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Garodnick Pushes for Ad Transparency East Side councilman hopes that ‘with disclosure, perhaps will come more civility’

Plotting Traffic Deaths on the Upper East Side A new n study of pedestrian fatilities fatili in New York pinpoints the danger zones pin for f the the Upper East Side. The report by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign analyzes traffic fatality data for the entire region, showing details of each sh death in the three years from 2010 to 2012. According to the group, 15 Accordi pedestrians died from traffic accidents on the t Upper East Side period, with many of the during that perio around 59th street and deaths clustered arou along Second and First Fi avenues. The totals for the period don’t include a number of -- deaths that fatilities in recent months m have galvanized the th city and spurred changes in safety laws. renewed calls for ch On the group’s map, ma blue dots represent the ages of 16 and the deaths of adults between bet 59, pink is for seniors 60 yyears old, and green dots represent fatalities under the age of 16. To view the map yourself, go to

By Daniel Fitzsimmons As any New Yorker knows, politics in this town can get nasty. Last election cycle, for instance, featured ads arguing that City Comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer

should be behind bars {because he “secretly wired money to criminal enterprises and solicited prostitutes”) and others that drew attention to sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Micah Kellner, who unsuccesfully ran for city council. New legislation proposed by Upper East Side City Council member Dan Garodnick would help prevent anonymous attack ads from being mailed by candidates in all city elections. The law, he said, would equalize individual candidates with a pre-existing law Continued on page 8

Where the (East Side) Love Is We tracked the neighborhood hot spots of Craigslist’s `missed connection’ posts By Megan Bungeroth City life is full of near-hits and glancing what-ifs. Most people go about their day giving little thought to what could have been if they had reached across the subway aisle and asked the cute girl in the red hat for her number before she got off at Chambers Street, disappearing forever behind the closing doors. But a few dogged, lovestruck fools take their chance encounters (or non-encounters, as the case usually is) to the pages of Craigslist, posting under the Missed Connection heading, hoping against hope that the object of their infatuation will scour the listings and

recognize the description of themselves as the guy named Mark who was really drunk at an Upper East Side karaoke joint, or “the man by the fire at Le Moulin” who confessed a “soft spot for teachers.” Craiglist only keeps Missed Connections posts active for a few weeks, so there is a fleeting nature to the endeavor, and a sense of urgency. In Manhattan, the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day have seen an expected mix of the lovely, the carnal, and the mundane. The most common sightings on the East Side were in public places - the park, the subway, especially the 6 train, museums - and gym locker rooms. There’s the man who chatted with a woman on the uptown 6 train, causing both to miss their stops. “You have a great smile and smoldering eyes. Wish I had asked for your number,” he laments. Continued on page 4






BREAKING: Knishes are back! And now for some unabashedly good news: our long, painful knish shortage is almost over. Gabila, supplier of most of the knish’s found in the city’s delis, said last week that a new knish-making machine had finally arrived at its Long Island factory, five months after the original was knocked out of service by a fire. The resulting knish shortage landed Gabila on our front page on Nov. 20. The company says that assuming all goes according to plan, knishes will start landing in retail stores later this week.




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ong the quality am t Side air boilers Upper Eas ause of old mostly bec By Daniel

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, Mayor In September g mber Michael Bloo that the fact touted the ty was the city’s air quali in more been cleanest it’s that air and 50 years, ents ovem quality impr nearly nted have preve s and 2,000 , 800 death y room visits emergenc to 2008. compared h is great whic All of live on the r – unless you Side or Uppe Upper East which rank West Side, t in city’s wors among the quality. terms of air reasons “One of the levels tion why pollu



e, it’s a But for som disguise blessing in ers have to tom cus s when fresh knishe buy their

Fantozzi said that nwide Jake Dell of carts natio s co-owner sell 1,000 and push months. Katz’ age they used to to when they Diners, delis short they have d be ctive groan before the a week. Now h at this let out a colle Gabila knishes woul e knishes latkes, whic that the squar found out mers to their for awhile. popular. producers — at least point custo can be even more se our largest mass no more lem becau ” one of the mashed potato pies. time of year, been a prob ly it, Gabila is h utely supp us Jewis absol can’t famo - the “It’s and we of the knish the shipment of their the at Fine and ask for it d manager of customers the on e, we versi Yuff and Gabila halte ony and square” a massive said Anth popular item, kkah. We “deep-fried in September when “It’s a very for Hanu ry on Long Schapiro. concerned starchy treat most of their facto skeptical if we don’t is are absolutely own knishes so fire took out manager said he to wait.” our ing la’s don’t make then, we’ll just have everyone Island. Gabi ry will be up and runns on them by baloo, not , which begin this year. have even with the hulla that the facto But Hanukkah gwe’ve knishes. anksgivin in time for missing the ected us but said 28 - also Th iconic New is aff 8 mber has ” an age Nove d on page la knish is “This short der a positive effect, artz, a radio Continue “The Gabi the 2nd I consi Arthur Schw e known as own what said ” sons , had e ple York food klyn nativ Side. “Peo wohl, whos and Broo Jack Lebe on the Upper East cted a few personality has perfe knish es but Maven. He Avenue Deli they’d buy the fried fry my recip the Food to since they es. “You could la. It’s like trying come in and ve been doing that it, recip knish Gabi le ask for taste like because they’ now when peop up.” our it wouldn’t and they taste e Heinz ketch piro on the little, en Th emad . were it to them make hom and Scha down on like Fine we can’t give page 8 For delis Katz’s Deli on d and mers inue Side, Cont custo Upper West t, they and their FIX P.4 h Stree SAFETY knishes, whic two the Houston d inly misse shelves in almost have certa S P.5 been on their have not CHARITIE By Joanna


