Volume 79, Number 18 | Oct 7 - 13, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


2Scoopy's Notebook

Koch on Polanski: In his e-mail commentary column, former Mayor Ed Koch left no doubt about where he falls on the Polanski prosecution debate. “The reaction among artists and supporters of the arts, particularly in France, to the arrest of Roman Polanski by Swiss authorities is appalling,” Hizzoner wrote. “Mr. Polanski is not entitled to one free rape of a child simply because he is an artist. The punishment he receives should take into consideration a number of factors, including the lapse of time, his conduct over the intervening years, his age and any other mitigating factors. I would be surprised if he is sent to jail, but even if he were, it wouldn’t shock the conscience.” Koch — who, of course, reviews movies for this paper in his Koch on Film column— saved his toughest shots for the movie set, noting: “Rape, particularly of a child, is a horrendous crime. Apparently, some French elite and movie directors, and American counterparts, don’t think so. Particularly shocking to me is the arrogance of some filmmakers, including Pedro Almodovar, Wong Kar Wai and Wim Wenders,” Koch said, noting they had signed a petition saying they’re “dismayed” over Polanski’s treatment.


‘Dorm it!’ says New School: Local stakeholders will meet with New School officials next week to learn more about the planned University Center at 65 Fifth Ave., between 13th and 14th Sts. The school has posted some information online about the project, which notably reveals that the building — smaller than a previous proposal — will no longer be only for classroom use. The new plan is to construct an 18-story building, of 336,000 square feet, with retail space on the first floor, academic space on the first seven floors and dormitory space on the remaining 11 floors. Unlike The New School’s earlier proposal, this building will be “as of right,” meaning no special variances will be required from the city, and is scheduled for September 2013 completion. In an e-mail about the project to neighbors, Susan Kramer, of the Village Residents Alliance, noted, “This will need careful evaluation by the community, especially since the bulk of its use has now changed to residential dormitory space from classroom space, thus giving this site 24-hour usage.” Jane Crotty, a New School spokesperson, said, “There is no design [for the building] at this time. SOM [Skidmore, Owings and Merrill] with Roger Duffy as the lead architect are in the process of creating a design. They are working with the New School’s University Facilities Committee.”


Angelina’s T.S.P. days:
Some might say this was the Summer of the Crusty in Tompkins Square Park. There were repeated attacks on and skirmishes with the crusties by local youths. And there was the pall cast by the death of Lesia Pupshaw, a young neighborhood woman who used to hang with the crusties, who died in May after being beaten up in the park in a violent clash; in June, the medical examiner ruled her death an OD. We were surprised to learn, recently, however, that none other than Angelina Jolie also went through her own semi-crusty phase, hanging out in the park and smoking pot, before her movie superstardom and becoming half of Brangelina. During the L.E.S. Slacktivists/veterans’ “adoptathon” outside Christodora House last month, Lara Mascara — a resident of the tony tower who proudly noted she used to be “Matt Dillon’s bartender” at King Tut’s Wa Wa Hut on Avenue A — told us how she used to run with the young Jolie. “We were friends of the band Sick of It All,” she said. “We called ourselves the Alleyway Crew.” The members each had a Sick of It All dragon tattoo. “Angelina Jolie was skinny, no figure — just straight, she had no boobs — hair in her eyes,” but did sport her trademark big lips even back then, Mascara recalled. “Her dad didn’t pay child support. ... She was just not going to high school, like all of us. She was known as Angie.” Mascara, and apparently Jolie, too, have since removed their dragon tattoos, though Jolie famously has plenty of others. Who knows — maybe someday we’ll read more about Jolie’s Tompkins Square days in the supermarket tabloids.


A beacon of activism: Villager columnist Daniel Meltzer, who teaches journalism at New York University, will receive Landmarks West’s Unsung Heroes Award this Thursday evening at the Des Artistes Hotel on W. 67th St. for his work organizing and running the Save the Beacon Theatre group in the 1980s. ... The Allman Brothers will reportedly show up to jam (just kidding). ... Seriously, the Beacon is an Upper West Side treasure. Congrats, Dan!


Photog’s double shot: For a taste of what the Lower East Side was like back in the day, people can check out local documentarian and Villager photographer Clayton Patterson’s talk at the Coffeehouse Chronicles, at LaMama, 74 E. Fourth St., this Saturday, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Patterson will be showing slides and discussing his work from the 1980s on. Then on Sunday, Patterson will be at Alife Presents, 157 Rivington St., from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., to sign his new “Front Door Book,” a collection of photos of the hundreds of neighborhood people who posed in front of his door on Essex St. over the decades; Patterson’s photos are also currently on exhibit at Alife Presents.


Made in the shades: “The lampshades have returned!” So proclaimed  artist Marjery Kouns, whose giant, bordello-style lampshades graced Washington Square Park’s lampposts for a year during 2005 and 2006. Kouns’s colorful lampshades are currently on display in local restaurants and stores, including La Lanterna, at 129 MacDougal St., and the AT&T Wireless store, at Seventh Ave. South near Houston St. The shades, made to be outside and flame-retardant, are all for sale, and she hopes to donate some of the proceeds to local nonprofit groups, like the Caring Community.

Correction:
An article on Pier 40 in The Villager last week stated that the London Eye is London’s top tourist attraction. However, it should have said the Eye is London’s most popular paid tourist attraction.

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