Remember the Women Institute Invites You to a Book Launch for
Remember the Women Institute Invites You to a Book Launch for
Each year the Park West 90th Street Park Association organizes a lovely, welcoming event for children and adults who would love to enjoy seeing the kids have a great time.
West 90th Street between CentralPark West and Columbus Avenue will be filled with spooky decorations, glowing carved pumpkins on brownstone stoops, lighted displays, and a welcome table in front of #35. The residents of the block , many in costume, give out candy in front of the buildings. A few lobbies welcome trick or treat visitors inside as well.
This has the wonderful, old-fashioned spirit of a child’s Halloween party and attracts many, many neighborhood families. It is also a lovely display of the variety of families who live on the Upper West Side.
Many of the doggies on the block turn out in costume as well. Please remember: do not let the dogs eat chocolate. These are the same dogs who take part in the West 90th Street Dog Parade during the clean-up/planting party each Spring.
The street will be closed to traffic at 4 pm. Residents will decorate the block from that time on and from 5:30 to 7pm the goblins etc are welcome.
West 69th Street between Broadway and Columbus Avenue has a similar child-oriented party each Halloween.
The JEWISH WOMEN’S FILM FESTIVAL is a presentation of films submitted in competition and never before exhibited commercially in the New York metropolitan area. The films focus on experiences, aspirations, and accomplishments of Jewish women through the ages and throughout the world. The National Council of Jewish Women is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of for women, children and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms.
There are 2 sessions
THE JEWISH WOMEN’S FILM FESTIVAL Sunday, November 14, 2010
Baruch Performing Arts Center at Baruch College E. 25th Street between Lexington & 3rd Avenues 55 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10010
SESSION 1 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Director: Gay Block. (47 Minutes) – Women who were together at Camp Pinecliffe in 1981 reminisce about their camp experience – happy, sad, funny, sentimental, life-changing – more than 25 years later. With whom
do you identify?
Director: Ruth Fertig. (22 Minutes) – Creatively using live-action and animation, the filmmaker, via her grand-mother’s memoirs, takes us on a journey recreating the experiences of the family during the Holocaust. It is a
story of resilience, survival, and hope.
THE RABBI’S DAUGHTER AND THE MIDWIFE
(Directors: Ron Ofer and Yohai Hakak. (50 Minutes-subtitles) – Through determination, ingenuity, resource-fulness and their own personal magnetism, two Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) women, Adina Bar-Shalom and Rachel
Chalkowski (Bambi), effect major social change among the women in their community.
Director: Y. Enav. (24 Minutes-subtitles) – A seemingly generous and compassionate dentist confronts repressed memories of the Holocaust, resulting in an unexpected assault on one of her patients that leads
to her arrest. Be a spectator to the unraveling mystery and its surprising denouement.
2:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Director: Yael Kipper. (61 Minutes-subtitles) – Nine years after being critically wounded and losing her younger brother in a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, Maytal embarks on her biggest challenge – her decision to undergo fertility treatments to have a child as a single mother.
Director: Susan Schwarzwald. (26 Minutes) – On the 11th birthday of her own child, Lily – daughter of a refugee from Hitler’s Germany – reminisces about a childhood trip her family took back to her father’s native city of
Vienna. Through the lens of memory, she re-visits the pain of remembering, tinged with the fear of forgetting, that silently haunts her father, herself, and her young daughter. (Director’s comment).
THE VALDERAMA SISTERS
Directors: Noam Demsky, Mordi Kershner. (48 Minutes-subitles) – Who is a Jew? How about Incas from Peru? View this fascinating commentary about the Valderama family and their struggle to convert to Judaism, and, finally, their arrival in Israel.
TO PEE OR NOT TO PEE
Director: Y. Enav. (5 Minutes) – The briefest of come-
dies depicting a worldwide problem with which all
women can identify and have often experienced!
Q &A RECEPTION 6:15 PM
The Eleanor Leff Jewish Women’s Resource Center will present its Ellie Award
to the Director of the Best Film as selected by an independent panel of judges.
