THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | Volume 17 • Issue 20 | October 08 - 14, 2004

Inside
Editorial
A tightening presidential race
The first two presidential and vice presidential debates have clearly tightened the race for the White House.
No one can be certain how accurately the polls are predicting what the turnout will be, but if you assume they are, Sen. John Kerry the Democratic candidate has gone from a double-digit deficit to something close to a dead heat as a result of the first debates.

The Penny Post
Echo boomers and echoes
By Andrei Codrescu
Morley Safer from “60 Minutes” sent me a book called “Nine Suitcases” by Bella Zsolt. It’s the memoir of a cafe-going, fun-loving young citizen of Budapest who had a wife and many friends and was a writer. He spent a lot of time in the cafes discussing the ominous signs of the times and having drinks. Then came an unsuccessful revolution and Bella found himself in a Ukrainian prison camp where he worked digging graves into the frozen ground at 20 below zero. He survived savage beatings and the typhus and returned to Budapest just in time to see the Hungarian fascists begin to kill Jews. He gathered his wife and escaped to France lugging nine suitcases that were almost lost.

Talking Point
Taking a wrong turn on W.T.C. ramp question
By David Stanke
The Port Authority is now designing the less glamorous parts of the World Trade Center, the ugly little underground facilities that actually allow the beautiful buildings to function. They have narrowed the options for a W.T.C. bus, truck and auto ramp to underground parking to three locations at the corner of West and Liberty Sts. This location was clearly chosen as the result of the past years of lobbying by every neighborhood and constituency to keep these ramps off their own turf. So when Community Board 1 suggests that all three P.A. options are bad, I ask wheremight be a better option?

Letters to the Editor

Downtown Express photo by Jennifer Bodrow
Sign of the times?
After a long holdout, the Ear Inn at 326 Spring St., never friendly to cell phones, finally caves into the up-market forces buffeting the far West Side of Lower Manhattan, aka Hudson Square.


Downtown Local
Downtown Montana

Chalk session

Solaire tour

C.B. 1 meetings


Youth/Children's

Downtown Soccer League action
Compiled by Tyler Pray
Last weekend saw great sports action and good friendly competition in the Downtown Soccer League.

And a child shall teach us: Soho’s Anne Frank Center
By Bonnie Rosenstock
In this year of landmark commemorations and remembrances — the 100th anniversary of the General Slocum tragedy, the third anniversary of Sept. 11 — Anne Frank’s 75th birthday on June 12.

Children's Activities


Picture Story

Indian Seaport lights
The Association of Indians in America hosted the 17th Deepavali Mela, the world’s largest Indian festival of lights, on Oct. 3 at the South Street Seaport.


New York's
Exciting downtown scene

Bars/Clubs
NEWS
Leaders bullish on Gateway rent deal prospects
By Ronda Kaysen
Negotiations between the Gateway Plaza landlord, the Lefrak Organization, and the Gateway Plaza Tenants’ Association may be picking up steam — with a nudge from Community Board 1 – as the June expiration date for rent-stabilized leases fast approaches.

Some Bushies among New York’s newest citizens
By Michelle Chen
The mid-morning sunlight flooded into the marble interior of the hall outside the courtroom, where dozens of people leaned against the walls in understated anticipation of one of the most important political events of their lives. A democratic montage of West Africans, Europeans, Latin Americans and other immigrants waited for the courtroom’s towering wooden doors to part at last.

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

The city is studying building residential towers over the Lower Manhattan section of the F.D.R. Drive to fund additional park space along the East River.


City floats tower-park idea for the East River
By Josh Rogers
After a half century or so of new East Side waterfront plans, city officials think they may have an idea that won’t end up with all of the others – that is, sleeping with the East River fishes. They are now considering building seven apartment towers over the F.D.R. Drive to pay for an additional 12 acres of park space in Lower Manhattan.
P.S. 150 first in math again
By Rachel Evans
The fourth graders at P.S. 150 earned the city’s number one ranking in mathematics for their school.
The scores of the twenty-six students who took the exam at the end of the 2003-2004 academic year were released Thursday.

