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The local paper for the Upper per West Side p Sid PEERING INSIDE A NEIGHBORHOOD BOOKSTORE Q&A, P. 17


19 2014


WestSideSpirit @WestSideSpirit

Summer in the City


SUCCESS ACADEMY SEEKS TO EXPAND Success Acadamy Charter Schools announced its intention to establish 14 new charter schools in the city. The school network will submit applications to the SUNY Charter Schools Institute, which grants charters for the state, to operate new schools in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Queens. Four applications will be submitted for schools to open in August 2015, including in Manhattan community education districts 2 and 3, and ten applications will be for schools slated to open in August 2016. Success Academy said in a press release that it was responding to the demand it’s seen in applications for the existing charter schools, having received over 14,400 applications for fewer than 3,000 open seats.

NEWS Rent-regulated tenants say major capital increases are being used as a tool against them BY DANIEL FITZSIMMONS

UPPER WEST SIDE Stonehenge Village is an apartment complex spread out over three addresses on West 97th and 96th Street. The complex was in the news earlier this year for being one of a handful of places on the Upper West Side to bar rent-regulated tenants from accessing amenities like the fitness center. Stonehenge residents said such policies amount to segregation, and are used as an intimidation tactic to pressure rent regulated tenants out of their homes. Recently those tenants met to decide whether they would fight a different kind of tactic they say is aimed at the same goal of deregulating their units: major capital increases. On paper, an MCI is a necessary infrastructure upgrade to a building, often costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, which is spread out in relatively nominal monthly fees to each tenant in the building over a number of years. At Stonehenge, residents have seen three MCIs in the past three years, all of which the rent regulated tenants say were unnecessary. In 2012, the elevator system in 135 West 96th Street was up-

“The Upper West Side is caught in a vice of rising real estate values in a neighborhood with a huge number of rent stabilized units.” Council Member Mark Levine graded, at a cost of $15 extra per month for each tenant living in the building. Last year, the building switched over to metered electricity – another MCI – meaning residents paid their own electric in a separate bill to the landlord, Stonehenge Management LLC, who does not disclose the rates at which they’re charged, according to the tenant association’s legal liaison Sol Magzamen. Of the 400 or so units at Stonehenge Village, about 60 percent are rent regulated, according to tenant association president Jean Green Dorsey. This year, the boiler that provides heat to Stone-


In Brief


WAITING IN LINE FOR SHAKESPEARE LORRAINE DUFFY MERKL his is my 34th season waiting on line to see Shakespeare in the Park at Central Park’s Delacorte Theater. Over the past three-plus decades, my husband, Neil, has hung out with me a handful of times; he really doesn’t


mind, he reads his book. My 16-year-old daughter, Meg, loves it. Even though she is not a morning person, to be part of this treasured summer tradition, Meg will rise, help carry our chairs and blankets to the center of the park, and with the promise of ordering from Andy’s Deli on Amsterdam Avenue, gladly make a mother-daughter day out it.

My 19-year-old son, Luke, however, has gone rogue. Three years ago, the one and only time I convinced him to hang with me, I thought his head would blow off. He could not believe he was wasting his time sitting around. In fact, Luke said he would rather pay somebody to stand there for


Last year, more than half of the murders committed in the state were in New York City. Throughout the month of June, New Yorkers can raise awareness and help reduce the incidence of gun violence by participating in events, activities, and working groups. First Lady Chirlane McCray filmed video and audio PSAs with Council Member Jumaane Williams to encourage New Yorkers to participate in Gun Violence Awareness Month. “Guns have caused so much needless pain and violence in our communities,” said McCray. “We need more voices in the conversation on reducing gun violence, and this begins at the grassroots level. I urge all New Yorkers to take a stand and get involved—there’s too much at stake.” Gunviolenceawarenessmonth. org has additional information on how to get involved.


The Spirit JUNE 19, 2014

NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS CHECK RUNAWAY CARRIAGE HORSE IN CENTRAL PARK On the evening of Monday, June 9th, a carriage horse broke loose and ran several down several streets before hitting a taxi cab door. Another carriage operator, Christina Hansen, told NBC News that the horse, Pumpkin, was parked in a hack line on Sixth Avenue and Central Park South. The horse

managed to pull of its bridle around 59th Street and took off through the park. A bicyclist attempted to jump into the front seat to stop the horse, but this caused Pumpkin to only gallop faster before slamming into a cab door on Central Park South. Neither the horse nor any pedestrians were reported injured. Feeding the ongoing debate of whether or not to remove the city’s horse-drawn carriages, groups such

as NYCLASS have cited this incident as due cause for the carriages to be removed. NBC New York

NEW YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY GETS PICASSO TAPESTRY The New York Times reported that after much debate, a selection has been made for the famous 95-year-

old Pablo Picasso theater curtain. “Le Tricorneâ€?, the 19-by-20 foot tapestry, is being moved to the New York Historical Society after being displayed in the Seagram Building on Park Avenue since 1959. Aby J. Rosen, owner of the Seagram Building, wanted to move the tapestry so repairs could be made to the walls. Meanwhile Peg Breen, president of the Landmarks Conservancy, which owns the tapestry, thought it was too fragile for removal. After several weeks in court, a deal was struck to move the painting just 25 blocks north to the NYHS where it will be the centerpiece of their second-oor gallery. New York Times


Pumpkin caused a scene last week when she got loose and galloped around Central Park.

Columbus Circle Whole Foods Market is set to sell liquor at its in-store bar, reported Just a week after Whole Foods in Gowanus pulled their application for a liquor license after a Community Board 6 outcry, Community Board 4 approved the West 59th Street store’s bar, On Tap, to serve spirits. The next step is acquiring approval from the State Liquor Authority. Michael Sinatra, a Whole Foods public relations representative, told the website that once the license is approved, “We will eventually utilize it to serve some unique cocktails and fun

drinks that pair with our food in the tap room.�

EXPANSION FOR THE FRICK COLLECTION The New York Times reported that the Frick Collection has plans for expansion. The mansion turned art museum hopes to include a new six-story wing, a private upstairs room and a roof garden. These new additions would increase space by close to a third. The wing would not only provide the Frick with more exhibition space and amenities for visitors, but also physically connect the museum to its art reference library. Ian Warhopper, the museum’s director, told the newspaper that the Frick has become too small for the crowds that it now draws. The budget has not yet been disclosed, but museum officials are hopeful for construction to begin in 2017. The plans for construction, which have already faced some backlash, must ďŹ rst be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Many Upper East Siders oppose any changes to the Frick, one of New York’s last extant mansions from the Gilded Age. New York Times


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JUNE 19, 2014 The Spirit




A man’s property was removed from a gym locker. At 5 PM on Tuesday, June 10, a man secured his property in a gym locker at 232 W. 60th Street and went to work out. When he returned ninety minutes later, he found that his lock had been broken, and his wallet was missing from inside the locker. The wallet had contained $20 in cash and a number of credit cards.

A thief pickpocketed a shopper’s wallet in a bookstore. At 2:30 PM on Monday, June 9, a 52-year-old woman walked out of the Barnes & Noble store at 113 W. 60th Street and realized that her wallet was missing. The wallet had contained a number of debit and credit cards.

RUBENSTEIN ROBBERY At 5:30 PM on Monday, June 9, a

20TH PRECINCT Report covering the week 6/2/2014 through 6/8/2014 Week to Date

Year to Date

68-year-old woman discovered that the bag she had put under her chair at the David Rubenstein Atrium at 61 W. 62nd Street was missing. The bag had contained an iPhone, credit and debit cards, and cash, totaling $1,000.

A CLOSE SHAVE The owner of Eric’s Barbershop on Columbus Avenue and West 106th Street told police a man approached his establishment and demanded $5,000, and said he would burn the place down if the owner didn’t pay up. The man also stated he had a gun, and would kill everyone in the establishment and their family. The man was later % Change arrested.

2014 2013

% Change
























Felony Assault














Grand Larceny







Grand Larceny Auto







RED-HANDED A man caught a burglar entering a basement area in a building on Columbus Avenue and West 97th Street, stealing about $700 worth of property from employees of the building. The perpetrator was apprehended at the scene until police arrived.

