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Volume 76, Number 15
Aug. 30 - Sept.5, 2006


Editorial/ Op-Ed
Wins small and big on Parker project
Last week, the City Council approved a plan to allow 150-foot towers on four north Tribeca blocks along West St. Since the city and the developer of one of the blocks had already agreed to come down significantly on height, the key question was bulk, better known in the zoning-jargon world as F.A.R., or floor-to-area ratio. On this important point the community, with Councilmember Alan Gerson as their advocate, won only a small victory.

Notebook
On the trail of ‘Mad Dog’ Sullivan, Mafia hit man
By Ed Gold
You wouldn’t expect too much excitement as a publisher of books on fashion and retailing, but there I was in my conference room in Greenwich Village in 1971 discussing with two well-armed detectives a Mafia hit man who had escaped from Attica.

Filming the other filmers and (gasp!) Anderson Cooper
By Andrei Codrescu
About six months ago I went to St. Bernard Parish with my cameraman Jason to get my own share of disaster photography for the documentary that I’m making, which is different from the documentary everybody else made or is making. Every fifth person in New Orleans is either making or helping make a documentary. We are like the Amazon tribes whose families were said to consist of a mother, father, children and one anthropologist.

Letters to the editor

Scoopy's Notebook

Editorial Cartoon
By Ira Blutreich

Police blotter

Scene

News In Brief
Gerson won’t put on brakes on new legislation on permits

Washington Square busker gets burned by ticket for the first time

Building permit revoked for 13th St. music club

Picture Story

Candidates are going to the dogs
The First Annual Tompkins Square Park Dog Prom last Wednesday saw local canines turn out in their finery, as well as actress Parker Posey and a slew of candidates running for office in the Sept. 12 primary elections.


Obituaries
Esther Cartagena, 60, a leader in renovating housing
By Albert Amateau
Esther Cartagena, a Lower East Side community activist and former president of Loisaida, Inc., who was instrumental in rehabilitating several E. 10th St. tenements and converting them to tenant ownership, died Aug. 11 at Coler-Goldwater Hospital on Roosevelt Island.

Eric Russell, Downtown actor and dancer, dies at 82
Eric Russell, an actor, dancer and performer well known in the Downtown arts community, died July 27 at age 82 in New York City.

Village People

Noodle King David Chang tackles the Asian burrito
By ANNIE KARNI
When David Chang opened Momofuku Noodle Bar in 2004, he became an instant phenomenon, a ramen noodle wunderkind whose Pan-Asian touch turned a classic Japanese noodle dish into popular and affordable New York street food.


Youth/Sports

L.E.S. Gauchos corral former pro players as coaches
By Judith Stiles
When Jonathan Gonzalez was 4 years old, he picked up a pencil and wrote with his right hand, which indicated he would be a righty in baseball. However, soon after that, he grabbed a bat and a ball and hit lefty over and over again. By age 10, he began to throw a mean fastball with his right hand, and fortunately evaded the strict teachers in his school who might have made him choose one hand or the other

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


Villager photo by Clayton Patterson

Mary Help of Christians parishioners, with Councilmember Rosie Mendez and Assemblymember Sylvia Friedman in pedicab, made the rounds last Sunday of East Village Catholic churches threatened with closure or demolition.

Prayerful march to save what’s left of East Village’s churches
By Albert Amateau
About 100 parishioners of Mary Help of Christians, one of several churches marked for closing by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York, marched in the rain last Sunday through the streets of the East Village.

NEWS
N.Y.U. dorm is built on air, neighbors say, in new lawsuit
By Lincoln Anderson
Charging that the United States Postal Service’s sale of 60,000 square feet of air rights to a developer building a 26-story New York University dormitory in the East Village was based on an “illusory contract,” a coalition of neighbors and local political clubs is suing the developer, the Department of Buildings and the city.

5 years later, 9/11 skeptics feel they’re close to truth
By David Spett
Every Sunday evening at 6:30, about 100 people file into a meeting room at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. But they don’t go to pray, to take a class or to talk about religion.


