Volume 75,Number 17
September 14 - 20,
2005


Editorial
A fast rezoning is just what East Side needs now
We’ve all been hearing a lot about community facilities lately, whether it’s in reference to the overwhelmingly opposed University House dorm project on E. Ninth St., the “stealth” dorm on E. Third St. — now being filled by New York Law School — or the black-shrouded monstrosity at Third St. and the Bowery that is, of latest word, being converted into a hotel. So far, though, there has been no coherent strategy to stop the use and misuse of this zoning allowance that permits buildings double or triple the size of residential buildings to be constructed.

Talking Point
New Orleans: The iconography of hell and our guilt
I think what people in other cities find hard to understand is just how much New Orleanians love their city. I'm not saying that folks in Houston or Cleveland don't love their cities. I know it for a fact that my friend Marty loves living in Shaker Heights, which is in Cleveland. New Orleans is different, I think, if only because the locals have had a long time to elaborate a style of living and a modus vivendi that couldn't be mistaken for anything else. Everybody in New Orleans loves the food, the music and our sense of time (slow time) that's peculiar to us and to us only. There is a velvety sensuality here at the mouth of the Mississippi that you won't find anywhere else.

The view from France: Disbelief, shock and horror
By Patricia Fieldsteel
NYONS, France — Thursday morning is market day here; the town bursts with a brilliant array of vibrant colors and marvelous aromas, the magnificent bounty — despite the serious summer drought — of the Provençal soil and Mediterranean sea. Last week I met my friends Edie and Hugo at the Brasserie de la Bourse for a late-morning market-day coffee that, as so often happens, evolved into lunch. Hugo and Edie live in Manhattan and have a vacation home in Provence; they both grew up in the American South. In typical Provençal style, our moule frites lunch gently stretched to four hours.

Scoopy's Notebook

Police Blotter

Letters to the editor

Scene

Obituary
Joan McClure, 90, activist on West Village issues
Joan McClure, a West Village resident for more than 60 years and an activist on many issues until she sold her Bethune St. home and moved away about 10 years ago, died of a stroke on Aug. 4 at a hospice in Tuolumne, Cal., at the age of 90.
Her son, Wallace Watson, said she had been living in a dementia residence in San Francisco to be near him and moved with him to Tuolumne, east of San Francisco, six weeks ago.

Sports/ Health
Give ’em enough rope: Punk rock jump rope at the Y
By Judith Stiles
There was a time in the schoolyards of New York City when little girls totally owned the art of jumping rope, and even when the Hula Hoop was hot in the 1960s, school girls were still the queens of “double Dutch” and boys were simply not allowed to partake.

New Venue
Where everybody still knows their names
By Shana Liebman
Filmmaker Phil Hartman is on a crusade to lure back old school, East Village artists who either “threw in the towel” or fled for lower rent. His latest venture—after founding Two Boots and the Howl Festival—is Mo Pitkin’s, the bi-level bar, restaurant, and cabaret behind that unusual new blue neon sign on Avenue A.
"Serving West and East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side"

Villager photo by Bob Kreizel

Rosie Mendez exited from the booth after voting early Tuesday morning in the East Village. She went on to win the City Council District 2 primary, taking a third of the vote.

Mendez and Stringer win, while Ferrer on brink of runoff rerun
By Lincoln Anderson and Caitlin Eichelberger
In a low-turnout Democratic primary election on Tuesday there weren’t many surprises as the favored candidates in local races all won.

NEWS
Fast-track East Village rezoning gains speed
By Lincoln Anderson
Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden has been pounding the pavement and scoping out the situation, a community group has funded a comprehensive rezoning study, the local city councilmember has allocated $50,000 to the community board — and all signs are pointing to a rapid rezoning of the East Village that will limit building heights and eliminate the dreaded community facilities bonus — the use of which to construct oversize buildings has come under fire from residents and the community board.

Tenant sues Chelsea Piers; claims ship is sinking fast
By Albert Amateau
The owner of a photo production studio on the second and third floors of the Pier 59 head house is accusing his landlord, Chelsea Piers Management, and the Hudson River Park Trust, with neglecting maintenance of the steel superstructure and the wood pilings that support the Chelsea Piers complex.


Inside
Tenant sues Chelsea Piers; claims ship is sinking fast
By Albert Amateau
The owner of a photo production studio on the second and third floors of the Pier 59 head house is accusing his landlord, Chelsea Piers Management, and the Hudson River Park Trust, with neglecting maintenance of the steel superstructure and the wood pilings that support the Chelsea Piers complex.

Parks does a 180 on undercover skateboarder tickets
By Lincoln Anderson
Like a skateboarder doing a 180-degree spin, the Parks Department decided that the costly summonses issued to 13-year-old Andre Stoltzfus in Union Square two months ago by undercover Park Enforcement Patrol officers should be dropped. Kevin Jeffrey, Parks Department deputy commissioner of public programs — who oversees PEP officers, Park Rangers and communications — told The Villager Parks would not press the summonses on Sept. 6 before a judge at the Environmental Control Board, where such tickets are adjudicated.

Art war flares at C.S.V., though maybe in the dark
By Lincoln Anderson
At the fractious Clemente Soto Velez cultural center on Suffolk St., members of the breakaway Artists Alliance Inc. visual artists group are crying that a proposal by City Councilmember Alan Gerson will lead to their “constructive eviction” from the building.

