The local paper for the Upper per West Side p Sid THE POTHOLE PROJECT: SEND US YOURS <DETAILS, P.3
TEENS ON THE COMMUNITY BOARD IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD A resolution in the City Council would open up the boards to younger members BY DANIEL FITZSIMMONS
Quentin Dupouy, 17, was drawn to politics during Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Now, he’s hoping for a slot on the Upper West Side’s Community Board 7. Photo by Daniel Fitzsimmons
NEED A ROOM TO RENT? LOOK IN A CONVENT CITY LIVING Young women find affordable living space in Manhattan by renting rooms in nunneries STORY AND PHOTOS BY MARY NEWMAN
decade. There seems to be one real estate loophole, however, that some young women are taking advantage of: the convent. Courtney Megaro has found a way to live on East 72nd St. for under $900 a month. Megaro was having trouble finding an apartment during her last semester at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). She was trying to find a way to stay in New York, but still pursue her dream of becoming an ac-
When young professional women are looking for affordable apartments, they rarely spend time on listings for the Upper East and West Sides. These areas have been off limits to broke, young New Yorkers for at least a CONTINUED ON PAGE 7
Seventeen-year-old Quentin Dupouy became interested in politics when he campaigned for Barack Obama’s re-election in 2012. Later he attended community board meetings to draw attention to a program he created to help foreign exchange students learn English. This led him to apply this year to Community Board 7 on the Upper West Side, where he lives, even though he is technically ineligible. “I was going to my local com-
munity board to get some feedback and from the community and get some support and ended up just being fascinated by the meeting and very surprised with how active everyone was,” said Dupouy. “Since then it’s just really made me want to go back and be a part of it.” Dupouy may soon get his chance. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Upper East Side Councilmember Ben Kallos are sponsoring a resolution in the City Council to allow 16 and 17-year-olds to serve on the city’s 59 community boards, which are advisory groups that tackle everything from crime and development to the approval of liquor licenses. “Most 16 and 17-year-olds
cannot serve on a community board,” Brewer said. “But those who can, what it says is that they have another perspective about the community - afterschool programs, playgrounds, parks - and somebody who’s really smart can ﬁgure out how to work with the adults and get the young person’s perspective across.” Brewer said that as a council member 10 years ago, she supported a measure to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in citywide elections, but the support among her colleagues wasn’t there. “So then we decided to look at community boards,” said Brewer, who left the council to become Manhattan Borough President in Janu-
CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 Residents in this convent can use the WiFi or entertain guests in the ﬁrst ﬂoor lounge.
WEEK OF MARCH
In Brief CITI BIKE PEDALING FOR MORE MONEY Citi Bike, the popular bike sharing program around the city, is nevertheless in need of tens of millions of dollars in new funding, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The paper said the program needs to expand into new neighborhoods and attract tourists if it hopes to stay alive. Earlier in the month, the city’s new transportation commisioner said that the program was facing many ﬁnancial and operational challenges. “We are working as diligently as we can to help the company resolve them and strengthen the program going forward,” she said. The hurdles come despite an initial burst of interest in the Citi Bike program, which was later hurt by Super Storm Sandy and a long and snowy winter.
MAYOR APPOINTS NEW PARKS COMMISSIONER On March 21, Mayor de Blasio announced the appointment of Mitchell Silver as Commissioner of the Department of Parks and Recreation. Silver comes directly from Raleigh, NC, where he was the city’s Planning & Development Officer and Planning Director. He is also a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. De Blasio hailed Silver as an internationally-renowned planning expert and noted that he has focused on expanding parks and open space access throughout his career, especially in low-income communities. “This city’s parks, athletic ﬁelds and beaches all provide a unique, public space for education, physical exercise and recreation — and I look forward to expanding these opportunities to even more of New York’s residents,” said Silver.
The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS CHECK The old Metro Theater at West 99th Street and Broadway has been sitting vacant for years.
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Hunter College The Writing Center- Continuing Education
Invites You to Join Our 4th Annual
:5,7(56&21)(5(1&( Saturday, June 7th, 2014 8:30am-5:30pm
Featuring Keynote Speakers
James McBride & Nicholson Baker 12 Panels with distinguished writers, editors, publishers and literary agents Plus Luncheon and Networking Reception
Registration Fee $225 For more information, visit our website: www.hunter.cuny.edu/thewritingcenter-ce/conference 212.650.3850
695 Park Avenue East Building, Room 1022 NY, NY 10065
The Writing Center Writing | Literature | Culture
COUNCILMAN SUGGESTS TRANSFORMING VACANT METRO THEATER After Alamo Drafthouse backed out of a potential deal to occupy the long vacant Metro Theater space, residents began to worry. But, newly elected City Councilman Mark Levine has a plan to turn the vacant area into a community arts space. “[Constituents] want it to remain an entertainment venue and as much as possible have it restored to its splendor,” Levine explained. Several members of the communtiy have expressed their concern that the building has become dilapidated and has attracted rats and vagrants. Levine hopes that a public-private coventure would save the building from its decline. DNAinfo.com
SON CHARGED IN PARENT’S MURDER A Manhattan man, Antony Powe, was charged last Tuesday with second degree murder and assault charges, for allegedly stabbing his parents to death with a pair of scissors. Darlington Powe and his wife
were found with multiple stab wounds to the chest and head areas. Powe’s sister said that her brother was being treated for mental illness. NY1
10 TEEN SUICIDES SO FAR IN 2014 The only teen suicide publicly reported so far in 2014 is 15-year-old Jayah Shaileya Ram-Jackson, who commited suicide in early February by jumping off of her grandmothers 27-story Upper West Side apartment, but a new recording recovered from Chancellor Carmen Farina by the New York Post, puts the number closer to 10. “As chancellor, I’ve been on the job seven weeks, and there have already been 10 reported suicides. We cannot allow those,” she told 250 new principals at Stuyvesant HS during a private meeting. “I get those e-mails all the time. And it makes me heartsick.” NY Post
FIRE DISPLACES 17 TENANTS A recent ﬁre on 23 West 76th Street is forcing its 17 tenants to ﬁnd a temporary place to live. The cause of the ﬁre is unknown,
but some residents have been quick to blame shoddy worksmanship over recent renovations. “The construction contractor(s) used by this landlord have been seriously non-compliant and unsafe at times,” said 76th Street block association president Joseph Bolanos. Most of the tenants have found shelter through relatives in the city, but some found affordable housing through the Red Cross.
JUDGE DEFENDS CITY IN ARIEL RUSSO LAWSUIT A judge, in the $40 million lawsuit against the city regarding alleged gross negligence in the response to Ariel Russo’s death, defended the city in court last Thursday. “You say four minutes would have made a difference in this case? A delay of four minutes is gross negligence?” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Martin Schoenfeld quizzed David Turret, the lawyer representing Russo’s family. “As taxpayers, we expect certain services. It’s a very large city. The city can do what it can.” NY Daily News
MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 3
CRIME WATCH BY JERRY DANZIG PATEK PHILIPPE FELONY
The Pothole Project: Week Two and Counting
A man’s car was broken into and his watch stolen. At 8 p.m. on Monday, March 17, an unknown perpetrator broke into a 52-yearold man’s car parked on West 60th Street, smashing the window and taking his Patek Philippe watch, valued at $30,000.
APARTMENT IN CRIME Someone burglarized a man’s apartment. At 1 a.m. on Monday, March 17, a 36-year-old man returned to his apartment on West 70th Street and discovered that his Apple laptop and a jewelry bag were missing, valued at $1,500.
AMSTERDAMN! A man’s jacket and its contents were taken. At 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, a 23-year-old man discovered that someone had removed his jacket from a coat hanger at a community center on Amsterdam Avenue. The jacket’s contents included his credit cards, along with $640 in cash.
GRABBED MEDS AND FLED Thieves shoplifted medications from a drugstore. At 11:30 p.m. on Friday, March 14, unknown perpetrators stole $1,600 worth of over-the-counter medications from a chain drug store on Broadway. Video is available of the incident.
NO REST IN THE RESTROOM Someone stole a woman’s wallet from her bag. At 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, a 61-year-old woman hung her bag on a hook in the restroom of a chain grocery store on Broadway. She later discovered that her wallet had been taken, containing $75 in cash, along with her credit cards and driver’s license.
We featured this pothole last week in a story on the city’s pothole problem -- and it’s still there a week later. We’ll check back weekly until it’s ﬁxed. Send us your pothole nightmares -- email us at email@example.com or tweet us at @WestSideSpirit. Meanwhile, watch your step. Photo by Daniel Fitzsimmons.
The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
Courses at the Institute for Senior Action focus on grassroots advocacy, public speaking, social media, and techniques of social action.
