Monday Bulletin: A Stoop Arrest, A Questionable Coronation, Experience Directors, Radiation Investigation

Photo by Jodie Gould.

June 8, 2020 Weather: Sunny, with a high of 79 degrees.

Our calendar is full of events you can enjoy from home.

Shaina Taub, a rising musical theater performer and composer, and her husband, Matt Gehring, were arrested Thursday night on the stoop of their Upper West Side building as they cheered on protestors, Vulture reported. “As the officer pulled Taub to the police car, she remembered him ‘snarling intense verbal intimidation’ including calling her a ‘snowflake’ as she tried to comply. ‘I got the sense that someone snapped, and I received his physical and verbal anger,’ she said. Taub and Gehring were placed in a car with others who had been arrested that night, including a delivery worker who tried to explain to the cops that he had the ability to be outside as an essential worker and whose arrest was filmed on video.”

“Façade work has reached the crown of 200 Amsterdam Avenue, the Upper West Side’s tallest skyscraper,” wrote YIMBY, in a photograph-filled report on the progress of what is also the Upper West Side’s most controversial building. The latest decision in a long line of lawsuits and appeals found for community groups, ruling that 200 Amsterdam’s zoning lot is illegal and as many as 20 stories must be lopped off. But neither lawsuits nor pandemics can stop SJP Properties, the developer of the project, who somehow managed to build throughout the shutdown. “…several glass panels have begun installation on the crown, and are covered in blue protective film. There are only about four to five stories left to be clad before reaching the pinnacle.”

On the topic of luxury buildings, many high-end rentals have lifestyle or experience directors to attract and entertain residents — a profession the Wall Street Journal called, “a hip reboot of Julie the cruise director from “The Love Boat.” But during a pandemic, activities and events must be virtual, so the life style director at Waterline Square (59th – 61st Streets and Riverside Park) has “shifted gears…She asked Waterline Club fitness instructors to begin streaming their classes live on the complex’s Instagram feed…Children were invited to a Zoom puppet show; adults got a Cinco de Mayo mixology class and a virtual comedy night with local talent.”

What was on the roof next door to Gerald Kerner’s West 77th Street townhouse — and was it emitting radiation? It’s taking him years, much hardship, and a Federal lawsuit against Sprint to find out. But, The Real Deal reported “he’s finally found an ally in Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal.”

Earl Geer of Hi-Life Restaurant remembers working with Anthony Bourdain early in his career and wrote about him for the Daily Beast. Bourdain died two years ago. “I am proud to have known Tony, and while it’s cool to rub elbows with the rich and famous, by sharing those dark days at Sullivan’s I can say, perhaps better than many, that while he was not perfect, his character and sensitivity were unimpeachable.”

NEWS | 29 comments | permalink
    1. UWS Satire says:

      Shame on these liberal UWS white folk for violating curfew and getting arrested, thus taking attention away from people of color getting arrested. #WhitePrivilege

    2. robert says:

      One keep point you don’t mention in the article on WSR, but is in the article you link to. They brought the house in 2012 and the antenna where already there. This means that the most likely had an easement from the previous owner. That should be checked, if that is the case it changes the legal standing of the parties in the case. For example you buy a house with a telephone/electric pole in the middle of the window blocking your view. There is no responsibility for the utility to move it. They usually have an easement from the city.
      Obviously the emissions must be with normal limits.

    3. Pedestrian says:

      Angry cops taking out their anger on peaceful observers on their own property and lawbreaking developers Doing whatever they want. It’s the new normal no one wants to follow the rules but certain people that is developers and the police will all ways get away it, it seems.

      • Ben David says:

        Good news! There will be no more police force in NYC pretty soon, thanks to the defund the NYPD movement. And whatever is left of the force, will include “safety officers” who will not dare lift a finger to stop a rape, robbery, domestic violence, looting, or any other crime.

        • Mark Moore says:

          Defund does not mean what it sounds like. It just means to decrease the budget, not end all funding. I know it’s confusing.

          • Boris says:

            The defunding effort is the product of the woke child mob who can’t think past the next morning.

            • Mark Moore says:

              If there’s a budget crisis there’s no reason the NYPD can’t trim some fat here and there. I bet if someone tried they could easily find $500M in savings there.

            • mkmuws says:

              Nah, it has a long history and teeth, if you care to find out.

        • Tim says:

          Absolutely correct Ben.

          Also fwiw, if a group’s 3 word slogan needs to be clarified or explained, it might be time to come up with a new slogan. Just sayin’

          • mkmuws says:

            And yet it caught your attention. Just sayin’.

            • Tim says:

              Definitely caught my attention. Kinda like “Yada Yada Yada” or “that’s what she said” or “I can explain it to you but I can’t understand it for you”. Or a dog-whistle! 😉

    4. Leon says:

      WSR should publish something on the plans for D3 schools, particularly for admissions to middle schools for current 4th graders. There is also similar debate over plans for HS admissions, but that is a city-wide debate, while middle schools are more local to us. With no test scores, final grades or attendance records, the criteria for admission is very uncertain. And there is very little constructive leadership from Carranza.

      As with most debates in this neighborhood, it seems to be the AOC-liberals vs. the moderate liberals, with the moderate liberals being cast as pro-Trump conservatives.

