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Meet The Former and Present Residents of Manhattan Plaza: Ron and Nancy Perkins

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Ron Perkins has been a working actor since 1995. He is known for his role as Mendel Stromm in Spider-Man. He also appeared in The Prestige as the manager of a hotel visited by Hugh Jackman’s character. You can see Ron in “Prince of the City”, “Endless Love”, “Troop Beverly Hills”, “Wired”, “Reindeer Games”,”The Perfect Game” and more. In TV Ron appeared in nine episodes of Fox’s “House”, seven episodes of “Roseanne” and four episodes of “Heroes”. Other TV credits include “Modern Family”, “Code Black”, “The Mentalist”, “Mad Men” and many more.

Ron Perkins
Nancy McLoud Perkins

Nancy McLeod Perkins has worked in casting for thirty years. First in New York City, where she lived in Manhattan Plaza with her actor husband, Ron Perkins, and then in Los Angeles where she was the head of casting for Universal Television Studios for 15 years. Nancy oversaw the casting of all tv pilots and series, including all “Law and Order” series, “House”, “The Office”, “Friday Night Lights” to name a few.  Since leaving Universal she partnered with Allison Jones to cast the pilot of “Parks and Recreation” for NBC and did the episodic casting for all three seasons of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” on HBO. For her work she was nominated for an Artios Award by the CSA for best episodic casting of a drama series. She has also worked as a casting consultant for NBC and Alcon Entertainment and is one of the producers on Miracle on 42nd Street.

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

Nancy: I was lucky enough to marry in to the building!  I moved to NY in 1981 to live with Ron and he lived there.  

Ron: I was one of the original tenants and moved in to my apartment in June, 1977.  The tenth avenue building wasn’t finished when I moved in to the 400 building.  I was sharing an apartment on the upper West Side with three other actors and heard about the applications.  I got one and mailed it in very quickly.  Even though the neighborhood was sketchy, having my own new and clean apartment was worth the risk.

Ron Perkins, Hugh Jackman in The Prestige

T2C: What are your fondest memories of living in the plaza?

Nancy: I have so many fond memories.  Being greeted each morning and evening by Mr. Burgess at the front desk.  The feeling of being safe that I felt each time I arrived home.  Interacting with all the different, interesting people that lived there.  Being surrounded by artists was wonderful, especially at that young age.

Ron: I worked for a year and a half as the lifeguard at the swimming pool in the health club and met so many tenants with all different backgrounds.  For example, Anita Baldwin, who I thought had moved to MP as a senior or member of the neighborhood.  I once offered her assistance to her apartment and she showed me her scrapbooks.  She danced with Fred and Adele Astare at the roof garden of the Astor Hotel and was in the Zeigfeld Follies.   And Santa Anita racetrack was named after her!

Ron Perkins in House

T2C: Why did you leave the building?

Nancy: We decided to make the move to Los Angeles for more career opportunities.

Ron: Work was slow in NY at that time.  We decided to try Los Angeles.

T2C: Who did you meet in the building and who were your friends. Did you stay friends?

Nancy: Ron was one of the original tenants so he seemed to know everyone in the building when I got there.  He even had two friends from his small hometown in Indiana in the building – Barry Pruit and Bob Trebing.  Mimi Bensinger was and is a great friend.  We’re still in touch. We’re delighted when we run in to people in Los Angeles from back in the day, like Giancarlo Esposito, and reminisce about the Plaza.

Ron: All of the above – plus I played in a poker game with the actor Alan Rosenberg.  We remained friends and still play golf together in Los Angeles. I also just worked with Christian Slater on a tv project – I’ve known him since he was a kid who used to come to the pool.

T2C: What have been the biggest changes to the neighborhood and your business?

Nancy: When we left NY in the late 80s both the city and the tv/film business were depressed.  There has been a comeback for both, which is great.  The neighborhood is obviously much, much safer and cleaner.  As far as casting, there is less of a divide between the NY and LA acting pool. Actors on both coasts are more readily considered for projects on either coast, I think.

Ron: I was shocked seeing Hell’s Kitchen when I visited after a long absence.  It was so much cleaner and safer.  As far as work, I have had more success in Los Angeles.  There’s been more work for me in LA.

T2C: What did living in the building allowed you to accomplish?

Nancy: Unless you get incredibly lucky, making a livable wage as you start in the business is difficult.  We could not have afforded to stick it out and pursue our careers without the safety net of MP.

Ron: It gave me a solid foot on the ground and the ability to continue pursuing my life as an actor.  

T2C: How did living in the building make you feel?

Nancy: Grateful.  Eternally grateful. And safe.  It’s also a positive feeling to live somewhere that makes a statement of valuing artists.  

Ron: Safe and secure.  It also made me feel more like a true resident of NYC. Prior to living in MP everything felt transitory and uncertain.

T2C: What would you change from your time living in Manhattan Plaza?

Nancy: The dark period of the AIDS epidemic and the devastation and sadness it brought.  And I wish Rodney could have lived longer to see what a success his dream became.

Ron: I agree with Nancy.  Other than that I wouldn’t change anything.

T2C: You loved the building so much you did this documentary. How did that come about?

Nancy: It started from a lunch that I had in Los Angeles at the Universal Commissary with Mary Jo Slater.  We were discussing how much we loved the building and how we didn’t understand why it hadn’t been emulated in other cities and someone should do a documentary….and it grew from there.  Mary Jo and I both benefited so much from living there we wanted to both celebrate and honor Manhatten Plaza.

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

Nancy: I don’t think the value of the management and staff can be overstated.  Rodney, Richard, the Slenders, Mr. Burgess and everyone who worked there from the guards to the maintenance staff contributed greatly to the quality of life in the building.

Ron: It would be hard to overstate the contribution of the staff of the building.  They made it feel less like a building and more like a community.

The documentary 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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