NCJW Members: $12.00 per session
(If Purchased in Advance)
$15.00 per session
Reception (Advance Purchase Required):
Dietary Laws Observed
NCJW Members: $75.00 (Includes session 1 or 2)
Nonmembers: $90.00 (Includes session 1 or 2)
Friends of NCJW:
(Includes reception, sessions 1 and 2, and name
$60.00 tax deductible
(Includes reception, sessions 1 and 2,
and name in program) $85.00 tax deductible
In Person: Purchase tickets at NCJW NY offices
Monday – Thursday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
By Phone: (212) 687-5030, ext. 14
Monday – Thursday: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM
At the Door: $18.00 per session
The festival is organized by the ELEANOR LEFF JEWISH WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER, a project of the NATIONAL COUNCIL OF JEWISH WOMEN NEW YORK SECTION.
The JEWISH WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTER began in 1977 and was rededicated and named in honor of Eleanor Leff in 2000. JWRC explores, documents, and celebrates the full range of Jewish women’s experiences – religious, secular, public and private. Its goals are achieved through ongoing programs, special events, conferences, publications, book discussions, lectures, seminars, workshops, and readings.
Shanah Tovah- Happy New Year. There will be new posts after the holiday. I wish you all a sweet, healthy, happy and creative new year.
We drove from New York city north and west through NY state, passing through some of the lower Hudson valley, through the Catskills and further up to Ithaca, about 4 1/2 hours. We Gothamites forget that most of our state is made up of small towns, mountains, lakes and rivers. We went so far from the city that no one was discussing the proposed Islamic Center…amazing…and a relief.
The Finger Lakes were created by the receding glaciers of about 20,000 years ago. The glacial movement carved out the 11 Finger Lakes from older river banks, and simultaneously created absolutely astounding gorges complete with many many waterfalls.
Today, the gorges are long narrow state parks which you can walk through either at rim level and/ or nearly at ground level. They are 40 stories of deep, jagged, slashes into the earth, with sides made of layers of slate with trees hanging on to the ledges, and waterfalls, waterfalls and waterfalls, all along their routes. The gorges are cool, breezy and astonishing.
Here is a waterfall map of NY State..pretty amazing.
The water runs NORTH through the gorges, which is a bit disorienting for a Gothamite, until they run into the Finger Lakes which eventually, slowly feed into Lake Ontario.
The Lakes are lovely, with vineyards, farms, and state parks along their shores.
In 5 days we:
explored Cornell campus in Ithaca on Lake Cayuga, a city unto itself with a gorge running right through campus, visited the Cornell Ornithology Lab and walked Sapsucker Woods, enjoyed the Ithaca downtown “mall” filled with restaurants shops and very young students, visited Buttermilk Falls State Park, and Tremon State Marine Park, Taughannock Falls, visited 2 vineyards, searched for the White White-Tailed Deer of Cayuga ( fat chance to actually see one- the former army base is closed, new housing is there, only a prison is fenced in and it is not recommended to try to search for the white deer there! If you want to know, this is the story: the army fenced in a large area between Lake Cayuga and Lake Seneca, the deer population was trapped, over time white coated deer emerged, about 200 out of a population of 800, here’s link to photos of the white deer, but the info on this site is dated ), and we visited other parks along the Cayuga lake shores.
We drove up to Seneca Falls, through real farm land, past Amish in horse drawn wagons, tractors on
the road, cows and sheep and horses, about 40 minutes, and visited the birthplace of the women’s suffragist movement and the very fine Women’s Rights National Park Museum, which tells the story of how 5 women changed the world. Very special, do not miss this.
We drove to Watkins Glen, about 30 minutes, and visited Watkins Glen State Park, which is right in town with a truly awesome, waterfall filled gorge, visited 3 more wineries and purchased white wine,walked around the marina and watched the sun set on Lake Seneca……
We drove south for about 30 minutes to Corning New York and spent a day in the Corning Museum of Glass. If you go to the Finger Lakes region, do not miss this museum. It has a world class collection of historic glass and the most spectacular collection of modern American and some European Art glass. There are glass blowing demos and a large shop and cafe. My friend who was born upstate in Glens Falls, says that it is not nice to say that this museum should be in New York City.
