This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
The school’s principal, Terri Ruyter, and Nancy Harris, principal of
the Spruce Street School, spoke to Downtown Express last week about the beginning of the schools’ ﬁrst year,
their educational philosophies and future plans for the new buildings.
BY JULIE SHAPIRO
Samuel Evensen stood
among a crop of rubberized
cadavers recently and made
an important distinction.
“I’m not a doctor,” he
said. “I’m an artist.”
Evensen was speaking in
the darkened Bodies exhib-
it at South Street Seaport
Monday night, after the
waves of tourists and school
groups had gone home. His
audience, in addition to the
cadavers, was a small group
of art enthusiasts, who had
come to learn about what
lies beneath the human skin
and how to draw it.
“It’s an approach to draw-
ing the ﬁgure from the inside
out,” said Evensen, a profes-
sor of anatomical drawing
at the Pratt Institute, who
is equally comfortable with
medical and artistic termi-
nology. “Studying anatomy
helps you interpret what you
see from a live model, and
then translate that from a
three-dimensional ﬁgure to a
After a brief lesson
from Evensen, the group
dispersed throughout the
exhibit’s nine galleries, set
up their easels and started
“My dream has come
true,” said a grinning Tim
Boyle, 33, as he prepared to
draw a preserved foot skel-
eton. Inspired by Leonardo
da Vinci’s examination of
BY LINCOLN ANDERSON
Returning to his old
Lower East Side stomping
ground, Antonio “Chico”
Garcia is back in town for a
month and a half to work on
some commissioned murals,
on everything from peace to
the Rat Pack.
On Wednesday, Chico —
who recently relocated to
Tampa, Fla., to reunite with
his family — spray-painted
a new grafﬁti-style mural for
the Power of Peace Coalition
at Houston St. and Avenue
B. Helping him complete
the one-day project were his
cousin Andres Borrero and
William Pentecost, the coali-
tion’s youth activities coor-
When done, the mural
would say, “Stop the
Violence” and “Another Way
“It’s a powerful message,”
Chico said of the peace cam-
paign, adding that, coinci-
dentally, “They call me ‘The
“That’s from New York
— and it’s going across the
country,” he said of the ini-
The Houston St. wall
has been one of Chico’s
signature canvases, spe-
cifically for memorials,
since the 1980s. Those he
A dead subject
for these artists
Chico spreads message
of peace back on L.E.S.
SPRUCE STREET SCHOOL
Downtown Express: What is your favorite moment of
the school year so far?
Nancy Harris: It’s so hard to choose. In the begin-
ning, everyday felt like a highlight reel — our first this,
our first that. Now that that has somewhat subsided, it’s
like when you’re on vacation and the days start to blend
together, but in a good way. Every moment is great, it
Downtown Express: What is your favorite moment of
the school year so far?
Terri Ruyter: I don’t know if I can say a favorite
moment. There are a lot of very lovely moments — when
the students are really kind to each other. The other day
a little girl was upset, and her classmates just totally
kicked in, and they were just there to comfort her right
BY JULIE SHAPIRO
Nearly two months into their inaugural year, the principals of the new schools in Tweed Courthouse are keeping busy. When
they’re not watching kindergarteners learn how to read and share and play, Spruce Street School Principal Nancy Harris and
P.S./I.S. 276 Principal Terri Ruyter are planning for their K-8 schools’ futures. P.S./I.S. 276 is scheduled to open at Second Pl.
and Battery Pl. in Battery Park City in September. Spruce is expected to open in 2011 at Spruce and William Sts.
After Downtown Express toured the schools last week, Harris and Ruyter both sat down to talk about what their students
are learning. Some of the responses are condensed for space reasons.
Inside Downtown’s newest schools
Continued on page 11
Continued on page 12 Continued on page 7 Continued on page 7
VOLUME 22, NUMBER 25 THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN OCTOBER 30 - NOVEMBER 6, 2009
pages 15 - 29
October 30 - November 6, 2009 2
Margaret Chin’s debut at Community Board 1 Tuesday
night did not exactly go smoothly.
The Democratic nominee for the First City Council
District started off on the right foot by speaking for only
about a minute during the board’s public session — her brev-
ity earned her several approving whispers. (Councilmember
Alan Gerson, whom Chin is likely replacing, spoke at the
meeting for about 10 minutes.)
But then, later in the meeting, C.B. 1 Chairperson Julie
Menin mentioned that Chin requested the board move its
monthly meeting to a different night of the week, since
Community Board 3 also meets on the fourth Tuesday of the
month. Elected ofﬁcials and their representatives often have
to scurry from one meeting to the other and can never stay
for too long at either.
Community Board 1 — whose members have been known
to say, “We’re No. 1 for a reason” — did not seem amenable
to this suggestion. Several people called out that C.B. 3
ought to change its meeting time instead. Chin, who had
been a member of both boards at different times, said C.B. 3
picked the time slot ﬁrst.
Sensing a brewing crisis, Menin said the board would
discuss the scheduling change another time.
PRIDE & DUANE
Empire State Pride Agenda leader Alan Van Capelle chal-
lenged Tom Duane last week to deliver on his promises to
get gay marriage passed in New York.
“Sen. Tom Duane, you have told us on multiple occasions
you have the votes to pass this bill,” Van Capelle said at
ESPA’s fundraising dinner attended by Duane. “Give us the
dignity, the rights, and respect we deserve.”
Duane, who represents part of Downtown and is the
State Senate’s ﬁrst and only openly gay member, initially
criticized Gov. David Paterson when he put the marriage bill
on the front burner this year.
Van Capelle, who singled out other Democratic senators
as well, said: “Some senators, even sponsors of the bill, in an
attempt to slow us down, will say that we have not made our
case. That is a lie.”
Duane later told our sister publication Gay City News,
which ﬁrst reported Van Capelle’s remarks, that “I am angry
also. I don’t just gotta pray it’s going to happen. I know it’s
going to happen. I have tremendous sympathy for the anger,
the impatience, the fear that it might not happen.”
Paterson though had the crowd laughing when he joked that
commitment-phobic gays were going to lose a good excuse.
“If you’ve been telling your loved ones, you know, ‘I’d
marry you, but we have a legal problem,’” Paterson said.
“Maybe like many straight people have done, you’ve led
someone along …. You’d better leave now. Marriage equality
is coming to New York State.”
Speaking of ESPA, Erin Drinkwater, community rep-
resentative for U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, announced that
her three years with the congressman are coming to a close.
Drinkwater will soon start a new job at the Empire State
Pride Agenda as director of downstate organizing.
BILL & CHRIS
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s blink-and-you-
missed-it endorsement of mayoral candidate Bill Thompson
just eight days before the election should be enough for
Council Democrats to deliver her back to the top spot,
sources said. According to one councilmember, Quinn’s re-
election as speaker was all but guaranteed when she offered
support for Thompson at an unrelated press conference at
I.S. 89 in Battery Park City on Monday.
“The speaker’s leadership in the City Council is secure;
it was never in jeopardy,” said Brooklyn Councilmember
Letitia James, a strident voice against the legislative over-
turning of term limits that Quinn helped engineer last year.
“An endorsement is an endorsement, despite its tepidity. At
least [Quinn] mentioned his name, and even went further
and added two additional sentences,” she quipped.
Robert Gibbs, President Obama’s press secretary, didn’t
mention Thompson’s name a few weeks ago when he
announced that the Big Man was endorsing the Democratic
“So we’ll accept it, and we’ll run with it,” James added,
“and we look forward to the next four years with her as our
Quinn had apparently approached Thompson earlier about
the endorsement, but due to tensions between the two — the
speaker is seen as too close an ally of Mayor Mike Bloomberg
— he put off an announcement. So Quinn slipped in the nod
with little fanfare when speaking to reporters after the press
conference, framing her position as an afterthought despite
broad speculation over what she would ultimately do.
“I’ve spoken to Comptroller Thompson,” she said at the
event. “I told him that I am supporting him and I’m ready to
be helpful in any way.”
The back and forth between Quinn and Thompson
helps explain why even her staff seemed confused as to the
endorsement’s timing, with one Council employee intimat-
ing last week that the announcement would come before
the weekend. Still, the last-minute tip of the cap should be
enough to propel Quinn to another term as speaker, regard-
less of any lingering enmity between her, Thompson and
some Council Democrats.
Salvatore Strazzullo thought he was giving his neighbor-
hood a gift it wouldn’t refuse.
Strazzullo, a lawyer and recent Tribeca transplant,
wants to sponsor a Christmas tree this year in Duane Park.
He wants to collect toys to put under the tree and hold a
ceremony in early December to give the gifts to underprivi-
But when Strazzullo presented his idea to Community
Board 1 on Tuesday, board members were turned off by what
they saw as Strazzullo’s attitude of self-promotion. Several
board members said it would be a bad precedent to allow
people to advertise their businesses (in this case, Strazzullo’s
private law ﬁrm) in public parks.
“I have a problem with it,” said Pat Moore, a board mem-
ber. She suggested that Strazzullo, who by then had left the
meeting, instead make a quiet donation to the new Battery
Park City library.
As opposition to the tree grew, board member Jeff
Galloway ﬁnally used the “g” word.
“I don’t think we should be grinches,” Galloway said.
“It’s nice that [Strazzullo] wants to do something nice for
But the majority of the board disagreed, voting 19-16
against the tree. The board’s vote is only advisory, and a
Parks Dept. spokesperson said the city was still reviewing
Strazzullo’s application and would likely make a decision
next week. Strazzullo did not return a call for comment.
NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-14
Transit Sam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Mixed Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Progress Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15-29
EDITORIAL PAGES . . . . . . . . . . . .30-31
YOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33-38
Listings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
CLASSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Community Board 1 has not yet released its sched-
ule of November committee meetings. For more infor-
mation, check CB1.org.
Read the Archives
Letter to the Editor
145 SIXTH AVENUE, NYC, NY 10013
PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER
FOR CONFIRMATION PURPOSES ONLY
88 Fulton Street
(Corner of 33 Gold St.)
New York, NY 10038
October 30 - November 6, 2009 3
BY JULIE SHAPIRO
Developer Larry Silverstein sometimes
thinks about leaving the quagmire of the World
Trade Center site behind and casting off on his
yacht, but he said he’s afraid that without him,
the site will never get rebuilt.
“Without a push from the private sector
to move this damn thing forward, it wouldn’t
happen,” Silverstein said Wednesday at the
RealShare New York real estate conference in
Silverstein’s comments were among the ﬁrst
he has made on the Trade Center since he and
the Port Authority entered arbitration this sum-
mer. Back then, in a well-publicized dispute,
Silverstein charged that the Port was years
behind on key infrastructure projects at the site,
preventing Silverstein from building his three
ofﬁce towers on Church St. To compensate
for the delays and the frozen credit markets,
Silverstein wanted the Port to help him ﬁnance
two of the Church St. towers. The Port offered
some assistance, but said Silverstein needed to
put in more money as well.
The argument has largely disappeared from
the spotlight as Silverstein and the Port make
their cases privately before an arbitration panel.
As Silverstein pointed out Wednesday, “There’s
not a hell of a lot I can say, for obvious reasons.”
But he went on to speak about the World Trade
Center for half an hour with moderator John
Salustri, editorial director for the ALM-Real
Estate Media Group.
One problem with rebuilding the Trade
Center has been the revolving door of New
York and New Jersey governors, who share con-
trol of the Port Authority, Silverstein said.
“Every time there’s a change of executive,
there’s a change of agenda,” Silverstein said.
“And every time there’s a change of agenda, it
wreaks havoc with everything you’re trying to
accomplish if you’re trying to hold a speciﬁc
Silverstein also criticized the Port Authority,
though he started by saying they’re “not bad
“The unfortunate thing,” Silverstein said, “is
the people who built the Trade Center — the
last major high-rise project they were involved
with — are long since gone. And the people
who are there today don’t have the experience,
don’t have the ability, don’t have the compre-
hension of what it takes, the need for timely
“You know,” Silverstein continued, “the
attitude is, ‘I’ll get back to you for the decision.’
Construction doesn’t wait for people who say,
‘I’ll get back to you.’ You need the decision
Silverstein said he committed shortly after
9/11 to stay at the World Trade Center for 10
years to rebuild it. Now an optimistic estimate
looks more like 17 years, but he said he’s not
“My attitude is you’ve gotta stay there,”
Silverstein said. “On a daily basis, you’ve gotta
make the decisions that you are required to
make so the construction will ﬂow unimped-
ed…. I want very much to be around to see it
accomplished. So as far as I’m concerned, I’m
going to stay right where I am.”
Silverstein said he was not worried that the
Port would ﬁnd a way to complete the project
Silverstein expects the arbitration to ﬁnish
before the end of the year. A source familiar
with Silverstein’s position said a few months
ago that the developer would ask the arbiters to
award him at least $2.75 billion as compensa-
tion for Port delays and for all of the rent and
insurance he has paid to the authority.
The panel just ﬁnished hearing two weeks
of testimony from Silverstein and is now hearing
two weeks from the Port, Silverstein said. If the
panel rules in favor of Silverstein and forces the
Port to give him the resources he needs to build
the towers, Silverstein said the entire site with
all three of his ofﬁce towers could be complete
by 2016. The Port previously wanted Silverstein
to only build Tower 4 and wait to build Towers
2 and 3 until the market improved.
A Port Authority spokesperson declined to
comment on the arbitration but said in a state-
ment, “We are 100 percent committed to restor-
ing Downtown and continue to make important
progress on all of the public projects on the site,
including the 9/11 Memorial, which is our high-
est priority.” Previously, the Port has objected to
risking billions of dollars on Silverstein’s private
ofﬁce towers, saying the expense would com-
promise the Port’s ability to complete public
infrastructure projects elsewhere.
Silverstein also gave a brief update on 99
Church St., the fenced-off site next to the
Woolworth Building that was supposed to be
an 80-story condo and hotel tower run by the
Four Seasons. Silverstein stopped construction
on the tower this summer after ﬁnishing the
foundation because he could not get a loan to
continue building above street level.
“We’re going to have to be patient,”
Silverstein said. “Four Seasons’ attitude is,
‘Hey, whenever it comes, it comes. We’re there,
Silverstein said he feels the same way and
he expects to get a loan in 2011 and ﬁnish the
building in 2013 or 2014.
Silverstein breaks the silence in W.T.C. dispute
Reade Street Reade Street
Animal Hospital Animal Hospital
Dr. Mary Xanthos
Dr. Amy Kantor
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Photo courtesy of RealShare New York
World Trade Center developer Larry
October 30 - November 6, 2009 4
Rape suspect indicted
A Manhattan grand jury on Oct. 22
indicted Vincent Heyward, 21, for a series
of rapes, sexual assaults and robberies of
women in Hamilton Heights and Soho
between Aug. 1 and Sept 7, according to
the Manhattan district attorney’s ofﬁce. The
offenses include four counts of ﬁrst degree
rape, several counts of sexual assault, bur-
glary and robbery that occurred on Aug. l,
10, 18, 23 and Sept. 7.
The Aug. 23 attack was an attempt on a
woman as she entered her Broome St. apart-
ment, but two witnesses turned up and the
Heyward was arrested on Sept. 15 when
a DNA sample was taken and matched with
DNA at a crime scene, according to pros-
ecutors. At a Sept. 21 court appearance he
punched a court ofﬁcer and an Emergency
Medical Service worker.
ID theft charge
A Brooklyn man who worked as a com-
puter technician at Bank of New York
Mellon headquarters, 1 Wall St., was indict-
ed Wednesday for stealing the identities of
more than 150 fellow employees and using
the information to steal more than $1.1 mil-
lion from them and from various charities
and other institutions.
Adeniyi Adeyemi, 27, is charged with
committing the crimes over a seven-and-a-
half-year period from Nov. 1, 2001 to April
30, 2009, according to the 149-count indict-
ment handed up on Wednesday by District
Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Arrested on
April 30 during the execution of a search
warrant of his Prospect Heights home,
Adeyemi has been in jail ever since.
He is charged with stealing the personal
identifying information of employees and
using the information to open more than
30 bank and brokerage accounts with ﬁnan-
cial institutions including E*Trade, Fidelity,
Citibank, Wachovia and Washington Mutual.
The accounts served as dummies to receive
money that Adeyemi is charged with steal-
ing via the internet from charitable and
non-proﬁt foundations including Goodwill
Industries, The Sudanese American
Community Development Organization,
the Jacksonville Humane Society and the
International Association of Women Judges,
the indictment says.
Adeyemi took control of the accounts
of Bank of New York employees and stole
more than $128,000 from them in wire
transfers of less than $10,000 to avoid man-
dated transaction reporting, according to
the indictment. He used much of the money
to ship goods oversees, primarily to Nigeria,
the indictment says.
If convicted, Adeyemi is subject to up to
25 years in prison.
New bias lawsuit
Another race discrimination lawsuit
looms for Greenhouse, the club at 150
Varick St. between Spring and Vandam Sts.
Raqiyah Mays, 30, a radio talk host, said
last week that she and three others were
denied entrance to the club because they
are black, according to newspaper reports.
Invited to a Sept. 25 ﬁlm party, they said the
only other black people who were admitted
to the party were in the company of white
But Barry Mullineaux, owner of
Greenhouse, said the bias allegation was
unfounded. Mullineaux, who is white, and
Johnny Nunez, the black star of the ﬁlm,
“Shooting Stars,” said that an organizing mix-
up, not racism, was the problem. Mays and
her friends made their bias protests after the
organizer of the event with a guest list failed
to show up and they were asked to get on the
queue for regular patrons, Mullineaux said.
Greenhouse and Mullineaux are the sub-
ject of another bias lawsuit ﬁled by two
black plaintiffs who said they were denied
entrance to an Aug. 6 private party for the
writer Teri Woods, because they are black.
Mullineaux’s lawyer, John L. Sampson,
denied allegations about the Aug. 6 event
and said the club caters to an inclusive range
of patrons regardless of race, religion and
— Albert Amateau
BY SAM SCHWARTZ
Downtowners are angry about trafﬁc
ofﬁcers “pulling” trafﬁc through red lights
imperiling pedestrians. I’ve already written
to city ofﬁcials conveying my worries that
the trend is growing for trafﬁc ofﬁcers to
override red trafﬁc signals usually at the
expense and sometimes peril of pedestrians.
