Volume 74, Number 40 | February 9 - 15, 2005

Scoopy's Notebook

Selfless politician:
Councilmember Alan Gerson said activist Susan Howard “should have known better” than to tell Scoopy’s Notebook that a bullet-point item in the Clemente Soto Velez agreement negotiated between the center’s two feuding arts groups that calls for a press conference to thank the mediators refers to him. In fact, he said, it refers to the two pro-bono mediators who did such a great job, Jeff Caplan and Michael Lang. “I may be there,” Gerson said, “I don’t need to be there, but the idea…was to recognize them.” Gerson said the artists groups will also be at the press event announcing the deal, which he said is imminent.

BAMRA bash:
Bleecker Area Merchants and Residents’ Association is throwing a big post-holiday bash, with a complimentary buffet, open bar and entertainment, on Feb. 16, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 1849, at 183 Bleecker St., between Sullivan and MacDougal Sts. Mario Yagobi, BAMRA’s merchant co-chairperson, the place’s owner, is donating the space and the food for the event. Suggested donation is $5, which for BAMRA members can go towards a new or renewed membership. Lois Rakoff, BAMRA’s resident co-chairperson, says, “Anyone who lives in the BAMRA grid — neighborhood — is potentially a member, so this event is certainly open to the community. This party is promoting BAMRA and raising its profile. BAMRA hasn’t had a party since December 2001.” However, we hear some of BAMRA’s old regime are jealous and are saying the party is for raising Rakoff’s profile. They say they’re not sure whether they’ll attend.

Luna or later:
As first reported in The Villager last year, Luna Lounge on Ludlow St. is closing and will be developed into a new apartment building. Rob Sacher of Luna Lounge said the place will lose its lease at the end of this month. “We are looking for a new building, but so far we have not found a suitable new location,” he said. “The building that we have been in for the last 10 years is scheduled to be demolished to make way for a new luxury high rise.” They won’t be having a final blowout party, because there wouldn’t be space for the thousands of people who’d want to come, Sacher said. Instead, they’re asking people “to come in a lot over the next few weeks and support your favorite bands who will be performing THEIR LAST FREE SHOWS at Luna Lounge.”

Sacher promises the next Luna Lounge will be “even better than the old one, although it most certainly will not be on Ludlow St.”

Charlie on Charles:
We hear TV news show host Charlie Rose is the latest celebrity to move onto Charles St.

Mystery building:
Villagers have been wondering what’s going on with that building with the sidewalk shed around it at Sixth Ave. and Washington Pl. Well, David Gruber, president of the Carmine St. Block Association, finally showed us a computer rendering of what the building he and some partners are planning to develop there will look like. Basically, it will be very contextual with the area, adding a few stories onto what’s there. The added bulk had to be cantilevered a certain way so as not to put weight over the Sixth Ave. subway. The project is taking so long to do because the developers had to relocate a holdout tenant. They developed an apartment for him across the street next to CVS, and it’s hoped the tenant will move in a week or so…. Meanwhile, also in that area, the music and video store on the west side of Sixth Ave. near Greenwich Ave. abruptly went out of business recently.

Built to last:
On the question of who is the C.B. 2 member with most seniority, Ed Gold tells us Doris Diether edges him out by three years; she was appointed to the board in 1964; he came on in ’67. Gold noted that, in “a small irony,” he was first appointed by Ed Koch, who was then serving his only term as a councilmember. More recently Koch banished Gold for life from his lunch klatch after Gold called Hizzoner a “neocon” in a Villager article. At least Gold’s still on Board 2, though.

Getting up to speed:
Catching up with Community Board 3 on the East Side, Community Board 2 on the West Side intends to set up a Web site soon.

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