THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | Volume 17 • Issue 23 | Oct. 29 - Nov.02, 2004

Inside
Editorial
Endorsing in less than contested races
Although Downtown Manhattan often sees hotly contested Democratic primary elections when the race is for an open seat, incumbents almost never have competitive campaigns. While our local representatives have mostly done good jobs, there is something troubling about seldom having real choices in elections.

Talking Point
Thinking about politics and Varick St. while living in France
By Patricia Fieldsteel
NYONS, France — I voted on October 7th — mailed in the yellow pre-addressed absentee ballot envelope to Varick St. I admit I overdid it on the stamps. The instructions were in Spanish, Chinese and Korean and on the reverse side very briefly in English. I carefully blackened in the little ovals in the Democratic B column underneath Kerry/Edwards, Schumer and Nadler — no hanging or pregnant chads or misaligned boxes. I confess to my heart’s beating rapidly, to even feeling a little teary as I did this — made a Xerox copy of my vote and trotted around the corner to the regulation yellow La Poste mailbox on the Rue des Déportés.

Thinking about politics and Varick St. while living in France
By Patricia Fieldsteel
NYONS, France — I voted on October 7th — mailed in the yellow pre-addressed absentee ballot envelope to Varick St. I admit I overdid it on the stamps. The instructions were in Spanish, Chinese and Korean and on the reverse side very briefly in English. I carefully blackened in the little ovals in the Democratic B column underneath Kerry/Edwards, Schumer and Nadler — no hanging or pregnant chads or misaligned boxes. I confess to my heart’s beating rapidly, to even feeling a little teary as I did this — made a Xerox copy of my vote and trotted around the corner to the regulation yellow La Poste mailbox on the Rue des Déportés.

Letters to the Editor


Downtown Local

Sign of respect for immigrants

Libeskind memoir

Flying banners

C.B. 1 meetings

100 years of underground rumbling

Small fire strands government workers

Desperate search for ballet group

Police Blotter


Sports

Full weekend of soccer action
Compiled by Tyler Pray
Players in Downtown Soccer continued to progress and improve their soccer skills and team play in a full schedule of games last weekend.

Home-school kids get out for a workout, or two, or three
By Jill Stern
About four years ago, when my oldest child was about to go into kindergarten, I toyed with the idea of home-schooling. I always admired and glorified the brave families who bucked the system. I came up with a zillion reasons why I shouldn’t and/or couldn’t go that route. One of those reasons was the lack of sports education. Ultimately, I registered my kids in public school. I have always fantasized about an alternative lifestyle, but I haven’t quite gotten there.


New York's
Exciting downtown scene

Bars/Clubs
NEWS
Is ‘Tribeca’ fest mostly fiction?
By Ronda Kaysen
When Maria Gillespie, founder and choreographer of Oni Dance in Los Angeles, came across a press release circulating the Internet for the Tribeca Arts Festival, she thought she had found a way to get her fledgling dance company its first gig in Manhattan. The offer seemed too good to be true: in exchange for a $100 per dancer application fee, the festival would fit the bill for airfare and accommodations and pay the troupe $3,000 to perform.

Downtown Torah will return to Germany
By Sascha Brodsky
In a way, Rick Landman’s Torah is going home.
Next month, the 200-year-old Torah is returning to Germany, from where Landman’s grandfather took it after fleeing the Nazis. Landman, a Tribeca resident, will present the Torah to representatives of the German synagogue Congregation Beth Shalom at Congregation Beth Simchat, 57 Bethune St., Nov. 9.
Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

If a cow were to graze in City Hall Park, it might look something like this. Artist Julian Opie’s work, which includes the digital walkers near the Tweed Courthouse steps, opened in the park Wednesday.<more>


5th grader sells toys for Kerry
By Nancy Reardon
At only 10 years old, Juliette Kessler won’t be in the voting booth on Tuesday, but that hasn’t stopped her from stumping for her candidate. Kessler raised $97 for Sen. John Kerry’s campaign in four hours in Washington Market Park’s Greenmarket last Saturday by selling her new and used toys priced from 25 cents to $3. Not only a persuasive saleswoman, Kessler was poised and ready for political debate.

In The News
I.S. 89 says adios to sixth grade Spanish
By Ronda Kaysen
I.S. 89 has cancelled plans for a half-year sixth grade Spanish class this year due to a $30,000 P.T.A. budget shortfall.
Citing last year’s disappointing fundraising event, Stars and Stripes, and low parent involvement, the P.T.A. slashed its budget from $93,000 to $60,000 also cutting its contribution to the library’s budget by 50 percent to $3,000.

Historic Chinatown store reopens under new management
By Hemmy So
Amid the bustle of Chinatown shops, a new face popped up two weeks ago in an historic location. Once home to 32 Mott Street General Store, the namesake address now houses Good Fortune Gifts, Inc.

Ferry commuters react to Waterway’s money woes
By Jesse Greenspan, Shivani Mahendroo and Peter Sanders
When Shalini Mahajan and her husband Umesh were apartment hunting in New Jersey two years ago, they signed a lease on an apartment in Newport because of its proximity to the New York Waterway ferry. Mahajan, an associate director at UBS Warburg, rides the ferry to her office in 30 minutes. More importantly, as a mother of a one year old, she can reach home quickly in case of an emergency.

Community band moves closer to two Grammys
By Melanie Wallis
A Downtown community brass band, The TriBattery Pops, have advanced to the semi-final round toward two Grammy Awards — just seven months after the band was founded.

