East Side Notes From the Neighborhood

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A man who targeted female victims on the Upper East Side for a two-day crime spree in 2010 was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison this week. Tyrone Hunter, 56, pled guilty in January to one count of burglary in the second degree and two counts of attempted burglary in the second degree. According to court documents, in November 2010, Hunter forcibly entered the home of a woman at her East 69th Street apartment building, demanded that she give him her property and forced her to undress and don a blindfold. He absconded with jewelry, a TV and a laptop. Later that same day, he followed another woman into her building on East 83rd Street, clasped his hand over her mouth and demanded money but didn't steal anything. The next day, he tried again, following yet another woman into her apartment on East 89th Street and tackling her to the ground before fleeing. District Attorney Cy Vance lauded the sentencing and said it "will keep a violent criminal off our streets and will prevent him from carrying out future attacks on women."


CIVITAS, Carnegie Hill Neighbors and Ken Camilleri of ICF, the special consultant to the mayor's Clean Heat program, will host a discussion for co-op board officers, building managers and superintendents on how buildings can convert to cleaner fuels. Many buildings on the Upper East Side burn the "dirtiest" type of heating oil, No. 6 fuel oil, which contributes greatly to the neighborhood's poor air quality. By 2015, all buildings must burn cleaner fuel as the city phases out No. 6 oil, switching to No. 2 fuel oil or natural gas. Con Edison reps will be at the meeting to discuss how buildings can make the switch and possibly group into clusters that will make it cheaper for the utility company to connect buildings. Tuesday, March 6, 6 p.m., at the Church of St. Thomas More Parish House, 65 E. 89th St. RSVP to info@civitasnyc.org or call 212-996-0745.


As the fate of the Tavern on the Green site begins to take shape, some residents and preservationists aren't thrilled with the proposed changes. Last week, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the city's plans to revamp the historic space and spend $10 million to scale it down from its opulent past. The plans include restoring and uncovering the original Victorian gothic style of Jacob Wrey Mould's 19th-century design, which local preservation groups like Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts and Landmark West applaud. What they aren't as keen on, however, is the giant glass box pavilion addition planned for the east facade that would allow for year-round seating.

In testimony before the LPC, Friends called the addition "unrefined, discordant and inconsistent with the architect's approach toward returning the building to its historic form." Landmark West testified, "The pavilion proposed is a hefty glass-and-metal box that does nothing but hide what is most exciting about the building's primary facade: the east-facing central bay." They claim that "approving the proposed addition opens the door to insensitive additions in years to come and the Tavern on the Green begins down the slippery slope from which it is presently recovering."

While the design will move forward (the city expects to finished construction by summer 2013), the hunt for a new operator for the restaurant has also raised some debate. The city's request for proposals calls for a casual atmosphere and reasonably priced eatery, which Community Board 8 disapproved and Community Board 7 on the West Side embraced. Aspiring operators have until March 30 to submit proposals.


If you've ever wanted to hobnob with ritzy neighbors while sipping French vintages, here's your chance! The group Le Cercle Rive Droite de Grands Vins de Bordeaux (Right Bank Circle of Great Bordeaux Wines) is hosting a wine event at the French consulate in the grand salons of its limestone mansion at 934 5th Ave. Master of Wine Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan will challenge guests with a series of "wine games," including blind tastings, aroma quizzes and vintage comparisons. Wines will be paired with a selection of wine-friendly hors d'oeuvres and French pastries, including authentic Bordeaux canelés by Patissière Céline Legros, and guests will be serenaded with live French music. Key players in the French wine world will be on hand to answer questions. Wine lovers from connoisseurs to newbies are invited to the event, 5?7 p.m., Thursday, March 8. Tickets are $120 or $200 for two, with proceeds going to God's Love We Deliver. RSVP by Thursday, March 1 at rightbank-ny.eventbrite.com.


The Jewish Museum unveils its newest exhibition on Friday, March 9: Kehinde Wiley/The World Stage: Israel. The exhibition features a series of paintings by Wiley and is driven by the recent acquisition of his work Alios Itzhak, a 9-foot-tall portrait of a young Jewish Ethiopian-Israeli man surrounded by an intricate decorative background inspired by a traditional Jewish papercut. The 14 paintings, all being displayed in the New York for the first time, feature the likenesses of Israeli youth from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds. Wiley has said that his work represents a fusion of the orthodox with the secular and European traditions and those of North Africa and the Middle East. The exhibit will run through July 29.

Thursday, March 15, 6:30 p.m., Wiley will join Thelma Golden, director and chief curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem, for a conversation about the work. At the Jewish Museum, 1109 5th Ave. Tickets for the talk are $15, $10 for members. Call 212-423-3337 to reserve.

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