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The local paper for the Upper per West Side p Sid

WEEK OF JUNE WHAT IF? THE ‘CITY OF NEW MANHATTAN’ < P. 9

15-21 2017

Gays Against Guns, a direct action group advocating stricter firearm laws, organized a Monday evening memorial rally in front of the Stonewall Inn to commemorate the first anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Photo: Claire Wang

HUNDREDS COMMEMORATE PULSE SHOOTING VICTIMS COMMEMORATION On the first anniversary of the nation’s deadliest mass shooting, they gathered at the Stonewall Inn to pay tribute BY CLAIRE WANG

A curtain of white cloaks flanked either side of the makeshift stage, sashaying gently with a breeze that cooled the sweltering evening. On Monday night, the first anniversary of the Orlando Pulse nightclub massacre, the veiled volunteers, 49 in all, hoisted poster boards displaying pictures and accompanying tributes of the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Proxies for the fallen, the collaborators appeared to be floating like fluores-

cent lamps above the cobblestone walkway outside the Stonewall Inn, the Jerusalem of the gay rights movement. Christopher Street, usually quaint and muted, rolled back the clock and transformed again into the crowded, exuberant place where a oncemarginalized LGBTQ community underwent catharsis by celebrating love and life. The scene was made all the more startling because Gays Against Guns, the direct action group that organized the memorial rally, had explicitly recommended that the public wear black to mourn those who died. Much of the two-hour commemoration, which drew at least 200 attendees, swung wildly

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Mayor Bill de Blasio with Chancellor Carmen Fariña at an event June 8 announcing new advanced placement courses. Photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office

CITY’S SCHOOL DIVERSITY PLAN GETS MIXED REVIEWS SCHOOLS The Department of Education issues remedy for changing the racial balance of students BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

Students, parents, educators and politicians were less than impressed with the Department of Education’s plan to diversify New York City schools, which was released last week in response to a 2014 study that found the city’s schools to be one of the most

segregated in the country. “Despite the fact that the overall metro share of enrollment is 35 percent white and 22 percent black, the typical black student attended a school in 2010 with 12 percent white and 51 percent black classmates,” the study, conducted by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project, reported. The education department’s plan to remedy this starts with its goals to increase the number of children in a school with 50 to 90 percent black and Hispanic students by 50,000, lower the number of schools that are more than 10 percentage points above or below the city’s average on the Economic Need Index, and make more schools inclusive by serving

English Language Learners and students with disabilities. Critics say these goals aren’t enough. “[This plan] doesn’t deal at all with K to eighth grade, which is where the inequities begin,” said New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole HannahJones on NY1 last week. “Ninety-percent black and Latino is considered intensely segregated school, and most black kids in the system are already attending schools that are 90 percent black and Latino. So this is basically a non-plan.” Others say the broad inclusion of issues detracts from race as the heart of the city’s problem.

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Westsider WEEK OF APRIL

SPRING ARTS PREVIEW

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WESTSIDE SPIRIT.COM @WestSideSpirit

Crime Watch Voices NYC Now City Arts

3 8 10 12

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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

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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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WESTSIDE SPIRIT COM

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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

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JUNE 15-21,2017

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BROADWAY WORKERS DEMAND â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;FAIRNESS FOR CASTINGâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; LABOR Casting directors march for union representation on the eve of the Tony Awards BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

Just days before the Tony Awards, nearly 100 people marched in front of Radio City Music Hall last Thursday morning to support Broadwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s casting directors in their ďŹ ght for union representation. The group carried signs and chanted â&#x20AC;&#x153;fairness for casting,â&#x20AC;? but their plea wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t limited to the corner of 51st Street and Sixth Avenue. Twitter users, including several Broadway stars, also sided with the casting directors in 140 characters. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without casting directors, this wonderful job couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exist,â&#x20AC;? wrote J. Quinton Johnson of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hamilton.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s get them properly contracted.â&#x20AC;? Casting directors are the only group of Broadway workers who are not in a union. They work on individual contracts with studios, and receive no pensions or health insurance. To remedy that, casting directors have

Protesting in front of Radio City Music Hall. Photo: Madeleine Thompson banded together with the Teamsters Local 817 to attempt to negotiate with Broadway producers, who are represented by the Broadway League. Tom Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Donnell, president of Local 817, pointed out the irony of celebrating some of Broadwayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest successes at the Tony Awards without recognizing some of the people who made them happen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The biggest snub of this Tony season, and every past Tony season, has been the casting directors,â&#x20AC;? he said. Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Donnell estimated

that the non-film entertainment industry is about 98 percent unionized and, especially since Broadway shows have made record-setting proďŹ ts over the past few years, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it just seems unconscionable that a group of 40 people have to make a decision about â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;can I afford to go to the emergency room?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Despite what Martine Sainvil, communications director for the Broadway League, called â&#x20AC;&#x153;great respect and deep admirationâ&#x20AC;? for casting directors, the producersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; organiza-

tion has not been willing to negotiate with the Teamsters so far. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have had a respectful dialogue in the past year with Teamsters Local 817 but do not believe it would be appropriate for the Broadway League or its producing members to recognize a union as the bargaining representative of professionals who are not employees of our productions,â&#x20AC;? Sainvil wrote in a statement. She added that the League has encouraged the group to appeal to the National Labor Relations Board.

But if the rally was anything to go by, support is growing for the casting directors. Tara Rubin, casting director for smash hit â&#x20AC;&#x153;Dear Evan Hansen,â&#x20AC;? which won six Tony Awards on Sunday night, said on Thursday that her profession is fairly young in terms of being fully recognized, but that it deserves the same beneďŹ ts and guarantees as the others in the industry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been doing this for 30 years,â&#x20AC;? Rubin said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not going to enjoy many of the beneďŹ ts when we get them, but I really hope that my colleagues in the ďŹ eld can enter into their careers knowing that they have basic American protections.â&#x20AC;? Cindy Tolan, casting director for â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,â&#x20AC;? emphasized that Broadway studios should be able to cover such a small group. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not talking about thousands of people,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The price of one Broadway premium ticket for one night is more money than [the cost of] one week for one casting directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s beneďŹ ts.â&#x20AC;? Madeleine Thompson can be reached at newsreporter@strausnews.com

De Blasio Affordable Housing Myth #2 Mayor Bill de Blasio wants affordable housing and income equality for all New Yorkers. (Note: as long as it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t affect his bank account)

The Facts: Â&#x2021;Mayor de Blasio freezes the rents of stabilized apartment owners, but Landlord de Blasio has continued to raise rentsâ&#x20AC;Ś of his tenants in two homes he owns in Park Slope to cover his expenses. (Source: PoliticoNY, 4/17/17). Â&#x2021;'H%ODVLRLVDK\SRFULWH²UHQWKLNHVIRUKLVWHQDQWVEXWKHGHQLHVWKHODUJHVWSURYLGHUVRI DIIRUGDEOH KRXVLQJWKHUHYHQXHWKH\QHHGWRUHSDLULPSURYHDQGPDLQWDLQDSDUWPHQWVIRUWKHLUWHQDQWV

De Blasioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Housing Policies: Politics & Hypocrisy Next Week: De Blasio Myth #3


JUNE 15-21,2017

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The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG DRUG ABUSE

BAR ASSAULT

A pair of siblings wound up in the hospital after the brother had an argument with an older man. At 7:08 a.m. on Monday, May 29, a 38-yearold man and a 63-year-old man got into a physical altercation in the lobby of 330 West 95th Street, police said. The older man, later identiďŹ ed by police as Wali Rasheed, then stabbed the younger man twice in the chest and when the younger manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister tried to intervene, Rasheed stabbed her in the stomach and shoulder. Rasheed then ďŹ&#x201A;ed on foot to West 96th Street and Broadway with the younger manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister in pursuit. She was able to identify Rasheed to police, and he was apprehended. The arresting officer retrieved a knife from Rasheed right front pants pocket. Both the brother and sister were taken to St. Lukeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital by an EMS team. Rasheed was charged with attempted murder and non-negligent manslaughter, felony assault, dangerous weapons, petit larceny, and possession of stolen property. There was no word on the victimsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; conditions.

At 2:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 1, a 24-year-old man and a 38-year-old bartender inside the Lionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Head Tavern at 995 Amsterdam Avenue were having a dispute that turned violent. The bartender and another man, a 22-year-old, armed themselves with bats. According to a police account, the 22-year-old, later identiďŹ ed as Tyrik A. Kelly, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Get your black ratchet asses out of here!â&#x20AC;? and then swung his bat, striking a 27-year-old woman in the right arm, possibly breaking it. Kelly then struck the 24-year-old man in the back of his head with a barstool, cutting him. Kelly then took a picture frame from the wall and swung it at the bartender, who suffered lacerations to his left arm trying to block the swing. The woman was transported to St. Lukeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hospital for examination and X-rays, while the 24-year-old man â&#x20AC;&#x201D; her friend â&#x20AC;&#x201D; refused medical attention at the scene. Kelly was arrested at 2:43 a.m. and charged with felony assault, criminal trespass and possession of dangerous weapons.

DAUGHTER ARRESTED FOR ASSAULT ON MOTHER A high school girl was arrested after

attacking her mother, police said. Just STATS FOR THE WEEK after midnight on Tuesday, May 30, Reported crimes from the 20th precinct for a 34-year-old woman living at 689 Columbus Avenue got into a verbal Week to Date dispute with her 15-year-old daughter, 2017 2016 a ninth-grader at the Lower Manhattan Arts Academy. Police said, the Murder 0 0 daughter became very angry when her mother would not give her money, and Rape 0 0 began to attack her. The girl grabbed her mother by the neck and pushed Robbery 2 0 her to the ground. The daughter next began to â&#x20AC;&#x153;throw everythingâ&#x20AC;? around Felony Assault 0 0 the house. The mother experienced Burglary 1 0 substantial pain to her head, with marks on her neck and shoulder, but 9 13 refused medical attention at the scene. Grand Larceny The daughter was arrested June 1 on Grand Larceny Auto 0 2 assault charges.

