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A 33-year-old man told police that he was walking on the grounds of the Amsterdam Houses on Saturday morning when two men in their early twenties, one wielding a black handgun, approached him. The perp carrying the gun told the man, “Don’t say anything. Give me the iPad.” The man handed over his iPad, worth $799, and the two robbers darted into 217 W. 63rd St. in the housing complex.

DESIgnER ThIEf Two men entered the Sunglass Hut at Broadway and 79th Street Friday afternoon seeking designer shades. One of the employees in the store at the time, a 29-year-old woman, recognized the men from a previous crime. As the men approached, the employee and a co-worker told them to get out. But that didn’t dissuade them—the men began to grab multiple pairs of sunglasses from a rack near the door, snatching $1,520 worth of shades, all of them by Gucci and

heavyset woman wearing a black do-rag hit her with an unknown object just after 4:30 a.m. on June 20, causing a small cut to her neck. The woman was removed to Roosevelt Hospital for treatment. Police said the woman was uncooperative and hostile, telling inconsistent stories.

MySTERy MacE As a 63-year-old Asian man walked on West 74th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues on Friday evening, a 39-year-old man sprayed him with an unknown substance in a pink bottle, causing pain and swelling to his eye and the left side of his face. The older man was taken to Roosevelt Hospital and the perp was arrested that same day.

IPhonE gRab A 14-year-old boy was walking southbound on the east side of West End Avenue between West 77th and 78th streets on the evening of June 20 when two unknown men approached him. The taller of the men asked the boy, “Can I see your phone?” The men surrounded

baD bIRThDay At 1:30 a.m on June 19, a woman was walking northbound in Riverside Park by herself, leaving a café where she had celebrated her birthday with her friends, when a group of male teenagers surrounded her. They threw her to the ground and took her iPhone and wallet, but once she told the men it was her birthday, they returned the wallet. The men fled southbound in Riverside Park still holding the woman’s iPhone, worth $400.

Prada. When the co-worker tried to take the glasses away from the culprits, one of the men pushed her away. The two men fled on foot out the door.

foRgED chEckS Someone cloned a 68-year-old man’s checks from his checking account and used his personal information to transfer funds from one account to another, the man told police on Friday at 11 a.m. The forged checks totaled $26,000, and the man doesn’t know the people who deposited them.

STREET aTTack A 45-year-old woman told police that a

2 • WE ST SIDE SPI R IT • June 2 8 , 2 012

the boy, who told police that he was fearful for his safety. The boy handed his iPhone to one of the men and continued walking southbound without looking back. He didn’t notice in which direction the robbers fled.

PIcTuRE of a cRIME When a Japanese tourist paused to take photos on the southeast corner of Central Park West and West 66th Street on the evening of June 17, he didn’t realize that placing his black Tumi bag on the ground next to him would cause a problem. As he snapped a shot, someone picked up his bag, containing a $325 Gucci Wallet, $800 in cash, Japanese currency and a Japanese passport, and immediately fled.

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June 12, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 3


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Get the latest news and share your opinion online at nypress.com

Compiled by Megan Bungeroth

BuS ShElTER PlannED foR W. 72nD STREET

fREE lunchTImE TunES al fRESco The Lincoln Square outdoor concert series returns on Wednesday, July 4 with lunchtime performances by The Yaz Band and William B. Johnson’s Drumadics for the “American Soundscape” themed afternoon from 12-2 p.m. Concerts will be held every Wednesday through Aug. 29 in Richard Tucker Square, on West 66th Street between Columbus Avenue and Broadway. Music lovers are encouraged to bring their lunch and will also be able to work out mid-day kinks with free stretching sessions by Yoga Works between music sets. Visit lincolnsquarebid.org for the full listing of musical acts.

Andrew Schwartz

After years of waiting for a solution from the Department of Transportation (DOT), bus riders will finally have a bus shelter again on West 72nd Street and Broadway. The original shelter was removed in 2010, when the stop for the M5, M57 and M72 bus routes was moved to accommodate the construction of a Trader Joe’s. Since then, however, there has not been a place for the regular riders of the line, many of whom are elderly, to wait for the bus. Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and State Sen. Tom Duane badgered the DOT on behalf of their constituents and finally got word that a new bus shelter will be installed. “A bus shelter is critical to this demographic, who cannot stand for long periods of time to wait for their bus. I know that the community will be pleased that the shelter will finally be restored,” said Rosenthal. Duane thanked the DOT as well as the intrepid local resident who persisted in getting the shelter back. “I also appreciate the efforts of Ed Bartosik, executive director of the Council Senior Center, which is located across the street from the bus stop, for bringing attention to this issue,” he said. The delay resulted from the fact that the DOT had to obtain—and was inexplicably denied—permission from the owners of the property at 214 W. 72nd St. to install a shelter in front of the building. Their creative solution will place the shelter 30 feet from the actual bus stop marker (most are only 5 to 10 feet away)—still an improvement over the big lot of nothing that’s been there.

namaSTE To SummER Yoga enthusiasts gather in Times Square to celebrate the summer solstice with a free yoga class on June 20.

caTch ThE fIREWoRkS Macy’s will continue its Independence Day tradition of lighting up the Hudson River with fireworks this year—if you’re planning on seeing them, a game plan is mandatory. Thousands of people will flock to the West Side’s designated viewing areas to get prime spots. Macy’s recommends that patriotic attendees head over to 12th Avenue below 59th Street at access points every few blocks along 11th Avenue. Parking will be severely limited. There will be no access at the Hudson River piers or the Hudson River Park promenade or bike path between 59th and West Houston Street. DeWitt Clinton Park is reserved for people with disabilities. Plan to arrive at any of the viewing spots by 5 p.m., and don’t try to bring lawn chairs or large objects with you. The 25-minute show of 40,000 synchronized fireworks begins around 9 p.m. and will be set to performances by Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney.

fREE hISToRy foR kIDS The New-York Historical Society and DiMenna Children’s History Museum are offering free admission to history buffs

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under 18 on Wednesday, July 4. Kids can learn about what life was like in revolutionary times and how New Yorkers of yore contributed to the War of Independence. Storytellers will share the tale of how the Hudson River played an integral role in winning the war and freeing the country. There will be a presidential scavenger hunt for kids ages 4 and up and patrioticthemed arts and crafts projects for everyone. For of-age chaperones, the Empire Brewing Company will be holding beer tastings at 2 and 4 p.m. in the beer hall adjacent to the museum. Tickets for the tasting and museum admission are $35, $20 for members. Regular adult admission is $15. The museum is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 170 Central Park West at 77th Street.

DuanE EnDoRSES hoylman foR SEnaTE As several candidates have emerged to run for State Sen. Tom Duane’s seat, the senator has officially endorsed his longtime friend Brad Hoylman to replace him in January. Duane announced that he will be retiring at the end of this term, finishing a 14-year legislative career that will be remembered for its track record of support for LGBT rights and access to health care.

Hoylman, who just stepped down as the chair of Community Board 2 to focus on the campaign, is expected to pick up the torch where Duane left it on many issues. “I am certain that Brad will provide strong leadership on not only preserving but also strengthening New York’s rent regulation and tenant protection laws, as well as increasing the creation of affordable housing for all New Yorkers,” Duane said in a statement. “He will also be a powerful voice for the LGBT community in Albany—whether it’s carrying on the battle for GENDA or standing up for people with HIV/AIDS struggling to make ends meet.” Duane mentioned that he has witnessed Hoylman’s success in negotiating tough local issues, which would help him in Albany. Hoylman has been endorsed by five state Assembly members and labor leaders. He will face several challengers, however. Politicker reports that Tommy Greco, owner of The Ritz bar in Hell’s Kitchen, fundraising chair of the Jim Owles Democartic Club and executive vice president of the McManus Midtown Democratic Club, is strongly considering a run. Martha Speranza has registered a campaign committee, and Tanika Inlaw has announced her intention to run as well.

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nEWS

Punished for Pot, Fieldston Seniors Get to Party on Yacht By Rebecca Harris

W

hen a group of New York prep school students were banned from attending their senior prom last month after getting high on a class trip, their parents were angry—some at the school administration more than at their kids, students say. Quick to lay down the law, one or several of those parents reportedly rented a yacht and, in an interesting display of discipline, threw the banished seniors an alternative, private prom party. About 15 seniors at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School admitted to consuming brownies containing marijuana on an overnight class trip April 29-30 to Camp Mason, a YMCA summer camp in New Jersey, according to two classmates who just completed their senior year at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. The accused students were prohibited by administrators from attending May 19 color war festivities as well as the Fieldston senior

NYPre ss.com 

the drug incident posed together. It was captioned ‘j sisters’—“like joint sisters,” the female student said. She added that the picture has since been taken down. The Fieldston administration has made a concerted effort to prevent students from discussing the incident and school officials denied repeated requests for comment. care that much,” according to a source. prom at Studio 450 on May 29. Fieldston Upper, whose campus is loPictures and posts on Facebook and Two sources spoke on the condition of cated in the Riverdale area of the Bronx, inTwitter documented a night of revelry—or anonymity, and several other Fieldston cludes students in ninth through 12th grade “yachtingtons” as dubbed by one photo alstudents confirmed that the “anti-prom” was and is a member institution of the held the same night as the official Ivy Preparatory School League, often school party. “We had this field trip considered the Ivy League of New York “We had this field trip and some City private high schools. Fieldston kids brought pot brownies to it. and some kids brought is included in the League alongside They couldn’t prove it, I guess, but pot broWnies to it. they schools such as Horace Mann, Trinity everyone knew,” said a female stucouldn’t prove it, i guess, and Dalton. dent who graduated with the rest of In 2011, Business Insider reported her class—or “form,” as it is called at but everyone kneW,” said Fieldston as America’s 11th most Fieldston—June 6. a female student Who expensive private high school. Tuition On the same night as the scheduled prom, the banned seniors, graduated With the rest of and fees for the 2011-12 academic year totaled $37,825 per student. their dates and some friends attendher class—or “form,” as it is Fieldston also has two lower ed a party on a yacht. “One of the parents ordered a called at fieldston—June 6. schools for pre-kindergarten to fifth grade: Ethical Culture, on the Upper yacht for them,” said a male student West Side, and Fieldston Lower, on who just graduated. “I don’t think the Riverdale campus along with Fieldston bum title—for the banned seniors, courtesy any of them said no—it’s a pretty cool Upper. Sixth through eighth grades attend of their parents. Comments branded the alternative.” Fieldstone Middle, also located on the event “Fieldston anti-prom 2012.” One girl’s parents were angry with her for In one photo posted on Facebook, a getting in trouble with the school, but most group of girls who had been involved in of her classmates’ parents “didn’t seem to Continuedonpage8

J une 28 , 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 5


fEaTuRE

Squeeze on Middle Class Tightens on the Upper West Side By Megan Bungeroth

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daughter have lived in their building for four years, while Holt has lived in the neighborhood since 1998. When their lease was set to expire this spring, they received a renewal offer—for an increase of over 20 percent. Not able to afford the jump from $3,500 to $4,250 a month, they are waiting to hear back from their landlord about negotiating a lower rate. Holt, an out-of-work lawyer, and his wife, a teacher, are waiting and searching for alternate locations in the meantime. “It’s impossible to find anything that is in our price range that meets our needs and is in our neighborhood,” Holt said. “We don’t have much hope that [the landlord] is going to turn around and say, ‘OK fine.’” He said that othe s in his building have already left rather than pay higher rents.

