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January 10th, 2006

Billboards: Don’t Axe Them, Tax Them

by Henry Stern

Scott Stringer held a Sunday press conference yesterday with Tom Duane to complain about the proliferation of billboard advertising on scaffolding erected over city sidewalks. The “slow-news-day event” was pioneered by Jay Goldin,?Ǭ when he was City Comptroller, and Chuck Schumer, when he was in Congress. The habit has also been picked up by Tony Weiner, Jeffrey Klein, Scott and other industrious public officials seeking a greater opportunity to serve. The story appeared in Newsday [August 8, 2005]. Wil Cruz, on pA13, “Illegal Ads Crackdown Urged.”
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Filed Under: Articles | New York | Politics

January 10th, 2006

SOHO Politics: Beyond The Fall

by D. Clark MacPherson

Political observers are watching out for a few races that will have meaning further down the line for Downtown. The contest for Speaker of the City Council is now heating up and the two main contenders are Christine Quinn of Manhattan and Melinda Katz of Queens. While it is thought that Katz has more money in the bank, it is also widely rumored that it’s time that deserving talent from the outer boroughs have a chance at the slot–Manhattanite Gifford Miller had his time at bat. Tom Manton, a powerful political presence from Queens has observed that Katz is a respected and capable Councilmember–a comment that states his case and deserves some reflection.
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January 10th, 2006

Community Board to SoHo: Get Lost!

by D. Clark MacPherson

SoHo: Paradise Regained for Bars, Clubs and Lounges; Paradise Lost for Families and Residents

As part of the effort to transform SoHo from an artist’s enclave of gothic guerilla art and galleries to a Times Square look-alike, the lower Manhattan business elite has successfully engineered a new direction for our community. We have always cherished a sprinkling of local watering holes–like Fanelli’s or Kenn’s Broome Street Bar–and have welcomed good neighbors like Diva and Novacento on West Broadway. But recently, the combination of multiple liquor license applications, illegal billboard signs festooned across our gothic architecture, and a complete lack of traffic enforcement, has threatened to further degrade our community.
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January 10th, 2006

Breaking News in the Battle to Save the West Village

by SoHo Journal Staff

* The City announced September 19th, that they will vote the following day to calendar the two new historic districts they are proposing for the Far West Village (calendaring is the critical first official step in considering an area for landmark designation and brings some basic protections to the site before full landmarking is voted upon).?Ǭ Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has fought hard to have them accelerate this date, because they have been very concerned about owners/developers demolishing and/or severely altering buildings before they are calendared to avoid designation; originally, the calendaring of both districts was not supposed to happen until many months from now.
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Filed Under: Articles | New York | Politics

January 10th, 2006

State of SoHo: Conflict of Disinterest…

by D. Clark MacPherson

To some, SoHo is about restaurants and shopping. For others, SoHo is about strolling down West Broadway in search of artists showing original work. But one thing is certain-both the tourists and the residents came here because of SoHo’s rich artistic heritage. The art and the money that followed into this cobblestone bohemian frontier lured the developers here. (Yes, there were cobblestones here in the 40’s and 50’s).
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Filed Under: Articles | New York | Politics

January 10th, 2006

Dockers: An environmental disaster in the making

by D. Clark MacPherson

The project at Dockers seeks to create a 60-slip marina behind a restaurant whose mini-bluff was created in the 1960’s by developer/landowner Bill Swan. He apparently operated by his own version of environmentalism and just set to work whenever he felt like it. In this case, he dredged a 600-foot long channel in this location, before there was an effective D.E.C. review process under the Tidal Wetlands Act. Swan’s little “procedure” is still returning to normalcy in this shallow water system in Shinnecock Bay-but it now faces a new onslaught.
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Filed Under: Articles | Politics | the Hamptons

