Archive by Author

Don’t Build a Bridge to Diller Island with our Tax Dollars

SAVE MONEY AND SAVE PIER 40: Barry Diller is about to receive permission from the Hudson Park Trust Board to build a $100 million 2. 9 acre concrete undulating pier like platform for outdoor paid performances and the city and state have agreed to build 2 causeways to it for $39.5 million. West View suggests that for $30 million of that $139.5 million the corroding steel piles of the pier can be secured and seating for 800 can be installed for theatrical, music and athletic events. Rendering by Brian J. Pape.

On February the 11th the thirteen members of the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) will sit down to accept the offer of billionaire Barry Diller to spend $130 million dollars to build a 2.9 acre, undulating, reinforced concrete island supported by three hundred concrete mushrooms standing 70 to 30 feet above the Hudson. Designed by [...]

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No Kisses for Hershey

SHAME ON THEM! Tea & Sympathy’s Nicki Perry was outraged that Hershey had moved to ban the importation of Cadbury’s chocolate products from the U.K. Photo by Maggie Berkvist.

What is an ex-pat to do? Unless Hershey’s recent action can be turned around,all those imported childhood favorites from Cadbury’s—Kit-Kat, Toffee Crisp, Crunchie, and many more—will be banned! And although, as it has for years, Hershey will continue to make Cadbury products for sale in the U.S., the ingredients are different and, as the connoisseurs [...]

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Polished Notes on Sixth Avenue

COME HAVE A LISTEN: The newly installed, 40-rank pipe organ gracing the choir loft of the Church of St. Joseph’s. Photo by George Goss.

“George, perhaps you can just play gently.” This last minute advice from the conductor before my debut performance as a member of the fifth grade class band is a humbling segue into my present task of informing the good readers of Westview News about the newly installed 40 rank pipe organ gracing the choir loft [...]

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Welcome A “Board”

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Dr. Jonathan Keith passed his Oral Board Examination, no small feat! Photo courtesy of Katie Keith.

Dr. Jonathan Keith, a sometime contributor to this paper, passed his oral board examination for the American Board of Plastic Surgery in December. Big whoop you say? Not so fast… the board certification process is not merely a rubber stamp. The pass rate varies year-to-year, but in 2012 over 20% of the candidates failed. Candidates [...]

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Extreme Wealth Continues to Grow out of Control, While Inequality Worsens for the Rest of Us.

40 OWN HALF OF US WEALTH: The few who control trading are, with increasing speed, gathering the world’s wealth.

When I saw an arresting graphic on Bill Moyer’s show indicating that only 40 individuals owned as much as half the US population, I knew I wanted to share it with the readers of West View. When we asked the author for permission, he generously let us reproduce his original article. There is no question [...]

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How Much is a Life Worth

LIVING WITH MADNESS: Robert Durst (left), older brother of Douglas Durst (right) has disgorged his involvement in three murders for an upcoming TV series. Developer Douglas Durst has proposed saving Pier 40 and offering it to start up hi-tech companies.

I feel for Douglas Durst. He not only grew up with a mentally disturbed and obviously psychopathic brother—who probably killed three people and now most certainly wants to kill Douglas— but the latest horror is brother Robert freely disgorging his fantasies in an upcoming TV series. When the Times came to Douglas to get his [...]

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Ruth Berk Is Free! (Almost)

Photo by Maggie Berkvist.

Ruth Berk, the 91-year-old Christopher Street resident, and a historic part of the Village—she ended a career as an opera singer to open the Waverly Lounge in the Hotel Earl on Washington Square North, and became its resident cabaret singer—finally returned home to 95 Christopher Street on January 22, after spending 11.5 months in two [...]

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West Village Original: James Stewart Polshek

A BOLD PLAT FORM FOR VIEWING SPACE: in his signature effort 86 year-old West Villagearchitect James Polshek matched the visions of space with a soaring open plan in theNew York Rose Center for Earth and Space. Image courtesy of ©AislinnWeidele.

This month’s West Village Original is architect James Stewart Polshek, born in Akron, Ohio in 1930. Among the many projects he has designed—both nationally and internationally—are the Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas, the Santa Fe Opera and, closer to home, the Rose Center for Space at the Museum of Natural History,Scandinavia House, the Lycée Françaisde [...]

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Gung Hay Fat Choy – Happy New Year

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Chinese New Year (this is the Year of the Sheep or Goat) begins on February 19th. The Chinatown parade is set for the afternoon of Saturday, February 21st, beginning at 1pm.

2015 is the Year of the Sheep, and Chinese New Year is Thursday, February 19ththis year. The 16th Annual Chinatown Lunar New Year Parade in New York will take place at 1:00 PM on Saturday, February21, 2015 featuring floats, marching bands, lion and dragon dances galore, Asian musicians, magicians, acrobats and local NYC organizations. If [...]

