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Meet The Former and Present Residents of Manhattan Plaza: Mary Jo Slater

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Mary Jo Slater is a casting director and producer for film, television and theatre. She has over 100 movie credits to her name. Her first casting job was Chapter Two on Broadway in 1977. She went on to cast theatre productions, before moving into film and television.

As a casting director, Slater has been nominated six times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, including three nominations for The Tudors.

Mary Jo Slater and son Christian Slater in the Duke Ellington Room Manhattan Plaza

Her son is actor Christian Slater. She is also the mother of actor Ryan Slater.

Mary Jo was one of the first resident of the 10th Avenue building.

T2C: When did you first more into Manhattan Plaza and how did you get into the building?

Mary Jo Slater: I was an original tenant starting in 1977. It came about because I was Manny Azenburg’s receptionist and his assistant. We were located in the Actor’s Equity building and there were flyers about coming to see these amazing apartments. As a struggling single working mom and suddenly I had a two bedroom, two bath apartment overlooking the Hudson. My rent was based on my income. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I have John Lindsey, Bella Abzug and Patrick Monahan to thank for securing the federal subsidy of the buildings. It was the first Mitchell Lama, Section 8 and building of its kind. When I left in 1986, I cried for a year. When the government steps in, puts their money where their mouth’s are and opens the doors to people, to create camaraderie and community, this can turn hellish neighborhoods into nirvana.

T2C: There were a lot of famous people who were in that building. When you lived there who was in residence?

Mary Jo Slater: Larry David lived next door, Alicia Keys, Mickey Rourke, Angela Lansbury, Alan Menken, Giancarlo Esposito, Andrea McArdle, Kristen Vigard, Tennessee Williams, Thomas Meehan, Patrick Dempsey, Tom Fontana, Jack Warden, Martha Swope, Marge Champion, John Spencer, Jim Valley, Gloria Graham, Terrance Howard, there were just so many fabulous people.

T2C: What are your most memorable memory of living there?

Mary Jo Slater: When Christian was 7, we were riding in the elevator and four very beautiful transvestites entered. Christian stated “Mommy these ladies are so tall”. The next day Tennessee Williams, was in the elevator with us. Also while dining at Curtain Up, someone was thrown off their terrace and machete’d to death in front of us.

Samuel L. Jackson was our security guard for a short time. He got fired because he was taking the children of prostitutes to the swimming pool, so they did not have to see what their mother’s were up to.

T2C: Did you cast any people who lived in the building?

Mary Jo Slater: I was the casting director for “One Life to Live”, so I cast many from the building, so they would have health insurance.

T2C: You had your son Christian in the building. Had he started acting when he was living there?

Mary Jo Slater: His first profession job was in 1980 in The Music Man, with Dick Van Dyke. He played Winthrop Paroo. I wanted to cast him in a film with Jason Robards, but he didn’t want to audition. Once on set, the kid who got the role got all the girls. Suddenly Christian was interested in acting.

T2C: What made you move out?

Mary Jo Slater: Christian was very successful in New York. I heard about a movie that was right for him. At the time he was doing Landscape of the Body by John Guare at Second Stage. Sam Cohn saw him the play and wanted to represent him. I told Sam if you get Christian this meeting we will sign with you. He got the meeting and Christian was cast in “The Legend of Billie Jean”. He then got the film “The Name of The Rose”, so we moved to Hollywood. I of course need a job so I called a friend and ended up becoming the VP of casting for MGM. I really missed Manhattan Plaza. I went through culture shock.

T2C: You’ve produced a documentary Miracle on 42nd Street to showcase Manhattan Plaza. What made you take on this project?

Mary Jo Slater: I was having lunch with USA network VP of casting Nancy Perkins who also lived in Manhattan Plaza. We got the rights to do the story. It was a labor of love and took 5 1/2 years. This building was a role model for affording housing for artists. Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Dexter Gordan, all lived there and performed there.

T2C: What didn’t make it into this film that you would have liked to have seen?

Mary Jo Slater: A lot, so many neighbors had great stories. I could have never become a casting director, if it weren’t for being supported by the building.

T2C: What is your fondest memory of New York?

Mary Jo Slater: The camaraderie, the friendships, Broadway, Neil Simon, Chapter Two, the last cast of Grease, I was in love with what I was doing.

T2C: What would you like us to know that we haven’t asked you?


Photo: Ben & Fred Savage at The Laughter Epidemic For The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation produced by Mary Jo Slater directed by Christian Slater

Mary Jo Slater: I lived through the AIDS crisis and took my neighbor to the hospital where he died. That’s the kind of place Manhattan Plaza is. There were five people over the age of 100 that lived in the building. Rodney Kirk, the Director of Manhattan Plaza, was a minister who married me to my second husband in the Duke Ellington Room and baptized Ryan in my apartment. Richard Hunnings, gave us office space that certainly contributed to creating this labor of love.

