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Upper East Side Theater - 7 hours 57 min ago
            Not a sequel and not quite a reboot, but rather a recharge of the whole series. If you are familiar with the mythology, "Genisys" will blow your mind. If you don't know the story, rent the original before you go or you may have a hard time keeping up.              This is a perfect film for IMAX 3-D as the visual and sound effects will knock you right out of your seat. There are terrific action sequences throughout the film and plenty of surprises that I don't intend to spoil. Needless to say, this installment is a game changer.               Arnold Schwarzenegger is terrific, reprising his role as the original Terminator. It's as if he never left. He can still handle the action and adds a great deal of humor throughout the film. Sarah Connor is played by Emilia Clarke and who better than "the Khaleesi" of "Game of Thrones" to tackle the role. Kyle Reese is played by Jai Courtney in his biggest part to date and he does an admirable job in this major role. John Connor, the other main character in the series is played this time by Jason Clarke, who is becoming the "go to" actor for sci-fi reboots ( see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).              Credit writers Patrick Lussier and Laeta Kalogridis for a script that is familiar and yet, turns the whole Terminator mythology on it's head. It is a very welcome addition to the series.
Categories: Blogs

ADVOCACY UPDATE: Another Win for Preservation!

Friends of the Upper East Side - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 11:22

2009Last November the Landmarks Preservation Commission announced a plan to remove nearly 100 buildings from consideration for designation. When a building passes the Commission’s initial review and is found to meet their basic requirements for designation, it is put on their calendar for a public hearing. At the time a building is “calendared,” it receives provisional protections under the New York City Landmarks Law until approved or denied as a landmark. For various reasons, the Commission has built up a backlog of items that were calendared but never designated, some of which have been languishing in limbo for decades.

While FRIENDS recognized the good intentions behind clearing the backlog, we joined many other preservation groups in questioning the transparency of such a broad action. Shortly after the announcement, and following considerable push-back from the public, the LPC agreed to postpone the de-calendaring vote indefinitely so that they could come up with a more judicious way to handle these items. During this time, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer met with a variety of stakeholders with the goal of formulating a “clear, consistent, and transparent designation process.” The result was the Proposed Backlog Action Plan for the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which was released on April 2nd, 2015, cosigned by FRIENDS. As a result, on June 19th, the Wall Street Journal reported that the LPC would indeed hold public hearings on each of the 95 items in the backlog!

There is only one building on the Upper East Side included in the list of items that have been calendared for over 5 years, and that is 412 East 85th Street. The house was built circa 1860 and is a rare example of a wood clapboard building in Yorkville, a remnant from the area’s agrarian past. It is one of a mere seven wood-frame buildings on the Upper East Side, and the only one that is not protected by the Landmarks Law. FRIENDS has been working hard to get the building designated, and with the support of both the owners and Council Member Ben Kallos, we look forward to a public hearing sometime this fall!

Categories: Blogs, News

Infinitely Polar Bear

Upper East Side Theater - Sun, 06/28/2015 - 13:07
      Mark Ruffalo stars as Cameron, a manic depressive bi-polar father of two little girls. Zoe Saldana co-stars as his wife, Maggie. The title refers to how his youngest pronounces his condition.  And while Mr. Ruffalo's acting is as excellent as always, his portrayal is one dimensional. Whether it's the direction or his interpretation but his only clinical sign (after a initial breakdown) is just being totally manic.       When Maggie decides to go back to school to get an MBA, she leaves the girls in Cameron's care. The story is both amusing and heartbreaking and is clearly a showcase for Mr. Ruffalo. Imogene Wolodarsky plays Amelia, the older daughter and  Ashley Aufderheide plays Faith, the younger sister.  They are both very good and play well against Mr. Ruffalo.  The three share most of the screen time together.          The film is written and directed by Maya Forbes, based on her own experiences growing up with a bi-polar father. Since it's her own story, I can only assume it's a fairly accurate portrait of her life. Mental illness is not easy to get right on screen and while the film seems to paint a bit too cheerful picture, it's still a worthy drama.    
Categories: Blogs

FRIENDS Announces 2015 Ambassador to the Upper East Side!

