Volume 16 • Issue 41 | March 12 - 18, 2004

Downtown local

Downtown Express photo by Clayton Patterson

Protestor paperwork

On Sunday at Odessa restaurant on Avenue A, East Village activist John Penley, center, and Aaron Kay, a.k.a. the Yippie Pie Man, right, jointly completed an application with the Parks Department for a camping permit for Tompkins Sq. Park or East River Park during the Republican National Convention at the end of August and beginning of September. They were joined by Bonnie Tocwish, who helped organize the campout at the last Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The name they filed the permit under was “The John Lennon Abbie Hoffman Memorial Camporee.” Penley said they think East River Park would actually be better since it’s farther away from residential areas, so noise would be less of a problem, though resident of the housing developments along the F.D.R. Drive might choose to differ. “I think we’re doing a service by this,” Penley said. “All the hotels are going to be filled with Republicans, and not everyone will be able to afford a hotel. This is going to be the biggest protest in New York City history.” Although protesters have camped out in Central Park during past political conventions, the Parks Department says it doesn’t issue permits for after park closing times, generally 1 a.m.

Festival money
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation board voted to spend $3 million on the Tribeca Film Festival in 2004 and 2005.

“By funding the festival now, we’re giving it an opportunity to grow,” the L.M.D.C.’s Amy Peterson told the board before it authorized the funds March 11.

She said in 2003, 300,000 attendees came to events andscreenings, generating about $50 million in economic activity Downtown. This year’s expanded festival will run from May 1 – 9.

The money will help fund many of the free programs such as the family festival, the “Drive-In” screenings, which were on Pier 25 last year, and the program guide. Peterson said last year’s festival cost $12 million to produce and about half of it came from corporate sponsorships including American Express, the festival’s founding sponsor.

Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff started the festival in May 2002 to help Lower Manhattan rebound from the economic shocks of 9/11.

Madelyn Wils, an L.M.D.C. board member and the president and C.E.O. of the Tribeca Film Institute, which is owned by the festival founders, left the L.M.D.C. room during the discussion and vote on the funds. John Whitehead, the development corporation’s chairperson, also recused himself because he said “a young grandson of mine works for the festival.”

Art on Sunday
Major art collectors from all over the world are expected to be coming to Tribeca this Sunday and art galleries in the area will be having an “Tribeca Open House” event in honor of the occasion.

Selected galleries in the area, who usually close on Sundays, will open their doors to the public from noon -2 p.m., except for Gigantic ArtSpace (59 Franklin St) who will be open until 6 p.m. and Gallery Gen (158 Franklin St), open until 3 p.m. The other participating galleries are as follows: Art in General, 79 Walker St., KS Art, 73 Leonard St., Cheryl Pelavin Fine Arts, 13 Jay St., Paul Sharpe Contemporary Art 86 Walker St., Bonnie Andretta Fine Art Inc 85 Franklin St., Ethan Cohen Fine Arts (37 Walker St), and DFN Gallery, 176 Franklin St.

The March 14 event coincides with the Whitney Biennial from March 11 through May 30, the Scope Art Fair, March 12th-15th and the Amory Show, March 11th-15th.

Cheryl Pelavin, owner of Pelavin Fine Arts and an organizer of the Tribeca Open House event said many of the collectors will be attending a private brunch in the neighborhood that morning and the event will give them and everyone else a chance to see the galleries on a Sunday. She said due to the short amount of time given to organize the Tribeca Open House event, there is no dedicated Web site, however, more details can be found by going to www.cherylpelavin.com.

Board meetings
The upcoming week’s schedule of Community Board 1 meetings is below. Unless otherwise noted, meetings will be held in room 709 of 49-51 Chambers St.

On Mon., March 15, at 6:00 p.m., the Financial District committee and the Battery Park City committee will hold a combined meeting to hear a presentation by the state D.O.T. on the design of the South Promenade and reconstruction of Route 9A from Battery Place to West Thames St, to discuss Wall Street Rising Corridor of Light initiative, a liquor license for 17 John St., and Battery Park (American Park space).

On Tues., March 16 the board will hold its full board meeting at 6:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hearing room, 19th floor, of 250 Broadway.

Free wine tasting
Wine lovers have the rare opportunity to go to a free wine tasting event sponsored by Chambers Street Wines and Wall Street Rising, at the Downtown Information Center, 25 Broad St. on March 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event has room for 100 to 150 people, and reservations are requested so that the organizers can estimate how much wine will be needed. The next wine tasting evening will be on Wednesday March, 17 and will continue through May on the third Wednesday of each month. To book your place call 212 425 INFO or by e-mail events@downtowninfocenter.org. For further information go to www.downtowninfocenter.org

A caption accompanying an article last week, “E.P.A., Clinton announce panel to study W.T.C. response,” (news article, March 5-11, 2004), misidentified Dr. Paul Gilman. He is the chairperson of the panel, not the assistant chairperson.


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