Manhattan West Side Spirit

Manhattan West Side Spirit Community newspaper covering the Upper West Side of Manhattan. We cover people, local businesses, schools, and stories that make the neighborhood unique.
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After a rash of cyclist deaths, the mayor calls for a new bike safety plan
07/12/2019
Blood on the streets

After a rash of cyclist deaths, the mayor calls for a new bike safety plan

Hours after a cement truck killed a 29-year-old cyclist — the third bike death in a week and 15th of the year — Mayor Bill de Blasio declared an “emergency,” ordered an NYPD crackdown on reckless motorists and told transportation officials to develop a new bike safety plan.“We absolutely h...

The newly opened Poster House, the first museum of its kind in the U.S., showcases the strong, feminine graphic works of...
07/11/2019
Art nouveau for the masses

The newly opened Poster House, the first museum of its kind in the U.S., showcases the strong, feminine graphic works of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha

The name may be in no way familiar, but the works are instantly recognizable. The Czech-born painter, illustrator and graphic designer Alphonse Mucha (1860-1939), whose name is synonymous with Art Nouveau, rose to fame virtually overnight when he accepted an eleventh-hour commission to create a thea...

Goddard Riverside’s newest program helps lift young adults out of poverty
07/10/2019
Learning to work

Goddard Riverside’s newest program helps lift young adults out of poverty

Our country is built on immigrants driven to improve family chances, lives and legacy. My father’s 1930’s high school diploma is three times the size of today’s and is embellished with broad calligraphy. Completing 12th grade in Illinois farm country was rare. My grandfather had a fourth grade...

07/09/2019
Remembering JFK Jr.

On the twentieth anniversary of his death, a look at 10 books about a New York and American icon

I did not know John F. Kennedy, Jr., but he was one of those high-profile New Yorkers who I had happily in my orbit purely by happenstance.In the early 90s, I lived on the Upper West Side. Many a morning when I walked from The Ansonia to my midtown ad agency, I would spy him in a suit coming out of....

A city agency upholds an earlier ruling in favor of the developer as foes of the building vow to fight on
07/08/2019
200 Amsterdam opponents lose another round

A city agency upholds an earlier ruling in favor of the developer as foes of the building vow to fight on

The city’s Board of Standards and Appeals has sided with the developer of a controversial Upper West Side tower for the second time in two years, despite major opposition from community groups. At a public hearing on June 25, the board announced that it would be upholding its initial 2018 ruling t...

07/05/2019
Stoked! Upgrade for UWS skate park

The $2.6 million renovation, to be completed by next spring, will add new life to the dream of late NYC skater legend Andy Kessler 🛠

An Upper West Side skate park that opened more than two decades ago is getting a much-needed face-lift. On June 8, the Parks Department and elected officials broke ground on a project to renovate and modernize the Riverside Skate Park at 108th Street. The park was created in 1996 by iconic New York....

Thoughts?🤔
07/04/2019
Supreme court gets census question right

Thoughts?🤔

This week, the Supreme Court issued a decision blocking the Trump administration’s controversial move to add an untested and unprecedented citizenship question to the 2020 census. The court rightly rejected the administration’s preposterous assertion that the question will help the federal gover...

We love it, we hate it, we can’t live without it. Here’s the latest about the system we all depend on🚉
07/03/2019
Subways: An undergroud update

We love it, we hate it, we can’t live without it. Here’s the latest about the system we all depend on🚉

It’s raining hard and you race down the slippery sidewalk and into the subway — only to find it’s pouring down there, too, through cracks and gaping holes in the ceiling.It’s the dog days of summer and you head into the subway in search of an air-conditioned car. Just your luck, the temperat...

The iconic NYC grocer takes the next logical step and offers classes for food lovers🍝
07/02/2019
Fairway launches a cooking school

The iconic NYC grocer takes the next logical step and offers classes for food lovers🍝

With the June 15 opening of The Cooking Place, Upper West Siders can now hone their culinary skills at their neighborhood grocer, Fairway Market. The West Side institution is offering over 100 classes designed by Chef Laura Licona, accessible to both experienced and novice cooks. “At The Cooking P...

CB7 Transportation Committee passes resolution to improve safety for northbound cyclists🚵‍♂️
07/01/2019
Protected bike lane approved for Central Park West

CB7 Transportation Committee passes resolution to improve safety for northbound cyclists🚵‍♂️

Cyclists on the Upper West Side may soon feel safer near Central Park. Last week the Community Board 7 Transportation Committee passed a resolution that will create a northbound protected bike lane on Central Park West.On June 11, the Department of Transportation presented the community with a propo...

