ISSUE 58 OCTOBER 2019
WE CAN BE
HEROES I'M F REE!
IMAGINATION TAKES FLIGHT AT THE INTREPID MUSEUM
Photos: Rob Tannenbaum; Christine Butler; Erika Kapin.
Discover history and science through our exhibits and innovative programs. Visit IntrepidMuseum.org for a full schedule of events.
ON DECK IN OCTOBER NAVY CAKES: A SLICE OF HISTORY New Exhibition Opening October 11 Dig in to Navy Cakes: A Slice of History, a new exhibition that celebrates these epic sweets and the hard work of the sailors who created them. Explore recipes, photos, artifacts and historic footage that tell the stories of the elaborate confections baked onboard Intrepid and the submarine Growler. ACCESS PROGRAM: Stories Within October 17, 2:00–3:30pm Individuals with dementia and their care partners will explore important moments on board the Intrepid through ship tours and conversations with former crew members. Educators lead these small groups on a multi-sensory experience, including historic photographs, handling objects, singing songs and sharing stories. To register, email email@example.com or call 646-381-5158. INNOVATORS: To Brooklyn and Beyond— New Lab in Space October 18, 7:30pm (doors open at 7:00pm) Meet visionary founders of companies based in the Brooklyn tech hub New Lab, helping to turn the borough into one of the nation’s leaders in the innovation economy. Beer and wine available for purchase with valid ID. Free. 21+. Register in advance. FREE FRIDAYS October 25, 5:00–9:00pm Explore the Museum and enjoy a variety of free after-hours programming including a popup planetarium show and a special Astronomy Night with telescopes for viewing the night sky! Learn more: IntrepidMuseum.org/FreeFridays
INTREPID MEMBERS GET MORE Members receive great benefits while providing important support that helps the Museum preserve American history and inspire future generations. All members receive free, express admission, exclusive discounts, invites to exhibition previews and special events, and more!
October is Member Appreciation Month! Members get special perks for the entire month of October: • An additional complimentary guest on every visit • A guided tour for two • An invitation to a special opening reception of our new exhibition Navy Cakes: A Slice of History Join by October 31 and get 25% off your membership! Visit IntrepidMuseum.org/Membership and use code: W42ST-Fall19.
PIER 86, WEST 46TH ST & 12TH AVE intrepidmuseum.org
2019 © Intrepid Museum Foundation. All Rights Reserved. Except as permitted under applicable law, this work may not be copied, published, disseminated, displayed, performed or played without permission of the copyright holder.
Hacking scandals, the 24-hour news cycle, an uncertain future… Great Britain’s journalists and editors face a turbulent media landscape.
Courtesy of Lookout Point: Dean Chalkley/Colin Hutton
PREMIERES OCTOBER 6
SIX EPISODES AVAILABLE TO BINGE VISIT THIRTEEN.ORG/PASSPORT
We think of heroes as grand gesture kind of people. Saving the planet. Running into burning buildings. My personal heroes run from RBG and Elizabeth Warren to Maya Angelou and Dorothy Parker. But this month I really want to celebrate the small things we can all do to make a difference. In the next few pages, you’ll meet everyday people doing extraordinary things. Sometimes, they’re heroes just for getting through the day. I hope they inspire you. What one heroic thing will you do this month?
Ruth Walker Editor Sign up to my newsletter at w42st.com
EDITOR RUTH WALKER
firstname.lastname@example.org (646) 267-9028
SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR SANDRA MANGAN
email@example.com (646) 847-9645
FOUNDING EDITOR SIMON KIRRANE
SENIOR ART EDITOR LEE CAPLE
PARTNERSHIP DIRECTOR DREW DARGIS
AMBASSADOR HERSHEY MILLER
firstname.lastname@example.org (646) 896-9562
DANE LACHIUSA KRISTEN JONGEN CLAUDIA CHUNG SOPHIA STRAWSER
SHANTI NAGEL CID ROBERTS RICH BERNATOVECH DAVID PORTER ILONA LIEBERMAN
MARK LANHAM MICHAEL MUÑOZ ELIZABETH DURAND STREISAND CHELSEY HILL NATE BOZEMAN
10 WEST SIDE STORY
THE TEAM THAT BROUGHT YOU W42ST
PUBLISHER PHIL O’BRIEN
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be used without written permission of the publisher ©2019. Please note: Every effort has been made to avoid errors, misspellings, and omissions in this publication. However, if you spot one please accept our sincere apologies.
You too can be an eco hero!
Our pick of the big events you MUST see.
15 SOBER IN THE CITY
When Sober October just won’t cut it.
16 SURVIVOR STORY
Brigitte Harris’s court case made national headlines. Here’s how she survived.
20 LIGHT BULB MOMENT
A 9/11 memorial, and the millions of bulbs that represent a brighter future.
26 DIVERSE HEROES
The independent comic book creators making a new generation of superheroes.
You’re not alone. David Porter sees you.
32 THANK YOU NASA
The eight indispensable space age inventions we use every day.
From fire fighters to the delivery guy, let’s hear it for our everyday heroes.
Hashtag your Instagram photos #W42ST.
22 CUP IN HAND
The highs and lows of serving coffee to the homeless.
66 LAST WORD
The story behind Bowie’s ‘Heroes’.
GRATITUDE TO OUR BRILLIANT, VISIONARY PARTNERS
Their commitment keeps W42ST free for everyone else to enjoy. Please support them with your love and your business 34th St Partnership
Fresh From Hell
Heart of Chelsea Animal
Gavios Realty Group
New Victory Theater
The Press Lounge
Gotham Mini Storage
Baire Hair Removal
Fine & Dandy
Fountain House Gallery
Jadite Picture Framing
The Artist Co-op
Frank M Burke
Hafetz & Associates
Mark Fisher Fitness
The Dyksterhouse Team
36 PS I LOVE YOU
The inside story of the vegan restaurant that has a big heart.
A London-born blogger’s go-to places to eat, drink, and play in the neighborhood.
40 THE KITCHEN GAILY
The strange and mysterious history of the hero.
A Jersey Boy’s favorite spots – including a soundtrack of top tunes.
44 NO CAPE REQUIRED
Flying in to the Great White Way this fall.
47 VICTORY ROLL
The producer championing diverse, new voices in theater.
48 WHAT TO EXPECT
When renovating ... an inside story.
55 HEY NEIGHBOR!
From a West Village walk up to a killer west side view.
56 GREEN SCENE
Sean Carlson is
a freelance artist born and raised on Long Island, now living and working in Brooklyn. Never limiting himself to one medium or style,
he works in both the abstract and representational, all on one piece. seancarlsonart. com
Eco cool for apartment chic.
61 ALL ABOUT THE ABS
Sophia Strawser tries out the latest Pilates studio in Hell’s Kitchen – and does it all lying down.
63 RESCUE ME
When the time comes to stop waiting for a rescuer and just save yourself.
64 WAGGING TALES
Two pages of Hell’s Kitchen’s most handsome pets. Get involved by emailing email@example.com.
October 25 8
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WEST SIDE STORIES
BABY STEPS TO A GREENER LIFE l Say no to plastic bags – bring your own.
have refillable water bottle stations now.
l When ordering a drink, tell them you don’t need a straw. Ya know, because of the turtles.
l Cut old T-shirts into squares and use as rags to wipe surfaces, clean up messes, or wipe doggy paws. Wash with laundry and reuse. It’ll save you $$ on buying paper towels!
l Carry a reusable water bottle, especially while traveling. Loads of airports
My new favorite discoveries: Bamboo charcoal water filter. Ditch the plastic filter and go for this one. Boil monthly, it lasts four months, and is 100% biodegradable. Attachable bidet. Get extra clean while saving $$ on buying toilet paper. This is my favorite.
My DIY disinfectant cleans surfaces, mirrors, windows, and doggy paws (I wipe my dog’s paws when coming back from walks). Ingredients: Distilled white vinegar (glass bottle is a plus) Water Lemon essential oil (optional)
Directions: Use an old spray bottle. Mix a ratio of 50/50 vinegar and water. Add 10-20 drops essential oil. Voila! You have yourself a powerful, natural, chemical-free cleaner. Double bonus: use vinegar in your dishwasher for an extra shine. Fill the rinse aid with every wash.
WEST SIDE STORIES
PLANET Meet the woman who can help you brush up on your eco-warrior credentials Photograph Phil O’Brien My West Side story
I’m originally from LA, went to business school in Indiana, and moved to Portland, Oregon. But it wasn’t the right city for me. It’s beautiful to visit, but I really loved the energy, and diversity, and culture that New York has. When I visited New York, I’d stay in Hell’s Kitchen and just fell in love with the neighborhood. My first apartment was on W47th St - 9th Ave. Now I’m on W48th St - 9th Ave. I love the proximity to the subway, to Central Park, the West Side Highway, and just being able to walk as much as possible. Other neighborhoods, they have some of that charm, but I like the diversity here – not just of color of skin or gender identity, but also socioeconomic, age, and families, single people, young professionals, older people. That makes it feel like a home for everyone.
When I moved, I was all about Marie Kondo
It helped me figure out that I waste a lot of things I don’t need. It also helped me reconnect with who I’ve always been – I’ve always cared about the planet, people, and living things. I wanted to live a greener lifestyle … but it was really hard.
I have a little bit of OCD
When I get passionate about something, I get so focused. I go into rat holes and
want to learn everything possible. So I went to Amazon to find products – you know, bamboo toothbrushes, “sponges” that are biodegradable, trash bags that are biodegradable. But at end of the day, they were just green marketing terms, because when I got the products, they’d come wrapped in plastic, with bubble wrap, in huge boxes. Bubble wrap for trash bags? It was going against everything I was trying to achieve. I was like: we can do better, people!
This was also around the time of the election Everybody, at least in New York, felt lost and hopeless. I felt like I was sitting in the eye of the storm, with everybody wanting to get donations to help fight for women’s rights, or LGBTQ equality, or the environment. I didn’t know what to do. I felt stuck.
That’s when I said: “I’m going to start a company”
A company that gives back to the earth, to society, and will help people live their life more easily. I wanted to do something that could inspire people to make changes, and impact the world and other cultures and people in a positive way. I knew I could make better products that
actually looked good, that felt good, that didn’t hurt your body. And I wanted to give back from day one.
My go-to green spots
My grocery store is Westerly Market – they have a bulk section and you can bring your own containers. One of my favorite restaurants is Empanada Mama. I mean, who doesn’t love it there? Añejo is one of my favorites as well – it’s the closest Mexican food I can get to LA style. Kahve is my coffee spot – they have ceramic mugs and non-dairy milks available. I love The Polynesian tiki bar (though they used to have paper straws and now they have plastic). And the Ethiopian restaurant Meske – oh my goodness, the vegetarian sampler is so good.
My Hell’s Kitchen happy place
My roof garden – it really is an urban oasis. I made benches and brought up planters, and I’ve been able to grow acorn squash and an avocado tree that grew from the pit. It’s amazing to see what can grow if you just give it the right encouragement, resources, and take care of it. Now I even have bees – on the seventh floor! They come up that high to pollinate!
