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Published by: COMMUNITYMEDIA on Dec 01, 2010
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Last Sunday, tree vendor Scott
Lechner was taking two or three deliv-
ery calls at a time in his cluttered,
smoke-filled R.V. parked on Sixth
Avenue next to SoHo Square.
It was opening week of his com-
pany, SoHo Trees, which is open 24
hours a day, seven days a week, from
now through Christmas Day.
SoHo Trees began as your everyday
neighborhood tree vendor in Flatbush,
“It was 1982,” Lechner said. “We
were just a few young Brooklyn boys
from the streets.”
He had no idea then that the small-
scale business venture would turn
into a competitive citywide operation.
Today, SoHo Trees operates 12 loca-
tions around Manhattan, including
20th Street and Second Avenue, and
Hudson and Clarkson Streets. The
company delivers the trees to the cus-
tomers’ homes, installs and even deco-
rates the trees, which range from $39
to $2,000.
Like most vendors around the
nation, SoHo Trees has struggled in
recent years as fuel, shipping, labor
and rent prices have escalated and
profits have steadily dwindled.
“We’ve been treading water [in
recent years],” said Lechner, who
wouldn’t reveal the company’s finan-
cial status.
But the company has managed to stay
alive, running on the sales pitch of pro-
viding great-quality trees for reasonable
Downtown Express photo by John Bayles
Ruslan Komitsev is one of the many SoHo Tree employees stationed at the
company’s Sixth Avenue location for the holiday season.
At the eleventh hour of
Monday’s special legislative
session called by Governor
Paterson, the New York
State Assembly passed a
moratorium on a controver-
sial drilling technique used
to acquire natural gas.
Horizontal hydraulic
fracturing, or fracking, has
come under fire from envi-
ronmental groups across the
country because of possible
dangers the technique poses
to ground water. The New
York State Senate passed
similar legislation in August
and the bill now awaits the
Governor’s signature.
On Tuesday, Assembly
Speaker Sheldon Silver said,
“This moratorium will help
ensure that the hydrofrack-
ing process will only be
allowed in New York after
a thorough, deliberate and
unrushed analysis of the
process is complete.”
Environmental Con-
After a hiatus that lasted
several weeks, Park51 has
once again found itself in
the media limelight.
SoHo Properties, the
developer of the proposed
community center on Park
Place, has applied for $5
million in federal grant
money that would finance
programming at the center,
including domestic violence
prevention and homeless
veteran services. The grants
would also fund two multi-
cultural art exhibits, immi-
gration services and Arabic
and other foreign language
classes, according to its
blog, park51.org.
“Park51 remains commit-
ted to exploring all sources
of revenue and funding to
build the community cen-
ter in Lower Manhattan,”
Assembly passes
fracking moratorium
Park51 seeks funding
from L.M.D.C.
Cult of holiday cheer
Continued on page 9
Continued on page 17
Continued on page 13
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December 1 - 7, 2010 2
downtown express
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downtown express
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NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-9,12-19
EDITORIAL PAGES . . . . . . . . . . 10-11
YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21-27
CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
C.B. 1
The upcoming week’s schedule of Community
Board 1 committee meetings is below. Unless other-
wise noted, all committee meetings are held at the
board office, located at 49-51 Chambers St., room
709 at 6 p.m.
ON WED., DEC 1: C.B. 1’s Financial District
Committee will meet.
ON THUR., DEC 2: C.B. 1’s Planning and
Community Infrastructure Committee will meet.
ON TUES, DEC 7: C.B. 1’s Battery Park City will
meet at Battery Park City Authority, 1 World Financial
Center, 200 Liberty Street, Manhattan
Opposition to Mayor Bloomberg’s appointment of
Cathleen Black as schools chancellor continued to mount
this week, even as the former publishing executive was
formally cleared to take on the role. On Monday, State
Education Commissioner David Steiner approved a
waiver for Black, only after Bloomberg agreed to install
Deputy Chancellor Shael Polakow-Suransky as a “chief
academic officer” advising Black.
In the weeks after Bloomberg announced the appoint-
ment, parents, lawmakers, and others protested Black’s
lack of education credentials, attempting to persuade
Steiner to deny a waiver that would allow Black to assume
the role nonetheless.
On November 23, Community Board 1 passed a
strongly worded resolution against a waiver, which read,
in part, “there can be no reasonable doubt that there are
far more qualified and better prepared persons to oversee
the management of our schools at this precarious moment
in our City’s future, given Ms. Black’s breathtaking lack of
professional qualifications.”
Several groups have been formed to protest the
appointment, including the Deny Waiver Coalition, which
calls itself “an association of public school parents and
educators as well as concerned community leaders.”
Following the news that the waiver had been granted,
Noah Gotbaum, a D.W.C. member, said, “Last week
Commissioner Steiner, plus six out of eight experts on
his advisory panel, stated unequivocally that Cathy Black
possesses neither the qualifications, the related life or
professional experience, nor any prior interest in public
education, to serve as Chancellor. Other than a closed
door deal to mollify the mayor – parents and educators
want Commissioner Steiner to explain what has changed
over the past six days?”
The D.W.C. plans to hold a protest called “Red
Thursday” on Thursday, December 2, on the steps of
the Tweed Courthouse at 52 Chambers Street, at 4 PM.
Attendees – and those in solidarity with the protest who
cannot attend – are invited to wear the color red.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is hosting a job fair on
December 9 at Rutgers Houses that will focus solely on the
construction job market. The New York State Dormitory
Authority, the Lower East Side Employment Network and
the New York City Housing Authority are also sponsoring
the fair.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and
Gouverneur Hospital will be among a number of groups
delivering presentations about specific construction jobs
currently underway where employment opportunities might
December 1 - 7, 2010 4
downtown express
Possible Charter School to move into Tweed
The Department of Education is con-
templating what to do with the six empty
classrooms in the Tweed Courthouse once
their current occupant, Spruce Street School
(P.S. 397), moves to its permanent location
at Beekman Tower next fall.
The likely candidate is a middle school
called Innovate Manhattan Charter School,
a prospect that worries many Downtown
Eric Greenleaf, a P.S. 234 parent and
New York University business professor,
stressed that the neighborhood is in dire
need of elementary, not middle, school seats.
“You don’t put in a new middle school if it’s
going to displace hundreds of elementary
school kids,” he said. According to a report
Greenleaf presented to Assembly Speaker
Sheldon Silver’s School Overcrowding
Task Force committee last week, Lower
Manhattan will be lacking 500 elementary
school seats by the year 2014.
“It’s very unwise to use [the Tweed space]
for anything else than a non-charter, public
school,” said Greenleaf.
Other Lower Manhattan parents fear
the long commutes their children would
have to make to elementary schools outside
their neighborhoods. “Kindergarteners are
so small — it’s about protecting the littler
ones who need the sense of community in
their early lives,” said Tina Schiller, the par-
ent of a fourth grader in P.S. 234.
Community Board 1 passed a resolution
at its Youth and Education Committee meet-
ing last week, citing the need for a non-char-
ter, public school in Tweed. Silver echoed
the board’s opinion in a statement, saying, “I
strongly urge the Department of Education
to use the space at Tweed Courthouse to
incubate a new school to serve our growing
The possibility of I.M.C.S. moving into
Tweed next year has also rekindled the
debate among Downtown educators and
parents about the caliber of charter schools
compared to traditional district public
I.M.C.S.’s curriculum is modeled after
the Kunskapsskolan Education Program, a
Swedish educational enterprise that, accord-
ing to the school’s website, features per-
sonalized teaching and projects. It is a
culmination of ten years of research and
development, and I.M.C.S.’s founder, Peg
Hoey, noted that the children in the K.E.D.
program have outperformed those in other
Swedish schools. “It has a distinct advantage
of already being tried out by other children,”
she said.
The school, she added, is meant to serve
as a good segue for District Two elementary
school students.
“Our program directly feeds into the
kind of innovative, progressive curriculum
that [District Two] has in their elementary
schools,” Hoey said. “To present another
middle school option that builds on that his-
tory is something that parents want to see.”
But the educational philosophy has not
been tested out in the U.S., which concerns a
number of Downtown parents. And the fact
that it’s modeled after a for-profit company
makes them equally nervous.
“It’s a corporate business model,” Schiller
said. “In actuality, people promoting it [over-
seas] have a financial stake in it.”
However, Hoey noted, “I.M.C.S. is run by
a nonprofit Board of Trustees with the aim
“to provide pedagogical services, not opera-
tions of the school or financial management
of the school.”
And, contrary to parental fears, Hoey
maintained that the standards I.M.C.S. set
in the school’s 1,200-page charter are strict.
The school has a “highly rigorous” cur-
riculum and its students must pass the same
high-achievement English Language Arts
and math tests. The State University of New
York, the school’s authorizer, she added,
could shut down the school if it doesn’t
abide by its own standards.
Jonathan Griffith would like to send his
fifth grader, Ruby, to I.M.C.S. next year. “I
think the traditional model quite frankly is
not working,” he said. Ruby, who attends
P.S. 3 Charrette School in Greenwich Village,
has needed private tutoring the past few
years to keep up in math class, for example.
Believe it
A visitor from Cincinnati told police on
Fri., Nov. 26 that as soon as he discovered
his wallet was gone around 3:52 p.m. he
returned to the True Religion clothing bou-
tique, 132 Prince St., where he last had it
two hours earlier. A surveillance camera at
the shop recorded two men kicking a wallet
on the floor and hiding their faces as they
picked it up and walked out. The victim lost
$600 in cash and various credit cards.
Twice unlucky
A Merrick, L.I. woman told police she
went to the Lucille Roberts fitness center,
143 Fulton St. around 11:45 a.m., Wed.,
Nov. 24, locked her bag and street clothes in
a locker and returned an hour later to find
the lock and her bag had been stolen. She
said the same thing happened at the same
fitness center on Sept. 21. This time she lost
$100 in cash, house keys, credit cards and a
silver necklace that were in the bag.
Women steal wallet
A saleswoman at Le Page New York, the
gift shop at 72 Thompson St. told police she
was busy taking care of a crowd of shoppers
on the afternoon of Fri., Nov. 11 and discov-
ered when most of the crowd had left around
2 p.m. hat her wallet had been stolen. The
victim said she suspected two women who
were among the last to leave had made
off with her wallet with $15 in cash, her
MetroCard and credit cards.
No return policy
A man who turned up at the Ralph
Lauren store at 379 Broadway at White
St. around 5:30 p.m. Mon., Nov. 29 with
a Ralph Lauren coat valued at $5,000 over
his arm said he wanted to return the item
and get his money back. He left with the
coat when the shop declined to accept the
coat and refund the money. A surveillance
tape examined later showed the man taking
the coat from a display rack shortly before
5:30 p.m.
Designer bags gone
The manager of What Goes Around
Comes Around, the boutique at 351 W.
Broadway between Grand and Broome Sts.,
told police that two Chanel bags with a
total value of $4,950 were stolen from a
display case around 2:30 p.m. Fri., Nov. 26.
The shop was so busy that employees were
unable to see how the bags were stolen,
police said.
Stolen in club
A woman resident of Hudson Square
told police she was in Don Hill’s, the music
club at 511 Greenwich St. during the early
hours of Fri., Nov. 19 and had put her bag on
the floor by her chair around 1 a.m. When
she bent to pick it up a half hour later, she
discovered it had been stolen, along with
$220 in cash, diamond earrings valued at
$300, her Apple cell phone, credit cards and
house keys.
11A.M. - 2P.M.
invite you to a
Continued on page 17
“It’s very unwise to use
[the Tweed space] for any-
thing else than a non-char-
ter, public school.”
– Eric Greenleaf
downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 5
New report, final location rekindles debate
BY Aline Reynolds
Sally Regenhard is still reeling over
the loss of her 28-year-old son, Christian
Regenhard, a New York City firefighter who
passed away on 9/11. His remains have yet
to be discovered, leaving her feeling violated
and all the more heartbroken.
“If a human being is murdered, you
certainly have the right to have the remains
of your loved ones be found, and to have a
proper burial for them,” she said.
Shortly after 9/11, Regenhard took part
in New York City’s painstaking quest to
find her son’s remains. The city’s Office
of the Chief Medical Examiner staged a
Family Assistance Center at Pier 94 in mid-
town, where Regenhard and thousands of
other 9/11 families brought hair clippers
and toothbrushes in order to provide DNA
samples. The items were later brought to the
O.C.M.E. labs, where they were matched
against the human remains uncovered at and
around Ground Zero.
