Volume 78 - Number 41 / March 18 -24, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

 Call girl pays a call: Last week, we somehow ended up mentioning Ashley Dupré. Umm, sorry about that. ... Well, actually, it seems we haven’t heard the last of her. The former paid squeeze of former Governor Eliot Spitzer reportedly recently checked out an apartment on Christopher St. Don’t we already have enough of a prostitution problem down here?! Just what is it about the Village that attracts political sex scandal babes? After she helped get Bill Clinton impeached, Monica Lewinsky lived for a while in the Archive Building, also on Christopher St. Must be our famous tolerance. ... Well, hopefully, if Dupré does become a neighbor, any further trysts with Client No. 9 will be held north of 14th St. — like Westchester, at least.

Beating sexy back:
Meeting an immovable wall of community opposition, Justin Timberlake and partners apparently have been scared off from opening a new nightclub in the former Manor space on Eighth Ave. between 13th and 14th Sts. “The nightclub got such community opposition that they pulled their liquor license application, and the landlord wouldn’t give the space to them,” said Kevin McKiernan, who runs an entertainment business next door above Shoegasm. McKiernan said the neighborhood coalition of residents, as well as business owners, that rallied around the issue is called the North Village Alliance. They collected 650 petition signatures against the proposed nightspot. For starters, the logistics of the new protected Eighth Ave. bicycle lane would have made club traffic a nightmare, McKiernan pointed out. Plus, there’s a new animal hospital next to the space, and the thought of recuperating pets being inhumanely subjected to the nightclub’s booming bass and noisy party crowd at all hours was just unthinkable, he added. The residents fear, however, that Timberlake, who sang about “bringin’ sexy back,” may try “bringin’ clubby back,” too. The application was actually by SSA Hospitality, with the “impresario,” as McKiernan put it, being a fellow named Etan. For now, though, McKiernan and Co. are savoring their victory, even if it’s only temporary. “I haven’t seen this kind of activism since they were building the gym in Kent State,” he marvelled, referring to when a gym annex was built in 1977 on the spot where Ohio National Guardsmen killed four students in 1970.
New School protest news: Speaking of student protests, New School students are gearing up for one, or more like a series of them, starting next month. After masked students from the group New School in Exile last month gave an ultimatum to former Senator Bob Kerrey to resign by April 1 as university president or they would shut down the school, it now sounds as if their demands and tactics may have softened a bit. Atlee McFellin, a member of the New School’s Radical Students Union, said, in fact, nothing may happen on April 1, but that a “student strike” might likely start on April 2, which would basically involve students not attending class. The radical students also plan a massive teach-in at The New School on April 4, hoping to draw hundreds if not thousands from the United for Peace and Justice rally on Wall St. — called “Beyond War: A New Economy Is Possible” — earlier that day. Asked if the students plan to occupy a New School building again, McFellin said, “There’s a good chance... . All those things can’t be ruled out.” If there is an occupation, it will likely be longer than the 32-hour one students pulled off at 65 Fifth Ave. in December, he acknowledged. “It has to be sustainable,” McFellin explained. “The last one was really ad hoc. ... Truthfully, I didn’t think it was going to work.” He wouldn’t divulge which building students might take over, but said the New Schoolers will be expecting support from radical students from New York University, City College, Fordham, Cooper Union, Columbia, Brooklyn College and Queens College. Calls for Kerrey’s resignation may be growing fainter, though, as he has worked to address critics’ concerns, most notably recently appointing a new, interim provost, Tim Marshall, the dean of Parsons The New School for Design. Also, McFellin said, students at Parsons, one of The New School’s largest divisions, don’t seem to be demanding Kerrey’s ouster, but are generally “apathetic,” politically speaking. But McFellin said people wonder if Kerrey is only on his best behavior now because he’s “under pressure.” The Radical Students Union member said there will be a student-wide meeting on March 30 with the new provost, which will affect what actions the students decide to take on April 1. In addition, some New School students expect to participate in an East Harlem rally with the group Picture the Homeless on March 16 — the Iraq War’s sixth anniversary — when they take over a building (is anyone NOT taking over a building right now?) again, at an undisclosed location, McFellin said.  

It was consensual...mostly: On the subject of, you guessed it, building occupations, New York University and 17 of the so-called “Kimmel 18” recently agreed to a “consensual resolution” that allows the 17 students to return to campus and attend classes. The lone holdout will continue through the school’s disciplinary process, said school spokesperson John Beckman. That process will include a meeting with a judicial officer, followed by the university offering the student a consensual resolution (which somehow sounds vaguely amorous to us, though we know it isn’t). The student can accept or reject the C.R.; a rejection leads to a judicial hearing by a panel composed of one member each from the Student Senate, Faculty Senate, Administrative Management Council and Deans Council. Beckman said, under the rules, he could not publicly divulge details of the agreement with the 17 students. But the Washington Square News, N.Y.U.’s student newspaper, reported they will be under probation for the remainder of their enrollment at the university. W.S.N. also said the students faced several long-term consequences, including being barred from taking leadership roles in student clubs or serving as resident advisers (R.A.’s) or student senators.  The paper cited a letter from N.Y.U. to one of the Kimmel 18, stating the students’ occupation of the Kimmel Center a few weeks ago resulted in $80,000 in property damage. An N.Y.U. security guard was also injured during the standoff.

Villager photo show: After reading in The Villager about how John Penley has given his extensive photo archives to N.Y.U.’s Tamiment Library, Carl Rosenstein, of the Puffin Room gallery in Soho, called us to say it gave him an idea. Rosenstein always puts up a politically themed show during the elections. Now he’s thinking he’d like to mount an exhibit by photographers who have shot for The Villager, specifically of their political photos. Sounds like a great idea to us.

Penley’s parting shots: As for Penley, he’s had another change of plans — or maybe not — but he’s definitely leaving the city. “I’m out of here this week,” he said in a voice mail he left over the weekend. He may or may not be going to Erie or Newark, “but I might be just in the wind,” he said. “Who knows where I’m going, but I’m going.” He’s not leaving without concerns, though. “The Pie Man is grossly overweight, and is most likely going to die over at Yippie House unless he gets in an assisted-living situation,” Penley warned. The East Village activist is still sore that 47 E. Third St. tenants who recently took buyouts from the mass-evicting Economakises are being provided apartments by the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association while the Yippie Pie Man is left in limbo. “He needs a place more than they do, and they already got $70,000,” Penley said. “So maybe one of them should step aside and let the Pie Man get into one of those assisted-living apartments. If they don’t, well, all that crap about neighborhood solidarity was pretty much a bunch of bulls--t as far as I’m concerned.” Penley said he’s done with archiving his archives at the Tamiment Library. “I’ve finished as much of the archiving as I can possibly do,” he said. “I’m getting really tired of looking at dead faces, because 90 percent of the people that are in those archives are dead now. Those are the people who actually fought for housing. Most of the squatters in the neighborhood have basically turned into the same kind of ‘I got mine, screw everyone else’ type of yuppie that’s ruining the neighborhood. That’s all I got to say. I’m out of here, adios.”

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