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The Food & Wine Event in The Hamptons Presented By: FARRELL BUILDING COMPANY

Hosted by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten

SATURDAY JULY 14 th, 2012

Sayre Park 154 Snake Hollow Rd., Bridgehampton, NY, 11932

Get tix now to the hottest event in the Hamptons this summer Tickets available at

Andrew Schwartz



L I F E HAPPENS UNEXPECTED INJURIES AND ILLNESS HAPPEN TOO. That’s why we’re right here in the heart of the Upper West Side, ready to serve you. At Mount Sinai’s new Urgent Care Center you’ll receive exceptional treatment from physicians board-certified in emergency medicine from one of the country’s top medical centers. For exceptional and compassionate care where and when you need it most.

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Bank RoBBERy of ThE WEEk Continuing a pattern of small-time bank robberies in the 20th Precinct, a man robbed an Apple Bank branch on Broadway in the middle of the day last Monday. The perpetrator wrote on a deposit slip and handed it to a teller, but instead of the standard account info, the slip read “This is a bank robbery, large bills only, no dye packs.” The man, described as black Hispanic, 5-foot-7, wearing blue jeans, a red collared shirt and a red baseball cap, fled the scene with a sack of cash, escaping on foot. The police canvas turned up no suspects.

STolEn fRom ShuTTERBug A local professional photographer was dismayed to discover last week that someone had broken into his

ShoRT-ChangED muggER A 15-year-old was walking down West 78th Street last week when an older teenager approached him from behind and said, “You have five seconds to empty your pockets.” He then stepped in front of the victim to prevent him from fleeing and shoved his hand into the boy’s front pocket to dig for valuables. He came up with a whopping $3 in cash and took off.

a fRIEnDly RoBBERy Last Saturday night, a 62-year-old Upper West Side resident was enjoying herself at a local pub, catching the basketball game and tossing back a few. She left to grab some Chinese food and was walking down West 84th Street when a man approached and struck up what she remembers as a “friendly conversation,” until it turned violent. The man suddenly hit



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DaTE nIghT gETS ugly After finding himself the victim of a nasty blackmail scheme, a local 51-year-old man finally brought the police into a sordid situation. The man told cops that he had been trawling the “women seeking men” section of Craigslist recently, looking for a date for the night. He corresponded with one woman over email, then on the phone, and arranged for her to come to his apartment. After speaking to her again, however, the man said he grew uneasy with her demeanor and cancelled the date, feigning illness. She phoned back and asked to meet, which he declined, then it took a turn toward extortion. An unknown gentleman called the victim demanding he pay $40 for the woman’s cab fare. The demand soon escalated to $440, and the perp told him to get cash from the ATM, put it in an envelope marked “Chris” and give it to his doorman for pick up. After the victim agreed and followed through, the perp shook him down twice more for a total of $940 by threatening to break down his door and kill him if he didn’t cooperate. The victim put a stop to it by calling the police. car and stolen a large black bag filled with expensive camera equipment. The front window had been smashed in, and the unknown perp absconded with $22,000 worth of photography loot.

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2 • WE ST SIDE SPI R IT • June 14, 2 012

A couple was packing up their West End Avenue apartment to move when the wife noticed that her diamond stud earrings were missing. She told police that they had been in a jewelry box in a bedroom closet when they were holding regular open houses from February to April, and she hadn’t checked on them since. The sparkly pair was worth $17,800.

the poor woman, who, being intoxicated, fell to the ground and injured her left elbow and knee. The perp snatched $200 in cash from his victim and fled.

moToRCyClE gETaWay Last Friday around 2:30 p.m., a witness watched as a couple of beefy guys pulled off a high-end motorcycle heist on Central Park West. The thieves pulled up in a green Plymouth Voyager van with Virginia plates, lifted a Suzuki motorbike into the back and drove off. The 2009 model moped is worth $10,000. Police are still analyzing security camera footage of the theft.

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TAPPED IN By Maya Guimaraes & Adel Manoukian


LOCAL HEALTH FAIR The Cathedral Community Cares seventh annual health fair will take place Saturday, June 23 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at 1047 Amsterdam Ave. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair will host free screenings for HIV, hepatitis C, prostate cancer, cholesterol and blood pressure, along with informational booths for community supported agriculture, low-cost and free health clinics, food benefits access and other services in the city. For more information, visit Lt5ZHd.

Andrew Schwartz

The 31st annual Bloomsday on Broadway event will celebrate with the theme “Music in Bloom” this Saturday, June 16 at 7 p.m. at Symphony Space, featuring music and readings of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Ulysses tells the story of hero Leopold Bloom’s journey through Dublin back to his wife, Molly Bloom. Every year on June 16, the date on which the novel is set in 1904, literature lovers honor Joyce’s life and work with readings of Ulysses. This year’s “Bloomsday on Broadway” was inspired to highlight the musical elements of the tale. “Joyce was a poet of sound; he wasn’t a visual person,” said organizer, curator and narrator Isaiah Sheffer. “It’s meant to be read aloud. The big discovery is that it’s funny.” The evening will include a reading of the entire text of the “Sirens” episode, along with musical selections from within the novel curated by musical director Lanny Meyers and soprano Lisa Flanagan.

Fionnula Flanagan, who played Gerty MacDowell in the 1967 British-American film version of Ulysses, will read the final sexually charged “Penelope” episode as Molly Bloom. This year’s performers also include Broadway star David Margulies, who will read as Leopold Bloom, and performance artist Adam Harvey, who will read the first three pages of the “Sirens” episode. Tickets are $25 or $15 for those under 30. The event will also be streamed live on

NEW HOME FOR SPACE SHuTTLE The Space Shuttle Enterprise, the original NASA orbiter that paved the way for America’s successful space shuttle program, completed its journey to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum by traveling up the Hudson River and being hoisted by crane onto the Intrepid’s flight deck on June 6. OVER $375,000 RAISED AT SPIRIT OF THE CITY GALA On Wednesday, May 30, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine raised over $375,000 at its 32nd annual Spirit of the City Gala. With more than 350 guests, the event honored philanthropists Ellen and James Marcus,

Marvin Gutin, Restaurant Impresario and Impressionist Artist West siders remember oWner of marvin’s Garden By Amanda Woods


hen Marvin Gutin’s family and friends think of him, they remember a man who got to know everyone, always listened, cracked jokes often and helped anyone who needed it. Gutin, 85, who passed away on Wednesday due to lung cancer, had lived on West End Avenue and 85th Street with his wife, Sukey, since 1979. Sukey Gutin fondly remembered the first time she spoke with him. She was visiting a neighbor on the sixth floor of her apartment building when Gutin arrived, and the two instantly clicked. “At dessert and coffee time, in comes this man, and we seemed to laugh together and laugh for the rest of the time,” she said. Gutin was known for his humor, but he was also known for much more, his family members and friends said. “Dad was a man of many faces,” said Charles Gutin, his son. Gutin was an established, friendly pres-

ence on the Upper West Side. He owned Marvin Gardens at 82nd Street and Broadway, a popular restaurant that became a community hangout from 1974 until its closure in 1992. There, he met Upper West Siders from all walks of life. “Famous people sat down next to outof-work actors,” said Tony Vlachos, one of Gutin’s best friends. Marvin Gardens was just the kind of restaurant the Upper West Side needed, said Erica Bunin, Gutin’s niece. At a time when racial tension was still strong in the nation, Gutin welcomed everyone into his restaurant, regardless of their background. “He gave everyone a big hug and he employed people who might not have had a chance,” said Council Member Gale Brewer, who knew Gutin well. He was also a great listener, recalled actor and comedian Jerry Stiller, who often visited Marvin Gardens. He and his wife, Anne Meara, grew close to Gutin, and they often invited him and his wife over for holiday parties and Seders. “He was there for you to let out some of the stuff that you would normally lay out on

4 • WE ST SIDE SPI R IT • June 14, 2 012

Marvin Gutin.

a psychiatrist’s couch,” Stiller said. “He was like a Jewish Mark Twain: He would talk about anything.” Gutin wasn’t the stereotypical restaurant owner—he wasn’t greedy and he lent money to those who needed it, Stiller added. “A man came in who couldn’t pay and the waiter didn’t know what to do. He went to my father and my father said ‘forget about it’ and ripped the check up,” Gutin’s daughter, Julia Gutin-Hamilton, said. “I still remember that, because he showed compassion instead of getting outraged.” Outside of running the restaurant, Gutin was passionate about painting. He called himself an “existential expressionist.”

Prema and Wallace Mathai-Davis and Zarin Mehta, who have constantly dedicated their efforts to the city. Singer and actress KT Sullivan performed hits by Cole Porter. The funds raised at the event will help outreach programs, civic forums and cultural events, as well as the care and maintenance of St. John the Divine Cathedral.

“I start a painting without preconceptions,” Gutin wrote on his website. “Music connects me to my emotions, and the resulting colors and forms create an inner emotional landscape. Ultimately, the meanings and symbols in my work may be as obscure to me as they are to the viewer. Each person must rely on his own experience when viewing the work as no two realities are the same.” When Gutin sat in front of a blank canvas, he didn’t know what he was going to paint, his family members shared – but when he listened to music, inspiration kicked in. Gutin enjoyed traveling – and he once sold hot dogs out of a cart in Spain, his son Charles remembered. Despite Gutin’s love for travel, he considered the Upper West Side his home. He and Sukey, recognizing the neighborhood’s rich past and diverse population, advocated for turning West End Avenue into a historic district. “He was a true New York West Sider,” Anne Meara said. He often took notice of the people who passed him on the city streets. “We would walk up the street and he would say, ‘Look at the couple over there. It looks like they just had a fight,’” Charles said. Friends and family believe Gutin helped shape the neighborhood and make it a better place to live. “There were so many people that he knew,” Charles said. “There’s a hole in the neighborhood now.”

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The Food & Wine Event in The Hamptons Hosted by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten Honoring Gerry Hayden (North Fork Table & Inn), 2012 “Two Forks Outstanding Achievement Award” Music provided by DJ PHRESH!

Saturday July 14th, 2012 Sayre Park 154 Snake Hollow Rd., Bridgehampton, NY, 11932

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By Megan Bungeroth and Alissa Fleck


parture from public life,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, whose district overlaps Duane’s, in a statement. “Locally, he has been a powerful and unyielding advocate for affordable housing and tenants’ rights, serving his constituents as only a truly committed and compassionate public servant can. In Albany, Tom has been a legendary champion for civil rights, sponsoring and supporting legislation over the years to benefit all New Yorkers.”

ast week, State Sen. Tom Duane surprised both the political world and his constituents by announcing his intention to retire at the end of his current Senate term. The seven-term Democratic legislator, who represents parts of the Upper West Side as well as Clinton, Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, the West Village, NoHo and Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town, has been an accomplished advocate for gay rights as well as health care, and plans to focus on continuing his advocacy outside of Albany. “I wanted to do something else and realized it’s time to start the next chapter,” Duane said in a recent interview. “I would say ‘retire’ is not a completely accurate term; I’m just not ready for re-election. I plan to continue working in my own small way to make the world a better Tom Duane. place.” Duane, who was elected in 1998 Public Advocate Bill de Blasio also and was New York’s first openly gay senapraised the senator, singling out his contritor, was the first senator to introduce the butions to gay rights in the state. Marriage Equality Act in 2001 and con“Today’s generation of LGBTQ youth will tinued to push for its support until it was grow up in a world made more free and passed last year. He also made waves in more fair because of Tom’s service,” de Bla1991 when he won election to the City sio said in a statement. “He will always be Council after disclosing his HIV-positive remembered for his pivotal role in securing status, and in the Senate he passed legislamarriage equality for all New Yorkers.” tion expanding routine HIV testing. Hoping to follow in Duane’s footsteps, Duane said he is proud to have passed current chair of Community Board 2 and laws that directly impact his constituents longtime Democratic activist Brad Hoylas well as serve as models for other cities. man has already officially declared his “I supported the Midwifery Moderncandidacy for the seat. Hoylman is promisization Act to allow nurse midwives to ing to bring reform to Albany and continue practice in New York State. I’ve supported Duane’s legacy of fighting for equality at routine HIV testing and helped lessen the the state level, and political players expect stigma, particularly within correctional him to receive the coveted endorsement facilities. I also supported the prohibifrom Duane himself. tion of insurance companies to create City & State also reports that a woman tier four drugs with incredibly expennamed Tanika Inlaw has been going to sive co-payments,” Duane said of his local Democratic clubs to seek support accomplishments. for a 29th District candidacy that she anHe also introduced the anti-bullying nounced on Facebook last week. Dignity for All Students Act in the SenDuane said that for the time being, he’s ate and fought for its successful passage, focused on finishing out his final term helped secure passage of a law that elimistrongly. But he said that he’ll definitely nates the criminal statute of limitations on miss parts of the job. many serious sex crimes and worked on “I’ll miss the challenges of garnering the measures that toughened laws against hate widest possible support for issues I believe crimes and discrimination. in, especially from people who have not Duane’s announcement to leave public shared my points of view,” Duane said. “I’ll office after the current Senate term, which miss finding that common ground and ends Dec. 31, has many already lamenting working with people in a collegial manner his departure and others scrambling to to pass bills that help people in a way they replace him. should be helped.” “I am sad to hear of Tom Duane’s

Another reason to call.