POLICE NYPD 20th Precinct
120 W. 82nd St.
NYPD 24th Precinct
151 W. 100th St.
NYPD Midtown North Precinct
306 W. 54th St.
FDNY Engine 76/Ladder 22
145 W. 100th St.
FDNY Engine 40/Ladder 35
W. 66th St. & Amsterdam Ave.
FDNY Engine 74
120 W. 83rd St.
Ladder 25 Fire House
205 West 77 Street
Councilmember Helen Rosenthal
563 Columbus Ave.
Councilmember Inez Dickens
163 W. 125th St.
CITY COUNCIL 212-678-450
STATE LEGISLATORS State Senator Brad Hoylman
322 Eighth Ave. #1700
State Sen. Jose M. Serrano
157 E. 104 St.
Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal 230 W. 72nd #2F
Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell 245 W. 104th St.
COMMUNITY BOARD 7 LIBRARIES
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Mt. Sinai – Roosevelt
1000 Tenth Ave.
Mt. Sinai - St. Luke’s
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CON ED TIME WARNER CABLE POST OFFICES
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HELPING SENIORS TAKE ACTION SENIORS An U.W.S. resident uses her experience navigating the city for seniors to fuel her organization’s mission BY MARY NEWMAN
UPPER WEST SIDE Carolyn Stem was living in a studio apartment on the Upper West side when her 92-year-old mother moved in, completely changing her life’s priorities. Her mother was a vibrant woman who ran a 5K race at age 80, and began writing poetry in her 90s. Stem quickly became aware of the concept of an “agefriendly” city, and found herself frustrated that more wasn’t being done to assist seniors living in New York. After her mother passed, she found the Institute for Senior Action (IFSA) where she learned how to get involved with her community, and become an advocate for change within senior organizations. IFSA is a 10-week course that teaches seniors 55+ about grassroots advocacy, skills training in public speaking, advocacy through social media, senior beneﬁts and entitlements, intergenerational collaborations, and techniques of social action.
Stem began the 10-week course at IFSA with a few reservations because she had never been involved in local politics of any kind. She moved toe New York at age 18 to pursue her dream of becoming an opera singer. During her ﬁrst class she found a very accepting environment. “I realized my involvement was not so far off base, everyone was just there to learn,” she said. Nearly 1,000 people have taken the course, and each student is able to apply their newly learned skills to their own specific passion. Molly Krakowski, director of IFSA programs, explained how this course gives seniors the confidence to voice their opinions. Once people retire they have to ﬁnd something to ﬁll their days, and the IFSA program can offer a great place to start. Krakowski told us that some of the most popular issues IFSA students become involved with are Social Security changes, the cost of living, age discrimination, housing security, unemployment rates, and environmental issues like fracking. “Senior issues are our issues,” she said. “It’s a very unique time for people at this stage in their life, we offer a place for them to discover a new passion.”
The IFSA program is a part of the Jewish Association Serving the Aging (JASA), the same organization that offers continuing education for seniors every Sunday at John Jay College. The IFSA program is more specific, only offering information that relates to community activism. Krakowski told is that IFSA “has more of a core focus on creating real change.” When caring for her mother, Ms. Stem didn’t know what kind of help was available to her. “I didn’t know what was out there,” she said. After she started with IFSA she realized that there was an opportunity for her to give back, and help improve the lives of seniors. “For once I was thinking about more than just myself. This program has made me feel more a part of the city, and now I see what is available to seniors,” she explained. “People can create change once they discover their voice, and the IFSA program has helped me ﬁnd my own.” If you are interested in getting involved with IFSA, please contact Molly Krakowski at 212-991-6572. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website to ﬁnd more details on the courses offered at www.jasa.org.
Carolyn Stem became interested in senior-related issues when her 92-year-old mother moved in with her. Photo by Mary Newman
MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 5
The dedication and care of New York City’s doormen, superintendents and other residential workers make more than 3,000 city buildings home for over two million people. They need a fair contract so they can continue to make New York home for themselves and their families. The contract covering Derbert, Anton, Tim, Ideniz and their co-workers expires on April 20, 2014. Support them and all New Yorkers working to make ends meet. Follow us at #MakingNYHome to ﬁnd out more. www.makingNYhome.org • 212-388-3800 •
32BJ SEIU – with more than 145,000 members, including 70,000 in New York City – is ﬁghting for good jobs and strong communities across the East Coast.
The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
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ways to your old newspaper
Use it as wrapping paper, or fold & glue pages into reusable gift bags.
Add shredded newspaper to your compost pile when you need a carbon addition or to keep ďŹ‚ies at bay.
Use newspaper strips, water, and a bit of glue for newspaper mĂ˘chĂŠ.
Crumple newspaper to use as packaging material the next time you need to ship something fragile.
Tightly roll up sheets of newspaper and tie with string to use as ďŹ re logs.
After your garden plants sprout, place newspaper sheets around them, then water & cover with grass clippings and leaves. This newspaper will keep weeds from growing.
Make origami creatures
Use shredded newspaper as animal bedding in lieu of sawdust or hay.
Make your own cat litter by shredding newspaper, soaking it in dish detergent & baking soda, and letting it dry.
Wrap pieces of fruit in newspaper to speed up the ripening process.
Cut out letters & words to write anonymous letters to friends and family to let them know they are loved.
Roll a twice-folded newspaper sheet around a jar, remove the jar, & you have a biodegradable seed-starting pot that can be planted directly into the soil.
Upper West Siders from LĂŠman Manhattan are participating in a Geneva Exchange, returning from a three-week immersion program in Switzerland. Their French-speaking counterparts, meantime, will be spending the next three weeks in New York. Alex Rue, in the dark blue sweatshirt on the far left, he is a LĂŠman student. Thomas Moition, in the middle, is a CollĂ¨ge du LĂŠman student staying with Nick Tarnev, on the far right.
REBRANDING AT ICL
Make newspaper airplanes and have a contest in the backyard.
Stuff newspapers in boots or handbags to help the items keep their shape. Dry out wet shoes by loosening laces & sticking balled newspaper pages inside.
a public service announcement brought to you by dirt magazine.
ICL, a 28-year-old behavioral health nonproďŹ t organization, launched a rebranding campaign last month, which echoes the agencyâ€™s mission and ongoing efforts to offer integrated, coordinated care for people with psychiatric, intellectual or developmental disabilities. Executives stopped at the ICL Broadway Residence near West 100th Street, where resident Francesca shared her account of what she had learned so far along her journey, after escaping an abusive and harrowing relationship. â€œEach day brings something new,â€? she said. â€œSometimes there are ups and downs, but that happens wherever you are. Itâ€™s just life. Someday I hope to be reunited with my son. In the meantime, these people are my family.â€?
MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 7
TEENS ON THE COMMUNIITY BOARD CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 ary. â€œIâ€™ve been working on this issue for a long time.â€? The reason there isnâ€™t a bill for such a measure is that the City Council must go before the state legislature to make changes to the age requirements for community board service, as it would modify the stateâ€™s Public Officers Law. Current regulations require an applicant to be 18 years old. However, there is a precedent for 16-year-olds to serve on community boards. NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, who also served as a state assemblyman and Manhattan borough president, received special permission to serve on a community board at age 16. Back then, Brewer said, there were fewer rules. â€œI think it really does add a lot to the board if itâ€™s the right person,â€? said Brewer of young adult members. â€œTheyâ€™re in high school and they know their neighborhood.â€? Brewer has seen a changing of attitudes towards the prospect of having younger community board members. â€œI think thereâ€™s quite a bit of support for it in this city council, we didnâ€™t get as much before,â€? she said. Thereâ€™s also support at the state level. Staten Island As-
NEED A ROOM TO RENT? LOOK IN A CONVENT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 tress. â€œMy parents were under this delusion that I could find an affordable apartment in a safe neighborhood,â€? she said. It came as a huge surprise when her professor suggested she could live on West 74th street for $550 a month at the St. Agnes Convent. Since she wasnâ€™t planning on becoming a nun after graduation, Megaro was initially confused by this suggestion. After finding out how inexpensive it was to rent a room at St. Agnes Convent, she took the idea much more seriously. She searched â€œconvents Upper West Sideâ€? in Google that afternoon and found dozens of options. Some enforced a nightly curfew; others had an extensive application process and lengthy wait list. Megaro settled on St. Maryâ€™s Residence on East 72nd Street,
semblyman Andrew Lanza and Queens Assemblywoman Nily Rozic are sponsoring separate legislation to allow anyone whoâ€™s at least 16 years old to serve on community boards. â€œNew York City has 8.3 million residents, and more than 20 percent of them are under 18,â€? said Kallos. â€œCommunity boards have a mandate for being representative of their communities, and I think the best way we can do that is giving 16 and 17-year-olds a voice on their community boards that will encourage them to be civically engaged for a lifetime.â€?