LETTERS Could you use the power of the press to SHAME well-funded large corporation storefronts that refuse to clean sidewalks or busstops in front of their properties? Maybe grade these a la restaurant grades. Perhaps the 30-year mom and pop shops can’t get the job done. But how dare the likes of CVS, Duane Reade, Bank of America, and other wealthy ‘stores’ skip sidewalk cleaning

entirely or carve only a walk path. leaving busstops impassable with snow, slush, ice, etc. Most use gas-powered snow removers so it isn’t even hard work. It is, however, ‘good neighbor’ manners and those are entirely lacking!!! Arlene Guerra, W. 96th Street

In response to “Hoping for Pay Dirt on Super Bowl Weekend,” Jan. 30 I was very surprised to see your cover article about the renting out of apartments for the th Super Bowl weekend mainly emphasizing the th use of AirBnB and Craigslist with absolutely no regard or mention that such ab activities are mostly against the law in New ac York. Yo Regulated tenants (stabilize or controlled) are ar not allowed to rent their apartments in this th manner. Most co-ops and condos have strict rules forbidding such transient rentals st for fo safety and usage concerns. You irresponsibly and unabashedly gave promotion for something which is (1) against pr the th law and (2) a lot of people really see as a threat and invasion of our community. As a th resident in an apartment building, I certainly r DO D NOT want strangers easily gaining access to the premises, just as I would not ac want w hookers to set up shop in my building or drug dealing in the next apartment! And it is no excuse that some residents can play little “landlord” to make a few dollars while exposing neighbors to strangers, more traffic, wear and tear, noise and putting innocent people at risk. The desperate need for affordable housing in New York and the preservation of that dwindling stock, never mind the almost fruitless efforts to create more affordable

housing for the middle and working classes, is seriously, and I mean SERIOUSLY threatened by a whole range of unscrupulous landlords, developers and parasites who will utilize services like AirBnB to oust or replace more city residents to make even more money in short term rentals than full time residents can afford. The laws that have been made target and try to stop these illegal, temporary or surreptitious housing and pop up “hotels.” AirBnB undercuts this very effort to save affordable housing for residents, perhaps New York’s number one problem --which is the exact reason Paris, another site hyped by AirBnB, also has far more stringent laws against such short term rentals. I realize the article was not about housing per se, but it certainly demonstrated a callousness to life in this city. You did a great disservice to New York residents by promoting an idea and activity that on the surface may sound cute or novel, but which has terrible unintended side effects and actually does damage by adding burdens to the most difficult problem for average New York residents: affordable housing, which you must have heard every NYC politician addressing. Sincerely, Edward Maloney E. 80th St.

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a new account. She replied that she had not and then went online to check her credit report, where she found that both an American Express and a Citibank account had been opened in California using her name. Online purchases had been charged to both accounts in California, and the credit cards had been sent to an address in California. Police had no record of the total amount of the purchases charged.

CRIME WATCH By Jerry Danzig

Unlocked Locker

9G ID Theft A woman became the victim of identity theft. On Wednesday, January 29, a 42-year-old woman got a message from her bank reporting that a purchase totaling $204.95 had been made to a debit card she still had in her possession. More troubling, the bank reported that someone had transferred $9,000 from her savings account to her checking account and that the $9,000 had been withdrawn at a bank teller.

Someone stole property from a man’s gym locker. On Monday, February 10, a 28-year-old man returned to his gym locker at 9:40 AM to discover that his combination lock was missing from the locker. The locker was open, and some of his property was on the floor. He then discovered that other property was missing, including a black Coach wallet, a Nintendo portable game system, his car and house keys, and a variety of credit cards. He canceled the cards, and no unauthorized usage was reported.

Traffic Agent Assault A man was arrested after assaulting a traffic agent. At 1:20 PM on Saturday, February 8, a mail traffic agent was issuing a summons on Lexington Avenue between East 71st and East 72nd Streets, when he was hit in the back of the head by an assailant. The attacker tried to hit the agent again with a shovel, but the agent fled the scene. Police canvassed the area and were able to positively identify the attacker, a 39-year-old man. He was arrested and charged with felony assault.

CA ID THEFT Another woman was the victim of identity theft. At 11 PM on Wednesday, February 5, a 56-year-old woman received a phone call from American Express asking if she had opened

COMMUNITY ALERT! Safeguard your apartment and home. Recent burglaries have occurred in the neighborhood. Be alert for suspicious activity. Perpetrators are gaining entry by: • Forcing locked doors, mainly the front, due to inadequate locks. • Front doors left open and unsecured. • Unlocked rear windows. • Fire-escape windows. Remember to: 1. Secure all windows and doors. 2. Install and lock secondary locks. 3. Do NOT leave your electronics (laptops, iPods, etc.) near your windows in plain view. 4. Install only FDNY-approved safety gates on fireescape or ground-level windows. PROTECT YOUR HOME: Your local precinct Crime Prevention Survey consists of a walk-through of your home and a list of security recommendations to help prevent your chances of being burglarized. Call your local precinct and ask the crime prevention officer for this FREE service. If you have any information regarding any burglaries, please contact your local precinct detective squad.