The prison on West 110th Street is slated to close this fall
06/28/2019
What will replace Lincoln Correctional?

The prison on West 110th Street is slated to close this fall

By Jason Cohen With the impending closure of Lincoln Correctional Facility, the question is what will replace the building that overlooks Central Park.The prison, located at 31–33 West 110th, has been primarily used as a work-release program for nonviolent drug offenders since 1991 and currently h...

In a Union Square event for his new memoir, the “Queer Eye” star discussed navigating identity, celebrity and more🤩
06/27/2019
Tan France on love, fashion and politics

In a Union Square event for his new memoir, the “Queer Eye” star discussed navigating identity, celebrity and more🤩

By Oscar Kim BaumanHundreds of people assembled at the Union Square Barnes and Noble store on June 4 for a talk by and photo-op with Tan France. France, a designer, and the fashion expert on Netflix’s rebooted “Queer Eye” series, was appearing to promote his memoir, “Naturally Tan,” which ...

As the Democratic presidential candidates court wealthy donors, an early look at who’s ahead in NYC’s dollar derby
06/26/2019
Chasing the money in Manhattan

As the Democratic presidential candidates court wealthy donors, an early look at who’s ahead in NYC’s dollar derby

The Democratic Dash for Cash is in high gear as presidential candidates — from frontrunners to likely also-rans — are courting mega-rich Manhattan donors as the race for the nomination heats up after the first round of debates.Former Vice President Joe Biden swung through Manhattan on June 17 an...

Activists opposed to the role that corporations play in NYC Pride events are staging a march of their own🏳️‍🌈
06/25/2019
Reclaiming a proud legacy

Activists opposed to the role that corporations play in NYC Pride events are staging a march of their own🏳️‍🌈

Fifty years after the Stonewall rebellion launched the modern LGBTQ rights movement, New York City is playing host to the World Pride celebrations. As Pride has grown, it has also changed in nature. What began as a scrappy, community-based political protest has become a mammoth, rainbow-hued festiva...

The celebrated and beloved concert series is moving indoors this season, but the music will soar as always 🎶
06/24/2019
Naumburg 2019: A classical summer

The celebrated and beloved concert series is moving indoors this season, but the music will soar as always 🎶

Elkan Naumburg (1835–1924) was a contemporary of J. P. Morgan, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Carnegie. Like them, he made a fortune in the early years of the 20th century, and like them, he was a major philanthropist. Unlike them, he was born to a Jewish family that immigrated to the United States ...

Make sure to add Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s debut novel to your summer reading list this year! 📚
06/22/2019
Dad’s turn to Mom-up

Make sure to add Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s debut novel to your summer reading list this year! 📚

Want to read a book about a single Upper East Side mom starting over? Head to Barnes & Noble on 86th Street and throw a rock.A single dad’s story — you won’t hit much. Until now.Thanks to the debut novel by New York Times Magazine staff writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner: “Fleishman Is In Trouble,...

CB7 Transportation Committee passes resolution to improve safety for northbound cyclists 🚲
06/21/2019
Protected bike lane approved for Central Park West

CB7 Transportation Committee passes resolution to improve safety for northbound cyclists 🚲

Cyclists on the Upper West Side may soon feel safer near Central Park. Last week the Community Board 7 Transportation Committee passed a resolution that will create a northbound protected bike lane on Central Park West.On June 11, the Department of Transportation presented the community with a propo...

You have a few decisions to make before the weekend commences : 1. Grab the last tickets to #PourTour and start summer r...
06/20/2019

You have a few decisions to make before the weekend commences : 1. Grab the last tickets to #PourTour and start summer right🍻 or 2. Spend a beautiful Saturday at home 😓 the choice is yours! Go grab those tickets at pour-tour.com there are only a few left!
It's FINALLY going to be a beautiful day with no rain!🌞🤗

AMNH commences construction on $383 million expansion project 🚧
06/20/2019
Gilder Center breaks ground

AMNH commences construction on $383 million expansion project 🚧

By Michael GarofaloFour-and-a-half years after the American Museum of Natural History first announced plans for a major expansion project — and following an extensive city review process and a legal battle with a local group that sought to block the new facility — work has officially commenced o...

Thirty years after his death, Alvin Ailey’s genius is still making the world a better place 🌎
06/19/2019
Ailey at 60: alive, engaging and inspiring

Thirty years after his death, Alvin Ailey’s genius is still making the world a better place 🌎

Alvin Ailey didn’t make it to 60. He died in 1989 at age 58 in Lenox Hill Hospital due to complications from AIDS. The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, however, continues his legacy and vision and is celebrating its 60th season. In 1958, Ailey led his troupe of young African American performers...

