Page 1

The local paper for the Upper per West Side p Sid

CHILDREN’S EDITION INSIDE ◄ P.13

WEEK OF JUNE

6-12 2019

INSIDE HARD TIMES FOR BEACON HARDWARE GoFundme for “anchor” on the UWS. P. 25

A rendering of Extell Development’s in-progress 775-foot tower at 36 West 66th St., which includes over 170 feet of mechanical space in its middle section. Image: Snøhetta

CITY CRACKS DOWN ON BUILDING VOIDS

The balance between arts and academic curriculum at LaGuardia High School is at the heart of a dispute that sparked student protests at the renowned conservatory-style school. Photo: Michael Garofalo

PROTESTS ROCK LAGUARDIA HS SCHOOLS Students say arts have been put on the back burner at ‘Fame’ school

DEVELOPMENT

BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Council strengthens earlier City Planning Commission proposal to address so-called zoning loophole BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

The City Council last week voted by a 47-1 margin to enact a long-awaited zoning change that will place new limits on the use of mechanical voids — a controversial development practice which some builders have utilized to inflate tower heights through the use of largely empty spaces. The measure tightens a so-called zoning loophole that exempts spaces designated for mechanical use

Dozens of LaGuardia High School students, parents and alumni gathered outside the elite Upper West Side public school June 3 to protest what they characterize as a shift in focus away from the performing arts education at the core of the school’s mission. Holding hand-drawn signs with slogans like “This is an Art School,” the demonstrators voiced their displeasure with increased academic requirements at LaGuardia that they say have detracted from students’ creative pursuits and departed from the conservatory-style education that inspired the film “Fame.” The demonstration at the school’s entrance followed a sit-in staged by students May 31.

LaGuardia is the place where we came to develop our existing passion.” Senior Isabel Janovsky

A List of Complaints “No one feels they can trust the administration to do what’s right for the arts,” said senior Isabel Janovsky. “We don’t come here to have the same education as someone at Stuyvesant [High School, another specialized high school with a more traditional academic focus],” Janovsky, a violinist in LaGuardia’s instrumental program, said. “LaGuardia is the place where we came to develop our existing passion, and what’s happened is that no one can focus on that.” Frequently cited complaints in-

cluded poor communication from school administrators, unexplained cuts to rehearsal times and an added emphasis on Advanced Placement courses, which some students say has come at the expense the rigorous arts education they came to the school for. “It’s a lot of extra work, and sometimes people aren’t up to it, but you’re forced into these classes,” said Isabella Gastel-Alejandre, a sophomore. Underlying these issues, Gastel-Alejandre and other students said, is poor communication between school administrators and students and teachers.

Unhappy With the Principal A number of demonstrators called specifically for the departure of Principal Lisa Mars, who has received low marks in evaluations from parents and teachers. In a DOE survey last year, 23 percent of LaGuardia teachers reported that

THE RETURN OF AUGUSTA SAVAGE A new exhibit seeks to restore the Harlem Renaissance figure’s rightful place in American art. P. 12

WHEN JEWISH REFUGEES WERE TURNED AWAY Commemorating 80 years after the St. Louis ship from Germany was denied entry to Cuba, the U.S. and Canada. P. 2

THE 100-YEAROLD MAN Friends and family turned out in force for the birthday of an art dealer and political activist. P. 6

CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

CONTINUED ON PAGE 5 Westsider WEEK OF APRIL

SPRING ARTS PREVIEW

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Crime Watch Voices NYC Now City Arts

3 8 10 12

Restaurant Ratings 24 Business 25 Real Estate 26 15 Minutes 27

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

CONTINUED ON PAGE

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

29

WestSideSpirit

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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

Newscheck Crime Watch Voices Out & About

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

variances

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JUNE 6-12,2019

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1939: WHEN JEWISH REFUGEES WERE TURNED AWAY HISTORY Upper East Side Chabad commemorates 80 years after the St. Louis ship from Germany was denied entry to Cuba, the U.S. and Canada BY JASON COHEN

The Holocaust wasn’t just about the extermination of 6 million Jews, but also showing the world that no one wanted them. Hitler proved this when a ship, MS St. Louis carrying more than 900 Jews was denied entry to the United States, Cuba and Canada in May 1939. To commemorate the 80-year anniversary of this notorious incident, the Upper East Side Chabad held an event at the Bentley Hotel, 500 East 62nd Street on May 28, where survivors of the ship spoke and a movie, “Complicit” was shown. The film is the untold story of why the Roosevelt administration denied safe haven to Jewish refugees. The film explores the impact of the

Judith Steel (center) speaking at the Upper East Side Chabad event, with Sonja Maier Geismar (left) and Eva Weiner. Photo: Cheved Kras Photography

WWII Jewish refugee issue on FDR’s legacy through a mythical courtroom drama that puts President Roosevelt on trial for complicity in crimes against humanity. It also features never-before-seen footage of U.S. Special Envoy Hannah Rosenthal’s expose of America’s inadequate response to the

Jewish refugee crisis. “Hitler was allowed to tell the world no one wants them,” said the film’s director Robert Krakow. “The St. Louis fell into that narrative.” According to Krakow, there are approximately 15 to 20 survivors living in the U.S, one in Israel, two in

NORTHERN MANHATTAN STUDY OF METABOLISM AND MIND

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the U.K. and one in Australia. Rabbi Ben Tzion Krasnianski of the Upper East Side Chabad told the attendees that it is important to never forget how the people of the St. Louis were treated. America is supposed to be safe haven, not a place where people are shunned, he said.

“It’s especially cruel to be so close to freedom you can taste it,” the rabbi said. “Our leaders did not have the courage.” In May 1939 the Motorschiff St. Louis left Germany with 937 Jews, intending to embark in Cuba. However, Cuba, America and Canada, all citing visa quotas, did not let them disembark. The ship was forced to return to Europe, where various European countries, including the U.K., Belgium, Netherlands and France, accepted some refugees. Many were later caught in Nazi roundups of Jews in occupied countries, and some historians have estimated that approximately a quarter of them died in death camps during World War II. In 2012, the United States Department of State formally apologized in a ceremony attended by 14 survivors of the incident. In 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized as well. Eva Weiner, Judith Steel and Sonja Maier Geismar were children on the ship, but know what took place

CONTINUED ON PAGE 7

Give the Graduation or Wedding Gift that Lasts Books and Vintage Prints make amazing and thoughtful gifts.