At the end of December, the O.C.M.E. is
coming out with a third report documenting
its latest discoveries. The report reveals that
the O.C.M.E. has uncovered 68 additional
bone, teeth and skin fragments in the third
round of searches, which took place earlier
this year, bringing the total count of recov-
ered remains to close to 22,000.
An O.C.M.E. official continues to moni-
tor areas under excavation at the World
Trade Center site, searching for additional
remains. Debris possibly containing remains
is collected, placed into barrels and hauled
to mobile sifting platforms, machines that
filter the debris located in Brooklyn and
Staten Island.
When the examiners successfully match
remains with a hair or skin sampling from
a family member, the O.C.M.E. notifies the
loved one.
“They’ll typically send a funeral director
to come and collect it,” said Ellen Borakove,
director of public affairs at the O.C.M.E.
But there are still many unanswered ques-
tions. According to the latest O.C.M.E. data
report, 41 percent of the 21,812 remains
detected at and around Ground Zero since
9/11 have not been identified. Current DNA
testing techniques are not advanced enough,
according to the O.C.M.E., for the examin-
ers to create complete profiles of the victims.
“As new technology becomes available, we
want to go back to the remains and test
them,” said Borakove.
Borakove indicated that, though the
O.C.M.E. isn’t pressuring family members
to provide samples for the DNA tests, the
O.C.M.E. would be unable to make identi-
fications without them. The examiners have
recently come up with 27 separate profiles
of victims, for example, and without family
members’ participation, the victims’ identi-
ties will amount only to a case number.
“Not everyone chooses to give us sam-
ples,” Borakove said. “Some choose to say,
their loved one is gone.”
Regenhard launched the Skyscraper Safety
Campaign in December 2001, requesting
that the federal government participate in
the search and identification of the remains.
According to the S.S.C., the O.C.M.E. is not
fit for a search of this magnitude.
“How can a relatively small organization
[the O.C.M.E.] be competent enough to
administer a search in this manner? It is a
disgrace,” Regenhard said.
The organization will launch its cam-
paign again in early 2011 to call upon the
participation of the Joint Prisoner of War/
Missing in Action Accounting Command for
assistance in the next phases of the remains
“I’d call for the City of New York, after
nearly ten years of failure, to use the larg-
est DNA lab in the world [J.P.A.C.] and to
have them come in and try to help identify
remains that are still here,” Regenard said.
The location of the remains at the future
W.T.C. site stirs up yet another debate.
According to Lynn Rasic, senior vice presi-
dent of public affairs and communications
at the National September 11 Memorial and
Museum, the remains will be stored in a
space “connected” to the 9/11 Museum “at
bedrock,” per 9/11 families’ requests. She
emphasized that the area will not be a part
of the museum’s public exhibition space,
though it is located next to the museum and
is accessible through the museum.
“From the O.C.M.E.’s perspective, this
new repository will provide a dignified
and reverential setting for the remains to
repose—temporarily or in perpetuity—as
identifications continue to be made,” accord-
ing to a written statement on the 9/11 muse-
um’s website. The on-site laboratory will be
connected to a private seating and viewing
area for family members to contemplate and
reflect on their loved ones.
But Regenhard and other 9/11 families
do not feel that this is a suitable mourning
place. Attaching the space to the museum,
a public exhibition space, is a betrayal of
trust, she said, since the Lower Manhattan
Development Corporation promised the
families a stand-alone memorial at the future
“I shouldn’t have to go 70 feet below
ground fighting thousands of people in order
to try to pay respect for my son’s human
remains,” Regenhard said.
The S.S.C. is researching the national
guidelines of the preservation of human
remains to see if the museum’s design plan
complies with federal law.
The wall separating the O.C.M.E. space
and the museum will have a commemorative
LMDC is accepting applications for the Small Firm Assistance
Program which assists small retail businesses in lower Manhattan
that have suffered business disruption as a result of publicly-
funded construction projects.
On September 1, 2010 LMDC added $1 million to the Program
and extended it through December 31, 2015, so long as there are
grant funds remaining. Some businesses previously capped at
$25,000 are now eligible for up to $35,000. The Program is open
to all small retail businesses on streets impacted by publicly-funded
construction including those located on second floors and above.
For further details on eligibility or to download an application
please consult the LMDC website at http://renewnyc.com/
ProjectsAndPrograms/small_firms.asp or contact the LMDC at
38 Peck Slip, bet. Front and South St
www.tbesaltypaw.com · 212-732-2275
OPLN 7 oays a week
Find us on &
Drop by for a complimentary treat!
December 4th
Santa Paws
is coming to
The Salty Paw!!
Come on by with your camera
and dog this Saturday for free
treats and pose for pictures
wltb santa |rom 2.30-4.30.
Continued on page 17
December 1 - 7, 2010 6
downtown express
Television appearance sheds light on Trinity’s past
On Saturday, December 4, Trinity Church
at Broadway and Wall Street will be in the
spotlight when a crew from ABC Television
films the church’s Lessons and Carols ser-
vice for broadcast later in the month. Then
people around the country will be able to
glimpse Trinity and its boisterous past, going
back more than 300 years.
The first Trinity Church building was
consecrated in 1698 at the crest of what
the sea-level town of New York might have
regarded as a hill. The Anglican Church was
erected with the assistance of the privateer
and pirate Captain William Kidd, a friend
of New York’s governor, Benjamin Fletcher.
Captain Kidd provided the block and tackle
with which to raise the stones of the modest
structure, which was just inside the wall that
the Dutch founders of the colony of Nieuw
Amsterdam had built to keep the English
out. However, when the English took over
the colony in 1664 and renamed it New York
they came by sea, not by land, and met with
no resistance. The citizens just went about
their usual business, which was making
money. In 1699, the wall was taken down.
Today’s Trinity Church is the third on the
Broadway/Wall Street site. The 1698 church
burned down in the fire of September 21,
1776 that destroyed the western side of
the city. Its successor had to be torn down
when huge snowstorms in 1838 and 1839
irreparably damaged the roof. The present
church, designed by Richard Upjohn in the
neo-Gothic style, was consecrated in 1846.
It was built of sandstone and contained
some of the first stained glass windows in
the United States, with panes emblazoned
with pineapples, the traditional Colonial sign
of “welcome.”
From the sculpted bronze doors at the
entrance to the marble reredos behind the
altar, Trinity exudes wealth, thanks in part
to members of the Astor family. The massive
doors, completed in 1896, were donated by
William Waldorf Astor (at the time, the rich-
est man in the United States), as a memorial
to his father, John Jacob Astor III. The rere-
dos, the ornamental wall behind the altar,
was the gift of William Backhouse Astor, Jr.
and John Jacob Astor III in memory of their
father, William Backhouse Astor, Sr. It was
dedicated with great fanfare on June 29,
1877 — an event that is memorialized on the
sculpted doors now leading to the gift shop
on the southern side of the building.
According to Trinity’s archivist, Gwynedd
Cannon, at the time the reredos was dedi-
cated, it was customary for the priests to
pray with their backs to the congregation.
“You’ll see Astor’s name carved [on the rere-
dos],” she said. “To me that’s kind of funny
because he’s from the halls of Mammon.
It was almost as though [the priests] were
praying to Astor.”
Trinity’s archives go back to the 1690s,
Cannon said. They include the parish charter
granted by King William III of England in
1697 and a land grant from England’s Queen
Anne. In 1705, she gave Trinity land on the
west side of Manhattan from Fulton Street to
Christopher Street in order to provide some
rental income for the struggling parish. Over
the years, Trinity sold off much of the land
but retained some of it. Several buildings
near Canal Street have plaques indicating
that they are owned by Trinity, and explain-
ing why.
The Astors were the richest members
of Trinity’s congregation but not the most
politically and historically significant. The
The mission of the Hudson Square
Connection is simple; the Business
Improvement District wants to make Hudson
Square a cleaner, safer and more fun neigh-
borhood in which to work and live.
To that end, last July they released a
Request for Proposals looking for a team to
redesign the area’s streets and traffic flow.
In late November the B.I.D. announced
the winning team lead by Mathews Nielsen
Landscape Architects and including five
other firms focusing on urban and industrial
design as well as transportation planning.
“This is a project we were set up to do,”
said Ellen Baer, president of the Hudson
Square Connection.
Twenty-three different teams comprised
of more than 100 firms applied to the R.F.P.
Baer noted that prior to issuing the
R.F.P., discussions were held with various
stakeholders in the district as well as the
Connection’s board members and amongst
task forces focused solely on streetscape and
traffic issues.
According to Baer, “first and foremost”
they were looking for a team with a great
design sensibility. Second, they wanted firms
with a proven track record of “getting things
done in New York City,” something Baer
described as “in itself hard and unique.”
The team will focus on increasing the
“workability” of the neighborhood’s streets
by “recapturing sidewalks for pedestrians,”
creating green spaces and coordinating the
needs of a regional transportation facility,
the Holland Tunnel, with the “important
needs of a growing business district.”
“We’re extremely excited and more so by
the day,” said Baer. “We want to emphasize
that we intend to really work with and hear
from the stake holders. This isn’t something
that will be done and then presented. We’ll
be out there talking to people.”
Baer said the first task for the team
would be an analysis phase where the team
would go from door to door in the district,
talking to business owners as well as gather
as much information as possible. She said
the analysis phase would begin in early
January and by next summer there should
be a comprehensive vision and framework
for the district.
— John Bayles
Team selected to redesign
Hudson Square
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Trinity Church at Broadway and Wall Street, is the third building on this site. The
present church was designed by Richard Upjohn and was consecrated in 1846.
Continued on page 18
Assemblyman Shelly Silver
If you need assistance, please contact my ofce at
(212) 312-1420 or email silver@assembly.state.ny.us.
Fighting to make
Lower Manhattan
the greatest place
to live, work, and
raise a family.
downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 7
Downtown small biz sector gets boost from Camelot
As the role of small businesses has
changed, so has the marketing behind them.
Rarely have small businesses been able to
afford to hire their own public relations firm,
instead having to bank on word of mouth
and a dedicated customer base.
Christina Cozzi, founder and president
of Camelot Communications, is well on her
way to changing that, at least when it comes
to Lower Manhattan.
“One of the things I like about Downtown
is you can walk into a business and talk to
the owner,” said Cozzi.
The young entrepreneur identifies with
her clients, many of who are also young,
either in age or in terms of their business’
existence. And she knows regardless of the
economic environment, small businesses will
not disappear.
“As [President] Obama said, small busi-
ness is the instrument of change,” Cozzi
Cozzi paid her dues, moving up the ranks
in numerous public relations firms prior to
starting her own. She noticed in late 2008 and
early 2009 that many large corporations were
cutting or pulling altogether their communi-
cations budgets and she began working on
smaller, independent projects in her free time.
Many of her current clients have come
from face-to-face interaction, such as KK
Salon on Maiden Lane.
“I just went to get my hair cut at a local
salon,” Cozzi said. “Everyone I represent,
I’ve visited and patronized.”
Cozzi said what sets herself apart from
a larger public relations or marketing firm
is being able to relate to the needs of her
“I’m not running out of the office, turning
off my computer at 5 p.m. and telling them
I’ll call them in the morning,” she said.
In late October, Cozzi hosted an event
for all of her clients, which she called “Fall
in Love with the New Downtown.” Staying
true to her entrepreneurial roots, the pro-
ceeds went to the Hive at 55, which itself
is a turnkey office space for small start-up
“I wanted to have all the clients in one
venue — a family tree type of thing,” said
Cozzi. “A lot of the people had never had
public relations before. They either couldn’t
afford it or didn’t know what it would actu-
ally bring.”
Cozzi said word spread quickly about
the event and she decided to open it up to
other downtown businesses so even more
networking could occur.
Cozzi created over 100 gift bags, raf-
fled off items from participating businesses
including LightAir, August Black Interior
Design, We’re Worth It and the Bluebell
Café, and put her clients “in front of all of
the Financial District residents” in one fell
swoop. She said the night proved to be a
bigger success than she or her clients could
have ever imagined.
Camelot Communications is planning a
similar event for the holiday season.
“Their success is my success,” said
Attention Downtown Residents
If you would like to have Downtown Express
delivered to your residential building
(you must be located south of Canal St )
please email: Francesco@downtownexpress.com
Thank you to our loyal readers for making us
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Your community, your neighborhood, your news!
Photo courtesy of Camelot Communications
We’re Worth It, a local start-up that promotes self-esteem through merchandising,
was a participant at Camelot Communication’s “Fall in Love with the New Downtown”
Photo courtesy of the Downtown Alliance
Streets receive holiday dressing
Almost overnight, Lower Manhattan streets are transformed into glittering lanes
of holiday cheer. This is thanks to the Downtown Alliance, who for the past 15
years has installed over 200 shooting stars and star clusters throughout the district.
