THE WEEKLY NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | Volume 17 • Issue 38 | February 11 - 17, 2005

Inside
Editorial
Joy and questions about new school
Last Friday’s Downtown school victory may not have 1,000 fathers and mothers but it’s sure no orphan either. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Councilmember Alan Gerson, Madelyn Wils and Community Board 1, and Mayor Mike Bloomberg stand out among the many who deserve credit for the announcement that Lower Manhattan will get a much-needed East Side school in Sept. 2008.

Letters to the editor

Under Cover

Police Blotter

Talking Point
Shouldn’t we want gay couples flocking to N.Y.C.?
By Wickham Boyle
Mayor Bloomberg made some very outrageous statements last week regarding the adverse impact sanctioning and performing gay marriages would have on N.Y.C. He used words like “chaos, inundation, and overwhelmed.” What he meant is that thousands of gay couples would “flock or descend” on the city and we couldn’t handle it.

Pictures

The late-afternoon sun created a shadow

The Penny Post
New Orleans: Spring!
By Andrei Codrescu
We’ve had our frigid weather, cold enough to freeze the glitter on a fairy, and now it’s spring. People are sprouting buds and the ends of their fingers are turning into pruning shears. It’s an amazing transformation, dependent on subtropic know-how. I contemplate the dead banana tree in the backyard, the chief victim of our winter, and I am getting psychologically prepared to lop it off. Sawing through banana trunks doesn’t require a chain saw, but the juice gets on you. Dragging the suppurating limbs to the curb is another job. Meanwhile, the Japanese magnolias are blooming and seven flowering trees are preparing to follow suit. They put on such a color-and-bloom show, even the sorriest ruined shack can be sold now to a pale snowbird. Sun-starved tourists are being

Youth
Cougars ready for tournament at French school
By Zachary Roy
The I.S. 89 Cougars boys’ and girls’ basketball teams will look to improve their winning records when they take the court at the French Lycée of New York school on 75th St. and York Avenue on Saturday in the SwisHoops Middle School Tournament.


Arts Downtown

A dream long deferred
By JERRY TALLMER
Four-year-old Cyril liked to climb on rocks.
“Every day of his childhood since he was 4,” says his mother, “I would go on the subway with this little boy from Canal Street to Central Park, where he would climb on the rocks. The big rocks.

Celebrating the ‘Year of the Rooster’
By Vicki Chan
Birds’ chirping softly audible, the peacock stands with her head down, its plumes twittering lightly. The chirping grows melodic, and the peacock arches back gracefully. Her wings spread on either side of her body as her leg lifts towards her back, exhibiting tremendous balance. Suddenly, the chirping clicks off, and Xiaoling Yang walks across the studio to the student dancer and adjusts the positions of her arms. Yang stands next to the student, instructs her to watch the mirror before them, and assumes the same position, indicating the height of her arms.

Mitchell Stokes at Feinstein’s
by David Noh
Tears poured down Brian Stokes Mitchell’s face at his epochal New York cabaret debut at Feinstein’s at the Regency. He was singing Maury Yeston’s “New Words,” a tribute to his little son, Ellington, and, such is this performer’s total involvement, that it became an ecstatically overpowering moment of emotional purity. Actually, we were all crying tears of sheer joy over his artistry, beneficently warm presence and stupendous voice.

Valentine’s Day songs
Lesbian performer Lea Delaria celebrates centenary of Harold Arlen’s songbook
By JERRY TALLMER
“Happy Days” is one thing. “Get Happy” is another. Lea DeLaria bridges both.
“Oh God, yes,” said Samuel Beckett’s newest Winnie, the lady protruding from a mound of earth, when asked if she’s ever seen other Winnies. “I saw Estelle Parsons do it a couple of years ago. I’ve seen university productions. I read the play in high school. I laughed. It’s hilarious.”

The problem with Sweden
By SETH J. BOOKEY
Tolstoy once informed us that happy families are all alike, and unhappy ones are each unhappy in their own way. The new Swedish film “Daybreak,” directed by Björn Runge, gives us a fresh spin on this idea as we follow three unhappy storylines that unfold over the same 24-hour period. Continuing the tradition of trawling the darker end of humanity’s pool, in Ingmar Bergman’s vein, Runge mixes the age-old dramas of infidelity, jealousy and paranoia with some contemporary Swedish themes that include xenophobia, social breakdown and the general fear that the nation’s social welfare-oriented society is heading straight down the toilet.


New York's
Exciting downtown scene
Bars/Clubs

Lunar flowers and luck
With temperatures climbing close to a remarkable 50 degrees, an estimated 35,000 people swarmed the pre-Lunar New Year flower market in Chinatown’s Sara D. Roosevelt Park Saturday and Sunday. “The New Year gods and weather gods are working together,” said a happy Charlie Lai, executive director of the Museum of Chinese in the Americas, which organizes the market. Flowers are supposed to bring luck for the year. Fireworks rang in 4703, the Year of the Rooster, Wednesday and the big Lion Dance parade is this Sunday, Feb. 13, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The colorful floats and costumed dancers will start at the corner of Bayard and Mott Sts. going along Mott St., up E. Broadway, before coming down Forsyth, Division, Bowery and Canal Sts. They will end at the corner of Mott and Worth Sts. (Downtown Express photo by Jennifer Weisbord )


INSIDE DOWNTOWN EXPRESS
Mayor, Silver and Ratner discuss new school’s details
By Josh Rogers
Downtown residents’ long-term efforts to get a new school in Lower Manhattan moved closer to reality Friday when Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced the city would build a K-8 school as part of a 75-story residential tower to be designed by Frank Gehry.