he Upper West Side has become known as a bastion of middleclass life, a family-centric haven that, while not cheap, offers an attainable life in Manhattan for average people. But over the past few years, as the economy slowly recovers, middleclass residents are increasingly finding themselves squeezed out of their beloved neighborhood. “We see it all the time,” said Jason Haber, an Upper West Side resident and CEO of Rubion Property, which recently opened an office on Columbus Avenue. “These are people who are victims of their own success. The community rises and becomes a more desirable place to live because the people who live there help to build up the community, and then they get priced out of it.” “These are people who What Haber described is not are vicTims of Their own an uncommon occurrence in the city, but these scenarios have been success. The communiTy creeping into the Upper West Side rises and becomes a with more frequency in recent years. more desirable place To Local elected officials and community leaders have been hearing live because The people a growing number of complaints who live There help To about the rising costs of living in the area, and the problem is not likely to build up The communiTy, be alleviated with any quick fixes. and Then They geT priced “The lack of new development on ouT of iT,” said Jason the Upper West Side and its continuing appeal is going to create rent haber. pressure in the neighborhood,” said Michael Slattery, a senior vice presi“We’ve been looking at Inwood and dent of the Real Estate Board of New York. we’ve been looking in Hudson Heights, a The economic crash of 2009 is still afneighborhood west of Broadway between fecting the housing market, even as rents the George Washington Bridge and Fort and prices continue to climb, Slattery said. Tryon Park,” Holt said. He worries about “The other part of it is that five years his daughter switching schools or having ago, you saw financing was readily availto commute on the subway every day if able to purchase [real estate]; there was a they move north, but he doesn’t see staylot more co-op and condo development ing on the Upper West Side as an option. taking place. It was easy for someone “We’re forced to chose between someto move from a renter to a condo owner thing that’s outrageous and something with very little change in their cost of that may not even exist,” he said of their living,” Slattery said. “That took some of futile search. the pressure off rental housing. Today, it’s Other residents have faced even bigger harder to get financing to buy.” increases—some up to 40 percent—and With more renters flooding the market, find themselves in the same situation. landlords have the opportunity to charge City Council Member Gale Brewer said their current tenants more—or simply she hears about this issue constantly from take their chances with new ones who her constituents, and she worries about can afford to pay much more. driving the middle class out of the area. Daniel Holt is an Upper West Sider “The rental or co-op situation is such who is desperately hoping he can remain that people in Manhattan want to raise one. He and his wife and their 7-year-old

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

Lack of new development and its popularity has increased rents in the neighborhood, forcing some middle class families from the Upper West Side.

their families—they get married, they have a kid, they want to stay,” Brewer said. She remembers past decades, when young families would routinely move out to the suburbs because they felt that the city wasn’t safe enough to raise children; now that it’s increasingly safe, it’s also increasingly pricey. “[Now] they’re leaving for the suburbs not because of security issues but because of lack of affordability. These are people who we would really like to stay in Manhattan.” Brewer said she’s concerned that if the middle class continues to be driven out by rental prices, the neighborhood will lose the very appeal that is attracting the high costs. “The persons who are involved with the PTA and the police precinct community council and the community board are people who stay for a long time and have a stake in the community, and they have to have an affordable place to live, a job,” she said. “The very wealthy don’t do it. And the very poor, with some exceptions, don’t get too involved either. I’ve been here 40 years; this is how it works.” Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who lives on the Upper West Side, said this is an issue he’s seen in his own neighborhood as well as borough-wide. “The middle-class squeeze is becoming a chokehold,” Stringer said in a telephone interview. “The skyrocketing rents on the West Side are causing families to look elsewhere, and that’s not good for the city.” Stringer has advocated for citywide

middle-class tax cuts similar to the ones Gov. Andrew Cuomo has championed at the state level, a move that he said wouldn’t solve the problem but could help if combined with more strategic efforts from city government on keeping the middle class in place. Haber agreed that the city should work more closely with developers to figure out ways to accommodate the rising housing demands. He said that the large swaths of historic districts in the area— one of the big attractions—also limit the ability of developers to put up multiple high-rise buildings to meet the demand for apartments. “That’s one of the things that makes the Upper West Side great, that we don’t have these giant towers rising up on either side of brick buildings on the avenues like you do over on the East Side,” Haber said. “[But] there’s a scarcity of supply here. And it doesn’t just push one price cohort up, it pushes all price cohorts up.” While that’s good for his business in some regards, Haber said, it also means there are fewer transactions, and even real estate honchos don’t want to see the middle class disappear from the area. Stringer said, “You want the West Side to improve and you love the fact that everyone wants to live on the West Side. You also have to make sure that the entrance fee to this neighborhood isn’t a $1- or $2 million condo. You shouldn’t have to chose between a second kid and the suburbs.”

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nEWS Continued from page 5

Andrew Schwartz

Riverside campus. The three schools serve about 1,600 students in total, many of whom hail from the Upper East and Upper West sides. According to both students, Fieldston administrators threatened harsher disciplinary consequences in order to elicit confessions from the students accused of getting high on the Camp Mason overnight. They said the school claimed to have a list of “the kids we know who did it,” and the accused teens were told that if they confessed, they could avoid further disciplinary action—including potentially notifying the universities they will attend in the fall. “The administration said, ‘If you come and confess, you won’t be allowed to go to prom…but if you don’t confess and we know you did it, we’ll contact your schools and you may not be able to walk at graduation. And you still won’t go to prom,’” the female student said. The other student criticized Fieldston officials for using “scare tactics” to compensate for what he desribed as a lack of evidence that the students were under the influence of marijuana. “They all confessed,” he said, “but parents were angry at how [the school] gathered evidence. A lot of people thought they handled

Fieldstone Upper campus is located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx.

it badly.” The female student disagreed with the criticism of how Fieldston officials handled the incident. “I think the school was more or less fair about it,” she said. “[They said,] ‘We’re not

gonna ruin your future, but there will be consequences if you go against our rules.’” The students’ accounts are confirmed by an email sent to parents of the class of 2012 by Fieldston Upper Principal John Love on May 11, after most, but not all, of

the students involved had confessed. The email does not go into detail about the accusation—students eating marijuana brownies on a school trip—referring to the situation only as “a recent incident.” “We feel it is absolutely essential to our mission and to the environment we want to create for our students that we take violations of this rule very seriously,” read the email. “We asked that the students involved come forward and take responsibility for their involvement, telling them that if they did so they would lose the privilege of participating in the color war on Friday, May 18 and of attending the prom at Studio 450 on May 29. We also said that if a student was involved and chose not to come forward, his or her case might be brought to the Discipline Committee, with potentially severe consequences.” No students other than those who came forward voluntarily were ultimately subjected to disciplinary action at Fieldston.

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nEWS

Bloomingdale Child Care Program at Risk By Amanda Woods

M

Jonathan Springer

ayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council reached a budget agreement on Monday that increases city funding for child care and after-school programs, but it may not be enough to help the Bloomingdale Family Program’s Head Start program on the Upper West Side, which is projected to shut down in the fall. The budget agreement adds about $150 million in combined funding to the Administration for Children’s Services’ (ACS) child care program and the Department of Youth and Community Development’s Out-ofSchool Time program, a significant increase from the levels proposed in the executive budget released in May. Instead of losing 6,500 child care spots and 30,000 afterschool slots as originally projected, the city N ORDER Email have Art more child care spots in will- actually the new fiscal year than it did this past year. rth “Working parents need to have their Media children protected and cared for while they h St. are at work,” said City Council Speaker Y 10018Christine Quinn in a statement from the office. “Children need to receive a 724 Fax:mayor’s (212) 268-0502 high-quality educational experience at an uction@manhattanmedia.com early age. We are creating a program that responds to both of these needs.” th@manhattanmedia.com But it is not yet clear how the budget will affect the ACS’ EarlyLearn NYC program, .687”H,which 1/8 page ACS says will increase quality Ad on Thursday, 6.28.12 standards for children enrolled in the city’s subsidized centers, home-based programs and Head Start and expand the capacity of infant and child care programs.

The Bloomingdale Family Program may become a victim of budget cuts.

ACS tentatively determined which programs would be awarded seats through EarlyLearn, most of them located in “targeted ZIP codes”—low-income areas—while those located in non-targeted ZIP codes—wealthier areas such as the Upper West Side— could lose seats. Bloomingdale’s Head Start program, located at 171 W. 107th St. is one program at risk, set to shut down in the fall. Julissa Borday, whose 4-year-old daughter, Skylar, attends the program, said that EarlyLearn’s ZIP code-based funding distribution is unfair.

“You can’t generalize,” Borday said. “That’s a logical fallacy right there. You can’t assume that everyone who lives here is high-income. That’s not the case.” José Velilla, Bloomingdale’s executive director, agreed, noting that he doesn’t know if this week’s budget agreement will help at all. “There are still major funding issues with EarlyLearn in and of itself,” he said. “It’s a good thing for those parents who were concerned about losing those slots in after-school, but how the restoration dollars affects EarlyLearn is still unclear.”

Tia Waddy, ACS director of communications, said that the matter is still under consideration. “The Administration for Children’s Services is grateful for the funding added to early care and education by Mayor Bloomberg and the New York City Council,” Waddy said. “Once the budget has been finalized and voted on by the Council, we will review how the additional resources will be distributed among centers eligible to receive EarlyLearn NYC funding. The City Council will also be allocating money to centers of their choosing via their own discretionary funds.” Adriana Carrera hopes to enroll her 2-year-old son, Ismail Abuzaid, in the Bloomingdale Head Start program in the fall. If the center closes, however, she won’t be able to afford another day care for her son and will have to care for him at home during the day. The news of potential closure startled her. “I was thinking, what are we going to do now?” Carrera said. “To look for a place for him is so expensive.” “They’re being hypocritical,” added Paola Padilla, whose 4-year-old son, Jaden, is in the program. “They’re saying that they’re helping when they’re actually cutting seats.” EarlyLearn will also not fund half-day slots at city-subsidized child care centers— only full-day slots will be available. But Stephan Russo, the executive director of child care programs at the Goddard Riverside Community Center, said he is not too concerned about tit. “It services less families, but those Head Start children will have a full-day experience,” Russo said. Other programs on the Upper West Side that could face cuts are the West Side Montessori School, the Mabel Barrett Fitzgerald Center located in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center and the Polly Dodge Day Care Center.