“Every holiday season, we try to do a little something extra to brighten the season for
our 300,000 workers, 55,000 residents and six million annual visitors,” said Elizabeth
H. Berger, president of the Downtown Alliance.
The fixtures will remain up until the first week in January and are custom designed
for the Alliance. Pictured above is Nassau Street.
December 1 - 7, 2010 8
downtown express
C.B.1 says park solution is a doggone shame
When the first person to speak during
Community Board 1’s public session asked
those in support of off-leash hours to stand,
half of the crowd rose to their feet. One by
one, Downtown dog owners took to the
podium to speak for those who couldn’t —
their dogs.
For the past twenty years, dogs have
been free to run off-leash across what has
become known as Battery Park’s “Great
Lawn,” an impressive span of grass adjacent
to Whitehall Street; but all carefree canine
play was brought to an abrupt halt after a
crackdown in June of this year.
“One day, Pat Kirshner from the Battery
Park City Parks Conservancy just showed
up and started handing out fliers to warn
us that dogs weren’t allowed on the lawn
anymore,” explained Financial District resi-
dent Cathy Yee, a member of the Downtown
Dog Owners Association, who used to take
her energetic pup, Piper, to the lawn every
day. “Several weeks later, Parks began issu-
ing summonses to those of us who weren’t
This prompted a slew of passionate
D.D.O.A. members to show up at last
Tuesday’s full board meeting, as they had
for the past four months, to ask for a trial
period in which their dogs could once again
run free. A representative from the Parks
Department office also spoke during the
public session and reassured the crowd that
no trial period would be approved. The
representative added that the city would
compromise and set aside a concrete, gated
area in which dogs could run free.
The Battery Park City and Financial
District Committees proposed an open-end-
ed resolution calling for the establishment
of a task force to evaluate the current pol-
icy, gather and analyze data, and determine
whether it would make sense to extend any
off-leash privileges. The resolution asks the
Parks Department to consider designating a
trial period to see what impact, if any, off-
leash hours would have.
The resolution passed with 25 in favor,
14 against, and one abstention.
According to residents, there is no record
of dogs ever having done damage to the
lawn, which is set to undergo major recon-
struction in Spring 2011.
“I really don’t understand why there
can’t be a trial period, considering they’re
just going to tear up the lawn in six months
anyway,” said Yee. “It makes perfect sense to
have this trial period now.”
Residents claim that some of the fund-
raising events held by the Conservatory actu-
ally damage the lawn worse than the dogs
ever have, or ever could.
“They’re worried about dogs? The Hubble
Telescope they had back in June during the
2010 World Science Festival did so much
damage, I couldn’t even play fetch with my
dog because I was afraid she might trip on
one of the holes and sprain her leg,” Yee
explained. “And the tents they used during
the fair killed the grass.”
Ro Sheffe, chair of the Financial District
Committee, will head the task force, and
said though he does not anticipate much
cooperation from the Parks Department,
the working group will continue their work
either way.
“If the community feels very strongly that
we should continue advocating for this, then
we’ll continue,” Sheffe said. “We’ll advocate
for what the majority of our constituents
want, and we’re going to go ahead with the
task force regardless.”
Earlier drafts of the resolution were
tabled at the September and October full
board meetings, the latter of which the
Parks Department failed to attend. When
Sheffe met with Senator Daniel Squadron
several weeks ago, it was suggested that
the task force find out how many 311 calls
have been placed complaining about dogs
running off-leash on the lawn. According to
the dog owners at the meeting, virtually no
residential opposition has been voiced, and
the only thing standing in their way is the
Allowing dogs to run off-leash in grassy
areas is permitted in 77 other parks city-
wide, and the D.D.O.A. wants the Parks
Department to formally add Battery Park
to the list.
“There’s no place within C.B. 1 where a
dog is allowed to walk on grass,” said board
member Jeff Galloway. “The prohibition
isn’t just off-leash, it’s a prohibition of dogs
Galloway, whose office overlooks the
lawn, said it’s been virtually empty since July,
and is the only area in the entire park to be
fenced off. Before that, he could always spot
at least a dozen dogs and their owners on
the grass during the wee morning hours. As
it currently stands, the closest a downtown
dog can get to enjoying a bit of greenery is
farther uptown along the East River or in
Central Park.
The trouble is, not everyone can get their
Continued on page 17
“It makes perfect sense
to have this trial period
– Cathy Yee
downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 9
Shanghai next, N.Y.U. looking east
A few months after New York University
admitted the first freshman class to its
branch campus in Abu Dhabi, the university
is exploring a new overseas branch: N.Y.U.
The school, in the Pudong district of
the city, would be the Greenwich Village
university’s third overseas degree-granting
campus if the city of Shanghai subsidizes the
operating costs and the district of Pudong
pays for land and construction costs. N.Y.U.
administrators are exploring whether the
university has its own funding for design and
educational resources, according to David
McLaughlin, N.Y.U. provost.
If finally approved, N.Y.U. Shanghai
could admit its first class as early as the fall
of 2013 for as many as 3,400 undergradu-
ate and graduate students, most of them
Chinese in the beginning.
“No N.Y.U New York tuition dollars will
go into it,” McLaughlin told Washington
Square News, the undergraduate newspa-
per published at the Washington Square
All courses would be taught in English
but at the end of four years all students
would have to be fluent in English and
Mandarin, according to the Washington
Square News article.
The article also quotes N.Y.U. faculty
members who are concerned about aca-
demic and intellectual freedom in campuses
like Abu Dhabi and Shanghai.
“These are not fully open societies.
Although many people see great opportu-
nity, there’s also concern,” Professor Floyd
Hammack told Washington Square News.
McLaughlin, however, said that the cam-
pus would operate under full academic
“That’s in the agreement with our part-
ners,” he said.
Cannot be combined with other offers. Exp. 12/31/10
5, 12, 19 11AM - 4PM
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closed 12/25 and 12/26
St. Peter’s Chelsea
Episcopal Church
346 West 20
(between 8
& 9
2 1 2 . 9 2 9 . 2 3 9 0
Christmas at St. Peter’s
Timothy Brumfield, Director of music /organist
David Ossenfort, renowned tenor
Laurel Masse, Manhattan Transfer's founding member
The Uptown Brass

DECEMBER 24 Christmas Eve
10:00 PM Christmas music
10:30 PM Blessing of the Christmas
Crèche and Festival Choral Eucharist
DECEMBER 25 Christmas Day
10:00 AM Sung Eucharist
Sunday after Christmas
10:00 AM Sung Eucharist
El-Gamal told the New York Times. “It
is important to note that this community
center will provide hundreds of construc-
tion jobs over the next few years and, when
opened, will provide 150 permanent jobs.”
The Park51 board also applied for money
to purchase equipment and to lease or buy
the building at 49-51 Park Place, according
to a New York Times report. There is no
mention of the money funding the commu-
nity center’s prayer space.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf had no involvement
in the grant application, according to Gene
Grabowski, a spokesperson for the Imam.
“Handling development and fundraising
is not in his area of expertise,” Grabowski
said. The L.M.D.C. has previously funded
the Eldridge Street Project, the Museum of
Jewish Heritage and the 92nd Street Y, other
institutions with religious affiliations.
Yet the grant request has renewed the
firestorm surrounding the community cen-
ter. Though conservative blogger and activist
Pamela Geller is not lining up any protests
just yet, she is vehemently speaking out
against El-Gamal’s latest move.
“The claim that it will be directed to other
uses is irrelevant; money is fungible, and
money given for one purpose frees up other
funds to be used for other purposes,” she said
in an e-mail. “The $5 million Islamic suprema-
cist request represents nearly one-third of all
the $17 million that is now available.”
The request for federal funding, Geller
continued, “adds insult to injury” to 9/11
families who are opposed to the mosque.
Other activists, however, are using the
news as an opportunity to bolster their sup-
port of the project. “We are hopeful that the
L.M.D.C. treats [Park51’s] application just as
equitably and fairly as any other application,
and [that they] base their decision on the
merits rather than the politics,” said Deanna
Bitetti, associate director for Common Cause
New York, a nonprofit advocacy organization
in support of the community center.
Debbie Almontaser, board chair of the
Muslim Consultative Network, echoed that
Park51’s application “should not be treated
any differently than any of the institutions
in Lower Manhattan seeking to rebuild and
revitalize that area.”
“If Park51 meets all the grant guide-
lines,” she continued, “we hope it will be
given serious consideration.”
So far, the L.M.D.C. has received 255
applications from a wide range of Lower
Manhattan nonprofits (south of Houston
Street) for its Community and Cultural
Enhancement grant, amounting to a total of
more than $175 million in funds. The grant,
however, is only worth $17 million.
The L.M.D.C.’s community and cul-
tural enhancements panel scrupulously
reviews every application, singling out
grant recipients that are financially fea-
sible. “It’s a very careful vetting process,”
said L.M.D.C. Board Member Julie Menin,
who sits on the panel. The process, which
would include site visits, could take sev-
eral months.
Neither Menin nor John De Libero, a
spokesperson for the L.M.D.C., would com-
ment on the likelihood of Park51’s awarding
of the funds.
Park51 seeks fed funds
Continued from page 1
December 1 - 7, 2010 10
downtown express
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John W. Sutter
John Bayles
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Francesco Regini
Jason Sherwood
Allison Greaker
Julio Tumbaco
Colin Gregory
Vera Musa
Troy Masters
Mark Hasselberger
Jamie Paakkonen
Terese Loeb Kreuzer • David
Stanke • Jerry Tallmer •
Helaina N. Hovitz
Lorenzo Ciniglio • Milo Hess
Corky Lee • Elisabeth Robert
• Jefferson Siegel
Andrea Riquier
N.Y.U.’s Superblocks
In two separate editorials in 2004, our newspapers
called for the 50-foot-wide strips of city-owned prop-
erty on the eastern and western edges of New York
University’s two South Village superblocks to be trans-
ferred from the Department of Transportation to the
Parks Department. Dating back to a resolution passed in
1992, Greenwich Village’s Community Board 2 has long
been on record supporting this transfer, which would
protect the strips from development.
D.O.T. ownership of the strips doesn’t block their
development, whereas if Parks owned them, the state
Legislature would have to approve any transfer, sale or
development scheme.
With the university now pushing ahead with its ambitious
N.Y.U. Plan 2031 expansion scheme — whose epicenter is
the two superblocks — these strips are a key battleground
between the university and the community. However, show-
ing N.Y.U. woefully lacks official support for acquiring the
strips, a phalanx of local politicians will assemble Sunday at
a 1 p.m. rally on LaGuardia Place between Bleecker and W.
Third Sts. to voice support for C.B. 2’s resolution that the
parkland strips be preserved. Joining them will be the resi-
dents group Community Action Alliance on N.Y.U. 2031.
N.Y.U. wants to acquire these strips for its superblocks
plans. Specifically, the university hopes to incorporate the
current Mercer-Houston Dog Run site into the footprint
of its “Zipper Building,” planned on the site of its current
Coles gym on Mercer St. N.Y.U. says that by using this
strip area, it could bring back some form of Greene St. on
Coles’s western side — which was demapped under the
superblocks’ original urban renewal plan — increasing the
width of the obscure alley there now. If N.Y.U.’s strips bid is
rejected, then, from what we’re told, the university wouldn’t
redesign the “Zipper” project, but would build it the same
size — without widening the Greene St. pathway.
N.Y.U. was overly optimistic to expect it could get
these strips, and this will likely be N.Y.U.’s second set-
back in its superblocks plans. As we editorialized six
years ago, the university doesn’t deserve these strips,
for one, for failing to step in and fix up the dilapidated
and sunken playground and seating areas on Mercer St.
between Houston and Bleecker Sts. Yes, D.O.T. owns
these strips — but given that N.Y.U. was always rumored
to be stymieing the strips’ transfer to Parks, ultimately,
the university is responsible for their decrepit state.
Of course, the first, stunning superblock setback came
last week, when N.Y.U. announced it was abandoning
its plans to site a fourth tower — 400 feet tall — within
the landmarked Silver Towers complex on Bleecker St.
N.Y.U. had to withdraw after Henry Cobb, partner of the
complex’s legendary designer, I.M. Pei, wrote the city’s
Landmarks Preservation Commission last month, calling
the site inappropriate. As Cobb wrote: “…[A] fourth tower
is profoundly destructive to the landmarked entity, because
it closes a composition that was intended to be open and
upsets the carefully considered balance between solid and
void.” As for the university now developing a shorter build-
ing of equal square footage on its Morton Williams super-
market site at the block’s northwest corner, Cobb stated in
his letter, “Ideally the corner building would be designed so
as to make it more responsive to its neighbors and to the
landmarked entity.”
