Volume 76, Number 8 | July 12 - 18, 2006

Scoopy's Notebook


Casual Mendez: We bumped into Councilmember Rosie Mendez at Rosario’s pizzeria on Orchard St. on Saturday night. She had just seen a new movie about another Rosie, Rosie Perez, at Clemente Soto Velez on Suffolk St. and was stopping with a friend for a slice. She had left her City Council pants suit at home and, to those who didn’t know her, would have appeared to be just another local hipster, decked out in a backwards Yankees cap (she’s a lifelong Bombers fan), cargo pants and Air Jordans. Over bites of her ’za, Mendez said she can’t say anything about the “confidentiality agreement with the city” regarding the old P.S. 64 building that dorm developer Gregg Singer told us that he had last week. But we guessed Mendez may have a sense of what’s going on. But she isn’t talking…. Mendez is looking forward to having knee surgery this week. She rode in a pedicab at last weekend’s New York State manumission anniversary rally on the Lower East Side, not because she was being a V.I.P., but because her knee, which she injured in a fall, has been killing her. We wish her good luck in her surgery.

Wild response: Our recent article on Mendez’s introducing a bill to ban the use of wild animals in circuses in New York City has generated a virtual stampede of letters, probably the highest response to any article we’ve ever run in recent years. The letters are generally short, but there have been lots.

She’s had enough: Marianne Perez, widow of the late Armando Perez, former artistic director of CHARAS/El Bohio cultural and community center, which used to be in the old P.S. 64, called us last week. She said she was going to fax us an “open letter” expressing her frustration working with a certain member of a committee that was working on plans for future uses of the building, assuming it ever leaves Singer’s hands. It’s reached the point where Perez said she will try to forbid naming any future center there after Armando Perez. But we never got the letter.

Blues for Les Bleus: Patricia Fieldsteel, our Nyons correspondent, filled us in on the reactions to the French soccer team’s thrill of victory, followed by agony of defeat in the World Cup. After France beat Portugal to reach the finals, football fans in Provence were cockily boasting, “We will cook the spaghettis in their own sauce!” During the finals match, townsfolk came out to watch the game at cafes and outdoor screens — one woman bringing along her chicken, which sat on her lap throughout with a minimum of wing flapping and clucking, Fieldsteel reported. The French didn’t take the loss too badly, she said. “Right now I’m watching TV and the French in typical style are analyzing the game to death,” Fieldsteel e-mailed us after Italy had won it all, “not the game itself or any of the plays but all the symbolic, psychological, philosophic meanings of what the game represents to the French and to France, a total psychoanalysis of Zidane and what he did, what he means to and for France, etc, etc., very intellectual and full of endless analysis in the typical French style!”

Peaceful Board 3: Members of Community Board 3 re-elected their leadership without contention at their June 27 meeting. All of last year’s officers ran unopposed. Board chairperson David McWater received 36 votes in favor, with 1 abstention. All other officers were reelected unanimously with 37 votes: Herman Hewitt as first vice chairperson, Morris Faitelewicz as second vice chairperson, Lois Regan as secretary, Dominic Pisciotta as assistant secretary and Andrea Diaz as treasurer.

Hot eruv: We asked Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver his opinion on the hot potato topic of whether the Lower East Side should have an eruv — a boundary marking an area in which Orthodox Jews can do things otherwise forbidden on the Sabbath, such as push a baby carriage or a shopping cart. But Silver wasn’t going to go there. He said if there’s one thing he’s learned in all his years in politics, it’s that he’s agreed to not weigh in on religion if the rabbis stay out of politics.

Mercurial figure: Carol Wilson was allowed to return to her apartment at 55 W. Eighth St. on June 20, five months after mercury was found dripping into one of her bedrooms from the ceiling. Her apartment was completely dismantled for cleaning. Her furniture is all gone, along with the apartment’s detailings, like transoms, solid doors and molding. However, she said, “It is nice to have a place to come home to.” Of the nine apartments in the building, residents of four eventually moved out and new tenants have replaced them.

Credit where due: In the obituary on Norma Becker in last week’s issue the photo of Becker was taken by Ed Hedemann.

Correction: In the photo essay in last week’s issue on Jim “Mosaic Man” Power, the top photo was taken by Clayton Patterson. The rest of the photos were taken by Bob Arihood.

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