Suzan Hernandez has a background in product and strategy in the fashion industry. “I was trying to help companies sell more stuff to people who don’t really need it,” she says. She now runs MamaP from her Hell’s Kitchen apartment, selling biodegradable bamboo toothbrushes. Each purchase supports a cause, from LGBTQ equality and women’s rights, to ocean preservation, and save the bees. mamap.life SUZ’S HK Westerly Market, 8th Ave - 54th St Empanada Mama, 9th Ave - 51st/52nd St Añejo, 10th Ave - 47th St Polynesian, W42nd St - 9th Ave Kahve, 10th Ave - 47th St Meske, W47th St - 10th Ave
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What’s On Archtober
On October 21, the museum opens its doors again, all new and improved, complete with expanded galleries and a fancy new space for live programming. moma.org
The Great Society
Brian Cox stars as LBJ in this play that follows the politician’s tenure in an era that included the rise of the civil rights movement, the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr and Robert F Kennedy, and the escalation of the Vietnam War. greatsocietybroadway.com
My Body, My Business An evening that celebrates the power of resistance through expression, featuring Broadway stars and up-and-coming artists performing songs highlighting women’s and trans rights. thetownhall.org
David Byrne’s American Utopia Previews begin October 4 at the Hudson Theatre for this dramatic stage adaptation of Byrne’s 2018 album. americanutopiabroadway.com
Fires in the Mirror
Racial tension in Crown Heights in the summer of 1991 form the backdrop to this play by Anna Deavere Smith. Opens at the Signature Theatre October 22. signaturetheatre.org
Freestyle Love Supreme
Co-created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, this hip-hop improv show opens at the Booth on October 2 and runs for 16 weeks only. freestylelovesupreme.com
ILLUSTRATION: DANE LACHIUSA
Theresa Rebeck, who wrote Bernhardt/Hamlet, transforms the MCC Theater into the intimate kitchen of a New York City restaurant for this new foodie comedy. Opens October 3. mcctheater.org
October 2019 about an Ivy League professor, a mysterious student, and a troubling challenge. In previews, it opens on October 17. soundinsidebroadway.com
The city’s architecture and design month is an opportunity to get underneath the skin of buildings including Grand Central Terminal, Fraunces Tavern, and Wave Hill, featuring tours, exhibitions, and events all over the five boroughs. 2019.archtober.org
Currently in previews at the Barrymore, this two-parter directed by Stephen Daldry reimagines EM Forster’s Howards End set in 21st century New York City. theinheritanceplay.com
NY Comic Con
Batsuit at the ready. October 3 marks the start of New York Comic Con, three days of popular culture mayhem. Celebrity guests this year include Paul Rudd, Christopher Eccleston, and a ton more from the worlds of comic books, entertainment, and literature. newyorkcomiccon.com
Tracy Letts’ comedy centers on a 50-year-old divorcée in the throes of a mid-life spiral, navigating blind dates, old friends, and new love. It’s currently in previews and opens October 10 at the Helen Hayes Theatre. 2st.com
Little Shop of Horrors Skid Row comes to life on the
Westside Theatre stage, with a cast including Jonathan Groff and Christian Borle. Opening night is October 17, and a new block of eight weeks has been added to the sold-out run. littleshopnyc.com
The Sound Inside
Mary-Louise Parker returns to Broadway and the Studio 54 stage in the play by Adam Rapp
A Swingin’ Sesame Street Celebration
Jazz at Lincoln Center celebrates 50 years of Sesame Street with appearances from the likes of Big Bird and Elmo (not the Times Square versions, thankfully!) performing alongside Wynton Marsalis. It all goes down on October 25 and 26. jazz.org
Intrepid Free Friday
It’s your last chance to take advantage of free entry on the Intrepid this year, thanks to our Free Fridays series. There will be a pop-up planetarium and a special Halloween astronomy night on October 25. intrepidmuseum.org
Photos by Jeremy Daniel
LONGACRE THEATRE 220 WEST 48TH STREET BOOK BY
MUSIC & LYRICS BY
ADAPTED FROM THE BOOK,
212-239-6200 LIMITED ENGAGEMENT - MUST CLOSE JANUARY 5
THE LIGHTNING THIEF BY RICK RIORDAN
SOBER IN THE CITY
Moderation is trending ... right?
If you’re doing Sober October, yay you, says Kristen Jongen. If you can’t stay stopped … if self-control isn’t an option, that’s OK too
’m not saying you need to quit, I’m just suggesting that you cut back.” My friend, Tony, was trying to be helpful. If I had a nickel for every time he or someone else said that to me about my drinking, I’d have over $8 by now. Yet, here we are at the fore of another dubious Sober October and, let’s face it, sobriety isn’t trending anymore. In a New York minute, alcohol and drugfree living have jumped the shark. Next! Tony was right. Moderation is the key. I mean, Jesus, people, it’s not that hard. Have two dignified glasses of wine and call it quits. Get some self-discipline already! If we all just behaved with an iota of selfrespect, we wouldn’t need self-imposed, hippy-dippy, liver-cleansing months of the year to straighten ourselves out, right? Right? In theory, this is logical. However, I almost killed myself believing that lack of self-discipline was my problem. If you are an addict like me, moderation is not a verb you can easily employ. The
obsession with “drinking like normal people” nearly put me in a grave. Here is a small piece of my story: On the evening of October 21, 2011, I was still so hungover from the previous night that I had to hold on to the countertop for support while washing dishes. Tony had stopped by and his suggestion that I taper off came after he had earnestly stated: “You are creating a wake behind you that is a Kristen I don’t know.” I was mortified. As the author Anne Lamott says: “I was deteriorating faster than I could lower my standards.” That random Friday wasn’t special. I had quit many, many times. I’d had fervent resolve, followed by incomprehensible demoralization ... for decades. What was different that day was that I turned around, ashen-faced and nauseous, and told the truth. Utterly beaten, I admitted to him: “I can’t stop.” Simply letting those words receive oxygen changed the trajectory of my life. Tony was shocked and, after gathering himself, miraculously told me
IMAGE: JULIO NUNYO
“If we all just behaved with an iota of selfrespect, we wouldn’t need self-imposed, hippy-dippy, liver-cleansing months of the year to straighten ourselves out.”
An internationally recognized author, artist, and motivational speaker, Kristen has written and published two books. She is the voice behind Soul Soup Inc, inspirational books, prints, and greeting cards. Follow Kristen on Instagram @KristenJongen, If you’re having difficulty with drugs and alcohol, find support meetings at nyintergroup.org
that the woman he had recently started dating was sober. He asked me if I wanted to speak to her. I said yes. My recovery story started there. If you are trying on Sober October, my hat’s off to you. Like a great juice cleanse, or a cold water plunge, these activities are good for us. If you, like me, are unable to stay stopped, please know you are not alone. It is not your fault. There is a way out. As a person who spent a good portion of her life with her head in a toilet, being clear-eyed and present for this intensive human experience isn’t a trend for me. It is a privilege. I cannot think about the entire month or I will freak out. I can only surrender today. I consider October my birthday month. Anyone who has survived the ship-wreck of addiction will surely relate. Whether it is sober October or alt sobriety, straight edge, clean living, religious principle, recovery, or you are simply well-balanced, thinking clearly is your human right. Seeing clearly is your gift. Loving fully is your service. I’ll meet you here next month, and we can resume chatting about juicy things like hair plugs, inappropriate tattoos, and organic lube. Until then, I’ll be celebrating, Libra style. Meet you at the water cooler. Your friend,
WE CAN BE
WE CAN BE
SILENT NO MORE
Abused from the age of three, Brigitte Harris finally fought back. Now she's helping other victims find their voice
Interview Ruth Walker Photographs Cid Roberts
rigitte Harris has the most dazzling eyes. It’s hard to look away – the startling blue hinting at hidden depths. When she speaks, it’s clear, considered, quietly assured. We meet after her reading of an excerpt of a play called La Paloma Prisoner at a theater space on W37th St, during which she was honored with an award for her work with victims of domestic violence and child abuse. “It was a success, I think,” she smiles. Some friends had come along to support her; friends who didn't know about her past. “I don't hide it, but I also don't speak about it as much. It's so complicated, I feel like I have to trust you to be able to open up to you about that part of my life.” But their reaction was extremely positive. They were inspired, she thinks. It’s hard not to be. Brigitte’s childhood was appalling. “One of my earliest memories is leaving foster care, and going with my father from Staten Island to Long Island, being introduced to this woman who was actually my stepmother, but thinking that was my mom.” Her father was called Eric Goodridge, and the abuse started pretty much right away. “It was a huge house and one day
“I never for a second thought he would die. And I didn't want him to. I felt like death was an easy way out.” he took me into the guest bedroom and was molesting me. I just remember the phone ringing and trying to distract him and saying, ‘Hey, the phone's ringing. Go answer it.’ And he said, ‘Don't worry about it.’ “I remember crying, and that's when he finally got off of me. My brothers were at the door listening, thinking I was being punished for something and kind of giggling.” She was three years old. The nightmare continued, both in New York and in Liberia, until she was about to turn 17. “It was always abuse in all forms,” she says. “Sexual, physical, emotional. I remember being made to perform oral sex on him, but him laughing at me because I didn't know
what I was doing. And then I remember him saying distinctly, ‘Oh, it's OK, I'll teach you.’” She told people. Family members and friends. The local pastor. She even appealed to the US Embassy. But they were either too young to do anything, or didn’t want to get involved. If he was ever confronted, he’d just deny it. The last time he abused her, they were in Africa, and she woke up with him trying to perform oral sex on her. She fought back – she always fought back. “He's like, ‘Why are you always fighting me?’ And I said, ‘Fathers don't do that to their daughters.’ He said, ‘Well, that's what they do here.’” Desperate to escape, when she turned 18, she applied for a repatriation loan to return to the US. "My birthday was a Sunday of that year and on the Monday I was at the embassy applying. A week later, I was out.” She got a home – a three-bedroom house – in the Rockaways, and tried to build a new life. "I was never happy,” she says. “I tried. I was always trying to reach for it. I thought, ‘OK, if I just live alone, then I'll be happy. If I just have some friends …’ Because that's all I ever really wanted. Growing up, I just wanted my own room and my own place. And I was finally living in a house near
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WE CAN BE
the beach and I wasn't happy. I was always sad. I couldn't function without alcohol, or so I thought. Physical contact was hard – even hugging a friend was awkward. I didn't realize the word was depression, PTSD.” Then, in 2007, she discovered her father was back in the country, staying with her sister in Staten Island. “She said, ‘He's here to make amends. He's here to apologize.’” But when Brigitte learned that the man who had subjected her to a lifetime of abuse was planning to take his young nieces back with him to Liberia, she knew she had to do something to stop him. She researched the statute of limitations, to find out if he could still be brought to justice for his crimes, but it was too late. “The last time he had touched me in America was when I was a kid, so they wouldn't have done anything. I did try other outlets, but because I had stopped talking about it, I didn't have anyone to turn to for help. I felt like I was on my own and I really thought my nieces were in danger. I really did.” She figured: “'The only way he's going to stop is if I remove his weapon.’” In other words, castration. She brought him to her house and they talked for a long time. She says she honestly hoped he’d have changed. But he was the same old Eric. “I had printed
out all this psychiatric evidence of the damages that sexual abuse does to children and adults. And we didn't even get there. Because as I was explaining, I realized, he's not here to ask for forgiveness. He's still lying and he's still making excuses. I was like, 'You're not going to change. You're still the same monster.’ “I don't remember exactly everything that was said that day. I do remember us fighting, tussling. At some point he passed out. I had already bought the supplies. So I'm running around the house getting everything … and what messed me up was he woke up and he started screaming.” She stuffed a towel into his mouth then cut off his penis. “I never for a second thought he would die. And I didn't want him to. I felt like
Above: Newspaper headlines report the story.
