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� N E I G H BO R H O O D C HAT TE R 9/11 Zadroga act Eligibility ExtEnds to canal st. The United States Department of Justice issued the final regulations on Monday, Aug. 29, for the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund (VCF), or the Zadroga Act, reported a press release from Council Member Margaret Chin’s office. One of the most notable changes was the expansion of the geographic zone recognized as the “9/11 crash site” from south of Reade Street to south of Canal Street. “I am encouraged by the broadening of the VCF area to include thousands of individuals and families who have been profoundly affected, physically and emotionally, by the September 11 attacks,” Chin noted. “Although I advocated for a more inclusive boundary, the expansion of the VCF area to cover residents between Reade and Canal Mr. Justice, part of the Americans 4 Justice group, outside the streets, many of whom receive treatment at the WTC Envi- New York Stock Exchange last week. He intended to raise awareness about corporate greed, but seemed like more of a crowd attraction. ronmental Health Center, is a welcome change.” PHOTO BY AndREw ScHwARTz Chin added that the regulations will take effect Oct. 3. Washington squarE Park outdoor Film sEriEs The IFC Center and the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation recently announced “Movies on the Square,” a free outdoor film series that will bring three New York musicals to the newly renovated Washington Square Park on Sept. 8, 15 and 22. The series is co-sponsored by New York University, whose campus borders the park. On the Town, the 1949 Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Ann Miller film, will kick off the series on Thursday, Sept. 8, followed by Hair on Sept. 15 and Wild Style on Sept. 22. The films depict or refer to New York City in very differ-

ent eras, from the postwar 1940s to the beatnik revolution of the 1960s to the graffiti and MC heyday of the 1980s. The screenings will take place on the large lawn at he northwest corner of the park and begin 30 minutes after sunset. imProving dElancEy After a fatality at the intersection of Delancey and Chrystie streets in mid-August, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Council Member Margaret Chin co-wrote a letter to the Department of Transportation (DOT), urging them to improve safety conditions on Delancey Street. In a

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release distributed last week, Squadron noted that despite improvements last year, “Delancey remains one of the most dangerous streets in this city.” Chin added, “The number of accidents between pedestrians and motor vehicles on Delancey is unacceptable.” The release, distributed by the council member and the senator, also noted a recent pedestrian fatality at the intersection of Delancey and Essex streets in May, adding that this particular intersection was among the deadliest in New York City. According to the release, DOT records show that from 2008 through 2010 there were “523 motor vehicle accidents at the intersection of Delancey and Essex streets, 14 of which involved pedestrians and cyclists.” “We know that the DOT plans to install pedestrian countdown signals along part of the Delancey Street corridor. We urge the DOT to begin this process immediately and to extend the pedestrian countdown signals at every intersection on Delancey,” the two wrote in their letter. Squadron and Chin both said they would work with the DOT and NYPD, as well as the community, fellow politicians and experts to improve the safety of these intersections. subWay bEst in shoW The report cards are in and, according to the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, which revealed its 14th annual “State of the Subways” report last week, the J/Z line, better known as the brown line, was best in class out of 18 subway routes. The C, part of the blue line, and the 2, part of the red line, tied for last place. This is reportedly the first year the J/Z has nabbed first place, while the C has consistently shown abysmal scores, coming in last in 2001, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

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JAN. 12-JAN. 25, 2011 Volume 3, Issue 1

CityArtsNYC.com Our e-newsletter delivered to your inbox once a week IN THIS ISSUE: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

The Met’s La traviata has JAY NORDLINGER seeing Decker.

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JOEL LOBENTHAL refutes Black Swan backstage behavior. Marina Poplavskaya starring in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Traviata.

LANCE ESPLUND praises Noguchi renovation & show.


Hello, Downtown New Yorkers!

Calm after the Storm

Like many businesses in Soho and environs, Balthazar restaurant on Spring Street (bottom left) boarded up its windows on Saturday, Aug. 28 in preparation for Hurricane irene. With most MtA service up and running by the morning of Monday, Aug. 29, Downtown Manhattan was more or less back to normal— with a few exceptions. Leaf debris (right) could still be found on the steps of the Vietnam Veterans Plaza on Water Street and a young lady hailing a cab on Hanover Square had to sidestep more than a few puddles left over from the storm.

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ur Town Downtown has officially launched (or should we say relaunched?). We have a history of covering Lower Manhattan; our parent company, Manhattan Media—publishers of community papers Our Town, West Side Spirit, Chelsea Clinton News and Dan’s Papers and lifestyle magazines New York Family and AVENUE—printed a similar version of this paper from about 2006 to 2007. After a four-year hiatus, we are officially back, but this time in a different form. Our Town Downtown is a merry hybrid of a traditional community newspaper and a lifestyle magazine. While we are a local newspaper, we have a flair for design and an emphasis on dining, real estate, education and the goings-on around town. We’re excited to merge with the New York Press for our arts and listings coverage to present the best picks of the week within walking distance of your neighborhood. As demonstrated in our cover story “Southern Frontiers: What we and other Manhattan notables love south of 14th Street,” Downtown Manhattan is a truly unique and wonderful place to live in. And it is a great time to be covering Downtown Manhattan. From Chinatown to Soho to FiDi and many other nabes, our coverage area has it all. Come find us in your neighborhood.

Photo Credits: Leaf debris and Woman haiLing Cab, george denison, baLthazar restaurant, anna margaret hoLLyman

Marissa Maier

MANAgiNg EDitOr

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S E P T E M B E R 1, 2011 | otd ow n tow n . c o m


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Chaps, Flappers and Fams Swinging on Govs. Island “I was heading to Governors Island on the ferry Aug. 20 for the sixth biannual Jazz Age Lawn Party. Everyone was glad that the weather had turned out nicely—even during the event, the event’s organizers made an announcement saying how glad they were that people had the faith to come out despite the warnings of rain. It seemed as if people had definitely prepared. There was a group of people on the dance floor who knew all the steps. A veronica hogland good portion of the people were wearing clothing from the era. Looking around at the crowd, I scoped out who I thought was the best dressed. I really liked the girl sitting down with the hat and the red lipstick— she had one of the best outfits. Whole families had even come dressed up together. There was definitely a recognition and appreciation for the fashion of the time, along with a general enthusiasm for the event, among the partygoers. Being on Governors Island in this secluded little area, it certainly felt like we’d stepped into a time machine.” — as told to Marissa Maier


A LABOR DAY

SALUTE TO THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO KEEP YOUR

BUILDINGS RUNNING

Last week, as Irene forced evacuations and closures up and down the East Coast, building service workers stayed put to protect tenants and the buildings and property where they work. Now, this Labor Day, remember those who work for all of us - cleaning, securing and maintaining residential buildings, corporate offices and public institutions. They work hard every day to keep the buildings where we live, work and do business clean, safe and secure.

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SOUTHERN FRONTIERS

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What we—and a few Manhattan notables— love below 14th Street

or our inaugural issue, we wanted to celebrate Downtown Manhattan (an area roughly define as everything—and we mean everything—below 14th Street). To us, this huge swath of the island is one of the most fascinating places in New York City, where local issues become national conversation. Downtown remains a well of diversity and encapsulates the cultural wealth that makes this borough a destination. If we peel back the layers of time, this is where the story of New York City first begins. It is the birthplace of our urban metropolis and has become home to some of New York City’s most iconic features, from Wall Street to the World Trade Center. In the spirit of celebrating, we want to showcase what we love about this mecca of culture and history. We rounded up a few of our favorite residents and figures to parse out their favorite parks, restaurants, buildings and anything else they love. And our writers hit the streets to find the best of each neighborhood, from the obscure to the popular (like the Ghostbusters firehouse in Tribeca). Our mélange of places, people and things isn’t a guide or a “best of” list. We see this as a launching point for you, the reader, to discover the unexpected in Downtown Manhattan.

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A Slice of the West Village

If you find yourself strolling down historic Bedford Street in the West Village on the lookout for No. 75, don’t walk too fast—an extra step or two and you just might miss the skinniest townhouse in New York. The iconic 1873 structure at 75 1/2 Bedford measures 9feet across, just shy of the 18-foot average of a city townhouse. Originally a carriage entryway leading to the stables behind the neighboring property, the red brick residence is sandwiched like a thin spread of jam between numbers 75 and 77. Over the centuries, this diminutive townhouse served as a shoemaker’s shop and sweets factory before becoming home to Village luminaries like poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, anthropologist Margaret Mead and actor Cary Grant. Looking at it from the outside, you can’t help but imagine the interior layout and how living in such a narrow domicile would feel. Would you have to walk sideways up the staircase? Or, if you light a candle at both ends (an image conjured in a poem by Millay), would you burn both the walls? —MELISSA BERMAN

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Following the Garden Path in the East Village

n the 1970s, when an economic crisis saw the city— especially less affluent neighborhoods like the East Village—falling apart, something beautiful began popping up amidst the vacant lots and demolition sites. It was in this time that the seeds were planted, literally, for a community garden movement that today boasts 39 plots of varying sizes throughout the eclectic neighborhood. During those trying times, landlords were abandoning buildings and properties, leaving the empty spaces ripe for crime and dereliction. Rubbish and drugs littered the area. In an effort to brighten their turf, volunteer residents and groups like Green Thumb, Green Guerillas and, later, the East Village Parks Conservancy created a culture of urban gardening that has become a hallmark of Lower Manhattan. Today’s gardens flourish with art, education and performance, as well as beautiful trees, plants and flowers. Days and even weeks can be spent visiting the different East Village gardens, getting a feel for their varying personalities and aesthetics. The area considered to be home to this green network is bounded by 14th Street to the north, Houston Street to the south, Bowery/Third Avenue to the west and Avenue D to the east. Within these boundaries, you can visit the famous Liz Christy Bowery Houston Community Garden, complete with a fish and turtle pond and over 2,000 varieties of plants, shrubs and bulbs. A Caribbean theme, with brightly painted picket fences and benches, is found at Brisas Del Caribe on East Third Street between avenues A and B. The popular 6B garden on Avenue B between Fifth and Sixth streets offers a lovely outdoor amphitheater and a full summertime calendar of events for youth and adults alike. For a complete list of gardens, visit www.communitygardensoftheeastvillage.com. —MELISSA BERMAN

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“I loved that we could play miniature golf at the funky pier at the end of our street [in Tribeca]. How suburban is that? And you still can, at the super-fancy refurbished pier, plus lounge at its end and watch the river. But I can lounge on a beach chair on my fire escape and watch the river, too, so it’s a toss-up.” —JANE COMFORT CHOREOGRAPHER, DANCER AND FOUNDER OF TRIBECA’S JANE COMFORT AND COMPANY

Impressions with Patrick McMullan

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he nightlife photographer whose name has become synonymous with the fashion, art and celebrity culture in New York City reflects on the evolution of Lower Manhattan since he started chronicling New York City nightlife in the 1980s.

