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NYPRESS.COM • THE LARGEST PAPER ON THE WEST SIDE • FEBRUARY 13, 2014

PAGE 14

Where to (Almost) Find Love on the UWS We tracked the most recent Manhattan locations of Craigslist’s “missed connection” posts By Megan Bungeroth

Plotting Traffic Deaths on the Upper West Side A new study of pedestrian fatilities in New York pinpoints the danger zones for the the Upper West Side. The report by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign analyzes traffic fatality data for the entire region, showing details of each death in the three years from 2010 to 2012. According to the group, 13 pedestrians died from traffic accidents on the Upper West Side during that period, almost half of them on Broadway, which was singled out by the group as being among the city’s deadliest avenues. The totals for the period don’t include a number of fatilities in recent months -- deaths that have galvanized the city and spurred renewed calls for changes in safety laws. On the group’s map, blue dots represent the deaths of adults between the ages of 16 and 59, pink is for seniors 60 years old, and green dots represent fatalities under the age of 16. To view the map yourself, go to tstc.org.

City life is full of near-hits and glancing what-ifs. Most people go about their day giving little thought to what could have been if they had reached across the subway aisle and asked the cute girl in the red hat for her number before she got off at Chambers Street, disappearing forever behind the closing doors. But a few dogged, lovestruck fools take their chance encounters (or non-encounters, as the case usually is) to the pages of Craigslist, posting under the Missed Connection heading, hoping against hope that the object of their infatuation will scour the listings and recognize the description of themselves as “the very red hair security/maintenance guy at the Natural History Museum” or the man with “black curly hair tied behind in a bun...reading a book on cosmology” who quelled a stranger’s screaming child by whipping up a balloon animal on the subway. Craiglist only keeps Missed Connections posts active for a few weeks, so there is a fleeting nature to the endeavor, and Continued on page 4

ALSO INSIDE CONSTRUCTION ON W. 93RD STREET? P.2 OUT & ABOUT P.6 NEW APP SHOWS OFF UWS LANDMARKS P.8


LETTER TO THE EDITOR In response to “Hoping for Pay Dirt on Super Bowl Weekend,� Jan. 30 I was very surprised to see your cover article about the renting out of apartments for the Super Bowl weekend mainly emphasizing the use of AirBnB and Craigslist with absolutely no regard or mention that such activities are mostly against the law in New York. Like prostitution and drug dealing, renting out apartments to transients can be illegal, dangerous, immoral and insidious. That should have been explored in detail, if you were responsibly presenting this subject and were exposing the issues involved. Regulated tenants (stabilize or controlled) are not allowed to rent their apartments in this manner. Most co-ops and condos have strict rules forbidding such transient rentals for safety and usage concerns. You irresponsibly and unabashedly gave promotion for something which is (1) against the law and (2) a lot of people really see as a threat and invasion of our community. As a resident in an apartment building, I certainly DO NOT want strangers

easily gaining access to the premises. The desperate need for affordable housing in New York and the preservation of that dwindling stock, never mind the almost fruitless efforts to create more affordable housing for the middle and working classes, is seriously, and I mean SERIOUSLY threatened by a whole range of unscrupulous landlords, developers and parasites who will utilize services like AirBnB to oust or replace more city residents to make even more money in short term rentals than full time residents can afford. You did a great disservice to New York residents by promoting an idea and activity that on the surface may sound cute or novel, but which has terrible unintended side effects and actually does damage by adding burdens to the most difficult problem for average New York residents: affordable. I hope you will try a lot harder to get in touch with the lives of real New Yorkers and their day-to-day concerns. Sincerely, Edward Maloney E. 80th St.

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?

Construction on West 93rd Street? Scaolding shields walkers from falling debris By Scott Baker It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s a falling brick. A West Side Spirit reader alerted us to possible new construction due to the erection of scaffolding outside of a New York City Housing Authority building at 201 W. 93rd Street at Amsterdam Avenue. Investigation of the site revealed the scaffolding has been put up to protect passersby from falling bricks from the façade of the NYCHA De Hostos Towers apartment complex. “All the bricks are falling off the building,â€? one resident said while walking his dog under the protective structure. “It’s about time they did something about it.â€? The 22-story Eugenio Maria de Hostos Apartment complex contains 219 apartments

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and houses roughly 478 residents, according to NYCHA. The three quarter-acre site has been home to the complex since its completion in 1969. In addition to the apartment building, the site houses the “I Have a Dream� Foundation DeHostos-Wise Program. This after-school program currently serves 40 students from eighth through tenth-grade and their families, greatly increasing the foot traffic in and out of the building. Questions posed to NYCHA regarding how long the scaffolding will remain over the sidewalk of 93rd Street were addressed in a prepared statement: “The New York City Housing Authority is currently working on the scope of work and schedule for repairs. The sidewalk shed will remain in place until the repairs are complete.�

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WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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Missed Connection Hot Zones 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

595 West End Avenue “When I saw you guarding the entrance to 595 West End Avenue, I had wanted to tell you how handsome you looked in your doorman uniform.�

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

West 86th Street and Central Park West “I know its a long shot, we sat across from each other. you took out your journal and started writing.�

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 Š 2013 by Straus Media - Manhattan, LLC 212-868-0190 • 333 Seventh Ave, New York, NY.

