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The local paper for the Upper East Side

WEEK OF AUGUST ‘ON THE TOWN,’ ON BOARD ◄ P.12

9-15 2018

RIVERBOAT RENAISSANCE WATERWAYS A century ago, they clogged the East River. Now, ferries are coming back in a huge way — and the ride is briny, breezy, buoyant and brisk

A FERRY GOOD WAY TO GET TO WORK: Two New East River Routes Set to Launch TO SOUNDVIEW (the Bronx)

SOUNDVIEW ROUTE

BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

COMING AUGUST 15

have long had to grapple with security and quality-of-life problems. Now, their concerns are finally being addressed: A half-mile swath of the East Side that takes in two City Council districts, five vest-pocket parks, six culs-de-sac and eight north-south blocks is being outfitted by the NYPD with seven state-of-theart security cameras.

Boatloads of commuters on the Upper East Side will be able to bypass the subway and speed to jobs in midtown and downtown when the city on Aug. 15 launches a massive expansion of its existing ferry system. The embarkation point is the East 90th Street landing, just north of Carl Schurz Park, from which riders will be whisked to 34th Street in a mere 16 minutes, then down to Pier 11 on Wall Street only 18 minutes later. Work-bound residents of the East 20s, Stuyvesant Town, East Village and Lower East Side will also be able to zip up and down the East River when officials on Aug. 29 inaugurate a second new nautical route. That line will connect two existing ferry docks, on 34th Street and Wall Street, with two newly built jetties in Stuyvesant Cove Park on 20th Street and Corlears Hook Park below the East River Park Amphitheater. The twin transit options are expected to bring efficient, enjoyable and hassle-free rides — with skyline vistas and a fully-stocked bar — to New Yorkers long inured to the daily trudge into a hellish subway system. “New York City has reclaimed its waterfront — and access to it in a timeeffective, cost-effective manner can be better provided by water than by subways or bridges,” said Cameron Clark, a senior vice president at NYC Ferry, which operates the ferry lines under contract with the city.

You can even grab a beer on your way home!”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 9

CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

Cameron Clark, executive at NYC Ferry

East City Council Members Ben Kallos (at mike) and Keith Powers (directly to his left), along with other dignitaries, trumpet the installation of seven NYPD security cameras in the pocket parks and culs-de-sac off Sutton Place and Sutton Place South in the East 50s. Photo: David Meister

SAFE SPACE ON SUTTON PLACE POLICING One of the city’s wealthiest enclaves still has security woes — but cops, community leaders and a pair of elected officials may have devised a solution BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

Presidents, prime ministers, despots, oligarchs and kings have been descending on the century-old, neoGeorgian townhouse at 3 Sutton Place for cocktails and diplomacy ever since 1972 when it became the official residence of the secretary general of the United Nations. One might suppose that meeting the security demands of such a guest list would have swaddled the adjoining blocks in a protective cocoon. Actually, residents of the affluent area fronting the East River in the 50s

It give us a great degree of comfort to know that police will be able to react in real time to any incidents they may see.” Charles Coutinho, president, Sutton Area Community

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MANHATTAN CHANGES POT PROSECUTIONS LAW ENFORCEMENT Starting Sept. 1, summonses instead of arrests for smoking in public or possessing small amounts of weed BY MICHAEL R. SISAK

Photo: Brian Shamblen, via ickr

Caught in the city with a doobie or a dime bag? The consequences you’ll face vary from borough to borough. In Manhattan, as of last Wednesday, prosecutors are no longer taking people to court for smoking pot in public or possessing small amounts of weed. But those kinds of cases are still being tried in Staten Island, Queens and the Bronx. Manhattan joins Brooklyn in moving to a declined-prosecution model as the nation’s biggest city moves toward decriminalizing low-level marijuana offenses and the state grapples with potential legalization.

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marijuana enforcement policy in May after The New York Times reported that blacks, who make up 24 percent of the city’s population, were eight times more likely to be arrested on low-level marijuana charges than whites, who are 43 percent of its population. Soon after, Gonzalez and Vance said they would scale back marijuanarelated prosecutions, and police convened a group to study the policy with input from academics, community leaders and others. “The glaring racial disparities in who is and is not arrested have contributed to a sense among many in our communities that the system is unfair,â€? Gonzalez said. “This in turn contributes to a lack of trust in law enforcement, which makes us all less safe.â€? Manhattan prosecutors say they’ll still pursue cases against marijuana sellers and people posing a signiďŹ cant threat to public safety.

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Police officers will shift to issuing criminal summonses for public marijuana smoking, instead of making arrests, starting Sept. 1. “We are removing ourselves from the equation,� Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said. Vance estimated the new policy will cut Manhattan marijuana cases from about 5,000 per year to fewer than 200 per year. That’s about a 96 percent reduction. Brooklyn prosecutors started pulling back on marijuana prosecutions in the spring and say they’ve already seen a drastic drop in cases sent to court. District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said his office went from trying 349 marijuana cases in January to just 29 in June. Marijuana is illegal in New York state except for medical use on a strictly regulated basis, but a state report on the issue recommends legalization. New York City set out to change its



 

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 19th district for the week ending July 29 Week to Date

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

WOMAN SCAMMED OUT OF $37,000 Yet another person was taken in by the all-too-common “relative in trouble” phone scam. At 9:30 a.m. on Friday, July 20, an 89-year-old East 62nd Street resident received a call from a man later found to be impersonating her grandson, saying he was in legal trouble in Florida. Soon another man impersonating a lawyer called, requesting cash payments to be distributed in person to three different men in the amounts of $15,000, $12,200, and $19,000. The victim was also requested to mail an additional $4,800 to an address in Florida but

apparently discovered that she was being scammed and recovered the cash before mailing it. The total she wound up losing was $37,300.

CHURCH BURGLAR One local burglar might anticipate a fiery afterlife. At 5:19 p.m. on Thursday, July 26, an administrator at a church located at 111 East 87th St. had a bag in his office containing approximately $1,900. When he next checked his bag he noticed that its contents were misplaced and $1,500 was missing. He reviewed his office surveillance footage and saw a man in his mid-50s enter

the church through a front door, go into the office and then leave, placing the money in his wallet. The victim told police that the intruder was not known to church personnel.

ALLEGED MUGGERS ARRESTED Police nabbed two suspected muggers following an early morning incident on Friday, July 27. A 37-year-old woman told police she was waiting for a taxi in front of 1020 Lexington Ave. when two women — one aged 27, the other 38 — attacked her and grabbed her Chanel purse and also trying to steal

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her Rolex watch. The victim followed one of the woman, who had run off with the purse and fled in another taxi. The victim waved down pedestrians and the taxi driver to alert them that she’d just been robbed and requesting them to stop the vehicle. She then managed to grab her purse back, who squirted pepper spray in her face. The victim refused medical attention at the scene, and the two bad girls were arrested and charged with robbery. The women’s names were not released.

