West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 17 | Sept. 26 - Oct. 2, 2007

Scoopy's Notebook

Barack rocks Wash. Sq.:
Surely undeterred by The New York Times’s prematurely starting to anoint Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee, Barack Obama will be in Washington Square Park for a free campaign rally on Thurs., Sept. 27, at 5 p.m.

Fliers and the fuzz:
Former Councilmember Carol Greitzer went to Harvest in the Square last Thursday night — but not to savor the delicious fare. She was among a group of Union Square Community Coalition members leafleting outside the big white tent, distributing excerpts from Villager editorials taking issue with the Union Square north-end renovation project being pushed by the Union Square Partnership. As Greitzer was trying to hand out her protest literature, however, officers were inching her back with metal barricades. “You’re really going in there?” she demanded of someone entering the food-fest fundraiser. “The fuzz are trying to keep me from handing out fliers!” No, Greitzer was never on “Starsky and Hutch.” But she was a councilmember from 1969-’91, at least during part of which time people actually used the word “fuzz” to describe the police.

All that jazz — and Xeroxing:
Joan Bender, a beautiful blonde jazz vocalist living on Elizabeth St., was beside herself at Community Board 2’s meeting last Thursday evening as she went all out to try to get the board to put the kibosh on a liquor license application for Lovely Day cafe to expand into a basement space. Located in a tiny Nolita nook, the Thai eatery has been a big quality of life nightmare already as is, she said, noting it even had an illegal sidewalk cafe for sometime. Bender said she’d spent $40 to Xerox her photo-filled handout sheets to distribute at the meeting. Afterward, Ellen Peterson Lewis, who was listening in the audience, gave Bender $20. “She’s too young to have to spend so much money making copies,” Peterson Lewis said. The board voted to recommend denial of the license.

Quixotic quest:
We hear from a well-placed source that Gregg Singer has a new lawyer representing him in his monomaniacal effort to overturn the landmarking of the old P.S. 64 on E. Ninth St. so that he can build a university mega-dormitory there. The attorney is reportedly “doing discovery” for Singer’s various lawsuits against the city and searching out individuals to give depositions. No one seems to have a clue what Singer’s latest strategy is; we just hope he doesn’t chip any more historic details off the turn-of-the-century “H”-style school building where the legendary Yip Harburg, who wrote the lyrics to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” went to school.

CoDA coasts:
In the first time in at least 12 years, there was no race for Democratic district leader in the East Village’s 74th Assembly District. Running unopposed on the Coalition for a District Alternative ticket, Anthony Feliciano was re-elected and Carmen Perez was elected last Tues., Sept. 18. The district’s polls were closed and neither of the two appeared on the ballot. Incumbent Katrina Monzon got ill before the primary and wasn’t up to campaigning, so Perez filled in for her.

Stormin’ Berman:
Speaking of elections, Andrew Berman romped in the 75th Assembly District (Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen/Clinton, the Flatiron District, Madison Square, Murray Hill and Midtown), leading the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club’s slate of judicial delegate candidates and alternates to victory. Berman was the number-one vote-getter among the 24 candidates. He garnered 1,628 votes, topping the likes of veteran C.R.D.C.’er Democratic State Committeewoman Doris Corrigan, who came in third with 1,363 votes, and well ahead of longtime Chelsea politico Gene Glaberman, who was 22nd with 674 votes. Berman, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s director, was typically coy when we asked whether the resounding win signals his intention to run for the seat of Speaker Christine Quinn, who will be term-limited out of the City Council at the end of 2009. Asked why he wanted to be a judicial delegate in the first place, he replied, “I was nominated by my club, the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, to run. Ensuring that we have strong, qualified, progressive judges on the bench is definitely very important to me.” Councilmember Rosie Mendez assessed Berman’s awesome tally thusly: “It means the district’s voters know who he is and they like him.”

Another ‘Post exclusive’:
Last week the New York Post reported that the new Academy of St. Joseph on Washington Pl. — which replaced the former St. Joseph’s parish school — has only two students enrolled for this school year. The next day, the Post ran a follow-up article touting its first article as an “exclusive.” The thing is, reporter Melissa Korn actually broke that story for The Villager in our Back to School section — three weeks ago! But we hear that our daily tabloids, the Post and News, still consider it an “exclusive” if they beat the other one. Well, we don’t!

The Da Chupi code:
For our weekly dose of Palazzo Chupi news, we hear from an insider that Julian Schnabel’s new palatial pomegranate place at 360 W. 11th St. has only five units, and that Bono indeed really has bought a duplex, while Richard Gere and Schnabel have taken two other apartments. The place sports a sunken swimming pool and grand rooms with fireplaces in each dwelling, the latter being a bit ironic in the U2 crooner’s case, since he was reportedly fleeing a chimney condition at the San Remo on Central Park West. Oh well, “it’s all right, he moves in mystery ways,” as they say. Prices are reportedly at least double what apartments in the Richard Meier West St. buildings were going for, with $12 million being the low end, we’re told. A Schnabel representative didn’t return our call on the Gere report. In other Palazzo Chupi news, our Nyons, France, correspondent, Patricia Fieldsteel, writes that chupe is a soup made with chicken, red meat or fish and vegetables; but most important — it’s pink. Chupe also means a part of the female genitalia, too, we’re informed. Either we are getting warmer — or much, much farther away in trying to figure out what chupi means. But we’ll keep at it.

MC is O.K. with article:
We were getting the sense last week that some HOWL! higher-ups weren’t too pleased with last week’s Villager article on the “Mammy” blackface controversy at “Low Life” during the festival. “Why did you choose to focus on that?” they asked. “Why did the photo [by Lorcan Otway] crop out the two African-American performers in blackface on either side of Michael T?” they asked. But then we bumped into Hattie Hathaway, who manages Rapture Cafe & Books on Avenue A. Actually, first we checked out the burlesque show inside Rapture, having noticed it by chance as we passed the doorway — and figuring it was good research for our Forty Deuce coverage, naturally. It was a fun show, indeed. Hathaway, as it turns out, who emceed “Low Life,” noted, first of all, that Michael T is Hispanic, that the article seemed balanced, and, well, that “any publicity is good publicity.” But really, he said he loved the article. Hathaway, as he told us, “pioneered the neighborhood” back in the day when The Pyramid Club, which he co-founded in 1981, and Ray’s Candy Shop were the only places open on Avenue A at night between Houston and 14th Sts. He’s also one of New York’s leading drag performers and was an early Wigstock mainstay. As for the Forty Deuce flap, Hathaway laughed that burlesque crowds are the least troublesome of any clubgoers, but he did admit that, as opposed to Rapture’s once-monthly burlesque shows, Forty Deuce sounded touristy and like it would draw the black-car crowd.

Wandering leather fest:
A leather festival — we’re not talking Coach bags here — that C.B. 2 had recommended to be on Weehawken St. on Sun., Oct. 7, was moved to Christopher St. between Hudson and Bleecker Sts. by the city, only to have C.B. 2 support returning it to Weehawken St. According to Phil Mouquinho, chairperson of the board’s Street Activities and Film Permits Committee, little Weehawken St. would be the ideal spot, but one woman who lives on the block was adamantly against it and made her feelings known. “She wouldn’t go away,” he said. The latest word is that the leather fest may now happen on Greenwich St. between Barrow and W. 10th Sts.

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