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 24th precinct for the week ending May 26 Week to Date

Year to Date

2019 2018

% Change

2019

2018

% Change

Murder

0

0

n/a

1

1

0.0

Rape

1

0

n/a

3

6

-50.0

Robbery

4

3

33.3

58

54

7.4

Felony Assault

0

1

-100.0

57

56

1.8

Burglary

1

1

0.0

26

53

-50.9

Grand Larceny

10

17

-41.2

181

253

-28.5

Grand Larceny Auto

1

1

0.0

9

14

-35.7

Photo by Toni Webster via Flickr

HEADS UP, UWS SHOPPERS! a shopping cart. The officer arrested Police have issued a warning to female shoppers at local Trader Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Fairway stores: do not leave your purse unattended on a shopping cart. At 12:15 p.m. on Friday, May 24, an undercover police officer was on duty in the Trader Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s store at 2073 Broadway, engaged in a â&#x20AC;&#x153;lucky bagâ&#x20AC;? sting operation designed to catch a thief who had been preying on that storeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s customers.The officer said she saw a woman remove the wallet the officer had left as bait inside a purse on

the woman as the tried to leave the store and recovered $40 in cash from the suspectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s front right pocket. At that time, police said, the suspect was found to be in possession of an expired MetroCard that had been altered to give unlimited rides. Alicia Bellamy, 57, was arrested and charged with petit larceny. Police said that Bellamy is a repeat offender and a suspect in at least ďŹ ve prior thefts in Trader Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and Fairway stores.

A COOKIE, SOME CASH AND A PUNCH At 10:10 p.m. on Friday, May 24, police said, a man entered Cafe 71 at 2016 Broadway and took a cookie without paying for it, along with cash from the tip jar. When he tried to leave, 52-year-old male employee tried to stop him. According to police, the suspect punched the employee in the face with a closed ďŹ st, causing him to fall to the ďŹ&#x201A;oor and sustain substantial pain. Police searched the neighborhood, and the victim was able to identify his alleged assailant in front

      

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of 2069 Broadway. Police arrested Isaac Brown, 30, and charged him with robbery. The cookie and cash were recovered, amounting to $22.

TWO-WHEELER STEALERS Now that ďŹ ne weather has returned, so to has the theft of motorcycles and scooters. In the ďŹ rst incident, which took place after 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, a 46-year-old man parked his motorcycle in front of 350 West 85th St. When he went to move it at 8 a.m. the following morning the bike was

gone. A search of the neighborhood proved fruitless. The victim told police that no one else had keys to the motorcycle, a red-and-silver 2017 Ducati Monster 821 with New York plates 75TN11, valued at $13,000. Four days later, on Monday, May 27, a 30-year-old man parked his scooter in front of 106 West 78th St. around 10 p.m. At 8 the following morning his wife discovered that the bike, an orange 2019 Vespa Primavera 150 with New York plates 71TS80, was missing. The victim told police that locks were in place when he last left the vehicle. Surveillance video later revealed a gray van with unknown plates parking momentarily alongside the bike at 5:09 a.m. The stolen scooter was valued at $6,000.

PERPETUAL WARNING Gym goers are reminded again: never leave valuables in a gym locker while you work out. At 12 noon on Thursday, May 23, a 36-year-old man placed his Rolex watch inside a locker at the Equinox Sports Club at 160 Columbus Ave. When he returned three hours later he found that his tony timepiece was missing. The stolen watch, an Oyster Perpetual, was valued at $12,000.


4

JUNE 6-12,2019

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

Drawing Board

Useful Contacts 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.

212-767-8400

FDNY Engine 76/Ladder 22

145 W. 100th St.

311

FDNY Engine 40/Ladder 35

W.66th &Amsterdam

311

FDNY Engine 74

120 W. 83rd St.

311

Ladder 25 Fire House

205 W. 77th St.

311

FIRE

CITY COUNCIL Councilmember Helen Rosenthal

563 Columbus Ave.

212-873-0282

Councilmember Mark Levine

500 West 141st St.

212-928-6814

STATE LEGISLATORS State Senator Brad Hoylman

322 Eighth Ave. #1700 212-633-8052

State Sen. Jose M. Serrano

1916 Park Ave. #202

Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal

230 W. 72nd St. #2F

212-873-6368

Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell

245 W. 104th St.

212-866-3970

COMMUNITY BOARD 7 250 W. 87th St. #2 LIBRARIES

212-828-5829

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

Mt. Sinai – Roosevelt

1000 10th Ave.

212-523-4000

Mt. Sinai - St. Luke’s

1090 Amsterdam Ave.

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

HOSPITALS

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VOIDS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 from the floor area calculations that in many districts effectively govern a building’s maximum permissible height. In recent years, a number of developers had exploited the fact that these mechanical spaces were not subject to height restrictions by designing buildings with tall voids in their middle sections. Such spaces ostensibly hold mechanical equipment but primarily serve to enhance the views and price tags of residential units on the floors above. The zoning text amendment approved by the Council at its May 29 meeting will limit mechanical voids to 25 feet in height; spaces exceeding 25 feet will count toward a project’s buildable floor area. In issuing its approval, the Council modified the amendment to tighten earlier language proposed by the City Planning Commission that would have permitted voids up to 30 feet tall. Developers will be permitted to claim the exemption for multiple mechanical voids within a building, provided that each void space is separated by at least 75 feet in vertical distance. “We’re saying no to empty buildings filled with voids simply to give the one-percent better views while

We’re saying no to empty buildings filled with voids simply to give the onepercent better views while leaving the rest of us in their shadow.” Council Member Ben Kallos leaving the rest of us in their shadow,” said Upper East Side Council Member Ben Kallos, a longtime supporter of efforts to address the voids loophole. “By strengthening and passing the proposal to limit the height of mechanical voids to 25 feet, we are taking a significant step forward toward stopping developers from getting around the zoning to give billionaires views instead of building affordable housing for New Yorkers.” The new rules would effectively prevent developers from designing buildings like Extell Development’s controversial 775-foot tower now under construction at 36 West 66th St., which includes several tall mechanical spaces. Voids on the building’s 15th, 17th, 18th and 19th floors are 20, 64, 64 and 48 feet in height,

A graphic illustrating the zoning change to tighten restrictions on mechanical void space. Image: Department of City Planning

respectively, and collectively account for more than a quarter of the building’s total height. The Extell project is the subject of a pending zoning appeal and an ongoing lawsuit. The Department of Buildings issued permits for the building earlier this year, before the new void restrictions were approved. For now, the zoning change approved by the Council applies only

in certain residential zoning districts, primarily in Manhattan. The Department of City Planning plans to expand the scope of the void restrictions to other parts of the city through a second zoning text amendment to be proposed later this year. The amendment applies only to enclosed spaces, meaning that voids classified as outdoor space would be exempted. Kallos and other members of

the Council’s Manhattan delegation have vowed to pursue further changes to zoning law to address other perceived loopholes that have resulted in buildings taller than planners originally anticipated under the city’s 1961 Zoning Resolution, including unenclosed voids, excessive ceiling heights on non-mechanical floors, and so-called “gerrymandered” zoning lots.

