Why You Never Get a Bill from the Hospital

DID THIS COST $66,731.00?: That is amount billed, but Medicare only paid $15,949.81, illustrating the Alice in Wonderland character of US medical billing practices.

“Knee replacement, or knee arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace the weight-bearing surfaces of the knee joint to relieve pain and disability.” –Wikipedia After 87 years, the cartilage separating my left leg bones had eroded, and the leg went off in unexpected directions (I could be mistaken for an old man). I considered knee […]

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Stonewall Landmark

Stonewall Landmark

HONORING A MOVEMENT: The Landmarks Preservation Commission will decide on Tuesday, June 2 whether to consider the Stonewall Inn for city landmark status—making it the first landmark honored for its significance to the LBGT community in New York. According to the Times, a yes vote by the committee will almost assuredly lead to “eventual designation […]

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Struggle Together

WE NEED TO STRENGTHEN RENT LAWS: Pope Francis appears to look on in solidarity as tenants campaign for stronger protections. Photo by Carol F. Yost.

Hi, All. Here is a picture I took after walking over the Brooklyn Bridge with other tenant activists. I saw these two women, one holding a sign, in a bus-stop shelter that featured a large poster showing Pope Francis with a message about the struggle we all are in together. I got their permission to […]

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Photo by Jessica Berk.

Ruth Berk, liberated from a senior home to which she was confined because of her landlord, sings My Funny Valentine for NY Post Videographer Stephan Jeremiah. Since WestView championed her cause, she’s become the talk of the town with tons of traffic on the NY Post website and almost 20,000 views on Fox-Five’s website so […]

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Maggie B’s Photo of the Month

Photo of the Month June 2015: Maggie Berkvist.

STREETFAIR CHIC: One couldn’t help but be struck by this gentleman’s perfectly color-coordinated outfit as he stood amidst the elegant period pieces for sale at Perryphrenalia on May 9th.

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A Tolerance for Ugly

VISUAL POLLUTION: Bandit advertisers encrust traffic control box while MTA has no program to clean them.

My TV offered that familiar Rio de Janeiro aerial shot of the Christ figure with outstretched arms over the spectacular, curving Guanabara Bay, and then cut abruptly to the shoreline where a wire fence held back floating plastic and household garbage. Rio, it seems, is one of the most polluted cities in the world, and […]

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How the West Village Brought Civil Rights to the World

AMERICA BEGINS IN GREENWICH VILLAGE: Many contributions—such as the fight for LGBT rights—started in the West Village and have major impacts on the rest of the world. OPPRESSION 1985 © Suzanne Poli.

Did you know that Reader’s Digest was first conceived in a speakeasy at 1 Minetta Lane by DeWitt and Lila Wallace? That Jane Jacobs set a national model of American urban neighborhood life and used her time tested concept to defeat Robert Moses—who wanted to build a superhighway through South Manhattan, which would have destroyed […]

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O. Ottomanelli & Sons

STILL WITH US, AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: Matthew, Frank, Jerry and Joe Ottomanelli in front of their family butcher store at 285 Bleecker Street. Photo by Maggie Berkvist.

By Caroline Benveniste When shopping at O. Ottomanelli & Sons on Bleecker Street and speaking with Frank Ottomanelli, it is easy to imagine that you are back in the Bleecker Street of the 1940’s. At that time pushcarts lined the street, and there were six butcher shops, two fish stores and two bakeries. The pushcarts […]

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America is Hard to See. The Whitney Museum’s Inaugural Exhibition presents 600 artworks from the Museum’s Collection

REDRESSING PAST IMBALANCES: Lee Krasner’s The Seasons, 1957, dominates the section devoted to Abstract Expressionism. Photo by Maggie Berkvist.

Faced with the responsibility for selecting an inaugural exhibition from a collection of 22,000 artworks, the Whitney curators have come up with a thoughtful solution. Selecting the title America is Hard to See, a line from a Robert Frost poem, they have foregone the traditional chronological survey and opted for a sequence of thematic groupings […]

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Think Pink

OUR RESIDENT PINK-DIPPED BIRD: Though not native to the east coast, the House Finch (above) has adapted easily to east coast life. Photo by Keith Michael.