Tom Duane Closes Door on Senate

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Don’t Stall Vote on Riverside–West End Historic District By Linda Rosenthal

everyone to weigh in with their opinions. Notice about the proposed historic district and all of the meetings and hearings on t was with amazement last week that the proposal has been given to every block I read a letter by the Real Estate Board in the proposed district more than enough of New York (REBNY), the Manhattan times by LPC, local residents, news media, Chamber of Commerce, the New York community groups and offices like mine. Building Congress and other organizaDemanding that the draft tions to the New York City designation report, draft Landmarks Preservation guidelines or other informaCommission (LPC), calltion be released before a ing for the LPC to delay its vote is unnecessary; I find it long-awaited first vote on extremely doubtful that any the proposed extensions property owner concerned by to the Riverside-West End his or her building’s incluHistoric District. sion in the proposed district Despite a transparhas missed the deluge of ent, public process that information or could not find spanned months, REBNY the maps of the proposed and its cohorts argued districts or regulations govthat the LPC’s process erning historic districts on lacked sufficient notice LPC’s website. and information for Owners have had ample property owners. This time to process the detailed bold statement came even linda rosenthal. information provided by LPC though REBNY’s testimony and more than ample opportunity to give at the first public hearing mentions LPC’s their views. Numerous buildings opposed to community meeting with property owners being landmarked have asked to be carved six months before its first hearing—a step out of the district, and owners throughtaken to ensure that owners were made out the district have testified both for and fully aware of the proposal and the nature against the proposal. of landmark designation as early in the process as possible. Despite the public meetDespite the public meeting, ing, the hearings, the countthe hearings, the countless less community meetings by preservation advocates and community meetings by community organizations, preservation aDvocates anD numerous articles on the community organizations, proposed district and even articles in REBNY’s own newsnumerous articles on the letter, owners allegedly still proposeD District anD do not know what landmarking means or are unaware even articles in rebny’s that they are included in the own newsletter, owners proposed district? allegeDly still Do not While these assertions are incredible, REBNY’s position know what lanDmarking at this juncture is anything means or are unaware that but surprising. This is simply a last-ditch attempt to derail they are incluDeD in the a critical designation that has proposeD District? been years in the making. I certainly did not take the enormous amount of public testimony on The landmark designation process is the both sides of the issue that I heard durfurthest thing from broken, and I hope to ing each of the three hearings held by LPC see the LPC approve the first historic district last year on the proposed extensions as an extension on June 26. indication that the owners did not have enough information or that insufficient Linda Rosenthal is a state Assembly memnotice about the hearings was given to allow ber who represents the Upper West Side.



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J une 14 , 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 7

EyE on Auctions By caroline Birenbaum As the New York auction season winds down, a spate of preview exhibitions present historic items ranging from Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln documents to first generation Apple computer motherboards.

Edited by Armond White

New York’s Review of Culture •

Ugly Chic

Bonhams’ June 19 auction comprises a morning session of Russian Literature and Works on Paper, with many examples of constructivist poster design and book illustration and even a notorious volume of homoerotica, and in the afternoon, a wide-ranging selection of Fine Books and Manuscripts that is particularly strong in Americana, including a Revolutionary War journal kept by a Boston Selectman during the crucial year from April 1775 to March 1776 and a significant American Reconstruction document: Abraham Lincoln’s handwritten draft of a proclamation reserving for the president the right to grant amnesty to Confederate prisoners. Bonhams, June 19, 10 a.m. & 1 p.m., previews June 15-18.

Schiaparelli and prada’S catwalk catfight By Mona Molarsky


chiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, celebrates two influential women designers. The exhibit imagines a conversation between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. The two were born 60 years apart and never met, but the curators see the two as kindred, subversive spirits. To make the case, the show uses wall texts and video vignettes in which the actress Judy Davis, playing Schiaparelli with a wicked glint in her eye, converses with the real-life Prada. Schiaparelli (1890-1973) worked with artists Salvador Dalí and Jean Cocteau during the 1930s to create such surrealist-inflected couture as a hat shaped like a lamb cutlet and a dress that mimicked torn flesh. The show presents Prada (b. 1949) as her successor. Since the late 1980s, Prada has transfixed the fashion press with her designs. They dubbed them “ugly chic” due to the dismal color combinations and Prada’s refusal to flatter the female form. Prada clearly agrees. “If I have done anything,” she says, “it is to make ugly appealing.” One wall display is devoted to Schiaparelli hats and Prada shoes that mostly poke fun at high fashion and the moneyed customers who buy it. In 1937, Schiaparelli did a black hat shaped like a shoe. Prada’s contemporary equivalent is the “Hotrod” shoe with red-and-white “flames” shoot-

Sotheby’s June 15 sale of Fine Books & Manuscripts includes a first edition of James O. Lewis’s Aboriginal Port Folio, the first and rarest colorplate book on North American Indians, containing numerous rather ungainly portraits; six lots of Einstein material, including important autograph letters; two original pencil illustrations by John Tenniel for Through the Looking-Glass; and a rare working example of an Apple 1 computer motherboard—the first ready-made personal computer. Sotheby’s, June 15, 10 a.m., previews June 13-14.

Swann’s June 21 sale of 19th & 20th Century Literature celebrates the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth with extra-illustrated first editions of Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, Bleak House, Dombey and Son, Little Dorrit, David Copperfield and Pickwick Club. Other highlights include English caricaturists and graphic humorists, attractive sets, bindings and fore-edge paintings and desirable modern first editions such as Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, James Joyce’s Ulysses and Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. As a counterpart to the Tenniel pencil drawings at Sotheby’s, Swann offers a limited edition set of the complete Alice illustrations, with plates from the original wood blocks engraved by the Brothers Dalziel. Swann, June 21, 1:30 p.m., previews June 16, 18-21.

Gala Dali with Schiaparelli’s shoe hat, 1936.

ing out the back. The heart of this show is devoted to ugly chic. A Prada ensemble from the mid-’90s sums it up: the skirt, jacket and top combo, printed in imitation tweed and clashing shades of chartreuse, avocado and peridot, looks like a thrift shop special. “Bad taste is part of our culture,” Prada explains in the wall text. Somehow, she has convinced the rich to wear this sad truth on their backs. Schiaparelli did less egregiously ugly versions. During the Depression, she dressed a moneyed few in garments that seemed to comment archly on their owners’ cluelessness. The most famous was her lobster dress, a pretty organza frock emblazoned with a giant red crustacean. Wallis Simpson

8 • WEST SIDE SPIR IT • June 14, 2 012

modeled it for Vogue in 1937, just before marrying the Duke of Windsor and traveling to Bavaria to meet Hitler. That Cecil Beaton photo is displayed in the show, with neither historical context nor comment. But it is only with context that the complex relationship between the designers and their customers makes sense. They share a vexed but powerful bond that’s sealed with dollars. Sadly, the Met’s show doesn’t examine that. If it did, the vision of Schiaparelli and Prada as subversive wouldn’t hold up. Schiaparelli & Prada: Impossible Conversations Through Aug. 19, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, 1000 5th Ave., 212-535-7710,

Christie’s auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts June 22 begins with 42 lots from the estate of Hollywood film and television producer and important book collector William E. Self, including a copy of Dickens’ Pickwick Papers inscribed to Hans Christian Andersen. This sale also offers an Apple 1 motherboard. Among other highlights are a first German edition of the Nuremberg Chronicle with full contemporary hand coloring and Henry M. Stanley’s copy of Richard Burton’s The Lake Regions of Central Africa, heavily annotated as Stanley planned his expedition to rescue David Livingstone. The sale concludes with a fine selection of Americana, including a rare autograph manuscript by Elbridge Gerry concerning how the Constitutional Convention could determine apportioning of representatives in the House of Representatives. Christie’s, June 22, 10 a.m., previews June 1621.

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Trade Routes Mapping globalization at aicon By Melissa Stern


he current exhibition at Aicon Gallery, Mapmakers: The Evolution of Indian Art, got me thinking about globalization. I will freely admit to a certain amount of cultural bias when looking at art. I suppose we all have it; some of us are just more willing to pony up and admit it. When I go to look at a show of contemporary Italian art (for example), I don’t expect to see art that is particularly “Italian” in nature. I expect work that is about contemporary issues, materials and/ or politics, but that is in many ways similar to what I might see in from American artists in New York City. Right or wrong, I go to a show of nonWestern art with the full expectation that I’m going to see artwork that is somehow intrinsically tied to that culture. One hopes the work has a unique and contemporary tweak to it, but I look forward to seeing N ORDER - Email artwork that Art has some overt relation to the culture from which it has evolved. rth Perhaps because modernism came later Media

to non-Western countries, I expect to be surprised and delighted by the integration of traditional and contemporary vocabularies. And while I don’t believe I am alone in this perspective, my Baiju Parthan, “Progression (Last Supper—After da Vinci),” oil and acrylic on canvas. 2008, 35.5 x 95. viewpoint—indeed long, with inexplicable architectural red this review—reveals as much about my bias same work as anywhere else in the world. lines thrusting into the frame in the vicinity as it do about the art I am reviewing. I miss the sense of place that is so prevaof Christ’s head. Cool and passionless, its Having enjoyed and admired Parts One lent in all art forms that come from India. colors are reduced to icy blues, black and and Two of The Rubin Museum’s groundIt is part of what draws me to the culture. white. A bland and formulaic response to breaking exploration of the development of Perhaps as the place itself becomes more the great passion contained in the original. modernist and contemporary art in India, I global, its most contemporary and worldly Perhaps I’m being a wee bit tough. There was eager to experience the Aicon Gallery’s artists cannot help but reflect the trend. If are some standout pieces that have the view of the contemporary Indian art scene. so, then some of the works on display at feel of authenticity to them. Nitin Mukul’s What I saw was a mixed bag of art trends Aicon succeed most admirably. But in its painting “Fountain” (2008) is a vigorous and from the past decade, some interesting, but attempt to show how global contemporary engaging abstracted vision of water. The largely populated with the same tired ideas Indian art has become, the show’s curators painting is beautiful. Shapes of water dropwith which American art schools have been have lost the pulse of what makes Indian art lets swirl in an almost psychedelic mass of filling U.S. galleries. Globalization has made so very unique and moving in the first place. color and pattern. It not only transcends all art look the same. the subject of water, but, more significantly, The painting by Baiju Parthan, “ProMapmakers: The Evolution of transcends cliché. gression (Last Supper—After Da Vinci)” is Contemporary Indian Art But in the main, the contemporary Indian Through July 7, Aicon Gallery 35 Great Jones painted as if it were an altered film strip, artists on display are turning out much the washed out and blurry. It is about eight feet St., 212-725-6092,

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J une 14 , 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 9


Art Clowns hiStory of freak flagS flieS at inglett By Jim Long


n early 1970, with the publication of Robin Morgan’s poem “Goodbye to All That” as its battle cry, WITCH (Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell) took over the daily operations of RAT Subterranean News, founded in 1968, and transformed it into Women’s LibeRATion. By then, New York City had become the East Coast headquarters of activists, writers, musicians and artists from around the world, and tabloid publications like RAT were springing from rhizome networks as quickly as psychedelic mushrooms. Spoofing the lurid covers of easily available “adult” tabloids like National Police Gazette, Keyhole and National Tattler and inspired by progressive politics, the anti-war movement and the power of the pen to empower the people, the romance of cash-up-front, print-at-night independent publishing took hold, with lucrative personals sections paying the bills. Membership in the Underground Press Syndicate allowed free access to

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other members’ material. As tips of very cool icebergs go, even the ever-curious cops and feds were never sure how big the material under the surface might be. (Confronted with boxes of evidence, an editor at the East Village Other was informed by arresting officers that they knew R. Crumb was really him.) Curated by Specific Object’s David Platzker, SCREW YOU at Susan Inglett Gallery features back issues of EVO, RAT, SCREW, KISS, LUV, New York Review of Sex (and Politics) and ORGY, along with the work of some of their artists and writers—Brigid Berlin, John Chamberlain, Dan Graham, Peter Hujar, Yayoi Kusama, Mel Ramos, Carolee Schneeman, Robert Stanley, Betty Tompkins and Andy Warhol. Lennon/Ono make an appearance, along with Crumb, Picasso, films by Stan Brakhage, Kusama and Warhol and writing by Gregory Battcock, Charles Bukowski and Allen Ginsberg. Media revolution, around since the days of Luther’s Theses and the peasant revolts, was joined in the ’60s by revolutions in home movie cameras, tape recorders, FM radio and amped guitars. The gatekeepers were caught with their pants down. Innovative reporters like Jane Alpert at RAT wrote

from inside unfolding politics, while EVO artists blew up the repressive Comics Code and its mandatory Seal of Approval. SCREW was an unlikely grail for artists and writers hungry for the publicity of instant notoriety; after all, the publication was busted 16 Kusama and company see spots. times in its first three years, so chances were good your work might acquire branched off with NYRS(andP), offering an aura. Publisher Al Goldstein didn’t give a writing from Battcock and Bukowski, phodamn about art, but his first issue’s centertography from Chamberlain and Schneefold featured Kusama’s naked Central Park man and art by Stanley and Ramos. EVO orgy at sculptor Jose de Creeft’s “Alice in published KISS to compete with SCREW. Wonderland.” Shortly thereafter Kusama The exhibition is necessarily compact, but would launch her own publication, ORGY, Platzker has arranged art and ephemera as and Picasso would release his epic 347 erotic carefully as Indra’s pearls. Look closely at engravings. the works and their miraculous reflections. The tabloids were linked in many ways, not just in the discovery that a nude on the SCREW YOU cover would triple circulation. SCREW’s Through July 13, Susan Inglett Gallery, 522 W. art director, 17-year-old Steven Heller, 24th St., 212-647-9111,

