Stories

Dinner at Judy’s :: 2001

 a short film by luca pizzaroni  (2001)

Judith Rohn – The Wizard of West 89th :: 1999

Judith Rohn – The Wizard of West 89th
Write-up on Judith from PS166 Webpage 1999

Not so long ago a line out was something you hung your wet clothes on, a screen something you stopped flies with, and a mouse a little rodent with a bowtie who sang and danced on the Disney Channel. The world was a simpler place. A megabyte was what you trained your dog not to do. Micro-chips were those little brown crumbs at the bottom of the Frito’s bag. Clearing disk space meant backing old Aunt Ethel off the sidewalk so she wouldn’t get hit by your Frisbee.

Nowadays, on the beach in Bali, where Judith Rohn — administrative staffer and unofficial tech wizard — spends her summer every year, perhaps these words still mean the same thing. But from the moment she steps through the schoolhouse door in September, the dictionary turns digital.

Over the past 9 years or so, she has helped oversee the transformation of PS166 into one of the most technologically advanced elementary schools in the district. A renovated computer lab with a full-time teacher and 32 internet-access terminals, brand new eMacs and printers in every classroom,, one of the most extensive public school websites in the city, a growing collection of educational software and internet curriculum links, and — perhaps key to it all — the support of a school community eager to move into the twenty-first century. Continue reading Judith Rohn – The Wizard of West 89th :: 1999

On West 89th St., Lives Reflect Upheaval :: 1987

ON WEST 89TH ST., LIVES REFLECT UPHEAVAL

By SARA RIMER Published: August 7, 1987, New York Times

LEAD: Nowhere is the recent transformation of upper Broadway more visible, and more deeply felt, than along the two block stretch between 88th and 90th Streets.

Nowhere is the recent transformation of upper Broadway more visible, and more deeply felt, than along the two block stretch between 88th and 90th Streets.

The locksmith, a victim of rising rents, has moved to what had been a candy store on Amsterdam Avenue, his place taken by a lingerie shop owned by a woman from Baghdad, Iraq. The florist is struggling to hold onto the shop that has been in his family for 30 years. The bookstore owner is living in San Francisco, his old refuge for the followers of Karl Marx and Allen Ginsburg replaced by a luxury high-rise building that will soon be occupied by investment bankers and lawyers in search of equity.

While many longtime merchants are disappearing, other small businesses, old as well as new, are thriving. After nearly half a century, the sturgeon king of Broadway, Murray Bernstein, retired in prosperity to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but Murray’s Sturgeon Shop lives on. Mr. Bernstein’s hand-picked successor, a one-time social worker who put himself through Columbia University cutting lox, has also opened, with two partners, a seafood restaurant in what used to be a down-at-the-heels bar next door. The restaurant – Docks – is packed seven nights a week. Raffish Yet Intellectual

”This was the hang-out block,” said Judith Rohn, who raised four children in a rent-controlled apartment at Broadway and West 89th Street – ideally located, for her family’s purposes, near good books and better Nova. ”We had block parties, we planted trees. We didn’t know about real estate. We always thought, ‘What will happen will happen and if you ever get a lot of money, you get on a plane and go someplace else.’ It was a different life.”

Continue reading On West 89th St., Lives Reflect Upheaval :: 1987