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Author’s Corner 1-3PM

Bway & 81st St

Meet 4 other authors Meet with Eli Wallach actor & author


Take Me To The River There’s plenty to do along the Hudson River this season walkers and cyclists can enjoy many scenic spots and pursue a wide range of activities—most of them free—along the 4-mile stretch ending at 125th Street. The journey starts by the sanitation pier, at the extreme western end of 59th Street, where the pedestrian esplanade begins to the left and the bike path to the

More Stops on the Hudson Spots along the river Tour the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and/or sign up for a sailing cruise: The sloop is frequently docked at the 79th Street Boat Basin. www., 845-265-8080. Play tennis at the 96th Street red clay courts or on the 119th Street hard courts; go to for permit info. New York Central Locomotive, by the bike path in Riverside Park South at 62nd Street. Riverside Park Highlights

91st Street Garden, at the north end of the promenade section that begins at 83rd Warsaw Ghetto Plaza. Joan of Arc Statue on island east of Riverside Drive at 93rd Street. Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at Riverside Drive and 89th Street. Riverside Church: 120th Street and Riverside Drive. Peregrine falcon viewing location, off Riverside Drive, 120th to 122nd streets. Grant’s Tomb at 123rd Street and Riverside Drive. Not to be confused with the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at 89th Street.

right. One of your first stops is Pier 1, at 70th Street. The Pier 1 Cafe is a great place to grab a bite, gaze at the sunset and admire the N.Y. Central Railroad 69th Street Transfer A cyclist takes a break along the Hudson River. Bridge, a towering Eleanor Roosevelt statue off Riverside remnant of an earlier transportation era. Drive, or from 68th Street and Riverside Starting at Pier 1 and extending up Boulevard. John Souza, a local resident the waterfront, the Parks Department’s and father of two, said he loves to take his Summer on the Hudson program hosts kids to play in the grassy spots along the frequent events for all ages; it recently river; he said “a younger crowd is starting kicked off its season with “Mamapalooza,” to discover it more,” as evidenced by the an all-day arts festival with live music lively singles scene for sunset cocktails at from bands like “Parents with Angst.” the Boat Basin Café on 79th Street, west Check online at of Riverside Drive. for outdoor movies, yoga practice, conFurther along the path, find kayakcerts, arts and crafts and more. ing at the Hudson Meeting Point (72nd This area, known as Riverside Park and the Hudson River). Twenty-minute South and popular for families with young instructional paddles are free and offered children—Little League baseball and Saturdays and Sundays starting in May. youth soccer leagues play here—is acces- If you prefer to stay dry, rent bikes at sible via the 72nd Street entrance, by the continued on page 11 andrew schwartz

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FREE HOUSING CLINIC—Council Member Gale Brewer, The Urban Justice Center, and Goddard Riverside’s SRO Law Project hold a free housing clinic at Goddard Riverside Community Center, 593 Columbus Ave., Wednesday, June 1, 6–8 p.m. This session will focus on succession rights. An attorney will be avail-

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and Jerrold Nadler announced plans to reintroduce the Equal Rights Amendment, a measure that has failed to become law in the past but would ensure that gender discrimination is prohibited under the Constitution. Earlier this year, Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court issued an opinion stating that the 14th Amendment, which protects against racial discrimination, does not apply to sex discrimination. Many women’s rights activists and members of Congress have since responded with the need to pass a constitutional amendment to explicitly guarantee equal rights for women. “While it’s true that women have made great progress in eroding sex discrimination in the past 38 years, we’ve seen that progress can all too easily be rolled back. Laws can be repealed and judicial attitudes can shift,” said Maloney. “The ERA would help us actually advance women’s rights, instead of always playing defense.” “In the year 2011, it is truly an embarrassment for our nation that we still do not have gender equality enshrined in our Constitution,” said Nadler. “The Equal Rights Amendment will stand as an explicit bulwark of freedom and equality that even Justice Scalia, and regressive forces in the Congress, will not be able to ignore.” The text of the Equal Rights Amendment states that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” —Megan Finnegan

While helping to compose music for the streets, Vita Wallace plays her accordion along Amsterdam Avenue during the Manhattan Valley Family Days Street Fair. The Columbus Amsterdam BID sponsored the fair. able to speak with individuals seeking specific legal advice. Contact the Urban Justice Center for more information, 646-459-3017. —MF FUNDS RAISED FOR BREAST CANCER—

On April 27, The Beth Israel Medical Center & St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals Breast Service luncheon and fashion show raised $700,000. The money will go towards the AppelVenet Comprehensive Breast Center at Beth Israel Medical Center, and the

POETRY IN THE CATHEDRAL—Worldrenowned poet Robert Bly will read some of his favorite works, including selections from his new book Talking into the Ear of a Donkey, in a free spoken-word and musical performance Wednesday, June 8, at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave. The reading is presented by the Cathedral’s American Poet’s Corner, created in 1984 to memorialize and celebrate American writers and modeled after a similar alcove at Westminster Abbey in London. —MF

Comprehensive Breast Center at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals. —Catharine Daddario CRAFTS FESTIVAL—Project Open, a social service agency that works with 600 seniors, will sponsor the 18th Annual Spring Crafts Festival. The free festival will include 28 food stalls, 250 crafts and antiques exhibitors and plant and flower sellers. Sunday, June 5, 12–5 p.m., Broadway from 66th to 72nd streets. —CD


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“He knows nothing about the arts, he’s never run a theater,” said Fiegel. “He put up signs when he had no legal right to advertise the place for rent. He runs political campaigns, I believe. All the sudden he’s going to be an impresario?” But Oliva said that he’s open to working

andrew schwartz


By Megan Finnegan The empty visage of the Metro Theater, an Upper West Side landmark, has inspired neighborhood speculation and dismay for the past six years, and it may finally have a purpose again in the coming months. The building at 99th Street and Broadway is owned by a group called Broadway Metro Associates, which recently won a legal battle with the building’s leaseholder, John Souto, who was evicted after defaulting on his lease terms. Now Albert Bialek, general partner of Broadway Metro Associates and a real estate consultant, says he’s ready to move forward quickly with potential tenants, and hopes to resurrect the space as a vital neighborhood outpost. “We did architectural studies and market studies,” said Bialek, who denies that the spot is difficult to rent and blames its vacancy on the previous leaseholder. “It works very well as a theater and works very well as a retail space. A quality tenant is what we’re looking for.” The most promising potential tenant is Wingspan Arts, a 10-year-old non-profit theater company that produces original works and also holds after-school and inschool arts programs for kids. “They’re in very serious discussions about the feasibility of Wingspan,” said Miki Fiegel, a real estate broker representing Bialek. “It would have several theaters; it would have rehearsal space, sound studios, dressing rooms and storage space and offices.” Many people in the neighborhood would be thrilled to see the Art Decostyle building returned to its original purpose. One of the people who may be the happiest, Michael Oliva, has also garnered a reputation as an advocate for the arts and an eccentric outsider, depending on whom you ask. A political consultant by trade, Oliva began to take an interest in the Metro Theater several years ago. “I live on 100th and Broadway, and I would pass it all the time, and I would just think, it’s amazing to me that this building is here and nobody’s doing anything,” said Oliva. He started a website and a campaign to pressure the owner into reverting the space back to a theater and cultural center. “I don’t want to run it, I don’t want to own it—I want it to remain a theater,” Oliva said. He’s tried to drum up support for arts organizations to come into the space, but he’s run up against some criticism in the process.

The Metro Theater may find life again as a home for the arts. with the owner (Bialek said that he knows nothing about Oliva and could not comment on his activities related to the Metro), and doesn’t want to create an adversarial relationship. His intentions, at least, are echoed by many in the community. “Everybody’s dying to keep it as a theater,” said City Council Member Gale Brewer. “Wingspan is the closest” to becoming a tenant, she said, calling their founder and president Gary Bernstein “very organized and very smart.” In 2009, Urban Outfitters was close to signing a deal to move into the Metro, but pulled out at the last minute and moved across the street. Fiegel said that the deal fell through because Souto, the leaseholder at the time, didn’t have the authority to lease out the space to the clothing chain. While Bialek is open to another retail partner, Fiegel said certain characteristics of the building make it more likely to attract arts organizations. “It’s not an easy building because the façade is landmarked. You can’t build up because the air rights are sold to the Ariel [East and West buildings] next door, so it really has to have a unique user,” said Fiegel. “It has no windows, it has no columns, it has high ceilings, it has all the continued on page 11 N ew s YO U Li V e B Y

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The National Academy School offers artistic instruction for artists of every level. Choose from an array of figure, still-life, landscape and abstract drawing and painting classes. Sculpture, printmaking and mixed media are also offered and we have a selection of classes designed exclusively for young artists (children ages 6-16). Throughout the year the Academy also hosts many innovative and provocative workshops and lectures. We’d be happy to help you choose the class that’s right for you. Call us at 212-996-1908 or visit us at to learn more and to register. Register Today. For a full class schedule, please visit our website. Introduction to Oil Painting with Eric March July 5 – 15, 2011 Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Learn the nuts and bolts of oil painting from how to squeeze paint out of a tube to how to dab on a finishing highlight. This class will teach basic paint application and color mixing as well as a process that students can follow to begin, work, and finish a painting. Materials, tools, palette, and set up will also be discussed. A great class for anyone who wants get started in oils. Instruction will be given through short lectures, demonstrations, and oneon-one guidance.

Drawing Workshop with Brandon Soloff July 18 – 29, 2011 Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM This two-week intensive workshop will focus on drawing and composition concepts. Each successive day will challenge students with a series of exercises to help them identify their strengths and address their weaknesses. The students will gain a greater understanding of the possibilities inherent in working from life. Instruction will include an extensive discussion of proportion, values, line, mass, edgework, rhythm and basic construction principles.

Working Directly in Wax with Judith Shea, NA July 5 – August 1, 2011 Monday – Friday, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM The goal of this course is how to make sculpture directly in wax. We will focus primarily on heads, working in small scale. Students will be shown the essential methods for working with wax, such as carving, modeling, and pouring; the basics of how to make a simple, stable set-up, such as an armature; and the appropriate applications of heat. How to work safely with hot wax will also be addressed.

Summer Art Intensive for Ages 10-13 with Hannah Frassinelli June 20 – 24, 2011 & June 27 – July 1, 2011 Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Painting landscapes out of doors, drawing a costumed model in charcoal, creating monotypes and printing them on a printing press are some of the projects in this summer art intensive. Topics to be introduced will include the basics of perspective and human anatomy, light and shade and color principals. The instructor will also reinforce knowledge with class demonstrations and visuals from art history.

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Doctors Are In at Urgent Care Center

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What are your medical backgrounds? Dr. Melrose: I went to the University of Pennsylvania as an undergrad and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am residency trained in emergency medicine. I’ve been in practice in and around New York for over 20 years as a clinician and emergency-room administrator. I was born and educated in Philly, but have lived in New York since 1986. Dr. Shipley: I went to Princeton as an undergrad and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. I’ve lived here since ’83. I’ve been in active clinical practice since ’93, as both a clinician and director of a number of emergency rooms in the New York/New Jersey area.

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Q. How did you meet? Dr. Neal Shipley: We met 20 years ago when we were attendees at Beth Israel. We remained great friends. After talking about this for quite a number of years, we reached the stage in our professional careers where it was becoming harder to work in a hospital setting. The theme song in hospitals is, “Do more with less.” Why did you choose the Upper West Side It became frustrating for us. We thought over other neighborhoods in the city? we could do a better job Dr. Melrose: As with any in giving patients access successful business, it’s all Urgent Care Manhattan about location. Here, we to the kind of doctor you could get in the 199 Amsterdam Ave. at W. 69th St. have a high residential emergency department. sity, foot and drive-by trafThe average wait time fic and street level visibilin an emergency room ity with favorable rent. We in NYC is between four to five hours. were open to any good location that met There’s no wait time here. this criteria. We are a stone’s throw from the 72nd Street and Broadway intersection What kinds of patients do see on a and Lincoln Center. Surrounded by schools, day-to-day basis? high-rises, churches and synagogues, it is a Dr. Mark Melrose: We see patients with great focal point for the community. any variety of immediate and unexpected health-care needs. Moms with kids who What are some of your favorite spots wake up in the morning with a fever on the UWS? who don’t want to wait for a pediatrician Dr. Melrose: Since we generally can’t appointment, travelers from oversees who leave the office, we’ve become patrons have run out of medicine, need prescrip- of the businesses within a block or two tion refills or are sick, Sunday morning of the office. We eat half our meals from chefs who mistake their fingers for bagels continued on page 11

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By Angela Barbuti Meet Dr. Mark Melrose and Dr. Neal Shipley. They are the men who recently founded Urgent Care Manhattan, a minoremergency medical clinic on the corner of 69th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. On a daily basis, the duo treat everyone from sick children to sopranos from the MET to ailing tourists.


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andrew schwartz

Neal Shipley and Mark Melrose recently founded Urgent Care Manhattan.

Are there uniquely West Side-style patients that you see? Dr. Melrose: Opera performers are like vocal athletes and need to be able to sing to be paid. When they get sick with an upper respiratory infection that affects their voice, they need immediate medical attention. We’ve become the local experts for sick sopranos.

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Author’s Corner 1 PM

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Hostel Treatment

Longtime youth hostel gets caught in law targeting illegal hotels By Megan Finnegan The sign on the door of the International Student Center states, “The Department of Buildings has determined that conditions in this premises are imminently perilous to life.” It’s a vacate order, telling all guests of the 53-year-old nonprofit youth hostel that they must leave immediately and cannot under any circumstances return. “For the city to swoop down and shut us down like this is very sad,” said W.P. Suresh Paul. He is a soft-spoken man who’s been the executive director of the Association for World Travel Exchange, which is the sponsoring organization for the Center, for 18 years, and he said that he had no idea anything like this was coming.


