By Carol Tannenhauser
Monday, May 2, 2022, cloudy with morning rain, high of 57 degrees.
Our calendar has lots of local events! (Click on the lady to the right.)
“Do you know this bear?” reader David Kunstler asks.
“At 5:30, Sunday, it was sitting on a bench at the uptown end of the Riverside Park Promenade, at about 92nd Street. We hope its owner comes back for it soon!”
The skyline will be getting a major alteration. The Extell Development Company has won a lawsuit against the nonprofit preservation group Landmark West, allowing it to build a 775′ residential building at 50 West 66th Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Proceeding “as of right” (in compliance with all zoning regulations), the building will be the tallest in Manhattan north of Central Park South. “We knew large development was possible but expected the Lincoln Square Special District provisions to protect us from the creep of Billionaire’s Row,” said Sean Khorsandi, Executive Director of Landmark West. Read the whole decision (a page and a half) here.
Friday was National Rugelach Day, which we know thanks to Untapped New York. “Originating in Poland nearly four centuries ago, rugelach are today found in most Israeli cafes and bakeries, shaped in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangle of dough around a filling.” Among the places serving rugelach, not only on holidays, is Orwashers, with two locations on the Upper West Side (155 W. 66th and 81st and Amsterdam).
“A man who has been on the run from police after allegedly committing a string of sexual attacks near a Columbia University housing complex has been caught,” according to nbcny. “Students at Columbia University and Barnard College were alerted about the attacks with an email, which stated that the victims were pushed to the ground in front of 47 Claremont Avenue, a university housing complex, and forcibly touched. Investigators believe there could be more victims and are asking people to come forward with information. Those with tips and information can call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
“Steven Donziger, the Upper West Side environmental lawyer who took on Chevron for its part in polluting the Amazon River, was freed from house arrest on Monday, after spending 993 days confined to his apartment on West 104th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue,” The Times of Israel reported. Donziger celebrated his freedom with a “Freedom Block Party,” Patch reported. “The freedom party was attended by family, friends, actor Susan Sarandon, and Amazon labor organizer Chris Smalls. It should be stated that Donziger is a controversial figure, as described by The New York Times.
BREAKING: At the rally celebrating my freedom, humanitarian @SusanSarandon says @Chevron's attacks on the Amazon Indigenous peoples and their lawyers created a "new and dramatic conversation" in our country.
"There is power in community. Change never comes from the top." pic.twitter.com/pNkJ47y0vV
— Steven Donziger (@SDonziger) April 29, 2022
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Monday morning at 6:11 am, a lightning strike hit very close to RSD near 73rd St and sounded like debris was thrown off a rooftop. The boom set off car alarms on the street level and the lightning flash before was bright enough to wake me through sleepy eyelids.
Some sirens are heard 9 minutes later. I hope everyone is okay. My heart goes out to the apartment dwellers in eastern Ukraine. What horrors it must be to have your home shelled by missiles and artillery fire.
The concussion from the sound of the strike was so strong it knocked things off a shelf here on 83rd Street. Can’t imagine how scary it was to be even closer.
We are near you and it woke us all up and scared my little one. It was right around when the alarm goes off so served as an unpleasant substitute!
I was woken by the same flash and boom, slightly earlier. Absolutely agree re Ukraine 🙁
Btw, that adorable ‘teddy bear’ on the bench seems to be a lamb….
With another skyscraper on CPW = Less sunshine in our beautiful common backyard, Central Park. 🙁
Mark Levine, please revive the Sunshine Task force! NYC is one of the only global cities to not have one.
Nope, still wrong, and wrong again.
Shadows for a few minutes a day, for a few days a year.
Totally worth it.
With all due respect, this is that kind of narrowly focused analysis will leave us with a Park in shadows. It’s not just this building; it’s the collection of Supertall buildings that are slowly ringing the Park and casting their own shadows. It’s the collection of shadows that will destroy the Park. This building that abused the rules, This building that will not only plunge the Park in shadows will also throw shadows on our streets and our homes and for what? So that one wealthy developer can house another bunch of very wealthy people or more likely create another place to launder funds for investors and purchasers alike. It doesn’t provide housing for people working their way into a career or working at our hospitals. It doesn’t house the working men and women of the City. What it does do is us all in the eye and confirm that the City will soon close the book on multi class housing and enforcing the rules on the rich and powerful. It is disgraceful.
Thank you to LANDMARK WEST! for fighting the good fight.
