The local paper for the Upper er East Side A DYING WISH OF DICKENS < THEATER, P. 14
WEEK OF APRIL
THE PURGATORY OF HOUSING
In Brief MAJOR DRUG BUST IN MANHATTAN
SENIORS Some seniors are stuck in limbo between affordable housing programs, waiting lists, and Social Security earnings BY DANIEL FITZSIMMONS
UPPER EAST SIDE Ellen Ehrlich will be 87 years old next month. She receives $1,959 a month from Social Security, well short of the $2,100 she needs for her rent-stabilized apartment on East 95th Street. Her adult children pick up the slack, but for Ehrlich, that’s not a solution. She retired in 2011 and was told she makes too much to qualify for the Mitchell Lama affordable housing program. A Section 8 program at Yorkville Gardens put her on a years-long waitlist. “I need affordable housing, and I’m told I have a four- to ﬁve-year wait,” said Ehrlich. “When you’re 65, that’s doable. When you’re pushing 87 next month, it’s not so doable.” Ehrlich, and others like her, are stuck in limbo between making too much money in retirement to qualify for some of the city’s affordable housing programs, but not enough to afford living in the same neighborhoods where they once raised families. The programs they do qualify for have long lines of people ahead of them. “I have a really great support group, but that’s not the answer,” said Ehrlich, who noted that many elderly New Yorkers do not have family looking out for them. “The city and state of New York has no room for seniors, even though we built and ﬁnanced the city...and now we’re being told there’s no space for us.” Carolyn Silver is the Chief Program Officer at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House, which connects mostly lower income residents on the East Side with health programs, legal advocacy, housing resources, educational opportunities and recreational activities. “It’s a huge problem,” said Silver, of those seniors who can’t afford rents CONTINUED ON PAGE 5
A funding shortage for arts teachers leaves some public school students without an arts education. Photo via cayoup/Flickr
PAYING FOR THE ARTS SCHOOLS A new report highlights severe shortfalls in city arts funding BY MARY NEWMAN
Emily Diamond has been the art teacher at P.S. 6 on the Upper East Side for the past 16 years. She knows she’s one of the lucky ones: the school, and its parents, have worked to ensure she has the supplies she needs. But, having worked at other schools around New York, she also knows that such support is no longer a guarantee. “Art supplies are expensive, let’s face it,” Diamond said. “When you’re a specialist, you are basically working alone. Lots of schools just don’t have the money, so many art teachers don’t feel supported.” A recent report from city Comptroller Scott Stringer shows the extent of the funding gap. Twentyeight percent of NYC schools are
without a full-time, certified arts teacher, the report states, and 30 percent are without any certified arts teacher at all, despite a state mandate that they be provided. Over the last seven years, there has been a 47 percent decline in funding to hire arts and cultural organizations to provide programming for students. Stringer, in an Our Town op-ed, notes that the arts funding shortfall hits lower-income neighborhoods particularly hard, with nearly half the schools without art teachers located in the South Bronx and Central Brooklyn. “You’d think that with a $25 billion budget, our Department of Education could afford to provide arts education and comply with state law,” Stringer wrote. “But New York City’s ﬁnancial support for arts education has been shrinking dramatically.” The comptroller says bringing a full-time, state-certiﬁed art teacher to every school that does not have
one would cost the Department of Education $26 million, a drop in its annual budget. Diamond worked at a public school in Queens for a time before joining P.S. 6, and remembers being asked to take on many different roles in addition to art -- monitoring study halls, homerooms, and helping other teachers. That, she says, is common among art departments that have little to no funding. “What I really feel is that as an art teacher, you really have to love kids and love the chaos of the art room,” Diamond said. While the shortage of arts funding has been on teachers’ radars for years, the striking numbers in the Stringer report may finally bring the issue to a larger public debate. “Making sure that the arts are included in our schools at every age level is essential in providing a well rounded education,” said City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer.
Authorities in New York arrested three suspects in a major drug bust last week. The Drug Enforcement Administration announced Wednesday that more than $12 million in heroin and crystal meth reportedly was conﬁscated in the arrests. The acting head of the DEA in New York, James Hunt, tells Newsday the seizure from a Washington Heights apartment building is a “signiﬁcant hit.” Authorities say the drugs were intended for distribution in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and other locations. They say there were enough drugs to ﬁll 600,000 glassine bags sold at street level. The suspects were arraigned Tuesday in Manhattan on multiple counts of drug possession. Their lawyers could not be reached for comment.
PIER 26 TO BECOME EDUCATION CENTER Gov. Andrew Cuomo says Pier 26 in Manhattan will be home to an environmental and education center to promote scientiﬁc research of the Hudson River estuary and surrounding bodies of water. On Friday Cuomo said the state will solicit proposals from organizations to establish and operate the research and education center. The Hudson River Park Trust has already secured $10 million in funds to advance the construction with donations from the Port Authority, the Department of Environmental Conversation and the Department of State. The site’s footprint will allow for a 10,000 and 12,000 square foot facility and will feature a nonmotorized boathouse as well as a new restaurant in 2015. The Hudson River Estuary stretches from the upstate city of Troy to New York.
Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS CHECK
GETAWAY DESIGNER AND BUILDER OF UPSTATE COTTAGES $300,000 - $600,000 LAND INCLUDED Sullivan county, WOODSTOCK, SAUGERTIES, bearsville, stone ridge, Rhinebeck, The NYPD has been instructed to ease up on jaywalking enforcement methods. Photo by Felix Ling via Flickr.
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COMMISSIONER SETS NEW GUIDELINES FOR JAYWALKING STOPS Commissioner Bill Bratton has released a memo urging more discretion in the city’s jaywalking stops, almost four months after the major crackdown. In 2014 alone, over 900 people have had court summonses for jaywalking, compared to just 532 in 2012. However, since the very public debacle of Kang Wong, who is now suing the city for $5 million for alleged excessive force, Bratton has added guidelines to how officers conduct their stops. Among the guidelines are to issue warnings to elderly and special needs jaywalkers who are at no safety risk and to only arrest as a last resort. NBC New York
SERIAL BANK ROBBER CAPTURED James Walton, a bank robber wanted in 11 robberies spanning Greenwich Village and the Upper West and East Sides, was captured last week. Walton was caught after attempting to rob the Capital One bank on University Place. He handed the bank teller a threatening note, but the teller walked away. Walton’s description was then sent over the radio waves and
Officer Brian Daniels took the call. Using his knowledge of the area, Daniels drove along Park Avenue South scanning pedestrian faces. Daniels soon spotted Walton, exited his cruiser and grabbed him. A police source said that this is when Walton groaned, “You got me.” NY Post
POLICE SAVE WOMAN TRYING TO JUMP FROM FIRE ESCAPE Last Monday, NYPD officer Jonathan Perez saved a 37-year-old woman from attempting to jump from her fourth story ﬁre escape. The woman was dangling over her ﬁre escape of her East 97th Street apartment as her husband held onto her. Perez was ﬂagged by an onlooker and ran up to the apartment to help the woman. Officers Luis Moreira and Jefferson Burgos also spotted the scene and helped push the woman up to safety. The woman was taken to Mount Sinai for evaluation. NY Daily News
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIM FIRED FOR TOO MANY ISSUES Natasha Velez, a former employee of an Upper East Side branch of Chipotle, has ﬁled a
lawsuit against the chain. Valez was involved with a physical altercation with her boyfriend on New Year’s Day that resulted in her being choked and fracturing her left index ﬁnger. Days later, she showed her manager the police report and other related paper work and informed them that she couldn’t work. When she returned at the end of January her manager ﬁred her and allegedly said she had “too many issues outside of work.” NY Post
COUPLE OFFERS COOKING CLASS TO RAISE MONEY FOR ADOPTION Mat Rosa and Jen Ramos, an Upper East Side couple, have begun teaching “men how to cook for the women in their lives,” in order to raise money for their adoption. Pot Pan Knife, the series of cooking themed workshops, began in March and is helping to reach the nearly $40,000 it takes to adopt a child. “I’ve always used food as a way to express my love for her,” Rosa said. “Jen thought that was a good platform — to teach men not just cooking skills, but the thoughtful aspects, like presentation, that really make a meal special.” DNAinfo.com
APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 3
CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG Hope for Citi Bike, after all
Citi Bike may not be as bad off as many people thought. A story this week in The Wall Street Journal quotes a report from the company that runs the program saying it may well be able to survive, and even thrive, without public funding. The company has proposed dramatically raising rates to cover its costs.