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MISSING MOTORCYCLE At 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 26, a 39-year-old woman parked her 2010 BMW G650 GS opposite 305 East 84th St. It was gone when she returned about 12 hours later. She searched the neighborhood but couldn’t find her ride. She told police that she had not put locks on the vehicle, which is valued at $7,000.

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Useful Contacts

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

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US Post Office

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You voted, NYC. Pick up your copy of this year’s winning book and join the discussion!

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58th Street Library 127 East 58th Street New York, NY, 10022

Columbus Library 742 10th Avenue New York, NY, 10019

Hamilton Fish Park Library 415 East Houston Street New York, NY, 10002 Hamilton Grange Library 503 West 145th Street New York, NY, 10031 Harlem Library 9 West 124th Street New York, NY, 10027

67th Street Library 328 East 67th Street New York, NY, 10065

Countee Cullen Library 104 West 136th Street New York, NY, 10030

96th Street Library 112 East 96th Street New York, NY, 10128

Epiphany Library 228 East 23rd Street New York, NY, 10010

Harry Belafonte– 115th St. Library 203 West 115th Street New York, NY, 10026

Fort Washington Library 535 West 179th Street New York, NY, 10033

Hudson Park Library 66 Leroy Street New York, NY, 10014

George Bruce Library 518 West 125th Street New York, NY, 10027

Inwood Library 4790 Broadway New York, NY, 10034

Aguilar Library 174 East 110th Street New York, NY, 10029 Andrew Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library 40 West 20th Street New York, NY, 10011 Battery Park City Library 175 North End Avenue New York, NY, 10282

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‘ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?’ ENGAGEMENT Ahead of Aug. 19 primary deadline, voter registration drives heat up with new emphasis on incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise June House primary victory looms large over Democratic Party politics in 2018 — particularly in her native New York, where her campaign’s emphasis on engaging nonparticipants has helped energize efforts to register first-time voters. The Bronx candidate has credited her success in defeating incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley in part to her upstart campaign’s focus on boosting turnout among nonvoters and voters who sat out past elections — a tactic party activists see as a path to triumph not just in low-turnout primary elections, where ballot totals are often separated by only a few thousand votes, but also in this November’s general elections. “It’s not just red to blue,� Ocasio-Cortez said in her Aug. 4 keynote speech at the Netroots Nation conference in New Orleans. “It’s nonvoter to voter. That’s our swing voter.�

In New York City, much of the emphasis surrounding voter registration has concentrated on eligible voters in jail or on parole. An Aug. 3 registration drive organized by Getting Out and Staying Out, a nonprofit that works to reduce recidivism among formerly incarcerated young men, targeted the 35,000 parolees in New York state who are newly eligible to vote as a result of an executive order issued in April by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Think about the impact that 35,000 New Yorkers could have,� Geoffrey Golia, GOSO’s director of clinical services, said as he shared registration information with passers-by outside the organization’s Harlem headquarters at 116th Street and Madison Avenue. “There are folks who don’t always see why voting is important,� Golia said. “We want to engage them in a critical conversation about why voting and getting their voices out there could be helpful, not just for some theoretical policy, but for things that will help people in real life, like criminal justice reform and economic justice.� Golia pointed to OcasioCortez as a tangible example of the impact new voters can have. “She was able to unseat someone who was on the short list for House (of Representatives) leadership, and that was

because she galvanized people who agreed with her views, but who were either not registered to vote or not exercising their right to vote,â€? he said. Vastee Jackson, a 25-year-old who has participated in GOSO’s programs for three years, registered to vote for the ďŹ rst time at the event. “I was never really into voting,â€? Jackson said. “I never felt like it was real. But today I just was like, you know, it’s a new experience. Let me do something that I didn’t do before and just vote.â€? Jackson is unsure if he will vote in the September primaries. “I might vote,â€? he said. “It’s more likely than less likely.â€? The Legal Aid Society, which collaborated with GOSO in hosting the Harlem event, has also organized registration drives for incarcerated individuals at Rikers Island. Mayor Bill de Blasio, in partnership with the Legal Aid Society, announced a new initiative Aug. 7 to facilitate the delivery of voter registration forms and absentee ballots to eligible individuals detained at Rikers and other city jails. Previously, voting materials were processed with regular outgoing mail and subjected to security screening that sometimes resulted in delays and missed deadlines. The new program will bypass the jail mailing system to ensure timely delivery. Voting rights have also become an issue in the guberna-

New York voting rights activists have intensiďŹ ed efforts to register new voters ahead of the Aug. 19 deadline to register for September’s state primary. Photo: Michael Garofalo torial Democratic primary race between Cuomo and challenger Cynthia Nixon. The Nixon campaign’s door-to-door canvassing operation has focused on registering new voters ahead of the Aug. 19 deadline to register to vote in the Sept. 13 primary, and Nixon has rolled out a platform to “end voter suppression in New Yorkâ€? by implementing early voting, automatic registration and other measures aimed at increasing

turnout. The Nixon camp has also targeted Cuomo for criticism over voter registration cards mailed out by the state that tout Cuomo’s record of “expanding access and opportunity for New Yorkers to register to vote.� “Not only is this a gross abuse of state funds, but it’s untrue,� Nixon campaign spokesperson Lauren Hitt wrote in an emailed statement. “Cuomo makes it incredibly difficult for

New Yorkers to register to vote and to cast their ballots. New York is just one of 13 states that doesn’t have early voting, and the deadline to change party registration for the upcoming primary election was a whopping 11 months prior on October 13, 2017 — locking out 3.6 million registered unaffiliated voters in New York.� The Cuomo campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

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A voter registration drive on 116th Street in Harlem focused on the 35,000 parolees in New York state who are newly eligible to vote as a result of an executive order issued in April by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Emily Barnard/Getting Out and Staying Out


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CHANGE AHEAD FOR GARMENT DISTRICT BUSINESS A new plan from Gale Brewer and Corey Johnson aims to stabilize a once-thriving industry BY VERENA DOBNIK

Hundreds of thousands of garment workers once toiled in the sweaty, elbow-to-elbow workshops of midtown Manhattan before the whirring of sewing machines was mostly silenced by foreign competition. But the city’s garment district isn’t dead yet. A group of manufacturers, landlords, designers and politicians has a plan to preserve a remnant of the garment industry in a neighborhood where about 5,000 people are still employed in workshops mostly serving higher-end designers, while doing away with zoning rules that critics said put onerous restrictions on prime real estate. City Hall wants to preserve at

least 300,000 square feet for garment manufacturing, but allow real estate developers to bring in more 21st century businesses. That’s millions of fewer square feet than factories occupied in the industry’s glory days from the 1920s to the 1960s. The plan, if approved by the City Council, would lift 1987 zoning that reserved about 4 million square feet of space in the garment district’s highrises for apparel-production businesses. Today’s garment workshops occupy only an estimated 700,000 square feet, according to the city’s Economic Development Corp. And many say that number will likely dwindle away without the city’s protection. “The truth is, it’s a dying industry in the garment district, and who knows what would have happened to the remaining jobs without the city’s intervention,” said EDC spokeswoman Stephanie Baez. A Council vote is expected in the next few months, after more

reviews to tweak details. Under the plan, landlords would get a tax break for setting aside at least 25,000 square feet in a building for manufacturers, with tenants offered the option to sign leases for at least 15 years. The city would also spend $20 million to acquire a building that would be dedicated to manufacturing. The proposal represents a retreat from an earlier plan that would have done away with special protections entirely. That idea had been opposed by representatives of New York City’s fashion design and theater industries, which still need highly skilled garment workers close by. “The New York fashion world depends on the Garment Center’s tight-knit cluster of specialty suppliers and skilled workers,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who teamed with Council Speaker Corey Johnson to craft the new plan.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 19