Miracle on 42nd Street is available on Amazon and will soon be available to stream. 

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

Family

How Many More People Have to Be Killed or Hurt Before This Madness Stops?

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The latest crime involves a 17-year-old Nicaragua migrant boy who was stabbed in the back in front of shocked tourists on 42nd Street near 8th Avenue. The attack took place at 5:30 pm/  Police are now hunting for 16 suspects all part of a gang that has infiltrated Manhattan. The victim was taken to Bellevue Hospital by EMS, and is listed in stable condition.

The police have five of the alleged attackers some more migrant teens. Michael Colome, 22, of Queens, has been arrested and charged with gang assault, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. Three are 16 and one is just 14-year-old boy. There names are not being released because they are underage. Two are believed to be migrants from Venezuela.

This was on the same block where a group of migrants brutally attacked cops last month. Venezuelan Darwin Andres Gomez-Izquiel, 19 was let go after the mob attack, but got arrested again on new charges. He allegedly participating in a coordinated robbery at a Macy’s store in Queens. Hopefully District Attorney Melinda Katz will make sure this teen criminal stays in jail since Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg seems to let this teenagers out with just a slap on the hand.

Bragg, doesn’t care that these teens do not have permanent address or community ties or are flight risks. Thank-God when it came to Alejandro Rivas-Figueroa, another migrant teen, who has since been charged as an adult, is being held at Rikers for allegedly shooting a tourist during an attempted robbery in Times Square. This kid also has priors.

And here is why this is happening….Yohenry Brito 24 who is accused of instigating the group assault on two NYPD officers in Times Square, was in court a second time for different charges. He’s being held on a $15,000 bail and a Brooklyn pastor paid that sum to set him free. More than a dozen immigration advocates also showed up to support this alleged criminal with a rap sheet. He is the main ringleader of this gang assault on our police officers. He has been arrested multiple times, has at least two open cases for shoplifting and pleaded guilty last year to disorderly conduct. Why do these people want this man free? What if it was one of their own family members who was shot? Will they change their bleeding heart’s if their own are attacked? When does this madness stop?

 

 

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News

Public Invited to Provide Comments Online, by Email, Mail, Phone and Fax Tomorrow Through March 11

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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced details of a public comment period of the tolling structure that has been proposed for Central Business District Tolling, New York’s congestion pricing program. The agency will accept written and audio comments starting tomorrow and will hold four hybrid virtual/in-person public hearings in February and March.

The proposed tolling structure is available online. It is modeled on recommendations made by the Traffic Mobility Review Board on Nov. 30.

Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023, and continuing for 76 days through Monday, March 11, 2024, members of the public may submit written comments online and by email, mail and fax, and may submit audio comments by leaving a voicemail message. All comments will be recorded and submitted for review.

Online: https://contact.mta.info/s/forms/CBDTP
Email: cbdtp.feedback@mtabt.org
Mail: CBD Tolling Program, 2 Broadway, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10004
Phone: 646-252-7440
Fax: Send to (212) 504-3148 with Attention to CBDTP Team.

The hearings begin on Thursday, Feb. 29, and conclude on Monday, March 4. Members of the public who wish to speak at the hearings are required to register in advance online, by calling the Public Hearing Hotline at (646) 252-6777, or in person. Registration will open one week before the start time of each hearing and will close 30 minutes after the beginning of the hearing. Speakers will be provided two minutes to speak. The hearings will be hosted in person at 2 Broadway, New York, NY 10004 in the William J. Ronan 20th Floor Board Room. People may also register to participate remotely via Zoom or telephone.

The hearings will be accessible online at mta.info/CBDTP at these dates and times:

  • Thursday, Feb. 29, at 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, March 1, at 10:00 a.m.
  • Monday, March 4, at 10:00 a.m.
  • Monday, March 4, at 6:00 p.m.

Each public hearing will be livestreamed on the MTA YouTube channel at youtube.com/@mta-live and on the project website: mta.info/CBDTP.

Next Steps

The Central Business District Tolling Program was mandated by the State of New York in April 2019 and modeled on urban congestion pricing programs around the world to reduce traffic congestion and raise needed revenue to improve public transportation. Other cities around the world that have similar programs have also experienced improved air quality.

Following the public comment period, MTA Bridges and Tunnels (known legally as the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority) will review the public comments. Then its Board, which is coterminous with the MTA Board, will consider adopting a ratemaking regulation that includes any updates that may follow the public comment period.

As with any proposed toll ratemaking, this  public comment period is being conducted in accordance with the State Administrative Procedure Act.

