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COULD BE JUST WHAT WE NID, ER… NEED: The dates for the public outreach meetings for the proposed Hudson River Park Neighborhood Improvement District, or NID, have been set. There will be one meeting in each of the three community boards that include the park. The first is set for Thurs., Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at the Village Community School, at 272 W. 10th St. The second will be Tues., Nov. 27, at 6:30 p.m., at the Fulton Center Auditorium, 119 Ninth Ave. The final meeting will be Mon., Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m., at Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St., in the Richard Terrace Room. Maria Passannante Derr, former Community Board 2 chairperson, for one, thinks most property owners living near the river would be willing to pay a relatively small annual fee to help fund the operation and maintenance of cash-hungry Hudson River Park. The funds would also go toward sprucing up neighboring blocks a short distance inland from the park. “A condo owner with a 2,000-square-foot unit would pay about $150 a year,” she said. “I think most people would have no problem writing out a check, especially if they live across the street from the park.” She said she heard this could generate up to $10 million a year for the 5-mile-long waterfront park.
VEGAN OUT OF ST. MARK’S? NO WAY! Vegan master baker Peter Silvestri, above with freshly sliced apples, reached out to us recently to ask for help in spreading the word that his Whole Earth Bakery and Kitchen, at St. Mark’s Place just off of Avenue A, is facing eviction. (He said Ray from Ray’s Candy Store around the corner recommended he contact us, since The Villager helped keep him in business slinging egg creams, Belgian fries and hot dogs.) Silvestri said this summer was just terrible for business and that, consequently, he fell behind a couple of months in rent, and about two weeks ago the landlord sent him an eviction letter. It doesn’t help matters that the block is now lined with bars, 14 between Avenue A and First Ave., said Silvestri. “It changed the block. People come here for the bars now,” he said. And it’s so loud. He’s partially deaf, but when he recently poked his head inside one of the bars to say hi to someone it almost blew out his one remaining good eardrum. He and his late mother started their business at 70 Spring St. in Soho back in 1978, and moved to St. Mark’s in 1991. They began a little bit vegan, but today, the shop’s offerings are 100 percent vegan and 80 percent organic, with everything from hemp seed cookies (no, they won’t get you high) and double chocolate vegan snowballs to tofu cheese cake, plus juices, breads, muffins, cakes, hot soups, savory sandwiches, vegan lasagna and vegetable burritos. He recently got a grill so they can cook tofu scrambled for breakfast and fry up vegan burgers. They’ll even customize dishes to order if you have a food allergy. And it’s healthy — who knows, it could be a placebo effect, but after recently eating a sampling of Peter’s food, we immediately felt a surge of positive energy. His sister Carmela Silvestri drops by on Sundays to help out in the kitchen. One of the most important points, she noted, is that everything Peter and his staff cook tastes great and is full of flavor. “When people think vegan — ‘it’s dry, it’s tasteless,’ ” she said. “But his triple chocolate brownie — to die for.” We phoned Silvestri’s landlord but didn’t get a call back by press time.
NEWS ON EMBATTLED NEWSSTAND: Speaking of Ray, Councilmember Rosie Mendez tells us she and others plan to hold a press conference next month for Jerry Delakas to help him keep his newsstand at Astor Place and Lafayette St. Community Board 2 has already passed a resolution in support of the longtime vendor, but the city has said he doesn’t technically have ownership of the license to operate the stand, having manned it for others who held the lease. Mendez said that, once again, it’s going to be up to The Villager to make the difference. “You saved Ray’s,” Mendez said, urging us, “You’ve got to do for Jerry’s newsstand what you did for Ray.” Plus, she noted, Brad Hoylman, former C.B. 2 chairperson, who is running for Tom Duane’s seat in the state Senate, will join the rally, and will have by then, no doubt, have been elected. “We’ll have the power of a state senator behind us,” she said. We told Jerry about the rally and he was excited to hear it, and gave us an approving fist-bump.
NO JOKE — HE’S RUNNING: Taking another stab at political office, stand-up comic and progressive activist Randy Credico is throwing his hat into the ring for mayor in the Democratic primary. Credico most recently ran against Senator Chuck Schumer in 2010, almost cracking the 1 percent mark, garnering .97 percent of the vote. Credico and his canine campaign manager, Bianca, dropped by our office last week, above, to discuss his candidacy — and take some pops at the rest of the field. He said he planned to officially announce his run on Fred Dicker’s political radio show, on which he’s the official comedian. Starting with Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Credico blasted her for allegedly persuading Margaret Ratner — Bill Kunstler’s widow — to stay out of the special election for Tom Duane’s former Council seat 14 years ago that was ultimately won by Quinn. As for Borough President Scott Stringer, he just did a stammering impression — Credico does more than 200 impersonations. “Scott? He t-t-talks l-l-like th-th-this,” he said. Bill Thompson? “He looks 200 years old,” Credico sniffed. “He looks older than me, and I’m the oldest guy in the race.” Bill de Blasio? “His real last name is Wilhelm — he’s German,” the comic charged, adding, “I mean, how many Italians are 6 foot 5?” “They’re all hacks,” Credico said. “It’s a six-pack of hacks. I call them the Hack Pack.” The only other candidate he had anything favorable to say about was Tom Allon. “Is he a Democrat?” Credico asked, a week before Allon announced he would run as a Republican, Credico having already gotten wind of the expected change. “He’s the most interesting candidate after me.” A reformed substance abuser, Credico supports legalization of pot. “I tried drugs for 25 years — it didn’t work out,” he quipped. (Stand-up comedy is just full of drugs, he noted.) If elected, Credico said he’d appoint Cornel West schools chancellor and Professor Irwin Corey, 98, “The World’s Foremost Authority,” as communications director. (When we spoke to him Monday night, Credico said he was going up to see his friend Corey later to watch the Giants-Cardinals game with him, though the Professor is a bit laid-up right now — no, not getting laid, as Corey might joke.) And, oh yeah, Bianca would be Parks commissioner.
ROGUE-RIDING RAGE: Jack Brown of the Coalition Against Rogue Riding has seen some bad collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in his day — and he was previously injured in one — but an accident that he claimed he witnessed the tail end of on Sat., Oct. 13, left him livid. Brown said he arrived at the scene at Fourth St. and Avenue A around 7 p.m. to see a pool of blood on the street. Brown tells us that, according to a witness, two middle-aged people were struck by a “rogue delivery cyclist.” “The bloody double smackdown occurred when the cyclist bearing the ID Five Points Restaurant ran a red light,” Brown wrote in an e-mail. “The couple, possibly Italian tourists, were crossing with the light. Initially the woman was struck and, according to an eyewitness, fell and hit her head. There was a visible lump that formed. The cyclist attempted to flee and her companion held the bike. The rogue rider then dragged the man, who suffered head trauma, resulting in a substantial loss of blood, which pooled in the middle of the intersection. The rogue deliveryman rode off into the night. He was Caucasian. No helmet. Semi-bald with a shag at the back. The F.D.N.Y. came. The woman was standing while her companion was placed on a stretcher and loaded into the ambulance. The N.Y.P.D. arrived about 7:20 p.m.” Brown called ineffective new regulations the City Council approved — coincidentally just a day before the E. Fourth St. accident — that would require bicycle deliverypersons to wear proper identification and take “training” classes. “The maximum fines for violations will be $250,” Brown said. “Five Points is upscale. The delivery agent might have been carrying $250 worth of dinner. This administration has succeeded in turning the East Village into a party spot. It would seem that part of the bargain in attracting discretionary income would be creating an environment with public safety.”