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The local paper for the Upper per West Side p Sid

WEEK OF APRIL PASSING THE BATON ◄ P.16

5-11 2018

MISSION: SPEND A MILLION DOLLARS ENGAGEMENT Grassroots democracy blossoms as empowered citizens this weekend start to determine how a windfall in tax money will be allocated – and for the first time, preteens can make a big difference BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

Neighborhood residents tend about 30 plots at La Perla community garden, which took root on three empty lots on West 105th Street near Columbus Avenue about 25 years ago. One of the lots is now on the market and the garden will likely shrink by about one-third, but remain on two contiguous lots. Photo: Shoshy Ciment

LA PERLA GARDEN WILL LIKELY SURVIVE COMMUNITY Following lot swap, a portion of Manhattan Valley will stay green and bright BY SHOSHY CIMENT

Following an almost three-year trudge through city bureaucracy, a neighborhood jewel is primed for a scale-down. A recent land swap of two of the three lots that comprise La Perla community garden on West 105th Street eliminates a deed restriction on one of the outermost lots, mak-

ing a sale — and the survival of the garden, albeit scaled down — all the more likely. “At the moment, we are just kind of holding our breaths really,” said Robert Pollard, a La Perla member and its composting chief. Since the mid-1990s, La Perla has nestled within those three lots, and from which neighborhood residents have cultivated lilac and iris, picked peaches, figs, and plums, and reaped tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, basil and thyme from 30 plots. The garden currently extends about 50 feet by 100 feet over the adjoining lots, which are owned by three separate entities.

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Eleven-year-olds get the vote. A few taps on a smartphone is all it takes to cast a ballot. There is no pay to play. Or give to get. And the people — not the politicians — decide how a chunk of their public funds are spent. Sound like a phantasmagorical course in Civics 101? Actually, it’s a real-world experience, courtesy of the City Council, that gives New Yorkers a say in which brick-and-mortar projects will reap tax dollars in their districts. Its name may be one of the wonkiest in city government: Participatory Budgeting, or PB. But few initiatives do more to enshrine people power, make budget decisions clear and accessible — and open up the often-opaque process of funding capital projects to a citizenry seeking real and lasting change. Starting on Saturday, April 7 and continuing through Sunday, April 15, a period called PB Week, residents in 31 of the Council’s 51 districts will vote to directly allocate $1 million in physical infrastructure work per district, selecting from 10 or so proposals that meet local needs. Improvements to schools, parks, libraries, public housing and public safety are on the ballot in Council District 6, which covers the Upper West Side, District 5, which takes in the Upper East Side, and District 3, which encompasses Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen and

Upper West Side City Council Member Helen Rosenthal at a recent hearing at City Hall. Since 2014, she has let constituents determine how $1 million of their tax dollars will be spent through Participatory Budgeting. Photo: Council Member Helen Rosenthal

It is a chance for the community to partake in the democratic process in its purest form.” Helen Rosenthal, West Side City Council member

Greenwich Village. Typically, the top two or three votegetters tapped by members of the community in a given district are awarded the funds, depending on the price tag of those winning projects, until the allotted cash runs out. Providing tax dollars from Council members’ discretionary funds meets four good-government aims: Constituent priorities are addressed.

Citizens gain direct control over where their money goes. Power passes into the grip of those who’ve long been outside the power structure. And corruption itself is disincentivized as the people, not the elected officials, take the reins of a political process and decide how to spend $1 million. “People often feel their representatives are not listening to them,” said West Side City Council Member Helen Rosenthal. “PB opens the door, giving them a chance not just to vote directly on, but to actually help come up with the projects that will improve their community and make it more vibrant.” That process is now pivoting to a much younger demographic: For the first time this year, The Council has lowered the minimum voting age to 11, down from 14, to encourage voting from the sixth grade on up.

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Westsider WEEK OF APRIL

SPRING ARTS PREVIEW

WestSideSpirit

WESTSIDE SPIRIT.COM @WestSideSpirit

Crime Watch Voices NYC Now City Arts

3 8 10 12

Restaurant Ratings 14 Real Estate 17 15 Minutes 23

< CITYARTS, P.12

NEWS residents A vocal group of U.W.S. Transportation isn’t convinced the doing enough is Committee of CB7 BY LISA BROWN

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MANHATTAN'S APARTMENT BOOM, > PROPERTY, P.20

2015

In Brief MORE HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS

PROTESTING THE COMMUNITY BOARD OVER TRAFFIC DEATHS

Zero, Mayor Bill One year into Visionreducing trafficfor de Blasio’s plan traffic the number of has related deaths, Upper West Side fatalities on the compared to last actually increased, year’s figures. Upper West Siders -That has some needs to be done convinced more of the Transstarting with members of the local comportation Committee munity board. West mother, Upper Lisa Sladkus, a member of TransSide resident and said she’s fed at portation Alternatives a silent protest up, and organized 7’s February board Community Board residents dozens of meeting, where Committee called for Transportation leaders to step down. against incredible “We have run up imto get safe street trying just problems said. “This was provements,” she our point across get another way to dissatisfied.” that we are very involved with Sladkus has been Alternatives since Transportation served as director 2002 and formerly Streets’ RenaisSide of Upper West She says becoming sance Campaign. really got her into a mother is what activism. streets around me “Just noticing the as a pedestrian I felt and how unsafe she said. “I wanted and as a cyclist,”

9-15

The effort to help small seems to businesses in the city be gathering steam. Two city councilmembers, Robert Margaret Chin and Cornegy, have introduced create legislation that wouldSmall a new “Office of the within Business Advocate” of Small the city’s Department Business Services. Chin The new post, which have up told us she’d like to would and running this year, for serve as an ombudsman city small businesses within them clear government, helping to get bureaucracy the through things done. Perhaps even more also importantly, the ombudsman and number will tally the type small business of complaints by taken in owners, the actions policy response, and somefor ways to recommendations If done well, begin to fix things. report would the ombudsman’s give us the first quantitative with taste of what’s wrong the city, an small businesses in towards step rst fi important fixing the problem. of To really make a difference, for developers will have to is a mere formality their projects course, the advocaterising rents, are the work complete precinct, but chances-- thanks to a looking to find a way to tackle business’ legally quickly. is being done which remain many While Chin their own hours,” of after-hours “They pick out boom in the number throughout who lives on most vexing problem. gauge what said Mildred Angelo,of the Ruppert construction permits said it’s too early tocould have Buildings one the 19th floor in The Department of the city. role the advocate number three years, the Houses on 92nd Street between on the She Over the past is handing out a record there, more information work perThird avenues. permits, bad thing. of Second and an ongoing all-hours number of after-hours of after-hours work problem can’t be a the city’s Dept. with the said there’s where mits granted by This step, combinedBorough according to new data project nearby jumped 30 percent, noise in construction Buildings has efforts by Manhattan to mediate data provided constantly make BY DANIEL FITZSIMMONS according to DOB from trucks. President Gale Brewer of Informa- workers offer transferring cement response to a Freedom the rent renewal process, they want. They city classifies knows the signs Act request. The between 6 “They do whateverthey please. They Every New Yorker some early, tangible small clang, the tion work come and go as of progress. For many sound: the metal-on-metal beeps of a any construction weekend, can can’t come piercing a.m., or on the have no respect.” at p.m. and 7 business owners, that hollow boom, the issuance of these reverse. A glance The increased a correspond after-hours. soon enough. truck moving in has generated can hardly as has led to

SLEEPS, THANKS TO THE CITY THAT NEVER UCTION A BOOM IN LATE-NIGHT CONSTR

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and you the alarm clock middle of the night, believe it: it’s the carries on fulland yet construction tilt. or your local police You can call 311

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The surge in permitsfees for the city in millions of dollars consome residents agency, and left application process vinced that the

2 City Arts 3 Top 5 8 Real Estate 10 15 Minutes

12 13 14 18

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APRIL 5-11,2018

PERSEVERANCE AND PERSISTENCE ON PASSOVER GRAYING NEW YORK West Side seniors celebrate redemption from slavery — and a victory over building developers — at their annual Seder BY SHOSHY CIMENT

