Volume 77 / Number 42 - March 19 - 25, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

Schpritzer’s screw (loose): In the aftermath of former Governor Eliot Spitzer’s shocking, whirlwind hooker scandal revelations and resignation, former Mayor Ed Koch said “the Schpritzer” now should be let off the hook. “I am hopeful that it will be brought to an end without any additional sanctions being meted out against him,” Koch said. “I hope he keeps his law license and is able to restore his relationship with his family and that he can establish a new career. We’re all flawed and I think his downfall came because there was a screw loose. I’m not a doctor — but I think he needs to see a family doctor. What he did conveys that he had a screw loose.” Asked if by “family doctor” he meant “shrink,” Koch said that’s correct.

Political moves: Two more names of potential candidates to fill Christine Quinn’s City Council District 3 seat are being mentioned: Yetta Kurland and Justin Krebs. Kurland is a member of Stonewall Democrats, the gay and lesbian political club, while Krebs is tapped into Drinking Liberally, a political networking group. Meanwhile, Arthur Schwartz, Democratic state committeeman, tells us he’s forming a new political consulting company, Progressive Strategies Group. The group’s other members include Arthur Leopold, a 19-year-old Duke student who “bundled half a million dollars for Barack last year,” Schwartz noted; Ann Strahl, former community affairs chief for former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields; Allen Roskoff, longtime Village and gay activist; and Ray Cline, a leading member of Village Reform Democratic Club. Schwartz said he’s hoping his group will be retained by one of the eventual candidates in the Third Council District race, but asked if that might be Andrew Berman, he wouldn’t say. He said he doubted Brad Hoylman would seek his services, though Schwartz noted he hopes to run for district leader if Hoylman, the current district leader, runs for City Council. Schwartz said eventually he’ll be seriously scaling back his work as a top union lawyer to focus on his new career as a political guru.

Florent moves: Novac Noury, the “Arrow Keyboard Man,” who used to run the after-hours RSVP club at his Little W. 12th St. building for Studio 54 types back in the disco days, has offered to let Florent Morellet reopen his restaurant there. “I gave him a call yesterday and we may be in talks to continue his stay in my building, as I find a hedge-fund manager and investors to develop the mini-inn with several restaurants, as I disclosed to you last year, which is my ongoing plan and vision,” Noury told us. It would be a joint-venture partnership, Noury explained, “with a man who is well deserved of having a rock of the Meat Market and the Hudson River waterfront.” “He was not speaking to me, he was leaving messages,” Morellet clarified, adding that he’s not interested in opening a “Florent II” at age 55. In fact, he wants a breather to work on his memoirs perhaps and also his art — he draws maps of imaginary cities — and needs some “peace” to do both. He does fancy opening a Florent in an airport, though, which would tie in with his interest in travel. Morellet said he almost had an opportunity to do this, but was a “runner-up” for the airport space he was eyeing, the location of which he would not reveal. “I like the idea of entertaining people for a half hour — making it fun,” he said. As a result of skyrocketing rent he can no longer afford, Morellet will end his run at Florent, his eponymous Gansevoort St. restaurant, after Gay Pride on June 29. Going out with a bang, starting Memorial Day weekend, he’ll kick off the “Final Five Weeks of Florent,” representing the grieving process he’s undergone over losing his restaurant. Each week will have a theme: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and, finally, Acceptance. Monday performances will reflect that week’s theme, with 10 percent of the gross going to appropriate charities, such as a “battered wives” support organization in week one, and gay teen suicide prevention in week four, Morellet said. “You’re the first one in the media I’m telling this to,” he confided to Scoopy.

Tale of the tape: Lola will have to wait a little longer for the answer to its request to restore live music to its liquor license. At the State Liquor Authority’s March 5 board meeting, Tom Donohue, the authority’s chief counsel, reported that he was unable to review the videotape of the original 500-foot-rule hearing on the Watts St. restaurant due to equipment problems. S.L.A. Chairman Dan Boyle expressed regret that the matter would have to be put over until the board’s next meeting on March 20 at the S.L.A.’s Albany office. According to S.L.A. spokesperson Bill Crowley, the videotape was recorded on a slow, tape-saving speed, and a V.C.R. that could view it was not available on short notice. The tape was sent to a professional video studio and will be converted and viewed prior to the next board meeting.