Cobb’s letter is a road map for how N.Y.U. must pro-
ceed on its superblocks. In short, N.Y.U. must scale back
its plans for the superblocks, which simply cannot handle
2 million-plus square feet of new development. Indeed,
“responsive” and “balance” are the key words N.Y.U. must
be supremely mindful of as it moves forward.
Disney-fication is cliché
To the Editor,
The Talking Point jeremiad that
appeared in the November 17-23 issue
of your paper by Tom Goodkind did no
credit to your fine publication. I couldn’t
read it without channeling the voice of
Dana Carvey’s ‘grumpy old man’ character
from SNL: “In my day…we didn’t have
PLAYGROUNDS on our Pier! We played
on the street and got hit by cars and we
The loss of the old Tribeca Pier 25
was surely missed. As the years of repair
dragged on, our community suffered. But
on a recent windy November Saturday,
the new Pier was packed with hundreds
of people–young families playing soccer,
strolling seniors, teens on skateboards,
even a sun worshipper. If one could travel
back in time, say seven years to the same
location, there would been just a fraction
of that number. The old Tribeca Pier had
some attractions to be sure: a mini golf
course that would have been considered
threadbare by trailer park residents, a
dirty sandbox or two, and a large swath
of cracked asphalt. It was…better than
Funky? I guess that’s fair. But a ‘fantas-
tic space’? True, it was ‘informal’ and had
its share of ‘spontaneity’…but then, so do
a lot of vacant lots near Shea Stadium. It
doesn’t mean I want to live near one. Let’s
call the old Pier what it was: tattered and
full of mostly unrealized potential. Ask the
people using the current Pier (as opposed
to shaking their fists at it) and I bet few
would choose to jackhammer the lovely
native grass planters and playgrounds in
order to bring back the prior windswept
‘funky’ version. And their numbers will
surely decrease once the burger joint,
proper bathrooms, beach volleyball, mini
golf and more amenities come online.
To compare what The Hudson River
Park Trust has done to ‘Disney-fication’
is not just a cliché in this case. It’s simply
dead wrong. Unless I missed the half pipe
next to Adventureland, it’s hard to imagine
a more comprehensive design for giving
something for everyone to enjoy. Perhaps
being kid-friendly means unfriendly to
the Tribeca version of the ‘get off my
lawn’ crowd. I’ve seen adult painters and
photographers and fishermen doing their
thing (spontaneously!) and not a single
costumed character.
Mr. Goodkind was right about one
thing, though. Our new Pier WAS expen-
sive. Civic niceties like our new parks and
revived piers on the Hudson may soon
succumb to the Red State, ‘government
can’t and shouldn’t do anything’ mindset.
Funny that we hear few complaints about
the high cost of the highway that that
serves mostly Jersey-bound commuters.
Happily, we have a new lovely, free, open
to the public Pier 25 and not a walled off
garden for Citibank employees and their
guests or a rotting monument to Tribeca’s
days as a working port. I feel like kissing
the bureaucrats who made it happen. Why
the 1970’s nostalgists long for the good
old days of unchecked urban entropy, is
beyond me. To all of them, I suggest a one-
way bus ticket to Detroit.
Troy Torrison
Pandering to the autocrat
To the Editor,
Your November 24 issue exposed your
bias in full view. Three articles occupied
your front page: one regarding the 9/11
health issue, another of WTC workers, the
last about the West Thames Street bridge.
Forty percent of the first page is devoted to
a Bloomberg puff photo when you already
have an article about the Zadroga 9/11
Health Bill. In almost every issue, you vari-
ously describe down to the smallest detail
when a parent sneezes at P.S. 234 or how
the east of Broadway Beekman Street school
is not quite up to snuff for some west of
Broadway parents. Many times you report
on the really great problems with the school
system not being prepared with more schools
for a growing Downtown child population,
etc. etc. Mind you, this is due to Bloomberg’s
giving away the city to his real estate cronies
or his Board not having the wisdom to plan
for such an eventuality.
Then I turned to page 7. And there is
the most important New York City story
of the last week – the Catherine Black
chancellor appointment by Bonaparte
Bloomberg. Doesn’t that story really
qualify for the front page? Or does
the autocrat’s underhandedness (like his
third term deception) and his lack of
“transparency” (to use the word of the
Upper West Side academics; remember,
we used to call it “truthfulness”) not qual-
ify as the lead story? Perhaps Downtown
Express just shills for Bloomberg or has
he promised some new creative job titles
at Bloomberg, LLP? (Perhaps Assistant
VP of Communications, VP of Public
Relations, or Assistant VP Kiss-Up?)
I look forward to your continuing to
present major news of the schools front
and center even if it taints the petty auto-
crat’s image.
Walter Silverman
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The Editor. They must include the writer’s
first and last name, a phone number for
confirmation purposes only, and any affili-
ation that relates directly to the letter’s
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right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility
or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed
to news@DowntownExpress.com or can be
mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.
downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 11
I want to say that this statement from Mr. Pei
is extraordinary good news. Not just because
New York University has been defeated on the
landmarks issue. But more importantly, because
it shows how completely N.Y.U. miscalculated
in this regard.
In all of our statements at the Community
Board 2 hearings, we danced around the rea-
sons for objecting to the fourth tower. We were
addressing many important issues — in truth,
not so clearly and starkly as the statement from
Henry Cobb does — but we were on target.
And yet N.Y.U. couldn’t or wouldn’t hear
the message.
With all their high-priced consultants —
architects and lawyers — they couldn’t see how
wrong they were about the overall design of
the block. And they substituted all that foolish
talk about dialogue for a true recognition of the
spatial relations.
And in that is a great hope to take us for-
ward. Just as N.Y.U. was blind with regard to
aesthetics, they are blind to the intent of zoning.
And it is that blindness that will defeat them in
the end.
So far, it doesn’t look like we will have some-
one like Pei to come forward on a white charger
in the coming battle — though who knows what
may happen?
In the meantime, we move on with the
confidence that we do see things more clearly
than N.Y.U. does; and with the sure knowledge
that these high-priced lawyers and architects are
really only hired to see to the accomplishment of
the will of those that hire them, and not to defer
to excellence where it exists.
I have been studying the history of N.Y.U.
this week: For the university campus and for
several buildings around the square they had
the services of Stanford White; for Bobst they
had Philip Johnson; for the south superblock
they had I.M. Pei — all of them great architects,
who had a vision about what the architectural
face of a great university should be and who had
a tabula rasa on which to work.
For Plan 2031, N.Y.U.’s biggest redesign
effort — probably since its former University
Heights campus in the Bronx — the architects
were constrained to work within an existing
context. N.Y.U. hired big guns. But an existing
context is not a proper arena for great architects
who have their own vision and ego.
What N.Y.U. got was a plan that clashed as
badly as plaid with floral print.
What was needed were not-so-great archi-
tects — people who could subsume their ego
and come up with a design for new buildings
that integrated with the existing landscape.
That the architects could not see the ugliness
of their plans (not just the Pei block, but even
more so the Washington Square Village block)
is a serious mark against them, no matter how
high their ratings. That no one at N.Y.U. could
see the ugliness of the plans and reject them on
that basis alone, reflects the fact that no one at
N.Y.U. has any aesthetic sense nor any basis on
which to execute good judgment.
Absolutely everything about Plan 2031 shows
poor judgment: the sought-after rezoning to C6-2;
putting retail on Mercer St. when there is plenty
of retail one block away on Broadway; hous-
ing 1,400 students in a dormitory on a block
that has about 500 apartments; increasing the
underground acreage, even though there is
a stream that runs under the two blocks;
eliminating the driveways on the Washington
Square Village block, which would iso-
late the two slabs from each other, but more
importantly would curtail the accessibility of
ambulances, school buses, deliveries and so
forth to each of the complex’s buildings; putting
retail in the ground floor of the Washington
Square Village buildings, which would totally
destroy their residential nature; installing aca-
demic buildings and a public mall between the
two Washington Square Village slabs, which
would absolutely destroy any sense of com-
mon community; closing the garage on the
Washington Square Village block and replacing
it with parking on the Pei block, with no mention
of how Washington Square Village’s residents
are to get from the garage to their buildings
— even if an entrance were to be provided on
Bleecker St., there would still be a minimum of
the equivalent of a three-block walk in the open
from the garage to 1 and 2 Washington Square
That top-class architects would sign off on
such a design — which effectively destroys
an existing residential community that pro-
vides some blessed open space in an open-
space-starved part of the city — just to sat-
isfy the expansionist plans of N.Y.U. reflects
poorly on them. They may be world-class
but their behavior is that of hacks who go along
with anything just to get the commission.
Getting back to Cobb’s statement: Just because
we have this good news, we cannot relax. But we
can go forward, in the full confidence that an army
is going to form behind us. Because I certainly
believe that people will come out from the
woodwork to support us — now that they have
the confirmation that N.Y.U. so misjudged this
one issue.
Kaplan is former chairperson, Washing-
ton Square Village Tenants Association’s
Task Force in Response to N.Y.U. Plan
Correcting some misperceptions post-St. Vincent’s
As we move forward in the aftermath of
the tragic loss of our community hospital, we
— the many friends, advocates and support-
ers of St. Vincent’s — must work together
to take all of the positive steps we can to
restore emergency and acute-care services to
our community. Having all the ammunition
we need in this battle is essential. Therefore,
documenting the specifics of what services
we need with a community health assess-
ment is critical to this mission.
We believe our community needs an
acute-care facility and emergency room. But
it will take hard facts to convince a potential
hospital operator to invest the necessary
hundreds of millions of dollars to finance
a new facility, and no one else is going to
gather this key data. Therefore, we, as a
community, must undertake this process
ourselves and work together to compile that
Opening a hospital takes more than
knowing in our hearts that it is needed
and demanding it fervently. It also takes
reliable data to document to others that
the facility is necessary and will be via-
ble. That’s precisely what we’re trying to
do, with the support and participation of
a long list of community members, com-
munity organizations, healthcare workers
and other advocates.
In our efforts to move forward in meet-
ing the health needs of the community,
we would like to correct some misconcep-
tions that we have recently heard.
First of all, the assessment is about
guiding future healthcare planning efforts
and its scope is being driven by a broad
coalition of community stakeholders, not
by any private parties or special inter-
Additionally, North Shore-L.I.J. has
already begun development of its urgent-
care center and that center will move for-
ward regardless of the community needs
assessment already underway.
We would also like to clarify that while
the New York State Commission on Health
Care Facilities in the 21st Century (the
“Berger Commission”) did identify several
hospitals and nursing homes as unnecessary
and forced mergers and closings, it did not
state in the affirmative that every other facil-
ity was needed. In a July 15, 2010, letter to
Community Board 2, David Sandman, the
executive director of the Berger Commission,
stated, “The Commission made no specific
recommendation or findings regarding St.
Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan — Greenwich
Village Campus.”
While Section 2806 of the New York
State Public Health Law does require
the Health commissioner to make certain
findings before closing a hospital, that
section only applies if the commissioner,
not a hospital’s board, is going to force a
hospital to shut down. It has nothing to
do with the St. Vincent’s situation. The
board of St. Vincent’s decided to close
the hospital in no small part because
of its overall debt of more than $1 bil-
lion, much of which is owed to TD Bank
and GE Capital. It is true that a Health
Department regulation does require that
while a hospital is shutting down, it must
care for its patients as it arranges for
them to be moved elsewhere.
Unfortunately, we cannot rely on
city zoning to force a hospital to re-
emerge. Nowhere in the city’s Zoning
Resolution does it allow for a local gov-
ernment to force a property owner to use
a piece of land for one specific purpose
— especially when the land is current-
ly controlled by the federal bankruptcy
court. That is the reality of the situation.
And, also unfortunately, neither the fed-
eral funds received by the Lower Manhattan
Development Corporation for rebuilding
and revitalizing Downtown post-9/11, nor
the federal healthcare grants previously
allocated to St. Vincent’s can be used to
reopen a hospital. In fact, only after we
have the pieces in place for a viable hospi-
tal will federal funds — such as mortgage
insurance and healthcare grants — be
available. By conducting an assessment,
and clearly establishing a strong founda-
tion for a hospital, we can and will attract
a new sponsor and generate crucial city,
state and federal government support.
