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NYPRESS.COM • THE LARGEST PAPER ON THE WEST SIDE • FEBRUARY 6, 2014

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Public Financing for Private Schools Under-the-radar agency helps exclusive schools raise hundreds of millions of dollars-- all while public schools scramble By Daniel Fitzsimmons

Photo by Victoria Pickering

What Will Happen to the Horses? The city’s horse carriage industry may be coming to an end – but no one is quite sure where the animals will go By Megan Bungeroth The horses pulling carriages through Central Park aren’t aware that their working days are numbered, which is probably for the best, considering their uncertain future. Currently there are about 220 horses registered with the Department of Health as working carriage horses in the city. If the city or state succeeds in banning the industry -- moves that now seem likely -- the question of what exactly will happen

to these 220 horses is one that few people involved in the debate seem able to answer. But the issue is highly charged, evoking alternating images of slaughter houses or retirement sanctuaries, depending on who’s talking. Eva Hughes, who owns horses with her carriage driver husband Thomas, fears that the city will try to dictate the fates of their beloved animals even after a ban is instituted. “These people who are trying to put us out of business and who have crafted legislation that effectively seizes our private property, our horses, will get our horses when they pry them out of our cold and lifeless hands,” Hughes said. “We will never surrender them. We are fully prepared to suffer the consequences. Our horses will Continued on page 4

A little-known program within the city’s Economic Development Corp. has become the chief vehicle by which private schools in Manhattan refinance their capital projects, funneling hundreds of millions of dollars to some of the priciest schools in the city. In 2013 alone, the Build NYC Resource Corp. brokered more than $439 million in low interest, tax free bonds for 24 private schools in Manhattan. The schools use this money to pay down prior debt they incurred from bonds they took with the city’s Industrial Development Agency and commercial banks at higher interest rates, money they used for their initial expansions. On the Upper East Side, schools such as the Spence School, the Chapin School, and

Convent of the Sacred Heart School have secured millions in low-interest bonds for their capital projects. On the Upper West Side, the Calhoun School received a bond of $34 million and the Studio School got an $8.8 million bond. Downtown, the Grace Church School used $40 million in city-brokered financing to cover expansions they made in 2006 and 2011. The city’s rationale for the program is that when these private schools expand, they create jobs and additional tax revenue for the city. BNYC’s stated goal is to act as a “conduitbond issuer,” setting investors - banks - up with not-for-profit entities that use the money for capital projects, which ultimately, the city says, will provide increased jobs and tax revenue. Through a spokesperson, the EDC said that BNYC merely acts as a conduit, or access point, for private schools and other entities to secure low-interest bonds, and the city does indeed benefit from such deals. “Build NYC is not loaning the city’s money capital,” said the EDC spokesperson. But the prevalence of exclusive private Continued on page 5

Grief, and Safety Ideas, after Traffic Deaths Upper West Side residents met with DOT to discuss pedestrian safety issues By Daniel Fitzsimmons A meeting called last week by Community Board 7 to discuss pedestrian safety on the Upper West Side became an outlet for the deep sadness and anger felt by many after a series of fatal accidents in the neighborhood.

In January, three pedestrians on the Upper West Side were killed in separate incidents after being struck by vehicles. Perhaps the most wrenching was the death of Cooper Stock, a nine-year-old boy who was struck and killed by a cab at the intersection of 97th Street and West End Avenue. Stock was in the crosswalk, holding his father’s hand, and the two had right-of-way. The meeting was called so the Department of Transportation could unveil safety Continued on page 11


TAPPED IN New Owners Leave UWSers Holding the (Gym) Bag By Alissa Fleck Paris Fitness Gym on the Upper West Side has recently been acquired by new owners. Unfortunately for gym-goers, that’s caused a mess of questions. Among them, what happened to the payments they made to the gym’s former owners after a change in ownership caused the gym, on West End between 96th and 97th, to be closed for the second half of January? Gym-goers who asked about the lost payments were sent the following reply by the gym’s new owners: “All January payments went to the previous owners and were not transferred to us. We recommend you get in touch with the prior owners regarding refunds for the second half of January.� The new management claims to have no records of who is owed money and efforts to reach the gym’s management were unsuccessful. The frustration about the change in

ownership at the gym has played out in part over Yelp and other social-media networks. “I will add to my dismay about this gym,� Sandy P. wrote on Yelp. “Today I went and everyone who was working out was bundled up, myself included. Why is there very little heat in the workout areas?� Courtney B. called the management transfer a “hostile takeover ... All of the sudden, one day in January, the doors are locked, and the entire weekend the gym is closed, with the threat of changes to contracts.� In an email to members, the gym acknowledged the communication problems, asking members to “please note that we have been experiencing phone and Internet problems over the last few days and are waiting for a Verizon technician ... We have had the phone number forwarded to a mobile phone, but due to the volume of calls we receive it may take some time to get through.� Competitors, meantime, are noticing. Susan Rappaport runs NuYu Revolution, a fitness studio nearby, and is offering a 50 percent discount to Paris members who join her. “Of course I’d like to make money,� she says, “but the bigger desire is to help.�

Puppy Mill Firestorm Our story on the providence of dogs sold in local pet shops (“That Doggie in the Window,� January 30, 2014) garnered dozens of online comments. Here are a few of them: “Why are we allowing people like [this] and other animal exploiters to get rich off pet sales when our city shelters are overflowing with unwanted animals??? From an ethical, fiscal or logical perspective, pet stores should not be allowed to sell animals in NYC.� - Nicodemo Spadavecchia “While 4 million adoptable animals are put to sleep every year there is no such thing as a ‘responsible breeder.’ The term is an oxymoron as no responsible person would breed (or buy) during an overpopulation crisis with deadly consequences.� - Ed “Instead of keeping the vile puppy mills in business, and profiting off the suffering of these poor dogs, why doesn’t Citipups do something good, stop selling commercially bred puppies, and sell shelter or rescue dogs only.� - PL “The author of this article missed an important point. The Animal Welfare Act which is the law that governs large-scale breeding facilities gives minimal protection to

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the animals. No reputable breeder or loving owner would allow their pets to live in those conditions. The fact that a breeder has a clean record means NOTHING. The dogs still live in cages for life, eat cheap food, lack GOOD vet care, excercise and mental stimulation - EVERYTHING that a good breeder/pet owner provides for dogs. There is no comfort in the USDA oversight as they overlook violations. See: The Inspector General’s Audit on Problematic Breeders 5/2010. A breeding facility with no violations is still the equivalent of solitary confinement for dogs. These are COMPANION animals folks and they deserve to be treated that way and not like a commodity. The owner of CitiPups should publish the list of breeders he buys from. Let us research his breeders through the USDA. Reputable breeders do not breed hundreds of dogs. Puppy mills breed for profit ONLY.� jfisher “Pet stores that sell puppies are fueled by greed. No dog lover would buy a dog from a pet store, after they know the truth about the existence of the puppy’s parents. There are plenty of people that don’t care about the existence of the parent dogs, but there are plenty that do. The laws are changing in favor of ending puppy mills and thus ending dogs being sold in pet stores. We are evolving to go humane, the only way to go.� - DeeCas

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014


CRIME WATCH By Jerry Danzig

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Purloining Arts At 4 PM on Wednesday, January 22, an 18-year-old female student at a performing arts high school on Amsterdam Avenue discovered that her wallet had been stolen off a locker-room counter. Fortunately, she had only one credit card in her wallet, and no unauthorized charges turned up.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014

Electrotherapy equipment was removed from a vehicle in a parking garage. On Monday, January 27, an unknown perpetrator stole $15,000 of Amrex therapy equipment from a vehicle parked in a garage on West 59th Street.

