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QUIRKY SHOPS LIVE Reports of the Upper West Side’s loss of character have been greatly exaggerated. Stores like Olde Good Things, managed by Joe Stren, are still around. P. 14



U.S Rep. Charlie Rangel, left, faces a tough primary challenge against Adriano Espaillat, Clyde Williams, Craig Schley and Joyce Johnson. Profiles P. 16, endorsement P. 30


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.


cRImE WaTch Compiled by Amanda Woods

SubWay bumP & PIck A 35-year-old woman told police that while she was waiting on the 86th Street southbound 1 train platform, she placed her wallet in her purse and zipped it up. When she got on the train, she noticed a 40-year-old well-dressed man repeatedly bumping into her. At 66th Street, the man left the train, and the woman noticed that her purse was unzipped and his $200 wallet, containing several credit cards, her driver’s license and $150 in cash, was missing. The woman cancelled all of her credit cards and reported no unauthorized card charges. None of the items were recovered.

PhonE SnaTchED fRom boy A 12-year-old boy told police that he was standing in front of 170 W. 85th St. when another boy in his early teens, wearing a Mountain Dew T-shirt, came up to him and snatched his phone. The snatcher did not use a weapon and

avenues on Sunday evening. She placed her purse in the kitchen and was walking around the party, taking photos—about an hour and a half later, when she was about to leave, she realized that her wallet, containing $250 in cash, credit and debit cards, a driver’s license and a social security card, was missing.

cREDIT caRD SWIPES Unauthorized credit card use reports were common on the Upper West Side this week. A man was arrested on June 13 at 12:30 a.m. after he was found in possession of Chase and Visa debit and Discover cards in the name of another person, which he had used to pay the bill at Jake’s Dilemma, a bar on Amsterdam Avenue between 80th and 81st streets. He also had a Connecticut state driver’s license that belonged to someone else in his pocket. A West 83rd Street resident told police on Sunday that Discover Financial Services had informed him that many unauthorized transactions, some in Queens, had been made on his credit card. He said that he had last seen his credit


Daily – Evenings – Weekends On site X-ray and labs. Most insurances accepted. No appointment is necessary for urgent care–just walk in.

fRuIT STanD fIaSco A 30-year-old man claiming to be a police officer approached a 45-year-old fruit stand employee on West 74th Street on Saturday at 10:30 p.m., demanding that he close his stand and never come back, according to police. When the frightened employee began to call his boss on his cell phone, the robber snatched the phone and fled eastbound on foot. When someone stopped the fleeing culprit, the suspect again said he was a police officer. While in custody, the thief threatened a police officer, saying he would come back to the precinct and kill him.

had no physical contact with the boy.

caR RobbERy A 59-year-old man returned to his car, parked at Columbus Avenue and West 84th Street, on Sunday night to find the lock damaged and four helmets, two pairs of shoes, sports shirts, eyeglasses and assorted CDs—worth $1,700 total—missing from the blue 1998 Ford Windstar Cargo.

638 Columbus Avenue at 91st Street 212-828-3250

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PaRTy PooPER One 30-year-old woman lost track of her belongings at a house party on East 82nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus

card at Bubby’s Pie Company in Tribeca on May 18 and that he did not realize the card was missing until Discover called him. A woman living in a West 69th Street apartment told police on Saturday at 11 a.m. that she received a phone call from American Express telling her that numerous transactions had been made on her card. When she received the call, she realized that someone had stolen her wallet from her purse. Also stolen were other bank cards, some store cards, a health insurance identification card, a $20 MetroCard and $70 in cash. Someone made unauthorized charges on her other cards as well, she reported.

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West Siders, Nutritionists Weigh in on Soda Restriction By Helen Matsumoto and Rebecca Harris


ince Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last month his plan to institute a citywide ban on the sale of sugary beverages over 16 ounces, health experts, politicians, vendors and consumers have weighed in passionately on both sides. Manhattan’s Upper West Siders are no exception. Some praised the mayor’s fight against obesity. “It’s like the smoking bans,” said Patricia, a resident who declined to give her last name. “Sugary soda contributes to the obesity problem in this country, and the government has an obligation to take care of the citizens.” The ban would apply to servings 16 ounces or larger of beverages containing more than 25 calories in 8 ounces and would be enforced at restaurants, food carts, movie theaters, delis and other eateries. Exceptions include drinks with 50 percent or more dairy or dairy substitute,

Wellness, agree that the restriction on large sodas will be ineffective at reducing obesity rates in the city. “People are still going to be addicted to sugary drinks, and there’s nothing stopping people from going back for seconds,” said Kane, a weight loss specialist who focuses on obesity. “I’m skeptical that this alone will have a major impact in the short term.” “Even if you’re not having the large beverages, there are other ways to get the calories,” said dietician and nutritionist Amy Fleishman. “I’ve applauded [Bloomberg’s]

efforts in trying to make this a healthier neighborhood, but it’s a very specific way to fix the problem and I don’t think it’s going to solve the bigger picture.” Still, Kane and other nutrition experts noted that the ban could serve to spark conversation and perhaps increase awareness of the city’s obesity problem. “If it can help train people to expect smaller amounts, maybe that would be helpful,” he said. Despite debate over the merits of the ban, if implemented, the restriction would have


little impact on the daily lives of Upper West Siders. A 2008 Department of Health and Mental Hygiene report found that only 10 percent of the nearly quarter of a million residents on the Upper West Side were obese, compared to the CDC-reported rate of countrywide obesity, 35.7 percent. Bloomberg’s proposal was submitted last week to the New York City Board of Health, which will vote on its passage after a threemonth deliberation period that will include public hearings. If approved, the ban would take effect early next year.

diet sodas and beverages containing more than 70 percent juice. Convenience stores, like 7-Eleven, and supermarkets will still be allowed to sell larger bottles, and refills will be allowed. The proposal includes a $200 fine for vendors not in compliance. Some Upper West Siders argued that the ban, although promoting a positive goal, would be largely ineffective at curbing obesity. One teenage resident, Gautam Bhagat, said he supports the thought behind the ban but doesn’t believe it will solve the greater problem. “It’s not about cutting off access to sugary drinks. It’s about changing habits. That’s the core of the issue,” he said. “While it’s a good idea, I don’t think it’s fair of the government to tell people what they can and cannot eat.” Some nutritionists, including Dr. Jamie Kane of Park Avenue Medical Weight &


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TaPPED In Compiled by Paul Bisceglio, Megan Bungeroth and Adel Manoukian

TavERn on ThE REnovaTIon The city will begin work on the renovation of Tavern on the Green this week, according to a Department of Design and Construction (DDC) spokesman. The “preconstruction” will involve removal of an underground fuel tank and other preliminary work; full-on construction won’t start until next month. While this is good news to those anxious to see Tavern reborn as a new eatery, it’s bad news for parkgoers who currently use the temporary visitor center housed there, as it will close on June 20. As construction continues, the DDC will restore the landmark structure and remove additions that don’t fit with the historic character of the building. They will also gut renovate the interior and upgrade the HVAC systems in preparation for the new, yet-to-be-announced tenant. The whole project is expected to cost $9.8 million.

CounCIl To lEgalIzE BRunCh

DanCIng In ThE PlaygRounDS Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the park! This Thursday, June 21, Make Music New York and the West 45th and 46th Street block associations are hosting an evening of blues, rock, dance and soul music at the Mathews-Palmer Playground on 45th Street between 9th and 10th avenues. The event kicks off with Type II at 6 p.m.; dance artist Todd Henry performs at 7. Headliner band Empire Beats hits the stage at 9 p.m. The event is free. Visit for more information.

REnT-a-Dog In CEnTRal PaRk Graduate student Katherine Long has always enjoyed giving to charity, but sometimes she just comes up short. So Long decided to rent out her collieretriever mix named Ocho to strangers for $5 for each 20-minute walk in Central Park. According to DNAinfo, she has already raised over $100 for Ruff Start Rescue, the Westchester-based no-kill shelter where she adopted Ocho. Only two hours after creating a sign and holding it up in the park, Long had received 12 walkers. So patrons won’t steal the pooch, Long fibs that she has a tracking device on him. She collects the walkers’ names and cell phone numbers, texting them reminders to come back. The next Rent-a-Dog event is scheduled for July 1, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

lanDmaRkS To makE uWS hISToRy Next Tuesday, June 26, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will hold the first of three votes on the proposed historic district extensions around West End Avenue. This first vote will be to consider the Riverside-West End Historic District Extension I, which runs from West 79th to 87th Street. The meeting is public, but there will not be an opportunity for public comment. The LPC will hold subsequent votes on the other two districts, the second Riverside-West End extension and the West End-Collegiate Historic District, in the coming months. The votes follow public hearings earlier this year during which preservation advocates, local elected officials and many residents expressed overwhelming support for the designations, while the Real Estate Board of New York and some business groups expressed strong opposition. All together, the three extensions

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Jonathan Springer

Add this to the list of laws you never knew you were breaking: outdoor brunch in the city is illegal on Sunday mornings. The obscure 1971 law that forbids restaurants from serving customers outside on Sundays before noon has long been ignored citywide, but recent complaints of crowded sidewalks by residents in Greenpoint prompted the city to crack down on violators. According to CBS New York, the city ticketed one business and issued a summons to another. In support of local business owners and lovers of breakfast burritos, lawmakers have introduced a bill to the City Council that would allow patrons to dine at sidewalk tables on Sundays starting at 10 a.m. “New Yorkers will not be denied their Sunday brunch in the beautiful weather,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick in a statement. “This regulation is outdated, widely disregarded and hostile to business and brunch-loving New Yorkers. It needs to change.” The pro-French toast al fresco bill is widely expected to pass the Council. The law that prohibits the sale of alcohol before 12 p.m. on Sundays—we’re looking at you, mimosas and bloody Marys—will still be in effect, though many restaurants casually flout that one as well.

Get the latest news and share your opinion online at

RIvER DanCE Performer Polina Porras dances in and around Olga Rudenko’s sculpture “Existance Within (parts 1&2)” at an unveilng in Riverside Park on June 14. Eight sculptures were created by Art Students League of New York students and will be on display for one year inside Riverside Park South from 59th to 72nd streets. would encompass 745 buildings on the Upper West Side constructed primarily between the late 1880s and late 1920s. The hearing will be at 1 Centre St., 9th Fl.; times will be posted at lpc.

FREE lITERaRy REaDIng Author Josh Greenfield will read from his new novel, The Obsessive Chronicles, at the Upper West Side Barnes and Noble on West 56th Street and 10th Avenue on Thursday, June 28 at 6 p.m. The book is a coming-of-age story that follows a young man’s journey overcoming mental illness

with humor and hope as well as an exploration of the dark side of his disease.

CoRRECTIon In last week’s profile of one of our Blackboard Award honorees, Laurel Nyeboe of P.S. 40, there were a few incorrect references to the principal who hired her, Tanya Kaufman. Kaufman’s first name was misspelled, and it was Nyeboe, not Kaufman, who said: “One mother I’m still friends with claims I helped her raise her child.” Also, Kaufman is retired and will not be Nyeboe’s principal when the teacher moves to a new school next year.

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Community Board Wants Fashion Week Out of Damrosch Park By Amanda Woods


Andrew Schwartz


ommunity Board 7 wants Fashion Week to find a new home. Residents have long complained about the noise, removal of greenery and lack of access to Damrosch Park because of the many concessionaires that occupy the space throughout the year, all issues addressed in the Board’s resolution. And as locals see it, Fashion Week is the biggest culprit. “These are problems that need to be solved right under the windows of working people at the Amsterdam Houses and heard beyond that immediate area,” said Mark Diller, the chair of Community Board 7. “There’s almost nothing left of what the community can use of Damrosch Park.” Fashion Week moved from Bryant Park to Damrosch Park, a small corner of Lincoln Center’s campus, in 2010. Residents near Bryant Park once complained about the noise and crowding that Fashion Week brings; today, Damrosch Park locals are crying foul. “It’s just a shame,” said Claudette Ekberg, who has lived near Lincoln Center for 50

of Parks and Recreation; in July 2010, it began a 10-year license agreement with Lincoln Center, which allows the Center to contract with thirdparty concessionaires to hold private, commercial events in the park. In its resolution, the Board recommended that residents should be able to have year-round access to the park. Community Board 7 is also concerned that neither the license agreement between the city and Lincoln Center nor the agreements The setup for Fashion Week fills Damrosch Park. between Lincoln Center and its concessionaires were submitted to the Board for approval. years. “I try to avoid it because of all the “A very important part of the public outhoopla going on.” reach is that they had no say in the seizing Gail Missener, a resident of the nearby of their park, and this resolution speaks to Amsterdam Houses, is mostly concerned that,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of New about the noise emanating from the park. York City Parks Advocates. “It remains to “Why do they have to be so loud? You’d be seen, of course, if the administration is think they’re playing for the deaf,” Missener going to continue to ignore the wishes and said. desires of the community.” Along with Fashion Week, the Big Apple Council Member Gale Brewer condiCircus and other concessionaires keep tionally approved the twice-yearly event Damrosch Park abuzz 10 months out of the year. The park is operated by the Department finishing out the five years at the park and

has maintained her support for the jobs that Fashion Week provides. However, the noise complaints must be addressed, she said, and residents must be able to get around while Fashion Week is in session. “There is also an issue of making sure that there is access to the street,” Brewer said, adding that local residents are also inconvenienced by the nearby Fordham University construction. “If these issues are dealt with, I will not object to the five years.” Brewer sent a letter in April to Mark Page, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, asking about the law regarding revenue generated from staged events at the park and whether there is an exception that allows the money to go to Lincoln Center instead of the city’s general fund. Page’s response noted that the issue is the subject of potential litigation and that he had forwarded Brewer’s concerns to the law department. Diller said he values the board’s relationship with the Parks Department and the mayor’s office and that the Parks Department has made some efforts to replace the greenery that was removed to accommodate the concessionaires, but he thinks more still needs to be done. “We hope the resolution will give us a platform to work together,” Diller said. “We understand that there are competing interests for this space. The benefits of that ought to be shared by the whole community.”

