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CRImE WATCh Compiled by Megan Bungeroth

Your doctor spent 5 minutes?

ThE WoRST of CRImES A group of Upper West Side neighbors received a rude—and hot—awakening when they discovered their air conditioners had been stolen. Last Thursday, the manager of a building on West 71st Street reported to police that eight AC units, worth a total of $8,000, were discovered missing from the building’s storage area when residents went to install them in preparation for our current heat wave. Employees of the building all had access to the area, which was shut only by a shoddy door and single lock.

hoRRIblE houSEguEST

Another reason to call.

A local woman helping out a friend ended up with a housemate who makes using the last of the milk seem like a welcome offense. While her 18-year-old pal was staying with her, the victim noticed that someone had withdrawn over $1,000 in cash from her bank account. When she confronted her roomie, he admit-

A TImE To STEAl After returning from a trip to San Francisco a few months ago, a 60-year-old disabled woman learned she had been robbed when the boyfriend of the alleged perpetrator told her what he knew. According to the police report, the victim had given a set of keys to her apartment to her neighbor when she went away. That neighbor was the boyfriend of the alleged thief, and told the victim that his girlfriend confessed to stealing a $2,000 antique brass clock and two flat-screen televisions worth $1,650 from the woman’s apartment. It’s unclear if the boyfriend was involved or simply duped into providing access to the crime scene.

mISSIng moToRCAR An Upper West Side resident parked her new car on West 85th Street last Sunday. When she returned a short time later, the car was gone without a trace—police found nothing on a canvass of

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ThWARTED bAnk RobbERy Police arrested a man suspected of multiple bank robberies last Friday after an unsuccessful attempt at another holdup. The 42-year-old white man approached a teller at an Apple Bank branch on Broadway with a note demanding cash. Defying the normal practice of obeying the demands to avoid conflict or injury, the teller refused and hit the alarm. The perp immediately fled on foot and was apprehended by a bank employee and a police officer on the street.

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ted that he had memorized her PIN and swiped her card to pilfer cash on several occasions. The woman called police to report the crime as she was en route to the airport for a trip. Here’s hoping she gave her houseguest the boot before she left.


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A group of Upper West Side neighbors received a rude—and hot—awakening when they discovered their air conditioners had been stolen. Last Thursday, the manager of a building on West 71st Street reported to police that eight AC units, worth a total of $8,000, were discovered missing from the building’s storage area when residents went to install them in preparation for our current heat wave. Employees of the building all had access to the area, which was shut only by a shoddy door and single lock.

the area, there were no security cameras trained on the spot and no broken glass was found near where the car had been parked. The missing vehicle is a 2012 silver Mercedes E350, worth a cool $64,000.

SubWAy SnATChER While waiting for the southbound 3 train at the 135th Street station last Monday, an 18-year-old approached another man and asked him if his cell phone contract was with AT&T. The feigned interest was actually preparation for a grab. Both parties boarded the train, and when the doors opened at the West 72nd Street station, the perp grabbed the iPhone and ran. The victim chased him through the station and alerted a nearby police officer, who cornered the perp and was able to arrest him after a bout of dodging and arm flailing. The phone was recovered.

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May  3 1, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 3


Get the latest news and share your opinion online at

Photo by Andrew Schwartz

hudson River fleet Week flotilla Tall ships line up near the Washington Bridge on the Hudson River during the Parade of Sail on May 24. Jets, helicopters and, of course, boats of all shapes and sizes made their way up and down the Hudson River in celebration of Fleet Week in New York City. Compiled by Megan Bungeroth & Amanda Woods

nEW CaRDIaC TREaTmEnT aT loCal hoSPITalS


Two Manhattan hospitals—St. Luke’s and Roosevelt—are getting ahead in the treatment of slow heartbeats. The two hospitals will be among the first in the nation to treat patients with INGENIO pacemakers, which help people who suffer from bradycardia, a heart rate of usually less than 60 beats per minute. “The INGENIO device enables physicians to treat pacemaker patients with an advanced and comprehensive set of therapies,” said Emad Aziz, a doctor in the Department of Medicine and Cardiology at the hospitals. “The INGENIO pacemaker’s MV sensor is easy to optimize and will provide needed therapy for patients to help them feel less fatigued during physical activity.” With this new device, doctors can keep tabs on their cardiac patients’ health from a distance; the device’s wireless technology can transmit patients’ data to doctors in several locations in North America.

hopes that the tool will make resident parking easier, allowing people to check the map for alternate side regulation days before setting off on the daunting task of finding a spot in whatever neighborhood they’re in. This could cut down on the time that drivers are wandering the streets if they know which streets to avoid before they set out. “New Yorkers shouldn’t be flying blind when they are looking for parking,” said Garodnick, who attributes the idea for the map to his mother. “It can be extremely annoying to drive to a new neighborhood and only learn the parking limitations once you have arrived. This map will let drivers know what they are getting themselves into when they plan a trip, and ultimately will save them some unnecessary headaches.” Council Member James Vacca, chair of the transportation committee, compared deciphering parking regulations to “understanding Morse code” and praised the city for making it easier, and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan promised to continue using technology to help residents navigate the city’s transportation system.

PaRkIng REgUlaTIon maP goES onlInE

CEnTRal PaRk WalkIng ToUR

The Department of Transportation announced the launch of an online map that will show parking regulations for every block in New York City. The new tool came about as a result of legislation authored by East Side Council Member Dan Garodnick designed to increase transparency of street and transit data. The map shows parking signs, indicates when roads were last resurfaced and gives a street evaluation for roads in good, fair or poor condition. The DOT

Local preservation advocacy group Landmark West is sponsoring a walking tour through Central Park led by professor Andrew S. Dolkart, director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation. The walk will be Wednesday, June 20 at 6 p.m., and tickets ($25, $15 for members) for the limited number of spots must be purchased in advance. Email landmarkwest@landmarkwest.

A state Supreme Court jury found Upper West Side resident Julian Kurita guilty of second degree murder last week. Kurita was convicted of killing his father, Fumitaka Kurita, in their shared Upper West Side home on July 19, 2010. That night, police received a 911 call from the defendant, a former sushi chef, at his West 87th Street apartment. He told police that he had stabbed his father, slitting his throat, and then slashed his own wrists. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the father face-up on the floor, bleeding from neck and not breathing. Kurita had killed him as he was sitting down to the dinner table. His attorney argued in court that he was mentally ill at the time—Kurita told police he had gone off his medication—and didn’t know what he was doing, but the jury sided with the prosecution and agreed that he was responsible for, and guilty of, the murder.

PRoPERTy TaxES DEmySTIfIED Upper West Side City Council Member Gale Brewer and representatives from the city’s Department of Finance will be available to help residents with property tax questions at a seminar on Thursday, June 7 from 6:308:30 p.m. at the American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square. Bring questions about commercial, residential, condo and co-op property taxes and get answers directly from the department that handles them.

4 • WE ST SIDE SPI R IT • M ay 3 1, 2 012

org to RSVP or call 212-496-8110 for more information.

PlanTS anD CRafTS fESTIval The Broadway Mall Association is dedicated to maintaining and enhancing the malls of Broadway from the Upper West Side through Harlem. On Sunday, June 10, the organization is hosting its 35th annual Plantathon and Music Festival. At this free festival, participants can sample international cuisine from over 50 food stands, browse the displays of over 400 craft and plant exhibitors and listen to the music of Linda Miller, Havana Central, and Blue Haze on Broadway between 72nd and 86th streets. Famed actor Eli Wallach will be signing autographs and discussing his autobiography at the Author’s Corner from 2-4 p.m. The festival runs from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and is open to all. For more information, call 212-764-6330.

ovER $1 mIllIon RaISED foR hEalTh CaRE Last month, St. Luke’s and Roosevelt hospitals held their annual joint fundraising gala on the Upper West Side at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on West 113th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. The event honored world-renowned endovascular neurosurgeon Dr. Alejandro Berenstein, as well Richard E. Cappetta, president and CEO of MicroVention, the company that makes the microcatheters that Berenstein uses to treat patients. The gala raised more than $1 million to help support the hospitals’ initiatives.

