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Noticeable absence: After all the excitement had worn off from the rousing speeches at last Saturday’s historic rally against the N.Y.U. 2031 plan, we realized something had been missing, a person actually — namely, Andrew Berman. Terri Cude, co-chairperson of CAAN (Community Action Alliance on N.Y.U. 2031), the rally’s co-sponsor along with Assemblymember Deborah Glick, said Berman’s group, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, was invited to join the event. In fact, the society is one of the 30 local member organizations comprising CAAN, she added. “G.V.S.H.P. was invited, and that is all I know,” Cude said. “I don’t know of any problems or difficulties. G.V.S.H.P. is a valued member of CAAN.” Brad Hoylman, chairperson of Community Board 2, who spoke passionately at the rally of the legacy of Jane Jacobs, didn’t know the reason for Berman’s absence either. “No comment,” was all Hoylman said. “I was not actually around on Saturday,” Berman told us. “I was out of town.” He added, “It’s great that we’re seeing, on every occasion, the community coming out in force against the plan.” Actually, Berman is holding his own press conference and rally an hour before next Thursday’s big C.B. 2 advisory vote on the N.Y.U. application. Joined by community groups, N.Y.U. faculty and students (hmm, almost sounds a bit like last Saturday’s rally), G.V.S.H.P. will call on C.B. 2 and the city to reject the plan. They’ll gather at 5 p.m. at St. Anthony of Padua Church, 151 Sullivan St., where the board will later vote on the massive proposal. Could a reason why Berman wasn’t at Saturday’s rally be that both he and Hoylman are expected to be candidates for the District 3 City Council seat in 2013 when Chris Quinn is term-limited out? Or is it just a question of who is the top dog on the anti-N.Y.U. plan protest? And, no — we’re not talking about the Underdogs.
Lincredible! Like everyone else, we’ve been wowed by Jeremy Lin’s phenomenal play with the Knicks during the past week-plus. Linsanity is sweeping Downtown. City Councilmember Margaret Chin said, “I just think he’s a wonderful role model, just in terms of how he works [with his teammates] as a team.” Chin said she’s been watching the breakout point guard’s highlights on YouTube and also saw part of Saturday’s game against the T’wolves on TV. “He’s very humble and modest,” she noted. “He’s an Asian Christian.” (O.K., as long as he doesn’t start kneeling on the court after every basket like Tim Tebow!) Judith Stiles, our on-hiatus sports writer and mom of movie actress Julia, said Lin’s inspiring story can teach local sports parents a thing or two. “Lin said he learned to love the game from shooting hoops with his father and brother,” she said. “Hats off to his father for knowing how to nurture creativity in sports. I often see fathers at Pier 40 browbeating their kids with the so-called nuances of the game — mostly soccer — and the kids are not having much fun. Give the kids a place to play, space to be creative and they’ll love the game. For Lin, it all began with his dad.” When she’s not in the city, Stiles runs a pottery business up on the Cape. “Even in Cape Cod there is a big buzz about Lin,” she reported. “So smart, such a team player and creative and bold in tight spots. He really elevated the energy of the whole team.” Stiles is also training for her own big game. The Dragons, her women’s soccer team in the Downtown United Soccer Club, are going to Paris in April to play a French side. Hopefully, she’ll be able to channel her inner Lin. The hoopster had been crashing on his brother’s couch on the Lower East Side. But word came Tuesday that he’s now moving to the 35-story Trump Tower in White Plains, which means that he won’t be the constituent of another local b’ball lover, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. As a youth, Silver honed his hoops game at the Educational Alliance and Gulick Park. “Jeremy Lin is a great ball player and his rise to stardom is an inspiration for everyone who works hard and shows persistence in reaching for their goals,” Silver told us. “I know he has spent some time on the Lower East Side and I encourage him to come back. Hopefully, the Knicks will keep winning and the Linsanity will continue!”
Chic Hudson Square: Fashion Week hit a sleepy corner of Hudson Square on Friday afternoon. At West and Spring Sts., just north of the construction site of the new Department of Sanitation mega-garage, A-listers were exiting from their black cars and making their entrances to the St. John’s Building, where the Jason Wu fashion show was being held. Wearing black slacks and a black sweater with colored horizontal stripes, Shailene Woodley, who plays George Clooney’s older daughter in “The Descendants,” posed for a flock of paparazzi on her way inside. Socialite Dani Stahl, sporting a tight red top and gray skirt, also obliged a paparazzo, letting him snap her shot. Suddenly, a security guard ordered everyone out of the way, and an S.U.V. barreled through an opening in the crowd, through the parking lot and right up to the door of the St. John’s Building. Identifiable even at 100 feet by her iconic hairstyle, Vogue editrix Anna Wintour debarked from the vehicle, sporting a purplish-colored coat, and entered the Wu to-do. When you’re Anna Wintour, you can do that. It’s good to be the editrix.
Sharing info on Bike Share: We’ve found out some more details about the Department of Transportation’s upcoming Bike Share program, set to start this summer. According to Scott Gastel, a D.O.T. spokesperson, there will be about 30 to 40 Bike Share stations in each community board district. Neighborhood workshops recently convened to narrow down the feasible sites. The proposed plan for each district will be presented to local community boards this spring. The average station will have around 30 “docks” for the bikes. But, for example, a Bike Share hub near Grand Central Station would be larger than one in a quiet, residential neighborhood. D.O.T. is still working out pricing details, but it’s expected that an unlimited annual membership will cost around $100, less than a monthly MetroCard. There will also be unlimited weekly (probably around $25) and unlimited 24-hour (probably around $10) memberships. Membership entitles the user to an unlimited number of trips. Probably the first 30 to 45 minutes (the amount is still being determined) of each trip will have no additional charge. For trips beyond 30 to 45 minutes, the user would accrue small usage fees.
Mead, Malina and Mardi Gras: This year’s third annual Two Boots Mardi Gras Ball should be a truly legendary event because its king and queen are local legends: actor and Warhol favorite Taylor Mead and Living Theatre founder Judith Malina. A benefit for the Lower Eastside Girls Club, whose new Avenue D clubhouse is nearing completion, the shindig will be held on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Le Poisson Rouge, at 158 Bleecker St. The ball will also feature gender-bending emcee Murray Hill, musical performers Los Po-Boy-Citos and Lady Rizo, burlesque aerialists Lady Circus, painter Anthony Zito doing live art, and more. The fete is produced and underwritten by Two Boots, with all proceeds going to support the Lower Eastside Girls Club. Lyn Pentecost, Girls Club executive director, said, “We’re so glad that Two Boots recognizes there’s more to Mardi Gras than boobs for beads, and that they’re helping us take the party back to its original creative community roots!”
Correction: An article on Community Board 3’s January full board meeting in our Jan. 26 issue incorrectly stated that the Friends of Seward Park were opposed to a proposal for new, brighter lights on Essex St. In fact, it was the Essex St. Block Association which wants to keep their historic bishop’s crook-style lampposts.