Volume 80, Number 26 | November 25 - December 1, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

Photo by Jefferson Siegel

‘Hey, Regis — check it out!’
Last Thursday was Juror Appreciation Day at Manhattan Supreme Court. An annual celebration saluting New York City jurors, guest celebrities filling the courtroom jury box included Kelly Ripa, Jimmy Fallon, Tom Brokaw, Ralph Lauren, Julianna Margulies, America Ferrera and Julia Stiles. The celebrities themselves were called for jury duty in the past year. Ripa, above, held up her certificate of appreciation outside Manhattan Supreme Court.

McNally pulls out:
In September, we reported that superstar restaurateur Keith McNally was retooling his plans for a new eatery at Greenwich Ave. and W. 10th St. after neighbors objected to having a Pulino’s Cafe at the location. At the time, we were hearing McNally had agreed instead to make the place — the fire-gutted, former Village Paper Party Store — a more upscale (read “sophisticated and subdued”) Balthazar Cafe, a spinoff of his popular Soho bistro on Spring St., rather than an offshoot of his new Pulino’s Bar & Pizzeria (read “younger and noisier”) on the Bowery. But now there’s not going to be any offshoot, spinoff or anything else there by McNally. “McNally has withdrawn the application and is no longer considering that location,” Richard Stewart, vice chairperson of Community Board 2’s S.L.A. Licensing Committee, tells us. “But I can tell you that Carlos Suarez of Bobo restaurant [at 181 W. 10th St.] has taken the lease and has just finalized an agreement with the neighborhood association, and C.B. 2 has approved his application for a beer-and-wine license.” Suarez actually initially had the inside track on the one-story building, and even sweetened the pot by saying he’d have a rooftop garden for use by students from nearby P.S. 41 — but he was then bumped by McNally. As for why McNally withdrew, Stewart said, “He claimed there was too much community opposition, though stipulations [on the restaurant’s operation] had been agreed on by the neighborhood association.”

Sorry, Ed:
In other eatery news, we hear some action is “brewing” at the former Joe Jr. burger joint location at Sixth Ave. and W. 12th St., specifically, that a Brazilian coffee-and-sandwich shop will be opening there shortly on Dec. 1. We have this information from a well-placed source, but it’s hard to confirm, she said, because the place’s windows are covered with newspaper. The main question is will the new shop be able to survive the late Ed Gold’s curse — his wish that his former beloved “headquarters” remain empty for eternity, to spite the landlord for prohibitively raising Joe Jr.’s rent? Only time will tell.

Ed pegged it:
Speaking of Ed Gold, at his memorial the other week, Community Board 2 Chairperson Jo Hamilton, in her remarks, recalled how she always dreaded his annual “New Year’s Wishes” talking points in this newspaper — the ones in which he astutely skewered local leaders in a sort of written roast. She said in one such year’s-end column a few years ago, Gold pointedly penned that she should “sit down and have lunch with Andrew Berman.” Remarked Hamilton with a smile, “I’m still waiting for that phone call.” Translation: Hamilton and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation director need to mend some serious fences. Berman wasn’t at Gold’s memorial, since G.V.S.H.P. had previously scheduled for the same time an open-house loft tour of the Westbeth Artists Residence, at which 23 artists’ apartments, along with Westbeth’s public spaces, were on view. Told of Hamilton’s comments, Berman responded it was the first he’d heard them. “Not having heard it firsthand, I don’t have a comment on it,” he said. “But I think one should really focus on remembering Ed when talking about his memorial service, and not any extraneous issues.” So, we asked, will he call her? He’s not telling — at least not us. “Since I didn’t hear this comment, it would be inappropriate to respond in the press,” he said.

Ever-evolving wall:
Passing by the “graffiti wall” on East Houston St. by the Bowery on Tuesday we did a double take when we saw it apparently had been “bombed” by taggers yet again, now covered with giant silver bubble letters. (Just last week we had a photo of the wall on the East Villager’s front page when it was still covered with Barry McGee’s piece of scores of legendary graffitists’ tags written in red.) More to the point, how could a tagger have created such huge, 20-foot-high, bubble letters? we wondered. Billy Leroy, he of the antiques-and-props tent next door, explained, “That’s a legal tag. It’s a tribute to Dash Snow. They used a fire-extinguisher technique. One of Barry McGee’s pals did it. The new mural starts tomorrow. The artist’s name is Kenny Scharf. He is from L.A. but has been a New Yorker since 1980.” Ah yes, Billy knows all.

Something to SCRIE’m about:
There’s more good news for Ray of Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A. He’s got his Ansul system, he’s got his lease renewal, he got his, well, a B+++ on his Sanitary Inspection Grade, though he’s obsessed with getting an A. (Hey, two out of three ain’t bad.) Now, he’s also finally got his SCRIE, or Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption, which means his apartment rent will drop $100 a month and can’t be raised. It’s about time he got it, since he’s 77 and qualified for it 15 years ago. Ray once again is amazed by his super staffer Eryn, who not only single-handedly saws up and demolishes old refrigerators for him, but biked all the way Downtown several times to get the necessary paperwork so he could get his SCRIE.

Correction:
The article on the new High Line maintenance-and-operation building in our Progress Report section last week incorrectly stated that the Downtown Whitney Museum would be completed at the same time as the adjacent, planned “M-&-O” building, in mid-2013. While the article was correct in saying the Gansevoort St. museum’s groundbreaking is scheduled for May 2011 — just six months away! — setting the record straight, museum spokesperson Stephen Soba said, “The Whitney has no intention of completing construction by 2013. Our planned date of completion is 2015.”

 

 

 

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