INSIDE
Developer buys 17 buildings, sparks eviction fears
By Gerard Flynn
Extell Development Corporation’s acquisition of rent-stabilized properties in the East Village is giving occupants the jitters and stirring some to organize in anticipation of potential problems with the real estate investor, a number of tenant-advocacy groups said last week.

Riding high after police back down on rule changes
By Jefferson Siegel
The August Critical Mass ride marked a dual anniversary. It was two years after the Republican National Convention ride when 264 cyclists were arrested and it marked a year since Hurricane Katrina wreaked its vengence on the Gulf Coast. Several dozen rides around the country participated in a Critical Mass for Climate Justice ride to commemorate the latter.



Back to School
A Special Villager Supplement
Getting Chelsea Vocational to work
Involving parents at P.S. 41
The Montessori way in Tribeca
Studying middle-schoolers
Classical kids’ sweet music
Recalling 9/11’s impact

Chelsea Vocational principal is making things work
By Anindita Dasgupta
Tim Timberlake, Chelsea Vocational High School’s principal, is not a complainer. He is proud of Chelsea Vocational High School, and despite that the building is over 100 years old and has some outdated aspects, he says the school is doing just fine. 

Bringing the parents into the classroom at P.S. 41
By David Spett
Parental involvement in education is a major goal for Kelly Shannon, the second-year principal of P.S. 41, the Greenwich Village School.

Montessori school puts focus on individual students
By Jefferson Siegel
As Downtown’s population continues to grow at a feverish pace, the few public schools serving the area are filling up. The only new public facilities planned in the immediate future are a new K-8 school on Beekman St. and an annex to P.S. 234. Smaller private and specialty schools have been opening to fill the academic needs of local families.

Study of middle-schoolers’ performance gets personal
By Anindita Dasgupta
Researchers at New York University are asking middle school children and their parents some tough questions about how children’s support systems affect their academic achievement in school.

Classical music rocks with 3rd St. Music School kids
By Mary Reinholz
The sun-baked streets of the East Village can yield visions that turn out to be real, although seemingly out of place — like kids as young as 7 and 8 playing chamber music with violin, cello, flute, harp and piano in a neighborhood where heavy metal rock seems to rule.

Chapter books and homework? Uh oh, look out
By Jane Flanagan
School is in the air. I’m writing this from the country where crisp, cool August days are spurring feelings of melancholy among a lot of tanned individuals. Me included.

Heavy metal drama

Rebirth of a children’s and maternity resale store
By Frank Localo
When Jane’s Exchange, Manhattan’s largest children’s and maternity consignment store, lost its lease at 12th St. and Avenue A earlier this year, the East Village lost a valuable service for many families, not to mention a longtime community hub.

Pompeii students erupt at speech contest, take first and second place

Where September means more than back to school
By Wickham Boyle
My children went to school for all of their childhoods in the shadow of the World Trade Center. This is not purely metaphor: they did go to school in Tribeca, to the lovely, local public schools and yes, their childhood also ended when the towers came down.

Arts & Entertainment



A dance festival for short attention spans
By Sara G. Levin
Can a dance become art in seven minutes or less?
Usually, a person can look at a painting, walk away, and decide within one minute whether or not he or she thinks it should be considered art. But the same is not true for dance. Many times audiences are baffled by long performances, lost in abstract intentions or insensitive to technical prowess.

Half Nelson’ breaks free of Hollywood mold
By Leonard Quart
The powerfully and subtly performed and scripted “Half Nelson”—a low budget, realistically shot, independent film—is a striking debut from director and screenwriter Ryan Fleck and his co-writer Anna Boden.

The lives and loves of Mr. Goodbody
By Jerry Tallmer
Mr. Goodbody has been laughing himself to death for as long as he can remember.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koc
“The Illusionist” (+) This is a remarkably good, innovative and fascinating picture. I won’t reveal too much of the story, however, so as not to ruin your enjoyment as you watch the presentation unfold.
“10th and Wolf” (-) This Mafia movie contained enough murders, double-crossings and torture scenes to fill three more movies in the ongoing wars of organized crime. I enjoy this genre of film but, regrettably, this story is preposterous and its execution too choppy.



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