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Keyboard & Kingdom indefenSible, indiSpenSable lang lang, pluS britten at the MovieS By Jay Nordlinger


the F-minor étude? But in the last one—the étude in C minor, turning into C major—he reminded me of a point I have long made about him: For all his gifts, Lang seems unable to make a proper fortissimo. So strange. He fails to produce a big or solid enough sound. He sort of slaps, vigorously. He closed the evening with his second encore, La campanella, that piece by the devil via Paganini and Liszt. If you hang around long enough, you will hear just about everyone play it. I have—and have never heard it played more excitingly or brilliantly than by Lang. If there is a bigger stage than Carnegie Hall, it’s the movies. And Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, just released, opens with The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, by Benjamin Britten. Children are listening to it. The movie is filled with children, even dominated by them. The Young Person’s Guide is the piece of music most often fed to children, along with Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. Moonrise Kingdom includes some of the Carnival too. I did not hear any of Peter. The movie is absolutely stuffed with music, including Schubert’s great tribute to mu-

Photo by Felix Broede/Deutsche Grammohon

hen Lang Lang plays the piano, you never know what you’ll hear. It could be something ridiculously bad, it could be something historically good. Sometimes, you hear both of those extremes on the same night. Such was the case when the Chinese sensation played a recital in Carnegie Hall toward the end of last month. He opened with Bach’s Partita No. 1 in B flat. Immediately, he was all rubato, or, put differently, all license. It continued this way throughout the suite. Lang did whatever he wanted, with tempo, rhythm and phrasing. Whether this was what Bach wanted was doubtful. You would have hesitated to play a Chopin nocturne as freely as Lang played the sarabande here. Moreover, he committed some harsh, unreasonable accents, distorting the line. And when he emphasized inner voices—which is certainly no sin—he overemphasized them. Even for those of us who are liberal about Bach interpretation, Lang’s playing of the partita was hard to defend. It failed the test of musicality. In my experience, Lang never, ever plays badly. It’s just that he sometimes thinks badly. His fingers will do whatever his brain commands. After the Bach, he turned to an even bigger piece in B flat, Schubert’s sonata in that key. Beauty of sound is more helpful Lang Lang. in Schubert than it is in most composers. And Lang has ample beauty of sound. sic itself, “An die Musik.” Obviously, someone The Scherzo, particularly its beginning, was on this film—Anderson?—cares a lot about amazingly limpid. Lang gave no sense that a music. Someone on the film is smart about piano has hammers. He simply glided. Like the Bach partita, the Schubert sonata music too: The pieces selected fit the action and images on the screen like a glove. was unorthodox. Unlike the partita, in my Though many composers are represented, opinion, the sonata was interesting, defenBritten is the main one: We hear several of sible and musical. his pieces, not just The Young Person’s Guide. After intermission, Lang played the 12 Britten is a composer who stays close to the études of Chopin’s Op. 25. The first of these sea. The movie is set on an island off New is the “Aeolian Harp.” Lang was born to play England. A terrible, consequential storm it, because he can float like an angel. Other comes to the island. The movie uses Noye’s études require floating too. Still others reFludde (Noah’s Flood), Britten’s little opera quire deviltry or humor. Lang was persuabased on a 16th-century “mystery play.” sive in almost all of them. Each of them, he At the end of the movie, we again hear seemed to be improvising. bits of The Young Person’s Guide. The narraThis pianist can be a pain to look at, with tor in this piece explains how the sections of his gyrations and poses, but I must say I got the orchestra work together. The kids in the a kick out of him in the Chopin. He wielded movie have worked together too. the piano like a weapon. He was like some People say that music education in musketeer of the keyboard, swashbuckling. schools is dead. If that is so, we’ll have to rely Has there ever been silkier, more beaution the movies—along with cell phone rings. ful piano playing than what Lang showed in


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A Noxious Burp Ridley Scott hiccupS Alien fumeS in Prometheus By Armond White


he Alien franchise has become a quintilogy—a purely marketdriven neologism following the recent Blu-Ray box set that labeled the first four Alien films not as a “Quartet” but a “Quadrilogy.” Prometheus is made with the same contempt for the public—as if anyone wanted or needed another repackaging of the sci-fi horror tale. Even the 1979 original (the best, seconded by Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Alien: Resurrection) was little more than what one critic condensed as “a gorilla in a haunted house movie.” Prometheus could have been concocted by a publicist taking advantage of the current gullible film culture that believes the hype hoisting Ridley Scott as an artist (or even interesting). Scott’s sales record is all that makes fanboys take him seriously; his formulaic, stultifying, calendar-art-pretty movies certainly don’t. The mere fact that Prometheus gloms on to a legacy—it is a prequel to the previous four films—is enough to convince the easily duped that something

special is going on in this nonsense. What’s going on is a plot that is less coherent than any of the earlier films (even though it repeats them) with an unappealing cast babbling nonsense about faith, creation and let’s-get-the-hell-outta-here! The original film almost passes for art due to producer Walter Hill’s efficient adherence to genre storytelling and the unique exhibition of H.R. Giger’s unnervingly biomorphic designs for the monster and its space ship, which simultaneously evoked outre genitalia and assorted seafoods. (The original’s signature motifs conveyed a palpable, nearly poetic fear of sex.) Now, ultrahack Scott reveals himself as little more than a production design freak; Prometheus (convincingly shot in 3-D) lacks the atmospheric awe of the first film, the undeniably well-paced tension of James Cameron’s sequel and the rich, evocative splendor of Jeunet’s capstone. Instead, Prometheus is marked by Scott’s typically shallow characterization, narrative confusion and disrespect for movie history. Not since the atrocious Wall-E has one movie so thoughtlessly trashed a superior film. This time, both David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia and Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence are dishonored through the

1 2 • WEST SIDE SP IR IT • June 14, 2 012

Michael Fassbender in Prometheus.

characterization of an ominous automaton, David (played by Michael Fassbender, who has quickly come to emblematize crap cinema). David models his hair and speaking voice after Peter O’Toole’s classic enigmatic Lawrence, and David’s lack of “soul” refers to the conundrum of Spielberg and Kubrick’s neo-Pinocchio conception, scoffed at here as “not a real boy.” Just as Wall-E demeaned the spectacular movie musical romance Hello, Dolly! to the delight of ignorant film geeks, Prometheus

plays with our culture’s most profound artistic expressions of human ambition merely for a series of unpleasant thrills: Noomi Rapace performing an abortion on herself, various decapitations, dispirited ruminations on religion and, finally, Guy Pearce in ludicrous Halloween makeup. It’s a foul repeat, a noxious burp. If you swallow Prometheus, you’ll swallow anything. Follow Armond White on Twitter at @3xchair.

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Music Reviews & News

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Congratulations to  the  2012   Blackboard  Awards  Honorees!        

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blackboard awards for teachers

Honoring 16 Outstanding Teachers


lmost all of us can remember a teacher who took the extra time to inspire us in some way. Many can recall several, which is why every year, Manhattan Media honors outstanding teachers throughout the city with our Blackboard Awards. Sixteen teachers from New York City private, charter and traditional public schools are being honored this year with Blackboards. This year, the 11th for the Blackboards, we received about 1,000 nominations from parents, students, principals and fellow teachers, and the final selections were made by editors and executives from four Manhattan Media publications—Our Town, West Side Spirit, Our Town Downtown and New York Family. One of our honorees, the beloved Jon Goldman at The Bea-

con School, unfortunately died this spring, but we wanted to recognize his extraordinary work over the years. In these pages, you’ll find 16 remarkable stories of teachers, including Susie Kavanaugh at Corlears Elementary School, who empties her classroom every year so her students can decide how to fill it up, and Ross Grosshart, an electrical engineer who changed jobs mid-career so he could teach college-level courses at Brooklyn Tech. Several other Blackboard winners also chose teaching after starting on a different path, and their students and our city are better off because of it. —Josh Rogers, Editor, Backboard Awards

2012 Blackboard Award Winners General Excellence Cara Beseda Barbara Ciner Rose Coffield Lisa Harrelson Susie Kavanaugh Laurel Nyeboe Tonia Percy Lindsay Werner

P.S. 87 Adults and Children in Trust at St. John Divine Weekday School at Riverside Church Success Academy Upper West Corlears Elementary School P.S. 40 P.S. 290 Philosophy Day School

SPECIALTY CATEGORIES Special Education Lois Eder

Susan Wagner High School

Monday, June 18, 2012

English Jonathan Goldman (posthumous) The Beacon School Sammie Smith Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science

5:30 p.m., Reception 6:15 p.m., Awards Presentation

Foreign Language Bernadette Robine

International School of Brooklyn


Hosted by: Alex Witt

Andrew Adler Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies

MSNBC anchor and NBC correspondent

Math Marija Kero Dr. Warren Wollman

Equality Charter School Rodeph Sholom High School

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Brooklyn Technical High School

at Fordham University Law School, James McNally Theatre


J une 14 , 2012 • W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 1 7

is proud to support

The Blackboard Awards for Teachers and congratulates all of this yearÕ s honorees

1 8 • WE ST SIDE SPIR IT • J une 14 , 2 012

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blackboaRD aWaRDS foR TEachERS

Life Lessons Before Kindergarten By Juan DeJesus

parents. ment and how well Ciner understood the “It gave me chills,” Ciner said. “I’m havchildren—how she got to know her sons’ ing an out-of-body experience right now. I habits better than Kimbrough herself did. tarting your kids on the right path don’t like the spotlight.” Ciner even gave Kimbrough some pointat an early age is always a top However, she makes sure each child has ers that she still uses with her children concern for parents. So when their own spotlight in order to thrive and parents decide to send their chil- today—well past pre-school. develop in her classroom, a fact many par“In a way, the children are who they are dren to the Adults and Children in Trust ents appreciate. going to be,” Ciner program at St. John Divine, they can rest “I learned to said. “They have assured that Barbara Ciner will empower “I’m havIng an out-ofrespect and care their own pertheir children with the skills necessary to body experIence rIght about Ms. Barsonality, likes and survive. dislikes. All I want The 44-year-old teacher began her now. I don’t lIke the bara because she cared to do is give them teaching career over a decade ago and spotlIght,” barbara profoundly and respected the the confidence and has made it a point to teach with a deep cIner saId. little minds she was strength to be sucunderstanding of each and every one of shaping,” said Janet cessher students. Hernandez. “Ms. ful.” “The quality that Barbara effectively prepared my [4-yearEvery morning, Ciner sticks out most in my old] daughter and our preschoolers for the walks her classroom to make mind is her amazACT at St. John Divine difficult process of entering into some of sure that each child has their ing ability to know 1047 Amsterdam Ave. the most competitive kindergarten proown space and their own the children in her grams throughout the city, both private outlet for creativity. class,” said Karin “I make sure the blocks are attractive for and public.” Kimbrough, whose two children were in Ciner is constantly trying to improve children who like to build and that every Ciner’s class in Morningside Heights. “She and follows the philosophy of avoiding child has a place where they can interact would take the time to understand how rigidity in order to maximize the learning and thrive,” Ciner said. each one learned, what motivated them of her pupils. The teacher said she’s honored to to apply themselves and what issues they “I am now motivated to keep things receive a Blackboard Award and is thrilled have.” fresh and to keep being a student of life,” by the outpouring of support from Kimbrough was floored by her assess-


Andrew Schwartz

Barbara Ciner

Barbara Ciner.

Ciner said. “When I was 13, my grandmother wrote a note in my yearbook which said, ‘Lend your mind to learning and your heart to understanding.’” It’s a philosophy that she strongly abides by and hopes to pass on to each and every student she encounters.

Pre-K Teacher Uses Video to Teach Kids About Play By Jackie Kostek



Rose Coffield

Andrew Schwartz

very day, Rose Coffield’s pre-kindergarten students are the stars of their own show. “I see myself in more of a supporting role,” said Coffield, 34, who teaches pre-kindergarten at The Weekday School at Riverside Church. Of course, Coffield’s self-described supportive role doesn’t mean she isn’t in charge of leading and educating her 4- and 5-year-old students. She’s just developed her own approach. “Our curriculum comes from what the children are interested in,” said Coffield. “Whatever they want to do, I help come up with a plan, an idea of how to execute it and help collect the materials they need to use.” Coffield said the progressive, play-based approach she uses with her students allows for a great amount of choice during the day. Although her students follow a regular daily schedule, much of the day is spent in “choice time,” where

tion,” said Coffield. Last year, Coffield had a “very physically active” class of nine boys and five girls. On the playground, the group engaged in rough-and-tumble play that Coffield said she struggled with “policing.” What was natural and fun for the children Coffield found overwhelming. Coffield consulted with the school’s classmates. on-staff psychotherapist, who helped her “The children become the masters of understand the way children play. Armed their education,” said Coffield. “Because with information, Coffield decided to beof this, they feel very connected to what gin a conversation with her they are doing.” students that they could Coffield, too, feels a more easily understand. great connection to her “I started to videotape work as a teacher. Seven The Weekday School them so we could have years ago, this wasn’t at Riverside Church more concrete discussions the case, so at 27, she with visual examples of the made two major moves; 490 Riverside Dr. [physical] play and what she leapt from the West I thought needed more Coast to the East Coast structure and rules,” said Coffield. and enrolled as a graduate student at New “The children really took to the video York University’s Steinhardt School of and were having some great conversations Culture, Education and Human Developabout their feelings,” said Coffield. ment. As a student teacher and substitute This year, Coffield has expanded the teacher, Coffield got her first taste of use of video to other parts of the curprogressive education at The Little Red riculum. And with the school psychoSchool House. therapist, she’s even touted her work with In the five years since she started at The video to other teachers at workshops and Weekday School, she’s honed her own conferences. approach to teaching by reflecting on the Without knowing it, Coffield may be happenings in her classroom and experimoving from a supporting role in her menting with ways to solve problems. classroom to a starring role in education. “Videotaping was an interesting evolu-

Rose Coffield.

students choose activities they want to participate in independently or with other

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blackboaRD aWaRDS foR TEachERS

She’ll Give a Student the Socks Cara Beseda Off Her Feet P.S. 87/ William T. Sherman School 160 W. 78th St.