• w e s t s i d e spirit

May 26, 2011

andrew schwartz

Magan finnegan

aspects of New York building codes. “The bill provides the city with a number of tools by updating the different definitions, between the housing codes, the building code, the rights of police and fire,” said Krueger. “Basically, we just gave them a 21st-century update, clarifying what were essentially gray areas of the laws.” The older laws created unintentional loopholes that made it difficult for the city to enforce certain fire safety and building regulations. For example, before this law was passed, the authorities could not shut down an illegally operating hotel unless the majority of the rooms in the building were being used for that purpose. Now, the law allows the city to act if even one room is housing people illegally and unsafely. Senator Krueger said that she’s been pushing for this law because of the complaints her office has received of horrible conditions in residential buildings that rent out some of their rooms illegally to travelers. “There were whole illegal hotels being created within blocks of rooms and floors in residential buildings,” she said. “Here you are, a senior citizen A bedroom in the International Student Center. living in a residential building Inside the landmarked brownstone you’ve been living in for years, and there’s building on West 88th Street, an impec- groups of drunken students in your hallcably clean lobby normally welcomes ways morning, noon and night.” young travelers. The guest rooms on While many of the illegal hotels each of its four floors hold bunk beds had these problems, the ISC does not and little else—standard for the $20 seem to suffer from the same stigma. to $30 per night rate—but a basement Paul said guests are encouraged to lounge offers a communal living space respect the quiet, residential neighwith couches, tables, games, books and borhood. Maxine Davis, a neighbor a small kitchen. and president of the 88th Street Block Paul said he has always complied with Association, collected 32 signatures in the Fire Department and DOB inspec- support for the ISC, characterizing the tions, and is trying to determine what he organization and guests as good neighhas done to warrant this sudden order bors who contribute to the block’s that is now crippling the organization’s diversity and upkeep. major source of funding and forcing him Krueger said that the problems she to turn away young tourists looking for heard mostly existed in Midtown, but safe, cheap accommodations. were fanning out into downtown and This hostel is one of eight that have Brooklyn as well. “I’ve had groups of been vacated in the initial crackdown people who live in SRO-type housing led by the Mayor’s Office of Special in Midtown being forcibly evicted and Enforcement in accordance with a state threatened and locked out of their apartlaw that went into effect May 1 this year. ments because someone was turning it The law, sponsored by State Senator Liz into a fake hotel,” she said. Krueger and Assembly Member Richard Shari Hyman, the director of the Gottfried, clarifies previously ambiguous Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement

cial Certificate of Occupancy, renewed in 2003, lists the number of persons permitted to occupy each room. It notes that on the second floor, there is an office, storage and one class “B” room, and that the maximum occupancy for that floor is 23 people. The third floor contains an office and two class “B” rooms, and the fourth holds four class “B” rooms. Class “B” is usually reserved for hotels, Single Room Occupancy buildings and lodging houses. While the ISC’s certificate of occupancy does not list it explicitly as a hostel, there is a note that says “non-profit philanthropic institution with sleeping accommodations.” According to the city, this is not a legal designation, but Paul said he had no way of knowing this is the case, as he’s never been told it’s a problem during past inspections. “They’re saying we’re not supposed to be functioning as Hotel 104 on First Avenue was closed under the new law. a hostel,” said Paul. “But this (OSE), said that they responded to com- place has been here since 1953. We’ve plaints about unsafe conditions. In each tried to comply with all regulations they case, when a vacate order was issued— want.” He said that he doesn’t understand the OSE issued full or partial vacate orders how the vacate order can say that the ISC to eight out of 15 buildings with violations is “exceeding occupied load.” it visited two weeks ago—there were dan“We have the same number of people gerous and unlawful conditions present. as specified in our CFO and the buildOn the Upper East Side, Hostel 104 on ing plans,” Paul said. “This is legally the First Avenue, which is zoned as a residen- way they’ve wanted it and we’ve done it tial building but has been operating as a that way.” hostel, received a full vacate order. The complaint that triggered the “We found overcrowded, uninhabitable inspection states that there are 12 bunk conditions, that if there was a fire nobody beds to a room, which Paul said is simply would be able to get out,” said Hyman. not the case. Each room holds no more Speaking specifically of the than six bunk beds, and some have fewer. International Student Center, she said, Paul acknowledges that they’ve had “If you look at that one, it’s a four-story violations in the past, but said that they walk-up with seven rooms occupied by have always corrected them, like when 44 guests, with no sprinkler or fire alarm they were ordered to connect the sprinsystem. The bunk beds are in front of the kler system to Siamese connection pipe window,” making it impossible to escape. underground, which took two years and But Paul insists that he is completely required permits from the Landmarks compliant with safety regulations, show- Preservation Commission. His next step ing off the $15,000 fire escape he had is to work with the Fire and Buildings installed a few years ago at the behest of departments to figure out what he did the Fire Department. “Every part of the wrong and how he can correct it. building is sprinklered. We have a fire “You can go online, it’s there,” he said alarm and fire escape,” he said. of their violations and history. “There’s The International Student Center’s offi- nothing to hide for us.” N ew s YO U Li V e B Y

special report: Part III

No Plan for More Diversity at Stuy By Megan Finnegan Last Sunday, a group of Stuyvesant High School alumni gathered to address the severe lack of diversity at the school, which has only 5 percent black and Hispanic students. An offshoot of the alumni association, the Black Alumni Diversity Initiative, organized a panel to discuss ways in which the esteemed school could bolster its reputation as a place with fair access, while still maintaining its elite status and rigorous academic standards. Stanley Teitel, principal of Stuyvesant, used his time to explain why he had discontinued the Discovery program at the school about eight years ago (he could not recall the exact year). The program was created in 1971 as a way to ensure that minority and disadvantaged students had access to specialized high schools. When these students scored a few points below the cutoff on the admissions test, they could be selected to attend a summer Discovery course that would bring them up a few notches and allow them to be offered a seat at that high school in the fall. “In the old days, when there were only three schools, when I wanted to have a Discovery program, I would select students who already had a seat at Bronx Science, but if they went to the summer program here at Stuyvesant, they might have a chance to attend Stuyvesant in the fall,” said Teitel. “So I was basically stealing from Bronx Science, Bronx Science

Urgent Care continued from page 9 Café 71. I personally tend to go to Café Luxembourg, Compass or Calle Ocho. My friend Jeff Kadish owns it. We try to communicate with local pharmacies as well. While we don’t discourage people from going to big chains, we know patients get more personal attention at neighborhood drug stores. My father owned a corner drug store in Philly. Dr. Shipley: I’m often at Trader Joe’s to pick up supplies for dinner for my family. I’ll admit a fondness for Gray’s Papaya hot dogs.

How did you come up with the idea of the film-themed décor for your office? Dr. Melrose: We were trying to think of a way to decorate that wouldn’t break the bank. We were able to find headshots of almost every TV and movie doctor you could imagine at a movie memorabilia store. We’ve decorated our exam rooms and hallways with headshots from the We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m 

was stealing from Brooklyn Tech.” Teitel said that after the Department of Education created five additional specialized high schools under Chancellor Harold Levy, the parameters of Discovery changed. Whereas previously he had been able to select participants who

“If it weren’t for that [Discovery] program, I wouldn’t have been as successful as I am,” said Colin Mapp. scored just below the 560 cutoff for Stuyvesant, Teitel said, the DOE told him that he would have to choose students for Discovery from those who had missed entry to all specialized schools—those who scored below the lowest cutoff score, generally less than 470. This 100-plus point disparity, he said, would make it impossible for Discovery students to get up to par academically with their peers by the time the fall semester began. “I can’t pick students who just missed the cutoff [for Discovery]. If I could, I would be happy to still have it,” said Teitel. Several people in the audience and on the panel questioned whether the admissions test itself is the best method of determining who are the best students in New York. cast of ER, M*A*S*H, Grey’s Anatomy and pretty much any TV and movie doctor you can imagine.

Hudson continued from page


the Bike and Roll location by the basketball courts under the highway near 70th Street, and ride all the way to the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. Take a detour back to the upper levels of the park, north of 97th Street, to check out “The Beach,” where there’s real sand, volleyball and acrobatics on the only set of traveling rings east of Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, Calif. The Hudson Beach Café at 105th Street provides the best view of the action—and more great sunsets. The stretch of path along the river between 97th and 125th streets is called the Cherry Walk, named in 1909 when a committee of Japanese citizens donated

Several alumni in the audience spoke to say that they went through the Discovery program and it provided the preparation they needed to exceed at Stuyvesant, but also that the program simply succeeded where their middle schools had failed, in making them aware of and prepared for opportunities presented by the specialized high schools. “If it weren’t for that [Discovery] program, I wouldn’t have been as successful as I am,” said Colin Mapp, who graduated in 1983. He missed the Stuyvesant cut off by three points—after not receiving any support from his middle school in preparing for the test—and went through Discovery. Recent graduate Xevion Baptiste-Hall also spoke about the difficulties she faced to get to Stuyvesant. “I was one of those students who suffered from information deficit,” said Baptiste-Hall, who took the test—and got in—with only a month’s notice. “Just saying the problem is with the test does a disservice to black and Latino students. There’s a problem with the preparation they receive and there’s a problem with the information.” Tom Allon (president of Manhattan Media, which publishes this paper), who graduated from and once taught English at Stuyvesant, echoed that sentiment as he recalled his time teaching Asian students at the Elite Academy in Flushing, Queens, how to take the test, beginning in cherry trees from the same batch famous for transforming our nation’s capital every spring. Walking or riding along the path, find driftwood sculptures by artist Tom Loback, who creates carefully balanced structures on the mossy riverside rocks. About a quarter mile south of 125th Street, a section of the path is surrounded by enough vegetation that you can almost forget you’re next to one of Manhattan’s major highways. The end of Cherry Walk leads into West Harlem Piers Park, a network of piers with more fine views, benches for resting tired feet and even fishing off the pier. Errol Dawkins, of 158th Street, says West Harlem Park is perfect for walking his dog or having a snack after grocery shopping at the Fairway Market across the street. While Riverside Park itself bustles with families, kids, jocks and joggers, the paths, piers and riverbanks west of the highway offer a quiet haven for anyone looking to commune with nature in the form of New York City’s mighty Hudson.

3rd grade. He said the rigorous preparation by some demographic groups sharply contrasts with the lack of information given to other minority populations, and called on Teitel to immediately reinstate Discovery as one means to address the racial disparity that results. “We’re cheating every single one of [the students] by not making this school more diverse,” Allon said. Joshua Feinman, an alumnus and economist who wrote a case study about the effectiveness of the admissions test, said that while it may be an excellent predictor of student ability, no one can say that for sure. “There’s never been a study done vetting the system,” said Feinman. “That is an enormous violation of pyschometric standards. It’s done everywhere else.” He said that he’s a fan of the specialized high schools and is not out to demonize the test, but called the DOE’s failure to measure its efficacy “unconscionable.” Teitel said that he would not consider including other criteria, such as teacher recommendations or essays, in the admissions process, but did acknowledge that there needs to be more communication from the DOE to middle schools throughout the city about the specialized high schools. The panel concluded with a call to further the discussion, but many potential solutions lie in the hands of Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott and the DOE.

Metro continued from page 6 things you want in a theater space.” “It would be great if it could be something that could hearken back to its original spirit,” said Cristiana Peña, senior director of preservation at Landmark West. She said that they and other organizations would be happy to provide resources and support to whatever type of tenant moves in. “Just to have that kind of anchor in part of the northern Upper West Side would really be tremendous.” Oliva agrees that the neighborhood could use a commercial boost, and hopes a theater would revive the arts community as well as encourage more restaurants and other retailers to open. “We don’t have a cultural center north of the Lincoln Center area, and I think it’s something that people would be very receptive to,” Oliva said. “It’s never going to be Lincoln Center, but it can still be something nice.”

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• w es t s id e s p ir it



Come, ye pasty, Vitamin D-deprived and weak. Bring yourselves into the sun, fill yourself with nourishment and feel life flooding back into your body. Summer Food Fest Extraordinaire Dan’s Taste of Two Forks—Chef Marcus Samuelsson will host Dan’s Taste of Two Forks, July 16 at Sayre Park in Bridgehampton, Long Island. The food and wine event celebrates the myriad of wineries and restaurants on the North and South Forks of Long Island. The first Taste of Two Forks will showcase the best local culinary talent from dozens of East End restaurants, wineries and local brewers Southampton Ales and Lagers. Dan’s Papers, a Manhattan Media company and premier newspaper of the Hamptons, is launching the event. For more information, visit

230 Fifth The perfect place to take that out-of-town friend from the Midwest on their last night to ooh and ah them with a view of the Empire State building. Be prepared to slap down $15 for a cocktail. And then, you’ll probably move along afterward to some place less expensive and crowded where you can get your friend appropriately inebriated. 230 5th Ave. (betw. W. 26th & W. 27th Sts.), 212-725-4300.

Bier International This Harlem spot is currently perfecting a brand-new sidewalk cafe and already has a claim to fame as pretty much the only legit uptown biergarten. It serves about 10 European drafts and also has amazing soft pretzels, so skip the same old gartens and try something new. 2099 Frederick Douglass Blvd. (at W. 113th St.), 212-280-0944.

Boat Basin Café Dog lovers and obnoxiously wholesome Uptown types mingle over frozen cocktails at this summer institution. Yet, we find ourselves strangely drawn there every July for the chance to hang out at the huge-for-New-York space and to enjoy the view of the setting sun burning off the toxic Jersey air—it’s worth the trip. West 79th Street & West Side Highway, 212-496-5542.

