Volume 75,Number 31
December 21 - 27, 2005


Editorial
N.Y.U. plans: What a concept
After three decades that have seen New York University’s undergraduate student body double from 9,000 to 18,000 and the number of its dormitories and facilities in the Village area increase exponentially, it seems that N.Y.U. may finally have recognized the need to manage its growth in a rational manner.

Talking Point
In Hollywood ‘Rent’ remake, the East Village is MIA
By Sarah Ferguson
I finally went to see “Rent.” After hearing Lower East Side folk gripe — once again — about this Broadway musical-turned-movie ripping off local characters and tap dancing over the neighborhood’s radical history, I dragged my butt over to Chelsea Cinemas to see Hollywood’s candy-cream version of the East Village circa 1989.

God’s joystick and fear of a plot against Christmas
By Andrei Codrescu
It’s the time of the year when people without a thought in their head, particularly politicians wishing to advance their careers, make a big deal out of things like “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays.” What knuckleheads first started this controversy is hard to say, but it’s certain that once knuckleheads start up something truly stupid it will catch on like fire.

Notebook
Trying to figure out Ramsey Clark was never easy
By Ed Gold
Ramsey Clark, the neighbor, is soft-spoken, modest and polite, whether taking down the family wash to the laundry room, or trudging back and forth to his poorly lit, sprawling rather unkempt law office a few blocks away from his 12th St. co-op apartment. At home, he shares an elevator with only one other family in one of the Village’s famously designed notable residences.

Scoopy's Notebook

Police Blotter

Letters to the editor


Obituary
Vincent ‘Chin’ Gigante, 77; mafia don donned pj’s
By Albert Amateau
Vincent “Chin” Gigante, boss of the Genovese crime family, who was noted for walking the streets of the Village near his Sullivan St. social club dressed in pajamas and bathrobe and mumbling to himself, died in a federal prison hospital in Missouri on Dec. 19 at the age of 77.

Sports/ Health

Hurricanes blow away Lions in O.T. to win Sol Lain crown
The Sol Lain Association held its flag-football championship game last Saturday at the P.S. 134 playground on Montgomery St. on the Lower East Side and the Betances Hurricanes emerged victorious against the Lopez Lions.

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

Villager photo by Gary He

A police officer posts notice at Union Square subway station on Tuesday notifying riders that there is no service.


As transit grinds to halt, New Yorkers get moving
By Lincoln Anderson
After the dreaded possibility of a transit strike became a reality, on early Tuesday morning Downtown sidewalks and streets were teeming with commuters on foot, bike, skateboard, rollerblades and electric wheelchair as people powered to work and appointments. Many also took the day off to do holiday shopping.

News
N.Y.U. prez faces a hail of questions at town hall
By Albert Amateau
New York University President John Sexton held his third annual community town hall meeting on Mon. Dec. 19 — a lively and at times tumultuous event with Villagers. The discussion mainly focused on the school’s proposed E. 12th St. dormitory, but striking graduate students also used the forum to demand that the university negotiate with the Graduate Students Organizing Committee of the United Auto Workers.

Hey bartender! Beer, buybacks and telling tales behind the taps
By Ellen Keohane
A few minutes before 7 o’clock on a recent Friday evening, Dan Sweeney arrived for his bartending shift at the crowded St. Mark’s Ale House in the East Village. Sweeney, 28, who is thin with chin-length blonde hair, immediately started pouring drafts and catching up with regulars.


Inside
A volunteer puts post-9/11 training into practice
By Albert Amateau
On Oct. 7, two weeks after Hurricane Rita slammed into the Louisiana coast already devastated by Hurricane Katrina a month earlier, Simone Cornu, who runs an architectural design business in the Village, went to the bayou country as a Red Cross volunteer.

Campus planning director brings extensive experience
By Lincoln Anderson
With the hiring of Sharon Greenberger as its inaugural director of real estate and campus planning, New York University says it is taking a fresh approach to the use of its existing facilities and development of new ones.

Graffiti rivals spray insults over 50 Cent gun mural
By Sara G. Levin
The rapper 50 Cent is still holding a baby and a gun is still sticking out of his paints in Andre Charles’s mural on E. Third St. and Avenue B, which Charles told The Villager he would paint over last week. Complaints about the gun by some local residents, including fellow muralist Antonio “Chico” Garcia, prompted Charles to add to his Web site a cringing rat over the words “Graffiti artist calling the cops” with a link that highlights Garcia’s quotes in The Villager two weeks ago.