I know there are times that this is neces-
sary to manage trafﬁc during an incident or
unusual conditions. But, if it is happening
on a daily basis, then perhaps the trafﬁc
signal timing should be changed. Here are a
couple more tirades below:
Dear Transit Sam,
I frequently need to walk or bike across
West St. at Chambers St. The trafﬁc agents
are overriding the red and green light traf-
ﬁc signals. Every time I’m there waiting,
the agents prevent east-west crossings for
walkers, bikers, cars and buses when the
light is green in our favor. This is ridiculous.
Let the trafﬁc signals dictate the ﬂow. The
trafﬁc agents are not even necessary.
Dear Transit Sam,
I was particularly interested to read
your response to the letter from Johnny,
Brooklyn Bridge (Oct. 16 - 22). I also
have noticed traffic agents routinely
directing traffic through red lights and
into pedestrians. I live near the corner
of Adams and Tillary Sts. in Brooklyn
where cars are routinely shuffled through
the right-turning red arrow to get onto
the Brooklyn Bridge from Tillary St. I’ve
filed several complaints with 311 about
this issue because it happens to me so
frequently, yet no one ever follows up. I
finally had enough.
I was walking home from the library
on Oct. 14 and had just stepped out from
the Brooklyn Bridge median. I had the
white walk signal (not even orange flash-
ing). The agent watched me step off the
curb and then began directing traffic in
my direction. The cars even hesitated
since they saw there was still a pedestrian
in the crosswalk, but the agent just yelled
at them to keep going. I confronted the
traffic agent, but he claimed that he gave
me more than enough time to cross the
street. I then asked for his badge number
and name, went home and filed a com-
plaint with the Civilian Complaint Review
Board. I’m not sure if this will go any-
where, but I do feel that my life was put
in harm’s way by this officer and someone
needs to deal with this issue. If you could
please follow up on your letter to N.Y.C.
D.O.T. and N.Y.P.D. and the response you
receive, I would greatly appreciate it.
Rachael, Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn
Sam Schwartz, a former first deputy
commissioner of city transportation, is
president and C.E.O. of Sam Schwartz
Engineering, a traffic engineering con-
sulting firm to private and public entities
including the Port Authority at the World
Trade Center site. Email your questions to
The Answer man
Gearing up for the opening of the new
Goldman Sachs headquarters, Billybey/
New York Waterway will expand ferry
service between Jersey City and Lower
Manhattan starting next week.
As of Nov. 2, ferries will run between
Paulus Hook and the World Financial
Center every eight minutes on weekdays,
almost twice as often as usual.
Paul Goodman, C.E.O. of Billybey,
said he anticipated demand for the ferries
would rise once Goldman opens its new
43-story tower in Battery Park City later
next month. The increased ferry service
will run all day Monday through Friday,
not just during rush hour, as workers
often have to travel to midday meetings
across the Hudson, Goodman said.
While Billybey is expanding, Goodman
said ridership is down about 10 percent
since last year, as the city lost jobs and
commuters. But Goodman recently saw
the decline level off, giving him hope that
the worst is over.
Ferry service expands
October 30 - November 6, 2009 5
“ Our schools are better,
our streets are safer
and our economy is on
the road to recovery.
We’ve made a great
deal of progress,
but our work isn’t
done yet — not
—Mayor Mike Bloomberg
THE STAKES ARE HIGH. THE CHOICE IS CLEAR.
Paid for by Bloomberg for Mayor 2009
VOTE NOVEMBER 3
October 30 - November 6, 2009 6
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October 30 - November 6, 2009 7
DE: Do you think a new school building
helps kids learn?
NH: A school is not made by the space,
but that being said, the building can deﬁ-
nitely enhance a school, and there are unfor-
tunate cases where the space can actually
hinder learning. I think it’s what you make
of it. Having new walls doesn’t automatically
— it’s what you do with it.
DE: What are you most looking forward
to about your new building?
NH: Having an auditorium, the commu-
nal spaces. The classrooms will have storage.
It’ll be huge having space to put things. A
larger schoolyard in a more central location,
a library, a science lab. All the shared spaces
we don’t have now, it’ll be really exciting to
DE: The Spruce Street School is slated
to move into its new building in the fall of
2011. Would you be concerned if there’s
still some construction going on above the
NH: It’s not my decision. I get word that
we’re moving in, we move; I get word that
we’re not, we don’t.
DE: What are the advantages of a school
where all the students live very close togeth-
er, and what are the advantages of a school
where kids come from a broader area?
NH: We’ll be a community school no
matter what, no matter who’s here and what
street they live on. We’re here to serve Lower
Manhattan and no matter where those lines
are drawn or not drawn, we’ll still stay true
to that mission. This is the hub — our school
becomes the unifying location. We do have
somewhat of a spread this year. We have stu-
dents who take the school bus because they
live more than half a mile away, and then
we have students — one student ran up the
other day during arrival and her mom said,
“We just timed our commute, and it took us
80 seconds to get here.”
DE: Is a certain amount of rote memo-
rization useful in learning math? Does that
begin in kindergarten?
NH: I don’t know that there’s ever a place
for just rote on its own. You can teach kids
concepts and the experiences, but they need
skills to plug into that framework. I need to
have this idea of numbers, but I also need
to know the physical skills and the compu-
tational skills to make sense of it. It’s similar
to reading: I need to have ideas about how
books go, what characters do, but I also
need to know how to turn a page, and how
to look at an unfamiliar word and tackle it.
It’s having the skills to support the under-
standing of the concepts.
DE: Do you hope that Frank Gehry, who
designed your new school’s building, will
come visit? What do you think the kids
would ask him?
NH: We want to go over to the site and
talk to construction workers, see who we can
speak to that’s working on the building right
now. And if that included some people who
are behind the scenes, Mr. Gehry, of course
we would welcome that. I think the students’
questions would be tied to what their curiosi-
ties are and what we’re learning about. Right
now we’re learning about roles in a school,
and the kids are developing interview ques-
tions: How did you learn to do your job? Who
does your job if you’re not there?
DE: Are there any spruce trees near your
new building, and if not, would you like to
NH: [Laughs] I don’t know! If they can
survive in New York, if they’re indigenous…
I think being on Spruce St. is enough to hold
the name up.
DE: Is there anything kids aren’t being
taught today that you would like your stu-
dents to learn?
NH: We talked over the summer about
who are these kids in 2018, which is when
they ﬁnish eighth grade. We talked about what
kind of people we hope they are, what kind of
learners they are, who they are in the commu-
nity. We don’t know what challenges will come
up, what changes. So the idea is of them being
adaptable, ﬂexible, problem solvers.
DE: What ﬁve books would you like
every graduate of your school to have read?
NH: Everybody should graduate being
able to talk about ﬁve books they read
recently. They should be able to talk about
their favorite books, ﬁve books that they
love. I would love if they could talk about
ﬁve books they remember from kindergar-
ten. But speciﬁc titles? Some have yet to be
written, so it’s hard to imagine.
DE: Is there anything else people should
know about Spruce Street School?
NH: For kindergarten next fall, there are
a lot of unanswerables right now. But we
are starting tours and we’re really excited.
Now there’s something concrete for them to
look at, which there wasn’t last year. So I’m
excited to let it speak for itself.
DE: It seems like people are a little less
anxious this year, now that the school is
open and they can see it.
NH: That’s the hope.
DE: Do you think a new school building
helps kids learn?
TR: Tweed Courthouse is exceptional —
we are exceptionally lucky. But it’s what you
do with the space. It’s not the fact that it’s
all fancy-schmancy; it’s what happens on the
inside. It’s how you treat each other and the
tone that’s set. And the kids, I don’t know
how much they really pay attention.
DE: Next fall, you’ll deﬁnitely be in your
new building in Battery Park City?
TR: [Knocks on the table] I never say
deﬁnitely — it’s New York City.
DE: What are the advantages of a
school where all the students live very
close together, and what are the advan-
tages of a school where kids come from a
TR: The neighborhood school is a lovely
thing — you go to each other’s house to play.
The advantage of having kids from outside
your neighborhood is you get outside your
neighborhood. My daughter’s public elemen-
tary school took kids from a broad area. And
we got into different parts of the city on play
dates that we never would have gotten into.
It just broadens your horizons of what’s out
in the city.
DE: With kids growing up texting and
instant messaging, are spelling, grammar
and punctuation a lost cause? When is it
appropriate to start correcting them?
TR: Language is a code, and you need
to know what is the appropriate code to
use when. If you sent a cover letter for a
job with IM language, “U R,” you are not
going to get the job. It’s part of reading that
you know that the beginning of a sentence
begins with a capital letter, names begin
with capital letters, you end with a period.
When I’m reading and it ends with a period,
it tells me something. When it ends with a
question mark, it tells me something. How
do I use those conventions in my own writ-
ing? They’re starting that already.
DE: Given your school’s focus on the
environment, what would you expect your
students to learn that their peers might not
TR: We’re trying to do a lot of hands-on
science stuff. It’s not just looking at, “how
can I be green?” It’s being more cognizant
of how my actions impact other people and
the environment. I’m hoping we frame this
in a way that makes children more aware of
how they’re using resources and how other
people have access to resources, and the
equities and inequities of that, and thinking
about that also on a more global scale.
DE: When did you ﬁrst become interested
in environmental issues? What is the biggest
threat to the environment right now?
TR: I was in junior high school in the
’70s when that Indian commercial was on
and the Indian cried. This was that iconic
TV commercial, and that’s when Earth Day
started, I think. In seventh grade we studied
land pollution, air pollution and water pol-
lution, and our teacher let us produce a play
about it. The big thing is awareness. Citizen
apathy is probably the biggest threat to the
environment these days.
DE: What ﬁve books would you like
every graduate of your school to have read?
TR: The ﬁve-book list could change by
the time our students graduate. Remarkable
books are being published every year. That
said, Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” is on the
list, as is Natalie Babbitt’s “The Search for
Delicious.” The teachers are already reading
Ruth Stiles Gannet’s “My Father’s Dragon”
to the kids. It may stretch the students, but
Marc Aronson’s book, “Race: A history of
Black and White,” is really an incredible story
of the history of humanity and how people
are set apart by random features and the con-
sequences of those actions. I am quite fond
of Steve Jenkins as an author of remarkable
picture books about scientiﬁc concepts.
DE: Is there anything kids aren’t being
taught today that you would like your stu-
dents to learn?
TR: I am planning to have teachers focus
on reading and writing in the content areas.
I have been reading a lot of more scholarly
history books recently. The discipline has very
speciﬁc structures that I am just getting used
to — a lot of context is built up and then
the author gets to the main part of the story.
Science texts also have speciﬁc structures. I
would like our students to be aware of the
speciﬁc styles of the disciplines so that they
can actively and critically read these texts and
create similar texts of their own. So it isn’t
really a topic, it is more of a focus within the
Nancy Harris, principal of Spruce Street
Terri Ruyter, P.S./I.S. 276’s principal
Continued from page 1
Continued from page 1
Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert
Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert
October 30 - November 6, 2009 8
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The kindergarteners who started school two months ago
at Tweed Courthouse looked very busy last Friday morning
when Downtown Express stopped by for a visit.
In just a few hours, the students at the Spruce Street
School and P.S. 276 painted in primary colors, acted out
stories and played dress-up, bingo and soccer. In one 276
classroom, two boys constructed a city of wooden blocks
that towered a good foot above their heads.
“Look at this!” the boys called out as Terri Ruyter, P.S.
276 principal, walked past. “We built this ourselves!”
The rooms looked very different from last year, when
the ground ﬂoor of Tweed was occupied by the Ross Global
Academy, a charter school. Ruyter and Spruce Principal
Nancy Harris bought all new furniture and equipment to
ﬁll the space, and it had a much lighter, more open feeling
without the dividers Ross was using.
Since Tweed is also the Dept. of Education’s headquar-
ters, the children have to pass through a metal detector as
they enter the school. The classrooms have columns and
chandeliers, and the walls showcase quotes about politics
and close-ups of Mayor Bloomberg signing bills.
Students from both schools appeared interested in their
surroundings, building their own version of Tweed in blocks
or imitating the old-fashioned elevators with makeshift pul-
leys. On a bulletin board in the hallway, one kindergarten
student sketched the school in green, put stick ﬁgures inside
and added a pink-marker label: “Tuet Kordhas.”
Ruyter and Harris share an ofﬁce and some common
spaces, including a cafeteria, but the schools are on opposite
sides of Tweed and the students learn separately. Each school
has two large corner classrooms with ﬂoor-to-ceiling win-
dows, which make the small classes (fewer than 20 students)
feel even smaller.
On Friday morning, the Spruce Street School used one
of these large rooms for a “Spruce Street Circle,” a gather-
ing of the school’s three kindergarten classes on the central
green and blue rugs. Teacher Gina van der Vliet, from the
Netherlands, shared Dutch snacks with the kindergarteners,
who are also paired with Dutch pen pals.
Although most kindergarteners cannot read yet, the
Spruce Street students were learning the fundamentals by
studying several books in depth, including “Caps for Sale”
and “Corduroy.” Crouching on the rug, the children acted
out their books in pairs, taking on the roles and voices of
monkeys and trolls as the stories demanded.
Over on the P.S. 276 side, seven kindergarteners were in
the classroom that serves as a gym, learning to dribble soccer
balls with the sides of their feet. The children go to gym in
half groups, which both accommodates the small space and
gives them more one-on-one attention.
Meanwhile, other 276 students were learning the recipe
for pumpkin cheesecake or painting cardboard models of
trees, in keeping with 276’s environmental theme.
P.S. 276 is slated to move into its new Battery Park City
building next fall, while Spruce is expected to remain in
place another year before moving into the new Frank Gehry-
designed tower on Beekman St.
The city has not decided whether Spruce and 276 will be
zoned for next fall or how the application process will work,
but parents of children who will start kindergarten in 2010
can begin touring the schools soon.
The Spruce Street School will hold tours at Tweed
Courthouse from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on four Thursdays:
Nov. 19, Dec. 17, Jan. 21 and Feb 4. Parents can RSVP by
P.S. 276 will hold kindergarten tours at Tweed Courthouse
from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. on ﬁve Wednesdays: Nov. 18, Dec.
2, Dec. 16, Jan. 13 and Jan. 27. Parents can RSVP on the
school’s blog, PS276.blogspot.com.
Ruyter will also hold sixth grade information sessions for
families with students interested in entering I.S. 276 next
fall. The sessions will be held at the Downtown Community
Center, 120 Warren St., on three Wednesdays from 6:30
p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Nov. 2, Nov. 16 and Nov. 30. Parents can
RSVP on I.S. 276’s blog, IS276.blogspot.com.
— Julie Shapiro
A peek into the life of a kindergartener
Downtown Expres photo by Elisabeth Robert
Kindergarteners ar P.S. 276 take gym classes in small
October 30 - November 6, 2009 9
School lottery may be dropped for temporary zoning
BY JULIE SHAPIRO
Hoping to avoid a lottery for kindergarten seats next fall,
the city may draw temporary zones around each of Lower
Manhattan’s elementary schools.
Children entering kindergarten would then be guaranteed
a seat in their zoned school, removing some of the uncertainty
that plagued the admissions process last year.
“The purpose here is to provide clarity as early as possible
to families as to where their children would be registered,” said
Elizabeth Rose, director of portfolio planning at the Dept. of
The D.O.E. plans to propose deﬁnite zone lines before
Thanksgiving, but the zones would likely break out as follows:
Children in Tribeca would go to P.S. 234, northern Battery Park
City would go to P.S. 89, southern B.P.C. and southern Financial
District would go to P.S./I.S. 276, and Seaport and northern
Financial District would go to the Spruce Street School.
Rose proposed the temporary zoning at a meeting of
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s school overcrowding task-
force Monday afternoon. Most parents on the taskforce said
temporary zoning would be preferable to another lottery. The
city had to hold a lottery for this fall’s kindergarteners because
they did not zone the two new schools — 276 and Spruce
Street — which opened this fall in Tweed Courthouse.
The D.O.E. had hoped to draw the permanent zone lines
this fall and have them in place for next fall’s admissions pro-
cess. But the District 2 Community Education Council, a group
of mostly parents that has a role in school zoning, said two
weeks ago that they needed more time and information before
they could draw permanent lines.
Rose said Monday that more time would be helpful from the
city’s perspective as well, because many residential buildings
Downtown that are planned or under construction will not be
occupied by next fall. A permanent zoning plan would have to
take those new buildings into account, but including them in
a zoning plan next fall would “result in some schools having
many fewer children than they can accommodate for this fall,
and other schools still being overcrowded,” Rose said.
Monday was Rose’s ﬁrst time at Silver’s taskforce, where she
is replacing John White as the D.O.E.’s representative. Rose has
two children in District 2’s elementary schools and already knows
Lisa Ripperger, principal of P.S. 234. Although Rose sometimes
referred to all of Lower Manhattan as “Tribeca” and admitted
that she had a lot to learn about the area, several parents said
Rose’s perspective as a District 2 parent as well as a D.O.E.
administrator would be helpful. District 2 includes almost all of
Downtown, Midtown and much of the Upper East Side.
If the D.O.E. draws temporary zoning lines in Lower
Manhattan, they would be in place for at least one year. If the
lines changed in future years, students already at the schools
would not have to transfer, and their siblings would be grand-
fathered in as well, Rose said.
Nancy Harris, principal of the Spruce Street School, said
she needed answers on kindergarten admissions because she’s
starting tours soon for prospective families.
“The urgency is there to have some information more con-
crete than ‘We don’t know,’” Harris said. “It’s going to be a huge
shift if we are zoned, and not knowing where the lines are. And
if we aren’t zoned, how does that relate to last year’s process?”
Shino Tanikawa, co-chairperson of the C.E.C.’s zoning
committee, said she will support temporary zoning if that
is what Lower Manhattan wants. Most people at Silver’s
meeting were in favor of temporary zoning, but Tanikawa
wanted to talk to additional Downtown parents before mak-
ing a decision.
