Page 1

The local paper for the Upper West Side

2019

BUILD ING SERVICE WORKER

AWAR DS

BSW AWARDS 2019 ◄ P.11

‘NO UPTICK IN CRIME’ ON UPPER WEST SIDE

SAFETY

In wake of heated community meeting, 20th precinct commander assures residents their neighborhood is safe BY EMILY HIGGINBOTHAM

Brian Bannon, the Merryl and James Tisch Director of the NYPL. Photo: Jonathan Blanc / NYPL

NOT YOUR GRANDFATHER’S LIBRARIAN COMMUNITY The new director of the New York Public Library is focused on education and innovation - and visiting all the branches BY LEIDA SNOW

Man in a hurry: Brian Bannon has only been on the job for a few weeks, but the new director of the New

For residents of the Upper West Side who have been feeling anxious following a series of high-profile crimes in

recent weeks, the commanding officer of the 20th police precinct has a message: his officers are the case and major crimes are down. After residents packed his precinct’s monthly public meeting last week, many citing concerns that crime is on the rise, Deputy Inspector Timothy Malin wants to squash any notion that the neighborhood is experiencing

some kind of crisis. Year to date, Malin said, major crime is down 8.1 percent in his precinct compared to 2018. “There’s no uptick in crime,” he said in an interview this week. Additionally, Malin said his precinct was ranked 19th out of 77 precincts in the city in terms of crime numbers de-

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WestSideSpirit

WESTSIDE SPIRIT.COM @WestSideSpirit

7-13 2019

INSIDE

SAAR’S MYSTICAL MOMENTS AT MOMA Spotlight on a groundbreaking African American artist. p. 39

JOINT PAIN AND WINTER DON’T MIX

Advice about rheumatoid arthritis. p. 2

York Public Library (NYPL) has already been to more than half of the Library’s 88 branches. Bannon had a long relationship with New York as visitor; now, as he settles in as a resident, he said his first priority “is to visit all of the Library’s branches” in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. “The best way to learn a city is through its

CONTINUED ON PAGE 10

WEEK OF NOVEMBER

NIX ON PAYING FOR PARKING PERMITS

Shouting and debate at CB7 forum. p. 10

MESS AND MESSAGE Community members packed the Oct. 28 meeting at the 20th precinct. Photo: Courtesy of 20th Precinct via Twitter

Crime Watch Voices NYC Now City Arts

3 6 8 39

Restaurant Ratings Business Real Estate 15 Minutes

40 41 42 43

WEEK OF AUGUST

08-14

Your personal edition of The Spirit Westsider Since 1972

2019

‘MY HANDS ARE OUTSTRETCHED’ P. 19

f d h e s, p gs ng st nts alng ish ass eel-

◄ 15 MINUTES,

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THE GOAT VOTE And the winner is...

chair of the City Ydanis Rodriguez, committee, Council’s transportation street s afety on speaks at a rally for steps of City Hall legislation on the McCarten/NYC May 8. Photo: John Council

IS VISION ZERO WORKING? SAFETY

has seen a surge Five years in, NYC fluctuating and in cyclist deaths – and motorist numbers of pedestrian fatalities BY EMILY HIGGINBOTHAM

year that saw 299 In 2014, after a traffic-related incipeople killed in Mayor Bill de Bladents in the city, eliminate all traffic sio set out to

CONTINUED ON PAGE

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Sid Spirit

p. 2

A HAPPY AUGUST TRADITION store” “Pop-up department an NYPD judge recommend at City Hall after Photography Office holds a press conference Appleton/Mayoral Mayor Bill de Blasio 2019. Photo: Michael Friday, August 2,

firing Officer Daniel

Pantaleo on

THE BILLY AND GILLY SHOW

A free ready for helps families get school. p. 5

WOODSTOCK SOJOURN

day of peace, Kamala HarJon Friedman on a 8 Warren, Cory Booker, and Bernie love and music. p. debates,” longris, Amy Klobuchar for the September Pete strategist George Sanders, South Bend Mayor time Democratic doesn’t have former Texas Rep. Artz says. “De Blasioare way down Buttigieg and both Beto O’Rourke. the donors, and close, but none of A few others are in the polls.” Hank Sheinde Blasio or GilliPolitical consultant that either them are named kopf says it’s “50-50” “Any- brand. returned reBY STUART MARQUES will make the next round: Neither campaign but they’re not quests for comment. thing can happen, agree that Warde Blasio faced to qualify.” Pundits generally When Mayor Bill held off the more Gillibrand – likely a minimum of SURVIVNG YOUR Candidates need to ren and Sanderson the first night. off with Sen. Kirsten Democratic presi- 130,000 unique donors and have SUMMER COLD moderate field and eight other seasonal in four qualigot high marks on – on July 31, it How to deal with thefeel worse Booker and Yang at least 2 percent and dential hopefuls the last Billy hit candidates have the second night, but Biden virus that makes usp. 2 a might have marked presidential fying polls. Eight polls. the assured in and are still ahead at the than a winter bug. hit those marks 12 Harris are and Gilly Show largely igin Houston on Sept. De Blasio and Gillibrand debates. ei- spot onstage Presiawful tough for are former Vice 7 “It’s going to be and and 13. They Senators Elizabeth CONTINUED ON PAGE get the donors dent Joe Biden, ther of them to needed to qualify polling numbers”

POLITICS

dim for Presidential prospects Democratic New Yorkers on the debate stage

Crime Watch Voices

Apple TV’s “The Morning Show” is about women helping women. p. 6

3 8

14 Restaurant Ratings 16 Business 17 R l Estate

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NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

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JOINT DISEASE AND WINTER DON’T MIX HEALTH

radiographic imaging. The features of joint symptoms often help distinguishing between different types of arthritis. Antibody testing and inflammatory markers are important in making a diagnosis, however, it’s important to note that there may be false positives. Your exam and clinical history are very important in determining source of pain. X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRI studies may be helpful, but not always necessary, and may be normal early on in the course of the disease. Onset and length of joint pain are also important to consider.

What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?

For people with rheumatoid arthritis, cold weather can increase pain and other symptoms. Here’s what you need to know to about RA as the seasons turn. BY JESSICA PATEL, MD

The fall’s first frost usually happens in mid-November, but if you are not a “snowbird” and don’t plan to head to Florida, you may already be worried about dealing with your rheumatoid arthritis this winter. If you associate the winter season with more joint pain, you are not alone. Nevertheless, there are some things you can do.

Unlike osteoarthritis (OA), which is more common as it is due to the wear and tear on aging joints, rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means the immune system mistakenly attacks itself. For some people with RA it may be genetic, and infections and hormones may also play a role. It is more common in middle-aged women, though RA can occur at any age, and it is serious. If not treated, over time, joints may become permanently damaged, resulting in a loss of range of motion and even deformities. In addition, the persistent inflammation may start to affect other areas of the body, such as the heart, lungs and nervous system.

Photo: Derek Mindler via Flickr

What are the Symptoms? Initially, the symptoms may be mild, with minor joint pain, swelling, as well as fatigue. It may start in the small joints of the hands and feet, then can involve the larger joints. RA usually affects the right and left side of the body at the same time. As the disease progresses, mornings can get more difficult. Stiffness upon waking can be brutal and last more than an hour. Joints may be painful,

swollen and tender while resting. These painful symptoms may actually get worse in the winter and there are some theories about why that happens. Although nothing has been proven directly, one thought is that when it is cold outside, the nerves and blood vessels are more likely to constrict in the extremities as the body attempts to keep our inner core – heart and organs – warmer. This constriction

causes less blood flow to the limbs, which in turn may cause more joint pain due to the increased stiffness. Another theory is that colder weather generally makes people less active and this immobility tends to make arthritis symptoms worsen.

Diagnosing RA Rheumatoid arthritis is diagnosed by a physical exam, checking symptoms, blood tests to detect antibodies and

Treatments for RA Once a diagnosis is made, depending on the severity of the disease, other medical history, and functional status, a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) is started. This may include a combination of oral or biologic medications. Some examples of oral drugs include Methotrexate, leflunomide, sulfasalazine, and hydroxychloroquine.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 43

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG STATS FOR THE WEEK

ARREST IN VIOLENT ASSAULT A woman’s ex-boyfriend was arrested after allegedly assaulting her and abducting their child, police said. At 3:33 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, Kevin Hobdy, 22, showed up in his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend’s apartment at 74 West 92nd St., in violation of three active orders of protection, demanding to see his son, police said. According to police, when the child’s mother refused, the suspect allegedly placed both hands around her neck and squeezed, causing her to lose consciousness. Police said the suspect then removed their toddler son from the apartment, and pushed his ex to the ground when she tried to stop him. Fortunately, the child was not injured, and Hobdy was arrested and charged with strangulation in the first degree. At his arrest, police said, he was found to be in possession of a kitchen knife he had removed from the victim’s apartment.

MOTHER PUNCHED, SON STABBED, HUSBAND ARRESTED At 4:18 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, police said, a 68-year-old man allegedly punched his 44-year-old

Reported crimes from the 24th precinct for the week ending Oct 27 Week to Date

Year to Date

2019

2018 % Change

2019

2018 % Change

0 2

1 0

-100.0 n/a

0 9

1 4

4 4

3 5

33.3 -20.0

31 61

37 57

-16.2 7.0

Grand Larceny

34 0

22 0

54.5 n/a

405 3

377 7

7.4 -57.1

Grand Larceny Auto

0

0

n/a

3

7

-57.1

Murder Rape Robbery Felony Assault Burglary

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

wife in the face before pulling a knife and trying to stab her. When the woman’s 17-year-old son tried to stop the suspect from attacking his mom, police said, the suspect allegedly stabbed the teen, causing a laceration to his right hip. Manual Semorile was arrested and charged with assault in the incident, which occurred at 209 West 109th St.,

PIZZA GUY ASSAULTED Around midnight on Friday, Oct. 25, police said, a 51-year-old man was making a pizza delivery at 845 Columbus Ave., between West 101st St. and West 102nd St., when he was approached by two men and a woman who allegedly grabbed the Papa John’s delivery out of his hands. The victim told police that one of the men hit him with a

skateboard on his right arm and punched him in his chest with a closed fist. The trio then ran into the building without paying for the food, he said. The victim refused medical attention at the scene, and Jalen Anderson, 18, was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 29, and charged with robbery in connection with the incident. The stolen food amounted to $52.53.

FELONY ASSAULT ARREST

-100.0 125.0

police said, a 57-year-old man allegedly punched a 60-year-old male friend about 30 times with a closed fist and hit him with a metal can in front of 312 West 109th St., causing a laceration to the victim’s left eyebrow. The victim was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital for treatment, and the metal can used in the assault was recovered at the scene. Randy Garvin was arrested and charged with felony assault and other offenses.

