"Serving West and East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side" SINCE 1933
Volume 74, Number 32 | December 15 - 21, 2004

Inside
Editorial
Far West Village needs protection, now
Although it’s a relief to hear that the proposal to designate a 14-block section of the Far West Village as a new historic district is gaining speed, things are still not moving fast enough to counter development forces at work.

Think globally, shop locally
Despite the urgings of certain local performance artist preachers to “stop shopping” and the resolution of one of this newspaper’s columnists to have a noncommercial Christmas, many of us will soon be foraging out to buy presents for friends and loved ones or even just “secret Santas” or “Chanukah Harrys” for office co-workers.

Editorial Cartoon

Talking Point
What day IS it anyway? Forgetting can be dangerous
By Tim Gay
Dec. 1, 2004. The New York Times’ Page 1 stories ranged from the demolition of Fallujah to the court-recommended annual $5.6 billion increase for New York City’s public schools.
Caroline Kennedy’s planned garage sale made the front page, with full-color photos of Jackie O’s horse’s matching luggage set.

Notebook
Thinking back to another December, and another war
By Jerry Tallmer
We had put out three papers, maybe four papers, in two days — two regular editions of The Dartmouth and one or two extras — and now, early on the morning of Tuesday, December 9, 1941, Babe Fanelli and I sat hollowed out over two cups of scalding, bitter black coffee in the Hanover Inn Coffee Shop.

The incredible lightness of being without consuming
By Wickham Boyle
Most cultures celebrate the darkest time of the year with festivals of light: The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, is upon us and so is the entrenched holiday shopping season. The Christians, Jews and Druids are the three cultures whose festivals come immediately to mind. There are elaborate celebrations with candles, twinkling lights and enormous trees dragged inside and decorated; all of this hearkens that we make it through the dark time and reemerge safely into light.

Scoopy's notebook

Letters to the editor

Scene


Picture Story

Funeral of a freedom fighter — or terrorist?
Photographer Q. Sakamaki of the East Village was in the West Bank last month to cover the funeral of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.


Sports
A stitch in time: Pier 40 field is coming together
By Judith Stiles
It is too late in the season to plant more grass or spruce up the local soccer field south of Stuyvesant High School. This baseball and soccer field adjacent to P.S. 89 is a muddy mess and has been closed and locked up since Thanksgiving. At this time of year, at Highbury Stadium on the famous grass soccer pitch in north London you might see a few lads run onto the field at halftime with pitchforks for field maintenance, stabbing into the grass hither and thither for the purpose of aerating the field.

NEWS
Preaching evils of bars, reverend is in running
By Lincoln Anderson
Two more candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the race for City Council District 2, the seat currently held by Margarita Lopez, who will be forced out of the Council after 2005 because of term limits.

It’s ‘11th hour’ now for the Far West Village
By Albert Amateau
More than 250 people turned up on a rainy night last week for the second meeting this year on what a coalition of preservation groups fear is the imminent over-development of the Far West Village.

Police and bikers take stand in Critical Mass case
By Lincoln Anderson
Top police brass and determined bicyclists testified last Wednesday in the ongoing federal trial on whether the monthly Critical Mass bike rides in Manhattan need a permit.

Villager photo by Anna Sawaryn

Ukrainian women sold $2 orange “cashmere” shawls at a flea market last Sunday at St. George’s School on E. Sixth St.

East Village goes orange, as Ukrainians show colors
By Justin Rocket Silverman
The line at the Self Reliance Federal Credit Union in the East Village has been a little longer than usual lately, as residents of all five boroughs come in to deposit money — in someone else’s account.


Inside the Villager
East Village is ranked second-best neighborhood
By Divya Watal
New York City’s East Village is the second-best neighborhood in North America, after Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada, according to a New York-based nonprofit organization.

Storefront radio streams on after F.C.C. clampdown
By David Katz
Walk south on the west side of First Ave. towards Houston St., and you are sure to notice a different kind of storefront: a functioning radio station, exposed to the street, where one can watch D.J.’s spinning records or conducting live interviews, much the same way one used to watch Krispy Kreme donuts being churned out on 23rd St. or pie jockeys levitating dough through the windows of sundry pizzerias.