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CritiCs PiCks

Edited by Armond White

New York’s Review of Culture •

CLASSICAL Reading Music: The Music Manuscripts Online project began in 2007, providing more than 900 manuscripts (almost 42,000 pages) of classic compositions now digitized and described for posterity. View works by J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Haydn, Liszt, Mahler, Massenet, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Puccini, Schubert and Schumann, among many others, all in their own hand. music. [Phyllis Workman] DANCE Bausch Bequest: By way of India and Paris, Shantala Shivalingappa brings Asian and European influences together to creates sinuous and flowing physical lines and kinetic beauty. She debuts a performance titled “Namasya,” presenting all her inspirations and innovations, at The Joyce. This former member of the Pina Bausch troupe now steps out on her own and steps forward gracefully. June 27-July 1; $10+. The Joyce Theater, 175 8th Ave., 212-242-0800, joyce. org. [PW] GALLERIES Storybook Structures: Four New Yorkbased artists—Amy Kao, Colin O’Con, Butcher Walsh and Charmaine Wheatley— transform the windows of the ONYP Art Space for the River to River Festival. Their large-scale architectural storybooks lets viewers use their imagination to create and experience storytelling. June 21-Aug. 24. One New York Plaza at Whitehall & Water Sts., [PW]

Salma Hayek and Mathieu Demy in Americano.

The Son Also Rises For Mathieu DeMy, art is a FaMily saga By Armond White


n tabloid parlance, Mathieu Demy is cinema royalty. Son of the late, great French new wave director Jacques Demy (Lola, Bay of Angels, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg), he is also the son of Agnès Varda, the pioneering female director of the Left Bank who excels in fiction and nonfiction films (Vagabond, The Gleaners and I). Both parental legacies are honored by Mathieu Demy’s directorial debut, Americano, a young man’s exploration of his family heritage that has obvious autobiographical parallels but is also an extraordinary personal investigation. Demy himself plays Martin, a Frenchman who travels from Paris to Los Angeles, where his artist mother had relocated, to bury her and claim her estate. Pursuing more than his mother’s paintings, Martin’s fascination with his psychic heritage includes the cross-cultural fascination that American culture—the American ideal—has on European consciousness. This personalized story of political and sexual colonization is localized in the mys-

tery of his mother’s best friend, a woman named Lola (Salma Hayek). Martin traces her to Mexico, where he discovers a Latin American version of nouvelle vague cultural magnetism; Lola strips in a bar named Café Americano, feeling exiled from the opportunities and livelihood just beyond the border. For film students, Americano’s odyssey parallels the journey that both Jacques Demy and Varda made when the cinèphile couple trekked to Los Angeles in the late 1960s. There, Varda directed the documentary Lions Love and Demy directed The Model Shop—the former examining a countercultural demimonde, the latter an extension of the cinematic mythology that began with the film Lola, Demy’s own debut about the quest for love. For Lola’s characters, Desire epitomized Faith. It is one of cinema’s great humanist testaments, a farcical drama with a perfectly balanced narrative that plays as buoyantly as a musical. In Lola, a romantic young man (Marc Michel) courts a small-town taxi dancer played by Anouk Aimée who is also romanced by an American sailor. She awaits her first love’s return from a mysterious U.S. sojourn driving a long white Cadillac. Americano feels more noir-like than Lola; its plot is less naïve but shows the difficulty of Euro-American rela-

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tions many decades, artistic styles and social movements later. Mathieu Demy repurposes the figure of Lola as a figment of imagination, the key to understanding his parents’ desires as well as his own—particularly his personal connection to human heritage. Hayek’s Lola is a more powerfully erotic figure than that flighty Madonna the great Aimée embodied as an émigré who wound up posing for bawdy photos in The Model Shop. Americano’s noir complexities are shadowed by the puzzle of parental sexuality. This has been a subtext in some of the docs Varda has made commemorating Jacques Demy’s 1990 death from AIDS, and it is also interesting subtext in Americano. This film’s cast includes a parade of secondgeneration cinema royalty: Geraldine Chaplin, Chiara Mastroianni and Carlos Bardem. Exploring love and desire as a family saga takes work of staggering sophistication and bravery, which Mathieu Demy accomplishes with honesty, imagination and redemptive brilliance. The troubled and perplexed Martin realizes a more complicated innocence—not naïveté—than a mere fanboy movie tribute. “I’ll walk you home,” he tells a Mexican urchin. Americano is, at last, a cinematic version of the famous Delmore Schwartz parentcinema-child short story “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities.” It is Demy’s dedication to family heritage that turns his connection to a series of inherited clues and obligations into a film of genuine originality.

JAzz “Africa/Brass” Redux: Pianist McCoy Tyner, surviving member of John Coltrane’s immortal 1960s quartet, revisits “Africa/Brass,” a noble, sweeping suite for jazz orchestra, with the Charles Tolliver Big Band performing the original charts. Coltrane’s tenor sax solos will be emulated, not imitated, by Billy Harper and Bill Saxton, among others. June 21-24, 8 & 10:30 p.m.; $30 at the bar, $45 for a table. Blue Note Jazz Club, 131 3rd St., 212-475-8592, [Howard Mandel] The Longest Miles: Horn play in the long shadow of Miles Davis, by trumpeter Wallace Roney in the quartet of Davis’ favorite drummer, Al Foster, Jun 22-23; trumpeter Philip Harper, with his own quintet, June 27-28; and trumpeter Tom Harrell’s quintet with tenor sax powerhouse Wayne Escoffrey, June 29-30. All shows 8, 10 and 11:30 p.m. Smoke Jazz and Supper Club-Lounge, 2751 Broadway, betw. 105th & 106th Sts., 212-864-6662, [HM] Next-Gen Django: Hot Club of France guitarist Django Reinhardt would have great-grandchildren by now, and Air France presents a pride of them, called “The Young Lions of Gypsy Jazz,” to carry forth in the European light-as-a-feather/quick-as-a-wink melodic style. Local ringers Anat Cohen (clarinet), Grace Kelly (alto sax) and FrenchDominican singer Cyrille Amée are guest stars. June 20-24, 8:30 & 11 p.m.; $40, $10 food & drink minimum. Birdland, 315 W. 44th St., 212-581-3080, [HM] NY m


Honor Thy Jazz Player Bestowing awarDs on what Matters By Howard Mandel


the fact that almost everybody loves a party, and the JJA’s New York City Jazz Awards party is one of the few opportunities for players, pundits, producers, presenters and devotees to share face time without being shushed ’cause there’s a gig going on. But the real reason we hold the Jazz Awards is to make some noise about jazz itself. This great American art form underlies nearly all American music made today, a point seldom articulated by the NEA, the

Contact Howard Mandel at jazzmandel@

To m ás sa r ac en o on The roof cloud cit y

LaPlacaCohen 212-675-4106

f you were to have walked into the Blue Note at 4 p.m. on June 20, you’d have heard guitar wiz Gabriel Marin improvising microtonal figures with a Middle Eastern tinge on double-necked guitar, electric bassist John Ferrara by his side. You could have grabbed a bottle of Brother Thelonious ale and plate of appetizers and, spying a friend across the room, navigated a mass of famous musicians, music journalists and significant others from the inner circles of the jazz industry/community, then schmoozed until MC Josh Jackson from WBGO introduced local “jazz heroes” Robin Bell-Stevens, executive director of JazzMobile, and Adrian

from the stage. Party favors include new CDs. A good time is had by all. But why? Isn’t media attention, paying gigs and applause enough to thank jazz people for what they do? Well, no. Most artists crave attention, and maybe especially jazz musicians, for whom the main rewards of the American entertainment industry—money and fame—are remote, but who strive to be productive, creative and expressive anyway. Then there’s

Grammies or other entities promoting culture here and now, but demonstrably true. Why jazz is overlooked and underappreciated is a topic worthy of discussion; I think it’s taken for granted. Americans are improvisers by nature. We dig elegant and hard-driving rhythms. Given a basic melody line, we belt it out our way. That’s jazz, folks, as vital a base of our social interactions as democracy and freedom of speech or action. Of course we should applaud those who do jazz best, and those who let us know about them. Praise jazz!

Publication: City Arts Insertion date: June 21, 2012

Paulette McWilliams. The exhibition is made possible by

Additional support is provided by Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky, The Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Foundation, William S. Lieberman Fund, and Eugenio Lopez.

Cloud City is lent by Christian Keesee. Photograph by Camilo Brau © Studio Tomás Saraceno.

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Ellis, late of Jazz at Lincoln Center. You’d have been at the 2012 Jazz Awards. Jazz honors are bestowed publicly in New York City twice a year: in January, when the National Endowment of the Arts celebrates Jazz Masters, and in June, when the Jazz Journalists Association hails excellence in music and media. The JJA gala cocktail party, open to the public—with 13 related parties from Auckland, New Zealand, to Tucson, Ariz.—is a grassroots initiative produced by the music’s professional observers and biggest fans. Awards include Lifetime Achievement, Up and Coming Musician of the Year, Players of the Year for all instruments and Best Record, Book, Blog, Periodical and Website. Winners are selected through two stages of voting by the organization’s journalist members. We (I’m president of the JJA) provide food, wine, beer and entertainment—this year, alongside Marin and Ferrara, were the Organ Monk Quartet and singer Paulette McWilliams with pianist Nat Adderley Jr. The awards are announced and presented


ellsworth Kelly’s plane Beauty By Jim Long


t the Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street subway station, I was recently reminded of Ellsworth Kelly’s excellence in the realm of public art. Even with stacks of newspapers piled against the left panel of a green/blue arc and Service Changes taped to companion panels, his work seemed oblivious to the intrusion and, like a Cage composition accepting chance, it soldiered cheerfully on. Like Cage, it is Kelly’s acutely reductive sensibility at the intersection of abstraction and representation that makes his once uncomfortably “cool” classical simplicity now so accessible to the general public. The artist has long been able to nourish an aesthetic usually associated with European art of the ’20s and ’30s and in New York with the Steiglitz group. Applying objective observation to chance subject matter, he met both originators of the genre, Arp and Cage, during his Paris years, and through conversations with each, Kelly

found “found.” Closed contour drawing has been with us since the cave artists and continues as a tradition, but until medieval times, it depicted mainly humans and animals. Artists ignored the botanical world until plants acquired symbolic significance and the Renaissance brought forth studies of fruit and flowers as careful as those of anatomy. Excepting his early years, Arp’s later work suffered from a surfeit of “art,” and something similar applies to the current survey of Kelly’s plant drawings. Encircling negative space with a deft contour line, the artist draws a blank so well that it feels more like a well-rehearsed performance than an attempt to describe what his eye sees. He does, however, acquaint us with another aspect of his ongoing concern: the plane in space and the planar aspect of a plant’s structural response to light and gravity. In addition, Kelly refers to these drawings as portraits, and this writer feels that the portrait aspect applies as much to each individual specimen as it does to the many artists through whose eyes Kelly learned to resolve the tension between plane abstraction and the planar nature: Gauguin, Calder, O’Keeffe, Callahan, Léger, Matisse, Demuth,

Photograph courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Plant Life

Ellsworth Kelly, “Wild Grape,” 1961, Watercolor on paper, 22 1/8 x 28 1/2 in.

Mondrian and Hokusai, in addition to Arp and Cage. Seeing, and the representation of what is seen, are both learned and developed experiences. The charming page of apples that opens the exhibition is distinctly Gauguin, and the intricate vertical “Seaweed” (1949) is closely informed by Léger’s holly leaves of 1928-30. “Sweetpea” (1960) and “Coral Leaf” (1987) float with the grace of Calder’s constructions, and the wonderful back-side view of “Sunflower” (1983) is filled with da Vinci’s hours in the Vatican garden. The calla lily is a signature motif in

O’Keeffe’s work, and Demuth’s watercolors have echoes here as well. A complex meandering outline identifies a chrysanthemum with a nod to Mondrian and is emblematic of Kelly’s method: to reduce and refine until only an essential image remains. As a whole, the works, curated by The Met’s Marla Prather, bring us some memories of drawings from an era when art was modern. Ellsworth Kelly Plant Drawings Through Sept. 3, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave., 212-535-7710,

WAITING LIST OPEN Met Council is accepting applications for the waiting list of affordable housing rental apartments in our building located 315 West 61st Street in the Lincoln Square section of Manhattan. These studio apartments are for one person households only. The age eligibility requirement is 62 years of age at the time of application. Current Rent Range Income Range

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June 21, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 9


The CityArts Interview

Visit either our Manhattan or Morristown office: New York, NY 530 First Avenue, Suite 6D 1-877-VEIN-NYU (834-6698) Morristown, NJ 95 Madison Avenue, Suite 415 1-973-538-2000

Mathieu Demy.

