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

Volume 76, Number 29 December 13 -19, 2006

Editorial/ Op-Ed
Governor Pataki’s Downtown legacy
The lower part of Manhattan, like most of New York City, is heavily Democratic. Despite the last 12 years that have seen two Republican mayors, this is not a particularly fertile ground for most Republicans to hope to pick up votes.

Talking Point
A letter to the president about two little words
By Daniel Meltzer
Dear President Bush:
Please understand that I write you the following, as you attempt to stimulate diplomacy directed toward ending the chaos and carnage in Iraq. Please understand that I write as a concerned citizen with the highest respect for your office.

Greenway deathtrap: More accidents will happen
By Charles Komanoff
Another week, another dead cyclist. On the evening of Dec. 1, 27-year-old Eugenio Cidron left a party at Chelsea Piers, steered his silver BMW onto the no-cars-allowed Hudson River greenway and drove south for a mile — a mile! — until he smashed head on into 22-year-old Eric Ng just north of Houston St., killing him instantly.

Police Blotter

Letter to the Editor

Scoopy's Notebook



In Briefs

Built-up complaints come pouring out

Oh Tompkinsbaum

When Smoky meows

Presentations on construction

Eight members are appointed to new Chinatown/L.E.S. Empire Zone board

Couple say don’t brand them guilty

Things are looking Bleek again

Sun day in the park

Mission not accomplished

Good call

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

On Pier 66 at the ribbon-cutting for the new Chelsea North section of Hudson River Park on Monday, from left: Governor Pataki; John Cahill, Pataki’s chief of staff; and Connie Fishman, president of the Hudson River Park Trust.

Big wheel keep on turning, proud George keep on beach yearning
By Lincoln Anderson
Amid unseasonably balmy weather and with a towering waterwheel spinning lazily next to them, Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg joined other officials and community members Monday in cutting the ribbon on the Hudson River Park’s latest addition, the new Chelsea North section.

Chan thanks parents for believing in American Dream
Margaret Chan was inducted as Second District Civil Court judge on Dec. 7. In her speech, Chan spoke proudly of her family’s immigrant experience and how it shaped her.

Arts and Entertainment

A giant among directors
By Leonard Quart
As a college student in the ’50s, I often sat in the dark, watching with uncritical awe Ingmar Bergman films like “Sawdust and Tinsel,” “The Seventh Seal,” and “Wild Strawberries.”

Hacking into Hijack’s code
By Lightsey Darst
Here are some things that happen in Hijack’s dance “Fetish”: Dressed in dirty white, the duo of Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder retrace a routine while Barry Manilow’s “Could It Be Magic?” stops and starts on a scratchy tape recorder, as if the two were girls rehearsing for a middle school talent show

A very merry, scary off-off Broadway season
The Sci-Fi Soothsayer
Leave it to Les Freres Corbusier to teach us what the other half believes. This fall, the experimental theater company exposed New Yorkers to the way Christian fundamentalists celebrate Halloween by installing a Jerry Falwell-inspired Hell House in Brooklyn


Teacher is educated in art of elbow and booty block
By Judith Stiles
The team uniform for the Manhattan Mayhem is an orange prison jumpsuit with short pants, worn with fishnet stockings, and yes, these Gotham athletes proudly wear their colors for regional and national tournaments.

Opponents pile on Union Sq. pavillion plan at rally
By Jefferson Siegel
Politicians and activists opposed to the plan for a restaurant concession in the Union Square pavillion gathered in the park last Sunday to denounce plans to convert the historic structure and renewed their calls for renovation of the park’s north end.

Love and rage at memorial for cyclist slain on path
By Jefferson Siegel
Eric Ng, the 22-year-old cyclist killed by a drunken driver on Dec. 1 on the Hudson River Park bike path, was remembered by family and friends in a day of memorials last Saturday.


Right wing rising in land of rising sun
East Village photographer Q. Sakamaki was in his homeland last month documenting Japan’s resurgent right wing.

From punk to Pucci
By Orli Van Mourik
On a warm Friday afternoon in late November, antiques dealers from all over Manhattan gathered to display their wares at Pier 94. Among the stalls of Schwinn bicycles and retro furniture, Elin Wilder, a tall woman with a honey complexion and an abundance of chestnut brown hair, set up her booth.

David Evanier’s lifetime in print
By Jerry Weinstein
As a writer, David Evanier has enjoyed brief interludes in the limelight — co-writing Joey “Pants” Pantoliano’s memoir, seeing his Bobby Darin biography “Roman Candle” adapted for film by Kevin Spacey.

Koch on film
By Ed Koch
“Blood Diamond” (-) I have read a number of times that when producers avoid reviews before their film opens, it signifies a turkey. I now know why “Blood Diamond” was not reviewed in Friday’s papers the day before it opened. It is one of the worst movies I have seen this year.


Muriel Castanis, 80, sculptor with a unique method
By Albert Amateau
Muriel Castanis, a lifelong resident of the Village and a sculptor, one of whose works is embedded in the walls of the Flatbush Ave.-Brooklyn College subway station, died Nov. 22 at the age of 80.

Rabbi Joseph Singer, 91, served poor and mikvah
By Marvin Greisman
Rabbinical and lay leaders of the Lower East Side community recently commemorated the life of Rabbi Joseph Singer, former rabbi of the Stanton Street Shul, at a memorial service at the Young Israel Synagogue in Manhattan.


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Past Issues

SACRED HOLIDAY MUSIC Theatre Group Dzieci presents “Fools Mass,” set during the Plague of the 16th century. A group of village idiots are forced to carry out their own Mass due to the sudden death of their beloved pastor. The theater piece has comic audience participation and choral singing of sacred hymns from the 8th – 17th centuries. Sat., Dec. 16 at 7pm. ST. JOHN’S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 81 Christopher St. $10 donation suggested. 718-638-6037.

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