LOBBY LARCENY A woman told police she hung her purse on a rail inside the lobby of an apartment building at Amsterdam Avenue and West 88th Street. She then walked inside the apartment building proper, and when he returned her wallet and $1,000 personal property was missing.

Manhattan Avenue. Upon leaving the store, he noticed four men following him. At West 109th Street and Central Park West, one of the perpetrators stated “I’m gonna give you a beat down,” and punched the man in the head and tried to steal his wallet. The perpetrator then saw a police car and fled into Central Park.



A woman told police an unknown man and woman entered the Joan of Arc School at Columbus Avenue and West 67th Street through an open cafeteria service door. The two perpetrators went into the woman’s office and stole her purse, the contents of which were valued at $750.

A man entered the back seat of a white Infiniti SUV at West 106th Street and Columbus Avenue to make a bet, he told police. Upon entering the car, the driver and passenger turned around, and the passenger brandished a handgun. The man was robbed of $300.

SHORT SHRIFT A man entered the TJ Maxx at West 100th Street and Columbus Avenue and attempted to steal 24 pairs of shorts valued at about $400. After being confronted by a security guard, a fight ensued and the security guard was injured. The perpetrator was arrested by police.

KNUCKLE SANDWICH A man bought a pack of cigarettes at a deli on West 106th Street and

DOMESTIC DISPUTE A woman got into a fight with another woman inside her apartment at West 87th Street and Columbus Avenue, causing bruising and a laceration under her right eye. The perpetrator was later arrested.

WHILE YOU WERE OUT A man told police he left his apartment at 109th Street and Riverside Drive and returned to find his apartment door ajar and damaged. About $1,100 was stolen.

The Spirit JUNE 19, 2014

Useful Contacts


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



CITY COUNCIL Councilmember Helen Rosenthal

563 Columbus Ave.


Councilmember Inez Dickens

163 W. 125th St.


State Senator Brad Hoylman

322 Eighth Ave. #1700


State Sen. Jose M. Serrano

157 E. 104 St.


henge was replaced by a top of the line model at a cost of $10 a month per bedroom in a given unit. All told, Stonehenge residents are paying anywhere from about $30 to $70 extra per month, depending on the building they live in and the number of bedrooms in their apartment. Nominal, maybe, but a hit for some longtime residents nonetheless. “There are people in the building who are living on social security and have ďŹ xed



Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell 245 W. 104th St.



250 W. 87th St. #2


St. Agnes

444 Amsterdam Ave.



150 W. 100th St.


Performing Arts

40 Lincoln Center


Mt. Sinai – Roosevelt

1000 Tenth Ave.


Mt. Sinai - St. Luke’s

1090 Amsterdam Ave.



4 Irving Place


2554 Broadway


US Post Office

215 W. 104th St.


US Post Office

700 Columbus Ave.


US Post Office

127 W. 83rd St.


Ansonia Post Office

178 Columbus Ave



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Sue Susman, tenants’ rights advocate incomes, and they’re on the edge,� said Magzamen. “If they’re in a three bedroom apartment that’s $30 a month, and there are people living here who have been here since 1968.� According to Magzamen, the city is offering tax incentives to building owners who convert their heating systems to a type that doesn’t use Con Edison’s steam pipes, which run under New York City streets and cause potholes. Building owners also get a tax break if they convert their boilers to run on cleaner-burning fuel. “The city was urging landlords to make a change,� said Magzamen. The boiler replacement MCI at Stonehenge could be questionably categorized, however, as there is case precedent showing such upgrades are regarded by the state Dept. of Housing and Community Renewal – the agency that presides over MCIs – as replacements and not capital improve-



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Tom Allon, Isis Ventures, Ed Kayatt, Russ Smith, Bob Trentlyon, Jerry Finkelstein

Jean Green Dorsey at the Stonehenge Village tenants association meeting where rent regulated tenants decided to ďŹ ght a major capital increase in court. Photo by Daniel Fitzsimmons




West Side in general, and my district speciďŹ cally, is caught in a vice of rising real estate values in a neighborhood with a huge number of rent stabilized units.â€? Levine said his district is “ground zero for the struggle where landlords are trying to ďŹ nd ways to push people out, and MCIs are one tool they’re employing.â€? Back at the Stonehenge tenants meeting, the question of whether to ďŹ ght the boiler MCI in court wasn’t a difficult one, even though it’s going to cost rent regulated tenants about $9,500 in legal fees, according to Dorsey’s estimate. “We can give our money to the tenants association [to ďŹ ght the boiler MCI], or we can give it to Stonehenge,â€? said one rent regulated tenant who favored the ďŹ ghting chance a court battle offers. “Either way, we’re going to pay.â€? When the time came to vote, every hand went up.


Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal 230 W. 72nd #2F

“Increases of $100, even over three years, can put the most vulnerable tenants out of their homes.�

ments, according to Magzamen. Regardless, enough residents were feeling the pinch that a decision had to be made on whether to take the issue to court. “It’s a little scary when your income is fixed and these things come bouncing in,â€? said Dorsey at the tenants association meeting. According to Councilman Mark Levine, the facts are often on the side of tenants when landlords come looking to implement an MCI. Indeed, there are stringent rules governing when an MCI can be imposed on tenants - from when they’re allowed to replace plumbing ďŹ xtures to the useful life of vinyl siding. Landlords can replace those things whenever they want, but can only pass the cost onto tenants through an MCI if they’re replacing a piece of infrastructure that’s been worn out over a number of years set by the state. “But that doesn’t mean landlords aren’t using MCIs as a way to intimidate tenants,â€? said Levine, who said that his office is hearing reports from tenants in the district who feel MCIs are being used as a tool in the arsenal of deregulation. “There’s no doubt that landlords in some cases are overly aggressive in making capital improvements because they can pass the costs on to tenants who might not feel they even need whatever the improvements are. Why would a landlord do that? It can be tactic to price existing tenants out of the building. â€? In New York, once a rent regulated apartment is brought over the $2,500/month threshold, and is vacated, its regulated status is automatically revoked and the unit goes market rate. If the apartment is brought over the $2,500 threshold and the regulated tenant remains in the unit, a landlord can de-regulate the apartment by proving the tenants make over $200,000 a year. Levine said he sees overly aggressive capital projects all the time, “which are only justiďŹ ed because the landlord wants to pass on the costs to tenants.â€? “Unfortunately, this is going to be an escalating struggle,â€? said Levine. “The Upper









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The Spirit JUNE 19, 2014

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS MAYOR DE BLASIO? Not on the Upper East Side, according to an analysis of his schedule BY MEGAN BUNGEROTH

For the latest advances in

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The world-class ophthalmologists of Columbia University Medical Center are now conveniently located on the Upper West Side.

When we say ColumbiaDoctors ophthalmologists are leaders in their field, we mean it. All ColumbiaDoctors ophthalmologists are part of the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute, which has made groundbreaking discoveries for more than 80 years. If you’re looking for advanced medical and surgical sub-specialties like pediatric ophthalmology, glaucoma, retina, cataract and refractive surgery, and more — look no further.


