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February 2, 2012


tapped in

Notes from the Neighborhood Compiled by Anam Baig & Megan Bungeroth

Local Legislator Weds Under Law He Championed

West Side Arsonist Sentenced Following a November conviction, Daniel Phillips, 32, was sentenced this week to 10 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision and $10,000 in restitution payment for setting fire to a residential building at 410 W. 48th St. Phillips was convicted of arson in the second degree, criminal mischief in the second degree and reckless endangerment. In January 2009, he was at a party in the building and got into a fight with another guest. The host asked him to leave at about 4:30 a.m., and he did—but returned to set a blaze under the stairwell, forcing the evacuation of dozens of people into 14-degree weather and causing $320,000 worth of damage to the building.

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“The defendant had every reason to believe that setting this fire would endanger every resident in the building but he did it anyway, causing extensive damage and displacing residents on a bitterly cold winter night,” said District Attorney Cy Vance in a statement applauding the sentence. “Apart from jeopardizing lives, the safety of firefighters responding to the scene was also compromised.”

Women’s Rights Forum The Upper West Side Democrats for Change are hosting an educational forum, open to the public, on the erosion of women’s rights and what can be done to prevent it in the current political climate. Speakers will be Sean Gavin, political director for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and Emily Arsenault, her state director. The event takes place Monday, Feb. 13 from 6:30–8 p.m. at the Goddard Riverside Senior Center Lounge, 593 Columbus Ave., at 88th Street.

Book Fair to Benefit Kids The 3rd- and 4th-grade scholars of the Speyer Legacy School are having a book fair at Barnes and Noble at 82nd and Broadway on Feb. 9 at 10 a.m., and will read aloud from historical narratives they wrote about their expeditions with famous European explorers. OK, so they didn’t sail to uncharted territory with the likes of Sir Walter Raleigh and Amerigo Vespucci, but in their arts and humanities classes, these above-average students learned about Europe’s westward expansion in every glorious and gory detail. The students wrote historical narratives of their journeys with famous European explorers to showcase their understanding of different historical perspectives. This event is what the Speyer School calls a “culminating event,” which take place at the end of every academic unit. As part of an effort to raise money for their scholarship program for students with limited financial needs, Barnes and Noble will donate a portion of all sales that morning, including books, music, food and drinks and the Nook e-reader, in support of the School. The donation drive will continue online at bn.com Feb. 10-14.

Local Writer Chronicles Life in Two Places Half the House: My Life In and Out

F ebruary 2, 2012

andrew schwartz

Congratulations to Upper West Side Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell, who wed his longtime partner John Banta, special events director for the Metropolitan Opera, last Sunday. O’Donnell, who was a strong and consistent advocate for marriage equality in the state Legislature, reportedly extended a wedding invitation to many of his colleagues who supported the measure. In attendance, City & State reported, were Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Attorney General Andrew Schneiderman, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. O’Donnell’s famous comedian sister, Rosie O’Donnell, also attended the 400-person affair held at Guastavino’s on the East Side, and former Chief Justice of the New York Court of Appeals Judith Kaye officiated the ceremony. Assembly Member Joseph Lentol told the Daily News that the star-studded event was “really elegant and tasteful,” and City & State added that the couple entered the hall to the sweet sounds of opera star Ruth Ann Swenson singing “I Carry Your Heart.”

IT’S PRonoUnCed SHoW-Lo-ITz-qUInT-Ly

of Jerusalem is a lyrical, understated memoir written by Rachel Berghash, a writer who lives on the Upper West Side. Published last November, it spans seven decades of her life as a daughter, Israeli soldier, wife and mother in Manhattan and spiritual seeker. While planning an upcoming book tour, Berghash answered some questions for the West Side Spirit. WSS: Where did you do most of your writing? RB: I devote much time to writing at home and in my office, where I used to teach and counsel. Also, I like writing in the city’s museums; the Metropolitan Museum is a favorite place. A number of years ago, there was a café at the Met that faced an area of Central Park, and through huge glass windows you could see trees, heavy with leaves in the summer, bare and lean in the winter. I would sit there and write for hours. How has New York City inspired you? Only a large-resource city like New York can facilitate the tolerant, serious study I’ve experienced, where one sees the light, not the heat. I grew up in an orthodox Jewish family with dos and don’ts, studying the Bible and Talmud, so the study of biographies of great religious figures was a spiri-

Upper Westsider Jose Barrera holds Alma Dulce, a xoloitzcuintli, who is representing one of the six new breeds competing at the 136th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The hairless xoloitzcuintli is the official dog of Mexico.

tual adventure. Contemporary philosophy that included Wittgenstein and Whitehead was enthralling. New York, with its diversity and the permission to live one’s own life, freed me. The subway exemplifies this wondrous diversity—a place where I often hear a language for the first time, which thrills me. As I wrote in my memoir, sometimes when I see the neon lights in New York or witness the glitz on Fifth Avenue, I miss the look of the simple billboards in Jerusalem, the sacred places, the narrow grey streets, the sense of tradition and history that Jerusalem offers. Most of all, I miss the people, the communal feelings, the presence of those who were so much a part of my childhood and young adulthood. At the same time, during my visits in Jerusalem, I miss the privacy and solitude I enjoy in New York. On what level are you trying to connect with your audience? I want to connect with my readers on a personal, intimate level and to convey something about the interior work I’ve done on a psychological, spiritual and religious level; an inner work that carried me through periods of stress and anxiety and has brought me some peace and joy. New York has been the facilitating environment, with Jerusalem always looming in the background. N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


OPEN THINKING | ON A NEW SCHOOL OF THOUGHT No. 2 IN A SERIES

CAN CHILDREN LEARN LANGUAGE LIKE MUSIC? By Yongling Lu Curriculum Specialist, Avenues

In our global society, becoming fluent in a foreign language is a huge advantage for any child. Fortunately, learning language today doesn’t have to be an endless exercise in verb conjugation and translation. It helps to think of language as music, with its distinctive rhythm and melody. The most effective way to teach a language is to help students learn to “sing the music” of a new language — through stories, games and theatrical performances. Read the rest of Yongling Lu’s article about learning language at www.avenues.org/ylu. You’ll also find articles, video interviews and details on parent information events hosted by the leadership team of Avenues: The World School. Yongling Lu is the curriculum specialist in the Mandarin Chinese program at Avenues. Avenues is opening fall 2012 in Chelsea. It will be the first of 20 campuses in major cities, educating children ages three to 18 with a global perspective.

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February 2, 2012

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crime watch

Crime Watch By Megan Bungeroth

A retail worker at a store on Amsterdam Avenue was asked by two men to see some jewelry items behind a locked case. The employee obliged, unlocked the case, showed the pieces, then returned them to the case and locked it. The men left the store, but when the woman looked again, she noticed that four pieces, including a 14-karat rose cushion-cut white stone diamond and a ruby emerald white stone ring, worth $19,995 in total, were gone from the case.

bor invited her into his apartment, she lost consciousness and was raped. The woman also told police that her aunt had been trying to force her into an arranged marriage and threatened to take her to the Dominican Republic and force her to work as a prostitute. The woman’s father told police that his daughter is mentally challenged and suffers from bipolar disorder and a learning disability. The woman said that she went to the hospital after the alleged rape to be tested for STDs and pregnancy, but it is unclear why a sexual assault report was not filed with police at that time. Both the alleged rapist and the aunt are wanted by police.

Phantom Cab Rides

Swindle by Transfer

A woman was enjoying a night out at the Veranda nightclub late Sunday night while an unknown thief was riding around the city with her credit card. The woman discovered that her wallet was missing from her closed purse after she boarded the 1 train that night. Charges show that the wallet nabber used her card to take a taxi at 2:21 a.m. for $12.26 and again at 3:36 a.m. for $22.44, while she was still at the club, blissfully unaware of the crime.

A woman alerted police that an unknown and unauthorized person has been withdrawing funds from her Chase checking account. The perpetrator has taken $12,000 from the account illegally.

Jewelry Switcheroo

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Th e re ’ s A Ne w C S A Sav e I n To w n ! $54 Sign up at: www.thunderroadproduce.com or call: (917) 546-4622 • (609) 805-5530 Tr i a l S h a re s a re A v a i l a b l e J o i n To d ay , S p a c e i s L i m i t e d !

Scaffolding Burglar A woman returned to her home on West 75th Street on Wednesday to find several items missing, including an iPad, a laptop, a pearl necklace and earrings and a bag of loose coins totaling $100. There was no sign of forced entry, but the windows were unlocked and accessible by the scaffolding outside the building.

Thunder Road Rapist Wanted Produce Just Picked!

