Volume 74, Number 45 |
March 16 - 22, 2005


Inside
Editorial
A new approach is needed for Pier 40
A new marketing study for Pier 40 seems to cover some of the same ground from the pier’s failed development process in 2003. Under the Hudson River Park Act, space equivalent to half the footprint of the 14-acre pier at the end of W. Houston St., must be left for public recreational use. Following the Hudson River Park Trust’s failure to pick any of the developers from the last process, an interim artificial-surface sports field was built in the pier’s courtyard and should open this spring.

Notebook
My son the musketeer; how I learned to love fencing
By Michele Herman
When our younger son was 8 and had a head full of Robin Hood and Lancelot, he asked for fencing lessons for Christmas. We said, Are you sure?, hoping he wasn’t. We had managed to avoid kids’ organized sports until then, and were in no hurry to sign away our weekends for swashbuckling school. But if it had been a movie, at this moment the orchestra would have struck up a theme brimming with conviction, and he would have looked us in the eye and said: “Mom. Dad. I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.”

In Birmingham, waiting to exhale
By Andrei Codrescu
There may be nothing more eerie than a chiming ice cream truck on a Saturday morning in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Not a soul on the street, except for a homeless man in the distance leaning against the freshly scraped facade of an old building with empty storefront windows. The life that once agitated here must have been etherized or buried below the sidewalks

SCENE
Shoppers at the Chelsea Market.
Villager photo (above) by Milo Hess

Scoopy's Notebook

Letters to the editor

Editorial Cartoon

News in briefs
Whole Foods Market opens store in Union Sq.

P.S. 20’s on the move

Ratner’s, R.I.P.

Police blotter

Scene

Sports

Villager taking his shot in Canadian hockey league
By Judith Stiles
When hockey phenom Danny Genovese comes back home to Greenwich Village all the way from Vancouver, British Columbia, the first thing he does is stop at Joe’s Pizza on Carmine St. to grab a slice.

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

NEWS
Not tar beach, but a real one, is part of East River plans
By Ronda Kaysen
After half a century of floating plans for the East River waterfront, it looks like the Bloomberg administration may have finally sunk anchor with Community Boards 1 and 3. The Department of City Planning unveiled detailed plans to redevelop the waterfront at two recent community board meetings, to the delight of many board members. The designs include a refurbished esplanade, grass areas, glass-enclosed pavilion spaces for retail, rehearsals, performances and meetings — and even a sandy beach on the Lower East Side.

Peter’s pear tree plaque is going home at long last
By Bonnie Rosenstock
Forty-six years after the plaque commemorating the site of Peter Stuyvesant’s befallen pear tree was repositioned on the northeast corner of Third Ave. and E. 10th St., said plaque will be going home to its rightful owner and original site at the northeast corner of Third Ave. and E. 13th St.

Extra helping of political stumping at V.I.D. forum
By Ed Gold
An unequivocal position against the death penalty helped Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau score points against a serious opponent, Leslie Crocker Snyder, a former Criminal Court judge, at a candidates’ forum sponsored by Village Independent Democrats last Thursday at St. Luke in the Field School in the West Village.
Villager photo by Bob Arihood

Massive cranes with lights lit up the area around Tompkins Sq. Park for “RENT.”
‘RENT’ returns to East Village to mixed reviews
By Lincoln Anderson
“RENT,” the award-winning musical about East Village squatters, came home to the neighborhood that was its inspiration for a week of filming for a new movie version. By most accounts, it was one of the most massive film shoots seen in the area in recent memory. Towering cranes with blazing lights illuminated entire building facades at night and residents reported more streets than usual for film shoots being closed off.


Inside the Villager
More than 500 apartments vacant in Vladeck Houses
By Amanda Kludt
Vladeck Houses, a 24-building public housing development on the Lower East Side, has 518 vacant apartments — the most vacancies of any development in the city — even as there are 136,944 people on the waiting list for New York City public housing. The issue of vacancies in public housing was made public by a recent report by Assemblymember Scott Stringer. He criticized the New York City Housing Authority for delayed construction projects among other failings that have led to 4,831 vacancies citywide. NYCHA has said the vacancies are a necessary part of major renovations.

Kids’ concert for Sri Lanka
Brianna Hoody performed J.S. Bach’s “Bouree” on violin.
Mini maestros put on inspired performances at the Third Street Music School Settlement last Sunday afternoon to raise funds for a Sri Lankan school devastated in December’s tsunami. Called Hearts for Arts, the benefit saw more than 100 young students — 4 to 18 years old, beginner to advanced — perform and 300 people attend the six-hour event at the 235 E. 11th St. school.

Board says 14th St. bar can’t go yard, nixes alcohol
By Albert Amateau
With spring just around the corner, McKenna’s on W. 14th St. applied last month for a liquor license alteration to allow serving patrons in the pub’s rear yard garden but Community Board 4 at its March 2 meeting unanimously said “No.”

Fears of Big Brother over Peter Cooper ID key cards
By Albert Amateau
Peter Cooper Village tenants who are resisting their landlord’s move to replace all locks and keys in the 2,700-unit development with photo ID data-tracking keycards have enlisted the support of Assemblymember Steve Sanders as a threatened deadline approaches.

New Caring Community head will raise bar, and funds
By Ed Gold
One of his earliest challenges was finding his way to his new office, muses Arthur Makar, who recently was named to the challenging position of executive director at Caring Community, the important service operation since 1973 for older adults in Greenwich Village and Lower Manhattan.


Arts in the Villager
Chronicling 20th-century travesties
By Jerry Tallmer
Nobel Prize novelist Thomas Mann called her a “ravaged angel.” Nobel Prize novelist Roger Martin du Gard saw her “walking the earth with the beautiful face of an inconsolable angel.” Carson McCullers was madly in love with her, dedicated “Reflections in a Golden Eye” to her, took care of her when Annemarie slit her wrists over a love affair gone wrong with some other woman.

Making it up to Orson Welles
By Jerry Tallmer
Kenneth Tynan, perhaps the most brilliant drama critic of his generation, was once taken by some American friends – dragged, would be a better way of putting it – to a performance, in London, of the Merce Cunningham dance company. Body motion, music of sorts, no dialogue.

Film
Koch On Film
By Ed Koch
Walk on Water (+)
This Israeli film is considered a major step forward for their cinema industry because of its cast, its visual beauty and its serious theme. Although it is not a superb film, it is good one and well worth seeing.
The story opens with Israeli Mossad agent, Eyal (Lior Ashkenazi), on an assignment which he completes to the agency’s satisfaction. He is, however, left mentally exhausted. Like James Bond without the futuristic technology - except this is real life - his job is often to kill.


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