death was an easy way out. If you're gone, you're gone. The victims of any kind of abuse, you're here, you have the memories, you have the triggers, the flashbacks. You have to deal with that all the time.” It wasn’t the castration that killed him, however, but the towel in his mouth that suffocated him. At her trial, the years of abuse came to light. And, with the support of politicians, including Senator Chuck Schumer, her jurors, psychologists, and advocacy groups STEPS to End Family Violence and Women Against Violence, she was acquitted of both second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter. Instead, she was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, the most lenient possible charge. She was paroled after five years and freed a year later. “Which is very unusual,” she says. But what saved her in the end, she says; what rescued her and enabled her to finally move on from her past, was therapy. “There are still days where the depression gets you. You still feel, ‘I'm worthless. Why am I here?’ Having suicidal thoughts … it happens. But therapy does help.” She works with the Correctional Association, helping to push through the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act and other bills to do with de-incarceration. “The one non-profit organization I do push is TELL, which helps families talk about abuse. A lot of times you hear that the mother didn't believe the children, or they take the rapist's side. Unfortunately, in the black community here they say things like, ‘The child was fast.’ That they were looking for the attention of the man. And these are children under 12 years old. “But it's important to speak out.” Brigitte’s personal hero did that. Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist and activist “was fighting against all odds. She had a message, she knew what was happening to her people was wrong, and she stepped up and decided to do something about it. She was probably scared as hell, but she did it anyway.” bit.ly/telltellsigns
WE CAN BE
After 9/11, a small band of gardeners started planting daffodils in public spaces as an act of healing and hope â€¦ 18 years on, 18 million bulbs stand as a testament to their faith Words Shanti Nagel
WE CAN BE
live and breathe all things gardening, but there’s nothing I adore more than bulb planting season. As the plants die back and the cold creeps in, planting bulbs is a little prayer we place in the ground with our faith that spring will come again. We plant these intentions – that the world will be resurrected; that the buds and flowers and warmth will return – into the very earth. As the great EB White once said, planting bulbs is like “calmly plotting the resurrection.” So, when nearly all the tasks in the garden are completed for the season and we are contemplating the dark, winter months, here is a sacred time for a last act of faith, a promise for the return of spring. Lynden Miller, of Public Garden Design, understood this, and she understood that in trauma, as our city reeled in 2001 from 9/11, that people needed something to do with their bodies, with their souls. And planting bulbs, this simple, quiet act of peace and resurrection, was a good enough place to start. With that she founded, along with New Yorkers For Parks (NY4P) and the NY Parks Department, the Daffodil Project which, over the past 18 years, has planted close to eight million daffodils throughout our city. That’s almost one flower for every New Yorker. These flowers stand as a loving, living memorial to the victims of 9/11. Brilliantly, the project also inspires people to come together, to get involved with their green spaces, to put their hands in the soil, and talk to their neighbors: all deep acts of healing.
Every year over 1,200 civic groups, schools, community gardens, tenant groups, and individuals participate. They gather around the city in October to plant these small assurances for the future in our parks, playgrounds, street plantings, public housing sites … anywhere we as a community can see the flowers and enjoy them as a first sign of spring. The very first planting happened in De Witt Clinton Park, a site selected because families had come to Pier 94, along the West Side Highway, to gather and wait for information about their loved ones who were still missing. Just a month after the attacks, on the slopes of our local park, community members came together to plant a living promise for the future. Gabriella Cappo, the new director of the Daffodil Project, says the plantings often act as many New Yorkers’ first entry point into active advocacy and involvement in their neighborhoods. “I’ve met plenty of people who have just come to pick up bulbs and are now completely integrated into their communities, helping to create ‘Friends of’ groups for their parks or calling their council member to help solve community issues.” And she says that the daffodils, no matter the weather, just lift the spirits: “Everyone is just happy and so jazzed.” However, this small act of devotion, this planting of bulbs, has even deeper meaning.
“We may be struggling to imagine our future, and working hard to envision the way forward, but we continue this small act in faith.”
Below: Plantings happen all over the five boroughs.
In today’s New York, we are bombarded by climate reports and the stress and despair of our current global shift. Fear and uncertainty weigh heavy on our minds and our hearts. We may be struggling to imagine our future, and working hard to envision the way forward, but we continue this small act in faith. Let us stop for a moment and place our hands on the earth. Dig deep into the ground (at least 6 inches) and place one daffodil bulb snug into her new earthen home. Cover her back up with cool dirt and encourage her to sleep, to rest through the winter, so that she can be ready in spring to show us the way into the future. Join Gabriella, NY4P, and community groups throughout the city this October for planting events. If you want to get more involved in De Witt Clinton Park in particular, join myself and Clinton Housing Development Company for an organizing meeting on October 23. For more information on these events contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A CUP OF
How could hanging around with people so poor give Mark Lanham such a rich experience? Go figure … Photographs Phil O’Brien
ight before Christmas of 2016, I started serving free coffee to the homeless on Union Square. At the time, I was fighting the downward gravitational pull of the holidays. Nine years into pursuing my “acting” dream, I was nowhere near making my rent doing the thing which, more than anything else, gave me life. I really needed encouragement. Somehow, I believed what I needed might be wrapped up in encouraging others. The idea of serving coffee came to me because I spend a lot of time and money in Starbucks. I thought that if I could give those people sitting on the sidewalk something simple — like a hot cup of coffee — maybe I could put some hope in those cups too. So I spent 50 bucks I didn’t really have on a coffeemaker and one of those big pump-top thermoses and got to work. I didn’t have any real qualifications for this. Back in Omaha, I had helped out at Siena Francis House, a homeless shelter that provided unconditional support to the city’s homeless population. That meant Francis House was a “wet” shelter. They took in people who still had substance abuse problems. It made things lively at
Left: Serving coffee to the homeless has provided Mark with moments of despair, sadness ... and infinite jest.
times, but it taught me a lot about acceptance, and the challenges of loving those whose behavior is less than loveable. Humility isn’t something that gets lauded much in our culture today. My parents were humble people, so maybe it’s genetic. I was also lucky to know Fr Ken Vavrina, who had worked with the Missionaries of Charity — Mother Teresa’s order — in Calcutta. This guy was the real deal – he owned only one pair of pants. Something began to happen as I gave out coffee through that winter. When you put both your knees on the ground to serve someone, it changes your perspective. Being eye-level with anyone brings understanding. As I got on a first-name basis with my “regulars,” our conversations got deeper. The paradox, though, was perplexing. How was it that I was being granted such a rich experience being around those who were so poor? So much was happening that I started keeping a diary: Saturday, November 18, 2018. 12.10pm “Toward the end of my run today, I served J – one of my regulars who never seems to stop going down in the world. It was after noon. The coffee
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HEROES About MARK Mark Lanham is an actor and writer who has performed at The Pearl, Signature Theatre, and The Delacorte Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park. He’s appeared on the TV series Difficult People, IFC’s Onion News Network, and in 'It’s A Lie,' a music video for the British band Fiction Plane. He’s also a ghostwriter with 11 books to his credit. He works in Hell’s Kitchen. Anything Helps, a short play about his coffee serving, is being performed in Emerging Artists Theatre’s New Works Series on October 3. bit.ly/anythinghelpsnyc
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HEROES was almost gone and not as hot as it should have been, but J didn’t seem to mind. He was wearing a hoodie. So it wasn’t until he reached over and took the cup that I saw his left eye looked like it had been bashed in with the blunt end of a baseball bat, so badly swollen and discolored I wondered if he’d lost the eye completely. I felt that pain I get in the back of my legs every time I see something indescribably terrible and sad. I didn’t bring it up. Some things are too painful to talk about, even with someone who’s been giving you coffee for two years now, knows your demons, and that you could very well have been stumbling drunk last evening, fallen on your face and done the whole thing to yourself. I know if I lost an eye, at least a dozen people — and probably more – would cry for me. But who cries for J? ‘A man divine as myself…’ as Walt Whitman wrote. And when J dies, will anyone come pay their respects? Will there be any kind of service? Or merely a quick trip to Potter’s Field, where the only hope lying therein is to somehow be reborn into another life that’s a little kinder — or only a little less cruel. I’ve seen some things doing this that, in a perfect world, nobody ought to see. But the world isn’t perfect, no matter how much we pretend it is. And for me, to not see these things – painful as they are – is to be spiritually blind.”
One such incident was late one winter on the Barnes and Noble side of the square. A couple of my regulars were hanging out with a guy I’d never seen before. This guy was holding a clear glass human skull — actually a bottle for some brand of vodka. The vodka was long gone, but this guy was standing there, holding the skull aloft, dazzling in the bright sunlight. In vain, he was trying to recall Shakespeare’s famous speech where Hamlet eulogizes his departed friend, Yorick. I don’t usually lead with: “Hey, I’m an actor,” but as I got them some muchneeded coffee, I found myself feeding this guy Hamlet’s lines like a faithful stage prompter. “Alas, poor Yorick ... I knew him Horatio ... a fellow of infinite jest ...” which he as faithfully repeated. Recalling that impromptu street theater is a valuable reminder. Though parts of this one-man charity seem endlessly sad, there are among them moments that shine – moments of infinite jest. And hope, too. I got a great present my second year into doing this. It was the Saturday before Easter, the last Saturday in March — which had both come and gone like a lion. That day, though, was bright. I always have a full pot on Saturdays. Usually I’m sold out by noon. My first three customers were regulars. One by one, they told me that since they’d seen me last, they’d gotten into temporary housing. By day they were still on the street “spange-ing” — a mash-up street term for “getting up spare change.” But by night, they were no longer sleeping on the trains. And, though I had nothing to do with it, I celebrated. Out here, on the square — which I like to call “Communion Square” – a win for one of us, or in this case three of us, is a win for all.
“When you put both your knees on the ground to serve someone, it changes your perspective.”
It’s really bipolar out there. Like the encounter above, there are incidents that are sad and make me wonder how long I can keep on doing this. (Fortunately, J’s eye did heal up.) But there are also things that are so unintentionally funny that, even in my wildest writer’s imagination, I couldn’t dream them up.