MoneyPak. b) A caller claims that the victim’s family member A man stole a laptop from had a car accident, and the a gym. At 12:05 PM on caller threatens physical Wednesday, April 16, a man violence unless immediate entered an Upper East Side CREDIT TO HIS NAME reimbursement is made with a gym, reached behind the front Green Dot MoneyPak. counter, and removed a gray Someone opened multiple c) A caller posing as a utility Apple laptop before ﬂeeing in an credit card accounts in a company representative unknown direction. The laptop man’s name. A 38-year-old demands immediate payment was valued at $2,000. male Upper East Side resident received a phone call from a local by Green Dot MoneyPak, or the chain appliance store concerning victim’s electricity or gas will be YORKS! turned off. a store credit card account for Crime Prevention Tips which he had not applied. He A street thief snatched a • Be suspicious of callers who woman’s cell phone. At 6 PM on then checked with a credit card demand immediate payment for Tuesday, April 15, a 44-year-old agency and discovered that six any reason. credit card accounts had been woman was texting on her cell • Remember that anyone who phone while she was waiting for opened in his name without his has the number on a Green Dot the light to change on the corner permission or authority. At the MoneyPak card has access to time of the police report, it was of East 91st Street and York the funds on the card. Avenue. An unknown perpetrator unknown if any unauthorized • NEVER give out personal charges had appeared on any of snatched her phone from her or ﬁnancial information to these accounts. hands and ﬂed eastbound anyone who emails or calls you toward the FDR Drive. Her cell unsolicited. phone was an iPhone 5S valued POLICE ADVISORY • NEVER wire money or at $500. provide debit, credit card, or Don’t be the victim of Green Green Dot MoneyPak card Dot Prepaid debit card phone CLEANED OUT IN numbers to someone you do not scams. With the availability of QUEENS know. Prepaid Debit Cards, criminals • Utility companies and have developed new ways to A man’s bank account was government agencies will steal from the public: ransacked by identity thieves. NOT contact you demanding a) A caller informs the victim On Monday, April 14, a 52-yearthat they owe back taxes to the immediate payment by old man living on the Upper MoneyPak. IRS and must make immediate East Side reported to police payment with a Green Dot that during the period between March 9 and April 10, unknown perpetrators had withdrawn $52,500 from his bank account at various ATMs in Queens.
Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
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ACTIVISTS PICKET LIAM NEESONâ€™S HOME NEWS Members of PETA and NYCLASS came together to protest the actorâ€™s recent statements in support of the carriage horse industry
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BY VERENA DOBNIK
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UPPER WEST SIDE Animal welfare activists picketing Liam Neesonâ€™s home on Saturday said they donâ€™t agree with the actor that the cityâ€™s carriage horses should keep working. Neeson didnâ€™t appear as about 50 demonstrators filled the sidewalk in front of his apartment building on the Upper West Side. Police watched, and doormen photographed protesters hoisting signs with such slogans as â€œLiam Neeson: Stop Supporting Cruelty!â€? and â€œWorked to Death!â€? with an image of a dead horse in a park. Holding the second sign was Peter Wood, an animal protection investigator for various organizations that say itâ€™s cruel for the horses to be subjected to traffic, pollution and possible accidents. â€œItâ€™s 2014, not 1914. Itâ€™s time for a change,â€? said Wood, who lives in Manhattan. â€œHorses donâ€™t belong in traffic, surrounded by buses. They donâ€™t belong in the city; itâ€™s outdated, itâ€™s cruel,â€? he said, adding, â€œLife attached to a carriage with a poop bag attached to your rear end - thatâ€™s
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no life.â€™â€™ Neeson, whose mov ies include â€œSchindlerâ€™s List,â€? â€œTakenâ€? and â€œNonStop,â€? is a vocal supporter of the cityâ€™s carriage horses, which are kept in stables he toured recently with lawmakers. He says the horses are not being mistreated. â€œIt has been my experience, always, that horses, much like humans, are at their happiest and healthiest when working,â€? Neeson wrote in an April 14 editorial in The New York Times. He called the horse carriage trade a â€œhumane industry that is well regulated by New York Cityâ€™s Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Consumer Affairs.â€? Neeson said the cityâ€™s horse-drawn carriages have made an estimated 6 million trips in traffic in the past 30 years, most ending up in Central Park. Four horses have been killed in collisions with motor vehicles, with no human fatalities. â€œIn contrast to the terrible toll of trafďŹ c accidents generally on New Yorkers,â€? Neeson wrote, â€œthe carriage industry has a remarkable safety record.â€? His publicist declined to comment on Saturdayâ€™s protest. The City Council must vote on the issue, but legislation has yet to emerge. Mayor Bill de Blasio has pledged to ban the carriages and replace them with electric vintage-style cars, commissioned by a group called NYCLASS. On Saturday, NYCLASSâ€™ members joined protesters from People for the Ethical
A protestor donned a horse costume for Saturdayâ€™s demonstration. Photo via NYCLASS Facebook. Treatment of Animals. They noted that the horse-drawn carriage trade was ended in at least three other cities: London in 1947, Paris in 1965 and Toronto in 1998. The electric vehicle was unveiled several days ago at the New York International Auto Show. But Neeson said it canâ€™t replace the horse-drawn carriages, which he calls a â€œsignature element of New Yorkâ€™s culture and history.â€?
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APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 5
HOUSING PURGATORY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 in the neighborhood. “There’s probably thousands of seniors who ... realize they can’t afford their rent based on their Social Security.” Silver said a lack of affordable housing throughout the city means that many groups – not just seniors – are vying for that limited stock. “It particularly effects seniors because they can’t now go out and get more jobs,” said Silver. “Moving, for an older adult, can be very traumatic because their doctors may be in this neighborhood, their social supports may be in this neighborhood, and so it’s not so easy for them.” Lenox Hill’s approach is to screen every incoming senior for every possible public government benefit that may be open to them. “Sometimes they’re eligible for programs they don’t know about, or they think they’re not eligible but they might be, so there are some people we could save and keep their apartments,” said Silver. One popular program, the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, allows seniors who live in a rent-stabilized building and make less than $29,000 a year to apply to the city for a rent freeze. The city pays the difference to the landlord through a tax credit. Silver said while this solution may not help Ehrlich afford her current rent, it could prevent future increases from adding to her cost of living. Then again, in a city like New York, sometimes a person’s luck just runs out. “Sometimes someone is get-
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1.20% 1.45% 1.60% ting everything or is ineligible for everything, and they can’t afford the apartment, and then they have very few options,” said Silver. “I’ve had some clients have to leave Manhattan and they go to the Bronx or Queens.” NYCHA’s Section 8 program has 121,000 families on its waitlist. For a single person household looking for a Section 8 voucher, the income threshold is $26,900 a year. Even if a senior qualiﬁes, the years-long wait and questionable conditions in some Section 8 buildings is enough to discourage interest. As for whether she’s ﬁghting a losing battle, Silver said she tries not to think of it that way.
“I think it’s very difficult, but we’re always hopeful that something can be done,” said Silver. “But taken to the extreme, the future prognosis is not good, and not just for seniors.” As for Ehrlich, she’s still looking for a way to make ends meet without being what she feels is a burden to her family. “If the city doesn’t do something soon, or the state doesn’t help, you’re going to have a city of senior citizens living under the bridge,” she said. Are you looking for information on affordable housing programs and other resources? The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House can be reached at 212-744-5022.
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Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
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THE JUILLIARD SCHOOL presents
Upper Eastsider Fred Moura balances himself while making his way across a slack rope in Carl Shurz Park on April 13, 2014. Photo by Andrew Schwartz
2014 JUILLIARD WILLIAM PETSCHEK P I A N O R E C I TA L
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About 100 Christians, Muslims and Jews gathered at an Interfaith Peace Seder to celebrate Passover on April 16, in the Parlor Room of the Park Avenue Christian Church. The Church and its Christian congregation joined members of Daâ€™at Elohim: The Temple of Universal Judaism in observing Passover. Rabbi Ari Fridkis, the Rabbi of Daâ€™at Elohim, led the Seder, accompanied by Pastor Alvin Jackson of The Park, and Imam Azam Ariaz, who is affiliated with Park51.
APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 7
SWAPPING YOUR ONLINE FRIENDS FOR DINING DEALS RESTAURANTS The new NYC-based app uses social media data to get local restaurants to offer discounts BY OMAR CRESPO
Ever wondered if you could get paid just to be yourself? A new smartphone app start-up called Haggle is hoping to do just that. It collects your social media data from sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare and uses it to give discounts from restaurants. â€œWe wanted an easy way for people to share their value,â€? said Raji Salimath, CEO of Haggle. â€œFor people to take all of their online data and use it in a way which could be understood by businesses.â€? The application uses your posts, status updates, pictures, check-ins, friend lists, and a multitude of other similar data to let you â€œhaggleâ€? down your bill. But it is not haggling in the traditional sense. You wonâ€™t be trying to barter your mealâ€™s price down one on one until someone relents or gets fed up and ďŹ‚ips over a table. â€œIf we could empower both sides with data and figure out whatâ€™s a fair price for the transaction, then it could be a good thing for both sides,â€? said Salimath. The New York-based company, which also has a sister office in Bangalore, India, originally got the idea for the app from the stigma thatâ€™s present in haggling in Western countries. Itâ€™s often considered cumbersome and difficult because itâ€™s usually only ever used in expensive items such as automobiles or very informal situations such as ďŹ‚ea markets. For other services, bargaining is non-existant.
Eastern countries utilize haggling on a wider array of goods and services, from the scene of the local street market to booking a room at a hotel. The tradition of haggling in foreign countries is alive since itâ€™s often seen as a cultural adaptation of tourists trying to ďŹ t in. â€œHaggling without any data tends to make both parties upset tense and angry, because both parties do not know about each other and tend to take extreme positions,â€? said Salimath. Haggle aims to smooth out this issue, giving a vendor information on the bargainer. The application uses four parameters, which it converts from your social media data: History, which is how many times you go to a certain type of restaurant; loyalty, how many times you go to the same place to eat; inďŹ‚uence, which is how often you do go out to eat; and bankroll, how much money you spend on average going out. â€œWe do not blast this data out to anybody. No one gets access to your data. Only you have access to your data and now you could use these four scores to negotiate,â€? said Salimath. â€œWe take your data, crunch it and put in these different algorithms and give the scores back to you.â€? Since the Haggle company just started last year, and the application itself was just released this February, the number of participating restaurants is still growing. Currently a handful of restaurants using the service are located in the downtown area, such as La Churreria, a Spanish restaurant, and Cafetasia, a Yelp favorite with their blend of Asian and Thai Cuisine. The Haggle team hopes to expand their app, which is still technically in its beta phase, to offer more opportunities for restaurants by utilizing an open sign up in the future.