By Laura Shin


t the start of each school day, students in Cara Beseda’s kindergarten class at P.S. 87 sit in a circle and share something that is going on in their lives, whether it is an upcoming dentist appointment, a dance recital or something at home. As students share their thoughts, the other students often chime in and talk about similar experiences, Beseda said. Acknowledging that kindergarten is a transitional year, Beseda, 30, said she strives to create a classroom where students can trust each other. “Everything I do is to create a safe, nurturing learning environment for the kids,” Beseda said. “We work really hard at building a community.” Parents of her students say she goes above and beyond. “When my daughter entered Cara’s class, I felt like I had won the lottery,” said Lisa Katzenstein. Katzenstein recalled earlier this school

I was meant to spend my days teaching children,” she said. Beseda said she remembers the teachers she loved when she was growing up and is inspired by them. “I specifically remember the teachers who tried to make a personal connection with me, and that’s what I try to do,” she said. “I want them to know I care about them.” Parents of Beseda’s former students say Beseda made their children feel loved. “When I would go to pick up my daughter, she would come out holding Cara’s hand,” said Rachel Richardson, whose daughter was in Beseda’s class four years ago. “She was there for her when she needed her.” While many of the parents say Beseda gives “150 percent” to her teaching, she says she couldn’t do it without her father, who takes her to buy things for the school year and often comes to the classroom to help bring things in. Beseda lives in Manhattan with her husband, a teacher she met through Teach for America. She said she feels lucky to have

Andrew Schwartz

year when the class had gone on a field trip; her daughter was wearing new shoes that were giving her blisters on her feet. “Cara took off her socks and gave them to her so she wouldn’t get blisters,” Katzenstein said. “She is just so passionate about her job and the children.” Beseda has been teaching at P.S. 87 for five years. Before coming to P.S. 87, she taught at two other public schools in the city for four years. She grew up in Holmdel, N.J., and attended the University of Maryland, where she studied political science. During high school and college, Beseda volunteered at local schools and worked with children. Upon graduating college, Beseda joined Teach for America, a national corps of recent college graduates who commit to teaching in low-income communities for two years. Once she joined the organization and decided to pursue a career in teaching, she said she never looked back. “I knew I had found my place. I knew

One parent felt she had “won the lottery” when her daughter started in Cara Beseda’s class.

found her husband and a job she loves at the same time. “It’s so rewarding, especially in kindergarten, to watch the students learn how to be members of a community and to watch them grow academically,” she said. “It’s really an extraordinary process to watch and be a part of.”

She Cheers Students, and They Return the Favor By Teresa Tomassoni


Andrew Schwartz

or six years, Houston native Lisa Harrelson worked 90-hour weeks as an accountant and an extra two hours as a Sunday school teacher. When she realized those two hours were the best part of her week, she decided to make a career switch. Since earning her master’s degree in education from the University of Houston more than nine years ago, Harrelson, 39, has taught elementary education in Houston and New York City. This is her first year teaching kindergarten, however, and she loves it at Success Academy Upper West. “This age is wonderful because school is new for most of them. They’re just sponges. They’re absorbing everything and most of them are so curious and eager to learn; it’s really just a joy to see them learn and grow,” Harrelson said. It’s also a joy for parents to see their child willingly jump from bed each morning to rush to get to school, said J.C. Renners, a parent who wrote a letter

way I could just wake up one day and run 26 miles without training for it.” Personal examples like these have left a lasting impression on Harrelson’s students and parents alike. “She had an army of her students “They’re jusT and their parents loudly sponges. They’re cheering her through the finish line,” said Renners “Ms. Harabsorbing in his nominating letter. relson is truly everyThing and He credits Harrelson for magical, and mosT of Them are so “cheering, coaching and the lessons she teaches will curious and eager getting every ounce of ability out of her students” the serve these chilTo learn.” other 364 days of the year. dren their entire Harrelson said she does lives,” he said. this by infusing as much fun into her lesNot only does Harrelson teach with a sons as possible. “joyful rigor” Renners said, she educates “I want them to enjoy learning and not the “whole child—educationally, emotiondread coming here, because they have a long ally and socially.” career of school ahead of them,” she said. After all, Harrelson said she believes As part of a recent math lesson on data a truly happy, fulfilled and successful collection, for example, she surveyed her person has to learn more than academics, students for their favorite including how to be Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkin considerate of others, flavors. Then she used the to have integrity and Success Academy information collected to to persevere. show her students how to “There are no shortCharter School make a bar graph. To finish cuts,” she said she 310 Lenox Ave. the lesson (and celebrate reminds her class frethe end of the school year), quently—just as there she said, she will host a Munchkin party were no shortcuts when she trained for the featuring plenty of her students’ favorites: New York City Marathon last year. Harreljelly-filled donut holes. son said she told her class, “There was no

Lisa Harrelson

Many of Lisa Harrelson’s students watched her finish the New York City Marathon.

nominating Harrelson for the Blackboard Award.

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The United Federation of Teachers Congratulates

The 2012 Blackboard Award Winners: Lois Eder Warren Wollman Marija Kero Sammie Smith Andrew Adler Susie Kavanaugh Ross Grosshart Bernadette Robine

Michael Mulgrew, President

NYPre ss .com 

Jonathan Goldman Barbara Ciner Rose Coffield Cara Beseda Lisa Harrelson Tonia Percy Lindsay Werner Laurel Nyeboe Vishwanand Jewram

52 Broadway, New York NY 10004

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Second Graders Are Happy to See a Familiar Face By Ellen Keohane


Tonia Percy

“My mother is Greek and my dad is German,” she explained. “I was the new kid. I didn’t speak English.” It’s an experience she draws on when integrating children who are new to the school or even the country, she said. Every summer, Percy, who speaks without an accent, visits her parents in Greece. They moved back to Europe about four years ago, “so now it’s just me and my brother here.” While working at P.S. 290, Percy started to notice more children with disabilities in her class. “I didn’t feel properly trained,” she said. Last year, she went back to school and earned a certificate of advanced graduate study in special education from Adelphi University. Percy also has a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, where she majored in German literature and psychology and minored in secondary education. She earned her master’s degree from Teachers College, Columbia University. Before working at P.S. 290, Percy taught preschool at the Hollingworth Center for Highly Gifted Children.

Andrew Schwartz

Wearing her dark hair in a ponytail, Percy, 36, moved her arms in wide, enthusiastic gestures as she talked how much she n high school, Tonia Percy aspired to loves teaching. “I can’t shut up,” she said. be on stage. “I went to the Yale School A Washington Heights resident, Percy is of Drama for a summer program,” expecting her first child, a girl, in August. she said. Professors there encour“My husband and I are very excited.” aged her talent but questioned if she’d be After six years as a kindergarten teacher able to deal with the constant rejection at P.S. 290, Percy started teaching second most actors face. “They said, ‘Really think grade two years ago—so some students about other professions in which you can have studied with her twice. “You really engage your audience,’” she said. “And become part of people’s teaching came up.” families,” she said. A recipient of this “I was more than thrilled year’s Blackboard P.S. 290/ to have her again,” said Award for excellence Jess Walsh, whose daughter in elementary educaManhattan New School attended kindergarten and tion, Percy said she 311 E. 82nd St. second grade with Percy. often uses her theater “She makes learning fun.” background with her “I appreciate the effort she puts into 27 second graders at P.S. 290 (Manhattan the class,” said Barbara DiLorenzo, whose New School) on East 82nd Street. “We son had Percy as a teacher last year. “She do a lot of role playing,” Percy explained really knew how to bring out the best in on a recent morning in her classroom. “I him.” just feel like that takes a more abstract Percy grew up in Germany before movsituation and makes it really tangible for ing to the United States at the age of 16. kids.”

P.S. 290’s Tonia Percy has some of her old kindergarten students in her class.

“At this point, I’m licensed to teach general ed, special ed and gifted ed,” Percy said. “So whatever type of learner you throw at me, I will know how to engage them, how to support them, how to keep them happy, interested, curious and learning.”

Life Lessons from the South Side to the Upper East Side By Stephen Santulli


indsay Werner’s third-grade students read classics and Shakespeare. They can predict how much money their lemonade stand will take in on a particular day based on the temperature outside. These are some of the advantages of teaching in the rarefied setting of Philosophy Day School, a small private school of about 150 students for nursery through fifth grade on the Upper East Side. But they also speak to Werner’s passion for her job—one she discovered in very different surroundings. After graduating from college, Werner, 30, spent a year living in a homeless shelter on the South Side of Chicago and teaching second grade to the students living there. She came to appreciate the close relationships she developed with students at the elementary level, when children are developing both intellect and character. “I found that I really like listening to children,” Werner said.

important at a time when students face more potential distractions, from video games to Facebook. The lemonade stand project, which turned an ordinary math lesson into an engaging business startup, is one example of how she works to keep her students focused against those distractions. The support from Philosophy has helped reinforce those standards, Werner says. The where Philosophy occupies a brownstone school’s educational mission, which says less than a block from Central Park. Her classes typically range from 12 to 18 students. that “the character development of the child is essential in the learning process,” aims As stark as the contrast may be on the to develop students as people beyond their surface, Werner says she carried over from educational achievement. Chicago an appreciaParents of Werner’s tion for the imporstudents say she has had tance of “differentiaPhilosophy Day School a unique impact on their tion,” the process of children’s education. Steve tailoring lessons to the 12 E. 97th St. Millington says he noticed individual and “meeta positive difference in his ing every student right daughter, which he attributes to Werner. where they are.” “Mrs. Werner is a devoted teacher who Providing specialized attention to each has given my daughter Camille a much student remains a hallmark of Werner’s clearer understanding of how to learn,” style after nine years of teaching. So, Millington said. “In the first semester of too, have her high standards. Once, her third grade, Mrs. Werner diagnosed my students expressed interest in reading daughter’s strengths and weaknesses mystery novels. But after scouring the perfectly. She then implemented a plan of bookshelves for new titles, Werner was attack that was incredibly successful.” unimpressed. So she assigned Edgar Allan As students look forward to summer Poe’s The Raven, a challenging but ultivacation, Werner, who lives on Long mately rewarding task for her elementaryIsland, ended her own school year early age students. to welcome her first child. She expects to Werner says a dedication to the highest return to the classroom next fall. quality educational materials is especially

Lindsay Werner

Lindsay Werner of the Philosophy Day School.

After a year, Werner traded in the gritty environs of the shelter for the Upper East Side,

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Journal ads 2012_Blackboard 6/11/12 9:43 AM Page 1


2012 Blackboard Award Teachers on the occasion of the

Blackboard Awards June 18, 2012






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She Empties the Classroom Before Filling Their Minds By Joanna Fantozzi


Susie Kavanaugh

time doesn’t mean you’re not smart,” said Kavanaugh. “I feel I’m at the forefront of where the students can bring this all with them as they approach adolescence.” But for Kavanaugh, teaching fifth grade has not been without its challenges. On her first day teaching at Corlears last year, she found herself without a classroom—the brand-new fifth grade wing had been closed off because of building code violations. Thinking on her feet, Kavanaugh moved the entire class to a volunteer parent’s apartment for the first week of school. This, she said, was probably one of her most memorable teaching moments, and it taught her to think on her feet. During that first week, Kavanaugh took the students on many field trips, and it was during this time that she came up with the idea of the empty classroom project. With those skills, the students have had a hand in designing multiple projects, including an ancient Greekinspired maze and a library for a school in Haiti as part of the Wings Over Haiti relief program. The students did their

Andrew Schwartz

Cross in Worcester, Mass., she subbed for a year and loved it. “For me, it doesn’t feel like a job. I hen Susie Kavanawould say the majority of my friends ugh began teaching don’t like their jobs,” said Kavanafifth grade at Corlears ugh. “But I love my job, the kids, Elementary School on West 15th Street, she requested an empty everything.” Adrianna Diodato, 11, a student in Kaclassroom. When students walked in, vanaugh’s class, nominated her because they found a classroom devoid of all furshe said Kavanaugh “lets us be who we niture and materials, save for a couch. want. We are making our The students had own Greek gods and godto figure out how desses, and if we want our to raise money and Corlears School goddess to have pink hair build the furniture and purple eyes, we can do for their classroom. 324 W. 15th St. it.” The school liked it Student individuality is so much, she said, as much a part of Kavathe project is now a naugh’s classroom as technology is. At regular part of the school’s fifth grade Corlears Elementary, each classroom curriculum. is stocked with iPads. Kavanaugh uses Kavanaugh, 31, a teacher for seven them to individualize learning experiyears, taught at Massachusetts private ences. She might tell one student who is schools before coming to New York in struggling in math to look up a particu2010. Kavanaugh said she never thought lar YouTube video on fractions and give she would become a teacher and wanted another student a math computer game to be anything else, from a fighter pilot with which to practice. to president of the United States. But “Just because you don’t get it the first after graduating from College of the Holy

Susie Kavanaugh.

own fundraising and designed furniture for the Haiti project. But for Kavanaugh, making a difference is about more than just creative projects and keeping students busy. “There’s no way to not make a difference if you’re giving your heart and soul,” said Kavanaugh. “There are those few kids who write me a note later and say, ‘If it wasn’t for your class, I wouldn’t be where I am now.’”