For about 100 senior citizens on the Upper West Side, the Jewish holiday of Passover represents more than matzah and a traditional meal, or Seder. Having faced a potential exile of their own between 1983 and 1985, the senior inhabitants of the West 74th Street Residence celebrate victory and redemption from slavery — and building developers — every year on Passover night. In 1983, the residence, formerly known as the Lincoln Square Home for Adults, was going to close after the owner of the private for-profit adult home sold the building to a developer who planned to convert it into luxury condominiums. The 150 senior

residents were given 30 days to find an alternate living situation. But many residents would not go down without a fight. Led by resident and activist Rose Gale, 40 residents organized a coalition of various local non-profit agencies and local officials to halt the sale of their home. Although they lost in court, the residents won a moral victory. Sympathetic to the plight of the residents, the developer agreed to a compromise. The West Side Federation For Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. (WSFSSH), which works to provide affordable and accommodating housing for seniors, bought six floors of the building. With a new entrance on Amsterdam Avenue, the agency continued running the home as a licensed facility under the Department of Health. “At the time we took over the home, the majority of the residents were observant [Jews], including several Holocaust survivors,” explained Laura Jervis, the former executive director of WSFSSH for 38 years. Despite the compromise, Jervis and the board of WSFSSH worked to ac-

commodate the religious traditions of the residents. After it assumed jurisdiction, WSFSSH established a kosher kitchen, programming for the High Holidays, and a Passover Seder, which has since become a community-wide event that brings in over 100 people yearly. Although the home has distinctly Jewish roots, many attendees of the annual Seder represent different of faiths and backgrounds. “It’s a mix of Jewish and non-Jewish people who come to the Seder,” said Eustacia Smith, the West 74th Street Residence administrator. The Seder is open to all residents of a WSFSSH residence and their families. “It’s a huge undertaking,” said Rabbi Ellen Flax, the rabbi of the residence who has been leading the Seder for 25 years and has been overseeing the kitchen for 20. “It’s a full house.” To prepare, the kitchen staff of the residence closely follows Jewish dietary law to ensure a kosher holiday. The kitchen boils water to cleanse the countertops, covers most surfaces in tin foil,

and uses an entirely separate set of dishes and cutlery. “[It’s] a lot of work, but we do it, happy and laughing,” said Mayra Larancuent, a cook at the residence for the last six years. “We like it.” The effort of the kitchen staff is certainly tangible. Every year, residents — religious or otherwise — gather to celebrate a story of exile and redemption with all the classic features of a traditional Jewish Seder. “It’s a beautiful celebration,” said Erick Splick, the food service manager who has worked at the residence since 2010. “What I like about the ceremony is that everybody is welcome.” While not all attendees at the Seder will fully relate to the Jewish story of deliverance from slavery, their shared love for the West 74th Street Residence transcends religious boundaries. “I’m glad we still do it,” said Renee Taub, a senior at West 74th Street Residence who will be attending her 10th Seder at the residence this year. “It’s an honor to go to it.”

802-787-1841

“It’s a beautiful celebration,” said food service manager Erick Splick (left), preparing for the holiday in the kitchen with cook Mayra Larancuent. Photo: Shoshy Ciment


APRIL 5-11,2018

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG WOMEN ATTACK SENIOR A senior citizen was set upon by a gang of women, apparently for no reason, police said. At 10:34 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, a 66-year-old man had just exited the train station and was walking home when he was hit from behind by a gang of six women outside 216 West 103rd Street. He fell during the assault, and the women kicked him about the face, causing a cut above his lip. EMS technicians arrived on the scene, and police searched the neighborhood but couldn’t find the women.

RED BULL SHOPLIFTER SEES RED A Red Bull shoplifter became angry like a bull when confronted by a store employee. At 6:14 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, a 42-year-old man entered the Mani Market Place deli at 697 Columbus Avenue and took 23 cans of Red Bull, put them in his backpack and tried to walk out. A store employee, however, detained him and asked him to wait for police. The alleged shoplifter pushed past the employee, swinging at him. Officers, though, caught up to Daniel Baisley, who was arrested on robbery charges, police said. The value of the Red Bulls stolen came to $61.

COUPLE MUGS MAN A couple held up an unsuspecting young man. At 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 20, a 22-year-old man accompanied a man and a woman to the rear of 589 Amsterdam Avenue, when the male partner in the couple pulled out a knife, police said. The 22-year-old handed over cash and his debit card to the robbers, who then fled into the rear of the building. The victim told police that the male mugger did not say anything during the robbery; he just displayed his knife. The victim sustained no injuries, and police couldn’t find the criminal couple in the area. The muggers got away with $60 in cash and a Capital One debit card.

HUSBAND ARRESTED

STATS FOR THE WEEK

A 41-year-old man was arrested on robbery, assault and other charges after his 28-year-old wife reported that he had slammed her to the ground and choked her inside their West 110th Street apartment, police said. Officers took William Rivera into custody shortly after the March 23 incident after his wife told them he had taken her cellphone, slammed her to the ground and then placed both hands around her neck and applied pressure, obstructing her breathing. The couple’s 4-year-old son was present in the room while his parents were fighting, she told officers. She was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital for observation.

Reported crimes from the 20th district for the week ending Mar. 25 Week to Date

Year to Date

2018 2017

% Change

2018

2017

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

0

1

-100.0

Rape

0

0

n/a

0

1

-100.0

Robbery

0

0

n/a

23

10

130.0

Felony Assault

1

3

-66.7

19

19

0.0

Burglary

1

3

-66.7

18

17

5.9

Grand Larceny

9

14

-35.7

173

129

34.1

Grand Larceny Auto

0

1

-100.0

3

3

0.0

IRS PHONE SCAM Police remind the public that if someone claiming to represent the IRS calls up and asks for payment in gift cards, you are being scammed! At 5 p.m. on Monday, March 19, a woman living at 57 West 105th Street got a phone call from someone claiming to work for the IRS, stating that the woman owed the agency more than $4,000. The caller instructed her to buy an Apple gift card for $2,000, which she later did and gave the scammer the card number. Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr


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APRIL 5-11,2018

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Useful Contacts

Drawing Board

POLICE NYPD 20th Precinct

120 W. 82nd St.

212-580-6411

NYPD 24th Precinct

151 W. 100th St.

212-678-1811

NYPD Midtown North Precinct

306 W. 54th St.

212-760-8300

FDNY Engine 76/Ladder 22

145 W. 100th St.

311

FDNY Engine 40/Ladder 35

W. 66th St. & Amsterdam Ave.

311

FDNY Engine 74

120 W. 83rd St.

311

Ladder 25 Fire House

205 W. 77th St.

311

BY MARC BILGREY

FIRE

CITY COUNCIL Councilmember Helen Rosenthal

563 Columbus Ave.

212-873-0282

Councilmember Inez Dickens

163 W. 125th St.

212-678-4505

State Senator Brad Hoylman

322 Eighth Ave. #1700

212-633-8052

State Sen. Jose M. Serrano

1916 Park Ave. #202

212-828-5829

STATE LEGISLATORS

Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal 230 W. 72nd St. #2F

212-873-6368

Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell 245 W. 104th St.

212-866-3970

COMMUNITY BOARD 7 LIBRARIES

250 W. 87th St. #2

212-362-4008

St. Agnes

444 Amsterdam Ave.

212-621-0619

Bloomingdale

150 W. 100th St.

212-222-8030

Performing Arts

40 Lincoln Center

917-275-6975

HOSPITALS Mt. Sinai – Roosevelt

1000 10th Ave.

Mt. Sinai - St. Luke’s

1090 Amsterdam Ave.

212-523-4000 212-523-5898

CON ED TIME WARNER CABLE POST OFFICES

4 Irving Place

212-460-4600

2554 Broadway

212-358-0900

US Post Office

215 W. 104th St.

212-662-0355

US Post Office

700 Columbus Ave.

212-866-1981

US Post Office

127 W. 83rd St.

212-873-3991

Ansonia Post Office

178 Columbus Ave.

212-362-1697

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APRIL 5-11,2018

It’s Happening at MONDAY, APRIL 2 Documentary: Between Fences 6:30 PM TO 8:30 PM Wood Auditorium, Avery Hall, Morningside campus This documentary follows African asylum-seekers in a detention facility in the Negev desert in Israel. Screening followed by Q&A with Director Avi Mograbi.

Guided Historical Tour 1:00 PM TO 1:45 PM 213 Low Library, Morningside campus Learn more about the history, architecture, and sculpture of Columbia and Morningside Heights. To make a reservation for a group of 10 or more, call 212-854-4900. Visit visit.columbia. edu for more info.

THURSDAY, APRIL 5 Interactive Workshop Push Play 6:00 PM TO 7:30 PM 509 Knox Hall, 606 W. 122nd St., Morningside campus Oral historians and artists Nicki Pombier Berger and Liza Zapol draw on a sense of play to examine how and what we remember. For more info, call 212-851-4395 or email aas39@ columbia.edu.

FRIDAY, APRIL 6 Startup Columbia Entrepreneurship Festival 9:30 AM TO 5:00 PM Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway, Morningside campus A day filled with provocative discussions on Blockchain, the NewSpace Startups, Data Ethics, and Women Inventors. More than 20 Columbia-founded food startups will serve lunch in Low Library Rotunda. Visit startupcolumbia.org for more info.

BioBus 10:00 AM TO 1:00 PM College Walk, Morningside Campus Columbia’s Zuckerman Institute has partnered with BioBus, a scientific lab-on-wheels that visits schools and community centers in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Biobus is an immersive laboratory where scientists join students and the general public for hands-on scientific exploration. For more info, call 212-851-7418 or email universityprograms@columbia.edu.

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Columbia

FRIDAY, APRIL 6 Signal to Noise: An Interdisciplinary Exchange of Science and Art 8:00 PM TO 10:00 PM 301 Pupin Hall, Morningside campus A talk by a Columbia astronomer, the presentation of sound and video art pieces, and the distribution of a zine followed by stargazing in the observatory. For more info, call 212854-7288 or email wallach@columbia.edu.