Catalytic Converter Theft on the Rise

Someone stole a woman’s wallet in a movie theater. At 7 PM on Saturday, January 25, a 19-year-old woman was attending a movie in a theater on Broadway when she realized that her wallet was missing. Unauthorized charges turned up later on her credit cards.

A woman’s laptop was taken from a church. At 4 PM on Sunday, January 26, a 30-yearold woman left her MacBook Pro laptop unattended in the office of a church on West 71st Street. When she returned two hours later, her laptop was missing. The machine was valued at $2,000.

Shocking Theft

You Lay, You Pay A woman’s bag was stolen in a coffee shop. At 7 PM on Wednesday, January 22, a 22-yearold woman laid her bag down in a popular chain coffeehouse on Columbus Avenue. When she looked for her bag later, she found that it was missing. Its contents included an iPhone and credit cards, making a total value of $1,400 stolen.

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The catalytic converter is an emissionscontrol device in cars that contains precious metals that act as catalysts. When hot exhaust enters the converter, a chemical reaction occurs that renders toxic gases, like carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, into less harmful emissions. With the price of precious metals skyrocketing, thieves are helping themselves to catalytic converters that contain enough platinum, palladium, or rhodium to make it worth the risk to cut it from the underbelly of your vehicle. You might become aware that your catalytic converter has been stolen when your vehicle starts with a gravelly roar. Stolen catalytic converters are sold to scrap yards for around $100 to $150, but the cost to your business could be much bigger. There’s the hassle of a vehicle that can’t be safely driven, as well as the expense of having it towed to a local repair shop and getting the part replaced.

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What Do Thieves Look For? Catalytic converter thefts typically happen to vehicles that are parked for prolonged periods in large lots, like shopping centers, mass-transit commuter lots, or company parking lots. Vehicles that sit higher from the ground - like trucks, pick-ups, and SUVs - are particularly vulnerable to catalytic converter theft, because thieves can slide underneath without having to jack up the vehicle to gain access to the converter. With just a few cuts of a battery-powered saw, the catalytic converter can be stolen in less than a minute.

Preventing Catalytic Converter Theft To combat catalytic converter thefts, a number of states have passed laws tightening the restrictions on metal scrap dealers. n many cases, dealers are required to verify the seller’s identity with a photo ID and maintain complete records of sellers for 5 years. To prevent catalytic converter theft, use common sense and follow these tips: •Always park in well-lighted areas •At shopping centers and other similar parking lots, park close to the entrance of the building or near the access road where there’s a lot of traffic •If you own or work at a business or factory, park within a fenced area that’s busy during the day and secured at night •Engrave your license plate number on the converter to make it traceable

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Horses Continued from page 1

.com STRAUS MEDIA  MANHATTAN PRESIDENT Jeanne Straus EDITOR IN CHIEF Kyle Pope • editor.wssp@strausnews.com EDITOR Megan Bungeroth • editor.otdt@strausnews.com CITYARTS EDITOR Armond White • editor.cityarts@strausnews.com STAFF REPORTERS Joanna Fantozzi, Daniel Fitzsimmons FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS Alan S. Chartock, Bette Dewing, Jeanne Martinet, Malachy McCourt, Angela Barbuti, Casey Ward, Laura Shanahan BLOCK MAYORS Ann Morris, Upper West Side Jennifer Peterson, Upper East Side Gail Dubov, Upper West Side Edith Marks, Upper West Side PUBLISHER Gerry Gavin • advertising@strausnews.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHERS Seth L. Miller, Ceil Ainsworth, Kate Walsh ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Eliza Appleton CLASSIFIED ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Susan Wynn DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Joe Bendik WEST SIDE SPIRIT is published weekly Copyright © 2013 by Straus Media - Manhattan, LLC 212-868-0190 • 333 Seventh Ave, New York, NY. Straus Media - Manhattan publishes Our Town • The West Side Spirit • Our Town Downtown Chelsea Clinton News • The Westsider To subscribe for 1 year, please send $75 to WEST SIDE SPIRIT, c/o Straus News 20 West Ave., Chester, NY 10918 PREVIOUS OWNERS HAVE INCLUDED: Tom Allon, Isis Ventures, Ed Kayatt, Russ Smith, Bob Trentlion, Jerry Finkelstein

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never be taken from us in that way.” While she and her husband, who have owned dozens of horses throughout their 16 years operating carriages and have found humane retirement homes for all of them, may not be able to fight back against the tide of opposition to their industry, they may be in the right, legally, on one point. “Unless there’s some incredibly obscure law that I don’t know about, I would find it extremely difficult to believe that anyone from the city could mandate who you sell your property to,” said New York attorney Steven Sladkus. “If you abolish the horse and carriage that’s one thing, but if I own my horse, nobody can tell me who I can or can’t sell it to. There’s a property right there that no one can interfere with.” Sladkus likened such a scenario to a law that bans car dealerships in Manhattan also requiring the dealership owners to give their inventory away when they close down. “I couldn’t see how a law like that could be upheld,” he said. Sladkus said that if the city instituted some kind of quid pro quo when renewing carriage licenses – giving operators a final year to run their carriages but with the provision that they sell their horses to pre-approved buyers at the end of that year, for example – that could hold up. But it would only work for those who chose to sign such an agreement. Those working to end the horse carriage industry say that there are many options for equestrian retirement. “The aim is to not have these horses work,” said Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal. She’s had a bill before the state legislature for several years now that would ban the industry in the state. Known for her pro-animal protection work in the assembly – she’s written and passed laws cracking down on bear poaching, eating shark fins, selling unlabeled dog fur – Rosenthal’s reasoning has always been that the horses don’t belong in the city, clopping alongside trucks and buses and living in cramped quarters. But she can’t say, exactly, where the horses would go if they were kicked out of their Central Park routes and West Side stables. “It’s imperative that they not be brought to slaughter and that they not just be taken elsewhere to do the same… ‘job.’ I’d encourage the current owners to donate them to a sanctuary,” Rosenthal said. “I guess they can’t compel them to. I’m not sure about that. It’s a good question to ask.” It’s not that she hasn’t thought about

