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Healthy Manhattan: Weekend Warrior Warnings Page 16 June 9, 2011

West Side Filmmaker Goes to Hell and Back

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Blackboard Awards Make the Grade

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East fights West over support of Central Park bike path By Megan Finnegan Page 4 34th



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President Scott Stringer released a report last week that lists the Upper West Side as one of the neighborhoods with the highest concentration of boilers burning dirty heating oil in rent-regulated buildings.


meeting Calendar

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, boilers that burn No. 4 and No. 6 oils represent 1 percent of New York City’s buildings and are responsible for more air pollution than all the cars and trucks in the city combined. “Toxic boilers that burn No. 6 and No. 4 oil should be considered public health 3 Calendar Meeting & End of Year Celebration, 6:30 p.m., P.S. 145, 150 W. 105th St. Thursday, June 16

Monday, June 13 • Community Board 7 Housing Committee Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Community Board office, 250 W. 87th St. Tuesday, June 14 • Community Board 7 Transportation Committee Meeting, 7 p.m., Community Board office, 250 W. 87th St. Wednesday, June 15 • Community Board 7 Joint Committee Meeting with Land Use, Parks & Environment and Transportation, 7 p.m., Community Board office, 250 W. 87th St. • Community District Education Council

• Community Board 7 Youth, Education & Libraries Committee Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Community Board office, 250 W. 87th St.

Keep TrucKin’

enemy No. 1 in this city,” Stringer said in a statement. “The city needs to get more aggressive, and more creative about the way we address this crisis.” Last month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans for a $37 million loan fund that will be partially dedicated to boiler conversions. Stringer said this is not enough to solve the problem and has proposed a mix of time-limited tax abatements and grants to encourage landlords to replace the toxic-burning boilers. —Ashley Welch BRIDGE CONCERT SERIES—The Interfaith

Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, the New York Jazz Academy, El Taller Latino Americano and The Stony Point • Public Hearing on the revised proposal for Center join with West-Park Presbyterian co-location of Harlem Success Academy 1 Church to present The Bridge Concert with P.S. 149, 6 p.m., P.S. 149, 34 W. 118th St. Series, June 16–19. The landmarked This schedule is current as of Tuesday, June 7. church is celebrating its 100-year anniFor more information, including full agendas, versary as well as the creation of The INSERTION - Email Art please contact the community boards directly. ORDER Center at West-Park, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping artists and the Community Education Council District 3: community. Ceil Ainsworth 212-678-2782, The Thursday, June 16 concert feaManhattan Media tures two female singer-songwriters; the Community Board 7 Parks &63 Environment West 38th St. following evening showcases a tango Committee: 212-362-4008, New York NY 10018 harmonica virtuoso, and Saturday eve(212) 284-9724 Fax:ning (212) 268-0502 brings Chicago-based jazz vocalist

A young fair-goer and his mother takes over the driver seat of a construction vehicle during the West Side YMCA’s “Touch-A-Truck” Street Fair & Fundraiser. Erin McDougald. The final concert in the series, on Sunday, June 19, stars and will benefit baritone Andre SolomonGlover, a celebrated Broadway singer who suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage 10 years ago. 165 W. 86th St., 7 p.m. Tickets $25 in advance, $30 at the door. —Megan Finnegan

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June 9, 2011



West Siders Get Out! East fights West over support of Central Park bike path


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the conservators of a scenic landmark, a park that is so heavily used it’s ridiculous at times, and trying to give everybody an equal piece.” Michele Birnbaum, another committee member, likened the desire to cross the park on a bike to “tumbling on a Ferris wheel” and said that it might be fun but it’s not necessary. “I see my city, the way I travel and how I get around being completely revamped to accommodate a very very very small percentage of the population,” Birnbaum said. “It isn’t really a right to traverse the park on a bicycle, and to turn things upside down to do so is what my frustration is.” Heidi Untener, an Upper East Side resident who commutes by bike with her two young sons, read a statement in support of the new paths. “I cannot expect my 8-year-old to loop the entire southern end of the park to simply get from West 72nd Street to East 68th Street after a full day of school,” said Untener. “Our choices, either dangerous or unlawful, are to ride against the flow of traffic on 72nd Street or to weave our

“I see my city, the way I travel and how I get around being completely revamped to accommodate a very very very small percentage of the population,” Michele Birnbaum said.

way along pedestrian pathways to 69th Street. We typically choose the latter, and my children feel like criminals, looking out for police.” “I am back and forth across the park sometimes up to six times a day, and for me to have to stop to walk my bike to try to get across is completely inefficient,” said Liz Patek, a member of the public at the meeting. “A bike is a form of transportation, and to try to go through the vehicular transverses is sudden death.” Sharon Pope, a member of the group Sure Walkers, presented a two-sided perspective at the meeting, speaking as a proponent of pedestrians who also occasionally rides a bike in the park. “There is no greater pleasure than to ride a bike in Central Park,” Pope said. “There is also nothing worse than a bike

June 9, 2011

andrew schwartz

By Megan Finnegan The Parks Committee of Community Board 8 isn’t interested in sharing. Last week, Caroline Greenleaf, community relations manager for the Central Park Conservancy, attended the committee meeting to explain impending changes to some of the park’s crosstown paths. The park is planning to allow cyclists to ride at slow speeds on some of the paths that currently only allow pedestrians in an effort to provide safer and faster methods for biking commuters to cross the park. “The reality is that we’re seeing a lot of bikes on the paths,” said Greenleaf, who asserted that it was better to make sure people used the paths safely than admonish them for using the paths at all. The proposed shared paths would be on either side of the 96th Street Transverse, which runs near the North Meadow Recreation Center, and the path at 102nd Street, allowing cyclists to ride in both directions on each path. Greenleaf also emphasized the need for everyone on the path to share nicely— speed limits for cyclists would be 5 miles per hour, dog walkers would be required to keep their charges on short leashes and everyone would yield to pedestrians. “The real thrust here is that we’re focusing on education,” said Greenleaf. “I am actually really thrilled to be able to stop [cyclists], talk to them and say, if you can start demonstrating to the public that you are able to ride on this path responsibly, that you stop if you see a crowd of people, that you walk your bike through a crowd of people, that you basically honor the fact that it’s a multi-use path, it will only help us in starting this experiment when it officially opens.” Members of the committee, however, were not pleased, and called the plan “stupid,” “dangerous” and “a bad idea.” Some members also berated representatives of the group Transportation Alternatives, who had come to the meeting to support the park’s proposal, as “arrogant” and a “lobbying group” that doesn’t adequately represent the public. “I have to say quite honestly I’m shocked because the Conservancy sadly is turning into a version of the Department of Consumer Affairs; they issue a lot of licenses without regard to the practicality of New York City, how it works, how it doesn’t work, and they don’t enforce,” said committee member Teri Slater. “You’re forgetting your role as