At 2 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26,

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POLICE

NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

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Drawing Board

Useful Contacts

NYPD 20th Precinct

120 W. 82nd St.

BY SUSAN FAIOLA

212-580-6411

NYPD 24th Precinct

151 W. 100th St.

212-678-1811

NYPD Midtown North Precinct

306 W. 54th St.

212-767-8400

FDNY Engine 76/Ladder 22

145 W. 100th St.

311

FDNY Engine 40/Ladder 35

W.66th &Amsterdam

311

FDNY Engine 74

120 W. 83rd St.

311

Ladder 25 Fire House

205 W. 77th St.

311

FIRE

CITY COUNCIL City Council Councilmember Helen Rosenthal 563 Columbus Ave.

212-873-0282

Councilmember Mark Levine

212-928-6814

500 West 141st St.

STATE LEGISLATORS State Senator Brad Hoylman

322 Eighth Ave. #1700

212-633-8052

State Sen. Jose M. Serrano

1916 Park Ave. #202

212-828-5829

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.

Bloomingdale

150 W. 100th St.

212-222-8030

Performing Arts

40 Lincoln Center

917-275-6975

212-621-0619

HOSPITALS Mt. Sinai – Roosevelt

1000 10th Ave.

Mt. Sinai - St. Luke’s

1090 Amsterdam Ave.

CON EDISON 4 Irving Place TIME WARNER CABLE 2554 Broadway POST OFFICES

212-523-4000 212-523-5898 212-460-4600 212-358-0900

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‘NO UPTICK IN CRIME’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 clining. The 24th precinct, which is also located on the Upper West Side, was right behind them with major crime down 7.92 percent compared to 2018.

Closing Cases Nine more robberies have taken place in 2019 than 2018 so far, but what’s important about those numbers, he said, was the rate at which the police are apprehending the alleged perpetrators and closing the cases. Currently, the precinct’s closure rate is at 71 percent. “We’re up in robberies – to be clear. I’m up in robberies, but we’re solving them,” said Malin. “We don’t have that many robberies here, which lets us prioritize them. We’re still one of the safest areas.” He pointed to outsized news coverage of three specific incidents – including two violent robberies and a shooting at playground outside the Amsterdam houses – as the source of the heightened unease in the neighborhood. “The reason that these stories – the two robberies with the 85-year-old woman being pushed down and the 57year-old woman being pushed down – is because we recovered excellent video and we requested media attention,” said Malin. “When I was telling people the reason you’re hearing about these, and the reason these are out there, the genesis of this, is actually because the NYPD is putting it out there saying, ‘These are bad crimes. We want your help. Everybody look at this.’” Almost all of the suspects involved in these incidents were arrested, Malin said. Officers are also close two finding two people believed to be involved in one of the robberies, he added.

Staffing Issues and Decisions The high-profile cases, and subsequent constituent anxiety, got the attention of Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, who attended the precinct’s public meeting last week. Rosenthal spoke at the meeting about needing to provide more staffing to the 20th precinct, as over the past

20th Precinct Commander Timothy Malin addresses community residents at the Oct. 28th meeting. Photo: Courtesy of 20th Precinct via Twitter

year it’s lost more than 20 officers to attrition. She also wrote a letter to the NYPD making the request for more officers, to which she has yet to receive a response. She said the silence is not surprising in light of the unexpected resignation of Commissioner James O’Neill this week. “Their absence has been felt by the members of this Upper West Side community, who are contending with a recent increase in violent crime in the area,” Rosenthal said in a statement Monday. “The presence of cops alone will not prevent more crime, but along with other interventions, additional officers on the ground working to build deep connections within the community will help ensure that children in our playgrounds are not caught in the crossfire again.” Rosenthal suggested that if it was a matter of a lack of re-

sources, City Hall should assign fewer officers to patrol inside subway stations to catch fare beaters, and more to patrol in areas with increased crime. Malin maintains that his district is adequately staffed and that if he needed more officers, he would make the request. Additionally, he said, it wouldn’t make sense for him to make such a request when the precinct’s crime rate is down. After giving a thorough debriefing on the crime statistics to residents last week, he wants residents to take a step back from their fears and relax. “Two muggings plus a shooting within an eight day period is atypical — no question,” said Malin. “I would tell people if I’m really concerned and we’re struggling. But, everyone, take a breath. The sky isn’t falling.”

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NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

Voices

UWS: NIX ON PAYING FOR PARKING PERMITS MEETINGS BY JASON COHEN

Residents on the Upper West Side are tired of being seen as numbers. Analytics aside, they are people, not cash cows. “You look at us like we’re some form of revenue,” a woman said to a panel of experts during a special Community Board 7 meeting last week. “Do you look at your family members as how much revenue you can squeeze from them?” That was the tone at the CB7 Transportation Forum

on Oct. 29. Amid the shouting and debate, the consensus was that elected officials aren’t trying hard enough to connect with the community. With congestion pricing looming next year – which could mean more people parking on UWS blocks to avoid the cost of driving into midtown Manhattan – the main topic of discussion was the possibility of parking permits for residents. While cities like Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington and Los Angeles all have them, New York is still hesitant.

A Panel of Experts The evening was led by moderator and CB7 Transportation Committee Chair Howard Yaruss, and featured a panel made up of Ed Pincar, Manhattan Borough commissioner for the NYC Department of Transportation, Rachel Weinberger, senior fellow for transportation at the Regional Plan Association, and transportation and energy activist Charles Komanoff, creator of the model used by the state to analyze congestion pricing. Residents raised two big concerns: If permit parking is

implemented how much will it cost? And will there be enough spaces available? Pincar told the attendees there is no quick fix or easy solution. He noted the DOT has studied permit parking, but with limited curb space, delivery vehicles, car services and more, there are obstacles before it could be approved. “We are trying to balance the varied uses on an individual block,” he said. “Our job at the DOT is to really strive for the right balance. We have to always be thinking about our

CONTINUED ON PAGE 43

CB7 transportation committee chair Howard Yaruss (left), was joined at the forum by Ed Pincar, Rachel Weinberger and Charles Komanoff (l to r). Photo: Jason Cohen

MESS AND MESSAGE ON ‘THE MORNING SHOW’ ON THE TOWN BY LORRAINE DUFFY MERKL

“Watching a beloved woman’s breakdown is timeless American entertainment.” The woman in question is Jennifer Aniston’s “Alex Levy,” veteran news anchor of “The Morning Show,“ the show within a show offered by subscription on Apple TV. From much-hyped promos and the trailer, I fully expected that Aniston and co-star Reese Witherspoon had made All About Eve 2.0, where a younger women manipulates to get her more established colleague’s job. But I misjudged, and the two proponents of the Time’s Up movement are actually mak-

ing a program about women helping women. Set in Manhattan, it opens with Alex’s co-host Mitch Kessler (Steve Carell) getting #MeToo-ed and dethroned. In a standoff with the smug, network news president, Cory Ellison (Billy Crudup), Alex demands she choose her new desk partner or she’ll walk; Cory sees this as an opportunity to free up two anchor chairs (“her sell-by date expired years ago,”) and bring in all new talent to boost the show’s lagging ratings. “So walk,” he counters. To antagonize her even further, he invites scrappy, minor market reporter and viral video train wreck Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) to an industry event. Alex returns the volley by announcing on impulse to a room full

of media colleagues that Bradley will be her new cohost. Everyone, including the mismatched team, prays this pairing works to keep the show on-air and everyone employed. Cory, however, licks his chops, sure that once on air, the duo will internally combust. As Apple TV has only released three episodes, it seems that this will move forward with Aniston and Witherspoon’s characters, each in her own way, learning there’s no I in TEAM. I’d like to see that work.

Partners and ‘Handholding’ Twenty-five years ago, I left my life as a staffer, giving up the chance at a prestigious title for the freedom of the gig economy.

Unlike Alex, I exited fulltime employment before “my sell-by date,” hence never knew what it was like to have a dewy-skinned version of my mature myself trying to slide into my C-suite, or a boss push me to the side so he could hire the pretty. I guess that’s why I relate more to Reese’s character. Right after college, all I wanted to do was be a New York professional, then I got my wish. I realized, as Bradley does, when you’re low person on the totem pole, it’s hard to tell whether all the people who “know better” are telling you what to do to be helpful or using you to galvanize their own agendas. When Bradley admits she doesn’t have any power and knows it’s futile to speak up to Cory, so she does what’s

asked of her, all I could think was: I feel you. The real trigger for me was, as Bradley prepares for her first show, Alex is nowhere around. She finally tracks down the jaded TV star to explain although the rookie doesn’t need “handholding,” isn’t that what partners do? Hold each other’s hands and go through it together. I related to Bradley’s POV because when I was in advertising, staff copywriters and art directors worked in teams. I romanticized what partnership was: having each other’s backs; each halves of a whole. Except my other halves never seemed to get that memo. I had one who took one-upmanship to new heights, another who thought “partner” was a synonym for “assistant.” I’m sure there are critics

who’ll write the show off as fluff, but it does tackle some uncomfortably familiar workplace issues. Jennifer Aniston’s character isn’t the only one who has to lean in to get recognition. Two women of color, a producer and talent booker, have to go behind the boss’s back to get a good assignment. Then there’s the passive-aggressive producer who watches everything play out from a safe distance, then lands on the side of the victor. Lest we forget Steve Carell’s Weinstein/Lauer portrayal, who thinks that a subordinate’s saying no to the boss out of fear of losing her job is the same as saying yes. I don’t know if “The Morning Show” will be a hit, but if nothing else perhaps it can become a wake-up call to how to improve New York’s office culture. Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of the novels “Fat Chick” and “Back to Work She Goes.”

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Health & Wellness Seminar Series Fall 2019

Calendar NYCNOW

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

EDITOR’S PICK

Sun 10 MEET THE MUSIC! OCEANOPHONY Alice Tully Hall 1941 Broadway 2:00 p.m. $10+ chambermusicsociety.org 212-875-5788 Plunge into an ocean of music and poetry to meet the sarcastic fringehead fish, an expanding pufferfish, a stoplight parrotfish, a love-struck seahorse, an eight-part fugal octopus, and more. Music, poetry, photography, amazing ocean facts: all part of “Oceanophony.”

November 12

Headache Matters: When Should I Worry & How Do I Get Control? Susan W. Broner, MD Alina Masters-Israilov, MD

19

Digestive Health and Weight Management: Keeping Your Liver & Gut Happy Carolyn Newberry, MD Sonal Kumar, MD, MPH

Time 6:30–8:00 pm Place All seminars held at Uris Auditorium Meyer Research and Education Building Weill Cornell Medicine 1300 York Avenue (at 69th St.)

All seminars are FREE and open to the public. Seating is available for 250 people on a firstcome, first-served basis. American Sign Language interpretive services will be provided at all seminars.