RISE UP How can I make a difference,? You start with a single step. There are many opportunities to be a caring superhero in New York City, but here are just a few that are close to home. City Harvest Whether you have experience in nutrition or teaching, or want to work with local farmers, there are a bunch of ways to give back. Help deliver fruit and veg to families, pack supplies into boxes for distribution, or help out in the office. cityharvest.org Breaking Ground Helping people escape homelessness, Breaking Ground has ongoing opportunities for people with different skills, so keep an eye on the website. Right now, you could help with computer literacy or assist at a fancy fundraiser. breakingground.org Covenant House Providing shelter for vulnerable homeless young people, Covenant House needs help supporting residents in job skills or life skills workshops, organizing donated clothing, and even personal shoppers. ny.covenanthouse.org Encore Your time could be spent visiting older people in their homes, taking them shopping, packing meals, answering the phone at one of the centers, or updating computerized records. encorecommunityservices.org Project Find Every Christmas and Thanksgiving, volunteers are needed to serve meals and deliver food to the house bound. They’re also looking for people with skills in writing, gardening, and painting. projectfind.org Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries Get hands on with the food pantry or the winter clothing closet, help provide life skills and empowerment for vets who’ve experienced homelessness, or tend the produce on the the HK farm project roof. email@example.com St Luke’s soup kitchen Every Tuesday and Thursday, the theater space on W46th St serves a hot meal to as many as 160 people. That means they need volunteers to help serve, as well as clear up. stlukesnyc.org
DRAWINGS BY RICH BERNATOVECH COLORED BY IHOR LOBODA
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HEROES The amazing
OUTSIDERS Comic books have often failed to reflect the diversity of their readership. But, says Rich Bernatovech, that could be changing
hen I was young, I was teased for reading comics. I could never understand why I was so ashamed. But I’d hide them in my schoolbooks or roll them up my coat sleeve so they didn’t get taken and ripped up by bullies. Comics increasingly became an escape. And when I found a fellow fan, we’d instantly become friends, regardless of their race, sex, or sexuality. As we bonded through our love of visual storytelling and superheroes, we’d share stories of bullying and ridicule. The result was a community that stretched from old to young and across every demographic. At comic book conventions, I was in awe of the diversity. Everyone seemed accepted. But that inclusion didn’t seem to have the same representation in the comics we read. Most heroes and their creators were straight, white males.
And the best way to find diversity was through independent/self-published books or team titles such as X-Men or the New Teen Titans, which gave us heroes like Storm and Cyborg. It was through the then considered “second tier” characters that most fans found somebody that spoke to them. Flash-forward to 2019, and many of the highest grossing films are now based on superheroes. Three of them – Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and Aquaman – place within the top 25 and represent diversity more than ever. But has that representation translated into the actual comic books? Have things improved? Depending on who you ask, yes and no. On the plus side, there are more diverse creators who are passionately writing about new and exciting characters. Ms Marvel, a Muslim superhero, has become a fan favorite. Batwoman, a lesbian crime-fighter, stars in her own title and an upcoming television show. Ironheart, once seen
"Ms Marvel, a Muslim superhero, has become a fan favorite. And Batwoman, a lesbian crimefighter, stars in her own title.”
eat right, feel great
OR ORDER ON
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DRAWINGS BY RICH BERNATOVECH COLORED BY IHOR LOBODA (WONDER BOY COLORED BY LUCIANO VECCHIO
as a female replacement for Iroman, has developed into her own, proud, African-American hero. Iceman, one of the original X-Men, came out as gay. And biracial Miles Morales, a Spiderman uniquely different to Peter Parker, had his own comic book for years and has proved he can transition to the big screen with the Academy Award winning Into the Spider-Verse. In all of these cases, what made them successful was not just that they represented diversity and championed inclusion, but that they did it with great stories and substance. The creators made readers care about the characters.
The stories that showcased these heroes were fresh, energetic, and honest. On the flip-side, what fans don’t agree on is when superheroes they have followed for years suddenly have their race or sexuality changed. Kid-Flash was originally a white male and, when the DC Universe was “relaunched,” his race was changed. Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern and father of two superheroes, was re-introduced as a gay male with no children. And at one point, lead Marvel heroes Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Ironman, and Hawkeye were temporarily replaced. In cases like
Previous page: Meet Ms Marvel, Cyborg, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther. This page: Valkyrie and Wonder Boy.
Rich Bernatovech is a New Yorkbased writer and artist who creates comics for Drumfish Productions (drumfish productions. com) @rich bernatovech
HEROES these, and others, fans were split. Some embraced the changes and loved seeing themselves represented. But others saw it as a corporate mandate that used the built-in fanbase of an existing character to diversify their properties without taking the time to invest in creating something new. There was even a boycott of some titles and creators. Yet, when characters have moved from their comic book platform to a film/television reveal, changes have been embraced. Nick Fury, portrayed by Samuel L Jackson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is beloved, regardless of the fact that Nick Fury was a white male in the printed stories. And he’s not alone: characters like Valkyrie, Domino, Sulu, Jughead, Jimmy Olsen, Mary Jane, Josie (leader of the Pussycats), and Beast Boy have changed race or sexuality when crossing into live-action – all with mass acceptance. Ask most comic book fans what they think about diversity and representation and you’ll get a similar answer: they want it. Many comic fans started out as outsiders, so they want to enjoy and accept a variety of different characters. In recent years, they’ve started to voice this and, in their own way, have become a part of the business through cosplay at comic conventions, where they create a costume of one of their favorite characters and put a personal spin on it. Or they do it through original fan art creations such as the recent Wonder Boy, created by artist Luciano Vecchio, who took his love of Wonder Woman and his personal feeling about the tragedy of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando and created a gay superhero that has quickly developed a fan following. Change is happening in the industry, but fans want more than representation; they want representation with meaning and substance. I believe, one way or another, they’ll get what they want – and it’ll be amazing!
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WHAT MISERY TAUGHT ME
Youâ€™re struggling? David Porter gets it
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had a breakdown in the summer of 2016. It wasn’t my first, but it was the first to involve police, prescription meds, and a feeling of near-homelessness entirely new to my middle-class existence. For a few months I carried a lot of my shit in a giant black knapsack, rode Greyhound, ate a lot of bacon, egg, and cheese croissants at Dunkin’ Donuts, scarpered off from Starbucks with my pockets stuffed with napkins and sugar packets … I hopped a good many subway turnstiles. In 2008, I left New York for the Republic of Cyprus, where my wife is from. We had an apartment there, and I was going to teach, ride my bike, write, and have a kid. I figured paying neither rent nor health insurance would put us up about $25K every year, enough gravy to sail beyond the sea. There were unforeseen leaks in our hull, however, and even a torpedo – the financial collapse the republic endured in March 2013 – replete with people lined up at ATM machines to suck as many euros out of their accounts as possible. Two years later and still staggering, it seemed our best bet was to return to Manhattan and see if there were still any flecks of gold left on its storied sidewalks, or at least openings at Trader Joe’s. My plan was to live with my parents in Millburn, NJ, my hometown, until I found a job and an apartment; my wife and son would join me soon thereafter. I came back in July 2016 and spent the summer roaming the amusement parks and museums of the Eastern Seaboard with my son. My wife arrived in early August. The last weekend of August, just before my wife and son were about to depart for Cyprus, I had an argument with my mother, in her kitchen, and the rage became torrential, something I couldn’t drain from my system. I told her I hated her, wished she were dead, walked out of the house, screaming, kicked dents in my parents’ car, walked down to my former grammar school, weeping and still screaming, kicking any object in my path, pounding on picnic tables … I felt monstrous, unsalvageable. Someone called the cops, and three
"If you’re getting up at 5am to take three trains to work for some sociopath for shit money, but you’ve got no choice but to suck it up … you’re my hero.” patrol cars arrived. I was neither hospitalized nor incarcerated, luckily, but I was banished from my parents’ house. Now, of course this breakdown followed similar but much smaller-scale events throughout my childhood and adolescence, and we’ll leave it at that: it’s not that I don’t wish to unpack these earlier miseries, it’s that the story here is about what happened next. Ten days later, my wife contacted our former marriage therapist, who arranged for me to see a psychiatrist. I’ve been on antidepressants since 2001; the good doctor increased my dose to 30mg and prescribed 500mg of Depakote to tamp down my rage. I’m still on it. A friend of mine let me move into her beach house in Atlantic City. I started applying for work Labor Day weekend, figuring I’d have a job by Christmas. I was so wrong. I have two masters degrees and 25 years of work experience, and I couldn’t get a job at Trader Joe’s. I tried. Twice. That first year I went from Atlantic City to the spare bedroom in my friends’ apartment in the West Village to my friends’ couch in Rye to my cousin’s in Poughkeepsie, always with my giant black knapsack stuffed with laundry, books, my laptop, and my meds. Such was my life – medicated, itinerant, bereft of my family, unemployed. The city I love was gray, monolithic, and unforgiving. I ate like shit because, when you have no money, two bacon, egg, and cheese croissants and a
big coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts is a far cheaper meal than a salad. My marriage was a shipwreck, because long-distance relationships don’t work, especially when the party on each end of the line is broke and exhausted and pissed off. The only thing I looked forward to each day was calling my son on Viber and the hour I spent on an elliptical trainer at Planet Fitness. Look, this is a very middle-class jeremiad. I never slept on cardboard outside Macy’s. My dad took me to lunch at least once a week, spun through his Rolodex, again and again to help me find work. My friends were loving and generous beyond measure. But suffering is relative, singular for each of us; the only commonality is its seeming relentlessness, its endurance. Things turned around. My wife returned to New York for a week in November – she found an apartment for us, and my parents agreed to pay our rent. I moved in mid-December. I was still miserable, still broke, still an Atlantic Ocean and a Mediterranean Sea away from my son, but I had a mailing address, a tea kettle, a shower … I nickeland-dimed my way with freelance jobs and finally found full-time work the following summer. My parents chipped in, a lot, and continue to do so. What did I learn from my brief amusement park ride of misery? Empathy. I get it. If you’re getting up at 5am to take three trains to work for some sociopath for shit money, but you’ve got no choice but to suck it up because there’s so little out there and it’s so hard to land anything and you have to feed your kids … if you suffer from some sort of mental illness in a world that can’t, or won’t, give a shit … if you’re separated from your family and you can’t even tuck your kids into bed at night … if most of what you eat is some mixture of low-rent carbs and corn syrup … if you’re just battling every day not to give up, not to stop hoping, not to stop believing in some kind of future, and you’re still willing to smile at me when our eyes meet on yet another overcrowded, delayed subway …you’re my hero. I don’t know how you do it.
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THANK NASA FOR SELFIES And seven other reasons the space program has changed our lives DIGITAL EDITION
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e have a lot to thank NASA for. Satellites in space are the reason we have maps on our phones, can watch the Super Bowl live, and have a pretty good idea what the weather will be like tomorrow. The space program has given us the technology behind life-saving CAT scans and safe land mine removal, but it’s also responsible for many innovations we use every day and take entirely for granted.
Back in the 1960s, computers were increasingly being used in space travel. To make them more interactive, NASA developed the mouse.
In the early 1970s, NASA scientists were working on developing a safe, soft plastic for the visors of space helmets. The technology was later applied to eye glasses that are less prone to scratching.
Your Nike Airs? They’re made thanks to the technology that molded rubber in astronaut helmets. NASA scientists figured the same principle could work for shoes and – boom! – shock absorbers for feet.
Like the rest of us, astronauts need hydration. And to ensure they had access to clean, clear drinking water, an electrolytic silver iodizer was developed in the 1960s.