When, in your opinion, did Downtown Manhattan really become a “scene”? It was all about the 1980s. All the nightclubs were downtown and there were a whole bunch of people who only lived downtown. It was cheaper, like what Brooklyn is today. There were a lot of artists, loft spaces and cheap walkups. And the gallery scene was in Soho. Because you had a lot of restaurants, people from uptown would come downtown. Downtown was always more relaxed. You could wear jeans and a collared shirt, but uptown you wore a suit. When you started shooting your first party pictures for Details Magazine in the 1980s, what was the Downtown scene like? Nightclubs were a whole way of life. People would go out to the Mud Club and Area. There was the Limelight. Studio 54 was big during the late ’70s and early ’80s. Most people considered 23rd Street down to Tribeca to be Downtown. But these sections of New York were also kind of dangerous back then, right? No one wanted to go past streets that didn’t have numbers. The Bowery was really bad. The East Village was way more funky and dangerous. It really was a different scene. At night you could get cabs, though. In those days, you really didn’t take the subway—definitely not at night. No one was going to Brooklyn then. Who were some of your favorite people to shoot downtown in the 1980s? Definitely [Andy] Warhol, Steve Rubell—he started Palladium—Tama Janowitz, Jay McInerney, Keith Haring, Billy Idol, Peri Lister—she was Idol’s wife and did all the choreography for his music videos. Madonna was all over town then, Anita Sarko, Steven Meisel, Pat Field—she moved to The Bowery before The Bowery was what it is now—Betsey Johnson. There were other uptown people, too. Matt Dillon was running all over the place. Rob Lowe and Demi Moore. They would come without handlers. Downtown was a true melting pot. You had people in art, fashion and the literary scene. Even the club owners, bartenders and people who worked at the nightclubs were some of the true celebrities.

“I use the Hudson River Parkway, because my commuting system is riding my bike. I love that whole scene and how everyone is out in the park. And also the ricotta at Locanda Verde [in Tribeca]. It is incredible and one of their signature dishes."

How has the Downtown scene and area changed since then? Things are more posh. You have the Gansevoort market area, which is like a designated nightclub district. A lot of people are dressed up now. You have to have money to go to these places. That whole Soho scene has moved to Williamsburg and Brooklyn. In Chelsea, all of the art galleries are there. I am older now, so I don’t really mind it.

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Marissa Maier and Mark Peikert name their top five destinations in Downtown Manhattan

1. Bubby’s Pie Company, Tribeca (and Dumbo): “I remember when this restaurant was only one room and only the struggling artists in the neighborhood went there. It looks a lot different now, but they still serve amazingly delicious comfort food, like their fried chicken. But I’m also a big fan of the matzo ball soup.” —MM “Don’t forget about the pie… or the whole menu, really” —MP 2. Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City: “The playground there was a highlight of my childhood, especially the Tom Otterness bronze sculptures. Plus, there’s a koi pond now.” —MM 3. The independent art house cinemas of Downtown: “Art house cinema is firmly entrenched in Downtown at this point, with the Angelika, Sunshine, IFC Center, Quad, Cinema Village and Film Forum serving up our favorite oddball indies and foreign flicks.” —MP 4. P.S. 122, East Village: “With both of my parents working in the performing arts, I basically grew up in this building. But the avantgarde pieces aren’t the only thing I love about this place. The theater is a converted school building, and you can still see some of the original architectural elements to this day.” —MM 5. Tom and Jerry’s, NoHo: “Tom and Jerry’s is exactly the kind of low-key bar we love: dim, spacious and serving cocktails that pack a punch without pretension.” —MP

PHOTOS © PATRICK MCMULLAN.

—NANCY SCHAFER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

EDITORS’ PICKS

The Extravagance of the San Gennaro Festival

he word “grand” comes to mind when thinking of Little Italy’s annual Feast of San Gennaro, and for good reason. For starters, the 11-day extravaganza, which begins Sept. 15, is the longest-running, biggest outdoor festival in the city, attracting over one million people from all over the world. Add colorful parades, live entertainment ranging from Italian folk music to opera and rock, hundreds of vendors peddling everything from classic Italian street grub to jewelry, clothing and souvenirs, carnival games and a cannoli-eating competition, and you might start to think “grand” doesn’t do the festival justice.

Walking through the seemingly endless red-, whiteand green-adorned crowd of purveyors, pedestrians and onlookers, it’s hard to picture the festival’s humble beginnings 85 years ago. But at the heart of the festivities are the religious origins of the event—a celebration of the patron saint of Naples by the Italian immigrants who settled the area. To that effect, the festival includes religious processions, a celebratory mass and religious ornaments strewn throughout. But whether you come for the religious aspect, the zeppoles or just for the experience, there’s something here for everyone. —ANNIE LUBIN

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The Ghostbusters Firehouse

t is a nearly ubiquitous call and refrain. Cry out, “Who you gonna call?” and the crowd yells “Ghostbusters!” Built in 1904 on the corner of North Moore and Varick streets, Ladder Company 8, the fire station used in the movie, still gets lots of calls and always comes running to the rescue—even almost 20 years since the film premiered. During the movie shoot, the streets outside Ladder 8 were filled with foam as the then-deserted streets of Tribeca echoed empty and silent. Back then, a few residents and gawkers stood and watched as the big plastic Ghostbusters logo was affixed to the east wall of the truck bay. The neighborhood is much busier now, but the station’s five revolving firefighters and one boss, who take shifts living and working there, are the friendliest in the city—at least in the eyes of this neighbor. If the big painted doors are open, anyone may stop in, take photos or purchase a signature Ghostbusters/Ladder 8 T-shirt. Visitors from across the pond to across this country are drawn to the station by both Ghostbusters lore and what I like to call the Museum of Melted Electronic Devices. These melted machines include fax, phone and answering devices that flank the entrance wall. According to the officer on duty, “We stopped collecting after Sept. 11, but kept the existing ones, sort of frozen in time.” On 9/11, Ladder Company 8 lost Lt. Vincent Halloran, an amazing leader, father and community presence, but the house kept its spirit strong. Come visit. —WICKHAM BOYLE

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Where Broadway’s Costumes are Born

here is no more genteel, quirky, brimming-with-talent designer than William Ivey Long. (Yes, he uses his entire name; he is a Southerner to the bone.) In Long’s eponymous studio at 44 Walker St., the staff all seem to be equally Southern. I wonder if I have unwittingly driven to North Carolina, the locale from whence he and many of the young associates in the studio hail. After graduating from Yale Drama School, Long lived in the notorious Chelsea hotel, where Larry Rivers and Viva were his neighbors and he once stepped around the body of Terry “TK” Folger, a former resident who unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide by jumping off of the roof. Since then, Long has designed costumes for 60 Broadway shows, including Cabaret, La Cage aux Folles, Catch Me If You Can, Young Frankenstein, The Producers and Contact, and has garnered five Tony awards from 11 nominations. Long’s previous home and studio was a lavish Chelsea brownstone, but last year he sold it to his next-door neighbor, artist Louise Bourgeois, after learning she wanted to turn her brownstone and his into a museum. After selling, Long was off to find new digs; it had to be a ground-floor space so he could load in and out bolts of fabric, set models and yards of tulle for tutus. The 1852 space, built as a button factory, fits the bill. When Long moved in, they demolished the dropped ceiling and installed dehumidifiers in the basement. The space is designed to be flexible, with movable walls made of fabric that are used as bulletin boards for inspirational photos, clips and drawing of the multiple projects humming in the wings. TEXT & PHOTOS BY WICKHAM BOYLE

“The imagination playground on John Street, that [architect] David Rockwell masterpiece. It is the most beautiful, most fun playground that I have ever witnessed or played in. It has several sets of [foam] imagination blocks and a wading pool where kids can float their boats. It’s the park that you always wished you had, but it’s there for your children.”