Bohemian Beer Garden Sure, beer gardens are popping up all over the city like zits on a pre-teen, but Bohemian Beer Garden is still the big



kahuna that’s been serving up suds for the past 100 years. Yep, it’s located in Astoria, but it’s totally worth the trek for a dish of history with a side of sausage and beer. 2919 24th Ave. (betw. 29th & 31st Sts.), Queens, 718-274-4925.

Bookmarks at The Library Hotel Wanna know why they call it Bookmarks? Well, because it’s in The Lib… never mind. You get it. The intimate, must-be-inthe-know setting, combined with ordering drinks with names like the Pulitzer and the Great Gatsby, will make you feel cosmopolitan indeed. And if not, you can grab a nearby thesaurus to figure out precisely how you do feel. 299 Madison Ave. (at E. 41st St.), 212-983-4500.

Cavatappo Wine Bar Cavatappo is that rarest of things: an unpretentious little wine bar. (And we do mean little—prepare to get cozy up in there.) They’ve got over 75 varieties on their wine list, with palatable descriptions like “Concentrated Flavors with a Rich, Fuller Style,” and a menu featuring a nice selection of Italian cheeses, meats, pizzas, sketchadas (pressed pita sandwiches) and “stuff to dip things in.” There are also a few craft beers for the grapeaverse. 1728 2nd Ave. (at E. 90th St.), 212-426-0919.

Central Park Boathouse. new Chelsea haunt. Not only is the food spectacular, but with 24-hour access to his dulce de leche and avocado batidos (aka milkshakes), iced Mexican chocolate drinks and floats made with passion fruit, apple mojito and tamarind sodas, you can cool off all summer long at any time. 207 W. 14th St. (betw. 7th & 8th Aves.), 212-858-5001.

The Delancey The booze and dancing here are decent, but the rooftop lounge is the reason to go. It’s got plenty of seating and a nice, plant-enhanced atmosphere. Plus, there’s no music on the roof, so you can actually have a chat with the person you’ve just been grinding on the dance floor. 168 Delancey St. (betw. Clinton & Attorney Sts.), 212-254-9920.

Firehouse Tavern

Ce n t r a l Park Boathouse Now that Tavern has been forcefully resurrected as a giant dispenser of pamphlets, you only have one restaurant in the park that requires your attendance if you’re going to mingle with the elite and use “lunch” as a verb. This is it. You might be paying $4 per shrimp at the outdoor grill, but it’s worth it for the view and the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel just by being there. Central Park, enter park at East 72nd Street & Park Drive North, 212-517-2233.

Coppelia Julian Medina outdid himself with this

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This is a great Upper West Side spot for the not-too-pricey basics—margaritas, tap and bottled beers, quesadillas, sandwiches, gourmet pizza and wings. The theme, if you can’t guess, is a fun firehouse vibe, and it attracts patrons from actual firemen to the children who idolize them. 522 Columbus Ave. (at W. 85th St.), 212-787-3473.

Hudson Beach Café This neighborhood enclave is actually inside Riverside Park, making it a prime summer spot for river views and watching people engage in physical activities while you sip wine. The food can be described as what would happen if a mainstream pub (the place is one of the P.D. O’Hurley’s restaurants) had a baby with a backyard barbecue.

Riverside Park, enter park at West 103rd Street & Riverside Drive, 917-370-3448.

Hudson Terrace This three-year-old rooftop lounge now hosts weekly events like Beer Garden Tuesdays and Rewind Thursdays, where they pump ’80s music under the retractable roof. If themes aren’t your thing, it’s still worth going for the view. 621 W. 46th St. (betw. 11th & 12th Aves.), 212-315-9400.

Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden When you’ve had just about all the oil paintings and crowds you can take at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, shoot up to the roof and you’ll find yourself at a surprisingly chill rooftop bar. They serve margaritas, mojitos, mixed drinks and ice cream to complement the killer view. 1000 5th Ave. (at E. 82nd St.), 212-535-7710.

The John Dory If oysters say “sex,” than April Bloomfield’s new seafood joint screams it, right on the street through two walls of windows and a handful of outdoor seats. Being part of the Ace Hotel aids the reality of this sentiment and, as the skirts get shorter and the dudes start going around in muscle shirts, this haute location flexes their own mussels and becomes a perfect excuse for people watching. 1196 Broadway (at W. 29th St), 212-792-9000.

Lady Jay’s This Western-themed saloon on the busy, boozy Grand Street corridor has CONTINUED ON PAGE 25 N EW S YO U LIV E B Y

PROJECT OPEN at Lincoln Towers invites you to the 18th Annual

Sunday, June 5, 12 PM - 5 PM 66 - 72 Streets

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An exhaustive guide to the sounds of summer for anyone who’s even slightly interested in seeing live music This summer, there’s a little live music for everyone, but with so many options, it’s hard to parse exactly where you should be and when. That’s why we’ve prepared a handy Q&A to answer all your summer music needs. It’s Friday. I’m sick of my cubicle and its lack of sunlight and plan to drink until the pangs of corporate depression set back in on Sunday evening. Where do I go? The best option for your happy hour show-going will forever be the River to

Rufus Wainwright. River Festival. This year’s program, which runs from June 19 through July 16, features shows from Patti Smith, Dirty Beaches, Lower Dens, Weekend, Laurie Anderson, The Wake, Bill Laswell, Rufus Wa i n w r i g h t , My Brightest Diamond, The Radio Dept. and more. A highlight will be the annual Bang on a Can Marathon, which takes place June 19 and features Bryce Dessner of The National, along with Glenn Branca, Philip Glass and compositions from Yoko Ono and David Byrne with St. Vincent’s Annie Clark. I don’t go to the city’s great parks nearly enough. Where can I go for some grass time and a show?



Well, your two main options are the gold standards of summer shows: SummerStage and Celebrate Brooklyn. SummerStage, taking place from June 7 through Sept. 2, strikes its usual eclectic balance of genres and locations with park shows in all five boroughs. Of course, its biggest concerts take place at Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield. Performers include Florence and the Machine, Lykke Li, Twin Shadow, Cults, Rakim, EPMD, Wiz Khalifa, Reggie Watts, jazz legend Roy Ayers, Wavves, Talib Kweli, Milagres, Nas & Damian Marley, The Sugarhill Gang, Ryan Leslie, The Budos Band, Kool Moe Dee and Ozomatli. Celebrate Brooklyn, set in Prospect Park, features both ticketed and free shows with an eye on the indie A-list. Performers include Animal Collective, Cut Copy, Sufjan Stevens, The Decemberists, Best Coast and Bon Iver, with more to be announced later. There’s also the always excellent Afro-Punk Fest, taking place in Commodore Barry Park near the Brooklyn Navy Yard Aug. 27 and 28. The fest will feature sets from Santigold, Janelle Monae, Fishbone, Cee Lo Green, Toro y Moi, Reggie Watts and more. Need more than just music? There’s also a skate and BMX competition, over 20 food trucks, a custom bike show and a ton of other activities to distract you from the debilitating August heat. I hate this newfangled rock music that all the kids are listening to and want to break out the blazer, some wine and that picnic basket I mistakenly bought back in ’07. Is there anything classy going on? Duh! Lincoln Center is the name of the game here. Its Out of Doors festival is celebrating its 41st season with 100 free performances throughout its beautiful properties. While opening night features the U.S. premiere of Billy Bragg’s The Big Busk and a world premiere of a site-specific dance performance entitled Water by

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Eiko & Koma, we’re setting our guns on the She’s Got The Power bill that includes Lesley Gore, Lala Brooks of The Crystals, Maxine Brown and dozens of other members from ’50s and ’60s girl groups. Other performers throughout the summer include Mavis Staples, Laurie Anderson

Yes ma’am! From June 16 through Aug. 11, New York Press is programming Thursday night concerts in Union Square Park. Kicking off the festivities will be Brooklyn’s own Friends and other shows will feature Ava Luna (July 14), Grooms (July 21), The Shondes (Aug. 4), ARMS (Aug. 11) and plenty more. I’m picky these days and only want my music with a stunning river backdrop. You have options for that, right? No biggie. In addition to the Williamsburg Waterfront shows, SummerStage at East River Park and River to River Seaport gigs, there’s the River Rocks program over at Hudson River Park. Performers here will include Tune-Yards, Deer Tick and Metronomy.

Christian McBride. and many more. Madison Square Park’s Oval Lawn Series owns your folk, country, bluegrass and jazz fix. This year’s bill, running from June 22 through Aug. 10, features performers like Christian McBride, Dale Ann Bradley, Red Horse with Eliza Gilkyson and Davell Crawford paying tribute to Ray Charles. The Washington Square Music Festival rounds out the classy park scene with opera and chamber ensembles, before concluding with the Charles Mingus Orchestra Aug. 2. City-sponsored events are well and good, but isn’t there something put together by an alt-weekly with a keener eye for music?

I mostly love art, but like to kick out a few jams from time to time. Is there something for me? Well, MoMA has its annual Summergarden series on Sunday evenings. Admission is free with entry to the museum, so check out the exhibits and then go outside for a weekend climax. We also have experimental arts and design organization Superfront, which is accepting proposals from locals for use of a semi-outdoor space in Sunset Park every Saturday and Sunday from June 9 through Sept. 3. Go visit their website and apply if you have the next big performance, project or non-profit business idea. Concerts are cool and all, but I want to play. Where can I do that with little preparation? June 21 is Make Music New York, an 11-hour spectacle where musicians can play sidewalks, parks, community gardens and anywhere in-between by simply signing up. Walk around and you’re sure to hear something great amongst the horror. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y

Hampton Classic Horse Show

August 28 - September 4, 2011 8 days of premier Show Jumping and the highlight of the Hamptons summer social season featuring the

$250,000 FTI Grand Prix on Sunday, September 4th!

Competition in 5 Rings • 70+ Boutiques • Pony Rides Exotic Zoo Animals • International Food Court General Admission - $20/carload for information on advertising, vip tables, a detailed schedule, reserved tickets (required for grand prix sunday), and corporate or personal sponsorships, email or visit P.O. Box 3013, 240 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton, NY 11932 O u r T o w n N Y. c o m

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There are plenty of popcorn blockbusters to spend your time and money on this summer, but why not spice up your filmgoing with awesome movies at some of New York’s cinema temples? 92YTribeca

of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa now through September. Proceeds from ticket sales will aid in Japan’s disaster relief efforts through the Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund. 323 6th Ave. (at W. 3rd St.), 212-924-7771, www.

If you can’t escape the heat of the city, we suggest you do the next best thing by enjoying some air conditioning and a film at 92YTribeca, which has varied programming all summer long. Fairytale Road Trips is the theme of its Beer Goggle Series in June. Check out a screening of To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar June 3, because the only people who make a better road trip trio than Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando are Noxeema Jackson, Vida Boheme and Chi-Chi Rodriguez. 200 Hudson St. (at Canal St.), 212-6011000, A scene from Airplane!.

Alliance Francaise Want to imagine you’re spending the summer in Paris? This June, Cinema Tuesdays presents The Magic of Jean Gremillion. And don’t worry if you’re rusty—they’re all in French with English subtitles. Little Lise is the story of a convict who returns home to discover his daughter has become a prostitute. For a steamier romp, Stormy Waters tells the tale of a boat captain stranded with another man’s wife while his own wife waits for him at home with an illness he doesn’t know about. Dark, twisted, melodramatic and gorgeous—sure sounds French! June 7, 14, 21 & 28, 22 E. 60th St. (betw. Park & Madison Aves.), 212-355-6100,

Anthology Film Archives Cycling cinephiles should start saving the dates for The Bicycling Film Festival June 24–26. The annual event celebrates two-wheelers with film, art, music and lots more. AFA’s other film series are getting the disco treatment with a little help from Hollywood. Part 1 of Hollywood Musicals of the 1970s & ’80s: The 1970s opens June 17 with the break-up of the Beatles through a screening of Tony Palmer and Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels, and encompasses screen classics such as Sidney Lumet’s The Wiz, as well as Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York. 32 2nd Ave. (at E. 2nd St.), 212-505-5181,

Bryant Park Summer Film Festival Movies start at sunset every Monday in this outdoor film series, which opens June 20. We recommend coming early



Manhattan Film Festival

if you want a seat. This year’s festival is going old school; you won’t find a film from after 1980 on the list. Come see classics like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Cool Hand Luke and Dirty Harry quick before someone gets the dim idea to greenlight remakes. Monday nights June 20–Aug. 22, Bryant Park, enter park at W. 41st St. and 6th Ave.,

Central Park Film Festival By late August, we’re too heat exhausted to do anything but watch movies, which makes the timing of Central Park’s annual film festival ideal. The dates and line-up of films for the week-long festival’s ninth season is still under wraps; however, we can guarantee it’ll be a mix of classic and newer movies. We couldn’t be vaguer if we tried, but trust us: It’s worth a trip to Rumsey Playfield. Central Park, Rumsey Playfield, enter park at E. 69th St. & 5th Ave.,

Film Forum With Hollywood hellbent on adapting every famous film from the past 75 years or so, Film Forum’s Revivals & Repertory summer season offers a chance to see why the originals became classics in the first place, such as Planet of the Apes, 3:10 to Yuma and King Kong, as well as iconic films including Bringing Up Baby, The Maltese Falcon and a series of essential Pre-Code films that have yet to find 21st-century interpretations. Mondays are devoted to the best of Buster Keaton;

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24 of his feature and short films will screen weekly now through Aug. 8. May 13–Aug. 8, 209 W. Houston St. (betw. 6th Ave. & Varick St.), 212-727-8110,