As the de Blasio family prepares to move into Gracie Mansion in coming weeks, the mayor will need to spend some time familiarizing himself with his adopted neighborhood, considering how little time he’s spent there since being elected. According to an Our Town analysis of his official schedule, Mayor de Blasio spent less than 24 hours on the Upper East Side in his first three months in office. The mayor’s schedule shows a total of 15 meetings in the neighborhood in the first quarter, fewer than in Brooklyn or in Queens. Most of his time in the neighborhood – 21 hours and 35 minutes over three months– were at official events held at Gracie Mansion: inauguration ceremonies, meals with VIPs like Harry Belafonte and former Mayor David Dinkins. De Blasio ventured outside of Gracie Mansion only a handful of times over the course of his first 90 days in office. While de Blasio’s avoidance of the Upper East Side may be awkward, considering he’s about to live here, it’s not entirely a surprise. The neighborhood is one of the few parts of New York City lost by de Blasio in his sweeping win over his Republican opponent, Joe Lhota. Almost from the beginning, his relationship with the neighborhood has been rocky. Many local residents hold a serious grudge against him for his support of the East 91st Street waste transfer station, which they say as a looming environmental disaster. Then, this winter, when the Upper East Side suffered from a lack of snow plow coordination during some of the winter’s worst storms, some residents blamed political payback. “The Upper East Side is hostile territory” to de Blasio, said political analyst and Baruch College public affairs professor Doug Muzzio. “The Upper East Side is the home of the one percent, and the one percent of the one percent, so his message doesn’t necessarily resonate

with them.” Muzzio said that it’s tough to speculate about de Blasio’s schedule without comparing it to previous mayors, as well as looking at a longer-term sample, but acknowledged that if he is hesitant to venture to the Upper East Side, it wouldn’t be shocking. “Does he want to go up there and take abuse over the garbage transfer station, for example?” Muzzio said. “Has he been invited up there? There are so many variables.” For the purposes of this analysis, we counted the number of “events” on Mayor de Blasio’s official schedule, not the number of items listed. For example, if he arrived at a church in Brooklyn and was scheduled for a meet-and-greet with the pastor, followed by attending a service, and then a photo op with congregants, we counted that as one single “event,” not three. We counted each meet-

ing with different people as an event, but we did not count phone calls as events. In January, the mayor had more events in the Bronx than he did on the Upper East Side. In February, de Blasio had six events (within 4 different days) in the neighborhood, all also at Gracie Mansion. In March, the mayor stepped outside his future doorstep and ventured to 5th Avenue for a private dinner with President Obama, as well as a march in the Greek Independence Day parade, a visit to the Citizens Budget Commission meeting, and a stop by the Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Houses on East 93rd Street. Unsurprisingly, most of the mayor’s official business is conducted at City Hall, but he spends roughly a third of his work time, on average, outside his downtown office; in his first three months, we counted 538 events, 197 of which were around the five boroughs.

JUNE 19, 2014 The Spirit



MAYOR TRACKER: WHERE DE BLASIO SPENT HIS FIRST THREE MONTHS IN OFFICE Number of meetings on his official schedule, by location

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The Spirit JUNE 19, 2014


< IN DEFENSE OF AIR BNB A comment from the web on our story “Air BnB-eware,” May 15, 2014: Even during the worst economy since the Great Depression, landlords were consistently given rate increases that were larger than when the economy was booming during the Clinton era. Instead of trying to destroy something

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MAYOR DE BLASIO MOVING TO MANHATTAN? “He’s doing his best not to alienate people, but from what I hear he’s struggling to balance people’s needs. I hope he continues to focus on lower-income housing.” Joyce

“I didn’t vote for him. He seems like he’s making a good effort, though he’s alienated another part of the population. I wish him well. His housing proposal sounds interesting.” Shereen

that works, that people enjoy, and that helps average New Yorkers make ends meet in an ever increasingly financially unforgiving city, why not embrace a good idea and find ways to make it work? Air BnB also provides visitors who might otherwise not be able to afford New York’s outrageous hotel prices, and draconian and

unreasonable occupancy taxes, the ability to come and enjoy our great city, as well as have an authentic neighborhood experience as opposed to a sterile and far from charming cookie cutter hotel stay. I’ll never understand people who stand in the way of innovation and attempt to destroy good ideas. Christopher Jared Demers


GET THE BLUE BIKES OUT OF THE RED A few ideas to bail out Citi Bike

where the kiosks are, but not every rider has a smart phone that can run it. Citi Bike needs to create a paper map that can be given out at hotels and at the bike kiosks.


Citi Bikes, New York City’s public biking program, may well be the city’s best transport innovation since the subway. The program is a hit with residents, so much in fact that Citi Bike is a victim of its own success. Unlike the subway, Citi Bike receives no government subsidies. In addition to the yearly pass, you can also buy a day pass for $9.95 or a weekly pass for $25.00. While the yearly pass has been a major hit with locals (yours truly included), the blue bikes are in the red because not enough daily and weekly passes are being sold to visitors and tourists. So how can Citi bike sell more daily and weekly passes? Here are a few ideas:

Ease of use A yearly rider who wants a Citi Bike merely has to insert a key into the kiosk. It gets a little more complicated for a daily/weekly user. Each time they want to take out a bike, they have to insert their credit card into the kiosk, wait for a pass code and then punch the code into the kiosk holding the bike. Here again, local hotels could be the solution. While it is not possible to send keys to daily/weekly users, why not give the hotel reprogrammable keys that could be distributed to guests using Citi Bike? The keys could be returned when the guests leave and reprogrammed.

Give the rider more time

“I like him. I’m excited to see what he can do. It’s exciting that there’s a new mayor. It’s the dawn of a new era.” Nina

“Actually I hadn’t voted for him, but I’m satisfied with what he’s doing. I thought he was just doing a liberal talk, but it looks like he’s actually doing it.” Renée

A daily/weekly user can only keep a bike out for 30 minutes at a time. (A yearly key holder gets 45 minutes). After that he must either return the bike or face additional fees. Ironically after the bike’s put back in its kiosk, the same user can take it right back out and keep riding for another half hour at no additional charge. The time limits are fine for yearly users who generally just want to get from here to there. A tourist however, wants to explore. They want to lose themselves in the city. This is hard to do if you have to worry about checking a bike in every 30 minutes. The solution? Let daily/weekly users

keep their bike out for 3 hours at times. Yes, Citi Bike may lose some overtime fees, but they will more than make up for that with the additional business.

Bring the bikes to the tourists Right now, Citi Bikes kiosks only go up to 60th Street in Manhattan. This means that many prime tourist attractions such as the Met and the Museum of Natural History are inaccessible by Citi Bike. Governor’s Island, a great place to explore by bike, also lacks a kiosk. Citi Bike is planning to expand, and popular tourist destinations

STRAUS MEDIA-MANHATTAN President, Jeanne Straus Distribution Manager, Mark Lingerman

Group Publisher - Manhattan Vincent A. Gardino Publisher, Gerry Gavin

would be a good place to start. In addition, Citi Bike needs to have more kiosks outside hotels and train the hotels’ concierges so they can easily explain the bike program to their guests.

Associate Publishers, Seth L. Miller, Ceil Ainsworth, Kate Walsh Classified Account Executive, Susan Wynn

There’s a map for that (or there should be) Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find a parking space in the city, but trying to find a kiosk can come close. Citi Bike did a good job of placing their kiosks below 60th Street, but you still have to find them. Citi Bike currently has a website and an app to show riders

Editor In Chief, Kyle Pope Editor, Megan Bungeroth

Sponsors Finally, Citi Bike needs to find additional sponsors. Yes Citi Bank has the prime spot, but they also have the prime spot at Citi Field, and that does not prevent the stadium from having signs from other sponsors all over the place. Citi Bike has kiosks in a high traffic city and is planning more. This is prime adverting space. Hey, it works for bus stops. Charles Gross is the Director of Commercial Leasing for Phipps Houses and the host of “Two On The Aisle,” a TV show covering Broadway.

Staff Reporters, Gabrielle Alfiero, Daniel Fitzsimmons Block Mayors, Ann Morris, Upper West Side

Jennifer Peterson, Upper East Side Gail Dubov, Upper West Side Edith Marks, Upper West Side

JUNE 19, 2014 The Spirit

The Sixth Borough

BY BECCA TUCKER woope, Virginia is not on the way anywhere. Was it lunacy to tack three hours’ driving and an extra day onto our already rather irresponsible road trip to an ultimate Frisbee tournament south of the MasonDixon, when both Husband Joe and I had work deadlines looming? But of course. I had to pull out all the stops: not-so-gentle reminders that it was my birthday, tears. I wanted to see Polyface Farms. I booked us a hotel at the last outpost of civilization before entering the Shenandoah Valley. I did my best to smooth the rough edges by picking as a Sunday dinner spot a brewpub that served Polyface pork. The bratwurstin-a-pretzel was better than I knew bar food could be. Even Joe, who usually doesn’t eat pork or beef, partook and looked pleased. But when we woke up Monday to a cold rain and unbroken gray skies – and wrapped the baby in a t-shirt, because we’d run out of diapers and erroneously figured we’d find someplace to get some – it did seem that this might not be the best time to chitchat. So it was mostly in silence that we drove into the breathtaking red dirt valley, past cows munching grass in the rain, the wet accentuating their cowlicks; past a huge black Ferdinand-looking bull separated from our little orange Honda Fit by what looked like three rubber bands of electric fencing.