Opening the Doors to the World By Mary Stachyra


Laurel Nyeboe

Jonathan Springer

n Laurel Nyeboe’s classroom, second- and third-grade children discuss stories in The New York Times, jump in place to solve math problems and earn certificates for good behavior. It’s a way of following the curriculum and having fun at the same time, and parents at P.S. 40, Augustus Saint-Gaudens School, have taken notice—so much so that they wouldn’t mind reliving their elementary school days themselves. “I wish I was 7 again and in her class,” said Carla Massey, a parent at the school. Nyeboe, 58, has been an educator for 23 years and has taught at P.S. 40 for the last five. Her goal in teaching is to make sure the students learn math, reading, writing and all the fundamentals, but she doesn’t stop there; she works through the curriculum and the children’s passions to help them develop critical thinking skills and social consciousness. “My premise is opening up the world to the children and exposing them to it as much as possible,” Nyeboe said. “I want them to live in a bigger world.”

Nyeboe for a Blackboard Award. “She opens doors to the world and inspires students to cross their threshold. Each of her students feels loved.” Nyeboe got her start in education at P.S. books by Roald Dahl and Robert Munsch, 183 under then-principal Tonya Kaufman, whose zany stories help children see who transformed the struggling school “outside a formula.” She encourages the to a success story. children to discuss At P.S. 183, Nyeboe stories in the news“Each of hEr worked on a “looppaper in a way that’s ing” schedule, where age-appropriate studEnts fEEls teachers spend time and uses terms they lovEd.” with the same kids understand to keep year after year. That them engaged. One experience allowed parent remembered her to develop deep relationships with her third-grader coming home and the families. saying, “Mom, are you aware of the tax “One mother I’m still friends with problems in Paris?” claims I helped her raise her child,” It’s that sort of experience that makes Kaufman recalled fondly. Nyeboe popular with parents. After 15 years at P.S. 183, she “Ms. Nyemoved on to the New Teacher boe infuses her Mentor Program, where she students with P.S. 40/ stayed for the next three years. her enthusiasm She missed spending time with for learning. Her Augustus Saint-Gaudens students in classroom, though, curiosity is conElementary School so she took a position at P.S. 40. tagious. She has a 320 E. 20th St. Nyeboe recently took the LSAT direct pipeline to and plans to go into school law. the imaginations This fall, she’ll also move on to a new of her students. She knows what makes school run by Kaufman, her first principal. children tick. She sees the world in a grain of sand,” Massey wrote, nominating “It’s like coming home,” she said.

Laurel Nyeboe of P.S. 40, Augustus SaintGaudens School.

Nyeboe starts off every year reading

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Beacon Students Remember Jon, Their Inspirational Teacher By Laura Shin


Jonathan Goldman

and worked with the National Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon. The Beacon School, a selective secondary school on West 61st Street, was created in 1993. Goldman was a part of the founding faculty and said that helping to establish the school was one of his biggest professional accomplishments. Prior to Beacon, Goldman began his teaching career at Seward Park High School, a school on the Lower East Side that is now closed. In addition to teaching English, Goldman was a fencing coach at Beacon. He was an avid and talented fencer, Isolde Goldman said, and was a member of the U.S. Junior Olympic Team when he was in high school. “Shakespeare was always his big love,” she said, remembering how much Goldman loved reading when he was growing up. Goldman has an 11-year-old son named Jake, who Isolde Goldman said was his “best friend.” “Jonathan absolutely adored him and admired him for his intelligence and personality,” she said. Jake also loves to read, she added.

Andrew Schwartz

50. An online petition to rename the library after Goldman was established ater this month, the library at shortly after his death and has collected The Beacon School on the Up230 signatures. per West Side will be renamed Goldman’s mother, Isolde Goldman, The Jonathan Goldman Memosaid more than 100 students and former rial Library, after an English teacher many say had a profound impact on the students attended his funeral, which was held in Long Island. school and his many students over the “He loved the students,” she said. years. “I think that’s why he liked it. It made “Mr. Goldman taught lasting lessons him feel good to take that stay with me some a young person, who 10 years after graduamight not know or be tion from high school,” exposed to different wrote one former student, Beacon High School literature, and teach nominating him for a 227-243 W. 61st St. them about it. Blackboard Award. “He “One of his former was an amazing educastudents, now a teacher, was crushed and tor who opened our minds to so many said she was a teacher today because of things and really impacted the way I Jonathan’s influence.” think to this day.” Goldman grew up in Huntington, Another former student remembered Long Island, and lived a few years in his passion for his job. “‘Jon,’ as many Israel as a child. Upon graduating from of his students called him, was a pasHuntington High School, he moved to sionate English teacher, who inspired Manhattan to attend Columbia, where even the most disengaged students in he obtained a bachelor’s degree in comthe classroom. He had a way with words parative literature and later a master’s that left his students wanting to learn degree in French literature. more.” He also studied at Oxford University Goldman passed away in March. He was

Over 100 former and current students attended the March funeral of Jonathan Goldman, a founding teacher at Beacon high school.

Amanda Hass, Jake’s mother, recently divorced from Goldman, said she remembers how students used to write cards to Goldman to thank him. “He was very involved. He was there for the students and all of their individual needs,” Hass said.

A Passion for Writing, Theater and Latin By Teresa Tomassoni

cused her studies on Shakespeare, Smith, 33, has striven to share her passion for reading and writing by teaching. In the eaching was never a dream last seven years, she has taught middle of Sammie Smith’s. Growing and high school English and Latin in up in Joplin, Mo., she thought Missouri, Chicago and, most recently, she would go into medicine or New York City at Colaw. But halfway lumbia Secondary. through her pre“I want kIds to Her enthusiasm for med coursework be askIng bIgger the subjects is “infecat Washington tious,” said Candy University, Smith questIons about Gulko, a parent. In had had enough lIfe and to do It In a Gulko’s letter nomiof professors’ attempts to weed very serIous way.” nating Smith for the Blackboard Award, people out. She she wrote, “All stulonged for a more dents—from the struggling to the most supportive environment and decided to advanced—are mesmerized from the switch her major to English and educabeginning to the end of each class.” tion in order to purse her lifelong pasUsing a curriculum she designed sion for literature. herself when she first started teaching at Since earning a master’s degree from the school two years ago, Smith exposes Northwestern University, where she fo-


26 • WE ST SIDE SPIR IT • June 14, 2 012

she directed a “Bollywood/New Orleans” version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in which over 30 students were involved over the course of several months. Smith said she will do anything she can to get students to better understand and remember the texts they are reading. “I want our kids to feel like they have a leg up in the world because they’re ready her students to poetry, Beowulf, Shaketo read and write and express themspeare and modern fiction like Life of Pi. She uses the Socratic method to facilitate selves, and in an eloquent manner,” she said. deep philosophical discussions inspired Preparing them to do so, however, by what the students are reading. Smith said, takes time. “I want kids to be Smith said she typically asking bigger quesarrives at school around tions about life and to Columbia Secondary School 6:30 a.m. and leaves no do it in a very serious earlier than 8 p.m. She is way, something that’s for Math, Science constantly meeting with grounded in the text,” 425 W. 123rd St. students and parents Smith said. before and after class and Smith’s classes are leading after-school programs like Latin so engaging, another nominating parent Club and a student chapter of Amnesty wrote, “One wants to sit in the back and learn with the students. She is clearly well- International, said another parent who nominated Smith for the Blackboard educated in many areas; truly an intellect, Award. yet easy to talk to.” Smith, who declined to be photoParents laud Smith’s ability to infuse graphed for this article, said she would not performance into her lessons. She has have it any other way. They are long days, students sing poetic verses and act out she said, but they are a “labor of love.” passages of novels and plays. Recently,

Sammie Smith

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Using Computers to Teach the Three Rs By David Gibbons


Andrew Adler

“For students who struggle with reading,” he explained, “we need to help them build up their schema, which is a fancy word for background knowledge, so they can better understand the material being covered. We may show them a movie or use photos to help them access content.” Many of Adler’s recent efforts have involved using the iBook Author program and iPads, adapting various historical source materials to different reading levels and learning styles. He also recently used Google Docs, which allows two users at their respective computer screens to work on the same file simultaneously, as a tutoring device, prompting a student through the difficult task of writing a paper, and in the process teaching him valuable research and presentation skills. Adler was awarded a scholarship by the Bank Street College of Education to pursue a degree in school-building leadership, which he hopes will give him more ammunition in his ongoing quest to harness technology as a compelling educational tool. Call it digital literacy if you like, but from his perspective, it’s nothing more than using modern-day machines to teach the good old three Rs.

Andrew Schwartz

innovation. Lab’s principal, Megan Adams, who uzzwords and catchphrases such hired him just over four years ago, said “Andy is constantly working to stay curas “digital literacy” don’t mean rent on the research and strategies… much without dedicated, hardwhich has a tremendous impact on both working teachers like Andrew the classroom and the school.” Adler to put them into practice. After an inauspicious start to his teachAdler, 40, teaches eighth-grade huing career—he was assigned to a special manities at the Lab Middle School for ed classroom at a high school in California Collaborative Studies, known for its pioneering role in ICT (Integrated Co-Teach- and simply instructed to keep the kids quiet and in their seats—Adler earned his ing), wherein classes are co-taught by a general education specialist and a special master’s degree from George Washington University in 2002. education specialist (Adler’s role). About Idealistic and determined, he soon 40 percent of the students in Adler’s became convinced that all students classes have learning disabilities. have the capacity to Lab is outstanding, learn, regardless of how if not unique, in its severe their disabiliinsistence on both rigor NYC Lab Middle School for ties are. He developed and inclusion and in its a passion for so-called ability to maintain high Collaborative Studies adaptive technologies— academic standards 333 W. 17th St. the use of up-to-date while integrating spehardware and software cial needs students into to implement individualized education nearly every class. plans and increase one-on-one instrucAdler’s approach is often cited for going tion time. His main thrust is to engage beyond the call of duty; for example, he students who would otherwise be disspends many after-school hours menengaged, to bring them back to school toring his students. But perhaps what when they might be inclined to walk makes him most representative of the away in frustration. school’s core values is his commitment to

Andrew Adler.

Adler counts as his biggest professional satisfaction “that moment when a student develops, presents, writes or comprehends something they never believed was possible. As a teacher, you don’t hit too many out of the park; you have to move your students around the bases. Every now and then, though, you get that perfect pitch, and you’re surprised.”

Special Teacher Making Strides with Students By Mary Stachyra


n many schools, the amount of interaction between special and general education students is limited. Lois Eder, a special education teacher at Susan Wagner High School in Staten Island, aims to change that. Eder, 54, believes it’s beneficial for students with different types of educational needs to interact with and learn from one another. To advance that goal, she and a co-worker developed the curriculum for a peer leadership program designed to teach students conflict resolution and leadership skills. General education students and special education students take the New Strides in Leadership program side by side. It has helped build the students’ selfconfidence, encouraged them to step up as mentors to others and helped combat bullying behavior, Eder said. “Some of the students had never come in contact with each other on a social level, so we did activities that built trust,” Eder said.

conflicts, how to deal with bullying and so much more. My sister really enjoys this class, and I haven’t seen her have a desire for anything the past two years,” she wrote. Eder said there’s a reason why the course is popular with families: “They’ve never had this experience where their children could be bridged with regular ed students on a level playing field.” and learn respect instead, she said. Drawing on her 32 years of experience Even people outside of the system have as an educator, Eder developed the protaken notice of the course and what it’s gram together with George designed to achieve. Anthony, a conflict resoluOrganizers of the 15th tion specialist. Eder earned a annual Season for NonSusan Wagner High School B.A. in elementary education violence conference at the United Nations 1200 Manor Rd., Staten Island from Queens College and a master’s degree from the invited the students College of New Rochelle and to come and speak at professional certification in school buildthe event this spring. The experience was ing leadership. transformative for them, Eder said. “Basically, I have always felt that all students “They went from not being able to should have the right to learn,” Eder said, speak to a counterpart to speaking at the explaining why she chose special education United Nations,” Eder said. as a career. “And I thought I’d like to be an adColleagues and students’ families say vocate for them and teach them as much as I the course is effective. can, so that they can flourish as young adults.” Yulya Ostrovskaya’s sister Elizabeth lost Eder hopes to see the New Strides in her vision two years ago and experienced Leadership program spread to other some related medical problems. “This schools. She said the benefits of the class is what encouraged my sister to start program can be seen in mainstream and to slowly participate in school,” Ostrovsspecial needs students alike. kaya wrote when nominating Eder for a “We became one family and one comBlackboard Award. munity, where we embraced love and “This class teaches students how to feel respect and tolerance,” Eder said. good about themselves, how to resolve

Lois Eder

Lois Eder.