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it – her office has spoken to a number of horse sanctuaries who could take on some of the horses, she said, and her bill would require carriage horse owners to give to sell their horses to pre-approved sanctuaries or individuals, which the state would monitor. Rosenthal hopes that with concurrent support from Mayor de Blasio and the city council, the state law will establish the illegality of carriage horses and a city law could be written to address how the horse owners are to handle their horses. The next question, though, is how can two opposing sides, who both paint their opponents as the worst kinds of animal-haters, figure out what to do with 220 draft horses forced into sudden retirement? The animal activists maintain that the carriage horse owners carelessly send their horses off to slaughter when they outlive their usefulness, and that’s one of the reasons to stop the cycle of horses through the carriage industry. They also maintain that no horses need to suffer once they stop that cycle. The industry and its supporters scoff at the idea that their horses end up in Mexican and Canadian slaughter houses, the products of auctions in New Holland, Pennsylvania where buyers for these meat companies often get horses for a couple hundred bucks. Horse carriage owners say that they don’t need the state to tell them to humanely retire their horses; they do that already. The industry partners with Blue Star Equiculture, a sanctuary in Palmer, Massachusetts that supports both the idea that draft horses can and should be used for working purposes and that they should be well-cared for after they can no longer work. Eva and Thomas Hughes say they have placed horses there and regularly donate to the facility, as do many carriage horse owners. But their argument that there are plenty of places for retired horses to go is a tricky one – it can easily be used against them as just another reason their industry should be shut down. There are many horse sanctuaries who do regularly take in horses rescued from auction or seized by police under cruelty complaints – but few of them have ever seen retired carriage horses. Susan Wagner runs Equine Advocates in Chatham, New York. Her farm, which cares for about 85 equines, including donkeys, ponies and mules, became somewhat famous for rescuing a carriage horse, now named Bobby, from a slaughter auction several years ago. Bobby has become a symbol for those who seek to end the industry, an example embodying the worst and the best places a retired carriage horse could

end up. Wagner said that she thinks all of the horses could end up in happy homes like her sanctuary – but not all at once. “We certainly could help but we couldn’t take 200 horses,” she said. “The problem is that the carriage horse owners call them business assets,” limiting the legal ability of rescue organizations to take the horses. Wagner said that the Humane Society and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries have both pledged to help find homes for the horses, and that none of them should end up at a slaughter auction. “If they go to slaughter, it’s because [owners] sent them; they refuse to allow them to come to an organization like ours,” Wagner said. While there may be enough spots around the country for the horses, the accumulated cost of keeping 220 horses in a capacity where they aren’t making money is in the millions of dollars. Wagner said that on her farm, it takes roughly $4,800 per horse annually to cover the costs of hay, feed, bedding, hoof trimmings, and veterinary and dental bills. Draft horses can live to their late 20s, and many are retired as teenagers. Sanctuaries aren’t the only spots for carriage horses to go. While animal rights groups cringe at the possibility, owners could potentially sell their horses to operators in cities like Philadelphia and Atlanta that still have thriving carriage industries. But they could also sell them to people and institutions who simply want a calm, well-behaved horse – something carriage horses are known for. “My personal opinion is that each of the horses will be sold to someone that wants to use them as a carriage/driving or riding horse and not for slaughter,” said Lynda Roemer, who runs Equine Rescue, Inc. in Walden, New York and mostly takes in horses who have been confiscated by law enforcement when an owner is found guilty of animal cruelty. She’s never had to rescue a carriage horse in 18 years of operation. Roemer is well aware of the slaughter auctions but thinks that the carriage horses are too valuable to end up there. “Kill buyers don’t pay top dollar (they generally only pay .40-.50/pound - for a 2,000 pound horse that would be $800). The ‘allure’ of having been a NYC carriage horse will open many doors in the private sector and most likely bring a better selling price,” she said. Joanna Feffer, a lifelong horse competitor and equine attorney who lives on the Upper East Side, said that there is no shortage of organizations

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014


desperate to purchase retired carriage horses. She’s a horse-lover and strong supporter of the carriage industry. She also sits on the boards of six horse-related charities, including Horse Ability, a group that works with handicapped people and teaches them to ride, and a group that Feffer said is just one example of the kind of non-profit that needs steady, sturdy, calm horses for its work. “Between colleges, universities, even companion horses for injured horses, because they don’t like to be alone - there are a lot of uses for retired horses,� said Feffer. Colleges often use older horses to teach students about horse anatomy and care, and that they will take horses in nearly any

condition, she explained. “I ride in Old Westbury, and people there are always posting to buy retired horses. I could find a home for 100 horses today,� Feffer said – though she hopes she won’t have to. “All the friends who I grew up riding with are all on the committee [supporting the industry],� she said. “We support it because these horses were meant to pull carriages.� Eva Hughes said ending the industry won’t prevent more horses from being killed. “Instead of going down to [the] New Holland [auction] and buying the next 220 horses coming off the truck for slaughter,� she said, “they want to come take our horses.�

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schools in these bond deals has some public school proponents wondering why the city is diverting resources to help these schools - many of which come with $40,000-a-year tuition - in the first place. Shino Tanikawa, president of the District 2 Community Education Council, learned of the program just as her Lower Manhattan district is bracing for a shortage of 1,000 elementary school seats. “I find it outrageous the city is essentially financing the expansion of private schools when our students in public schools are crammed into classrooms with as many as 38 students in a room, families are put on a wait list for their zoned school, asbestos and PCBs still linger in our older buildings and many schools are still not ADA compliant,� said Tanikawa. “The list goes on for what our public schools need while private schools are getting a sweetheart deal with the help of the city?� Private schools are not the only not-forprofits that BNYC helps with refinancing. The corporation has also brokered favorable bond deals for organizations like the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society. One such bond was issued last year to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in the amount of $8.9 million. But given the strains in the public-school budgets, it is the school financing that is likely to raise the most eyebrows. Grace Church School, for instance, secured a $40 million bond last May that it used to cover two previous bonds for expansions in 2006 and 2011. George Davison, head of the school, said the availability of these bonds is generally known in the private school community, and that it made more fiscal sense for the school to issue a bond through BNYC than to stick with the terms of their two original bonds. “Build NYC is designed for organizations

just like us, who are creating jobs in New York City,� said Davison. “When the Build NYC vehicle came on line, it’s much more appropriate than a standard bank loan for a not-for-profit because it’s tax exempt financing.� Davison said the 2006 IDA bond was also tax exempt, but came with a flexible interest rate that adjusted every week. “Most everyone is fairly sure that we’re not going to get lower rates than we have now,� said Davison. “For what we were doing, fixing our rate for the next 10 years - which is what [the BNYC bond] allows us to do - makes much more sense in terms of our planning.� Davison said that during a two-week period in 2008, the flexible interest rate on the IDA bond whipsawed from 1 percent to 9 percent. While that swing is an aberration connected with the 2008 financial crisis, and it may be impossible to tell how much revenue the IDA bonds would have ultimately brought in, projections for that revenue seem non-existent in records kept by BNYC. In the case of the Birch Wathen Lenox School on the Upper East Side, which is in the process of securing an $8 million bond to refinance money it used to expand in 2004, the city estimates the school will generate $9.1 million in tax revenue over the course of a 15-year term. “So yes, this is in line with the mission of promoting economic and community projects, and it is not a ‘handout’ to a wealthy school,� said an EDC spokesperson. Tanikawa said she’d like to see some way in which public schools benefit from the city’s brokerage of finance deals to private schools. “I think the new mayor should be made aware of this,� said Tanikawa. “Perhaps the banks can be made to pay taxes on the interest and that revenue can go into the [School Construction Authority’s] capital fund. Perhaps the interest rate should be on a sliding scale based on the private school’s assets.�

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MARBLE’S JAZZ INSPIRED WORSHIP

EVERY FIRST & THIRD FRIDAY AT 7:00PM The Marble Loft (next door at 274 5th Ave) Kick off your weekend with this celebratory service! An authentic connection to the spirit through music, community and message. Led by Dr. R. Mark King. Music by jazz pianist Chris Whittaker, his band, and talented guest artists. Dr. Michael B. Brown, Senior Minister 1 West 29th St. NYC, NY 10001 (212) 686-2770 www.MarbleChurch.org

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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PAGE 5