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F ebruary 2, 2012

Last Thursday, a woman came to the police with her father to report a rape that she said occurred this past October. The woman told police that she had been staying with her aunt, and when a neigh-

Grab and Go A woman was walking on Broadway between West 72nd and 73rd streets on Thursday, using her iPhone, when a man ran up from behind her, grabbed the $400 phone and fled the scene on foot. The suspect is described as 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, in his twenties, wearing a blue plaid shirt and dark pants.

Rental Scam A man reported that he rented an apartment on West 71st Street through a brokerage firm, but when he moved in he was told to leave until the building’s board approved his move-in. He left his belongings in the apartment and when he returned, he found several items missing, including a $4,000 watch. The man said he discovered that the landlord had keys to the apartment and was loaning it out to people to stay in while he was gone. N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


Fordham University congratulates

Phylicia Rashad

The Inaugural Denzel Washington Chair in Theatre at Fordham and

Pete Fornatale, fcrh ’67 Host of WFUV’s “Mixed Bag”

Recipients of the 2012 American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

Media and Entertainment Excellence Award We celebrate their continued pursuit of integrity in all of their personal and professional endeavors.

12-0819_WSS_AFTRA_AWARD_1_13_12.indd 1

WestsideSpirit.com

February 2, 2012

1/17/12 10:46 AM

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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news

Queen of Retail on the Art of the Real Estate Deal

th, 4 1 uary es r b e F ntin e l a V ! Day

When she entered the business, she often called friends, fearing she would never complete a deal or make any money. “It’s commercial real estate, it’s rough and tough. It’s not like this in residential because in residential, it’s about the price. In retail, it’s about the location and the economics. Not a lot of women can support themselves through Faith Hope Consolo the start-up.” Coming from a background where she rubbed elbows with the well-connected, she decided that the best way to reach out to clients would be to contact the presidents and chairmen of retail companies. Her first big deal was with Godiva Chocolatier, which had shops all across Europe. Consolo convinced the president of that company to expand in andrew schwartz

By Vatisha Smith Faith Hope Consolo, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Retail,” has been a dominant force in Upper West Side commercial/retail real estate for many years. Before she became a real estate agent specializing in big-name realtors and property owners, Consolo sold cosmetics and worked in interior design. Real estate was not a field she felt drawn to, but after a divorce, her attorney and some friends suggested that the job would be a good fit for her. Consolo started out working in a small, hole-in-the-wall office on 57th Street. The agent she worked with agreed to train her in retail real estate, beginning with walking around Manhattan, canvassing locations and giving her the best tools for prospecting: a phone book and a telephone. A woman in retail was practically unheard of at that time. Most of the resistance she met with came from other commercial agents in the field. “Many of those men are no longer in the business or now actually work for me,” she said.

being interviewed five times by the head of the company, Consolo was selected to represent Cartier in the negotiation of their lease renewal. As their 5th Avenue location was owned by the Onassis Foundation, Consolo’s determination to get the job done for her clients took her all the way to Greece. There she managed to meet with the board of the Foundation and negotiate a deal with terms all parties could agree to. “That deal took me to the next level in my career,” she said. Seeing the need to give back, Consolo has created a scholarship is a dominant force in commercial real estate. fund for women who want to pursue a career in real estate. She also New York, which eventually led to her does pro bono retail work. closing over 50 deals with them. The Retail Queen said that staying on Some deals, however, took more time top of the real estate market is a full-time than others. For example, after five years job and that she doesn’t disconnect, even of showing him space after space, the on vacation. president of Au Bon Pain finally settled “You have to keep your ear to the on one. pulse,” she said. “There are concepts in When asked about her most memo- other places that become famous here rable deal, she replied, “Cartier.” After because we’re really the fishbowl.”

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feature

Fashion Week Nightmare

andrew schwartz

Neighbors cry foul over takeover of neighborhood park By Megan Bungeroth

F

or designers, buyers, reporters, photographers and clothesconscious consumers the world over, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week conjures images of the latest and greatest designs paraded around in a swirl of parties and publicity. For residents of the area surrounding Fashion Week’s Lincoln Center home, however, the event conjures headaches, concerns over safety and anger over limited access to a public park. “I don’t think Fashion Week belongs in this setting,” said Susan Koeppel, a resident of The Alfred at 161 W. 61st St. The residents there already combat construction from Fordham University and the Third Water Tunnel; many have rallied together to

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complain to the community board and local officials about the grievances they endure during Fashion Week’s set-up, shows and breakdown period that stretches for four to five weeks twice a year. “There should be other venues that wouldn’t have to impact the community in this way,” Koeppel said, citing noise as well as overflowing trash and loud parties disrupting the neighborhood. “It’s not an asset for the community. It may be an asset for people who are involved commercially, but for the people who live here and the people who work here, it’s a huge inconvenience.” Fashion Week, a eight-day event that draws an estimated quarter of a million people and over $230 million in revenue to

F ebruary 2, 2012

New York, used to be anchored in Bryant Park. While that area is much more commercial than residential, Dan Biederman, president of Bryant Park Management Corporation, said that its neighbors had some of the same complaints about noise and crowding. “There were things we didn’t like about having the shows at Bryant Park,” Biederman said. “We had complaints about generators that were necessary for both the shows and the ice rink we run.” Ultimately, he said, the shows were cutting down the time they could have the ice rink open in the winter and crowding out the popular spot for regular parkgoers in the summer. “A lot of people think I’m out of my

mind for giving up $2.5 million in fees,” Biederman said. “We couldn’t run the park the way we wanted.” Two years ago, the organizers moved to Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center, which offers more space and affords more designers the opportunity to show their collections. IMG, the producers of Fashion Week, have coordinated with City Council Member Gale Brewer’s office as well as with the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District and Community Board 7 to address residents’ concerns, but some say not nearly enough has been done to mitigate the negative impact of the glitzy event. “They go nonstop, 24 hours a day with construction equipment,” said another Alfred resident, Neil Lawner, describing N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


feature the banging and beeping of trucks late into the night. “What’s really being done, to the people in our building specifically and anyone who’s using 62nd Street generally, because it’s a popular thoroughfare, is [they’re] being held hostage, because private enterprise is doing what they want to do,” Lawner said. “It has evolved. I think the positive is that there is lots of economic opportunity all around, from the restaurants to the

rounding neighborhoods to make our presence as positive and unobtrusive as possible. MBFW and event producer IMG are grateful for the patience and cooperation the community has shown us thus far and remain committed to working with them to address any concerns that may arise in seasons to come.” The company sent out community notices in advance of construction this year, and also maintains a 24-hour hotline to address concerns. Even more pressing for some is the use

“It’s not an asset for the community. It may be an asset for people who are involved commercially, but for the people who live here and the people who work here, it’s a huge inconvenience,” Susan Koeppel said. ancillary to the catering,” said City Council Member Gale Brewer. “We dealt with noisy generators last time,” she said, noting that Fashion Week has been obliging in modifying their generators to be less loud. “The real issue for me is the issue of Amsterdam Houses and people who wouldn’t normally have opportunities getting opportunities,” Brewer said. Fashion Week hires a handful of temporary employees from nearby NYCHA housing, but she would like to see their efforts expanded. “I still think we need to do a lot more for the NYCHA residents who are back to back with Fashion Week.” “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week takes its role as a community member seriously,” said a spokesperson for IMG in an email. “Since moving to Lincoln Center, we have worked diligently with the sur-

of Damrosch Park for private events for much of the year, between the February and September Fashion Weeks and the Big Apple Circus commandeering the spot for much of the time in between. According to the Parks Department, the park is managed by Lincoln Center through a license agreement with the city. Parks spokesperson Phil Abramson wrote in an email that the park “consists of a hard-surfaced seating area and receives low visitorship levels during the winter.” Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, takes issue with that characterization and said that it’s because of the private intrusions that people stay away from Damrosch Park. “It’s certainly an issue that the public does not have access to that park for the majority of the year,” Croft said. “That

parks belongs to the public, not to a private corporation.” He also voiced what has been a frequent critique of the Parks Department, that they allowed 67 trees to be cut down to accommodate the park’s new tenants. “All these trees were destroyed, all that flora and fauna, the hedges and stuff; they were destroyed. The public looks at tents most of the year now,” Croft said. Regarding those trees, Abramson wrote, “As restitution for the 67 trees that were removed, we planted 220 trees in the one-mile area around Damrosch Park. In addition, Lincoln Center planted a net increase of 88 trees on its campus and arranged for 11 trees to be transplanted.” Many are not satisfied with that answer. Cleo Dana, another outspoken resident of The Alfred, testified at Community Board 7’s last full board meeting, questioning whether Lincoln Center is the right home for such a big event. “Where to put Fashion Week? Not to the Javits Center where it belongs or to an Armory or even Carl Schurz Park, but to Damrosch Park, a New York City park that had the misfortune of being geographically located in Lincoln Center, the cultural heart of New York City’s performing arts,” Dana said. “Damrosch Park does not belong to Lincoln Center, although it is managed by it. It was deliberately created by Robert Moses as a separate entity from Lincoln Center. It was and is under the jurisdiction of NYC Parks and Recreation and as such must conform to city and state statutes that apply to terms of its use, noise, concessions and sanctity of its trees,” she continued. Sam Salant, who said that he used to regularly spend time in Damrosch Park and always noticed residents of the near-