McKenna’s gets license renewal; nuns are mum on how they sided
By Albert Amateau
McKenna’s Bar at 245 W. 14th St. received its liquor license renewal from the State Liquor Authority on Aug. 1, despite questions that Community Board 4 raised about the bar’s illegally serving drinks through the front window to patrons on the sidewalk.

Pastor is breaking new ground at Middle Collegiate
By Albert Amateau
When the Reverend Jacqueline J. Lewis was officially installed as the new senior minister of Middle Collegiate Church last Sunday, she was no stranger to the congregation.

Civilians are learning about emergency preparedness
By Caitlin Eichelberger
While a fellow American city suffers from a major disaster, and as the anniversary of 9/11 passes, some New Yorkers are thinking more seriously about preparing for an emergency.

Fewer flowers after 4 years, but the pain’s no less
By Jefferson Siegel
For most of the nation, the horror of 9/11 has been relegated to cable documentaries that air once a year. This past Sunday was the opening day of the National Football League season, and in Union Square, a gathering place for mourners in the weeks following the attack, a Music in the Park concert rocked on.

Lopez gets by with a little help from her friends
By Lincoln Anderson
Following the filing of a Freedom of Information Law request by The Villager, the Campaign Finance Board last week released a document detailing personal loans made to City Councilmember Margarita Lopez allowing her to qualify for public matching funds in her borough president campaign.

At Gilda’s Club, it’s always something compassionate
By Bonnie Rosenstock
When Gilda Radner was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1986, she found a nurturing environment in the Wellness Community, a support center for people living with cancer in Santa Monica, Cal. When she traveled to New York (she was bicoastal), she couldn’t find that level of compassion and caring here.

Circus Contraption is one well-oiled extravaganza
By David H. Katz
These are trying times that demand high-quality entertainment, entertainment that takes you way, way out of your head. And it doesn’t get any more entertaining, or high quality, or way more out of your head, than Circus Contraption, the surreal, sexy, Seattle-based one-ring alternative circus troupe who have brought their exuberant and wildly delightful hurdy-gurdy of a show, the “Grand American Traveling Dime Museum,” to the Theater for The New City on First Ave. for the month of September.


Back to School
A special Villager supplement

Tutu kicks off seminary campaign
Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of the Anglican Archdiocese of Cape Town, above with some young friends, was the guest of honor at General Theological Seminary in Chelsea on Tues. Sept. 13 at the ceremony inaugurating the $15 million campaign to insure the seminary’s future in the 21st century.

New center at Parsons New School
On Tuesday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at Parsons The New School for Design for the new $7 million Sheila C. Johnson Design Center at 13th St. and Fifth Ave.

From Anarchist to Zapatista: A school for lefties
By Lincoln Anderson
A bit shaky on your Wobblies? Out of synch with Syndicalism? Maybe it’s time for a refresher course at The New SPACE, otherwise known as The New School for Pluralistic Anti-Capitalist Education. Yes, there’s a new New School in town, but it’s not connected to the venerable university of the same name in Greenwich Village.

New principal at P.S. 20 is setting the bar high
By Vanessa Romo
The first time Felix Ricardo Gil set foot in a school as a teacher, it was the smell that got to him. Fifteen years and several promotions later the novelty still hasn’t worn off. Walking through the halls of P.S. 20 where Gil is making the transition from assistant principal to principal, he smiled broadly and inhaled deeply. “There’s something so familiar about the smell of a school,” he said. “I don’t know what it is, but they all have that smell, it just takes you back.”


A little relief from the summer as school starts
By Angela Benfield
As the first day of school approaches, most children get knots in their stomachs. The life-altering questions that have been lingering since June are about to be answered: Who will be in my class? Who will my new teacher be? Will I have that mean one who likes to give three hours of homework every night?

Karate kids ’n’ pizza pals

VILLAGER Arts & Entertainment

Homeward Bound: Parade tries to draw artists back to Soho
By Jefferson Siegel
This past Saturday, a four-block long extravaganza of marching bands, inflatable sculptures, and a 16-foot-long subway car with cutouts of Patrick Swayze and Bill Clinton wended its way through Soho. The event, organized by gallery owner Jeffery Deitch, was meant to remind the city that art still thrives on the narrow thoroughfares below Houston Street.

Bands on the run: The CMJ Music Marathon celebrates an important milestone
In 1981, the four-day music fest now known as the CMJ Music Marathon hosted its first showcase at a downtown loft party, headlined by a two acts whose names wouldn’t ring a bell today.

The new Lake Wobegon
By Jerry Tallmer
You can take the boy out of Minnesota, but you can’t take Minnesota out of the boy.
It is in the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes that playwright Craig Wright spent the years from age 14 to 36.

The Rolling Stones at rest
By Aileen Torres
Preening and parading around for audiences is practically second nature for the Rolling Stones, who are still going strong after four decades and touring again this fall. Ken Regan’s photographs of the band, currently being shown at Pop International Galleries in Soho, show a quieter side of these iconic rock stars.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
“The Memory of a Killer” (+) This film is based on a novel by Jef Geeraerts entitled, “Memory,” and the original title of the film was “The Alzheimer Case.” Both titles are comments on whether an assassin, Angelo Ledda (Jan Decleir), suffering from early Alzheimer’s, will remember where he placed the evidence needed to convict a powerful politician connected to a pedophile case.
“The Constant Gardener” (-) I did not read John Le Carre’s book on which this film is based, but I must assume that it is a better-told story than this movie which is full of holes. Near the end of the film a dialogue takes place between two of the principal characters intended to lay out the story line and answer some questions. The device fails.



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