Scoopy’s, Week of Jan. 31, 2013

roskoff_pulp_2012-(1)“NOW I WANNA DANCE, I WANNA WIN”: The New York Post on Tuesday dissed Christine Quinn for her photo on the cover of New York magazine, dubbing her “Mayor Dracula” for her glam, goth-like getup, featuring a high black collar. But, hey, at least it was better than Allen Roskoff’s portrayal of the City Council speaker on his annual whacky holiday party invite. A fake pulp novel cover spoofing “Pulp Fiction,” called “Quinn Fiction,” it featured her lounging Uma Thurman-like as the “gangster’s wife,” with Mayor Bloomberg listed in “the credits” as “the gangster.” Others in “the cast” included Landmarks Commissioner Robert Tierney as “wrecking ball of gay landmarks” (apparently, referring to the historic gay activists’ building recently razed at Spring and Thompson Sts.); and Susan Stetzer, Community Board 3 district manager, as “noise enforcer.” (Known best as a gay activist, Roskoff is also an aggressive nightlife advocate.) And, umm, why is the gun pointed at Corey Johnson’s head?! Wait a second!!! Maybe it’s Yetta Kurland’s (former) gun? Only The Shadow… we mean, only Roskoff knows.

CUDE, BERMAN…AND HETERO HOPE? So is Terri Cude going to run for City Council against incumbent Margaret Chin, as many have reportedly been urging her to do? Responding to our query, Cude said, “While I am truly honored that community members find my advocacy and energy beneficial, I am not running. I am, however, delighted that District Leader Jenifer Rajkumar is, because a competitive primary election in District 1 will ensure that many of the issues I care about will be publicly discussed and debated. For example, Jenifer staunchly opposed the N.Y.U. 2031 plan and stood alongside the many member groups of the Community Action Alliance on N.Y.U. 2031 (CAAN) at several events and hearings. A strong debate on N.Y.U. 2031 and many other issues in the district will be good for everyone.” … Although his name hasn’t been raised as a potential candidate, Jean-Louis Bourgeois said without hesitation that he’s voting for “the candidate who was against N.Y.U.” … Next question: Will Andrew Berman be running for City Council in District 3? Last week, the preservationist told us he thought he’d have an answer for us by early this week. But when we spoke to him on Tuesday, he said he wasn’t ready to make an announcement one way or the other. “As of today, I don’t  have anything new to tell you,” he said. … And let’s not forget about another possible contender in District 3, who some have dubbed — O.K., we admit, it was us — “The Great Hetero Hope.” He too isn’t yet ready to say if he’s running. The mystery man tells us he has been “talking to people throughout the district,” listening to their issues and explaining his priorities on certain issues. He’s trying to see if it’s feasible to mobilize a new bloc of residents — probably folks who aren’t traditionally heavy voters — who aren’t already committed to declared candidates Corey Johnson or Yetta Kurland. District 3 has traditionally been known as the Council’s “gay seat.” The straight man continues to ask us not to publish his name, though Johnson called us the other week to say he knows who it is and that it’s not really such a mystery in political circles.

DORIS IN DISTRESS: One of the city’s longest-serving community board members, Doris Diether of C.B. 2 recently broke her shoulder when she was rushing to answer the door in her Village home. As usual, though, she sounded upbeat when we called her soon after to check up on her. But she subsequently contracted a severe case of laryngitis — which has lasted for a full month! She recently had an X-ray of her shoulder and a CAT scan of her throat and is awaiting results of both tests. Asked if anyone’s been helping her out, she said C.B. 2 members have been sending her get-well cards.

A.G. SIGNS OFF ON SYNAGOGUE PLAN: The last functioning “tenement synagogue” in the East Village is soon due for a major makeover. The historic, 103-year-old Adas Yisroel Anshei Mezeritch synagogue, at 415 E. Sixth St., which was recently landmarked, has been the object of much attention from local preservation groups. The state Attorney General’s Office and Manhattan Supreme Court have now given their approval for a plan to renovate and upgrade the shul’s interior while keeping its neoclassical facade intact. Anshei Meseritz has signed over the rights to its second floor to East River Partners LLC as part of a 99-year lease worth roughly $1.2 million, according to documents filed in court. Two or more residential condos will be constructed on the two-story synagogue’s upper level as part of the redesign, and the ground-floor-level sanctuary will be renovated. A Mezeritch board member told us that the developer is “working with the board of the synagogue to preserve their beautiful building.” He added, “Our hope is that the restored 20th-century facade will serve as an inviting gateway to a sanctuary that will be a focal point for community outreach, and that the renovation will ensure that the shul continue as a functioning synagogue for many years to come.” In 2008, as The Villager reported, the shul’s board of directors made a deal with Kushner Companies to raze the venerable building and rebuild the site with a new six-story building, the bottom two floors of which would be for the synagogue, while the top four would be for apartments. The designation of the East Village / Lower East Side Historic District in October 2012, however, curbed the ability of the synagogue to do a full-scale redevelopment of the property, since any such plans need approval from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Congregation members have previously said that one of the new apartments would be for the synagogue’s longtime rabbi, Pesach Ackerman. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation had advocated for saving the shul. Andrew Berman, G.V.S.H.P. executive director, said of the latest plan, “Hearing that it will allow the synagogue to continue to operate and the building to be preserved certainly sound like good things.” When we spoke to Berman on Tuesday afternoon he was about to step into the City Council hearing on the E.V. / L.E.S. Historic District. Although L.P.C. approved the district, the Council still has the power to affirm or overturn it. But Berman said they expect the former.