Illustration by John S. Winkleman


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Missed Connection Hot Zones Continued from page 1


Some seeking connections aren’t looking for romance so much as a blast from the past - a man recently posted an artsy photo of a dancer in the middle of a performance piece outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, noting that he took the picture six years ago and thought that the subject “might enjoy it.” An older a woman wrote about a meeting in Central Park 23 years ago, when she ran into “a pair of interesting young people” dressed in goth-like clothes and bedecked with bloodstone rings and snake eye pendants. Then there’s the pedestrian but earnest search for the “very short haired girl” at Dorrian’s pub, the only other descriptor being that she was “a

marvel.” The one thing that all the missed connections have in common is an air of resigned futility. There is the slightest tinge of hope, of course, but almost every poster includes a line indicating their full understanding of the slim possibility their reunion fantasy will become reality. Still, that’s where the real romance lies - in the belief that there’s still a chance, however small, that a random sighting in a city of over 8 million souls will lead to true love (or at least a fun date). The man chasing a beautiful blonde he saw in a theater said it best: “I know this is crazy, and probably never works, but maybe you or one of your many friends you were sitting with will see this and put us in touch. I’d really love to say hello.”

STAFF REPORTERS Joanna Fantozzi, Daniel Fitzsimmons FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS Alan S. Chartock, Bette Dewing, Jeanne Martinet, Malachy McCourt, Angela Barbuti, Casey Ward, Laura Shanahan BLOCK MAYORS Ann Morris, Upper West Side Jennifer Peterson, Upper East Side Gail Dubov, Upper West Side Edith Marks, Upper West Side PUBLISHER Gerry Gavin • ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERS Seth L. Miller, Ceil Ainsworth, Kate Walsh ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Eliza Appleton CLASSIFIED ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Susan Wynn DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Joe Bendik

6 train, 103rd Street & Lexington Avenue “Your hair used to be curly but it was straight and you had a hat on so I’m not sure but many people can’t have thoes eyes can they?”

OUR TOWN is published weekly Copyright © 2013 by Straus Media - Manhattan, LLC 212-868-0190 • 333 Seventh Ave, New York, NY. Straus Media - Manhattan publishes Our Town • The West Side Spirit • Our Town Downtown Chelsea Clinton News • The Westsider To subscribe for 1 year, please send $75 to OUR TOWN, c/o Straus News 20 West Ave., Chester, NY 10918 PREVIOUS OWNERS HAVE INCLUDED: Tom Allon, Isis Ventures, Ed Kayatt, Russ Smith, Bob Trentlion, Jerry Finkelstein

Bare Burger, 1370 First Avenue “I should have asked you to your name and your number. I could go back there any time I suppose but this is more fun. You have beautiful brown eyes.”

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59th Street subway station, Lexington Avenue “You: Super cute, bleach blonde hair, red lipstick and killer style. Me: Tall bearded guy standing in the door for one stop at 68th Street unable catch my footing and falling into the crowd.”

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92y, Lexington Ave and 91st Street 7 p.m., $40 Singles who are looking for a wiser approach to dating will enjoy an illuminating lecture by renowned psychotherapist Ken Page, followed by enjoyable exercises that enable participants to meet each other in less superficial ways. Space is limited. Advance registration suggested.

Washingtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Birthday Ball Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden 421 East 61st Street $10+ celebrate the birthday of our Nationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s First President with live music and dance just as New Yorkers did in the 19th century. Costumed dancers will perform and teach traditional country dances and encourage visitors to join in the fun. Festivities include toasts to George Washington and historic refreshments. Museum tours will be offered afterward. Families can explore the period rooms with a presidential-themed scavenger hunt. Reservations recommended.

Woody Allen & the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band Cafe Carlyle, 35 E 76th Street 8:45 p.m., $155 Come see Woody Allen play the clarinet with the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band.

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Richard Artschwager: No More Running Man Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Avenue 10 a.m., Free Tickling many genres but cleaving to none, the art that Artschwager produced over the span of fifty years has been variously described as Pop art, because of its derivation from utilitarian objects and incorporation of commercial and industrial materials; as Minimal art, because of its geometric

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Dance Heginbotham and Alarm Will Sound Perdormane The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue 7 p.m., $60 In this site-specific dance performance created for The Charles Engelhard Court, Alarm Will Sound and Dance Heginbotham pair movement with the music of Tyondai Braxton, Aphex Twin, and Edgard Varèse. The program includes excerpts from Twin (2012) and the world premiere of Fly by Wire (2014).

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Garodnick Pushes for Transparency in Anonymous Attacks Ads Continued from page 1

that says such mailings have to be disclosed by independent expenditures, i.e. groups that support or oppose a candidate or cause but aren’t officially tied to them. “The bill prohibits the use of anonymous mailers by political candidates in city campaigns, a rule that is already in place in federal elections,” Garodnick told Our Town. “The rules would be specifically governed by the city’s Campaign Finance Board as they are with independent expenditures.” Garodnick said the CFB already has the forensic capability to find out who’s behind a particular piece of mail, and that his bill would place such communications that come from candidates under the same scrutiny. The mailings themselves, said Garodnick, would state who paid for them. If a piece of mail failed to do so, the CFB would investigate and the party responsible would be fined in proportion to the size of the mailing. The bill has 21 co-sponsors, including Manhattan council members Margaret Chin, Helen Rosenthal, Corey Johnson, Mark Levine and Inez Dickens. “There’s an odd disparity between the rules as they apply to independent expenditures and candidates themselves and we want to correct that,” said Garodnick. “There should be no ambiguity about the source of political mailings and it is our hope that with disclosure, perhaps will come more civility.”