If you require a disability-related accommodation please call 212-821-0888 and leave a message.

Photo: Dunk via Flickr

Thu 7

Fri 8

Sat 9

▲BEEKEEPING IN COMMUNITY GARDENS

THE LEGEND OF BEBOP

CENTRAL PARK RANGER BIKE TOUR

Bloomingdale School of Music 323 West 108th St 7:00 p.m. Free This special concert in celebration of the 55th birthday of the Bloomingdale School of Music will feature exciting and virtuosic tributes to the masters of Bebop and to the musicians who have transformed and carried it into the future. bsmny.org 212-663-6021

Central Park North West 110th St & Lenox Ave 11:00 a.m. Free Bike through Central Park while enjoying the sights and sounds of the season. Participants should bring their own bike and helmet and will learn about biking protocol in NYC Parks. nycgovparks.org 212-360-1444

The Arsenal in Central Park 830 Fifth Ave 6:00 p.m. Free Learn from a panel of beekeeping community gardeners on how to get started, what resources are available to beginner and advanced beekeepers, and the challenges and rewards of beekeeping in a community garden. nycgovparks.org 212-602-5300


NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

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JUST ONE CALL AND WE DO IT ALL! — Specialists in Home, Condo, Co-op, Renter, Auto Insurance — — Celebrating over 50 years in the Insurance Industry —

Photo: Bart Everson via Flickr

Sun 10

Mon 11

Tue 12

▲RECREATE REPURPOSE & REUSE POP-UP

▼A REVOLUTION OF HER OWN: DEBORAH SAMPSON

TIPSY & TILE NIGHT

Grand Bazaar 100 West 77th St 10:00 a.m. Free Discover and shop, indoors and outdoors, from talented local artists, makers and independent vintage and antique dealers. Thrifters and vintage collectors will find full racks and tables filled with rare and limited-edition fashion, jewelry, toys, art, furniture, ceramic, and much more. grandbazaarnyc.org 212-239-3025

New York Historical Society 170 Central Park West 12:30 p.m. Free with admission Deborah Sampson, the first woman to enlist, to fight, and to be honorably discharged from the American military, captivates audiences in an hour-long program chronicling her life. Part of the museum’s special Veterans Day program. nyhistory.org 212-873-3400

• Top Insurance Companies: - AIG “Private Client Group” - Travelers - Progressive - Chubb - GMAC-National General - Metropolitan — HIGHLY PERSONALIZED SERVICE — • Personal Income Tax Preparation Suzana, Jeff, Joe, Rose, Melissa • Licensed Department of Motor TALK DIRECTLY TO A LIVE PERSON! Vehicles Service Bureau  No lengthy phone menus • Notary Public on Premises  No waiting or delays

212-262-8600 • www.insurancenyc.com

Little Shop of Crafts 711 Amsterdam Ave 7:00 p.m. $65 Learn how create a beautiful mosaic while enjoying great company and your own bottle of wine (BYOB). Learn how to cut, glue, and place tiles down along with learning all about how to grout to secure tiles together. The shop will provide all materials. littleshopny.com 212-531-2723

Wed 13 THE RISE AND FALL OF MACONDO Pushkin Hall 165 West 86th St 8:00 p.m. $30 A theatrical performance inspired by Gabriel García Márquez’s magnum opus “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” Embark upon a magical and sleepless journey in South America and see the birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. russiantheater.org 347-298-2166

This Week filmlinc.org

#filmlinc

Parasite

Synonyms

“The film of the year.”

“Critic’s Pick! Brilliant. Relentless. Comic. Tragic.”

“...deserves to be thought of as Kubrick’s heir.”

Jessica Hausner: The Miracle Worker November 8-10

Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center 144 West 65th Street Walter Reade Theater 165 West 65th Street

Official Sponsors

Contributing Sponsor

This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Image credits: Parasite courtesy of NEON + CJ Entertainment, Synonyms courtesy of Kino Lorber, Little Joe courtesy of Magnolia Pictures


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LIBRARIAN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 libraries,” he emphasized. According to Bannon, “You can’t really know anything about a community until you embed yourself in it.” Every neighborhood library has unique needs, he added, although all libraries are connected through their core values, including access, education, and lifelong learning. Talking to Bannon is a speed test: ask a question and he will spill words in a torrent. In a nearly hour-long phone conversation, he shared almost nonstop about growing up in a rural area in the Pacific Northwest; working for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation connecting far-flung communities to the internet; going from the Seattle Public Library to San Francisco’s and, then, on to the Chicago Public Library system. Some of the educational programs he implemented there were replicated in other cities. He initiated free personalized online assistance and expanded in-person homework help.

“Nabbing Brian was something of a coup.” NYPL President and CEO Anthony Marx

Selfie with the author. Photo: Brian Bannon

Interest in Social Justice Issues Bannon is especially proud of his experience in developing digital skills training, community-based learning, and educational advancement for children, families, and adults. He said he’s excited about bringing his experience in over 20 years of innovation in Librarianship to the NYPL, “the gold standard.” Bannon received his bachelor of arts degree at Pacific Lutheran University, where a professor recognized his interest in social justice issues and suggested libraries as a career. He went from major-

ing there in psychology and LGBT studies, to a master’s degree in library and information science at the University of Washington Information School. At the NYPL’s welcome reception for him, Bannon held court in a stylish, well-tailored suit. He sports horizontal eyeglass frames with rounded edges that frame his friendly brown eyes. He immediately took my iPhone and produced a wide-grinned selfie. Bannon’s formal title is the Merryl and James Tisch Director. The newly created position was funded by their $20 million gift. Asked about

his donation, James Tisch said, “It’s all about education.” Bannon’s new position makes him responsible for the educational strategy of the Library’s neighborhood branches, as well as their operation and direction.

Renovations Underway Currently, the Library is in the middle of $600 million in capital projects in the branches. Of that, about $340 million is geared for Manhattan. The big one is the total renovation of the Mid-Manhattan Library diagonally across from the main building on Fifth Avenue. NYPL’s largest and busiest circulating library, closed since 2017, is being transformed into one that is state-of-the-art. An employment skills center will occupy a full floor,

with another level providing job-search help and smallbusiness support. There will be separate areas for children and teens, and a free public roof terrace. The Library makeover was made possible by a landmark $55 million gift from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), partnering with the NYPL and the City of New York. The 100,000square-feet SNF Library is set to reopen next year. Full renovations are also due for the Fort Washington branch and the 125th Street Library. On the Upper West Side, the Bloomingdale Library (100th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues) will enjoy a $3 million renovation, adding a teen space among other significant improvements. On the Upper East Side, the 67th Street branch will see a new roof and HVAC upgrades; its planned reopening is in November. The Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center will get upgraded lighting. Manhattan is also getting a Bookmobile, to serve communities impacted by the capital work currently disrupting branch services.

According to a Library spokesperson, branches like St. Agnes, which had a full renovation within the last ten years, and Morningside Heights, which had relatively recent improvements, won’t get attention this time. Bannon’s stated primary focus will be on education, but before setting out long term strategies, he said he wants to complete his first round of visits to the branches: getting input from the staffs for context and backstory; seeing what activities are already offered at the different locations, and talking to the people who use the libraries, listening to what they say and how they feel. “Our branch libraries are central tools for community learning,” he said, and “it takes time to learn about them experientially.” The high regard that Bannon is held in the library field was emphasized in NYPL President and CEO Anthony Marx’s comment: “Nabbing Brian,” he said, “was something of a coup.”

Sign up for low or no-cost health insurance today! The annual Open Enrollment Period is from November 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020. GetCoveredNYC is the City of New York’s official health insurance outreach and enrollment program. Get free in-person assistance in your language to help you find and sign up for the coverage that’s right for you!

Call 311 Text CoveredNYC to 877877 Visit nyc.gov/GetCoveredNYC

Not eligible for insurance? NYC Care is available in the Bronx. Call 311.


2019

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Hector Alvarez Commercial Security Guard of the Year Dayshon Beeks Airport Worker of the Year: Newark Andrea Bundy Airport Worker of the Year: JFK Abdul Quddus Chaudhry Airport Worker of the Year: LaGuardia Christina Cintron Doorwoman of the Year Ed Clark Building Manager of the Year Juan Garcia School Cleaner of the Year Nelson Garcia Doorman of the Year: East Side Carmen Cecilio Hernandez Downtown Office Cleaner of the Year Jose Ilarraza School Handyperson of the Year Clementine James City Building Security Guard of the Year: The Idrissa Camara Award PROFILES AND IMAGES: MADELEINE THOMPSON

Jeffrey Matthews Porter of the Year Frank Medley Window Cleaner of the Year Perry Mercado Life Saver Award Hamid Mouhcine Doorman of the Year: Downtown Saul Otalvaro Outer Borough Residential Worker of the Year Troy Parker Super of the Year Jean Rosa Theater Cleaner of the Year Frank Smith Doorman of the Year: West Side Anna Urban Longevity Award Maria Vargas Midtown Office Cleaner of the Year


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CHRISTINA CINTRON DOORWOMAN OF THE YEAR

IN CHARGE AT THE FRONT DESK Christina Cintron manages the needs of residents in 300 units

At just 30 years old, Christina Cintron has been working at her building longer than it has been around. The apartments at 2 River Terrace were built about 10 years ago, and Cintron came on the team just before it opened. She was 20 at the time and working at Target, and heard about the gig from her godfather, who was a doorman there. He was friends with the boss and referred her to him. Her mother also works with her at 2 River Terrace as a concierge. “Since I’ve been here for 10 years, I’ve seen the kids go from babies to, you know, growing up and going to school and everything else. So that’s pretty exciting,“ she says. “And the residents here are very cool. They make you feel comfortable. It’s like our job is to make them feel comfortable, but they do the same as well.

The residents here are very cool. They make you feel comfortable. It’s like our job is to make them feel comfortable, but they do the same as well.”

Some of them will come in and they’re like, ‘look what my child did today.’ And ‘oh, guess what I did this weekend?’” She says there isn’t really a hard part of her job since the building is like a second home to her, though she doesn’t know many other women who have her same job. And with 300 units, managing all her residents’ needs can be challenging. She’s been a member of the union since the beginning and is grateful for the support they’ve provided over the years. Cintron has had to balance her work with classes at Borough of Manhattan Community College, where she is studying business administration. She expects to get her degree in May, and is looking forward to all the possibilities that will be available to her. She’s not sure yet what her future holds. In the meantime, she’ll continue to be at the front of 2 River Terrace, and hanging out with her family and her dog in Brooklyn.

