Volume 73, Number 37 | January 14 - 20, 2004

Scoopy’s notebook

Memorial overload: East Villager Michael Arad must be elated that his double-pool “Reflecting Absence” design was picked for the 9/11 Trade Center memorial. But Howard Marder, a spokesperson at the New York City Housing Authority, the designer’s employer, is feeling overwhelmed by calls from the media to interview the Israeli native. Arad is under a gag order by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. until Wednesday’s press event. “I’ve been getting calls from around the globe,” Marder said last week. “Everyone wants to talk to Michael. But he can’t talk to anybody. Believe me, it would be a lot easier if he could.” Arad was in California last week working with a landscape architect on final details of the plan.

Comfy in Kimmel: Community Board 2 will hold its full board meeting Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m. in, yes, New York University’s Kimmel Center on Washington Sq. S. at LaGuardia Pl., ninth floor. So, it seems C.B. 2 will not be boycotting the Kimmel Center after all, despite the fact that it was fought by a community lawsuit and is generally despised for its non-contextual architecture, unattractive butterscotch color and overly large presence on the park’s southern edge. In fact, Jim Smith, C.B. 2’s chairperson, said the board likes it, at least the ninth floor: “As someone put it, it’s got that new car smell. It’s really nice.”… C.B. 3 meets Jan. 27 at good old P.S. 20, 166 Essex St., 6:30 p.m.

‘Ass’ and you might not receive: Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe didn’t take kindly to Aubrey Lees’ C.B. 2 Parks Committee resolution a few weeks ago, in which she told the department, none too subtly, to hurry up already and reinstall the late Bob Bolles’ scrap-metal sculptures at the Broome and Watts Sts. park triangle. “Get off their fat asses…” Benepe mused at one point during a recent interview with The Villager, with the “well, well, well…” all but uttered. “As a late Christmas gift, we’re going to send her a copy of ‘How To Win Friends and Influence People,’ ” the commissioner quipped, “or maybe a book by Miss Manners.” Benepe said the department favors a temporary installation, but that, if Bolles’ supporters insist on bringing some back permanently, they must go through “the normal channels,” i.e., the Art Commission, for approval. “I stick by it,” Lees said of her comment, in, er, hind sight. “People in the community feel very strongly about the sculptures and Bob Bolles’ legacy and they were not made aware of these rules and regulations when [the sculptures were removed] a few years ago.” As for a gift, Lees said, “I think I would rather have Walter Isaacson’s biography of Benjamin Franklin. It’s on the bestseller list.”

V.I.D. split by 3: Chad Marlow, president of Village Independent Democrats, said V.I.D.’s open roundtable discussion last week on the Democratic presidential candidates and strategy on how to beat Bush went well. “The discussion was very well considered and cordial, because I think we all realize that we would support any of the candidates against Bush,” Marlow said. “My sense is that the club is equally split between Dean, Clark and Kerry.”

D.A.? Mama mia: We hear Arnie Kriss, who represents the Little Italy Merchants Association and oversees the San Gennaro Feast for the city, may run for district attorney in Brooklyn. Trying to broker peace in the Little Italy feast and mall feuds, has no doubt left Kriss well equipped for anything he’d encounter as D.A.

No Brownie points: David McWater, vice president of the New York Nightlife Association, tells us that last month he sold out his ownership of Opaline at 85 Avenue A to his partner, Ricky Mercado. McWater’s original plan in buying the hip dance club had been to do a swap with Brownie’s at 169 Avenue A, under which he’d remake the live music venue as a bar. But it didn’t work out.

Good as Gold: Two names were inadvertently cut from Ed Gold’s new year’s wishes column last week. “Max Schneider: An N.Y.U. sweater to go with his hardhat.” “Josh Vogel: His song, ‘I Flunked Adultery’ goes to the top of the charts.” (P.S., Max’s granddad, Ron, was head of Community School Board 2, and Vogel is husband of former City Councilmember Carol Greitzer.)


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