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JUNE 6-12,2019

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ALEX ROSENBERG, THE 100-YEAR-OLD MAN SENIOR LIVING On a holiday weekend, friends and family turned out in force for the birthday of an art dealer and political activist BY EMILY JANE GOODMAN

A lot can happen in a century and what Alex Rosenberg has accomplished so far in this one precious lifetime was celebrated on May 25, exactly 100 years from his birth in 1919. The rare occasion of a 100th birthday filled the West Side’s Stephen Wise Free Synagogue where Rosenberg was a bar mitzvah boy at the age of 73. Despite the Memorial Day holiday, a traditional getout-of-town weekend, the music-accompanied service and luncheon were attended by more than 200 friends, family and comrades who passed through security guards and magnetometers. The guest of honor, sporting silver hair that reached his collar, was on his feet (with a little support) whenever the

congregation was asked to rise. Throughout the day, he accepted praise and recognition in the presence of his wife, two siblings and four generations of family. Having a room full of fans is not the image of, well, old age. But Rosenberg collected people along the way, as a leader in local and national Democratic politics, a civil rights, civil liberties and anti-war activist, a prominent art dealer, a bon vivant and man about town, the ultimate New Yorker. Born in Brooklyn, he has spent most of his post WWII Air Force life in Manhattan on the West Side with his first wife, Dorothy and their sons Lawrence and Andrew, on the east side with Carole, his wife of 42 years, his 57th Street art gallery and at home in Water Mill on Long Island. The rest of the time he might be found in Mexico, Europe, Israel, or Cuba where he received a Doctorate in Fine Arts. This, a glowing Carole Rosenberg, 82, emphasized, “was not just an ‘honorary’ degree”. Rosenberg’s early background in socialism, Judaism

The author with Rosenberg at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue. Photo courtesy of Emily Jane Goodman

and his passion for progressive social action and justice, set his path. Looking back at all he has done, he says, “Maybe I could have contributed more, but I won’t get a second chance.” After rejecting the family pillowcase business, Rosenberg bought a telephone answering service but sold it at a good profit before it was made obsolete by answering machines, voice mail, IM, email, cellphones, texting and tweeting. What mattered to him was change and challenge in and out of electoral politics. He was out front early for Eugene McCarthy for President, and Bella Abzug for everything: Congress, Senate, Mayor. Also the American Labor Party, the West Side Democratic political club where he was District Leader, but that he later left because “they lost their way” and SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee). Especially important to Rosenberg was NECLC (National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee), which in a faux wedding ceremony where Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame was “best man,” merged with the Center for Constitutional Rights that he long served as a board member and financial advisor. While enjoying French Champagne, salmon and

Birthday cake. Photo: Emily Goodman

Rosenberg had announced more than a year ago [that his beloved synagogue] would be the venue for his memorial service whether or not he made it to this birthday. “Save the date either way,” he told friends.

Alex Rosenberg in 2009. Photo: Michael Halsband

strawberries, guests also enjoyed thanks-for-the-memories from Rosenberg’s sons and others. Sam Rosenberg, poet and medieval scholar, described his older brother as always thinking of, “how he could make the world move in a sounder direction.” Greatgrandson Jacob Halsband, 7, standing on a chair to reach the mic, faced “Grandpa Alex,” and delivered the speech that spoke for every-

one. “That you are 100 is ... WOW!” NY State Assembly member Richard Gottfried, speaking for himself and Congress Member Jerry Nadler who had been expected but had taken ill the day before, said that it was Rosenberg plus a cadre of “adults” who nurtured their group of high school boys, “The Kids,” as they broke into West Side politics in the sixties. “Alex helped move Jerry and me several notches to the left, both in our careers and our principles,” said Gottfried. Further to the left was Cuba’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Ana Silvia Rodriguez Abascal, who attended with a delegation from the Cuban mission to thank Rosenberg for decades of friendship that started with the struggle to prove that art and culture fit into the definition of “informational material” that were exceptions to the United States embargo. Decades before, the former art student had found the art of commerce and the commerce of art. The Alex Rosen-

berg Gallery, doing business as TransWorld Art, has specialized in graphics, publishing lithographs, silkscreens, posters and representing leading artists of the postWorld War II art world. His artists and their art, like him, are decidedly left wing. His list includes Elaine DeKooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Alexander Calder, Romare Bearden, Gordon Parks, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Salvador Dali, Marc Chagall, Larry Rivers. As a dealer, consultant, appraiser, expert witness, Rosenberg still works every day and has no retirement plans. Always there is the beloved synagogue that Rosenberg had announced more than a year ago would be the venue for his memorial service whether or not he made it to this birthday and the party. “Save the date either way,” he told friends. According to Rabbi Ammiel Hirsch, Rosenberg describes himself as “agnostic on the subject of God.” Rosenberg says, “What’s important is being Jewish living the values of charity, justice, education, progressive Judaism.” During his luncheon remarks, referring to the history of atrocities against Jews and the current rise of anti-Semitism, Rosenberg, choked with emotion, cried briefly. But tears soon turned to bittersweet laughter when thanking his wife Carole for all she has done for him, Rosenberg added, “Maybe if I ate gluten-free I’d keep going. But at my age, there is only today. Tomorrow is forever. You can’t look forward.” Still, at the end of the day, 100-year-old Alex Rosenberg, an unrepentant flirt, asked this reporter, “What are you doing tonight?”


JUNE 6-12,2019

JEWISH REFUGEES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 was a travesty. Maier Geismar, 84, a native of Baden in Southwest Germany, lives in the Bronx and was on the St. Louis at the age of 4. While she was too young to fully grasp what took place on the ship, she remembers a few things. She recalled how the elegant cruise ship had fancy food, chandeliers and how she saw black people for the first time there. “I remember Kristallnacht and I remember the ship,” she said. When the ship dispersed passengers in various countries she was fortunate that her family was put in England. They lived there for eight months before immigrating to America. As she looks back at what took place, she is angry, but understands there were immigration laws and quotas. “It was a mistake definitely,” she said. “It was cowardly, but if you look at the circumstances they would not have made exceptions. I was a child. I didn’t know something bad was happening.” Steel, 81, a resident of Kew Gardens, was only 14 months old on the St. Louis. “I always used to ask God, why did you keep me alive and why did my parents die,”

LAGUARDIA CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 they feel respected by Mars and 12 percent said she is an effective manager. “Our art school is not adequately preparing our talented children for the conservatory education that they want when they go to college,” said Natasha Labovitz, the parent of a LaGuardia senior. Students and parents say Mars has enforced admissions standards that have turned away talented students on the basis of middle school grades in courses unrelated to their art. According to the DOE, the school’s admissions requirements have been in place for over a decade, and academic information is only considered for those students who successfully audition. “LaGuardia has a long and proud history of both artistic

7

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Are you experiencing stress or anxiety? Our Behavioral Health program supports people dealing with the effects of vision loss* and their emotional health. Our team is also here to help people of all ages cope with: ï Depression From left to right: Eva Weiner, Judith Steel and Sonja Maier Geismar were children on the St. Louis. Photo: Cheved Kras Photography

she said to the audience. “I think it’s really important that non-Jews learn about the Holocaust and learn that it should not happen again.” Steel told Our Town that if Israel had existed in 1939 her family might have gone there instead of America. Her family resettled in France, which was occupied by the Nazis a year later. While her parents were killed in a death camp, Steel was hidden by a French Catholic family for four and a half years. She eventually came to America in 1946 and became a cantor at the New Synagogue in NYC. While she was just a toddler on the ship, deep down she knows what happened. “There’s something in the DNA that remembers,” she said. Weiner, 80, a resident of

Neptune, N.J., speaks often about the St. Louis and the Holocaust. She talks at schools and synagogues and feels it is important to educate people about what took place. “Who is going to tell our stories?” Weiner said. “Who is going to tell the stories of the survivors?” Weiner, like the other two women, has very little memory of being on the ship. She was 10 months old on the St. Louis, so her knowledge came from her parents, Cypora and Jakob Safier. Weiner recalled how her family made it to England after the St. Louis and eventually came to Astoria in 1946. “They had told me about the ship, but I had no idea it had any significance,” Weiner said. “It was actually the precursor to WWII.”

and academic achievement, and the school’s admission policy has long included audition and academic requirements,” DOE spokesperson Doug Cohen wrote in an email. “Rehearsal times have been changed to get kids home earlier in the evening,” he added.

