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After wandering in the urban wilderness for more than 20 years, New York Law School History
New York Law School is one of the oldest independent law schools in the United States. The Law School was founded in 1891 by a group of faculty, students, and alumni of Columbia Law School led by their founding dean, Theodore William Dwight, a prominent figure in the
 students finally have a dormitory of their own. The Promised Land is a brand-new 13-story building on East Third Street, where up to 99 law students will soon live and study amidst the music of angels.Hell's Angels, that is. The infamous motorcycle gang inhabits the building right next-door: a dingy, six-story tenement that has been the club's local headquarters for more than three decades. Their comings and goings are heralded with throaty throat·y  
adj. throat·i·er, throat·i·est
Uttered or sounding as if uttered deep in the throat; guttural, hoarse, or husky.

 blasts from Harley-Davidson tailpipes, and their block parties are the stuff of legend. Though middle age has mellowed the Angels-their latest noteworthy weapons bust, for a couple of knives, a dagger and pistol, dates back to last year-it's hard to imagine them baking cookies for the housewarming house·warm·ing  
A celebration of the occupancy of a new home.

Noun 1. housewarming - a party of people assembled to celebrate moving into a new home

"The fact that they tolerated this invasion of their territory is kind of amazing to me," marveled George Bliss, who operated a pedicab hub adjacent to the Angels' clubhouse before the dorm took its place. He recalled the days when tour buses would troll his block, looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 grit: Angels would rise to the occasion, hoisting bricks overhead and menacing the glassed-in out-of-towners. One prankster, he added, liked to crack a bullwhip bull·whip  
A long, plaited rawhide whip with a knotted end.

tr.v. bull·whipped, bull·whip·ping, bull·whips
To whip or beat with a bullwhip.
 on the hoods of passing cars.

"I'm sure they feel squeezed," he said. "I still occasionally see those guys, and they have nothing but curses for their neighbors. The shit hasn't hit the fan yet with whoever's going to go in and out of that dorm building, and park their cars in front of that building."

Indeed, the Angels are notoriously possessive of their parking. On the front of their clubhouse, a sign reads: "No Parking Except Authorized Hell's Angels," and they've been known to put cones and saw horses in the street to reserve room for their bikes. Cars have ended up with slashed tires.

But where some folks see chaos, Alta Levat, the associate dean for public affairs at New York Law School, paints a cozy (if eclectic) portrait of scholastic domesticity.

"The East Village is a wonderful place to live, full of students and young people and all sorts of wonderful people," she said. Has she considered a certain subset of those wonderful people, the Hell's Angels? "Well, we're very familiar with the neighborhood, and we don't have any concerns about that," she said.

Ms. Levat added that the law school has been exploring the real-estate market for 20 years and that, to abate the housing shortage, some students have been bunking at Brooklyn Polytechnic. "When we located this building, it was just so ideal that we moved ahead with our planning and incorporated it with our plans for the new academic year," she said. The school signed a long-term lease in May.

Students will start moving in on Aug. 1, and there's already a waiting list for rooms. Rent will range from $1,000 to $1,600 per bedroom, arranged in suites with private kitchens and balconies-some offer a pleasant view of the Angels' roof deck-all just a 20-minute commute from the school's campus in Tribeca. The dormitory is strictly nonsmoking non·smok·ing  
1. Not engaging in the smoking of tobacco: nonsmoking passengers.

2. Designated or reserved for nonsmokers: the nonsmoking section of a restaurant.
 and, as Ms. Levat was quick to point out, it will be monitored by a 24-hour security force.

The students' security system, however, will have nothing on the one next-door, where six closed-circuit cameras festoon festoon, sculptured or painted architectural or interior ornament consisting of a garland of leaves, flowers, or fruit, or some combination of these, held by ribbons or folds and draped at the ends.  the façade of the Angels' lair. If that's not enough to ward off interlopers INTERLOPERS. Persons who interrupt the trade of a company of merchants, by pursuing the same business with them in the same place, without lawful authority. , there's a tiny peephole nestled into the socket of a leering leer  
intr.v. leered, leer·ing, leers
To look with a sidelong glance, indicative especially of sexual desire or sly and malicious intent.

A desirous, sly, or knowing look.
 skull on the front door, along with a brass plaque that bears a eulogy for ex-Angel (Big Vinny) Girolamo, 1948-1979: "When In Doubt, Knock 'Em Out."

The students and the Angels both have a vested interest Vested Interest

A financial or personal stake one entity has in an asset, security, or transaction.

