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

Volume 76, Number 40
February 28 - March 6, 2007


Editorial/Op-Ed
More is needed to stay affordable
Mayor Bloomberg is the first mayor since Ed Koch to take the city’s affordable housing shortage seriously. In five years, Bloomberg has made substantial progress on his goal of preserving or building 68,000 below-market-rate units by next year, but these gains are threatened as more and more large complexes are being taken out of rent-protection programs.

Talking Point
The impeachers are really just wasting their breath
By Ed Gold
The man at the bar turned to me and said: “Isn’t it about time we impeached Bush?”My immediate response: “It’s a waste of time.”
“But,” the man continued, “he doesn’t deserve to be president.”

Letters to the editor

Police Blotter

Scene

Scoopy's Notebook

Ira Blutreich

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel
Getting whacked in Union Square
Several hundred, mostly college-age people showed up in Union Square on Saturday for a gigantic pillow fight. It was promoted by Nevermindspace, a Web site specializing in events that turn the city “into a giant play space.”


Villager photo by Milo Hess
A sign of art
A signpost adorned with artwork at Greenwich and Desbrosses Sts. in Tribeca.


Sports

Player who got second chance pitches Israel league
By Jill Stern
As Village filmmaker Brett Rapkin aptly puts it in “Holy Hard Ball,” his new documentary on the birth and launch of the new Israel Baseball League, “It only took 5,767 years but baseball is finally coming to Israel!”

Villager photo by Bob Arihood

The Hungry March Band playing in Tompkins Square Park a few years ago at a rally for First Amendment rights.

The Hungry March Band are metal heads of another sort
By Brooke Edwards
Calling all trombone players: The Hungry March Band is looking for one talented musician to join its forces. Interested applicants must not be afraid of practicing long hours for little or no pay, of wearing eccentric costumes in front of large crowds and of marching between enthusiastic belly dancers and fire-spinners.


Protesters call immigrant game insensitive, racist
By Lincoln Anderson
Shouting angry slogans and toting protest placards, hundreds of New York University students came out to voice outrage over a game by the university’s student Republican club that lampooned illegal immigration.

No one saw it coming as Gypsy rumble in Soho spills into lounge
By Lincoln Anderson
A feud between Gypsies turned violent in Soho on Tuesday night Feb. 20, when several men attacked a local fortuneteller and her husband.

Rats rampage at KFC, but face park counteroffensive
By Kristin Edwards
It may be the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar, but last week it was the Week of the Rat in Greenwich Village.

He’s stuck on removing illegal fliers and stickers
By Kristin Edwards
Moving $19 Per Man Per Truck.” Signs with messages like this are posted, illegally, all around the city.

East Side, West Side, all around the hawk


A special Villager supplement

Designing a better community

Trying to maintain a way of life before it disappears
By Michael Rosen
This place, the neighborhood or neighborhoods, community or communities we live in — the Lower East Side, Loisaida, the East Village, part of Chinatown, call it what you will — is undergoing a scale and pace of change wrenching the life, many of our lives, from here.

Hard to make any progress if vendors block the way
By Sean Sweeney
Selma stands just over 5 feet, and her 110 pounds, slight frame and youthful appearance give her the look of a sylph.

Tilting at towers and defending historic districts
By Andrew Berman
While strong progress continues to be made on securing preservation measures for much of Greenwich Village — more progress, in fact, than any time since the 1960s — further threats to the neighborhood’s character from more quarters than ever appear every day.

Effort to reclaim our streets is picking up speed
By Paul Steely White and Karla Quintero
Erosion of cities by automobiles entails so familiar a series of events that these hardly need describing.

Affordable housing remains a matter of survival
By Christopher Kui
In many ways, the Chinatown of 2007 hardly resembles the community that was here in 2001.

We’re making a clean sweep on the road to recovery
By Wellington Chen
The superior man acts before he speaks and, afterwards, speaks according to his action.”

N.Y.U.’s getting green, engaging on readiness and responsibility
By Alicia Hurley and John Beckman
Two important events took place at New York University since the start of the 2006-’07 academic year that we are proud of and would like to share with the community.

Some anxiety about our gardens’ future is growing
By Carolyn Ratcliffe
The community gardens of the Lower East Side are flourishing, lovely islands of green space nestled amid the rapidly changing landscape of our developing neighborhood.


Arts and Entertainment

Radio legend Oscar Brand still making waves
By Jane Flanagan
For much of his life, folk impresario Oscar Brand has never been far from a stringed instrument.

