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THE VILLAGER 1-20-11

THE VILLAGER 1-20-11

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145 SIXTH AVENUE • NYC 10013 • COPYRIGHT © 2011 COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC
Volume 80, Number 34 
$1.00 
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Hudson Square, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side,
Since 1933 
January 20 - 26, 2011
Galileo 2.0, p. 17BY JERRY TALLMER
It must be at least 30 years ago thatI went to visit Ellen Stewart at N.Y.U.Hospital. She was all dolled up inbed in a fancy pink and yellow rufflednightgown. “Hello, honey,” she saidin that wonderful, inimitable, sharp-edged, soft-core Geechee English thatnow none of us will ever hear again. “Idied twice since you saw me last.” Well, three strikes is out — ormaybe 53 strikes of terminating illness,all told, since then. Ellen Stewart,the creator and lifelong prime moverof Off Off Broadway’s world-embrac-ing La MaMa E.T.C. (ExperimentalTheatre Club), departed this earth late Wednesday night or early Thursdaymorning, January 13, 2011.She may have been 91. She mayhave been more. Ellen wasn’t goingto tell you. The New York Times givesher birth date as November 7, 1919,her place of birth as Chicago, her placeof death as Beth Israel Hospital in thiscity, and says she “spent her childhoodyears” between Chicago and the rathersmaller Alexandria, Louisiana, thoughI always thought it was the other wayround, Louisiana first — Geechee ter-rain — then Chicago.It was all a sort of mystery, anunwritten — never-to-be-written —Faulkner novel. But once — just once— when she was letting drop a littlebit about her days in Chicago beforecoming to New York, she hit me witha sunny little s--t-eating Shirley Templesmile, and then: “Some people used tothink me pretty, you know.”
Pretty?
As my mother would havesaid, Cleopatra isn’t in it. Sheer café-au-lait gorgeous is what Ellen was,and ever more so as the years went byand the fragility burned ever brighter.Fragile — but oh my! Henry Jameswould have had a field day word-painting it for us, Ellen Stewart’s ever-increasing incandescence.This farewell is being written sev-eral days before a Mass for Ellen was tobe held Monday morning January 17,at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fifth Avenueand 50th Street — a most appropriatelocale in the light of what Ellen, in aprofile by me in Thrive, had recalled afew years ago about her arrival in NewYork in 1950 as an unknown would-befashion designer.A cab driver had charged her50 bucks to take her from GrandCentral Station to the Hotel Theresain Harlem, but Fidel Castro, as it hap-pens, had taken over the whole HotelTheresa. Somehow she found anotherhotel.“Monday morning the man on the
Ellen: The Mama of them all
File photo
Ellen Stewart, founder of La MaMa Theatre, was at City Hall in September 2004 for the announcement of the FourthArts Block deal with the city. Seven properties on E. Fourth St. between Bowery and Second Ave., plus severalvacant lots, were sold for $1 each to Fourth Arts Block, a.k.a. FAB. Under the deal, the properties were permanentlydedicated for use by cultural, nonprofit organizations, assuring that the theaters, dance studios and other artisticuses on the block would not disappear.
Continued on page 4
EDITORIAL,LETTERS
PAGE 12
MENDEZ GETS TOUGH ON ASTHMA
PAGE 26
BY ALINE REYNOLDS
Cathie Black, the city’snew schools chancellor, hadlittle to say at last Thursday’sSchool Overcrowding TaskForce meeting organized byAssembly Speaker SheldonSilver. But the little that shedid say made headlines andsparked outrage around thecity.Task force member EricGreenleaf, a business profes-sor at New York University’sStern School of Business,has done extensive researchon the population boom inLower Manhattan and theresulting overcrowding inits public schools. When hepresented his latest data toBlack on Thursday, showingan estimated need for 1,000additional seats by 2015,Black made a verbal gaffethat riled up the entire edu-cation community.“Could we just have somebirth control for a while? Itwould really help us all out,” joked Black.The comment was
Parents see red after Black makes abortion remark 
BY WICKHAM BOYLE
Ellen Stewart, the mercu-rial, magical, inventive, pre-scient founder and longtimeartistic director of the famedLa MaMa Theatre, died inNew York City on Jan. 13.Stewart was my mentor, myboss, my partner, the grand-mother to my children —and to generations of uswho worked in New YorkCity or American or worldtheater, she was our mother.Everything about EllenStewart is swathed in mys-tery and wonder. Even TheNew York Times, bastion of fact, attributes three possi-ble dates for her birth, from1917 to 1919. Her birth-place was Chicago, but heraccent morphed. It was dif-ferent when she spoke to thepress, her adoring audiencesor to her bad “babies,” andit could range from GeecheeLouisianan, to across theworld or become the grit-tiest street-corner banter.Like the theatrical form shespawned, global, multicul-
Ellen Stewart, 91,doyenne of La MaMa and all avant drama 
Continued on page 8 Continued on page 5 
 