A further complication of the kindergarten zoning deci-
sion is that it affects who will get preference to enter sixth
grade next fall at I.S. 276, the middle school portion of the
new K-8 in southern B.P.C. If the schools are zoned tempo-
21 Peck Slip @ Water Street
Historic South Street Seaport District
he exposed white brick, rustic Italian
art, modern electric chandeliers and
mahogany furniture make it easy to
see why Sora Lella mainly draws couples into its
intimate yet casual atmosphere.
Mauro and Simone Trabalza, brothers, chefs
and owners of Sora Lella, have opened a new
Soho location that’s home to everything from
Italian-language meetings to in-house cooking
demonstrations. Te brothers, along with
business partner Fabio Maltese, opened back in
March, and while business was of to a booming
start, things have slowed in more recent months,
possibly because the regulars who went MIA
were dining at their Rome location: those who
traveled to Italy on vacation have come in with
business cards from Isola Tiberina to show for it.
Te three have put together a menu that boasts
traditional roman Italian fare; mixing traditional
recipes with clever new creations, their menu
changes with the season.
Signature appetizer Caprese del tremila
di Aldo Trabalza is made by mixing bufalo
mozzarella and cream to produce a pana cota
like creation covered with diced tomato, served
alongside a cake of tomato paste mixed with
jelly. Together they create a sweet spreadable
combination great on bread. Te Polpetine
della Nonna al vino bianoco, meatballs made
from veal and served in a white wine sauce, are
light and zesty, served without their typical
cloak of red sauce.
Our waiter, Mario Lisi, atempted to give the
group of women at a neighboring table Italian
lessons while serving them their pasta, creating
an all around European feel to the room, though
the Michael Jackson soundtrack playing on
repeat detracted from the rustic vibe of the
Te pastas are smothered with Parmesan
cheese, overpowering already favorful
dishes. Underneath the thick garnish lies
smooth, subtle and plump Gnocchi di patate
all’Amatriciana. Te Tonnarelli alla Cuccagna
is both nuty and cheesy, a wild yet surprisingly
pleasing combination. Aldo Trabalza’s version
of eggplant parmesan is tasty and succulent,
arriving smothered in melted cheese.
During the daily l’ora dell’Aperitivo from
5:00p.m. to 7:30p.m., tastings of bruscheta,
olives, fritata, meatballs, and potato croquetes
are ofered up along with happy hour drink
specials. Teir homemade Muslum wine is made
by blending red (or white) wine, honey, black
pepper, and cinnamon…maybe afer a couple of
glasses, you’ll be confdent enough to join in and
test your Italian linguistic skills at the Italian
conversation meetings hosted on Mondays and
Fridays (beginner level from noon to 1:00 p.m.;
intermediate and from 1:00p.m. -2p.m.)
If you prefer your bread served with marinara
sauce, your eggplant textured and favorful, and
your cheeses creamy, Sora Lella, located on 300
Spring St. between Hudson and Greenwich Sts.,
is a destination spot well worth traveling a few
blocks of the beaten path to get to…and don’t
expect anything less than perfection. “I’d rather
go bankrupt than sell food that isn’t fresh or
perfect,” says Fabio.
- Le Petite Cupcake
Continued on page 10
Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert
The zoning for P.S./I.S. 276, which is expected
to open in Battery Park City next year, could be
October 30 - November 6, 2009 10
rarily, then those who live in 276’s elemen-
tary zone will have priority for entering the
middle school, Rose said. If there is a lottery
similar to last year, then all students below
Canal St. on the West Side and below the
Brooklyn Bridge on the East Side would have
priority for sixth grade at 276, she said.
Rose predicted that if the D.O.E. insti-
tuted a lottery, “you’d have a lot of really
unhappy kindergarten parents even while
you might be making some group of ﬁfth
grade parents very happy.”
Several parents said they heard that I.S.
276 is generating a lot of interest outside of
Lower Manhattan, especially because ﬁfth
graders can apply to it through a separate
admissions process for new schools, rather
than through the usual District 2 choice
process. All new middle schools accept
applications separate from the general
choice process, and students may receive
offers to both a new school and one that is
on their choice application.
“Everyone is going to apply,” said
Deborah Somerville, whose son is in ﬁfth
grade at P.S. 89. “They have nothing to
lose by applying.”
Somerville is in favor of the temporary
elementary zones, partly because her home
in southern B.P.C. would almost deﬁnitely
be included in 276’s zone, giving her son
and others an improved chance of entering
276’s sixth grade next fall.
But Karen Miller, another ﬁfth-grade
P.S. 89 parent, said she would like a
broader group of Downtown kids to have
preference for sixth grade at I.S. 276 —
though she said she would not want to
subject kindergarteners to a lottery to
Meanwhile, parents with younger chil-
dren at P.S. 89 are focused on a different
issue: continued elementary overcrowding
there. This year, P.S. 89 has about 140 ﬁrst
graders in ﬁve packed classes with nearly
30 students apiece, far more than the 75
students per grade level that the school
ought to have.
To relieve the ﬁrst grade overcrowding,
Anne Albright, a P.S. 89 parent, suggested
moving two classes of the ﬁrst graders into
P.S. 276’s new building next fall, starting
a second grade there a year earlier than
planned. Albright has a third-grade daugh-
ter and twins in ﬁrst grade, and she said
she would be willing to have her children
split between P.S. 89 and P.S. 276 if it
meant that they would all be getting a bet-
“I love 89,” Albright said, but the
overcrowding there “is not sustainable.
You can’t squeeze these classes down any
Rose said she would discuss the idea
with Downtown’s principals.
“I am working overtime
to make Manhattan
safer, and more
certain that New York
City’s best days lie
ahead of us.”
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October 30 - November 6, 2009 11
human bodies, Boyle said he had always
wanted to improve his work by doing the
“You can’t do that anymore — buy a cadaver,
cut it up,” Boyle said. “This is unbelievable.”
Boyle, an architect, described the bodies
on display as “a building before you put the
Bodies education coordinator Richard
Hinojosa started the sketching sessions a couple
years ago after he noticed artists drawing during
regular hours. For the same price as a regular
admission — $26.50 for adults on weekdays —
artists can come after hours and have free reign
of the exhibits, along with an introductory les-
son. Three more sketch nights are planned for
November, and those who have already paid full
price once can come back and get half off.
The sketch nights are one way the Bodies
exhibit can continue drawing a new local audi-
ence as it approaches its four-year anniversary at
the South Street Seaport. The unchanging exhibit
was initially planned to last only six months, but
while demand has fallen off somewhat as Bodies
approaches the 2 million visitor mark, the exhibit
is still drawing enough people to stay open, said
Ken Talberth, director of operations.
“It’s like a Broadway show — you exhaust
the local audience relatively soon,” Talberth
said from his ofﬁce over the summer. Based on
a recent survey, the exhibit draws about 30 per-
cent of its attendees from outside of the country,
and another 20 percent from the United States
outside of the tri-state area. Many of the local
visitors are students, Talberth said.
General Growth Properties, owner of the
South Street Seaport, including the Bodies
building at South and Fulton Sts., said last year
that the exhibit would not remain in the Seaport
long-term. At the time, G.G.P. had grand plans
to redevelop the Seaport into a high-end mixed-
use property, including condos and two hotels,
but after the company declared bankruptcy last
spring, those plans were put on hold.
Now, Janell Vaughan, senior general manag-
er of the Seaport, said the Bodies exhibit would
stay for at least another couple years.
“We’re happy to keep them and they seem
happy to stay here,” Vaughan said this week.
“Bodies has really had a lot of staying power.”
The exhibit sees some repeat visitors, but
few could be more enthusiastic than Mary
Zellman, 52, who said Monday’s sketch night
was her sixth time seeing the cadavers.
“The challenge never ends,” Zellman said
as she sketched a standing ﬁgure that held a
conductor’s baton in his hand. “There is no end
to the learning that can be done here.”
Zellman, who lives on Long Island, is
both a watercolor painter and a high school
physical education teacher, and she said she
found the perfect combination of her two
interests at the exhibit.
An artist who was more hesitant was ﬁrst-
time visitor Mary Sauer, 23, a recent college
graduate. Because the preserved bodies so
clearly lack life, “It’s more like just drawing a
lump of meat from the grocery store,” Sauer
said as she sketched in pastel. “It could be just
as helpful if it were not real…. I’d probably
rather it not be real.”
Beyond some initial squeamishness, none of
the artists Monday night had any moral objec-
tions to the show, which takes unclaimed bodies
from medical universities in China. After some
media investigations into the origins of the bod-
ies, last year Andrew Cuomo, the state attorney
general, ordered a disclaimer placed at the
exhibit stating that owner Premier Exhibitions
cannot independently verify that the bodies do
not belong to executed Chinese prisoners.
Zellman, Boyle and other artists said the
exhibit was done respectfully and focused on
learning, which allayed their concerns. Boyle,
a Mormon, said the spirits of the dead were
no longer in the bodies. In fact, he sees the
enormous complexity of the displayed bodies
as a helpful argument for intelligent design
A friend of Boyle’s, fellow architect Ricardo
Lopez, said that despite the complexity of the
exposed muscles and systems, in some ways it
was easier to draw the bodies than to draw live
models. When sketching models in art classes,
Lopez, 26, said he sometimes felt awkward
about staring at a naked person.
“In this case,” he said, standing inches from
a preserved shoulder bone, “it’s much easier not
to feel that way.”
Artists take on dead subjects
Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siegel
Mary Zellman sketches a body on display in the Seaport exhibit.
Continued from page 1
October 30 - November 6, 2009 12
has featured on its plaster have run the
gamut from spiritual leaders to salsa
stars, including Pope John Paul II, Mother
Teresa, Princess Diana, Selena and Celia
Cruz. His first piece there depicted a
young girl who was killed on Broome St.
The graffiti guru will also be painting a
mural of the Rat Pack stars of the 1960s
— Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra and
the rest — near a bar between Eighth and
Ninth Sts. on Avenue C.
Down in Tampa, Chico has been busy
doing detail work and designs on cars and
motorcycle helmets, and is now starting
to get back into murals, too. He proudly
showed some photos on his cell phone of
him with Tampa’s mayor at the dedica-
tion of his mural for a slain police officer
Asked if he was thinking of doing a
Yankees mural now that the team is doing
so well — maybe that heroic A-Rod kneel-
ing pose after he scored a key run? —
Chico sounded skeptical.
“A-Rod is the man,” he said, then
added, “Personally, I think they should
check him out again — he’s hitting home
runs too fast.”
Chico’s cousin Andres, who was assist-
ing him with the mural on Wednesday, is a
born-and-raised Lower East Sider.
“I remember when cabs didn’t go past
First Ave. — not for $1,000,” he said with
a smile as proof that he’s seen it all.
The Power of Peace Coalition was
started by Councilmember Rosie Mendez
and District Leader Anthony Feliciano last
year after Tina Negron, 24, an employee
at the Key Food supermarket on Avenue
A at E. Fourth St., was killed by a co-
worker there in February 2008.
The Lower Eastside Girls Club, which
is part of the coalition, commissioned the
Artist spreads message of peace back on the L.E.S.
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Continued from page 1
Downtown Express photos by Lincoln Anderson
From left, Andres Borrero, Antonio “Chico” Garcia and William Pentecost working on the new Power of Peace Coalition mural on
Houston St. last week.
October 30 - November 6, 2009 13
BY PATRICK HEDLUND
GRIMALDI’S STILL ON TRACK
The Financial District outpost of popular
Brooklyn-based pizzeria Grimaldi’s should
open sometime next year despite speculation
that the pie purveyors are nearing eviction.
According to a notice posted on the door of
the forthcoming restaurant last week, Grimaldi’s
still owes more than $25,000 in back rent and
legal fees for the space at the corner of John
and Water Sts. across from the South Street
Seaport. The note stated that the tenant has
until Nov. 5 to make the payment, which also
includes late fees and water and sewer charges,
or it will have to surrender the property.
However, Grimaldi’s owner Frank Ciolli
assured us that things are still moving ahead
as planned. “I’ve been a little remiss with the
managing agent,” he acknowledged, adding that
out-of-town family obligations have recently
kept him occupied. “We’ll take care of it.”
The restaurant, which Ciolli a year ago
pegged to be open by early 2009, has already
undergone extensive work in advance of a
full build-out, including ripping out layers
of ﬂooring to accommodate an elevator and
staircase. “It’s been a nightmare in terms of
time loss,” he said, adding that preparation
has accounted for “ten times the work” he
originally planned for. “It’s a misunderstand-
ing. I just didn’t take care of business.”
Grimaldi’s has recently opened ﬁve off-
shoot locations out West — including res-
taurants in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio,
Phoenix and another planned for Reno — so
any question of the operators’ ﬁnancial sta-
bility would appear unfounded.
For now, Ciolli plans to hand over his
long-in-the-works city-approved permits to
the landlord to commence with reconstruc-
tion, and “then we’ll be able to start to
build.” The work includes plans for three
ﬂoors of seating and roof deck.
“I think it’s going to be a very, very won-
derful addition to the neighborhood,” Ciolli
added. “Nothing worthwhile is easy.”
SOHO, TRIBECA HIGH
The city’s most expensive rental proper-
ties continue to remain below Houston St.,
with prices for Soho and Tribeca units rising
despite a generally inert market citywide.
According to the Real Estate Group New
York’s monthly rental market report, the
most expensive rents for doorman and non-
doorman studios, one- and two-bedrooms
can be found in the two trendy Downtown
Citywide, Soho took the top spot for the
average monthly rent of both doorman one-
and two-bedroom apartments, coming in
at $4,522 and $7,241, respectively. Tribeca
had the priciest monthly doorman and non-
doorman studio rents ($2,777 and $3,119,
respectively), as well as the most expensive
non-doorman one- and two-bedroom rents
($4,592 and $6,465, respectively).
The two neighborhoods also beneﬁted
from average monthly rent increases for
many of their unit types, with Tribeca seeing
an 8.69 percent ($367) jump in the price of
non-doorman one-bedrooms, an 8.04 percent
($232) uptick in the price of non-doorman
studios, and an 8.5 percent ($297) spike in
the price of doorman one-bedrooms over last
month. Soho experienced a whopping 12.87
percent ($525) jump in the price of non-
doorman two bedrooms since September.
In the East Village and Lower East Side,
average monthly rents for all doorman and
non-doorman units combined dropped
an average of about 3 percent over last
month. Rents stayed relatively unchanged
in Greenwich Village, dipping by 0.38 per-
cent for all unit types since September.
The Financial District also remained steady,
increasing by 0.45 percent for all unit types.
SO IT GOES AT LE SOUK
Embattled East Village nightclub Le Souk
had its liquor license pulled last week, just
months after reopening amid a drawn-out
battle with the State Liquor Authority and
the Avenue B hotspot’s sleepless neighbors.
According to the S.L.A., the State Court
of Appeals upheld the authority’s determi-
nation that overcrowding occurred at the
hookah bar near E. Fourth St., requiring a
cancellation of the club’s liquor license.
Le Souk had been cited for multiple viola-
tions in a January 2007 enforcement sweep of
the North African-themed nightspot, result-
ing in the March 2008 cancellation. But that
decision was overturned after the owners won
an appeal this May in State Supreme Court,
which found that evidence of overcrowding
was based on an inaccurate “guesstimate”
and that it was outside the S.L.A.’s purview
to make such a determination.
“The Court of Appeals correctly found
that the S.L.A. must have the authority to
act when bars break local laws,” said Dennis
Rosen, the authority’s chairperson. “Bars
that allow overcrowding or fail in their basic
duty to adequately supervise their premises
are often just setting the stage for more seri-
ous violations to occur. The Court’s decision
[on Oct. 22] was essential for the S.L.A.’s
continuing efforts to ensure public safety at
Just last week at a meeting of Community
Board 3, representatives from the cacopho-
nous club squared off with angry residents
claiming that noise, trafﬁc and other negative
quality-of-life impacts caused by Le Souk
had made life in the area “intolerable.”
Susan Stetzer, Board 3’s district manager,
said that despite the recent action, the club
was up and running this past weekend.
“People that live in the area were celebrating
the news, and by Sunday night they were com-
plaining to the community board,” she said.
The S.L.A. only has the power to conﬁs-
cate liquor licenses and can’t actually close
the location. According to Stetzer, police
at the East Village’s Ninth Precinct had not
been contacted about the ruling or asked to
take any action.
“I must say, I’m a little frustrated,” she
added, recalling that after Le Souk’s ﬁrst cancel-
lation, the club continued to operate for eight
months. “It is really difﬁcult to get any informa-
tion on what the S.L.A. is doing about this.”
Kaleb, Apt. 4102
Has more vintage records
in his spacious closets
than he does clothing.
Liam, Apt. 3404
Loves the spectacular
views of Manhattan.
Fiona, Apt. 3201
Scoots out of the park-
ing garage and onto the
streets of Brooklyn.
Noah, Apt. 2715
Spends hours in his
Niki, Apt. 2301
Shops the local bou-
tiques with Coco, who‘s
always by her side.
Chloe, Apt. 1703
Enjoys waking up early
to work out at the state-
of-the-art ﬁtness center.
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October 30 - November 6, 2009 14
BY ALBERT AMATEAU
Six years after Village preservation advo-
cates began urging the designation of a
30-block South Village Historic District,
the Landmarks Preservation Commission on
Tuesday held its ﬁrst hearing on part of the
But the hearing, on what the commis-
sion calls the Greenwich Village Historic
District Extension, covers only one-third of
the larger South Village Historic District that
the Greenwich Village Society for Historic
Preservation wants protected.
Andrew Berman, executive director of
G.V.S.H.P., told the commission on Oct. 27
that historic buildings in the entire area were
being demolished to make way for new devel-
opment or altered in ways that destroy their
“While the city is gradually considering
landmark designation for a part of the neigh-
borhood, buildings are being destroyed and
most of the neighborhood is not even being
considered for landmark designation yet,”
L.P.C. is considering a district of rough-
ly 10 blocks between W. Fourth St. and
Houston St. from the west side of Sixth Ave
to Seventh Ave. South. G.V.S.H.P. has been
calling for a new historic district to include
those blocks together with about another
20 blocks between Houston and Watts Sts.
from the east side of Sixth Ave. to LaGuardia
Place down to Houston St., and to midblock
between Thompson St. and West Broadway
from Houston St. down to Watts St.