Why, of the thousands of farms we’d passed, were we intent on making a pilgrimage to this one? We had an open invitation, for one. Everyone does. On any day but Sunday, anyone is welcome to come any time and walk around, watch the chores get done, peer into crannies. What confidence such openness requires. It’s like telling strangers to come on over, whether or not you’re home, and feel free to peek under the bed and in the toilet bowl. How refreshing, at a time when seeing our food system in action, on anything approaching a large scale, usually requires trespassing or watching a documentary. If we happened to see the farmer, Joel Salatin, here today, I thought I might tell him that he should run for president. He wouldn’t want to, but neither did the reluctant Roman farmer Cincinnatus want to put down his plow to lead his people. It’s probably for the best that we didn’t see him. The first thing we did see was one of the hoophouses we’d read about, full of chickens and rabbits. The plastic-covered frame was open to the elements at either end, but dry and cozy inside, thanks to the deep bedding of fine wood chips on the floor, soaking up manure. The farm was still coming out of winter mode; it would be a couple days until the chickens would be moved into Salatin’s signature “chicken mobile.” Still, the hoophouse was also a classic Salatin system, light on infrastructure, heavy on creativity. In this case, rabbits lived in cages on a shelf. Their dung fell onto the floor, where the chickens ate it. We walked around the side of the hoophouse, peering in, when we noticed something. What did that chicken have in its beak? A rabbit pelt, ears still attached. Yikes. It was possible that the rabbit was intentionally fed to the chickens, as a protein source. (Chickens are omnivores, just like us.) It was also possible that a rabbit had escaped its cage and this was the result. I hoped it was the former, for the rabbit’s sake. This is why, I realized, most farmers don’t want visitors. Farming is not always picturesque. But it is always educational. We moved along. We

wanted to see the cows. There was one other couple poking around. We asked if they knew where the cows were, and we ended up walking up the long dirt road together. Scarlet and John Sweeney were from Wisconsin, where she worked in conventional agriculture doing something with potatoes, and he had just retired from a government job and taken a pension. They were expanding their small farm, where they raised pastured beef and slaughtered 10 head a year that they sold directly to friends, plus blueberries and honey. This was in a town with 1,000 eligible voters, worlds from either coast or a city, and yet they were confident they’d sell out if they were to raise three times as many cattle. The local food movement, they were pleased to report, had made it to the heart of the Corn Belt. John pointed out a horned cow standing over her newborn, which already had a tag in its ear. That must have taken some doing, he chuckled, to get that baby away from that mama without getting gored. Scarlet squinted into the distance at a cow a ways away from the others, that might be calving. “What brought you here?” I asked. “Vacation,” said Scarlet. Then she confessed. “Well, really, I wanted to see the farm. I told him I’d behave myself on the rest of the trip,” so long as they got here. I nodded. Wisconsin was a long way to come. We were among kindred, lunatic spirits. Becca Tucker is a former Manhattanite who now lives on a farm upstate and writes about the

BardGraduateCenterGallery Alberto Baraya and Abel Rodriquez, Installation view. Photo: Bruce White

For freethinking farmers, a Mecca


The River in Contemporary Colombian Visual and Material Culture CUR ATED BY JOSÉ ROCA Ceci Arango

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Carol Young

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The Spirit JUNE 19, 2014

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST The local paper for the Upper West Side


What’s Next, a Bouncer? Rent-Regulated Tenants Excluded From Amenities

845 West End Avenue is the latest apartment building on the Upper West Side to be added to the list of those that bar rentregulated tenants from accessing some amenities. Photo by Daniel Fitzsimmons



Another Upper West Side building denying rentregulated tenants access to amenities

• Stonehenge Village – West 97th Street • Lincoln Towers – 142 West End Avenue • 845 West End Avenue


UPPER WEST SIDE In another example of high-end buildings giving some low-rate renters short shrift, rent-regulated tenants at 845 West End Avenue recently told the West Side Spirit they do not have access to the building’s fitness center like their market-rate co-op owning counterparts do. Gloria Zicht was born in the building, and after moving around in the years following college returned in the 1960s to her family’s rent-regulated apartment, living there ever since About ďŹ ve years ago many of the build

out. Those that do have protections said they’ve been barred access to amenities that have recently been built, including a ďŹ tness center and a children’s playroom. “It’s in the building, it shouldn’t be something that’s just set aside for condo owners,â€? said Zicht. “You have to have a card or a key or something.â€? Zicht said both she and her daughter, who lives with her, would use the gym if they were allowed to. Zicht showed a reporter down to the basement where, behind a locked door that appeared to open only with

May 15, 2014

May 16, 2014

The local paper for the Upper East Side

UPS tells employees to lie, overcharge customers: suit

U.P.S.’S SECRET MANHATTAN PROBLEM One of the Hagan brothers’ 11 Manhattan UPS stores, now closed.

“ Employees in virtually every Manhattan (UPS


Store) location were so comfortable with the practice of ‌ lying about expected delivery dates, withholding accurate price quotes and overdimensioning boxes to trigger higher retail billable rates, that they would gladly engage in conversations on the topic.� A former UPS franchisee

A former franchisee accuses the shipping giant of routinely gouging customers throughout the city BY KYLE POPE

Last month, when nearly a dozen UPS Stores across the city closed down in a single day, the initial focus was on the customers put out by the shutdown: dozens of people found themselves unable to access their rented mailboxes, while others complained of packages lost in the The UPS Store believes shuffle. On the West Side, a blog surfaced the allegations made against to swap information about the fate of a store on West 57th Street. it and UPS ... to be false. What none of these customers knew at The UPS Store customer service team is doing all we the time, though, was that they had uncan to assure the customers wittingly become part of a much bigger in the Manhattan store area – and at times bizarre – dispute involving affected are taken care of� the franchisee who until the shutdowns


What can Brown screw from you? Two former UPS franchisees accuse the worldwide delivery service of telling employees to lie about the size and weight of packages in order to jack up prices on unsuspecting customers. Brothers Robert and Thomas Hagan, who owned and operated 11 UPS stores in Manhattan, claim in a federal lawsuit that a typical scam was to “add inches to the sides of measured boxes,� as well as an “enhanced declared value,� which allowed clerks to charge customers more. For example, a package with a length, width and depth totaling 26 inches would cost $106.85 to overnight from New York to Pittsburgh, but a 29-inch package would cost $117.19. In some cases, customers were overcharged as much as 400 percent, legal papers allege. “It’s pretty ugly,� said Steve Savva, the Hagans’ attorney. “It seems to be systematic, and the customers have no way of knowing.� The Hagans allege in court filings that The UPS Store, a subsidiary of the publicly traded United Parcel Service, was responsible for violating “the covenant of good faith and fair dealing� by: t 5FMMJOH DVTUPNFST UIBU HSPVOE EFMJWFSZ DPVME OPU CF HVBSBOUFFE BOE XPVME take longer than it actually would, in order to entice them to buy expensive, guaranteed air delivery. t $PODFBMJOH UIF DPTU PG DIFBQFS TIJQQJOH TFSWJDFT t $IBSHJOH DVTUPNFST GVFM TVSDIBSHFT GPS BJS EFMJWFSZ FWFO XIFO QBDLBHFT XFSFO U shipped by plane but by truck. Videotapes offered as evidence show UPS Store employees cheating customers,

UPS, and their right to operate a UPS store was revoked. But, in an effort to clear their name, the Hagans have ďŹ led an extraordinary claim against UPS in Federal Court that lays out, over 200 detailed pages, what they say is a systemic effort by UPS to rip off its Manhattan customers. The Hagans, UPS franchise owners since 2008 whose business grossed $6 million a year at its peak, even brought in a private investigator to secretly document the abuses they say occur at every UPS store in the city. Among their claims: Customers are routinely duped into paying more than necessary for shipping Employees are encouraged to lie about the weight and dimensions of packages to result in a higher bill Customers are told that one method of shipping is the cheapest, when often it is not The Hagans, in their lawsuit, says the deception is so widespread at UPS in