West 54th Street and 9th Avenue, Alfie’s restaurant “I stole your Columbia vest to put on my pineapple. I unbuttoned your shirt. When I returned from the restroom you’d left.�

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

a sense of urgency. In Manhattan, the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day have seen an expected mix of the lovely, the carnal, and the mundane. The most common sightings on the West Side were in public places - the park, the subway - and gym locker rooms. There’s the older married guy trolling the streets of the Upper West Side for hot doormen, and the gentleman searching for “the beautiful blonde� with the “the most wonderful laugh� who attended an invitation-only dress rehearsal for a new play at Lincoln Center, and escaped into the night before he could find out her name. Some seeking connections aren’t looking for romance at all - a woman recently posted about a meeting in Central Park 23 years ago, when she ran into “a pair of interesting young people� dressed in goth-like clothes and bedecked with bloodstone rings and snake eye pendants. Then there’s the pedestrian but earnest search for the “black woman in post office� wearing a “beige long coat.� The one thing that all the missed connections have in common is an air of resigned futility. There is the slightest tinge of hope, of course, but almost every poster includes a line indicating their full understanding of the slim possibility their reunion fantasy will become reality. Still, that’s where the real romance lies - in the belief that there’s a chance, however small, that a random sighting in a city of over 8 million souls will lead to true love (or at least a fun date). The man chasing the beautiful blonde said it best: “I know this is crazy, and probably never works, but maybe you or one of your many friends you were sitting with will see this and put us in touch. I’d really love to say hello.�

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OUT & ABOUT

Friday, February 14 Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra JATA: Colombia & Peru Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street 8 p.m., $20 Explores jazz as expressed by some of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading artists and composers from those countries now living in the United States. For over centuries, dissimilar cultures from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and other regions of the world have melded with the indigenous traditions of South America. The result, particularly in terms of music, is the presence of a wealth of diverse styles - many of them distinct hybrids that exist nowhere else. Symphonyspace.org

208 West 70th Street New York, NY 10023 tXXXMPJSFTUBVSBOUDPN

Valentineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day 2014 Prix-Fixe Menu 1st Course Choice of: Ravioles Me Milo Anthotyro Ravioles with Caramelized Apple Coulis

Harlem River Valley Recreation Area

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207th Street under the #1 train El 10 a.m. Walk over University Ave. Bridge and south along the Harlem River. Walk north over the George Washington Bridge into High Bridge Park. Bring Lunch. Hike leader: Cy Adler; adlercy@gmail.com shorewalkers.org

Mixed Spring Greens with Pomegranate Seeds & Pomegranate Sauce

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

2nd Course Choice of:

Saturday, February 15

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

Gustafer Yellowgoldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Valentine Ball

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

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

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WEST SIDE SPIRIT

Presidents in Residence: February School Vacation Week

Meeting location announced to ticket holders 12:30-2:30 p.m., $25 walking tour through a Harlem enclave of gilded age brownstones. Special highlights include a visit to former New York Times publisher Arthur Hays Sulzbergerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one time home AND an interior tour of the Mount Olivet Baptist Church, built as Temple Israel, completed in 1907 and designed by Arnold Bruner, NYâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first native born Jewish architect. landmarkwest.org

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The Town Hall, 123 W. 43rd St 8 p.m., $35+ Kidjo is acclaimed for her uplifting and dynamic music, a blend of tribal and pop rhythms of her West African heritage with zouk, rumba, jazz, and Latin, sung in English, French, Fon and YorĂšbĂĄ. An agent of inspiration and change, Kidjo is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and a tireless champion for womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health and girlsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; education in Africa. worldmusicinstitute.org

Sunday, February 16

Walking Tour of Harlemâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mount Morris Park

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Mariaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Special Rich Flourless Chocolate Cake

Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street 11 a.m., $15+ Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss this creative combination of catchy original songs performed by a live band, accompanying beautifully animated on-screen illustrations of a sun creature and his earthly friends. Symphonyspace.org

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New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West at 77 Street 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 6 p.m., Free with museum admission Families explore, learn, and compete together in these presidential family programs. Can you find George Washingtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s camp bed? Search for presidential clues on the whole-museum scavenger hunt. Create an election slogan to print onto your own election button. And take part in the family Abraham Lincoln quiz, with questions for children, teens, and adults. (Was he the first president to have a beard? What was the name of the theater where Lincoln was shot?). Prizes for participation and for winning. Ages 4 and up. nyhistory.org

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014


OUT & ABOUT

Tuesday, February 18 Arts on Screen - Jonathan Miller New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza 2:30 p.m., Free Selections from the 31st Montreal International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA). Series presented in collaboration with MUSE Film and Television and with the support of the Quebec Delegation in New York. Nypl.org