In the 10 blocks that L.P.C. is currently
considering, two historic buildings have had
alterations that compromise their historic
value, one at 23 Cornelia St. and the other
at 12 Leroy St. In addition, a row of build-
ings at 233-237 Bleecker St. was threatened
before the L.P.C. hearing was calendared,
In the larger area not under consideration,
historic buildings that were demolished in
recent years include the residence at 178
Bleecker St.; the Provincetown Playhouse
and Apartments, at 133-139 MacDougal St.;
the Circle in the Square theater, 159 Bleecker
St.; and the Tunnel Garage, at Broome and
Thompson Sts. In addition, the brick facade
of the Sullivan St. Playhouse, at 181 Sullivan
St., was replaced by glass. Furthermore, Fire
Patrol No. 2, a 1902 building at 84 W. Third
St., has been sold to a private developer
whose plans for it are unknown.
Last Thursday, Berman led a demonstra-
tion of about 60 Villagers in front of 178
Bleecker St., where a ﬁve-story 1861 resi-
dential building outside the 10-block area
under L.P.C. review was demolished during
The owner of 178 Bleecker St., John
Wu, had applied earlier this year to the
Department of Buildings for a permit to erect
an eight-story building on the site. Berman,
however, protested that the proposal for the
property, which is only 22 feet wide, violates
the city’s “sliver law,” which says that build-
ings narrower than 45 feet wide cannot be
built taller than the width of the streets they
face. Bleecker St. is registered as 60 feet wide,
which would make eight stories (around 80
feet tall) a violation, Berman said. He added
that the ﬁve-story building previously on the
site was lower than 60 feet tall.
But D.O.B. responded that eight stories
at the site does not run afoul of the sliver
law because the project involves a merger of
two building lots. Nevertheless, D.O.B. last
week said the building application was being
audited because of community concern and
the permit was on hold until the audit is
complete. A department spokesperson was
unable to say when the audit would be
Lucy Cecere, who was born and bred in
the Village and celebrated her 60th wed-
ding anniversary earlier in the week, urged
neighbors at the Oct. 21 demonstration to
unite against further demolitions of historic
buildings in the neighborhood.
Lois Rakoff, a member of the Bleecker
Area Merchants and Residents Association,
was outraged that the proposed replace-
ment would tower over adjacent buildings
and overwhelm the tiny MacDougal-Sullivan
Gardens Historic District, a group of row
houses built around a courtyard just south
of the demolished building.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
submitted a statement to L.P.C. at the Oct.
27 hearing urging approval of the 10-block
extension and “continued efforts to protect
the physical legacy of the South Village.”
Group urges South Village landmarking now
The escalator on the east side of the
Vesey St. bridge has been down for a
month and a half, and it could be another
three months before it’s ﬁxed.
A severe storm ﬂooded the escala-
tor on Sept. 17, causing the bottom
ﬁve or six steps to buckle, said Adam
Levine, spokesperson for the State Dept.
of Transportation. Robin Forst, director
of community relations for the Lower
Manhattan Construction Command Center,
said if anyone had been on the escalator at
the time of the collapse, they could have
been seriously injured.
To get the escalator up and running
again will require a new chain and other
mechanical components that have to be
manufactured in Germany by the Schindler
“They aren’t actually on a shelf any-
where,” Levine said of the needed pieces.
It will cost up to $200,000 and take
about three months for Schindler to make
the parts and ship them to New York,
Levine said. The Port Authority is respon-
sible for paying for the bridge maintenance
and at ﬁrst considered not repairing the
escalator at all, since the Port is building
an extension of the bridge early next year
with a new escalator. But the Port agreed
this week to fund the repairs, “So we’re
moving forward,” Levine said.
Wait ‘til next year, Vesey escalator
Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and celebrity chef Rachael Ray got a mixed reception from
students at P.S./I.S. 89 Monday morning when they debuted a new healthy menu
item at the Battery Park City school. More than 1,600 schools across the city
could soon begin serving the soft taco with southwest roasted chicken, sweet
roasted corn, vegetarian beans and steamed broccoli, a recipe Ray perfected using
ingredients already common in school cafeterias. Other attendees included Deputy
Mayor for Education Dennis Walcott, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and State
Sen. Daniel Squadron, who said that although he did not try the meal, it looked
like it tasted good.
October 30 - November 6, 2009 15
The physical signs of progress are all over Lower
Manhattan including at Tower 1 at the World Trade
Center, top, and the Goldman Sachs headquarters
building which is about to open catty-corner to the
W.T.C. in Battery Park City in November, right. But
the long-term prospects at the W.T.C. are less cer-
tain because of a ﬁnancial dispute between the Port
Authority and developer Larry Silverstein, page 17.
In our 14
annual Progress Report, we take a look
at what’s going on Downtown with columns from
some of Lower Manhattan’s leaders and others.
Battery Park City Authority chairperson James
Gill argues that the authority still has much work
to do taking care of the neighborhood (P. 27). His
essay comes in the wake of a New York Times op-ed
column co-written by the authority’s ﬁrst chairperson
and current vice chairperson, Charles Urstadt, who
thinks the city could make about $1 billion and save
$15 million a year by taking control of the neighbor-
hood and shutting down the authority.
With reports from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum,
Community Board 1 and more, pages 16 – 29.
Lots of construction
despite the ﬁghts over money
Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess
Downtown Express photo by Elisabeth Robert
October 30 - November 6, 2009 16
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October 30 - November 6, 2009 17
The Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey, owner of the World Trade
Center, is currently in an arbitration
battle with the site’s developer, Larry
Silverstein is reportedly asking for at
least $2.75 billion from the Port as com-
pensation for violations to their 2006
agreement. The Port has missed deadlines
in the agreement and paid hefty ﬁnes
for turning the three ofﬁce sites over
to Silverstein Properties late. Silverstein
argues that the delays forced him to wait
until the credit market froze before he
could get loans. The money he is asking
for represents the amount he has paid in
rent and insurance proceeds to the Port
Authority since 9/11.
He ﬁled for arbitration after attempts to
come to a compromise failed.
The Port agreed to loan guarantees for
Silverstein to build Tower 4, but refused to
back Silverstein’s loans for Tower 2 at the
northeast corner of the site.
“The market is telling us they shouldn’t
rise,” Chris Ward, the Port’s executive
director, said at a City Council hearing in
August. “To build into a market that pri-
vate capital will not enter means that you
are effectively building socialized ofﬁce
The authority is also constructing the
9/11 Memorial, the W.T.C. PATH Station,
Tower 1 (Freedom Tower), and hopes to
build the retail complex planned for the
base of the Silverstein towers.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Assembly
Speaker Sheldon Silver, who both tried to
mediate the dispute in the spring, argue
that it is not feasible to build temporary
retail spaces and construct ofﬁces later, so
they pressed the Port to help Silverstein
The Port moved last week to reduce
its dependence on Silverstein Properties.
The authority needs the belowground and
low-rise portions of the towers to be built
because they contain infrastructure for the
vehicle security center and the PATH hub.
Some of the exits from the PATH hub, for
example, were supposed to funnel com-
muters through Silverstein’s Church St.
But last week, the Port decided to spend
$20 million to redesign the site so that
Silverstein’s towers no longer contain key
public infrastructure. That will allow the
Port to build its projects without relying on
an agreement with Silverstein. The design
changes will affect architect Santiago
Calatrava’s PATH hub, the vehicle security
center and the Freedom Tower.
The Port also authorized additional
W.T.C. funds at last Thursday’s board
meeting, including $140 million to build
the complex’s sidewalks and streets, com-
plete with trees and street furniture.
If Silverstein wins enough money from
the arbiter he plans to continue building
Tower 4 and will probably start on Tower
2. Both sides have agreed to put off con-
structing Tower 3 on Church St. in the
The Port is also expected to get con-
trol of the Tower 5 site next year when
the damaged Deutsche Bank building is
expected to be demolished. The Port plans
to wait for a tenant building at the Tower
Both sides have been reluctant to
speak publicly since the arbitration battle
began. They each declined invitations from
Downtown Express to submit columns for
this year’s Progress Report.
The money ﬁght at the World Trade Center
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Ofﬁcial. W.T.C. Target Dates
The Port Authority released these target dates for completing portions of the
World Trade Center site a year ago and say they continue to be on schedule.
Others, including the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center in a conﬁ-
dential report, have said the targets are not realistic given the complexity of the
Memorial Plaza: September 2011
9/11 Museum: 2013 (January - June)
Transportation Hub: October 2013 – June 2014
Freedom Tower: 2013 (April – December)
Fulton Transit Center: June 2014
PROGRESS REPORT 2009
One World Trade Center under
October 30 - November 6, 2009 18
BY DAVID STANKE
The Port Authority refuses to guarantee
bank loans that Larry Silverstein needs to
build two ofﬁce towers at the World Trade
Center site. This position deﬁes reason. It
provides no possibility of a positive outcome
for the Port or Downtown. It is a betrayal
of the public trust, of everything that was
promised us. With no reasonable explana-
tion for their position, we can only assume
that the Port has a hidden agenda.
The Port Authority has many ﬁne quali-
ties and capable people. It was bestowed the
W.T.C. site because it was an unstoppable
force. The Port took 16 acres of historic
New York buildings, tore them down and
built the two tallest buildings in the world, a
New York landmark. How could this same
organization fail so badly at a site that has
been empty for seven years?
This time, the Port is not the sole author-
ity. The memorial controls about half of the
site. Silverstein has the right to rebuild the
commercial space. The Port is conﬁned to
the less glamorous pieces: infrastructure and
a transportation hub.
This is a dramatic drop in standing for the
Port, an organization accountable to almost
no one. The massive and extravagantly costly
W.T.C. Path Station is their object of pride.
The Port is determined to build this $4 bil-
lion memorial to themselves.
Consider the ﬁnancial implications of the
Port’s strategy. It is undercutting develop-
ment of two of the largest, most marketable
buildings, Towers 2 and 4. It is funding and
building the most expensive and least mar-
ketable building, W.T.C. 1 (Freedom Tower).
The transportation hub can only be justiﬁed
by more commuters coming to work in the
area. W.T.C. retail also depends on com-
mercial development to generate pre-9/11
revenue. Silverstein’s buildings are the glue
that holds the site together.
The Port is not constrained in its options
to build on the site. It got a couple billion
dollars of federal money. For the rest, the
Port can simply raise tolls on all existing
commuters. The W.T.C. can be completed
with just two towers but it will be a misap-
propriation of commuter and taxpayer funds
on a Port Authority ego statement unjustiﬁed
by principles of urban or ﬁnancial planning.
If the Port takes control of the W.T.C.,
construction will drag out for years. There
will be more delays (as with W.T.C. 1) and
more budget shortfalls (as on every Port
project). Full ﬁnancial risk and management
responsibility will fall on the Port.
The Port needs management help at the
W.T.C. On W.T.C. 1, Silverstein has saved
the Port Authority many times. Silverstein
engaged architect David Childs to develop
an inspired building and prepared the site
for construction. When the Port blew the
N.Y.P.D. security review process, Silverstein
and Childs got it back on track with a new
design. When the Port took over construc-
tion of W.T.C. 1, its many layers of bureau-
cracy and construction management brought
work to a halt. With Silverstein in control,
W.T.C. 1 could be near the 60th ﬂoor today.
Tishman Construction started laying steel
for the Goldman Sachs building within
months of when they started on W.T.C. 1.
Today, Goldman is fully enclosed. W.T.C. 1
is four stories of beams and concrete.
After blaming Silverstein for delays, the
Port has been late to deliver every building site,
a total of nearly 1,000 days of delays. The Port
ﬁred Phoenix, the construction project man-
ager for the site. Construction people in the
neighborhood complain about the uncertainty
about when and where they will be able to
work. Retail businesses are already struggling,
and face further reductions in business.
For years, I have pleaded in public hear-
ings for the Port to make ﬁscally respon-
sible decisions to rebuild our neighborhood.
They never heeded my warnings of pending
ﬁnancial crisis, but were inﬁnitely willing
to pander to every obstructionist special
interest that showed up. They heeded the
preservationists who belittled community
pleas. The Port rarely expressed concern
about the ﬁnancial implications over years
of decision making.
The current ﬁnancial situation is not good.
Port spending has no hope of generating
incremental revenues. Silverstein could end
up bailing on the site, ending the lease pay-
ments that the Port has been receiving since
9/11. Replacement of Silverstein is unlikely,
will cause massive delays, and would serve
no public good. The Port has already lost
JPMorgan Chase as a tenant for W.T.C. 5.
Even Westﬁeld’s role in the retail space is not
locked down. The Port is spending billions
on infrastructure to support about 40% of
the pre-9/11 commercial space.
If the Port backs bank loans for Silverstein,
it could take advantage of Silverstein’s con-
struction and management expertise, dem-
onstrated on W.T.C. 7 and now at W.T.C. 4.
The Port would not have to put up any addi-
tional funds for many years, if at all. My bet
is on Silverstein to succeed, but if he fails,
the Port would get the whole development.
The risk to the Port is very low.
The Port must set aside its pride and con-
trol and become part of a team. Supporting
Silverstein today would enhance its own ﬁs-
cal position tomorrow. If not for Port delays,
Silverstein might have already had the necessary
funding. A loan guarantee today could atone
for Port delays and give New York a spectacu-
lar W.T.C. One 9/11 lesson is that people are
stronger and can accomplish more when they
work together. I hope that the Port Authority
understands this, before it is too late.
David Stanke lives across from the World
Trade Center site and writes on Downtown
issues. He was a consulting party to the
Section 106 World Trade Center historic
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PROGRESS REPORT 2009 / WTC RESIDENT
A Strong Voice
The Downtown Express Di f f erence
Celebrating years of publishing the news of Downtown!
We believe that a good community newspaper does make a diﬀerence.
Our readers tell us we cover the news
they ﬁnd nowhere else, weekly.
October 30 - November 6, 2009 19
$20 General Admission
* Available at the door
Broadway at Wall Street
a New Season of Exquisite Music
Requiem & Remembrance
Monday, November 2, 2009 · 7:30pm
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Richafort: Requiem, Josquin: Déploration sur la mort
de Johannes Ockeghem
Trinity Church Gift Shop
October 30 - November 6, 2009 20
BY JOE DANIELS
Over the past year, steel and concrete
have ﬁlled the western half of the World
Trade Center site, shaping the memorial
pools and forming the underground spaces
of the museum. This tremendous construc-
tion progress is keeping us on track to reach
our goal to open the memorial by the tenth
anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in 2011.
In August, we worked with the Port
Authority, which is managing the construc-
tion, to transfer the historic “Last Column”
back to bedrock, where it will be a key feature
of the museum. The column has mementos,
memorial inscriptions and missing posters,
placed there by workers during the nine
month rescue and recovery effort.
In the coming months, construction
momentum will continue to build. As a
result of the united dedication of all stake-
holders in the World Trade Center redevelop-
ment, including the City of New York, the
Port Authority, and Silverstein Properties, the
memorial has been unanimously prioritized
and construction has progressed on schedule.
When the eyes of the world are focused on
the site on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we
expect to deliver a memorial that the city can
be proud of, one that enhances the surround-
ing community and makes a lasting impres-
sion on all visitors.
We understand the importance of com-
municating that progress to the public and
informing the thousands of visitors who
already come to the site each day. To
accomplish this, we recently opened the
9/11 Memorial Preview Site, adjacent to
the World Trade Center site at 20 Vesey St.
This space includes models and renderings
to illustrate what the site will look like when
the memorial is complete, and real-time
images of the construction are on display.
Visitors to the Preview Site have the
opportunity to participate in creating the
Memorial Museum by recording their 9/11
stories for inclusion within the museum’s
exhibitions. In its ﬁrst six weeks, the Preview
Site welcomed more than 100,000 visitors
from around the world, a clear indication of
the public’s desire to preserve the memories
of 9/11 and the aftermath that followed.
As construction progresses, the museum
staff continue to develop the exhibitions that
will realize our twin missions of commemo-
ration and education. In turn, the perma-
nent collection of objects, stories, and digital
material is quickly growing. We invite you to
explore some of our recent acquisitions on
our website, www.national911memorial.org.
To help build our institutional archive,
we recently launched a new online initiative
called “Make History” at www.911history.
org that allows people to upload their photo-
graphs, videos, and stories. Uploads are then
mapped in Google street view—an immersive
ground-level photography feature of Google
Maps— so that photographs become jux-
taposed with current day panoramas of the
locations from which they were taken. The
content is also stamped to allow visitors to
search by time, location and subject.
This archive will provide a deeper under-
standing of the ways 9/11 and its aftermath
were experienced around the world. Whether
one was here in New York City during the
attacks, or watching the events unfold on televi-
sion in Tokyo, or stuck in an airport in Sydney
— people from around the world experienced
9/11 ﬁrsthand and can be a part of history
by contributing to Make History, part of the
Memorial Museum’s permanent collection.
As Lower Manhattan residents and busi-
ness owners, we hope that you will continue
to be involved in the development of this
historic project. We will continue to provide
updates and welcome any questions you
might have by email at info@national911me-
morial.org or by phone at 212-312-8800.
Joe Daniels is president & C.E.O. of
the National September 11 Memorial &
The 9/11 Museum has a place to go right now
Downtown Express ﬁle photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio
The Preview Site to the 9/11 Memorial opened on Vesey St. in August.
PROGRESS REPORT 2009 / 9/11 MEMORIAL
October 30 - November 6, 2009 21
Although ﬁnancial disputes regarding the World Trade Center have not been resolved,
construction continues at the site and on nearby projects. At the W.T.C., work is underway
on the 9/11 Memorial, Towers 1 and 4 (above photo) and the PATH commuter station.
The station will connect with the Fulton Transit Center and the Cortlandt St. R,W subway
station. The northbound Cortlandt platform is scheduled to reopen in December, over
four years after the station was closed for temporary repairs. The southbound platform
is scheduled to open nearly two years later, on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. The
Cortlandt station, right, is just one piece of the $1.4 billion Fulton Center, a project that the
Metropolitan Transportation Authority says is back on track after receiving $424 million in
federal stimulus funds earlier this year. The budget of the project has nearly doubled since
it was announced shortly after 9/11, and the timeline has lagged as well, but ofﬁcials now
say the station will open in 2014 to link 12 subway lines and the W.T.C.