May 1, 2014

May 11, 2014

The local paper for Downtown


Our Town MAY 8, 2014

From Vandals to Artists: Time Rouses More Appreciation for Graffiti

THESE WALLS CAN TALK ART Current exhibits explore NYC streets’ past and present BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO

Last November, one of New York’s most iconic art exhibits was uncermoniously whitewashed. Outdoor art space 5Pointz, a destination in Long Island City where graffiti writers from all over the world came to leave their mark, was covered over with white paint last November at the behest of the building’s owner, Jerry Wolkoff. When the vast walls of colorful graffiti were covered, Long Island City resident Jeffrey Leder took notice. Wolkoff had allowed graffiti writers to legally create work on his property for more than a decade, but now plans to demolish the building and construct residential high-rises after winning legal disputes with the 5Pointz artists. Leder, who operates an art gallery a block away, joined forces with Marie Cecile-Flageul, a member of the 5Pointz community who also manages its press, to curate “Whitewash,� an exhibition responding to the destruction, featuring work by nine artists who once painted at 5Pointz. Included in the exhibit are paintings by Meres One, the longtime curator of 5Pointz as well as prints

Leder about the debut of the exhibit. “It was a celebration 5Pointz of the life of 5Pointz and also showed that there mourning its death.â€? was a need for While “Whitewashâ€? is a di- graffiti culture rect response to the recent as a tourist events at 5Pointz, the Jeffrey destination spot, Leder Gallery is not the only and so therefore local space exploring graf- any gallery or art fiti’s presence in New York institution that City. In February, Museum of can provide people the City of New York opened with their graffiti “City as Canvas,â€? an exhibi- ďŹ x will do so.â€? tion of 1980s graffiti art. City Gregory J. Lore, a non-proďŹ t organiza- Snyder, author tion that preserves and pro- of “Graffiti motes folk and grassroots Lives: Beyond arts movements, opened its the Tag in New new gallery space in April York’s Urban Undergroundâ€? with “Moving Murals,â€? a photographic display of graffiti-covered subway cars shot by photographers Henry Chalfant and Martha Cooper during the 1970s and early 1980s. “Graffiti is so emblematic of the way people can be creative in their own environment,â€? said Steve Zeitlin, founding director of City Lore, who noted that, while graffiti still exists in the city, painted train cars are rare. In August, Gothamist reported that a tagged 4 train was spotted in the Bronx, though Zeitlin said it didn’t stay in public view for very long. “They never make it out of the train yard,â€? Zeitlin said. While graffiti is more policed now than in the 1970s and 1980s, street art has become a more accepted public display in urban areas, thanks in no small part to the international celebrity of clandestine British street artist Banksy, who completed a month-long ‘residency’ on New York City’s streets in October. Gregory J. Snyder, a sociologist and professor at Baruch College whose book “Graffiti Lives: Beyond the Tag in New York’s Urban Undergroundâ€? resulted from a decade of immersive research into graffiti’s subculture, makes a distinction between the two forms. “A lot of what we consider street art was antici

Above, a train mural from the City Lore exhibition. Photo by Henry Chalfant


Left, Henry Chalfant and graffiti writer SHARP at the City Lore exhibition opening. Photo by Fernanda Kock

the early 1990s stared deďŹ antly at Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s cleanup efforts. Snyder also acknowledged the open tension between graffiti writers and street artists. “Street artists do not necessarily have to answer for their vandalism the same way that graffiti writers do,â€? he said. “Graffiti is thought to break windows, where street art is just, ‘hey, I’m putting up art.’ So it’s a little bit easier in the public mind to be a street artist than to be a grafďŹ ti writer, and I think both of those subcultures like it the way it is.â€? Abby Ronner, director of the City Lore gallery, echoes Snyder’s sentiments. “They’re totally different aesthetics,â€? Ronner said, noting that the City Lore exhibit explores an era when graffiti was transitioning from pure vandalism to legitimate expression in the art world’s view. Graffiti’s presence in galleries and museums isn’t new, Snyder said, nor is its alignment with ďŹ ne art. Brooklyn Museum exhibited graffiti in 2006 and included some of the same artists as the Museum of the City of New York show which

sent artists rooted in graffiti and street art. Many artists who were part of graffiti’s halcyon days have gone on to professional art careers, including Barry McGee, also known by his tag name Twist, and Steve Powers, known as ESPO, who are now successful studio artists. Still, Ronner notices a recent uptick in public interest. “In New York City, the cost of living is increasing so signiďŹ cantly and quickly, and there’s so much commercial development,â€? said Ronner. “A lot of people feel New York is being lost. The very deďŹ nition of New York and the character of it are lost. People are seeking old New York City culture.â€? Snyder suggests that Banksy’s mainstream success and the current popularity of street art renewed some interest in graffiti art and its culture, though he wonders if the recent events at 5Pointz affected gallery and museum attention. “Curators have a good sense of the moment,â€? said Snyder, who said that, though 5Pointz became a prestigious space for graffiti writers from all over the world it wasn’t necessarily home to

May 8, 2014

May 13, 2014

FIRST IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD The local paper for the Upper East Side

The local paper for the Upper West Side

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The local paper for Downtown

Out & About 20 21 NEW YORK ICONIC LANDMARKS SCULPTED FROM CHEESE Castello New York Pop-up Store; 462 West Broadway (btwn West Houston St. and Prince St.) 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Jim Victor and his wife Marie Pelton will be in-store creating sculptures at the dates below. They will be carving during the store’s open hours, so guests can witness the detail that goes into each masterpiece ďŹ rsthand.

BODY STORIES: CODE OF INSTINCT Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, 248 West 60th Street, 7 p.m.; $20 an evening of dance in pursuit of the emotional and physical complexities of human encounters in a fantastical environment. Dedicated to the creation of works rooted in the wellspring of memory and idiosyncrasy, these companies reproduce raw kinesthetic experiences using deeply investigated perspectives.

THE TRIAL OF OSCAR WILDE BY THE ENSEMBLE FOR THE ROMANTIC CENTURY Leonard Nimoy Thalia at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street, 8 p.m.; $46/$16 students The Trial of Oscar Wilde focuses on the tragic shackling, public scrutiny, and subsequent imprisonment of the homosexual playwright/ writer Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). A script based on Wilde’s correspondence, plays, and short stories (performed by Broadway’s Michael Halling as Oscar Wilde and esteemed Robert Ian Mackenzie as Lord Queensbury) provides a dramatic backdrop for chamber music by French and English composers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries including Chausson’s masterful Concerto for violin, piano and string quartet, and works by Satie, Elgar, FaurÊ and Franck in performances by the dynamic Amphion String Quartet, violinist Susie Park, pianist Max Barros and a romping barbershop quartet.

AMUSE BOUCHE, A FRENCH VAUDEVILLE Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street 4 p.m.; $30 Zany, loufoques, la FĂŞte de la Musique! Join six Light Opera of New York artists for a charmingly wacky revue inspired by the vaudeville houses of 19th century Paris. From the obscure to the classic gems, you will get

a taste of a of comic French operetta in just an hour. What? You don’t parlez Français? Pas de problème! They will sing en Français and in English for all to enjoy. This one-time only event may be in the heart of NYC, but you’ll feel like you’re in beautiful Par-ee!



Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 W. 42nd St, 7 p.m.; $15 The show has been retooled and contains some songs and material never performed in New York before! Throughout the 1920’s Kitty Witless and Dr. Dan Von Dandy toured speakeasies and burlesque theaters through the United States as THE VAUDEVILLIANS, wowing audiences with their edgy, original music. Unfortunately, one day, tragedy struck. While touring through Antarctica, they were victims of a devastating avalanche and were buried under two tons of sleet and snow - instantly freezing them alive. But thanks to Global Warming, they recently thawed out only to discover that pop artists of various decades had stolen their music and passed it off as their own. Much to their shock and chagrin. Now, at long last, they are taking to the stage to reclaim their songs, performing their music as originally composed.