When attending community board meetings, Dupouy said he noticed there was an overwhelming majority of older members. â€œI think I was maybe one of two people below the age of 40. Seeing that made me feel that I could add something to the discussion.â€? Dupouy, a junior at Hunter High School, said that if he were appointed to CB7 he would focus on school over-
crowding and transportation issues for high schoolers, as well as beeďŹ ng up after-school programs. Although CB7 had the highest number of applicants of any community board, and although heâ€™s not technically eligible, Dupouy is hopeful heâ€™ll be appointed, given Brewerâ€™s support and the fact heâ€™ll turn 18 in October. â€œI definitely see it as a long shot, but itâ€™s something thatâ€™s worth pursuing,â€? said Dupouy. Half of community board appointments are made by the borough president in a given borough, with the other half being made by local elected officials. Appointments will be announced April 1. For Austin Ochoa, 18, teamwork is the biggest thing that young adults can contribute to a community board. Ochoa applied to Community Board 4, which has parts of the West Side and Chelsea. He said heâ€™s been to community board meetings that â€œare dead,â€? and enthusiasm is another asset that youth have in abundance. â€œA lot of community board members donâ€™t show up,â€? said Ochoa. â€œI believe if youth had a reason to be there, we would be there without a doubt.â€? Ochoa, who is interning for a Manhattan City Council member, likes his chances of being appointed April 1. â€œYouth needs a voice,â€? he said.
for $220 a week. Residents must be female, between the ages of 18-40, and prove their employment or enrollment in school. They donâ€™t enforce a curfew, which was important to Megaro because she often works late. She was also drawn to St. Maryâ€™s because of their simple application process, and the safe surrounding neighborhood. The building has a feeling of an adult dorm room; each ďŹ‚oor has a shared kitchen and bathroom. On the ground ďŹ‚oor, thereâ€™s a lounge area that offers free WiFi adjacent to the chapel. Religious ďŹ gures decorate each ďŹ‚oor, but itâ€™s tough ďŹ nd a nun on any of the residential ďŹ‚oors. Megaro explained that you occasionally run into them in the elevator. There is an obvious and pleasant connection among the women who live there. Lisa Rodriguez was working at the security desk, and has been coming to St. Maryâ€™s since she was 8 years old. Her mother worked there for 16 years, and she has been working there for over a decade herself. â€œComing into New York, and
living in an apartment all by yourself can be a cold, lonely existence,â€? Rodriguez explained. â€œHere you have your own private rooms, but you can also come out in the lounge and be with other people. There is a shoulder to cry on, the sisters are around if you just need to vent, and I am here to offer that same support.â€? The lounge had several women working quietly on their laptops while relaxing in blue cushioned chairs from the 1960s. The entire building has a retro vibe, including the pink and purple paneling inside the elevator. Megaro said she is working so much she isnâ€™t bothered by some of their resident rules, including one that doesnâ€™t allow male visitors outside the ďŹ rst floor lounge. Other items off limits include bicycles, microwaves, toasters, hot plates, and pets. Smoking and drinking alcohol are also â€œforbidden.â€? â€œIâ€™m not home a lot because I work long hours on the West Side, so the rules havenâ€™t bothered me,â€? she said. â€œIt is so clean, and everyone I run into is really friendly.â€?
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The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
HOW IS CONSTRUCTION NOISE A PROBLEM IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? “ I haven’t noticed noise particularly with construction. I think there are bigger problems we should worry about.” Gabrielle M., Downtown
“ Construction is a problem Until now, the process for granting 24-hour work permits has been opaque.
will be able to look online and see detailed reasons why each site was allowed a 24 hour work permit. This transparency aims to cut down on sites given 24-hour work permits, as well as notifying residents sooner when after-hours work will begin. Currently, the bill is under review at the Committee on Housing and Buildings. “Variances have become the new normal, and as a result construction is happening too regularly at forbidden hours,” said Garodnick. “It’s unfair to neighbors and developers alike. Neighbors are unhappy because [Dept. of Buildings] hours are meaningless, and developers get exemptions from the city but still get complaints.”
THE NOISE IN OUR HEADS WHAT’S UP WITH THAT? A bill in the City Council attacks 24-hour work permits BY NICK MARTINEZ WITH DANIEL FITZSIMMONS
For three nights in recent months, the construction project near where Jane Bonia lives has been loud enough to jolt her out of bed. “The noise is incredibly loud,” said Bonia. “It’s impossible to sleep while they’re banging on metal. I’m furious that the city would give them a permit to do this.”
Each of the times Bonia has complained about the project, at 300 E. 51st St., she’s been told the site has a special permit to work around the clock. So how does the city decide who receives these 24-hour work permits? As of now there is no clear answer, which is why two lawmakers, Council Members Rosie Mendez and Daniel Garodnick, have sponsored a bill to “amend the administrative cod of the city of New York, in relation to after-hours work authorization,” according to the bill. The bill claims that the current system lacks transparency. Under the new law citizens
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MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 9
The Sixth Borough
Making omelets, making babies
BY BECCA TUCKER e always made breakfast for â€œthe good ones.â€? Back when he was a bachelor, the morning-after breakfast was one of Husband Joeâ€™s wooing tactics. For the girls he liked, heâ€™d make a show of ďŹ‚ipping the omelet high and catching it in the pan (over the sink, just in case). Nowadays, Joeâ€™s girls are spoiled. Baby Kai and I get the
omelet treatment every morning, made with eggs laid by our own chickens, and usually a side of sweet potato home fries, sometimes a hot croissant, always fresh-ground coffee. Joe still ďŹ‚ips the omelet, but weâ€™re outside doing homestead chores and we donâ€™t catch the show. Whenever friends or family spend the night or come through before lunch, though, thatâ€™s Joeâ€™s opportunity to elicit the oohs and ahs of yore. This morning was one of those mornings. We werenâ€™t wooing our visitors, exactly. If anyone was doing the wooing, it was them. But something very special might come out of this tete-a-tete, and a grand brunch was only ďŹ tting. Let me back up four months, to November. I was about to leave work for the day when I got an email from a friend, M., who lives in Texas. I had played with M. that summer at a Frisbee tournament. A former semi-pro soccer player and a veterinarian, M. also happens to be charismatic and hilarious and immediately likable. M. lived with her girlfriend, another ultimate player, whom Iâ€™d heard was a badass but had
never met. The email had no subject. With one arm already in my jacket, I clicked. Then sat back down. A lighthearted opening, then right to the point: â€œWeâ€™re interested in having a baby but have deďŹ nitely had some challenges in ďŹ nding good donors,â€? it said. â€œAs we are both older we have the odds seriously stacked against us statistically and our doctor recommended trying to ďŹ nd a â€œfreshâ€? donor, i.e. someone local who is available to donate the day of the procedure so no freezing is involved, which typically cuts the odds down even further. So we have been trolling the bars and dark alleys of Austin looking for good young men and surprisingly have not really turned up anyone appealing. So weâ€™re expanding our search and would be really interested in hearing what type of situation you guys might be up for.â€? By the time Iâ€™d read this far, I knew my answer was yes. True, I wasnâ€™t the person whose say-so this scheme ultimately depended upon, but I had a feeling that as long as
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I was okay with it, Joe would be, too. My eagerness to shop my husbandâ€™s sperm around may sound strange, but to me it seems only natural. We are at the age for making babies; our own baby is the most wonderful creature I have ever encountered; and so whenever lesbian friends who would clearly make the greatest moms brought up the sperm issue, Iâ€™d been half-jokingly pitching Joe. Good looks and good health, great eyesight and aim, a head full of long
glossy hair, batting a thousand in the department of making perfect babies. Why should they pay for a strangerâ€™s sperm when we were all already a kind of big family? Why not make our family bigger, and increasingly strange, and ever more wonderful? â€œI never expected to have to compose a tactful way to ask for sperm via email,â€? M. wrote, â€œbut I have now written more sperm request letters than Christmas cards.â€? So this morning, when our visitors rolled up, we sat down
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to our omelets and piping hot coffee and sweet potato fries and got to know R., whom weâ€™d never met. She was as legit as we knew M.â€™s partner would be, kind and laid back, tall and gorgeous with a hint of a Texas drawl. She worked with babies for a living, and knew how to slaughter a pig. We told them yes, we want to help. Theyâ€™re going to keep looking for a local donor, but if that doesnâ€™t pan out, theyâ€™ll ďŹ‚y the three of us out to Austin. Life is short. Babies are its ďŹ nest bequest. Why not?
