THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 18 • Issue 23 | October. 21 - 27, 2005

Celebrating restaurant birthdays and preventing their deaths
Twenty-five years ago two restaurants opened in a neighborhood that some called the Lower West Side. There were some warehouses, a few artists and hardly any residents except those living at Independence Plaza. Both the Odeon and Capsouto Frères are part of the reason Tribeca grew into a vibrant arts community with more great restaurants.

Talking Point
Feds should learn, not snipe at city’s terror plans
By Jane Flanagan
I’m with you Mike and Ray.
Sitting down here in Lower Manhattan reading this stuff in the papers about you, Mike Bloomberg and you, my neighbor, Ray Kelly, a gal could get the idea that you guys are up to no good. Thank God I know better, or I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Downtown Notebook
Saying goodbye to funkiness on Tribeca’s piers
By Kate Walter
I’m savoring the last days of Pier 25 which will close next month for a three-year renovation.  I loved this funky wharf in Tribeca — a rest stop on my daily bike rides through Hudson River Park. I’d visit the Sweet Love Snack Shack for a lemonade or veggie burger grilled on an old-fashioned barbeque pit.

The Penny Post
A feeling of déjà vu in New Orleans
By Andrei Codrescu
People are coming back to check on their properties, mostly men. Women and families are staying behind in their places of exile. The town is still full of soldiers, and the returning populace has a slight feeling of déjà vu. It’s an old déjà vu, the aftermath of the Civil War. A woman friend feels uncomfortable walking by herself. She knows that the soldiers are there to protect her, but they are young men and they’ve heard about New Orleans.

Letters to the editor

Police Blotter


Downtown Briefs

Deutsche demo meeting

Fifth Precinct Council

Katrina benefit

Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel
Heads up dancing
The Breeze Team break dancers showed off their stuff on Fulton and Nassau Sts. Wednesday.

In Pictures

Chinese food in the land of the rising sun?
Eight days of rain finally ended last Saturday just in time for the annual Taste of Chinatown

Sports / Youth

Soaked fields cancels most soccer games
Saturday’s Downtown Soccer League games were cancelled after a long week of rain. By Sunday, the sun dried up the fields enough for another weekend of Downtown Soccer League play.

Youth Activities

Frustration mounts over 4-year,‘hole in the ground’
By Ronda Kaysen
Community Board 1 members lashed out at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation at a public meeting Monday night, voicing frustration with the pace of the redevelopment of the World Trade Center and the attention given to public opinion.

Not star-crossed lovers, but a party- line-crossing pol
By Josh Rogers
Romeo, Romeo why didn’t you just act like a Capulet so we could have lived happily ever after?. Less than five months ago, Democratic Councilmember Margarita Lopez said that although she loved Republican Mayor Mike Bloomberg, she was not considering endorsing him because they were like Romeo and Juliet, two star-crossed lovers who could never come together because they were from two battling families. She likened the Montagues and Capulets to the Democrats and Republicans.

Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio

Albert, left, Jacques and Sammy Capsouto celebrated the 25th anniversary of Capsouto Frères Sunday in their restaurant.

Brothers Capsouto mark 25 years at their Tribeca restaurant
By Daniel Wallace
At 9 p.m. last Sunday waiters at Capsouto Frères, the landmark contemporary French bistro in Tribeca, rolled a huge chocolate cake from the kitchen, cutting a path through the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd that had answered the call of free canapés and champagne and gathered to celebrate the restaurant’s 25th anniversary.

City says Southbridge may be rushing tax vote
By Vanessa Romo
A vote next week by Southbridge Towers shareholders to determine whether the co-op will opt to continue with the Mitchell-Lama program for an additional 15 years and continue to receive tax abatements may be premature according to the city’s Department of Housing and Preservation Development.

