Signs of the Times


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By Arlene Kayatt

Reading for Dogs 101 — Unless dogs learn to read, there may be some serious consequences. Take Le Pain Quotidien on 77th Street and Second Avenue, where there’s a sign posted on the door announcing a code of conduct for dogs who cross the portal. What happens if a dog breaks the code? And then barks that s/he did or didn’t do it? Does the dog get detained? Retain a lawyer to argue that the sign’s too high, Fido couldn’t see it? Or that s/he is a companion dog? Maybe a prep school for dogs should be added to the services offered by dog day care centers and spas. Some discipline may save Fido from a day in a detention center.

Bāng Bar — If you’ve read or heard all about David Chang’s (the man behind the Momofuku empire) new Bāng Bar at Time Warner Center, and are eager to try out their Korean wraps with spit-roasted meats, bring a GPS. The reviews will tell you that it’s on the third floor. Take the escalator. If the GPS doesn’t do malls, then your work is cut out for you. There are no arrows or signage directing patrons to Bāng Bar. There are wall plaques with the name, but that’s it. No arrow or sign leads you in the direction of the restaurant. Asking a security guard or an employee of another store on the third floor is futile. When asked, responses ranged from “It’s around the corner,” to “Never heard of it” and “Not in this building.” Finally — perhaps she was a foodie — a staffer in another restaurant told me that it was “behind the sunglasses store.” And so it was — hidden away in the dark reaches of the third floor. When I got to Bāng Bar, all I could see was the glassed-in kitchen, which looks out onto the floor. Never got inside. Lunch was over. They serve breakfast and lunch; their hours are 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. And it was closed. Maybe an investment in signs and arrows or a tasting for building personnel will get the public to the place on time. Hype alone won’t do it.

More stories — Add assisted living to the mix of unaffordable housing in Manhattan. At least two ginormous residential buildings are coming to the East Side, one at the southwest corner of Lexington Avenue and 54th East Street, the other on the south side of York Avenue between 85th and 86th Streets. The 54th Street site has been ready for construction for at least two years. The York Avenue site — all buildings south of Arturo’s pizzeria — will be demolished. In both cases, the structures take up at least half the block. And more demolition and construction is coming to the same 86th Street neighborhood, where Gristedes once stood. The construction on that site will extend mid-block on 86th Street to First Avenue and 85th Street. Like it or not, big is in.

What would the Talmud say? — Temple Shaaray Tefila on East 79th Street has a glass frame hung on the side of the temple which displays the names of the rabbi and others associated with the synagogue, along with birth announcements, bar and bat mitzvahs and other religious and related civic activities. It was surprising to also see a quote from Hillary Clinton relating to women and their role in society. Is it impolitic to ask why?





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