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The local paper for the Upper West Side IN LOVE WITH COLOR

◄ CITY ARTS, P.12

WEEK OF NOV.-DEC. WEEK OF

NOVEMBER

28-4 28-de2019

EXORCISING THE DEMONS OF THE PAST

POLITICS Mark Diller (center) poses with board member Madelyn Innocent (right) and former member Genora Johnson (left). Photo courtesy of Community Board 7

A FOCUS ON EMPATHY

COMMUNITY

pathy — whether it be homelessness, school segregation, affordable housCB7’s new chair Mark Diller ing or crime. talks about how to face “I think that the answer neighborhood challenges to those challenges has to be a very determined comBY EMILY HIGGINBOTHAM bination of forward thinking, planning and personal At the start of November, empathy,” he said in an inthe members of Commu- terview with the West Side nity Board 7 elected a new Spirit last week. An attorney by profesleader in Mark Diller, who took over from Roberta sion, Diller came to the Semer after her three years community board through an interest in the neighboras chair. Diller is returning to a hood’s schools. He had been role he’s familiar with. He serving as the president of served as chair for two the Parent-Teacher Assoterms until 2013, when ciation for his son’s school chairs were limited to two district and was looking to terms. In speaking about take a new step in serving how to tackle the issues fac- his community. “One of the things that ing the Upper West Side, Diller continued to return happens when you get into the idea of approaching these challenges with em- CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

WestSideSpirit W

WESTSIDE SPIRIT.COM @WestSideSpirit

Hoping to defy a jinx that’s haunted other mayors, Bloomberg kicks off the greatest presidential campaign money can buy – dodging electoral landmines and repudiating a signature policy BY DOUGLAS FEIDEN

His estimated net worth today stands at a cool $54.3 billion – more than enough to attempt to buy a presidential election without taking a dime

from the public. It’s the ultimate transaction, its impact on American democracy uncertain, and it officially got underway on Sunday, Nov. 24 when exMayor Michael Bloomberg told the world, “I’m going all in.” Portraying himself as a “middle-class kid who made good,“ he declared his candidacy with a grave message: The current occupant of the White House poses an “existential threat to our country and our values.” In a choreographed burst of

ads, videos, websites and social media that echoed across every major market in the nation, he defined both the problem - and what he saw as the solution. “Defeating Donald Trump, and rebuilding America, is the most urgent and important fight of our lives,“ Bloomberg said. “And I’m going all in. I offer myself as a doer and a problem solver - not a talker and someone who is ready to take on the tough fights and win.”

INSIDE

UNDER (IVY LEAGUE) PRESSURE It starts in second grade, writes a Manhattan high school student. p. 8

CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

FIGHTING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC Experts gather at Touro College to address the crisis. p. 6

BOB DYLAN MISSED A LIVELY TALK IN STUY TOWN

Fans flocked to hear about iconic musician. p. 9

CANDLE 79 TO GO DARK Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined MTA officials and other local leaders on Dec. 20, 2013 and took the first ride on the extension of the 7 Subway line to 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue in Manhattan. Photo: Gage Skidmore, via flickr

Crime Watch Voices NYC Now City Arts

3 8 10 12

Restaurant Ratings 14 Business 16 Real Estate 17 15 Minutes 19

WEEK OF AUGUST

Your personal edition of The Spirit Westsider Since 1972

08-14 2019

‘MY HANDS ARE OUTSTRETCHED’ P. 19

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

◄ 15 MINUTES,

Westsider INSIDE

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

13

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

New development forces vegan eatery to close. p. 13

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14 Restaurant Ratings 16 Business 17 R l Estate

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NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

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A STRONG STEP AGAINST VAPING HEALTH

New York AG joins states suing e-cigarette maker Juul BY VERENA DOBNIK, ASSOCIATED PRESS

New York has joined the ranks of states suing the nation’s biggest e-cigarette maker, Juul Labs Inc., saying the company used deceptive marketing practices to reel in young users. Attorney General Letitia James announced the lawsuit last Tuesday against San Francisco-based Juul Labs Inc. It alleges the company contributed to a youth vaping epidemic using misleading sales tactics on popular social media sites. The suit also alleges that Juul advertising touted e-cigarettes, which contain nicotine, as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. In a written statement, Juul

Labs said it had yet to review the lawsuit. “We remain focused on resetting the vapor category in the U.S. and earning the trust of society by working cooperatively with attorneys general, regulators, public health officials, and other stakeholders to combat underage use and convert adult smokers from combustible cigarettes,‘’ it said. The company previously ended the U.S. advertising campaigns and shut down the social media accounts that are the subject of the lawsuit. It also stopped selling most flavors of its e-cigarettes after complaints that they were aimed at attracting young users, not just smokers looking for an alternative to cigarettes. California sued the company on Monday and North Carolina in May. Illinois, Massachusetts and several other states are also investigating Juul, which James said repre-

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“Big Tobacco’s Playbook” In the latest government survey, one in four high school students reported using ecigarettes the previous month, despite federal law banning sales to those under 18. “Juul basically took a page from Big Tobacco’s playbook,“ James, New York state’s highest-ranking law enforcement officer, told a news conference at her Manhattan office. The lawsuit was filed in state court in Manhattan. It requires Juul to stop targeting minors and pay fines for various alleged violations. The suit comes as health officials have been investigating deaths and illnesses tied to some vaping products. Most who got sick said they vaped products containing THC, the high-inducing ingredient in marijuana. Officials believe a thickening agent used in black-

market THC vaping products appears to be a culprit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 42 deaths linked to vaping and 2,172 injuries, according to the federal agency’s latest count. Juul’s products contain nicotine, not THC, but politicians have used the illnesses and deaths to hammer all ecigarette makers.

Vaping-Related Deaths James said the death of a 17year-old boy in the Bronx, linked to vaping, spurred her to file the lawsuit. “As a result of all of their advertising, a significant number of young people thought that e-cigarettes were safe,“ James said. She said other companies that produce e-cigarettes may be targeted in the future. “All individuals who are responsible for the destruction that has been caused in the

Photo: David Noonan

state of New York, you can be assured this office will pursue those individuals and not be limited to any one particular company,‘’ James said. (After James’s meeting, the New York Post reported that a Manhattan resident in his 30s also died from vaping-related illness.)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement saying that “it is undeniable that the vaping industry is using flavored e-cigarettes to get young people hooked on potentially dangerous and deadly products, and the predatory marketing practices used by these companies have no place in New York.’’


NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

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CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG SOCIAL SECURITY PHONE SCAM Another week, another dreadful phone scam. Police said that at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 12, an 86-year-old woman living at 5 Riverside Drive at West 73rd St. received a phone call from a female caller who said she was from the Social Security Administration. The caller said there were fraudulent activities occurring with the senior’s Social Security number. The senior was told there was a warrant out for her arrest if she did not cooperate. She was instructed to withdraw money from her bank account; she complied, sending $14,000 in cash via FedEx on Wednesday, November 13, to a Taylor Lee, 1410 Elm Ave., Long Beach, CA 90813. Then on Friday, November 15, she sent $15,000 in cash to an Evan Jim, 4111 Rowland Ave., El Monte, CA 91731, and again on Saturday, November 16, $10,000 in cash to a John White, 8200 Bolsa Ave., SPC 121, Midway City, CA. In all, the unfortunate victim wound up being scammed out of $39,000.