The brief: make seats comfortable enough to survive the G forces during take off and landing. The result: a material that molds to different bodies, then returns to its original state when not being used.
The reason you can take that selfie Astronauts needed teeny tiny cameras for their interplanetary
Black & Decker was tasked by NASA to create a lightweight device to pick up samples on the moon. In 1979, it brought the world the Dustbuster. Those awkward-to-reach spots behind our sofa thank you!
Your computer mouse
missions, so a NASA scientist came up with the technology that is now behind smartphone cameras.
Airline pilots were already using wireless headphones in the 1960s. But when NASA wanted a piece of the action, they had to develop some kit that would meet the stringent requirements to be used in space. The company Plantronics managed the task in 11 days and the resulting headset was used on all the Apollo missions – as well as by football coaches, drivers, and the rest of us on the daily. “The first generation space inventions and innovations gave us very important things like GPS and has made the world a decidedly better place,” says Lou Zacharilla, co-founder of the Intelligent Communities Forum think tank. He says the value of the commercial space industry is estimated to grow to $1.1 trillion by 2040, up from $400 million today, and likens the current evolution to the discovery of the ‘New World’ in 1492. “It took over 100 years for innovations in finance and commercialization to get the ‘New World’ settled and an economy to flourish,” he says. “That is where we are now. So the next
generation is producing things like small satellites which will connect the world with broadband and give us data, which is already creating entirely new industries in agriculture, energy, and autonomous vehicles. “We believe that places with great universities, such as New York City and Upstate NY, are ripe for being epicenters for the new space industry. Already in Rochester we see nanotechnology companies in photo-optics producing the technologies for earth observation purposes, which tell us about our environment, our seas, and much more. “So local economies, from Harlem to Ithaca, will experience a new renaissance thanks to ‘space inventions’ that take place down on Earth.” And what of the future? Flying cars? Robots? “What we will see from NASA are technologies that were developed a long time ago that they have had on the ‘shelf’ dormant, and which they have decided to open up for partnership,” predicts Lou. He says the range of possibilities are endless, but what we are already seeing are developments that will: l Connect the unconnected or underserved, which will allow people to stay in smaller communities and prosper. l Manage resources like land, water, and energy way more effectivity. l Provide safer transportation and ‘transportation packages,’ that have nothing to do with us driving a car or even owning one. "The more far-out stuff,” he says, “like mining asteroids for platinum and learning how to live away from Earth are actually underway and being invested in by our government, as well as Japan, China, and India, which tried an unmanned Moon landing last month. It may have failed, but it tells you what is going on in space that was unthinkable ten years ago.”
The Intrepid Museum hosts a discussion on NASA innovations on November 8. It is also examining how space age technology is revitalizing NY communities at an event on October 18. And on November 13, in partnership with the Upright Citizens Brigade, it will host the George Lucas Talk Show, and find out how the Star Wars universe is strikingly similar to our own. intrepidmuseum.org
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ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY #FOLKSWAITING @NATEBOZE
From our brave local firefighters, to eco warriors, to the delivery guy, photographer Nate Bozeman pays homage to Hell’s Kitchen’s everyday heroes
PS I loveyou A story of gratitude, generosity, and food for the soul
Interview Ruth Walker Photograph Phil O’Brien
he one question April Tam Smith must surely have been asked more than any other is: why? Why would a successful woman, already working crazy hours on Wall Street, take the time, money, and emotional energy to open a restaurant that gives 100% of its profits away? And provides jobs for some of the most marginalized people in society? Why? What’s the motivation? Her story begins back in China, with an immigrant family making enormous sacrifices for a better life, and a mother who started working full time at the age of 11. That knowledge instilled in April a huge sense of gratitude from a very early age. “Being a girl – an Asian girl – getting to stay in school, that’s still not true for a lot of women around the world.” In college, she started volunteering at a community center. And when she arrived in New York, she mentored a high school student in the Bronx. “One thing led to another,” she says. “I took my first trip to South Africa and served at an orphanage for HIV positive children when I was 25 or 26, and that
really impacted me. I started to see that there was nothing I’d rather do than spend my money and my energy and my vacation in this way. “I strongly believe that we’re all created to help people,” shse says. “And, having worked for Wall Street for so long, I see that there is really nothing that money can buy that would give me the same joy and fulfillment.” She took her first of 14 trips to Haiti, to volunteer with an organization called Share Hope, which has created over 1,700 jobs in the garment sector there. It provides a living wage for the workers, and all the profit goes back to the factory. “My boss actually calls it my Hai-cation – it’s my double life.” April was inspired by the CEO and founder of Share Hope, Cynthia Petterson, a single mom who mortgaged her home to launch the business. “I told my very new husband – husband of like a week at the time, because we spent our honeymoon there with her: ‘If she can do this, we can do this.’” Back in New York, she and her business partners poured their time, energy … and a significant amount of money into their dream: an upscale vegan
“I just love that moment I get to tell someone who feels like they’re not worthy, ‘No, no, no, that’s a lie. You’re more than worthy, you’re important.’”
restaurant that would donate all of its profits to organizations committed to disrupting the poverty cycle. And, more than that, one that would offer a hand up, not a hand out, to those in need by providing real jobs. “It took us two and a half years to open,” she says, “and there was a point, a year-ish in, when we’d poured so much of our life savings in, and there was still no restaurant. Some really, really caring people in my life who truly believe in our mission were asking me, ‘Are you sure you want to continue? Maybe it makes sense to just cut your losses.’” PS Kitchen finally opened last summer, with chef Gary Barawidan at the helm creating dishes including their famous PS burger, buffalo maitake wings … and mixing a mean old fashioned behind the bar. She somehow combines her work there with a “day job” that sees her in the office by 7.45am. “People think about work-life balance,” she says, “but I feel that my day job, my night job, my board … this is what encompasses me as a whole person. And I feel very comfortable with the idea that I might never be as passionate about finance as I am about the work that I do outside.” Which brings us back to the why … “I think my purpose statement, if there’s such a thing in life, is about affirming significance and inspiring hope,” she says. “I just love that moment I get to tell someone who feels like they’re not worthy, ‘No, no, no, that’s a lie. You’re more than worthy, you’re important.’ And that’s who I want to be.” ps-kitchen.com
heavy sAUce Curated by Gerasimos Floratos
September 12 – October 23, 2019 MORE THAN A GALLERY. A MOVEMENT. 702 NINTH AVE. AT 48TH ST. NY, NY 10019 212.262.2756 | TUE-SAT 11-7, SUN 1-5 FOUNTAINHOUSEGALLERY.ORG @FOUNTAINHOUSEGALLERY FOUNTAIN HOUSE GALLERY AND STUDIO PROVIDES AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE ARTISTS LIVING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS CAN EXPRESS THEIR CREATIVE VISIONS AND EXHIBIT THEIR WORK. This program is funded, in part, by generous support from the Hearst Foundation, Inc., the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the David Rockefeller Fund, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
COWORKING | REHEARSAL SPACE | BUSINESS CENTER | KITCHEN | EVENTS
The Artist Co-op is a thriving community of artists and creatives, spanning a variety of disciplines, who come together in our Hell’s Kitchen co-working space to create, rehearse, and collaborate. Memberships start at just $60/month. Not ready to commit, drop in rate is only $20! 5 0 0 W 5 2 ND S T R EET , 3 W NEW YOR K, NY 1 0 0 1 9 , USA ( 6 4 6 ) 6 8 2 -9 5 0 2 S U P P O R T @ T H EA R T IST CO-OP. COM W W W . T H EA R T IS T C O -OP. COM
Celebrating Ten Years In Business! Celebrating Ten Years In Business!
4 45 West 49 th St reet 4 45 West 49 th St reet FineAndDandyShop.com
212 . 2 47.4 847
212 . 2 47.4 847 @FineAndDandyShop @FineAndDandyShop
Fika, 10th Ave - 54th/55th St I like to start my weekends with a (not too early!) workout at my local NYSC. After class, you can find me in Fika ordering my usual almond latte and, with coffee in hand, I’ll retreat to my rooftop which has 360-degree views of the city and remind myself just how lucky I am to live here! 3pm Ousia, W57th St - 12th Ave Greek food makes me so happy and reminds me of vacations there with friends. I perch at the bar with my laptop, people watching and creating content for my blog. The staff are really lovely and I always feel so welcome – it’s fast becoming a second home.
Method Kitchen and Sake Bar, 10th Ave - 50th/51st St I walked past Method every day for at least a year before I noticed it, but I’m so glad I finally went in. I count it as one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in NYC. It’s tiny, discrete, and serves the most unbelievable food – get the lamb chops, you won’t be disappointed! Sake is a favorite of mine and I love the selection here, especially the Brooklyn Kura!
Landmark Theatres, W57th St - 12th Ave A perfect, low-key evening would be catching a film at my local, the Landmark at 57 West, which is in one of the most striking buildings I think we have in Hell’s Kitchen. It has smaller screening rooms than most movie theaters and comfy reclining chairs. I also really like how they often invite actors and directors for an intimate Q&A. I recently saw Elizabeth McGovern talking about The Chaperone. Don’t get me started on how excited I am to see her reprise her role in the Downton movie!
Ardesia, W52nd St - 10th/11th Ave A great place for a nightcap, this is such a cute bar with a really interesting, ever-changing wine list. And they serve a mean cheese plate too. I also really appreciate the fact that it’s a female-owned business and I try to support it whenever I can. On a pleasant evening, the patio is the perfect spot to end the night with someone special. Ardesia will always have a dear place in my heart because it was the very first bar I visited after moving to NYC, before I even moved into the neighborhood. I remember cheers-ing to the start of new adventures and feeling so excited for what was to come. I get a little chill of excitement every time I’m back!
