Volume 75, Number 6
June 29 - July 5, 2005


Editorial
Stringer’s report on the community boards is on target
So far, the race for Manhattan borough president hasn’t seen much to get excited about. The dozen or so Democratic candidates — as everyone knows, there’s no way a Republican will win this seat — have so far been defined by what geographic area they represent and their ethnicity. The question so far has been, Who can stretch their support beyond their base?

Scoopy’s notebook

Letters to the editor

Police Blotter

Talking point
Restaurant offers Union Sq. a serving of right stuff
By Karen H. Shaw
For over 20 years since its inception in 1984, the Union Square Partnership business improvement district has acted as a staunch advocate for the Union Square community, bringing people together to maximize the interests of the entire neighborhood. Our efforts, both on behalf of and with members of the community, have helped to improve our neighborhood and the quality of life for all of our residents, local businesses and commercial property owners. Union Square owes its renaissance to the collective vision of individuals, area businesses and civic leaders. It is in this spirit that the Parks Department and the Partnership have worked together with the community to improve the park for all of its users.

Talking point
Let’s come together to fix up Washington Sq. Park
By Matt Bardin
Washington Square. The name sounds so…square — like tea and crumpets. You picture earnest, young men in top hats and women in hoop skirts with umbrellas against the sun. Yet that has nothing to do with the square we all know and love. There’s something deliciously reassuring about how wrong sounding that name is; like they tried to cage our humanity, but it came bursting through the cracks and took over the place.

Talking point
Idea of moving the fountain just doesn’t hold water
By Marilyn Dorato and Kathryn Donaldson
The Greenwich Village Block Associations is a communitywide coalition of neighborhood organizations dedicated to preserving and improving the quality of life for residents of our historic neighborhood. Although the proposed redesign of Washington Square Park has been the subject of extensive discussion, the public process was so confused that we were unable to determine what points ought to be endorsed or opposed.

Scene

Ira Blutreich

Sports
Village triathlete goes extra mile for youth program
By Judith Stiles
When strolling up the promenade along the Hudson River, don’t be shocked if you see swimmers vigorously stroking upriver, and don’t call 911. These swimmers will take the plunge on purpose, to be part of the Ford New York City Triathlon on Sun., July 10. The athletes will bike 25 miles from Yonkers, run 6 miles ending in Central Park, on top of swimming 1 mile in the Hudson River in wetsuits.

Big three celebrate 10 years

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

Pride in full bloom
These lovely ladies and many more were strutting their stuff at the Gay Pride March last Sunday to the cheers of thousands of onlookers. Click here for more photos.


Houston St. is becoming bikers’ boulevard of death
By Lincoln Anderson
In the latest fatal accident on what is becoming a “boulevard of death” for bicyclists, a 25-year-old rider was struck and killed by a truck on E. Houston and Elizabeth Sts. on the morning of Wed., June 22.

Liz Christy Garden is being pushed to the edge
By Albert Amateau
The fate of at least eight trees, including a rare 50-foot-tall blue Atlas cedar, hinges on whether the developer of a Cooper Square Urban Renewal Area project will excavate 3 feet into the Liz Christy Garden on E. Houston St.

Tenants want to make profit, but nonprofit stands in way
By Johanna Petersson
Building by building, the Lower East Side’s affordable housing stock is transforming along with the influx of residents with deeper pockets. In many cases, tenants together with affordable-housing advocates are battling rent increases, eviction and owners opting out of Mitchell-Lama agreements. But in some cases, it’s the tenants that want out, claiming it is their right to manage their own buildings.

Stringer report urges reforms on community boards
By Lincoln Anderson
Staking out the boldest position yet on reforming community boards among the current crop of candidates running for Manhattan borough president, Scott Stringer recently released a detailed report with analysis and recommendations on how to improve the boards’ functioning.

Stringer: First course of action on restaurant is review in Albany

As the memory of Slocum fades, so does monument
By Bonnie Rosenstock
In contrast to last June’s media spotlight on the event-filled 100th anniversary of the General Slocum steamboat tragedy, which saw the largest weekend gathering of descendants of the deceased, survivors, rescuers and caregivers since 1930, this year’s ceremony at the Slocum memorial statue in Tompkins Square Park on Saturday morning, June 18, was very low key and succinct.