Film Society at Lincoln Center Lincoln Center houses the most lauded film series in the city—and will soon have a whole new cinema—and this summer’s selections are especially enticing. June opens with an homage to Italian film, as it’s the 150th anniversary celebration of the movement responsible for Italy’s modern configuration the Risorgimento. Open Roads: New Italian Cinema explores films such as Mario Martone’s We Believed, inspired by the elements that led to Italian independence. Open Roads also marks the American premiere of Giulio Manfredonia’s political satire, Whatsoeverly, and director Dianni Di Gregorio’s new film The Salt of Life. 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, W. 65th St. (near Amsterdam Ave.),

IFC Center Aside from screening some of the best independent and foreign films around, every summer IFC Center actually gives us an excuse to head indoors. This summer is no exception, starting with its weekend classics series, which is devoted to the works

This film festival has held on to the indie roots on which it was founded and includes 10 days of film screenings as well as panel discussions, workshops and Q&A sessions. The fest presents a total of 132 films, 30 of which are international selections, with John Gray’s White Irish Drinkers selected for opening night. The Children and Family Program is among the new programming this year, along with the Student Film Program, featuring the work of 19 student filmmakers. For beginning filmmakers, the Festival has partnered with to create the Film Revenue Sharing Program, a start-up that enables filmmakers to promote festival events and earn 50 percent of the revenue. July 22–31, 2537 Broadway (betw. W. 94th & W. 95th Sts.), 212864-5400,

Museum of Modern Art MoMA kickstarts its summer film series with an exhibition of Academy Awardwinning director Kathryn Bigelow’s works June 1. Crafting Genre: Kathryn Bigelow includes films written, directed and produced by Bigelow, from early films like Near Dark, thrillers like Point Break and films covering contemporary issues like The Hurt Locker, for which she won an Oscar. And stick around the museum this summer to enjoy a vicarious vacation to Ireland with Revisiting The Quiet Man: Ireland on Film (through June 3), or some fun for the whole family with Pixar Revisted, a film series and exhibition celebrating 20 years of Pixar’s animated works (June 25–July 9). 11 W. 53rd St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.) 212948-9400, N EW S YO U LIV E B Y

See Complete Schedule Online


Tickets at Bethel Woods Box Office • Ticketmaster • 1-800-745-3000

All dates, acts, times and ticket prices subject to change without notice. All ticket prices increase $5 on the day of the show.

Bethel, New York • Route 17, Exit 104 at the site of the 1969 Woodstock festival.

O u r T o w n N Y. c o m

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Put your tawdry beach reads back on the shelf—these reading series will keep your summer wordy, nerdy and hot. KGB’s Fantastic Fiction Speculate about the mysteries of life and science over cheap beer while you listen to good fiction. A mix of veteran and upand-coming writers of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy and horror) read excerpts and short stories once every month for this free event. This summer, highlights include Glen Hirshberg and Sarah Langan June 15 and, for the July 21 reading, Katherine Vaz and Geoff Ryman. Third Wednesdays, KGB Bar, 85 E. 4th St. (betw. 2nd Ave. & Bowery), 212-505-3360; 7, Free.

Happy Ending (Music and) Reading Series Host Amanda Sterns’ happy-hour readings (with music on the side), a perennially popular and starstudded series, has so far only announced its June show, featuring Amor Towles, S u z a n n e Bocanegra and Kyle DeCamp, but more events are in the pipeline. Stay tuned for what promises to be an intellectual and entertaining summer. First Wednesdays, Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette St. (betw. E. 4th St. & Astor Pl.), 212254-1263; 7, $15.

Word for Word Series With an event every Wednesday this summer, the Word for Word series in Bryant Park has something for everyone. Featuring poetry, fiction and even readings for kids, the summer long fest will include Pete Hamill (June 22), Michael Showalter (June 29) and Sapphire (Aug. 3), plus discussions about all sorts of wild and wordy topics. Definitely one of the best ways to spend time outdoors in New York City. Wednesdays, Bryant Park, enter park W. 41st St. & 6th Ave., 212-768-4242; various times, Free.

Franklin Park Reading Series It’s not just locals who pack the Franklin Park Reading Series. On the second Monday of every month, the up-andcoming series brings a range of fiction and nonfiction, along with stand-up



comedy, to Crown Heights’ favorite bar. Grab a boozy milkshake—yes, they serve ’em—and settle in. Second Mondays, Franklin Park, 618 St. John’s Pl. (betw. Classon & Franklin Aves.), Brooklyn, 718-975-0196; 8, Free.

McNally Jackson Fiction Book Club Trend shattering—it’s actually successful—independent bookstore McNally Jackson is never short on interesting writers attempting to educate the fashionable illiterates of Nolita. The summer kicks off with a discussion of Iraj Pezeshkzad’s My Uncle Napoleon June 6, and other selections will be assigned soon. First Mondays, McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St. (betw. Lafayette & Mulberry Sts.),; 7, Free.

Ongoing Writers Series at BookCourt The recently expanded Brooklyn bookstore is hosting a shoal of solid authors from all genres. Wanna talk cocaine and sadomasochistic sex? Bret Easton Ellis drops by June 23. What about reflections on rich people and their summer vacations? Reported genius Colson Whitehead stops by June 15 to discuss his novel Sag Harbor, instead of actually being in the tony Hamptons enclave. There’s something for everyone. BookCourt, 163 Court St. (betw. Dean & Pacific Sts.), Brooklyn,; Free.

powerHouse Arena This store for illustrated and photography-based books has an eclectic range of offerings for the summer. Time senior editor Lev Grossman will be there for the release of the paperback version of his novel The Magicians June 3, and taster of the town Frank Bruni will be stopping by with top chef Gail Simmons July 7. And Aug. 11 finds funnyman Michael Rubens of The Daily Show reading from his new novel. powerHouse Arena, 37 Main St. (at Water St.), Brooklyn,; Free.

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Actor Michael Calas will be reading at Symphony Space for Bloomsday on Broadway.

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe The non-profit has its once a year Open Air Street Fair June 5, when it opens up the secret basement vault and unloads thousands of books for a dollar each on Crosby Street. Award winning Netherland author Joseph O’Neill stops by the cafe June 10. For those of you whose psychiatric needs aren’t being met (i.e. all of you), there will be an

event July 27 that’s described as “speeddating but with shrinks,” to celebrate the paperback release of our friend Sue Shapiro’s Speed Shrinking. Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, 126 Crosby St. (betw. E. Houston & Prince Sts.),; Free.

Bloomsday on Broadway For the past 30 years, Symphony Space co-founder Isaiah Sheffer has hosted a marathon staging of scenes from James Joyce’s Uly sses, enlisting a lot of bigname celebrities to bring the story to life to follow along a day in the life of Dublin anti-hero Leopold Bloom. Performances have been known to go on for seven hours, so be prepared for a lot of Joyce. Whatever the length, $25 is a good price for what has become a New York institution. June 16, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway (betw. W. 95th & W. 96th Sts.), 212-864-5400; 12, $25.

Madison Square Reads Throughout the summer, well-known writers will give free outdoor readings in Madison Square Park—right next to Shake Shack! You could read the entire book while in line! Thursday evenings in July, Madison Square Park’s Farragut Monument, enter park at E. 23rd St. & Madison Ave.,; 6:30. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y

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Whether you’re actually sporty or just look really good in shorts, there’s plenty of outdoor activity to keep you sweating this summer—not that you’ll need a whole lot of help with that. Rollerblading in Central Park

listen to Bob Holman and Beat poets like John Giorno, Hettie Jones, Ed Sanders and Bob Rosenthal recite works, as well as a rendering of one of Ginsberg’s greatest poems, Howl (also known as that movie with James Franco). June 3–5, Tompkins Square Park, E. 7th St. (betw. Aves. A & B),; 11 p.m., Free.

Rollerblading in Central Park appeals most to teenagers who need another hangout since the ice rinks are all gone, as well as Brooklyn types who are increasingly replacing bicycles with blades on Bedford Avenue. If you don’t fit in either of these categories and the idea of wearing the required wrist guards still appeals to you, we recommend rollerblading in Central Park. There’s less of a chance someone you know will see you bite it at Columbus Circle than in your own neighborhood. You can skate in the park any time it’s open; however, we recommend waiting until the weekends, when Park drives are closed to traffic. Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park; weekends beginning at 7 p.m. on Fri., Free.

Ultimate Frisbee Because Frisbee-catching isn’t just for golden retrievers when you put the word ultimate in front of it, why not head to the park and try your hand at spinning a plastic disc through the air without smacking any sunbathers in the back of the head? You can join a league through the NYC Social Sports Club or just stand around the stoners in Tompkins Square Park until they ask you to join.

Basketball Few things beat a pick-up game of basketball in the summer, or so we’re told by our friends with both height and handeye coordination. Whether you can or can’t jump is really irrelevant, as long as at least one person on your team can, so break out the tube socks and sweat bands and hit the courts. The Parks Department offers over 500 locations to play, and leagues are also an option through Zog Sports. Sat., various locations, www.

Hudson Kayaking Kayaking on the Hudson River is like the adult version of canoeing at summer camp, minus the obligatory trip to the mess hall to make another piece of art out of macaroni that always followed. It’s becoming one of the most popular outdoor activities in the city every summer, so we suggest getting there early, or risk being stuck with an ugly-colored kayak. Through Oct. 10, Pier 40, Pier 96 & Riverside Park at W. 72nd St., www.downtownboathouse.



Let’s Dance!

Rollerblading in Central Park.

We suggest checking out salsa, cha-cha and bachata lessons with some master teachers from Piel Canela Dance and Music School at Riverside Park, if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to dance like a star (or whatever constitutes one by today’s standards). It’s only happening once this summer, so be sure not to miss it. June 5, Pier 1 at Riverside Park, betw. W. 65th & W. 72nd Sts., www.riversideparkfund. org; 6 p.m., Free.

org; times vary, Free.

Tour de Brooklyn

Fishing If kayaking involves too much of the Hudson River for you to handle, but you still want a water-based activity, why not try fishing? The Hudson River Park Trust provides rods, reels, bait and instructions, so don’t worry if you don’t know the difference between bait and tackle. And if retrieving fish out of the Hudson River has you raising an eyebrow, fear not: It’s catch and release, so you don’t have to eat it. May 28–Sept. 5, Pier 46 at Charles St., Pier 64 at W. 24th St. and Pier 84 at W. 44th St., www. hudsonriverpark. org; times and prices vary.

Beach Volleyball Competition If you have moves like Maverick or Iceman, or just want to spend an afternoon looking at others who do, we suggest you check out NYC Park’s annual amateur beach volleyball competition. Those that have what it takes to ace it could walk away with a wad of cash. Details will be released in June.

Howl Festival Tompkins Square Park is the perfect place to celebrate Allen Ginsberg’s 85th birthday with the 8th Annual Howl Festival, for reasons obvious to anyone in the know. Grab some grass (whether it’s still attached to soil is your choice) and

May 26, 2011

If you squint just right, Prospect Heights could be mistaken for Passage du Gois, where the Tour De France starts July 2. Possibly. Regardless, Brooklyn’s 18-mile interpretation, which circuits around the borough with a brief stop at Canarsie Pier, is a chance for cyclists to extend their turf outside of the borough’s bike lanes for a day. We recommend packing both sunscreen and a poncho, as this is one event that happens rain or shine. June 5, North 12th Street and Union Avenue, Brooklyn,; 8 a.m., Free.

Inner Tube Water Polo If that wedding didn’t sour you completely on the royals, we suggest you pay homage to HRH by slipping on a Speedo and an inner tube for a bit of water polo. And as players are allowed to flip one another out of their tubes, we recommend practicing plugging your nose and competing at the same time. Sun., June 5–July 24, Chinatown YMCA, 273 Bowery (at E. Houston St.),; 8

p.m., $100.

Beach Fireworks at Coney Island Coney Island’s fireworks are a clichéd element of summer we can still appreciate. Pick your way through the pre-pubescent teenagers making out under the piers and find a seat in the sand to enjoy this iconic summer event. Or at least laugh at those doing so in earnest. Fri., June 17–Sept. 5, Coney Island Boardwalk at W. 12th St.,; 9:30 p.m., Free.

Midsummer Night Swing If late June to mid July isn’t hot enough for you, dial up the heat on the dance floor at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park during one of Midsummer Night Swing’s epic dance parties and DJ sets. Be sure to shake your groove thing through its soul train June 28, and stick around to hear Biz Markie drop some beats after. Tue.–Sat., June 27–July 16, W. 62nd St. (betw. Columbus and Amsterdam Aves.), www.midsummernightswing. org; 6:30 p.m., $17.

Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest Nothing says Fourth of July in New York like watching contestants distend their abdomens hoovering Nathan’s hotdogs, so if your gag reflex can stand it, head to Coney Island. Who knows, maybe another competitive eater will get arrested for crashing the event like Takeru Kobayashi did last year. An added bonus is that this year, ladies are eligible to win as much money at the contest as fellas. July 4, Coney Island Boardwalk, www.; time TBA, Free.

