2019.

BREATHING NOT SO EASY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 tional exposures, will help to reduce the need for medication. However, some triggers such as viral respiratory infections, and significant or occupational exercise, may be difficult to avoid. If you have asthma, make sure to check local weather sources that provide pollen count reports. Staying in a cooler room that is less humid and air conditioned will reduce asthma symptoms in hot sticky weather. Significant exercise in hot, humid weather should be avoided as it can also trigger an asthma attack, although swimming may prevent the usual rapid cooling and drying of the airways during exercise. If you cannot afford an air conditioner, the state Medicaid program may pay for one, so call 311 for details. If an air conditioner is unavailable, there are “cooling centers” in schools, libraries or civic centers.

Managing your asthma Treatment with medication is the cornerstone of managing asthma. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) and the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines provide guidance on how to best treat asthma. Asthma severity is determined by the frequency of

a patient’s symptoms, and changes in lung function, as well as by a recent history of hospitalizations for what are known as asthma attacks, or a recent requirement for oral steroid therapy. Intermittent, infrequent symptoms are treated with short-acting symptom relievers/rescue therapy, and anti-inflammatory medication, including inhaled steroids which are used if a patients’ symptoms are persistent and increasingly severe. Oral steroids are reserved for severe persistent symptoms. Patients should be evaluated in the ER, and may even be admitted if the severity of the patient’s asthma exacerbation requires intravenous steroids. As symptoms of asthma improve, the patients’ medication can be reduced in a stepwise fashion. National and international guidelines on asthma management have been have been validated in clinical trials, ensuring that the treating physician can follow established and tested treatment regimens tailored to the severity of the symptoms. Some patients may benefit from new advanced medical treatment with “biologics” for severe, difficult to control steroid-dependent asthma. Biologics include omalizumab for patients who have evidence of severe allergic asthma. In addition, inject-

able medications are now available for a subtype of asthma called “eosinophilic asthma,” which is characterized by an increase in eosinophils — white blood cells that are a normal part of the immune system, which increase in number following certain triggers and are responsible for significant airway inflammation. In general, a patient with asthma should be referred to pulmonary and allergy clinics when the patient has been to the hospital for asthma, or has required frequent courses of oral steroids for unstable asthma. If the patient is not responding to treatment, the diagnosis of asthma may be incorrect, so be sure to see a specialist. If you think you have asthma or have been diagnosed with it, talk to your doctor to develop strategies to minimize your risks of suffering asthma attacks during the summer months, and limiting certain exposures and taking corrective action. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations to best manage your symptoms and asthma conditions this summer. David Steiger, MD, is the chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

More neighborhood news? neighborhood celebrations? neighborhood opinions? neighborhood ideas? neighborhood feedback? neighborhood concerns? Email us at news@strausnews.com


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14TH ST. BUSWAY PLAN STALLS Tired of Hunting for Our Town?

TRANSPORTATION Temporary restraining order halts plan that would have blocked private through traffic

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BY EMILY HIGGINBOTHAM

After a lawsuit halted the launch of the 14th Street busway, the city is fighting a court battle against a group of neighborhood block associations to get its plan back on track. The busway, which would have turned 14th Street between Third and Ninth Avenue into a mostly busonly throughway to speed up buses for 27,000 daily riders during the L Train slowdown, was blocked by a temporary restraining order from a State Supreme Court judge just three days before the traffic shift was to go into effect. The city attempted to appeal the decision in court on July 3, according to Arthur Schwartz, an attorney representing the residents from the West Village, Chelsea and Flatiron neighborhoods who oppose the plan, but the court did not take up the appeal. “They came into court extremely arrogant,” Schwartz said of the Department of Transportation’s lawyers. The DOT will likely try to appeal again, he said, but the next official date the two sides will meet in court is set for Aug. 5.