Complaints heard about proposed city noise code
By Albert Amateau
The Bloomberg administration’s proposed new city noise code heard at the City Council Environmental Committee last week inspired some loud criticism from Councilmember Alan Jay Gerson and Neighbors Against NOISE, a Tribeca environmental group, as well as the New York Nightlife Association.

Meat Market nightlife is starting to go underground
By Lincoln Anderson
It seems whenever one looks, yet another trendy hotspot has opened in the Meat Market. Steakhouse SBK and Buddha Bar are just two of the more notable new high-profile establishments on the way.

Preservationists dig in for fight on Tunnel Garage
By Lincoln Anderson
Neighbors and preservationists rallied in Soho outside the Tunnel Garage on Saturday, calling for the historic structure to be landmarked. A developer is seeking a variance from the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals to build a 10-story residential building on the site.

In Hollywood ‘Rent’ remake, the East Village is MIA
By Sarah Ferguson
I finally went to see “Rent.” After hearing Lower East Side folk gripe — once again — about this Broadway musical-turned-movie ripping off local characters and tap dancing over the neighborhood’s radical history, I dragged my butt over to Chelsea Cinemas to see Hollywood’s candy-cream version of the East Village circa 1989.



VILLAGER Arts & Entertainment

Ariel Dorfman’s Bedroom Wa
By Jerry Tallmer
Augusto Pinochet, chief torturer of Chile between the years 1973 and 1990, is an evil old man of 90 who may or may not evade what passes for justice on this earth — except the last one, the terminal one.

You’re pretty cool, Charlie Brown
By Scott Harrah
Back in 1967, Charles M. Schulz’s beloved “Peanuts” characters were celebrated in the light and fluffy musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” a show that became a community theater staple before it was revived on Broadway in 1999. Nearly four decades later, an Off-Broadway “unauthorized parody” of Charlie Brown and friends shows a darker, funnier, and more human side of the Peanuts gang, played by an all-star cast of Hollywood’s hottest young actors.

Never too late for a folk revival; especially now
By Jerry Tallmer
Some things went by me in the night, when I was doing something else. Elvis Presley, for instance. “Star Wars,” Tae kwan do. The Eisenhower presidency. Andrew Lloyd Weber. William F. Buckley, Jr. And folk music.


To fight the Mafia, bust a cap
By Sara G. Levin
In defiance of Mafia influence across Sicily, Italian activist Guido Agnello is promoting legitimate business through a staple of gangster attire called the coppola cloth cap. The hat, also known as the Sicilian beret, was primarily associated with Mafioso rank and file during the twentieth century but has now become a symbol of change for Agnello, who intends to use fashion to fight organized crime.

Grown-up Dexter: Oh, Baby!
By Jerry Tallmer
When Baby Jane Dexter was 15 years old, her dermatologist father removed some warts from the fingers of a drummer. The doctor got talking about his aspiring singer daughter, and the grateful drummer arranged for her to take part in an upcoming gig at an Italian restaurant in East Islip, Long Island.

An exhibit with a ton of baggage
By Laura Silver
“I save things,” says, Flo Oy Wong, whose solo show, “Shhh: It’s a Secret!” now at Flomenhaft Gallery, includes vintage suitcases, sequin-embroidered rice sacks and a long table set with bowls and teacups. The Sunnyvale, Calfornia-based artist pulls back the curtains on centuries of immigration history and examines its impact on her clan.

A feast of bad dates
By Rachel Breitman
In the opening scene of Gregg Coffin’s madcap musical “Five Course Love,” Matt, John Bolton’s nerdy blind dating alter ego, looks like he is about to get lucky. Within minutes of meeting Matt, Barbie, the Southern belle who has been paired with him via a dating service, she seems ready to jump his bones.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
Brokeback Mountain (+) In his New York Times review Stephen Holden wrote, “This moving and majestic film would be a landmark if only because it is the first Hollywood movie to unmask the homoerotic strain in American culture that Leslie Fiedler discerned in his notorious 1948 Partisan Review essay, ‘Come Back to the Raft Ag’in, Huck Honey.’”
World’s Fastest Indian (-) I went to see this film because I’m a fan of Anthony Hopkins. I’m still a fan, but the next time I see one of his movies, it will be because someone whose judgment I trust said it is worth seeing. This one is not.




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