SUNDAY, APRIL 8

in

SUNDAY, APRIL 29

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11 Hip-Hop Education: Propelling and Preserving the Movement 6:30 PM TO 8:30 PM Faculty House, 64 Morningside Dr., Morningside campus As hip-hop approaches its 45th anniversary, Columbia Community Scholars explore the role of hip-hop education and its pedagogical value. Martha Diaz, Regan Sommer McCoy, and Peter Noel explore how hip-hop education is evolving. For more info, call 212-854-2365 or email gc2212@columbia.edu.

Softball vs. Harvard 12:30 PM Robert K. Kraft Field, Baker Athletic Complex, 533 W. 218 St. For more info, call 212-854-2535 or visit gocolumbialions.com.

MONDAY, APRIL 9 How Should We Respond to Hate Speech? 6:00 PM TO 8:00 PM 103 Jerome Greene Hall, 435 W. 116th St., Morningside campus In her new book Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, Nadine Strossen argues that expanding free speech, is the solution for changing the hearts and minds of those who espouse hateful ideologies. She dispels many of the myths about “hate speech” with a powerful argument on behalf of free expression. Registration required at https://goo.gl/bs6sg2.

TUESDAY, APRIL 10 DuBois’s Marxist Experiment 6:00 PM 754 Schermerhorn Extension, Morningside campus Columbia’s Institute for Research in AfricanAmerican Studies continues its celebration of W.E.B. DuBois’s birthday with this talk. Speaker: Nikhil Singh, professor of social and cultural analysis and history at New York University.

Jennifer Finney Boylan and Mary Gordon 7:00 PM TO 9:00 PM Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd Floor, Barnard Hall, Barnard campus Authors Jennifer Finney Boylan (Barnard’s inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer-inResidence) and Mary Gordon read selections from their work. For more info, email english@barnard.edu.

events.columbia.edu · For disability services, call (212) 854-2284 prior to the event.

April

The Columbia and Barnard 1968 Protests 10:00 AM TO 6:00 PM 523 Butler Library, Morningside campus This documentary presents a visual history of the 1968 Columbia student protests, pieced together from interviews, archival footage, and an archive of 35,000 photos. Directed by Paul Cronin. For more info, visit atimetostir.com, call 212-854-9616, or email tsj2001@columbia.edu.

MONDAY, APRIL 30

THURSDAY, APRIL 12

Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City

Simplicity Parenting: Raise Happier, Calmer, More Secure Kids

6:15 PM Second Floor Common Room, Heyman Center, Morningside campus Richard Sennett traces the anguished relation between how cities are built and how people live in them, lamenting the “closed city”—segregated, regimented, and controlled—and arguing for the “open city,” where citizens hash out differences and planners experiment with urban forms. For more info, visit heymancenter.org.

7:00 PM TO 9:00 PM. Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd Floor, Barnard Hall, Barnard campus Kim John Payne, author of the bestselling Simplicity Parenting, invites us to consider the ramifications of overwhelming children with pressure to do too many things. Payne discusses the vital role that living a balanced, simple life brings to children and. For more info, email amb49@columbia.edu.

TUESDAY, APRIL 17 Social Justice vs. the Market 6:00 PM TO 7:30 PM East Gallery, Buell Hall, Morningside campus In 1944, the International Labour Organization laid out a full-fledged social bill of rights in the spirit of FDR’s State of the Union address. The welfarist spirit was at its apex. Legal scholar Alain Supiot argues that the concept of social justice laid out in that declaration remains an important baseline given the elevation of markets over social justice. For more info, call 212-854-4482 or email adk2138@columbia.edu.

SATURDAY, APRIL 28 Baseball vs. UPenn: Double Header 11:30 AM AND 2:30 PM Robertson Field at Satow Stadium, Baker Athletic Complex, 533 W. 218th St. For more info, call 212-854-2535 or visit gocolumbialions.com.

Lifelong Learners and Course Auditing Columbia provides scholarships for 50 residents of Manhattanville Houses, Grant Houses, and the local community who are 65 years of age and older to audit up to two courses per year. Administered through the School of Professional Studies, the Lifelong Learners program is designed for individuals committed to the principles of lifelong education. The University also funds up to 50 courses per year for 25 residents of Manhattanville and Grant Houses and 25 residents of the local community. This program provides adults not currently enrolled in college with the opportunity to attend up to two lectures drawn from the arts and sciences. Since there is limited space available to auditors, seats are taken on a first-come, first-served basis once registration is open. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as courses are posted (one month prior to the start of classes). For more info, call 212-854-9666 or visit sps.columbia.edu/auditing.

Columbia University in the city of new york


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The state budget will include a new surcharge on for-hire vehicles in Manhattan below 96th Street, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference in Albany last week. Photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

STATE BUDGET HAS CITY FOCUS GOVERNOR VS. MAYOR Albany’s spending plan notable for what it includes — and leaves out — in addressing Manhattancentric transportation issues BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

City-centric transportation issues figured heavily in the state budget deal reached in the early morning hours of March 31, as the process once again became a venue for lastminute dealing on contentious policy issues.

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Though the spending plan included a number of other high-profile policy measures — including a new tax on opioid manufacturers, a state workaround of new federal tax laws that would have negatively impacted many New Yorkers and a new state sexual harassment policy — transportation was among the most persistent themes underlying the negotiations. A flurry of transportationrelated proposals in the chaotic days leading up to the April 1 budget deadline put a spotlight on the city’s struggling transit system and continuing tensions in the long-running feud between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Subway Action Plan The $168 billion state budget effectively compels the city to provide half of the $836 million needed to fund the MTA’s action plan to stabilize and modernize service on the city’s beleaguered subway system, with the state funding the other half. Money for the subway action plan, which includes new funding for signal repairs and track maintenance and was announced by Cuomo-appointed MTA Chairman Joe Lhota, became a persistent sticking point between the governor, who demanded that the city contribute half of its cost, and de Blasio, who argued that the city already contributes an outsized share of funding to the state-controlled MTA. Cuomo touted the $418 million in city funding for the action plan at a press conference announcing the new budget. “At half funding, it’s like doing the work with one hand tied behind your back and it’s caused significant delays,” Cuomo said. “This is very liberating for the MTA, and now you’re going to see the emergency action plan actually get up and running.”

CONTINUED ON PAGE 14


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Voices

Write to us: To share your thoughts and comments go to westsidespirit.com and click on submit a letter to the editor.

ALL NATURAL GOODNESS EAST SIDE OBSERVER BY ARLENE KAYATT

Not for nothing — Gristedes has inaugurated a Diamond Value Club, which purportedly entitles shoppers to discounts. So that it’s not a total loss — for Gristedes — they raised prices and THEN instituted the discount membership. At the end of the shopping day, you’ve paid what was probably the original price. Sounds like a casino deal, where the house always wins. For pet’s sake — Sarge’s, the 24/7 deli and dinner in Murray Hill, has a menu selection for one and all — for the grown-ups, the kids, the light eaters, the hearty appetites and also the family pooch. While the brickand-mortar Sarge’s doesn’t accommodate Fido, they’ve made a place on the menu for yes, Fido. Just go to

At the allergy doctor’s? The coffee shop? The health food shop? Not the kind of thing you want to think about on a lunch break. Or do you?

MenuPages.com, plug in Sarge’s, and you’ll find “Treats for Your Pet.” For $17.95, you can order chicken, beef or beef liver ... without additives, preservatives or artificial coloring for your beloved pet. And the menu promises that “your dog will be begging for more.” Could this be the end of doggie bags as we know them?

Off the job — A city street-sized wastebasket imprinted with a “34th Street Partnership” ID, lying on its side, found itself in traffic within the bus stop at Sixth Avenue and 34th Street. Cars avoided it. Pedestrians sidestepped it. Some tried to kick it onto the sidewalk. Among passersby were two men wearing tags indicating that they worked for the Partnership. As they were crossing the street, they looked over at the wastebasket and each other, lit their cigarettes, and kept walking. Guess no working on a smoke break.

Sarge’s on Third Ave. has “Treats for Your Pet” where $17.95 will get Fido chicken, beef or beef liver “no preservatives, no additives, and no artificial coloring.” The Murray Hill deli’s menu promises that “your dog will be begging for more!” Photo: Eden, Janine and Jim via flickr

Which comes first — Talk about eclectic! There are three unlikely storefronts side-by-side starting mid-block on the east side of Lexington Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets — Gregory’s Coffee (a sit-down/take-out coffee shop), Hudson Allergy (allergy doctors who “invite you to come experience how

feeling better begins the moment you walk through [their] door”), and Dr. Smood — a non-medical nutrition-type healthy food emporium where the offerings include everything organic — from detox juice and infused waters to dried foods, supplements and raw foods. Where to start? It’s a predicament, really.

