West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 10 | August 08 - 14, 2007

Scoopy's Notebook

Spray it ain’t so: We hear some of Councilmember Alan Gerson’s constituents aren’t too happy that he was the Council’s only member to vote against a bill banning the sale of wide-tip magic markers, spray paint and etching acid to youths age 21 and under. However, Paul Nagle, Gerson’s director of communications and cultural policy, said, “They were making the distinction between wide-tip and razor-point — but we just felt there’s a real First Amendment problem.” Nagle admitted that most graffitists do fall within the 16-to-21-year-old age range, but noted that the majority of youth in this demographic do not graffiti. As for spray paint, well, it’s used to make costumes, he noted. “It’s not like [Gerson] defeated the bill,” Nagle added. And etching acid? “I’d say if that was separated out in a different category, it might have been a different vote,” he said.

Squat bit: Villager associate editor Lincoln Anderson recently enjoyed interviewing Jerry the Peddler at See Skwat, followed by seeing a hard-moshing hardcore punk concert at the squat, too. But no one told him the place has bed bugs, which he later found out the hard way from the three itchy welts on his left forearm that took a couple of weeks to go away. We subsequently heard from neighbors that See Skwat is known to be infested — at least some squatters’ apartments are — as are several other buildings on E. Ninth and 10th Sts.

Dia director: Jeffrey Weiss is the new director of the Dia Art Foundation. “Having long admired Dia’s pioneering role in our field and its dedication to the art of our time, I am delighted to begin my tenure here. I look forward to working with Dia’s staff and trustees to continue this innovative work,” Weiss wrote in an introductory letter.

Really tall, dormit! N.Y.U.’s new 26-story dorm, under construction on E. 12th St. between Third and Fourth Aves. at the former St. Ann’s Church site, was expected to top out by Tuesday. Anna Sawaryn of the Coalition to Save the East Village said: “It’s not only about how high it is; it’s about bringing in 700 people to a block where there was no one.”

Life and limb: Lawrence Krasin, the attorney representing the woman seriously injured when a huge tree branch from an old English elm tree fell on her in Stuyvesant Square Park a few weeks ago, said his client is still undergoing rehabilitation. He said the woman — a social worker in her late 20s — has arm, leg, facial, back and neck injuries and is “in bad shape. It’s a miracle that she’s talking to me,” he said. Krasin said he’s going to inspect the branch, which is being stored by the Parks Department at Randall’s Island, in about a week.

Time’s up, really: It’s only a matter of time before Steve Stollman sells the Time’s Up! space on E. Houston St. near Mulberry St. So, the 20-year-old cycling-environmentalist group is on the lookout for a new headquarters. Bill Di Paola, Time’s Up!’s founder, said Stollman “took a deposit — which is more than he’s ever done,” meaning it looks like they’ll have to vamoose. A woman known as “Science Teacher Sarah” was spearheading an effort to buy the space and turn it into an environmental learning center, and Time’s Up! had raised $3 million. But that wasn’t quite enough, Di Paola said. Ideally, they’re looking for a first-floor space in the Downtown Manhattan area where they can either pay a discounted rent or no rent.

Quinn sees big picture: Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she was glad the Bloomberg administration last week decided not to push through its proposed regulations on film and photography permitting. “Like many New Yorkers, I was concerned by the administration’s initial film and photography permitting proposal and conveyed those concerns to the Mayor’s Office of Theatre, Film and Broadcasting,” Quinn said. “I am pleased that they have listened to the public’s testimony and will be revising their proposal. I look forward to working to ensure that their new proposal preserves First Amendment rights and activities while also ensuring safe use of public space for filming and photography.”
Straw that stirs the drink: When James Solomon isn’t hard at work on community issues in Soho or as chairperson of the new Chinatown Committee at Community Board 2, he writes for TV. He was the lead writer and executive producer for “The Bronx is Burning,” the well-reviewed, new, eight-hour mini-series on the 1977 Yankees World Series team. The series, which stars John Turturro as Billy Martin, is set against the backdrop of the Son of Sam murders and a contentious mayoral race between Ed Koch, Mario Cuomo, Abe Beame and Bella Abzug. The first episode ran July 9 and subsequent installments are appearing on Tuesdays throughout the summer at 10 p.m. on ESPN.

What’s the beef? Some sort of serious tiff is going on at 61 Jane St. between gay political activist Allen Roskoff and Elaine Young, who was recently appointed to C.B. 2. Apparently, Roskoff felt that if Young, who is in real estate, became president of the building’s co-op board, it would somehow unfairly help her business, so he actively opposed her candidacy. But Young won anyway. “I’m president of the board now,” Young told us the other week. “I have no comment.” She noted she had been on the board for a year already.

Correction: The little boy in last week’s photo of the Jade Mountain restaurant auction was incorrectly identified as Nicholas Chan. His name is Reese, he’s 2, and Nicholas is his father. They live above the restaurant.

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