JUNE 19, 2014 The Spirit




“I AM NOT A CHEESE; I DO NOT HAVE A PROCESS.� Library of the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza 6 p.m.;Free Charming, thoughtful, and immutably good humored Tony award winning actor Alan Cumming hates talking about acting, but that is exactly what the Library for the Performing Arts has asked him to do. Having transformed himself into such varied characters as the Emcee in Cabaret, Dionysus in The Bacchae, Mac the Knife in Three Penny Opera, plus every role in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Cumming has learned with each new production. Through the display of personal photos, rehearsal notes, and other materials, Cumming will share the stories behind his most celebrated performances, providing rare insight into the craft of a master artist.



1280 Lexington Ave. (at E. 86th & E. 87th St.) New York, NY SAT JUNE '

Central Park West) 7:15 p.m.; Free Each month we’ll explore the writings of famous environmental authors. We’ll discuss chapters and selections from the works of Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Wangari Maathai, Michael Pollan, Rachel Carson, Richard Louv, Edward Abbey, and Jane Goodall, among various others. We’ll read the selections together and then we’ll be discussing the important points the writers were striving to stress.

The JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. 6-7 p.m.; $40 Learn important skills and knowledge related to caring for preventing injuries. This course is designed to prepare and support parents in practical ways that will help in common situations with young children.

Community Board office, 250 West 87th St. 630 p.m.; Free Planning for FY2016 District Needs Statement. The HSSS Committee addresses issues affecting the physical and social well-being of the community’s residents and the institutions that serve them.

READINGS IN DEEP ECOLOGY New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street (at

States. Ranging in age, race, sexual orientation, and religious upbringing, these individuals address deconversion, community building, parenting, and romantic relationships, providing a nuanced look at living without a god in a predominantly Christian nation.


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“We’ll Be There For You!�

FONDUE FOR YOU Castello New York Pop-up Store; 462 West Broadway (btwn West Houston St. and Prince St.) 12-7 p.m.; Free Learn the right tools and ingredients to creatively craft a delectable cheese fondue platter for you and your friends.


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25 ATHEISTS IN AMERICA BOOK RELEASE PARTY New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 West 64th Street (at Central Park West) 7-9 p.m.; Free Atheists in America is an edited collection that features more than two dozen narratives by atheists from different backgrounds across the United

Library of the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza 4:00 p.m.; Free Danilova and Franklin with the Ballets Russes de Monte Carlo. David Vaughan will introduce two performance ďŹ lms from the 1940s and 50s, ďŹ lmed by Victor Jessen and featuring Alexandra Danilova and Frederic Franklin: GaĂŽtĂŠ Parisienne and CoppĂŠlia.

Toll Free 1-800-9-Carmel

You Never Forget Who You Grew Up With. The rough touch of tree bark, the scent of freshly mowed grass, the gentle hum of pollinating bees as a flower blossoms — green spaces touch lives and all five senses. Green spaces are a vital part of growing up — they enhance lives, make memories and connect people with their neighborhoods and communities. Be a part of preserving and enhancing green spaces where we live, work and play. To volunteer, to learn how to help your community and to donate, visit or call toll-free (877) 758-4835. (877) 758-4835



The Spirit JUNE 19, 2014

A POET WITH A STORY PROFILE U.W.S. children’s author transformed postcards to grandkids into animal poetry books for children BY GABRIELLE ALFIERO

UPPER WEST SIDE Howard Eisenberg knows how to tell a good story, and at 87, he’s full of them. The journalist, author and playwright remembers spending a summer in his early twenties writing about war veterans in Fort Worth, Texas, where he paid a dollar a day for a room with no air conditioning. He remembers the writer’s block he suffered on

his first national magazine assignment, when he filled a trashcan with failed openers. But mostly, he tells stories of his wife Arlene, who died in 2001 from breast cancer. His frequent writing partner on articles and medical books, Arlene wrote “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” the iconic parenting book, in 1984 with their daughters Heidi and Sandee. “I never got her back after that,” Eisenberg said as he reclined in a plush red chair in his living room on West 80th Street, where he’s lived since he and Arlene bought the building in 1970. His latest project is a recently published series of children’s poetry books based on postcards he sent his grandchildren while on a “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” publicity tour in Australia with Arlene, and he’s working on a book of poetry for toddlers, from poems he used to read to the audiences at Arlene’s lectures. “She’d introduce me by saying, ‘If you’re going to have a toddler, you better have a sense of humor,’” he said. Before starting his writing career, Eisenberg worked as

a publicist for pop singer Eddie Fisher, and met Arlene at Fisher’s concert at the Paramount Theater. They married shortly after she turned 18, after she told him he had a month to decide if he wanted to marry her. “I just heard a voice, like from heaven, that said ‘propose!’ so I did,” he said. “And we had 48 great years together.” Eisenberg speaks slowly and deliberately, and tears up often when he talks about Arlene, whose influence hasn’t left their tidy home. A black and white photograph of the couple at her senior prom perches on the living room bookshelf, which is stacked high with ‘family books,’ some by Eisenberg himself, but mostly filled with copies of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” in various languages. He acknowledges he hasn’t spent the years since Arlene’s death alone; he’s dated some, but doesn’t like to talk about his girlfriends, and his son, writer Evan Eisenberg, lives in the apartment unit upstairs with his wife Freda and teenage daughter Sara. Eisenberg started writing his memoir before Arlene passed away, he said, and has a few chapters, but he put it down when his wife got sick and hasn’t picked up the project since. But he’s still working. Outside of the children’s books, he’s writing a one-man show based on his 2003 book “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cooperstown,” which he wrote with 1950s baseball player Mickey McDermott. He’s also writing a musical based on his friendship with Eddie Fisher, called “Million Dollar Bet,” a fictional piece with characters heavily based on Fisher, Arlene and himself.

“I realize I may never see it produced, but I’m in pretty good shape,” said Eisenberg, whose hair is white but still somewhat thick. He doesn’t take any medication, just vitamins, and has no trouble with the flight of stairs in his apartment. He keeps copies of the “Million Dollar Bet” script in his basement office, the only cluttered room in the house, where framed covers of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” hang on the wall, and photographs of Arlene, including a newspaper cutout of the couple with Fisher, line the desk. A row of shelves, each labeled with yellow PostIt notes, is stuffed with manuscripts and book proposals. The top shelf is the most jammed, filled with file folders and loose papers, and labeled ‘memoir.’ Eisenberg opened a manila folder with the script and lyrics for “Million Dollar Bet,” landing on the song, “Life Ain’t Over Til It’s Over.” “That’s really the theme of my life,” he said.


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THE KNIGHTS Fresh from a tour in Germany, local orchestra The Knights kick of this year’s Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, a series of free classical performances now in its 109th year. The program features of range of compositions from various centuries, including Luigi Boccherini’s string quintet “La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid” and Charles Ives’ “Three Places in New England.” Tuesday, June 24 Central Park Naumberg Bandshell Entrance at East 72nd Street 7:30 p.m. FREE

“THE HOMESTRETCH” Screening as part of the 25th-annual Human Rights Watch Film Festival, “The Homestretch” follows three homeless Chicago teenagers as they work to finish school. At 89 minutes, the documentary, by filmmakers Anne de Mare and Kirsten Kelly (who will be on hand for a Q&A following the film) also holds a lens to issues of poverty, LGBT rights and juvenile justice in America. Friday, June 20 Walter Reade Theater 165 West 65 St., 4th floor 8:45 p.m. Tickets $13

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Russia’s Central State Academic Puppet Theater presents Russian puppeteer Sergey Obraztsov’s 1946 satire of bad performances, which was noted for its masterful, elaborate puppetry. Presented in English and in collaboration with the Russian American Foundation, the colorful, complex “Unusual Concert” is one of the 20th century’s most popular puppet shows. Appropriate for both children and adults. Sunday, June 22 92nd Street Y Kaufmann Concert Hall 1395 Lexington Ave. 8 p.m. Tickets $35

Ensemble for the Romantic Century’s “The Trial of Oscar Wilde” explores the celebrated author and playwright’s trial and imprisonment for homosexuality, a criminal offense in Victorianera Britain. The play draws on Wilde’s published works, personal letters and transcripts from his trial, and is accompanied by compositions from Edward Elgar, Gabriel Faure, and other composers of the era. June 19 through June 21 Symphony Space 2537 Broadway 8 p.m. (with a 2 p.m. matinee on June 21) Tickets $46

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JUNE 19, 2014 The Spirit


le: Puzz Marble’s Theatre


GALLERIES RULES OF SUCCESS: WHAT IS ALLOWED—AND WHAT DO WE ALLOW OURSELVES? As part of the opening celebration of the upcoming exhibition “Hungry Eyes,” SOHO20, a gallery dedicated to showing female artists, hosts a conversation between four of the show’s artists about the feminine experience, and selfexpression and realization. The panel includes painter and sculptor Fran Bull, and is moderated by visual artist, videographer, writer and curator Elizabeth Michelman. Wednesday, June 25 SOHO20 547 W. 27th St., Suite 301 6:00 p.m. FREE

An Inspiring Week of Theatre Classes and Exciting New Plays and Musicals.

