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July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

LIVE: New York Celebrates the Israel Day Parade [video]

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

New York is celebrating for one of its largest, most popular – and possibly more controversial – parades of the year: the Israel Day Parade. More than 30,000 marchers are parading down the city’s most famous street — Fifth Avenue — from 11 am to 4 pm ET.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators began gathering early Sunday as organizations prepared their floats and schools brought their students on the buses to designated step-off sites. Random groups of protesters hoping to express their thoughts tried to break into the area of the march to reach spectators and marchers but failed miserably — New York’s finest had already blocked off the area long, long before.  Security is tight and the area is well-protected with both uniformed and undercover personnel.

Millions of others around the world who are unable to attend can participate virtually via the Internet as well: the Nachum Segal Network begins its live feed of the event at 11 am ET, and CelebrateIsraelNY.org — the official website for the parade and all Israel Day Parade events in New York today — kicks off its official live feed at 12 noon.

This year, popular Israeli vocalist “Rita” will be performing, as will: Miri Ben-Ari, a Grammy Award-winning violinist, Golem, SoulFarm, The Shul Band, The Ramaz Band, The Israel Dance Institute, The Areyvut Mitzvah Clows and many others. The NYPD Shomrim Society – the organization of Jewish New York City Police Officers – will also be marching, along with the city’s Fire Department and many local and state officials as usual. Hundreds of Jewish schools and community organizations will be joining them on foot and on floats as well.

Also marching in the parade this year are several controversial groups, including the Americans for Peace Now and the New Israel Fund, both of which carry out activities against Israeli development and in support of the Palestinian Authority. There has been a great deal of debate over their participation in the parade, which was established to express pride in the rebirth and continued life in the State of Israel.

Other Israel Festival activities are continuing in various locations around the city, including Central Park and at Pier 94, until 7 pm.

 

Time-lapse Movie of One World Trade Center Construction

Friday, May 29th, 2015

In recognition of the opening of One World Observatory in New York City, EarthCam released a special edition of their One World Trade Center video. It shows the completion of construction from October 2004 to Memorial Day 2015.

Hundreds of thousands of high definition images were captured over the past 11 years and hand-edited for this exclusive time-lapse movie.

2 Islamic Holidays to Close NYC Public Schools Next Year

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

New York City public schools will close next year for two Muslim holidays – Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

The two Islamic celebrations were officially designated as public school holidays by the New York State Department of Education this week.

Mayor Bill DeBlasio made the announcement Wednesday (March 4) at a news conference, saying it was “only fair.”

Children from a community that is an “integral part of the city” should be able to celebrate their holidays as do others in New York, DeBlasio said.

The Mayors of Two Great Cities Meet

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

Nir Barkat is the mayor of Jerusalem, but Bill de Blasio is the mayor of the city with the largest Jewish community.

NYC All Prepped Up But ‘No Snow Go, Mayor DeBlasio’

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

It was supposed to be “the historic storm that was,” one of the “biggest in half a century” in New York City.

By 9pm Monday night Mayor Bill DeBlasio had ordered all vehicles off the streets by 11pm, warning there would be certain punishment for citizens who disobeyed. The snow plows would need room to move, he said; salt trucks would have to be able to get through to keep the slippery streets safe. Emergency vehicles would need a clear path to be able to get by to help those who were stuck around the city.

Residents were told to “stock up” just to make sure, in case their electricity went out or the stores stayed closed. Thousands of tax dollars were spent on city preparations for the big event.

But as morning dawned Tuesday, New Yorkers discovered they were not really snowed in at all. In fact, there was little more than a coating of the white stuff on lawns in front of most homes around town. Most areas in the Big Apple were barely covered in fact, with only 5.5 inches (13 cm), max, seen in the city’s Central Park.

Grim weather forecasts were quickly downgraded (“oops!”) and the city’s transport bans were quietly lifted even as blizzard warnings remained in effect along the New England coast from Long Island to Maine.

All nine MTA bridges and tunnels are already open to traffic, according to the MTA website. The Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, NYC Transit Bus and Subway Service and Staten Island Ferry were all gradually being restored on a Sunday schedule Tuesday, with full weekday service to return by Wednesday.

Unapologetic, “This is a better-safe-than-sorry scenario,” de Blasio told CNN. “We did what was necessary to keep everyone safe.” Public transportation is expected to return to normal in New York City on Wednesday, officials added.

The situation was not nearly as rosy elsewhere along the eastern seaboard. At least 7,500 flights have been canceled at airports along the coast, both for arrivals and departures. Schools remain closed up and down the coast as well.

More than two feet of snow (60 cm) dropped in Massachusetts alone, where thousands are still without power local media report, and Connecticut saw nearly as much, 20.5 inches (52 cm).

The National Weather Service warned at midday Tuesday there were still life-threatening conditions along the New England coastline with gale-force winds and almost zero visibility in New Hampshire.

Terror Threat Puts Kibosh on Sony’s NYC Film Release

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

The threat of a possible terror attack put the kabash on a Sony Pictures Entertainment release across the United States of “The Interview,” a comedy depicting an assassination attempt on North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

Sony’s cancellation of the December 25 release followed a direct threat of terror from North Korea against theaters nationwide if they were to screen the movie, and against those who went to the theaters to see it. It came against the backdrop of a decision made by the studio’s largest theater affiliates in the United States and Canada not to show the film.

