Volume 77 / Number 37
February, 13 -19, 2008


End Pier 40 R.F.P.
In an ongoing exercise in futility, the Hudson River Park Trust’s board of directors recently failed to end the Trust’s second unsuccessful request for developers, or R.F.P., process for Pier 40. After a year and a half on this latest attempt, it’s time for the Trust to end the agony and close the R.F.P.





Talking Point

Saying no to CoerciveCare and all its side effects
By Shikha Dalmia
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “universal” healthcare plan was just shot down by a committee in the state’s Senate, 7-1. The most vociferous opponents were not fiscal conservatives, but labor unions that launched a last-minute revolt against its most crucial feature: an individual mandate that would have forced everyone to buy coverage.

Ira Blutreich


News Briefs

Divine wind on Ave. B?

Related: 49 or we’re outta here

Chamber: St. Vincent build plan checks out

Stone-cold tan fan


Ralph DiGia, 80 years of activism and resistance; 93
By Judith Mahoney Pasternak
Ralph DiGia, World War II conscientious objector, lifelong pacifist and social justice activist and staffer for 52 years at the War Resisters League, died Feb. 1 in New York City. He was 93.

Robert Cunniff, 81, award-winning TV writer/producer
By Leslie Fuller
Robert Cunniff, an Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer, died Jan. 20 in Brooklyn after a long illness. He was 81. Cunniff was a longtime Village resident, living first on Christopher St., then for more than 40 years on Washington Square.

Albert W. Landa, 80, guided The New School’s growth
By Ed Gold
Albert W. Landa, known to all as Al, an unorthodox public relations and college development executive who helped The New School in Greenwich Village prosper and grow over a 25-year period, died on Jan. 26 at the age of 80.


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

Villager photo by Milo Hess

Catching air in Union Square
Union Square is known more for its artichokes than its ski slopes. But last week — with the help of a ramp to ski off into the air and some artificial snow — it was transformed into a showcase for flashy snowboarders to flaunt their skills. Above, a snowboarder ignored his bloody knuckles while focusing on his fancy footwork along a pipe.

Cornered, Yellow Rat Bastard must cough up green to workers
By Lincoln Anderson
The owner of Yellow Rat Bastard really was a bastard for the way he treated his employees, according to a settlement brokered last month by state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. The outcome of two lawsuits filed by the Attorney General’s Office, the settlement will result in $1.4 million in unpaid wages and overtime being paid to more than 1,000 current and former employees of the Soho retail chain.

Cyclists: DKNY knocked off our ‘ghost bike’ idea
By Jefferson Siegel
Just before the start of Fashion Week, dozens of neon-orange-painted bicycles appeared around the city chained to lampposts. Stenciled on each was the Web site address for the fashion company DKNY.

Pei hey, N.Y.U. now backs Silver Towers landmarking
By Lincoln Anderson
Less than two weeks after New York University made a major presentation of concept plans for developing new space on its two South Village superblocks, the iconic Silver Towers, located on the southern superblock, have been calendared for a landmark designation hearing.


Lost but found
By Steven Snyder
It’s their bright blue uniforms that make the Egyptian visitors stand out, leading one Israeli after another to stare in astonishment. Tawfiq (Sasson Gabai) is the conductor of a formal Egyptian police band, a musical group that has traveled to Israel to celebrate the opening of an Arab Cultural Center in the town of Petah Tikva. Difficulties arise after an official escort stands the men up and they find themselves stranded in an unfamiliar country speaking a foreign language.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
“Caramel” (+) The acting in this Lebanese film is excellent but the plot lacks heft. In the end, it is a pleasant but uneventful picture.
“The Witness” (+) A good film that is worth seeing, but it certainly did not fulfill my expectations after reading Stephen Holden’s review in The New York Times. Holden wrote that the films of the director André Téchiné are “casually sensual.”

Step by step, new dance tackles oppression
By Wickham Boyle
Jonathan Hollander, founder of the Battery Dance Company, has dedicated three decades to forging connections in his Downtown neighborhood and around the world. In time for Valentines Day, the company holds its 33rd anniversary performance this week, at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center.


Meat Market icon Florent tries to avoid Marie’s fate
By Albert Amateau
Florent Morellet, a founder of a group whose efforts led to the 2003 designation of the Gansevoort Market Historic District, has been operating the restaurant that bears his name in the district’s heart for the past 23 years.

Mentor helped young Bobby Fischer make right moves
By Caroline N. Jackson
The Marshall Chess Club in the West Village was once the stomping ground for Bobby Fischer, America’s first and only world chess champion, who died Jan. 18 in Iceland.

Bones and Mother Jones; Praying for park miracle
By Jefferson Siegel
Opponents of the Washington Square Park renovation project kept their faith all through the last several years as the project went through reviews by city agencies and several lawsuits. Last week, they appeared before a higher power.

Photocopies to DVD dupes, no limits at The Source
By Kristin T. Edwards
The bar in “Cheers” isn’t the only place where everyone knows your name. They also know it at The Source Unlimited in the East Village.

Carmine shop doesn’t exploit book lovers’ wallets
Caroline N. Jackson
Drougas Books, or Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books, as this West Village shop’s awnings proudly proclaim, sells publishers’ overstock and the shop owner’s lucky finds on everything from how to get around Sri Lanka and why marijuana should be legalized to psychedelic art. And true to the awning’s claim, the prices are cheap.

Lift every voice
By Brian McCormick
Community, spirit, hope, dignity, celebration. No, it’s not a political campaign; Ronald K. Brown and Evidence are back in town. The company’s 2008 season at The Joyce Theater includes two programs — an evening of popular repertory works, and the New York premiere of “One Shot.”

Crossing the borderlines of belief
By Debra Jenks
Everyone loves a good hoax, like P.T. Barnum’s Fiji Mermaid or Orson Wells’ alien invasion. These infamous and artful pranksters have something in common with the art and artifice of Xu Zhen. It seems impossible that decades after the advent of television, a supposedly media savvy public could still be hoodwinked.

Read our previous issues

Visit These Fine Advertisers

New York Locksmith

Greenwich Village Apartment Rentals



Editor’s Note:New Listings

We’ve revamped our listings section and are now offering The A-List, a discriminate selection of five events that we feel are worthy of special attention. If you have questions, would like to submit information about an upcoming performance, or talk about how you can still get your events listed in The Villager, email sarah@thevillager.com with the subject “A-List.”

The A-list




The Villager is published by Community Media LLC. 145 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 229-1890 | Fax: (212) 229-2790 | Advertising: 646-452-2465 | © 2008 Community Media, LLC