Opponents Fault DOT The corridor would have blocked private through traffic on 14th Street between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., limiting traffic to buses and trucks for an 18-month test run. Cars would still be permitted to make pickups and drop-offs or access parking garages. The suit did not affect the city’s plan to implement Select Bus Service for the M14 route. A spokesperson for the agency did not respond to

Eastsider News of Your Neighborhood that you can’t get anywhere else A DOT plan to reconfigure 14th Street into a busway has met with resistance from some neighborhood groups, who filed a lawsuit to block the effort. Image: NYC DOT/MTA

“We look forward to ultimately prevailing in court.” Department of Transportation spokesperson questions about the ongoing legal proceedings, but issued a statement lauding the bus initiative. “We look forward to ultimately prevailing in court and to implementing Transit & Truck Priority, which will improve mobility and increase travel speeds for thousands of bus riders each day along the critical 14th Street corridor,” a spokesperson said. “Select Bus Service is designed to operate with dedicated lanes to make it most effective and that is why the full project needs to be implemented as soon as possible.” In their suit, the opposition argued that the DOT did not go through the necessary comprehensive review to study the busway’s environmental impact. Additionally, Schwartz said the busway would likely increase traffic, contribute to pollution and ruin the character of the historic neighborhoods. With this suit, Schwartz said his clients hope to make

DOT go through the “proper environmental process” and conduct an Environmental Impact Statement before going through with what he called a “radical” plan.

East vs. West There is a contingent of residents along 14th Street, particularly on the east side, who are in favor of the busway. Among them is Mary Garvey, a Stuyvesant Town resident, who spoke at a rally in support of the bus corridor on the day it was meant to be implemented. “Those people in the West Village ... they have all the transit available to them and still they’re defending their cars and parking spaces because they live in a private little community in their own mind,” Garvey said. “Those streets do not belong to them. They may live there but the streets and the transits of the city belong to all of us.” City Council Member Keith Powers, who represents 14th Street residents east of First Avenue, also attended the rally, calling on the opposition to drop the lawsuit. “Today was going to be a special day for transit in New York City,” Powers said. “We were going to take a big thruway — 14th Street — and say it is for buses and pedestrians first.”

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JULY 11-17,2019

Business

(SOME) DOGS NOT ALLOWED Owners accompanied by emotional support animals can still be refused service in NYC establishments BY NICOLE ROSENTHAL

New York City is certainly no stranger to man’s best friend. From hosting the annual Westminster Dog Show to having its own dog museum, you can be sure to see a furry friend on every corner. However, all canines are not treated the same under NYC law, especially when it comes to animals who provide services to their owners. While New York’s Civil Rights Law requires public facilities (including restaurants and other food establishments) to allow guide dogs, service dogs and hearing dogs, emotional support animals — therapist-approved animals that assist owners with mental or emotional disabilities or conditions — are not included in the legislation. And that can create serious problems for people who depend on their animals to help them navigate life in the city. “Personally, I know that my anxiety is often worse in public spaces,” said Faith Marnecheck, 20, a student at New York University and owner of an emotional support Rottweiler mix named Roxie. “By not allowing my emotional support animal (ESA) in public, I do not have the comfort and anxiety-reducing effects my dog provides for me.” The de facto ban on ESA’s can make people who need them more likely to not leave their house, or to be more symptomatic in public, Marnecheck added.

The law distinguishse between emotional suport animals and service animals, such as seeing eye dogs, who are trained to perform a specific task or service. Photo: Nicole Rosenthal

Store Owners Decide Although these animals can provide a sense of safety, companionship, and comfort to their owners, they are not trained to perform specific tasks and are therefore not protected as service animals, according to the NYC Human Rights Law. That leaves it up to the owners of public accommodations to allow or ban ESAs from their establishments.