Re: “…but expected the Lincoln Square Special District provisions to protect us from the creep of Billionaire’s Row.”
Sheesh, here we go again:
1. Unless one walks about with one’s head at a 90 deg. angle upward (NOT a good idea) one is NOT aware of a building’s height; and
2. as proved by the much-kvetched-over 200 Amsterdam, the street level of luxury buildings becomes beautified.
Of course, you are aware of the building’s height! The impact will be felt in so many ways but as always we must give over to the billionaires and let them take everything including the sunlight. How dare we thing we might at least have a right to enjoy that!
Have you ever noticed how you feel more relaxed getting out of the subway in say [many parts of Brooklyn], just because there is more sky? Because there are so many trees, many taller than the 5-6 story buildings? Tall buildings add stress…Have you walked up say 10th Avenue in the 30s lately? It is dystopian – a dark oppressive canyon of glass an no green or blue. Nothing human scale, and no one wants to be there amidst the funneled wind and garbage….Have you ever been in Hecksher playground on a winter afternoon that would once have been sunny?…. Or on the 70th St (Amsterdam/WEA) playground on a Spring morning that would have been glorious and full of sun lit trees, except it is now cold and shaded?…. How are super tall buildings good? ….How would 200 Amsterdam, empty and overpriced, not be a better building for this neighborhood 20 or 30 stories smaller? …Not looking to argue, just illustrating the real human and neighborhood cost of terrible zoning and buildings permissions, really since Bloomberg, who seemed to think Shanghai or Hong Kong were good models for Manhattan. Not really. Walk around the Douglass or Wise Houses on a Spring day and you know that old NYCHA complexes have better land use for space and green and families than most new developments.
Just another example of how the greed of the few ruin the quality of life for the many. Just like the private helicopters that keep proliferating. What is more UNdemocratic?
Another example of how the greed of a few ruin daily life for many. Just like the private helicopters that keep proliferating. As UNdemocratic as it gets.
It is called living in the CITY! Plunging into shadows?! I’ll give you an A+ for hyperbole
There are many cities which have not (yet?) become overbuilt and where you can lift your head and see blue sky, not endless grey bricks and shiny, shiny glass.
Living in a city does *not* mean living among shadows. This city has always been livable in that way. Why should it change? How do you or I benefit from that?
And please don’t tell me that it’s now time for me to move. I’ve lived in this city probably a lot longer than you have, and I don’t want to abandon my home just because some already-rich developer wants to make even more money by blotting out the sky. Why should I? Why should any of us?
It’s not “hyperbole” at all.
I would never suggest you move from this great city, shadows or no shadows. I like to see it as protection from dangerous UV rays.
Judging from his Twit, as you’ve included it in the article, the man’s name is “Donziger”, not “Doniziger” as you’ve misquoted The Times of Israel or “Donizger” as you’ve miscited Patch (which, admittedly, after its correct headline did then uniformly refer to him as “Donzinger”).
You can do better. We all know you can.
And after all he’s gone through, maybe he should change his name to Mxyzptlk — probably get it spelled correctly more often.
Don’t think someone who incorrectly refers to a tweet can cast copy editing stones.
I should have checked his “twit” as you suggested. Fixed.
Seems strange not to report why Donizger was under house arrest.
His court case against Chevron was thrown out because US courts credibly found he was manipulating the judicial system of a poor country by bribing judges and witnesses. He was disbarred and put under house arrest for withholding evidence.
He was basically convicted of defrauding courts to secure a judgement (which he would collect a percentage of).
You can agree with the ruling or not, and I’m glad Susan Sarandon has an opinion here. But we are a nation of laws after all.
“Federal prosecutors declined to charge him with any offenses, but Judge Kaplan deputized a private law firm to criminally pursue him for contempt of court, in an extraordinarily rare and controversial for-profit prosecution.”
Also, he WON the court case against Chevron.
Thank you for saying this. I had the same question and had to look into this a little more out of curiosity.
You can’t just gloss over why he was in trouble in the first place. This guy was no saint.
And he isn’t some hero that was unjustly persecuted for going after the big bad energy company either. He got held in contempt, disbarred, and confined for a significant amount of time after all.
He was guilty of serious and significant malfeasance and rightfully lost his law license and his liberty.
One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. – Martin Luther King
More empty words that few seem to care enough to fulfill…
In re tall buildings: Money talks and we all by this time know what walks. If you got the bucks you got the city’s ear.