Monday, February 17 The History of Chocolate with American Heritage Chocolate 12-4 p.m., Free with museum admission Chocolate was not always sold as a candy bar! See, smell, and taste colonial hot chocolate—watch as American Heritage Chocolate educators grinds cocoa beans, add spices like red pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon, and heat up hot chocolate to taste. Don’t forget to get your own to bring home! Nyhistory.org

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Wednesday, February 19 Perry Bard SVA Talk 136 West 21st Street, Room 418F 7 p.m., Free Artist Perry Bard will discuss her work. The MFA Fine Arts Department reflects the diversity of New York’s many art worlds. Together, the faculty and students form a community of established and emerging artists from many backgrounds who work across disciplines and modes of practice. sva.edu/events; perrybard.net

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Beatles! New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza 12 p.m., Free Fifty years ago The Beatles came to America. On Friday, February 7, 1964, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr arrived from the U.K. at the newly-named John F. Kennedy International Airport. With cameras flashing and reporters jostling, they were whisked into Manhattan amid the screams, shouts and tears of New York area teens, braving the cold for a mere glimpse of the band. Then, that Sunday, the veritable king of the television variety show, Ed Sullivan, introduced them to a captivated American audience of more than 73 million viewers—at the time a television record. And just like that Beatlemania was upon us. Nypl.org

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014

Food stamp applications for older adults 255 West End Avenue 10-3 p.m., Free Nobody should go hungry in NYC. Alexis Greene, from the Council of Senior Centers and Services, will be at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center to help food stamp applicants. alexisgreene1546@gmail.com; 6463827047

Thursday, February 20 Life is a Cabaret The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza 6 p.m., Free A performance of songs, performed by Carli Miller, Marcy Richardson, and Frank Basile, presented by Harwood Management Vocal Artists. Nypl.org

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Walking Tour App is Opening Eyes on the Upper West Side Landmark West aims to preserve and raise awareness of buildings in the neighborhood By Alissa Fleck Most New Yorkers hurry down the city’s streets with their eyes glued to the next stoplight, never stopping o admire the architecture that surrounds them. Landmark West, a nonprofit on the Upper West Side, is hoping to change that. Three years ago, the group developed a walking tour app for its 20th anniversary. However, the original app had some notable glitches and was only functional on former operating systems. Now, LW has partnered with Apple to create an upgraded, repackaged version that will work with current iPhone software. Kelly Carroll of LW explains that the app works with Google Maps to create pins for selected locations — namely major landmarks between the low 70s and the low 80s on the West side. While providing a walking route that will allow users to come face-to-face with these landmarks, the app also provides a description, photos, landmark district information, scholarly information, “fun facts” and more. Carroll says the app is good for just about everybody, from students to tourists to the less mobile who still wish a closer look at the neighborhood. “This app is best because it’s so versatile,” explains Carroll. “Anyone with a smartphone can use it.” The West Side Spirit downloaded LW’s free walking tour app to give it a whirl. The comprehensive map of landmarks, running for about ten blocks and from Central Park West to Broadway, is highly user-friendly and provides at least several days’ worth of exploration with twenty or more pins. Some highlights include the Dakota Stables site, the Ansonia Hotel and the Horn & Hardart Automat. The automat’s description, for example, notes that the price for a famous cup of Frank Hardart’s coffee cost a nickel at the fast food joint for 38 years.

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The best part of the walking tour is that it does not overwhelm the user with excessive information. LW is hoping to extend the app’s parameters in the coming years. In 2015, LW will celebrate its 30th anniversary, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Landmark law and the 25th anniversary of the Central Park West historic district. The West Side Spirit asked Carroll to explain how new technology — like smartphone apps — is being used to preserve old relics. “The app does not necessarily protect or preserve,” says Carroll, “but it provides a broad smattering and gets people to use their eyes and know why a building is important and not there by accident. There are hard-fought and hard-won advocacy campaigns behind these buildings.” Carroll says the group can’t provide specifics about what the future holds for them, but they are certainly in the planning stages for the next way to engage people. In the meantime, LW will be presenting its new and improved app at the Upper West Side Apple store on March 5th, but eager users can download the app now and follow the provided route or do their own meandering with the app as a digital tour guide.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014


