THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 18 • Issue 27 | November 18 - 24, 2005

Protecting the rezoning
A rezoning battle is brewing in north Tribeca and the longer it continues without being resolved the more likely it will be that inappropriately large towers will be allowed to be built in this part of Downtown that is currently so ripe for development.

The Penny Post
The betrayal of American ideals
By Andrei Codrescu
When the U.S. had a foreign policy that included human rights, the world loved us. We were beloved everywhere in Eastern Europe where political dissenters had been imprisoned and tortured by the communist secret police. Our defense of human rights in Eastern Europe was responsible for bringing down the “evil empire,” not Ronald Reagan’s arms’ race with the U.S.S.R. The commie fiefdom collapsed from within because of the horrid way its governments treated their citizens. We gave those people hope of freedom from oppression and they believed us.

Letters to the editor

Police Blotter


Downtown Express photo by Talisman Brolin
Did someone forget about turkey?
It’s beginning to look a lot like … early Christmas decorating. Frank Vargas, left, and Jermaine Perkins of Knight Electric were putting up holiday lights for CitiGroup at the corner of Hubert and Greenwich Sts. on Nov. 16, more than a week before Thanksgiving.

Downtown Briefs

Vets remembered Downtown

Throwing money at a glass house

Plaza progress

Artful sales pitch

More activity for Church St.

Sports / Youth

Liverpool vs. West Ham: Chase Fatling, left, Noah Skelskie, center, and Arthur Perry go for the ball.
Weekend full of fast play in Downtown soccer
As the Downtown Soccer League season wraps up, teams prove you can never guess an outcome, as demonstrated by several upsets this weekend.

Soccer league suspends player who was punched
By Jefferson Siegel
Indignation continues to rise among some parents and players of the Downtown Soccer League after the league suspended a player who was punched in the nose as well as the player who hit him. Both of the boys’ fathers were also suspended.

Big sister’ shows girl there’s a world beyond Chinatown
By Caitlin Eichelberger  
Two years ago, Cecilia Guo rarely ventured outside of Chinatown. Allen and Broome Sts. and Broadway bordered the 10 year-old’s comfort zone. Even Little Italy, only blocks from her home, was foreign territory. 

Youth Activities

Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio

Gulls in Battery Park with a view of Governors Island. The island’s ball fields may be open to the public for the first time this summer.

Play Ball! Governors I. recreation may begin this summer
By Ronda Kaysen
It will be many years before Governors Island becomes an oasis in New York Harbor, but by next summer it might be available for public recreation for the first time in U.S. history.
Governors Island officials are considering ideas for interim recreation uses for the 172-acre island, which sits off the southern tip of Manhattan.


Irish lassie takes on Yiddish play
By Jerry Tallmer
The situation is this:
Motke the Thief, a sort of Yiddish first cousin to Mack the Knife, has the hots for a beautiful little woman named Mary, the acrobat daughter of circus impresario Alter Terach. Mary has conned a considerable sum of money from a Polish john named Der Pawn by playing an acrobatic game with him called Piggie and Birdie. She has tossed the packet of money through a window to Motke, and now her loving papa, Alter Terach, is accusing Der Pawn of rape even while screaming at Motke:


Pataki, Bloomberg turn to top aides to fill L.M.D.C.posts
Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki made a total of eight new appointments to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Board Wednesday, tapping appointees with strong political ties and prominence in the Downtown community.

C.B. 1 and Friends move toward ending unfriendly dispute
By Ronda Kaysen
Community Board 1 and the fundraising arm created in its name are on the way to becoming friends again, as the two groups agreed to create a fund for Downtown nonprofit groups.

Lower East Side synagogues experiencing a rebirth
By Sara G. Levin
As he began leading a Jewish cultural walking tour Sunday, urban historian Barry Feldman shrugged. “You know, I hate to sound like a real estate agent,” he said, “but this is what it’s all about: location, location, location.”