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SPEND THE DAY WITH A MILLION GOOD FRIENDS Don’t miss the 2012 Celebrate Israel Parade, the world’s largest public gathering in celebration of Israel, commemorating the 64th anniversary of the country’s founding, featuring floats, bands, marchers, dancers, performers and more. Watch the live telecast on Fox’s My 9 or on the parade website starting at noon. A project of:

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May  3 1, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 5


City Oks Controversial Construction on 103rd


By Megan Bungeroth


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venue New York, N.Y. 10011 egarding this material please call

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NYU MEDICAL Copy Writer Liz Donnelly None Acct Mgr. Lauren Pulwer 5.541” x 10” Proj. Manager Jacquelyn Schanck 6 • WEST SIDE SPIR IT • M ay 3 1, 2 012 None Studio Artist Frank Fernandez

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Photo by Andrew Schwartz



enants of the brownstone apartment building at 315 W. 103rd St. have been through the wringer in recent years. They’ve endured ongoing construction, dangerous conditions and the ever-present, ugly scaffolding swathing their homes and blocking their windows—but perhaps the worst thing they’ve put up with is the contention that they don’t even exist. Back in 2009, when the building’s owner, Jacob Avid, applied for permits and began construction to expand several of the units in the building, he listed the property as vacant—a designation that took the tenants months to disprove in order to get the Department of Buildings to issue stop work orders. Since then, the construction has hung in limbo, leaving the tenants with the remnants of a half-finished project that wasn’t legal to begin with. Now, however, the city has given The rear of 315 W. 103rd St. the go-ahead for the construction ize it’s a cave,” said Danna, referring to the to continue, approving the permits with a structure outside his walls. “Am I going to be tenant protection plan supposedly in place looking at this for another five years?” that the tenants themselves have not seen. Tenants have also shivered through the Avid could not be reached for comment. past several winters—the basement of “This whole renovation was predicated the building gapes open to the backyard, on a lie: that nobody lived here,” said Naletting cold air and water as well as vermin dine Herman, a singer who lives in one of into the apartments. Neighbors have comthe front apartments that used to overlook Mariella Paulino can hear again, thanks to Dr. J. Thomas Roland, Jr., Chair plained about the construction encroacha tree, now strangled by the scaffolding. of the Department of Otolaryngology at NYU Langone Medical Center. As one ing on their adjoining properties, and every She said that when the work started, there of the largest and busiest cochlear implant centers in the world, we improve and restore home that claims a piece of the backyard was nothing in place to protect them from hearing for thousands of people every year. Whether the hearing loss is present at birth, “donut” of the block gets an eyeful of the fumes and dangerous conditions, and that half-finished, black-clad backside of the the building was open for anyone to come or lost during childhood or adulthood, our specialists provide a full range of cutting-edge building. in and out of all day long. “Our lives were treatment options to help. To find an NYU Langone ear, nose and throat specialist, call This type of problem stems partly from the compromised, we were very unsafe,” she 888.769.8633 or visit DOB allowing permit applicants to self-certify said. They also dealt with constant noise. that the information they provide is accurate. While the stop work order gave some Once the damage is done, there is little that relief to some of the tenants in the eightthe city can do barring an order to tear down apartment building, it didn’t solve the probthe construction that has already been comlems of Mark Danna, who lives in the back pleted, a step that is rarely ever taken. on the top floor. The construction went Now Danna, who is 63 years old and on above and below his apartment, where works from his rent-stabilized apartment, the apartments were expanded into the said he doesn’t know how he’ll be able to back property by a full room’s length. Now stay if the construction picks up again, Danna’s only three windows open into an which is what he says Avid is telling tenants. area with a room protruding directly below He is expecting to receive a buy-out offer and one directly above, like a giant terrace (he turned one down years ago) to leave but with a roof, or a cube with only one wall at this point is unsure of what he’ll do. cut out. He has pulled back the black safety “I don’t want to be in limbo forever,” netting to let a little bit of light come in, but 054_sounds_5x11 Last Modified 10-26-2011 12:07 PM Prev. Users ffernandez/Susana Marquez Filename NYULMCP2054_Sounds_10x5.5_V.indd Danna said. “I like the neighborhood. I don’t it still leaves his apartment dark. Location Fonts & Placed Graphics 10/24/11 Art Director Allison Navon like the building at this point.” “I once compared it to a cage, but I real-


May  3 1, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 7



Meet Megan Hilty


By Angela Barbuti

he character Ivy Lynn on Smash, NBC’s new musical drama series, wants to be a star. Megan Hilty, the actress who plays her, already is. Having made her debut in Wicked a decade ago, the 31-year-old has also starred in 9 to 5 and just wrapped a role as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes at City Center. Now, while recording her first solo CD, the Broadway luminary can be found in her Upper West Side neighborhood talking with fans. They are known to stop her on the street by yelling out one word, “Smash.”

When did you first grace Broadway? I was just out of college and got the standby for Glinda in Wicked. I ended up making my Broadway debut standing in a bubble opposite Idina Menzel, which was amazing. I had just graduated college, so I must have been 23. Would you consider Wicked your big break? Oh, absolutely. I owe everything to that show and Joe Mantello [the director]. I spent four and a half years of my life in it. It was an amazing platform, both in New York and L.A. What is a typical day like on the set of Smash? It’s long, but really fun—especially for me and Kat [McPhee], When we’re not shooting, we’re in the recording studio, learning choreography or at costume fittings. It’s such a great group of people, so there’s a lot of laughter on set. We’re always goofing around. Are there similarities between Ivy and yourself? I would say the biggest is our ambition. I think Ivy’s willing to go a little farther [laughs] and sacrifice more to make her dreams come true. I think one really relatable thing about Ivy is that everyone

knows what it’s like to be stuck in their jobs, dying to do anything to take that next step, and feel like people don’t see their full potential. I don’t believe you have to be a theater person to know that; I think that’s pretty universal.

Bernadette Peters plays your mother on the show. Is it true she is the only person you ever wrote a fan letter to? It’s so true! I knew I was going to meet her when I performed for her at a gala while I was in college. I needed her to know how important she is to my career and life, so I wrote this big letter and handed it to her. There was no return address; I didn’t want her to do anything. She was nice when I told her about it; she pretended to remember it [laughs]. You have said you are not a great dancer. How do you fake it on television? I would say that I move well, but the rest is Josh Bergasse. He’s an incredible choreographer and knows how to play to people’s strengths and make it look like we know what we’re doing—or at least me. Everybody else really does know what they’re doing! Can you give us some hints about the next season? Not really, because I don’t know of anything that’s actually been cleared to be written. I’m hoping that Ivy gets it together a little bit and gets to have something that she can really celebrate and not feel totally threatened and insecure about. And maybe a really cool boyfriend, who actually treats her nicely. Were you surprised to learn that Ivy sleeps with her rival’s boyfriend? That was one of the moments where my jaw hit the floor! I couldn’t believe that I didn’t see it coming, that ultimate betrayal. It was definitely one of the juicier moments of the season. Describe the CD you are recording. [It’s] all songs from the movies, so they’re recognizable, with new arrangements. Hopefully it will be out early next year.

8 WEST SIDE SPIR IT • M ay 3 1, 2 012 N Y•P re ss .com 

Photo by Albert Michael/

You said that people notice you more now… It’s great that fans are excited about the show, and I love talking about it with people. They have very strong opinions and have no problem coming right up and telling me! Sometimes they just scream “Smash” at me. I’m not quite sure what to do with that [laughs]. In your opinion, what is the best show on Broadway at the moment? It’s a tie between Peter and the Starcatcher and Venus in Fur. What role would you like to play on Broadway? That’s another tie: Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd and the Witch in Into the Woods. How would you describe Broadway in one word? Magical.

You recently tweeted that you dyed your hair blond. Are you a natural blonde? Oh yeah, just not as blond as I have it now [laughs]. What advice would you give a young person trying to make it as an actor in New York City? If you really want to be an actor, you have to figure out why. Ask yourself why your heart’s in it, because if it’s not in it for the right reasons, this town will eat you up. There’s a huge misconception that this job is glamorous, and it’s anything but. Even when you think you have the greatest job in the world, it could end tomorrow. And be nice. Not only is it nice to be nice, but you don’t want to burn any bridges. You never know if the person’s who’s getting you coffee one day could be your boss the next. For more information on Hilty, visit www.