Fashion Week’s Economic Boon By Megan Bungeroth While some residents gripe about the unfavorable ramifications of having Fashion Week in their backyard, there are benefits to the community for hosting the event. In August 2011, the Fordham Consulting Group and Fordham University Graduate School of Business released an economic impact study outlining the effects of Fashion Week on the immediate surrounding areas within a 10-block radius of Lincoln Center. The study estimated that the total economic impact is $20,902,193, taking into account spending by staff, crew, vendors, visitors, designers and

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

sponsors. It also found that the twiceyearly event brings in an annual $9 million to area restaurants, $6 million to local hotels, $6.8 million in retail revenue and $11 million to venues. The Lincoln Square BID works with IMG World to develop programs to boost the event’s positive economic impact. “From our perspective, this continues to be great for the businesses,” said Monica Blum, president of the BID. “We do two promotions, one that’s aimed at the crews, and it’s just amazing to me that we’ve now lined up 23 quick-serve places to offer discounts to the crews.”

The other program, Fashion Plate Prix Fixe, is a sort of Restaurant Week for the Lincoln Center area, with restaurants establishing set menus at discounted prices. Popular spots like Telepan and Boulud Sud offer special lunch menus, making their normally pricey fare a bit more accessible. Blum said she hasn’t heard complaints from residents over Fashion Week. “Obviously there are some inconveniences,” she said. “They’ve tried to work with the community to minimize to the extent possible the inconveniences. On balance, it’s a really positive thing for the neighborhood.”

by Amsterdam Houses doing the same, said that he was pushed out of the park when he inquired about new construction. “One day I walked in and there was something being constructed where there was formerly a bandshell,” Salant said. “I asked about it and was told to get out of the way. They’re just chasing people out. There was nobody I could call who could answer me and tell me why that happened.”

Physique 57

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that fashion industry folks take staying in shape seriously. Unfortunately, come Fashion Week, many aren’t able to find time for their regular workouts. To that end, industry fave Physique 57 now offers two condensed workouts: Physique Express and ARMed & fAB. The studio has also released a book, The Physique 57 Solution, and its co-author, Tanya Becker, underlined that “all the exercises in the book as well as any of our six workout DVDs can be done at home. Some of our signature exercises include The Pretzel, which targets the entire seat, abductors, hamstrings and obliques (also known as the muffintop area), and Thigh Dancing, which targets the quadriceps and core.” Staying in shape, however, is as much about exercise as it is about a healthful diet. Becker underlines that it’s imperative to keep alcohol intake to a two-drink maximum and remember to hydrate with water between those drinks, adding, “Try and stick to wine instead of hard liquor (more calories) or beer (causes bloating), and remember to have some crudités or fruit before you go to an event.” “Snacking before,” she said, “will fill you up so that you don’t overindulge at the events. When you first get to the event, drink seltzer or water. By staying hydrated, you will be less likely to go for carbs.” —Sharon Feiereisen

F ebruary 2, 2012

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news

Plan to Change State’s Election Districts Draws Fire By Megan Bungeroth It happens once a decade and it’s never an easy process. In accordance with the state Constitution, the state Legislature is currently in the process of creating new district lines for the Assembly, state Senate and congressional representatives. The Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) has just released a set of maps outlining the proposed new districts for the state Legislature, and local elected officials are up in arms over what they call a seriously partisan and severely flawed process that heavily favors Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the senate. LATFOR consists of six members, four legislators and two nonlegislators who are appointed by the temporary president of the Senate, the speaker of the Assembly and the minority leaders of the Senate and Assembly. It uses Census data from 2010 to redraw lines in order to reflect population shifts. While the Assembly must maintain 150 districts, according to the state’s Constitution, the number of senators

may shift. LATFOR has proposed adding a 63rd Senate seat in upstate New York that would encompass portions of five different counties and has served as a flashpoint of criticism from Democrats

“The maps that came out are typical and reflect no sense of the push for a nonpartisan reform of redistricting,” said Richard Emory. and good government groups who call the district a bad case of gerrymandering an extraneous Republican-leaning district in order to preserve their majority. “The maps that came out are typical and reflect no sense of the push for a nonpartisan reform of redistricting,” said Richard Emory, an attorney who was involved in litigation over the last set of redistricting lines in 2003-2004. “They are purely political. They are obviously an attempt of what we call the unholy

alliance of the Assembly and the state Senate by using the majority of each body to favor the majority.” The proposed districts, especially for the Senate, have been criticized by Democrats as stringing together certain communities by tenuous geographical connections and separating others that should be included in the same district. “This is just a Republican scheme. It’s not a redistricting plan, it’s a blatant grab for partisan advantage,” said State Sen. Tom Duane, whose West Side district would shift south and take a different shape if the current maps were to be approved. “I think it does show that this is the last gasp of Republicans desperate to hold onto power.” Emory said they’re overpopulating and packing downstate Democratic districts in order to create more Republican seats. “That’s why the shapes are so peculiar, because they’re picking voters instead of voters picking representatives,” he said. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vowed to veto the lines unless they are created by an independent panel. If he does it’s likely that the case would have to go through

the courts. While Manhattan districts would not change as much as some upstate districts, they would still be shifted in significant ways. “My district changes substantially,” said Duane. “If there was a truly independent redistricting process, consideration would be given to neighborhoods and communities so that they could be represented together instead of being split apart.” Public hearings are scheduled to continue around the state through Feb. 16. Many expect LATFOR to release new maps based on feedback some time after that, at which point the Legislature will have to approve them before they go to the governor. Duane said he expects robust public comment to influence the final outcome. “I think people are very aware that the Republicans have put out a very cynically drawn map,” he said. Senate Democrats have already filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the 63rd Senate seat, and other lawsuits may surface before the hearings are concluded.

Isabella House

Acting Young. There’s one thing to feel young but another to act young. The residents at Isabella House have found an entirely different way of acting young. During performance days you might be walking by and hear a dramatic rendition of Macbeth or a famous line from King Lear may capture your attention. But these are not professional actors being brought in to put on a show for the residents. Nope, these are the residents of Isabella. Partnering with the People’s Theatre Project of Northern Manhattan, Isabella began to offer acting classes for their residents. The classes provide the opportunity for our residents to live someone else’s life for a few hours each day. Classics such as Macbeth and King Lear are performed live in front of their fellow residents—who can be the harshest critics. The classes’ help our residents feel lively and vibrant and more importantly, it keeps them fresh. The acting classes are in addition to Isabella House’s Tai-Chi, Chair Yoga, Posture Exercise, poetry and painting classes. For more leisure-oriented activities they offer Game Nights and Movie Nights. Residency at Isabella House also comes with lunch and dinner served restaurant style in our elegant dining room. Getting out and about is easy – whether you choose our weekly transportation to local stores – or decide on local buses, subway or taxi to nearby midtown Manhattan. Isabella House offers the best of life, whether you want a dynamic schedule of activities – or the freedom to relax in the quiet of your home. For more information or to arrange a visit, please call (212) 342-9539. Isabella House is located at 525 Audubon Avenue, New York, NY 10040. Visit their website at www.isabella.org

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arts

Playing Host to Celebs and Newcomers Alike By Angela Barbuti Tucked away on West 72nd Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue is the 130-seat Triad Theater. Inside, actors make their Off-Broadway debuts, celebrities take the stage with friends and audiences are always entertained by an eclectic variety of shows, from Erotic Broadway to the smash hit Celebrity Autobiography. We spoke to owner Peter Martin about what to expect there.

What is the history of the theater? It started in the early ’80s with Forbidden Broadway. It wasn’t even a theater back then; it was a bar/restaurant called Palsson’s Supper Club. Actor Gerard Alessandrini started writing spoofs of Broadway shows and they were performed there on weekends.

iD Gaming Academy iPhone & Android Game Development, 3D Modeling, Level Design, Programming for Xbox 360, and more. iD Programming Academy iPhone & iPad App Development, Robotics Engineering, and more. iD Visual Arts Academy Visual FX, Professional Photography, and more. Also weeklong, day and overnight programs for ages 7-17 held at iD Tech Camps. Peter Martin. There were two sold-out shows one New Year’s Eve and the coat check girl misplaced all the numbers. People were trying to get their coats out from the first show while others were coming up the stairs for the midnight show. It was a disaster. Another time, John Simon, a well-known theater critic, came in to review Forbidden Broadway. He checked his umbrella and somehow it got lost. A couple of days later, he sent us a bill for $300.

