Volume 75,Number 30
December 14 - 20, 2005


Editorial
Mayor and gay marriage
In an exclusive interview this week with The Villager, and its sister publications Gay City News and Downtown Express, Mayor Michael Bloomberg made his strongest comments to date in support of same-sex marriage rights. Although the mayor prevailed in an intermediate-level appeals court last week on his challenge to a February pro-gay marriage ruling, Bloomberg expressed the “hope” that gay marriage will be ruled “legal under the [state] Constitution,” should the case be heard by the Court of Appeals.


N.Y.U. and the ‘ecosystem’
On Monday, New York University President John Sexton will host a town hall meeting with Downtown residents. At previous town halls and at meetings with local organizations, Sexton has spoken of the need “to protect the Village’s fragile ecosystem.”

Talking Point
Will history repeat with latest N.Y.U. dorm project?
By Andrew Berman
It was like deja vu all over again.
A community meeting filled to capacity with residents distressed about a planned new New York University development: “It’s too big;” “You’re taking over our neighborhood;” “You’ve destroyed a piece of our history.” Somehow, I felt as though I’d been through this all before.

Notebook
Falling for Gene McCarthy on the ’68 campaign trail
By Jerry Tallmer
He was a very nice kid, clean for Gene, and he had just finished telling me: “If this doesn’t work, I’m going to go off and join the crazies” — the blacks who were burning up their own cities, the whites who would someday soon be blowing up labs in Wisconsin, townhouses in Greenwich Village. Now he was cursing his own candidate, the dissenter for whom a thousand kids like this, Sam Brown’s brigade, were cutting their hair, dressing neat, going door to door throughout New Hampshire to knock politely, engage in civil discussion, spread the word.

Scoopy's Notebook

Police Blotter

Letters to the editor

Sports/ Health

Girls recreational soccer program is exceeding goals
By Judith Stiles
As Polly Carr was grabbing her first baby bottle of milk, 7-year-old Gabby Smith of Greenwich Village was eagerly stepping out onto a soccer field for her first real match, in the Downtown United Soccer Club’s all-girls recreational program. Now, in what seems like a blink of an eye, the program is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with Gabby Smith still playing soccer at age 17, and Polly Carr, now 10, kicking the ball with her mother, Coach Shannon Carr, and budding assistant coach, her 7-year-old sister, Cally Carr.

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

Villager photo by Jennifer Weisbord

Mayor Mike Bloomberg talks to the publisher and editors of The Villager, Gay City News and Downtown Express on Monday in “the bullpen,” his office in City Hall.

Bloomberg: I would testify
By Paul Schindler
“My hope is that the court will say that it is legal under the Constitution,” Mayor Mike Bloomberg said this Monday about the claims made in a lawsuit initiated last year by five gay and lesbian couples against New York City seeking an order that the city clerk issue them marriage licenses.

NEWS

Not so fast, neighbors say to one-way Avenue B
By Lincoln Anderson
A pitch by the Ninth Police Precinct’s commander to have the city change Avenue B to a one-way street so traffic will flow faster didn’t make much headway at a meeting held by Community Board 3 last Wednesday.

Queer youth and residents still at odds on park use
By Albert Amateau
West Village residents and queer youth who use the Christopher St. Pier in Hudson River Park confronted each other again last week at a Community Board 2 Waterfront and Parks Committee meeting to consider solutions to their long-standing conflict.


Inside
Reverend Billy bus is rammed and filmmaker is hurt
By Lincoln Anderson
As Reverend Billy’s Shopocalypse tour was getting underway, just two days after leaving St. Mark’s Church in the East Village, a disaster struck that threatened to derail the national shopping slow-down traveling act.

Vote’s over, but debate continues about warehouse
By Tony Weiss
Not everyone in Williamsburg knows what the Austin, Nichols Warehouse is, but almost everyone has an opinion on it, just the same. Even those residents unaware that the City Council voted to overturn landmark status for the massive, white building were quick to interpret the controversy as a sign of familiar neighborhood woes — overdevelopment, the loss of Williamsburg’s historic character and the influence that money seems to buy.

Can’t hold that tiger, as cult alehouse set to close
By Daniel Wallace
Another West Village watering hole has been nudged by the billy club of gentrification and told to move on. After nearly 10 years of business, Blind Tiger Alehouse, the specialty bar at 518 Hudson St., will close on Dec. 27.

