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Volume 16, Number 31 | December 30- January 8, 2004


Wishes for 2004
At the beginning of 2003, there were nine possible master plans for the World Trade Center site, we weren’t sure where the memorial would be and the W.T.C. PATH commuter station was closed. The year saw significant progress on these three fronts and we hope to see more positive changes for 2004. Here are some of our other wishes for 2004:

The Penney Post
The best of 2003
By Andrei Codrescu
It’s that time, folks. The judges have spoken and their lists of the best 2003 alien experiences are in.

Talking Point
Changes to Freedom Tower are beyond expectations
By David Stanke
The design for the first office tower to rise from the World Trade Center site has succeeded in producing an important American symbol and a very appropriate response to the attacks of 9/11/01. It has done this, against the odds, in a most American way. The Freedom Tower is the product of a dogfight of egos, politics and business. There was neither an overwhelming mandate of principle nor straightforward hierarchy of authority.

Letters to the editor

Downtown Local

Picture Story

I.S. 89 teams get down before break


Mobile mix of crawling, independence and fear
By Sara Trappler-Spielman
I come from a pretty large family. And my six-month-old baby is the first grandchild from my side. So my siblings, who can now call themselves aunts and uncles despite their young ages, give her so much attention they end up fighting over her.

Children's Activities


Homemade pasta and fine wines
By Frank Angelino
After six years of lying vacant, vibrant new energy enlivens 202 West 14th Street, where Primitivo Italian restaurant recently opened.
According to partner Peter Traub, the name Primitivo has several meanings. First, it is a lusty, southern Italian red wine.

Home for the holidays

All in the family and optimistic for 2004
While many of us flock to suburban malls or uptown to shop for the holidays, we may be overlooking some very fine shops right here in our neighborhood. As many of our local retailers continue to struggle in the wake of 9/11, we have decided to spotlight some of them this holiday season. This is the final article of the series.

Downtown Express photos by Michael Luongo

Haji, left, and his father, also named Haji, outside their new rug store in Kabul, Afghanistan. The son said he has sold over 1,000 rugs depicting planes near the Twin Towers, mostly to American soldiers.

W.T.C. rugs, from Kabul to N.Y.C.
By Michael Luongo
I swore I would not buy any rugs. I’d been to the Middle East before and the come-on was always about rugs. Kabul was no different. Here I was on Chicken Street, the main tourist area, on my first day, surrounded by dozens of rug stores. Since Afghanistan isn’t exactly a tourist haven, I wondered how these places made it. The seemingly unjustified quantity of rugs made the come-ons all the stronger.

C.B. 1 debates Liberty Bond extension
By Josh Rogers
Community Board 1 is backing an extension of the tax-free Liberty Bond program but opposes using more of the money on residential buildings because members say it is encouraging too many small, luxury-rent apartments.

First private school to open Downtown in 2005
By Elizabeth O’Brien
An educational entrepreneur has decided to invest in Wall Street with the creation of a new private school for grades kindergarten through eight across from the New York Stock Exchange.

Mayor backs limits to noise from bars
By Elizabeth O’Brien
If a noise is loud enough to hear without straining, never mind the decibel reading or sound guns — the mayor says he’s going to do something about it.

Gym and pool for East Side community center
By Lincoln Anderson
Representatives of the YMCA and University Settlement presented plans on Dec. 15 for a new Lower East Side community center and recreational facility to be located in the residential building being built on the south side of E. Houston St. in the Cooper Sq. Urban Renewal Area.

Catholic Churches like St. Xavier grapple with reform
By Timothy Lavin
St. Francis Xavier Catholic church has long been known for its progressively minded congregation and clergy. Few found it surprising, then, when in the summer of 2002 a collection of Xavier parishioners formed the first New York City chapter of ‘Voice of the Faithful,’ a controversial group created in Boston in response to the priestly sexual abuse scandals.

International tea business grows in Chinatown
By H. Michael Jalili
On her second day in New York, Dora Hargitai came to Chinatown to buy tea. She and her boyfriend, Bruce Chatterjee, 27, were visiting from Holland. The salesclerk at the Ten Ren Teashop, on Mott St., gave them each a cup of hot green tea to sample. “One of the first things I wanted to do in New York,” Hargitai, 29, said, “was to buy tea in Chinatown.”

Silver’s ‘workaholic’ aide to retire this week
By Albert Amateau
Yvonne Morrow, who has been engaged in virtually every Downtown neighborhood issue over the past 22 years, is retiring this week from the staff of state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

Bank opens two new branches in Lower Manhattan
By Erin Bruehl
Independence Community Bank has continued its expansion in the metropolitan area in recent weeks, with the openings of two new branches in Tribeca and the City Hall area.

Actress examines parents’ influence on her life
By John Arbucci
Once a week, Linda Sithole stands in front of a roomful of strangers and tells her life story, including the deaths of her mother and father.
Every Saturday night, Sithole (pronounced sih-TOLL-le) a 38-year-old actress born in South Africa, performs her one-woman play, “Linda Means to Wait,” at the Shooting Star Theatre in the South Street Seaport.

Koch on film
“What Alice Found” (+)
This is a superbly-crafted movie with three terrific principal actors. The rather simple storyline depicts a moving and poignant slice of life at the lower depths.
“The Statement” (-) Not very good at all. Based on a book and true story, the film covers an event in Vichy, France, when the local French collaborators in the Vichy government cooperated with the Nazis in the roundup and murder of Jews.

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