Photo by Joe Woolhead
Downtown Express ﬁle photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio
October 30 - November 6, 2009 22
The Deutsche Bank building could ﬁnally
begin shrinking next week, when the demoli-
tion of the skyscraper across from the World
Trade Center site is scheduled to resume.
“Hopefully we’re beginning the ﬁnal
phase of removing this blight from our
community,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon
Silver said Monday, at a meeting of his
taskforce on the building.
The 26-story tower at 130 Liberty St. is
now cleaned of 9/11 dust, so contractors
have stopped monitoring the air nearby for
asbestos and other toxic materials. They
will continue monitoring silica and particu-
late matter whenever work is happening in
Assuming it takes a week to demolish
each ﬂoor, the building could come down
as soon as May. The Lower Manhattan
Development Corp., the federally-funded
public authority that owns the building, has
not given a schedule.
The cost of cleaning and demolishing the
building has ballooned to about $200 mil-
lion as the L.M.D.C. contended with many
delays, including eight months of work stop-
page after the August 2007 ﬁre in the build-
ing that killed two ﬁreﬁghters and sparked
a 16-month investigation by the District
Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Morgenthau
ultimately indicted one construction super-
visor with contractor Bovis Lend Lease and
two with subcontractor John Galt Corp., and
he indicted Galt as well. Bovis and the city
admitted oversight failures leading up to the
ﬁre but were not charged.
While Galt is now off the job, replaced
by LVI/Mazzocchi Wrecking Inc., Bovis is
still overseeing the work.
Once the Deutsche Bank building comes
down, the future of the site is uncertain. The
northern part will be used to build a vehicle
security center for the W.T.C. site, and will
eventually have a park on top. The southern
part was supposed to be the site of an ofﬁce
tower, and was more recently ﬂoated for a
performing arts center, but neither is likely
to begin construction anytime soon.
“There’s a good chance this site could
be vacant and fenced off for a number of
years,” said Adam Banha, a manager with
Masterworks Development Corp., which
is building a hotel at 130 Cedar St. nearby.
“The owners around that site would strong-
ly like to have…some sort of pedestrian use
or a community park.”
Catherine McVay Hughes, chair-
person of Community Board 1’s W.T.C.
Redevelopment Committee, agreed with
Banha at Silver’s taskforce meeting.
“There’s enough stalled construction
sites in our community,” she said. “We
need to make sure it’s not just another
David Emil, L.M.D.C. president, agreed
that the L.M.D.C. needed to ﬁnd an interim
use for the site.
“Right now I don’t know what the
answer to that is,” Emil said. “Sadly it’s
months off, not days off.”
“But not a year off,” Hughes inter-
Emil paused, then said, “That remains
to be seen.”
— Julie Shapiro
Demolition of Deutsche, once again, is about to begin
Photo by Joe Woolhead
The former Deutsche Bank building, across the street from the World Trade Center site.
PROGRESS REPORT 2009
October 30 - November 6, 2009 23
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October 30 - November 6, 2009 24
Little progress on the W.T.C. art building
BY JULIE MENIN
The lack of progress on the Performing
Arts Center at the World Trade Center site
has been a source of great disappointment to
me and the members of Community Board 1.
We have recently commemorated the eighth
anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 but we still
have not seen the real progress needed on
this important project or received any speciﬁc
information about when and how it will move
The master plan for the rebuilding of
Lower Manhattan followed a lengthy public
planning process that resulted in a clear con-
sensus that the development of signiﬁcant
and varied cultural facilities is essential to the
successful revitalization of the W.T.C. site and
Lower Manhattan. The PAC was conceived
as a calming transition between the bustle
of commerce and the reﬂection and remem-
brance that will be inspired by the memorial
and as the spark for the resurgence of arts in
In the years since the master plan for the
site was developed, the cultural component of
the W.T.C. site has been signiﬁcantly down-
sized. The Drawing Center, the Freedom
Museum and the Signature Theater were all
once included in plans for the site but have
since been eliminated. The Frank Gehry-
designed PAC, as the principal and now only
remaining cultural facility planned for the
W.T.C. site, remains a key element of the mas-
ter plan and its realization is absolutely essen-
tial to the revitalization of Lower Manhattan.
It is imperative that the Lower Manhattan
Development Corporation, City of New York,
the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey, and all other public and private agencies
involved in the reconstruction of the W.T.C. site
respect the very strong desire of the community
to see the promised PAC built as it was intended
in a timely manner. C.B. 1 has strongly urged
that the design phase for the PAC be completed
as soon as possible and made available for pub-
lic review. We have further urged that the fund-
ing process for the PAC commence immediately
so that there will be practical assurance that the
PAC will be built.
At a recent City Council hearing, there was
a glimmer of hope that we might ﬁnally see
some progress. The engineering plan for the
foundation of the PAC has been completed
and is expected to go out for bidding next
month so that it can be coordinated with the
Port Authority work on that corner of the
site. Based on information provided at the last
meeting of the board of directors of the Lower
Manhattan Development Corporation, the P.A.
will soon ﬁnalize the contracts for the footings
and the foundation at the corner of the site
where the PAC was originally slated to be built.
This work is expected to begin in the ﬁrst quar-
ter of 2010, and in order to take advantage of
the PATH work outages it is important to have
an engineering plan for the PAC now.
It is therefore imperative that we seize this
brief period of opportunity during the com-
ing months to begin the needed work on the
below grade infrastructure to maintain the
viability of the site. We have spoken with the
city and asked them to attend the next meeting
of Community Board 1’s World Trade Center
Redevelopment Committee to present their
plans and hear from our members about the
urgent need to move this project forward at
this critical juncture.
One need only look at the ways in which
signiﬁcant cultural components have helped
to revitalize other cities to see its importance
as the only community enhancement planned
for the W.T.C. site. In Los Angeles, the Walt
Disney Concert Hall has become a national
cultural landmark, inspiring the commercial,
retail, and cultural resurgence of the surround-
ing area. In Miami Beach, a public commit-
ment to the arts and the South Florida Arts
Center sparked cultural revitalization and a
renovated Miami Beach Convention Center
became the home of Art Basel, turning Miami
and Miami Beach into an international cultural
mecca. In San Francisco, the San Francisco
Redevelopment Agency and community lead-
ers had the vision to create the cutting edge
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, which along
with the San Francisco Museum of Modern
Art and other museums in the area, have
transformed and revitalized the formerly mori-
bund Yerba Buena downtown area between
the city’s ﬁnancial district and civic center
During my tenure as chairperson of C.B.
1, we have advocated tirelessly for the PAC,
testifying about its importance at numerous
legislative hearings and in discussions with
government ofﬁcials. I strongly believe that
the development of a world-class Performing
Arts Center at the W.T.C. site is critical for
the future of Lower Manhattan as a successful
neighborhood and I will continue to do every-
thing possible to bring about its completion.
Julie Menin is chairperson of Community
Board 1 and is also a member of the boards
of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.
and the National September 11 Memorial &
Downtown United Soccer Club and Gotham Girls FC are
committed to the providing the opportunity for children of all
ages and abilities to play recreation soccer.
We serve over 1,500 kids in our community. And we are
committed to ensuring no child is ever denied the opportunity to
play due to economic reasons.
Through a progressive training methodology and
comprehensive/diverse programs, DUSC & GGFC are now
widening their scope and increasing the opportunity to all ages,
abilities and backgrounds.
We could not provide these programs without the
generous support of our volunteers, our family, corporate,
and local business sponsors.
Next week, we will thank them publicly by displaying their logos.
But this week, we want to offer a heartfelt THANK YOU to all
the parents, players, volunteers, local politicians and business
owners who make these programs possible.
You make it
“Dark” and “romantic”, this “white-tablecloth” TriBeCa Northern
italian piles on the antipasti and other “delicious” “old-world”
delights served “with flair” by “over-the-top” waiters; just “hold
your breath when the bill comes” — and “decide the tip” before
downing the gratis “housemade grappa.”
“Romance is in the air” at this “dark” TriBeCa Northern Italian
where “delicious” food is served by waiters who put on a “great
show”; be sure to “finish the night” with the “gratis homemade
grappa” — it’ll “help dull the shock of the bill.”
~ Zagat 2007
The food, the service and the ambiance make you feel
like you are in a scene from the Godfather. “We will
make you a dish you can’t refuse!” Our unique Northern
Italian Cuisine, atmosphere and impeccable service will
make your dining experience
~Michelin Restaurant Guide, 2008
Open for Lunch & Dinner
Mon. - Fri., Lunch: 12 - 3 PM
Dinner: 5 - 10:30 PM, Sat: 5 - 10 PM
Sunday: 5 - 10 PM
1 Hucscn Sl. · 212-240-01ó3
visit us at: www.acapella-restaurant.com
$35 Prix Fixe Lunch
Celebrating our 15th anniversary in Tribeca
PROGRESS REPORT 2009 / CB 1
Downtown Express ﬁle photo by Elisabeth Robert
October 30 - November 6, 2009 25
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ta srat|1e t|e fa||aw|az cammaa|t, srazrsms sa1 smea|t|es.
Supplemental Public Safety and Sanitation t Expanded Downtown
Connection Bus Service t 4USFFU4JHOTBOE4JUF.BSLFSTt"SU
Installations t Comprehensive Web Site t Information Kiosks and
Maps t Retail and Restaurant Guides t Hive at 55 Coworking
Space t Free WiFi at 9 Public Locations t River To River Summer
1FSGPSNJOH"SUT'FTUJWBMt %JOF"SPVOE%PXOUPXOt (SFFO"SPVOE
Downtown Community Events t Holiday Lights âawatawa8\.cam
October 30 - November 6, 2009 26
BUILDING FOR A HEALTHIER TOMORROW
New York Downtown Hospital is a center of excellence for
Wellness and Prevention, inpatient and ambulatory care, and
a leader in the ﬁeld of emergency preparedness.
You will ﬁnd an eﬃcient and eﬀective health care experience
at New York Downtown Hospital and will have the best of
both worlds: the support of your own private physician along
with the latest developments in preventive care and specialty
Our Wellness and Prevention Team provides a broad range
of services including a Women’s Health Program, dedicated
to the prevention and treatment of medical conditions that are
common to women; digital mammography; comprehensive
non-invasive cardiovascular assessment; and cancer screen-
ing and detection through Downtown Hospital’s aﬃliate, the
Strang Cancer Prevention Center.
Bringing the latest medical research, most up-to-date screen-
ing techniques, and the newest technological advancements
to the heart of Lower Manhattan, our Wellness and Preven-
tion Team will advise you on how to preserve your single most
important asset...your good health! This is our commitment
A community hospital commited to meeting the healthcare needs of people who visit, live, and work in Lower Manhatan.
83 Gold Street, New York, NY 10038 Telephone: (212) 312-5000 www.downtownhospital.org
October 30 - November 6, 2009 27
We’ve still got work to do in B.P.C.
BY JAMES F. GILL
A great deal is happening at the Hugh L.
Carey Battery Park City Authority, and I am
once again pleased to provide residents of
Lower Manhattan with a look at what lies
ahead and projects nearing completion.
As Battery Park City approaches the
point of being completely built out, and the
realization of our original blueprint, we
have gotten many questions about what
our future is, what comes next, and what
the authority will do? In short, Battery
Park City Authority is not going anywhere
anytime soon. Indeed, our mission is not
only to build, but to manage and maintain,
and that is precisely what we intend to do.
There is still much work to be done, and
many exciting projects on the horizon.
As you know, Battery Park City has
debated and studied the use of artiﬁcial
turf on our ball ﬁelds. Given the authority’s
commitment to sustainable development
and our roster of award-winning parks,
the decision to use any artiﬁcial surface is
not one we arrived at easily. However, we
are also committed to our residents having
year-round access to the ﬁelds, and that
would not be possible with natural grass.
The huge shadow cast over the ball ﬁelds
by the Goldman Sachs building, plus the
wear and tear the lawn takes on a regular
basis, makes growing grass unrealistic. It
is for this reason we will use artiﬁcial turf.
However, I assure you that the artiﬁcial turf
we choose, will be state of the art in terms
of health and safety. We have engaged a
consultant to guide us in our search and a
decision will be made in the near future.
The installation of artiﬁcial turf will
have to await completion of the residential
buildings and community center currently
under construction on Sites 23 and 24. The
community center, which will contain two
swimming pools, a gymnasium, a ﬁtness
center and an all-purpose room, will be
completed by 2011.
One way we plan to use our ball ﬁelds
on a year-round basis is by turning them
into an ice skating rink this winter. We have
entered into a contract with a business that
provides ice skating services. We are hope-
ful the rink opening will be Dec. 1st — we’ll
provide the hot chocolate if you provide the
Battery Park City also continues to fulﬁll
its commitment to making our community
a bastion of cultural institutions and public
art. Poets House, which is housed at the
Riverhouse, opened this past September
and a branch of the New York City Public
Library is in the process of being “ﬁtted
out” and will be operational before the end
of this year.
Teardrop Park South will be ready to wel-
come visitors next month and will be a ﬁne
compliment to the award winning Teardrop
Park North. One third of our 92 acres have
been set aside for parks and gardens, which
are maintained naturally and without the use
of pesticides and chemicals. We are com-
mitted to maintaining that ratio well into
Starting in the spring of 2010, our rig-
orous environmental standards will be
enhanced by the installation of communica-
tions access nodes, bringing free wireless
service to Wagner Park, Kowsky Plaza,
Teardrop Park and Rockefeller Park.
Battery Park City will continue to be in
the forefront of the sustainable development
movement, and though we are almost built
out, we are now in the process of retroﬁtting
existing older buildings in Battery Park City
so that they too are covered by our green
Green too will be our redevelopment of
Pier A which is located at the southern tip of
our property. We entered into a lease agree-
ment with New York City to rehabilitate and
develop Pier A. Upon completion, the pier
will be Silver LEED certiﬁed, and after it
is rented it will be a boon to the authority,
Lower Manhattan, and the city. I think you
would agree, this landmark has sat dormant
and in disrepair for far too long.
Welcoming students in the fall of 2010,
will be New York City’s ﬁrst green pub-
lic school, catering to Lower Manhattan’s
kindergarten through 8th grade children.
This state-of-the-art elementary and middle
school will be a welcome addition to an
Hugh L. Battery Park City Authority is
not done. As you can tell from the above
menu of projects, we are continuing to ﬁnd
impressive ways to improve Battery Park
James F. Gill is chairperson of the Hugh
L. Carey Battery Park City Authority.
$20 General Admission
* Available at the door
Broadway at Wall Street
a New Season of Exquisite Music
Requiem & Remembrance
Monday, November 2, 2009 · 7:30pm
Jane Glover, Guest Conductor
Schutz: Musikalische Exequien, Howells: Requiem,
Richafort: Requiem, Josquin: Déploration sur la mort
de Johannes Ockeghem
Trinity Church Gift Shop
James F. Gill
PROGRESS REPORT 2009 / BPCA
October 30 - November 6, 2009 28
Comprehensive Dermatologic Care
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Between Church & Broadway near City Hall Park
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CELEBRATING 27 YEARS, Buckle My Shoe Nursery School began in 1981with a
developmental approach in early childhood. Our original small group, seven two-
year olds (to be exact) has grown into two pre-schools comprising of 200 children. The
Reggio Emilia philosophy embraces our view of young children and has
become the current educational model that meets the “whole child.” The Reggio
approach focuses on the “whole child” through creative exploration and play,
allowing the child's social, cognitive and reﬂective abilities to develop through
art. Buckle My Shoe Nursery School has an atelier (art studio) along with a full
time atelierista (art director) to guide the exploration of materials with children,
parents and teachers.
This art curriculum helps weave relationships with friends, family and
community in preparation for future life experiences.
The premise “children learn by doing”, is teaching our young children to care
for their planet by recycling and reusing various resources.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy helps Buckle My Shoe Nursery School use
its community as a resource tool to explore various ideas and develop a liaison
between the children and their environment.
We are fortunate to be in one of the most resourceful and culturally diverse
cities in the world.
Our children can express themselves and their experiences through language
and art. Indeed, they do speak many languages and their art is a critical means
40 Worth St. NY, NY 10013
230 West 13th St. NY, NY 10011
October 30 - November 6, 2009 29
VISIT OUR SHOPS!
BOWNE & CO., STATIONERS
211 Water Street
Open Tuesday through Sunday, 10am – 6pm
Extended Hours for November and December:
Monday through Sunday, 10am – 7pm
A 19th century shop for custom letterpress printing,
seasonal stationery, and holiday cards and gifts.
SOUTH STREET SEAPORT MUSEUM SHOP
12 Fulton Street
Open Monday through Sunday 10am – 6pm
Extended Hours for November and December:
Monday through Sunday, 10am – 7pm
THE LEGENDARY NORMANDIE
The S.S. Normandie was the epitome of Art Deco-
era style and sophistication. Her passengers were
surrounded by spectacular works of art and design
by Jean Dupas, René Lalique and Emile-Jacques
Ruhlmann. The exhibition Normandie and the Art Deco
will feature over 100 items from the ship and recreate
the experience of sailing abroad the one-time French
ﬂagships. COMING IN FEBRUARY 2010.
NEW AMSTERDAM: THE ISLAND
AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD
Come see Henry’s Hudson’s contract with the Dutch
East India Company, NYC’s “birth certiﬁcate” (Pieter
Schaghen’s letter documenting the sale of Manhattan),
and the earliest and rarest collection of New York maps
ever assembled. This exhibition was a joint collaboration
between the Nationaal Archief (National Archives of the
Netherlands) and South Street Seaport Museum.