—MATT GOLDMAN, CO-FOUNDER OF THE BLUE MAN GROUP AND THE BLUE SCHOOL

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Following History One Step at a Time

CAITLYN BIERMAN

s one of the oldest neighborhoods in New York City, the Lower East Side has more than a few checkered tales in its vault. To preserve and share these stories, the Lower East Side History Project—a nonprofit organization designed to foster an appreciation for the LES’ past—presents a series of absorbing tours. Of course they have a Lower East Side expedition, but several other themed routes are offered. Want to learn about the gangsters of Lower Manhattan? Grab your sneakers and follow the Project’s certified guides

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to the notorious haunts of Mafia legends like Charlie Luciano, Vito Genovese and Giuseppe Masseria, among others. Hankering for a libation and a factoid? Sign up for the Radical Spirits Bar Crawl, which is advertised as “an evening walk of Lou Reed, W.H. Auden, Jack Kerouac, Keith Haring and Abbie Hoffman.” (The $35 fee includes three drinks.) The Project’s repertoire also includes LES bordering areas such as Chinatown/ Five Points, the Bowery and the East Village, and charges a standard general admission of $20. —MARISSA MAIER


CAITLYN BIERMAN

“When I start thinking that there is no more Downtown or that Williamsburg and Bushwick are what Downtown used to be—whenever I think that, I go to Mott Street. I walk down from Broome all the way to the end past Canal, where there is everything I want. On Grand Street there is Di Palo, an Italian grocery store, which is the best one I have been to—including those in Italy. A little farther on Mott, there are the Chinese fish and vegetable stores and the places to buy pork buns. A little farther north, you have Parisi Bakery... All the things I love about downtown Manhattan are squashed onto these three blocks. There is no place else I know where you can get all of that in such a short amount of time.” —FRANCINE PROSE, WRITER OF OVER 20 WORKS OF FICTION AND NONFICTION

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Ryders Alley Motorcycle Club

he first time I went down to the Ryders Alley motorcycle club was a Sunday afternoon in late spring. The members, who pay $200 a month to house their $20,000 weekend toys, were grilling burgers in the alley when I pulled up on my Triumph. They took a look at my bike, waved and asked me how I wanted my burger cooked. The guys were sharp, all hovering around 30, with jobs ranging from Tommie the nightclub owner to Robert the stockbroker. After a quick burger, Demian Neufeld, the 35-year-old owner of Ryders Alley, announced that the race was starting and I followed the crowd inside. Row after row of gleaming Ducatis, BMWs and Moto Guzzis stunned me as I followed the crew to the lounge, where we gathered around a HD projection screen to watch Valentino Rossi crash in the Euro Moto GP. Ryders Alley is a motorcycle club that shares its name with its location, an ancient cobblestone alleyway off Fulton Street between City Hall Park and South Street Seaport. Neufeld, who lives steps

away from the garage, splits his time between the downtown garage and his new location in Hell’s Kitchen while planning the city’s first zero-emission racetrack, to be built at Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, in his downtime. It struck me as odd that there was no bar in the club’s lounge. A motorcycle club with no bar? Turns out, serious motorcyclists don’t mix booze and speed. After the race I got the full tour, starting with the immaculate workshop with two lifts, tons of specialty tools and operating theater lighting available 24/7. A library is situated in the lounge, stocked with the latest mags and hardcovers on motorcycling. I could spend a week on those leather couches and still not make it halfway through one shelf of books. The amenities, group outings, track days…it just went on and on. But what I remember most, what made a lasting impression, were the people: thoughtful, genuine and passionate about sharing their favorite hobby. TEXT & PHOTO BY KEVIN SHEEHAN

An Opulent Temple at the Foot of Manhattan Bridge

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ith shiny roasted ducks hanging in restaurant windows, bank signs boasting both English and Hanzi lettering and tai chi practitioners and mahjong players filling the parks, a jaunt through Chinatown feels like a travel adventure. But perhaps nowhere in the neighborhood transports you to a uniquely Chinatown experience as much as stepping through the doors of the Mahayana Buddhist Temple at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. The façade of Chinatown’s biggest Buddhist temple is an interesting mixture of boring, flat-faced concrete building and embellishments like a trio of pagoda roofs, red lacquer doors and two distinctly Asian golden lions. Inside the temple, you are immediately overcome by the presence of a mammoth, 16-foot-high golden Buddha perched on a lotus flower and framed by a glowing neon blue halo. Unlike the more austere and elegant space that might come to mind when one thinks of a Buddhist temple, Mahayana has a colorful, almost kitsch feel to it; red and gold gilding are the mainstays of a motif detailed with elaborate dragon reliefs, banquet hall-style chandeliers, gongs and altars laden with flowers and fresh fruit (a token that parishioners leave to honor those dear to them who have passed). The story of the Buddha is depicted in a series of 32 wall hangings. Amidst the over-the-top décor, though, is a sense of serenity, due in part to the scent of handfuls of incense burning in a bowl near the entrance. Services are open to the public on weekends. For a $1 donation, you can receive your fortune in a rolled scroll, and if you want to bring a bit of the experience home, there is a great gift shop upstairs with colorful Buddhas, incense, teapots and other trinkets, all at inexpensive prices. —MELISSA BERMAN S E P T E M B E R 1, 2011 | OTD OW N TOW N . C O M


CAITLYN BIERMAN

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Boxing Out Wall Street Stresses

he thick rubber mats covering the tile floor of Trinity’s locker room slide and give a little under the weight of the athletes, most—young men in their late twenties and early thirties. The wooden stalls in the bathroom feature old boxing articles staring out from behind a protective layer of varnish, most about prominent boxers early in their career. What makes this locker room different is that all the muscular guys in boxer shorts are Wall Street stock brokers. The main floor is a little brighter and cleaner than the Philly boxing gym in Rocky, but you get the same feeling. Members sign up for special “Hell Week” and “Boot Camp” sessions to make sure they’re not getting soft. Most of the equipment is well worn, but the “assistants” are much prettier than the short guy that swept up for Mickey. They don’t have to worry, though, because the workouts are so tough most guys are staring at the pool of sweat gathering around their feet before too long. Not every young pugilist who trains with the club’s manager (at the time), John Snow, is a trader. I was one of the few taking one-on-one instruction without a series seven. I got the impression that John believed the stock brokers were there to sharpen their edge, stay aggressive and hold on to their ability to back other guys down, while staying in shape. I quickly saw that most treated boxing like meditation—quieting the mind through focus and effort. —KEVIN SHEEHAN

“It would have to be a dumpling crawl in Chinatown. It is pretty much my favorite recreational activity. You can find $1 dumplings, soup dumplings, dim sum at one of the big dim sum houses, dumplings in a hot pot and dumpling noodle soup.” —STATE SEN. DANIEL SQUADRON, 25TH DISTRICT

S

An Outdoor Installation

andwiched between Houston and Canal streets, this 73-acre area was one of my original New York City stomping grounds (and is the place I now call home). In my relatively short lifetime, I have seen the neighborhood known as Soho change, from quiet streets to a bustling matrix of commerce. My stepfather bought his first loft here, a converted spice factory on Wooster Street, in the 1970s. At the time, he would tell me, cab drivers refused to take him to his apartment because the area was riddled with abandoned buildings. (Though perhaps he embellished these facts to make for a better story.) Now, residential units are in demand and storefronts are leased by well-known designers. What has been retained, how-

ever, is the visibility and popularity of street art on the thoroughfares of the neighborhood. From a spray-painted mural to a paper concoction plastered on the side of a building to a sticker slapped on a slab of sidewalk, art is everywhere in Soho and part of every view. One place holds special significance to me: the edifice of a dark, vacant brick building on Wooster Street between Grand and Canal streets, right outside of my apartment. Each day I am greeted by this ever-evolving canvas—even a few famous artists, like Shepard Fairey, have been known to illicitly decorate it. I have heard this immovable tapestry referred to as “The Wall.” Where others might see vandalism, I see a wonderful and continuous community art project. —MARISSA MAIER

“To me, it would have to be the playgrounds and park along the West Side esplanade. It is something that I treasure. My kids grew up going to those playgrounds. They learned how to ride their bikes in that park. To me it is also one of the most beautiful views in New York City. It is part of the history of our great city, where millions of immigrants came seeing that view.” —JULIE MENIN, CHAIR OF COMMUNITY BOARD

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I

The Urban Farm Experience

f it was ever a secret that the downtown area is leading the pack in turning the concrete jungle a little more green, the Parks Department’s announcement back in April that they would devote an entire acre at Battery Park to an urban farm really let the cat out of the bag. Community gardens and rooftop farms have been popping up all over the city for years, but the Battery Park plots are the first of their kind—in fact, it’s the first public farm to grace the soil of Manhattan since 1625. The 80 plots along State and Pearl streets are being used by students from eight city schools (including nearby Millennium High School, whose environmental club set the plan in motion with a request to plant a vegetable garden in the park) and various community groups. A few park food vendors will even incorporate vegetables and herbs from the farm into their dishes. Unfortunately, the Urban Farm at the Battery will only be around for two years—but the closing of the farm will usher in construction on the Battery Garden Bikeway, connecting the east and west sides of Manhattan, giving us yet another reason to love the area. —ANNIE LUBIN


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THE 7-DAY PLAN THURSDAY

01 02 03 04 05 06 07

BEST PICK

FREE Governors Island Art Fair Governors Island; 11 a.m.-4.

New York-based arts group 4heads chooses 120 independent artists and gives them rooms to build space for sculpture, photography, painting and object installations on historic Governors Island, all for your enjoyment. The art fair runs through Sept. 25.

Visit OTdowntown.com for the latest updates on local events. Submissions can be sent to otdowntown@manhattanmedia.com.

Land of 1,000 Dances Beekman Beer Garden, 89 South St. at Beekman St.; 9, $5. Join the dance party that’s also a dance class with DJ Jonathan Toubin spinning a rare collection of rock and soul vinyl while a troupe of dancers led by Soul Clap teaches you everything from popular ’60s dances to the latest craze.

