Volume 75, Number 5 | June 22- 28, 2005

Scoopy's Notebook

Gave his all: Jim Smith announced he’ll be resigning from Community Board 2 effective June 30, coinciding with the end of his term as board chairperson. “After 13 years, I’ve given the board whatever I had to give. No point hanging around,” he said. Asked if his falling out with Bob Rinaolo over the chairperson race between Don MacPherson and Maria Passannante Derr had anything to do with his decision, Smith said no…. With MacPherson having dropped out of the race last week, speculation is already rampant about which committee chairpersons will get the axe. Some are predicting Doris Diether will replace Sean Sweeney as Landmarks Committee chairperson and Arthur Schwartz might be Parks Committee chairperson. But who’ll replace Derr as head of the Business Committee? And is David Reck safe as Zoning Committee chairperson? Next month will tell. Stay tuned.

Room without a view: Residents of 77 E. 12th St. are not feeling like happy campers over plans for a new hotel slated to rise on the site of the defunct Plaid nightclub, where Boy George used to spin records and Courtney Love used to bonk patrons over the head with a microphone stand. “We’re very upset about it, because 80 windows facing Uptown in our building would be blocked — and I’m one of them,” said one tenant, requesting anonymity.

Freak out: We were walking along First St. where the Church of All Nations building/Taoist martial arts dojo is no more after having been razed for a new Avalon Chrystie project, when we noticed a guy pasting up some archaic looking posters urging one and all to come marvel at such freakish attractions as an “Enormous Head,” “The Singing Mouse!” and “George Anderson, The Living Skeleton.” Asked what the posters were promoting in the 21st century, the paster, in a thick brogue, said he had no idea, but that he was paid the same amount to stick them up as iPod posters. We called an agency he gave the name of, which referred us to a California office, which told us that in four weeks another round of posters would be the campaign’s “payoff,” promoting a new book of the vintage posters by master magician and “cardician” Ricky Jay. It turns out the card sharp, who played one on the “Deadwood” series on HBO, is a huge fan of old broadsides — the original “wild-style” posters, as Tom G., the California rep., explained it. Just as we hung up the phone, Lorne Colon, artist and Villager listings editor, walked in and immediately recognized the posters as being from the magician’s collection. Colon, it turns out is a Ricky Jay fanatic, and already has an advance copy of the book. Next time, before we start making cross-country calls investigating anything weird or involving a cult following, we’ll ask Lorne first.

Not quite yet last days of commune: The recent Villager photo essay on the Cave Collective seems to have given the St. Mark’s Pl. art commune a new lease on life. They’re being allowed to keep squatting in their building, for a little while longer, at least. Members also reported a sudden surge in sales of their artwork after The Villager report. Meanwhile, senior collective member Jim “Mosaic Man” Power says he will be recording a first when he does his streetlight mosaics onstage on Roosevelt Island at the Am Jam concert in mid-August. As top acts like Santana, Snoog Dogg and the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform, Power will be onstage from 11 a.m. to midnight decorating two lampposts with mosaics of the bands’ names. “This is a challenge,” he admitted to The Villager. “It’s two months of work in a day…. I’ve never done a pole in a day.” Power figures he’ll bring along a half dozen helpers, and, of course, his dog Jessie Jane, who he’s sure will be comfortable onstage. “I don’t see why not — she’s onstage here,” Power said, as his loyal sidekick sat outside Ray’s on Avenue A last Saturday night mooching bites of hipsters’ hot dogs.

A bit high: The recent Villager article about the sale and conversion of the Cabrini Polyclinic building on Second Ave. into condos incorrectly stated the sale price as $25 million — a figure reportedly “heard on the street.” According to John Winkleman, a Cabrini public relations spokesperson, the cost was $7 million. The clinic will close in a couple of weeks and relocate its services to other local Cabrini sites, he said. “The Polyclinic site was beautiful but it was old,” he said, explaining rationale for the move.

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