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Autism: Recognizing the Signs; Diagnosis and Treatment Options Catherine Lord, Ph.D.
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Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
Feedback VETS’ FOOD CARTS AT THE MET
FIXING THE GRIDLOCK
Bankers do it, unions do it - “rent seeking,” that is. That’s the phrase economists use to describe the extraction of ﬁnancial beneﬁts through privilege (monopoly, government favors, etc). Dan Rossi gained “rents” through his vet status. Now that other smart entrepreneurs have wised up to the gambit, he complains about competition. That’s usually how rent-extractors react. Henry Ma
Last week we wrote about the sudden influx of food vendors outside the Met Musuem; one reader offers some solutions BY DOM MINASI
UPPER EAST SIDE It seems simple enough - ﬁrst, allow only the owner of license to work his/ her legimate cart; no subletting. And city must enforce the number of carts allowed on city property. Surely the Museum has the right to keep their stairway and adjoining sidewalk clear and free from potential hazards. The fact that the Met is “The Metropolitan Museum of Art” should grant them the right to keep their property artfully attractive and clearly open for all to see, not just a 12 foot tall giant who can peer over the hodgepodge of intrusive vendor stands! If there is no law keeping the number of vendors to a minimum, then make one, and include variety - no more than one of each product. Surely our city has enough sidewalk space for everyone to make a living. But use common sense, and leave our city’s precious and all-toorare beauty open for us all to enjoy. In the meantime, a boycott of these vendors would make them move faster than the law!
SYMPATHY FROM THE WEST Comment on our April 17, 2014 story “East Side Gives de Blasio a ‘C’”: I’m a life-long Westsider but I’d have to concur with several criticisms of De Blasio’s attitudes toward the Upper East Side. It’s not all Gucci and Chanel over there. Areas around York Ave and First Avenue are inhabited by people that aren’t the mega-rich. And north of 96th Street I think de Blasio would ﬁnd to be quite different than the rest of the Upper East Side. Why support a garbage transfer station on East 91st Street? It’s near schools and Asphalt Green. If he’s serious about traffic safety why not add speed bumps to certain locations (at least) throughout the city and actually enforce speed limits as well. Lower parking ticket amounts and drastically increase amounts for speeding, running red lights, and other dangerous violations. Westside Guy
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PROTECT THE HORSES, BAN THE CARRIAGES Comment on our February 6, 2014 story “What Will Happen to the Horses?” Hopefully, carriage rides will ﬁnally be banned. PETA should stay out of this because they have a dark history and cannot be trusted to protect animals. I hope the OWNERS prove how much they really love their horses by making SURE that not even one displaced horse winds up with an Amish farmer or at a slaughterhouse. The City should pay to board the horses until proper homes can be found. Rivergull
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It’s for the romantic people.” Darnell P.
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APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 9
Looking Back On the First 100 Days
BY BEN KALLOS
n April 10th, I, along with many other East Side elected officials, marked 100 days in office. It has been an honor to represent you. A groundswell of activism among officials and residents, along with a pace that has kept me away from my wife, Irene, and cat Pandora, on
more occasions than they would like, I have been pleased to fulďŹ ll many of the promises I made before taking office. And with many more on their way, it seems they werenâ€™t promises but plans: * I was front and center in the movement that won $300 million in pre-kindergarten funding for New York City to make us a nationwide leader by giving every child a fair start. We have more to do to ensure our neighborhood gets the seats we need, but our victory has laid the groundwork for this become a reality. * I am setting aside more than a million in funding to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in our schools; * I co-sponsored the bill to expand paid sick leave to half a million New Yorkers so we can all be healthier. There is still much more to do. I am more committed than ever to taking on the challenges and seizing on the opportunities that face our neighborhood and city. As your Council Member, I am
taking on the tough ďŹ ghts on your behalf: * I am ďŹ ghting the marine transfer station on 91st Street every day, reorienting the debate to focusing on increasing recycling and reducing waste citywide; * I am protecting residents from unsafe construction and being kicked out of their affordable housing; * I am bringing accountability to city agencies, from the Board of Elections to community boards; * I am advocating for ferry service for Roosevelt Island; and * I am working to provide educational support outside the classroom by supporting community learning schools. And I am proud to maintain an attendance record of 100% -- because you deserve a representative that shows up! Thank you for granting me the honor and responsibility of representing you in City Hall. Your involvement makes possible all of my advocacy on your behalf. Join me at a â€œFirst Fridayâ€? open house from 8-10AM on May 2rd or a policy committee night on May 6th at 6:30PM. Both
events take place at my district office on 244 East 93rd Street. Learn more about my ďŹ rst 100 days at: benkallos. com/newsletter/100-days Iâ€™m proud of what has been achieved in my ďŹ rst 100 days in office, but I am much more focused on the promise of the time ahead, and the community we can build together. Ben Kallos represents the Upper East Side on the City Council
Iraklii Buziashvili, MD PhD Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, Menâ€™s Health Diabetes, Thyroid Disorders, Male Sexual Dysfunction, Low Testosterone, Male Infertility, Obesity, Osteoporosis, High Cholesterol & High Blood Pressure, Calcium Disorders, Adrenal Disorders
785 Park Avenue NYC 212.288.8382
Got Drugs? Lenox Hill Hospital invites you to turn in your unused or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal, protecting the environment and avoiding possible misuse. Saturday, April 26, 2014 $ â€“ 2pm
Collection Site: 100 East 77th Street, 77th Street Lobby 17911-4-14
Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
Join us for a FREE seminar on planning your funeral and cemetery arrangements in advance.
“YOUR LIFE YOUR LEGACY”
Out & About Walk is the largest grassroots Parkinson’s fundraiser in the U.S, bringing thousands of participants together since the walk’s inception in 1994 for once main purpose: to ﬁnd a cure for Parkinson’s disease. 100% of donations from the Parkinson’s Unity Walk go towards Parkinson’s disease research. unitywalk.org
FRANK E. CAMPBELL THE FUNERAL CHAPEL 1076 Madison Avenue (at 81st Street) New York, NY 10028
FRIDAY, MAY 2, 2014 AT 4:15 PM RSVP by April 30, 2014 Contact Angela Taglione (212) 288-3500 Speaker:
Robert Sommese, Advance Planning Manager TOPICS • Creative cremation and traditional burial planning • Learn how to reduce stress for your loved ones • Learn about Transportation and Relocation Protection Plan
• Veteran’s Benefits - Learn the 10 Important Facts that every Veteran needs to know • Learn the advantages of prearranging
STÉPHANE KOSSMANN ART EXHIBITION: BLACK & WHITE CARPET
HEALTHY KIDS DAY AT VANDERBILT YMCA
Refreshments Will Be Served. This firm is owned by a subsidiary of Service Corp. International 1929 Allen Pkwy, Houston, TX 77019, 713-522-5141
OR 911 LATER. No matter how big or how small the task, don’t take any chances–be sure to follow the code and call 811 before breaking ground. We’ll send someone out to mark locations of underground lines for free so you can avoid hitting them. Accidentally striking these lines, whether planting a tree or remodeling your home, could cause injury. Not to mention property damage and costly repair bills. So save yourself a call to 911 and call 811 ﬁrst. For more of the scoop, visit us at www.oru.com/811, Facebook or Twitter. Remember, if you smell gas at any time, leave the area immediately and call O&R’s Gas Emergency Hotline at 1-800-533-LEAK (1-800-533-5325), your local gas provider or 911.