The bottom line is: There is no magic bullet
that’s going to get us a hospital immediately. It
will take a lot of hard work to get the deci-
sions made and the financing raised. No one
is happy with this situation. In fact, we are all
angry and devastated by this tragedy. However,
we are taking the needed steps to make our
healthcare whole again. Getting good, solid
data to prove the case is an essential part of the
job. So, too, are demonstrations, letter writing,
community building and other advocacy, cre-
ativity and strategic thinking and planning. No
one tactic is exclusive. All are necessary. We
must and we will work together to regain a
hospital and, in the meantime, maintain and
expand high-quality accessible healthcare for
all, regardless of ability to pay.
Quinn is speaker, New York City Council;
Nadler is congressmember for the Eighth
District; Duane is state senator for the 29th
District; Gottfried is assemblymember for
the 75th District.
N.Y.U.’s towering blunder inspires us to fight on
December 1 - 7, 2010 12
downtown express
M.A.T. Dragons undefeated, win first Championship
The M.A.T. Dragons entered this year’s
NYC Flag Football League Manhattan
Borough Championship as the team to beat.
They had a record of 14-0 and were the
number one seed in the tournament.
The Dragon’s first game against Salk
School of Science, 3-7, looked like an easy
contest. Salk had never beaten M.A.T. in the
last 8 years. But M.A.T. found themselves
tied at the end of regulation, forced into
overtime against a Salk team that seemed
to do nothing wrong. And after Salk scored
a touchdown and converted an extra point,
the best the Dragons could do with their last
possession left was only tie the game.
“Basically, M.A.T. had to score from 40
yards out and then convert an extra point
just to tie. The crowd, parents, and every-
one watching thought the game was over
and that Salk had just pulled off the biggest
upset in NYC middle school sports his-
tory,” M.A.T. Athletic Director and League
Commisioner John DeMatteo said. “It was
totally inconceivable that they would come
In overtime, M.A.T. quarterback and
NYC league M.V.P. Robert Mendez found
Forrest Ruiz for a pass and then Anthony
Peralta in the end zone on a long bomb and
then tacked on the extra point. Salk would
answer and in the fourth overtime M.A.T.
won on a touchdown pass and pulled off
the come back victory in front of a stunned
“I’m very proud of the way my team
overcame adversity, didn’t get down on
themselves, and remained close as a team
to come back in that game and win,” said
coach Chris Piccigallo. “That game was a
wake up call and set the stage for the rest of
the playoffs for us.”
M.A.T. proceeded to steamroll through
the remainder of the tournament until they
again had to come back from a 12-0 defi-
cit in the championship game against the
M.S.131 team. They went on to win by
a score of 34-30 after an interception and
run back by Elliot Haynes and a touch-
down by Raleak Tanner. After claiming the
Borough Championship, M.A.T. faced the
winners from the Bronx, M.S. 298 for the
NYC Championship. On a beautiful evening
along the East River, the Manhattan champs
jumped out to a 19-0 lead but the Bronx
team brought the score to 32-27 with five
seconds left and had a chance to pull off the
win. With one second on the clock and the
ball in the air, Mikio LaCapra from M.A.T.
came down with an interception and sealed
the win for the Dragons.
“I could not have been more proud of
the way our football team represented our
school,” said DeMatteo. “They overcame
setbacks and adversity and that is the mark
of a true champion. Anyone can win and be
happy with their situation when the going is
good, but to not fold under pressure and to
keep the spirits of your teammates up when
you’re down is a life lesson that our kids
have learned. To get up when you’ve been
knocked down. It happens in sports and I
want our kids to understand that it will hap-
pen in life. They’re better off for learning
these lessons now. They’re much better off
by being student athletes at M.A.T.”
M.A.T. looks forward to its winter sports
season, where it will once again look to be
a powerhouse in boys basketball after finish-
ing 24-1 last season.
There’s so much you want to see

Your daughter’s wedding
Your son’s children
Tonight’s sunset

Your eyes are a precious gift.
Don’t trust their care to just anyone.

Dr Grace Sun provides comprehensive ophthalmic services at New York Downtown Hospital in
Lower Manhattan.

Her specialties include the medical and surgical care of the eye: comprehensive/general eye care, cataract,
cataract surgery, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, corneal disease, blurry vision/decreased vision, dry eyes,
red eye, and conjunctivitis.

As a member of Weill Cornell Eye Associates, Dr. Sun offers a range of ophthalmic services including
complex cornea and external disease, retinal and vitreous disorders, glaucoma, pediatric ophthalmology,
oculoplastics, and neuro-ophthalmology. Dr. Sun is on the faculty of Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Sun is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Sun, please call (212) 312-5250.

New York Downtown Hospital – closer to you!
83 Gold Street, New York, NY 10038
Telephone: (212) 312-5000

Photo courtesy of M.A.T.
The M.A.T. Dragons (above) won their first ever NYC Flag Football Championship
and finished the season undefeated.
downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 13
Holiday vibe is cult-like
prices. “To offer these services is expensive.
[The customers] have a right to be demand-
ing,” Lechner said as he flicked the ash from
his cigarette onto the floor of the R.V.
He conducts business there on an average
of 21 hours a day, calling the job a “cult-like
dedication.” His co-workers refer to him as
“Willie the Hat: Pontiff of SoHo.”
Parents with children and young couples
strolled by the SoHo location last Sunday,
several of them stopping by with the intent
to buy.
“I’m not spending $200 on a Christmas
tree,” said Wall Street resident James
Fegarty, who is accustomed to paying $150
maximum in London, his hometown. SoHo
Trees supervisor Daniel Kirby explained that
these are premium plants that last five or six
weeks, rather than the typical two or three.
“This one was cut three days ago,”
Lechner said, pointing to one in a large stack
of wrapped-up trees.
Fegarty, who bargains for a living in
the insurance business, managed to bargain
down the price to $175 for a tree and a
mixed-foliage, Fraser Fir wreath.
“I’m basically giving you the wreath for
free,” Kirby said, hoping that the short-term
financial loss in the sale would turn Fegarty
into a full-time customer.
The wreaths, like the trees, are mostly
hand-sheered with machete knives at approx-
imately 15 different tree farms around the
country. They are cut to order and delivered
to the sites by 18-wheeler trucks on a need-
by-need basis. “We demand that our trees be
as market-fresh as possible,” Lechner said.
“And that’s no bull.”
Other passers-by were regulars that come
back every year, willing to invest in an
annual relic in the name of tradition. SoHo
resident Carl Finegan put down $265 for an
eight-foot tree, delivery service and a bottle
of preservatives. “We’re going away for
Christmas,” he said. “It’ll be good to have it
when we get back.”
“It feels like a community place,” said
Tribeca resident Rebecca Hunch, whose
annual tree shopping at the company’s SoHo
location has turned into a yearly routine with
her husband and two young children. “It’s
fun that the kids remember this is where we
get our tree.”
When asked whether the family would let
SoHo Trees decorate their tree for them, she
replied, chuckling, “Oh Gosh, no.” Unlike
meals, when the family often resorts to
takeout, she said, decorating the tree is one
activity the family carves out time for.
“[Decorating] is part of the experience
of it all,” said Kelly Connelly and her
college roommates, who strolled by SoHo
Trees wearing Santa Claus hats, pushing a
shopping cart and boasting above-average
bargaining skills. The college girls got their
$115 tree reduced to $90.
SoHo Trees’ decorators bring in a small
chunk of the profits for the company. Lechner
hires young freelance artists like Alice Grant
and Billy Gonzalez to dress the trees with
lights and ornaments, an additional $50-to-
$100 service.
“We’ll talk to the customer, and they’ll
give us a few key words,” Grant explained,
such as a color theme or lighting pattern.
They also help out with some housekeeping
tasks in the R.V., such as creating colorful
labels for the ornaments on sale in a tent
at the SoHo branch. The month-long job,
she and Gonzalez said, is a good source of
steady income.
Other members of the “cult-like” team,
like Kirby, work 18-hour shifts. SoHo Trees
is like a brotherhood, Kirby said, and an
escape from a quiet life in Wasilla, Alaska.
“I feel like part of the family – [Lechner]
is kind of like an older brother figure,” Kirby
Scott Gartland, nicknamed “little Scott,”
has been doing it since he was 14 years
old. He’s grown accustomed to not seeing
his wife and children back home in upstate
New York for a whole month, including
Christmas Day. “This is what Christmas is
to me,” he said. “It’s indoctrinated [in me]
since I was a young age.”
He added it hurts a little more every year
not to open Christmas gifts with his family.
Yet Gartland, like Kirby, returns every
“It’s a labor of love for us,” Lechner
chimed in, between sales calls. “The money’s
okay, the vibe is great.”
Continued from page 1
Downtown Express photos by Aline Reynolds
Willie the Hat: Pontiff of SoHo (left) busy at work in his R.V.; FiDi resident Kelly
Connelly and her college roommates (top); Rebecca Hunch and her son, Todd
(middle); and SoHo Trees’ Javier Echeveste (bottom) busy trimming.
December 1 - 7, 2010 14
downtown express
Though it’s the tree at Rockefeller Center that usually
hogs the spotlight this time of year, the tree lighting at the
South Street Seaport last Friday had quit the fanfare and
was spectacular in its own right. One could say it’s the dif-
ference between the locals and the tourists that sets the
traditions apart.
Not televised, but cherished nonetheless
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downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 15
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downtown express
HOLIDAY LIGHTS: Battery Park City’s traditional tree-
lighting ceremony takes place on Thursday, December 2 from
5:45 p.m. to 7 p.m. in South Cove. Three Cedars of Lebanon
trees will be outfitted with multi-colored lights for the occa-
sion. “They’re a very elegant, gracious tree,” said Abby Ehrlich,
director of programming for the Battery Park City Parks
Conservancy, which runs the event. “The reflection of the col-
ored lights in the water of South Cove is quite magical.”
Santa Claus is always on hand for the tree lighting, and
people bring unwrapped toys, books and clothing that are
donated to Stockings With Care, a charity started by Battery
Park City resident Rosalie Joseph to provide holiday gifts
to children in crisis who would otherwise not have the fun
holiday that so many children experience. (See last week’s
Battery Park City Beat for more information about Stockings
With Care.) “It’s sort of like you’re coming to a party where
you bring something with you,” said Ehrlich. “What we’re
asking is not something for each other but something for
others who need things.”
Hot chocolate, hot cider and cookies will be served,
and there will be caroling led by Suzze, Maggie and Terre
Winter Carnival is scheduled for Sat., December 11 from
1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 55 Battery Place. There will be potluck
food, carnival games and a holiday tag sale. The school
would appreciate donations of new or gently used household
items such as toys, books, kitchen items, small furniture and
electronic gadgets but adds, “Sorry, no clothes, linens, or
plush items at this time!” Place donations in the collection
box at the school before December 9. For more information,
contact Julie Brown at gaschler.brown@egab.net or Magda
at magdakgagli@gmail.com.
2 World Financial Center, 24-hour access: Tom Goodkind, a
member of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee,
has secured what he calls “a small victory” for neighbor-
hood residents. Brookfield Properties, which owns the World
Financial Center, has agreed to keep the walkway in 2 World
Financial Center open 24/7. This walkway connects Vesey
Street on the north with Liberty Street on the south. “I recall
five years ago during a cold winter when my daughter and her
friends from Bronx Science went to a late-night Battery Park
City movie and then tried to walk from the north to the south,”
Goodkind wrote in an e-mail. “The security guards told the girls
that the World Financial Center was closed. The same occurred
when I tried this winter to walk to my E train to work before 6
a.m. The guard would not let me through.”
At a recent Battery Park City Committee meeting at
which Brookfield representatives were present (to talk about
the Winter Garden staircase, which Brookfield says needs
to be demolished), Goodkind asked about the 2 World
Financial Center passageway and the Brookfield reps said
the connection was open. However, said Goodkind, they
later “e-mailed me to say that it actually is not open; they, of
course, have always closed the walkways from midnight until
6 a.m.!” Goodkind said that he “insisted” via e-mails, with
support from various Community Board 1 staff members,
that the community needed access.” Last week, the request
was heeded. “I received a very nice email from Brookfield
telling me that due to my efforts, they are now going to keep
the walkways open 24/7,” said Goodkind. Just to be sure, he
checked with the guards on duty. “’Yes,” they said. ‘You are
now allowed in at all times — it’s a new rule we just heard
To comment on “Battery Park City Beat” or to leave
Battery Park City information for possible use in the column,
e-mail TereseLoeb@mac.com.
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kruezer
Stockings With Care, a charity started by Battery Park
City resident Rosalie Joseph, is the beneficiary at this
year’s tree lighting ceremony.
downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 17
Dog owners feel slighted
dogs uptown, as pets are not permitted to
ride in taxies, buses or trains.