Bastille Day Celebrations Because celebrating a single act of independence every summer isn’t enough, make sure to celebrate two by commemorating France’s independence and the storming of the Bastille four days early on July 10. Break out the berets and nautical stripes to shop at French-themed market stalls and sample wine and cheese at the city’s annual Bastille Day block party on East 60th Street. July 10, E. 60th St. (betw. 5th & Lexington Aves.), www.; 12 p.m. N EW S YO U LIV E B Y

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May 26, 2011


Restaurants 1770 House Almond Babette’s Beachhouse Beacon The BoatHouse Blue Parrot Cittanuova Deli Counter Fine Foods & Catering Dylan’s Candy Bar East Hampton Point Estia’s Little Kitchen Fresno The Frisky Oyster Georgica The Grill at Pantigo Gulf Coast Kitchen Gurney’s Pasticceria and Beach Bakery Jamesport Manor Inn La Plage Love Lane Kitchen

Wineries LT Burger Luce & Hawkins Montauk Lake Club Mosaic Muse Restaurant Nick & Toni’s Noah’s Oasis Old Mill Inn Race Lane Rugosa Sarabeth’s Savanna’s Scrimshaw Serafina East Hampton Southampton Social Club Southfork Kitchen Starr Boggs Stone Creek Inn Townline BBQ Turtle Crossing Tutto Il Giorno Vine Street Café

Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard Bedell Cellars Channing Daughters Comtesse Therese Duck Walk Gramercy Vineyards Jamesport Vineyards Long Island Meadery Long Island Merlot Alliance One Woman Vineyards Palmer Vineyards Pindar Raphael Scarola Vineyards Sherwood House Suhru Wines Wölffer Estate Vineyard

Local Purveyors

The Blue Duck Bakery Café Hampton Coffee Company LiV Long Island’s Original Vodka

Featuring : Dylan Lauren of Dylan’s Candy Bar, Sarabeth Levine of Sarabeth’s and Gourmet Author Silvia Lehrer

$225 VIP/$150 General Admission This event will benefit East End food pantries through the Have a Heart Community Trust!

O u r T o w n N Y. c o m

May 26, 2011




Boston’s Little-Known Secret: Scenic Islands Minutes Away By Ethan Gilsdorf In the ominous opening of Martin Scorsese’s movie Shutter Island, Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo take a boat out to a craggy-cliffed island off the coast of Boston. Shutter Island was partly shot on an island called Peddocks, but none of the 34 real harbor islands actually look much

like the movie’s computer-enhanced slab of rock. It’s not hard to see why Scorsese and novelist Dennis Lehane found inspiration in these history-laden isles, part of the national park system since 1996 (www. Each one has its own character, and leaves its own impression. Seven of the 11 islands currently open

to the public are reachable by a 15- to 45-minute ferry ride from Boston’s waterfront. Four others are accessible by car. Day-trippers swim, fish, hike, bike, birdwatch and sunbathe on the beaches. Others camp for the night, while oil tank- Boston Light on Little Brewster Island.

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ers ply the shipping lane and jets from nearby Logan Airport pass overhead. The Boston skyline remains a constant backdrop. “At night we can see Fenway Park,” said Phil Rahaim, a park ranger on the Boston Harbor Islands. But not everyone is aware of their islands, and so far, this has kept the park from becoming overrun. “Like a lot of people,” said Rahaim, “I didn’t know that there were islands out here till three or four years ago, when I applied for the job.” As a ranger, Rahaim teaches visitors how to fish, read a compass and make tea from staghorn sumac. Spectacle is perhaps the island most transformed after years of neglect. Once the site of a farm, a quarantine hospital, a horse-rendering plant and a resort hotelcum-gambling operation, Spectacle also served as the city dump in the 1950s. “Landfill liquids oozed into the water,” said Tom Powers, president of the Boston Harbor Island Alliance, one of many government and nonprofit groups that jointly administer the park. “It was a place no one wanted to go.” In a project begun in 1992 and finished in 2006, Spectacle was shored up, covered with 3.5 million cubic yards of dirt from Boston’s Big Dig project and planted with flora. There is now a changing station for swimmers. Totaling 1,600 acres, these islands are the only coastal glacial drumlins in the United States and swell in size to 3,100 acres at low tide, revealing an intertidal zone rich with sea life. About 100 bird species migrate or live here, as do raccoons, deer and coyotes. Native Americans settled the islands thousands of years ago. Revolutionary War soldiers skirmished here, and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the famous all-African-American Civil War regiment, bivouacked here, as did World War I and World War II recruits. Yet the islands harbor a darker past. continued on page


• w e s t s i d e spirit

May 26, 2011

NYC Neighborhood Papers - May 2011


N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


continued from page 12 one major bonus that makes it stand out above the other nearby drinking spots, and we’re not talking about sort-of celebrity owner Sam Mason—it’s the backyard, stupid. A spacious deck can accommodate dozens of fresh-air enthusiasts, and a wraparound bench and accompanying tables make enjoying your shot-andshorty alfresco an exceedingly pleasant activity. 633 Grand St. (betw. Leonard St. & Manhattan Ave.), Brooklyn, 718-387-1029.

The Mermaid Inn If you don’t have a summer share, you can park yourself on the patio here to enjoy seafood—we’re partial to the oysters, the fried clams and the lobster roll—and a house pilsner, especially during happy hour when everything’s a few bucks cheaper. The East Village location has our own favorite peoplewatching, but there are also Greenwich Village and Upper West Side locations if you swim in those directions. 96 2nd Ave. (betw. E. 5th & E. 6th Sts.), 212-674-5780.

The Pier i Café Open May through October, Pier i Café


continued from page


In the 1670s, Indians were imprisoned and left to rot here; during the Cold War, sentries guarded Nike missile bases. On minuscule Nixes Mate, executed pirates were displayed as a warning to anyone thinking about looting passing ships. The park’s biggest attraction might be its four lighthouses, especially Boston Light on outlying Little Brewster. Visitors can climb the light’s 76 steps and two ladders to the top and see the 1,000-watt bulb housed in a 150-year-old Fresnel lens. The nation’s oldest continually used lighthouse site, it’s also the only nonautomatic lighthouse. Plus, its keeper is a woman named Sally Snowman. “Living on an island means you can’t just hop over to Home Depot,” she said. “You have to plan ahead.” Snowman dresses in late 18th-century Colonial garb, part of an initiative to draw visitors with programs such as kayaking and yoga lessons, jazz concerts, vintage baseball games and children’s theater. On the wish list: more ferries to handle even more people. But increasing usage without wrecking the park is “our biggest nut to crack,” said park superintendent Bruce Jacobson We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

offers scenic Hudson River views and alfresco dining in addition to burgers, freshly squeezed blueberry lemonade and fresh fruit sangria. For a full day, time your visit with any number of summer events happening in Riverside Park South. Riverside Park, enter at West 70th Street, 212-362-4450.

Reif’s Tavern Tradition trumps trends at Reif’s Tavern. Drink beer, play pool, throw darts or, if you call ahead, you can BYOM—Bring Your Own Meat—for the outdoor grill on the backyard patio. The tight-knit regulars welcome a new face, but it might be wise to keep your Red Sox shout-

outs to yourself at this sports bar. 302 E. 92nd St. (betw. 1st & 2nd Aves.), 212-426-0519.

The Sky Room With its 360-degree view of Manhattan and the Hudson River, we’re excited for this venue’s early June opening. Aside from being 34 floors above Times Square, we look forward to ordering drinks from the New York skyline framed bar. 330 W. 40th St. (betw. 8th & 9th Aves.), 212-380-1195.

The Standard Beer Garden There are a few ways to make the Meatpacking District bearable, and the

most effective of those is by drinking. Do it here, under the old train tracks, with a cool German brew in your hand. 848 Washington St. (at W. 13th St.), 212-645-4646.

The Underground Lounge A reasonably priced menu features fresh Turkish-style hummus, Corona-battered fish ‘n’ chips or panini. Get gritty with live comedy shows with no cover, an after-work Latin Party and live musicians and bands. The outside cafe seats about 30 but remember, what happens underground stays underground. 995 West End Ave. (at W. 107th St.), 212-531-4759.


IT CAN BE HARD CARING FOR YOUR AGING PARENTS. We’ll help ease that feeling of ‘going it alone’ when you’re caring for an aging parent. Solutions At Home™ will work with you to create a customized plan of care to help your parents stay safely at home while giving you peace-of-mind. Call 800-544-0304 or visit to find the right solution.

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May 26, 2011

• W eS t S id e S p ir it


Healthy Manhattan

a monthly advertising supplement

A Newer Twist on Chiropractic

How the torque technique helped me recover physically and emotionally BY CHRISTINA DIAZ ccording to Time Magazine, more than 76 million Americans face some kind of chronic pain. We search for relief in cutting-edge methods like mesmerism, acupuncture and meditation, as well as traditional medicine. In 1994, a new form of chiropractic care was developed: Torque Relea se Technique. Since then, it has helped thousands heal each year. My Upper East Side doctor, Josh Wagner, at The Life House Chiropractic (, is the only Torque Release chiropractor in Manhattan, and he treats his patients with the intention of restoring their life as a whole, not just their body. As an avid tennis player and runner, with two marathons under my belt, I suffered back problems as well as depression after a car accident in early 2010. After having seen four other chiropractors in the last year, not only was I still in physical discomfort a month or so ago, I was unable to


enjoy activities that made me emotionally and mentally happy. Injury doesn’t tend to stay in your anatomy. It often creeps into your brain and sticks there, altering your moods, emotions and mental health. Physical suffering can lead to other unwanted results such as fatigue, anxiety and depression. According to Dr. Wagner, the spinal

Injury doesn’t tend to stay in your anatomy. It often creeps into your brain and sticks there, altering your moods, emotions and mental health. column can easily become misaligned with the stresses we experience every day, and that tension is stored in our nervous system. This can cause poor health in your neurology and physiology, producing symptoms like back soreness and headaches, as well as low energy, insomnia,

a lowered immune system and chronic discomfort. All of which can lead to emotional and mental issues. Our system will stay “stuck” in this state until an outside force changes it and “snaps” the body out of its downward health spiral. This is what the Torque Release Technique offers. The actual adjustment is given via a small handheld instrument called the Integrator. It uses a gentle force applied to areas of the spine to “unlock” a stressed nervous system where the spinal bones are “locked” in position, unable to restore alignment on their own. I’d never enco untered this kind of care before, but was surprised and excited about the almost immediate shift I felt. Torque Release is an accurate description because that’s exactly what I experienced after my adjustment—a letting go of something I’d been “holding on to” since the accident. Explaining results, as well as a new technique, is always difficult, which is why a short video has been developed on the Life House website, so that people can view the treatment.

Dr. Josh Wagner

Dr. Wagner, who graduated from NYU pre-med, got his doctorate at Chiropractic at Life University in Atlanta, and worked with Dr. Jay Holder, the founder of Torque Release Technique. “TRT is in the patient’s best interest for the short and long term,” Wagner said. “It affects far more than just physical ailments. It is the only chiropractic technique CONTINUED ON PAGE 31

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a monthly advertising supplement

The Lowdown on Massages

Swedish, Thai, aromatherapy and more BY EMILY JOHNSON he next time you wonder if your neck will ever move comfortably again after sitting hunched before a computer screen all day, consider this before you reach for the Percocet: massage therapy is increasingly recognized by medical professionals as a healthy alternative to drugs when it comes to pain relief. And it just might help you live longer. Hospitals are using it to treat patients with chronic conditions like fibromyalgia and degenerative arthritis. Physical therapists use it with patients trying to regain muscle strength after hip or knee surgeries. Big corporations are offering it as an employee benefit. Psychiatrists report that it helps combat depression. And more and more experts are viewing it as preventative medicine because of the way it combats stress, which is linked to the number-one killer in America: heart disease. According to the Academy of Natural Therapy, 14 percent of adult Americans got a massage in 2008, and 42 percent have received one professionally at some point in their lives. And while the bulk of the clientele used to be women, that is no longer really the case. “I would say it’s 50-50 men and women,” said Eugene Sazonov, the owner of Magic Hands Massage Therapy on East 82nd Street, which opened in 1997. He offers a number of different types of massages, but stresses that each one is tailored to the individual client’s needs. “Emotional stuff is one thing,” he said. “It’s based on a therapist’s ability to connect and create a treatment for that person. With medical massage, there are numerous techniques. It all depends on the injury.” There are currently more than 200 types of massage, from the basic to the extremely specialized. Massage therapists utilize everything from hot stones to pools of water in their mission to get you to chill out.


sumer study. It is one of the more relaxing types of massage, as the masseuse focuses mostly on superficial layers of muscle with long, smooth strokes and gentle kneading. They generally use lotions or oils and play music. Communicating with them to let them know your problem areas can help you get the most out of the experience.

More and more experts are viewing massage as preventative medicine because of the way it combats stress, which is linked to the numberone killer in America: heart disease.

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SHIATSU MASSAGE Shiatsu has a lot in common with acupuncture because of the way it uses pressure points to improve the flow of energy. The massage therapists use their fingertips, elbows and knees in a rhythmic pattern to apply pressure to the 12 “meridians” of the body to unblock the chi. Unbalanced chi, in traditional Chinese medicine, is the root cause of most diseases in the body. THAI MASSAGE Thai massage is similar to shiatsu in the way it aligns the energies of the body using pressure on key points. But it is a more active, interactive experience because of the way the massage therapist moves you into a series of postures and stretches meant to improve your flexibility and release stress. It has been compared to doing yoga while lying down, and you’re more likely to walk out of the room feeling energized than sleepy. AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE Aromatherapy involves basic massage therapy—gentle kneading—with highly concentrated plant oils thrown into the mix. The potent scents are meant to trigger a response in the body’s limbic system, which is connected to the nostrils. CONTINUED ON PAGE 31 N EW S YO U LIV E B Y

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Preparation classes for the entrance examination for

STUYVESANT, BRONX SCIENCE, AND BROOKLYN TECH Our summer course begins August 1, 2011 ( the summer course meets 9 times in August and once in September) Fall courses begin either September 6th or 7th, 2011 Ten 3-hour classes A progress report is sent home to parents each week 6 complete practice exams provided Test taking techniques taught

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Richard Geller (212) 864-1100 Barry Feldman (201) 461-3591 Ken Rosenstein (914) 772-0011 Please email us for a brochure:


The Centre@West-Park, in celebration of and in cooperation with West-Park Presbyterian Church, presents:

Bridge Concert Series June 16th-19th June 16th: An eclectic group of singer-songwriters: Amanda Christine, Kristen Leigh, and Susannah Conn, hosted by the Stony Point Center, a conference center focused on justice, art, sustainability, and spirituality. June 17th: A night with world-renowned tango harmonica player Joe Powers and his trio, hosted by El Taller Latino America. June 18th: Chicago-based jazz singer Erin McDougald and her combo, hosted by the NY Jazz Academy and opened with their Big Band. June 19th: A concert featuring Broadway star baritone Andre Solomon-Glover and friends, hosted by the Interfaith Assembly on Housing and Homelessness. All concerts will be held at West-Park Presbyterian Church,165 W 86th ST at Amsterdam Ave, and will begin at 7:00 pm. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. Advance tickets are $25 each, and can be purchased in person at West-Park during business hours or online through Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets at the door will be $30. For more information on tickets, performers, and hosting groups, please go to:



May 26, 2011


Healthy Manhattan published in medical journals for its effect on helping people who are suffering with depression, anxiety and addiction. I see physical changes in my patients, then deeper results once the stress is gone and they can fully contribute to their entire life.”