cityArts

Edited by Armond White

New York’s Review of Culture . CityArtsNYC.com

A Piece of Resistance The Lego Movie capital tour de force restores satire to animation By Armond White A $60 million animated film that looks as cheap as The Lego Movie must be some kind of avant-garde prank. Styled to resemble the textured, interlocking plastic chips kids play with to build crude, child-proof versions of… everything, the trademark bright primary colors are muted and photographed bizarrely, with carefully adjusted blur. Viewers are forced into virtually squatting-down for child’s-eye close-up scrutiny of the miniature pieces--as if by squinting at the chips (in 3D!) one joined a child’s imagination. Refusing slickness recalls the ironic lo-fi look of Spike Jonze’s $100 million Where the Wild Things Are, one of the most original children’s movies ever made, whose fantasy dimension worked well on an adult level. The Lego Movie’s odd style comes close to that achievement: It is a proudly capitalist tour de force that actively rejects the totalitarian implications of such technological wonders as Pixar. Even The Lego Movie’s plot is anti-Pixar: Lego-man protagonist Emmet (Chris Pratt), a construction worker who envies becoming a “Master Builder” (Ibsen gag noted) ponders his identity as well as his conformist society. He enters a make-believe realm where the struggle for power is not just mythological but a satire of dominant pop legends (from Star Wars to Lord of the Rings). Emmet awakens simultaneously to puberty (his attraction to female rebel Wyldstyle who has Betty Rubble eyes) and an awareness of political rebellion. It is the totally unexpected political humor of The Lego Movie that makes up for its visual…shall we say,

challenge. Any animated film that goes against the placid pretty perfectionism of Pixar has to be a work of political opposition and The Lego Movie’s first two-thirds is a reminder how irreverent and nonpartisan political satire used to be: Millennial conformity is attacked in Emmet’s anxious need for instruction--he seeks a manual for life that will confirm “How to Fit In. Be Liked. Be Happy.” That cowardly affirmation could be the motto for film critics as well as Pixar drones. The beehive society’s national anthem cheers “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!” to a manic, incessant beat. Forced complacency distracts the toy proletariat who worship an idealized leader, President Business, soon revealed as the nefarious, micromanaging ruler of the subconscious, Lord Business--which places Al Capp’s General Bullmoose somewhere near the White House. (Lord Business threatens a

dissident: “Are you going to be stuck having a tea party with your mom and dad?”) Emmet must find “The piece of resistance,” which resembles a Lego block but has a mysterious Ring-like property, in order to prevent Lord Business from releasing “The Kragle” upon the populace. The quest becomes a jamboree of non-stop cultural parodies taking Emmet, Wyldstyle and numerous Lego versions of pop icons and idols to Cloud Cuckoo Land, a super toy shop/haven (“No government. No negativity”) where the consumerist impulse receives healthy mockery, not Pixar sentimentality. Directorsscreenwriters team Phil Lord and Christopher Miller must be credited for resisting every kind of cuteness. Despite the frowzy, squinty esthetic, they turn the inherent adorability of toys and cartoons into a comment on cultural conformity. This isn’t cheap anarchy but a

fulfillment of the capitalist freedom to scoff. The Lego Movie shows true irreverence in its joke on TV’s indignities (“Where’s My Pants?”), middlebrow Peter Jacksonism (Middle Earth logo-ized as Middle Zealand), Lincolnesque sanctimony (“A house divided… is better than this”) including jabs at Warner Bros’ own franchises. Advancing on the use of CGI and stop-motion animation, some of The Lego Movie’s chase sequences move uniquely--as if Lord and Miller got the message of Spielberg’s magnificent, convulsive The Adventures of Tintin calling for a new, tactile vision of animation. Shill critics may praise The Lego Movie as thoughtlessly as they champion Pixar (and this film’s weak, unfocussed live-action framing device doesn’t hit hard enough to shake critics out of their hypemania) but just because confuse this with Pixar doesn’t mean that you should. The look of The Lego Movie is a conundrum but when a Lego Shakespeare character threw off his hat and protested “Rubbish!” I chuckled. Follow Armond White on Twitter at 3xchair

Emmet and Batman in The Lego Movie THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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PAGE 9


CITYARTS DANCE

Jubilation in the Jungle Javier Dzul’s Mayan rituals rewrite life out of chaos

than his solos but still managed to convey his jungle vision of interacting organisms.     The weak point are the group numbers, which also, coincidentally, comprise the modern dance portion of the

show.  It’s not clear whether the problem lies with uninspired choreography or company members who are simply not up to what Dzul requires of them.  One notable exception is Brian Binion, whose precise, yet liquid, dance not only expresses Dzul’s intention but also bears his own signature.  In spite of the show’s shortcomings, Mexico Maya does nothing short of rewriting the history of the human body as a thing that emerged from a non-human place. Imperfect yet haunting, its best images will never leave you. 

