THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 18 • Issue 31 | December 16 - 22, 2005

A winning coalition for W.T.C. arts and culture
If you believe that arts and culture have an important role to play at the W.T.C., it’s time to stand up and say so. Governor Pataki once believed that, and spoke glowingly about how a strong arts and cultural component at the W.T.C. reflected the excitement and diversity of New York City and would help to reenergize Lower Manhattan. He threw his weight behind the Libeskind master plan which had art and cultural institutions constituting a vital buffer between a powerful memorial and resurgent commercial activities.

Talking Point
O Mr. Mayor, will you bring us joy and sing ‘O Christmas tree’
By Victor J. Papa
“Happy Holiday” is a greeting that tries to ignore the elephant in the room. It’s delusional. It makes believe Christmas doesn’t really exist when all around us it does. It’s as delusional as Mayor Bloomberg proclaiming the Christmas tree he lights in City Hall Park as the “Holiday” tree — two blocks from where families of Southbridge Towers not only light a Christmas tree, but in a prayerful spirit have a priest bless it in their public square.

The Penny Post
New Orleans gentrification
By Andrei Codrescu
We’ve all seen the agony of the poor on television and heard it first-hand from our friends, who are mostly poor. The poor are everywhere, image-wise. They are the faces of the Katrina victims, they are the reason for massive charity drives, they are the subject of editorial laments, and the raw material for political rhetoric. Whether any of that attention is going to mean anything remains to be seen. The poor make good copy but are they going to be truly helped by all the noise? I doubt it.
On the ’68 trail with Gene McCarthy
By Jerry Tallmer
He was a very nice kid, clean for Gene, and he had just finished telling me: “If this doesn’t work, I’m going to go off and join the crazies” — the blacks who were burning up their own cities, the whites who would someday soon be blowing up labs in Wisconsin, townhouses in Greenwich Village. Now he was cursing his own candidate, the dissenter for whom a thousand kids like this, Sam Brown’s brigade, were cutting their hair, dressing neat, going door to door throughout New Hampshire to knock politely, engage in civil discussion, spread the word.

Letters to the editor

Police Blotter


Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel
Moving beyond ‘Law & Order’
Dick Wolf, who brought “Law & Order” to the Lower Manhattan courts, is back with a new NBC series, “Conviction.” Julianne Nicholson, above left, filmed a scene Tuesday outside 85 Centre St. Actors Anson Mount of “Lost” fame and J. August Richards, who played Gunn on “Angel” also came Downtown for the shoot.

Sports / Youth

Youth Activities

Downtown Express photo by Jennifer Weisbord

In an exclusive interview, Mayor Bloomberg spoke to Downtown Express and other Community Media L.L.C. newspapers in his office Dec. 12.

Bloomberg zeroes in on Downtown rebuilding, arts and living
By Josh Rogers
Mayor Mike Bloomberg is still happy living in his Upper East Side townhouse but the project that could tempt him to try Downtown living is the $50-million, box-shaped condos architect Santiago Calatrava is designing at the Seaport.

Memorial’s falls will close every winter
By Ronda Kaysen
Waterfalls cascading nearly 30 feet to reflecting pools below—a hallmark of the World Trade Center memorial—will be shut off several months of the year because of weather and cost, the redevelopment officials said last week.

Panel scientists tee off on E.P.A. plan
By Ronda Kaysen
Despite resounding criticism, the Environmental Protection Agency will move ahead with a testing and cleanup plan for Lower Manhattan that its own panelists describe as scientifically flawed, designed to find nothing and a wasted effort.

Battery’s wall rediscovered 300 or so years later
By Jefferson Siegel
Hidden from sight for centuries, parts of Downtown continue to yield treasures and secrets from the city’s rich history. In 1991, just north of City Hall, workers excavating land for the Federal Building unearthed an African Burial Ground.


Arts community reflects on cultural loss at the W.T.C.
By Ronda Kaysen
On a cold Monday night less than two weeks before Christmas and more than four years after the World Trade Center disaster, nearly 200 New Yorkers filled a lecture hall at the New School to hear a panel discuss culture at ground zero. Cultural programs might have been radically reduced in the redevelopment plans in recent months, but if Monday night’s turnout is any indication of the mood Downtown, the discussion about culture is far from over.

Lawyers turn to the stage for help in the courtroom
By Albert Amateau
Maggie Polisi, a lawyer who is suing her former law firm and a partner in the firm charging sexual discrimination because she broke off an affair with the partner, went through some intense witness preparation and questioning by lawyers one weekend last month.

East side cop leader proposes traffic change
By Lincoln Anderson
A pitch by the Ninth Police Precinct’s commander to have the city change Avenue B to a one-way street so traffic will flow faster didn’t make much headway at a meeting held by Community Board 3 last Wednesday.

Shops say holiday sales up in Tribeca, down near the Battery
By Caitlin Eichelberger
The inundation of retail chains throughout Manhattan give Downtown’s smaller specialty stores a run for their money, especially during the holiday season. Ten days before Christmas, some Downtown shops are keeping pace, while others are lagging behind. Children’s toy stores in Tribeca appear to be making headway, but jewelers Downtown with longstanding businesses are awaiting a crowd.

Adding tasty decorations to house of ginger
By Frank Farina
The scene was filled with houses of gingerbread, tubs of marshmallow frosting and enough candy to keep one wired for days.  Raging sweet-tooths wouldn’t hesitate to call it paradise, but volunteers at the 16th Annual Gingerbread House Decorating Workshops, call it a very successful holiday fundraiser.

Downtown Arts & Entertainment

An art book for every coffee table
Lorne Colon takes a look at the best art books of 2005

To fight the Mafia, bust a cap
By Sara G. Levin
In defiance of Mafia influence across Sicily, Italian activist Guido Agnello is promoting legitimate business through a staple of gangster attire called the coppola cloth cap. The hat, also known as the Sicilian beret, was primarily associated with Mafioso rank and file during the twentieth century but has now become a symbol of change for Agnello, who intends to use fashion to fight organized crime.

Fire on the mountain
By Steven Snyder
Months before mainstream audiences ever had a chance to buy tickets for “Brokeback Mountain” — which they did in droves last weekend, as city theaters averaged a mind boggling $109,000 per “Brokeback” screen — it was already well known in political circles as the “gay cowboy movie.”

Crossing the digital divide
By Laura Silver
Viva the typewriter and other outmoded means of communication that inform the eight technologically savvy, multi-media works that make up “The Last Generation,” a new exhibition on display at Apexart. Curated by poet and art critic Max Henry, the show is intent on articulating the relationship between obsolete processes and cutting-edge creation.

A celestial film bogged down in deep thoughts
By Noah Fowle
In its attempt to pose great questions regarding man’s place in the universe, the French Canadian film “The Far Side of the Moon” manages far less than its lofty aspirations. Originally a play, the film’s auteur Robert Lapage does triple duty directing the film and playing the pair of brothers at the story’s core.

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Drinking Santas storm the Seaport
A band of “bad” Santas landed in Lower Manhattan Saturday to celebrate SantaCon, a holiday parade of pranks and public drunkenness.


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