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March 23rd, 2007


by Chip Maloney

book_cover.jpgPart One of this two-part interview may be read here.

Best-selling author Larry “Ratso” Sloman’s latest book, “The Secret Life of Houdini: The Making of America’s First Superhero,” makes several bold new claims regarding the storied life and mysterious death of the mythic magician and escape artist. Among those claims is that Houdini was a spy who operated at the very top levels of both the United States and England’s thenfledgling intelligence communities, and that he may have been assassinated by powerful rivals with their own political connections for his passionate personal crusade against phony psychics and spiritualists. Sloman and co-author William Kalush have ripped away the veil of secrecy surrounding Houdini and thoroughly dispelled the abundant falsehoods about Houdini’s unusual activities and equally extraordinary career with irrefutable evidence culled from exacting and unprecedented research that began in SoHo.

SoHo Journal: Did you discover if Houdini was paid anything for his espionage activities?
Larry Sloman: Well, there was no money involved. These intelligence services were just starting at the time, and they had no budgets or organization on the level they have today. Houdini began his covert activities early in his career, and he got a tremendous boost of publicity from people like Scotland Yard’s Melville, who endorsed him. When Melville said “An absolute miracle,” about one of Houdini’s escapes, that really meant something. This was Scotland Yard’s “super” cop saying that, and this was a boon to Houdini in terms of attention and press. Houdini also considered himself a super patriot and felt that England and the United States were sister countries. He loved England as much as he loved America. Though he was a naturalized citizen who was born in Hungary, he told people he was born in the United States. He was very proud of America. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Interview | New York

March 23rd, 2007


by Ace Nympholi

morriconi-04.jpgIn an extraordinarily diverse career spanning more than half a century, Italian composer Ennio Morricone has written more than 500 film, television, radio and theatrical scores, but is probably best known for his theme music from the classic Sergio Leone spaghetti western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The quirky theme with its signature squawking vocal became an international pop hit in 1966, and since then Morricone has scored over 400 films, inclucing: Once Upon A Time In America, Days Of Heaven, Cinema Paradiso, The Untouchables, 1900, La Cage Aux Folles, The Burglars, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, The Mission, and Bugsy. Morricone’s numerous collaborations with Leone, a friend since childhood, have resulted in an unequalled legacy of some of the most astonishingly unique and memorable music in film history. Few composers have moved between musical genres and blended classical and modern styles as fluidly or effectively as Morricone, and his use of unorthodox instrumentation and avant-garde vocal and symphonic arrangements make his compositions instantly recognizable. Later this year, Morricone will receive an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement, though he has previously been nominated five times. Although Morricone is approaching 80, he is still quite active, with two upcoming film scores and an ongoing world concert tour that saw his first and only appearance on an American stage in his entire career. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

March 23rd, 2007


by Steven Anderson


Directed by Jon Jones; Written by Robert Harris
Starring Daniel Craig, Yekaterina Rednikova,
Gabriel Macht
Produced by Christopher Hall
NR, 124 mins, 2006

The new James Bond, Daniel Craig, advances with great care and judiciousness into the opening of the Soviet society– probably a lot more open than they would like to be. What “Archangel” puts on display for us is a former Oxford historian in Moscow for a conference on the recently-opened Soviet archives. A former Soviet Secret Police officer presents our historian with a once in a lifetime offer–secret files from Stalin’s office, buried in Lavrenty Beria’s front yard. But this being Russia, it’s not going to be anywhere near so easy as shuffling over to Beria’s house with a shovel in hand–no sir. Our historian’s going to have to face down the Soviet underworld to find out the secrets that Josef Stalin took to his grave.

It sounds brutally cool, doesn’t it? It’s just too bad that this movie has all the pace of cold borscht running uphill in a Siberian winter. In other words, it’s slow. Painfully slow. All in all, though “Archangel” isn’t an unpleasant movie, and if you’ve got the patience for a great payoff, then this is just what you need.


Directed by Kimball Carr; Written by Kimball Carr
Starring Johnny Alonzo, J. Michael Hunter, Kelley Davis, Humberto Gettys
Produced by Richard S. Marten, Josh Levy, Kimball Carr, Ethan E. Marten
NR, 19 mins, 2006

A movie that starts off with a quote from Einstein, especially a quote like “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one,” clearly has an agenda. And that agenda isn’t too likely to make much sense. But whether it leaves us mystified or merely confused depends on the execution, and “Samaritan” will prove that even a fantastic execution can’t salvage a lousy plot. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure

March 22nd, 2007


by Anthony Venditto

gadabout.jpgEvery one of us has a nemesis: an enemy we abhor; an unflappable foe that simultaneously drives us mad while inspiring us to reach down and dig deep for sterner stuff. Superman has Lex Luthor, Gargamel has the Smurfs, George Bush has the constitution and I… I have February. Every February catastrophe strikes me: one year my parents got divorced, once I had pneumonia. I got hit by a car in February, had my first heartbreak, the chickenpox, I was even arrested one February. Every year February pounces in an attempt to destroy me.

