Volume 79, Number 33 | January 20 - 26, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Scoopy's Notebook

Ray needs an angel:
A local blog reader, on EV Grieve, we believe (hey, that rhymes), might have come up with the best hope — well, maybe it’s more like a prayer — for saving Ray’s Candy Store, at Seventh St. and Avenue A, from eviction. Sure, a fundraiser to pay Ray Alvarez’s last two months rent would be great, but what about going forward? Goggla posted: “Maybe the mysterious donor who stepped in and saved St. Brigid’s will extend their generosity to another neighborhood landmark. If the $8K is raised to save Ray, what about the next month, and the one after that?” In May 2008, the Catholic Archdiocese announced it had accepted an anonymous $20 million donation to restore St. Brigid’s Church and save it from demolition. More recently, an anonymous donor gave the ABC No Rio arts collective $1 million. Could Ray be next?

No restaurant — but cars:
According to Michael Tumminia, Seward Park Co-op president, as of now, Jesse Hartman will not be opening a restaurant on Grand St. in the co-op’s property. In fact, he said, that’s been the situation since late November when talks for Hartman’s Grand Park apparently fizzled. “It’s not going to open,” Tumminia told us last week. “We were no longer in discussions with Jesse for the space [in late November]. It didn’t reach fruition.” Thus, all the hype and blogging about the restaurant was for naught. “It was all just premature,” Tumminia said. “There was no deal, there was no lease.” He noted that all 4,000 people living in Seward Park Co-op got a newsletter a while back stating as much. On a positive note, Tumminia is excited about a new car-sharing program set to start imminently in Seward Park Co-op. Hertz will have two cars at the co-op, a Prius hybrid and a Smart Car, which co-op members, as well as other residents living nearby, will be able to rent on an hourly basis ($10 per hour) or even for a whole weekend. The co-op prez said the cars will be available to “any resident living in reasonable walking distance [of the co-op].” Users become a member of Connect by Hertz, a car-sharing program similar to Zipcar, and receive a card that allows them to use the vehicles. The cars will have iPod docks for tunes, and gas will be by credit card. Tumminia said this is a first-of-its-kind program in which a co-op has a car-sharing program like this.

Cool Mickey D:
Looking for a suave-and-sophisticated McDonald’s experience? Look no farther than the new McCafe, on Sixth Ave. between 14th and 15th Sts. Opened in September, the place features chic 1950s and ’60s retro-style decor, subdued lighting and old-school funk and hip hop on the sound system, pumping at a cool, low volume. (While we were munching our burger, we distinctly heard “Rapper’s Delight” and “Planet Rock.”) Just call it the “Mickey D Laid-back Lounge.” Manager Carlos Mulles told us it’s the first of its kind in the United States, with 15 more set to open in New York State. The McCafe offers a full line of burgers, as well as frozen coffee drinks, and is open 24 hours. 

Manning the controls:
One Jackson Square, the new luxury condo at Greenwich and Eighth Aves. — with the undulating glass facade — is about half full, with 15 units currently occupied. Still available is the penthouse, asking price, oh, just $21.75 million. (Wow, think of all the relief that could provide in Haiti.) To keep out the riffraff, the building’s front door is always locked, unless the doorman, who sits a ways back at a desk behind curving bamboo walls, pushes a button to open it. Eventually, tenants will get microchip keys allowing them to open the front door by themselves, he said. It all seemed pretty “Star Trek” to us.

A little less High Line:
F.Y.I., under High Line winter hours, as of mid-December the park has been closing two hours earlier, at 8 p.m. We took a jaunt on the High Line on Sunday, the super-blustery day, and were expecting to see no one else up there, but there were indeed a few brave souls out walking the paths. 

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