We returned happy and tired. This is what we could have done more of: fishing, we went to a few wineries but some of you would do more of this, more hanging around the lakes and swimming, and boating.
It is a worthwhile trip. If it were somewhere far away, you would be amazed and tell all of your friends..also, people were friendly, and took their time to speak with us.
it’s not that far so go and visit….
This hot summer has slipped away and it is time to enjoy the glorious Fall in in New York City.
Walks Led by Experts from the American Museum of Natural History
Observe more than 50 different species of birds—including resident and migrant birds, water birds, song birds, and birds of prey— during this eight-week bird-watching adventure in Central Park. Join naturalists Stephen C. Quinn (Tuesdays and Fridays), Joseph DiCostanzo (Wednesdays and Thursdays, 7 am), and Harold Feinberg (Thursdays, 9 am) on tours through the park, one of the premier places locally to watch birds during spring and fall migrations. Participants will learn how to use field marks, habitat, behavior, and song as aids in identification. Interested birders, from beginners to the advanced, are invite
Eight Tuesdays: September 7–October 26, 7–9 am
Eight Wednesdays: September 8–October 27, 7–9 am
Eight Thursdays: September 9–October 28, 7–9 am
Eight Thursdays: September 9–October 28, 9–11 am
Eight Fridays: September 10–October 29, 7–9 am
$85 for eight walks.
The pleasant open air roof top of Congregation Ansche Chesed as been the site of Scribblers on the Roof.
Invited authors read from their published work or works in progress, and take questions from the audience. These evenings are well attended, and the roof top views of the West Side and the night sky are lovely. Mondays at 8 pm. 251 W 100th st between Broadway and West End Avenue. The dates are June 21, June 28, July 12, and July 26.
June 21 Andre Aciman Eight White Nights Out of Egypt Call Me by Your Name
Pearl Abraham America Taliban The Romance Reader The Seventh Beggar21
June 28 Daniel Menaker A Good Talk The Treatment Old Left
Jonathan Rosen The Life of the Skies The Talmud and the Internet Joy Comes in the Morning
July 12 Joan Leegant Wherever You Go An Hour in Paradise
Tova Mirvis The Outside World The Ladies Auxiliary
July26 Howard Altmann In This House Who Collects the Days
Trudy Balch Gaby Brimmer: An Autobiography in Three Voices (translator)
Here are 3 concerts planned for Thursday nights this summer at the Jewish Museum. They all look good to me!
MARGOT LEVERETT AND THE KLEZMER MOUNTAIN BOYS
July 1, 7:30 pm
This ensemble combines Appalachian and southern fiddle tunes with Eastern European klezmer melodies to create a soulful sound and a foot-stomping good time. Virtuoso clarinetist Margot Leverett adds depth and complexity to the raw and spirited energy of The Klezmer Mountain Boys.
The Klezmer Mountain Boys – bandleader and clarinetist Margot Leverett, bassist Marty Confurius, guitarist Joe Selly, fiddler Kenny Kosek, and mandolinist Barry Mitterhoff - create a danceable and beautiful blend that draws and delights audiences of all ages. Founded by Margot Leverett (an original member of the Klezmatics) and Barry Mitterhoff (Hot Tuna), the band has been featured at the Chicago World Music Festival and the Louisville Performing Arts Center.
July 8, 7:30 pm
With song styles ranging from the clarinet miroloi of northern Greece and the chocheci of the Serbian and Macedonian Roma (gypsies) to Turkish chalgi ensembles and Bulgarian wedding bands, Ansambl Mastika’s music draws from the myriad styles of Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean basin and the Middle East. Ansambl Mastika has enthralled audiences on the dance floor, in the concert hall, and at the festival stage. The band blends spontaneity with a global sensibility, resulting in a joyous Balkan extravaganza.
Ansambl Mastika features bandleader composer and woodwind player Greg Squared, composer and trumpeter Ben Syversen, accordionist Matthew Fass, harmonica player Joey Weisenberg, bassist Reuben Radding, and percussionist Matt Moran.