While the West Side has generally been supportive of crosstown bike paths across Central Park, the East Side has voted them down. speeding past a pedestrian, a walker, and you are almost sideswiped.” She said that much of the problem comes from the bad behaviors of bike messengers and food deliverymen. “A reasonable legal option, a place to bike across the park, is necessary in order for us to expect that people have the option of not being law-breakers,” said Scott Falk, one of the two committee members who spoke in favor of the measure to share paths. “It’s a lot easier to be zero tolerance on bikes being in the wrong place if there’s a right place to go.” Some committee members wanted to know why the park could not create completely separate segregated lanes. Greenleaf said that the park considered this option, but that they just don’t have the ability to widen the paths enough. Steve Vaccaro, volunteer chair of Transportation Alternatives’ East Side Action committee, attended the meeting to support shared paths and reiterate that he and others from TA spend time and resources trying to educate other cyclists on how to ride safely and considerately. Some CB8 committee members didn’t think that was adequate, however, and at one point the conversation devolved into a pro-bike versus anti-bike shouting match. After the meeting, Vaccaro said he wasn’t necessarily surprised by the vitriolic responses. There are some Community Board 8 members “critical of the notion that cycling is a legitimate

form of transportation,” he said. “I think it varies by neighborhood. I think you get different views on that in different parts of the city. There’s a real difference on the Upper West Side as compared to the Upper East Side.” Vaccaro cited a study that names the Upper East Side as having the lowest concentration of frequent bike commuters, and said that from his own experience living there, he sees a relatively high number of food deliverymen on bikes, adding to the negative perception of cyclists as reckless and only concerned with speed. Mel Wymore, chair of the Upper West Side’s Community Board 7, said that their board isn’t taking an official position on the shared paths so far, although he noted that several individual members are strongly in support of the idea. In general, the West Side tends to vote more frequently in favor of biking initiatives; their parks committee recently voted to allow cyclists to ride at safe speeds on shared paths in Riverside Park. Vaccaro said that he wouldn’t characterize the Upper East Side as wholly resistant to bikes, even though some have been outspoken against any changes to accommodate cyclists. “There’s a feeling that something is being taken from them and given to someone else, and I understand that,” he said of the resentment toward biking advocates. “Every square inch of New York is contested space.” N ew s YO U Li V e B Y

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June 9, 2011




To Hell and Back

West Sider documents city’s sex crimes unit in HBO film rape, both brutal crimes. Jackson interviewed the victim of the older case, Natasha Alexenko, and told the story of how her rapist was finally found using DNA evidence. “I had pretty much closed that chapter in my life,” said Alexenko in an interview. “I had healed and moved on. It was certainly a shock” when they found the perpetrator. She decided to come forward for the film because she wanted to help the prosecutors who had guided her so compassionately through the difficult process of the trial. Jackson also shot many scenes from the trial of Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, the NYPD officers recently acquitted of rape, but wasn’t able to include it in time. The film also illustrates how cases like that would never have made it to trial before New York State reformed its laws in the 1970s. Jackson interviewed former District Attorney Robert Morgenthau about his role in changing the way rape was prosecuted. “I went to him and said, everybody’s

talking about your legacy— white collar crime, all this stuff—but nobody’s really talking about the jewel in your crown: his incredible mentoring of women and his championing this unit,” said Jackson. Jackson also deliberate- Prosecutors Jennifer Soulc and Coleen Balbert from the ly included snippets of the sex crimes unit prepare for a rape trial. prosecutors debating the merits of Derek Jeter and swapping stories away with an understanding of how far about their personal lives. the legal system has progressed toward “A film about sexual violence isn’t helping sexual assault victims, and how depressing. It’s full of humor, it’s full of hard the sex crimes unit works for justice. real humanity,” said Jackson. “It’s either happened to one of us, or Both Jackson and Alexenko hope that we know someone it’s happened to,” the film will help victims of sexual assault Jackson said, citing the statistic that one understand what happens when they in six women will be the victim of a sexreport crimes. Alexenko recently started ual assault. “I hope that the film brings Natasha’s Justice Project, which works a new way of looking at the crime itself, closely with the Joyful Heart Foundation, and hopefully motivates more women to founded by Law & Order: SVU star come forward, more attorneys to dediMariska Hargitay, to end the national cate themselves to this kind of law, and backlog of untested rape kits. really makes the point of the importance Jackson hopes that viewers will come of units like this.” photo courtesy of hBo

By Megan Finnegan Once documentary filmmaker Lisa Jackson gets an idea in her head, she doesn’t back down until it’s translated to the screen. Her latest film, Sex Crimes Unit, has been over 15 years in the making. The documentary premieres on HBO June 20, and is the product of countless hours Jackson spent, with and without her camera crew, hanging around the unit of the District Attorney’s office responsible for prosecuting Manhattan’s sex crimes. Jackson, who lives and works on the Upper West Side, began following the unit in the mid ’90s. “It just became an obsession of mine to try to do a film about the unit,” Jackson said. “I thought rape is so chronically underreported that if you showed a portrait of the prosecutors who do take on these crimes, that maybe survivors would be more likely to come forward.” The film highlights the day-to-day work of the prosecutors and follows two cases in particular—one a 16-year-old cold case and the other a more recent


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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, 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 call 212-362-4890, or go to:

June 9, 2011




Best and Brightest Teachers Honored at 2011 Blackboard Awards

By Megan Finnegan At this year’s Blackboard Awards, an event honoring 18 educators from around the city for their outstanding work, a new tradition was created in the form of dozens of small feet clambering onto the stage to say thanks to their teachers. Excited students cheered on the award recipients and accompanied them onstage, giving the audience a window into how these teachers interact with the students who so clearly adore them. Monday night’s event at Fordham Law School, hosted by NBC correspondent and mother of two young children Kate Snow, highlighted the tireless efforts of the group of winners selected from over 1,200 applications. It was the first time that students and parents were called to present some of the awards, and the students were thrilled to be honoring their favorite teachers. The teachers were equally happy to be recognized by their charges. “I’m very lucky,” said Rodrigo Alonzo,

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teacher at the Speyer Legacy School, surrounded by his giggling 1st graders. “I get to come to work every morning and ask questions and be greeted by questions. Like, how did the Atlantic Ocean get its name? What’s

“There’s this magic, this undeniable charisma created in a classroom when kids start learning,” said winner Anne Looser, special education teacher at Lehman High School. the difference between a square and a rhombus? When are we going to have snacks?” A few speakers pointed out how tenuous the positions of many great teachers are amid the fear of layoffs and budget cuts. Vice President of the United Teachers Federation Karen Alford presented an award, and said, “With teachers

being vilified across the country, it’s so nice to have an event celebrating teachers and all they do.” City Council Member Gale Brewer noted that she had spent the day in budget hearings and was working to preserve teaching positions and resources for the city. One teacher took the opportunity to emphasize a focus on individual learning over test results. Theresa Furman, who teaches 2nd grade at the Upper West Side’s P.S. 87, spoke of an email she received from a parent, thanking her for encouraging her students to view school as a place to be happy, to think and create. “Maybe the people who are emphasizing standardized testing so much would think about that,” Furman said, to much applause. A constant theme was the importance of parent and administrative support to each of the winning teachers. Many thanked their communities for helping them create a positive environment for their students. “There’s this magic, this undeniable

charisma created in a classroom when kids start learning,” said winner Anne Looser, special education teacher at Lehman High School. “I first wanted to teach kids about history, because I wanted to teach students about the Revolution. Then I started teaching special ed, and I realized, this is the revolution.” John DeMatteo was recognized for his work as the physical education teacher who brought sports to the Manhattan Academy of Technology, even starting a surfing team at the Chinatown middle school. DeMatteo thanked his parents, both New York City schoolteachers, and acknowledged his unusual path to teaching. After 9/11, he quit a lucrative Wall Street job to go into teaching. “I know now that success is not written in a pay stub,” DeMatteo said. “It’s in the hearts and minds of students who can say those four words: ‘I can,’ and ‘I will.’ Hearing those words from my students makes me the richest man in the world.”

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June 9, 2011






Teacher Suzanne Mir with students from Corpus Christi School.

P.S. 166 teacher Derek Bruun with students from his school.

Teachers Receive ‘A+’ at 2011 Blackboard Awards


anhattan Media hosted the 2011 Blackboard Awards for Teachers on June 6 at Fordham University Law School. The annual event celebrates the best and brightest New York City teachers. Eighteen teachers were chosen out of more than 1,200 nominations for the award. photos by andrew schwartz

(Far right) Teacher Mary Ann Diglio from the Staten Island Academy with her husband, Frank Diglio, and Director of Studies Patrica Lynch.


• w e s t s i d e spirit

June 9, 2011

St. Luke’s teacher Robert Snyder accepts his Blackboard Award.

