Volume 18 • Issue 23 | October 21 - 27, 2005


Freedom fortress
The Freedom Tower is no monstrosity, architect David Childs insists. “This will not be a concrete bunker, it will be a richly textured porous space,” he told Community Board 1 members at a recent meeting, defending his 1,776-ft. tall tower.

The tower underwent a major facelift this spring after the N.Y.P.D. deemed the original, spiraling design unsafe. Critics have likened the revised tower to a clunky fortress.

Not all board members were swayed by the illuminating presentation, skeptical of promises that the antenna topping off the single tower will be a “sculptural piece” atop a glorious glass structure. “This building was supposed to be a symbol of rebirth and ingenuity,” said board member Marc Donnenfeld. Instead, “It’s quite boring.”

Parks forgotten
When the Parks Dept. asked Community Board 1 to make a wish list of parks to renovate with a $20 million hand out from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the board quickly pointed out the parks in need of attention. But one little sliver of green got left out of the equation: the Barnett Newman Triangle, a triangle at the corner of Church St. and Avenue of the Americas. It wasn’t until after the board signed off on a resolution to fix up its parts that that board member Bruce Ehrmann, who arrived to the full board meeting an hour late, alerted his fellow members to the oversight. “That’s why it would have been useful if you had attended the [committee] meeting,” quipped district manager Paul Goldstein. After a hasty discussion, the board added Barnett to the mix with an amendment to the resolution.

Not your mother’s icon
Jim “Mosaic Man” Power wants to set the record straight. Penny Arcade is no “East Village icon,” as Downtown Express reported in last week’s article about the performance artist going public with her hepatitis C treatments. Power—not Penny—is the true East Village icon, he insists. In a lengthy voicemail left on UnderCover’s machine, he promised to picket our office this week. “We are going to war. I am going to teach you a lesson and we are going to war,” he said.

Undercover has been gearing up for her moment on the battlefield, but has yet to traverse any picket lines to write this column.

Hike at Pier 40
Stuyvesant High School’s football team practices at the giant new Pier 40 field at W. Houston St. but doesn’t play games there. No, it’s not because of a movable pitcher’s mound — which is the reason Public School Athletic League baseball games can’t be held on the pier’s field — and wrong sport, anyway. It’s because the P.S.A.L. requires there to be locker rooms at fields for games. Chris Martin, the Hudson River Park Trust’s spokesperson, said the Trust is working on getting locker rooms on the pier that would allow the football games.

Making music
TriBattery Pops, the resident Battery Park City community band, has a new album out, named after the highway that separates the neighborhood from Tribeca—West St. Among the ditties are The Washington Post, Tequila and Mr. Softee. Bandleader Tom Goodkind is already thinking of future titles to come. “We hope that next year we’ll be able to name our album “The Goldman Sachs zoned middle school,” he told Community Board 1 this week, a nudge, nudge, wink, wink to the investment bank’s recent deal with the city for a new $2 billion headquarters financed largely with public funds. The C.D. “doesn’t play in tunnels!” shouted back board member Paul Hovitz, referring to the ill-fated West St. tunnel, which would have emptied out in front of the Goldman headquarters and was scrapped so the bank wouldn’t flee Battery Park City.


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