THE SEXTETO RODRIGUEZ CUBAN-JEWISH ALL STARS
July 15, 7:30 pm
Percussionist and composer Roberto Rodriguez leads talented Cuban-American and Israeli musicians in the creation of an unique sound that echoes Cuban roots dance music and traditional klezmer.
Roberto Rodriguez was born in Cuba, the son of veteran horn player Roberto Luis Rodriguez. The younger Rodriguez studied violin, piano, and trumpet and drums in Havana, and left Cuba for Miami with his family when he was nine. Rodriguez immersed himself in the culture of Miami’s large Jewish population, sensing historic similarities between Cuban expatriates and the Jewish diaspora. Moving to New York, he quickly established himself as a drummer of note, working with the likes of T-Bone Burnett, Phoebe Snow, Rubén Blades, Paul Simon and Joe Jackson, and became the drummer for Marc Ribot’s Los Cubanos Postizos band. John Zorn approached Rodriguez about recording an album of Jewish music, resulting in El Danzon de Moises in 2002. Later albums of Cuban-Jewish music include Baila! Gitano Baila! (2004), Oy Vey! Ole! (2006), and The First Basket and Timba Talmud (2009).
Race to the End of the Earth documents the story of the British and Norwegian teams of arctic explorers as they each tried to be the first team of to arrive at the South Pole, nearly 100 years ago, during 1911-1912.
This is an emotional story of human capabilities, endurance and limitations.
The limitations of equipment, communication, and the consequences of decisions made by the team leaders lead to the tragedy of the loss of one team and triumph of the other. Both teams set out from the Ross Ice Shelf for the 1,800 mile trip to the Pole and back and tried to overcome Antarctica’s extreme conditions. Their equipment, which was the fine technology of it’s time, seems so wholly inadequate and impossible, that is is utterly astounding that even one team accomplished their goal. I don’t think that I could take a winter week in the Catskills or Adirondacks with what they used to get to the pole.
The nicely installed exhibit details the preparations of Norwegian Roald Amundsen and Britain’s Royal Navy Captain Robert Falcon Scott, and displays their equipment, instruments, photos, film, letters, personal effects etc. It brings us up-to-date to today’s exploration of the South Pole, and what scientists are learning about Antarctica’s landscape under the ice, and how people manage to live year-round in this forbidding and fascinating place.
This is an exhibit with real depth that is best for adults and older children, 10 and above. There are lovely depictions of penguins, but this would not be enough to keep young children interested while the adults are drawn into this fascinating story.
Race the End of the Earth at the, AMNH, 79th Street and Central Park West, in New York, opens on Saturday , May 29, 2010 and will be open through January 2, 2011. Get tickets in advance.
(Photos will be added today)
|A wonderful group of Writopia Lab writers will read excerpts from their newest prose at Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Center on Friday February, 26th at 5pm. This remarkable group of young people have revised and polished stunning pieces of fiction and memoir, and they are thrilled to share their work with you.|
|Barnes & Noble
New York, NY
|Buy Books and B & N Will Make a Donation to Writopia LabAlso, please hold off on any book purchases you’re about to make–when you buy books the night of the reading (at that location), 10% of the purchase price will be donated to Writopia! Just make sure to tell the cashier you’re buying books as part of the Writopia Lab book fair.|
Come hear award-winning teen writers read their newest pieces;
The award-winning teen writers and rising stars of Writopia Lab will read excerpts from their newest prose at Barnes & Noble at 82nd Street and Broadway on Thursday February, 4th at 5pm.
This remarkable group of young people have revised and polished stunning pieces of fiction and memoir, and they are thrilled to share their work with you.
Buy Books and B & N Will Make a Donation to Writopia Lab
Also, please hold off on any book purchases you’re about to make–when you buy books the night of the reading (at that location), 10% of the purchase price will be donated to Writopia!
Just make sure to tell the cashier you’re buying books as part of the Writopia Lab book fair.
The Susan Eley Fine Art Gallery, which is our favorite West Side art gallery, is featured on the cover of Gallery Guide for their new exhibit called A Semblance: Paintings by Rachelle Krieger & Anne Sherwood Pundyk. Please click on the gallery site for further show details and be sure not to miss this.