Students at LaGuardia met with DOE administrators following the June 3 demonstration. Janovsky, who attended the meeting, described the conversation in positive terms. “In previous meetings with the LaGuardia administration, I constantly felt that I was arguing with them, always on the defensive, and they never gave me a straight answer,” she wrote in an email. “In the meeting held today, I felt like I was actually being heard for the first time. “We believe that there will be some action taken based on this meeting, as well as other meetings that were held with the chapter leader of the United Federation of Teachers and the Parent Association,” Janovsky continued. “As to what that action is, no one can say yet but we are eagerly waiting to see what will occur within the next few days.”

Challenges for Specialized Schools The discontent at LaGuardia is unfolding against the backdrop of a debate over admissions testing that has roiled New York City’s eight other specialized high schools. LaGuardia High School is the only specialized high school that does not admit students based on performance on a single standardized test. Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a controversial proposal last year to overhaul admissions standards last year in order to increase diversity in the specialized high schools.

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Voices NYC’S APARTMENT HOUSE LIFELINES Write to us: To share your thoughts and comments go to

ourtownny.com and click on submit a letter to the editor.

they are often surrogate family members to the building youngsters and everyone else who may be in need. And that works both ways, especially for single staff members. A heartfelt thanks to all the doormen, I mean doorpeople, because there’s now a very agreeable doorwoman on deck. And let’s not forget supers and maintenance personnel. And how inordinately blessed are tenants who have this in-house help, with a capital H. Far more must be said and done about “the great neighborliness need” in buildings without it. And indeed, in the buildings that have it, not being intrusive or nosy, but never being a building of strangers. Michael and other staff members couldn’t be better role models. They also tactfully deal with neighborly conflict — often a noise problem due to inadequate floor covering. “The rug thing,” anti-noise pollution expert Dr. Arline L. Bronzaft calls it. Special thanks to a former doorman, Michael Galvin, who, despite a full time job

BY BETTE DEWING

Heartfelt thanks to Michael Kearney, who was a veritable lifeline for this apartment house for 22 years. As a doorman, he not only did the myriad required doorman duties, but became an invaluable friend, especially, but not only, for those who became disabled or home bound. Thankfully, Michael is not unique, but it takes time for such bonding to occur and yes, a certain kind of character that this social media age may not so likely produce. And that’s a concern to address. Incidentally, Michael retired for a very good reason — to become a more involved grandfather to his grandchild, and how we need involved grandparents. Also so needed was his “being there” for his widowed mother, aided by his wife Rose, a nurse by profession.

The Blessing of In-House Help But we are talking about apartment house staff creating community in the place where they work, and where

THE KVETCHY BRAG: MANHATTANITES’ GREAT PASTIME PUBLIC EYE BY JON FRIEDMAN

We New Yorkers are much reviled for our crankiness and penchant for complaining about nothing — or, when the spirit moves us, anything. But a few weeks ago, a friend of mine raised the game to a new level. “My building,” she lamented, “hasn’t been the same since Philip Roth died.” After giving me a moment to take in that non-bombshell, she dramatically intoned: “He lived upstairs from me.” Riding the wave of surreal melodrama, she concluded: “Nice guy.”

Lately, we dazzling urbanites have had a lot to bitch about. This year, it rained for what felt like 564 days in a row. Bloomingdale’s might have considered selling arks in the home furnishings department. Plus, our mayor — who has too much sense to ask any of the voters of the city, Ed Kochlike, “How am I doing?” — is running for president. (Doesn’t it defy the law of physics to have a mayor who might not win re-election broadening his horizons by running for POTUS?). But back to the kvetchy brag, a rallying cry for these me-me-me times — the invention of my Facebook friend Megan N., by the way (I’m not clever enough to think of something this urbane). The neat turn of phrase suits us

New Yorkers, doesn’t it? Think of how much it liberates us, too. When you want to feel cool and brag about something utterly inconsequential in our little town, the kvetchy brag frees you up to do just that. Here a few that came to mind, based on an informal survey of New Yorkers I know: “Can you believe how expensive it is nowadays for me to send my kid to Harvard? (Oh — didn’t I mention that the little genius decided to say no to Stanford, Brown, Penn, M.I.T. and Yale!”) “Sitting in field-level box seats at Yankee Stadium isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, y’know — I mean, those batted balls can come at you so fast, you

could hardly defend yourself.” “I won the lottery to see ‘Hamilton’ — after applying at least seven times before!” “I GUESS it’s ok that we got $1.3 million for our place in Sag Harbor, since the Times just wrote that this is a buyer’s market and all. But remember, we listed it for $1.6 million — and it took us THREE MONTHS to unload it!” “‘Dear Evan Hansen’ was definitely better the last two times I saw it.” “You wouldn’t believe how long I had to wait in the green room before it was time for my appearance on Rachel Maddow’s show.” “Anderson Cooper’s show really let me down. They said on the crawler

elsewhere, always fills in when he’s needed.

Respect, Concern and Thanks There’s just so much our building staff does, like mail carefully sorted, not to mention the blizzard of boxes delivered. Ever wish on-line shopping had not been invented? And don’t forget how doormen and doorwomen at the building entrance also make the street safer, as well as their building. We wish their homes and neighborhoods were as safe, and their commutes much shorter. So many things to consider that staff members need — above all respect, concern and thanks. Oh, and a compatible work place. We are also losing our lobby decor, and I have a dream that the people who spend the most time there should determine the design. But that’s another column or volume — the lobby thing! Help! Again, heartfelt thanks Michael, and every good wish for what you need most. dewingbetter@aol.com.

that my last Trump book was a New York Times best-seller for nine weeks. IT WAS A TIMES BESTSELLER FOR TEN WEEKS, thank you very much! Can you believe such shoddy journalism!” “It’s cool that 845 of my Facebook friends ‘liked’ my selfie with Jerry Seinfeld — but the least he could have done was smile!” “I was hoping for a bigger advance for my next book.” “I can’t believe that the Times Magazine didn’t put my most recent piece on its cover.” “That restaurant that New York magazine said was the hottest new spot in the city? Well, take it from me, it isn’t so great.” If you have kvetchy-brag observations to share, please email thWem to nyoffice@ strausnews.com.