By Judy Gelman Myers Mexico Maya, the latest work from choreographer Javier Dzul, would be unfathomable without knowing that Dzul grew up in the jungle.  The title of the work refers to the Mayan tribal community in Mexico where Dzul was raised and learned Mayan ritual dance. Conceived in three sections, Mexico Maya features Cirque de Soleil-type aerials, contortionists, and modern dance set to a soundtrack of Mayan text, Mexican ballads, and plaintive American song, and it premiered at the Baruch Performing Arts Center on January 24.  The jungle epitomizes chaos.  Life-forms of every shape and size slither and hang, snaking around each other with no perceptible rules, contributing to a writhing, organic, lawless whole.  That, in so many words, is the visual effect of Mexico Maya. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s thrilling for those who are willing to disregard the ordinary limits placed not only on dance but on the human body as well.    Dzul himself looks like Yul Brynner.  He’s got a bodybuilder’s torso and the gaze of a hunter.  For all his regal masculinity, however, his dance recalls a belly dancer’s undulation; facing upstage, he flexes his spine and ripples the muscles beneath his shoulder blades. He appears mythical.  In an aerial solo, he dives to earth wrapped in brown silk, stopping inches above the ground to ascend yet again.  Dzul’s talents and persona are supremely idiosyncratic and powerfully unnerving.  He is so unusual, however, that he is most effective when there is no one else on the stage; since there are frequently other people on the stage, this creates a problem for the show.  Two pas de deux were less effective

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PAGE 10

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

Javier Dzul in Mexico Maya www.nypress.com

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014


FILM CITYARTS

Admissions

Open House Professional Children's School 132 West 60th Street New York, NY 10023 212.582.3116 pcs-nyc.org

Judi Dench as Philomena

P.C. Ping Pong Philomena sentimentalizes motherhood and chips away at religion By Armond White Philomena reveals its cynicism when BBC political journalist Martin Sixsmith (Steve Coogan) initially refuses to take on an assignment: “Human interest stories are for weak-minded, vulgar, ignorant people” says the supercilious Brit professional (a Coogan specialty but worn out after 24 Hour Party People). He invites a viewer’s temporary superiority to a story that, as the film proceeds, panders to audiences as if they were weak-minded, vulgar and ignorant. Sure enough, Sixsmith lowers himself to interview Philomena Lee (Judi Dench), a common Irish lady searching for the child she gave up after a teenage pregnancy spent at the Roscrea Abbey for wayward girls. Her quest takes them both on a “heartwarming” journey to political correctness. The film tours pre-Feminist oppression and indicts Catholic Church restrictions before arriving at its predetermined destination: a harangue on sexual tolerance regarding Philomena’s gay son which includes the mushiest, most calculating AIDS exploitation since Brokeback Mountain. No wonder the trite, wheedling Philomena got an Oscar nomination for Best Picture; distributor Harvey Weinstein hit the bleeding heart bullseye that his presentation of Lee Daniels’ The Butler missed. Sixsmith’s condescension toward the old Irish mum pretends learning morality from one’s lesser. Turns out Philomena, still a devout Catholic, is wise about the world: “When I saw the photo of him in his dungarees there was no

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014

for more information and to reserve your place, contact Shari Honig Director of Admissions shonig@pcs-nyc.org

Professional Children's School is the ideal learning  place for young people pursuing challenging goals  that may sometimes require time spent away from  Pro school. Founded in 1914, PCS is an independent  college prepatory school enrolling 200 students in  grades 6-12.

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February 25, Tuesday  5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

doubt in my mind” she says of her long-lost child’s sexuality. This joke pushes Irony: a mother’s unconditional love despite her own deprivations. She’s plays both a sage-fool (“I didn‘t know I had a clitoris”) and a straightman to Sixsmith’s sophisticated Liberal retorts (“Effing Catholics!”). The journey from England to the American political landscape is a propaganda tour (“Being gay was frowned on in the Republican Party”). The entire search and story could have been quickly resolved by the Internet which it evidently was in real life. (The mother’s home movie-style fantasies about her child also seem dated and full of sissy stereotypes.) Sixsmith and Philomena’s badinage is a shameless game of elite vs. vulgar pingpong--a comedy team’s version of the way mainstream media inflicts its ideology upon the masses yet carefully sentimentalizes common folk as virtuous and pure. Director Stephen Frears (working from Coogan’s script) sets up points with Mike Nichols’ slickness: by assuming correct attitudes and deriding others: posing the church and the Republican party as villains and snide, Liberal journos as heroes. Esssentially, it’s another movie chipping away at religion. In the final Roscrea Abbey scene, where Sixsmith and Philomena confront the stillcruel sisters at the Abbey, Frears goes through the motions, displaying a convictionlesss lack of emphasis on the scene’s beats when Philomena say “Forgiveness. It’s hard for me.” Frears stresses Coogan’s confusion and contempt not Dench’s faith and selfrealization. Upon learning the whereabouts of her son, Frears cuts to a microtelescopic super close-up of Dench crying--blatant, shameless and Nicholsian. Follow American White on Twitter at 3xchair

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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PAGE 11