To what do you attribute your success? Times have changed Off-Broadway. What is your favorite show at the the- In the last 10 years, tons of theaters ater currently? have closed. I’ve really had to adapt by Celebrity Autobiography. Celebrities instating a new booking policy. In the read from other celebrities’ memoirs course of a month, we can have 30 difin a comedic tone. ferent shows. I’m always You’ll have Matthew thinking of how I can Peter Martin Broderick reading improve the theater and Owner of The Triad Theater from Tommy Lee’s what’s going on in the 158 W. 72nd St. autobiography. On entertainment industry. (betw. Broadway & Columbus Ave.) another night, you’ll On Broadway, a musical www.triadnyc.com see Kristen Wiig costs about $15 million. reciting the poetry Off-Broadway, you can of Suzanne Somers. We’ve probably had experiment more. Things get started Offmore famous people in it than any show Broadway then move to Broadway. For on Broadway. instance, there’s a new musical in the works about [’50s teen idol] Dion called Have there been any memorable The Wanderer. The first reading was at mishaps? The Triad six weeks ago. We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

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West Side Spirit: How did you get started at the Triad? Peter Martin: I was the company manager of a show called Forever Plaid at the theater; it went on to become one of the five most successful shows OffBroadway—the producer put in $135,000 and it grossed $300 million worldwide. It seemed like a great business. In 1995, when I was 30, I had the opportunity to buy the theater. I was able to get in at the right time. The theater was a black box originally. About four years ago, I redesigned it based on 1930s movie palaces. I love those kinds of theaters and did a lot of research. I recreated the bathrooms, added a VIP performer lounge. People tell me, “I’ve seen this in Europe.”

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news

Gaynor Doubles in Size with Early Childhood Center By Sean Creamer The Claremont Stables on West 89th Street served the Upper West Side for years, providing a means for city-dwellers to learn horseback riding. Now, the horses have long gone, but the building will still be used for education. The Stephen Gaynor School at 148 W. 90th St. recently announced it would reinvent the old Claremont Carriage House and Stables to create a state-ofthe-art education facility called the Early Childhood Center, which will specialize in teaching learning disabled children. The space will expand the Gaynor School by 45,000 square feet and will house a theater, 11 additional classrooms, a science lab and art facilities including a photography room and a library and writing center. By the end of construction the school will hold 400 students, according to Dr. Scott Gaynor, head of the school. “This is an amazing opportunity for us,” said Gaynor. “We look at this as a huge canvas in which we can design programs for our children.” Because the school works with kids who require specialized education, Gaynor knew he had to tailor the facility

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to the acute needs of the children. One of these is the Phonic Ear System, While the exterior may resemble the which projects the teacher’s voice to Claremont Stables of old, featuring the speakers in the classroom so that “it feels original facade and newly installed barn like everyone in the classroom is having a doors, the interior features a plethora of personal conversation with the teacher,” innovative architecture and technology. Gaynor said. The speakers also create a Light and open space were an impor- sound barrier to subdue natural noises tant focus of the construction. The build- coming from the streets below. ing allows for more direct sunlight as opposed to fluorescent lighting, cutting down on energy costs. The design allows for the corridors, cafeteria and classrooms to be illuminated by natural light accompanied by motion-sensor lights in an effort to conserve electricity. Because the facility is used to teach younger children who suffer from learning disabilities, the classrooms are designed to immerse children into a learning environment. A new classroom at Stephen Gaynor School. While there is a heavy emphasis on the teacher to center the children’s The construction of the building called attention upon him or her, there are also for major soundproofing to couple with devices that will be employed to assist such special audio systems. The floor the teacher. tiles are rubberized, classroom windows

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are soundproofed and have insulation and the ceiling tiles are acoustic. “It really calms the space for the children, some of whom can be overstimulated by loud noises,” said Gaynor. Coupled with the revitalization of the Stables, the Gaynor School is rebuilding the Carriage House into a “secret garden” hidden behind the facade of the building. The garden addition will also act as a means to connect the 90th Street and 89th Street buildings, extending the playground of the school. The redesign was done by Rogers Marvel Architects. The construction of the building follows the strict guidelines of the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, otherwise known as the LEED program. In addition to motion sensor lights, there are low-flush toilets and climate controlled heating and cooling systems, according to Donna Logue, director of the Early Childhood Center. “We use green products for maintenance purposes,” said Logue. “It is wonderful for the environment, but so important for our students who have sensitivities to the cleaning chemicals.”

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events

Celebrating Black History Month Black History Month is being celebrated all over the city, including many places uptown. Below are just a few of the highlights.

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New Series Features New York’s Most Macabre

By Anam Baig macabre stereoviews, in particular my Ronni Thomas, a filmmaker and oddity set of diableries, which are French steenthusiast, has created a new web series reo tissues from the 1860s that depict documenting the darkness, eccentricity Satan’s daily life in hell. I always kind of and mystery of the uncharted and unimag- sat on these macabre demented things, inable happenings of New York City. these private fetishes. When I saw the Fittingly named The Midnight variety of people who showed up for my Archive, these videos boast an eclectic lecture, from Harvard professors to gutclass of characters such as Sue Jeiven, ter punks to people I didn’t even know a tattoo artist at East River Tattoo, and from my old high school, I decided, let’s Madame Cagliastro of Brooklyn. Jeiven, make a film out of this stuff.” who is featured in episode three, speMany of the eclectics filmed for The cializes in anthropomorphic taxidermy, Midnight Archive are lecturers at the creating lifelike tableaux from dead ani- Brooklyn Observatory, an event space at mals that she guts, stuffs and lovingly 543 Union St. in Brooklyn that serves as clothes in vintage human attire. Madame a multipurpose room for artists. That’s Cagliastro also deals with animals, performing mummification for pets weighing 20 pounds or less—she mummifies a dead toad in the first episode. Episode eight, the latest on the Midnight Archive website, is entitled “Wax.” Sigrid Ronni Thomas, creator of The Midnight Archive. Sarda, an artist who started making hauntingly human where Thomas met Joanna Ebenstein, wax sculptures after the death of her the curator of Morbid Anatomy at the father, hosts with her spooky collection Observatory and now the producer of of wax figures that line every inch of her the series. house. Thomas said that after the first epiOther members of the odd ensemble sode, TV networks were offering to air who work on the series include Mitch the show, but it would have meant less Horowitz, author of Occult New York; creative control for Thomas and the guys Jere Ryder, conservator for the Guiness at IKA Collective, whom he says have Automata collection at the Morris “fostered a very artistic environment” Museum in New Jersey; and profes- for him to pursue his work. Television sor Paul Koudounaris, who traveled the might also “exploit these people or make world photographing ossuaries and char- them look stupid,” and even though the nel houses, places constructed of human money would be good, Thomas remains bones. speculative about selling out his perverse In his IKA Collective office at 15 E. brainchild. 32rd St. in Midtown, Thomas sits among “I want people to see these everyday a giant Grim Reaper, scary child dolls and people doing extraordinary things, and I other spine-chilling items as he edits a wanted to give them a view from an insidnew episode of the show. er, myself, who has had a lifelong fascinaThe episode features Thomas himself tion and respect for these things. There is discussing his collection of stereoviews, a dark underside to all things, and I want a late 19th century entertainment con- to open up that side to those who are outsisting of 3-D images projected through a wardly interested and to those who live stereoscope—a much older and intricate two lives,” he said. ancestor of 3-D View-Masters. To watch, visit themidnightarchive. “The lecture was on my collection of com. Patricia Voulgaris