Reader call out — Some readers admonished me for not noticing or mentioning or bemoaning the closings of the Starbucks on 92nd and Third Avenue and the Starbucks on 78th and Lexington while noting the closing of Glaser’s Bakery and wondering if Moishe’s bakery in the East Village was not far behind in closing. Happens that I noticed the newly closed Starbucks on 92nd Street just after submitting my column but didn’t notice the 78th Street closing until days later. Must admit though that I would not necessarily have written about the Starbucks closings in the same column item. Glaser’s and Moishe’s are what I’d characterize as mom-andpop shops, which Starbucks is not. At least for now, there always will be a Starbucks. Sometimes a block or two apart. Not so for a Glaser’s or a Moishe’s. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

IS IT 1982 ALL OVER AGAIN? BY RICHARD BARR

Almost immediately after Cynthia Nixon declared her challenge to Governor Andrew Cuomo for the Democratic Party nomination for governor this year, close Cuomo ally and former City Council Speaker Christine Quinn weighed in. Nixon wouldn’t support a qualified lesbian for Mayor, Quinn said, but now wants an unqualified lesbian (Nixon herself) to be governor. Quinn was referring to the fact that Nixon supported Bill de Blasio over her in the mayoral primary in 2013. The remark was instantly declared a gaffe by commentators and characterized as tacky and tasteless. Quinn apologized for it (the lesbian part) and walked it back by the next day. Or did she? Andrew Cuomo is a hard-nosed, hardboiled political operative, well aware

of what he is doing and why. Judging from Quinn’s time as Council Speaker, most of that could be said about her as well. Neither of them is likely to make public pronouncements that have not been thought out in advance. It’s highly likely that many potential New York State voters are well aware that Cynthia Nixon is a prominent actress. A fair number may also be aware that she has appeared over the last several years at many public education events as an advocate. The fact that she is also in a same-sex marriage was probably known to fewer New Yorkers — they would have needed to pay much closer attention to her to know that as well. But many of them know that now, because they’ve heard it as a result of the coverage of Quinn’s initial statement, whether she “apologized” for it the next day or not. This fact may not matter either way for some, may lead

others to feel more positively about her, but may not sit well with still others. And that latter likelihood may well have been the intended purpose of the remark in the first place. Which brings us way back in time, to 1982. Andrew Cuomo’s father, Mario, was in a Democratic primary for governor against NYC Mayor Ed Koch. His campaign manager was 24-yearold Andrew. Under Andrew’s watch, those with long political memories will recall, the Cuomo campaign carried signs saying “Vote for Cuomo, not the homo.” It’s too simplistic to suggest that the more things change, the more they remain the same. Governor Cuomo has shown a sensitivity to the needs of the gay community in recent years, both in actions he has taken and in legislation he has introduced or supported. But that doesn’t necessarily rule out a bareknuckles political operative utilizing

Cynthia Nixon in a video unveiling her candidacy for New York governor. Courtesy CynthiaForNewYork.com whatever means he or she feels will gain an advantage over an opponent. So maybe 2018 is 1982 all over again. But in a somewhat bizarre side twist, it may be 1972 all over again as well. After Cynthia Nixon announced, New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, happy that Cuomo will face intra-party opposition, pronounced that

“Nixon’s the One.” He was hearkening back to the campaign slogan of his late father-in-law, Richard Nixon, when he ran for re-election in 1972. Richard Barr was formerly a press secretary in the State Attorney General’s office and has worked in state political campaigns.

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CITY HEARS ARGUMENTS NEIGHBORHOODâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BEST IN UWS TOWER DISPUTE To place an ad in this directory, Call Douglas at 212-868-0190 ext. 352.

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Work is in progress at 200 Amsterdam Avenue on a proposed 668-foot tower that would be the tallest building Upper West Side. Photo: Michael Garofalo Mitsui Fudosan America, the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s developers, argued that to revoke the building permit would be â&#x20AC;&#x153;arbitrary and capricious.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Literally all of the agencies involved in drafting and administering New York Cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s zoning laws have for two generations allowed a zoning lot to include a partial tax lot,â&#x20AC;? Selver said. But Frank Chaney, the attorney representing the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, said the new interpretation must be taken into account. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well settled, under New York law, that city agencies can correct their mistakes,â&#x20AC;? Chaney said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, and the DOB knows itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wrong, why should this community bear the impact of their mistake?â&#x20AC;? asked Sean Khorsandi, executive director of Landmark West. Among those who testified against the appeal were representatives of several labor unions, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and the Real Estate Board of New York. The Board of Standards and Appeals, which is the city agency responsible for ruling on appeals of zoning determinations, has scheduled a followup hearing on the matter for June 5. Work is in progress at 200 Amsterdam and can continue under the existing building permit while the appeal is pending. After the appeal is decided, the losing party could choose to bring the case to court.

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After a year of starts and stops, building permits and zoning challenges, renderings and rallies, the parties at odds over a controversial condominium tower under construction on the Upper West Side ďŹ nally aired their arguments in an ofďŹ cial city setting last week. Supporters and opponents of the planned 668-foot building at 200 Amsterdam Avenue gathered March 27 for a marathon hearing at the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Board of Standards and Appeals that attracted a crowd that filled the hearing room to capacity and spilled into the halls. A local groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appeal to have the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s building permit revoked was the subject of three hours of testimony from lawyers, city officials, local politicians, zoning experts, trade groups and residents. The appeal will continue with a second hearing in two months. If completed as planned, the 55-story residential tower, located on Amsterdam Avenue near West 69th Street would be the tallest on the UWS, though it could soon be surpassed by a proposed condo tower on West 66th Street that would stand roughly 100 feet taller and has also attracted local opposition. Helen Rosenthal, whose City Council district includes the site of the proposed building, spoke in support of the appeal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The proposal at 200 Amsterdam violates the spirit and the letter of the Zoning Resolution, and in doing so results in a development that is entirely out of scale and out of context for this neighborhood,â&#x20AC;? she said. The key questions at issue in the appeal, ďŹ led by a local land use advocacy group called the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, center on whether the project adheres to technical zoning requirements regarding lot formation and open space requirements. Though the footprint of 200 Amsterdam Avenue takes up only a small portion of the

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APRIL 5-11,2018

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

MARBLE COLLEGIATE CHURCH Sunday Worship at 11:00am Sunday Worship, led by Dr. Michael Brown, is the heart of the Marble Church community. It is where we all gather to sing, pray, and be changed by an encounter with God. Marble is known throughout the world for the practical, powerful, life-changing messages and where one can hear world class music from our choirs that make every heart sing.

Discover the world around the corner. Find community events, gallery openings, book launches and much more: Go to nycnow.com

Busy? Live stream Sunday Worship with us at 11:00am at MarbleChurch.org.

Our Earth Day Celebration Concert For the Beauty of the Earth Sunday, April 22 | 2:00pm Enjoy music celebrating the sacredness of God’s creation, and calling us each to do our part in caring for it. The Marble Choir and soloists under the direction of Kenneth Dake. Tickets: $20, general admission; $15 students & seniors at the door. Save $5 by ordering in advance online at MarbleChurch.org by Thursday, April 19.

Our Labyrinth Walks Labyrinth walks at Marble Collegiate Church are open to all: • First Sunday of each month: 1:00-3:00pm • Wednesdays before WeWo: 5:00-6:00pm (Please call the church to confirm schedule) Our Labyrinth Facilitators will be available to help guide you and answer any questions you may have, while allowing you the space to walk in your own way, at your own pace.

Marble Collegiate Church Mobile App Download on iPhone or Android With the Marble Collegiate Church app, discover a new way to connect with Marble anytime you want. Live stream, catch up on last week’s sermon, listen to the latest podcast, connect with ministries, keep informed and register for Marble events, make a gift and sign up to volunteer.

Event listings brought to you by Marble Collegiate Church. 1 West 29th Street / New York, New York 10001 212 686 2770 / MarbleChurch.org

EDITOR’S PICK

Wed 11 ‘AMADEUS’ LIVE 7:30 p.m. $69-$165 David Geffen Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza 212-875-5656 nyphil.org See Mozart like you’ve never seen him before. Watch the 1984 film “Amadeus” on HD screen accompanied by a live full orchestra and choir. Celebrate this Academy Award-winning film, which tells the incredible story of Mozart. Additional performances April 12-14 and 17.

