Volume 78 - Number 51 / May 27 - June 2 , 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

And the winners are...: Downtown political clubs have been busy weighing in with their endorsements for the upcoming primary elections. In the Third City Council District, Village Independent Democrats backed Council Speaker Christine Quinn with 29 votes; Yetta Kurland got 12 votes, V.I.D.’er Jim Fouratt 7 and Maria Passannate Derr 2. V.I.D. backed Bill Thompson for mayor, John Liu for comptroller and Norman Siegel for public advocate. In the Manhattan district attorney race, Richard Aborn beat Leslie Crocker-Snyder in a runoff. V.I.D. backed Scott Stringer for re-election as borough president and Councilmembers Alan Gerson and Rosie Mendez for re-election in Districts 1 and 3, respectively. ... At Village Reform Democratic Club, the First District vote was surprisingly close, with Gerson barely squeaking out a win over challenger Pete Gleason on the second ballot — despite the fact that V.R.D.C. is Gerson’s home club; the first ballot was deadlocked at 16-16. V.R.D.C. backed another fellow club member, Derr, in the Third District, and Mendez in the Second District. V.R.D.C. endorsed Thompson for mayor, Siegel for public advocate, Liu for comptroller, but differing from V.I.D., they endorsed Cyrus Vance for district attorney. ... Sean Sweeney, president of Downtown Independent Democrats, is raring for D.I.D.’s upcoming endorsements, which will play a pivotal — many think decisive — role in the First District race. Saying Gerson “must be running scared,” Sweeney said, “Pete Gleason is considered the favorite son, and — although Gerson has been packing the club for the past month — club insiders feel, like many things that Gerson has done, it’s too little, too late.” ... On the East Side, Coalition for a District Alternative backed Thompson for mayor, Liu for comptroller, Bill de Blasio for public advocate, Aborn for D.A. and Margaret Chin in the First Council District. ... Not surprisingly, Chelsea Reform Democratic Club went with their own club member, Quinn, in the Third District race versus Derr and Kurland. 

Gleason just ‘showboating’: After Gleason’s recent cross-country jaunt to San Diego to personally hand Vice President Joe Biden a copy of the Hudson Rise community-alternative Sanitation garage plan (which we reported last week), Gleason declared, “This is what Alan Gerson should be doing.” But Ray Cline, a Gerson campaign handler, said the Council wannabe is just lots of flash but little substance. “Alan’s campaign is in New York City,” Cline said. “I love Pete, he does these showboating things. Most of what Gleason does is grandstanding.” Of Gleason’s hand-off to the V.P. of the award-winning Hudson Rise plan, which is being backed by hundreds of Downtown residents and the likes of celebs James Gandolfini, Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, Cline scoffed, “Truly meaningless — that’s going to get anything done in this district?”

