Volume 75, Number 25 | November 09 -15, 2005

Scoopy’s notebook

Nixon dies — again? At the recent Sixth Precinct Community Council meeting, a Greenwich Village resident announced that “Richard Nixon is dead — he drank himself to death.” The man said Nixon was one of “the many characters” who hang around the subway at 14th St. and Seventh Ave. Detective Mike Singer of the Sixth Precinct said the man’s name really is Richard Nixon, but it’s not clear if he’s dead or not. They called Bellevue because that’s where police were told he was taken, and also St. Vincent’s, but didn’t get any information.

Remember the Alamo? A concerned reader, wondering about the whereabouts of the Astor Pl. cube sculpture, recently e-mailed us, suggesting that we have the Parks Department send us a photo proving that the cube, removed from Astor Pl. in March, still exists. “The New York City Parks Department has a long history of losing plaques monuments, historical statues, etc.,” the reader noted. Well, we don’t have a photo, but Carli Smith, a Parks spokesperson, told us that sculpture, known as “The Alamo,” will be back very soon. “Probably mid-November at the latest,” she told us recently.

It’ll be a gas: Sean Westley, who plans to open a new lounge in the former Pink Elephant (former Chicago Blues) space on Eighth Ave. at 13th St., told Community Board 2 last month that, contrary to misguided rumors, the place will not be a triple-story hip-hop club. Westley said it will be a discriminating place for professionals to network, with quaint gaslights outside, to boot. Despite reservations about noise voiced by neighbors, the board vote to recommend approval of Westley’s application for a liquor license.

Shedding the shed: The Hudson River Park Trust is demolishing the shed on Pier 64 at the end of W. 24th St. The cost of demolition is slated at $1.8 million. At the Trust’s last board of directors meeting, a motion was made to make sure Bob Trentlyon of Chelsea is present at the first sledgehammer blow, since he has made it “his life’s work” to get rid of the shed.

Nomadic graduation: If phase one of the Washington Square Park renovation project ever gets off the ground, it will displace New York University’s graduation for at least a year and possibly forever, according to Washington Square News, the university’s student newspaper. The article cites Lynne Brown, N.Y.U. senior vice president, confirming that other temporary or permanent alternate commencement ceremony sites being studied include Central Park’s East Meadow, Shea Stadium and Pier 40 on the Hudson River. The advantage of Shea, with a capacity of 56,000, is that students could have eight guests instead of the two that are allowed at gradudation in Washington Square, which can accommodate 18,000 people. Plus, there are the Jumbotrons for a closeup of students getting their degrees. Pier 40 has a capacity of 13,000; again, students would only get two guest tickets.

Help! As he was trying to avoid arrest last week on charges of harassing an Observer reporter, Chris Brodeur turned to The Villager for help. On Monday, Brodeur hurriedly explained that a Detective Weber was outside knocking on his door. Meanwhile, Brodeur didn’t want to miss his “really big” gig at Irving Plaza opening for the band Fisherspooner. He gave us a cell number for Weber that his campaign manager Jessica Delfino had gotten and asked us if we could please ask the detective to wait till Wednesday to arrest him. Somehow, Brodeur must have slipped out the back way, because the next day he called us to report Weber was still knocking on the door. This time, Brodeur said he needed another day so he could send out his 100 Reasons to Dump Bloomberg e-mail blast. His computer is really old, so it takes a while, he said. Well, we called Weber, but, for some reason, he never called us back. On Wednesday, Brodeur was arrested.

Correction: In an article in the Oct. 12 Villager, “New Union Sq. group has distaste for any kind of pavilion restaurant,” Carol Greitzer was incorrectly identified as a member and leader of Citizens for Union Square. Greitzer is an active member of the Save Union Square campaign of NYC Park Advocates.

Parks lobbyist: On another Parks-related question, we asked Smith about George Vellonakis’s lobbying efforts last month on behalf of the Washington Square renovation plan, which helped lead to the overturning of a resolution that would have thrown a major monkey wrench into the project. “I can tell you that the Parks Department has spoken at many public forums and the primary architect, George Vellonikas has made himself available [in the park] one day per week to discuss the features of the design with the public,” Smith said.

Private Fields: Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields recently told us that she has several job offers from the private sector, so it sounds like that’s where she’s headed. But she didn’t offer any specifics.

Beatrice diaspora: Speaking of nomads, while it’s expected that Bob Rinaolo will get someone to run a new restaurant in the old Beatrice Inn space on W. 12th St., it’s said that former Beatrice devotees are anxiously searching for new places to eat and will “likely disperse all over the West Village.”

He’s got the FEVA: Joseph Pupello has been hired as the Federation of East Village Artists’ new executive director. He will be responsible for organizational development, fundraising and management. For a decade, Pupello was president of the New York Restoration Project, raising more than $30 million for the restoration of city community gardens and parks. Also, Tom Birchard, owner of Veselka restaurant and longtime neighborhood supporter of FEVA, has joined the group’s board of directors.

De Luca’s delight: Amenties-starved Hudson Square residents and workers will appreciate Georgione 508, the newest thing from Giorgio De Luca of Dean & De Luca fame. Set to open in a few weeks, his new place, on Greenwich Street between Canal and Spring Streets, will be like nothing else seen yet, De Luca said. It will be a sit-down restaurant in the day, also offering for sale packaged cheese, eggs and butter from a variety of countries, and at night will become a bar. It joins the new Tomato Store nearby on Canal Street where people can buy foie gras and Sotheby’s real estate in the same visit. What is it about Hudson Square that all the shops have multiple personalities?

Duct-tape yellers: We recently saw Michael Haberman on NY1 getting yelled about environmental concerns at the World Trade Center site by people with tape over their mouths. Haberman recently moved to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation from New York University, where he was director of government and community relations, and where he, incidentally, had the pleasure of attending a meeting on Washington Square Park where local residents had tape over their mouths, yet still, as at the other meeting, somehow managed to also yell. “I seem to land in jobs that require getting yelled at,” Haberman told us.

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