Trust threatens to cut power as Yankee digs in spikes
By Ellen Keohane
On Saturday Yankee ferry owner Richard MacKenzie-Childs greeted a stream of visitors who stopped by Pier 25 in Tribeca to say goodbye—for now—to the 1907 historic vessel. The once lush garden lining the pier adjacent to the ferry had been reduced to dirt, roots and scattered leaves. “I’ve been digging up all the plants and trying to find homes for them,” MacKenzie-Childs said.

The new coffeehouses: Not just for breakfast anymore
By Ronda Kaysen
At 9 o’clock on a Monday night at a Middle Eastern style den in the East Village, New Yorkers were dipping speared carrots in pots of fondue and washing it down with…coffee.

Designing new manufacturing-looking buildings in Tribeca
By Daniel Wallace
The only historical inaccuracy about the two new manufacturing-looking buildings proposed for construction on Washington St. in the Tribeca North Historic District is that they are not, actually, manufacturing buildings.

The PATH to rebuilding / Progress Report

Mostly signs of hope looking across the W.T.C.
By David Stanke
It is the predawn hours of a new day at the World Trade Center. After a long, dark night disturbed with nightmares and restless sleep, the first signs of preparation for a new day are appearing. But this dawn, foretold in sweetly delivered speeches about resiliency, determination and the American spirit, will not be the dawn of a sunny day.

A ‘better and stronger’ Downtown is being rebuilt
By Stefan Pryor
The redevelopment of Lower Manhattan is advancing vigorously, as especially evidenced by the three groundbreakings we have accomplished over the past few months: for the construction of a pair of railroad stations that will create a world class downtown transit hub, and for the deconstruction of the Deutsche Bank building that will enable the expansion of the World Trade Center site to the south. More will soon be under way.

WTC train station
Construction on the $2.21-billion PATH World Trade Center commuter-subway station began in November and is expected to open in 2009.

Residents need retail and culture on Downtown’s front burner
By Julie Menin
We are at a critical juncture in the revitalization of Lower Manhattan. There is an unprecedented opportunity to bring much needed green space, transportation improvements, schools, affordable housing, culture and retail to the Lower Manhattan community but with these opportunities comes the attendant quality of life issues that construction brings.

New incentives will insure Downtown remains the financial capital
By Eric Deutsch
Downtown’s revitalization is well underway, and a series of recent developments including a commercial incentives package and important capital projects, have made one thing crystal clear: Lower Manhattan is destined to retain its place as a vibrant, dynamic mixed-use neighborhood and the best place in New York to do business.

Subway projects
Construction continues on the renovation of two Downtown subway stations. Work at the Fulton Street Transit Center, located on Broadway between Fulton and John Sts., is currently being concentrated on the new southbound and northbound entrances at the 4,/5 station as well as on the stairways and fare control areas at Cortlandt St., Maiden Lane and Broadway. Renovations to the 2/3 station on the east side of William St. between Fulton and Ann Sts. continues.

What’s next for the B.P.C.A.?

Adjustments made to East Side school project
A drop-off location will be available for children arriving to a new elementary school on Beekman Street, bringing a dispute over where the children would gather at the start and end of the school day to a close.

New report says Downtown office market is rebounding
National real estate services firm Studley released Tuesday its 2005 Third Quarter Report in which Manhattan’s leasing activity is reported to have slowed to neutral.

Getting ready to begin building the W.T.C. memorial
Officials expect to begin constructing the “Reflecting Absence” World Trade Center memorial design by Michael Arad and Peter Walker this spring and finish by the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attack in 2009.

Downtown progress is real and steady
By John P. Cahill
I am happy to take this opportunity to update you on the status of our ambitious goals for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. After an extensive public planning process, Governor George Pataki laid an aggressive timeline in April of 2003 and he told you then, what I will tell you now, that “rebuilding Lower Manhattan cannot be an elusive promise reserved for another generation or for a distant tomorrow.

