The mystery officer who found himself in a televised lip lock with Jenny McCarthy in Times Square on New Year’s Eve was subsequently identified as Bikim Becaj of the East Village’s Ninth Precinct. Luckily, he didn’t get in trouble for embracing the on-air correspondent. “Whoever was next to her New Year’s Eve was going to get smooched,” said Paul Browne, the Police Department’s top spokesperson. On a scale of 1 to 10, Becaj rated McCarthy’s kiss a “12.”
Roskoff ‘irrelevant’: Meanwhile, there’s no love lost between Susan Stetzer and Allen Roskoff after Roskoff’s typically way-over-the-top holiday party invite featured a doctored photo of the Community Board 3 district manager as a sexy pole dancer. Scoopy ran the controversial image on Dec. 8. It’s not the first time the pro-nightlife gay political activist has tried to skewer Stetzer. He previously honored both her and state Senator Dan Squadron with an inaugural “Lavender Padlock Award” after Squadron passed tough new legislation on bars last year. “He might think I’m powerful,” Stetzer said of Roskoff. “I wish the State Liquor Authority thought I was as powerful as he does.” Of the offending photo of her as a pole dancer, Stetzer said, “Everyone I work with just thinks it’s stupid,” adding, “It was a very sexist thing to put my head on a bikini body. It was certainly objectifying women.” Stetzer said Roskoff apparently thinks she had a hand in Squadron’s so-called “6 and 60” law, which allows police to complain to the S.L.A. about a bar if they find six serious incidents at an establishment in a 60-day period. “I did read it beforehand,” Stetzer said of Squadron’s legislation, thought noting, “My main comment on it was to make sure that it was fair to businesses” — that is, specifically, that there must be actual “findings” of problem incidents by responding police, not just neighbors’ 311 phone call complaints, for example. Stetzer said she wasn’t the only one to make that recommendation before the bill was introduced. In conclusion, she said, “For me to comment on what Allen Roskoff does is just not a productive use of my time — and it’s irrelevant.” Ouch!
Menin making her move: Following her campaign 2013 fundraiser at Sean Sweeney’s Soho loft on Thurs., Jan. 5, which will be co-hosted by Sweeney and David Gruber, Julie Menin will be having yet another fundraiser on Tues., Jan. 10, at Henry Buhl’s Soho home. The host committee for this one includes Buhl of the Soho Partnership, developer Richard Born and actor Robert DeNiro, among others. Menin isn’t saying what office she’s aiming for yet, just that she’s running next year — but word has it that she’s set on Manhattan borough president.
When he’s not serving as a top spokesperson for Occupy Wall Street, Bill Dobbs, among other things, is keeping an eye on the retail situation along Sixth Ave., particularly just north and south of Eighth St. After seeing the beloved Bagel Buffet exit the strip, he became anxious in August when renovations began at another Sixth Ave. standby, the Waverly Restaurant. So he was relieved to see, a couple of weeks ago, that the place had in fact reopened, as advertised. “The Waverly Restaurant is back!” Dobbs e-mailed us. “It’s renovated and expanded. The kitchen has been moved back into what was for many years a liquor store on Waverly Place. It’s so rare that a ‘closed for renovation’ sign tells the truth. If things are shinier, it still has all the trappings of a classic Greek coffee shop. Alas, the photographs on the wall of celeb customers such as the late great Bill Kunstler are gone. The counter has fewer seats. Still, a popular spot survives.”
Two Boots Pizzeria is kicking off its yearlong 25th anniversary with a tribute on Thurs., Jan. 12, to the great poet Bimbo Rivas, who coined the term “Loisaida.” The opening event begins at Two Boots, at Third St. and Avenue A, at 6 p.m. with the unveiling of a Bimbo mosaic created by Carlos Pinto and aided by Chino Garcia, co-founder of CHARAS. Everyone will then follow the Stumblebum Brass Band down to the Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe, on E. Third St. between Avenues B and C, where the event will continue with poetry, performance and more music.
No sleep till…midnight: Decrying the recent police arrests of reporters covering Occupy Wall Street actions, activist John Penley is organizing a 10-hour protest on Mayor Bloomberg’s block, at 79th St. and Fifth Ave., this Fri., Jan. 6, from 2 p.m. until 12 midnight. “Send a message about Bloomberg’s targeting of the press and use our First Amendment rights to make him stop arresting the press,” Penley posted on Facebook. Civil rights attorney Norman Siegel will be present to protect the protesters’ rights, Penley said.
Another, ahem, installment:
Our item last week about the Living Installation and ABC No Rio contained, oh, a few inaccuracies (such as saying that the building would be demolished at the end of this month and that Japanther would be playing live there on Jan. 20). So, in a “do-over,” we are running this corrected version: Michael Alan’s Living Installation will give its final show at ABC No Rio, at 156 Rivington St., on Fri., Jan. 20. The interactive event will see “art model” performers strike poses while Alan paints them. Participants can also sketch all the action, or just watch this art “happening” as it unfolds. All of it will be set to a prerecorded soundtrack scored by Japanther, The Krays, Geneva Jacuzzi, Renaldo of Renaldo and The Loaf and more. The bands are currently recording the tracks, along with Alan, who is also a musician, as well as his mom, 74, who sings and talks on them. A double show, there will be performances from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Alan, in a press release, claimed his performance would be the last at ABC No Rio, which he incorrectly said would be torn down at the end of January. However, Steve Englander, the Lower East Side countercultural art center’s director — who we were unable to track down before last week’s fact-challenged report — told us, “No, no, it’s way off.” Basically, he said, anyone and everyone is trying to claim their performance will be the final one at ABC No Rio before it’s razed. However, Englander said, at this point, he’s still booking events through March, so the building will be up at least till then. The arts organization plans to construct a new $3.4 million center on the site. With “soft costs” for architects’ and engineers’ fees, the price tag rises to $5.25 million. Almost all the cash, in fact, has been raised, meaning the entire construction job can now be done in one phase, instead of two or three, as had been previously planned. Yet, because the project recently received $275,000 from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a federal environmental review is required, which is delaying the start of things. Rebuilding the site with a “passive house,” energy-conserving facility will take an estimated year and half or more. Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of misinformation out there. “There are people who think the building came down already,” Englander noted. He admitted it’s always possible the project could start earlier if another donor chips in a big sum — like the anonymous $1 million check he got a while back! Anyway, all we know is that the Living Installation show sounds like it will be pretty cool. For more information, visit http://www.michaelalanart.com/art/upcoming-projects/. Clearly, it’s pretty hard to describe the Living Installation in words, but for more, see Alan’s letter in this week’s issue.
Dorm it! Wrong credit: In a Dec. 22 article on historic rooftop dormers being removed from 140 Bowery, the “before and after” photos were improperly credited to David Mulkins, chairperson of the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN), who had sent them to us. Elie Z. Perler, who runs the neighborhood Web site Bowery Boogie, subsequently contacted us to say that they were, in fact, taken by Bowery Boogie. Our apologies! …and keep on boogieing!