Union is projecting its issues on new IFC Center
By Lauren Dzura
The curtain was raised on the IFC Center at W. Third St. and Sixth Ave. only two weeks ago, but the place has already become a flashpoint of debate. Members of Projectionists Local 306 have been picketing outside the theater for several weeks because the new independent film house and center has hired nonunion projectionists to work in their theater, rather than Local 306 projectionists.

F.I.T. design ends up on C.B. 5 cutting-room floor
By Albert Amateau
Community Board 5 voted No last month to Fashion Institute of Technology’s plan to transform W. 27th St. into a campus commons. The plan would change the western third of the street from one-way to two-way with a cul-de-sac to allow traffic to turn around.

Certification for Far West Village rezoning postponed three weeks
The Department of City Planning has pushed back the certification date for the Far West Village rezoning plan to July 11. Originally, the certification was slated for June 20, a bit less than two weeks after the plan was first presented to the public at the June 9 Community Board 2 Zoning Committee meeting.

‘Don’t fence me in,’ protesters sing at park rally
By Lincoln Anderson
In what was billed as the People’s Rally to Save Washington Square, musicians, acrobats, activists and small dogs wearing pint-sized protest placards came together last Saturday to condemn the park’s renovation plans.

PEP’s Pride-proof piers and patrol park for bikes
By Lincoln Anderson
The only part of the Greenwich Village segment of Hudson River Park that was open on Sunday, the day of the Gay Pride march, was the esplanade.

Neighbors pray St. Ann’s developer will downscale project
By Albert Amateau
East Village residents and neighborhood preservation advocates fear that a 26-story residential tower or hotel on the site of the former St. Ann’s Church would overwhelm the low-rise neighborhood.

After years of trouble-shooting, he gets a precinct
By Albert Amateau
In his 23 years with the New York Police Department, Captain Anthony Bologna, the new commanding officer of the First Precinct, which covers Lower Manhattan, Soho, Hudson Sq. and the South Village, has been all over Manhattan and much of Brooklyn.

He pities the fool that doesn’t like Mr. T dolls!
By Ellen Keohane
While few 26-year-old men would admit to collecting dolls, Greg Rivera isn’t one of them.
Rivera’s show at the Orchard Street Art Gallery, “I Pity the Dolls! A Collection of Contemporary and Vintage Mr. T Dolls,” features his collection of 150 handmade Mr. T dolls.

A few B.P. candidates are enough for a lively forum
By Lincoln Anderson
Four candidates and a few candidates’ surrogates showed up for the Greenwich Village Block Association’s Manhattan borough president forum at the Village Community School on W. 10th St. last Thursday night. Although the candidates’ turnout was light, there was a lively discussion of local issues, from development and community boards to motorcycle noise and persistent prostitution.

ARTS

Baseball with a political twist
By JERRY TALLMER
Here is a little taste of a one-man show at Tribeca’s Flea Theater called “Boocock’s House of Baseball,” written and performed by a clean-living 40-year-old kid named Paul Boocock who started life in Baltimore, Maryland, Babe Ruth’s home town.

Koch on Film

A different kind of thriller
BY SCOTT HARRAH
Thrillers can be pure escapist fun—both on the stage and in Hollywood movies—as long as their plots hook the audience and get everyone intrigued within the first few minutes of the opening scene. It would be far too easy to criticize Paul Grellong’s “Manuscript” simply because it takes at least 30 minutes before anything significant really happens, but one must realize that this is not a traditional thriller in any sense. Instead of blood-thirsty villains with guns and knives, this three-person drama is about privileged Ivy League students with literary ambitions—not exactly the type of exciting characters that are going to get anyone’s pulse racing.

Sibling duo sells stylish, functional children’s furniture
By Kaitlen Jay Exum
After spending 25 years working in the fashion industry, siblings Susan and Stephen Johnson were both ready for a change. Interior design, Susan said, “seemed like a natural progression from fashion.” She had recently helped a pregnant friend decorate her baby’s nursery and, in the process, discovered a unique line of children’s furniture called Little Folk Art and developed a relationship with the designer, Susan Salzman.


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