This year, though, I have a plan. I intend to spend as much time as possible in different neighborhoods getting snockered in an attempt to keep karma and February from catching up with me. The following is a log of what happened last Tuesday when I went out on a dry run.

11:30am- I wake up in a cold sweat. I know February is coming for me because the dream has started again. It’s the same every year: Tina Turner comes riding at me on a giant grey wolf dressed in her costume from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. She points a gnarled tootsie roll of a finger at me and howls, “February! Two men enter! One man leave! Two men enter! One man leave!” Over and over and over again. I cry myself back to sleep. It has begun. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | New York

March 22nd, 2007


by Chip Maloney

actress-01.jpgNavigating a course through the unguided and thick-with-disappointment jungle that is the New York City acting scene is a treacherous, soul-scarring undertaking that few are capable of and even fewer find any success with, but for Naama Kates there is no Plan B. Four years in hell later, her journey is nearly complete, with leading roles in two upcoming feature films; however, any measure of respite is a long forgotten fantasy for this determined 23-year-old actress, for she knows precisely how difficult this passage has been.

In person, it is abundantly clear that Naama is in possession of all of the talent, beauty, and poise God cheated everyone else out of. Her dreamy countenance and beguiling radiance is immediate, perfect and captivating… the stuff tortured composers and poets have long struggled to describe in immortal odes. There is little doubt that Naama Kates is headed for great things.

SoHo Journal: Acting is not an easy life. What made you pursue that?
No, it’s not easy. There’s a lot of downtime and waiting, and taking horrible jobs, but I knew I wanted to be an actress since I was three years old. Maybe I have some need for the adoration of the millions, but at the same time, I don’t want to be unable to go to a restaurant. I don’t really desire a Hollywood, family-movie type of career…but that doesn’t seem to be the direction I’m going in. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Interview | New York

March 22nd, 2007


by David B. Reck

dsc01488.jpgdsc01490.jpgdsc01493.jpgNow is the time for some serious trash talking. Thirty years ago when I came to Hudson Square it was a forgotten neighborhood with no name. I had little money but I had my dream. I am only one of the many loft pioneers that literally built our homes and our neighborhoods in the urban wilderness. Never in our worst, hellish nightmares could we have imagined that the Department of Sanitation all these years later would attempt to dump so much trash on our community. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Community | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

March 22nd, 2007


by Mr. Norman Maine

Having just celebrated 25 years with his successful Etherton Gallery in Tucson, Arizona, photography dealer Terry Etherton is happy to talk about the accomplishments and future of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD), of which he has been a member since 1985.

The fast talking, continually optimistic and energetic Etherton was on the board of this most distinguished group for 12 years beginning in 1993.

AIPAD was first organized in 1979, Etherton says, to give the collecting public faith in the dealers; this is an organization that polices itself, he says. Members of the organization, according to the published mission statement, agree “to conduct dealings with the public, museums, artists and other dealers with honesty and integrity.” As Etherton says, a client can feel secure in the knowledge that the seller has been checked out by other photography professionals and that those professionals adhere to a code of ethics. Dealers must meet a variety of criteria in order to qualify for membership in the association, including demonstrating that they have a high quality of work for sale and that they can point to exhibitions they have mounted. Any person looking to apply for membership must meet specific criteria for a minimum of five years before they can even apply and they must get the sponsorship of five current members of AIPAD. This, Etherton says, ensures that the public can feel secure that the seller has been evaluated by other professionals. “We exist to make the buyer feel secure that they are purchasing from a reputable dealer and, additionally, we are an organization buyers can come to in the event they have any issues that need to be addressed.” Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | Events | New York

