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Volume 74, Number 23 | Octuber 6 - 12 , 2004

Inside

Editorial
Suddenly, we’ve got a presidential race, at long last
Up until the first Kerry/Bush debate, the race for president seemed to be hardly a race and becoming less and less so. A group of Vietnam Swift boat veterans, assisted by allies of President George W. Bush, had scored heavily in their attacks on Senator John Kerry. They questioned Kerry’s heroism in action and cast aspersions on his efforts to end the war after returning from his tour of duty.

Editorial Cartoon

Talking Point
It’s time for reform; Budget process needs more time
By Deborah Glick
Over the past few months, the public’s frustration over the New York State budget and legislative process has peaked. Understandably, residents are mystified by the state’s chronic lateness in reaching budget agreements. I am not only sympathetic with the community’s concerns, but I have been upset by the misinformation campaign that places the blame for this “dysfunction” on the Assembly alone and ignores important proposals to reform inefficient or outdated legislative procedures.

The echo-boomers, and just plain echoes
By Andrei Codrescu
Morley Safer from “60 Minutes” sent me a book called “Nine Suitcases” by Bella Zsolt. It’s the memoir of a cafe-going, fun-loving young citizen of Budapest who had a wife and many friends and was a writer. He spent a lot of time in the cafes discussing the ominous signs of the times and having drinks. Then came an unsuccessful revolution and Bella found himself in a Ukrainian prison camp where he worked digging graves into the frozen ground at 20 below zero.
Scoopy's notebook

Letters to the editor


News In Brief
Christodora House bid for more condos

Town hall meeting on former El Bohio

A Chelsea Odyssey

Pundits in the park: How they called the first debate

Planning a new East River
waterfront

Electronics recycling does compute

Bikers may sue over lock clippings

How to help get out the vote, and make sure it counts

Cooper wall paint-bombed

Suddenly, we’ve got a presidential race, at long last

Orange alert: Improvements incoming

People

Picture Story

Horns of plenty of Himalayan art
Last Saturday, the Rubin Museum of Himalayan Art opened in the former Barney’s Men’s Store, at 154-158 W. 17th St., just off Sixth Ave

Animal house of worship
Dogs, cats and other sundry pets were among the creatures blessed at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery’s 12th annual celebration of St. Francis’ Day last Sunday.


Obituary
Margaret Veir, fashion designer, community activist
By Ben Green
Margaret Veir, founding president of the Christopher Street Block Association and active member of the Federation to Preserve the Greenwich Village Waterfront and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, died on Sept. 15 in Los Angeles.

Tribute
Remembering my friend, neighbor and assemblyman
By VICTOR J. PAPA
We will no longer see Louie DeSalvio tip his hat to a passing lady, that noble convention of another age, nor see him off during his weekly treks to St. Andrew’s Church for Sunday Mass. As his next-door neighbor at Southbridge Towers for many years, I will no longer have the privilege to share the elevator with him, a dreaded place to be alone with him, as he either snarled at me for things gone wrong, or on rare occasions smiled when they went his way.

Sports
Sky Rink sets high goals for skaters of all levels
By Judith Stiles
Well into his adult years, Wade Corbett, an accomplished dancer in ballet and jazz, stepped onto the ice at Sky Rink in Manhattan for the first time, to see if he could skate without falling down. He had never tried it. He rented skates on a lark and gave it a whirl, expecting to be just another wobbly novice, inching along the ice. That was eight years ago when Corbett fell in love with ice-skating. He has never left the program at Sky Rink since that day, adapting his skills and talent as a dancer to the world of figure skating.

Bonetti smacks five homers in two Fall Ball games
By Rob Silverstein
The Greenwich Village Blazers Senior girls softball team opened their fall season last Sunday with an exciting 16-15 loss to the North Riverdale All Stars in a game that saw the lead change four times and featured five Blazers homeruns, including three by power hitter Miriama Bonetti. This week the Blazers evened the series by beating North Riverdale 21-16 on two more Bonetti blasts. 

NEWS
Rally to save ‘endangered’ Pei complex
By Lincoln Anderson
Residents of 505 LaGuardia Pl. gathered Sunday to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the groundbreaking for their I.M. Pei-designed building complex and to say it would be jeopardized by an expected New York University development on the site of the Morton Williams supermarket.

Tempers boil over bistro in Union Sq.N. project
By Albert Amateau
The redesign of Union Sq. Park’s north end and plaza attracted nearly 200 neighbors to a Monday forum where the latest plans for the $12 million-$14 million project were subject to sharp questions and skeptical comments.

Cooper building meshes high tech with energy efficiency
By Lincoln Anderson
Cooper Union’s new academic building will be unlike anything New York City has seen before. Designed by Thom Mayne and the firm Morphosis, the nine-story building — on Third Ave. between Sixth and Seventh Sts. — will feature a “vertical campus” and be enclosed by a stainless-steel mesh that will help keep it cool in summer and retain heat in winter.

Villager photo by Jefferson Siegel

‘Maus’ in the house
Soho resident Art Spiegelman signed copies of his new graphic novel, “In the Shadow of No Towers,” recounting his experience during the World Trade Center attack, at the New York Is Book Country fair in Washington Sq. last Saturday. His previous work, “Maus,” on the Holocaust, won a Pulitzer. Book Fair impact.


Onboard the swing vote express
By Ronda Kaysen
Let me set the record straight: I don’t do mornings.
A 6:30 a.m call to my friend Annie offered no hope for an honorable absence.
“The forecast says rain,” I said.
“You save the best stuff for last!” Annie gushed, before adding, “Is my ex-boyfriend coming, too?”