1

S


CITYARTS AUCTIONS

WEDDING

Eye on Auctions Quiet and quality on the rise for aficionados By Caroline Birenbaum  The next few weeks are relatively quiet in the NY auction world. Much of the activity takes place at Swann Galleries as indicated below, Along the Harlem River and the previews merit a visit. Refer additional 19th & 20th century Photographs. to the websites The March 6 sale of 19th & 20th Century for schedules, illustrated catalogues--and Prints & Drawings runs the gamut of sometimes videos, blogs, and press releases European and American artists, from Cezanne about highlights.  to Picasso; Avery, to Wood.     Swann swanngalleries.com  Swann introduced separate auctions devoted to African-American fine art a mere seven years ago, and they quickly became a beacon for aficionados. The February 13 sale, Shadows Uplifted: The Rise of AfricanAmerican Fine Art, takes its title from an early novel by an African-American author. Paintings include masterful 19th-century landscapes by Edward M. Bannister and still lifes by Charles Ethan Porter, “Coal Breakers,” by Hughie Lee-Smith, and an industrial scene, “Along the Harlem River,” by Malvin Gray Johnson. Of note among prints are a rare color pochoir and screenprint by William H. Johnson, “On a John Brown Flight,” and “Shipfitters,” an aquatint by Dox Thrash. There are striking sculptures such as Nancy Elizabeth Prophet’s stained and oiled wood “Head,” Sargent Claude Johnson’s terracotta “The Knot and the Noose,” and William E. Artis’s “Michael,” bronze cast from a 1940 terracotta.     Art Nouveau gems by Mucha and other famed poster artists, American and European ski posters, Mather Work Incentive posters, and exhibition posters signed by Chagall and Warhol are featured in the Vintage Posters sale on February 25. A two-part auction on February 27 begins with postwar and contemporary photographs and the Photobook Library of photographer and collector Bill Diodato; the second part offers

PAGE 12

Christie’s christies.com  The cover lot of the American Art sale on Feb 26 is a complex view of “Gloucester Harbor” by Jane Peterson. Among other pieces worth noting are Milton Avery’s “Vermont Landscape,” Charles Burchfield’s “Swamp in Spring,” and an abstract composition by Irene Rice Pereira. Two Distinguished Collections: the Estates of Hon. Noreen Drexel and of Van Cliburn, filled with pretty objects and some fine furniture, will be offered on March 4 & 5, followed by First Open on March 6.    Sotheby’s sothebys.com  Furniture, decorative arts and lighting featuring Tiffany Studios, American Arts & Crafts, French Art Nouveau and Art Deco objects are featured in the March 6 sale of 20th Century Design. On March 7,     Contemporary Curated offers postwar and contemporary art from carefully assembled collections, with commentary by various tastemakers.    Phillips Phillips.com  Details are not yet available, but you can expect striking examples of Contemporary Art & Design like Ken Price’s “Pink Egg,” 1964, on March 6, and vivid works in various media, such as David Salle’s “Painting for H.C.A.,” in Under the Influence on March 7.

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

Missett and Straus To Wed Varinda Singh Missett and Eric Peter Straus are to be married Sunday evening February 16 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Manhattan. Their children Mitchell Kuhnert, Samantha Missett, Madison Missett, Jacob Straus and Emily Straus, each became Universal Life Ministers to officiate. The bride, 51, is originally from San Diego, Calif. She is Chief Executive Officer of Girls World Expo, a company that produces full day self esteem events for girls ages 11-18 throughout the United States. Previously she served as Director of Advertising for MediaBistro.com in New York and before that as Advertising Director of the North County Times in San Diego, CA. The bride and groom met at a newspaper convention in Orlando, Florida. The bride is the daughter of Inder and Elsa Singh of San Marcos, Calif., and graduated from California State University, Long Beach.

The groom, 54, is President of Transworld Business Advisors of New York, a business brokerage firm. A graduate of Yale, he previously founded and ran RegionalHelpWanted.com, 330 locally branded job boards throughout North America and before that owned and ran a group of ten radio stations in the Hudson Valley, NY. He is the son of R. Peter Straus and Ellen Sulzberger Straus, both now deceased, who owned and ran WMCA Radio in New York City until 1986. The groom’s father served in the Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter administrations. The groom’s grandfather, David Hays Sulzberger, was the brother of the publisher of the New York Times. His sister, Jeanne, is the president of Straus News, publisher of The West Side Spirit. The bride and groom’s previous marriages ended in divorce. Are you or someone you know getting married? Let us know! Contact news@strausnews.com.

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014


RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS

NEIGHBORHOOD REAL ESTATE SALES Reported February 3 - 9, 2014

January 29 - February 4, 2014

Restaurant Grades 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.

Neighborhood

Address

Central Harlem

417 Manhattan Ave. #B5

$462,000

301 Cathedral Park

#1D

$462,000

1

1

Orbco Advisors

301 Cathedral Park

#2J

$637,500

2

1

Coldwell Banker Bellmar

353 W 117 St.

#3E

$225,500

3

1

Absolute

Central Park So Lincoln Square

Yogurtland

New Kam Lai

795 Columbus Avenue

708 Amsterdam Avenue

Apt.

Sale Price

BR BA Listing Brokerage

370 W 118Th St.

#1B

$750,000

3

2

Perry Associates

120 Central Park So

#5E

$424,000

1

1

Owner

25 Central Park W

#27O

$4,744,365

Not Graded Yet (38) No facilities available to wash, rinse and sanitize utensils and/ or equipment. Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared.

