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

Volume 77, Number 4
June 27 - July 3, 2007

New start, new hopes for Washington Square
Two months ago, frustrated that the Parks Department had refused to re-present to the community its renovation plans for Washington Square Park, Community Board 2 voted to rescind its approval of the $16 million project.

Talking Point
Cracked: Da Vinci Code it ain’t at Homeland Security
By Daniel Meltzer
The following e-mail exchange is excerpted from thousands of newly released documents from the files of the Department of Homeland Security. This information is being published here for the first time.

And soy it goes…
In 2007, the Village area is certainly no stranger to the joys of the soybean. But, 60 years ago the extent of its wonders were being introduced to the Village in the form of the “Meals for Millions” program.

The pussy book: A new virtual reality
By Andrei Codrescu
I promised a friend in Romania that I’d write a book about a cat. I even told her the title: “Bill Gates’s Cat.” My friend is an editor at a publishing house and she said that if I wrote “Bill Gates’s Cat” she’d publish it.

Letters to the editor

Police Blotter

Scoopy's Notebook

Ira Blutreich

Villager photo by Talisman Brolin

Legging it, and proudly
Thousands of people turned out for Sunday’s Gay Pride March, the end of which wound through the Village to Christopher St. For more photos.

Peeling back paint layers, restoring a place of prayers
By Lucas Mann
On Eldridge St., between Canal and Division Sts., every sign on every storefront, from the hair salon to the video store, has Chinese characters on it, except for one. The Eldridge Street Synagogue rises gracefully above the Lower East Side, the way that it did when it was first completed in 1887

In an emotional vote, Assembly O.K.s gay marriage
By Paul Schindler
In a historic vote late on the evening of Tues., June 19, the New York State Assembly approved legislation guaranteeing marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples.

Hoylman plans to retool committees, continue reform
By Lincoln Anderson
Four years ago, Brad Hoylman ran for chairperson of Community Board 2 and lost in a close election to Jim Smith. Board members who voted against Hoylman — who was then 37 and had only been on the community board four years — advised that he could use a bit more “seasoning.”

Community can’t wait to open new Father Demo Square
By Lincoln Anderson
Whether it was the official or unofficial opening of Father Demo Square didn’t much matter to Greenwich Villagers last Friday morning.

Cyclists ride the police over ‘bike blitz’ operation
By Alyssa Giachino
The fallout from the confiscation of chained-up bikes on the street by the Ninth Precinct continued on Tues., June 19, as East Village residents and bicycle advocates harangued unapologetic officers.

Leaving the shelters, finding a home in creativity
By Lucas Mann
Seven years ago, when he was 14, David Gonzalez began what would become a teenaged life on the streets.

Arts and Entertainment

Moore’s ailing report on U.S. health care
By Steven Snyder
We’re getting screwed, my fellow Americans.
That seems to be the sentiment of Michael Moore in his latest provocative, funny, and all around exceptional documentary that was greeted at the Cannes Film Festival not so much with scandal as with nods of the head — even from the Fox News critic, who hailed it as a “brilliant” example of Moore’s “maturity as a filmmaker.”

Sting-Bowie burlesque rocks world for residents
By Albert Amateau
Ivan Kane and his celebrity partners David Bowie and Sting are about to bring burlesque back to the Big Apple with a New York branch of Forty Deuce, Kane’s clubs in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Artifacts guy wants hotel to replace Houston lot
By Alyssa Giachino
To some, Evan Blum is known as a pioneer of salvaging beautiful pieces of America’s architectural and decorative history — such as antique doorknobs, gargoyles, claw-foot tubs and marble columns — carefully extracted from elegant homes to adorn the residences of today.

Newsstand’s closure is a sorry story, neighbors say
By Audrey Tempelsman
According to Andrew Gold, who lives next to the newsstand at Thompson and W. Third Sts., the kiosk gave the community more than magazines, soda and candy.

East Siders urge City Planning to add 11 key points to rezoning
By Alyssa Giachino
Community members flooded a scoping hearing at the Department of City Planning on Monday, urging the agency to include more affordable housing and tenant protections in the rezoning plan that encapsulates more than 100 blocks of the East Village and Lower East Side.

Study: Eighth St. should focus on food, fashion and furnishings
By Ed Gold
During the past 12 months, 13 new stores have opened or have announced plans to open on W. Eighth St., a key shopping area for the Village Alliance, which operates an expanding business improvement district in Greenwich Village, according to the BID’s executive director, Honi Klein.

Le Souk’s foes are in the market for new solutions
By Alyssa Giachino
In the face of anger from neighbors over noise and other problems they say are being fueled by the popular East Village nightclub Le Souk, police have offered to step up enforcement efforts on lower Avenue B while the club’s owners have agreed to meet with the E. Fourth St. Block Association.

Barry Benepe, Greenmarket founder, gets Jacobs Award
By Albert Amateau
Barry Benepe, West Village resident and co-founder of the city’s Greenmarket program, is one of two winners of the 2007 Rockefeller Foundation’s Jane Jacobs Medals and $100,000 prize awards.

P3 baseball coach mixes fun with the fundamentals
By Lucas Mann
As another summer of baseball action kicks off at Pier 40, Francisco Perez begins his second summer in complete control of baseball operations at P3, after years working his way up the ranks. It is impossible to call Perez a novice, though. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a more experienced youth baseball coach.

Arts and Entertainment

Spiegelworld returns to work its Seaport magic
By Lee Ann Westover
By virtue of the setting alone, an evening at this year’s Spiegelworld will be well worth the ticket price. The opulent theater— a vintage “spiegeltent” constructed of teak with walls of velvet, stained glass and mirrors — was once all the rage in early 20th century Europe.

A bloody township in the war of the sexes, caught on film
By Jerry Tallmer
It was, Norman Mailer would some years later tell D.A. Pennebaker, “the night Jill Johnston turned my hair gray.”

Closing the design divide
By Stephanie Murg
iPods, Aeron chairs, Nike shoes, and the animated creations of Pixar might be among the greatest hits of contemporary design, but they’re only household names in the households that can afford them—that is, the richest 10 percent of the world’s customers.

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BEYOND BORDERS View graffiti and graffiti-inspired artwork by Chris Cortes, David Pham, Michael Poncé, Spaze Crafte One and others. July 7 – Aug. 9. KLATCH, 9 Maiden Lane, bet Broadway & Nassau. 212-227-7276. Pictured above is a piece by Michael Poncé.

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