Volume 73, Number 32 | December 10 - 16, 2003


Scoopy's notebook
The poop on people, politics, gossip, business openings.

Moving forward with the W.T.C. memorial plans
Sept. 11 was a day that shook us all down to our lowest depths, but no geographic community felt the pain more deeply than Lower Manhattan. Thirteen jurors convened by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. are getting ready to pick one of eight possible designs to honor the lives of about 3,000 innocent people lost on 9/11 and in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. As the jurors ask for adjustments from the design teams, we look at the possibilities from a community point of view and offer our advice.

New York, New York; it ain’t what it used to be
By Andrei Codrescu
In the late ’60s when I lived here, New York City was dangerous, wacked and fun. One night I saw six crimes in progress in one block: a guy was smashing a car window with a crowbar, two dudes with hoods over their heads were robbing a tourist, a girl was screaming and holding on to her purse as a 15-year old child tugged on it, two strollers were smoking a huge spliff of marijuana, a drug dealer was handing over glassine packets to someone double-parked in front of the subway stop, and a nicely dressed young man was tearing out of a restaurant with a bag of food he hadn’t paid for, a waiter in hot pursuit.

Editorial cartoon
By Ira Blutreich

Letters to the editor

Second thoughts
By Richmond Jones

News In Brief

Celebrating Chanukah at Sol Goldman 14th St. Y

Grace Church not going postal

Tompkins tree snow date

New Alzheimer’s program in Chelsea

White nights on Astor Pl.

Gansevoort Historic District gets final approval from city

Trust serves up tennis courts at Canal again

Gerson clean construction bill wins approval in City Council

Nadler couples together support for tunnel project

6th Precinct remembers its fallen heroes of 9/11

Ms.: Maloney made a difference

Police Blotter

70 years ago in The Villager


Shoppers get flea-bitten at P.S. 41

Mom and Pop Shop hangs on After 33-years,couple is not about to give up now
By Aileen Torres
While Tribeca has undoubtedly become trendy, with its share of upscale stores, there are still a few shops offering some bargains. One of them is Ruby’s Book Sale.

The golden age of cool toys — the 1950s and ’60s
By Andrei Codrescu
Questions by Cyril
Q: You, like Anne Rice, live in New Orleans. Do you suffer from vampire infestation? For the online global community, please tell us about the city you call home, and what made you settle there.

It’s a Dysfunctional Life, but a holiday classic
By Tim Gay
What makes “It’s a Wonderful Life” so wonderful, anyway? Why is it that every year around the holidays, millions of us watch this creaky old black-and-white melodrama of despair and redemption?
Let’s look a little closer at the story. Deep down, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is actually about dysfunctional living. Untreated alcoholism, co-dependency, nonviolent verbal spouse and child abuse, addiction to gambling — it’s all here in the Bailey household in Bedford Falls.


Girls have come a long way since three-dribble rule
By Judith Stiles
When young Phoebe De Vincenzi heard that girls in the early l960s had to play basketball in pleated skirts with the infamous “three-dribble rule” she was simply flabbergasted. “WHAT? SKIRTS? You really had to pass after three bounces? You couldn’t dribble down the court?”

6th Precinct remembers its heroes of 9/11
At a memorial and dedication ceremony at the 6th Precinct on W. 10th St. last Wednesday, officers added brass plaques for Det. Claude “Danny” Richards and Officer James Leahy, who both died on 9/11, to the precinct’s Wall of Honor beside those of past fallen officers. Villager photo by Elisabeth Robert

With lawsuits and bus convoy, residents are taking it to S.L.A.
By Jessica Mintz
In New York City, when a restaurant, bar, club or cafe decides it wants to serve alcohol to its patrons, it must apply for a license with the New York State Liquor Authority. Before that happens, though, the applicant must notify the local community board. Depending on the board, the owners may have to appear in person to answer to the neighborhood’s concerns. The board’s stamp of approval — or disapproval — is sent up to the S.L.A. in Albany, where it is one factor among many the authority considers when deciding whether to grant the liquor license.

Bars banned in buildings on Soho lots
By Elizabeth O’Brien
Community members cheered the passage of a bill this week that would prohibit the construction of new bars and restaurants on approximately 17 vacant or parking lots in the Soho and Noho historic districts.

Kerrey says 9/11 panel’s aim is ‘trust’
By Lincoln Anderson
Named a member last week to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, New School University President Bob Kerrey is eager to take on the responsibility, while at the same time aware of potential pitfalls and a need for a measured approach.

Rabies scare caused by Tompkins Sq. homeless dog
By Lincoln Anderson
Fears of an East Village rabies outbreak were raised last week after a homeless man told acquaintances he was getting shots for the deadly virus.

Hochberg named dean of New School’s Milano School
Fred P. Hochberg, former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration and co-chairperson of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian and gay civil rights group, last week was named dean of New School University’s Robert J. Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy..

Cooper picks top architect for academic building
By Sascha Brodsky
Most people don’t consider Greenwich Village a poor area. But as the Village has gentrified and multi-million dollar apartments proliferate, the Children’s Aid Society continues to make it a home as it has for the past 150 years.

37 years later, Elizabeth Butson’s Guatemalan rebel photo article remains the definitive account
Before she was publisher of The Villager in the 1990s, Elizabeth Margaritis Butson, as a young photojournalist, took photos of and reported on the Fuerzas Armadas Rebelde, a rebel group in the mountains of Guatemala. She was the first female journalist the rebels let visit their mountain stronghold.