Mathieu DeMy

T WAITING LIST OPEN Met Council is accepting applications for the waiting list of affordable housing rental apartments in our building located 351 East 54th Street, NY. These studio apartments are for one person households only. The age eligibility requirement is 62 years of age at the time of application. Current Rent Range Income Range

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he son of the late French filmmaker Jacques Demy (Lola, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and his formerly estranged wife, Agnès Varda (Far from Vietnam, The Gleaners and I), Mathieu Demy sees his first directorial feature, Americano, as a riposte to his mother’s 1981 film Documenteur: An Emotion Picture. One of Varda’s many semiautobiographical/fictional conceits—the title translates to “Docu-liar”—that film enlisted Demy as a 9-year-old actor playing the son of a woman trying to start her life over in Los Angeles after a tumultuous breakup. Demy, who was in a sense that boy in reality, mixes the movie mythology of his father’s romantic nouvelle vague masterpieces with his own turbulent relationship with his vagabond mother and enigmatic father. It’s a journey worth following. [Gregory Solman]

I expected to see the influence of your parents in Americano, but I saw Wim Wenders. Paris, Texas, was definitely an influence. It’s one of my favorite films ever and an inspiration for Americano, definitely. Obviously, I try to put in references, winks, inside jokes, and in that state of mind as an audience, you get caught up in that game and find stuff not intended by the director. I just wanted to put in iconic imagery, connections to films that I loved as a child. They are not necessarily understandable to get the story, but it’s something else on top of the story you can have fun finding. Walter Hill, who was a friend of your father, told me that Jacques Demy believed American directors had discovered a secret—that the ideal length of a feature is 85 minutes—then lost it. I’ve never heard that. At 105 minutes, I missed the point—I’m fucked! In a way, I agree and don’t really agree. When it comes

to perception, what’s so fascinating about time and so fascinating about memory is that it’s not equal. I didn’t get bored for a second watching Titanic at three hours and 20 minutes, and I recently watched a onehour film that seemed to be a year. When it comes to traditional storytelling, I think this is pretty smart; it’s true. But then again, the perception of time is so different from one person to another. But as a filmmaker, it seems you applied a certain discipline to the construction of scenes. When I was editing, my perspective was that I had to make it as short as possible without hurting the feel of the film. If I could have made it 85 minutes, I would have loved to, but it would have damaged, a little bit, that sort of mellow feel I wanted. I wanted people to dream about other films to get into those references, escape a little bit, because that’s the sort of film it is. Were you influenced by the nouvelle vague or the Rive Gauche group or did you feel unconstrained about adopting American influence? Unconstrained. I knew I wanted to make a film that fit my influences, which are not only French or new wave, because of my parents. You mentioned Wenders—Jacques would show me westerns—Rio Bravo, Shane, Johnny Guitar—and American musicals and his musicals… Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Gene Kelly? Yes. And Disney cartoons—lots of Disney cartoons. I wanted to put all those influences of the films I love, have them there, because Americano is really a film about my childhood and related to Documenteur— being an actor in my mom’s film—and also related to the films that Jacques would show me as a kid. A Belgian journalist said I was

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Youth and Life Force Bolshoi anD Kirov vitality preserveD By Joel Lobenthal


egendary Russian dancers show why they are legends in the new DVD Treasures of the Russian Ballet (ICA Classics/Naxos). It contains performances by Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet and (then) Leningrad’s Kirov filmed by the BBC in London from 1956 to 1963, some on stage, some in the television studio. The longest excerpt in the anthology is Act 1 of Yuri Grigorovich’s The Stone Flower, recorded during the Kirov’s debut London season in the summer of 1961. Yuri Soloviev was 20 and Alla Sizova 21 at the time they were filmed here. But for once we’re privy to young dancers not trying to merchandize their youth, but instead experiencing it. They create a portrait of young love that is irrefutable not only visually but artistically. Alla Osipenko dances the role of a mythical mountain dweller who bewitches Soloviev’s character. Her role is filled with jumps to suggest ferality and brittle full stops enabling her unsurpassed arabesque to imprint itself. The preserved performance is a fitting birthday tribute to Osipenko, who turned 80 last week. The Bolshoi’s Raissa Struchkova and Maya Plisetskaya: call them the Life Force ballerinas. Filmed here in excerpts from Cinderella, Struchkova is a quintessential embodiment of the vitality for which the Bolshoi was celebrated. Dancing Kitri in Don Quixote, Plisetskaya transcends soubrette clichés—or is what she’s really doing instead a revelatory distillation of the charm and power of the archetype? Her partner, Vladimir Vasiliev, like Soloviev, and the Bolshoi’s Maris Liepa and Mikhail Lavrovsky, show in this DVD the way they revealed to the world new possibilities for male ballet expression.

Galina Ulanova was a product of the Kirov but was transferred to the Bolshoi at the end of World War II. At 46, Ulanova is quite astonishing in the White Swan adagio from Swan Lake, captured during the company’s debut season in London in 1956. Her performance is technically imperfect by the standards of her day or ours, and yet at any calendar age or historical epoch Ulanova would be the kind of artist about whom quibbles are irrelevant. Every step she takes demonstrates a personal and masterly way of shaping a step, a phrase, a role, a larger metaphor.

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Continued from previous page “avant premier film,” before your first film. That was pretty smart. Because if I hadn’t the ambition to talk about where I’m coming from, the style would probably have been different. I’d like to hear more about the cinemathèque run by your parents. They felt that as parents, the best thing to do was to show what they like and afterward let me see whatever I want. Those 16mm films they would show me at the family house on the west coast of France in the summer when I had a school vacation would include mostly Jacques’ films, but also Jean Vigo’s L’Atalante, Pickpocket, Singing in the NYPre ss .com 

Rain, the westerns I mentioned, Max Ophuls and Hitchcock, The Birds and Psycho. I’m intrigued by your decision to shoot on film. Why was that important to you? It’s still possible. Soon enough it won’t be possible at all, so it was interesting for that. And I wanted to find a form that that could dialog with Documenteur—and be distinct from Documenteur but also be the same organic thing. We match modern Super 16mm with 35mm in 1981. It’s the same thing but very different. The stock is much better now and much different. We wanted to shoot in CinemaScope for this change in format, we tried 35mm, but it was too clean. It didn’t match Documenteur, and I wanted a dialog.

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She Keeps Spider-Man in Step By Angela Barbuti


he first Broadway show Natalie Lomonte ever saw was The Phantom of the Opera. She was visiting New York for the first time with her mother’s dance studio. After purchasing last-minute tickets, they were seated in the 11th row, in the spot where the infamous chandelier comes crashing down on the audience. This may have been a sign that two decades later, she would be cast in another infamous show, Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark. Now 31, Lomonte has been appointed to dance captain of the spectacle, which celebrated its one-year anniversary on June 14. On Mondays, her day off, she can be found at home on the Upper West Side, working on her computer with a Spider-Man mouse pad. We spoke to her by phone last week. What is the job description of a dance captain? Since the choreographer is not there all the time, the dance captain is there to make sure the intentions of the choreographer are carried out and the integrity is maintained to the standard it was originally intended. I cover auditions and rehearsals and train new cast members. How did you get started in dance? In my bio, I say that I began dancing in the womb, because that’s what my mother tells me. She’s a dance teacher and owned a school in Sugarland, Texas. When she was pregnant, she claims that when she put on a record in class, I would start moving around. She continuously tested me by pulling the needle off the record, and I would always stop.

There has been much media coverage of the accidents that plagued the set. How has that affected the dynamic of the show? When we started our first three months of previews, there was a feeling in the air that people were coming just in case an accident happened, because they wanted to be there to witness it. It was very surreal. How is Spider-Man different from other Broadway musicals? Because it was such an expensive production and Julie Taymor, Bono and Edge were involved, the show was a celebrity itself. I feel like we were on the map before we got started, and a lot of people decided whether they were for or against us from the beginning. How much interaction does Bono have with the cast? He works more closely with the creative team. But, as ensemble members, Bono and Edge were present for a few musical rehearsals or when we were putting a new song on stage. Once we opened for previews, they invited us out to dinner. Which celebrities would you like to see in the lead roles eventually? Wow, that’s a really good question. [Aside] Who would I like to see in the lead roles if they were to go the celebrity route? Did you just ask someone for help? I did! [Laughs] I asked my boyfriend, Christopher Tierney, who is also in the show. Alan Cumming was originally cast as the Green Goblin, which would have been a much different direction. Perhaps our show, being based on the Marvel comic, doesn’t have the same immediate need for a celebrity, as others do, in order to sell tickets.

Natalie Lomonte, dance captain of Spider-Man, said during previews there was a “feeling in the air that people were coming just in case an accident happened.”

When you look into the audience, who do you see? You have the occasional kid with his face painted to look like a Spider-Man mask or my personal favorite, a pajama Spider-Man costume with a built-in muscle suit. We have a lot of little kids waving to us when we are bowing. Because it’s about such an iconic character, we definitely have people there who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in seeing a Broadway musical, from tiny kids to grandparents. Who are some famous people who have been in the crowd? Heidi Klum came with her children. Bill Clinton, Jay-Z and Beyoncé, David Ortiz, Al Pacino, Alicia Keyes. A lot of the Yankees. Spider-Man fights the Green Goblin on stage. 1 2 • WEST SIDE SP IR IT • June 2 1, 2 012

Did you ever think the show would close?

I always kept the idea that anything could happen. We were working so hard, for so many hours a day, for so long. In the middle of it, when things were really chaotic, if it were to close, I don’t know that any of us would have been completely surprised. But I never felt pessimistic. In my heart, I thought it would succeed. I can’t tell you why exactly, but I felt like we weren’t going through this for nothing. That’s probably why your show did succeed—because of the cast’s positive outlook. I do think that has a lot to do with it—the attitudes of the people on stage and even backstage. Everyone in our original cast was just absolutely incredible. It’s a very unique vibe in the group; we’re really lucky. We just stuck with it and made it happen.

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NYPre ss .com 



The West Side’s Quirky Shops Still Live By Helen Matsumoto and Amanda Woods


he Upper West Side’s retail landscape is always changing. Big stores edge out smaller ones on some blocks, while momand-pops thrive on others. We set out to find some of the quirkiest shops in the neighborhood.


An assortment of antique door knobs available at Olde Good Things.

Photos by Andrew Schwartz

467 Amsterdam Ave., 212-496-1222, A little girl peered into the window of Granny-Made one morning, eyeing a stuffed giraffe wearing a tutu and dolls dressed in real baby clothes. The store’s owner, Michael Rosenberg, said it was not the first time children have gaped at the window. The store’s supply of zippered cable-knit baby sweaters attracts many customers, said Rosenberg. He displayed one light blue sweater made by his grandmother, who he said was the inspiration for the store. “We’re still a little old-school, but we like that about Granny-Made,” Rosenberg said. Woven alphabet wall hangings—which have become favorite baby gifts—also adorn the front of the store. Granny-Made sells unique, handmade quilts, including one embroidered with characters from the Paddington and Thomas the Tank Engine stories. The store is distinctively New York—cardigans with images of the city’s skyline and yellow taxi booties are also stand-out items. “There are much fewer stores like this one,” Rosenberg said. “Big box stores are

Granny-Made owner Michael Rosenberg.

coming in. But we will always have people who want specialty.”

Olde Good Things 450 Columbus Ave., 212-362-8025, At Olde Good Things, the saying “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure” is put into practice. At this store, a former ceiling or floor, repurposed, makes a great table. Old motorcycle chains can be used to make decorative lettering. And why throw away 60-year-old school chairs? They can find a new home in someone’s house. “I would hope that customers walk out with a renewed sense of the scarcity of our natural resources,” said Joe Stren, the store’s manager. “We’ve become a nation of waste.” In the store, a mirror made of an old window from the Flatiron Building is for sale. A French chandelier from the 1870s that used to adorn an all-girls school in Long Island hangs from the ceiling. Customers can buy an old mantel recovered from the Plaza Hotel or railings from old Brooklyn brownstones. The store also sells a few new items, such as a fiberglass carousel horse that was originally brown but was repainted with colorful patterns. It is an exercise in preserving the past—even when the past takes on a new form.

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Blades 156 W. 72nd St., 212-787-3911, In 1990, just a few years after Rollerblade came out with the inline skates that began that decade’s rollerblading craze, Blades opened its doors on 72nd Street between Broadway and Columbus—just in time for the grunge era to hit Manhattan. Before

Blades, no store had existed on the Upper West Side that sold rollerblades, skateboards and the skater-style casual clothing to match. Throughout the ’90s, Blades provided Upper West Side teenagers with baggy pants, sneakers and, of course, rollerblades. But as the store became more and more established, it began to attract adults and families looking for a new, fun way to exercise and

Inside Blades.