      • LK says:

        Leon, you captured it pretty well with the exception of one thing – the results are known ahead of time. This illusion of a debate is simply for insulting the “moderate group” and NOT to take their viewpoint into consideration. Carranza conveniently used covid ( and didn’t even bother to hide the fact ) to push his agenda to get away from screening. So you’ll get lottery with terms that are disadvantageous to the kids that worked hard and did well… With covid, looting, school fiasco, and acceptance of working from home – it’s clear to me that a lot of people will simply not come back to the city.

    5. Build It And They Will Complain says:

      FYI SJP is appealing the decision, so the 20 stories are still “up in the air” for now. So the NIMBYs shouldn’t yet uncork the champagne bottles.

      • Bill Ditt says:

        Yes, “kvetching” is wayyy at the top of that UWS short-list called “Fun Stuff…With Your Clothes On” (yes, label me an ‘anti-kvetching-kvetcher).

        Face It, folks, 200 Amsterdam is a ‘done-deal’…and guess what:
        1. seen from further uptown or downtown it IS quite ATTRACTIVE, esp. with its “setbacks” (as required by NYC’s first-in-the-nation 1916 Zoning Resolution);
        2. seen from up-close it WILL “(once the construction shed is gone) also be attractive, with its over-size rectangular windows contrasting with its shiny exterior.

      • Carol says:

        Two possibilities:
        1) De-construct the top 20 floors
        2) Fork over the revenue from the top 20 floors to the community

        • Fair E. Nuff says:

          Re: “Fork over the revenue from the top 20 floors to the community”

          THAT is an excellent, well-pondered idea.
          The developer (SJP) IS technically in violation b/c it knowingly manipulated lot-size / air-right regulations, etc.

          BUT…the end result is, in many eyes, a strikingly-handsome structure of 21st-Century architecture that should remain as-is.

          However, SJP does need to create a program to give ordinary folks an opportunity to secure an “affordable” apartment in 200 Amsterdam, as is happening with the equally-stunning Waterline Square buildings.

      • Juan says:

        For a few seconds I was wondering what Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP) had to do with any of this…

    6. michael stearns says:

      How about reporting the circumstances of the arrest. Was the couple within the confines of their property? Did the cops have a warrant for their arrests if they entered the property without invitation? Or were the cops just looking for easy targets because they could not contain their anger?

    7. Vikram says:

      SJP should be forced to remove the floors completely and also pay a large fine, among other things. If they are NOT punished, it only helps to set a precedent for future developers. The developers do not care about people or the city or the future. They care about money.
      They have too much power and too many resources and people should stand up to them. It is sad that so many people around here support this kind of behavior.
      Do you think these developers want to see community parks survive? Do you think they want real local/community businesses to thrive? The city/state government is complicit in all of this, too, of course. It’s all about money.

      • Reality Check says:

        Re: “Do you think these developers want to see community parks survive?

        SURE! Which community parks have they removed? Oh, right…the Natural History Museum’s new Gilder Science Center is replacing some trees-and-grass (lots more in Central Park) for a world-class learning center intended to teach NYC young people about science and technology.

        Re: “Do you think they want real local/community businesses to thrive?”
        SURE!! why wouldn’t they? F.Y.I. 200 Amsterdam did NOT replace any local business…just a synagogue, which relocated a half block further down Amsterdam.

        Re: “It’s all about money.”
        YUP! Always has been…always will be.
        As M.C.N.Y.’s “New York At Its Core” exhibit reminds us, the four factors that made NYC so great were: Density, Diversity, Creativity, and…MONEY.

      • K8 says:

        I agree there needs to be accountability for SJP…but wasting resources already installed seems problematic considering our climate crisis (which I’m sure SJP was banking on). What about only allowing the illegal floors to remain IF they are solely affordable low- and middle-income housing?

        • AC57 says:

          See now that’s what I call a sensible idea 🙂

          If it were really about tackling the housing crisis, people would be jumping all over this idea – Archinect modeled up to 160 potential apartments in an old op-ed

          but considering how few people endorse this idea… it shows where people’s priorities lie

    8. marciak says:

      The Building Dept agents who were called to
      address claimed violations showed up but did nothing to correct matters. I assume workers at the Bldg. Dept. serve at the pleasure of the Mayor — who spent little time early in the speedy elevation of the bldg, as he was touring the country campaigning to run for President. “Look The Other Way” De Blasio seems to have been too busy to deal w/ constituent issues.

    9. Eric says:

      Before anyone gets too excited, I believe the ruling was to remove FLOORS not HEIGHT … they are NOT the same thing. The zoning is all about the floor-area-ratio. Conceivably they could remove every other slab to create palatial (and lucrative) residences with magnificently high ceilings and come into compliance. It would be fewer residences but the higher ones would command spectacular views and spectacular prices.
      This has been done several times in Manhattan.

      People hear ‘remove floors’ and they think ‘chop off stories’. The former does NOT necessarily mean the latter.

    10. janis says:

      “Mark Moore: I bet if someone tried they could easily find $500M in savings there.”
      Why doesn’t someone just try to find the $850M Chirlane McCray, Bill de Blasio’s wife, seems to have “lost” or misplaced? That way we can keep the funds in the Police Budget and have the additional $350M to fund whatever they feel like.
      And exactly what DO they want to do with the money they remove from the Police Budget? Midnight basketball?

    11. Anna Carroll says:

      I still cannot believe Mr. Bourdain is n9 longer with us. He talked with me for 20 minutes one afternoon about his book about Typhoid Mary. He didn’t even know me! I told him then and I say it today, I love you, Anthony Bourdain!’