For example, if you have a mortgage, your bank has a vested interest on the sale of your house.
See also: Right
 in the law, and in a perfect world one can imagine a symbiosis symbiosis (sĭmbēō`sĭs), the habitual living together of organisms of different species. The term is usually restricted to a dependent relationship that is beneficial to both participants (also called mutualism) but may be extended to  taking root: The gruff but affable Angels would recognize that they've gained a valuable resource right next-door, in the form of free legal services legal services n. the work performed by a lawyer for a client. . And the law students would acquire experience, and a dash of thrilling glamour, while defending the Angels in court.

Meanwhile, however, this is Manhattan we're talking about, and so a local community group-Committee for Zoning Inaction-sprang up to protest the dorm's height. They complain that the building's developer used special zoning privileges to erect extra stories.

"This is sort of the Trojan dorm," said Richard Kusack, who assembled the group. "People find it really out of scale."

According to The Villager, on April 26 "a crowd of about 80 angry residents" gathered outside the law-school dorm, demanding that the city's Department of Buildings revoke the permit and chanting, "Take the floors down!"

Community activists aside, do the law students need to be nervous about their neighbors?

Don Muldoon is a retired cop who served the "Fighting Ninth" Precinct for 26 years and got to know a colorful assortment of Angels. They had nicknames like the Elephant Man, the Elephant Man, the

Joseph Merrick, whose deformed face was said to resemble an elephant’s. [Br. Cinema: The Elephant Man]

See : Deformity
 Preacher and Mike the Bike, he recalled.

"They're not the nicest people in the world. I mean, they would cut your leg off in a heartbeat immediately.

See also: heartbeat
," he said. "But the funny part was, there was very little crime on their block, although we did find some unconscious people lying there once in awhile, you know? Of questionable moral fiber.

"You'll guarantee these kids are from Neverget, Long Island, or Sheepshank, Idaho, or something," he said. "And they're living in the big city here." He paused a moment to contemplate students from corn-fed America living cheek-by-jowl with the Hell's Angels. "Oh … my … God," he said slowly.

Mr. Muldoon left the force in 1991. Nowadays, the Angels fall under the jurisdiction of Inspector James McCarthy, the commanding officer of the Ninth Precinct.

"In October, I arrested one of the Hell's Angels for attempting to break the window of my car," said Inspector McCarthy. He explained that he'd been responding to a complaint-apparently, the Angels had wrecked a parked car by puncturing its radiator with a screwdriver. He'd crept up to the clubhouse in an unmarked cruiser, double-parked it and was walking back down the block when ….

"One of them was about to break my window when somebody yelled, 'Police!'" Inspector McCarthy recalled. "He threw his hammer up to the second-floor fire escape, and somebody took it in. I arrested the individual. He was charged with attempted criminal mischief and possession of a dangerous weapon."

The bikers are also possessive of their outdoor furnishings. During a recent visit, a burly fellow with a Hell's Angels belt buckle cinched around his considerable waist emerged from the clubhouse to inform a reporter that she had been sitting on the club's "private bench."

"We don't give interviews, and we'd like you to leave," he explained coolly. "And that's a private bench right there."

Neighbors confirmed that the bench had recently received a new coat of blood-red paint. Under normal circumstances, it bears a sign that says: "GETAWAY [ sic]: PRIVATE BENCH."

-Jessica Bruder

The Baroness

"Stop barking, Pollicino. Stop!"

Pollicino, a male Yorkshire terrier Yorkshire terrier, breed of small, spirited toy dog originated and developed in Yorkshire, England, in the mid-19th cent. It stands about 9 in. (22.8 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 4 to 7 lb (1.8–3.2 kg). , was circling around Baroness Mariuccia Zerilli-Marimò's feet. Through an enormous window behind the baroness, one could see Central Park blossoming. It was a breathtaking vision-though not as astonishing a·ston·ish  
tr.v. as·ton·ished, as·ton·ish·ing, as·ton·ish·es
To fill with sudden wonder or amazement. See Synonyms at surprise.
 as the 79-year-old baroness, who was wearing a little red dress by Raffaella Curiel, bicolored bi·col·or   or bi·col·ored
Having two colors, as an animal.

Adj. 1. bicolored - having two colors; "a bicolor flower"; "a bicolored postage stamp"
bichrome, bicolor, bicolour, bicoloured, dichromatic
 shoes and a blue long-sleeve sweater laid on her shoulders, with thick caramel-blond hair that was surely styled by Sophia Loren's hairdresser.

