THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN — Volume 18 • Issue 51 | May 5 - 11, 2006

Editorial
Misuse and abuse of zoning, variances has got to end now
Two contentious Downtown building projects highlight why the city must continue to be vigilant about the misuse and abuse of zoning and variances.
On the West Side, the Arman Building project at the northwest corner of Greenwich and Canal Sts., to be developed by Red Brick, represents how developers try to flout carefully considered new rezonings intended to keep neighborhoods contextual in terms of height and bulk.

The Penny Post
Hugging American style
By Andrei Codrescu
I was never big on hugging unless it was the result of such a spontaneous feeling that it couldn’t be avoided. I’ve dodged professional huggers adroitly in many situations, not always successfully. Being hugged against your will is a little like being taken prisoner by the invisible man.

Talking Point
Melting the frozen zone’s last 16 acres
By David Stanke
Remember the day, April 27, 2006. On April 25, Larry Silverstein accepted in principle the Port Authority’s terms for renegotiation of his lease to rebuild the World Trade Center. April 26, the day the Port approved the agreement, was the last day of the history of 9/11/2001 at Ground Zero. The next day, equipment moved into the pit to begin work on the Freedom Tower. April 27, 2006 was the first day of the future of the W.T.C.


Editorial Picture

Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel
Miles to go while I sleep
Anti-war protesters marched down Broadway Saturday to Foley Square although not all of them stayed awake.


Under Cover

Police Blotter

Letters to the Editor


In Briefs

Marijuana march moves to City Hall Park

Immigrant protest Downtown

Punk chase


Youth/ Sports

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert
Chloe, left, and Rachel, two Buckle My Shoe students. The director of the Tribeca school said reports of long preschool waiting lists are often hyped.

News

Silver: 2nd Ave. subway takes a back seat to rail link
By Josh Rogers
Some might call Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver “Mr. Second Avenue” for his determined efforts to get a subway line built there, but he said last week that there is a transit project even more important — a Downtown rail connection to the Long Island Rail Road.


Preschool frenzy – some see crowds, others see hype
By Ronda Kaysen
Nursery school was not on Elise Mac Adam’s mind. Her son is only 14 months old, hardly the age to begin thinking about school, and she has no urgent need for daycare. But then a friend clued her in to a cold hard truth about preschools in Manhattan — it’s never too early to start looking — and Mac Adam went into something of a tailspin.


INSIDE

Cipriani leaves Hudson Park development project
By Lincoln Anderson
The $250 million Leonardo 57 development project for Pier 57 in the Hudson River Park has hit a major stumbling block, as Cipriani has pulled out of a partnership with the Witkoff Group under which Cipriani would have operated a spacious upscale catering and banquet hall on the pier.

Construction work surprises North Tribeca neighbors
By Jefferson Siegel
Tenants in several north Tribeca buildings were startled last Monday when construction workers started digging a test hole in a closed parking lot on the southeast corner of Washington and Vestry Sts. Residents notified several city agencies, including the police, fire and building departments.

30 years of shaping 3-year-old minds
By Ronda Kaysen
When Ronnie Moskowitz opened a nursery school in Tribeca three decades ago, the neighborhood was a sleepy corner of Lower Manhattan that wasn’t even called Tribeca. It didn’t have a park — the bucolic Washington Market Park was little more than a sandy mound of grass — or an elementary school or even a grocery store.

School cell phone ban raises ire of parents near the W.T.C.
By Alex Schmidt
Parents of New York City children were never much concerned with the school ban on mobile devices that was put in place in 1987, long before cell phones were commonly used; it was never enforced — that is, ostensibly, until now.

Hot 97 faces eviction after latest shooting
By Albert Amateau
Another shooting outside 395 Hudson St. where the radio station Hot 97 FM has its studio — this one at 9 p.m. Wed., April 26 when the hip hop performer Jamal (Gravy) Woolard took a bullet in the butt — prompted the District Council of Carpenters, Benefit Fund, owner of the building, to begin eviction proceedings against the station on May 2.

Great Saunter will be stepping off Saturday for a 32-mile walk
By Albert Amateau
The Great Saunter — sometimes known as The Long Schlep — will begin Saturday morning May 6 when more than 300 intrepid walkers are expected to take part in the 22nd annual 32-mile walk around Manhattan Island sponsored by Shorewalkers, Inc., a hiking and environmental group.

A mountain of upgrades coming at Vesuvio Playground
Ground was broken last Thursday for the long-awaited renovation of Vesuvio Park in Soho. Council Speaker Christine Quinn is funding the $2.8 million project, the first renovation of the playground in more than 25 years. Work is expected to be complete by September 2007, according to the Parks Department.

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Experimental art center opens south of the W.T.C.
By Jefferson Siegel
It may be time to re-draw the cultural maps, as experimental art and theater is now in Downtown’s southern tip. Last Friday there was an opening-night party for 3-Legged Dog’s new performance and art space at 80 Greenwich St. 3-L.D. is a non-profit arts group that creates original theater and performance works.


Downtown Arts & Entertainment


Exposé of Guantánamo blends fact and fiction
By Rania Richardson
“How far will we go in the name of security?” is the marketing tagline and underlying theme for “The Road to Guantánamo,” Michael Winterbottom’s provocative new docu-drama that is screening this weekend, the final one of the Tribeca Film Festival. The film is an apt bookend to a festival that opened with the 9/11 feature, “United 93,” as it sheds light on abuses in the detention center created in the wake of September 11.

An eight-letter word for box-office hit
By Steven Snyder
A year ago, Patrick Creadon attended the Tribeca Film Festival to see a friend’s movie and speculated how amazing it would be if his first film made it into the event.

Karsh Kale, multi-culti experimentalist
By Ernest Barteldes
“I come from all these different places,” says Karsh Kale, the London-born drummer, vocalist, remix artist and songwriter who now lives in Brooklyn, by way of Long Island and California. His new album, “Broken English,” “is a reflection of my own musical environment,” he says, and on it you can hear his quest to blend the melodic influences of his Indian heritage with the Western sounds he grew up listening to.

Whitney Biennial breaks its rules
By Dean Daderko
As artists have become increasingly mobile, producing exhibitions and participating in residencies all over the world, it’s only natural that the 2006 Whitney Biennial, “Day For Night,” would adopt a more global view of art.


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