An Upper East Side organization helps Medicaid-eligible women have healthy pregnancies and become self-sufficient 🍼
06/18/2019
A boost for new mothers

An Upper East Side organization helps Medicaid-eligible women have healthy pregnancies and become self-sufficient 🍼

by emily higginbotham When Zaiane Alawade found out she was pregnant following her freshman year at Fisk University, she resolved to continue on with her education and raise her child. After completing one more semester of courses in Nashville, the Harlem native moved back to New York and gave birth...

A day in the sun with the longest-running softball team in Central Park⚾
06/17/2019
Morty’s game never ends

A day in the sun with the longest-running softball team in Central Park⚾

By Meredith KurzNew York was founded in 1624 and about 60 years later Madison Square Park became public and about 160 years after that, baseball was born, in that park, in New York City. Sure, you’ve heard Cooperstown, but I’m sorry. The Knickerbocker Rules? From the Knickerbocker Club right her...

What would an end to free parking mean for Manhattan? 🚗
06/14/2019
Curbside controversy

What would an end to free parking mean for Manhattan? 🚗

An ongoing debate is exposing New Yorkers’ divergent priorities regarding how the city should utilize one of its most precious public commodities: the curbside parking space. The passions at play were immediately apparent at the June 4 meeting of the Upper West Side’s Community Board 7, at which...

06/14/2019
Westtown Brew Works Vid

What a way to spend a gorgeous afternoon! Beautiful Hudson Valley views from your table while sipping on your flight of craft beer 🍺 Westtown Brew Works
Join us on dirt magazine's Pour Tour on June 22nd from 12-5 P.M. Adventure time!

Seats are limited - Get your tickets quickly:
pour-tour.com

Cheers!🍻

Dirt Magazine is hosting Pour Tour!🍻 On June 22nd from 12-5pm, we will be boarding the Tour Bus to go to 6 destinations:...
06/13/2019

Dirt Magazine is hosting Pour Tour!🍻 On June 22nd from 12-5pm, we will be boarding the Tour Bus to go to 6 destinations: 2 Breweries🍺, 2 Distilleries🥃, & 2 Wineries🍷 While we venture to all the locations, you will also see breathtaking Hudson Valley views. Other than the transportation, we are also providing vegan empanadas, samples from each location, and a signature dirt drinking cup!

Glenmere Brewing Co. Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery Westtown Brew Works Applewood Winery Pennings Farm Cidery Orange County Distillery

Get your tickets now - space is limited: pour-tour.com

Cheers!🍻

This year’s spring exhibition at The Costume Institute, a multimedia experience, traces the origins of the aesthetic sty...
06/13/2019
The word is “Camp”

This year’s spring exhibition at The Costume Institute, a multimedia experience, traces the origins of the aesthetic style and its impact on fashion and more 👗

Who knew the term had so many meanings and layers? The first section of this ambitious show is devoted solely to contextualizing and defining the elusive word — “camp” as a verb, an adjective, a noun — with a soundtrack featuring Judy Garland singing camp anthem, “Over the Rainbow.” Susa...

The Stonewall National Monument in Greenwich Village attracts New Yorkers and tourists alike 📸
06/12/2019
The place where Pride began

The Stonewall National Monument in Greenwich Village attracts New Yorkers and tourists alike 📸

LGBT Pride Month is in full swing in New York City, with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising adding extra interest and excitement to the month’s celebrations. In addition to the annual LGBT Pride March on Sunday June 30, events will include a rally to commemorate the Stonewall Uprising,...

Heartfelt thanks to Michael Kearney, who was a veritable lifeline for this apartment house for 22 years 🎉
06/11/2019
Doormen: apartment house lifelines

Heartfelt thanks to Michael Kearney, who was a veritable lifeline for this apartment house for 22 years 🎉

Heartfelt thanks to Michael Kearney, who was a veritable lifeline for this apartment house for 22 years. As a doorman, he not only did the myriad required doorman duties, but became an invaluable friend, especially, but not only, for those who became disabled or home bound. Thankfully, Michael is no...

On a holiday weekend, friends and family turned out in force for the birthday of an art dealer and political activist 🎉
06/10/2019
Alex Rosenberg, the 100-year-old man

On a holiday weekend, friends and family turned out in force for the birthday of an art dealer and political activist 🎉

A lot can happen in a century and what Alex Rosenberg has accomplished so far in this one precious lifetime was celebrated on May 25, exactly 100 years from his birth in 1919.The rare occasion of a 100th birthday filled the West Side’s Stephen Wise Free Synagogue where Rosenberg was a bar mitzvah ...

