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The Accusations Against Scott Stringer

Weather: Chance of an early sprinkle, then gradually clearing. High in the mid-60s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Thursday (Solemnity of the Ascension and Eid al-Fitr).


Less than two weeks ago, the mayoral campaign of Scott M. Stringer, the New York City comptroller, appeared to be on the upswing.

But on April 28, a woman who had worked unpaid on Mr. Stringer’s unsuccessful 2001 campaign for public advocate, Jean Kim, accused him of sexual misconduct, upending the mayor’s race some eight weeks before the June 22 primary.

During an interview with my colleague Katie Glueck last week, Ms. Kim, shown above, described several advances that she said were unwanted.

[Mr. Stringer has denied allegations that he misused his position of power with Ms. Kim.]

Ms. Kim moved to New York in 1998, she said, and later became active in a political club, the Community Free Democrats, that Mr. Stringer was also involved in. In 2001, she took an unpaid role in Mr. Stringer’s unsuccessful campaign for public advocate.

In a cab that summer, Ms. Kim said, Mr. Stringer grazed her knee. He touched her leg again — it was “a little bit more insistent”— a few weeks later as they shared another cab, she said.

About a week before the scheduled primary in September, Ms. Kim said, Mr. Stringer kissed her at a bar. Ms. Kim said she tensed up, then Mr. Stringer kissed her again more passionately.

Days later, Ms. Kim said, she shared one more cab ride with Mr. Stringer, during which he made more advances, asking why she would not have sex with him.

“He constantly reminded me of his power by saying things like, ‘You want me to make a phone call for you to change your life,’ ‘You want me to make you the first Asian district leader,’” Ms. Kim said. “There was no doubt in my mind that he was powerful and he could make or break me.”

Mr. Stringer has denied making unwanted sexual advances.

He said he never suggested he could give Ms. Kim a political position.

“Virtually every one of my friends volunteered on the campaign,” Mr. Stringer said in a statement. “There was no sense in which they were subordinates. While I obviously can’t speak to how any individual felt, I don’t think most people who were part of our social circle would say there was a power dynamic at play.”

Mr. Stringer said Ms. Kim’s description of unwanted advances amounted to “a fundamental distortion of what happened.”

He offered an account of what he has said was a consensual relationship.

“I would estimate that on at least a dozen occasions over four to five months, an evening out ended with us kissing,” he said.


The Times’s Zachary Woolfe writes:

There are no seats at the moment in David Geffen Hall, the New York Philharmonic’s home at Lincoln Center. There is no lobby, no stage, no stairs. The theater — currently in the midst of a long-delayed renovation — is a raw shell of concrete and steel; the only music within it, the shouts of workers and the deafening screech of metal being sawed.

If some part of us believes that life over the past 14 months has been waiting to be resumed more or less intact — on ice, just needing a thaw — the gutted Geffen speaks to the other part, the sense that things have fundamentally changed, or should.

Late Friday afternoon, the Philharmonic was in an empty lot at Domino Park, on the Brooklyn waterfront just north of the Williamsburg Bridge, making a rough, modest sketch of some of those changes. As construction continues at its hall, the orchestra has produced a sequel to its mobile Bandwagon program, an avatar of a more nimble, responsive, community-connected organization.

With performances now staged from a shipping container, it will travel over the remaining weekends of May for three-day stints in parks in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens.

This reflects a new sense of how our large legacy classical arts institutions should interact with their cities. Those interactions are not new for opera companies and orchestras, but they’ve often had a permeating sense of noblesse oblige: The big symphony deigns to play at an acoustically subpar neighborhood high school or community center, and expects community organizations to bring in a local (read: diverse) audience. (This comes complete with a moralizing whiff of the “elevating power of classical music” and such.)

It’s Monday — hit the road.


Dear Diary:

I was on a downtown No. 1. The young man across from me was furiously playing a game on his phone and didn’t notice when one of his gloves dropped to the floor.

An older man who was sitting next to the young man picked up the glove and held it out to him, but he was so absorbed in his game that he still didn’t notice.

The older man balanced the glove on the young man’s knee. A few minutes later, it fell to the floor again and, again, he didn’t notice.

By this time, the older man was standing by the doors and waiting to exit the train. He leaned toward the young man.

“Your glove is on the floor,” he said loudly while pointing.

Without looking up from his screen, the young man reached down and picked up the glove.

“Thank you,” he said, eyes still on the screen. “Appreciate it.”

The older man looked toward me, rolled his eyes and smiled.

— Elisabeth Ladenson


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