Page 1

The local paper for the Upper East Side

WEEK OF AUGUST CANINES COMPETE ◄ P. 12

2-8 2018

A MAILMAN’S FIRST-CLASS FAREWELL ROUTE’S END For 20 years, he delivered the mail – along with good cheer and bundles of joy, hope and love – to the residents of the Upper East Side BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

shape the local representative bodies. The city’s 59 community boards, 12 of which represent Manhattan neighborhoods, are the most local manifestation of New York City’s municipal government, responsible for advising elected officials and government agencies on matters of community importance. Each board is composed of up to 50 volunteer members appointed by the borough president, half of whom must be nominated by the City Council member or members representing the district. Members can be reappointed to an unlimited number of two-year terms. Critics charge that the current appointment system has resulted in boards with little turnover in membership due to repeated reappoint-

No one knows East 88th Street between First and Third Avenues — and its 16 businesses, 56 residential buildings, 643 delivery addresses and roughly 1,400 renters and homeowners — better than Ilsoo Choi. He’s friendly with the “kindly local billionaire,” though he’s too discrete to name him. He’s encountered “countless doctors and professors,” a foreign diplomat — and a healthy number of down-to-earth celebrities. Veteran Fox TV anchor Rosanna Scotto is one of them. She lives on one of the two long blocks that comprise his territory. And she couldn’t be any sweeter. “She’s simply a beautiful, beautiful lady,” Choi said. He’s befriended the area’s dispossessed, too, like the homeless woman — “Nancy,” she called herself — who sat by the Vietnamese restaurant on 88th Street at Second Avenue. “She was my mentor,” he said. A former schoolteacher who lived in the East 90s and fell on hard times, Nancy was a “beautiful soul,” he said. “We’d talk every day for seven or eight years. She was lovely. And then one day, she just disappeared.” The 62-year-old Choi knows them all — and he just said his goodbyes to many of them — because after 20 years as a letter-carrier on the Upper East Side, including 12 years walking the same route on 88th Street, he is starting what he calls a “new chapter as a retiree.” Nancy always knew this day would come: “I’d sometimes try to give her

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Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer opposes instituting term limits for community board members. Brewer’s office is responsible for appointing members to Manhattan’s 12 community boards. Photo: William Alatriste/NYC Council

PANEL EYES CHANGES TO COMMUNITY BOARDS POLITICS Mayor’s charter revision commission to examine term limits, increased land use resources for local advisory boards BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

As part of the city’s ongoing charter revision process, New Yorkers could be asked to vote this year on major changes to rules governing community board membership, including instituting term limits and a uniform citywide appointment process. The preliminary staff report of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s charter revision commission, released in July, recommends that the 15-member commission consider potentially significant measures that could re-

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Veteran letter-carrier Ilsoo Choi outside the Gracie Station Post Office on East 85th Street on Thursday, July 26, as he prepares to deliver the mail for the last time along his route on East 88th Street. After 20 years on the job, the postman sent his patrons a farewell letter before retiring. Photo: Douglas Feiden

It is in this country that I’ve gained countless blessings over the years.” Letter from Ilsoo Choi, mailman

14 16 17 21

Jewish women and girls light up the world by lighting the Shabbat candles every Friday evening 18 minutes before sunset. Friday, August 3 – 7:51 pm. For more information visit www.chabaduppereastside.com

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Healthcare in Your Neighborhood Lighthouse Guild Health Center, now in your neighborhood, provides coordinated vision and healthcare. We have specialized programs to maximize your functional vision and we address underlying medical issues through primary and specialty care. We provide: ï Primary and specialty care ï Behavioral health support ï Eye doctor (including vision rehabilitation) ï Physical and occupational therapy 5 days a week

ï Physiatry ï Diabetes care and self-management ï Community-based coordinated care management*

HOW YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD VOTED IN 2016 What district-level election results reveal about the Upper East Side

BY OUR TOWN STAFF

Last week The New York Times published an interactive map showing the results of the 2016 presidential election at an incredible level of detail. A doctoral student at Washington State University, Ryne Rohla, assembled information about how people voted down to the voting district level. His work tallied information for each of the nation’s 168,000-plus voting districts. We’ve mined that data to show you some of the more interesting parts about the neighborhood

1

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even down to the block level. Manhattan’s map is overwhelmingly blue. Republican candidate Donald Trump failed to win a single voting district in Manhattan. Though Democrat Hillary Clinton dominated, earning 87 percent of the vote in Manhattan, these results afford a granular look at how voting behavior can vary within neighborhoods and even from block to block. Published here are a few hyperlocal insights gleaned from The Times’s map.

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Above 98th Street, from the East River to 5th Avenue, Clinton received more than 88 percent of the vote in all precincts save one. single-block precinct 2 Inthatthegoes from 2nd to 3rd Avenues and 106th to 107th Streets, Clinton polled less well than everywhere else above 98th Street. 85 percent (380 votes) voted for Clinton to Trump’s 13 percent (60). the Upper East Side’s most pro3 InClinton precinct, comprising 102104 Streets and 5th Avenue to Park Avenue, 97 percent, or 349 people, cast ballots for her and just 1.9 percent, or 7 people, voted for Trump. 59th Street 4 From to 76th on the east side from 5th Ave to Lexington, more people voted for Trump than elsewhere on the East Side. None of the voting precincts in this area gave Clinton more than 76 percent. 8-block precinct 5 The that starts on 60th Street, a block north of Central Park’s southeast corner, and extends to 64th Street and to Park Avenue to the east, was the Upper East Side’s least supportive of Clinton, with 68 percent, or 342 people, voting for her and 27 percent, or 134 people, for Trump. received some of his 6 Trump strongest Manhattan support along Billionaire’s Row, winning 29 percent of the vote in two precincts covering parts of East 57th and 58th Streets (one of which included his residence at Trump Tower).

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Votes for Clinton Less

More


AUGUST 2-8,2018

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG JEWELRY THEFT

STATS FOR THE WEEK

A Riverside Boulevard resident is out about $24,000 in jewelry, she told police. The 45-year-old woman said she saw her ring box was missing from the bedside table on July 18, and found that other jewelry was missing as well. She told police that multiple people had been in her apartment a few days prior, and numerous building personnel had access to her apartment keys as well. The items stolen included a pocket watch valued at $10,000, a diamond bracelet worth $7,000, a diamond ring priced at $6,000, and a jade necklace tagged at $1,000, making a total stolen of $24,000.

Reported crimes from the 19th district for the week ending July 22 Week to Date

Year to Date

2018 2017

% Change

2018

2017

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

1

0

n/a

Rape

0

1

-100.0

8

7

14.3

Robbery

2

3

-33.3

86

66

30.3

Felony Assault

2

4

-50.0

80

76

5.3

Burglary

3

2

50.0

118

114

3.5

Grand Larceny

24

34

-29.4

801 772

3.8

Grand Larceny Auto

1

3

-66.7

35

75.0

20

MOTORCYCLE STOLEN Unfortunately, parking your motorcycle on the street overnight entails some risk, especially when it’s not locked up. At 11:30 p.m. on Friday, July 13, a 35-year-old man parked his motorcycle in front of 400 West 63rd Street. When he was walking his dog at noon the following day, his motorcycle was gone. He had not locked up his Triumph Thruxton, and a search of the neighborhood proved fruitless. The stolen bike was a black 2005 model valued at $10,000.

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

MOPED THIEF ARRESTED An alert doorman helped thwart a moped thief. At 2:39 a.m. on Tuesday, July 17, the doorman at 100 Riverside Boulevard heard a loud noise outside the building and went to check it out. There he saw a man trying to break the lock on a moped. The building’s porter approached the man, who said he had lost his key and needed to break the lock on the bike, a 2006

Genuine Buddy 125 valued at $2,600, according to a police account. At this point the man pulled the moped around the corner of the building onto West 65th Street. The doorman called police, and a registration check revealed that the moped had been reported stolen within the conďŹ nes of the 19th Precinct. Allan Zusstone, 37, was arrested and charged with grand larceny auto.

WALLET SNATCH

PURLOINED PACKAGE

An area resident discovered just how expensive a cup of coffee at Starbucks can be. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 21, a 38-year-old woman was inside the Starbucks at 1841 Broadway when someone took her wallet out of her bag and soon charged several transactions on her cards without her permission or authority, according to police. She later canceled her cards, but not before $1,030 was charged to her charge cards. She also was out a wallet, a gift card and her driver’s license and medical cards.