The program is designed to help the students overcome stereotypes and biases

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Physics Doctorate Demystifies Mathematics at Rodeph Sholom By Paulette Safdieh


Dr. Warren Wollman

Most importantly, parents insist he is always available beyond class hours to help students one-on-one. “He really lives by that model of if you give a man a fish, you feed him for life,” said Steve Lipman, 51, chairman of the school’s board. “He doesn’t want you to memorize formulas as much as he wants you to think and understand. He wants students to be self-sufficient.” According to Lipman, whose ninth grade son had Wollman, he has a way of guiding children in the right direction— something Lipman says is characteristic of the best teachers. According to Wollman, it’s all a conscious effort. “If I want to teach something new, I place a big emphasis on how it can come out of something old—something they already know,” he said. Outside the classroom, Wollman enjoys playing on the faculty volleyball team at Rodeph Sholom, reading whenever he can and spending time with his two grandchildren. Born, raised and still living in the

Andrew Schwartz

pleted his doctorate in physics at the University of California. While there, Wollman was introduced to the famous psychologist here’s a big difference between Jean Piaget and went on to study with him helping students to grasp a new in Geneva for three years, an experience concept and just showing them that influenced his teaching style. the right answer, and Dr. Warren Wollman returned to Berkley with a Wollman makes sure his math students strong interest in child know that. As he wraps development and educaup his fifth year at tional psychology. He taught Rodeph Sholom High Rodeph Sholom High School at universities for 17 years School on the Upper before making the switch to West Side, he accepts 10 W. 84th St. schools. a Blackboard Award “I just preferred that life,” for his ability to reach he said. And the Rodeph Sholom communistudents in a way not everyone can. ty agrees it’s a fitting environment for him. “I try to give students an idea of where “He really connects with middle school math comes from, not just presenting it to students well,” said Lisa Rubin, 54, whose them,” said Wollman, who teaches seventh son had Wollman for both seventh and and eighth grade honors classes. “I try to eighth grade. “He believes in their intellect demystify the mathematics.” and he’s able to get them farther then they Although Wollman, 73, has taught at ever thought they could get.” schools across the city for the last 23 years, While he sets expectations high, Wollteaching wasn’t his first love. He obtained man’s sense of humor in the classroom his undergraduate degree in nuclear engihas been known to lighten the mood. neering at New York University and com-

Dr. Warren Wollman.

Bronx (he used to walk to Yankee Stadium as a child), Wollman insists he won’t be following the baseball season. “I got to the age when I realized I won’t be able to read everything I want to read,” he said. “I read more than I watch.”

Bringing Math Alive by Connecting it to Students’ Lives By Juan DeJesus


lifelong affinity for sports and mathematics has blossomed into a successful career for Marija Kero. The 27-year-old math teacher has found a way to capture the attention of her students and unlock their potential. The young teacher makes it a point to get to know each of her students. “Always make it about their life,” Kero said. “You never know, something that is going in their life could be a useful in how I teach my lesson,” Kero said, adding, “If you understand them as people…you can catch and hold their attention and teach them to embrace the subject the way that I have.” Kero initially went to school to become a social studies teacher. “Math is fun to me—it’s like solving a puzzle—but I also know that the lessons we can learn from history are just as important and necessary,” she said. It was only after a long talk with her father about the opportunities the subject could offer that Kero decided to turn her attention to math. She attended Pace

challenged and she did just that, making it possible for him to excel,” Patrick said. Kero tries to keep her seventh and eighth grade students’ energy levels high by finding ways to relate mathematical theorems into concrete examples. “You have to relate math to life,” she said. “Someone will always ask, ‘When am I ever ington Irving High School before getting going to use this?’ Every day you have to anher certification to teach in Florida; but swer that question because it is always there.” through the push and pull of life, she just She relates percentages to sports statismissed the window to apply for a New tics and other concepts to things like shopYork City teaching position before the hirping, art and music. She has even devised ing freeze. This forced the young teacher a classroom game called mathketball, a to take an unfulfilling sales job with a game that came out of her basketball team in lifelong love of the New York Harlem. Knicks. “It was as if a piece She has two teams of stuof my heart was Equality Charter School dents face off while having missing,” she said. 4140 Hutchinson River them solve equations head “I should have been Parkway East, Bronx to head. The wining player out there helping can chose to add another students. I missed two point to the tally by making years of helping kids, a shot into a waste paper basket or go for but now I am focused and determined to three from further out. make them successful.” “I love when they [compete] and they During her time with the team, she becheck their work and get excited when gan to look for schools where she wanted they are right,” Kero said. to teach. She found Co-op City’s Equality She hopes to give students the skills Charter School in the Bronx. they’ll need for life. Vivian O. Patrick, a parent there, said “I want them to work hard and be thinkKero’s attention and drive sets her apart ing people,” she said. “I want them to be from other teachers. more involved in their community and “Ms. Kero is a wonderful teacher. She succeed. When I see that, I know that I has made math come alive for my son have succeeded.” as well as the class. My son needed to be

Marija Kero

Marija Kero.

University, where she excelled and graduated from the school’s Pforzheimer Honors College. She began teaching career at Wash-

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Engineer Goes Back to High School Mid-Career By Alan Krawitz


Ross Grosshart

Andrew Schwartz

covers in his class include working with small, micro-controller-powered robots. “Kids love technology and use it daily, so getting them hooked on the content isn’t that difficult,” Grosshart said. “Most find the class interesting, especially if they like working with their hands.” Grosshart said it wasn’t just his desire to teach that drove him to the classroom. “We need technology innovators—and it’s more than just an opinion,” said Grosshart, agreeing that the United States now lags behind other countries when it comes to turning out enough engineers and workers with technical skills. “Algebra and geometry should be taught throughout the middle school years,” he added. “Basic computer programming and introductory engineering should follow.” Linda Soled, the parent of a student in Grosshart’s class, said the teacher “never hesitates to please parents and students alike.” “Friendly to all, caring and extremely grateful to finally be at his dream job, Mr. Grosshart hopes to stick around for a long time doing what he loves,” Soled said. “Inspiring kids to look past high school

activities where students design complete circuits.” Although Grosshart realized he wanted n the case of Chelsea resident and to teach during his undergrad days at the 10th grade electronics teacher Ross Grosshart, the phrase “better late than University of Connecticut, it wasn’t until he saw an ad for a teacher’s program that never” couldn’t be more true. he decided to act. After more than 22 years as an engi“I tutored math and chemistry from neer, developing software for high-profile freshman year until I graduated and realcompanies including Hewlett-Packard, ized how fulfilling the role of educator American Express and GTE, Grosshart can be,” he recalled. “After 20 years in the decided to leave his lucrative career and business, I saw an ad for follow his dream to the NYC Teaching Fellows become a teacher. and looked into becomThat passion led Brooklyn Tech High School ing a math teacher. I was Grosshart in 2007 to Brooklyn Technical 29 Fort Greene Pl., Brooklyn lucky enough to end up at [Brooklyn Tech] teaching High School, where he technology classes. has been teaching 10th “As far as teaching goes, my biggest graders the finer points of digital electroninfluence was my chemistry profesics ever since. sor at the University of Connecticut, Dr. “DE is an introductory, college-level Covey,” he said. “She was the one who course typical for an college freshman pulled me aside after class one day and majoring in electrical engineering,” said asked me if I’d be interested in tutoring Grosshart, 50. “It starts with electrical some students. If not for her, I don’t know circuit fundamentals, both analog and that I would have ever made the career digital, to build student knowledge of transition.” different circuit components, and then it Projects and concepts that Grosshart moves toward projects and group-based

Ross Grosshart left engineering five years ago to start teaching it at Brooklyn Tech.

and plan a fulfilling career, that’s what he’s all about.” For Grosshart, some of the best parts of teaching include building a rapport with students that sometimes transforms into a mentoring relationship. He said “dealing with college, applications, personal conflicts, advice, etc.—that’s the best part of the job.”

French,’” she said. “It’s like a big salad bowl.” Sophie Ferguson, whose daughter is in Robine’s class, praised Robine’s ability to accommodate students of varying proficiency levels. “She is an effective sian public schools, but her position at teacher who has been able to work well ISB marks uncharted territory for her. with different levels of both the French The school is bilingual, with students language in her class and the great receiving half their instruction in English and the other half in either Spanish diversity her group encompasses this year,” Ferguson said. “She is there for or French. Robine’s class is conducted our daughter…[and] has been instruentirely in French, but her students mental in helping her both with her hail from all different backgrounds— developing written and approximately 50 reading French skills.” different nationalities After three years at ISB, are represented at the Robine will be leaving school—and some International School after the current school have only limited of Brooklyn year wraps up to spend exposure to French 477 Court St., Brooklyn more time with her two outside the classroom. children: a 4-year-old “I wasn’t trained to daughter, who was just teach my own lanan infant when the family moved from guage,” Robine said. “You really have to… France, and a 2-year-old son born in try to make it more understandable for the United States. French is spoken in them.” the family home, but Robine expects to Occasionally, she added, students will interchange French and English mid-con- stay here for years to come and hopes to enroll her children in a bilingual versation—or even mid-sentence—when school. they stumble on a word. This is the very “She has better English than me,” Robtype of cross-cultural bridge that Robine ine said about her daughter. “She corrects encourages. me sometimes.” “I’m not going to say, ‘You have to speak

From Paris to Brooklyn By Max Sarinsky


Bernadette Robine

Andrew Schwartz

ernadette Robine’s job is somewhat unusual for a teacher in the United States: immersing her students in French language and culture. But her students aren’t the only ones learning a foreign culture. Learning the nuances of American life has been a welcome adventure for Robine, a Parisian who moved to New York four years ago and now teaches first grade at the International School of Brooklyn (ISB) in Carroll Gardens. Robine, 32, said she developed a strong sense of wanderlust as a graduate student in Italy. When her husband received a job offer in New York, they jumped at the opportunity to move abroad once again—even though her English at the time was limited. “You don’t learn as much when you stay in your own country,” Robine said. “I think [we] are more open-minded when we have the opportunity to discover another culture.” Robine is a five-year veteran of Pari-

Not much English is spoken in Bernadette Robine’s class, which is just as well, since her French is much better.

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Healthy Manhattan

The Book on Viagra and Other ED Drugs By Dr. Cynthia Paulis


rectile dysfunction or impotence occurs when a man can no longer get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse. If this is an ongoing problem, it can be a sign of a serious health condition that needs evaluation, such as heart disease or poorly controlled diabetes. Oftentimes treating the underlying problem can reverse erectile dysfunction, but if it still occurs there are alternative treatments. Dr. Aaron Katz, chairman of the department of urology at Winthrop University Medical Center, said, “The goal of oral medications is to restore or enhance blood flow to the penis.” He said Viagra, which comes in three dose levels, works for about four hours. “It can be very helpful for men recovering from prostate cancer surgery, where the nerves and the blood supply to the penis may have been damaged during the surgical removal of the prostate,” he said. “We typically would use this medication much earlier after the surgery than we had in the past. “In the past, we had the philosophy of just watch and wait and maybe the blood flow and the nerves will be restored. But some of the more recent studies have shown that if you use these drugs early on…the longlasting effects can be much greater,” he said. “Viagra can be used as a bridge and hopefully it will restart, almost like a battery, and then maybe—hopefully—Viagra will not be used for long-term use.” One of the other well-known drugs on the market is Cialis (tadalafil), which has a much longer-acting component but works in a similar way to Viagra. What makes this drug unique is that it can work for 36 hours. “It does give you much more spontaneity than Viagra does,” Katz said. “Cialis is known in Europe as the ‘weekender.’ You can take it on a Friday and have sex for the entire weekend.” Cialis comes in a 20-mg dose, but the company has now come out with 2.5-, 5- and 10-mg doses that can be taken daily. Both Viagra and Cialis take effect within an hour of taking them. Side effects of both drugs are minimal; some

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men can develop back pain after taking Cialis, and both medications can cause flushing and headaches. However, they are fairly safe drugs as long as you are not taking them with nitrates, drugs commonly prescribed for chest pain such as nitroglycerin, Nitro-Bid, Nitrostat, Imdur, Monoket, Dilatrate and Isordil. Other medications that can cause problems with erectile dysfunction meds are blood thinners, alpha blockers for benign prostatic hyperplasia and high blood pressure medication. A third oral medication is Levitra, which works similarly to Viagra and has a four-hour window. A recent call to a pharmacist broke down the prices as following. Their best-seller was Viagra, with a six-pill pack costing roughly $135; Levitra was the least expensive, at $10 a pill; and Cialis ranged in price from $134 for the 20-mg pill to $147 for the lower dose of 5 mg, which is taken daily. Most of these are covered by insurance but according to the pharmacist, Viagra seems to be the one favored by insurance companies. There are two other, non-oral medications used to treat erectile dysfunction. The alprostadil penis suppository is a small suppository that goes into the opening of the penis and delivers blood flow there. Erections usually begin within 10 minutes and last 30 to 60 minutes. It is not used often because it can cause pain and bleeding in the urethra, along with the formation of fibrous tissue. Another method is alprostadil self-injection (brand names Caverject, Edex), wherein a fine needle is used to inject alprostadil into the base or side of the penis. The injection will produce an erection that occurs within a few minutes and lasts an hour. Side effects from this method include bleeding, prolonged erection and formation of fibrous tissue at the injection site. Katz said, “More than 50 percent of [male] diabetics have erectile dysfunction, so this may be very helpful for those patients.” Testosterone replacement for men with low levels of testosterone have helped some men who are menopausal and experiencing erectile dysfunction.

