Volume 74, Number 35
January 05 - 11, 2005

Seward Park inertia is getting us nowhere
A little under a year ago, the city unveiled a new plan for the long-dormant, remaining Seward Park Urban Renewal Area sites just south of the Williamsburg Bridge. This plan called for building a mix of 400,000 sq. ft. of affordable housing and 400,000 sq. ft. of commercial space.

Editorial Cartoon

Talking Point
Simple arithmetic
By Jerry Tallmer
It’s a matter of simple arithmetic.
First, George W. Bush said nothing for three days, from his vacation retreat in Crawford, Texas, while the count of those swallowed by the water rose up toward 100,000 and beyond. But that was not too startling. It had, after all, taken him three days to get to Ground Zero and become a hero (a reelectable hero) three-going-on-four years ago.

I see a contentious board meeting…’ Predictions 2005
By Ed Gold
It’s that time of year again! We’re looking into our crystal ball to see how some of the more active people in our neighborhood may fare in the coming year. These include current and former politicians and candidates, members of Community Board 2 and political clubs, university presidents and officials and community activists.

Scoopy's notebook

Letters to the editor


Picture Story

Reflections on the waterfront
While the new Richard Meier-designed apartment towers between Perry and Charles Sts. are frequently perceived as inappropriately large and non-contextual, Westbeth artist Toni Dalton, who has watched the stages of their construction, also sees something interesting in them.

A. J. Richard, 95, of P. C. Richard
A. J. Richard, board chairman and a founder of P. C. Richard & Son, the appliance and electronics retail chain, died Dec. 28 at the age of 95. He was the son of P. C. Richard, who opened a hardware store in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, in 1909.

Art, exercise and humor; what does a body good
By Judith Stiles
If you put away your champagne glasses and party hats because you think you are done celebrating the New Year, think again, because the gala Japanese New Year’s Fair is coming up at the 14th Street Y, at 344 E. 14th St., on Sun., Jan.16.

Gansevoort recycling plan comes around again
By Albert Amateau
For the second time since last September, Villagers met this week to hear more about the Department of Sanitation proposal to build a marine transfer station for recyclable waste as part of the future conversion of the Gansevoort Peninsula into a section of the Hudson River Park.

History buff discovers a forgotten PATH exit
By Albert Amateau
A Village resident opposed to the Port Authority’s controversial plan to build new entrance/exits to two PATH stations in Greenwich Village has found evidence in the historic records to back up her opinion.

Rolling into ’05
A Critical Mass rider, relieved at not having been arrested during last Friday’s New Year’s Eve bicycle event through Manhattan, held a sparkler afterwards at Union Sq. Police made only one arrest.<more>

Surviving the tsunami; helping out the survivors
By Ronda Kaysen
At first he thought something was wrong with the hotel’s plumbing. Michael Lyons, 38, who was vacationing in Phuket, Thailand, heard someone outside shout, “Hurry, hurry, hurry!” as they dashed up the hill alongside his room. Confused, he looked down at the hotel cafe he had eaten at a few moments earlier to see it completely submerged in water.

Inside the Villager
Susan Sontag, 71, critic who was fiercely independent
By Chris Schmidt
Susan Sontag died of leukemia on Tues., Dec. 28, at the age of 71.
With her dies the era of the glamorous public intellectual — and perhaps even the idea of New York as the center of modern literary intelligence.

Readings and art to start the New Year at St. Mark’s
By Jefferson Siegel
On New Year’s Day, while some people were in bars watching football games, home nursing hangovers or watching another “Twilight Zone” marathon, one of the most captivating literary and artistic events of the year was unfolding over the course of the day and night at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery in the East Village.

Greenmarket shrinks to a hardy core in winter months
By S.T. VanAirsdale
On a recent Wednesday, Alex Paffenroth stood in front of his propane heater and watched the evening looming over his produce stand at the Union Sq. Greenmarket. He had left his farm in Warwick that morning at 5 a.m., and 12 windblown hours later, he was ready to call it a day.

Tisches give millions for park; lights give arch new dazzle
By Albert Amateau
The Campaign for Washington Sq. Park’s quest for $16 million for the renovation of Greenwich Village’s landmark park made a significant advance last week with the announcement of a $2.5 million donation by the families of Lawrence A. and Preston R. Tisch.

Celebrating New Year’s with bikes, and only 1 arrest
By Lincoln Anderson
Apparently the police had more on their minds than the Critical Mass bike ride on New Year’s Eve, because they didn’t do much to try to stop it, ending up making only one arrest.

Crosstown bus and Chinatown street changes proposed
By Josh Rogers
Some in Chinatown are hoping they may be turning a corner on the traffic and congestion problems that have plagued the neighborhood for decades now that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has released a new study endorsing many of the solutions long favored by residents of Chinatown and the Lower East Side.

The art of seduction
By Jerry Tallmer
It is a cartoon Jew out of Julius Streicher’s ferociously anti-Semitic newspaper, Der Sturmer, only this is an animated cartoon, or a brief fragment of one – a hook-nosed, humpbacked caricature Jew clumping into some dark, conspiratorial woods as the sound track bizarrely supplements that image with the patched-in lyric of a soupy, sentimental German song of that era: “A star that has fallen from heaven, straight into the human heart . . . ”

On the Edge
By Gregory Montreuil
Robert Ryman uses a systematic approach that yields instinctual results. In the exhibition NAME at Pace Wildenstein in Chelsea, the self-taught artist continues his long-term exploration of white paint, scale, support and composition. Ryman is now tackling integration, working ”to incorporate white and the dark ground as one”, according to the exhibition’s artist statement.

Diary of a mad salesman
By David Kennerley
Exactly 30 years ago, Samuel Byck, a misguided malcontent dressed as Santa Claus, picketed the White House lawn and protested the scabrous policies of the Nixon administration. But Byck didn’t stop there.

koch on film
By Ed Koch
Phantom of the Opera (-) This is one of the most tedious films I’ve sat through in a dozen years. It was Christmas Eve. My annual visit to St.Patrick’s Cathedral would bring me there at 11 p.m.to hear the great Christmas music played in the hour preceding the commencement of Midnight Mass which I have attended at least 35 times and hopefully will attend 10 more before my creator calls me home.
The Aviator (+) A superb movie. Brilliantly conceived and directed by Martin Scorsese. The plot, which covers the life of Howard Hughes from the twenties to the forties, makes you feel you know this man, who was surely a genius and at the same time doomed to intermittent bouts with madness.

A sound that pops, and more
By Winnie MCCroy
These days, blonde bombshell Gwen Stefani is a girl caught between two worlds, balancing collaborations with artists like Dr. Dre, Andre 3000 and Jimmy Jam with her appearance in Martin Scorsese’s Howard Hughes biopic “The Aviator” playing Jean Harlow.

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