Free at Lincoln Center Lincoln Center is staging free concerts this month for Black History Month. Seating is limited and available on a first come, first served basis at the David Rubenstein Atrium, Broadway between 62nd and 63rd streets. For more information, visit www.lincolncenter.org/Atrium. The music of Duke Ellington will be performed Feb. 4 at 11 a.m., the Harlem Feb. 7 at a free concert. Gospel Choir will lead a program for families. of the Birmingham, Ala., 16th Street Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Loren Schoenberg Baptist Church. and the National Jazz Museum All Stars The Historical Society is located at will present “Drop Me Off in Harlem: An 170 Central Park West and is open 10 Evening of Ellingtonia,” highlighting the a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays–Thursdays and work of Duke Ellington. Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. New-York Historical Society Admission is $5–$15 and children under The New-York Historical Society is 7 are free. For more information, call hosting several events and exhibits in rec- 212-873-3400 or visit www.nyhistory.org. ognition of Black History Month. Feb. 5 and 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Films for Youth re-enactors will bring the 1st Rhode Island The Schomburg Center for Research Regiment back to life. The unit was one in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd., of the earliest regiments in America to will be screening free films for youth and actively enlist African Americans. The teens Feb. 14–16. Online registration is 1st Rhode Island Regiment fought in the required at www.NYPL.org. For more Battle of Newport in 1778 and spent the information, call 212- 491-2200. infamous winter at Valley Forge without Feb. 14, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m., On receiving any post-war compensation for The Shoulders of Giants: The Story their efforts. of the Greatest Basketball Team You Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m., “The Battle for Never Heard Of will be shown. The 2011 Civil Rights,” a conversation between film by basketball great Kareem AbdulDavid Levering Lewis and Khalil Gibran Jabbar explores the Harlem Renaissance Muhammad, will be held. through the eyes of Abdul-Jabbar as he The discussion is presented in con- presents the life and times of the Harlem junction with one of the society’s exhib- Rens basketball team. Recommended for its, Freedom Now: Photographs by ages 5–18. Platon. The installation of large-scale Feb. 15, 10 a.m.–noon, Freedom images by the celebrated photographer Riders, by Stanley Nelson, will be shown. shows the historic struggle of the 1950s The true story of an integrated band of and 1960s. young college students who risked everyAmong the subjects are the Little thing by boarding a Greyhound Bus headRock Nine, whose attempt to enter ed to the Deep South. Recommended for Little Rock Central High School in 1957 ages 13–18. became a national cause célèbre; Joseph Feb. 16, 10–11 a.m., The Prep School A. McNeil and Franklin E. McCain, par- Negro, by André Robert Lee, will be ticipants in the 1960 Greensboro lunch- shown. This documentary explores the counter sit-in; and Chris and Maxine experiences of Lee and present-day prep McNair, the parents of Denise McNair, school students of color. Recommended who was murdered in the bombing for ages 13–18.

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Dining

Go Light with Torrontes Argentinean white goes perfect with warm winter I left the house on Tuesday to move my car and I wasn’t wearing a coat. Yes, this is the wine column, but I felt that sentence needed to be said. It’s both thrillingly amazing (considering the snow spanking we got last year) and very, very scary. By the way, thanks, Al Gore! I still have trouble sleeping whenever it’s unseasonably warm. But let’s focus on the positive, which is that this weather is kicking some serious butt! Winter is usually the time when I stock up on heavy reds like Cali cabs, those amped up, high-alcohol shirazes from Western Australia and big, earthy tannin monsters from northern Italy. This year, however, those wines just seem out of place and a bit smothering. So instead I’ve been turning to wines I usually don’t give a second glance until April or May. It’s allowed me to go back and reconsider some selections that I’ve never tried or completely forgot-

ten, which is how I ran into my long lost friend torrontes. Torrontes is a grape that is indigenous to Argentina. It is also, sadly, a varietal that rings few bells with the vast majority of United States wine drinkers. That’s unfortunate, because these are some of the best bang-for-yourbuck white wines from anywhere. It’s also strange, because By Josh Perilo torrontes is the most produced white wine in Argentina. The typical flavor profile is fruit-forward and light- to medium-bodied with citrus and apple notes, but as you’ll see from my selections, there are a number of ways the profile for this versatile grape can go. So, allow me to take you by the hand and lead you through the delicious and inexpensive field of Argentinean torrontes. If you haven’t tried torrontes before, a great one to start with is the Bodegas Callia Torrontes Tulum Valley Alta 2010 ($9.45 at Morrell and Company,

1 Rockefeller Plz., 48th St. & 5th Ave., 212-688-9370). This is a simple, pareddown, refreshingly delicious wine that will kick the door open for those who are new to the grape. On the nose, there’s a good amount of fresh orange zest. The citrus flavors continue on the palate with riper tangerine notes up front. The middle becomes sparer and more herbal with notes of chervil, and the finish has a clean, bright minerality. For a torrontes that stays simple but has a little more body to it, look no further than Bodega Monteviejo Torrontes Argentina Festivo 2010 ($13 at Yorkshire Wines and Spirits, 1646 1st Ave. at 85th St., 212-717-5100)—it takes the basic profile of torrontes and kicks up the intensity several notches. Scents of intense wildflowers waft from the glass. Honeysuckle and orchid are the main event. On the palate, though, it’s all about tropical fruit and melon; lots of mango up front with notes of honeydew through the middle and a dollop of lychee on the finish. Taking the intensity and dialing it

up even more, the Bodegas y Vinedos La Esperanza Torrontes Cafayate Menduco Reserve 2010 ($12.75 at Garnet Wines and Liquors, 929 Lexington Ave., betw. 68th & 69th Sts., 212-7723211) is possibly the spiciest torrontes I’ve ever tried. Right out of the bottle and into the glass the wine smells simpler than it tastes, with scents of pear and orange peel. Up front on the palate, however, there’s a good amount of white pepper and starfruit. This leads to a mid with white peach and ripe orange flavors. The finish is full and floral with magnolia blossom and papaya notes. This is the Torrontes to pair with a spicy Pad Thai. And for those who love the classic flavors of French, old-world-style white wines, try the Bodegas y Vinedos La Esperanza Torrontes Cafayate Valley Finca El Origen Reserve 2010 ($12 at Garnet Wines and Liquors). This wine has all the telltale scents and flavors of a lean and racy Chablis; wet granite is the main event on the nose. The palate continues the minerality throughout with green apple, pear and lemon zest on the finish. So don’t be afraid to go light this winter. Think of it as a preview of our (hopefully) beautiful spring! Follow Josh on Twitter: @joshperilo.

arts

Ground Line Redefines How Women Artists Have Evolved By Joe Bendik Daniele Marin’s current exhibition, Ground Line, at Noho Gallery explores how women in art and society have evolved over time. By using iconic imagery along with the mundane, Marin recontextualizes these images to create nonlinear narratives. Doing this makes the historical information seem fresh. Marin also uses fabric in the acrylic paintings, creating texture and delineating space. As Marin said, “The incorporation of fabric shifts the expectation about traditional feminine arts.” It also serves as an anchor point for the eye, a place of return. Marin considers the painting surface a stage where different techniques communicate with each other. In fact, the paintings themselves seem to speak to each other. The color of each painting works within the bigger concept of the show. Marin is particularly interested in “the ground line,” the foundation for this exhibit, which is the horizontal plane on which objects sit. She weaves this into all of the works, establishing unity while referencing “still” images from the past, thereby reclaiming and redefining their

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“Ground Line #1.” Painting (Acrylic & Mixed Media. 9’x30”x22”). roles as ‘feminine.’ The result is a new way of viewing traditional materials. Marin was born in Paris but lives in the United States. She has an MFA from the Pratt Institute and has won two painting awards from the Visual Arts Center in New Jersey. She has been featured in Art in America and Woman’s Art Journal

F ebruary 2, 2012

(Rutgers), among other publications. Some of her works are in the collection of the Newark Museum, the Montclair museum and Merrill Lynch, as well as private collections. This show runs through Feb. 4. While visiting the exhibition, I had the eerie feeling of walking through a different state of

being; somehow becoming a part of the ground line myself, as if I was inside the paintings. Daniele Marvin: Ground Line Noho Gallery, 530 W. 25th St., 4th Fl., 212-367-7063, www.danielemarin.com. Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


events

Best Bets for Super Bowl XLVI Best Super Bowl Party Playwright Irish Pub, 27 W. 35th St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.), playwrightirishpubnyc.com. It’d be hard for almost any bar to top the Playwright for square i n c h e s of screen space, as this Irish sports bar has over 80 of them in their twofloor establishment. For a pair of Andrew Jacksons, you’ll get an open bar and buffet to enjoy as you watch the G-Men battle it out with the Pats. Patriots Bar The Three Monkeys, 236 W. 54th St. (betw. Broadway & 8th Ave.), thethree-

PUBLIC NOTICE MetroPCS Antenna Collocations MetroPCS, NY LLC proposes one (1) new wireless communications facility to be located on a building rooftop in the City of New York. The facility name and address is: NY 0218 - 148 W 92nd Street in New York City (Manhattan). The project will entail the collocation of antennas and the installation of ancillary equipment on the roof of the existing building. Comments regarding the potential effects of the proposed facility on historic properties should be directed in writing or via email to: IVI Telecom Services, Inc., 55 West Red Oak Lane, White Plains, New York 10604 or CulturalResources@ivi-intl.com and received Parenting, within 30 calendar days of the Shopping,date Activities and more! of this notice.

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monkeysbar.com. Two floors of TVs. One giant screen. 36 beers on tap. 13 wins—I could keep going on about the ultimate Patriots bar in the city tucked away in the theater district. Unlike most of its competitors, drinking here won’t break the bank, and all the food from nachos to wings to burgers, is all stellar. Long live the gastropub! Big Screens Galore Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant and Sports Bar, 42 Central Park S., mickeymantles. com. Holy guacamole. This place has more big-screen TVs than you can shake a stick at; they adorn every surface. Get yourself a giant steak, a giant pint of beer, and go root for the Giants. When we take home the Lombardi trophy, you can snag a boisterous carriage ride

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through the park to let everyone know that you bleed blue.