Baroness Mariuccia is the widow of Baron Guido Zerilli-Marimò, chairman of Ledoga-Lepetit, a Milan-based pharmaceutical empire. She was an employee at the company, a girl in her 20's, when she married the much older Sicilian chairman. When the company merged with Dow Chemicals in the 1960's, the baron retired, became a lecturer, an ambassador of the Order of Malta to Ethiopia and Portugal, and a member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques The Académie des sciences morales et politiques (Academy of Moral and Political Sciences) is a French learned society. It is one of the five academies of the Institut de France.  of the Institut de France Institut de France (ăNstētü` də fräNs), cultural institution of the French state. Founded in 1795 by the Directory, it replaced five learned societies that had been suppressed in 1793 by the Convention. .

Their marriage was a happy one: Pope Paul VI Pope Paul VI (Latin: Paulus PP. VI; Italian: Paolo VI), born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini (September 26, 1897 – August 6, 1978), reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 1963 to 1978.  gave them a blessing for their silver wedding anniversary Noun 1. silver wedding anniversary - the 25th wedding anniversary
wedding anniversary - the anniversary of the day on which you were married (or the celebration of it)
. (The couple had property in Castelgandolfo, the same town where the Pope's summer residence is located; the land later became a golf club.)

When the baron died in 1981, the baroness inherited his fortune.

While she is highly connected in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
 society-a donor to the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, the City Opera and the New York Philharmonic The New York Philharmonic is the oldest active symphony orchestra in the United States, organized during 1842. Based in New York City, the Philharmonic performs most of its concerts at Avery Fisher Hall and has long been considered one of the best orchestras in the world. , for example-she is also an anomaly: She is conservative. She is reverently rev·er·ent  
Marked by, feeling, or expressing reverence.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin rever
 Catholic. She has never been chased by paparazzi pa·pa·raz·zo  
n. pl. pa·pa·raz·zi
A freelance photographer who doggedly pursues celebrities to take candid pictures for sale to magazines and newspapers.
. She had just one love affair, and it became a marriage.

"She seems to be frozen in the 50's," said a Rome correspondent for a prominent newspaper who didn't wish to be named.

"She is really a benefactress ben·e·fac·tress  
A woman who gives aid, especially financial aid.

Noun 1. benefactress - a woman benefactor
benefactor, helper - a person who helps people or institutions (especially with financial help)
," said Antonio Monda Monda is a town and municipality in the province of Málaga, part of the autonomous community of Andalucía in southern Spain. The municipality is situated approximately 44 kilometres from the provincial capital and 10 from Coín. It has a population of approximately 2000 residents. , professor at the Department of Film and Television of the Tisch School of the Arts School of the Arts is the name of several schools (usually high schools) that are devoted to the fine arts, including:
  • Brooklyn High School of the Arts, Brooklyn, New York
  • Charleston County School of the Arts, Charleston, South Carolina
 in New York, who appears as himself in Wes Anderson's movie The Life Aquatic.

Her apartment is filled with hundreds of porcelains, red damasks, Mario dei Fiori paintings, a Baldwin piano and plenty of embroidered em·broi·der  
v. em·broi·dered, em·broi·der·ing, em·broi·ders
1. To ornament with needlework: embroider a pillow cover.


"I do the embroidery myself," the baroness said. " I do the petit point-a needlepoint needlepoint: see lace.

Type of embroidery in which the stitches are counted and worked with a needle over the threads, or mesh, of a canvas foundation. It was known as canvas work until the early 19th century.
 worked in fine yarn on very small, single-thread canvas. It relaxes me. It's like playing Chopin."

The porcelains?

"Most of them from Saxony. I always bring them with me, moving from one town to another."

She used to live in Milan, in the English-style Perego Gardens, in a house designed by the architect Giò Ponti. "I sold the Milan apartment 18 years ago, when I decided to move to New York and dedicate myself to spreading the Italian culture in the U.S., which was one of my husband's goals," she said.

In 1987, for about $5 million, she purchased and renovated a 19th-century house a few blocks from Washington Square. She donated the house-which had once been the home of the19th-century American general Winfield Scott-to New York University New York University, mainly in New York City; coeducational; chartered 1831, opened 1832 as the Univ. of the City of New York, renamed 1896. It comprises 13 schools and colleges, maintaining 4 main centers (including the Medical Center) in the city, as well as the , and it became the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, home of the Department of Italian Studies. The department hosts about 100 events each year.

"I do not have a family here; Casa Zerilli-Marimò is my New York family," she said.

In Europe, she has her real family: a daughter, Maria Chiara Zerilli-Marimò, married to a Polish count, and a 17-year-old grandson.