GYM JACK Police remind fitness enthusiasts never to bring anything valuable to

STATS FOR THE WEEK Reported crimes from the 1st precinct for the week ending Nov 17 Week to Date

Year to Date

2019

2018 % Change

2019

2018 % Change

0 1

0 0

n/a n/a

1 8

0 11

n -27.3

6 2

1 0

500.0 n/a

70 72

57 71

22.8 1.4

Grand Larceny

0 10

3 10

-100.0 0.0

57 523

73 -21.9 584 -10.4

Grand Larceny Auto

0

0

n/a

33

28

Murder Rape Robbery Felony Assault Burglary

Photo by Tony Webster, via Flickr

the gym, including your credit cards. At 12 noon on Thursday, November 14, a 30-year-old man put his belongings in a locker at the New York Sports Club at 23 West 73rd St. between Columbus Ave. and Central Park West. Just five minutes later he allegedly discovered that his belongings had been removed without his permission. The victim told police that $3,319.87 in unauthorized charges turned up on his credit cards, all made at Best Buy. He canceled all his cards. Other items stolen included $50 in cash, AirPods worth $159, a New York State driver’s license, a healthcare card, an APC bag and various credit and debit cards.

E-BIKE THEFTS Delivery personnel rely on electric bicycles year-round; so, it seems, do bike thieves. In one recent incident, which occurred at 8:25 p.m. on Thursday, November 7, a 26-year-old man was making a delivery at 140 West End Ave at 67th St. When he returned seven minutes later he allegedly discovered that his ride was gone. The stolen bike was valued at $1,740. Then at 9:28 p.m. on Sunday, November 17, a 30-year-old man was making an Uber Eats food delivery at 435 Amsterdam Ave. at West 83rd St., leaving his bike in front of the location for less than a

17.9

unknown individual allegedly stole the wallet of a 49-year-old woman while she was shopping at the Citarella store at 2135 Broadway at 75th St. Police said that unauthorized transactions in an unspecified amount later turned up on her missing credit cards. Other items taken included a Prada wallet valued at $600, $400 in cash, a daughter’s ring valued at $100, along with credit cards and ID cards, making a total stolen of $1,600.

minute. Police said that when he returned his bike was gone. The man was told by a witness that his twowheeler had been taken by an unknown man who fled southbound on Amsterdam. Stolen items included the e-bike valued at $1,600, plus a Samsung S9 phone worth $550.

WALLET GOES MISSING IN STORE Between 7:45 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday, November 5, an

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POLICE

NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

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Drawing Board

Useful Contacts

BY SUSAN FAIOLA

NYPD 20th Precinct

120 W. 82nd St.

NYPD 24th Precinct

151 W. 100th St.

212-580-6411 212-678-1811

NYPD Midtown North Precinct

306 W. 54th St.

212-767-8400

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

US Post Office

1283 First Ave.

212-517-8361

US Post Office

1617 Third Ave.

212-369-2747

US Post Office

215 W. 104th St.

212-662-0355

US Post Office

700 Columbus Ave.

212-866-1981

US Post Office

127 W. 83rd St.

212-873-3991

Ansonia Post Office

178 Columbus Ave.

212-362-1697

POST OFFICES

HOW TO REACH US: 212-868-0190 nyoffice@strausnews.com westsidespirit.com

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FIGHTING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC PUBLIC HEALTH

Touro College hosts a special event to highlight the crisis and explore solutions BY SARAH BEN-NUN

“In New York State, an average of 9 people a day die from opioid overdose.” That was the cold truth delivered last week by Arlene GonzalesSanchez, commissioner of the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports. Gonzalez-Sanchez was taking part in a lecture series on the opioid crisis at Touro College’s Upper West Side campus, where some 200 students and alumni turned out to hear the speakers. The event, titled, “Opioid Addiction - An International and Local Crisis and Epi-

demic: New Models of Prevention, Treatment and Recovery,” featured speakers who addressed the issue from their unique perspective and experience. Touro recently received two financial awards to support its efforts in combating the ongoing epidemic. The first, for $1.33 million, is shared by the graduate school of social work and school of health sciences’ clinical mental health counseling program. It’s part of the “Federal Opioid Workforce Expansion Program” and will help support 24 Touro students. The second grant, for $60,000, is designated for a new program called “Social Workers on the Front Line of the Opioid Epidemic Learning Collaborative,” and provides living expenses and training for up to eight students.

“We’re consolidating everything we’ve been doing up until now, and building upon it with these new grant opportunities,” said Dr. Eric Levine, Touro’s director of social work alumni engagement and financial resource development.

Leading Cause of Unintentional Death Following opening remarks from Touro President Dr. Alan Kadish and Graduate School of Social Work Dean Steven Huberman, Gonzales-Sanchez, addressed the very real effects that substance abuse (including opioids) have on New York State residents, and what her office has done to change that grim reality. “Opioids are the leading cause of unintentional death in New York State,” she said. In 2017, there were 3,264 opioid overdose deaths in the state. The opioid epidemic has had a greater impact on some areas of New York City than others: according to the city health department, overdose rates in East Harlem, and in Crotona-Tremont and Hunts Point-Mott Haven in the

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South Bronx, were more than twice the citywide average in 2018. Gonzales-Sanchez explained exactly how disastrous that statistic is: in 2018, New York City saw 1,151 deaths from opioid overdose. Marcia, one of the Touro graduate students in the grant program, is currently working in the south Bronx. “I recognize that there’s a problem in my community,” she said. She worked for 15 years in child welfare, but after seeing the impact adult substance abuse has on the children in their lives, she was inspired to focus her experience and skills on addiction. “Things are happening around [the kids] and to them, and we’re not treating it as what it is,” she said.

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support them in their field placements as social workers and clinical mental health professionals, as they work in teams with physicians, pharmacists, and nurses in the communities that are hit hardest by the epidemic. Avi Feinsod, another one of the students receiving grant support, is currently placed at Samaritan Village, a human services agency that includes treatment for veterans struggling with substance abuse. He is part of a team that observes and guides them, through both group and individual programs. “The issue seemed unfortunately prevalent, it’s growing, it’s common in our communities,” he said. “There are reasons for substance abuse.” Dr. Daniel Rosa, who followed Gonzales-Sanchez, addressed one of those reasons – neurobiology. Rosa is the senior medical director of Acacia Network, an organization that offers programs in

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substance abuse treatment. He walked the audience through the changes the brain goes through as addiction takes hold and worsens. “It’s a brain disease,” he said, “a loss of control, of impulse control.” Addiction is not a moral choice, Rosa emphasized, and addicts should not be stigmatized or isolated from society. “You can’t just wait for them to die, “ he said. And it can happen to anyone. “It doesn’t matter who you are, if you have a brain, you’re vulnerable.” Touro has been sponsoring events like opiod lectures for over a decade, said Allison Bobick, the program coordinator. “We always want to choose something that’s relevant, something that our social workers need to know, what’s going on in our community,” said Bobick. Unfortunately, in 2019, it’s the opioid epidemic.

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A FOCUS ON EMPATHY

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

volved with PTA is you see the full panoply of needs of the students that are served by public schools, which, even in our very affluent neighborhood, included folks who didn’t enjoy your share in that affluence,” said Diller. He asked then-City Council Member Gale Brewer what his next step should be, and she told him to apply for the community board. In April 2008, he was appointed to the board.

‘A Big Swing of the Pendulum’ So far in his tenure, he said the work he’s most proud to have been a part of was a project that intersected development and education. In 2010, he helped condition the construction of what is now PS 191 — almost entirely at the expense of the developers — with new development. “This was a big swing of the pendulum for public schools,” Diller said. “And it achieved the purpose we all had the back of our minds, which is that P.S. 191 — [a] school that at one time served largely a population of folks from the Amsterdam Houses — was able to move into this brand spanking new state-of-the-art facility and was able to welcome more students.” When Diller looks at some of the development currently underway on the Upper West Side, he worries about the kind of precedent it sets. Particularly in the case of 200 Amsterdam — a tower that topped out this summer but is tied up in litigation over the zoning laws — Diller said he wasn’t sure the project could pass the straight face test. “It is a mockery to have a zoning lot that looks like a jigsaw puzzle when the jigsaw puzzle cutter fell asleep at the machine,” he said.“And it is a problem because if that is allowed to be the new normal, then these ultra tall buildings — whatever ultra tall means in your neighborhood — can become much more prevalent regardless of neighborhood character, and regardless of their impact on all sorts of things that impact livability and quality of life.”