Christina Cintron

Is Proud to Support the

2019 Building Service Worker Awards And Congratulates Our Own

Anna Urban

E M P I R E S T A T E R E A L T Y T R U S T. C O M


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Proudly serving the Industry for over 80 years

Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations congratulates the 2019 Building Service Worker Award recipients

Howard Rothschild, President | One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10119  (212) 889-4100

 (212) 889-4105

 www.rabolr.com


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ANNA URBAN LONGEVITY AWARD

‘HOME’ IN THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING At 81, Anna Urban has faced difficult times but found light from her coworkers

Anna Urban has been a member of 32BJ for 32 years. She has worked at the Empire State Building that whole time. All that has changed is what floor she works on. A native of Poland, Urban came to the U.S. in 1974 to make a better life for her family. She is 81 years old, living in the same apartment she first moved into, and continues to work to support her children and grandchildren. She was recently in Colorado for her grandson’s wedding. She has endured difficult times in her life, including the loss of her son a few years ago. But even in that dark moment she was able to find light in her coworkers. She has kept all the

cards and notes they wrote to her after her loss. “This is like my home,” she says of the building. Her job is to clean several showrooms in the Empire State Building, including sweeping kitchens and vacuuming rugs on the fifth floor. Urban rarely uses her sick days and emphasizes how much she values her work ethic. She says she is always willing to take on different assignments and help out her coworkers. She is very religious and thanks God for her life. “I would like everyone to be happy,” she says.

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I would like everyone to be happy.” Anna Urban


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NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

HECTOR ALVAREZ COMMERCIAL SECURITY GUARD OF THE YEAR

‘I’M A WORKAHOLIC’ Hector Alvarez’s health declined when he retired - so he went back to a job in security

As an x-ray officer at 275 Greenwich Street, Hector Alvarez greets visitors, screens their bags, checks the computers and completes paperwork. It may not sound action-packed, but Alvarez, 71, strongly prefers it to retirement. Alvarez retired in 2001 but came out of retirement in 2002. “I’m a workaholic,” he says. He has been at 275 Greenwich since it opened four years ago. Before he started working security, Alvarez had a completely different career arc. He worked for the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information at the New York Police Department, was a manager at Abbott Nutrition and served as president of a Texas petroleum corporation. He also

“I’m very friendly; I’m an extrovert. I’ve made friends here.” Hector Alvarez

lists building management on his resume, which is how he became a three-decade member of 32BJ. He was glad to come back to the union when he left retirement behind. Alvarez moved to Florida upon retiring but found that his health declined, and his doctor suggested going back to work. A friend’s son offered him a job in security in Miami, and eventually Alvarez transferred back to New York. So far, Alvarez says that has cured him. “I’m very friendly; I’m an extrovert,” he says. “I’ve made friends here.” Alvarez was born in the Dominican Republic and came to New York at the age of 19. He came from a family of politicians with dangerous enemies, so his father sent him to the U.S. He enjoys spending time outside of work with his wife, and their four children and six grandchildren.

FRANK SMITH DOORMAN OF THE YEAR: WEST SIDE

HE CARES ABOUT HELPING PEOPLE Outside of work, “Frankie the Doorman” is a DJ and a stand-up comic

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Frank Smith, or “Frankie the Doorman,” has been a doorman to the stars for 25 years. His building, 88 Central Park West, has housed famous actors, musicians, producers and politicians the likes of which most people only hope to catch a glimpse of on the streets of New York. A brief internet search lists sales and purchases of apartments there by Sting, Robert De Niro and Paul Simon. Smith, 63, treasures his relationships with the residents of 88 Central Park West, who he says have cared for him over the years as much as he has cared for them. He has worked at parties, proms, fundraisers and other events for residents over the years. He loves seeing residents’ children grow up and go off to college. “I never had any children; this has been my life. My philosophy on life is I treat people the way that I want to be treated. And I’ve always tried to do more than what I’m supposed to do,” he says. He likes watching the Thanksgiving Day parade go right by the building’s door, as well as the New York City Marathon.

Smith works the late evening shift, and for several hours is the only person manning the lobby. He has manned the door during blizzards, blackouts and strikes. He is prevented from sharing all the best stories he has collected by the privacy agreement he signed when he started working there, but he hopes to someday write a memoir. “This is a service employees union. So if you’re not interested in helping people, you’re in the wrong line of business,” he says. Outside of work, Smith is a DJ, a fan of the Raiders and the Yankees, and a stand-up comic. He has participated in the Stand Up NY Comedy Festival, and is occasionally a guest on WCBS radio. He has attended Saturday Night Live once a year for the past 25 years and once got to take his mom. Before starting his career as a doorman, Smith was a bartender at Madison Square Garden. He also spent 10 years on Wall Street as a human resources recruiter. For most of his life Smith was a bachelor, but then he met his wife Mila on a dating app and has never been happier. He and his wife live in the home Smith grew up in in Morris Park, which he has owned for the last 16 years.


NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

The Durst Organization is proud to support

Building Service Workers 32BJ SEIU

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NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

FRANK MEDLEY WINDOW CLEANER OF THE YEAR

CLEANING WINDOWS IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART The views are great, says Frank Medley, who obviously isn’t afraid of heights

CONGR ATUL ATES

CARMEN ROSA of 200 Vesey Street as Downtown Office Cleaner of the Year and joins in celebrating all the 2019 Building Service Workers of the Year

BROOKFIELDPROPERTIES.COM

For Frank Medley, 62, window cleaning is a family business. His father was a window cleaner back before the most common method of cleaning windows was to use scaffolding. “I used to tell him back in the day that he was crazy, you know. He used to hang out the window. If you ever saw the old windows, you hang out on a belt. They have a special window cleaning belt and you actually hang out the window and clean the individual window,” he remembers. That’s how it was done before most new buildings were made of solid glass. Medley’s father is the one who trained him, and for a while they did things the daredevil way. Clearly, neither of them were afraid of heights. “Like anything, the more you do it the better you get,” he says. Now, at 485 Lexington Ave., Medley can clean windows from the inside. He’s been working at the building for about five years — he calls it his second home — but has been doing the job for over three decades. He says the tallest building he cleaned was the Metropolitan Tower, at about 83 stories high. “To do a complete cycle to clean that whole building it took almost four

months,” he says. That particular building required about seven scaffolds for the window cleaners. He looked into apartments owned by celebrities Jennifer Lopez and Billy Joel, but wouldn’t admit to seeing anything he shouldn’t. He says they were all nice and took care of the workers. Medley has worked at somewhere around 40 or 50 Manhattan skyscrapers, and keeps a photo album of all of them, and the views he could see from his scaffold. The company Medley works for just got a contract at Hudson Yards, and they also take care of the windows at the Freedom Tower. A few years ago, a scaffold malfunctioned at the Freedom Tower and two workers had to be rescued by police cutting through a window. Medley calls his window cleaning career “excellent” and is grateful for everything he’s been able to do because of it, like buying a house and raising his kids. Two of his sons are also 32BJ members. Medley lives in the northeast Bronx and enjoys going to City Island to eat seafood and sit by the water. He and his wife love traveling; they recently visited Cancun, Mexico for their anniversary. “It was like heaven on earth,” he says. They’re looking forward to their daughter’s wedding next spring.

Like anything, the more you do it the better you get.” Frank Medley


NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

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CLEMENTINE JAMES CITY BUILDING SECURITY GUARD OF THE YEAR: THE IDRISSA CAMARA AWARD

A LIFE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS For Clementine James, nothing is more important than helping people

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Clementine James has made helping people into her life’s work. And when she talks about all the ways she does that, it’s evident how much of herself she has dedicated to being there for other people. James, 46, is a security officer at the city’s Human Resources Administration building in Cypress Hills, where she has worked for about two years. She has been working in security since about 2001. She was also involved in advocating for the Fair Fares pro-

gram, which offers discounted Metr oCards to low-income New Yorkers and is a member of Community Board 12 in Queens. One of the causes closest to her heart is Mount Sinai’s Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program. Twice a month, on Sundays from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m., James gives her time to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence as they wait in emergency rooms. “Domestic violence and sexual assault is something that’s obviously been of interest in me,” she says. “My mom is a survivor of domestic violence. And I think it’s very much something that is misunderstood and I wanted to just be there for people and say that there’s someone here for you.” James was born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and came to New York City by herself in her twenties. She started out doing odd jobs

and working at Burger King, which is how she got involved with the fast food workers fighting to raise the minimum wage. “I was able to understand the struggle of doing a job like that,“ she says, “the physical demand that it has, and having to go home and take care of a family.” James has a daughter who is a nurse, and two sons, the youngest of whom is in high school. James herself is in her final semester at York College in Jamaica and will get her bachelor’s degree in psychology in September. After that, she’s not sure what her next step is. “I will like to continue helping in a position that helps people, but I’m not really sure yet exactly how it will manifest itself. But I know that it will be in this type of work, even if I just volunteer in it. I like helping people. I just love to motivate people and just see them on the other side,” she says.

I just love to motivate people and just see them on the other side.” Clementine James

WE CONGRATULATE Troy Parker - Superintendant Frank Medley - Window Cleaner And All New York’s Building Workers who are being celebrated at the BUILDING SERVICE WORKERS AWARDS CEREMONY & SPECIAL SECTIONS for all they do to keep New York City running smoothly. We thank you.


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NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

TROY PARKER SUPER OF THE YEAR

FROM ‘GREEN SUPER’ TO MANAGER Troy Parker has played many roles in his time in upper Manhattan

I started to want to do something more ... I took the management courses. Then I took human relations. I’m up to the resident manager one program now.” Troy Parker

Troy Parker has held just about every position a person can have in his line of work. Doorman, porter, handyman - he’s done it all. Now he’s the resident manager at 484 Lenox Avenue in Harlem. Parker, 52, started this job just this past spring after spending 32 years working for Columbia University. There, he managed faculty apartment buildings and student dorms. His new gig is giving him the opportunity to put his skills to use on a much grander scale. “I went from six buildings with a staff of 20 and like 280 apartments to a staff of 60 now and 1800 apartments,” he says. He says he remembers his father asking him if he was sure he wanted to take on extra responsibility. Parker started taking classes and was part of the first group of “green supers” who were trained in environmentally friendly practices. “I started to want to do something

more and learn more about the upper part of it. So then after that I took the management courses. Then I took human relations. I’m up to the resident manager one program now,” he says. But maybe it’s Parker who should be teaching the classes. He comes in every morning at 8 to meet with his handymen and give them assignments. Then he bounces around checking on any projects or construction going on, while finding time to do payroll and deal with tenants. A lot of what he’s learned comes from his dad, who got Parker a summer job at Columbia, where he worked. Eventually, Parker was put in charge of a student dorm, which he describes as “eventful.” There were drunk students playing pranks on their roommates and flooding their apartment, students breaking the

2019

Congratulations SEIU Local 32BJ2019 Annual Service Workers of the Year Award recipients

Sunrise at East 56th Street, 56 Leonard Street, 100 East 53rd Street, 1585 Broadway; 2330 Broadway, One Vanderbilt Avenue, 53 West 53, Hudson Square Portfolio

www.hines.com

rules and going out on the roof - but Parker took it all in good humor. He says at that time he was “like a sponge” soaking up all the knowledge and tricks of the trade he possibly could. “I learned how to deal with difficult people. I learned how to do repairs. I learned plumbing work, electrical work, carpentry work. They would go into an apartment and I would go in there with them and see what they were doing, show them what to do. And some of those turned into relationships and friendships that I still have to this day,” he says.