Good times’ for disco developer: “The judge has thrown their petition out of court. I have won the petition,” Novac Noury declared after a State Supreme Court special referee ruled on May 11 that Andre Balazs and his partners in the Standard Hotel can’t affix an aluminum water gutter to Noury’s 51 Little West 12th St. building. Noury argued, and the referee agreed, that the “scupper,” as Noury called it, represented an illegal encroachment onto his property. The ruling now clears the way for Noury — a.k.a. the Arrow Keyboard Man and the Phantom of the Organ™ of the 1970s and ’80s disco days — to “Do The Hustle” and move ahead with plans for his own development on a lot abutting Balazs’s swank, new, High Line-spanning hotel. Noury said the scupper would have blocked his use of his own air rights, and that, as a result, potential development partners were previously put off. One builder who notably bailed was Henry Hay of Centaur Properties, who Noury knows back from when they used to both hang at Studio 54. “We were about to go contract,” Noury said, “but he backed out of the triple-net lease because he did not want to be involved in a lawsuit.” Hay is currently building the project at Eighth Ave. and 15th St. where Rebar, Cajun and Chelsea Grill used to be located. Noury assured that a cascading, 40-foot-high waterfall abutting Balazs’s new hotel remains a key element of the project, but that, on the advice of potential partners, he’s retooled his concept a bit. Instead of a mini-inn, it will now most likely either be “a multi-retail with terraced views” or “an exclusive mini-mansion.” “I have the right to build 10 stories — 13,000 square feet — grandfathered under F.A.R. 5,” Noury asserted. However, since the Standard is built on massive stilts, the blockage by — not to mention the waterfall splash-age from — Noury’s project will be minimal, he said. His building will reach no higher than the Standard’s third floor and block a mere, oh, four to six of the boutique hotel’s 343 rooms. Before he bought it in 1979, Noury’s small Meat Market building was a 24-hour strip club, “a topless and bottomless pit” with “walls of lust,” as he described it. He transformed it into Club R.S.V.P., a $100-monthly-membership after-hours club for the “Studio” set. Back in those disco days, Noury used to perform at Studio 54 with his wireless arrow keyboard, which could shoot either water, shaving cream or sparks. He had a cameo with the contraption in the original “Hair” movie, using it to fire a blast of white smoke during the hallucination scene. (It’s on YouTube.) Nowadays, Noury’s regaling the Caring Community’s senior day program at Our Lady of Pompei Church on Carmine St. The seniors go wild for his renditions of “Volare,” which he does in three versions — swing, Italian and, of course, disco, since,  as he recalled, “It came out as a disco thing at Studio.”

Reports hamper Hootenanny: The organizers of a planned “Hootenanny” concert in Tompkins Square Park are calling local weathermen and -women “weather terrorists” after their misguided forecasts of downpours caused them to mostly cancel what promised to be a fun afternoon of folk and blues music on Saturday. One of the organizers, Eden Brower of the East River String Band, said she told her musician friends not to bother bringing their instruments and risk damaging them in the rain. As it turned out, there were only a few seconds of barely perceptible sprinkles around 5 p.m. Chris Flash, another one of the organizers, said that during the show they had hoped to collect contributions to purchase an engraved paving stone by the Temperance Fountain for the late “Barnacle Bill.” ...  In other memorial news, Gray Wolf at the Sixth and B Garden, said it looks like no gardeners will be taking over the plots where Eddie Boros’s Tower of Toys used to stand. Gray Wolf, the garden’s Web master, said an idea is to add benches at that spot in Boros’s memory.

Unwind at St. Vincent’s: In stressful times, St. Vincent’s Hospital is offering a “Day for the Mind, Body and Spirit” on Sat., May 30. There will be a host of free activities, from chair massage, ear acupuncture and reflexology to screenings, lectures and panel discussions. For details, visit St. Vincent’s May 30 home page at www.svcmc.org/mindbodyspirit. Enter the hospital at 170 W. 12th St. Doors open at 9:30 a.m., and the activities run from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. Reservations are not required, but the hospital would appreciate people to call 1-800-CARE-421 to let them know if they plan to attend.

Heavy metal in red and white: Adam “Guyliner” Lambert recently made headlines with his rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” on “American Idol.” But, in our opinion, the version by Six Foot Nurse at a recent Hudson Square “wine pairing” was far superior. Six Zep songs were matched with six different wines specially picked to complement them at the heavy metal/oenophilic event at Michael Dorf’s City Winery, at Varick and Vandam Sts. In fact, after half-a-dozen glasses of vino, we practically started to imagine Robert Plant and Jimmy Page were up onstage. Scott Ian of Anthrax energetically joined in on guitar toward the end, and Six Foot Nurse rocked on for at least another 10 songs. Michael Edison was a hilarious emcee.

Reader Services




The Villager is published by Community Media LLC. 145 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10013 Phone: (212) 229-1890 | Fax: (212) 229-2790 | Advertising: 646-452-2465 | © 2009 Community Media, LLC

Written permission of the publisher must be obtained before any of the contents of this newspaper, in whole or in part, can be reproduced or redistributed.