A little Bohemia for B.P.C.
By Ronda Kaysen
The Poets House, the largest poetry center and archive of its kind in the United States, is about to get a whole lot bigger. As part of the Batter Park City Authority’s efforts to provide the community with more amenities as it develops, Poets House will soon relocate from its Spring St. digs to a loftier location cattycorner to the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City.

Midtown computer firm moving Downtown
By Divya Watal
Computer Generated Solutions, Inc., a 20-year-old New York-based technology company located in Midtown Manhattan, plans to move its headquarters to 3 World Financial Center in Battery Park City.

Buddhist relic tour comes to Chinatown
By Hemmy So
When the Buddhist lawyer Victoria Ewart began managing the Maitreya Project’s Relic tour, she was skeptical about the tour’s contents. But after she personally witnessed mysterious changes in her inventory, she could not deny its spiritual energy.

Chinatown park turf battle nears compromise
By Ronda Kaysen
The feuding factions of the Columbus Park turf war may soon strike a truce, but there is little hope either side will ever make nice and play together. With a meeting slated for next Wednesday between local elected officials, the Parks Department and the proponents and opponents of synthetic turf, all sides have agreed on one thing, at least: a compromise is imminent.

Downtown fire chief will hang up hard hat
By Tyler Pray
Battalion 1 Fire Chief Bill Blaich, 58, is getting ready to retire at the end of the year, but not because of his age. He’s just following orders — his wife’s. His career always strained his family, especially her, Blaich said. After 35 years in the F.D.N.Y., he’s going to spend more time with his wife.

Lopez foe arrested for ‘menacing’ former ally
By Lincoln Anderson
Foes of Councilmember Margarita Lopez may not have inflicted any damage on the East Side councilmember’s campaign for borough president yet, but they may be doing so to themselves. A leader of the Committee to Defeat Margarita Lopez 2005 is accusing a former member of recently attacking him with a cane and a switchblade.


ARTS

A haunting quality
By Alison Gregor
Ellen Bradshaw has been visiting saloons for a year now. But it’s not the prospect of a good drink that is drawing her, it’s the bars themselves. Or rather their artistic potential.

Bernstein on the air
By Jason Victor Serinus
Immersed in the eclecticism of American culture, Leonard Bernstein was the first major American conductor to grow up listening to pop tunes and jazz. With Gilbert and Sullivan, Jerome Kern and black music among his early loves, his genius lay in an ability to assimilate pop, classical and uniquely American forms of music into genre-busting compositions endowed with an immediately identifiable personal voice.

C-E-L-E-B-S as if from a factory
By Drew B. Straub
Discussing the work of Sam Taylor-Wood is problematic. So much of the hype surrounding her work––the “young British artist” (YBA) label that links her to others from the “Brit Pack, her marriage to Jay Jopling, the gallery dealer most responsible for bringing this group’s art to the fore, her survival from two cancer bouts and her constant use of celebrities as subjects––makes it inevitable that the discussion of art has more than a dose of fashion and autobiography mixed in as well.

Singing so good it’s fun
By James Jorden
Sure, opera is the highest of all artistic achievement. Any opera queen will bend your ear with that truism. What is often overlooked, however, is that opera can be sheer fun. The first weekend in October offered examples of both facets of the art.

Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
“Head in the Clouds” (+) I saw this film the night it opened and there were only ten people in the audience. Many people probably read the same reviews that I did which went from bad to worse. The script was pounded but there was an admiration for the acting and positive references to the sensuality of the movie. I actually enjoyed it.
“Rick” (-) This flick is similar to a “Twilight Zone” television episode intended to chill an audience or a radio chapter designed by Arch Obler. It makes no attempt to develop characters or personalities and, as a result, the acting offers very little in terms of range.


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