A young man lost a brand-new, $1,250 laptop to a package thief. At 12:47 p.m. on Saturday, July 7, an unknown person signed for and took property delivered by FedEx inside a building on West 70th Street, police said. The intended recipient, a 28-yearold man, said he was away while his package was delivered, and his roommates had not signed for it.

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Useful Contacts

AUGUST 2-8,2018

Drawing Board

POLICE NYPD 19th Precinct

153 E. 67th St.

212-452-0600

159 E. 85th St.

311

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

157 E. 67th St.

311

FDNY Engine 53/Ladder 43

1836 Third Ave.

311

FDNY Engine 44

221 E. 75th St.

311

CITY COUNCIL Councilmember Keith Powers

211 E. 43rd St. #1205

212-818-0580

Councilmember Ben Kallos

244 E. 93rd St.

212-860-1950

STATE LEGISLATORS State Sen. Jose M. Serrano

1916 Park Ave. #202

212-828-5829

State Senator Liz Krueger

1850 Second Ave.

212-490-9535

Assembly Member Dan Quart

360 E. 57th St.

212-605-0937

Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright

1485 York Ave.

212-288-4607

COMMUNITY BOARD 8

505 Park Ave. #620

212-758-4340

LIBRARIES Yorkville

222 E. 79th St.

212-744-5824

96th Street

112 E. 96th St.

212-289-0908

67th Street

328 E. 67th St.

212-734-1717

Webster Library

1465 York Ave.

212-288-5049

100 E. 77th St.

212-434-2000

HOSPITALS Lenox Hill NY-Presbyterian / Weill Cornell

525 E. 68th St.

212-746-5454

Mount Sinai

E. 99th St. & Madison Ave.

212-241-6500

NYU Langone

550 First Ave.

212-263-7300

CON EDISON

4 Irving Place

212-460-4600

POST OFFICES US Post Office

1283 First Ave.

212-517-8361

US Post Office

1617 Third Ave.

212-369-2747

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BOARDS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 ments, producing makeup that often lacks ideological and demographic diversity, particularly in neighborhoods that have recently undergone rapid change. Term limits, they claim, would create increased diversity through new appointments. Ben Kallos, who represents much of the Upper East Side in the City Council, said in recent public testimony that term limits “are necessary to ensure that these bodies reect their communities and create a culture of getting things done and foster mentoring and the passing on of institutional memory.â€? Other have argued that increased turnover would have the opposite effect on institutional memory, unnecessarily robbing boards of experienced and committed members. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer opposes term limits, citing the importance of maintaining experience and expertise among the bodies’ membership. “Members must know about zoning, tax incentives, housing finance, landmarking, and so much more,â€? Brewer said at a recent public hearing held by the mayoral commission. “This is knowledge that takes full-time students and planners years to develop, and community board members must learn it all as parttime volunteers.â€? Brewer pointed out that Manhattan community boards have seen nearly 60 percent turnover in membership since she took office in 2014, and said that her office takes performance and attendance into account in evaluating members for reappointment. Various groups and elected officials have recommended term limits ranging from four to eight years.

The charter revision commission convened by Mayor Bill de Blasio is evaluating the role community boards play in New York City government, and could submit policy changes for voter approval on the November ballot. Photo: NYC Charter Revision Commission, via Twitter The mayoral commission, which is holding public hearings, has neither determined whether it will include revisions to term limits among its final ballot proposals, nor indicated the maximum term length it might recommend. The mayoral commission is expected to issue its ďŹ ndings and detail potential ballot proposals to amend the charter by September. The proposals could be put to voters in November. The mayoral-appointed commission is one of two panels reviewing the New York City Charter, the municipal government’s organizing document. The City Council voted to convene its own charter revision commission in April shortly after the formation of the mayoral commission was announced. The Council’s commission, which met for the ďŹ rst time in July, has a broad mandate and will examine the Charter in its entirety, while the mayor’s appointees (though they are empowered to review the entire charter) have been charged with a narrower focus on is-

sues of campaign ďŹ nance, community boards, voter access and districting. The Council’s review has a longer timeframe and would send measures to voters in November 2019. The timing of the process has frustrated some community board members, who say that the swift period, from the time the preliminary staff report was released in July until the commission’s ďŹ nal recommendations are announced in September, gives community boards — many of which do not meet during the month of August — little time to evaluate and weigh in on proposals that could signiďŹ cantly impact how the boards function. “We’re a little concerned that this is moving more quickly than maybe it should,â€? said Anthony Notaro, the chair of Community Board 1, which serves much of Lower Manhattan. “If you’re going to potentially have major changes to the community boards, why not have enough time for the community boards to give input on it in the form of resolutions?â€? Notaro said. Notaro explained that while he does

not support term limits, the full membership of Community Board 1 has not yet had an opportunity to discuss the idea. Notaro said that members Community Board 1’s executive committee will likely meet in a special session in August to evaluate the commission’s recommendations. Roberta Semer and Alida Camp, the chairs, respectively, of the Upper West Side’s Community Board 7 and the Upper East Side’s Community Board 8, expressed similar sentiments. CB8 has formed a task force to examine charter revision issues while the full board is in recess during August, and CB7 will likely take similar steps. In addition to term limits, the commission’s preliminary staff report also recommended that the mayoral commission also explore measures that would create a uniform citywide application process for board membership, which currently varies by borough, and provide boards with additional resources. Desire for additional land use resources or staff is widespread among

community board leaders, who often must rely on outside community organizations to hire professional planners and other experts to evaluate the potential impact and legality of proposed developments. â€?We really could use more land use resources,â€? Semer said. “At Community Board 7 we’re fortunate because we have several members who have knowledge about land use, but issues come up when we really could use additional expertise.â€? Camp agreed: “Having a dedicated planner would enable us to better fulďŹ ll our advisory role,â€? she said. Others have called for the mayoral commission to examine fartherreaching reforms of the community board system than those recommended for consideration in the preliminary staff report. Suggestions include allowing for the direct election of community board members, granting boards increased power in land use matters, and instituting more stringent conflicts of interest rules and restrictions on eligibility to serve. Kallos, for example, has advocated for giving community boards binding power to initiate or veto certain land use actions in concert with the borough president, borough board and City Council members. Lynn Ellsworth, the chair of the land use advocacy nonproďŹ t Human-scale NYC, testiďŹ ed in favor of putting community board members on the ballot and barring registered lobbyists and individuals who hold leadership positions in political clubs, business improvement districts and unions from serving on community boards. Skeptics of electing community board members say that putting members on the ballot and opening the process to campaign funding could allow political clubs, unions and moneyed interests to exert undue inuence on the boards.

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A QUIET, LETHAL ART

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COMBAT CRAFT Both men and women, including the chief instructorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; daughter, hone their skills at UWS Kenshikai Karate BY SUSHMITA ROY

Legs move in rhythmic motions. Punches are thrown and released. But there are no loud thuds â&#x20AC;&#x201D; noise is kept to a bare minimum at this Upper West Side dojo. A woman pushes the door open and storms towards the desk, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hi! I would like to find out about ...â&#x20AC;? The response from behind the desk is a ďŹ nger raised to the lips; a signal in sync with the decorum of the ongoing sparring class. Matthew Fremon, lead instructor and co-owner, with his wife, at Upper West Side Kenshikai Karate on Columbus Avenue near 106th Street, recalls an occasion about 10 years ago, shortly after his daughter was born, that helped cultivate the quiet atmosphere. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of our first black belts who started here, Amy, she always tells this story of how there was a fighting class going on (when she ďŹ rst came in) while Maya was asleep in the corner in her bassinet,â&#x20AC;? Fremon, 40, said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;She was like â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;What?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; and I was like, â&#x20AC;&#x153;there is a baby asleep right there,â&#x20AC;? and Maya was asleep in a bassinet