Yo! Show dusts off East Village ’80s wild-style art
By Jerry Tallmer
It was when Dan Cameron, not long ago, was conducting a slide lecture in the MFA program at Columbia University — a lecture on the East Village artists of the 1980s — that he found he seemed to be talking about another country, “some generic Elsewhere, where the names Haring and Scharf and Basquiat were complete mysteries to these students.”

Working on the railroad: Design forum on High Line lights, seats
By Albert Amateau
The High Line design team last week presented its latest ideas for lighting, seating and public access for the proposed 1.5-mile elevated park to be built on the derelict railroad viaduct between the Gansevoort Market and the Javits Convention Center.

Some in Soho think it’s time for a more modern look
By Ronda Kaysen
A developer’s plan to transform a vacant lot in Soho into a modernist residential building — the first of its kind under the neighborhood’s new zoning rules — has evoked a mixture of enthusiasm and trepidation from community members and a critical response from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Union Sq. pavilion bistro keeps getting poor reviews
By Albert Amateau
Union Sq. Community Coalition members met on Dec. 7 to look at the latest version of the redesign of the north end of Union Sq. Park and took the opportunity to reaffirm their fervent opposition to a permanent year-round restaurant in the pavilion.

At home hanging with the hipsters, just twice a week
By Lincoln Anderson
At first glance, the slight old man with neatly combed white hair at the end of the bar might look out of place among the young revelers at Vazacs Horseshoe Bar. But this is his place.

Vintage shop is activists’ latest local improvement
By Vicki Cameron
A photo stylist lingers over a daunting array of vintage rhinestone jewelry before finally selecting numerous pieces. She then rifles through racks of clothing until finding her prize: a hot-pink, gem-studded evening gown epitomizing 1930s chic.

Lafayette St. record label offers a whole world of music
By Tyler Pray
Dan Storper travels the world looking for good music. He has always been interested in other cultures, and in business. Inspired by his travels throughout Latin America, he founded Putumayo clothing stores in 1975, which he sold in 1997 after founding the Putumayo World Music record label four years earlier.


ARTS
Once-austere director’s love story
By Steve Erickson
Halfway through “Dolls,” a pop singer performs an ode to the transforming power of love. While her words are banal, they speak for the film itself.
Drawing from Japan’s tradition of Bunraku puppet theater, it’s filled with a swooning romanticism. In Western culture, this sensibility is long out of fashion, perhaps because AIDS has made the connection between love and death all too literal.

Trying Lord Byron for murder
By Tyler Pray
Brilliant British wit, introspective drama and sultry romance fuse into the present day discovery of an intriguing two-century forgotten murder mystery that deliciously ponders the interaction between science and poetry in Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” now playing at Manhattan Theatre Source. The Invisible City Theater Company’s production fits perfectly with the play’s humorous yet cerebral sensibilities.

Bastardized classic in a nut shell
By Brian MCCormick
Few people go directly from thumb sucking to the opera house, but there are always exceptions. David Parker’s first gained notoriety with the piece “Bang and Suck,” so maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised. The erudite choreographer uses tap, ballet, modern dance and the language of Hollywood musicals to craft his witty works, and recently acknowledged, “Twyla showed me I could keep my vocabulary and still do what I wanted.”

Actor in Gibson’s ‘Passion’ brings new work to La Mama
By Jerry Tallmer
The surgeon who scrubs his hands, dons a gauze mask, and operates to carve the insanity out of the brain of Jesus Christ — this via video screen off-off-Broadway at Ellen Stewart’s La MaMa, while Satan, on stage, giggles in triumph — is the same man who as a hard-faced Roman soldier lashes the Christ so brutally, so mercilessly, on screens of another sort viewed by millions around the world.

koch on film
By Ed Koch
Alexander (-)
Most of the critics referred to this movie as a turkey, but believe me, this turkey can’t even walk let alone fly. Poor Alexander. He was mugged by Oliver Stone.

FOOD

Enticing Northern Italian eatery opens on Carmine St.
By Frank Angelino
Trattoria Oreste is a comfortable, new eatery on the western end of Carmine Street in the Village. Its owner, Enzo Bevilacqua, a native of Genoa Italy, has operated Marinella, an Italian bistro, across the street for many years.  Trattoria Oreste’s head chef is Ramon Abreu who, two decades ago as opening chef of Cent Anni another popular Carmine Street place, fashioned a satisfying brand of Northern Italian cooking there.


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