25 Central Park W

#27Q

$3,479,200

160 W End Ave.

#3P

$850,000

1

1

Corcoran

Not Graded Yet (22) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked fish and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

Effys Cafe

104 West 96 Street

A

Le Pain Quotidien

2463 Broadway

A

Curry & Kabab

931 Amsterdam Avenue

A

Crumbs

2476 Broadway

A

Orange Leaf

526 Amsterdam Avenue

A

Juice Press

73 West 82Nd

A

Starbucks Coffee

444 Columbus Avenue

A

Dunkin Donuts

535A Amsterdam Avenue

A

Hale & Hearty Soup

2284 Broadway

Le Pain Quotidien Little Italy Pizza

Manhattan Vall

Midtown W

Upper W Side

20 W 64 St.

#19M

$989,148

1

1

Douglas Elliman

80 Central Park W

#11G

$625,000

0

1

Brown Harris Stevens

170 W End Ave.

#5K

$470,000

0

1

Residence Resource

62 W 62 St.

#3D

$2,125,000

3

3

Douglas Elliman

165 W 66 St.

#8Z

$724,312

1

1

Halstead Property

185 W End Ave.

#26F

$1,262,500

2

2

Residence Resource

6

8

Corcoran

235 W 70 St.

#4G

$479,000

60 Riverside Boulev

#2101

$14,003,937

100 Riverside Boule

#12P

$1,575,000

2

2

Corcoran

104 W 70 St.

#5H

$755,000

0

1

Corcoran

171 W 71 St.

#7E

$4,550,000

4

3

Corcoran

116 W 72 St.

#8E

$460,000

1

1

Douglas Elliman

1 Central Park W

#312

$950,000

0

1

Douglas Elliman

0

1

Douglas Elliman

165 W End Ave.

#15L

$382,000

272 W 107

#9B

$780,000

300 W 110 St.

#5J

$480,000

1

1

Coldwell Banker Bellmar

420 Central Park W

#2H

$580,000

1

1

Corcoran

420 W 46 St.

#A4

$368,600

322 W 57Th St.

#53S

$1,221,900

408 W 57 St.

#3G

$389,902

0

1

Douglas Elliman

360 W 36 St.

#4Nw

$1,196,000

1

1

Halstead Property

878 W End Ave.

#15C

$650,000

1

1

Corcoran

205 W 76Th St.

#5F

$3,195,000

2

3

Sotheby’s

150 W 95 St.

#8B

$1,658,300

3

2

Douglas Elliman

A

232 W 75 St.

#A

$440,000

1

1

Level Group

494 Amsterdam

A

200 W 86 St.

#8D

$1,425,000

2

2

Brown Harris Stevens

2047 Broadway

Grade Pending (24) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Food Protection Certificate not held by supervisor of food operations. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service.

677 W End Ave.

#3A

$1,036,000

2

1

Corcoran

135 W 79 St.

#3C

$726,500

1

1

Halstead Property

32 W 82 St.

#8C

$485,000

275 W 96 St.

#10E

$1,886,200

3

3

Owner

172 W 82 St.

#4A

$660,000

1

1

Brown Harris Stevens

4

2

Brown Harris Stevens

Mandarin Oriental Hotel

80 Columbus Circle

A

Magnolia Bakery

200 Columbus Avenue

A

The Lite Choice

146 West 72 Street

A

Pinkberry

2041 Broadway

A

Noi Due

143 West 69 Street

A

Jewish Guild For The Blind Cafe

15 West 65 Street

A

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014

165 W 91St St.

#8Gh

$2,978,381

370 Central Park W

#401

$2,550,000

372 Central Park W

#9K

$1,185,000

1

1

Halstead Property

320 W 84 St.

#6B

$350,000

0

1

Douglas Elliman

203 W 90 St.

#5C

$1,850,000

2

2

Margaret Bassett Real Est

677 W End Ave.

#11B

$1,090,000

2

1

Corcoran

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.

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

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PAGE 13


CELEBRITY PROFILE

Minding Manhattan’s Business The President of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce talks about the Second Avenue Subway, the Super Bowl, and Mayor Bloomberg By Angela Barbuti After college, Nancy Ploeger set off on a cross-country adventure to find the city that would become her home one day. Local businesses are very fortunate that she decided on New York. This year, she celebrated her 20th anniversary as president of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, advocating, connecting, and educating the small business community in the city. She can be found around town supporting the Second Avenue restaurants affected by subway construction, brainstorming with the mayor’s office, or hosting one of the many networking events the MCC puts together. When asked about the biggest perk of her job, she replied, “meeting passionate people.”