And we received this from WritopiaLab.
These young writers are always a great pleasure and surprise.
GothamGirl is fortunate to receive many invitations, most are to film festivals, concerts, art openings, museum shows and restaurants. Recently we were surprised by an invitation from The Martha Stewart show asking us to join the audience on January 14 in New York City.
The topic is bloggers and blogging, and they have requested that all of the invited bloggers come ready to blog live during the broadcast. This sounded like just too much fun to pass up and I will be there on Thursday all ready to blog live.
Rebecca-Wallace Segall, the founder and director of WritopiaLab will be there as well. The WritopiaLab’s blog is excellent: it is the spectacular work of the young writers of WritopiaLab. Rebecca is the Scholastic Golden Apple National Award winner (2008 and 2009).
The snow has stopped: we seem to have gotten about a foot of snow from the storm last night. The side streets seem not to have plowed, some traffic is moving slowly on the avenues, and my NY Times was delivered this morning as usual. I do not see any side street car traffic, people are walking in the streets, shoveling the sidewalks and running in Central Park. The skies are quiet, I assume that the airports are still closed.
Must be time to listen to the hysteria-filled weather reports on the TV, and enjoy fresh coffee with an omelet.
It is a lovely, quiet morning. All will be back to normal very soon.
There is quite a lot of interest in 535 West End Avenue if we judge by the traffic GothamGirl receives on the previous posts regarding this new construction. So here it is, the latest according to a very reliable source. The owners claim that the building is 65% sold, our source says that this is no way near the truth. This building, like so many others is having trouble with sales in this still poor economy. This is not surprising and it does not mean that this building is any worse off than any other, just that their claimed percentage of sales is not so accurate. Construction continues.
The same source says that they will consider bids which are much, much lower than the offering prices we have originally heard of in the past. I do not think this is so surprising but either, but thought that you might like to know.
Reinventing Ritual at the Jewish Museum is a compelling, multi-media exhibit of artists from around the world, exploring Judaism and its symbols as a comtemporary vital force.
I will add details and photos to this post after Rosh ha Shanah ends on Sunday evening.
The Jewish New Year 5770 starts at sunset today. How is this the year 5770? Don’t ask…I have to continue holiday preparations. Hopefully, by Passover I’ll have some time to answer.
I wish you a New Year of peace, health, happiness and creativity to all.
The Jewish month of Elul, which preceeds Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur, is a time of reflection, self-evaluation and and return. I want to share with you this wonderful piece written by Hazzan (cantor) Natasha Hirschhorn of Congregation Ansche Chesed in Manhattan:
There is a story about Satan, known as an “accuser” in Jewish tradition, who gathered his assistants together one day to talk about the most effective method of destroying the meaning of people’s lives.
One said, “Tell them there is no God.” Another suggested, “Tell them there is no judgment for sin and they need not worry.” A third proposed, “Tell them their sins are so great they will never be forgiven.”
“No,” Satan replied, “none of these things will matter to them. I think we should simply tell them, ‘There is plenty of time.’”(Chasidic)
When I first read this story, I felt the proverbial finger pointing straight at me – an accomplished procrastinator… But while I’ve always experienced a fair amount of guilt accompanying my shifting deadlines and to-do lists that never see their items crossed off, I felt the Satan’s judgment was too harsh… Can my delays in action truly be affecting the very meaning of my life?
This year as I was doing physical therapy for my back, I discovered an unpleasant truth. It turned out that the very exercises I found the most difficult and painful were the ones my body needed the most in order to heal and get stronger. According to Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, our souls going through Teshuvah, repentance, must operate on a similar principle – “To give money, for instance, is for some of us a molehill, whereas to apologize for having offended someone is a mountain. Now beware if you offer a sacrifice to God, make sure that you offer what really costs you dear, for God would not appreciate a fool’s deal”.
We may feel the need for a personal Teshuvah all year long, but our tradition really makes us face the challenge in the 40 day stretch from the beginning of Elul until Neilah* . This time period seems to highlight both a search for the meaning of it all, and a sense of urgency – the Book will be sealed, the Gates will be closed… In other words, our process of introspection must be honest and thorough, but it has a deadline!