❮ FREE

SummerStage Theatre East River Park, enter at Delancey St.; 8. A masterpiece of tragedy, Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, is one of the final performances of the SummerStage season. Co-produced by Faux-Real Theater Company, it’s certain to be an engaging take on a classic.

FRIDAY

FREE Tony Hawk Vert Jam

NYPD Film Festival Film Forum, 209 W. Houston St. (betw. 6th Ave. & Varick St.); various show times, $12.50. On opening day of the festival see the noir classic Laura, in which NYC detective Dana Andrews, on the brink of necrophilia, falls in love with a portrait of a murdered woman. The festival celebrates the police department in its own unique way and runs through Sept. 13.

Pier 54, Hudson River Park; 2. Quicksilver teams up with skateboarding legend Tony Hawk—and a few of his pals—to show off their tricks on a massive demo half-pipe set-up at Pier 54.

SATURDAY

NARCISCHISM – Un Cabaret d’Adieu Robert Moss Theater at 440 Studios, 440 Lafayette St. (betw. E. 4th St. & Astor Pl.); 8, $15. Described as a “theatrical burlesque rock-concert,” NARCISCHISM is equal parts musical narrative and concert spectacle, bringing the audience deep into the psyche of a tortured performance artist. Closing night.

FREE Glass Gas Mask

Fuse Gallery 93 2nd Ave. #A (betw. E. 5th & 6th Sts.); 3-8. David Yow, front man of The Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid, brings a new art collection that blends the digital and physical, using everything from computers and pencils to spit and hair.

SUNDAY

MONDAY

Dream Up Festival Theater for the New City, 155 1st Ave. (betw. E. 9th & 10th Sts.); various show times, $12-$15. Catch the last day of this summer theater festival, featuring a range of performances spanning drama, music, poetry and dance.

Human Centipede: The Musical The PIT, 123 E. 24th St. (betw. Lexington & Park Aves.); 8, $8. For one night only, it’s back. The musical—based on a similar and disgustingly funny episode of South Park—returns after a sold-out run in Boston, sure to make you laugh and retch.

It is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE. IFC Center, 323 6th Ave. at W. 3rd St.; 7:30, $20. Crispin Hellion Glover, the maverick actor and filmmaker, brings his outrageously unclassifiable film It is Fine!—a semi-autobiographical, psychosexual tale about a man with severe cerebral palsy and a fetish for girls with long hair—to the IFC.

TUESDAY

FREE Mint Slab Mundo

NP Contemporary Arts Center, 131 Chrystie St. (betw. Delancey & Broome sts.); 12-6. Laura Brothers’ first solo show brings her digital artwork into the physical realm, leaving you with the feeling of being one of the extras in A Scanner Darkly.

Sweet and Sad Public Theater, 425 Lafayette St. (betw. E. 4th St. & Astor Pl.); 7:30, $15. Previews begin for Richard Nelson’s new play, about the liberal Apple family as they come together on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, dealing with themes of memory, remembrance and the meaning of compensation.

WEDNESDAY

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FREE No Hay Olvido/There's No

Forgetting Hendershot Gallery, 195 Chrystie St. (betw. Stanton & Rivington Sts.); 6-8. The Puerto Rican-born artist Christian Cureil explores self-identity through latent memories of youth. A survey of his paintings is on exhibit at this downtown gallery, running through Oct. 19.

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10 Years Later: Women Heroes on 9/11 and Beyond 92YTribeca, 200 Hudson St. (betw. Vestry & Desbrosses Sts.); 7, $12. Join Soledad O’Brien and New York Fire Department Captain Brenda Berkman in a tribute to the female heroes who risked and lost their lives on 9/11 to save others.


S E P T E M B E R 1, 2011 | otd ow n tow n . c o m

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� SE E The

X-Files A new doc explores the global phenomenon of the Toynbee Tiles

| By MArk PeikerT

O

dds are that if you live in a major metropolis in the eastern half of the country (or even in Chile), at some point over the last three decades you have stepped on a Toynbee Tile and its cryptic message: “Toynbee Idea in Movie 2001 Resurrect Dead on Planet Jupiter.” For most people, the tiles never register. But for those who did notice them, their provenance and the person behind them became an obsession. Few were more dedicated in their pursuit of the truth than Philadelphian Justin Duerr, the heart of a new documentary about the tiles and the mystery behind them, Resurrect Dead. Director Jon Foy worked and sleuthed alongside Duerr and amateur detectives Colin Smith and Steve Weinik for almost two years, as they tracked down the flimsiest of leads—clues that led them to everything from a shortwave radio convention to a short David Mamet play. The results are both creepy and compelling, and could possibly put an end to the mystery once and for all. We caught up with Foy over the phone just prior to the film’s Sept. 2 engagement at The IFC Center. When did you first hear about the Toynbee Tiles? I was working at a movie theater in 1999 and a friend of mine told me about them, and then I went out and saw one for myself. There was a tile that was right next to the Liberty Bell. Once someone points them out to you, you see them everywhere. In New York, there used to be a lot of good ones, but now there’s just one. [Then] I met Justin in the summer of 2000, and that same night he started showing me photographs of tiles and telling me about them. That planted the seed in my head to make a documentary. So that was something I filed away in the back of my mind. Eventually, I was going to film school in the summer of 2005 in Austin, Texas, and I decided it was a good time to make this movie. How long did you work on Resurrect Dead? We started shooting summer 2005 and

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“Resurrect Dead” director Jon Foy with Justin Duerr, the subject of the film who spent years searching for the artist behind the Toynbee Tiles. The mysterious tiles have cropped up all over the world, including Chile, but are most prevalent in Philadelphia. A few remain (inset) in New York City today.

the present-tense part of the story, which would be acts two and three, took place from summer 2005 through late 2007. That was the primary footage of the mystery itself. And then I tried to cut a movie out of that and I couldn’t, so I got the guys back in and had these long sit-down interviews and figured out how to tell the story. I wanted to make a verité doc, but it just wasn’t working. We had so many thoughts and leads and hunches that never really panned out, but they were convoluted and we had to go back to find a story. There’s a pretty dense story, too—a lot of details. As far as putting the story to rest, a lot of it rests on Justin. I think Justin is the character who carries the film emotionally and we care because Justin cares. At the end, Justin does find this kind of revolution. What do you think about the riffs on the original tiles that are now popping up across the country? I think it’s awesome. I think the tiler was very much asking people to make tiles. So there are some people who say, “Oh, they’re just copycats,” but I think it’s in line

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with what he wants. What’s awesome are the Haiti tiles—they look fabulous. And someone just emailed yesterday about tiles in Buffalo. They look great—they’re colorful, they’re artistic. So somebody we’re presuming to be a copycat, we don’t know, has been doing this in complete secrecy for five years now. I can’t even imagine! But there have been a lot of other copies. Were you surprised that such an esoteric documentary has been so embraced? I come from this group of starving artists and you don’t foresee things really taking off like this. Really, this all started with Sundance accepting [the film]. And what’s important to realize is that I didn’t show the movie to anyone. By the time I was accepted into Sundance, that was about five and a half years into the process, and I might have shown the movie to, like, 10 people. There was no way to tell if people would like it. And people need to kind of take a chance to watch this movie. I can’t tell you how many people have said, “It looked strange so I decided to watch it.” Most stuff has a built-in audience, and

this movie—it’s an ongoing process just trying to describe what a tile is! It’s really a mystery. I think the better way to pitch the movie to people is that it has this feeling and tone of a strange sci-fi, X-Files sort of thing, and the thing that we’re focusing on will be explained in the movie. When we started shooting, it was this enormous gamble on my part because I took it for granted that there was going to be this great story behind the tiles and we were going to get it out. And when we started shooting, I remember having a meeting with Colin and thinking, “Where is this even going?” I think that’s when it started sinking in, like, God, I took off from school and moved to another town? It was delusional. Are you satisfied with the answers the movie provides? I would say that we came up with a satisfying story. So for me, I’m satisfied enough to move on to something else. But there are still a lot of loose ends. The important thing to tell people is that the story arc in the movie is a satisfying story, but the tiles are bigger than the movie.


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Remembering 9/11 10th anniversary tributes and memorials

or the last decade, the end of summer has meant one thing to New Yorkers, even subconsciously: the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Hard to believe, but this year marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, and New Yorkers still haven’t forgotten. Whether they’re celebrating the memory of the victims and the heroism of the first responders via painting, concerts or, in true New York City fashion, down and dirty Downtown cabaret, August and September are filled with chances to pay homage to what happened that day. Here are just a few of the scheduled events 9/11 10th AnniversAry reflections The exhibition offers a chance for visitors to sift through the personal reflections of those who lived or worked in Downtown Manhattan on the day the Twin Towers fell. Volunteers are traveling the city collecting the recollections of New Yorkers on Mylar cards, which will be arranged and displayed along the pathways in Battery Park’s Garden of Remembrance on Aug. 4, and kept on display through September. In conjunction with the exhibit, instrumental artists will hold free concerts Sept. 10 and 11, 2–4 p.m., in partnership with Feel the Music! on the south side of ground zero (at 120 Liberty St.) for reflection and remembrance. For a chance to contribute to the 9/11 10th Anniversary Reflections project, visit www. tributewtc.org.