Upper West Side Council Member Helen Rosenthal said she’s supporting the bill because it increases the transparency with which city campaigns are run. “This bill creates appropriate transparency and accountability,” said Rosenthal. “It’s critical for the voters to know who is behind these ads, so they can know how to judge the ads’ content. No one should be allowed to hide behind an anonymous attack ad.” The bill also has the support of Ben Max, founder of, a website devoted to clarity and transparency in city elections. “I’m supportive of Council Member Garodnick’s bill to incentivize candidates and campaigns to attribute their mailings,” said Max. “Anonymous mailings leave the public with less information than it deserves as voters consider their choices and these mailings often contain the most deceptive, exaggerated attacks that would likely become less rampant under his bill.” The bill has been introduced to the City Council and was referred to the Committee on Governmental Operations. After public testimony and committee debate, and possible amendments, the bill will be put to a committee vote and, if it passes, will be brought before the entire council for a final debate and vote.


Missett and Straus To Wed Varinda Singh Missett and Eric Peter Straus are scheduled to be married Sunday evening February 16 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Manhattan. Their children Mitchell Kuhnert, Samantha Missett, Madison Missett, Jacob Straus and Emily Straus, each became Universal Life Ministers to officiate. The bride, 51, is originally from San Diego, Calif. She is Chief Executive Officer of Girls World Expo, a company that produces full day self esteem events for girls ages 11-18 throughout the United States. Previously she served as Director of Advertising for in New York and before that as Advertising Director of the North County Times in San Diego, CA. The bride and groom met at a newspaper convention in Orlando, Florida. The bride is the daughter of Inder and Elsa Singh of San Marcos, Calif., and graduated from California State University, Long Beach. The groom, 54, is President of Transworld Business Advisors of New York, a business brokerage firm. A graduate of Yale, he previously founded and ran, 330 locally branded job boards throughout North



America and before that owned and ran a group of ten radio stations in the Hudson Valley, NY. He is the son of R. Peter Straus and Ellen Sulzberger Straus, both now deceased, who owned and ran WMCA Radio in New York City until 1986. The groom’s father served in the Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter administrations. The groom’s grandfather, David Hays Sulzberger, was the brother of the publisher of the New York Times. His sister, Jeanne, is the president of Straus News, publisher of The West Side Spirit. Are you or someone you know getting married? Let us know! Contact



Edited by Armond White

New York’s Review of Culture .

A Piece of Resistance The Lego Movie tour de force restores satire to animation By Armond White A $60 million animated film that looks as cheap as The Lego Movie must be some kind of avant-garde prank. Styled to resemble the textured, interlocking plastic chips kids play with to build crude, child-proof versions of… everything, the trademark bright primary colors are muted and photographed bizarrely, with carefully adjusted blur. Viewers are forced into virtually squatting-down for child’s-eye close-up scrutiny of the miniature pieces--as if by squinting at the chips (in 3D!) one joined a child’s imagination. Refusing slickness recalls the ironic lo-fi look of Spike Jonze’s $100 million Where the Wild Things Are, one of the most original children’s movies ever made, whose fantasy dimension worked well on an adult level. The Lego Movie’s odd style comes close to that achievement: It is a proudly capitalist tour de force that actively rejects the totalitarian implications of such technological wonders as Pixar. Even The Lego Movie’s plot is anti-Pixar: Lego-man protagonist Emmet (Chris Pratt), a construction worker who envies becoming a “Master Builder” (Ibsen gag noted) ponders his identity as well as his conformist society. He enters a make-believe realm where the struggle for power is not just mythological but a satire of dominant pop legends (from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings). Emmet awakens simultaneously to puberty (his attraction to female rebel Wyldstyle who has Betty Rubble eyes) and an awareness of political rebellion. It is the totally unexpected political humor of The Lego Movie that makes up for its visual…shall we say,


challenge. Any animated film that goes against the placid pretty perfectionism of Pixar has to be a work of political opposition and The Lego Movie’s first two-thirds is a reminder how irreverent and nonpartisan political satire used to be: Millennial conformity is attacked in Emmet’s anxious need for instruction--he seeks a manual for life that will confirm “How to Fit In. Be Liked. Be Happy.” That cowardly affirmation could be the motto for film critics as well as Pixar drones. The beehive society’s national anthem cheers “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!” to a manic, incessant beat. Forced complacency distracts the toy proletariat who worship an idealized leader, President Business, soon revealed as the nefarious, micromanaging ruler of the subconscious, Lord Business--which places Al Capp’s General Bullmoose somewhere near the White House. (Lord Business threatens a


dissident: “Are you going to be stuck having a tea party with your mom and dad?”) Emmet must find “The piece of resistance,” which resembles a Lego block but has a mysterious Ring-like property, in order to prevent Lord Business from releasing “The Kragle” upon the populace. The quest becomes a jamboree of non-stop cultural parodies taking Emmet, Wyldstyle and numerous Lego versions of pop icons and idols to Cloud Cuckoo Land, a super toy shop/haven (“No government. No negativity”) where the consumerist impulse receives healthy mockery, not Pixar sentimentality. Directorsscreenwriters team Phil Lord and Christopher Miller must be credited for resisting every kind of cuteness. Despite the frowzy, squinty esthetic, they turn the inherent adorability of toys and cartoons into a comment on cultural conformity. This isn’t cheap anarchy but a

fulfillment of the capitalist freedom to scoff. The Lego Movie shows true irreverence in its joke on TV’s indignities (“Where’s My Pants?”), middlebrow Peter Jacksonism (Middle Earth logo-ized as Middle Zealand), Lincolnesque sanctimony (“A house divided… is better than this”) including jabs at Warner Bros’ own franchises. Advancing on the use of CGI and stop-motion animation, some of The Lego Movie’s chase sequences move uniquely--as if Lord and Miller got the message of Spielberg’s magnificent, convulsive The Adventures of Tintin calling for a new, tactile vision of animation. Shill critics may praise The Lego Movie as thoughtlessly as they champion Pixar (and this film’s weak, unfocussed live-action framing device doesn’t hit hard enough to shake critics out of their hypemania) but just because confuse this with Pixar doesn’t mean that you should. The look of The Lego Movie is a conundrum but when a Lego Shakespeare character threw off his hat and protested “Rubbish!” I chuckled. Follow Armond White on Twitter at 3xchair



