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NEWS: Helen Rosenthal in City Council run January 19, 2012

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Notes from the Neighborhood

EXPLORING RELIGIOUS LIFE

Compiled by Megan Finnegan Bungeroth, Sean Creamer and Vatisha Smith

Robert D. Putnam, acclaimed author of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, will be speaking at an Upper West Side synagogue Saturday, Jan. 28 at 1:15 p.m. Putnam will discuss the role of religion in American public life at the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, 15 W. 86th St. The author will explore several findings, such as how roughly one-third of Americans have switched religions at some point in their lives and how young people are more opposed to abortion than their parents but more accepting of gay marriage. The event is free of charge. Call 212-724-7000 for information.

Rosenthal is also a former CB 7 chair.

NEWS BOX THIEF ON THE LOOSE!

WYMORE AND ROSENTHAL REPORT CAMPAIGN FILINGS With just a few months since he registered a campaign committee, City Council candidate Mel Wymore announced a fundraising total of $64,381, which his campaign said had been primarily raised over the past few weeks. Wymore is the most recent former chair of Community Board 7 and is running to fill Gale Brewer’s termlimited seat to represent the Upper West Side. Wymore now qualifies for the city’s matching funds program. His opponent, Helen Rosenthal [see our profile in this issue] also reported a hefty sum of just over $60,000, some of which was raised when she initially explored a run for the Council seat in 2009 before the extension of term limits.

The West Side Spirit has learned that 16 of our news boxes dotting the street corners of the Upper West Side have been stolen! Rumor has it that the nefarious thieves are making off with the boxes in order to sell them for scrap metal. (Hopefully they realize that they can have the papers inside them for free.) If the box on your corner has gone missing, please let us know at editorial@manhattanmedia.com. But our beloved boxes aren’t the only metal objects being swiped from the neighborhood. Council Member Gale Brewer said that 70 Department of Sanitation public garbage receptacles have been taken from street corners in the district in recent weeks. Police suspect that they are also being melted down and sold for their metal. If you notice any untoward activity, notify the 20th Precinct at 212-580-6411.

LECTURE LEAD-UP TO CHORALE CONCERT Behind every masterpiece is not only an artist but someone who has dedicated their effort to learning all they can about the work of art. On Thursday, Jan. 19, the Collegiate Chorale will host a Prelude Series lecture, where renowned musicology expert Byron Adams will speak in depth on Sir Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time. The Collegiate Chorale

will perform the piece Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Ave. The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Professional Children’s School, at 132 W. 60th St. between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues. Tickets are $10 and are available at collegiatechorale.org or by calling 646-202-9623.

MAN INDICTED FOR UPPER WEST SIDE BURGLARIES Luis Torres, 50, was indicteed last week for a string of burglaries targeting homes on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side and in Midtown. Police discovered large quantities of jewelry and electronics, as well as over 100 keys and cards, in Torres’ apartment upon his arrest. Torres is charged with three counts of burglary in the second degree for his crimes.

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crime watch

Crime Watch Through the Ringer

A crooked service man made off with more than the cost of repairing a washing machine on Friday, Jan. 13. A woman in her fifties said that between August 2011 and Jan. 13, a service man came to her home on West 80th Street on three occasions to repair her washer and dryer. On the third trip, the service man brought an unknown worker with him. After they had finished their work, the victim discovered that two Bergdorf Goodman items had been stolen, along with an antique engagement ring, totaling $10,750.

Now You See It… A man in his fifties has parked his car in the same spot on West 74th Street for years. After finishing up a day at the office last week, he returned to find his white 2000 Voyager minivan had been stolen.

Who Said Weed Makes You Mellow?

On Wednesday, Jan. 11, an officer was having trouble arresting a 29-year-old male for possession of two large bags of marijuana on Riverside Drive. After struggling with the dope smoker, the officer’s day went from bad to worse as the defendant’s 60-yearold girlfriend entered the fray. The woman jumped on the officer’s back, scratching and clawing at his neck and head, which left him with lacerations. Both were taken into custody for the felony assault.

Tapped In continued from previous page

Plaza Hotel, St. Regis Hotel and the London NYC Hotel, James Bennett, 45, pleaded guilty to four counts of burglary in the second degree and one count of grand larceny in the second degree last week. He confessed to attempting to steal employees’ paychecks from the London We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

Welcome to the USA

On Friday, Jan. 6, a 19-year-old French man was taking an evening stroll at the southeast corner of Central Park West at West 71st Street when he was accosted by four men, two of whom brandished knifes. Two of the men held him at knifepoint while the others stood guard, demanding his watch, belt and French Republic identification card. In total, the young man lost almost $8,000 worth of merchandise. The perpetrators are still at large.

Electric Goodie Getaway A woman in her mid-fifties placed an Apple iPad and a Nikon digital camera in a jewelry box then hid it in an armoire before leaving her apartment at Central Park West for a three-day vacation. When she returned home on Jan. 12, she discovered that she had been the victim of a robbery. Upon entering her bedroom, she found her armoire in disarray and the two items missing. There were no signs of forced entry, according to police.

Paging Flash Gordon A woman in her late twenties had a Zehig Aesthetics Laser shipped to her office on West 86th Street on Dec. 19. The package arrived with no issues, but after the woman had locked her office for the night, a crook made his way into the office and pilfered the piece, which is worth over $12,000. The woman reported the item stolen on Tuesday, Jan. 10. NYC Hotel before being spotted, then later that day swiping goods from the Plaza and the St. Regis. He had previously stolen a Chopard watch and Cartier sunglasses from Jumeirah Essex House. “Burglary victims lose more than their money, valuables and prized possessions— they also lose their sense of security in their own homes,” said District Attorney Cyrus Vance in a statement. “Thanks to excellent police work and aggressive prosecution, offenders who prey upon New Yorkers are taken off the streets.”

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news

Pols Knock Mayor’s School Ideas By Megan Finnegan Bungeroth Last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg laid out a sweeping vision for New York in his State of the City address, given at Morris High School in the Bronx. With a broad focus on education, creating jobs and bolstering the economy, Bloomberg echoed many imperatives that Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out in his State of the State address the previous week while putting forth some specific, and controversial, plans of his own. Perhaps the biggest issue Bloomberg tackled was education, giving a five-point set of goals that seemingly blindsided the United Federation of Teachers and has education advocates either grinning or wringing their hands, depending on who you ask. While emphasizing the need to attract and maintain talented teachers with initiatives to help pay off teachers’ student loans and programs to bump up salaries by $20,000 after two consecutive years of stellar ratings, Bloomberg called for the power to get rid of the ineffective ones. “Under a school turnaround program

S

already authorized by federal and state law and consistent with a provision of the existing union contract, the city can form school-based committees to evaluate teachers on merit and replace up to 50 percent of the faculty,” Bloomberg said, pointing out that 33 schools missed out on $58 million in federal funding because of poor performance and that the city was unable to replace any of those teachers. “Under this process, the best teachers stay [and] the least effective go. And now, that is exactly what will happen,” he said. Michael Mulgrew, president of the UFT, was reportedly not told about the mayor’s pronouncements until shortly before the address. He mocked Bloomberg for being “lost in his own fantasy world.” “What I saw was a man who was trying to set up a smokescreen about the decade of disaster that he has put upon our city schools,” Mulgrew said in a statement. “He’s trying to start a fight with the UFT rather than negotiate with us on an evaluation system so that all children will be helped more.” Upper West Side Council Member

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February 19 – May 20, 2012 For additional information and catalog, please contact Sara Tornay at (212) 273-5304 or stornay@jasa.org

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“If you don’t have good principals in the pipeline, teachers are upset, parents are upset and the scores aren’t going up. I don’t see how this is going to be a legacy item,” she said. Bloomberg also highlighted the need for better recycling programs and said the city will begin turning wastewater into renewable energy and explore ways to cleanly convert solid waste. He called the debate over bike lanes “hot and heavy” and said that the city would step up enforcement of traffic laws while encouraging even more bike use through the bike share program. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer applauded the mayor’s calls for a higher minimum wage but criticized some of his other proposed measures, like selling three buildings in Lower Manhattan to raise money for the city instead of utilizing them. “I wish he had spoken more about the squeeze facing New York’s middle-class families,” Stringer said in a statement. “Too many New Yorkers are working harder than ever but feel like they are falling farther and farther behind.”

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Gale Brewer, who noted that the address itself was abuzz with politicians and city employees tweeting out updates, trying to beat one another to release the latest news, said that her overall impression was that Bloomberg is attempting to cement his legacy above all else. “The whole speech seemed like it was an awful lot to get done in 22 months,” Brewer said, referring not only to the education policy mentioned but to changes in the economy and to the city’s infrastructure. “I know how long these things take because I’ve been working on them myself.” She was also unsure of how the mayor plans to enact his large-scale changes to the education system. “From my perspective, forgiving a loan is one thing, but there isn’t enough evaluation procedure to be able to say that somebody has enough qualifications to get the extra $20,000 for being the best teacher,” Brewer said. She also noted that, from what she has heard, one of the biggest problems facing local schools is a lack of qualified principals coming through the system.

Presented by David Edelstein, film critic for New York magazine, NPR’s Fresh Air, and a commentator on film for CBS Sunday Morning. Please contact Sara Tornay at 212-273-5304 or stornay@jasa.org to register.

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NYT Award-Winners_ManhattanMedia 1/13/12 3:47 PM Page 1

More CUNY Award Winners Than Ever!

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4 RHODES SCHOLARS 8 GOLDWATER SCHOLARS 7 TRUMAN SCHOLARS 9 NSF GRADUATE FELLOWS

in 6 YEARS in 3 YEARS in 6 YEARS in 2011

UJAJA TAUQEER, CUNY’S 2011 RHODES SCHOLAR, is exceptional but not the exception. CUNY students are winning more highly competitive awards and scholarships than at any time in our history. The City University of New York is attracting an ever-growing number of outstanding students. Our Macaulay

Honors College is home to many of this year’s winners. Assisted by a world-class faculty, they achieved their success studying at the nation’s leading urban public university. They are exceptional but not the exception.

Matthew Goldstein Chancellor

ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT: Zujaja Tauqeer, Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College, Rhodes 2011; David L.V. Bauer, Macaulay Honors College at CCNY, Rhodes 2009, Truman 2008, Goldwater 2007; Eugene Shenderov, Brooklyn College, Rhodes 2005; Lev Sviridov, CCNY, Rhodes 2005, Goldwater 2004; Ayodele Oti, Macaulay Honors College at CCNY, Truman 2011; Gareth Rhodes, CUNY Baccalaureate at CCNY, Truman 2011; Anthony Pang, CCNY, NSF Fellow 2011; Jamar Whaley, Queens College, Goldwater 2009; Christine Curella, Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, Truman 2007; Celine Joiris, Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, Goldwater 2011; Claudio Simpkins, Macaulay Honors College at CCNY, Truman 2005; Ryan Merola, Macaulay Honors College at Brooklyn College, Truman 2006; Don Gomez, CCNY, Truman 2009; Lina Mercedes Gonzalez, Hunter College, NSF Fellow 2011.