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fEaTuRE spend time together. Located just a block away from Central Park, Blades kept the loop filled with rollerbladers and skateboarders young and old. Today, the newly renovated store bears no suggestion of Blades’ 22-year history. The clothes on the racks have gotten pricier (but are still reasonable), the rollerblades are more high tech and the skateboard display would make any enthusiast’s eyes glaze over. But behind the brightly lit counters filled with sports watches and accessories and the wall of trendy hats, Blades is an Upper West Side staple that has shaped both youth fashion and uptown outdoor life for over two decades.

Town Shop 2273 Broadway, 212-787-2762, Town Shop operates on a single concept: 80 percent of women wear the wrong bra size, according to Danny Koch, the store’s owner. “If your breasts are closer to your navel than they are to your chin, you need a new bra,” Koch said. His family business has been operating in its current location since 1936. “My grandmother really went out of her way to teach me why it’s such a special place, to make sure that the concept that she put forward—which was a store that was based in old-fashioned customer service— was still going to be intact in the Upper West Side, because while it’s good to make some money in your business, it’s better to make your customers happy,” said Koch. Bras in the store range from sizes AA to K, and employees help even the most wellendowed find the perfect fit. Town Shop can do about 60 alterations for the same style bra, Koch said. Some of those styles are nontraditional—they have memory-foam bras, an anti-sweat sports bra and a bra with clear straps in the center, to name just a few. The store’s bras range from $42 to $168, Koch said, most of them in the $60-$78 range.

“There’s an old adage that you’re not supposed to try to be all things to all people, but at the Town Shop, we still try,” Koch said.

Off Broadway Boutique 139 W. 72nd St., 212-724-6713, Between the upscale eateries and swanky stores of West 72nd Street lies the Off Broadway Boutique, a quirky and often overlooked gem of the Upper West Side. “I was a dancer, model and actress, and I didn’t want to be skinny anymore, but I loved fashion,” says the store’s founder, Lynn Dell, in her quick New York voice. “So what can you do that’s more wonderful than opening a store?” Like its owner, the Off Broadway Boutique is eccentric and over the top—passing by on the street, the mannequins draped in colorful wraps of fabric adorned with extravagant hats and bold jewelry give you a glimpse of what lies behind the doors. Catering to older, plus-sized women, the store orders and manufactures clothes from all over the world and sells vintage designer pieces. But don’t think you can walk in to find the same pieces every season. “I make very few things, because everything is special,” said Dell. For 41 years, Dell’s mission has been to bring “‘Glamour’—that’s glamour with a capital G” to Upper West Side women. “We have had people who have been customers for 41 years now—sadly, some of them are starting to move to Florida. But people in the neighborhood love it; the theater people also love the vintage section in the back,” Dell said.

Guatamalen Worry Dolls at Himalayan Crafts.

Soutine Bakery 104 W. 70th St., 212-496-1450, Soutine aptly describes itself as a “small corner of Paris in New York City.” Tucked away on 70th Street just off of Columbus in a tiny store barely big enough for the display counter, Soutine bakes some of the most delicious French pastries and breads on the

Town Shop owner Danny Koch.

Upper West Side—arguably in Manhattan. Just a few skilled bakers turn out the array of tarts, cakes, cookies and breads that are prepared fresh daily. Flowered wedding cakes that taste just as good as they look decorate the shelves as examples for the many couples who come to buy their cake there. In the early 1980s, owners Madge and the late Barry Rosenberg opened Soutine, which has remained one of the few mom-and-pop bakeries on the Upper West Side—many have been put out of business by bakeries like Magnolia or Crumbs. But nothing can beat the quality you will find at Soutine. Their goods retain the warm taste of homemade treats while incorporating the refinement of French cooking. Standing in the tiny modest store, one can almost imagine looking out the glass windows to see the cobblestoned streets of Paris.

Himalayan Crafts The Off Broadway Boutique.


2007 Broadway, 212-787-8500, Walking into Himalayan Crafts is like

stepping off the city streets and into an international oasis. Buddha statues from Indonesia and Nepal adorn the back of the store, Bhutanese animal masks—some with long horns and large teeth—border the wall and the fragrance of incense permeate the room. Shozo Miyahara, the store’s owner, lived in Nepal for many years, where he said locals did not have a place to sell their crafts. With that in mind, Miyahura conceived Himalayan Crafts, which he opened in 1991, as a place to sell Nepali items. Most of the store’s selection is handmade, Miyahura said. Carved wooden jewelry boxes sit atop a table in the center of the store. Some items come from Handwork of India, a not-for-profit organization that employs women and people with disabilities. The store is also stocked with fair trade handbags, jewelry made from old African and Italian glass beads and prayer beads for the Hindu and Buddhist faithful.

J une 21, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 1 5


Rangel Faces Tough Challenge in June 26 Congressional Primary By Megan Bungeroth


he lines have shifted and the race is fierce. As the date of the Democratic primary— June 26—approaches, four candidates for the 13th congressional district are competing for the party’s nomination against long-time incumbent Charles Rangel. The newly drawn boundaries of the

district have been a source of much debate, with Rangel insisting that he is still the best representative and others seizing on the demographic and district changes to call for a new representative. The former 15th District shifted from a majority African-American population to become the new 13th District, which is majority Hispanic. It now includes more of East Harlem, as well as parts of the South Bronx.

Charles Rangel Congress. He is also recovering from back surgery, which has slowed him down and ramped up speculation that he plans to win the race and retire halfway through the term in order to facilitate a special election for his hand-picked successor, Assembly Member Keith Wright—a charge Rangel vehemently denies. While he doesn’t seem to feel much threat from his opponents this time around, Rangel puts his agenda in dramatic terms and has made it clear that he thinks he’s the only person qualified to go to Washington for the 13th District. “It seems to me that everything that I’ve talked about and everything that I’ve said involves national security, in terms of jobs, education and the survival and broadening of the middle class,” Rangel said. “Even more than that—and I’m not a very religious person—but whether you’re Morman, Muslim, Catholic or Protestant, Jewish or gentile, the things I’m talking about and the president’s talking about seem spiritual and Biblical to me. The aged, the sick, the poor—why is there such a silence on these things?” Rangel is also confident that the Democrats will regain the majority in the House of Representatives and be able to move their agenda forward, despite predictions otherwise. “You cannot go into a fight when your country’s involved and say, ‘What happens if you lose?’” he said.

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records and their future potential. Since the district is so heavily Democratic, whoever wins this primary will likely sweep the general election as well, so residents are tasked with making the distinction between five people who all swear they can best represent their interests in Congress.

Adriano Espaillat Often cited as the frontrunner (albeit in a race that’s certainly too close to call), State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, 57, vows to bring new blood and new energy to Washington, D.C. He would also bring the distinction of being the first Dominican-American to serve in Congress, a fact he has repeatedly touted around the newly created majority Hispanic district and one of the things that sets him apart from other candidates. He’s also the only one aside from Rangel who has ever held elected office, which his opponents use against him (painting him with the same brush as Rangel, as a “government-as-usual” candidate) and he uses to his advantage when talking about state legislation he’s passed that shows the kind of issues he promises to address in Congress. “I have the track record of producing jobs,” Espaillat, 57, said in recent editorial board interview. “Seven hundred and fifty new jobs will come as a result of the George Washington Bridge [Terminal] redevelopment to a state-of-the-art shopping facility and business center,” he said of a project he’s worked on at the state level. Creating jobs at the national level has to focus on small businesses, Espaillat said, pointing to creative solutions he’s employed in the state. “[I’ve helped] small businesses with smart energy equipment that will lower their electric bill by 50 percent, giving them disposable income to create summer jobs for chronically unemployed youth,” Espaillat said. He has also worked on immigrants’ rights and passed a law allowing undocumented immigrants in New York State to receive in-state tuition rates. He praised President Barack Obama’s recent decision to grant work visas to undocumented immigrants Andrew Schwartz

Andrew Schwartz

The 21-time incumbent cuts a commanding and complicated figure in national politics. Rangel, who just turned 82, has publicly declared that he doesn’t see much threat in this race and seems, outwardly at least, to be as selfassured as ever in his victory, despite the new district. The longtime politician has recently been dogged by scandal as well as physical ailments. In 2010, the House Ethics Committee found him guilty of several violations relating to taxes, reporting his income and improper fundraising. His campaign agreed to pay a civil fine of $23,000 this year after he was found to be improperly using a rent-stabilized apartment for a campaign office. But Rangel defends his record, equating his violations to minor mistakes and insisting they should not get in the way of his campaign. “I spit on the sidewalk, and I get busted,” Rangel said in an editorial board interview. “You’re damned right I shouldn’t be spitting on the sidewalk. But I didn’t break any laws. I mean, people talk about taxes, and they should, because no one likes anyone to evade taxes.” Rangel says his influence and popularity on Capitol Hill has not diminished, though he is no longer the Democratic leader of the Ways and Means Committee, which he helmed for years, helping him wield bargaining power in

The four challengers to Rangel each bring different backgrounds and personalities to the table, but their stances on major issues—investing in economic development and housing, women’s rights, creating jobs—are quite similar. The race, then, comes down to voters’ evaluation of the candidates’ past

who were brought to the country as children, but said the president hasn’t gone far enough. “Why not open up the doors to these young people who want to get a good job, pay their taxes and help the economy? Why not make them eligible for some of the help that other students get now?” Espaillat asked. He said that passing the DREAM Act would be a top priority in his first term if elected. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has praised Espaillat in the past for not being afraid to stand up to special interests on environmental issues; he considers himself a green candidate and has supported a marine transfer station in the West Village in the name of environmental justice. The 13th congressional district includes East Harlem down to East 96th Street, just five blocks north of the planned MTS for East 91st Street that has local residents up in arms. Espaillat said he’s not casting his support for the plan yet, but said he would consider it carefully before throwing his weight into stopping it, as Upper East Side Rep. Carolyn Maloney has done. “I think there needs to be a full discussion about it,” Espaillat said. “I would like to sit down and speak to the local residents. I know that neighborhood is traumatized right now with all the construction and development” from the Second Avenue Subway project. When it comes to getting things done in a partisan, divisive House of Representatives, Espaillat said that the Democratic party needs to pit strong, progressive voices against Tea Party Republicans and stand with Obama’s agenda when they need to push forward. “I will bring a fresh, new voice to Congress that will get things done and bring back some results,” he said.

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Clyde Williams

Andrew Schwartz

Clyde Williams, 50, has been methodically building his campaign, and his résumé, for a long time. Of all the challengers to Charles Rangel, he has the most national government experience, having worked for the Clinton administration as deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, later working for Clinton in Harlem as a domestic policy advisor. In fact, Clinton’s withholding of his traditional endorsement of Rangel this year is seen by some political insiders as a subtle endorsement of his former staffer. But Williams seems uninterested in playing political games; when asked how he would be effective in Congress, he has no trouble laying out priorities and ways to tackle them. “There’s been a conversation for years about bringing hotels uptown,” Williams said. “It’s not a new idea; the problem is it has never happened, and I believe the reason why it hasn’t happened is that the politics haven’t come together.” He agrees that jobs are the No. 1 priority, and said that he sees real potential for specific industries in the district. “When I talk about workforce development, I’m talking about training people for jobs that exist today,” Williams said. “We have a shortage of nurses in America. We’re importing nurses from Bangkok, Thailand and The Phillipines. There’s no reason we can’t train people in our congressional district to fill those jobs today. Same thing with electri-

cians, plumbers, and auto mechanics.” He also hopes to bring call centers and garment manufacturing back to the area. Williams said one of the things that sets him apart is his understanding of government. “Too many people talk all the time about all these things they’re going to do as a congressman…and they never tell you how they’re going to pay for it,” he said. “I can tell you for a fact—the things I talk about, I can tell you how they’re going to be paid for.” He asserts, for example, that the government needs to invest more money into the country’s infrastructure. “A Department of Transportation study shows that for every billion dollars you spend, you create 47,000 jobs,” he said. That billion could be taken from the subsidies currently given to oil and gas companies, he suggested. When it comes to challenging Rangel, Williams dismisses the idea that he’s not up for the task simply because he’s never held elected office. “Of course Charlie Rangel knows how Congress works better than anybody else—he’s been up there for 40 years. But I’m talking about government. There’s a big difference between government and Congress, and there’s billions of dollars sitting there in government agencies that nobody’s applying for,” Williams said. “I’m the only person who’s running for this race who’s actually worked within the community and worked in Washington, D.C.”

