THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 17 • Issue 51 | May 13 - 19, 2005


From the editor
City must open diesel negotiations at Tribeca building
Two years after the city’s Buildings Dept. told Tribeca residents they were negotiating to grant a variance to allow the owners of 60 Hudson St. to store illegal amounts of diesel fuel, the agency is getting ready to release a plan for the variance. But don’t worry because there will be really good fire safety precautions included in the variance agreement, Buildings spokesperson Jennifer Givner told us last week.

Under Cover

Letters to the editor

Talking point
Transportation and W.T.C. site are top priorities
By David Stanke
In the aftermath of the destruction of the World Trade Center, with the massive grief we all experienced, perhaps we all needed to drop the limits on our ability to dream. But we are at a stage Downtown where we require very clear and disciplined planning based on realistic objectives. We have dreamed for three years and we now wake up to a very desolate picture at the W.T.C., with the full recovery Downtown still seriously at risk.

The Penny Post
Fame Romanian style
By Andrei Codrescu
Wanna know what famous is? New Orleans musician Goat told me that he saw a violent altercation between two men at Snake’n Jakes, one of whom threw the other one straight out the door unto the sidewalk. And what was the altercation about? The man who got thrown out of Snake’n Jakes did not admit to the fact that I, the writer of this article, am a great writer.

Police Blotter

Downtown Scene

News in Brief
Pot march

Philip Campanella, 56, Downtown composer and singer
By Albert Amateau
Philip A. Campanella, a composer, lyricist and performer who worked in dozens of Off-Broadway shows and served as musical director of Roundabout Theater for more than 20 years, died suddenly of an arterial thrombosis at the age of 56.

Youth/ Sports

By beating the throw to first, Emma Dries of the Powder Kegs drove in the game-winning run while Jacklyn Livoti of the Batteries got set to make the catch.

Hot gloves around the diamond last weekend

Youth Activities

The Listings


Tribeca tower gets nod from C.B. 1
By Josh Rogers
Developer Edward Minskoff moved one step closer to building a million square foot residential complex and Whole Foods Market in Tribeca by winning approval of a Community Board 1 committee last Thursday.

Critics knock E.P.A.’s new testing plan
By Ronda Kaysen
The Environmental Protection Agency has released a plan to sample buildings for remaining World Trade Center disaster dust, however many local residents and community leaders insist this testing will produce inadequate results.

Downtown Express photo by Robert Stolarik

A new dog run and children’s playground opened in Battery Park City this week, and by the looks of things, it had Enzo’s seal of approval.

Goldman Sachs pulloutputs B.P.C. library in doubt
By Ronda Kaysen
When Goldman Sachs pulled out of the deal to build their new headquarters in Battery Park City, they took the money to build a new library for the neighborhood with them, a casualty that has rattled local residents.

Weisbrod’s real estate eye turns north to Hudson Square
By Josh Rogers
Carl Weisbrod, the only man ever to run the Wall Street area’s business improvement district, is leaving after 10 years to turn his attention just to the north to manage Trinity Church’s real estate holdings primarily in Hudson Square.

Landlord drops in to hear Independence Plaza complaints
By Albert Amateau
Laurence Gluck, landlord of the Independence Plaza North residential complex in Tribeca, made a surprise entrance at the May 5 I.P.N Tenants Association meeting and got an earful of complaints and anxious concerns.

Work begins on Downtown’s British Memorial Garden
By M.L. Liu
Against the sound of jackhammers and machinery, the groundbreaking ceremony for the British Memorial Garden at Hanover Square was held this past Tuesday morning.

A Munchkin’s long life beyond the Yellow Brick Road
By Albert Amateau
There he was, big as life last week, signing copies of his “Memories of a Munchkin” in Books of Wonder.
Meinhardt Raabe, at 89, the oldest of nine surviving Munchkins from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” was wearing a replica of the tall hat with the rolled-up brim that he wore as the coroner of Munchkinland when he pronounced that the Wicked Witch of the East was “not only merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead.”