A new exhibit seeks to restore the Harlem Renaissance figure’s rightful place in the history of the city and American ar...
06/07/2019
Augusta Savage returns to New York

A new exhibit seeks to restore the Harlem Renaissance figure’s rightful place in the history of the city and American art 🎨

This show comes to the New-York Historical Society by way of the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, Florida, not far from where Augusta Savage (1892-1962) was born, in Green Cove Springs in the Jim Crow South. The Florida native battled poverty and race and gender discrimination to become a revered scul...

Council strengthens earlier City Planning Commission proposal to address so-called zoning loophole 🌆
06/06/2019
City cracks down on building voids

Council strengthens earlier City Planning Commission proposal to address so-called zoning loophole 🌆

By Michael GarofaloThe City Council last week voted by a 47-1 margin to enact a long-awaited zoning change that will place new limits on the use of mechanical voids — a controversial development practice which some builders have utilized to inflate tower heights through the use of largely empty sp...

GoFundme launched for “an anchor on the Upper West Side.” But it may be too late 🌆
06/06/2019
Hard Times for Beacon Hardware

GoFundme launched for “an anchor on the Upper West Side.” But it may be too late 🌆

By Jason CohenIn April a Gofundme was launched to help the struggling Beacon Paint & Hardware on the UWS, but it may be too little too late. John McNally, a longtime friend of the Stark family, which has owned and operated Beacon Paint for nearly half a century, started the crowdsourcing for them on...

Students say arts have been put on the back burner at ‘Fame’ school 🎨🎭
06/05/2019
Protests rock LaGuardia HS

Students say arts have been put on the back burner at ‘Fame’ school 🎨🎭

By Michael GarofaloDozens of LaGuardia High School students, parents and alumni gathered outside the elite Upper West Side public school June 3 to protest what they characterize as a shift in focus away from the performing arts education at the core of the school’s mission.Holding hand-drawn signs...

Could Park Avenue Summer be on your summer reading list? It's about office sabotage is the subject of “Park Avenue Summe...
06/03/2019
When Andy Sachs met Don Draper

Could Park Avenue Summer be on your summer reading list? It's about office sabotage is the subject of “Park Avenue Summer,” a historical novel that places “The Devil Wears Prada” in the “Mad Men” era📖

As colleges wrap up spring semester, our graduated native sons and daughters will be returning to the Upper East Side; some to strictly paycheck positions (“Would you like to hear our specials for this evening?”) while they seek F/T employment, and others to positions in their chosen fields. The...

Upper Westsider Noah Waxman on the “very old art” of designing shoes 👞
05/31/2019
Of soles and soul

Upper Westsider Noah Waxman on the “very old art” of designing shoes 👞

A pair of shoes is a basic part of everyday life: to traverse concrete and asphalt, New Yorkers need them to get from A to B. Shoes, of course, can mean more than just protection for your feet. They can give you the confidence to step into that big job interview, walk down the aisle at your wedding....

Can an optical store and an accountant succeed in a shared office? Well, two people on the Upper West Side are showing t...
05/30/2019
Unlikely partners

Can an optical store and an accountant succeed in a shared office? Well, two people on the Upper West Side are showing this can be done. 💪

Can an optical store and an accountant succeed in a shared office? Well, two people on the Upper West Side are showing this can be done. Angel Eyes Optical and MID Tax Service, located at 2662 Broadway at 101st Street, have proven over the past decade that two different businesses can thrive under o...

A school safety officer with more than 40 years on the job is recognized for her dedication and warm-hearted approach 🎉
05/29/2019
“I love the kids”

A school safety officer with more than 40 years on the job is recognized for her dedication and warm-hearted approach 🎉

People have a lot of ideas about how to make schools safe, especially in the age of school shootings. There’s a reflex to install metal detectors, add guards and put up armor. But for 43 years, school safety agent Candi Rodriguez has used a different approach — one grounded in love, empathy and ...

Looking to do some good this summer? Check out these different volunteer programs! 🌻
05/28/2019
Volunteer

Looking to do some good this summer? Check out these different volunteer programs! 🌻

An Instinct for AnimalsAnimal Care Centers of NYCManhattan: 326 East 110th Street, between First and Second Avenuesnycacc.org/get-involved/volunteerNo room for a pet in the apartment? Animal lovers who can’t adopt — and even those who have — can carve out time to help the city’s always overw...

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