THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 18 • Issue 32 | December 23 - 29, 2005

Derailing the people of New York City
We share in the joy of millions of New Yorkers to hear the rumble of subway trains once again running now that the illegal bus and subway strike is over. Roger Toussaint, leader of the Transport Workers Union was wrong to go out on strike and we are delighted he in effect admitted his mistake and is now willing to negotiate without hurting the people of New York City.

Letters to the editor

Talking Point
Far from heaven sent, ‘Rent’ is all-Hollywood
By Sarah Ferguson
I finally went to see “Rent.” After hearing Lower East Side folk gripe — once again — about this Broadway musical-turned-movie ripping off local characters and tap dancing over the neighborhood’s radical history, I dragged my butt over to Chelsea Cinemas to see Hollywood’s candy-cream version of the East Village circa 1989.

Santa’s Soho hangout
If Santa can sleigh through the air and ride down chimneys, why not hang out about 50 feet up? This Christmas decoration is behind a Spring St. building and visible from Sullivan St. (Downtown Express photo by Tequila Minsky)

The Penny Post
Lighten up on Christmas
By Andrei Codrescu
It’s the time of the year when people without a thought in their head, particularly politicians wishing to advance their careers, make a big deal out of things like “Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays.” What knuckleheads first started this controversy is hard to say, but it’s certain that once knuckleheads start up something truly stupid it will catch on like fire.

Police blotter

In Pictures
Christmas trees perform near the Palms
(Downtown Express photos by Elisabeth Robert )

Slipping back on slipping off socks
By Jane Flanagan
Okay, ladies, do you find this mothering role a slippery slope? I do. A couple of years ago I read an article by a woman who had an 8-year-old son. She wrote about how she was still dressing him in the morning. I was shocked. “Why is she doing that,” I wondered. I was then a smug mother of a four-year-old son who was dressing fairly well for his age. I just couldn’t imagine.

Christmas trees perform near the Palms
An angel helped save Christmas trees from a logger as the Paper Bag Players entertained the Winter Garden crowd Sunday with a holiday performance.

Hurricanes blow away Lions in O.T. to win Sol Lain crown


Strike derails Downtown shops
By Ronda Kaysen
The throng of New Yorkers pouring over the Brooklyn Bridge into Lower Manhattan on Tuesday morning hurried by the United Federation of Teachers coffee stand. Few bothered to stop in the 20-degree weather for free coffee.

Click here for a photographic essay of the strike

Tribeca’s sweet smell of success
By Vanessa Romo
Umanoff & Parsons is the kind of business that doesn’t need a sign.
“I just followed my nose to get here,” said Michelle McCumiskey, 23, a first time customer at the Tribeca wholesale bakery. “It smells so good you can’t miss it.”

British architect returns to the W.T.C. to design new tower
By Josh Rogers
World-renowned architect Norman Foster, whose two bended, “kissing towers” reminiscent of the Twin Towers lost out to Daniel Libeskind’s site plan for the World Trade Center site three years ago, will design the site’s first Church St. tower.


Pier A deal looks like it may heat up – again
By Ronda Kaysen
The National Park Service voiced renewed interest in a landmark pier in Battery Park, after nearly a year of stalled negotiations with the pier’s leaseholder.

Gerson backs new noise code after last-minute changes
By Albert Amateau
The Bloomberg administration’s noise code, the first new version in 30 years, won the overwhelming approval of the City Council Wednesday after last minute changes that addressed some concerns of Councilmember Alan Gerson and other critics.

Preservationists dig in for fight on Tunnel Garage
By Lincoln Anderson
Neighbors and preservationists rallied in Soho outside the Tunnel Garage on Saturday, calling for the historic structure to be landmarked. A developer is seeking a variance from the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals to build a 10-story residential building on the site.

Hey bartender! Beer, buybacks and telling tales
By Ellen Keohane
A few minutes before 7 o’clock on a recent Friday evening, Dan Sweeney arrived for his bartending shift at the crowded St. Mark’s Ale House in the East Village. Sweeney, 28, who is thin with chin-length blonde hair, immediately started pouring drafts and catching up with regulars.

Blockbuster goes bust in Tribeca
Tribeca movie renters will have one less option in 2006, as Blockbuster Express prepares to close its doors in January.

A volunteer puts post-9/11 training into practice
By Albert Amateau
On Oct. 7, two weeks after Hurricane Rita slammed into the Louisiana coast already devastated by Hurricane Katrina a month earlier, Simone Cornu, who runs an architectural design business in the Village, went to the bayou country as a Red Cross volunteer.

N.Y.U.’s director moves up from Lower Manhattan
By Lincoln Anderson
With the hiring of Sharon Greenberger as its inaugural director of real estate and campus planning, New York University says it is taking a fresh approach to the use of its existing facilities and development of new ones.

Hotline to catch construction frauds Downtown
Redevelopment officials launched a fraud prevention hotline for construction related projects in Lower Manhattan.

Downtown Arts & Entertainment

Art goes on, despite the strike
By Laura Silver
On Tuesday, December 20, the faces of 40 New Yorkers were projected onto the sides of two adjacent buildings at the corner of Howard Street and Broadway. Danish artist Hanne Lise Thomsen had created the public art exhibit with holiday-focused New Yorkers in mind, who would be doing their shopping along Canal Street while the projection ran its course. Instead, it was largely eclipsed by the hubbub of the subway strike, as car horns formed an audio background for the one-night-only showing of her work.

One stage, two very different Pinters
In a handful of dust, or an old rocking chair. Rose and Bert Hudd are at home in their room on an upper floor of a large house somewhere in London. Well, England. He sits at a table reading a magazine, saying nothing, nothing, nothing. She chatters away, serves him food and tea, chatters, chatters, sits in the rocking chair, gets up. There is a knock on the door.

Not much about Munich in Spielberg’s new film
By Steven Snyder
Only weeks after Hany Abu-Assad’s moving “Paradise Now,” the intimate and unnerving tale of two Palestinian suicide bombers, Steven Spielberg offers a more global perspective on the political and societal struggles of the Middle East with his ambitious – perhaps too ambitious – “Munich.”

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