Jubilation in the Jungle every shape and size slither and hang, snaking around each other with no perceptible rules, contributing to a writhing, organic, lawless whole. That, in so many words, is the visual effect of Mexico Maya. It’s not everyone’s By Judy Gelman Myers cup of tea, but it’s thrilling for those who are willing to disregard the ordinary limits placed Mexico Maya, the latest work from not only on dance but on the human body as choreographer Javier Dzul, would be well.    unfathomable without knowing that Dzul Dzul himself looks like Yul Brynner.  He’s grew up in the jungle.  The title of the work got a bodybuilder’s torso and the gaze of a refers to the Mayan tribal community in hunter.  For all his regal masculinity, however, Mexico where Dzul was raised and learned his dance recalls a belly dancer’s undulation; Mayan ritual dance. Conceived in three facing upstage, he flexes his spine and ripples sections, Mexico Maya features Cirque de Soleil-type aerials, contortionists, and modern the muscles beneath his shoulder blades. He appears mythical.  In an aerial solo, he dives to dance set to a soundtrack of Mayan text, Mexican ballads, and plaintive American song, earth wrapped in brown silk, stopping inches above the ground to ascend yet again.  and it premiered at the Baruch Performing Dzul’s talents and persona are supremely Arts Center on January 24.  idiosyncratic and powerfully unnerving.  He is The jungle epitomizes chaos.  Life-forms of so unusual, however, that he is most effective when there is no one else on the stage; since there are frequently other people on the stage, Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, Men’s Health this creates a problem for Diabetes, Thyroid Disorders, the show.  Two pas de deux Male Sexual Dysfunction, were less effective than his Low Testosterone, Male Infertility, solos but still managed to Obesity, Osteoporosis, convey his jungle vision of High Cholesterol & High Blood Pressure, interacting organisms.     Calcium Disorders, Adrenal Disorders The weak point are the 785 Park Avenue NYC group numbers, which also, coincidentally, comprise the 212.288.8382 modern dance portion of the show.  It’s not clear whether the problem lies with CHARENEE WADE Vocalist uninspired choreography or company members who are simply not up to what Dzul requires of them.  One notable exception is Brian Binion, whose precise, yet liquid, dance not only expresses Dzul’s intention but also bears his own signature.  In spite of the show’s shortcomings, Mexico Maya does nothing short of rewriting the history of the human body as a thing that emerged from a nonhuman place. Imperfect yet haunting, its best images will never leave you. 

Javier Dzul’s Mayan rituals rewrite life out of chaos

Iraklii Buziashvili, MD PhD

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Javier Dzul in Mexico Maya PAGE 10





Eye on Auctions Quiet and quality on the rise for aficionados By Caroline Birenbaum The next few weeks are relatively quiet in the NY auction world. Much of the activity takes place at Swann Galleries as indicated below, and the previews merit a visit. Refer to the websites for schedules, illustrated catalogues--and sometimes videos, blogs, and press releases about highlights. 

Swann Swann introduced separate auctions devoted to African-American fine art a mere seven years ago, and they quickly became a beacon for aficionados. The February 13 sale, Shadows Uplifted: The Rise of AfricanAmerican Fine Art, takes its title from an early novel by an African-American author. Paintings include masterful 19th-century landscapes by Edward M. Bannister and still lifes by Charles Ethan Porter, “Coal Breakers,” by Hughie Lee-Smith, and an industrial scene, “Along the Harlem River,” by Malvin Gray Johnson. Of note among prints are a rare color pochoir and screenprint by William H. Johnson, “On a John Brown Flight,” and “Shipfitters,” an aquatint by Dox Thrash. There are striking sculptures such as Nancy Elizabeth Prophet’s stained and oiled wood “Head,” Sargent Claude Johnson’s terracotta “The Knot and the Noose,” and William E. Artis’s “Michael,” bronze cast from a 1940 terracotta.   Art Nouveau gems by Mucha and other famed poster artists, American and European

ski posters, Mather Work Incentive posters, and exhibition posters signed by Chagall and Warhol are featured in the Vintage Posters sale on February 25. A two-part auction on February 27 begins with postwar and contemporary photographs and the Photobook Library of photographer and collector Bill Diodato; the second part offers additional 19th & 20th century Photographs. The March 6 sale of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings runs the gamut of European and American artists, from Cezanne to Picasso; Avery, to Wood.  

Christie’s The cover lot of the American Art sale on Feb 26 is a complex view of “Gloucester Harbor” by Jane Peterson. Among other pieces worth noting are Milton Avery’s “Vermont Landscape,” Charles Burchfield’s “Swamp in Spring,” and an abstract composition by Irene Rice Pereira. Two Distinguished Collections: the Estates of Hon. Noreen Drexel and of Van Cliburn, filled with pretty objects and some fine furniture, will be offered on March 4 & 5, followed by First Open on March 6. 

Sotheby’s Furniture, decorative arts and lighting featuring Tiffany Studios, American Arts & Crafts, French Art Nouveau and Art Deco objects are featured in the March 6 sale of 20th Century Design. On March 7,     Contemporary Curated offers postwar and contemporary art from carefully assembled collections, with commentary by various tastemakers. 

