Volume 80, Number 50 | May 12 - 18, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Brad’s the man:
About a year ago, we heard some names being tossed around as possible candidates for Community Board 2 chairperson. But now we’re just hearing one, Brad Hoylman, and the word is he won’t face any opposition when C.B. 2 votes at its full-board meeting on Thurs., May 19, at P.S. 130, 143 Baxter St., starting at 6 p.m. Hoylman was previously board chairperson for a couple of years before the two-year stint of current chairperson Jo Hamilton, who will be stepping down after June. C.B. 2 has an unofficial term limit of two years in a row for its chairpersons. A year ago, word was that David Gruber, chairperson of the board’s Arts and Institutions Committee, was interested in running for the board’s top spot. But there’s been a change of plans. “I’m going to run for vice chairperson,” Gruber told us last week. “I have so many other commitments, I couldn’t justify it. I own several businesses and I’m on other boards. There’s just so many other things that I can manage.” Gruber said he consults and also does “real estate stuff.” We had to ask the question: Did he put off a run for chairperson because, well, Hoylman is too much competition, as in, basically unbeatable? “It wasn’t competition,” Gruber answered. “He’s a colleague. We will run the board as a team. We work very, very well as a team and will continue to do this.” Tobi Bergman, one of the board’s most respected members, told us he’s not planning to run for chairperson. We hear Bo Riccobono, the current vice chairperson, isn’t running for the higher office, either. Meanwhile, being board chairperson again could help Hoylman if he plans to run for Christine Quinn’s Third Council District seat (Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen), in 2013, after which she’ll have to step down due to term limits — that is, unless there’s another bizarre extension of term limits, like the last time around.
Hoylman confirmed he’s running for the board’s top spot, but didn’t offer any further comments at this point.
Parkie’s point of view:
Speaking of Bergman, C.B. 2’s Parks Committee chairperson, last week we asked him his thoughts about the recent Parks Department crackdown on loud music and “mass gatherings” in Washington Square Park, which has seen some performers get slapped with $250 fines for having a crowd of more than 20 people without a permit. Bergman didn’t look happy at all about it. Music and performances, “that’s what Washington Square is all about,” he said. “Maybe it should be 50 people,” he suggested of the regulation, with a smile.
Soho Pharmacy — winning???
We were using the A.T.M. machine at Soho Pharmacy, at Sixth Ave. and Walker St. (in Tribeca not Soho, but who cares?), when we looked up and saw a typical celebrity-and-employee photo on the wall with what looked like none other than a bearded Charlie Sheen. We asked around and no one was exactly sure if it was Sheen. But someone eventually said the other man in the photo was the pharmacy owner’s son “Sonny,” who is a big movie star in Vietnam and usually visits for two weeks each year.
Plan’s a bit less Grand:
Last week’s article on Community Board 3 issues incorrectly reported that a Youthmarket would operate at two spots on Grand St. on the Lower East Side. In fact, one of the proposed locations — between Pitt St. and East Broadway — was dropped from consideration some weeks ago. C.B. 3 voted to approve the other location, on Grand St. between Pitt St. and Bialystoker Place.
We’re informed by Bob Perl that this year’s HOWL! Festival, from June 3-5, actually coincides with the birthday (June 3) of the legendary Allen Ginsberg, after whose famed poem the fest is named. Perl’s specialty at HOWL! is the Art Around the Park event, during which Tompkins Square Park’s fence is festooned with cool artwork by local artists — and, of course, that gnarly pig head that someone always puts there each year.
LA II, at your service:
At Friday night’s opening party for the exhibit at Clayton Patterson’s Outlaw Gallery on Essex St. — one of the more than 100 local venues that participated in the New Museum’s Festival of Ideas — we bumped into LA II. The L.E.S. graffiti legend corrected us that he had actually spent 31, not 30, days in jail (as we reported last week) after his latest graffiti bust. He added that he also got hit with 10 days’ community service, so he’s using his skills to LA II-ify the skateboard park on 12th St. between First Ave. and Avenue A. He already got funky on the park’s five basketball backboards, and on Tuesday afternoon was set to paint a mural on the wall there. “I got a park — LA Park — and all the kids gonna come,” he said proudly. Unlike his pal Chico, LA II said he doesn’t do his murals from a preplanned sketch. “It comes out of my mind,” he said. He has a beautiful new girlfriend, Ramona, whom he met three months ago, and he plans to open an “LA II Gallery” at her AAA Glass Shop Plus at 528 E. 11th St. between Avenues A and B.
Oh blog di, oh blog da:
In good news for his many fans, after an eight-month hiatus, Bob Arihood’s Neither More Nor Less blog is back. His first new post, on April 28, was a look at Jim Power, the “Mosaic Man,” in his E. Fifth St. work studio. Scoopy readers will recall that Power recently reluctantly started taking Depakote, some heavy-duty pharmacology, so that he can keep living at The Lee, the new supportive-housing building at East Houston and Pitt Sts. “Mosaic Man” remains one of Arihood’s all-time favorite subjects. The blogger told us he started N.M.N.L. several years ago with a photo of just Power’s hands, which were colored blue. And then there’s always L.E.S. Jewels, who was in classic form when we swung by Ray’s Candy Store on Avenue A Saturday evening. Arihood was getting plenty of shots of the “gutter pirate” leader as he lolled on the sidewalk or whipped out his “jewels” in the middle of car traffic on Avenue A. Pausing briefly from snapping Jewels playing with his jewels, the “Godfather of East Village bloggers” reflected, a bit fatalistically, on the state of the nabe. “It’s harder to get stories — they’ve won,” he said, referring to yuppies, gentrifiers and frat types.
Billy, books, etc.:
Biker Billy, a.k.a. Thor-Grim, was hanging out on Avenue A on Saturday night, too, and told us he really liked Fly’s PEOPS portrait of him in our last week’s issue, which recounted how he “shared a drink or two” with Janis Joplin in Tompkins Square Park and had a beer with Jim Morrison at the Kettle of Fish. “Grim! Tell me about Morrison!” Jewels called out from his seat on the sidewalk. “Morrison was drinking a torpedo,” Thor-Grim said, referring to a beer with a shot in it. “I also drank a pint of vodka with him in the park,” he said, gesturing across the street with his cane/club. Billy/Thor-Grim noted he has a new book coming out. Jim Flynn, who also stopped by, showed us a copy of his own new book, “Sidewalk Saints: Life portraits of the New Orleans street performer family.” A follow-up to his 2003 “Stranger to the System” about the Tompkins Square homeless, it’s a good, Studs Terkel-style read, the product of a year’s research and photography — D.I.Y., self-published — for just $15. Go to “Sidewalk Saints – The Book” for more information and to order.
Speaking of Ray, he now has his own “NYC ICY” sign out in front of his place — just in case the other NYC ICY is even thinking of returning to Avenue A again this summer and challenging him for cooling-treat supremacy. Ray said he’s well within his rights, he’s researched it, and the name is up for grabs. Plus, “It’s a free country,” he said.