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May  3 1, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 9

EYE ON AUCTIONS By Caroline Birenbaum

Edited by Armond White

New York’s Review of Culture •

The New York School’s Preschool

Bonhams heads to Greenwich, Conn., June 3 for Concours d’Elegance, a sale of Automobilia, including printed matter and mascots, followed by Collectors’ Motorcars dating from the first to the ninth decade of the 20th century. In New York, their June 12 auction of 20thCentury Decorative Arts includes a wealth of glass, from splendid Tiffany lamps to vessels by Chihuly. Bonhams, June 3 at 9:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. Previews June 2. June 12 at 10 a.m. Previews June 9-11.

When america meT modernism By John Goodrich


f the New York School marked the ascendancy of some uniquely American traits—a physical frankness, a zeal for open spaces and untamed possibilities, a practicality of expression—what, then, characterized the preceding decades of American art? The 40 paintings, sculptures, photographs and works on paper in Gerald Peters Gallery’s Defining Modern provide some intriguing clues. Dating mostly to the first four decades of the 20th century, they reflect a broad mix of cutting-edge European trends and home-brewed realism. A number of works show a keen enthusiasm for the French School. Max Weber’s cubist figure painting from 1912 suggests a lyrical, gentler version of Picasso, while the open, broad contours of his two watercolor landscapes (1911 and ca. 1912) recall Cézanne. Gaston Lachaise’s bronze portrait of Alfred Stieglitz from 1928 shows a ragged naturalism, but two sculptures of nudes (1919 and 1924) by the Paris-trained sculptor ebb and swell with expressionistic energy. Sounding the opening notes of abstract expressionism, Arshile Gorky’s monochromatic painting from 1945 plumbs Picasso’s urgent side, catching fragments of a horse and figures with whiplash lines. Wary of modernism, other artists devote themselves to faithful recordings of the American heartland. Regionalist painter Grant Wood imparts a rich, moody light to rolling hills in a charcoal and pastel drawing from 1934. Though urban in

There’s much to engage the discerning eye at upcoming auction previews. Swann’s sale of Maps, Atlases, Natural History and Historical Prints June 7 features desirable American maps, including the first printed sea chart of New England and the New Netherlands, Florence, 1647, and a miniature ivory globe that opens to a sundial. Highlights of American Art on the morning of June 14 include an oil painting of Provincetown by Blanche Lazell, best known for white-line woodcuts, and “Carome,” an abstract oil painting by Mavis Pusey. The afternoon session of Contemporary Art offers works on paper by well-known American and international artists, plus surprises such as two recent paintings by Harland Miller. Swann, June 7, 1:30 p.m. Previews June 2, June 4-6. June 14, 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Previews June 9, June 11-13.

Christie’s sale of 20th-Century Decorative Art on June 14 opens with seven magnificent Tiffany lamps that adorned the San Francisco bars operated by Norman Jay Hobday, aka Henry Africa. A large fossil marble table by Isamu Noguchi, commissioned in 1948 for a Chappaqua home, is the star item among a strong selection of furniture, sculpture and jewelry. Christie’s, June 14 at 10 a.m. Previews June 9-13.

Preston Dickinson, “The Absinthe Drinker,” ca. 1921. Watercolor and graphite on paper, 10.5 x 11.5 in.

temperament, Reginald Marsh’s slightly overcharged rendering of a striptease from 1938 feels closer to American traditions of caricature than to contemporary European painting trends; his large fresco of a steam engine (1934) captures pistons, wheels and boiler with meticulous precision. Among several photographs, two by Stieglitz of nude torsos (dated 1918 and 1918-19) possess a straightforward sensuality transcending time and place; they could have been produced yesterday. One of the exhibition’s surprises is the work produced by his model for these photographs, Georgia O’Keeffe, whose tiny monotype of a woman painting (ca. 190708) stands out for its exquisitely colorful atmosphere. Dated ca. 1925, a small, early painting by Thomas Hart Benton startles,

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too, for its vitality of color, almost fauvist in intensity and clarity. Works by Marin, Hartley, Archipenko and Demuth round out this elegant show. But the biggest revelation may be Marguerite Zorach’s sparkling watercolor from 1913. In motif and style, it somewhat resembles Matisse’s iconic “Joy of Life,” painted just a few years before. Zorach, however, suffuses her arcadian scene with an original and slightly mystical air. Accompanied by delicate, stylized butterflies and a lone dragonfly, her figures lounge through a deftly layered space, as airy and sensuously flat as a Persian miniature. Defining Modern Through June 8, Gerald Peters Gallery, 24 E. 78th St., 212-628-9760,

Phillips de Pury showcases furniture, lighting and pottery dating from the 1930s to the present in a Design sale on June 15 that features a glamorous bedroom suite of amboyna veneer and other materials by Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann, circa 1925, and a bronze “London Papardelle” chair by Ron Arad, circa 1992. Phillips de Pury, June 15 at 11 a.m. Previews June 6-14. Out of Town In addition to works by French, American and Italian designers such as Perriand, Prouvé, Nakashima and Ponti, Wright’s June 7 auction of Important Design includes a section of Brazilian designs, concluding with an early piece of green architecture, the Demountable House, José Zanine Caldas’s circa 1980 pre-fab structure built of reclaimed and salvaged ipe wood. The June 9 sale consists of the gorgeous Frank Toskan Collection of Important Italian Glass. Wright, Chicago, June 7 at 1 p.m. Previews May 31-June 6. June 9 at 1 p.m. Previews May 31-June 8.

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Personality Plus PianisTs Pires and zacharias Play concerTos in Pairs By Jay Nordlinger


wo orchestras came to town, each bringing a pianist. The first orchestra to appear was from just down the road, Philadelphia. They played in Carnegie Hall with their chief conductor, Charles Dutoit. And their pianist was Maria João Pires, from Portugal. She is very well-known from recordings, but not so well-known from personal appearances, at least here in New York. She has a big reputation for Chopin, and, in fact, played Chopin’s Concerto No. 2 in F minor. In the first movement, she was competent—but also stiff, workmanlike. The music lacked its fluid nature. The closing rondo was much the same—competent, acceptable, but without flair. A wet noodle. So, how did Pires acquire her big reputation? She gave the answer in the middle movement, Larghetto, which was a thing of beauty: graceful, sensitive and altogether musical. Chopin himself would have smiled. Three nights later, an orchestra from


Bavaria, the Bamberg Symphony, played in Avery Fisher Hall. They were led by their longtime chief, Jonathan Nott, an Englishman. And their pianist was Christian Zacharias, a German. He is a pianist who is capable of perfection, no less. Other nights, he is commendable all the same. This was one of those nights. Zacharias played Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 in G major. Its opening chord is hard to get right: You have to play all the notes together, with the top note, B, having prominence. Zacharias got it exactly right. In the first movement at large, he had a few slips, but nothing major. His playing tended to be dry. Sometimes a bigger, fatter sound was desirable. But Zacharias obviously understood the logic of the music, and he was no-nonsense without being cold. He is a conductor too, and, at the keyboard, he could not quite resist the urge to conduct the orchestra. He was champing at the bit to do so. Did this bother the actual conductor, on the podium? Ask Nott. The second movement, that sublime creation, was matter-of-fact—very much so. Zacharias could have been a little freer. And the rondo could have been sprightlier and more graceful. But, again, you will want

Maria João Pires

to hear Zacharias on any night, no matter what. Incidentally, his concert clothes are

those austere black pajamas, the modern uniform. It seems to suit the clinical side of his personality.

May  3 1, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 1 1

Five Facilities_ManMed 5/15/12 11:06 AM Page 1


The new 390,000 sq. ft. Fiterman Hall at Borough of Manhattan Community College replaces the one lost on 9/11, with new classrooms, instructional and computer labs, an art gallery and café.



Bronx Community College’s, 98,000 sq. ft. North Instructional Building and Library, provides classrooms, a library, a café, a two-story commons, study rooms and lounges.


CUNY Law School moves to 2 Court Square, an environmentally green building in Long Island City with 260,000 sq. ft. of classrooms, library, law clinic, moot court, an auditorium and offices.