Thu 5

Fri 6

Sat 7

ROSE STUDIO CONCERT: HUMMEL AND HAHN

‘LEAN ON PETE’ OPENS

GARFEIN SINGS BERNSTEIN

Rose Studio at Lincoln Center, 165 West 65th St. 6:30 p.m. $75 Enjoy the intimate relationship between musicians and listeners in this cozy studio setting featuring classics and novelties of the chamber repertoire, with music by Hummel and Hahn Wu Qian. 212-875-5788 hamber-music.org

The Paris Theatre 4 West 58th St. 11 a.m. $17/$14 seniors In this deeply moving story about love, loneliness, family and friendship, Charlie Plummer stars as 15-year-old Charley, who arrives in Portland with his single father Ray (Travis Fimmel), both eager for a fresh start. 212-823-8945 citycinemas.org

Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83rd St. 1 p.m. Free Enjoy a spring afternoon concert with cantor Rebecca Garfein, who will perform the work of Leonard Bernstein in honor of the composer’s 100th birthday. Other highlights include pianist Benjamin Hochman’s rendition of Dvorak’s “Quartet for Piano and Strings.” rodephsholom.org/ chambermusic


APRIL 5-11,2018

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The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

The West Side Spirit is again happy to sponsor the following Mort & Ray Productions festivals

MORT & RAY PRODUCTIONS 2018 STREET FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

Sun 8

Mon 9 Tue 10

CONCERT: NICHOLAS ROERICH MUSEUM

▼ ‘SOMETHING WONDERFUL:’ RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S BROADWAY REVOLUTION

The Nicholas Roerich Museum, 319 West 107th St. 5 p.m. Free Feast your ears and eyes: pianist Ana Gligvashvili will play the work of Romantic-era composer Edvard Hagerup Grieg amid the paintings of Nicholas Roerich, a Russian-born artist whose work focused on nature scenes from the Himalayas. 212-864-7752 roerich.org

NYPL for the Performing Arts, Bruno Walter Auditorium, 65th St. and Columbus Ave. 6 p.m. Free, first come first served Go deep into the lives of the creators of the classic Broadway musicals “Oklahoma,” “Carousel, “South Pacific” and more with biographer and “Something Wonderful” author Todd S. Purdum. Along with other special guests, Purdum will share Pu insights on this ins dynamic Broadway dy duo, illustrated du by rarely seen artifacts from the ar lilibrary’s theater aarchives. 212-642-0142 nypl.org

▲ FORUM: HEALTH CARE FOR ALL NEW YORKERS Goddard Riverside Community Center 593 Columbus Ave. 7 p.m. Free Interested in making “Medicare for All” a reality? The New York State Assembly has passed a bill to provide universal health care. Join Assembly Member Richard Gottfried and other experts to earn more about the bill, ask questions, and offer input on how to help get it passed in the state Senate. 212-873-6600 goddard.org

Wed 11 ‘BERENICE ABBOTT: A LIFE IN PHOTOGRAPHY’ Book Culture 450 Columbus Ave. 7 p.m. Free Berenice Abbott is to American photography as Georgia O’Keeffe is to painting. Come hear biographer Julia Van Haaften discuss her new book about Abbott’s 60-year career as a master of American photography, and also as a teacher, writer, archivist and inventor. 212-595-1962 bookcultre.com

Sun. April 15

27th Annual West Side Spring Festival Broadway, 96-106 Streets 11AM-6PM Sponsored by Samaritan Daytop Village, Duke Ellington Blvd Neighborhood Association, 24th Precinct Community Council

Sun., May 6

30th Annual Broadway Spring Festival Broadway, 86-93 Streets 11AM-6PM Sponsored by The Broadway Mall Center

Sun. May 27

31st Annual Livable West Side Festival Broadway, 72-86 Streets 11AM-6PM Sponsored by Coalition for a Livable West Side & Safe Haven West Side Basketball League

Sun. June 3

25th Annual Spring Crafts Festival Broadway, 65-72 Streets 11AM-6PM Sponsored by Project Open at Lincoln Towers & Mitchell-Lama Residents Coalition

Sun. June 10

41st Annual Plantathon & Crafts Fair Broadway, 73-86 Streets 11AM-6PM Sponsored by West Side Federation of Neighborhood & Block Associations & The Broadway Mall Association

Sat. Oct. 6

26th Annual Upper Broadway Fall Festival Broadway, 110-116 Streets 11AM-6PM Sponsored by Upper West Side Recycling Center, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness and Housing, The Broadway Mall Association

Sun. Oct. 14

30th Annual Upper Broadway Harvest Festival Broadway, 96-106 Streets 11AM-6PM Sponsored by Bloomingdale Area Coalition

Sun. Oct. 21

27th Annual Broadway Fall Festival Broadway, 86-96 Streets 11AM-6PM Sponsored by Roy Wilkins Center N.A.A.C.P. & Symphony Space

For further information please call 212-764-6330 or visit us on the web @ www.mortandray.com


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The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

APRIL 5-11,2018

A WEALTH OF CLOTH The Ukrainian Museum shows off its recent major acquisition of costumes and textiles BY VIRGINIA RANDALL

Could you be wearing an ancient tradition? Could be — if you like embroidered drawstring peasant shirts or favor embroidery on your denim jeans or jacket. Find out for sure, or simply marvel at the needlework and craftsmanship on display at the “Timeless Treasures” exhibit at the Ukrainian Museum on East Sixth Street. Countless embroidered and woven symbols and designs used for hundreds of years adorn the traditional Ukrainian folk clothing are on display until January 2019. The 20 sets of folk dress on display, plus belts, ritual cloths, textiles and jewelry, come from a larger collection acquired from Ivan Bernatsky, an avid collector. The exhibit is a bravura show of skills and imagination, honed over the centuries, in patternmaking, weaving, embroidery, appliqué, cutwork, and leather and metal work, performed in wintertime when there were no farm chores, to be worn in special events in the spring, such as Easter. According to the museum’s director, Maria Shust, designs and symbols had meanings beyond decoration, affirming ancient beliefs, offering protection and signaling tribal pride. The clothing could be read as easily as a passport, revealing the region, or even the village of the wearer. “Although the costumes look basically the same to the average person,” Shust said, “the designs, the choice of embroidery colors, how the thread was used, the type of thread, the embroidery subjects, or where the embroidery was placed on the garment would automatically identify the region.” This was an agrarian society from long before the Christian era, Shust said. “The symbols that decorate the shirts, skirts, belts, and ritual cloths refer to their ancient origins.” Colors like yellow, orange and red predominate; there were about 10 ways to represent the sun. The most commonly used designs were the tree of life, a symbol of growth and the family, and triad motifs, to represent earth, fire and water, or birth, maturity and death. Other embroidered designs featured stylized plants, stars and geo-

metric patterns that can also be seen in the traditional, ornate Easter eggs, called pysanky, on display nearby. They also believed their designs had special power. “The ancient goddess Berehynia was a special protector of women, a giver of fertility” Shust said. This stylized figure with outstretched and uplifted arms appears, with other images, on sleeves, on cuffs, at the neckline and at hems regardless of region. “They would embroider all the openings of a garment to prevent any evil from coming into the body,” she said. A walk through the exhibit shows the scope of imagination and skill of these nameless craftswomen. Long before cities were founded, these local artisans used ancient symbols and patterns, handed down over generations and unique to their village, with distinctive materials and styles. For instance, in the Podolia region, the predominant thread used was thick black wool, tightly sewn in elaborate patterns containing figures and accents of bright green, orange, red or yellow, giving the dramatic effect of stained glass. Other costumes appear Russian or Turkish, such as the long linen shirts with pleated sleeves, and finely woven linen pants worn by the men of the Pokuttia region. A traveler from there could be spotted by the pom-poms they favored on belts and scarves, and by the elaborately decorated lambskin vests worn by men and women. The vests burst with cutwork, beading and embroidery and could sell in any boutique on now fashionable Orchard Street. The styles range from exuberant, Roma-like outfits with flared skirts, fitted vests and vibrant color accented with metallic thread and beadwork, to the simple white dresses of Polissia region, accented with red embroidery and woven hems. These ornate clothes were not day to day but meant for special occasions, worn sparingly and washed in wintertime when the water was cold so the colors of the threads wouldn’t run. Visitors to the museum should stop by the display of vibrant Easter eggs, the traditional pysanky, in a nearby exhibit (plus a short film illustrating how the eggs were decorated). A map matches the eggs designs to the different regions, so visitors can compare the egg designs and regions.

Geometric patterns adorn ornate Easter eggs, called pysanky, at the Ukrainian Museum’s “Timeless Treasures” exhibit. Photo: Volodymyr Gritsyk, (c) The Ukrainian Museum.

Traditional Ukrainian folk clothing in the “Timeless Treasures” exhibit at the Ukranian Museum. Photo: Volodymyr Gritsyk, (c) The Ukrainian Museum.


APRIL 5-11,2018

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The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

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BUDGET CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6

The state budget directs $418 million in city funding toward the MTA’s action plan to improve service on the subway system. Photo: Steven Strasser

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS MAR 21 - 27, 2018 The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website and include the most recent inspection and grade reports listed. We have included every restaurant listed during this time within the zip codes of our neighborhoods. Some reports list numbers with their explanations; these are the number of violation points a restaurant has received. To see more information on restaurant grades, visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/restaurant-inspection.shtml. La Toulousaine Boulangerie 942 Amsterdam Ave Patisserie Cafe

A

Junzi Kitchen

2896 Broadway

A

Nusbaum & Wu

2897 Broadway

Grade Pending (5) Evidence of rats or live rats present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

La Ozen Asian Fusion Cuisine

760 Amsterdam Ave

A

Hunan Park

721 Columbus Ave

A

Pret A Manger

2955 Broadway

A

Koko Wings

248 W 106th St

A

Bareburger

795 Columbus Ave

A

Sweetgreen

600 W 115th St

A

Shaking Crab

2869 Broadway

Not Yet Graded (38) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Food worker does not use proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate additional heat treatment. Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared. Tobacco use, eating, or drinking from open container in food preparation, food storage or dishwashing area observed. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.