Therapy dogs have been very successful in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Clinical social worker Sean Grover

Roxie, a Rottweiler mix, serves as an emotional support animal for her owner, Faith Marnecheck. Photo: Fait Marnecheck

Marnecheck said she has been refused service at Shake Shack and Starbucks with Roxie in tow, making it increasingly difficult to find a cheap meal on a college budget with her four-legged friend. “It’s very easy to receive a letter from a health professional for a therapy dog — I have written many,” said Sean Grover, a clinical social worker based in the East Village. “Therapy dogs have been very successful in alleviating the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Caring

for an animal can also bring comfort and meaning into one’s life.” While ESAs are allowed in nopets housing under the federal Fair Housing Act, and are also allowed to fly in airplane cabins, owners of emotional support animals still do not have guaranteed access to public spaces such as restaurants, hotels and retail stores. Although recent legislation has been increasingly restrictive on the rights of service animals, some ESA owners, including Marnecheck, hope to see more

inclusive laws in the near future. “I really hope that laws change to recognize the importance of having ESAs in all spaces,” said Marnecheck. “I would be so happy if the laws changed because I feel so much better when I have my dog with me, and I hope that I will soon have the same rights as people who need service dogs. I think that progress is being made, but I do not think these laws will change soon.”


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Michael Kramer, a steering committee member of Save Our Seaport and a public member of Community Board 1, addressed a rally in May. Photo: Emily Higginbotham

A CONTROVERSIAL CLEANUP DEVELOPMENT After a community protest over a “poison parking lot,” new concerns about contamination

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BY EMILY HIGGINBOTHAM

Developers are set to begin a controversial mercury cleanup in the backyard of two South Street Seaport schools after a state agency gave its approval in recent weeks. The Department of Environmental Conservation concluded a review of the application the Howard Hughes Corporation submitted to enter the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program — a review that was significantly prolonged by opposition from local groups that headed a letter-writing campaign and staged a rally to voice their concerns that the cleanup could expose children to toxins. The site, which the developer purchased for $180 million last year, takes up a city block and currently functions as a parking lot. Historically, it was the site of a thermometer factory. The Howard Hughes Corp. applied to the Brownfield program after discovering mercury and other contaminates in the soil in January. The program is typically used to revitalize economically blighted communities, incentivizing private-sector cleanups with tax credits. Children First, a group of parents formed amid the turmoil, have voiced their disappointment with the DEC’s decision and have asked the department and local politicians to provide the community with grant money to hire an independent engineer. “We will continue to fight for a third-party to oversee the remediation of the site,” Megan Malvern, co-founder of Children First and a parent of children who go to the neighboring Peck Slip School, said following the decision. “We call on the NYSDEC and our elected officials to provide the community with a Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) to fund an inde-

We will continue to fight for a thirdparty to oversee the remediation of the site. Megan Malvern, co-founder of Children First pendent engineer to represent the community throughout the process.” The DEC has stressed throughout the uproar that any cleanup of the site would be carefully monitored by its agency. “During the cleanup of sites in the program, DEC rigorously monitors all activities and requires that remedial parties undertake efforts to ensure there is no exposure to any contamination at the site, including comprehensive investigations to determine the full extent and nature of contamination,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement. Before the cleanup can take place, according to the DEC, the developer must submit a detailed plan to investigate the site that includes measures to protect the public from exposure, which will then be reviewed by the DEC and the State Department of Health and subsequently issued for public review and comment. The Howard Hughes Corp., which did not respond to a request for comment, has not submitted any plans for a prospective project to the city. The developer has only hinted that it might attempt to transfer air rights it owns at nearby properties. Residents fear that Howard Hughes Corp. are planning to transfer those air rights to build a 70-plus-story structure at the lot, which is not within the architectural context of the Seaport. In 2003, a rezoning effort set the limit at 12 stories, but the developer could sidestep that standard through a rigorous process and community board approval.


