Volume 80, Number 8 | July 22 - 28, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

Hamilton ‘admonishes’ N.Y.U.:
Community Board 2 is showing it’s more than ready to pick up where the recently suspended Borough President’s Community Task Force on N.Y.U. Development left off. Last Thursday, Jo Hamilton, the board’s chairperson, sent out a blistering e-mail blast to the neighborhood, headlined “CB 2 to NYU: Not So Fast.” In her e-mail, Hamilton notes that C.B. 2 had just that day sent a letter “admonishing” New York University President John Sexton and the university for “its inadequate response” to the task force’s recommendations on N.Y.U.’s 2031 expansion plans; the plans call for adding 1.5 million to 2 million square feet of space on the school’s two South Village superblocks, between Houston and W. Third Sts. and Mercer St. and LaGuardia Place. C.B. 2, Hamilton said, wants to make it perfectly clear “that this community has not accepted the university’s proposals as a fait accompli.” Now that N.Y.U. will be presenting its proposal to the community board as part of a city ULURP (uniform land-use review procedure), Hamilton continued, “it is time to get specific and detailed information.” To that end, C.B. 2 has requested the university’s participation in a series of public forums, beginning on Mon., Aug. 9, at 6:30 p.m., at P.S. 41, 116 W. 11th St. To prepare for that meeting, C.B. 2 is co-hosting an education forum with the community on how to get involved in the land-use process, with B.P. Scott Stringer and Councilmember Margaret Chin, on Wed., Aug. 4, at 6 p.m., A.I.A., 536 LaGuardia Place, Tafel Hall (downstairs space). The board urges residents to attend both meeting, and also to write a letter to Sexton with their questions and concerns about the project and to copy C.B. 2 and elected officials. “This is the largest development project proposed for our district in many years,” Hamilton wrote. “C.B. 2 is committed to lead the way, and establish a clear road map throughout the ULURP process, in order to protect the historic and unique character of our community.” Meanwhile, Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation urged us to ask Stringer’s office for a written legal opinion from his general counsel, stating what exactly is the legal conflict of interest for Stringer to keep his task force running during the ULURP process. Stringer, however, declined to provide a written opinion. Carmen Boon, his press secretary, e-mailed us back: “This issue was discussed in depth when you…met with the borough president last week. My office has nothing else to add.” Hamilton said people can write to John Sexton at: New York University, Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, 10012.

Shaq in the garden:
While LeBron James may have passed over New York for Miami, his former Cavs teammate Shaquille O’Neal was spotted on 14th St. in Garden of Eden — the gourmet market that has been used as a location for “Sex and the City” — filming for his reality show “Shaq Vs.,” where he faces opponents in other disciplines. He was shopping with Rachel Ray, who is apparently a frequent Garden of Eden customer, and presumably his opponent in the episode of “Shaq Vs.” We’re told that they bought everything from cold cuts to produce, and that customers didn’t bother the TV crew. A crowd, however, did form outside the store, according to a source. TV blogs have reported that Shaq’s showdown with Ray won’t be the only food-related challenge on what will be the second season of the reality show: He will reportedly face-off against Nathan’s hot dog-eating champ Joey Chestnut.

Villager photo by Carlotta Lutsche

One of the Yippie Siamese kittens. The Bombay cats are black.

Free Yippie kittens:
The Yippie Museum, at 9 Bleecker St., is offering about a half-dozen Siamese and Bombay kittens and cats for adoption. The cats are all “beautiful,” said the museum’s Dana Beal. They’ve been hiding and hard to catch, so haven’t been fixed yet, he noted. “They’re just a little bit jittery,” he explained. “What you’ve got to do is take them home and make friends with them.” If interested, call 212-677-4899 or 212-677-5918. … In some sad Yippie news, Beal reported that Aron “Yippie Pie Man” Kay may need to have his leg amputated. Beal said Kay got into a fight with his roommate and was consequently sleeping on a chair in the Yippie Cafe’s basement, but now has a touch of gangrene in his leg as a result because he’s so heavy and the chair was putting pressure on his limb. “He definitely has to lose about 50 to 60 pounds,” Beal said. “He was at 400 pounds, now he’s down to 350. When he came here, we wouldn’t let him order food.” Beal said he’s been in touch with Val Orselli, director of the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association, about finding an apartment for Kay. But, he said, Orselli told him they did have some spaces at one point, but they have all been taken by people who were burned out of their homes in the Grand St. fire in April.


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