West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy’s Notebook

It’s Hillary — really! Last Friday, Senator Hillary Clinton had a tête-á-tête with top carpenters’ union officials right in the heart of Hudson Square, at PJ Charlton Italian restaurant on Greenwich St. According to Phil Mouquinho, the restaurant’s owner and a member of Community Board 2, Clinton was seated with union officials and they were in deep discussion about the campaign. In the middle of their conversation, however, a group of carousers from nearby Saatchi & Saatchi, dressed up in Halloween costumes, stumbled into the restaurant, raising the eyebrows of, but not overly alarming, Clinton’s Secret Service detail. At a certain point, one of the carousers spotted Clinton and asked if she was “the real thing” or just someone in a Hillary costume. Mouquinho requested that they give the real thing some privacy. 

False alarm: A lively Ninth Precinct Community Council meeting was on tap Tuesday night, Oct. 16, in the East Village when Joshua Toas, chief executive officer of the State Liquor Authority, was to be the main attraction. Susan Stetzer, district manager of Community Board 3, sent out an e-mail at 10 a.m. that day announcing his appearance at the 7 p.m. meeting in the community room at 170 Avenue C. Rebecca Moore, who is fighting the burgeoning bar and nightlife scene on the Lower East Side, where she lives, was livid at the short notice and miffed because the Seventh Precinct Community Couåcncil, which covers her neighborhood, wasn’t in on the program. It didn’t matter, because Toas was a no-show. Deputy Inspector Dennis De Quatro, Ninth Precinct commanding officer, told the community council shortly after 7 p.m. that he had invited Toas but acknowledged that he hadn’t had the time to confirm the date with him. “I’ll try again,” De Quatro said.

Attention shoppers: If you plan on buying a high-end handbag from the just-opened Coach store at 372 Bleecker St., a portion of your purchase could be headed to the purse of local preservationists. The upscale accessories chain, which inaugurated its newest Manhattan boutique last Friday on the tony retail stretch between Perry and Charles Sts., plans to donate a tenth of proceeds from select purchases to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation as part of a partnership with the neighborhood group. The leather-goods retailer informed shoppers through a select announcement that if they presented the mailing’s accompanying coupon with their purchase at the Bleecker St. store, 10 percent of that sale would be donated to G.V.S.H.P. “It’s not something that we do for every single store [opening],” said Raina Penchansky, Coach’s vice president of global communications, adding it’s the company’s first time donating this way to a community group in New York City. “We wanted to make sure we were a part of the community, and they seemed like the perfect partner.” The luxury retailer approached G.V.S.H.P. with the offer, according to the society’s executive director, Andrew Berman. The cards’ built-in G.V.S.H.P. donation is valid through Dec. 1. “It’s certainly good to know if and when a new business moves into the neighborhood that they’re interested in helping,” Berman said. “We’re very grateful for their thinking of us and their generosity.” Coach’s offer came about “organically,” Penchansky said, after the company met with G.V.S.H.P. to discuss its new Bleecker St. store, which joins a one-block stretch dominated by a dozen other chic boutique shops, including Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger and Cynthia Rowley. Berman noted that Coach’s donations would help his organization further its efforts to preserve the diminishing mom-and-pop character of West Village stores — even though the retailer represents an exclusively upscale brand. He sees the contributions as a nod to the neighborhood’s history because, as he said, Coach “put their money where their mouth is to try to keep it that way” through donations. “I think it’s a good sign that they will hopefully be a good neighbor and welcome addition to the neighborhood,” Berman added. So, for select patrons looking to give back locally and add a $30,000 handbag to their wardrobes, G.V.S.H.P. is happy to accept your contribution.

Make cookies, not war: For the second year in a row, Bethe Halligan organized a group of volunteers to bake around 1,000 chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and butter cookies to send to troops overseas. “We wanted to send cookies to troops far from home,” said Halligan. “I got the idea because my daughter is in a troop far from home.” Private First Class Cailin Wilson, 20, is currently stationed in Korea, but the cookies are mainly sent to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cookie-baking crew was comprised of individuals from Family of Women, a women’s peer group of which Halligan is a member; Sigma Lambda Gamma, a sorority from Pace University; and Children’s Liberation Day Care Center. Halligan’s daughter attended Children’s Liberation from the ages of 2 to 6. Then as now, the day care center was housed in P.S. 122 on First Ave. and Ninth St. Local merchants donated the materials and a Brooklyn post office offered to ship the 14 packages overseas for free. The cookies were packaged in plastic wrap, and Halligan said that they would keep a long time. “We used Children’s Liberation’s big kitchen and had an assembly line,” said Halligan. “We were just cranking them out. It was just a really fun day, and a really great way to support the troops.”

Volume 77, Number 22 | Oct. 31 - Nov. 06, 2007

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