The understanding that the task of true Teshuvah can’t be easy by definition, combined with the finite amount of time to accomplish it, can feel simply overwhelming. The one Gate that is the most difficult for me to enter, may be the only one leading me to my higher self… Even with 40 days to go, how can I hope to find a way in before the Gates close?
Perhaps, given the not uncommon propensity for procrastination, the very existence of a deadline ensures that we begin the process at all… The circular nature of the calendar reminds us that having made it at the last Neilah doesn’t guarantee us the coveted insider’s spot in the coming year. Each time we must begin anew; to enter the last month of the year ready to challenge our souls and to seek the Gate – ever elusive and yet, ultimately, within our reach. Each Elul, we must begin the spiritual labor with both a sense of urgency and a feeling of hope. And, through this difficult journey, we pray, to rediscover the meaning of our lives.
Hazzan Natasha Hirschhorn
Congregation Ansche Chesed of New York
* Neila is part of the end of the service on Yom Kippur
It is terrible to see the amount of destruction that was done to so many trees in Central Park on August 18, 2009, Tuesday evening by the unusaul and wicked storm that roared through. Meteorologists called the storm a “microburst” which seems to mean that strong winds hit the ground (from cloud level?) and travelled straight, unlike the spinning winds of a tornado. These winds reached 60 to 100 miles per hour in Manhattan!
The West Side of Manhattan and Central Park were badly hit. There were trees and large branches down ont he streets blocking all traffic. Much of this has been cleared up but there is a great deal more to be done by the Park’s people who take care of the trees. Up at Central Park West and 105th, where there is a large outcropping of bedrock, trees were leaning and dangling over the traffic. Many old, lovely trees have been lost.
Here are a few photos of the damage by Jeff French Segall.
GothamGirl has been inundated with many thousands of comments over just a few days.
An ocean of comments. An avalanche of comments.
I think that this is now resolved but I will not re-open the site to readers comments until I am sure this flood is over.
Hmmm….maybe it was writing about the Golem that did it…..
GothamGirl received a comment from someone claiming that he worked on construction of 535 West End Ave which is attached to the to the previous post.
The author of the post, NYCGuy, absolutely stands by his observations about the (lack of) quality of the building construction of 535 West End Avenue and the truth of his article.
“ I just returned from walking around the Ariels & then observing 535 West End Avenue.
The Broadway-96th Street station, which was sloppily extended after WWII, is undergoing reconstruction.
The Broadway thoroughfare is being reconfigured to accommodate a station house in the expanded mall between 95th & 96th streets. This follows upon on the creation of a new station house between 72nd & 73rd streets, in the expanded Verdi Square. The structure there is a riff on the restored, landmark, 1904 entryway, that dramatically improved circulation, created a much used street level public space & somehow managed to visually anchor the Alexandria, David Child’s 1991 cartoon version of the beloved, eccentric Ansonia. Thank you Gruzen Samton.
The barrel vaulted structure envisioned for 96th Street seems to reference the suburban London Underground stations of the 1920s & 30s. Fingers crossed. There’s no stylistic context on the boulevard nor acknowledged pallet of colors or textures.
The interior tile work so far leaves everything to be desired. Whereas the past two decades of station modernizations have seen prefab tile panels hung over existing, deteriorated or missing stock or the older tiles scored before new are applied, neither format is being followed. Thin, low quality, rectangular white tiles are being applied directly to the post-war tiles. There is no effort at evenness, a fact revealed by how light plays on the tiles + the grouting varies from dark to white. Some of the new tiles have been painted over. Most are filthy. On the west wall of the station, a section is already grease stained. This doesn’t bode well for a project of this scope & cost.
A section of the remaining 1904 Art Nouveau style terra cotta & tile banding was removed for storage & ostensible restoration before this section of old platform at the northeast corner of the station, was sealed forever. For the moment, an adjacent, perfectly intact section remains.