Accessibility and Interpreter Services

At the public hearings, American Sign Language and CART Captioning Services will be available.

Members of the public who are deaf or hard of hearing can use their preferred relay service or the free 711 relay service, and then ask to be connected to the Public Hearing Hotline at (646) 252-6777 to speak with an agent.

Members of the public who do not have access to a computer or who do not have access to the Internet can listen to each of the hearings by calling the Zoom meeting via a telephone number which will be provided at a later date.

If language assistance or any other accommodations are required, please submit a request at least five (5) business days before the scheduled hearing date in one of the following ways: e-mailing cbdtp.feedback@mtabt.org, calling the Public Hearing Hotline at (646) 252-6777, or by sending a letter to MTA Government & Community Relations, Attn: Central Business District Tolling Program Hearings, 2 Broadway, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10004.

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Entertainment

You Are Invited to A Networking Event

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Fashion

Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents And Our Guest Eddie Wunderlich

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Yesterday, T2C announced that starting this Friday from 5-6 “Live From The Hotel Edison Times Square Chronicles Presents” will launch its first podcast and show. Following the launch, “Live From The Hotel Edison” will commence on Wednesdays from 5-6. This first show is geared towards Fashion Week since it officially starts that day. We thought We’d give you a sneak peek at our guests. Our first guest is Eddie Wunderlich.

Eddie Wunderlich is native New Yorker with over twenty years of experience in the beauty business and has traveled internationally to obtain an avant garde perspective for creating unique hair styles.

Wunderlich possesses an intense passion for creating stunning makeovers for his clients. To achieve this, he engages in thorough consultations and dialogues, and he is renowned for investing time in building trust with his clients while they sit in his chair. His vibrant energy and talent for curating opportunities and fostering collaborations make his clients feel valued and appreciated on a personal level.

With a passion for fashion, Eddie’s experiences include working at New York Fashion Week as the Beauty Director for Raul Penaranda, Key Hair Stylist for Cesar Galindo, Key Hair Stylist for the Women’s Sports Foundation annual gala curating glam for celebrity female Olympian athletes as well as editorial work for his celebrity clientele.

Creating art has always been a means of self-expression. For Eddie, expressing oneself is tantamount to loving oneself. The statement “I’ve never looked in the mirror and loved myself this much in years” speaks to the transformative power of creating beauty from the inside out.

You can make appointments with Eddie at New Collective NY, 135 west 29th street suite 401

Tomorrow meet Friday Jones.

Come join us on Friday February 9th at The Hotel Edison228 West 47th St, in the hotel lobby from 5-6 for this new adventure and learn what the newest trends in fashion are. How to update any wardrobe to be on trend. Who decides how we should look and how do you create your own style. We look forward to having you join us.

 

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Events

Gang Violence is Back In NYC

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In January a brutal Venezuelan street gang that controls sex trafficking in South America by branding women and young girls with tattoos behind their ears is exporting its violence to the US. The gang is called Tren de Aragua.

Now a moped-riding migrant crew has been snatching cellphones right out of New Yorkers’ hands. Two suspects Cleyber Andrade, 19, and Juan Uzcatgui, 23 are allegedly part of a wide ring whose members are connected to 62 different instances of grand larceny. Their most recent heist dragged a 62-year-old woman down the street. This was caught on video and had gone viral. Andrade and Uzcatgui, apparently know each other from Colombia.

The ringleader, is a Venezuelan migrant named Victor Parra, 30, who was let go by a judge in December after getting picked up for grand larceny.

Also Cops identified were Yan Jimenez, 25, of Manhattan; Anthony Ramos, 21, of Manhattan; Richard Saledo, 21, of the Bronx; Beike Jimenez, 21, of the Bronx; Maria Manaura, 32, of Manhattan; and Samuel Castro, 27, of Queens. All have previous grand larceny arrests and have been terrorizing the city since about mid-November. All free without bail thanks to our DA Alvin Braggs. They are also all recently arrived immigrants.

Scooter drivers make $100 a day, and the phone snatcher could make $300 to $600 per stolen device, according to the police.

Once the phones were in-hand, Parra would have a hacker break into financial or banking apps.

This network of thieves predominantly live in the migrant shelter system and use social media platforms to organize and coordinate.

Although cops have these migrants linked to 62 incidents, the number is more like 150. This robbery ring along with other rings worry the police as the migrants often have multiple aliases and swap identities and birthdays, making them hard to track.

According to Mayor Adams, “We want to be extremely clear.  It doesn’t matter if a person is a migrant, an asylum seeker or the person is a long-term New Yorker — you break the law, you will be investigated and it will be handled by our criminal justice system.” What he forgot to say was the judges and DA Alvin Braggs will let them back out in less than 3 hours, at least that is what they did to the migrants that beat up the cops.

 

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