THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | Volume 16 • Issue 40 | March 5 - 11, 2004

Inside

Editorial
Legalize gay marriage
Marriage is under threat in America. One only need visit a center for battered wives, look at the level of infidelity or note the 50 percent divorce rate to see there are problems with one of society’s most important institutions. Letting two adults who love each other get married poses no threat. Legalizing gay marriage is more likely to strengthen the institution than anything else.

Penny Post
Show the judge your stuff
By Andrei Codrescu
After George Bush’s constitutional amendment passed, there was great confusion in the nation’s courthouses as women in pants and men in skirts tried to prove that they were indeed men or women. The bailiff tried to move things along by barking, “Show the judge your stuff,” which should have been a simple procedure, but it wasn’t because it took hours for some men to undo their corsets and brassieres and Victoria’s Secret panties, and just as long for women to shed their muscle shirts, cotton briefs, and baseball caps.

Talking Point
Are we going back a long way, baby?
By Jane Flanagan
It’s interesting being female these days. In all of the roles: mother, wife or woman.
I keep picking up the paper and reading startling things.
A recent article reported that the F.D.A., originally keen to release an over-the-counter pill to prevent unwanted pregnancy, is now not going to. At least not soon. An advisory panel voted 23–4 in favor, but the F.D.A. is hesitating.

Letters to the editor

Downtown Express photo by Paul Schindler

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, center, called on Mayor Bloomberg to order the city clerk to begin issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples at a rally last Sunday at City Hall. He was joined by gay rights advocates and some Downtown politicians including Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, State Sen. Tom Duane and Councilmember Christine Quinn.


Downtown local
Tribeca development

Roy at Roy’s

Small and big business

Calling dancer wannabes

Registration clarification


Kids/Youth

Helping teens avoid a dangerous habit
By Dr. Amy Glaser
In my adolescent practice I’m often surprised that parents are much more likely to ask me to discuss safe sex and drug abstinence with their teens than they are cigarettes.

Twin Tower tightrope walker inspires picture book
By Jane Van Ingen
Mordicai Gerstein, who has written more than 30 children’s books, has proven that you can write about the Twin Towers without focusing on the horrors of 9/11. His latest picture book, “The Man Who Walked Between the Towers,” is about the tightrope artist, Philippe Petit. In 1974, before the World Trade Center was completed, Petit was a young daredevil who had walked between the steeples of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Walking between the towers would be a little more complicated, and slightly illegal.

I.S. 89 B-ball
The I.S. 89 boys team were scheduled to play the I.S. 131 team last Tuesday, but when the didn’t show, the 89 Cougars practiced instead with other students in Manhattan Youth’s afterschool program.

The screenings begin
The festival kicks off tonight, Friday, March 5 with an opening gala and viewing of “Porco Rosso” at the Director’s Guild of America, 110 West 57th St. For ages 8 to adult it includes a fully catered reception. 6 pm, tickets: $18.

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

Children’s film fest founders from B.P.C.

Eric Beckman, right, and his wife, Emily Shapiro, founders of the New York International Children’s Film Festival, and their children, Willa, left, Romy and Milo in Rockefeller Park near their home. This year’s festival, which opens this weekend, will have a juried competition with statue awards designed by Tom Otterness, who also designed the park’s sculptures, above.



Downtown reacts to W.T.C. vendor law
By Elizabeth O’Brien
Downtowners on both sides of the selling tables had strong reactions to the ground zero vending ban approved by lawmakers on Monday, March 1.

Gay wed fight comes Downtown
By Paul Schindler
Less than a week after the mayor of New Paltz presided over New York’s first same-sex marriages in upstate Ulster County, a crowd estimated by organizers at more than 1,000 turned out at City Hall and across the street at the Municipal Building to call on City Clerk Victor Robles to issue licenses to gay and lesbian couples here in the city.

E.P.A., Clinton announce panel to study W.T.C. response
By Elizabeth O’Brien
A panel of government and independent experts will review the Environmental Protection Agency’s response to the World Trade Center disaster in an attempt to bolster public confidence in the cleanup process, officials announced on Monday, March 1.

Advocates tell L.M.D.C. to spend money on jobs and housing

By Elizabeth O’Brien
Community members rallied at the headquarters of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation on Feb. 27, urging the corporation to direct some of its remaining $1.2 billion towards jobs and affordable housing.

Chinatown protest against loss of ambulance
By Elizabeth O’Brien
The Fire Department has jeopardized public safety with its recent decision to pull an ambulance from the corner of Broadway and Canal St., community members and elected officials protested at a rally at the intersection on Friday

Governors Island president meets with C.B. 1
By Syd Steinhardt
Much is in store, but much is still uncertain, for the future of Governors Island.
That was the message of the head of the new organization overseeing the island’s redevelopment in an appearance before Community Board 1’s waterfront committee a week ago.

Calatrava, Sciame propose tower sculpture for the Seaport
By Josh Rogers
Architect Santiago Calatrava, who wowed many Downtowners with his design for the World Trade Center train station when it was unveiled in January, may be on his way to doing the same with his proposed 835-foot slender tower design in the Seaport announced on Wednesday.

Gekko, mistress of the Lower East Side Tesla coils
By Lincoln Anderson
It was a recent show of the self-proclaimed Downtown Art Babes at Collective Unconscious on Ludlow St. Anna Montana, a performance artist from Europe, had done a strangely mesmerizing “alternative burlesque” in the buff with a mop as a partner. Faux Maux, another Babe, who has a condition that is forcing her posterior backwards, held flash cards on said bum, which was as naked as Montana — the artist, that is, not the state.



Downtown couple revolutionizing children’s film
By Danielle Stein
It is rare today for a children’s movie to garner anywhere near the kind of praise afforded a “serious” film for adults. This year’s “Finding Nemo” was an exception, but it, too, received a degree of patronizing attention: it was impressive because it surpassed the traditional expectations of a kids’ movie. Which begs the question, why are our expectations for kids’ movies so low?

American women in the Spanish Civil War
By Aileen Torres
“Into the Fire: American Women in the Spanish Civil War” is not a feminist film. There do happen to be women in it, who are the sole source of perspective on the intra-national conflict that was a prelude of sorts to World War II.

Filmmaker John Waters brings photographic art to Soho
By Michael Calderone
“I always feel that if you asked me what movie that is from that the work has failed,” says filmmaker John Waters about his new photography retrospective at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. In ‘Change of Life,’ the director of ‘Hairspray,’ ‘Serial Mom,’ and ‘Cecil B. Demented’ displays narrative works of art that incorporate images photographed from countless films, ranging from classic to obscure.

Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
“The Passion of the Christ” (-) This movie is very well done. It details the last 12 hours of Jesus’ (James Caviezel) life after he was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate (Hristo Shopov) and the High Priest Caiaphas (Mattia Sbragia).


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