Joyce Johnson

Andrew Schwartz

In a crowded field of candidates, Joyce Johnson, 62, does not hesitate to assert that her gender makes her the uniquely qualified choice for voters. “I am a woman—that distinguishes me. I may just be lucky around this—the sad luck of the Republican right-wing assault on women,” Johnson said in a recent interview. “I do believe that I am the best candidate in this field for the district, [where] so many women are single heads of households.” Promoting equal pay for women is a priority for Johnson, and she said that voters in her district are especially affected by pay disparity, as so many women are supporting


their families on one paycheck. She also said she’s well accustomed to fighting for women’s rights—she had to fight to assert her own authority in the workplace years ago, when she became the first woman in a management position at a Seagram’s distillery in 1970. She faced a lot of opposition at first, managing a union crew that was barely accustomed to working with African Americans, let alone taking orders from a woman, but eventually rose through the ranks at Seagram’s and worked for their corporate office. Johnson credits her success with being able to rise above the sexist comments and connect with her employees on a human level—a tactic she said she would employ in

fEaTuRE Congress to broker bipartisan debate and move her agenda. Johnson left Seagram’s after 17 years and began a career working in communications and community relations for the city in various departments, including for Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields and in the comptroller’s office, the mayor’s Office of Children and Families and the office of the schools chancellor, where she worked with then-Chancellor Rudy Crew. She served as a Democratic district leader for five years and was on the Upper West Side’s Community Board 7, along with other nonprofit and advocacy work. If elected, Johnson hopes to bring jobs and economic vitality to northern Manhattan neighborhoods by luring the hospitality industry, hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions that can capitalize on the tour buses that parade through Harlem every week to visit historic churches and hopefully draw more visitors. “The big thing all over the country is jobs

at every level. We are a country that no longer manufactures anything; we don’t produce anything, it’s all overseas,” Johnson said. “We can incentivize industry, the retail industry, the call center, light manufacturing. That will be supported by Americans crying out for American made.” She hopes to bring many of those industries home to her district. While she’s never held elected office—she ran against Congressman Charles Rangel in 2010 and has run for state Assembly and City Council—Johnson insists that her work in the community has amply prepared her for the job. She gets particularly fiery when asked how she stacks up to Rangel in experience. “He has the same 40 years that I do, and my record is stellar; it’s commanding. He did his [time] in Congress and I did mine breaking glass ceilings,” she said. “He had an easier time in 1972 going to Congress than I had going to Seagram’s in a redneck production plant.”

Craig Schley Craig Schley, 48, wants to make one thing clear: He may have done some modeling in his life, to put himself through school at NYU, but he’s spent a lot more time molding himself into a model citizen and community advocate. He’s also been an electrician’s apprentice, a firefighter and a scuba rescuer and worked with the New York City Commission on Human Rights. “What distinguishes me in particular is that I have a clear and discernable record of defending the interests of the community,” Schley said. “I have a history of being able to negotiate and get what seems to be a hostile opponent to be on board with a plan.” Schley isn’t afraid of conflict, either. In 2008, he worked with a group of activists to adamantly oppose the city’s rezoning of 125th Street in Harlem that he said would displace small businesses and change the neighborhood for the worse for current residents. Recently, a group he founded, Voices of the Everyday People, sued the city over the rezoning. He sees keeping the neighborhoods affordable as one of the most important tasks the 13th District’s next congressional representative will have on his or her plate. “HUD [the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development] in particular has been building homes out of the economic reach of the people living here,” said Schley of his district. “The small mom-and-pop businesses stores up here were unable to afford their leases. Everything is wrapped around property value here.” If he were elected, he said, he would dive

immediately into reforming federal housing regulations. “I would try my best to make sure that I get on the housing committee and introduce legislation for HUD to adopt a standard of building incometargeted housing,” he said. Currently, the department looks at median income for a particular geographic area, which he said can include wealthier counties like Westchester that skew the averages much higher than what is affordable for many residents of Northern Manhattan and the Bronx. He also said he’d work to get the Department of Justice involved in reforming stopand-frisk procedures that unfairly target minorities. Schley, who once interned for Charles Rangel, said it’s high time someone new stepped into place, and that his inexperience in elected office should not be a hindrance for his campaign. “Our current president was a genius senator and ran for president as soon as he got into office,” Schley said. “I’ve been a public servant all my life.” “At the end of the day, representation comes from the ability to garner support from the people in your community. I, unlike my other candidates, enjoy broad support, being cross-endorsed by other parties,” Schley said, referring to his support from the political action committee he formed and under which he ran for Congress in 2008 and 2010, and his endorsement by the Republican Party. “There’s going to be a learning curve no matter what you do,” he said.

J une 21, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 1 7


The Race for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Seat By Alissa Fleck

George Maragos accuses his opponents City & State recently himself as a more moderof being indecisive on the tax issue and reported, though a ate vote than the others. focuses heavily on his own history of campaign spokesTurner, a generally adaen. Kirsten Gillibrand may business experience in finance. Prior to person said she will mant critic of the Obama rank favorably in polls, but his political career, Maragos was a vice have sufficient funds administration, has taken Republican hopefuls are dukpresident at Chase Manhattan Bank and to compete in the criticism for not ruling out ing it out for her seat, with the primary due to promi- Citibank before founding SDS Financial tax increases, unlike his June 26 primary fast approaching. The Technologies, of which he was presinent backers. Long oppothree Republicans dent for over 20 years. Maragos says that has an extensive hisnents, who vying for her postitory of involvement in what’s lacking in Congress is solid ecosigned tion, who particinomic theory above all else. He believes conservative activism Grover pated in a primary the government’s top priority is restoring and politics as a lobNorquist’s debate last week, economic growth and byist for anti-tax have elucidated creating private sector conservapledge. their plans to dejobs. Maragos says our tive judges; Norquist crease government economy requires a she pushes issued control and spend“fundamental restrucfor an end a press ing. In the teleturing,” including a resto what release vised debate, they Rep. Bob Turner. toration to free market she sees as slam“fought to stress principles. “limited self-government” ming Turner, calling him their differences,” Despite the contenand “elite liberal” destruc“reminiscent of Barack the New York Times tious issues on the table, tion of the Constitution and Obama,” while Turner has reported, though experts anticipate a low individual rights and entermaintained he will make they demonstrated turnout at the primaprise. According to Norquist’s compromises if necessary. mainly similarities ries; a recent Siena release, Long is the only Wendy Long is a between them. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. College poll shows 70 candidate of the three who Manhattan lawyer and Rep. Bob Turner, percent of Republican has committed to not raising political newcomer whose campaign the best-known candidate, who last year voters do not prefer any taxes. has suffered some financial setbacks. won Anthony Weiner’s congressional seat candidate. Nassau County Comptroller Wendy Long. She currently holds $193,000 in debt, with Tea Party support, has presented


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June 21, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 1 9


Open Your Mind About Oaky Chardonnays Don’t follow the mob when it comes to this aging process


want to get it out on the table: I am just as confused as any of you are by many of the popular trends in wine today. And it isn’t just the often hilarious terminology (I could write an entire post on that), it’s the absolutism and lack of gray areas that seem to prevail in the wine community’s opinions on certain things. It seems that once a high-profile wine professional has decided that he or she likes or doesn’t like something, the rest of the wine community follows like lemmings off a cliff. It is this very behavior that has turned me into a difficult, fussy contrarian. I don’t set out to be difficult (though my wife may beg to differ, especially while we are watching TV). But for some reason, whenever there’s a consensus about one popular thing being plunked down into


a solid “good” or “bad” category, it immediately raises red flags for me and I’ll usually take the opposite position, just to try and even the score. Now, I will be the first to admit that I am not immediately drawn to a chardonnay that has been either fermented or aged excessively in oak. This was a style that caught on in the late ’70s and grew in popularity through the ’80s, until the market was saturated with this style of chard in the ’90s. Then came the backlash. It started with wine geeks who, rightfully, hated the cheaply made, “oaky” chards that tasted like a stick of butter nailed to a two-by-four. These wines were often not even made using oak barrels, which are very expensive. Instead, oak chips were (and still are) dumped into a stainless steel vat of wine to add oaky tones. Sometimes, even sawdust is used.

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These are terrible wines. You will get no argument from me about that. However, there has been a hysteria over the last decade or so about chardonnays that have any oak flavor at all. Any use of oak is looked down upon and thought of as bourgeois. This By Josh Perilo is an incredibly ignorant point of view that has, unfortunately, become the norm now in the oversaturated world of faux wine connoisseurs. Oak is good. Oak can be amazing, actually. It takes more talent to use oak correctly in winemaking than to not use it at all. When done the right way, the end product is breathtaking. For a tremendous example of what the new world can offer along the lines of well-made, oak-laden chardonnays, look to Arcadian Vineyard “Sleepy Hollow” Chardonnay 2006 ($36.99 at Astor Wines, 399 Lafayette St., at E. 4th St.,

212-674-7500, from California’s Central Coast. This wine is both fermented and aged in French oak barrels. The result isn’t an over-the-top, wet particle board smackdown; instead, it starts on the nose with ripe oranges and notes of French bread. On the palate, the super-ripe citrus continues with pineapple through the middle. The end has flavors of honey, white pepper and even a hint of caramel. This vino is a meal all by itself, but would be the ultimate match-up for lobster and drawn butter. The old world has plenty of good, oaky chardonnay to bring to the table, as well. The Chateau Fuissé Pouilly-Fuissé “Les Brûlés” 2007 ($60 at Sherry-Lehmann, 505 Park Ave., at 59th St., 212-838-7500, from Burgundy is a touch lighter, but no less intense. There are massive amounts of ginger and crème brûlée scents. The palate is all about vanilla, white peach and spice. The finish has hints of cinnamon, allspice and quince. This wine is a masterpiece. So, break off from the mob and open your mind. Try tasting a truly great wine that is made, if not to please the masses, at least those for who appreciate expert craftsmanship. Follow Josh on Twitter: @joshperilo.

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Paris off Madison Avenue Table d’HôTe is your sTandard neigHborHood spoT—if your neigHborHood spoke frencH By Regan Hofmann


ne of the great joys of city life is the neighborhood restaurant. They’re friendly, comfortable, conveniently located—usually on a quiet side street—and the food is good but not complicated, skillful but not demanding. They’re the kind of place you can return to several times in a week without feeling like a foie gras goose, overstuffed and greasy. New Yorkers know these spots well. We tend to forget, though, in that special worldview that reduces much of the rest of the world to “OK to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there,” that we’re not the only ones. In Barcelona, every few blocks has its own cafe for seafood a la plancha. Seattle has more retro-styled locavore comfort food than you N ORDER Emaila stick Art at. And Paris has a bistro can- shake on every corner with a prix fixe menu that rth starts with pâté de campagne and ends Media with crême carame. Ex-pats can spend a

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lifetime bemoaning their loss, seeking out every Spanish restaurant in L.A. only to find not one of them can make pan con tomate properly. For those French in New York performing that desperate search, there is light on East 92nd Street. On a quiet corner, with a barely existent awning and an unassuming entrance, is Table d’Hôte (44 E. 92nd St., betw. Park & Madison Aves., tabledhote. info), a neighborhood restaurant that manages to be both local spot and Parisian vacation. Stepping through the glass-fronted door is like taking a trip straight to the 13th Arrondissement, faster than the Concorde and not nearly as pricey. There has been a restaurant in this location for some 30 years; when chef-owner William Knapp bought it from the original owners last year, he knew he had to keep much the same so as not to alienate those who had grown reliant on their own neighborhood spot. But while the chairs and chalkboards are the same, the approach is brand-new. Knapp’s CIA training and years in the

belly of New York’s fine dining beast, including time served under Tom Colicchio at Gramercy Tavern and then Craft, have given him a mastery of traditional techniques and preparations as well as an easy hand with seasonality and creative interpretation based on what’s available this minute. Impossibly crispy-skinned salmon with gently cooked, still red flesh comes with new green peas and their shoots today; in two months, it will almost certainly have a dog days of summer accompaniment. The short menu is stacked with comfortable (not comfort food—an important distinction) dishes that would be at home on any residential rue—a substantial, meltingly tender leg of duck confit, steamed mussels with saffron and the aforementioned pâté de campagne. American touches like the crab cake with cucumber salad remind you not to break out your high school language skills with the waitress, but even that could be found in some of the cooler quartiers (have you heard Brooklyn is the next big trend in Paris?). According to Knapp, he’s forbidden from

swapping many of these off the menu in favor of new ideas; customers, as one does at one’s neighborhood spot, become set in their “usual” and have staged uprisings when a beloved Sunday night meal goes missing. So he makes the most of the daily specials, recently offering refreshingly light salmon rillettes as a counterpoint to the more autumnal pâté. Desserts move up the sophistication ladder a rung or two—the chocolate tart is spiked with a smoky Earl Grey tea essence and the hazelnut brittle that accompanies the mocha semifreddo is shockingly blond, spiked with macadamia nuts that amplify the buttery toffee; the candy is somehow both lighter and more decadent than crunchier, more caramel-colored renditions. Acknowledging his own limitations, Knapp wisely recruited Elishia Richards, former executive pastry chef at Esca, to design a short but versatile dessert menu to mirror his approach to the mains. They end the meal on a high note that doesn’t overwhelm or leave you waddling out the door. Working with a kitchen barely big enough for two and the practical concerns of taking over an established restaurant (“I was going to put in banquettes, make it look a little more modern,” he said, “but the chairs that were here are perfectly good—why waste the money?”), Knapp has made his Table d’Hôte the sort of instant classic Parisians demand and New Yorkers didn’t know they could have.