(Mixed) luck of the Irish: In keeping with the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, we have some Irish-related news to report. First the bad news: According to an article in the Irish Voice, investors from the Emerald Isle who made downpayments on apartments at the new Gramercy Green building at 23rd St. and Third Ave. are furious that the entire place has been turned into a New York University dormitory. “We signed our contracts and handed over our money in complete good faith, and this is what happens. I know that real estate dealings can be tough, but this just isn’t right,” an Irish purchaser told the Irish Voice. On the positive side, Alphie McCourt has been enjoying good fortune of late. He just got a nice write-up in Publishers Weekly about his memoir, “A Long Stone’s Throw,” due out in November. His brother Frank’s first autobiography, “Angela’s Ashes,” won the Pulitzer Prize and his brother Malachy also has written his memoirs. So, Alfie was asked, why did he decide to also pen a memoir? “Short answer: self-defense, your honor,” he replied.

Artist’s fury: It’s one thing to argue over which is the real Baird Jones memorial party and which ones are the fakes and who denied who entry to which one, etc., etc. But when Doug Dechert took a shot in Scoopy’s Notebook last week at James Tully’s artistic props, the East Village artist hit the roof. Tully e-mailed us reams of info about all the art shows he’s been in. “A basic Google due-diligence search reveals that I have a track record of SIX major museum shows (Whitney video, PS1 video, Chelsea Art Museum solo, Paterson Museum solo, New England MoCA solo, Museum of Cartoon Art),” Tully said, “and that right now I am showing in London with Joe Coleman. And that my artwork sells for $2,000 to 12,000, with collectors who will attest to their purchases of my work. … I make art for my living — a meager one I assure you — and I do not like it when other artists try to knock my name so that it is now harder to make a living than yesterday!” Dechert didn’t respond to a request for comment. Among Tully’s current projects is “In Memoriam: Baird Jones,” an 8-foot-tall video-sculptural monument to be unveiled at Webster Hall on April 3 at the Baird Jones memorial party Tully and Ken Emerson are hosting. The memorial had been planned for March 20 but was pushed back two weeks. “We wanted more time to plan our party,” said Tully. “It’s happening, believe me.” He said Jones pals Hoop and artists Mark Kostabi and Damon Johnson are also “involved” with the bash.

One cool cat: On Saturday, Anthology Film Archives held a memorial for its late beloved avant-garde pet, Max the Anthology Cat. Max, who was known to sometimes get caught in the theaters during movies — especially Stan Brakhage’s “Dog Star Man” and usually anything with subtitles — passed away last year after 17 years at Anthology. In her honor, Anthology showed a full bill of cat-centric flicks, heavy on the Brakhage.

Eddy says he’ll be steady: The 19 Kenmare St. location where Ivan Kane was hoping to open Forty Deuce, his retro-burlesque club, before Community Board 2 reversed its previous approval of his liquor license, will likely be home to a Japanese noodle bar and a sushi restaurant, all under the same management and with the same chef. Last month, C.B. 2 approved a liquor license for the place, which will be run by Chris Eddy. A born-again Christian, Eddy enticed the board by saying he’ll work with local youth to help set them on the right path and also will serve as “a liaison with the business community.” The same opponents, however, who were against Forty Deuce turned out in force at the meeting against Eddy’s application, including about 40 people from Chinatown who required translation. Although the board’s resolution technically disapproves the license unless Eddy follows certain stipulations, that’s just how the State Liquor Authority wants these type of resolutions with restrictions to be phrased, said Brad Hoylman, C.B. 2 chairperson. Eddy told The Villager that the resolution specifically outlines the conditions under which he must operate, and he said he’ll “follow that scrupulously.”

Spot-on vote: C.B. 2 also voted against a developer’s recommendation to rezone the north end of Hudson Square. An attorney for the developer warned the board that “hotels and nightclubs” would sprout up if the area isn’t rezoned residentially; but that hasn’t been happened so far, so nobody bought that argument. Instead, the board recommended that any individual proposals for residential rezoning in the area be done through special permits through the City Planning Department, which some deride as “spot zoning.” 

Trump’s got the power: Four huge new transformers were installed on Dominick St. a couple of weeks ago to service Donald Trump’s Soho hotel condominium. Chris Olert, a Con Edison spokesperson, said Trump isn’t getting special service, and that the utility company is required to provide power to any building that needs it. He said the transformers will ensure “reliability” and improve service in a one- or two-block radius around the new 42-story tower. We noted to a worker installing the transformers that they’ve been known to blow up in the past in hot weather, such as in the East Village a few years back. “They blow up everywhere — don’t walk on the sidewalk in the summer,” he quipped.

Another garage done gone: We were passing by 503 Canal St. at Renwick St. the other day, only to find the garage there that we used to like to cut through shuttered. The guy who owned the car stereo shop on the corner was clearing out his place, too, and said he plans to reopen on Staten Island. He said the Ponte family owns the property and is putting up a new building — “like these,” he said, gesturing at the new glass-tower edifices on Renwick and Canal Sts.

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