P.S. 87 teacher Theresa Furman, with some of her students, accepts her Blackboard Award.

Thomas McInerney, Council Member Gale Brewer, Millennium High School teacher William LaMonte, New York Family Editor Eric Messinger and Kate Snow.

Herbert H. Lehman High School teacher Anne Looser, Karen Alford, vice president of elementary schools at the United Federation of Teachers, and Purvis J. Behan Elementary School teacher Rasheda Lyons. N ew s YO U Li V e B Y

June 9, 2011




P.S. 40 teacher Linda Adler with students from her school at the 2011 Blackboard Awards that took place June 6 at Fordham Law School.

Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering students, with Kate Snow and New York Family Editor Eric Messinger, accept an award for teacher Meredith Hill.

Thandi Guimaraes, Renaissance Charter School teacher, accepts her Blackboard Award.

P.S. 126/I.S. 126-Manhattan Academy of Technology teacher John DeMatteo with students from his school.


• w e s t s i d e spirit

June 9, 2011

Hunter College High School teacher Eliza Kuberska accepts her Blackboard Award.

Kate Snow, correspondent on NBC’s Dateline, with Tom Allon, Manhattan Media president and CEO, and Dr. Brian J. Byrne, vice president for Lincoln Center/Fordham University.

Kate Snow, P.S. 58 Carroll School teacher Stephen Cedermark and New York Family Editor Eric Messinger.

Teacher Rodrigo Alonzo of the Speyer Legacy School with Kate Snow and some students from the school.

Teacher Lindsay Korn with students from the Growing Up Green Charter School.

Kate Snow, International School of Brooklyn teacher Rosa Torres and New York Family Editor Eric Messinger. N ew s YO U Li V e B Y

The United Federation of Teachers Congratulates

the 2011 Blackboard Award Winners: Willaim LaMonte Eliza Kuberska Stephen Cedermark Anne Looser Meredith Hill Thandi Guimaraes Rosa Torres John De Matteo Theresa Furman Linda Adler Rasheda Lyons Derek Brunn

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June 9, 2011





June 9, 2011


Mile of Fun at Museum Crawl

By Megan Finnegan and city. On Tuesday, June 14, nine of the city’s Next stop is the Guggenheim, where most treasured cultural institutions will the permanent collection of paintings open their doors for Museum Mile, an by the likes of Cézanne, Monet, Picasso, evening of free admissions and celebrat- Renoir and van Gogh is enough to keep ed art that stretches from 82nd to 105th oglers busy for hours. Also worth stopstreets along Fifth Avenue. Allow your- ping by for is the A Year with Children self time to get distracted along the way 2011 exhibit, showcasing art created by by the myriad number of vendors, musi- New York City public school students. cians, variety acts and family activities. You can also catch Kandinsky at the Here are some suggestions on how to Bauhaus 1922-1933, displaying the make the most of the three-and-a-half- painter’s geometry-inspired period. hours of a traffic-free Fifth Ave. Tear yourself away from the twoThe festival kicks off on the steps of the dimensional and hit the Cooper-Hewitt Neue Galerie (1048 Fifth Ave.), which is National Design Museum, which will presenting its exhibition Vienna 1900: show a special collection of jewelry by Style and Identity. From there, start at Van Cleef & Arpels. They’re also exhibthe Metropolitan Museum, off of East iting Color Moves: Art and Fashion by 82nd Street. (The Goethe-Institut is Sonia Delaunay, a Parisian abstract colcurrently installed at an interim location orist who applied her 1920s and ’30s artdowntown; they’ll have some info at their istry to textiles, garments, film and inteold 1014 Fifth Ave. building.) Highlights rior design. include the Alexander McQueen retroAt the Jewish Museum, you can marspective Savage Beauty, displaying the vel at the foresight of the Cone sisters of breathtaking artwork-as-clothing styles Baltimore, daughters of German-Jewish of the late, great British designer, and immigrants who snatched up an entire NEC QtrPg Vertical Ad2011_Layout 1 5/24/11 4:52 PM Page 1 the giant metal geometric sculptures of collection of modern art in the early 20th Anthony Caro in the roof garden, which century, long before the works of Matisse also presents fabulous views of the park and Picasso were widely appreciated and

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highly valued. The exhibit features over 50 of the Victorian sisters’ private stockpile. They also have a trove of marriage contracts from the Jewish Theological Seminary Library, shedding light on the customs and cultures surrounding matrimony from all over the world and dating back to the 12th century. Skipping up to 103rd Street, stop at the Museum of the City of New York to catch their exhibit Joel Grey/A New York Life, featuring the photographic work by and of the prolific stage actor. The final (or first, depending on how you’re walking) stop is El Museo del Barrio, which is launching The (S) Files: Voces y Visiones: Signs, Systems & The City. Their sixth biennial features works by some of the most innovative Latino, Caribbean and LatinAmerican artists in the city. At 6:30 Museum Mile on June 14 opens nine of the p.m., the Museum for African Art city’s museums to the public for free as well (which will eventually be moving as closes down Fifth Ave. between 82nd and into a new home at Fifth Avenue and 105th streets. 110th Street) presents a dance performance, and other musical acts follow throughout the evening.


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These Feet Aren’t Made for Flip-Flops Talk about footwear that’s a flop with podiatrists By Lisa Elaine Held uring Mike DeFrancisco’s freshman year of college, his feet started to hurt. It started as a minor pain in the heel and then began to radiate out through the arches. He went to see a podiatrist, who then diagnosed him with plantar fasciitis and heel spurs. “One of the first questions my doctor asked was how often I wore sandals,” said DeFrancisco. “And when I told him, he said that my problems most likely stemmed from the shoes I had been wearing.” His footwear of choice? DeFrancisco had been wearing flip-flops almost every single day for six years. While most people vary their footwear much more frequently, warmer days do mean that more and more New Yorkers are hitting the streets in their Havaianas. And with the familiar sound of rubber smacking concrete comes a familiar concern: Can wearing flip-flops cause damage to your feet? “The problem is that they give absolutely no support,” said Dr. Marlene Reid, a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association. “It’s like running around barefoot, but worse, because sometimes your toes have to scrunch down to keep the shoes on.” One study, published in 2008 in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, found that flip-flops significantly increased pressure on the bottom of the foot, as compared to sneakers. This pressure, the researchers wrote, “has been

Juan Moyano |


correlated to an increased risk of foot deformity.” The pressure is heightened when you factor in the non-pliant city streets New Yorkers tread on. “The flip-flop is so thin that it offers little shock absorption,” said Dr. Krista Archer, a Manhattan podiatric surgeon affiliated with Lenox Hill Hospital. In 2010, Dr. Justin Shroyer, a researcher at Auburn University in Alabama, published a study in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association that looked at how flip-flops affect the way in which a person moves while walking or running. His study found that flipflops, as compared to sneakers, shortened the wearer’s stride and increased a measurement called “ankle angle” as the individual swung their leg through mid-stride. According to Dr. Shroyer, the shortened stride matters because it leads to an overall increase in the number of steps an individual takes, increasing pressure on the foot. The increased ankle angle is an indication that the struggle to keep the flipflop on the foot (by curling the toes down) could be causing strain. “Your body is trying to pull your foot up to swing the leg through, but in inadvertently trying to keep the flip-flop on, it’s pulling the foot down,” said Dr. Shroyer. “So the muscle that’s pulling the foot up has to work harder. Because it’s working more and it’s such a repetitive motion, it’s a chronic effect that leads to lower leg pain and ankle pain.” And no, it is not normal (or healthy) for the bottoms of your feet to be coated in a black film after a full day walking the summer streets. “City streets are gross and there’s no protection against dirt and grime!” said Dr. Reid.