Anti-Lopez committee co-founder arrested for ‘menacing’ former ally
By Lincoln Anderson
Foes of Councilmember Margarita Lopez may not have inflicted any damage on the East Side councilmember’s campaign for borough president yet, but they may be doing so to themselves. A leader of the Committee to Defeat Margarita Lopez 2005 is accusing a former member of recently attacking him with a cane and a switchblade.

Pastor to the city’s immigrants emigrates to assume new post
By Lincoln Anderson
Long associated with Our Lady of Pompei Church in Greenwich Village, Reverend Joseph A. Cogo left the church on Tuesday for his new assigned post in Caracas, Venezuela.

Canal St. shoppers have designs on counterfeit bags
By Mingxia Xu
Crowds of young women streamed into tiny stores along New York’s Canal St. in Chinatown on the hunt.
They all wanted the same thing: copies of trendy and expensive designer bags and other goods by Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton and Coach. Chinese women accosted passersby with black plastic bags full of look-alikes.

Bakery and branch are recipe for success on Avenue C
By Lincoln Anderson
It was a sweet moment for community empowerment last Wednesday morning as the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union and Lower Eastside Girls’ Club opened up a new branch and a new bakery.

Church off Washington Sq. looking to sell and move
By Albert Amateu
Washington Sq. United Methodist Church, long involved in a social action ministry and beset by unrelenting financial problems, is negotiating with potential buyers for the sale of the 144-year-old house of worship a half-block west of Washington Sq.

Mixed reviews as Book Country fair is in the books
By Lincoln Anderson
After all the pre-fair debate, the book can finally now be closed on the New York Is Book Country fair — at least for the first issue.
The book fair, which formerly occurred on Fifth Ave., took place in and around Washington Sq. and in New York University buildings last Saturday and Sunday. In the park it occupied a swath running through the middle of the park, on the east side of the fountain, from north to south.

Council approves bill on Con Ed annual inspections
By Hemmy So
The City Council unanimously approved a bill on Sept. 28 that will require Con Edison and other electric companies to establish guidelines and procedures for the annual inspection and testing of their electrical-related infrastructure. Introduced on Feb. 26 by Councilmembers Margarita Lopez and John Liu, Council bill Intro. 205A came about in response to the death of Jodie Lane in January. Lane was electrocuted after falling onto a charged electric service box on E. 11th St. just west of First Ave.

Two out of three ain’t bad; C.B. 2 nixes some clubs
By Lincoln Anderson
As is often the case, bars and nightclubs — specifically, the granting of liquor licenses — were the hot topic at Community Board 2’s Sept. 23 meeting.

Edgar on Edgar: E. L. Doctorow at the Poe Room
By Keith Crandell
Edgar Allan Poe, that hard-drinking, suicidal 19th-century itinerant poet — a romantic figure to many — was remembered not too fondly by a namesake last Tuesday on the occasion of the dedication of the Poe Room in New York University’s Furman Hall, a law school building standing on the site of a small house where Poe lived and worked more than a century and a half ago.

And a child shall teach us: Soho’s Anne Frank Center
By Bonnie Rosenstock
In this year of landmark commemorations and remembrances — the 100th anniversary of the General Slocum tragedy, the third anniversary of Sept. 11, the 350th anniversary of the arrival of the first 23 Jews to New Amsterdam, to name a few — add one more seminal moment that has had a profound effect on subsequent generations. If she had lived, Anne Frank, the talented teenager who wrote one of the world’s most famous memoirs, would have been 75 years old this past June 12.

Neighbors disagree whether building is a problem
By Nancy Reardon
Tension is on the rise on Morton St. in the Village as a 10-year community dispute has set neighbor against neighbor.

ARTS

Americana Sex Machines
By Jerry Tallmer
Some things you don’t forget. Jean-Claude Van Italie’s “Motel” was one of them. Still is.
It has been 39 years now since, in the “Motel” segment of Van Italie’s “America Hurrah” trilogy, those two gigantic dolls, a male and a female automaton—maneuvered from within by flesh-and-blood actors—began pornographically trashing and then ripping apart not just their rented motel room but the motel-keeper herself, another enormous rotating robot.

C-E-L-E-B-S As If From a Factory
By DREW B. STRAUB
Discussing the work of Sam Taylor-Wood is problematic. So much of the hype surrounding her work––the “young British artist” (YBA) label that links her to others from the “Brit Pack, her marriage to Jay Jopling, the gallery dealer most responsible for bringing this group’s art to the fore, her survival from two cancer bouts and her constant use of celebrities as subjects––makes it inevitable that the discussion of art has more than a dose of fashion and autobiography mixed in as well.

Turning the tide: the truth about Kerry’s swiftboat days
By Jerry Tallmer
Forty years ago, two young guys who had heard about one another through mutual friends came face to face at a college party in Manchester, Massachusetts.
“We shook hands,” Georege Butler recalled recently, “and with that shake of the hands I felt this man was someday going to be president.”
Of the United States, that is. John Kerry was already president of the Yale Political Union.

koch on film
By Ed Koch
“Head in the Clouds” (+) I saw this film the night it opened and there were only ten people in the audience. Many people probably read the same reviews that I did which went from bad to worse. The script was pounded but there was an admiration for the acting and positive references to the sensuality of the movie. I actually enjoyed it.
“Rick” (-) This flick is similar to a “Twilight Zone” television episode intended to chill an audience or a radio chapter designed by Arch Obler. It makes no attempt to develop characters or personalities and, as a result, the acting offers very little in terms of range.

A film that’s ‘hard not to keep thinking about’
By Jerry Tallmer
Jordan Roberts and Christopher Walken sat side-by-side in front of a screen in the Loew’s at 19th Street and Broadway where a startlingly good new film called “Around the Bend” had just been shown to a preview audience.


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