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Science from Away: Fountain of Youth?

VALUABLE for the UNDERSTAN DING OF LIFE: Parabiosis (above) is a process which involves sewing two rats together, so that on healing they would share the same circulatory system.

Paul Bert, who died in 1886 in Hanoi at the age of 53, was a Frenchman who wore many hats, varying from politician to scientist. He is best known for his understanding of life at both high pressure—he understood the malady that beset a person returning too quickly from the depths of the sea, the [...]

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Rare Bird

THE BIRD: Couch’s Kingbird. Photo by Keith Michael.

The birders are coming, the birders are coming! Tall birders, round birders, old birders learning new tricks. Birders knee-high-to-a-mailbox, with binoculars already weighing them down. Curmudgeonly “I’m just listing the birds” birders. Amiable birders, who conversationally use words like frugivorous and greater primary-coverts, as a way to draw novices into their adoring circle. Birders from [...]

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The Jefferson Market Courts – A Timeline (Part One)

HISTORY OF COURTS: Jefferson Market, c. 1865. Photo courtesy of the New York Public Library.

The Jefferson Market branch library was originally a courthouse. But there were courts on the site well before 1877, when the present building opened. The Jefferson Produce Market opened in 1833, alongside a fire tower and a small jail. A police court (called a “policeoffice”) opened there in 1845. Then, in one form or another, [...]

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Walk About New York: From Communion to Condo, Part 1Churches Are Born Again as Residences

VILLAGE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: The massive, white Doric columns of this former church, now a collection of 15 condo units, are imposing but also comforting with their simple, classic beauty. Photo by Phil Desiere.

Two historic Greenwich Village churches—the Village Presbyterian Church and the Washington Square Methodist Church—have seen their pews turned into pantries, their altars altered and their choirs silenced. From the worship of God to the worship of mammon, both houses of worship are now divided into condominiums. We will consider each edifice in a two-part series. [...]

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A Road Forward From The Silver Scandal

PROPOSING REFORMS TO GIVE NEW YORKERS THEIR GOVERNMENT BACK: Paul Newell is a community organizer and Democratic district leader in Lower Manhattan’s 65th Assembly District. Photo courtesy of Paul Newell.

Paul Newell is a Male Democratic District Leader for a portion of Sheldon Silver’s District. He was an active NYC leader of Barack Obama’s historic campaign to win the NY Presidential Primary in 2008, and the next year he ran an insurgent campaign against Silver for the Assembly. Coming out of nowhere, he won the [...]

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Taste of Greenwich HouseUnveils 2015 Culinary Trends

COOKING UP THE NEXT CULINARYTRENDS: Will ‘insect balls’ replace traditional meatballs in 2015? A locust burgerhas already made its debut. Photo: CarrieNewman.

Foodies, bloggers, and celebrity chefs are already speculating what the shining star on 2015’s culinary stage will be. Kale and quinoa were the super foods of 2012. 2013 was the year of the dumpling. In 2014, meatballs were supreme. For 2015, the Taste of Greenwich House—the Village’s premier food festival and annual fundraiser for the [...]

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Restaurant News Location, Location, Location

A NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING PLACE: Hamilton Soda Fountain, a corner of nostalgia in the West Village. Photo by John Barrera.

The Hamilton Soda Fountain Opening a restaurant in the West Village is like starting on second base in the baseball game of life. After all, you have foot traffic from all over the world, you have the “tony” clientele, and you have an aesthetically pleasing backdrop for your new venue. If you do become a [...]

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Restaurant News A Jaded Restaurant Goer is Fooled!

FOOD AND QUALITY-DRIVEN AT SANTINA: FrittoMisto that includes various seafoodand celery and olives.Photo by David Porat.

Barbara Chacour, a fellow WestView Newscontributor and a neighbor in the West Village,came into my office and asked what Iwas writing on this month. Having been real busy for the holidays, been in SF working and eating around, and having eaten all over town this week—honorable mention to Tuome in the East Village, Little Park [...]

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Lower Levels Better Living

KICK THAT HANGOVER OUT OF BED: Ease back into wine drinking by choosing varieties with lower alcohol levels, or ABV (alcohol by volume), such as the Regnie or Tocai Friulano, above. Photo by Cristiano Andrade. Photo by Maggie Berkvist

Some of us are feeling new and refreshed from our January purge of those glorious holiday toxins. Most of us hope we’ve finally paid off those holiday credit card bills! I, myself, didn’t skip a beat and had a very boozy New Year’s Day “recovery” brunch with my Brooklyn crew. For those easing themselves back [...]