ESIGNED TO INSPIRE INQUIRY AND INNOVATION, five new, state-of-the-art education hubs — part of The City University of New York’s capital program to upgrade and build facilities to meet record

enrollments and 21st-century needs — open their doors this fall. CUNY’s construction program is a job-creating economic engine for New York, responsible for nearly 20 percent of all construction in New York City. — Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor


The New Community College at CUNY, an exciting new college opens in the center of midtown Manhattan at 50 West 40th Street, overlooking Bryant Park. The first entering class will be 300 students.


Lehman College’s 69,000 sq. ft. New Science Facility, Phase I, showcases its strength in plant science teaching and research with high-tech sustainable laboratories, science learning centers and offices.

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Visit for more info.

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The CityArts Interview Bill Bragin


ill Bragin, “curator/presenter” of Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors, clued into music’s transcendental effects early on. As a teen on Long Island, friends gathered after school in his record-strewn bedroom to hear his latest vinyl discoveries. Before one track had even finished, Bragin would be setting up the next—“Now you need to listen to this!” Not much has changed, really, except the size of his playing field—today it’s Lincoln Center-sized audiences that he directs to the world’s most visionary performing artists, often billed together in audacious mash-ups. His commanding musical instincts have only refined and expanded. That precocious missionary zeal for opening ears and expanding minds is now enabled by his position and wide-ranging contacts gathered over decades of developing and showcasing talent. It began with his very first day of college, when the young music junkie joined the campus radio station and the alternative concert series. He interned the following summer for Carla Bley and Michael Mattler’s New Music Distribution Services and, while still getting his B.A. in sociology, worked for George Wein’s Festival Productions. After graduation, a life-changing gig setting up concerts for Summerstage connected him to knowledgeable niche music advisors such as Afropop’s Sean Barlow. Then, Bragin dived into the opportunity provided by the Public Theater at Joe’s Pub, where his artist development and programming of approximately 3,000 shows turned the club into the crossroads for the scattered affiliates of New York City’s most adventurous music scenes. [Elena Oumano] How do you bring in people who normally wouldn’t go to a Joe’s Pub or a Lincoln Center? It starts with going to people where they are. In college, I’d find a great article about the artist, turn it into a flyer and paste it on the back of every bathroom stall on campus. In the performing arts we call this artist contextualization, preparing the audience for the show, a grassroots form of audience development and social marketing. Now you just send an article to Facebook or post it on a website to let people know, “Here’s an artist whose name you don’t know but


I think you’ll be curious about—come because it’s free. Either you’ll like it or you won’t, but at least you’ll be taking a chance.” These cross-cultural, cross-genre bookings are interesting because they can fall flat on their faces or be really illuminating. I’m fundamentally a generalist with very broad tastes, so the context I work in is not necessarily about being the definitive presenter in any one style. A lot of the focus is on understanding the different niches of different dynamics. It’s about how and where you communicate to them in terms of the protocol and audience expectations—is it an audience that will want to

Bill Bragin

dance or come on stage and give money to the performer or sit and be very quiet? Does this relate to anything happening out in the world politically? It’s important to me that the audiences have a base of those who are familiar with the artist and recognize his or her cultural importance as well as audience members who are encountering not just the artist but that style of music or dance for the first time. There’s that immediate moment of discovery, when your mind is blown because you’ve never heard or seen something like that and there’s interaction between all of the audience—that process of cultural sharing, a sort of pride and eye-opening. That’s why I wanted to be at Summerstage and why I came to Lincoln Center—those points of intersection are key. I look at the work I do both from an aesthetic standpoint and also as communitybuilding and how the work will resonate within society. Festivals like Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors have a huge social mission that works in tandem with the artistic mission. Schedules for Midsummer Night Swing and Lincoln Center Out of Doors can be found at

May  3 1, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 1 3


SUMMER ART COURSES Happy Lives, Steel Lifes AND WORKSHOPS alice neel’s rich dimension











Kamilla Talbot, Governors Island 2, watercolor on paper, 2007, detail

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ing and close. Their bodies, side by side, flow into each other. Their wrinkles and tousled hair hint at a private world from which they look out at us. By Kate Prengel “Sherry Speeth” is a totally different character. Nervous and taut, he sits lice Neel’s subjects stare calmly on the edge of his chair, bursting with out from the canvas. They’re in energy. Neel takes the best of him, makthe middle of a conversation ing a little man in a little chair into a or they’re in the middle of just dynamo. Her colors do a lot of the work being themselves—whatever it is, Neel’s here; red accents at his ears and hands late paintings, on exhibit now at the David mark him for action. And, as so often, Zwirner gallery, are richly intimate. Even the still lifes here show signs of an inner life, Neel uses gentle caricature—elongated fingers, sharp knees, oversized glasses—as shorthand to express personality. “Kevin and Andy,” a fatherand-baby portrait, may be one of the oddest pieces in this show. Kevin and Andy look incredibly awkward and unfinished. The baby’s teeth are ludicrous, taking over half his face; his father’s arm, holding him, hangs out over empty space, and the chair they sit in is just a few dark lines on the plain white canvas. But then, these two people are unmistakably happy—and isn’t this what having a baby does, makes the whole world look unfinished and new? Neel’s still lifes also bristle with personality, especially “Roses.” The Alice Neel, “Sherry Speeth,” 1964. Oil on canvas, 42 x 28 inches. flowers’ strong, © The Estate of Alice Neel sinewy stems, their bright simple faces and their tangle and the people, awkward smiles and all, are of green leaves are all full of life. They sit warm and real. in a lopsided vase on a messy, misshapen I spent a long time looking at “Geoftable. Everything in the painting is flat; frey Hendricks and Brian,” a portrait of it’s the awkwardness, the loose lines, that a couple, one of the first pieces in the gives it all a little dimension. The same exhibit. The subjects are on record as could be said for all the rest of Neel’s grumbling about Neel’s manners—apparpaintings. ently she hardly said a word to them over the long posing sessions. Still, they almost Alice Neel: Late Portraits and Still Lifes glow on the canvas. Their skin is blotchy, Through June 23, David Zwirner, 533 W. their bodies are lumpy and their clothes 19th St., 212-727-2070, are frumpy, but they look patient and lov-


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At the Crossroads The musical language of The Balkans By Judy Gelman Myers


Joshua South Photography

ince the ’90s, horrendous images of war have dominated our perception of the Balkan Peninsula. To lay these images to rest, two European foundations engaged the universal healing power of music in “The Balkans—Crossroads of Civilizations,” an extravaganza of suites, sonatas and songs curated to underscore the cultural similarities throughout the Balkan nations. Her Royal Highness the princess of Bulgaria, as well as U.N. ambassadors and consuls general from Albania, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey attended the event at Carnegie Hall on May 21. Though spoken languages abound on the peninsula, the Balkan nations share a common musical language, characterized by Oriental sonorities, irregular rhythms like 7/8 or 5/16 and the rich harmonies brought to America by Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares. At the same time, similari-

ties are also found in the coexistence of various musical trends, so that Balkan classical music halls comfortably offer atonal violin suites side by side with folk tunes. In that spirit, “Crossroads of Civilizations” proffered a broad swath of styles, from the 12-tone Petite Suite No. 2 for Violin and Piano by Greek composer Nikos Skalkottas to an Albanian love song achingly drawn by cellist Rubin Kodheli, himself a composer of film music (Precious). The most emblematic work of the region—and the best received—were two excerpts from Petko Staynov’s Thracian Dances. In 1933, Staynov co-founded the Union of Bulgarian Composers, whose aim was to encourage composers to recreate traditional music in artistic forms. With its halting 7/8 rhythm and buoyant melodies, Thracian Dances epitomizes the classical reiteration of folk material. Expanding on that idea, Turkish composer Fazil Say, a Balkan Satie, composed Sonata, Op. 7, whose unearthly harmonies launch us into space only to be grounded by the thumping of a prepared piano suggesting the timbre of traditional instruments.

