Volume 80, Number 7 | July 14 -21, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Photo by Liza Bear
Jim Power, the East Village’s “Mosaic Man,” working on his Fillmore East lamppost on Second Ave. in the scorching heat last week.
Boro Prez N.Y. nups snub:
In May, The Villager first reported that Matt Borden, chief of staff for state Assemblymember Deborah Glick, and his fiancée, Rachel Henes, a social worker, would travel from Brooklyn to Connecticut for their June wedding to show solidarity with same-sex couples who would have no choice but to make the same trek. “If every straight person decided they were not going to get married in a state where same-sex marriage was illegal, I think there would be a huge shift,” Borden told The Villager at the time. “We really hope that it catches on.” Apparently, it is catching on and it’s moving right up the political chain. Now, Borough President Scott Stringer, 50, and his fiancée, Elyse Buxbaum, 36, have made the same decision, according to a July 9 article in The New York Times. As a member of the Assembly, Stringer helped introduce the state’s first bill to legalize same-sex marriage in the 1990s. Stringer, who will be term-limited out of the borough president’s office after this term, is a potential candidate for mayor in 2013, and his Connecticut nups could help ratchet up his support in the gay and lesbian community. But the Beep said he’s really doing it for the principle. “This gives Elyse and I a chance to take personal responsibility,” Stringer told the Times. “If enough people who have somewhat of a profile not just politicians, but artists and business leaders start going into Massachusetts or Connecticut and show New York how embarrassing it is that you can’t get a marriage license for same-sex couples, then we will change things.” Stringer and Buxbaum met five years ago, according to the Times, after he won election as borough president, when she visited to introduce herself and the Jewish Museum, where she is director of corporate and government relations. They reportedly got the idea to tie the knot in New England after Buxbaum was talking to her gay friends and colleagues, and “started to feel terrible” that they couldn’t all share the same marriage rights in New York. Stringer then reached out to Allen Roskoff, the longtime West Village gay activist and politico, who urged him to “make a statement” by wedding in a state that has marriage equality. They’ll first hold a civil ceremony in Connecticut, followed by a religious service a few days later in New York on Sept. 5. On Tuesday, we asked Stringer an avid Villager reader if the decision of Borden and Henes had influenced his own wedding plans. “I give them a lot of praise. I think they’re a great couple,” he said, though adding it was really Roskoff. The B.P. said he has been getting a flood of e-mails from people from around the country, both L.G.B.T. and straight, in support of his choice.
On a tip from a friend, we swung by the new Superior Ink building on W. 12th and West Sts. and found out about a service that may be a sign of the economic and ecological times. You’ve heard of valet parking for cars, but what about bicycles? Well, for the lucky residents of the Superior Ink building, you can have your bike “parked” by the doorman. Residents can call down and arrange to have their bike brought out at the appointed hour, and have it put away when they come back. The friendly concierge in the building said that the service was frequently used by a number of residents. And if a bike won’t cut it, the building has a car garage, too.
Soccer street party:
When Brass Monkey, a bar and restaurant on Little West 12th St., declared itself “World Cup Headquarters 2010” on its Web site a month ago, you had to wonder if that title was hyperbolic, given all the stiff competition from other soccer-crazed city establishments. But on Sun., July 11, the unpretentious bar on the Meatpacking District’s western outskirts may have earned that distinction with a huge, outdoor party to celebrate and watch the World Cup Final. Heather Futterman, the bar/restaurant’s manager, helped oversee the event, which hosted thousands of eager fans cheering for both Spain and the Netherlands. The event was so big it required a television she described as “enormous, one of the ones that come off of a truck.” Did fans clash over their respective allegiances? “No,” she said, “just peaceful watching soccer.” Indeed, a dedication to soccer characterized the event. “People stayed through the rain; it was great,” she said. “It was so hot that it was like a little relief.” The event’s success had Futterman considering a similar event in four years. “It’s a possibility,” she said. Can you say “World Cup Headquarters 2014”? Community Board 2 gave its approval for the street party based on the fact that there aren’t really any residents living nearby, and also since it isn’t an annual event.