Friends of the Upper East Side - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 14:32
Peter DuchinFRIENDS of the Upper East Side Historic Districts

will proudly present




Tuesday, September 29th 6:30 p.m. Cocktails 7:30 p.m. Dinner

The Union Club 101 East 69th Street New York City 

Click HERE to purchase tickets or make a contribution.

PETER DUCHIN Peter Duchin is America’s preeminent dance-band leader.  Since his debut in 1962 at The Maisonette in the St. Regis Hotel in New York City, he and his orchestra have provided the music for many of the nation’s most notable public and private events: White House state dinners and inaugural balls, the openings of museums and arts centers, movie premieres, charity galas, debutante dances, New Year’s Eve parties, and weddings. He has also embarked on a highly successful recording career, with a total of 26 albums.

Raised with the example of Averell Harriman, Peter Duchin devotes considerable time and energy to public service.  For many years he was Vice-Chairman and is now an Honorary Member of the New York State Council on the Arts.  He has served on the boards of Carnegie Hall, Spoleto Festival U.S.A. and the American Ballet Theatre.  He is presently on the Board of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He is Honorary Chairman of the Board of Glimmerglass Opera of Cooperstown, New York and also serves on the Boards of the Manhattan School of Music, Dreamyard and the Citizens Committee Of New York City.

Peter Duchin lives in New York City and is the author of a best selling personal memoir called Ghost of a Chance.

CHAIRS PHILIP & ALEXANDRA HOWARD Mr. Howard, an author and lawyer, is the Founder and Chair of Common Good, as well as the Chair Emeritus of the Municipal Art Society of New York where he served with Mr. Duchin for many years. Mrs. Howard, an architectural historian, executed the initial survey of the Upper East Side for the nomination to the State and National Register of Historic Places.

Categories: Blogs, News

FRIENDS Introduces New Technology to Rediscover Old Buildings

Friends of the Upper East Side - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 12:00


Click on the collage for more photos!

Click on the collage for more photos!

On May 9th, over 125 Yorkville enthusiasts joined us for an awesome adventure, using an interactive web application to explore the history of our neighborhood. Players raced around Yorkville accomplishing photo challenges to identify architectural details, replicate historic photos, and imitate ornamental building features. They made stops at local haunts like Glaser’s Bakery, Schaller & Weber, and Heidelberg Restaurant. They were prompted to write a sidewalk poem about their love for Yorkville. And there was even a live actor playing Jacob Ruppert, founder of the Ruppert Brewery and owner of the New York Yankees from 1915 to 1939!

Through trivia and memory questions, the teams discovered how immigrant groups lived, worked, worshiped, and played, as well as how they retained their culture through food, music, and language.

One participant commented:“Fabulous idea to connect historic preservation and new media/technology. Doing so illustrates its approachability and relevance to all audiences … and makes engagement all the more fun! The Go Game was smartly crafted and Friends even smarter for utilizing it as a tool!”

Another said: “It was a cool experience. Well written and researched. I was impressed. I say this as a lifelong resident who is knowledgeable on borough history, as a tour guide and adjunct history professor.”

The hunt ended at the local favorite Ryan’s Daughter Pub, where Council Member Benjamin Kallos announced the winners and participants recounted highlights from the day.



The program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Member Benjamin Kallos.



Not to worry! The Yorkville Urban History Hunt is now available to be played at any time, at your leisure. Just click on the following link http://thegogame.com/yorkville or download the instruction sheet below.

The game is live now!

Gather some friends or play by yourself! You can play for as long as you like, but we recommend setting aside an hour for the full experience. All you need is a fully charged iPhone or Android, some comfortable shoes, and a love of strudel (optional, but highly encouraged).

Where is the game?

All the site-specific clues lie between 82nd and 90th, York and 3rd Ave. Your phone will guide you where to go! But everything is within walking distance.

Is it for all ages?

Yes! We’re experts on programming for kids AND adults. We have special missions for teams with players under the age of 12, as well as more sophisticated missions for the mature set. Whether you are 2 or 92 years young, you will have a blast and learn a lot.