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Movie Bulletin Téchiné’s unforgeTTably greaT ‘unforgivable’ By Armond White

Edited by Armond White

for tickets in the living room at the Arts Reach conference at New York University last March. Put bluntly: Can you reach the graying and balding with tweeting and social networking? Exceptions notwithstanding, there’s no mistaking certain demographic trends. Big-ticket performing arts companies—the symphony orchestras, the chamber music societies, the Broadway belt that needs tourists to shell out $86.28 for the worst seats in the mezzanine—count on a privileged sector of the baby-boom generation and older. Trends indicate that those might be the last generations who take a daily newspaper. Newspapers’ Internet-edition paywalls are, for most publications that have tried them, useless for converting paid subscrib-

Continued on next page

Continued on next page

New York’s Review of Culture • CityArtsNYC.com

Art Adverts Start a New Wave adverTising sTraTegies gearing up for nexT season Take arT ouT The wilderness. CityArts surveys The new media TacTicians who bring broadway shows, museums and oTher arT venues To popular aTTenTion. arT and iTs paTrons all benefiT from millennial arT adverTising’s new TacTical sTraTegies. Part 1 of a two-Part series. By Gregory Solman

N

ew Yorkers with long memories can’t shake the specter of the TV commercials for the original runs of A Chorus Line and Evita—the same commercial execution, using identical snippets of song for maximum numbing effect, running for what felt like years. The Evita spot became so famously infuriating a fixture it occasioned one of SCTV’s most inspired commercial parodies: Andrea Martin starring in a road show of Indira and—ingeniously intermixing infomercial annoyance—Joe Flaherty as a bandoliered, yodeling Slim Whitman. Marketing the performing and museum arts today seems like science fiction in comparison. You might be up late watching a WNET symphonic performance when an on-screen icon prompts you to hold up your Shazam-enabled smart phone. The app will sample the sound from the TV, identify the performance and give you the option of downloading the MP3 or ask you a question to win a coupon for a matinee in your neighborhood, having already correlated the cable or satellite box with your ZIP code

Raven-Symoné in Sister Act gets a new ad campaign.

and assiduously segmented demographic information on your probable age, gender, income, past buying habits and even whether you prefer cats or dogs. Why? Well, maybe dog lovers like Wagner and cat lovers Stravinsky. Who knows? They’ve got their reasons. Most importantly, the phone will be connected to the sponsoring organization’s seating chart, allowing you to pick a seat for a performance, charge your preloaded credit card and download an electronic ticket you can present at the concert hall by flashing your smart phone at a scanner. If that interactive/invasive process seems more like something for you than your remote-control-challenged mother, you’re not far off. In fact, the growing generational divide between patrons of the arts and their media consumption habits was the blue-haired elephant queued up

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herubina, the nickname given to Judith (Carole Bouquet) in Unforgivable, comes from the love trickster in Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro. Judith, a former model with a bisexual past, now sells real estate, brokering a villa in Venice to the macho novelist Francis (André Dussollier), and they become lovers. Their emotional tension and physical passion prove the complexity of human character, evoking the aria “Non so piu cosa son” (“I don’t know anymore what I am”). This mystery, echoed in the tumultuous relations of Judith and Francis’ friends and children, is André Téchiné’s specialty. The turbulent, elegant, multilayered Unforgivable ranks with his greatest films. Few other movies define family relations with such interconnected depth and spiritual exuberance. Casual moviegoers may be perplexed at Téchiné’s speed (especially if they don’t pick up on the rhythm of his intricate character interactions) as he collapses time and affinities and misunderstandings, all in life’s onward rush. Téchiné knows the mistakes that people make define their lives, and Unforgivable (starting with Judith and Francis’ meet-ugly) zeroes in on the errors that take a lifetime to understand and, possibly, rectify. Julien Hirsch’s video imagery focuses on people in motion—literally, through the streets of Venice or cruising its waters—to visualize their emotional states. “I need to be unsettled” says Alice (Melanie Thierry), Francis’ beautiful, insecure actress daughter. Her immature confusion parallels what in Judith is now tough but unique, nervy, tense—Téchiné’s usual Deneuve archetype seen freshly. “I no longer desire or inspire.” Judith laments. The extraordinary balance of these unsettled lives (lovers, parents, children) refreshes a French movie tradition. Unforgivable suggests an invigorated version of Renoir’s Rules of the Game, which was also based on Beaumarchais (the original author of The Marriage of Figaro) but filtered through—delivered from—contemporary cynicism. Among its Venice spectacle is a quizzical shot of the Rendentore church that, after Téchiné’s marvelous AIDS drama The Witnesses, testifies to life’s fertile potential after the plague.

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Lincoln Square: Parks, Public Art & Monuments There’s so much to see and do in Lincoln Square and the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District’s new free publication, Lincoln Square: Parks, Public Art & Monuments, highlights all of these wonderful assets. Everyone knows Lincoln Square has almost nightly concerts, music and theater at our many fine cultural organizations, diverse and delicious restaurants, quick casual eateries and great shops. What many don’t realize is that Lincoln Square also has jewel-like parks, historic monuments and public art – each with its own unique history. All of these are highlighted in our new self-guided brochure. To get your FREE copy call 212.581.3774, visit www.lincolnsquarebid.org, or stop by our Information Carousels at Dante or Richard Tucker Parks across from Lincoln Center or at Columbus Circle. Lincoln Square: Parks, Public Art & Monuments is published by the Lincoln Square Business Improvement District with generous support from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. The mission of the Lincoln Square BID is to make Lincoln Square cleaner, safer, and more beautiful, and to undertake various improvement projects. We focus our efforts on supplemental sanitation and security services; the beautification of public spaces, malls, and parks; and the promotion and marketing of the area’s diverse business and cultural offerings.

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ClassiCal CiTYaRTs

Wieldy Ax a wonderful mozarT piano concerTo aT The philharmonic By Jay Nordlinger

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once heard Emanuel Ax, the pianist, give a great performance. Google has recalled the specifics: It was in August 2005 at the Mostly Mozart Festival. Ax played Mozart’s Concerto No. 22 in E flat, K. 482. I have now heard Ax give another great performance. It was of the same concerto. This second performance was on a Wednesday night in the same hall: Avery Fisher. The conductor and orchestra were different, however. They were Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic. Ax’s phrasing was exemplary. He breathed along with the composer. He was both smooth and articulate. He was sensitive without being mousy. What rubato he used was intelligent. He fudged a trill or two, particularly at their resolution, but this was of little importance. Crucially, he was not afraid to play simply. “‘Tis the gift to be simple.” And you may

Continued from previous page ers and generating revenue. Yet, printing is prohibitively expensive and readership is sliding in favor of eyeballs online, where banner ads aren’t making enough money, despite the audience. Facebook boasts hundreds of millions of users, obsessively checking in several times a day—that’s reach and frequency. But the company’s IPO revealed that although half of Facebookies use mobile devices to access the site, they are devices for which there is no Facebook advertising model… yet. More than 44 percent of Americans have smart phones, but they skew young. The elderly have gone from the poorest group in America to the wealthiest, with the disposable (literally, some critics would argue) income to pay $262 to watch a play. But arts companies need to refresh their audience with Gens X and Y and millennials to survive as something more than museums of tourism. “While the traditional media audience has moved on, the rates have increased,” objects Doug Mobray, president of Mogo Arts Marketing in Corte Madera, Calif., pointing to a counterintuitive direction of newspaper ad rates and readers. “The cost per impression has increased substantially.” The decline of print readership, exaggerated by the generational split between baby boomers and older and nearly newspaper-

remember a Rubinstein quip: “Mozart is too easy for children and too hard for adults.” For the second movement, Andante, Ax chose a perfect tempo. Tempos in these “slow” movements of Mozart’s are hard to get right. He sang this movement with an inevitable and natural feeling. The Rondo was jaunty and stylish. It was humorous in spots without being hammy. The cadenza that Ax has composed for this movement is fitting and clever; I thought I heard horn calls. Above all, Ax played the Rondo, and all of the concerto, Emanuel Ax. with pleasure. It is a privilege to play Mozart. I believe Ax knows punching feeling. But, on the whole, the this. As the audience applauded, the man orchestra was alert, correct and compact. behind me said to his wife—loudly and The beginning of the Andante was positively twice—“Good ol’ Manny Ax.” He was more beautiful. than “good ol’ Manny Ax” on this occasion: The main work on this program was He was a great Mozartean. one of the main works of Mozart’s life, Gilbert and the orchestra did their roles and of music at large: the “Great” Mass in ably. There was a botched entrance in the horns near the opening, which was unfortu- C minor. The orchestra was again alert, correct and compact (and so were the New nate. Some of the exposition had a clock-

free youth, is the “first and most obvious change,” says Tom Greenwald, executive creative director at SpotCo, one of New York’s specialized arts marketing agencies. “It used to be a foregone conclusion that the lion’s share of a media budget would go to The New York Times,” he says. “Now you might advertise there just to please the stars and agents, but the campaign is going to be mostly online banner ads and social networking.” Greenwald says a lot of live entertainment still targets the 55-year-old woman; though she might not be constantly on Facebook, she’s probably online somewhere, and sites such as broadway.com can gear their initiatives toward that demographic. She may not be tweeting or playing Facebook games, but she will find some online point of purchase. Greenwald says more than half of Broadway ticket sales happen in online transactions rather than phone sales. “It’s gotten to the point where they don’t even put phone numbers in the ads,” he points out. Now Greenwald oversees Facebook campaigns that celebrate the 20,000 fans of Chicago with ticket giveaways. Samuel L. Jackson tweets to Twitter followers about The Mountaintop. A “nun” from Sister Act performs a video blog. Most shows, Greenwald says, use a combination of “social networking presence and refreshing websites. The great thing about the Internet is that it is an extension of the show. In the tradition of those Evita TV ads, you can run video

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content with sound.” He “roadblocks” (commands all of the display ad space) select sites. Banner ads can be programmed with Flash and HTML to sport animation and sound. Live clips can be constructed from B-roll of the shows themselves, but they can be cinematic and even conceptual. Advertising on TV is now supplemented by so-called earned media—working the morning news shows least likely to be DVRed. “It’s expensive to buy TV,” Greenwald says, “but everyone works it.” Soliciting the South Park generation for The Book of Mormon means a website with a working doorbell and online campaigns imploring fans to “Like us on Facebook” and “Follow us on Twitter.” It’s not as if Spotco abjures traditional outdoor advertising or print, but “spending $110,000 on The New York Times won’t pay off,” Greenwald declares. Clint White, president of New York’s WiT Media and lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, acknowledges the arts audience is “growing older, absolutely. But the good news is that those patrons are converted and believe in chamber music—or theatre or causes or art—and all have made it clear that they’re interested. All we have to do is tell them what’s going on and they’ll sign up. It’s the other [younger] audience that has to be introduced.” Next week: Broadway comes alive through new media.

York Choral Artists). Gilbert was never less than competent. He was completely assured and thoroughly prepared. In my judgment, however, this performance was barren of spirituality. It was also, I’m afraid, a bore. But I must say it was nice to hear the Mass performed with some richness, beauty and blood. In recent years, I have heard nothing but “period” performances, particularly at the Salzburg Festival. They are thin gruel, with some straw sticking out. They also feature mindlessly fast tempos. At the Philharmonic, it was a relief to hear “Laudamus te” at a sane, musical pace. The evening’s soprano was Jennifer Zetlan, who was starry when she was a student at Juilliard. In the Mass, she began a little uncertainly and had no low notes. But she soon gained her stride and was wonderful. The other singers were adequate, with the tenor, Paul Appleby, sounding like a Polenzani in the making. The bass in Mozart’s Mass has even less work to do than the mezzo-soprano in Beethoven’s Ninth. A famous mezzo once told me she had a piece of advice for other mezzos engaged for the Ninth: “Wear a pretty dress.”

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Carole Bouquet as Judith.

