THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 17 • Issue 52 | May 20 - 26, 2005


From the editor
Putting Downtown back on track
Last week’s announcements by Gov. George Pataki are steps in the right direction to revive Downtown rebuilding efforts. By putting his right-hand man in Lower Manhattan to oversee everything, the governor, perhaps for the first time, is addressing the problem of competing bureaucracies and jurisdictions. The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. was supposed to serve that function, but the governor never gave John Whitehead, L.M.D.C. chairperson, or any of the agency’s presidents ultimate control, so their successes were real but limited.

Under Cover

Letters to the editor

Talking point
Hey Pat, suicide hijackers are scarier than judges
By Jane Flanagan
It seems that an awful lot of people lately are talking about my best interests.
Take evangelist Pat Robertson, a Yale Law School graduate, who said that federal judges are more of a threat to the American way of life than “a few bearded men flying planes into buildings.”

The Penny Post
Cars as art
By Andrei Codrescu
What is a car? What is the difference between a car and an orange? Years ago, the newly elected governor of California, Jerry Brown, asked during his first legislative session: What is a governor? What is the difference between a governor and a shoe? Nobody knew the answer to that, but we know the answer to the car question. A car is not like an orange when it’s a sunflower, a boat, a closet, a dragon, a Rubik’s cube, or a political statement.

Police Blotter

Downtown Scene

News in Brief

False bridge scare

B.P.C. sculpture highlights rising costs of medicine

Taste of Tribeca returns

Heisman returns

City and artist lose in Soho ‘Wall’ decision

More are now riding brakeless track bikes

Board 1 opposes permit for diesel storage

C.B.1 approves Tribeca tower

Etiquette winners

Youth/ Sports

Downtown Express photos by Lorenzo Ciniglio
The Rockies’ Brandon Diaz tags out the Cubs’ Vinny Licato in a close play at the plate in a Downtown Little League game last Friday night in Battery Park City.

Downtowners show midseason form in hit-filled weekend

Youth Activities

The Listings


Judge’s roadblock to ‘Wall’ return
By Ronda Kaysen
The northern wall of a Soho building is staying just where it is: in storage, unless the city wants to fit the bill to tack it back up, a judge ruled last week.

A fresh spin on gym class
By Ellen Keohane
When P.S 234 gym teacher Andrew Steele told one first grader in his Monday morning class that she couldn’t participate without sneakers, she sat down, put her head in her lap and started sobbing. Many adults with less-than-positive memories of grammar school gym classes may have trouble relating to this first grader’s anguish at missing gym. However, they haven’t had Steele as a gym teacher.

Downtown Express photo by Jennifer Weisbord

There was plenty of fun last weekend at the Carnival on the Hudson last Saturday on the World Financial Center plaza.

Pataki unveils spending plan
By Josh Rogers
Gov. George Pataki last week outlined how he wanted to spend the remaining $1.4 billion in federal money to help Lower Manhattan recover from 9/11.
About $700 million will be saved by not building a vehicular tunnel under West St. and it will go to help rebuild the World Trade Center site, Pataki said at a press conference Thursday, following his semi-annual progress report on Lower Manhattan to the Association for Better New York.

Buses return – a Chinatown-City Hall connection
By Claire F. Hamilton
It was a bittersweet victory on Sunday for the politicians and Chinatown residents on a ceremonial bus ride from City Hall Park to Chatham Square to celebrate the partial reopening of Park Row, closed to traffic 9/11 due to its proximity to One Police Plaza, the courthouses and Brooklyn Bridge.

Fiterman Hall’s last days may finally be in sight
By Ronda Kaysen
One of the last vestiges of the World Trade Center disaster may soon meet its fate. City University of New York has finally secured enough money to demolish Fiterman Hall, a Borough of Manhattan Community College structure at 30 West Broadway, and may begin work within the year, although demolition plans remain entirely unclear.

Recalling the people who lived in the Financial District
By M.L. Liu
A walk through Manhattan’s Financial District and even the district’s name identifies what is central to this neighborhood: the skyscrapers, construction in and around the site of the former World Trade Center, people in suits hurrying down Wall St.

Some see gesture of peace, others see P.R. in chef event
By M.L. Liu
Chef Henry Meer, who has come under fire for trying to evict artists living above City Hall restaurant, on Tuesday led 24 kindergarteners through the upscale eatery at 131 Duane St. Above the restaurant, signs reading “Don’t Eat Us Out of House and Home” and “Chef Meer Evicts” were visible in some windows.

Fulton St. remains in the mix of rebuilding ideas
By Ronda Kaysen
Fulton St., a dreary mélange of tawdry awnings and uninspired shops, is getting some serious attention. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has turned its interest to the neglected district in recent months, with hopes of creating a more vibrant, memorable neighborhood.

A cyclist’s death is a reminder of streets’ dangers
By Jefferson Siegel
On Sunday night, May 8, Brandie Bailey was able to leave work early. It was near the end of her 2 p.m.-to-midnight shift as a waitress at the Red Bamboo Vegetarian Soul Cafe, a cozy restaurant on W. Fourth St. Manager Jason Wong said they closed just before 11:30 p.m. that night.


City Hall Park’s fodder
Julian Opie’s most comprehensive solo U.S. show gets city’s flash of approval
By Carrie Moyer
Very early one recent morning, rushing to Penn Station, my cabbie stopped in front of a coffee cart on the corner of Chambers and Centre Streets. The spring air was crisp and velvety-blue in the pre-dawn light and the blocks around City Hall hadn’t yet filled up with workers.

Six angry men
By David Kennerley
What is it these days with Broadway and testosterone?
For months now, the surprise hit “Twelve Angry Men” has amazed audiences with its star-powered, all-male fireworks. Its initial limited run was extended seven times. Though it must close on May 15 to make way for another show, there’s already a strapping new man-play in town.

Flattening high tea
Cornelia Parker’s etiquette consists of irreversible compression and translation
By Andrew Cornell Robinson
Picture puzzles and riddles abound in “Rorschach,” the new Cornelia Parker installation at D’Amelio Terras Gallery. Parker’s work examines new territories by transforming the familiar.

Two ex-lovers, one death
Arnaud Desplechin’s two-track tale of a woman, ex-husband is masterful
By Steve Erickson
If “Seinfeld” was a show about nothing, Arnaud Desplechin’s films are about everything. Seizing a subject like acting or the end of the cold war, he wrings as much as he can out of it. “My Sex Life... or How I Got Into an Argument” was seemingly inspired by the stereotype that French cinema consists entirely of Parisian intellectuals talking about their love lives.

Israeli soldier breaks 20-year-silence
Writer/performer of one man show confronts the past
By Jerry Tallmer
Too many coincidences. Enough to block and then, many years later, to unblock memory. Memories of a war. Memories of what can happen in a war.