New York Cosmos beat Tampa Bay Rowdies 2-0 as Real Madrid legend Raul makes debut

The biggest star in New York soccer doesn’t play for the new expansion MLS club squatting at Yankee Stadium, nor does he play for the MLS original on the other side of the Hudson. He plies his trade on Long Island for the new incarnation of the New York Cosmos, who play in the second-tiered North American Soccer League. That man is Raul, the 37-year-old striker who is a legend for Real Madrid, one of the most prestigious teams of any sport in the world, and he made his home debut for the Cosmos in their 2-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies on a gorgeous Saturday night in front of 12,550 at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium. RELATED: PELE ENJOYING SECOND GOLDEN AGE OF NEW YORK SOCCER It wasn’t quite 85,000 people at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu, but Raul appreciated the support. “Once the game begins, it doesn’t matter if it’s 10, 20 or 80,000 (fans,)” Raul said. “The goal is to still win the match, and that’s where the focus is.” With Brazilian legend and former Cosmo Pele on hand, Marcos Senna scored on a penalty kick in the 11th minute, and Leo Fernandes scored in the 48th. Pele was involved in a pregame ceremony, but his Cosmos teammate Franz Beckenbauer, who is an ambassador for his former club Bayern Munich, flew back to Munich for what the Cosmos said was an emergency. Raul’s superior skill set was on display throughout, especially in the second half with some intricate passes and fancy footwork. Raul, who scored last week at Indy Eleven, had dealt with a hamstring injury a few weeks ago and said Hofstra’s turf was tough to play on, but he made it through 90 minutes Saturday plus two stoppage-time minutes. The Spanish icon holds the Real Madrid goal-scoring record, tallying 323 times over 16 seasons for Los Blancos, but he has played a facilitating midfield role with the Cosmos as opposed to an out-and-out striker. He was asked if his goal Continue Reading

The Life Is Precious program is working to drive down suicides among young Latino women in New York

Tireless is, without a doubt, the word that best describes Dr. Rosa María Gil, the creator of Life Is Precious, a suicide-prevention program for young Latinas in New York. The program started out in the Bronx in 2008, expanded to Brooklyn in 2009, and just unveiled a new center in Long Island City, Queens last week. “There is so much need,” said Gil, who added that she was shocked by the latest Centers for Disease Control data about suicide among Latina adolescents in Queens. The story the CDC statistics tell is one of desperation and impotence. “In Queens, more than one in five Latina teens contemplates suicide, and more than one in eight attempt it.” Gil said. “Across New York City Latina teens who seriously considered suicide rose 3% in just the past two years, and so have attempts to kill themselves, according to the CDC. The number seriously considering and attempting suicide nearly doubled in that same time. This made opening the center in Queens much more urgent.” Why, during a stage of their lives that should be the happiest, are more and more teenage Latinas attempt to die at their own hands? The reasons are complex, says Gil. “One of them is culture shock. The mothers come from other countries but many of the girls were born or grew up here,” the expert says. “Other factors like poverty, unemployment, bullying in schools, domestic and sexual violence, can aggravate depression and stress in young women.” According to the CDC, 15.6% of young Latinas in the U.S. tried to commit suicide one or more times, more than girls from other ethnic groups, almost twice the number of young white American women. In New York that number is more than twice that of white American girls (13.3% vs. 5.9%), and continues to rise. Yet Life is Precious, by providing the girls with services to improve their academic performance, develop skills to deal with daily emotional challenges, Continue Reading

‘No Catcall Zones’ signs pop up in New York City during Anti-Street Harassment Week

Hiss off. Dozens of "No Catcall Zone" signs have been popping up in New York City to keep unwanted jeers at bay during International Anti-Street Harassment Week. Feminist Apparel, a nonprofit feminist clothing company, has claimed credit for the more than 50 street signs that have been spotted in Manhattan and Brooklyn this week. "We hope to get at least one sign up in each borough by the end of the week as street harassment and catcalling is obviously a universal issue not contained to any one neighborhood," the group said in a statement. The campaign is part of a collaboration with Philadelphia's guerrilla feminist collective Pussy Division. Feminist Apparel plans to "sneak up" a few more signs throughout the week, as well as sticker forms of the designs. The signs have appeared near the Williamsburg Bridge, Chinatown and other parts of the two boroughs. They were funded through sales of T-shirts on the clothing company's website. The two organizations aim to draw attention to the fifth annual International Anti-Street Harassment Week, which takes place from April 12 to April 18. "We just thought legitimate looking anti-catcalling street signs out on the streets where street harassment occurs would be a cool, visual way to capture people's attention towards the issue," Feminist Apparel said. The city has been removing the signs, which look like sanctioned street signs at a glance, according to the Transportation Department. "While we understand the concept of this campaign, these signs were placed without permission," the department said. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

New York Fashion Week has two new homes including an historic Manhattan post office