Unforgivable embarrasses the childish solipsism that currently passes for adult storytelling in recent American movies. It takes cues from life and Téchiné’s cinephile past, using Adriana Asti as Judith’s former lover to make a subtextual homage to Bertolucci’s Before the Revolution, because Téchiné insists our artistic and moral heritage still matters. Téchiné also evokes Last Tango in Paris in the film’s blood-rich sensuality, which includes a shocking act of vengeance so politically astute that our film culture would benefit by discussing it for the rest of the decade. NY Press.co m


CiTYaRTs MuseuMs

Spiritual Currency chinese riches shorTchanged aT The meT By Kate Prengel

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people bought to hang in their homes. Most are “door guardians” from the late 19th century, round-cheeked generals and kitchen gods with open, cartoonish faces. There are a few moving, expressionistic woodcuts from the revolutionary period, too. And the show does include some exciting works from the 1980s and beyond, notably Chen Haiyan’s “Dream,” an evocative swirl of animals on a black cloud, and Wu Jide’s “Fleeting Years.” But these pieces beg the question: why

he Metropolitan Museum sees itself as a teaching museum, which may be why its curators are trying to cram the entire history of Chinese printmaking into one exhibit: The Printed Image in China: 8th-21st Centuries. Ninth-century Buddhas, 16th-century peonies and 20th-century peasants are all lined up in the back rooms of The Met’s Asian wing for your edification. The trouble is that printing is a repetitive medium; a show of this many prints can be a hard slog, even with some beautiful pieces to liven it up. The Chinese invented woodblock printing. And in China, printing very quickly took on religious implications—Buddhism teaches that reproducing sacred texts is a way to receive blessings, so printing became a way to receive blessings while spreading the state religion. The exhibit starts with a room of seventh-, eighth- and ninth-century prints of the Buddha with short texts. There are a few standouts, like the luxuriously painted “Banner with Bodhisattva.” But after a while, most of the prints start to take on the sameness of dollar bills—they’re spiritual currency. The show moves on to the Ming period (1368-1644), where prints of leaves and flowers are executed with military precision. The period saw a big growth in literacy and wealth; at the same time, color printing took off. The exhibit Door Guardian, 19th century China. includes many examples from the Ten Bamboo Shoots Collection of Calligraphy and Painting, a manual isn’t The Met giving these artists an exhibit for artists full of lichen-covered stones and of their own? We would never see contemvines. porary French or Italian artists wedged into Color printing flourished into the Qing a show of this historic scope. Contemporary dynasty (1644-1912), whose Manchu rulers Chinese artists deserve the same respect we gave away prints to their guests to show off give their Western counterparts. their power. The Qing period verges on the garish; loud pinks and greens, overflowing The Printed Image in China: fruit plates and flower baskets all scream 8th-21st Centuries money. Through July 29, The Metropolitan The warmest pieces in this show are the Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave., so-called popular prints, which ordinary 212-923-3700, www.metmuseum.org.

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TURN SPOILS INTO SOIL

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GROWNYC & DSNY FOOD SCRAP COMPOST PROGRAM Recycle household fruit and vegetable scraps at select Greenmarkets citywide including 57th Street, Tucker Square, 79th Street and Columbia University. Visit www.grownyc.org/compost or call 212-788-7964 for details, locations and hours. A PROGRAM PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, THE NYC DEPARTMENT OF SANITATION, GROWNYC & COMMUNITY PARTNERS.

MANHATTAN MULTICULTURAL

SUMMER YOUTH PROGRAM 2012 We are proud to announce our 6th UNIQUE Summer Youth Program, in collaboration with IUAES at the UNITED NATIONS and in MANHATTAN from July 23th to August 3rd, 2012. The Summer Youth Program increases intercultural awareness that can create lifelong respect for other cultures, thereby reducing racial, religious, and intercultural tension. Through exposure to people of a diverse range of backgrounds, teens in New York City will gain a greater appreciation and understanding of one another’s difference and similarities.

Youth age 16 - 21 Meet incredible people your age from all different cultures and backgrounds!

SPACE IS LIMITED! Registeration is open untill July 10 , 2012 Please call for more information about our rates and interview appointment.

Call: 212 717 5885 or 646 420 6633 Visit our website: www.mmcnyc.com

June 12, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 1 3


POP CiTYaRTs T:5.541”

Tulis mccall’s no-pressure cabareT By Elena Oumano

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n the midst of the overpriced, dull landscape that has become Greenwich Village stands the Cornelia Street Café, a survivor from an earlier era when audiences discovered young Bob Dylans and Maya Angelous. Monologues and Madness, a monthly event in the Café’s basement, restores that now-rare glow of discovery. Founded and hosted by actress/writer/theater reviewer/ wedding officiant Tulis McCall, the evening features cliché-free, often brilliantly per-

Scott Seidman is back in the starting lineup. One of the top 10 orthopaedic programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report, Tulis McCall. NYU Langone Medical Center’s orthopaedic surgeons use innovative techniques, such as the anterior hip replacement, to help patients like Scott get back on their feet, faster. We even offer elective surgery on weekends for formed brief pieces written by the monologists themselves. our patients’ convenience. To find an NYU Langone orthopaedic surgeon, This June’s standouts included Carl Kiscall 888.769.8633 or visit www.NYULMC.org/findadoc. sin’s camp counselor addressing aspirants to false murder confessions—a tour-de-force fusion of derangement and sense—Trish Alexandro’s generous-hearted Latina supermarket cashier, Flash Rosenberg’s astute riff on “future nostalgia” and offerings from too many other gifted regulars to describe here. Asked how she started Monologues and Madness, McCall discussed the method in her evening’s sublime madness. “I kept showing up at the Café’s Thursday artist’s salon, and Robin Hirsch, a partner, invited me to have a night of my own. I did a few, which were tremendous failures, but he kept inviting me back. I love to do monologues, so I wondered if anyone else would. “As Ed Koch said, ‘This is New York City.

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We have a million of everything.’ I sent out emails to everyone I knew—‘I want to do an evening of monologues, would you join me? But they have to be original—yours or someone else’s—we don’t need to do Death of a Salesman again. That’s the deal,’” she says. McCall remembers that some friends advised: “‘Make them two to four minutes; otherwise, you’ll die!’ I thought people could use them for auditions. Instead of [playing] Blanche Dubois and eyes rolling back in heads, they could do something that makes a person sit up and say, ‘Hey, who wrote that?’” The Monologue Slam also started at Cornelia Street, but, McCall worried, “it had guest judges and an award at the end of the

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evening. I didn’t want that. I wanted people to go, ‘I don’t know if this is going to work. Let’s see.’ Also, I wanted these monologues read, not performed, without the pressure of memorizing because you’re still playing around with the text. It’s really a place for people to try things out and be creative at whatever age. There’s a lot of ageism out there, but not at this place. I expect people to keep creating until they keel over.” Monologues and Madness Cornelia Street Café, 31 Cornelia St., www. monologuesandmadness.com; first Monday of the month, 6-8 p.m., $10. Tulis McCall’s theater reviews can be read at www.ushersnob.com and www. newyorktheatreguide.com For wedding ceremony inquiries, call 917-318-8943. NY Press.co m


A New Day at Coney

NEW YORK FAMILY

Between the new rides and the classic attractions, coney island is, once again, a hit with city families By Eric Messinger

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lowly and reliably, Coney Island has revived to the point where it offers local families one of the most fun, special days anywhere in the city. Here are a few tips from someone who grew up nearby and still goes back with his kids.

The AquArium I often recommend starting a day in Coney with the New York Aquarium, taking in the crowd-pleasing sea lions, plus all sorts of exotic and marine life. (Note: The Aquarium has the most ample parking lot in the area.) nyaquarium.com The CyClone If you like roller coasters, the historic wooden Cyclone is one of those experiences that just has to be had, usually more than once. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether to tell the uninitiated about the first drop. lunA PArk In the last few years, large swaths of Coney Island have been reconceived and rebuilt under the umbrella name Luna Park, which was one of the great anchors of Coney Island in the past. The remake has brought a lot of varied and wonderful rides and games, so toddlers can have their thrills—but so can tweens and teens.

Hot Tip of the Week

Survivor—the Robinson Crusoe Edition Who better to pick up essential life skills from than Robinson Crusoe, everyone’s favorite shipwreck survivor? This coming Saturday, TheatrePlayground is bringing Daniel Defoe’s classic desert island story to life in an interactive family show in Central Park. As the story unfolds, kids will identify edible plants, make a shelter and trap, build a boat and more alongside longtime outdoorsman Jason Vance, who plays the protagonist. For more information, visit theatreplayground. com. And for even more family fun, visit newyorkfamily.com.

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One of the new sections, the Scream Zone, incorporates several new roller coasters, including the Steeplechase (another history-minded tribute). lunaparknyc.com

Deno’s WonDer Wheel AmusemenT PArk There’s no better way to immerse yourself in Coney Island than by enjoying the gentle swaying and big vistas of the iconic Wonder Wheel. A proud second-generation operation, Deno’s also features a kiddie park with 17 rides and Beach&BoardwalkPoiNters The Atlantic Ocean doesn’t hit Coney Island head-on; it’s more like a very big inlet, so the waves are almost always kid-friendly. Looking west along the boardwalk, you’ll see the really long Coney Island fishing pier. For a taciturn tribe, fishermen typically love introducing their passion to kids. At the end of the day, you can also walk east on the boardwalk, savoring the breezes and the human parade, and end up in Brighton Beach for dinner at a Russian restaurant. If you see a kid looking out the window of his apartment building, that was once me.

a few other classics for adults, including Spook-A-Rama and bumper cars. wonderwheel.com

nAThAn’s FAmous I don’t know why it’s true, but it is—Nathan’s hot dogs taste even better when purchased at the original home in Coney Island. Same goes for those thick wedge fries. nathansfamous.com ToTonno’s As long as we’re on the topic of food, it’s worth noting that the original Totonno’s, widely recognized by pizza foodies as one of the city’s great brick-oven joints, is also in Coney Island. The Brooklyn CyClones A lower division off-shoot of the Mets, the Cyclones offer fans the full Minor League treatment, with lots of special promotions and events that are perfect for families. My favorite: Stay after the game on Friday night and watch the fireworks. brooklyncyclones.com For more info on Coney Island, visit coneyislandfunguide.com. And for more great ideas for summer fun around the city, visit newyorkfamily.com.

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WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TIME TO WAIT

OUR DOCTORS ARE

ON YOUR SCHEDULE. At Mount Sinai’s new Urgent Care Center you’ll receive exceptional treatment by board-certified emergency medicine physicians from one of the country’s top medical centers. We’re right here in the heart of the Upper West Side and ready to serve you with exceptional and compassionate care where and when you need it most.

URGENT CARE

UPPER WEST SIDE & MULTISPECIALTY PHYSICIANS

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

THE MOUNT SINAI MEDICAL CENTER OPENS NEW URGENT CARE FACILITY ON MANHATTAN’S UPPER WEST SIDE Emergency Medicine Physicians Will See Walk-in Patients Seven Days a Week A new state-of-the-art urgent care facility staffed by The Mount Sinai Medical Center physicians and staff has opened at 638 Columbus Avenue at West 91st Street, ground floor. Mount Sinai Urgent Care Upper West Side is a walk-in medical facility that will be open seven days a week, with no appointments necessary. “We know that life happens,” said Kevin Baumlin, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “We all know someone who has had an unexpected injury or illness that requires treatment. Yet, we can’t always wait for an appointment with a physician, and the condition might not be serious enough to require a visit to an emergency room. Urgent care facilities offer a more convenient option.” According to Dr. Baumlin, an urgent care center is a great alternative for high-quality, immediate, and reliable treatment – especially since it is an integrated part of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, an internationally acclaimed academic medical center. There are plenty of advantages including no long waits at an emergency room for a non-emergency, and lower costs than a hospital visit. If a patient is found to need more extensive care, the center will facilitate immediate transfer to a hospital emergency department and will contact the patient’s primary physician. Both children and adults will be seen. All physicians are board-certified in emergency medicine. The center contains an on-site x-ray and lab, and will be fully integrated with Mount Sinai’s Electronic Medical Records (Epic) and patients will be able to access their own personal electronic records (MyChart). Among the conditions that will be treated are allergies and asthma, broken fingers and toes, bronchitis, earaches and eye infections, fevers and flu, headaches, minor cuts that require stitches, moderate back problems, sinus infections, skin rashes and infections, sore throats and coughs, sprains and strains, stomach ailments; urinary tract infections, vomiting, and diarrhea or dehydration. Mount Sinai Urgent Care will be open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No appointments are necessary and most insurance plans are accepted. For information about the new center call (212) 828-3250 or

www.mountsinai.org/urgentcare.