An embed photographer’s view of Iraq
By Ramin Talaie
CAMP LIBERTY BAGHDAD, Iraq — I started packing with the essentials first: Thuraya hand-held sat-phone, R-BGAN Satellite for sending data/images Level 3A with level 4 ceramic plates (front and back), bulletproof vest, Kevlar Army issued helmet,Army issued goggles, jungle boots, sleeping bag capable of sleeping outdoors, 2 Nikon D1x bodies, one 17-35 mm and one 80-200 mm lenses, 5 flash cards capable of capturing over 1000 images in total, 5 D1 batteries, 1 Holga with Polaroid back, 7 packs of 3000 b&w Polaroid film, Sony Vaio laptop, SMC wireless cards, Universal electricity converter, Power strip cord, USB, Firewire, you name it wire, CD-R and CD-RWs to burn images to back up iPod for the fun of it, bout $1,000 in cash plus American Express and Master Card.After packing the above then I got to start packing my clothing! I packed only 2 pairs of pants, 1 pair of trek shoes and the above jungle-boots and a whole bunch of tees. I flew into Kuwait Jan. 21 and met with a military public information officer to make my way to APOD. APOD is the section of Kuwait City Airport used by the United States for its operations in the Iraqi theater. Flight time was 1:15 p.m., which was kept secret from me until I called in around midnight.

Landmarks takes dim view of glowing design
By Ronda Kaysen
An investment partner of former ImClone chief Sam Waksal has plans to build a nine-story residential building on Vestry St. in Tribeca.

An Alliance that has lasted ten years
The Alliance for Downtown New York celebrated it’s ten-year anniversary Monday with a party at the Marriott Financial Center.

Business group forms to help Chinatown
By Aman Singh
Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation selected ten new members for its board of directors and launched a search for a permanent executive director, the organization announced at a Feb. 7 meeting at Sweet-n-Tart Restaurant on Mott St.

Soho street artists fear Gerson’s next move
By Hemmy So
Street artists on West Broadway are feeling shock, anger and worry after Councilmember Alan Gerson’s recent bombshell announcement to them that proposed regulations would either restrict their numbers or relocate them outside the area to a pier or vacant lot.

Quakers explore bringing ‘Peace Pole’ to Downtown
By Divya Watal
The Downtown New York chapter of the Religious Society of Friends, a Quaker organization, recently proposed the installation of a “Peace Pole” in Lower Manhattan.

Freedom Tower will overshadow Tribeca project, developer says
By Ronda Kaysen
The shadow created by a 134-ft. tall residential development at Site 5B, across the street from P.S. 234, will be a trifle compared to the shadow created by two other nearby developments — the 1,776-ft. tall Freedom Tower at the new World Trade Center and the 800-ft. tall Goldman Sachs & Co. headquarters in Battery Park City — according to community officials and representatives for Site 5B.

Transportation officials propose West St. exercise stands
By Ronda Kaysen
Downtowners are going to get in shape — whether they like it or not. The city’s Department of Transportation unveiled plans last week to pepper promenade south, a stretch of parkland between Battery Place and West Thames St. now under development, with artsy exercise and activity stations.

Teens meet and learn about senior citizens
By Aman Singh
“I just closed my eyes and imagined it to be reggae and it was suddenly a lot of fun,” a student said, speaking about his experience while spending time enjoying opera music with a senior adult in one of New York City’s adult centers.

Downtown activist now battles cancer
And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Modern methods to expand for Orthodox synagogue
By Marvin Greisman
The landmark Bialystoker Synagogue recently celebrated its 125th anniversary at a gala dinner that marked the installation of the young rabbi Zvi David Romm as the leader of the historic congregation. Rabbi Romm is only the fifth rabbinical leader to hold that position in the 125-year-long history of this famed Lower East Side synagogue, at 7-11 Willett St./Bialystoker Pl. The dinner, which attracted an audience of 500 people and was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Towers in Midtown, also honored State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the shul’s vice president, for his contributions to the Jewish community and beyond.

TV studio redesigns its space
Lower Manhattan now has a newly revamped broadcast facility where interested residents can get training and equipment to create videos, TV shows and documentaries.


Downtown Homes and Lofts


Hudson Square Boom
By Hemmy So
According to one major real estate broker, Greenwich St. has become the new “Gold Coast,” a hot street for those in the market for a new home. Thanks to recent rezoning that now allows residential development in the formerly manufacturing area, Greenwich St. and its neighboring streets in Hudson Sq. have become ripe for sparkling new condominium projects.
While the

Sold and Closed

A century later,

Glamorous Spaces




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