Volume 79, Number 24 | November 18 - 24, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Photo by Michael Seto
Best Buy representatives presented a $5,000 donation to the Union Square Partnership at the grand opening of the 24-hour Best Buy Union Square store on Nov. 13. From left, Jennifer Falk, Union Square Partnership executive director; Amy Adoniz, Best Buy Union Square general manager, and Emily Herrara, a Best Buy associate. Members of the rock band Bon Jovi also signed autographs at the opening.

Scoopy's Notebook

‘War of the Worlds’ moment:
Dan Meltzer’s column last week on Mayor Bloomberg buying City Hall apparently was taken as fact by more than a few panicked readers. Last week, we had concerned readers coming up to us at events, as well as calling and e-mailing us, asking if it was really true. One woman called to let us know that, after reading Meltzer’s talking point, she promptly called The New York Times and CBS News to see if they were covering the story, and when she was told that they didn’t know a thing about it, became “enraged.” Here is one clue as to why the piece was, in fact, a spoof: It was on our op-ed page. If it were indeed true that Mike had acquired the seat of New York City government as his own personal property, and we had the scoop on it, it would have been our lead story on Page 1 — with a banner headline, to boot. Plus, as those familiar with his columns are aware, Meltzer is known for his sardonic sense of humor. We told Meltzer about some people taking his column literally, and he likened it to the mass hysteria prompted by Orson Welles’s “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast. “Orson Welles had a similar problem once, I seem to recall,” Meltzer shrugged. “Didn’t seem to hurt his career or the network much. Anyway, it’s a column.” 

Stars honor Tallmer:
On Mon., Nov. 23, The Players Foundation will present a benefit and celebration to honor the life’s work of the prolific and passionate arts journalist Jerry Tallmer. A longtime arts critic and columnist for The Villager, Tallmer, 88, was a founder of The Village Voice and the Obie Awards in 1956. He also worked at the New York Post under Dorothy Schiff, where he was everything from reporter and drama critic to occasional TV critic. Tallmer was terminated at the Post in 1993 when Rupert Murdoch broke the union and fired 287 people. Over the years Tallmer has interviewed countless movers and shakers from the arts world, politics and beyond, and has also often served as an editor, as well as a writer, making sure — whatever paper he was working for at the time — that the copy was legible. Master of ceremonies for Monday evening’s event will be Austin Pendleton. Special guests will include Edward Albee, Charles Busch, Baby Jane Dexter, Jules Feiffer, Israel Horowitz, Marian Seldes, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, KT Sullivan and others. Tickets are $100 per person; $65 of each ticket will be tax-deductible. All proceeds will be presented to the honoree. The event will be at The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park South. Cocktails will be at 6:30 p.m.; the program begins at 7:30 p.m. For reservations contact The Players at 212-475-6116 or reservations@theplayersnyc.org . For those who can’t attend, contributions can be mailed to The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park South, NYC 10003. Make checks payable to The Players Foundation and indicate “Jerry Tallmer Celebration” in the subject line.

Beautiful booklet:
The beautifully done memorial booklet for former Councilmember Miriam Friedlander’s commemoration at City Hall last Thursday was done by her son, Paul Friedlander, and his wife, Gloria Wyeth. It featured archival photos from Friedlander’s youth and also great shots of her on the campaign trail, such as walking arm in arm with former Congresswoman Bella Abzug, or a smiling Friedlander riding high on a supporter’s shoulders in the throng of a crowd after a victory, her arms in the air. The booklet also featured three choice quotes from The Villager’s recent obituary on Friedlander: one by L.E.S. Slacktivist John Penley, saying how she was the best councilmember, in his opinion, because “you saw her in the neighborhood”; another by her longtime campaign manager Frieda Bradlow, quoting the late Tony Dapolito, who said if there was a meeting of three people, Friedlander would be the fourth; and a quote by Assemblymember Deborah Glick, saying how Glick had looked to Friedlander as a role model at a time when few women held political power. 

Freed in fine form:
We bumped into former Councilmember Kathryn Freed at Miriam Friedlander’s memorial at City Hall last week, and she had one simple answer for why Councilmember Alan Gerson was defeated in September by Margaret Chin: He never should have run candidates against Downtown Independent Democrats’ sitting district leaders, according to Freed. Basically, she said, before he was elected, “Gerson had no base” in Council District 1 other than D.I.D., and to cross the club ultimately proved his undoing. Freed noted, with a bit of irony, that she voted for Chin in the general election — despite having defeated her twice in the past. Freed wouldn’t reveal who she supported in the primary election. Freed also griped that Civil Court Judges — she is one — who make $125,000, haven’t had a raise in 12 years, and badly need one. As for Gerson, who was also at the Friedlander memorial, we asked what his plans are once he gets out of the Council. He said he’ll be taking a vacation, “someplace warm,” his first one in eight years. “Oh that’s nothing!” retorted Freed, when we mentioned it. “I didn’t take a vacation for 12, 10 years.”

The accident in which Shami Chaikin was struck and partially run over on Nov. 5 by a Parks Department garbage truck occurred on Eighth Ave. — not Hudson St., as was incorrectly reported in last week’s issue — just north of Bleecker St. The spot is just north of where southbound Hudson St. runs into Bleecker St. and where northbound Hudson St. turns into Eighth Ave. ... An item in last week’s Villager on the newly renamed Arthur W. Strickler Triangle stated that Strickler stepped down after serving as chairperson of Community Board 2 from 1989 to 1991 to become the board’s district manager. But Carol Feinman, a past C.B. 2 chairperson, e-mailed us to point out that, in fact, Strickler relinquished the position because the board has a term limit of two consecutive, one-year terms for chairperson. “He did not become D.M. until 1996 when Rita Lee retired,” Feinman noted. “Artie was followed by Keith Crandell [as board chairperson], who was followed by me, who was followed by Alan Gerson, then Jim Smith, Aubrey Lees, Jim Smith, Maria Passannante-Derr, Brad Hoylman and now Jo Hamilton. (I know, more than you wanted to know.)”

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