JUNE 6-12,2019

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An Upper East Side detective who loves the challenge of solving crimes wins a top NYPD honor

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A 19th Precinct detective has been recognized with a prestigious NYPD award for his work bringing burglars and robbers to justice on the Upper East Side. Detective Kevin Gieras was honored last month as the Detective of the Year for the NYPDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Manhattan North borough, which encompasses roughly 140 detectives in 12 precinct commands above 59th Street. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His investigatory skills are second to none,â&#x20AC;? said Deputy Inspector Kathleen Walsh, commanding officer of the 19th Precinct. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The guy doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t leave a stone unturned. When he gets the case, I am confident it will be solved.â&#x20AC;? Gieras, who has worked in the 19th Precinct since 2012, credited members of the Upper East Side community for often lending their assistance during investigations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rarely do you come across someone in this area who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to help,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know so many of the doormen and supers from the buildings in this area, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re always eager to help out and get a conclusion to these cases, which is a tremendous help to me.â&#x20AC;? Lieutenant Kevin Blake, who heads the precinctâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s detective squad, described Gieras as â&#x20AC;&#x153;a detectiveâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s detectiveâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;a true investigator.â&#x20AC;?

Diligent and Thorough Blake, a former detective himself, said Gieras is particularly adept at solving home burglaries â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a signiďŹ cant concern on the Upper East Side, where affluent residents are often targeted. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These perpetrators are violating peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s homes and their sense of security,â&#x20AC;? Blake said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You want to protect the public, protect their property and put a stop to it before it can continue.â&#x20AC;? Blake cited Gierasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; work catching the individual responsible for one recent string of burglaries as repre-

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19th precinct detective Kevin Gieras sentative of his diligence and thoroughness as a detective. A surveillance video that showed the perpetrator leaving the scene of a crime initially appeared to be a frustrating dead end â&#x20AC;&#x201D; only the individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s back was visible as he exited the frame, seemingly making identification impossible. But Gieras kept the video rolling. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where most people would have turned the video off, Kevin watched it to the very, very, very end,â&#x20AC;? Blake said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And at the last possible second, he sees the perpetrator interact with someone on the street in a familiar way.â&#x20AC;? The brief interaction, which could have easily been overlooked, turned out to be the key piece of evidence that broke the case. Gieras was able to find and speak with the second person in the video, who identified

the perpetrator; the burglar confessed to Gieras during a subsequent interview. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kevinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interview skills are excellent,â&#x20AC;? Blake said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;More often than not heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get his guy to talk to him, even if they have no reason to.â&#x20AC;? Gieras, who worked in the Midtown South Precinct for 12 years before joining the 19th, ďŹ nds satisfaction in his service. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I always wanted to be a cop and I always wanted to be a baseball player,â&#x20AC;? said Gieras, who played college and independent ball before joining the force, and was the ace of the NYPD baseball teamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pitching staff for many years. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really call it work because I enjoy it,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I like being out on the street, chasing down different leads, getting tips. I just love putting the pieces of the puzzle together.â&#x20AC;?

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La Mama 66 East 4th St 1 p.m. Free lamama.org 212-254-6468 In this music performance by Esther Apituley, directed by Erwin Maas, a cleaning lady from Bosnia and a vibrant band leader from Holland are locked in battle for their right to occupy an empty stage. Add seven talented band members, a wandering choir, and the power of music to overcome and release the imagination trapped inside â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and voila! Bach and Bleach is a play about two opposites merging into an unexpected and wonderful understanding of life and themselves. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s profound, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not to be missed.

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ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org NEW YORK CITY

Not-Starving Artists: How the 1800s NY Art Scene Spawned the Co-Op

SATURDAY, JUNE 8TH, 1PM Hotel Des Artistes | 1 W. 67th St. | prowlernyc.com Get the back story on some of the most impressive architecture of the Upper West Side on a walking tour that takes in Carnegie Hall, the Art Students League, and the West 67th Street Artists Colony. Along the way youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll learn how 1800â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s European utopian ideas inspired NYC ($30).

The Women Writers of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Late Nightâ&#x20AC;? Moderated by Seth Meyers

TUESDAY, JUNE 11TH, 8:30PM Paley Center for Media | 25 W. 52nd St. | 212-621-6600 | paleycenter.org Five of the award-winning writers of Late Night with Seth Meyers come together to talk about what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like to produce the show, and to be television writing pioneers. Expect references to the segment â&#x20AC;&#x153;Jokes Seth Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Tellâ&#x20AC;? ($40; $10 auxiliary viewing area).

Just Announced | The Case Against Reality

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21ST, 7PM Rubin Museum of Art | 150 W. 17th St. | 212-620-5000 | rmanyc.org Deepak Chopra, MD converses with cognitive scientist Don Hoffman on the theory that â&#x20AC;&#x153;our visual perception of space, time, and physical objects is not a window on reality but a user interface constructed by natural selection to hide reality and guide adaptive actionsâ&#x20AC;? ($69, includes book).

For more information about lectures, readings and other intellectually stimulating events throughout NYC,

sign up for the weekly Thought Gallery newsletter at thoughtgallery.org.

Thu 6

Fri 7

Sat 8

FILM â&#x20AC;&#x201D; THE MORTAL STORM (1940)

â&#x2013;˛LATE NIGHT WITH VULTURE: A CONVERSATION WITH LATE NIGHT TV COMEDY WRITERS

SATURDAY SKETCHING

96th St Library 112 East 96th St 2:00 p.m. Free In this ďŹ lm, with Margaret Sullavan and James Stewart, when the Nazis come to power, the Roth family is divided and a family friend is caught up in the turmoil. nypl.org 212-289-0908

92y 1395 Lexington Ave 7 p.m. $35 Join Vultureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Senior Editor and Good One podcast host Jesse David Fox as he leads a panel discussion on the inner workings of the toughest â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and most fun â&#x20AC;&#x201D; job in television. Writers from â&#x20AC;&#x153;Desus & Mero,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Late Night with Seth Meyers,â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Full Frontal with Samantha Beeâ&#x20AC;? and other top shows gather for a conversation about the trials and tribulations of the job, late night TVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role in the broader landscape of American comedy, how a good joke gets written and much more. 92y.org 212-415-5500

The Guggenheim 1071 Fifth Ave 10:00 a.m. Free with Museum Admission Feeling inspired? Art materials are available for loan at the Family Activity Kiosk for exploration of Frank Lloyd Wrightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s architectural shapes and spaces during your visit. guggenheim.org 212-423-3500


JUNE 6-12,2019

Sun 9

Mon 10

Tue 11

AMAZING RACE-STYLE SCAVENGER HUNT ADVENTURE

JANE EYRE — ABT

TUESDAYS WITH TED TALKS

Central Park Columbus Circle 59th St Eighth ave 2:00 p.m. $39.20 Combine the excitement of “The Amazing Race” with a two/three-hour park adventure. Guided from any smart phone, teams make their way among the well-known and also the overlooked gems of Central Park, solving clues and completing challenges while learning local history. centralpark.com 212-310-6600