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The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
Out & About people More arts events real estate 28 arts news food 30 people news places 29 business food places events food
PHOENIX: SPOTLIGHT ON THE EXHIBITION
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The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave. 3 – 4 p.m., $20 Climb through the Cathedral’s walls and walk along its corridors for an exclusive look at the contemporary art exhibition, Phoenix: Xu Bing at the Cathedral. Visitors will participate in a lively discussion about the exhibition’s artworks, and their themes of urbanization, migration, and renewal. This tour explores the monumental ‘Phoenix,’ two twelve-ton sculptures suspended in ﬂight from the Cathedral’s 124-foot vaulting, and ‘Background Story,’ a lightbox “painting.” 212-316-7540
Each person is invited to explore and discover their activist commitments and leanings. There will be a potluck at 6 p.m. firstname.lastname@example.org or 212874-5210
a reservation. 212-360-2726
MY PROMISE LAND: THE TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY OF ISRAEL
JOANIE LEEDS AND THE NIGHTLIGHTS
Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th St. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., $13 to $25 NYC based Joanie and her band will debut new tunes from her next album, Good Egg, including “Dino in the Upper West Side,” plus other favorites from her 5 awardwinning albums. These performances will be recorded for a forthcoming Joanie Leeds music DVD. 212-864-5400
SPEED-DEED: HEALING BULLY-DYNAMICS THROUGH ACTION
NORTHERN WELCOME TOUR
New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St. 6 – 9 p.m., Free This event intends to bring people of all ages together for an experience of serious fun -- a fair of “doable deeds.”. Together, we will workshop various activist endeavors that respond to bully-dynamics in our world.
5th Avenue and 106th Street 12 – 12:45 p.m., Free See the Park’s northernmost highlights on this walk from Conservatory Garden along the Harlem Meer and past the North Woods. Route easy to negotiate, a few stairs. 45-minutes. Groups of 7 or more must make
West End Synagogue, 190 Amsterdam Ave. 10 a.m., Free Winner of the Natan Book Award, this authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of Israel by one of the most inﬂuential journalists writing about the Middle East, has received rave reviews. email@example.com to register
BROADWAY SCORES FOR PS 84 The Lillian Weber School of the Arts, 405 W. 55th St. 6:45 – 9:30 p.m., $85 This is a beneﬁt for PS 84, neighborhood elementary school that hosts children K-5. The event is hosted by Kari Nicolaisen, with music direction by Dan Elish, and starring John Cudia, Joe Iconis and family, Beth Eunice and Dan Mills. At 6:45 p.m. there will be a coktail hour, with performances and a live auction to begin at 8 p.m. 212-799-2534
MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 11
31 ADAPTATIONS TV NIGHT The JCC Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. 6:30 – 8 p.m., Free Do you have a favorite show that you watch every week? Are sitcoms your favorite or are you more of a sci-ﬁ person? Check out our new group Monday evenings where we watch an episode and have a conversation about the events. firstname.lastname@example.org, 646-505-4444
MASTER CLASS WITH KURT MUROKI
2 JOY IN SINGING FINALS Bruno Walter Auditorium, 111 Amsterdam Avenue 1 – 4 p.m., Free This is a free concert by ﬁnalists from the 2014 Joy in Singing Master Sessions at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts in Lincoln Center. 718-398-4029
THE PARTHENON ENIGMA Barnes & Noble, 82nd & Broadway 7 p.m., Free The Parthenon Enigma, Joan Breton Connelly’s new book, recreates the glory of Greece through its architecture and its signiﬁcance to our notions of modern democracy. There will be a signing after the reading. 212-362-8835
1 STAYWELL EXERCISE FOR SENIORS Riverside Library, 127 Amsterdam Ave. 2 – 3 p.m., Free Join for a free StayWell exercise session designed for seniors. All participents must sgn a waiver before they join. 212-870-1810
The Pothole Project
Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Studio, 165 West 65th Street, 10th ﬂoor 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Free The art of interpretation and details of technique are explained as master artists share their wisdom with the next generation of chamber musicians. Free, but tickets are required. Suggested admission of $20. Reservation required. 212-875-5788
THE AGE OF RADIANCE: THE EPIC RISE AND DRAMATIC FALL OF THE ATOMIC ERA Barnes & Noble, 82nd & Broadway 7 p.m., Free New York Times bestseller and award-winning author Craig Nelson brings us the ﬁrst complete history of the atomic age in his latest book, The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era. 212-362-8835
3 NEW YORK WRITERS WORKSHOP PRESENTS: MAUREEN BRADY St. Agnes Library, 444 Amsterdam Avenue 5:30 – 6:45 p.m., Free Do a writing exercise to help ﬁnd your voice and explore the sources that can supply material for ﬁction that taps into your mother lode, share it with fellow writers and then discuss the emergence of your voice. Maureen Brady is the award-winning author of 3 novels including Folly and Ginger’s Fire and 1 collection of short stories. She teaches Advanced ﬁction at the New York Writers Workshop at JCC and is Adjunct Assistant Professor at NYU. 212-621-0619; Registration is required.
CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE HONORING DAVID N. DINKINS New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th St. 6 p.m., $100 Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross Public Service Award Program: Featuring interview by Harry Smith, Emmy-award winning NBC-TV correspondent with David N. Dinkins and Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross and musical entertainment by Alton Fitzgerald White, the lead actor in Disney on Broadway “ The Lion King.” Special remarks by Harry Belafonte Jr. 212-874-5210
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The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross
PEOPLE The New York Society for Ethical Culture is honoring Mayor David Dinkins at the inaugural Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross Awards BY MARY NEWMAN
UPPER WEST SIDE This April, the New York Society for Ethical Culture will be honoring two great New Yorkers in the name of another who embodies the ethics of service that the organization champions. Mayor David N. Dinkins and Mecca Santana will be the ďŹ rst recipients of the Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross Service Awards. Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross has spent her 35-year career working as a community mental health administrator and public servant, offering her skills in psychiatry and pediatrics. NY-
Neighborhood Scrapbook STUDENT WINS SCHOLASTIC AWARD
HONORING A MAYOR IN THE NAME OF A PUBLIC SERVANT SEC collaborated with its affiliate United Social Services, Inc. in naming this award after Dr. Harrison-Ross in recognition of her decades of work in helping underprivileged New Yorkers. The committee had originally approached Dr. Harrison-Ross to accept a community service award, but she didnâ€™t want to be recognized in the spirit of volunteering because she has spent her entire career working to improve the lives of the mentally ill, the children of incarcerated parents, and children with special needs, including her time spent at the helm of the Metropolitan Hospital Community Mental Health Center as Chief of Psychiatry. â€œI donâ€™t volunteer; I have worked at this for 35 years. I am a public servant and I wanted to be recognized for the work I have accomplished in my career,â€? she explained. The
committee, headed by Heather Grady, decided to name an award after Harrison-Ross, to honor those who have been committed to ethical action in everyday practice and leadership. The event will be honoring David Dinkins, the 106th May of New York, for his commitment to improving the lives of city residents. Harrison-Ross has known the former Mayor for many years, and felt that his service to the city often goes unnoticed. She is excited to honor him for his improvement of Times Square, introducing â€œSafe Streets, Safe City,â€? and bringing Nelson Mandela to New York during is tour as President of South Africa. New York State Chief Diversity Officer Mecca Santana will also be honored for her commitment to improving workforce diversity in New York State. She has also played an
important role in supporting new initiatives that increase opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses. â€œI think diversity is a very important focus for religious and educational institutions,â€? Dr. Harrison-Ross said. â€œIt has always been my nature to stand up for those in difficult situations, helping the people who need it most. I am excited to be given the chance to celebrate people working to increase ethical action.â€? If you would like to take part in the inaugural beneďŹ t on April 2nd, visit the website www. socialserviceboard.org. NYSEC and United Social Services, Inc. have worked together for over 100 years introducing community programs, public service, and ethical action. In honor of Dr. Phyllis Harrison-Ross, the public service communities of New York will take a night to celebrate those who are working tirelessly to do the same.
In the 2014 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the countryâ€™s longest-running and most prestigious award and recognition program for creative students in grades 7â€“12, New Yorker Shannon Daniels was among 16 high school seniors who won the top honor, Portfolio Gold Medal Award, which comes with a $10,000 cash scholarship. Daniels, age 17 of Nolita, won the Portfolio Gold Medal Award for her original poetry-based writing portfolio. Her writing is a reďŹ‚ection of her life, focusing on small but beautiful everyday moments that can often be overlooked.
