Volume 76, Number 50 | May 9 -15, 2007

Scoopy’s notebook

Will Mike run? Who better than his former first deputy press secretary to know whether Mayor Mike Bloomberg is really going to run for president? We asked Jennifer Falk — who held that post from 2002 to 2006 — if Bloomie indeed is eyeing the White House. “I would say that he would make a fantastic president,” she said, “but I doubt that he’ll run. He’s extraordinarily committed to his philanthropic endeavors — and I think that’s where his path will lead him.” Meanwhile, Falk’s own path recently led her to become the executive director of the Union Square Partnership business improvement district. Falk says the most frequent question she gets asked making her rounds in the partnership’s district is whether Mike wants to be president.

Parks deadline: As of Tues., May 8, the Parks Department still had not agreed to re-present the Washington Square renovation plans to Community Board 2. “That means C.B. 2 approval [of the renovation] is rescinded as of May 9,” anticipated Keen Berger, the C.B. 2 member who pushed through the board’s latest resolution on the renovation two weeks ago. “The Parks Department can no longer say they have community approval — since all the other community organizations that I know are against the plan,” Berger said. Arthur Schwartz, C.B. 2 Parks and Waterfront Committee chairperson, said of Parks, “I haven’t heard a word from them. They have until tomorrow.”

Sock it to him: Andrew Berman, of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said he’s been getting mucho kudos since being branded “a demagogue” by N.Y.U. President John Sexton in The Villager last week. “I’ve literally had dozens of people come up to congratulate me,” Berman said. “It’s a badge of honor.”

Inside info.: Also on N.Y.U., Susan Goren at the recent C.B. 2 meeting said she has it on good word that the planned science building at the Morton Williams site on LaGuardia Pl. has gone back to the drawing board. “They fired the architect. They’re starting all over,” said Goren, who usually has juicy insider university information. After all, her dad, Arnold, is the school’s former vice chancellor.

Avenue Q.: Q. Sakamaki’s Sri Lankan civil war photos have won yet another award, this time from the Overseas Press Club. It’s the fifth major award the East Village lensman has won for this gripping photo series, which also ran in The Villager last year.

Assumptions, assumptions: Readers report that Parks recently cut down a lot of big branches around Washington Square’s central plaza. This must mean the department is getting ready to move in heavy machinery for the renovation, they suspect. Meanwhile at Pier 40, the soccer moms have noticed that the annual spring painting of the hallways has not been done, and that paint chips are falling on people’s heads. This must mean that the pier will surely be redeveloped with a mega-plan, they suspect.

Gallery liftoff: Apollo Braun will blow out all the stops this Thursday night when he plans to transform his boutique at 193 Orchard St. into an art gallery. He’s invited a full complement of celebrities, and said he wouldn’t even turn away Chloe Sevigny, even though last time she visited his shop she told him she tries to “avoid the Lower East Side.”

Va-vavoom! At 6 years old, Lotus restaurant and club in the Meatpacking District has become a veteran of the ever-changing New York nightlife scene. But who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Since last Halloween, Lotus has been hosting burlesque Tuesdays (they call it Gold Rush) in those awkward hours after the dinner crowd winds down and before the eager clubbers arrive. On a recent Tuesday, the show consisted of four 2-minute performances over the course of an hour. The show was extended a bit longer if you counted the fact that dancer Gigi Lafemme wandered the club and had a drink after her performance in her “costume,” which consisted of a few pieces of strategically placed black lace. Lotus has also been testing out theater Wednesdays and, according to co-owner David Rabin, plans to try jazz Thursdays soon.

Scoop on pigeons: Someone is scooping up Village pigeons and no one knows why. Judy Callet, a Bleecker Area Merchants’ and Residents’ Association member, said that on Wed., April 18, at about 4 p.m., she saw a man hop out of a van on LaGuardia Pl. with a net filled with birdseed. He laid the net on the walkway to 505 LaGuardia Pl. between LaGuardia Corner Gardens and the Time Landscape (the fenced-in area of indigenous, wild-growing plants). After a flock of pigeons alighted on the net, the man scooped them up, tossed them in the van and drove off. Callet got the license plate number and filed a report. She said a gardener at LaGuardia Corner Gardens told her she’d also seen a flock-naping occur. People wonder if the pigeons are being taken for bird shoots.

Obama, anyone? State Senate Committeeman Arthur Schwartz thinks he may be the only Downtown elected official supporting Barack Obama for president at this point — everyone else seems to be pulling for Hillary Clinton, he said. “I went to an Obama event and the only elected I saw there was [Councilmember Bill] Perkins and a couple of district leaders from the Upper West Side,” said Schwartz. He supports Barack because he feels he’s “a genuine progressive.”

Lobbying? Who’s lobbying? Tom Fox clarified that he and Douglas Durst aren’t “actively lobbying anyone” to appoint Durst chairperson of the Hudson River Park Trust. “Douglas is in no way lobbying anyone to do anything,” Fox said. “The only thing that happened is I forwarded his résumé to Albany and suggested that he would be a good candidate. I threw his hat in the ring. He would be willing to serve if asked by the governor, and that’s it — we’re not lobbying anyone.”

My cousin, Vinnie: Gary Tomei, W. 13th St. 100 Block Association president, told us the big issue after the M.T.A. wrapped up their “big dig” on 13th St. is the big building by St. Vincent’s Hospital. “They’re going to put up that 18-story building,” Tomei said. “It’s going to be trouble. The Village is getting destroyed. What’s the point of having a landmarked district? We’re going to put up a very stiff resistance.” Tomei said the neighborhood shouldn’t be saddled with another high-rise just because St. Vincent’s — a.k.a. “St. Vinnie” in cop and E.M.T. lingo — plans to sell some of its buildings to help it emerge from bankruptcy. The hospital’s existing buildings could easily be upgraded — a new building isn’t needed, Tomei contended. “Just because they’ve been foolish before, everyone’s got to pay,” he said of St. Vincent’s. We didn’t even get a chance to ask how his daughter actress Marisa is doing.

Correction: In an article on the Caring Community two weeks ago, the name of a client, Ann Levinson, was misspelled. Also, the theater club that provides tickets to the senior members charges $1 to $2 (not $5) for tickets and $5 for special events. And the e-mail address of Claudia Jacobson, the volunteer coordinator, was incorrect. Her correct e-mail is claudiajacobson@thecaringcommunity.org.


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