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ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org NEW YORK CITY

Lunchtime Lecture: Women and War Relief

FRIDAY, AUGUST 10TH, 12:3OPM Mount Vernon Hotel | 421 E. 61st St. | 212-838-6878 | mvhm.org Catch an informal chat about American women’s war efforts throughout history, including true life experiences of women in World War I, in conjunction with the new exhibition New York Women, War and Patriotism: 1812 – 1918 ($8 regular adult admission).

Upstate Escape: Roots of Tourism in the Empire State

TUESDAY, AUGUST 14TH, 6:30PM NYPL Schwarzman Building | 476 Fifth Ave. | 917-275-6975 | nypl.org Fear of the pestilential streets of 19th century New York drove those who could afford it to fresh air summer destinations. Geospatial Librarian and Map Curator Ian Fowler shares documents from the library’s Maps Division that show both “pleasure routes” and maps of disease (free).

Just Announced | Film Screening and Discussion: Operation Finale

TUESDAY, AUGUST 14TH, 7PM 92nd Street Y | 1395 Lexington Ave. | 212-415-5500 | 92y.org Adolf Eichmann might have lived out his days as a manager at an Argentine Mercedes-Benz plant were it not for a chance recognition. A new film tells the story of a daring Mossad raid; Sir Ben Kingsley and director Chris Weitz explain what it took to put it on the big screen ($35).

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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Voices

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

WINE, BEFORE ITS TIME EAST SIDE OBSERVER BY ARLENE KAYATT

In plain sleight — Upper East Side electeds are great at keeping their constituents informed of their legislative efforts and work in and for the community. Their newsletters arrive monthly, primarily by email. A most recent one from Council Member Ben Kallos caught my attention. It was titled Ben Kallos Reform Democrat. It took me by surprise. There it was, front and center right on top of the mailing, but I’d never noticed or paid attention to the “Reform Democrat” part. So I checked the priors — and sure enough, all the same, always

Ben Kallos Reform Democrat. Why the surprise? First, these days the operative adjective for most Democrats is “progressive.” And second, words like “liberal” and “reform” are not in fashion or are passe. Or verboten. So why reform?

MetroCard madness — Whether you’re for or against having to prepay for a Select Bus before you get on, the least the MTA or the Department of Transportation can do is maintain the prepay stations so that riders can get on the bus without running the risk of getting a $100 fine for not paying. On three occasions over the last month, riders were complaining that the reduced-rate station was out of order at two bus stops. Torrential

rains didn’t make it easier. But riders fortunate enough to have been able to prepay at a working station may have been rewarded with transfers that expired 10 minutes later as happened on several uptown M15 bus routes. But that challenge is for another bus ride.

To whine or not to wine — Listen, I’m for wine, not whine. But if it’s red, serve mine in the time-honored way, at least at room temperature. And if I’m going to pay $10 for a glass, as I did at Eli’s on 87th and Lex — or anywhere else for that matter — I don’t want it frose-style. (Frose, the latest icy, slushy rose cocktail that’s all the rage this summer. If I want Frose, I’ll order it). When I told the server about the too, too cold red, she said that “That’s the way it’s served” and “since it’s before 5 o’clock and before the wine server arrives,” I could wait and let him know. No thanks. It was

3 in the afternoon. I’d already sipped and paid the 10 and wasn’t about to hang out for the wine to get warm and tell the wine server that he should clue in the staff about how to serve red wine. So I drank what tasted like an icy cherry soda. Not one to let the incident go unnoticed or unreported, I returned later in the week to see how the wine man served red wine after 5 and to share with him my pre-5 o’clock experience with Eli’s red wine. Sure enough, the wine man served the red at room temperature. When I told him what had happened earlier, he commiserated by letting me know that “That happens before 5. They don’t know.” Oh. If Eli’s is making a distinction in how their wines are served before and after 5 o’clock, or if they just don’t care, then the price should be adjusted and the consumer informed that red wine is best served cold at Eli’s. Without revenge. Or something like that. Ten

bucks for a glass of cold cold red wine deserves an explanation better than the one I got from Eli’s.

Reader responses to East Side Observer columns — Dr. Loosen wants to know whether the Toy Store on East 86th Street between Third and Lex is going to move out now that Panera is gone. My information is that the toy store plans to stay. Although Toy Store has been somewhat of an eyesore — IMHO — from the outside, it’s been a mainstay in the community for many years and is always busy and lively with kids and accompanying adults. The same Dr. Loosen, and several other readers, want “stroller brigades” included in the list of sidewalk obstructions I’ve written about. So noted. Strollers seem to be purchased with family planning in mind. I’ve seen many a stroller with one infant in a seat. And two empties. Sure seems like a plan.

FIELD NOTES: THE URBAN OBSTACLE COURSE HEALTH BY ALEXIS GELBER

Walking is a measure of New York’s quality of life — in our recent Senior Living Guide, my colleague Douglas Feiden noted that Manhattanites walk way more than Americans as a whole (5.99 daily walking trips per household in Greenwich Village and 2.43 on the Upper East Side vs. 0.73 in the median U.S. neighborhood). That may contribute to their greater longevity and better health (as Feiden wrote, the obesity rate on the Upper East and Upper West Sides is 17 percent, vs. the U.S. median of 28.9 percent). Walkable streets were one factor that gave the city high marks on the AARP’s Livability Index. As a longtime New Yorker, I’m used to walking everywhere, at a briskbut-standard city pace — about one block per New York minute. So I found it quite humbling recently to take my first walk outside when I got home after hip surgery. I moved slowly and nervously, despite a cane and the assistance of a physical therapist. “When people see you with your

cane,” the PT said encouragingly, “they’ll give you room.” Well, maybe. It’s been a mixed record on that score. New Yorkers are always in a hurry, and some pay more attention than others. But overall, this has been a perception-changing experience, a reminder of how those of us who can take walking for granted experience the city very differently than New Yorkers with disabilities or chronic illness. My peer group on the city sidewalks has changed: I find unspoken fellowship with people using a variety of canes and walkers, and I admire the chic woman who zips past me on West End Avenue in her motorized wheelchair. I have sympathy as well for parents and babysitters pushing heavilyladen strollers, and for dog-walkers trying to navigate the entropy of the sidewalks. A few observations about the urban obstacle course: Treacherous sidewalks: It goes without saying that city sidewalks are uneven, but some are more so than others. The north side of 72nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus seems particularly choppy, for in-

