Hudson Park goings and comings:
Matthew Washington has left the Friends of Hudson River Park as deputy director to become executive director of Friends of the High School for Environmental Studies, his alma mater. Washington is also chairperson of East Harlem’s Community Board 11. The parks advocacy group will be honoring him at their annual Fall Fling on Tues., Sept. 28, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Frying Pan, at Pier 66A, W. 26th St. and the West Side Highway. Also honored at the Friends’ Fling will be Rich Caccappolo, president of the Greenwich Village Little League. Tickets start at $75 and go all the way up to $5,000, which earns the title of “Underwriter,” plus 40 tickets and recognition in the Friends’ annual report. With ticket prices like that, maybe the Friends really will be able to raise the funds to fix up Pier 40 at West Houston St. and keep it — and its $5 million in annual parking revenue for the park — from falling into the river.
Mucho Dinero for ABC No Rio:
Susan Howard, a board member at the ABC No Rio arts collective, on Rivington St. between Clinton and Suffolk Sts., tells us they’re elated that they’ve just received another $800,000 in government funds for their rebuilding project: Borough President Scott Stringer allocated $400,000 and the Department of Cultural Affairs and City Councilmember Margaret Chin each gave $200,000. This adds to the $1.65 million ABC No Rio previously got from local elected officials, plus a $1 million anonymous donation and $850,00 that they’ve raised themselves. “We’ve still got a million dollars to go” to totally fund the project, Howard noted. The added government green, she said, helps ensure that the project, which is being eyed as a two-phase job, doesn’t get stuck after the first phase, leaving only a one-story building.
Archives await his organization:
L.E.S. Slacktivist John Penley is psyched that 100 photos from his copious photo archives have been put online by N.Y.U.’s Tamiment Library. And the site’s been getting hits, with more than 1,700 people having visited it in the couple of months it’s been up. The Keith Haring Foundation has linked to it. Of course, Penley wishes more of his work was posted — or at least properly archived and captioned — since he gave the library nearly 30,000 negatives. He said he’s got “everybody” in his collection, from Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and Hell’s Angels founder Sonny Barger, to David Dinkins and Jesse Jackson. The longtime activist said he’d personally like to archive more of his work at the Tamiment — which would allow more of it to be posted online — but can’t do it for free. “Nobody can do it but me,” he said. “It’s all negatives. You’ve got to go through it step by step. The last time, they told me to pick out 100, and I archived 200. I’d do it for minimum wage.” Dr. Michael Nash, head of the Tamiment Library, said what they’ve posted online of Penley’s work is technically called “an exhibition.” He said Penley’s collection fits in well along with the Squatter Archives, which have been housed at the library for the past half-dozen years. “John captured so much about the squatters movement,” Nash said of the activist’s archives. “It really reflects Penley’s interest in the Lower East Side over a 20-year period. His work really captures the era. Things like the Tompkins Square massacre [sic] and all the political and cultural upheavals of that era.” If there actually had been a bloody Tompkins Square massacre — as opposed to the bloody park riots — we’re sure Penley would have documented that, too! As for Penley’s wanting moulah to archive, Nash said, “I understand that. Obviously, he deserves to be paid, and I wish I had the funds to do it, but I don’t. I’m hoping the situation might change. He was paid a bit before. He wasn’t paid what the time was worth.”
The Ray Report:
(Attention reader Michael Gottlieb: Please skip this item!) We were biking by Ray’s Candy Store last Sunday afternoon — yes, using the Avenue A bike lane, for all you bike-lane haters! — when we saw the man himself stepping outside for a moment and got the latest news. Ray informed us that progress is, in fact, being made on his fire-protection system for his Belgian fries: A chimney pipe all the way up to the roof, as well as a hood over his deep fryer have been installed. All that’s needed now is the actual, foam-spraying Ansul system. But the guy installing all of this for Ray always seems to disappear for two or three weeks at a time, before finally showing up to do the work. Speculation is he’s focusing on more lucrative jobs in the meantime. At any rate, it sounds like Ray will be a’fryin’ again pretty soon. Before we go on any further, we’d like to note that a number of readers were rubbed the wrong way by Michael Gottlieb’s recent letter in which he accused us of giving Ray too much coverage. A typical response was (of Gottlieb), “Who is this guy???!!!” Pro-Ray readers say the egg cream maestro deserves all the coverage he can get since he’s an East Village institution of so many years. Speaking of longevity, although Ray generously gives away hot dogs and coffee to the needy, he hasn’t lasted on Avenue A since 1974 without playing hardball when necessary. He said he’s still seeing long lines outside the new NYC ICY store across the street. So, in his latest strategy against the upstart, Ray said he’s planning to paint a NYC ICY sign of his own on his store’s canopy. He said he knows a trademark rights expert and asked him to check out if Suzie Leeds of NYC ICY and her husband actually own the name. Ray said he found out they don’t, so it’s going to go up on his storefront, which could cause some icy confusion that could benefit him. “I AM NYC ICY!” Ray declared. Maybe he’s taking this a bit personally? Ray asked one of his usual sign painters to go ahead and do the deed, but she declined, apparently having qualms. This icy standoff is not for the faint of heart. We left a message for Leeds at her store, but didn’t hear back by press time. Perhaps, she was busy working on her top-secret recipe for the world’s first-ever dog icy, which — if she’s able to pull it off — would ratchet up the Avenue A icy stakes even further, not to mention, revolutionize icies as we now know them.