2
January 20 - 26, 2011
E. 2nd St. shooting
A family dispute in an apartment at 225E. Second St. around 9 a.m. Wed., Jan. 12,ended with gunfire and a 33-year-old manin critical but stable condition at BellevueHospital with a gunshot wound in the abdo-men, police said.The shooter, also male — identified in aNew York Post item as the victim’s cousin— fled, police said. The victim, reportedly aconstruction worker, was visiting a female rel-ative in the second-floor apartment betweenAvenues A and B when the shooting occurred,police said. Police are investigating and therewere no arrests as of Tues., Jan. 18.
Woman thrown, mugged
Police are seeking public assistance inlocating a man and a woman wanted inconnection with a Sat., Jan. 8, mugging of a woman at 5:26 a.m. in front of 608 E.Ninth St. between Avenues A and B. Theman grabbed the victim, 26, from behind,demanded her bag, threw her to the pave-ment and fled with the bag, police said.The mugger was described as a black manbetween ages 35 and 45, wearing a darkknit cap with white trim, a gray hooded jacket and a long coat with fur trim. Hisaccomplice, described as a black woman,between ages 35 and 40, in a red or orangecoat with a hood, a dark hat and carryinga purse, was acting as lookout, police said.Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or makea report online at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text to CRIMES (274637) and enterTIPS577. All calls are confidential.
Found shot in fire
Firefighters found a man, 63, dead of a gunshot wound to the head in the bath-room of his fourth-floor apartment at 362E. 10th St. on the afternoon of Wed., Jan.12. The alarm came in at 2:49 p.m. andthe fire, confined to the fourth floor, wasunder control by 3:56 p.m. according tothe Fire Department. The blaze was underinvestigation but was believed to havestarted in the victim’s apartment. Policesaid a .32-caliber revolver was recoveredin the bathroom where the victim, MikeZecchino, was found. The victim, a residentof the apartment for 30 years, is believedto have committed suicide. He was said tobe a hoarder whose disorderly apartmentwas crammed with various articles. TheOffice of the Chief Medical Examiner was
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Photo by Helayne Seidman
A family member cried as she was taken in for questioning by police after a shoot-ing on E. Second St. near Avenue C on Jan. 12.
POLICE BLOTTER
Continued on page 7 
 
January 20 - 26, 2011
3
GO DOGS GO — ALL NIGHT LONG!
New York famous-ly has 24-hour diners and delis, overnight pharmacies andnumerous other round-the-clock spots. Now, for the NewYork dog that has everything, there will also be a 24-hourdog run — at Washington Square Park. We were tippedoff by
Margie Rubin
, a disabled activist from Westbeth,who sent us a letter last week complaining that while analcove she used to enjoy sitting in in her wheelchair is beingreduced in size in the park’s renovation, the new dog runfor large dogs is going to be going, in the words of 
LionelRitchie
, “all night long” from now on.
Philip Abramson
,a Parks Department spokesperson, confirmed to us in ane-mail: “There will be an entrance to the large dog run on Washington Square South which will allow the dog runto be open overnight while the rest of the park is closed.It was requested by the local dog owners who would usethe run. This is part of the renovation’s Phase III, whichincludes the park house/comfort station. We hope to startconstruction in late spring/early summer and finish one yearlater.” Asked if it was the first all-hours dog run in one of the city’s public parks, Abramson said, “I believe so.” Manyquestions remain unanswered, though, about “Club Canine.” Will small dogs from the nearby small dog run try to crashthe pooch party? Will there be a V.I.P. area for the hot dogs(and we’re not talking dachshunds)? Will a pit bull be thebouncer at the gate?
KOCH CONSISTENT:
 
