e>Voted New York State's Best Community Newspaper

Volume 76, Number 2
May 31 - June 6, 2006

Editorial/ Op-Ed
Mayor isn’t connecting in phone debate
The discussion over students and cell phones in our public schools has generated no shortage of strong feelings on both sides. Many parents and students say it’s the students’ right to have the phones and that, what’s more, students having their phones is important to their safety and to allow them to keep in touch with their parents regarding pickups and drop-offs.

Remembering R.F.K. and some uncomfortable questions in ’68
By Bonnie Rosenstock
On June 5, 1968 — 38 years ago — Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles. The day before, he had won the California and South Dakota Democratic presidential primaries.

Talking Point
Defense Department snooping at N.Y.U. is offensive
By Ed Gold
The Bush administration, obsessively intent on insulating the country against potential terror-related activities, continues to spend billions and create bigger databases. One such venture which penetrated our neighborhood has turned out to be inspired by sheer stupidity, leaving egg all over the faces of some of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s underlings.

Letters to the editor

Scoopy's Notebook

Editorial Cartoon
By Ira Blutreich

Police blotter


News In Brief
Happy tunes and smiles beneath the weeping willows

Stop-work is posted at former Cave on St. Mark’s Pl.

Michael Norcia, 59, covered Grenada, Shah, Elvis
Michael Norcia, an award-winning photographer with the New York Post for the past 25 years and a Village resident for most of his life, died May 19 at his home in Weehawken, N.J., where he lived for the past 10 years. He was 59.


Village team motors to first subway series cup win
By Judith Stiles
While New York City baseball fans recently reveled in the hometown competition between the Yankees and the Mets, the real subway series occurred within Little League baseball at the first Mayor’s Borough Cup, where all-star youth baseball teams duked it out in a glorious Memorial Day tournament.

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

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

Critical hat
Lee Ilan, an environmental planner from the Upper West Side, wore a Critical Mass-themed hat, including police figures, helicopters and even a set of plastic handcuffs, at Union Square before the start of last Friday’s bicycle ride.

Gerson warns Parks that he could be the –$6 million man
By Lincoln Anderson
Angry over the Parks Department’s recently revealed plans to reduce Washington Square Park’s central plaza area by almost one-quarter of its current size, Councilmember Alan Gerson is threatening to withdraw and block up to $6 million in City Council funds for the contentious renovation project.

Library will get facelift long overdue…in 2 to 3 years
By Albert Amateau
The good news for neighbors and friends of the Jefferson Market Library is that most of the money allocated over the past 12 years for the reconstruction of the library’s interior will be transferred to the long-awaited restoration of the exterior of the landmarked building.

After another bouncer kills, pols hold club accountable
By Albert Amateau
The arrest of a bouncer for the May 23 shooting outside a Chelsea nightclub that ended in the death of one man, left another paralyzed and two injured, has prompted City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and State Senator Tom Duane to propose legislation to close down clubs whose bouncers carry unlicensed guns.

Kayakers’ bridge beach dream doesn’t float at C.B. 1
By Jefferson Siegel
Apart from kayakers, the tide of public sentiment appears to have turned against a plan to transform a small strip of sand under the Brooklyn Bridge into a public beach. Four years ago, the board in an advisory vote said they opposed the beach, and at the May 22 Community Board 1 Waterfront Committee meeting, board members and the audience expressed strong doubts about the beach.

G-man shoots sidewalk during struggle with suspects
By Anindita Dasgupta
An F.B.I. agent accidentally fired his gun in Soho on Tues. May 23, as he was holstering his firearm after he and other agents had subdued a pair of men allegedly involved in a bank fraud case, according to the F.B.I.

Despite Chelsea seminary’s statements, unbelievers persist
By Albert Amateau
Since the end of April, General Theological Seminary has been trying to tell its Chelsea neighbors that it no longer intends to build a 17-story glass residential and academic building on the Ninth Ave. side of the square-block campus known as The Close.

Real Estate Board challenges new tenant buyout law
By Bernard Connaughton
A law that gives tenants in federally subsidized apartments the opportunity to purchase their buildings is being challenged by the Real Estate Board of New York in a case awaiting a decision by Judge Marilyn Shafer in State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

‘Jam on it’ is Duane’s call on cell phone debate
By Anindita Dasgupta
“Can you hear me now?” is not a phrase that applies to the often shrill debate over cell phones in the city’s public schools. Parents, students, teachers, school administrators, the mayor and other elected officials have all weighed in loudly on the matter.