VACATION RUINATION A West 107th Street residentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apartment was burglarized of more $100,000 worth of items during her absence. The woman told police she was away from early Tuesday, May 30 until 11:30 p.m. on Friday, June 2. There were no signs of forced entry at any entrance to the apartment, although a sliding glass door in the bedroom where property was taken might have been left unlocked while she was away.

Missing items include an Apple iPad, an Everlane backpack, sunglasses, three gold rings, a pair of earrings, a 22-karat necklace, a Rolex watch and a passport, with a total value of $105,310.

CREEPY CRASHERS Between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, the son of a 46-year-old man living at 260 West

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88th Street had a party in his familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s apartment. After a time, the party got out of control, and about 30 to 40 uninvited revelers joined the festivities. The son tried to get the intruders to leave, and later noticed that numerous items of property were missing. These included a Frank Muller 5850 Master 18-karat white-gold watch, $800 in cash, an iPad Mini, a pair of Air Jordan Space Jam sneakers, and a Xootr Scooter, with a total value of $19,750.

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JUNE 15-21,2017

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Useful Contacts POLICE NYPD 20th Precinct

120 W. 82nd St.

NYPD 24th Precinct

151 W. 100th St.

212-580-6411 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

FIRE

CITY SHOP-OPS BY PETER PEREIRA

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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JUNE 15-21,2017

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Planned Service Changes

1 10 PM to 5 AM Mon to Fri Jun 19 – 23, Jun 26 – 30 No 1 trains between Dyckman St and 96 St Take the A and free shuttle buses 1 service operates in two sections as follows: 1. Between 242 St and Dyckman St (Dyckman St-bound 1 trains skip 207 St) 2. Between South Ferry and 96 St and via the 3 between 96 St and 148 St (Train skips the 145 St 3 station in both directions) Travel Alternatives: ‡ Transfer between the 1 (to/from the Bronx) and the A at Dyckman St via free shuttle buses. ‡ Transfer between the 1 (to/from South Ferry) and the A at 59 St-Columbus Circle. ‡ For 1 stations in Washington Heights, Harlem, and the Upper West Side, use nearby A stations along Ft Washington Av, St Nicholas Av, and Central Park West instead, and/or take free shuttle buses available at 1 stations. ‡ Transfer between free shuttle buses and trains at Dyckman St 1 or A, 168 St A, and 96 St 1 Stay Informed Call 511 and say “Current Service Status,” look for informational posters in stations, or visit mta.info¶°^OLre you can access the latest Planned Service Changes information, use TripPlanner+, and sign up for free email and text alerts. © 2017 Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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JUNE 15-21,2017

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

BHARARA UNBOUND POLITICS The former U.S. attorney, effusive since being fired by Trump, is wooed by Democrats BY STEVE PEOPLES

As Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor, Preet Bharara cultivated an image as a lawman above politics. No more. In the three months since he was fired by President Donald Trump, the former U.S. attorney has lashed out at the Republican administration in speeches and on Twitter. He’s also jabbed at the president of Turkey, called one GOP congressman a “fool,” and said if another were an immigrant, he’d face deportation. With the constraints of a law enforcement job gone, Bharara has found a more political voice for himself, especially online. He has already been approached by Democrats who want him to run for elected office as soon as next year. People close to Bharara say he’s eager to maintain an active voice in the political debate — particularly anything to do with the president who forced him from the job he loved. It remains unclear, however, if the 48-year-old India-born attorney will continue to speak out as a private citizen or as a political candidate. Some friends want him to enjoy his new post as a “distinguished scholar” at New York University, where he is contemplating writing a book or contributing to his brother’s media site. Others want him to join a private law firm, where his experience battling public corruption could be put to practical use. “A lot of people want a lot of things from Preet. I’m not sure Preet wants any of that for himself,” said former Justice Department attorney Viet Dinh, a close friend of Bharara’s since college. “Right now, what he wants to do is spend time with his family, enjoy a quasi-academic perch and take a breath.” Bharara declined to be interviewed for this story, but friends and colleagues paint the picture of a man who has no plans to disappear from the spotlight after being forced out after seven years leading the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan — a region that covers

Preet Bharara, center, at a Washington, D.C., event in 2015. Photo Rod Lamkey Jr./Financial Times Trump Tower. The conditions are already in place for a transition from federal prosecutor to political prospect. Already, a captivated New York media is quick to promote Bharara’s Twitter feed, which is packed with slaps at Trump and other Republicans. He tweeted Wednesday that “people — including presidents — reap what they sow.” Earlier this month, he went after California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher: “One benefit of being a private citizen is that I can now publicly say that Rep. Rohrabacher is a fool.” And in March, he threw shade at New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose administration was plagued by the so-called Bridgegate controversy: “Yes, we all know that Chris Christie is great at spotting & screening out problematic staff,” he wrote. At the same time, Bharara wears his dismissal as a badge of honor, even if he’s not quite over the hangover of losing the job Trump once told him he could keep. The president fired Bharara in March as part of a broader effort to replace U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama. “I loved that place like people love their family,” Bharara said during an April speech at Manhattan’s Cooper Union. “I was asked to resign. I refused. I insisted on being fired, so I was.” The dismissal may have helped Bharara’s political career, should he want one. A Siena College poll released after his March dismissal found that 37 percent of New Yorkers had a favorable opinion compared with 13 percent who view him unfavorably; 50 percent didn’t know enough about him to have an opinion. “Prior to being fired by Donald Trump, he was an incredible talent. Being fired by Donald Trump took him to another level,” said veteran Democratic

strategist Steve Elmendorf. “The only thing blocking his future, I’d say, is that he wasn’t born in the United States so he can’t run for president. He’s as qualified as anyone.” Others have made similar leaps from federal prosecutor to high-profile elected office, including Rudy Giuliani, who held the same U.S. attorney post as Bharara in the 1980s and became New York City’s mayor, and Christie, who went straight from being the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey to governor. Yet there are significant hurdles as Bharara considers a future in politics. Enamored Democratic strategists have encouraged him to run for office, but New York’s political landscape is crowded and hostile. Ambitious Democrats are already entrenched in the most logical landing spots for the coming years at least. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is preparing for re-election in 2018 and may seek the presidency in 2020. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is already eyeing the governor’s mansion in the coming years. And New York City’s mayoral election is just five months away. And while his Twitter feed gets a lot of attention, his friends point to the Cooper Union speech as a guide for how he plans to stay relevant, at least in the short-term. “As a private citizen, I am surrendering neither my voice, nor my law degree, nor my citizenship,” Bharara said. “And I really do hope that those remain potent tools to effect change in America, because God help us — because God help us — if we have to count only on people in public office to make a difference.” “And by the way, I don’t have any plans to enter politics,” he added. “Just like I have no plans to join the circus.”

The Montclair High School acapella group Passing Notes delivered an emotional rendition of “Hallelujah” during Monday evening’s commemoration in Greenwich Village for the Pulse nightclub massacre victims. They were flanked by veiled figures standing in for the 49 victims of the shooting. Photo: Claire Wang

PULSE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 from elation to heartbreak, soaring gospels to solemn name reading. The Orlando massacre has inspired activists and allies alike to better insulate the LGBTQ community from more gun violence by urging politicians to pass stricter laws regarding the purchase of firearms. “We do this work because 93 people a day are killed by gun violence in this country,” said Gays Against Guns organizer Kathy Moreno. “We do this work because many of our elected officials are in bed with the NRA.” Facilitated by 20 prominent LGBTQ nightclubs, the tribute featured entertainers, activists, community leaders and Keinon Carter, a survivor of the shooting. “At the age of 15, I lost my older brother to a gun,” said Carter, who spoke to the audience from a wheelchair. “Recently, I almost lost my life to

a gun. There is no other words for it — it needs to stop.” Carter had been pronounced dead at the club before his sister saw his body move. Though Carter admitted that he does not know how to end gun violence, he said that, nonetheless, “We need to come to the understanding that weapons are meant to protect, not to hurt.” Iconic musical performances scaled the emotional spectrum, as popular local vocalists and acapella groups took on haunting ballads like “Over the Rainbow” and “Hallelujah” as well as empowering dance tracks like Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie” and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” During the rally’s intervening solemn segments, Council Member Corey Johnson and Public Advocate Letitia James read out the slain victims’ names along with either testimonies to their character or heartrending accounts of their final hours at the club. Dubbed the “Gays Against Guns Human Beings,”

the veiled all-white figures standing in for each of the 49 victims individually walked across the stage following each tribute. “I expected the rally to be a lot sadder,” said Lindsey, 26, “but I really appreciated this conscious effort to heal from this tragedy by challenging it with joy and optimism.” The short stories attached to the names of the victims, she said, were personal touches that “felt humanizing.” Lindsey and her friend, Shannon, 28, both have distinct memories of their initial reactions to the Orlando shooting. The two had been planning on going to the Brooklyn Pride the next day, Shannon said. “It was so scary — just knowing that our safe space was under attack when we’d felt so safe the night before. “Part of what makes this rally so great is that it shows us it’s okay to wait afraid, and to be afraid together.”


