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Upper West Side

WNYC News

French Jews Find Refuge — Where Else? — on the Upper West Side

Friday, January 23, 2015

Jews in France felt nervous long before the recent attacks in Paris. Many have already left, not just for Israel but also Manhattan.

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WNYC News

Child, 4, Killed by Car After Driver Flees Cops

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

A 4-year-old girl was killed and her grandmother injured this morning when a car fleeing police jumped a curb on the Upper West Side, police said.

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WNYC News

UWS Spiritual Center Awaits Return of Leader Who Survived Plane Crash

Monday, January 07, 2013

Members of the Community Meditation Center on the Upper West side met for the first time Sunday without their leader, Allan Lokos, who survived a plane crash with his wife in Myanmar last month.

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WNYC News

UWS Nanny Pleads Not Guilty in Child Deaths

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A nanny accused in the stabbing deaths of two children at their upscale Manhattan home pleaded not guilty Wednesday at a hospital where she's been treated for self-inflicted stab wounds.

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WNYC News

Nanny Arrested for Killing 2 Kids in Her Care

Saturday, November 03, 2012

The nanny suspected of stabbing two children and then stabbing her self in front their mother has been charged with first and second-degree murder.

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WNYC News

Nanny Suspected of Killing 2 Kids in UWS Home

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Two children were found stabbed to death inside an Upper West Side apartment, and their nanny was found nearby with a self-inflicted wound, authorities said Thursday evening.

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Transportation Nation

NYC Reining in Scofflaw Delivery Cyclists with Six Restaurant Inspectors

Thursday, September 27, 2012

One-third of the NYC DOT bike inspection team: Demel Gaillard (L) and Ronald Amaya. (photo by Kate Hinds)

(New York, NY - WNYC) When it comes enforcement of cycling laws, New York City is willing to employ the stick. But first, the city wants businesses -- and their delivery men -- to eat carrots, at least until January.

On a recent afternoon, Department of Transportation inspector Demel Gaillard paid a visit to Haru, a Japanese restaurant on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The manager, Jamyang Singye, greeted him at the door.

"How can I help you guys?" Singye asked. "We’re just here to see if you guys have your posters posted," said Gaillard. "Outlining the commercial bicyclists law?"

Gaillard is one of six DOT inspectors, and his job is to make sure business owners know the commercial cycling rules and are communicating them to their employees. Singye brings him downstairs to the kitchen, where the rules are displayed on one of many text-heavy postings. "I’d be happy to give you a new poster," says Gaillard, offering up the newer, full-color edition.

"Do you also have it Chinese?" asks Singye. In fact the poster comes in seven languages -- a necessity in a polyglot city where bicycle food delivery men often hail from abroad. Haru, which has a Japanese sushi chef, Chinese delivery staff, and a manager from Nepal, is no exception.

Jamyang Singye, Haru's manager (photo by Kate Hinds)

"That would be great," says Singye.

What's not great is the public's perception of bike delivery guys. Speaking at a hearing earlier this month, New York City Council member Jimmy Vacca said the city's rogue cyclist problem is "tremendous."

"There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not in Manhattan where I don’t see a commercial cyclist on the sidewalk, going the wrong way on a one-way street," he said. "This is a constant occurrence.”

Delivery bikes parked on Amsterdam Avenue (photo by Kate Hinds)

DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan hears these complaints all the time. Her inspectors can't enforce moving violations -- that's the domain of the police. In July, Sadik-Khan explained what her department can enforce.

"Our emphasis here is making sure that everybody knows you need to wear a helmet," she said, ticking off the requirements. "You need to wear a vest, you need to have bells and lights and have a bike that's in working condition and follow the rules of the road."

Commercial bicyclists also need reflective devices on their bikes or tires, and a numbered business ID card. Business owners must provide this equipment for their employees.

From the DOT's "commercial bicyclist safety" poster

Since July, the DOT has visited over 2,100 businesses to tell managers like Singye what he needs to do to follow the law and, as Inspector Ronald Amaya explained, what will happen if he doesn't.

"In January 2013," Amaya said, "if you’re not in compliance with all the rules and regulations – like your delivery men not having their vests, their helmet, ID cards, and the poster’s not up in your establishment, we will be issuing a fine, anywhere from $100 to $250."

