THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 18 • Issue 40 | February 17 - 23, 2006

Editorial
The mayor’s word, and Downtown schools
The mayor is fighting a noble fight in a dishonorable way.
Mike Bloomberg should be fighting hard for the state to fund New York City schools fairly. The governor and the Republican-controlled State Senate have ignored court orders to rectify the inequities by increasing city aid to the tune of $5.6 billion a year. To put pressure on the state, Mayor Bloomberg is delaying 21 school projects he was planning to start this year, until the state starts paying its fair share. It is unconscionable that at least two of these projects – a K-8 on Beekman St. and an annex for Tribeca’s P.S. 234 — and probably many more, are on this list.

Letters to the editor

Under Cover

Talking point
Long search for a high school nears graduation day
By Michele Herman
In front of the bank not so long ago, I ran into two moms I know. The first was a fellow mother of an eighth grader. Then up walked a mom whose kids are still in elementary school. With the innocence and eagerness of an acolyte, the mom with the younger kids asked us how the high school search was coming along. We eighth-grade moms just sighed beatifically. “We’re in a lull right now,” said my friend. “The lull is good.” I nodded in serene agreement. “We like our lull,” I said


The Penny Post
Mardi Gras after Katrina
By Andrei Codrescu
“Buy us back, Chirac!” was one of the slogans of the Krewe de Vieux parade marching in the cold of night. The taped refrigerators marched, the corpses floated by, the Krewe de Jieux rotated in a mad, bearded hora — like rabbis on speed, two huge, naked papier-mâché women named Katrina and Rita were having lesbian sex, a sea of hard hats bobbed up and down under the balcony over Molly’s and a strand of medium-sized, ruby-red beads nearly ripped out my left eyeball.


Photo by Arthur Piccolo
Bullish on the snow
“Charging Bull” braved the snow and there were no bears in sight Sunday in Bowling Green Park — a sign of things to come, Wall Streeters no doubt hope.


Police Blotter


In Briefs

Unlikely football party setting


In Pictures

Snow day!
“I ski all my life because I’m from the Czech Republic,” declared 65-year-old Independence Plaza resident Sylvia Moraevk as she skied along the Battery Park City Esplanade Sunday when the city got 26.9 inches of snow.


Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert .

Governors Island is getting the help of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava who is designing an aerial gondola that would go to the island from Downtwon Manhattan and Brooklyn.

That’s 125 million dollars, not lira for this island gondola
By Josh Rogers
Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Dep. Mayor Daniel Doctoroff have tapped renowned architect Santiago Calatrava to design an aerial gondola connecting Governors Island to Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn for even less money than the two, dollar-a-year city officials make.

News

Quinn, Downtown parents press Gerson on mayor’s school cuts
By Ronda Kaysen
Alan Gerson is stuck between a rock and a City Council speaker when it comes to funding two new Downtown elementary schools. City Councilmember Alan Gerson tempered his criticisms of the mayor after City Council Speaker Christine Quinn voiced her support for Bloomberg’s decision to delay 21 school construction projects until the state kicks in money owed the city.


INSIDE

Knickerbocker tenants fighting state housing decision
By Ronda Kaysen
Knickerbocker Village, a large affordable housing complex in Chinatown, can be removed from a rent protection program, the state decided last month.

Not ready to close the debate on opening Cortlandt St.
By Ronda Kaysen.
One man’s shopping heaven is another man’s suburban hell. A block of Cortlandt St. between Church and Greenwich Sts. has found itself at the center of a dispute between the Department of City Planning and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey about whether to reopen the block, which has been closed since the Twin Towers were built, or transform the space into an enclosed mall.

Movers and shakers say retail is moving Downtown
By Janel Bladow
Build Hermes and they will come.
That sentiment served as a theme for a symposium to real estate biggies and other Downtown movers and shakers held Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Claremont Preparatory School on Broad St. Hermes, a French leather and handbag store, is slated to open at 15 Broad St. later this year and is seen as a sign that more upscale retail may be coming to the Wall St. area.

Some ’05 spikes in crime Downtown
By Albert Amateau
Felony crimes in the six categories of homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, grand larceny and auto theft continued to decline in 2005 from the previous year in the Downtown police precincts, according to comparative statistics compiled by the New York Police Department.

Doubts grow that Con Ed is addressing stray voltage
By Alex Schmidt
When Joe Kelly sold 10,000 feet of vinyl insulator to Con Edison to help prevent stray electrical currents from harming people and animals on New York City’s streets, he was expecting to see a reorder.

Friedman is nominated by party to succeed Sanders
By Lincoln Anderson
In an upset victory, Sylvia Friedman won the support of the majority of the 74th Assembly District’s Democratic County Committee members, garnering the Democratic nomination for a special election this month to fill the vacant East Side Assembly seat formerly held by Steve Sanders.

Art and ink link couple at gallery and tattoo studio
By Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke
As Jesse Lee Denning sat at the front desk in a pleasant, brightly lit art gallery on Orchard St., the whir of a tattoo machine could be heard in the background. Troy Denning, Jesse’s husband and business partner, was overseeing an employee as he inked a design that covered the area from a customer’s shoulder blade to mid-thigh.


Downtown Arts & Entertainment

Searching for the heart of Downtown
By Nicole Davis
“Life before cell phones, answering machines, iPods, or DVDs. No video rentals or Walkmans. No MTV. In other words, less interference.” So begins multi-talent Ann Magnuson’s essay in “The Downtown Book,” the literary companion to the current “Downtown Show” at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery that chronicles downtown New York’s booming art scene between 1974 and 1984.


Youth/ Sports
Feeling guilty even though the massage was shiatsu
By Jane Flanagan
Ask a mother anywhere and she will tell you she’s feeling guilty about something. The emotion has got to start prenatally. And then there are the days the guilt-o-meter goes into the red zone.

Youth Activities

Skyscrapers that would please a treehugger
By Steven Snyder
Skyscrapers, for many, are objects of awe and inspiration, far more important as symbols of power than symbols of practicality. And downtown, at the city’s Skyscraper Museum, tourists regularly tour the gallery in search of the biggest and boldest examples of this unique architectural art form. For them the story is told in the pictures and the models – by the outer shell of these towering monuments.

‘Love’ and war, across the ocean intact
By Steven Snyder
Any movie that involves the tired cliché of a hit man going on that “one last” mission and dares, in a post-“Pulp Fiction” and “Memento” world, to jump back and forth through time and across narratives, better know damn well what it’s doing, since this is not the road less traveled.


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