Volume 79, Number 5 | July 8 - 14, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

Health report: As former Mayor Ed Koch, 84, was recently getting a heart valve replaced and a quadruple bypass in New York Presbyterian Cornell Hospital, one of his early political boosters, Ed Gold, 82, was in the same hospital having his gall bladder taken out. “I spoke to him on the phone. He was very cordial,” Gold told us. Well, that’s an improvement. The two had a falling out in 2003 when Koch endorsed George W. Bush for re-election, and Gold told The Villager that Hizzoner had become a “neo-con.” Gold was promptly booted from the “Koch Klatch,” a group of Koch administration veterans and others who meet biweekly to talk politics over lunch. Koch e-mailed an update on Tuesday, saying, “I’m still in the hospital but making progress every day.” A speedy recovery to all and, hopefully, to breaking bread and schmoozing together once again.

May have over-exorcised: In more health-related news, Reverend Billy a.k.a. Bill Talen, Green Party candidate for mayor, posted on his blog on July 5 that he has been diagnosed with arrhythmia, or atrial fibrillation. “I’m having a good scare,” the pompadoured performance-artist preacher wrote. “My heart has been beating like a frantic bird. For a week now. So I went to the doctor and he put in the E.R. quick.” Billy figures the fluttering was brought about by “stress.” “Now I’m staring at something new, called BEING REALISTIC,” he continued. “I’m home now. ... Soon, I know, I’ll go into a Starbucks and sit there, and remember years of exorcising demons.” In fact, Billy thinks the mochachino-serving multinational may have caused his condition: “I look back and feel that taking on Consumerism like a comic gladiator, using a right-wing image of the televangelist and turning it against the super malls, was such a strenuous choice. Well, we loved the electricity of it,” he said. “But then, what impact did putting hands on the not-Fair Trade cash register of a Starbucks, what did that actually DO to me? We would put our hand on the cash register and ask an unseen creator to ‘blow the money the other way, back to the families in the groves... .’” In short, taking on corporate consumerism can take a lot out of you.

Sector protectors: When officials convene at Hudson St. between Perry and W. 11th Sts. to dedicate Jane Jacobs Way on Mon., July 13, at 10 a.m., Doris Diether will also be honored — though exactly how, she doesn’t have a clue. Legendary activist and urban planner Jacobs lived on Hudson St. Diether, her contemporary, worked hand in hand with Jacobs and Shirley Hayes to stave off Robert Moses’ urban-development and park- and neighborhood-crushing highway plans. “Each of us had a sector,” Diether recalled. “My sector was the main Village, the Central Village and the South Village. Jane Jacobs’s sector was the West Village. Shirley Hayes was Washington Square Park. When something was coming up in our sector, we’d let the other ones know.” As for how Diether will be recognized on Monday, she doesn’t have the foggiest. “They told me I’m supposed to be there,” she said. “They just said, ‘We know you were with Jane Jacobs and we wanted to do something’ — but they didn’t tell me what they were going to do.”

Lindy sleuth: Stop the presses! Alan Marlis Ph.D. of Mulberry St. recently ran into our office to announce that he has solved the 1932 Lindbergh baby kidnapping case. After 21 years and 1,200 pages of investigative research, Marlis has concluded that, “the pieces came together pointing to James P. Warburg.” Among other findings, Marlis said Warburg, a banker and F.D.R. advisor, had motive since “Lindbergh’s congressman father Jew-baited his father, Paul Warburg, at the 1913 Federal Reserve Bank chairmanship hearings.” Futhermore, Marlis posits, “George Gershwin is having an affair with Warburg’s wife, Kay Swift, at their Greenwich estate at the time of the crime, adding to his psychological fragility.” What can we say? You read it here first.

Music notes: Jeff Winfield’s mom left his collection of 3,500 records to Bleecker Bob’s on W. Fourth St. Chris Weidner, a manager there, said most of the late The Left Banke guitarist’s albums had come from Bleecker Bob’s $2 bin to begin with and weren’t in the greatest of shape, with water damage, cigarette burns and such. But, hey, it’s the thought that counts. ... Speaking of guitarists, while at Bleecker Bob’s, we noticed The Undead’s Bobby Steele’s new E.P., “Bobby,” on prominent display. The retro-style record features the East Village punk legend playing unplugged on popular standards like “Only the Lonely,” “Runaway” and “Travelin’ Man.” (We like it because in these stripped-down songs, you can really appreciate the timeless lyrics — not to mention Steele performs them well.)

Hookers.com: The answer to why there are less prostitutes trolling the West Village’s streets? Quite simple, a transgender source told us: “They’re going on the Internet. There’s Eros, Backpage, Craigslist... . The Internet is now the defunct stroll.” As for those sex workers still working the streets, she said, “I see the few people out there who can’t afford a computer.” A big factor in going online is it’s safer, at least on some levels, explained the transgender. “You’re protected in so many ways against arrest,” she said. Ironically, a series of recent sex-related murders tied to Craiglist are showing how popular the ’Net has become for prostitution, said the transgender, who didn’t want to give her name.

All aboard and all access: Friends of the High Line would like to clarify of the new elevated park, that “the vast majority of the time, all access points are open.” In other words, High Line visitors can enter and exit at Gansevoort, 14th, 16th, 18th and 20th Sts. In the case the High Line reaches its capacity, parkgoers may be asked to enter via the Gansevoort St. stairs. “This has happened only a few times in our first few weeks, usually on sunny weekend afternoons,” noted Katie Lorah, F.O.H.L. communications manager. 

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