It is a mockery to have a zoning lot that looks like a jigsaw puzzle when the jigsaw puzzle cutter fell asleep at the machine.” CB7 Chair Mark Diller on 200 Amsterdam Ave.

In regard to some of the issues currently going on in the neighborhood, Diller said it’s important to listen to people and hear out their concerns, particularly when it comes to neighborhood safety.

High Profile Crimes He said that he thought Deputy Inspector Timothy Malin, who commands the 20th police precinct, has had a good handle on several high profile crimes that took place in the neighborhood, including a daytime shooting at a public playground. But he said he didn’t blame residents for being fearful following these events. “If I’m a dad and that playground where that happened, I’d be just as motivated and just as, frankly, scared, I assume, as those folks who were actually there were, and I’d want to do something about it — so I get it,” he said. “It’s both true that we are statistically safer than we feel there as well at times. And so what we need to do is to be careful not to compromise the successes that we’ve had, while always looking for ways to be a little safer and so forth.” For his third term as chair, Diller hopes to engage the Upper West Side community in a larger way. “I want us to expand the scope and net of our community relationships, both with organizations and with individuals,” he said. “The community board is committed to being here for people for the needs that they want to bring our way and we welcome any challenge.”

TURN YOUR CONCERN INTO IMPACT. The New York Community Trust can help maximize your charitable giving. Contact Jane at (212) 686-0010 x363 or giving@nyct-cfi.org for a consultation.

Concern about crime: At a community meeting on Oct. 28 at the 20th Precinct. Photo: Courtesy of 20th Precinct via Twitter

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SHOP LOCAL DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON EAST SIDED OBSERVER

BY ARLENE KAYATT

All shopping is local - Thankfully, communities are getting the message and going all out to shop at and support local businesses. The notion of getting offline and out of the big boxes and chains is getting traction. If you can’t fight ‘em, as they say, join the mission and do your shopping locally. It’s becoming more and more popular, including here in Yorkville. To jump start a tradition and hopefully a trend, Community Board 8’s Small Business Committee and Yorkville Buy Local are cosponsoring and hosting “Small Business Saturday” this Nov 30, right after Thanksgiving, with a tour (from 11 a.m. to 2:30p.m.) of some of Yorkville’s local businesses, like Schaller & Weber’s, which is the oldest, and Logo’s Book Store, which has been in the neighborhood for years. Others, like Le Grand Triage wine shop, which is the newest, and City Swiggers, are more recent. There will be goodies like free tote bags, fun treats, and some discounts. The tour will begin at DTUT, a wine bar on Second Ave between 90th and 91st, and will end at a local pub where you can learn a little bit more about what Yorkville Buy Local does. Any other businesses that want to provide coupons or discounts for the goody bags, can do so. Just email yorkvillebuylocal.com. Tour. Shop. Local. Another local endeavor promoting small businesses is

coming to East Harlem’s La Marqueta at 116th and Lex, which is hosting a First Ever Harlem Night Market on three Saturdays between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The event was organized by Uptown Grand Central, NYC Public Markets, The Best of Harlem and Buy Local East Harlem. Newly renovated, the first-ever night market will have food and beverage vendors, local artisans and entertainers. Saturday events are Dec. 7, 14 and 21 from 4 to around 10 p.m. Shopping and being entertained in the same local venue is a good way to spend Saturdays in December. Eleven years of Cindy Adams’s Blessing of the Animals - As always, Cindy’s Annual Blessing of the Animals is coming to Christ Church at 60th and Park Ave. on Sunday, Dec 8th, from 2 to 3 p.m. In its eleventh year, Cindy’s blessing event celebrates all pets who bring their people. Dogs, cats, gerbils, maybe a goldfish, maybe a parakeet. People with pets, pets with people are welcome. Co-sponsors of the Blessing include the John and Margo Catsimatidis Foundation. Verizon’s victims - Buildings are replacing copper wire with fiber-optic cable in residential buildings and complaints have been coming in from East Siders that the new wiring interferes with the ability to use rotary phones. Let’s not forget that there’s a large older population in NY whose old-time rotary phones are their only lifeline to services, family,

friends, 911 and 311. In many cases, the phone (albeit rotary) is the only access they have to the outside world and their only means of communication. Let’s face it, those elders with rotaries aren’t likely or even able to develop the technological skill or capability to use modern phones. So Verizon’s threats to their elderly customers, that “Service will be cut off unless change is made to more updated phone technology” is not only bullying and unconscionable, it’s not doable for rotary users who are unable to adapt to the consequences of the new cabling. And Verizon’s threat to cut off service to these residents very well may be age discrimination. With its vast resources, Verizon can reasonably dedicate some of their technological knowhow to developing an accommodation to the aging class of telephone users. Reader readback - In response to a recent column item about bus riders with young ones who occupy seats instead of laps while elders are left standing, Stuy Town’s Hazel Roslyn Feldman, wrote that “Seat entitlement” bothers her, too, and noted that “Subway riders have the same bad habits as those riding buses. The ‘me’ generation never left; now all generations are afflicted.” And in response to the same item, Dr. Loosen gave a “Tip o’ the hat on (my) swipe at bus manners” and advocated for “no tip for that taxi driver.” Too late for that ride, Dr. Loosen, but lesson learned.

NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

Voices Entrance to Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University. Photo: Bart Everson, via flickr

UNDER (IVY LEAGUE) PRESSURE

EDUCATION

BY FIONA BRAINERD

In second grade, a girl in my class replaced her family’s computer desktop image with a photo of Yale, announcing that she wouldn’t change it again until she got into Yale as a senior. Two years later, in fourth grade, I sat at a lunch table with my friends, debating which modern language would look better on a college application. The college admissions process has weighed on us since we sat in our second grade classroom, announcing which Ivy League school we would go to. I proclaimed that I was bound for Harvard, the girl next to me said she was going to Princeton, the girl across from me that she was destined for Dartmouth. The expectation, even then, was to go to an Ivy, presumed by a private school that prides itself on its college placement record and by a generation of parents who equate the Ivys with success.

Stress, Tears and Skipping Lunch The pressure to attend a top-tier college never lets up. The bar is perilously

high; we need to get perfect grades, join school clubs, find leadership positions, do extracurriculars, and get high scores on standardized tests. The mother of a friend of mine took her to a college counselor at age 14, who asked if she might want to found a non-profit or publish a book to bolster her resume. For four years of high school we are consumed by this need to do as much as possible, to pick an interest and run with it, to “be a spike” in order to market ourselves. We choose activities that will look best on paper rather than following our interests, joining Model UN and Debate because they sound more impressive than comedy club or film club. We become obsessed with maintaining our grades: grounded for our Bs, crying in bathrooms over bad math quizzes, skipping lunch to study. We forfeit four years of our lives in preparation for the promise of the next four.

It’s All About Status The harsh truth is that only so many of us from the same high school can go to each college. The result is a quiet competitiveness. Only a few students can be at the

top of our class, there can only be one head of a club, only two class presidents. I spend every day surrounded by girls who are violin prodigies, math geniuses, or fluent in three languages. To attend an Ivy League is to prove yourself to your peers, your teachers, your family. We have been led to believe that the prestige of the college we attend is the measure of our intelligence and success; the name on our sweatshirts has become the ultimate marker of our intelligence. The heart of this pressure is based, not on the quality of the university, but rather on its status. The goal is not to attend a college where you would get the best education or where you would be happiest, but to go a college that your school can boast about, that your parents can tell their friends you attend, and which will, eventually, look best on a job application. The emphasis is on name-value alone. The schools we picked in that second grade classroom, those elite Ivys, are the primary goal for us as high schoolers, because we have been taught to equate not only the college’s worth, but our own, with where we get in.