9/11: the World speAks Multitudes of visitors stream through the Tribute WTC Visitor Center sharing personal experiences, tributes to victims and those who responded, and other remembrances. 9/11: The World Speaks is a collection of these visitor cards from the past five years, offering a window into the feelings and memories of local and international visitors to the site. On Aug. 16 at 6 p.m., Tribute WTC is holding a book launch at its space on 120 Liberty St., on the south side of ground zero. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.tributewtc.org. 9/11 peAce story Quilt This special exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, opening Aug. 30, seeks to shine light on the importance

Top: Faith Ringgold and young New Yorkers (ages 8-19).“The 9/11 Peace Story Quilt,” 2006. Fabric and acrylic.Three panels, 72 x 50 in. each (approx.) Commissioned by the InterRelations Collaborative, Inc. Right: Sally Pettus' painting "On Granite" 2011 (oil on canvas) on view at KS Art gallery as part of her "Paintings from the Perimeter" series.

of dialogue across cultures in pursuit of peace. The quilt was designed by Faith Ringgold and constructed in collaboration with NYC students ranging in age from 8 to 19. Numerous panels on the quilt seek to tap into the same theme of peace and dialogue, and will be displayed alongside other, related works of art. For more information, visit www.metmuseum.org. remembering 9/11 This photography exhibition, on view Sept. 9–Jan. 8, 2012, at International Center of Photography (1133 6th Ave.), shows how firefighters, construction workers, police officers, artists, photographers and ordinary citizens responded on that day 10 years ago when the Twin Towers fell. The exhibition includes a video installation, photos of thousands of artifacts found at the site and other poignant images. For more information, visit www.icp.org. pAintings from the perimeter New York City-based artist Sally Pettus has collected a series of her paintings in this exhibit, opening Sept. 3 at KS Art (73 Leonard St.), documenting scenes from the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site using oil on canvas. Paintings from the Perimeter catalogs the 10-plus paintings she entered in the World Trade Memorial Site Competition in 2003, from the perspective of an outsider looking down into the site. In RemembRance and Renewal A Sept. 10 concert for New York in memory of 9/11 by the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, the program will feature Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection.

For more information, visit nyphil.org. The 10Th annIveRsaRy memoRIal PolITIcal cabaReT! aT The hIghlIne ballRoom On Sept. 11, at 7 p.m., this three-hour extravaganza at the Highline Ballroom, featuring stars from the Downtown NYC arts scene, promises to be a gritty, politically incorrect celebration of the memories, sense of togetherness and heartache that surrounds the events of 9/11, its aftermath and the way our relationship to “terror” and the U.S. government was forever changed. A potent brew of nudity, poetry, dance, song, comedic commentary and drag, the evening will be divided into three 45-minute acts, rising in political incorrectness. Act 1, “A Love Letter to New York; Act 2, “An America in Transition”; Act 3, “Oh NO you DI-INT!” The event’s promoters promise that the “third act [will be] the most lovingly outrageous thing you will see all year, meant to inspire desire and burn our artistic fire!” All proceeds go to the Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York's Widows and Childrens Fund. sePTembeR 11 10Th annIveRsaRy commemoRaTIve conceRT Organized by Symphony Space, musicians from the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera perform a commemorative tribute to the people of New York City on the 10th anniversary of September 11 at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Sept. 11, 7 p.m. The evening’s program will include specially selected music and poetry from David Amram, Brahms, Samuel Barber, Chopin, Lera Auerbach, Liszt, Schumann, Laura Kaminsky (New York premiere), Astor Piazzolla, Jon Deak (world premiere), Wagner, Drew

Hemenger (world premiere), Sean Hickey, Simon Mulligan (New York premiere), Justin Tokke and Franco Alfano (American premiere). For more information, visit www.symphonyspace.org. In PeRFoRmance: commemoRaTIng The 10Th annIveRsaRy oF sePTembeR 11, 2001 At 5 p.m. on Sept. 11 and 12, The Joyce Theater Foundation will present two free performances at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Park (north end of Battery Park City, west of River Terrace) to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. This special event will feature performances by the Limón Dance Company with Voices of Ascension; the Paul Taylor Dance Company with Orchestra of St. Luke’s; and a new work created by Jessica Lang especially for this occasion, among others to be announced. The free event will feature general lawn seating on a first come, first served basis. 9/11 memoRIal Half of the 16 acres at the World Trade Center are dedicated to the 9/11 Memorial, which will be open to the public for the first time on Sept. 12, after a closed ceremony the day before. The names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks of Feb. 26, 1993, and Sept. 11, 2001, are inscribed in bronze around the twin memorial pools that are the heart of the site. Because of ongoing construction around the memorial, you’ll have to secure a visitor’s pass ahead of time. To do so, visit www.911memorial.org. The entrance is located at the northeast corner of Albany and Greenwich streets.

| COMPILED By Staff

S E P T E M B E R 1, 2011 | otd ow n tow n . c o m

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� EAT Hoomoos Asli Pulls Throo for Downtown Kosher Scene | By Paulette Safdieh

B

ecause Jewish teenagers in from the Five Towns or studying at NYU get tired of swiping daddy’s credit card around SoHo, Hoomoos Asli on Kenmare Street awaits with refreshing lemonanas (Israeli lemonade with mint) and hearty shish kebabs at a decent price. This low-key joint is of value to kosher eaters downtown, who too often find themselves with limited dining-out options. Hoomoos Asli is one of a few relaxed kosher places that don’t require you to rub elbows with the party next to you or make small talk with your classmate from yeshiva grade school who also happens to be waiting for a table. The Kenmare Street restaurant seats a maximum of 35, with wooden bar stools overlooking the storefronts on Cleveland Place and seven tables at the back. Frustrated with the American pronunciation of “hummus,” the restaurant’s Israeli owners spelled it out for their customers— “hoomoos”—when they opened 14 years ago. “Asli” means “authentic” in Turkish, fitting for the well-rounded menu of Middle Eastern grub. Vegetarian options include shakshooka ($10), Israeli-style eggs with tomato sauce, and, of course, various takes on hoomoos. “People in New York City eat at kosher places just because they’re kosher,” said Leor S., assistant manager since 2008. “We don’t want the certification to be the thing to draw customers. We want people to enjoy themselves and have a quality dining experience at a restaurant that hap-

pens to be kosher.” Anyone who keeps kosher has likely given up hope on such a feat, but Hoomoos Asli pulls it off surprisingly well. While the occasional nine-member family shows up for a weekend dinner, Hoomoos Asli is generally quiet, drawing lots of solo diners throughout the day. People SoHo's Hoomoos Asli (named for the looking to catch up on work or correct pronunciation of "hummus") friends’ Facebook photos can take serves everything from $5 falafel to $35 lamb chops. PHOTO BY PaulETTE SafdiEH advantage of free WiFi without the Apple store feel of a Starbucks. might expect; some kosher-keepers choose not to eat at In the afternoon, a regular flow of businesses open on the Jewish sabbath. young villagers stroll in for takeout or to nosh on $5 falafel. “We get a few religious people, but not like Borough Park,” While anyone can appreciate a cheap falafel sandsaid Leor, referring to the predominantly Hasidic Brooklyn wich, especially given the recent popularity of Crisp’s $8 neighborhood. “We use a practice called ‘shtar mecheera,’ sandwiches in the downtown falafel world, prices on the where the owner sells the profits from Friday night and Saturmeat dishes can seem high to those unaccustomed with kosher standards. Entrees range from shawarma, roast baby day to his non-Jewish partner,” explained Leor. Hoomoos Asli provides a laid back ambiance typical of chicken ($15.95), to baby lamb chops ($34.95). A popular Israeli culture and authentic Middle Eastern food. Although choice for lunch is the Jerusalem mixed grill sandwich they have a strong Israeli customer base, diners come from ($9.50). Hoomoos Asli pays a monthly fee to maintain its all backgrounds and locales to sit under the hamsa charms kosher status in addition to purchasing strictly certified and sip hot chocolate (pareve, of course). “People can’t ingredients, and its prices reflect the obligation. Unlike believe it’s not dairy,” said Leor, since kosher law requires a many kosher restaurants in the city, the doors to Hoomoos wait time of six hours between eating meat and milk. Asli don’t draw as large an observant crowd as one

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� EAT penniless epicure

The Root Causes of Great Taste | By Josh Perilo

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alfway into my second trip to Kalustyan’s, the amazing Curry Hill spice superstore, my wife looked at me and totally nailed it: “Once you figure out how to make this root beer, you’re going to immediately lose interest in it, aren’t you?” She’s probably 100 percent correct, although I hope I continue making root beer for years to come. I have a Norman Rockwell-esque fantasy about spending weekends with my children (of which I have none yet) bottling our homemade creation. If not that, I would at least like to stick with this obsession long enough to come up with a recipe that actually tastes like root beer. With my second batch effort, I managed to achieve a darker color but the root-beeriness still wasn’t quite right. And the yeast I used still imparted an impossible-to-ignore bread dough quality that I made it my No. 1 priority to fix in the next

batch. I ordered up some ale yeast, stat. What I really needed, though, was an immersion in the world of small batch root beers. While none of the brews I tried were bottle-fermented (they were all made using carbonated water), the flavors of these sodas would presumably be more complex than the mass-marketed root beers available in the supermarket. The first root beer I tried was Boylan’s. This was the widest available brand I tried and it was pretty good. It had a chocolatey brown color and medium head with good, small bubbles. The smell was what I soon realized was the standard, modern root beer scent: wintergreen. The palate was very simple, but enjoyable. Vanilla bean up front, with major amounts of wintergreen through the middle and only the tiniest hint of sarsaparilla on the finish. Pleasant, if not outstanding. Then I tried Fitz’s, from St. Louis. The color was a lighter, reddish brown, and there was virtually no head, with big, Coca-Cola-sized bubbles. This one smelled even more strongly of wintergreen than

