Volume 75, Number 31 | December 21 - 27, 2005

Scoopy’s notebook

Feeling the love: Wow! We here at The Villager are simply blown away to have been listed as Reason 54 in New York magazine’s 123 Reasons to Love New York cover story this week. In fact, we came in just after Reason 53, The New York Times, which New York magazine called “the greatest newspaper in the world — next to The Villager.” Someone slap us! Again — wow! It will take us some time to live this one down. Not to let this go to our head or anything, but Scoopy is now taking applications for mice for his new entourage. Just kidding…. And not to quibble with New York, but it should be noted that while John W. Sutter, Villager publisher, was quoted as saying that the Washington Square renovation project is a “Pandora’s box,” he was actually referring to what one of the plan’s influential supporters told us in confidence would be opened gaping wide if “the community” was allowed to get too involved in the renovation’s planning. Also, as far as we know, we haven’t rolled back any park curfews — at least not yet. And while we have reported and editorialized about Washington Square’s play mounds, we think it was really Councilmember Alan Gerson, not us, who led the “crusade” to save them. And calling our letter writers “nut jobs”? C’mon, that’s not more than maybe 30 percent of them. But these are minor, small issues. Dang, we’re just happy we made the list! Also, we want to give a belated shout-out to that hip urban blog the Gothamist, which also said they, yes, love us after we put out our recent Progress Report. New York and Gothamist — gulp — we love you guys too!

Mark your calendars: At last week’s meeting of the Washington Square Council, Bill Castro, Manhattan borough Parks commissioner, announced that the Washington Square renovation project has at long last been scheduled for a hearing by the Art Commission. At the hearing, on Mon. Jan. 9, presumably at the usual spot, the third floor of City Hall (the Web site calendar hasn’t been posted yet), the commission will rule on whether the Parks Department can pick up the park’s historic fountain from the spot where it has been for about 150 years and move it 22 feet to the east, and will also rule on plans to move the park’s Garibaldi statue and Holley monument to the northern edge of their respective circular areas on the walkways.

Simon’s (husband) says: Carly Simon’s husband, Jim Hart, new chairperson of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, tells us that three decades of speculation about who “You’re So Vain” is about is all bunk. He assures us his wife is not singing about Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson or the former Cat Stevens — the five most popular theories for the 1973 hit. Hart would not reveal the name but he insists that the subject is not a celebrity at all and just an unfamous old boyfriend. You probably think we’ve been had and are still “quite naïve,” but just remember Carl Bernstein’s ex-wife, Nora Ephron, said she was sure Deep Throat was Mark Felt years before that was confirmed. How’d we get the scoop? We “are where we should be all of the time.” Yes, we’re a little vain, too.

Vanity project: Marilyn Dorato, secretary of the Greenwich Village Block Associations, reports that neighbors feel better now that they know that Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, who lives in the ’hood, has taken over Ye Waverly Inn with two partners, Eric Goode and Scott McPherson. “I’m very hopeful that we won’t be having any more noise problems with the place,” she said. “Both other men live nearby as well, so that bodes well for us…. In things G.V.B.A., Dorato wants to make it clear that the organization sponsored the recent Jefferson Market Library forum, which they held, she said, because people were unhappy with the meeting conducted by the Community Board 2 Institutions Committee. “We held the forum because the hearing done by C.B. 2 was such a fiasco,” Dorato said. “We wanted to give residents an opportunity to state their opinions without such an overlay of hostility that unfortunately was the case at the C.B. 2 hearing due to residents’ frustration — Otherwise,” she said of The Villager’s Dec. 7 article, which failed to mention G.V.B.A. sponsored the forum, “it was fine reporting.”

Don’t come to the CaSBA: David Gruber, president of the Carmine St. Block Association, or CaSBA, is on the warpath after last week’s Villager article in which the Department of Buildings stated the new Abitino’s Pizzeria red neon sign at Bleecker St. and Sixth Ave. is legal. “The sign is absolutely not legal,” Gruber fumed. “It was certified by their architect and then it was built differently. I am  going to take the Buildings Department on on this one and get [Councilmember Chris] Quinn, [incoming Borough President Scott] Stringer, the public advocate, the C.A.U. unit from the mayor’s office, etc., involved if I have to. It’s a real slap in the face.” Actually, Jennifer Givner, a D.O.B. spokesperson, said the department issued a violation for the sign in September because it was supposed to be 2 feet tall but is 2 feet 6 inches tall. The hearing date was last week, but she didn’t have information by press time as to whether the pizzeria was to be fined or made to take down the sign.

Elements of style and booze: Curbed Web site reports a new “megaclub” called Element is angling to open up in the old Provident Savings Bank building at the corner of Essex and Houston Sts. that was formerly The Bank, a Goth club, and most recently an upscale strip club. People going to this club will reportedly be able to spend outrageous sums of money for so-called bottle service. Curbed reports the owner is rumored to be an “ex-Hong Kong police officer with connections in the N.Y.P.D.”

Corrections: An article on Park Enforcement Patrol officers in Hudson River Park in our Dec. 7 issue referred to Joseph Rose, a member of the Hudson River Park Trust’s board of directors, as a member of the City Planning Commission. However, Rose, a former chairperson of the Planning Commission, is no longer with the commission and now works in the private sector. Also, a caption in an article on korfball in the Dec. 7 issue misidentified the opponent of Great Britain. It was Belgium, not Germany, and the venue was the World Games in Duisberg, Germany, an amateur tournament involving the five top korfballing countries. Also, last week’s article on the Blind Tiger Alehouse, observed: “But for many residents, one more boutique clothing store or winery will make the urban transformation complete.” Yes, a winery — with sprawling vineyard no less — certainly would transform Hudson St. The reporter meant to say “wine shop,” or at least we hope he did.

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