Dr. aaron katz.

If medications fail, the patient may have to seek alternative treatments such as a penis pump, a penile implant or blood vessel surgery. Katz said he has patients in their eighties with very active sex lives. One thing he emphasizes is that “you need to take care of your body. It’s all about flow and cholesterol and preventing arterial plaque that builds up in the heart and the small arteries to the penis. Men who are overweight and want to have sex, they want to take the quick fix, they want to take the Viagra—well, that’s not the answer. “The answer is to get in shape, work out, do yoga, meditate, be mindful of what we take into our bodies,” he explained. “Eat less fat, less red meat, eat more vegetables and practice more healthy living, do more aerobic exercise—running, jogging, swimming, biking—then you will have a better sex life and you won’t need the Viagra.”

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There’s so much you want to see Your daughter’s wedding Your son’s children Tonight’s sunset Your eyes are a precious gift. Don’t trust their care to just anyone.

Dr. Grace Sun is a board certified Ophthalmologist providing comprehensive eye care at New York Downtown Hospital in Lower Manhattan.

Enter the 2012 Dan’s Papers $6,000 Literary Prize for Nonfiction. For the last 25 years, Dan’s Papers has showcased artists on the cover of the publication. Now Dan’s Papers wants to similarly showcase writers. We believe this is the first literary prize ever offered on the eastern end of Long Island for nonfiction in literature. Visit Our Website for Official Rules and to Enter Entries must be nonfiction and between 600-1500 words. You may send in memoirs, biography, autobiography, account of a day, opinion, history, profile of a person or institution, essay or humor. Works must reference eastern Long Island in a meaningful way.

Contest begins March 31 and ends August 1. First Prize $5,000 • Two Runners Up $500 each. Winners announced at the John Drew Theater of Guild Hall in East Hampton on Saturday, August 25. Entry fee is $20.

As a member of Weill Cornell Eye Associates, Dr. Sun offers a \range of ophthalmic services including cataract, cornea and external disease, retinal and vitreous disorders, glaucoma, pediatric ophthalmology, oculoplastics, and neuro-ophthalmology. Dr. Sun provides services covering the entire range of complexity, from accurate eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions to the most complex surgeries such as artificial corneal replacement and vitreoretinal surgery for diabetic retinopathy or complicated retinal detachment. Dr. Sun is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. She is on the faculty of the Weill Cornell Medical Center.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sun, please call (212) 312-5250.

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June 14, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 35

Healthy Manhattan The ABCs of Men and Vitamins By ASHLEy wELcH When it comes to vitamins and minerals, many men are not getting enough nourishment. According to the USDA, men ages 31 to 50 need to eat 350 percent more dark green vegetables and 150 percent more fruit per day than they currently do in order to meet federal dietary guidelines. Ideally, more fruits and veggies are the answer, but in today’s stop-and-go society, this is most likely not the reality. That’s where vitamin supplements come in. But how do you know which vitamins to take and whether they are safe? Is there such a thing as too many vitamins? Though consulting a doctor is always your best bet, we recently spoke with some experts and compiled this list of tips on taking vitamins in the healthiest, most effective way. What Basic Vitamins Should Men Be Taking? Nutritionist Laura Cipullo recommended a basic daily multivitamin to help compensate for the vitamins and minerals that are not being obtained from a regular diet. “Start with a simple, straightforward vitamin

that you would take with breakfast or with food to make sure you’re meeting all of your micronutrient needs,” she said. Cipullo, a registered dietician and certified diabetes educator who maintains her private practice, Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services, in the Union Square area, said checking the label is a good idea to assure you are not taking in too many vitamins. “It does not need to be a mega dosage,” she said. “It just needs to say that it has 100 percent of the daily requirements. Something like 5,000 percent is way too much.” In addition to a multivitamin, Cipullo suggested omega-3 fatty acid supplements for men who consume little to no fish throughout the week. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis. They may also assist in memory and brain performance. Cipullo said vitamin D supplements may also be a good idea, as many men are deficient in that area. If a man is allergic to or does not consume many dairy products, calcium supplements should also be taken. What Happens If Men Take Too Many Vitamins? There can certainly be too much of a good thing, including vitamins. “More isn’t better,” said Nicolette Pace, a

The Truth About Vein Care... It’s Really Not About Being Vain

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registered, certified dietitian and nutritionist based in New York City. “Vitamins interact with metabolic processes and when there’s too much in the body, it can cause problems.” For example, an excess of vitamin A can cause damage to the liver, while too much of vitamin B6 can cause permanent neurological damage. Other side effects of too many vitamins can include constipation, confusion, weakness and loss of appetite. “It’s definitely a word of caution,” said Pace, who founded and operates the nutrition company NutriSource Inc. “You don’t go for the super ultra-dose of vitamins and expect everything to work perfectly.” Do Certain Vitamins Help with Specific Health Concerns? For men trying to lose weight, Pace suggested taking a balanced multivitamin. “Many nutrients are often knocked out of the diet when someone is trying to lose weight, so as a general rule, it’s best to take a multivitamin while dieting,” she said. In contrast, creatine, thiamine and zinc may help men who are looking to gain weight. Vitamins may also aid in treating infertility. Smoking, drinking alcohol and a poor diet can all influence infertility, and Pace recommended looking at those factors before turning to supplements. However, she noted that research

shows vitamins C and E, as well as the mineral selenium, help increase fertility. “Studies of men taking these vitamin supplements showed improvement in the movement of the sperm and resulted in higher pregnancy rates,” she said. What Should Men Look Out for on Labels? As with food, consumers should also read the list of ingredients on vitamin bottles. “You should always know what’s in your vitamins,” Cipullo said. “Maybe you’re picking up a multivitamin and you see the company has added in an herb that there hasn’t been much research on or you have an allergy to.” Cipullo also noted that since many vitamins are coated, consumers should watch for ingredients they do not recognize. “Preferably it’s just a list of the actual vitamins that are supposed to be in there, rather than a list of artificial colors and preservatives,” she said. Bottom Line Solely relying on vitamin supplements is never a good idea. “Food should always come first,” Cipullo said. However, supplements are a healthy way to make up for what your diet is lacking. It is also important to speak with a doctor about the vitamins you intend on taking and whether or not they will interact with any medication you are on.

Overweight, Post-menopausal Women Needed The Rockfeller University Hospital is seeking overweight, post-menopausal women to participate in a research study looking at the effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acid.

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VOLUNTEERS for Brainwave Study The research takes place in the Cognitive Electrophysiology Neware: York, NY VOLUNTEERS for Brainwave Study You may be eligible if you 530 First Avenue, 6D Laboratory at New York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia • Post-menopausal (last period mustSuite be >24mo ago) The research takes place in the Cognitive Electrophysiology 1-877-VEIN-NYU (834-6698) University Medical Center. • 40-70 years of age Laboratory at New York State Psychiatric Institute, Men & Women ages 71-85 needed for research on normal aging. You must be• Very overweight (BMI >35) ColumbiaUniversity Medical Center. Morristown, NJ in good health with English as your first language, and no major hearing or • Not diabetic 95 Madison Avenue, Suite 415 visual problems. You will be compensated $15/hour for participation. ContactParticipation involves: 1-973-538-2000 Tim Martin at 212-543-6034. • Two, 3-day inpatient stays at The Rockefeller University Men & Women ages 71-85 needed for research on normal aging. You must Hospital (private room) • Fat biopsies be in good health with English as your first language, and no major hearing • Taking Omega-3 Fatty Acid or visual problems. You will be compensated $15/hour for participation. Compensation is provided for participation

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Healthy Manhattan Urologist Says PSA is Still Important for Prostate Screening By Dr. Cynthia Paulis If you ask my cousin Sonny, the only reason he is alive today is because of free bagels and a PSA test. “Our local hospital was offering a free men’s prostate screening test, and afterward they served free coffee, bagels and donuts,” he said. “My friends and I would hang around, compare our numbers and socialize, so a group of us made this a yearly thing.” Sonny’s numbers were always low, until one year when they weren’t. He followed up with his urologist for a biopsy and found that he had prostate cancer. He made the decision to have his prostate removed after discussing the options with his doctor and others, and has now been 13 years cancer-free. One in six men in this country will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime; it is one of the most common causes of cancer in men. Prostate cancer is usually slow growing

and initially remains confined to the prostate gland. When I was in medical training, I knew a family practice doctor who was in great shape, was healthy, exercised regularly and died at the age of 45 of prostate cancer, leaving behind a young family. He had not had a screening test and his cancer advanced quickly, and he was dead within a few months. Prostate cancer may not have signs or symptoms in the early stages. Cancer that is advanced may cause problems urinating, decreased force in the stream of urine, blood in the urine, blood in the semen, swelling in the legs, discomfort in the pelvic area and bone pain. One of the ways to detect prostate cancer is through the combination of a rectal exam and a PSA test. PSAs, or prostate-specific antigens, appear in the blood in elevated amounts in the presence of cancer, so the blood test is used as a screening tool. However, the test has come

under fire in the press and by certain organizations who feel that it is unnecessary because it produces some false positive results. These are common—only about one in four men who have a positive PSA test turns out to have prostate cancer. Things that can increase PSA levels are benign prostate enlargement, benign prostatic hyperplasia or prostate infection. Dr. Aaron Katz, author of The Definitive Guide to Prostate Cancer, a board certified urologist and chairman of the department of urology at Winthrop University Medical Center, said, “We are detecting a lot more prostate cancer because of the PSA screening. The issue is that we are detecting a lot of cancers that probably don’t need to be treated, and men are still undergoing surgery and radiation; unfortunately, some of the men do wind up with side effects like erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence.” The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force now recommends against PSA screening, be-

cause “they felt that PSA screening tests did not save enough lives to make it worthwhile and the cost to society was high,” Katz said. He disagrees with the findings and feels that without the test, we are missing an opportunity to find cancer early on. “The doctors who sit on that task force— none of them are urologists, none of them are even cancer specialists,” Katz said. “They are looking at a couple of flawed studies and making recommendations. The head of the task force is a pediatrician from Texas.” The Mayo Clinic recommends offering PSA screening and rectal exams to men age 50-75 years and to men 45-75 years with a positive family history of prostate cancer. Katz recommends “diet, exercise and supplements to try to prevent men who have early stage prostate cancer from going on to treatment. We recommend men eliminate red meat and fried food, get on pomegranate extract pills, anti-inflammatory herbals, fish oils and lycopene pills and do aerobic exercise. This is a very successful program. “Men need to get screened for prostate cancer by the age of 50,” he continued. “I think men need to be informed about the result and what it means. Men need to take on a more active holistic life style to prevent prostate cancer. You need to take care of your body.”


The Truth About Vein Care... ReallyisNot TheIt’s Americano so About Being Vain

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delightful you may not want to leave By Regan Hofmann The words West Chelsea and Beautiful People are enough to strike fear into the hearts of most of us mere mortals—not just those of average self-esteem, but also the pretension averse, the perfume allergic and the food lovers. These are not places you go to eat. They are for cold marble edges and low black leather banquettes on which to perch while nibbling on tiny empanadas that taste enough of sawdust to discourage second helpings. They are for an overlong champagne list and vodka cocktails. They are for reflective surfaces and spotting Jon Bon Jovi. They are the places for which the term “scene” was coined. This could be used to describe the Americano (518 W. 27th St., betw. 10th & 11th Aves.), and in fact the place does fit the description—to a point. The break comes when you realize it is a place that is not just beautiful, it is one you actively want to spend time in. In fact, a first visit will likely find you planning your next before the meal’s end.

