Volume 76, Number 17 | September 13 - 19, 2006

Scoopy’s Notebook

Boning up on zoning: East Village activist Rob Hollander has been raising the alarm in panicked e-mail blasts claiming that the city’s plan for inclusionary zoning in the East Village/Lower East Side will “open the floodgates to out-of-scale development and community displacement,” just like what’s happening in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. But David McWater, Community Board 3’s chairperson, said everyone but Hollander seems to be on the same page that inclusionary zoning, combined with capping height on new construction throughout the neighborhood, is the way to go. “I read that e-mail too but I just dismissed it,” he said of Hollander’s distress signal. Under the rezoning, if developers include a percentage of affordable housing — which would be permanent — in their new projects, they will be able to build higher. The areas offering this developers’ incentive are planned as Houston St., which is already zoned residentially, Delancey St., which is not, and Avenue D. McWater said it’s possible, though, that the idea for “I.Z.” on Avenue D might be dropped. “They’ve proposed three streets, and one of these they might not stick with,” he noted. Next month, the city will make an informal presentation of the rezoning at a C.B. 3 committee meeting and there will also be a large public forum about it.

Seeing red: Former Councilmember Carol Greitzer got a kick out of reading New York Times art critic Michael Kimmelan’s piece in last Sunday’s magazine about his father, David Kimmelman, and his hardcore communist beliefs. “His father was our eye doctor — and he was the eye doctor for everyone in the Village that I knew,” Greitzer said. Her daughter went to P.S. 41 with Michael. Kimmelman never let on during eye exams about his red side. “You never know,” Greitzer said.

Where’s Richard? John Penley, a source for both Scoopy and that other column, Page Six, was wondering what had happened to Richard Johnson lately. For a while, Johnson’s name was nowhere to be found on the gossip sheet. “They used to put ‘Richard Johnson is on vacation,’ ” Penley noted, speaking last week. “Now it says, ‘Page Six, Paula Froelich.’ And there’s Bill Hoffman, some guy I’ve never heard before. I don’t know if they’re all on vacation, or what.” Chris Wilson, another contributor, whose name was linked to the “Page Six protection” scandal, has moved on to a magazine, apparently, Penley said. Scoopy e-mailed Froelich to ask if Johnson was still around and she replied he was — and, as matter of fact, the next day his name was back in its usual spot. Mere coincidence? Or was Scoopy about to blow the roof right off Page Six? And does Paris Hilton have anything to do with all this?

Thunderdome: As it celebrates its 10th anniversary this month, the Soho Grand hotel is noting with some satisfaction how the fierce community opposition it faced before it opened has completely dissipated. Soho residents had protested that the swank hotel would be a magnet for “Canal St. hookers,” among other problems. Well, the hookers have vanished too — if they ever existed in the first place. But the Soho Grand may have spoken too soon: Just in time for the hotel’s big celebration, neighbors are now griping about a new quality-of-life issue associated with the place — namely, a geodesic dome being used on a nearby lot “for large parties with fully amplified rock bands that play until 2 in the morning.” Does the dome have a permit? Is it temporary or permanent? Is it maybe just part of the monthlong anniversary celebration? Could it be where the missing Canal St. hookers are hiding? These questions — well, most of them — are all being explored.

Tattoo convention: The Canal St. knockoff merchants work fast. They must have read our article about the new Ed Hardy store in the Villager’s Meat Market section in July, because they’re all selling the distinctive tattoo caps — and for only $11, a lot cheaper than at the Hardy store.

Laughing cow: Speaking of “The Meatpacking,” as the clubgoers like to call it, COMIX, a new comedy club at 14th St. and Ninth Ave., will open on Sept. 14 with a star-studded lineup, including David Spade, Kathy Griffin, Josh Blue, Sarah Silverman and others. COMIX reportedly sports a chic interior and full-service kitchen, and despite four full bars, there’s no drink minimum.

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