Warhol “wake” becomes a fabulous Factory happening
By Ed Hamilton
A raw warehouse space in the newly trendy Meatpacking District was transformed into a semblance of Andy Warhol’s Factory for a reading and art opening last Thursday night, February 22, the twentieth anniversary of Warhol’s death

Koch on film

Government’s draining the life out of our nightlife
By Robert Bookman
and David Rabin
New York City is known worldwide as “the city that never sleeps.”

How Bill W. and Dr. Bob got on the wagon, on stage
By Jerry Tallmer
Spotlight up on a man in a pinstriped suit at one side of the stage.  “My name is Bill W.,” he says, “and I’m an alcoholic.” Spotlight up on a man in shirtsleeves at the other side of the stage.


Listen to The Villager on Internet Radio:
Associate editor Lincoln Anderson and reporter Albert Amateau host guests Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation, and David McWater, chairperson of Community Board 3, on The Villager's pilot radio show on Tribecaradio.net. Zoning, preservation and future political aspirations (?) top the list of discussion topics on this 44-minute premiere.

PREVIEW PODCAST BY TRIBECA RADIO


NEWS

Don’t pimp out Pier 40, advocates tell Related
By Skye H. McFarlane
The BlackBerries were buzzing Tuesday afternoon as a score of representatives from The Related Companies appeared before the Pier 40 Working Group to discuss the Related proposal to turn the pier into a performing arts center with retail and dining.

Broome St. church is padlocked by stealth
By Albert Amateau
A group of parishioners, many of them singing Lithuanian hymns, gathered by candlelight Monday night Feb. 26 on the steps of Our Lady of Vilnius on Broome St. across from the Holland Tunnel entrance.

Neighbors: New building won’t be superior

Whole Foods Market set to open at end of next month
By Brooke Edwards
Whole Foods Market has announced March 29 as the opening date of its much-delayed location on E. Houston St. between Bowery and Chrystie St., beneath the Avalon Chrystie Place apartment complex.

Bicyclists give gift to a chief who gave them hell
By Jefferson Siegel
For two and a half years, police have chased cyclists in the monthly Critical Mass rides.

McNally vows to boycott hotel till billboard’s down
By Julie Shapiro
Elizabeth Tiso has seen the Meatpacking District go through many changes, but even she was unprepared for the latest affront: an eight-story billboard.



Spreading the wealth for new health clinics
By Bonnie Rosenstock
Most people would want to forget a near-death experience. But for Vado Diomande, the miracle of surviving inhalation anthrax was a cause for great celebration.

Land use to green design, board leads the debate
By Maria Passannante Derr
Last year was an active year for the members of Community Board 2 and for the citizens who take an interest in Greenwich Village, Soho, Little Italy, Noho and Chinatown.

Year one of borough president’s changes: It’s working
By Brad Hoylman
Community boards are an anomaly in city government. They are the only entities given specific responsibilities in the City Charter, but no powers with which to carry them out.

Taking back Congress, Wash. Sq. and the White House, too, in ’08
By Keen Berger
Progress in the past year, what a great theme!
I can report wonderful progress. As your female Democratic district leader, I was thrilled at our victories in the nation and state. One of my daughters phoned me early on the day after the election and said, “Congratulations, Mom, you did it.”

Meeting challenges and effecting change on the Lower East Side
By Damaris Reyes and Ginny Browne
It seems like just yesterday that a tenant of a Section 8 building on E. 11th St. came running into our office after her ceiling collapsed due to a night of heavy August rain.

‘Park in sky’ really taking off, to open next year
By Joshua David
You can see a lot of activity up on the High Line these days, especially as you walk near Section 1, between Gansevoort and W. 20th Sts., projected to open to the public in 2008.
Cross-disciplines is where it all comes together at New School
By Julie Novacek and Alex Wang
The New School is in the process of making some extraordinary changes. The university has always encouraged its students to become active, just and imaginative agents of change throughout the world.

Hopes are high for major rezoning with height caps
By David McWater
After I became chairperson of Community Board 3 in 2004, everywhere I would go, no matter what problem people were talking to me about, there was a common root theme: fear.

Tale of two cities for residents and the club crowd
By Zella Jones
There are some who believe we are two cities — daytime New York and nighttime New York — and we have just two economic engines.


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New York Locksmith

Greenwich Village Apartment Rentals


Photo by Jonathan Slaff
UPROOTED BY KATRINA Hurricane Katrina forces a child from her home in New Orleans and leaves her in a strange new world with distant relatives in New York. Musical is based on the book “The Further Adventures of Uncle Wiggily: Windblown Visitors,” by Laurel Hessing. March 1-25. THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY, Joyce & Seward Johnson Theater, 155 1st Ave. at 10th St. $12, $5 kids. 212-254-1109. www.theaterforthenewcity.net. Pictured above are Christopher Grant, left, Craig Meade and Clara Ruf Maldonado.

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