Volume 74, Number 39 | February 2 - 8, 2005

Conflict du jour:
The Union Sq.
pavilion restaurant
By now it’s quite clear that not everyone supports the Union Sq. Partnership’s plan to convert the Union Sq. pavilion into a year-round restaurant. The restaurant is just one feature of a plan for the north end of Union Sq., which also includes improving the park’s playgrounds and resurfacing — and potentially adding some trees to — the north plaza. The restaurant has emerged as the linchpin of the plan, and its most contentious aspect.

Scoopy's notebook

Letters to the editor

Editorial Cartoon

Talking Point
Community is being force fed a pavilion restaurant
By Carol Greitzer
Focus on the infighting at the Union Square Community Coalition board (“Union Sq. board clashes over pavilion plan,” news article, Jan. 19) distracts us from the real issue: should there be a permanent year-round private restaurant in Union Sq. Park? By “private” I mean open only to paying customers, but closed to all other members of the public.

Why illegal immigration is basically legal in America
By Ted Rall
The cold war you never thought about, the one between China and the Soviet Union, had been dead for a decade when I made the trip from what is now called the Kyrgyz Republic to western China in 1999. Although troops no longer massed for possible war at this border, crossing the high-altitude Torugart Pass remained an arduous bureaucratic odyssey. Getting out of Kyrgyzstan required presenting a special exit visa at a dozen checkpoints on the way up to the border outpost.

So close, and yet so far; saving the Far West Village
By Andrew Berman
We used to say, “Time is running out to save the Far West Village.” Now we say, “Time is up;” there’s simply no other way to describe the urgency of the situation facing this endangered neighborhood, and for the need for immediate action by the city to save it.

Penny Post
By Andrei Codrescu
I learned swimming by being thrown into a foaming waterhole over a cliff by a bunch of 10-year old punks, my so-called “friends.” I decided to become a great swimmer after that and spent hours in the water breaking my own records for speed and endurance, a real feat considering that I carried a 50-lb. ball of terror in my gut, and that every time I came up for air I felt like I was being reborn.

Krav Maga: Learning how to kick ’em where it hurts
By Judith Stiles
A few months ago, if Lindsey Wieber was asked to “kick’ em in the groin or chop’ em sideways with a good swift kick to take out the kneecap,” she would have frozen and not known what to do. Today, in the Krav Maga contact combat class at the Sol Goldman Y on 14th St. near First Ave, Lindsey skillfully practices the best way to kick an attacker in the groin, guided by the thoughtful and lively commands of her instructor, Matt Suroff, a Krav Maga expert.

In Pictures

A day in the life of a hawk

‘Idiots’ trash Tompkins Sq.

Shaft! Can you dig it?

Contrasts in Tribeca during the recent blizzard.

"Serving West and East Village, Chelsea, SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the Lower East Side"

Like giant Lego
Resembling an old pier shed, a museum is being built from shipping containers on Pier 54. Ironically, it was containerization — with its space needs for off-loading — that ended New York’s port days. (Villager photo by Talisman Brolin)

Inside the Villager

Actress’s murder sends chill
through a hipster playground

By Amanda Kludt
Although Monday’s arrest of a suspect in the murder of actress Nicole DuFresne, 28, may provide some small relief for those living on the Lower East Side, one wonders what the crime says about the neighborhood and whether or not the popular bar scene will change. While most Lower East Side workers, patrons and residents agree that people will continue to frequent the area, they seem divided over whether or not the murder signals an unnoticed undercurrent of tension in the popular neighborhood.

Closing part of Astor Pl. key part of traffic scheme
By Albert Amateau
The Astor Pl. Task Force last week heard Department of Transportation officials explain the latest version of the city’s plans to reconfigure the converging and accident-prone streets around Cooper Sq.

Hot 97 feels the heat over slur-filled tsunami song
By Lincoln Anderson
Demanding that Hot 97 FM “drop her like she’s not,” about 100 protesters rallied outside the station’s Hudson and Houston Sts. office last Friday, calling for embattled D.J. Miss Jones to be fired for playing the now infamous tsunami song.

Chinese New Year fest to kick off with S.D.R. flower market
By Josie Garthwaite
The ball has dropped, that little black champagne-scented dress cleaned, and 2004 is finally starting to feel like last year. As New York gets into the swing of 2005, the Lunar Year 4703 — the year of the Rooster — is poised to strut from the wings, and Chinatown is prepared to greet it in style.

Fireworks, parade and festival to illuminate Lunar New Year

Philip Johnson, 98, famed architect designed Bobst

Jean Silvano, 84, native Villager, active at Lady of Pompei church

Young Bialystoker rabbi teaches tolerance and passion
By Marvin Greisman
The landmark Bialystoker Synagogue recently celebrated its 125th anniversary at a gala dinner that marked the installation of the young rabbi Zvi David Romm as the leader of the historic congregation.

Asking $13 million for W. 4th St. church

Mayoral hopeful advocates ‘no lies,’ 3-legged tables

Police Blotter

Stealth garbage truck garage on Gansevoort raises a stink
By Albert Amateau
Waterfront watchers and Hudson River Park advocates could hardly believe their eyes last week when they saw the steel superstructure of a two-story building rising on the Gansevoort Peninsula.

Nomadic Museum to camp on pier for three months
By Hemmy So
Work is finishing on a colossal temporary museum, made from 148 shipping containers, on Pier 54 at W. 13th St.

A Noho activist pauses for a moment to reflect
In a rambling checkerboarded apartment in Noho, one complete old floor of a long defunct factory, Keith Crandell said: “Well, they tell me there’s not much they can do for the cancer. I have no pain. I can breathe. People my age who get cancer [he’s 77, and it’s lung cancer] often live a long time.”

Greenwich Village district leader ready to reengage
By Ed Gold
Periodic reports of the political demise of Democratic District Leader Arthur Schwartz have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, Schwartz is alive and well and is ready to reenter the fray. His absence from the local scene was due primarily to personal family considerations, none of which will be discussed here.

Silver Palace or Golden Bridge,
dispute is about jobs and green
By Hemmy So
Amid flying accusations, neighborhood rumors and a recently filed lawsuit, members of the 318 Restaurant Workers Union have determined to gain redress from Golden Bridge Restaurant owner Philip Wu.

Dog run group is tail-waggin’ happy after meeting with Parks
By Lincoln Anderson
Although a few weeks ago it appeared a dogfight was imminent over the Parks Department’s plans for Washington Sq.’s two dog runs under the park’s planned renovation, things are now looking much better, according to the large dog run’s vice president.

Lopez unhappy with her bad report card on environment
By Hemmy So
Councilmember Margarita Lopez’s environmental record in 2004 earned her a flunking grade, according to a prominent local environmental group’s newly released environmental scorecard.

Upcoming meetings in February for Community Boards 2 and 3Upcoming meetings in February for Community Boards 2 and 3

Villager Arts & Lifestyles

Learning to speak music
George Perle, one of this country’s most distinguished 20th century composers, was born May 6, 1915, in Bayonne, New Jersey.

Dozens of Belfast survivors
The Culture Project at 45 Bleecker Street has proved that lightning can strike the same spot twice. Last year, the theater group showcased “Bridge and Tunnel,” featuring Sarah Jones playing multiple New York City roles and tackling prickly issues with humor. The quirky hit was so popular it’s slated for a Broadway transfer this spring.

Longing and loyalty
If you’ve been jonesing for a Bhutanese film, you are in luck: “Travelers & Magicians” is making its U.S. debut.ies at Housing Works.

Koch on film

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