Continued on page 24


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June 9, 2011


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Dr. Steven Friedman, Chairman of the Department of Surgery, and Dr. Herrick Wun, Director of the NonInvasive Vascular Lab, are Board Certified Vascular Surgeons who employ a state-of-the-art laser device to seal varicose veins shut. This technique is proven to be the best way to eliminate varicose veins and to help you look and feel better right away. There is no surgery involved so recuperation is fast. The advantages of this new technology include: -

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June 9, 2011



Healthy Manhattan

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Take It Easy, Weekend Warriors Injuries to men returning to a sport are common, so start slowly By Lisa ELainE HELd d Gemdjian, a personal trainer at equinox’s 17th Street location, ran track and cross-country in high school until a series of injuries ended his running career. Years later, he still gets the urge to run whenever the weather warms up. “The problem is that i never learned to go jogging,� he said. “When i go for a run, i go for a hard run. and it’s amazing how quickly those injuries come back.� Gemdjian uses his personal experience to inform his work with clients, many of whom, like him, engage in “weekend warrior� behavior, diving head first into intense physical activity after a long time away or without ever having tried it. Whether getting suddenly seriously physical is the result of the changing seasons, the desire to return to a missed sport or weekend workouts that attempt to make


Continued on page 20

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HEWLETT, NY Spring is in full bloom, and the remains of winter are almost gone, that is with one exception: the winter weight gain. Now that the holidays are over people have summer fun on their mind, with winter weight on their hips. The excitement of waking up to warm sunny days, driving with the car windows down and weekends spent at the beach with family and friends is exciting and appealing, but the anticipation of a wardrobe consisting of shorts, bathing suits and tank tops can send people into a tailspin. Ò The idea of wearing so little when you are feeling so big can cause mild to even somewhat major anxiety,Ó said Dr. Bo Rosenblat, Chief Physician of Dr. BoÕ s Diet, a medical weight loss program with locations throughout New York and Florida. The 12-week program which can yield weight-loss results of up to   !

  patients what Dr. Rosenblat calls the Ò jumpstart.Ó Ò I used to love the summer and hate the summer all at the same time. I always felt self-conscious at the beach or pool. I was embarrassed and it totally took the enjoyment out of spending time with my family. I especially hated taking pictures and always tried to keep covered in my sarong,Ó said Sarah R. of East Rockaway, NY, a patient of Dr. BoÕ s. This is the time of year where Ò crashÓ diets become the norm and it seems that everyone is coming out of hibernation and trying something drastic to help them shed their unwanted seasonal weight gain. Most of these so called Ò dietsÓ are nothing more than liquid fasts or unhealthy starvation plans that will help you shed a few pounds quickly, but once you go off of them the weight comes back on quickly and then some. There is a reason these diets are fads, going in and out of vogue like the fashion statements, they simply have no lasting results and therefore remain popular for no more than a season or two before they are Ò outÓ .

Sarah, who lost 37 pounds and counting with Dr. Bo, has seen steady results for six months. Ă’ IĂ• m so happy that the summer is around the corner and I am not panicked to lose weight like I was in the past. I feel better than I have in years and I know that I can keep the weight off for good,Ă“ explained Sarah. Ă’ I initially started the program as a preNew Years resolution, hoping to shed some weight before the holidays and here we are in April and I am still going strong. I lost 24 pounds in the !

      in the following months. But the best part is that I have maintained it and know that I can continue to keep this lifestyle.Ă“ Dr. Bo created his 3-Phase, 12week program with two major objectives in mind, rapid weight loss and maintainable long-term results. Ă’ I wanted to develop a program

this summer, we want them to lose weight for this summer and keep it off for each summer thereafter.Ă“

and Nutritional components to the      !        personalized and comprehensive The weight maintenance portion approach to weight loss allows of Dr. BoĂ• s Diet program begins patients to maximize their weight !     loss as well as help patientĂ• s maintain a solid foundation in Phase 1 and their results moving forward. continues in Phase 2, where the Dr. BoĂ• s Diet offers private care patientĂ• s metabolism is reset and and custom tailors their methods years of metabolic abuse may be to each patient. Ă’ The main thing I undone. Dr. Bo believes in Ă’ leaving like about Dr. BoĂ• s was the personal the patient with the physiological attention that I got. I have been to tools to keep the weight off for goodĂ“ other programs where I felt like I so that they may break their unhealthy was paying to be weighed in and relationship with food. Ă’ It sounds reprimanded or embarrassed. The clichĹ˝ d but I know that this program staff was always available to me and has changed my relationship with the private sessions made me feel food forever. ItĂ• s not just the way I comfortable enough to ask all of my think about food, itĂ• s also the way I questions, and more. In many ways it react to it physically. My metabolism felt like I went to a therapy session, a was so slow from years of bad habits weight loss program and had a makeand yo-yo dieting. I had gained and over all at the same time. I look and lost the same 30-40 pounds over and feel better than ever.Ă“ over, but after my third child was For a afree orto toreceive For freeconsultation consultation or receive more information calls Dr. more information call Dr. BoĂ• Diet Ă’ I wanted to develop a program specifically designed at 516-284-8248 or visit us online Bo’s Diet at 888-750-3726 or visitat to give you crash diet results with long-term us online at

sustainability,Ă“ said Dr. Rosenblat.

 !        crash diet results with long-term sustainability,Ó said Dr. Rosenblat. Phase 1 concentrates on the rapid weight loss, with his average patient losing between ! pound to 1! pounds per day over the course of about thirty days. Ò Any time you hear the word Ò crashÓ its associated with something negative. You wouldnÕ t try to have a car crash, right? So think of a crash diet as a car crash for your metabolism, the impact can be very traumatic and the recovery can be tough or even near impossible,Ó explained Dr. Rosenblat. Dr. Bo is very sensitive to his patientÕ s need and desire to shed the pounds quickly. Ò I think rapid results is an extremely important part of our program. It gives patients a jumpstart and above all else a high level of motivation to continue with the program. People will generally stick to something when it yields such dramatic results,Ó said Rosenblat. Ò We donÕ t want our patients coming   !  

born I simply couldnÕ t get the weight off and I felt completely defeated by the dieting process,Ó said Sarah. Ò This program changed that.Ó In Phase 3 the patientÕ s new healthy base weight is locked in and the focus shifts to the individualÕ s body and mind, and towards changing their relationship with food for good. Ò I tell all my patients the same thing. There is no magic pill and we arenÕ t miracle workers. If you want to lose weight quickly only to regain it back just as fast, this is not the program for you. We want our patients to lose weight, but our main goal is for them to keep it off for good,Ó added Rosenblat. With a staff of doctors, PAÕ s, nurses, nutritionists and weight-loss specialists, Dr. BoÕ s team works together with each patient to identify    !        customized plan is created utilizing a three-pronged approach to identify the Physiological, Psychological

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Healthy Manhattan Continued from page 18

up for weeknights dedicated to happy hour, a common result is likely: injury. Statistics related to sports injuries, especially confined to weekend warriors, are difficult to quantify, but Gemdjian estimated that about 70 to 80 percent of his clients have had a sports-related injury at some point in their past. Some of the most common include impact injuries like shin splints and knee pain, ankle sprains, back pain, shoulder injuries, rotator cuff tendonitis and hip pain. And certain sports are associated with particular injuries based on the movements required, said Stephanie C. Petterson, a physical therapist and the regional clinical director for Sports Physical Therapy of New York, which has 10 offices throughout Manhattan. For example, runners often get plantar fasciitis, golfers may experience lower back pain and rotator cuff strain and swimmers usually suffer from shoulder impingement. While all athletes and casual exercisers are susceptible to injury, weekend warriors are particularly vulnerable. Carol Otis, a physician who specializes in sports medicine and is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, said

that ideally, an individual should be consistently increasing the intensity of a workout by about 10 percent per week. Weekend warriors go from zero to 100 all at once. “There’s a learning curve with getting back into the groove of any activity,” said