Step 1: Download this instructions sheet:




Step 2: Download this architecture sheet:




Step 3: GAME ON!

Questions? Email jenny@thegogame.com

About Yorkville

Yorkville generally covers the area from East 72nd Street to East 96th Street, from Lexington Avenue to the East River. Once an enclave for many immigrant groups in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including German, Hungarian, Czech, and Irish, the area is rich in cultural heritage. Though it has changed now, much evidence of this historic fabric remains in the built environment. Some of these remnants are not obvious to the regular passerby, thus making it the prime location for scavenger hunt participants to find hidden clues to the past.

About The Go Game

The Go Game is a San Francisco-based company that designs high-tech urban adventures games for clients worldwide. In addition to producing safety games, creativity training games, circus games, team building games, marketing campaigns, training experiences, tourism games, and games purely for entertainment, The Go Game has worked with industry leaders in tech, fashion, energy, media, and education to create unforgettable custom group experiences and buzz-worthy public spectacle.

Categories: Blogs, News


Upper East Side Theater - Sun, 06/21/2015 - 21:05
    Writer/Director Paul Feig has another hit with his muse, Melissa McCarthy.  Ms. McCarthy continues to improve with each film. She absolutely shines here in her first fully developed leading role.       The movie is a clever send up of James Bond films from the opening credits to very funny sight gags. Ms. McCarthy plays a desk bound agent for the CIA who finally gets into the field when a fellow agent, played by Jude Law, is killed chasing a stolen nuclear bomb.       Her fellow agent in the field is played by tough guy Jason Statham, who hilariously makes fun of his own image. He almost steals the film but make no mistake, this is a star vehicle for Ms. McCarthy. She shows a wide range while maintaining her natural goofiness. Her verbal barrage of one-liners, whether scripted or ad-libbed are absolutely hysterical.        The villains are played by Bobby Cannavale and Rose Byrne. Mr. Cannavale role is small but crucial to the plot. Ms. Byrne is clearly enjoying her role as the femme fatale who shares some great scenes with Ms.McCarthy. The CIA chief is played by Allison Janney, deserving of more screen time but good none the less.       Mr. Feig makes good use of his globe hopping locations, moving briskly around Paris, Rome, and other major European cities. He and Ms. McCarthy have a natural connection that is evident on screen.    "Spy" is funny, exciting, filled with actual intrigue and can easily be the start of a  franchise character.
Categories: Blogs

Butterfield Spotlight: Walnuts

I remember visiting my grandparents when I was a little girl, and curling up on the couch next to the coffee table.  They always had a big bowl of mixed nuts, still in their shell, and I loved cracking them open with the nutcracker and eating their chewy insides.Walnuts, like along with Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachios, are tree nuts. They are highlight allergic for many people these days, but if you can eat them, they are very good for you.  They are a wonderful source for omega-3 fats (perfect for vegans who can’t get that from fish) and have high amounts of copper, manganese, and biotin. Some research has even shown they are helpful in the prevention of prostate and breast cancer.Walnuts also contain powerful anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, and because they are so filling, they can aid in weight loss as well as they help to keep cravings at bay.As a vegan, I rely heavily on nuts for protein and healthy oils in my diet.  I use them in salads, in nut butter form, and make delicious “cheeses” from them.  This last week I made a mock chopped lived with walnuts, string beans and onions I bought at ButterfieldMarket.  It was super easy and gone very quickly…First peel and chop two large yellow onions.  Toss them into a sautee pan on medium-high heat with some extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil.  Sautee until wilted and slightly brown.  Then wash and trim the ends off of a pound of green beans. Chop them up and toss them in with the onions, to cook down, and until they are al dente, tender to the tooth.  Then add 2 cups of walnuts, just to heat slightly. Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Cambria;} Transfer everything to a high powered Cuisinart or blender, and puree until smooth. Serve with veggies or crackers and enjoy!Written by Guest Blogger: Yonni Wattenmakerwww.thetrendyvegan.comOn Facebook? "Like" The Trendy VeganOn Twitter? Follow @vegandthecity
Categories: Blogs