Visit cuny.edu/awardwinners WestsideSpirit.com

January 19, 2012

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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PUBLIC NOTICE NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, PURSUANT TO LAW, that the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at 66 John Street, 11th floor, on a petition from Re Spec Corp. to, maintain, and operate an unenclosed sidewalk café at 517 Columbus Avenue in the Borough of Manhattan for a term of two years.

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REQUESTS FOR COPIES OF THE PROPOSED REVOCABLE CONSENT AGREEMENT MAY BE ADDRESSED TO: DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, ATTN: FOIL OFFICER, 42 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, NY 10004

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January 19, 2012

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news

Rosenthal Launches Bid for City Council By Megan Finnegan Bungeroth If Helen Rosenthal wins the City Council seat she’s vying for next fall, we may be seeing a lot more graphs in city government. “My family teases me because I do think in charts,” Rosenthal said in a recent interview at one of her regular Upper West Side spots, Café 82. “I definitely am a datadriven person, but if you can lay out the data without preconceptions, it will bring you to where you need to go. It is what it is. You can’t muck with it.” Rosenthal, who has lived on the Upper West Side for over 20 years, is hoping to represent her home district in the City Council following the 2013 election to replace Gale Brewer, who is term-limited. With a background of using numbers and statistics to make crucial policy decisions, Rosenthal hopes to bring practicality and real analysis to the Council along with her infectious enthusiasm for addressing local issues. Rosenthal grew up outside of Detroit and went to public school. She graduated from Michigan State University and got a master’s in public health before moving to New York City to work in the Office of Management and Budget. She worked

We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

under the Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani administrations, overseeing the budgets for 16 public hospitals and dozens of health clinics, crisscrossing the city to see the conditions at the hospitals to understand why money was needed and how it would be used. “Luckily, I was there at a time when the budget people wanted to do right,” Rosenthal said. “We were not bean counters; we were helping make policy. Our job was to make sure that how we were spending the money was as fiscally responsible and efficient as possible.” She recalled a time in the late ’80s when her department, in the midst of figuring out how to fund treatment at the height of the AIDS crisis, suddenly had to manage a tuberculosis outbreak. Regardless of the cost, they had to find a way to contain and treat the disease before it became a citywide catastrophe. Rosenthal compares that imperative to the one facing the city in funding the removal of PCBs from schools. “When you have to fund something, you have to fund it,” she said. She has been a vocal critic of the city’s slow response to PCBs, and played an integral role in getting a new school opened on

the Upper West Side when she was chair of Community Board 7. Rosenthal served as its chair from 2007 to 2009, preceding Mel Wymore, who is also running for the District 6 Council seat. “We need to be thinking harder and more creatively about investing in ways that will create jobs,” Rosenthal said, pointing to the recent deal with Cornell University and Israel’s Technion Institute to build a new tech campus. Rosenthal and her husband, an investment banker, have two daughters; one in high school and one in college. She is the chair of ParentJobNet, a nonprofit organization that helps public school parents connect with jobs and receive career training and counseling free of charge. She believes that the City Council should be focused primarily on jobs and the economy and on community investment. “I think that all residential buildings above a certain size should give back to the community,” she said. “If a 100-apartment building goes up, I’m not saying that apartment should be building a new school, but certainly they could be putting some money into an endowment for more teachers or maybe some other infrastructure.”

Helen Rosenthal, former CB7 head and long time Upper West Side resident, has announced her run for City Council. Rosenthal has raised over $60,000, enough to meet the city’s minimum for matching funds as of the January filing. She’s hoping to maintain that momentum. “[On the City Council,] you’re responsible for thinking about public policy for the city, but also you’re responsible for that pothole on the corner,” she said.

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arts

This Is Your Brain on Music The power of a playlist can affect productivity and happiness By Aspen Matis Columbia University psychiatry professor Galina Mindlin, MD, PhD, studies neuron connections and how such brain links can be strengthened by listening to the right music. Her new book, Your Playlist Can Change Your Life (coauthored by Joseph Cardillo and Don DuRousseau), distills her brain-training findings into playlists for the mood you want to be in. West Side Spirit spoke with Mindlin about music’s potential to alter mood, productivity and happiness, the existence of side-effect-free medicine and the North Pole’s hold on her mind. West Side Spirit: We’ve all resolved to be better versions of ourselves in 2012. What role can music play in that resolution? Galina Mindlin: Positive stimuli affect the brain in a positive way. You can use music as positive stimuli to improve your mood or relieve stress. First, you choose the piece you like and you think of the mind-state you desire. For instance: Do you want to relax, study, get motivated, focus—think first about what you want. Second, you really need to practice, play and play the piece, so your brain will remember it. Your brain is like a muscle.

Push the button. You can be your own doctor.

What if I get sick of the song? Then you have to leave it for a while, find something else. Stop playing it. Start gently replacing it with something else. Encourage your brain to withdraw from it.

How does someone determine the frequency of music that is best for what he is trying to do? If you’re very nervous and you want to calm yourself down, you want to listen to something of a lower frequency. To get motivated or excited—to stimulate your brain—listen to something of higher frequency, generally. If you want to determine the ideal frequency for you and what you’re trying to do—something more accurate than just “I like this”—buy the book.

What’s the value of playing the same song again and again? To train the brain, help the cells forge more connections. But then you do have to update your playlist. Our brains respond to variation. If you really want to train your mind, you have to stimulate your brain in unpredictable ways—unpredictable frequencies. You want to check the beats per minute—you want to synchronize your brain waves with those of the music, the beats per minute. You become your own boss with this prescription. We can practice personalized medicine. Do you think the use of music as medicine will grow popular? All New Yorkers go for the quick fix. A pill. Want to fall asleep faster? Benzo. These things have side effects. Instead:

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January 19, 2012

Dr. Galina Mindlin.

How did you first become interested in music’s effect on the brain? I went to music school. Now, I record brain waves and translate them into musical frequencies, so your brain plays the music. I give you a CD with your brain’s music. And what happens when someone listens to her own brain music? What’s the effect? It’s like listening to your mom’s voice, your daughter’s voice.

What is your song? What do you listen to to train your brain? I was born in the North Pole, I moved to Moscow when I was 5. You’re a little kid, and everything is white—whiteness and white noise. I’d get confused; kids would sometimes wander outside in the night, because it was always light. I and the other kids would play with a little white fox and a baby polar bear. For me, to focus, I have to go back to my childhood, into that white-noise space. Silence. Complete silence. And then I can go into my playlist. N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


ARTS

Oh, Say Can You See The Met’s New American Wing

PHOTO COURTESY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

By Anam Baig works of art and culture that reflect the American art has made a comeback artistry of early American craftspeople. at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The The Anthony W. and Lulu C. Wang third and final phase of the museum’s Galleries of 18th Century American Art 10-year, $100 million project is complete, are devoted to paintings and architecture, and 26 newly designed galleries will be furniture, silver and other decorative arts. opened to the public this Monday. Thematic groupings, in a broadly chronoFirst opened in 1924, The Met’s logical order, of paintings and sculpture American Wing originally only displayed of the 19th and early 20th centuries are decorative arts, such as furniture and sil- showcased in the Joan Whitney Payson verware, through the medium of period Galleries. rooms. In the 1930s, paintings started Eras covered range from the Hudson coming in, and by the 1980s, galleries were opened to display the paintings. Before the wing closed for the redesign, the painting galleries were on two levels in a non-cohesive order. Now they are all on one floor and have been expanded to encompass 30,000 Emanuel Leutze’s original Washington Crossing the Delaware is on display in the new American Wing at The Met. square feet. The French Beaux-Arts-inspired River School to the Ashcan movement. revamp of the second floor of The Met Different themes, such as American life has transformed the American Wing into and revolution, highlight political tension a bright and open area for art lovers and and domestic life through the paintings of novices to enjoy and appreciate paint- John Singleton Copley, Cecilia Beaux and ings, sculptures, furniture and silverware, Mathew Pratt, among many others. pieces that reflect both the history and The main attraction is in the Peter patriotic culture of America. Jay Sharp Foundation Gallery, where Morrison Heckscher, chairman of the Emanuel Leutze’s original Washington American Wing, described the galler- Crossing the Delaware hangs in its beauies as “chrono-thematic”—melding time tifully recreated gilded frame. This vast, periods and themes to create a story of majestic work of art is surrounded by American life. breathtaking landscapes crafted during “Our vision,” Heckscher said, “was not the Hudson River School era, making the just to highlight American art but to bring gallery a patriotic emblem of American out American life and American culture art and identity. through these art pieces. After the agony “The curators did a great job repreof rethinking and redesigning, architect senting American art,” said Mike E. List, a Kevin Roche and I decided that it wasn’t staffer at The Met. “There are a lot of visienough just to expand the gallery west; tors who come here and really enjoy seewe had to ‘raise the roof’ in order to cre- ing everything we own, and now that we ate a modern gallery with a historic feel.” have nearly 90 percent of our American Each gallery has high, vaulted or coved artwork displayed, visitors will get a better ceilings and natural lighting. The walls are perspective of early American landscapes, cream-colored and bare save for beauti- lifestyles and our patriotic nature.” fully maintained masterpieces that hang Other timeless American works of art from thin, barely visible wires. No sculp- displayed in the galleries include John tures are roped off, allowing viewers an Singer Sargent’s Madame X¸ Charles up close and personal experience of the Willson Peale’s George Washington, artist’s handiwork. Furniture and silver- and Thomas Cole’s View from Mount ware are delicately displayed as standing Holyoke. We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

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Singing about Love in an Alley

Joan Marcus

By Mark Peikert Porgy and Bess has been something like this season’s highbrow Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Both shows came to Broadway trailing a wake of scandal and opeds—except Porgy and Bess had Stephen Sondheim and the New York Times weighing in, while Spider-Man had the Post. And in both cases, what finally showed up on stage was…underwhelming. What else could this revision of Porgy and Bess be? Director Diane Paulus and bookwriter/reviser SuzanLori Parks have streamlined the original four-hour work into a matinee-crowd-friendAudra McDonald and Norm Lewis in The Gershwins’ ly two and a half hours, durPorgy and Bess. ing which time most of the characters act incomprehensibly. together that makes Bess and Porgy’s Set in Charleston’s Catfish Row— relationship seem organic, a haven for designed by Riccardo Hernandez to look Bess after the turmoil of Crown. But not like a dank alleyway—Porgy and Bess even these two can surmount the revueis the story of the limping Porgy (Norm like structure Parks has left the book. Lewis), the Bad Woman Bess (Audra All that trimming leaves the songs intact McDonald) and the ways in which he but the recitatives (and supporting charcauses her to vacillate between being acters) mangled. Joshua Henry is mostly good and snorting cocaine and otherwise wasted as Jake, the ill-fated young father, being bad with drug dealer Sporting Life while the other characters feel like plot(David Alan Grier, who thinks his pimp propelling scenery, there to alert the audiwalk is funnier than it is) and her lover ence as to which Bess is on stage: bad Crown (Phillip Boykin, lacking the sex Bess or good Bess. appeal that would convince us that he has Still, there is always that lush Bess in an erotic thrall). score—“Summertime,” “I Got Plenty of As she did in Hair, Paulus reveals Nothing”—from George and Ira Gershwin a weakness for grouping her actors on to prop up the faltering, giving McDonald the stage and then leaving them there. and Lewis the chance to remind audiencWith an array of Catfish Row denizens es how much they’ve both been missed to work with, she often lumps the men by fans of pure, character-driven singing. and women into separate groups for When they duet, every misfire in the protheir songs, a choice that strips the duction slips away, leaving two stars cenwork of the feeling of community. This terstage, giving powerhouse performancisn’t a tight-knit group of neighbors; this es that almost transcend the misdirection is a collection of people who happen to and wrongheaded ideas that suffuse the live near one another, which lessens the rest of this Porgy and Bess. dramatic tension considerably. On the credit side, Paulus and team The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess do have Lewis and McDonald, two actorThrough June 24, Richard Rodgers singers who try valiantly to make their Theatre, 226 W. 46th St. (betw. Broadway characters something more than arche- & 8th Ave.), www.porgyandbessontypes. They have an easy chemistry broadway.com; $75–$150.

