Volume 80, Number 10 | August 5 - 11, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Under Cover

Park pioneers:
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn presented Council proclamations on Thurs., July 29, to Robert S. Trentlyon and Doris Corrigan, founders of the Chelsea Waterside Park Association, above, for their advocacy that led to the creation of the 5-mile long Hudson River Park and particularly the Chelsea section of the park. “It’s been a wonderful, 30-year journey creating this beautiful park on the Hudson River,” said Trentlyon. “I never doubted that the park would be built but I certainly was off in my estimate of how many years it would take.”

Batali feels the heat:
Can you say food fight? Mario Batali, who owns a number of area restaurants, including the upscale Babbo and the more casual Otto, has been sued by Babbo workers who claim that he had them divide up their tips among employees who were not entitled to the money, and also that the restaurant doesn’t pay their employees minimum wage or proper overtime pay. Batali partner Joe Bastianich was also named in the suit. But, the foodie blog Eater referred to it as a “shakedown.” The plot thickened when Eater reported on Wednesday that protesters had gathered outside of posh Batali/Bastianich joint Del Posto. The demonstration was organized by the Restaurant Opportunities Group.

Figures were ‘Trumped up’!
The Trump Soho development opened earlier this year for hotel guests, but now the condo-hotel project is under legal fire. Fifteen condo buyers have sued Trump, along with a number of other parties linked to the project, alleging that the groups inflated sales figures to get them to buy, according to a report this week in The New York Times. Willam J. Geller, a lawyer representing the buyers, claims that his clients were tricked into buying units in a building that wasn’t close to 50 or 60 percent sold, as representatives of the project claimed. “They were defrauded. They were intentionally misled,” he said. Interesting to note, The Villager’s coverage of the project is cited in the 176-page civil complaint, which names a number of individuals involved in the project, including The Donald’s children, as defendants in the case. In other Trump Soho-related news, we spotted Donald Trump Jr. posing for some sort of headshot outside the Soho building, looking dapper in a purple tie and trying a stern-looking expression for the camera.

Breaking news(stand):
Varick St. between Charlton and Vandam Sts. is already home to WNYC, New York’s public radio station, but the block got a little more newsy recently with the addition of a brand-new newsstand. The stand has the distinction of being the first in Hudson Square, according to a representative the Hudson Square Connection business improvement district. Does this mean that the neighborhood has truly arrived, we wonder? Well, one person might not see it in such rosy terms, namely, the proprietor of the shawarma cart that was displaced by the newsstand. (Full disclosure: Staffers from The Villager have been known to frequent the shawarma cart). He said he had been working at the area now occupied by the newsstand for two years. However, he has only moved up the block a bit to the other corner, so we don’t think his business will be hurt.

Capping off Fedora article (a correction):
An article last week on Fedora restaurant incorrectly stated that restaurateur Gabriel Stulman had an ownership stake in The Little Owl and Market Table. The Little Owl is owned by Joey Campanaro. Market Table is owned by Campanaro and Mikey Price.

Later for fries:
As of last weekend, Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A still was unable to make Belgian fries. Ray said he thinks the guy he gave $3,500 upfront to install an Ansul fire-protection system above his deep fryer skipped out with the cash, unfortunately. Ray has been told he can’t make fries without the safety hood. (Our apologies to reader Michael Gottlieb for reporting about Ray again, but this is an issue affecting a lot of fries eaters!)


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