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Galas make us kind of nervous, but we attended this week's Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation dinner at Balthazar honoring the work and life of Jane Jacobs to hear what more could be said about the revered author and activist.

New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger called Jacobs "the great prophet of the Village" and praised her legacy of radical intervention. "What she believed," he said, "is that every place has an essence, a particular quality that we can figure out by looking at it - and that cities are living things, not inert objects." Author Calvin Trillin, a Village resident since 1961, boasted of its delights: Avoiding what he called the unnatural act of walking past a doorman into an elevator to go home and Shopsin's.

As attendees swapped stories of garbage, traffic, bike lanes, zoning and, of course, development, it was clear that Jacobs' legacy doesn't end with the downtown she helped preserve. It includes, too, those who are following her lead, now turning their attention to landmarking the Far West Village, reigning in Meatpacking District traffic, taming NYU's growth and scaling down an 11-story glass tower parking lot proposed for 122 Greenwich Avenue, at 13th Street.

Just last week the city moved forward to landmark three buildings in the Far West Village: 185 Barrow Street, or the Keller Hotel, one of three intact former maritime hotels along the waterfront; 159 Charles Street and 354 West 11th. Others in the works are the Westbeth complex and Charles Lane.