Sacred Music in a Sacred Space

Fazil Say

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Zombie Mantra Solondz abhorS irony in Dark Horse

To JFK . . . . . . . . .$48 To Newark . . . . .$47 To LaGuardia . . .$33 Tolls & gratuities not included. Prices subject to change without notice.


from the inside, as a confession of ethnic commonplaces and familial discontent that have become his specialty. Abe is as much an archetype as Gopnik in the Coen Brothers’ A Serious Man, only Abe’s unhapBy Armond White piness leads to loathing of self, not of his circumstances. n an answer to contemporary culture’s Abe’s first line, “I don’t dance,” is such manic competition for fame, Todd a self-abnegating thesis statement that if Solondz offers Dark Horse, a film about Dark Horse was indeed produced on stage Abe (Jordan Gelber), a 35-year-old rather than as an independent film, it Jewish man—overweight, living with his would probably receive enormous acclaim, parents, employed in his father’s real estate like Mike Nichols’ current rehash of Death business yet still playing with toys, desperof a Salesman or shows like Other Desert ate to begin his life and enjoy the culture’s Cities and The Lyons. But Solondz’s film empty cheer. does what those plays don’t; he dramaAbe’s not a frontrunner, the sports tizes the spectacle of Abe’s lack of self-consciousness, the moral perspective that contemporary culture drowns out. Solondz’s subtext elevates Abe’s private condition into a larger social matter. His suffering tribe Jordan Gelber and Donna Murphy in Dark Horse. (Walken overstresses the father’s misery, while Mia Farrow’s metaphor used by his father (Christopher supplicating mother does not—or maybe Walken). His dim prospects reflect Everyit’s just their bad wigs) is contrasted with man pessimism through a lower middlethe empty cheer of American Idol-type pop class experience that’s more authentic than music that has become our national, anesDeath of a Salesman, yet rarely acknowlthetizing soundtrack. edged. Solondz, almost alone among Gelber’s Abe is an uncanny figure of Jewish-American filmmakers, presents pampered Jewish miserabilism, and Murethnic uniqueness frankly, with unsmiling phy’s Marie is one of those definitive Solondz mockery. His tough, deadpan compassion is more humane than fashionable cynicism. performances: a phantom life ranging from repression to sexual spite (her sullen strut Solondz abhors irony, the sarcastic sympathetically corrects the predatory Mrs. cultural disposition that oppresses all of his Robinson). Their obvious contrast recalls characters. When Abe proposes to suicidal, stage drama rather than cinema, but it’s still withdrawn Miranda (Selma Blair), she asks, piercing. “You’re not being ironic—like performance Solondz uses an even better, ultra-cineart or something?” matic device when Abe sits alone in a movie Dark Horse continues the narrative experitheater, waiting for a film to begin, and ment of Solondz’s previous film, the almost idly mouths the answers to an on-screen masterly Life During Wartime, where depuzzle: “George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, pressed characters phase in and out of psyBrad Pitt.” This zombie mantra is a daring, chic dream/nightmare states. Abe’s visions brilliant summation, calling out the stars about his father’s sympathetic secretary, of our culture’s contemporary anomie. And Marie (Donna Murphy), suggest a yearning it casually lays waste to Woody Allen’s The so deep and unwittingly compassionate it is Purple Rose of Cairo. almost, Solondz suggests, telepathic. These episodes play out in a nearly Follow Armond White on Twitter at theatrical flatness, as if Solondz were 3xchair indeed rewriting Death of a Salesman—but


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Cold Facts About Ice Wine ExtrEmE flavors and pricE mark it as a cut abovE


o, you are not spending $65 on that teeny, tiny bottle of wine,” said my wife, arms crossed, hands

on hips. “You don’t understand,” I said, cradling the bottle like it was a baby, “it’s ice wine!” I left without my ice wine that day, but my passion for it was not deterred. “It’s just a dessert wine,” she said later. “We can get a bottle of Moscato instead.” I gasped audibly. How could she? The two had as little to do with each other as a cabernet sauvignon and a chenin blanc. Dessert wines get a bad rap, in general. If they aren’t all getting lumped together, they’re being dismissed as sissy drinks or unsophisticated, simplistic backwash. I couldn’t disagree more, especially when it comes to the super-rare and ultra-expensive ice wine (or eiswein, if it’s German). Ice wine is amazing, and not just because it sounds like a beverage from

heat. The grapes are then crushed before Game of Thrones. The reason the flavors they have a chance to thaw and the water in ice wine are so intense, and the cause rises to the top in the form of ice. The ice for its extreme price, has to do with how is removed and the tiny amount of juice it’s made. that is left is made into wine. In Germany, the growing areas tend What does this incredibly complex to be relatively cool, so the growing process yield? One of the most seducseason is longer. The Germans classify complex their grapes for wineINSERTION by how late into ORDERtive, - Email Artand nuanced beverages you will ever have the privilege of sipthe harvest they are picked. A Kabinett Ceil Ainsworth ping...if you can afford it, that is. Often is a wine made from grapes picked at packaged in half-bottles, new vinnormal harvest time.Manhattan If it’s a good Media year tages of German eiswein often average and the grapes are ripening slower, 63 West 38th St. around $150 to then Spatelese (“lateNew York NY 10018 $200. So how harvest”), Auslese can a normal (“select harvest”) or (212) 284-9724 Fax: (212) 268-0502 even Beerenauslese email: production@manhattanmedia.comperson get or Trockenbeerenauscc: hold of some lese (“select berry By Josh Perilo of this amazing stuff? One harvest” and “dried solution is to select berry harvest,”4.917”W x 2.687”H, 1/8 page go north. Canada, while not the ideal respectively) are made. While those are Please Run Ad on Thursday, 5.31.12 climate for most wine grapes, is the a mouthful and extremely rare, even perfect place to produce ice wine. There rarer is the once-a-decade jewel in the are dozens of reputable producers of crown of any Riesling grower: eiswein. ice wine from our northern brethren, If the grapes are allowed to stay on the but my favorite has to be Inniskillin vines all the way to the first frost, eiswein Riesling Icewine ($79.95 at Sherrycan be made. The traditional way to harLehmann, 505 Park Ave., at 59th St., vest these berries is before dawn after the 212-838-7500). At half the price of what first frost, with gloved hands so as not to you would pay for the same quality from warm the chilled berries with your body



NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, PURSUANT TO LAW, that the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday June 20th, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at 66 John Street, 11th floor, on a petition from 94 Corner Café Corp. to continue to maintain, and operate an unenclosed sidewalk cafe‘ at 2518 Broadway, in the Borough of Manhattan for a term of two years.

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, PURSUANT TO LAW, that the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday June 6th, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at 66 John Street, 11th floor, on a petition from Good Enough to Eat Uptown, LTD to continue to maintain, and operate an unenclosed sidewalk cafe‘ at 483 Amsterdam Avenue, in the Borough of Manhattan for a term of two years.



Follow Josh on Twitter: @joshperilo.

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Men & Women ages 71-85 needed for research on normal aging. You must be in good health with English as your first language, and no major hearing or visual problems. You will be compensated $15/hour for participation.

Germany, you get the complex flavors of honey, overripe peach, wildflowers and bracing citrus. If you’re looking for something even less expensive, Inniskillin makes an ice wine from the North American grape vidal that is not as complex but is still delicious and intense. Another way to get the ice wine flavor without the cost is by buying what is known as a “freezer wine.” These wines are made by freezing the grapes after they’ve been picked, then taking away the excess water and fermenting from there. While most freezer wines are vastly inferior in taste and many purists regularly lobby for them to be outlawed outright, there are a few that are worth trying. The Bonny Doon Muscat Vin de Glaciere ($20 at First Avenue Wines & Spirits, 383 1st Ave., at 22nd St., 212673-3600) has all of the sweet honeyed stone fruit you could ever ask for in an ice wine, plus a sucker punch of spice on the finish. Don’t let the heavy price tag of German eiswein put a chill on your dessert plans. There are plenty of alternatives well within your monetary means that will keep you in sweet wine bliss indefinitely.

