THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | Volume 17 • Issue 28 | Dec. 03 - 09, 2004


From the Editor
Raising money
for the memorial
Wednesday’s announcement of the first 31 directors of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation was welcome news. Efforts to create the foundation and begin the daunting task of raising perhaps $500 million have been stymied up until now. Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert
James Gill, chairperson of the Battery Park City Authority, left, shook hands Friday with Uwe-Karsten Heye, consul general of Germany, in front of a nearly three-ton section of the Berlin Wall near Liberty St. and South End Ave. The city of Berlin donated the piece to the neighborhood for the 15th anniversary of the wall’s fall. The section’s painting was done by an East German and was typical of the artwork made by individuals looking to liven up the drab wall during the height of the Cold War.

Letters to the editor

Talkling Point
$14 billion for city schools? The Empire State has no money
By Henry J. Stern
What do you write when the major news story of the day is totally ridiculous? It was a little Danish boy, back in 1837, who said: “The emperor has no clothes,” because everyone else was deluded into believing that he was wearing a magnificent suit.

World AIDS Day Downtown
Tony Saccent, using sign language, read the names of people who have died of AIDS for Housing Works’ vigil for World AIDS Day on Dec. 1 at City Hall Park. Beginning midnight and ending 24 hours later, the vigil involved a succession of speakers reciting names, symbolizing the spread of H.I.V. According to United Nations statistics, there are 39.4 million people living with H.I.V./AIDS worldwide. Since 1981, 20 million people have died of AIDS. Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert


Children's Activities

New York's
Exciting downtown scene
9/11 families rally for intelligence bill
Mary Fetchet, left, a leader of the 9/11 Family Steering committee whose son Brad died on Sept. 11, and Madeline Pace, who lost several friends in the attack, began a five-day daily protest at the World Trade Center site Wednesday. They are protesting the fact that Congress went into recess before passing a comprehensive bill to implement the intelligence reforms recommended by the 9/11 Commission. The protestors accuse President Bush of sending mixed signals as to his support for the bill and criticize House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s refusal to bring the bill to the floor for a vote in deference to two House committee chairs. Several Congressional supporters of the bill showed up the first two days of the protest including one Republican, U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays of Conn. and four Democrats — Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler and Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

W.T.C. name debate resurfaces
By Josh Rogers
Two fathers who lost sons on 9/11 and who were named to the just-created foundation to raise money for the World Trade Center memorial are looking to change the memorial design in different ways. If an internal foundation dispute surfaces at the board’s beginning, it would have the potential to complicate the group’s task of raising hundreds of millions of dollars for the memorial and adjacent cultural center.

De Niro hotel clears one more city hurdle
By Ronda Kaysen
Robert De Niro’s Tribeca hotel project inched one step closer to fruition last week when the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the design. The approval marks the third time the tony hotel has appeared before the commission.

Federal Hall closes a year for renovations
By Divya Watal
Federal Hall, the striking neo-classical building opposite the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street, closed its doors on Dec. 2 for extensive rehabilitation.

Gehry stays mum on Beekman tower project
By Ronda Kaysen
New York is intense, even for famed architect Frank Gehry. During a Nov. 29 discussion with Parsons School of Design Dean Paul Goldberger, Gehry confirmed, among other things, that New York City is a very different town than his current place of residence — sprawling Los Angeles.

E.P.A. extends public comment period
By Ronda Kaysen
The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the public comment period for the Draft Proposed Sampling Program to Determine Extent of World Trade Center Impacts until Jan. 18, to the relief of community representatives.

Beginning to plan Houston Street’s community center
By Lincoln Anderson
When Mayor Bloomberg led the topping-off ceremony for Avalon Chrystie Place at E. Houston St. and the Bowery last month, the Whole Foods market planned for the new building seemed to get an inordinate amount of attention. However, while the project’s community-led planning process did identify a new supermarket as a priority, even more important to many in the neighborhood will be the building’s new community center.

Over $100,000
for Canal Park
Now that the triangular area between Canal Street and West Side Highway is well on its way to becoming a park, community members who fought for its revival have a new mission: to raise money for its maintenance.

Hudson Park Trust nears decision on Pier 57
By Albert Amateau
The advisory council of the Hudson River Park Trust recommended this week that the development of Pier 57 be awarded to Leonardo at Pier 57, a partnership of the Cipriani restaurant group and The Witkoff Organization.

2 hepatitis cases
in P.S. 89 class
By Ronda Kaysen
Last week, two P.S. 89 kindergarteners — both in the same class — were diagnosed with Hepatitis A, an infectious liver disease, sparking concern among parents and a public health response from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Bacon or pork? Members of Congress bring it back Downtown
By Albert Amateau
Congressmembers Jerrold Nadler, Carol Maloney and Nydia Velazquez secured more than $20 million in federal funds for projects in their districts, which include parts of Downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.

In The Arts

Besotted with Fred Astaire Cabaret performer pays tribute to his singing
By Jerry Tallmer
The most beautiful woman ever to wear a top hat was Marlene Dietrich. Or maybe not. Maybe Andrea Marcovicci is the most beautiful woman ever to wear a top hat.

Autumn overtakes the blue states
By David Shengold
The Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall under Robert Bass played a very timely concert on Veterans Day: Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem,” written to mark the 1962 re-consecration of Coventry Cathedral, built next to the ruins of its Luftwaffe-destroyed predecessor.

Everything turns out okay
By Tata Dougherty
In college lectures in the early 1990s, few artists were as frequently covered as Barbara Kruger. Her images found their way into the curriculum of several of my classes, even beyond the art history department. Once I began my career in the art world employed by the gallery that represents her, I was surprised that her work always seemed undervalued in comparison to other artists of her stature.

Organic, earthy 1980s flora, fauna
By Stephen Mueller
Strangely, there are currently a number of shows around town of ‘80s art.
One of the best is the Matthew Marks show of Terry Winters paintings and drawings from 1981 to 1986. These are some of the earliest paintings that Winters showed in New York. The palette is dark and evokes a primordial ooze, the womb of all life.

Night of a thousand recriminations

By David Kennerly
In the spellbinding Broadway revival of “‘night, Mother,” set designer Neil Patel has prominently placed a clock, set real-time, on the wall of the painfully ordinary living room.

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