BUILD ING SERVICE WORKER

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Parker and his wife have been married for 21 years, and his six kids range from 13 to 32. They were never huge fans of his job because his phone was always ringing. But then, like Parker’s father before him, he got his son a summer job at Columbia and showed him the ropes. “He would come in every day and he would deal with these people that deal with me every day and he would see what I do every day. He said, ‘I don’t know how you do it,’” Parker says. But he wants his son to know he has choices and can pursue any career he wants.


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JEFFREY MATTHEWS PORTER OF THE YEAR They knew I knew the building, they knew I was a good worker. I come in every day, I wasn’t missing days, playing around, none of that stuff.” Jeffrey Matthews

THERE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING Jeffrey Matthews actually helped build the building where he has spent his career

Jeffrey Matthews was 22 when he began working at 300 East 77th St. He started out in construction, and helped put up the building itself. He was working at FedEx when his cousin let him know the site was looking for more workers. Now 44, Matthews has known the building and its tenants since the beginning. Once 300 East 77th was built, Matthews went to do construction at 425 Fifth Ave., but got called back to be a porter at 300 E. 77th because he knew the place so well. “They knew I knew the building, they knew I was a good worker. I come in every day, I wasn’t missing days, playing around, none of that stuff,“ he says. “So they knew I was serious about what I was doing. I would come in on Saturdays for them if I had nothing to do. I know how much I care about this build-

ing, so that’s why I jumped. It was a fight to get back over here though ’cause they were like, no, we want him here. But they made it happen.” The real reason Matthews’ heart is at 300 East 77th is the tenants. He says they care about the building staff and treat them like family, “not like you’re just any old worker.” He has loved watching tenants’ children grow up, go off to college and get their first jobs. “It’s trust from so many years of doing for them and looking out, helping out. They do the same thing right back,” he says. Though his title is porter, he helps cover the door and sometimes does repairs. Matthews has learned a lot from the building’s handyman, who has worked at the building while it was being built. Matthews likes that so many of his coworkers are as invested in the

building’s history as he is. He has seen considerable turnover at other buildings, and knows there’s something special about how long the people who work at 300 East 77th have been there. Matthews has a condo in Brooklyn, and is currently engaged to his girlfriend. He has two kids, one of whom is playing football at Buffalo State. Matthews goes to see him play on Saturdays. He hangs out with his brothers during his time off, goes to the gym and enjoys playing video games.

2019

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THE BRODSKY ORGANIZATION JOINS IN CELEBRATING ALL BUILDING SERVICE WORKERS AND THE 2019 HONOREES FOR THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS.


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Everything you like about The West Side Spirit is now available to be delivered to your mailbox every week in the Westsider From the very local news of your neighborhood to information about upcoming events and activities, the new home delivered edition of the Westsider will keep you in-the-know.

And best of all you won’t have to go outside to grab a copy from the street box every week.

JEAN ROSA THEATER CLEANER OF THE YEAR

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PLAYING CLEANUP ON BROADWAY Jean Rosa sweeps and mops up rehearsal spaces for major productions Jean Rosa, 35, has the inside scoop on Broadway, though he’s actually not a huge showbiz fan. He’s been a cleaner at New 42nd Street Studios for more than six years. The organization provides rehearsal spaces to various productions, including “Hamilton,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Phantom of the Opera.” “After the day’s finished rehearsing at 6:30, 7:00 we start cleaning the studios, like sweeping, mopping, cleaning mirrors, bathrooms. Sometimes we got to scrub the floors, buffing,” he says. Rosa had a friend who worked there who helped him get the job. Rosa likes his roughly seven coworkers and says they’re “like a family.” Rosa also likes taking classes at the union, including plastering, locksmithing and electrical work. Before coming to New 42nd Street Studios, Rosa worked at City Storage for several years, and he dabbled in security and patient services.

Jean Rosa likes his roughly seven coworkers and says they’re “like a family.” Rosa was born in Puerto Rico but came to New York City with his family when he was nine. They landed in Brooklyn, where he still lives. When he’s not at work, Rosa likes hanging out and listening to music with his nonwork family — his sisters, his aunt, and his four nieces and three nephews. He also enjoys kicking back with a murder mystery show like “Breaking Bad” or “The Ozarks.”

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SILVERSTEIN PROPERTIES IS HONORED TO SALUTE BUILDING SERVICE WORKERS 32BJ SEIU

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JUAN GARCIA SCHOOL CLEANER OF THE YEAR

A STRONG WORK ETHIC Cleaner Juan Garcia says he’s never had an easy job - but that’s the way he prefers it

I got kids and I definitely don’t want to go to a school and see that it’s dirty ... I’m going to do this as if my daughter went to this school.” Juan Garcia

DAYSHON BEEKS AIRPORT WORKER OF THE YEAR: NEWARK

KEEPING AIRLINE PASSENGERS SAFE Dayshon Beeks has a special job at Newark Airport

On December 6 of this year, Dayshon Beeks will be celebrating four years working at Newark Liberty International Airport. Beeks, 30, started out as a cleaner at Newark, clearing planes between flights. He liked the job, but saw an opportunity to take on more responsibility as a “foreign object and debris,” or FOD, worker. In that job, he makes sure runways are clear of trash so that nothing gets sucked into a plane’s engine. “I supply the vans, and I take trash or old supplies out the vans, and I go around the ramp picking up trash at the gates. Anything

You don't want plastic or anything going into the engine. You know, that’s money, damage, and you know, people get hurt." Dayshon Beeks

outside, I’m in charge of picking that up on the ramp. Basically you don’t want plastic or anything going into the engine. You know, that’s money, damage, and you know, people get hurt,” Beeks says. Before coming to Newark’s airport, Beeks was working as a temp. He got hired as a cleaner, then moved to helping deliver supplies for first-class cabins before a spot opened up in FOD. Beeks is largely his own supervisor in his current job, and enjoys the ability to work independently. The hardest part, he says, is performing that work in all kinds of weather. He works in rain, snow and blazing heat, and it can be especially difficult to keep runways clear when it’s snowing and the ramps are slippery. Beeks stays late when he needs to and doesn’t mind taking on extra responsibilities. He has also been involved in union activism, like the fight to increase the minimum wage. He has even traveled to Trenton to speak to legislators. Outside of work, Beeks spends time with his two young sons. He likes playing video games like “Call of Duty” and hanging out with his family. He was born and raised in New Jersey and still has many relatives nearby.

Juan Garcia, 49, has been working as a cleaner at Bronx Early College Academy for two years. “I sweep the hallway, make sure the bathrooms are stocked, help out with the cafeteria. As soon as the kids are gone, that’s when I start coming into the classroom, taking out garbage, sweeping, mopping, doing the rugs. And sometimes in between that I get a call on the radio. You know, there’s a leak somewhere or and I got to assist either my coworkers or teachers. Some days it’s crazy,” he says. Garcia was working at a charter school in Washington Heights when the custodian there noticed Garcia’s work ethic and nominated him to work for the Board of Education, where he’s been since. Garcia has had several different jobs, but it was working with

his dad in Puetro Rico one summer when he discovered his passion. “I saw my dad do the most amazing thing. He chopped some trees and put them on the ground, picked up a house and rolled the house from one spot to another. That blew my mind. I was like, this is what I want to do. So I started learning handyman things,” he recalls. When he came back to the states he started working for a company called Three Generation painting, doing sheetrock and carpentry, among other things. He says most of his life has been about hard labor he’s never had an easy job. But that’s the way Garcia prefers it. He tried security but found that sitting at a desk was too boring. After many years at Three Generation, he got his charter school job and then came to Bronx Early College Academy. He’s now a shop steward for 32BJ. “When I come to work I don’t worry about my coworker, what he’s doing, I come to work and it’s my time. I got kids and I definitely don’t want to go to a school and see that it’s dirty. I put that in my mind and said I’m going to do this as if my daughter went to this school,” he says. On his days off, Garcia spends time with his four children and goes to the gym. He’s working on getting his personal training and nutrition certification online, and hopes to take on clients in physical fitness. He likes playing video games and making music. He is proud to have purchased a new car two years ago, and remembers how accomplished he felt getting it right from the dealer. Garcia describes himself as a workaholic and a homebody. “It’s like that saying: it’s not a job, it’s an adventure,” he says.

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Congratulations to all the winners of the 2019 Building Service Worker Awards

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SAUL OTALVARO OUTER BOROUGH RESIDENTIAL WORKER OF THE YEAR

FORTY-SIX YEARS AND COUNTING Saul Otalvaro has been working in the same building for nearly half a century

Saul Otalvaro is 86, but looks much younger. He says it’s his work that has kept him in such good health. Otalvaro has been a porter at the Dayton Towers in Rockaway Beach for 46 years. Every year, he says, people ask him when he’s going to retire and he always tells them “next year.” But he’s just not interested in sitting around all day. As a porter, Otalvaro attends to tenants needs, acting as everything from handyman to super. The Dayton Towers have seven buildings, and each building has twelve floors. There are over 1,400 apartments in total. Over the nearly five decades he has worked there, he has seen young children grow up, and older tenants pass away. He says some tenants who move away don’t like their new building as much because he isn’t there. He says he shows up early to work, stays late and never misses a day. And his commute from Jackson Heights is no walk in the park. Otalvaro was born and raised in Colombia. He wanted to pursue a career as a luxury bus driver, but they told him he was too old. So he came to New York at age 39, and has been working ever since. He and his wife of 45 years, Aleida, enjoy traveling to places like Colombia and Cancun. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

He shows up early to work, stays late and never misses a day.

