Volume 74, Number 55 |
May 18 - 24, 2005

Waterfront plan won’t hold water with loopholes
The double-barreled proposal coming out of the Bloomberg administration to rezone and landmark a 14-block area between the Greenwich Village Historic District and the Hudson River is amazingly good news for the Far West Village. Many details of the two plans aren’t yet fully known, though the first hearing on City Planning’s rezoning will be in two weeks. More is known about the rezoning — less about the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s proposal, which no one outside L.P.C. seems to have seen yet.

A spill on a bicycle in spring changes everything
By Michele Herman
I’m lying in a pothole on Bleecker St. stopping traffic, which is interesting because a second ago I was traffic. A second ago it was an ordinary sunny April Sunday and I was riding my bike right behind my husband, as always. We were headed to Bigelow Pharmacy for an embarrassingly ordinary middle-aged errand: shopping for reading glasses. What was I thinking and where was I looking when I rode into a pothole big enough to swallow my front wheel and reconfigure my season? I have no idea.

Scoopy's Notebook

Police Blotter

Letters to the editor


They’ve got to get themselves back to the gardens
Billed as New York’s longest parade, the 15th Annual Earth Celebrations’ Rites of Spring Procession To Save Our Gardens weaved its way through the East Village and Lower East for eight hours last Saturday, visiting 30 community gardens on its route.

Youth/ Sports

Blazers torching division; win streak reaches three
By Rob Silverstein
The Greenwhich Village Little League Blazers came from behind to win their third straight game in the Bronx and Manhattan Girls Senior A Division Softball Conference to bring their record to 4-3-1 (one tie). On Saturday, they trailed North Riverdale 8-1 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, but rallied for 9 runs in the fifth and 5 more in the sixth to secure the 15-8 victory.

Some balk at ump’s calls, even guy reading the book
By Judith Stiles
The parents in the stands were feeling a little guilty that they were sheltered from the rain under a ledge at Pier 40 while their boys were out on the baseball field being pelted with raindrops.

Gauchos ride all over E. Harlem
On Saturday, the 14-and-under Lower East Side Gauchos defeated the East Harlem Warriors 17-3 in Harlem RBI League play.

"Serving West and East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side"

Reducing restaurant makes rehab plan go down easier
By Albert Amateau
The newest version of the redesign of the north end of Union Sq. Park calls for eliminating the outdoor patio of the proposed pavilion restaurant and making the children’s playground one third larger than the earlier version, the Department of Parks said on Monday.

The great St. Marks/Mark’s punctuation debate solved
By Bonnie Rosenstock
A stroll down the stretch of Eighth St. known as St. Mark’s Pl. in the East Village is an exercise in controlled and not-so-controlled excess, chaos and contradiction. The legendary street runs from Third Ave. to Avenue A, where it abruptly ends at the western perimeter of Tompkins Sq. Park. Its inelegant epicenter, between Second and Third Aves., includes an abundance of locales that entertain, educate, clothe and feed the hungry of all appetites.

Villager photo by Milo Hess

Putting on a new face for spring
Costumed as a garden spirit, a participant showed her colors in the Annual Rites of Spring Procession, which wended through the East Village and Lower East Side last Saturday.[more]

City moves to save Far West Village, but will it do enough?
By Lincoln Anderson
The good news is that the city is finally coming through with tandem plans for rezoning and landmarking the Far West Village. The bad news, as far as community activists and preservationists are concerned, is that large development projects are still in the pipeline and that the new zoning and landmarking regulations might not affect these terribly much. Also, there is concern that the new regulations might not go far enough toward safeguarding the neighborhood from future development and limiting building heights.

The East Village arrives, again, at swank FEVA fete
By Sarah Ferguson
It was a decidedly upscale celebration of Downtown counterculture. On Monday night, more than 500 guests swamped the grand ballroom of Capitale — a Beaux Arts events venue located in the old Bowery Savings Bank on Bowery and Grand — to attend the Federation of East Village Artists’ first annual Pantheon gala.

Singer’s on a high note after Italian program picks her
By Albert Amateau
West Village neighbors of the Burton family are sharing the mounting excitement about a local girl who is anything but unsung.

Park patrol gets touchy; nipple fondling is nipped
By Duncan Osborne
You can kiss, you can hold hands, and you can hug, but fondling your partner’s nipples is prohibited in city parks.
“I think the most important thing is that it is the policy of the city of New York to allow people to express themselves in an affectionate manner holding hands, kissing, hugging, whatever that may be, so long as it doesn’t cross the line and become sexual activity prohibited by parks’ rules,” said Anthony W. Crowell, special counsel to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

A sea of swimmers for CeCe P.S. 41 scholarship fund
By M.L. Liu
“Do fancy things for the world” was one of Celia Rose FitzGerald’s mottoes.
So “fancy thing number one,” as Sue FitzGerald, Celia’s mother, called it, was a swimathon. From 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. last Saturday and Sunday, children and adults crowded into McBurney YMCA’s swimming pool. The swimmers had signed up sponsors who pledged money for every lap they swam, money that would go toward the Celia Rose T. FitzGerald Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Park Row partially reopened, partially due to Lopez
By Claire F. Hamilton
It was a bittersweet victory for the politicians and Chinatown residents who made a ceremonial bus ride from City Hall Park to Chatham Sq. on May 15 to celebrate the partial reopening of Park Row, closed to traffic since Sept. 11 due to its proximity to Police Headquarters, the courthouses and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Former Village cat rescuer had 200 dead ones in yard
By Albert Amateau
Marlene Kess, a founder of the cat adoption agency and no-kill cat shelter, Kitty-Kind and a former Village resident, was charged last week with failing to shelter cats properly after 200 dead cats were found in garbage bags in her backyard in East Orange, N.J.