If it’s raining and you eat indoors, you’ll want to come back to have a drink at the rooftop bar. If you’re at the rooftop bar for drinks, you’ll want to come downstairs for a full meal once you pass the plates on your way out. You can do a full, multicourse dinner or a proliferation of small plates—both are a good idea. One might be inclined to call the Americano’s multiple personalities an identity crisis, and it would be hard to disagree. That rooftop bar is called La Piscine (and there is, indeed, a tiny pool up there, though it should be foregone for the seats at the other end, which have a view of the High Line and the Hudson River), but the grill up there serves Greek hummus and babaganoush, branzino and kasseri cheese. The dining room menu proffers “French food with a Latin flair,” which means there is a segregated section for things like carnitas with plantains, while the “Salades” include one of “Pulpo y Calamares” and the entrecôte comes with chimichurri. There is plenty of marble and black leather inside, but the entire rear wall of the dining room is a window looking out on the ivy-covered wall that supports the rear outdoor garden, a beautifully chaotic natural counterpoint to all the shiny edges indoors. However, this all-things-to-all-people striving is more and more a common pitfall for the kind of hotel that wants to lure in local business while giving overnight guests whatever they might need. And in this regard, the Americano does

38 • O 32 WEST UR TOWN SIDE SP DOW IR IT NTOW • June N • 14, JUN 2 012 E 14, 2 01 2

much better than its counterparts. Navigating the NoMad Hotel, whose restaurant, the much-anticipated second home of the team from 11 Madison Park, is its over-hyped crown jewel, is a logistical nightmare. Eating there, you pity the poor souls who paid money to wander that blank lobby in Visit either our Manhattan search of their room; Morristown The sleek,or spiky dining room ofoffice: the Americano. Photo by Michel Ann O’Malley eating at the Americano, you wonder NYwith a bracingly sharp mustard portion whether it wouldn’t be a better idea toNew get a York, First Avenue, Suite 6Dsalted pistachios and the jus and sweetly room for the night rather than530 go home. 1-877-VEIN-NYU (834-6698) hard-to-find panisse, a French MediterraYes, your neighbors might be impossibly nean cake of chickpea flour that’s sometall, vodka-drinking Beautiful People, but Morristown, whereNJ between polenta and bread but chances are you’ll both have just eaten Madison Avenue, twice asSuite tasty. 415 the same tuna tostadas, tiny95 rounds of 1-973-538-2000 And when they rave about the crudihard-fried tortilla topped with rare tuna, tés, don’t roll your eyes and dismiss it. An chipotle mayonnaise and a shower of assortment of the world’s most precious slivered hearts of palm, and will want to spring vegetables come, tops attached, in commiserate about how good they were. shallow bowl of “dirt,” olive crumbs over If you’re lucky, they might even share a sip a layer of crème fraiche. It’s amusing and of their cocktail, a grapefruit-and-bloodpretty to look at, but there’s more to it than orange concoction so refreshing you’ll kick simple appearances and it’s ultimately a yourself for overlooking it the first time. deeply satisfying, inarguably enjoyable They probably won’t have ordered the experience—a perfect synecdoche for the lamb saddle, but you should recommend Americano itself. it to them; it’s a delicate, perfectly cooked NY m

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oPEn foRum

It’s Time to Put the Cuffs on Stop-and-Frisk 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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Father’s Day march to reForm NyPD Policy By Scott M. Stringer


uring recent years, the NYPD’s policy of stop-and-frisk has become one of the defining civil rights issues of our time. Across the five boroughs, New Yorkers are calling for reform of a strategy that overwhelmingly targets people of color and divides our city. We need to speak with one voice on this issue, so I invite you to join me and a host of community leaders in a Father’s Day march on June 17 where we will be calling attention to a policy that stops thousands of our fellow citizens every day—some 700,000 last year, the vast majority for no reason at all. We are not marching against the men and women in blue. I agree with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commissioner Ray Kelly that New York’s dramatic reduction in crime is one of the city’s proudest achievements. But the most recent statistics about stopand-frisk paint a troubling picture of how this policy is being implemented and why it needs to be reformed. • In 2011, the number of stops was roughly seven times higher than the num-

ber in 2002. • In 94 percent of stops, no arrests were made. • In 86 percent of cases, the person stopped was either black or Latino. • In 99.9 percent of stops, no gun was found. Don’t get me wrong: There are times when police are justified in stopping and frisking subjects they deem to be a real threat. But we need to base these stops on something more empirical than “furtive movement,” which today is the most commonly checked box by police officers when asked to explain a stop. scott stringer. The 4th Amendment right against unreasonable searches has been clearly defined by the courts for years: The only legal justification for a stop is when an officer has reasonable suspicion, based on specific facts—not on a hunch, and certainly not on the color of someone’s skin—that the individual being stopped has either just committed a crime or is about to. Anything else is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution. We need to build bridges of trust and respect into every neighborhood by exploring innovative policing strategies

that have succeeded in cities like Chicago, Boston and Cincinnati. It’s a message I delivered nine months ago at an address in Riverside Church in Harlem, and since then I have spent many Sundays listening to congregants in other churches talk of the fear—and despair—they feel about a stop-and-frisk policy that so clearly targets people of color. Last fall I called on the Department of Justice to launch a probe of our current stop-and-frisk program to see if civil rights are being violated. I was proud to have worked with all 12 Manhattan community boards when they unanimously passed a resolution calling for reform of stop-and-frisk. But now, to bring about the changes we so urgently need, all of us—from uptown and downtown, East Side and West Side— must join together and make our voices heard. That’s why I hope you’ll join us for our march on Father’s Day, June 17 at 3 p.m. on 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox avenues. New York City can be tougher on crime by being smarter on crime. Once we do that, we’ll make this a better, safer city for all of us. Scott Stringer is Manhattan Borough President and a 2013 mayoral candidate.


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


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ish to think otherwise. But perhaps we should take what some consider fear and make it our moment of triumph. It’s our way to show that even in the face of horror and madness, there is liberty and freedom that can withstand anything. —James Simon

Take Back the Day

To the Editor: I applaud Mr. Moore and his view that voting day should occur on Tuesday, Sept. 11 (“Why We Should Vote on 9/11,” May 31). I know the term “If we “money Talks” don’t do X, the terrorists win” has been with Quinn used almost to the point of cliché. Voting is one of the most essential fundaTo the Editor: ments our nation was founded on. We We agree with Mickey Kramer (“Quinn can acknowlNot Fit for Mayor,” May edge the trag31). She has the lowest SINCE EVERY 1983 edy of events civil rights record on the NYPRESS.COM in our own Council. She has ignored way, but those all causes favored by ‘SMASH’ STAR tragedies must constituents for those AT HOME ON not be greater favored by the real estate BROADWAY than the good lobby and the Teamsters. HILTY TALKS ABOUT HIT TV SHOW AND our state and “Money talks” has never LIFE ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE P. 8 nation stands been truer. ALSO INSIDE ROOM WITHOUT A VIEW for. —Noah and Natasha CITY OKS CONTROVERSIAL WEST SIDE CONSTRUCTION P. 6 The fear of Brenner making the day political Bike Bandits The Food & Wine Event in The Hamptons is a reality. It SATURDAY JULY 14 , 2012 would be foolTo the Editor: SAVingS inSiDE:


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I was delighted to read “Collision Course in NYC” (May 24) by Josh Rogers, a lifelong New Yorker, as am I, although it would help if he were more positive about how rogue bikers can be handled. I have had too many close calls—including walking out of my building one day, thankfully walking slowly, and having a man dressed in a business suit and helmet ride right past me on the sidewalk. He should know better. For years now I have been an advocate for bikers to have license plates. When they are identified and fined, perhaps some will change their mindset and follow the rules of the road. Also, many treat the bike lanes as they treat the streets, going through red lights and against traffic. There is a bike lane on Columbus Avenue that runs north to south—as I stepped into the lane and looked to the north it was clear; when I looked to the south, a bike coming from the opposite direction was almost on me. City officials are working so hard to change our lives for the better, and yet they don’t particularly care if those same lives are getting hit by bikes. —Bunny Abraham

NY m

MooRE ThoughTS

Sugary Soda: You Have to Start Someplace If the mayor’s move makes us thInk about servIng sIzes, It’s a wInner


et’s start with this: We know our mayor is great with limits—for other people. He famously took stands against smoking in restaurants, bars and public parks. His administration has tried to limit everything from the size of newsstands to the number of cars entering Midtown. Then last week, the mayor, surrounded by piles of sugar cubes, said he wants to limit restaurant soda cups to the 16-ounce size. The only limit he has not really liked is the one allowing a mayor two terms. So he found a way to get that overturned, with very few high-profile New Yorkers daring to stand in his way. So I get why Mayor Michael Bloomberg drives some people crazy, especially if they happen to like supersizing their beverages. There’s something unseemly about

ing to seem subjective and maybe even silly. a billionaire who cannot stop telling other But we have to start someplace, somehow. people what to do. And there’s not much Yes, there are scientific reathat’s warm and fuzzy sons to question the mayor’s about the guy to help his specific proposal. Some medicine go down. people think diet soda is even I also understand—oh, worse than the sugary variety. boy, do I—that it’s hard Others want to target specific to hear that we’re too fat, foods instead of beverages. especially during tough There’s a camp that prefers times. When First Lady Mian education-only approach, chelle Obama started her with nothing punitive. healthy eating campaign, I Perhaps Bloomberg has resented the hell out of it. picked the wrong piece of I was newly unemployed and that woman was runchRISToPhER MooRE this monster topic to begin with, but he’s trying to come ning around the country up with a political answer to talking about vegetables. a health crisis. Starting with sugary soda, But my pals in New York City schools told where there has already been some slippage me she was exactly right to tackle the obein usage and a growing agreement, makes sity epidemic; it plays out in ugly ways in political sense. the lives of children (and adults) in this city Even if the mayor’s decree falls flat or gets and nation. Bloomberg is right to take action. His crit- overturned by the next mayor, the whole enterprise will have been worthwhile if it ics say the limit on soda size is random. It is. initiates a discussion about portion sizes. Wherever we start tackling this issue, it’s go-

With a sinking heart, I realized I had fallen right into the clutches of a human Venus flytrap. I was stuck. Now that I was already seated and the woman was talking to me so intently, it was going to be nearly impossible By Jeanne Martinet to get back up. There are several good had already been out reasons for sitting down at to dinner and a play a party where most people that evening, so by the are standing up. You may time I got to the party, simply be physically too it was past 11 and I was tired to stand; you may be tired. After greeting the having trouble managing a host, I wandered out to a plate of food while standsmall terrace. I spotted an ing; or you and a friend may inviting empty chair and, be eager to have a tête-àwithout thinking, I sat tête without being interdown in it. It was one of rupted. But be aware there those super slouchy chairs JEannE MaRTInET is always a danger to sitting. that seem to envelop you. Even if it’s next to someI’ll just sit for a few minone you feel you’d love to utes, I thought. talk to, once you are sitting down, you Almost instantly, I realized my mistake. may lose your mingling momentum. You The only other chair on the terrace was may find yourself thinking, “This is such a occupied by a blowsy woman who imcomfortable chair; maybe I’ll just observe mediately began talking nonstop about from here for the rest of the night. What’s her Lhasa apso puppies. Where she got so great about talking to a lot of people I them, where she walked them, what she don’t know anyway?” Don’t give in to this fed them, how much she loved them. Even feeling! You can sit when you get home. how she dressed them. All attempts at But mainly, sitting is to be avoided subject changing—or at a back-and-forth because it’s extremely hard to get free of conversation—failed.



Christopher Moore is a writer in Manhattan. He is available by email at ccmnj@aol. com and is on Twitter @cmoorenyc.


Beware the Chair the perIls of sIttIng down at the party

Because let me tell you: I’m really not all that old, and in my lifetime there has been a drastic change in what gets put in front of you when you say “small,” whether you’re ordering a beverage or a food item. The simplest criticism of the mayor’s plan has its logic backward. Opponents say rebellious guzzlers will just order more than one soda. But that’s the whole point. Right now, we’re playing restaurant roulette. People need to be reminded what exactly one single beverage size should be. Is that subjective? Sure, but some of us are tired of the subjective decision to serve us, way too often, way too much food and drink. Who’s to decide the proper serving size? I pick me. And Bloomberg. Yeah, the mayor and me. ’Cause he looks OK and I just lost 10 pounds in four weeks. Basically, the one thing I did consistently and consciously was stop drinking sugary soda. It worked. I had Diet Cokes on special occasions: Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and the night I saw Linda Lavin in The Lyons. I cut out the sugar-laced variety—and, sadly, French fries. I wasn’t trying to be trendy, I swear. I was just taking slightly better care of myself. Starting with soda just made sense.

someone who is really talking at you and not to you. At most cocktail parties, it’s fairly easy to move away from someone you don’t want to talk to—and toward someone you do—without being rude. You simply say you need to get a drink or use the restroom or you just fade away into the general melee. But when you are sitting down, escape becomes much more problematic; you are committed. You have, in fact, made a statement of nonmovement by the very act of sitting. There are a couple techniques that I have found work pretty well in this situation. The first is “follow the leader.” Ask Ms. Flytrap if she would like to come inside with you to get a drink or something to eat. If she says no thank you, you’re scot-free; if she says yes, then once you have her on her feet and amidst a crowd of people, you can use any number of other cocktail party escape tactics to gently extricate yourself. One of my most popular and controversial mingling maneuvers is something I call “the human sacrifice,” wherein you basically palm the person off on someone else. (This sounds cruel, but is an extremely common ploy.) This is easier if you are on your feet but it can also be done from a sitting down position, in the following

way: Locate someone nearby and get his attention. (Wave him over if you must.) Lure him into the conversation by tossing a comments up at him—for example, you can ask him if he has any preconceptions about Lhasa apsos, as if you are playfully taking a poll. The minute the new person even smiles at you or at the flytrap, get up, indicating your place, and say, “Would you care for a seat?” Or even, more aggressively, “Would you save my seat for a second?” This latter gambit is a bit wicked, because it’s almost impossible for the new person to refuse. But after all, all’s fair in love and mingling. (Of course, you won’t come back. You will be unavoidably waylaid.) So what did I do to escape from being totally Lhasa apsoed? I employed the blunt but effective “note from my doctor” excuse. I interrupted the woman right in the middle of her recitation of possible names for her puppies with: “I’m so sorry, but this chair is terrible for my back, I realize. I’m going find some other place to sit inside. But it’s been so lovely meeting you.” Of course, I did not sit down anywhere else. Not until I got home to my Lhasa apsofree apartment. Jeanne Martinet, aka Miss Mingle, is the author of seven books on social interaction. Read her blog at

J une 14 , 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 43


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West Side Spirit June 14, 2012  

The June 14, 2012 issue of West Side Spirit. The West Side Spirit, published weekly, is chock full of information—from hard news to human in...