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Matthew Fremon, lead instructor and co-owner at Upper West Side Kenshikai Karate and his daughter, Maya, recently started their new YouTube Series after being featured on LegLocker. Photo courtesy of Upper West Side Kenshikai Karate during a sparring class,â&#x20AC;? Unlike most other dojos and gyms, Kenshikai, on Columbus Avenue near 106th Street, boasts an equal number of men and women who train there. And part of the reason could be his daughter, Maya, now 10 and a black belt in karate. His wife, Jennifer Fremon, is one of four with purple belts, the highest rank in Brazilian jujitsu that the dojo has produced. Jennifer, also a co-owner and a fifth-degree black belt in karate, teaches karate to the younger kids and continued

to do so until the day she went into labor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So Maya has been in the dojo since her negative daysâ&#x20AC;? said Matthew Fremon. Matthew and Maya recently started a YouTube Series after being featured on LegLocker, an Instagram page that claims to be the â&#x20AC;&#x153;largest leglock community on Earth,â&#x20AC;? with about 58,600 followers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A friend of mine who owns another school in Brooklyn; he posted a video that was a leg-locking video and kind of

CONTINUED ON PAGE 19

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8

AUGUST 2-8,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

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

SAVING THE NEWS AND VIEWS WE NEED! BY BETTE DEWING

The headline above was itself attached to a 1990 Liz Smith Daily News column, which, following the slashing of half earlier this month, is all too relevant in 2018. In 1990, the “hometown newspaper” itself was threatened and Smith lauded my “save the Daily News” column. Hey, I actually found it, so please let me share it. Thanks again, Liz. “A tip of the hat to Our Town columnist, Bette Dewing, who has written an ode of praise to the salvation of this newspaper. She pens: “Two thousand or so jobs lost in a time when newspapers are an

endangered species could mean prolonged unemployment and not least, the heartbreak,. But the city is the biggest loser; Unlike The N.Y. Times, The News’ major focus is on New York City. So are most of its editorials, columns, features and Voice of the People page. The Daily News must survive — with its news and views we can’t afford to lose!” And saved it was, with countless newspapers since going dark. And was before the Internet tsunami - so much about individual exchange with other like-mindeds. And too many Times-only readers judge the tabloids by their sensational covers and don’t know what’s going on inside. They need to hear now-

ex-editor-in-chief Jim Rich’s angry and anguished tweet to his staff the morning executives with the News’s corporate owner, Tronc, were about to fire him and half the staff. “If you hate democracy and think local government should operate unchecked and in the dark, then this is a good day for you,” he wrote. With half the staff, and maybe different priorities, how can the News “mind the store” like it once did — cover local politics and other policymakers along with local conditions which so affect our lives. And we need to be informed — and often forewarned — so we can act. Both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio went very pub-

Voices

lic with their, at least nominal, distress at Tronc’s move. Cuomo said the corporation should have asked the state for help — adding how his dad as governor offered help to the struggling New York Post despite often differing views. “He knew the value of a free robust press — and so do I,” Cuomo said. (Incidentally, the News’ views have been more akin to the governor’s.) The Tronc organization said the paper’s new direction were about digital expansion with a focus on breaking news, crime, civil justice and citizen responsibility. Not so much on existing conditions or government and policymakers’ plans for the city. This longtime traffic safety activ-

ist also worries if the reduced staff will still report, however briefly, on every city traffic death and injury. Will new editor Robert York be concerned that New York City is uniquely a city of neighborhoods and is fast losing its stores and small businesses? Cohesive and neighborly neighborhoods also mean greater safety. And surely, please save “The Voice of the People” page — a compendium of no-nonsense in-a-nut-shell critiques from every background, most about city life and conditions that need to get out there and fixed. And critiques are needed now more than ever on the News’ new directions. It’s the news and views we need — we need.

CULTIVATING BEAUTY BY ASHAD HAJELA

Luis Lujan, a member of the Chelsea Garden Club, cares for five plant beds in the neighborhood, but has overseen as many as nine. Photo: Ashad Hajela

I was on a bicycle riding down Ninth Avenue when all of a sudden, at the 27th street intersection, a portion of my path was blanketed with greenery and various flowers in full bloom. It was like briefly being in a greenhouse in the middle of Chelsea. I assumed that it was the city that was responsible for maintaining this resplendence. But the caretakers are, rather, neighborhood residents, which I found out when I met a woman by the name of Missy Adams, wrenching open a fire hydrant to water the beds, around 11 p.m. on a Tuesday night. Missy Adams started the Chelsea Garden Club about eight years ago. The size of the group fluctuates between 30 and 50 people. “These people are just passionate about gardening,” she said. Adams and the Chelsea Garden Club have adopted about as many beds as they have member,

all around Chelsea. They maintain each meticulously. Although many people come together from around the neighborhood, Adams does not think of the Chelsea Garden Club a community institution since members only see each other twice a year - for a meeting in March and then during a “bed tour” in the summer. “It is a very selfless thing we are doing. We buy everything ourselves,” she said. “The only thing we get out of it is seeing the fruits of our labor.” But no member of the club works as diligently as Luis Lujan. Lujan manages five beds right now, but has overseen as many as nine. Lujan, a yoga teacher, grew up gardening in Arizona. He came to New York in the 1990s. His apartment is nearly holds a garden in itself. But that was not enough for him. In 2008, Lujan began wrenching open fire hydrants to water plants. City authorities threatened fines and tickets, but Lujan responded by showing off some of his handi-

work and eventually got a permit to go about his gardening. He would eventually receive even more recognition, being named “Most Beautiful Tree Bed in Manhattan” in 2012 in a contest organized partly by the city’s Parks Department. “It started with a single petunia and then it looked lonely so I added another one and the corner looked lonely and the next thing you know, I had five plots,” Lujan said. He used to do his gardening alongside his dog, a Maltese, before she passed away a year ago. That way, he not only got to know many of the people in the neighborhood but also many of the dogs. The neighbors would buy him coffee, hand him a $20 bill, and give him plants and flowers to nurture. His main goals were therapy for himself, community building and beautifying a neighborhood. “They were ashtrays and dog toilets before,” he said, motioning to the beautiful flowered beds.

The beds in Chelsea are ideal for gardening because they are bigger than other beds around the city. They have also been around longer in Chelsea than anywhere else. Gardeners have to deal with the perils of a densely populated city. The beds are often vandalized and people, passing by, often pluck flowers integral to the rest of the plant. “It’s my work going to waste,” Lujan said. He puts up signs saying “Don’t Pick Flowers,” one of which had a drawing of a giant flower strangling a human. Lujan spends about $200 on the beds every year. With each act of vandalism or innocent flower picking, that cost increases. Despite the costs of the upkeep of Chelsea’s bicycle lane beds, Lujan and Adams remain quite fond of the gardens they have created in the midst of the city. “I saw birds eating out of a sunflower in Luis’s garden and it was just heartwarming. It’s a lovely thing to see in the middle of the road,” Adams said.

President & Publisher, Jeanne Straus nyoffice@strausnews.com

STRAUS MEDIA your neighborhood news source nyoffice@strausnews.com 212-868-0190

Vice President/CFO Otilia Bertolotti Vice President/CRO Vincent A. Gardino advertising@strausnews.com

Associate Publishers Seth L. Miller, Ceil Ainsworth Regional Sales Manager Tania Cade

Account Executives Fred Almonte, David Dallon Director of Partnership Development Barry Lewis

Editor-In-Chief, Alexis Gelber Deputy Editor Richard Khavkine

Senior Reporter Doug Feiden

Director of Digital Pete Pinto

Staff Reporter Michael Garofalo

Director, Arts & Entertainment/ NYCNow Alizah Salario


AUGUST 2-8,2018

9

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

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

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Human and equine officers on duty. Photo: DiddyOh, via flickr

NYPD’S FARRIERS DON’T HORSE AROUND They are on-call to care for the department’s 50 equine officers BY VERENA DOBNIK