IMAGE: CID ROBERTS
Leesa is an HR and talent development consultant by day and a blogger by night. Originally from London, she moved to NYC two years ago and, as a way of keeping connected with friends and family back home, she started a blog to chart her experience of moving country, settling into NYC, and trying to see as much of the world as possible. thenewnewyorkerblog.com
BIG, HANDSOME, just the way I AND TASTY like my sandwiches 40
EAT The history of the hero is long and colorful … and may just begin in Hell’s Kitchen
Words Michael Muñoz Photograph Kristin Camping
n looking up the origins of the word hero, I found two points that piqued my interest. One: that the word may in fact predate the Greek language; and the other – and this came as no surprise – that it always somehow referenced men. The fact that this one word from so long ago carries so much value – and that it can now encompass more than just muscular men in little clothing (although there is nothing wrong with that picture in my mind) – is pretty incredible. With my curiosity piqued, and my notepad in hand, I set out into the neighborhood in search of a great hero. In my mind, they have to be modest yet with presence, undeniably sturdy, well-rounded. And it wouldn’t hurt if they excelled in the looks department. All a true hero needs is some good-quality meat, even better bread, a smattering of a vegetable or two, and a good sauce. (I couldn’t be your go-to neighborhood food guy if I sat here and didn’t pay homage to a most delicious sandwich as part of the “hero” issue!) Much like the word itself and it’s slightly vague etymology, the hero refers to a large, cylindrical sandwich and has a few contrasting origin stories. Some sources will tell you it has Greek roots, as it originated from the Greek gyro (pronounced yeero). The gyro didn’t become popular in America until the 1960s, in Chicago, but the hero sandwich was already being munched on by Navy men, Italian shipyard workers, and the poor Italian communities who “subsisted on deli scraps of cheese, meats, and
bread” well before that. Two things that seem to be consistent across the board are that the word hero, as it refers to a sandwich, is uniquely from New York, and that it has Italian roots, no matter whether its called a grinder, sub, hoagie, or hero. As I traveled down a dark hole of sandwich history, I found that the name, and even the sandwich itself, may have roots associated with Manganaro’s Hero-Boy, right here in our slice of Manhattan heaven (9th Ave - 37th/38th St). Manganaro’s has been a neighborhood staple since 1893. Once an Italian deli and grocery, it expanded into a full-blown sandwich shop after more family drama than the entire run of Days Of Our Lives. And it definitely has a legitimate claim as the creator of the hero sandwich. Cool, right? Although the original Manganaro’s deli/grocery has shuttered, Hero-Boy still stands and, boy, is it worth the trip. From their original 6ft long heroes, which put them on the map in 1955 (they appeared on the original game show I’ve Got A Secret), to Italian delicacies, pasta, and more Manganaro’s is still the hero of heroes. And when it comes to a sandwich, I’m a purist. Give me great Italian cured meats, cheese (preferably provolone), great toasty bread, some Italian dressing, and some sweet and spicy vinegar peppers. I’m a boy from Brooklyn after all! As I took my hero adventure uptown, I stumbled upon Shorty’s (9th Ave 41st/42nd st). Some may debate me on this as Shorty’s is known for its Philly
Left: Meaty, cheesy deliciousness. Thanks, Manganaro’s. You’re Michael’s hero.
“You never know when you’ll stumble on a hero, or be saved by a sandwich. Either way, there’s one to be found around every corner.”
A home-trained cook and university trained performer, Michael makes food fun and accessible through his blog,
The Kitchen Gaily. And things get downright saucy in his podcast In
cheesesteak, which falls under the hoagie category, but are we going to be that nitpicky? It may not be from Geno’s or Pat’s, but it’s a great cheesesteak. Next up came City Sandwich (9th Ave - 45th/46th St), a Portuguese Italian place with some awesome options that span from meat-heavy to vegetarian. The homemade bread is a stellar standout. A little further up is one of my personal favorites, Ninth Avenue Vintner (9th Ave - 46th/47th St). At first glance, you wouldn’t think this would be the place for a great hero but they source their bread from Amy’s, another neighborhood staple, and their meats and cheese selection are super high quality. They used to make a sandwich called the Godfather, which had roast beef, smoked gouda, and pickled onions – it was the thing hero dreams are made of. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Fresh From Hell (W47th St - 8th/9th Ave) is another great stopping point if you’re a hero aficionado and need a quick fix of fresh ingredients and great sandwiches. Retrace your steps to the perfect bookend of this hero quest, Sergimmo Salumeria (9th Ave - 35th/36th St). In the grand tradition that is all things Italian hero, Sergimmo offers everything from pasta to antipasto and more. We’re obviously here for the heroes or, if we want to be 2019 on-trend, panini (basically a hero smashed and thrown on a grill). They excel in the Italian sandwich vein, with 27 of the most delicious-sounding combinations you’ve ever seen in bold print. They even make their own mozzarella. I guess if I can take away anything from this quest, it’s that you never know when you’ll stumble on a hero, or be saved by a sandwich. Either way, there’s one to be found around every corner. And my hero? Besides the likes of Wonder Woman and Chef Jose Andres, you’ll probably find me fainting in the arms of a meaty, cheesy footlong of deliciousness.
352 W 46th St, Manhattan, NY (lower level)
A Jersey Boy’s
Playlist Arriba Arriba
9th Ave - 51st St This is my favorite Hell’s Kitchen place for dinner after a show. Start the night here for strong margaritas, music by a DJ, and great Mexican food. Then meet up with friends at Hardware bar for a late-night drag show. Bring your singles to tip the drag queens and cute bartenders.
W49th St - 8th/9th Ave This is a free outdoor space with public seating. Enjoy a coffee from the local Starbucks and enjoy the sun. If it happens to be a Wednesday or Saturday after 5pm, you may see a Broadway performer taking a break between the matinee and evening performances.
Citizen M hotel lobby
W50th St - Broadway/8th Ave This lobby has an indoor and outdoor seating area and café – a great spot for daytime meet-ups to talk business over a latte or even do quiet solo work on your laptop.
8th Ave - 44th/45th St Whenever I have a craving for chocolate or something sweet, I stop by for some sour strawberry or watermelon belts and their cookie dough-filled chocolate balls or chocolate-covered gummy bears.
W56th St - 6th/7th Ave This gem is hidden in the lobby of the Parker Hotel – it’s great for a casual lunch meet-up when you’re in the mood for a burger and fries. The walls have messages written by past patrons who have stopped by and left their mark while enjoying a bite at the secret Burger Joint.
Señorita - Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello ME! - Taylor Swift feat Brendon Urie I Like Me Better - Lauv No Drug Like Me - Carly Rae Jepsen Juice - Lizzo Michael Longoria played one of the original Frankie Vallis in Broadway’s Jersey Boys and performs as part of the vocal group The Midtown Men. His new album, Like They Do In The Movies – featuring iconic songs from films – is released on October 11. BroadwayRecords.com
NO CAPE REQUIRED Meet the stars who are saving the day on the Great White Way this fall Words Elizabeth Durand Streisand Illustration Chelsey Hill 44
here are many types of heroes in this world. Malala Yousafzai might be your hero. Or Sara Blakely (the inventor of Spanx). Or both. This fall, Broadway is getting its own crop of heroes to entertain and inspire the rest of us mortals, so we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites here – and while they’re about as diverse as you can imagine, they’re united in this: not a single one of them wears an actual cape.
Tina: The Tina Turner Musical Tina Turner not only has 11 Grammys and one of the most famous pairs of legs on the planet, she also has one of the most interesting personal stories you’ll ever hear. Tina: The Tina Turner Musical follows the icon on her journey from humble beginnings in Tennessee to her place as the global queen of rock ‘n’ roll. ICYMI, it was a bumpy ride. Turner first rose to fame in the 1960s alongside her husband Ike, but the two had a tumultuous relationship (to say the least) and divorced in 1978. Later, Turner took control of her own destiny, revealing she had been a victim of domestic abuse, and staging a massive comeback in the 1980s. If that’s not a hero, we don’t know what is.
Tom Hiddleston in Betrayal You probably know Tom Hiddleston from his role as Thor’s brother Loki in worldwide hit franchise The Avengers. But now the action hero has crossed over to make his Broadway debut in the revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal. With this move, Hiddleston traded an actionpacked blockbuster for a stripped-downbut-simmering love triangle – and he is proving that he can do it all.
OUT The Young Adult Phenom
The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical Based on the beloved Percy Jackson series, The Lightning Thief, The Percy Jackson Musical follows the titular character as he struggles to manage newly discovered powers and heads out on a quest for Zeus’ lightning bolt to prevent a war among the Greek gods. (You know, typical teenage stuff.) Even more heroic, the show lands on Broadway after a successful off-Broadway stint and national tour. Jalynn Steele, who plays Percy’s mother Sally, thinks the show is striking such a chord because “everyone in the audience can find something that reflects a piece of who they are on stage.” As for her own character, Steele admires Sally’s perseverance and tenacity. “She will do anything to protect her son and I think that is something that is very rare these days. A lot of times when things get difficult, we look for the quickest exit, but I applaud Sally’s conviction in keeping her son safe from everything.”
Opposite: Superheroes are coming to the stage this season.
“Turner took control of her own destiny, revealing she had been a victim of domestic abuse, and staging a massive comeback in the 1980s. If that’s not a hero, we don’t know what is.”
The Alt-Rock Powerhouse
Alanis Morissette’s music in Jagged Little Pill This is not your typical jukebox musical.
Inspired by the themes and emotions of Alanis Morissette’s Grammy-winning album of the same name, Jagged Little Pill breaks tradition. Instead of telling the story of Morissette herself, it tells the story of the Healys. They’re a picture-perfect family, with some cracks beneath the surface. Oh, and in addition to unforgettable songs from the original album, the show’s score includes some brand-new tracks. As a crash-course in music history, the Jagged Little Pill album was released in 1995 and was only expected to sell well enough to allow the then-21-year-old to make a followup. Instead, it landed on the Billboard top 20, where it stayed for more than a year, catapulting Morissette to international fame. This is the stuff that heroes are made of.
The Hollywood Darling
Marisa Tomei in The Rose Tattoo Marisa Tomei has already done the near impossible: she has proven a female actress can have a Hollywood career that spans decades. The Oscar winner is a bonafide Broadway vet, having performed on the Great White Way a number of times in the past. In other words, she knows what she’s doing. This fall, Tomei takes to the stage as Serafina in a revival of The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams (another hero in our books, just FYI). Tomei plays a modern-day hero – a widow who rekindles her desire for love, lust, and life in the arms of a fiery suitor. Think of it as a coming-ofage story for people who are already … well … a certain age. That’s got hero written all over it.
Elizabeth Durand Streisand is the CEO and co-founder of Broadway Roulette, the fun and easy way to see Broadway shows. Pick a date and number of tickets, give some info about what you like (and don’t!), and spin the wheel for a surprise show matching your criteria. All tickets only $49 weekday or $59 weekends – and Broadway Roulette will never send you to the same show twice! Visit broadway roulette.com / IG: @broadway roulette
See SEARED, dine in Hell’s Kitchen
When you purchase tickets to SEARED at MCC Theater enjoy special offers on food and drink at these fabulous Hell’s Kitchen establishments.