stance, and I walk with caution there. Physical therapists emphasize the importance of “heel-toe” walking, and in NYC that’s partly to avoid having your affected foot drag and get caught in the edge of uneven pavement. The curb cuts, or ramps, on corners throughout the city are designed to help disabled people access sidewalks, and I welcome them on my walks. But a year ago, reporting by the late DNAInfo found that about 80 percent of the city’s curb cuts were not up to federal standards for the disabled, despite the city spending $243 million over 15 years to build new ramps. And as some of our readers have noted, those corners can turn into small lakes after a summer thunderstorm or a winter ice-melt, almost countering the purpose of the cuts. Street excavations: I’ve been reading about 2018 political candidates across the country who pledge to boost the economy in their districts and fix potholes. Potholes — if only! How about entire city blocks that are ripped up for weeks on end? The streets near my home have been dug up a couple of times in the past few years, with all the accompanying equipment, barri-

ers and gravel that impede walking. My regular walks now often take me past West End Avenue and 70th Street, which reporter Michael Garofalo wrote about as a safety concern after a pedestrian was killed on May 3 by a motorist at that intersection. Three pedestrians and one bicyclist were injured in collisions at the same location last year. “Roberta Semer, the chair of Community Board 7, lives nearby and said the intersection has been persistently dangerous.” Garofalo wrote. “Cars traveling south on West End and turning right onto 70th Street create a particularly hazardous situation for walkers, Semer said. ‘They don’t see the pedestrians in the crosswalk,’ she said. ‘I have almost been hit on several occasions.’” Screen-absorbed pedestrians: As for the physical therapist’s theory about pedestrians making way for people with canes: I’ve found that the most inattentive people on the street are individuals so absorbed in their cellphones that they don’t see who they’re about to collide with. I’m generally not one to make an issue of cellphone users, but I would be curious to know whether there’s an increase in pe-

West End Avenue and 70th Street on a recent morning. Photo: Alexis Gelber destrian accidents caused by screen addiction. It’s illegal to text and drive. Should there be a law about texting and walking? Maybe that would make us New Yorkers more appreciative of an experience we too often take for granted. Do you have observations or safety concerns about walking in the city? Please contact me at editor.ot@strausnews.com

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LIGHTING Daniel Padnos of the Sutton Place Conservancy, along with East Side City Council Members Ben Kallos and Keith Powers (behind him at center), announce the installation of seven NYPD security cameras in the culsde-sac and pocket parks off Sutton Place. Photo: David Meister

SAFE SPACE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Violent crime has never been the issue in the neighborhood of dead-ends bounded by Sutton Place, Sutton Place South and Beekman Place on the west, the FDR Drive and the river to the east, 58th Street on the north and 50th Street to the south. But the stretch includes a network of mini-parks — formerly known as “Five Parks” and now called Sutton Place Parks — where homelessness, public urination, public intoxication, drug use, vandalism and litter in semi-isolated areas have long worried local parents, children, dog-walkers and seniors. “When I see people so inebriated they can’t get off the ground it’s a little bit scary,” said Daniel Padnos, vice president of the Sutton Place Conservancy. “These are hard-to-patrol locations,” said City Council Member Ben Kallos, whose East Side district takes in Sutton Place South up to the north side of 55th Street. Since the

parks are entered by walking up or down steps, cops can’t use vehicles and can only reach them by foot, he said. “They are great refuges and oases in the city, and we have to make sure they have appropriate security so anybody who wants to use them feels safe and secure,” said City Council Member Keith Powers, whose district takes in Sutton Place South up to the south side of 55th Street.

A QUARTER-MILLION DOLLARS FOR SAFETY Kallos tapped his discretionary funds to buy five security cameras for the northern blocks — each with a live 24/7 feed to the 17th Precinct — and Powers dipped into his Council funds to purchase two more for the culs-de-sac as far south as Beekman Place and 50th Street. They don’t come cheap: Each camera will cost $35,000 for an overall tab of $245,000. It wasn’t immediately clear when they will be installed. “Soon, the 17th Precinct will have eyes on the park — and it will be able to respond instantaneously and even proac-

tively,” Kallos said in an Aug. 3 press conference at the riverfacing dead end on East 54th Street. The cameras will serve both as a deterrent to crime and an investigative tool that can be used to pursue offenders, said NYPD Captain Conor Wynne, the commanding officer of the 17th Precinct. “I think they will prove invaluable. I also hope we don’t need them that often,” he added. The security measures had been requested by the Conservancy and another civic group, Sutton Area Community. “It give us a great degree of comfort to know that police will be able to react in real time to any incidents they may see,” said Charles Coutinho, the SAC president. Added Padnos, “This is not just a recording device, it’s a camera with an eye attached to it. And that’s what makes it special — it will provide live monitoring and live policing, and that’s something we’ve never had before.” invreporter@strausnews.com

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

EDITOR’S PICK

Tue 14 - Fri 17 CENTRAL PARK CONSERVANCY FILM FESTIVAL Central Park, landscape between Sheep Meadow and the 72nd St. Cross Drive 6:30 p.m. Free 212-310-6600. centralparknyc.org Classic films and a cool evening breeze, completely gratis: The 16th Annual Central Park Conservancy Film Festival returns with classic flicks including “Hair,” “Crooklyn,” “Dr. Strangelove” and “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” Come early for pre-show programming and music by DJ Spin Diesel.

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EXHIBITION: JEFF KOONS

AFTERNOON CONCERT: THE BLUE DAHLIA

▲ ‘IN THE NAME OF THE EARTH’

Gagosian Gallery 976 Madison Ave. Noon, Free There are just a few more weeks to catch Jeff Koons’s “Gazing Ball” series, which draws attention to the continuity of images as they pass through time by incorporating a blue, handblown glass gazing ball into replicas of famous paintings or sculptures. Closes Aug. 24. 212-744-2313 gagosian.com

Ruppert Park 1741 Second Ave. 4 p.m. Free Characterized by the sensual sounds of jazz and French chanson, The Blue Dahlia band offers an organic sound with electric energy. This eclectic group sings in French and English, and features a FrenchMexican accordion, a klezmer violin, brass horns and the warm rhythms of reggae, ska and Latin American music. nyc.gov/parks

Northeast section of Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave. and 106th St. 3 p.m. Free Experience the world premiere of “In the Name of the Earth,” a large-scale choral work by Pulitzer prize-winning composer John Luther Adams. Nearly 800 singers will transform the names of North American rivers, lakes, mountains and deserts into a communal meditation on Adams’s holy trinity: earth, water, and holy wind. inthenameoftheearth.org


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Adolf Eichman at trial in Jerusalem 1961. Photo from Israel National Photo Collection, via WikiMedia Commons