Halloween Parade founder still devilish 30 years later
By Roslyn Kramer
Witches and warlocks will prance up Sixth Ave. Oct 31 in the Greenwich Village Holloween Parade, but as entertaining as the annual event is, one critical element has been missing since 1985: its creator, Ralph Lee.

Modern art for landmark building and park
By Divya Watal
The Tweed Courthouse, an historic landmark on Chambers Street, has impressed passersby with its Victorian steps, Corinthian columns, and marble cornices ever since its $85 million restoration in 1999. But on Wednesday, people were struck by a digital addition.

Silverstein shows off 7 W.T.C.’s mettle to Silver
By Josh Rogers
World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein showed Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver around 7 W.T.C. Wednesday assuring the speaker that the building, expected to be completed early next year, will not only be one of the safest office buildings around, but that it will also help bring back the Downtown economy.

Tenants get qualified mayoral support for housing bill
By Albert Amateau
More than 500 tenants of subsidized housing, many from the Lower East Side, rallied at City Hall on Tuesday in support of a bill introduced by City Councilmember Alan Gerson that would give tenants the first right to buy their buildings when landlords take projects out of subsidy programs.

Nadler and Hort square off in debate for Congress
By Chris Oliver
The gloves came off in the heated race for the 8th Congressional Congress seat in a debate Wednesday night.
Democratic incumbent Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Tribeca attorney Peter Hort, a Republican, sparred over issues that included the war in Iraq, Social Security, health care, education, abortion and gay rights at Fordham Law School’s McNally amphitheater.

B.P.C.A., residents wonder about agency’s future
By Ronda Kaysen
The Battery Park City Authority, the state agency that oversees the development and management of Battery Park City, may soon enter a new — and far less influential — phase. After the request for proposal for the last undeveloped plot of land is released in January, and after the remaining six undeveloped sites are built out, the authority’s primary job – to develop the 92-acre neighborhood built atop the debris left from the building of the World Trade Center – will be complete.

Memories return of the Chicago 7 and 1968
By Jerry Tallmer
Well. Yogi, it was certainly déjà vu all over again at 45 Bleecker St. this past Monday night.

Video captures New York view from a stroller
By Angela Benfield
A Tribeca mom has created a new children’s video, “Littlewalks New York,” that mixes classical music, jazz and pop while taking you on a virtual tour of Manhattan – all from a toddler’s point of view.


In The Arts

‘You tell me, who’s oppressed?’
By JERRY TALLMER
The walls of her Chelsea apartment are a brilliant glossy Chinese red. Her suit, from India, is bright orange silk. Her hairdo is that of 1930s vamp Louise Brooks, her toenails, this day, are passion-candy pink. Eve Ensler doesn’t, at the moment, look what you would really call oppressed.

Season of satire
By DAVID SPIHER
Just in time for Election Day, an entire entrance wall at Jon Tomlinson Industries is devoted to an involved letter by Brad Fisher asking God for help in overcoming the evils of Republicanism, and specifically getting George W. Bush voted out of office.

Baritone barely redeems ‘Bohème’
By James Jorden
You know you’re in trouble when the best thing about a performance of “La Bohème” is the Marcello role, but this season’s revival of the Puccini opera at the Metropolitan Opera, seen on October 23, features a really superb artist in the role—Peter Mattei. The tall, handsome baritone boasts an even, mellow lyric sound and a firm Italianate legato, not to mention a romantic star’s stage presence.

‘Chekhov Now’ more vital than ever
By JERRY TALLMER
Firs is an old, old half-deaf manservant who mumbles and fumbles his way through “The Cherry Orchard” — a person of very little consequence, except, of course, to Anton Chekhov, who was interested in everybody who ever lived and brought several hundreds of them to imperishable life on stage or within the pages of stories long and short.

All that jazz
By Wickham Boyle
The union of bars downtown and NYU students is not unusual. What is newsworthy is the alliance that was launched this past week between the Garage, a restaurant and cafe at 99 Seventh Avenue, and the NYU Jazz and Contemporary studies department.

For those finally entering the kitchen
By SCOTT BRASSART
Once upon a time, when I was living in Boston, I hosted a dinner party. It was a disaster. The salad was boring, the chicken burnt, the vegetables steamed into limp, flavorless oblivion. The food was so bad that my friends voted unanimously to throw it in the garbage and order pizza. The only thing on my original menu that we actually consumed was a store-bought cheesecake.

Koch on Film
By Ed Koch
“Vera Drake” (+)
This understated English film set in the 1950s provides a first-rate viewing experience.
“Stage Beauty” (+)
Compared with “Shakespeare in Love” this film is disappointing; nevertheless, it is entertaining.

Maugham gem comes a cropper
By David Noh
Could any man, with the possible exception of Tennessee Williams, write better roles for women than W. Somerset Maugham? Fascinating, multi-layered female personalities dominate works like “Of Human Bondage,” “Rain,” “The Letter,” “The Razor’s Edge” and “Theatre,” which has been made into the film, “Being Julia.” Maugham was uncannily able to get under the skin of his adulterous wives, murderesses and harlots, both redeemed and unredeemed, with the deft mastery of the most discerning psychologist.

The First Amendment in wartime
By DAVID M. SKOVER
All societies live by myths, and no society can live without them. Myths are narratives that furnish the organizing principles for society and its culture. Myths make life within society tolerable, meaningful—indeed, possible.


Downtown Express is published by
Community Media LLC.


Downtown Express
487 Greenwich St.,
Suite 6A | New York, NY 10013

All rights reserved.
Downtown Express and downtownexpress.com
are registered trademarks of Community Media, LLC
John W. Sutter, president





Phone: 212.229.1890 | Fax: 212.229.2790
Email: josh@downtownexpress.com