Han Dynasty

215 W 85th St

A

Scoozi

142 W 83rd St

A

Joe & The Juice

343 Amsterdam Ave

Not Yet Graded (47) Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Hand washing facility not provided in or near food preparation area and toilet room. Hot and cold running water at adequate pressure to enable cleanliness of employees not provided at facility. Soap and an acceptable hand-drying device not provided. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

P.J. Clarke’s

APRIL 5-11,2018

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

44 West 63 Street

A

The mayor’s camp used the announcement as an opportunity to pin responsibility for the subways squarely on Cuomo — which have become a campaign liability for the governor as Democratic primary challenger (and longtime de Blasio ally) Cynthia Nixon has made lackluster MTA service a point of emphasis in the early stages of her campaign. “When it comes to the subways, Mayor de Blasio has always demanded two things: significant movement by the state toward a real plan, and a dedicated lockbox so city riders’ money goes toward fixing city subways,” de Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips wrote in an emailed statement. “This budget appears to respond to the Mayor’s demands on behalf of the city’s straphangers. There are no excuses left for the Governor to hide behind. He must do his job and fix the subways.”

Congestion Pricing Included in the state budget, which climbs just over 3 percent from last year’s spending plan, are new surcharges on for-hire vehicle trips in Manhattan south of 96th Street, of $2.50 for trips in yellow cabs and $2.75 for Ubers, black cars and other for-hire vehicles. (“The medallion has now dropped in value, so there’s a somewhat reduced price for yellow cabs,” Cuomo said.) Pooled trips will be subject to a charge of 75 cents. The governor said that the fees will generate $415 million in annual funding dedicated to the MTA. Cuomo referred to the charges as “phase one of the congestion pricing plan,” but has yet to detail the contours of any larger proposal. The state budget also funds at least 50 new traffic monitoring cameras to enforce bus lane violations in Manhattan. Many expected Cuomo to do more to advance a comprehensive congestion pricing plan in budget negotiations after he declared the concept “an idea whose time has come” last year and convened a task force to study the issue. Forhire vehicle surcharges were one recommendation included in the report, but the panel’s most controversial and consequential proposals — including the creation of a congestion pricing zone encompassing all of Manhattan below 60th Street, which passenger vehicles would be charged $11.52 to enter — were notably absent

from the governor’s public statements during budget negotiations. “If it’s a first step, it’s a baby step,” said state Senator Brad Hoylman, whose midtown Manhattan district includes much of the proposed congestion zone outlined by the governor’s panel, adding that the new charges are a “good thing” but that it is unclear if they will have a real effect on congestion or the number of for-hire vehicles on city streets. “Meanwhile, we’re losing billions of dollars over the decades due to congestion, we don’t have a new revenue stream for the MTA and our streets are as dangerous and crowded as ever,” Hoylman said. In a joint statement, the transportation advocacy groups StreetsPAC, Transportation Alternatives, the Straphangers Campaign and the Riders Alliance wrote that the state budget “does not offer a credible plan to modernize the MTA, nor provide a sufficient revenue stream to make it possible.” The groups said that the new surcharges and bus lane enforcement measures should be initial steps on the path to more significant reforms. “First, Governor Cuomo must use a portion of the new revenue to help implement comprehensive congestion pricing, by constructing cordon infrastructure and addressing needs in transit deserts around the city,” the statement said. “Then, the governor must establish, and commit to, a timeline to make congestion pricing a reality in New York.”

Penn Station Long-delayed redevelopment of the overcrowded and outdated Pennsylvania Station became an unexpected and contentious last-minute entry in budget talks, as draft bills circulated in the final days of negotiations included a provision that would dramatically expand the governor’s authority to shape redevelopment plans in the neighborhood and exempt his actions from environmental review processes. The initial proposal was watered down in the face of outcry from Manhattan representatives in Albany and city officials, who claimed that the bill would effectively exclude the city from having any input in redevelopment plans. “It is wrong for the Governor to try to take over urban planning, traffic management and real estate development in New York City,” Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, whose district includes Penn Station, said in a statement. “That’s what this

bill is aimed at. A project in the middle of midtown that is this large, complex, and important must be a collaborative effort and vision, including the Governor as well as the Mayor, along with area residents and businesses, the community board, and the area’s elected officials. The language included in the final bill declares Penn Station a “clear public safety hazard,” and states that the MTA and the state’s urban development corporation “should coordinate and consult with community leaders, business groups and federal and city government to design a solution.” Hoylman, who represents much of the area surrounding Penn Station in the state Senate, said the measure’s intent is unclear. “The language is so vague and restates powers that the state already has, so a lot of us are still scratching our heads wondering what the whole point of the exercise was,” he said. “We’re voting on legislation that would have an enormous consequence on the busiest transportation hub in the Western Hemisphere — 600,000 commuters and Amtrak riders a day — and we don’t know what the intention of the bill was or what the consequences of it are,” Hoylman said. “On its face it’s objectionable from that standpoint, so I voted against it.” “One theory is that it’s laying the groundwork for the use, or the threatened use, of eminent domain,” Hoylman said, adding that it is unclear whether the bill effectively forecloses an earlier plan to move Madison Square Garden from current location and build a new Penn Station at the site. Cuomo said the state has notified property owners at Penn station that the state could use eminent domain to condemn the properties as a public safety issue. “The owners of Madison Square Garden and 2 Penn [Plaza] have been very cooperative and we’re negotiating with them and we’re going to come up with a plan on an expedited basis to both improve Penn [Station] but also make it safer,” Cuomo said. The mayor downplayed the issue in an appearance on NY1’s “Inside City Hall,” saying that while the original proposal was “outrageous,” the language ultimately included in the final bill “was so greatly reduced that it has relatively little impact.” Michael Garofalo: reporter@ strausnews.com


APRIL 5-11,2018

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

GARDEN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Before the swap, two neighborhood families owned the center lot, officially 78 West 105th Street, while the adjacent lots were owned by the nonprofit Manhattan Land Trust and the Parks and Recreation Department, 76 and 80 West 105th Street, respectively. The cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Economic Development Corp. approved the swap, which involved the familyowned center lot and the Manhattan Land Trustâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adjacent lot, last summer. In November, the Trust signed off on the deal and the transaction was completed. Groundwork for the exchange began three years ago, when the two families decided it was time to sell their lot, which they had bought for $500 at a public auction in 1977. The lot has since appreciated into property assessed at about $350,000 and on which the families now pay $15,000 in annual taxes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are just two neighborhood families,â&#x20AC;? said Elizabeth Kellner, one of the owners. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are not real estate developers.â&#x20AC;? To avoid disrupting the garden by selling their middle lot, the families proposed a swap with the Manhattan Land

La Perla community garden on West 105th near Columbus Avenue took root on three empty lots about 25 years ago. Photo: Shoshy Ciment Trust, owners of the easternmost lot, at 76 West 105th Street. That lot, however, had a deed restriction, which designated the land as a park into perpetuity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;An empty lot with a deed restriction is worthless,â&#x20AC;? Kellner said. After discussions with Community Board 7 and a city Parks & Recreation committee, the deed restriction was lifted from the familiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; newly acquired property and the Manhattan Land Trust received a lot with a new but similar deed

MAY 18â&#x20AC;&#x201C;19

restriction. In effect, the swap would ensure the continuity of La Perla on a pair of contiguous lots. The two families are now trying to sell their lot. Any new owner will be able to build, with the garden shrinking by one-third as a consequence. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We at La Perla have not heard anything,â&#x20AC;? said Elizabeth Hall, a garden member for about 12 years. Like many of her gardening colleagues, Hall hopes that the new lot owner is sensitive to La Perlaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s significance in a neighborhood where, not so long ago, the drug trade and attendant violence were nearnightly occurrences when the garden ďŹ rst took root. Among the assets of the soonto-be sold lot is a stone sculpture rooted in soil, a wall of Boston ivy, and Pollardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s compost station, which he plans to move. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be a little tricky,â&#x20AC;? he said. To Pollard, having the gardeners come up with a preemptive bid for the lot would have been the ideal scenario; many members of La Perla are disheartened at the prospect of losing a chunk of the neighborhood landmark. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really a very lovely garden,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the bottom line.â&#x20AC;?

THRIVE, DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T JUST SURVIVE.

Wurzweiler Care CafĂŠ in collaboration with Riverside Memorial Chapel will host a very special, mental health event on April 11. Clues to Clarity: Finding Meaning, Purpose and Next Steps Moderated by: Laura Berman Fortgang â&#x20AC;&#x201D; A 25-year veteran in the personal coaching field, who is a best-selling author (five books are now published in 13 languages), sought-after speaker, TV personality (Oprah and All National Morning Shows), corporate spokesperson (from Fortune 500 companies to NASA), interfaith minister and comedic performer. Laura will draw from her latest book, Now What? 90 Days to a New Life Direction, to guide you to find answers to long standing quandaries about whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s next for your career and your life. Like all Wurzweiler Care CafĂŠ events, it is intended to produce caring, enlightened approaches that will help healing and growth in a supportive environment. The event be held in the comfortable setting of Riversideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Landmark facility. A light kosher dinner will be served. The event is free to everyone. It will start at 6:00 PM.