Every football fan knows that the quintessential food for the big game is wings, delicious, delicious wings. Lansdowne is known for having the best wings in the city, with a huge variety. And tons of huge screens means you’ll always catch someone being pummeled into the AstroTurf.

The Place to Drink Slattery’s Midtown Pub, 8 E. 36th St. (betw. 5th & Madison Aves.), slatterysmidtownpub.com. Slattery’s is probably hosting the best drink special in the entire city on Super Bowl Sunday. For an even $50, there is unlimited open bar and combo plate filled with all of your game goodies. But this isn’t your typical open bar where you’re stuck with watery domestics—every. Shelf. Is. Top. Shelf. Savor it. Best Eats Landsdowne Road, 599 10th Ave. (betw. 43rd & 44th Sts.), lansdowneroadnyc. com.

Place to Watch Jack Russell’s Pub, 1591 2nd Ave. (at 83rd St.), jackrussellsnyc. com. You can’t beat Jack Russell’s when it comes to watching the game uptown. They have 13 large HD screens and the tables each have their own HD flat-screen TV. If the cheap drinks and all those TVs can’t keep you entertained, there is always the beer pong tables, pool tables and arcade games.

PUBLIC NOTICE

PUBLIC NOTICE

The Department of Consumer Affairs will consider the petition of the Westside of Broadway Restaurant Group dba “Toast” to continue to maintain and operate an unenclosed sidewalk café at 2737 Broadway, in the borough of Manhattan. The hearing will be held at 66 John Street on the 11th Floor, at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. 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.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, PURSUANT TO LAW, that the Department of Consumer Affairs will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at 66 John Street on the 11th floor, on a petition from Spring Natural Corp. to establish, maintain and operate an unenclosed sidewalk cafe‘ at 474476 Columbus Avenue in the Borough of Manhattan for a term of two years. 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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FILM

Lucas crashes ‘Red Tails’ By Armond White George Lucas’ sales tactics for Red Tails, his $93 million production about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first AfricanAmerican pilots in the armed forces, make a bigger bang than the film itself. On the publicity rounds, Lucas has talked about the dearth of movies with African-American heroes, promising that Red Tails will give black teens the kinds of on-screen heroes and patriotic good feeling they’ve been denied. Apparently, Lucas has missed all blaxpoitation, post-blaxploitation and post-hip-hop cinema, not to mention the 1995 TV film The Tuskegee Airmen. Lucas’ ignorance condemns Red Tails to be irredeemably condescending. It’s also one poor piece of filmmaking. Red Tails’ 332nd Fighter Group are a bunch of superficial GI stereotypes, black only in the brown-skinned Obama sense, displaying superficial personal traits. Their captain, Easy (Nate Parker), drinks for courage, and pilot Lightning (David Oyewolo) is a brash daredevil. Their commanders, Col. A.J. Bullard

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(Terrence Howard) and Maj. Emmanuel Stone (Cuba Gooding Jr.) are shallow lifers given to speeches about perseverance. All are cartoon figures; visually, the film also resembles a cartoon: postcard colors that make the squadron’s base at the Ramitelli Airfield in Italy look like it was shot in Southern California (oops!). Cartoonishness defines Lucas’ approach to Hollywood revisionism; he doesn’t take World War II any more seriously than he took the Galactic Empire, and the Tuskegee Airmen mean no more to him than the Jedi knights. The pilots, who due to military segregation were denied the right to fly combat missions but were used as escorts and decoys for white fighter pilots, perform selflessly to unspecific codes of conduct, as if they were uninvolved in history. This is goofball heroism, though totally without a sense of humor—less, even, than Snoopy’s fantasy dogfights with The Red Baron, which Red Tails frequently evokes. Why comic strip artist Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks) participated

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Open House

Sundays atJASA A Program of Sunday Activities for Older Adults

Sunday, February 12 • 10 a.m.– 2 p.m. John Jay College, 899 Tenth Avenue (58th-59th Streets), NYC

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

Save the Dates for Lively and Engaging Programs for Adults 55+ Aging Gracelessly in Hollywood: The Obsession with Youth in Film and Culture Tuesday, February 28 • 6 -7:30pm followed by a wine and cheese reception. UJA-Federation of New York, 130 E. 59th Street

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NextAct a pr o g r a

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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.

JASA Volunteer Venture Expo Wednesday, March 7 • 10:30am -1:30pm UJA-Federation of New York, 130 E. 59th Street A free conference and volunteer opportunities fair for adults 50+. For more information or to register call 212-273-5222 or email volunteer@jasa.org. FIND

PHOTO cOurTesy Of TwenTieTH cenTury fOx films

Jar Jar Binks Goes to War

US ALSO AT WWW.JASA.ORG

The Tuskegee Airmen in Red Tails. in co-writing the screenplay is mystifying given the film’s total lack of his usual sarcasm. McGruder, too, must believe in The Force, which has infantilized American cinema since Star Wars, and so answered Lucas’ call to sign up. That meant signing on to the notion that moviegoers wouldn’t respond to a serious depiction of young men who fulfilled the intellectual requirements of aviation or comprehend the complexity of young black people who felt duty-bound to fight for the country that denied them basic civil rights. By promoting Red Tails (named for the Airmen’s customized new P-51 Mustang aircraft) as a correction of Hollywood bigotry, Lucas shows that he knows nothing about how popular culture works. In a New York Times magazine puff piece, Lucas explained his wish for cul-

SPRING IS BLOOMING AT SUNDAYS AT JASA, NEXTACT AND IFSA The baby boomers are coming! 76 million of them are starting to edge towards their retirement. What are boomers doing as they age? Savvy individuals, even by age 55, are planning for their “next act.” For boomers, older adults, and those on the edge of retirement, continuing education has become very popular. The mind is refreshed, social connections are invigorated, and interests, new and old, are stimulated. Volunteering and political advocacy have also become meaningful sources of energy for those looking to make a difference in society. Find out about all these possibilities and more. On February 12, adults over age 55 are invited to explore educational and cultural programs at John Jay College at the free Open House of “Sundays at JASA,” from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. That is also the opening date for Registration for the spring semester, including classes and programs from February19 through May 20. John Jay College is located at 899 Tenth Avenue, between 58th and 59th Street. Sundays at JASA, a continuing education program for adults 55 and over, has been providing high caliber courses and lectures for 28 years. It is one of the few programs to provide Sunday classes. Sundays at JASA provides informal and intellectually stimulating classes, such as Current Events, Comedy, Shakespeare, Creative Writing, Opera, Acting, Basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine, bridge, and computer. In addition, there is a Sunday Morning Workout and a Tai Chi class. Some new courses this spring include Genealogy 101, Laughter Yoga, a digital photography class, and Campaign 2012 – The Primaries and Beyond. There is also a crossword construction course – “Get A Clue!” – during which the students will construct a puzzle for submission to The New York Times. The class has had three puzzles in the New York Times. Classes and lectures on Jewish topics will also take place during the season. Are you concerned about budget cuts, changes to pub-

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F ebruary 2, 2012

tural crossover: “...which is what you get with sports. Which is what you get with music. I wanted to do it with just being an American citizen.” He ignores how black moviegoers have often identified with white movie heroes and enjoyed cinematic patriotism—and not vicariously. When Red Tails’ Airmen fraternize with white officers, they never so much as ask which states they came from. This isn’t American culture; it’s beer commercial bonhomie. Red Tails not only insults the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen, it is disconnected from the figures of black male dignity that audiences embraced when forged by Rex Ingram, Paul Robeson, Juano Hernandez, James Douglas, Canada Lee, Woody Strode, Ivan Dixon and others that George Lucas forgets. He’s Jar Jar Binked us again.

lic transportation, senior center closings & Social Security? Join the Institute for Senior Action (IFSA), a program of JASA, and learn how to get more involved in the legislative process and be an effective advocate! The 10-week IFSA program integrates critical aging policy issues, with practical grassroots action. The workshops are led by a diverse and knowledgeable group of instructors from New York City, Albany and Washington D.C., and focus on a wide variety of subjects, including: navigating the federal, state and local legislative processes, public speaking, understanding senior benefits and entitlements, and much more. The fall term will be held on Wednesdays from February 22nd to May 2nd (10am-2:30pm) at Cooper Square, 200 East 5th Street, Manhattan. To learn more about IFSA, or to request an application, please contact Rebekah Glushefski at 212-273-5262 or email ifsa@ jasa.org. All adults 55+ are invited to apply. JASA’s NextAct program has a series of upcoming events, kicking off the spring season on the evening of February 28th with a lecture by David Edelstein, New York magazine film critic: “Aging Gracelessly in Hollywood: The Obsession with Youth in Film and Culture.” This event takes place at UJA-Federation, 130 E. 59th Street, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., followed by a wine and cheese reception. On Thursday, March 15th NextAct will offer a Career Panel: The Art of Networking, also at UJA-Federation from 6:00 – 7:30, followed by a wine and cheese reception. The JASA Volunteer Ventures Expo takes place on Wednesday, March 7th, from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at UJA-Federation – a free conference and volunteer opportunities fair for adults 50+. For more information or to register call 212-273-5222 or email volunteer@ jasa.org . For additional information on Sundays at JASA, Institute of Judaic Studies and NextAct , or to receive a catalog, please call Sara Tornay at 212- 273-5304.