OUT & ABOUT

Friday, February 7 Miro Magloire’s New Chamber Ballet

208 West 70th Street New York, NY 10023 tXXXMPJSFTUBVSBOUDPN

City Center Studio 5, 130 West 56th Street 8 p.m., $25/$15 students & seniors Miro Magloire presents his New Chamber Ballet in a program of trios, including a new work to music by Liszt and repertory dances to music by Haydn and Luciano Berio. newchamberballet.com

Valentine’s Day 2014 Prix-Fixe Menu

Ethics in Film - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street (at Central Park West) 7 p.m., $5 McMurphy has a criminal past and has once again gotten himself into trouble with the law. To escape labor duties in prison, he pleads insanity and is sent to a ward for the mentally unstable. Once there, McMurphy both endures and stands witness to the abuse and degradation of oppressive Nurse Ratched, who gains superiority and power through the flaws of the other inmates. Nysec.org

1st Course Choice of: Ravioles Me Milo Anthotyro Ravioles with Caramelized Apple Coulis

Rodi Salata Mixed Spring Greens with Pomegranate Seeds & Pomegranate Sauce

Pantzari Roasted Beets, Chickpeas, and Baby Arugula, with Mustard Vinaigrette

2nd Course Choice of:

Irish Theatre, 553 West 51 Street 8 p.m., $15 SongLives brings the rich tradition of busking on Dublin’s Grafton Street to the wonderful intimacy and acoustics of the Donaghy Theatre. Maria Doyle Kennedy has gained international acclaim for her featured roles in films and television series like Dexter, Downton Abbey, and The Tudors. Irishartscenter.org

PsariStoAlati Fresh Fish Baked in Sea Salt for Two accompanied by Horta ($10 supplemental per person)

Solomos Me Maratho Grilled Wild Salmon with Fennel, Leeks & Ladolemono

Fileto 8 oz. Filet Mignon with LoiCouscoussaki and Pomegranate Sauce

Moussaka & Vegetarian Moussaka

Sunday, February 9

Eggplant Layered with Slow Cooked Ground Beef or Minced Mushroom Medley & BĂŠchamel Sauce, Finished with Graviera Cheese

New York Public Library St. Anges Branch Book Sale

Karavi Kotopoulo Roast Chicken Breast with Kasseri Cheese and Petimesi Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Saturday, February 8

3rd Course Choice of:

The Paper Bag Player’s Hiccup Help Show

Melopita Cheesecake with Valrhona Chocolate Ganache& Fresh Strawberry

Sokolatopita Yiaourti Me Rodi House-made Greek Yogurt with Fresh Pomegranate Seeds and Pomegranate Sauce

Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street 10:30 a.m./12:30 p.m., $15-$30 Focuses on a child’s relationship with parents, grandparents, teachers, siblings and friends, and explores the joy, conflicts, adventures, and mis-adventures of these very special relationships. symphonyspace.org

$75 per person PAGE 6

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street) 2- 3:30 p.m., Free with museum admission The New-York Historical Society invites you to participate in educational activities for families in Spanish. Come with your children ages four to ten to our educational programs about the history and art of New York. In the galleries we will chat about different themes, and children will have the opportunity to learn and enjoy themselves making drawings with watercolors and pastels, collages, and sculptures. Classes include art materials. nyhistory.org

SongLives with Maria Doyle Kennedy

Stavlisia 32 oz. Rib-eye Steak for Two with Lemon Potatoes & Mavrodaphne Reduction ($25 supplemental per person)

Maria’s Special Rich Flourless Chocolate Cake

Hablemos de la Historia y del Arte: Chairs and Wardrobes

www.nypress.com

St. Agnes Branch, NYPL, 444 Amsterdam Avenue 12 – 4 p.m., Free For the benefit of the branch libraries and their programs. Books on sale represent an amazing range of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, as well as multi-media. All at very low prices. Second sale on 2/26. 212-621-0619

Hudson River Shorewalk Hike 72nd Street station near turnstile. 11 a.m., Free To see sights along The River Shore. Bring lunch and water. Call Hike Leader Ellen to make sure that Hike is still on day of. 212-861-4267; shorewalkers.org

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014


West Side Community Rallies to Help Toddler with Cancer On World Cancer Day, the story of one beloved Upper West Side family who faced their daughter’s leukemia with help from their community By Helaina Hovitz Two-year-old Leah Golkin is advanced for her age. She knows her ABCs, her shapes, and her colors, all of which she learned while in the hospital undergoing chemotherapy. Leah, who also has a form of Down’s Syndrome called Trisomy 21, was diagnosed with AML leukemia in April of last year. “As a mother, the hardest thing was seeing her suffer. I haven’t slept through the night once in the past ten months,� said Susan Golkin, who quit her job immediately after Leah’s diagnoses. “Just the word cancer is enough to make you want to dig a hole and never come out.� Leah had always enjoyed tumbling around in Elliot’s Gymnastics class at the Jewish Center on West 86th Street and dancing with mom during her Musical Tots class at the

New York Kids Club. Back at home, she loved playing in her toy kitchen; in the hospital, she loved listening to her mother read her favorite book, Let’s Be Thankful. Always active in the community, Susan had led the youth department at the Jewish Center before Leah got sick, and was the kind of neighbor who brought everyone apples for Rosh Hashanah after the family went apple picking. In turn, over the past ten months, neighbors have shown up for Susan and her husband Moshe in droves, bringing them homemade food almost every single day. Because the family is Jewish Orthodox, they can only eat Kosher, a hard diet to manage when you’re in the hospital all day and your husband is at work. “It was beyond incredible. We didn’t feel alone through any of this,� said Susan, who rarely left Leah’s side. Susan’s friend and neighbor, Sharon Herzfeld, says that because the Golkins are the kind of people who have always been there for everyone in the community, people rose to the occasion without a moment’s hesitation. “One of the remarkable effects of Leah being so terribly sick is that many people became involved in trying to support them,� she said. Sharon’s two children also visited Leah in the hospital, bringing gifts that they

made especially for her. “So many of our neighbors checked in on us all the time,� Susan said. “One of our neighbors is a pediatrician and was always there to answer our questions. In some cases, we’d come home from the hospital and there would be presents for Leah, or food, or body lotion for me as a gift to treat myself.� The Golkins also received much needed financial and emotional support from two New York based non-profit organizations Friends of Karen and Chai Lifeline, both dedicated to helping the families of children facing terminal illness. “They didn’t qualify for Supplemental Security Income, which creates a huge struggle for many middle-class families,� said Sarah Coakley, the family’s social worker from Friends of Karen. The Golkin’s situation, she says, is not uncommon. “It’s a challenge for these families to ask for help. In Susan’s case, she was always the one giving help, and didn’t know how to ask for it.� Friends of Karen helped foot the cost of the transportation to and from Leah’s many treatments and helped pay some of their medical bills, and Sarah always came prepared with new toys and books for Leah. “Leah is an amazing little kid,� said Sarah. “When she knew that her mom was upset, she’d do something goofy and it would make

4th, 1 y uar Febr entines Val y! Da

her smile. She’s very smart.� Chai Lifeline also lent a hand, helping them celebrate the Sabbath every week in the hospital by bringing candles, tablecloths, and food. “Leah especially loved when our volunteers came to play with her,� said Raizy Goldberger, Associate Program Director at Chai Lifeline and the family’s case manager at Cornell Hospital. “Leah won us all over. She smiles and blows you a kiss and that’s it. She wins your heart.� Last week, after nearly a year full of chemotherapy and six surgeries, Susan found out that Leah’s cancer is now in full remission. In the fall, Susan plans on sending Leah to preschool at the Chabad on West 97th Street so she can continue her stellar learning career. Of the future, Susan says, she is trying to be