JULY 11-17,2019

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MOMOTION IN ACTION PARKS Popular basketball program helps raise money to improve Riverside Park courts BY EMA SCHUMER

I spent the summer of 2013 playing pickup basketball on courts in Riverside Park. As a 13-year-old girl standing under five feet tall, I was an unlikely competitor. I came to expect and almost enjoy the invariable glare that boys at the park would give me from afar, reluctant to be on my team or to defend me. These boys learned a valuable lesson that summer, however, which is to not judge someone based on their gender or size; I may not have looked like a basketball player, but I had game. I could dribble as well as anyone else on the court; I could see the floor and pass better than anyone else; I had a decent shot, I played defense, and I hustled. I had honed these basketball skills at MoMotion — an Upper West Side youth basketball organization. As one of its many programs, MoMotion runs a summer camp that takes a group of middle school boys and girls to Riverside Park to play bona fide New York City hoops. I learned a lesson that summer too. Fending for myself on the Riverside Park courts gave me grit, thick skin, and the courage to speak up for myself — characteristics that all too often are elusive in teenage girls. I look back on that time as formative. Without public basketball courts like the ones in Riverside Park — courts that bring together New Yorkers from all walks of life to play a game of pickup — I may not be as confident or fearless as I am today.

A Worthy Cause Six years later, in addition to hosting clinics and private lessons, MoMotion still brings kids to the Riverside Park courts to play pickup. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, MoMotion — which enrolls approximately 750 kids — is fund-raising to improve the conditions of the courts located at West 76th Street. The first phase of the project is raising $28,000 by August 1 to replace the courts’ seven rims and backboards by this fall ($15,000 has been raised so far). The second phase is raising $50,000 to repatch and repaint the ground. MoMotion is collaborating on the projects with Riverside Park Conservancy, a non-profit committed to the maintenance and restoration of the park. Dan Garodnick, president and CEO of the Conservancy, said that without MoMotion’s efforts, the courts would not get the fix-up that they deserve. “We’re happy that Mo[Motion] is stepping up to help us to get this done because [the courts are] clearly in need of a refresh,” he said. The city installed the courts at West 76th Street in the 1960s, explained Department of Parks & Recreation spokesperson Crystal Howard. The courts were restored in the early 2000s and only small improvements have

been made since. The need for a makeover is apparent to anyone who plays on the courts: the rims are crooked and under regulation height. They don’t have nets to catch the ball; when someone sinks a shot, the ball continues on its trajectory and hits the nearby fence rather than dropping nicely to the ground. The backboards are rusted, turning an attempted kissoff-the glass shot into an ugly bite. The pavement is laced with cracks. Despite these conditions, the courts continue to host boisterous pickup games. Nathan Cates, 20, who lives on West 70th Street, said that he has played pickup on the courts almost every weekend for the past six years. Cates — who attended Booker T. Washington Middle School and the High School for Math, Science and Engineering — described the courts as a fulcrum of community for the neighborhood. “These are the best courts in the neighborhood for competition. 50 to 100 people are out here on weekends. People pull up with lawn chairs and speakers to watch,” he said.

Plans call for new hoops and backboards at the West 76th St. courts in Riverside Park. Photo: Courtesy of Maureen Holohan

The Mo of MoMotion Maureen Holohan, 47, known by kids and parents around the city as just “Mo,” is the eponymous founder and executive director of MoMotion. Born and raised in Wynantskill, New York, Holohan received numerous accolades for her achievement on the court, including high school All-American and New York state MVP. She received a scholarship to play Division 1 basketball at Northwestern University, where she earned All-Big Ten honors for three seasons. After college, Holohan played professional basketball overseas before returning to New York, where she has coached in various positions. In 2008, Holohan founded MoMotion after a group of seventh grade boys she had coached asked her to start her own team. “It was accidental. I didn’t think it would be the biggest program arguably in New York,” she said. With no gym space and a group of middle schoolers eager to play basketball under Holohan’s instruction, she used the courts at Riverside Park to grow her program. At the time, she was living with her sister and her sister’s boyfriend on West 73rd Street because she had “no money.” “It all sort of started there, which is why we’re renovating it. I’ve always thought to myself, ‘It’s such a shame that these courts have so much potential to bring people together. However, they’re not the greatest rims and boards.’ I’ve been waiting for years for people to change them and then I realized that person should be me,” she said.