Given the haphazard installation of the white, evidently background tiles, I was amazed this past week to first notice new “96’s” & then a frieze pattern, actually two. That work is beautiful. Everything else is shit. …. There is a section of rebuilt staircase at 93rd St (w/s) where the tile changes from something really stolid to what looks like cheap, bathroom tile… It would seem no one is officially observing this. Where will the old tiles & terra cotta go? Why is the station being given a new, albeit necessary, entryway, for which the closest New York reference is what’s now Asphalt Green but with an interior that’s not IND ’30s, industrial modern nor does it speak to nearby Symphony Space’s De Stijl citation courtesy of James Polshek: Boogie Woogie Mondrian.
If you think it’s impossible somethings amiss, please take a walk or a ride up to the next station at 103rd, restored in 2004 & see the difference in craft & care for materials.
Nine blocks south& 1 block west, the so-called grand luxe 535 West End Avenue, has just applied, factory-made composite panels with 1″ inch thick, brick-like veneers to most of two floors.
Apparently, there will be only four narrow, vertical sections of raised pseudo-brick on the entire West End Avenue & West 86th Street facades. The color might be described as muddy brown. The pre-World War II West End Avenue from 70th to 107th streets is solid masonry. Not here. The brickwork on the adjacent buildings ranges in a pallet of beige, cream, tan andyellow. The more daring buildings are white – not the failed 1950s & 60s white or orange to red. Brown tends to be found on the side streets are much further north or south on West End.
All of those buildings have trim & ornamentation, even modest ones. A urbane building would reference that pallet & at least nod occasionally to vertical banding.
Not this one.
It towers legally above the surrounding streetwalls in a suburban manner, meaning it’s there by itself. Some commercial avenues in Midtown & Water Street Downtown are like this but this is one of the city’s great boulevards of apartments – broken here & there by preceding townhouse blocks. A really good International Style residential structure, like, yes, Morris Lapidus’ Presidential on West 70th Street might have interrupted things with flare.
The developer – which has given the Upper West Side the unangelic Ariels at Broadway between 99th & 100th streets (without the promised LEED certification for “greenness”) has made a big deal of their Chicago architect. That architect, it seems, is to the Windy City – a great architecture town – what Costa Kondylis & his late mentor Philip Birnbaum are to New York – a developer’s dream. Someone who can squeeze the last salable square inch out of the zoning envelope.
That’s very useful, but it doesn’t always yield great buildings. Developers will often pair that skill with an architectural firm known for stunning exteriors.
Humdrum would be a step up at this site.
Meanwhile, this building & threats to others, has yielded a grass roots movement to get the entire aforementioned stretch of West End Avenue covered by a New York City Historic District. Take that Extell& please take Mr Lagrange with you.
For those wondering about terra cotta, until 1960, a great New York City architectural medium, check out the books by Susan Tunick. For a look at the 96th Street station plans -albeit sans the tile work, visit http://www.nyc.gov/html/mancb7/downloads/pdf/irt_96.pdf. In keeping with renderings for all too many public commissions hereabouts, the commuters & pedestrians drawn are all white. This is 96th Street?… Lastly, to learn more about & maybe join the efforts to landmark WEA, see http://www.westendpreservation.org/.
Editors Note: Please be sure to read the comments below. Lily
With so many wonderful places in New York City to have Tea with friends, I would recommend skipping the Mandarin Oriental Lobby Lounge in the Time-Warner building at Columbus Circle. We received dreadful service, they did not prepare correctly for our reservation, and the sandwiches were on the verge of being dried out. Go anywhere else.
New York has places with so much more warmth, character and lovely views than this disappointing spot. The 35th floor view of Central Park does not make up for their poor service. Our host arranged well in advance for a table at the window for 9, when we arrived, it was set for 7 and could not be expanded. We stood and waited (at least a half hour, until we asked to sit while waiting) , while they put together a space for us. The manager and hostess were not in any way accommodating and the busy staff had no idea what to do.
Instead of being welcomed guests we were “in the way”…
Considering that Tea service is $38 per person, this proves that they have no idea that their real business is hospitality. Just ridiculous.
We are adaptable New Yorkers so it takes much more than just stupid rudeness to stop us from having a good time–We had an excellent time in each other’s company, enjoyed the lovely snow over the park, and we will have an afternoon Tea together again, though we will not be back to the Mandarin Oriental.