Working to reduce the pain from $20 billion worth of construction
By Charles J. Maikish
On Nov. 22, 2004, Governor George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg established the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center through joint executive orders. In April of this year, I began my tenure as the executive director of the Command Center reporting directly to both the governor and the mayor and was charged with the responsibility of coordinating construction in Lower Manhattan south of Canal St., river to river.

Let the free market and public decide Downtown’s future
By Dan Steinberg and David Dyssegaard Kallick
In the heat of his reelection campaign, Mayor Mike Bloomberg garnered front-page headlines by pledging to take a more active role in the stumbling process of rebuilding ground zero.

Chinatown begins to build on the unity that came after 9/11
By Amy Chin
Like Chinatowns in many parts of the world, Manhattan’s Chinatown formed as a defense against frequent and widespread anti-Asian sentiments. It grew steadily over the years, keeping residents safe in a protective community shut off in many ways to non-Chinese ‘outsiders.

We’re in First Place with green buildings and on other streets too
By James Cavanaugh
As the new president and C.E.O. of the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority, I am delighted to have this opportunity to introduce myself, and inform the residents of the Downtown community what the future will bring at Battery Park City.

Freedom Tower
This spring, nearly two years after a symbolic cornerstone was placed to mark the beginning of construction of the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site, actual construction of the building is expected to begin.

Downtown Arts & Entertainment

A shiksah takes on Yiddish theater
By Jerry Tallmer
The situation is this:
Motke the Thief, a sort of Yiddish first cousin to Mack the Knife, has the hots for a beautiful little woman named Mary, the acrobat daughter of circus impresario Alter Terach. Mary has conned a considerable sum of money from a Polish john named Der Pawn by playing an acrobatic game with him called Piggie and Birdie. She has tossed the packet of money through a window to Motke, and now her loving papa, Alter Terach, is accusing Der Pawn of rape even while screaming at Motke:

A food drive with a sense of humor
By Rachel Fershleiser
Pei Cobb Freed & Partners is the Pine Street architecture firm renowned for sleek glass and metal designs like the Jacob Javits Center in New York, the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong, and the pyramid expansion on the Louvre Museum in Paris. This week, however, the company experimented with some different building materials: boxes of pasta and canned clams.

The everyman’s holiday
By Laura Silver
He claims he’s not a die-hard “Seinfeld” fan, and insists he’s not a nice, Jewish boy overcompensating for a childhood of Christmas-tree envy. Rather, Allen Salkin, Manhattan journalist and author of “Festivus: The Holiday For The Rest of Us,” is intrigued by the untold story of the television-inspired fête. Clad in a JDate jersey, he revealed the holiday’s lesser-known aspects at a recent New School interview.

‘Breakfast on Pluto’ drags on
By Noah Fowle
For those who felt that “Batman Begins” didn’t offer enough of the antics of the smooth-faced Cillian Murphy, then “Breakfast on Pluto” should make up for lost times. During a violent interrogation scene halfway through the film, Murphy channels his frenetic lunacy into the character of Patrick “Kitten” Braden, who eats up his punishment with cackles of glee.

The Weinstein brothers veer off course with ‘Derailed’
By Noah Fowle
At one time, the Weinstein brothers were the symbol of independent cinema, and could be counted on to provide entertaining movies that ventured outside the norm. But their first release since parting ways with Miramax, “Derailed,” is nothing more than a collection of rote clichés and prototypical characters wrapped in a violent package.

From second billing to starring act
By Emily Zemler
The Honorary Title, a Brooklyn indie rock band that began as the brainchild of Jarrod Gorbel, has played before stadium-size crowds while opening for the likes of Dashboard Confessional, and small clubs filled with their own fans. But Gorbel, who began The Honorary Title several years ago before it expanded into the fourpiece that is now on a nationwide headlining club tour, can’t decide which kind of show he prefers.

The last good man standing
By Scott Harrah
The tragic, untimely end to any prominent public figure’s life always leads to speculation about the possibilities of what might have been, and writer/actor Jack Holmes eloquently explores the myth and mysteries behind one such life in his brilliant play about Robert F. Kennedy, titled simply “RFK.”

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