Woman Around Town’s Editor Charlene Giannetti and writers for the website talk with the women and men making news in New York, Washington, D.C., and other cities around the world. Thanks to Ian Herman for his wonderful piano introduction.
Retired LAPD Police Detective Harry Bosch has never worked for the defense. Blue through and through. Circumstances, however, often lead to compromises. After being exposed to cancer-causing radiation on the job, Harry is now sick. His half brother Mickey Haller, a well known defense attorney, manages to get Harry into a clinical trial at UCLA that could, if not save his life, at least give him more time. The tradeoff is that Harry has to be on Haller’s payroll, in other words, work for the defense.
Mickey is on a roll, managing to find the evidence necessary to set aside the conviction of Jorge Ochoa, an innocent man who spent 14 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. “I had resurrected this man from the dead,” Mickey thinks while watching Jorge embrace his mother. “And with that came a fulfillment I had never known in the practice of law or in life.” (Those who have watched The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix have watched this moment play out on the screen.)
In Michael Connelly’s latest mystery, Resurrection Walk, that victory sparked an increase in letters to Haller’s office from convicts pleading their innocence and asking for help. Bosch is tasked with “finding the needle in the haystack,” that one person telling the truth, serving time after being wrongfully convicted. With the latest batch of letters, Harry narrows down the search to two people – Lucinda Sanz and Edward Dale Coldwell. Because he no longer has access to LAPD case files, he asks Renée Ballard, a detective he worked with on a cold case, for help. She initially balks at his request, knowing that supplying information to a defense attorney could land her in trouble. But she finds it hard to turn Harry down and relents. She manages to abide by the rules by sending Harry links to news articles rather than the actual files. With the information, Harry crosses Coldwell off his list and zeroes in on Sanz.
Sanz was charged with killing her ex-husband, Roberto Sanz, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy. According to news reports, Sanz was late returning his son to his ex-wife’s home after a weekend visitation. There was a heated argument and he was shot twice in the back after leaving the house and walking across the lawn. Although Lucinda repeatedly claimed she did not kill her husband, gunshot residue was found on her hands. Because the evidence against her was considered overwhelming, she consented to a plea deal and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Several things about Lucinda’s arrest and plea deal bother Bosch. She told police that after hearing the shots, she called 911 and hid with her son in a back bedroom. She assumed, because of their argument, Roberto, was shooting at the house. The gun used in the killing was never found. Would she have had enough time to hide or dispose of the gun? And why was she swabbed for gun residue immediately after the shooting, since at that point she was a witness, not a suspect?
Going over the materials in the archives related to California v. Lucinda Sanz, Bosch notices that Sanz had a tattoo below the belt line on his left hip. Que Viene el Cuco, translates to The Bogeyman’s Coming. Seven years earlier, the L.A. Times had reported on an FBI investigation about corruption in the sheriff’s department, specifically deputies joining cliques where members engaged in illegal activities. Does Sanz’s tattoo indicate he belonged to one of these cliques? Might gang involvement have led to his death?
While Bosch and Haller often ride solo in Connelly’s books, together they make a terrific duo. Bosch’s experience, along with his gut instincts, which prove right 99 percent of the time, make him an invaluable asset whether he’s working for the prosecution or the defense. The treatments he’s receiving for his cancer may affect his hearing but his detective skills are as sharp as ever. As fas as Haller goes, he may be denigrated as an ambulance chasing lawyer looking for the big score, but getting it right is more important to him than his bank account. His first loyalty is to his client, even if that means enduring the wrath of a judge along the way. (Which happens in Resurrection Walk, earning Haller a trip to jail.)
Those who can’t get enough of Connelly’s characters can watch The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix and Bosch and Bosch Legacy on Amazon Prime and Freevee. What’s next for Bosch and Haller? In Bosch Legacy, Harry’s daughter, Maddie, played by Madison Lintz, is now a police officer, and very much on the front lines fighting crime. While Haller’s daughter, Hayley, in Resurrection Walk is graduating from law school. And don’t forget Ballard, who has already has her own series. Perhaps the men will step aside and let the women take over.
Before skyscrapers took over midtown Manhattan, brownstones and small apartment houses filled the blocks. And if you lived in one, you probably knew a way to slip out the back, duck through tiny alleys and airshafts, and come out in the next street. Those days are gone.