STARTERS Ardesia Wine Bar - pop in and get complimentary popcorn Ousia - get a complimentary spread Seamore’s - get a complimentary guacamole dip for your party
MAINS Casellula - 10% discount Empanada Mama - buy one empanada, get one free Kashkaval Garden - 10% discount Landmark Tavern - 10% discount Marseille - 10% discount Nizza - 10% discount Nykkei - buy one featured robata skewer, get one free The Marshal - 50% of any bottle of wine with dinner
DESSERT Ample Hills Creamery - two for the price of one scoops
Check out these and more offers at mcctheater.org/tix/seared/ Brought to you in partnership with
HEAR ME ROAR Fiona Rudin has played a key role in reviving the seedy, old 42nd Street … now she’s helping ensure fresh, new voices are heard on the stage Interview Ruth Walker Photograph Kourosh Sotoodeh
iona Rudin’s son Sam was just three when they walked into a performance of A Year with Frog and Toad at the New Victory Theater back in 2002. “The tickets were $15 each, and I was completely charmed,” she says. “All of these families from all the boroughs were in this theater together being enchanted. And I was like, ‘What is this extraordinary place I’ve never heard of?’” It was the start of a deep, passionate love affair with the theater, moving her to join the board of The New 42nd Street, the non-profit that revived the seedy Deuce (she’s now chair). “Some old New Yorkers say to me, ‘I miss old 42nd Street.’ I’m like, ‘Seriously? You’re nostalgic for crime and grittiness? You must be a dude because, I’m telling you, no woman who had to walk on that street is missing it.’” Last year, she helped steer the group through one of its biggest changes when its visionary founder, Cora Cahan, stepped down and was replaced in July by Russell Granet. And, as her passion for the theater has grown, she’s started to invest in some of the most exciting writing to come to the New York stage. She hit gold with Hamilton, and was coproducer of Sweeney Todd at the Barrow Street Theatre. “I had some serious beginner’s luck,” she says. Now she’s working with two new productions that talk about identity, and empowerment. “For me, a big priority is supporting women and
underrepresented voices, and making sure that stories I think are great will be out in the world.” Gun and Powder is based on the true story of the author’s African American great, great aunties. “Their father was white, but the mother had been born a slave, and they were share crop farmers in 1892. As teenagers, they decided to go to Texas and get jobs as white women, where they could earn more money. But they ended up becoming outlaws. It’s exciting and fun, and the music is incredible. “The other show, Endlings, is a much more artistic, cerebral show.” As for young Sam Rudin, his first theater experience all those years ago instilled in him a lifelong love of the arts. “It’s funny – he’s not an arty kid at all; he’s very sporty and would have never gravitated to performing arts on his own. But he loves it.” Her own childhood was spent in Miami, and she says: “Would you raise a family in Miami and not teach your children to swim? You have all that beautiful water. “Would you raise your kids in New York City and not introduce them to the arts? This is what’s special about this place.” The New Victory Theater 2019/2020 program begins on October 12 with The Pout-Pout Fish. Endlings is coming to New York Theatre Workshop later this season. And Gun and Powder is at Signature Theatre in January. DIGITAL EDITION
RENOVATION Three phases, and tens of thousands of dollars later, a Columbus Circle apartment is a dream home Words Ruth Walker
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aximum storage. Maximum air. Maximum space. Surely the holy trinity of New York real estate. Not all of us are lucky enough to be blessed with all three (some of us don’t even get one!). But we can make the most of what we’ve got – given time, smarts, and a budget. David Dynega has been working with a client in Columbus Circle since 2012, and is about to embark on the third phase of renovating a generously proportioned apartment into the owner’s dream home. “In the first phase, we took down a couple of walls in the kitchen and shifted around the space a little bit. We installed a completely new floor with a three-layered finish, to get different tones and hues. Working with a designer, we created custom millwork, and we skim-coated a lot of the walls.” The owner continued to live in another apartment in the building while all this work was carried out, managing to avoid all the noise and upheaval. The one room they didn’t touch was the bathroom – until now. “For the latest phase, the owner really let the designer be creative and create a space that flows with the rest of the
Top: The dream bathroom, before and after. Above: The desk in the study was built into the AC unit, complete with rolling file cabinet.
“You really need to start playing on paper to see how you could maximize the space.”
apartment – but at a much higher level.” The bathroom has gone from being a pretty generic space – complete with tub and small shower – into a warm, wet room-style sanctuary with handmade porcelain subway tiles, marble countertop, and custom storage and vanity. They ditched the tub and instead used the space for a vast shower with a bench and built-in shelving. “We did really pretty millwork. And we lined all the walls and the seats and the bench with this fiberglass resin, which is like a bulletproof, waterproof system.” Phase three will be the apartment study. David has already grabbed some real estate either side of the air conditioning unit to create a desk. “The HVAC unit is there and we needed access to be able to clean it, so the file cabinet actually rolls. “We’re planning on doing some millwork that will continue over the sofa, and do a little built-in cabinet with a sconce above on the wall.” The budget? $100,000 for the bathroom alone, which took just under two months to complete; $40,000 for phase three. But for anyone considering a renovation, no matter how large or small, David recommends starting the same way: with a floor plan. “You really need
516 WEST 47TH STREET, APT N3E Spectacular One Bedroom Condo $775,000
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Jeffrey Dyksterhouse | Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker | 917.757.1142 | firstname.lastname@example.org Compass is a licensed real estate broker with offices at 90 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Fl. NY, NY 10011. All information furnished regarding property for sale or rent or regarding financing is from sources deemed reliable, but Compass makes no warranty or representation as to the accuracy thereaof. All property information (including square footage measurements) is presented subject to errors, omissions, price changes, changed property conditions, and withdrawal of the property from the market, without notice. To reach the Compass main office call 212.913.9058. Equal Housing Opportunity.
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LIVING Left: Pretty millwork on the bathroom vanity unit. Below: David worked with a designer on the living space to maximise light and air.
to start playing on paper to see how you could maximize the space.” He’s also a fan of multi-use furniture, particularly in a studio apartment that needs to be a place to sleep, and eat, and watch TV. A Murphy bed is a no-brainer. “On a project on 61st St, in a tiny little 400 square foot apartment, we did this beautiful Murphy bed with a really cool seating area, and a TV on a mirrored picture frame so you wouldn’t know it was a TV. “It could be used as a bedroom, and as a living room. We even put an office in that little space.” detailrenovations.com
WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE RENOVATING
Notify your neighbors that construction will be taking place. It’s just polite.
Arrange for your pets to be out of the way – animals hate disruption and will be stressed AF.
Remove anything you love that might get damaged.
There will almost definitely be noise. Saws, sanders, nail guns. If you work from home, prepare to find somewhere else quiet for the duration.
There will be disruption. You may not have a stove, or a washer dryer, or a shower for a while. Be prepared to be at the gym a lot, and make friends with the Seamless delivery guy.
It’s OK to make changes as you go along, but be aware that they may affect the budget and completion date.
Dust! Even after the project is complete, it could take several weeks for the dust to completely disappear, even after repeated cleaning.
October 25 DIGITAL EDITION
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Compass is a licensed real estate broker with offices at 90 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Fl. NY, NY 10011. All information furnished regarding property for sale or rent or regarding financing is from sources deemed reliable, but Compass makes no warranty or representation as to the accuracy thereaof. All property information (including square footage measurements) is presented subject to errors, omissions, price changes, changed property conditions, and withdrawal of the property from the market, without notice. To reach the Compass main office call 212.913.9058. Equal Housing Opportunity.
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From Vegas to Hell’s Kitchen, via the Village … and the rooftop view that sealed the deal
Profession: I’m president and owner of a hospitality recruiting agency, specializing in upscale restaurants, hotels, food service companies, and executive searches. Moving from: Las Vegas, Miami Beach, and, most recently, the West Village. To: A one-bedroom, corner apartment in Gotham West, with both city and Hudson River views. Why: I loved my quintessential NYC experience in the West Village. I lived in a walk-up near Christopher and Bleeker, but I was intrigued at the idea of ditching
Above: Amanda gets city and river views ... and a daily dog fix.
the 47 steps from entry to apartment door, swapping it for a full-service elevator building with a doorman. Why Hell’s Kitchen: So many reasons! First, the nostalgia for me. I was a child actress and came to NYC when I was young and love walking past the Theater District or W46th St, where the TV show Fame was shot. The restaurants! I LOVE the restaurants. Plus, there is a good selection of buildings with great amenities, and Hell’s Kitchen is so centrally located that it’s easy to get around the city. Budget: Although we wanted to stay close to our rent in the West Village, we did go over budget when we saw the corner
unit. I justified the increase in rent with the multiple co-working spaces within the building and the gym with free classes. What I learned along the way: I actually wasn’t going to look at the building because the apartment available was more than we wanted to spend, but it turned out to be the perfect space for us – I’m so glad we went. The broker experience: I used a broker for my first apartment in the West Village and it was a great experience. He found us a good selection of apartments and ultimately found us a pocket listing for a cute railroad unit on a tree-lined street. I still have a great relationship with him and he agreed that it made no sense to use him for a rental building and he highly recommended Hell’s Kitchen. On the check list: Doorman, package management, elevator, and gym. What sealed the deal? Two things: the rooftop and the multiple work spaces. It’s stressful finding a new place, and when I walked on to the rooftop, I knew I had to live there. To be on the 32nd floor, seeing the madness of Times Square on your left and the feeling of calm on the right with a view of the Hudson – well, it’s just perfect. My new favorite thing about living here: Grabbing a bottle, two glasses, and relaxing on the rooftop, watching the sun set over New Jersey.
VITAL STATS Gotham West, W45th St 10th/11th Ave # stories: 32 # units: 554 $ one-bed apartment: From $3,840 Built: 2013 Amenities: Doorman, rooftop, courtyard, reflecting pool, co-working spaces, multiple common areas to hang out, pop-up art gallery, business center, gym with free classes, shuttle service, events, and a Gotham Card for discounts at local businesses. Pet-friendly? For sure! I’m a dog lover without a dog and I get my fix on a daily basis.
LIVING Room to throw
Hand woven from a silk/linen blend, this delicious neutral throw was made mindfully in India, in factories and mills that are committed to empowering their community of workers through education and support. $129, threadedhome.com
Say goodbye to plastic
Vintage was ecofriendly before ecofriendly was even a thing. Cherish is home to bazillions of super-stylish pieces for the home, all curated to ensure quality and design are on point. Wild animal rug, $250, chairish.com
With a color scheme inspired by Gucci, this high-end shopper is the perfect solution to plastic bag waste. Just scrunch it up in your purse, and bring it out when you need it. Plus, 10% of every purchase goes to the International Rescue Committee, which supports refugee families. $50, maison10.com
Yes, you can save the planet and still score in the style stakes Bar back
Space is a premium, right? Making this retractable wall bar an ingenious but essential accessory in our fantasy apartment. It can fit up to six wine bottles inside, with storage for glasses on top. The whole ethos behind VivaTerra? Ecofriendly décor from around the world, with a contemporary aesthetic. $139, vivaterra.com
We love multi-purpose furniture in our teenyweeny NY apartments. Which is why we’re loving this bar cart/serving trolley/ rolling table/storage rack from Nims, which describes its design aesthetic as new century modern. (OK, we’re obviously also obsessed with bars!) The brand uses only wood sourced from sustainably managed forests, finishes and adhesives that are certified to have low emissions of VOCs, and steel coatings that are free from VOCs and heavy toxic metals. $350, dimshome.com
Good-looking bench with added storage. Hello happiness! Made with sustainably sourced wood, you can customize with your choice of fabric, Joybird will even plant a tree for every purchase to ensure the rainforest survives and thrives. $545, joybird.com
New York-based interior designer and zero waste lifestyle blogger Laura Baross launched Design With Care as a way to combine eco-conscious design services with a source for beautiful new and vintage pieces that reflect her values. We’re digging these tasty green glass dishes – they’re almost too good to eat out of. $42 (for a set of two), designwcare.com
In the bag
Minimizing waste, using sustainable materials, and committed to environmentally and ethically responsible practices, Baguu makes reusable bags that are functional and fashionable. Sport crossbody bag, $38, baggu.com
Back in 2016, Jeff and Alexandra D’Andrea were looking for a green mattress that they could actually afford. Sure, there were options. But they were prohibitively expensive. And many brands that claimed to be green were anything but. So they launched their own, from their home in Hoboken. The result is Avocado, made with organic certified latex, organic certified wool, organic certified cotton – no polyester, polyurethane foams, or toxic fire retardants. They also do a vegan version without wool, and everything is hand made in the US, which cuts down on transportation pollution. Queen mattress, $1,399, avocadogreenmattress.com
Float like a butterfly
Buttery soft, vegetable-tanned leather from a workshop in Buenos Aires completes this exquisite butterfly chair – an icon of design. The Citizenry is built on sustainable relationships with artisans all over the world, using only local materials. $675, the-citizenry.com
Made by artisans in Mexico, this sunshine-colored vase will see us through the winter with a smile. Made Trade is the brainchild of Cayley Pater and Andy Ives, who have been part of the conscious consumerism movement since they met in Fair Trade Club at the University of North Carolina in 2005. The website features beautiful things made ethically, putting the planet first. $196, madetrade.com
#W42ST Hashtag your Instagram pics and they could star in the mag! A Fashion Week casualty. A rooftop kiss. Roses by the river. And a sneaky ciggie. Instagram has been alive with color and stolen moments this month. And did you know that anyone can be featured on these pages? Just tag your images #W42ST and you could be the one whose photograph ends up in the next issue.