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SHAKESPEARE IN THE DIGITAL AGE “Et tu, Brute?” Change has come to Shakespeare in the Park BY LORRAINE DUFFY MERKL

This summer event has been a ritual for me for the past 37 years. I have my routine down pat: at the crack of dawn, I (sometimes joined by my husband or daughter) hike over to Central Park with a blanket and good book, order breakfast from Andy’s Deli (“Bacon and egg on a roll and coffee with milk. I’m just past the big rock.”) Then I (we) sit on line for the next four hours to get free tickets to whatever Bard performance is offered. For the 2017 season at the Delacorte Theater, “Julius Caesar” is currently playing with the controversial Trump-a-like portrayal of the title role, and a female actor as Marc Antony. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” begins July 11. The process has always been simple enough: you wait, then everyone rises in unison and moves towards the theater where a staffer with tick-

ets asks how many in your party; each person’s allowed two tickets. This year though, when The Public Theater personnel made their way down the winding path shouting the usual instructions about no line cutting and bringing food/beverages into the show, they added a new twist: everyone had to register for tickets on their smartphones. Say what? According to a theater representative, the new digital system is meant to keep the shows as open to as many people as possible, by cutting down on how many times someone can see the play, as well as making scalping more prohibitive. We needed to type in shakespeareinthepark.org/register in order to get a Patron ID number. At noon, the line would move toward the box office where the employee at the desk would look up our ID and print out the tickets. For those without a smartphone or stymied by doing anything electronically, staff members would come around with iPads

Statue of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park. Photo: Ron Cogswell, via flickr and give an assist. After the momentary jolt of panic from having a new step added to the process, it turned out to be no big deal. Yet I found myself massaging my temples to thwart my oncoming headache. Make no mistake, I have always embraced technology, but I find it refreshing when transactions need not require my email address. New York City, with its population of 8.55 million packed together on an island, can still be a very isolating place, the age-old complaint that

many people don’t even know their neighbors. On a beautiful summer day, you can go in a crowded Carl Schurz Park and still feel alone. In many of our stores, efficiency is valued over friendliness, where both merchant and buyer want to get in and get out in a New York minute. There are many empty stores on East 86th Street as well as avenues like Madison, Lex, and Third due to, not only skyrocketing rents, but the fact that people just would rather do business online and have the goods come to them. I’m no stranger to this behavior myself — that’s why I appreciate the rare exchanges like going into the candy store/newsstand across from my house where I kibitz with the owner, who always wants to know why I’m not buying a lottery ticket for what is invariably “the biggest jackpot ever.” I like my interactions at the Mansion Diner — the Upper East Side’s answer to Cheers — where everybody knows your name and treats you like they’re glad you came. I take comfort in my relationships (as mundane as they are) with my neighborhood stores like Angel

Nails, Mekong Laundry, and Oxford Cleaners. I know them; they know me. Shakespeare in the Park, albeit seasonal, has always been a part of my lay of the land. I guess the modification to online registration, although slight and well intentioned, triggered that there might be bigger changes to come, like a virtual line. Perhaps that would be a relief for some, but not for me. Over the years, I have learned to welcome the camaraderie of waiting for tickets with other New Yorkers, fielding the proverbial question “What’s the queue for?” from passersby, and just the unbroken hours taking in the bikers/dog walkers/ musicians and general people watching that is Central Park. I don’t know if, in summers to come, the experience as I’ve known it will go on. I guess all that matters is that the show does. And like Caesar, I “shall go forth.” Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of the novels “Back to Work She Goes”and “Fat Chick,” for which a movie version is in the works.

A WHOLE NEW YORKVILLE EAST SIDE OBSERVER BY ARLENE KAYATT

No fair there — Say what you will, and like it or not, street fairs have become a part of NY summers and early fall. Kvetch about the sameness of what’s there, the street closings, the traffic diversions, whatever. For bigger or smaller, better or worse, I love them. What I don’t love is when streets where the fair begins and/or ends are misidentified. Most recently the fair scheduled for Lexington between 57th and 42nd started at 53rd Street. No vendors from 57th to 53rd. It’s one thing to walk the walk and look/see/ shop the stalls along the way. Quite another to walk the empty streets with no vendors in sight. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s the weekend and I don’t want to complain. Mayor NIMBY — Mayor de Blasio and his UES neighbors/constituents

just don’t like each other. Never have. The mayor doesn’t deny it. Nor do the voters in those districts. In the last mayoral election, Republican Joe Lhota beat de Blasio on the UES. (Citywide Lhota got only 24 percent of the vote.) And it’s not a love-hate relationship between de Blasio and two of three local Democrat clubs on the Upper East Side. It’s all hate. So much so that the mayor refuses to show up at club events of two local clubs — Four Freedoms and Lenox Hill Democratic Club — but will show up for the third UES club — Lexington Democratic Club. All three are progressive clubs. The mayor does show up at West Side Democratic club events. When asked at an UWS club event about the antipathy of his closest neighbors on the East Side, de Blasio candidly said that he wasn’t “comfortable on the Upper East Side,” and didn’t like living there. So it wasn’t surprising that Four Freedoms and LHDC voted “No Endorsement”

Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray at the inaugural ride of the Second Avenue subway. Photo: Edwin J Torres/ Mayoral Photo Office. in the upcoming mayoral primary race and the Lexington club voted to endorse the mayor. The other candidates seeking to run in the primary are Sal Albanese and Robert Gangi. Only when a candidate is endorsed by a club does his or her name appear on the club petitions seeking to get candidates on the ballot. So when you see those green colored petitions on the streets and de Blasio’s name does not appear, you’ll know it’s because he doesn’t like his UES neighbors.

Beauty, beans, and burgers — The 86th Street commercial district, including 2nd and 3rd Avenues and several streets north and south, will soon be home to the cosmetic industry with stores in varying sizes. Right now, there are the small and boutique-y Sabon and L’Occitane. There’s the medium-sized Bluemercury. The even bigger, maybe ginormous Sephora. And roll out the carpet for Ulta, the uber/ mega beauty emporium coming to the southwest corner of 86th and Third to

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the location last occupied by HSBC Bank. That’s the beauty part. Now comes the coffee beans. Already in residence are two Starbucks — one on Lexington, one on Third, both on 87th Street — and a FIKA on Lex and 88th. And the sit-down-and-be-served coffee at Maison Kayser. The newbies to be added to the brew are Very Truly, a sliver of a shop on Third between 88th and 89th, and Birch Upper East Side on 88th Street between 3rd and Lex. And let’s not forget that burgers are in the mix, too — from Shake Shack to Burger King to McDonald’s to the recently opened Wahlburgers on 2nd and 85th, and the not-so-old, not-so-new-in-thenabe Bareburger on 87th and 2nd. It’s a whole new Yorkville. It’s cracked — Is it okay, or is it a health-code violation, for a restaurant or coffee shop to serve coffee in a cracked cup? On two separate occasions, in two different establishments, hot coffee was served in a cup that had a crack. When told about it, one barista said, “Oh, it won’t spill. We use it all the time.” Another said, “Don’t worry, it won’t cut your lip or tongue.” Huh?

Editor-In-Chief, Alexis Gelber editor.ot@strausnews.com Deputy Editor Staff Reporters Richard Khavkine Madeleine Thompson editor.otdt@strausnews.com newsreporter@strausnews.com Michael Garofalo Senior Reporter reporter@strausnews.com Doug Feiden invreporter@strausnews.com


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WHAT IF? THE ‘CITY OF NEW MANHATTAN’ NY SCHEMES A century-old plan to expand Manhattan by 50 square miles south of the Battery BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

Governor Andrew Cuomo is fond of saying that the Second Avenue Subway, which opened earlier this year nearly a century after it was first proposed, is “proof that government can still get big things done.” The new subway line, Cuomo said, heralds “a new era in New York where there is no challenge too great, no project too grand.” Naturally, the governor’s critics have been quick to dismiss Cuomo’s claims as self-serving and hyperbolic. And whatever one’s thoughts on the governor or the Second Avenue line, the critics have a point — the chutzpah required to build three new subway stops (in a city with over 400 others) doesn’t quite measure up to the ambition of the great civic undertakings of Manhattan’s past. Projects like the Brooklyn Bridge, which was the longest span in the world and the first bridge or its kind; or the Holland Tunnel — cursed and unappreciated by modern commuters, but a true engineering marvel of its time (ventilating the tunnel was deemed an impossibility before construction by none other than Thomas Edison). Today, in an era in which even building a direct train line connecting Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport is a political impossibility, it seems reasonable to ask: do New Yorkers really think big anymore? T. Kennard Thomson was not shy about dreaming up big things. Thom-

Engineer T. Kennard Thomson, the man behind New Manhattan. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

son, a well-regarded civil engineer in the early twentieth century, contributed to the construction of the upstate canal system and more than twenty of New York’s early skyscrapers. He is perhaps best remembered today, however, for his improbable plan, proposed in 1911 but as yet unrealized, to extend the island of Manhattan several miles south into New York Harbor, creating the “City of New Manhattan.” Thomson detailed his plan in a 1916 Popular Science article. He begins, “At first glance, a project to reclaim fifty square miles of land from New York Bay, to add one hundred miles of new waterfront for docks, to fill in the East River, and to prepare New York for a population of twenty million, seems somewhat stupendous, does it not?” Even a century later, stupendous seems to be an understatement. But despite the doubts of some contemporaries, Thomson was certain that the project was feasible, citing “the majority of engineers” and “hundreds of letters of encouragement.” Thomson called on the city to build a network of coffer dams south of the Battery, which would be filled in to create newly habitable land. Governor’s Island, subsumed into the new landmass, would cease to exist as an island. New Manhattan’s new Battery would extend to within a mile of Staten Island, and the Staten Island ferry would be replaced by a “set of tubes and tunnels.” Taxes on the new land, along with increased property tax revenue from increasingly valuable land on Staten Island, Thomson said, would help offset the immense expenses of the project, which he estimated would cost “a great deal more” than the thenrecently completed Panama Canal. He wrote, “[T]he returns would quickly pay off the debt incurred, and then would commence to swell the city’s money bags, until New York would be the richest city in the world.” Almost as a sidebar, the plan also calls for filling in the East River. “It would not be much harder to get to Brooklyn than to cross Broadway,” Thomson wrote. (Perhaps some of today’s L train commuters dreading the impending closure of the tunnel now wish they could walk from Williamsburg to Manhattan so easily.) Thomson makes no mention of what would have become of the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, and Queensboro Bridges, all of which were in operation by 1916, without a river to span. With the old East River paved over, you’d need a new one, of course. So Thomson planned to dig a canal, “forty feet deep and one thousand feet wide, from Jamaica to Flushing Bay.” Thomson presented his plan directly to Mayor William J. Gaynor in May 1911. The mayor’s response, if the current state of the Battery is any indica-

tion, was less than enthusiastic. Undeterred, Thomson continued his efforts to build support over the next few decades. A map in the collection of the New York Public Library shows that by 1930 Thomson had significantly revised his plan. In the updated map, the plan to fill in the East River is abandoned, New Manhattan is bisected by a triple-decker boulevard (“Lower deck for railroads; middle for automobiles; top for Airplane Landings.”), and about half of the new land is labeled as part of New Jersey. In hindsight, selling New Yorkers on the idea that New Jersey would become part of Manhattan might have been the most politically impossible aspect of the entire scheme. Alas, Thomson’s vision never became reality, and it’s probably for the best. Some ideas are too big for their own good. But his plan, fanciful as it is, has familiar features, fitting into the long history of New Yorkers rearranging Manhattan to suit their own purposes, imposing their will upon the natural landscape (Battery Park City and the FDR Drive are examples of the many pieces of the city built upon artificial land reclaimed from the rivers). It’s a reminder of what thinking big once looked like.