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June 21, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 21

Special SecTiON

A Poster Couple a Year Later By David Gibbons

Freedom to Marry (FTM) sparked its campaign to win the right to same-sex marriage in New York State last year with a series of short videos featuring charming, engaging gay couples—not least among them George Constantinou and Farid Ali Lancheros—that put a human face on the issue and helped insure the movement’s success. “It was very much a fulfillment of our approach of giving the reachable but not-yetreached personal, local stories that open hearts and change minds, as the president recently described,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of FTM and a civil rights lawyer who has argued cases all the way up to the Supreme Court. The videos highlighted the couples’ commitment and sincerity, nudging viewers to the conclusion that they deserve a chance at marriage just like anybody else. Where are they today? Constantinou and Lancheros are about to get married, if only they can find an hour or two to tear themselves away from their thriving, demanding business and hurry down to the courthouse for a civil ceremony. (The celebration will come later.) Their daily life constitutes a version of the classic American Dream: A young couple, the hard-working offspring of striving immigrants, sets up a household in Brooklyn, opens a restaurant a few blocks away, puts in the sweat, builds the business and, after a few years, decides to start a family. “I guess you’d have to say we’re living the gay American dream,” Lancheros said. “It’s astounding. And it’s really testament to the fact that with determination, faith and action, all things are possible.” The first and most obvious question— how did they have children?—is answered in their baby shower video. (Go to YouTube and search “George and Farid” or “Farid and George’s Baby Shower.”) The short answer is they worked with a Boston specialty clinic that found a compatible egg donor and a surrogate willing to bear twins. They each fertilized 10 eggs, and the two most viable were implanted—one from Constantinou’s batch and the other from Lancheros’, so each of the men would be the biological father of one of their children.

Farid Ali Lancheros and George Constantinouwith their son and daughter, Milena and Gustavo at their restaurant Bogota Latin Bistro. Photo by Jonathan Springer

Lancheros, 47, is the son of a Colombian mother and Palestinian father. Constantinou, 36, is from Long Island; his mother immigrated from Costa Rica, his father from Cyprus. Together, they form a typical New York City melting-pot family. The couple met at a speed-dating event in 2001 and have been together ever since. With his easygoing, fluid manner and quick smile, it’s no surprise that Constantinou found success young as a bartender and restaurant manager. Lancheros was reluctant to relinquish his 9-to-5 paycheck, but after a trip to Colombia where they

“We’re living the gay American dream.”

22 • O WEST UR TOWN SIDE SP DOWNTOWN IR IT • June • 2JUN 1, 2 012 E 2 1, 2 01 2

sampled the local cuisine, Constantinou convinced him they ought to follow his dream and open their own restaurant. Thus was born Bogota Latin Bistro in Park Slope, Brooklyn, on July 5, 2005. The place turned a profit almost immediately and has become one of the most popular, successful Latin-themed eateries in the five boroughs. Their twins, Gustavo and Milena, were born Nov. 6, 2011, and they were able to attend the birth. “They are a delight—healthy, happy, and they both sleep through the night,” said Constantinou. “They’re 7 and a half months old and are the most amazing babies—all smiles, they only cry when they’re hungry, they want to be picked up or they’re teething. Yesterday we had a first: Milena cried when we left for work.” “In light of the fact that we’re both men,

our pediatrician said she’s never met two calmer parents,” Lancheros said. “The restaurant is incredible training for that. Stuff happens and you manage, you forge ahead. I’ll tell you what: These two babies are a piece of cake compared to running a restaurant.” Anyone who questions a gay couple’s suitability to marriage and raising kids need only glimpse Constantinou and Lancheros in action to sense not only the open, energetic, exuberant and humorous approach they take to negotiating the challenges of sustaining a relationship and becoming responsible, loving parents, but also the underlying seriousness and honesty of their commitment to the endeavor. But don’t trust this account; go online and check out Constantinou and Lancheros for yourself in their own words—and smiles. NY m

Special SecTiON


Pets Don’t Sweat HigH temperatures can be deadly for fido By Robin Breenen

T Last year’s Gay Pride Parade. Photo by Andrew Schwartz

By Rebecca Harris


ew York City’s Gay Pride Week kicked off this past Sunday, drawing hundreds of thousands to participate in the largest celebration of LGBT pride in the United States. From now through Sunday will be a wide range of events throughout Manhattan, from street fairs to parades to raging dance parties. Here’s a list of some of the city’s top Pride Week attractions.

RaptuRe on the RiveR

Sat, June 23, 4-11 p.m. Pier 57 (15th St., at the West Side Highway-Hudson River Park) LGBT women can dance the night away to musical performances by entertainers like headliner DJ Whitney Day and openers Missy B and Trini. Pier 57 features easy access to bars, social spaces and restrooms. Tickets can be purchased for $25 online or $35 at the door. VIP tickets are also available online.


Sun, June 24, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Hudson St. betw. Abington Square & W. 14th St. The 19th annual LGBT street fair featuring vendors, entertainers and community activities attracts thousands of local and out-of-state residents, business owners and community leaders every year. This event is free and open to the public. Registration to be a vendor is available online.

the MaRch

Sun, June 24, noon Starts at 36th St. & 5th Ave., ends at Christopher & Greenwich St. NYC Pride presents the 42nd annual LGBT Pride Parade, drawing hundreds of thousands of people to the streets of Manhattan each year to celebrate gay pride with floats, musical performances and more. The oldest gay pride parade in the United States, The March is a massive civil rights demonstration first held in 1970 to mark the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Cyndi Lauper, Chris Salgardo, Phyllis Siegel and Connie Kopelov will serve as the parade’s grand marshals this year. This event is free and open to the public. Special needs seating will be available at 23rd Street and 5th Avenue.

dance on the pieR

Sun, June 24, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Pier 57 (15th St., at the West Side Highway-Hudson River Park) The 26th annual music and dance event will follow Sunday’s March, featuring musical performances by Eva Simmons, Eddie Baez, The Perry Twins and DJ Borris, among others. Tickets can be purchased online for $90. VIP tickets are also available online. All proceeds from ticket sales will go to NYC Pride and other LGBT organizations.


Andrew Roberts

Celebrating Gay Pride With Plenty of Events

he dog days of summer can be hazardous for your pet. Be a cool owner and help your canine companion beat the heat this summer. It is important to realize that people and animals differ greatly in their ability to regulate internal body temperature. Humans have hundreds of sweat glands, all over the body, that help us stay cool by releasing moisture which evaporates on the skin’s surface. Dogs have very few sweat glands, all of which are located in the pads of their feet. Dogs cool themselves primarily by the process of panting and breathing, with the moist lining of their lungs, tongue, mucous membranes and windpipe serving as the evaporative surfaces. Dogs also release heat by dilating blood vessels in the face, ears and hairless areas of the body like the armpits and groin. This allows blood to flow closer to the skin’s surface, where it has a chance to cool down. because they don’t get along well with Minimizing your dog’s exposureAssembly to people or other dogs. While you may Member extreme temperatures can prevent a be trying to prevent a bite, you are also life-threatening condition called hyperpreventing your dog from panting and thermia, which can lead to heat stroke. cooling off. Basket muzzles are a much A dog’s normal body temperature is better alternative, as they allow your 101–103 degrees Farenheit. Hypertherdog to pant freely, but also add the mia is a sustained core body temperalayer of protection you are looking for. ture over 105, due to the dog’s inability If you enjoy exercising with your dog, to cool itself efficiently. Certain dogs do so at the coolest part of the day. are at higher risk because of their body Noontime jogs are not a good idea. conformations or medical conditions. If you think your pet may be expeAt-risk dogs are those that have thick riencing heat stroke, take immediate hair coats, flat faces (like bulldogs), steps to cool him/her down, then seek lung/breathing or heart problems, or veterinary attention at the Animal that are older or overweight. Symptoms Hospitals at Bideawee or from your include hard and harsh panting, deep veterinarian. This usually entails hosred gums, drooling, sluggishness, dising your dog off with cool water or orientation, vomiting and diarrhea. Insubmerging him/her in a tepid bath; it ternal body temperatures over 105–106 may not be enough to just bring your Assembly Member Dick Gottfried degrees can quickly lead to organ failpet into an air-conditioned room. Ice Wishes You a ure and death. These temperatures can packs applied to the armpit and groin be reached even with moderate heat can also help cool your dog. Once at and exercise. I have seen this happen the vet, further cooling procedures can to a dog who sat under a hair dryer too be administered. However, some of the — — — —of—prolonged, —— long while at the groomer! consequences extreme elSex Marriage Never leave your dog unattendedSame in a evations in body temperature can cause Introduced first bill in process NYS Assembly parked car, even for a minute. Temperaan irreversible of multi-organ tures inside that vehicle can easily reach system failure leading to death. GENDA (Transgender Rights) 160 degrees in a matter of minutes. Five On hot days, the coolest thing to do Introducer & be lead inatNYS Assembly minutes inside can lead to death. Conmay to sponsor leave Fido home. sider leaving your dog at home when you run errands on a hot day. Robin Brennen chief offloor veterinary Dick Gottfried’s Community Office: 242 West 27th Street,isground I see many dogs being walked with services & VP Program Operations at Ph: 212-807-7900, E-mail: canvas muzzles in place, presumably Bideawee.

Daniel O’Donnell

The Upper West Side’s Champion for Marriage Equality and Social Justice

Happy Pride!

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J UNE21, J une 2012 21, •2012   O UR  • TOW  W EST N DSI OW D ENTOW SP I RIN T • 23

conTInuIng EDucaTIon

Swimming 101 for Adults By Laura Shin


rom stress relief to reducing the risk of heart disease, there are many reported benefits to swimming. And on a hot summer day in New York City, it’s also a great way to cool off. These are just a few reasons why some adults who never learned to swim are signing up to learn now. “Everybody can learn to swim—it has nothing to do with age,” said Lori Pailet, managing director of Aqua Skills, a swim instruction group in Manhattan. “There are so many benefits—it’s great cardio, great for circulation, great for flexibility and it doesn’t hurt your joints.” Aqua Skills offers group classes as well as private and semiprivate lessons for adults at different locations in Manhattan. It offers a flexible schedule with classes seven days a week and an “Early Bird” class that begins at 6 a.m., said Pailet. Many other programs also offer beginner swim classes for adults in the city. Mary O’Donoghue, aquatics specialist for the YMCA of Greater New York, said there are five YMCA locations in Manhattan that all offer swimming classes for adults. She said participants range from adults in their twenties to those over the age of 60. “One of our members was 65 when she started taking lessons,” she said. “When she grew up, she didn’t have the finances or time to learn to swim. She wanted to enjoy the water with her grandchildren, so she decided she was going to do it.” The adult beginner classes cover the basics of swimming as well as addressing any fears that adults may have about being

in the water. The class is a good fit for adults who have never swum before or those who can swim a little bit but have not gone into deeper water, O’Donoghue said. For more information about Aqua Skills, visit or call 212-206-6976. To find a YMCA location, a class schedule and rate information, visit or call 212-630-9600. Below are a few options available in Manhattan: Asphalt Green: Freestyle 101 Learn the basics of freestyle swimming in this intro course—breath control, floating, submersion, kicking and arm movements. Note: Swimmers must be able to comfortably float on their front with their face in the water. Dates: Saturdays, June 30–Aug. 18 Time: 3:30–4:15 p.m. Price: $240 for members, $288 for nonmembers Location: Asphalt Green, 555 E. 90th St. For more info or to register, call 212-3698890 or visit Private beginner lessons for adults are also available at Asphalt Green for the summer term, which runs June 25 through Aug. 18. Half-hour lessons are $65 per lesson, and 1-hour lessons are $130. For more information, email privatelessons@asphaltgreen. org or call 646-981-2387. NYC Parks: Learn to Swim Program The city’s Department of Parks and Recreation offers swimming lessons for people of all ages free of charge. Space is limited and registration is by lottery. Applicants who do

not win a spot are placed on a waiting list. Dates: Session 1: July 9–July 24 Session 2: July 25–Aug. 9 Session 3: Aug. 10 – Aug. 24 Classes are Monday through Friday. Time: 7:15–8:15 p.m. Price: Free Location: Lasker Pool, 110th Street and Lenox Avenue For more info or to register, visit www., 92Y: Beginner Swim Group No experience is necessary for this adult beginner swim class, where you’ll learn basic skills and proper body alignment. Dates: Sundays, July 29–Aug. 19 Time: 6–7 p.m. Price: From $132 Location: 92Y, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street For more info, to register or to find more sessions this summer, visit 92Y also offers “Water Fear Wash-Away for Adults” courses for individuals with aquatic phobias. Check out their website for more details. The Jewish Community Center: Adult Beginner Swim The JCC offers adult learn-to-swim classes taught by American Red Crosscertified instructors. Beginner courses cover the basics: breath control, self-propulsion, buoyancy and water safety skills. Dates: Summer Session: Mondays, June 18–Aug. 13 (classes are prorated for late registrants) Fall Session: Mondays, Sept. 10–Nov. 5

Time: 7:30–8:30 p.m. Price: $315 for members, $405 for nonmembers Location: JCC, 334 Amsterdam Ave. For more info or to register, call 646-5055708 or visit . Physique Swimming Physique Swim School offers adult beginner swim classes throughout the summer at different locations throughout Manhattan, including uptown, the Upper East Side, Midtown East and Downtown. Dates: Various Time: Various Price: $400 for 8 courses, $720 for 16 courses Location: Various For more info or to register, call 212-7250939 or visit schedule/ny/adult.

Kids Learn About the Great Outdoors Alley Pond Park | Queens High Rock Park | Staten Island

By Jennifer Lehner


ou and the kids may be dyed-in-the-wool urbanites, but come summer, that doesn’t mean that you don’t crave cooling ocean breezes and sand between your toes, yearn for the chance to break out binoculars (you just have to find them first) and gaze up at the stars, and desperately want to set up a tent somewhere other than your coop’s living room. Here’s how you can get out of your walk-up and into the New York City “wilderness” as soon as the weather warms.