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Let Me Entertain You Up the fUn factor at yoUr child’s birthday party by hiring a great local entertainer By Robin Saks Frankel


hether it’s a small family gathering or a big birthday blow-out, choosing the right performer for your child’s party can be a make-it-or-break-it decision. We’ve compiled a list of New York’s favorite children’s entertainers for bashes of any size or style. CLOWNS Each child who attends Looney Lenny’s hilarious, interactive magic show (with juggling!) receives their own clown-o-rific name. Every party guest walks away with a balloon animal. Juliet Schaefer Jeske studied clowning at the New York Goofs Ultimate Clown School, which should tell you all you need to know. Schaefer’s talents include face painting, balloon twisting, stilts, silly magic and the ukulele. Sammie and Tudie’s clowning philosophy: Life is better when you’re laughing. Boasting over 20 years of experience, this comedic magic circus show is ideal for ages 3 and up. FACE PAINTINg Not your typical face painting experience, the award-winning Faces by Derrick will make your kids, ages 3 and up, never want wash their faces again. Girls love the signature unicorn design of Face Art by Melissa. This mother of two does fabulous face art and gorgeous glitter tattoos. The owner of Hearts Face Painting &

Hot Tip of the Week

A Super Science Street Fair This Sunday, head down to Washington Square Park for a free scientific street fair like you’ve never seen before! An exciting end to the World Science Festival, families can watch a school of robotic fish swim like their reallife counterparts, meet real crime-scene investigators, make bubbles and find out what it’s like to study orangutans at the Philadelphia Zoo. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, visit


Balloon Art brings both creative art forms to birthday environments. Her professional background lies in painting, so party spaces and little faces are sure to transform. Kiki’s Faces and Balloons is an allencompassing entertainment company offering face painting, balloon sculpting, “silly people” and princesses. Party Faces By Rachel’s namesake has a background that’s practically a Ph.D. in paint. The Brooklyn preschool teacher’s ability to charm the little ones while she works helps keep them comfortable with the painting process.


MAgICIANS The Amazing Max is so beloved he has his own Off-Broadway show for mega-magic families. His high-energy, interactive show blends comedy and juggling. Paying tribute to the great magicians of the turn of the century, Cardone the Ultimate Vaudeville Magician’s act includes escape artistry, ventriloquism and classic scarf, coin and card tricks. Ages 3-7 will fold into fits of laughter at Gary the Great’s comedic magic act. He adapts his show based on audience response, so no two performances are alike. Magic Al’s sleight-of-hand tricks will stupefy even grown-ups, and his goofy antics keep kids in stitches throughout every performance. Mario the Magician’s 45-minute set is aimed at kids ages 4-11 who are sure to go nuts for his silly antics, age-old slapstick humor and a live dove named Mozzarella. Kids ages 3-8 (and their parents) will adore Silly Billy. This self-proclaimed “comedian for children” uses magic, balloon twisting and lots of jokes to drum up laughter. MuSICIANS Led by Audra Tsanos, a highly soughtafter Music for Aardvarks instructor, Audra Rox’s family-friendly band is just right for Big Apple birthdays. Audra incorporates the birthday child in the music and will have every guest jamming along on percussion props. Brett Band is the brainchild of early childhood music educator Brett Rothenhaus, formerly of Little Maestros. His original music and kiddie classics make for a playlist that gets everybody on their feet. Moey’s Music Party brings the pompoms, maracas and parachute for 45 minutes of fun. Try the Princess Party Package, filled with boas, bling and boogeying.

Mario the Magician

Meredith LeVande, perhaps better known as Monkey Monkey Music, specializes in upbeat, original tunes for little ones. Her parachute-, instrument- and bubbleinfused party shows instantly get all ages grooving. mr. RAY, a pioneer of the kiddie genre, takes a mix-it-up approach to birthday gigs. Beginning with a concert and transitioning into a dance party, the festivities end with kids stepping up to sing solos on the mic. A one-man band, Rockin’ With Andy makes kids and their parents want to shake their groove things. Mom and dad love Andy’s acoustic guitar versions of grownup hits, and the little ones go bananas for his kids’ classics. Andy also brings shakers, bells, scarves and animal puppets for maxi-

mum rocking. SPECIALTY If you can dream it, Nick the Balloonatic can make it. At it for 20 years, Nick’s handiwork includes flower bouquets, superheroes, monkeys on palm trees, top hats and much more. Wendy the Pipe Cleaner Lady is a category unto herself. Girls adore her tiaras, boys covet her spider creations and even Martha Stewart wants her pipe cleaner flower rings. Robin Saks Frankel is a mother of two toddlers and a freelance writer, editor and social media addict. For more birthday party planning tips, visit

May  3 1, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 1 9

Project Open at Lincoln Towers & Mitchell Lama Residents Coalition invite you to the 19th Annual

Hospital for Joint Diseases Rose Dabbs Health Fair 2012 Sunday, June 3 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm Third Avenue at 17th Street

(In conjunction with the Third Avenue Spring Fair)

Activities Include:  Free Blood Pressure Screening  Children’s Activities  Health Information ...and much more! For more information, contact Volunteer Services at 212.598.6020 or visit our website,

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Alternative Health

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A Guide to Living in the Now Author offers techniques for reducing stress by staying in the present By Ashley Welch Whether worrying about the future or rehashing the past, it may always seem difficult to focus on the present. However, Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D, makes the case in his new book, The Now Effect: How This Moment Can Change the Rest of Your Life, that living in the moment can lead to a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life. “The ‘now effect’ is those moments of clarity during the day when we connect to what really matters at any given time,” Goldstein said. Research shows that how people pay attention and what they pay attention to affects how the brain grows. Sensory overload and numerous distractions from what is going on in the present moment allow the brain to go on autopilot, allowing the mind to make decisions automatically. Goldstein argues that by becoming aware of our thought processes, we have the ability to rewire how we think, stop automatic thoughts and choose to think differently. Life is decided, he said, in these spaces, or “choice points,” where we can decide how to respond to what is going on around us. “We have the ability to retrain our subconscious mind to be more present to what’s here right now,” he said. In The Now Effect, Goldstein highlights several benefits of living in the present. These include focusing better at work and at home and opening up to feelings of love, hope, empathy and compassion. It also lends itself to increased emotional intelligence and the ability to relax more effectively in moments of distress. Goldstein offered the following example: “Say you’re walking down the street and in the distance you see an acquaintance. As you walk closer, you smile and wave but he doesn’t look at you and just walks by. If you’re in a good mood, you may think, ‘Oh, he didn’t see me,’ but if you’re anxious or depressed, you may think, ‘Is he mad at me? Did I do something wrong?’ and become insecure.” Goldstein said that becoming aware of how our moods affect our perception of situations can help us relax and gain control over our emotions so we can alter how we react to what goes on in our lives. In addition, Goldstein said being present in the here and now can allow for greater connections, both internally and to others, and help us

be more flexible in decision making and responses to people and challenges. Finally, the “now effect” can open us up to what is good in life. “Our brains are naturally inclined to anxiety and negativity,” Goldstein said. “We can train our minds to focus more on the positive.” So what keeps us from being able to live in the present? Goldstein said that our greatest gift as humans may also be our greatest curse. “The biggest barrier to being in the present is the same thing that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom,” he said. “That’s our ability to think, reflect, formulate plans and exert free will.” Whether we are anxiously awaiting tomorrow or fixating on what happened a year ago, many people find it hard to live in the moment because they are wondering what could or what would have happened. “The No. 1 thing that takes us away from the present is playing the ‘what if?’ game,” he said. In the book, Goldstein offers practical techniques to counter this kind of thinking and bring readers back to the now. The simplest technique, he said, is to ask the questions “Where am I starting from now? What is my body doing? Where is my mind?” “Doing that,” said Goldstein, “widens the space between stimulus and response.” Another method is to use what he calls present nostalgia to connect ourselves to what really matters. “Project yourself into the future and ask yourself what the more distant you would say you’re missing in this very moment,” he said. “It’s a way of tricking your brain to think with more perspective.” Goldstein also offers simple breathing exercises, recommending envisioning breathing in to keep calm and breathing out to release burdens. He also warns of the disconnected culture we live in. Facebook, Twitter and other social media may make us feel we are connected to others, he said, but that is only a surface connection. He recommends focusing on real relationships in the present. Goldstein provides video demonstrations of these practical techniques accessible via Microsoft Tags throughout the book and embedded videos throughout the e-book. He emphasized that The Now Effect is not a universal guide; the techniques can be tailored by individuals to what suits them. “As readers go through the book, I don’t want them to swallow it whole,” he said. “I want them to use the book as a guide and see what works for them. What is most valuable is the person’s experience.”