N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


A columbia black history month quiz

Did You Know... Lucy Diggs Slowe (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1915), one of the original founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, was also a professional tennis player and first African American woman to win a major sports title. She became a vocal advocate for women’s rights and academic opportunities. While attending law school, Paul Robeson (Columbia Law School 1923) was already winning acclaim as a singer and stage actor in New York. A two-time All-American football star as a Rutgers undergraduate, Robeson went on to become a beloved concert singer and movie star, whose controversial political beliefs led to the blacklisting that helped end his remarkable career.

In 1947, Marie Maynard Daly (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1947) became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry. Best known for research geared toward practical applications for health and nutrition, she investigated the effects of cholesterol, sugars and other nutrients on the heart. Daly also taught biochemistry at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Queens College

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Metropolitan Musical Bureau/ Columbia University Archives

Zora Neale Hurston (Barnard College 1928, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Student 1934–35) combined literature with anthropology, employing indigenous dialects to tell the stories of people in her native rural Florida and in the Caribbean. One of the most widely read authors of the Harlem Renaissance, she is best known for her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. Carl Van Vechten/Van Vechten Trust

Charles Henry Alston (Columbia College 1929, Teachers College 1931) was the first African American to teach at the Museum of Modern Art. Alston also supervised the New Deal’s WPA murals created at Harlem Hospital in the first major federal government commissions awarded to African American artists. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Ben Johnson (Columbia College 1933–38) was once known as the “world’s fastest human.” After he shattered a number of world records in the 1930s—and upset world champions Ralph Metcalfe and Jesse Owens—newspapers dubbed Johnson the “Columbia Comet.”

Columbia University Archives

Columbia University Athletics

Kenneth B. Clark (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1940, Law School 1970) and Mamie Phipps Clark (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1943) conducted pioneering research that challenged the notion of differences in the mental abilities of black and white children, playing an important role in desegregation.

Attorney General Eric Holder (Columbia College 1973, Columbia Law School 1976) worked for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund the summer after he graduated from law school. A former University trustee, Holder is the first African American attorney general of the United States and one of the most experienced government lawyers ever named to the position.

Dustin Ross/Columbia University

Scurlock Studio Records, Archives

Center, National Museum of AmeriIn addition to being the first African can History, Smithsonian Institution American woman to serve as a federal judge, Constance Baker Motley (Columbia Law School 1946, 2003) also had a major impact on ending racial discrimination. As the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s associate counsel, she helped draft briefs for the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. From October 1961 to the end of 1964, Motley Timothy Greenfield-Sanders won 9 of the 10 civil rights cases she argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, including James Meredith’s successful suit to attend the University of Mississippi.

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm (Teachers College 1951) was the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Chisholm earned acclaim as a tireless advocate for the interests of African Americans, women and the urban poor, and as a champion of greater educational opportunity for all.

WestsideSpirit.com

Columbia University

Robert L. Carter (Columbia Law School 1941), after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, became chief strategist and lead counsel on the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case. He succeeded Thurgood Marshall as general counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in 1956, arguing and winning 21 of 22 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Columbia University Archives

The work of Charles R. Drew (College of Physicians and Surgeons 1940) in the field of blood transfusions led to his development of the world’s first blood bank. He also improved techniques for blood storage and challenged the scientific fallacy of racial segregation in blood donation.

M. Moran Weston II (Columbia College 1930; Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 1940, 1969). The longtime rector of one of Harlem’s most prominent churches, Weston co-founded Carver Federal Savings Bank—the largest independent financial institution in the United States owned by African Americans. Weston was also the University’s first African American trustee.

President Barack Obama (Columbia College 1983) was inaugurated as the nation’s first African American president on Jan. 20, 2009. A gifted orator and writer, he organized his campaign with unparalleled grass roots support and brought out record numbers of voters to the polls across the country.

Eileen Barroso/Columbia University

To learn more about this key part of our local and national history, visit

www.columbia.edu/blackhistory

Rutgers University, Special Collections and University Archives

February 2, 2012

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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C LASSI FI E DS Classified Advertising Department Information

POLICY NOTICE: We make every effort to avoid mistakes in your classified ads. Check your ad the first week it runs. We will only accept responsibility for the first incorrect insertion. Manhattan Media Classifieds assumes no financial responsibility for errors or omissions. We reserve the right to edit, reject, or re-classify any ad. Contact your sales rep directly for copy changes. All classified ads are pre-paid.

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NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING The New York City Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing on Wednesday February 15, 2012 at 2:00 P.M., at 55 Water St., 9th Floor Room 945, on the following petitions for revocable consent, all in the Borough of Manhattan: #1 250 Park Avenue, LLC -to continue to maintain and use two splicing chambers under the north and south sidewalks of E 46th St, between Madison and Vanderbilt Aves. #2 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.- to continue to maintain and use conduits and manholes within the sidewalk areas of W 67th St., Columbus Ave. and W 66th St. and under and across W 66th St. east of Columbus Ave. #3 Beverly Weinstein-to continue to maintain and use a stoop and a fencedin area on the north sidewalk of St. Luke’s Pl., east of Hudson St. #4 George C. Biddle and Leslie D. Biddle-to construct, maintain and use a stoop, steps and a fenced-in area on the north sidewalk of E 95th St., west of Lexington Ave.

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By Alan S. Chartock in politics, there is an old saying: “First you have to win.” A corollary is “Winning is everything.” Another companion idiom in American politics is “there are no co-winners.” i was speaking with someone the other day who said that in the American presidency, democrats get the chance to be either Jimmy Carter, a man with integrity who lost, or Bill Clinton, who was all about winning. With that in mind, let’s take a look at president Barack Obama’s state of the Union address and just a few of its implications for New York state and its voters. A lot of people voted for Obama when he said, “Yes we can!” they thought he meant, “Yes we can [fill in the blank].” Many of them were disappointed when he showed that he’d rather be a Clinton winner than a Carter loser; he had the center left, and they weren’t going anywhere. He needed to win the folks in the middle and those who held the purse strings in the skewed economic system in which we live. You need money to win. You can call these people the 1 percenters. if you are not taking from their pot, they might actually let you live. there were many folks who wanted to punish the bankers whose antics left so many people with homes that were underwater, but

many of those in key economic positions around Obama were way too close to the bad guys in the great American economic disaster. if you examine the state of the Union message, you can see two Obamas. One is the progressive president. He tells the college-aged that he is with them when it comes to how much their education is costing them and their families. this is the group of people who helped put Obama over the top in the last election and he needs them back. He needs their passion. By telling young people that the federal government will punish states and colleges that raise tuition, he re-energizes those kids to get out and vote and work for him. On the other hand, in New York, state University Chancellor Nancy Zimpher, a ball of fire, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo came together with the Legislature in an agreement to save sUNY in this very tough economic climate. in order to do that, the University, which has always been a relative bargain, is raising tuition. My bet is that the folks who fashioned that deal cannot be happy with what they heard from the president. to some degree, i imagine they thought they were being punched in the solar plexus.