$7 million plaza reaching a higher level reopens
By Ellen Keohane
Walking by 55 Water St. in Lower Manhattan, there’s little evidence that a landscaped open space with trees, benches and a boardwalk exists just 30 feet above street level. But ascend a set of stairs or escalators, and you’ll discover a newly redesigned public park that delivers views of the East River, Governors Island, Brooklyn Heights and the Brooklyn Bridge.

A dog-eat-tennis-ball world in Route 9A plans
By Ronda Kaysen
At Promenade South, the question du jour isn’t whether or not the city should renovate the park, it’s what sorts of activities it should put there. The tennis enthusiasts are jonesing for a new court. Basketball devotees insist the court that is already there should not be nixed. And the dogs? They’re howling at the thought of a new dog run.

Goldman Sachs readies to begin less noisy construction
By Ronda Kaysen
Construction of a new corporate headquarters in Battery Park City will be quieter than other projects have been, potentially sparing nearby schoolchildren from excessive noise.
Work on the new Goldman Sachs building, a 740-ft. tall Pei Cobb Freed-designed structure, could begin as soon as November and continue for at least two years. Despite its size, the foundation will not require pile driving, a noisy excavation process. Instead, developers of the $2 billion project plan to drill caissons. Unlike driving piles, which hammers the ground, drilling is a far quieter process.

B.P.C. building sale may force some tenants out
By Claire F. Hamilton
Moving vans were not an uncommon sight in Battery Park City after Sept. 11, but many tenants of the 65 affordable housing units at Parc Place, 225 Rector St., stayed put. Their decision to stay was not just a matter of personal conviction.

Bar owner beaten, reportedly after arguing about smoking
By Lincoln Anderson
An owner of a bar on Broome St. in Little Italy was viciously attacked last month outside the bar, possibly after an argument about smoking inside the bar, Odea. According to Sonny Stellmann, Fifth Police Precinct community affairs officer, Joseph “Joey Clams” Caruso was beaten up in a parking lot near the bar, which is off Baxter St.

George’s comes back to Greenwich St.
By Ronda Kaysen
Three years after George’s Restaurant was reduced to a pile of rubble three blocks south of the World Trade Center, it has reopened with a string of red, white and blue pennants stretching from the rooftop of the two-story structure to the streetlight at the corner with lettering on its façade reading “Since 1950.”

Downtown Arts & Entertainment

Magical realism on page is a little unreal on stage
By Rachel Breitman
At the start of “The Girl in the Flammable Skirt,” the black-walled stage appears as sparse as the beginning of the first story, with little furniture other than a mattress on the floor and lamps aligned in a loft above. By the end of the fifth and last story, the same space has become littered with discarded costume changes, and the walls are smeared with chalk drawings. The nine-person cast dances breathlessly, and the audience is left exhausted, inspired, and slightly perplexed by what they have seen.

A frightening film festival for New Yorkers
By Steven Snyder
In less than four years, boasts Michael Hein, founder and director of the New York City Horror Film Festival, his project has become “the largest and most important genre festival in America.”

Evil rule at the heart of the Congo’s violent past
Peter Bate knows that poem. In fact, he says, he has a recording of Vachel Lindsay reading it, and he thought about using it in his film, but for one reason or another he instead merely opened with photographs, taken by missionaries, of various black Congolese with hands and/or feet chopped off by the forces of King Leopold II of Belgium.

MirrorMask’ gives fantasy fans a dose of reality
By Noah Fowle
Fantasy is often so self-indulgent that it loses any context with reality. With little to hold its creators to rules or norms, it can deteriorate into nothing more than exotic characters prattling on about inconsequential matters. However, when Fantasy is done correctly, it weaves a spell of magic around inherently human experiences.

Luring people downtown, through song
By Nicole Davis
If you passed the line of people on Monday, October 17, snaking from 25 Broad, around the stock exchange to Wall Street, down to William and all the way to Exchange Place, you were too late, but not entirely out of luck. While some 1500 people snagged free tickets to the upcoming Music Downtown series, there are still a limited number of tickets left for performers like Jeff Tweedy and Ricki Lee Jones, who will appear at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in November.

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