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NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

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BOB DYLAN MISSED A LIVELY TALK IN STUY TOWN PUBLIC EYE

BY JON FRIEDMAN

It’s really too bad that music legend Bob Dylan was away on tour when I gave a talk about him a few weeks ago in Stuyvesant Town. The Nobel Prize recipient would have enjoyed my lecture – well, of course. The subject was Bob Dylan himself (or, as his acolytes might prefer me to spell the word, Himself). And the 78year-old Dylan would have fit right in regarding the demographic of the audience. These were mostly senior citizens. (OK, millennials!).

Snappy History I delivered a snappy History of Bob Dylan in a fastpaced 90 minutes. Thanks to the bumper crop of questions from audience members, everyone had an opportunity to put in her or his two cents. This was definitely Dylan Country. Though Dylan once said to critic Robert Hilburn, “Nostalgia is death,” this audience embraced its fond memories. One gentleman remembered seeing Dylan play during a Joan Baez concert in the Forest Hills tennis stadium in 1963. A woman swore she actually witnessed one of Dylan’s earliest New York City performances, in 1962. (But she also insisted that he sang “Lay Lady Lay” that same night, even though that song didn’t see the light of day until seven years later, in 1969). I spoke to the throng about his arrival in New York on (according to some experts) Jan. 24 or Jan. 25 in 1961. There were gasps at the recognition that this titanic event took place so long ago. As a lifelong Dylan fanatic, I found the subjects of the questions to be illuminating. Many people were fascinated to learn that Dylan had become a born-again Christian in 1979, following the end of his 12-year marriage to his first wife, Sara, the subse-

Photo: Jon Friedman

quent separation from their five children and a series of professional disappointments and setbacks in 1978. Others were curious about how Dylan spends his money, why he seemed to reluctantly accept the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature (I had no clear answer), the nature of his collaboration and friendship with music icon Johnny Cash (the questioner was pleased to learn that there is a new Legacy “Bootleg” album showcasing the Dylan-Cash recording sessions in 1969) and the level of friendship that Dylan and The Beatles shared, particularly John Lennon.

Indelible Connection The audience was also happy to learn that Dylan may have spent time in Stuyvestant Town when he came to New York, an indelible connection. We Stuy Town resident like that it is not on the tourist maps so we have a relatively quiet life here. The New York Times once referred to it as an

“oasis” in New York City. It’s a neighborhood where a lot of people don’t leave. I overheard a woman at my Dylan event ask someone how long he had been living here. The man replied, “Since the 80s,” he said proudly. To which the lady sniffed, “Oh. Is that all?” Stuy Town prides itself on being family friendly. It’s a place where there are a lot of ways to entertain children, such as places to go ice skating and play basketball. They show movies and, of course, they hold special events for seniors. Dylan’s impact on our lives has been so immense that – let’s face it – we can all claim him as a part of us. The denizens of Stuyvesant Town are no different. We can only wonder what songs Dylan might have written while crashing on some Stuy Town couch. Jon Friedman is the author of “Forget About Today: Bob Dylan’s Genius for Reinvention, Shunning the Naysayers, and Creating a Personal Revolution.”

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ACTIVITIES FOR THE FERTILE MIND

thoughtgallery.org NEW YORK CITY

Calendar NYCNOW

Secret Science Club North | Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut’s Story of Invention with Astronaut & Author Kathryn Sullivan

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3RD, 8PM Symphony Space | 2537 Broadway | 212-864-1414 | symphonyspace.org

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

The first American woman to walk in space, a veteran of three NASA missions, and until 2017 the Administrator of NOAA, Kathryn Sullivan presents her new book, her first ($25).

AMNH Presents | SciCafe: Hacking the Stars

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4TH, 7PM Am. Museum of Nat. History | CPW at 79th St. | 212-769-5100 | amnh.org Join astrophysicist, inventor, science communicator, and humanitarian Hakeem M. Oluseyi as he discusses the use of hacking to process massive amounts of data for ends like new propulsion technology and the investigation of galactic structure and formation (free with RSVP).

Just Announced | Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus with Michelle Obama

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH, 9AM Barclays Center | 620 Atlantic Ave. | 917-618-6100 | barclayscenter.com First Lady Michelle Obama comes to Brooklyn to sit down with Oprah Winfrey as part of an all-day affair where Winfrey “shares the personal ups and downs of her wellness journey” ($299.50 & up).

EDITOR’S PICK

Sat 30 BEETHOVEN: STILL MODERN AT 250 New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 40 Lincoln Center Plaza 2:30 p.m. Free nypl.org 917-275-6975 Pianist Benjamin Bradham presents a program that honors Beethoven’s stature as a composer of unsurpassed inventiveness, power, and expression.

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Thu 28

Fri 29

Sat 30

▲Y YOGA FOR YOU, YOGA FOR THEM

THE QUEEN OF SPADES The Metropolitan Opera 30 Lincoln Center Plaza 7:30 p.m. $30 and up

KEN SLAVIN: JAZZ CROONER EXTRAORDINAIRE Triad Theatre 158 West 72nd St 7:00 p.m. $20

Tchaikovsky’s eerie thriller of imperial Russia has its first performances at the Met since 2011. Tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko is Hermann, the fanatical gambler whose obsession with a powerful secret drives him to madness. metopera.org 212-362-6000

Enjoy an evening of topdrawer entertainment with Ken Slavin when he makes his Triad debut. One of the country’s most exciting classic jazz and cabaret singers, Ken enjoys an international following due to his polished vocals and showmanship. triadnyc.com 212-362-2590

CorePower Yoga 29 West 30th St, Suite B 9:30 a.m. $20 suggested donation When muscle meets yoga, Yoga Sculpt is born. Boost metabolism and build lean muscle mass as you move to upbeat tracks. This donation-based class benefits Yoga Foster, with a $20 donation giving one child yoga for one year. corepoweryoga.com 866-441-9642


NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4,2019

Photo: Charley Lhasa via Flickr

Sun 1

Mon 2

Tue 3

▼W WINTER TREE ID: THE PINETUM Central Park 85th St & Central Park West 11:00 a.m. Free

▲WINTER'S EVE AT LINCOLN SQUARE

SOUTHERN CROSSINGS: COMPOSITION AND COLLABORATION

This program highlights the beauty of the Pinetum in Central Park and other pine trees throughout the park. Created in the 1970s, this section of the park contains a variety of pine trees species from all over the world. nycgovparks.org 212-360-1444

Dante Park 63rd St & Broadway 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. Free This special community event is meant to highlight all that Lincoln Square has to offer, from culture to food to business, while celebrating the holiday season with locals and visitors. lincolnsquarebid.org 212-581-3774

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Buell Hall at Columbia University 515 West 116th St 6:00 p.m. Free The composer and librettists of “Southern Crossing,” a chamber opera about Charles Darwin and astronomer John Herschel, share their experience and thoughts about the music and conceptual work of their collaboration. events.columbia.edu 212-854-4482

Wed 4

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.

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FILM: OLDBOY (2003) Walter Reade Theater 165 West 65th St 9:00 p.m. $15 After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days. Park Chanwook’s ultra-stylish revenge thriller has electrified audiences with its bravura set pieces and shocking themes. filmlinc.org 212-875-5601

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IN LOVE WITH COLOR EXHIBITS

Neue Galerie New York presents the vibrant works of German Expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner BY VAL CASTRONOVO

Art fans may not be able to immediately place Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), the German Expressionist giant who achieved fame and misfortune in the early part of the 20th century. But if they have any familiarity at all with his life and career, it probably has

IF YOU GO

What: “Ernst Ludwig Kirchner” Where: Neue Galerie New York, 1048 Fifth Ave at 86th St When: Through January 13. neuegalerie.org to do with the fact that he was the victim of a Nazi smear. Along with the art of Max Beckmann, Oskar Kokoschka, Paul Klee and many other moderns, Kirchner’s work was labeled “degenerate” by the Nazis and derided in a notorious show in Munich in

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) Mountain Forest, 1918-20. Oil on canvas. Kirchner Museum Davos, Donation of Bruhin-Valtin. Photo: © Kirchner Museum Davos, Stephan Bösch

1937, “Entartete Kunst” (“Degenerate Art”) — a fact that no doubt fed his decision to take his own life the following year, at age 58. The smear is glossed over here, but a certain sobriety prevails, if only because this modern genius was plagued by addiction and a fragile psyche. After the outbreak of World War I, he joined a reserve artillery regiment and suffered a serious nervous breakdown, which led to a series of stints in German and Swiss sanatoriums.