Thomson’s revised 1930 plan showing the City of New Manhattan. Image: New York Public Library

DIVERSITY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The Education Department announced in the plan several new steps it will take to accomplish its goals, including setting up a School Diversity Advisory Group to “tackle citywide policies and practices such as admissions and program planning,” eliminating “limited unscreened” high school admission policies that prioritize students who visit schools they’re interested in and improving school climates by reforming discipline methods. The city also expand preparation for and availability of the Specialized High School Admissions Test, but a report by Chalkbeat this past March found that there was “virtually no change in the number of black or Hispanic students offered admission to schools like Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech.” Despite the UCLA study’s blunt analysis of schools in terms of integration and segregation, the DOE plan avoids using either word. So has Mayor Bill de Blasio, when asked about the plan at various points over the last week. “I know if I start to use certain terminologies, people will

miss the forest for the trees,” he said on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” last Friday. “I’m not going down that rabbit hole. We have to get to the core of the problem. The core of the problem is we have to break down racism and other bias in our society. We have to increase economic opportunity. We have to increase diversity in housing.” In the segment, the mayor cites the rezoning of Upper West Side schools that revealed deep divisions in the community as an example of success. Kim Watkins, who led the rezoning process for the Upper West Side’s Community Education Council, credited the city with making a first step given the scope of the challenge facing the school system. “I would like to see a little bit more about how some of the finer points will be implemented,” she said. “I found it striking that though there was a working group that had some parents and advocates involved … I wish we could’ve seen a little more come forward to the community at large. I think we could do a lot better in terms of transparency.” She did not hesitate to describe the city’s school as segregated. A spokesperson for the Department of Education said the term “diversity” is used because it’s broader

and enables administrators to speak to more than one type of diversity at once. The spokesperson said the plan is based on numerous conversations the agency had with schools, elected officials, parents and researchers over the past year, and encouraged those interested in improving schools to contribute their own feedback. Council Member Helen Rosenthal, who was heavily criticized for her support of plans to integrate schools on the Upper West Side, said she was glad to see an effort being made to address issues with the school system but emphasized that this is just the beginning. The rezoning conversations that took place in Rosenthal’s district were often heated and tearful, with parents who did not want to be moved for the sake of integration saying it wasn’t because of racism but because they wanted to keep their communities together. Even so, Rosenthal has hope that progress can be made. “Among the parents that had a vote, nine to one said [the rezoning] was great,” she said. “Yes it was hard, but it was nearly unanimous.” Madeleine Thompson can be reached at newsreporter@strausnews.com


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ESTABLISHED 1789 A NURTURING, SMALL, JUNIOR-K THROUGH 5th GRADE CO-ED SCHOOL

Where Empowerment and Education go hand-in-hand.

More Events. Add Your Own: Go to chelseanewsny.com

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ARS 2 week Mini-Camp June 19th - June 30th, 2017 Camp runs from 8:30am to 4:30pm for a cost of $275 per week or from 8:30am to 5:30pm for $290 per week Movement Monday, Crafty Tuesday, Science Fun Wednesday, Cooking Thursday & Creative Friday ARS camps are built with play in mind and focus on having your K to 5th grader build their problem solving, social and communication skills. Join Us

Please email Jessica Gonzalez at jgonzalez@alexanderrobertson.org for full details.

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NY State Accredited Language Program Low Tuition Minimum Age: 6 Years No Previous German Necessary Classes Meet Once a Week from 4:30-6:15 4QFDJBM:PVUIDMBTTBHFHSPVQt0UIFS$MBTTFT"HFT Three convenient locations in the Greater New York Area: Manhattan(Upper East Side) Franklin Square (LI) and Garden City (LI).

Classes start second week in September For more information see:

www.German-American-School.org Teaching German for 119 years! or call 212-787-7543

Thu 15 Fri 16 â&#x2013;˛COCKTAIL & SALSA EVENT

HEART & MIND FESTIVAL

Iguana, 240 West 54th St. 5:30-10 p.m. $35 presale/$50 door Support the children of the Hogar Belen Orphanage in Nicaragua at this yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mustard Seed Guild Cocktail and Dance Event. Enjoy salsa and bachata lessons. 212-765-5454. iguananyc. com

Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew, 263 West 86th St. 5-10 p.m. Donation-based event Movement of the American Indian Solar Culture and Sacred Arts Research Foundation present â&#x20AC;&#x153;2017 Summer Solstice Heart & Mind Festival: Voices of the Earthâ&#x20AC;? featuring Indigenous Elders, world musicians, organic kosher & vegetarian food and vendors. 212-362-3179. sacredartsresearch.org

EVERYBODY TANGO | DANCE LESSON West Harlem Piers Park, 125th & Marginal Sts. 6:30 p.m. Free Introductory lesson in Argentine tango music and dancing, led by Strictly Tango NYC. 212-870-3070. riversideconservancy.org

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Sat 17 DAWNING OF SUMMER | PAUL WINTER Cathedral St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave. 4:30-6 a.m. $40 Paul Winterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 22nd Annual Summer Solstice Sunrise Celebration take place under the 150-foot dome of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest Gothic cathedral. Music begins in darkness and continues until light joins sound into the full dawning of the summer. 212-316-7540. stjohndivine. org

WINE & ROOFTOP YOGA

MERCHANT OF VENICE | STAGED READING

Church of Saint Paul The Apostle, Columbus Avenue 7-9 p.m. $5 Drinking a glass of red wine while in tree pose looking at a beautiful view of the city ... What more could one ask? Bring your own mat or towel to move through a prayerful vinyasa ďŹ&#x201A;ow led by Evelyn Joy Hoelscher. 212-265-3495.

Riverside Library, 127 Amsterdam Ave. 1-3 p.m. Free The Instant Shakespeare Company presents a reading of â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Merchant of Venice.â&#x20AC;? 212-870-1810. nypl.org


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N U F E R R E E H S M T R M A U T S S Photo by Steve Czajka via Flickr

Sun 18 ‘THE WORSE ANGELS OF OUR NATURE’ NY Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th St. 11 a.m. Free “The Worse Angels of Our Nature: (Im)moral Leadership in High Places” with Dr. Joe Chuman. The American public projects a great deal of authority onto its presidents. From George Washington forward, it is assumed that the president will be the conveyor of virtues. 212-874-5210. nysec.org

FOUNDING FATHER’S DAY | TOUR New York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West Noon-1 p.m. $38 Journey through history celebrating both famous and lesser known Founding Fathers. A trained docent leads you through the Smith Gallery, showcasing Founding Fathers’ central roles in the creation of the United States. 212-873-3400. nyhistory.org

‘beauty and the beast’ story.” bryantpark.org

DANCES ABOUT WOMEN The Medicine Show Theatre, 549 West 52nd St. 7:30 p.m. $25/$20 students & seniors Harper Continuum Dance Theatre & Red Desert Dance Ensemble present “Striking Figures,” a collection of dances about women: relationships with mothers, coworkers, sisters and other female figures, strength, struggle and uniting as a whole. 212-262-4216. hcdancetheatre.com

Tue 20 ▲CALLIGRAPHY WORKSHOP American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square 6:30 p.m. $20 Dialogue + Studio offers workshop inspired by the artwork of Carlo Zinelli. Individuals learn the art of calligraphy with professional calligrapher Anna Pinto. All

Mon 19

materials provided. Limited to 20 participants. 212-595-9533.

MOONLIGHT ON THE HUDSON Boat Basin Cafe, West 79th Street @ Riverside Dr. 7 p.m. Free Swing and sway to music of the swing era by Felix and the Cats. 212-496-5542. felixjazz. com

Wed 21 GREAT ACCORDION RENDEZVOUS▼ Bryant Park, Sixth Avenue & 42nd Street 7-9 p.m. Free Make Music NY Mass Appeal and Celebration of the NYC Accordion Community in twopart evening featuring accordion “open mic” led by the Brooklyn Accordion Club, and an informal gathering of accordionists performing a 20-minute piece together. bryantpark.org

CHELSEA PIERS SUMMER CAMPS 15 Camps & 11 Weeks to Choose From For Tots to Teens (Ages 3-17) JUNE

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CAMPS START JUNE 19 2 & 3 day options now available! Sign up for 1, 2 or more weeks.