638 Columbus Avenue at 91st Street 212-828-3250 www.mountsinai.org/urgentcare

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The Mount Sinai Medical Center has been named by U.S. News & World Report to its 2011-2012 Honor Roll of elite hospitals. Every physician at Mount Sinai Urgent Care is board-certified in emergency medicine and a faculty member of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

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Urgent Care

special health supplement

Urgent Help Faster Than an Emergency Room NYC is finally seeing urgent care centers for times when your life’s not in danger By Traver HuTcHins It’s long been known that the East Coast represents the epicenter of medical academia. What’s lesser known, however, is that innovation in health care almost always travels from the West Coast to the East. The recent crush of urgent care organizations hitting the greater New York area are arriving a full 10 years after they first gained popularity out West. “Urgent Care” is defined as all care other than emergent. In other words, a patient can be seen in an urgent care facility for almost any condition other than the truly life-threatening ones. Recent entrants into the greater New York City area include City MD and Med Excel, to name a few. The rise of urgent care has paralleled both the rise of the utilization of health care and the concurrent drop in the number of doctors to meet the growing demand. As a result, when you suddenly have a health issue and try to see your doctor immediately, you will often find that they can’t see you in a timely fashion. Before, your main alternative was to go to the emergency room. The East Coast sees more visits to the ER per capita than anywhere else in the country. As a population, we have grown accustomed to the four-hour waits, the uncomfortable environment and the pricy service that sums up the ER experience. Not surprisingly, there are fewer urgent care facilities on the East Coast per capita, as well. Only a small percentage of the cases that are presented at the ER are life-threatening, which is what it is geared toward. That poor service is a result of all the non-emergency cases who didn’t realize they had an alternative. That’s about to change. Today, there are over 9,000 urgent care facilities, and they are growing by over 5 percent per year. Compare that to in-pharmacy clinics, which handle minor health issues such as flu shots, etc, of which there are only 1,000 locations and virtually no growth over the past decade. There are now 15 urgent care chains backed

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by institutional funds rolling out their brands in their region of influence but there is as of yet no national player, nor is there a significant player in the Northeast. How will the change happen? While the rest of the country knows what urgent care is, Easterners generally do not. There is a new educational campaign underway by the Urgent Care Association of America designed to raise awareness and make people comfortable with the idea that you can see a medical practitioner right away at a reasonable cost and with a quality outcome. Once experienced, that trifecta of benefit will rapidly migrate the patient flow from the ER to the urgent care clinic, as it has in the rest of the country. From a cost perspective, any time a health issue can be handled by a lower-cost provider with the same level of outcome, the service should be done by that lower-cost provider. While this is disruptive to the

general hospital model still so prevalent in the Northeast, this change is unstoppable and ultimately benefits both our health care system and the individual. The average cost for an ER visit is $600, and the patient’s average co-pay is $100. Compare that to $130 for an urgent care visit with a $30 co-pay on average for the very same case. Not surprisingly, insurers are now heavily educating their Eastern insureds on this new class of care option that has long been in fashion out West. So the next time a health issue arises and your doctor isn’t available, do yourself (and your wallet) a favor: go to an urgent care facility. You will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. Traver Hutchins is the chairman and founder of Remedy Health Media. He is also the CEO and founder of ASAP Urgent Care, which is focused on bringing urgent care to New England.

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Serving Children & Adults

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East 67th Street 1150 3rd Ave

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CityMD New York’s Urgent Care Providing immediate care for anything that you feel needs the attention of a doctor now.

www.CityMD.net

What is CityMD? CityMD is the place you can rely on for anything you feel deserves the attention of a doctor NOW. It is a modern convenient alternative to the typical emergency room experience or when your physician’s office can’t accommodate an unscheduled same day visit. CityMD offers accessible and convenient urgent medical care, on a walk-in basis, 365 days a year with extended hours of operation. CityMD is open from 8am to 10pm on the weekdays and 9am to 9pm on weekends accepts most major insurance plans and sees children and adults. CityMD is staffed by Board Certified emergency medical physicians and you will be seen in brand new, state of the art offices. They are equipped with on site X-ray capabilities. Access to care when you are not feeling well is part of what has been missing when it comes to patient care. CityMD provides patients with a significantly reduced waiting period when compared to a typical emergency room visit. At CityMD, often you are seen with little to no wait time. CityMD puts the care back into healthcare. They respect your time and as New Yorkers understand the limited time you have to seek treatment. When an unexpected medical need arises such as a cold, cut, burn, sprain or fracture CityMD Urgent Care is equipped with state of the art exam rooms including onsite x-ray technicians, phlebotomists as well as laboratory services and is staffed with a licensed provider at all times to perform minor procedures such as casting and suturing. CityMD has convenient locations across the City. Their board-certified physicians provide prompt, professional medical care to both adults and pediatric patients without the need for an appointment or referral. CityMD was established in 2010 and provides walk-in urgent medical care during its expanded hours of 8am to 10pm on weekdays and 9am to 9pm on weekends. For more information visit www.citymd.net. Upper East Side 336E 86th St. 212-772-3627 NYPre ss .com 

Upper West Side 2465 Broadway 212-721-2111

Columbus Circle 315W 57th St. 212-315-2330

Flatiron District 37W 23rd St. 646-596-9267

OPENING FALL 2012

EAST 67th St. 1150 3rd Ave

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Urgent Care

Dr. Judah Fierstein

Mount Sinai Goes Crosstown with New Center By AmAndA Woods Mount Sinai Hospital recently opened an urgent care center on the Upper West Side, a step that administrators consider important for the hospital, for the neighborhood and for urban medical care. “The hospital is trying to expand its presence on the West Side, bringing in new patients who don’t want to go across the park,” said Dr. Judah Fierstein, one of two doctors at the center, which opened May 30. “The biggest thing is that the hospital

is just recognizing that the urgent care model is really attractive to patients and that it’s hopefully a way also to unburden the emergency room, to care better for the people who really have to be in emergency rooms and not overwhelm the many other people who could be cared for in a more appropriate setting.” The Upper West Side, with its high foot traffic and high-rise apartments, is a key location for Mount Sinai to extend its services, said Bill Foresman, the administrative manager at Mount Sinai Urgent Care. But urgent care is growing in demand not only on the Upper West Side, but citywide and nationwide, he added. “Americans are trying to find more alternatives on a basic care level,” Foresman said. “If you look across most urban places like New York City and you want a primary doctor to take care of your needs, good luck finding one.” Urgent care centers like his offer an al-

20 • WEST SIDE SP IR IT • June 2 8 , 2 012

ternative for hard-to-reach primary care doctors—and overcrowded emergency rooms. Mount Sinai’s center handles nonemergency health problems such as allergies, colds, fevers, gastrointestinal problems and heart palpitations. It also offers basic physical examinations, Xrays, on-site lab services, HIV testing and vaccinations. Patients don’t have to make an appointment and can simply walk in. Most patients are seen within five to seven minutes. On the second floor of the new center, Mount Sinai has a different kind of medical office—a multispecialty physician practice. If urgent care patients need to see cardiologists, dermatologists, orthopedists or other specialists, they can simply go upstairs, instead of traveling elsewhere, Fierstein said. The center also offers an online service called MyMountSinaiChart, which allows for easy communication between doctors

and patients. Patients can review their medications, immunizations, allergies and medical history online and can use the service to retrieve test results within 72 hours after they have been released. The new center helps Mount Sinai get ahead and respond to a growing health care need, Dr. Fierstein said. “There are a lot of private people who are getting into this business who see that it’s a very attractive model, and the hospital doesn’t want to fall too far behind,” he said. “The integration into a larger medical center will really have an appeal.” Mount Sinai Urgent Care will be open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No appointments are necessary and most insurance plans are accepted. For information about the new center, call 212-828-3250 or visit www. mountsinai.org/urgentcare. NY Press.co m


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URGENT CARE MANHATTAN When you need a doctor NOW - experience a new model of medicine that puts patients first, in an exceptional environment on the Upper West Side. At Urgent Care Manhattan, access to walk-in medical care has never been easier in NYC! Board certified emergency physicians provide expert evaluation and treatment for a wide range of minor emergencies - and do it without the long wait or high cost of a visit to a hospital emergency room. With ER’s overflowing, and patients finding it ever more challenging to find a doctor when they need one, Urgent Care Manhattan was opened to provide exceptional care and personal attention at your convenience. Unlike most urgent care centers and walk-in clinics, at Urgent Care Manhattan, you will always be treated by a board-certified emergency physician. We are committed to a new model of medicine that puts patients first. No Appointment is necessary. Adults and Children are treated with the highest standards of care.

INSURANCE: Medicare, AETNA, BLUE CROSS, CIGNA, HIP, GHI, EMBLEM, OXFORD and UNITED are accepted for payment, as well as cash and credit cards for co-pays, or if you are paying yourself.

If you need non-emergency medical care, Beth Israel Medical Group has multiple locations offering same-day and weekend appointments for treatment of minor illnesses and injuries. Walk-ins also accepted. Call, walk in, or book an appointment online at www.BethIsraelMedicalGroup.com 55 East 34th St. (between Park and Madison) 212.252.6000 Open 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm

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June 12, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 21


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Your Urgent Care Center in New York City Dr. John Andrilli consults with Denis Tejada , RN.

If you have a condition or treatment that needs immediate attention, MedRite Urgent Care Center is here to serve you. Now there’s an alternative to the impersonal and often expensive visits to the Hospital Emergency Room and the long waits to see your doctor. You don’t need an appointment, and we accept most medical plans. Our staff of experienced doctors and medical professionals treats a wide range of injuries and medical conditions. We’re here for small injuries like cuts and bruises or more severe problems like fractures and lacerations. If you are sick and need immediate treatment, we are here for you.MedRite is open when you need us. We are open early every morning and we stay open late. Our trained professional staff is ready to treat a wide range of ilnesses and injuries on your schedule. When you can’t wait for a doctor’s appointment or need to schedule around your work and other commitments we’re ready to give you the treatment you need. Walk–ins are always welcomed. Check in is easy and comfortable. We have several exam rooms, an X-Ray department, and an on-site lab so you will receive high quality medical care that’s both fast and convenient. Contact us to find out more about MedRite Urgent Care services and its location. MedRite Urgent Care 919 2nd Ave.(Bet 48th & 49th St.) P:( 212) 935-3333 www.medriteurgentcare.com

22 • WEST SIDE SP IR IT • June 2 8 , 2 012

Urgent care centers fill some of the gap for former St. Vincent’s patients By DaviD GiBBons For many observers, the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital—one of the oldest community hospitals in the nation and a New York City icon throughout the 20th century—was a disaster, a disgrace, a moral failure, an avoidable tragedy. After its demise at the end of April 2010, professionals in other downtown medical centers noted a surge in ER visits and ambulance runs. Now, just over two years later, the question is: Have the others been able to fill the gap? The two major area players are Beth Israel Medical Center, part of Continuum Health Partners (CHP), and the North Shore-LIJ Health System. Beth Israel had already doubled the size of its emergency room after the closing of Cabrini Medical Center in 2008, so

it was well prepared for the St. Vincent’s surge; other local hospitals also expanded and adapted to pick up the slack. Meanwhile, both CHP and North Shore-LIJ, as well as several independent partnerships of doctors, have begun to offer more options for urgent care. In March, 2011, North Shore-LIJ partnered with VillageCare to open an urgent care center at 121A W. 20th St. Around the same time, North Shore-LIJ announced its trump card; plan to convert the O’Toole Building—the white wedding cake-like landmark on 7th Avenue between 12th and 13th streets that was part of the St. Vincent’s complex—into “the first stand-alone emergency and ambulatory facility in the New York City metropolitan area.” “We developed what we felt was a reNY Press.co m


