Volume 74, Number 41 | February 16 - 22, 2005

Scoopy's Notebook

In clubland:
Groucho Marx said he wouldn’t join any club that would have him. But it seems Village District Leader Arthur Schwartz has the opposite problem. Ray Cline, the recently reelected president of Village Reform Democratic Club, had a lukewarm response to Schwartz’s recently saying he would try to join his former nemesis, V.R.D.C., if Village Independent Democrats refuses to take him. “It would be a big haul,” Cline said, skeptically. “I’ll talk to anyone, but a lot of people [in the club] were worried.” Cline predicted Schwartz and V.R.D.C. would not see eye to eye on political endorsements. And, of course, there was that little incident when Schwartz, then still in V.I.D. and hoping to do damage, stooped to spinning a phony story about a V.R.D.C. member being related to a man with the same last name who bludgeoned his two sons to death with a hammer in Chelsea. Nope, Cline hasn’t forgotten that one, either.

Hudson Sq.’s hot:
There’s lots doing around the currently nondescript nexus of Washington and Spring Sts. in Hudson Sq. Chris Schlank of Savanna Partners reports ImClone, of Sam Waksal and Martha Stewart insider-trading infamy, will remodel two floors of space in the former Port Authority building, the ground floor of which U.P.S. uses for its trucking operations. ImClone has sat on the lease since the scandal of a few years ago. Waksal, with time still to go in the slammer, is no longer involved in the company…. Also, we hear a developer has been chosen for the 85,000-sq.-ft. U.P.S. parking lot site between West and Washington Sts. at Spring St. John Isaacs of Cushman-Wakefield, the deal’s broker, tells us he’ll be issuing a press release in a few weeks announcing the project. Isaacs was reluctant to provide details to The Villager beforehand, however. Asked whether the building will be residential or offices, he just said, “To be determined.”…. Finally, construction is starting on an 11-story residential building at Washington and Spring Sts. next to the historic John Brown Building. Uber architect Philip Johnson, who designed the project — as well as a previous, taller version called the “Habitable Sculpture” that he proclaimed his “swan song” — died last month at age 98.

And one more:
It’s said a sixth candidate, a male Hispanic, will enter the Second City Council District race next week. According to one theory, this only helps the chances of the assumed frontrunner District Leader Rosie Mendez. This thinking says Mendez, backed by Councilmember Margarita Lopez’s Coalition for a District Alternative political organization, can count on her core group of voters, while the other candidates will just divide up the remainder — and that the more candidates, the smaller each one’s share becomes.

‘Russian’ intrigue:
Fending off a rumor from an anonymous critic, David McWater, chairperson of Community Board 3, patently denied he is opening a “Russian-themed bar” at 11th St. and Avenue C — on Councilmember Lopez’s block. In fact, McWater said a father of one of the Little League players he coaches owns the building and asked him if he wanted to manage a “tiny space” he was thinking of opening. McWater said he’ll look at any management offers, but doesn’t have the money to open new bars this year — because he’s getting married. On May 14 he plans to wed his girlfriend, actress Laura Hinsberger. “I’m amazed people are still trying to trash me,” he said of the rumor. “Maybe they should volunteer to do all the crap that I do [on C.B. 3]. It’s so easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize.”

Just you wait!
We’re not sure if V.I.D. thought to invite him, but Democratic candidate Chris Brodeur claimed he wasn’t at the club’s mayoral endorsement last Thursday because his campaign “isn’t up yet.” The Lower East Sider says he’s preoccupied fighting his landlord’s attempt to evict him. But he claims he’s ready to debate anyone, anytime, anywhere. “Sit back and watch how I obliterate all the other candidates in under 5 minutes!” he boasted. Added Brodeur, who supports free subways: “I don’t need machine support. I will get the votes of anyone who hates the M.T.A.”

Squatter Aid:
There will be a benefit party on Sat., Feb. 26, for Michael Shenker and Fly, the two squatters seriously injured by a car last month. The benefit ($10 admission) is at Clayton Patterson’s Outlaw Gallery, 161 Essex St., from 8 p.m., “till whenever,” said D.J. Gringo Loco, adding he’ll be spinning his “dirty” songs. “I’m warning people not to bring their children,” he said. Also performing will be K-Rock’s D.J. Liquid Todd, D.J. Chrome and The Killer Banshees, doing visuals. Two Boots is providing free pizza. All the money will go to help Fly and Shenker. Shenker, who was almost killed, is at home recovering on E. Seventh St., according to Loco, a.ka. activist John Penley. However, we hear Shenker went ballistic upon seeing The Villager article on the accident, featuring a “police intelligence” photo of him shown on “Nightline” ’s segment about purportedly anarchist protesters at the Republican Convention. “He had been drifting in and out of consciousness — and that photo was the first thing he saw when he woke up,” Penley said. “He said it makes him look like The Unabomber.” Sorry, it’s all we had on file.

‘Tree slaughter’:
Cynthia Crane Story reports she recently got a shock while passing the Jefferson Market Garden. “Walking my dog, I noticed odd ‘powder’ on the snow and realized that it was sawdust,” she wrote in an e-mail. “Looking closer, I saw that five to six trees around the entire perimeter of the garden were cut down. The snow made it very easy to see, and the stumps looked healthy to my eye.” Some are reportedly terming it a “tree slaughter.” We just hope some foliage is still standing when the garden celebrates its upcoming 25th anniversary.

Meeting check:
Community Board 3’s full board meeting on Tues., Feb. 22, won’t be at P.S. 20 on Essex St. as usual, since the school will be closed for winter break. Instead, the meeting will be at the Chinatown YMCA Beacon Center, inside M.S. 131, at 100 Hester St., between Eldridge and Allen Sts., starting at 6:30 p.m.

Magic beer:
David Copperfield’s House of Beer has leased the 3,500-sq.-ft. former Stingy Lulu’s space on St. Mark’s Pl. and Avenue A, which most recently catered to a hip-hop crowd.

Ay carumba!
On Sun., Feb. 27, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Chipotle Mexican Grill will celebrate the opening of its new restaurant at 55 E. Eighth St. — which Chipotle is billing as “on the N.Y.U. campus” — by giving away free burritos. “We are not making this up,” assured a Chipotle spokesperson.

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