“For people who don’t have cars, this is
really unfortunate,” said Yee. ”Sometimes I
rent a car to take Piper out to Prospect Park,
and it can be costly.”
Plans for the lawn have not been published
on the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy’s
website, leaving many asking just what it is
about the projected new lawn that will make
it suddenly unfit for canines.
“Conservancy and Parks have raised vari-
ous issues they think will happen if they allow
the dogs to run there,” said Galloway. “But
right now it’s a lot of hypothetical back-and-
forth. The point of the trial is to observe what
happens so we can make an intelligent deci-
sion about whether it’s a good idea or not.”
As more apartment buildings go up,
Galloway points out, the number of
Downtown residents will increase — and so
will the puppy population.
“Bringing our dogs to the lawn is a com-
munity building activity. When you talk to
the people that bring their dogs there, you
find they’ve met some of their best friends
there,” he said. “Most people who have dogs
have decided they’re going to put their roots
down in this community. This type of group
is something the community as a whole
should value.”
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Continued from page 8
plaque and a quotation from Virgil’s Aeneid,
which some families find equally offensive.
“They don’t have to see the bones. The fact
that the space is being pointed out to the
visitors makes it an exhibit,” said Glenn
Corbett, a fire science professor at John Jay
College and a member of the S.S.C.
In the meantime, Regenhard and other
9/11 families will not be at peace until their
loved ones’ remains are found and examined
in what they consider to be a respectful
space at the W.T.C. “All this feels like a knife
in the heart,” she said. “The emotions are
raw, and the feelings are wounded over and
over again.”
Location could be problem
Continued from page 5
Griffith feels she would greatly benefit from
more individual instruction from teachers
inside the classroom.
“If what [I.M.C.S.] is professing is one-
on-one individual attention with a child,
working with them on their goals… I think
that’s huge,” Griffith said.
Griffith himself attended the Cambridge
School of Weston, a small private school in
Massachusetts, which he said had a wide vari-
ety of subjects and an open-minded approach
to learning. “I could involve myself in my edu-
cational process, which I really really liked,”
he said. Sending Ruby to a private school in
New York City, however, is financially not an
option for him and his wife.
Yvette Rose, parent of Tyler Rose, who
attends P.S. 234, isn’t even aware of the
D.O.E.’s regulations for its public schools.
“He’s an innovative thinker — I don’t
think he’ll excel as much as [he would] in
a situation that’s new and fresh-thinking,”
she said.
Rose added that her son is a bit shy in
social settings, and would thrive in group
projects and other collaborative work embed-
ded in the I.M.C.S. curriculum.
D.O.E. spokesperson Jack Zarin-
Rosenfeld said the D.O.E. would make
a final decision on the Tweed site in the
next month or two. Meanwhile, I.M.C.S.
awaits approval from S.U.N.Y., which Hoey
requested in mid-November.
“I think it’s a tragedy that this all [results] in
fighting over space,” Hoey said. “We’re all just
trying to do wonderful things for the kids.”
The parents opposing I.M.C.S. agree.
Fighting over space
Continued from page 4
servation Committee Chair Robert K.
Sweeney echoed Silver and said, “Decisions
regarding the safety of our water and air
shouldn’t be made in haste, but should be
the result of careful study and deliberation.”
If signed into law, the moratorium would
remain in effect through May 15, 2011.
All parties are not happy about the mora-
torium. Many gas companies have already
started to purchase leases in order to drill
into the Marcellus Shale, located in upstate
New York, and one of North America’s larg-
est natural gas resources.
The Independent Oil and Gas Association
of New York released a statement on Tuesday
that said “politics” had “trumped facts” in
the Assembly debate.
The I.O.G.A. of N.Y. claims the language
of the bill could adversely affect jobs not con-
nected to the Marcellus Shale debate and that
are currently underway throughout the state.
Fracking moratorium
Continued from page 1
December 1 - 7, 2010 18
downtown express
Trinity history highlighted
north churchyard, once the city’s public
burial ground, is the site of the graves of two
printers — English-born William Bradford
(1663-1752) and German-born John Peter
Zenger (1697-1746) — whose tussles with
government helped establish freedom of
the press in the United States. Some of
the people in the graveyard are not as well
known, but their tombstones reflect major
events in the city’s history. The tombstone
of two brothers, Peter and John Huggeford,
both doctors who died within 17 days of
each other in 1795, for instance, bears wit-
ness to the yellow fever epidemic that swept
the city that year.
There are Revolutionary War soldiers in
the graveyard, a signer of the Declaration of
Independence, delegates to the Continental
Congress and U.S. Congressmen and
Senators. But towering over all, though
his monument is far from the largest, is
the memory of Alexander Hamilton (1757-
1804), whose tomb in the south church-
yard describes him as a patriot, solder and
statesman and rightly says that his “talents
and virtues will be admired by grateful pos-
terity long after this monument shall have
mouldered into dust.” Hamilton — aide-de-
camp to General George Washington, first
Secretary of the Treasury, founder of the
Bank of New York, the U.S. Coast Guard
and the New York Post, and architect of the
financial system that established the cred-
ibility of the United States — was killed by
Aaron Burr in a duel in July 1804.
Inside Trinity Church in what is called the
“monument room” on the south side of the
building is another testimonial to Hamilton
created by his grief-stricken comrades in the
Revolutionary War who called themselves
The Society of Cincinnati — named for
Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus who, 2,500
years ago, left his farm to lead Rome when
the city was invaded, and who resigned his
office and returned to his farm when the
crisis was over. George Washington was the
first president of the society, and Hamilton,
the second.
Across from the monument room, on the
north side of the church is a small chapel
— All Saints Chapel — where the Reverend
Morgan Dix is buried. Reverend Dix (1827-
1908) served as Trinity’s rector for 46 years.
As the congregation grappled with whether
it wanted to be “high church” and adhere
to the imagery of Catholicism though not
allegiance to the pope, or “low church” with
less formality and ritualistic pomp, Reverend
Dix came down on the side of “high church.”
By the end of the 19th century, Trinity had
decided in favor of “high church” but the
fight was bitter.
The cenotaph of Rt. Reverend Benjamin
T. Onderdonk (1791-1861), fourth bishop
of New York, recalls that controversy. The
bishop’s memorial, which flanks All Saints
Chapel, looks like it could have come out of
Westminster Abbey as he lies in state with an
angel at his head and a lion at his feet. In fact,
in 1845, the bishop was tried by the Episcopal
Church’s governing body. He was accused of
“immorality and impropriety” — groping and
fondling a number of young women. He was
convicted and suspended, though some people
said the bishop was innocent and had been
found guilty because of his high church sym-
pathies. Trinity Parish supported him through-
out his ordeal; as archivist Gynedd Cannon
remarked, his memorial was tantamount to
a public slap in the face to those who had
opposed and condemned the bishop.
The Lessons and Carols service on
December 4 will be very “high church” with
lots of pageantry and singing. “Lessons and
Carols is a beloved Anglican liturgy that
traces the birth of the Messiah from proph-
ecy to fulfillment in scripture and song,”
Trinity says in a press release. “The tradi-
tion is based on an inspiring Christmas Eve
service that began in England in the 1880’s.
During the 1900’s, the service grew into a
vibrant rite filled with music.”
Those who would like to participate
should arrive at the church at 3:30 p.m. in
“festive attire” for the taping.
Now accepting Motorcycles
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Monthly car spaces available
Continued from page 6
Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer
Trinity Church parish, which was chartered in 1696-1697 by King William III of
England, has had many famous and wealthy New Yorkers in its congregation, includ-
ing members of the Astor family who paid for the elaborate marble reredos in the
downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 19

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downtown express
PENNY JONES & CO. PUPPETS Penny Jones & Co. Puppets present their own friend-
ly, funny take on two classic tales. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” tells the familiar tale of an
apprentice whose attempts to have others do his work results in predictable chaos when
he tries magic instead of muscle. “The Fisherman & the Genie” has a humble fisherman
catching a genie who grants a wish that soon finds the fisherman and his wife missing
their frugal, simple life. There will also be a participatory Whale Game — in keeping with
the nautical theme! Sun., Dec. 12, 11am & 1pm at the Westbeth Community Room (155
Bank St. btw. Washington and West Sts.). For tickets ($5), call 212-924-0525. Visit www.
CHANUKAH WONDERLAND What happens for eight consecutive nights, is different
each time, but always includes sizzling latkes, delicious donuts, menorah lighting, choco-
late Chanukah gelt and prizes galore? The answer’s not exactly a brainteaser, given that
this is a Chanukah (Hanukah?) listing. But one thing’s for sure — the fact that this par-
ticular celebration is jam-packed with fun (and maybe some jam for those latkes?) is a
no-brainer. “Chanukah Wonderland” is My Little School’s gift to you. Dec. 1 through Dec.
8. Locations, times, prices vary. For event details and registration, visit www.mylittle-
DEAR EDWINA After debuting in 2008, scoring two Drama Desk nominations and
enjoying a successful 2009 holiday season run, the musical “Dear Edwina” is fast becom-
ing a seasonal family-friendly tradition in league with visiting the Macy’s windows and
presenting a long wish list to a certain jolly fellow on temporary leave from the North
Pole. This heartwarming show about the joys and frustrations of growing up. Has our
spunky heroine, (advice-giver extraordinaire Edwina Spoonable) sharing he wisdom on
everything from setting the table to making new friends. That it’s done through clever,
catchy and poignant songs makes the experience enjoyable and engaging for kids who
know what Edwina’s going through as well as adults who remember what it was like.
Dec. 17 through Feb. 25 at the DR2 Theatre (103 E. 15th St.). For tickets ($39), call 212-
239-6200. For groups of 10 or more, call 646-747-7400. Visit www.dearedwina.com for
additional details and full playing schedule.
school hosts this FREE Hanukkah event for Kids & Families. Come celebrate Hanuk-
kah and learn about Educational Alliance programs for toddlers and preschoolers.
Festivities will include Hanukkah arts & crafts, dancing, sing-a-longs, storytelling,
dreidel games, kosher refreshments, tours of the Preschool and more. This year’s
celebration will also feature a premiere screening of a new series called “Shalom
Sesame” (from the creators of Sesame Street). “Chanukah: The Missing Meno-
rah” finds that super-special blue monster Grover in stressing when his special
friend Anneliese van der Pol (of “That’s So Raven” fame) gets caught in a game
of tag with a chicken and loses her special menorah — just as Chanukah is about
to begin! This first-ever communal viewing of the film, coordinated by the JCC
Association, will be a special holiday treat for kids and parents alike. Sun., Dec.
5, 10:30 am to 1 pm at The Educational Alliance Preschool (197 E. Broadway. btw.
Jefferson & Clinton Sts.). FREE. Appropriate for children age 6 and under. For info,
call 646-395-4251 or visit www.edalliance.org/preschool. NOTE: The Preschool
offers full day, half day, extended day and 2, 3, 5 day/week options. Financial aid is
available. To learn more and set up a tour, please call 646-395-4250 or email pre-
school@edalliance.org. Applications are due December 30th, 2010. The Preschool
is located at 197 E. Broadway on the Lower East Side.
FIRST COMMUNITY MUSIC NIGHT Every Monday night, Manhattan Youth and Trin-
ity Wall Street combine creative forces to bring you chamber music in a relaxed setting.
Music lovers of all ages are invited to listen or get involved. If you play violin, viola or cello
(and can read music), bring your instrument along and join the seasoned pros of the Trinity
Chamber Players. Mondays, 7pm to 9pm, at the Great Hall (in the Downtown Community
Center, 120 Warren St.). Call 212-766-1104 or visit www.manhattanyouth.org.
EXPRESS? Listing requests may be sent to scott@downtownexpress.com. Please
provide the date, time, location, price and a description of the event (at least three
weeks in advance of the event date). Information may also be mailed to 145 Avenue
of the Americas, New York, NY 10013-1548. Requests must be received three weeks
before the event is to be published. Questions? Call 646-452-2497.
Let’s do something together Trinity Wall Street
an Episcopal parish
in the city of New York
All events are free,
unless otherwise noted.
trinitywallstreet.org · 212.602.0800
All Are Welcome
The Humanity of
Supporting Others
The Tribute WTC Visitor Center
presents Susan Retik and Maureen
Fanning, two women whose husbands
died on September 11. Retik helps
widows in Afghanistan; Fanning
helps families with autistic children.