New York Fashion Week is on the move. Fashion’s elite will have to trek to two separate locations downtown for the twice-annual catwalk bonanza come September, after the event got the boot from its former digs at Lincoln Center last year, IMG announced Monday. Designers will be exhibiting at the Skylight at Moynihan Station, an events space inside the historic James A. Farley Post Office on W. 33rd St., and Skylight Clarkson Square on Washington St. in SoHo. “As IMG prepares to evolve New York Fashion Week, we are focused on creating the best possible experiences that extend beyond a physical location and moment in time,” said Mark Shapiro, chief content office for IMG. “Part of this showcase involves staying close to inspirational hubs for fashion, art and music, and we’ve found great new homes for that in Skylight at Moynihan Station and Skylight Clarkson Sq.” Fashion Week’s new home is likely temporary since organizers are widely rumored to be relocating the event to Hudson Yards, a new multi-skycraper mega-development on the far west side, once the project’s new culture shed performance venue is completed in 2018. Before moving to Lincoln Center, the event's nerve center was Bryant Park. Having the main hub spread across two venues is further proof that Fashion Week is spreading out across the city. In recent years, top designers such as Michael Kors. Diane von Furstenberg and Vera Wang have all left the Lincoln Square tents in favor of showing off their creations at more unique, out of the way venues. “It’s no secret that things had to change with New York Fashion Week," said Jennifer Blumin, CEO and founder of Skylight Group, a company that adaptively-reuses historic spaces for high-end events. "Designers really want to harness all of New York and use the bones of the city." Neither of the Skylight Continue Reading

New York leaders pay tribute to late labor hero Victor Gotbaum

City leaders remembered Victor Gotbaum, who died Sunday at age 93, as a giant of the labor movement who helped save the city from bankruptcy. Gotbaum, as executive director of District Council 37, the nation’s largest public workers union, was in a key position of power when the city was faced with defaulting on its debt and going into bankruptcy in 1975. “He was a brilliant labor leader and could be a little explosive at times, but he was a powerful advocate for his members and he also was committed to the future greatness of New York,” said Felix Rohatyn, who led the Municipal Assistance Corporation and worked with a group of financiers, pols and union leaders to avoid default. “The city has lost one of its real heroes, and I have lost a great friend.” Editorial: Victor Gotbaum, New York giant Richard Ravitch, an executive tapped to help shepherd the city out of the fiscal crisis and a long-time friend, recalled Gotbaum as a hard bargainer and “consummate politician” whose great personal warmth endeared him even to adversaries. “He was a very intensive and passionate supporter of his members,” Ravitch said. “When we faced the near bankruptcy in 1975, he was smart enough to recognize that he had to do things that were not things union leaders like to do.” Gotbaum helped forge a deal that included a partial wage freeze while softening the blow for city workers. “Without the support of Victor and (teachers union president) Al Shanker, New York City would have been forced into bankruptcy,” said Ravitch, later lieutenant governor. “Victor Gotbaum was a true New York City warrior — a man of action who dedicated his life to organizing workers and improving their lives,” Mayor de Blasio said Monday. In the decade after Gotbaum took over, the size of the union Continue Reading

Manhattan has most binge drinkers in New York: study

Today's New Yorkers are more likely to binge drink and be heavy drinkers than in years past, a new study of nationwide alcohol consumption finds. Binge drinking is four or more drinks in one setting for women and five or more for men. Heavy drinking is defined as more than one drink a day for women and two a day for men. Researchers from the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that binge drinking in New York has increased 14.3 percent from 2005 to 2012. Nationwide, the increase was 8.9 percent. Nearly one-fifth of New Yorkers — 19.2 percent — were binge drinkers in 2012, the data also said. Manhattan had the highest number of bingers out of every county in the state: 23 percent. Sullivan County, upstate, had a 20.6 percent increase in binge drinking between 2005 and 2012, making it the county with the fastest uptick. The researchers also found that heavy drinking rose at a faster rate in New York than the rest of the country. Between 2005 and 2012, the rate of heaving drinking in New York increased 22.5 percent. Nationwide, the increase was 17.2 percent. Seven-and-a-half percent of New Yorkers were heavy drinkers in 2012. The number of heavy drinkers was highest, as was the rate of heavy drinking, in Yates County, by the Finger Lakes. The county-wide data can help areas develop targeted ways to reduce the amount of problematic drinking. “When you can map out what's happening county by county, over time ... that's also when you can really pinpoint specific health needs and challenges — and then tailor health policies and programs accordingly," said Dr. Christopher Murray, IHME's Director. Each of the five boroughs had a rise in both binge and heavy drinking between 2005 and 2012. Manhattan had the most binge drinkers and heavy drinkers in 2012. See how your county stacks below: Heavy drinking by county Kings: 4.6% in 2005, 6.1% in 2012, 32.4% increase over Continue Reading