Demolition work begins at 4 Albany St.
By Ronda Kaysen
While much of the World Trade Center redevelopment plans have been bogged down in a bureaucratic quagmire, a small neo-classical office building at 4 Albany St., standing damaged and shrouded behind a black curtain since Sept. 11th, 2001, has been cleaned of contaminants and will soon be reduced to nothing more than a cement foundation.

C.B. 1 makes recommendations for community money
By Ronda Kaysen
When it comes to the remaining $735 million of Community Development Block Grants set aside to rebuild Lower Manhattan, Community Board 1 members are in agreement: the money should not be spent on a memorial for the World Trade Center disaster or on site itself, for that matter.

Southbridge Towers elects directors to the board
By Chris Oliver
An election for the board of directors at Southbridge Towers last week seems to put the issue of privatization at the Mitchell-Lama complex on the back burner, but it is still a hot topic among some residents.

Dog run and playground opens in B.P.C
By Ellen Keohane
On Tuesday afternoon, the new playground in Battery Park City’s Kowsky Plaza was the place to be—if you were under six. More than a dozen children climbed on the yellow, green and black play structure in the center of the playground, while three others dodged squirts of water in the water play area. Another girl ran screaming into her mother’s arms after falling on the play structure, but quickly recovered after a hug. In the middle of the madness, one boy calmly buried himself in the sand.

Neighbors remember slain teenager as a ‘good kid’
By Lincoln Anderson
A suspect in the killing of Robert Adams, a 16-year-old E. Third St. resident who was stabbed to death on the Lower East Side on April 29, turned himself into authorities last week. Angel Suarez, 19, walked into the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office at 1 Hogan Pl. last Friday where he was arrested. Suarez’s address was given as 77 Columbia St. in Masaryk Towers, a 1,200-apartment, six-building Mitchell-Lama complex on the Lower East Side.


The tender side of night

And the lioness shall lie down with the lamb. Baby Jane Dexter, the downtown diva, has always been a great many of God’s creatures wrapped into one, but in her current show at Helen’s, just to the left of the Joyce Theater, on Eighth Avenue between 18th and 19th Streets, the roaring, stomping lioness is playing peekaboo, popping in, popping out, but mostly letting that other side of BJ take over—the thoughtful, sensitive, aching, probing investigator of emotional loss and gain.

Walter Reade honors legendary director
I don’t know if a movie has ever grabbed you by the throat, but there’s a motion picture that grabs me by the throat every time the theme music sweeps up behind the credits, when I first lay eyes on Joan Webster as a crawling baby who knows exactly where she’s going. By the time the credits are over and Joan Webster, age 25, has blossomed into Wendy Hiller, leopard toque cocked down over her right eye, informing her father that she’s heading to the Scottish isles to get married, I’m quite in love all over again. And not for the first time—or the tenth.

New French film delivers
By Leonard Quart
The French have always had a gift for making films that are charming, witty, literate, and utterly superficial. Films that on one level are pleasing, but are purely fluff that vanish from the viewer’s consciousness no more than a minute after leaving the cinema.

French filmmaker tackles genocide
There may have been 800,000 slaughtered in the Rwanda genocide of 1994; or there may have been 300,000, or any number in between.

Downtown Homes
and Lofts

Construction begins on latest Liberty Bond project
There’s more evidence residential development is returning to Lower Manhattan nearly four years after the terror attacks on the World Trade Center. But at least one group is concerned that new incentives to develop the area is a ploy to introduce luxury residences that will eventually squeeze out middle-income residents.

Sold and Closed

On The Market

Quintessential Tribeca
10 Leonard Street
Loft, 1 bath, 900-sq-ft

Battery Park City Splendor
250 South End Ave., Apt. 8D
2 BR, 2 baths, 1100-sq-ft. condo

Heart of the Village
250 Mercer Street,
1BD, 1 bath,