West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 4 | June 27 - July 3, 2007

Scoppy's Notebook

Battle of Little Britain: The push to officially co-name Greenwich Ave. between 12th and 13th Sts. “Little Britain” continues, especially by the owners of Tea & Sympathy. Sean Kavanagh-Dowsett, who co-owns the English eatery with his wife, Nicky Perry, said they recently started a “direct mail” campaign of sorts, hand-delivering letters seeking support to hundreds of local residents. A “Little Britain” sign will be needed at each end of the block, he said, noting, “If you have it at one end, how would you know where Little Britain ends?” Kavanagh-Dowsett — a familiar figure in the Village as he makes his fish-and-chips deliveries “tiddling around in his old 1970 London cab,” as he put it — said while the campaign may seem a bit self-promotional, it’s really intended to protect small local businesses from being pushed out by chain stores. “Little Italy started off with one bakery. Chinatown was just a couple of businesses,” he maintained. “It’ll still say ‘Greenwich Ave.’ on the block. We just want to add a little flavor to it.” Kavanagh-Dowsett even claims that former Sixth Precinct Community Affairs Officer Mike Singer told him the idea could help avoid some of the “Greenwich Ave.-Greenwich St.” confusion that befuddles tourists and Uptowners. He says they’re pinning their hopes on Community Board 2, a committee of which will deliberate on the Little Britain issue in about two weeks. But, possibly a bad sign for Village Anglophiles, C.B. 2 just now happens to be getting tougher on street co-namings, passing a resolution last week that, in the case of renamings after people, mandates they must have been dead at least one, and preferably three, years. Asked about Little Britain’s chances, one well-placed C.B. 2 source scoffed, “It’s gonna go down in flames…. One would think ‘New York’ was enough of a British identifier — ‘York’ and ‘York,’” the member added, as if to say, “Duh!”

The Bloominator? Following the wild speculation on whether Mike Bloomberg will run for president as an independent, former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern, a.k.a. Starquest, is floating a novel idea — a Bloomberg-Schwarzenegger ticket. While Ahnold — whom Bloomberg was recently hanging with in California — can’t run for president since he wasn’t born in this country, there’s nothing in the Constitution saying he can’t be vice president, Stern notes.

False alarm: Ian Dutton of Soho, our favorite goth commercial airline pilot, reports that the fire engines at the Ladder 5 and Engine 24 firehouse at W. Houston St. and Sixth Ave. appear to have recently reverted to earlier, outdated models — albeit with “5” and “24” decals stuck on. Not to worry. We checked it out and a firefighter there told us that this is only temporary and is typically done when the new trucks need to go in for repairs.

Schnabel solution: Skye McFarlane, ace reporter at Downtown Express, one of our sister papers, has come up with what we think could be the definitive description of the color of Julian Schnabel’s new 11th St. tower. “Sangria,” McFarlane said, “a big ol’ glass of Schnabel sangria.” That fits the building’s apparent Spanish/Mediterranean theme. Hey, at least she didn’t say “Schnabel schnapps.”

Folk fury: Chris Flash, publisher of The Shadow, the East Village “anarchist community newspaper,” as he likes to call it, is reportedly fuming that the Parks Department has pulled his permit for a big folk-punk concert — featuring Lach and others — he was planning in Tompkins Square Park. It’s unclear why Parks is messing with Flash, but some say it may have something to do with Jerry the Peddler, who usually gets the punk-rock park permits, being on the outs for some unknown reason with the department.

Corrections: The Villager inaccurately stated in last week’s coverage of the community meeting on St. Vincent’s Hospital that a hospital official noted that the proposed new St. Vincent’s facility would house “90 percent of the 723 beds currently” in the hospital. St. Vincent’s currently has 727 licensed beds on its operating certificate; however, like many hospitals, it has a smaller number of actual beds in use. St. Vincent’s actually has 529 beds available for inpatient use.  While it is currently undertaking a thorough beds need analysis, St. Vincent’s anticipates it will need fewer than the currently available 529 beds in the new facility. Additionally, the article inaccurately stated that the O’Toole Building is three stories tall; it is six stories. Also, our initial May 30 article on St. Vincent’s Hospital’s rebuilding plans stated there are only two Level 1 trauma centers in the city, one being St. Vincent’s. St. Vincent’s officials subsequently told us that there are two Level 1 trauma centers in Manhattan south of 59th St., the other being Bellevue Medical Center, and that the other boroughs also have Level 1 trauma centers. Such a center is costly, since it operates 24/7, and St. Vincent’s says theirs runs at a financial loss.

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