It’s like AAA for horses. When one of the NYPD’s horses loses a metal shoe, or they just wear out on the gritty city streets, a blacksmith shop on wheels rushes to the rescue, equipped with a 2,850-degree furnace and trained farriers who can make the fix on the spot. “It’s almost amazing that in modern times we’re still doing horseshoeing out in the public in the street,” says Deputy Inspector Barry Gelbman, head of the NYPD’s elite Mounted Unit, where all 50 horses are considered equine officers, with badges around their necks to prove it. The NYPD has two such mobile horseshoe units that are stocked with all manner of anvils, hammers, nippers, files and pullers that have been the tools of the equine hoof trade for centuries, providing a stark contrast in the midst of a modern city. That was immediately apparent on a recent sweltering day in Times Square as horses got their monthly shoe change. Beneath shimmering skyscrapers, massive video billboards and dozens of high-definition security cameras, a crowd

gathered to watch as two NYPD farriers sweated over moltenred steel shoes fresh out of the fire. But this was not an entirely low-tech affair. For extra traction and strength, the shoes were welded with a layer of tungsten carbide, a compound twice as hard as steel that’s also used in armor-piercing ammunition. Farriers Marcus Martinez Jr. and Thomas Nolan held the crowd spellbound as they worked for an hour to swap out the shoes for a police horse named McQuade II, who, true to his training, didn’t even flinch amid honking traffic, people shouting and a helicopter whirring overhead. “We nip the foot down, we file it, we make sure the foot is level,” says the Irish-born Nolan, adding that the safety of an officer depends on a farrier’s precision, lest a horse trip. Martinez hammered away. Sparks flew, and clanging echoed into the steamy Manhattan air. Then came a sizzling sound as he pressed a fiery horseshoe on a tong into McQuade’s hoof to test the fit, smooth out imperfections and burn out any bacteria. A foulsmelling white smoke rose from the hoof. With sweat dripping off his brow, Martinez then lifted the legs of the imperturbable, 1,200-pound (544-kilogram) McQuade and, one by one,

hammered the shoes into place with 3-inch nails. Then the deep brown horse happily clipclopped away. The NYPD’s horses, which come mostly from Amish country in Pennsylvania, form what the department says is the country’s oldest continuously active mounted unit. It was created in 1858 to protect people from runaway carriage horses that were then the main mode of transportation. These days, the horses are mostly used for crowd control and public relations. When not on duty, they reside in one of four stables around the city. The Times Square horses live on the ground floor of an only-in-New York building called Mercedes House: a luxury skyscraper that’s also home to the city’s premier Mercedes dealership. When not working with the mobile vans, the farriers work there. The NYPD’s three farriers are civilian employees of the department, hired for their unique set of skills. Martinez, 38, who grew up in the suburbs north of the city, says he first was exposed to the craft in high school while watching a farrier friend work on horses. “I fell in love with these wonderful, magnificent animals, the mechanics involved and helping something that can’t help itself,” he says. “And that’s a really good feeling.”

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Draperies Shades Shutters Blinds Motorization Window Film Upholstery Fabric & Trim Flooring Paint

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NEIGHBORHOOD’S BEST Features select Business & Services catering to residents in Manhattan. Neighborhood’s Best appears weekly and is distributed to 60,000 households throughout. Space is limited so please contact Douglas at 212.868.0190 ext. 352 to discuss availability.


10

AUGUST 2-8,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

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

EDITOR’S PICK

Tue 2 — Wed 8 GALLERY EXHIBIT: ‘MAJOR LEAGUE MENSCHES’ Congregation Or Zarua, 127 East 82nd St. 11 a.m. Free. 212-452-2310. orzarua.org Meet the “team” of Jewish Stars of baseball at this exhibition showcasing nine prominent Jewish professional baseball players along with colorful, classic memorabilia and related items. Through August.

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT AGAINST CRIME TUESDAY, AUGUST 7th, 5:30PM-8:30PM CARL SCHURZ PARK: 86th STREET, AND EAST END AVENUE PRESENTED BY THE 19th PRECINCT COMMUNITY COUNCIL

MEET WITH POLICE OFFICERS TO DISCUSS CRIME PREVENTION AND NEIGHBORHOOD CRIMES.

FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.

LIVE MUSIC AND REFRESHMENTS Enjoy Maz Mescal’s Mexican Cuisine Music by French Cookin Blues Band Also, Pizza, Sandwiches, Ice Cream Meet Local Community Organizations, and Leaders Meet Local Elected Officials WEATHER PERMITTING (cancelled if it rains) NO RAIN DATE.

For more information call: Community Affairs Office: 212-452-0613 Email address: info_19th_Pct@aol.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/19thpctcc @NYPD19pct

Painting: The revelation of Olivia’s betrothal, from “Twelfth Night,” Act V, Scene i, by William Hamilton, circa 1790

Thu 2

Fri 3

Sat 4

‘FUNNY LADIES AT THE NEW YORKER: CARTOONISTS THEN AND NOW’

▲ ‘TWELFTH NIGHT’

GREAT JAZZ ON THE GREAT HILL

10 a.m. $15/$10 students and seniors Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd St. Women? Funny? That’s a good one. In the 1970s, New Yorker cartoon editor Lee Lorenz brought three women, Nurit Karlin, Roz Chast and Liza Donnelly, onto the team, opening doors for funny ladies. This exhibition is a celebration of the creativity and fortitude of female cartoonists as they pushed past cultural stereotypes. Through Oct. 13. 212-838-2560 societyillustrators.org

Delacorte Theater in Central Park, enter at 81st St. and Central Park West 8 p.m. Free “Dramedy” is the catch-all term for binge-worthy shows, but it was Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” centering on twins Viola and Sebastian after their separation in a shipwreck, that first defined the genre. Featuring Troy Anthony (Sebastian), Ato BlanksonWood (Orsino), Lori BrownNiang (Maria) and Nanya-Akuki Goodrich (Olivia). Through Aug. 19. 212-539-8500 publictheatre.ord

Central Park, enter at West 106th St. and Central Park West 4 p.m. Free Bring a picnic, dancing shoes and a blanket for the 11th production of this energetic event. Co-presented by Jazzmobile and the Central Park Conservancy, Great Jazz on the Great Hill features live music and swing dancing among the beauty of Mother Nature. 212-310-6600 Centralpark.com


AUGUST 2-8,2018

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

Summer Spirituality Series

Sun 5

Mon 6

Tue 7

▼ ‘LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD’

▲ WATERCOLOR LAB

FILM SCREENING: ‘FINAL PORTRAIT’

92Y 1395 Lexington Ave. 2 p.m. $18 With an original score, 10 dancers magically bring to life the colorful and tasty characters in this timely tale. Designed for families with children 3-11, this 35-minute show will warm your heart, tickle your funny bone and quite possibly make you very hungry for cake. 212-415-5500 92y.org

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave. 11 a.m. Free with admission Learn about the different bodies of water that surround our city, and contribute to it, from the Hudson River to the Croton Aqueduct. Get inspired by images of these water sources, then choose a scene to inspire a watercolor landscape painting. For families with children ages 6–12 years old. 212-534-1672 mcny.org

The Guggenheim 1071 Fifth Ave. 6:30 p.m. Free with admission While on a trip to Paris in 1964, American writer and art lover James Lord (Armie Hammer) is asked by his friend, world-renowned artist Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush), to sit for a portrait. Screened in conjunction with the “Giacometti” exhibition, this film offers a glimpse into the profundity and chaos of the artistic process. 212-423-3500 guggenheim.org

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

Our Labyrinth Walks

Wed 8

Labyrinth walks at Marble Collegiate Church are open to all: • First Sunday of each month: 1:00-3:00pm • Wednesdays: 5:00-6:00pm

FILM: ‘NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM’ Carl Schurz Park basketball and hockey courts 8:30 p.m. Free When a divorced father takes a job as a night watchman at the Museum of Natural History and subsequently discovers that the exhibits come to life at night, magic and hilarity ensue. Watch “Night at the Museum” on a big screen which enjoying free Insomnia Cookies under the stars. carlschurzparknyc.org

(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


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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

AUGUST 2-8,2018

CANINES COMPETE FOR CALENDAR GIG HUMAN YEARS Showcasing the dogs of Central Park — and the majestic landscapes in which they romp BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

There are foxhounds and deerhounds, mastiffs and salukis, mutts and mongrels, Alaskan malamutes and English coonhounds, Great Danes and Japanese Chins, clumber spaniels and long-haired terriers. And you don’t need a $200 ticket to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show to watch them trot. All it takes to see the best-in-show — relaxed, content, in their element, cost-free — is a stroll through Central Park. The city’s backyard has welcomed these furry friends since it opened to the public in 1858. Now, the Central Park Conservancy is getting ready to immortalize 13 of them in a 2019 calendar it has branded “Central Bark.” The nonprofit, which manages the park for the city, has been seeking one picturesque dog for each of the 12 months — plus a “cover dog” — in a contest that appears every bit as competitive as any blue-ribbon dog show. Consider that the park’s 21 dog fountains, 23 “dog-friendly areas” and 843 acres of lawns, lakes, brooks, paths, fields, rambles and woodlands play host to an estimated 400,000 to 500,000

dog-walkers every year, according to Conservancy research findings. To winnow the field and identify what it calls the “cutest canines,” the group fired off five dedicated online messages promoting its campaign to roughly 205,000 email addresses, and it also put out the word via its website, social media channels, member newsletters and seasonal guides. Starting on May 17, dog-lovers were asked to submit color photos of their beloved pets, with a park landscape as a backdrop, and by July 16, the submission deadline, more than 1,000 pictures had been received.