Leah in the car November 2013 hopeful. “I can’t live my life thinking, ‘What if the cancer comes back?’� Susan said. “You may think of all the worst things, but if you have faith, and I don’t care what faith you are, if you just believe in something bigger than yourself, you know that God has a plan, and it’s going to be okay.�

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014


cityArts

Edited by Armond White

New York’s Review of Culture . CityArtsNYC.com

Obliviots, or Deeper Into Solipsism Spike Jonze dehumanizes women and love in Her By Armond White

U

ntil Her, Spike Jonze was a favorite of the American Eccentrics. His brazen artiness was usually redeemed by youthful goofiness and the goofiness had a certain conceptual finesse--best demonstrated in his 2000 Weapon of Choice music video for Fatboy Slim where Christopher Walken’s song-and-dance pantomime jeteed into the surreal levitation of Brian DePalma’s The Fury, Ludacris’s 2004 Get Back music video or the 2010 short film I’m Here where the romance of robots uncannily expressed palpable human longings. But at the movies, Jonze’s eccentricity battles with featurelength narrative structures leading to the unfortunately non-satirical Her. Casting Joaquin Pheonix as electronic greeting card writer Theodore Twombly is immediate overstatement. After Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Pheonix is poster boy for creepiness even before he can develop the quixotic personality of a solitary divorce employed in drone-like work ((by BeautifulHandwrittenLetters. com !) to manufacture hollow sentiments for paying customers. (Theodore’s emotional prostitution embodies the thanklessness of grunt-jobs; former skater-boy Jonze conveys the hipster generation’s pampered alienation from the

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014

Joaquin Phoenix in Spike Jonze's Her workaday world.) This postmodern disaffection (carried-over from The Master’s facile agnosticism) makes Theodore’s eventual “falling in love” with an non-human--his computer’s operating system--all too expected. Given the film’s hushed tone, you knew something weird is coming: his OS has the feminine name Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansen). But there are no life-like surprises in either Theodore’s high-waisted nerd apparel or Samantha/ Johanssen’s sultry, teasing voice. The film’s oddly mannered visual style represents a slightly futuristic Los Angeles/Hollywood of Apple-

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

affluent sleekness--an air of undeniable consumerist elitism. With Jonze directing his first feature-length solo script, the movie is all concept and, frankly, it’s a terrible idea--not screwball farce but Eccentricity for its own sake. Jonze may get freaky in his contributions to Bad Grandpa, even playing an oddball clerk in The Wolf of Wall Street, but Her is a concession to the commercialism that even hipsters don’t realize they enjoy. Eccentricity Gets Tested: I’m Here premiered simultaneously with Zack Snyder’s visionary The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole-a film whose projection of human

feelings onto other species ranks as a companion piece to Where the Wild Things Are. But neither Eccentric Masterwork (Owls and I’m Here) was a commercial blockbuster. So this time Jonze doesn’t risk asking audiences to extend their imagination toward anthropomorphism. Her pretends to confound human emotion and amatory attraction. Not an update of the Pygmalion and Galatea myth, Her merely reworks the premise of I’m Here. Theodore’s relationship to Samantha abstracts Love into something non-profound; it becomes a mystery that is illogical, anti-romantic--a safe confirmation

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of nihilism, commercialized negativity. Because Jonze’s instincts are very much au courant--more hipster-cool than avant-garde--lazy viewers are willing to accept the film’s trendy conceit as a challenge to virtues they already disavow. Her is a love story designed for those too scared to believe that love is possible and so are not offended by its mockery--an adolescent, skater boy bluff. Jonze doesn’t mock the idea of love so much as its human improbability. (This is where Her differs from classic Screwball which, like Shakespeare’s comedies, always perpetuated the need for human connection.) Theodore’s co-workers (Amy Adams as his heartbroken colleague, Chris Pratt as his fatuous boss) demonstrate the sadness and shallowness of romantic alliance and his ex-wife (Rooney Mara) confirms its impossibility, hidden in distrust and disloyalty. Humans are seen as uncommunicative and unrealiable-that’s why Theodore goes over to the other side. In Her, Jonze romanticizes the solipsism of obliviots, middle-class digital device idiots who lack the impulse to resent how technology damages their senses, limits their humanity. His scenes of Theodore alone on a beach or walking through snow drifts are shot ironically but lack a Chaplin or Keaton sense of humor. Jonze’s eccentricity should have saved him from indulgent solipsism, the snarky normalizing of digital era detachment, isolation and alienation. Her’s biggest shock is that Jonze loses his sense of funny; it’s unromantic yet is unacceptably sentimental.

PAGE 9


CITYARTS MUSEUM

Nervous System's "Three Hyphae Lamps"

Old School Into New School Out of Hand presents the Future in rebooted craft museum  By Rania Richardson 

C ways to re-use

your old

newspaper

11

#

PAGE 10

Make your own cat litter by shredding newspaper, soaking it in dish detergent & baking soda, and letting it dry.

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

olumbus Circle is as crowded as it ever was, but the past decade’s renovations with fountains, benches, and plantings make it a prettier place to be. The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) moved to the south side of the Circle in 2008, with a mission of being a creative hub and exploring the materials and processes of artists across disciplines. In short, it’s a reboot of the former American Craft Museum that was located across from MoMA.  “Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital” comprises work by successful artists experienced with old-school methods, who are incorporating 3D printing and other digital tools to create museum quality pieces. Organized by curator Ron Labaco, the exhibition features work from 2005 to the present, including objects never presented before in the U.S. by Anish Kapoor, Maya Lin, Greg Lynn, Frank Stella, and many others.  “Brain Wave Sofa” by Lucas Maassen and design studio, Unfold, is an example of computer numerical controlled (CNC) milling. The design of the polyurethane foam and felt sofa is the result of an electroencephalogram brain wave scan created by electrodes connected to Maassen’s head. By opening and closing his eyes, his neurofeedback data generates 3D landscape imagery. The resulting computer file is sent to a CNC machine that mills his brain waves

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in foam for the foundation of the couch. With systems like this, the future is here as designers can fairly create a product with the blink of the eye.  Many objects in the survey are breathtaking, regardless of their backstory. Modeling nature, Joris Laarman’s “Bone Armchair,” has a sinuous form reminiscent of Art Nouveau. Cast in a single piece, the marble resin furniture was fabricated using a custom developed 3D printed ceramic mold.   Also dazzling in its beauty, is Marc Newson’s “Doudou Necklace,” a fractal-inspired ornament based on the Julia set, a geometric figure that repeats itself at ever smaller scales and looks the same at all zoom levels. The diamond, sapphire, and white gold piece was modeled digitally using rapid prototyping, then translated into hand drawings for traditional setting by French jewelry house, Boucheron. The necklace is accompanied by a colorful, hypnotic animation that demonstrates the formula discovered by mathematician Gaston Julia in 1915.  A walk through the 120 varied works on display-- portraits, architecture, sculpture, clothing-- is an education in the eclectic range of digital tools. But will computer assistance eventually snuff out the spirit of art? According to curator Labaco, the soul in art lies in the maker, not the medium. “In capable hands one can create beautiful, compelling, delightful, and/or haunting works using digital technologies,” he says.  “Out of Hand” at Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), 2 Columbus Circle through June 1.  Follow Rania Richardson on Twitter: @ RaniaRichardson 

