Volume 78 / Number 5 - July 2 - July 8, 2008
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
E-Pirates raid Union Square:
The e-mail purporting to be from the Union Square Partnership business improvement district on Monday announced that the Partnership would drop efforts to convert the Union Square Park pavilion into an upscale restaurant and said the BID would reorganize as a “community improvement district” (CID) with Geoffrey Croft and Jack Taylor, persistent opponents of the Union Square north-end reconstruction, as board members. Of course, it was all a hoax — perpetrated by Reverend Billy, his Church of Stop Shopping and others who also put a hoax Web site online complete with the (pirated) Partnership logo. Lee Silberstein, a BID spokesperson, responded, “It’s unfortunate that the Union Square BID name was pirated to spread irresponsible and fraudulent misinformation about the north-end renovation project. U.S.P. is working to correct the abuse of technology and continues to work with its partners at the Department of Parks to fully complete the renovation.”
Long day at St. Vincent’s:
The redoubtable Doris Diether, zoning maven and veteran Community Board 2 member, sent a fax to friends last week about a long day at St. Vincent’s Hospital on June 24 that began at 9:30 a.m. waiting for an X-ray of her swollen leg — with delays, no food and complications that led to abandoning the X-ray procedure and finally home by cab with the help of her friend and fellow board member Zella Jones at 9:30 p.m. The fax about the misadventure provoked sympathy from friends and action from St. Vincent’s. The hospital sent a car to pick Diether up at her home for a June 26 morning appointment for an M.R.I. scan. Bernadette Kingham-Bez, a St. Vincent’s senior vice president, met Diether at the hospital and apologized for the delays on June 24, and the car took Diether home again after the M.R.I. Despite the leg problem, Diether, 79, hasn’t missed a beat in her frantic schedule. She gets to meetings and home again courtesy of cars and cabs provided by friends and colleagues.
Courtesy of the cats at Village Care:
The caption in last week’s Villager on a photo of Jimmy Mirikitani at his 88th birthday noted that his friends dropped by his assisted-living apartment for his party. What the caption failed to mention is that the “Cats of Mirikitani” star’s apartment is in a Village Care of New York building, The Village, at 510 W. 46th St. and Tenth Ave.
Back in the saddle again:
Legendary scribe Jerry Tallmer has been going through hell lately, with a hip replacement perhaps just the least of the serious ailments he’s been recovering from. Of course, he was still writing through it all. Without warning, Tallmer, 87, showed up back in the newsroom on Monday. He announced his return with a simple line, delivered dramatically, fitting for the founder of the Obie (Off-Broadway theater) awards: “Well, let’s get to work!”
Icy Hot Duane:
State Senator Tom Duane was the guest speaker at the Institute for Collaborative Education High School’s graduation on Fri., June 20, at the Great Hall of The Cooper Union. Standing at the podium where Abraham Lincoln spoke in 1860, Tom, as he’s known to the I.C.E. grads, addressed the 43 sheepskin recipients. Duane is no stranger to I.C.E., or this graduation class, having had many of the students in his “Civics According to Tom Duane” seminars when they were sophomores. He thanked the students for inviting him. “How many schools would invite an openly gay H.I.V.-positive person to speak at their graduation?” he asked. “The only thing missing is being a cross dresser, and I could do that easily, too,” he quipped, as the audience applauded with laughter. Duane talked about how much he misses teaching at I.C.E., where he led his popular civics seminar from 2000 to 2006. The politics of politics have kept him “on leave” from I.C.E. for a while. He expressed his amazement at how talented the I.C.E. students are, “brighter than many of my political colleagues,” he said, laughing aloud, “but that’s not saying much… .” He pledged his continued support for progressive schools like I.C.E., which, he said, don’t focus “teaching to standardized tests.”