A boathouse and a bottle as boat at waterfront park
By Albert Amateau
Clinton Cove, a 2.3-acre green park with a new boathouse, a get-down ramp that allows visitors to dangle their feet in the Hudson River and a 30-foot-long wine bottle, opened last week, the second major section of Hudson River Park completed in the past two years.

V.A. Hospital advocates fear property will be sold
By Albert Amateau
More than 100 veterans heard from elected officials and medical professionals at a rally earlier this month about efforts to stop the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from closing the Manhattan V.A. Hospital on First Ave.

Focus on Union Square

A special Villager supplement

Green or Whole Foods, markets have square covered
By Josie Garthwaite
When Whole Foods Market opened on Union Sq. S. this spring, the neighborhood was abuzz with what it would mean for the Greenmarket across the park. Would locals neglect the very institution that helped revitalize the neighborhood in favor of a national chain?

175 years of making history at Downtown crossroads
By Catherine Shu
Karl Michael Emyrs begins each of his weekly walking tours of Union Sq. by clearing up the biggest misconception about the park. Many people, even seasoned New Yorkers, believe that Union Sq. was either named for the many labor unions that were once based there, or the recruiting station for the Union Army that built in the park during the Civil War.

He-e-e-y Joe? Where you goin’ with that market you planned?

Bid to landmark quirky retail building is rejected
On Tues., May 17, the Landmarks Preservation Commission denied a motion, by a vote of 9-1, to grant landmark status to a building that was most recently home to Odd Job Trading at 36 E. 14th St. at University Pl. Commonly referred to as the Paterson Silks building, it was built around 1949.

No ‘Lords of Dogtown’ stuff in square
By Lincoln Anderson
In an effort to ground grinding skateboarders and mute loud music in Union Sq. in the evenings, the Parks Department and Police Department a few weeks ago started a joint enforcement program to limit these types of free-wheeling activities.

Model of civic mindedness to be honored with Cus D’Amato Award
By Lauren Dzura
The Union Square Partnership together with Washington Irving High School will present Eric Petterson with the 12th Annual Cus D’Amato Community Service Award. The reception will take place in the Great Room at the W Union Square Hotel on May 26.

Speaker’s corner and skateboarders

Free summer events in the square

Art in the park

Preservation and planting, playgrounds and pony rides
By Susan Kramer and Gail Fox
Union Square Community Coalition has tackled many issues this year and we plan to expand our role in the community in the coming year, in which we will celebrate our 25th anniversary.

Gardener finds her second career is growing on her
By Ellen Keohane
While many people pay off their debts or go on a vacation with their tax refund checks, gardener Ann Mullen spent hers on $1,000 worth of Japanese flowering cherry trees for Union Sq. Park, where she works.

Taking free speech by the bullhorn, they face arrest
By Lincoln Anderson
Last Saturday afternoon in Union Sq.’s south plaza there was the usual controlled chaos, with various groups staking out their space. On the east side, sitting in lotus position, were the Hare Krishnas, singing and chanting with their cymbals, drums and harmonium. On the west side was a jazz outfit, trying to play with some loud speakers for amplification, but being told by Park Enforcement officers they could not.

Broadway classics for the very young
By Kaitlen Jay Exum
As executive director of Inside Broadway, Michael Presser has regularly faced the challenge of how to introduce children to theatre. The goal of Inside Broadway is to expose children to the great Broadway classics. It does so by creating kid-friendly, easily understandable shows, portable enough to travel to schools, and brief enough to not require intermissions.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
Layer Cake (+) I decided to see this film not only because it received excellent reviews, but because it was showing in a theater located next to the studio where I had just completed my live Bloomberg radio call-in show, which is now broadcast every Friday evening from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The Best of Youth (+) I don’t ever recall seeing a six-hour movie that was presented in two parts with two separate films and two separate admission charges. I just saw the first three hours of “The Best of Youth,” and I look forward to seeing the second segment soon.

A serious look at racism
By Leonard Quart
Movies have been made on the studio sound stages and back lots of Los Angeles since the film industry began to move out to Hollywood from New York in the second decade of the 20th century. But it’s only been in the last decade or so that a number of films have appeared that capture aspects of Los Angeles’ darker side. Some of those that readily come to mind are “Grand Canyon,” “Magnolia,” “Boyz N' the Hood,” “Short Cuts,” and now “Crash.”

Moralizing amidst the noise and haste
By Jerry Tallmer
If Joan Crawford had made no movie other than “A Woman’s Face” (1941, opposite Conrad Veidt and Melvyn Douglas), she would be in cinema’s all-stars book forever, but in fact she made 97 movies from “Proud Flesh” (1925) to “We’re Coming to Scare You to Death” (1975).

Minus an encore, bookstore’s curtain call
By Jerry Tallmer
On Saturday, July 30, 2005, the monster sale ends and the applause stops. As of that date, Applause Books, in the words of the man who founded it and run it for 25 years, “is history.” Kaput. Gone away. Closed.

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