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January 19, 2012 Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

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Marina Poplavskaya starring in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Traviata.

The Met’s La traviata has JAY NORDLINGER seeing Decker. JOEL LOBENTHAL refutes Black Swan backstage behavior. LANCE ESPLUND praises Noguchi renovation & show.

N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


feature

Is This the End of New York City Opera? Budget setbacks and a labor lockout threaten to derail the former Lincoln Center golden child By Megan Finnegan Bungeroth

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or decades, opera patrons have flocked to Lincoln Center to witness the unique, robust, sometimes daring, reliably entertaining performances of the New York City Opera. Now, thanks to a severely crunched budget, the company has not only moved from its home at the David H. Koch Theater but has its upcoming season threatened by an ongoing rehearsal lockout. It is, quite possibly, the end of City Opera as New York knows it. City Opera is at odds with the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), which represents soloists and choristers, as well as Local 802 of the American Federation of Musicians, representing the orchestra, and has initiated a rehearsal lockout to which neither side can predict an end. The opera has been forced to downgrade its normal contract offerings to its singers and musicians, from salaried staff positions with guaranteed work to a more freelance-based system, paying only for rehearsals and performances. As result, many choristers would go from making around $40,000 a year to only $4,000, according to AGMA National Executive Director Alan Gordon. “For a typical chorister who is either single or married to another chorister or married to someone who doesn’t have a job, their life is over,” Gordon said. His union is negotiating for larger severance packages and more health insurance, he said, and he assumes that many will simply take the severance and leave rather than stay on for a 90 percent reduction in income. The pay decrease goes hand in hand with a major cut in City Opera’s planned programming, with a reported budget of $13 million, compared to the approximately $31 million spent last year. If the current season is allowed to go forward, they will be staging just four shows this year. The first, Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata, is set to open at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House in just a few weeks, running Feb. 12–18. The second show, also at BAM, will be the U.S. premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s new opera Prima Donna. They are scheduled to run Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater on the West Side in March and Georg Philipp Telemann’s 1726 opera Orpheus at the Museo del Barrio on the Upper East Side in May. The

We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

abbreviated season will run a total of 16 performances—a far cry from the company’s former seasons of over 100. Some blame the company’s current troubles on its director, George Steel, who took the helm in 2009 with little experience in the opera world. Others point to the debacle over the 2007 appointment of Gerard Mortier, a Belgian intendant who had previously run the Salzburg Festival and the Paris Opera. Mortier ended up resigning in 2008 before he had even staged a season after the board presented him with a budget far below his contractual demands, leaving the company rudderless. Still others cast the blame for City Opera’s current state further back in history, to its baffling inability to reach pre9/11 levels of ticket sales or its history of difficulty in fundraising. Regardless of the pinpointed cause, many say the company is now in dire straits. In a statement responding to several media outlets last week, Steel wrote, “As we have said countless times, we have to transition to the model that most opera companies use: Paying people only for the work that they do.” Through his spokesperson, Risa Heller, Steel declined to be interviewed or answer questions for this article. Heller confirmed that the rehearsal lockout continues and that City Opera is “taking this one day at time.” To some, that response signals bad news ahead. “I don’t know what his Plan B—or at this point, his plan V—is, because I think it’s more likely this season won’t happen than it will,” said Fred Cohn, a classical music reporter who chronicled City Opera’s recent struggles for Opera News magazine this month. Cohn said he wouldn’t be surprised if City Opera in its current form ceased to exist as a result of many union members taking a severance offer and leaving. “It’s not like the unions are losing much,” he said. “What they’ve been offered is pretty paltry. For them to expect much more is unrealistic. There’s just no money.” Michael Capasso, the director of Dicapo Opera Theater on the Upper East Side, runs his company successfully on an average budget of $1 million a year— miniscule compared to City Opera. He said that the company’s biggest mistake was leaving Lincoln Center, and that he sees no way for them to recover financially without a home base. “This is our 30th anniversary,” Capasso

Shu-Ying Li as Cio-Cio San in a performance of Madame Butterfly by the New York City Opera. said of Dicapo. “For the first years of our existence we were homeless; we performed wherever we could and we flourished as soon as we had a building. It helped a lot.” As for the budget woes that led them to leave Lincoln Center in the first place, Capasso denied that the problem is with a waning public desire to see opera. He said that Steel had disregarded what his core audience wanted to see in favor of out-of-character programming. “If you look at the annals of the NYCO, it’s very clear that they understood their audience, and they knew that at the end of the day, people still want to see La Bohéme and Carmen,” Capasso said. “If you’re doing something unusual, you have to balance it with something that you know will sell.” Gordon put the problem more bluntly, resting it on Steel’s shoulders. “Nobody who cares about opera is going to see the junk that he performs,” he said. In a letter to the chairman of the City Opera board, Charles Wall, Gordon wrote that Steel’s decisions have “forced [the singers] to decide whether it would be appropriate for City Opera to cease its

operations [rather] than to allow it to continue to operate with uncaring and gross disrespect for its performers.” Others have suggested that the company might be able to survive—just not as City Opera. “What he’s proposing is essentially turning City Opera into Gotham Chamber Opera,” said Cohn, referring to a group, now in its 10th year, that performs offbeat programming and small-scale operas at different venues around the city. They are successful, said Cohn, because they’ve found a niche and stick to their identity. For now, City Opera remains in a holding pattern. If the unions reach an agreement that allows the company to begin rehearsals, the season may go ahead. While tickets have sold for La Traviata, the short run is far from sold out, with hundreds of seats still available. The current lockout isn’t inspiring much confidence in potential audience members. “As long as there’s a lockout, it seems to me inconceivable that they will move forward,” Gordon said. “They could try to do it non-union, but I don’t know where they’ll get the singers from. If they try to go forward with their performance, we’ll obviously have to picket them.”

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Dining

South Indian Up West Authentic Indian food comes to the Upper West Side

Saravanaa Bhavan

til), was made in an attempt to speak to the neighborhood, the manager said. A good call, given the demographics of the Upper West Side and the general acceptance people give to curry. While the foundation remains the same, the dosa at Saravanaa Bhavan are something else entirely. Some, like the paper dosa, measure over a foot long and most 10-year-old children could comfortably put an arm through it. The ghee masala dosa also boasts this unique shape; inside is a layer of scrumptious potatoes and onions sprinkled with ghee, also known as clarified butter. The dosa breaks off like a cracker in some spots and you can dip it into an array of chutneys including coconut, coriander-coconut, tomato and a sauce called sambar (a vegetable stew flavored with tamarind). Other classic south Indian dishes offered are the spongy idly, a little rice cake that proves especially fun to eat in linnea covington

By Linnea Covington Chennai, but it wasn’t until 2002 that The first time I traveled to Chennai, they made their United States debut in India, my uncle-by-marriage swore the California before coming to New York’s best cup of coffee could be found at Curry Hill in 2005. Saravanaa Bhavan, a restaurant specialThe best part about the expansion is izing in classic South Indian vegetarian that the restaurants not only bring an fare. Naturally, we had to try it. authentic taste of South Indian fare, they As they served us metal bowls con- remain consistent throughout all their taining tiny metal cups filled with steam- locations, a far cry from McDonald’s ing, light brown liquid, my Americanized ever-changing menu dependent upon the coffee snobbery blossomed. Visions country. The food they serve also proves of glorious pounds of fresh roasted healthy, flavorful, fresh and delightfully beans and hot mugs of authentic. black-as-night coffee I have now eaten and a general distaste at four of their loca413 Amsterdam Ave. for the world of sweet tions: the original, a (betw. W. 79th & 80th Sts.), New Delhi shop and coffeeshop chains flit212-721-7755 ted by, but with a single the two in New York. sip, those recollections Each one is identifaded. The coffee was at once creamy, cal in food, save for the addition of a sweetish and comforting, with bold tandoori oven and vegetarian curries coffee back notes—indeed, the finest I at the uptown restaurant. Their decitried in the whole country. sion to add dishes including the savory, Imagine my joy to find the same cof- slightly spicy aloo gobi (cauliflower fee being served at Saravanaa Bhavan’s and potato), rib-sticking mutter panNew York locations, now two since one eer (green peas and cottage cheese) opened on the Upper West Side. The and sweetly caramelized dal butter fry original shop opened 30 years ago in (butter-fried onion, tomatoes and len-

Upgrading Your Sippie Cups Some do’s and don’ts when it comes to buying wine glasses “What on earth are you drinking out of?” I gasped. My good friend Aaron froze mid-pour as he stared down at the bottle of burgundy in his hand, then at the plastic, fake bejeweled chalice that he was pouring the burgundy into. His face registered no shame whatsoever. “This is my sippin’ chalice,” he said dryly. “It’s how I get my drank on.” I tried to reason with him as I brought out glass after glass to demonstrate why his strange, Lil Jon-esque sippie cup wasn’t the prime choice for the beverage du jour. He listened politely to my educated diatribe, then, when I had finished, stared at me blankly again and tipped back his cup for an enormous gulp. “Still tastes like wine to me.” Touché, Aaron. Indeed it does. And, by all means, my rule of thumb with wine glasses (as with wine in general) is: Drink what you like out of what you like. That being said, there are definitely types of glasses that can enhance your drinking

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experience. Buyer beware, however! There are plenty of flourishes and design elements added to a lot of high-priced wine glasses that not only do nothing to add to the enjoyment of your wine but can actually take away from the overall experience. Today, I’m going to walk you through some of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to buying your next set of wine glasses. Do buy cut-glasslipped wine glasses. The glass on these vessels tends to feel much thinner, and sometimes consumers misinterpret that as cheapness. It is not! A good glass does as little as possible to get in the way of the wine—one way that is done is by using a very thin glass construction, and the other is to design the lip of the glass (from which you actually sip) as cut glass. This gives the liquid as little barrier as possible to pass from inside the glass to your palate. There’s