Vivid, Brilliant Hues The connection to Vincent van Gogh’s psychiatric ills comes to mind at once in the small room devoted to Kirchner’s war art. There, a dramatic canvas, “Self-Portrait as a Soldier” (1915), shows the artist in uniform with a severed right hand, his painting hand. It’s a metaphor for Kirchner’s fear of losing his artistic identity in the war, but invites comparison with Van Gogh’s very real, self-inflicted injury — that time when he sliced his left ear — pictured in “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear” (1889). Like Van Gogh and the Post-Impressionists who clearly influenced him, Kirchner was head over heels in love with color. A self-styled “Farbenmensch” (color man), he saw it as the foundation of his art. His canvases are brimming with vivid, brilliant hues — deep blues, reds, pinks, greens, yellows and browns — and women, lots of women. As co-curator Jill Lloyd writes in the catalog, “Color is integral to Kirchner’s practice in all media — he is an artist who literally thinks in color.” The exhibit on the third floor of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, tapestries and sculpture is organized into three major sections — Dresden, Berlin and Davos, the picturesque resort in

NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

Switzerland where he ended his life — and continues on the floor below in a room devoted exclusively to his prints. The work is modern, it’s decorative and it’s defined by the “dynamic interaction of his various media,” Lloyd writes. His drawings have painterly attributes, the paintings sketchy attributes like the drawings, and decorative attributes like the tapestries he designed.

Forging a Modern Style Kirchner began his career in Dresden, where he studied architecture and engineering at the city’s Technical College before co-founding Die Brücke (The Bridge) in 1905 with a handful of artists devoted to forging a modern style. They elevated color over form and championed its use to express emotions and personality, a “very unusual concept for that time,” co-curator Janis Staggs says in an exhibit video. This Expressionist art prized movement and directness, energy and spontaneity. Kirchner used new materials like synthetic tube paints to achieve brightness in his work, a hallmark of modern art. With new materials and techniques came new subjects drawn from his life experience — cabarets, circus acts, the streets of Berlin and ohso-liberated nude bathing. The latter, according to Lloyd, “are not timeless idylls but rather celebrations of modern men and women — Kirchner’s friends and models — stripping off their clothes in well-known nudist locations like the Moritzburg lakes [near Dresden].” What larks!

“A Highly Personal Body of Work” A dedicated bohemian, he wanted to innovate and update the genres. There’s no better illustration of the point than his depiction of the urban landscape in “Berlin Street Scene” (1913-14). An

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) Berlin Street Scene, 1913-14. Oil on canvas. Neue Galerie New York and Private Collection

iconic painting jointly owned by Neue Galerie and a private collector, it portrays streetwalkers in long-feathered hats, surrounded by shadowy potential clients, including a red-lipped man that may be the artist himself. The scene is illuminated by new electric lights (replacing less harsh gaslights) from shop windows, ramping up the tension and underscoring the alienation of the figures. Colored electric stage lights brightened the theaters in Dresden and likely inspired the green floor and skin tones in “Panama Dancers” (191011) — the color produced by limelight, originally green light—and the pink-all-over performers in “Six Dancers” (1911). Despite spiraling into crisis during the war years, Kirchner remained extremely productive. He sought relief from the turmoil of that period in

Switzerland, settling in Davos for good in 1918, where he experienced “a spiritual and artistic rejuvenation,” Staggs says. “Life in the Alps” (191718), a dazzling triptych in the final gallery, is a kind of secular altarpiece that glorifies nature and the rural environment — the mountains, the air, the water, the farmers, the cattle and the natural light, seen here at three times of day. As Staggs told us in an email, “Kirchner’s desire to unite his art and life into a cohesive whole resulted in a unique and highly personal body of work, and one that is deeply reflective of his times and the various places where he lived and worked.” Color is the common thread, of course — colors that, he once wrote, “shine, even in the darkest corner.”


NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

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LEARNING FROM THE PAST BOOKS

A new book chronicles two brothers’ fascination with history through trips to cemeteries

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Brothers Vincent and Robert Gardino have an unusual hobby. They enjoy visiting cemeteries in search of the graves of historical or notable individuals. They do not consider themselves to be morbid people, but history buffs. They get great satisfaction in visiting the final resting places of people who had an impact on American history. Their new book, “Grave Trippers: History at our Feet,“ offers highlights of their visits and research. The brothers’ hobby began when they were kids: their father, Nino Gardino, a waiter at Danny’s Hideaway, the famed celebrity haunt, would bring home autographs of some of the famous diners he had served. This led the brothers to collect autographs on their own, which fueled their interest in history as they read about the individuals whose signatures they had collected. Today, each Gardino brother has his own set of autographs of U.S. presidents from Washington to Trump. In 1995 Vincent

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“The biggest surprise for me in writing the book was discovering that Samuel Morse was an accomplished painter, as well as being the inventor of the telegraph.” Robert Gardino, co-author, “Grave Trippers” and Robert went to Arlington National Cemetery for the first time, with the intention of visiting President John F. Kennedy’s gravesite. The brothers soon discovered there were many other historical figures buried at Arlington, and grave tripping was born. In the years sin since they ha have visited ma historic many gra graves at a num number of cemeteries. Thei Their book covers a total of 70 indiv individuals, includi cluding presid e n t s , entert entertainers, military members m and sports figures. Many a are famous, some a are obscure, but each of the stories is co compelling.

Fun Facts Fact

Photo courtesy of Robert & Vincent Gardino

The aim a of the book is to make learning histor history fun, and the Gardin Gardino brothers do this by offering some little

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Lou Gehrig’s grave at Kensico Cemetery in Westchester. Photo: Joseph Connor

known fun facts. A few examples from the New York area: ■ Charles Evans Hughes, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court under FDR, came within fewer than 2,000 votes of winning the presidency, but ultimately lost to Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Hughes is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. ■ Corrupt NYC Tammany Hall leader Boss Tweed is estimated to have stolen anywhere from $30 to $200 million in today’s money. He is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. ■ Academy and Tony Awardwinning actress Anne Bancroft was only six years older than her co-star Dustin Hoffman when she played Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate.” She is buried in Kensico Cemetery in Westchester. ■ Franklin Roosevelt’s beloved black Scottish terrier Fala is buried within a few yards behind FDR’s final resting place, on the grounds of his home in Hyde Park, NY. “The biggest surprise for me in writing the book,“ said Robert Gardino, “was discovering that Samuel Morse was an accomplished painter, as well as being the inventor of the telegraph.” Added Gardino, “Though I employ humor in this book, this is essentially a serious book about serious people ... The only way we can progress as human beings is learning from history what works and what doesn’t. By visiting cemeteries, we can be reminded of the lessons those who have passed on have provided.”

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This Week filmlinc.org

Parasite Now Playing “No other comedy captures the spirit of 2019 like Parasite.” —

#filmlinc

Varda by Agnès

Home Alone

Now Playing

December 2, 6:30pm

“Two hours of magic.” —

Join us for a free holiday screening!

Relentless Invention: New Korean Cinema, 1996-2003 November 22-December 4 Experience the groundbreaking movies that put contemporary Korean cinema on the map.