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MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 13
A CALIFORNIA CAL TRANSPLANT AT TH THE RIVERSIDE LIBRARY
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IN THE PIT THEATER A day (actually, night) in the life of a Broadway musician BY JEANINE GRIMALDI
Sonny Paladino seems to know everyone on his walk along W. 45th Street from a coffee shop to the Music Box Theatre, saying hello to stagehands and Tony award- winning actors as he enters through the stage door and heads for the orchestra pit. Since last spring, Paladino, 34, has been the associate conductor for the Tony awardwinning musical, “Pippin” on Broadway. Of Pippin’s eight shows a week, Paladino conducts one; other nights, he plays the keyboard. “I’m a piano player ﬁrst,” he says. Paladino grew up in Ronkonkoma on Long Island, and after taking piano lessons as a young child says, “I always knew I would play music.” Paladino now lives in the heart of the theatre district- on 44th and 9th- a neighborhood in which he has lived for the past ﬁve years. “I spend a lot of time in the neighborhood,” he says. He enjoys runs along the West Side Highway, eats at Nizza on 9th avenue in between shows and socializes after shows at Broadway hangout Glass House Tavern. “It’s like a high school reunion for Broadway,” he says. Before tonight’s show he chats with the other musicians backstage -- there are ﬁve, including Paladino -until a stage manager calls “Places!” over the backstage loudspeaker. A few minutes after 8 p.m, they move to the pit beneath the stage. The orchestra consists of the drums, trumpet, bass, guitar and Paladino on the keyboard. Three screens surround Paladino’s keyboard in the pit: one LCD screen the size of a car’s GPS sits directly in front of him, showing conductor Charlie Alterman. Another shows the stage. On a third screen, the software MainStage produces speciﬁc sound effects for each act. Paladino opens the score, pushes up his shirt sleeves and stretches his ﬁngers and arms, ﬁghting off pain from the tendonitis he’s acquired by playing piano nine hours a day, every day, for most of his life. The
tempo rises as the musicians begin the ﬁrst number, as the curtain drops to the stage and reveals a colorful circus setting where acrobats, dancers and trapeze artists slide, glide and swoop through the air and across the stage. Because he’ll be conducting the next evening, during breaks from playing Paladino mimics the conductor, practicing his timing. His hands dance in the air and he gestures towards the drums, the trumpet and the guitar, bopping, tapping and clapping his hands against his thighs. His eyes ﬂit between the three monitors, while he also concentrates on the score. Since “Pippin” involves many acrobats, Paladino needs to make sure his notes match their landings. If an actor misses his mark, Paladino has to make the music cover for him. In the summer of 2012, Paladino almost gave up on New York to look for opportunities in the pop music scene in Los Angeles. He was preparing to move when he received a call: “Pippin” needed an associate conductor. He has decided to forgo moving for now. But he has played with some big names in pop. When the Australian version of the “The X Factor” came to New York, he worked with guest judges Alicia Keys and Kesha. He’s also co-written songs with Matthew Morrison of “Glee.” “He’s always the musical director for things I write,” says Joe Drymala, musical theatre writer and composer. He’s Paladino’s best friend since they met at Berklee College of Music in 1997. The next year they became roommates in New York City, Paladino wanting to be a Broadway musician and conductor, Drymala hoping to write musical theatre. Both succeeded. Drymala describes his music as very contemporary and says Paladino is one of the few people who understand the pop sound, especially in New York where most musicians are classically trained. Paladino, however, leans toward jazz and funk. “That’s really where his musical soul is,” says Drymala. After a semester at Berklee he decided he missed New York, and transferred to City College, majoring in jazz. After graduating and working as musician in a church for three years, he knew he needed to do some-
Sonny Paladino was almost ready to leave New York. but decided to stay and has moved on to conducting for Broadway shows.
thing more creative to boost his career. So he took a chance as a music director for a play Drymala wrote, for $100 a week. His job meant hiring musicians, and by accepting paltry pay he was able to hire some top Broadway guys. “The best musicians just want to play. The name of the game is to be out there doing stuff,” says Paladino. Connections he made working on this play led to his touring on the musicals “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, “Grease” and “High School Musical.” Besides working on Broadway, Paladino is part of the Doo Wop Project, a three- yearold group including previous cast members from “Jersey Boys.” Paladino plays the piano
and does all the musical arrangements. The group sings classics and modern songs in doo- wop style. “It’s the most fun thing...it’s a lot less like work.” Paladino knows something about doo-wop. Some of his earliest musical memories came from watching his uncle, Martin D’Amico, who played the keyboard and trumpet for Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge. He still looks to his uncle for advice on music. “Pippin” has reached the last act and the orchestra is in high gear. “Woooooooo!” shouts Paladino as he plays the last few bars. “Just another day at the office.”
The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
SOLO FROM THE SOUL
IF YOU GO The Show: “Improvisations,” abstract oil paintings by Pauline Yun Where: The Riverside Branch of the New York Public Library, 127 Amsterdam Ave. at 65th Street, 212-870-1810 When: Opens April 3 Pauline Yun in her studio near Central Park. Photo by Mary Newman
ART An Upper West Sider transplanted from California brings her paintings to the Riverside library BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO
UPPER WEST SIDE About 25 years ago, painter Pauline Yun left her native Los Angeles for New York, taking memories of California sunshine, sandy beaches and optimism along with her for artistic inspiration. “I was attracted to New York because I thought I could have a creative life here,” Yun said. Now the West Coast transplant, who’s lived and worked in the same cozy apartment on the Upper West Side since she first moved from L.A., will introduce her neighbors to her work in her ﬁrst solo show in New York. “Improvisations,” her collection of abstract oil paintings, opens at the Riverside Branch of the New York Public Library (127 Amsterdam Ave. at 65th Street) on April 3. “I feel very thrilled and happy that it can happen in my very own neighborhood,” Yun said. When she first arrived in New York, Yun considered fashion design, but found the work too commercial. She returned to school to study painting, earning her BFA and MFA at Hunter College, and has steadily shown her work as part of group shows in downtown galleries, but she’s struggled to define her work in commercial terms. “It took me a long time to figure out what it is my painting is about,” Yun said from her home studio near Central Park. “Having a show made me realize that improvisation as a practice is really kind of the string that ties everything together from the begin-
ning until now in my work.” Yun studied art history at the University of California, Berkeley, and enjoys the French impressionists, abstract expressionism, Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard. She never approaches a blank canvas with an eye on the finish line, but is guided by her impulses when painting, and strives for spontaneity. “I try to keep my mind as minimal as possible and as empty as possible,” she said. Her improvisational approach means she won’t know how a painting will look until she’s done. “They’re all kind of mysterious in that sense,” she said. Yun, 49, has rosy cheeks and a dusting of freckles, and often temps as an executive assistant. She meditates, which helps her rid her mind of extraneous thoughts. In a nod to her days in California, she evokes natural elements in her work, and some of her most whimsical pieces evoke exploding floral bouquets with a rain of confetti-like petals. Yun will exhibit both new and old work in her show, including “Goofman,”
a frenetic scrawl of deep reds, pinks and blues layered over well-blended blocks of green and yellow, which Yun calls “a goofy dance.” “I always want to be in touch with the child in me,” she said. She resists repetition, and experiments with multiple techniques, including finger-painting with a gloved hand. Sometimes she draws directly on the canvas with a tube of paint, or blots the wet surface with wax paper. Often, Yun employs multiple techniques in one painting, like in “Empress,” a mostly muted abstraction with pops of bright green. “It’s not about being pretty, smooth and polished,” she said. “I want to get to a more raw place.” Yun likens herself to a “monk in Manhattan,” seeking to live in the moment and spread joy to others, and “Improvisations” is an extension of that mission. “They’re all petals of the same flower, or branches of the same tree,” she said about her various creative outlets. “It’s all me. It’s all coming from my heart and soul.”
MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 15
GALLERY HOPPING ON ORCHARD STREET
Visitors take in Shony Rivnayâ€™s exhibition, â€œSoft Corps,â€? at Bosi Contemporary on a recent Saturday afternoon. Photo by Lauren Naefe
GALLERIES Art galleries can be intimidating. Here, a guide to the Lower East Side for the uninitiated. BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO
DINING AND DRINKING NEARBY Irving Farm Coffee Roasters 88 Orchard St. Vanessaâ€™s Dumpling House 118A Eldridge St. An Choi Vietnamese Eatery 85 Orchard St. Top Hops Beer Shop 94 Orchard St.
An ever-growing cluster of art galleries dominates the Lower East Side. But navigating a scene that can appear at once vast and exclusive can be daunting. But the artists represented in these mostly small galleriesâ€”some no larger than a Manhattan studio apartmentâ€”show work that begs to be seen. So take a springtime stroll down Orchard Street, and give these galleries a shot.
JULIE MENERET CONTEMPORARY ART
washed, and owner Julie Meneret offers a pleasant explanation of the current artistâ€™s work, methods and intentions. The gallery, which is on its third exhibition, collaborates with arts organizations to host talks, readings and performances.. The upcoming exhibit opens April 2 and will feature dance performances by artist Frederic Nauczyciel on May 3, 4 and 5, presented in collaboration with the French-American Dance Festival. Current Exhibit: Jonny Briggs, â€œMonstrares,â€? through March 30. Upcoming Exhibit: Frederic Nauczyciel, â€œThe Fire Flies [Baltimore/Paris],â€? April 2-May 18 Hours Wednesday-Saturday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday: Noon to 6:00 p.m.
