THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | Volume 16 • Issue 43 | March 26 - April 1, 2004


Ending social promotion requires more than a test
The plan by Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to end so-called social promotion at the third-grade level has become a major news story in recent weeks, after the mayor rammed the plan’s approval through the Panel for Educational Policy. He did so, of course, by removing three members from the panel who opposed the idea, in the process generating a firestorm of controversy.

Penny Post
Miami, a virgin dressed in skeumorphs
By Andrei Codrescu
The Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-Palm Beach megalopolis is a new city in a huge state that contains the oldest city on the North American continent, St. Augustine, the greatest number of non-natives of all the states in the nation, some of the worst racist past of any Southern state, the greatest number of incoming retirees and refugees, an active inner migration, and a bountiful variety of eco-systems that have been nearly destroyed by mindless greed and ignorance.

Talking Point
A calmer peace march on Madison Ave.
By Keith Crandell
You may remember that last year, on a frigid Feb. 15, 2003, Mayor Bloomberg made his support of Bush war policies vividly clear. He first denied permits for a peaceful protest against the upcoming preemptive war. Then he used New York’s police as an attack force to intimidate the tens of thousands of marchers — many of them visitors to our city.

Letters to the editor

Downtown Local
School visit

Federal dollars

Imagine an Emmy

C.B. 1 meetings

Free play readings

Small business info

Police Blotter

Conquering America one borough at a time

An estimated 100 years of living mostly Downtown

Neill to step down at Seaport Museum


Picture Story

Max Weil, 16 months, made his way on the play equipment.

Youth Activities


Local bars lend support for girls’ clubhouse
By David Kelsey
This Sunday night, March 28, actress Rosario Dawson will host “Let’s Hear it for the Girls!” at the Bowery Ballroom, a benefit fundraiser for a clubhouse for the Lower Eastside Girls Club. The Girls Club is seeking to raise $10 million for the clubhouse at a site on Avenue D. Serving girls eight to 18, the organization lacks a clubhouse, operating through the help of other facilities, and not at a central location.

Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio

The reopened World Trade Center PATH station is once again the busiest stop in the system at 33,500 riders a day. It is one of the reasons that many Lower Manhattan leaders say there is a renewed sense of optimism in our ninth annual Progress Report.

Gehry in, school out?
By Elizabeth O’brien
The celebrated architect Frank Gehry will likely be named the designer of a mixed-use tower slated for construction on the N.Y.U. Downtown Hospital parking lot site at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, according to Community Board 1 chairperson Madelyn Wils.

Southbridge votes not to go private
By Albert Amateau
Southbridge Towers residents on Wednesday voted narrowly to defeat a proposal to seek preliminary information on dissolving their connection with the Mitchell-Lama program and taking the 1,651-unit co-op private.

Trump’s fans wait for fame
By Janel Bladow
The canyons of Wall St. were alive not with the sounds of roaring bulls or growling bears but with thousands of corporate wannabes anxious for the chance to face The Donald in the next season of his hit series, “The Apprentice.”

Mayor looks to B.P.C.A to pay for Javits Center
By Albert Amateau
The Bloomberg administration plans to use $350 million in future surplus revenues of the Battery Park City Authority to secure the bonds that would finance the expansion of the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Film Forum programmer has had an award-winning run
By Jerry Talmer
On February 23 of this year the French government awarded Film Forum programmer Bruce Goldstein la belle France’s medal of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Pace to open public high school in Chinatown
By Elizabeth O’Brien
Pace University and the New York City Education Department have teamed up to give area students a jumpstart on college with the opening of Pace High School this fall inside M.S. 131 on Hester St.


Getting Ready TO BUILD

Design for the W.T.C. memorial

Train center design

Optimism as Downtown plans move to building stage
By Josh Rogers
Lower Manhattan residents and business people know they will be next to one of the world’s greatest construction areas for the next decade, but many say there is now a sense of optimism as redevelopment plans — which have been the subject of countless debates since September 2001 – begin to be implemented in 2004.

An airport-commuter link is crucial for Downtown
By Carl Weisbrod
n the next 30 days, one of the most important decisions in the Downtown rebuilding process will be made: the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., together with the Port Authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the city’s Economic Development Corporation will unveil the preferred alternative for direct rail access from Long Island and JFK Airport to Lower Manhattan.

Finding the right arts mix at the new W.T.C.
By Madelyn Wils
As we move forward in the planning of the World Trade Center site, the realization of a cultural complex becomes more omnipresent. The anxiety over the many years of construction and the inconveniences that will become part of our daily lives can be diminished somewhat by the knowledge that we will all benefit from the outcome.

Cultural center will build on Chinatown’s strengths
By Amy Chin
In the days and weeks after 9/11, like all our Downtown neighbors, the New York Chinese Cultural Center was not sure whether or when we could re-open and resume our programs. Now, two and half years later, our dance, art and language classes are again filled with children and adults from the tri-state area.

Looking forward to living across from the progress
By David Stanke
A few months time will mark the end of my family’s “9/11” journey. Renovations on our condo on Liberty St., severely damaged and contaminated by the falling towers, will be complete. Our neighbors (those who have endured the stress of the last three years) will move back in to our apartments. The final pieces of our lives will return to their 9/10/01 patterns. Except for the 16-acre void at our doorstep, everything will be as it was.

A letter from the L.M.D.C.
Formed in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has worked to transform Lower Manhattan into a 21st century central business district with a thriving residential community.

Downtown park renovations making Lower Manhattan a lot greener
By Adrian Benepe
Historic Lower Manhattan is getting its most extensive open space improvements in almost four centuries. As part of the City’s Lower Manhattan Open Space Vision Plan, an extensive array of projects are in progress which will expand green space, improve waterfront access, and open new active recreation spaces for Lower Manhattan’s workers, tourists and growing residential population.

What’s in store for Lower Manhattan parks
The city Parks Dept. released this list of Lower Manhattan park projects and their funding sources.

Residential development expands in Hudson Square
By Albert Amateau
Hudson Sq., the former printing house district between Houston and Canal Sts. west of Sixth Ave., is being transformed as expensive residential condos are nearing completion and more are planned.

New businesses in Hudson Sq.
By Jason Pizer
With a portfolio of more than 7 million square feet of space, Trinity Real Estate is the leading property owner in Hudson Square. Trinity Real Estate’s history dates back more than three centuries, when it started to develop properties for residential use on land ceded to the parish by England’s Queen Anne in 1705.

A celebrated dancer with a gift for teaching
By Jaclyn Marinese
At the beginning of his West African dance classes at Stuyvesant High School, Maguette Camara always explains the relevance of the movements he is about to teach.

The Wheel of Life
By Wickham Boyle
I only enrolled in the pottery class to keep a friend company. I wanted to see this young woman who had taken a leave of absence from college, because, well, it helps me to understand my own children.

Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
“Starsky & Hutch” (-) Many people will love this harebrained film, some of whom were devotees of the 70’s television series on which the movie is based. I never saw a single episode of that show.
“Secret Window” (-) Johnny Depp is a phenomenal actor, but I don’t agree with his politics. He is an expatriate, now living in France. In the context of the Iraqi war, he made the unforgivable remark, “Anywhere is better than the U.S.,” the land of his citizenship and the country that made him famous.

What’s on tap? War, Politics, Journalism
By Timothy Lavin
Many young, intelligent people have devoted otherwise productive hours imagining the perfect bar that they would one day own with their friends. The Half King, now a thriving haunt on 10th Avenue and 23rd Street, began inauspiciously as one of those classic bar room conversations.

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