MORUS GIVES YOU MORE: Bill di Paola, right, who with Laurie Mittelmann co-directs the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, proudly displayed MORUS’s CHARAS pop-up exhibit last Friday. The new Avenue C museum’s temporary display included vintage photos by Marlis Momber and newspaper clips, including The Villager article that broke the story of Gregg Singer’s plan for a 23-story “towering dorm,” and The Villager’s follow-up story on the developer’s scheme for an only slightly shorter, 19-story “Son of Towering Dorm.” The pop-up was taken down over the weekend, but there’s always something cool and educational going on at MORUS. Last Friday’s event focused on the battle to save the E. 13th St. squats from being evicted and featured presentations by Fly and Frank Morales and Cari Luna, reading from her new squatter novel, “The Revolution of Every Day.”
A PEW TO A KILL? Preservationist Andrew Berman reports that developer Douglas Steiner apparently is beginning to remove objects, such as pews and windows, from the Mary Help of Christians Church and Rectory, at 12th St. and Avenue A. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation director notes, “This is probably a precursor to demolition.” Berman and fellow preservationists have pleaded with the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and Department of Buildings to commission a full archaeological review of the site, since it once was home to a large Catholic cemetery. However, he told us, “It appears that the city is not requiring any sort of archeological study before digging might begin to determine if there are any bodies underneath which that might be disturbed.”
COUNCIL PRIMARY TO OPTIMUS PRIME? One reaction to the recent negative article in the Post’s Page Six about Jenifer Rajkumar seems to be proving the adage that any publicity is good publicity. Page Six pummeled the City Council candidate, noting, for one, that her W-Spin nonprofit organization, intended to help young women around the world achieve leadership positions, never got off the ground. We hear that the sight of Rajkumar’s color photo in Page Six caused a casting agency to e-mail her an offer for a part in the next “Transformers” movie, specifically for a “gorgeous exotic female.” More intent on trying to unseat Margaret Chin than in becoming the next Megan Fox, Rajkumar turned the offer down. What did she think of the offer, and has she ever considered acting? we asked her. “I thought it was hilarious,” she told us. “No, I’m too much of a nerd at heart for movies.”
DON’T PUSH HER! Meanwhile, Mary Johnson, a former Community Board 2 member, reported that she got a push-poll call last week from the West Coast for Margaret Chin. “I received a telephone call…from a California number asking if I would answer some questions regarding candidates for the upcoming New York City elections,” Johnson said. “I agreed. The lady read off the names of candidates for each office and asked me to select the name of the candidate I was most likely to vote for…or to say ‘not sure yet.’ Then, abruptly, she homed in on Margaret Chin and her challenger, Jenifer Rajkumar… . I was asked to listen to a lot of praise and many embellished accomplishments of Margaret Chin during her almost three years as Councilmember for District 1. On completion of this recitation I was asked, ‘After hearing about all Margaret Chin has done for her constituents, has it affected how you will vote?’ Following that, the woman went on to tell me that Jenifer Rajkumar had no political experience, has lied about her law firm experience and did not divulge that she operates a not-for-profit organization. Next question, ‘Now that you have heard about Jenifer Rajkumar, has it affected how you will vote?’ Now I know what is meant by ‘push polls,’” Johnson said. “To me, this seems totally unethical and an unnecessary tactic. I wonder who else was polled? I haven’t heard of anyone else getting these calls.” Johnson said she kept the phone number.
NEVER MIND THE BURNING CARS…: We know the Hudson River Park Trust is working hard to restore the power in the park’s Village section, but they’re not quite there yet. “The electrician is still troubleshooting,” the Trust’s spokesperson told us. However, we were relieved (well, pun intended, we guess) to hear him say, “All bathrooms opened this weekend, except for Pier 96 [at W. 56th St.]” Apparently several parked cars exploding into flames — what?! — inside the Pier 40 garage last Friday was not connected to the park’s post-Sandy electrical woes. The Fire Department was still conducting an investigation report of the incident. And, fortunately, we’re told, the fire that burned that cars didn’t further damage the park’s electrical infrastructure…and the bathrooms are still working.