Updated: Monday Bulletin: Adams Backs G&T, Statue Tsuris, Who Broke Up The Beatles?

Spooky times on West 94th. Photo by Mark Maas.

October 18, 2021 Weather: Cloudy, with a high of 58 degrees.

Our calendar has lots of local events!

Presumptive Mayor Eric Adams broke with his predecessor in regard to the future of the gifted and talented program in NYC public schools. Lame-duck Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for eliminating it, but, Adams pointed out, “He can’t get rid of it until next year,” when he will be gone. “Asked directly whether he would eliminate the gifted program, Mr. Adams replied, ‘no I would not, I would expand the opportunities for accelerated learning,’” The New York Times reported.

The UWS has controversial statues coming and going! The Public Design Commission is voting today on a long-term loan that would bring a statue of Thomas Jefferson from the City Council’s chamber to the New-York Historical Society, on 77th Street and CPW. “The City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus, whose members described the statue as ‘oppressive’ and ‘racist,’ have long wanted it taken from its pedestal and removed from the chamber.” Jefferson was a slaveholder “who believed Black people were inferior to white,” The New York Times reported. The Museum of Natural History, next door to the Historical Society, is removing a statue of Theodore Roosevelt.

Update: WABC reported that the Public Design Commission unanimously approved the relocation of the statue, but where it will go remains undecided. “The statue, which dates back to 1833, was expected to go on ‘long-term loan’ to the New-York Historical Society by the end of the year….But members of the commission disagreed over the initial plans because the New-York Historical Society charges a fee….The members agreed to find an appropriate home for the statue by the end of the year.”

Are businesses complying with NYC’s vaccination mandate for indoor dining and entertainment venues? According to the commissioner of small business services, “the city has conducted more than 31,000 inspections since enforcement of the vaccination mandate started one month ago, and has issued about 6,000 warnings,” Crain’s reported. “Most of the businesses that received warnings made the necessary changes…and that’s how we ended up with just 15 or so actual violations.

Paul McCartney was thinking of his old partner on October 9th, which was John Lennon’s 81st birthday. Lennon was killed when he was 40 years old by a crazed fan in the entrance to his home at the Dakota on West 72nd Street in 1980.

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A post shared by Paul McCartney (@paulmccartney)

Paul’s tweet came in advance of an interview on BBC Radio 4, in which he definitively reveals the reason for the Beatles’ breakup. According to CNN “he tells journalist John Wilson: “John walked into the room one day and said, ‘I’m leaving the Beatles.’…I wanted it to continue. I thought we were doing some pretty good stuff — you know, ‘Abbey Road,’ ‘Let It Be,’ not bad.’” The full interview is scheduled for October 23.

“With its large community of Argentines, New York City is “a tango hub,” according to The New York Times. Not during the pandemic, but things are heating up again, thanks to the vaccine. There are “milongas” (places where people gather to dance) to be found “six or seven times a week, and the COVID infection rate is low. “For the more cautious, there are a few outdoor milongas, the best known being Central Park Tango….The weekly gathering returned in June, on Saturday afternoons in the small circle around the Shakespeare Statue.”

They’re the fastest animals on Earth — diving for prey at well over 200 miles per hour — but on the last Tuesday afternoon in June, one of Manhattan’s youngest peregrine falcons could barely fly. Instead, she had crash-landed in an Upper West Side courtyard, hitting a glass-topped picnic table with a muffled thud and a clatter of icepick-sharp talons,” the Daily News  reported. This is a fascinating read about the rescue and return to the wild of this majestic, endangered bird, by the UWS’s Wild Bird Fund.

Finally, the 18th-floor Majestic apartment of the late George Malkemus and his husband and business partner, Anthony Yurgaitis, on CPW and 72nd Street, is on the market for $25 million. Sadly, Malkemus died in September, motivating Yurgaitis to move full time to their farm in Litchefield, Connecticut. Together, “they ran the high-end shoe brand Manolo Blahnik in the United States for 37 years” — which made Mr. Yurgaitis’ words upon first seeing the apartment fitting. “The moment I stepped foot in our new home,” he said, according to The Times. “I felt absolute joy.” Take a look…

And don’t forget Here’s the Dish! We happen to have an opening for this Wednesday. Send a short description and photo of your favorite UWS dish to westsiderag@gmail.com. Click the link for examples. Thanks!

COLUMNS, NEWS | 32 comments | permalink
    1. ben says:

      de Blasio can’t be gone fast enough…

    2. John E. says:

      From today’s NY Times:

      It was commissioned in 1833 by Uriah P. Levy, the first Jewish commodore in the United States Navy, to commemorate Jefferson’s advocacy of religious freedom in the armed forces.

      The Jefferson statue in Washington, by the celebrated French artist Pierre-Jean David d’Angers, was dedicated to the American people. The painted plaster version was later donated to New Yorkers and arrived at City Hall around 1834. When it first arrived in New York, Levy charged to view it and used the proceeds to feed the poor.

      So there are those who want to remove a statue that was commissioned by a Jew who wanted to give thanks to Jefferson for the opportunity to serve his country. Not to mention the fact that he used the statue to help feed the poor!

      Ignorant and misguided!

