Volume 74, Number 52 |
May 04 - 10, 2005


Editorial
197-a is the way to go for Lower East Side’s future
With new building projects for apartment and hotel towers cropping up all over and a bar explosion with seemingly no end in sight, it’s clear that the East Village and Lower East Side are undergoing tremendous change. But the change is not being managed in any ascertainable way. That’s where Community Board 3’s plan to move ahead with a 197-a rezoning process comes in.

Letters to the editor

Talking Point
Super-sizing is unhealthy for Village’s waterfront
By Andrew Berman
Here’s a question: How can Related Companies — developers of the enormous AOL Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, who, according to their own promotional materials, have a property portfolio worth over $10 billion — be suffering an economic hardship trying to develop a piece of our waterfront? While the assertion flies in the face of basic logic, this is exactly what Related is claiming, and how they may well “super-size” not only this development, but potentially our entire waterfront.

A kingdom for a stage: Park needs performance space
By Peggy Friedman
While discussion and conflicts hover over the proposed renovation of Washington Sq. Park, further consideration is needed on the question of the proposed demolition of Teen Plaza and the performance rotunda on its north side. The space was created for the Washington Square Music Festival and has been used by us for more than 30 years, but it is also the al fresco neighborhood performance center.

Notebook
Navel, novel, let’s not call the whole thing off
By Andrei Codrescu
My friend U. planned her next piercing carefully. A few years back she had been told that she had a “high-risk navel.” She had been very skinny then and the art of piercing was still in its infancy in America. At some point she went ahead and had her nose pierced. This had become de rigueur for young women at the end of the ’90s and her nose was not, apparently, high risk.

Playing is state of the art in Chelsea Waterside Park
Dozens of children shrieking with delight came to climb, swing and rock on the state-of-the-art equipment at the opening last Friday morning of the newly completed Chelsea Waterside Park interactive playground.


Youth Sports
Oh oh, there’s another mound problem; at Pier 40
By Lincoln Anderson and Aman Singh
It seems mounds and the Village area always amount to controversy. The three play mounds — small climbing hills for young children — in Washington Sq. Park have been the focus of a pitched battle between local parent groups who want to keep and renovate them and the Parks Department, which is not keen on them and reportedly views them as a liability issue, possibly because of use by skateboarders.

Pad’s top O’s: Quinns ’n’ twins keep it interesting
By Judith Stiles
Sunday morning was not looking good for baseball with cold rain heralding the first day of May. A few baseball players had slogged through a soccer game the day before, competing on wet and spongy FieldTurf, but by Sunday, nobody was in the mood to endure more rain.
"Serving West and East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side"

NEWS
Law school will lease ‘illegal’ 3rd St. half-dorm
By Sarah Ferguson
It’s official. After months of controversy, the so-called “half-dorm” at 81 E. Third St. has finally found an educational institution eager to sign a lease, and it’s none other than New York Law School.

Gansevoort garbage truck garage work grinds to halt
By Albert Amateau
In a deal brokered last week by State Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman, the Department of Sanitation has agreed to voluntarily cease construction of the temporary garage that it began in January on the Gansevoort Peninsula.

Villager photo by Q. Sakamaki

At E. 11th St. co-naming ceremony for Jodie Lane, Councilmember Margarita Lopez presented Lane’s family with their own honorary sign to keep. From left, Jodie Lane’s mother, Karen; Jodie Lane’s father, Roger Lane, and his wife, Jill; Lopez; and Alex Wilbourne, Jodie Lane’s fiancé.

A sign to always remember what happened to Jodie Lane
By Lincoln Anderson
“In the name of Jodie — 1, 2, 3!” said Councilmember Margarita Lopez and they all gave a few firm tugs on the string and the paper wrapper slipped off the new sign.



Inside
Protesters rail against fence; but some want it taller
By Lincoln Anderson
Though they were far outnumbered by the gathering of Dachshunds and their owners on the north side of the fountain, protesters against the Washington Sq. renovation plan still managed to make their point loud and clear at a rally in the park last Sunday.

May Day’s meaning not forgotten at Village marches
By Jefferson Siegel
The concept of May Day has existed for hundreds of years. Originally celebrated as the first day of crop planting, it wasn’t until 1886 that its association with unions and the workforce crystallized. On May 1 of that year, laborers staged actions throughout North America, demanding an end to long days and poor working conditions.

