President at Pompeii: After joining Italian-American police and firefighters at ground zero to lay a memorial wreath last Sunday, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, Italys president, attended Mass at Our Lady of Pompeii Church on Carmine St. Father Joseph A. Cogo said Ciampi insisted on attending an Italian church on Sunday. He was very warm and very genuinely concerned with our people, said Cogo. A real-to-life person. He was not looking for fanfare, adulations he wanted us to say the Mass simply. We did do a beautiful Mass, but tried to keep it simple. Cogo said that the church, whose congregation is almost entirely Italian or Italian-American, was filled to capacity. Even though he was only able to get the word out last-minute over Italian radio, at least 500 worshippers arrived to share the Mass with Ciampi. During the Mass, Cogo asked Ciampi if he wished to say a few words. He said, No, Father, we dont do that in churches, said Cogo. When we parted, he said to me, Father, if you need anything, you know where I live. Call me.
River garden: On Tuesday, at a lunch reception in Pier 40s lobby, Marge Sullivan of the Garden Club of America presented the Hudson River Park Trust with $100,000 to plant a specially designed 100-ft.-long flower garden in the new Greenwich Village segment of the park near Charles St. The garden was designed by the late Elise Deans, a former prominent G.C.A. member.
Name change: The 14th St.-Union Sq. Business Improvement District and Local Development Corp. have both changed their name to the Union Sq. Partnership.
Culture clash: Actor Steve Buscemi was filming scenes for a new movie outside Niagara bar on E. Seventh St. and Avenue A last weekend in front of a new memorial mural painted for the occasion depicting late Clash rocker Joe Strummer. Niagara is co-owned by Jesse Malin, whose new album is doing particularly well in Europe, and who used to run Coney Island High.
That voice: When a Villager staff member was awakened last Saturday morning by the sound of a woman shouting over a P.A. system at St. Vartans Park at 36th St. and Second Ave., the first thought was to grab the phone and dial 311. But, a closer listen with phone still clutched firmly in hand revealed the voice belonged to none other than Councilmember Margarita Lopez. Lopez was keynote speaker for the event, A Power Walk to Raise Awareness of Women Affected With AIDS/H.I.V., sponsored by SMART, or Sisterhood Mobilized for AIDS/H.I.V. Research and Treatment.
Night of art: The National Arts Club honored Londons Courtland Institute of Art at the clubs 105th anniversary last Thursday. The award was accepted by James Cuno, the Courtlands director. At the event, we bumped into Gary Shapiro of Jane St., who writes the Knickerbocker column for the New York Sun.
X-Market: The semi-annual flea market of the Church of St. Francis Xavier will be Sat. Nov. 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Larkin Hall in the lower level of the church, 46 W. 16th St., west of Sixth Ave. Bargain-priced designer clothes, books, radios, electronics, jewelry, toys and housewares will be offered at the flea market. Proceeds will support programs of the 156-year-old church.
Feed the hungry: This Saturday, shop at the Union Sq. Greenmarket to benefit New Yorkers in need. While buying your own weeks worth of fresh fruits and vegetables, purchase some for City Harvest. The Buy a Bag event will run from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., Sat. Nov. 22. For further information, 917-351-8700 or www.cityharvest.org.
Corrections: In a photo in last weeks article on the kickoff of the South Village Historic District campaign, David Gruber, head of Sovilla, or South Village Landmarking Association, was incorrectly identified as Father Cogo of Our Lady of Pompeii Church. Also, the article failed to mention that Councilmember Alan Gerson spoke at the event
. A photo in last weeks Villager of Councilmember Christine Quinn listening to an N.Y.U. adjunct professors complaints about lack of office space was incorrectly credited to Ramin Talaie; it was taken by Lorenzo Ciniglio.