Volume 75,Number 21
October 12 - 18, 2005

Parks must yield on fountain, fence and plaza plans
The Washington Square Park resolution passed by the Community Board 2 Parks and Waterfront Committee last Thursday has set the stage for final negotiations on the renovation plan for the historic square. Following the recent agreement reached by Councilmember Alan Gerson and the Parks Department, the only issues about the renovation project left unresolved had been moving the fountain, raising the plaza, the size of the plaza and the height of the fence around the park.

A computer monitor teaches a lesson about homework
By Chris Sherman
My children are starting to glow. Not from fresh air and good nutrition, but from the light of the computer monitor. Where I once had to monitor their television viewing, I now have to police their time on the computer. The television stands lonely and cold in the den, while the computer room is thriving with youthful humanity.

Keep the Sabbath
By Andrei Codrescu
Years ago, my friend Myron Katz, gave me this advice: “Keep the Sabbath.” That’s all. He said he didn’t care what I thought about religion, whether I did anything ritual like prayer, song, or meditation. The only thing that mattered was keeping the Sabbath. Over time I’ve come to agree with Myron. If you can, and almost anybody can, try to take off a whole day to do nothing. Don’t answer the phone, don’t write newspaper columns, make no big decisions, give yourself slack.

Scoopy's Notebook

Police Blotter

Letters to the editor


Sports/ Health

Zambia vs. Uruguay: It’s a whole new world of soccer
By Judith Stiles
Persistent rain drenched the majority of ball fields Columbus Day Weekend, resulting in the cancellation of flag football games, fall baseball and even soccer matches. On Saturday, while puddles formed on the courtyard at Pier 40, several teams from the Manhattan Kickers soccer club tried to escape the rain by leaving town for a big tournament in Pennsylvania, only to find that a torrential downpour made those fields unplayable too. The relentless bad weather forced the teams to turn right around and come back to the Big Apple because the tournament was cancelled.

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

Villager photo by Elisabeth Robert

Pier pressure
From left, Philip Murph, Vincent Pun, E. Black, Keidra Archie and David Tobo, all around 20 years old, members of FIERCE, a gay youth advocacy group, came to Community Board 2’s Parks and Waterfront Committee meeting last week to voice concerns about policing in Hudson River Park and to protest calls for an earlier curfew on the Christopher St. Pier. Some of them supported eliminating the curfew entirely. <more>

Artist takes on new role: Hepatitis C educator
By Ronda Kaysen
Penny Arcade is accustomed to being noticed. The 55-year-old performance artist has been a poster child for the East Village avant-garde art scene since Andy Warhol roamed the city. In recent years she’s become a vocal proponent for artists living in this increasingly gentrified neighborhood.

Graffiti is latest fray in E. 9th St. food fight
By Vanessa Romo
Three lanky boys crouched on the sidewalk near the corner of Ninth St. and Avenue C on a recent Saturday afternoon, trying to make out the freshly written graffiti on the ground. “Leave This Block,” “Give No Money,” “Whore of Babylon,” they read, stumbling over the last and unfamiliar word.

You gotta have park consensus; board changes course on square
By Lincoln Anderson
Don’t move the fountain. Don’t raise the sunken central plaza. Keep any new fence around the park low. That’s what many Villagers have been crying out for months now about the hotly debated Washington Square Park renovation project. And that’s just what the Community Board 2 Parks and Waterfront Committee voted to approve in a resounding resolution it passed at its meeting last Thursday night to grateful cheers and applause from committee members and members of the public alike.

Lampposts beautify Gramercy and honor 9/11 heroes
By Jefferson Siegel
The Gramercy Neighborhood Associates recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the 16 newest bishop’s crook lampposts installed in the Gramercy Park area. The association funded the purchase of one of the lampposts to honor three area police officers who perished on 9/11.

New Union Sq. group has distaste for any kind of pavilion restaurant
By Albert Amateau
Citizens for Union Square, a new group opposed to the current plan for the redesign of the north end of Union Sq. Park, met on Sept. 28 to explore the possibility of state and federal funding for a plan more to their liking.

Pedestrians are shocked by a lamppost on Avenue A
By Daniel Wallace
Exposed wires in the base of a lamppost at 72 Avenue A near Sixth St. shocked pedestrians and a Sanitation worker with stray voltage on Sat., Oct. 8, during a heavy downpour. There were no serious injuries.

Committee and residents back larger historic district
By Albert Amateau
Beginning the process of designating two new historic districts in the Far West Village as part of the plan with the City Planning Commission to preserve the character of a unique waterfront neighborhood, the Landmarks Preservation Commission sent two staff members to the Oct. 5 meeting of the Community Board 2 Landmarks Committee.

1-to-2-year rehab, smaller teen lounge for library
By Caitlin Eichelberger
When rumors of a proposed renovation of Jefferson Market Library at W. 10th St. and Sixth Ave. surfaced, so too did area activists protective of the historic Greenwich Village landmark.

It’s not easy being Green: Gronowicz runs for mayor
By Hannah Seligson
Most are viewing the mayor’s race as a one-on-one contest between challenger Fernando Ferrer and incumbent Michael Bloomberg. But there are some third-party candidates in the race who also have something to say. One of these is Anthony Gronowicz, the Green Party’s candidate.

