Volume 77 / Number 37 - Feb. 13 - 19, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

Stickler for the rules: “You don’t change the rules in the middle of the game. Period,” said former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, The New School’s president, when asked if the delegates from the Florida and Michigan primaries should be represented at the Democratic National Convention in August. Scoopy ran into Kerrey on Sunday at Chelsea Piers, where Kerrey had taken his young son and a friend bowling. “No new vote and no new caucuses, either. Just stick to the rules that they agreed to,” Kerrey said firmly. The Democratic National Committee stripped both Florida and Michigan of all their delegates because, defying party rules, they held their primaries before Feb. 5. The candidates all agreed to abide by that decision and not campaign in those states. Barack Obama withdrew his name from the ballot in Michigan and didn’t compete in Florida. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in both states and now says their delegates should be counted toward the total. Although Kerrey endorsed Clinton in December, he clearly doesn’t endorse her position on the Michigan and Florida delegates.

A delegate situation: Clinton just can’t catch a break lately, it seems. Speaking of delegates, following this month’s New York primary election, Obama and Clinton each will get three in Representative Jerrold Nadler’s Eighth Congressional District (Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Soho, Tribeca, Lower Manhattan, Upper West Side and parts of Brooklyn). Clinton won the district’s popular vote, with 49,586 votes to Obama’s 37,442, or 57 percent to 43 percent, but it makes no difference in terms of delegates. “There are 6 delegates. You would think that it would be 4 to 2,” said longtime Chelsea politico Bob Trentlyon. “It worked out to 3.42 for Clinton, and you can’t round up. Obama got 2.58, which rounds up to 3.” (Trentlyon, incidentally, is backing Obama, though his club, Chelsea Reform Democratic Club, went for Clinton. “I wouldn’t say I’m persona non grata, but they’re disappointed in me,” he said.) The delegates are selected based on who got the most votes, as well as alternating between males and females. On the Clinton side, the Eighth District’s delegates are State Senator Tom Duane, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Borough President Scott Stringer. Obama’s delegates are State Committeeman Arthur Schwartz, Monica Lion and Molly Lombardi. Howard Hemsley, who headed Obama’s East Village and Lower East Side operation, didn’t make the cut, but has been assured he’ll go to the convention as an at-large delegate. Hemsley has vowed to push for gay marriage. “One of the things I want to do at the convention is to be part of a floor fight for a minority report from the platform committee which would call for gay marriage,” Hemsley told us. “After much hullabaloo and press coverage, we will lose. In losing, we will establish domestic partnership as not some radical idea, but a safe, comfortable, middle road. Then, next time, we take the next step.” Meanwhile, Schwartz said, Obama volunteers nationwide are being asked to take a week off from work and flood Ohio and Texas before those states’ key March 4 contests.

‘Producer’ star produces stir: Villager photographer Elisabeth Robert tells us when she was voting at P.S. 41 earlier this month, she recognized Matthew Broderick also casting his ballot at the Greenwich Village poll site. Apparently, so did all the female poll workers, who Roberts tells us were excitedly whispering among each other, “That’s Matthew Broderick!”

Stirring the pot: Mario Batali wasn’t the only celebrity restaurateur parent at the rally to save Pier 40 a few weeks ago. Danny Meyer was also there with his young, sports-playing son.

Sources unlimited: One of Scoopy’s all-time best sources, John Penley, was the subject of a terrific profile last week in The New York Times. The article — about Penley being virtually a one-man East Village news bureau — even ran in the Times’s national edition. As a result, Penley’s been getting phone calls from all over the country; but he suspects more than a few have been from members of the Tony Alamo religious group. Penley has criticized Alamo for plastering his East Village block with religious fliers and is calling for the authorities to intervene. “If I disappear, you’ll know what happened,” Penley joked. … Meanwhile, Clayton Patterson — another perennial source for Scoopy items and Villager articles, almost on par with Penley — has seen one of his recent Villager scoops go worldwide. On Jan. 9, we ran Patterson’s photo of Billy Leroy of Billy’s Antiques on E. Houston St. with a sign saying Leroy now takes euros. Next to Patterson’s photo, we also ran a photo by Nick Brooks of Bob Cho, owner of East Village Liquors, holding a handful of euros, which Cho accepts as payment. Starting a little more than a week ago, there was a flurry of articles about retailers accepting euros — all inspired by the two photos that ran in The Villager — in the Times’s Travel section, Reuters and Crain’s New York Business. The Associated Press even called us making inquiries, but apparently didn’t follow through. “I told you it was a good story,” Patterson said. “It really does speak about the economy in a very simple, straightforward way.”