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ED CLARK BUILDING MANAGER OF THE YEAR

‘THE JOB’S BEEN GOOD TO ME’ AT 850 Park Avenue, Ed Clark has met Bill Gates and other celebrities visiting the building Ed Clark, 62, has been working at 850 Park Avenue for a quarter of the building’s lifetime. He started in 1995, and the building was built in 1915. He has been a doorman, handyman and super. And that’s after switching careers from being in the wholesale grocery beverage business. It was a family business, but after his brother passed away unexpectedly he had to make other plans. He drove a truck for an oil company for a while, but that was only a seasonal position. Then one day, while visiting his mother-in-law at the hospital and wearing the oil company uniform, Clark was stopped by a woman who recognized the company and asked what he would do during the off-season. Clark said he didn’t know and the woman, whose father

worked for an oil company, suggested applying to some management companies. When his trucking job ended, Clark went to Douglass Elliman, found out they needed someone to help out at 930 Park Avenue, and got a job there the next day. “And that’s how I got in this line of work,” he says. Clark loves his job, but says the hardest part is having to have his phone on all the time in case of an emergency. He’s met Bill Gates and numerous other celebrities who’ve been visiting the building’s tenants. “The job’s been good to me,” he says. 850 Park Avenue has about 42 units and three doctor’s offices. Some of the kids he watched growing up in the building are now having kids of their own. He says his favorite part of the job is the “good group of guys” he works with. He has about 13 workers that he considers friends. In his down time, Clark enjoys spending time at his

Clark says his favorite part of the job is the “good group of guys” he works with.” country house in Connecticut, and has used what he has learned about construction to help fix issues there. He’s looking forward to retirement at some point in the future, and is interested in exploring his love for cooking. His first jobs were in kitchens and he fell in love with it. At home, he likes making Italian food and just about anything on the grill. He grew up in Brooklyn, one of seven children, the son of a tool-and-dye maker. Clark remembers his father as one of the smartest guys he ever met. He has a daughter, and has been married since 1987.


NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

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CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE AWARD WINNERS ON THIS WELL DESERVED HONOR

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PERRY MERCADO LIFE SAVER AWARD

SERIOUS ABOUT SECURITY Perry Mercado doesn’t rattle, not even a man with a gun shows up where he’s working

Perry Mercado doesn’t think he did anything that impressive when he intercepted a man with a gun at work one day. Mercado, 26, was going about his normal routine as a security guard at the Human Resources Administration building in Brooklyn when a young boy pointed out that there was someone with a gun. “Basically like a guy came in here with a mask and a gun in his bag. And then one of the clients saw him and informed me, and I just followed the protocol, you know, informed my base and HRA police and they took it from there,” Mercado says. For someone who grew up in a rough neighborhood, he says it wasn’t all that scary. “I am aware that when they did catch him and they took him to court, that he had done a string of robberies with the mask and a gun and he’s already a prior convict. I feel like I’m just doing my job though,” he says. Mercado is a security officer who takes

his job incredibly seriously. He hopes to continue moving up the ladder as an HRA police officer, or maybe a peace officer, and eventually to be guarding armored trucks. He has been working in security for five years and has previously won an award for stopping someone from robbing a store where he used to work. His favorite part of his job is helping people. “I like making sure that everything is going in the right order, nobody’s being taken advantage of. Everything is, you know, copacetic,” he says. He thinks the most important characteristic of a good security officer is observation. “Observe and report, that’s our job. If you have a good memory, that’s key,” he says. Mercado was born and raised in Brooklyn, and now lives there with his girlfriend and two daughters. He likes playing video games, as well as sports like basketball and football. His mom still lives in Brooklyn, and he often takes his daughters to spend time with her.

I like making aking sure that ing is going in the everything der, nobody's right order, aken being taken age of." advantage Perry Mercado

FirstService Residential is a proud sponsor of the 2019 Building Service Worker Awards Congratulations to all of the winners for a job well done!

Making a Difference. Every Day.

As New York City’s leading residential management company, FirstService Residential is committed to delivering proven solutions and exceptional service that add value, enhance lifestyles and make a difference, every day, for every resident and property we serve.

FirstService Residential | www.fsresidential.com/new-york | 212.634.8900


NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

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NELSON GARCIA DOORMAN OF THE YEAR: EAST SIDE

‘I COME HERE ALWAYS SMILING’ Nelson Garcia likes interacting with the people in his building and hopes to become a super someday

Nelson Garcia, 41, greets everyone going through the door at 308 East 79th Street by name. He has worked as a porter, concierge and doorman there for 14 years. “I’m always happy. If I have problems, you know, I leave my problems at home and I come here always smiling. You know, people like that,” he says.

Garcia worked in the fur industry, and was a warehouse manager as well as working in a building part time. He decided that the preferred his building work - and the fur industry began slowing down and made the switch to full time. He loves gathering information from people and learning about their lives. He has also learned how to treat people, even when they’re upset. He says it’s a stressful job, but the key is to not take anything personally. Garcia is from Brooklyn, but spent time in the Domini-

can Republic, where his parents worked, from age five to 15. He lives in Queens now, and has three daughters. The oldest is 20, and in college in Buffalo. In his free time he enjoys cycling, and goes on tours with a cycling group. He likes weightlifting, and also has a second job as a superintendent in Long Island City. On Saturdays he attends classes at Queens College for refrigeration systems. He has almost completed the program, and hopes to become a super or work in a hospital with refrigeration systems.

I’m always happy. If I have problems, you know, I leave my problems at home.” Nelson Garcia

Douglas Elliman Property Management is proud to congratulate Nelson Garcia as the 2019 Doorman of the Year East Side and all of the other honorees.

675 Third Avenue New York, NY 10017 212.370.9200 EllimanPM.com

For over 100 years, management has been our focus.


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CARMEN CECILIO HERNANDEZ DOWNTOWN OFFICE CLEANER OF THE YEAR

IN THE SHADOW OF 9/11 It was hard, but Carmen Cecilio Hernandez found the strength to carry on after losing a brother on that terrible day

Carmen Cecilio Hernandez lost her brother in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He was a manager at Euro Brokers, and had helped Hernandez get a job at the World Trade Center as well - as a replacement cleaner. She was on vacation the day the planes hit. But she had a family to support, so when they called her in to help clean up debris at Ground Zero, the site where her brother died, she stepped up and answered the call. She was assigned to work at Century 21, 25 Church St. and, finally, 200 Vesey St. She’s been at 200 Vesey ever since. “It was really hard. I couldn’t be around here. It was very hard for me and my mom, cause my mom works here with me. It was too hard to be around here, but I had to do it, and

I like moving stuff around, breaking stuff down. I was raised with five boys, so I like heavy jobs." Carmen Cecilio Hernandez then he gave me the strength,” she says. It took four years for her brother Jose Merraro’s remains to be discovered. Hernandez, 57, was born in Puerto Rico but came to New York when she was five. She has had all kinds of jobs, from after-school teacher to working in factories. She and her kids lived in Florida for a while, but when they came back to New York her brother got her her first job in cleaning. She loves it. “I like to be busy. I like moving stuff around, breaking stuff down. I was raised with five boys, so I like heavy jobs. I

can’t sit in the office - that’s not me,” she says. Hernandez has lived in Queens for 20 years and enjoys doing arts and crafts. She sews, does interior decorating, prepares gift bags for weddings and christenings. She dreamed of being a doctor when she was young, but had to drop out of school to help her mother support her six siblings. She and her mom have worked together for a long time. Hernandez was her mom’s supervisor for a time in Florida, then they worked in the World Trade Center together, and now they have the same shift at 200 Vesey St. Her daughter is a cleaner at a building nearby. “I like to help people. When people are in trouble they know how to come to me. If they call me, I’m there for them,” she says.

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MARIA VARGAS MIDTOWN OFFICE CLEANER OF THE YEAR

MAKING OFFICES SPARKLE

Maria Vargas is very proud of her two daughters and the education they’ve achieved. “I’m so happy for that.”

Cleaner Maria Vargas gets along with all her coworkers many there more than her 20 years

Twenty years ago, a friend of Maria Vargas’s helped her apply for a job at 3 Park Avenue. She has been working there as a cleaner ever since. Now 62, Vargas is responsible for two full floors and three-quarters of another. Most of the offices she cleans house investment and financial firms. Vargas came from the Dominican Republic 40 years ago, looking

for more and better opportunities. She’s grateful every day for her job and for the support of 32BJ. She gets along with all her coworkers. Surprisingly, Vargas hasn’t worked at 3 Park Avenue the longest. Eight of her coworkers have worked there more than 20 years. She says it’s because of the excellent benefits and supportive environment that they’ve stuck around so long. She’s grateful that she can make enough to take care of her family without a college degree, which wouldn’t have been possible in the Dominican Republic. On weekends she likes going to Broadway shows and restaurants in Manhattan with her husband, who is a chef.

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When she first arrived in New York City in 1979, Vargas worked in a factory that made women’s handbags and was a home attendant. She began taking classes at LaGuardia Community College, but had to drop out to take care of her two daughters. One is a nurse, living in Baltimore, and one is a special education teacher in Miami. She’s very proud of them and the education they’ve achieved. “I’m so happy for that,” she says. She hopes to finish her own degree some day. Maybe after she retires in a few years and moves down to Miami to be near her daughter and the warmer weather.

BUILD ING SERVICE WORKER

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100 Years of Excellence

Kaufman Organization vision for the future Photo: Sarah Ben-Nun


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Whenever I’m cleaning up a plane, I always think of my family traveling on the plane and what would I expect my family to see.” Andrea Bundy

ANDREA BUNDY AIRPORT WORKER OF THE YEAR: JFK

AN ACTIVIST IN THE NEWS Andrea Bundy helped lead the fight to raise the pay for airport workers

2019

You may have read about Andrea Bundy in the New York Times … or the New York Daily News, or heard about her on WNYC. She was a leading activist with 32BJ during the fight to raise the minimum wage for airport workers to $19 per hour. Bundy told the Times in the spring of 2018 that the additional income would allow her to buy track uniforms and shoes for her daughter. “I feel like I got an early Christmas present, not only for me but for my daughter,” she said at the time. Bundy, 50, has worked at John F. Kennedy Airport for almost seven years, cleaning airplanes between flights. Cabin cleaners like Bundy are given a schedule of planes for the day and she’s currently a representative of terminals five and eight. She loves her job, and does it with “pride and joy.” “Whenever I’m cleaning up a plane, I always think of my family traveling on the plane and what would I expect my family to see,” she says. She grew up in Jamaica, and was a senior su-

pervisor at a credit union there. That’s where she began advocating for workers. It’s important to Bundy that her managers respect her and her coworkers, and treat them justly. When she got her job at JFK she noticed that things could be better for workers there, and saw it as a chance to step up and give workers a voice. So she began handing out information about 32BJ and organized her coworkers to join. “They used to put us in a truck, right? We weren’t happy about that. The truck was cold, it was freezing. And the supervisor said to me, ‘Get in the truck’ and I said, ‘It is freezing in there. You don’t provide us with a jacket.’ And he said, ‘Go in there or I’ll take your ID.’ And that really opened my eyes and I said, ‘Why are they treating us like that? You know, this is something we have to put a stop to,” she says. Now, a nicer van takes workers to each plane. Bundy came to New York about eight years ago because her family is here, and she currently lives in Brooklyn. In her free time she loves cooking Jamaican food, watching comedies and spending time with her daughter, who just joined the Navy.