Quick. Think of a pink bird. An afternoon rain pings off the air conditioner. Millie has sprawled onto her back, her four short legs divining like the arrows on a weathervane, and her upside-down panting corgi-smile peeking out like a sea monster in the margin of a Dutch mariner’s map. Beyond my desk, Stanley Donan’s […]

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West Village Original: Isabel Case Borgatta

FROM SOAP TO STONE: With a feeling for form and volume, sculptor Isabel Case Borgatta would carve on anything she could get her hands on. Photo by Michael D. Minichiello.

This month’s West Village Original is sculptor Isabel Case Borgatta, born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1921. In her lengthy career, she has had numerous solo and group exhibitions, seen her pieces in museum, corporate, and private collections, and been the recipient of numerous awards, among them Yaddo and Edward McDowell Fellowships. Borgatta moved into Westbeth […]

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The Lost Cinemas of the West Village: The Fugazy Theater

The Fugazy Theater. In this photograph, the only one in the public domain that I have found, the vertical Fugazy sign can be seen left center. MacDougal Street lies between the two buildings in the photo.

The Fugazy Theater stood at what is now the corner of West Houston Street and Sixth Avenue from 1923 to 1929. The William F. Passannante Playground now occupies that site. The Fugazy initially showed silent films and played vaudeville. Its capacity was 1,687. Hubert J. Fugazy built the cinema between McDougal and Hancock Streets. Reilly […]

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Meet Kumiko Nakayama

PROVENCAL BOUTIS AND JAPANESE TEXTILE ART COMBINED FOR INSPIRATION: Kumiko (left) working on her finely embroidered accessories. Photos courtesy of KumikoNakayama

Kumiko Nakayama Geraerts’ creations daringly combine Provencal boutis and Japanese textile art. Totally enamored with vintage textiles, she uses both of these solid traditions as her sources of inspiration, without sticking to them too closely, to design finely embroidered accessories. Boutis has its roots in stitching, embroidery and quilting techniques that have been practiced in […]

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The Finnish Touch

Courtesy of Matti Pikkujamsa

WestView publisher George Capsis caught Finnish artist, Matti Pikkujamsa, sketching him and Nelida Mori in her Times reviewed restaurant, Taste of Lima, as it fights arbitrary eviction by one of the worst landlords in New York.

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Dominique Ansel and Very Fresh from the Kitchen

KEEN TO TRY THE NEW BAKERY-RESTAURANT: David Porat (left), George Capsis and Sarabeth Levine gather around for a highly anticipated tasting. Photo by Nicole Seiler

Dominique Ansel is well known for creating the Cronut, which went viral. I heard him speak at the Fancy Food Show last year and he impressed me with his modest nature, his simpler words and his belief that even he cannot rest on his laurels—instead always needing to create and innovate. Based on this, I […]

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Science from Away: Stories

TASTELESS TOMATOES: While they do look great, a natural mutation is responsible for affecting the quality of taste in our tomatoes.

Psychologist Rebecca Spencer, an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, conducted an interesting experiment on children between three and five. She demonstrated that those allowed to nap after learning about matching picture cards did much better in follow up games. Her finding is consistent with research on the role of sleep conducted […]

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Then & Now

THEN 1927. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th United States President, gave his State of the Union Address on December 6th. Charles Lindbergh received the Medal of Valor from NYC mayor Jimmy Walker on June 13th. New York City is under construction as usual, looking east toward West Broadway and the Grand Street Station of the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train that stopped running in 1938, and replaced by the IND line. Photo credit: nycvintageimages NOW 2015. Although construction has altered the very same view over the years, if we look deep enough with some imagination, we can practically see 88 years back into the past. Photo credit: Stan Fine

Grand and Thompson

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Plans for West Village Middle School Unveiled

ALL EYES FOCUSED ON THE RENDERINGS: Melanie E. La Rocca, Chief of Staff of the School Construction Authority, explaining plans held up by Community Board Two Task Force members Heather Campbell and Jeannine Kiely. Photo courtesy of Stacy Horn.