FIAF Gallery, 22 East 60th Street Free, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. For more than 26 years, photographer Stéphane Kossmann has captured the stars as they ascend the steps of the Palais des Festivals at the Cannes Film Festival. Kossmann’s images differ dramatically from those of his paparazzi peers. A master photographer, he patiently waits to capture quiet and unguarded moments. As a result, Kossmann’s black-and-white photos offer a rare and striking view of his famous subjects. stephanekossmann.com
EXTREME CHOCOLATE WALKING TOUR 92y, Lexington Avenue at 91st St 1 p.m., $70 A no-holds-barred adventure in chocolate. From chilipepper spiked hot chocolate to bittersweet chocolate ice cream to chocolate macaroons and hand-made bonbons, we celebrate the food of the Gods and learn how this New World delight has crisscrossed the ocean, capturing the hearts (and stomachs) of millions everywhere. 92y.org
Vanderbilt YMCA at 224 East 47th Street btwn 2nd & 3rd Avenues 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Free free community event to inspire more kids to keep their minds and bodies active. YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day® , the Y’s national initiative to improve families’ health and well-being, features games, arts and crafts, family ﬁtness, a children’s carnival and more to motivate and teach families how to develop a healthy routine at home. ymcanyc.org/vanderbilt
20TH PARKINSON’S UNITY WALK 72nd Street Bandshell, Central Park, on Central Park Westor Fifth Ave. 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., By donation The Parkinson’s Unity
27 DON JUAN, OR, WAGES OF DEBAUCHERY Jan Hus Playhouse, 351 E. 74th St. 8 p.m., $18/$14; students/ seniors In 18th century Europe, Don Juan (“Don Shajn”) was among the top “hits” of the Czech marionette repertoire when the only theatre truly available in small towns and villages were shows by itinerant puppeteers. There is nothing very glamorous about the character of Don Juan in this Czech puppet playhe ends up as a common robber, hungry, rejected by all his former conquests and riled constantly by his inept servant Kasparek, the earthy Bohemian cousin of Mr. Punch and Leporello. janhus.org
THE TRIAL OF ANNE OPIE WEHRER AND UNKNOWN ACCOMPLICES FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY 945 Madison Ave. at 75th street $20; $16 students and seniors A “speaking opera” from 1968, in which the main speaker (Anne Opie Wehrer in the original) is asked to publicly answer one hundred questions about her life (by an interrogator offstage). A series of improvised interruptions, diversions, and cross-examinations by two pairs of men and women creates a cacophonous score, with sounds of evasions, sarcastic questions and answers, laughter, and a huge, complex “story” about life as they all have lived it. whitneymuseum.org
APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 11
28 WARHOL: JACKIE The Carlyle Hotel, Second Floor, 981 Madison Avenue 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Free Bringing together over ﬁfty paintings grouped in approximately twenty individual works, this exhibition will be the ﬁrst to focus exclusively on this important body of work created ﬁfty years ago, marking the formative period in the development of Warhol’s work, most notably the silkscreen technique, to produce serial imagery paintings based on images from magazines and newspapers. The exhibition will illustrate Warhol’s career-long exploration of contemporary media culture, such as the news, serial imagery, celebrity and death. Runs through May 17. blaindidonna.com
lost, or presumed destroyed. In this light, the recent discovery in Munich of the Gurlitt trove of such artwork has attracted considerable attention. neuegalerie.org
29 COMMUNITY BOARD 8 ENVIRONMENT AND SANITATION COMMITTEE Lenox Hill Hospital, 130 East 77th Street (LexingtonPark) 6:30 p.m., Free Ignazio “Iggy” Terranova, Citywide Community Affairs Officer, for the NYC Dept. of Sanitation’s Office of Customer Service & Government Relations will be making a presentation. cb8m.com
CASTING MODERNITY: BRONZE IN THE XXTH CENTURY Mnuchin Gallery, 45 East 78 Street 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Free One of the oldest and most enduring forms of artistic creation, bronze casting has been employed by cultures around the globe for more than 5,000 years. In an age of seemingly inﬁnite media characterized by a driving impulse towards the new, the leading ﬁgures of the last century consistently revisited this traditional material. mnuchingallery.com
DEGENERATE ART: THE ATTACK ON MODERN ART IN NAZI GERMANY, 1937 Neue Galerie New York, 1048 Fifth Avenue at 86th Street 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., $20; $10/ students & seniors This will be the ﬁrst major U.S. museum exhibition devoted to the infamous display of modern art by the Nazis since the 1991 presentation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The term “degenerate” was adopted by the National Socialist regime as part of its campaign against modern art. Many works branded as such by the Nazis were seized from museums and private collections. Following the showing on these works in a three-year traveling exhibition that criss-crossed Germany and Austria, most were sold,
30 NAKED! WITH MICHAEL IAN BLACK AND DEBBI OHI 86th & Lexington Ave, 150 East 86th Street 1 p.m., Free A hilarious new book about a boy who refuses to wear clothes, from comedian Michael Ian Black and illustrator, Debbi Ridpath Ohi. barnesandnoble. com
1 BORDEAUX SMACKDOWN: 2009 VS. 2010 VINTAGES FIAF, Le Skyroom, 22 East 60th Street 7 p.m., $95; $115/nonmembers Savor the differences among three wines from both the 2009 and 2010 Bordeaux vintages, widely hailed as two of the region’s ﬁnest years in the last century. Tasting features a ﬂight of six wines paired with delicious breads and a selection of cheese and charcuterie. Must be 21+ to attend. ﬁaf.org
GMA CO-ANCHORS ROBIN ROBERTS AND GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS 92y, Lexington Avenue at 91st St 7;30 p.m., $29 Co-anchor of ABC’s #1 rated morning show “Good Morning America,” she has won three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program. Her co-anchor, George Stephanopoulos, also anchors the top rated Sunday morning news show “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” as well as ABC-TV’s Special Events, and is the network’s chief political correspondent. Join them as they talk about Robin’s incredible journey as told in her new memoir, Everybody’s Got Something: her health issues, her triumphant return to GMA after medical leave, the role of family and friends—and most importantly, the lessons she’s learning along the way. 92y.org
MEN HAVE NEEDS TOO. INTRODUCING THE PRESTON ROBERT TISCH CENTER FOR MEN’S HEALTH. 555 MADISON AVE. BETWEEN 55TH AND 56TH ST. Now, men have a state-of-the-art medical facility they can call their own, right here in the heart of Manhattan. The Preston Robert Tisch Center for Men’s Health provides men with access to NYU Langone specialists in cardiology, internal medicine, gastroenterology, urology, orthopedics/sports medicine, physical therapy and physiatry, dermatology, ear, nose and throat, mental health, plastic surgery, pulmonology, endocrinology, neurology, and radiology. Experience what it feels like to have your healthcare tailored speciﬁcally for you. To make an appointment with an NYU Langone doctor, call 646-754-2000. Visit nyulmc.org/menshealth.
Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
Free Appraisals Tuesday, April 29th, 10:30 am - 5:30pm at the Manhattan Antiques Center 1050 2nd Ave. (between 55th/56th), Gallery 28
Our New York city representative Sheri Mason will be available for free verbal appraisals. Bring in your asian antiques, jewelry, silver, fine art, porcelain, etc.
Auctioneers of The Oprah Winfrey Collection
The Sixth Borough
A Passover story from the farm
Now accepting Consignments for our spring auctions! House calls by appointment.
www.kaminskiauctions.com | 917 701 8162 DO YOU SUFFER FROM ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION? HAVE YOU NOT RESPONDED TO TREATMENT? If so, and you are between the ages of 18 and 70, you may be eligible to participate in a research study to assess reasons for nonresponse at the Weill Cornell Medical College-New York Presbyterian Hospital. You may qualify for no cost psychotherapy, through this study. For more information, please call
BARBARA MILROD, M.D. 212-746-5868
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BY BECCA TUCKER
t was midnight when we bounced up our long, rutted driveway. I wasnâ€™t actually concerned. Yes, we were getting home late, but we occasionally close the chicken coop in the wee hours for one reason or another, and itâ€™s only been a problem twice. Once was exactly a year ago. What was the likelihood of a predator attacking our chickens on Passover, two years running? Last year, when we pulled in from my familyâ€™s seder in the city, I took the baby inside, laid down to nurse her and â€“ intending to brush my teeth after she fell asleep â€“ woke up in the morning to hear a bloody tale from husband Joe. The last I had seen of Joe, he was headed to the coop, still wearing his slim ďŹ tting jacket and tie, to close the chickens in. What Joe found inside the coop was mayhem: an opossum in the corner and six missing chickens. Joe chased the awkward, lumbering little marsupial out of the coop, but it kept trying to get into the barn through a chink in a wall that it obviously knew well. Too well. In the end, Joe â€“ still wearing a tie â€“ clubbed it to death with a two-by-four. (Let me just say right here, it is not our idea of a good time to kill sentient beings. It sucks, actually, but it is the unavoidable reality of living on a farm.) That one of the deadliest nights on the farm had occurred on Passover seemed a ďŹ tting coincidence. The holiday, after all, is a bloody rite even by Biblical standards. As the story goes, God
brought down 10 plagues on Egypt, culminating in the death of ďŹ rst-born sons. To let the Angel of Death know to smite only the Egyptian ďŹ rst-borns, the Jews painted lambâ€™s blood above their doorways. That there was any connection between Passover and our opossum visitor never crossed my mind. Until last night. We have two coops now; the second is a fenced-off section of a shed, an open-air affair just for warm weather that Joe had thrown together earlier that week for our brand new ďŹ‚ock. These orangeand-cream-colored hens were turning out to be the bargain of a lifetime. They were laying eggs so big that some didnâ€™t ďŹ t into cartons. I hate to admit it, but they were a lot more pleasant to hang around than our other chickens, which sometimes jump up and peck a hand they think might contain a goody, or ďŹ‚y directly into my head just â€˜cause. I could put the baby down in their midst and go about my chores without fear that I would turn around to discover my child had lost an eye. So when Joe came inside and whispered that there were only six of 10 chickens in the new coop? Dismay. My ďŹ rst instinct was to go out and look for the chickens. But wherever they were, if they were still alive, theyâ€™d be roosting in some out-of-theway place â€“ and if they could, theyâ€™d be back in the morning. There was nothing to do now except usher morning along by going straight to sleep. As I drifted off, my thoughts turned strange and primitive. Was it superstitious to wonder whether there was something about Passover that was treacherous, still,
to this day? It had been a peculiar day: there was snow on the ground when we got home, when yesterday had been t-shirt weather. And what was it I had heard about a blood moon? Yes, tonight â€“ right around now â€“ there was going to be a solar eclipse. Could it be the full moon? The Jewish calendar is lunar; Passover always falls on a full moon. If youâ€™ve ever had the spine-tingling experience of hearing coyotes howl at a full moon, you know itâ€™s not a time to go wandering alone in the woods after dark. And the ďŹ rst full moon of spring, you can just feel in your bones it has got to be like Mardi Gras for nocturnal predators. I feared the worst for the four MIA chickens. I slipped out of bed early. The ďŹ rst thing I saw was one of our old chickens wandering around. She looked no worse for having spent the night outside, but that she had not gotten shut up in the coop was strange. Clearly, something had gone down. As I approached the new coop, I counted: one, two chickens pecking in the dirt outside. Then three. And then, as I poured grain into their feeder, a fourth popped out of a cardboard box. Ten chickens present and accounted for. I admired them anew. Although they were newcomers on the farm, they had found hiding places, evaded whatever hungry marauders of the night had tried to get at them. They had been passed over by the Angel of Death. These new chickens were survivors. They must be Jewish chickens. Becca Tucker is a former Manhattanite now living on a farm upstate and writing about the rural life.
APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 13
FOR THE WEEK BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO
DANCE DANCE THEATER OF HARLEM 45TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON As part of the company’s 45th anniversary season, Dance Theater of Harlem will present three new works during its upcoming run at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Founded in 1969 by Arthur Mitchell, the ﬁrst African-American dancer in New York City Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem will premiere past-carry-forward, a study of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the Southern United States to the north during the early 20th century. Dance Theater of Harlem also presents Dancing on the Front Porch of Heaven, which will show for the ﬁrst time in New York City since its debut in 1993, as well as the New York premiere of Pas de Dix from Raymonda, along with other new and revived pieces. Lincoln Center Frederick P. Rose Hall 3 Columbus Circle Wednesday, April 23-Sunday, April 27 Assorted show times Tickets $30-$90
JUAN GABRIEL VÁSQUEZ AND JESS ROW
DIRECTED BY ROB REINER
Colombia is a country noted for its rich history and culture and, as Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vásquez observes in his writing, occasional violence and pain. Vásquez discusses his forthcoming Spanish-language novel “Reputaciones” with short story writer Jess Row, as well as his acclaimed 2013 work “The Sound of Things Falling,” which confronts Colombia’s history of violence and drug trafficking under Pablo Escobar. Americas Society 680 Park Ave. Thursday, April 24 7:00 p.m. Admission $20 for two
LEARN NEW YORK WRITERS WORKSHOP: CRIME FICTION Crime novelist and founding member of New York Writers Workshop Charles Salzberg, author of “Devil in the Hole,” a multiple murder-mystery told through 12 perspectives, leads an afternoon writing class on the careful art of writing crime stories and detective novels. From plot to character and story development, Salzberg teaches the essential elements needed to write a suspenseful whodunit. New York Public Library East 67th Street Branch 328 East 67th St. Saturday, April 26 3:00-4:30 p.m. FREE with in-person or phone registration. Call 212-734-1717 to register.
As the Film Society gears up to honor actor and director Rob Reiner with the 41st-annual Chaplin Award (previous recipient Martin Scorsese will present Reiner with the award at a gala on April 28), Film Society Lincoln Center will present four of his classic ﬁlms, including two adaptations of Stephen King stories: the suspense-thriller “Misery,” starring Kathy Bates and James Caan, and the coming-of-age tale “Stand By Me,” featuring a young River Phoenix. Reiner’s comedy “The Princess Bride” is also presented during a kidfriendly matinee on Sunday, April 28. “A Few Good Men” rounds out the mini-retrospective of Reiner’s work. Film Society Lincoln Center Francesca Beale Theater 144 West 65th St. Sunday, April 27 and Monday, April 28 Assorted show times Tickets $10
KIDS STORY TIME WITH MICHAEL IAN BLACK Comedian and writer Michael Ian Black may be known for his on-screen adult humor on television shows “Stella” and “Michael and Michael Have Issues,” as well as MTV’s mid-nineties sketch comedy series “The State,” but the father of two is also a children’s book author, with ﬁve titles to his name. He’s teamed up with illustrator Debbi Ridpath Ohi for his latest children’s book, “Naked!” about a boy who’s more comfortable in his birthday suit than clothes. Both Black and Ohi, who previously collaborated on Black’s 2012 children’s story “I’m Bored,” will both be on hand at the Barnes and Noble event. Barnes and Noble 150 East 86th St. Wednesday, April 30 1:00 p.m. FREE
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Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
<PAINTING THE GENERATIONS OF A FAMILY, ART, P.16
A DYING WISH, PERFORMED THEATER The late Bob Sickinger’s stage adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby gets a full-scale production BY MARY NEWMAN
EAST SIDE Last May, the theater industry was saddened by the death of Bob Sickinger, a charismatic man who believed in community theatre. Known as the father of Chicago’s off-Loop theater, Sickinger earned a reputation for writing and directing challenging productions. In his last days, he collaborated with Alaric Jans to write a musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel Nicholas Nickleby. The two met in Chicago many years ago, when Sickinger was heading the Hull House theater program at the James Addams Center. Throughout his career he became known for running provocative plays, including the Off Broadway show “22 Years,” about the life of Charles Manson. He began working on the Nicholas Nickleby production six years ago, originally inspired by his lifetime love of Dickens. At that time, Sickinger was retired and focusing his
attention on this play. His wife Jo-Ann said he was getting anxious to finish it because he knew that he was running out of time as he aged. They finished the play about 2 months before Sickinger passed away, and although he didn’t get to see it performed, he was extremely happy to have finished the script. In his ﬁnal days, his wife promised that she would produce his play and make sure it found its life on stage. “It was the only thing that would perk him up in those last few days,” Pastor said. His ﬁve children were also there to support him, and joined her in promising their father that they would help to produce his ﬁnal project. Wasting no time, Pastor quickly flew to Louisiana and had the entire play recorded so she could shop around the demo to find interested investors, directors, and actors. From there, the ball kept rolling and she was able to raise enough money to produce a 34-person play. It is being performed at the Theater for the New City from April 17 – May 4th. Through mutual friends, Lissa Moira came upon the recording and knew
Scenes from the musical, playing now at Theater for the New City. Photo by Mary Newman
NICHOLAS NICKLEBY Theater for the New City 155 First Ave. (btwn 9th & 10th St.) Wed-Sat 8 p.m.; Sun 3 p.m. Through May 4 Tickets $18 SmartTix.com or 212868-4444 she wanted to become a part of this production. She helped ﬁnd singers to sing at Sickinger’s memorial, and everything really started to come together once she became the director. “I knew from the day she read the material that she absolutely understood it,” Pastor explained. “She
really understands where Bob was coming from, and she is doing exactly what he would have wanted.” The play boasts a talented cast, and because of the Theater for the New City’s intimate size, the audience is truly surrounded by the performance. The cast does an outstanding job of bringing Dickens’ classic tale to life. It is a two and a half hour play, but once it ﬁnishes, you are left wishing for more. Opening night was so successful, they had to start turning people away at the door after it was sold out. “The night was glorious, the magic of the theater really kicked in,” said Moira. “The cast was wonderful, and I was over-
whelmed with the beauty of it all, it was such a collaborative effort.” Sickinger wanted the play to represent the passion he had for theater throughout his entire life and career. After inspiring his family and friends for so many years, they really wanted to make sure this play came to life on stage in his memory. Pastor’s goal is to bring this production to a larger audience, and hopes to one day see it on Broadway. “I just can’t tell you how exciting this is for me, we’ve worked so hard, and I know he would be so proud,” Pastor said. “This show is an accumulation of everything he loved: theater, literature, and music.”
APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 15
TAKING ON ANNE FRANK THEATER The St. Jean’s Players prepare to stage a classic BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO
UPPER EAST SIDE In New York City, theater aﬁcionados never want for options, and many Broadway shows pack Hollywood star power. But about 30 blocks north of Theater Row, a longstanding community theater takes on a wellknown story. The St. Jean’s Players, the oldest continuing community theater group on the Upper East Side, will open Wendy Kesselman’s “The Diary of Anne Frank,” based on “Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl,” on May 2 at the St. Jean Baptiste High School auditorium, the group’s home theater. Director Bryan McHaffey has been involved with St. Jean’s Players for almost 20 years, and his history with the play dates back to the early sixties. While studying with famed acting coach Charles Nelson Reilly, he was asked to read the role of teenager Peter Van Daan opposite a 17-year-old Liza Minnelli, who played Anne, when her scene partner didn’t show up. “At that point I was still rather juvenile,” said McHaffey, who
brushes his white hair away from his forehead and keeps a barber’s comb in his shirt pocket. “So I played Peter for her.” Luke Bond, 19, plays Peter in the St. Jean’s production. Though he assumes the audience will be familiar with the play, he wants his performance to come from his own relationship to the script. “When you do a play that’s very well known, you can’t approach it like it’s a well-known play,” Bond said. “Then it’s going to come off as though we’re putting on a famous scene rather than trying to put on the actual, truthful scene that is there in the script.” Lucy Apicello, who plays Anne’s mother, Edith, has been acting with the group since 2005. Though she has performed with other groups, she returns to St. Jean’s to continue working with fellow actors and directors who have become friends. The cast and crew are unpaid and often do double-duty. Without stage hands, the actors are responsible for bringing props on and off set. Jay Fink, who plays Mr. Van Daan, also does sound and lighting design. Some of the proceeds from selling tickets, which are $20 each, and $10 for seniors and children, cover the production costs and other operations, while the rest goes to St.