11

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

The Metropolitan Opera 30 Lincoln Center Plaza 7:30 p.m. $25 From the literary figure who opposed Victorian conventions, Cathy Martson’s Jane Eyre challenges the idea of a classic ballet heroine. After a difficult upbringing, Jane becomes the governess for the mysterious Mr. Rochester, discovering the struggles of societal expectations. A literary classic brought to life by Marston’s stirring choreography and an enthralling Victorian design, Jane Eyre shows that love can conquer all obstacles. metopera.org 212-362-6000

New York Society for Ethical Culture 2 West 64th St 2:00 p.m. Free Everyone Loves TED Talks, and they’re even better when you can discuss them with other people. Together we will view selections with contemporary ethical themes and engage in a lively discussion. Links to the talks will be published at nysec.org after each session. nysec.org 212-874-5210

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. - 1 John 4:7

Wed 12 ▲CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE BIG BAND Dizzy’s Club 10 Columbus Circle 7:30 p.m. $45 Christian McBride is a Grammy Award–winning master musician and easily one of the most accomplished bassists alive. The Christian McBride Big Band, featuring a staggering and diverse lineup of top musicians, is the perfect vehicle for McBride to simultaneously show off his compositional talents and his unmatched ability to drive a band from behind the bass. The hip group combines the classic big band sounds of the Swing Era with more than half a century of post-bop influences. jazz.org (212) 258-9595

MarbleChurch.org


12

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

AUGUSTA SAVAGE RETURNS TO NEW YORK A new exhibit seeks to restore the Harlem Renaissance figure’s rightful place in the history of the city and American art BY VAL CASTRONOVO

This show comes to the New-York Historical Society by way of the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, Florida, not far from where Augusta Savage (1892-1962) was born, in Green Cove Springs in the Jim Crow South. The Florida native battled poverty and race and gender discrimination to become a revered sculptor, teacher and community organizer, nurturing the likes of Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis and Gwendolyn Knight along the way. “She is not known today, but she was one of the great movers and shakers of the art world in her time,” associate curator Wendy Ikemoto, who coordinated the show at the Society, said on a tour. Savage worked tirelessly to raise the profile of African-American artists, male and female. The exhibit is comprised of more than 75 items — sculptures, paintings, photographs and archival material — that showcase her talent and that of the masters who flocked to her Harlem studio during the “Negro Renaissance.” It was a period of cultural and artistic flowering in the 1920s and 1930s when “work was produced by Black artists about the Black lived experience,” exhibit curator Jeffreen Hayes writes in the catalog.

Artist, Activist and Teacher Savage’s gift was apparent at a young age, when she sculpted ducks out of the red clay in her backyard in Green Cove Springs. She made her way to New York in 1921 and enrolled in the tuition-free Cooper Union School of Art, completing a four-

JUNE 6-12,2019

A Commitment to Racial Uplift

Works by Savage’s students and associates — Lawrence, Knight, Lewis, Romare Bearden, Ernest Crichlow, William IF YOU GO Artis — are exhibited in tandem with those WHAT: HAT: Augusta Savage: naissance Woman Renaissance of the artist herself, in HERE: The New-York WHERE: part because so many storical Society Historical of Savage’s sculp0 Central Park West 170 tures no longer exHEN: Through July 28 WHEN: ist. One reason why? ww.nyhistory.org www.nyhistory.org She didn’t have the funds to cast many in bronze, so most of year program early. Her efforts her production was were e rewarded with a summer left in plaster, a fragscholarship olarship to the Fontainebleau ile material. School ool of Fine Arts in France Ikemoto commented — an n honor that was famously on the stylistic differrescinded inded when a commitences between Savage tee of white American men and her pupils: “That learned ned that she was black. speaks to generational Correspondence rrespondence by W.E.B. differences, but it also Du Bois and others regarding says something about Savthe decision is on view. A 1923 age’s own teaching philosletter er documents that the comophy. This was somebody mittee ee felt “... it would not be who wasn’t trying to wise e to have a colored studictate a style to dentt ... disagreeable her students. complications plications would She was tryarise…” e…” ing to comIkemoto moto said: “Savage mu n icate a alerted ted the press and encommitment to gaged ed directly with the meAugusta Savage racial i l uplift, lift a dia and headlines. This d made d h dli hi was (1892–1962)”The commitment to a black woman speaking out in the Diving Boy,” c. 1939 self-definition.” Jim Crow era. She was catapulted Bronze, 33¾ x 8 “ The Div i n g onto the national stage.” The in- x 9¼ in.Cummer Museum of Art & cident was transformative, moti- Gardens, Jacksonville, Boy” (ca. 1939), a realistic and vating Augusta to become a “race Florida, Bequest of ver y tender woman,” a dedicated activist on Ninah M. H. Cummer, C.0.602.1 Public work, was chobehalf of the black community. sen to open the A dearth of portrait commis- domain in practice show here besions during the Depression led her to pivot to teaching. In 1932, her cause it is one of the few pieces that Harlem studio became the Savage the sculptor cast in bronze. It was Studio of Arts and Crafts, offering featured in 1939 at the opening of free art education to the public. She her own gallery, the Salon of Conlater founded the Harlem Communi- temporary Negro Art, the first art ty Art Center at the invitation of the gallery founded by a black woman. WPA’s Federal Art Project. Note her It closed after only three months. Said Ikemoto: “Savage underphotograph with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt at the center’s opening in stood the need for an infrastructure for black artists to work. 1937, the ultimate validation.

Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000)”The Card Game,” 1953 Tempera on board, 19 x 23½ in. SCAD Museum of Art Permanent Collection, Gift of Walter O. Evans and, Mrs. Linda J. Evans© 2018 The T Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society So (ARS), New York.

She said that in her whole life, in all the African-American homes she African-A visited, only two tw contained works by African-American artists: so African-Am how is the African-American artist Afri to survive? She Sh really tried to build that infrastructure.” infrastruc

A Masterpiece Destroyed “Gamin” (ca. 1930; street urchin presumed likeness of in French), a p

Augusta Savage (1892–1962)”Lift Every Voice and Sing,” 1939Bronze, 10¾ x 9½ x 4 in. University of North Florida, Thomas G. Carpenter Library Special Collections and Archives, Eartha M. M. White Collection ©1939 World’s Fair Committee and the Artist.

Savage’s nephew, is one of her bestknown works. It’s a small, classicalstyle bust that was lauded for its sensitive portrayal of an AfricanAmerican boy, countering demeaning stereotypes of black youth. The child’s shirt and cap are wrinkled though “you also see a resilient figure, someone who is thoughtful, someone who is grounded despite his impoverished circumstances,” Ikemoto said. But Savage’s crown and glory was a commission for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Inspired by the lyrics of the eponymous hymn (the socalled Black National Anthem), the 16-foot-high plaster imagined a chorus of African-American youth as the strings of a harp, cradled in the arm of God. Alas, as she did not have the wherewithal to cast the piece in bronze or store it, it was razed as part of the Fair’s cleanup — this in spite of the fact that it attracted over five million visitors. Souvenir replicas, like the one here, are all that remain. Ikemoto said, “In her life, Augusta Savage increased the visibility of African-American artists, created an infrastructure for their work and created an intellectual space for its discussion. And it’s still happening. It happens through stories like hers and exhibitions like this.”