January 19, 2012

also less spillage than with traditional rolled-lip wine glasses. Don’t buy crystal. Yes, it is beautiful. Yes, it is a great investment and a fantastic hand-me-down to be cherished from generation to generation. It is not, however, a great material for making an effective wine glass; it can’t be blown into the most effective shapes to enhance wine’s taste and scent, in addition to the fact that it is always thick and heavy. Save the crysBy Josh Perilo tal for the holiday punch. Do buy those glasses with the enormous bowls. They may seem ostentatious, but there’s a reason for their size. Red wine glasses tend to have slightly larger bowls than those for white wine, but they serve the same basic purpose. Because half of taste is actually smell, to accurately capture and concentrate the complex scents of your wine, a good glass will have a bowl that is large at the bot-

a bowl of sambar, and vada, their version of a doughnut made with lentils instead of sugar. The tandoori oven has done the newest location well too, as the buttery garlic naan and tandoor roti come out fluffy, piping hot and perfectly cooked. Another difference the Upper West Side location sports comes out in the setting. At the newest shop, the dim lights add a more romantic atmosphere and a coziness fitting for the neighborhood. It still gets busy, but the intimate space doesn’t have the capacity for bustle (though the dishes do come out quickly). Overall, for someone looking to try a cuisine different from the basic American perception of what Indian food consists of, Saravanaa Bhavan is the real deal. tom and tapered at the top. When the wine is swirled in the glass, the aromas are released into the bowl and then trapped by the narrower opening. When you stick your nose into the glass for a hearty whiff, you experience the concentrated notes of the wine you are about to enjoy. Don’t buy colored glass. This seems harmless, especially given how beautiful some of these glasses can be. But if you think about it, part of the enjoyment (and in professional wine circles, part of the judgment of the quality) of wine is its color and visible body. This is obviously impossible to judge through a red, blue or otherwise tinted glass. Do buy glasses with stems. I may receive some flack for this, but I am a traditionalist and truly believe that the best glasses are those with stems. Holding the glass by the bowl changes the temperature of the liquid you are drinking. And if you put a lot of effort into serving your wines at the correct temperature, this can throw a wrench in all that great planning. Of course, you can always take a tip from Aaron and go “chalice style.” Up to you! Follow Josh on Twitter: @joshperilo. N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


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Camp Revamped Camps

Five exciting summer camp trends By Jess miChaels

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or 150 years, families have been excited about the myriad of options and benefits of attending summer camp. While many camp traditions and activities have remained the same, in recent years, camps have been adding new programs and making improvements to fit the needs and interests of today’s children. Here are five notable trends.

difference in the lives of others. Campers participate in swim-a-thons to raise money for charities, volunteer to help senior citizens, donate their time to paint and refurbish buildings within a camp’s town and volunteer at local soup kitchens, just to name a few common volunteer experiences. Timber Lake West, a co-ed resident camp in New York’s Catskill Mountains, is one of 40 New York camps that hold annual fundraisers to raise money for Morry’s Camp, a resident camp for low-income children. “This past summer, Timber Lake West had the first ever car wash to benefit Morry’s Camp, and it was a greater success than the kids ever imagined,” said Jennifer DeSpagna, the camp’s owner and director. “You could see how excited the kids were; not only by the success of their event, but also by getting to pay forward their enriching camp experience.” The true benefit of getting kids involved in community service at camp is that often they want to find a special volunteer opportunity when they return

More Healthy Food Options: As healthy and nutritious eating has become important to parents, day and resident camps have worked to revamp camp menus to incorporate healthier food items. “During meals, we surround campers with healthy food choices, and while we still serve camp favorites such as fries and chicken nuggets, they are always served with healthy sides such as vegetables or salad,” said Adam K. Baker, director of Camps Equinunk & Blue Ridge, BrotherSister camps in Wayne County, Penn. For breakfast, many camps offer choices like cereals yogurt and fruit. During lunch and dinCamps have been ner, salad bars with fresh implementing more programs vegetables, grilled chicken, to demonstrate the value tuna, eggs and many other nutritious options are ofof being environmentally fered. “When children are responsible. Some camps have sitting down to three meals even eliminated the use of paper a day, they are surrounded by both healthy food opplates and plastic utensils. tions and counselors who are showing healthy eating home. It becomes part of who they are. by example,” added Baker. Camps Are Going Green: A lot of camps also have fresh fruit Camps have been teaching the importance available for snacks throughout the of respecting nature and the environment day. Parents can visit a camp’s website or call the camp director for further informa- for generations. But as green initiatives and reducing one’s carbon footprint have tion about the camp’s menus. become increasingly important, camps Community Service Projects: have been implementing more and more According to an American Camp Associaprograms to demonstrate the value of betion survey, 56 percent of summer camps ing environmentally responsible, teaching are organizing community service projects that promote empathy for the less fortunate campers about recycling, conservation and sustainable living. Some camps have even and show children that they can make a 14

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January 19, 2012

A camper ascends the climbing wall at Camp Echo, a co-ed resident camp in the Catskills. eliminated the use of paper plates and plastic utensils. Camps like Camp Sloane YMCA, a co-ed resident camp in Lakeville, Conn., offer gardens where campers help grow vegetables. “In keeping with the current ‘farm to table’ restaurant trend, the produce grown in the garden is used by the campers in our culinary arts program,” explained Paul Bryant, the camp’s executive director and CEO. Rookie Days and Rookie Weekends: Many resident camps invite children to stay for a day, overnight, weekend or multiple days during the summer to engage in camp activities while parents tour the camp. The goal is to allow campers and parents to get a sense of the camp program prior to deciding to register. Mark Newfield, owner and director of Iroquois Springs, a co-ed resident camp in the Catskills, said, “It has been a great way for us to get future campers to feel comfortable about the idea of going to overnight camp, separating from their parents and experiencing a lot of what camp has to offer in a short period of time. In fact, most campers who come for our ‘Explorer Camp’ choose to enroll in camp the following summer and have a much easier adjustment to camp when they arrive.” Cutting-Edge Fun: Day and resident camps have always had their fingers on the pulse of new activities in

which children are interested. In a recent American Camp Association survey, 75 percent of directors reported adding new activities and programs over the last few years. Some exciting activities that have become popular at camps include skateboard parks, go-karts, golf facilities, circus programs and aquatic facilities. Jeff Grabow, owner and director of Camp Echo, a co-ed resident camp in the Catskills, said that the camp is constantly upgrading its state-of-the-art facilities. “In athletics, we recently built a 60 percent replica of Yankee Stadium. Our adventure area is ever expanding with intricate teambuilding elements as well as a high-speed zip line that runs across our lake. In aquatics, we recently added a 125-foot water slide and a Tarzan swing to our lake,” he reported, adding that, in response to the popularity of cooking and artistic activities, they’ve also added outdoor adventure cooking with a wood burning brick oven. Still, at most camps, including Echo, you find a balance of adding new initiatives without letting go of the traditional camp activities that children have come to expect when they sign up for summer camp. “Our goal is to provide exposure to many different activities for children with a wide range of interests, while still delivering the core programming which has been a part of camping from the beginning,” said Grabow. N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


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SATURDAY, JAN 21, 2012 Upper East Side St. Jean Baptiste School 173 E. 75th St. 12PM - 3PM

SUNDAY, JAN 22, 2012 Upper West Side Congregation Rodeph Sholom 7 W. 83rd St. 12PM - 3PM

SATURDAY, JAN 28, 2012 Downtown Grace Church School 86 4th Ave. 12PM - 3PM

SUNDAY, JAN 29, 2012 Park Slope Union Temple 17 Eastern Pkwy 12PM - 3PM

pre-register at:

Newyorkfamilycamps.com 20•

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

January 19, 2012

NEWS YOU LIVE BY


Neil Klatskin Day Camp

Only a dozen miles for so many smiles!

FROM CENTRAL PARK TO TENAFLY, NEW JERSEY

Kos

her L unch

& S na c ks! Tra nsportation

Enrolling your child is as easy as 1, 2, 3...

available f

rom N

ew Y ork Cit y

1. Join the JCC now 2. Pay ONLY $250* 3. Pay 2010 camp rates for summer 2012! PLUS take advantage of sibling discounts • $350 off 2nd child • $500 off 3rd & 4th child • 5th child FREE

www.jccotp.org/nkdc 201.567.8963 * Open to all families who have never been a member of the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades Membership good for June, July & August 2012 only. Restrictions apply.

Text NKDC to 57394 for info & quick link to our camp video

Kaplen JCC on the Palisades

411 East Clinton Ave. I Tenafly, NJ 07670 I www.jccotp.org WestsideSpirit.com

January 19, 2012

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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CE

N TR

AL PA

RK

Get up to $100 off when you attend an info session!

Summers, Lifelong Friends g n i z a Am

Why leave the city this summer? Give your child an exceptional day camp experience close to home! Check out Oasis Day Camps in New York City!

central park & downtown ✔

Locations in Central Park on the Upper West Side and Downtown Manhattan on the Lower East Side

Traditional 9am-5pm Day Camp for children ages 4-11!

Teen Travel program for young adults ages 12-15!

Early-Start Jr. Camper Program specially designed for 4 year olds!

All locations feature beautiful athletic facilities and fields, ample indoor space, spacious pools, nature trails, ponds, streams and more!

Camp activities include athletics, fine & performing arts, nature exploration, Red Cross swim instruction, field trips, special events and much more!

Hot lunch, transportation, early drop-off & late pick-up services available!

Low camper to adult ratios with college-age staff or older!

Flexible enrollment for 2-8 weeks!

Sibling discounts!

Next Central Park Info Session will be Wednesday, January 25th from 6:30-8pm. Please visit our website for details and to RSVP.

Visit our website:

www.oasischildren.com

simple & fast online registration, upcoming info sessions,special discounts, camp photos & more!

or call us at 1.800.317.1392

These camps are licensed by the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The inspection reports are filed at the Bureau of Food Safety and Community Sanitation. If you have questions, please contact Oasis at (718)596-4900.

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January 19, 2012

NEWS YOU LIVE BY


40 acres

Water Slides

7 Art Centers

Drama, Music & Dance

Pre school, Middle & Senior Camp Door-to-Door Transportation Throughout Westchester, NYC & CT

2 Huge Ropes Courses

8 Heated Pools

Extensive Electives

To p S p o r t s I n s t r u c t i o n o n 2 3 F i e l d s & C o u r t s

The Schainman Family invites you to join in

An 80 Year Tradition of Caring, Fun, Innovation & Friendship for Children 3-13 200 Old Tarrytown Road, White Plains, NY 10603 (914) 949-2635 info@campmohawk.com www.campmohawk.com

Gymnastics

1 4 Te n n i s C o u r t s

Ice Skating

Ye a r - R o u n d F a r m & P o n y R i d e s

Ga-Ga

Get out of the city! Have fun. Find your edge. Make new friends. We’re SeriouS ABout Summer Fun! • Instructional and recreational swimming

in our three-pool complex, featuring a three-tier water slide

Farm & Wilderness Amazing Summer Camps for Adventuring Souls

• Sports coached by program partners including

Super Soccer Stars and the Baseball Center

• Art activities in professional studios: ceramics,

jewelry, digital photography and filmmaking

• Challenge course with 40-foot climbing tower

and zip lines

• Activities and special events ranging from music Convenient bus pick-up and drop-off available throughout Manhattan

and nature adventures to cooking, gymnastics and much more!

