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

Volume 76, Number 51
May 16 - 22, 2007


Editorial/Op-Ed
Let Pridefest move to Chelsea
On April 27, the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit, or C.A.U., unexpectedly denied an application by Heritage of Pride, or HOP, to move Pridefest, its annual L.G.B.T. street fair, from the West Village to Chelsea on Sat., June 23. C.A.U. also refused to let HOP change the fair from its traditional Sunday date to Saturday to free up volunteers to help keep the event safe and orderly.

Talking Point
College commencement speakers: Don’t get me started
By Andrei Codrescu
College campuses all over the country have now heard commencementspeeches from every public person, from Bob Barker to myself. Bob Barker told graduates in Missouri that “Let’s Make a Deal” is a cult among the young because the set hasn’t changed since the ’70s. It’s one certainty in a wildly changing world, he assured them.

Notebook
‘Poytry,’ pruning and the birth of Jane St. Garden
By Patricia Fieldsteel
NYONS, FRANCE — An article in The Villager not long ago launched me on a retrospective journey. The serene Jane Street Garden, site of nearly three decades of killer neighborhood fights, won an award from The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation for its beauty and “contribution to the legendary quality of life in Greenwich Village.” How true, how true....

Letters to the editor

Police Blotter

Scene

Scoopy's Notebook

Ira Blutreich


Obituary

Joey Semz, 31, graffitist who turned to folk music
By Randi Hoffman
Joey Semz, 31, a prolific Lower East Side graffiti artist and musician, died unexpectedly at his parents’ home in Staten Island on April 7. He gained fame for spray-painting “SEMZ” all over the city, and for co-founding the graffiti crew IRAK in the late 1990s.


Ranard’s Picture Show for The Villager

Muslims showed submission to Allah at midday prayers outside Madina Masjid, on E. 11th St., last Friday. Worshipers overflowed onto the sidewalk because the mosque was full.

Madina mosque is Muslim cab drivers’ spiritual pit stop
By Alyssa Giachino
In the predawn chill of a weekday in early spring, at an East Village mosque the entryway shelves were brimming with the shoes of worshipers. Favored footwear styles were sturdy tennis shoes and dusty work boots, most with well-worn heels.

High Line, housing advocates fear missing the train
By Albert Amateau
Advocates for affordable housing and supporters of the High Line packed a public presentation last week on the city’s and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s guidelines for a mega-mixed-use development over the West Side rail yards.

Scourge of bars was top cop’s great-granddaughter
By Lincoln Anderson
Marcia Lemmon always knew that a great-grandfather of hers had been top New York Police Department brass. So perhaps it wasn’t so surprising that she made it her mission to clean up the Lower East Side’s rowdy bar scene. It must have been in the genes.

V.I.D. celebrates 50 years of progressive politics
By Ed Gold
Friends of Village Independent Democrats, including at least 16 former club presidents and a bevy of elected officials and judges, turned out last Thursday to celebrate the reform club’s 50th anniversary.



Arts and Entertainment

Little Red Riding Hood, with a Latin beat
By Bonnie Rosenstock
On any given Saturday afternoon at Teatro Sea, you might find Cinderella dancing tango at the ball, a strong-minded Little Red Riding Hood plotting to eat the wolf, or Papa Bear lecturing Baby Bear on the importance of self-esteem and the power of forgiveness as a way to achieve inner peace.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
By Will McKinley
The year is 1943. America is mired in the depths of World War II and a nervous nation turns to the radio to forget its troubles. And each month, live from the studios of WXYZ in New York City, the singing, swinging Apple Sisters do their bit to put a bounce in Uncle Sam’s step and a smile on his collective face.

In ‘Lovemusik,’ a Lenya reborn brings chills
By Jerry Tallmer
It isn’t often that one suddenly starts to shiver in the theater, especially when it has nothing to do with air-conditioning.

Listen to The Villager on Internet Radio:
This week on The Villager radio show, our guests are David Kramer, principal of the Hudson Companies, and John Fout, community policy aide for Concilmember Rosie Menedez. Kramer's Hudson Companies is building the new 26-story dormitory for New York University on E. 12th between Third and Fourth Aves. Fout, speaking on behalf of Mendez, calls Kramer and the U.S. Postal Service to task over the questionable air-rights transfer that is allowing the dorm to be built 30 percent larger than normal. Kramer defends the air-rights transfer and slams a community lawsuit against it as "frivolous." Kramer also blasts The Villager for dubbing it a "mega-dorm." Only on The Villager radio show!
Daycare cries child abuse, says artistas want them out
By Albert Amateau
Children’s Liberation, a daycare center that shares space with three arts organizations at the P.S. 122 Community Center in the East Village, is desperately trying to remain in the neighborhood where two generations of toddlers have played and learned together.

Hotel pushes ’hood’s buttons with Silverman ‘phone-sex’ ad
By Lawrence Lerner
The Hotel Gansevoort added fuel to the fire surrounding its hotly debated billboard last Wednesday when it put up the second of two ads on the towering structure.

Not all think Broadway bus bulbs are a bright idea
By Alyssa Giachino
The newest attempt to ease the flow of traffic along Broadway, by extending the sidewalk out by about 10 feet for bus stops, has been received with mixed reviews from merchants, neighborhood activists and mass transit advocates.

Back to the future of L.E.S.; District plan revives
By Alyssa Giachino
Neighborhood preservationists are revving their engines again on the Lower East Side, this time with a broader coalition of support, reviving a proposal to designate a historic district that ran into determined opposition last year.

Film
Koch on film
By Ed Koch
“Away From Her” (+) This simple but moving picture depicts how Alzheimer’s affects a couple that has been married for 44 years.
“Waitress” (+) I went to see this movie after reading Joe Morgenstern’s review in The Wall Street Journal.


Sports/Youth

Play ball!
The Felix Millan Little League paraded through the East Village and Lower East Side last weekend to mark the start of baseball season.

Loisaida ‘Little Unit’ is hurling heat for Yankees
By Judith Stiles
To have a heart-to-heart talk with young Dellin Betances or to just look him in the eye, a stepladder would come in handy, because this 19-year-old baseball pitcher from New York City stands a whopping 6-foot-9-inches tall, without his cleats on.

Loco-Motion dance kids get loco in performance piece at Columbia
By Judith Stiles
In Greenwich Village, pricey high-rise buildings and New York University dorms seem to be sprouting up everywhere, squeezing out the middle-class arts organizations, which have always been the essential fertilizer for the neighborhood’s legendary culture.


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Photo by Claudio Moya
POST-APOCALYPTIC NYC Abrons Arts Center’s Urban Youth Theater presents Jose Rivera’s award-winning play Marisol about the harsh realities of a post-apocalyptic world. A young professional from the Bronx finds herself in a New York City that is on the verge of a breakdown. Acid rain burns the skin, apples and coffee are extinct and the moon is on a steady course away from the earth. June 7-10; Thurs., Fri. & Sat. at 7:30pm and Sun. at 2pm. ABRONS ARTS CENTER, Henry Street Settlement, 466 Grand St. at Pitt St. www.abronsartscenter.org. www.theatermania.com. 212-352-3101. $10, $5 kids. Pictured above are Amanda Schwartz, left, and Dulce Jimenez.

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