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Midtown and Hell’s Kitchen’s only upscale plant-based restaurant and craft-cocktail bar. Brunch, Lunch, Dinner and Late Night menu available Daily happy hours from 3pm-6:30pm, and 10pm till close
246 West 48th 212-651-7247 ps-kitchen.com
AB-RA-CADABRA! It’s magic! You really you CAN get fit lying down. Sophia Strawser is living proof
WHERE AM I?
left arm will look so toned in those engagement photos once you do.
Club Pilates, a franchise that has just opened a new location on W57th St 11th/12th Ave.
WHERE TO HANG AFTERWARDS:
WHAT’S IT LIKE?
Citi Bike along the Hudson because, although I sure as heck don’t want to live in Jersey, looking at it isn’t too shabby. Or head over to Spyscape, the spy museum on 8th Ave, and use your new-found flexibly to find your inner James Bond.
The studio is beautiful: think the inside of Laudree and the outside of Lupita Nyong’o. It’s no new news that I love a seated workout. Add straight up lying down and I’m sold. Better yet, make the reformer my bed and now we’re talking. (I call this one: “Lifting my comforter to my chin.”)
SUBWAY RIDE HOME:
Soft after-workout glow shines through while your cheap Zara perfume covers a slight musk.
AND, GET THIS …
My tour of the place took as long as it did to walk to the bathroom in the back. With these multiple-level Crunch gyms I’ve been using lately, I find this small studio a blessing. And there’s no chance of getting lost (before or) during class thanks to the very specific and well-trained instructor, Kimberly. It reminded me a bit of a barre class, with similar interspersed stretches as well as small pulsating movements for toning. And, again, lying down (nailed it). “Her form on the reformer was so great she almost looked asleep,” said an instructor I made up. Naïve little old me, I came into Pilates thinking it was a quality ab workout and a quality ab workout alone. Alas, not only does the club offer cardio-based classes but also those incorporating weights. And any Pilates class actually works to tone the full body, not just the abs, which was quite apparent as we moved from section to section during class. (Presses chin back to closed position).
NEXT DAY VIBES:
“Will you meet your husband? This is a hard no, but, gosh, your left arm will look so toned in those engagement photos once you do.” CALORIES BURNED:
Shrugs (through bites of my burger).
WILL YOU MEET YOUR HUSBAND?
Above: Thought Pilates was just about abs? These classes incorporate weights and cardio too.
My abs felt like they had given birth several times. (Please note: I have no children nor have I even held a child since … how old is my younger brother? 24?)
Kimberly was like a classic piece of bubble gum. You know the pink wrapper ones? Fun, bubbly, a pop of flavor, and out of your life a little too soon. Thanks to her, the class flew by with not even my usual “I wonder how long we still have?” thought.
So, overall, should you do the class? Absolutely! You don’t need to be a member so pop in and give it a try. They even offer the first class for free. I promise you, your abs will be feeling it the next day. (Me: I guess the only way to handle this is to call off work?) Until next time @SophieStrawser
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Wearable Art at The Matasso Store
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How many times can YOU BE SAVED... … before you learn to save yourself, wonders Claudia Chung?
he first time I was saved, I was four years old and drowning. My family was on a road trip to Yosemite Park and we had stopped for a picnic. We weren’t even a year into being Americans but we started traveling the promised land almost immediately; as if seeing America would somehow make us more American by proximity. We did it all: Grand Canyon, Lake Tahoe,
IMAGE: ILONA LIEBERMAN
“I slipped, fell in, and was fighting for my life.” Vegas, Disneyland. It was a hopeful beginning that I still hold on to with love and gratitude. Our designated lunch spot on this particular day was next to a massive river. Kids were swimming, wading on the outer edges, or floating on plastic yellow, duck-shaped boats. So, not wanting to be left out, and rambunctious enough to be fearless, I completely forgot I couldn’t swim. I stripped down to my underpants and made my way to the river. There was a very clear moment of joy as I watched the water cruise by my feet, my eyes
squinting with delight as the sunlight hit the rocks. I remember the warmth of the water. Then, in one split second, everything changed. I slipped, fell in, and was fighting for my life. Here’s the thing about almost dying in a freak accident. You are awake. You pay attention to what is happening in detail. And you listen to your internal dialogue about the whole matter. “What just happened? How did I get here from there? I have to hold on to this tree root!” I simply couldn’t understand the turn of events and how it had happened so quickly; a script change from happy to terrifying. Of course, my dad saw me struggling and pulled me out in a matter of seconds. He had saved me. And I knew it. The second time I was saved, I was also drowning – not in water, but in failure. I was in my early 30s. I had no real meaningful career prospects, no true friendships, and was hemorrhaging money. I was also epically single and mildly obese from a daily consumption of booze and deep-fried pizza. I was down in the dumps. Beyond low. And, as in all fairytales, I was saved by a man. A good man. The man who saved
Claudia Chung is a writer who moonlights as a school teacher. She is currently working on a book of essays and stories on the trials, tribulations, and the funny in being a young widow.
me was at first a friend and mentor. He was the best writer and editor in town. He encouraged me to write and maybe try teaching. But, mostly, he loved and cared for me until I started to love and care for myself. My guy saved me. I once read that there are only two sins in the Law of Love. One is to interfere with the growth of another human being, and the second is to interfere with one’s own growth. I can truly say I have no desire to be saved anymore. It would be a regression, not a progression. Growth would halt. Maybe even disappear. My guy showed me what true love looks like and what it feels like. He taught me how to build a life that is supported by people who are kind, gentle, and talented. Does that make him my hero? I think so. These days, my perfect moments come daily if I am paying attention. Nothing is mundane. And I have found many true loves – not in a man with a deep pocketbook, but a group of people who love me daily and let me do the same for them. I don’t know how much more I can be saved than that.
Human’s name: Annika. Age: Four years old. Breed: Black Lab mix (I was rescued from the South). What makes me bark: Unfamiliar footsteps outside the door, kindergarten kids wearing scary reflector vests, and when I want treats and attention from my human. Three words that describe me best: Loving, calm, cute. Confession: I like to roll in poop. Instadog: @sukiandcat
Django Blue Human’s name: Swanmy. Age: I’m three. Breed: Staffordshire bull terrier. What makes me bark: Skate noise. Three words that describe me best: Clever, lovely, energetic. Confession: I ate my mom’s friend’s underwear. I think I need a girlfriend. Instadog: @bluestaffy_django
Human’s name: Benjamin. Age: 12. Breed: Keeshond and Chow Chow mix. What makes me bark: Almost anything – another animal, when I want to go to the backyard, when I’m thirsty, when I’m bored, when it’s 1:00am and I want to wake everyone up. Three words that describe me best: Lovable, sweet, queen. Confession: Sometimes I’ll jump on the couch, even though I know I’m not allowed to.
tales Chewy Humans’ names: Claire and Ryan. Age: Seven. Breed: Lhasa Apso. What makes me bark: Food delivered at my door. Three words that describe me best: Premium, elegance, adorable. Confession: I want everyone in the bathtub when there is thunder outside. Instadog: @premium_pup
PETS These camera-happy cuties took a time out for a quick Q&A with W42ST
Spotacus Human’s name: Ryan. Age: Five to sevenish (I’m adopted). Breed: Pit bull, Dalmatian, and Lab mix. What makes me bark: I lost my ability to bark as a pup, but I smile when people call me a cow! Three words that describe me best: Warrior, cuddle-master, and spot-tastic. Confession: I run in circles really dang fast when I’m happy!
So many of you have contacted us, asking how your own happy hound or cute kitty can be included in Wagging Tales. Well, we’ve heard your pleas, duly considered them, and thought, hey, what the heck, why not? (We must have been barking mad not to have thought of it sooner!) This all means, of course, that you can now send us the finest photograph you can find of your furry best friend, answer the questions below, then cross your paws you’ll be included in our monthly column of local canine (and kitty) celebrities. Your name: Pet’s name: Breed: How old? What makes your pet bark or purr? Three words that describe them best: Naughty confessions (dish the dirt – not literally, of course!): And are you an Insta-animal? Send it to email@example.com and we’ll do the rest.
“We can be heroes, just for one day.”
ooking out of the window of his studio in Berlin one July afternoon in 1977, David Bowie saw a couple kissing by the Berlin Wall. The couple, he revealed much later, happened to be his producer Tony Visconti and his girlfriend. “And it was very touching,” Bowie explained, “because I could see that Tony was very much in love with this girl.” They inspired the song ‘Heroes,’ which was released in September of that year, though it failed to make much of a blip, and didn’t chart at all in the US. However, 10 years later, the singer returned to Berlin and performed the song live at the Platz der Republik Festival. “I’ll never forget that,” he
said. “It was one of the most emotional performances I’ve ever done. I was in tears. They’d backed up the stage to the wall itself so that it was acting as our backdrop. We kind of heard that a few of the East Berliners might actually get the chance to hear the thing, but we didn’t realize in what numbers they would. And there were thousands on the other side that had come close to the wall. So it was like a double concert, where the wall was the division. And we would hear them cheering and singing along from the other side. “It was breaking my heart. I’d never done anything like that in my life. And I guess I never will again.” The singer and his wife Iman moved to New York in 1992, buying their first home on the ninth floor of the Essex
House Hotel on Central Park South. They lived in the city until his death in January 2016 – longer than he’d lived anywhere else – and he considered himself a New Yorker. His favorite places included Washington Square Park, not far from his SoHo apartment, which he described as “the emotional history of New York in a quick walk,” McNally Jackson Booksellers, Olive’s for takeout (chicken sandwich with watercress and tomatoes), both on Prince St, and Caffé Reggio, on Macdougal St. But wherever he went, he liked to walk. Preferably early in the morning. “The signature of the city changes shape and is fleshed out as more and more people commit to the street,” he said. “A magical transfer of power from the architectural to the human.”
T HE ROB ERT W. WIL SO N M CC T H EATER S PACE
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Dinner and a show!
When you see SEARED, enjoy special discounts at participating Hell’s Kitchen restaurants. Scan the QR code to learn more
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Everyday people doing extraordinary things – this is the Heroes issue