CAMPING COOLEST CAMPING FOR KIDS Fridays and Saturdays in July and August, families can join the Urban Park Rangers ( for an overnight camping experience in New York City. The night includes a cookout and other evening

activities like stargazing, nocturnal walks, orienteering, nature crafts, campfires, fishing and bird-watching. The program is free, but registration is required and campers are chosen by a lottery system. Participating locations include: Van Cortlandt Park | Bronx Marine Park | Brooklyn Central Park | Manhattan

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MOST MAGICAL STARGAZING The city that never sleeps is not the ideal venue for aspiring astronomers, but there are still a couple of places that offer the least light pollution—perfect for spotting shooting stars. Floyd Bennett Field | Gateway National Recreation Center | Brooklyn Great Kills Park | Staten Island BEST PLACE TO SNOOZE WITH ANIMALS Family Overnight Safari | Bronx Zoo This popular family event books up

early and features a picnic dinner, handson animal experiences, scavenger hunts, games, sing-alongs, guided walks and a sea lion wake-up call.

NATURE BEST FOR BIRD-WATCHING Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Gateway National Recreation Area | Queens Look for long-legged waders like egrets, herons and ibises; shorebirds like sandpipers and plovers; and a variety of songbirds such as olive-sided flycatchers and blue grosbeaks at this bird sanctuary— one of the largest in the northeastern United States. MOST MAGNIFICENT TREE

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continuing education Magnolia Tree Earth Center | Brooklyn The 40-foot Magnolia grandiflora at this nature center was declared a living landmark in 1970 and is an excellent way to teach your kids about the importance of trees (and sadly, their rarity) in urban landscapes. PERFECT RAINY DAY ACTIVITY IN CENTRAL PARK Charles A. Dana Discovery Center Central Park | Manhattan The kids had their heart set on exploring Central Park, but it’s raining cats and dogs. Now what? Dash between the raindrops to the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center for a perfect (not to mention, dry) view of the 11-acre Harlem Meer and learn all about the wildlife found there, including great egrets, cormorants and bullfrogs. BEST NATURE CENTER IN DISGUISE The Henry Luce Nature Observatory at Belvedere Castle, Central Park | Manhattan From this vantage point, you can view migrating hawks and monarch butterflies, turtles sunning themselves on pond rocks and birds flitting about the Ramble. Plus, there’s plenty to see inside the Woodlands and Water Discovery Room.

OLDIE BUT A GOODIE Alley Pond Environmental Center, Alley Pond Park | Queens Tucked inside the 635-acre Alley Pond Park, this nature center—which opened in the ’70s— was one of the city’s first of its kind. Its Animal Room lets kids get up close and personal with the likes of Bernie the Corn Snake, Loke the Prairie Dog and Henry the Ring-Necked Dove. It boasts a myriad of family programs, including nature walks on the Alley Pond Nature Trail, nature photography classes, animal care training and stargazing workshops. GREAT FOR BAT-WATCHING Bats abound in the city, but during the day they stay tucked away, hanging upside down and hiding from predators. The best time to see them is in the summertime at dusk, especially on humid evenings. Here’s where to go to catch a glimpse of these furry, flying creatures: The Gerritsen Creek Nature Trail Marine Park | Brooklyn The Great Hill, Central Park | Manhattan Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Gateway National Recreational Area | Queens Spring Pond, Blue Heron Park | Staten Island THE BEST OF BOTANICAL GARDENS New York Botanical Garden | Bronx Oh, the many reasons to visit this massive, gorgeous garden this summer: the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the country’s largest Victorian glasshouse; the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden featuring a boulder maze, hedge maze, a natural wetland and Discovery Center; and the Ruth Rea Howell Family Garden— where kids can dig, plant and grow in one of the many hands-on gardening activities on offer. Brooklyn Botanic Garden | Brooklyn This oasis is home to the country’s longest operating children’s garden (it opened in 1914), and its 52 acres are the perfect size to explore with young ones. Go in June, when the Cranford Rose Garden’s blooms are at their most magnificent. bbg. org Queens Botanical Garden | Queens The Bee Garden houses plants and trees that attract bees or flavor honey— if nothing else, it provides an ample opportunity to have that proverbial talk

with your kids (wink, nudge). The shady Woodland Garden, with its woodchipcovered walking trails and streams, will make the whole fam forget that you’re actually smack dab in the middle of Flushing. Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden | Staten Island Children will love the Connie Gretz Secret Garden, a charming space inspired by the 1911 children’s classic of the same name featuring a turreted castle and a hedge maze leading to its very own secret, brick-walled garden of dogwoods, roses, and other blooming trees and flowers. MOST ECLECTIC COMMUNITY GARDEN Liz Christy Garden, Lower East Side | Manhattan Located on the northeast corner of Bowery and Houston Streets, the city’s oldest community garden houses: a pond home to fish and red-eared slider turtles, a wildflower habitat, wooden furniture perfect for afternoon storytime, a grape arbor, a grove of weeping birch trees, fruit trees, a dawn redwood, vegetable gardens, berries, herbs and hundreds of flowers. After racking up 20 hours volunteering, your family is granted a key.

Léman Manhattan

Overweight, Post-menopausal Women Needed

Parents seeking a private school education for their child have many excellent choices in New York City. But there is no school quite like ours.

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.

Located in historic downtown Manhattan, Léman Manhattan is the school that offers the rigorous academics and plans to offer an International Baccalaureate Diploma by May 2015. It’s the school that teaches the critical thinking skills that are keys to preparing today’s graduates to succeed at top choice colleges and throughout their lives. It’s the school that believes learning courage, resilience, empathy and open-mindedness is just as important as learning calculus, chemistry and history.

You may be eligible if you are: • Post-menopausal (last period must be >24mo ago) • 40-70 years of age • Very overweight (BMI >35) • Not diabetic Participation involves: • Two, 3-day inpatient stays at The Rockefeller University Hospital (private room) • Fat biopsies • Taking Omega-3 Fatty Acid Compensation is provided for participation

To learn more, contact our Recruitment Specialist at 1-800-RUCARES or email us at NYPre ss .com 

It’s the school with state-of-the-art facilities including: a light-filled library, performing arts auditoriums, rock climbing wall, roof-top playground, regulation-size gymnasiums, personal training room and two competition-size pools. It’s the school that offers small classes and Personal Learning Plans designed to challenge and excite each student to reach his or her potential. It’s the only preparatory school in Manhattan with established sister schools in Europe, Asia, Latin America and throughout the US offering our students exciting opportunities to participate in international academic, athletic, music and art exchange programs. Léman Manhattan offers a one-of-a-kind international boarding program where students from around the world can share culture and diverse perspectives to create a truly global community. All of this contributes to a learning experience that is second to none. Where does your child go to school?

212-232-0266 EXT. 259 * Janet Barrett, Director of Admissions * June 21, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 25


Like Mother, Like Son

‘The MaMa’s Boy MyTh’ Makes The case for MoMs who like To raise Their Boys closer

Your book is clearly a study and not a parenting manual. What advice do you have for new mothers of boys? Follow your instincts. Your son needs you, and it’s good to keep [him] close. Spending time with your boy as [he] gets older, away from the rest of the family, fosters closeness. There’s something primal about the mother-son relationship throughout life at every stage.

By Jessica Kobrin Bernstein


hen she was raising her two children, Kate Stone Lombardi—a seasoned journalist for The New York Times for more than two decades and mom to now-26-year-old Jeanie and 23-year-old Paul—was taken aback by the assumptions of so many people around her, who said it was best to distance herself from her son to avoid him becoming a “mama’s boy.” But Lombardi’s parenting instincts went against all of the advice that she was hearing. Synthesizing years of research with hundreds of her own interviews with mothers, sons, fathers and experts, she presents a solid argument to those naysayers in her book, The Mama’s Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Sons Close Makes Them Stronger (Avery). Both the data and the personal anecdotes demonstrate that fostering a close mother-son relationship results in emotionally evolved, empathetic and successful men. What inspired you to write The Mama’s Boy Myth? There was nothing in popular culture that depicted a mother-son relationship in a positive way. The only thing in books [and] movies were negative images of controlling moms and weak, wussy boys who were never going to grow up to be independent. My relationship [with my son, Paul] didn’t look anything like that—I wanted to know where this was coming from. In your opinion, what is the importance of

Hot Tip of the Week

Family Fishing Hook, line and sinker! Whether fishing is one of your passions or you’ve just been itching to try it, the Central Park Family Fishing Celebration is the weekend event for you. This catchand-release afternoon will be held at the Harlem Meer, which is filled with largemouth bass, carp, sunfish and pickerel. There will also be plenty of arts & crafts projects and storytime with the Magic Goldfish. For ages 5 and up. For more information, visit And for even more family fun, visit

boundaries by putting her in a football jersey or teaching her something mechanical. If a mom spends too much time with her son or teaches him something traditionally female, moms get pushed back—leave that kid alone, let him be, stop bothering him. Mothers don’t get as much leeway with their sons as dads have with their daughters.

Kate Stone Lombardi and her son, Paul.

the mother-son relationship? Moms teach their boys to recognize what they’re feeling, talk about it and start to develop empathy for others. They work at every stage of the game to develop emotional intelligence—it doesn’t make boys weak or dependent, it equips them to navigate life later on. Has there been any backlash surrounding the book? I had an excerpt printed in the Wall Street Journal and some of the comments—more than 200— were really angry, most of them from men. One said, “Your son sounds like the kind of kid they would have beaten up as a child.” This really surprised me, because this book is really good news—I love boys and men, and I think fathers are very important. This book is just about mothers and sons. Tell me about any positive feedback. [There have been] a lot of positive comments from sons—one that made me really happy was [from] a veteran of the Afghan and Iraq War, your typical guys’ guy. He talked about how his mom made him a better parent and soldier. How do these close mother-son relationships differ from helicopter parenting? What I’m talking about is maintaining an emotional connection to your son and

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

letting him develop into the full person that he is. My generation encouraged what used to be considered masculine traits, like pursuing education, in our daughters, so we should also be encouraging emotional intelligence in our sons. What kind of dialogue do you hope to spark with your research? My hope is that we start to have a conversation about some of the assumptions we’re making. We’re still looking at the mother-son relationship like it’s 1955. I’m tired of these old stereotypes. Tenyear-old boys still need their moms, and 17-year-old boys still need their moms. Freud cannot be avoided with a topic like this! Freud was clearly a brilliant man, but he wrote the Oedipus complex in 1899. He was not writing a parenting guide for 2012—he was talking about the subconscious and, over the years, it’s [been] distorted into a prohibition against motherson relationships. He was never against mothers and sons having a normal, close relationship. Do you think there is a double standard when it comes to the father-daughter relationship? When dads are close to [their] daughters, everyone thinks it’s great. A dad can do anything with his daughter—she can be his little princess or he can push traditional

What about for mothers of older sons? It is never too late to reach out and establish a bond. Early imprinting is important, but I’ve spoken to many moms who early on bought into the cultural expectations that they should push their sons away, and later reached out to their sons with positive results. It was sometimes as simple as a mom calling her son and saying, “I miss seeing you. Want to go for a walk?” You also have a daughter. What has motherhood been like with both of your children? Raising both a son and a daughter in this culture sometimes felt like a strange balancing act. I was encouraging my daughter to excel in school, work hard, be athletic, not fold when faced with adversity. With my son, I was concerned about not losing [his] sweet side as he got drawn into the male culture of toughness. Really, I just wanted both of them to develop their full human potential. How does your mother-daughter relationship differ from the one you have with your son? No one ever criticized my relationship with my daughter, which was equally close but in some ways more intense than my relationship with my son. I think I identified more with my daughter, and that was both good and bad. Adolescence was much rougher with her, too—I think because we are more alike, she felt a greater need to establish a break from me. Now that she is an adult, we are very close. But no one ever criticized my closeness with her, and especially, now that she’s an adult, nobody seems to think it’s weird that we Gchat all the time, comparing notes on the minutia of our day. With my son, I would get messages [from others] to back off at every stage. Jessica Kobrin Bernstein is a teacher turned overtired, overeducated SAHM of two. She lives with her husband, toddler, kindergartener and hundreds of books in Manhattan. You can find her parenting rants, recipes and reviews at

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June 21, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 27

C LASS I FI E D S Classified Advertising Department Information Telephone: 212-268-0384 | Fax: 212-268-0502 | Email: Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm | Deadline: Monday 12 noon for same weeks’ issue


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



MARKETING DIRECTOR-PARTNER, Biomedical Engineering co. is looking for an experienced, motivated & results-oriented marketing expert to be part of our fast-growing firm. We have a unique niche, specializing in restoring diagnostic medical equipment that are no longer being supported by their manufacturers, but are still viable & acceptable for medical use. We are looking for a marketing guru who will help us expand our client base on a national level. Compensation will be based on your experience & yur propsed strategy to begin with & then increased based on your results. DO NOT SEND A RESUME. Send bullet points outlining why you are qualified for this position:

SENIOR DIRECTOR , WOMEN, FAMILY & SPECIALTY PROGRAMMING at Sirius XM RadioDevelop, launch and manage women’s, family and specialty programming across SIRIUS XM’s talk programming platform. Bachelors preferred. Minimum ten years experience overseeing traditional and/or new media content with demonstrated expertise in targeting a women and/or family audience. Apply at


NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF TRAN S PO RTATI O N NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING The New York City Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing on Wednesday June 27, 2012 at 2:00 P.M., at 55 Water St., 9th Floor Room 945, on the following petitions for revocable consent, all in the Borough of Manhattan: #1 The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York -to construct, maintain and use a conduit, together with pull boxes, under and along W 168th St. and under, across and along Audubon Ave. #2 Richard Cantor and Esther Altmann- to construct, maintain and use a stoop on the south sidewalk of W.87th St., west of West End Ave. #3 Francesco Scattone and Judith Gibbons.-to construct, maintain and use a stoop and a fenced-in area on the south sidewalk of E 93rd St., west of Madison Ave. #4 Kurt W. Rueloffs Jr. and Shyanne Rueloffs-to construct, maintain and use a stoop and stair on the south sidewalk of W 88th St., east of Central Park West. Interested parties can obtain copies of proposed agreements or request sign-language interpreters (with at least seven days prior notice) at 55 Water St., 9th Fl. SW New York, NY 10041, or by calling (212) 839-6550

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NYPre ss .com 

June 21, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 29


Clyde Williams for Congress ManhaTTan MEDIa President/CeO Tom Allon grOuP PuBLisHer Alex Schweitzer CFO/COO Joanne Harras


aDVERTISInG PuBLisHer Gerry Gavin direCtOr OF new Business deveLOPment Dan Newman assOCiate PuBLisHers Seth L. Miller, Ceil Ainsworth, Mary Ann Oklesson advertising manager Marty Strongin sPeCiaL PrOjeCts direCtOr Jim Katocin seniOr aCCOunt exeCutives Verne Vergara, Mike Suscavage direCtOr OF events & marketing Joanna Virello exeCutive assistant OF saLes Jennie Valenti


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


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

the president wins re-election. We like Williams’ record, his intelligence and his problem-solving skills. Espaillat has had an admirable career fighting good fights in Albany, but he hasn’t given us a reason to think he will be as effective as Williams in Washington. Although jobs and the economy are important issues to him, they are not his top priority. Clyde williams. Rangel, for his part, did not present us with a clear vision of what he hoped to accomplish in the next two years. He does not appear to have the energy and focus he once did. Add to that his ethical problems, which are much more serious than “spitting on the sidewalk,” as he described them us. Andrew Schwartz

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

Rep. Charles Rangel was once one of the most powerful men in Congress. He has a distinguished war record and a record of accomplishment over his 42 years in Congress. But two years ago, he admitted to serious “mistakes” and decided to give up his source of power, the position of chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee. He faced a less impressive field of opponents then, so we gave him a marginal endorsement in the hope that better candidates would emerge in 2012. Our hope has been realized, with two strong candidates in the 13th congressional district’s Democratic primary: State Sen. Adriano Espaillat and Clyde Williams, a man with experience on the national stage as well as in Harlem, still the heart of the newly drawn district. Our nod goes to Williams, who presents the clearest vision—really a laser-like focus on how to bring more jobs back to the district. With his experience in job and community development in Harlem and elsewhere and with his ties to President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, he has the best chance to be the district’s most effective representative, particularly if

Even if you accept Rangel’s claim that he was railroaded into an unfair admission agreement and censure, he nevertheless is a fallen political star. The president and other Democratic leaders pay a political price if they get too close to him. He believes the accusations are no longer an issue because he was re-elected overwhelmingly in 2010, but that ignores the fact that the district has changed and many voters are looking at Rangel for the first time. Much of the Upper West Side has been cut out to include more of the East Side and parts of the Bronx. The other two candidates in the race, Joyce Johnson and Craig Schley, have not run strong campaigns and did not give us reason to think they could be effective. Clyde Williams is the best candidate in the race and we endorse him in the June 26 Democratic primary.

Bob Turner, the GOP’s Best Senate Choice GOP primaries are not the norm in New York City, but this Tuesday, registered Republicans have the chance to pick a nominee to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in November. Of the three candidates, U.S. Rep. Bob Turner seems to have the best experience and is the one most ready to represent all New Yorkers in the Senate. We realize that the thing that stands out most to us about him—his openness to compromise with Democrats on taxes—

will not be seen as a plus by many Republican voters. And admittedly, many may not put much stock in the endorsement from a paper that endorses Democrats much more often. But these voters may want to look less at ideological purity and more at who has the best chance to win. Our interest is in having the two strongest candidates. Many Republicans feign interest in the national debt when it comes to government programs they don’t like but ignore it

when it comes to taxes or defense spending. Turner’s interest in the debt is sincere and he is at least willing to listen to Democrats, rather than closing the door to any real negotiations. It is clear to us that he would be better than most Republican senators, as well as his two opponents, Wendy Long and George Maragos. He deserves the chance to try and make the case that he is also better than Gillibrand. We endorse Bob Turner in Tuesday’s Republican primary.

caPITal connEcTIonS

Marijuana Shouldn’t Be a Crime I used to turn down pot so I could someday run for congress By Alan S. Chartock


hen I was a young man, I refused to smoke marijuana when offered the opportunity. I thought that it might interfere with my future career—at the time, I thought I might like to run for Congress and that if you were caught, you were disqualified.

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Of course, we now know that weed is a rite of passage. Presidents and presidential candidates freely admit to drug use. We also know that white middle-class kids and their parents are exempt—it’s tough to get caught smoking dope when you are on the 15th floor of a Park Avenue apartment. On the other hand, if you are a black or Latino kid on the streetcorner, it is very easy to get stopped and frisked and sent off to jail. Right now there is a great debate on whether to make marijuana possession legal or almost legal. I have a doctor friend, one of the top addiction specialists in the country, who tells me that marijuana is

what we might call a “gateway drug.” She says that if you start with weed, you often graduate to something stronger. I have great respect for this doctor, who has to deal with people who have been sucked into drug use, and I find it difficult to dismiss her concerns. Yet the inequalities I mentioned above are also of great concern. Let there be no mistake about it: Alcohol is every bit as dangerous as marijuana. In fact, judging from the number of automobile accidents every year caused by alcohol abuse, strong drink is much more danger-

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Kelly Mullins Learns What Good Neighbors Are Made Of


s a 20-year-old college student from a Boston suburb, I knew I had hit the jackpot, living alone for the summer in a recently renovated Upper West Side apartment that had just been purchased by a friend’s parents. For them, it was an opportune investment in the bad housing market. For me, it was a sweet deal with a one-year lease that aligned perfectly with my final semesters of school. The two-bedroom condo was nestled right near the park on the first floor of a brownstone. In contrast to the cigarette and mildew musk that had wafted through my previous downtown abode, it had that squeaky-clean aroma of a new home. The sun gleamed through the big windows and reflected off of the shiny hardwood floors. I felt precariously mature with my private laundry, dishwasher and wrap-around patio. Everyone else residing in the building was an owner. I could sense their disapproval of this undeserving undergrad intruding on the premises in their chastising stares and standoffish hellos in the foyer. It all covered up their trepidation, however, that I would turn their sedate uptown adult home into a frat house. My friends had, in fact, been begging me to throw a party. As the oldest of three girls in an Irish Catholic family (always the examplesetter, never the rule-breaker) I wasn’t about to chance pissing off my new neighbors. My bleeding heart got the best of me, though—I couldn’t take the puppy eyes from my peers every time we packed into a Bushwick studio or stood in some ridiculous line outside a trendy club in the Meatpacking District. Finally, I bought some beer and created a Facebook event: “Let’s Get Trashed in My Gigantic Apartment, Wooo!” By 11 o’clock, it was looking like a casual soiree. As we discussed it-bags and blowouts (most of the attendees were friends I had

Continuedfrompreviouspage ous than marijuana. Now that the Rockefeller drug laws have been modified, things have gotten more sensible. Fewer kids are being put into the system, but there is still a glut of arrests among our most disadvantaged citizens. Some distinguished lawmakers have suggested it is time to legalize marijuana and other much more deadly and heavy drugs. Some have suggested that if we legalize cannabis, the same arguments that lead to its legalization will be used for other drugs. Such a debate is really above my pay grade; I certainly can see all the arguments for and against it. As long as there is poverty and a lack of hope, there will be drug use in this country.


made at a fashion internship) the doorbell rang—a girl’s boyfriend from Hoboken was apparently bringing along a few buddies. Opening my door was like emptying out a clown car of bros, all of whom looked like they had significant experience navigating a beer pong table. My party went from civilized fête to all-out rager. The uninvited Jersey Shore extras took over my laptop and turned up the house music. Most of us migrated out to the patio, so I left the front door unlocked in case more guests arrived. Back inside, the new floor was brown with dirt from people traipsing back and forth, and the granite countertop littered with empty shot glasses and beer cans. There was also a strange man standing in the middle of my kitchen. He was tall, about 45, and sported glasses, gym shorts and a very aggravated scowl. He pointed his finger at me. “Do you live here?” I nodded and he ushered me into the living room to talk. “I’m the landlord. I’m responsible for all of this. Do you know how much noise you’re making?” he asked as he waved his arms up and down. I had never been introduced to any sort of landlord. I began apologizing profusely for my

irresponsibility. No matter how much I groveled through my drunken haze, his questions and threats continued to pour out. “What is your name?” I was so nervous I didn’t think to ask his. “Where are the other tenants?” He seemed to suspect I was hiding them somewhere. “They’re home in Boston for the summer.” I answered. “Do you want to be evicted?” Oh god no, where would I live? Brooklyn? “I’ve received noise complaints from all of the other neighbors.” “Sir, it will never, ever happen again, I’m not usually like this. I beg you!” “I’m going to call the cops if this doesn’t stop in five minutes. We’re telling your parents about this tomorrow.” He slammed the door in my face. I had never had a conversation with someone so enraged and unforgiving. I frantically told everyone they had to leave. A frat boy tried to console me, but this wasn’t Phi Kappa Delta. This was the Taj Mahal of New York City apartments—at least for a kid in her twenties. I wasn’t going to let it go that easily for some laid-back-affair-turned ripper with a bunch of strangers. The next morning I sterilized everything, waiting in suspense for Mr. Landlord to come

sending them to jail. Even a history The idea of making of a violation may well hurt somemarijuana possession a one’s chances in life. violation, like a speeding We know that cannabis has ticket, is a step in the right helped people who are terminal direction. Jail or prison cancer patients. Our congressional time is just not an answer. and legislative hearings are replete The only people who with such testimony from some make out in that scenario very high-ranking people in this are those who run our country, including judges and gigantic prison industry. doctors. We know that there are just It is hard to believe that there too many people behind ALAN CHARTOCK isn’t a simple majority, even bars. I certainly think that among the Republicans in the state Senate, if we are going to spend the money, we should who haven’t used marijuana. That makes it spend it on giving people an economic chance rank hypocrisy to criminalize its use. Otherand some hope—I am sure that would go wise, I suggest that all those sitting in the upfurther than consigning them to a life of hell

and hand me my eviction notice. He didn’t show up. I expected him to come by the next day, and the day after that. I never saw or heard from him again. When my two roommates came back at the end of August, I told them what had happened. We concluded that it made no sense for the building to have a landlord; everyone living there was an owner. I probably should have put that together much earlier and saved my naïve self a lot of anxiety, but fear had hindered my ability to think rationally. I described the man to them and their eyes widened. He sounded like the guy from the apartment down the hall. They had an awkward exchange the day before, where it was made apparent that he didn’t approve of the twentysomethings living 10 feet away from his perfect Pottery Barn split-level. After some strategic Google searching, we confirmed that it was our guy. Two days later, the building manager called to warn us of a certain man living next door with a drinking problem. If he ever threatened us, we were to lock our doors and call the police right away. Evidently, there had been other incidents. A week after that, we were having trouble with the hot water. The doorbell rang. Standing in the hallway was the landlord imposter. I froze. Was he finally here to finish what he had started? It immediately became clear that he didn’t remember our previous interaction—either that or he was trying to brush it off like nothing had ever happened. All cheery grins, he asked, “Do you happen to be having problems with your hot water, too?” Swallowing my pride, I nodded and smiled back. Still living in the same apartment almost an entire year later, the neighbor and I have only crossed paths on a handful of occasions. Every time we do, however, I can’t help but wonder which of us was more wasted that night Kelly Mullins is a writer and recent graduate of Parsons the New School for Design. She still lives on the Upper West Side but has yet to throw another party. Follow Kelly on Twitter @kellmullins or read more of her work at per House should turn themselves in. I mean, wouldn’t that be the right thing to do? Sometimes in life, choices have to be made. We know that when we tried to criminalize the use of alcohol, the result was catastrophic; a black market resulted and criminals got rich. The same thing is true with the distribution of marijuana. The time has come to do the right thing and use available money to help people who have developed serious drug problems. Makes a lot more sense than what we are doing. Alan S. Chartock is president and CEO of WAMC/Northeast Public Radio and an executive publisher at The Legislative Gazette.

J une 21, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 3 1

West Side Spirit June 21, 2012  

The June 21, 2012 issue of West Side Spirit. The West Side Spirit, published weekly, is chock full of information—from hard news to human in...

West Side Spirit June 21, 2012  

The June 21, 2012 issue of West Side Spirit. The West Side Spirit, published weekly, is chock full of information—from hard news to human in...