1NYPre 6 • UR TOWN  DOW NTOW N • M AY 3 1, 2 012

Elisha Goldstein

May  3 1, 2012  •   W EST SI D ENY I RI T • 21 m




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22 • WEST SIDE SP IR IT • M ay 3 1, 2 012

Myths About Medicaid You maY still qualifY, even if You think You make too much moneY By Roy Herndon Smith


f you need long-term home care but cannot afford it, you can usually apply for Community Medicaid to pay for it. However, many people who need Community Medicaid believe that they cannot qualify for it because of two myths.

If you have $1,400 of medical expenses, including home care, in a month, Medicaid will only pay for $900 of those expenses; you will be billed for $500. However, you can use a pooled income trust to protect your surplus income. Once Medicaid recognizes that you are disabled and are depositing your surplus into a pooled income trust, it will pay for all the covered medical expenses, including home care. You will not be billed for the surplus amount. You can have the trust use almost

Myth: I cannot become eligible for Medicaid because my assets are too high. Fact: Applicants for Community Medicaid in New York State must have less than $14,250 (for a single person) or $20,850 (combined assets for a married couple). An applicant’s residence does not count as an asset if the market value of the home, minus the amount mortgaged, is less than $750,000. Applicants with assets higher than the Medicaid limit can reduce them by spending them down to the limit or by transferring them to a trusted family the entire surplus to pay for your regular member or an irrevocable trust. If you have bills, such as rent and utilities. significant assets, you should consult with an elder care attorney about how best to New York City’s Human Resources Adreduce them. ministration can take a long time, someOnce you have reduced your assets to times over 3 months, to approve Medicaid under the limit, you are eligible to apply for and Medicaid home care. Applicants, espeMedicaid in the folcially when they have lowing month. surplus income and ApplicAtions for are using a pooled inMedicAid-covered Myth: I cannot get come trust, often face Medicaid because long-terM heAlth delays and difficulties my income is too and need expert help cAre tAke A long high. to deal with them. For tiMe to process, so these reasons, if you Fact: The Community Medicaid foresee needing MedApply before you income limits are icaid to pay for home AnticipAte needing it. care in the future, you $792 a month for a single person and should start preparing $1,159 for a married to apply now by callperson. ing a knowledgeable geriatric care manager You can still apply and qualify for Medor social worker. icaid if you have income over these limits. Medicaid treats such “surplus” or “excess” Roy Herndon Smith, Ph.D., is with Comincome as a deductible. For instance, if munity Geriatric Care (communitygeriyou are a single person with an income of, a subsidiary of $1,292 a month, you have a surplus of $500. Foremost Home Care.

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caPITal connEcTIonS

Hillary Could Be Romney Dragonslayer ManhaTTan MEDIa President/CeO Tom Allon grOuP PuBLisHer Alex Schweitzer CFO/COO Joanne Harras


exeCutive editOr Allen Houston sPeCiaL seCtiOns editOr Josh Rogers Cityarts editOr Armond White staFF rePOrter Megan Bungeroth PHOtO editOr/editOriaL assistant Andrew Schwartz Featured COntriButOrs Alan S. Chartock, Bette Dewing, Jeanne Martinet, Malachy McCourt, Josh Perilo, Christopher Moore, Regan Hofmann

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ElEction wouldn’t bE closE if shE wErE VP Pick


he didn’t start here, but Hillary Clinton is now a very popular New Yorker. She is so popular she swamps the very popular Andrew Cuomo in presidential polls both in New York and nationally—in fact, it isn’t even close. Of course, 2016 is a long way off and anything could happen. There are some interesting clues to insider politics. Clinton has announced that she is not interested in serving another term. She says she will not campaign for the president. Her husband, Bill, says he wishes his wife would run for the top job. The woman who replaced Clinton in the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, says she will be an original signatory to the draft Hillary movement. I can hardly believe she made that announcement without checking with Hillary. A recent New York Times poll shows there has been a reversal in the female vote and that a majority of women now favor Mitt Romney. Obviously, we have no real idea about what goes on here. But we have to remember that Barack Obama narrowly edged out Clinton for the Democratic nomination to run for president. Maybe, in the immortal words of Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront, Clinton is still thinking, “I could have

COntrOLLer Shawn Scott Credit manager Kathy Pollyea BiLLing COOrdinatOr Colleen Conklin CirCuLatiOn Joe Bendik


PrOduCtiOn manager Heather Mulcahey editOriaL designer Monica Tang advertising design Quran Corley

WEST SIDE SPIRIT is published weekly Copyright © 2012 Manhattan Media, LLC 79 Madison Avenue, 16th Floor New York, N.Y. 10016 Editorial (212) 284-9734 Fax (212) 268-2935 Advertising (212) 284-9715 General (212) 268-8600 E-mail: Website: WEST SIDE SPIRIT is a division of Manhattan Media, LLC, publisher of Our Town, Our Town Downtown, Chelsea Clinton News, The Westsider, City & State, The Blackboard Awards, New York Family, and Avenue magazine. To subscribe for 1 year, please send $75 to WEST SIDE SPIRIT, 79 Madison Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10016 Recognized for excellence by the New York Press Association

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lETTERS Gay MaRRIaGE con Vice President Joe Biden “outed” President Barack Obama by coming out for gay marriage first (“My Marriage and My President,” May 17). It was one of Biden’s many outspoken comments, although this time he knew the mike was open. This announcement could have been made earlier during the Obama/Biden administration, but was delayed to be politically timed. The effort was to solidify the gay, lesbian and transgender base for political contributions and votes to re-elect Obama/Biden in 2012. It was also a clever way of avoiding discussion of more important issues, such as our 15 percent unemployment rate (8 percent out of work, plus 7 percent who have just given up looking), increase in national debt by $5.6 trillion, increase in yearly spending from $3 trillion to $3.7 trillion and continued yearly waste, fraud and abuse of tens of bil-

been a contender.” Or maybe there are other hand, if she doesn’t run, there will be another thousand reasons why Hillary is more of a Cuomo opportunity. Let’s face saying what she’s saying. it, I don’t think Clinton wants to do it and Now the atmosphere is filled with I don’t think that Obama wants to jettison rumors that Team Obama will have to Biden, but when the middle of the night replace Vice President comes and it’s a question of Joe Biden with Clinton. winning or losing, the hard Up until now, everyone realities will prevail. It will be denied the rumor. The a win-win. president has stated There have been many that he isn’t making any times in U.S. history when changes. But winning the such difficult decisions have presidency is what we been made. Ike had to live call a “mutually exclusive with Nixon, who he never game”; you only get one really liked. Kennedy had to winner and there are no take Johnson; without him, second prizes. he just wouldn’t have won. If confronted by the So unless Hillary is ill or is alan chaRTock otherwise indisposed, she’ll cold hard facts that they might lose the presihave to take the offer when dency, the Obama people may have to ask and if it comes. Clinton and Biden to switch places—ClinWhen and if Hillary becomes vice presiton runs for vice president and Biden is dent, she will be the font of all patronage offered the secretary of state position. I’m a and pork in New York. That too, may cause big Biden fan and I think he has the chops a little friction with the governor’s office— to make a lot of friends for the United or just the opposite. You just never know. States. Based on recent polling, I really think Back home in New York, one can only that this is a no-brainer. The way it looks wonder how Gov. Cuomo is taking to all now, Hillary, if she wins, would be the first of this. We know the Cuomos are always female vice president. That’s huge. thinking six moves in advance—“Is this good for me or bad for me?” Alan S. Chartock is president and CEO of If Clinton runs for vice president and WAMC/Northeast Public Radio and an the ticket wins, there will be no contest— executive publisher at The Legislative she’ll be the candidate in 2016. On the Gazette.

