Volume 74, Number 37 | Jan.19 - 25, 2005

Washington Sq. redesign needs a public vetting
After several years of percolating, followed by a year of meetings by a Community Board 2 task force dedicated to the issue, a redesign for Washington Sq. Park will be presented early next month at a meeting of Community Board 2’s Parks Committee.
This page has been a strong supporter of the project to refurbish the park, which has not seen a full-scale renovation since 1970.

Editorial Cartoon

Talking Point
The torture debate and the normalization of horror
By Ted Rall
A new documentary, “Hitler’s Hit Parade,” runs 76 minutes without narration. Comprised entirely of archival footage, the film prompts its reviewers to remark upon Hannah Arendt’s famous observation about the banality of evil. German troops subjugated Europe and shoved millions of people into ovens; German civilians went to the movies, attended concerts and gossiped about their neighbors. People lived mundane, normal lives while their government carried out unspeakable monstrosities.
Sound familiar?

Joel Agee’s trip
\By Andrei Codrescu
They say about the ’60s, “If you remember them you weren’t there,” but that isn’t exactly accurate. What people mean to say is that some of the experiences they had then were indescribable. It is possible, for instance, to remember becoming a cauldron of emotions or a quiver full of thoughts that ended up piercing you in every soft part of your body during an acid trip, or the texture of a day spent yammering with your brilliant pals in a crash pad plastered with psychedelic posters or the bracing feeling of being hit on the head with a nightstick by a mounted policeman at an antiwar demonstration. But it’s impossible to describe those things vividly enough for anyone who wasn’t there.

Scoopy's notebook

Letters to the editor



Glimpses of a subtle fashion subversion in Iran
By Christina Maile
In Iran, when a woman steps outside her house, she has two choices:
She can wear the chador — a long, usually black cloak worn over the head and body, which, covering several layers of clothing, is kept in place by clutching it in one’s hands or holding the loose ends in one’s teeth.

Ball hogs take back seat to balance in girls’ league
By Judith Stiles
Being a ball hog can make a 10-year-old basketball player look like a mini-superstar as he or she dribbles around everyone on the other team, with a few clever fakes before the shot. This type of play wins games for a year or two, that is, until the opposing defenders figure out how to thwart this kind of move.
Welcome to The Villager Online,"Serving West and East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side" SINCE 1933

Divided arts center votes on unifying as last chance
By Sarah Ferguson
It was an unorthodox election in an orthodox setting. On Jan. 11, about 60 artists representing the two rival factions at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural & Educational Center gathered to vote on the latest proposal by Councilmember Alan Gerson to create a new governing structure to unify the embattled Lower East Side arts space.

Cooper plan transparency loss has some seeing red
By Albert Amateau
What Cooper Union is calling a minor modification to plans for its proposed new academic building is for East Village neighbors a major change to design guidelines that they say would diminish the cherished view of the dome of St. George’s Ukrainian Church.

Villager photo by Bob Arihood

Funereal inaugural
Gearing up for J20 — protesters’ code name for Thursday’s presidential inauguration — a group from Theaters Against War, in Union Sq. last Saturday, with skeletons, coffins and mourners, enacted “The Death of Liberties,” decrying what they say is the loss of civil rights because of Bush’s reelection.

Washington Sq. redesign to go public; some think it’s too late
By Lincoln Anderson
As plans for the refurbishment of Washington Sq. Park are set for a public unveiling early next month, The Villager has learned essential details of the project’s design.

Inside the Villager
Arts groups propose center at Seward renewal site
By Ronda Kaysen
A quartet of nonprofit arts organizations has plans to transform a portion of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area into an arts center celebrating New York City’s immigrant and ethnic history, despite the city’s recent move to abandon its renewal plans for the area.

Historic Village blood lab’s days draw to a close
By Jefferson Siegel
Another longtime Village business is leaving the area, but this departure doesn’t involve bagels, books or clothes. In fact, chances are most locals have never set foot inside the Bendiner and Schlesinger medical buildings on the northeast corner of 10th St. and Third Ave.

Two squatters reported injured by car on Avenue A
By Lincoln Anderson
A couple of well-known squatters were reportedly hit by a driver in the East Village last Wednesday evening, injuring both and leaving one in critical condition. According to John Penley, an acquaintance of both, Michael Shenker and the artist known as Fly were crossing Avenue A when a car came barreling into them from around the corner.

In Little Italy, high rents replace handshake dealsBy Amanda Kludt
In what many residents and business owners see as a great loss to the community, some of Little Italy’s oldest restaurants and shops on Mulberry St. are closing their doors or changing owners. Paolucci’s restaurant, established in 1947, went out of business last Friday, and E. Rossi & Co., an Italian gift shop located on the corner of Mulberry and Grand Sts. since 1936, will be relocating on Jan. 31. Two other businesses, The Big Cigar Company and Little Italy Gift Shop, will be closing, and the restaurant Luna is rumored to be changing owners.

Union Sq. board members clash over pavilion plan
By Albert Amateau
The bitter controversy over plans to convert the pavilion at the north end of Union Sq. Park into a privately operated year-round restaurant as part of a redesign of the park’s north end has deeply divided the governing board of a 25-year-old neighborhood organization.

Chocolatier changes locations, but quality’s constant
By Amanda Kludt
Li-Lac Chocolates, one of Greenwich Village’s oldest chocolate shops, will reopen at its new location on 40 Eighth Ave. on the morning of Jan. 12. Owner Martha Bond decided to move from the old location on 120 Christopher St., where the store has been since its founding in 1923, because of rising rent costs.

Washington Irving removed from dangerous schools list
By Hemmy So
Washington Irving High School has just shed its “impact school” label thanks to major decreases in crime and disorder over the past year. Deemed one of the most violent schools in New York City in 2003, it was among 16 designated “impact schools” as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s School Safety Initiative launched last January. After a year of increased security, rigorous discipline, code enforcement and changes in school conditions, Washington Irving and four other schools will transition out of impact school status.

Play looks at first of the high school rampages
By Jerry Tallmer
They asked me what I thought that day. What TV shows did I watch? Did I read about Vietnam? Did I listen to rock music? They wanted to know what I saw when I pulled the trigger. I told them: Roses. They opened up like roses . . .

The window on the ring

By Jerry Tallmer
This is an artist’s studio with a difference. It is also a boxing ring.
“There were two fights,” said the artist. “The first one in Miami, the second one up in Maine. The first one had red ropes. The second one had blue ropes. It just happened that way.”

Monthly folk concert evokes intimacy and another era
By Aileen Torres
A sense of intimacy is what Alan Light, the curator of “Live From Home,” originally had in mind for the monthly acoustic music series at Housing Works.

koch on film
By Ed Koch
“Ray” (+) I am so pleased that I finally saw this film about Ray Charles which was released several months ago.  The story is inspirational and the acting superb.
“The Incredibles” (+) I had resisted attempts by others to get me to see this movie.   In my younger days, I enjoyed the cartoon that accompanied a film, but I have never wanted to see an animated film as the feature presentation.  To my horror, however, only three new films opened this week all of which appeared to be duds.  So I decided to see “The Incredibles,” a full-length, totally animated creation, since it had received a number of extraordinary reviews from critics I respect.  

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