74 Trinity Pl
Mary: An Islamic Perspective
What does the Koran say about
Jesus’ mother Mary? Led by
Lucinda Mosher, Th.D., author
and interreligious educator
74 Trinity Pl, 2nd Fl Parlor
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5, 10:10–11am
Sunday School Classes
Children learn to encounter God in
their lives through music, crafts, and
lively discussions. Pre K-5th grade,
middle school, and high school.
74 Trinity Pl, 3rd Fl
SUNDAY, 8am and 10am
St. Paul’s Chapel
An energetic celebration of
Communion in the round.
SUNDAY, 9am and 11:15am

Trinity Church
Worship, preaching, and ceremony
in the best Anglican/Episcopal
tradition. Sunday school and child
care available.
MONDAY – FRIDAY, 12:05pm
Holy Eucharist
Trinity Church
THURSDAY, 5:15pm
Evening Prayer
All Saints’ Chapel
(inside Trinity Church)

Watch online webcast
Broadway at Wall Street
Broadway and Fulton Street
The Rev. Dr. James H. Cooper, Rector
The Rev. Canon Anne Mallonee, Vicar
music & the arts
Concerts at One
Rose Ensemble
Trinity Church
Concerts at One
Anna Tonna, mezzo-soprano
and Rupert Boyd, guitar
St. Paul’s Chapel
special worship
Service of Lessons and Carols
This Anglican liturgy traces the birth
of the Messiah in scripture and song.
This service will be taped for ABC
affiliate stations.
Trinity Church
The choirs of the Trinity Youth Chorus and the ISO-Trinity-Florentine Youth Orchestra (PS
89, PS 315, Chinatown-Florentine, Peppercorn, Junior and Senior Choristers) invite you
to an informal concert of holiday music — with a reception in the Parish Hall after the
concert. FREE. Fri., Dec. 17, 7-8pm at Trinity Church (Broadway at Wall St.). For info, call
212-602-0800 or visit www.trinitywallstreet.org.
Photo by Leo Sorel
The Trinity Youth Chorus gathers outside St. Paul’s.
downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 21
November was such a busy month that
I only saw one show from last month’s col-
umn: but I saw it 50 times. The show, of
course, is Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids
Dream of Electric Sheep?” — playing at 3LD
Art & Technology Center (www.3ldnyc.org)
through December 10. I would love to give it
a glowing review, but seeing as how I am in it
that might be construed as more than usually
biased. Therefore, we turn our attention to
the virgin snows of December….
I am luridly expectant at the prospect of
seeing “What She Knew” — playwright and
critic George Hunka’s retelling of “Oedipus
Rex” from Jocasta’s point of view. In this pro-
duction, the “First of the Red Hot Mamas”
will be played by Gabriele Schafer. Schafer
is best known as one half of the company
Thieves Theatre, which she ran for many
years with her husband Nick Fracaro, and
was most notorious for a theatre piece they
did in the early 90s in which they lived in a
Photo by Greg Cook
Susie Perkins carries a heavy burden (see Theater for the New City, page 23).
Baby, it’s Hot Inside
Downtown theater brims with ideas brought to boiling point
Continued on page 22
December 1 - 7, 2010 22
downtown express
teepee at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge for
several months. More recently, I saw Schafer
play both Hamlet’s father and mother in a
Butoh-influenced version of the Shakespeare
play (“Q1: The Bad Hamlet” — produced
by New World Theatre). The hair-raising
performances I saw makes me to think there
couldn’t be a better person to do an “eroti-
cally transgressive” one-woman show about
Oedipus’s mother. The production is under
the rubric of Hunka’s company, Theatre
Minima, and will be playing at Manhattan
Theatre Source, December 1-11. For more
info: www.theatreminima.org.
I am also happy to report that Theatre
Askew’s “Horatio’s Rise” — written and
directed by Jason Jacobs — opens at The
Cell (www.thecelltheatre.org) on December
1. Producer Tim Cusack has been doling
out tidbits about the show to me for over
a year knowing as he does of my abiding
interest in all things 19th century. The titu-
lar “Horatio” is, of course, Alger — author
of scores of rags-to-riches novels that were
considered inspirational in their day, if a bit
preposterous in our own. In Jacobs’ play,
a teacher introduces a wayward student to
“Ragged Dick.”(Stop giggling now. I mean
it!) From what I can glean, the play has seri-
ous overtones without ignoring the unavoid-
able humor inherent in some of Alger’s
work. Having enjoyed several of this com-
pany’s productions, including “I, Claudius,”
“Cornbury” and “A Night in the Tombs,” I
feel comfortable giving this one an advance
“thumbs up.” The run is just one week, end-
ing on December 5. For tickets and info:
November 2 through 11, the
Incubator Arts Project will be presenting
“Emancipatory Politics” — written and
directed by Eric Bland and his company
Old Kent Road Theater. I’d previously seen
and enjoyed Bland’s “The Protestants” —
which had its absurd aspects, but it looks
as though he is embracing Incubator Arts’
experimental mandate and trying some
new things, including puppets and “move-
ment through the space” in this “collage-
like” story about a bunch of radical left-
ists in Arizona (don’t they know that’s
McCain country?) Of the cast, Becky Byers,
Gavin Starr Kendall, Iracel Rivero, and
Alexis Sottile are well-known and heavily
endorsed by me. The others approved by
association. The production will be at St.
Mark’s Church. There’s more info available
at www.incubatorarts.org.
Several shows at Theater for the New
City this month tickle my fancy. First, there’s
the annual return of the seminal Off-Off
Broadway company Bread and Puppet
Theater. This is the 39th year the com-
pany has come back to TNC, and it’s always
impressive to see those eerie, gigantic, medi-
eval-looking puppets move about TNC’s cav-
ernous Johnson Theatre. This year’s produc-
tion is entitled “The Return of Ulysses to His
Homeland and the Decapitalization Circus.”
Hmm…. wonder if it will be political? The
production runs December 2 through 19.
Also opening on the 2nd is Matt Morillo’s
“Angry Young Women in Low Rise Jeans
with High Class Issues.” While its tagline,
“Even though it’s a play, it doesn’t suck”
strongly inclines me to throw their press
release in the wastepaper basket, its prom-
ise of “foxy, urban women” in (let us not
forget) “low rise jeans” has convinced me
to do the big thing and give the production
a second chance. This is the show’s second
NYC revival since its premiere in 2006,
and it has been produced as far away as
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Box Ofce / Entrance
Broadway at 60th
Preferred Card of
Jazz at Lincoln Center


r N

I am luridly expectant
at the prospect of seeing
“What She Knew” —
playwright and critic
George Hunka’s retelling
of “Oedipus Rex” from
Jocasta’s point of view.
Photo by Lee Wexler
In an experimental ant colony, a worker
ant worships a Queen Ant after the
Queen gives a motivational speech. See
“Mapping Mobius.”
Continued from page 21
Continued on page 23
December Downtown
Theater: Hot, Hot, Hot
downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 23
December Theater
Australia, so someone must like it. “Angry
Young Women” runs through December 12.
“Dollface” — opening on December 23 — is
less interesting for its concept (a Queens
woman enrolls in a comedy class and then
gets involved with a jewel heist) than for
its personnel. Several of the collaborators
have interesting music biz credits on their
resumes. Co-composer Rob Hyman is a
founding member of The Hooters and song-
writer of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.”
His collaborator, David Forman, has writ-
ten and recorded with Bette Midler, Cyndi
Lauper, Aaron Neville, Jack Nitzsche, Ry
Cooder, Maryann Faithfull, Levon Helm, Taj
Mahal and others. “Dollface” runs through
January 16. For info on all three of these
shows as well as others at TNC, go to www.
“Mapping Mobius” at LaMaMa E.T.C.’s
First Floor Theatre promises to be a trippy
experience. Taking as its inspiration the
eponymous, technically impossible “strip,”
it’s supposed to describe what happens
when a scientist delves into a model of his
own mind, presumably winding up in some
sort of feedback loop. Far out! (If the fuzz
is reading this, I didn’t inhale.) At any rate,
if you too want to have your mind blown,
“Mapping Mobius” — by The New Stage
Theatre Company (www.newstagetheatre.
org) — is playing December 2 through the
On December 6, Terranova Collective’s
Groundbreakers Playwrights Group is pre-
senting “Bug Out!” — a bill of ten-minute
plays inspired by the word “bug.” If you’re
not a fan of creeping insects, don’t fret. The
organizers have given the artists wide latitude
as to how to interpret their mandate and the
products of their imaginations are just as liable
to include irritated humans, or hidden record-
ing devices. The quintet of young scribblers
includes Lauren Feldman, Andrew Kramer,
Nick Mwaluko, Leah Nanako Winkler, and
Halley Feiffer (daughter of Jules and a mul-
titalented artist in her own right. She not
only writes, but acts. You may have seen her
in “The Squid and the Whale”). “Bug Out”
plays one night only, December 6, at HERE
Arts Center. For more info, go to www.ter-
December 7 through the 15, the Kraine
Theater will be the site of “The Corporate
Personhood Play Festival.” I like the name
and the theme of this festival very much (it
refers to recent legal decisions that make it
possible for corporations to commit all man-
ner of calumnies under the pretense that
they possess the same rights as individual
human beings). The fest includes nine short
plays in two separate bills, and to give you a fla-
vor, here’s a description of “Oh, Donna” by the
excellent young playwright Lucille Scott Baker:
“A young heiress (and friend of Paris Hilton)
who has organic tendencies with organic juice
and a few secrets, takes over the world’s third
largest communications company.” I’m there!
And lest there be any doubt about the subver-
sive tendencies of this festival, all shows are
FREE! Why, it’s downright un-American. “The
Corporate Personhood Play Festival” is a co-
production of Horse Trade Theater Group and
The Subjective Theatre Company. More info at:
Finally, I would be remiss in my duty as a
corrupter of public morals if I didn’t recom-
mend these sick, twisted holiday shows.
December 3-11, one of the funniest perform-
ers I know — Bradford Scobie — brings his
“Moisty the Snowman Saves Christmas”
to Dixon Place. This parody of Rankin-Bass
holiday specials, penned by and starring
Scobie, was a hit of last year’s NY Musical
Theatre Festival (www.nymf.org) and also
stars the great Murray Hill, among others.
For info: www.dixonplace.org.
December 10-30, End Times Productions
— the folks who brought you “Manson:
The Musical” — return to Ace of Clubs
with their 4th annual “Naked Holidays.”
This “Yuletide Bacchanalia” promises an
array of comedy sketches involving Adolph
Hitler, the Tea Party, and, by my count, 13
scantily clad showfolk. Talk about roasting
chestnuts! For tickets: www.endtimespro-
Over at PS122, December 15-19,
you can catch “Brothers and Sisters and
Motherf**kers.” This solo show — featur-
ing one Jibz Cameron as Dynasty Handbag
— takes us to a Handbag Family Holiday
Dinner featuring “hatred, drugs, murder, spi-
der, old babies, secrets, the devil, grandma
and explosives.” For info: www.ps122.org.
And on December 14, don’t miss me
as the titular slasher in “Jack the Ripper’s
Holiday Spectacular” — along with my cho-
rus of cuties, The Bleeedin’ Tarts, piano man
Albert Garzon of Ixion Burlesque, country
duo the Tall Pines, contortionist Amy Harlib,
burlesque side show artist Foxxx Trot and
music hall chanteuse Lorinne Lampert. It’s
all at Bowery Poetry Club. Be there or be
square! See you next year!
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Continued from page 22
Read the Archives
December 1 - 7, 2010 24
downtown express
Since opening its doors to the public in 2004, the Rubin
Museum of Art has become the Western world’s premier
institution for those seeking a comprehensive look at
Himalayan culture.
But what does Himalayan art actually describe or entail?
Is it strictly art of a Buddhist background? A visit to this
engaging museum makes one point clear immediately:
Himalayan art, as well as its geographic roots, are intriguing-
ly diverse. Characterized by Tibetan, Nepalese and Kashmiri
religious culture, it is influenced by Buddhism — but also by
Hinduism, Bon and various other indigenous religions.
The fact that Himalayan art and culture enjoys an
increasing popularity in the West is in part reflected in the
museum’s 100,000 annual visitors. Founded by the collec-
tor Donald Rubin in 1999 as a nonprofit institution, the
museum not only focuses on establishing and preserving a
permanent collection of artworks, but also on showcasing
exhibitions that reflect the vitality, complexity, and historical
significance of its field of study. One of the first revelations
is that the Himalayan region is extensive and multi-faceted,
comprising parts of Afghanistan, Myanmar, the Tibetan
Plateau, Nepal, Kashmir, Bhutan, as well as the northern-
most regions of India and Pakistan.
