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

Volume 77 / Number 29 - December 19-25, 2007

Editorial/Op-Ed
Dan Doctoroff’s complex legacy
Dan Doctoroff’s impending departure as deputy mayor for economic development for the Bloomberg administration after six years does not come as a surprise. His leaving City Hall had long been rumored.

Talking Point
Washington Square lawsuits: What was won and lost
By Jonathan Greenberg
It has been nearly three years since I wrote a talking point here in The Villager, asking that before the Parks Department radically redesign Washington Square Park, it first spend one-tenth of 1 percent of its proposed budget to survey what Downtowners think needs to be changed, preserved or repaired in the park.

Scoopy's Notebook

News Briefs
Kimora visit was phat

L.E.S. Chop Shop has top tastes for the holidays

Q. on DNA and war: Seems like it’s just in the genes

Thanks, Officer Santa!

Obituaries
Leo Ruszewski, 84, a life on the water and Jane St.
By Patricia Fieldsteel
Leo Ruszewski, 84, a beloved fixture in the lives of Jane Streeters for nearly 50 years, died on Nov. 25 at St. Vincent’s Hospital of complications from treatment for throat cancer. He was buried among family members in the coal region of Luzerne County, Pa., where he grew up.

Elias Karnoff, a dentist and a Democrat, dies at 85
By Ed Gold
Elias Karnoff, a longtime dentist in Greenwich Village, a participant in reform Democratic and dental association politics and a friend of top Village entertainers in the 1950s and ’60s, who survived a tiff with the U.S. Army after World War II, died on Dec. 2 at the age of 85.

Mary Calvert, 84; Started a theater as young actress
By Josephine Calvert Conty
Mary Calvert, a longtime resident of Greenwich Village and an early member of the Bedford Barrow Commerce Block Association, died on Nov. 9, two days before she would have turned 84.

Henrietta Yurchenco, folk pioneer, ethnomusicologist, 90
By Lincoln Anderson
Henrietta Yurchenco, a renowned ethnomusicologist who played an influential role in the New York folk music scene, died Dec. 10 after a short illness. She was 90.

Sports

The new game plan focuses on skills and creativity
By Judith Stiles
A fundamental change is occurring in how soccer is being taught to American children, and in this revolution’s forefront is an innovative program at the Downtown United Soccer Club. Right here, in our own backyard at Pier 40, children as young as 3 years old are running onto the fields and falling in love with the game, knowing squat about rules, positions, strategy or standings.

Villager photo by Talisman Brolin

‘Walnuts’ and dragons go together
Billed as Downtown’s largest-ever holiday season parade, the East Meets West celebration brought Chinese dragons, like the one above, marching bands and a “Sopranos” star, Tony Sirico (“Paulie Walnuts”), to Mott and Mulberry Sts. on Saturday.


Avella and Quinn clash over community facilities
By Lincoln Anderson
In October, Tony Avella, the outspoken chairperson of the City Council’s Zoning Committee, joined a trio of local preservationists at a press conference on Sullivan St. outside New York University’s School of Law to call for reform of the community facilities zoning allowance.

V.I.D. leads call for affordable housing by Rudin
By Albert Amateau
A group of Villagers are still urging that affordable housing be included in the residential project planned by the Rudin Organization as part of St. Vincent’s Hospital’s rebuilding plan.

C.B. 3 raises the bar for hotel liquor license bid
By Matt Townsend 
Matthew Moss looked exhausted on Tuesday night Dec. 12 as he left an assisted living residence on E. Fifth St. It looked like he was in need of some assistance himself.

Albuquerque police are gunning for recruits in Soho
By Patrick Hedlund
The New York Police Department has found some competition for recruitment, from a police force 2,000 miles away offering everything from higher pay to scenic surroundings.

NEWS
Landlords say they’re ones being harassed
By Albert Amateau
A hearing on Monday on a tenant anti-harassment bill drew a crowd that nearly filled the Council Chamber at City Hall.

Trash talk continues on future of Pier 40
By Josh Rogers
The city and some Villagers are trashing the idea to build a garbage truck garage near the Pier 40 playing fields.

A tree doesn’t grow on Bedford: ‘Why axed?’ they ask
By Katie DeWitt
With its cozy bakeries and candlelit restaurants, tree-lined Bedford St. is a picture-perfect piece of the West Village. But upon second glance, there is something missing. In front of 12 Bedford St. sits an empty tree pit. Home to a male gingko for nearly 20 years, all that remains is a dirt-covered stump and a yellow, laminated sign that reads:

Ball-field backers try to stretch it into a double
By Julie Shapiro
Rather than using a $2 million grant to build one baseball field Downtown, athletic programmers now hope to spread the money over two parks.

Die-in for fallen veteran bikers highlights hazards
By Jefferson Siegel
Cycling activists took to the streets last Wednesday to call attention to the hazards bicyclists continue to face while riding alongside traffic. 

ARTS AND LIFESTYLE

Innocence lost, but not forgotten
By Steven Snyder
Most people know all about the scandal surrounding the filmed adaptation of “The Kite Runner,” the way that a childhood rape scene has endangered the lives of its child actors and led its studio, Paramount Vantage, to push back the film’s release in order to get their young stars out of harm’s way (they were airlifted to a different Middle Eastern country a couple weeks ago).

Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
“The Savages” (+) The ads for this movie attempt to brighten its subject matter by conveying that it is full of dark humor. I did not detect much humor in the film, which is sometimes difficult to watch, but in the end, I felt as though I had seen a work of art.
“Atonement” (+) This film, based on the successful novel by Ian McEwan, is disappointing but worth seeing. In opens in 1935 at the British mansion of the very wealthy Tallis family. The daughter, Cecilia (Keira Knightley), is in love with Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), son of a housekeeper working on the estate, Grace (Brenda Blethyn). Robbie, who is supported by the Tallis family, attends a good school and participates in the family’s dinners and gatherings.

Performance party packs them in at PS 122
By Brian McCormick
Showcase events often weigh heavily in favor of the creators, giving them an opportunity to test out their ideas. However, when the audience is made up of just as many performers, choreographers, producers, and affiliated others as are involved in the making of the show, it becomes more communal event than public performance. Add cheap beer, and you’ve got the perfect conditions for a come-as-you-are holiday carnival.

‘The Little Mermaid,’ Downtown and decidedly not Disney
By Michele Firpo-Cappiello
When three little girls leave a musical singing one of the songs they just heard, you know they’ve had a good time. The Literally Alive Children’s Theatre production of “The Little Mermaid” at the Players Theatre gave my 5-year-old daughter and her two friends just that experience.

Engaging diversity at Westbeth
By Abby Luby
There’s a lot of creative energy going on within the massive walls of the Westbeth building, where celebrated artists have lived and worked for the last four decades. Now through January 6, you can see the fruits of some of that energy at the Westbeth’s “Annual Holiday Exhibit, Part 2,” (part one was predominantly sculpture), featuring paintings, watercolors and limited edition prints.



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Photo by Jonathan Slaff
DAYS OF ANTONIO Based on a true story about a disabled boy who is locked in a roost to live with chickens. At the age of fifteen, he starts satisfying his natural instincts with the hens, but one day his parents catch him with a prostitute and decide to lock him in an insane asylum. Dec. 20-30; Thurs.-Sat. at 8pm and Sun. at 2:30 & 8pm. LA MAMA E.T.C., 1st Floor Theater, 74A E. 4th St. 212-475-7710. www.lamama.org. $18, $13 students & seniors. Pictured above are David R. Duenias, left, and Celeste Moratti.



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