A special Villager supplement
Business district’s busy keeping up with improvements
By Albert Amateau
The Union Square Partnership, the city’s and state’s first business improvement district, is celebrating the success of the past 30 years with new business and residential growth and more visitors to what has become a 24/7 community.

A nightly playground for youth in their teens and 20s
ByJohn Koblin
Weaving through and dodging break dancers and wayward skaters, it was a typical night in the south end of Union Square for 21-year-old Ian Jones. Riding his skateboard in white high-tops and a T-shirt that read “Explanation Kills Art,” Jones trash talked to some, shouted cat calls to others and flipped his long, tousled blonde hair all along the way.

Business district, security help shape up school
By Lawrence Lerner
Washington Irving High School is arresting to even the most casual observer. Located two blocks east of Union Square, on Irving Place between 17th and 18th Sts. in the genteel Gramercy Park neighborhood, the massive turn-of-the-century structure beckons you with its sheer scale and austere bust of its namesake on the sidewalk outside.

Fighting crime and grime

At 30, Greenmarket’s firmly rooted in shoppers’ hearts
By Janet Kwon
The fragrances of various herbs, flowers and freshly baked goods fill the air, as throngs of eager New Yorkers flood the Greenmarket at Union Square on a Saturday morning. Braving the late May heat and humidity, customers go from tent to tent in search of truly fresh produce, either harvested the day before or even that morning.

Massive transit

North end, seating, art: My Union Square wish list
By Susan Kramer
Union Square Community Coalition has been in the business of bettering this community for over 25 years. It begins its next quarter century with many things on its agenda, some bigger and with more controversy than others, but all important to the whole of the square. Here are some of the things I hope will be accomplished, if you will, my own personal wishlist for Union Square.

Talk of the square

Vendors dig in tables as Parks plans new attack
By Lincoln Anderson
While retail stores are booming in Union Square, vending has also exploded in the park’s southern plaza, to the chagrin of some who think this space should be for tranquil strolling and passive recreation, as well as, perhaps, some very limited Hacky Sack kicking.

Riding and resting

Luna phase ends

The condos are coming
Like everywhere else in the Downtown area, Union Square is becoming increasingly residential, as witnessed by two new high-end projects currently in the works. At 8 Union Square S., at 14th St. and University Pl.

Arts & Entertainment

A twisted, Tony-nominated hit
By Jerry Tallmer
Whenever I laughed at Martin McDonagh’s “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” I knew I’d hate myself in the morning.

Teen shooting acquires new meaning on stage
By Steven Snyder
In the brave, unflinching and deeply disturbing “columbinus,” the audience is not so much transported back to the specific horrors of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre as immersed in the general frustration, fear, isolation and rage of today’s teenage America.

First rule of Chuck Palahniuk readings: don’t faint
By Rachel Fershleiser
Book authors measure success in many ways: stints on the New York Times Bestseller list, National Book Award nominations, going rate for signed first editions on Ebay. But beloved cult novelist Chuck Palahniuk has devised his own criterion.

For LES novelist Gary Shteyngart, truth is stranger than fiction
By Nicole Davis
In his satirical new novel “Absurdistan,” Gary Shteyngart has created an outrageous world that somehow manages to mirror our own. The book chronicles the life of Misha, an obese Russian “prince” who longs for New York, land of his South Bronx girlfriend and the professor who stole her, a Russian émigré and successful novelist whose name and background closely resembles the author’s.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
The Proposition (+) This is a very powerful film that could have been much more impacting if it had English subtitles and if the sound track was louder. It is an Australian film showing an outback area of that country back in the early days of the colony.
The King” (-) Regrettably, this film is a dud. Its star, Gael Garcia Bernal, was brilliant in “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” which are Spanish films with English subtitles. In this film, Bernal speaks flawless English, but his performance is far less impacting.


Who's Who
at The Villager?


Phone: 212.229.1890 | Fax: 212.229.2790
Email: news@thevillager.com

Past Issues

New York's
Exciting downtown scene

Concerts & Music






Read our previous issues

Also Please Read

and introducing

Click here to make an


The Villager is published by
Community Media LLC.

145 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790
Advertising: (646) 452-2465 •
© 2005 Community Media, LLC

All rights reserved.
The Villager and thevillager.com
are registered trademarks of Community Media, LLC
John W. Sutter, president