Here's the important distinction with enforcement: if a DOT inspector sees a delivery guy riding without a vest, the inspector will issue a ticket to the business. If a police officer sees a delivery guy breaking a traffic law by, say, riding on the sidewalk, the officer will ticket the bicyclist. Brian McCarthy, a deputy chief for the NYPD, told TN the department has expanded enforcement and so far this year has issued 8,959 commercial bicycle summonses. That's about 25 percent of all bike tickets.

Meeting notice on door of St. Agnes Library (photo by Kate Hinds)

The DOT is holding public forums to hammer this point home. At a recent meeting on the Upper West Side, DOT staffers handed out posters, bells, and even samples of reflective vests to over a hundred managers and delivery workers. Department educator Kim Wiley-Schwartz explained details of the coming crackdown to a standing-room-only crowd of managers and bike delivery workers. She spoke about the need to wear helmets and vests and carry ID. Then she did a little consciousness-raising about the need to follow the rules of the road -- and yield to pedestrians.

NYC DOT staffer Kim Wiley-Schwartz, explaining commercial cycling rules

"You do not have the right of way. I don’t want a ‘ding ding ding ding’ as people are crossing the crosswalk when they have the light," she said, imitating the sound of a frustrated bicyclist leaning on his bell. "They have the right of way."

After the meeting, a lot of workers said the rules made sense. But Lawrence Toole, who works at a restaurant in the theater district, said he felt a little picked on.

"These are small businesses, and what they’re doing is they’re hiring people that need jobs," he said."It’s bad enough that there are no jobs out there. Now you’re going to penalize the people that are giving the jobs to people."

But a few seconds later, he reached acceptance. "But we got to follow the law all the same."

City Council woman Gale Brewer, who represents the Upper West Side, says there needs to be a culture change -- and it won't come easily.

"It is a very challenging job to convince the delivery people and their managers -- the managers change often, the delivery people change often," she said. There needs to be "constant education that safety comes before a customer who wants their food right now."

Starting in January, businesses that don't follow the rules could pay the price.

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Schoolbook

On the Upper West Side, an "F" Parents Won't Accept

Friday, October 14, 2011

It seemed to Virgil de Voldere that with each passing year his son attended the P.S. 84 Lillian Weber School, it only became more popular. Families who lived in other districts began to apply, preferring the school on 92nd Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West to their zoned option. A school that middle class parents once kept their distance from was now attracting them with French and Spanish dual-language classes, after-school programs, and an increasingly active Parent Teacher Association. And then came the city Education Department's report card: A grade of "F."

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Features

Manhattan Children's Museum Gets Funding for 'Muslim Worlds' Exhibit

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kids will get a hands-on look at mosaics, literature, calligraphy and other pieces of the "Muslim World" thanks to a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that went to the Children's Museum of Manhattan.

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WNYC News

Snapshot | Trumpet Flowers With Ant Appeal Uptown

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trumpet flowers growing on West 82nd Street in an overgrown lot behind Ray's Pizza.

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Features

Toasted: H&H Bagels

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It could be the end of a New York City staple. At the famed H&H Bagels on 80th Street and Broadway on Wednesday, Upper West Siders flocked to the city’s most famous bagelry to stock up on what could be their last supply of sesames and poppies as rumors spread of the store’s closing.

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Transportation Nation

Monday Morning, 11:00AM: Bike Lane Installation Continues

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pedestrian island being installed on Columbus Avenue (Kate Hinds)

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Work on a fully-realized Columbus Avenue bike lane continues today on Manhattan's Upper West Side. It looks like the DOT is installing a floating pedestrian island, which will separate the bike lane from traffic.

It's the first protected bike lane on the Upper West Side, and part of a plan that will include building a matching lane heading uptown on Amsterdam Avenue.  Business owners have protested the implementation of the lanes, which decreased available parking spaces, saying that their ability to receive deliveries has been compromised. Community Board 7 is looking into creating a task force to help solve these issues.

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WNYC News

Flooding in Tunnel Shuts Down 1, 2, 3 Lines

Friday, October 01, 2010

A subway line on Manhattan's Upper West Side was suspended for an hour and a half during this morning's rush hour because of heavy rain.

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