Urgent Care alistic proposal to restore comprehensive health care to the West Side,” said Terry Lynam, a North Shore-LIJ spokesperson. “We’re investing $110 million to build a true community resource that will go a long way toward giving people access to health care that has been lacking since the closing of St. Vincent’s.” It is scheduled to open as The Lenox Hill Hospital Center for Comprehensive Care in early 2014. “North Shore is doing a commendable job trying to rebuild some services,” said Dr. Fred Hyde, clinical professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and an expert on management and policy. “Still, the closing of a hospital is irrelevant to the utility of urgent care centers, since hospitals were never much good at outpatient care in the first place. Urgent care is a substitute for available primary care physicians, of which we may have too few—local, state and national.” Hyde estimates that an individual physician, depending on how “muscular” a schedule he or she is willing to tackle, can serve a primary care base of 2,000 to 2,500 patients. These figures, together with a projection from the Urgent Care Association of America of one clinic per every 40- to 50,000 people, suggest that roughly 50 hardworking doctors staffing urgent care clinics in an area the size of southern Manhattan could have a significant impact. “If St. Vincent’s was like a lot of hospitals, it had an ER half-full of nonemergency patients who could have been treated in an urgent care clinic,” said Lou Ellen Horwitz, the Urgent Care Association’s executive director. “So while urgent care can’t replace hospital beds, it can create access for a lot of patients who would have gone to an ER.” CHP’s strategy is to build neighborhood primary and specialty care practices that accept walk-ins, one of the many ways it strives to meet the needs of the community, according to spokesman Jim Mandler. Marked by their familiar awnings with the blue Beth Israel logo, they are currently located in the West Village (222 W. 14th St.), Chelsea (202 W. 23rd St.) and lower Midtown (55 E. 34th St.). The Chelsea practice is expanding and will relocate to the northwest corner of 23rd Street and 8th Avenue on Sept. 1 with 12,000 square feet of space on two floors. Tom Poole, vice president of Continuum Medical Groups, who oversees development and operation of CHP’s community medical centers around Manhattan, calls it “our newly renovated state-of-the art facility for walk-in primary and specialty care, one-stop shopping sorely needed to serve NYPre ss.com 

HO S P ITA L Chelsea and Penn South,” a neighborhood development with a large elderly population. In November, Continuum will open another new Beth Israel facility on 8th Street in the West Village, able to handle 36,000 patient visits per year at full capacity. “Our model for the future is easy, open access,” said Poole. “We’ve found this is what patients increasingly expect; they don’t want to wait six weeks to see their doctor. We aim to treat patients who need immediate or urgent care and create an environment that provides a satisfactory experience for everybody. To put it simply: We want happy patients, happy physicians and happy staff.” “We’re able to see this with our practice on 14th Street, and we hope it will continue with the new locations on 23rd and 8th streets,” Mandler added. Poole says he feels a year from now will be a good time to re-evaluate the success of this new model; he also expects the increasing demand for urgent care to grow hand in hand with new housing development along the West Side. (For more information on Beth Israel’s practices, visit www.bethisraelmedicalgroup.com or www.wehealny. org.) At CityMD (www.citymd.net), they are equally bullish: “From our perspective, we see a major need for quality urgent care throughout the city and particularly in the downtown area,” said COO Dr. Nedal Shami, adding that business is good. The company opened its new Flatiron branch at 37 W. 23rd St. on May 8 of this year, has another scheduled to open on 67th Street in the fall and is actively seeking a location in Tribeca or the Financial District for the near future. Other private partnership practices along the lines of Beth Israel’s primary care walk-ins are opening up, among them the One Medical Group (www. onemedical.com), which has five locations, including in the West Village, at 408 W. 14th St., and the Wall Street area, at 30 Broad St. Additional urgent care options in Manhattan’s Lower West Side include New York Doctors Urgent Care, 65 W. 13th St.; Emergency Medical Care, 200 Chambers St. (www.emcny.com), and Medhattan Immediate Medical Care, 106 Liberty St. (www.medhattan.com). According to rules of thumb and guesstimates from several experts, it appears that southern Manhattan’s urgent care needs are being addressed, and that the closing of St. Vincent’s, in the cold light of history, may one day be considered more of a transition than a debacle.

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The Authority in Immediate Orthopaedic Care

iCare at HJD  301 East 17th Street at 2nd Avenue  New York, NY  212.598.7600 The Samuels Orthopaedic Immediate Care Center (iCare) is New York City’s only walk-in clinic for adults and children with urgent muscle, bone and joint injuries and conditions. Located in NYU Langone’s Hospital for Joint Diseases (HJD), iCare offers: • Shorter wait times than hospital emergency rooms • Expert care by HJD’s world-class physicians and nurses • State-of-the-art diagnostic equipment for quick evaluation and treatment • Access to further orthopaedic care or admission at HJD, for more significant injuries • A modern, comfortable environment • Seven-day-a-week-care, from 8am - 10:30pm Conditions treated include suspected hip, arm, or leg fractures; suspected dislocation or joint injury; injuries to hands or feet; acute back/spine injuries; sprains or strains of any joint; suspected bone or joint infection. For more information, call 212.598.7600.

Hospital for Joint Diseases Offers Immediate Orthopaedic Care, Seven Days A Week Emergency rooms can be congested, with long waiting times for non lifethreatening conditions such as some bone and joint injuries. But since 1992, NYU Langone Medical Center’s Hospital for Joint Diseases (HJD) has been offering world-class care for muscle, bone, and joint conditions and injuries at the Samuels Orthopaedic Immediate Care Center (iCare). iCare is New York City’s only walk-in orthopaedic clinic, open seven days a week. The modern, newly renovated facility sees over 7,000 patients a year and is designed to speed admissions, diagnosis and treatment of bone and joint injuries in adults and children. More than 70% of iCare patients leave the hospital in less than two hours. Exam rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to allow for efficient and accurate evaluation and treatment. Most rooms have LCD televisions to create a less stressful environment. Beyond the convenience of shorter wait times and the comfort of the facility, the most important benefit of iCare is being treated by some of the best bone and joint specialists in the country – the experts at HJD, ranked among the top ten orthopaedic centers in the country by U.S. News and World Report. And, with the facility located in HJD, operating rooms and more extensive care are only minutes away for patients with more significant injuries.

iCare is located in the Hospital for Joint Diseases, 301 East 17th Street at Second Avenue. Contact iCare at 212-598-7600.

J une 28 , 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 23


Urgent Care

A Look at Some of Manhattan’s Urgent Care Centers By AmAndA Woods “In the past, the emergency room was your only option for receiving care for any minor or not-so-minor injury,” said Mark Melrose, D.O., co-founder of Urgent Care Manhattan on the Upper West Side. “The ER was the only game in town.” Today, about 40 percent of visits to hospital emergency departments are for nonurgent or semi-urgent problems, resulting in unnecessarily overcrowded emergency rooms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For many conditions, urgent care is a more suitable option. Urgent care centers offer treatment for a variety of ailments, ranging from strep throat to broken bones and fractures. In some centers, physical exams for schools, summer camps and employment are also provided. Urgent care is not a new concept—it has existed for about 25 years, according to Bill Foresman, the administrative manager of Mount Sinai Urgent Care—but it has recently taken off both nation- and citywide, Melrose said. Urgent care centers are open to walk-ins, and patients are usually seen within minutes of their arrival. Citywide urgent care is a necessity that fits into the rhythm of Manhattan life, said Samuel Fisch, the CEO of MedRite Urgent Care in Midtown East. “An urgent care center is definitely a model that belongs to New York City,” Fisch said. “People [have] busy schedules and it’s so hard to get in to see a doctor. We felt it’s a service that’s needed in the city more than any place else.” Many issues play into the surge of urgent care in the city. “You hear of the financial strife of hospitals closing, and they’re having trouble providing efficient care to all patients,” said Anthony Ruvo, M.D., a co-owner of New York Doctors Urgent Care. “Patients still need to be seen in a timely manner.” Previously, it was too expensive for urgent care centers to open a Manhattan office. The financial crisis has actually helped that situation, Melrose said, and many urgent care centers can now afford to open up. Many of the urgent care centers that have cropped up in Manhattan are staffed by board certified emergency physicians—a huge plus in a city filled with large medical institutions, said Douglas Kaiden, M.D., a doctor at MedRite. Below is a list of some of the urgent care centers on the Upper East and Upper West sides and in surrounding neighborhoods. Urgent Care Manhattan Upper West Side—199 Amsterdam Ave., 212721-4200, www.urgentcaremanhattan.com Urgent Care Manhattan is a walk-in medical center that provides pediatric and adult care for common illnesses, minor emergen-

medical and surgical illnesses and side effects of cancer treatments. Staff at the center evaluate patients’ hospital records, take a brief medical history, do a physical exam and conduct tests based on the physical symptoms. Then, the staff will determine whether the patient should go home or be admitted into the hospital.

cies, wound repair and X-rays. Patients can also receive travel vaccinations, diabetes and cholesterol screenings and blood tests and lab analysis. Students are welcome at the center for school and summer camp physical screenings. Alcohol and drug testing, along with HIV screenings, are also available at the facility. CityMD Upper East Side—336 E. 86th St., 212-7723627; Upper West Side—2465 Broadway, 212-721-2111; Columbus Circle—315 W. 57th St. Another Upper East Side location (1150 3rd Ave. at East 67th Street) is set to open in the fall. citymd.net CityMD physicians treat injuries, common illnesses and pediatric needs. They also provide X-rays and conduct health screenings for employment, STD testing and flu and mononucleosis screenings. The facilities also offer travel vaccinations. Besides the four locations mentioned above, CityMD also has an office on West 23rd Street in the Flatiron District. MedRite Urgent Care Midtown East—919 2nd Ave., 212-9353333, www.medriteurgentcare.com MedRite treats non-life-threatening illnesses including upper respiratory infections, the flu and migraines and injuries such as sprained ankles. X-rays are also available on-site. The doctors on staff are board-certified emergency physicians, said Douglas Kaiden, a doctor at MedRite. The office is open seven days a week, and patients can come in for school, sports, occupational and other physical exams. Patients have the option to fill out a check-in form online before they arrive at the office. New York Hotel Urgent Medical Services Upper East Side—952 5th Ave., Ste. 1D, 212737-1212, travelmd.com/site1/home/newyork-hotel-urgent-medical-services This center handles minor medical emergencies for city tourists, and its doc-

