Volume 76, Number 12 | August 9 - 15, 2006

Scoopy's Notebook

Chelsea Ivanka: Original Chelsea boy Tim Gay reports that John Blair told him he’s selling his XL Lounge on W. 16th St. to none other than Ivanka Trump, right. Five years ago, Blair remodeled the former paper-recycling facility into a sleek, 100-person nightspot, and it quickly became one of Chelsea’s hottest places for gay men to see and be seen. Gay said he ran into Blair on the street as the nightlife impresario was heading to the State Liquor Authority for something in connection with his Spirit club and the police drug busts earlier this summer at Chelsea discos. “It has two floors; it was very, very white, clean,” Gay recalled of XL, which shut a week or two ago. “With very tall, square bar stools that came from Italy. And pastel lights that would change the colors. It was high design. What John Blair told me was it was going to be one of her elite party spaces…. The question,” Gay posed, “is does Chelsea wanna Ivanka?” Club cognoscenti were already weighing in on the news. “Oh, it’s going to offer bottle service,” predicted Eric, a salesperson at Camouflage on Eighth Ave., referring to the policy of only admitting people who will buy a bottle of booze for an astronomical sum.

‘Hey, parking lot — you’re fiyahed!’ Speaking of Ivanka, her dad, The Donald, of course, also has a project cooking in these parts, the Trump Trojan Horse Hotel, at Spring and Varick Sts. We noticed last week that the parking lot site of the convoluted condo-hotel — all right, it’s really called the Trump Soho Hotel Condominiums New York — has been emptied. And no, Curbed, we didn’t get that from your real estate Web site — our office is right next door!

Grand anniversary: On the subject of hotels, the Soho Grand on W. Broadway will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary during the month of September. Before the hotel opened, it faced stiff opposition from Soho residents, who railed that, among other things, it would attract prostitutes from Canal St. But times change and these days the residents only accuse it of contributing to sewer overflows during heavy rains in the former Lispenard Swamp, one of the lowest points in Manhattan. So, let’s just hope it doesn’t rain heavily in September, for the Soho Grand’s sake. But seriously, the Soho Grand goings-on will encompass “all things Soho,” namely “art, music, fashion and film.” Bill Sofield, Tom Ford’s interior designer, will be joined by the fashion crowd for a Fashion Week wrap-up, and later in the month, according to the hype, Leonard and Emmanuel Stern will be hosting a celebration at which John Legend is expected to perform “to a mix of New York boldfaces and hipsters in the ultimate birthday celebration.”

Floored: For those excited by large floor plates — and we know you’re out there — we refer you to the commercial St. John’s Building at Washington and W. Houston Sts., where a banner outside advertises that 844,000 square feet of “the largest floor plates in Manhattan” is currently available for rent. Man, that’s a whole lot of cubicles.

Walls closing in: After our recent article on Chuck Close’s plight in Noho, East Village artist Katalin Kotvics called to tell us she’s in a similar predicament. A new seven-story building by AvalonBay will cover three of her building’s windows — two of them her own — at 23 Second Ave., where she’s lived for 17 years. “They are not lot-line windows,” Kotvics said. “I’m an artist as well, I would lose my light — and air.... The title of my latest catalogue is ‘Light.’ I’m totally into light.... It was always a courtyard. There was never a building there.... They want to start construction in like 60 days. Chuck Close is fighting for 20 feet — I’m fighting for just 10 feet and some air.” Kotvics said she struggled for years with the karaoke bar below her and finally recently got them to behave, but now she has a new problem on her hands.

Call and response: In last week’s article on the New York University megadorm project on E. 12th St., it was stated that N.Y.U. spokespersons did not return calls for comment by press time. We stand by that: No one from N.Y.U. ever did return our calls for comment. However, Alicia Hurley, the university’s vice president of government and community relations, unbeknownst to us, did e-mail us a statement on deadline night. So, N.Y.U. did respond, but we didn’t see it until the following day.

A.P.C.C.C. lives: OK, this is the last real estate-related item for this week. We promise. It’s been a year since Michael Rosen, Roland Legiardi-Laura and Clayton Patterson resigned from the Armando Perez Community Cultural Center, a committee of East Villagers and local politicians that was working to landmark the old P.S. 64 and plan its future reuse. Now that the building’s been landmarked, and there’s still no clear plan for it — other than Gregg Singer illegally hacking away at its exterior details every few days in violation of stop-work orders — people are wondering what happened to A.P.C.C.C. and if it ever developed a plan. In fact, after the defections, A.P.C.C.C. decided to incorporate as a nonprofit. Its president is Marianne Perez, widow of Armando Perez, creative director of CHARAS/El Bohio, the community center that occupied the building before Singer evicted them. Other board members include activist Susan Howard and Democratic District Leader Anthony Feliciano. Feliciano said A.P.C.C.C. currently meets every three weeks. He said they have a plan under which the building would be rented out to a mix of groups able to pay high and low rents, with the high rents subsidizing the groups only able to afford low rents. The key, Feliciano said, is to have a community and arts center that will be inclusive of the entire Lower East Side.

Bicyclists move fast: Time’s Up is beating the Police Department to the punch by holding a People’s Public Forum on the department’s proposed new permit regulations affecting groups of bikers at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery at 10th St. and Second Ave. on Thurs. Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. On Aug. 23, the Police Department will hold a hearing at 1 Police Plaza by the Brooklyn Bridge.

Corrections: In last week’s issue, in the article on St. Brigid’s Church, Beth Sopko’s last name was misspelled. In the article on Bob Gormley, Gloria Harris’s first name was incorrect. In the article on Paul Garrin, the date of the Tompkins Square Park riot should have been listed as 1988.

Reader Services


Email our editor



The Villager is published by
Community Media LLC.

145 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 229-1890 Fax: (212) 229-2790
Advertising: (646) 452-2465 •
© 2005 Community Media, LLC

Email: news@thevillager.com

Written permission of the publisher must be obtainedbefore any of the contents of this newspaper, in whole or in part, can be reproduced or redistributed.