The New York apartment is full of portraits of the baron. They married in Lausanne, Switzerland. She sobbed looking at a ring with the Zerilli-Marimò blazon set in a deep blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds.

"His partner in Lepetit was Roberto Lepetit, the heir of the family who founded the chemical company," she said. "Roberto was deported to the concentration camp of Ebensee in Austria, after the Nazis discovered that he and my husband had been hiding medicines behind a wall for the Italian insurgents Insurgents, in U.S. history, the Republican Senators and Representatives who in 1909–10 rose against the Republican standpatters controlling Congress, to oppose the Payne-Aldrich tariff and the dictatorial power of House speaker Joseph G. Cannon. . He died in Ebensee the day before the Allies liberated the camp."

The baron, she said, loved America: "In 1946, he flew here on a military plane. It took 48 hours from Milan to New York."

Nine years ago, said Professor Leonardo Losito, who used to work with the baron, "the baroness asked me to go the airport and welcome her husband. 'Which husband?' I wondered. 'Didn't the baron die? Had she gone completely crazy?'"

"Please," she'd pleaded, "go and take my husband home."

Mr. Losito discovered that she was referring to a dark bronze bust, which now stands at the entrance of the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò.

A fervent Catholic, Baroness Mariuccia is a member of the delegation of the permanent mission of the Holy See to the United Nations. When the former apostolic nuncio NUNCIO. The name given to the Pope's ambassador. Nuncios are ordinary or extraordinary; the former are sent upon usual missions, the latter upon special occasions. , Renato Martino, now archbishop, asked her to join the mission as a volunteer, she cheered. "I go to the United Nations and listen," she said. "Every year, I print a book in Italian with a collection of summaries of the head of state's speeches at the General Assembly."

The baroness is also a Dame of Grace and Devotion of the Sovereign Order of Malta.

"It's the oldest order of chivalry chivalry (shĭv`əlrē), system of ethical ideals that arose from feudalism and had its highest development in the 12th and 13th cent.  of Christianity," she said. "Its principle is defense of the faith, assistance to the poor and care of the suffering. It was born at the time of the First Crusade. The Order is a sovereign subject of international law, with its own constitution, passports, stamps and public institutions. At just eight acres, the Order's headquarters in Rome is the world's smallest sovereign state SOVEREIGN STATE. One which governs itself independently of any foreign power. , but it counts 11,000 dames and knights throughout the world."

She disappeared for a moment and returned with a black cape with red lining, decorated by a white cross and four lilies. She said she wears the cape "on pilgrimages with the suffering, or at ceremonies."

Does she cook?

"I don't have time," she said, noting that she has a favorite caterer, Jolanda Garretti, founder of Acquolina Catering on Third Avenue. In May, Ms. Garretti catered the Casa Italiana's annual board meeting: risotto ri·sot·to  
n. pl. ri·sot·tos
A dish of rice cooked in broth, usually with saffron, and served with grated cheese.

[Italian, from riso, rice, from Old Italian; see rice.
 with pears and veal marinated in a tuna sauce.

"There was a fantastic cake with pineapple as well. I served me twice, which is not good for my weight," the baroness said with a smile.

Sun was flooding through the Central Park South apartment. The baroness said that, with summer coming, she would soon leave Manhattan for Monaco, where she is a resident.

-Silvia Grilli

376 Hudson

Whenever I'm invited to a dinner party, I get an idea of how it will go. I stare at the invitation and imagine the dining-room table in the sconce light. The wine is flowing and, like Italians, we will smoke after the meal. There are about a dozen of us. We tell tall tales and laugh our asses off. It's nice. And then I actually go to the dinner party-only to find myself in a rented hall filled with 300 people. The food circulates on trays carried by pissed-off actors. These are the only dinner parties I ever get invited to, the ones for 300 people. But somehow the invitation tricks me every time. I should know better by now.

But I wanted to tell you about 376 Hudson. That's the address of the United States Passport United States passports are issued to citizens and to non-citizen nationals of the United States of America for the purpose of international travel. Every citizen is a national of the United States. Not every national is a citizen.  Agency. I had to get a new passport recently, and so I ended up there.

I gathered the necessary forms at a post office and filled them out in advance. I wanted to be ready. And I had a pretty good idea of how it would go. Now, sure, I've seen the line that forms outside 376 Hudson. I didn't arrive in New York yesterday. I knew I would be standing in that line. It would be shady, though, I correctly predicted, with the rising sun blocked by the building.

I could see myself going through the security checkpoint. I would probably set off the beep. I was prepared for that. They would run that radio-stick, or whatever it is, up and down my body, and it would make a staticky stat·ick·y  
1. Relating to or producing random noise accompanying transmitted or recorded sound.

