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Our Town

Sherry-Netherland Gives Mural Artist Joseph Aruta His Due

There’s a whole new reason to drop by the lobby of the Sherry-Netherland at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. After decades of painted-over ignominy, a spectacular ceiling mural created by artist Joseph Aruta for the hotel’s opening in 1927 has been fully restored.

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From a report in the Daily News by Beth Stebner:

Bill Mensching, the director of EverGreene Architectural Arts’ Mural Studio and project manager of the monumental task, says it’s a mystery when or why the artwork – featuring the seven Liberal Arts muses and modeled after a mural at the Vatican – was plastered over in the first place.

“No one remembered it was there,” he said, until board members of the 59th St. hotspot saw old black-and-white photos of the artwork.

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Of Mice and Men and Expanding an Acting School with James Franco

Gotham magazine online editor April Walloga has a zippy Q&A with Jim Parrack, a Texas-born actor who can currently be seen alongside James Franco in the Broadway revival Of Mice and Men (in previews).

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Parrack was previously based in LA, but he recently relocated to Fort Greene, Brooklyn not just for Broadway purposes but also to watch over a separate new “Brooklyn Lab” endeavor with his Broadway co-star Franco:

“James [Franco] and I both studied at a place called Playhouse West, and the founder of the school asked me to start teaching about four years ago. One of the reasons I wanted to move out here was to extend the school out here [from Los Angeles] and start the Playhouse West Brooklyn Lab.”

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Sally Field on the Joys of Her New York Apartment

In support of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Sally Field is on the cover of the May 2014 issue of Ladies’ Home Journal. With her three sons now fully grown, she’s relishing the freer rhythms of her personal life.

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Field recently traded a large Malibu estate for a smaller home in LA and second apartment in New York. In the Q&A with former Parade EIC Janice Kaplan, she extols the virtues of that east coast abode:

“It’s an old prewar apartment with a view of the Empire State Building and the new World Trade Center tower, so it feels very New York to me. It just invites reinvention. I get to see all the opera and theater that I want and still it’s not enough. There’s so much to do that sometimes I just say, ‘Okay, Field, you have to stop for two nights and just read your book!’”

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Wily Chefs Surprise Wylie Dufresne

WylieDufresnePicNew Yorker reporter Sophie Brickman tells readers to think of the three covert days spent in Brooklyn by 20 world-class culinary artists as The Real World: Chef’s Edition. And that’s just the tip of the analogous iceberg. FishbowlNY while reading also saw visions of Real House Chefs of Williamsburg, Undercover Sauce, America’s Got Imported Talent and more.

Two years in the making, the top-secret 72-hour assembly of world class restaurant chefs was for the purposes of honoring one of their molecular gastronomy own, Wylie Dufresne (pictured), with a surprise birthday celebration. It all went down successfully last night:

They’d focus on three of Dufresne’s signature dishes: shrimp noodles, cold fried chicken and scrambled egg ravioli, a cube-like concoction made of scrambled eggs encased in a sheath of egg yolk. They’d form cooking groups, pick their dishes and converge at wd~50 on a Tuesday, when the restaurant was closed. At the appointed hour, someone would call Dufresne to inform him that the restaurant was flooded. When he came rushing over, he’d arrive to the party of his dreams.

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NYPD-FDNY Charity Brawl a Big Black Eye for New York

NYPDChetDogfanThe reason(s) for this hockey brawl must be especially embarrassing. Because per Time, neither the NYPD nor the FDNY cared to comment after their annual Nassau Coliseum charity match devolved into a Slap Shot-style free-for-all and 25-minute game delay.

However, judging by the YouTube recorded crowd chant “PD Sucks!”, the Finest ranks may well have been responsible for starting the fracas with their Bravest opponents. Either way, Daily News article commenters are rightly disgusted:

Sport-IQ Lives: Have you ever seen a fight at a “charity game”??? Me either… It’s not the same, they aren’t hockey players and could’ve kept their cool, to be positive role models… If anything, I’m looking at this saying “This was a charity game… What would a cop do to a regular Joe during a stop????”

Tommy Capone: Unreal at a charity event, every single one of them should be terminated as of today. Just disgusting how FD and PD behaved.

