Volume 79, Number 4 | July 1 - 7, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Scoopy's Notebook

Dominic effect: At Community Board 3, covering the East Village and Lower East Side, Dominic Pisciotta won re-election as board chairperson, beating challenger Barden Prisant by 42 votes to 12. Paul Bartlett, chairperson of the board’s Arts Task Force, said a good number of the Prisant votes came from fellow members of his task force. Bartlett said he’s a little worried about possible repercussions for his vote, but said the arts can’t be ignored. Prisant runs an art-appraisal company.

Egg-cream improvement: Ramon Alvarez, a.k.a. Asghar Ghahraman, is still in shock after what he described as an “army” of 20 former squatters from See Skwat recently spent a weekend whipping his Avenue A candy store into shape after he’d been hit with a ton of violations. “I had 60 violations — and they brought it down to 1,” Ray said incredulously. The See Skwatters put in a new linoleum tile floor in his kitchen, a new cement floor with wire mesh in the basement, steel shelves to get his potatoes off the floor and a new kitchen exhaust fan and new $400 refrigerator. They scrubbed years of grease off Ray’s frozen yogurt machines and Belgian fries deep fryer and shined them like new, added “sweepers” to door bottoms that were too high off the ground, fixed two nonworking electrical outlets and sealed up holes formerly plugged with foam with mouse-proof cement. “Right now, two, three, four days, and I see no mice,” an amazed Ray said. The Skwatters took periodic breaks in Ray’s backyard to drink beer and smoke, um, something, taking one long one around 4 a.m. Sunday after their work was done. “I tried to pay them. No, no, they don’t want it,” Ray said. “Everything that they need, they had at home — tiles, cement, plaster. They were very specialized, these guys — carpentry, electric, wiring. ... They didn’t want me to shut down. They said, ‘Where we gonna hang out? Where we gonna get fries, egg creams?’” After Ray was done raving about the repairs, he went in the back to cook up a small fries. As chance would have it, a two-on-one fistfight broke out right then after one customer who apparently had something against hats dissed two guys wearing them. But, thankfully, they eventually — kneeing, grappling, slapping, punching — tumbled out of the narrow store’s door and the only blood spilled was outside on the sidewalk, and Ray’s pristine new white walls weren’t splattered.


Mural deprivation: When we heard that Michael Jackson had died, our first thoughts were memories of hearing him belting out “ABC” and “Rockin’ Robin” as a kid on the AM car radio. Our next thought was “Chico” — as in, was Chico still around and would he be doing a graffiti mural of “The Gloved One” in the East Village? As it turns out, Chico finally did recently relocate to Tampa to be with his family; but while his new suburban nabe has plenty of grass and trees, it lacks suitably gritty walls. “Believe me, I wish I was over there [in Loisaida],” Chico told us by cell phone when we called last week. “The minute it happened — something was bothering me.” If he was still in the ’hood, he said he would “really blow it up” and slap a Jacko over his latest Aventura piece on E. Houston St. In October, Chico will be back in town to do a bunch of graffiti-mural panels for the Lower Eastside Girls Club to cover the plywood construction fences for their new Avenue D clubhouse building. The club will pay for the panels. “I did a lot for free my whole life,” Chico said. “I got to make a little cheddah — a little green beans!” Chico is keeping busy customizing cars with flames, pinstripes and paintings. Since there just aren’t any good walls in the Tampa ’burbs, he said he’s thinking about taking an old auto hood from where he works and doing it up with a Jacko portrait.  


Going postal: Miriam Kaplan of Washington Square Village called to let us know that she was quite disturbed when she tried to use the mailboxes outside the recently closed Prince St. post office only to find both were packed to the gills. Concerned that maybe they’ve been this way ever since the Soho post office shut early last month, she inquired of Bob Gormley, district manager of Community Board 2, whose office happens to be in her building. She said Gormley told her, nope, he’s used the mailboxes since that date and they’ve been O.K. ... But we’re sure she’ll be keeping an eye on it.


Corrections: In The Villager’s June 10 article “High Line opens; Greenway raises parks to a new level,” Lisa Maria Falcone’s name was misspelled as Lisa Marie. The June 17 article “Cooper students engineer a race car from scratch” reported that Scotia Technology supplied the Cooper Union team with tubing; rather, the company bent the team’s exhaust tubes at a heavily discounted price. Last week’s article on The Door said they won the “Best Float” prize the past two years at the Gay Pride March. However, in 2007 The Door won the “Don’t Be Outraged, Be Outrageous” award, and in 2008 they won for “Best Marching Contingent.” 

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