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The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

APRIL 5-11,2018

PASSING THE BATON MUSIC Leonard Bernstein’s son Alexander continues the celebrated conductor’s legacy of arts education BY ALIZAH SALARIO

Long before you could instantly summon musical programs for kids on YouTube and Netflix, before Barney & Friends and Baby Einstein hit DVD, there were Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts. Starting in 1962, young fans tuned their RCA Victors and console televisions into Bernstein’s hybrid concert/music lessons, broadcast by CBS straight from Lincoln Center to living rooms throughout the U.S. and in 40 countries around the world. That Bernstein, the legendary composer and conductor, brought magnetism and charm to the small screen is unsurprising. What is less obvious is that Bernstein, the gifted lecturer and

Alexander Bernstein. Photo: Steve Sherman

IF YOU GO WHEN: April 19, 6:30 p.m. WHAT: “Notes from 108th St.” WHERE: Broadway Presbyterian Church, 612 West 114th St. COST: $100

Leonard Bernstein on camera for the Young People’s Concerts. Photo: Bert Bial 1958, courtesy of the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives teacher infected with an insatiable curiosity, set a new precedent in his Young People’s Concerts, not only for music education but also for education through music and the arts. “He was a born teacher. I think he was teaching and learning in whatever he was doing — composing, conducting, sitting at the table for dinner,” says Alexander Bernstein of his father. “He’d start out talking about the French language, for instance, and end up talking about the Battle of Waterloo.” The younger Bernstein also heard the call to teach, and continues his father’s legacy as the president of Artful Learning, a nonprofit that works to deepen academic learning through the arts. Alexander will share his personal remembrances of his father and be honored for his stewardship by the Bloomingdale School of Music at their “Notes from 108th Street” scholarship benefit on April 19th. The event will recognize the elder Bernstein’s centennial, and include performances of four of his “Anniversaries for Piano” compositions, musical postcards for mentors and family members Aaron Copland, Helen Coates, Stephen Sondheim and Felicia Montealegre, Bernstein’s wife. “Toward the end of [my father’s] life, he started thinking more broadly about all the arts, and the artistic process as being absolutely connected with all learning. He saw teaching

Leonard Bernstein with his son in an undated photo. Photo courtesy of Alexander Bernstein

and learning as a creative act, and was looking for ways to make that happen in a classroom community,” explains Bernstein. Artful Learning is the result of this inquiry, and best summed up by an oftquoted line from the famed composer: “The best way to know a thing is in the context of another discipline.” Though founded by Leonard Bernstein, it is Alexander who ushered the nonprofit into this century. He has worked to refine and advance a learning model based on the belief that teaching is not “just dumping information into somebody else’s brain,” but instilling a farreaching sense of curiosity unbound by subject matter. “Classroom teachers, not specialists in art, music or theater, teachers really get excited about how the material connected with subject matter, and it grew from there,” explains Bernstein. Using music, theater and visual art to bridge concepts in different disciplines, the model helps boost achievement, engagement and collaboration in classrooms nationwide. For Alexander, who has a background in theater and drama education, teaching was an essential part of his relationship with his father. “It was a great way to collaborate with him. I’m not a musician, and I always felt kind of left out of that part of his life. Working in education was a wonderful way to connect with him,”

he says. It is also through education that Alexander manifests what he considers his father’s greatest gift to him: a sense of social justice and a respect for all people. He recalls how his father would have long evenings with foreign heads of state — the composer was particularly fond of Bruno Kreisky, a former foreign minister and chancellor of Austria, and former mayor of Jerusalem Theodor (Teddy) Kollek — to try and “figure out ways to make things work.” Bernstein notes that sometimes, his father’s openness was to his detriment, and his heal-the-world approach called naive. Yet Alexander’s honor by Bloomingdale, with its long history of providing access to music education and performance for young people of all backgrounds (the founder, David Greer, began by offering Saturday morning classes for as little as 50 cents in 1964) is proof that the arts, by being a vehicle for education, are also agents of change. Says Bernstein, “What Artful Learning does is kind of a political act, when you think of it, when you have a student body that is going to be creative thinkers, life-long learners, curious open to debate, open to different ways of thinking, different cultural understandings. You know, that’s kind of scary prospect for some people.”


APRIL 5-11,2018

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APRIL 5-11,2018

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

MILLION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

YOUR FATHER KEEPS WANDERING AWAY FROM HOME. BUT IT’S YOU WHO FEELS LOST.

THE ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND RELATED DEMENTIAS FAMILY SUPPORT PROGRAM. Caring for a family member who has trouble with thinking and memory can be extremely challenging. So challenging, in fact, that caregivers may feel overwhelmed, struggling to maintain their own health and well-being. NYU Langone’s Family Support Program provides convenient, personalized, and ongoing support to people caring for someone with Alzheimer’s or other thinking and memory disorders. The program is provided free of charge to individuals living within the five boroughs. You will receive access to counseling; connections to doctors and support groups; and compassionate guidance by being paired with a caregiver who has had a similar experience. Join a community dedicated to providing the support and guidance you need, for as long as you need it.

“One of my favorite things about PB is that it gives young people a chance to vote and participate,” Rosenthal said. “This way, they can become involved from a young age, and hopefully, feel empowered to remain engaged throughout their lives.” What can it teach preteens about civic engagement? “The more young people are able to participate and feel they are being heard, the more likely they are to continue participating,” she said. “Many young people feel they have no say in the decisions that affect them as much as, if not more than, everyone else. PB is an opportunity to show them that, while we can’t simply lower the voting age overnight, we do care about what they have to say.” “Perhaps a few of those students will be inspired to pursue careers in public service,” said said. Bottom line: “PB is a chance for the community to partake in the democratic process in its purest form,” said Rosenthal, who has utilized it since taking office in 2014. The citizen-driven, decisionmaking process serves another critical purpose, said East Side Council Member Ben Kallos, pointing out the “strong correlation that all too often” exists between “people who give political contributions and groups that receive, or lose, millions in taxpayer funds.” Originating in Porto Alegre in Brazil in 1989 as a way to

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empower the poor and disenfranchised, PB spread rapidly across North and South America, and, after being adopted by hundreds of municipalities, finally came to New York in 2011. Initially, it was introduced in four City Council districts. By 2016, some 68,000 New Yorkers were casting their ballots in 28 districts, and by the 2017 cycle, 102,800 residents had voted for their favorite projects in 31 districts, making the city host to the nation’s largest PB both in terms of number of participants and budgetary amounts. Why the 50 percent surge in balloting? Online voting was rolled out in every PB district in 2017, after a limited pilot program in 2016. While turnout from paper balloting stayed consistent, digital voters boosted the tally dramatically. Last year, 3,111 residents in Rosenthal’s district voted in PB, rocketing 44 percent from the previous year. By contrast, greater turnout was recorded in Corey Johnson’s Chelsea district, 3,518 votes, a 70 percent leap from 2016, and lesser turnout was chalked up in Kallos’ district, where 2,421 residents cast their ballots, up 21 percent from 2016. Expect those numbers to swell again in PB Week this year because of the markedly lower voting age. Under the rules, all eligible voters must sign an affidavit, online or in person, to confirm they meet the district’s age and residency requirements. Participants can cast up to five votes for five separate projects, but they’re not allowed to vote more than once for any one

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project. “Remember, this is NOT a political election,” Rosenthal wrote in a recent constituent newsletter. “You don’t need to be registered to vote.” Depending on home addresses, people can cast ballots at Rosenthal’s district office, 563 Columbus Avenue; Kallos’ distoffice, 244 East 93rd Street; and Johnson’s, at 224 West 30th Street. There are also pop-up voting locations in schools, parks, libraries, subway stations and greenmarkets. With $1 million set aside and up for grabs, the top vote-getters will be awarded capital discretionary funds until the allotted sums run out. These are the nine Upper West Side projects on the ballot as PB Week kicks off this weekend: • Ha rbor v iew Ter race, NYCHA, public housing development at 525 West 55th Street. Yard renovation and beautification of a communal courtyard. Cost: $500,000. • Three New York Public Library branches on the UWS, St. Agnes Library, Riverside Library and Library for the Performing Arts. Technology upgrades, including new selfcheckout kiosks, computers, printers and high-speed Wi-Fi. Cost: $200,000. • St. Agnes Library, 444 Amsterdam Avenue. Purchase of new onsite security camera system. Cost: $80,000. • Riverside Park, next to the sand pits and beach volleyball courts at West 105th Street. Installation of “youth-sized tennis courts.” Cost: $400,000. • Stephen Wise Towers, NYCHA, public housing development at 117 West 90th Street. Renovation of the sprinkler play area and restoration of a concrete bowl in the courtyard. Cost: $500,000. • Multiple UWS sidewalks. Installation of tree guards surrounding 35 young trees and general neighborhood beautification. Cost: $42,000. • FDNY Engine Company 74, landmark firehouse at 120 West 83rd Street. Replacement of aging windows to improve public safety and the work environment for firefighters. Cost: $500,000. • P.S. 166, 132 West 89th Street. Technology upgrades, including new Promethean boards, desktop computers and electrical outlets for 12 classrooms and a tech lab. Cost: $250,000. • P.S. 9, Center School, John Jasper Complex, at 100 West 84th Street. Renovation of the auditorium and replacement of all 374 seats. Cost: $500,000. invreporter@strausnews.com


APRIL 5-11,2018

19

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

COOKING UP A CURE For patients who have broken bones, torn muscles or suffered a stroke, Bellevueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s crown jewel is its newly renovated rehab kitchen

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ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

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Responsibility, Punishment, and Psychopathy: At the Crossroads of Law, Neurocriminology, and Philosophy

MONDAY, APRIL 9TH, 4:15PM Columbia University | 116th St. & Broadway | 212-854-1754 | columbia.edu A panel of neurocriminology, law, and philosophy experts looks at the mental disorder of â&#x20AC;&#x153;psychopathyâ&#x20AC;? and how criminal justice should respond to it (free, RSVP required).

