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Volume 76, Number 1
May 24 - 30, 2006


Editorial/ Op-Ed
Parks’ dissembling on Wash. Sq. mocks the public process
The merits of two lawsuits on the Washington Square Park renovation, currently before State Supreme Court Justice Emily Jane Goodman, are apparently strong enough that Goodman has extended a stay barring the project’s start or the city’s entering into contracts for the project. We agree issues in the lawsuits raise serious questions about how straightforward the city’s Parks Department was in its presentation of the renovation plans to the public — and more to the point, whether the department actually misled the public about crucial aspects of this planned $16 million project.

Letters to the editor

Scoopy’s notebook

Police Blotter

NOTEBOOK
Slumming it on St. Mark’s, or at least trying to
By Andrei Codrescu
I rented a room in what used to be one of New York’s sleaziest flophouses, the St. Mark’s Hotel, on St. Marks’s Pl. This place used to be so nasty I walked a little faster when I lived in the neighborhood. Wasted drug addicts used to hang out in the entryway, spewing infections out of open sores. The notorious St. Mark’s Baths was next door, a place of such debauchery someone once described it as “Gomorrah the way it shoulda been.”

TALKING POINT
After historic district wins, it’s back to the future
By Andrew Berman
May 2, 2006, is a day which will no doubt go down in Greenwich Village history. That’s when a 40-year chapter in our neighborhood’s history ended with the city approving a three-block extension of the Greenwich Village Historic District — the first such extension of that district since its 1969 designation — and the creation of the Weehawken Street Historic District, which, along with 2003’s Gansevoort Market Historic District designation, was the first new historic district in Greenwich Village since 1969.


Ira Blutreich

Scene

SPORTS

Villagers push it to the max in quest for adventure
By Bonnie Rosenstock
On rainy, wind-swept days most New Yorkers have the sense to stay indoors, or if they venture out, they huddle under umbrellas to avoid the elements. But East Villagers Rodney Villella and Amy Bartoletti are in their element, as they jog and slog through the city streets and parks or rural mountain trails. Villella and Bartoletti are training for Primal Quest, billed as the world’s toughest expedition adventure race.

Bears win one for the speaker, take L.E.S. Wiffle championship

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

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

Commence peace
Eli Robinson, a graduate in American studies, used his mortarboard to express his view on the Iraq war at New School University’s commencement last Friday, at which Senator John McCain, who supports the war, was the speaker.

INSIDE
Old P.S. 64 owner sues city; wants $100 million
By Lincoln Anderson
Gregg Singer, the embattled developer whose plan to build a 19-story megadorm on the site of the old P.S. 64 on E. Ninth St. has so far been frustrated by the city, filed a lawsuit against the city last week, seeking at least $100 million in damages. The defendants in the suit are Mayor Mike Bloomberg and three agencies in his administration, the Department of Buildings, the Board of Standards and Appeals and the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Glick, Mendez work to close ‘phony demo’law loophole
By Lincoln Anderson
In a united front, a phalanx of local elected officials came together in a City Hall steps press conference last Thursday to denounce “phony demolitions,” which they say unscrupulous landlords are now using to evict tenants from rent-regulated apartments.

NEWS
Plaza size matters; judge extends
By Albert Amateau
In a courtroom packed with opponents of the Washington Square Park renovation plan, State Supreme Court Justice Emily Jane Goodman last Thursday extended her previous order preventing the city from beginning work or entering contracts for the project until she rules on two separate but related lawsuits.

W. Eighth St. finds itself behind the eight ball
By Lincoln Anderson
What’s wrong with W. Eighth St.?
Members of the street’s recently revived block association were hoping for answers to that question when they invited Honi Klein, executive director of the Village Alliance business improvement district, to speak at the their meeting two weeks ago.

New director settles in at Hudson Guild in Chelsea
By Albert Amateau
How do you become executive director of a venerable Chelsea institution that serves more than 11,000 people each year?

Pro-war McCain takes fire at New School graduation
By Lincoln Anderson
In the face of protest in recent weeks, New School University President Bob Kerrey defiantly said he wouldn’t withdraw his selection of Senator John McCain as commencement speaker. On the contrary, he promised it would be a commencement the graduates would remember. There’s no question they won’t forget it. But probably what they’ll remember more than anything else is the rude and raucous reception McCain got.

On 4th St., The Place fights being displaced with power of a petition
By Roslyn Kramer
For a restaurant blending Village charm and good food without a break-the-bank tab, an obvious choice is The Place at 310 W. Fourth St. But get there soon, because the landlord seems determined by midsummer to put this local eatery out of business.

Sears and Kmart fashion move of studios to Canal
By Lincoln Anderson
Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki joined Alwyn Lewis, president and C.E.O. of Sears Holding Corporation, in Hudson Square last Thursday to cut the ribbon on 45,000 square feet of new design offices for Sears and Kmart apparel lines.
They’ve got to get themselves back to the gardens

They’ve got to get themselves back to the gardens
A Roving Party to Save the Community Gardens wound through the East Village and Lower East Side on May 13, calling attention to the threat to community gardens, specifically 65 in the Bronx at risk of being destroyed.


villagerarts&lifestyles

Taking a closer look at all that Iraq “stuff”
By Steven Snyder
The political furor surrounding America’s ongoing involvement in Iraq has reached a stalemate. Just as critics point to the administration’s dishonest case for going to war in the first place and its poor, if not nonexistent, post-war plan, supporters say the past is the past, and the present is the present. Regardless of how we got here, they say, we need to stick it out.
Chelsea Opera snags singing officer
Tenors are rare. Good tenors are rarer. And the rarest of all tenor voices has traditionally been the heldentenor – with the large, ringing, heroic sound required for Wagnerian roles. Rarest, that is, until New York cop Daniel Rodriguez became a category of one, the hero-tenor.

Downtown theater’s new blood
By Sara G. Levin
While devouring sushi on a recent Thursday evening, Sophia Holman and Patrick Young, both 23, mused over the NY theater scene, why Tarzan the musical could have been cool, and what it’s like to be debuting an original play just one year out of Columbia.

Mario Fratti’s grip on our 15 minutes
By Jerry Tallmer
In a hospital room in Milan, Italy, a son and a daughter are having an argument over what men want and women want. The son is 20, the daughter is 39. She has been badly beaten up by some man or other with whom she has spent the night, or part of it.

Koch on Film
“Down in the Valley” (-) I was attracted to this film because it stars Ed Norton and by Stephen Holden’s comments in his New York Times review. He wrote that the film “would like nothing less than to be seen as the ultimate deconstruction of the Hollywood western and of the cowboy archetype, lost in the wasteland of the New West. Reckless and smart, it juggles nostalgia (lyrical echoes of “Red River,” “My Darling Clementine” and “Shane”)…”
“Dead Man’s Shoes” (-) The Daily News gave this film three stars, and Laura Kern, in her New York Times review wrote, “With its raw, grainy texture and forceful sense of urgency, Shane Meadows’s unsparing revenge thriller “Dead Man’s Shoes” is reminiscent of a kind of film prominent in the 1970’s, most notably Sam Peckinpah’s “Straw Dogs.”

A former East Villager’s Downtown heroine
By Rachel Fersheisler
“I try to never say never but…”
I have just asked writer Maryrose Wood if she’d ever live anywhere but New York. After a brief attempt at diplomacy, she trails off in a way that reminds me of something Felicia, the heroine of Wood’s new young adult book, says: “The needle on her inner dubiosity meter twitched into the red zone.”



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