“There’s a learning curve with getting back into the groove of any activity,” said Matt McCulloch, the director of Kinected, a downtown Pilates studio that specializes in injury prevention. “For example, if you only play tennis in the summer, the muscles that you use in tennis you don’t use during the rest of the year.” Matt McCulloch, the director of Kinected, a downtown Pilates studio that specializes in injury prevention. “For example, if you only play tennis in the summer, the muscles that you use in tennis you don’t use during the rest of the year. So it takes a while to

a monthly advertising supplement get your technique back up to where it was the season before.” McCulloch explained that because of this, a weekend warrior will operate with a faulty technique or mechanics. They may also lack the flexibility, strength and stamina necessary for the activity or use equipment with faulty ergonomics, which can affect movement patterns. “These things seem small, but when you’re not working out regularly, they add up quickly and set you up for injury,” he said. McCulloch created a workshop called “Anatomy of a Weekend Warrior,” giving New Yorkers the chance to come in at the beginning of the summer to learn how to practice preventive maintenance before jumping back into their Central Park softball league. It’s like their spring training. In addition to education, McCulloch uses Pilates techniques to help prevent injury. “Pilates focuses on increasing the stability of joints and at the same time balancing out the muscles that support the joints, so you don’t have overuse injuries,” he explained. It also helps people understand how their body moves, allowing them to isolate and focus on one part of their body. For weekend warriors who aren’t quite ready to book a Pilates session, Gemdjian

said there are many ways to prevent injuries while working out at the gym or with a trainer. “Warming muscles up is absolutely key,” he said. A 10 to 15 minute warm-up should not be about static stretching, but should consist of a gradual build-up to the movements you’re about to make, like a relaxed volley in tennis or slow strides leading up to a run. During the workout, pay attention to your body, do active stretches between sets and drink lots of water to prevent cramping up. When you’re finished, cool down properly and stretch, but avoid overstretching already flexible muscles. “If it’s tight, stretch it,” said Gemdjian. “If not, leave it alone.” Finally, correct potentially dangerous movement patterns by working with someone, like a trainer, prior to jumping into the activity. If you do experience pain, it may be time to see a physical therapist. In the end, weekend warriors, just take it easy. “A lot of these guys think they’re still as athletic as they were when they were 20, and, to put it lightly, they’re not,” said McCulloch. Replace that dream of the major leagues with a Central Park diamond and focus on fun rather than glory.

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

For more information or to arrange a visit, please call: 212-342-9539 525 Audubon Avenue, New York, NY 10040 • • w e s t s i d e spirit

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Welcome to our family.

June 9, 2011

N ew s YO U Li V e B Y BAYARD


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154 Snake Hollow Rd., Bridgehampton, NY, 11932 Host Chef Marcus Samuelsson

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V.I.P. Reception 6:30–7:30 P.M. | General Admission 7:30–10:00 P.M. This event will benefit East End food pantries through the Have a Heart Community Trust! Must be 21+ to attend | For additional information, call 631-227-0188

June 9, 2011



Healthy Manhattan

a monthly advertising supplement

Anorexia Is Not Just for Girls Men often ‘suffer in silence’ because the disease is more common to women By Dr. Cynthia Paulis ention the word anorexia and the image that comes to mind is a female model sashaying down a runway with toothpicks for arms and legs, size zero body and a scowl on her face


because all she eats is a thimble of water and a lettuce leaf. Anorexia was always considered a female eating disorder, but it turns out that an estimated 10 percent of anorexia sufferers are men—and the actual number may be much higher.

Anorexia is an eating disorder where people can literally starve themselves to death, and we are now learning that it is not just a disease of women. People with anorexia eat very little even though they are already thin. they have an intense

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and overpowering fear of body fat and weight gain. those with anorexia are often characterized as perfectionists and overachievers who appear to be in control when in reality they suffer from low selfesteem. dr. evelyn Attia, director of the Center for eating disorders at Columbia University Medical Center, said: “we are not certain that male anorexia is actually on the rise. we are seeing more men than we have before, but they are still the minority. eating disorders can affect both men and women. Many doctors out there don’t see a lot of these cases, so they may not have their antennae up for patients who are atypical.” diagnosing anorexia in males is complicated by the reluctance of men to seek medical help for a disorder that has in the past been considered a woman’s disease, and as a result they suffer in silence. According to dr. Attia, most anorexic behavior starts during adolescence, “but we have seen anorexics in our unit ranging in age from 13 to 62.” “we don’t know what causes anorexia but we do have a fair bit of evidence to suggest that genetics plays a part in the story, along with the environment. in cultures where there is no dieting behavior we don’t see anorexia,” she said. She emphasized that in a society like ours, where there is a lot of pressure on thinness, and you take an individual who is biologically and genetically vulnerable, “your environment plus their biology cre-

WarninG siGns OF anOrEXia Dressing in layers to hide weight loss Eating only “safe foods” low in calories and fat Odd rituals of cutting food into small pieces Spending more time playing with food than eating it Cooking meals for others without eating Engaged in compulsive exercising Spending less lime with family and friends, becoming more isolated, withdrawn and secretive

It’s more than a plan, it’s a solution. Continued on page 24


• w e s t s i d e spirit

June 9, 2011

N ew s YO U Li V e B Y

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June 9, 2011



Healthy Manhattan Continued from page 22

ates the perfect storm, and that person may go on to develop an eating disorder.” For men there is the added pressure to have a six-pack abdomen and a thin, lean body based on all of the media hype. The most obvious sign of anorexia is weight loss, but men with anorexia tend to keep the weight off with excessive exercise as opposed to women who tend to under eat. Both male and female anorexics share

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the same traits of low self-esteem and preoccupation with weight. Without treatment, anorexia can slow the heart rate and lower the blood pressure, thereby increasing the chance of heart failure. Soon the hair and nails of the person will grow brittle and the skin will dry out. Anemia, swollen joints, reduced muscle mass and light-headedness are a common occurrence among anorexics. Severe cases of anorexia can lead to brittle

bones that break easily as a result of loss of calcium. In males there is a decrease in testosterone. As the disease progresses, electrolyte abnormalities occur, creating abnormal heart rhythms and eventually death. In addition to physical problems, people with anorexia may also have mental disorders as well, including depression, anxiety disorders, personality disorders,

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“We don’t know what causes anorexia but we do have a fair bit of evidence to suggest that genetics plays a part in the story, along with the environment. In cultures where there is no dieting behavior we don’t see anorexia,” she said. obsessive-compulsive disorders and drug abuse. Dr. Attia states that with recognition and intervention, most anorexics can recover. The treatment involves not only restoring the weight but behavioral issues as well. “These treatments aren’t taken care of by popping a pill or checking into a place for a few days or weeks. They are usually months or sometimes longer to really get someone’s behavior moved in a healthier direction,” she said.

Continued from page 16

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

NYU Langone Medical Center 550 First Avenue (at 31st Street) Alumni Hall B

Presenters Kathie-Ann Joseph, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery Yelena Novik, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine (Oncology)

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


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June 9, 2011

Understanding cancer. And you.