March 22nd, 2007


by Sean Jaeger

You gotta love strip searches if you want to live in New York City. It’s the great social equalizer. Get busted and you get a perp walk in handcuffs and a strip search by friendly prison guards just inside the front door at Riker’s Island. Try to buy a multi-million dollar vertical McMansion co-op on the Fifth Avenue gold coast of Central Park and the people giving you the deep cavity body search are the people standing next to you in the elevator. That’s right. The reason that nosy looking geek in the other corner of the elevator is staring at you is because he knows where and how much money you have in the bank, what you made (to the penny) last year, and every thing you put down on your income tax–not just the address of that over-priced hovel you bought last year on the wrong side of the tracks in Hampton Bays. He also knows your social security number, your monthly mortgage payment, and the fact that your friendly neighborhood mortgage broker screwed you for an extra 1 per cent on the interest rate. Even if you are only trying to buy an overpriced studio apartment – not much bigger or better decorated than one of those cells on Riker’s Island – in one of those 1960’s white toilet tile brick monsters that clog the Upper East Side. Every member of the board and all their friends (your neighbors) will know more about what’s in your wallet than the guy who gave you that colonoscopy knows about your insides. It’s called board approval. Anywhere else in the country it would qualify as a public, social, and financial deep cavity probe. So, if you want to buy an apartment in New York City, get ready to bend over and spread ’em. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | the Hamptons

March 21st, 2007


by Harriet

go-go-02.jpgFact: A Jew knows their way around a Chinese food menu like a wasp knows their way around a liquor cabinet.

Every Sunday, being good Jews, my family would order Chinese food, gather around the T.V. and watch our Sunday night HBO programs. It was both a tradition and a significant memory, since it was the one day of the week we could all sit as a family and have dinner together. I remember the cold sesame noodles with crispy cucumbers, which I always drenched in the red-hot spicy oil, sucking the brown sauce out of the broccoli florettes before chewing them. Looking over and seeing the T.V. reflecting off the grease on my dad’s chin as he held his chop sticks and carton of lo-mein like a trough in the dark room. This was our tradition as a busy family living on the Upper East Side.

An interesting fact is that New York City has its own type of Chinese cuisine, tweaked from its original Chinese recipe. The differences are, however, subtle to most Americans, like a peach to a nectarine, a McDonald’s hamburger to a Burger King hamburger, Penelope Cruz to Paz Vega. There are variations of the same thing that are different but equally delicious in their own way depending on what you are used to. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | New York

March 21st, 2007


by John J. Flanagan

Any of you who watch daytime TV have no doubt seen one of the “Tell Someone” or “Be One Less” commercials by pharmaceutical giant Merck for its new HPV vaccine, Gardasil. HPV, human papilloma virus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and the cause of cervical cancer. This vaccine, targeted at girls ages 11-12, is not without controversy. We asked local women’s health expert Anne Miller, N.P. to shed some light on this issue.

SJ: Let’s start from the beginning: What is HPV and why do we care?
AM: HPV refers to a group of over 100 viruses. About 30 of these viruses are transmitted sexually, so HPV is often referred to as an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection). These viruses can cause genital warts and cervical cancer.

SJ: So HPV only affects women?
AM: At least 75% of sexually active people will be infected with HPV-men and women. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | New York | News | Take Action

March 21st, 2007


by Joelle Panisch


South of 15th Street and west of Hudson lies New York’s famed Meatpacking District. For decades, by day, it has been true to its name- a blue-collar industrial ‘hood where meat and poultry were slaughtered, processed, packaged, and sold. By night the neighborhood, with its uninhabited buildings and un-policed streets, was infamous for having housed the likes of the “morally un-obliged.” Gays, leatherheads, transsexuals, and in general the sexually deviant claimed the cobblestone as their nocturnal freedom land. It was gritty.

But in came Giuliani, and the millennium, and somehow New York changed. No longer an actualization of the proverbial Gotham City, the streets went from mean to… ehh. Out went the grit, up went the costs, and in came the “hot spots.” The affluent, ultra hip atmosphere that first overtook SoHo migrated and with it came gratuitously expensive commerce. Now, while the meatpacking industry dwindles, shops, salons and nightlife flourish, and young wealth overtakes a neighborhood that once was proletariat pure. Such extravagance spurs the question: with the continued influx of upscale culture is there any chance that the Meatpacking District can regain its original charm? Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | New York | Politics | Take Action

March 21st, 2007


by Trip Plunkitt


We hear that at the recent County Democratic Committee dinner, David Paterson was called to the dais to speak but was mysteriously absent -Lt. Governors often disappear after the election, but so soon? Also at the dinner were some possible candidates for public office: Current board chairs Maria Derr (CB2) and Julie Menin (CB1), both presumably running for office in ’08 and ’09, respectively, as well as wannabe CB2 chair Brad “I am NOT a bar owner!” Hoylman.