KING KONG | FILM

BUS TRANSPORTATION

Bryant Park, Sixth Avenue & 42nd Street 5 p.m. Free The HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival kicks off with an iconic New York City film, “King Kong”: “The granddaddy of all monster movies ... a variation on the old

and After-Care Available for Full-Day campers.

chelseapiers.com/camp Liz Henry


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JUNE 15-21,2017

HELLFIRE AND HOMECOMINGS Paintings and more at NYHS mark the centennial of the nation’s engagement in World War I

BY VAL CASTRONOVO

The city’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I continues this spring with the opening of a somber show at the New-York Historical Society, “World War I Beyond the Trenches.” Featuring more than 55 works culled from a recent exhibit at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, plus posters and artifacts from the museum’s collection, the show examines American artists’ responses to the war “over there” and its ramifications at home. World War I was the first real hightech war, waged with tanks, airplanes, machine guns and poison gas. Artists bore witness to the appalling carnage — some first-hand, most from a distance — and recorded their impressions in a variety of styles, in the mo-

IF YOU GO WHAT: “World War I Beyond the Trenches” WHERE: New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street) WHEN: through Sept 3 www.nyhistory.org ment and over time. American expat painter John Singer Sargent, who served briefly as a field artist in 1918, was commissioned by the British War Memorials Committee to create a work for a Hall of Remembrance. His monumental tableau “Gassed” (1919), on loan from the Imperial War Museums in London, makes its New York debut at the Historical Society and is the show’s grim emotional center. Recalling Bruegel’s “The Blind Leading the Blind” (1568) and the famous biblical proverb (Matthew 15:14), the

Claggett Wilson (1887–1952). “Flower of Death—The Bursting of a Heavy Shell — Not as It Looks, but as It Feels and Sounds and Smells,” c. 1919. Watercolor and pencil on paperboard, 16 ½ × 22 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Alice H. Rossin, 1981. Photo: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC/Art Resource, N.Y.

John Steuart Curry (1897–1946). “The Return of Private Davis from the Argonne,” 1928–40. Oil on canvas, 38 ¼ × 52 ¼ in. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund. ©Estate of John Steuart Curry, courtesy of Kiechel Fine Art, Lincoln, NE. canvas depicts a line of British soldiers with bandaged eyes staggering toward a dressing station at Le Bac-deSud after a mustard gas attack. They trudge across wooden planking, flanked by piles of gassed comrades in the foreground, while life goes on in the background, where offduty troops play soccer. As art historian David Lubin writes in the catalog, “World War I and American Art,” the work “implicitly criticizes the war — that is, the handling of the war by ‘blind’ politicians and generals.” Generally speaking, Sargent’s presentation of the hostilities tends to be more sanguine — and indirect. Most of the watercolors on display emphasize the mundane aspects of a soldier’s life, with the ugliness of war suggested but not addressed head-on. Wounded men in a medical tent read newspapers and sleep; Scottish soldiers lounge outside a bombed building. Some of the most powerful works are the creations of servicemen who were wounded in the war and used art to document the experience but also to heal. Horace Pippin was an AfricanAmerican soldier who served in the Harlem Hellfighters (369th Infantry), a segregated unit. He was shot during the Meuse-Argonne offensive and suffered partial paralysis in his right arm. More than a decade later, he began “The End of War: Starting Home” (1930-33), a thickly painted narrative

work in which German soldiers in gray uniforms are seen surrendering to black troops in dark-brown uniforms that blend into the landscape. As Lubin writes: “Perhaps the relative ‘invisibility’ of the black soldiers ... had something to do, in the artist’s mind, with their relative invisibility in American culture at large ...” Pippin made the frame, which is dotted with the tools of war — miniature grenades, tanks and rifles. As guest curator Robin Jaffee Frank explained on a recent tour, “It’s similar to African-American storytelling quilts, which show the tools of everyday life. Here the tools tell the story of war.” Claggett Wilson was another wounded warrior who used art to tell war stories. A Marine who was gassed at the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918, he created a series of graphic watercolors chronicling war wounds — men caught on barbed wire, falling from bullets and agonizing over lost limbs. His “Flower of Death — The Bursting of a Heavy Shell — Not as It Looks, but as It Feels and Sounds and Smells” (c. 1919) is an abstract rendering of an explosion, with fire and flying cinders engulfing the landscape as two traumatized soldiers are caught in the crossfire. But most artists experienced the war at a safe remove. Georgia O’Keeffe was inspired by her brother’s enlistment to paint “The Flag” (1918). A red-whiteand-blue watercolor with a red flag

partially subsumed by a wild blue sky, it suggests anxiety and ambivalence. Socialists and anarchists displayed red flags at meetings during the war, scholar Anne Classen Knutson notes in the catalog, and some states outlawed their display. As Knutson writes about O’Keeffe’s provocative image, “[T]here is a friction between the two primary colors: is the patriotic blue obliterating the potentially subversive red, or is the red holding strong?” George Bellows weighed in with a more definite view. Initially a pacifist, he was swayed by the 1915 Bryce Report detailing alleged German atrocities in occupied Belgium (most, but not all of it, true) to support American intervention. In “The Germans Arrive” (1918), German troops are shown savaging civilians. A townsman’s hands have been sliced off by a soldier’s long, bloody knife; another soldier has grabbed a woman by the neck. Bellows’ violent imagery is tempered by Childe Hassam’s Impressionistic flag paintings, Jane Peterson’s soothing watercolor of women rolling bandages for the Red Cross, John Steuart Curry’s mournful scene of the belated burial of a friend’s remains and George Benjamin Luks’ riotous depiction of an Armistice celebration on the night of November 11, 1918. Through Sept. 3.


JUNE 15-21,2017

A RADIO DEVOTEE REPORTS HIS OWN STORY BOOKS Longtime correspondent Bill Diehl talks about writing his memoir and the celebrities he covered BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

Bill Diehl’s interest in and love for radio dates back to his childhood in Corning, New York, when he would listen to “The Lone Ranger” program on WCLI. One glimpse into the station’s control room on a visit with his father was all it took. Diehl bought a crystal set that served as his own personal radio, became an announcer at WCLI’s Youth Bureau Time radio show and went on to report for ABC News Radio for nearly 50 years. He partially retired in 2007, but remains a correspondent in entertainment. We spoke to Diehl about his recent memoir “Stay Tuned: My Life Behind the Mic,” which collects memories and highlights from a lifelong involvement in the profession.

What made you decide to write this book and what do you want readers to know about you?

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I’ve been a witness to and a participant in a changing world of entertainment. With the book, I tried to just reminisce out loud, if you will, and share some favorite remembrances with others through this book filled with photos and memorable interviews that go back to the early ‘80s when I first started covering the Academy Awards. That came out of the blue. I wound up ... in LA, and I’m standing on the red carpet next to all of these incredible people, up close and personal. I’ve got my microphone, I’m asking them questions. That was a real trip. Next year, they said, “You want to do it again?” I said, “Yeah, fine. I love it.” By the mid-‘80s they made me a permanent entertainment news correspondent, covering all of these venerated personalities who are included in the book.

So that experience changed the direction of your career. What appealed to you about covering entertainment and celebrities? I’m not sure what it is. My wife always has said to me, “You love people.” That’s an easy phrase to say, but I’m excited meeting celebrities. They’ve always had a special attraction to me.

I’ve followed their lives, read celebrity books and magazines. I just think that they shine and they’re exciting to be with. It’s not that I want to be them, but I want to be a little part of their lives, a fly on the wall.

You elaborate in your book, but what were some of the most interesting celebrity interviews you did? Certainly Robin Williams has to be one of the biggest highlights. I heard that he was appearing at a comedy club called Catch A Rising Star, which was on the East Side, a couple of blocks from me on First Avenue. I think it was ‘82 I did the interview. I went down to the club, met his manager, and gave him my card. He said “Well, he might do an interview, but he’s awful busy. I really don’t know if you could do it, but I’ll give him your card.” I go back to the

network, and I’m working in the studio, doing my newscasts and everything. All of a sudden the phone rings. “Hi, it’s Robin Williams. Do you still want to talk to me?” I said, “Of course, that’d be great.” He said, “I’ll be over in about 15 minutes.” He shows up, and we do this really funny interview. I interviewed him a couple of times. He was the kind of person that you could just give him the microphone and he would go off on anything. When Robin died suddenly, I went back to that audiotape that we had done and I played it as part of one of our magazine shows. A lot of these people could be divas and very into themselves, but some of these people were really, really nice. I didn’t try to be confrontational with people. Everybody from Dolly Parton, to Cher, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sean Connery, the late Mary Tyler Moore, they were all such sweet people and lovely to talk to. I always tried to get a picture with them. That helped to do this book because I had pictures of many of the celebrities.

How have you seen the radio industry change throughout your career? Do you see radio continuing to be a major way of spreading the news? The biggest thing obviously is that we’re no longer using audiotape, which is really old school now. It was probably right after the turn of the century at ABC [when] we decided to go to digital audio, digital editing. I thought, “This is it. I’m never going to figure this out.” My daughter, Su-

zanne, who is now 45 years old, said to me, “Dad, come on,” she says, “You can do it.” I figured it out, and I’m still doing it. We have even a new editing system now, which has given me even more headaches but somehow I’ve learned how to do that. You can hear a radio station anywhere in the world now, from Australia to China. That’s a new world ... [ABC has] moved with the times, and we’re still pumping out those newscasts every hour and giving our stations a lot to listen to. I’m very proud to be part of it.

So much of the entertainment business happens in or revolves around L.A. Why have you stayed in New York all these years? The first time I went [to L.A.], the palm trees and the celebrity life out there, it was very, very attractive and so forth. At one point, there was talk that ABC might move its headquarters, or radio news headquarters, out to LA. My wife said, “That’s very nice. I’ll come out and join you occasionally.” My wife is a real New Yorker. She would never want to move away. I always wanted to be in New York. This was what I built my career on as a news guy. I always thought New York was the pinnacle. This interview has been edited and condensed. Madeleine Thompson can be reached at newsreporter@strausnews.com


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READING AND WRITING, RIVERSIDE FESTIVALS Authors, readers come together at AmpLit Fest BY ELISSA SANCI

AmpLit Fest, a day-long literary festival, returned to Riverside Park’s Pier I for a second year on Saturday, June 10. Hosted by a partnership of the park’s annual Summer on the Hudson series and Lamprophonic, an Upper West Side writers group, the free festival featured an afternoon of writing workshops, panel discussions with local authors and readings. Moosiki Kids, a music program for children led by Laura Nupponen, opened the event, and families who arrived at noon filed into seats, strollers packing the audience. A few toddlers bounced to the tune of the acoustic guitar as a breeze cut through the late spring heat. Afterwards, in the Emerging Writers Showcase, six new writers were invited to the stage to share their work. The showcase featured writers of all ages, and high schooler Dylan Manning’s father jumped in to share her short story when an obligatory class trip kept her from attending.