While wearing sneakers every day would technically be the best idea, experts concede that for most people, and especially in a fashion-focused city, that is not a practical alternative. Other footwear options are at least somewhat kinder. “The good thing about a ballet flat or a flat sandal with a buckle is that your toes aren’t working hard to keep the shoe on,” said Dr. Archer. If you’re going to wear flip-flops, you can minimize the harm by choosing a style that the American Podiatric Medical Association has given their “seal of approval” to. A full list, available on their website (, includes brands like Fit Flop and Chaco, which offer better support. “There are some that have a built-in arch, and some that have a deeper setting for the heel,” said Dr. Reid. “Those are better.” In the end, your best bet is to save the flip-flops for sandy surfaces or the occasional picnic in Sheep Meadow. If it’s too late to save your soles, don’t try to walk away from the problem. “If you have pain, don’t ignore it, and don’t keep wearing shoes that are causing the pain,” warned Dr. Archer. “If you switch to better shoes and it still hurts, see a doctor.” N ew s YO U Li V e B Y

Unity’s Health and Wellness Ministry, Marion A Gambardella, Director, Presents a Healing Workshop:







213 West 58 th Street

Sunday, June 26 th — 2:00 - 4:00 pm

Dr. Judith Alstadter is a concert pianist, music educator, recording artist, and workshop/retreat leader. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Judith also holds a Doctoral Degree from Yale University School of Music, and has achieved recognition and praise for the beauty and virtuo sity of her musical interpretations and the originality of her programs. She has concertized in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean, including appearances at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center and Carnegie Recital Hall. Music and Spirituality are the two pillars of her life. Judith has been a Unity student much of her life and was blessed to be a student of Eric Butterworth for very many years. She is thrilled to be back at the Unity Center of New York! ( ) Music Brings Us Closer to Our True Selves, to Spirit, and to Each Other Experience Music’s Power to Heal, Soothe, Relax, Uplift, Inspire, and Thrill Us

You’re likely to spend $200,000 on your child’s college education. Isn’t it worth spending a small fraction of that to make sure they get into the right school?

In This Workshop, You Will… Experience Guided Musical Meditations From Gregorian Chant to Mozart to Nature Sounds Enjoy Inspiring Piano Selections and Commentary Drawn From Poets, Spiritual Writers, and Composers Practice Breathing and Relaxation Techniques Learn About Music’s Power to Heal Join in Group Singing and Movement Have Time for Reflection, Journaling , and Sharing

Comments From Workshop Participants: “You do so much to bring joy through music…a day such as this truly reinforces the genuine spirit of bondedness that weaves us all together.” “Your caring personality emits a feeling of peacefulness through your mu sic that touches the soul.” “A most inspirational, insightful, deeply moving experience.”

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June 9, 2011




Bridging the legend

Trollhunter is a sophisticated horror comedy; Matthew Vaughn practically turns X-Men into Inglourious Basterds.

Photo courtesy of Magnet releasing

By arMond WhiTe

See that? He’s a sophisticated troll.


Directed by André Ovredal At Village East Cinemas Runtime: 90 min.


e need to be able to know junk when it appears and call it by no other name— especially when the tendency is to excuse it as summer fun. Trollhunter is an exception that makes the rule imperative. It starts out with a “based on fact” epigraph, announcing that it is found-footage—a hypothesis that makes you groan: “oh, no, not another Blair Witch Project!” or even worse, a mockumentary: “not District 9 again!” But norwegian director-writer André ovredal has a better sense of the fantastic than those catastrophes and he expresses both the fantasy and the pretense with superbly dry humor. It takes a moment to realize that ovredal is working from a cultural tradition that countenances the existence of trolls and spirits. the film’s conceit comes out of the land: the very lush, expansive, awesome territory that ovredal and cinematographer Hallvard Braein gaze upon. Trollhunter’s sense of natural beauty puts it in a different class than Blair Witch and District 9—which merely sought to manipulate cheap scares. In ovredal’s premise, the unfortunate tV camera crew, whose material has been left behind, were investigating wonderment and confronted a very modern skepticism about faith, religion and legends. When the crew’s motivation is eventually revealed, it is not a trick ending so much as genuine cultural shock. Because Trollhunter is based in cultural myth, ovredal doesn’t have to mess around with inept formula. the film’s technical sophistication enhances our credulity, which


• w e s t s i d e spirit

in turn is confirmed by the natural phenomena: silvery waterfalls over gray mountains, stately fjords and brisk atmosphere establish an authentic land of myth. ovredal’s imagery revives André Bazin’s appreciation of photographic realism—an aesthetic recently corrupted by the proliferation of simplified film and video technology that has allowed hacks to use filmmaking itself cheaply, as the essence of horror. When fake-doc style employed long takes or smash-edits to agitate viewers and convey a false sense of unease, the flimsy storytelling made it difficult to tell whether the movie’s form was actually being deliberately interrogated. In this sense Trollhunter is also an aesthetics-hunter—but with a sense of humor. ovredal realizes that in contemporary media (in everything from dogme 95 to Slumdog Millionaire), form has been overemphasized to the point of ridiculous narrative exaggeration and useless, pseudopostmodernism. So ovredal’s exaggeration more honestly contemporizes the marvel of mythology. the hero is a troll hunter named Hans (otto Jespersen), who is working for a government agency that supervises troll hunting through a national bureau that issues a Slayed troll Form. But Hans is also on a quest for vengeance like a modern Captain Ahab and, yes, Quint from Jaws. ovredal’s sense of heroism is also playful, as when the camera crew is rebuffed by a local politician and they persist, saying, “do you think Michael Moore gave up after the first try?” But it takes real filmmaking vision, not political or mockumentary arrogance, to achieve this balance of natural wonder and a sense of fantasy. Hans hunts a variety of

June 9, 2011

trolls—the Harding, the Mountain King, tosserlad, Ringlefinch with three heads— and when these behemoths appear, they are simultaneously amusing and terrifying creatures out of a national primeval dream, as well as H.R. Pufnstuf or Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. the trolls’ oddity helps ovredal redeem one of the most hackneyed gimmicks of horror movies: the green-tinted night-vision camera P.o.V. observing the trolls mid-hunt in this cautious manner lends the beasts a perfect nightmare quality combining fear with legend. “Which one of you believe in God or Jesus?” Hans asks, insisting that the camera crew can only accompany his mission if they’re atheists because the trolls can smell the blood of Christians. ovredal’s man-to-monster compositions alternately recall tiananmen Square or the destruction of new York’s WtC, and then evoke the obligation of witnessing such deeds. Hans’ sudden use of music as a tool evokes tim Burton’s Slim Whitman tune in Mars Attacks, but it also puts Hans’ sanctimony into age-old cultural context. trollhunter is not a shrill political allegory like Boon Jong Ho’s the Host. that was junk; ovredal’s mythic horror comedy is genuinely sophisticated.

X-Men: FirsT Class

Directed by Matthew Vaughn Runtime: 132 min.


ot teRRIBle IS the best evaluation a sensible person could give to X-Men: First Class—but that isn’t good enough. this back-to-adolescence prequel is meant to revive the franchise after Bryan Singer drove X-Men 3 into uselessness. Seeing how Professor Xavier and Magneto first met, and began their rivalry as leaders of the specially gifted mutant crime fighters, merely rehashes the familiar story with younger faces. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender aren’t exactly fresh in these roles; the characters and their situations are so utterly familiar they can’t be rethought or refreshed. the entire film is a hackneyed exercise. Hack director Matthew Vaughn’s specialty is British refurbishments. As in Layer Cake and Kick Ass, Vaughn repeats already established genres with a desperate lack of imagination. the introduction of each mutant feels like déjà vu and is humorlessly drawnout. even with new actors playing Mystique (Jennifer lawrence), darwin (edi Gathegi), Beast (nicholas Hoult), Riptide (Alex