      • Leon says:

        Yup. If I was one of the poor, black people who these woke council members think is offended by this, I would be asking why they are wasting time and money on things like this and not spending it on getting me food, a job and a warm, safe place to live.

        Meanwhile, the Republicans are focused on packing the courts and winning legislative seats so they can cheat their way to victory in 2022 and 2024 and keep that advantage permanently.

        But at least we won’t have statues of the founders of this country to offend us!

        • John E. says:

          Exactly Leon!

          These council members think they can brag about getting rid of so called racist symbols while not accomplishing any real solutions to real problems.

          Oh, look at what we did! Don’t all of you victims of racism feel better now? Yeah, thanks for nothing!

    3. Victor Dian says:

      His comment about Willowbrook is an indication of his not caring about the people with disabilities who cannot advocate for themselves. But the families of people with disabilities should think twice before voting for him

    4. Cyn(dy) Cynic says:

      So, some City Council members want ol’ Tom’s statue removed b/c he was a slave-holder.
      As were: Washington, Franklin, Hancock, Jay, Madison, and 10 other “Founding Fathers” (N.B.: Samuel Adams did NOT own slaves; thus it’s okay to drink his beer).
      As for those other “bad-bad guys”, let’s erase ALL of their accomplishments from history: let’s rename Washington D.C., tear down John Jay College, rename Madison Avenue, etc.
      THEN we can focus on important stuff, like Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

      • SadforUWS says:

        Don’t forget The Voice and Dancing with the Stars. Incredible programs.

      • John says:

        Kardashian Ave that sounds about right

      • Mark Moore says:

        How does Algonquin Avenue sound to you? Instead of Columbus? I kind of like it.

        • Peter says:

          How many fewer homeless people will be staying on your Algonquin Avenue? How many fewer traffic accidents/deaths? How many fewer muggings? How many fewer empty storefronts? Will the trash-bags-on-the-sidewalk (and remnants) ever be re-thought?

          When they solve all these (and many others), they can look for a time in their busy schedules to rename it whatever they want.

    5. JC says:

      John Lennon was not killed in the courtyard of the building, it happened on the corner.

      • WSR says:

        Thanks, but all sources say “the entrance to the building.” Changed.

      • Lianne Ritchie says:

        Not on the ‘corner’..The corner of what?..John Lennon was killed in the ‘Archway’of his building, The Dakota which is on the corner of Central Park West …

    6. Charles says:

      Not to mention the fact that 87,000 people came to the U.S. from Africa as slaves.

      2 million Africans have immigrated to the U.S. since.

      Wait till attention is turned onto the City Council…..get out the popcorn.

      • Paul says:

        “Came here?”
        (Did they use travel agents or Expedia?”

        Question from Planet Earth: How many died on slave ships?

      • Tina says:

        It’s time to remove idiot City Council members rather than statues.

      • Brandon says:

        Wait, what? Your numbers are wrong—the total count of African people brought to the U.S. as slaves is about a half million—but what’s your point? That chattel slavery in the U.S. can’t have been so bad because more Africans have voluntarily immigrated here in the years since?

    7. Steven Stern says:

      If we can remove a statue of the man responsible for the Declaration of Independence and the now famous phrase of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness, then we must rename the street named after a man who called for the extermination of all white people, namely Malcolm X Boulevard. After all, unlike Jefferson who called for unification, Malcolm X called for separation and referred to the white man as “the snake.” The avenue which bears his name, that runs through upper Manhattan, must be renamed.

    8. Bob says:

      For a minute there I forgot that G&T stood for “gifted and talented,” and thought Adams was a supporter of a summery cocktail best enjoyed with lime…

    9. AC says:

      Now Now, don’t be blaming the African, Latino, and Asian Caucus for this ludicrous decision. As a minority born and raised in the UWS for over 50 years, neither I, or my neighbors, are offended by such statues. Just about every early American settler owned a slave or two – it was the way of life back then. Erasing past history will only allow it to repeat.

      And this nonsense about our early explorers and navigators destroying the American Indians??? What about the civilizations that the American Indians destroyed? Do people really still believe that the American Indian was the first inhabitant of North America? Where does the lunacy timeline end?

      • Juan says:

        Very well put. Thank you. I’m wondering who these politicians think they are representing? It seems like the overwhelming response to this from all communities is negative.

        But I guess the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Let’s just remember who championed this lunacy come election time…

      • Brandon says:

        Your second paragraph is wildly unhinged. It saddens me to WSR has become a safe space for 5G conspiracy theorists, genocide deniers and their ilk.

      • EricaC says:

        Who were the nations that American Indians destroyed? (Seriously – I have not heard about pre-American Indian cultures.)

    10. JerryV says:

      Perhaps we should dump our Constitution, written by slave holders, and have a new one written by woke folks. While we are at it, tear down the Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials in Washington,DC (gotta change that name) and replace them with public housing.

      • Brandon says:

        Your apparent disdain for public housing says a lot more about you than you think.

        • nemo paradise says:

          If you want to hear disdain for public housing, talk to the people who live there.

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            “Disdain” from residents is because pubLic housing has been criminally defunded since the Reagan era. The residents want support for public housing, not its destruction,