the last. The palate was very disappointing, however. The carbonation dissipated quickly, leaving an unbalanced, imitation vanilla extract flavor that wouldn’t go away. With a small amount of wintergreen in the middle, there was nothing else to balance out this sticky sweet mess. Sprecher’s was next and it was markedly better. The color was almost that of Guinness stout, and the head had a great foam of frothy, small bubbles that lingered. This was the first root beer I smelled that actually had a discernable scent of sarsaparilla. The flavor profile was also a bit more interesting; molasses flavors gave way to a pleasant bite of sarsaparilla in the middle, and finished with a nice wallop of licorice sweetness and a touch of birch bark tannin. A solid root beer. The beer maker Saranac also makes root beer, so I tried one of their concoctions. The color was a standard dark amber and the head was decent, though not as classic as Sprecher’s. There was more wintergreen and licorice on the nose, and the palate gave up brown sugar and caramel sweet-

ness right up front. The wintergreen in the middle was balanced by a touch of sarsaparilla and licorice, and the whole thing finished with hints of bourbon vanilla. The real star of the show, however, was the Ithaca Soda Company’s root beer. It was the only bottle that didn’t have a twist-off cap, which I realized later was foreshadowing of the authenticity I was about to experience. Reddish brown in color with a nice, medium head, the nose on this root beer made me take a seat. Menthol, eucalyptus, wet tree bark…Was this root beer or a wine I was smelling? On the palate I was greeted with flavors of anise and green herb up front. In the middle, I finally tasted sassafras. This was the only root beer with any major amount of that specific flavor component. There was wintergreen, but it served as a background player. The whole thing finished with menthol, cherry and brown sugar notes. The best root beer I’ve had so far. My quest continues and as I compile my notes, I reconfigure my recipe for the perfect home-brewed root beer. Onward!

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� S LE E P Rats, Washington and the Titanic The little-known past of the oldest buildings in Downtown Manhattan | BY TOM MILLER

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n Downtown Manhattan, where glass and steel skyscrapers create sleek urban canyons, it is difficult to picture the Wall Street area lined with genteel homes and churches. Yet despite devastating, widespread fires that wiped out most Downtown buildings, and two centuries of demolition and construction, three 18th-century structures still stand and remain the oldest buildings south of 14th Street. Captain Joseph Rose house Joseph Rose was a successful importer of expensive Honduran mahogany. When he built his brick Georgian residence at 273 Water St. around 1773, before landfill extended the shoreline, the river ran just behind his elegant home. Similar merchant-class homes lined Water Street in the late 18th century, but by the beginning of the 19th century, the area declined as encroaching commerce pushed residents away. The house was used as a cobbler’s shop, an apothecary and, just before the Civil War, a boarding house. By mid-century, Water Street had become a “sea of wretchedness,” as described by one contemporary writer, James D. McCabe, where “hideous women” and drunken sailors loitered. In 1863, saloon keeper Christopher “Kit” Burns opened his Sportsmen’s Hall in the house. Here gambling, bareknuckle boxing and drinking attracted rowdy customers. The hall, however, was best known for its rat and dog fights. For $1.50-$5 (around $26-$87 today) patrons would see how quickly a dog could kill 100 rats. Between bouts, Burns’ son-in-law, “Jack the Rat,” would bite the head off of a live mouse for a dime. Burns’ “Rat Pit” was among the most notorious of New York’s saloons. After the hall was closed in 1870, the building was used as a home for “fallen” women, in the vernacular of the day—prostitutes.

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Clockwise: St. Paul's Chapel, the oldest church building in New York City. The Captain Joseph Rose House, former site of the infamous “Rat Pit” in the 1800s. Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington once slept. PHOTOS BY CaiTlYn BiERMan

After a fire in 1904, it was used as a warehouse until another fire in 1974 gutted the building. Today, the captain’s former home has been renovated into luxury apartments. Where Jack the Rat once bit the heads off of mice, apartments now sell for just over $1 million. FRaunCes taveRn George Washington indeed slept here—but he hadn’t even been born when it was built. In 1719, French-born Stephan DeLancey completed his fourstory brick home at Pearl and Broad streets. The impressive mansion was entered through an elegant doorway framed by a columned portico. While Col. Beverly Robinson, a loyalist and friend of Benedict Arnold, was living here in 1756, Washington stayed as a guest before returning to the Indian Wars. Samuel Fraunces, a Frenchman from the West Indies, bought the home at auction in 1762 and converted it into The Queen’s Head Tavern. An important meeting place for revolutionists, the tavern included a dungeon below for prisoners of war and the upstairs

O U R TOW N : D OW N TOWN | S E PTE M B E R 1 , 2 0 1 1

meeting rooms were used as the offices of the newly formed departments of War, Treasury and Foreign Affairs. But it was Washington’s emotional farewell to his troops in the Long Room, a private dining and meeting room, that Americans most remember. Devastated by fire in 1854, it was later renovated but its historical importance was long forgotten, until the Daughters of the American Revolution rediscovered it in 1895. In 1907, after years of restoration, Fraunces Tavern re-emerged as the building we can see today. st. paul’s Chapel St. Paul’s Chapel, at Broadway and Fulton Street, sat in a wheat field when it was completed in 1766. Although architect Thomas McBean faced the chapel away from Broadway to take full advantage of the river view, two years later a graceful carriage portico was added on Broadway, creating what we recognize today as the front. A fire ravaged the city in September 1776, destroying 25 percent of its buildings, including the 1698 Trinity Church. St. Paul’s, then at

the northern rim of the city, became George Washington’s place of worship, and he prayed here prior to his inauguration. The chapel held memorial services for the victims of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and in 2001 for those lost in the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Used as a place of rest for workers on “the pile,” today the interior of the oldest existing church building in New York City

is draped with memorial banners. For info on other colonial structures in Downtown Manhattan (like the Edward Mooney House, which was fashioned together out of two stone buildings or the James Watson House, once the home of the canonized Elizabeth Seton, visit www.otdowntown.com. Tom Miller is author of the historical architecture blog Daytonian in Manhattan. A transplanted Buckeye, he moved to New York in 1979 and has never stopped being a tourist.


� M OVI E C LOC K Angelika Film Center New York 18 W. Houston St. (Mercer St.) 800-FAN-DANG. Call theater for schedule. Anthology Film Archives 32 2nd Ave. (2nd St.) 212-505-5181. La Pivellina, Thurs: 7, 9:15. Newfilmmakers, Weds: 6. Cinema Village 12th St. (betw. 5th Ave. & University Pl.) 212924-3363. The Last Circus (Balada triste de trompeta), Weds-Thurs: 1:05, 3:10, 5:15, 7:20, 9:25. Mozart’s Sister (Nannerl, la Soeur de Mozart), Weds-Thurs: 1:10, 5:15, 7:35. Point Blank (A Bout Portant), Weds-Thurs: 3:30, 9:55. City Cinema Village East Cinema 181 2nd Ave. (12th St.) 800-FAN-DANG 2708. 3D Sex & Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, Weds-Thurs: 11:50, 2:30, 5:10, 7:55, 10:25. Bridesmaids, Weds-Thurs: 12, 2:40, 5:20, 8, 10:40. Crazy, Stupid, Love, Weds-Thurs:; Weds-Thurs: 12:20, 2:55, 5:30, 8:05, 10:40. The Family Tree, Weds-Thurs: 11:15, 1:20, 3:25, 5:30, 7:35, 9:40. The Hedgehog (Le herisson), Weds-Thurs: 11, 1:20, 3:40, 6, 8:20, 10:40. The Help, Weds-Thurs:; Weds-Thurs: 12, 3:10, 7, 10:10. The Room, Weds-Thurs:. Film Forum 209 W. Houston St. (6th Ave.) 212-727-8110. El Bulli - Cooking in Progress, Weds-Thurs: 1, 3:15, 7:50. Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life, WedsThurs: 1, 3:45, 6:30, 9:15. House of Bamboo, Weds-Thurs: 1, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30, 9:40. Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (L’Herbe poussera sur vos villes), Weds-Thurs: 5:30, 10. IFC Center 323 Avenue of the Americas 212-924-7771. Aliens, Fri-Mon: 12. Dying to Do Letterman, Weds: 3:40, 9:45; Thurs: 1:40, 7:25. It Is Fine. Everything Is Fine!, Mon: 7:30. The Mexican Suitcase (La maleta mexicana), Weds: 12, 5:25; Thurs: 3:35, 9:50. Phnom Penh Lullaby, Weds: 12:05, 5:20; Thurs: 3:20, 9:35. The Power of Two, Weds: 3:30, 9:50; Thurs: 1:45, 7:30. Rebirth, WedsTues: 10:40, 12:20, 2:40, 5, 7:20, 9:35. S.O.S. (State of Security), Weds: 1:45, 7:30; Thurs: 12, 5:25. Semper Fi: Always Faithful, Weds: 2, 7:35; Thurs: 12:05, 5:20. Summer Shorts, Sat-Mon: 11. What Is It?, Tues: 7:30. AMC Loews Village Theatre 66 3rd Ave. (11th St.) 888-AMC-4FUN. The Change-Up, Weds-Thurs: 1:30, 4, 7:15, 10. Colombiana, Weds-Thurs: 12:30, 2:15, 3:15, 5:15, 6:15, 8, 9, 10:40. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Weds-Thurs: 2, 4:30, 7, 9:30. Final Destination 5, Weds-Thurs: 3:30, 8:15. Final Destination 5 3D, Weds-Thurs: 1, 6, 10:35. Friends With Benefits, Weds-Thurs: 4:45, 7:30, 10:15. The Smurfs 3D, Weds-Thurs: 1:45, 7:10. The Smurfs, Weds-Thurs: 4:15, 9:45. Winnie the Pooh, WedsThurs: 12:45, 2:45. Millennium 66 E. 4th St. (betw. 2nd Ave & Bowery) 212673-0090. Call theater for schedule. Quad Cinema 34 W. 13th St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.) 212-2558800. Amigo, Weds-Thurs: 1:10, 4, 6:45, 9:15. Attack the Block, Weds-Thurs: 1:05, 3:15, 5:30, 7:45, 9:50. Beginners, Weds-Thurs: 1, 3:20, 5:35,