January 10th, 2006

Review: Diva Restaurant

by Lorraine Haughton

341 W. Broadway
(between Broome and Grand Streets)
212.941.9024

While most would expect a restaurant bearing the name Diva to live up to it’s pretentious title-one visit to this SoHo gem proves the exact opposite. The small logo gracing the fa?ɬade gives an early indication of what awaits inside: an unassuming, yet quite impressive experience. From the minute you step into the warm, inviting space, you’re in for a special treat. Owned by the dynamic brother-sister duo Naci and Gaye Yangin, who also run the Mexican restaurant Chango on Park Avenue, Diva has been on the SoHo scene for over 11 years. This cool, ultra-hip locale is a favorite of celebrities who want to eat, drink and relax in a laid-back, comfortable environment.
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Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

January 10th, 2006

Gender Violence: Violence Against Women in South Africa & The AIDS Pandemic

by D. Clark MacPherson

This is not a pleasant story. It is also not a popular subject. It’s not high on the Bush agenda and it’s one of the reasons why liberals are needed more than ever. How would Karl Rove deal with this difficult issue? Imagine that you are a young woman coming from a comfortable background, and you find yourself sitting in a prison, locked in a jail cell with a convicted rapist-in South Africa.
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Filed Under: Articles | New York | Politics

January 10th, 2006

Wall Street Rising

by D. Clark MacPherson

After 9/11 Julie Menin was just one of the many downtown residents stunned by the physical devastation as well as the psychological damage caused by the terrorist attack. Not only were many residents fleeing the area but businesses were also suffering. Suddenly, robust sales and crowds evaporated. Barricades went up and Army humvees took over the landscape. Several of those businesses that managed to weather that particular storm eventually failed due to the street closings, which compounded the problem. Her own restaurant, Vine, recently succumbed. But, from the ashes of 9/11 came the Phoenix of her very successful organizations, Do It Downtown and Wall Street Rising-two of the several initiatives that Julie Menin fostered during this desolate period in our history. As an attorney with 8 years of regulatory experience (dealing with the FTC, FDA, Department of Justice), and as a senior Colgate Palmolive attorney, she came to the task equipped with a wealth of knowledge and experience. The ingredient that brought all of this together was motivation. And, as a downtown resident with a child (now with three children), the fear and frustration gave way to a resolve to create and change. Menin had stopped practicing law in 1999 and had opened “Vine” in March of 2000, which was impacted as many other businesses had been by 9/11. Therefore she had insight both as a resident and a business owner. Wall Street Rising was originally formed to answer the question of how one survives in the new environment created by this disaster. Initially her organization helped business owners with lease negotiations and disputes, insurance problems, navigating the grant process, and exploring tax incentives. While it was challenging at first, the organization now has nearly 30,000 members-business owners, corporate executives and residents. Although it was originally a business-oriented organization, currently 60% of its members are residents.
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Filed Under: Articles | New York | Politics

January 10th, 2006

SoHo Interview: Councilmember Margarita Lopez, Candidate for Manhattan Borough President

by D. Clark MacPherson

In a small SoHo caf?���, the Cupping Room actually, City Council Member Margarita Lopez agreed to talk about her passion-politics.What initially was to be a short discussion about her views on SoHo’s problems and how she has developed her political persona over the years, turned into a well-deserved lecture on social policy.
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Filed Under: Articles | Interview | New York | Politics

January 10th, 2006

SAY NO! to Liquified Natural Gas in LI Sound!

by Enviromental Advocates

The Enviromental Advocates of New York have launched an awareness and action campaign regarding the pending Broadwater Energy plan for Long Island Sound.
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Filed Under: Articles | Politics | the Hamptons

January 10th, 2006

Bush’s Roach Motel

by Delbert Grady

You must remember the pitch-“they check in but they don’t check out”. Well, George W. Bush has gone it one better-they check in and a dozen more check out. Yes, I am talking Iraq here.
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Filed Under: Articles | New York | Politics

