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

Volume 76, Number 53
May 30 - June 5, 2007


Editorial/Op-Ed
St. Vincent’s plan’s huge consequences
 St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Centers’ recent announcement that it is partnering with the Rudin family to develop a new main hospital building, while selling off most of its Greenwich Village campus for private development has enormous implications for the both the city’s healthcare and our historic neighborhood.

Notebook
V.I.D.-Tammany alliance just wasn’t in the cards
By Ed Gold
As a footnote to Village political history, this seems like an appropriate time to describe Assemblymember Bill Passannante’s bizarre attempt to get Village Independent Democrats to join forces with its distinguished opponent, the last important Tammany leader, Carmine DeSapio.

Talking Point
As my puppy looks down, it’s hard for me to look up
By Michele Herman
For 18 years I’ve lived on the westernmost block of 12th St. I always thought of my block, when I thought of it at all, the way I think of a supper of leftovers: It was cobbled together from humble, disparate parts, and it was perfectly satisfying.

Letters to the editor

Police Blotter

Scene

Scoopy's Notebook

Ira Blutreich

Obituary

Giorgio Cavaglieri, 95, made Old Jeff into library
By Ed Gold
Giorgio Cavaglieri, architect and artist, a pioneer in historic preservation who turned a desolate courthouse slated for destruction into the famous Jefferson Market Library, a majestic Greenwich Village landmark, died last week in Manhattan at the age of 95.

Ralph DeBlasio, 77, district leader, renegade activist
By Michael Karp
Ralph DeBlasio, a contentious, feisty community activist and Greenwich Village Republican district leader, whose ability to mobilize volunteers in the service of improving life in the community was matched by a near genius for alienating the very powers upon whom the success of his efforts depended, died April 30 at his home at 290 Sixth Ave. He was 77.

Baird Hastings, eclectic music director, dies at 88
By Albert Amateau
Baird Hastings, a conductor, music director, Mozart specialist and longtime Village resident, died May 16 at the age of 88.

Vincent Polsinelli, engineer, relocated out West, was 87
By Albert Amateau
Vincent Polsinelli, a native of the Village who lived in the neighborhood until he moved to Colorado in 1966, died April 19 in Longmont United Hospital, in Longmont, Col., at the age of 87.


Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

Councilmember Dan Garodnick, who represents Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, with bullhorn, at last Wednesday’s rally, with, from left to right, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, Councilmember Charles Barron and State Senator Tom Duane, behind Garodnick, and tenants and tenant activists.

Thousands rally at Stuy Town in a call for tenant protections
By Alyssa Giachino
Few issues unite New Yorkers like the struggle for affordable housing, as was demonstrated by the thousands that gathered at Stuyvesant Town last Wednesday to decry climbing rents.


Talk in cutting-edge building on cutting-edge park
By Albert Amateau
Ric Scofidio and Liz Diller, the unconventional founders of the Scofidio Diller + Renfro team transforming the High Line — a 1.5-mile elevated railroad — into a park, spoke last week to a rapt audience gathered in a building designed by another unconventional architect.

London Bridge is not falling after congestion plan
By Lindsay Beyerstein
London’s deputy mayor captivated some of New York’s top policymakers, business leaders and transportation activists at a forum sponsored by the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy on May 18. They came to hear how London is tackling global warming and gridlock through congestion pricing.


Vendor not ready to close book on artistic dreams
By Lesley Sussman 
Looking for some used books? How about a nice set of dishes or maybe a slightly worn T-shirt? Interested in an almost-new bicycle or some pots and pans, sunglasses, DVDs, or maybe even a wooden frame? 

Polyclinic developer is exploring15, count ’em, options for building
By Bonnie Rosenstock
The original proposal was to convert it into condos. Then, in December 2006, an application was filed for its use as a dormitory.

V.R.D.C. celebrates 24 years of Village politics

News photographer arrested, let go
By Lucas Mann
On the afternoon of Thurs., May 24, heavy smoke began billowing out of Café Amore’s Pizza restaurant at 104 E. 14th St.




Arts and Entertainment
Summertime, and the music is free and easy
By Lee Ann Westover
Summer in New York City is electric, not only due to the welcome wealth of visible skin, but also because of the free, outdoor entertainment that awaits us nearly every day of the week.