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EXHIBITION TOUR: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;HISTORY REFUSED TO DIEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; The Met, 1000 Fifth Ave. 11:30 a.m. Free with Museum admission, space is limited; ďŹ rst come, ďŹ rst served This exhibition presents 30 paintings, sculptures, drawings and quilts by self-taught contemporary African-American artists to celebrate the 2014 gift to The Met of works of art from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. The artists all hail from the American South. Through Sept. 23. 212-535-7710 themet.org

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AUGUST 9-15,2018

‘ON THE TOWN,’ ON BOARD Jerome Robbins’s centenary commemorated with a performance on the Intrepid BY MARC B. BOUCAI

What could be more New York than seeing theater in an immersive, historic setting? Such an intoxicating and rare pairing will come to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum for one night as acclaimed choreographer Josh Bergasse restages the opening of the classic musical “On The Town” aboard a military ship on Thursday. The performance is not to be missed. Co-organized with the Jerome Robbins’ Foundation to commemorate the centennial of the dance auteur’s birth, the staging will be followed by a panel discussion about Robbins and his legacy. Bergasse will be joined by Grover Dale, an original cast member of West Side Story and co-director with Robbins of “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway;” Amanda Green, Tony Award– nominated lyricist and composer and

IF YOU GO WHAT: “Celebrating Jerome Robbins, From Street to Stage” WHERE: The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum WHEN: Thursday, August 9; performance, 7 p.m., flight deck; panel, 8 p.m., Allison & Howard Lutnick Theater daughter of playwright Adolph Green; and Daniel Ulbricht, principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. The panel will be moderated by Amanda Vaill, author of “Somewhere: The Life of Jerome Robbins,” and will revolve around his timeless artistry. The Intrepid performance and panel is one of several events this year in New York to celebrate the many contributions Robbins made to American culture. Robbins’s work spanned genres from ballet to theater to film, influencing generations of dance artists. Despite numerous biographies written about him, Robbins’s life, like New

Jerome Robbins, center, on the set of the 1961 film version of “West Side Story. Robbins, who directed is pictured with, from left, Jay Norman, George Chakiris, Jay Norman and Eddie Verso. Photo: Photofest

A 2014 production of “On the Town” at Broadway’s Lyric Theatre, directed by John Rando and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse. Photo: Joan Marcus York itself, is shrouded in mystery and contradiction. A closeted bisexual who identified as a self-hating Jew, Robbins helped create a queer reflexive version of masculinity and femininity, at once subversive and progressive. Whether it be dancing Navy boys (“Fancy Free,” “On the Town”), Puerto Rican gang members (“West Side Story”) or candle-balancing Jews in Russia (“Fiddler on the Roof”), Robbins always managed to capture the polyphonic nature of identity, one as complex and intersectional as New York itself. The inspiration for the Intrepid performance came when Ellen Silbermann, the museum’s first director of public programs, was approached by the Robbins’ foundation. Silbermann immediately recalled the recent Broadway revival of “On the Town” and proposed staging the opening of the show on the historic aircraft carrier. The Intrepid was in use as a military ship in 1944 when “On The Town” premiered, marking the Broadway debut of not only Robbins, but also of composer Leonard Bernstein and the lyricist/librettist duo of Betty Comden and Adolph Green. Best remembered for the 1950 MGM film shot on location in the city, “On The Town” is a period piece of a decidedly different time, when America was associated with an infectious sense of possibility, positivity and patriotism.

When asked about the connection between military history and Robbins’s work as the inventor of a new dance vocabulary, Silbermann mused that the root of Robbins’ choreography derived from the rhythms of everyday people, people like “sailors in World War II in the street being around, [from] his experience as an immigrant, [from] the energy of New York City,” and that it was these typically New York things “that formed the essence of his choreography.” It is the essence of the real, the everyday that made Robbins’s dance so inventive, fusing ballet with more colloquial forms of movement. Robbins’s complex portraits of the moving body have stood the test of time, as exemplified by the fact that his original work is rarely changed when performed in revival, not the norm for most theater productions. Bergasse’s choreography, though “original” in some ways, retains the essence of Robbins’s in all its subsequent iterations, with The New York Times’s Ben Brantley stating in 2014 that Bergasse “maintains this rare feeling of idiosyncrasy in harmony” that retains “the Robbins spirit, but stamped it with his own vivid signature.” The Intrepid Museum’s public programming, begun four years ago, aims to teach history in an entertaining fashion. This program should allow Robbins’s spirit to fuse with Ber-

gasse’s singular stamp and get the two into conversation with one another. When Silbermann was chosen to run the Intrepid Museum’s programs, she made clear that she wished to engage with the arts to “get people to feel rather than just listen to people explaining things.” With this in mind, Silbermann planned the Intrepid’s first late-night event, a restaging of a germinal piece of music written for and by the legendary Kronos Quartet, originally created as a musical statement against America’s participation in the Vietnam War. The museum also co-produced, along with The Public Theatre, a series of recreations of the “Blue Prince Specials” musicals written during World War II written by, performed by and created for members of the U.S. military. Such programming demonstrates that the arts are always integral to how we experience our world. It also reminds us that history is preface to tomorrow. What Thursday’s performance and panel symbolize is the fusing of feeling and fact, of history and high art. It is this particular synthesis of the practical with the fantastical that makes for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the sun sets on August 9 along New York Harbor, audiences will watch history come alive, on location, creating a love letter not only to New York, but to the American dream writ large.


AUGUST 9-15,2018

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AUGUST 9-15,2018

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RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS JUL 24 - 30, 2018

Meet Dan Faryniasz

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.

)FLOPXT5IF Neighborhood.

Nino’s Restaurant

1354 1 Avenue

Grade Pending (18) Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Chipotle Mexican Grill

1288-1290 1St Ave

A

Gina La Fornarina

1016 Lexington Ave

Grade Pending (19) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Sant Ambroeus Cafe at Sotheby’s

1334 York Ave

A

Starbucks Coffee #26188

1000 S 8 Ave

A

Joe & The Juice

1320 3rd Ave

A

Ikinari Steak

1007 Lexington Ave

Not Yet Graded (15) Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided.