133 Orchard St. between Delancey and Rivington Streets SASHA WOLF
A gallery so new that the awning still bears the faded lettering of the shop that previously occupied the space, this space opened last November and exhibits work by emerging international artists. The space is small and white-
GALLERY 70 Orchard St. between Broome and Grand Streets Opened about a year ago, Sasha Wolf Gallery exclusively shows photography, with an emphasis on contempo-
rary work by emerging or mid-career photographers. The black and white photographs in the current exhibit from Matthew Pillsbury contrast starkly against the white walls, white ceiling, and light wood flooring of the gallery, an otherwise bright, narrow space reminiscent of a railroad-style apartment. Current Exhibit: Matthew Pillsbury, â€œNate and Meâ€? (courtesy of Bonni Benrubi Gallery), through April 20 Upcoming Exhibit: Peter Kayafas, â€œThe Way West,â€? April 23-June 8 Hours Wednesday-Sunday: Noon to 6:00 p.m.
SHIN GALLERY 322 Grand St. at Orchard Street Shin Gallery, at Orchard and Grand Streets, is housed in a corner unit once occupied by pop-up art space CollectiCo. At first glance, the space looks more like a boutique than a gallery, with warm-hued wood ďŹ‚oors and high ceilings with exposed pipes. Shin Gallery specializes in Korean contemporary art and aims to provide an international platform for emerging Korean artists, many of whom have never exhibited in the United States. Thanks to the high ceilings, Shin Gallery can exhibit large pieces: the current show features several 7-foot canvases. Current Exhibit: JongWan Choo, â€œThe Diminished Virtue,â€? through April 11 Upcoming Exhibit: Gunwoo Shin, â€œWatch the Butterfly Falling,â€? April 18-June 20 Hours
Wednesday-Sunday: 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
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Alex Guarnaschelli, Host Chef, Butter Restaurant
4BU .BZt7*11.(FO"EN1.t8UI$PM"WF Highlighting the best of the Upper West Side's culinary scene, Best of the West will showcase signature fare created by over 40 celebrated chefs and restaurateurs. Hosted by Jill Martin, Emmy award-winning TV personality and NY Knicks broadcaster, the evening will feature gourmet fare created by some of the Upper West Side's most talented chefs and restaurants. Honoring renowned chef and owner Daniel Boulud, culminating in a magical evening with music by the Silver Arrow Band, spectacular food, and enticing cocktails. VIP tickets are available for those who want early access to the chefs, food and drinks.
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The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
Food & Drink
<MAREA WINS JAMES BEARD NOMINATION Nominees for the 2014 James Beard Awards were announced during a ceremony in Chicago on March 18. Chef and owner Michael White of seafood-centric Italian restaurant Marea (240
Central Park South at W. 59 Street) was nominated for best chef in the ﬁve boroughs. Marea’s menu features a generous selection of crudo, including razor clams, long island ﬂuke and Hawaiian marlin, along with caviar and east and west coast oysters. Owner of
Marea and other Italian restaurants across the globe with the Altamarea Restaurant group, White is already a decorated chef, with two Michelin stars and one James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant (for Marea in 2010) already under his belt.
Other New York City nominees include April Bloomﬁeld (The Spotted Pig), Dan Kluger (ABC Kitchen), Mark Ladner (Del Posto) and Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto). The winners will be announced at an awards gala on May 5 in New York City.
In Brief SPRINKLES INTRODUCES THE CUPCAKE ATM
Sprinkles Cupcakes on the Upper East Side (780 Lexington Ave., between 60 and 61 Streets) debuted its cupcake ATM on March 25. The Beverly Hills company, which also has outposts in Chicago, Las Vegas and Atlanta, among other cities, offers standard ﬂavors such as red velvet and cinnamon, and rotates varieties on a daily basis, including chocolate coconut and chai latte, and also offers daily gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan options. The cupcake ATM—the ﬁrst in New York and the ﬁfth in the nation for the Sprinkles franchise—will offer a 24-hour sugar rush for those who can’t make it to the shop during regular 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. hours. To sweeten the deal for early customers, Sprinkles hid 100 gift certiﬁcates for one-dozen cupcakes and one $500 American Express gift card in random cupcakes on launch day, making some withdrawals from the Cupcake ATM that much sweeter.
GOING FOR THE CLASSIC BAGEL RESTAURANTS A Barney Greengrass alum teams up for a new bagel store downtown BY LAUREN ROTHMAN
SPRING COMES IN WITH LAMB AT PHILIP MARIE Like many New Yorkers, John Greco, chef and owner of new American restaurant Philip Marie (569 Hudson St. at W. 11 Street) is ready for spring. Unlike most of Manhattan, however, Greco will slow-roast a whole lamb in celebration of warmer days on the horizon. On Wednesday, April 2, Greco will serve a three-course prix-ﬁx tasting menu at his West Village restaurant, with a whole lamb slow-roasted over charcoals as the star attraction. Using a custom box—which he took advantage of last year to roast an entire pig—Greco will roast the lamb, marinated in oranges, limes, mint and coriander, for several hours. The three-course prix-ﬁx meal is $32 per persons and open for reservations (call 212-242-6200 to reserve a seat).
Owner Bari Musacchio opened a bagel store in Nolita to ﬁll a void.
Bari Musacchio, the former general manager of the family-style Italian spot Rubirosa on Mulberry Street, has lived in Nolita since 2002, and for the past dozen years she’s struggled to find a decent breakfast in the neighborhood. “I grew up on Long Island eating bagels twice a week,” Musacchio said. “But even though there are tons of great pastry shops in Nolita, there’s nowhere to get a good bagel. Every morning, I’d think, ‘What am I going to eat?’ Finally, I ﬁgured that the time was right to open a bagel store myself.” Musacchio has partnered with David Heffernan, an alum of legendary Upper West Side store Barney Greengrass, to open Baz Bagel. The 35-seat restaurant will debut at 181 Grand Street at the end of April. In addition to bagels, the store
will serve a full menu of smoked and cured fish, matzoh ball soup, chopped liver and challah French toast. Though Musacchio is better known for her Italian background, she’s half-Jewish, and many of Baz Bagel’s recipes have been passed down to her through relatives: the potato latkes, for example, are her grandmother’s recipe. “I come from a long line of maternal chefs,” she says. During her decade-plus pursuit of the perfect NYC bagel, Musacchio ended up spending a lot of time at Barney Greengrass, which has been dishing out its much-beloved whitefish salad, smoked sturgeon and jewel-toned Scottish salmon since 1908. It was there that she met Heffernan, who worked as a waiter for eight years and became a customer favorite due, Musacchio said, to his “amazing ability to work the room.” “He has this great rapport with customers,” she explained. “He remembers every regular’s order. And he loves the products—the bagels and the fish,” she added. The two became fast friends when they realized that they both lived
in Nolita, about a block away from each other. At Baz Bagel, Heffernan will be on the floor, while Musacchio’s role will be more behind-thescenes. So what can we expect from the bagels? “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” Musacchio said. “We’re creating a classic New York bagel. But in my opinion, that’s really something to talk about.” The Baz Bagel formula will be a time-tested one: hand-rolled—no machines here— then boiled, baked and topped with traditional additions such as sesame and poppy seeds. The topof-the-line Brooklyn producer Acme will supply the smoked ﬁsh, while the gravlax will be cured in-house. Baz Bagel will begin as a lunch concept—after all, we’re talking bagels, lox and eggs here—but will open for dinner if customers begin to clamor for it. Most of all, Musacchio said, she’s looking forward to welcoming her neighbors and all the people she’s gotten to know in her years of living and working in the area. “We’re going for a real community feel,” she said.
MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 17
RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS
Grade Pending (34) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked ﬁsh and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared. Food not protected from potential source of contamination during storage, preparation, transportation, display or service. Sanitized equipment or utensil, including in-use food dispensing utensil, improperly used or stored.
Benny’s Lung Sheng Restaurant
906 Columbus Avenue
Grade Pending (17) Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Personal cleanliness inadequate. Outer garment soiled with possible contaminant. Effective hair restraint not worn in an area where food is prepared. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.
Good Enough To Eat (A.G. Bistro)
520 Columbus Avenue
Grade Pending (44) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Food not cooled by an approved method whereby the internal product temperature is reduced from 140º F to 70º F or less within 2 hours, and from 70º F to 41º F or less within 4 additional hours. Raw, cooked or prepared food is adulterated, contaminated, cross-contaminated, or not discarded in accordance with HACCP plan. Evidence of mice or live mice 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.