You started your job in 1994. How did it come about? At the time I was working for the New York Sports Club. I had been working there for 12 years and helped that company grow. We started with four clubs when I came on board in 1982. By the time I left, we had over 30, and now, of course, they have hundreds up and down the Eastern Seaboard. I was the vice president of operations and human resources then, and because we had so many clubs on the Upper East Side, the board asked me to join them. So I was on the board of directors of the East Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. And then when the executive director position opened up, they asked me I’d like to take it because I had a lot of ideas and was always trying to encourage the Chamber to try different things. When they asked me, I was like, “Wow, leaving my cushy job overlooking Central Park with 1,000 employees to go to a tiny little Chamber? OK, I’ll do it!”

How can you explain what the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce does? I am a registered lobbyist in the State of New York. As such, I go to city, state, and federal legislatures with my colleagues and

PAGE 14

lobby on behalf of pro-business issues. That advocacy is a major part of my job, because there are so many issues with all these different industries in the city - whether it’s manufacturing, restaurants, retailers, or service providers. We have two events a week, and even if they are educational, they always have a networking component. The purpose is to help businesses connect with other businesses. As far as the education part, we have lots of different seminars that cover a range of topics that every small business has to face - whether it’s a legal, accounting, social media, HR, or marketing issue. We also inform on new bills coming into effect, so we can keep our members up-to-date on how to run their businesses more effectively.

Are these networking meetings open to the public? Yes, our meetings are open to members and non members. We do have some specific meetings that are only open to members. The majority of our events are open to member and non-member businesses.

How much interaction do you have with the mayor? We have a lot of interaction with the mayor’s administration - the deputy mayors, the commissioners, especially the commissioner of small business services and the deputy mayor for economic development. Mayor Bloomberg came to some of our events over the years. A couple of days ago, we had a meeting with the new deputy mayor for economic development in the new administration.

I read that you decided to move to New York after taking a post-college road trip. Yes, when I graduated from college, two of my friends and myself went cross country for three months to decide where we wanted to live. So we went to all the cities we had always read about and had never been to Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago. When we came driving back across the George Washington Bridge, and looked at Manhattan, we all looked at each other and said, “Yup, we’re here!” [Laughs]

On your Twitter profile, you write that you’ve lived in eight cities. What are the other seven? St. Louis; Chicago; Philadelphia;

WEST SIDE SPIRIT

Birmingham, Massachusetts; Boston; Wilmington, Delaware; Cedartown, Maryland; Middletown, New Jersey.

the last three years. We had gone to them and said, “There’s a lot of negativity around the Second Avenue subway being built and its impact on the neighborhoods, and we want to change that. We want to encourage shoppers and diners to go the Second Avenue. There are great stores and restaurants behind those fences and around the corner from the construction.” For a couple of years now, we run a restaurant week, very successfully, all along the subway construction footprint, between 68th and 97th. The first year, we had 26 restaurants and that’s pretty good for the initial time out. It just shows you that people are anxious to get the word out. We will do it again this year; it’s always the first week in June. And we are trying to start a Second Avenue Business Alliance, for business along the avenue, that will go beyond just waiting for the subway to open.

You posted a picture on Twitter of Super Bowl Boulevard preparations. What did you think of it?

In an interview, you once said that the MCC started in your neighborhood. Yes, it was called the Yorkville Chamber of Commerce and it was started by German and Irish businesses that were in the neighborhood. And I still have the original document with the 12 signatures who put the Chamber together in 1920.

What are your favorite small businesses in Yorkville? I live near Second Avenue, with all the construction for the subway over the last several years. You know, I try to go spend money at those businesses along Second Avenue that are impacted by the construction. What I really love about my neighborhood, which is really true of any neighborhood in New York, I can walk to the corner and dine in Japan, France, Italy, Vietnam, or Mexico. I love the variety of restaurants. I also love to go to the small coffee shops and diners. The diners are great. It kind of revolves around food. [Laughs]

We were on the host committee for the Super Bowl. Super Bowl Boulevard ran right outside our offices, from 34th to 47th. We were right in the heart of it. There was a lot of excitement; it was very crowded. I know some of the businesses along Broadway were very excited, they were crazy busy, especially the food stores. To me, it was a big success. I know there were some travel issues going to and from the stadium. But, I will challenge anyone who hosts a Super Bowl anywhere to say that they could get people out of their parking lot in 10 minutes. It just doesn’t happen.

Who was the most memorable person you met through your job?

Speaking of the Second Avenue subway, what can you tell us of its progression?

The most memorable person was Tom Brady, but I didn’t meet him through my job. [Laughs] I’d say Mayor Bloomberg. To me, he’s really an icon and a thought leader that any city would be very happy to have. I really wish him well continuing the Bloomberg brand, but also with his new Bloomberg Associates, helping other cities focus on gun control, health initiatives, and other urban priorities. It’s really all about his thought leadership in terms of how to create better cities and a better life for people in those cities.

We’re about halfway through, maybe a little bit more than halfway. It’s still projected to be ready on December 31st, 2016. We had a very good working relationship with the MTA over

Follow Nancy on Twitter: @npmcc For more information and the MCC and its event, visit www.manhattancc.org

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2014


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West Side Spirit February 13th, 2014