Beanocchios Cafe

1431 York Avenue

A

Bua Thai Ramen & Robata Grill

1611 2nd Ave

Not Yet Graded (39) 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. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Prince Tea House

1521 York Ave

Not Yet Graded (23) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Andaman Thai Bistro

1843 1 Avenue

Grade Pending (2)

Ichiro

1694 2nd Ave

Grade Pending (36) 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. Tobacco use, eating, or drinking from open container in food preparation, food storage or dishwashing area observed. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Fillmore Delicatessen

1668 3rd Ave

A

Hot Jalapeno Restaurant

219 East 116 Street

A

Milano’s Pizzeria

2255 2 Avenue

A

Salud Y Esperanza

2135 2nd Ave

A

Good Taste 360 Inc

360 E 116th St

A

Jalapeno Deli

1629 Lexington Ave

A

Dan uses Dan Faryniasz Janovic Store Manager 1491 3rd Avenue

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Your Neighborhood Store 1491 3rd Ave @ 84th St | 212-289-6300


AUGUST 9-15,2018

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FALL EDUCATION PREVIEW

With the Empire State Building as a backdrop, a NYC Ferry vessel heads southbound down the East River opposite East 34th Street. A major expansion of the city’s ferry system kicking off on Aug. 15 will connect the East 90th Street landing near Carl Schurz Park with Wall Street by way of 34th Street. Photo: NYC Ferry

NYC FERRIES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 “Let’s face it, we’re a series of island boroughs surrounded by water whose forefathers came here on vessels. We have a network that’s been here a long time, and now, we are seeing its revitalization,” Clark added. Indeed, waterborne commuter routes — heavily subsidized to the tune of $6.60 per passenger and costing only $2.75, a price pegged to match the subway fare — have been a resounding success: Nine million annual boat rides are projected by 2023. That’s double the initial forecast. Fleet capacity has also doubled. Twenty vessels, each with 149 seats, are now plying the harbor. Demand continues to soar. So six 350-passenger ships are being added. Ocean Queen Rockstar, the first jumbo-sized ferry, arrived in July. Since it debuted in May 2017, as a successor to a handful of ferry firms that stumbled, NYC Ferry, a subsidiary of cruise-and-charter company Hornblower, has launched four routes that connect Manhattan with Brooklyn and Queens. Now, it’s growing to six routes with 21 stops that span 60-plus nautical miles. The first new run, the fourstop Soundview Route, will kick off next week in Clason Point Park in the Soundview section of the Bronx and then pass through Hell Gate to the 90th Street landing before heading down to 34th Street and Wall Street. Two weeks later, the second expansion, the five-stop, 32-minute Lower East Side Route, will originate in Long Island City, cross the river and head for points south, berthing at underserved Corlears

Hook, below the Williamsburg Bridge off Grand Street, before terminating at Pier 11. Roughly a million passengers a year are expected to hop aboard. The three neighborhoods set to benefit from the new routes — the Upper East Side, Lower East Side and The Bronx — have “historically been transit deserts,” said James Patchett, president of the city’s Economic Development Corp., the lead agency overseeing the ferry operations. “Now, for the cost of a subway ride, New Yorkers who live and work in these communities will have a fast, affordable and convenient way to get around the city,” he added in a statement.

FROM FERRIES TO FIREBOATS AND BACK EDC has been building new docks and upgrading existing infrastructure as it seeks to accommodate the surge in maritime traffic, and one of its key projects is the landing just north of Gracie Mansion at 90th Street. Since at least the late 1800s, the site has served, sporadically, as a ferry port. Around 1930, a replacement pier was built, and for half a century, it was used to berth fireboats. Marine 5, the last such vessel to tie up there, shipped out in 1980. An ecological learning center for school kids moved in. It was shuttered in the early 1990s. Since then, the city and private firms have made shortlived efforts to jump-start the landing for ferries, providing occasional service to Randall’s Island, Brooklyn and Yankee Stadium and the former Shea Stadium in baseball season, among other destinations. The rebirth now underway at the foot of East 90th Street appears more ambitious: EDC is projecting that around

400,000 passengers a year will either board, disembark or transit through the landing. Getting to the site, at least at first, could prove a tad tricky. A chunk of seawall on the East River Esplanade near 89th Street collapsed in May 2017, and as the area’s promenades are being reconstructed, EDC is opening a temporary access path to reach the waterfront via the park. There’s a steep hill along the route, and because of the slope and the ongoing construction, the temporary path will include a staircase. Once the work is complete, however, a fully ADA accessible path will be built to provide an easier approach to the landing, officials familiar with the project say. East Side residents enthused about the new ferry service. “We think it will energize and activate the waterfront, attract people, and hopefully, push the city to expedite the urgently need infrastructure repairs to the Esplanade, particularly in East Harlem,” said Jennifer Ratner, chair of Friends of the East River Esplanade. Meanwhile, Clark is pitching the waterways as a passage, not just for commuters, but for New Yorkers looking for inexpensive “staycations” in other communities in town. The ferries run seven days a week, and offer free transfers, so an East Sider boarding on 90th Street could explore, for instance, Williamsburg, Red Hook, South Brooklyn, Governor’s Island or the Rockaways, he said. And Clark ticked off some of the little frills of riverboat travel. “You can charge your laptop, pick up a sandwich — and even grab a beer on your way home!” he said. invreporter@strausnews.com

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MEETING OF THE MINDS

AUGUST 9-15,2018

Business

A CEO and an elected leader on NYC’s growing technology industry

panies like Fog Creek, the city has sought to leverage its position through initiatives like the Tech Talent Pipeline training program, a recently launched techBY MICHAEL GAROFALO nology education lab in Brownsville and plans for a new Union Square tech hub. “My interest is in making sure New You might not know Fog Creek Software, but your coder friends probably York City students are prepared for these jobs,” Powers said. do. Students are already making use of The Manhattan-based tech company made its name developing products used Fog Creek’s latest product, Dash said, a and loved by computer programmers. platform called Glitch that allows coders Past Fog Creek hits include the project to easily collaborate on projects. Glitch management program Trello and the hosts a library of over one million userwebsite Stack Overflow, a question-and- built apps that anyone can remix and answer and employment forum for de- build upon, ranging from simple animavelopers with 50 million monthly users tions made by kids learning to code in schools to an app — “slightly more that plays an album popular than the on Spotify when Washington Post,” users take a photo CEO A n il Dash of the cover art. points out. These are New York values “ What’s interDash has built a and this is a New York esting is that the reputation not just problem-solving as a developer and company,” skills these kids are entrepreneur, but Anil Dash, CEO, Fog Creek Software using are the same also as a public inthat you encounter tellectual focused in high-level codon technology and policy. He served as an adviser to the ing,” Dash said, adding, “The goal isn’t Obama White House’s Office of Digital that every kid should be a coder, it’s that Strategy and has published commen- they should be fluent enough to know the tary and criticism on everything from impact code has on their life.” Powers also took interest in Fog Creek’s corporate ethics to office design on his popular blog, which he has written since benefits and policies, which include 1999, and his Twitter feed, which boasts company-provided Metrocards, generous family leave and a fully subsidized nearly 600,000 followers. A recent Twitter back-and-forth with insurance package staff jokingly refer New York City Council Member Keith to as the “Cuban health care plan.” The Powers sparked an IRL meeting of the Council, Powers said, looks to the private minds. At Dash’s invitation, Powers vis- sector for insight as it crafts new policy ited Fog Creek’s Financial District offices on workplace issues like harassment, on a late July afternoon for a tour of the child care and paid leave. “I apprecispace — roomy, clean white and open- ate what you guys are doing in terms of plan, with plentiful private office areas creating an inviting workplace, Powers and splashes of vibrant color, plus an said. “I think it’s something that’s much outdoor terrace overlooking the down- needed in New York, where we often have town scrum — and an exchange of ideas a mentality of ‘just go.’” “If you take away entire categories on what the municipal government can learn from the tech sector and vice versa. of concerns from people, it turns out To Powers, who represents much of they’re incredibly productive,” Dash Manhattan’s East Side and is a native of said. Dash connects Fog Creek’s collective Stuyvesant Town, Dash is both neighbor and constituent. The pair first met when attitude on issues like diversity (“The Powers made a fortuitous campaign goal is that this company should look knock at the door of Dash’s Stuy Town like this city”) and transit (“We are an apartment during his successful Coun- entirely car-free company”) to a sense cil run last year. They’ve stayed in touch of place-based identity. “These are New since, exchanging tweets and running York values and this is a New York cominto one another around the neighbor- pany,” he said. It’s no coincidence, Dash thinks, that hood. When Fog Creek was founded 20 years companies that have been the “justifiago, it was still an against-the-grain able blowback” of late for their perceived choice for a software company to be negative impact on New York — the based in the Big Apple rather than Silicon Ubers and Airbnbs of the world — tend Valley. Times changed. As the industry to be based on the West Coast. “Nobody has grown, with giants like Facebook and in those companies rides the subway to Google setting up shop alongside start- work every day, and that’s why they have ups and homegrown “middle class” com- those policies,” he said.

