THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 18 • Issue 48 | April 14 - 20, 2006

Awarding a community and a newspaper
There’s more than the usual deadline pressure on us this week, but we are happy about it. Over the weekend, Downtown Express won ten New York Press Association awards, including the award for best editorials, so perhaps a few more people are turning to this page this week to find out if we are really that deserving of the top prize.

Talking Point
Future of Lower East Side Jewry hangs by a thread
By Juda S. Engelmayer
Growing up on the Lower East Side was, for me, a mixed blessing. Sure, I had the benefit of growing up in the city, but I also grew up in a neighborhood in transition but uncertain of where it was heading. At times, I had to deal with neighborhood taunts and jibes by Uptown and suburban schoolmates.

The Penny Post
Spring and the Chinese poets
By Andrei Codrescu
On spring break I, the teacher, headed for the mountains. Most of my students went straight to the beach. That’s a Chinese poem if you read it again. All semester I thought various poetries but lingered longest on the Chinese. For some 3,000 years the Chinese poets stayed faithful to the seasons, the fragility of life, and heartbreak.

Under Cover

Police Blotter

In Briefs
Speaker on W.T.C. impasse

Playing in the shadows

Streets of construction

Greening Canal Street

Tasting Chinatown

Youth/ Sports

On the seventh day, they played ball.
While the mayor’s away… Downtown Little Leaguers played in the City Hall Park fountain Saturday before their annual march to the Battery Park City ballfields.

Youth Activities

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

You can’t rain on their parade…
Well maybe you can literally, but feisty Downtown Little Leaguers went ahead with their Opening Day parade Saturday and reached for the first balls thrown out for the season. The weather did ward off the politicians and some players, who got to play some games on a sunny Sunday. <More>

Waving stars and stripes, Chinatown rallies against immigration bill
By Ronda Kaysen
By 2 o’clock on Monday a large crowd of Chinese restaurant workers, house cleaners, nurses, students, garment workers and fishmongers had gathered at Chatham Square in Chinatown. They stood atop concrete planters and park benches, shielding their eyes from the bright April sun.


Express’s editorials, local coverage judged the state’s best
Downtown Express won 10 New York Press Association awards last weekend including first place prizes for coverage of local government and editorials. In addition, the paper ranked fifth in advertising award points out of the 242 state papers that entered NYPA’s 2005 Better Newspaper Contest.

Dog run problem not only a surface issue, owners say
By Ronda Kaysen
Some dog owners worship the ground their dogs walk on; others, however, worry the ground might hurt their pups’ paws. The surface at the Sirius Dog Run in Battery Park City is too slick for their pooches, some canine owners say, and they are campaigning to have it replaced with a rougher surface.

Teens brainstorm ideas for coming rec center
By Chad Smith
Middle and high school students met with the executive director of Manhattan Youth at I.S. 89 last Thursday to suggest, what they considered, ideal after-school programs for a much-anticipated community center opening Downtown next April.

The woman in charge of Downtown’s curvy streets
By Alex Schmidt
For Lori Ardito, taking a walk down the street isn’t simple. As the new Lower Manhattan borough commissioner for the city Department of Transportation, any time she’s outside is a time that technically, she can be working.

Governor and Silver in bar brawl over S.L.A. plans
By Albert Amateau
The strident protests about noisy bars disrupting the quality of life in the East Village, Soho and West Chelsea have prompted actions in Albany by Governor Pataki and by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s influence in the Legislature.

E.P.A. says no again to Deutsche demo plan
By Ronda Kaysen
Demolition of the contaminated Deutsche Bank building that hovers like a draped coffin over Lower Manhattan might not begin on time, the Environmental Protection Agency warned on Tuesday.

Downtown Arts & Entertainment

Scenes from the old Seaport
By Chad Smith
In dozens of oil paintings, Seaport resident Ellen Bradshaw has documented Manhattan’s lonely street corners, old saloons, and the poetry of everyday life. In her new show, “A Farewell Tribute to the Fulton Fish Market,” she depicts the South Street Seaport during its last year Downtown in a series that’s sometimes melancholy, though always intimate.

Malick’s slice of ‘Heaven’ and hell returns
By Steven Snyder
Contradictions run rampant in Terrence Malick’s four films, considered by many to be some of the most beautiful movies made in the last half-century. The young couple who commits a string of murders in his first film, 1973’s “Badlands,” couldn’t differ more from cinema’s standard depiction of serial killers.

In ‘Wolfpit,’ the children come in green clothing
By Jerry Tallmer
The son of Bessie Bighead and Mrs. Cherry Owen has brought two green children of the 12th century into the world of the 21st century in a theater three flights up on Manhattan’s West 43rd Street. The ghost of Jean Cocteau hovers in the wings.

Historic photography club celebrates 90th anniversary
By Aileen Torres
When modern photography first emerged at the turn of the twentieth century, it was considered a practical tool, not a viable art form. But beginning in 1916, three New Yorkers helped garner respect for the medium.

Behind the hype: concert series returns to Knitting Factory
By Jen Carlson
Jen Carlson writes the Scene and Heard music column for The Village, sister publication of Downtown Expressr. She also edits the Arts & Entertainment section of the New York blog, runs her own artist management company, 5th Floor (, and produces a music series called Moveable Hype at the Knitting Factory.

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