Francesca La Vela Cucina
373 Amsterdam Avenue
MARCH 12 - 18, 2014 The following listings were collected from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website and include the most recent inspection and grade reports listed. We have included every restaurant listed during this time within the zip codes of our neighborhoods. Some reports list numbers with their explanations; these are the number of violation points a restaurant has received. To see more information on restaurant grades, visit www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/services/restaurant-inspection.shtml. Le Pain Quotidien
60 West 65 Street
Le Pain Quotdien
2 West 69 Street
167 West 74 Street
Communal Oven & Earth
141 West 72 Street
685 Amsterdam Avenue
Legend Upper West
258 West 109 Street
Grade Pending (24) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Hot food item that has been cooked and refrigerated is being held for service without ﬁrst being reheated to 1 65º F or above within 2 hours. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
Famous Famiglia Pizza
734 Amsterdam Avenue
Grade Pending (27) Hot food item not held at or above 140º F. Appropriately scaled metal stem-type thermometer or thermocouple not provided or used to evaluate temperatures of potentially hazardous foods during cooking, cooling, reheating and holding. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
224 West 104 Street
Grade Pending (17) Cold food item held above 41º F (smoked ﬁsh and reduced oxygen packaged foods above 38 ºF) except during necessary preparation. Evidence of mice or live mice present in facility’s food and/or non-food areas.
More CUNY Master’s Program Success Stories Kristen McCosh
Master of Disability Studies CUNY School of Professional Studies Commissioner, City of Boston Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities
Register TODAY @ cuny.edu/grad
CUNY Graduate Studies Fair Monday, March 31 2:30-7:30 p.m. The CUNY Graduate Center 365 Fifth Ave. (34th St.) Outstanding Graduate Programs at 13 Colleges in All Five Boroughs
The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
<RESTAURANT FINES CUT BY 25 PERCENT The city’s Deptartment of Health said it’s reducing the cost of restaurant health-code violations by 25 percent. The ﬁnes are now at the same level they were before the DOH began using a grading system to rate the city’s restaurants, but will come with more frequent inspections. Restaurant
In Brief S&P UPHOLDS NYC DEBT RATING Standard & Poor’s affirmed its AA longterm rating on New York City’s debt, but warned that the 150-plus labor contracts that still need to be negotiated by the de Blasio administration could prove a liability. The ratings agency was generally praising of the city and its ﬁnances, and of the ﬁscal management that de Blasio inherited. S&P said, though, that the labor contracts could be a problem down the road, if the city is forced to pay billions of dollars in retroactive pay to unionized city workers.
RELATED, ARCHITECTS SUED OVER A.D.A.
The U.S. Attorney’s office sued the developer and architect of two high-proﬁle projects over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The lawsuit seeks to stop the Related Companies from completing any additional projects until the two buildings -- One Carnegie Hill and Tribeca Green (pictured) -- are in compliance. The architects of the projects, Robert A.M. Stern and Ismael Leyva, are also named in the lawsuit.
owners can also request an ungraded and penalty-free inspection to receive tailored advice about what they need to ﬁx before an actual inspection. “This will help restaurants prepare for their next inspection and give them the information and tools to improve their chances to earn an
A,” said the department in a statement. Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said the DOH’s letter grading system began as a way to motivate restaurants to practice better food safety, and to enable diners to make more informed decisions on where to eat. “And the program is working,” said Bassett.
HAVE ARTISTIC SKILLS, WILL BABYSIT SMALL BUSINESS Sitters Studio harnesses the creativity of working actors and artists to provide activity-centric childcare for busy New Yorkers BY MARY NEWMAN
Parenting and child development theories come and go, but one thing that remains consistent is the desire to encourage kids’ creativity, whether through art, music, dance or writing. Kristina
Wilson founded the babysitting agency Sitters Studio based on that impulse. The company espouses the philosophy that exposing children to art will build self-esteem, increase motor skills, help develop problem solving skills, and encourage creativity. Every babysitter working for the agency is also working as a freelance artist. Wilson had come up with the idea of hiring artists as babysitters when she was trying to balance the start of her own acting career, while working a full time job at Morgan Stanley in 2006. She knew she had to pay her bills, but ﬁnding the time to make auditions was almost impossible - a familiar struggle among working artists.
“Working from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Morgan Stanley and trying to be an actor wasn’t working,” she said. “I could pay my bills, but I didn’t have the freedom to really do anything else.” She then started thinking about what job would be able to offer her a ﬂexible schedule, and the ability to earn enough money to live comfortably in New York. Then she luckily overheard one of her managing partners at Morgan Stanley complaining that his babysitter had cancelled and he didn’t know what to do. Working as a babysitter since she was 13 years old, Wilson tried explaining to her boss that these things do happen and was wondering why he was so upset. He explained that he had been keeping this sitter “on retainer” by paying her $50 a week to always be available on the occasional Friday night that he would need her services. In addition to her weekly pay to stay available, he would then pay for the time she spent actually babysitting. Once she realized that it was so difficult for New York parents to ﬁnd quality babysitting that would align with their busy lives, Wilson knew that this was an opportunity to make money, keep a ﬂexible schedule, and offer parents quality childcare. She started sending her friends out to babysit as well. When the amount of appointments began to outgrow the number of friends she had, Wilson interviewed more artists in different Starbucks around the city. With her experience as a working actor, Wilson offers the same amount of support to her employees as she does
her clients. Babysitters make their own schedule each week through an in-depth scheduling program that was developed by her staff. She also allows sitters to take extended amounts of time off if they get booked for a Broadway show or tour, or need extended periods to focus on their own work. As the company has grown, with offices in New York and Chicago and plans for another in Washington, D.C., their philosophy of offering an artistic activity to kids during each babysitting appointment has also evolved. Originating with actors, babysitters who work for Sitter Studio now include photographers, fashion designers, painters, musicians, graphic designers, comedians, and other creative types. They categorize their sitters into four groups: act, art, music, and dance. Each babysitter incorporates their own creative outlet into the activities they do with the children, calling
themselves “artisitters” instead of babysitters. “This babysitting service is fantastic! We live on the Upper West Side, and we’ve used this babysitting service over a year,” said client Claire W. “Sitter Studio is very professional. All sitters are trained and CPR certified. Amazing, kind, creative sitters bring art projects and toys every time they come. Absolutely love them.” Wilson requires her artisitters to carry the same brown tote, branded with the Sitter Studio logo, to every appointment. It’s a Mary Poppins-type bag ﬁlled with games, art supplies, and other creative activities. “Most of our clients are looking for part time [child] care, so each appointment is very specific to meet the needs of the family,” Wilson said. “It’s really important that when we send an artisitter to someone’s home or hotel that we feel conﬁdent it is a good ﬁt.”
Above, headshots at Sitters Studio. If you would like to contact Sitter Studio visit their website at www. sittersstudio.com or call them at 877844-8204.
MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 19
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The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
STAYING ACTIVE AS YOU AGE SENIOR LIVING How to make healthy living a priority Getting older can be a challenge. Staying on top of your health and ﬁtness goals often becomes more difficult as you try to ﬁnd enough time in the day to balance the schedules of work and life, and taking care of others. Here are three simple tips to overcoming these challenges to continue living a healthy, active lifestyle.
Get proper nutrition Erica Wasser, registered nutritionist and nutrition coach, notes that taking a multivitamin is great for overall nutrition. She also suggests limiting processed or packaged foods by making meals that will last. “Instead of cooking one chicken breast, cook three,” says Wasser. “Add one to a salad, eat one with a side of steamed vegetables and use the last in a sandwich or wrap.” Smart snacking is also important. Focus on items like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, almonds, seeds, vegetables and hard boiled
eggs and try to avoid granola bars and 100-calorie packs by prewashing and cutting vegetables and fruit and premixing bags of nuts and seeds. Settling on a routine of eating healthy, nutritious and proteinbased meals and snacks will keep your energy up and your diet balanced.
Notice what your body tells you Are your joints sore? Does your back hurt from sitting in a chair most of the day? If so, choose exercises that will keep you fit while minimizing the impact on your joints or back and improving muscle strength and stamina. Check out the local community pool, or stop by a ﬁtness facility to see what type of aqua instruction they offer. Yoga and Pilates and reformer Pilates can stretch your body, reducing back pain and limiting stress on joints under certain practices. If you’re used to a more active lifestyle, keep it up. Make sure you’re taking the proper supplements to help your body recover quickly keep adding intensity to your workouts so they don’t become stale.
Conquer inactivity Don’t confine yourself to your home after a long day. Go to a local mall and window shop or people watch with friends. Join a local exercise class or start a walking
significantly add to your health and fitness.” She also suggests scheduling daily or weekly activities to ensure you’re held accountable.
Regular exercise and good nutrition are keys to staying active and healthy.
Don’t waste valuable interview time asking about things you could learn elsewhere. While there may be time allotted for questions, choose those questions wisely. You could easily ﬁnd out about the admissions process and extracurricular activities on the college’s website.