Phillips Details are not yet available, but you can expect striking examples of Contemporary Art & Design like Ken Price’s “Pink Egg,” 1964, on March 6, and vivid works in various media, such as David Salle’s “Painting for H.C.A.,” in Under the Influence on March 7.

Along the Harlem River THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014


Judi Dench as Philomena

P.C. Ping Pong Philomena sentimentalizes motherhood and chips away at religion By Armond White Philomena reveals its cynicism when BBC political journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) initially refuses to take on an assignment: “Human interest stories are for weak-minded, vulgar, ignorant people” says the supercilious Brit professional (a Coogan specialty but worn out after 24 Hour Party People). He invites a viewer’s temporary superiority to a story that, as the film proceeds, panders to audiences as if they were weak-minded, vulgar and ignorant. Sure enough, Sixsmith lowers himself to interview Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), a common Irish lady searching for the child she gave up after a teenage pregnancy spent at the Roscrea Abbey for wayward girls. Her quest takes them both on a “heartwarming” journey to political correctness. The film tours pre-Feminist oppression and indicts Catholic Church restrictions before arriving at its predetermined destination: a harangue on sexual tolerance regarding Philomena’s gay son which includes the mushiest, most calculating AIDS exploitation since Brokeback Mountain. No wonder the trite, wheedling Philomena got an Oscar nomination for Best Picture; distributor Harvey Weinstein hit the bleeding heart bullseye that his presentation of Lee Daniels’ The Butler missed. Sixsmith’s condescension toward the old Irish mum pretends learning morality from one’s lesser. Turns out Philomena, still a devout Catholic, is wise about the world: “When I saw the photo of him in his dungarees there was no

doubt in my mind” she says of her long-lost child’s sexuality. This joke pushes Irony: a mother’s unconditional love despite her own deprivations. She’s plays both a sage-fool (“I didn‘t know I had a clitoris”) and a straightman to Sixsmith’s sophisticated Liberal retorts (“Effing Catholics!”). The journey from England to the American political landscape is a propaganda tour (“Being gay was frowned on in the Republican Party”). The entire search and story could have been quickly resolved by the Internet which it evidently was in real life. (The mother’s home movie-style fantasies about her child also seem dated and full of sissy stereotypes.) Sixsmith and Philomena’s badinage is a shameless game of elite vs. vulgar pingpong--a comedy team’s version of the way mainstream media inflicts its ideology upon the masses yet carefully sentimentalizes common folk as virtuous and pure. Director Stephen Frears (working from Coogan’s script) sets up points with Mike Nichols’ slickness: by assuming correct attitudes and deriding others: posing the church and the Republican party as villains and snide, Liberal journos as heroes. Esssentially, it’s another movie chipping away at religion. In the final Roscrea Abbey scene, where Sixsmith and Philomena confront the stillcruel sisters at the Abbey, Frears goes through the motions, displaying a convictionlesss lack of emphasis on the scene’s beats when Philomena say “Forgiveness. It’s hard for me.” Frears stresses Coogan’s confusion and contempt not Dench’s faith and selfrealization. Upon learning the whereabouts of her son, Frears cuts to a microtelescopic super close-up of Dench crying--blatant, shameless and Nicholsian. Follow American White on Twitter at 3xchair


The Sex Shop Goes Upscale


The Pleasure Chest has opened a new outpost on Second Avenue, offering bedroom accessories in a posh location

Restaurant Grades

January 30 - February 4, 2014

The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website on December 13, 2013 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

and whips are some of the more PG-13 rated items in the store. Although the shop is located on the Upper It sits on Second Avenue, between 60th and East Side, the clientele is from all different 61st streets, called out by discreet signage on parts of the city. a wooden block. At first glance, it looks like a In a 15-minute window shopping session, hip new restaurant on a very traditional block several younger women, a young man, and of the Upper East Side. and older individual with graying hair were On the menu for tonight? “Talk Dirty to seen browsing and purchasing. Me: Role Play and Fantasy in the Bedroom.” “A lot of people assume that it is one The unassumuing exterior is hiding the specific type of person that comes to this store newest outpost of The Pleasure Chest, a sex in particular but it really is a mixture of all toy boutique franchise that started in 1971 types of people whether they be older, men or and credits itself with being one of the first women, gay or straight, young or old, we serve companies to sell erotica outside the seedy atmosphere that used to characterize other sex everybody,” Bartling said. This location is a hotspot for Pleasure Chest shops. fans in the Bronx and Queens, as it is a more The new spot opened its doors officially at convenient commute than the original West the end of last year and has garnered quite the buzz, considering it is the only shop of its type Village location. “Just this morning I helped a resident from in the neighborhood. the Bronx,” Bartling said. “He said the store is “We have a lot of people who walk in and so much more accessible to him compared to think it’s a high-end restaurant until they the ones in the Bronx or Queens where they’re reach that first bend there and see all the scary-looking with the dim lighting and the different products and think ‘woah!’” said blacked out windows.” Pleasure Chest district manager Brandon Every week, the boutique features Barling. Peering around the bend can make for some workshops designed to educate fans and newcomers alike on various topics such as interesting shopping. An array of books, toys, BDSM (bondage, discipline, dominance, clothing and furniture all dedicated to and in the name of sex and pleasure is on display. But submission, sadism, masochism), open if you’re picturing the skeevy and goose-bump relationships, and burlesque. The workshop of the week most recently inducing sex shops of downtown, the vibe was on role play. here is different. “It’s a classy upscale, budoir “The workshop was super informative,” said scene,” Bartling said. Adriana Andalos, 29, of Soundview in the Think more French courtesan and less Bronx. “It put people at ease because of the 1970s Times Square. The easy-going nature of the place allows first timers to feel comfortable sensitivity of the topic.” Another attendee who wanted to be called, and even have them come back for seconds “Bananas, ” 22, from Bushwick, Brooklyn said, - even the more traditional residents of the “I like it because it’s a beautiful thing to share Upper East Side. with people. ” “We had these two older women come in “Our main focus is the community and together and told me they thought we were making sure we are a resource to them not a restaurant and left giggling and smiling,” for just what we offer them but supporting Bartling said. “They came back independently various groups that are and said they did not in line with our mission want to go shopping to promote safer and with their friends.” more pleasurable Prices of the products The Pleasure Chest sexuality,” Bartling said. range from $13 dollar 1150 Second Avenue As for what’s on the mini-massagers to 212-355-6909 menu next week? $15,000 vintage sex Sun. - Wed. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. “Amp It Up: chairs, with much in Imaginative Ways to Thurs. - Sat. 10 a.m. - midnight between. Lubricants, Keep Sparks Flying in vibrators, condoms, Your Sex Play.” bondage mask outfits By Omar Crespo

