THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | Volume 16 • Issue 42 | March 19 - 25, 2004


Mayoral candidates: Slow down
Maybe it’s a little naïve, but we’d like to think there might have been a time when political leaders focused on governing most years, and on elections in election years. This year we’re already off to a divisive presidential race that appears likely to get nastier as we move closer to November.

Con Ed has more work to do on safety
The latest sidewalk-shocking incident in the East Village raises anew the fear that our streets are not safe. On March 9, two dogs being walked on First Ave. near St. Mark’s Pl. were zapped on a rain-soaked sidewalk, because, according to Con Edison, a frayed 1930s wire touched a conduit to a building underneath the sidewalk.

Penny Post
For Spain, for Dali
By Andrei Codrescu
Now that all the clocks have melted, let us salute Salvador Dali. The Catalan-born painter escaped the carnage of the Spanish Civil War and, after returning to his native region in the 1950s, was roundly hated by radical leftist separatists. Dali’s elder landsman, Picasso, stayed politically on the left, but his painting “Guernica” was such a powerful anti-slaughter statement that it remains to this day one of the best expressions of outrage against terror.

Talking Point
Don’t run mores streets through the W.T.C.
By David Stanke
New York City is again asserting itself in the details of designing the World Trade Center site. The issue is whether additional vehicular access to the W.T.C. will enhance or detract from the pedestrian experience and street level vitality.


Letters to the editor

Downtown Local

Talking to your teen about birth control
By Dr. Amy Glaser
A mother of a 14-year-old recently called to make an appointment for a pelvic exam for her daughter. The girl told her she was having sexual relations with her boyfriend and the mom wanted her to begin birth control. But the mother’s voice was hesitant. She seemed sorry that the time had already come. She was also conflicted about whether she was doing the right thing. She feared she might be encouraging her daughter to have sex.

Learning that it isn’t ‘all about me’
By Jane Flanagan
My five-year-old son and a few of his schoolmates recently took a class trip to our apartment. Ambling from room to room, they counted toilets and toy airplanes, notating the number on clipboards.

Picture Story

A new look at City Hall
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Monday at City Hall for a performance.

Youth Activities

I.S. 89 boys win
The I.S. 89 boys basketball team strode to victory at last Thursday’s home game, by beating P.S. 140 by nine points, 44-37. Blake Hepburn, the I.S. 89 boys coach said it was a competitive game and P.S. 140, which like the I.S. 89 Cougars is made up of 6th, 7th and 8th graders, was a tough challenger.

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

A new look at City Hall
Acrobats from Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus got an aerial view of City Hall Monday during a preview performance.

Poll: Downtown’s on the right track, but distrust of E.P.A. soars
By Josh Rogers
Things are looking up Downtown, according to a new poll of Downtown residents, but the distrust of the Environmental Protection Agency has climbed to 72 percent.

Counting the ways to spend $1.2 billion
By Elizabeth O’Brien with josh rogers
Many local residents don’t want to take the train to the plane—at least not if creating a rail link from Lower Manhattan to J.F.K. International Airport comes at the expense of affordable housing and other priorities.

Fish flight, lawsuit flood Seaport
By Elizabeth O’Brien
A lawsuit charging the operator of the South Street Seaport mall with deceptive business practices has shaken a community bracing for change when the Fulton Fish Market leaves at the end of this year.

Handmade trusses, in an H.M.O. era
By Deborah Lynn Blumberg
In a small office overlooking City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan, Joe Reiff pounds out strips of leather with a heavy metal anvil and uses a 70-year-old Singer sewing machine to custom make back braces, and foam and leather hernia belts.

Chinatown residents hear traffic plan changes
By Janel Bladow
Parking problems more than traffic congestion were on the minds of Chinatown residents who sloshed through Tuesday’s spring snowstorm to hear proposals to revamp Chatham Square.

Ink dries as I.P.N. rent deal is signed
By Albert Amateau
Laurence Gluck, owner of the Independence Plaza North complex in Tribeca, signed an agreement on Fri. March 12 with the I.P.N. Tenants Association that will allow residents to remain in their apartments at affordable rents after I.P.N. leaves the Mitchell-Lama program.

Synagogue not ready to say goodnight Gracie
By Alan Bastable
On the second floor of the First Roumanian-American Congregation, a Lower East Side synagogue, four century-old slabs of white marble hang outside the sanctuary entrance. Inscribed on each are the names of scores of donors who made contributions to the Orthodox synagogue — ranging from $10 to $500 — in the early 1900s.

Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
“Monsieur Ibrahim” (+) Since the dearth of good new films continues, I looked back at one that opened some time ago. It is only playing at the Paris Theater, and it was packed on Saturday evening when I saw it. Someone once said, “This movie is less than meets the eye,” and that sentiment surely applies in this case.
“Robot Stories” (+) This is a unique four-part film, each segment a separate story.


Bonding over the stove
By Sharon Hartwick
As Suzi O’Rourke’s guests arrived at her Tribeca loft on a recent weekday evening, she greeted each one. Then she handed out personalized aprons, part of a ritual she performs as often as four times a week.

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