7:50, 9:55. A Proper Violence, Weds-Thurs: 1, 5, 9:15. Stripped Down, Weds-Thurs: 3, 7:10. Sunshine Cinema 143 Houston St. (betw. 1st & 2nd Aves.) 212330-8182 687. Another Earth, Weds: 12:25, 2:40; Thurs: 12:25, 2:40, 4:50, 7:20, 9:50. Back to the Future, FriSun: 12. Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, Weds-Thurs: 12:05, 4:45, 9:30. Circumstance (Sharayet), Weds: 2:20, 4:35, 7:10, 9:35; Thurs: 12, 2:20, 4:35, 7:10, 9:35. Senna, Weds-Thurs: 12:30, 2:45, 5, 7:15, 9:45. The Tree of Life, Weds-Thurs: 1, 4, 7:05, 9:55. The Whistleblower, Weds-Thurs: 2:15, 7. United Artists Battery Park City 16 102 N. End Ave. (betw. Vesey & West Sts.) 800326-3264 629. Colombiana, Weds-Thurs: 1:50, 4:30, 7:10, 10:10. Conan the Barbarian, Weds-Thurs: 12:10, 5:30. Conan the Barbarian in 3D, Weds-Thurs: 2:50, 8:10, 10:50. Crazy, Stupid, Love, WedsThurs: 12:40, 3:50, 6:50, 9:35. The Debt, WedsThurs: 1:50, 4:50, 7:40, 10:25. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Weds-Thurs: 12:05, 2:30, 5, 7:30, 10. Fright Night, Weds-Thurs: 12, 5:10. Fright Night 3D, Weds-Thurs: 2:40, 7:50, 10:30. The Help, Weds: 12:50, 7:20; Weds: 4:10, 10:35; Thurs: 4:10, 10:35; Thurs: 12:50, 7:20. One Day, WedsThurs: 12, 2:25, 4:55, 7:35, 10:20. Our Idiot Brother, Weds-Thurs: 1, 3:10, 5:40, 8, 10:40. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Weds-Thurs: 1:20, 4, 6:45, 9:40. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, Weds-Thurs: 12:15, 4:40, 9:20. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D, Weds-Thurs: 2:20, 7. United Artists Union Square Stadium 14 850 B’way (13th St.) 800-326-3264 628. 30 Minutes or Less, Weds-Thurs: 11:40, 2:10, 4:50, 7:35, 10:20. Captain America: The First Avenger, Weds-Thurs: 1:10, 4:20, 7:40, 10:35. Conan the Barbarian in 3D, Weds-Thurs: 12:05, 2:50, 5:35, 8:15, 11. Cowboys & Aliens, WedsThurs: 1, 4:10, 7:15, 10:05. The Devil’s Double, Weds-Thurs: 3:30. Fright Night, Weds-Thurs: 12:25. Fright Night 3D, Weds-Thurs: 11:20, 2:25, 5:20, 8, 10:50. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, Weds-Thurs: 12:40, 3:50, 6:50, 9:50. Horrible Bosses, Weds-Thurs: 12, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:40. One Day, Weds-Thurs: 11, 1:40, 4:30, 7, 9:40. Our Idiot Brother, WedsThurs: 11:30, 12:30, 2, 3, 4:40, 5:40, 7:10, 8:10, 9:30, 10:30. Red Hot Chili Peppers Live: I’m With You, Thurs: 8. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Weds-Thurs: 11:50, 12:50, 2:20, 3:20, 5, 6, 7:30, 8:30, 10, 11:05. Scarface Special Event, Weds: 7:30. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, WedsThurs: 11:10, 4, 9:10. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D, Weds-Thurs: 1:30, 6:40. 14th-34th Clearview’s Chelsea 260 W. 23rd St. (betw. 7th & 8th Aves.) 212777-FILM. The Debt, Weds-Thurs: 12:15, 3:15, 6:15, 9:15; Weds-Thurs: 1:40, 4:40, 7:40, 10:40. Fright Night 3D, Weds-Thurs: 12:30, 3, 5:40, 8:15, 11. The Help, Weds-Thurs: 12:45, 2:30, 4, 5:45, 7:15, 9, 10:30. One Day, Weds-Thurs: 1:30, 4:15, 7, 9:45. Our Idiot Brother, Weds-Thurs: 12:35, 2:45, 5:15, 7:45, 10:15. Red Hot Chili Peppers Live: I’m With You, Thurs: 8. Sarah’s Key (Elle s’appelait Sarah), Weds-Thurs: 2:10, 4:45, 7:30, 10. Scarface Special Event, Weds: 7:30. The Whistleblower, Weds-Thurs: 2, 5, 8, 10:45. AMC Loews 19th St. East 890 B’way (19th St.) 888-AMC-4FUN. Call theater for schedule. AMC Loews Kips Bay 15 2nd Ave. (32nd St.) 888-AMC-4FUN. 30 Minutes or Less, Weds-Thurs: 11:20, 1:45,

4, 6:15, 8:30, 11. Captain America: The First Avenger, Weds: 1:35, 10:10; Weds: 1:35, 10:10; Thurs: 1:35, 7:05; Thurs: 1:35, 7:05. The Change-Up, Weds: 10:50, 4:25; Thurs: 10:50, 4:25, 10. Colombiana, WedsThurs: 11:50, 2:35, 5:15, 8, 10:45. Conan the Barbarian in 3D, Weds-Thurs: 11:45, 2:40, 5:30, 8:15, 11:05. Crazy, Stupid, Love, Weds-Thurs: 11:15, 2:05, 5, 7:50, 10:45. The Debt, Weds-Thurs: 11:30, 2:05, 4:45, 7:45, 10:35. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Weds-Thurs: 11:30, 2, 4:30, 7:15, 9:50. Final Destination 5, Weds: 11:55, 2:30, 5; Thurs: 11:55, 2:30, 5, 12:05. Final Destination 5 3D, Thurs: 8:15, 10:35. Fright Night 3D, Weds: 11:10, 1:40, 4:15, 8:10, 10:45; Thurs: 11:10, 1:40, 4:15, 7, 9:30, 12:10. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - Part 2: An IMAX 3D Experience, Weds-Thurs: 10:30, 1:30, 4:30. The Help, Weds: 11:55, 3:20, 7, 10:15; Thurs: 11:55, 3:20, 6:45, 10. One Day, Weds-Thurs: 11, 1:40, 4:20, 7:10, 9:50. Our Idiot Brother, Weds-Thurs: 10:30, 12:45, 3:05, 5:20, 7:45, 10:15. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Weds-Thurs: 11:35, 2:15, 4:55, 7:45, 10:25. Scarface Special Event, Weds: 7:30. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, WedsThurs: 7:20, 9:45. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 3D, Weds-Thurs: 10:45, 1:10, 3:30, 5:55. Transformers: Dark of the Moon: An IMAX 3D Experience, Weds-Thurs: 7:30, 11. Warrior, Weds: 7. 35th-55th AMC Empire 25 234 W. 42nd St. (8th St.) 888-AMC-4FUN. Amigo, Weds-Thurs: 12:45, 3:55, 7:05, 10:15. Bodyguard, Weds-Thurs: 11:15, 2:45, 6:15, 9:45. Bol, Weds-Thurs: 11:20, 2:55, 6:30, 10. Captain America: The First Avenger, Weds-Thurs: 11:35, 2:40, 5:40, 8:40, 11:45. Captain America: The First Avenger 3D, Weds-Thurs: 10, 1:05, 4:10, 7:15, 10:20. Colombiana, Weds-Thurs: 11:15, 2:10, 5, 7:55, 11; Weds-Thurs: 12:15, 3:10, 6:05, 9, 11:55. Cowboys & Aliens, Weds: 10:15, 1:10, 4:10; Thurs: 10:15, 1:10, 4:10, 7:15, 10:15. The Devil’s Double, Weds-Thurs: 10:40, 1:45, 4:45, 7:55, 10:50. Friends With Benefits, Weds-Thurs: 11:15, 2, 4:55, 7:40, 10:35. Fright Night, Weds-Thurs: 10:30, 11:50, 1:15, 2:35, 4, 5:25, 6:45, 8:10, 9:30, 10:55. Fright Night 3D, Weds-Thurs: 12:30, 3:15, 6, 8:45, 11:30. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, WedsThurs: 11:35, 2:45, 5:55, 9:05. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - Part 2: An IMAX 3D Experience, Weds-Thurs: 10, 1:05, 4:15, 7:30. The Help,

