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Volume 16, Number 29 | December 16-22, 2003


New York City Newspapers Under Attack
Perhaps the community groups will be proud of their efforts when there are fewer community newspapers creating a sense of community within New York's neighborhoods. A well-organized and mis-guided campaign may ultimately eliminate the only vehicles that provide neighborhood news, coverage of the arts, government news, community calendars, while promoting commerce through advertising, and pushing payroll dollars into the community.

Time’s up for M.T.A.’s South Ferry numbers
It may sound naive to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but we think you should figure out the benefits of an investment before you make it. .

Artist move makes Tribeca a little different
By Wickham Boyle
This neighborhood is changing; well so are we all. I see it in the mirror or my lack of enthusiasm for a six-floor walk up party, but the transitions in Tribeca are sometimes more abrupt.

New York, New York
By Andrei Codrescu
In the late sixties when I lived here, the city was dangerous, wacked, and fun. One night I saw six crimes in progress in one block: a guy was smashing a car window with a crowbar, two dudes with hoods over their heads were robbing a tourist, a girl was screaming and holding on to her purse as a fifteen-year old child tugged on it, two strollers were smoking a huge spiff of marijuana, a drug-dealer was handing over glassine packets to someone double-parked in front of the subway stop, and a nicely dressed young man was tearing out of a restaurant with a bag of food he hadn’t paid for, a waiter in hot pursuit.

Letters to the editor

Downtown Local


It’s time for Mom when the fever goes up
By Jane Flanagan
I’m feeling guilty. My son, Rusty, 5, was sick last week with a virus and it afforded me some of my best mom moments.

Children's Activities


Dreidels, menorahs and songs fill Hanukkah Downtown
By Erin Bruehl
From events at the World Financial Center to South Street Seaport to the Museum for Jewish Heritage to local synagogues, there is plenty planned to keep Downtowners entertained this Hanukkah.

Not much help for small businesses
While many of us flock to suburban malls or uptown to shop for the holidays, we may overlook some fine shops right here in our neighborhood. With many of our local retailers continuing to struggle in the wake of 9/11, we have decided to spotlight some of them this holiday season. This article is the third of a series that will run through December.

One of the jurors who will pick the W.T.C. memorial design, James Young, seen here at a public hearing earlier this year, said last week that he thinks the public will accept the selected plan as it changes over time. Downtown Express photo by Ramin Talaie

A W.T.C. juror speaks
By Josh Rogers
One of the 13 people who will select the design for the World Trade Center memorial broke the group’s public silence last week and responded to some of the criticism that has been leveled at the eight proposed plans he and his fellow jurors picked in November.

Lead analysis indicates minimal effect from W.T.C.
By Elizabeth O’Brien
Downtowners may never know the exact source of the elevated lead found in nearly one-third of apartments cleaned and tested by the Environmental Protection Agency after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, experts say.

Kerrey joins 9/11 panel
By Lincoln Anderson
Named a member last week to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, Bob Kerrey, New School University president, is raring to take on the responsibility, yet at the same time is aware of potential pitfalls and a need for a measured approach.
Architects David Childs and Daniel Libeskind are scheduled to unveil their design for the 1,776-foot Freedom Tower Dec. 19, four days after Gov. George Pataki’s deadline for the clashing designers to agree.

New charges brought against radical attorney
By Mary Reinholz
Despite a sore throat and the formidable weight of the federal  government bearing down on her a second time, Downtown defense lawyer Lynne Stewart came out swinging over the weekend in the wake of a superseding indictment charging her with conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist group some four months after a federal judge had dismissed two similar charges against her. She had been scheduled to stand trial Jan. 12 on lesser counts from her April 2002 indictment. 

Sparse turnout for Seaport Museum’s new galleries
By Elizabeth O’Brien
Visitors ahoy!
The South Street Seaport Museum opened some of its new galleries to the public on Friday, Dec. 12. But judging from the light turnout, few people realized there was an impressive gallery space nestled between the retail stores in the 19th-century buildings of Schermerhorn Row.

Neighbors raise money for diesel lawsuit
By Albert Amateau
Neighbors Against NOISE last week issued a call to about 300 Tribeca residents for contributions to fund a lawsuit to force the city’s Dept. of Buildings to prohibit the storage of diesel fuel above ground level near subway entrances or schools.