Sign up noW for Summer 2012! Visit

92Y.org/Camps

or call

212.415.5573

AN OPEN DOOR TO EXTRAORDINARY WORLDS™ An agency of UJA-Federation

WestsideSpirit.com

www.farmandwilderness.org 802-422-3761, Plymouth, VT ENROLLING NOW

www.farmandwilderness.org January 19, 2012

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

802-422-3761, Plymouth, VT ENROLLING NOW!

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24•

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

January 19, 2012

NEWS YOU LIVE BY


FRost Valley ymCa RegisteR

sleepaway Camp, Farm Camp, Horse Camp, & adventure trips

online today!

1&2 week sessions in July & august FoR ages 7-16

2012

summeR

open Houses:

Camps frostvalley.org

Feb 26, Mar 25 & Apr 22 email:

camp@frostvalley.org Call us:

845-985-2291

only 2½ HRs FRom metRo ny/nJ!

June 24th – August 11th

• Traditional Program, an Active, Outdoorsy Camp! • Good, Safe, Fun In-Camp Activities, Sports & Trips • Child-Centered, Low-stress, Non-denominational • All-Inclusive, Mid-Range Tuition, Budgetable • All Staff are Background Checked Yearly Check us out! Lots to see at

www.campquinebarge.com Hikes! Mtn.Bikes! WestsideSpirit.com

603-253-6029

800-869-8497

R.C. Swim Classes!

January 19, 2012

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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WEST SIDE SPIRIT

January 19, 2012

NEWS YOU LIVE BY


WestsideSpirit.com

January 19, 2012

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

27


SPRING LAKE DAY CAMP Ringwood, New Jersey

Proudly Serving the Upper West Side.

A Day Camp with the Look and Feel of an Overnight!

C ompare Program, Facility, and Staff A thletics, Swim, Arts, Creative Arts, Trips, Events M ature Staff, Individual Red Cross Swim Instruction Setting Rain or Shine, 26 Acre Campus, 5 Acre P erfect Lake, Heated Pools, Manicured Athletics Fields

easy comm ute Just 2 ! miles 5 fro the gw m b!

 Ages 4 to 15; Camp Hours 9am to 4pm  A/C Door to Door Mini-Bus Transportation from the Upper West Side  Catered Hot Lunch and 2 Daily Snacks  Uniform T-Shirts Provided

Highest Quality … Best Value!

973-831-9000 www.SLDC.CoM

Mitchell and Michelle Kessler Owners/ Directors Family Owned and Operated Since 1989

Open House: SaturdaySeeing and Sunday February 12th and February 13th. is believing 11am to 1pm Please to schedule appointment. please checkcall oUr websiteanfor open house dates.

The Way Camp is Meant to Be ... Est. 1989

nature • music • lacrosse • karate • hockey • gymnastics • fishing

ceramics • climbing wall • computers • cooking • dance • drama • eurobungy • fitness •

• ropes course • soccer • softball • swim instruction • tennis • zip line • zumba & more •

archery • arts & crafts • baseball • beach volleyball • boating •

Pine Lake Park is like Camp for the Entire Family! Relaxing, fun and affordable, Pine Lake Park has something for everyone! Built as a utopian retreat and summer camp in the 1920’s, Pine Lake Park is celebrating 50 years as a summer co-op community. Located in N. Westchester, 50 minutes by train from Grand Central, PLP is a family friendly enclave of seasonal cottages situated on 45 wooded acres with a nucleus of 65 families. Owners and renters enjoy swimming, boating or fishing on our beautiful lake, and kibitzing, reading, and playing on the beach. Play tennis on our 4 red clay courts and weekly pickup games on a regulation-size basketball court, enjoy weekly entertainment, scholars/artists in residence, movies-under-the-stars and beach BBQs. The area offers hiking, biking, shopping and fine dining. The park opens May 15 - October 15 and 1-3 BR units are available for sale or rental.

www.pinelakeparkcoop.blogspot.com pinelakeparkinfo@gmail.com Or visit us on Facebook 28•

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January 19, 2012

NEWS YOU LIVE BY


WHAT ARE YOUR KIDS DOING THIS SUMMER? Renee Flax, director of camper placement of the ACA NY & NJ, will be on hand to answer parents’ questions and help guide them in their search for the right camp!

Upcoming Fairs:

SATURDAY, JAN 28, 2012 Downtown Grace Church School 86 4th Ave. 12PM - 3PM

SATURDAY, JAN 21, 2012

SUNDAY, JAN 29, 2012

SUNDAY, JAN 22, 2012

SATURDAY, FEB 4, 2012

Upper East Side St. Jean Baptiste School 173 E. 75th St. 12PM - 3PM

Upper West Side Congregation Rodeph Sholom 7 W. 83rd St. 12PM - 3PM

Park Slope Union Temple 17 Eastern Pkwy 12PM - 3PM

Upper West Side Bank Street School 610 W. 112th St. 12PM - 3PM

New York Family magazine and the American Camp Association, NY & NJ are teaming up for their winter fairs! Meet dozens of different camp directors from local DAY CAMPS and SLEEPAWAY CAMPS from across the region. Great for children ages 3 to 17! pre-register at:

Newyorkfamilycamps.com For more info on summer camps:

TheRightCamp.com

WestsideSpirit.com

January 19, 2012

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

29


Non-competitive Nature-oriented

Now in our 27th summer !

The Nature Place

Day Camp

2 85 HUNGRY HOLLOW ROAD, CHESTNUT RIDGE, NEW YORK 10 977

thenatureplace.com | e-mail: thenatureplace@aol.com TELEPHONE: 845.356.6 477

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WEST SIDE SPIRIT

January 19, 2012

NEWS YOU LIVE BY


camps

Getting to Know a

Camp’s Personality By Jess michaels

C

boys also located in the Berkshires, has a week-long program with a similar bent. “We call it Discovery Week,” he says. “It gives boys the chance to experience camp life for a shorter period of time before they make a commitment to a five- or sevenweek session. They learn about living in a bunk, separating from their parents and going through the daily activities that make up a sleepaway experience—and it really sets them up for success the following year because everything is familiar.” Many day and resident camps offer short sessions of up to a few weeks. Indeed, there are some camps that are “pure” short-session camps—meaning short sessions are their only mode. They are a great option if short sessions are the only kind of camp experience you intend for your child. However, if your ultimate goal is to transition your child into a longer camp experience, the American Camp Association, NY and NJ, recommends testing the waters with a longer-session camp that offers an introductory shorter session. Camp builds community. You don’t want your child to become a part of a short-session camp community if they’re only going to end up wanting more and more—and can’t get it from the camp community you’ve put them in. Cole Kelly is the camp director at Camp Weequahic, a resident camp in Wayne County, Penn., which offers two threeweek sessions or the option to stay for both sessions. He says, “We feel a short session camp must provide a specific beginning, middle and end for each of our campers. Even in the short sessions our campers enjoy all the fabulous traditions of summer camp as well as a wide variety of activities they don’t get much time to enjoy at home. And, of course, if you go for both sessions, you have that much more time to nurture friendships and enjoy camp life.”

amp provides children with the opportunity to learn new activities, meet new friends and learn life skills such as self esteem, leadership and confidence. There are many different summer camps for families to choose from and each camp provides unique programming and approaches. Parents should consider what type of program and camp environment will fit with their child’s interests and personality. But with so many different camp options, what is the best way for parents to find out what a camp is really like? How do parents begin to weed through all the options? Tour the Camp: Naturally, a great way for parents and children to get a feel for a day camp or resident camp is to tour the camp. Scheduling a camp tour with your child the summer before sending your child to camp gives him or her a chance to see the camp in action. A tour also gives you a chance to ask the camp director questions in the camp environment. “Our partnership with our families often begins with our camp tour,” said Josh Male, owner and director of Gate Hill Day Camp in Stony Point, N.Y. “A tour gives me an opportunity to hear what’s important to our parents and their children. It also allows us to speak about Gate Hill in a relaxed and personal way.” Camp tours give children the feeling that they are part of the process of choosing the camp—the more involved a child feels in the decision making, the more successful the camp experience usually is. If it’s not possible to tour the camp during the prior summer, you also could look into scheduling a tour in the off season. Sample a Camp: Many camps offer interested campers a chance to “try out” the camp by participating in Rookie Days or Rookie Weekends or even abbreviated sessions before registering for the next summer. “Our rookie programs enable our campers and parents to learn and experience the variety of programs we We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

Campers at an Oasis Day Camp show off their festive headgear! offer and the values that we teach at camp,” said Walter Synalovski, director of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, a boys’ resident camp in the Berkshires, Mass. “In addition, parents and kids have the opportunity to meet our nurturing staff and become part

of the Mah-Kee-Nac family. When they return the following year as a camper, they are familiar with our program and staff and know what to expect while at camp.” Mark Benerofe, owner and director of Camp Winadu, a resident sports camp for

Look at Websites, Videos and Brochures: They give families a sense of what a particular camp is like. Most camp websites have photo slideshows,

Ja n u a r y 1 9 , 2 0 1 2

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CAMPS

Traditional or Specialty Camp? Kids tend to hone in on a few hobbies or interests during the course of the school year, and the push to specialize—whether you like baseball or violin or chess, or anything else—is happening at younger and younger ages. This trend has had a great impact on how parents think about summer camp, with some favoring the chance for their child to enjoy a broad range of traditional camp activities, while others hope to give their child a chance to deepen their experience in one area of interest while also enjoying other camp activities. In doing your camp research, one of the key questions to explore from the start is whether you’re leaning toward “traditional” or “specialty.” Traditional summer camps offer children a varied camp experience with many different camp activities such as swimming, archery, ropes course, arts and crafts, soccer, basketball, boating and drama, among many others. For parents looking to provide their children with a social and developmental experience, such as learning life skills, developing independence, learning responsibility and connecting with people, the traditional camp will provide these experiences. Campers at traditional camps also become part of a community and will enjoy traditional summer camp activities such as Olympics, color war, bunk activity days, community service projects, carnival and trips off camp. Specialty camps focus on a specific camp activity or related camp activities for a given period of time. There are many different types of specialty camps available for children for just about every interest, such as horseback riding, tennis, drama, gymnastics or soccer. If your child has an interest in a specialized activity, there is bound to be a camp geared toward that interest. So, how do you know if you should send your child to a traditional camp or a specialty camp? Your child’s age is one factor to consider. Young children often don’t show a specific interest in just one activity because they are still figuring out what their interests are. Traditional camp gives them exposure to a whole range of activities and allows children to develop many different skills and talents. Older children and teenagers have often narrowed down their interests and sometimes show a particular interest in a sport or a skill. A specialty camp may be a good option for them to hone these skills. At the same time, parents should keep in mind that many traditional camps offer focused programs where campers can specialize in an activity of their choice such as tennis or soccer, while still enjoying the benefits of the traditional summer camp experience. Likewise, many traditional camps hire top coaches or experts as their specialists so campers receive top instruction. Parents also want to think about their child’s interests. If, during the school year, a child likes participating in school plays and also playing for a basketball team, he or she may prefer a traditional camp where the camper can participate in many different activities each day. If a child only participates in one activity all of the time and shows little interest in anything else, a specialty camp might be the right fit for that child. However, some parents might feel their child spends too much time on one activity during the school year and that a traditional camp will expose their child to a more diverse range of activities. “When choosing a camp, parents should consider all the facets of their child’s experience and everything they would like their child to gain during a summer at camp. A camp’s mission, leadership, activities and facilities all support a positive camp experience,” said Adam Weinstein, executive director of the American Camp Association, NY and NJ.