Governed by an independent board of directors, the
museum’s mission entails the exploration of connections
between Himalayan art and other world cultures. Along
these lines, it aims to address a broad audience, including
both specialized scholars and novices. It indeed serves as
a serious international study center, as well as a tranquil
place that can simply be enjoyed by all. In that sense, the
Rubin functions as an institutional ambassador. It does not
advocate a religion, but a rich culture that finds its artistic
expression through religious iconography and symbolism. By
spreading enthusiasm for its subject, the museum hopes to
achieve its ultimate goal — to help preserve a culture that
counterbalances an increasingly fast-paced world that suffers
from a global attention-deficit disorder.
While succeeding in exuding an immediate sense of
calm, the museum’s exhibition space is quite impressive. It
spans six floors and about 25,000 square feet. A striking
spiral staircase dominates its core, evoking a Mandala-like
structure of a circle that is set within a square. The staircase
organically connects the various floors, some of which are
dedicated to the permanent collection and others to periodi-
cally changing displays.
Structurally, it initiates a dialogue among Himalayan
paintings, sculptures, textiles, ritual objects, and prints from
the 2nd to the 20th centuries. All installations are organized
with a focus on education and frequently feature comprehen-
sive wall texts that supply the viewer with aesthetic, social,
and historical contexts. The works on the second floor serve
as an intentionally didactic introduction to the museum’s
overall discourse.
The basics of Buddhist iconography and symbolism are
presented in an easily accessible manner. Sculptures and
works on paper (most of which were originally scrolled)
feature Buddhas (enlightened persons), Bodhisattvas (awak-
ened beings who aspire to attain enlightenment), Tantric
Deities (deities who personify various enlightened qualities
and can have many heads, arms and legs to symbolize their
abilities), Wrathful Deities and Female Deities. Here one
can learn about the meaning of postures, for example, which
function as keys to the compositions.
Attention Downtown Residents
Please report any damaged or missing Downtown
Express distribution boxes in your neighborhood to
Thank you to our loyal readers for making us
the #1 community news source
Your community, your neighborhood, your news!
Continued on page 25
RMA Explores Buddhist Culture, Himalayan Art
Image courtesy of the Rubin Museum of Art
“Shakyamuni Buddha” — Tibet; 16th century. Pigments
on cloth (44.25 x 35 in).
downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 25
One realizes that a hand gesture tells you
not only about intentions, but specifies the
identity of the figure engaging in it. A hand
loosely pointing downward in fact “touches
the earth” and signifies Buddha calling the
earth to witness his enlightenment. A hand
pointed slightly upward expresses “do not
fear” and a downward facing right hand with
its palm turned towards the viewer implies
a giving gesture, implying that wishes and
blessing will be granted.
One of the most striking subjects that can
be repeatedly found is the “Wheel of Life” or
“Wheel of Becoming.” In most general terms,
the “Wheel of Life” describes the strug-
gles, pitfalls and stages on the road towards
enlightenment. In these images, Yama, the
Lord of Death, holds a large wheel in his
mouth. Locked between Yama’s fangs, the
wheel has several rings or compartments
that show human figures and animals. These
signify various stages of worldly existence —
including hells, ghosts, animal realms, world
of human beings and various gods. In its
center are usually three animals, such as a
pig, a rooster, and a snake. They symbolize
what Buddhists call the three klesha (root
delusions or mental afflictions), namely igno-
rance, attachment, and aversion. The figures
on the right side are being led down in dark-
ness, while those on the left side are led up
in radiance and light. Stories of glorious or
punishing worlds that await us after death
exist in most religious traditions. However,
in contrast to Christian and Muslim beliefs of
Paradise as a final state, Buddhism views it as
only one station in the endless cycle of death
and rebirth. At its ultimate, it is a place where
final enlightenment might be attained.
In addition to its permanent displays,
it is through periodically changing exhi-
bitions and innovative educational public
programming that the Rubin encourages its
audience to explore the artistic legacy of the
Himalayan region and contextualize it. Its
educational program includes a 10-session
museum-school residency called “Thinking
through Art,” which teaches students in
grades K-12 basic art techniques using the
art and culture of the Himalayan region.
All in all, hundreds of lectures, discussions,
film screenings and musical performances
are held throughout the year. This past
November, one could witness the pioneering
video artist Bill Viola discussing Buddhist
references in his work with the Tibetan lama
Ponlop Rinpoche, hear the British actor
Brian Cox pondering existentialist questions,
or watch famed film director Mike Nichols
addressing the emptiness in contemporary
American life and art. In December, Robert
Wilson and Laurie Anderson, among many
others, will take part in public panels at the
Recently, the museum has begun to
include contemporary exhibitions in its rep-
ertoire, revealing its commitment to bridg-
ing the past and the future. At times, these
contemporary programs bring together
seemingly unconnected themes to exem-
plify the universality of Himalayan ideas. For
example, Harlem in the Himalayas (now in
its third season, occurring on select Friday
evenings and presented with the National
Jazz Museum in Harlem) features renowned
jazz artists who are asked to play at least
one piece inspired by a work of art in the
museum during their performance.
Until April 11, 2011, the Rubin will
present works by five artists of different gen-
erations and ethnicities, working between
1960 and the present. All of these artists
have contemplated the fleeting nature of all
things. Here, color photographs by the South
Korean Atta Kim stand out. Employing a
long exposure technique that in the case of
a street in New Delhi, for example, leaves
the architectural details crisp and the street
action a mysterious blur. Kim addresses
Buddhist notions of impermanence and the
impossibility of grasping the true essence of
a subject.
Considering the Rubin’s extensive out-
reach to its surrounding communities, one
could not think of a better place for it than
New York City. While the vibrancy of the
diverse communities found in the Himalayas
are surely unique, it certainly finds a tasteful
reflection in our multi-faceted metropolis.
The Rubin Museum of Art is located
at 150 W. 17th St. (btw. Sixth & Seventh
Aves.). Hours: Mon. & Thurs, 11am-5pm.
Wed., 11am-7pm. Fri., 11am-10pm. Sat.
& Sun., 11am-6pm. Admission: $10. $7
for seniors, middle/high school students,
artists & neighbors in zip codes 10011
& 10001. For college students, $2 (with
ID). Children & RMA members, free.
Gallery admission is free every Friday from
6-10pm. For seniors, gallery admission
is free on the first Monday of the month.
For info, call 212-620-5000 or visit www.
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Continued from page 24
Photo by Peter Aaron/Esto, courtesy of the Rubin Museum
RMA’s spiral staircase evokes the
Mandala’s “structure of a circle that is
set within a square.”
Buddhist Culture
December 1 - 7, 2010 26
downtown express
Ch l e sea
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Mailing Services on site
Tel: 212-255-6700
Fax: 212-242-5963
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Repairs, upgrades, installations,
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All subjects/levels, educational
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downtown express
December 1 - 7, 2010 27
Phil Kline’s annual holiday event takes place in more
than 27 cities around the world — and with a stat like
that, you know NYC is among the unusual suspects.
“Unsilent Night 2010” — the local version — is cel-
ebrating its 19th year of gracing our good town with
a boombox parade that defies description, logic and
expectations. This participatory experience lets march-
ers become their own roving sound sculpture — as they
swarm through the streets of the Village blaring record-
ings on cassettes, CD’s, mp3’s and, of course, the hum-
ble but proud boombox. Kline describes the experience
as “like a Christmas caroling party except we don’t sing,
but rather carry boomboxes, each playing a separate tape
or CD which is part of the piece. In effect, we become a
city-block-long stereo system.” Free. Sat., Dec. 18, 7pm.
Gather at the arch in Washington Square Park, and less
than an hour and mile later, end up in Tompkins Square
Park. For info, visit www.unsilentnight.com.
Just Do Art!
For the Whole Family
For an appointment, call 212-941-9095
19 Murray Street
Between Church & Broadway
General Dentistry & CosmeticDentistry + Implants
Bleaching + Orthodontics
Dr. Martin Gottlieb
Dr. Raphael Santore
Dr. Reena Clarkson,
Dr. Ken Chu,
Dr. Sara Fikree
Pediatric Dentists
Things that make you go boom: Vintage boomboxes
brighten up “Unsilent Night.”
The ARChive of Contemporary Music’s Holiday Record
& CD sale helps support the ARChive — a not-for-profit
music library which collects, preserves and provides infor-
mation on popular music from 1950 to the present (ARC
keeps two copies of all recordings released in America, and
their collection numbers over two million sound recordings).
There will be over 20,000 items for sale — but don’t worry
about depleting the permanent collection. The items are new
donations from record companies and collectors, and there’s
not a used, returned or defective product in the bunch. What
you will find, though, will be mostly pop and rock record-
ings, collectible LPs priced below book value, hundreds of
CDs priced at $1 to $5 each and cassettes 4 for $1.00. Not
enough? There will also be many hard to find 7” singles,
shelves of new music books, African, reggae & world-music
releases, classical LPs (most for 50¢ or LESS), videos, 60s
psychedelic posters, and Sony Yule log DVDs (just released
by Johnny Cash, Mariah Carey and Kenny Chesney, for $5
each). For the dis-en-vinyled, ARChive’s newly-departed
food stylist neighbors left behind “TONS of high-end and
everyday kitchenware.” Support the ARChive mission by
becoming a member, and you’ll shop the sale before the gen-
eral public and be welcomed at their Dec. 9 cocktail party.
For membership details and other info, call 212-226-6967,
visit www.arcmusic.org and check out their blog (arcmusic.
wordpress.com). The sale takes place Sat., Dec. 11 through
Sun. Dec. 19, daily from 11am to 6pm. At 54 White St. (3
blocks south of Canal, btw. Broadway & Church. Take the 1
train to Franklin, or any train to Canal).
Like a fruitcake wrapped in ribbons and given to you
annually by your least favorite relative, self-professed
“daring and new” productions of “The Nutcracker” come
our way every year and immediately proceed to overstay
their welcome. So get a jump on the holiday glut of medio-
cre productions and get your bad Downtown-minded self
to the limited-time-only Urban Ballet Theater version.
“Nutcracker in the Lower” brims with salsa, krumping
and hip-hop. The party scene, traditionally depicted as an
opulent 19th-century Ball, becomes a holiday salsa party.
Native American and African styles reinvent the Angels’
and Arabian divertissements of the second act — with
enough classical ballet to retain the ballet’s traditional
flavor (Tchaikovsky’s original score remains largely intact
Performances are Dec. 1, 2, 3 at 7:30pm, Dec. 4 at 3 &
7:30pm and December 5 at 3pm. To purchase tickets ($20),
visit www.theatermania.com or call 212-352-3101. Group &
family discounts are available. At Abrons Arts Center, Henry
Street Settlement (466 Grand St. at Pitt). Visit www.abron-
sartscenter.org and www.urbanballettheater.org. Photo by Isaac Rosenthal
Chelsea Rittenhouse and Andres Gonzales.
Do you pine for a holiday experience that harkens back to
those days of old — as in, say, the mid-19th century? If so,
look no further than the Merchant’s House Museum. Built
in 1832, MHM exists year-round as a lovingly curated time
capsule offering a glimpse into the lives — and mindset — of
the prosperous merchant-class Tredwell family (whose vari-
ous members occupied the house for nearly a century).
Dec. 2 through Jan. 10, the exhibition “Christmas
Comes to Old New York” uses recreated scenes of holi-
day preparation to reveal how modern holiday customs
came to be. Included with regular museum admission
($10, $5 for students/seniors). Tues., Dec. 7 from 6-8pm,
the “19th-Century Holiday Party” lets you enjoy holiday
decorations, savor festive delicacies, drink from the “Bowl
of Bishop” and join in the caroling. $25, free for MHM
members. Reservations required. On Fri., Dec 10 at 7pm,
“To All, Wassail: A Concert of 19th-Century Holiday Songs
& Stories” features The Bond Street Euterpean Singing
Society (MHM artists-in-residence) in a concert of vocal
quartets, solos, holiday readings and sing-alongs ($25, $15
for MHM members). Reservations required. On Dec. 17,
18 & 19, “An Old Fashioned Christmas in New York: Tours
by Candlelight” offers tours beginning every 20 minutes,
Fri., 6-9pm, Sat. & Sun., 4-8pm. The halls will be decked
and the rooms lit by flickering candlelight as costumed
actors relate the Christmas tradition of mid-19th century
New York ($20, $15 for children 12 & under, $10 MHM
members.). All events take place at the Merchant’s House
Museum (29 E. Fourth St. btw. Lafayette & Bowery). For
info and reservations, call 212-777-1089 or visit www.
December 1 - 7, 2010 28
downtown express

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