On political board, manager lives by political sword
By Lincoln Anderson
In the Handbook for Community Board Members, a publication of the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit, community board district managers are described as “at once municipal managers, service coordinators, ombudspersons, complaint monitors, information sources, community organizers, mediators, advocates and much more.”

Mayor’s Office rejects HOWL! Avenue A street fair
By Amanda Kludt
From fights with the Boys’ Club Alumni Association to city moratoriums and restrictions, it seems the HOWL! festival just can’t get their way. For the third time since its inception in 2003, the Federation of East Village Artists’ HOWL! Festival will not be able to have their desired street fair on Avenue A.

Let’s go Dutch, says Lower Manhattan history maven
By Albert Amateau
To hear Joep de Koning tell it, it was the Dutch who founded not only what is now New York, but also Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware — and it all started on Governors Island.

Animal Care head thinks outside box to cut killings
By Albert Amateau
Edward Boks, executive director of Animal Care and Control of New York City since January 2004, speaks with a preacher’s intensity when talking about the “no-kill” goals of the city’s official animal control agency.

Homing in on zoning as antidote to laundry list of East Side’s ills
By Lincoln Anderson
Saying it could potentially solve many of the neighborhood’s problems, Councilmember Margarita Lopez and Community Board 3 are supporting a community-based rezoning plan for the East Village and Lower East Side.

Critical Mass tries new tactics, but not the police
By Lincoln Anderson
The monthly Critical Mass started out differently than usual last Friday night. There was a rally for cyclists’ civil rights, followed by a blessing of arrested cyclists. And instead of one big departure from Union Sq., the riders left from four different sites. But the city’s response didn’t change: Police showed no signs of backing down from their hard-line stance, making 34 arrests.

Benefits, not an apple, are issue at Garden of Eden
By Lincoln Anderson
To hear management tell it, Garden of Eden is a workers’ paradise. But a union trying to get the specialty food store to increase employee health benefits and improve working conditions claims there’s trouble in Eden.

Charles St. developer says he won’t go for the max
By Lincoln Anderson
West Village antidevelopment watchdogs are keeping anxious watch on two building sites — one of which is being dubbed a potential “neutron bomb” that if developed with a huge tower, could explode the neighborhood’s historic fabric.

Loisaida Guardsman guards Baghdad’s highway to hell
By Ramin Talaie
It is still winter in Iraq but the midday sun is strong enough that the outgoing soldiers from the First Infantry Division tan on top of concrete bomb shelters.

Young Puerto Rican’s painting is a stroke for justice
By Ronda Kaysen
“I want to scare people into doing something,” said Yasmin Hernandez, sipping a cup of peppermint tea at Colonial Café on E. Houston St. “With technology and the media, we’re socialized to be complacent people. We’re socialized not to react or to know how to react. I want my art to challenge complacency.”


Arts
Sally Kirkland at the Coffeehouse Chronicles
By Jerry Tallmer
As one turned the corner from Second Avenue into East 4th Street, a whiff in the air was unmistakable. There was grass growing somewhere. New-mown grass. Long time no smell. Clean, sharp, pungent, viscera awakening, remembrance of things past.

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and Juan
By Jerry Tallmer
If sheer energy can do it, then “Altar Boyz” has to be in for a good long healthy run down in the catacombs of Dodger Stages on West 50th Street.
And oh how healthy! I mean, virginity is healthy, isn’t it?

A life well-lived
By Jerry Tallmer
Susan Sontag, who hated clichés, would hate being called a Renaissance woman, but in her many selves as essayist, film critic, drama critic, photography critic, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, screen and stage director, philosopher, aesthetician, celebrity, reigning beauty, gossip-column boldface name, model for famous photographers, cancer battler (and writer about it), political dissident, sexual transgressor, mother, New Yorker, tastemaker, world traveler, and intellectual snob, she came pretty close.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
The Interpreter (-)
This is a terrible film. The two principal actors, Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, are bad; director Sydney Pollack, who appears several times in the movie, is bad; and, worst of all, the script is the pits.


Food
From antiques to tapas
Unlikely restaurateurs serving delicious fare
By Frank Angelino
Donna Lennard of IL Buco restaurant in Noho gave birth to a son, Jaquin Cristobal born March 18th. A few days before, she was casually drinking a cup of jasmine green tea, while collegially interacting with her staff who were preparing for dinner. It was a setting she couldn’t have envisioned over a decade before.

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