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videos, virtual tours and maps that will give parents and children a glimpse of the camp and the camp program. Many camps also include a sample daily schedule so families can see what a typical day at camp is like. Camps may also send you a DVD upon request.

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Talk to the Camp Director: Parents want to make sure they click with the camp director. Sam Borek, owner and director of Woodmont Day Camp in New City, N.Y., said, “An important first step in selecting the right camp for your child is meeting the camp director. Everything the camp does starts at the top and trickles down to the staff, the campers and the families. You want to make sure that you

January 19, 2012

Speak to a Camp Consultant: Much form a strong connection with the director like college advisors, these are people and are on the same page with their who specialize in helping families select decisions and values.” the right camp for their child. Typically, Speaking with the camp director and they don’t charge a fee—rather, they get asking some key questions is a good way paid by the camp that the family selects. for families to find out about a camp’s Their advice is generally very reliable philosophy and determine if it matches (after all, they want families to be happy their own. Get to know the camp director with the results or they’d put their own through phone calls, correspondence and reputation at risk). For example, one in person if possible. Often, the camp popular service, The Camp Connection director will come to your home during a (thecampconnection.com), typically visit to your area. Ask the camp director visits about 75 camps each summer to about the camp’s mission statement and ensure that their impressions are fresh what type of child is successful at camp. and accurate. Some camp consultants Likewise, the more open families are will visit you at home; others, like Camp with camp directors, the better informed Connection, are a phone service. they will be when it comes to making a Laurel Barrie, one of the co-owners decision. of Camp Connection, says they speak Renee Flax, camper placement to most families “multiple times,” with specialist at the American Camp the purpose of not only identifying some Association, NY and NJ, says, “While it camps they might like but “helping them is important for you to get to know a identify the core criteria and values that camp’s personality, it is also important are most important to them when they for a camp director to know about your family. You are forming “An important first step in a partnership with the camp director. When selecting the right camp for speaking to the camp your child is meeting the camp director, make sure to give an accurate picture of director. Everything the camp your child and what your specific goals are for your does starts at the top and trickles child’s camp experience. down to the staff, the campers Be upfront about your and the families.” child’s disposition and how your child does in group settings. Talk about their strengths think about the development of their child.” Parents interested in conferring and weaknesses. This will help them with a camp advisor should be aware with bunk placement. Even more, it that the American Camp Association, NY will help them know whether they have and NJ, has their own camp placement the right camp for your child. A camp director wants a successful summer camp specialist, Renee Flax, whose vast knowledge and familiarity with camps experience for your child. You can rely is matched by her insight and general on that.” helpfulness. Flax can be reached at 800777-CAMP or at renee@aca-ny.org. Visit a Camp Fair: Camp directors realize that many parents don’t have the Speak to Parents Who Send Their time to visit all of the camps they might be Children to a Camp You’re Interested interested in, so many of them participate in: No parent is going to have the exact in local camp fairs, where they set up same priorities or perceptions you information booths with videos of the camps and brochures. Camp fairs typically do, but it can still be very helpful to welcome children as well, so they’re a great hear a parent or two talk about their children’s experiences at a camp you’re opportunity for everyone in the family considering—and you certainly can ask a to meet many camp directors, get a lot of info and often discover one or more camps camp director for some parent references. It’ll give you a feel for the kind of families that might be a good fit for the children. who favor the camp and whether they In the greater New York City area, the describe a camp experience that’s in American Camp Association, NY and NJ, keeping with what you hope for your works with New York Family magazine to host a series of camp fairs throughout the child. Similarly, friends can be a reliable year. The fairs are free and feature resident source of information, but keep in mind that no one is a better expert on what’s camps and day camps of every variety. right for your child than you are. No For more information about the matter what a friend says, do your own ACA-sponsored Camp Fair series, visit research as well. newyorkfamilycamps.com. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y


CAMPS

Sleepaway Camp Alternatives Day Camp “The camp experience is as varied and diverse as the children that attend. Camp itself is for everyone, but not every camp is a fit for every child,” said Todd Rothman, director of Deerkill Day Camp in Suffern, N.Y. Day camp gives campers the best of both worlds: camp and home. Campers enjoy days filled with activities like swimming, arts and crafts, ropes course, sports, games and drama, and after a day of fun, they go home. Some day camps partner with resident camps to send day campers to overnight camp for a few days so they can get a feel for it; others host overnights at camp over the course of the summer. “When campers do ‘graduate’ to resident camp, we feel that we have succeeded in preparing them for that transition,” said Rothman. “We take great pride in the fact that we help children take their first step toward independence from their parents.”

Shorter Camp Sessions These are beneficial for young campers who are attending resident camp for the first time. Many camps offer two-week or

Campers at Bank Street Summer Camp enjoy some downtime.

Ready Or Not? S

Helping your child feel comfortable about going away to camp BY JESS MICHAELS

Bank Street Summer Camp four-week sessions. Jason Sebell, assistant director of Camps Kenwood & Evergreen, Brother-Sister resident camps in Wilmot, N.H., said, “Parents and children often express to us a mixture of excitement as well as apprehension about going away for the first time. This is why we feel offering the shorter session for first-time campers is a good way for these parents and campers to ease into camp.” Some camps will allow campers to stay the full session if they don’t want to leave after the shorter camp session, which is often the case! Camp director Cole Kelly said, “We feel a short-session camp must provide a specific beginning, middle and end for each of our campers. It really is a perfect option for families who want to enjoy all the aspects of camp while also allowing for ample family time during the summer.” —J.M.

We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

ending your child to camp for the first time is a major milestone, one that is often marked by excitement, anticipation and perhaps even some anxiety. For many kids, sleepaway camp is often the first real separation from parents they have experienced, and some have difficulty transitioning from the comforts of home to learning more independence. Homesickness, of course, is quite common, though in varying degrees. The good news is that “the vast majority of youngsters get over their homesickness in a matter of two or three days,” said David Tager, director of Indian Head Camp, a co-ed resident camp in Wayne County, Penn. “In order to minimize the

impact of homesickness, children need to be kept busy, especially during ‘down’ times like rest hour and bedtime,” he added. “Playing interactive games during rest hour and reading to campers at bedtime can be effective ways to distract homesick campers so they don’t turn their thoughts toward their families.” But that’s once they’re in the hands of experienced camp directors like Tager. There are many things parents can do to prepare their prospective campers for the emotional transition and support them once they are away.

Involve your child in the camp process. The more involved your child is about camp decisions, from choosing the camp

to packing, the more comfortable your child will feel about being at camp.

Practice separation throughout the year. Have your child sleep over at friends’ and relatives’ houses.

Discuss with your child what camp will be like. Honest discussions before your child leaves will help prepare your child for the camp experience.

Don’t bribe. Linking a successful camp stay to a material object when your child returns home sends the wrong message. Your child’s independence and growth at camp is the reward.

Ja n u a r y 1 9 , 2 0 1 2

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CAMPS

The

Is This the Summer to

BIG PACK

Make the Big Leap?

From clothing and footwear to must-have gear, here’s what to bring

Addressing the following questions will help you determine if your child is ready for the emotional journey from home to camp.

BY JESS MICHAELS

How old is your child? Children under the age of 7 may not adjust easily to being away from home at resident camp. Parents should consider day camp at an early age, which can prepare children for going to resident camp in the future.

C

onfused about what to pack for camp? When parents need to consider every weather scenario as well as which camp activities their child might be engaged in, packing for camp can be rather daunting. For sure, the camp you decide on will provide a detailed list of what to bring and (just as important) what not bring. It’s best to respect the “what not to bring” category. When parents try to sneak in an object that campers are not supposed to have—like a cell phone—it not only sends the wrong signal to their child and all the other children in the bunk, it defies the spirit of trust and community that are the underpinnings of a good camp. If you want to get a jump on camp essentials, or compare your camp’s list to a menu of standard camp essentials, here’s what to keep in mind to ensure that your child arrives at camp with the items he or she will need to have a wonderful summer camp experience:

How did your child become Windsor interested in camp? Does your Camp. child talk about camp and camp activities on a sustained basis? How much persuasion is necessary from you?

How have your child’s overnight experiences been, away from home? Has he or she had successful overnights with relatives or with friends? Consider whether these separations were easy or difficult for your child.

HEADGEAR: Parents should consider packing items to protect a camper from the sun. Don’t forget baseball caps, bandanas and sun hats, as well as needed eyeglasses, sunglasses and swimming goggles.

Are you able to share consistent and positive messages about camp? Parents should let their child know that they are confident in their child’s ability to have a successful summer camp experience.

CLOTHING: Include T-shirts, a swimsuit and shorts for hot days; a jacket, sweatshirt and jeans for cool days; and a raincoat or poncho for rainy days. Also, long pants will protect a camper from poison ivy, bugs and thorns during hikes. Check with the camp to see if dress clothes are required. FOOTWEAR: Appropriate footwear is one of the most important items to pack for camp, especially for hiking and running. Families should consider packing boots, tennis shoes, sandals and plenty of socks as well as dress shoes if the camp requires them. Remember that shoes should be broken in prior to the start of camp. BED AND BATH NEEDS: For children attending a resident camp, parents should remember to pack the home basics: towels, a blanket, pillow, pillowcases, sheets, sleeping bag, laundry bag and mattress pad. Bathroom kits are also essential. Parents should pack a brush and comb, shampoo, soap and soap container, toothbrush and holder, toothpaste, deodorant, insect repellent, feminine products, sunblock, shaving gear (if needed) and lip balm that contains sunblock. ADDITIONAL ITEMS: Other items that will be helpful for kids include magazines, flashlights and batteries, a water bottle, writing materials and frisbees or other toys. When considering electronics, musical instruments, and other special gear, make sure to check with the camp first, as they may have specific policies about what is allowed. PACK TOGETHER: The American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey, recommends that parents and children pack together to address any uneasiness children may feel about leaving home. “Your child will feel more secure if they know what they are bringing to camp, and you can use the time packing together to talk with your child about how much fun camp is going to be,” executive director Adam Weinstein pointed out. 34

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January 19, 2012

Mountain International Summer

What does your child expect to do at camp? Learning about the camp experience ahead of time allows you to create positive expectations. Touring a camp the summer before or signing up for “Rookie Days” or “Rookie Weekends” before a child goes to camp allows children to see the camp first hand and try out the activities.

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Send your child off with a personal item from home. Pack a favorite item, such as a stuffed animal.

Reach a prior agreement about phone calls from camp. Some camps may allow calls; others may not. Your child should know what the policy is beforehand, with an explanation for why the camp has that policy and of how they have a lot of experience in dealing with homesickness in kind and nurturing ways. Children should know that they will never be alone—and of course they can always write to you and vice versa.

