Volume 77, Number 20
October 17 - 23, 2007
St. Vincents and Rudin are starting the right way
Our first reactions to the new designs for St. Vincents new hospital and the Rudin Organizations residential condo development were twofold. First, like most, we noticed both projects are obviously tall. St. Vincents Hospitals new tower, at more than 300 feet, would be the tallest building in the Greenwich Village Historic District, 20 feet higher than One Fifth Ave. The Rudin building, at more than 230 feet tall, would be a bit bigger than nearby high-rises.
Letters to the Editor
Its Fascism Lite in America: Playing the God card
By Daniel Meltzer
Conservative chatterbox and hate hustler Anne Coulter told a CNBC interviewer last week, as reported by Mediabistro, that the U.S. would be a better country without Jews, who should indeed perfect themselves and become Christians. Earlier this month, Republican Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain told an audience at a campaign appearance that the United States is, in reality, a Christian country.
Golden Gloves champ is a knockout boxing trainer
By Judith Stiles
The warm and friendly Jennifer Santiago has the demeanor of a kindly doctor, certainly not of a fighter, who at the tender age of 12 was nicknamed Killer and was known for a right hook that knocked boys out cold in New York Citys amateur youth boxing circuit.
Photo by William Alatriste, courtesy New York City Council
Bathhouse fight heats up
Councilmember Alan Gerson, left, led a group of 100 Lower East Siders in calling for the renovation of the abandoned LaGuardia Bathhouse as a community recreation center. MORE
St. Vincents and Rudin unveil elliptical hospital, condo tower
By Albert Amateau
St. Vincents Hospital and the Rudin Organization last week revealed their preliminary plans for a new state-of-the-art hospital building on the west side of Seventh Ave. and for the residential redevelopment on the east side of the present hospital complex.
A plaque for a columnist on a bench that hed love
By Lincoln Anderson
With memories of their late friend Newsday columnist Dennis Duggan and of the glad times they shared together at his favorite bar, the legendary Lions Head Tavern a group of about 25 people gathered at Abingdon Square last Sunday afternoon to dedicate a bench plaque in Duggans honor.
Fired workers hope to turn the tables on restaurant
By Lincoln Anderson
Following the National Labor Relations Boards issuing of a complaint against Saigon Grill restaurant at the end of last month, fired delivery workers are continuing to picket outside the restaurants University Pl. location. An expedited hearing of the issue by the N.L.R.B. is set for Oct. 30.
Fence is offensive, neighbors say
By Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke
Lois Slessinger and the E. Fourth St. Block Association are up in arms because P.S. 751 began work on a 10-foot locked fence around the schoolyard, despite their protests.
The Lower East Side
Traditions and Transitions
A special Villager supplement
Klezmer convention blows into town on Eldridge St.
Last Friday The Eldridge Street Project assembled more than 100 of the worlds most influential klezmer musicians for A Great Day On Eldridge Street, the beginning of a 10-day series of concerts, lectures and educational events.
Haunted house frightfully popular
By Lisa Lacy
Anyone who doesnt like clowns, mummies or tight spaces would be advised to stay away from the Clemente Soto Velez Center until early November. Thats because an annual Halloween event is drawing thousands of brave souls to the Lower East Side cultural center named after the Puerto Rican poet at 107 Suffolk St. at Rivington St.
Ultimate designer doughnut took long time to design
By Barry Paddock
A young man in a baseball cap hurried past Doughnut Plant, a bakery a few blocks from the Manhattan entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge.
Are too many new bars and clubs crashing the party?
By Patrick Hedlund
Its just a few hours before sunrise early Sunday morning when the crush of humanity teeming along Orchard St. reaches its climax on this trendy block of nightlife real estate.
Construction is a pain in the pocket for merchants
By Matt Townsend
Sloan Mandell thought he had found the perfect spot to open his jewelry store when he rented a space on Orchard St.
In the first week, his store, Exhibitionist, cleared $5,000 in sales.
Bakery still dishing knishes after all these years
By Lisa Lacy
They may say potato is king at Yonah Schimmel Knish Bakery, but it is starting to get some competition from nontraditional ingredients.While the bakery is still firmly devoted to its original savory and sweet cheese knishes, special knishes periodically appear on the menu that reflect the neighborhoods changing tastes and demographics.
Artist figures its all about engaging the public
By Bonnie Rosenstock
Tom Otterness has got to be the most relaxed artist in New York. It was the afternoon before the evening gala opening of his exhibition at the Marlborough Chelsea, and he was leisurely conversing over a multi-course Japanese lunch at Japonica on University Pl., his favorite restaurant.