October 30 - November 6, 2009 30
PUBLISHER & EDITOR
John W. Sutter
SR. V.P. OF SALES AND
SR. MARKETING CONSULTANT
RETAIL AD MANAGER
ART / PRODUCTION DIRECTOR
DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION
Frank R. Angelino
COMMUNITY MEDIA, LLC
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Phone: (212) 229-1890
Fax: (212) 229-2790
Downtown Express is published every week by
Community Media LLC, 145 Sixth Ave., New
York, N.Y. 10013 (212) 229-1890. The entire
contents of the newspaper, including advertising,
are copyrighted and no part may be reproduced
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Views of a bridge
To The Editor:
I concur fully with the opening sentence
of the news article on the Brooklyn Banks
park (“Don’t let the Banks collapse, skaters
say,” news article, October 23 - 29), which
states “The Brooklyn Banks is a place with
no rules except gravity.” Therein lies the
problem for those who live next to it at
There are no curfews, so skaters/bikers
remain active well after dark. There is no
supervision so some build wooden “jumps”
which could be dangerous. The noise of skat-
ers/bikers, because to the proximity of the
“jumps” to St. James/Pearl St. is magniﬁed
by and echoes through the Brooklyn Bridge
arches into the apartments of Southbridge
residents. Your ample photos demonstrate
the grafﬁti, and one quote in the article
states, quite matter-of-factly, that the park
Many skaters on their way to the park
elect to travel on sidewalks, posing a danger
to everyone, but especially to seniors, who
frequently complain to me, thinking that as a
member of Southbridge’s board of directors,
I can solve this type of problem — I cannot.
Worse, the park is actually in Community
Board 3, so our local Board 1 had no input
in the decision to locate it there.
In short, this type of park would be
best in a non-residential area, perhaps on
To The Editor:
I just read the article in the Downtown
Express about how the banks are closing.
That isn’t a smart move for the city because
now skaters and bikers are just going to
go to other spots around the city and end
up getting in pedestrians’ way and getting
kicked out of spots that they aren’t allowed
to be. I think the Banks is the one spot
in N.Y.C. where skaters/bikers can hang
out and ride without getting in trouble or
wrecking ledges and benches and getting in
people’s ways. Not only that, but the Banks
are a historical spot for us. I mean just look
at some of the things that happened there.
To The Editor:
Re “Gov asks mayor & Thompson for
B.P.C. help” (news article, Oct. 23 – 29):
The article misses one key point: Why
is the Battery Park City Authority generat-
ing a surplus in the ﬁrst place! Are we
B.P.C. residents some sort of second-class
citizens — cash cows to be abused by an
unelected B.P.C.A.? Is it even constitutional
for an unelected “board” to levy taxes on
A couple of ideas for the state and
our elected ofﬁcials: Dissolve B.P.C.A.
and save the millions it costs. Let B.P.C.
become a normal city neighborhood where
we get to vote directly for people who tax
us. We already pay tax for police and parks
— it’s called city tax. Return the surplus
($268 million) to B.P.C. residents as a tax
rebate. We need to fundamentally reframe
The people of B.P.C. need to wake up
to fact we are getting ﬂeeced, and direct
their outrage to Sheldon Silver, Daniel
Squadron and Mayor Bloomberg. To be
blunt, a 900-square-foot condo in B.P.C. has
a $620-per-month PILOT; a 1300-square-
foot condo across the West Side Highway
has a $230 per month tax.
To The Editor:
Yes, extending term limits is “troubling
and anti-democratic” and so is your sup-
port of a candidate like Mayor Bloomberg,
(“Re-elect Bloomberg,” editorial, Oct.
16 - 22) who pushed through that power
grab. As far as education goes, perhaps
your paper should interview the children
who have to endure the unsafe, overcrowded
conditions that degrade their education. I’m
also surprised that you so easily believe the
“grades/report cards” the Dept. of Education
has assigned themselves, but perhaps a little
critical investigation would have cut through
the millions of dollars of advertising spin
touting Mike Bloomberg’s misleading educa-
tional record and shameful waste of public
funds. I object as a parent, but even more
I object as a taxpayer and citizen. It seems
the Downtown Express no longer represents
or serves downtown or its community.
To The Editor:
I’m shocked and dismayed at the
Downtown Express’s endorsement of
Michael Bloomberg for mayor. First of all,
why is this paper endorsing any candidate?
It seemed odd at best.
The move was stunningly incongru-
ent with the views of their own readers.
Publisher and editor John Sutter knows
better than anyone what our Downtown
community has suffered at the hands of this
autocrat. Unprecedented residential build-
ing, under the auspices of “revitalization,”
using our tax dollars to supply these as-
of-right builders with 30-year tax breaks,
Liberty Bond ﬁnancing and the like. The
mayor also turned a blind eye to the mas-
sive school overcrowding that happened as
a result, saying only when cornered on the
issue, “Isn’t it great that families want to stay
in New York.” Yet another glib, condescend-
ing and, to use his own word, disgraceful
remark to the people that put him in ofﬁce.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Vote this Tuesday
We hope predictions of low voter turnout this Tuesday
prove not to be true. In most of the races, the Democratic
nominee has token opposition and is expected to cruise to
victory. The notable exception to Democratic dominance is
of course the mayor’s race, in which Mayor Mike Bloomberg
is way ahead in the polls. Few political observers give
Comptroller Bill Thompson much chance to beat him.
But no absentee ballots have been counted yet,
so everyone still has zero votes. These are important
races that will determine what kind of city we live in.
We’ve heard from Thompson supporters complaining
about Bloomberg’s formidable spending advantage, but
Thompson did get his message out, and no amount
of money can prevent people from going out to vote
for their candidates. We also know people who think
Bloomberg is a better mayor than Thompson would be,
but they are uneasy about contributing to what they
guess will be a Bloomberg landslide win and may not
come out. There’s only one poll that counts and that tally
will be made at voting sites Nov. 3.
To ﬁnd out where you are supposed to vote or for
other information call the city’s Board of Elections at
866-vote-nyc or visit vote.nyc.ny.us.
We remind our readers that we have previously endorsed
Bloomberg, as well as Margaret Chin, Christine Quinn and
Rosie Mendez in the Downtown City Council races. You
can read our endorsements at downtownexpress.com.
We have not yet endorsed in the borough president’s
race because there was no primary and there is not much
of a general election. We do think that Scott Stringer has
done a very good job as borough president, particularly
in professionalizing the community board selection pro-
cess. He deserves four more years and we endorse him
in Tuesday’s election.
Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with
our choices, we do hope you come out to vote Tuesday.
Otherwise, you might as well talk to the mirror the next
time you’d like to complain.
in those Banks
As we ﬁrst reported two weeks ago, one of Lower
Manhattan’s quirky treasures, the Brooklyn Banks, is going
to close for at least a few years in order to do extensive reno-
vation work on the Brooklyn Bridge and its ramps.
The area has been a nationally-known skateboard park
for about four decades. Even “Bored to Death,” the hot new
HBO show that takes great pride in ﬁlming almost entirely in
Brooklyn, came over to Manhattan to shoot a scene for “The
Case of the Missing Skateboard” episode at the Banks.
The park was saved from extinction ﬁve years ago. If it
closes indeﬁnitely, it’s not at all clear there will be much con-
stituency to bring it back once a generation of skateboarders
and BMX bikers have been shooed away for so long.
We’re less than thrilled with the grafﬁti at the Banks and
there’s deﬁnitely room to make it safer for stunts, but it would
be a shame to lose this Downtown cultural landmark.
A safe bridge obviously is essential, but the city Dept. of
Transportation has changed its assertions about Brooklyn
Bridge work before. Ofﬁcials said earlier this year that the
nearby Chatham Square project was on schedule and had
to happen soon because of the bridge work, then they said
Chatham work couldn’t proceed in the near future because
of the bridge project.
The D.O.T. should discuss the park closure with Banks’
leaders to see if there is a way this small area can stay or be
moved during the long renovation project. We hope it can.
Continued on page 31
October 30 - November 6, 2009 31
Saying goodbye to those creaky, lovable red levers
BY BEN KRULL
They are outdated and clunky, and frequently break
down. Still, I will be sad when they are gone.
After the November elections, New York City’s pull-
lever voting machines — which have been around since the
Kennedy administration — are expected to be replaced by
sleek optical scanners. While electronic-voting may reduce
problems at the polls, New York is about to lose a link to
its political past.
When New Yorkers leave their ﬁngerprints on the arm-
length red levers this Nov. 3rd, they will be using the same
levers that once bore the ﬁngerprints of voters casting bal-
lots for Robert Kennedy, Nixon, Wagner, Javits, Koch, and
Abzug. The machines are a live conduit running through the
battles for racial justice, gender equality and gay rights; a
repository of a half-century of anger and hope expressed in
exactly the same way — by pulling a red lever.
I was 10 years old when I ﬁrst voted. It was 1969 and my
father took me to a polling place on the Upper East Side. I
entered the mysterious, curtained booth, which reminded me
of the Wizard of Oz, and watched as my father showed me
Mayor John V. Lindsay’s name on the ballot. He told me to
pull the lever — which I joyfully did.
It was a while before I “voted” again, but the manual
machines have deﬁned my experience as a voter. For the past
30 years I have stepped behind the full-length curtain and
into the enclosed seven-foot-tall booth, feeling completely
alone with my conscience and the names on the ballot.
Usually I know how I am going to vote before I enter
the polling place. But other times I have walked into the
booth intending to vote one way...only to change my mind.
When Mayor Giuliani ran for reelection, I had decided to
vote for him, even though I was disturbed by his bullying man-
ner. But once the curtain closed behind me, something tugged
at my gut -- and I couldn’t check his name on the ballot.
New Yorkers will adjust to the optical scanners. Yet
I can not imagine that marking a ballot, behind a half
curtain, and feeding the paper into a computer-sized
scanner, will seem as dramatic as voting on an impos-
ing manual machine. Nor is it likely that the new voting
machines will be around long enough to serve as a tangible
link between generations of voters, or even as a constant
from childhood through adulthood, as it was for me.
I hope that predictions of a low voter turnout for Nov.
3rd are wrong. It would be a shame if our retiring machines
received a paltry sendoff. Every New Yorker should come
out to the polls on Election Day, even if it is just to hold
hands with an old mechanical friend, one last time.
Ben Krull, an attorney in Lower Manhattan’s Family
Court, is a freelance writer
I have to say, as much as I respect the editors
here, this move was a huge disappointment. Be
grateful you are a free paper, as you would lose
a lot of subscriptions over this one.
Member of the P.S. 234 Overcrowding
Committee and Assembly Speaker Sheldon
Silver’s School Overcrowding Task Force
To The Editor:
Forget about Bloomberg’s disrespect for
the democratic process in disregarding two
term-limit referenda. Forget about his consum-
mate nouveau riche compassionless demeanor.
Forget about comparing the moral equivalence
of the yuppies’ multimillion dollar Predator
Balls and multimillion Manhattan birthday
parties with Bloomberg’s odious and ostenta-
tious purchasing of an American political
ofﬁce. Forget about: his monarchial control
of the Board of Ed; his desire to eliminate the
public advocate position so he can have abso-
lute fealty; and his acquiescing in the physical
tearing up of our city and handing it over to the
Liberty Bond corporate welfare “developers.”
Think history. Remember 1964: Johnson
defeated Goldwater in a massive landslide. The
mandate complex set in and all of Johnson’s
great domestic programs and legacies are sub-
sumed by a war of mendacity and arrogance
of power. Remember 1972: Nixon defeated
McGovern with a whopping 19 million plu-
rality. All of Nixon’s domestic and foreign
policy achievements are soiled by a mandate
he believed allowed him to corrupt and subvert
If you think Bloomberg’s ﬁrst 8 years are a
study in Napoleonic arrogance, just give him a
mandate for four more in a landslide; Michael
I will make George III look like a Founding
Your editorial called Bloomberg a “vision-
ary.” You’re either kidding of delusional.
Nelson Rockefeller was a visionary; Mike,
you’re no Nelson.
Send Bloomberg back to Boston.
To The Editor:
Re “Thompson says open Park Row and
consult with the community” (news article,
Oct. 16 - 22):
For 8 years, Mayor Bloomberg has aban-
doned Chinatown to Police Commissioner
Ray Kelly’s draconian security policies while
such measures do not exist at 26 Federal
Plaza. Increasing trafﬁc congestion, emer-
gency service access and quality of life issues
at Chatham Square and Canal St. are known,
but what about the long term economic and
ﬁnancial consequences to the surrounding
communities and to the city of these street clo-
sures? Can a cash strapped city afford to give
Commissioner Kelly unlimited parking and an
open check book to protect One Police Plaza?
While Bloomberg claims to be “green” he’s
presided over 145,000 government parking per-
mits, not including the illegals. His administra-
tion failed to enforce trafﬁc laws despite years of
community protest and documentation.
Recently the chief Internal Affairs Bureau
ofﬁcer assigned to monitor the permits was
removed when reporters found his girlfriend’s
vehicle parked on the street with a free parking
permit. How convenient that shortly after-
wards, the mayor rushed out the announce-
ment of the city’s new Fast Fleet Car sharing
plan, despite our requesting this for years?
Chinatown is a major tourist attraction.
Empty storefronts and struggling business-
es deplete tax dollars — thriving businesses
provided jobs to many immigrant families.
With Chatham Square dug up, this will only
How has Mayor Bloomberg helped the rest
of Lower Manhattan? Ask the Tribeca and
Battery Park parents battling for a say in their
children’s schools and those who object to
a “teach to the test” curriculum and inﬂated
grades. Ask the heroic Downtown environ-
mentalists about the building violations in
the Deutsche Bank debacle. We intend to let
our mayor know on Nov. 3 that eight years is
Jeanie Chin, Jan Lee and John Ost
Civic Center Residents Coalition
To The Editor:
Regarding buying a third term:
It may well be that Mike Bloomberg will
keep the buses running more punctually than
his opponent, and he may even save us all a
few hundred bucks per capita with his supe-
rior management skills. But I’d rather lose the
money, and freeze at a bus stop. Washington
froze at Valley Forge on behalf of democracy.
I can take it too.
To The Editor:
Re “Privatization risks” (Letter, Oct 23
At the present time the board of directors
is not able to respond to letters such as the
one you submitted. I on the other hand can
and will respond to some of the old played
out misleading issues you brought up.
Let’s start with the oldie but goodie greed
card. Nice touch comparing Southbridge
Towers to Wall St., but it’s “apples to orang-
es” telling us how billions have been lost by
greed and the same thing is happening with
the privatization of Mitchell- Lama co-ops.
From what I know and heard, that’s mislead-
ing “chicken little.” The sky is not falling.
Your next misleading statement is “Show
me a senior co-operator who is enjoying a
lifetime of security, from a reverse mortgage
along with the low Mitchell-Lama mainte-
nance, and I’ll show you a bribed liar. We
were told by a board member that there are
other ways to access equity.”
Of course if we stay in Mitchell-Lama
we can’t beneﬁt from the various avenues to
access equity. If we go private, those avenues
open up to Southbridge seniors and others.
As for posters being torn down from
the bulletin board, you conveniently leave
out the fact that not only anti-privatization
posters are being torn down but pro-priva-
tization posters were also being torn down.
Constructive letters, both pro- and anti- are
now behind enclosed glass in the lobbies. I
guess that leaves out your vindictive letter.
You mention our board being “privatizer
dominated.” Just remember the residents of
Southbridge voted this board in overwhelm-
ingly fully knowing what to expect as the
board was and is transparent.
Your post contained the words “liar” and
“henchmen.” Shame on you.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Continued from page 30
Once the curtain closed behind
me, something tugged at my gut —
and I couldn’t check his name
on the ballot.
Downtown Express welcomes letters to
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
subject matter. Letters should be less than
300 words. Downtown Express reserves the
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.
October 30 - November 6, 2009 32
CHILDREN’S HALLOWEEN MASK WORKSHOP Free. Sat,
Oct 31, 10:30 am-Noon at Tompkins Square Library (331 E. 10th
St., Art Room-3rd Floor).
THE BOO FAMILY According to legend, the Boo Family
worked the docks as fishmongers in the early 1800s. While
attempting to return home during an unexpected blizzard the
evening of Oct. 31, 1809, they disappeared from the wooden
piers of lower Manhattan. Every Halloween night since the
disappearance, the Boos return to The Seaport for a few hours,
searching for their way home. Fortunately, they come bearing
treats for costumed kids. Children and families out Trick or
Treating are invited to stop by to collect those treats, take pho-
tos, and pay tribute to the Boos. Sat, Oct 31, 5pm to 8pm, at
outside @Seaport (210 Front Street at Beekman.
THE FOFER SHOW This event, which is part of 92YTribeca’s
BYOK Sunday family music series,) features storytelling and
songs on guitar and ukulele with projected animations and
visits from The Fofers — multi-colored furry creatures with
friendly human-like faces who live on a special secret island
off the coast of Maine; a magical place of boats and bicycles,
tall trees and wondrous plants and animals. Nov 8, 11am at
92YTribeca (200 Hudson Street). Tickets are $15. Call 212-601-
1000 or go to 92yTribeca.org.
ARTS +GAMES This project, designed by an art specialist
for school age children, includes clay, painting and jewelry
design. Free. Thursdays, through Oct 29, 3:30-5:30pm. Nelson
A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City (access: Chambers). Call
212-267-9700, or visit bpcparks.org.
CHILDREN’S BASKETBALL Children can play with adjust-
able height hoops, and participate in fun drills to improve
their skills. Free. Mon and Fri through Oct 30 (except holiday
weekends), 3:30-4:30pm for 5-6 year olds; 4:30-5:30pm for 7
& older. Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City (access:
Chambers Street). Call 212-267-9700, or visit bpcparks.org.
CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE ARTS (CMA) Explore paint-
ing, collage, and sculpture through self-guided art projects. Open
art stations are ongoing throughout the afternoon, giving chil-
dren the opportunity to experiment with materials such as paint,
clay, fabric, paper, and found objects. Admission $10. Wed-Sun,
12-5pm; Thurs, 12-6pm. Children’s Museum of the Arts, 182
Lafayette Stret. Call 212- 274-0986 or visit cmany.org.
GLOBAL STORY HOUR Through weekly stories, participants
learn about new countries and cultures, participate in interac-
tive activities, and learn how to make a difference. Every Fri at
3:30pm. Action Center to End World Hunger, 6 River Terr, Bat-
tery Park City. Call 212-537-0511 or visit actioncenter.org.