JUNE 6-12,2019

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Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Edition 2019 Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re pleased to present the delightful poems and drawings of second graders at P.S. 183 in the next few pages. Principal Martin Woodard says the students took a walking trip in the neighborhood and took note of important local places. After returning to their classrooms, the students wrote poems about a place that interested them as part of their Unit of Study in March and April with their teachers Ms. Maria Camaj and Ms. Ashely Birchall. We trust what follows will make you smile.

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Sean O’Casey’s 1926 drama centers on a young woman fighting to keep her family afloat, as Ireland stands on the brink of revolution. IRISH REPERTORY THEATRE - 132 W 22ND ST

Lincoln Center’s new musical offers the origin story of one of medieval history’s most powerful and creative women: Hildegard von Bingen.

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This chamber choir musical from Tony-nominee Dave Malloy explores addiction and nihilism within the context of 21st century technology.

This new work probes the slipperiness of “truth,” where reality and fiction each have an angle, and no metaphor comes without an agenda.

PERSHING SQUARE SIGNATURE CENTER - 480 W 42ND ST

NEW YORK THEATRE WORKSHOP - 83 E 4TH ST KEY:


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The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS MAY 22 - 28, 2019 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. Silver Moon Bakery

2740 Broadway

A

Bar Boulud

1900 Broadway

A

108 Food Dried Hot Pot

2794 Broadway

A

Pinkberry

2508 Broadway

A

Crepes On Columbus

990 Columbus Ave

A

Hunan Chen’s Kitchen

1003 Columbus Ave

A

Starbucks

2929 Broadway

A

Prohibition

503 Columbus Ave

Grade Pending (19) Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, crosscontaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Wiping cloths soiled or not stored in sanitizing solution.

Celeste

502 Amsterdam Ave

A

Coppola’s

206 West 79 Street

Grade Pending (26) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Crave Fish Bar

428 Amsterdam Ave

A

Scoozi

142 W 83rd St

A

Carmine’s

2450 Broadway

A

City Diner

2441 Broadway

A

Chirping Chicken

355 Amsterdam Ave

A

Chipotle Mexican Grill

2298 Broadway

A

neighborhood celebrations? neighborhood opinions? neighborhood ideas? neighborhood feedback? neighborhood concerns?

ALBANY AGENDA LEGISLATION Trump’s state tax returns, marijuana legalization and paid surrogacy are up next BY DAVID KLEPPER

In New York state government news, a bill that would grant Congress access to Donald Trump’s state tax returns awaits action by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Meanwhile, members of the Senate are taking a look at legislation that would legalize marijuana and regulate paid gestational surrogacy. Here’s a look at what’s coming up:

TRUMP TAXES New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could act this week on legislation that would give the Democrats a new, and perhaps easier, path to President Donald Trump’s tax information. The legislation doesn’t target Trump by name, but it would allow the leaders of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee or the Joint Committee on Taxation to get access to any New York state tax returns filed by elected officials and top appointed officials. The legislation would apply to personal income tax returns, as well as business taxes paid in New York. Lawmakers approved the bill Wednesday. Cuomo hasn’t said what he plans to do with the bill but supporters expect the Democratic governor to sign it. “We support the principle,” Cuomo spokesman Jason Conwall said last week. “We’ll have to review the bill.” Once it’s signed, the bill is likely to face a legal challenge, according to lawmakers on both sides of the bill. Republican legislators called the bill a partisan proposal intended to single out a specific individual.

MARIJUANA

Email us at news@strausnews.com

Capitol watchers will be waiting for evidence of progress on one of the session’s hottest topics: the legaliza-

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveils the final design renderings for the new main entrance to Penn Station on May 16. Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/ Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

tion of recreational marijuana. While there is broad support among top lawmakers about legalizing marijuana, disputes over details could derail the effort. Cuomo and top lawmakers say there’s still time to work out a deal this year, but they’ll have to act fast if they expect to be ready to vote on the complicated topic before lawmakers adjourn in five weeks. One big question relates to whether the state should expunge decades of low-level marijuana convictions as part of legalization. “This is a social justice issue,” said Assemblyman Walter Mosley of Brooklyn. Lawmakers are also undecided when it comes to the details of specific tax rates and regulations, and whether counties should be allowed to opt out of allowing retail dispensaries, or whether they should have to opt in instead. Advocates say lawmakers have the time and the ability to strike a comprehensive deal. “This conversation is past due,” said Kassandra Frederique, director of the Drug Policy Alliance in New York. “This cannot be a piecemeal approach.”

PAID SURROGACY New York is one of only a handful of states that don’t allow gestational surrogacy contracts, in which a woman is compensated for carrying another person’s child. That nearly 30-year-old law was passed in an effort to prevent exploitative arrangements that a state task force determined could be harmful to both women and babies. But it is now being targeted for repeal by many couples who say they’re forced to travel out of state to find surrogates they can compensate. Sen. Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat who has two daughters who were born to surrogates, has written legislation to permit and regulate surrogacy agreements in a way that he says would protect parents, surrogates and children. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, supports the measure, which is likely to get a vote before lawmakers adjourn next month. “I’m optimistic although it’s a complicated issue,” Hoylman told The Associated Press on Thursday. “We plan to have a robust hearing and believe we have a bill that protects all of the parties.” The Senate planned to hold a hearing on the issue Wednesday in Albany.


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HARD TIMES FOR BEACON HARDWARE GoFundme launched for “an anchor on the Upper West Side.” But it may be too late BY JASON COHEN

In April a Gofundme was launched to help the struggling Beacon Paint & Hardware on the UWS, but it may be too little too late. John McNally, a longtime friend of

the Stark family, which has owned and operated Beacon Paint for nearly half a century, started the crowdsourcing for them on April 15. As of press time, it had only raised $4,576. “I don’t want to sound an alarm, but maybe if I said I was going out maybe more people would come and give more,” said co-owner Bruce Stark. “I wish I had a nickel for every time someone made that comment and

Bruce Stark, Ellen Gabe-Stark and Steven Stark with Bru, the store’s mascot. Photo courtesy of Beacon Paint & Hardware

Business

Beacon Paint & Hardware moved to its current location on Amsterdam Avenue in 1940. Photo: Razi Syed

plea when they visited Beacon Paint & Hardware,” McNally said on the Gofundme. “If I did, I might not have to do what I am doing here, which is trying to help my friends survive. “I have been friends with the owners of Beacon for 30 years. This store is an anchor on the Upper West Side! But running a small business these days is harder than ever. My friends at Beacon are being squeezed by big box stores and the internet like never before. They need our help. “Let’s make sure Beacon stays around for their 120th year and beyond! They are vital to the fabric of the community. We need them. They need us. I hope Beacon never leaves!” From 1900 to 1940, Beacon Paint was located on the west side of Amsterdam Avenue between 77th and 78th streets. It moved to its current location at 371 Amsterdam in 1940 and in 1971 was sold to Mel Stark. While Stark, 61, appreciates what his friend is doing for him, he isn’t sure it will help much. “Right now things are very tough,” Stark said to the West Side Spirit. “Things are more serious than I want to admit. We are staring down a barrel of a gun right now.” Stark explained this past winter was especially tough. There was very little snow, so shovels, salt and many other supplies went unused. Not to mention, today he is competing with Home Depot, Loews and online retail.

