Notes from the Neighborhood
Today' Host Raises Funds for Breast Cancer
Last week, Today show co-host and breast cancer survivor Hoda Kotb delivered the keynote address at Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospital's Breast Service Luncheon at the Pierre Hotel on the Upper East Side. Her speech was followed by an exclusive fashion show by designer Zang Toi. The event, now in its 21st year, raised $600,000 to benefit breast cancer programs. Proceeds from the luncheon, which was chaired by Continuum trustee Betty Yarmon and hosted 500 socially prominent women and men, will benefit the Appel-Venet Comprehensive Breast Center at Beth Israel Medical Center and the Comprehensive Breast Center at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals. These programs provide diagnosis and treatment, educational programs, screenings, genetic counseling, clinical research, support groups and wellness programs for thousands of women and their families.
UES Recycling Event
Upper Green Side is holding a recycling event Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m.?3 p.m. at St. Catherine's Park, 1st Avenue between 67th and 68th streets. They will be accepting electronics (including computers and related accessories and equipment, TVs, DVD players, video games, cell phones and other devices but not appliances, such as toasters, etc.) paper and clothes of all kinds.
Winners of East River Design Competition
CIVITAS NYC, an Upper East Side community urban planning group, recently chose the first, second and third place winners in a competition that challenged designers and planners to envision ways to revitalize the waterfront of the Upper East Side. They reviewed over 90 submissions from more than 25 different countries. "The area we are looking at is the waterfront park esplanade on the East River from 60th to 120th Street," said Hunter Armstrong, executive director of CIVITAS. "A lot of people want to see the waterfront on par with downtown and the Upper West Side." Although the neighborhood was recently outfitted with a new bridge at 78th Street and has a project in the works for the nearby 91st Street esplanade, Armstrong pointed out that most of the waterfront greenway of the Upper East Side in these areas is falling apart and slowly crumbling into the river. The competition, which was co-sponsored by Community Board 8, was opened to designers from all over the world in the fall of 2010. While the contest is designed to open a forum for discussion on what can be done to improve the waterfront, there have been no plans thus far by the city or the Parks Department to take up the project. The first place winner was Joseph Wood, a designer from Hopewell, N.J. His elaborate design called for an underground river of rainwater that would span the distance between 60th and 120th Street. The river would nourish a park on the esplanade above it and provide a way to send rainwater into the East River. His design also calls for adding several new bridges to the waterfront spanning over the FDR Drive. For his visionary outlook on handling revitalization and water management, Wood was awarded $5,000 by CIVITAS and will have his work displayed at the Re-imagining the Waterfront exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York beginning June 6. Armstrong hopes that when the exhibition is put on display at the museum, contractors will take notice of the designs and perhaps put a request in to bring one of the ideas to life.
Healthy Kids Day
The Vanderbilt YMCA is hosting its annual Healthy Kids Day this Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m.?4 p.m. There will be activities for kids and adults, including a bounce house, carnival games, art projects and a family concert with Rolie Polie Guacamole at 11 a.m. The programs are designed to encourage kids to stay active and healthy as summer vacation approaches. The event will take place at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, on East 47th Street between 1st and 2nd avenues. All events are free.
New UES Landmark
Last week, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) officially designated the former Barbizon Hotel for Women building, at 140 E. 63rd St., as the Upper East Side's newest landmark. The 23-story hotel, constructed in 1927-1928 and designed by architects Murgatroyd & Ogden, became famous in its heyday as a respectable place for single women in the city to find lodging. The LPC recognized and praised the building for its "masterful handling of its eclectic mixture of North Italian Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance ornament." It was built with studio and rehearsal spaces specifically to attract women in artistic fields, and over the decades many talented and soon-to-be famous women-from comedian Elaine Stritch and actress Candice Bergen to writers Eudora Welty and Sylvia Plath, who fictionalized the place in her novel, The Bell Jar- stayed there. Many women who came to the city for modeling careers or as art students filled the hotel, which was strictly monitored for the presence of men and enforced dress codes and curfews on its young residents. The Barbizon changed hands several times and was converted to condominiums in 2005, but the LPC determined that it retained enough of its architectural glory-and fascinating New York City history-to be worthy of designation as the 127th individual landmark on the Upper East Side.
The East 79th Street Neighborhood Association will be holding its next monthly meeting on Thursday, May 10 at 6 p.m. Officers from the 19th Precinct will report on neighborhood safety concerns, and guest speakers from the group Residents for Sane Trash Solutions, which was formed in opposition to the East. 91st Street Marine Transfer Station, will present information. Representatives from local elected officials will also give updates. At the City University of New York, 535 E. 80th St.
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