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DARK RIDERS: After our bike was stolen on Avenue B a few months ago, we were psyched to finally recently get some new (used) wheels on craigslist and get back rolling on the bike paths. But as we hit the Hudson River Park bike path in the Village the other evening, we found it very dimly light and — what tha?! — jammed with tons of joggers, even more so than usual. Runners, of course, are supposed to run on the esplanade, not the bike path (and should be flogged for using the latter. Just kidding.) The problem is that the park and its esplanade are still being closed at dusk because, five months after Hurricane Sandy, full electricity still hasn’t been restored throughout the park. Even along the bike path’s edge, not all the lights are on at night, making us think we should invest in some infrared goggles. We’re told by a spokesperson for the Hudson River Park Trust, however, that lights parkwide, including for park buildings, will be restored sometime in May. The issue is that Pier 40 (Pier 40, Pier 40, Pier 40…it always seems to be Pier 40) houses the park’s transformer and substation, which were both short-circuited by Sandy’s supersurge. A temporary transformer is now in operation and a new substation is being built on the huge Houston St. pier’s second floor, we’re told. Lights for Pier 40’s sports fields were restored a few weeks ago. … If it’s any comfort, we’re told the laundry rooms at several Stuyvesant Town buildings along Avenue C are still out of commission, though might be up and spinning again by September.
THE HOUSE THAT BOB BUILT: We hear from a New School source that the school’s student dorm atop its new University Center, at 14th St. and Fifth Ave., will be known as the Kerrey Family Residence. No, former school president Bob Kerrey will not actually be living there with his family, though the naming is to honor his fundraising prowess, which made the gigantic, ant hive-reminiscent project possible. It’s probably some consolation to Kerrey, who was recently axed as the New School’s president emeritus, and lost a $500,000-plus annual salary in the process. It turns out the school didn’t know that Kerrey was moonlighting at another post, working for an early-education organization in California. The Villager reported something along those lines a week or two prior to Kerry’s canning, after we bumped into the former Nebraska senator at a meet-and-greet for borough president candidate Jessica Lappin at the Village home of Gary Ginsberg and Susanna Aaron.
SHULAMITH IN-DEPTH: Everyone is forwarding around the just-published New Yorker article by Susan Faludi on Shulamith Firestone. The famed but troubled radical feminist was found dead, at age 67, on the floor in her E. 10th St. apartment last August, having expired a few days earlier. The Villager was, we are pretty certain, the first to break the news of Firestone’s death, thanks to a tip from her landlord, Bob Perl. (For the record, after our obituary on Firestone, Faludi did e-mail us trying to find out where Firestone’s memorial was, though ended up finding out for herself.) We tried to follow up with the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on the cause of death, but never got an answer. However, at the opening of MoRUS, the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, in the East Village back in December, we were told by a local radical feminist in the know that there had been no autopsy since Firestone was Orthodox, and that Orthodox Judaism prohibits autopsies — which Faludi’s report confirmed. In addition, Faludi tellingly reveals that Firestone’s father was incredibly strict and that father and daughter frequently clashed bitterly, with the pair once grappling desperately on the stairs and the father shouting at her, “I’ll kill you!” Is it any wonder then that Firestone, in her best-selling “Dialectic of Sex,” sought to create a world where women could transcend patriarchy?
BAD TRIANGULATION: We were sorry to hear from Ede Rothaus that the Greenstreets triangle at the intersection of Morton and Bedford Sts. and Seventh Ave. South was recently smashed up in an early-morning car accident. Rothaus, the garden’s keeper, received an award from the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation for spearheading the plot’s restoration. Rothaus got the police report of the incident from Detective Jimmy Alberici of the Sixth Precinct, who had in turn obtained it from Police Officer Hubert Tang, the precinct’s highway safety officer. Basically, two taxicabs with a total of five passengers collided, but luckily no one was injured. The garden, though, wasn’t so lucky.
BLOOMIN’ GREAT IDEA! New York State’s flower is a rose. (We admit we just had to Google that one.) Now Hudson River Park is asking park users and visitors to pick an official flower for the 5-mile-long waterfront park. In the running are five perennials found in the park. As seen on Page 2, the nominees are — envelope, please!!! — echinecea (coneflower), hemerocallis (daylily), coreposis (tickseed), rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) or, last but not least, nepeta (cat mint). The Academy, or rather, park users, can vote for their favorite flower via a survey they can access on the Hudson River Park Web site, at ww.hudsonriverpark.org/voteforofficialflower, or via the Twitter handle @HudsonRiver Park “These perennials mimic the best qualities of Hudson River Park — beautiful, vibrant and resilient. Any one of them would make a great official flower,” said Madelyn Wils, president and C.E.O. of the Hudson River Park Trust. “We’re excited for the community to weigh in and tell us which one they want to represent their park moving forward.” Voting will be open for the next two weeks with the winner to be announced on Earth Day, Mon., April 22.