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Early French Film at the Jefferson Market Library

Early French Film at the Jefferson Market Library

France is considered the birthplace ofcinema and has always been at the centerof developments in the medium. StartingFebruary 21st at Jefferson MarketLibrary and continuing on the next fourSaturdays, the class “A Cultural Historyof French Film” will explore the richhistory of French film from its originsin the late nineteenth century until theend of the Second World [...]

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Jim Fouratt’s Reel Deal: Movies That Matter

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

I am writing this column from Park City, Utah home of the 26th SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. Today there are actually two Sundances. The one you see on TV full of stars—Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Robert Redford, Iggy Azalea, Common and John Legend—partying on Main Street. The other Sundance, the one Robert Redford founded to celebrate [...]

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A Call for Integrity

“These charges go to the very core of what ails Albany—a lack of transparency, lack of accountability, and lack of principle joined with an overabundance of greed, cronyism, and self-dealing.” — U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara January 21, 2015 U.S. Attorney Bharara has said it before, but this time he got the biggest fish, the King [...]

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January VID Meeting

On Thursday, January 8, the Village IndependentDemocrats (VID) held theirmonthly meeting. There were brief reportsfrom newly elected president Nadine Hoffmanand Democratic district leader KeenBerger. This was followed by elections forclub positions and a new executive board. Frieda Bradlow and Ellen Peterson were elected as co-treasurers, Kathy Slawinski as recording secretary, and Ed Yutkowitz and Jonathan [...]

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Rent Control a Bad Deal

Dear Mr. Capsis, The loss of your paper for West Village residents would be a tragedy. That said, youreditorial comment in “Only The Rich…”while well intentioned was erroneous inimplying that rent control was a good deal, [and] in fact cementing that view by using the $500 and $600 rents of people you know as examples. [...]

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Titanic Facts

Hello George, Your coverage of Pier 55 is thoughtful and informative as are all your articles on the Village, and I thank you for that. What I take exception to is a contributor listed on your masthead who doesn’t do his homework. Page 5, Barry Benepe; Pier55: An Island Rises The Titanic lost over 1500 [...]

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What’s Love Got to do With “Likes”?

To figure out what you love, it is helpful to examine your “likes.” Everyone is familiar with the phrases “to know her is to love her” and “to know him is to love him.” Exploring your own list of likes—getting to know yourself— has the potential to increase the love in your life. You might [...]

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Je Suis Charlie! Blasting De Blasio:Is it Dinkins Redux?

We live in one of the most segregated communitiesin America. It is ironic becausewe also live in one of the most politicallyliberal communities in America. In CommunityBoard 2, which goes from 14thStreet to Canal Street, Hudson River toFourth Avenue/Bowery, only 2% of theresidents are Black. Other than a little partof Chinatown, we live in a [...]

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Eating Healthy When it is Cold Outside

Brrr…it’s cold out there. You either don’t want to get out or you can’t. You know you have to eat, and should eat healthy, but wonder what, how, and maybe even…Idon’t care. Does this sound familiar? We’re here to help. As I tell my patients, be realistic and take it one step at a time. [...]

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Diller Builds a Monument to Indifference

CAPTION: DILLER ISLAND OR AN EMERGENCY ROOM: Barry Diller has agreed to spend $100 million to build and operate an undulating concrete performance island on 300 mushroom shaped piles within view of his office on 19th Street and 11th Avenue, and the city and state have agreed to spend another $35 million to build an embankment and two causeways to Diller Island. Meanwhile Mike Novogratz, the Chair of Friends of Hudson River Park, after withdrawing his surreptitious $100 million offer to buy the air rights of Pier 40, applauds the Diller effort as “a great example of how Big Philanthropy can make a real difference in the lives of New Yorkers,” while ignoring WestView’s plea that his three block long St. John’s Terminal building be used for a medical research center and hospital. Top rendering credit: Pier55 Inc./Heatherwick Studio. Bottom rendering credit: www.4d-3d.com.

PS 41 graduate, and architectural critic for The New York Times, Michael Kimmelman, thinks that One World Trade Center looks as hostile and forbidding as General MacArthur in dark glasses, (NYT 11/30/14) and that the solution to affordable housing is pre-fabricated apartments, the size of a parking space, piled up one on top of each [...]

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Pier55 – A Neighborhood Park

Pier55 – A Neighborhood Park

By now, many WestView readers have read about Pier55, a spectacular new public park that we hope to open as part of Hudson River Park in 2019. But how did we get here? The story of Pier55 really dates back 40 years, when activists faced off with public officials who were determined to build Westway [...]

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Pier 55: An Island Rises

Pier 55: An Island Rises

On Wednesday, November 3rd, the Community Board Two Waterfront Committee heard and saw its first presentation of the design for a new Pier 55. (The Bromley Map of 1911 shows no Pier 55, the only missing pier on the island). This design is truly extraordinary in many respects. Unfortunately, in none of the many views [...]

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