THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | Volume 17 • Issue 29 | Dec. 10 - 16, 2004

From the Editor
Every billion helps rebuilding
This week’s jury decision awarding World Trade Center site leaseholder Larry Silverstein an extra $1.1 billion in insurance money is unequivocal good news for Lower Manhattan. Leaving aside the legal merits of whether or not the events of Sept. 11 represented one or two attacks on the Twin Towers, Silverstein’s first court victory on this question means we are more likely to have less time to look at the hole in the ground that is often called ground zero.

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Talking Point
Tom Ridge won’t be missed Downtown
By Jane Flanagan
Tom Ridge, Homeland Security secretary, resigned last week and I can’t say I’m sorry. Being a parent in the post- 9/11 world is not easy and Ridge made it harder. Certainly for parents in Lower Manhattan.

Penny Post
The gift of time
By Andrei Codrescu
This year Americans will spend 98% of their cash reserves and 73% of their credit on gifts that will involve learning new things. Even the most apparently traditional gifts such as earrings and boots will have new clasps and pulls that require learning. From there, the difficulties multiply, beginning with wrappers created by puzzle-whizzes, to total bafflement as to what the object might be and complete ignorance as to its functioning.

Letters to the editor

Under cover

Picture Story

Bullish on Xmas

Homemade pizza with a Neapolitan flare
By Frank Angelino
It took five days to cure the rustic pizza oven at the newly-opened L’Asso in Little Italy. On each of those days, executive chef Salvatore Olivella, patiently rubbed the interior stone of the pizza oven with olive oil until it darkened to a burnt umber color. Only then, was the large, curved stone oven ready.

Children's Activities

New York's
Exciting downtown scene
Little West park dreams seem over
By Josh Rogers
The little known street known as Little West St. once was thought to be an area for more recreational park space in Battery Park City, but that idea has been scrapped to keep the street open and add trees to a promenade along the bigger West St.

Competing ideas to change height limits in North Tribeca
By Ronda Kaysen
In a move to assure community input on developer Jack Parker’s pending zoning application for four North Tribeca blocks, Community Board 1 sent a letter to the Department of City Planning this week calling for an Environmental Impact Statement, a move that would effectively delay the developer’s zoning application and require additional community input. The board is also considering filing an application of its own to rezone the entire North Tribeca neighborhood in contrast with Parker’s application.

Park Service begins to float Governors Island ideas
By Ronda Kaysen
The National Park Service unveiled its first round of ideas for the 22-acre National Monument at Governors Island, and has been circulating its plans to various community and government groups for input and feedback.

Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert

Chef David Bouley in the Bouley restaurant kitchen. In March, he hopes to open a bakery with take-out food and ice cream, an organic food market, and a small eatery with cooking demonstrations across the street at W. Broadway and Duane St.

Bouley’s Tribeca expansion moves back to the frontburner
By Ronda Kaysen
If David Bouley has his way, all of Tribeca will soon be cooking his meals at home. The dapper celebrity chef has plans to re-open his famed Bouley Bakery and dazzle Downtowners with an organic market, a casual eatery and a small-scale cooking school on the top floor.

The art of parking in Soho
By Ronda Kaysen
Even a hammering of cold December rain couldn’t keep these New Yorkers from lining up at 12 p.m. on Monday, and it had nothing to do with holiday shopping. They were hungering for a prized piece of Soho real estate: a free parking spot.

Legislation blocks B.P.C. money for Javits project
By Albert Amateau
Governor Pataki, with Mayor Bloomberg and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at his side, signed the legislation on Wednesday that authorizes the expansion of the Javits Convention Center — but not the stadium.

Dashing near the river, B.P.C. gives caroling a go
By Nancy Reardon
It’s hard not to get into the holiday spirit in this city. New Yorkers treat themselves to some holiday cheer with the Christmas trees at Rockefeller Plaza and in Lower Manhattan, the elaborate window displays, and the dazzling lights.

Teen photos of Hudson River Park on exhibit
Starting Saturday, Dec. 11, anyone visiting the Pier 40 lobby Downtown will find an array of new photographs, featuring the Hudson River Park, taken by budding artists in their teens.

Jewish teen bands rock the Knitting Factory
By Tyler Pray
“Can I throw keepas? Anyone in class know if I can? If I throw two is it a mitzvah?” asked emcee Molly Kane to a group of chatty high school students gathered at the Knitting Factory to swoon over three young, competing Jewish bands. She threw the keepas or yarmulkes to the winning raffle ticket holders before announcing the next band.

P.T.A. tales from a seasoned veteran
By Angela Benfield
When my daughter first started kindergarten, I attended my first P.T.A. meeting. Before I arrived, I had imagined that I would be greeted by smiling parents, arms wide open, just waiting to meet me and ask my opinions about child rearing, education, cooking and baking. Little did I realize, I had a better chance of marrying Tom Cruise (and he was still with Nicole at the time).

In The Arts
Photographs that show and tell
By Carrie Moyer
Certain images from “Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful/In Vietnam,” Martha Rosler’s photo-collage series from the late 1960s, have become so embedded in our art-consciousness as to be nearly invisible.

Discovering a bond with a grandfather long gone
By Leonard Quart
When my mother died in 2001, I began to search for pieces of the family past that I had long left untouched. Her death propelled me to rediscover my grandfather, Rabbi Israel Quart, who died when I was only three-years-old. I faintly remember my father once taking me to watch him presiding over Sabbath service in an impoverished, claustrophobic South Bronx synagogue, whose congregation consisted of a group of immigrant garment workers, furriers, and shopkeepers.

Trying Lord Byron for murder
By Tyler Pray
Brilliant British wit, introspective drama and sultry romance fuse into the present day discovery of an intriguing two-century forgotten murder mystery that deliciously ponders the interaction between science and poetry in Tom Stoppard’s “Arcadia,” now playing at Manhattan Theatre Source. The Invisible City Theater Company’s production fits perfectly with the play’s humorous yet cerebral sensibilities.

Retropective on Pulitzer Prize-winning composer
By Jerry Tallmer
My premise: All artists steal, but if you know you’re stealing, you try to disguise it. If you don’t know you’re stealing, you’re just a second-rate imitator.
—Ned Rorem, from his most recent diary, “Lies” (Da Capo Press, 2002).

Once-austere director’s love story
By Steve Erickson
Halfway through “Dolls,” a pop singer performs an ode to the transforming power of love. While her words are banal, they speak for the film itself.
Drawing from Japan’s tradition of Bunraku puppet theater, it’s filled with a swooning romanticism. In Western culture, this sensibility is long out of fashion, perhaps because AIDS has made the connection between love and death all too literal.

Flying too close to the sun
By David Noh
Here’s a real conundrum—why would Martin Scorsese spend millions of Miramax dollars on scrupulous ‘40s Hollywood research and production for “The Aviator,” his biopic of Howard Hughes, and then cast some blandly handsome, soap opera-looking guy as Spencer Tracy, whom many considered the most distinctive film actor of his generation?

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