The limbic system uses the nervous system and hormones to control emotional responses. Inhaling essential oils (which are also absorbed through the skin) can affect essential functions like blood pressure, heart rate, memory and the immune system. For this reason, aromatherapy is a good choice for people going through a particularly stressful or emotional time. HOT STONE MASSAGE In one of the most deeply relaxing forms of massage, flat, heated stones are placed on the body in strategic places on the back, the palms of the hands and between the toes. The heat loosens tight muscles and allows the massage therapist to apply deeper pressure. It also improves circulation and soothes the nervous system. DEEP TISSUE MASSAGE This one’s not for the faint of heart. Deep tissue massage focuses on realigning the deepest layers of muscle in chronically tight areas such as the neck, the shoulders and the lower back. In these areas, rigid bands of tissue can form that actually block circulation and restrict movement. To release this, the massage therapist uses strong pressure across the grain of the muscles. Some discomfort and pain may occur during the massage and most people are sore for a day or two afterward. Massage therapists are required to be licensed in the state of New York, but that hasn’t stopped many unlicensed therapists from doing business. They may be cheaper—the average price for a professional massage in the U.S. is $65—but Sazonov says that with many of them, you’re not likely to get your money’s worth. “It may feel nice, like a girlfriend giving her boyfriend a back rub,” he says. “But when they use two moves all over your body, it’s not really doing anything for you.” Make sure to let the massage therapist know what your comfort levels are, whether it’s keeping some clothes on under the sheet or telling them how much pressure is too much. And if you’re anxious, go with a friend or partner. Many spas offer “couples massages,” so people can bond with their other halves while relaxing. We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

Hence the name of his practice: The Life House Chiropractic. Dr. Wagner said patients often come into his office because of neck or back problems, and after treatment, their energy increases and their sleep improves. Their neck and back issues sometimes resolve secondarily because people begin to work internally how they should, at their best. He said his own blood pressure has decreased and his neck range of motion, due to football injuries, has been helped with Torque Release.

TRT does not use any of the traditional popping or cracking of the spine (something I was never crazy about myself). “Doctors themselves do not heal you, your body heals you,” Wagner said. “Our approach puts it in the best position to heal by assisting you in leading a healthier, more balanced life.” Torque Release Technique exceeded my expectations and I am now running again without discomfort or stiffness in my lower back. I’m hoping for a shot at the New York Marathon next year.



a monthly advertising supplement

The Torque Technique at work.

Complementary and Alternative Therapies as Part of Cancer Care and Survivorship Join us for an evening of fun, demonstration and beneficial information for people living with cancer. Professionals who specialize in acupuncture, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and exercise share their expertise and provide tips for incorporating relaxation techniques and practices into daily life. Information validating the medical benefits of these therapies and reports on emerging research in the field will be presented.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

NYU Langone Medical Center

5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

550 First Avenue (at 31st Street) Alumni Hall B

This program is co-sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Refreshments and registration begin at 5:30 PM.

To RSVP, call 212-263-2266, email: or reserve online at Please provide your name, phone number, the name of the lecture and the number of people attending.

An NCI-designated Cancer Center

Understanding cancer. And you. May 26, 2011 • W ES T S ID E S P IR IT


How the Artists Were Swept Out of Carnegie Hall By Jerry Portwood


osef “Birdman” Astor didn’t know he was making a film that would capture the end of an era when he began to document his eccentric neighbors who lived and worked in the 160 artist studios above Carnegie Hall. But in the process, Astor found himself in the middle of a classic New York City real estate power struggle with an unusual twist. In his film Lost Bohemia—which opened at The IFC Center May 20—we see a culture and lifestyle that existed for decades before it was swept away. Astor, who was also a resident atop Carnegie until he was evicted in 2008, is currently subletting an apartment in the Upper West Side. “It’s three years hence, and I’m somewhat in limbo,” he explained. “It’s me and my bird. Each tenant has a different story. Me, I personally took a sublet to remind me that it’s temporary.” Most of his photography studio equipment remains in storage. Other tenants were relocated to luxury apartments along Central Park South and elsewhere.

Q: First, I wondered about “Birdman.” Where did you get that name? Josef Astor: A lot of the people who lived there had nicknames: The Duchess of Carnegie Hall, The Chanteuse, The Merry Widow of Carnegie Hall and The Phantom of Carnegie. I didn’t ever decide to do that. But people started calling me “Birdman.” It’s like a tattoo, so I decided I’d take the name. I never expected all this: I was renting a studio and happy to find this incredible space. This entire community adopted me at the same time. No one thought it was coming to a complete end. We thought we were protected by the charter. When I heard about the problems with the artists’ studios, I didn’t image that there were those windows and skylights above the concert hall. I don’t think I could picture it until I saw the rooms and spaces in the film. [From the street], you don’t see where 160 studios could possibly be. As a result, people didn’t know. The artists benefited from that as well: It was an insular environment. It helped very much, contributed to the creative energy.

the broad brush that was used—not only the culture, the tradition and history—but also the spaces. They had to run it by the Landmarks Commission. Things were approved that had no business being approved. We had letters from world-class architects: Cesar Pelli, Gwathmey, Robert Stern, Tod Williams [who also lived in a studio]. It just made us see how much power, influence and money was on the other side. Editta Sherman, one of the last residents of the Carnegie Hall Studios. I was wondering about the timing of the film. You didn’t have it finished until a few months after the last of the rent-controlled tenants were out. Did you think about having it come out beforehand? I was trying to get the thing done. I was trying to organize everyone. We had a tenants’ crew, but it was a full-time thing. We tried very hard in the press. There was a lot of loyalty to Carnegie Hall. We were mischaracterized as against Carnegie Hall, but that wasn’t the issue. Much of the press was hesitant to write about it because it was Carnegie. It’s still shocking when I think of

I was curious what you thought about this coming across as nostalgic or that this seemed like an end of an era: all of these older artists and nothing new, young and fresh. Do you think that also hurt the cause? I’m so happy you brought that up. They see these elderly tenants and think that these people are over. No. There were all these people who wanted to be in the studios. Of course, I was there for 22 years and I was one of the newest tenants. It was a very deliberate policy of attrition. That’s why it comes about looking like it has had its day. It wasn’t an organic process. It feels like a conspiracy. They wanted to erase this place and its history.

Isabella House: Live Joyfully When she came with her daughter to look at Isabella’s apartments for independent seniors, Mary was a bit apprehensive. Her husband of 43 years recently died and her best friend just moved to Virginia to live with her son and his family. Left alone in the house where she had raised her children, she felt her house was too big to take care of anymore. Mary had given her situation a lot of thought and shared her concerns with her daughter. She needed to make a decision about her living arrangement. She knew she wasn’t ready for a nursing home. She had heard about Isabella House on the upper Westside and though it might be more suited to her. After an overview and tour, Mary and her daughter were invited to participate in a Posture Exercise Class. This was one of the many activities available to residents. Tai Chi, Chair Yoga and Painting were other interesting offerings held during the busy week. Mary wondered if the Posture Exercise session would be more than an admonition to “stand up straight.” The smiling instructor welcomed the guests and began with leading the participants in drawing a moon in the air, then making rain with finger movements. Mary didn’t imagine improving posture could be so much fun. The last thing residents did was to “walk the runway” to the applause of their friends. When it was over Mary turned to her daughter and whispered, “I could get used to this.” As the afternoon progressed, Mary became more and more comfortable. She liked the people and was touched by the genuine warmth of Isabella House. She saw a model apartment and was impressed by the size and the panoramic views of New York. Today, Mary is one of our most enthusiastic residents, and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

• Moderately priced, spacious, sunny studios and one-bedroom units with spectacular New York City views • Scheduled trips to museums, restaurants and the Cloisters • Two meals a day – lunch and dinner • 24-Hour Emergency Call System • Library, gift shop, beauty salon, laundry & check cashing facilities • Complimentary Basic Cable TV • Utilities are included • Guest Suite for overnight guests • Free on-site visitor parking

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May 26, 2011

(And it arrives only once a week!) N ew s YO U Li V e B Y

A Trip Through Psychedelia


ew Yorkers who have never visited Wave Hill in the Bronx have missed out on one of the city’s most effulgent and enchanting displays of nature. This 28acre estate boasts beautifully tended flower gardens, woodlands and stands of ornamental trees, as well as spectacular views of the Hudson River. It is also home to the Glyndor Gallery, which currently offers an exhibition tailor-made for the setting: work by Philip Taaffe, Fred Tomaselli and Terry Winters, all artists noted for their idiosyncratic interests in the botanical. Invited to Wave Hill by senior curator Jennifer McGregor and independent curator Raymond Foye, the three artists met there last fall to view the grounds and plan the exhibition. The results are the nearly 40 drawings, paintings and prints in Alchemy and Inquiry, on view through June 19. If this title suggests a blending of romantic mysticism and methodical investigation, both qualities resonate in the work. The scent of wisteria lingers as one

enters the gallery, where each artist’s work occupies a separate, sunlit room. The most exuberantly decorative works are Taaffe’s 10 pieces, which reflect his usual technical virtuosity and encyclopedic store of graphic images. Several of these mixed-media works resemble flattened terrariums—or perhaps sheets of bookpressed specimens—recording nature in elegant, incandescent hues. Sea shells and coral-like growths, incised with precise ridges, jostle with ferns and pods, often repeated identically through stencil or silkscreen processes. Winters may be the most theorydriven of the artists. In recent years, his familiar gridded images, evoking neural networks and architectural webs, have yielded to more organic forms, while still retaining their strong organizing impulse. In four robust drawings at Wave Hill, petal-like shapes emerge symmetrically from backgrounds of fragmented patterns suggesting trellises. A single painting of a faceted spore or blossom, set against vaguely biological forms in electric blues and greens, evokes the dissonance of the information age rather than a comforting

Taaffe: Jean Vong/CourTesy of gagosian gallery .

By John Goodrich

synthesis. The powdery white surfaces of nine relief prints from the “Pollen” series suggest another anomaly: rough-hewn snowflakes. Throughout, Winters’ images possess a raw earnestness, pitting the organic against the geometric. In this company, Philip Taaffe’s “After Alcyonarial.” Tomaselli comes off the truest apostle of postmodernism, eyeballs beneath. embracing not just its appropriations but Tomaselli seems driven as much its role-playing and subversions as well. by a glittering strangeness of effect as Three paintings arrange tiny, peculiar a reverence for nature. And in fact, it images of nature with tantric intensity, could be said that all three artists show overlaying them with his familiar layer less interest in the gravitas of traditional of resin that seems to both inter and pictorial composition than the vivid intensify the ornate effect. In “Dahlia” possibilities of technique, concept and (2011), collaged images of flowers, imagery. For them, nature seems a beetles, eyes, jewels, snakes and moths, garden of earthly delights, but without sealed beneath the resin, are organized the chastening demands of a higher into flame-tipped petals by countless order. But Alchemy and Inquiry offers colorful lines painted on its surface. Dots plenty of rewards on its own terms, radiate to the edges, while painted bull’s complementing the resplendent sights of eyes proliferate, echoing the collaged a day at Wave Hill.