KIDS STORYTIME Storyteller Yvonne Brooks leads a story-
time with arts and crafts for kids ages 3-7, every Sat at 12pm
in the children’s section. Baby storytime with storyteller Stewart
Dawes takes place on Fri at 4:00pm for ages younger than 2.
McNally Jackson Booksellers, 52 Prince St, (between Lafayette
and Mulberry). Call 212-274-1160 or visit mcnallyjackson.com.
KIDS PROGRAMS Put your children’s energy to good use
through art, basketball, chess, cycling, exploration, gardening,
and music among other activities. Days, materials fees, and
park locations vary. Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, Two
South End Ave. Call 212-262-9700 or visit bcparks.org.
STORIES AND SONGS Created especially for infants, tod-
dlers and preschoolers, this event will bring together both the
children and their parents. $210 for 4 forty-minute sessions;
pre-registration required. Mon or Wed, 9:30am to 10:10am – 6
to 12 months old. 10:20am to 11:00am – 15 months to 2 years
old. 11:10am to 11:50am – 2 years old and up. 12 to 12:4pm –
mixed ages. BPCPC Meeting Room at The Verdesian. Enter at
door north of main entrance (access: Murray St or Warren St).
Call 212-267-9700 or visit bpcparks.org.
PLAYDATE AND NEW PARENT DROP IN The Playdate
“Drop-In” is a great place to bring toddlers. While the children
play together, parents can socialize in the Parenting Center.
The New Parent “Drop-In” gives new parents the chance
to discuss their concerns and ask questions. Topics include
feeding, sleeping, creating support networks. Punch card
for 10 sessions is $100. Playdate Drop-Ins are Mon & Thurs,
10-11:30am and Tues 3-4:30pm. New Parent Drop-Ins are Mon
1:30-3:30pm. Educational Alliance Downtown Parenting Cen-
ter,197 East Broadway (between Jefferson & Clinton St). Visit
TEEN PROGRAMS Save teenagers from the boredom blues
through classes on art, babysitter training, CPR, and environ-
mental activism. Days, materials fees, and park locations vary.
Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, Two South End Ave. For
more information call, 212-262-9700 or visit bcparks.org.
STORYTIME AT BABYLICIOUS Children ages 3 to 4 are
welcome to participate in free storytime with songs, stories
and lots of fun. Free. Every Tue, 9:30am. At Babylicious, 51
Hudson St (between Duane and Jay St). Call 212-406-7440, or
TEEN ENTREPRENEUR BOOT CAMP This program gives teens
the exciting learning experience that they need to succeed later in
life. For more information, visit teenentrepreneurbootcamp.org.
YOUNG SPROUTS GARDENING This gardening program is
for children 3-5 years old. It includes simple gardening projects
appropriate for preschoolers. Free. Tue, through Oct 27. 3:15-
3:45pm. Space limited-first come, first served. The Children’s
Garden, Nelson A. Rockefeller Park, Battery Park City (access:
Chambers St). Call 212-267-9700 ext 348 or visit bpcparks.org.
TEEN VOLLEYBALL All teens are welcome and no previous
experience necessary; referee/scorekeeper and ball provided.
Presented by the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy. Sat,
4:30-6:30pm. Community Center at Stuyvesant High School,
345 Chambers Street. Call 646-210-4292.
ROULETTE CHILDREN’S CONCERT offers pre-K to fifth-
graders the chance to listen and interact with adventurous,
professional composers and musicians of a variety of genres.
This month: guitarist Andy Schuman and percussionist Chris-
tine Bard featuring songs from her children’s musical “The
World Was Round” as well as original songs by Andy and all
time classics for kids and parents! Oct 24, 2pm, at 20 Greene
St (between Canal and Grand St). For $5 tickets, call 212-219-
8242. Visit www.roulette.org.
TRIBECA CINEMA KIDS CLUB November will arrive sooner
than you think — and with it, a new series featuring classic
short and feature length films. “Tribeca Cinema Kids Club”
screens flicks appropriate for all ages — augmented by Q&A
sessions, arts and crafts, live music and (healthy) snacks! The
Nov 7 debut offers “Mad Hot Ballroom” and “I’m Charlie Chap-
lin.” Nov. 21: “Magic of a Musical” screens “Chitty Chitty Bang
Bang.” Dec 5, discover silent films with Buster Keaton shorts
as well as his feature, “The General.” Tickets: $7 for under 14,
$12 for double feature. Adults (over 14): $10, $18 for double
feature. Purchase in advance at www.tribecafilm.com/kidsclub
on the day of event (btw 9am and 2pm) at the Tribeca Cinemas
Box Office, 54 Varick St. For info, call 212-941-2001.
SOUTH STREET SEAPORT MUSEUM Current exhibits
include: “New Amsterdam: The Island at the Center of the
World”; “Treasures of a President: FDR and the Sea”; and
“Monarchs of the Sea: Celebrating the Ocean Liner Era.” The
Toddler Play Group meets Oct 28 from 1-2:30pm ($7 per child).
Museum and Ship hours: Tues-Sun, 10am-6pm. Adults: $10;
Seniors/students: $8; Children 5-12: $5; under 5, Free. At 12
Fulton Street. Call 212-748-8600; visit www.southstreetsea-
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE YOUR EVENT IN THE DOWN-
TOWN EXPRESS KIDS LISTINGS? Listings requests may be
e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide the date,
time, location, price and a description of the event. Information
may also be mailed to 145 Avenue of the Americas, New York,
NY 10013-1548. Requests must be received two weeks before
the event is to be published. Questions? Call 646-452-2507.
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For the Whole Family
For an appointment, call 212-941-9095
19 Murray Street
Between Church & Broadway
General Dentistry & Cosmetic
Dentistry + Implants
Bleaching + Orthodontics
Dr. Martin Gottlieb
Dr. Raphael Santore
Dr. Reena Clarkson,
Dr. Ken Chu,
Dr. Grace Chin
Dr. Sara Fikree
October 30 - November 6, 2009 33
Art Guide: October through December
Best bets for galleries, exhibits
BY STEPHANIE BUHMANN
DOWNTOWN/BELOW CANAL STREET
APEXART: “Avant-Guide to NYC: Discovering
Absence.” This group exhibition aims to map the cultural
history of twentieth century New York. Nov. 4 – Dec. 19
(291 Church St., below Walker St.). Call 212-431-5270 or
ART IN GENERAL: “Erratic Anthropologies.” This exhi-
bition includes projects by Guy Benﬁeld, Shana Moulton,
and Rancourt/Yatsuk. Oct. 29 – Jan. 9, 2010 (79 Walker St.,
btw. Bowery and Lafayette St.) Call 212-219-0473 or visit
CHERYL HAZAN GALLERY: “Substance and Form.”
This exhibition features the Argentinean sculptor Carolina
Sardi, the American artist John Ensor Parker and the
Australian artist Jacqueline Belcher. Through Nov. 10 (35
North Moore St., btw. Hudson and Varick St.). Call 212-
343-8964 or visit www.cherylhazan.com.
CITY HALL PARK (ORGANIZED BY PUBLIC ART
FUND): “Peter Cofﬁn: Untitled.“ The installation features
monumental silhouettes of iconic sculptures. Through May
2010 (Broadway and Park Row). Call 212-980-4575 or visit
KS ART / KERRY SCHUSS: “R.M. Fischer.” This art-
ist blurs the lines between art, architecture, fashion and
technology. Oct. 29 – Dec. 29 (73 Leonard St., btw. Church
St. and Broadway). Call 212-219-9918 or visit kerryschuss.
MORE NORTH: “New Paintings by Hjörtur
Hjartarson.” Nontraditional abstract landscape paint-
ings evoke the rich and varied scenery of these artists’
native Iceland. Through Dec. 6 (39 North Moore St.,
btw. Hudson and Varick St.) Call 212-334-5541 or visit
SALOMON ARTS GALLERY: “Leonard Rosenfeld: Wire
and Can Pieces 1981-1991.” These works fuse elements of
painting, sculpture, tribal and outsider art. Through Nov.
14 (83 Leonard St., btw. Church St. and Broadway). Call
212-966-1997. Visit www.salomonarts.com or www.leonar-
SALON 94 FREEMANS: “Barry X Ball: Masterpieces.”
The artist creates sculptures that investigate the bizarre. Oct.
29 – Dec. 12 (1 Freeman Alley, at Rivington St.). Call 212-
529-7400 or visit www.salon94.com.
SASHA WOLF GALLERY: “Norman Mooney: Carbon
Drawings.” This artist works with carbon directly on the
wall, paper and panels, using a lit torch. Through No. 7 (10
Leonard St., btw. Hudson and W Broadway). Call 212-925-
0025 or visit www.sashawolf.com.
THE SKYSCRAPER MUSEUM: “China Prophecy:
Shanghai.” This multi-media exhibition examines Shanghai’s
evolving identity as a skyscraper metropolis. Through Mar.
2010 (39 Battery Pl.). Call 212-945-6324 or visit www.
CANADA: “Michael Williams: Uncle Big.” This exhibi-
tion features ornate abstract paintings. Through Nov. 15 (55
Chrystie St., above Canal St.). Call 212-925-4631 or visit
DCKT: “Ted O’Sullivan: Reclamation of the Modern
Tongue.” This exhibition of paintings fuses ﬁgurative and
architectural elements. Through Nov. 15 (195 Bowery, at
Spring St.). Call 212-741-9955 or visit www.dcktcontem-
ELEVEN RIVINGTON: “Caetano de Almeida.” The paint-
ings by this Brazilian artist reveal his interest in the history
of Latin American geometric conceptualism. Through Nov.
15, (11 Rivington St., btw. Bowery and Chrystie St.). Call
212-982-1930 or visit www.elevenrivington.com.
HARRIS LIEBERMAN: “Bern Ribbeck.” This German
artist creates small geometric paintings and works on paper.
Through Nov. 14 (89 Vandam St., btw. Greenwich and
Hudson St.). Call 212-206-1290 or visit www.harrislieber-
HEIST GALLERY: “Stephen Floyd: I Love America and
America Loves Me.” This exhibition features political and
sexually charged drawings. Nov. 4 - Dec. 18 (27 Essex, at
Hester St.). Call 212-253-0451. Visit www.heistgallery.com
INVISIBLE-EXPORTS: “Stephen Irwin: Sometimes
When We Touch.” The artist alters vintage pornography
magazines to create images rich in erotic mysticism. Oct. 23
– Nov. 29 (14A Orchard St., btw. Hester and Canal St.). Call
212-226-5447 or visit www.invisible-exports.com.
LISA COOLEY: “Erin Shireff: Landscapes, Heds,
Drapery, and Devils.” This exhibition of photographs, video
and sculptures alludes to otherworldly, ephemeral phenom-
ena. Oct. 25 – Dec. 20 (34 Orchard St., at Hester St.). Call
212-680-0564 or visit www.lisa-cooley.com.
LMAK PROJECTS LES: “Harold Ancart: Within Limits.”
This exhibition features two sculptures and a drawing that
explore the limitations of space. Through Nov. 29 (139
Eldridge St., at Delancey St.). Call 212-255-9707 or visit
LUDLOW 38: “Friedl Kubelka, Gerard Byrne, Ricardo
Basbaum.” Three artists explore portraiture as a means of
capturing a moment in time. Oct. 30 – Dec. 13 (38 Ludlow
St., btw. Hester and Grand St.). Call 212-228-6848 or visit
MUSEUM 52: “Julia Goldman: Girls.” This exhibition
features abstracted portraits. Through Nov. 14 (4 E 2nd St.,
at Bowery). Call 347-789-7072 or visit www.museum52.
ON STELLAR RAYS: “Tommy Hartung.” This exhibition
features the video, The Ascent of Man (2009), which the
artist adapted from the 1973 BBC documentary of the same
name. Nov. 1 – Dec. 23 (133 Orchard St., below Rivington
St.). Call 212-598-3012 or visit www.onstellarrays.com.
GALLERY SATORI: “Ethan Greenbaum & David
Scanavino.” A two-person show that incorporates cement
sculptures. Oct. 23 – Nov. 29 (164 Stanton St., btw. Clinton
and Suffolk St.). Call 646-896-1075 or visit www.gallerysa-
SUNDAY L.E.S.: “Bryan Zanisnik: Dry Bones Can Harm
No Man.” A selection of photographs that depict con-
structed tableaus. Through Nov. 15 (237 Eldridge St., below
Houston St.). Call 212-253-0700. Visit www.hortonliu.com
THE DRAWING CENTER: “Ree Morton: At the Still
Point of the Turning World.” This exhibition features
drawings from the 60s and 70s that involve personal
narrative and humor. Through Dec. 18 (35 Wooster St.,
below Broome St.). Call 212-219-2166 or visit www.
THIERRY GOLDBERG PROJECTS: “Barbara Ess: You
Are Not I.” This exhibition features photographs and videos,
which address the human longing to connect to the world.
Through Nov. 15 (5 Rivington St., btw. Bowery and Chrystie
St.). Call 212-967-2260 or visit email@example.com.
WOODWARD GALLERY: “Cristina Vergano: Just for
You.” This exhibition of paintings addresses feminist con-
cerns, old master works and Pop-Art aesthetics. Nov. 7
– Jan. 9, 2010 (133 Eldridge St. below Delancey St.). Call
212-966-3411. Visit www.woodwardgallery.net or www.
(All Galleries are West of 9th Avenue unless otherwise indi-
ANA CRISTEA GALLERY: “Zsolt Bodoni: The Foundries
of Ideology.“ The young Hungarian painter examines the vio-
lent struggles of his country’s past. Through Nov. 21 (521 W
26th St.). Call 212-904-1100 or visit www.anacristeagallery.
ANDREA ROSEN GALLERY: “Matthew Ritchie: Line
Shot.” This exhibition features abstract paintings, an animat-
ed feature ﬁlm, drawings, and a modular structure. Through
Dec. 2 (525 W 24th St.). Call 212-627-6000. Visit www.
andrearosengallery.com or www.matthewritchie.com.
BLACK & WHITE GALLERY: “Stefan à Wengen:
Nightology.” This exhibition includes works that continue
the Romantic tradition of reﬂecting on the world. Through
Nov. 21 (636 W 28th St.). Call 212-244-3007 or visit www.
Photo by James Hewing, courtesy of Public Art Fund
Peter Cofﬁn’s “Untitled” features silhouettes of iconic
October 30 - November 6, 2009 34
BY JERRY TALLMER
The 60-point four- column headline in a
newspaper called Dziennik Łódzki, over a
photograph of Bernard Aptekar and one of his
machine gunners, reads “Sztuka wymierzona w
wojne I inima wisc.”
What’s that in English, an American journal-
“I haven’t the faintest idea” said Bernard
Aptekar, mildly. “My mother, who was born in
Poland, didn’t speak to me in Polish — ever.
She spoke English to me, and Yiddish to my
Which adds a certain amount of spice to
the fact that he was just back from spending
the whole month of September 2009 — he
and his wife Bozena — as honored guests of
an exhibit of the city of Łódz (pronounced
Everything about Mercer Street’s 73 year-
old Bernard Aptekar seems mild and quite—
everything except his art. His ﬂamboyant, styl-
ized sculptural paintings, or painterly sculptors,
are Hieronymus Bosch reborn as a Nightmare
Comix running commentary on man’s inhuman-
ity to man (not to mention women and children)
in work as loud as his voice, Aptekar’s, is low.
As loud and large. With titles to suit: “Aliens
at the Intergalactic Café,” “The Defeat of the
City of Plutonium,” “Our Men and Some of
Their Work.” One layout, “Merrily We Roll
Along,” was altogether too huge to ﬁt into the
classic-columned 85 year-old Miejska Galeria
Sztuki, Łódz. At one end of “Merrily We Roll
Along,” a newborn babe is clawing its way back
into its mother’s womb; at the back other end
helmeted Dick Cheney is cradling a machine
gun at the prow of a war canoe.
So how, Bernard, did all this come to pass
— this homage to a Jewish artist in a town in a
land now notably healthy for Jews?
“I don’t know,” says Aptekar. Poland on the
one hand is full or virulent anti-Semitism, but
on the other, lots of ordinary Poles are sympa-
thetic toward Jews.
Ordinary Poles like those in Claude
Lanzmann’s great 9 1/2 hour documentary
“Shoah” — good simple rural Poles who feel
murderous toward any Jews returning to reclaim
their houses after the Holocaust?
“That’s true,” says artist Aptekar. “I know
some people who got shot at when they went
back to their villages after the war.”
All he knows is that two years ago a Polish
actress named Malgorzata Potocka came to
look “at his stuff in the loft,” just below NYU
where he has lived and worked since 1973.
“I think maybe her son knew about me,”
says the Aptekar who is also a professor of
art at City Tech (New York City College of
Technology). “In any event, she looked and
looked and then said: ‘We should have a show
of this in Poland.’ I said All right, I’ll do it if you
can ﬁnd a place to do it.”
The place she found was this Galleria in a
park in the center of the town of Lodz. The
curator of the show and administrator of the
gallery is Elizabeth Fuchs, who might herself
“I think so,” says Aptekar, quietly. If he
doesn’t speak Polish, does he speak Yiddish?
“I used to, but then I had a stroke that took
away my use of languages.”
For what it’s worth — possibly zero — while
Aptekar and his Polish-born, Catholic-born
wife were in town, there was a commemorative
ceremony honoring the WW II Jewish ghetto
of Łód . It was held outdoors by the old Jewish
cemetery. The mayor spoke. An orchestra played
Penderecki’s “Seven Gates of Jerusalem.” Five
rabbis gave the benediction.
In great ironic contrast with the Łódz
embrace of Aptekar’s work is the crass rejection
ﬁve years ago of a large Aptekar installation in
the lobby of the new Conde Naste building at
4 Times Square, New York City. As the truck
drove up carrying the prearranged exhibit, the
installation was cut short by a gaggle of ofﬁ-
cious men and women in suits. They looked,
the huddled, and they ruled: No Aptekar here
today, thank you.
They turned out to be legal eagles from the
ﬁrm of Skadden Arps Slate Meaghe, the new
structure’s prime tenants.
Looking back on it at this remove, Aptekar
merely murmurs: “I guess they didn’t like it.”
One recognizable face in the display had been
that of Martin Luther King, Jr. “I guess they
didn’t like that.”