Updated Eighth: The retail news on W. Eighth St. between Fifth and Sixth Aves. is “very exciting,” Honi Klein, executive director of the Village Alliance business improvement district, reports. Storefront vacancies on the block have dropped from 14 one year ago to six. Klein is personally most excited about Insomnia Cookies, a business started by and catering to college students, which caters to undergraduates’ late-night munchies. Insomnia, opening in a month, will operate from 8 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. and — aiming to be the Domino’s of double-chocolate chips — will offer deliveries for a minimum order of six cookies at 90 cents per cookie. There will be two to five cookie delivery-truck drivers speeding around each night, according to a spokesperson. “Obviously, they’re attracted here by N.Y.U. and all the schools,” Klein said. Other new businesses recently opened or soon opening on the block include Littlewater Public House, a raw bar; Cho Cho, an Asian restaurant; Andy’s Chee Pees vintage clothes; Sushi Yawa; Elettaria, an American-style restaurant; da Bhang Cafe, offering desserts, coffee and tea; a State Farm insurance branch; the 8th Street Wine Cellar, a popular wine bar and tappas place; and, last but not least, Cachaca, a Brazilian jazz club drawing top performers. “It’s a whole different mix that I think appeals to a wider group,” Klein said of the new businesses. Plus, Staples is coming in on Sixth Ave. in the old Sam Goody’s space, Klein said.

Frank memories of Nathan’s: Again on Eighth St., but regarding a former, not a new, store, we received several e-mails about our Scoopy item a couple of weeks ago that referred to a Nathan’s coming into the spot in 1968 where Gray’s Papaya is currently located at the northeast corner of Eighth St. and Sixth Ave. In fact, we’re informed, the Nathan’s was where the Barnes & Noble bookstore is on the southeast corner. Thanks to Carol Feinman, Bruce Martin and Linda Breen for letting us know. “I was at N.Y.U. during the early 1970s and remember Nathan’s,” Feinman wrote. “A Nathan’s hot dog and a movie up the street on Eighth St. was always a treat, although you did feel that you were taking your life in your hands when you went to Nathan’s.” The guys who used to hang out in Nathan’s smelled pretty ripe, Feinman added, noted she wasn’t exactly torn up when it closed. … P.S., we were walking by the B & N late one night last week and noticed a little mouse climbing up the “Cosmo Kama Sutra” in the special Valentine’s-themed window. We figured it was just a romantic rodent, but then noticed what was really attracting its little sniffing snout: a golden box of Godiva chocolates.

Architectural icon: David Beckham we get, but Daniel Libeskind? A photo of the architect of the winning design for rebuilding the World Trade Center site is posted among shots of the famed British footballer in a barber’s stall at Astor Place Hair Designers. Apparently Libeskind, with his flattop haircut and chic, geometric eyeglasses, is a fashion icon, too. “They like the cut,” the barber shrugged.

Wrecking peace and quiet: Word from Sean Sweeney, the Soho Alliance’s director, is that sleepy Sullivan St. is being plagued by noise from an illegal nightclub being operated in a building owned by John Zaccaro, Geraldine Ferraro’s husband. The club is on the ground floor of a residential building, 73-75 Sullivan St., replacing a ravioli shop that was a neighborhood favorite. By day it’s a funky boutique, the Wreck Center, but by night it’s hosting a series of invite-only book signings, launch parties, art and music shows, even stand-up comedy, according to The New York Times. Sweeney pointedly noted that another Zaccaro tenant was The Falls on Lafayette St., a bouncer from which, Darryl Littlejohn, is accused of killing patron Imette St. Guillen, who was last seen alive at the notorious bar. At least the Wreck Center will be gone by month’s end, when the building is torn down for new construction, the Times reports.

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