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

Government failure jeopardizes Downtown’s future
In 2002 we published an ominous picture of the Deutsche Bank building on the cover, with what seemed to us like a nightmare caption – that officials were warning the demolition of the building would take two years even if the work could begin right away. In 2006, that nightmare now sounds like a fantasy.

The Penny Post
Our business
By Andrei Codrescu
There is a bird in South America that eats gold. It’s a kind of turkey, and it’s black. This bird, whose name I don’t know, and even if I knew I wouldn’t tell you, follows fast moving streams and zeroes in on sparkling gold flakes. The gold deposits in its gullet. The locals catch the bird, split it open, and take out a chunk of gold sufficient to build a thatched hut from the proceeds. Shrewder people actually follow the gold-eating birds along the streams and pan where they dive.

Under Cover

Police Blotter

Letters to the Editor
In Briefs

A look at Canal-Varick’s future

Youth/ Sports

Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio

How green is my festival?
The fifth Tribeca Film Festival opens Tuesday in a spruced up neighborhood thanks to festival organizers who paid for this temporary triangular lawn on Canal and Varick Sts.<more>


More E.P.A. concerns, more demolition delays By Ronda Kaysen
Environmental concerns have delayed the demolition of three buildings near the World Trade Center site, evoking fears among local residents that their neighborhood is still contaminated.


Residents clash with 9/11 families
By Ronda Kaysen
The rift between 9/11 family groups frustrated with the direction of the redevelopment and Downtown residents eager to see their neighborhood rebuilt just got bigger.

Downtown family objects to 9/11 footage on children’s show
By Alex Schmidt
Like everyone else who was living Downtown on 9/11, Bill Wadsworth and his wife found their own way of coping with their physical proximity to the attacks.

Parker begins demolition before approval to rebuild
By Ronda Kaysen
A stand of squat, one-story buildings in North Tribeca will soon be demolished, making way for a controversial residential development project.

Community gardeners now covered by city insurance
By Alex Schmidt
Community gardeners across New York City are celebrating. On March 23, Parks Department Commissioner Adrian Benepe announced that the city would extend municipal liability protection to community gardens. Previously, these gardens either depended on organizations to cover their private insurance policies or gardeners paid insurance expenses out of pocket.

North Cove digs up to prepare for fast sailors
By Ronda Kaysen
It’s full speed ahead for the Volvo Ocean Race, which will sail through New York for the first time in its history next month.

Art commune’s final days on St. Marks
By Lincoln Anderson
The members of the Cave, a squatter artists collective on St. Mark’s Pl. near Avenue A, recently were compelled to vacate the building after a developer with an option to buy the dilapidated tenement bought them out. Before the developer, Ben Shaoul of Magnum Management, paid them to leave, however, his workers first came in with some heavy-handed tactics, brandishing sledgehammers and crowbars.

First 2nd Ave.stops would connect with Downtown
By Josh Rogers
"If the seventh decade proves to be the charm and fruitful work on the Second Ave. subway actually begins soon, Downtowners will get new services in the first phase of the project and will not have to wait yet another decade or two before they see any benefits."

Chinatown’s precinct leader finds you can go home again
By Albert Amateau
Deputy Inspector Michael Lao became commanding officer of the Fifth Precinct on Jan. 2 of this year, not quite 20 years after he first set foot in the station house on Elizabeth St. as a rookie cop.

Report says luxury developers benefit from tax program
By Tequila Minsky
Members of 10 housing organizations gathered at 88 Leonard St. off Broadway a week ago to draw attention to the release of a report that addresses the question: Do developers in Tribeca need tax subsidies to build in a neighborhood so trendy it even has a car named after it?

Activist lawyers who work pro bono
By Jefferson Siegel
Pro bono publico is the Latin phrase meaning “for the public good.” It connotes the legal profession’s performance of free work as a public service. The work is a suggestion by bar associations, not a mandate.

Architects and students collaborate on mall project
By Bonnie Rosenstock
The Hester Street Collaborative, in conjunction with the United Neighborhoods to Revitalize Allen and Pike, is seeking nominations of people and places to be included in the co-naming of Allen St. as Avenue of the Immigrants

Special Section

All in the family: Tribeca Film Fest reaches out to community
By Steven Snyder
The Tribeca Film Festival is where many communities within the film industry, from producers to screenwriters to directors, come to meet. But for Peter Downing, the festival’s creative director, one of the key missions of the event since its inception has been pulling together the Tribeca residential community as well.

“NY, NY” competition highlights the best of Big Apple films
By Steven Snyder
Director Georgia Lee doesn’t hesitate to credit the Tribeca Film Festival with changing her life.
The director of “Red Doors,” an official entry at last year’s festival, Lee said she was pursuing her MBA at Harvard Business School when she decided to take a leave of absence to pursue her real passion – film.

Benefiting a controversial school through song
By Steven Snyder
The passion that seems to overflow from the vibrant, moving and somewhat addictive “Follow My Voice: With the Music of Hedwig” is quite similar to the passion that makes the Tribeca Film Festival such a remarkable experience. Broken down to their essentials, both are built around great works of art that inspire people to come together in celebration of all that make us different, yet the same.

A lackluster world restored
By Shana Liebman
“On the Bowery,” which screens as part of the “Restored/Rediscovered” series at the Tribeca Film Festival, premiered at the Venice Film festival—in 1957. After winning honors there and by the British Film Academy, it opened in New York City, where the New York Times called it a “dismal exposition to be charging people money to see” and “a temperance lecture.” Shortly after, it went on to be nominated for an Oscar.

Tribeca Drive-In. / Tribeca@Tropfest

Behind the Screens at the Tribeca Film Festival
Most people associate the Tribeca Film Festival with its famous founder Robert De Niro. Behind the scenes, though, hundreds of staff members and volunteers work tirelessly to put together the multi-faceted festival.<more>

Tribeca Film Festival Listings

Inside Iraq:
By Steven Snyder
A growing cadre of renegade filmmakers are traveling overseas and returning with stories that reshape the way Americans see the Iraq war, far beyond the conflict’s traditional media coverage. Three of the latest Iraq documentaries will premiere side-by-side at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, each chronicling the stories of American soldiers, veterans and Iraqi insurgents with an intimacy that no other film or television documentary has yet captured.

Downtown Arts & Entertainment

Miss Marga Gomez’s big breaks
By Jerry Tallmer
Willy Chevalier, who opens the show, moustache and all, has a simple, basic philosophy of life: “Women, you can’t live with them, then you die.”
The woman he mostly couldn’t live with, for 12 extremely volatile years, was his wife Margarita. She was from Puerto Rico.

New art school for tykes pampers parents, too
By alex schmidt
In the basement of the new miniMasters learning center in Tribeca, a woman in a white t-shirt and yellow rubber gloves cleans an already glimmering children’s art area. The white of the room is broken up by a few dabs of primary color in diminutive chairs that sit empty, for the moment, awaiting their first tiny sitters.

Send in the clowns, mimes and break dancers
By Jefferson Siegel
Another sure sign of summer arrived last Tuesday when an open casting call for summer street performers was held at the South Street Seaport.
“My act is a combination of clowning, miming and statue,” said Dennis Krasnov, speaking in his “CityRobot” costume. Printed circuit boards hung from his gold-hued jumpsuit as he held a sound effects controller.

Wall Street gets snarky
By Rachel Fershleiser
If, like me, you are irritated by the media’s tendency to overuse the word “snarky,” particularly in reference to the “blogosphere,” there is someone you can blame.

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