declined due to foraging? If so, which species and where? Which of the tens of thousands of adults and kids I’ve been teaching for over three decades has been harmed by foraging? no IMPacT In reality, foraging has no impact on of foRaGInG the environment whatsoever. It puts adults and children in touch with nature, Excellent article (“Central Park helps them learn Forager,” May 17). the science behind To answer the Parks Find out more at: the plants they’re Department’s claims $20 Family Ticket collecting and the one more time: if ecosystems where foraging is so destructhey’re growing, and tive and dangerous, FUN PRIZES through enjoying our why did the Parks AND GREAT renewable resources, Department pay me SPEAKERS FOR NEW & inspires people to to teach foraging for ENTER TO EXPECTANT WIN THE ULTIMATE protect and preserve four years in the late PARENTS NURSERY OVER 100 BRANDS our nonrenewable 1980s? Why did they FOR INFANTS AND TODDLERS resources. This is set up foraging tours, especially important where I taught Confor children—many servancy volunteers, Saturday & Sunday, May 19 & 20 Pier 92, 711 12th Avenue (52nd Street & the West Side Highway) of the kids I’ve taught and others, where I and inspired have taught Park Rangers? grown up to become conservationists Why did the Parks Commissioner, Henry or scientists, while others have beStern, attend my first tour every year? come school teachers who bring their Is there a single weed we’ve been classes on foraging tours with me. collecting week after week in the —Steve Brill same spot for over 30 years that has lions in taxpayer dollars. Intelligent voters will not fall for this con game. —Larry Penner




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MooRE ThoughTS

Why We Should Vote on 9/11 Shifting electionS away from anniverSary date iS a miStake


he move is shortsighted and contrary to the public interest. The decision in question: shifting the state primary from Tuesday, Sept. 11 to Thursday, Sept. 13. The governor and the state legislature have decided that Sept. 11 is, as the New York Times put it last week, “a day for reflection and not for politics.” The mindless attack on anything deemed political really needs to stop—especially when it comes to this significant anniversary on the national calendar. There are political implications to almost everything, but especially to the most serious attack against Americans on their own soil. The governor and the legislature have it exactly wrong. Sept. 11 is a perfect day to go out and vote. To exercise freedom. To express opinions. To take part in the democratic process. One of the terrible little realities of Sept. 11, 2001, a day of much bigger atrocities, was that voters were stopped in their tracks. It was, after all, a municipal

Too bad the anti-politics crowd has got primary day. hold of the way we talk about public afGranted, this year, New Yorkers statefairs. Cynicism increases and the people wide are being asked to vote in too many who love low turnout rates wind up being elections. The state needs a sensible, thrilled that they can keep running the nastreamlined approach, voting machines that inspire confidence and an open-mind- tion. When you say you don’t like politics, you begin to opt out of self-government. ed attitude about same-day registration, When you don’t vote, you among other electoral fulfill someone else’s agenda. innovations. Not needed: In reality, politics is a any more of this reflexive, thrilling and all-encompasssilly and downright daning business. In a new play gerous dislike of anything about newspaper biggie deemed “political.” Joseph Alsop by David AuI use the quotation burn called The Columnist, marks on purpose, since the famous scribe takes aim almost everything falls after hearing someone decry under the definition of politics. “My boy,” Auburn’s politics, according to what Alsop says, “politics is life! they say in freshman year poli sci classes. Politics is chRISToPhER MooRE Politics is human intercourse at its most sublimely ridicuabout the struggle over lous and intensely vital. You limited resources and who may as well say you don’t very much care gets what. Politics is sometimes, but not for sex.” always, about partisan struggles, although These words are thrillingly on target. I that’s the way it’s usually viewed today. In recently finished—thanks be to God—a truth, there’s nothing more political than semester teaching college students in New a lively Board of Education meeting or a Jersey. So many of the most conscientious bad personal relationship, even if nobody students kept telling me that they don’t like is ever outwardly aligned with a political politics. They refuse to read about it or folparty.

low it. I wanted to quote Auburn’s line about sex, but worried about winding up on the evening news. It breaks my heart. We need our most nimble minds to embrace the public sphere, the ongoing fight over limited resources in a changing society. We need smart people of all ages to think and rethink about military misadventures and health care funding and library hours and marriage rights and class size. There’s nothing we need more than an informed, active citizenry. Sept. 11 does not now—and never did— need to become another day for people to sit on their butts and eat hamburgers. Like many Martin Luther King Jr. Day advocates understand and insist, we need days on instead of days off. We need engagement. We need participation. We need to vote. When it comes to shifting the election date, the governor and the legislature are pandering, pure and simple. Is it too much to ask our politicians to stand up for politics? I vote that we vote on Sept. 11. And every other chance we get. Christopher Moore is a writer living in Manhattan. He can be reached by email at and is on Twitter (@cmoorenyc).


Ain’t Nobody Hair But Me the urban cloak of inviSibility

I think.” She paused in mid-air over my head while she gave him an obligatory scan. One of her hands held the scissors and the other the comb. I gaped at the man. “Hey! I’m sitting right e came out of nowhere. here!” I wanted to yell. He There I was was still gazing at himself getting my hair in my mirror, his face about cut, absorbed two feet above mine, and in the blissful experience he was turning his head this of being pampered and way and that, touching his beautified, when suddenly hair. Brigitta started snipping I noticed a tall, chiseled away at me again, trying to man in the mirror right ignore him. He was obviover my head. Hello? But ously a regular customer, so he wasn’t looking at me, he she could not very easily tell was scrutinizing himself, him to leave. and he was talking to my “But you see this here…” stylist. JEannE MaRTInET he said, and he brushed his “So, Brigitta…” The hand over the top of his brisstranger smoothed his tly head and smiled devilishalmost nonexistent hair ly at himself. I looked pointedly up at him, (which looked like a crew cut that could my eyebrows raised as far as they would go, hardly be cut further) back above his right in what I hoped was questioning disdain. At ear. With his head cocked, he continued to study himself in the mirror. “Do you think I’ll last his eyes met mine, and I detected a faint hint of embarrassment. “I’ll come back,” he be ready to come back next week?” he said. said quickly. “I do want the top to be—I want to have After he left, Brigitte apologized and said enough for you to work with.” Who the hell is the front desk should have waylaid the man. this guy? Do salons need bouncers now? But I couldn’t help wondering: What was it “Ah, sure,” Brigitta replied in her elegant that made me invisible? Until I finally got Latvian accent, “You will probably be ready,



his attention, I was just an object, like the chair. I do not believe he was acting primarily out of a sense of entitlement, like someone who butts in front of you because they believe their business is more urgent than yours. It was simply that he was oblivious. Obliviousness is not uncommon in urban life. We’ve all had the experience of waiting for a cab when someone steps right in front of us and grabs it. But the truth is, most of these taxi thieves are not thinking, “If I move quickly, I can get that cab first.” They really do not notice the other people waiting. As New Yorkers we constantly need to cut out noise and stimuli or go crazy, so we develop tunnel vision, and everything nonessential tends to recede into the background—including, sometimes, other people. Sometimes we can’t see others even when we really want to. Recently I heard about a friend and his wife who were both trying to meet up on 42nd Street. They were walking in opposite directions toward each other, on the same side of the street, yet they walked right past each other without realizing it. The crowded city itself affects awareness. But certainly there are situations in which we are more prone to becoming invisible. When we hand our bodies over to be

worked on—primped, trimmed, massaged, whatever—there is a sort of disappearing that happens, since we become almost entirely passive. We become a thing upon which something is being done. Isn’t this why manicurists talk to each other while they are doing your nails? And (ever more increasingly, it seems) why checkout clerks talk to each other while they are checking you out? You, the customer, are not real. You are a shadow, a blur going by. Of course, I could (as is my wont) blame the salon incident on the insensitivity of our technology-saturated society—on the theory that everyone is so insular that others seem just a part of each person’s own reflection in the mirror. But I suspect it might be simpler: The guy was a classic narcissist. Certainly, while my Narcissus was obsessing over his hair, his reflection and mine merged in at least one way. Whether it was because Brigitta was distracted by his interruption or she was influenced by looking at his cropped head, she ended up clipping away much longer on me than necessary. So now, thanks to this short-haired interloper, I have much shorter hair than I wanted. And, funnily enough, invisibility no longer seems such a bad idea. Jeanne Martinet, aka Miss Mingle, is the author of seven books on social interaction. Read her blog at

  May 3 1, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 27

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West Side Spirit May 31, 2012  

The May 31, 2012 issue of West Side Spirit. The West Side Spirit, published weekly, is chock full of information—from hard news to human int...