Council Member Keith Powers (second from right) visited Fog Creek Software’s offices in Lower Manhattan to discuss the state of the city’s technology industry with (from left) Fog Creek’s Jordan Harris, Anil Dash and Meg Tobin. Photo: Michael Garofalo

At the Fog Creek meeting. Photo: Michael Garofalo


AUGUST 9-15,2018

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Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

AUGUST 9-15,2018

A SMALL GARDEN’S BIG IMPACT COMMUNITY A West Harlem lot’s bounty goes to a soup kitchen BY ALICE TECOTZKY

Nearly 50 years ago Jenny Benitez threaded a hose through the window of her second story apartment on Riverside Drive above 138th Street and down into an abandoned lot abutting railroad tracks. Today, that same lot is home to the thriving Riverside Valley Community Garden, which, as of five years ago, started donating its summer harvest — its tomatoes, basil, broccoli and squashes, among other bounty — to Broadway Community’s Four-Star Soup Kitchen at the Broadway Presbyterian Church on 114th Street. When she first started the garden in the late 1960s, giving its bounty to a local soup kitchen was not part of Benitez’s vision. It was, however, part of Steve Gallagher’s, an avid gardener who helped to establish the RVCG and who was a loyal volunteer up until his passing a few years ago. “When Steve would plant, it was always with the goal of giving it to the soup kitchens,” Victoria Benitez, Jenny’s daughter, explained. “So he kind of planted the seed.” The relationship between the RVCG and the Four-Star Soup Kitchen began informally. Prior to the partnership, Jenny Benitez and her late husband, Victor, would simply gather the garden’s produce, drive it down to the soup kitchen in their car, and unload the vegetables. “We didn’t go for publicity,” Benitez said. For her and her husband, it was only natural to share their excess with the community in as productive a way as they knew how. The symbiotic partnership between the two institutions is central to the garden’s place in the community, said Dan Garodnick, the former New York City council member who was recently appointed CEO and president of the Riverside Park Conservatory. “What’s interesting to me about this relationship,” he said, “is that you first have a community garden that physically, and through its own activation of this neighborhood, completely changed it, and now is giving back in yet another way. It’s a beautiful thing.” Given that the Four-Star Soup Kitchen serves between 100 and 150 people every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as wide a range of people have

The Riverside Valley Community Garden at the western end of 138th Street. The garden’s bounty is shared with an Upper West Side soup kitchen. Photo: Richard Khavkine

Oregano, thyme, parsley and catnip are among the herbs grown at the Riverside Valley Community Garden in West Harlem. Photo: Richard Khavkine

benefited from the RVCG’s produce as have helped to cultivate it. Much of Four-Star’s produce comes from community supported agriculture groups, or CSAs, as well as community gardens, both of which are vital to the soup kitchen’s continued existence. The garden attracts a wide range of volunteers, diverse in their ethnicities, ages and family dynamics. It has become a staple of the neighborhood, serving to connect those who live nearby both with nature and with one another. Jenny and Victoria Benitez hope that the garden can serve as a model of community growth, participation and awareness of the environment for those throughout the city. It is Victoria’s belief that if you enable New Yorkers — in fact, residents everywhere — to grow food and create beauty in the same way that Jenny has, “you feed the world.” Like its soil, the garden’s history is rich, Garodnick said. He recalled how, almost a half-century ago, Jenny Benitez attached a hose to her kitchen sink and brought it 200 yards down to an empty, near-derelict lot. Today, it is “a space that gives life and bounty to the people who need it, and also life to this community.” With a slight glance at the Eden behind him, he asked, “What could be better than that?”


AUGUST 9-15,2018

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Judith Weller’s sculpture of her father. Photo: Natalie Maynor, via flickr

GARMENTS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 Gabrielle Ferrara, who with her mother runs Ferrara Manufacturing, one of the neighborhood’s largest garment factories, said she supports the plan. Something needs to be done, she said, to stabilize the shrinking district. “We’re at a crisis point, 100 percent at a crisis point,” said Ferrara, whose 30-year-old business employs about 70 people and works with highend designers. “When the city talks about investing in machinery and technology, the fact is, you can’t invest without permanent real estate space,” she said. “I’m nervous for the two-thirds of the industry with short leases of just months or a year; there’s no safety net for them.” As recently as 1960, many of the clothes sold in the United

States were made in Manhattan’s garment district, where the city now proposes to preserve apparel-production space from 35th to 40th streets, just south of Times Square, and from Broadway to Ninth Avenue. Remnants of the old district remain. On the second floor of a massive building on West 37th Street is Absolute Couture, where ethnic Chinese workers sit all day at rows of sewing machines — not unlike the old days, at first glance. But the workers are better paid and more skilled than the ones who once eked out a living in shifts of 12 hours or more, with an occasional rat or mouse scurrying by. Workers overheard on the street now speak Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Korean, with Yiddish still spoken by Jewish businessmen who once dominated the district. Newcomers to the neighbor-

hood include shiny boutique hotels, spiffy restaurants and bars, and even a tiny hotel called Nap York where guests may reserve a sleeping “pod” for as little as an hour. Recent tenants also include artists, architects, and firms specializing in advertising, technology and media. They mingle with old-fashioned wholesale storefronts that offer everything from clothing, buttons and beads to trimming, just pockets and pleating work. Outside, workers pushing racks of garments on wheels squeeze past a cacophony of trucks, cars, bicycles and people on foot. Sitting on Seventh Avenue is a tribute to the human hands at the heart of the neighborhood: Israeli-born Judith Weller’s life-size sculpture of her father, a Jewish man wearing a skullcap at a sewing machine, next to a needle threading a button.

