‘Keep in touch’: Howard Hemsley, Barack Obama’s East Village/Lower East Side coordinator, tells us that the president-elect’s campaign office at 52 Broadway — his only one in New York State, by the way — coordinated more than 2 million phone calls on election weekend to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Colorado. It was mostly people using their own minutes from about 40 locations throughout the state. In addition, phone banks for “Bam” the man were located in such spots as the Bowery Hotel and the Teamsters union hall on W. 14th St. “The day after [the election], and I don’t think this has made the press,” Hemsley said, “in a nationwide teleconference, Barack spoke to the staff for about a half-hour in low-key, conversational tones, reviewing the campaign, what we accomplished, and thanking us and encouraging those who wanted to be part of the administration to use the Internet links to do so.”
The Villager will be hitting the big screen in “Motherhood,” a new movie starring Uma Thurman as a Greenwich Village mom inundated with a slew of quality-of-life dilemmas. That’s assuming the scene in which the paper appears doesn’t end up on the editing-room floor. Communicating briefly via text message — it seems that’s just how it’s done nowadays, because the production assistant told us, it’s “faster” — we were informed The Villager scene was a go. What can we say? How about: “All right, we’re ready for our close-up now, Mr. DeMille.”
As if the mayor wasn’t taking enough heat — and rightfully so! — for trashing term limits, now he’s got another group suing him over it: the “rubber room” teachers. One of the plaintiffs, Brandi Scheiner said she was banished to a Temporary Reassignment Center — a.k.a. a “rubber room” — after she refused to teach on a badly injured knee. The number of teachers relegated to these rooms has increased “by thousands” under the mayor, Scheiner claimed. Once exiled to the latex gulag, she said, “You can never get out.”
Now dot’s democracy:
A new online petition out of the East Village condemns the overturning of term limits by legislative fiat. The petition — at democracynyc.org — lists the 29 councilmembers “who ignored democracy” by backing the mayor’s bill to extend limits to three terms without a voter referendum. Among its early signers are preservationist Andrew Berman, performance artist Penny Arcarde, filmmaker/poet Roland Legiardi-Laura, wireless guru/Tompkins Square riots videographer Paul Garrin and activist Rob Hollander.
Spinning the Beatrice:
Somehow, we managed to get into the Beatrice Inn, the exclusive W. 12th St. “hipstaurant,” the other weekend, and were able to see for ourselves the speakeasy-like club from the inside. After all, we’d heard so much about it from sleep-deprived neighbors at Community Board 2. George, the Friday night “host,” was very cool. He did have one gripe though: The women deejaying — that is when they weren’t ecstatically gyrating — in the back room were using their laptop computers, which he complained frequently blows out the sound system. He said Paul Sevigny, the club’s owner and sometime deejay when he isn’t performing around the world, is much easier on the system since he still spins vinyl. Paul, actress Chloe’s brother, originated “mix” deejaying, George noted, in which you never know what style music he’s going to play from song to song. Yes — but does he gyrate?
The Trump Soho Triangle:
It seems the Trump Soho condo-hotel is having an eerie effect on its surroundings, rapidly turning a formerly desolate Holland Tunnel approach area into a burgeoning nightlife and entertainment zone. For starters, Greenhouse — club impresario Jon B.’s new sustainable eco-lounge — just opened last Tuesday at Vandam and Varick Sts., one block away from the Donald’s edifice complex. And über chef David Bouley, in January or February, will be opening his first restaurant and lounge ever outside of Tribeca, across the street from Greenhouse, in a 10,000-square-foot space on the northeast corner. “I saw them taking in table lamps the other day,” an observant tipster told us last week. Meanwhile, City Winery is opening across the street, with its $5,000 barrels of wine; and a block away on Hudson St., a handsome former printing building is being developed into The Viceroy Hotel by the people behind The Viceroy in Santa Monica, Cal. The Trump “condotel” will feature Quattro, a high-end Italian eatery that our source described as “somewhere between a Serafina and a Cipriani.” (It would be nice if it was somewhere closer to an Olive Garden, so we could afford it.) As for Greenhouse, we hear they’re in talks with the Alliance for Climate Protection, Al Gore’s group, to host a benefit, and they hope “The Inconvenient Truth” star won’t find it too inconvenient to drop by.
Speaking of Bouley, one of his protégés, Stephane Dorian, has just opened a stylish, new, seasonal-American cuisine restaurant, 10 Downing St., in the former location of a travel agency. Dorian, 39, started in the restaurant business at just 22, working at the shoulder of Boulet. “He’d give me the keys to the truck and I’d drive up to Chatham on the Cape and bring back fresh fish the same day,” Dorian recalled early last Thursday morning, while catching a smoke outside the place. He owns 5 Ninth, the hidden “townhouse” restaurant and club in the Meat Market, and previously owned Le Zoo in the West Village, which he sold to The Spotted Pig. The chef is Jason Neroni, who took over at 71 Clinton St. after Wiley Dufresne’s departure. Dorian says the key to their menu is “simplicity,” which he noted is extremely hard to do right. The place also features what may well become a Village landmark, a luminous Swiss-made Mobatime clock hanging at the corner. As for neighbors’ concerns about noise from smokers and deliveries, Dorian indicated he wants quiet, too. He pointed up to the building’s second floor. “That window right above,” he said, “that’s mine, and I just had a baby.”
The First Annual Neighborhood Thanksgiving Dinner, compliments of Neighborhood Cares, will be held Thurs., Nov. 27, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at St. Anthony’s Church, at Sullivan and Houston Sts., in the downstairs meeting hall. All are welcome. Maureen Remacle, president of the Sixth Precinct Community Council, said of Neighborhood Cares, a publicity-shy new organization that is providing the meal gratis, “It’s not a group that’s looking for any accolades. They just care.”