González) and Havok (lucas till), Vaughn finds no personality spark. this makes him— shockingly—a lesser director than Bryan Singer. At least X-Men 2 showed Singer energized by the outsider theme as a gay-teen allegory: Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Romijn, Alan Cumming, Halle Berry and James Marsden were all flirt, promising unleashed potency. Singer had anticipated the “It Gets Better” campaign—but then got worse. Vaughn stays timidly within the X-Men comics’ narrative limits. He’s finally found an exploitable fantasy mode, but when he includes obvious James Bond and Dr. Strangelove references, it only reinforces how mundane the material has become. Ironically, that’s exactly why X-Men: First Class serves as a jackpot for Vaughn, just as the debutante Star Trek was for J.J. Abrams. these prequels give an illusion of rejuvenation that might be especially appealing to susceptible young viewers, but while rebooting the box office, these films also constrain viewers’ imaginations. take the good vs. evil premise that starts in 1944 with the nazi invasion of Poland and ends with the Bay of Pigs standoff in 1963. It teaches vengeance, not history, practically turning the X-Men into Inglourious Basterds. travestying history doesn’t give edge or profundity to action comics; it just makes them distasteful and dumb. Young Magneto’s choice between using his powers to manipulate a nazi coin or save his mother’s life is merely coarse; it gets wrong the ethical choice that was so well played in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, when Indy’s dilemma opposed diamonds and an antidote. X-Men: First Class trivializes each mutant’s motivation as childish petulance. Vaughn lacks the knack for expressive action, reducing the athletic gallantry Fassbender displayed in Centurion to silly things like levitating a submarine. He wastes Fassbender’s beautiful emotional capacity. Magneto and Professor X’s disputes lower personal principles into mumble-jumble. And Vaughn doesn’t dare push the earnest young men’s sympathies toward romance. Using Jennifer lawrence, January Jones and Zoe Kravitz as insipid sex objects is a tired alternative. Sure, this prequel could have been better, but using pre-sold comic book escapades to pacify moviegoers couldn’t be worse. X-Men: First Class tricks audiences into misunderstanding episodic narrative pleasure. they become accustomed to dull, rehashed gimmicks, awaiting the next ticket buy. Vaughn’s shrewd: His ending isn’t a cliffhanger, it’s a carrot. N ew s YO U Li V e B Y

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June 9, 2011




Central Park Water World

For streams, swimming and solitude: north of the park can’t be beat


romantic feature of the topography. At the eastern edge of the Pool, stop to admire the beautiful wooden rustic bridge capping the Ravine’s first cascade and facing the magnificent stone Glen Span arch. Originally, the Park had more than 100 such rustic features. Over the past 30 years, the Central Park Conservancy has been painstakingly rebuilding them throughout the Park. Descend under the arch and you’ll come out beside the Loch, a manmade brook that meanders through one of the Park’s three serene woodlands. Just past the third waterfall and Huddlestone Arch, you arrive at another pool, but this one— Lasker Pool—is one that you can swim in! Lasker (which becomes an ice skating and hockey rink in winter and is located inside the Park at approximately 108th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard) occupies the site at the end of the Ravine and the western edge of the Harlem Meer. When your swim is over, take a short walk around the cooling waters of the Harlem Meer for some fishing. The

Charles A. Dana Center (located between Malcolm X Boulevard and Fifth Avenue on Central Park North) features a free catch-and-release fishing program. The Central Park Conservancy stocks the Meer—the Dutch word for “lake”—with 10 varieties of fresh water fish. The Conservancy staff will hand you a fishing rod and bait to catch freshwater fish in the Meer. They only ask that you toss the fish back into the Meer after releasing it from your hook. Originally, the Harlem Meer was a swamp in the village of Harlem. It is the lowest topographic spot in Central Park. At the southern end of the The North End of Central Park is a water lovers’ Meer, finish your journey at the paradise and the best place to grab a moment Conservatory Garden. Created in of reflection. cooling shade as you reflect on the magic 1937, the Park’s 6-acre formal garden features a breathtaking array of col- of Central Park. orful annual and perennial shrubs and Sara Cedar Miller is the historian for flowers and three of the best fountains in the Park. Grab a bench in the garden’s the Central Park Conservancy. andrew schwartz

By Sara Cedar Miller In summer, we turn to water to cool, to refresh and to play—and there’s no better place to do that than the northern section of Central Park. Start your day with a relaxing stroll by the placid waters of the Pool, located at Central Park West between West 100th and West 103rd streets. This lovely water body, ringed by Red Maple, Bald Cypress and American Gum trees, was not included in Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s original plan for the Park. An addition to the 1858 design, Samuel Gustin enlarged natural stream Montayne’s Rivulet through the land, to create the intimate lake. The commissioners liked the idea so much that they ordered the designers to include it in the Park’s landscape. It’s hard to imagine the Park without it. Heading east on the southern path of the Pool, you’ll hear rushing water coming from a cave-like grotto. It’s not a real grotto but rather a pipe flowing with New York City drinking water, which creates a JUNE 9, 2011

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By Lorraine Duffy Merkl body has left the city. The Vera Wang gown. The celebrity DJ. The idea to commemorate the day she The 10-layer buttercream cake shaped was born in this off-the-beaten-path way like a skate to carry out the ’70s “Stayin’ evolved with a suggestion from her vocal Alive” roller disco theme. coach, who thought Victoria was ready to No, I do not describe a lavish June wed- sing before a live audience. ding, but what has become “I’ve been singing for fun standard fare for our city’s since I was 10,” she said. Sweet 16 set. My son Luke, Her mother Laurie added, in that age group, has “She’s always liked it. But received quite a number of this year with the encouragesuch invites to affairs held at ment of the music teacher at prestigious Manhattan venher school, Victoria started ues—from the NYAC to the to take it more seriously and Water Club to Tribeca Grill. began private lessons.” So imagine my surprise When the coach proposed when my 7th-grade daugha concert, Victoria decided ter, Meg, was invited to the that since the same people— milestone birthday of a 9th Victoria Consumano. schoolmates and teachers, grader in her school who is family friends, relatives, her choosing to forgo the bash and raise some soccer and basketball teammates— cash for charitable works done by an would be invited to it as would be to her organization she considers near and dear. birthday party, she might as well combine With Meg’s party plans only three years the two and have it earlier in the summer away, I needed to find out what made still- while people were still around. 15-year-old Victoria Consumano decide In lieu of gifts, she has asked for donato celebrate tiara-free. tions to Bridge of Hope (www.cradle“I wouldn’t want one like that,” said Victoria, who’s yet to attend a 16th birth“What [the charity] does is connect day party, but has seen them on shows people from around the world and chillike MTV’s My Super Sweet 16. dren from Russia to make wonderful fam“My mom didn’t even ask me what ilies,” she said. I wanted to do for mine because we That’s what they did for her eight years weren’t thinking of having a one.” For her ago when they paid for the trip of the thensummertime birthday, normally every- Russian orphan to come to the United

Reverse P.S. 9 Closure

(This is an abridged version of a letter submitted to Chancellor Walcott by six P.S. 9 families about the recent closure of P.S. 9’s Gifted and Talented “Success Academy”.)

States, which led to her being adopted. “I want to give back to those who don’t have what I have now,” she said. Bridge of Hope has been directly responsible for the adoption of more than 500 children. The cabaret show—her first professional gig—will offer a range of songs from hip-hop to Broadway show tunes. As well as the aforementioned guests, Bridge of Hope families have been invited, along with organization representatives, to whom Victoria hopes to present a check for $1,000 from sales of $10 tickets to the 100-seat Children’s Aid Society theater on Sullivan Street. Although there will be cake afterwards, it’s still not an actual party. Might she ever regret not having a flashier fête? “I look back at what I didn’t have [before coming to America]. I want to give a shout out to Bridge of Hope because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here. It’s still a celebration to me and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.” And that’s how to put the sweet in 16. Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. concert on Monday, June 20, are still available. RSVP Lorraine Duffy Merkl’s debut novel, Fat Chick, from The Vineyard Press, is available at and


the side like Jonah during the storm. This do not. The result: gifted students are decision can and should be reversed. encouraged to leave the system. They The Department fails to provide take with them their share of talent, ambiadequate numbers tion, passion for excelof acceptable gifted lence, parent involvement seats for qualified Opposition Grows and financial resources applicants. In our to Charter School that would otherwise District, without P.S. benefit the entire public 9, the three remaining A Greenhouse Grows school system. G&T programs open in the West Side Please, Chancellor to new students are Walcott: show that the Media in two schools that city truly values school The BlackboardAwards for Teachers received a “D” in stuchoice, competition and dent performance, achievement, and is willProfiles of 18 of the city’s best teachers See page 11 and one that received ing to give our gifted stuMedia a “C.” In contrast, P.S. The Blackboard wards for Teachers dents the same care and A 9 received an “A” for regard as all of our prestudent performance. cious children. The city should not shunt gifted stuAlAn Scheiner dents around as space-fillers or stat-raisUpper West side ers for otherwise failing programs. While a few gifted students have the option of Letters have been edited for clarity, attending excellent and well-run general education programs like P.S. 9, most style and brevity. News: Mayor to Gut Early Childcare Budget June 2, 2011