Child porn charges for 911 dispatcher and online friend in upstate New York

911 emergency: Two alleged upstate New York perverts might be in cahoots. The investigation into Jason Cortese, a Greece 911 operator facing various child porn charges, has led to the arrest of a woman in another Rochester suburb, who allegedly swapped sick images with him, the Democrat and Chronicle reported. Megan McDonald, of Irondequoit, was charged Thursday with production, distribution and possession of naked pictures showing a 4-year-old girl and 1-year-old boy. This comes a week after the arrest of Cortese, 33, who allegedly sent texts to a 12-year-old girl coaxing her to have a sexual relationship with his own 9-year-old daughter. He was also charged with child porn possession and production. Cortese got arrested in the 911 call center where he works, TWC News reported. As police investigated Cortese, they discovered he and McDonald regularly chatted online two or three years ago. In their chats, the 35-year-old McDonald said she had a sexual interest in young girls, and she sent child porn to Cortese’s cell phone. It’s unclear if the two had any real-world relationship, police said. If convicted, both of them face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years in prison. Follow @jaysunsilver Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Convicted ax murderer’s lawsuit over Lifetime movie chopped by New York judge

A New York judge has whacked a notorious ax murderer's lawsuit over a Lifetime movie about his case. Christopher Porco claimed "Romeo Killer: The Christopher Porco Story" wrongfully appropriated his "name, likeness and personality for purposes of profit," offending his sense of right and wrong. Porco, 31, is serving 46 years to life in prison for killing his court clerk father and trying to kill his mother with a firefighter's ax in their Delmar home back in 2004. The mom, Joan Porco, survived the gruesome attack, but was disfigured and lost one of her eyes. Cops said she initially identified her son as her attacker, but she later recanted and maintained he was innocent during his sensational 2006 trial. He was convicted anyway based on other evidence, including prosecutors showing he'd lied about his whereabouts on the night of the murder. Acting as his own lawyer, the handsome ladies' man filed suit against Lifetime seeking unspecified money damages for the "unauthorized" use of his likeness. In a ruling last week, Clinton County Supreme Court Justice Robert Muller tossed the suit, finding the Lifetime flick was protected by the "newsworthiness exception." Porco "himself admits in the opening paragraphs of the complaint that the trial was covered extensively by the media," Muller wrote. "The record reveals coverage not only at the local level, but nationally as well." Muller made headlines with his handling of the case in 2013, when he signed off on Porco's emergency request to stop the movie from being aired. That ruling was later reversed on appeal, and Lifetime aired the flick, advertising it as the movie "Chris Porco doesn't want you to see." Porco is eligible for parole in 2052. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Summerstage Festival lineup announced: New York City’s biggest music series opens with Tedeschi-Trucks Band

For its 30th anniversary, New York’s annual Summerstage series will bring more free live music to the city than ever. This season - which kicks off with a no-cost show by the jammy Tedeschi-Trucks Band in Central Park on May 18th - will present over 140 performances of music, dance, comedy and film. The shows will unfold in 14 parks spanning all five boroughs. This year’s schedule represents a 15% growth in shows from last year. Most shows are free, but ten of the performances will charge a fee to benefit the parks. All these will take place in Central Park. Top paid shows include violinist Lindsey Stirling (June 17th), neo-Brit-pop band The Kooks (June 24th), retro Laurel Canyon group The Dawes (July 27th) and breakthrough current alterna-pop band Walk The Moon, on September 24th. The series will also boast hot acts for free like The Felice Brothers, Meshell Ndegeocello (as part of the Blue Note Jazz Festival), a 35th anniversary showcase for the city’s top reggea label V.P. Records, the Latin Alternative Music showcase, a tribute show to the music of Carole King, key parts of Brasil Summerfest, and, last - but not least - a show by the great R&B/soul/jazz vocal band Lake Street Dive (Sept. 2). For a complete list of shows, go to Continue Reading

‘Million Dollar Listing New York’ star Fredrik Eklund on his secrets to success and new tell-all book

He could sell ice to the Eskimos — and a $20 million penthouse to J-Lo. And now he wants to teach you the tricks. “Million Dollar Listing New York” star Fredrik Eklund, the city’s number one residential broker, has put out a part-memoir/part-business-manual/all-fabulous book that he hopes will inspire and, more important, entertain. “I’ve done New York,” Eklund told the Daily News about his book, “The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone,” out Tuesday. “I’ve seen and done so many amazing and rewarding things — and I wanted to put all that in a book and send it off and see what happens. It’s a message in a bottle.” In “The Sell,” Eklund spills some of the trade secrets that helped him rise from a Swedish start-up failure to a New York City powerbroker so beloved and talented that he’s closed deals with Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez and Leonardo DiCaprio. In 10 years, he’s sold $3.5 billion in New York real estate. And Eklund’s main secret is no secret at all: Be yourself. "When you're new to a workplace, the biggest mistake you can make is copying the people around you or other people in the industry rather than being the authentic you,” Eklund says. “Be the unique, crazy eccentric you that your friends and family love and people will gravitate towards you and trust you." What does that mean when you’re Fredrik Eklund? “Jump out in the middle of Fifth Ave., stop traffic and scream, ‘I love New York!’” Eklund may be famous for selling multi-million dollar pads, but the book — a cross between an autobiography and a guide to being a business executive — is remarkably accessible and a good read for anyone with ambition in a city fueled by it. “It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in,” Eklund said. “After Continue Reading