But New York City gives skyscraper developers a few perks if they leave spaces open to the public; and enough midtown buildings have taken advantage of those perks to create a sort-of passageway from the middle of 46th Street north to the middle of 56th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. All are designated “Open to the Public,” and a few stay open 24/7. Take a stroll uptown along this route, and here’s what you’ll see.
The first segment—one must admit—is uninspiring. Starting at 114 West 46th Street, it takes you to 47th Street through a bare, square tunnel. (The bike rack on the east wall is for office tenants, not the public).
More attractive is the passage that begins at 133 West 47th. On your way to 48th Street, you’ll find meals from Fresh & Co. on the east side and Proper Food on the west, that you can take away or eat at tables indoors and out.
Make a little dogleg west to 137 West 48th and walk north through a “moon gate” into a sparse—though wide—passage.
There you’ll find two bronze anthropomorphic sculptures: “Paparazzi Dogman” and “Paparazzi Rabbitgirl” by artists called Gillie and Marc. A plaque on the wall nearby gives people who worked at Rockefeller Center and McGraw Hill credit for making “this serene park” in 1973-74.
The next passage is called 745 Plaza, as it sits behind 745 Seventh Avenue. The Plaza begins on 49th Street; it’s flanked by trees and shrubs, and provides plenty of movable chairs and tables. As you approach 50th Street, the plaza doubles in width, with a greater variety of seating options centered on a sunken water feature. 745 Plaza is gated; from November 1 to March 31 it’s open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; in the warm months it’s open till 9 p.m.
On 50th Street the City has installed a mid-block crosswalk, and there’s a crosswalk (some with stop signs for traffic) on every subsequent street along this jaunt.
The next northbound passage takes you indoors, through a food court. It’s called Urban Hawker after the famous “hawker stalls” in Singapore, which the southeast Asian city-state created to consolidate (and sanitize) its street-food vendors. A sign on the entry door encourages you to “Wok Thru to 51st Street.”
Inside you’ll find stalls for signature Singaporean dishes like Chicken Rice and Chili Crab, as well the multicultural offerings that Singapore itself has in abundance, such as dim sum, curries, Indian and Indonesian specialties. There’s a full bar, too. Urban Hawker is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays.
Giant bronze sculptures, like Barry Flanagan’s “Hare On Bell,” dominate the covered passageway (open 24 hours) that starts at 151 West 51st Street, and is pictured at the beginning of this article. On the east side is Aldo Sohm Wine Bar, with indoor and outdoor seating. In the middle is a glassed-in escalator down to the private Athletic & Swim Club.
Starting at 135 West 52nd Street is a passage whose south end is roofed over, and whose north end has a skylight. Wooden benches line the walls; movable chairs and tables are in the middle. The passage is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
From 53rd Street, the northbound passage is called “1325 Avenue of the Americas” as it’s behind that Sixth Ave. office building to the east. Most of the space is taken up by a French restaurant, Le Grand Boucherie, but there is enough space on the east side of the passage to walk past it. Officially, 1375 Avenue of the Americas is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. But the restaurant’s maître d’ told me the last seating is at 7:45, and everything closes by 11 p.m. All of these mid-block passageways start and end at sidewalk level, but this one has five small steps up from the passage floor to the sidewalk on 54th Street.
Directly across 54th Street is a parking lot; but just to the west of it, at 151 West 54th Street, is the next covered passage. It has no works of art, no decorations and no furniture. But it does take you directly to one of Manhattan’s cultural landmarks: New York City Center on 55th Street. An architectural gem, it’s home to the Encores! series of revived musicals, and the Manhattan Theater Club.
Next door, at 135 West 55th Street, is a passage decorated with City Center posters and banners that’s open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight.
And there you are—you’ve come out on 56th Street, having walked ten whole blocks through midtown Manhattan without setting foot on either of the two wide avenues that flank this offbeat pathway. New York City has many little urban oases with chairs and benches, landscaping, works of art, and places to eat. But few if any of these “vest-pocket parks” line up so neatly as to make a meander like this worthwhile.
In a collection that might be subtitled “Dialects of Awareness, Gratitude and Hope,” these songs written by Ann Hampton Callaway (some with collaborators) are meant to be uplifting, and they are. Only a few of them will be familiar. The artist’s tender heart is as present as is her multifaceted talent. In fact, many of these songs began as her poems. Her musicianship is superb, her writing collaborators and duet partners are symbiotic, and the arrangements are richly textured. There are songbook ballads, savory jazz, dashes of Latin and gospel influence, and some genial funk, yet the selections are all of a piece.