FROM LAKE TO ARCH TO MEER The Conservancy’s internal jury reviewed the entries. But as it turned out, selecting 13 noble, soulful winners wasn’t so easy. On July 23, another mass email went out: “We’ve narrowed it down to our top contenders,” the message said. “But now, we’re stuck — they’re all so adorable, we can’t pick favorites. We need your help!” Park stewards selected 24 finalists — there was Wally relaxing next to the model sailboats, Tequila posing on the Imagine mosaic in the center of Strawberry Fields, Misha at a boat landing on the lake, Emma in front of the Glen Span Arch, Sister Rosetta Tharpe on the Harlem Meer — and it then asked online voters to select their own personal favorites.

Harry, Lizzy and Fitz rest on a bench near the Arthur Ross Pinetum. Courtesy of the the Central Park Conservancy

Wally appears at ease as model sailboats drift by at the Conservatory Water. Courtesy of the the Central Park Conservancy In the five-day period between July 23, when voting began, and July 27, nearly 5,500 votes were cast to help determine which entrants would appear in the 2019 calendar. The ballots are still pouring in. “We’re thrilled by the public response to the contest,” said Jane McIntosh, the Conservancy’s vice president for development and external affairs. “So many adorable dogs, and as you would expect, a great range in terms of breed, size, color, grooming and so on.” The ubiquity of cellphones also offered a ready tool to highlight and showcase the “diversity of dogs” in the park, she said, providing a unique opportunity to “engage with the community and Central Park’s many devoted dog owners.” Noting that contest rules require all photos be taken in Central Park, McIntosh added, “The initiative also highlights the Conservancy’s work — you get to see the beautiful landscapes, rustic benches and other features that highlight the beauty of Central Park.” Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 6. The winners will be unveiled in mid-August. And the Central Bark calendar, which can be purchased in advance with a $25 donation, will be shipped out around September or October. The Conservancy raises 75 percent of the annual budget of Central Park, which is America’s most frequently visited urban park — and boasts vast, green, seemingly infinite, dog-roaming open spaces. One of missions of the nonprofit is to “advance the stewardship of other urban parks and green spaces,” McIntosh said. The calendar project is exactly the kind of “engagement effort that could be replicated in other parks with other friends groups in the five boroughs and across the country,” she added. invreporter@strausnews.com

Cody digs in at an expanse believed to be the Sheep Meadow. Courtesy of the the Central Park Conservancy

Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Rosie) relaxes on the Harlem Meer opposite the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center. Courtesy of the the Central Park Conservancy


AUGUST 2-8,2018

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Your Neighborhood News Source

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AUGUST 2-8,2018

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RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS JUL 17 - 23, 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.

Third Avenue Ale House

1644 3 Avenue

Grade Pending (34) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. 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. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Gyro 96

141 E 96th St

A

The Mansion

1634 York Avenue

A

Charley Mom Kitchen

1580 York Avenue

A

Papaya King

179 East 86 Street

A

Dorrian’s Red Hand Restaurant

1616 2 Avenue

A

Yorkafe

50112 East 83 Street

A

Capri Bakery

186 East 116 Street

A

Two Doors Tavern

1576 3 Avenue

Grade Pending (20) 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.

El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant

209 East 116 Street

Grade Pending (20) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Earl’s Beer & Cheese

1259 Park Ave

A

American Wing Company

159 E 116th St

A

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THIS ISN’T JUST A GARDEN It’s how we’re growing our energy future. Learn how we’re making The New York Botanical Garden greener at coned.com/partnerships


AUGUST 2-8,2018

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In conjunction with an exhibit at The Society of Illustrators/Museum of Illustration on East 63rd Street, a panel of cartoonists, including, left to right, Roz Chast, Emma Allen and Liza Donnelly discussed the creative process behind their cartoons.

ALL THE FUNNY LADIES SKETCHY Exhibit chronicles The New Yorker’s female cartoonists BY CHARMAINE RICE

It was hearty humor that broke through the seemingly never-ending humidity that engulfed the city last week. “Funny Ladies at The New Yorker: Cartoonists Then and Now” is a new exhibit at The Society of Illustrators/Museum of Illustration, on East 63rd Street between Lexington and Park Avenues. To kick off the exhibition, the museum hosted a panel discussion on July 26, featuring acclaimed women cartoonists from The New Yorker. Veteran New Yorker cartoonists Roz Chast, Liana Finck, Carolita Johnson and cartoon editor Emma Allen joined Liza Donnelly, the exhibit’s curator, to talk about what it’s like being a cartoonist at The New Yorker, the creative process behind their cartoons, and why they love being a cartoonist. Donnelly, herself a renowned cartoonist at the magazine, is the author of “Funny Ladies: The New Yorker’s Greatest Women Cartoonists and Their Cartoons,” an anthology celebrating the magazine’s women cartoonists. The New Yorker was founded in 1925 by journalist Harold Ross and his wife, Jane Grant, a reporter for The New York Times. Being a feminist and having a funny bone during the Roaring Twenties landed Ethel Plummer a plum role; she

became The New Yorker’s first woman cartoonist and her work appeared in the inaugural issue. So, what is it like to work at The New Yorker today? “It’s a routine, there is a weekly schedule, and there’s a number of people who are on staff I guess ... basically, we don’t talk that much to other people,” quipped Roz Chast. “I spend a lot of time at my desk staring at a blank piece of paper. I jot down ideas during the week, things that seem funny, something I overheard, something that popped into my head, or just something weird that happened, and just play around with it.” Cartoonists typically submit a “batch” of 5-11 cartoons weekly. Chast noted that the discipline of delivering each week allows for experimenting with different forms and feelings. “I tend to stay away from topical influences, like the news cycle because I always want everything I do to be relatable 50 years from now, relatable on a universal level,” she said. “In this day and age, what’s relevant on the news can change so quickly.” Chast shared an exchange with her daughter that resulted in a cartoon titled, “When Moms Dance.” The cartoon depicts a mom dancing in front of her daughter, accompanied with the caption, “Stop. You’re hurting me.” “I literally used that line from my daughter word for word!” said Chast. “The captions come out of my own mouth,” said Carolita Johnson. “Before I was a cartoonist, I drove everybody nuts!”

“I’m like the empathetic sponge,” joked Emma Allen. “I know how incredibly difficult it is to work in isolation and come up with great ideas week after week.” Allen further explained what it takes to shepherd a cartoon through to publication. “The metabolism of The New Yorker is not really structured to have lots of [lead] time. Cartoons undergo an incredibly rigorous editorial process. Our cartoons are copy edited, factchecked and reviewed by general counsel. Usually a cartoon is deemed hot and won’t often see light of day for a year or more ... so it’s not really built for timeliness or to coincide with the news cycle.” Liana Finck spoke about how cartooning anchors her and enables her “to do [other] things that she loves that are hard but not too hard” including authoring a graphic novel and freelance design illustration. Doodling is a part of her creative process — Finck photographs her doodles and posts them on Instagram. “They’re not always funny – they’re usually angry,” she said, eliciting a chuckle from the audience. Like Finck, Chast also uses Instagram as an outlet for iteration. “With Instagram, I can play around with different things,” Chast said. During the discussion, a slideshow of cartoons was presented, touching on a slew of themes based on a woman’s perspective, including relationships, weddings and, of course, shoes. The exhibit runs through Oct. 13.

“NE

OBLIVISCARIS”

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org NEW YORK CITY

Summer of Know: Jennifer Newsom and Stephanie Alvarado

TUESDAY, AUGUST 7TH, 7PM Guggenheim Museum | 1071 Fifth Ave. | 212-423-3500 | guggenheim.org Architect Jennifer Newsom, Principal, Dream the Combine, and Stephanie Alvarado, Director of Advocacy, 596 Acres, come together at The Wright restaurant for an informal conversation about activating overlooked urban spaces ($10).

