THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 17 • Issue 33 | May 06 - 12, 2005


From the editor
Time to slow down and speed up
This week the talk has been about the Freedom Tower planning crisis, the setbacks and delays. In our view, the tower situation is not as dire as some have suggested. It is important to keep in mind what is critical and what is not.

Under Cover

Letters to the editor

Talking point
A man among women in Family Court
By Ben Krull
In most ways I’m a stereotypical single male. I play in a monthly poker game, listen to sport’s talk radio and am clueless in the kitchen. But my career as a Family Court lawyer colors me pink.

The Penny Post
A navel idea
By Andrei Codrescu
My friend U. planned her next piercing carefully. A few years back she had been told that she had a “high-risk navel.” She had been very skinny then and the art of piercing was still in its infancy in America. At some point she went ahead and had her nose pierced.

Police Blotter

News in Brief
C.B. 1 Meetings

Rainy fun at filmfest fair

Group raises tsunami relief money at two fairs

Spring time in B.P.C.

Fear, guilt, freedom – different ways nuns taught religion
By Jane Flanagan
There seems to be a lot of buzz about God lately. Picking up the newspaper each morning I usually find an article, often several, invoking religion. It’s led me to reflect on my own checkered, religious past.

Catchers shine as Minors battle the mud
Rain canceled most of the Downtown Little League last weekend but the League’s Minors division proved they were major mudders as they managed to get in a few games on Saturday.

Youth Activities

The Listings


City halts garage work in Hudson Park
By Albert Amateau
In a deal brokered last week by State Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman, the Department of Sanitation has agreed to voluntarily cease construction of the temporary garage that it began in January on the Gansevoort Peninsula.

Bikers arrested once again at mass ride
By Lincoln Anderson
The monthly Critical Mass started out differently than usual last Friday night. There was a rally for cyclists’ civil rights, followed by a blessing of arrested cyclists. And instead of one big departure from Union Sq., the riders left from four different sites. But the city’s response didn’t change: Police showed no signs of backing down from their hard-line stance, making 34 arrests.

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

Svea Lindholm, 5, greeted a clown from Puppetronics, Michelle Besha, Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival’s family street fair last Saturday. Leo Hansen, 2, left, as looked prepared for the weather. Rain through most of the day did dampen the turnout although crowds still had a ball on Greenwich St.

City close to legalizing diesel storage in Tribeca telecom building
By Ronda Kaysen
The copious amounts of diesel fuel stored in the Western Union Building at 60 Hudson St. may soon be legalized, as the city recently indicated it would grant the building’s owner a long sought after variance.

Fulton St. area moves close to becoming historic district
By Ronda Kaysen
A swath of the Financial District may soon become an historic district, a change that would be largely honorific in nature, but provide potentially lucrative tax incentives for some property owners in the district.

Enthusiast pitches Dutch theme for Governors I. plan
By Albert Amateau
To hear Joep de Koning tell it, it was the Dutch who founded not only what is now New York, but also Connecticut, New Jersey and Delaware — and it all started on Governors Island.

Design selected for African burial ground
By Ronda Kaysen
The estimated 20,000 Africans anonymously buried beneath Lower Manhattan for 400 years will soon have an engraved, granite marker commemorating their cemetery.

East Siders begin long road to develop neighborhood plan
By Lincoln Anderson
Saying it could potentially solve many of the neighborhood’s problems, Councilmember Margarita Lopez and Community Board 3 are supporting a community-based rezoning plan for the East Village and Lower East Side.

Young Puerto Rican’s painting is a stroke for justice
By Ronda Kaysen
“I want to scare people into doing something,” said Yasmin Hernandez, sipping a cup of peppermint tea at Colonial Café on E. Houston St. “With technology and the media, we’re socialized to be complacent people. We’re socialized not to react or to know how to react. I want my art to challenge complacency.”

351 years later, tour marks Jews’ first steps Downtown
By Amanda Kludt
“The history of the modern Jewish world was really built here,” says historian and attorney Jim Kaplan. Kaplan explains that the Jewish settlement in New York, or New Amsterdam, in 1654 was the first Jewish settlement in the North America and one of the first in the new world. And, Kaplan plans to explain the full history of Jews in New York — from their inauspicious beginnings being lost at sea and captured by pirates to their role in creating a modern state of Israel — on his three hour Downtown walking tour this May 15.

Tribeca law school makes deal for E. Village dorm
By Sarah Ferguson
It’s official. After months of controversy, the so-called “half-dorm” at 81 E. Third St. has finally found an educational institution eager to sign a lease, and it’s none other than New York Law School.

P.S.A.L. objects to Pier 40 pitcher’s mounds
By Lincoln Anderson
and Aman Singh
It seems mounds and the Village area always amount to controversy. The three play mounds — small climbing hills for young children — in Washington Sq. Park have been the focus of a pitched battle between local parent groups who want to keep and renovate them and the Parks Department, which is not keen on them and reportedly views them as a liability issue, possibly because of use by skateboarders.

Tribeca Performing Arts – a jazz mecca
By Aileen Torres
The Tribeca Performing Arts Center will kick off its seventh annual Lost Jazz Shrines Festival this year with a performance by Randy Weston, a renowned jazz pianist dedicated to exploring ancestral influences in his music. As part of the event, Weston will be interviewed by Willard Jenkins, the arts center’s jazz artistic director who worked with Weston on the musician’s autobiography.

And it’s a wrap
By Rania Richardson
Can a film festival be successful if the press covers the sushi more than the movies? At the conclusion of the 4th Tribeca Film Festival, more than a dozen films stand out as potential breakouts, but only one event gets unanimous accolades —Showtime’s now legendary annual private party at Nobu, where guests are plied with an endless parade of raw fish and champagne.

Who go to their rescue in time
By Brian McCormick
In artist Henry Darger’s disturbing, surreal world, rich turbulent landscapes surround cookie-cutter girls—who are crucified, eviscerated and hung, often transgendered and sometimes half-human and half-animal—fighting fantastic foes. Seattle choreographer Pat Graney brings life to the inner turmoil and mysterious aura of the reclusive “outsider” artist and his opus by evoking some of the same curiously ordered pandemonium from her five female dancers.

Accent on the British
By Pamela Ryckman
Rock star parents squeal over black onesies emblazoned with “For those about to nap, we salute you” and booties featuring the Union Jack. Traditional mothers coo over pink tees that say “My Mummy Is A Yummy Mummy,” but relent when fathers vie for shirts with the slogans “Lock Up Your Daughters” and “I Don’t Do Greens.” Adults and children alike can wear shirts that say “Shmoozer” or “Mensch,” while fashionistas buy into word play with best-sellers “You had me at Shalom” and “Nobody puts Bubbeleh in the corner.”