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

Volume 77 / Number 30
Dec. 27, 2007 - Jan. 2, 2008

Editorial/Op-Ed
Some wishes at the new year
Winter is upon us, 2007 is almost over, and so once again we turn our thoughts to New Year’s wishes of the community kind. As in recent years, development and park projects figure prominently on our wish list. Development is a constant factor and force in the city, with the power to totally reshape our communities, for better or for worse. Park projects also have potential to overhaul our landscape.

Notebook
Guitars, drums: I can hear again, praise the Lord!
By Andrei Codrescu
The strangest thing is happening to people in their middle age: They are hearing again. Me, personally, I stopped listening around 1976 after I opened for the Ramones at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco.

Scoopy's Notebook

Mixed Use

Letters to the Editor

Police Blotter

Scene

Ira Blutreich

News Briefs
High Line girder drops in on driver


Obituaries
On the street: Cab crash and cash machine bash

Driver is helped out of a tight spot on the F.D.R.

Stoli and blvd party for recovery on Bowery

C.C.R.’s Ratner receives 2007 Puffin/Nation award

The photographer at work

Figuratively speaking

Herman Rose, 99, realist artist who resisted trends
By Ed Field
I place Herman Rose in the highest rank of American painters. Putting aside what might arguably be called the novelty artists — a whole swath of modernist fashionistas labeled pop, op, conceptual, installations, etc., and with these I’d also include the abstract expressionists and action painters of yesteryear, funded by post-World War II corporate America — Herman Rose is up there with the major painters of the realist tradition, figures like Ryder, Bellows, Hopper, Soyer and Alice Neel.


World

Turkey at a crossroads: Traditions on the rebound
East Village photographer Q. Sakamaki was recently in the Middle East documenting Turkey’s changing social climate. As Sakamaki sees it, Turkey is becoming increasingly “conservative on the outside, but still liberal on the inside.”


Sports

Villager photo by Elizabeth Proitsis

Angelo Fontana’s well-used workbench in his A. Fontana Shoe Repair shop in the East Village.

Worn down by rent woes, shoe store is getting boot
By Bonnie Rosenstock
Angelo Fontana has been saving soles in the East Village for more than 40 years. The address of his shoe repair shop is 159 Second Avenue, but it is geographically situated at the southwest bend of Stuyvesant St.

Alternative hospital plan cuts height and a building
By Albert Amateau
Neighborhood groups involved in the Greenwich Village Community Task Force on the redevelopment of St. Vincent’s Hospital have drafted an alternative to the current plan that would reduce the height of the new hospital from the proposed 321 feet down to 190 feet.

Pier 57 process is barely afloat three years later
By Lincoln Anderson
Although there has been intense focus on Pier 40 at W. Houston St. lately as the process to pick a possible developer for it is nearing completion, another Hudson River Park pier, Pier 57 at W. 16th St., is also drawing renewed attention.

Matzo factory property will go for lots of dough
By Albert Amateau
After 82 years at the corner of Rivington and Suffolk Sts., Streit’s is putting its factory buildings on the block and planning to move all of its manufacturing out of the city.


NEWS

Partnership proposes conservancy for Pier 40
By Lincoln Anderson
One day after the Pier 40 Partnership publicly unveiled its feasibility study for a nonprofit, conservancy-run Pier 40, two of the fledgling organization’s leading members sat down with The Villager to explain their report in detail.

Residents rally to save Cherry St. Pathmark
By Julie Shapiro
Waving colorful signs and shouting even more colorful slogans, 75 people turned out last Thursday to protest the rumored closure of the Cherry St. Pathmark store.

2nd Ave. Deli reopens in Midtown, and near 3rd Ave.
By Jefferson Siegel
On Mon., Dec. 17, “toity toid and toid” moved a little closer to Second Ave. when the 2nd Ave. Deli reopened at 162 E. 33rd St. between Third and Lexington Aves.

As fences go up, mourning for the square that was
By Jefferson Siegel
Huddled under umbrellas, a group of almost 30 activists opposed to the Washington Square Park renovation gathered for a candlelight vigil by the arch last Wednesday at 6 p.m. to mourn the loss of their park. They came from as near as a block away and as far as Brooklyn.

Police bag Canal knockoff vendors
By Julie Shapiro
The Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit led a raid on Sat., Dec. 15, targeting vendors on Canal St. and near the World Trade Center site.

ARTS AND LIFESTYLE
Chelsea still center of art world, but L.E.S. beckons
By David Halle and Elisabeth Tiso
In 1987, the Dia Foundation converted a four-story warehouse on West 22nd Street into its first large-scale, rotating exhibition space in New York City, Dia:Chelsea, a move that seems prescient now but defied logic at the time. Soho was the epicenter of New York’s contemporary art world, and this section of Chelsea was far off the cultural map. Yet that was precisely the appeal.

Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
“Nanking” (+) This documentary about Japan’s 1937 invasion of Nanking uses a device which in a limited way turns it into a docudrama. Actors are used to read from the historical statements and letters made at the time by westerners residing in Nanking. Their statements are read by about ten actors including Woody Harrelson and Mariel Hemingway. Chinese victims were recorded at the time or later by the media.
“Control” (+) This dour movie about the life of Ian Curtis (Sam Riley), lead singer in the English punk-rock band, Joy Division, will appeal to a small audience. I did not enjoy listening to the type of music they played, but I did enjoy the film.

Still in love with the Little Tramp
By Jerry Tallmer
Edward Albee won’t remember this, but once, one Saturday afternoon many years ago, when he was just getting recognized as a playwright of some consequence, he was standing in line at an uptown movie theater, waiting for the show to break and a seat to become available, and so, as it happened, was I.



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