“The Moon Is a Kite” (Ann Hampton Callaway)—“I fly from my heart”—dances barefoot in a meadow and hugs oneself watching a sunset. The word “fly” arcs, creating a subtle frisson. Rhythmic, yet serene, the song hitches on a breeze and moves on, smiling. The strings create a fairy minuet in “Look for the Love”—“in everything” (Callaway). Here she sounds humble.
“Forever and a Day” (Callaway/Alan Bergman), written to express sister Liz Callaway’s feelings about her husband, is a perfect anniversary dance. “So grateful for the memories made together/And may I say, each one deserves a star.” This foxtrot has a longlined, floaty feel; the piano shimmers and the percussion is cottony, tiptoeing out.
“Love and Let Love” (Callaway/Michele Brourman)—a duet with the sandy-voiced Kurt Elling—is savory, head-bobbing funk with a higher purpose. Their voices weave together—“Trust the hand that made us exactly who we are.” Here and in the later “Hold You in This Song” (Callaway) featuring Niki Haris, a gospel influence pervades. A choir would have fun with these.
“Information Please” (Callaway/Amanda McBroom) has always been a favorite. You’ll never hear, “hey, hey” sound lovelier. Based on the true story of a child who makes a lifelong connection with a telephone operator, it’s a Fabergé egg of a tory song; its delicate workmanship is delightful and poignant. “You Can’t Rush Spring” (Callaway), featuring Tierney Sutton, glides in on vocals that conjure a haunted calliope; the piano keys land like dew. It’s hushed and echoing; we might be listening to an incantation: “It’s taken me my whole life to learn/To give each single moment its turn.”
“Finding Beauty” (Callaway) is a sinewy jazz song with rhythmic, hurry-up-and-wait phrasing. “When the road gets rough, hang in long enough/You might be surprised by a different point of view.” A super harmonica, a melodica, and a light touch on the bongos make it friendly. Callaway’s signature scat is an embrace. “I wrote this to commemorate finding the love of my life, Kari Strand.”
“New Eyes” (Melissa Manchester/Callaway), featuring Manchester, describes a couple giving their relationship a second chance. Their voices meld together and engage, the lyrics plumb the possibility, and the piano is dappled. The octaves rise with anticipation: “Missing your face at the table,” it ends beautifully.
“At the Same Time” (Callaway) recorded by Barbra Streisand for her Higher Ground album in 1997, is an anthem wrapped in sheep’s clothing. Without a mention of prejudice, guns, war, or starvation, it expresses what needs to be heard and taken in: “Think of all the hearts beating in the world at the same time.” “Wherever You Are” (Callaway) written after the death of a dear friend from AIDS and featuring Liz Callaway emerges with lustrous harmony and the hum of strings. Having missed the opportunity to say goodbye, the song yearns, reaches, remembers, and sighs.
“Perfect” (Callaway) is “a song that realized my relationship was over before I did,” she states in the liner notes. Dreamy tremolos waft down like early autumn leaves. The song is wistful, rueful, and accepting.
The collection is lovely and honest.
Ann Hampton Callaway CD-Finding Beauty: Originals, Volume 1
There’s wonderful cuisine to relish in New York City thanks to many of the recent openings. Good news for people who love to dine out. Here are ten go-to new spots all around the town that present a variety of cuisines. Check them out and make some meal plans!
bar56is located just steps from Brooklyn Bridge Park in Dumbo. This stylish new wine bar and restaurant boasts a menu of 56 wines by the glass. The rotating wine program is collaboratively curated by restaurateur and wine professional James Fantaci, sommelier Aaron Fusco, and general manager Michael Brown. Complementing the wine program, the kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Vincent Cortese offering an exceptional modern American, seasonally-driven menu that draws from Italian and French influences.
Sagaponack,the recently opened seafood-centric restaurant in the heart of the Flatiron, offers great dining at an approachable price point. They serve lunch, Happy Hour, dinner, weekend brunch and have a great upstairs space for private events of all sizes. The restaurant’s menu, curated by Executive Chef Phil Choy features an inventive fusion of Asian and Mediterranean flavors. There is a diverse array of dishes that takes you on a wonderful culinary adventure. And their beverage program is outstanding, making food and drink pairings a pleasure.
