Volume 81, Number 12 | August 18 - 24, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Brooklyn hospital closings?
A Daily News exposé on Monday about Linda Brady — president of the small, struggling Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center in Brooklyn — making a whopping $4 million in compensation in 2009 also noted, “The 326-bed facility is considered one of five Brooklyn hospitals that advocates fear is in danger of being shuttered by Governor Cuomo’s medical redesign team.” What does that mean for the chances of getting just one full-service hospital restored in Manhattan in Greenwich Village?
Eighth St. sale: We hear from a neighborhood source that Dan Birnant, who owns much of the property at the southwest corner of W. Eighth and MacDougal Sts., has put it on the market. Significantly, Birnant owns the underground space that was recently home to Love nightclub, which drew complaints from neighbors for noise and rowdiness, and where he was reportedly seeking to open yet another club. Other property owners at that corner — whose lots connect to the underground space — are also reportedly selling, raising the suspicion that a large, developer-friendly parcel is being assembled. However, despite the fact that the buildings are low-rise, the site is in the protected Greenwich Village Historic District. But then again, that didn’t stop a developer from razing a presumably protected building on Bleecker St. not too long ago. The parcel is already listed by Massey Knakal real estate brokers — asking price $12.95 million (call it an even $13 million) — with the addresses 175-179 MacDougal St. a.k.a. 40-42 W. Eighth St. Is it time to send out the Berman signal — as in contact Andrew Berman, head of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation? The property has plenty of history, with the underground space once home to the Bon Soir where Barbra Streisand made her breakthrough.
Eddie Garcia memorials: It’s hard to believe a year has gone by since Edward Garcia — the beloved Vladeck Houses children’s advocate, Santa Claus and Sol Lain youth sports league head — passed away. Last Saturday, a one-year anniversary memorial for “Fat Eddie” was held at the Primitive Church on East Broadway. Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, Councilmember Rosie Mendez and state Senator Dan Squadron all spoke, and some of the children whose lives Garcia touched also shared their memories of him and their ongoing devastation at his loss. This Saturday, another memorial for him will be held at P.S. 134 park, at East Broadway, Montgomery and Henry Sts., from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be music and basketball and local legends D.J. Sammy Sam and “uprocker” dancer Curly will be in effect.
Big in Poland: Billy Leroy of Billy’s Antiques & Props is about to become a TV sensation in Poland. The same talented bunch of young indie filmmakers who recently made the Leroy star vehicle “Dirty Old Town” have now filmed him in a Polish commercial for XL Energy Drink. Once again, the setting is his East Houston St. and Bowery antiques tent, with its cast of “unique” characters. “Some people say I’m a junk man, but from the darkest hideousness, comes greatness,” Billy intones in the bit. “Do you want to be me? I LOVE being me. I LIKE me... . I’m currently on a diet and I do gyrotonics. ... I’m not on Facebook, but I WILL BE SOON,” he says somewhat sinisterly. “Do you think dealing with people like this is easy? My life is a horror show. I need to XL myself. I need to XL my life.” (“Gyrotonics” actually does not refer to drinking gin and tonics while hanging upside down but is apparently a form of exercise invented by a former Romanian ballet dancer.) The ad features an artsy black-and-white look but with the XL cans in glowing red. What can we say — this is one heckuva commercial! As one online poster wrote: “Forget the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World. This Junk Man is the Most Interesting Man.” Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGc9GQlv3hQ&feature=youtu.be .
Correction: The photo of Mark Kramer in the July 21 Scoopy’s Notebook was not taken by Toni Dalton but by his longtime partner, Leni Schwendinger. Dalton was kind enough to send us photos of Kramer on deadline, including some of her own, but we picked that one. In the rush of closing the paper, we mistakenly assumed it was Dalton’s. We apologize for the error.
See you in September! As our editorial first reported last week, the Parks Department now does not plan to bait Tompkins Square Park with rat poison, in order to protect the park’s red-tailed hawk under the federal Migratory Bird Act. In response, a concerned Tompkins Square Park & Playgrounds Parents’ Association (TSP3A) issued the following statement: “It is incumbent upon the Parks Department to make Tompkins Square Park’s playgrounds safe for children, and that means eliminating the rats. If the Parks Department has decided not to use poison, they better have another equally effective way to exterminate the rats, and they should share that plan with the public right away. If they do not have an alternative plan, or think what they have done so far, like putting in rat-proof garbage cans and laying down wood chips, is an acceptable alternative, they are mistaken. The Parks Department can rest assured that around mid-September, TSP3A will be inviting the entire New York City media back to our playground, with their cameras in tow, to see how the Parks Department has done. If they have eliminated the rats, it will be a great day for the Parks Department and for our children. But if the situation is largely unchanged, then they will be in for a second round of embarrassment courtesy of every newspaper, television and radio news program, and news blog in the New York City metropolitan area. TSP3A is rooting for Parks and wishing them the best, but we have significant concerns. I guess we’ll all find out next month.”