Author Katie Kitamura then read several passages from “A Separation,” her latest novel, which explores one woman’s journey to find her missing husband. Clare Smith Marash, Lamprophonic’s founder, then engaged Kitamura in conversation. The women discussed the literary elements at play in Kitamura’s novel as well as her life as an author. Marash founded Lamprophonic as a reading series for emerging writers in 2012 while pursuing an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. “There seemed to be a need on the Upper West Side at that time for a series, so over time, I formalized it, got more people involved and curated the series,” Marash said. “We intended to create a space for emerging writers with no kind of hierarchy in the lineup and reach beyond the MFA community.” The organization “encourages a robust, diverse and supportive literary community in New York City,” according to their mission statement. As Lamprophonic’s readings grew in popularity, Marash came in contact with Zhen Heinemann, the director of public programs for Summer on the Hudson. The series is the city Parks Department’s annual

outdoor arts and culture festival. Heinemann asked Marash if Lamprophonic would be interested in holding readings in the park. Lamprophonic, in 2015, initially hosted monthly readings and discussions with local authors in the park through this collaboration with Heinemann and Summer on the Hudson. Last year, these readings evolved. Instead of monthly events, Marash said she and Heinemann decided to invest more deeply by hosting a full-fledged festival that still incorporated readings while introducing workshops and panel discussions. “It was far more successful than I would have dreamed,” Marash said. “It was a very inviting space. Riverside Park is full of families and people wandering about, so we got to bring in a lot of people who maybe had no intention of going to a literary festival, which was kind of our hope.” While last year’s AmpLit Fest lasted seven hours and featured more events, this year’s festival was condensed. Marash explained that she wanted to concentrate her efforts and fewer events meant fine-tuning the ones they did have. She wanted to stick to what Lamprophonic does best, she said, which is “bringing literature to the park;” to achieve that,

The Uni Project’s pop-up library at the AmpLit festival in Riverside Park. Photo: Elissa Sanci they focused on readings. In the day’s last panel, Summer Reads, authors shared excerpts of their recently published and soon-tobe released works. Among the readers was poet Nathan McClain, who recited from his debut poetry collection “Scale”; writer Jeannie Vanasco with an excerpt from her upcoming

memoir, “Glass Eye”; and author Emily Holleman, who closed out AmpLit Fest with a reading from her novel “The Drowning King.” Those who took a break from what was happening on the main stage could explore other pop-ups, which included a portable reading room courtesy of The Uni Project. Founded by Sam Davol and his wife, Leslie, The Uni Project provides a place for learning to happen outside the walls of a classroom or library by popping up in public spaces and providing books that span across reading levels to attract multiple generations of readers. All of Summer on the Hudson’s events are free to the public, and AmpLit Fest was no different. “We’ve never done an event that we charge for because New York City is a creative hive, but it’s very expensive and I don’t think we should perpetuate that by putting a price tag on things,” Marash said. Both Summer on the Hudson and Lamprophonic funded the small literary festival that drew humble crowds to Pier I on that sweltering Saturday. The majority of Lamprophonic’s events are low-cost, so Marash said she was able to reserve their resources (which they’ve acquired through fundraisers) for the AmpLit Fest. “All the best art, allegedly, is in New York, but none of the artists can go see it,” Marash added. Lamprophonic and Summer on the Hudson aim to change that.

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS MAY 25 - JUN 7, 2017 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. Lenny’s Bagels

2601 Broadway

Westend Lounge

955 West End Avenue Grade Pending (21) Food worker does not use proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate additional heat treatment. Evidence of rats or live rats present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Ayurveda Cafe

706 Amsterdam Ave

A

Smoke

2751 Broadway

Grade Pending (20) Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

West End Hall Beer Garden 2756 Broadway

A

Maison Pickle

2309 Broadway

Not Yet Graded (44) Food contact surface improperly constructed or located. Unacceptable material used. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Columbus Bagel Cafe

472 Columbus Ave

Not Yet Graded (78) 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. Food contact surface improperly constructed or located. Unacceptable material used. 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. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

Beer Shop

422 Amsterdam Ave

A

Bellini

483 Columbus Ave

Not Yet Graded (37) Food contact surface improperly constructed or located. Unacceptable material used. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

A

P & S Deli Grocery

730 Columbus Avenue A

Starbucks

2498 Broadway

A

Just Salad

2056 Broadway

A

Malaysia Grill

224 W 104th St

A

Bello Giardino

71 West 71 Street

A

Amsterdam Tavern

938 Amsterdam Ave

Grade Pending (2)

Ballfields Cafe

0 South Of 65 Street

Cafe Frida

368 Columbus Ave

A

Europan Cafe

2197 Broadway

A

Kirsh Bakery And Kitchen

551 Amsterdam Ave

A

Grade Pending (29) 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. Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours.


JUNE 15-21,2017

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Weill Music Institute Curtis Johnson

! e e Fr NEIGHBORHOOD CONCERT

Lee Ielpi, a retired firefighter and co-founder of the 9/11 Tribute Center, stands in front of a wall listing the name every victim, including his son Jonathan. The center reopened in a new location on June 7. Photo: Madeleine Thompson

Cantus

Wednesday, June 21 at 6 PM Masters of repertoire spanning music of the Renaissance to the 21st century, the members of Cantus raise their voices in a performance that is part of the citywide music festival Make Music New York.

9/11 TRIBUTE CENTER REOPENS “By remembering yesterday we’re going to make tomorrow better,” says one of the cofounders BY MADELEINE THOMPSON

There is a digital screen towards the exit of the 9/11 Tribute Center that scrolls through the names of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. It takes five and a half hours to complete each cycle. In case that doesn’t sufficiently summarize the scope of the exhibit, the screen is located next to a long, somber wall on which every single name is printed. By the time visitors get there, after wandering through story after story of fear and destruction, the last section of the exhibit focuses on resilience and community service, a welcome way of being ushered out. The 9/11 Tribute Center reopened on Wednesday after moving to 92 Greenwich Street from its previous location on LIberty Street, which was only 6,000 square feet to the new space’s 18,000. Many of the same items moved with the center; a twisted steel beam, a menu from Windows on the World, the shredded firefighter jacket and melted helmet of Jonathan Lee Ielpi, who lost his life rescuing people. Mingling with visitors, a walkie-talkie on his belt, is Jonathan’s father Lee, a former firefighter and cofounder of the Tribute Center. “Here we have the ability to not only expand our size but to drive the mission home,” Ielpi said. “That by remembering yesterday we’re going to make tomorrow better.”

This new center has the luxury of space to work through what happened, rebuilding and understanding” Lee Ielpi

The exhibit opens with a quote from the Dalai Lama that introduces a recurring theme: “Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” Ielpi described the center’s docents as ripples because they all come from the community of people most affected by the 9/11 attacks, whether as family members, responders or survivors. The center has designated space for them to serve as living history. Gail Langsner, a pet sitter with a warm smile, lived on Liberty Street at the time, in the building where the Tribute Center used to be. “I had eight birds that I had to take care of that day,” she told a small group of visitors on Sunday afternoon, during the center’s soft opening. “I couldn’t figure out how we were going to get them out. [My husband] borrowed some sheets from my neighbors and stacked up the little travel cases and made these bundles that he hung over a

broomstick. We walked out of the building like every picture of fleeing refugees you’ve ever seen, with parrots.” Whether in video form, in person or in writing, storytelling is central to the Tribute Center’s new layout. The winding path of the exhibit guides visitors from the history of Lower Manhattan to post9/11 recovery and community service efforts. Stories from immigrants and architects line the walls at the entrance, setting up a vision of the area as a global center of trade. Interactive screens allow people to choose from a plethora of video interviews with those affected by 9/11. And, above all, the barely recognizable objects discovered in the rubble speak for themselves. Educating visitors was a key goal for Ielpi, who feels people don’t know enough about the details and impact of that day. “This new center has the luxury of space to work through what happened, rebuilding and understanding,” he said. “Every day I realize how far we haven’t come.” He hopes that highlighting organizations like Beyond the 11th, a nonprofit founded by two women who were widowed on 9/11 to support widows in Afghanistan, will inspire people to channel what they learned and felt in the Tribute Center into their own communities. “We just have to figure out a way to try and understand what peace is in this world,” he said. Madeleine Thompson can be reached at newsreporter@ strausnews.com

Bryant Park Between 40th and 42nd streets and Fifth and Sixth avenues | Manhattan bryantpark.org | 212-768-4242

7BDFM Lead support for Neighborhood Concerts is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation. Public support for Neighborhood Concerts is provided by New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal.

Free concerts in all five boroughs! carnegiehall.org/NeighborhoodConcerts Artists, programs, and dates subject to change. © 2017 CHC.

ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org NEW YORK CITY

Paul Winter’s 22nd Annual Summer Solstice Celebration

SATURDAY, JUNE 17TH, 4:30AM St. John the Divine | 1047 Amsterdam Ave. | 212-316-7540 | stjohndivine.org Welcome the solstice (okay, a few days early) with Paul Winter’s annual musical performance, which begins in total darkness and then adjusts to the rising sun. ($40)

Founding Father’s Day Tour

SUNDAY, JUNE 18TH, 12PM N-Y Historical Society | 170 Central Park West | 212-873-3400 | nyhistory.org Celebrate early American heroes and the NYHS’s historical reach with a Founding Father’s Day Tour, complete with a live appearance by George Washington. ($38)

Just Announced | Drugs in Documentary Films: A Showcase

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21ST, 5:30PM Open Society Foundations–New York | 224 W. 57th St. | 212-548-0600 | opensocietyfoundations.org PBS POV co-hosts a dialogue and screening of excerpts from recent films that provide insight into the human toll of the international drug control regime. (Free)

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

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


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JUNE 15-21,2017

Business

SMALL BUSINESSES STILL WAITING FOR TAX RELIEF REAL ESTATE Commercial rent tax reform not included in city budget BY MICHAEL GAROFALO

An effort to include commercial rent tax reform in the $85 million budget deal agreed upon by the mayor and city council earlier this month fell short, but legislators remain hopeful that a measure aimed at easing the tax’s impact on Manhattan small businesses will succeed in the months to come. “It’s unfair and antiquated and doing real harm to Manhattan businesses,” said City Council Member Dan Garodnick, one of the leaders of the latest effort to reduce the number of businesses that pay the commercial rent tax. Under the commercial rent tax as it currently stands, certain business tenants in Manhattan south of 96th Street are taxed at an effective rate of 3.9 percent of base rent. Businesses paying less than $250,000 in rent annually are exempt from the tax. A bill introduced by Garodnick and fellow Council Member Helen Rosenthal last year would raise the exemption threshold from the current $250,000 to $500,000 in annualized rent, thus unburdening approximately 30 percent of businesses that currently pay the tax. A separate proposal introduced this year and also co-sponsored by Garodnick and Rosenthal would exempt certain grocery stores from the tax as well. The commercial rent tax has long been a peculiar feature of the city’s tax code; Florida is the only state in which businesses are taxed similarly. When the tax was first imposed in 1963, it applied to commercial spaces

Advocates say reforming the commercial rent tax will make life easier for rentstrapped Manhattan retailers. Photo: David Wilson, via flickr citywide. But over the years, revisions to the code have gradually carved out exemptions for large swaths of the city. Since 1996, businesses located in the outer boroughs and Manhattan above 96th Street have not paid the tax. Since 2001, tenants with annualized rents below $250,000 have been exempt from the tax. In 2005, certain tenants in Lower Manhattan were exempted to provide relief to the area’s businesses in the aftermath of 9/11. The legislators supporting the proposal say that the bill will benefit

large numbers of Manhattan businesses without having a significant negative impact on the city’s coffers. According to the city’s Department of Finance, raising the exemption threshold to $500,000 would exempt about 3,300 commercial tenants — about 30 percent of the businesses that currently pay the tax — and would decrease revenue by $52 million in the next fiscal year, just six percent of the projected $848 million the tax will generate. According to the city’s Independent Budget Office,

newly exempted businesses would save, on average, $13,250 annually. Because the commercial rent tax is imposed as a percentage of overall rent, a small number of businesses with high rents contribute an outsized share of the total revenue brought in each year by the tax. In the 2016 tax year, 368 taxpayers, less than five percent of all businesses taxed, accounted for over half of the total revenue generated. Garodnick said he would like to see the commercial rent tax repealed in full eventually, but that raising the exemption threshold is more practical way to address the matter in the immediate term, given the more significant budgetary impact a full repeal would entail. A common complaint among small business owners is that the commercial rent tax is unfair because it layers one tax upon another. Because landlords consider their own property taxes in charging rents, they say, and annual tax increases are often passed on to tenants in the form of rent hikes, the commercial rent tax is at least in part a tax on the property tax. “Such pyramiding is considered undesirable from a best practice perspective,” the Independent Budget Office stated in its analysis of the tax presented to the city council earlier this year. Robert S. Schwartz, the owner of Eneslow Pedorthic Enterprises, operates two retail shoe stores in Manhattan. Schwartz, who sits on the board of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, which supports the bill, said that rising costs have eroded profitability for small businesses. “Look at all the vacancies on Second Avenue and Park Avenue and Madison Avenue,” he said. “There’s a reason: it’s because the rents are out of control.

ON THE SIDE STREETS OF NEW YORK BUCEO 95 — 201 WEST 95TH STREET Many of Buceo 95’s customers are the clients that owner Courtney Barroll spends time with at her day job. “I fatten them up here at night,” she jokes, but she helps them lose the pounds during the day as their personal trainer. Not a bad combination. Courtney has worked

hard to create a restaurant that “encompasses all lifestyles and ways of living.” She recognizes that her restaurant’s success boils down to three main ingredients: “Food, staff, and atmosphere,” all of which excel at this Spanish-inspired spot. To read more, visit Manhattan Sideways (sideways.nyc), created by Betsy Bober Polivy.

Photo: Tom Arena, Manhattan Sideways

The real estate tax and commercial rent tax make it ridiculous.” The bill to increase the threshold enjoys broad support in the city council, with 39 of the legislators in the body having signed on as co-sponsors since it was first introduced in May 2015. The lone potential stumbling block to passage is Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has not publicly taken a position on the bill. On May 22, a coalition of 27 local, state and federal elected officials sent a letter to the mayor urging him to support reform efforts. Among the officials who signed the letter were Garodnick, Council Members Helen Rosenthal, Ben Kallos, Mark Levine, and Margaret Chin, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and U.S. House representatives Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler. In an email statement in response to a request to explain the mayor’s position on the council’s commercial rent tax reform proposal, mayoral spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein instead pointed to alternative measures taken up by city hall to aid small businesses, which haven’t included adjustments to the commercial rent tax. “We’re committed to helping small businesses thrive and continue to look for ways that we can help,” Goldstein said. “This administration has a strong track record of helping small business, including the reduction of fees and fines, expanding free legal consultation programs, and providing marketing support through our new initiative, ‘Love Your Local.’” Garodnick said he anticipates that the city council will vote on the bill at some point this year. “We have a lot of support in the council, and we hope to have the support of the mayor in this process,” he said.


JUNE 15-21,2017

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EAST 93RD WAS ONCE MARXIST STRONGHOLD HISTORY Band of brothers that would find fame in vaudeville and film grew up amid Yorkville’s tenements and breweries BY RAANAN GEBERER

The small, older apartment building at 179 East 93rd Street is a stone’s throw from the fashionable Carnegie Hill neighborhood. But at the turn of the 20th century, it was in the midst of a crowded immigrant tenement and brewery district. And from 1895 through 1909, the building housed the family that gave rise to the world-famous Marx Brothers. A group of local seventh graders from the East Side Middle School recently discovered the house and the Marx Brothers themselves, and have started a campaign to mark the house with a commemorative plaque. More about that later. The brothers’ life in their small apartment is chronicled in Groucho’s autobiography, “Groucho and Me,” and Harpo’s, “Harpo Speaks.” Their parents, Sam (‘Frenchie”) and Minnie, were German-Jewish immigrants. Groucho called his father, who had an in-house tailor shop, “the most inept tailor that Yorkville ever pro-

duced — the idea that Pop was a tailor was an opinion held only by him.” Also living with the family were Minnie’s elderly parents. Minnie’s father was a former magician, and her mother played the harp. One of the brothers, Adolph, started exploring grandma’s harp and later mastered it, earning him the name Harpo. The oldest boy, Leonard (later Chico), was a problem child. He didn’t take school seriously and he was an incorrigible gambler his entire life. You could always find him at a pool hall or a card or dice game. Yorkville was full of warring youth gangs, most of them the children of immigrants, who jealously guarded their “turfs.” To avoid getting beat up when wandering onto the wrong block, Chico became an expert mimic of several accents — German, Yiddish, Irish and Italian. It was the Italian one that later defined his stage and screen character. Harpo, too, didn’t have much schooling. In his autobiography, he tells how, in second grade, two tough Irish kids would grab him and drop him out of the first-floor window whenever the teacher left the room. When he would climb back in, the teacher would blame him. Harpo soon left school and

The Marx Brothers in 1931. Top to bottom: Chico, Harpo, Groucho and Zeppo. Photo: Library of Congress.

OFFICIAL SELECTION Phoenix Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION Boston LGBT Film Festival

Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary qFLIX Philadelphia Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION Fort Lauderdale Gay & Lesbian Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION Desperado LGBT Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION BEND Film Festival

State lawmakers vote to strengthen animal cruelty penalties BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

260 West 23rd St. , 212-691-5519 www.cinepolisusa.com , Check Theatre for Showtimes SPECIAL Q&As OPENING WEEKEND CHECK WEBSITE FOR DETAILS

Starts Friday June 16 Cinépolis Chelsea

Lou Levy, a childhood friend of the Marxes. When Harpo joined the act, they became the Four Nightingales. The name reflected the fact that theirs was originally was a musical act — they all played instruments and/or sang. Some readers might not recognize Gummo. That’s because he left the act in 1918 when he was drafted into the Army. He was succeeded by youngest brother Herbert (Zeppo), who quit in 1934 after becoming fed up with his role as the straight man for three great comics. Don’t feel sorry for Gummo and Zeppo — both became successful Hollywood agents. Minnie moved the family to Chicago, the hub of several vaudeville circuits, in late 1909. Lou Levy’s place was taken by another short-lived replacement, and then Chico, already a seasoned comic actor and pianist, joined the act. The Marx Brothers as we know them were born. Even after the Marx Brothers rocketed to stardom, they never forgot where they came from. Toward the end of his life, according to “Untapped Cities,” Groucho came back to the house on East 93rd Street

and paid for new tiles in the common areas. Today, visitors from all over the world come to see the house — including the above-mentioned group of seventh graders. As part of a class project, the kids, who started out as the “Mapping Committee,” sought to make a map showing places where famous people had lived on the Upper East Side. When they got to the Marx Brothers’ childhood home, they felt a strong connection, although they didn’t know why. But they soon discovered the brothers, researched their history and saw their films. “We came to know the Marx Brothers as unique, hilarious and subversive entertainers who had a great sense of humor,” the students, who now call themselves the Marx Brothers Historic Committee, said in a statement. They sent the owner a letter requesting a historic plaque on the building, but they haven’t heard from him yet. The East 93rd Street Association has offered to fund the plaque. We’re sure that Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo would approve.