24 • WEST SIDE SP IR IT • June 2 8 , 2 012

tors follow up with patients’ primary care physicians back home, providing detailed reports. New York Hotel Urgent Medical Services also offers 24-hour in-room medical care—doctors usually arrive at the hotel room either within the hour or at the patient’s requested time. The doctors carry portable medical equipment, and most medications are immediately available. EMERGeCARE Upper East Side—210 E. 86th St., Ste. 203, 212-510-8092, www.emergecare.com This center treats various medical needs, ranging from the common cold to bites and stings to dehydration. Most major insurances are accepted here, but those who aren’t insured pay an all-inclusive $125 fee. Manhattan Physician Group Upper East Side—215 E. 95th St., 212-9968000; Upper West Side—154 W. 71st St., 212-496-4600. www.mpgcares.com Here, patients can receive treatment for common illnesses. General and vascular surgeries, as well as social services, are also available at the Upper East Side location. Internal medicine services are offered at both locations. DR Walk-in Upper West Side—775 Columbus Ave., 212932-8060, www.drwalkin.com This urgent care center is located inside a Duane Reade pharmacy. Here, patients can receive general checkups, treatments for back and joint pain, physical exams for work and school and blood sugar testing, to name a few. The Urgent Care Center of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Upper East Side—1275 York Ave., 212-6397081, www.mskcc.org/doctor/department/ department-medicine/urgent-care-service Memorial Sloan-Kettering patients are treated for problems related to cancer,

Mount Sinai Urgent Care Upper West Side—638 Columbus Ave., 888-407-1848, mountsinaifpa.reachlocal. net/about-us/locations/upper-west-side/ urgent-care This is a brand-new urgent care facility. Many of the urgent care doctors here also treat in the hospital’s emergency department, but at the urgent care center, they are able to treat patients more quickly and with greater privacy. This center has a unique perk—access to Mount Sinai’s clinical pathology and diagnostic services. One Medical Group Columbus Circle—1790 Broadway, Ste. 182, 212-530-0624, www.onemedical.com/nyc/ doctors One Medical Group offers same-day appointments for patients in need of immediate attention. On the center’s website, there is a link to the member services portal, My One, which allows patients to sign up for an appointment whenever they like. Using MyOne, patients can enter their medical history online and, after their appointments, follow up with doctors and schedule their next visit. New York Doctors Urgent Care Greenwich Village—65 W. 13th St., 212414-2800; new office at 205 Lexington Ave. (Murray Hill) to open July 16. www.nydoctorsurgentcare.com At this office, the two doctors, Anthony Ruvo and Alvaro Alban, treat immediate health needs such as acute lacerations, minor fractures and occupational-related injuries. The doctors—both with experience in emergency medicine—also handle common illnesses such as allergic reactions, bronchitis and upset stomachs. Patients usually wait only 10 minutes in the casual, café-style waiting room to be seen by a doctor, Ruvo said, and they usually spend no more than an hour total in the office. Emergency Dentist NYC 212-486-9458 www.EmergencyDentistNYC.com Located near Union Square, Emergency Dentist NYC specializes in treating all dental emergencies, traumas and pain relief. Seven days a week including weekends and holidays. NY Press.co m


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June 12, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 25


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For more information or to arrange a visit, call: (212) 342-9539 or visit ww.isabella.org 26 • WE ST SIDE SPIR IT • June 2 8 , 2 012

not remember how to tell the time from a digital clock. She did not know how to retrieve messages from her answering any older people live alone and do not have a close family machine. She was overwhelmed, uncertain and close to despair. member or friend living nearSince that first meeting, I have met with by who can help them if they her in her home for two hours a week. As become ill and unable to do all the tasks I help her go through her mail, pay bills, necessary to maintain their lives at home. check her email and do other tasks, I repeatThey or a family member will sometimes edly confirm what she can do. She is a witty employ a geriatric care manager. conversationalist. She has become active in A geriatric care manager can perform the senior center and is going to be teaching a range of needed tasks, such as helping a writing class there. She maintains close with paying bills; planning for medifriendships. cal care and ensuring that a client goes By the second or third meeting, she had to doctor’s appointments; working with become more confident. She has stopped doctors, nurses and social workers at getting lost or panicked on the subway. hospitals and rehabilitation centers to She continues to ensure that a client have difficulties receives the best Case managers with other tasks, possible medical help seniors but, as I help her care; arranging for with them, her lack and supervising handle diffiCult of ability rarely home care aides; tasks and give overwhelms her. She and working with a is enjoying her time client to maintain them the at the senior center his or her quality of ConfidenCe to and conversations life. stay aCtive. with friends. For example, a proThis case illustrates fessional colleague a principle in workreferred me to Ms. D, ing with someone suffering with dementia: who lives alone. She had been a professor Help with the specific tasks with which until she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she is having difficulty, but repeatedly and disease. consistently confirm her remaining abilities The first time I met her, she told me that and help her find others who will appreciate she had been having increasing trouble what she knows and can do. remembering how to pay her bills. Sometimes she got disoriented on the subway, Roy Herndon Smith, Ph.D., is with Comeven when going to a familiar place, and munity Geriatric Care (communitygeripanicked when she realized she did not atriccare@gmail.com), a subsidiary of know where she was. She needed help Foremost Home Care. logging on to check her email. She did

M

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DINING

The Gateway Drug No-fail foods to cure a picky eater By Regan Hofmann

T

he picky friend is the bane of the food-lover’s existence. It can be tough to accept that someone you like and respect could be so stubbornly opposed to something you love, like finding out your best friend thinks Prince is just a short weirdo with an unhealthy attachment to the color purple. More friendships have ended over dim sum meals gone south than loans gone unrepaid—at least in my circle. But while the first instinct of any food evangelist is to apply reason (ie. argue, loudly), these poor lost souls are too far gone to be receptive to facts. Yes, darkmeat chicken is more flavorful than white meat, higher in tasty fats and therefore less prone to becoming dried-out, stringy sawdust, but white meat lovers are as entrenched as fourth-generation Chicago Cubs fans, still holding on after 103 years of disappointment. No, the tactic to take with these people is a sneakier one: gateway dishes. Unless

they’re allergic or one of those genetic mutants who can’t taste cilantro, no one hates a food wholecloth. They hate the idea of it or the way they’ve had it prepared in the past; for years, a friend hated asparagus because as a child his mother had only ever served the canned version—he thought those colorless, water-logged spears were the vegetable’s natural state. Present your pal with an creative preparation or one that downplays the food’s more objectionable qualities and let him come to the realization on his own that it might not be so bad after all. If necessary, order out of earshot and let the offending food arrive at the table incognito—but don’t play coy if he asks what it is; these people are highly attuned to trickery and will run at the first sign of a trap. Given a light push by a caring friend and one of the following amazing dishes, any irrational food resistance will melt away faster than Otto’s olive oil gelato on an August afternoon.

Oysters. Though sushi hasn’t been a gross-out food since The Breakfast Club, for some reason raw oysters remain a bridge too far for some. Maybe it’s their soft, moist texture, which comes across slimy for those who need to poke and prod food before trying it. Or maybe it’s the technique for eating them, which can be intimidatingly Neanderthal—and, in the wrong hands, leaves you spitting flakes of shell. Ease into the experience at a sushi bar like Blue Ribbon Sushi (119 Sullivan St., blueribbonrestaurants.com), and get your friend drunk on high-quality toro before ordering a couple of West Coast oysters, traditionally more fully flavored and robust than East Coast versions. If he’s still reluctant, get them to add spicy masago on top to add a textural counterpoint and a hit of heat. Off cuts. At Hakata Tonton (61 Grove St., tontonnyc.com), the base for every one of their rich, unctuous hot pot soups is pig trotters—or, as they so delicately put

The Seven Pretentious Words to Avoid When Describing Wine

Y

ou’re a writer, huh? What kind of stuff do you write?” “Oh, a little of this,” I said, staring at my shoes, knowing exactly where this conversation was headed, “A little of that.” “Like what? What’s one of the things you get paid to write about?” “Wine.” My single-word answer was followed by an unconscious frown from the gentleman I had just met. Indeed, he now knew all he needed to know about me, and he excused himself to grab another drink. “It’s going to be a beer,” he sneered as he walked off. “Hope you don’t think less of me for that!” I don’t blame the guy. I hate wine writers, too. We’re smug and arrogant and we assume that we know more than regular guys. The only thing my so-called wine knowledge has really got me is a handful of trivia answers about vinification and European geography. I have always said, and I maintain, that

NYPre ss.com 

the most important idea behind wine appreciation is “know what you like.” The more you drink, the more you know, and the more you know, the more you know what it is exactly that you like. All of the fancyshmancy wine talk in the world can’t convince anyone that a crappy wine is anything other than a crappy wine. So today I would like to feature the seven stupidest descriptors that wine writers use when describing the fermented juice. If I can encourage just one oenophile to refrain from using even one of these words, I feel this column will have served the greater good. Barnyardy. Mmm, nothing like the smell of horse manure, rotting hay and moldy barn wood to whet the appetite for a tasty red from the south of France. Believe it or not, this is meant to be a compliment for a fuller-bodied, rustic wine, like those that come from the area of Cahors. But, honestly,

the idea of it kind of makes one want to throw up in one’s mouth. Foursquare. In case you were wondering, no, your bottle of wine has not decided to check in at the local Irish Pub on its smart phone. This meaning of foursquare is the one that Webster’s By Josh Perilo College Dictionary defines as “marked by boldness and conviction.” Oh, you mean “bold”? This snotty adjective was popularized by the king of snotty wine adjectives, Robert Parker Jr. Pencil Shavings. While we’re bashing Mr. Parker, let’s address the No. 1 confounding “positive” descriptor that he uses when talking about older Bordeaux. Perhaps he had some kind of unnatural graphite fetish when he was in middle school, but for the majority of us, a good bottle does not remind one of sucking on a No. 2. Biscuity. I know that there are droves of sommeliers who will disagree with me,

it, collagen. The connective tissue and fat that make up the majority of this indelicate cut melt away into the stock, leaving no tell-tale bits behind to tip off your companion. The restaurant itself is a temple to the trotter, with odes to the part’s healthfulness inscribed on the menus and walls to assuage any squeamishness—it’s great for the skin! Once you’ve made headway with the soups, push the boundaries by ordering the grilled pork tonsoku, the trotter itself brought out into the open. The (admittedly scanty) meat is tender and deeply flavored, like short rib taken to the extreme. Brussels sprouts. Great-Aunt Louise has a lot to answer for. Almost every Brussels sprouts objector has the same childhood trauma driving their hatred of the unassuming crucifer: overboiled, sulfurous balls of mush forced upon them yearly at tense family Thanksgivings. Hell, even those who love the veg have had to overcome that to get to where they are today. Casa Mono’s (52 Irving Pl., casamononyc.com) Spanish-inflected Brussels sprouts are grilled a la plancha, keeping the leaves fresh and green while giving them a nutty, roasted flavor from the hard sear on the grill. If your pal has ever enjoyed the char on a street fair corncob, these sprouts will be the perfect therapy for her PTSD.

but I have never sniffed a sparkling wine that I thought smelled like a biscuit. Yeasty, perhaps. Doughy or bready, sure, but KFC or Popeyes have never crossed my mind. And if we’re talking about biscuits as in cookies, then just say cookies. We’re not in bloody England. Playful. Wines are not playful. I’ve never had the occasion to toss a ball back and forth with a pinot noir, nor have I engaged in a game of disc golf with a sauternes. This adjective is a cop-out for a wine writer with a crappy palate. It means “this wine is light and people tell me it’s good, but I don’t really get it.” Quince. Now I will concede that this adjective is incredibly accurate for describing some wines. There are a handful of whites from specific areas that definitely have the taste of quince, but let me pose this question: When was the last time you ate quince? Using it to describe a wine is like telling a normal person (anyone who hasn’t had quince in the last five years) that the wine is too sophisticated for their palate. Pipi du Chat. ‘Nuff said. I will admit that I am guilty of using these descriptors from time to time. But hopefully now that we’ve admitted that the emperor has no clothes, we can all sip with a little less apprehension. Follow Josh on Twitter: @joshperilo.