T R I P     P L U N K I T T
Governor Eliot Spitzer has inexplicably hired Carl Andrews (who some describe as the bag man* for disgraced former Brooklyn County Leader Clarence Norman) to be his director of intergovernmental affairs. This may expand Carl’s career opportunities tremendously. Remember Eliot’s campaign slogan: “Day one, everything changes” (except that day two, everything goes back to the way it was.)
*bagman: informal agent who collects or distributes the proceeds of illicit activities. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | New York | News | Politics

March 21st, 2007


by You the Reader

Feel free to voice an opinion on any subject; we want to hear what you have to say. Mail your thoughts and rants to
Letters c/o SoHo Journal, P.O. Box 1485 New York, NY 10013
or email us at

Dear Editor:
I love your new logo. I saw the date for the last issue was January/ Febuary- is the SoHo Journal going to be coming 6 times a year?
Todd Smith
Varick Street

Editor’s response: Thank you for noticing. Comments, and especially compliments are always appreciated! And yes, we are bi-monthly now.

Dear Editor:
I picked up the January/ February issue of your magazine and was delighted to see such an honest discussion of SoHo politics. As a long-time resident of downtown Manhattan, I have seen my neighborhood change slowly but dramatically over the years; recently, however, it seems as if this process has been accelerated. Everywhere I turn there is a new, massive construction project in the works, and, very regrettably, fewer and fewer of those glorious NYC facades of which I have grown so fond. These days, my neighborhood is all new building sites, filled with generic, shiny glass condos and giant billboards.
Before I read your piece, I had only seen a few little blurbs about Trump coming to SoHo; now that I have finished reading and re-reading your article, I will be joining every community group to protest this eyesore. Trump’s building will undoubtedly mar the landscape of SoHho, cause increases in traffic in an area that is already always victim to major jams, thanks to the Holland Tunnel, and will continue to drive up rents.
I refuse to be another silent resident of this fabulous–but deteriorating–neighborhood. I can’t believe that, once again, local politicians have failed the residents of Soho by allowing this building to go up. Thank you, D. Clark MacPherson, for setting the record straight, and for motivating me to take action before another hideous Trump building further depreciates our skyline.
Mark Schwartz
Greene Street
Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | Letters | New York

March 20th, 2007

Nadler Brunch at Barolo Sunday March 25th

by SoHo Journal Staff

The Friends of Jerry Nadler have organized Brunch at Barolo in honor of Congressman Jerry Nadler, newly appointed chairman of the House subcommittee on the constitution, civil rights and civil liberties. You are cordially invited to join Sharif Adlouni & Louis Adolfson (The Woolworth Tower Kitchen), Henry Buhl (SoHo & TriBeCa Partnerships), Carole DeSaram (TriBeCa Community Association), Clay Hiles (The International Longshoreman’s Association), John Krevey (Pier 66 Maritime), Donald Clark MacPherson (SoHo Arts Council), Margaret H Mayo (Gaffin & Mayo, P.C.), Julie Menin (Chair, Community Board One), Julie Nadel (The Hudson River Park Trust), David Reck (Friends of Hudson Square), Sean Sweeney (The SoHo Alliance), Gerald Weinstein (General Tools and Instruments, L.L.C.), Sybil and David Yurman, Alexandra Zetlin (Zetlin Strategic Communications) at Barolo Restaurant on Sunday, March 25th noon to 2pm.

Contribution levels available range from $1000 Sponsor to $500 Host to $100 Ticket. To RSVP or for more information, please contact David at McEnvoy & Associates: 212-228-7446 ext 14 or via email:

Filed Under: Community | Events | New York | Politics

March 20th, 2007

CMA’s Spring Break Offerings for Kids

by SoHo Journal Staff

exterior.jpgFounded in October 1988 by Kathleen A. Schneider, The Children’s Museum of the Arts is one of the oldest children’s art museums in the world. The Museum has been located in SoHo since its inception. Children’s Museum of the Arts celebrates the visual and performing artist in every child through teaching, collecting, creating and exhibiting children’s art.

During Spring Break this year, CMA is offering exciting workshops and extended hours that are sure to entertain and occupy your children while school is out over the coming weeks.

Children’s Museum of the Arts
Spring Break Schedule for April 2 – 10, 2006

Monday, April 2 1-4:30
Animal Masks. In this workshop children can transform themselves into their favorite animal by decorating a wearable paper mask with watercolors and drawing materials.

Tuesday, April 3 1-4:30
Found Object Cityscapes. Using cardboard, buttons, paper, and found objects, children will create relief sculptures of their favorite city.

Wednesday, April 4 4:30pm
Movie Night “The Wind in the Willow.” Come enjoy the animated version of this classic story.
Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Events | New York





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