Volume 80, Number 11 | August 12 - 18, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

Photos by Scoopy

The fountain at Father Demo Square has been illuminated with new lighting on its central shaft. Some had snidely — though, perhaps fittingly — referred to this as the “fountain condom.”

‘No more,’ says Norm:
So Norman Siegel was explaining to us the nuances of the city’s recent failed effort to stop or, at least, tone down the inflammatory bus ad about the Islamic cultural center — a.k.a. the “Ground Zero Mosque” — planned for Park Place near the World Trade Center site. As the well-known civil rights attorney explained it, the only way the city could have legally banned the ad would have been if it were obscene or libelous. As for the content of any other ads on a municipal bus, the First Amendment protects it all as free speech. So, since political ads are allowed, we asked him if we should be looking for “Siegel for Public Advocate” bus or subway ads in a few years. But with a laugh, the free-speech-loving lawyer said, “We’re not going to see that again. I had that experience.” He just wasn’t very good at being a political candidate, he admitted. Getting back to the anti-Islamic center bus ad, Siegel assured the city would have lost the lawsuit filed by the advertiser — the Freedom Defense Initiative — last week, so it was right for the administration on Monday to back off and accept the ad, as distasteful as many may find its imagery and message to be. He added that the M.T.A.’s trying to get the group to remove the plane or fire from the ad’s design was also wrong and constituted an attempt at censorship.

Aristedes DuVal
Enjoyed an ice, and then later came back for another, at Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A on a recent Saturday night. DuVal had just been performing nearby at A Gathering of the Tribes Gallery, on E. Third St. He noted he has been in “400 or 500” TV shows and movies. Speaking of big numbers, Ray has added more ices flavors, and now has about a dozen, thanks to his new high-tech ices-making machine.


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