Waterfront Manhattan: From Henry Hudson to the High Line

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8TH, 6:30PM Mid-Manhattan Library | 476 Fifth Ave. | 212-340-0863 | nypl.org Manhattan’s 32 miles of shoreline are a priceless asset, and also the scene of centuries of pushpull between private and public interests. Get the story of a fascinating evolution from Kurt C. Schlichting, author of a just-published book on the subject (free).

Just Announced | Launch: New University in Exile Consortium

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH, 6PM The New School | 66 W. 12th St. | 212-229-5108 | newschool.edu In 1933, amid purges in German universities, The New School hosted 180 academics and their families at the University in Exile. In 2018, The New School revisits the idea; organizers and some of the “endangered scholars” being hosted at East Coast institutions speak at a launch event (free).

For more information about lectures, readings and other intellectually stimulating events throughout NYC,

sign up for the weekly Thought Gallery newsletter at thoughtgallery.org.


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AUGUST 2-8,2018

Business

COUNCIL CONSIDERS RIDE-SHARING CAP Bill would institute one-year moratorium on issuance of new for-hire vehicle licenses BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

The City Council is considering legislation that would place a temporary cap the number of Uber, Lyft and other for-hire vehicles permitted city streets. The legislation, supported by Council Speaker Corey Johnson, would place a yearlong hold on the issuance of new for-hire vehicle permits, during which time a study would be conducted to analyze the industry’s impact on the city. The Council is also considering a bill

that would set new minimum pay rules for for-hire vehicle drivers, and could move to vote on both proposals in the coming days. Uber responded with an advertising blitz, claiming that the cap would raise prices and increase wait times for customers. Johnson accused Uber of “misleading the public” about the Council’s proposal on Twitter. “Our goal is fairness, helping drivers, and reducing congestion,” Johnson said. “A pause gives us time to study the industry and see what works. We will continue to allow licenses for wheelchair accessible vehicles to encourage their growth.” A similar proposal supported by

Mayor Bill de Blasio failed in 2015, but increased congestion, often blamed on the growth in prevalence of ride-sharing vehicles, along with the city’s deepening transit crisis and continued protests from the taxi industry (including the suicides of several cab drivers), have prompted city elected officials to again examine the issue. More comprehensive policy proposals regarding congestion pricing are likely to languish in the state legislature in Albany until at least 2019. In a recent radio interview, de Blasio said he had not reviewed the most recent version of the legislation, but expressed support for the Council’s intent, saying, “people

The explosion in the number of for-hire vehicles on New York City streets has contributed to increased congestion and worsening bus service, critics claim. Photo: Stephen Strasser want a lot more to be done about congestion and this is one of the things I think could start to address congestion.” “A huge number of these for-hire vehicles like Uber cars for example are driving around empty,” de Bla-

sio said on Brian Lehrer’s WNYC show. “Unfortunately Uber’s business model is to flood the zone, to get lots and lots of drivers, make them basically compete against each other, and a lot of times not make much money.”

PIZZA, WITH AN OLD-SCHOOL FLOURISH Lombardi’s opens in the Biltmore Room’s former space BY DEBORAH FENKER

“The place is frozen in time, the days of ‘The Great Gatsby.’ It’s a throwback in time. I instantly knew it was perfect,” said Lombardi’s owner, Michael Giammarino, of the former Biltmore Room space. Photo Deborah Fenker

The nation’s oldest pizzeria, Lombardi’s, has swooped in to rejuvenate one of Chelsea’s most picturesque venues — the former Biltmore Room on Eighth Avenue and 24th Street. The address has endured several unsuccessful reincarnations, but this one has by far the most potential yet, solidly founded with the claim of first pizzeria in the United States, dating to 1905. Lombardi’s original location was just a stone’s throw from its current SoHo operation at 32 Spring St., so the Chelsea branch brings its New York City presence to a grand total of two. Like so many others, the impressive gates from the original Biltmore Hotel are what initially grabbed the attention of Michael Giammarino, Lombardi’s owner. Driving north on Eighth Avenue, he noticed “the closed hulk of a space,” and immediately started researching the property. When he discovered its rich history, including the gorgeous relics of the old hotel remaining within, he knew he had to jump on it. Upon his first visit, he was awed, he said, by the “interior space with marble, brass, bronze. The space perfectly fits Lombardi’s, what we are,

and what we do. The place is frozen in time, the days of ‘The Great Gatsby.’ It’s a throwback in time. I instantly knew it was perfect.” True to that impression, he’s kept the glamorous bones of the space: the glittering chandeliers, the original palatial tile work, and those impressive iron gates, and warmed things up with glowy lighting and deep cardinal red booths, giving it a retro, convivial feel. To keep things from getting too stuffy, freestanding tables are swathed in nostalgic red-and-white checked tablecloths. For now, the newly opened restaurant will offer the same menu as its predecessor, but as New York restricts coal-burning ovens to those which have been grandfathered in, Chelsea’s pizzas will be baked in a custom designed, brick-lined oven that’s as close to the coal-burning original as you can get. “Patrons are so amazed that they can’t tell the difference,” extols Giammarino. In addition to pizzas (full pies only, as per the original, although they are working on potentially branching out with high-end slice joints in the future), of which pepperoni is a perennial favorite, there are several salads, antipasti, customizable calzones, plus a full bar, beer and wine by the glass and bottle. Grandma Grace’s meatballs are true to the original — beef and pork colossus, each weighing in at an imposing quarter-pound and drenched in a rich,

tangy Sunday gravy with a flounce of shaved Romano cheese. Desserts focus on Italy as well, like a rich chocolate covered tartufo and their signature housemade cannoli, but they import another New York classic, the quintessential New York City-famed Junior’s cheesecake. Giammarino says he wants to roll out more diverse options in a month or so, including adding pasta dishes and a tapas-style bar menu. With that, Giammarino plans on opening for brunch, which will feature Italian frittatas and sandwiches elevated by crusty housemade bread, and accentuated by a full line of premium coffee beverages. But the restaurant won’t stray too far from what has made Lombardi’s one of the most successful and enduring eating establishment in what is ostensibly the most competitive dining city in the world. Gennaro Lombardi, the eponymous grandson of the founder, is still involved with the company, although more for his knowledge and guidance than in actual day-to-day operations. Those are left to a talented staff that ownership prefers to promote from within, to maintain expectations and quality, as well as nurture the sense of family — the strength upon which Lombardi’s was founded. Well, that, and some really excellent pies.


AUGUST 2-8,2018

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

One Personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Manhattan

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED How a change of career made millions laugh BY HARVEY EY COHEN

Did you hear about the dentistt and the comic who both walked into a bar? r? Their names were both Jeffrey Gurian. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no joke. Because Jeffrey Gurian, a respected Jeffrey Gurian, right, a dentist turned stand-up comedian and dentist who taught for 12 years at comedy writer, with Kevin Hart. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Gurian the New York University College of Today, besides doing his own stand-up, he also Dentistry, is now a highly regarded comic who has written for some of the biggest names in writes a must-read column, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jumping Around comedy and performs stand-up at Manhattan With Jeffrey Gurian,â&#x20AC;? on the popular comedy website â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Interrobangâ&#x20AC;? and produces two comedy clubs. Gurian was born in the Bronx and started comedy web sites, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Comedy Matters TVâ&#x20AC;? and writing comedy when he was 12 years old. And â&#x20AC;&#x153;Gurian News Network.â&#x20AC;? Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s altogether earned he always dreamed of bringing his humor to the the title â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Cindy Adams of Comedy.â&#x20AC;? Asked about the difference between older big stage, across the river, in Manhattan. But motivated by a desire to help and heal peo- comedy icons and todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stars, Gurian says ple, Gurian chose a different career path and be- comedy these days is less about jokes and more came a dentist with a successful practice doing about storytelling. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also meaner. That meanness is something Gurian regrets, general and cosmetic dentistry. However, as Gurian says: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If comedy is in you, since his own mission is very different. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My goal you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t suppress it. At some point you have in life is to put positive energy out to the universeâ&#x20AC;? he says. to do it.â&#x20AC;? In line with that goal, Gurian So after years of bring has contributed his talents to smiles to his dental patients, a great many good causes, Gurian decided to bring including appearing at Mansmiles to a much wider audihattan hospitals, among them ence, ultimately leaving denIf comedy is in you, Memorial Sloan Kettering. He tistry and concentrating on you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t suppress it.â&#x20AC;? did a major fundraising event comedy. for diabetes research at the His first real professional Jeffrey Gurian Comic Strip Club on Second job was as a writer for RodAvenue and co-produced ney Dangerfield and you a benefit for Haiti starring could often find Gurian and Rodney hanging out at Dangerfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s club on Kevin Hart. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also on the board of directors of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Laugh First Avenue. Over the years, Gurian, now 61, has written for MD,â&#x20AC;? a group dedicated to bringing humor to many superstars of comedy: Joan Rivers, Phil hospital patients. In that role, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gotten many Hartman, Richard Belzer, Jerry Lewis, Andrew other comics involved, because as Bob Saget â&#x20AC;&#x153;Diceâ&#x20AC;? Clay, Pauly Shore and Gilbert Gottfried. has said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nobody can say no to Jeffrey Gurian.â&#x20AC;? Gurianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success is even more amazing when He also helped Nick Kroll and John Mulaney you learn that up until he was in his 20s he open their hit Broadway show â&#x20AC;&#x153;Oh, Hello.â&#x20AC;?