Blinded by the light: Pizza signage draws protests
By Daniel Wallace
If you are hungry, like pizza and happen to be walking west on Bleecker St. across Sixth Ave., your face may just glow as you approach Abitino’s Pizza on the corner of Carmine St.

Arch would become giant harp in public-art project
By Albert Amateau
Imagine the Washington Square Arch transformed into a 60-foot-tall harp whose strings vibrate with the wind, pick up ambient sound and radio and television waves, all combining in a strange but harmonic music controlled at a console at the base of the arch.

N.Y.U., union disagree on strike strength numbers
By Caitlin Eichelberger
One week after New York University President John Sexton set a deadline for graduate student teaching assistants to end their strike, some of the graduate assistants continued to picket. However, the number of G.A.’s still on strike is in dispute.

Courtroom drama unfolds with lessons for lawyers
By Albert Amateau
Maggie Polisi, a lawyer who is suing her former law firm and a partner in the firm, charging them with sexual discrimination after she broke off an affair with the partner, went through some intense witness preparation and questioning by lawyers one weekend last month.

Clinton (Bill) gets rock star reception as protesters call on Hillary to listen up
By Jefferson Siegel
On Dec. 6, the campaign to re-elect Hillary Clinton to the Senate held a fundraiser at Crobar, the cavernous Chelsea nightclub on W. 28th St. Although Senator Clinton did not attend, what attracted the 2,000 supporters, who paid $50 each, was a speech by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Bloomberg on bars, sidewalk smoking, square, Lopez
By Lincoln Anderson
Mayor Mike Bloomberg carved out a moment in his busy schedule on Monday for an exclusive interview with the publisher and editors of Community Media. Bloomberg gave his opinion in response to several questions pertaining to matters of relevance to Downtown Manhattan residents.

Trust puts on squeeze; Yankee strikes out for N.J.
By Josh Rogers
The historic Yankee Ferry left Tribeca Sat. Dec. 3 the same way it came into the neighborhood 15 years ago — pulled by a tugboat.
The Hudson River Park Trust closed the Yankee’s home at Pier 25 at the end of October to begin construction on the Tribeca section of the 5-mile-long waterfront park.

10,000 clubgoers in five square blocks in Chelsea
By Albert Amateau
West Chelsea is clubland, where more than 20 dance clubs, lounges, bars and restaurants are clustered between 10th and 11th Aves. from 24th to 29th Sts., with a total capacity of more than 10,000 patrons — the largest being Crobar on W. 28th St., which can legally accommodate more than 3,000 revelers at a time.

Gastropub is making E. Fourth St. residents queasy
By Lincoln Anderson
A handful of East Villagers testified at the State Liquor Authority in Harlem on Tuesday against an application for a new liquor license for EU/European Union, a new gastropub planned at 235 E. Fourth St., just west of Avenue B.



VILLAGER Arts & Entertainment

Norman’s night out
Text and photos by John Ranard
If today’s world isn’t enough of a burlesque, one can visit Norman Gosney’s basement show at Scenic on Avenue B. Gosney has been in the business for years and brings in some of the best-looking underdressed women in the city.


An art book for every coffee table
Lorne Colon takes a look at the best art books of 2005




Like father, like daughter
By Jery Tallmer
The creative process is a fascinating creature, full of twists and turns, false starts, metamorphoses, germinations, quick deaths, aliases, disguises, regenerations, who knows what.

Beyond Kermie: Puppeteer brings the craft into the 21st century
By Rachel Fershleiser
“The Revenger’s Tragedy,” a Jacobean satire of questionable authorship, is currently enjoying a passionate, ambitious, and thoroughly gruesome production at The Culture Project on Bleecker Street. The play probes hypocrisy and deceit in corrupt Venetian society, and opens with a tableau of shadowy robed figures whose heads are concealed on both sides by masks. Carefully conceived and exquisitely detailed, each mask is a work of art created by Emily DeCola, a downtown mask and puppet designer.

If the hat fits…
By Steven Snyder
“Transamerica” may traverse thousands of miles and reunite a drug addicted son with an absentee father, but it never acknowledges the far more compelling story lingering at the center of this road trip film: That of a scared, but brave man going through an extraordinary transformation, which seems to make sense to no one but himself and his counselor.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
“Syriana” (+)
While several friends suggested that I see this film, they all commented on its unresolved ending.




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