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ABDUL QUDDUS CHAUDHRY RY AIRPORT WORKER OF THEE YEAR: LAGUARDIA Chaudhry is proud of his family’s achievements chievements in education — four generations of Chaudhrys have earned masterss degrees.

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SAFETY FIRST AT LAGUARDIA AIRPORT “This is a sensitive place,“ says Abdul Quddus Chaudhry

At 64, Abdul Quddus Chaudhry is nearing retirement. When he reaches that age, he’ll have been working at LaGuardia Airport for a decade. His position as a security officer was advertised on a poster he saw, and soon he’d been hired. He took classes to get his guard’s license and now works at one terminal’s baggage claim, monitoring access to the runways. “They don’t change these positions every day ... because we remember the faces — that this is this company — only when they go from here. They show the ID, we know that,” he says, explaining the importance of close attention to detail. It’s evident how seriously Chaudhry takes the safety of LaGuardia and the millions of people flying in and out of it every day. He checks each and every ID, and the documentation of every construction worker. He makes sure they fill out the correct form and are accompanied by an appropriate escort. He also checks that any equipment going in and out is safe and approved.

“This is a sensitive place,” he says. Chaudhry says not everyone wants to take on the responsibility of his position, which allows no room for mistakes. That’s one reason Chaudhry keeps things analog with a physical visitor log and paperwork — he’s afraid having a computer screen in front of him would be too distracting. Chaudhry came to New York City from Pakistan in 2010 with a master’s degree in political science and a law degree. He served as the assistant director of Pakistan’s immigration bureau and eventually started his own law practice. Then two of his sons decided to attend college in the U.S., so Chaudhry followed them. “Now I am American. I am happy over here,” he says. Chaudhry has many other family members here as well. Two of his sons work in insurance and one is an electrical engineer. Chaudhry is proud of his family’s achievements in education — four generations of Chaudhrys have earned masters degrees. When he’s not at work, Chaudhry likes spending time at home and keeping up with Pakistani politics. “I’m an Aries, and Aries’ love to stay home,” he says. He lives with his wife in Flushing.

CONGRATULATIONS 32BJ SEIU & Award Winners! We honor your valuable service to our community.

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Kids do the darndest things, but I have kids and I understand."

2019

Jose Ilarraza

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JOSE ILARRAZA SCHOOL HANDYPERSON OF THE YEAR

THE BUSIER THE BETTER No job is too big or too small for Jose Ilarraza to tackle At 49, Jose Ilarraza has spent most of his career at P.S. 372, The Children’s School in Brooklyn. He started out there as a cleaner almost 23 years ago and his title is now handyman, though he does just about everything. “Any repairs, paint, install toilets, vacuum breakers, stuff like that, outlets, changing lights. And then on top of that, the general cleaning, sweeping, mopping, picking up garbage, recycle, sweeping stairs, removing the garbage in the cafeteria, removing the scraps, complying with sanitation,” he says. When it’s movie night, Ilarraza sets up all the chairs. When there’s a winter storm, Ilarraza stays all night shoveling snow. “It’s just the dedication, because I’d rather be here already rather than go home. It comes with the job,” he says. His decades working around kids has made him immune to some of the grosser things they produce; by now, it doesn’t phase

him. “Kids do the darndest things, but I have kids and I understand,” he says. Ilarraza started out working in public transportation but found it wasn’t for him. He was recommended for the job at PS 373 by someone he knew, and has been sure to pay the favor forward by recommending others. He is currently in HVAC training, and makes an effort to take advantage of every learning opportunity. He’d encourage every union member to do the same. He took the most recent custodian test and is hoping to get his license. But, he says, no matter where his career goes, he’ll never forget the place that gave him his start. Ilarraza was born into a big family in Puerto Rico, and came to New York as a child and now lives in Brooklyn. He has two daughters, whose names are tattooed on the insides of his wrists. His oldest is about to graduate from college, where she’s studying criminal justice. His pride is evident when he talks about their grades and their dedication. When he’s not at work he likes to go deer hunting with a friend upstate.


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T HE N EW Y ORK Y ANKEES

ARE PROUD SUPPORTERS OF THE SEIU L OCAL 32BJ AND SALUTE ALL OF THE 2019 HONOREES

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HAMID MOUHCINE DOORMAN OF THE YEAR: DOWNTOWN

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The local paper for the Upper West Side

Advertise with The West Side Spirit today! Call Vincent Gardino at 212-868-0190

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GOING THE EXTRA MILE

Helping people is Hamid Mouhcine’s calling in life Hamid Mouhcine, 44, has been at 20 Pine St. since 2008 — before it even opened. He says he loves the building so much he calls it his “second home,” and waxes poetic about the friendly, respectful residents that have treated him like family over the years. Once, he says, a tenant moved away only to come back because the service there is so good. But Mouhcine is eager to credit his colleagues for this — he attributes the building’s desired atmosphere to their hard work as a team. Mouhcine started out as a parttime porter, part-time concierge at 20 Pine St., and got his certificates in plumbing and electricity from 32BJ. He was planning to follow the career path of a super or handyman, but he showed an affinity for working with people. “So far, so good,” he says. In his current job, he’s always willing to go the extra mile, including staying for double shifts and returning in just a few hours for his regular shift. He loves that his job allows him to meet people from different backgrounds. “After all these years that

I’ve spent here I’ve built a great relationship with all the residents here. Even with their families, with their nannies, with visitors. If you need anything, people here are very nice,” he says. He’s seen tons of kids grow up, and has a photo album on his phone of pictures with him holding young children who live in the building. Mouhcine enjoys solving peoples’ small issues, like getting locked out of their apartment or dealing with a loud neighbor. He likes that all of this contributes to their happiness, and does everything he can to make their lives easier. He takes great pride in being a source of information for tenants, and has even put together a guide to the neighborhood for new tenants with recommendations for where to eat and shop. When he’s not at work, Mouhcine likes playing soccer and basketball with his eight-year-old son. He also does business as a real estate broker with Compass, and has been with them about a year now. If he’s not showing clients around, he likes exploring the city and cooking with his family. Mouhcine is originally from Morocco, and goes back to visit every year.

After all these years that I’ve spent here I’ve built a great relationship with all the residents." Hamid Mouhcine


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The Real Estate Board of New York

Congratulates – the 2019 –

Building Service Worker Award Winners

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congratulates the

2019 Building Service Workers Award Winners and thanks each of them for making our homes and offices better places to live and work.

GLENWOOD BUILDER, OWNER & MANAGER OF MANHATTAN’S MOST LUXURIOUS RENTAL RESIDENCES UPTOWN: 212-535-0500 • GLENWOODNYC.COM • DOWNTOWN: 212-430-5900 All the units include features for, and Glenwood provides reasonable accommodations to persons with disabilities, as required by FHA. EQUAL HOUSING OPPTY

NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019


NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

SAAR’S MYSTICAL MOMENTS AT MOMA ARTISTS

An exhibit featuring decades of art by Betye Saar reveals the depth of her genius and the breadth of her vision of the life of an African American woman BY MARY GREGORY

Artist Betye Saar had a breakout moment almost 50 years ago, in 1972. She created a sculptural assemblage from

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Aunt Jemima knickknacks and labels, and included a grotesque “mammy” figurine. But she replaced the broom the figurine was originally holding with a rifle. “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima” was a clarion statement about race, gender, suppression, and anger. It got the attention of feminists and African American leaders like Angela Davis, who noted it as the beginning of the black women’s movement. Saar’s artwork has been simmering for dec-

ades, and it’s a potent concoction that’s dished out at her solo show at the Museum of Modern Art, “Betye Saar: The Legends of ‘Black Girl’s Window.’” Human rights and politics are still in the foreground, but there’s much more, with lots of depths to plumb. The exhibition presents work mostly from the museum’s collection, taking the opportunity to shine a light on a recent acquisition of 42 works on paper. The centerpiece of the show is Saar’s

IF YOU GO What: “Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window” Where: The Museum of Modern Art 11 West 53rd St., 2nd Floor, South Gallery When: Through Jan. 4, 2020 1969 assemblage “Black Girl’s Window.” It incorporates elements of autobiography, popular culture, astrology, tarot, mysticism, phrenology, Americana and history into one remarkable work. Constructed within a window frame, painted from behind, with stars and moons, uplifted hands marked with mysterious symbols and an opaque black face with transparent eyes, it opens fascinating vistas into very specific and, at the same time, universal themes, tapping into all kinds of energy, through the power of art.

Bridging the Past and the Future

In “The Palmist Window” from 1967, Betye Saar’s found objects along with painted imagery are vivid and evocative. Photos: Adel Gorgy

“There has been an apparent thread in my art that weaves from early prints of the 1960’s through later collages and assemblages and ties into the current installations. That thread is a curiosity about the mystical,“ says Saar in her artist’s statement on her website. “I am intrigued with combining the remnant of memories, fragments of relics and ordinary objects, with the components of technology. It’s a way of delving into the past and reaching into the future simultaneously. The art itself becomes the bridge.” Art is, of course, always a bridge, a communication through imagery, reference, emotion, mood and things that have no name. It’s like a wormhole between universes that might or might not be traversed - a whisper or shout with no guarantee of being re-

“Summer Symbol,“ 1965, an etching with relief printing, is included in “Betye Saar: The Legends of ‘Black Girl’s Window.’”

ceived. Saar’s works on paper that stretch from 1960 to the late 1970s also act as a bridge. They contain some of the same components as her assemblages, but also include tender portraits, magical landscapes and unfamiliar creatures. The wall texts state that “the artistic language that Saar debuted in “Black Girl’s Window” originated in her printmaking.” In them we find sorceresses, palms, strange creatures and celestial and graphic symbols. All mean something to Saar; all invite us to consider them.

Windows Into Many Worlds Saar has said that Joseph Cornell’s assemblages inspired her to start compiling three-dimensional works based on found objects. But rather than Cornell’s closed boxes, she presents windows, lots of them, physical and conceptual. One assemblage, “Fiesta of the Dead,“ makes it impossible to see into Saar’s world without reflecting on your own – it’s backed by a mirror that brings the

viewer’s eyes into the artwork. “The Palmist Window” from 1967 shows three palms, one in each of three panes of a window. With only red, blue and yellow, along with black and white, it hints at deliberate reduction to arrive at some form of expansion. Heart shaped apertures are filled with stars and moons, and the three hands – two drawn and one a palm print – float against solid backgrounds. Beyond its mystical connotations, it feels like an invitation to make contact, in the way people separated by glass often place their palms against each other’s. In fact, the entire exhibition feels like an invitation to consider a body of strikingly intelligent, deeply felt art. Loaded with metaphors and meaning, Saar’s work is mysterious, curious, probing, questioning and challenging. “Curiosity about the unknown has no boundaries,“ Saar states. “Symbols, images, place and cultures merge. Time slips away.”


