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Gotham Center Forums Archive, Spring 2007




Robert Moses and the Modern City: Remaking the Metropolis
February 1st, 5:30

**At the Museum of the City of New York**
Call 212.534.1672, ext. 3395 for more information.

Today a number of theorists are urging a new, more assertive brand of urbanism. But is it possible to build big in New York City in the 21st century? Is it necessary to plan big? Forty years after the reign of Robert Moses, key city players consider these questions and set out their vision for the future. Hon. Daniel Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding, will give the keynote address, followed by a panel discussion including: Majora Carter, Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx; Anthony Coscia, Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; John Sexton, President of New York University; and others. The symposium will be followed by a reception at the Museum of the City of New York. Advance reservations required: $10 for Museum members, seniors, and students; $20 general admission.





Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman
February 6th, 6:30 - Segal

Book talk and signing for Jim Lebenthal’s Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman.

Jim Lebenthal is not just your everyday Wall Street banker. Before taking over his family bond business from his mother, the family matriarch who founded Lebenthal & Company, he was a showman, adman, Walt Disney film maker, Academy Award-nominee and a reporter covering the movies in Hollywood for Life Magazine. Part professional guide, part memoir, Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman looks back to recount his successes and setbacks as Lebenthal worked to build the family business into one of the best known municipal bond firms in America.




On the Take: Labor Union Corruption in New York City, Past, Present, Future
February 26th, 6:30 - Ninth Floor

Recent scandals are the jumping off point for this forum, in which the new head of the city's Central Labor Council and distinguished scholars ask: How pervasive has labor corruption been in New York City? What has caused it? How does it compare to (or connect with) corruption in business and politics? What has been its impact on Gotham's economy and polity? What to do about it? An important and provocative evening with Ed Ott, Executive Director, New York City Central Labor Council, AFL/CIO; Mike Merrill, Dean, Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies, Empire State College; Robert Fitch, author, Solidarity for Sale; and James Jacobs, Professor of Law and Director, Center for Research in Crime and Justice, New York University School of Law, author, Mobsters, Unions, and Feds: The Mafia and the American Labor Movement.



Is Gotham Going Suburban?
March 13th, 6:30 - Recital Hall

Book talk and signing for The Suburbanization of New York: Is the World's Greatest City Becoming Just another Town?

The forces of suburbanization are sprawling and malling their way into town. Will they tame the raucous metropolis? Or make of it just another outlet for Disneyfied culture, big box commerce, and franchise food? Or is something new busy being born at the contested urban-suburban frontier? A book by some of the city's smartest (and wittiest) analysts and activists tackles these questions, and seven contributors will be on hand to present and discuss their (and your) assessments: Marshall Berman, Eric Darton, Francis Morrone, Matthew Schuerman, Neil Smith, Michael Sorkin, and Suzanne Wasserman.



Culture and Politics in a Time of War

March 24th, 1:00-3:30

**At the New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Ave. (at 103rd St.)**
Call 212.534.1672, ext. 3395 for more information.
Click here for registration information.

To help inaugurate the exhibition Facing Fascism: New York and the Spanish Civil War, which opens at the Museum of the City of New York on March 23, 2007, NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, in collaboration with the Museum, NYU's King Juan Carlos Center, the Gotham Center for New York City History, and the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA), will hold a lecture and panel discussion on Culture and Politics in a Time of War.

New Yorkers serving in the Spanish Civil War were part of the cultural ferment that characterized many countries in the period between the Depression and the Second World War—an alignment of art, radical politics, unionism, and internationalism. Culture and Politics in a Time of War looks at New York City as a locus of political discourse, cultural creativity, and engagement during a critical period in world history. It explores the richness of the cultural forces in New York—the arts, theater, writing, and journalism—engaged in depicting the Spanish Civil War and helping mobilize the antifascist opposition. It also looks at how political discourse and political affiliations became filtered through the lens of New York's varying ethnic cultures. It considers the resonances and the parallels between this vital and vibrant period of history and our
current 'time of war'.

Featured Speaker:
Mike Wallace, author of the Pulitzer-Prize winning Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 and Chair, the Gotham Center for New York City History
Panel Participants:
Peter N. Carroll, Chair, Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, author of The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War
Peter Glazer, Associate Professor of Directing, UC Berkeley, award-winning writer and director of works including Woody Guthrie’s American Song; Heart of Spain: A Musical of the Spanish Civil War; and Foe, adapted from J. M. Coetzee’s novel.
Rob Snyder, Historian and associate professor of journalism and media studies, Rutgers-Newark; former editor of Media Studies Journal and author of The Voice of the City: Vaudeville and Popular Culture in New York and Transit Talk: New York's Bus and Subway Workers Tell Their Stories.




Weather Report: What's Next for New York, Climatologically Speaking? Will We Be Drowned, Fried, or Frozen?

April 24th, 6:30 - Recital Hall

How has global climate change affected New York City? What will be the likely impact of coming environmental shifts? How much control can we have over our fate? Four local scientists ponder the weather report: Professors George Hendrey and Stephen Pekar, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Queens College; William Solecki, Interim Director, CUNY Institute for Sustainable Cities and Chair, Department of Geography, Hunter College; and John Waldman, Biology, Queens College.




Does New York's Past Have a Future? A Report on the Preservation Movement's History; Some Prescriptions for its Next Century
May 14th, 6:30 - Recital Hall

It has been over four decades since Penn Station was trashed and turned into Jersey landfill and the Landmarks Preservation Commission was created in its wake. We are now in the midst of an enormous development juggernaut, and some think that historic preservation might wind up as road kill. Join some of the movement's leading activists and analysts for a discussion about the past, present, and future of preservation in New York City. Panelists include: Anthony C. Wood, New York Preservation Archive Project; author Tony M. Tung; author Tom Wolfe; William Higgins, Principal, Higgins Quasebarth & Partners, LLC; and Julia Vitullo-Martin, Director, Center for Rethinking Development, Manhattan Institute.

Co-sponsored with The New York Preservation Archive Project



Sneak Preview co-sponsored with REEL NEW YORK
June 14th, 6:30 - Recital Hall

Celebrate Independents! Reel New York Film Festival kicks off the Summer with 29 independent Films and Videos by New Yorkers about New York. The 8-week festival airs on Thursday nights at 10pm from July 5th - August 20, 2007.

Films include:

Joshua Frankel's Bicycle Messengers is a short film about New York City bicycle messengers in which all of the messengers are animated and all of the backgrounds and environments are live action footage shot in mid-town Manhattan. By juxtaposing the animated messenger on top of the live action, the film highlights the peculiar relationship between bicycle messengers and the modern city in which they operate.

Cabbie Voices is directed by Shravan Vidyarthi. Over 12,000 yellow cabs ply the streets of New York, a city icon since their introduction 100 years ago. Cabbie Voices is a snapshot of the fascinating people in the driver's seat, and their stories of one of the most interesting jobs in the Big Apple. The short was produced with the support of the Design Trust for Public Space for Taxi 07, an exhibit on the next generation of taxis.

Ferry Tales, Katja Esson's Academy Award®-nominated documentary short, turns the unlikely setting of the Staten Island Ferry Powder Room into a celebration of sisterhood. Esson observes a group of women commuters as they put on their make-up and are transformed from housewives to businesswomen, from mothers to lawyers, from sisters to socialites. What starts as a funny account becomes deeply moving as, one by one, these women draw each other out, solve one another's problems, and just dish up the latest ferry gossip. This is a story of the vibrant life that goes unnoticed in a place that goes ignored.

Co-sponsored by REEL NEW YORK, Thirteen/WNET's local independent showcase





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