SERVING GREENWICH VILLAGE SINCE 1933 | Volume 74, Number 2 | May 12 - 18 , 2004

Inside

Editorial
Applying Jane Jacobs’ lessons to today’s realities
Last Friday night, Jane Jacobs, an icon of Village lore, returned for an all-too-brief visit to the community. She spoke about the battles she and others fought 40 years ago against urban development and highway projects. She reminded us about what’s still most important in our communities today — the people and the quality of life.

Editorial Cartoon

Scoopy’s notebook

Talking Points
Losing affordable housing means losing Democrats
By Chad Marlow
Recently, one of the members of the Village Independent Democrats’ executive committee, Jim Fouratt, reintroduced the phrase “ignoring the elephant in the room” back into the V.I.D. lexicon.

Notebook
I survived the great tree suicide
By Andrei Codrescu
The majestic old live oak in front of the house collapsed gracefully on the eve of April 30 and covered the entire street with its leafy limbs — each one the size of an average tree — bringing all life as we know it to a standstill.

Letters to the editor


News In Brief

Villager photo by Corky Lee
Young lion
Stanley Cheung, 5, of the Tian Jiao Troupe, waited offstage to perform at the 25th Annual Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival in Union Sq. Park on May 2.

Inmate declared guilty in unsolved case of Etan Patz’s disappearance


Obituary
Fred Gompertz, 80, stars’ furrier, lived in Battery Park City
By Albert Amateau
Fred Gompertz, a Battery Park City resident who survived both the Holocaust as a teenager in Germany and the World Trade Center attack more than 60 years later, died at the Cabrini Hospice on April 30 a week after his 80th birthday.


Jane Jacobs spoke at Village Community School last Friday evening.
(PHOTO Lorenzo Ciniglio)



Jane Jacobs comes back to the Village she saved
By Albert Amateau
Jane Jacobs, whose ideas about how cities prosper shattered urban planning principles 40 years ago, returned to the Village last week to speak at a benefit for West Village Houses, the low-rise affordable housing complex she helped to create.

Old allies and fans inspired by legendary activist
By Lincoln Anderson
For some it brought back old memories of fighting — and winning — the good fight. For others, it was a chance to hear and meet an icon. But all those who saw Jane Jacobs speak last Friday night at the Village Community School agreed it was just wonderful to have her back in Greenwich Village once again.

Chelsea Rec Center finally opens its doors
By Albert Amateau
It’s been a long wait.
The Chelsea Recreation Center opened on Tuesday — 31 years after construction began, 28 years after it was left half-finished because of the city fiscal crisis and three years after construction resumed.

‘Dead dorm’ is abruptly pulled from meeting
By Lincoln Anderson
In the face of mounting community opposition, a plan for a 23-story dormitory on E. Ninth St. on the site of the former CHARAS/El Bohio cultural and community center was suddenly pulled last week from the agenda of Community Board 3’s May 13 Housing, Land Use, Zoning and NYCHA Committee.


9/11 hearings at New School bound to be emotional
By Lincoln Anderson
In what is certain to provide the 9/11 Commission’s most gripping moments, the federal panel investigating the 2001 terror attacks will be at Greenwich Village’s New School University next week for a day and a half of hearings.


Narrow house, wide history at 75 1/2 Bedford St.
By Bonnie Rosenstock
If you burn the candle at both ends horizontally at 75 1/2 Bedford St., you just might set the opposing walls on fire. At 9 1/2 ft. wide, 75 1/2 Bedford St., off Seventh Ave. between Commerce and Moore Sts., is the narrowest house in the city.

Irony and politics do mix for street-theater group
By Heather Paster
With a presidential campaign in full swing, most can’t help but tune out a certain amount of the barrage of hype and campaign ads. Special interest political organizations pop up, make their claim and are quickly forgotten.

Red Grooms: It’s the city that makes the language
By Jerry Tallmer
If there’s anyone more American than Red Grooms, you’ll have to show me. Mark Twain, maybe. Steve McQueen, maybe. Gil Hodges, holding the ball out for the ump to see that shoe polish. Red is also a Downtown New York American ne plus ultra, by way of Nashville, Tennessee, where Charles Rogers Grooms was born June 7, 1937, at the height of the Depression.

Inspired by friend, Villagers mobilize against cancer
By Jill Stern
Shannon Carr is a local hero. She is a 37-year-old mother of two who resides in the Village and who has taken a very visible and active part in our children’s sports life. An “athlete of all trades,” she’s involved year-round in various leagues. In the fall, she coaches an intramural soccer team with Downtown United Soccer Club.

Nadler takes on school bullies in proposed bill
By Elizabeth O’Brien
U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler wants to give states an added incentive to stop bullying in schools.
On May 10, Nadler announced proposed legislation that would provide $300 million in federal matching funds over four years for states to establish or continue anti-harassment programs.

Cabrini still interested in St. Brigid’s church
By Albert Amateau
A Department of Buildings permit to convert the vacant Church of St. Brigid in the East Village into a five-story residence for a new Cabrini nursing home was renewed recently, but the project is not a done deal, according to the Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

M.T.A. releases subway condemnation addresses
By Melanie Wallis
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has issued a provisional list of the buildings that will be partially or fully acquired for development of subway entrances and vent facilities for the new Second Ave. subway line. John McCarthy, an M.T.A. spokesperson, said one of their top priorities when choosing the buildings was to cause the least displacement of residents.


Production of ‘Engaged’ drawing crowds at the Lortel
By Jerry Tallmer
Somewhere in this universe there may be a more cynical play than W. S. Gilbert’s “Engaged,” but none as wickedly, deliciously funny from first to last. Everybody in it is purely venal all the way through to the core, while spouting the utmost romantic and ethical nonsense.

Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
“I’m Not Scared” (+)
This is a wonderful film, better or as good as any I have seen in the last 12 months. It is totally dependent on the acting ability of an adolescent, Giuseppe Cristiano, who plays the role of Michele.
“Bulgarian Lovers” (-)
In his New York Times review of this film, critic Stephen Holden wrote, “Bulgarian Lovers is superbly acted, without a trace of coyness and with considerable heat.” The acting is fine, but the flick is boring. On opening night, with a good review from the Times, the theater was half empty.

Smokin’ On Seventh Avenue
By Wickham Boyle
The Actor’s Playhouse on Seventh Avenue in Greenwich Village had a face-lift just in time for three guys to sit on simple black stools and unfold their minds about the vicissitudes of Marijuana.

Unusual production for an audience of one
By Davida Singer
No distant cousin to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, “The Coutesan Tales” at P.S. 122, are the au courant brainchild of performance artist, Nicole Blackman. Blackman has culled an original group of thirteen stories, any of which she presents to a blindfolded audience of one, in a uniquely intimate experience she likes to call “radio theater for the senses.”


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