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

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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 (NEON), Varda by Agnès (Janus Films), Home Alone (20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock), Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (Cj/Studio Box/Kobal/Shutterstock)


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NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

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RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS NOVEMBER 13 - 19, 2019 The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website and include the most recent inspection and grade reports listed. We have included every restaurant listed during this time within the zip codes of our neighborhoods. Some reports list numbers with their explanations; these are the number of violation points a restaurant has received. To see more information on restaurant grades, visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/restaurant-inspection.shtml. Ayurveda Cafe

706 Amsterdam Ave

A

Mekong

917 Columbus Ave

A

Texas Rotisserie & Grill

2581 Broadway

A

Sweetgreen 91St And Broadway

2460 Broadway

Grade Pending (25) Food not cooked to required minimum temperature. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

La Mirabelle Restaurant

102 W 86th St

Grade Pending (25) Filth flies or food/refuse/sewage-associated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.

Columbus Ave Deli & Cafe

556 Columbus Ave

A

Amsterdam Ale House

340 Amsterdam Ave Grade Pending (25) Food worker does not use proper utensil to eliminate bare hand contact with food that will not receive adequate additional heat treatment. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Filth flies or food/refuse/sewageassociated (FRSA) flies present in facility’s food and/or nonfood areas. Filth flies include house flies, little house flies, blow flies, bottle flies and flesh flies. Food/refuse/sewage-associated flies include fruit flies, drain flies and Phorid flies.

The Milling Room

446 Columbus Ave

A

Lincoln Center Kitchen @ David Geffen Hall

132 W 65th St

A

Grand Tier 000 Lincoln Center Restaurant @ Plaza Metropolitan Opera

A

People went to Candle 79 for the warm atmosphere and farm-to-table organic food. Photo: Jason Cohen

CANDLE 79 TO GO DARK RESTAURANTS

New development forces vegan eatery to close BY JASON COHEN

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After nearly 20 years on the UES, Candle 79 is closing at the end of the year. Located at 154 East 79th, Candle 79 has served the UES community for 16 years. The eatery, which is known for its organic and vegan cuisine, offers much more, said General Manager Benay Vynerib. Vynerib, who has been with the restaurant since its inception, said when they heard that the entire corner of 79th and Lexington was being turned into a high rise, it was a like a punch in the gut. In February 2018, HFZ Capital Group pur-

We’re just really sad. It’s what’s going on in New York. Benay Vynerib, Candle 79 general manager chased the First Republic Bank on the southeast corner of 79th Street and Lexington Avenue and it already owns six adjacent properties at 150, 152, and 154 East 79th Street, and 1129, 1131 and 1133 Lexington Avenue. According to the Real Deal, an 18story apartment tower will be replacing it. “We found out about it [the closure] on social media, if you can believe it,” she ex-


NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

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

ART INSTRUCTION

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Business

6 WAYS TO GIVE GENEROUSLY WITHOUT TOUCHING YOUR BANK ACCOUNT CHARITIES

Tax-savvy donors use other assets that are just as valuable to nonprofits as cash BY GAY YOUNG

The holiday season is almost here – and, if you’re like me, you want to support your favorite charities before we close the books on 2019. The final month of the year is a critical time for most nonprofits. Roughly $3 of every $10 donated each year comes in December – and 10 percent is contributed during the last three days of the year. But the holidays are also expensive. We’re buying gifts, planning trips to see friends and family, and hosting holiday dinners and parties. So how do charities manage to raise so much money at a time when many of their donors are stretched thin? It’s not magic. Many tax-savvy donors know that they don’t have to tap into their bank accounts to make meaningful charitable contributions. Instead, they use other assets that are just as valuable to nonprofits as cash. Here are six ways you can support those in need this holiday season. And you don’t have to write a check for any of them: 1. Publicly Traded Securities. If you have money invested in the stock market, chances are you’ve had a good run recently. You might even be thinking about taking some of those gains out of the market to hedge against a downturn. One way to manage the potential tax hit on gains is to

Gay Young, VP for Donor Services, The New York Community Trust, Image courtesy of The New York Community Trust

donate some appreciated shares directly to a nonprofit. The charity will be able to use the money to help others – and you’ll be able to deduct the full, fair-market value as a charitable contribution without having to face a tax on the capital gains. 2. Individual Retirement Accounts. Retirees who are aged 70 and a half or older can make gifts directly to charity from their individual retirement accounts. In the process, they can exclude these gifts from their income taxes. There are some exclusions – namely that you can’t get the tax benefit if you roll the money into a donor-advised fund or a private foundation. But your financial adviser or local community foundation can offer advice on how to make an IRA rollover gift. 3. Life Insurance. Many of us buy life insurance policies to help support spouses and children. But, in many cases, we outlive the need to provide that support when we pass. If you have an unneeded life-insurance policy, you can choose to give it to a regis-

tered nonprofit and rest easy knowing that the proceeds will be used to help others. You can even claim a charitable tax deduction, based on the policy’s current value, by transferring ownership to the nonprofit and making it the beneficiary during your lifetime. If you don’t need the deduction, you can choose to name the nonprofit as your beneficiary and the value of the policy will go to the nonprofit when you die. Either way, you can give painlessly. 4. Art. Many New Yorkers have valuable assets sitting in plain sight. Works of art don’t have to stay hidden from the world in your foyer or hanging over your fireplace. They can be donated to a charity — provided that the art is used to help further that charity’s mission. You can also arrange to have your art sold at auction with a charity being the recipient of the proceeds. The tax rules around the donations of art are somewhat complex, but if you would like to turn valuable art into a force for social good, auction houses and community foundations can help get you started. 5. Real estate. For many of us, real estate is our most valuable asset – and property can be donated to the nonprofit of your choice, either for use or for sale. Deeding real estate to a nonprofit can offer a

number of advantages to both the donor and the recipient. Like with art and other valuables, you should consult a tax professional who can help you navigate the process. 6. Businesses and closelyheld stock. Entrepreneurs who are looking to sell their businesses can consider making a tax-smart contribution by giving some or all of the proceeds of the sale to a nonprofit. One Wisconsin foundation was recently given a cheese factory by one of its donors – and it used the sale of the business to secure $5.8 million for its operations. That’s a lot of cheddar. While donating assets like stock or art isn’t quite as simple as writing a check, there are plenty of experts who can handle all of the heavy lifting for you. To get started, consult your local community foundation, such as The New York Community Trust, or your financial adviser. Gay Young is VP for Donor Services at The New York Community Trust

Photo courtesy of The New York Community Trust

Photo: David Noonan

B&H PHOTO HIT WITH SALES TAX CHARGES LAW

NY attorney general files lawsuit as company disputes claims of wrongdoing BY JASON COHEN

B&H Photo & Electronics, the country’s largest nonchain photo and video equipment retailer, and a New York City fixture with a block-long store on Ninth Ave between 33rd and 34th Sts., has been accused by New York Attorney General Letitia James of “knowingly” failing to pay sales tax on “tens of millions of dollars it received from electronics manufacturers to reimburse the company for ‘instant rebate’ manufacturer discounts B&H passed along to its customers.” In a November 14 statement announcing a lawsuit against B&H, James said that for 13 years the company “chose profits over principles by defrauding New York taxpayers out of millions of dollars owed to the state.” B&H Photo strongly disputes James’ claims. “The attorney general is flat wrong – and is trying to create a tax on discounts in order to make New Yorkers pay more,” Jeff Gerstel, a spokesperson for B&H, said in a statement. “B&H is not a big box store or a faceless chain;

we are a New York institution, having operated here for nearly 50 years with a stellar reputation. The tax department has done countless audits and never once – not a single time – mentioned this widespread industry practice. The attorney general wants to charge New Yorkers a tax on money they never spent. It’s wrong and we won’t be bullied.”