January 10th, 2006

An Update From Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer

by Scott M. Stringer

Dear Friend,

Greetings, I hope this email finds you well. I’m writing with an update on what I’ve been up to as your Borough President:
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Filed Under: Articles | New York | Politics

January 10th, 2006

Smokey is the Bandit — in the Palisades

by D. Clark MacPherson

How many old movies have you watched where the unsuspecting city slicker drives through a one horse town and gets pulled over by a good ol’ boy in a uniform with a gun who fleeces the out of towner; Even taking cash on the barrelhead for fines.
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January 10th, 2006

TENANTS OF 47 EAST 3rd STREET FIGHT MASS EVICTION ATTEMPT

by David Pultz

Since the Summer of 2003?Ǭ East Village tenants at?Ǭ 47 East Third Street have been waging a legal battle against mass eviction with landlords who claim to want to turn their 15 unit apartment building into a mansion for themselves. The landlords are using a loophole under the rent stabilization law for “owner use” in an attempt to empty out the entire 11,600 square foot, 60 room building. The tenants believe this action is a scam and an illegal assault on affordable housing in New York City.”
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January 10th, 2006

What If They Poisoned our Neighborhood and Nobody Told Us?

by Yori Yanover

Politicians and scientists say the Environmental Protection Agency is reneging on its post-9/11 promises. A friend of mine was at work on Church Street the morning of 9/11. He was in the much-photographed crowd running uptown, away from the bellowing clouds of crushed masonry and burnt interiors. He later described those clouds as a mythical, yellowish beast, roaring up the Manhattan canyon after its victims. Those of us who lived here at the time will never forget the permanent pillar of greasy soot that emanated from the urban valley of the shadow of death. It permeated everything, physical as well as psychic.
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January 10th, 2006

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer Delivers Inaugural Address

by SoHo Journal Staff

January 8, 2006 (New York, NY)?Ǭ Scott Stringer delivered his inaugural address today and said that his first term as Manhattan Borough President would center on the power of ideas.
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January 10th, 2006

Restaurants: The Inn Spot on the Bay

by Thom McVann

32 Lighthouse Road
Hampton Bays, NY 11946
631.728.1200
www.theinnspot.com

Remember last summer when we had a great meal at the Inn Spot in Quogue? My permanent dining companion, hungry and in no mood for questions, insisted that we drive off to the new and just opened waterfront sister to The Inn Spot, The Inn Spot on the Bay. Located on Lighthouse Road in Hampton Bays just north of the Ponquogue Bridge, this new addition to the Hampton restaurant scene is the perfect spot to have dinner and see a truly inspiring sunset.
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Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | the Hamptons

January 10th, 2006

NYS SUPREME COURT REBUFFS SLA; 500-FOOT RULE CLARIFIED

by Sean Sweeney

Community Activists Hope that the Community Boards Will Pay Heed

In a scathingly worded decision to a lawsuit filed by the SoHo Alliance against the NY State Liquor Authority (SLA), a NY State Supreme Court judge ruled that the Authority was “arbitrary and capricious” when it granted a liquor license to a restaurant in a section of SoHo oversaturated with 35 bars and licensed restaurants, adding that the decision by the SLA was not “rationally based”.

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January 10th, 2006

The Art of Water: SoHo’s Water Towers

by Alexandra Schwimmer

Watch those water towers! They are performing a private dance across the rooftops of SoHo. Where there is life, water is never far away and we choose to store it right above us. Gravity is the key to these structures we depend on daily. For the past one hundred and forty eight years, water towers have been a necessary element of city living. The commercial use of elevators raised the possibilities of building heights to a previously impractical level. 488 Broadway (at Broome Street) installed the first commercially viable elevator in 1857. The first wooden roof tank, invented by Abraham Isseks, was quick to follow.
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Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