If You Go




1427 York Avenue


Tasti D-Lite

1276 Lexington Avenue


Papaya King

179 East 86 Street


Vico Ristorante

1302 Madison Avenue



1712 2 Avenue

Grade Pending (21) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including inuse food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Fresh Wok

1777 1 Avenue


China House 1624 Madison Avenue Chinese Restaurant

Grade Pending

La Isla Restaurant

1883 Third Avenue

Grade Pending (23) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. 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.


1621 Lexington Avenue

Grade Pending (20) 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.

Las Panteras Negras Restaurant

2130 2 Avenue

Grade Pending (28) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

El Nuevo Caridad Restaurant

2257 2 Avenue


Angie & Joseph Pizzeria & Restaurant

362 East 112 Street

Grade Pending (23) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.



Healthy y Manhattan

Reported February 3 - 9, 2014 Neighborhood



424 E 52 St.

Lenox Hill


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1060 Park Ave.





Citysites Real Estate Gro

120 E 90 St.





Douglas Elliman

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1148 5 Ave.





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1050 Park Ave.



360 E 72 St.



300 E 71 St.



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Time Equities, Inc.


1175 York Ave.





Halstead Property

220 E 65 St.





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40 E 66 St.



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Halstead Property

530 Park Ave.


$5,398,818 1


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530 Park Ave.



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300 E 71 St.






860 5 Ave.






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125 E 63 St.






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Douglas Elliman

401 E 60 St.





Douglas Elliman




113 E 70 St.


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Midtown E

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425 5 Ave.





Keller Williams

Murray Hill

235 E 40 St.





Douglas Elliman

20 E 35 St.



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20 E 35 St.



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25 Tudor City Plac





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When it comes to water, drink up For healthy drinks, avoid sugar, try adding fruit There are many options for what to drink. But for most people with access to safe drinking water, water is the best choice: it’s calorie-free, and it’s as easy to find as the nearest tap. Water provides everything the body needs — pure H2O — to restore fluids lost through metabolism, breathing, sweating, and the removal of waste. It’s the perfect beverage for quenching thirst and re-hydrating your system. There is no one estimate for how much water the average American needs each day. Instead, the Institute of Medicine has set an adequate intake of 125 ounces (about 15 cups) for men and 91 ounces (about 11 cups) for women. Note that this is not a daily target, but a general guide. In most people, about 80 percent of this water volume comes from beverages; the rest comes from food. Water is the best choice for quenching your thirst. Coffee and tea, without added sweeteners, are healthy choices, too. Some beverages should be limited or consumed in moderation, including diet drinks, fruit juice and milk. Alcohol in moderation can be healthy for some people, but not everyone. Avoid sugary drinks like soda, sports beverages, and energy drinks.

■ Peeled, sliced fresh ginger or sliced cucumber ■ Crushed berries ■ Sparkling water with a splash of juice Sparkling juices may have as many calories as sugary soda pop. Instead, make your own sparkling juice at home with 12 ounces of sparkling water and just an ounce or two of juice. For additional flavor, add sliced citrus or fresh herbs like mint. Source: Harvard School of Public Health

Try water infused with berries: to 32 ounces of water add one to two mint stems with leaves attached and 5 to 7 fresh berries. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. For more berry flavor, muddle the berries and strain before serving.

With a twist, please For people accustomed to drinking sweet beverages, water can initially taste bland. To increase water consumption without losing flavor or to spice up your daily water intake, try infused water. Instead of purchasing expensive flavored waters in the grocery store, you can easily make your own at home. Try adding any of the following to a cold glass or pitcher of water: ■ Sliced citrus fruits or zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit) ■ Crushed fresh This illustration from the National Institutes for Health mint

shows how many teaspoons of sugar are in 12-ounce, 16-ounce, and 32-ounce servings of sweetened beverages.



Minding Manhattan’s Business The President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce talks about the Second Avenue Subway, the Super Bowl, and Mayor Bloomberg By Angela Barbuti After college, Nancy Ploeger set off on a cross-country adventure to find the city that would become her home one day. Local businesses are very fortunate that she decided on New York. This year, she celebrated her 20th anniversary as president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, advocating, connecting, and educating the small business community in the city. She can be found around town supporting the Second Avenue restaurants affected by subway construction, brainstorming with the mayor’s office, or hosting one of the many networking events the MCC puts together. When asked about the biggest perk of her job, she replied, “meeting passionate people.”