Page 10

Since 1985


Dear Chancellor Walcott: We are parents of children enrolled in the Gifted and Talented program at P.S. 9 in District 3; some of us also have sibling children who applied for that program or would do so in the future if it is allowed to exist. The Department supports competition and choice among schools. That’s why we were especially shocked that our school’s program—among the most sought-after and successful in the city—was singled out for suspension or termination. P.S. 9 G&T, no matter how successful, competitive, lauded or well run, was thrown over

June 9, 2011




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DewiNg thiNgS Better

Raising the Veil on Traffic Tragedies Pedestrian deaths and family love deserve more media coverage By Bette Dewing Here’s hoping that “all the news that’s fit to print” paper’s new executive editor, Jill Abramson, and news editor, Dean Baquet, give more coverage to non-political violent crime and to what I’ve long called crimes of traffic. As of now, they’re mostly only covered in this paper, the Daily News and the Post. Sure, it’s a relief not to know about “all that,” but what we don’t know hurts us. Wrongful deaths and terrible injuries may not get prevented. And Times-only readers have the most wherewithal to change what needs a’changin’—so they need to know! And here’s the wish-you’d-been-alongat-some-changing-for-the-better events I planned to write before the Times news broke. The Music Forum at the Langone Medical Center showed how music and singing old-time songs gets miraculously through to those with fading minds when nothing else can. To be continued.

And the New Amsterdam Boys and Girls Choir’s recent 25th anniversary benefit concert included a sing-along and the premier performance of “Happy Birthday to a Little Girl,” a country ballad. And again, how we need to hear about the absentee daddy in the song who longs to become part of the life of his little girl on her sixth birthday. What heartache and yes, crime too, is prevented when fathers are there for their daughters and sons. Greater coverage is also needed of traffic tragedies and their prevention, the goal of the Stuart C. Gruskin Family Foundation begun by Nancy Gruskin after a wrong-way-ridden food delivery bicycle killed her husband, Stuart, as he walked to work in midtown two years ago. There is such a long way to go and I hope you will join the Foundation’s magnificent work to stop not only bicycling lawlessness but also all crimes of traffic ( And no greater tribute could be paid to

Marine, Steven C. Jorgenson, 22, so tragically killed by a car as he hurried back to his ship during Fleet Week, than for his 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit to support this foundation and help the mayor who mourned and honored Jorgenson on Memorial Day to get the city’s speed limit reduced! For now my heart sinks at the view from my window, overlooking a residen-

Segregation by generation, especially in families, is the most destructive apartheid; one that is often advanced by dangerously misguided “helping professionals.” tial avenue where so few bikes racing silently by stop for the red light. Many ride the wrong way and usurp the sidewalk where, incidentally, I plan to sit and literally blow the whistle at every lawless biker and other traffic criminal too.

But now, don’t let Father’s Day be one day of remembrance in a year of forgetting longtime daddies. Protest gurus like radio’s Dr. Joy Browne, who orders parents to “Get out of your adult offspring’s lives!” Segregation by generation, especially in families, is the most destructive apartheid; one that is often advanced by dangerously misguided “helping professionals.” I deeply regret not being there enough for my widowed dad, 44 years my senior. His only fault was being silent about his daughter’s flawed priorities. And I’m writing a song about the sons and daughters who got too far away, making the road rougher for all generations. And that’s gotta change! Maybe the “paper of record’s” Home, Style and Health Sections will help. And as the Times often approves my related letters, let’s hope they don’t change the letters editors! Remembering your father and mine, with much love and actions that walk the talk—before it’s too late!

City StorieS: StoopS to NutS

Bursting at the Seams with Food and Talk For Nan, eating and friendship went hand in hand By Thomas R. Pryor “Please! Step on the scale!” a firm male voice directed me. I waited a second, listening carefully to make sure my grandmother sounded busy three rooms away. When I heard the sink running, I got on and the scale’s voice came back strong. “Your weight is 178 pounds. Have a nice day. Goodbye!” I’m a fat bastard, I thought. Laughter started in the kitchen at the other end of the railroad apartment on York Avenue. My grandmother, Nan to me, with the hearing ability of a nocturnal animal was clearing her lungs and stomach, big ol’ belly laughs starting way down. She didn’t have a normal sense of humor, but thought it was the funniest thing in the world to see you in psychic pain. I wanted to kill her, and kick my cousin in the ass for buying her the talking scale with Don Pardo’s voice. We st Si d e S p i r it . c o m

I loved Nan dearly but she wanted me fat. She wanted everyone fat. She worshiped food and loved eating with people, so she filled her fridge to the point that the 15-watt light bulb was shaded by a colossal head of iceberg lettuce sitting on top of two large tubs of Cool Whip. The Cool Whip was on top of the Turf Cheese Cake that she bought twice a week. Italian Village, the pizza place on First Avenue, considered her family, and the owners of Parker’s Grocery bought their first car on the profits they made off Nan’s cold cut orders. She never bought a quarter pound of anything. Half pound was a snack. Three quarters of a pound was getting into sandwich country. Similar to recreational drug friendships, the bond with my friends was strengthened by the quality and quantity of cold cuts, Jewish rye and condiments

in Nan’s fridge. In 1969, Artie Peters met me Saturday afternoons on lunch break from my delivery job at Corner Pharmacy on 79th Street. Throwing a football back and forth, we’d go straight to Parkers, buy a pound of Swiss cheese and a loaf of rye on Nan’s credit in the marble book, go up the apartment and make six grilled cheeses, two each—Nan included. “Use the big knife. Cut thick slices. Don’t be stingy!” Nan ordered from the living room couch. Artie and I created dark chiaroscuro swirls on the white tin ceiling with the plume of smoke coming from the butter-soaked black frying pan with a foot-high flame under it. Nan liked everything cooked quickly. Buddy McMahon and I had an exchange student relationship with his mom and my grandmother. I’d call for

Buddy and he wouldn’t be home, but I’d go up to the apartment anyway and hang out with his mom and shoot the breeze with her while she loaded me up with 4C Iced Tea. Buddy would drop by my grandmother’s when I wasn’t there for a sandwich and glass of milk, and catch up on the local gossip and politics since she was the local Democratic District Leader and Buddy loved to blab and listen to Nan complain about me. Being a blabber myself, I did the same thing with his mom. About a month after Nan got the scale, Buddy dropped by the apartment. For a change, I was there. “Hey, Buddy, try out the new scale,” Nan said. Obediently, Buddy stepped on the scale, clueless, and Nan looked like she just ate a canary. “Your weight is 180 pounds. Have a nice day! Goodbye!” Buddy startled, frowned and rubbed his belly; I was pleased; and Nan grinned. Thomas Pryor recently completed his first book and he curates a show at Cornelia Street Cafe. Read his blog at

Ju n e 9 , 2 0 1 1

• WeS t S id e S p ir it



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June 9, 2011


West Side Spirit June 9, 2011  

The June 9, 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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