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Mandarin $28,000 Suite Has Art Curated by Whitewall Magazine

WhitewallMagazineLogoForbes contributor Ann Abel writes that it took extra effort to get a peek. But today, she has the scoop on one of New York’s most prized new temporary abodes – Suite 5000 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The rarefied space, opened last fall, occupies 3,300 square feet on the 50th floor:

The suite represents a Who’s Who of New York’s creative energy. Most prominent is the art collection on the walls, curated by Whitewall magazine. It’s already changed since the suite debuted in November and several guests have purchased artworks; right now it features an eye-catching Kenny Scharf Cosmic Donut, as well as work by Shelter Serra, the Campana brothers and Forrest Myers. (An in-room iPad allows guests to learn more about the pieces and artists.)

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Airbnb Sex Party Victim: It’s All About Finding the Outlets Most Likely to ‘Sneeze’ Your Viral Content

Talk about backing into some media outreach.

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Thanks to Inc. reporter Will Yakowicz, there is now a highly entertaining granular record of how Chelsea apartment dweller Ari Teman was able to recover from unwittingly airBNB-ing his place to a sex party organizer.

Teman, a stand-up comic, figures that the now-infamous “XXX Freak Fest” did $67,000 worth of damage to his place. Subtract the $23,000 he’s getting from Airbnb and that still leaves this tenant with a large amount of ground to make up:

From there, Teman commenced a calculated campaign to publicize the story. He started with Gawker, BuzzFeed and Gothamist and word quickly spread. The story has now been in 83 print and online publications around the world. Teman also has been a guest on 27 radio shows including Howard Stern and Opie and Anthony, and about a dozen TV shows like Fox’s Good Day NY, CBS’s The Couch and even news programs in Australia and Israel…

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Gawker Reviewer: I’m Going Back Only if ‘On the Brink of Death by Starvation’

GawkerLOXThe second installment of Gawker’s nascent series “The Best Restaurant in New York” is a mensch. Reviewers Caity Weaver and Rich Juzwiak offer up an oral history of their evaluation of The Jewish Museum joint LOX New York City.

Neither one of them is Jewish, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Twitter handle appearances to the contrary. And neither one of them was too impressed by the museum cafe, although the assignment did deliver a possible new personal catchphrase related to LOX’s “Signature Sandwich” of seasonal sake-infused lox, ricotta and farmer cheese spread, torched tomatoes and chopped onions on black bread:

Juzwiak: The sandwich was kind of… hard. It was cute when you asked me, while picking at my plate (which, for the record, I invited you to do), “Got any more loose onions?” Mostly because it reminded me of a time that a woman asked me, “Got any spare pants?” when I was in a parking lot of a North Philly mini-mart. “Got any more loose onions?” was my favorite part of my sandwich.

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Hachette Chief: ‘New York is No Longer a Bookstore City’

Julie Bosman‘s disheartening NYT look at the dwindling number of Manhattan bookstores is a Dickens of a downer. In this tale of two cities, the best-times scenario has been gradually giving way to a bookworm’s worst nightmare.

RizzoliBookstoreLogoThe Rizzoli and Bank Street bookstores are scrambling to find new digs; state data shows a 30% drop in NYC bookstore locations between 2000 and 2012. There are also depressing quotes from lifelong New Yorker/author Robert Caro and a book industry big wig:

With the closing of several Barnes & Noble and Borders stores, it is difficult to shop for new books in Midtown, the same neighborhood that houses Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and much of Penguin Random House.

“There are some great bookstores, but there aren’t a lot of them,” said Michael Pietsch, the chief executive of Hachette. “Compared to other cities, New York is no longer a bookstore city.”

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Oldest Man in America Gets More 21st Century Ink

AlexanderImichJewishPressPhotoA recent article in The Jewish Press about 111-year-old Upper West Side resident Alexander Imich came about thanks to the efforts of a much younger Brooklyn rabbi. Today, that rabbi – 30-year-old Pinny Marozov – gets profiled at chabad.org and provides more detail about this evolving friendship.

The response to the February 28 Jewish Press story was immediate; readers rallied to replace Imich’s recently lost hearing aids and buttressed visits, renewed home care. Marozov meanwhile affixed a Mezuzah to the Polish-born uber senior citizen’s apartment door and helped him put on a Tefillin for the first time in almost 100 years. The Canadian-born rabbi told Chabad contributor Mindy Rubenstein he is looking forward to more sharing of the faith:

Marozov said he plans to visit Imich again before Passover and bring him some shmura matzah — handmade matzah made from grain that is guarded from the moment of harvesting, so that no fermentation occurs.

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