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014


was criticized for what locals perceive as a focus on ticketing pedestrians, especially after a high-profile incident in which police measures it’s proposing at 96th Street and roughed up an elderly man at 96th Street and Broadway, the same intersection where the Broadway, allegedly for jaywalking. two other pedestrians were killed: Alexander “Cyclists and walkers do not kill innocent Shear, 73, the same night Cooper died, and people. Cars driven by reckless and distracted Samantha Lee, 26, 10 days later on Jan. 19. drivers do,� said Barron Lerner, Cooper Stock’s The safety proposals at the intersection uncle. Lerner underscored the tension that include banning left hand-turns from 96th has bubbled up – much of it online – between on Broadway, and banning left-hand turns pedestrians/cyclists and motorists, who blame from Broadway heading eastbound on 96th non-motorists for putting themselves in Street. The DOT is also calling for expanded harms way. pedestrian space on “There’s nothing we the northeast corner can do for this family, of the intersection and they’re not going to new crosswalks, as get their child back. well as simpler signal But what we can do phasing for cars and is enforcement, to pedestrians that will show the community “significantly� improve that we’re out there,� the travel-time for the said 24th Precinct latter. Inspector Nancy Overall, the Barry, voice cracking, DOT said, the after holding a improvements will moment of silence for cause less confusion the victims. and lead to more Lerner also natural compliance highlighted photo by Daniel Fitzsimmons with signals. bureaucratic Inspector Nancy Barry of the 24th The DOT’s Ryan obstacles to Precinct speaks to the crowd at the Russo said the agency improving safety, meeting. would like to begin including state implementing the oversight of the city’s improvements as early as March, after taking traffic laws and control over the allocation of into account the input from residents and funds for things like traffic cameras. CB7. “We’d start in March and probably finish “We love Cooper very much and miss him in March or April,� said Russo. beyond words,� said Lerner. “We beg you, The DOT was commended by residents and please do not let politics, bureaucracy and local leaders who spoke up at the meeting, interest-group squabbling prevent meaningful and their proposal was characterized as a reform in the name of Cooper and the other good starting point for fixing safety issues on innocent victims of reckless and careless the Upper West Side. drivers.� But the almost three-hour meeting was State Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell also a forum for residents to talk about recently introduced legislation that would safety issues they see in other areas of the reduce the city’s speed limit from 30 to 20 neighborhood. What has made this recent miles per hour, but said he needs a home rule spate of tragedies particularly difficult is message from the City Council to let the state that residents, and local leaders, said they’ve know it’s behind such an initiative. known for quite some time that serious safety Helen Rosenthal, the newly elected issues exist on the Upper West Side. councilwoman for the Upper West Side, said Findings from a pedestrian safety study mobilizing state support is key to improving commissioned by CB7 last year, and released pedestrian safety in the city. She’s working in September, included examinations of both on building support to increase the fines for locations where people were most recently motorists who fail to yield to pedestrians. killed. The study looked at a swath of the She’s also a major proponent of lowering the Upper West Side from 94th Street to 96th speed limit to 20 miles per hour. Street between Central Park and the Hudson “The political will is big, and that’s very River. The crowd implored CB7, local leaders, exciting for our community,� said Rosenthal. the DOT, and members of the 24th precinct to “Pedestrian fatalities at [96th Street and crack down on aggressive drivers. Broadway] have never been like this.� To that end, 24th Precinct Inspector Fellow councilmember Mark Levine said Nancy Barry touted her department’s recent the time to act is now. crackdown in the area, saying officers gave out “Momentum to change the pedestrian 79 summonses in January for failure to yield safety laws in New York City has never been to pedestrians, an increase of 182 percent over greater,� he said. the same period last year. But her precinct Traffic Deaths Continued from page 1

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014

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PAGE 11


With jerky unsafe, consider alternative pet treats What to look out for Within hours of eating treats sold as jerky tenders or strips made of chicken, duck, sweet potatoes and/or dried fruit, some pets have exhibited decreased appetite, decreased activity, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes with blood or mucus), increased water consumption, or increased urination. Severe cases have involved kidney failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, and a rare kidney disorder. About 60 percent of cases involved gastrointestinal illness, and about 30 percent involved kidney and urinary systems. The remaining cases reported various symptoms, such as collapse, convulsions or skin issues. Most of the jerky treats implicated have been made in China. Manufacturers of pet foods are not required by U.S. law to state the country of origin for each ingredient in their products. A number of jerky pet treat products were removed from the market in Jan. 2013 after a New York State lab reported finding evidence of up to six drugs in certain jerky pet treats made in China. While the levels of these drugs were very low and it’s unlikely that they caused the illnesses, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration noted a decrease in reports of jerky-suspected illnesses after the products were removed from the market. FDA believes that the number of reports may have declined simply because fewer jerky treats were available.

PAGE 12

The controversy surrounding jerky treats for pets has resumed following an announcement that two major pet treat manufacturers will soon return their products to stores’ shelves. The treats in question had been voluntarily recalled, though members of the public were warned by the Food and Drug Administration through a report that approximately 4,500 dogs had reportedly gotten sick and nearly 600 dogs had died, allegedly from consuming jerky treats. Ultimately, an identifying cause of the illnesses and deaths was never found. Because of the cause for concern, veterinarians are offering a different approach. Instead of purchasing processed treats for pets, consider providing a healthy alternative. “The most important part of treat time is the attention you give to your pet,” said Dr. Jennifer Welser, chief medical officer of BluePearl Veterinary Partners. “Consider giving your pet chopped vegetables or fruits, like carrots and apples, or giving them a piece of their own food, but emphasizing the same level of enthusiasm.” However, some human foods are toxic to pets. Onions, garlic, chocolate, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, the sugar substitute xylitol, and raw or undercooked food can create major problems for pets. “Most importantly, we suggest discussing treat options with your family veterinarian to determine what kind of treats would be best to give your furry friend,” Welser said.

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

Camp’s Secret Weapon The buzz about emotional intelligence and your child By Posie Taylor Why consider summer camp for your child? Perhaps you hope to raise another Michelle Kwan or Tiger Woods. Maybe you are desperate for an alternative to a summer of day care, chauffeuring, and video games. There is an even more compelling reason to consider a high-quality summer camp, according to the child development experts at the American Camp Association. This reason, while it has been true for decades, is finally getting the attention it deserves. Children at summer camps are learning vital life skills that will help them grow – and will make their lives healthier and happier all along the way. It’s the new buzz word in educational theory that’s been at work in quality summer camps for years: Emotional Intelligence. Real Challenges Build Resiliency The best-kept secret in American education is that great camps have been teaching Emotional Intelligence since they began. Besides their long years of practice in this arena, camps have another edge. Because camps are free of the demands of curriculum and academic testing, camp professionals can focus on those intangibles that are part of the Emotional Intelligence cluster. Children away from home, with new friends and the new challenges of camp can learn much about themselves, their own strengths, and abilities. Perhaps the canoe doesn’t head where it should at first, or a cabin-mate is unwilling to be friendly. Away from the familiarity of home and school, campers can test their own perseverance, and, with caring and thoughtful help, build new life skills for themselves. Meeting these challenges brings true self-esteem, the kind that is earned, not empty words. Talking about self-esteem or trying to bolster it in kids does not work without real challenge in safe and supportive communities. Social skills, too, grow exponentially at camp. A campfire marshmallow roast is an exercise in sharing of sticks and the front row around the campfire. When campers take turns carrying the lunch to the top of the mountain, they learn firsthand how wonderful working together can be. A good counselor will gently remind her young hikers of this lesson, not later, but during the climb, when the message is fresh.