January 10th, 2006

NYC Picture Show: Awards At The Grocery

by Laura Fay

If you didn’t win one of those Goya soup cans and you thought you couldn’t go on any more as a budding filmmaker, take heart and know that I too was a loser at The Arlene’s Grocery Picture Show Awards Ceremony. That night will go down in my history page as a night to remember. I was up close and personal with the likes of Michael Musto, Nelly McKay, Dolomite, Horshack, Piper Pirabo, Bambi, (my rival mermaid from The Mermaid Parade) and did I forget to mention the great Ben Gazarra, and the inimitable Peter Bogdonavich? I couldn’t believe the star power! So, I didn’t win that night, but I may have gotten a producer for my feature film. As I sat all the way up front near the stage, I wondered if the winners knew they won. Whenever I watch the Oscars, (which isn’t very often) I always want to know if they even know if they won ahead of time.?Ǭ Just watching some of the winner’s antics was worth only being an official entry. There was the fascinating Lola Rock’N Rola who accepted her award, then made out on stage with one of her co-winners of “Tits and Blood”, and proceeded to mosh-pit dive into the crowd which carried her around while the great house band played some of my favorite rock classics, like “Highway To Hell”. I knew with only 35 prize cans to go around my chances were pretty slim, so I sat there with a laize-faire attitude, while my man (as well as my lead guitarist, and his girlfriend) secretly rooted for me. What was I going to say, if I won? How would I not loose my cool? How would I stay poised and speak eloquently during my acceptance speech? Or worse yet, forget to thank all the people involved with my little film short, (which weren’t that many). I decided to let go and let the Goya gods decide my fate. Of course I realized I wore the completely wrong outfit. Ah hell, let’s face it; I would’ve worn a potato sack just to win one of those things. But alas, it was not meant to be. Maybe next year, baby, maybe next year.
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Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

January 10th, 2006

Kimora Lee & Russell Simmons Host The Art For Life Party

by SoHo Journal Staff

The sixth annual Art for Life East Hampton benefit gala, held at the home of Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons on Saturday, July 30, raised more than $1.3 million to support the creative expression of underserved youth in New York City.
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Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | the Hamptons

January 10th, 2006

Burlesque Against Breast Cancer

by C.B. Coakley

On Wednesday, September 21 Ilise “The Lady I” Carter and her co-chair, Cori Neustein brought together the absolute all-stars of burlesque for one night only to get naked for a good cause. The Miss Hollywood Follies Presents “Burlesque Against Breast Cancer” was a fabulously cheeky evening of entertainment at the Slipper Room, with all proceeds going to benefit the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Institute.
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Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

January 10th, 2006

Nightlife Music: Quasilulu

by J.J. Connelly

Quasilulu played Arlene’s Grocery a couple of times this past summer. I’ve always been impressed with both their stage presence and their musical range. Lead singer and guitarist Rona Figueroa is no stranger to the stage. Her experience includes roles in Broadway’s Miss Saigon, Les Mis?rables, and most recently in Lennon. I got to see her at a preview in which she played the part of Yoko Ono and was blown away by both her acting ability and her vocal range. The rest of the bands lineup is equally as impressive. Backup singer Coleen Gonzales, electric violinist Lyris Hung, guitarist Ernie Fortunato, bassist Mat Fieldes and drummer Damien Bassman have collective experience ranging from west-coast-pop acts, Broadway musicals, the Julliard School, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra to name a few.
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Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

January 10th, 2006

The Black & Blue Ball 12: Queens of the Night

by Violet Whiplash

This year’s Black & Blue Ball 12: Queen of the Night, ‘Taint Nobody’s Business If I Do, was held at historic Webster Hall, built in 1886 and a fitting locale for the evening’s theme of “Red Hot Blues Mamas.” The joint was filled to the rafters with said swells and dolls dripping in fetish and themed costumes. The throng of hot steppers, dolls & songbirds from the main stage was led by the multi talented Miss Shelly Watson and Webster Hall Director Shane Savant. The June Penthouse Pet, Valentina Vaughn, with microphone in hand, smiled sweetly for the cameras in her custom mint colored latex outfit courtesy of Vex Latex.
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Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

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