J une 28 , 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 27


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June 12, 2012  •   W EST SI D E SP I RI T • 29


oPEn foRuM

Go the Way of the Horse and Buggy ManhaTTan MEDIa President/CeO Tom Allon tallon@manhattanmedia.com grOuP PuBLisHer Alex Schweitzer aschweitzer@manhattanmedia.com CFO/COO Joanne Harras jharras@manhattanmedia.com

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Rome, Vienna, Chicago, Cozumel and Atlanta, to name a few, the time has come for animals to be given their due. To an enlightened populace, ethics, morality and compassion trump selfishness and greed every time. The New York City law allows these dispirited carriage horses to work for nine hours straight, seven days a week between the shafts of their carriage, either pulling or parked waiting for a customer—bored, captive, not even able to scratch an itch. As herd animals, horses need turnout to pasture to mingle with other horses, graze on grass and mutually groom each other, a great stress reliever. This does not exist in the New York City stables. The five-week so-called furloughs will never substitute for daily turnout. The horses live in four multistory stables on the far west side of Manhattan, where the stalls, legislated at 60 square feet minimum, are less than half the size

By Elizabeth Forel

n

ew York is one of the most congested cities in the world. It is no place for slow-moving horses pulling flimsy carriages mixed in with taxis, fire trucks, police cars and buses. In January 2006, a horrific accident occurred on 9th Avenue and 50th Street that involved a young carriage horse named Spotty, who was returning to his stable. Reacting to unknown stimuli, he bolted frantically into traffic, smashing into a station wagon and wrapping himself over the vehicle, the carriage still attached. He was later euthanized and his driver hospitalized in a coma. Unfortunately, this is typical horse behavior. This was the beginning of our While the people Want campaign to shut down the inherently a ban, politicians are inhumane and unsafe horse-drawn carriage trade in New York City, an a different matter. industry that has no more than 160 active members but remains politiexperts recommend—stall guidelines for cally entrenched. It is an industry that a voluntary certification by the New York majority of New Yorkers want banned. state Horse Health Assurance Program are At that time, we needed to re-educate 144 square feet for mid-sized horses and politicians, media and even activists. 196 square feet for larger drafts. These Today, the issue has caught on and has stalls are mostly on the upper levels, acreceived much publicity. Several other cessed by a steep ramp. organizations are also involved. It is an Since July 2011, there have been 11 carissue whose time has come. riage horse incidents, including one horse More and more people around the death, that of Charlie, who dropped dead globe are becoming sensitized to anion Oct. 23, 2011, while pulling a carriage. mal suffering and want it to stop. From Several others were due to the horse cities legislating a ban on bull fighting spooking, but on Nov. 4 and again on Dec. or animal circuses to campaigns to ban 4, a horse collapsed on the street while inhumane horse-drawn carriages in

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A citywide bAn on horsedrAwn cArriAges is long overdue

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

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pulling a carriage. There is no reporting requirement in the law, so it is probable that many more accidents occur and go undocumented. Every poll that has been taken since 2006—including those by CBS, The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News and Extra—shows 75-80 percent of respondents favor a ban of the industry. Currently, we have over 122,000 signatures on an online petition in support of the Avella/ Rosenthal state bill to ban the New York City carriage industry. While the people want a ban, politicians are a different matter. In 2009, the Teamsters began to represent the carriage drivers. It is not a real union shop; there is no collective bargaining or benefits, and owners and drivers are in one local. Only about half of the owners and drivers are members. But, as a strong union, the Teamsters wield much influence with City Council members who could otherwise make a difference. The city has enabled this tiny business for years, granting such things as undermarket rent for a city-owned stable, killing a Council bill that would have mandated sprinklers and quashing a bill that would have prevented the horses from going to slaughter auctions, the latter thanks to Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Currently, drivers are not accountable for horses sold outside New York City, so it is not known where the majority of them go—a huge turnover of 60-70 horses each year. Our goal is to see the industry shut down and the horses retired to a sanctuary or a good home. It is time to move New York City into the 21st century with compassion for all beings. Elizabeth Forel is president of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages.

City Hall, business and sports stories. They have few reporters assigned to cover local neighborhood news beats. These reporters have to compete against colleagues for limited available print space. As a result, daily newspapers miss significant news and political stories from various neighborhoods in Midtown and the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Weekly newspapers such as West Side Spirit fill the void for coverage of local community news. In the marketplace of ideas, let us hope there continues to be room for everyone, including our own West Side Spirit and its sister publications, Our Town Downtown, Our Town, nypress.com and City & State. —Larry Penner

NY Press.co m


MooRE ThoughTS

Small Business is Best, Except When it’s Not Save mom-and-pop StoreS, but they Should Save uS from bad Service By Christopher Moore

I

don’t love that cute independent pharmacy in my neighborhood. This is a secret—or it was until about a sentence ago. I cannot count the number of stories I’ve edited over the years about this pharmacy. I even wrote one. The pieces have chronicled the personal relationships between the pharmacist and local residents; how he’s provided medicine without charging for it during an emergency; and the time activists and even a state legislator rallied against the landlord’s possible eviction of the drugstore. When I went there, though, my prescriptions were not ready—even after I’d been assured by phone beforehand that they would be filled. I will never get back the hours I spent standing around waiting for the men in white coats to get their work done.

Sometimes, small places screw up. My spouse and I go through dry cleaners the way the Octomom goes through Pampers. Some of our clothes recently played a dramatic game of lost and found. We go back and forth between the expensive cleaner who keeps calling to say he forgot to charge for one of the shirts or the woman with Currently, I get my prescriptions filled by the ecofascist lecture promoting a special Frank at Duane Reade. clothing case—one we would have to pay If bigger is not necessarily better, well, for—so as not to use up plasneither is smaller. This tic dry-cleaning bags. In a is something I’ve been city with so many dry cleanthinking about as the ers, why are all the annoying Bloomberg adminisones in my neighborhood? tration and West Side I’m not alone in my mixed Council Member Gale feelings about the occasional A. Brewer are working small business. “I was overwith many others to save charged,” a harried-looking small businesses. Prowoman told a merchant in posed regulations would front of a little city market limit the scope of some on Broadway in April. “At storefronts, to encourage fewer banks and more chRISToPhER MooRE this point, I’m not coming back.” independent shops. Just “Why are you not comlast week, Bloomberg ing back?” the fellow said, evidently went further and unveiled plans for a having missed the part about her being new office to help businesses, especially overcharged. smaller ones, “navigate city bureaucracy,” “Because I don’t like this,” the woman as the Wall Street Journal put it. said. I’m backing both proposals. But I stopped I don’t like it either. Yesterday when the believing that every mom-and-pop store three men at the diner counter in lower deserves to succeed around the time I Manhattan chatted with each other and noticed that mom and pop were treating me ignored me, I didn’t like it. I walked out. like crap.

Whenever someone takes a phone call instead of dealing with me, when I took the time to show up in person, I don’t like it. The young waiter at the unsurprisingly now-defunct Italian eatery who was texting instead of taking orders? The gentlemen at the pricey restaurant uptown who take away plates before we’re finished eating them? I don’t like any of it. When I was growing up, my parents owned an independent bookstore. The place had nearly a three-decade run. When it was over, I zipped into Barnes & Noble and bought a membership card. I was exhausted from all the years of fighting the good fight, being on the side of the little guy. Now it turns out that Barnes & Noble, after killing bookstores across the nation, is the little guy in the battle against Amazon. Talk about what goes around, comes around. Let’s do what we can to create a fair playing field for small businesses. Then, within those establishments, let’s set up rules on how to treat customers better. Surely, fine service must be central to what smaller businesses offer their communities. What I want in a store or restaurant, big or small, is to be noticed, appreciated and treated well. Christopher Moore is a writer living in Manhattan. He’s available by email at ccmnj@aol.com and on Twitter @cmoorenyc.

cITIquETTE

The Third Rail the hazard of converSational triangulation By Jeanne Martinet

L

ike most single people, I socialize a lot with couples. Most of my friends are in couples. Sometimes we go to the theater or a movie, but often it’s just good conversation over dinner. What I have learned is that the potential problem inherent in single-to-couple socializing is not the uneven number of people, nor is it being the only single person there; it’s being the single person in a threesome. Almost every single person you talk to will tell you that being a fifth wheel (or better yet, a seventh or ninth wheel) is infinitely better than being a third wheel. Three is a tricky number. The terms “fifth wheel” and “third wheel” come from the fact that four-wheeled carriages used to carry an extra wheel (or that two-wheeled carts might carry a third). Obviously the spare wheel was not necessary to make the conveyance go. Ergo, it connotes something that serves no useful

NYPre ss.com 

purpose. However, the truth is that being a third wheel is not as much about being unnecessary or unwanted as it is about causing instability. A shopping cart with only three wheels can be wonky or lopsided, just as threesomes in social life are potentially unwieldy. Three friends together is always more complicated than two or four. With three people, the psychological balance is always shifting—however slightly—between one pair and another. Unfortunately, the older I get, the more I seem to be going out with only one couple at a time. These can make for lovely, intimate evenings, except when something like this happens: Let’s say I am in the middle of dinner with Jennifer and Rick. We are talking about modern technology and its effect on the human brain. Everything is going along quite nicely, until Jennifer suddenly says, “Hey, listen. You can help Rick and me solve a dispute we are having.” (Right here is where, if there were alarms hooked up to our social lives, the flashing lights and bells would go off.) Jennifer continues: “I feel our daughter should not have a cell phone until she is 14, but many of her friends have them now, at

up sore subjects or show markedly more interest in one person’s anecdotes than the other’s. But one thing is certain: When you are age 11, and Rick thinks she needs one, espe- asked point blank to side with one person cially being in New York City. What do you against the other, no good can come of it. think? Will you please tell Rick he’s out of At the first sign of this kind of triangulation, his mind?” Uh-oh. Trouble. you should proceed with Trouble in the shape of a extreme caution. Change big, fat triangle. the subject or, if you can, Triangulation is the proleave the table to go to the cess whereby a person who restroom, feed the meter or has an issue with someone make a call. else uses a third person to If you are not able to sidevalidate her feelings. This is step the landmine, pretend more commonly known as to mediate. Listen carefully Getting Sucked Into a Fight. to both sides, then claim In extreme situations, you are unable to decide on triangulation can make you the matter. Other triangulafeel as if you are trapped in tion diffusers? Try “Don’t JEannE MaRTInET a scene from Who’s Afraid ask me—I’m the proverbial of Virginia Woolf? disinterested third party” or But it doesn’t always manifest as an “I refuse to answer on the grounds that it actual argument; it can be more passive may incriminate me.” Or even “Look they than that, such as when a husband flirts have marriage counselors for this!” with you in front of his wife or a wife To the Jennifer/Rick debate above, I makes cutting remarks about her husmight smile and say, “I make enough bad band in front of you. decisions about my own life. Please don’t Sometimes it’s the third wheel herself ask me to make bad decisions for yours.” who is responsible for pushing the evening onto the third rail. She can inadverJeanne Martinet, aka Miss Mingle, is the tently reveal a secret one person has told author of seven books on social interacher to “put in the vault.” Or she can bring tion. Read her blog at MissMingle.com.

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West Side Spirit June 28, 2012  

The June 28, 2012 issue of West Side Spirit. The West Side Spirit, published weekly, is chock full of information—from hard news to human in...

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