Volume 80, Number 52 | May 26 - June 1, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy's Notebook

Chamber strongly backs N.S.-L.I.J. plan.:
The Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce organized a luncheon this week at Tio Pepe restaurant on W. Fourth St. near Sixth Ave. for members to hear a presentation from Bill Rudin and officials of North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System on their proposal to build the first free-standing emergency department in New York State in the O’Toole Building of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital. The chamber made no bones about its strong support for this project. Tony Juliano, the chamber’s chairperson and president, said in a statement: “The G.V.C.C.C. is strongly supportive of the N.S./L.I.J. and Rudin Managment plan for St. Vincent’s. The plan to invest more than $110 million to transform St. Vincent’s O’Toole Building into a comprehensive, free-standing E.D. will provide important medical care and bring a powerful economic engine back to our neighborhood. After more than a year on life support, the area surrounding the old St. Vincent’s will not survive much longer. If we do not act now, we will lose more small businesses, continue to limit access to healthcare for our residents, and squander an opportunity to create quality jobs.”

More Village View drug problems:
Police were called to an armed push-in robbery on Friday morning May 20 on the 9th floor of 60 First Ave., in the Village View complex, according to co-op residents. “They shut the building down but the robber was gone,” a witness said. Nevertheless, police discovered a quantity of drugs and paraphernalia in the apartment and arrested the resident. Adam Silvera, the co-op’s president, said on Wednesday that he was arranging a meeting of residents with lawyers from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. and with police about drugs in the complex. In October 2010 police made a drug-related arrest in Village View Building 2, 430 E. Sixth St. The apartment’s tenant was reportedly supplying drugs to a ring of undergraduate dealers at Columbia University, who were also subsequently arrested.

Mais oui! Hoylman and Florent:
Two weeks ago, we said the word was that Brad Hoylman would not face any competition in next month’s upcoming chairperson election at Community Board 2. Looks like the handicappers were right. Last Thursday at C.B. 2’s monthly full board meeting, the Nominating Committee “reported out” the names of candidates for board officers, and Hoylman’s was the only one for chairperson. There were no nominations from the floor for anyone else. However, there will be a race: Incumbent Bo Riccobono will face a challenge from Richard Stewart for first vice chairperson. … Not only was Hoylman psyched that his path to chairperson is clear, but he and fellow Board 2 member Florent Morellet were also pumped that the new movie directed by Hoylman’s partner, David Sigal, “Florent: Queen of the Meat Market,” was showing in the Village.

Down and out on the Bowery:
About two-dozen people gathered outside what used to be 35 Cooper Square early Wednesday evening to hold a vigil for the historic, 1825 building. Despite efforts to save the old residence — including a recent meeting with the developer brokered by City Councilmember Rosie Mendez — the demolition moved ahead quickly, leaving nothing but rubble. Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, speaking by cell phone right before the vigil got started, told us that, even though the building’s now gone, they wanted to send a message. “We’re here to call on the city to do its job and not let the history and character of the Bowery be destroyed,” the preservationist said. Asked what’s likely to be developed on the site, which includes three lots, Berman said, very likely a hotel or university dormitory, since that’s what the current zoning there encourages.

Ray rebounds:
After an incredibly tense few days for Ray’s Candy Store that saw the Department of Health order the place shut for a brief stint, the Avenue A stalwart was back open for business last week after a thorough scrubbing. Among the violations D.O.H. slapped the Belgian fries mecca with were sightings of mouse droppings. But the store stayed open one night despite the closure order — Ray said he still had to raise his rent money — and Ray got fined $2,000 as a result. But the iconic egg-cream slinger soon made it up when a production company used the hole-in-a-wall store for a film shoot and paid him $3,000, according to Bob Arihood’s Neither More Nor Less. It was only recently that Arihood restarted the blog after taking a break, and his hyperlocal coverage of Ray’s hardship had the hits going through the roof last week — he was getting thousands of them — he told us.

Hudson Square happenings:
We bumped into Phil Mouquinho as were bicycling down Charlton St. — in the bike lane, of course. The former Community Board 2 member had a new tree pit installed in the sidewalk outside his P.J. Charlton restaurant and was getting ready to plant a sapling. We asked what the latest news was on the Department of Sanitation mega-garage, and he told us that recently early one morning he’d been alerted that his whole building was “shaking” as a result of very heavy pile-driving at the Washington and Spring Sts. site. He went over, identifying himself as the leader of the Sanitation Steering Committee community group. The workers told him they had hit some foundations at the site’s north end that hadn’t been on maps, and had to bring in powerful machinery to break them up. Mouquinho recalled he’d seen 19th-century photos of the site when it had large warehouse buildings. When the area was cleared to build the St. John’s Building terminal for the High Line, these foundations must have been left behind, he figured. “We lost,” Mouquinho told us of the community lawsuit to stop the Sanitation project. But, he said, at least he felt he established a “good rapport” with the construction crew when he went over to check out the wild vibrations. … In other local news, Mouquinho said he heard that a developer is finally about to step forward for the long-stalled building at 330 Hudson St., between Vandam and Charlton Sts. Trinity Real Estate had to seal up the stately structure after a hotel developer gut-rehabbing the old building stopped midway and bailed out of the project. That previous plan had included two underground floors of retail and six floors of commercial space, plus a new hotel added on top. Mouquinho said when he was a boy it was the Jujyfruits building and neighborhood kids would go over and grab bunches of the candy and gobble them down and throw them around. Hey, maybe when the project is finally done it could be called The Jujyfruit. …

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