Gimpel Tam (Gimpel the Fool) by Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Isaac Bashevis Singer is being performed by the Folksbiene Theatre through December 28, 2008 and you would be quite smart not to miss it. This is a new production written and directed by Moshe Yassur.
Do not pass up a chance to see the work of the very beloved writer I.B.Singer, which is produced so well, and in his native language, and performed on the Upper West Side where he lived and fed the pigeons on Broadway for so many years. Take along a few friends…talk over tea on Broadway afterwards. Perhaps you will attract a few of IB Singer´s more social dybbuks to join you.
Gimpel Tam asks us to question what is truth, what is reality, and to examine our ideas about good and evil. This moving production is well staged, an entertaining and is a funny klezmer musical in Yiddish with English and Russian supertitles. Please go to the theatre´s site for many more details.
I saw this with five friends, including an UWS therapist who said that ¨Gimpel received love, but perhaps not enough from his mother, and that we see the story as through his eyes, that is, as if everyone in town was against him¨ …oh, oh, oh…and just when you thought that you ¨got it¨.
I.B. Singer´s story of Gimpel Tam challenges the fool in all of us and in ordinary society.
The story of Saigon Grill seems to have an ending which may include jail time for the owners for charges stemming from their treatment of their employees and for submitting falsified information to authorities. Today The NY Times reports on the arrest of the owners of Saigon Grill for a variety of criminal acts and explains this in detail.
A GothamGirl correspondent has spoken with Richard Nget, brother of the owners Simon and Michelle Nget, and manager of Saigon Grill on 90th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, over years and again this past week days before the arrests.
He asked Mr. Nget years ago, before the action and dispute with their employees, “How have you kept your prices so low for years? ” and he replied: “I am afraid to change prices, because I am afraid that if I do it will bring bad luck”. Bad luck? Bad business, as in treating employees like dirt, rightfully should make severe consequences.
Well it is very clear that their many actions have brought them much more than bad luck. They face fines of over $4 million dollars, and criminal charges, and perhaps jail time.
Months ago, Mr. Nget insisted that “everything is lie” and that his ex-workers were “evil” and when asked if he would rehire them, he said ”never”. Wait staff standing near by nodded in agreement, perhaps afraid of losing their jobs.
Sunday, just a few days before the arrests, our correspondent asked him what are your plans now? He said: “maybe close everything”.
Maybe go to jail, too.
Now, I would like to know if any authorities are investigating the treatment of employees in nail salons. It seems to me that these places are ripe for exploitation of their immigrant women workers and they seem to ”smell” of abuse. Any thoughts?
NOTE: Received a reply from labor attorney Christopher Marlborough, on these issues, please be sure read his note below! Especially you lovers of nail salons!
I am a labor attorney in NYC. I was not involved in the Saigon Grill case, but I am glad to see some employers being held accountable for their egregious crimes. Hopefully, a few criminal convictions can serve as a wake up call to employers everywhere. You had better start paying your workers what they deserve, or at least what you are required to pay them by law.
Regarding your questions about nail salons, a few years ago, the Brennan Center published a report about overtime violations in NYC and noted that nail salons are some of the worst offenders. The report, Unregulated Work In The Global City, is available online at this location: http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/unregulated_work_in_the_global_city_full_report/
There has been help for these exploited workers. The organizations Justice Will Be Served! (a coalition composed of the Chinese Staff and Workers’ Association, National Mobilization Against Sweatshops, and 318 Restaurant Workers Union have worked with nail salon employees in NYC to fight for their rights. In addition, The Asian American Legal Defense Fund has taken on several nail salons and gotten significant recoveries for exploited salon workers. See http://www.aaldef.org/article.php?article_id=345.
I just finished reading a fantastic new book on the subject of employment exploitation called titled Wage Theft in America: Why Millions of Working Americans Are Not Getting Paid and What You Can Do About It by Kim Bobo. Kim is the Executive Director of Interfaith Worker Justice, Inc. a non-profit organization that works to improve working conditions in America on all levels. Her testimony before the U.S. Senate can be found here: http://www.wagetheft.org/