Jean Baptiste Church and to the school, which otherwise grants the group the auditorium for free. Though the budget is spare, McHaffey said the actors he works with are an experienced and talented group, and many former St. Jean’s actors go on to do off-Broadway work. Ava Patino, who plays Anne Frank, had small parts in St. Jean’s production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” and considers this her ﬁrst real role. “It’s kind of terrifying,” said Patino, a seventh grader at the Professional Performing Arts School, who rolled around the auditorium on a scooter after running through a scene. Patino has read the book many times, and started keeping her own diary on her computer. Before rehearsal, she marked up her script with a highlighter. Without paid advertising, the group relies on ﬂiers and word of mouth to ﬁll seats. But audience development, McHaffey said, is always challenging, and St. Jean’s Players has found an audience on the Upper East Side for over 35 years. “Developing an audience would probably be a whole theater course in itself,” McHaffey said, laughing. “I think they tell you if you’re opening a stock theater you have to do at least three seasons before you know if you’re going to make it.” By that standard, St. Jean’s Players has made it.
Anders Zorn, Mrs. Richard Howe, 1900, detail, oil on canvas, Private Collection
Ava Patino and Lucy Apicello rehearse a scene. Photo by Gabrielle Alﬁero
THE ST. JEAN’S PLAYERS The Diary of Anne Frank St. Jean Baptiste High School Auditorium 167 East 75 St. May 2-May 4 Tickets $10-$20
ON VIEW FEBRUARY 27 – MAY 18, 2014 NATIONAL ACADEMY MUSEUM
1083 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street Open Wed–Sun, 11 AM – 6 PM www.nationalacademy.org 212.369.4880 x201
Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
“Bedtime,” a watercolor of the artist’s daughter, Samantha, and her granddaughter Mia. Images courtesy of Wendy Shalen
FAMILY PORTRAIT ARTIST GALLERIES Wendy Shalen’s newest show incorporates several generations of her family as its subjects BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO
SOHO About a year ago, artist Wendy Shalen visited her elderly mother at her home in Bridgeport, Conn., and began drawing a portrait of her in silverpoint, a type of sterling silver pencil that tarnishes and turns brown on paper over time. Her mother, who will turn 102 in June, is bedridden and can no longer speak. She wears a hospital gown every day so that her
full-time nurses can care for her more easily. As she sketched, Shalen wasn’t sure her mother even knew she was there. “It’s just so difficult to go through this stage,” said Shalen, 63, as she sat in the cafeteria at the Arts Students League of New York at West 57th Street, where she teaches. “You know she would just have a ﬁt if she knew what was going on.” Around the same time, Shalen discovered an antique photo album tucked away at her mother’s house, along with her father’s college yearbook from New York University. In the album, which is 70 years old, Shalen found photographs of her older brothers and her grandmother, and portraits of her parents on their wedding day. Her mother’s hair was pinned in an elegant bob and her father was dressed in a tuxedo and wore a white tie and a handkerchief tucked in his pocket. The discovery of the photo album, coupled with her mother’s decline, inspired her latest show, “Family Matters,” a collection of 46 family portraits and images that opened at Prince Street Gallery on April 22. Incorporating a range of mediums, including charcoal, watercolor, dry point etchings and handmade paper, Shalen’s exhibit features graphite portraits of her mother and father, drawn from the photographs she found in the album, alongside “Mom at 101,” the portrait of her mother in bed at her home in Bridgeport. While the show contemplates the process of aging, it also nods at generational continuum. Portraits of Shalen’s twin children, Samantha
WENDY SHALEN “Family Matters” Prince Street Gallery 530 West 25th Street, Fourth Floor April 22-May 17 Opening reception: April 26, 3 - 7 p.m. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Luke, now 33, are also central to the show. A watercolor of Luke as a young boy is paired with a graphite drawing of him as an adult, dressed in a jacket and tie, and smiling. “He’s so handsome now,” said Shalen. Samantha recently gave birth to a little girl, Mia, whom Shalen draws while she’s sleeping, just as she did with her own children. Watercolors and etchings of Samantha cradling Mia suggest a deliberate symmetry with a silverpoint drawing of Mia as an infant, sleeping on her father’s chest. Though she’s always done figurative work, some of Shalen’s recent shows had a more political bent. In 2010 she exhibited portraits of homeless people, and her 2012 mixed media show “Washed Ashore” in Pound Ridge, New York, incorporated trash she found on beaches into watercolor and pastel seascapes. A few pieces directly responded to the BP oil spill. Shalen has also taught art since she graduated from Brandeis University in 1973. While a teacher at Birch Wathen Lenox School on the Upper East Side in the 1970s, she took courses at the Art Students League, where she now
teaches. “In the summer I teach in the same room where I took classes,” Shalen said. “Which is really kind of crazy cool. I want to pinch myself.” The oldest piece in “Family Matters” was done in 1980, the year her grandmother died, at the age of 90, and the year Shalen’s twins were born. Her strongest memories of her grandmother Sophie are of her knotted, arthritic hands constantly in motion as she knitted, crocheted and sewed cloth napkins, lace and beaded collars. Shortly before Sophie’s death, Shalen drew a charcoal portrait of her grandmother wearing a shawl she’d knitted herself. “Much of the show is dedicated to her creative spirit,” Shalen said. “My mother was never happy about me remembering [Sophie] that way, unfortunately. It’s difficult to look at.” In a nod to her grandmother’s own artistic expression, Shalen, who also makes paper from her own recycled watercolor paintings, created a series of thick, stark white paper for the show, imprinted with pieces of her grandmother’s lace and crocheted linen. “You know, you’re getting older and you really do have a certain perspective on what is important here,” said Shalen. “And really, your family is important. Especially as an obsessed artist. Most of us, we do this, we think about it all the time, and I think it’s important to have the perspective that your family is really important and maybe ﬁgure out a way to do the work that you do but also show your love for your family.”
APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 17
AGING IN PLACE SENIORS Making plans to stay in your home now can help for the future Most people prefer to stay in their home or apartment for as long as possible. The best way to make this a reality is to plan ahead of time to make the amenities in your home as safe and accessible as possible. It can be hard to imagine that tasks around the house that were once done with ease can one day pose a challenge. Anticipating the challenge and planning accordingly may allow you to remain in your home
for an extended period of time. Often, with some minor modifications, your home can be adapted to help you stay as long as possible even with some loss of mobility.
Home Modiﬁcations Living at home longer may mean renovating a home to make it more accessible. This can include such things as installing ramps to bypass stairs, building a bedroom on the main floor, placing grab bars in the shower, changing the height of kitchen countertops or making a bathroom safer and more accessible. Before you make home modiﬁcations, you should evaluate your current and future needs by going through your home room by
room and answering a series of questions to highlight where changes might be made. Several checklists are available to help you conduct this review. The National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modiﬁcations is a good place to start. Go to the center’s website at www.homemods. org and click on the link to the “Safety Checklist and Assessment Instrument.”
pairs. Those who are unable to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as getting in and out of bed, walking, bathing, dressing, and eating, can often continue to stay at home with outside help. There are a number of services that can be brought in to assist with ADLs and other personal care. You can hire someone, such as a personal care aide or home health aide, to help you out a few hours a day or around the clock. Some health care services can be provided at home by trained professionals, such as occupational therapists, social workers or home health nurses. Check with your insurance or health service to see what kind of coverage is available, although you may have to cover some of these costs out of pocket. If very speciﬁc conditions are met, Medicare will help pay for all or a portion of home health care.
Keeping a house running smoothly requires a lot of hard work. If you are no longer able to keep up with the demands, you may need to hire someone to do laundry, buy groceries, run errands, clean the house or perform any necessary re-
Declining health often causes a decline in independence and mobility. Many seniors lose the ability to drive or simply feel uncomfortable behind the wheel at night. Investigate transportation options in your area so you can maintain an active social life, get medical
care and shop for necessities. You might find family members willing to take you to the grocery store, friends who will drive you to social events, nearby bus routes, reduced fare taxis or senior transportation services funded by a local not-
for-proﬁt. Staying in your home should not mean being cut off from community activities you enjoy. Finding new ways to get around, even after you are no longer driving, may allow you to stay engaged and active.
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Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
Food & Drink
< AL FRESCO DINING RETURNS TO THE HIGHLINE As the weather warmed, perennial park favorite the High Line marked the return of spring with another warm weather staple: food trucks. As Eater reported, food vendors made their seasonal debuts at the park on Friday, April 19. Park-goers can satisfy a sweet tooth
with L’Arte del Gelato, while La NewYorkina serves Mexican popsicles and Melt Bakery offers creative twists on the classic ice cream sandwich (the Elvis is made with peanut butter cookies stuffed with banana ice cream). Meanwhile, the Taco Truck and Delaney Barbeque’s Smokeline counter the sweets with sa-
vory lunch options. Terroir at the Porch, the open-air café at 15th Street at the High Line, will serve wine, beer and small plates when it reopens for the season on May 2, and Brooklyn Soda Works will start serving up homemade carbonated concoctions on June 1.
In Brief SD26 NOW SERVING BRUNCH On Saturday, May 3, Italian restaurant SD26, which has served ﬁne Italian cuisine on the north side of Madison Square Park since its opening in 2009, introduces weekend brunch to its repertoire. The new menu includes classic Italian brunch fare, such as asparagus and prosciutto with ricotta and soft-poached eggs and uovo in purgatorio (eggs poached in a red sauce). But executive chef Matteo Bergamini has also crafted new brunch items, including a crispy fried egg with a fava bean puree and sautéed chicory. Not unlike the restaurant’s dinner menu—which features a whole egg cooked into house made ravioli and served with truffle butter— the brunch menu highlights the breakfast staple; diners can add an egg to many of the brunch menu items, including the pizzas. SD26 (19 East 26 Street) will open for brunch from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays starting May 3.