Your neighborhood news source

OurTownNY.com

suffered from severe stuttering. It was only through hard work and discipline that he overcame this obstacle. He now uses his voice and his words to bring joy and entertainment to many. He also spends time working with stutterers, helping them manage their disorder and make them more conďŹ dent and communicative. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also another more spiritual side to Gurian. He now helps people suffering from pain by providing a mind/body healing touch alternative to the painkilling medications that have led to the current opioid addiction crisis. Dr. Kenneth Porter, former president of the Association for Spirituality & Psychotherapy, calls Gurian a â&#x20AC;&#x153;master healer.â&#x20AC;? Porter also endorsed Gurianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest book, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Healing Your Heart, by Changing Your Mind â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a Spiritual and Humorous Approach to Achieving Happiness,â&#x20AC;? calling it â&#x20AC;&#x153;a very special and beautiful healing book that is the distillation of a lifetime of wisdom.â&#x20AC;? What Gurian enjoys most about Manhattan are the museums. The Met is probably his favorite. He also loves the dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History and the tranquility of

The Cloisters in Upper Manhattan. Taking one of his granddaughters to the Space Show at the Planetarium was also a highlight. As for attending Manhattanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s comedy clubs, you can usually find him at Gotham Comedy Club, The Comedy Cellar, The Comic Strip, DangerďŹ eldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, New York Comedy Club, Stand Up NY, The Stand, or the West Side Comedy Club. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well known at all of them and if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re lucky, you might even catch him on stage. At his home on the Upper East Side, Gurian maintains a virtual museum of photos and memorabilia that represent a lifetime of achievement as a comic, a teacher, a social commentator and a healer. It is truly a tribute to a life well lived in the pursuit of bringing smiles and laughter to everyone he meets. To learn more about Gurian, go to: comedymatterstv.com

Know someone we should profile in One Personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Manhattan? Call 212-868-0190 or email nyoffice@strausnews.com.

Jeffrey Gurian with Amy Poehler. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Gurian

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MAILMAN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 a few bucks, but she’d say to me, ‘Choi, save it for your retirement!’” he recalled. A tad wistfully, he said he’d have loved to say goodbye to her one last time. Warmth, optimism, kind-heartedness and a love for humanity are not the qualities one typically associates with the employees of the United States Postal Service. With his trademark smile and distinctive ponytail, Choi proves just how wrong such assumptions can be. In a “Dear Friends” letter he placed earlier this month in the apartment building mailboxes of about 40 of his favorite postal patrons, he summed up what he’d learned, what he’d seen — and how the residents of two multicultural blocks on East 88th Street had enriched his life: “Interacting with people of various ethnicities, cultures and religious backgrounds, I have gained a love, respect and appreciation for humanity,” he wrote. “I’ve interacted with both the wealthy and the poor in Manhattan, and I believe that we can learn a great deal about ourselves, and about life, when we open up to the world around us.”

English is not the first language of the Korean-born Choi, and he says his 33-year-old daughter, Gina Choi, a church minister in Stamford, Conn., was a most attentive editor, tidying up his spelling and grammar as he crafted the missive. “It is in this country that I’ve gained countless blessings over the years,” he wrote. And he concluded, “In this land, in this city, I’ve learned and gained so much by encountering each of you, and I consider my life full and abundant. It is my prayer and hope that your lives will also be full of peace and joy in your everyday encounters with the world. “It has been a privilege serving you as your mailman.” The letter was signed, “Farewell, Mailman Choi.” Recipients were deeply moved. Nancy Ploeger, the former president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and an 88th Street resident, said that during “these trying times” with the leadership in Washington, the Choi letter speaks to the nation’s better angels. “It tells us that this is still America, that’s what the letter means to me,” said Ploeger, who stepped down from the Chamber in 2016 after 21 years and is now executive director of the International Women’s Entrepreneurial

Challenge Foundation. “This is the America that I know. This is the America that I love. This is the America that the majority of our citizens know and love and care about it,” she added.

FROM SUNGLASSES TO SPECIAL DELIVERY Born in South Korea and raised in Seoul, Choi has devoted his life to public service, first in the Korean Army, then as a firefighter in his homeland. When his future wife, Linda Kim, moved to New York to work in its nail salons in 1982, he made the snap decision to follow her aboard. “I immigrated to the U.S. to follow the people I love,” he wrote in the letter. It wasn’t easy. In an interview on July 26, his last day delivering the mail, Choi said that, “Like a lot of immigrants, I had a lot of jobs.” He worked on construction sites, and at one point, peddled sunglasses on the sidewalks. “I learned English on the streets of New York,” he said. After 17 years, he finally achieved the stability and security he sought. He went to work for the post office in 1999 and was assigned to the Gracie Station P.O., at 229 East 85th Street, which has been his home base ever since. Choi’s average delivery is an estimated 2,000 to 4,000 pieces per day.

Postal worker Ilsoo Choi delivers the mail with his trademark smile on East 88th Street between First and Second Avenues on Thursday, July 26, his last day on the job after 20 years as a lettercarrier on the Upper East Side. Photo: Douglas Feiden “His customers love him,” said Anthony Carlo, who is the USPS station manager at Gracie. “He’s happy, reliable, hard-working, and that letter of his was straight from the heart,” he added. In 32 years on the job, Carlo said, he’s never seen a mailman post a farewell letter to his patrons. Asked what he liked most about

KARATE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 as a joke, I posted a counter video,” Fremon said. But after taking into consideration a friend’s suggestion, Matthew decided to let Maya be the one performing all the leg-locking stunts instead. “I am a fan of Maya and Matthew because they’re uniquely wholesome,” said Hector Casagrande, 27, the LegLocker page’s administrator. “At her young age, she’s already a dynamic instructor. We need more strong and confident role models like her.” Casagrande has been training in Brazillian jujitsu for over four years and focuses primarily on leg locks — his natural disposition, he said. He believes that Maya and Matthew have created a culture that lead to a gender balance among the students. “People need leaders. If we want more women in jujitsu, then we need more people like Maya. Confident women with a contagious passion. We are inspired by greatness. So, let’s celebrate it whenever see it,” Casagrande said. Matthew Fremon said it’s not unusual to hold classes where there are more women than men. “That’s super rare! In the more sports-based places or the more competition-based places, you’ll see a class photo at the end and it will be like nine men to every one woman.” He claims that his dojo runs the only

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

Unlike some other dojos and gyms, Upper West Side Kenshikai Karate boasts an equal number of men and women among its ranks. “I will have classes where there are more women than men,” said chief instructor Matthew Fremon, at left. His wife and co-chief instructor, Jennifer, is third from left. Photo courtesy of Upper West Side Kenshikai Karate fully Brazilian jujitsu program on the Upper West Side. It has produced four purple belts, two men and two women. In early December last year, Kristopher Zylinski, originally from the Bronx, but who now lives in Ponte Vedra, Florida, shared a great number of posts on Facebook claiming that women do not stand a chance against

men in mixed martial arts fights. “99% of women are too weak and lack the reflexes to do enough damage to stop 99% of men. Even if they knew (Brazilian jujitsu) they just don’t have the size or strength to use the holds. It’s dangerous to teach any woman to try and strike or fight a man,” Zylinski wrote. Mcdojolife, a Facebook page run by