NEW PROTECTIONS FOR PETS LAWS

OFFICIAL SELECTION qFLIX Philadelphia Film Festival

did odd jobs around the neighborhood, but he loved performing even then. He liked to imitate a local cigar maker, Mr. Gehrke, nicknamed “Gookie,” who would sit in the window of his store rolling cigars. Engrossed in his cigar-rolling, the man would make a grotesque face, crossing his eyes, puffing his cheeks and sticking his tongue out. Years later, Harpo’s “Gookie” face became a wellloved part of his comic persona. Julius, or Groucho, was the quiet, bookish one and originally wanted to be a doctor. His love of language would be reflected by his comic wordplay and punning in the Marx Brothers films. Groucho could also be a mischief-maker: In his autobiography, he recalled walking over to the Ruppert mansion on 93rd and Fifth, climbing over the fence and stealing apples and pears that grew on the premises. Starting around 1907, Minnie started organizing her boys into a vaudeville act. The “Marxology” website says its first version, “The Three Nightingales,” included Groucho, Milton (Gummo) and a young lady, Mabel O’Donnell. Mabel was soon replaced by

People convicted of extreme animal cruelty would be prohibited from owning a companion animal under legislation passed by the New York state Senate on Tuesday. The Senate also voted to increase potential jail time and fines for aggravated animal cruelty and require offenders to undergo psychological testing. The measures were passed on the Legislature’s annual animal advocacy day, which brought several dogs, captive owls, hawks, reptiles and one pony to the state Capitol for a day of lobbying and outreach. “It’s the most bipartisan,

nonpartisan day of the session,” said Republican Sen. James Tedisco of Glenville, the sponsor of the bills. “It’s a privilege to have an animal; it’s your responsibility to take care of them.” Under one of the measures, the maximum penalties for aggravated animal cruelty would increase from two years in prison and a $5,000 fine to four years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The state Assembly already is considering their own version of the bills. “It is essential that we speak up for animals and be their voice,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan, the sponsor of several animal welfare bills in the Assembly, including one that would outlaw the declawing of cats. Another bill before lawmakers would make it a felony to

harm a dog, cat or other companion animal during the commission of another felony, such as a burglary. That measure passed the Senate in January and awaits action by the Assembly. Rosenthal’s bill prohibiting the surgical declawing of cats

Photo by Virginia State Parks, via flickr

appears unlikely to get a vote in either chamber this year, thanks to opposition from the state’s leading veterinary organization, which argues the procedure must remain as a last option for felines that won’t stop scratching furniture or humans.


JUNE 15-21,2017

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

YOUR 15 MINUTES

A FILM THAT CARRIES ITS WEIGHT Writer-producer-director Rob Margolies on his comedy chronicling a young man’s struggle It was Rob Margolies’ 60-pound weight loss that inspired his new film, “Weight,” which is centered around that very struggle. “I guess what made me want to tell the story is just the uniqueness of the situation. There’s never really been a movie about some guy who is struggling to lose weight,” the Upper West Side resident explained. When looking for the perfect protagonist, Margolies consulted another Upper West Sider, casting director Judy Henderson, whom he always looks to when he has complex, or difficult, roles to fill. “In this case, finding a guy who is 300 pounds is definitely a challenge. There weren’t many people who submitted for the role. But she ended up getting me a bunch of excellent actors.” The one who stood out was Zackery Byrd, who makes his film debut in this role. Part of his contract includes an obligatory weight loss, and with the help of a company sponsor called Sun Basket, who is supplying him with a

year’s worth of food, and exercising with a trainer multiple times a week, he is approaching that goal. Ten percent of the project’s proceeds will go to diabetes research, one of the factors that Margolies says attracted his cast, Jason Mewes, Randy Quaid, Ashley Johnson, Kathy Najimy and Peter Scolari, who all took pay cuts to star in the film.

How did you get your start in the industry? I basically had a love for it since I was 6 years old. Just growing up, my mom used movies and TV as like a pacifier for me. At about 12 years old, I was in sixth grade, I realized that you can actually have a living working on movies. So I started writing screenplays when I was that age. From there, I nurtured my creativity. My junior year of high school, I was 17 years old, I ended up making my first feature film with a bunch of my friends in high school. I would never show anybody, obviously. It was pretty bad. Then that summer, I spent at the New York Film Academy and then when I graduated high school, I went to Chapman University to study film.

How did you lose weight and what made

you want to tell this story? Just eating right and exercisxercising. The old-fashioned way is how I lost the weight. I like e to call the film a modern-day John Candy movie had he decidcided to get healthy and lose se weight. The tone and the he style of the movie is like ke that. There was a friend of mine who’s obese and was as diagnosed with diabetes tes about a year ago. I guesss his struggle and own mentall capacities are what made me put two and two together her and start writing the script. pt. .

What was the atmosphere like on set?

feat in itself. Plus there are 22 locations on top of that. So there are a lot of company moves. I wouldn’t call it stressful, per se. But it was like nonstop, a lot of work. When this movie wrapped, I literally slept for 16 hours straight and was still exhausted.

What are some of the locations in the film? Some of the signature locations are a bowling alley, a doctor’s to office, a lot of Central Park. We had a diner in P Brooklyn. The Dogpound B (a Tribeca gym). Another sponsor of ours, Tribeca. A mansion out in Jersey for one of the scenes. Of fo course, the main location cou was wa the main character’s apartment which was actuap ally all in Jersey City, but it can defi de nitely pass for a Brooklyn apartment.

What were the challenges to Wh

I handpicked the entire cast ast film lming in New York City? and crew, so there were no Parking is obviously a P fights. Everyone got along. hard one. You can pay for ng. h It was really smooth. Butt I a parking lot, but getthink a lot of the crew memting the equipment up to mt bers weren’t used to my each location was sort of y e style of work. The way thatt the t one thing my team I work, there really are no was struggling with. breaks. I just go go go go. The other thing is, of It’s sort of my mentality. course, the size of cerI’m shooting this movie, Filmmaker Rob Margolies. tain locations. Obvi95 pages in 17 days is a Photo: Brandon McClover ously in New York City,

a doctor’s office and apartments and all that kind of stuff are way smaller than they are elsewhere. And then of course, a lot of outdoor-type stuff, like weather conditions. Forty percent of the film is outside.

Who are some filmmakers you look up to? The people I look up to aren’t necessarily the kind of people that this film is sort of in the vein of. Some of my favorite filmmakers are pretty clichéd answers, Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, Paul Thomas Anderson. David Fincher is probably my favorite director right now. So they’re all very different than my personal style, but comedy is my wheelhouse and I just embrace that.

This is your sixth film. Who are some actors you’ve kept in touch with? Oh, so many of them. Charlie Sheen, Hilary Duff, are some of the bigger ones. And then Jane Adams, Joe Morton, Alexa Vega. Spencer Grammer is a really good friend of mine; we have children around the same age. Pretty much all of them except for maybe one or two, who I’ll leave nameless. www.weightthemovie.com www.robmargoliesfilmmaker.com

Discover how battery storage can help you save energy for a rainy day. conEd.com/EnergyFuture

Live in a world where your building also runs on batteries.

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


56

WORD SEARCH by Myles Mellor F Z O L C H A R A C T E R X F

5

1 6

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C C O L O R S O Y Z C N S B Z

F X R L T F M B K E S E M I D

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E W E S P Y M N B V R T B L H

L R Z T R E C O B I I J O N X

O W T O I E C S B M U T F C S

P C P R S U A E E Y A H O C N

The puzzle contains 15 words related to writing. They may be diagonal, across, or up and down in the grid in any direction.

M S I Y E A R S T P I V N N O

Character Colors Computer Describe Develop Pens Plot Publisher Relationships Scenery Sequences Story Surprise Theme Time

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1 6 7 5 8 2 4 9 3

Down 1 Kind of stick 2 Above 3 Tennis serving whiz 4 Just out 5 Ludwig’s middle name 6 Rotten 7 Boat 8 Mate 9 Third guy with the same name 10 Nigerian 13 Cowboy activity 18 Floral necklace 20 Reason to be found 22 Span of many moons 24 Mark’s successor 25 Bluenose

26 Alternative maker 27 Puffed up 28 60s haircut 29 One of the Bobbsey twins 33 “Are we there ___?” 35 Stand ___ me 37 Ticked off 38 Pig’s home 40 Over, poetically 41 Latitude 43 Reddish-brown 46 Earth 48 Da Vinci painting ending 49 Military group 50 Tijuana coin 51 “The Early Show” network 52 Modern address 53 TV chef 55 Everyday article

5 7

54 So untrue! 56 “Bird on a ___” Goldie Hawn movie 57 Braveheart hillside 58 US medical research branch, for short 59 Charity money 60 Rocky actor’s nickname 61 Barley brew 62 Cellist, to friends, ____ Ma

6 2

Across 1 ___ Baez, 60s folk singer 5 Trouble 8 Crusted dessert 11 Back then 12 Fifth, e.g. abbr. 13 Loot 14 Hot pot 15 Pen point 16 Chickpea stew 17 The New Yorker cartoonist Edward 19 Off-color 21 Go out with 23 Aviary sound 26 Acknowledgement from a crowd 30 FYI part 31 Churchill’s “so few,” (abbr.) 32 Capitol Hill vote 34 Barbecue offering 36 Flower with a bulb 39 Action of inventing a word or phrase 42 Civil War side 44 US Open start 45 Those in favor 47 Chart anew 51 Abrupt

P X Q E J G V Z C Y G S E D P

8 1

62

C W P Z L T B M C U P B R P J

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J T L P U B L I S H E R D L X

M S I Y E A R S T P I V N N O

60

R E L A T I O N S H I P S S E

P C P R S U A E E Y A H O C N

59

O W T O I E C S B M U T F C S

58

L R Z T R E C O B I I J O N X

57

E W E S P Y M N B V R T B L H

55

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54

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D S B Z S P Q Y N T Q Q M E H

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F X R L T F M B K E S E M I D

51

Level: Medium 47

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P X Q E J G V Z C Y G S E D P

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R E L A T I O N S H I P S S E

37

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F Z O L C H A R A C T E R X F

36

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13

Each Sudoku puzzle consists of a 9X9 grid that has been subdivided into nine smaller grids of 3X3 squares. To solve the puzzle each row, column and box must contain each of the numbers 1 to 9. Puzzles come in three grades: easy, medium and difficult.

N

12

10

A

11

9

61

8

E

7

Y

6

A

5

L

4

R

3

SUDOKU by Myles Mellor and Susan Flanagan

by Myles Mellor

B

2

CROSSWORD

S

Westsider 1

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