Shhhh! “In the Heights,” the winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical, is now also a Grammy Winner. “In the Heights Original Broadway Cast Recording” won the Best Musical Show Album at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards on Sun. Feb. 9. The musical, which takes place on W. 181st, was written in college by Inwood-native Lin-Manuel Miranda, who also won Best Score at the Tony Awards. Playbill reported in January that Miranda will step down from his lead role playing bodega owner Usnavi on Feb. 15, a year after the show made its Broadway debut. Street
Other media reports have said that the movie rights have been purchased by Universal Pictures, and Page 6, the gossip column of the New York Post, has reported that actress and pop star Jennifer Lopez recently saw the show twice and had dinner with the producer, showing an interest in being part of the filmed version.
Lin-Manuel is the son of Manhattan Times Publisher Luis Miranda.
Two local artists are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the European discovery of the Hudson River by Henry Hudson.
Karen Loew has three paintings of the neighborhood which are currently on exhibit at the Salmagundi Club on Fifth Avenue. One work is directly tied to the official celebration of the river’s discovery. Loew is one of 21 artists selected to paint a six-foot by three-foot panel that explores the history of the river. She painted a scene from the Battle of Fort Washington inspired by a photograph from the 2008 reenactment in Ft. Tryon Park. The series will be shown at the Hudson River Gallery in Yonkers, the Fraunces Tavern downtown and then the Vlissingen Muzeeum in Holland.
Two other paintings are in a simultaneous show at the Salmagundi Club, one entitled “Spuyten Duyvil” and the other “Little Red Lighthouse.”
Also celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Dutch expedition, Diane Drescher will exhibit her “Hudson River Landscapes” in the Gold Wing at Hebrew Tabernacle on Fort Washington Ave. and W. 185th St. in March and April. At the same time, Drescher’s work will be exhibited at La Galeria at Boricua College on Broadway and W. 155th St., during the month of March.
Dyckman Street UPS Store owner Tony Lopez and his staff have been recognized for their high level of customer service by the corporate headquarters. Lopez was given a Certificate of Recognition for having the highest Customer Equity Index score in Manhattan, besting 46 other stores. Four mystery shoppers – people working for a company that evaluates stores – rated the Inwood UPS as excellent.
“Your top rating in Manhattan obviously reflects the high priority that you have given to outstanding customer service in your store. Not many franchise owners reward their associates for customer commendations, but you do!” said a note that came along with the award.
Lopez has four employees: Steven Jimenez, Victor Vargas, Kathy Hoyos, and Albert Brown. The Inwood store has been open since Feb. 28, 2004.
Two days before Christmas, Joselito “Cheppe” Dilone, a recently unemployed construction worker from Washington Heights, decided against playing his normal “Win 4” lotto game, and instead bought a “Win $2,000 A Week for Life” instant scratch off ticket at Nathanael Beauty Supply on Broadway and W. 163rd Street. He won five dollars and handed it back to the clerk for another ticket – the winning ticket.
Until recently, the step-father of two was employed as a construction laborer for KG Property Associates of Manhattan. It was a job he held for 16 years before the company went out of business earlier this year.
“Win $2,000 A Week For Life” instant tickets are guaranteed to receive a minimum payout of $2,000,000 to be paid quarterly. Dilone’s initial quarterly payment will total $40,000 netting him $25,801 after taxes. His subsequent quarterly payments will total $26,000 or $16,771 after taxes.
With the Democrats back in charge of the New York State Senate after a decades-long absence, Senator Eric Schneiderman is enjoying the benefits that come with expanded power. He introduced a bill this week to raise the tax rate on New Yorkers earning over $250,000 and is expanding his office. Aide Lilliam Perez, named one of the city’s top “40 under 40” last year by the Manhattan Media Group, was recently promoted to be Schneiderman’s chief of staff for district operations, which includes parts of the Upper West Side, Washington Heights, Inwood and Riverdale.
To celebrate the senator’s 10 years in office, the office threw a party at Arka Lounge on Broadway Feb. 5 that included a veritable who’s who of local movers and shakers. Blessedly, the program was kept to a brief 10 minutes, with a moving introduction by Alianza Dominicana executive director Moises Perez, followed by partying late into the night. The party was also a success from a fundraising standpoint: with a goal of grossing $10,000 in contributions, Perez said they had brought in $30,000, and she was still counting as of Feb. 9.