Anita La Mamma del Gelato(Anita Gelato) opens its third New York City location in Times Square. With 19 branches worldwide, Anita Gelato has become a popular international brand where at times you may find the line wrapping around the block. The family-owned gelateria is celebrated for its rotating 150 flavors of gelato, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and ice cream, including sugar-free and vegan options, all made in-house using Anita’s original recipes. The Times Square location will offer 36 selections of frozen treats daily that rotate seasonally, each handmade in-store. Every scoop of Anita Gelato’s frozen creations contains the freshest, highest-quality ingredients, rich flavors, textures, crunch, and fresh cream to seasonal fruits and premium chocolate as well as a range of 25 different toppings.
Coral, a new intimate 10-seat sushi counter from veteran Sushi Chef Robby Cook, is open in the iconic MetLife Building at 200 Park Avenue with an entrance on Vanderbilt at 44th Street. Chef Cook brings years of experience working in some of New York City’s premier Japanese restaurants. At Coral, Chef Cook showcases classic Japanese techniques with globally inspired touches and flavors, leveraging his deep relationships within the famed Toyosu Fish Market in Tokyo to source the highest quality fish. Desserts come from both famed pastry chef Sam Mason as well as chocolatier Romina Peixoto.
Kobois Chef/Restaurateur Ruben Rodriguez’s latest addition to Nai Restaurant Group that includes Amigo, Nai, and Emilia, restaurants that are all located in the East Village. At age 11, Chef Ruben moved from Spain to the U.S. and worked his way up through numerous New York City kitchens before founding his first restaurant, Nai, in 2010. For Ruben’s fourth concept, Kobo, Chef Ruben combined his travels throughout the Mediterranean, leaning into his Spanish roots and his love of Italian and Mediterranean flavors.
Point Seven, the new seafood-centric restaurant from renowned Chef Franklin Becker and restaurant veteran Stephen Loffredo is open in the iconic MetLife Building at 200 Park Avenue with an entrance on Vanderbilt at 44th Street. The latest project from Chef Becker and Loffredo’s Hospitality Department, Point Seven is inspired by coastal cuisines from around the world and the ocean’s bounty, and named after the percentage of earth that is covered in water. Famed pastry chef Sam Mason creates the desserts, while Max Green oversees the seasonal, ingredient-forward cocktail program. The bright, airy, sustainably designed space by Studio Valerius features two spacious levels for dining.
Nar is a modern Turkish restaurant in the Flatiron District. Partners Andy E. Arkun, Erhan Bahceci, and Zeynep Tansung assembled a team of Turkish chefs to execute a menu of reimagined regional Turkish dishes using produce sourced from the Union Square Farmers Market, and proteins from Amish Country in Pennsylvania to serve clean, organic, halal-certified food that tantalizes the tastebuds. The dining experience includes Meze, Cold Appetizers, Mains, and of course, luscious Turkish desserts.
Libertine, a French bistro from Partner Cody Pruitt and Executive Chef and Partner Max Mackinnon has opened in the West Village at 684 Greenwich Street at Christopher Street. Libertine offers a menu that focuses on cuisine du marché, the greenmarket-guided cooking found in bistros across the French countryside, alongside an entirely all natural French wine list, and cocktails made with small batch French spirits. The 46-seat restaurant, designed by Cody, features traditional bistro tables sourced from the Pays de la Loire, France, burgundy leather banquettes, cream Venetian plaster walls, and chalkboard menus visible throughout the dining room.
White Olive, in the heart Midtown, brings the delectable, fresh tastes of the Mediterranean alive with excellent food and drink, a sleek beautiful interior, spacious bar, and top-notch service. Whether you’re shopping on 5th Avenue, visiting MOMA, enjoying the Rockefeller Center area, taking in a show at City Center or a performance at Radio City, White Olive is a marvelous destination for a memorable meal.
Butterfield Chickenis the brainchild of four young up and coming restaurateurs from Greece. It is an exciting new fast casual chicken concept that will offer the fresh flavors of Greece, along with the health benefits embodied in the Mediterranean Diet. Located at 18 West 45th Street, within a block of the Theatre District, the restaurant is the first concept to bring Greek traditional butterfly-grilled chicken to New York City and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything on the menu will be local, natural, organic, and sustainable. Nothing on the menu will be fried, except of course, the fries.