Mon. June 23 to Sat. June 28

Dr. Michael B. Brown, Senior Minister 1 West 29th St. NYC, NY 10001 (212) 686-2770


The Spirit JUNE 19, 2014

Food & Drink

< NEW APP RESY DELIVERS COVETED RESTAURANT RESERVATIONS, FOR A FEE A beta version of Resy, a free-to-download mobile restaurant reservation app for iPhone and Android users, launched on Monday, June 16, the New York Times reported. The app, which offers diners coveted last-minute reservations at some of the city’s hottest and most exclusive eateries in

In Brief JIN RAMEN COMING TO U.W.S. Renowned West Harlem ramen spot Jin Ramen will soon open an Upper West Side outpost on Amsterdam Avenue, reported DNAinfo. Formerly occupied by Sol y Sombra, a tapas bar, the new space will be between West 82nd Street and West 83rd Street, making Jin Ramen one of the few ramen joints on the Upper West Side. Currently, the owners are looking to apply for a liquor license and will soon go before Community Board 7 for approval. An opening date has not yet been released. At its West Harlem outpost, Jin Ramen serves up appetizer standbys such as edamame, gyoza dumplings and steamed pork buns, and ramen bowls with a variety of broths, from light chicken and vegetable based broths to rich, spicy, pork broths, all served with braised pork belly, soft-boiled eggs, bamboo shoots and seaweed.

NEW SUNDAYS AT ANDANADA Andanada, a popular Spanish restaurant located near Broadway on West 69th Street, is adding new flavor to its Sundays. The restaurant will be featuring flamenco shows during Sunday brunch from noon to 2 p.m., in addition to their weekly Tuesday night shows. Owner Alvaro Reinoso says that diners truly enjoy the Tuesday night shows and always seem to want more. “It’s a clear example of what the neighborhood demands, they want to have a good time and enjoy art,” he says. The restaurant, whose name derives from the highest seating area in the bullfighting arena, provides patrons with a traditional Spanish dining experience, and an updated brunch menu will include popular, traditional dishes.

exchange for a fee, is the latest mobile application to sell restaurant reservations, joining the ranks of Zurvu and Killer Rezzy. Participating restaurants, including downtown hotspots Charlie Bird and Minetta Tavern, will set the prices of reservations, at around 10 percent of the standard dinner bill, the New York Times

reported. But not all reservations are created equal; a Tuesday evening reservation might cost $10 per person, versus $25 on a Saturday at 8 p.m. In turn, Resy, created by entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, one of the early investors in Uber, and Eater founder Ben Leventhal, will share profits with participating restaurants.



Just because we’re cooking less doesn’t mean we don’t want a cooking class

92 St. Y • 1395 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10128 • (212) 415-5500 •


Celebrity status is no longer exclusive to Hollywood. We witness celeb chefs in restaurant kitchens and as reality cooking show stars. No longer faceless, they build culinary empires, have massive social media followings and have become pop culture heroes. As these chefs follow us into our homes, we want to be like them. Haven’t you ever stood in your kitchen with a bunch of ingredients, pretending to be in a “Chopped” competition? Welcome (back) to the era of cooking and culinary education. The Age of the Foodie has led to an increased interest in food skills. Cooking programs abound, from community centers to schools dedicated to the professional student as well as the home cook. Classes can be found in supermarkets and houseware emporiums. Private classes have proliferated. Even outdoor markets feature culinary how-to sessions. With the plethora of class offerings, you would think we are a nation of home cooks, when quite the opposite is true. We eat more meals than ever on the go, in the car or at fast food locations. So how to explain our obsession with chefs, food and cooking? I can suggest a few possible reasons. First, the local food movement has brought food back into closer focus. With the increased awareness (or obsession) of the source of our ingredients and who is growing it, comes an interest in learning how to prepare it. Second, food creates community – and the food community has exploded over the past several years, welcoming young and old.

The Jewish Community Center • 334 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY 10023 • (646) 505-5708 •

Third, the artisa na l food movement has rekindled a passion for flavors, some nostalgic, many inventive – and the Great Recession provided an opportunity to explore new pathways to employment. Finally, we need to learn more about cooking so that we can make wiser food choices and become selfsufficient eaters. From the First Lady to the spokesmen of food including Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman, White House Chef Sam Kass and even Mario Batali, we are exhorted to get into the kitchen and start cooking. Where to find classes and how to determine what is best for you? Adult classes (we’ll discuss kid classes next time) are available with the widest variety of options so I suggest weighing several criteria: * How much time/money do you want to spend? There is a wide range of choice. * Are you looking for a social environment or more serious learning? * Are you looking for a one-time class or a series? * Do you want to learn basic culi-

Asphalt Green Battery Park City • 212 North End Ave, New York, NY 10282 • (212) 298-2980 • nary skills or focus on a specific cuisine? * Does location matter? I have taken many classes and taught several as well – so being on both sides of the kitchen counter has given me perspective. I think intimate settings are good. I enjoy a passive class of watching, though participatory classes are an excellent way to truly hone new skills. I have had both good and disappointing experiences, so the more you know about what you are looking for – and the more information you have about the class -- the better the result will be. I am a note taker and I like getting printed recipes from the class instructor. Wherever you go, whatever the format, it is important to apply your newly acquired knowledge and skills, which will ensure that you are integrating what you have learned into your culinary repertoire. Liz Neumark is the CEO of the catering company Great Performances

Haven Kitchen • 109 West 17th St, New York, NY 10011 • (212) 929-7900 • Brooklyn Kitchen (located in Manhattan at Gotham West Market) • 600 11th Ave, New York, NY 10036 • (212) 582-7943 • De Gustibus • Macy’s Herald Square, 151 West 34th St, 8th Floor New York, NY 10001 • (212) 239-1652 • William-Sonoma • Various locations throughout Manhattan • Sur La Table • 306 West 57th St, New York, New York 10019 • (212) 574-8340 •

JUNE 19, 2014 The Spirit


RESTAURANT INSPECTION RATINGS JUNE 4 - 10, 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 Pizza Pete’s

Amsterdam Gourmet

528 Columbus Avenue

Grade Pending (22) 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. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

401403 Amsterdam Avenue

Grade Pending (23) 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.

Spring Natural Kitchen

474 Columbus Avenue

Grade Pending (35) 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. 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.

Say Cheese!

142 West 83 Street


Creative Juice

344 Amsterdam Avenue



515 Amsterdam Avenue


Metro Diner

2641 Broadway


Suma Sushi

964 Amsterdam Avenue


La Piccola Cucina

964 Amsterdam Avenue


Szechuan Gourmet

2596 Broadway

Not Graded Yet (29) 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. Food contact surface not properly washed, rinsed and sanitized after each use and following any activity when contamination may have occurred.