CommuNity SoapBox West side spirit is published weekly Copyright © 2012 Manhattan Media, LLC 79 Madison Avenue, 16th Floor New York, N.Y. 10016 editorial (212) 284-9734 Fax (212) 268-2935 Advertising (212) 284-9715 General (212) 268-8600 e-mail: editorial@manhattanmedia.com Website: WestSideSpirit.com West side spirit is a division of Manhattan Media, LLC, publisher of Our town, Our town downtown, Chelsea Clinton News, the Westsider, City Hall, the Capitol,the Blackboard Awards, New York Family and Avenue magazine. to subscribe for 1 year, please send $75 to West side spirit, 79 Madison Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10016 Recognized for excellence by the

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• w e s t s i d e spirit

It’s amazing how basically beautiful buildings like 118 W. 76th St. (“Eyesores From Hell,” Jan. 26) can be left to deteriorate by an arrogant and neglectful owner. —LJL

Weegee Reigns Supreme

I loved seeing the Weegee photography exhibit at ICP (“The Bloody Apple,” Jan. 26). It was interesting to take a look into the opinions held by the general public of Arthur Fellig. —Austin Scott Brooks

Restrictions Won’t Help Small Shops

Contextual zoning will not save small stores (“City Listens to Ma and Pa,” Jan. 19). This proposal primarily targets new buildings in an attempt to control development rather than helping small businesses. If the property has large stores,

Member

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Beautiful but Neglected

F ebruary 2, 2012

they weren’t the only ones. there was the proposal by Obama that we move ahead with hydrofracking, a drilling process that employs dangerous chemicals to extract natural gas from shale. Here in New York, there has been so much passion appropriately raised about hydrofracking that Cuomo, thought by some to have been in favor of it, seems to have cooled on the idea. No matter how much politicians want the revenue and energy that hydrofracking might provide, they can’t seem to convince the people to accept a process that threatens to poison our drinking water. so here we have just two of the many things that the president spoke about that may be good for his politics but not necessarily good for the people of New York state. Let’s face it: the president knows what he has to do to win. Under no circumstances will he lose New York state. He will get these electoral votes, so he doesn’t have to worry about New York the way he might about Florida or Ohio. it’s sort of like a wife who will always be there as opposed to a fickle mistress. Get the analogy? Alan s. Chartock is president and CeO of WAMC/Northeast public radio and an executive publisher at the Legislative Gazette.

The best comments from WestSideSpirit.com

no small ones are required unless it is a new bank. Large grocery stores are also exempt if they are 6,000 square feet and have 50 percent of their space containing perishable goods. The district is lacking in competitively priced retail space, an issue that is not addressed by the proposed ordinance. Historically, small property sizes limited the size of the storefront. Developers will design stores with 40-foot storefronts, making even less space available for small businesses. Rents will rise even more for small businesses and consumers will see higher prices for goods. The streetscape will not become more interesting or have greater diversity. —Alexander Medwedew

Fingerprinting and Food Stamps

Regarding “The State of the Upper West Side” (Jan. 12), it seems many of us have

money on our minds with budgets being prepared and tax season approaching. I hope our politicians will indeed find a way to leave me with a few more dollars in my pocket and food on my table. In the fourth paragraph, the suggestion to remove fingerprinting requirements for food stamp recipients seems an obvious way to save money. New York is one of only two areas in the country continuing to impose this requirement that deters hundreds of households from receiving food stamps to feed their families They are made to feel like criminals for enrolling in this program. Fingerprinting has not been shown to prevent fraud. Removing this extra hurdle will increase the number of eligible families who participate in the program and lead to extra federal funding in our local economy. This seems a no-brainer, and Gov. Cuomo agrees. Let’s hope the politicians in Albany realize this, too. —Brenda Gardner N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


DewIng THIngs BeTTer

Value Content Over Style Heed those who see the big picture By Bette Dewing Hey, journalists Jeff Greenfield and Mark Barabak, don’t call yourself “old fogies” because you think that televised debate audiences shouldn’t react verbally, and chuck that ageist label. It implies that decorous behavior in an era of loud mouths is somehow regressive. This comment was made in reference to Newt Gingrich benefiting from strong audience reaction in one debate but not in another where the audience was told to hush up. Gingrich is a never-at-a-lossfor-words facile speaker, and we fallible humans often value style over content. Although I have countless ideas, words often fail me, especially when speaking in public. My Norwegian-dominant ancestry and being born left-handed likely account for my nonverbal right brain dominance. Ah, but right-brainers are very intuitive. They also see the big picture more clearly than left-brainers—and don’t we need that!

Well, I surely see the big picture on safety. Although my traffic safety “trailblazing” was officially recognized in 2006 by Upper East Side federal, state and city elected officials, I’m never consulted. Nope, the bicycling group Transportation Alternatives is the chief adviser for the city, even on planning safe streets for seniors. No matter that TA members don’t know the elder experience or worry that bicyclists’ strong aversion to the laws of the road is what scares these vulnerable walkers the most. And why isn’t the most deadly traffic crime, motorists’ failing to yield when turning into a crosswalk, a TA priority? And if it’s true, why doesn’t TA protest how the Daily News, with its new British editor, seems to be slighting local traffic tragedy news. Ah, but I don’t have a big mouth, charisma or chutzpah. And my anti-ageism work hasn’t yet reduced the bias against my being old. Anyway, my generation

was taught that hogging the talk was selfish and boorish. Now it’s de rigeur if you want your ideas to be heeded—or even heard! But please, you who agree with me, never call yourselves “old fogies” or “oldfashioned,” but rather recount how countless civil, commonsense and democratic ways of life were tossed out with the bathwater of ill-advised change—mostly by those without big-picture vision. Remember my inaugural column’s quote from Ogden Nash’s New York magazine piece: “Progress was all right once, but in my lifetime, too much seems headed in the wrong direction. I think it started in Kitty Hawk when two Wrights made a wrong.” Consider how that “wrong” sure did uproot us and ripped up the train tracks that safely connected every city and

town. Traffic tragedies soared as private wheels became the land travel norm. So here’s to ordering our leaders to lower the speed limit pronto and giving all-out support for the infinitely safer and more democratic mass transit. And while I mostly assail terrorist wheeling, kamikaze walking has got to go; thus this respectful reproach to Lorraine Duffy Merkl: Your last column told how happy you were that your favorite wallet was eventually returned (albeit without any money) after it had slipped from your purse as you crossed a busy intersection wearing earphones. Dear Ms. Merkl, you have a mother, a daughter and a husband who need you. You also influence readers. The next time you go walking, unplug those ears. Need music? Then whistle or sing, and join my safe traveling brigade! dewingbetter@aol.com.

IronIc Hopes

Sound Heart but Giant Headaches about the Super Bowl Fingers crossed Big Blue will repeat Patriot win By Josh Rogers My head says the Giants won’t win the Super Bowl this Sunday. It’s not that I’m one of those doom and gloom Giants fans, although admittedly I was raised by one. No matter how bleak things look at the beginning of the season, I usually go in with the attitude of “Hey, if things break right this year, we could win it all.” It didn’t start that way. The Giants were terrible my first few years watching football. To me, they were the team to root for at the beginning of the season, before teams like Dallas and Pittsburgh marched through the playoffs. I don’t ever remember thinking—or even hoping—the Giants would make the postseason. That all changed after Lawrence Taylor came to the Giants and they started making the playoffs somewhat regularly. For the team’s past Super Bowls, my head and heart said they could win each time. We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

This year, it feels like a win so soon after the Giants shocked everyone and denied the Patriots’ bid for perfection is asking too much. Of course the Pats would play hard, regardless of their opponent. Yes, they’re not as seemingly invincible as they were four years ago, and yes, they have had a lot of turnover since then. But when you get a win as sweet as Super Bowl XLII, human nature says you can’t help but expect some payback—at least, my human nature does. I understand that there are people out there who always expect to be on top and are almost never disappointed. I’m an optimist: I think you can get more good than bad, but there have to be some limits. Beating the Patriots again may be over the line. The 2008 game was not only the most satisfying one to me and undoubtedly

most other Giant fans Fox Sports has just ranked that game as the greatest of all 45 Super Bowls. After a frustrating 2007 season, the Giants barely limped into the playoffs with no reason to think they could make the big game, let alone beat a team they had just lost to, a team with a perfect record that appeared to be about to make history. But Eli Manning outplayed Tom Brady, escaped that rush at the end and heaved that ball that David Tyree pinned to his helmet to set up the winning touchdown. If they win this time, Eli would finally get his due as being as good or better than any other quarterback playing now. After a career spent underrated, he’d probably spend the rest of it getting as much or more credit than he deserved. But then there’s that damned and beloved heart talking again. It’ll do what it can. It’ll make sure my

body wears no Giants paraphernalia on game day because—to state the obvious—that would bring bad luck. Such subtlety is lost on my 2-year-old son, who, like you, will be unlikely to even understand it when he’s an adult. He’ll do what he did for last week’s championship game. He’ll wear his Giants pajamas the night before, and while the game is presumably far from decided, he’ll wear them again and hopefully Daddy will be happy in the morning. We’re doing what we can, including writing this column. If I thought there were strong arguments suggesting the Giants were very likely to win, I would certainly not write them down. That’d be a jinx. Saying I think they’ll lose might work as a reverse jinx. It’s all I can do. Go Big Blue. Josh Rogers, contributing editor at Manhattan Media, is a lifelong New Yorker. Follow him @JoshRogersNYC.

F ebruary 2, 2012

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WEST SIDE SPIRIT

February 2, 2012

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West Side Spirit February 2, 2012  

The February 2, 2012 issue of West Side Spirit. The West Side Spirit, published weekly, is chock full of information—from hard news to human...

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