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

Volume 76, Number 44
March 28 - April 3, 2007

Hotel billboard is a huge offense
We were walking down Hudson St. by the Hotel Gansevoort the other day, when a woman who had passed us turned and yelled back at some men fixing air-conditioning equipment on one of the hotel’s lower roofs: “Boo! Idiots!”

Talking Point
It’s up to us to save Wash. Sq. from the bulldozers
By Reverend Donna Schaper
Most people just start shaking their heads cynically when they speak of Washington Square. The park people and the mayor want to straighten it out. They want to take out trees. They want to put up fences. They want to make it flat. These things are being recommended “for our own good.” Otherwise, the rats may fully take over ownership, the fountain’s ancient plumbing will result in water mess instead of water magic.

Cirque du No Way! Pier 40 PAC impact is too great
By Tobi Bergman
The Pier 40 Performing Arts Center, or PAC for short, is a proposal to transform the 15-acre pier at W. Houston St. into a mammoth entertainment complex with more than 10,000 seats. The PAC would waste the open space resource that is Pier 40. It would dominate the Village section of the Hudson River Park and overwhelm the popular greenway with crossing traffic.

On that Oh! moment and, oh, the unmeaning of it all
By Andrei Codrescu
I met someone who said, apropos of my radio commentaries, “I heard you and I went, Oh, that’s how it is!,” an ironic comment on my commentarios. Of all the things I intend, the farthest from my mind is explaining what you already know. I would never presume to explain something you’ve already figured out, unless I don’t know you’ve already figured it out, which I most certainly don’t.

Letters to the editor

Police Blotter


Scoopy's Notebook

Ira Blutreich

José Rivera, ‘Mayor of Clinton St.,’ dies at age 63

By Albert Amateau
José Rivera, a Lower East Side activist for more than 50 years who held court as “The Mayor of Clinton St.” in a little wooden shed known as “La Casita” in the community garden on Clinton St. near Stanton St., died March 2 in Beth Israel Hospital at age 63.

Villager photo by Elisabeth Robert

From left, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Mayor Mike Bloomberg outside the Sixth Precinct on Tuesday.

After Village officers’ deaths, auxiliaries will now get vests
By Lincoln Anderson and Albert Amateau
Prompted by the March 14 shooting death of two police auxiliary officers, Nicholas Pekearo and Eugene Marshalik, while on patrol in Greenwich Village, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Council Speaker Christine Quinn came to the Sixth Precinct on W. 10th St.

Rival doughnut stores will try to cream each other
By Julie Shapiro
On a strip of W. 14th St., the war between small, independent stores and large chains is moving to a new battleground: doughnuts. 

Unleavened dough without rival

Hotel Gansevoort billboard angle is off, city says
By Lincoln Anderson
The Department of Buildings last week weighed in, partially, on the ongoing debate over the towering new billboard by the Hotel Gansevoort, ruling that the billboard’s angle to a neighboring residential district must be modified slightly.

Green (cash) sways co-op on N.Y.U.’s green plan
By Lincoln Anderson
It seemed a sure bet that residents at 250 Mercer St. would never accept a lengthy excavation of Mercer St. for the expansion of New York University’s co-generation plant.

March auction madness descends again on P.S. 41
By Jill Stern
P.S. 41’s Annual Auction, held last week at the Puck Building for the third straight year, brought in over $150,000 for the school — surpassing all prior fundraising events.

Possible arson at Chelsea Campus High

Pastor is making the most of his time at St. John’s
By Albert Amateau
Reverend Lyndon Harris, an Episcopal priest, came to St. John’s Lutheran Church as vacancy pastor less than a year ago.

Fairy-tale afternoon at recreation center

Arts and Entertainment
Gaga for GAGA dance
By Lisa Santandrea
There are just five of us on the first day of class: two men, three women. One arrived by the suggestion of a trusted yoga instructor, others were enticed by a mysterious e-mail announcement: GAGA classes at Cedar Lake Dance in Chelsea, taught by dancers of Israel’s famed Batsheva Dance Company. We sit on the floor of the stage, facing Shani Garfinkel, our GAGA instructor.

A midsummer’s misunderstanding
By Jerry Tallmer
It was the dice that did it, gave him the clue, like a light going on, like a key turning in a lock. A couple of Roman soldiers passed the time at the foot of the Cross rolling some dice. We have been told this by John — John the Baptist, that is, not John Hudson.

New technology to improve speed, agility, endurance
By Judith Stiles
Hardcore hockey players used to improve their skating with endless ice time on frozen lakes. Now, at Chelsea Piers, however, they are awaiting the plasticized artificial ice patch on a skater’s treadmill, coming to the complex in May, courtesy of BlueStreak, a high-tech sports training organization.

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Art vendors say police get picture all wrong
By Chris Bragg
Although she’s a comedian, Whoopi Goldberg said there was nothing funny about police treatment of Soho’s famous street artists as she walked down W. Broadway Saturday morning.

Life Café is still alive and kicking in E. Village
By Brooke Edwards
Alphabet City has seen as much change in 25 years as some neighborhoods see in 100. From the 1980s, with lines of down-on-their-luck addicts waiting to get their fix, to today, with lines of young professionals waiting to get into the latest cool lounge, few businesses have managed to weather the changing demographics and soaring rents that have accompanied the gentrification of the neighborhood.

Lots of history at Nadler fundraiser in Soho

Critics: Fughedabout Gennaro feast
By Brooke Edwards
The future of the annual Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy remains a bit uncertain, after a subcommittee of Community Board 2 voted to deny the application for this year’s festivities. Though the decision ultimately rests with the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit, C.B. 2’s recommendation may still hold sway over the fate of the popular event.

Orchard gallery is taking its sneakers to Bushwick
By Brooke Edwards
The Lower East Side is losing yet another of its enclaves for underground artists with the closing of the Orchard Street Art Gallery.

Thousands of WBAI members’ credit cards compromised
By Julie Shapiro
Earlier this month, members of WBAI, New York’s iconic leftist radio station, got an unpleasant surprise in the mail. Nearly 3,000 of them received letters saying their credit card information may have been stolen, Robert Scott Adams, the station’s interim general manager, said.

L.E.S. on his mind

City decides time’s up for Mass lawsuit
By Julie Shapiro
After a two-year legal battle, the city of New York has dropped its lawsuit against Time’s Up!

No yolk: Eggstravaganza at Pier 45

Slaughterhouse 1977
By Leonard Quart
Charles Burnett is a black American director whose indie films have never received the recognition they’ve deserved. I recall seeing and being impressed by his most commercially successful film, “To Sleep with Anger” (1990), which imaginatively combined black folk material, a touch of prose poetry, and a realistic depiction of middle-class black family life in Los Angeles.

Living in black-and-white
By Will McKinley
FADE UP on a cluttered office in downtown New York City. The walls are adorned with movie memorabilia and dusty rows of VHS tapes. A floor-to-ceiling bookcase is filled to capacity with oversized reference books about Hollywood history. Cans of 35mm film are neatly stacked by the door.

Koch on film
By Ed Koch
“The Wind That Shakes the Barley” (+)
Historical and ongoing civil wars make for great movies. This film, about the civil war between the Irish and the British, is one of the best of its genre. I saw it on St. Patrick’s Day while wearing my green tie with shamrocks, and I enjoyed it immensely.

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ACCOMPLICE: THE VILLAGE A new show from the producers of “Accomplice: New York” that is part interactive theater and part game. It sends participants on a mission along the streets of the West Village. Performances run every Saturday and Sunday from 1pm-3pm and meet at a location TBA. $55. www.accomplicethevillage.com. 212-209-3370.

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