“We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers,” Sony said.

North Korea’s leadership was outraged over plot of the movie, to the point that in June, Washington received demands from Pyongyang to nix the film. That did not happen, and in November a hacker group calling itself the “Guardians of Peace” launched a massive cyber attack against Sony in retaliation for continuing with production of the movie.

At first diplomatic and cautious on the topic, within days Sony officials acknowledged that it appeared likely the North Korean government was be behind the attack. The ongoing siege of Sony Pictures involves increasing data dumps of sensitive personal and business information and threats of further similar “gifts.”

Following last week’s Los Angeles studio premier of the film, the threats took an even more ominous turn. The hackers vowed a 9/11-style attack on movie theaters across the U.S. that dared to screen “The Interview,” and moviegoers who chose to attend.

“Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made,” the hackers wrote in a long-winded warning posted on the internet. “The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave,) the hackers added. Another dump of personal data files accompanied the warning, these linked to Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Landmark Theaters’ Sunshine Cinema on New York City’s Lower East Side was the planned venue for the NYC studio premier for the film this coming Thursday evening. At midnight Tuesday night local time, Landmark was telling media that it still planned to continue with the premier as scheduled.

But New Yorkers awoke on Wednesday to the news that the East Coast premier for “The Interview” had been canceled by Landmark Theaters for the Big Apple. No explanation was given for the decision.

Just to be on the safe side, the film’s two co-stars, Seth Rogen and James Franco have scrapped their promotional tour for the film and canceled all public appearances.

But for Israelis who are either staying in New York or visiting the area for Hanukkah, terror threats are nothing new. In Israel all public venues are typically secured by armed individuals with military experience, trained to stop potential threats.

“Americans are not accustomed to such security measures,” which are accepted as a way of life and have saved countless lives in Israel, an IDF veteran told JewishPress.com on Wednesday, but requested his name not be used. “This may be the future there someday as well, but because of the numbers and the diversity of targets, security may become much more difficult.”

The FBI meanwhile has told media in a statement, “There is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States.” Nevertheless, to its credit, Sony notified its associated theaters about the threat immediately and said they had the option of choosing not to screen the film.

New York Police Department officials were not willing to toss in the towel on the film, however. “We have been down this road before with other films, about [former Al Qaeda leader Osama] Bin Laden and others,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counter Terrorism John Miller told the New York Post. “We will be beefing up security anywhere there’s a marquee, with patrols, critical response vehicles and the Hercules teams.

Artist Robin Antar ‘Envisions’ America in Stone

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

What does the child of Brooklyn Syrian Jews have in common with Manhattan glitterati on a freezing cold night in an Upper East Side mansion?

Diamonds and other stones. Art and design.

This past week New York’s top interior designers gathered in a house on East 63rd Street and Fifth Avenue to celebrate the season and raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Among the artists whose creations were requested by designers who contributed their skills to the cause was sculptor Robin Antar. Her work had been noticed by designer Michael Tavano during a show at the Waterfall Mansion, where some of her other pieces are still on display.

Tavano removed her “detached retina” from that show for the room he created at Holiday House NYC. The event shows off the best in interior design and holiday entertaining, and is open to the public from now until December 21. Tavano’s eye-catching room was packed on opening night.

Few of those in their suits and evening gowns at the gala, however, realized the petite Antar wielded a jackhammer and a seven-inch diamond blade saw to carve the stone for her larger-than-life-size sculpture.

“I did it just before I went into surgery for a detached retina,” Antar told JewishPress.com in an exclusive interview. “It was my interpretation of vision.”

But Antar takes the long view in her art. She began her love affair with stone carving as a Brooklyn teenager and created as her first piece a graceful alabaster swan which she has kept in the family collection.

She is also known for the sleek silver Sephardic Torah cases she creates. Not one is left sitting on a shelf unused. The first was cast from a mold formed from a limestone sculpture of a prayer shawl draped on two “shoulders” of the Western Wall.

Little did she know that some day she would use that same mold as the basis for a one-of-a-kind tribute to her youngest son that only an artist mother could produce – sadly, for a tombstone. Antar’s son passed away last year at age 26 of a drug overdose after years of struggling to overcome emotions from early childhood abuse suffered at the hands of a daycare operator. Two more sons — a married businessman and an artist with a special flare for color and design — carry on the family traditions.

Salt from the tears that were shed for the life cut short eventually was poured (in a virtual sense) into unique semi-precious salt cellars she now creates for the light and joy of the Sabbath table. Antar had a huge pile of stone chips left over from other sculptures carved from stone such as blue onyx, rose alabaster and honeycomb calcite, and “didn’t want to waste them,” she says. What began as an experiment is now functional art for the interiors market, with those and larger table bowls both much in demand.

But her pride and joy is the Realism in Stone series, she says; a line of art she calls the “virtual record of contemporary culture” in America.

“I ask myself, ‘Will a bottle of Heinz ketchup really exist in another hundred years?’ and then I begin to see the product emerge from the stone,” Antar explains. Different sculptures are carved from different types of stone, depending on what she is creating – but all require heavy power tools that demand precision in their use.

“You cannot do this work without the right equipment,” Antar warns. “Don’t even THINK of starting to carve stone without a face mask for breathing, and especially not without goggles to protect your eyes.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/artist-robin-antar-envisions-america-in-stone/2014/11/25/

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