NEW BAGEL SHOP BLACK SEED OPENS Noah Bernamoff, of Mile End Deli in Brooklyn, and Matt Kliegman of The Smile on Bond Street, debuted their much-anticipated NoHo bagel venture, Black Seed, on Wednesday April 23, Grub Street reported. According to Grub Street, the wood-oven bagel shop on Elizabeth Street will serve fresh made bagels for $1.50 each, and New York City bagel loyalists can expect the range of traditional bagel varieties along with homemade cream cheese and ﬁsh spreads, including lox and dill and tobiko caviar. Black Seed is located at 170 Elizabeth Street and will open daily from 7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., though Grub Street reports that Bernamoff and Kliegman are eventually planning to operate 24 hours a day.
The Randolph has a beer and coffee outpost as well as a full-service restaurant.
DINING IN THE LIGHTING DISTRICT RESTAURANTS The Randoplh reinvents itself amidst a string of retail lighting stores BY HELAINA HOVITZ
LOWER EAST SIDE What the Randolph lacks in prime real estate, it makes up for in soul. Located off of the Bowery in the heart of the Lighting District, the Randolph at Broome (349) is primarily a craft beer and coffee outpost, and Randolph Beer (343) is a full service restaurant. While the twin spaces are just blocks from all of the action on Spring Street, you probably haven’t stumbled upon either one unless you live nearby—or if you’ve followed the sound of the Bluegrass Band. When co-owner Dylan Hales and his partners, Hari
Kalyan, Dave Plate, and Eli Hariton, showed up to see an online real estate listing in “SoHo,” they found something a little more “in-between,” nestled in the matrix of SoHo, Chinatown, and the Lower East Side. Interestingly enough, the fact that the neighborhood was still somewhat gritty when they arrived is what drew them in the most. “When we first got here, this was a dilapidated lighting store,” said Kaylan. “The realtor told us this was going to be the ‘Meatpacking of the East,’ but it was mostly old Chinese families. We loved it anyway, because we didn’t want to be surrounded by commercial space.” The boys decided to take a chance and bought Randolph at Broome. A few years later, they did it again, buying what is now Randolph Beer and installing a 37-foot-bar in the former Elite Lighting space.
Sadly, that bar has overshadowed the food prepared by Chef David Schaap, a renaissance man who has worked side by sside with Michelin Starred tr chefs, food truck cooks, and the staff of Rao’s in H Harlem. Rand Randolph Beer serves a satisfying and healthy kale and grain sal but the best thing going salad, fo that kale is its place on top for o the menu. Once your eyes of scroll down, they’ll catch its competition: double fried chicken thighs, a classic cheeseburger with add-on options that include a fried e and bacon marmalade, egg gr green curry mussels, and evil spro sprouts, which are Brussels sprou sprouts served with maple glaze and bacon lardon. For brunch, brunch you can chow down on breakfast nachos or shrimp and grits while listening to a nameless bluegrass band that features an endless rotation of random new members every Saturday afternoon. “We never know who we’re going to be listening to,” said Hales. “Last weekend we had two 17-yearold twins playing the Ukulele jamming out with the old men.” This summer, you’ll ﬁnd the boys throwing regular beach party-fundraisers for the NYC Coalition Against Hunger (50 Broad Street), to which they also donate 25¢ from every burger sold. “We’ve seen their impact firsthand, with the homeless guys on the Bowery,” said Hales. “It’s a good streamlined charity whose proceeds really go toward the people who need it.”
APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 19
RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS APRIL 8 - 16, 2014
1659 1 Avenue
The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygieneâ€™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.
Grade Pending (18) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facilityâ€™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.
1411 3 Avenue
1499 3 Avenue
Thai @ Lex
1244 Lexington Avenue
Grade Pending (25) Hot food item not held at or above 140Âş F. Cold food item held above 41Âş F (smoked ďŹ sh and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ÂşF) except during necessary preparation. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facilityâ€™s food and/or non-food areas.
1715 2 Avenue
Grade Pending (50) Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140Âş F to 70Âş F or less within 2 hours, and from 70Âş F to 41Âş F or less within 4 additional hours. Live roaches present in facilityâ€™s food and/or non-food areas. Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared. 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. 6) Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.
1762 2 Avenue
Grade Pending (26) Hot food item not held at or above 140Âş F. Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer or thermocouple not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.
Eastend Bar & Grill
1664 1 Avenue
Grade Pending (23) Hot food item that has been cooked and refrigerated is being held for service without ďŹ rst being reheated to 1 65Âş F or above within 2 hours. Cold food item held above 41Âş F (smoked ďŹ sh and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ÂşF) except during necessary preparation. Live roaches present in facilityâ€™s food and/or non-food areas.
Bagel Bobâ€™s On York
1638 York Avenue
Not Graded Yet (26) Hot food item not held at or above 140Âş F. Cold food item held above 41Âş F (smoked ďŹ sh and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ÂşF) except during necessary preparation. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
Metropolitan Museum Employee Cafeteria
1000 5 Avenue
1561 2 Avenue
245 East 81 Street
1560 2 Avenue
Grade Pending (17) Hot food item not held at or above 140Âş F. Cold food item held above 41Âş F (smoked ďŹ sh and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ÂşF) except during necessary preparation.
Starbucks Coffee #20679 1542 3 Avenue Gracieâ€™s Corner
352 East 86 Street
The only dedicated Assisted Living Facility in New York City specializing in Enhanced Memory Care.
Ensconced in the landmark neighborhood of the Upper East Side, Residents continue to enjoy the heart and soul of this incomparable city they have always loved. â€˘ Beautiful Upper East Side Environment â€˘ Each floor a â€œNeighborhoodâ€? with Family Style Dining & Living Room â€˘ 24-hour Licensed Nurses & Attendants specially trained in dementia care â€˘ Medication Management â€˘ Around the clock personal care, as needed â€˘ Housekeeping, Linen & Personal Laundry â€˘ Courtyard & Atrium Rooftop Garden â€˘ Chef prepared Meals Nationâ€™s first recipient of AFAâ€™s Excellence in Care distinction.
80th Street Residents in Central Park with the Essex House Hotel peeking from behind.
430 East 80th Street, New York, NY 10075 Tel. 212-717-8888 www.80thstreetresidence.com
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The 80th Street Residence is the ďŹ rst in the city to receive the New York State De-
7KHWK6WUHHW5HVLGHQFHLVWKHĂ€UVWLQWKHFLW\WRUHFHLYHWKH1HZ<RUN6WDWH'HSDUWPHQWRI partment of Health licensure as an Assisted Living Residence (ALR) with certiďŹ cates +HDOWKOLFHQVXUHDVDQ$VVLVWHG/LYLQJ5HVLGHQFH$/5 ZLWKFHUWLĂ€FDWHVDOORZLQJWKHHQWLUH allowing the entire community to serve as both an Enhanced Assisted Living Residence FRPPXQLW\WRVHUYHDVERWKDQ(QKDQFHG$VVLVWHG/LYLQJ5HVLGHQFH($/5 DQGD6SHFLDO1HHGV (EALR) and a Special Needs Assisted Living Residence (SNALR). With these new $VVLVWHG/LYLQJ5HVLGHQFH61$/5 :LWKWKHVHQHZFHUWLĂ€ FDWLRQVWK6WUHHWLVQRZDEOHWR certiďŹ cations 80th Street is now able to provide additional specialized care and services SURYLGHDGGLWLRQDOVSHFLDOL]HGFDUHDQGVHUYLFHVIRULWV5HVLGHQWVDOO for its Residents, all of whom suffer from cognitive impairment. RIZKRPVXIIHUIURPFRJQLWLYHLPSDLUPHQW Clare Shanley, Executive Director says, â€œThe 80th Street Residence has always been &ODUH6KDQOH\([HFXWLYH'LUHFWRUVD\VÂ´7KHWK6WUHHW5HVLGHQFHKDVDOZD\VEHHQGHYRWHG devoted to providing excellent care and specialized services to our Residents. In fact, WRSURYLGLQJH[FHOOHQWFDUHDQGVSHFLDOL]HGVHUYLFHVWRRXU5HVLGHQWV,QIDFWRXUSURJUDPZDV our program was the Nationâ€™s ďŹ rst to receive The Alzheimerâ€™s Foundation of Americaâ€™s WKH1DWLRQÂˇVĂ€ â€˜ExcellenceUVWWRUHFHLYH7KH$O]KHLPHUÂˇV)RXQGDWLRQRI$PHULFDÂˇVÂś([FHOOHQFHLQ&DUHÂˇDZDUG in Careâ€™ award. Now with the highest level of licensing for Assisted Living, 1RZZLWKWKHKLJKHVWOHYHORIOLFHQVLQJIRU$VVLVWHG/LYLQJLQDGGLWLRQWRSURYLGLQJRXUXQLTXH in addition to providing our unique program, we are able to offer families the peace of SURJUDPZHDUHDEOHWRRIIHUIDPLOLHVWKHSHDFHRIPLQGLQNQRZLQJWKDWWKHLUORYHGRQHVPD\ mind in knowing that their loved ones may now age in place and receive more nursing QRZDJHLQSODFHDQGUHFHLYHPRUHQXUVLQJFDUHVKRXOGWKH\QHHGLWLQWKHSODFHWKH\FDOOKRPHÂľ care should they need it in the place they call home.â€? Fully Licensed by the New York State Department of Health, The 80th Street Residence )XOO\/LFHQVHGE\WKH1HZ<RUN6WDWH'HSDUWPHQWRI+HDOWK7KHWK6WUHHW5HVLGHQFHLVWKH isRQO\GHGLFDWHGDVVLVWHGOLYLQJFRPPXQLW\LQ1HZ<RUN&LW\6SHFLDOL]LQJLQ0HPRU\&DUH,QWKHLU the only dedicated assisted living community in New York City Specializing in Memory Care. In their boutique setting, 80th Street offers unique neighborhoods, each comERXWLTXHVHWWLQJWK6WUHHWRIIHUVXQLTXHQHLJKERUKRRGVHDFKFRPSRVHGRIQRPRUHWKDQ posed of no more than eight to ten Residents with similar cognitive abilities. All neighHLJKWWRWHQ5HVLGHQWVZLWKVLPLODUFRJQLWLYHDELOLWLHV$OOQHLJKERUKRRGVKDYHFR]\DQGKRPHOLNH borhoods have cozy and homelike dining and living rooms and are staffed 24 hours a GLQLQJDQGOLYLQJURRPVDQGDUHVWDIIHGKRXUVDGD\ZLWKSHUVRQDOFDUHDWWHQGDQWV7KH day with personal care attendants. The intimate setting allows for an environment that is LQWLPDWHVHWWLQJDOORZVIRUDQHQYLURQPHQWWKDWLVFRQGXFLYHWRUHOD[DWLRQVRFLDOL]DWLRQDQG conducive to relaxation, socialization, and participation in varied activities. A true jewel SDUWLFLSDWLRQLQYDULHGDFWLYLWLHV$WUXHMHZHORIFDUHRQWKH8SSHU(DVW6LGH
of care on the Upper East Side
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Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
AG: AIRBNB ENABLING ILLEGAL RENTALS An investigation by the state attorney general’s office claims that over 60 percent of city apartments recently listed for short-term stays on AirBnB’s website were offered illegally. Under state law, a permanent resident of the apartment being rented must be present
when subletting the apartment for fewer than 30 days. An analysis by Sumanta Ray, an investigator with the AG’s office, said in an affidavit ﬁled Monday that, “the majority of the listings were for the ‘entire apartment’ meaning that the host would rent the entire apartment and thus presumably would not be present during
the rental period.” The data looked at more than 19,000 units being rented in New York City on Jan. 31, all but one of which were offered for less than 30 days. Ray said 64 percent of the listings were for the entire apartment. Ray also said that just ﬁve “hosts” were responsible for renting 203 units,
indicating that third party brokers are renting units on behalf of owners. The AG said in a memo that listings that run afoul of the law are fueling the “illegal hotel” industry. AirBnB spokesman David Hantman said in a statement that those who abuse the service are swiftly booted.