Tea and fortitude in the American Bible Belt
By Jerry Tallmer
Japanese women have for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, pursued the delicate, intricate social ritual of sharing tea and talk together, but not always to the rather un-Japanese background beat of “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree With Anyone Else But Me” or “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” or — yes — “My Country, ’Tis of Thee … ”


Listen to The Villager on Internet Radio:
In this week’s Villager “Community Report” on Tribecaradio.net, Jai Nanda, executive director of Urban Dove, talks about “The People’s Pier” redevelopment proposal for Pier 40. “The People’s Pier” is one of two competing proposals for the 14-acre W. Houston St. pier. The pier is a designated “commercial node” in Hudson River Park and is expected to generate millions of dollars for the park in annual operating revenue. The Villager’s next “Community Report,” in about three weeks, will feature a representative of The Related Companies, which is pitching a rival plan to make the pier an entertainment complex.

Critics have 2nd opinion on hospital’s building plan
By Lincoln Anderson
St. Vincent’s Hospital sees in its future a sleek, state-of-the-art hospital building with operating rooms spacious enough to accommodate robots and imaging machines and wsith wireless communications to automatically transmit patient information written on clipboards to central computers.

Green a Block finally clears its roadblock, funds to flow
By Alyssa Giachino
A program to bring a little more green to the Lower East Side, in both the environmental and monetary sense, may be close to fruition, according to members of Community Board 3 and Good Old Lower East Side, a local tenant advocacy group.

Garden awash with salmon, canoes
A wild salmon feast, a display of giant canoes and a unique historical re-enactment of the Lewis and Clark expedition will all take place at La Plaza Cultural Community Garden at E. Ninth St. and Avenue C on Wed., May 30, and Thurs., May 31.

Famed funambulist is on another level
On Sun., May 20, the great Philippe Petit performed in Washington Square, giving parkgoers a show of balance, mime and juggling.

Marchers can sense marriage isn’t a bridge too far
By Paul Schindler
A dire weather forecast that revived memories of last year when heavy downpours drenched roughly 1,000 participants made the 2007 Wedding March on Sat., May 19, the smallest in the event’s four-year history.

Felt just ‘like a waif in a storm’
On Wed., May 16, Gloria Gabin’s possessions were moved out of her apartment at 84 Bedford St. where she’s resided for 58 years.

Vet is waging own battle to get her life together
By Jefferson Siegel
On Memorial Day the city was filled with the sights and sounds of remembrance.

Iran charges New School faculty member with spying, propaganda
By Albert Amateau
New School faculty members are calling for support in convincing the Iranian government to free their colleague Kian Tajbakhsh, a social scientist and urban planner, whose arrest was announced May 22.

Theater
Giant gorilla loose in the East Village!
By Will McKinley
For most kids, Thanksgiving is all about a giant turkey. For me, it was all about a giant gorilla. Beginning in 1977, WOR-TV Channel 9 here in New York aired the original movie version of “King Kong” every Thanksgiving Day for nearly a decade.
Film
Koch on film
“The Last Time” (-) The comments I read about this film were not very good. In his Daily News review, Jack Mathews wrote of the three main characters, “Sticking with this trio is hard work, and even after their motives are revealed in a drawn-out and absurdly pat ‘surprise’ ending, there is no satisfying payoff .” He is right.
“Once” (+) I went to see this film after reading Stephanie Zacharek’s review in Salon. She really loved it and summed up her review by stating, “What we’re seeing, and hearing, is an act of creation, and of love, a sweet, miniature echo of the spirit of the movie around it.”


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THE LITTLE TRAGEDIES Steps Theatre presents the first English-language adaptation of works by the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin written almost 200 years ago. The Miserly Knight, The Stone Guest, Mozart and Salieri and A Feast During the Plague reveal human obsessions through modern scenography, music, choreography and costumes. Thurs., 6/14 at 7:30pm; Fri., 6/15 at 7:30pm; Sat., 6/16 at 6pm; Thurs., 6/21 at 7:30pm; Fri., 6/22 at 7:30pm; Sat., 6/23 at 6pm. PHILIP COLTOFF CENTER, 219 Sullivan St., bet Bleecker & W. 3rd St. 212-796-0527. www.stepstheatre.com/tickets.php. $18.

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