What particularly impressed Aptekar was
how “engaged” the Polish general public was
in his work. “They asked questions that were
thoughtful, serious and pointed. In Poland, not
Thoughtful, serious and pointed — these
are good words to describe the household
in which Bernard Aptekar grew up. It was a
union household, a working man’s household,
a radical household. If Polish had been Fannie
Aptekar’s ﬁrst language, Al Aptekar’s had been
the Russian of the Ukraine.
Here in America he became a union orga-
nizer for the projectionists in a movie house,
and argued politics with his friend (but not
a relative), the noted writer and sociologist
“After the war,” says his son, my father
became a Communist Party (CPUSA) treasurer.
People like (far = leftists) Herbert Biberman,
Paul Jarrico, Alva Bessie, were always around
the house. My father collected money from
those such as Humphrey Bogart. It was an
interesting way to grow up.
So you come by your politics honestly…
“That’s right. Yes, I do,” said Bernard
Aptekar, as agreeable as one might order a
soft-boiled egg when the shells are bursting
and the monsters growling all around him.”
Embraced in Łódz, shunned in NYC lobby
Bernard Aptekar comes by his politics honestly
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October 30 - November 6, 2009 35
BY DAVID TODD
It’s in the rambler tradition of novelists and guitarists alike
that writer Joseph Mattson and musician Ben Chasny come
together in their new book-with-soundtrack, “Empty the
Sun,” released November 3rd on A Barnacle Book and Drag
City Records. Although the title suggests another of the bril-
liant, meditative albums the Seattle-based Chasny has released
as Six Organs of Admittance — 2006’s “The Sun Awakens”
and this year’s “Luminous Night” among them — the novel
deals with its light source in a starker, more glaring way.
Author of last year’s “Eat Hell” (Narrow Books), Los
Angeles-dwelling Mattson relocates the action from Chasny’s
northern dreamlands to the jaundiced roads leading out of
his adopted hometown and into a bitter Midwest. Mattson’s
hard-boiled narrator — unnamed, but distinguished by lines
such as “I was mesmerized and drawn to California as if
toward something that could surely kill me, like the wolf —
like a bear — but only to make me more alive” — drives a
good burn into the fog of Chasny’s abstractions.
Mattson and Chasney recently spoke to The Villager
about the challenges of a singular project through the use of
two very different mediums.
How did the idea for this project come together for
JM: We were up at 3 in the morning drinking whiskey and
said, “To hell with movies, who does soundtracks to books?”
Outlines on the character who would eventually become the
protagonist were worked out — an ace guitar player who
loses the index ﬁnger of his fret hand — and this sketch,
coupled with the idea that god is love is oblivion, the notion
of the sun pouring out of itself…all of these things ﬁt the
concept of a book with soundtrack, speciﬁcally a Mattson/
Six Organs of Admittance collaboration.
Production-wise, the rough draft of the novel came before
the recording, but it was always written as two parts of a
whole. We [were] equal collaborators from the get-go.
Is there anything in particular you had in mind for how
the text and soundtrack would go together?
JM: Well, there is no speciﬁc point of convergence, as
if someone should listen to a certain song while reading a
certain passage in the book. [But] if there is a subconscious
purpose, perhaps it’s that the ache, the joy, the terror, and
ecstasy of the world can be co-committed in the lyricism of
music and the music of words. Two brothers, one with the
guitar and one with the typewriter — for this project at least
— better than one.
The writing seems heightened and immediate while the
music tends to be reﬂective. Did you think of the sound-
track as providing the emotional subtext, so to speak, of
JM: Yes, the emotion of the book is often naked and hon-
est, and it’s in these moments that the soundtrack ﬁlls in a
more unspoken emotion, that place where speaking and feel-
ing become indistinguishable. There are speciﬁc moments
in the narrative wherein the protagonist — because he is a
guitar player — cannot entirely express himself in words,
though he must try due to his present disposition, which
makes the soundtrack and the confessional narrative symbi-
otic to one another. Reciprocally, there are moments in the
soundtrack that invoke an emotional abstract that yearns for
punctuation found in the book.
Ben, I was wondering if you saw yourself as a writer in
this process or as a translator of sorts.
BC: I was mostly excited by the general openness of the
whole project. [The book had] a very loose structure, [so] it
was easy to imagine a driving soundtrack, music for driving,
and that is what I tried to do. It seemed best to have music
you could put in your car.
The book is a road novel from the opening lines on. But
on the other hand, it’s also an L.A. novel too. Joseph, do
you think you were trying to capture a sense of both place
and movement on your end at least?
JM: Yes. Home and the road, magnets both. Movement
is crucial — the book was written with a somewhat frantic
pace in mind, and the soundtrack is the reality of what’s
outside the window. [But] so is the isolation of places all
their own. It is a California book that both embraces and
rejects California as a place and also the road leading away
from it as both damnation and salvation. Place and leaving
a place might be as critical to each other as anything else
dual in nature.
One of the aspects of California the book explores is
downtown L.A. in all its rail-whiskey squalor. What is it
that attracts you to that milieu? Everybody else seems to be
cleaning up these days.
JM: We’re aware of [that] but don’t pay particular atten-
tion [to it], other than to know what to complain about when
we’re over at friends’ houses, grumpy and drinking. But as
far as sound and words go, well, honesty is best, no matter
how beautiful or how ugly. Both of us are attracted to music
and writing wherein something vital is at stake physically,
emotionally, metaphysically, and otherwise. Just so long as it
is alive and vulnerable and bold. Why be rote?
BC: I can see just as much intoxication in sobriety as in
drunkenness. It’s just harder to get there. It’s not easy, [but]
it’s a place to aspire to. That’s what the mystics have always
The narrator was bitten by a wolf as a child. It seemed
from the brotherly way you two were talking that perhaps
you were both bitten by a similar wolf in one sense or
JM: We’re of the same ilk, Mattson and Chasny, but dif-
ferent, too. I don’t know. I’ve been bit by a wolf — literally,
holes in my leg — but I can’t speak for the goddamn wolf,
and if I mention it it’s as a survivor.
BC: I actually don’t recognize the “wolf” as a valid cor-
respondence with anything that I feel. I don’t have any rela-
tionship with that creature.
What about the bear then, Ben?
BC: Now that is an animal I relate to. Don’t forget that
the North Star, the star that most men looked to throughout
the ages for orientation, is at the tip of the little bear’s tail.
We are all where we are because some explorer or scout or
family guided themselves with [it].
It seems that duality, almost as a virtue or ideal, is cen-
tral to what you’ve captured collectively with this novel-
with-soundtrack. Joseph, does the elephant seal, another
prominent image, have anything to do with that?
JM: Elephant seals represent the vulgarity of mammalian
existence, the beauty and the violence. [They are] a meta-
phor for the total duality of the book, the duality of us, the
duality of the answers to this interview, [and for] just breath-
ing so long as one might with the dark magnet calling from
however far off in the distance.
All this counterpoint and ambiguity suggests a pretty
open canvas ultimately. Given that, how in tune would you
say you were over the course of this project?
JM: Always in tune but with respect for cacophony.
On the Road (out of Los Angeles)
Book/Soundtrack project continues ‘the rambler tradition’
Photo courtesy of Ben Chasny
Joseph Mattson (left) and Ben Chasny
EMPTY THE SUN
A novel by Joseph Mattson
Music by Six Organs of Admittance
Published by A Barnacle Book & Record
Distributed by Drag City
First trade paperback with CD soundtrack
$15 A Barnacle Book & Record; 1st Edition (November 3, 2009)
Also available as Vinyl LP soundtrack with large-format book
(limited to 1000 copies; $20 A Barnacle Book & Record; 1st
Edition (November 3, 2009)
October 30 - November 6, 2009 36
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“WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE” (-)
The minus I give this children’s story pains
me. As I have written many times, I don’t
enjoy movies that can in any way be described
as a cartoon/fable, which surely this ﬁlm is.
So I went to this movie somewhat prejudiced
The picture is based on a book by Maurice
Sendak, whom I know and admire. I once
asked him to illustrate a children’s book that
I was writing with my sister about my brother
who was a great athlete, unlike me who was
terrible at sports. He declined saying that his
style and type of art would not be appropriate
for our book.
The story is about a young boy, Max (Max
Records), who lives with his loving mother
(Catherine Keener) and his sister, a minor
character in the ﬁlm. Max runs away one night,
crosses a body of water, and lands on an island
where he meets a half dozen creatures who
accept him as their king. Max doesn’t know
that they have had other kings, all of whom
they have eaten.
The animal characters, hybrids and scary in
appearance, look like they had been on “The
Island of Dr. Moreau.” The lead animal, Carol
(voice of James Gandolﬁni), is really frighten-
ing. He constantly threatens to eat Max, but
is sorry when he leaves the island. KW (voice
of Lauren Ambrose) is a female of the same
species. She saves Max from Carol by taking
him into her mouth for a short while and then
If I had seen this ﬁlm when I was eight, I
would have been terriﬁed. That did not seem
to be the case with the youngsters in the theater
when I saw the picture. I did not hear one child
crying during the movie.
I saw the ﬁlm with PA, who did not enjoy
it, and with PB who did. I was advised by PT,
who has not seen the ﬁlm, that I would look
and sound like a jerk if I criticized it. So, while
I won’t disparage it, I must state that I did not
enjoy it. After seeing the picture, my friends
and I questioned what its moral was. No one
could come up with one except for PT who said
it was that a little boy could master his own
HG said he disliked the ending most of all,
when Max’s mother on having her son home safe
and sound, falls to her knees, hugs him, and gives
him chocolate cake and milk. I said that was the
only scene I loved. HG said, “She was too forgiv-
ing, and the kid will run away again.”
So, Maurice, while I didn’t enjoy the ﬁlm,
you did something quite brilliant. You got us
all thinking and arguing about the movie which
is no little feat.
Run time: 1 hour, 34 minutes. Rated PG.
At, among other places, Regal Union Square
Stadium 14 (850 Broadway; at 13th St.). For
screening times, call 212-253-2225. For the
Box Ofﬁce, call 212-253-6266.
“KILLING KASZTNER” (+)
This brilliant documentary seeks
to establish the hero status of Rudolf
Kasztner. Kasztner bargained successfully
with Adolf Eichmann to save the lives of
1,600 or more Jews, who were transported
out of Hungary to Switzerland, and 19,000
Jews who were sent to work camps instead
of death camps. Shortly before the end
of World War II, Eichmann successfully
arranged for the killing of near 600,000
Kasztner ends up in Palestine under the
British, ultimately becoming a member of
the Ben-Gurion government in the new
state of Israel. He is called a collabora-
tor by another Israeli who is then sued
by the Israeli government for libel. The
judge hearing the case believes Kasztner
lied about certain documents and ﬁnds the
alleged slanderer of Kasztner not guilty.
Ultimately the Israeli Supreme Court
reverses the judgment, but Kasztner’s rep-
utation is never fully restored.
The documentary spectacularly sets
forth what occurred and establishes, to
my satisfaction, that Kasztner was a hero.
Kasztner is killed shortly after the ﬁrst trial
ﬁnding him to be a collaborator. His assas-
sin, who is presented in the ﬁlm, comes to
the conclusion that he was wrong. He now
believes that Kasztner was a hero bargaining
with the Nazis to release Jews in exchange
for money — $1000 for each Jew.
The movie contains a number of
enthralling vignettes. One of those is
about the Satmar’s founding rabbi, Joseph
Teitelbaum, who was saved by Kasztner by
being placed on the train to Switzerland.
When asked to appear at the Israeli Court
on behalf of Kasztner, he refused saying
that Kasztner did not save him, God did.
The Satmar, one of the largest Hasidic
groups in New York City, is centered in
“Killing Kasztner” will cause you to
weep, although there are no concentra-
tion camp scenes at which six million Jews
died. As far as the world is concerned,
the Holocaust appears to be slipping into
ancient history, like the days of Rome and
I urge everyone, Jew and Gentile, to
see this ﬁlm and meet the surviving family
members of Rudolf Kasztner, particularly
his wife and daughter. It is playing at the
Cinema Village. The theater was near full
when I went, and the audience appeared to
consist of elderly Jews, some of whom may
have been survivors.
Run time: 116 minutes. Unrated. At
Cinema Village (22 East 12th Street,
between Fifth Avenue and University
Place). For screening times, call 212-924-
Koch: Not wild about these ‘Things’
Courtesy of the Krasztner family
Rudolph Krasztner on the raido in Israel
October 30 - November 6, 2009 38
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HAIR U COLOR U TREATMENTS U STYLING
CHILDREN’S CUTS U THOUGHTFUL GIFTS
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5 Harrison Street | Suite A | New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212.619.0666 | Fax: 212.691.6326
“FRANKENSTIEN” This rock musical
concert retelling of Mary Shelley’s iconic
talke features a legend-laden band whose
musicians include past members of Frank
Zappa’s The Mothers of Invention. Sat., Oct.
31, 8 p.m. at The Highline Ballroom (431
West 16th St.). For $65/$50/$35 tickets,
www.theatermania.com (search Franken-
steinNYC09) or call 866-811-4111. Visit
MERCHANT’S HOUSE The highly
haunted museum hosts several events
tied to its spooky reputation. Their “Fam-
ily Friendly Ghost Tour” happens Noon to 5
p.m. on Oct. 31, every 20 minutes. After the
“just spooky enough” tour, come downstairs
for cider, creep cakes, lady fingers, and spir-
ited 19th century activities. Recommended
for ages 7-12. Adults & Children $10. Res-
ervations suggested but not required. At
7 and 9 p.m. on Oct. 31, “Ghost Stories of
the Merchant’s House Museum” features
official Merchant’s House ghost-storyteller,
Anthony Bellov reading selections from
19th-century horror classics and recounting
highlights from his ongoing research into
the strange and supernatural occurrences
at the Merchant’s House Museum — in
a parlor arranged for a mid-19th century
funeral. $25, reservations required. At Mer-
chant’s House Museum (29 East Fourth St.)
Call 212-777-1089 or visit www.merchant-
THEATER FOR THE NEW CITY’S 33RD
ANNUAL HALLOWEEN COSTUME
BALL This event features underground
stars performing in TNC’s Halloween Caba-
rets, prizes for best costumes, and Hallow-
een delicacies in The Witches’ Cauldron.
The one-night fiesta takes over all four of
TNC’s theater spaces, plus its lobby and the
block of East Tenth Street between First and
Second Avenues. Sat, Oct. 31, 7:30 p.m. at
Theater for the New City (155 First Ave. at
E. 10th St.). $20. Costume or formal wear
required. Call 212-254-1109 or visit www.
“ R O G E R C O R MA N: P O E &
BEYOND” Independent film pioneer
Roger Corman gets the respectful ret-
rospective treatment in this celebration
of “the unholy union of two of America’s
great masters of horror, Edgar Allan
Poe and Roger Corman.” Featured films
include “House of Usher” on Nov. 1 at 3
p.m., “The Pit and the Pendulum” on Oct.
31 at 5 p.m., “Tales of Terror” on Oct. 31
at 3 p.m., “The Raven” Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.
and Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. and “The Masque of
the Red Death” on Oct. 30/31 at 9 p.m.
and Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.; at Anthology Film
Archives (32 Second Avenue). $9 gen-
eral admission. Call 212-505-5181 or visit
THE RENALDO THE ENSEMBLE These
idie art rockers dress in 1930s noir cos-
tumes and while performing dadaist
gags, absurdist skits and compelling rock,
tango and opera. Their Halloween show
takes place Oct 31 at the Living Room
(154 Ludlow Street), which doubles as a
CD release party. Tickets are $10, which
includes a free copy of their upcoming
CD, “Why Are You?”
EYE ON WALL STREET This exhibition
marks the return of contemporary fine arts
to Federal Hall for the first time since its
re-opening in Fall 2006. See photographs
of the Financial District (by Arthur Lavine,
shot in 1969) as well as a series of 3 time
lapse videos created by Bill Dolson —
plus a selection of paintings by contem-
porary artists who’ve made Wall Street
and Lower Manhattan the subject of their
work. Free ; Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, through
Oct 30, at Federal Hall (26 Wall St, at
Broad St). For info, call 212-340-1273 or
“FACES” Letty Nowak’s exhibition of
new paintings focuses on faces, but are not
“portraits” in the classical sense. Through
December, at Hal Bromm Gallery (90 West
Broadway at Chambers St). Call 212-732-
6196 or visit www.halbromm.com.
BEAUTY SURROUNDS US Visitors
can see a unique display including an
elaborate Quechua girl’s dance outfit, a
Northwest Coast chief’s staff with carved
animal figures and crests, Seminole turtle
shell dance leggings, a conch shell trum-
pet from pre-Columbian Mexico, and an
Inupiak (Eskimo) ivory cribbage board.
Two interactive media stations show visi-
tors in-depth descriptions of each object.
Ongoing through March, 2010, at the
National Museum of the American Indian
(One Bowling Green). Call 212-514-3700,
or visit nmai.si.edu.
I NTRODUCTORY ART WORK-
SHOPS Ar e you t hi nki ng about
t aki ng an ar t cl ass, but not sur e
what you want? Come to these art
workshops and try out a class before
commi tti ng to a ful l course. Cl ass
subjects include pottery, cartooning,
drawing and photographs. $15 per
workshop. The Educational Alliance
Art School, 197 East Broadway. Call
212-780-2300, x428; or, visit edalli-
PICK OF THE WEEK
Enter an immersive world of
churning gears, mechanical mon-
strosities, and steam-powered
cyborgs as the Abrons Arts Center’s
historic Playhouse and catacombs
are transformed into “Steampunk
Haunted House.” Haunted house
tour groups are admitted incre-
mentally into a labyrinthine world
that trades conventional devices
of blood and gore for the more
terrifying nuances of suspense and
meticulously engineered surprise.
Oct 30, 31 from 8pm to 11:30pm;
at Abrons Arts Center of Henry
Street Settlement (466 Grand St at
Pitt St). $25; $10 for students. For
tickets, www.theatermania.com or
Photo courtesy of Abrons Arts Center
Steam, plus punks, equals scare
October 30 - November 6, 2009 39
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Sciame is Committed to Lower Manhattan
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