Robert Ingram that has about 70,000 followers, tried to setting up a match between a man and woman. Tara LaRosa, a mixed martial arts fighter, was chosen to fight against Zylinkski after he claimed he could easily beat a trained woman. “Plenty of people on this planet have their own thoughts and opinions on the subject,” Ingram, 33, said. “I did

wheeling his mail trolley up and down East 88th Street every day, Choi cited two fixtures of daily street life — the children and the diversity. “At first, I see a little baby,” he said outside the entrance to the Gracie Station as he prepared to walk his route for the final time. “Then, the child starts to walk.... A few years pass, and suddenly it’s, ‘Oh, Choi, I’m going to school now.’” There was a certain sameness in Korea, he said. Not on the East Side: “Where I grew up, everybody had the same language, same culture, same background, same way of thinking, same way of looking at the world,” he said. “Here, it’s all different people, different backgrounds, different cultures, different religions. “We are not the same, everybody is different, and I love it,” he added. “Immigration made this country great and special.” As he pushed his mail cart on that last trip down 88th Street, Choi paused briefly on his rounds as neighbors embraced him or said their affectionate goodbyes, and at one point, as he took his leave of one woman, he said to her, “I love, love, love your country.” And he repeated, “This is a great, great, great country.” invreporter@strausnews.com

not agree with the statement because I have been doing this for a long time and felt there are a lot more important factors in a fight than simply someone being male or female.” The match garnered a lot of attention but was eventually cancelled after the Florida State Athletic Commission intervened. The match was finally treated as a sparring match, held at an indoor venue, recorded and showcased live on Mcdojolife’s Facebook page. Zylinski’s loss was every woman’s win. “Jujitsu is designed for people who are smaller to take on un-trained people who are larger,” Matthew Fremon said. Unlike some dojos and gyms around the city, Fremon does not conduct all-women classes because “that promotes the idea of martial arts being a man’s only world,” he said. Occasionally, Fremon gets female students who are victims of assault. “I pair them up with females first and my female students happily take the responsibility,” he said. Then eventually I pair them up with a calmer and more composed man and so and so forth.” In a recent training class, Maya easily overpowered her training partner, Izaac, who, at 12, is not just older but twice her size. “Everyone’s fist tastes the same when it’s buried in your face,” said Ingram, who readily admits to having lost to women during sparring sessions. “You don’t have time to discriminate on the mats.”


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YOUR 15 MINUTES

HIGH TOPS AND HIGH HOPES Long Islander and NYU grad John Budion’s “Rockaway” retraces his ‘90s childhood BY ANGELA BARBUTI

“At the end of the day, we’ve all got cameras in our pockets now. Anyone can shoot or film something. But if you can tell a story, that’s what will separate you from the rest,” said filmmaker John Budion. His newest project, “Rockaway,” which premieres at the Long Beach International Film Festival August 1 through 4, is loosely based on his life growing up on Long Island with his older brother and their friends in 1994. To cast the roles, he looked to rising child actors from hit films and television. “The six kids carry the film; they’re phenomenal. The emotion in the movie is just the six of them,” he said. A graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School now living in the Union Square neighborhood, Budion, 36, was able to train at post production facilities around his classes, which strengthened his film education. A fan of coming-of age stories, he credits filmmakers like Rob Reiner and Cameron Crowe as inspirations.

Did you always know you wanted to go into filmmaking? No, I started out in visual effects and ended up directing directors on how to achieve the shot that they wanted to get and make their self look cool. And then I worked with a director, John Watts, who just did “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” I was doing a lot of vi-

sual effects for him. He was my age. We were both really young, about 24. And I realized that he was directing and I thought, “Well, I should be directing too.” He inspired me to get into directing and film my own pieces. Then I sort of blossomed from my background in visual effects to being on set.

What was your experience like at NYU? NYU was great. I was there from ‘99 to ‘03. When I came to New York City from Long Island, I was 17 years old and had no idea what I wanted to do. I went into NYU’s Gallatin School, which allows you to form your own major, which ended up being perfect for me. I was interning and working hands-on with great directors and agencies for commercials when I was 17, 18 years old. So I would go to class and around my classes, I was interning at very high-end, post-production facilities in Manhattan. So I was getting the hands-on training and the theory training at NYU, so it was a double-sided education that really worked out for me. And being in New York City was great too [...].

Who are your inspirations and mentors in the industry? I love coming-of-age stories, so I’m a huge Rob Reiner fan. “Stand By Me,” “When Harry Met Sally.” I really gravitate towards directors who capture those nostalgic stories. Cameron Crowe, who did “Almost Famous,” another great coming-of-age film. But in terms of mentors, Vico Sharabani, an amazing and talented visual effects artist who turned me from a punk kid from Long Island to a visual effects assassin. I kind of have a reputation as

being a very fast and efficient visual effects artist in Manhattan amongst the indie film crowd and commercial agencies. And I kind of owe a lot of my career to him. And then in terms of directing, I have to go back to my Long Island roots. I love Tim Van Patten, who is HBO’s go-to director for every major episode, executive producer on “The Sopranos” and “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Game of Thrones.”

Tell us about “Rockaway.” Essentially, it’s about my brother and I growing up on the South Shore of Long Island. I pushed the drama because at the end of the day, you want to entertain an audience. The story is two brothers battling an abusive father that they have planted revenge on and they’re helped through their adventurous summer in 1994 by the four friends that they make that summer and it coincides with the New York Knicks run at the NBA finals that year. The young protagonist, John, who is based on me, has high hopes of a new life with his brother and mom. And also his favorite player is John Starks winning the championship for them. So it kind of happened coincidently while the story takes place. And we actually got John to come out to set; he had a little bit of a cameo in the film. We took pictures. We filmed a little bit with him. I told my parents that it would be this year’s Christmas card. It was kind of funny.

Where did you film? We filmed for 20-something days on the South Shore of Long Island. So we were in East Rockaway, Woodmere. And then we filmed two days in a stu-

A still from filmmaker John Budion’s feature, “Rockaway.” Courtesy of ROCKAWAYtheFilm.com

John Budion’s newest project “Rockaway,” which premieres at the Long Beach International Film Festival August 1 through 4. Photo: Jill Apple dio in Brooklyn. And half a day in the city. We’re New York- and Long Islandpremiering the film at the Long Beach International Film Festival at the theater that all the boys I wrote about grew up going to. It’s a brand new Regal theater that just had all these renovations that Long Beach is using for the festival. We also spent our summers in Long Beach, so it’s kind of a homecoming for us as well.

How did you cast? [...] I hadn’t written anything in my life before. I wrote this script and thought it was so wonderful. And I had people in the industry read it and they said, “This is terrible.” And then I actually taught myself how to write and I got the script to Cory Thompson, a good friend I went to NYU with, one of our associate producers And then I actually taught myself how to write and I got the script to Cory, and he said, “Let me run this script by Billy Hopkins and Ashley Ingram. They cast 20 to 30 films a year, all on the Oscar level, such as “Mudbound,” “Good Will Hunting.” Their IMDb page is a Rolodex of amazing films. Billy and Ashley loved the script. We immediately met for lunch and sat down for two-anda-half hours. Every young adult male actor wanted to be in this because they get to be an adult in the film. It’s that life they live away from their parents. There’s cursing, the drama of what you used to do in the summer before you had all this social media stuff and phones. You were kind of on an adventure all day.

Tell us about the kids you chose for the roles. I saw the film “Brooklyn,” and loved James DiGiacomo. He reminds me of my friend, Dom. We immediately made the offer to James; he loved the script and accepted the role. I’ve always loved “The Americans,” and Keidrich Sellati who plays Henry Jennings reminded me of my brother in the sense that he came into a callback and, like my brother, didn’t really care if he got it. But he nailed it. And Billy and Ashley brought in a bunch of people and they are all seasoned actors and we just did a little bit of a read with some of them. I found Tanner Flood, who’s a Long Island native. He’s on “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Moonrise Kingdom.” And Colin Critchley. He read for so many parts. I knew he had to be in the film; I wasn’t quite sure where to put him. And then Harrison Wittmeyer is a gem. He’s like a young River Phoenix. He didn’t have as many films under his belt as the other boys, but he’s just raw and phenomenal. And in the last role is 7-year-old Maxwell who plays me. He just reminded me of myself. Our birthdays are less than one day apart. He was wearing the same sneakers I was wearing in the callback session. He could bring out the emotions needed. rockawaythefilm.com

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St. Ignatius Loyola On December 11th, 1898, Reverend Michael Corrigan dedicated the Roman Catholic Church of St. Ignatius Loyola.

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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