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Timing is Everything When Life Lessons Are Involved Counselors at camp teach archery or pottery or swimming while showing children the value of the varied skills and talents of their friends. And, with no formal “curriculum,” a lesson may be “interrupted” for a chat about sharing or about any of the Emotional Intelligence skills when the time is right. Parents are amazed at the clear progress their campers make during even a relatively short time at camp. Given that Emotional Intelligence is at the very heart of the camp experience, this progress is not surprising. A parent of a ten-year-old boy comments in a camp evaluation: “Living in such close quarters was not without its challenges for Roger, but he is much more able to handle social challenges at school since his return. And he came home just generally a nicer boy in all respects.” Another explains: “Of course I am glad my girls had fun and learned some new skills, but their new-found maturity and caring for each other was really what I had hoped would happen.” Teachable Moments at Camp When children find adult friends at camp who model perseverance, listening, teamwork, and appreciation of differences, they set new and high standards for their own behavior. When they feel appreciated and valued by these friends, they are surer of their ability to live happily away from home. Successful camp summers can help smooth the transition to college in later years. Camp is a key opportunity for growth, both for children who thrive at school and for those who struggle. Talented students develop their abilities to cooperate and share in a community where they don’t worry about grades and academic competition. Children whose school lives are difficult find real rewards in new opportunities to shine. Having a chance to practice being a leader may be a rare experience for them indeed! At summer camp, children learn from trained and thoughtful counselors. They talk about Emotional Intelligence every day and hone their skills in a safe and nurturing community. Children at camp know firsthand the value of cooperation and teamwork, and they practice listening, sharing, and waiting their turn every day. Posie Taylor serves as a board member-at-large of the American Camp Association. She is also the executive director emerita of the Aloha Foundation, Inc. Reprinted from CAMP Magazine by permission of the American Camp Association.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014


RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS

Neighborhood Lincoln Square

Address

Apt.

Sale Price

BR BA Listing Brokerage

160 W End Ave.

#29N

$765,000

160 W End Ave.

#7B

$432,000

0

1

Corcoran

Restaurant Grades

201 W 70 St.

#8C

$940,000

1

1

Douglas Elliman

200 Riverside Boulev #22E

$1,700,150

2

2

Town Residential

The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website on December 13, 2013 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.

555 W 59 St.

$2,495,000

3

3

Elegran

January 23 - 27, 2014

Sookk Thai Restaurant

2686 Broadway

Grade Pending (44) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Live roaches present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas. Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared.

Mcdonald’s

2549 Broadway

A

Columbus Gourment Foods

261 Columbus Ave Store #2

A

Dallas Bbq

27 West 72 Street

A

Subway City Pie

Old John’s Luncheonette

321 1/2 Amsterdam Avenue 166 West 72 Street

148 West 67 Street

Manhattan Valle

Midtown

A Grade Pending (19) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/ or non-food areas.

Midtown W

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

NEIGHBORHOOD REAL ESTATE SALES Reported January 27 - February 2, 2014 Neighborhood

Address

Apt.

Sale Price

BR BA Listing Brokerage

Central Harlem

301 Cathedral Park

#2U

$454,000

1

1

Douglas Elliman

Chelsea

357 W 29 St.

#Gb

$1,210,000

1

2

Halstead Property

Lincoln Square

10 W End Ave.

#25B

$2,000,000

2

2

Corcoran

101 Central Park W

#9/10G

$11,500,000

4

5

Brown Harris Stevens

25 Central Park W

#8A

$1,400,000

1

1

Douglas Elliman

20 W 72 St.

#910

$1,995,000

3

3

Corcoran

30 W 60 St.

#8Nn

$620,000

150 Columbus Ave.

#22C

$4,750,000

80 Riverside Bouleva #28D

$4,150,000

160 W End Ave.

#30K

$750,000

74 W 68 St.

#8C

Upper W Side 3

3

Corcoran

$585,000

1

1

Douglas Elliman

120 Riverside Boulev #4H

$1,135,000

1

1

Nestseekers

160 W End Ave.

$412,000

0

1

Douglas Elliman

#3L

2 W 67 St.

#1213D

$2,516,000

3

3

Coldwell Banker Bellma

50 W 67 St.

#3E

$875,000

1

1

Brown Harris Stevens

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014

Morningside Hei

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

#5B

240 Riverside Boulev #8A+

$5,325,000

25 W 64 St.

#6A

$515,000

1

1

Corcoran

225 W 60 St.

#15E

$1,507,333

2

2

Douglas Elliman

44 W 62 St.

#8E

$668,000

100 Riverside Boulev #11J

$1,190,690

1

1

Nestseekers

55 Central Park W

Multi

$33,000,000

4

4

Brown Harris Stevens

185 W End Ave.

#22D

$1,335,000

100 Riverside Boulev #12N

$2,150,000

2

2

Corcoran

43 W 61 St.

#18H

$885,000

1

1

Clare Lipka, Lreb

425 Central Park W

#3K

$875,000

1

1

Time Equities Brokerag

444 Central Park W

#7D

$1,116,077

2

2

Margaret Bassett Real E

415 Central Park W

#16Br

$375,000

15 W 108 St.

#5

$15,000 2

2

Keller Williams

1

1

Nestseekers

1600 Broadway

#Ph3c

$3,100,000

106 Central Park So

#10A

$6,400,000

247 W 46 St.

#1105

$1,010,000

157 W 57 St.

#40C

$6,673,037

247 W 46 St.

#906

$1,420,000

1

1

Tower Property Group

159 W 53 St.

#20G

$700,000

.75

1

Vincent D’allessandro L

146 W 57 St.

#36D

$10

430 W 34 St.

#3E

$387,000

0

1

Corcoran

350 W 42 St.

#38H

$1,249,000

1

1

Corcoran

350 W 42 St.

#56C

$1,890,000

2

2

Nestseekers

350 W 42 St.

#50H

$1,330,000

1

1

Nestseekers

350 W 50 St.

#29I

$800,000

1

1

Corcoran

325 W 45 St.

#304

$500,000

1

1

Douglas Elliman

857 9 Ave.

#3D

$333,000

1

1

Spire Group

635 W 42Nd St.

#4E

$715,000

1

1

River2river Realty

350 W 50 St.

#4H

$565,000

0

1

Douglas Elliman

350 W 50 St.

#5C

$1,925,000

2

2

Corcoran

325 W 45 St.

#802

$440,000

1

1

Level Group

345 W 55 St.

#5B

$780,000

2

1

Halstead Property

322 W 57Th St.

#17D

$730,000

1

1

Anchor Associates

516 W 47 St.

#S7k

$525,000

0

1

Vered Realty

504 W 48 St.

#4W

$390,000

1

1

Owner

500 W 43 St.

#24F

$800,350

1

1

Corcoran

350 W 42 St.

#4K

$780,000

1

1

Bond New York

532 W 111 St.

#35

$1,110,000

2

1

Coldwell Banker Bellma

609 W 114 St.

#81

$850,000

2

1

Douglas Elliman

545 W 111 St.

#Resid

$690,000

395 Riverside Drive

#7C

$742,000

1

1

Corcoran

304 W 89 St.

#5C

$610,000

1

1

New Bedford Managem

670 W End Ave.

#12B

$2,150,000

2

2

Brown Harris Stevens

133 W 75 St.

#3A

$510,000

1

1

Sotheby’s International

StreetEasy.com is New York’s most accurate and comprehensive real estate website, providing consumers detailed sales and rental information and the tools to manage that information to make educated decisions. The site has become the reference site for consumers, real estate professionals and the media and has been widely credited with bringing transparency to one of the world’s most important real estate markets.