The Benefits of Pickup Even after establishing MoMotion as Manhattan’s preeminent program in youth basketball development, Holohan often prefers to bring kids to public courts to play pickup rather than playing in state-of-the-art indoor

The author at 13, playing defense during a MoMotion game. Photo: Courtesy of Maureen Holohan

facilities. She is a believer in pickup basketball’s ability to develop kids as both basketball players and problem solvers — in ways that organized basketball cannot. “I really believe in the kids interacting and solving problems,” Holohan said, “like how do you get through a bad pickup game? How do you figure out how to guard the old sweaty guy who doesn’t move or the high school kid. How do you figure out how to guard the girl?” Mo said. MoMotion player Mary Ashley Groot, 14, a rising ninth grader at The Dalton School, said playing pickup at West 76th Street has instilled confidence in her. “As an eighth grader playing pickup it’s a little weird at first because you’re playing with a lot of guys who are older, stronger, and bigger, But it’s also a really empowering experience to know you can play with people of all ages and all genders,” she said. Pickup was also influential for Holohan.

“That’s how I learned about myself — on the playground, solving those problems, without someone fixing them for me.” These are not the first courts that Holohan has fixed up. Over the years, her organization has financed improvements to courts at P.S. 191, P.S. 75, Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, West Side High School, and Dunlevy Milbank Center. Groot’s mother, Ashley Stevenson, said that by improving the Riverside Park courts, Holohan “will help not only the Upper East, Upper West Side typical private school kid, but she’ll also reach thousands of more kids.” Tax-deductible donations to restore the courts can be made on the Riverside Park Conservancy website’s donation page by including “West 76 St Basketball Courts” in the gift line.


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JULY 11-17,2019

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PUNK JUNK: THE RAMONES MEET PROUST CULTURE Ephemera and artifacts from a gritty musical era pack a surprising wallop BY VIRGE RANDALL

The punk graphics show “Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976—1986,” at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) is so vibrant the building could shake. Its 400 graphic items (flyers, posters, album covers, promotions, zines, and other ephemera) had many of the older, well-dressed visitors (who still had pink hair and earrings, and that was just the men) smiling and pointing, while younger people hit the turntables. And that’s just the way the curator wanted it. “The time seemed right” said exhibition curator, Andrew Blauvelt, “enough time had passed to make it more historical, but not too much time so that there would be an audience who would have lived through the era.” Blauvelt, director of the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, was recently appointed Curator-At-Large for Design at MAD. The exhibit originated at Cranbrook, and is almost completely derived from the collection of New Yorker Andrew Krivine. The show is just a fraction of his collection. The exhibit, some three years in the making, is a two-floor mashup of color and form that feature the art and the milieu that spawned it. You see the big guns as soon as you step off the elevator: huge posters, vivid colors, bold typefaces that command attention. David Bowie looks positively sedate near The Slits, topless in full jungle gear, Devo and the aggressively suited Kraftwerk.

The Visual Language of Punk You’ll want to pull out your old vinyl, but the exhibit spares you the effort. There are turntables on each of the two floors of the show, with bins of vintage vinyl to flip through: The Pretenders, Elvis Costello, Blondie, the Ramones ... you’ll probably find the album you used to roll your joints on in the dorm. The Elvis Costello fan I went with was ecstatic. The show is divided into nine sections that Blauvelt said “represent different ways of understanding the visual language of punk and the kinds of strategies used by design-

The exhibit includes hundreds of posters and other examples of punk graphics. Photo: Virge Randall

ers to communicate to this new kind of audience: techniques such as collage, or attitudes such as irony, or pop culture influences such as comix and sci-fi and horror, for instance.” The flavor of the show is driven by the energy and pushback against a formulaic rock industry and a society that had become increasingly complacent. The show is laid out by visual strategies and design techniques (cut and paste, or typography) and outsider influences like comics, horror movies and ironic takes on ‘modern’ art. Subversion was the driving force and no subject was sacred: not even the Queen ... or the American Express card. The section “From NYC” tugs at the heartstrings. The art is held to the walls by magnetic pins similar to the pushpins that secured the originals to the walls of Tower Records, J&R Music World, and the bulletin boards of The Mudd Club, CBGB’s and other clubs and dive bars. Visitors of a certain age will enjoy seeing posters of the concerts and shows they attended hanging in a museum; the vibrancy of the time and the performers lingers. The effect is not unlike Proust’s Madeleines, and sets a mood simultaneously distant and immediate.