Rockin scene and writin green
A sign project shows the way life was and is lived
By Gerard Flynn
From the slave galleries you are invisible. You can see but you cant be seen. Black people, free and enslaved, were forced to sit in hidden, cramped rooms above the balcony of our church, the Reverend Errol Harvey of St. Augustines Episcopal Church told a small crowd gathered last month at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum.
Pimps, prostitutes and pickles: Kinky L.E.S. history
By Daniel Krieger
Women lining up for $5 abortions, prostitutes in the shadow of the el train, 250 immigrants crammed into a tenement without bathrooms and a layer of grime covering it all. This is what hundreds of thousands of Jews who fled Eastern Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries saw when they got to their new home, the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
V.I.D. backs John Edwards, citing focus on the poor
By Ed Gold
Former Senator John Edwards received the presidential endorsement of the Village Independent Democrats last Thursday at a meeting held at St. Marks Church in-the-Bowery.
Trust says it will consider alternative Pier 40 plan
By Lincoln Anderson
Opening the door to an alternative, community-based plan for redeveloping Pier 40, the Hudson River Park Trust is allowing a local group of very well-financed parents to come up with a specific proposal and concrete funding commitments and has given them two months to do it.
Dont let bathhouse go down the drain, neighbors cry
By Matt Townsend
Ida Ortiz-Colon swam in the LaGuardia Bathhouse five decades ago.
It was awesome, said Ortiz-Colon, who has lived on the Lower East Side for 52 years. They had lifeguards and basketball courts. It was great.
Artists fast then fest to purge world of globesity
By Audrey Tempelsman
The cause is just. The tone, apocalyptic. And each participant, hungry for social change and solid food. This week, the Globesity Festival is making artists and nonartists alike think twice about what they consume.
N.Y.U. Abu Dhabi to open by 2010
New York University and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi have agreed to create N.Y.U Abu Dhabi, a Middle Eastern campus of N.Y.U., the first comprehensive liberal arts campus established abroad by a major U.S. university.
N.Y.U. school pledged $50 million
Constance and Martin Silver have pledged $50 million to the New York University School of Social Work, the largest private donation to a social work school in the U.S.
Raising the bar, grab bar project has gone citywide
A leading cause of death and hospitalization among the elderly is household falls. Two years ago, City Councilmember Alan Gerson and The Caring Community began a collaboration to reduce this statistic, launching the Grab Bar Installation Project.
VILLAGER ART & LIFESTYLE
A voice as fine as crystal
By Jerry Tallmer
When somebody up there was handing out voices, he (she?) gave Betty Lynn Buckley of Fort Worth, Texas, one that could shatter crystal. Hell, it was crystal, and still is crystal laced with sensibility, heart, laughter, sorrow, gaiety, loneliness, warm intelligence, and, above all, extraordinary power.
Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
Into the Wild (+) This film, based on the nonfiction book by Jon Krakauer, was written and directed by Sean Penn. It is the story of a young man in his early twenties, Chris (Emile Hirsch), seeking to find the meaning of life.
Michael Clayton (+) This film is a tour de force for George Clooney who plays the principal role of Michael Clayton.
Graphic novelist hits an optic nerve
By Rachel Fershleiser
Subtle, literate, and superhero-free, Adrian Tomine is a cartoonist for the rest of us. His quietly moving tales of friendship and flailing relationships read like indie films or award-winning short stories. His dialogue is spare but honest, his characters are flawed but relatable, and his drawings capture a world of feeling in a simple line.
Reverend Jens Last Slam
By Rachel Fershleiser
We were greeted by a topless woman, a man sporting stick-on satan horns, and a Chihuahua just an ordinary Wednesday night at Mo Pitkins, though not for long.
An open mic night ends, and an audience braces for change
By Raquel Hecker
The art stars lined up on the small stage upstairs at Mo Pitkins House of Satisfaction this Sunday to sign up for their six minutes on stage one last time. After 678 performances over 13 years, Faceboyz Open Mic Night is closing, because Mo Pitkins, home for many downtown artists for the past two years, is shutting its doors due to financial hardship.
Jen Bekman: Going on her nerve
By Kelly Kingman
In late 2002, unemployed and facing low demand for her Internet community development skills, Jen Bekman found herself contemplating what exactly she had to show for her hard-won earnings, besides a handful of vintage posters and mid-century pottery. I went through this process of looking at things I had acquired that had lasting value, said Bekman.