Heartbroken hubby laments wife’s web of lies

The Riverdale Press

July 19, 2007

By Tommy Hallissey

Rare is the spouse who is completely truthful, but Nirmala Parmasar wove a fabric of lies to her husband that was so egregious it could land her in jail for many years. “She claimed she loved me, but those were only words,” said a despondent Michael Braverman, speaking with The Press in his modest apartment at 80 Knolls Crescent.

He still remembers the day Ms. Parmasar told him, “I have cancer and I need money to go to California where I can get good treatment,” according to a criminal complaint on file with the Bronx district attorney’s office.

But, according to police, the healthy woman used the cash — Mr. Braverman estimates it totaled $144,000 — to underwrite her relationship with a second husband in South Ozone Park, Queens.

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On Trial in Cop-Killing, ‘Bronx Tale’ Star Dims

Faces ‘Blue’ Jury as Well

Dec. 5, 2008

The Chief

By Tommy Hallissey

With his hands cuffed behind the back of his brown suit, Lillo Brancato walked into Bronx Supreme Court Nov. 25, the second day of his trial for the murder of an NYPD cop, and lifted his head long enough to see a dozen police officers seated in the courtroom, waiting to hear two of their colleagues testify against him.

A black female officer glared at the star of “A Bronx Tale,” her gaze never wavering, while other officers sat with arms folded against their chests. Some just squinted. All came from the 40th Precinct, where Daniel Enchautegui had worked before he was murdered on Dec. 10, 2005.

Famous Line Haunts Him Now

Mr. Brancato, who also played a small-time hood in “The Sopranos,” fidgeted in his chair. He looked sharp, with close-cropped black hair and an expensive suit, despite his day-old beard. Not that long ago, he could have been in front of a camera, saying lines like “the saddest thing in life is wasted talent,” as he did at the end of “A Bronx Tale,” except now the words are freighted with irony.

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The beat goes on

Nov. 29, 2007

The Riverdale Press

By Tommy Hallissey

A photograph of a deserted yellow-striped highway hangs at the back of the room. Indicative of everything and nothing at once, like the writer whose masterwork - a typewritten tattered scroll - flows toward the door. It’s a quixotic backdrop for an exhibit of any writer except for Jack Kerouac, who became famous by writing about the mad cross-country escapades that spawned a generation of beatniks.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of On the Road by former Horace Mann student Jack Kerouac, which he wrote in a three-week frenzy on 12 10-foot rolls of architectural tracing paper. In commemoration of the anniversary, the New York Public Library has put together an exhaustive exhibit of Kerouac memorabilia, including stuff of folklore like the scroll and rarer nuggets like Kerouac’s fantasy baseball cards from his youth in Lowell, Mass.

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A foster care survivor’s journey to independence

Without a word, Fekri’s disarming, toothy smile betrays the suffering he endured coming of age in the New York City foster care system.  His crooked pearly whites also hide the agony of being sold into slavery in Tunisia at the age of 5 for a mere $100.

Taken from Tunisia, Fekri was exchanged between parental figures that were often physically and sexually abusive. At age 9, he was beaten severely in Jackson Heights, Queens by his family of the moment. After he was hospitalized, the city recommended he not return to an abusive environment.

Without doting parents, Fekri spent most of his formative years in the less than picturesque settings of New York foster homes. At 21, Fekri was one of nearly 1,000 individuals that year forced to navigate independent living after “aging out” of the city’s foster system. These young adults must transition from a system of familiar structure to the unsettled, often cold reality of independence. According to a 2011 report by the Center for an Urban Future, roughly two-thirds of the 16,000 foster youth in America age out of the system without reuniting with their birth families or being adopted.

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Pretty fly for a Wall Street guy

Wall Street and private-equity execs are having banner years — and spending their record bonuses joining the private jet set. Air-taxi services like Talon Air’s 8-seater Hawker 400XPs are seeing a 50 percent jump in business, according to this November 2006 New York Post article. 

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Bronx district attorney recognized for service

In December 2007, The Riverdale Press profiled Bronx homicide prosecutor David Greenfield, a Riverdalian that the New York City Bar Association honored with the Thomas E. Dewey Medal for a lifetime of service in the Bronx District Attorney’s office. 

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One icon, one face, many images

Art inspired by the Argentinian Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara took over the Bronx River Arts Center in January 2008. The revolutionary cult figure has also influenced counterculture art. The iconic red and black silkscreen of Che has been reproduced the world over as a global insignia for revolution.

After the jump is a feature from the front-page of Better Living section of The Riverdale Press

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Wall Streeter Hopes to Turn Trash to Gold

Here’s a light feature from the April 26, 2007 issue of The Riverdale Press. A local Bronx resident cashed in his Wall Street chips to man a junk van in the upstart franchise business 1800-Got-Junk?

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