Fact or Fiction? Amadeus and the Portrayal of an Artist

MONDAY, APRIL 9TH, 7:30PM David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center | 61 W. 62nd St. | 212-875-5000 | atrium.lincolncenter.org Nearly 35 years after MiloĹĄ Formanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Amadeus, Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence Michael Beckerman and actor F. Murray Abraham debate the ďŹ lmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideas and ethics (free).

Just Announced | Nature of Justice: A Visual Arts Response to The Birds

MONDAY, MAY 7TH, 7PM St. Annâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Warehouse | 45 Water St. | 718-254-8779 | onassisusa.org As part of the Third Annual Onassis Festival, Birds: A Festival Inspired by Aristophanes, a distinguished panel looks at still-resonant questions of corruption and justice (free ticket required).

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NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue Rehabilitation Department and the Auxiliary to Bellevue Hospital unveiled a newly renovated Rehabilitation Medicine kitchen. Photo: NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue

COOKING UP A CURE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19

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beds that tucked in more than 400 patients last year, one at a time to each bed, of course. Thousands more checked in for therapy during the day and then went home to sleep in their own beds at night, waking up the next morning to make breakfast in their own kitchens thanks to skills perfected in the hospital’s rehab suite whose rooms resemble a regular NYC apartment. As expected, there’s a bedroom, a bathroom, and a dressing area where working out means making beds (no extra neat “hospital corners” required), learning to maneuver through a bath or shower and the like and slipping in and out of clothes with buttons, zippers, hooks and ties. But the current crown jewel of the “apartment” is a fourth room: The kitchen. Like yours, over the years, Bellevue’s rehab kitchen ended up with appliances that were either worn out or outdated (think hand mixer instead of Cuisinart or cotton pot holders instead of super-cool fire-proof silicone ones). But in February the hospital unveiled a completely updated make-over with new plumbing and wiring, new cabinets, new counters, backsplashes, sink, and floors. The new pantry and storage areas are wheelchair-accessible. There’s a new electric stove, a new refrigerator, a microwave

“Every experience with our patients makes us humble.” Dr. Own Kieran, Bellevue’s Director of Rehabilitation Medicine

oven, new pots, pans, and serving plates. And there’s a clutch of interesting utensils like the one Judith Wilson, OTR, assistant director of occupational therapy considers a favorite: A long rod with a pincher-like end that makes it possible for someone in a wheelchair to reach across the top of an electric stove to turn on the burners — taking particular care to avoid touching hot ones when it’s time to turn them off. The whole $43,500 kit and caboodle was financed by the century-old Auxiliary to Bellevue Hospital, a group of dedicated volunteers whose motto is “Keeping Humanity in Medicine.” “Deciding to underwrite the renovation of the rehab kitchen is consistent with our mission to make life better for Bellevue patients,” says Medicaid expert and longtime Auxiliary member Will Weder, a former chair of the Community Board 6 Health Committee. “True,” says Ai-Lian Lim, DPS, OTR/L, Bellevue’s Director of Occupational Therapy. “This new kitchen makes it possible to teach effective body mechanics to those with cu-

mulative and complex trauma, improve meal preparation and safe cooking over a hot stove, assess patient safety in a kitchen, and guide patients toward safe discharge.” As for the patients, Judith Wilson says they really like the new set-up. “It’s my favorite place in the hospital,” says one, a sentiment seconded by a second: “Who knew that being in therapy could be so enjoyable and end with cooking your favorite dish!” There’s an extra bonus every year at Thanksgiving when patients spending the holiday in the rehab unit cook up a dinner that, thanks to the cultural culinary diversity of the Big Apple, may include everything from hummus to kabobs to noodles and, yes, even a turkey. Finally, if Bellevue’s patients appreciate the kitchen, their rehab team appreciates them. “Every experience with our patients,” says Dr. Own Kieran, Bellevue’s Director of Rehabilitation Medicine, “make us humble.” And, come Thanksgiving, definitely well-fed.


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The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com To read about other people who have had their “15 Minutes” go to ourtownny.com/15 minutes

YOUR 15 MINUTES

IN STEP WITH THE NEXT GENERATION Founder and artistic director of BalletNext on mentoring young dancers BY ANGELA BARBUTI

Michele Wiles calls upon her experiences as a fledgling ballerina in New York to set the stage for those who are coming after her. The contemporary company she founded, BalletNext, allows classically trained dancers to experiment creatively with diverse artists. A former principal dancer with

American Ballet Theatre, the Maryland native moved to New York at 18 to begin as an apprentice with the famed institution. “And I feel like every young dancer, whether they go to a neighborhood school or a rigorous program like I did, needs a moment to explore who they are in their artistry,” Wiles, 37, explained. With that in mind, she is launching NextGeneration in August. The program, which will run on a trimester basis, will enable young dancers to participate in the company’s classes to explore different approaches and develop their unique styles.

Michele Wiles and BalletNext dancers. Photo: Nisian Hughes

What is your ballet background in New York? I moved to New York to be an apprentice with American Ballet Theatre. I did my first tour with them as an apprentice in 1998. I did an entire MET season, and after that, was offered studio company and after a year of being in the second company, was offered a core contract.

What is the mission of BalletNext? To have a foundation and respect and a nod to classical ballet technique and training. Using that in combination with unlikely artists and things that are happening today.

What is the demographic of your company? At the moment, there’s seven dancers, including myself. The company trains daily and has a very strong technical base that is grounded in ballet. I help them with their ballet technique. Every single girl offers something special. They’re into acting; they have their modeling jobs. Violetta Komyshan is with [actor] Ansel Elgort. They met in high school at La Guardia. She has been following BalletNext since she was 16 and now she, for the first time, is performing with us.

Tell us about your collaboration with a deaf dancer to incorporate sign language into performances. Michele Wiles with jazz trumpeter Tom Harrell, whose quintet occasionally accompanies BalletNext performances. Photo: Nisian Hughes

A lot of what’s happening this year,

people have reached out to me, because BalletNext has built a reputation and brand name of being experimental and exploring with other people. So Bailey Ann Vincent reached out to me via email. She came up, I met her and this sort of evolved out of our relationship. Quite honestly, both of us walked into the studio not knowing what this was going to be. We were using signing concepts and it is about a young girl, Follin, actually Bailey’s daughter, losing her hearing and figuring out her way in society. It slowly evolves into feeling a connection and eye contact. We make three different kinds of sounds with pointe shoes and clapping and voices that you might not hear in classical ballet.

Explain the NextGeneration program. This is a very interesting thing. It goes back to myself choosing where I was going to go. I wanted to create this for the next generation where they have an opportunity to work with me and see the company and experience different types of work and develop themselves as well-rounded people.

What do you look for in applicants? I’m looking for applicants who are interested in working with different types of people, but still have a love of pointe shoes and ballet. And a lot of them are university types, interestingly enough. Not to say that I’m not interested in anyone else.

You recently came back from maternity leave. How has having a baby changed your perspective at work? How do you balance motherhood with your career? It’s completely changed my perspective. It’s interesting; your body goes through a metamorphosis, very transformative. And I feel like I’m in the same development stages as my daughter and the dancers. It’s almost like I had to retrain myself, in a sense. I feel like I’m growing with her. She’s walking more now. And funny enough, my body feels more in shape and I feel like I can dance more. There’s been this symbiotic development physically that’s happened. There’s also been a lot of balancing that’s been going on. Coming from such a crazy training background where you’re just focused on that ... a baby in the middle of this, you realize you have time for family and your husband.... And it only feeds your soul.

What are your future plans? To keep performing more and keep collaborating with unlikely artists. I really feel like it grows the dancers and it expands my human knowledge as well. Because you can never stop learning.

Know somebody who deserves their 15 Minutes of fame? Go to ourtownny.com and click on submit a press release or announcement.


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APRIL 5-11,2018

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APRIL 5-11,2018

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Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness & Housing invite you to the

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