Pier 35 may open to public on interim basis in summer
By Ronda Kaysen
Two dilapidated piers lining the southern end of the East River and a nearby city-owned building might soon be put to temporary use, if only the city can find a way through the red tape.
3 cantors and rabbi make for 1 service to remember
By Tequila Minsky
Three cantors and a rabbi officiated at the first day of Rosh Hashanah at the newest local high holiday services at Ohel Ayalah, which opened its doors last year in the social hall of the First Presbyterian Church at Fifth Ave. and 12th St.

Board 3 gets S.L.A. to cut flow of licenses, at least in one case
By Ellen Keohane
In the war against bar proliferation in the East Village, Community Board 3 recently won what David McWater, the board’s chairperson, is hailing as a major victory.
On July 6, the State Liquor Authority disapproved an application for a new liquor license for a proposed establishment at 26 First Ave.

Trust is peppered with questions about park PEP’s
By Lincoln Anderson
Whether Park Enforcement Patrol officers in Hudson River Park are providing too much enforcement — or too little — was a hot topic of debate at two recent meetings. Known as PEP’s for short, the green-uniform-wearing officers have police powers, but don’t carry handguns. Although the Hudson River Park is administered by a state-city authority, the Hudson River Park Trust, the Trust has contracted with the city Parks Department for the PEP’s to patrol the 5-mile-long waterfront park along the Lower West Side.

With Council approval, West Village rezoning is law
By Albert Amateau
The plan to preserve the low-rise character of the Far West Village became law on Tuesday when the City Council voted unanimously to approve the new zoning for most of the 14-block area along the Village waterfront.

Tompkins Square chess player has created a monster
By Daniel Wallace
Under the trees in Tompkins Square there is a monster. This monster neither lurks nor prowls. He can be found smiling among the homeless of East Village. He is missing a few teeth. And those which remain are not sharp.

It’s an airtight case: New green building is very energy efficient
By Anthony Weiss
The new building at 228 E. Third St. was open to visitors earlier this month. People sat in the unfinished ground floor on stacks of foam insulation and heard architect Chris Benedict and mechanical systems designer Henry Gifford explain how their building uses 85 percent less energy to heat than a building with ordinary construction, all for the same price.

The Red Cross provides aid to Chinatown and L.E.S.
By Lincoln Anderson
A Chinatown civic and business group and Community Board 3 both got some first aid last Thursday. Each has been awarded a Sept. 11 Recovery Grant by the American Red Cross Liberty Disaster Relief Fund to help improve the community. The grants are part of a Red Cross program to help neighborhoods recover from the lingering effects of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

To attorney, the square is more than just a lawsuit
By Ellen Keohane
“Don’t center me on the arch, it’s against my religion,” quipped attorney Ronald Podolsky as he posed for a photo in front of the Washington Square Arch on Friday afternoon.

VILLAGER Arts & Entertainment

Andrea Wolper finds her voice in the ‘The Small Hours’
By Rick Marx
There are many contradictions in the music chosen by jazz vocalist Andrea Wolper in her new CD, “The Small Hours.” She’ll have a “Small Day Tomorrow,” and she sings of “Not Sleeping in Your Arms.” But the Brooklyn resident, who will be appearing in the Village at the 55 Bar on Thursday, Oct. 13, says the choice of music is not based on any apparent anachronism.

Calling all crumpers: ‘Sides’ pokes fun at auditioning
By Josh Rogers
If you ever worry that there aren’t many good writers writing for the theater anymore, take heart because six actors are showing off their skills every night at The Culture Project on Bleecker Street. “Sides: The Fear is Real” is written and performed by six Asian-American actors who know all too well how ridiculous actors, casting directors and auditions can be.

Another side of My Morning Jacket
By Nicole Davis
When fans of My Morning Jacket gush about this Louisville quintet, it’s usually with the band’s dreamy reverb and countrified rock in mind. So it’s not surprising that the opening track on their fourth album “Z” would send some die-hard followers into state of shock. Gone, it seems, are the crashing cymbals and plaintive guitar chords; the first minute, in fact, is almost entirely keyboards. Could these really be the same scruffy boys from Kentucky?

Not the same old blood and gore
By Noah Fowle
Besides the turning leaves and the beginning of a new semester, another indication of fall is the flood of horror movie releases. Although most are indistinguishable from one another, their one charge is to alter, however slightly, one of the horror movie staples, be it the villain’s motive, the type of victims, or the setting.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
“Everything Is Illuminated” (+)
This unusually tender, moving story features beautifully crafted dialogue and superb acting. The film opens with the grandmother of Jonathan (Elijah Wood) dying in the United States.
“The History of Violence” (+)
This is a B-film with a B-script and B-acting. Nevertheless, it is entertaining and worth seeing. The storyline is interesting, although it doesn’t have the tension that I expected and hoped for, and the dialogue is occasionally awkward. The use of a highly improbable rape scene is clearly intended to get your mind off the film’s shortcomings.

Sex and Loathing in ‘Kissing Fidel’
By Jerry Tallmer
Eduardo Machado has done it this time. In “Kissing Fidel,” his 44th play (depending how you count), set in Miami in 1994, everybody has had sexual relations with everybody else, male, female, or otherwise. Brothers with brothers, cousins with cousins, aunts with whoever. And everybody hates Fidel Castro with a passion.


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