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Fashioning another win: Tuesday night, Scarlett Johansson and Anna Wintour co-hosted a fundraiser for President Obama at the Theory store in the Meatpacking District. With 23 top fashion designers in attendance, they launched the Runway to Win campaign, whose online store features a line of designer styles, with everything from tote bags to T-shirts ($45), proceeds from which will go toward Obama’s re-election campaign. “There is so much at stake in this campaign,” Johansson said in a press release. “2012 will not be easy. We have to fight even harder this time around, and that’s where Runway to Win will make a real difference.”
Hakeem in the house: The night before, man about town Dave Lawrence did a shout-out on Facebook around 11:30 that he was in Gaslight bar — which is just down the street from Theory — and Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks had just walked in to celebrate Big Blue’s Super Bowl victory. That’s great for Gaslight co-owner Matt de Matt — even though he’s a Jets fan! When he’s not rooting for his Giants, Lawrence can frequently be found walking his pooch in the Washington Square Park small dog run, of which he’s the president.
Go, you downward dog! We recently saw Harvey Keitelwith his yoga mat walking on Duane St. down in Tribeca. He’s 72. If yoga keeps you looking that good, we’re going to take it up, too!
Now, that’s really a stretch: The real estate Web site Curbed recently noted that the “after” rendering in New York University’s before-and-after “2031 Core Plan Update” renderings for its superblocks development plans appears to “stretch the streets” horizontally, giving the misleading impression the blocks would actually be “more wide-open” after N.Y.U. adds four big new buildings on them. We asked Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U.’s vice president for government relations and community engagement, for her response, and while she assured there is no “Stretchgate,” she admitted there’s a difference in the images. “Even with all of the greatest minds, computer equipment and tools, the occasional file can get distorted when being transferred around,” Hurley e-mailed us. “The site plans are for presentation purposes, not technical drawings. I assure you that we would not be purposefully distorting our images to make the buildings look larger (which the error does).” By “larger buildings,” Hurley was referring to how the existing N.Y.U. structures, like Washington Square Village, definitely do seem bigger in the “after” drawing. The Curbed item does a good job of showing how the diagrams differ: http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/01/09/nyu_stretches_the_streets_in_2031_plan_renderings.php .
Doris writes, U.S.P.S. responds: Doris Diether, our sometime contributor and a stamp collector who mails greeting cards to friends via the U.S. Postal Service, sent a letter to Linn’s Stamp News complaining about the first-day issue of the Postal Service’s newest “Love” stamp scheduled for Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day. Appropriate day, Diether said, but not soon enough to be used on Valentine mail that people might post earlier to arrive on that day. Linn’s Stamp News, a stamp collector weekly published in Sidney, Ohio, mentioned Doris’s point in an editorial last week. “I got a phone call from the editor, who heard that the stamp would come out earlier. Sure enough, I bought some in the post office today [Wed., Feb. 8],” she told Scoopy. And she did it all for “Love.”
Testy over testimony: Also on N.Y.U., many in the audience at last month’s Community Board 2 full board meeting angrily accused the university of having “orchestrated” the outpouring of testimony in support of its 2031 Plan. At the meeting, building trade union leaders were joined by N.Y.U. deans, employees, the women’s basketball team coach and others in singing the mega-plan’s praises. However, John Beckman, N.Y.U.’s spokesperson, said this was really no different than neighbors organizing against, say, a bar’s liquor license application, and turning out to testify en masse on the issue at the community board. Brad Hoylman, C.B. 2 chairperson, agreed there was nothing unkosher about the testimony at last month’s meeting. What was unusual was that with all the speakers pro and con on the N.Y.U. issue, the board’s public session lasted for two-and-a-half hours!
Correction: An article in last week’s issue, “Partial collapse of building owned by Soros daughter,” regarding a “back building” at 245 W. Fourth St., incorrectly stated that excavation beneath the back building had undermined an adjacent building. A Department of Buildings spokesperson said there was no undermining. However, she said, D.O.B.’s Web site may have stated it that way because of either how an emergency call was reported to the agency or was logged into the site. She said there was a valid permit for “underpinning” to allow the excavation work. In an update, following Friday’s accident, the department ordered the removal of the building’s top floor, which was done by Sunday. The department won’t order the demolition of the rest of the building. “The building is structurally stable now,” the spokesperson said. “We’ve issued a full stop-work order for the property, and are in the process of issuing violations for failure to maintain the building and safety violations.”