● Send a note or package ahead of time to arrive in the first few days of camp. Send a letter from home or a care package, acknowledging in a positive way that you will miss your child. For example, the note can say, “I will miss you, but I know you are going to have a wonderful time at camp.” ●

Don’t plan an exit strategy. Before your child leaves for camp, don’t discuss plans

to pick up your child early from camp if he/she doesn’t like it. If you receive a “rescue call” from your child while at camp, offer calm reassurance and put the time frame of camp into perspective.

Don’t feel guilty about encouraging your child to stay at camp, even if your child wants to come home. For many children, camp is the first step toward independence and it plays an important part in their growth and development. Try to keep in mind that most of the time kids settle down and are glad they stayed at camp.

Talk candidly with the camp director about his or her perspective on your child’s adjustment to camp. Remember, camp staff are trained to ease homesickness, have dealt with homesick children before and will go out of their way to help make a child who’s feeling homesick feel more involved in camp. “When children begin to feel connected to the adults in their camp world, they feel more secure and their feelings of homesickness begin to subside,” said Tager. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y


CAMPS

Ken Glotzer, director of Day Camp in the Park in Harrison State Park, NY.

There Is No Place

LIKE CAMP BY KEN GLOTZER

A noted camp director shares some of his favorite anecdotes Editor’s Note: Ken Glotzer is the author of ‘There Is No Place Like Camp: A Camp Director’s Guide For Parents.’ He is the longtime director of Day Camp in the Park in Harriman State Park, N.Y. The following anecdotes were excerpted from his book. Stories matter… Although my camp is not geared to children with special physical needs, one summer I accepted a handicapped boy whom I thought might benefit from our camp. Luke could barely walk and he spoke very little. Yet he had the most profound influence on my campers and staff. Luke had cerebral palsy and he had many physical limitations. At first, we tried to have him travel with his age group. But our 500-acre nature preserve camp proved to be very inhospitable for him. So we changed our game plan. We decided to place him at various specialty activities throughout the day—one period at art, one period at nature, drama, swimming, boating, etc. Luke would get to know our campers and staff through these various specialties. In time, our campers learned to respect him for his courageous attempts to try new things. Though it was very difficult We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

for him to enter the boating area, through perseverance and assistance from my staff, he did and was able to try new activities he was never able to do before. The art teacher ordered a special type of clay so Luke could improve his fine motor skills by building a beautiful art clay mold. Luke learned that there are many wonderful people willing to help him conquer his physical limitations. We all won and learned from each other. There is no lesson more important to learn in life than knowing that we exist to help each other succeed and that we are better people by living this code of ethics. Out of the mouth of babes… Working with nursery school children, one should always be ready to laugh and realize that little children have a very unique way of looking at the world. One day, the counselors and campers were cleaning out a bunk. One of the counselors found a pair of size 6, snow-white underwear. The counselor asked, “Whose underwear is this?” No one responded. He asked again and still there was no response. Finally, the senior counselor said in great frustration, “It didn’t just fall from the sky.” One camper looked up and said, “Hmm…maybe it is God’s underwear.”

Success can be found in many ways with young children… There was a little boy who was convinced that he could not dress himself. Each day he told his counselor, “I am too little and I cannot do it.” When his mother came up on visiting day, she was observing her child trying to get dressed. Impatient to get to the barbeque that we have every year for our camp families, she said to him, “Oh, just let me do it. You are too little to do it.” However, by the end of the summer, Marc had learned to dress himself, and he was extremely proud of himself! He was able to see that there were plenty of other children his size who could dress themselves. This was a good lesson for mommy, too. He never knew he would become a great counselor . . .

He was a very shy, reticent young man who wanted to be a CIT (counselor in training). His foster mom had heard some good things about how our camp helped young teenagers become responsible, authentic young adults. She knew that her foster son could thrive in a supportive environment and he needed a positive experience in his life to help him persevere. His foster mom shared with me that Tyrone’s dad had died very young, and that his mom had numerous medical ailments. In addition, Tyrone had his own medical issues and had never succeeded in a group situation before. The main problem for me was that Tyrone had no prior camp experience, and starting camp at 14 was very late. However, I knew that I had to give him a serious interview and the main purpose of camp was to help children—all children. One could easily see that Tyrone was a very easygoing, sensitive, caring young man. He really liked to skateboard so I thought of possibly putting him at the skateboard park. When I asked him what he thought the major responsibility of a CIT would be at the skateboard park, his adult response startled me. He said, “Help the campers overcome their fears by letting them know that I would be there to support them whenever they tried to learn a new move.” We took him into our program, and for the next two years he progressed nicely and was ready to assume a paid position. Even though his physical ailments plagued him (one summer he needed a spinal fusion), he was always helpful, caring and sensitive to meeting the needs of our campers and they grew to love him. He had the gift of being able to develop an almost innate trust with young campers. He knew their initial fears in trying to master a new move on the skateboard but his easygoing and relaxed demeanor (without many words being spoken) soothed their fears and gained their trust. Furthermore, he learned from senior staff members the importance of using positive reinforcement techniques. In a short period of time he became a consummate skateboard instructor with a loyal following! Young children always respond best to authentic, sensitive, caring individuals. Even though Tyrone had a traumatic childhood, he recognized that helping others was crucial to his own well-being, growth and maturation. Now is the time for your family to choose a camp and begin to write and experience your own wonderful stories. Good luck!

Ja n u a r y 1 9 , 2 0 1 2

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� SPEC IAL SECTION: CONTI N U I N G E D U CATI O N New York College of Health Professions and The Open Center, a Match Made in Chakra New collaboration offers courses in holistic care for nurses | By seaN Creamer The New York College of Health Professions, which is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents, has been offering education in the fields of Western, holistic and integrative medicine for 30 years. After great success in their Long Island location in Syosset and two locations in New York City, the college will now collaborate with the world-famous Open Center to hold continuing education classes for even more students, starting Feb. 3. For many years, the college only offered classes at its Syosset location but, according to Barbara Carver, vice president of marketing and communications for the College, the program began to attract students from Massachusetts and Connecticut, which prompted them to begin expanding into New York City. “One of the fastest-growing occupations for nurses is holistic care, which would be utilized in assisted living conditions,” Carver said. The partnership between these two educators is a momentous occasion for both institutions because it exemplifies the growing acceptance of holistic practices in the Western spectrum of medicine. “We are going to be working jointly with

Open Center staff,” Carver said. Both organization have been working in the field for over 25 years, each teaching in differing styles. The New York College of Health Professions welcomes both new and continuing education students and offers classes to members of the public who wish to enhance their knowledge of Eastern medicine. One of the most popular classes offered by the College is “The Science of Self-Improvement,” where students learn how to assess their strengths and weaknesses versus their personal goals. This type of learning characterizes the outside-the-box style of education that the College offers. The College was the first to give degrees in acupuncture and massage therapy, according to Carver. As holistic medicine begins to take hold in Western practices, the College has gained “a worldwide reputation for being at the top of the field,” She said. The College offers many of its programs to the public, such as massage therapy, healing arts and energy work and physical arts. These classes are all included in the curriculum of the continuing education major and serve to expand upon the culture behind the medicine, a facet of holistic care that is crucial to implementing it in a field dominated by Western medicine ideals.

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medicine,” according to the College’s course description. Now that these two programs have united, students will be able to take advantage of the best of both worlds, working toward accredited degrees from the New York College of Health Professions while taking advantage of the many spiritual classes offered by The Open Center.

Lifelong Learning with Baruch’s CAPS

PhOtO By eDeN PiCtUres

36

Although the College offers many of its programs to the public, the focus of the curriculum can be found in its continuing education program, where registered nurses, doctors, physical therapists and chiropractors take classes in the aforementioned fields to be certified as holistic caregivers. While the College has been accredited to award degrees in the field of holistic care in traditional college-style classes, The Open Center explores much more the spirituality of holistic care while still teaching the techniques of the trade. The Open Center has been teaching the practices for over 28 years, bringing “over 500 programs of exceptional depth and integrity to audiences totaling more than 10,000 annually,” according to The Open Center’s website. Akin to the New York College of Health Professions, The Open Center offers classes in the many fields of holistic care, ranging from the physical to the spiritual side. The Open Center focuses not only on teaching the practice of holistic medicine but on living it. This is a notion that the College shares as well, requiring that continuing education students take one class in yoga, tai-chi or reiki because “physical arts play an essential and vital role in the education of our holistic health practitioners [as they] grasp an understanding of the culture behind the

| By Vatisha smith

Baruch College has a program in its Division of Continuing and Professional Studies (CAPS) for anyone looking to expand their skillset or fulfill a personal goal. Courses range from accounting to yoga, with many costing as little as $150. One of the largest CUNY colleges, Baruch is always evolving, determined to bring relevant education to meet ever-changing interests and career trends. Ann Clarkson, assistant dean of CAPS, stressed Baruch’s effort to help individuals overcome a “skill gap,” nurturing what she calls “a belief in lifelong learning.” Lifelong learning is the idea that one •

January 19, 2012

never stops learning and that there is always room to grow. Clarkson said that there aren’t any specific subjects regularly pursued by those who register in CAPS programs, but that many of its students come from a business background. Over 100 years old, Baruch’s goal is to provide graduate programs focusing on professional preparation that enable students to become innovators in their fields. Some of the continuing education courses they offer include project management, certificate programs and real estate licensing. Advisement staff are also on hand to help with students’ goals. For more information and a list of programs, visit baruched.com.

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� SPEC IAL SECTION: E DUCATI O N At Léman Prep, Critical Thinking is Key Pre-K through 12th grade immerses students in globally charged curriculum | By AnAm BAig Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, part of the Meritas group of international private and boarding college prep schools, promises a dynamic, culturally aware education for all of its pre-kindergarten through high school students. Formerly known as Claremont Preparatory School, it was acquired by the Meritas Family of Schools, a conglomerate of prep schools, last April. It was renamed Léman Manhattan Preparatory School after its sister schools, Collège du Léman in Switzerland and Léman International School in Chengdu, China. Both Léman campuses are located in the Financial District. Its lower school, ranging from pre-K through 4th grade, is at 41 Broad St., the former headquarters of Bank of America International—where Claremont Prep used to be. The middle and high schools opened to students in September 2010 and are on the top

four floors of the Cunard Building, located on Morris Street and Broadway right by the Wall Street Bull. The campus boasts a two-floor library, art and music studios, multiple computer labs, a café and an athletic facility with a 25-yard pool, full-size gymnasium and fully equipped exercise room. “We are located in the heart of American history. If you look outside our window, the Statue of Liberty is there, welcoming people as she has for hundreds of years. It’s just an amazing, amazing place to be able to teach children,” said Christine Karamanoglou, interim head of the Léman middle school. Léman Prep immerses students in a globally charged curriculum and promises an open forum for communication between parents, students, faculty and the administration, as well as with students at other Meritas schools located on three different continents. From day one, students are encouraged to be critical, culturally aware learners. Léman’s lower school curriculum focuses on educating the child as a whole, with careful attention to

that go past academia and into the personal lives of these growing individuals. The goal of the advisory system is to ensure every student is well-rounded before continuing with more rigorous high school and college education. The Léman Prep high school will graduate its first senior class in 2013. It provides its students opportunities for academic excellence, co-curricular activities, special projects and internships with neighboring government, nongovernmental and artistic, environmental, educational and financial organizations. By combining facets of local and international communities in the burgeoning neighborhood of the Financial District, Léman Manhattan Preparatory School continues to excel as a global learning community.