A good admissions interview mirrors a job interview.
and talking group in your neighborhood. “Being active doesn’t have to mean completing a total body workout,” says Wasser. “Anything that gets you up and moving can
DOS AND DON’TS FOR COLLEGE ADMISSIONS INTERVIEWS TEEN LIFE There’s one more crucial step for teens with their sights set on top colleges It’s college application time and your teen has taken the SAT or ACT, kept up his or her grades, written a stellar essay and completed all college applications. There is one more piece to the college admissions puzzle that could potentially gain your teen the acceptance he or she seeks: the college admissions interview. “Not all colleges re-
quire a college admissions interview, but many of the competitive institutions do, as do some colleges’ departments or schools that require secondary admission,” says Eileen Huntington of Huntington Learning Center. “The admissions interview intimidates many prospective students, but we encourage them to approach this as an opportunity to put a face to a name, make a good impression and articulate face-toface why they would be a great student at the college.” Huntington offers a few tips to students as they prepare for the cadmissions interview: Do spend time reﬂecting on yourself as a candidate for admission. The interviewer might want to learn more about your reasons for wanting to attend the college and the components of your background that would make you an ideal ﬁt. There are no wrong answers in an admissions interview, since the interviewer simply wants to get to know you better. However, the more you prepare, the more polished you will come across. Don’t present yourself as someone different than the real you. While you might
feel tempted to embellish your résumé or act in a way you think might impress the interviewer, it is better to be honest about who you are and what you have to offer. That may even mean discussing lessons you have learned from challenges or failures. Do act professionally. You should treat the admissions interview as a chance to share your goals, educational journey, future plans and excitement about the college. Although the interviewer wants you to feel comfortable, treat this interview as you would a job interview. Come ready to answer a variety of questions about yourself in a direct and clear way. Don’t be aloof or act too casual. Avoid cracking jokes, using inappropriate language or sharing too much personal information. Relax and be yourself, but remember that this is still an interview for college . Do be prepared to ask questions. There is a good chance that you will be asked if you have any questions. Do your research about the college and the program or programs in which you are interested and develop a list of questions before your interview. Have them ready just in case.
For more tips on effective interviewing, admissions success and more, visit Huntington’s Resource Library at huntingtonhelps.com/ resource/library.
MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 21
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The Spirit MARCH 27, 2014
YOUR FIFTEEN MINUTES
COMEDY IS A TWO-WAY STREET IN NEW YORK CITY Comedian Billy Eichner on Hell’s Kitchen, Parks and Recreation, and his Emmy nod BY ANGELA BARBUTI
The streets of New York are funnier with Billy Eichner on them. The Queens native employs a unique brand of comedy on his game show, “Billy on the Street,” in its third season on Fuse. Microphone in hand, the energetic comedian yells questions to unsuspecting pedestrians at random. No person is spared as he asks everything from “Who’s more interesting - Taylor Swift or a napkin?” to “Any thoughts on global warming?” The contestant’s impromptu answer always manages to surprise and entertain his rapidly growing fan base. We sat down with the Hell’s Kitchen resident after his new season premiered at the Beacon Theatre on March 4th.
You’re a true New Yorker, growing up in Forest Hills and attending Stuyvesant High School. Do you go back to visit your alma mater? I don’t back to visit, but I liked it. I called on my best friend in the audience last night. He’s one of my best friends since Stuyvesant. I still have friends I went to high school with. I made that video about Forest Hills a few years ago, “Forest Hills State of Mind,” which was directed, edited and produced by friends of mine from high school.
You live in Hell’s Kitchen. What are your favorite places there? They’re building a Kiehl’s in Hell’s Kitchen. I don’t know if it’s
open yet, but I’m a big Kiehl’s fan as a bourgy gay person. There are so many great restaurants there now. The Greek Kitchen on 10th Avenue, I really like that place. There’s a really fun new gay bar called Atlas Social Club. It was opened by a group of people, some of them I know, including Anderson Cooper’s boyfriend, Ben. I love going to see theater. There are also places like Bar Centrale where a lot of the Broadway people hang out. Honestly, I just order a lot of Seamless-
Web. I ’ m b u s y. [Laughs]
Did you ever fear for your life on the job? Fear for my life, no. Do people get pissed off? Sometimes, yeah. Like an old woman once slapped me across the face. People get mad;
they might shove the camera in kind of a Sean Penn way. Has it gotten a little edgy? Yeah, sometimes. But you’d be surprised how few times considering how many people I speak to.
What’s your ﬁlming schedule like? We have a really scattered schedule. This season was unusual because I ended up getting cast on “Parks and Recreation” which ﬁlms in L.A. “Billy
on the Street” obviously films here, so there was a lot of back and forth.
Who’s a dream celebrity you’d still want on your show? Well, you know I have my ongoing Meryl Streep obsession. I was on Andy Cohen’s show with Meryl. Andy played Meryl the clips of me screaming about her in the street. And I got to watch her reacting to that in real time, which was very surreal. I think she was scared for a second. She could not have been lovelier. She took pictures with me and gave me a big hug and kiss afterwards. I would still love to have her on the show, on the street with me. I would love to have Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert. Those would be three great ones.
Do you ever get backlash for what you say? I mean these days anyone can write anything on the internet. So you literally get every opinion. Every day I get, “You are a genius. This is the funniest show I’ve ever seen.” And then I get a tweet saying, “You are the worst. You’re so obnoxious.” Someone tweeted today, “That Billy on the Street guy should be killed.” You get everything. If someone’s offended, don’t watch the show. I think compared to what’s on TV, this show is not offensive. If you’re going to have a problem with this show, you’re probably in the wrong century.
You were nominated for an Emmy. Where were you when you found out? I was in bed. It was like 5:30 in the morning in L.A. I got a text from Funny or Die’s publicist saying, “You were nominated for Best Game Show Host.” And I was like, “Is that even a category?” She had told me three months before they were submitting me and I was like, “Oh, yeah. OK, ﬁne.” I didn’t even think about it. It was really surreal.
Watch “Billy on the Street” on Fuse on Wednesday nights at 11 p.m. To see past episodes, visit www. funnyordie.com/billyonthestreet Follow Billy on Twitter: @billyeichner The man to the left is obsessed with Meryl Streep.
MARCH 27, 2014 The Spirit 23
CLASSIFIEDS Classified Advertising Department Information Telephone: 212-868-0190 | Fax: 212-2868-0190 Email: email@example.com Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm | Deadline: 2pm the Friday before publication ADOPTION ADOPT: The stork didnâ€™t call; we hope you will! Loving, happy family seeking to adopt baby to complete our family. Contact Robin/Neil: 866-3030668, www.rnladopt.info ANIMALS & PETS
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Buy or sell at AARauctions.com. Contents of homes, businesses, vehicles and real estate. Bid NOW! AARauctions.com. Lights, Camera, Auction. No longer the best kept secret.
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New York City Department of Transportation Notice of Public Hearing The New York City Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing on Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 2:00 P.M., at 55 Water St., 9th Floor Room 945, on the following petitions for revocable consent, all in the Borough of Manhattan: #1 40 West 69th Owners, LLC â€“ to continue to maintain and use a fenced-in area, together with planters and trash enclosure on the south sidewalk of W 69th St., east of Columbus Ave. #2 Solovieff Realty Co., LLC â€“ to continue to maintain and use a sculptural street number on the north sidewalk of W 57th St., between Fifth Ave. and Ave of the Americas. Interested parties can obtain copies of proposed agreements or request sign-language interpreters (with at least seven days prior notice) at 55 Water St., 9th Fl. SW New York, NY 10041, or by calling (212) 839-6550. Request for Bids:
SALE OF FOOD FROM MOBILE FOOD UNITS The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (â€œParksâ€?) is issuing a Request for Bids (RFB) for the sale of food from mobile food units at Central Park and Washington Square Park, Manhattan. All bids submitted in response to this RFB must be submitted no later than Friday, April 11, 2014 at 11 am. Hard copies of the RFB can be obtained, at no cost, commencing on Friday, March 14, 2014 through Friday, April 11, 2014, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays, at the Revenue Division of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which is located at 830 Fifth Avenue, Room 407, New York, NY 10065. The RFB is also available for download, commencing on Friday, March 14, 2014 through Friday, April 11, 2014, on Parksâ€™ website. To download the RFB, visit http://www.nyc.gov/parks/business opportunities and click on the â€œConcessions Opportunities at Parksâ€? link. Once you have logged in, click on the â€œdownloadâ€? link that appears adjacent to the RFBâ€™s description. For more information or to request to receive a copy of the RFB by mail, prospective proposers may contact the Revenue Divisionâ€™s Project Manager, Victoria Lee, at (212) 360-1397 or at email@example.com. TELECOMMUNICATION DEVICE FOR THE DEAF (TDD) 212-504-4115
POLICY NOTICE: We make every effort to avoid mistakes in your classified ads. Check your ad the first week it runs. We will only accept responsibility for the first incorrect insertion. Manhattan Media Classifieds assumes no financial responsibility for errors or omissions. We reserve the right to edit, reject, or re-classify any ad. Contact your sales rep directly for copy changes. All classified ads are pre-paid. PAINT & WALLPAPER
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