Volume 74, Number 42 | February 23 - March 01, 2005

Scoopy's Notebook

Freed on safari: So what’s former City Councilmember Kathryn Freed been up to lately? A lot. She’s been settling into her job as a Municipal Court judge, and doing plenty of work in Criminal Court. About a year ago, her vision started to get blurry and she was diagnosed with cataracts. She just had cataract surgery on both eyes and had implant lenses put in. Currently, she’s on safari in Kenya and Tanzania with a group of friends — “you know I love animals,” she noted — and then when she gets back, she’ll be moving from Tribeca’s Independence Plaza to the East River Houses at the end of Grand St. on the Lower East Side. She waited to move until after the cataract surgery, so that neighbors and friends would be able to help her out with errands during her recovery. “I could have stayed here, but the rent would go up,” Freed said, speaking the week before her trip. “I priced myself out of Tribeca — the things I did for the neighborhood, the school, the park…. Where I’m going is a co-op and I have a complete view of Lower Manhattan looking south and a 250-sq.ft. terrace.” Last year, after local politicos got wind of Freed’s plan to move to the Lower East Side, there were rumors — which Freed strongly denied — that she wanted to move into City Council District 2 to run for Margarita Lopez’s seat. However, her new place is in Councilmember Alan Gerson’s District 1. Freed again quashed any suspicion that she’ll run for office. “Nah, I’m a judge,” she said. “I might run for [State] Supreme Court some day, but that’s another story.”

Community finds unity: At the Valentine’s Day rally to save the old P.S. 64/former CHARAS/El Bohio building from being developed into a towering student dorm, the recent flap over the exposing of two members of the East Village Community Coalition’s pasting incendiary posters — asking “Which architect designed Auschwitz?” — outside the offices of Beyer Blinder Belle, the dorm’s architects, seemed forgotten. Susan Howard, who fingered the two members — Michael Rosen and Roland Legiardi-Laura — with a security videotape, was nowhere to be seen. She had to work, she said. Meanwhile photojournalist Clayton Patterson pulled together Rosen, Alfredo Irizarry and Marianne Perez, widow of CHARAS co-founder Armando Perez for a huddle. “I asked [Rosen] flat out, what was this about?” Patterson said. “He clearly admitted [doing] it and said it was stupid. He felt that [using the e-mail address of ‘Charas/El Bohio’] was a way to get The Villager to acknowledge it and be aware of the postering.” Howard has contended that the E.V.C.C. members sent the e-mail notification to The Villager with that address to get the real CHARAS organization in trouble with dorm developer Gregg Singer by violating a gag order. Rosen told The Villager: “I think that the rally was fantastic and I think that the community is really pulling together as one now.” Said Marianne Perez: “We’re getting the building back. We’re unified.”

Pound for pound: Residents living near Hudson and Houston Sts. — not to mention employees at the Saatchi & Saatchi building — must be breathing a sigh of relief that the infernal pounding for the start of work on a water shaft to the Third City Water Tunnel nearby has ended. The racket is caused by metal plates being banged into the dirt to shore up the shaft site. In addition, the earth around the edge of the site is frozen with chilling tubes put into the ground. Because the principal at nearby City as School complained that the noise was bothering the school, the pounding was shifted to the early evening hours. Once the workers hit bedrock 180 ft. down, a thin hole will be drilled down to the water tunnel, 500 ft. below the surface, after which the shaft will be drilled from the bottom up. There will be some explosions to clear rock inside the shaft, as well, said Ian Michaels, a Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson, but these shouldn’t be audible on the surface. Finally, the inside of the shaft will be lined with cement, pipes, electrical wires and the like and a control house will be built right under the surface, though the water will rise on its own. There are about four shafts needed in the Downtown area and each should take five years to complete. The next stop will be one in the Holland Tunnel rotary. After that, there’s a shaft at 13th and Hudson Sts. near the Meat Market. The noisiest pounding work usually only lasts two or three weeks, Michaels said.

Water world: A lecture and slide show: “The Greenwich Village Waterfront,” by Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, will be held Thurs., Feb. 24, from 6:20 p.m.-8 p.m., at The Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Pl. at Bleecker St. Berman will speak about the area’s history and architecture, as well as current efforts on preservation, landmaking and zoning measures for the waterfront. RSVP to rsvp@aiany.org or 212-258-6111; $10 A.I.A. members, $15 nonmembers.

Candid canine story: “A Dog’s Life: A Dogamentary,” produced and directed by Westbeth’s Gayle Kirschenbaum about Chelsea, her pooch who was moved by the tragedy of 9/11 to became a therapy dog, will premiere on HBO on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. “Strangely clever!” LA Weekly said of the film.

Chipotle chips in: Chipotle Mexican Grill will hold a fundraiser for Greenwich House on Thurs., Feb. 24, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Chipotle’s newest location, 200 Varick St. at King St., just south of Houston St. A $5 donation at the door will get a large, gourmet burrito and a drink. All money collected will go to support Greenwich House programs.

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