math, language and art. “Critical thinking is very important in the lower school. We strive to give our youngest students the tools they need to become independent learners, rather than just simply memorizing and reciting things they’ve read or heard,” said Rob Cousins, head of the lower school. The middle school furthers the critical thinking process for students, giving them insight into how to use the education they acquired in the lower school in a productive way. During this time, students are introduced to an advisory group, a concept many new schools are adopting in order to ensure a safe, fostering environment for the youth. These are usually small groups of students headed by a teacher, forums for discussion

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By Josh Rogers Any green activist worth his weight in flowers has spent hours reading environmental impact statements (eis). even though the reports are typically prepared by agencies anxious to start work, they still have info that may derail or kill a project. some might even pity the applicant who leaves something out. Westway, the grand plan to develop the West side on top of Hudson river landfill, was delayed

“They haven’t sent anything for a year. I think they’re done,” said Latha Thompson, the board’s district manager, with hope in her voice. fatally two decades ago because officials did not consider its effect on striped bass. A traffic engineer i know who has prepared many environmental statements for the city and who has attacked others for neighborhood activists once told me that he could find holes in any eis—including those he wrote. the voluminous reports attempt to look at every possible effect of a project on the environment except one: What is the impact of printing environmental impact statements? the final eis for the second Avenue

subway project is three volumes long and five and a half inches high when stacked up. prior to the final report, there were draft versions, scoping documents and revisions to previous reports that were dutifully sent to community board offices, libraries, affected government agencies and others. the Metropolitan transportation Authority sent out 400 copies of the final report and kept 100, said agency spokesperson Kevin Ortiz, who quite aptly calls it “one of the biggest public works project in the world.” He said putting reports online has lessened the demand for paper versions, which may mean that in the future, the MtA will take a softer line on printing so many hard copies. some of the previous reports are still in the Community Board 8 office, but the subway project is not even close to being the biggest one in terms of report size. that honor goes to the proposed east river waste transfer station near 91st street. the bound volumes consume over 30 inches on one of the board’s bookcases. “they haven’t sent anything for a year. i think they’re done,” said Latha thompson, the board’s district manager, with hope in her voice. the big environmental groups generally shy away from talking about the irony

CoMMunity SoAPBox Fight Hard Before Shops Disappear

Better fight hard, or your neighborhood will soon look like the destroyed West Greenwich Village (“City Listens to Ma and Pa,” Jan. 12). Marc Jacobs on four corners, Ralph Lauren and all the other designers that we can’t afford. Bleecker Street looks like the Upper East Side, and there is no room on the sidewalks because NYU has taken over, alone with the tourists who come to see what is no longer there: the quaint, small, neighborly businesses. And of course, we can no longer afford an emergency trauma center and hospital (St. Vincent’s), so $1.5 million condos are taking over. We have one Duane Reade that fills almost a whole block! —Br385

January 19, 2012

of killing trees as part of an effort to protect the environment. public policy analyst Charles Komanoff said the tree casualties are “pretty depressing” given that “gotcha moments” in environmental statements don’t come often. the original idea behind the creation of the eis 40 years ago was to take the politics out of decisions, but the reports fail on that count, he said. “it’s not a panacea,” said Komanoff, who works on reducing traffic. “At the end of the day, it’s only politics.” the statements stay in the city archives long after boards and libraries get rid of them. thompson said she has received conflicting information on how long she should hold onto an eis, so she has settled on 10 years. that means she’ll be getting rid of the subway statements in 2014, long before the project is fully built—assuming, of course, that the day will in fact come. Her West side counterpart, penny ryan, does not have reports as long, so she’s not worried about storage space. But still, they do seem to take on lives of their own. “You’re welcome to come visit them,” she offered. Josh rogers, a contributing editor at Manhattan media, is a lifelong New Yorker. Follow him on twitter @JoshrogersNYC.

The best comments from WestSideSpirit.com

More Planning for Shops Plan

Unfortunately there are parts of this proposed law that are not being talked about. One, is that it would also limit the width of residential building lobbies to 15 feet. There are also many questions about who owns the property on the various blocks that will be exempt from this new zoning law. The grandfathering of existing locations needs a much better explanation, and clarification for the public to be able to make an informed decision. Perhaps there could be some kind of zoning setup that allows benefits to a developer to have smaller stores at lower rents. This needs to be looked at and studied in much greater detail, not just pushed through so that local politicians running for higher office have something to hang their hat on in 2013.

We need to be very careful about doing things to our community on such a large scale. —RJ

Alcoholism and the Aged

Thank you for this most informative article (“An Age-Old Problem, Alcoholism, Also Hits the Aged”). It’s startling to know how many seniors have this problem. It’s also heartbreaking. I believe we should call this a national epidemic—the cost to society is incalculable. I’ve had relatives, male and female, who suffered this fate. It is so hard for the loved ones who have to deal with someone whose brain is chemically altered. I don’t know what the answer is, but we need to keep talking about this and keep it in the news. —Charlene Rubush

N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


new york gal

New York Proves Itself One More Time A returned wallet restores faith in the big city By Lorraine Duffy Merkl “They have your wallet over at The Mansion [Diner],” said my doorman last Monday morning. He was referring to my new, blue, rectangular Michael Kors wallet that holds my life and that I thought I’d never see again. The previous Saturday I had run errands, traveling light with only what I could fit in my pockets: my iPhone and trusty MK. Earbuds in place, I powerwalked across 86th Street to the sound of my iTunes library. Due to technical difficulties, I needed both hands to fiddle with the iPhone. So preoccupied did I become with my music that it took me a minute to acknowledge that my purse was sliding out of my coat. I ripped my earbuds from their sockets and turned quickly, expecting to find it on the ground. It was nowhere. This is what baffled me: How could it not be on the sidewalk? It had fallen only seconds

earlier. I retraced my steps from the 86th Street side of The Viand Diner to Second Avenue in front of The Heidelberg. I went there and back at least 10 times, then along the whole stretch of 86th Street from First to Second. Nothing. How could it disappear so fast? I couldn’t understand, unless someone hot on my heels had seen it drop and picked it up. “I think you got your pocket picked,” my husband, Neil, surmised. Either way, my stuff was gone. Luckily, I’d made copies of the wallet’s contents so I knew what I was missing. I called credit card companies and the bank, as well as the credit monitors— Equifax, Experian and TransUnion— who help prevent identity theft. (FYI: Reporting to Equifax is enough, as they alert the other two.) With this behind me, I had the rest of Saturday and Sunday to wait out so I

could take care of the rest on Monday: Social Security card replacement and a new driver’s license. Plus the less crucial replacement of museum membership and library cards, et al. I suddenly went into mourning for my Duane Reade FlexRewards card. Sunday afternoon, I took the advice of some credit card reps and reported the loss at my police precinct. Even though I knew they wouldn’t dispatch the SWAT team in search of my possessions, it seemed like a good idea to have a record of the incident. I’d never been inside a station house. I found two officers behind a rather tall desk. My neck started hurting from looking up to tell my tale of woe. I filled out a multipage form, then the officer had to copy what I wrote on to his own report, plus write down my story of what had happened. This took forever. Sunday night I didn’t sleep, too anxious waiting to begin my rounds of calls, voice recordings and the dreaded trip to

the DMV and Social Security office. But the next morning, my doorman let me know a man had found my wallet. He had come by around midnight on his way to work his overnight shift. There was some mixup with the night doorman, who wasn’t sure if he should buzz up so late. The man said he’d come back before he went home at 8 a.m., but I couldn’t wait and ran over to the diner. Everything was inside MK, except my money and MetroCard. (Note to whomever has both: Hope you are someone who truly needed them. Enjoy. And thanks for ditching the rest.) Of course, the big shout-out belongs to the man who returned my “life.” I always like to believe I can count on my fellow New Yorkers, and this one proved me right by working overtime. Lorraine Duffy Merkl’s debut novel Fat Chick, from The Vineyard Press, is available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Dewing Things BeTTer

Dousing the Flame on Apartment Fires Fire prevention must become a top national concern By Bette Dewing “We often need as much to be reminded as to be informed” are among the wisest words ever spoken. Thank you, Dr. Samuel Johnson. And we must remember Martin Luther King’s dream of a nation where content of character matters, not skin color. Surely that means not valuing “physical attractiveness” over character. Recent research shows that so-called attractive members of Congress are the ones who get the most TV coverage (“Looks Matter as TV Covers Congress,” New York Times, Jan. 6). Once, the women’s movement denounced this general attractiveness bias, and I’m seeking others concerned that the now decades of related research stored in one of my file cabinets do not go to waste. Indeed, I recently started going to the EIS Housing Resource Center’s organizing group because of decades of research on a number of frustrating crusades about public safety. How I wish you’d heard the January meeting’s powWe st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

erful talk on fire prevention by Kevin Anderson, an FDNY Safety Education member. It takes an impassioned speaker like Anderson to effectively inform and remind. “We must remember,” he said, that fireplace embers caused the fire that killed three little sisters and their grandparents. “It would likely not have turned deadly if smoke detectors had been working.” These foremost fire prevention tools must be placed up high and checked every month—and several are better than one. Julie, a savvy business executive, marveled, “He said so much I didn’t know!” like the fact that carbon monoxide detectors must be replaced every five to seven years and extension cords should be used only temporarily, never for high power users like TVs and space heaters, and must be in mint condition and UL approved. I add: Make installing additional wall outlets

affordable! Power strips must be checked for capacity levels. Some lamps, too. Anderson fears screw-in-type fluorescent bulbs because their bases can dangerously overheat, another reason to support the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice bill! (A recent East End Avenue penthouse fire was reportedly lamp-related.) “And use only battery-powered candles!” he implored. Throw baking soda, never water, on small grease fires. Keep a large pot cover handy to smother small stove fires, but call 911 and get out with anything larger, especially in a non-fireproof building. No building is entirely fireproof, but those with steel beams and all-concrete walls and floors keep fire contained. Marble floors “crumble with heat.” Use only fire department-approved window gates and never place anything on fire escapes. Instructions for devising an escape

plan and other vital information is found in the Fire Safety for Seniors brochure that was shared with our group. “It’s for all ages,” said Anderson but, he stressed, “50 percent of fire victims are age 65 and over.” So let’s study and discuss this life-saving booklet, at least monthly, when we check our smoke detectors. Call 718-281-3870 for a copy. Build we must on the unprecedented outpouring of public grief and nationwide media coverage of the deaths of Lily, Grace and Sarah Badger and their grandparents, Pauline and Lomer Johnson, to finally make fire prevention a top nationwide priority. And now two deadly local fires: The Times’ “Fleeing a Fire, Only to Realize That One Child Was Left Behind” tragically reminds us that the family of the 7-year-old boy in Brooklyn did not have an escape plan. The death of a woman, age 38, in a fire in an abandoned Harlem building where she and a friend had reportedly taken shelter did not receive print coverage. First we must be informed and then reminded, reminded, reminded!

Ja n u a r y 1 9 , 2 0 1 2

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January 19, 2012

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West Side Spirit January 19, 2012