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PAGE 13


CELEBRITY Q AND A

Chronicling A Mother’s Long-Distance Love tell you that you still can, once you go there, say “no.” I knew that would not be an option for me. It would push all the buttons in me where I’d been rejected. I also knew I couldn’t go by a picture.

In her new play, Upper West Sider Corinne Chateau goes to the Republic of Georgia to bring her baby home

So you went to Georgia to see the baby. What was that like?

By Angela Barbuti Mothers say that holding their children for the first time is the ultimate example of immediate unconditional love. Corinne Chateau felt that deep connection when she held Cali, only he wasn’t her son, but a baby she had seen in a picture and traveled a great distance to meet. A career- driven actress, Chateau had waited to have children, and finally decided on adopting internationally. I met her at the Marjorie S. Deane Little Theater just before a dress rehearsal for her play, The Sun Shines East, which tells of her tumultuous, yet incredible path to becoming a mother. “One thing about being a mother is not giving up. There were so many opportunities where we could have,” she said.

In your thirties, you were focused on your career and hadn’t thought about a family. My whole life was acting. That was my obsession, and what I cared about. I was an only child, and didn’t have the kind of mother who was around too much. The important thing in my life was to do something, not so much be a wife or mother. And then, in my late 30s, I came to a kind of existential moment when I said, “What am I doing with my life? Is it just about getting an acting job? It’s got to be more than that.”

When you came to the realization that you wanted a child, were you married? I was living with my future husband, Brian Hickey, who I met at The Actors Studio. We had been living together for four years and then we married. That was after my first pregnancy, which was a miscarriage, and then I had a second one a few years later. I was perfectly healthy, and never anticipated miscarrying.

How did your interest in adoption begin? The famous Swedish actress Bibi Anderson was in New York. It was the time of the Bosnian war and she was dedicated to helping

PAGE 14

The actress with her son Cali artists and people suffering in Sarajevo. I met her through a friend and helped her fundraise. Her dedication to helping these people who were under siege really moved me. After hearing about all the orphans, I ended up calling the UN and asking if people were adopting them. They said that they were not allowing foreign adoption. Somehow, that just triggered something in me.

How did you decide on the Republic of Georgia? I knew I wasn’t going to do a domestic adoption. I mean, that’s great, but I was pulled to something distant, but it was also east. And my mother’s side, which I didn’t know very much about, comes from the East. My mother was born in Warsaw and escaped with her mother and grandmother during the War. Something about the Republic of Georgia - the Golden Fleece, the high mountains -there was some kind of mystique for me, like a spiritual pull to that place. I also think the process had to be difficult for me to know that I really wanted to do it, that I wasn’t just going to change my mind tomorrow.

You knew you wanted an infant, right? Yes, that was the other thing. I did investigate Russia, but I heard it was impossible to get babies under a year old. It was very important for me to get as young as possible. I knew, somehow instinctively, the younger the better because of what happens in all those months that the baby is not getting the love, attention, and stimulation he or she needs.

You got a picture of Cali first. With international adoption, they have a coordinator here and one in that country. Our son was relinquished in a hospital. I got the picture, and could say “yes” or “no.” And they

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

Within three days, my husband and I knew for sure. Cali was three months old at the time. It was not a good situation in Georgia at the time, because they had just come out of civil war. There was no heat, electricity, nothing in the stores. Unbeknownst to us, the president of Georgia’s wife, Mrs. Shevardnadze, was on this very fierce campaign against Georgian orphans leaving the country. She was trying to make it so that people could not adopt children, even if they were languishing and dying, which they were. The year that we adopted our son, 20 babies died in the orphanage.

You came back to America without him, and learned there was a moratorium on adoption. We got on our own campaign to write to senators, congressmen, the Pope, anybody who we thought might feel passionate about helping this child. Our adoption person in California wanted to change us to another program because she had experience with these countries that would go on with the process forever. But we had seen Cali and held him in our arms. In the photo we took, I really felt he was telling me, “Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you.”

Then you decided to go back to Georgia. I started to read up on the effects of emotional deprivation on children, and that every day is so crucial in the life of a baby. I was terrified that if it took too long to get him, maybe he’d have attachment problems. After three months, I told Brian we couldn’t wait any longer. Our case became very political. My husband knew a man who knew Congressman Gilman of upstate New York. By chance, Congressman Gilman had relations with the Republic of Georgia. He managed to get a verbal promise for the release of our baby. All we needed was this signature from the Minister of Education. It wasn’t easy to get the visas, but we ended up going to Georgia for two months.

What did you do there for two months?

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We stayed with this fantastic family. We slept on the floor. Every day, we’d be driven to the hospital and spent about five hours with Cali. Brian went over first and warned me, “Be prepared when you see him, he’s a little depressed.” The miracle of the whole thing was that every day that we were there, Cali got better. The Minister of Education didn’t speak a word of English, and I had to go through a translator. I was shaking like a leaf, trying to communicate. He kept saying, “We’ll try. We’ll see what we can do.” And then three days later, he gave his word.

How did you turn this story into a play? I felt that the story had been so miraculous, so I wanted to share it. I had an image of the long hallway in the hospital - dank, cold, and dark. And as I was walking toward the end of it, where I was going to see this baby for the first time, it was like a near-death experience. Your whole life flashes in front of you. I first wrote it as a short story, then I created a one-woman show. I then brought it to the Actors Studio and performed it in little theaters. I went back to the studio to do it as an improvisation. Ellen Burstyn, the artistic director of The Actors Studio and the moderator that day, said, “Why don’t you try to make a play of this?”

Your husband was by your side though the entire process. How is he represented in the play? In the play, the husband goes along with it because he loves his wife and wants to be supportive. But once he sees the baby, he completely changes. Then he does everything, writing all the letters, day in and day out, that were absolutely necessary. He becomes so intense, that he’s almost the one who has to push his wife and say, “Are you going to give up?”

Cali is now 17 and looking at colleges. Has he seen the rehearsals? He hasn’t. He’ll go see the play. I’m nervous about him seeing it. Even though it’s based on real events, the play is fictionalized. I made the baby a girl, because I wanted to have a little distance, for his sake. The Sun Shines East is playing until February 16th. For tickets, visit https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/ pr/931176 Follow the show on Twitter: @SunShinesEast

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014


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PAGE 15


Columbia University Celebrates Black History Month Dr. Charles R. Drew

As an African American physician during the Jim Crow era, Dr. Drew often faced discrimination in pursuing a career as a surgeon, including at Columbia. But Drew persevered, and supported by colleagues, began to conduct research in blood plasma, eventually receiving a doctorate of medical science degree in 1940 from Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Drew discovered that red blood cells, or plasma, could be separated, dried, and reconstituted, making it possible to “bank” blood for long periods of time. This work led to his development of the world’s first blood bank and improved techniques for blood storage. He also challenged the scientific fallacy of racial segregation in blood donation. To learn more about this key part of our local and national history, visit

www.columbia.edu/blackhistory.

Photo: Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

PAGE 16

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014


West Side Spirit February 06th, 2014