Volume 74, Number 36 | Jan.12 - 18, 2005

More affordable housing, and no stadium linkge
The Hudson Yards rezoning approved by the City Council’s Land-Use Committee on Monday represents definite improvements in its provisions for affordable housing and, significantly, severs links between the West Side’s redevelopment and the contentious, proposed West Side stadium that would be future home to the football Jets and potentially the 2012 Olympics.

Editorial Cartoon

Talking Point
Forbidden writers
By Andrei Codrescu
Early in 2004, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control created panic among publishers by advising them that they might face legal action if they worked with any authors from countries under economic sanctions. That would have included an Iranian Nobel prizewinner and writers from Cuba and Sudan.

Philadelphia: What goes around comes around, finally
By Jerry Tallmer
The ring of that telephone at the New York Post 41 years ago is a long way from the front page of last Friday’s New York Times, but not so far that I don’t hear it all over again. “Hey, man,” said Rip Torn over the phone, “whatever you’re doing at the newspaper, forget it. Jimmy Baldwin wants to see you. Right now. He’s up in an apartment, alone, on 57th Street. I’ll come and get you in a taxi.”

Scoopy's notebook

Letters to the editor


Base art
A stencil graffiti image, apparently of late wrestler Andre the Giant, adorns the base of a lamppost on Seventh Ave. S. near Morton St. Why graffiti with stencils? Because it hadn’t been done before.

They got game: Girls’ soccer in the city is growing
By Judith Stiles
“Playing soccer all year long? It’s a lot better than hanging out at the mini mart every Friday like her older sister does,” lamented a soccer mom, who dutifully stood on the sidelines, watching her daughter learn some fast footwork and feinting from Coach Clive Stultz of the Downtown United Soccer Club. “Yeah, I wish I was at the movies right now, but this is worth it. Hopefully my second daughter will stick with soccer,” she added.
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The Council changes up call on West Side planning
By Albert Amateau
The Hudson Yards redevelopment plan received approval from the City Council Land-Use Committee on Monday with provisions to encourage creation of 3,500 affordable apartments and language that will make it a little harder for Mayor Bloomberg to fund the proposed New York Sports and Convention Center stadium.

Pier 40 field of dreams now real, P3 president steps down
By Lincoln Anderson
Saying it’s “mission accomplished” for the Pier 40 sports fields, Tobi Bergman on Tuesday told The Villager he has resigned as president of Pier Park and Playground Association, or P3, the group created in 1996 to advocate for more youth sports fields in Greenwich Village.

Photo by Spencer T. Tucker

Commissioner is looking chipper
Showing he’s a hands-on Parks Department commissioner, Adrian Benepe fed an old Christmas tree into a wood chipper at Tompkins Sq. Park last Saturday during MulchFest. Thousands of people participated in the ninth annual Parks Department-sponsored event, which also occurred at Washington Sq. Park and Union Sq. Park, at which old Christmas trees are turned into mulch for city parks and tree pits. People are allowed to take a portion of the mulch home to use in their window boxes and tree pits on their street.

Planning, not to hail the chief, but to rail against him
By Jefferson Siegel
Various local groups are methodically planning a series of protests in Washington and New York around the Bush inauguration. On Thurs., Jan. 6, in Greenwich Village, in a small room at the Judson Memorial Church on Washington Sq. S., some 50 organizers and interested participants sat in a circle to discuss events that are in the final planning stages for Jan. 20.

Inside the Villager
Barrow ice cream shop scoops in for Sri Lanka relief
By Jefferson Siegel
With the tsunami relief effort kicking into high gear, one Village businesswoman is making a special effort to help. Padma Edirisinghe, owner of the Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop at 33 Barrow St. at Seventh Ave., started collecting donations of food, clothing and money at the beginning of January. Her scoop shop now has a large box by the door for local residents to place their contributions.

Stewart feels confident as jury is set to deliberate
By Mary Reinholz
Last fall, after federal prosecutors played a videotape of Osama bin Laden and attempted to link one of her Arabic co-defendants with the 9/11 mastermind, radical Downtown lawyer Lynne Stewart admitted to a reporter that she was worried about the outcome of her trial on charges of materially aiding international Islamic terrorism.

Electronics recycling program makes a connection
By Jefferson Siegel
In the middle of January, some environmentally friendly spring-cleaning was taking place in Union Sq. on Sunday. The Lower East Side Ecology Center set up shop at the northwest corner of the park to collect used, unwanted electronic equipment for recycling.

Stones play in Noho to rave reviews
By Amanda Kludt
To the relief of any high-heel-wearing or baby-carriage-pushing New Yorker walking in the Village, the broken and hazardous cobblestones on Bond St. will soon be repaired.

Duarte Sq. renovation gets thumbs up from committee
By Albert Amateau
The new design for Duarte Sq., the brick-paved triangle on the north side of Canal St. at Sixth Ave., which calls for keeping the statue of Juan Pablo Duarte in the middle of the triangle near its present position, won a vote of approval last week from the Community Board 2 Parks Committee.

A night at the opera in Chelsea becomes a reality
By Albert Amateau
A new grand opera company came onto the scene in Chelsea last spring through the determined efforts of two accomplished singers.

Chalfant performs work of banned Soviet poet
By Jerry Tallmer
Politicians never know what to do with poets, and dictators certainly don’t, except to exile them, jail them, ban them, stifle them, starve them, or kill them. Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) was too hot, too famous, for Stalin to kill, but he did his best throughout most of his life, and hers, to suppress her works, imprison or slaughter those closest to her, and freeze Akhmatova herself into a non-person.

History and healing
By Christopher Byrne
In its lyricism and narrative structure, reminiscent of the metaphorical “magical realism” of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, “Gem of the Ocean,” August Wilson’s latest play, is the story of an African-American community less than 40 years following the Civil War. It is a timeless, and intrinsically American, story of human survival, religious faith and the intrusiveness of technological change.

Going global in the new year
By Jason Victor Serinus
As we begin another increasingly globally-interconnected year, world music continues to offer a greater variety of refreshing sounds. The following CDs are this critic’s menu for some of the most interesting offerings, even with some imperfections, for 2005.

koch on film
By Ed Koch
“The Woodsman” (+)
This film is not as good as I had hoped it would be; nevertheless, it is worth seeing.
Walter (Kevin Bacon) has just been released from a 12-year prison sentence for a pedophile conviction, having had sex with two adolescent girls. At work he meets Vickie (Kyra Sedgwick) and the two begin an affair. (Off screen, Sedgwick is Bacon’s actual wife and the mother of his two children). Walter is outed at work by a coworker who is angry that he has spurned her advances.
“Fear and Trembling” (-) This Japanese-language film is boring, and the subtitles are flashed so quickly on the screen that it is difficult to read them.

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