The Instant Savings Issue Instant rebates are pointof-sale discounts that retailers offer customers, for which they receive reimbursement from manufacturers. Scott Brandman, an attorney representing B&H, said in a statement, “We are disappointed with the Attorney General’s decision to file this lawsuit, which is trying to effectively raise the sales tax rate through litigation. New York law is clear that B&H’s treatment of ‘instant savings’ is correct. Even if the Attorney General is successful, the consumer is the one bearing this cost as they will be paying sales tax on an amount more than the price paid.” “B&H deliberately chose not to pay the sales tax it knew was due to New York State in order to gain a competitive edge over companies that chose to follow the rules,” James said in her statement. "No company is above the law."


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Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaking at the Presidential Gun Sense Forum hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action in Des Moines, Iowa in Aug. 2019. Photo: MTA / Patrick Cashin

DEMONS OF THE PAST CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Apologetic Plutocrat Undergirding those efforts is a nest egg that makes him the richest man in both New York City and State, the eighth wealthiest in America and No. 9 on the planet, according to rankings by Forbes Magazine. Light years away from the middle-class origins he still trumpets, self-made and proud of it, he is a plutocrat, and the species isn’t really much in vogue in Democratic Party circles these days. Therein lies the challenge. With her “ultra-millionaire tax,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren would gleefully strip his holdings to a mere $14.5 billion. As for Sen. Bernie Sanders, his contempt is almost pithy: “I don’t think billionaires should even exist,” he says. A bash-the-rich culture is informing Democratic progressive presidential politics. And it is merely one of the manifold hurdles this unapologetic champion of Wall Street is about to confront as he begins to throw his megabucks into the ring. Mix in matters of race and policing, gender and sexism, inequality and the one percent, and it becomes clear that Bloomberg will have a lot to answer for from his rivals and a liberal electorate, wary of moderates, in which minorities and women are playing an ever-more decisive role

NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

in anointing a primary victor. In fact, the 77-year-old, three-term former mayor has already begun making apologies and making amends both for a central plank of his 12 years at City Hall – and for the things he said and did and countenanced before he even got there. Consider the seven words he uttered, perhaps for the first time since he became a public figure, on Nov. 17 during Sunday church services at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn: “I was wrong,” he told hundreds of black parishioners. “And I am sorry.” CEOs hardly ever say such things. But Bloomberg wasn’t only shattering that taboo. He was renouncing a defining if controversial policy – stopand-frisk policing – that was every bit as Bloombergian as the computer terminals he popularized to track the capital markets back in the early 1980s. In doing so, he turned his back on one of his legacies, hyper-aggressive law enforcement that alienated minorities; said he can finally see how toxic the stops were for communities of color; pledged to “earn back” the trust he squandered – and not least, sought to redress perhaps his greatest vulnerability with one of his party’s most critical voting blocs. “I got something important really wrong,” he told the congregation. For good measure, he repeated it at least three times.

I’m going all in.” Michael Bloomberg, declaring his candidacy for president on Sunday, Nov. 24.

At roughly the same time, he committed $100 million to a digital ad campaign, and $20 million on a voter registration drive in swing states, that will also help mend fences. And that’s separate from the hundreds of millions of dollars he’s poised to spend on his own campaign, starting with a $30 million ad buy in over two dozen states, beginning the week of Thanksgiving.

DA) and Joe Biden (for being a male white over 50 who backed Bill Clinton’s 1994 anti-crime bill). Now, Bloomberg has joined that parade. And like wouldbe opponents, his moves are totally in sync with the electoral calendar, driven more, it seems, by political considerations than heartfelt principles. A few days after he filed paperwork to put his name on the ballot in Arkansas and Alabama – and a few days before he created a federal presidential campaign committee enabling him to enter the fray if he formally declares his candidacy – he reached out to a constituency that just happens to comprise the majority of Democratic primary voters. Women. Boorishness, sexism, crude boasts and a demeaning culture had been a hallmark of Bloomberg’s company a quarter-century ago, lawsuits from the period show. And Bloomberg himself has been quoted at length making offensive remarks in the workplace. A track record like that can kill a candidacy given the political potency of the #MeToo movement, the intense focus on harassment issues, Trump’s own flagrant behavior and the exponential growth among female aspi-

rants and office-holders. So the nascent Bloomberg campaign moved to defuse the issue before it bubbled up. “Mike has come to see that some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong,” a spokesperson said. “He believes his words haven’t always aligned with his values and the way he has led his life.” Expect to hear a lot more on this issue in the months to come.

Manhattan is Still Mad About Him In the meantime, local enthusiasm for the mayor and his track record on smoking, public health issues, climate change, gun control and women’s rights remains remarkably strong. “I’d vote for him again for anything – mayor, governor, U.S. president, even community board president!” said Sonia Fischer, a retired 71year-old health care worker as she waited for a C train on the Upper West Side. “It’s easy to be nostalgic and forget the flaws,” said Allen Bernstein, a 48-year-old accountant for an insurance company as he boarded a Q train on the Upper East Side. “But he was a great mayor in the tough times after 9/11 who made the city feel really good about itself all over again.” Still, polls so far show him

mustering a mere four percent of the national primary ballot. And this is not a politician who ignores the data. Which raises a pivotal question: What does Bloomberg know that we don’t know? It’s the X factor that surfaced in his third-term reelection in 2009 when the published polls predicted an 18 percent blowout of his Democratic opponent, thenComptroller William Thompson Jr. Instead, he won by only four percent – a margin that stunned the political elite, but that in no way seemed to surprise the incumbent. Why not? Proprietary data. The best in the business. Bloomberg knows it better than anyone else. That’s what his company was all about. He’d spend millions on private polls, focus groups and public-opinion research, seldom seeing a need to share his findings with the general public. In other words, he may see a path to the Oval Office the media and cognoscenti do not yet see. “In God we trust,” has long been the unofficial motto of Bloomberg L.P., Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg himself. “Everyone else, bring data.” invreporter@strausnews.com

They’re All Really, Really Sorry When Bloomberg in March initially nixed a 2020 bid, he made it clear: He couldn’t stomach a so-called “apology tour.” At the time, it was a rare point of commonality with Donald Trump, who appears never to have regretted anything. But such whistle-stops are de rigueur for Democrats like Warren (for trying to prove Native American ancestry with a DNA test), Sanders (for not treating all women “appropriately” in his 2016 campaign), Sen. Kamala Harris (for being a tough-on-crime

Occupy Wall Street protesters offered drumming lessons near New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s UES townhouse in 2004. Photo: Michael Fleshman, via flickr


NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

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YOUR 15 MINUTES

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

‘THE TROUBLEMAKER’ MUSIC

Louisa Proske of Heartbeat Opera talks about innovating by taking inspiration from pop culture, the drag extravaganza and rock concerts BY MARK NIMAR On the New York opera scene, Louisa Proske is known as a troublemaker. As the coartistic director of NYC’s Heartbeat Opera, Proske stages and produces contemporary interpretations of classic operas that draw inspiration from an eclectic mix of genres such as rock n’ roll, drag culture and GrecoRoman art. The company’s daring and subversive work has earned Proske a reputation as a disruptor in the opera world who is reinventing the art form for the 21st century. We sat down with her last week to talk about electronic music, toxic masculinity, and Heartbeat’s upcoming production of “Der Freischütz,“ an opera about a marksman who finds himself “in league with the devil.”

