MEADOWS BUCKS THE PRESSURE:
City Council District 3 candidate Alexander Meadows recently told us that he has been asked, in strong terms, to drop out of the race for Christine Quinn’s Chelsea/Village seat. The Cuban-American candidate told us two individuals have asked him to do it, and that one is an elected official currently serving in office. Meadows would not divulge any names, but said there’s no way he’s dropping out, and that he definitely won’t ever succumb to pressure. “They have to earn it,” he stated defiantly of the upcoming primary, which also includes two other candidates, Yetta Kurland and Corey Johnson. Johnson told us he didn’t know anything about anyone asking Meadows to butt out of the race. Meadows is a late entry into the field, and apparently the thinking is that he would pull votes from Johnson, the other gay male candidate, helping the chances of Kurland, who is openly lesbian. District 3 is known as the Council’s “gay seat.” Meadows also told us his understanding now is that, despite recent rumors, Tom Duane is not going to enter the fray in an effort to recapture the Council seat he held before going on to become a state senator, only to retire from the senate last year. In addition, we’re hearing Kurland and State Committee member Arthur Schwartz recently had a “heart-to-heart” talk and have patched things up after a falling-out a while back. Yet, Schwartz — who is running for district leader versus Jonathan Geballe — denied reports that he and Kurland are now “combining forces.”
PASSING THE (TELESCOPING) BATON:
After two years leading Greenwich Village’s Sixth Precinct, Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo on Wednesday moved on to work for the Police Department’s newly appointed Chief of Department, Philip Banks III. “I will be turning command of the Sixth Precinct over to Deputy Inspector Elisa Cokkinos, a 22-year veteran who has previously commanded [Chelsea’s] 10th Precinct and P.S.A. 6, which is a command in the Housing Bureau,” del Pozo said in a message to the community. “Rest assured, you are in excellent, experienced hands and I have no doubt that you’ll welcome her into this community. I can’t overstate how much of a privilege and honor it has been to serve the Village and lead some of the best and most dedicated officers in the N.Y.P.D.,” he said, adding, “This is a truly special place, both demanding and complex, and the rewards have been commensurate. There is no doubt that I’ll look back on the time I spent here as one of the best I’ve spent on the N.Y.P.D.”
COMIC TIMING…OR NOT:
We were passing by Nonimperialist Bargain Books on Carmine St. on Monday and just as we were arriving, we glimpsed Jim Drougas, the shop’s owner, ushering an elderly patron into a car, and then ferrying him off. Joseph, formerly of the Yippie Cafe, who was working the register inside, told us the senior was none other than Professor Irwin Corey, 98, “The World’s Foremost Authority,” who had just stopped by to buy some books, notably the “Dylan Encyclopedia.” We noticed that the store was undergoing some major renovations, with a bookcase dividing the place down the middle. Joseph said that the eastern side will be for comic books while the western side will remain for, well…nonimperialist bargain books. In fact, as we later read on DNA.info, it turns out that the comic book side will actually be a full-fledged comedy club. If we had arrived a few minutes earlier, we’re sure Drougas would have told us that, but he was off taking Corey home.
Photo by Tequila Minsky
Reshma Saujani, right, and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey at the Poisson Rouge on Bleecker St. last week, getting ready to address the crowd at Saujani’s fundraiser.
HOW TWEET IT IS:
The Poisson Rouge fundraiser last week for Reshma Saujani’s public advocate campaign was peopled with many tech industry professionals and other young New Yorkers — primarily in their 20s to 40s — from finance to medicine and other professions. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s founder, was the night’s highlighted Saujani supporter. Also on hand was her husband, Nihal Mehta, C.E.O. of Local Response, a social media company that “leverages the hundreds of millions of public posts across social media each day.” As part of the formal program, infomercial videos were projected. The first was a biographical piece about the 37-year-old candidate. The second video profiled Girls Who Code — a program founded by the advocate candidate — which addresses the gender gap in the tech industries by providing intensive training for young girls in computer programming skills. Unfortunately, technical difficulties diminished the impact of this interesting video. There was no mention of her previous campaign, a 2010 primary challenge to Congressmember Carolyn Maloney, in which Saujani, running as a pro-Wall Street Democrat, lost badly to the longtime incumbent. Following her graduation from Yale Law School in 2002, Saujani worked as a hedge fund lawyer. Saujani told the audience of her refugee status as a child from Uganda, having fled dictator Idi Amin, and then identifying with the hard work and struggles of immigrant families in this country. She recalled, as a minority, getting beaten up in her neighborhood. She recently worked in the office of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and also helped found the DREAM Fellowship, which gives scholarships to undocumented students. Saujani repeatedly emphasized her “platform,” of jobs, education, housing and women.
SCHOOL’S CLOSING, BY GEORGE!
East Village activist Anna Sawaryn told us she thought she’d heard at the Palm Sunday Mass last weekend (that’s when Ukrainians observe Palm Sunday) at St. George Church — but wasn’t sure she’d heard correctly — that St. George School, at E. Sixth St. and Taras Shevchenko Place, would be closing. She heard right. The school will close in June due to low enrollment, at least that’s the reason the Basilian fathers are giving. The school, from pre-K to grade 12, has 90 students. La Salle High School is using most of the building, with St. George School on the ground floor. But a source tells us La Salle will eventually likely move back to its E. Second St. building, which needed repairs, which was why La Salle relocated. “We think probably it will be taken over by N.Y.U. or Cooper Union,” the St. George School source told us of the E. Sixth St. school building. Local “Uke” parents (to use a term Ukrainians call themselves) are furious, and are burning up Facebook, condemning the church and the brothers for the closing. Next week is their Easter, when they give the school an envelope with cash. But at least one said he’s only going to put $1 in the envelope. “One parent who owns a game shop on Sixth St. is livid,” our source told us. Sawaryn said the school’s first floor could easily be converted into a Ukrainian nursing home or a residence for new Ukrainian immigrants.
Charlemagne, a swank new American-style bistro, has replaced the former porn video store at the corner of Christopher and Greenwich Sts. All the place’s interior wood is salvaged from old brownstones, and the floor is the original tile. The new bistro continues the transformation of this block of Christopher St. from sex shops and gay bars to, well…something a little more tame. Watering holes like Chi-Chiz have been replaced by a sushi place and the Path Cafe, where mellow live acoustic music can frequently be heard — always played at a very modest volume. … A bit west at Cornelia St. and Sixth Ave., the Real Deal reports that Papaya Dog, Crazy Fantasy Tattoo and sex-novelty shop Fantasy Party will get the boot from new landlord the Jackson Group, which recently purchased the retail space for $16.5 million. The Real Deal lamented that the strip’s Times Square-like “true grit” will be replaced, if Jackson Group is successful, with upscale chains like Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, Aeropostale or Under Armor. However, most neighborhood residents actually would welcome the change.