Patti, Frank and Some Rats The show moves into its own with “Agitprop: Power to the People,” addressing the subversive quality of punk. Here the bold graphics deliver a startling message and the Clash pretty much owns the room.

Their art uses Communist flags, provocative graphics and photos with in-your-face messages. The “Atlas of Give ‘em Enough Rope” is a world map with arrows to selected hot spots. “For Arts Sake” seems the most focused of the sections. The amount of art in the other rooms offer so much competition for the eye that it is almost too much to take in at once. This room focuses on large, single works — the iconic black and white photo of Patti Smith from the “Horses” album (doing her nod to Sinatra with a coat casually flung over one shoulder). The showstopper, though, is a series of huge, glorious photo portraits in simple colors of punk icons like Ian Dury, Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello by Barney Bubble (aka Colin Fulcherry). The neat graphics and clean bold colors in these huge, sharp and well detailed portraits show the range of skill by this graphics artist, whose work is peppered throughout the show. Not all the art in this room is tied to music or performers. Running along the wall, near the floor, is a disturbingly realistic photo series of rats. The work, “Rats” by The Rat Patrol, was a commentary on downtown’s vermin infestation in the wake of the 1979 garbage strike and the authorities’ apathetic response. The Sex Pistols’ famous reworking of Queen Elizabeth II’s 25th anniversary portrait is naturally in The Appropriated Image section, but familiarity dulls its impact.

Ian Dury and the Blockheads looking good with electric shavers for faces. Photo: Virge Randall

One of the strongest images of the punk era, the Sex Pistols queen. Photo: Virge Randall

The Finishing Touch This show is almost too much to take in at one go. The wit and creativity of the Comics section will resonate for anyone who collected Zap Comics (or anyone who loved the Ramones), Scary Creatures and Super Creeps, is best saved for a visit after lunch. Cut & Paste, Collage and Bricolage and Riding a New Wave all demonstrate the willingness to borrow from wildly diverse influences — public domain images (the statue of liberty) or randomly placed geometrics or splatters of color, or unlikely juxtapositions or substitutions (Ian Dury and the Blockheads’

facial features are replaced with electric shaver heads). Make sure to visit the last room, featuring Eccentric Alphabets. Random typefaces sprawl across the walls, all drawn from the ‘ransom note” school of typography and design pioneered by the Sex Pistols. The finishing touch here is in the center of the room — a huge display case of the buttons touting artists and albums, and a selection of concert tickets. As the Elvis Costello fan I saw the show with said, “Wow, imagine seeing Lou Reed for seven bucks.” Virge Randall is a freelance culture reporter who blogs about city life at newyorknatives. com/author/virge/


JULY 11-17,2019

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Each Sudoku puzzle consists of a 9X9 grid that has been subdivided into nine smaller grids of 3X3 squares. To solve the puzzle each row, column and box must contain each of the numbers 1 to 9. Puzzles come in three grades: easy, medium and difficult.

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SUDOKU by Myles Mellor and Susan Flanagan

by Myles Mellor

51

Eastsider 1

21

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com


22

JULY 11-17,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

PUBLIC NOTICES

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

CLASSIFIEDS ADOPTION

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POLICY NOTICE: We make every effort to avoid mistakes in your classified ads. Check your ad the first week it runs. The publication w only accept responsibility for the first incorrect insertion. The publication assumes no financial responsibility for errors or omissions. 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-pa

HELP WANTED

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More neighborhood celebrations? neighborhood opinions? neighborhood ideas? neighborhood feedback? neighborhood concerns?

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JULY 11-17,2019

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

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