Volume 75, Number 17 | September 14 - 20, 2005

Scoopy’s notebook





Hot potato dorm: Following last week’s Villager expose on Michelle Perez, director of housing and residential life at Pace University, being on the board of directors of Gregg Singer’s University House Corporation, Perez has decided to sever ties with Singer and his E. Ninth St. dorm project. Though Perez denied Pace was interested in the high-rise, 222-unit dorm, not all were convinced. “I think she’s going to resign from the board, because it’s too easy for people to make the connection,” Christopher Cory, a Pace spokesperson, told us Monday. “I think [she’ll resign] in a day or so…. I suppose anybody who touches this, it’s like a third rail,” he said of the embattled dorm. “With the activists, no one wants to touch this.”

Trinity towers: We bumped into Hudson Square developer Nino Vendome on Canal St. the other day and he gave us the good real estate word. He said the Urban Glass House, the Philip-Johnson-designed building at Washington and Spring Sts. that he’s a partner in, should be finished in nine months. Unfortunately, it won’t be the blackout-proof, green building he had planned, since he sold the controlling share to Charles Blaichman. (We’re just wondering — will the Ear Inn patrons still be able to spill out on the sidewalk with their beers when the haute bourgeoisie moves in overhead?) On another subject, asked about the commercial space he used to have in one of the Trinity buildings at Canal and Hudson Sts. where he fed the 9/11 recovery workers and then briefly had a 9/11-themed Italian restaurant, Nino’s American Kitchen, Vendome said, “Well, you know what happened.” Actually, we don’t. More to the point, he said he hears Trinity is thinking of converting space in its three massive commercial buildings around the intersection to residential. Trinity Church recently got a new rector, who brought in hotshot Carl Weisbrod, former head of the Downtown Alliance business district, to head their real estate department. While Weisbrod was noncommittal, he didn’t deny Vendome’s tip that Trinity is thinking residential in Hudson Square. “I just arrived here a month ago and I’m looking at what the global vision for Trinity Real Estate should be,” Weisbrod told us. “One of the reasons I came here is to take a broad look at this neighborhood and see what they can do. It’s an appealing neighborhood.”

Urn baby urn: Despite Washington Square historian Luther Harris’s opinion to the contrary, according to the Parks Department, the park’s fountain did have urns at some point — though that may have been before it was moved to the Village. “We have documentation from Central Park in regards to the ‘original urns’ and the original artist,” said Carli Smith, a Parks spokesperson. “We are going to replicate the original historic 1870s urns that once existed on the fountain piers when it was at Fifth Ave. and 59th St.” Smith added that Parks is “continuing to strengthen” its proposed renovation plan pending an upcoming hearing by the Art Commission. (Questions about the urns was the reason given by Parks for the Art Commission’s earlier postponement of the review.)

‘SNL’ Mo’s: Jimmy Fallon of “Saturday Night Live” is a partner in Mo Pitkin’s, HOWL! founder Phil Hartman’s new Judeo-Latino restaurant and nightclub on Avenue A. “Jimmy is a friend, and is a small investor...and will hopefully be performing upstairs soon,” Hartman tells us.

Derrick whodunit: Artist Thom Corn says his new wooden derrick sculpture in Tompkins Square was vandalized twice on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. “Friday night someone tried and did burn some of the structure leaving very little actual damage but the technique was clear — a butane lighter!” Corn reports. “I saw the blackened struts on Saturday morn as I cut through the park on my way to work. When I came back Downtown I checked the park — the sculpture had been knocked down and I found the ladder over by the anarchist crusty bench where I couldn't get a coherent description of [what had happened]. Peter Thomas the guitar player helped me to right the derrick. So as of now it is back up and missing only the ladder!”

Orange visit: The president of the Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, will be at St. George’s Church on E. Seventh St. and Third Ave. on Fri., Sept. 16, at 4:30 p.m. and afterwards will pop over to the Ukrainian Museum on E. Sixth St. However, sources say he’s looking the worse for wear after his dioxin poisoning during last year’s historic election. Maybe a few beers at nearby McSorley’s might do him good.

Bar backlash: A planning meeting for coming up with some strategy — any strategy — to combat the Lower East Side’s having become a gigantic roving bar frat and sorority party will be held on Thurs., Sept. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at Two Boots To-Go at the corner of Third St. and Avenue A. Organizers include Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Development (LESRRD), Ludlow-Orchard Community Organization (L.O.C.O.), 11th St. ABC Block Association and E. Fourth St. A/B Block Association. RSVP to info@theloco.org so they know how many are planning to attend — and whether you want the Emma Peel or Newman.

Parking panic: In the wake of the recent Shalom Jacob E.M.T. arrest flap, Lower East Side photographer and gallery owner Clayton Patterson is pointing to another case of what he calls “corruption.” Namely, Patterson says, he has spotted the car of Don West, the president of the Seventh Precinct Community Council, parked on Ludlow St. under No Parking signs while West was hanging out inside a local bar. West’s car has a “7th Precinct Restricted Parking Plate” posted inside his windshield — Patterson sent us photos of the parked car with its sign and a shot of West through the window in the bar. A spokesperson in the Police Department’s deputy commissioner of public information’s office told us the restricted parking plate is only good for a designated area right around the Seventh Precinct stationhouse on Pitt St., and that these signs are given out to individuals likely to need to visit the precinct from time to time. The spokesperson said West’s car should definitely be “tagged” if he’s trying to use the plate to illegally park in other areas of the precinct. Yet, Patterson said, he’s called the situation to the attention of officers and they only tell West to move his car. Patterson said he’s particularly annoyed about it because police tend to do regular parking ticket blitzes on blocks like Orchard and Ludlow Sts. When asked about the whole thing, West — a former president of the Seward Park co-ops — didn’t sound very happy and went silent. We wonder how much of this is payback by Patterson, whom West banned from the community council five years after Patterson demanded that the precinct’s then commander tell them about local crimes Patterson claimed weren’t being reported.

Dogged rescuer: Dog activist Lynn Pacifico tells us she has been collecting pet supplies and sent down two crates with bowls, leashes and collars, to help the Katrina pet victims. She wishes she could take in homeless Katrina pets, but her building has gone “no pets” for renters. “I cannot take in/foster any more — it is very upsetting as this was my specialty,” Pacifico sadly reported.

Getting his gander up: In other animal news, a love connection may be in the offing for Aflac, the former Gansevoort goose now living Upstate at the Farm Sanctuary. Although the sanctuary has had their hands full rescuing chickens from Mississippi factory farms hit by Katrina, they recently took in a female that was hit by a car and looks just like Affy. They’ll be formally introduced soon.

Correction: Regarding last week’s Scoopy’s item on local underground Ibogaine teams treating heroin addicts and inducing visions of bwitis, Dana Beal stresses he only does “intake,” not treatment. And he also wrote a comprehensive book on Ibogaine.

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