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14384d_OurTown/WestSideSpirit_Ad_14384a_QTribune_Halfpg 5/12/11 10:32 AM Page 1


Getting To Know A Camp’s Personality


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. But with so many different camp options, what is the best way for parents to find out what a camp is really like? 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. 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 offer and the values that we teach at camp,” says Walter Synalovski, director of Camp Mah-Kee-Nac, a boys’ resident camp in the Berkshires, MA. “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 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 5 or 7 week 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


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May 26, 2011

experience, then 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 “pure” short-session camp community if they’re only going to end up wanting more and more—and then 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, PA, which offers two three-week 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.” Visit A Camp Fair: Camp directors realize that many parents don’t have the time to visit all the camps they might be interested in, so many of them participate in local camp fairs, where they set up information booths with videos of the camps and brochures. Camp fairs typically welcome children as well, so they’re a great opportunity for everyone in the family to meet many camp directors, get a lot of info, and often discover one or more camps that might be a good fit for the children. In the greater New York City area, the American Camp Association, NY and NJ, works with New York Family magazine to host a series of camp fairs throughout the year. The fairs are free and feature resident camps and day camps of every variety. For more information about the ACA-sponsored Camp Fair series, visit Speak To Parents Who Send Their Children To A Camp You’re Interested In: No parent is going to have the exact same priorities or perceptions you do, but it still can be very helpful to hear a parent or two talk about their children’s experiences at a camp you’re considering—and you certainly can ask a camp director for some parent references. It’ll give you a feel for the kind of families who favor the camp, and whether they describe a camp experience that’s in keeping with what you hope for your child. N ew s YO U Li V e B Y


Unintelligent Design

Terrence Malick tries to make up for lost time with a clunky opus. By Armond WhiTe The Tree of Life

Directed by Terrence Malick Runtime: 138 min.


ive 20th Century Fox credit for releasing terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life as a movie and not as a glue-trap for year-end awards. Five films into Malick’s eccentric 40-year career, it’s understood that he intentionally brands himself as artminded. indifferent to the usual commercial concerns of mainstream filmmakers, Malick has always exercised the privileges of erudition, which lend each of his films the aura of a cultural event. But that doesn’t mean The Tree of Life is a great movie—despite the pole-vaulting ambitions of its title. Just when you get accustomed to Malick’s precise hand-held camera movements and sly jump-cuts that give elegant spontaneity to the illusion of a family’s idyllic-then-tragic life in a small texas town, The Tree of Life shifts style and tense to observe the beginning of the cosmos, then pre-history, then shifting again to examine the infinitesimal origins of cells. those huge leaps are not immediately coherent, but Malick does them with such domineering confidence that viewers will accept his grandiose allusions to phases of life and the construction of time—his belief in his own visual poetry. Perched on a cliff of near self-parody, The Tree of Life dares to reveal Malick’s idiosyncratic—and humorless—interest in existential occurrences. he uses America’s past to showcase mankind, nature and time. the texas O’Brien family (Father Brad Pitt, Mother Jessica Chastain and three boys well-cast for remarkable genetic similarity as their sons) supplies a story context for Malick’s personal speculation on spiritual themes. his previous movies grew from the germ of mid-20th century pop ideas: juvenile delinquency (Badlands), the industrial revolution (Days of Heaven), war (The Thin Red Line) and colonialism (The New Land). Being of the movie-brat generation, Malick related those subjects to familiar genres and iconography that he expanded into what critic and Malick-scholar Gregory Solman accurately termed phenomenological epics. As an artiste, Malick collates spiritual signs, questing for meaning; an ambition that achieved its fullest expression in the historical, political, sexual, racial paradoxes of The New World. But The Tree of Life is little more than a grab-bag of generational preoccupations: outerspace explorations and inner space doubt. Starting with a scriptural quotation from the Book of Job, We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life. Malick depicts a nuclear family’s disillusionment still evident in son Jack O’Brien’s adulthood (played by Sean Penn), whose modern anomie is depicted in familiar cold, gleaming industrial settings that contrast warm, lyrical boyhood memories of his father’s frustrations as businessman, artist and parent. Malick digresses with études on intelligent Design, where CGi scenes of prehistoric animals, mitochondria and phallic fish are meant to reflect later aggression in human behavior. But these aquarium/observatory tropes get mixed-up with Malick’s own quasi-profound (quasi-religious) reaching: dividing Father and Mother as nature vs. Grace in voiceover counterpoint. the son’s eventual questioning of authority (“Why should i be good if you aren’t?”) is either blasphemy or just the ultimate 1970s youth-rebellion—with no small amount of new Age sentimentality. Koyaanisqatsi, anyone? “tell us a story from before we can remember”—one of O’Brien’s sons requests of his mother—typifies Malick’s storytelling impulse. Always undeniably romantic and nostalgic, he will transcend nostalgia through specific adolescent fetishes: key instances of private pleasure, lonely perceptions, secrets. these are often pop myths (like the dinosaurs and planets), but they can also be psychic myths, as when young Jack (played by hunter McCracken) spies on arguing couples or sneaks a bit of women’s lingerie, leading to a signature Malick surmise,

“What have i done? What have i started?” and equating sex, guilt and sin. Malick falls back on these surmises as a reflex: montages on sibling rivalry, filial resentment and a clever, expansive sequence where the O’Brien boys imitating a street drunk becomes a confrontation with the infirm, then with criminal-class unfortunates. Frankly, these meanderings cause Jack’s symbolism to go berserk—from Job to Judas to Cain to Abel. Malick’s poetry loses sociological and political grounding. that’s what distinguished David Gordon Green’s George Washington; Green had the timely good fortune (and Charles Burnett influence) to add substance to Malick’s method of reveries. Pauline Kael memorably derided Days of Heaven as “a Christmas tree; you can hang all your old metaphors on it.” The Tree of Life is overloaded with pensées—Malick’s visual metaphors—but the grand ideas bloat its human drama, making it banal, as when alienated Jack wanders among ferns outside impersonal office towers. it’s less effective than Alain resnais finding weeds sprouting between the concrete of city streets in Wild Grass, a whimsical, instantaneous image revealing nature, progress and idiosyncrasy. everything Malick attempts in The Tree of Life was already achieved in Jan troell’s Everlasting Moments, a memoir that used a wife’s photographic talent to probe human relations and social progress. And robert Altman already perfectly revised American

family heritage in the vivid, expansive memory sequence of his Sam Shepard adaptation, Fool for Love. those films achieved cinematic poetry naturally by focusing imagination, history and destiny. in The Tree of Life, Malick prioritizes self-conscious artistry over any coherent concept of family, society or the origins of life. Cinematographer emmanuel Lubezki’s clean light is pretty but inexpressive; it plays into Malick’s vain idea of cinema as a kinetic picture-puzzle. yes, some of these images refer to D.W. Griffith’s strong and fluid visions of man-in-nature and Jean-Luc Godard’s ironic view of society’s spiritual decline in the midst of divinity in Nouvelle Vague, but much of The Tree of Life is not transcendent; it looks like greeting-card homilies. there’s not enough specificity to all this self-conscious “beauty.” For example, Chastain’s performance is mostly exquisite mime since Malick neglects to articulate Mother’s consciousness, spending more time with young Jack’s rebellion and McCracken’s menacing glower. But this could also be due to Malick’s great leap backwards—undisciplined poetic storytelling that leaves out connections between primordial instinct and the modern cultural habits and biological drives that exist eons later. it’s as if Malick was making up for time lost to his ’70s peers and sought to combine the stoner astonishment of 2001: A Space Odyssey with the inherited family depression of Death of a Salesman.

May 26, 2011

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Desert Island Wine

Brushing Up on Exceptional Sparkling Wines


($79.99 at America’s Wine Shop, 398 3rd Ave., betw. E. 28th & E. 29th Sts., 800-8650982). This is the high-end offering, or “tete de cuvee,” from Champagne’s sixtholdest producer. Tete de cuvee means the grape selection is tougher, and the wine ages for a longer time in the bottle, in contact with the yeasts that fermented it. This gives the wine the pungent scent of fresh rising dough in the glass. On the palate, the flavors are rich and complex. Butterscotch and salted caramel notes are up front with a refreshing lemon pith balance throughout. There is a long finish with flavors of quince paste that make this an extremely memorable wine. Heading to the North Coast of California, the U.S. shows it has something serious to offer the world of fullbodied sparkling wine, as well. The Schramsberg Vineyards 2007 Blanc de Noirs North Coast ($27.99, Beacon Wines and Spirits, 2120 Broadway at W. 74th St., 212-877-0028) is a great example of a sparkling wine that you will never find being made in By Josh Perilo C h a m p a g n e . Blanc de Noir is a sparkling wine that is made using only red grapes, traditionally Pinot Noir. The grapes are gently crushed and the juice is collected before the skins have a chance to bleed any color. French law forbids any wine labeled Champagne to be made exclusively from Pinot Noir, making Blanc de Noir a uniquely American beverage. Schramsberg’s full-throttle sparkler starts with intense mushroom, earth and truffle notes on the nose. The bright, underripe cherry fruit of the Pinot Noir shines through on the palate up front, then gives way to more funk and earthen flavors toward the tail end of the palate.

with lime zest in the background. Then the middle brings orange and cream, carrying through to a bright and playful finish with a serious white pepper underpinning. Celebrating a big event with a glass of sparkling wine is always a good idea. Celebrating a big event with a glass of exceptional sparkling wine is a great idea. Follow Josh on Twitter: @joshperilo.

‘Pssst...Potstickers, Perfect’ I dialed my voicemail to hear a woman’s voice, deep and raspy: “There’s a vendor outside Bank of America on West 72nd Street. They serve pot stickers. Five for $3.50. Absolutely delicious.” No name. I was a little weirded out that someone had searched for my phone number, but I knew the caller was legit; just a week before, while shopping at the West 72nd Street Trader Joe’s, I put A-Pou’s Taste, a Taiwanese cart, on my “To Eat” list. Call this double happiness: five fried pork dumplings contains carrots, parsley, celand a heaping ery and thick shitake mushorder of “Chinese rooms, I was more wowed by Spaghetti” for $6. Broadway and W. 72nd St. the firm, eggy noodles. The While I usually pay presence of A-Pou’s outside (outside Trader Joe’s) more attention to TJ’s is genius. You can drool the innards—qual10 a.m.–8 p.m., 7 days over all the interesting frozen ity pork plus chives, potstickers that you can’t eat in this case—than the until hours later, while a quick dumpling skin, I liked the thin, chewy skin, dumpling fix awaits you outside. Tell ’em I fried to perfection, and A-Pou’s brown, sent you. sweet sauce, a departure from the usual —Nancy J. Brandwein black vinegar concoction. You’ll need their red-hot sauce to spruce up the comfortGot a snack attack to share? ing, but bland Chinese spaghetti. While it Contact DANIEL S. BURNSTEIN

have always said that the one bottle of wine I would take with me to a desert island would be Champagne. Or California sparkling wine. Or a great, top shelf Cava… So the “one” bottle I would take to the island is up for debate, but the one type of wine I would take is not. Sparkling wine is my absolute favorite for one simple reason: It’s fun. I’ve covered all things bubbly before, but every time I have a chance to taste new products, or new vintages of old favorites, the subject deserves a return glance. So let’s brush up on the basics since it’s been a while: All wines that are made in the style of Champagne (and that includes all the wines I will be discussing herein) are made using Méthode Champenoise, also called Méthode Traditional. This is where the juice is fermented in a large vat, and afterwards it is put into a bottle and allowed to ferment a second time. Because the bottle is airtight, and because fermentation gives off CO2, the gas is trapped inside the liquid and creates bubbles. Ta da! It sounds simple, but there are a hundred ways for the entire thing to go wrong. That’s why when you find a sparkling wine that is not only good, but exceptional, it is a rare and amazing thing. Recently I was lucky enough to try several from a couple different regions. Some may be a bit pricier than others, but keep in mind that these are splurgeworthy indulgences. Starting in the area where sparkling wine was made famous, the first exceptional Champagne I recently tried was the venerable Champagne Delamotte 1999 Blanc de Blanc Le Mesnil-Sur-Oger

Heading back to Champagne, one of the most famous houses of the region is Salon, and I was lucky enough to taste the new vintage. Champagne Salon 1997 Blanc de Blanc Le Mesnil-SurOger ($259.95 at Sherry-Lehman Wine and Spirits, 505 Park Ave. at E. 59th St., 212-838-7500) is leaner than the other wines, but no less complex. The smells of orange zest and biscuit dough waft from the glass. The palate starts vanilla-heavy,

A-Pou’s Taste

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May 26, 2011


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May 26, 2011




The Proof is in the DNA

Evidence that staying connected and active slows the aging process By JUDY GRUEN Roger Landry wishes that senior citizens would stop acting their age. Landry, M.D., M.P.H., and president of Masterpiece Living, LLC, a consulting firm for senior communities that emphasize healthy aging, observed, “Nothing in our DNA dictates that we can’t stay vital into old age. We need to adopt a ‘use it or lose it’ approach to our minds, bodies and spirit.” After all, Landry pointed out, Grandma Moses began her illustrious artistic career in her late seventies and lived to 101, painting more than 20 canvases in her last year of life. “I hear inspiring stories like this every day,” he said. “Recently, I met a woman who parachuted down to her 90th birthday party.” You don’t need to parachute into active senior living, but modest exercise is essential. Not only does exercise build muscle tone and strength, it also creates a feeling of confidence and competence. “When you are physically engaged in life, you’re more ready to try other activi-

ties,” Landry said. The combination of mental stimulation, social connections and physical challenge is a perfect example of what Landry calls successful aging. “Research has smashed the stereotype that aging means automatic feeble-

“We’ve always known that it’s good to be with people, but there is a physiological basis for it.” —Dr. Roger Landry ness or crankiness. People who remain physically, mentally and socially active can maintain high levels of functioning well into their eighties and nineties,” he said. Landry points to exciting research in the last few years that has focused on the importance of “social connectivity” and

its connection to overall brain fitness. “We’ve always known that it’s good to be with people, but there is a physiological basis for it,” Landry said. “The DNA looks different in those who are socially connected than in those who are not.” For example, the telomere, which is the end of the strand of DNA, gets shorter and shorter as people age, and is a sign of a dying cell. However, telomeres remain longer in people who stay socially connected, appearing as a younger cell. People who maintain strong connections with friends, loved ones and confidants also have lower risks of just about every type of illness, including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Left unchecked, older adults who lose meaningful engagement with people and activities can become depressed and marginalized by society, losing their physical and mental vitality and becoming at greater risk for assisted living. “It doesn’t have to be that way,” Landry insisted. “Older people can not

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Even During Tough Times, Life Insurance Offers Peace of Mind You may watch the value of your property, home or retirement investment savings struggle in the current economy, and may be wondering about ways to protect your family in the event of an unforeseen event. One option you may not have considered is the purchase of a whole life insurance policy. It may not be something you’d automatically turn to, but whole life insurance offers guaranteed death benefit protection in addition to multiple tax advantages and cash value accumulation. Owning a whole life policy can be a great financial alternative, not only for the protection of your loved ones but also a financial option for your living needs.