SUMMER IN THE CITY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 him or, better yet, just buy a seat. The minute we got our tickets, he grabbed his backpack and started to run towards the Great Lawn to join his friends; Luke’s parting words to me were, “Never again.” Although I, and apparently many others, don’t mind the process for procuring tickets, for which the line can be as entertaining as the play itself, Luke’s viewpoint seems almost what you’d expect from a New Yorker, particularly a native. Which leads me to ask, why is it that in the city that never sleeps, and where everything happens in a “New York minute,” are so many people standing still? In the opening credits of movies that are set in Manhattan, the camera pans down from the skyline to the busy streets where everyone is walking with purpose to a score that Neil calls “New York hustle and bustle music.” But the reality is that sometimes we’re hustling and bus-

tling to stand on line (never in line, of course) -- and not just for free Shakespeare tickets. Even though we can buy movie tickets at home on the computer, if it’s a really popular film, we find ourselves standing on a line that wraps around the block to get into the theater. We wait at the bus stop, down the subway, in the East Side shopping trifecta of H&M, Sephora and Barnes & Noble, with their crowd-control stanchions, so that you not only stand and wait, but do so in a restricted area. Further across town, the line waiting at Fairway can put you in such a trance that the store has employees to roust you from your daydream when it’s your turn, and direct you to a cashier. Could it be we’re not the exciting, if-you-blinkyou’ll-miss-it, fast-paced city we claim to be? Or perhaps, waiting on line is a New Yorker’s way of taking a well-deserved break. All something to think about, as I take in Lily Rabe as Beatrice and Hamish Linklater as Benedick, in another glorious evening in the park.

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The Spirit JUNE 19, 2014

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JUNE 19, 2014 The Spirit



A SMALL BOOKSTORE WITH A BIG HEART Q&A President of Logos Bookstore tells the story of one of the last remaining independent bookstores in Manhattan BY ANGELA BARBUTI

UPPER EAST SIDE Residents of the Upper East Side have a bookstore they can call home. One where its president, Harris Healy, actually knows “quite a few” of them by name. The cozy feel of Logos Bookstore is complete with an outdoor garden for reading and a visiting cat. Healy has been a part of the store since 1985, when they were on Madison Avenue. Rent increases forced a move to York Avenue in 1995, where the store still stands between 83rd and 84th Streets. Healy, who has a masters in theological studies, grew the religious section, but also embraced his new neighborhood of young families, and developed his children’s area. Even during the summer months, the store continues to host their monthly book discussion fittingly titled “Kill Your TV,” and a story time for little ones.

How does being on the Upper East Side affect your selections?

We are in a neighborhood of people starting with families. Beginning with babies and going up to middle school and teenagers. We grew our children’s collection by people coming in and asking for different kinds of children’s books.

I understand that you have a background in theology. Yes I do. I went to a seminary after college for a couple of years and got a masters in theological studies. So I’ve always been interested in the religious books that we have in the store. We have all the traditions of Christianity and a good, solid Judaica section, as well as world religions, all side by side. Basically people come in and see all this and start to think a little about stuff. For some people, it’s a destination shop, where they’re going to come for that kind of book.

You have a book club there called Kill Your TV. Yes we do, on the first Wednesday of every month. It was founded by a customer in the fall of 1998. She was very involved with computers and wanted to get out of the house. She wanted to have a book discussion and she figured she had to do it in a public area because if she just did it with her friends, they really wouldn’t discuss the book. So she ran it for a few years until she moved in 2002 and I’ve been running it ever since. We completed 15 years last October. We choose a

Logos caters to the growing number of families on the Upper East Side book usually two months ahead of time. The only criteria is that it’s paperback, available, and has never been read or discussed in now our almost 16 years. There’s always wine, and sometimes people bring cheese. And at that time, you get 20 percent off most items in the store.

What’s the story behind the cat? The cat is there from time to time. It belongs to the friend of the store who does the informal little garden in the back. My senior staff member babysits it sometimes. His name is Boo Boo and he’s a lot of fun.

What are some funny customer requests you’ve gotten? Some want a certain cover, and they’re really not interested in the book at all. Basically, they’re doing some photo shoot and need the book in that. They don’t care what’s inside, it just has to look a certain way. One of the funniest things is some Bible customers will come in and ask for a compact, giant print, center-column reference Bible. Impossibility, can’t do it.

You have story time every week. Every Monday at 11. We have a wonderful story reader, she sometimes brings in her princess puppet. She does sing-alongs with the children and acts out the books. Basically it’s a group of five, with babies who are two or three. That’s where we make a lot of sales in children’s books, with the young books. We keeping reordering children’s books all the time, because all the popular titles keep selling.

I used to work at Rizzoli Bookstore, which recently closed. What’s your opinion about independent bookstores closing? It’s sad that this is happening. But what’s happening too is that the materials people read on have changed dramatically. Because with the advent of eBooks and eBook readers, where you can get hundreds of titles on a little machine, the whole dynamic has changed. Also, if you travel by airplane today, you’re lucky if you can check a bag for free, so the old days of people taking an extra bag of books is now 25 dollars. What the publishers are not grasping is that people really want eBook format or paperback for new au-

thors. They only want hardcovers if they like the author a lot. But the publishers have been subsidized in their expensive hardcover little deal by chains and by Amazon over the years. That’s one of the reasons why the publishers have not adapted. But I have living, screaming examples of people who don’t want to take a hardcover. I once offered a hardcover of a book that just came out in paperback, and the hardcover price was less than the paperback. The young woman blew up at me and said, “Look, this can’t even fit in my bag!” She screamed at me for about 15 minutes and I was like, “I wish the publishers could hear that.”

Why did the store move from Madison Avenue? Well, the rents were out of this world in 1995. Madison and that area just became too expensive back then. We were between 43rd and 44th Streets. Back then, we were at the street level of a very interesting old-style building that was very tall and had an interior bridge between its two towers. They destroyed that whole thing; it’s now a monstrosity. I discovered the area where we moved to from going to a Bible study at 78th Street between York and the river. It was an upholstery shop, but the guys who owned that business lost it to the bank over gambling debts and my landlord got it from the bank.

Which authors shop in the store? Jonathan Franzen, who has a writing studio nearby, said we were his favorite store. In fact, New York Magazine asks authors where they like to shop and he mentioned us.

IF YOU GO Logos is located at 1575 York Avenue, between 83rd and 84th Streets. July Events Kill Your TV Reading Group will discuss The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, July 2 at 7 p.m.


The Spirit JUNE 19, 2014




/HDUQ WKH VLJQV DW DXWLVPVSHDNV RUJ © 2010 Autism Speaks Inc. "Autism Speaks" and "It's time to listen" & design are trademarks owned by Autism Speaks Inc. All rights reserved.

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JUNE 19, 2014 The Spirit


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Remember to: Recycle and Reuse


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PLANNING to SELL Your Land, Farm, Country Property or Primary Residence? We have Buyers! NEW YORK LAND QUEST Call Carl Snyder, RE Broker 607-280-5770. SERVICES OFFERED

CARMEL Car & Limousine Service To JFK‌ $52 To Newark‌ $51 To LaGuardia‌ $34 1-212-666-6666 Toll Free 1-800-9-Carmel John Krtil Funeral Home; Yorkville Funeral Service, INC. Independently Owned Since 1885. WE SERVE ALL FAITHS AND COMMUNITIES 212-744-3084 Shari Melisa, Salon Hair Stylist Text 347.243.3170 to reserve.


Let me help! / Free consult / Reasonable rates ROOMS FOR IMPROVEMENT Home Organizing for New Yorkers ! 917 763-0478 3PPNT'PS*NQSPWFNFOU!HNBJM DPN t XXX 3PPNT'PS*NQSPWFNFOU OFU VACATIONS

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises HIDDEN HARBOR TOURS For tix, visit: or call 1-855-382-0397



Dutchess County Tourism Make plans for an easy weekend escape at, 800-445-3131 Interlaken Inn A resort getaway in the hills of CT. Lodging, Dining, Spa and More! 800-222-2909 WANTED TO BUY

ANTIQUES WANTED Top Prices Paid. Chinese Objects, Paintings, Jewelry, Silver, Etc. Entire Estates Purchased. 800530-0006. CASH for Coins! Buying ALL Gold & Silver. Also Stamps & Paper Money, Entire Collections, Estates. Travel to your home. Call Marc in NY 1-800959-3419

Remember to: Recycle and Reuse


The Spirit JUNE 19, 2014


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