He noted that his accountant thought they would close 10 years ago. “We’ve always been private people,” he explained. “I don’t like asking, but I need the help.” Stark along with his siblings, Steven and Ellen Gabe-Stark, grew up in the business. As a child, he would come to work with his dad on the weekends and after graduating from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, he immediately came to work at the store. Ultimately, he got his first job at the age of 14 and never left. His father taught him how to fix things, treat people, be fair, respectful and to always put customers first. “I loved every minute of it [working with his dad],” Stark recalled. “He was a good teacher. He explained to me why something was done like that.” Over the years, Beacon has been an integral part of the community. The Stark family has seen three generations worth of customers and for that loyalty, they have given back. Among the numerous charitable acts Beacon does every year, includes donating materials needed to clean graffiti off mailboxes and repaint them, giving hundreds of gallons of mismatched paint to nonprofit organizations and a “Bucket O’ Tools” to nearly every school in the neighborhood for the annual auction of each school.

For nearly 20 years, Beacon Paint has sponsored a walkathon to benefit various charities, including Guiding Eyes for the Blind, raising thousands of dollars over the years. “I love this community and the community loves me,” Stark said. “They would rather support the small guy than go to the big box stores.” While Stark told the Spirit he and his family never go looking for recognition, the store has been honored on more than one occasion. In 2008, it was New York Small Business of the Year, Paint Dealer Magazine’s North American Paint Dealer of the Year and a Forbes Enterprise Award; being named the number one hardware store on the West Side. Also, in 2011, Beacon Paint was a winner of a WESTY Award from the West Side Spirit. Stark and his siblings became fulltime owners in 2005. He said working with family is not only easy, but much more enjoyable because he knows he can depend on them. “I always felt like it was my store,” he said. “We weren’t employees, it’s family.” With the lease set to expire at the end of January 2020, he isn’t sure what the future holds. He hopes the Gofundme helps, but stressed that the warm months need to bring in business or the end may be near. “It’s a reality I may have to face,” he said. “Business has to improve.”


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JUNE 6-12,2019


JUNE 6-12,2019

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YOUR 15 MINUTES

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

called an “ethical” model photographer, and advises Audubon on photography content and ethics. Some photographers bait the birds, which cause them to be comfortable around and dependent on humans. This is why it’s illegal in many circumstances.

What’s your favorite New York City spot? In Manhattan there’s a small, unusual little quiet spot, a cemetery on West 21st Street called the Third Cemetery of the Spanish- Portuguese Synagogue. In Queens, I enjoy strolling along the park near the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria, on the water. There are a lot shore birds there.

An ovenbird, in Union Square Park. Photo: Shayna Marchese

‘BIRDS ARE EVERYWHERE’ A photographer captures stunning images that she hopes will raise awareness of the feathered creatures who share the city with us

Is there a special camera you prefer or a new lens or technology? I use a Nikon, but if you ask any wildlife photographer they’ll tell you it’s their longest lens. I have some that are easy to carry around, but the largest one needs some planning.

in New York City. I’m trying to introduce the beauty of birds, and I think they can be a gateway to caring about conservancy. Caring leads to action.

Do you have any photography tips for our readers? The more overcast the better when it comes to getting good results. Early morning and dusk are also great lighting opportunities. If you’re looking for certain birds, learn what and when they eat, when they mate, when they call to one another, so you can find them.

BY MEREDITH KURZ

What can New Yorkers do for birds? Shayna Marchese is an art director by day, and a bird photographer, graphic artist and birder on weekends. Her work can be found in the National Audubon Society’s “Great Backyard Bird Count,” the Instagram “Audubon Takeover,” the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, on her new website, Sleeping Owl Studio, and on her portfolio website, shaynamarchese.com. She has over 5,600 Instagram followers. Her birds fly all over the internet.

How do you manage an indoor and outdoor career? Bird photographing and bird spotting are times for me to relax. I enjoy being out in the wild, and I get to use my photographs and graphic design to help the conservation nonprofits I support. My photography and graphic design is focused on rescuing and preserving what I can through the organizations I work with.

What would you tell a beginning bird spotter? Birds are everywhere. Even if you don’t hear them singing, they are all around you. You don’t have to go to somewhere special. You don’t need to know everything. I’m learning every day about how to take a better picture, where the best habitats are for certain birds. There are a lot of beginner birdwatchers, especially

New York City is part of what is called the “Atlantic Flyway,” a great turnpike in the sky for migratory birds. [The city] is actually doing quite a bit. Prior to renovation, the Jacob Javits Center was a major site for bird deaths. The facade acted like an enormous mirror, causing the birds to crash into the glass. The new glass panels are imprinted with patterns. This cut bird deaths by about 90 percent. The green roof attracts birds, and is the second largest one of its kind in the United States. A second place that caused a great deal of bird deaths was Freedom Tower’s light show. Migratory birds often fly by night and the bright beams of the tower confuse them. A typical count of birds around the tower shot from 500 to 16,000 during the “Tribute to Light”. To address this, the lights are periodically turned off to reorient the birds. Audubon Volunteers stay at the site overnight observing.

Marchese says that spotting and photographing birds is how she relaxes. Photo: Douglas Ensel

The parents may not return if you’re around. If you can, put the baby back in the nest. You can call the Wild Bird Fund at 646306-2862. The Animal Raptor Center is only for raptors and waterfowl. Their number is 212-838-8100. The Urban Park Rangers pick up injured New York City park birds that are not pigeons or starlings. Their number is 212-628-2345. New Yorkers saved tens of thousands of birds with their advocacy efforts with the Freedom Tower and Jacob Javits Center. If you want to lend a hand you can sign up for Audubon’s ‘Avian Advocates’ here.

Who’s your favorite photographer? Definitely, Melissa Groo. S h e ’s w h a t ’s

What can an individual do? If you don’t need a lot on in your apartment, turn it off. If you see a bird lying sideways on the ground, give it a minute. It could be just stunned. You should never touch a large bird. If you see a baby bird that has feathers that is hopping on the ground, leave it alone, the parents are feeding it.

What’s your own photo capture favorite? I had been looking around for quite a while, and it was mid-afternoon. A group of sparrows were trying to avoid me and they went in, and immediately out, of a holly tree. There tucked against the trunk, fast asleep, was a Saw-whet Owl. I was thrilled, but knew I couldn’t even breathe for fear of wakening it. I was able to hold my excitement and quietly snap the shot. That was a great moment.

Tell me about your new website, Sleeping Owl Studio. This is part of my nonprofit support. I’m both a graphic artist and a photographer. I hope to use [my works] to help wildlife conservancy. There are embroidered patches, buttons, stickers and a bookplate pattern. You can find them here. Proceeds go to my nonprofits. Interview edited for space and clarity.

A yellow-bellied sapsucker in Washington Square Park. Photo: Shayna Marchese

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


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