Invest in Your Loved Ones

The primary promise of life insurance, of course, is that your loved ones will be protected in the event of your death. And with a whole life policy, your death benefit is guaranteed, whether the payout comes in a matter of years or decades. This is a product that provides protection in the longterm interests of those you care for most, as well as your own peace of mind.

Invest in Your Future

But, what you may not know is that a whole life insurance policy is much more than protection against the unknown. It also provides you with tax-deferred cash value that accumulates over time. In the event of sudden unforeseen or happily anticipated expenses, it provides a readily available source of funds. And, in the long run, it can also supplement your retirement income. Any kind of financial strategy these days seems fraught with uncertainty, so it’s important to consider carefully what vehicles work best for your own circumstances. This educational third-party article is being provided as a courtesy by Bernard J. Zweig Agent, CA Ins. Lic. #0B96917 New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Bernard J. Zweig at 212-261-9514 or at


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INTENT TO AWARD NOTICE OF A JOINT PUBLIC HEARING of the Franchise and Concession Review Committee and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to be held on Monday, June 6, 2011 at 156 William Street, Second Floor, Borough of Manhattan, commencing at 2:30 p.m. relative to: INTENT TO AWARD as a concession the operation and maintenance of a seasonal café and the development, operation and maintenance of a year-round satellite kiosk at Union Square Park, Manhattan (Licensed Premises), for one (1) fifteen-year term, to O-V Hospitality Group, LLC. Compensation to the City will be as follows: for each operating year, licensee shall pay to the City a license fee consisting of the higher of a minimum annual fee (Year 1: $400,000; Year 2: $420,000; Year 3: $441,000; Year 4: $463,050; Year 5: $486,203; Year 6: $510,513; Year 7: $536,038; Year 8: $562,840; Year 9: $590,982; Year 10: $620,531; Year 11: $651,558; Year 12: $684,136; Year 13: $718,343; Year 14: $754,260; Year 15: $791,973) or eighteen (18) percent of gross receipts derived from the operation of the Licensed Premises. LOCATION: A draft copy of the agreement may be reviewed or obtained at no cost, commencing Friday, May 20, 2011 through Monday, June 6, 2011, between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm, excluding weekends and holidays at the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, located at 830 Fifth Avenue, Room 313, New York, NY 10065. Individuals requesting Sign Language Interpreters should contact the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services, Public Hearings Unit, 253 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10007, (212) 788-7490, no later than SEVEN (7) BUSINESS DAYS PRIOR TO THE PUBLIC HEARING. TELECOMMUNICATION DEVICE FOR THE DEAF (TDD) 212-504-4115

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A Healthy Central Park Means a Healthy City


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New Jersey Greener Than New York?

To the Editor: As one of nearly two and a half million people under 25 who call this city my home, I feel that New York has a responsibility to ensure its young population a safe and sustainable future. New York should be a leader in green development and clean energy, but that’s really far from the truth. New Jersey, for example, has six times the solar capacity of New York. Jersey! Now, that’s embarrassing. This year, which is my freshman year in high school, I have been interning at the New York League of Conservation

May 26, 2011

The balance of the visits—about 27 million—comes from roughly 2 million people who live in the metropolitan region. That high volume of repeat business is no surprise. More than half a million people live within a 10-minute walk of the park, and another 1.5 million are within a 30-minute commute. They use the park as a gym, cultural institution, performing arts venue and natural escape.

More than half a million people live within a 10-minute walk of the park, and another 1.5 million are within a 30-minute commute. All this represents an enormous, even startling, growth in the park’s use. The previous attendance surveys conducted in 1973 and 1982 showed just under 13 million visits a year by about 3.3 million different people. Even allowing for the less comprehensive nature of those studies, Central Park in the past three decades has seen a threefold increase in visits. What brings people to the park? The most popular activities are walking, sightseeing, taking tours and dog walking. Nearly two-thirds of those who were surveyed said their visit involved at least one of those activities. Most enjoyed simply walking, which was included in more than 60 percent of responses. That leads to a fascinating conclusion: The park’s visitors are using its 843 acres in more ways than ever before. But the primary purpose for which it was built

more than 150 years ago—a scenic retreat from the city—is the top reason for going there. Frederick Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s great design is still a triumph. As any visitor to the park can see at a glance, active recreation like biking and jogging also looms large—15 percent of visits. Next most popular is going to a playground (think of all those happy children), followed by team sports (think of all those softball, touch football and soccer games). Clearly, Central Park plays an enormous role in the physical health of the city. But it is New York’s economic health that is undoubtedly of more significance to policymakers. And on that score, the contribution is a game-changer. A study commissioned in 2007—a time when the Conservancy estimated annual visits at 25 million, well below the new finding—assessed the park’s value to the city at over $1 billion: more than $390 million in direct economic activity (vendor sales, events, full-time employees) and more than $650 million in increased real estate revenues from the Central Park effect on property values. Those figures will have to be revised upward in light of the new survey. What matters now is that a park that just 30 years ago was in a state of chronic decay has come back magnificently because of citizen leadership and private philanthropy, enriching the city at a level never before imagined. As long as the Central Park Conservancy and the donors who provide 85 percent of our funding are around, it’s going to stay that way. Doug Blonsky is the Central Park administrator and president of the Central Park Conservancy.


Voters. One of the main There is no reason issues that we have been that New York State working on this year should be so gravely West Park Church’s Gay Rights Battle is The New York Solar behind in sustainable Jobs and Development energy development. Act. Creating sustainable ‘Sign’ of Times At Riverside Park This act sets a goal energy jobs should be of developing over 5,000 a priority for Albany. megawatts of solar We owe it to the next Horses’ power capacity in New ‘War generation to create at Lincoln Center Stuyvesant’s Minority Admissions Under Attack York by 2025, by requira cleaner, greener Page 8 ing power companies to future. Page 10 gradually increase the has a weekly e-mail blast! solar energy that they Sincerely, produce to 2.5 percent Samantha mozeS of their total sales by 2025—not such a Manhattan drastic number. And yet, using this small amount of sustainable energy would be Letters have been edited for clarity, equivalent to taking 2,697,326 cars off of style and brevity. the road in New York alone. Pets: A Dog-Meet-Dog Dating World May 19, 2011

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West siDe sPirit is a division of Manhattan Media, LLC, publisher of Our town, New York Press, Chelsea Clinton News, the Westsider, City Hall, the Capitol,the Blackboard Awards, New York Family, and Avenue magazine.

By Douglas Blonsky What’s New York’s number one attraction? The city has a long list of contenders: the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, Broadway theaters, museums—the list goes on. But the answer isn’t one many New Yorkers would think of first: Central Park. The Central Park Conservancy, the organization entrusted with caring for the Park and decades-long partner with NYC Parks, knows, because we systematically counted and found that the park is visited between 37 million and 38 million times a year, making it one of the most visited public spaces in the world. The point is not to be competitive—by drawing people from around the world, all those other sites enrich and enliven our city. The point is that the park has a value that goes beyond even its reputation. In fact, the health of New York is closely tied to the health of Central Park. A close look at our survey, which was conducted from July 2008 through May 2009, shows the many different ways this is true. Based on how often people told us they visit the park, it appears that about 9 million different people were responsible for those 37 million to 38 million visits. Of these people, nearly 7 million were tourists who accounted for about 10 million visits. In other words, the park is a major stop for out-of-towners who are drawn to it more than once during their stay. And when tourists come to the city, they contribute to the overall health and vitality of the city by creating hundreds of millions in revenues. And that’s on top of the more than $1 billion that the park generates annually in direct economic activity.

Elected leaders and education experts question dropping minority enrollments and the Department of Education’s decision to eliminate Discovery Program at Bronx Science and Stuyvesant


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No Clichés at High School Reunion Jealousies and feuds of teen years forgotten at get-together By Lorraine Duffy Merkl If asked which I would rather relive, high school or college, I would not have to think twice. Even though I was hardly the dateless geek of John Hughes-movie lore, I still considered those four years my unjust incarceration between the simplicity of grammar school and the freedoms of higher education. So why then, when reunion time swung around, did I forgo my 30th Fordham University reunion and embrace my chance to go back 35 years and return to parochial prison in the Bronx? When the invites arrived, anyone I knew and hung out with on Fordham’s 85 acres, in the cafeteria between classes and at mixers, was off my radar. I had social networked with a few former classmates, but they didn’t post much so it wasn’t really as though we were in touch. Although I enjoyed my university alliances and our friendships were real, I see now that what was missing was the kind

of everlasting bond I’d experienced at The Academy of Mount Saint Ursula. I don’t mean to imply that we held hands all day and sang “Kumbaya.” There were cliques and jealousies over boys, beauty queens and girls for whom Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen” was an anthem; as well as all the silliness that young girls take seriously because they have yet to understand what serious issues are. Perhaps the fifth- or even 10thyear events smacked a bit of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion; the 25th much less so. Now, over three decades later, who sat at whose lunch table was a distant memory for women who’ve seen their way through careers, marriage and/ or motherhood; and survived losses of jobs, parents and spouses, and had health scares like breast cancer. There was nothing but well wishes and a gratefulness that we showed up for one another. It made up for the times, so long ago, when we may not have done so because we stayed with divergent crowds. We are now like the female version of Band of Brothers, who believe no

one else can understand what was lived through—and survived. Since it was a single-sex school, we saw one another at our most real, as well as vulnerable and tumultuous, time in

Now, over three decades later, who sat at whose lunch table was a distant memory for women who’ve seen their way through careers, marriage and/ or motherhood; and survived losses of jobs, parents and spouses, and had health scares like breast cancer. life, which included acne, Farrah Fawcett “wings” and the introduction to heartbreak. MSU taught us that we were each unique, yet encouraged us to look exactly the same by branding us in plaid; proof that no ink is needed to be tattooed. With our skirts rolled up at the waist and our

mid-’70s platform shoes, we resembled Catholic cocktail waitresses. In groups, as well as individually, we tried to outsmart the nuns, and were as successful as those who try to beat the house in Vegas. As with any gathering, not everyone could make it. Some of us have moved away. Others didn’t want to relive the past, but later, after a flurry of Facebook postings and pictures, confessed they wished they’d attended. Sadly, a few made mention through the grapevine that they weren’t coming because they didn’t like how they looked or where they were in their lives. If only they’d realized that it may have been a high school reunion, but we’re not in high school anymore and none of that superficiality matters; quite frankly, we’re all too old to care. Perhaps when the mail brings the next reunion’s invite, they’ll have a change of heart and join us. We all sit at the same lunch table now. Lorraine Duffy Merkl’s debut novel, Fat Chick, from The Vineyard Press, is available at and

Dewing Things BeTTer

One Mad Moment in the Night Confronting frequent causes of suicide among young men By Bette Dewing When a New York Times movie reviewer quite likes Bridesmaids, maybe the world should end. (Incidentally, the otherwise still traditional Family Radio station loses all credibility due to its president’s “World will end on May 21” rant.) The NY Post reviewer found the movie gross, even vile, and while troubled by women viewers who found it hilarious, he was relieved that some women “sat in stony silence.” What a difference a reviewer makes— in all of the mediums that shape our customs and views. Why didn’t the paper of record cover the suicide of Philip Chlanda, 29, a First Precinct police officer? The Daily News and the Post, thankfully, gave it significant coverage. The frequent cause of suicides among young men, a breakup with a girlfriend or wife, needs prime time, front-page coverage. Alcohol is often a contributing factor, but apparently not with this beloved son We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

of Gisela and Edward, who was on nightshift duty when the News said, “He peeled off around 3 a.m. to met with his gal pal.” A police source said something on Facebook (social media that too often is not) made him fear the woman that he’d lived with only a few months was leaving him. Two postal workers reported seeing the couple argue the night before outside his Murray Hill apartment building where his parents also lived: “It looked like they were breaking up.” Police said his four-year police record was unblemished, but there was the readily available service revolver, which the distraught Chlanda put to his head and pulled the trigger—outside the apartment house. I write about suicides because so many are such a terrible waste of life and could be prevented. And I blame the culture, rife with “can’t live without you” lyrics

and themes. Couple love is made to seem “the one and only one,” although, especially in the young, it’s quite replaceable. My message left for the 19th Pct. Community Affairs officers implored them to remind police officers and, in general, how a broken relationship or a betrayal are never to die (or kill for), and life almost always gets better. While I deplore entertainment and culture’s “R- and X-ratedness,” more insidious is the socially acceptable and socially advanced obsession with couple love and indifference to the family and friendship kind. I implore you to protest these ruinous social decrees. And stress the never-ending sorrow of the suicide victim’s family. Get righteously irate and refuse “to take anymore” those devious dictums to parents of adults like: “Don’t interfere!” “Stay out of their lives!” “They must learn from

their mistakes!” And retort, “Oh yeah, and who made those rules?” And drum into that fragile male psyche how it’s never unmanly to be close to one’s mother and father; indeed, it’s a mark of maturity to have a well-balanced family and friend relationship diet. And stop equating manliness with the physical and the material! Untold good can come out of those “sex scandal stories” if overcoming the causes became a bi-partisan, multicultural, worldwide top priority. Faith groups have a role and so do Sexaholics and Alcoholics Anonymous. “Lives ruined all about by one mad moment in the night.” Attention must be paid to this classic Jimmy Breslin comment on tragic and ruinous human events. Overcoming a “mad moment” pushed by entertainment, arts and cyberspace is an absolute must.

May 26, 2011 • W eS t S id e S p ir it


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West Side Spirit May 26, 2011  

The May 26, 2011 issue of West Side Spirit. The West Side Spirit, published weekly, is chock full of information—from hard news to human int...

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