Miller talks on federal aid, schools and budget
By Sascha Brodsky
City Council Speaker Gifford Miller is calling for the federal government to release $3 billion in disaster aid.
Miller told a Union Sq. Partnership Forum breakfast at the Con Ed Building on Irving Pl. last Tuesday that the amount is what the General Accounting Office says the city lost in local revenues because of 9/11. The 34-year-old speaker is considered a likely candidate in the 2005 mayoral race.

Soho book event for young author on Texas death row
By Elizabeth O’Brien
It’s a long way from Soho to Texas death row, a distance that can be measured in morals as well as miles.
But a group of activists and performers bridged the gap last Wed., Dec. 10, when they read from the newly released book of a Texas death row prisoner at the Housing Works Used Book Cafe on Crosby St. Ray Krone, the 100th death row prisoner exonerated in the U.S., was among those who spoke at the reading, held to coincide with the International Day of Human Rights.

L.G.B.T. Center claims it’s doing more to control noise
By Albert Amateau
Leaders of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Center told their W. 13th St. neighbors on Monday that the Center will make increased efforts to respond to long-standing complaints about noisy and disruptive crowds outside the Center.

De Niro and partners buy Tribeca’s Screening Room
By Josh Rogers
Maybe all closings should end quickly too.
When the owners of The Screening Room closed their doors a month ago, they put up a sign on the marquee saying “All farewells should be sudden,” but now almost as quickly, actor Robert De Niro, perhaps Tribeca’s favorite son, and his Tribeca Film Festival partners, Jane Rosenthal and her husband Craig Hatkoff, have bought the movie theater and hope to open next month.

Tribeca neighbors raise money for 60 Hudson St. diesel lawsuit
By Albert Amateau
Neighbors Against NOISE last week issued a call to about 300 Tribeca residents for contributions to fund a lawsuit to force the city’s Department of Buildings to
prohibit the storage of diesel fuel above ground level near subway entrances or schools.

Community Board 4 votes against adding bars to two problem clubs
By Albert Amateau
Two Chelsea clubs, whose neighbors have endured noise and worse ever since they’ve been open, were turned down this month by Community Board 4, which voted unanimously against recommending their applications to the State Liquor Authority.

Chelsea Recreation Center slated to open in April
By Albert Amateau
Chelsea residents turned out in force last week to hear from the Department of Parks and Recreation and elected officials about the Chelsea Recreation Center’s long-awaited spring opening in a building that had been left half-finished and vacant for about 30 years.

Offbeat boutiques turn Village into fashion alley
By Roslyn Kramer
“Our Fall Collections Have Arrived” boasts the business card of a West Village boutique. And that’s just Betwixt, at 245 W. 10th St., catering to preteens and juniors (and the occasional small-boned adult). Collections are popping up all over the West Village in small, youthful boutiques, each with its own distinctive style. So distinctive that if anything has a must-have allure for you, grab it, as one shop owner advises her customers. “It sound like a line but it’s true,” explains Melbourne-born Elizabeth Charles, whose store bears her name. These are not shops with large inventories.

Not much help for small businesses
By Jaclyn Marinese
Personal contact is the key to business for Leonard Altabet, owner of Worthy Eyes, an eyeglass store located on the corner of Church and Worth Streets in Tribeca. While he’s successfully run his enterprise for 25 years, recently things have been tough.

Jazz series at St. Mark’s in the Bowery
Josh Kornbluth is back in town, and he’s traded in his red diaper for a Form 1040.
That is to say, the stimulating autobiomonologist of “Red Diaper Baby” (about his Communist parental roots) and “Haiku Tunnel” (about youthful durance vile at a law firm) and “Ben Franklin Unplugged” (well, he looks like Benjamin Franklin) is now among us with “Love & Taxes,” a saga that embraces both a girl named Sara and a 1990s tax bill that expanded exponentially like Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
Gloomy Sunday (+)
This film, in German with English subtitles, could have been much better than it is. The story takes place in Budapest toward the end of World War II when the Nazis, under Adolph Eichman, rounded up Hungarian Jews sending tens of thousands to Auschwitz where they were murdered. As far as I know, this particular story is not based on specifically identified people.
The Cooler (+)
One critic referred to this flick as a sleeper but most of them liked it. I think it is a jewel. It reminded me of the English film, “Croupier” which takes place in a London casino.

Get retro: Holiday scenes from the 1960’s
By Davida Singer
It seems almost fitting that Charles Phoenix is talking with me from a bus, on the way to do his latest edition of “God Bless Americana”, at the Pyramid Club Theater on Avenue A. After all, his Kodachrome, brighter than bright Retro Slide Shows - one of which won him a Fringe Festival award for “unique theater experience” this year - do have the definite vintage feel a long bus trip has always allowed.

Groove Assault takes jazz-rock mixture on their own terms
By Ernest Barteldes
Quite a few bands have attempted to blend jazz and other elements of pop music together. Many have failed by doing everything except what they propose to do. Some of them are a bit too on the rock side, while others tend to concentrate on the elements of jazz - whatever that may be considering the fragmentations of what today people call jazz. And they end up leaving the pop side of their sound abandoned somewhere in the rehearsal studio.

New York's
Exciting downtown scene







Also Please Read

The Villager is published by
Community Media LLC.

The Villager | 487 Greenwich St.,
Suite 6A | New York, NY 10013

All rights reserved.
The Villager and thevillager.com
are registered trademarks of Community Media, LLC
John W. Sutter, president