P.S. 3 HISTORY: Days after its 42-year-old shared zone with P.S. 41 was officially split by the Department of Education and the District 2 Community Education Council, P.S. 3 will once again be revisiting its history — this time without all the anxiety that led up to the zone split. The elementary school, on Hudson St. between Christopher and Grove Sts., will host a panel discussion on Sat., Feb. 2, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring several successful alumni and former P.S. 3 educators. The moderator will be Calvin Trillin, longtime contributor to The New Yorker, bestselling author and former P.S. 3 parent. The event should be a great way to learn more about the origins and development of the school, which was founded in 1971 as a progressive, alternative learning space for Village kids, with a particular focus on the arts. We had a chance to speak with one returning alumni, Nat Oppenheimer, who graduated from P.S. 3 in 1976 and is vice president of the structural engineering firm that’s overseeing, among other things, the development of the new Whitney Museum at the southern end of the High Line, at Gansevoort St. “I think an important part of this discussion is going to be less about getting nostalgic, and more about pointing out that real people grew up out of this school, that it wasn’t just some hippie experiment,” Oppenheimer said. “It shows that there’s real value to the school’s design.” But there’s always room for a little nostalgia, and it seemed like there were some fond memories that helped draw Oppenheimer back to his old stomping ground for a day. “It always felt like the school was part of the overall Village culture, but for us as students it felt very much like our own family, and a true community in itself.” A particularly special member of the Feb. 2 panel will be Viola Morris, who helped found P.S. 3, and who now lives in New Mexico after also spending several decades in Maine as the executive director of an early childhood education program. But when we spoke with Morris last weekend, she was still miffed by the decision, on the part of D.O.E. and the District 2 C.E.C., to split Greenwich Village’s shared school zone, which will effectively — starting in 2014 — end the choice for local families between P.S. 3 and P.S. 41. “Losing that choice goes against the grain of the school’s original goal of being an alternative, a choice for parents,” Morris said. “I thought we would come back to celebrate the school, but now it feels like we might be memorializing it, since that choice was so important.”

RAYS OF LIGHT ON L.E.S.: It looks like one Lower East Side intersection is about to get a little bit safer, as the Department of Transportation plans to install a new traffic light at Madison and Jefferson Sts. by April 30. We heard the news from the office of state Senator Daniel Squadron whose concern about hazards at the intersection compelled D.O.T. to do a study on the need for additional signals there. But don’t get too excited… . In a Jan. 17 letter to Squadron, D.O.T. said that timeline for the signal’s installation had been “tentatively scheduled.” So, we’ll have to see how quickly the department can actually give this one the green light. And shortly before our deadline, we also heard from the office of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver that another new traffic light is planned for the intersection of South St. and Rutgers Slip by the end of March. Silver, along with Squadron, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, Congressmember Nydia Velazquez and Councilmember Margaret Chin, wrote a letter to D.O.T. at the end of December calling for a speedy installation of the signal for a crossing that the pols said is “known to be hazardous for pedestrians and motorists.” D.O.T. responded with a letter to Silver on Jan. 23, saying that the new light will be included as part of a water main and sewer repair project along South St., between Pike and Jefferson Sts. Once again, of course, D.O.T. said that end of March is an “estimated” timeframe for completion.

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One Response to Scoopy’s, Week of Jan. 31, 2013

  1. Enough playing footsie, Rich. You're a decent guy, but, if you want to run for office, you need to be more open and frank with the electorate. Words of advice: voters respect politicians who don't hide from them.

    So, although you are heterosexual, it's time you were outed, Mr. Caccappolo.

    And, by the way, working on a senate campaign in rural Nebraska is far different than the rough and tumble of West Side politics. Never confuse the two.

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