2. Relating to or producing electrostatic charges.
 sound at my crotch crotch
The angle or region of the angle formed by the junction of two parts or members, such as two branches, limbs, or legs.
. Then I would wait in another line, receive a number, and then it would be my turn to go up five flights of stairs.

The passport agents would not be like other bureaucrats. They would have a dash of elegance. They would enjoy their work. I would see them passing in the halls, chatting about this and that. One would mention the movie 3 Iron, and his colleague would reply with a wisecrack wise·crack   Slang
A flippant, typically sardonic remark or retort. See Synonyms at joke.

intr.v. wise·cracked, wise·crack·ing, wise·cracks
To make or utter a wisecrack.
 about Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Eventually, my name would be called. I would be sent to office No. 12.

I would pass green door after green door. Each would have a window of fogged glass. I would grab the doorknob for No. 12 and turn it. The office would be shabby, but it would at least provide its inhabitant INHABITANT. One who has his domicil in a place is an inhabitant of that place; one who has an actual fixed residence in a place.
     2. A mere intention to remove to a place will not make a man an inhabitant of such place, although as a sign of such intention he
 with the dignity of privacy. A few volumes of an out-of-date encyclopedia would line a metal bookshelf-and over there, almanacs and telephone books. Beside these would be stacks of fresh U.S. passports, all of them blank on the inside.

At first, the agent would not look up at me. He would be wearing a white shirt, sleeves rolled up, tie knotted up to the neck, hair a little greasy. He would be staring down at the papers on his desk-my papers-as a fan turned on a swivel in the corner. Venetian blinds would make the sunlight bearable.

"Mr. Maynes, is it?" he would say, staring down at the sheet.

"Yes, it is."

"Sure now?" He would lean back. The chair would squeak. He would tap the eraser end of his pencil on the metal surface of his desk. Crazy music would play in my mind.

"Yes, I'm sure."

"Good. Have a seat. Planning a visit to old Mexico, are we?"

"Well, I am, at least."

"Very good, Mr. Maynes. Know something? I haven't taken a proper vacation in two years. Not one. Can you believe it? Here I sit, day after day, helping others visit destinations far and wide, and yet …. Ironic, don't you think so?"

"I suppose it is."

"Rainy this time of year in old Mexico."

"All I know is what I read in the guide books."

"And what do they say, Mr. Maynes?"

"They say the rains are more frequent the farther south one travels in that country. They also say that they are more likely to come later in the summer."

"Is that so? Fascinating. Will you be going there for business or pleasure?"


"Going all by yourself?"

"I don't see how that's any of business of yours, Mr. …. " I would take a look at the nameplate on his desk. "Mr. Chen."

"Ah, but it is my business, Mr. Maynes. It is my business indeed. Guess you might say I'm Uncle Sam's eyes and ears. Uncle Sam doesn't ask much of us, but now and then he likes to check in with his 'nephews' and 'nieces.' I ask you again: Will you be traveling alone?"

"The wife. With the wife."

"Very good, Mr. Maynes."

He would study my papers more intensely and with a worried air. How I would squirm! But suddenly he would break out his rubber stamp and press it to the inkpad. With flying hands, he would make mark after mark on page after page. And then he would pass them to me.

"Your passport will be ready shortly, Mr. Maynes."

"Thank you."

"Don't thank me. I was merely doing my job."

"Thanks all the same."

I would get up to leave. As I stepped out, he would say, "Mr. Maynes?"

I would look back at Mr. Chen one last time, saying, "Yes?"

"Have a nice trip."

All of this was going through my mind at 376 Hudson as I stood in a large, featureless room talking to a man who sat in a tiny space behind a thick wall of bulletproof glass. The time was 2:13 p.m. The passport agent was one of a dozen or so bureaucrats seated in a row, all of them behind the bulletproof glass like mere postal employees.

"Mr. Maynes? Mr. Maynes?"

"I'm sorry, I …. "

"Go to will-call."

"Can I get it today? I'm leaving in a couple days. I need the-"

"It says on your ticket."

I checked the ticket and went over to the will-call area, where I waited in a plastic bucket chair for another hour and a half. Then I heard my name coming over a tinny tin·ny  
adj. tin·ni·er, tin·ni·est
1. Of, containing, or yielding tin.

2. Tasting or smelling of tin: tinny canned food.


-Steven Maynes
Copyright 2005 The New York Observer
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright (c) Mochila, Inc.

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Author:NYO Staff
Publication:The New York Observer
Date:Jun 19, 2005
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