Poverty, poor language skills plague Chinatown, says report
By Jessica Mintz
Chinatown residents speak less English, make less money and are less likely to have completed high school than the average New Yorker, according to a neighborhood report issued Monday by the Asian American Federation of New York.

C.B. 1, newspapers endorse memorial plans
By Josh Rogers
Community Board 1’s executive committee last week recommended that the World Trade Center memorial jury consider four of the eight possible plans to honor the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks and the 1993 W.T.C. bombing.

Meetings to recertify residential grants
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation will hold Saturday drop-in sessions in December and January to help residents re-certify for their residential grant awards. All residents receiving the two-year commitment grant must re-certify every six months to continue receiving their payments.

Bottom Line nears the end of the line
By Lincoln Anderson
They were three onstage. Each with a guitar. There was John Hiatt, a grizzled veteran singer and songwriter; Suzanne Vega, one of the biggest stars to emerge from the 1980s fast-folk movement; and Dar Williams, a relatively newer star in the folk firmament. They took turns singing their songs, telling stories and anecdotes, bantering with each other, joking with the audience and creating that special atmosphere as only folk music can do. It was a night of folk music in the best tradition.

Assembly to hear complaints about Hudson Park Trust
By Albert Amateau
West Side members of the state Assembly will bring their charges that the Hudson River Park Trust has been excluding the public from participating in important decisions on the 4.5-mile park between the Battery and 59th Sts.

Book event with death row foes and freed inmate
By Elizabeth O’Brien
It’s a long way from Soho to Texas death row, a distance that can be measured in morals as well as miles.
But a group of activists and performers bridged the gap last Wednesday, Dec. 10, when they read from the newly released book of a Texas death row prisoner at the Housing Works Used Book Cafe on Crosby St. Ray Krone, the 100th prisoner exonerated in the U.S., was among those who spoke at the reading held to coincide with the International Day of Human Rights.

Love transforms a tax evader
Josh Kornbluth is back in town, and he’s traded in his red diaper for a Form 1040.
That is to say, the stimulating autobiomonologist of “Red Diaper Baby” (about his Communist parental roots) and “Haiku Tunnel” (about youthful durance vile at a law firm) and “Ben Franklin Unplugged” (well, he looks like Benjamin Franklin) is now among us with “Love & Taxes,” a saga that embraces both a girl named Sara and a 1990s tax bill that expanded exponentially like Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Koch on film
Gloomy Sunday (+)
This film, in German with English subtitles, could have been much better than it is. The story takes place in Budapest toward the end of World War II when the Nazis, under Adolph Eichman, rounded up Hungarian Jews sending tens of thousands to Auschwitz where they were murdered. As far as I know, this particular story is not based on specifically identified people.
The Cooler (+)
One critic referred to this flick as a sleeper but most of them liked it. I think it is a jewel. It reminded me of the English film, “Croupier” which takes place in a London casino.

Get retro: Holiday scenes from the 1960’s
By Davida Singer
It seems almost fitting that Charles Phoenix is talking with me from a bus, on the way to do his latest edition of “God Bless Americana”, at the Pyramid Club Theater on Avenue A. After all, his Kodachrome, brighter than bright Retro Slide Shows - one of which won him a Fringe Festival award for “unique theater experience” this year - do have the definite vintage feel a long bus trip has always allowed.

Chalfant in moving portrayal at the Lortel
A mother writes to her son. She is a doctor in a small city in the Ukraine. Her son is far away and safe, but by 6 p.m. on the next day, July 15, 1941, she, Anna Semyonovna, must be “resettled” — bringing along no more than 15 kilograms of her belongings — behind a barbed-wire-enclosed district in the Old Town. “Anyone remaining will be shot,” say the diktats posted everywhere by the Germans.

New York's
Exciting Downtown Scene






SOUTH STREET SEAPORT MUSEUM opens its new space with an exhibit on slavery, “Captive Passage: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the Americas.” Examines the forced transatlantic migration of Africans, their enslavement and triumphs of culture, community and individual will. Pictured above is the Clipper Ship ‘Nightingale,’ which was used to transport slaves under brutal conditions. 12 Fulton St., between Front and South Sts. 10-5 daily. 212-748-8600. Photo credit: courtesy of the Mariners’ Museum

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