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NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

DR. LEVI:

RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS OCTOBER 23 - 29, 2019

Hearing Care Expert

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. Starbucks Coffee

141 Amsterdam Ave

A

Crossfit Spot

55 Amsterdam Ave

A

Fine & Schapiro

138 West 72 Street

A

Le Pif

2058 Broadway

A

Sarabeth’s

423 Amsterdam Avenue

A

Blondies

212 West 79 Street

A

King Food

489 Amsterdam Ave

Grade Pending (9) Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Yakitori Sun-Chan

2707 Broadway

Grade Pending (25) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food worker does not use proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate additional heat treatment. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.

Pressed Juicery

2857 Broadway

A

Hula Poke

1028 Amsterdam Ave

A

Her dedication to exceptional care, comprehensive services, and patient education makes her a trusted expert in the community.

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NOVEMBER 7-13, 2019

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PARKING PERMITS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8

ples of Portland’s Northwest District prices .”

curb management strategies.”

Weinberger wondered if a permit would be a legitimate benefit or simply a “hunting license.” If you have a permit and it still takes forever to park, is it worth it, she asked. “[A permit] gives you the right to look for a parking space in your neighborhood,” she said Komanoff addressed the cost issue. He asked attendees to raise their hands if they would pay $250, $250 to $500, and more than $500. He was interrupted by people yelling “Why should they have to pay at all?” Komanoff questioned the very idea of setting aside curb space for residents. “If it were up to me,” he said, “I wouldn’t do residential parking permits.” Instead, he said, he would price curb space, and the cost would vary depending on use.

Clues from Portland A survey from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer looked at programs in other cities and pointed to the potential cost to NYC residents. “For those who would like a Residential Permit Parking program to solve New York’s historic parking crunch — congestion pricing or not—experts do agree that there is a path forward here,“ the report reads. “However, the cost to achieve this ... could be too high a price to pay for some. “Portland’s Northwest District serves as a useful example; here, a neighborhood with a density that pales in comparison to some of New York’s under-discussion neighborhoods has made some progress, yet also struggled to curb parking demand at the current price of $195 for the first permit (and $390 and $585 for second and third permits). For New York to properly handle excess parking demand, the price of permits may need to be several multi-

“A Hunting License”

A Community’s Needs Many attendees felt the city is not looking out for them. One resident, a fourth generation New Yorker named Mark, asked if any of the panelists had ever considered talking to the people in the community about

how they use their cars. “If you want to deprive us of the ability to visit our children, you’re not working towards a community,” he said. “What will it take DOT to actually accept its responsibility and actually manage the curb?” Another attendee, Marc Gordon, stressed that curb management throughout the city is a mess. “If you look at the streets on the Upper West Side, it’s anarchy on every street,” he exclaimed. Resident Julie Lindower said that while many people who have cars work outside of the city, they aren’t the only ones who need parking spots. People that work on the UWS, like porters, doormen and home health aides all typically commute within the city and need spots as well, she said. “These people cannot afford what some of us who are blessed can, a $700 a month parking spot or even a $400 a month parking spot,” she said. “Unless we want to change this neighborhood into Hudson Yards and make it sterile, whatever is decided on we need to factor them in.”

NORTH SHORE ANIMAL LEAGUE AMERICA PRESENTS

JOINT DISEASE

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2 Biologics are medications that target a specific part of the immune system to calm down inflammation and reduce joint damage. These include abatacept, adalimumab, certolizumab, etanercept, golimumab, infliximab, rituximab, sarilumab, tocilizumab. Another targeted group of medications for rheumatoid arthritis are the Jak Kinase inhibitors, which are oral medications that include baricitinib, tofacitnib, and upadcitinib and may be used in more severe disease. The goal of treatment is not only to reduce pain and swelling, but also reduce the progression of the disease and joint damage. Sometimes non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) or corticosteroids may be used to help bring down swelling or during flare-ups. Compliance to medication, regular monitoring blood work, and periodic radiologic imaging are all very important in preventing disease flare-ups, as well as monitoring the overall arthritis and other possible organ involvement.

What else can you do? Treating rheumatoid arthritis, as well as with other autoimmune diseases, is not just about medications. It is important to follow-up with your rheumatologist and primary care doctors, especially since other areas of your body may also become

involved. Regular exercise that include low-impact aerobic workouts and muscle strengthening exercises are important in preserving overall health and range of motion. Discussions with your rheumatologist, physical therapist, and occupational therapist can be helpful in determining the right exercise plan for you. Remember: It’s imperative to stay active even when it is cold outside. Hot morning showers are arthritis patients’ best friends and will help you get moving earlier in the day, before it gets too dark and you lose motivation to go outside at all. When venturing out in the wintertime, make sure to dress with socks and gloves that are warm, yet easy to get on and off, with velcro or larger zippers on coats. And keep in mind that people with rheumatoid arthritis may have a higher risk of weaker bones, so falling on ice is especially dangerous. Treaded winter footwear can help with slippery sidewalks. If you prefer to exercise indoors, treadmills may be a good option. Swimming in heated pools during the winter can be great exercise and stress relieving. So can a walk in an indoor mall, like the one at Columbus Circle, for example. Gentle yoga, massage, and acupuncture may also help relieve the chronic pain that can be associated with RA. Jessica Patel, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology) at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West.

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Real Estate Sales

NEIGHBORHOOD’S BEST To place an ad in this directory, Call Douglas at 212-868-0190 ext. 352.

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YOUR 15 MINUTES

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

‘THE OLYMPIAN KEEPS GOING’ SPORTS

A star athlete talks about the skills he imparts to his students - and why fencing is good for body and mind BY MARK NIMAR Tim Morehouse is one of the Upper West Side’s most accomplished athletes. In addition to winning a silver medal for fencing at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Morehouse runs a non-profit called Fencing in The Schools, has appeared as a special correspondent for E! News, and owns the Tim Morehouse Fencing Club, an elite fencing school which recently opened its fifth location at 77th and West End. But Morehouse has not always been this successful. He started his career in fencing at a division three school, and often lost more matches than he won. But through hard work and tenacity, Morehouse made it to the Olympics, and became one of America’s most famous fencers. We sat down with him last week to talk about how he made the Olympic team, the life skills his students learn at his club and why he fainted when he won the silver medal.

How did you start fencing? I started fencing in seventh grade, which is maybe older than when kids start now. Most kids start between seven and eleven. But I saw a sign at my school that said “join the fencing team, get out of gym.” And without even knowing what it was, I wanted to get out of gym, so I went. And it was sword fighting. In the beginning, I got excused out of gym, and I didn’t go to fencing practice either. And I almost got kicked off the fencing team as a result. But there was something about the coach, and the sport. It kept me coming back. But my first coach Martin Schneider really got to me over time and he started to

tell me like, “If you wanna be really good at fencing, I think you could be really good.” And by eighth grade, I was coming every day to practice.

You have somewhat of an underdog story. You went to a division three school, and ended up winning an Olympic silver medal. What did you do in your practicing to achieve that goal?

I think I was always a hard worker. At least one of the things my parents taught me was to work hard. It sounds overly simplistic, but I think a lot of people have a hard time consistently putting in hard work. I was always able to put in hard work no matter what was happening. If I had a lot of schoolwork, if I had things happening in my life, I was able to just continue to put in work. I think that’s a big part of it is consistent hard work. Some people can put in spurts of hard work, but to do it day in and day out over years and years and years ... I was never someone that made huge jumps. I was always just kind of like, small improvements, small improvements. But I kept improving, and one of the things that made me think I could try to make a run at the Olympic team is I got better every year of college, like significantly. In my mind I was like, “I want to see: how far can I go with this?” I think perseverance is a big quality of people that make the Olympics. Anyone can be really happy when everything’s going well, but how do you handle times when things are not well? When you’re doubting, when you’re struggling, when it looks like all hope is lost? The Olympian keeps going. That’s the Olympian’s moment ... when there’s no hope. That’s where you find your Olympian self. I had many of those moments where [I thought] “Did I even have a shot at this?” But there was something that pushed me through all those struggles.

Tim Morehouse (center) with his fencing students and teaching staff. Photo: Tim Morehouse Fencing Club staff

And you fainted when you won the silver medal. Tell us about that. I had never fainted in my life. But when my teammates scored the point, [and] we knew we were winning a medal, I think the moment just really overwhelmed me. And I think I stopped breathing. I was so excited that I just forgot to breathe. At a certain point I just passed out on the floor. My teammates like jumped on top of me and were celebrating. They thought I was just celebrating, like laying on the floor. For like a week, I would wake up in the middle of the night, thinking that I had dreamt that we won the medal. I would check for it, so it was really, like [an] unbelievable experience.

You’ve been quoted as saying that fencing is really good for the body and mind. How do you think fencing can benefit someone who wants to try it out? There’s a cool study actually

of senior citizens who fence who have higher mental acuity. So it’s probably one of the best studies for the fact that fencing really is impacting your brain as well as your body when you’re doing it. It’s a lot of puzzle solving. Think about crossword puzzles, trying to solve a puzzle. It really gets your brain always thinking about what move do you have to do? What data was there? What did my opponent do last touch? What do I have to do next touch? And we see in kids, on the physical side, kids who are 7-11 we really focus on motor skills, coordination, balance. If you don’t have those three things, you can’t do any sport. Even if a kid doesn’t stay in fencing, they’re gonna leave us with much higher motor skill function. Because we really do a lot with the body: teaching kids how to use their body, [and] how the body works separately and together.

What direct benefits have you seen fencing have on your students? The biggest compliment a parent can give us is they see their child more confident. What we do here is teaching fencing, but we are teaching life skills. We are teaching how to compete, but not just on the fencing strip, but I think in life. This is my story as well. I was a very introverted kid. I was very shy, I was picked on, and when I put on a fencing mask, over time I took on this whole different personality. I had confidence, exuberance. And I experienced confidence first in fencing, and then I was able to translate that to other places in my life. And so I feel like I want our club to be a place where kids can come and grow and learn, know that they’re improving, and feel that confidence of, you know, “hard work helps me get better.” And they’re able to take that confidence and bring it to other parts of their lives.

Getting to the Olympics is such a tough feat. What kept you going in spite of all these challenges? I loved fencing; it’s what I was passionate about. I guess one of my values is if I’m gonna do something I’m gonna see it all the way through, and I’m not gonna make excuses. And if I don’t get it done, I’ll take something valuable enough from it that it was worth it. So I try never to live with any regrets. People always kind of put one foot in the water to make the Olympics. [But] you really have to just go in. You can’t be in half way. You can’t be in 90 percent. You have to go all the way into what you’re doing. This interview has been edited and condensed.

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


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