Buying in a seller’s red-hot market
he headlines are true real estate inventory is at historic lows. This is the case across all price points and neighborhoods, from the Upper Eastside to the Upper West Side, from downtown to Harlem. There are no longer fringe New York City neighborhoods. Desirable properties BY SUSAN ABRAMS are selling fast, and many receive multiple bids within days of coming on the market. Here are some insider tips to help a buyer succeed in this overheated marketplace. 1, Know the marketplace. Research comparable properties. A lot of buyers make the mistake of forgoing a buyer’s agent. A good agent knows the marketplace and how best to present your bid, especially in this competitive market. 2. Decide on your no-regrets price. I advise buyers to offer the price that they can comfortably say I will have “no regrets” if I lose the property. Offer your highest price and then don’t look back. 3. If you can, waive the ﬁnancing contingency. In a seller’s market, cash is king. If you can’t pay cash, sellers are typically OK with a buyer obtaining ﬁnancing as long as the contract is not contingent on the buyer obtaining a mortgage. Buyers should get a pre-approval letter from a lender. Only waive the contingency if you are able to do so conﬁdentially and always consult with your lender and counsel before doing so. 4. Write a personal letter. The letter should discuss your connection to the apartment, why you love the property and position you as the best buyer. 5. First impressions count. Be friendly, courteous and positive when you tour the property. The seller’s agent is watching to see who expresses reservations and who might be a problem buyer. In a multipleoffer situation everyone prefers to deal with the nice guy, not the difficult purchaser. Susan Landau Abrams is a Licensed Associate Broker at Warburg Realty
A parking lot is being built over an area formerly used as green space by tenants of Park West Village. Photo by Daniel Fitzsimmons
THEY PAVED PARADISE Park West Village tenants: green space destroyed for parking lot BY DANIEL FITZSIMMONS
UPPER WEST SIDE Tenants of Park West Village at 97th Street and Columbus Avenue are in court to prevent their landlord from converting green space they use as a recreational area into a parking lot, even though construction is well underway. Historically, tenants parked in the West 97th Street parking
lot on land that is now owned by Jewish Home Lifecare, which plans to build a 20-story nursing home on the site. JHL obtained the property in a 2011 land swap deal with developer Joseph Chetrit, who owns Park West Village. Tenants also parked at the West 100th Street parking lot, which Park West Village has its own plans to build over. As parking spaces are built into the tenants’ lease agreements, and negotiations for alternate parking accommodations failed, Park West Village
decided to convert green space located between its three residential buildings into a parking lot for tenants against their wishes. Lawyers for the tenants are appealing a decision by the state that allowed construction of the parking lot on the green space – known by tenants as the “central recreational area” – to go ahead. The case is scheduled to be heard by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Anil Singh on June 4. “Judge Singh has prohibited the landlord from compelling members of Park West Village Tenants’ Association to move their cars from the 97th Street parking lot or the 100th Street parking lot while the lawsuit is pending,” wrote lawyers Catherine Grad and Douglas Simmons in an April 20 update to tenants. “He has not, however, stopped the landlord from completing work on building parking spaces…in the central recreational
area of Park West Village. We believe that, if we win the case, the landlord will be required to restore the recreational space and open area that used to exist at Park West Village.” A Park West Village spokesperson couldn’t be reached for comment. Meanwhile, JHL’s nursing home project has stirred no shortage on controversy in the community. Critics, including State Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell and City Council member Mark Levine, contend that construction of the nursing home will disrupt students at nearby P.S. 163, cause traffic congestion in the area and threaten the neighborhood’s open spaces. Public hearings on JHL’s draft environmental impact statement are being held May 7 and 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of P.S. 163, located at West 97th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
YOUR FIFTEEN MINUTES
LIFE WITH JOHN, DUSTIN AND HARRY Q&A
pursue your acting career?
Eileen Haves has been a New York talent agent for four decades. BY VALERIE GLADSTONE
Having John Travolta throw his arms around you in a midtown pizzeria was only one of the perks of Eileen Haves’ 40-year career as a New York talent agent. Born in Brooklyn, raised in the Bronx, and an Upper East Side resident since her 30s, she has worked from her office in the neighborhood, along with her new orange tabby cat, Baron.
How did you get into show business? My aunt took me along when she joined The Players, a drama school on West 72nd Street, run by June Justice, which taught children and adults. Excited to see what acting was all about, I asked my parents if I could take classes. I studied from the time I was 11 to 13. I was very shy, so the teacher started me off very simply by asking, “How are you?” When I answered, “fine,” she explained that I should say more and continue the conversation. It really wasn’t so much about acting, as learning g how to talk to and approach approacch people. By 16, I had becom me even brave become enough to give e some lessons myself to kids k in my building.
Why didn’t you
It was just too tough to find work. I wanted something steadier. And I had begun to be intrigued about other aspects of the business. My first job was with Ashley Steiner Famous Agency, which is now ICM. I started as a relief switchboard operator and then moved up to receptionist.
Who were some of your clients when you started casting for commercials? Dustin Hoffman. I remember he was shy and would usually come in at lunchtime when the office was pretty deserted. This was before he and Jon Voight became famous with “Midnight Cowboy” and he starred in “The Graduate.” Jon and Ally McGraw were clients in the theater division, we called it “legit.” Funny, they all made it around the same time.
Do any huge stars stand out? Harry Belaf Belafonte. When he th office, everycame into the one - even the men - would try to get a look at him. Once my friend Norma and I set up a fake meetth lobby so we ing in the could pas pass by him. We made some fake con conversation. He wha was going knew what
What are some of the biggest differences in the business between when you started and today? There’s a lot more work but you have to work harder for it. We used to sell clients on the phone - now we do it all by email. And people c e r t a i n ly d on ’ t look down on commercials. No one could get anyone to do Preparation H for awhile but I had a guy, who wasn’t phased by it at all. He said, “I’m an actor; I can do anything.” He ended up making an awful lot of money doing Preparation H commercials.
What makes someone good? A pleasant personality, always on time, polite, never gives anyone a hard time, and if you’re going to be late to an audition, calling to say so. Same for when you go on vacation – let people know. It’s amazing how much good manners count. And a sa ple plea ant voice. It t a ke s some training.
Do your artists ever get
APRIL 24, 2014 Our Town 21
Eileen Haves has been representing top acting talent for four decades.
competitive with one another? A lot. One might call me and say, “I saw that you sent so and so out three times last week. Why didn’t you send me?” And I’ll respond, “Are you African-American in your 50s?” Since in that case it was a young white man in his 20s, there wasn’t much he could say.
Are they thankful for your help? They all say thank you and many of them send me gifts on the holidays but I especially remember D. Wallace Stone, who went on to play the mother in the movie “E.T.” I ﬁrst ran into her at a Halloween party. She was dressed as a bunny. I asked her to come into the ofﬁce the next day. Someone said to me, “Eileen, don’t you ever stop working?” Anyway, much later, after she’s made a lot of commercials and “E.T.” she came back to the office to say a special thank you.
Our Town APRIL 24, 2014
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