"Serving West and East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side" SINCE 1933
Volume 74, Number 31 | December 08 - 14, 2004

Inside
Editorial
E. 9th developer must show us the dorm tenants
A group of more than 100 East Villagers gathered on City Hall’s steps in Tuesday morning’s dreary weather to call on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to show some generous holiday spirit and return the former P.S. 64 building to the neighborhood as a community center for art, education, training and more.

Editorial Cartoon

Talking Point
Ukraine election not so foreign; can we learn from it?
By Matt Ruskin
It does not come as a surprise that the mainstream media, which has failed to adequately cover the systemic problems and malfeasance that occurred in our own elections, has avoided drawing a connection to this month’s contested presidential election in Ukraine. In addition to the troubling similarities, there is an even more astonishing difference — the response of the people.

Notebook
The Wild One: Devil on a red, collapsible bicycle
By Wilson
Before moving to N.Y.C., I used to ride my bike all the time, but gave it up when I moved into a sixth-floor walkup in the East Village. I’d heard too many horror stories about people getting their bikes stolen. There was no such thing as a bike lane, and organizations like Transportation Alternatives and Critical Mass didn’t exist. Practically every aspect about biking here was dangerous (people didn’t wear helmets then), and just seemed wrong. I mean, this was the Big Apple, not Amsterdam. It didn’t take long for me to develop a dislike for this city’s bike riders either (messengers, food delivery guys, those maniacs in fancy bike outfits in Central Park who think they’re in the Tour de France).

Thanksgiving à la Provençal had the right ingredients
By Patricia Fieldsteel
NYONS, FRANCE. Thanksgiving arrived here last week on the Rue Balzac. I had placed my order for a large fresh turkey a month ago with Caty, the poultry and egg lady at the Thursday Nyons market. Her turkeys are by far the best. Since the French do not eat whole turkeys (except in some regions at Christmas), they are not readily available and are pricier than the finest aged filet mignon or Porterhouse steak in the U.S.

Books
MacArthur-winning professor/columnist ‘opens house’
By Ed Gold
She was trying to put an ink cartridge into her printer when the phone rang. She picked it up with her inky hands and the voice on the other end gave her the good news.

Scoopy's notebook

Letters to the editor

Scene


Obituary
Antonetta Polsinelli, 72, ran Bleecker grocery
Antonetta Polsinelli, an immigrant from Italy who ran a greengrocery shop in the 1960s in the Village with her late husband, died on Dec. 1 in a Glen Cove, L.I., hospital at the age of 72.

Picture Story

Tis the season to light trees

Sports
Kids go from guppies to dolphins in Y swim program
By Judith Stiles
When Sandra Owczarski was a child nobody taught her how to swim and she describes this somewhat wistfully, as she tucks her hair into a purple swim cap, while sitting on the bench by the McBurney YMCA pool. However, determination quickly opens up a big smile on her face as she jumps up and declares her daughter will learn to swim at a young age, and certainly she is not going to wait until she can walk and talk to take the plunge.

YMCA completes $50 million capital campaign

NEWS
Will Mike rewrite end of ‘Grinch Who Stole CHARAS’?
By Lincoln Anderson
Calling on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to give in the spirit of the holiday season and return the old P.S. 64 school building to its former use as a community center, more than 100 East Villagers rallied and sang Christmas carols Loisaida style on the City Hall steps in a chilly drizzle Tuesday morning.

Parking in Soho is a no-go
By Ronda Kaysen
Even a hammering of cold December rain couldn’t keep these New Yorkers from lining up at 12 p.m. on Monday, and it had nothing to do with holiday shopping. They were hungering for a prized piece of Soho real estate: a free parking spot.

Before Jeffrey and Stella, there was The Leather Guy
By Louise A. Smith
For 21 years, William “Willie” Aube Myers has been setting up his display table outside his apartment on W. 14th St., attempting to “stimulate the imaginations” of passersby and tempt them to take a chance on revealing some flesh in one of his handmade pony-skin bikinis or deerskin halters. In a neighborhood now newly populated with fashion names like Stella McCartney and Catherine Malandrino and Jeffrey, one constant continues to be Myers.

Villager photo by Elisabeth Robert

Clinton at N.Y.U. says climate on emissions must be changed
By Ed Gold
Speaking as if he were in the middle of an important campaign, former President Bill Clinton told an enthusiastic audience in Greenwich Village on Monday that the struggle against greenhouse gases that endanger the environment “is everyone’s business,” and that no one had a right to stand on the sidelines.


INSIDE THE VILLAGER

Preservationist on warpath over Astor Pl. demap plan
By Albert Amateau
While the Astor Place Task Force ponders the pros and cons of the city Department of Transportation’s proposal to close a part of Astor Pl. to auto traffic and make it a pedestrian way, Christabel Gough, a task force member and preservationist, went to the history books to make her point.

New conservancy raises big funds for a small park at end of Canal St.
By Divya Watal
Now that the triangular area between Canal St. and the West Side Highway is well on its way to becoming a park, community members who fought for its revival have a new mission: to raise money for its maintenance.

Arts groups brainstorm to increase buzz and bucks
By Lincoln Anderson
A retrospective of the East Village arts scene of the 1980s is opening this week at the New Museum in Chelsea. Yet, while the East Village of 20 years ago was the virtual center of the art and gallery world, those days — like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, two of the ’80s scene’s stars — have passed.

Chelsea club’s name changes, but problems don’t
By Albert Amateau
After doing business as Mumbai for two troublesome years, the club at 250 W. 26th St. changed its name to The City two weeks ago and was granted a renewal of its liquor license last week, but nearby residents are still saying the club is a bad neighbor.


ARTS
Retrospective on Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
By Jerry Tallmer
“My premise: All artists steal, but if you know you’re stealing, you try to disguise it. If you don’t know you’re stealing, you’re just a second-rate imitator.”
— Ned Rorem, whose most recent diary (Da Capo Press, 2002) is titled “Lies.”

FOOD
Homemade pizza with a Neapolitan flare
By Frank Angelino
It took five days to cure the rustic pizza oven at the newly-opened L’Asso in Little Italy. On each of those days, executive chef Salvatore Olivella, patiently rubbed the interior stone of the pizza oven with olive oil until it darkened to a burnt umber color. Only then, was the large, curved stone oven ready.

Visiting the Met with baby
By Kaitlen Jay Exum
There is good news for new parents: life with a baby doesn’t have to mean only diapers and sleepless nights. It can include cultural activities, according to Molly Snyder and Dara Rosenberg, the dynamic duo behind Metropolitan Moms aimed at getting new parents out of the house and into galleries, museums, and restaurants both with and without their children.

Discovering a bond with a grandfather long gone
By Leonard Quart
When my mother died in 2001, I began to search for pieces of the family past that I had long left untouched. Her death propelled me to rediscover my grandfather, Rabbi Israel Quart, who died when I was only three-years-old. I faintly remember my father once taking me to watch him presiding over Sabbath service in an impoverished, claustrophobic South Bronx synagogue, whose congregation consisted of a group of immigrant garment workers, furriers, and shopkeepers.

koch on film
By Ed Koch
“The Machinist” (-) From a technical point of view, this movie may accurately be described as a tour de force by the principal actor, Christian Bale.
“You I Love” (-) This is a Russian film with a gay theme. It depicts a heterosexual relationship, then a homosexual one, and then the parties become a threesome.


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