Ed Koch
said that his formerGreenwich Village co-district leader from the 1960’s,
CarolGreitzer
, recently sent him an old newspaper clipping fromMarch 11, 1965, reporting on his talk at a meeting of theGreenwich Village Association. The article, by Mary Nichols,quoted Koch as saying that all legislative reapportionment —i.e. redistricting — at the city, state and federal levels, shouldbe done by a bipartisan commission. Ironically, it’s the samecause Koch is still pushing today — nearly 45 years later! — aspart of his New York Uprising initiative. “She said, ‘Becauseit’s what you’re currently involved with, I thought you’d beinterested,’ ” Koch said Greitzer wrote in a note she enclosedwith the old paper. “It’s flaky, you have to be careful whenyou handle it. It falls apart,” he said of the aged article, whichran in another Village paper. “Regrettably, it was the VillageVoice,” Koch said, “I was hoping it would be The Villager.”
MALAYSIAN MISSION:
 
Maria Skouras
left her jobearlier this month as senior policy analyst in N.Y.U.’s Officeof Government and Community Affairs, and is now in KualaLumpur, Malaysia. She’s volunteering there with a groupcalled eHomemakers — urban women who make baskets outof discarded newspapers and magazines and sell them to sup-port their families. Skouras, who is also an N.Y.U. graduate,will be in Malaysia from Jan. 15 to June to record the women’sstories and help find U.S. markets to sell their baskets. Whenshe wasn’t analyzing policy, Skouras was pitching in to helpat community events.
Lois Rakoff 
, community director of the Poe Room at N.Y.U. School of Law, said, “Maria was my‘go-to person’ and liaison for the Poe Room events. Whenthe Poe Room was celebrating Edgar’s birthday, I wanted abirthday cake for him. Maria got a bakery to put Edgar’s faceon the birthday cake. Maria helped the Washington SquareMusic Festival on behalf of N.Y.U. Maria coordinated N.Y.U.’sChildren’s Halloween Parade. She dressed as a princess. Mariais a fascinating, beautiful person inside and out. She is knownfor brain, charm and glamour, hairstyles and high stylishdress, silks, satins and velvets. She told me she will be wearinglong sleeves and a headcovering because the females she willbe working with in Malaysia are Muslim.”
FREEDOM TO LEAK:
L.E.S. Slacktivist
John Penley
 has reserved the City Hall steps for April 7 at 3 p.m. for apress conference in support of Private
Bradley Manning
and WikiLeaks. Manning is currently being held in “maximumcustody” in a Marine Corps brig, facing court martial forpassing classified U.S. military documents to WikiLeaks’
Julian Assange.
Assange is on bail and under house arrestin England pending an extradition hearing on two rapeshe allegedly committed in Sweden — though he claims thecharges are politically motivated. U.S. Attorney General
EricHolder
is also trying to build a case against him. While thepress conference is three months away, Penley said excite-ment is already building and it’s generating lots of interest.… Penley also tipped us off that N.Y.U.’s Tamiment Libraryrecently acquired the papers of the late radical attorney andGreenwich Village resident William Kunstler.
SCOOPY’S
 
NOTEBOOK
File photo
Maria Skouras, made up as a mermaid, helped sellraffle tickets at the P.S. 41 “Atlantis” fundraiser inApril 2008.
 N 
 
THE 
 
HEART 
 
OF 
REENWICH 
ILLAGE 
— Recommended by Gourmet Magazine, Zagat, Crain’s NY, Playbill & The Villager — 
“Gold Medal Chef of the Year”. — Chefs de Cuisine Association
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69 MacDougal St.
(Bet. Bleeker & Houston St.)
 
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Home of the NFL Sunday Ticket,College Football, Premier LeagueSoccer, MLB Playoffs + World Series
Private Party Room avail. /  
happy hour 4 -7 Mon. - Fri.
63 Carmine St., Greenwich Village.Tel. 212 - 414 - 1223 •
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