You started your job in 1994. How did it come about? At the time I was working for the New York Sports Club. I had been working there for 12 years and helped that company grow. We started with four clubs when I came on board in 1982. By the time I left, we had over 30, and now, of course, they have hundreds up and down the Eastern Seaboard. I was the vice president of operations and human resources then, and because we had so many clubs on the Upper East Side, the board asked me to join them. So I was on the board of directors of the East Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. And then when the executive director position opened up, they asked me I’d like to take it because I had a lot of ideas and was always trying to encourage the Chamber to try different things. When they asked me, I was like, “Wow, leaving my cushy job overlooking Central Park with 1,000 employees to go to a tiny little Chamber? OK, I’ll do it!”

How can you explain what the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce does? I am a registered lobbyist in the State of New York. As such, I go to city, state, and federal legislatures with my colleagues and


lobby on behalf of pro-business issues. That advocacy is a major part of my job, because there are so many issues with all these different industries in the city - whether it’s manufacturing, restaurants, retailers, or service providers. We have two events a week, and even if they are educational, they always have a networking component. The purpose is to help businesses connect with other businesses. As far as the education part, we have lots of different seminars that cover a range of topics that every small business has to face - whether it’s a legal, accounting, social media, HR, or marketing issue. We also inform on new bills coming into effect, so we can keep our members up-to-date on how to run their businesses more effectively.

Are these networking meetings open to the public? Yes, our meetings are open to members and non members. We do have some specific meetings that are only open to members. The majority of our events are open to member and non-member businesses.

How much interaction do you have with the mayor? We have a lot of interaction with the mayor’s administration - the deputy mayors, the commissioners, especially the commissioner of small business services and the deputy mayor for economic development. Mayor Bloomberg came to some of our events over the years. A couple of days ago, we had a meeting with the new deputy mayor for economic development in the new administration.

I read that you decided to move to New York after taking a post-college road trip. Yes, when I graduated from college, two of my friends and myself went cross country for three months to decide where we wanted to live. So we went to all the cities we had always read about and had never been to Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago. When we came driving back across the George Washington Bridge, and looked at Manhattan, we all looked at each other and said, “Yup, we’re here!” [Laughs]

On your Twitter profile, you write that you’ve lived in eight cities. What are the other seven?


St. Louis; Chicago; Philadelphia;

Birmingham, Massachusetts; Boston; Wilmington, Delaware; Cedartown, Maryland; Middletown, New Jersey.

In an interview, you once said that the MCC started in your neighborhood. Yes, it was called the Yorkville Chamber of Commerce and it was started by German and Irish businesses that were in the neighborhood. And I still have the original document with the 12 signatures who put the Chamber together in 1920.

What are your favorite small businesses in Yorkville? I live near Second Avenue, with all the construction for the subway over the last several years. You know, I try to go spend money at those businesses along Second Avenue that are impacted by the construction. What I really love about my neighborhood, which is really true of any neighborhood in New York, I can walk to the corner and dine in Japan, France, Italy, Vietnam, or Mexico. I love the variety of restaurants. I also love to go to the small coffee shops and diners. The diners are great. It kind of revolves around food. [Laughs]

the last three years. We had gone to them and said, “There’s a lot of negativity around the Second Avenue subway being built and its impact on the neighborhoods, and we want to change that. We want to encourage shoppers and diners to go the Second Avenue. There are great stores and restaurants behind those fences and around the corner from the construction.” For a couple of years now, we run a restaurant week, very successfully, all along the subway construction footprint, between 68th and 97th. The first year, we had 26 restaurants and that’s pretty good for the initial time out. It just shows you that people are anxious to get the word out. We will do it again this year; it’s always the first week in June. And we are trying to start a Second Avenue Business Alliance, for business along the avenue, that will go beyond just waiting for the subway to open.

You posted a picture on Twitter of Super Bowl Boulevard preparations. What did you think of it? We were on the host committee for the Super Bowl. Super Bowl Boulevard ran right outside our offices, from 34th to 47th. We were right in the heart of it. There was a lot of excitement; it was very crowded. I know some of the businesses along Broadway were very excited, they were crazy busy, especially the food stores. To me, it was a big success. I know there were some travel issues going to and from the stadium. But, I will challenge anyone who hosts a Super Bowl anywhere to say that they could get people out of their parking lot in 10 minutes. It just doesn’t happen.

Who was the most memorable person you met through your job?

Speaking of the Second Avenue subway, what can you tell us of its progression?

The most memorable person was Tom Brady, but I didn’t meet him through my job. [Laughs] I’d say Mayor Bloomberg. To me, he’s really an icon and a thought leader that any city would be very happy to have. I really wish him well continuing the Bloomberg brand, but also with his new Bloomberg Associates, helping other cities focus on gun control, health initiatives, and other urban priorities. It’s really all about his thought leadership in terms of how to create better cities and a better life for people in those cities.

We’re about halfway through, maybe a little bit more than halfway. It’s still projected to be ready on December 31st, 2016. We had a very good working relationship with the MTA over

Follow Nancy on Twitter: @npmcc For more information and the MCC and its event, visit


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Romare Bearden (1 of 6), 1969 Mixed Media Collage, The Black American in Search of His Identity

Pair of Mid Century Hans Wegner for A.P. Stolen Armchairs

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Arnold Newman (1 of 13), Gelatin Silver Print, Violins





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Our Town February 13th, 2014  

The February 13th, 2014 issue of Our Town.