Der Freischütz is a rarely performed opera in the United States. Why did you decide to produce this piece? How does it speak to today’s audience? Heartbeat Opera is all about treating opera as a live art form that speaks to the present moment. And so we look for those operas that we feel like tap deeply into questions that we’re living through as a society and as humans in 2019 in America. And this opera, in my mind, was always quintessentially German. And that’s what people know about it is that it has this very national flair to it. But when I listened to it again a year ago, it struck me that it’s really a small town story with a young man whose masculinity is deeply in crisis, because he cannot live up to the standards of what it means to be a “real man” in his world. And so he is brutally punished and mocked and shamed for that by his community, and then com-

mits a really, truly desperate act as a result of that. And then it’s a story of a returning veteran who comes from a horrific war zone and brings the stench of the crimes of war back into his small town and nobody wants to be close to him anymore. He has this sense of being wronged by the world that sent him to war and then shuns him for it. Both of those stories felt so American to me. And felt so vital to look at in this moment of masculinity being questioned in all these ways. The feeling that men in many places in the U.S. have this inheritance of having to prove themselves to certain standards that are highly questionable but deeply enforced by men and women around them. That is so brilliantly and disturbingly portrayed in this opera.

How are you adapting and re-interpreting the piece for a contemporary audience? Daniel Schlossberg, our comusic director and arranger for Freischütz, has made this stunning seven-instrumentalist adaptation of the score. Seven players probably play over 30 instruments. It’s very Broadway-style, everyone’s playing multiple instruments. This piece is really characterized by a vast variety of music from super folksy, German beer hall raunchy drinking songs to these incredibly lyrical, soulful intimate moments to these famous depictions of the super natural in this opera. Dan in his instrumentation is really exploring the range of what seven players can express. In our version, when we go into the Wolf Canyon, which is this place of evil, the whole sound turns from acoustic to electronic. This act of casting the seven magic bullets [in the scene] opens the floodgates into Max’s unconscious, and his demons, but also American nightmares. It’s really a place where he experiences the repressed evils of our society from slavery to white supremacy to mass shootings. There is this shift into tapping into the cultural unconscious in the form of demons and vi-

sions that he has. And the sound shifts into the sound of evil. All the instruments become electronic and in some way distorted or amplified. We’re playing Weber’s notes, but we’re creating totally new textures.

How would you describe Freischütz in three words? Twisted. Phantasmagoria. Complex.

You started Heartbeat Opera from the ground up. What made you start the company, and what does it bring to the New York theater scene that no other venue offers? We founded Heartbeat as a bold, troublemaking proposal for how we can, while [being] deeply in love with the art form and honoring it, also reinvent it in every aspect - from how we look at the pieces directorially to how we rehearse in the room together, to how we frame the experience of wanting to see a performance. And we take inspiration from other forms from pop culture, from the drag extravaganza, from rock concerts, and we just look at how do we connect with audiences now, not dumbing-down opera, but taking it off its pedestal and making it not feel like an elitist experience of climbing the stairs to a temple that you can only climb if you are anointed or in the know. We see ourselves as innovating opera at all of these levels.

The mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges recently said in the New York Times that the American “opera house has to look more like America.” How do you feel Heartbeat Opera meets this challenge? Our [production of] Fidelio that we did two years ago we set in a contemporary American prison with a Black Lives Matter activist who is wrongfully put into solitary confinement. And for the prisoners’ chorus, we collaborated with six incarcerated choirs in the Midwest. All six of them learned an arrangement that we made of the prisoners’ chorus in German, and so we re-

Louisa Proske, co-artistic director, Heartbeat Opera. Photo: Ross Rowland corded all six of them. So in that moment, it became about a real collaboration of over 100 incarcerated singers across the U.S., singing this piece about seeing the sun for the first time in weeks and feeling free. We had a lobby display of the letters that we exchanged with those incarcerated singers, responding to what it was like for them to participate in an opera in New York City, albeit by voice and video. And we had a lot of panels with formerly incarcerated activists and social justice specialists. So that piece, Fidelio, an early 19th century German opera, really started to become a conversation about the crisis of mass incarceration in the U.S. today.

How did you become an opera director? Where did you journey start? I was a chorus child. I was actually on stage my whole childhood in grand operas, like La Boheme. So I come from opera, and then long story short, as a very young woman, in a very misogynist opera field, I didn’t see an immediate future as an opera director, and that’s really why I started theater. Then at Yale, I met Ethan Heard with whom I founded Heartbeat Opera, but I also collaborated with the singers at Yale Opera and started directing opera again, and I was immediately like, “ok, this is my life, this is what I want to do, this is my real joy.”

What would you tell somebody who wants to be a director, and they’re just starting out? Get a group of singers, and direct something. I think you can talk about directing all you want, but unless you are in the doing of it, it’s not real. I think you have to get experience at all costs, if that means stealing people from music school and forcing them to be in a basement with you. It’s really like do, do, do - you’re not a director until you direct something. 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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The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

PUBLIC NOTICES

REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE

CLASSIFIED DEADLINE MONDAY, 2 P.M.

Sell it in the Classifieds 845-469-9000 • 973-300-0890 • 570-296-0700

Saving a Life EVERY 11 MINUTES

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*Savings shown over aggregated single item base price. ©2019 Omaha Steaks, Inc. Exp. 2/29/20

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52 Duane Street, 7th Floor | New York, NY 10007


22

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

PUBLIC NOTICES

REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE

Your neighborhood news source

westsidespirit.com

Sell it in the Classifieds 845-469-9000 • 973-300-0890 • 570-296-0700

CLASSIFIED DEADLINE MONDAY, 2 P.M.

REDUCE REUSE RECYCLE


NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

CLASSIFIEDS MASSAGE

MASSAGE

Telephone: 212-868-0190 Email: classified2@strausnews.com

POLICY NOTICE: We make every effort to avoid mistakes in your classified ads. Check your ad the first week it runs. The publication will only accept responsibility for the first incorrect insertion. The publication assumes no financial responsibility for errors or omissions. We reserve the right to edit, reject, or re-classify any ad. Contact your sales rep directly for any copy changes. All classified ads are pre-paid.

MERCHANDISE FOR SALE

REAL ESTATE - RENT

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888-609-0248 Receive a free American Standard Cadet toilet with full installation of a Liberation Walk-In Bath, Liberation Shower, or Deluxe Shower. Offer valid only while supplies last. Limit one per household. Must be first time purchaser. See www.walkintubs.americanstandard-us.com for other restrictions and for licensing, warranty, and company information. CSLB B982796; Suffolk NY:55431H; NYC:HIC#2022748-DCA. Safety Tubs Co. LLC does not sell in Nassau NY, Westchester NY, Putnam NY, Rockland NY.

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Call Barry Lewis at (212) 868-0190 or email

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* 100% Tax Deductible * Free Vehicle Pickup ANYWHERE * We Accept Most Vehicles Running or Not * We Also Accept Boats, Motorcycles & RVs

WheelsForWishes.org Call:(917)336-1254 * Car Donation Foundation d/b/a Wheels For Wishes. To learn more about our programs or financial information, call (213) 948-2000 or visit www.wheelsforwishes.org.

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23

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339 TTY/ASCII www.gsa.gov/fedrelay

1-855-225-1434 Visit us online at

www.dental50plus.com/nypress MB17-NM003Ec

The U.S. Census Bureau is an Equal Opportunity Employer. D-410 | April 2019

PUBLIC NOTICES

PUBLIC NOTICES


24

The Spirit|Westsider westsidespirit.com

NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2019

BE THERE FOR HIM. IN A NEW WAY. OCEANA MEMORY CARE — ONLY AT INSPĪR If you have loved ones with memory loss, it can be challenging to understand what they’re going through. Or how to be there for them. That’s why we created Oceana Memory Care, an exclusive program at Inspīr. Here, your loved ones benefit from an environment of vibrant, intentional living. With every detail designed to provide whole-person wellness. See memory care in a new way at inspirseniorliving.com/newway

1802 Second Avenue | New York, NY 10128 | LEASING GALLERY: 1450 Lexington Avenue | New York, NY 10128 | 646.978.9040

Profile for West Side Spirit

West Side Spirit - November 28, 2019  

West Side Spirit - November 28, 2019  

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