30 Minutes or Less Weds-Thurs: 10:20, 11:30, 12:40, 1:50, 3, 4:10, 5:10, 6:30, 7:40, 8:50, 10, 11:10. Midnight in Paris, Weds-Thurs: 11:10, 1:40, 4:05, 6:40, 9:05, 11:30. One Day, Weds-Thurs: 10, 12:45, 3:35, 6:25, 9:15. Our Idiot Brother, Weds-Thurs: 10, 11:15, 12:35, 1:50, 3:10, 4:25, 5:45, 7, 8:20, 9:35, 10:55. Peter Gabriel: New Blood Orchestra LIVE in 3D, Tues: 7:30. Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Weds: 10, 10:55, 11:50, 12:45, 1:40, 2:35, 3:30, 4:25, 6:15, 7:10, 9, 9:55, 10:50, 11:45; Thurs: 10, 10:55, 11:50, 12:45, 1:40, 2:35, 3:30, 4:25, 5:20, 6:15, 7:10, 8:05, 9, 9:55, 10:50, 11:45. Scarface Special Event, Weds: 7:30. Transformers: Dark of the Moon: An IMAX 3D Experience, Weds-Thurs: 10:40. Warrior, Weds: 7. Clearview’s Ziegfeld 141 W. 54th St. (betw. 6th & 7th Aves.) 212765-7600. The Help, Weds: 2, 5:15, 8:30. Peter Gabriel: New Blood Orchestra LIVE in 3D, Tues: 7:30. 36. Emerging Cinemas at Theatre Row 410 West 42nd Street 212-245-6767. Rarely shows films - Mostly Theatre Arts. 37. AMC Loews 34th Street 312 W. 34th St. (betw. 8th & 9th Aves.) 888-AMC-4FUN. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows - Part 2: An IMAX 3D Experience, Weds-Thurs: 10, 1. Scarface Special Event, Weds: 7:30. Transformers: Dark of the Moon: An IMAX 3D Experience, Weds-Thurs: 4, 7:30, 11. Warrior, Weds: 7. Regal E-Walk 13 42nd St. (8th Ave.) 800-326-3264. Call theater for schedule. Museum of Modern Art 11 W. 53rd St. (betw. 5th & 6th Aves.) 212-7089480. The Adventure (L’avventura), Thurs: 4. Do the Right Thing, Weds: 7. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Weds: 4. Rome, Open City (Roma, citta aperta), Weds-Thurs: 1:30.

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| By marissa maier

I

n 2011, the 10th edition of the Tribeca Film Festival received upward of 5,000 submissions and attracted—according to Variety—roughly 430,0800 attendees. Executive Director Nancy Schafer, who oversees everything from film programming to budgets, reflects on Tribeca, from the neighborhood of the first festival in 2002 to the neighborhood it is today. You have been with the festival since its inception in 2002, when it was created to revitalize downtown Manhattan in the wake of 9/11. How has the festival evolved since its first edition? How have you seen this area bounce back? When we started this, we didn’t contemplate it in the long term—we wanted to help revitalize the community. Besides bringing all of the downtown communities together, we had people walking on the streets again. The city was really excited to have this big, populous film festival. The following year, we teamed up with American Express again and continued on. That was the beginning. [The festival] hasn’t expanded—we did all of these things, like the free public events for the community, in the first year. On the one hand we are showing films, and on the other hand we provide big community events. The first year when I worked in Tribeca, I went to the Regal [Theater] in Battery Park with a gas mask on. There weren’t a lot of people on the streets. Now, it’s a bustling, happy and wealthy community. It is really one of the most charming neighborhoods in New York.

The Tribeca Cinema on Varick Street was purchased by Tribeca Film Festival co-founder Robert De Niro, and is now one of the annual festival's venues. PHOTO BY CAiTLYN BiERMAN

about running a big city festival. What kept me here is that there were so many interesting things going on and we are supporting filmmakers around the globe.

During that first festival the city was still recovering. Can you describe what the mood—among your team and in the community—was like during that first festival? The first year there was a sense that we had a humanitarian purpose. It was about saving a dying community. At 375 Greenwich, where the offices are, the motto of the whole staff was “look left,” because if you looked left you no longer saw the World Trade Center. It was a daily and constant reminder of why we were there.

In an Indiewire piece this year, you said of the first festivals: “Our agenda was pure and simple. For these first few years after 9/11, our guiding principle was that cinema can heal our community.” Can you recall a few of the films that have screened at the festival that have been part of this healing process? There are some easy films to talk about, like Arna’s Children [about a Palestinian children’s theater group which won Best Documentary Feature at the 2004 festival], or a joyous film like Mad Hot Ballroom or Pray the Devil Back to Hell, about women in Liberia. These films bring some emotions you might be feeling to the forefront. They might be sad movies, but they make you feel.

In the beginning, the festival was supposed to be a temporary gig for you. What kept you in New York and at the Tribeca Film Festival? Well, Tribeca is a great company to work for. It was an interesting experience for me. I had run a film festival for eight or nine years prior [the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas]. There was a lot to learn

What are the benefits and the challenges of staging a festival in Downtown Manhattan? The benefits are that we are in the capital of the world. All eyes are on us, and it gives great visibility to our filmmak-

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ers. For those 12 days, everyone is looking at Tribeca. The challenges of a big city festival are that we have to raise a lot of money and there are a lot of logistical challenges. But what makes [the festival] great is that it is in New York City.

COURTESY OF THE TRiBECA FiLM FESTiVAL

OUR TOWN DOWNTOWN is a division of Manhattan Media, LLC, publisher of West Side Spirit, Chelsea Clinton News, The Westsider, City Hall, The Capitol, The Blackboard Awards, New York Family, and Avenue magazine.

Nancy Shafer


on topic

Planting Roots at the World Trade Center Again

t

he trees are planted and, forest or not, you can see them. I look at the World Trade Center a little more broadly than I used to, and the most remarkable thing I saw on a visit there last week was the trees. It was not a surprise to me that they were there or that someone had made sure there were clear views of them on the public walkways, while other views were blocked—we’ve had nearly 10 years of officials going out of their way to show progress at the site. Sometimes the progress was real, many times not. The trees, which will consume most of the memorial plaza, are a pittance of the mega-billion-dollar redevelopment and memorial project, but their value is much greater than their cost. When I was in my twenties, I noticed something friends and acquaintances often said on deciding to leave New York City after a few years: “You never see trees here.” I grew up in the city, so I had to learn to appreciate nature. I was gratified when groves of trees were added to the selected WTC design by architect Michael Arad.

The memorial falls short for me in some ways, as it will inevitably do for thousands of family members—and perhaps millions of people—each with their own individual notion of what the memorial should be. Over the years, at least a few of those who lost loved ones on 9/11 said the memorial should include more artifacts from the attack, and some wanted to see pictures of those who were killed. Maybe only a few people feel this way, maybe a lot. Regardless, they are right. Someday, it will undoubtedly be a striking vision to come upon a forest of trees in the middle of a completed office/ retail center, but without having remnants of the attack more prominent and visible to workers, residents and passersby in the decades to come, the memorial’s significance could easily be lost with time. Generations from now, most of those who see the memorial will be unlikely to trek down to the underground museum. A century or two from now, pictures of the victims would presumably make it harder to forget them. If you take a short walk away from the WTC, you can find

many memorials with names on a wall. Do many people without personal ties to these memorials think about the lives that were lost when they see them? But I’m happy to have the trees. No one gets everything they want in a memorial, and I’m not even what’s called a stakeholder. I covered the WTC redevelopment’s ups and mostly downs intensely for the first eight and a half years of its progress for another paper, and watched it from further away for the last 15 months. I remember the timing of my turning point perhaps even better than I do 9/11 itself, because that’s when I began spending most of my time taking care of my infant son. His progress since then is unmistakable. He had no teeth at that point, could not crawl and struggled to stay on his tummy for more than a few seconds. Now he runs, climbs on windowsills and usually prefers to “read” books on his own. We strolled around the WTC site last week, and its progress was also dramatic. Shadows from the two towers under construction are considerably larger, and the

facade of 1 WTC is tall enough to imagine what the building will look like. (I heard one visiting Fire Department officer refer to the JOSH ROGERS tower using the now unfashionable F-word, “Freedom.”) My son loved the construction vehicles and all of the pedestrian activity. The trees were too far away for him to notice or care. The site was noisier than I remember—so much so that the World Financial Center sounded eerily ghost-like after we crossed the area. We made it over to Battery Park City’s Teardrop Park, two blocks from the site but, with its hills and rocks, a world away. I had not been back to the park much since its opening seven years ago. It did feel as if we were somewhere like the Catskills, as was intended. My son splashed in the boulder sprinklers. It was a toddler’s paradise. We’ll be back.

� STR E ET SCE N E

| photographed by CaItLyN bIermaN

Art for the Masses Send photos of murals, posters, etc. you have seen in your neighborhood to otdowntown@ manhattanmedia.com or upload onto our website www.otdowntown.com.

Paint tHE BOx CamPaiGn

as part of the launch of Our Town Downtown, we are kicking off a paint the box campaign. We encourage local artists (from students to masters, from the well-known to the obscure) and community members to send us their design ideas for our news boxes. Use these boxes as your canvas to show us “What you Love about downtown manhattan,” the theme of our campaign. our upcoming issue will provide submission details, rules and criteria. In the meantime, find your nearest Our Town Downtown news box, let the ideas simmer, start sketching and submit your outlines to

A wall mural on 7th Street along Tompkins Square Park honoring Joe Strummer by Niagra in 1997. Flaming Cactus on Astor Place by the Animus Arts Collective.

Poster by Shephard Fairey (under the name Obey) on 6th Street at Avenue A.

Wall murals with tags “BG183,” “Irak,” and “Tatscru” on 2nd Street at Avenue A.

St. Marks Place and Avenue A tagged by Beau.

otdowntown@manhattanmedia.com.

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Our Town Downtown September 1, 2011