“Tonight is a celebration,” Council Member Corey Johnson announced to the packed room of parents and other advocates who have been fighting for a middle school in the West Village since 2007. 75 Morton Street, an unused State building, has been their goal almost since the beginning. Started in 2008, the battle for the building […]

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Steppin’ Out

Photo by Maggie Berkvist

REMEMBERING ‘BOJANGLES’: On May 24th, students from the American Tap Dance Foundation participated in Tap Attack on Hudson River Park’s Pier 45 in celebration of the 16th National Tap Dance Day, observed each year to commemorate the birthday of the legendary Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson. To quote Tony Waag, director of the Foundation, “I want everyone […]

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Jim Fouratt’s REEL DEAL MOVIES June 2015

HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT : Arielle Holmes, above. Image courtesy of Radius/Weinstein.

Shocker: In Manhattan tickets for new movies can cost $15 to $20 dollars for adults and $14 for seniors (there goes the fixed income movie goer). Early morning shows cost a little less—between nine in the morning and noon it will only cost you $8.50-$9.50 for any age. That’s great if you can get yourself […]

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West Village Events in June 2015

Follow the link below to find the latest events in the West Village—including Film, Music, Learning, Dance and Literature. http://issuu.com/sephelan/docs/westviewnews_june2015/26 For weekly updates go to EVENTS at http://www.westvillageword.com/  

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The Visit and Fun Home

The Visit is the last John Kander and Fred Ebb musical before Mr. Ebb’s death in 2004. It stars Chita Rivera and Roger Rees, with a new book by Terrence McNally based on the Friedrich Durrenmatt play, and it opened at the Lyceum Theater on April 23rd. The original play version opened in 1958 starring […]

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Johnson Holds Inaugural West Side Summit

On Saturday, May 9th, Councilmember Corey Johnson held the inaugural West Side summit at the newly renovated Civic Hall on Fifth Avenue, inviting community members from the entire West Side district to make suggestions about future legislative, policy, and budget decisions. The packed meeting of over 100 people included many Community Board 2 members from […]

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The Times reported the beating of a 21-year-old soldier of Ethiopian descent in a Tel Aviv suburb caught on video then broadcast on TV causing demonstrations directly parallel to those recently sparked here by the Ferguson incident. The Times explains that there is a prejudice against Ethiopian Jews supposedly historically related to one of the […]

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GVSHP Awards

By Caroline Benveniste On Wednesday, June 17th, from 6:30-8:30 PM, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation will hold the 35th GVSHP Annual Meeting and 25th Village Awards which this year are co-sponsored by The New School. This event will take place at the Auditorium at The New School, 66 West 12th Street. The awards […]

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Senior Action Day Returns

Senior Action Day is returning to the West Village. Organized by the Social Services committee of Community Board 2, it will be similar to an event held last year on the same theme. At that event, several hundred local elderly residents of The Village saw information presented by over thirty healthcare providers, local businesses with […]

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WestView Letter June 2015: Tenants Seek Representation

Tenants Seek Representation Westbeth is our home, and in many cases, the source of our livelihood. Many tenants have been here since day one when we opened in 1970 and the “average” tenant has probably lived here for over 25 years. Our lives are invested in this institution. We are grateful to all of those […]

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WestView Letter June 2015: May 11, 2015

May 11, 2015 To the Editor: I was both surprised and disappointed at the recent article concerning Westbeth in WestView. Surprised because I have always thought a basic tenet of journalism was to get both sides of a story. Your reporter contacted no one at Westbeth in the course of her reporting. I was also […]

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The Law As I See It. Westbeth Must Be the Center of Affordable Housing

The story of Westbeth could fill up a volume. The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation of Westbeth as a landmark in 2011 is twenty-four single spaced pages long. It is hard to summarize, but its history and restrictions put the current controversy into context. Westbeth was built in stages. The first of its buildings was built […]

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