Volume 76, Number 53 | May 30 - June 5, 2007

Scoopy’s notebook

Hoylman’s home free: We still haven’t quite figured out the arcane Nominating Committee election process at Community Board 2, but what is clear after last Thursday’s board meeting is that Brad Hoylman will be the Greenwich Village/Soho/Hudson Square board’s next chairperson come June 24. It turns out that Phil Mouquinho decided not to challenge Hoylman. As a consolation, Mouquinho will be made vice chairperson of the board’s influential Zoning and Housing Committee. For Hoylman, gaining the chairpersonship has been a long time coming and could be a critical step for his political future. Four years ago, Hoylman lost in a race for chairperson against Jim Smith, who served two years, after which Maria Passannante Derr won election two years in a row. Last week, Hoylman told us, “You know, in retrospect, I’m glad Jim won. Not only was he a good board chairperson, but I’ve learned a lot in the intervening four years…. At the moment, I’m just focusing on running a board that is responsive to the needs of the community.” Meanwhile, in other C.B. 2 shakeups, Hoylman plans to split the combined Waterfront and Parks Committee, and has promised to appoint Tobi Bergman Parks Committee chairperson while Arthur Schwartz at least will hang on as chairperson of the Waterfront Committee. “I don’t think there’s going to be enough to talk about,” Schwartz said. “We’ll just talk about Pier 40. Oh well, they’ll be shorter meetings.” Doris Diether, the Village’s zoning maven, is fuming that she reportedly is going to be demoted to “chairperson emeritus” of the Zoning and Housing Committee, whatever that means. Word has it that Hoylman will make David Reck — Diether’s perennial rival as board zoning czar — the committee’s new chairperson.

Future comeback: P.S., Schwartz, who is currently a Democratic state committeeman, said he’s planning to run for his old position — district leader — in 2009. In two years, Hoylman, who replaced Schwartz as district leader, is expected to run for City Council Speaker Chris Quinn’s seat, which she’ll have to vacate at the end of ’09 because of term limits. Schwartz assumes Hoylman won’t run for two offices at once. We asked Assemblymember Deborah Glick — not Schwartz’s biggest fan — what she thought of his latest plan. She went silent on the phone line.

Pizzeria will persist: DeMarco’s pizzeria, at W. Houston and MacDougal Sts., has been back open for three weeks and the owner plans to keep it running for the foreseeable future. But the adjoining DeMarco’s restaurant has closed for good and reportedly will become a bar under a new owner. Harry DeMarco, the pizzeria’s manager and brother of Margaret DeMarco, the pizzeria’s owner, said the restaurant just wasn’t profitable. He said they were talking about closing it even before a crazed customer, David Garvin, gunned down Alfredo Romero Morales, an employee, inside the restaurant on March 14. The pizzeria opened the weekend after Morales’s murder, mainly to raise money for his family, but then closed, and there was speculation the pizzeria and restaurant might never reopen. DeMarco’s will continue selling its trademark pizza featuring three kinds of cheese: fresh mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella and Parmesan.

The thrill of Gore: Al Gore has said he’s not running for president in ’08, but his campaign buttons sure are selling like hotcakes at a vendor’s table outside the southwest corner of Union Square Park. The vendor said the buttons, with the slogan “For Earth’s Sake — Gore 2008,” are being made by some environmental or peace group. “People get excited when they see it,” she said of the Gore buttons. Other candidates’ buttons are selling well, too, though not generating as much elation, she said. “Europeans, Australians are buying Hillary, they’re buying Obama,” she said. “Hillary is the most famous woman in the world…. Lots of the young whites are buying Obama. Lots of the blacks are buying Hillary,” she said. Buttons for John Edwards aren’t selling as much, but the buyers are very dedicated supporters, she said. And people are scooping up her vintage Fernando Ferrer for mayor buttons — the “Anglos” want the Spanish-language versions. “People still want them,” she said.

What a trip: Trip Dorkey seemingly led his last meeting as chairperson of the Hudson River Park Trust last Thursday. Dorkey gave a farewell speech, talking about the strides the park has taken in the last four years during which he was chairperson, listing the new piers and park sections that have opened. There were a few controversies, though, he admitted, mentioning the aborted ice-skating rink in Community Board 2. “I still don’t understand the difference between the skating rink or the tennis courts,” he said, though adding he was glad the courts were there just north of Spring St. Connie Fishman, the Trust’s president, gave him a plaque and touted his accomplishments. he will remain chairperson until Governor Spitzer appoints his successor, but Dorkey said it’s not known when that will be. Dorkey noted he might be at the next meeting, “but I won’t make a speech, I promise,” he said.

What Lola wants, Lola gets (well, sort of): The Soho Alliance’s attorney, Barry Mallin, fired back at Tom Patrick-Odeen, of Lola restaurant on Watts St., for gloating recently in Scoopy’s Notebook that the alliance’s lawsuit against his business was “frivolous.” “What Tom Odeen says is just a lot of hype,” Mallin retorted. “After more than two years of litigation, Lola’s operation has been dramatically scaled back. What started out as a nightclub is now a restaurant. Lola must adhere to a 1 a.m. closing time and the court last week issued a new injunction prohibiting Lola from using its outdoor courtyard. Both the State Liquor Authority and the court have Lola on a very short leash. The community has always said it could live with a bona fide restaurant that caused minimal impact. This was achieved with the litigation. All in all, we are pleased with the results.”

Oh boy — it’s gone: The old Boys’ Club of New York’s Milliken Clubhouse at E. Houston and Pitt Sts. is almost completely demolished. A sign on the scaffolding announces that “Affordable Housing for New Yorkers” will soon replace it. Specifically, Common Ground Community will erect the Lee Residence, a new 11-story, 100,000-square-foot building providing permanent, affordable, supportive housing for 260 persons, a percentage of whom will be young adults.

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