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YOUR 15 MINUTES

‘EVERYBODY LEAVES THE THEATER HAPPY’ Tony-winning producer Pat Flicker Addiss on her new show “Desperate Measures” — and what the MeToo movement means for women on Broadway BY PAOLA AURISICCHIO

In “Desperate Measures,” the young cowboy Johnny Blood (Conor Ryan) is sentenced to hang after killing a man in a bar fight. His sister, the novice nun Susanna (Sarah Parnicky) pleads with the governor to spare his brother’s life, but the governor offers to pardon Johnny only in exchange of a romantic night with her. The hilarious plot, involving a voluptuous saloon girl and a priest who read Nietzsche, is a musical comedy directed by Bill Castellino currently running at New World Stages in New York. When Pat Flicker Addiss, a Tony-winning producer, saw the show for the first time at the York Theatre in New York, she thought that it was witty and clever,

funny and serious. “It was my dream, I had to do it,” Addiss said. The show opened at New World Stages on June 13 and since then Addiss has seen it almost every day, enjoying the audience laughing and walking out full of joy. “Everybody leaves the theater happy,” she said. “That’s the rewarding part of my job.” Addiss, a native New Yorker, is almost a novice at Broadway. She ran a promotion company, Pat Addiss Enterprises, for thirty years to support three children as a single mom. She gave the business to her daughter Wendy and she embarked on a new career as theater producer. Her success was immediate. Starting with “Little Women” in 2005, Addiss has produced over 18 plays on and off Broadway, including “Spring Awakening” which garnered eleven Tony Award nominations and won eight, including Best Musical. Addiss’s Broadway credits as a producer also include “39 Steps,” “A Christmas Story,” and “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” However, “Desperate

Measures” has a special place in her career because, she said, “I’m involved 100 percent as a producer. The story is fabulous and it has a wonderful music.” The musical comedy is adapted from Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” and transplanted to the Wild West in 1890. The show, with music by David Friedman and book and lyrics by Peter Kellogg, is the recipient of Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Off-Broadway Musical, and the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Musical. It will play through December 31.

What led you to become a theater producer? I ran a promotion company for thirty years. I loved marketing and design, and I have always loved theater. The people who worked for me always said, “I want you to be a Broadway producer.” I had no idea what it meant. After thirty years spent in my company, I gave it to my daughter Wendy and I took a course at the Commercial Theatre Institute (CTI) to learn how to produce. But you don’t know anything when you get out of the course because you learn while producing. In 2005 a woman called me asking, “Do you want to produce ‘Little Women’ with me?” Okay, I said, and I began my career as a theater producer. “Desperate Measures” is the best show I have ever produced.

Why? I sit and enjoy it almost every day. It’s glorious, it has a wonderful music, the story is fabulous, witty and clever. It makes everybody happy. During my career, “39 Steps” was great, “Spring Awakening” was wonderful and with an important message. I’m always in between something that has an important message and something that is pure joy and clever. That’s why I thought that I had to do “Desperate Measures.” The show is based on “Measure for Measure,” one of Shakespeare’s weakest plays because the plot is very confusing. Our plot is not confusing at all and it’s written in rhyming couplets. It requires very good actors and we have a wonderful ensemble. Everybody is on the same page.

“Desperate Measures” is a hilarious musical comedy. What makes you laugh? Photo: Paola Aurisicchio

It’s funny. Lauren Molina, who plays the saloon girl Bella, has no filter. In the real life she is sweet and totally

Photo: Paola Aurisicchio different, but on stage nothing stops her. I really laugh seeing the scene between Johnny Blood and his girlfriend Bella. They are so funny together.

What are the best and the worst part of your job? My job is rewarding and I love to see people so happy after seeing “Desperate Measures.” The show takes place in 1890 and the governor, who is Nick Wyman, is very relevant with the MeToo movement. The worst part of my job? It is very important to have a good lawyer!

Is it hard to be a woman on Broadway? It was hard when I had a business. At that time, I became a legend because I was a woman with a successful company. Nowadays, in the theater across the country there are more women producers and directors. I also believe that the MeToo movement has helped to create more jobs for women. I’m an advocate for Women’s Equality and I’m on the board of the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW).

What theater do you like to see? I like everything [that’s] good. I usually go from being very serious on one side and funny on the other. I’m a Tony voter and I have to see every show on

Broadway. What’s also interesting is to experience different audiences. A quiet audience usually will get up to give a standing ovation; a noisy audience doesn’t give a standing ovation. When you are in large theater you don’t notice the differences, but in smaller places it’s fascinating to see how the audience reacts. I love the New World Stages because is so intimate and perfect for “Desperate Measures.”

What’s your relationship with New York? I was born and raised in New York. I love New York because it’s a working town. There is something for everybody no matter your clothes, your appearance. I grew up on 55th Street on the West Side and now I live on the East Side. However, I would like to have my ashes [scattered] down Broadway! I remember the joy of the first show; I was jumping up and down. I still get excited, and when we won two Drama Desk Awards — tears came to my eyes.

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To purchase a coloring book of Upper East Side venues, go to colorourtown.com/ues

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On April 13th, 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in the Dodworth Building at 681 Fifth Avenue.

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8

4 8

Scan or take a picture of your work and send it to molly.colgan@strausnews.com.

7

5

Metropolitian Museum

7 6

2 7

COLOR THE EAST SIDE by Jake Rose

9

3

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. Level: Medium

7 9

1

2

7

5 1

3

Batter Curveball Diamond Double Foulball Homerun Infield Innings Lefty Mound Pitch Sacrifice Single Umpire Wall

9

4

9

The puzzle contains the following words. They may be diagonal, across, or up and down in the grid in any direction.

8 6

5

8

D I A M O N D S U M P I R E G

4

5

F E V J C U R V E B A L L P M

6 4

4

R W B L N Y U S L S D G L R E

7

9

4

D A L R D M W L Z J N D H Y L

1 5

1

2 7

R A B Q Z L A D Y I U R C T B

6

6

2 1

6

W V G S R B E R S S O Z T F U

3 2

4

D S D B L F E I E E M E I E O

1

1

2

Z U P U E H K C F U I O P L D

4 1

8

2

Y F P R F R U W G F I Z L S H

7 2

1

W A T S X R N K L M I H X U A

9 6

3

L O Z R E E M J Q N X R G M G

5 8

9

M P T M B F T C D A L B C Y Z

6 7

6

3

E B O E B I N N I N G S G W W

B P O V M B A T T E R M G A G

1 3

2

6

Q H O P R Q N G Y H Z M J P S

ANSWERS 3 9

2

by Myles Mellor

2 4

4

WORD SEARCH

8 5

SUDOKU by Myles Mellor and Susan Flanagan


AUGUST 9-15,2018

Our Town|Eastsider ourtownny.com

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AUGUST 9-15,2018

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Our Town - August 9, 2018  
Our Town - August 9, 2018  
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