Volume 81, Number 13ß | August 25 -31, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Photo by Scoopy
Williamsburg rapper Ease DaMan, above, was hanging outside a basketball tournament at Ninth St. and Avenue D Monday evening getting ready for a video shoot. He has a white dog dyed blue and a white stretch limo (not dyed blue) that he recently bought for $1,100. “I gotta push the rap life,” he said of his spiffy new wheels. On the other hand, he also has a bike he bought for $10 from a guy at Essex and Rivington Sts. He said he digs the Lower East Side’s community feeling. He recently enjoyed meeting Clayton Patterson and offered to buy his signature, embroidered skull baseball cap for $300 but the L.E.S. documentarian declined. Ease’s new single, “Average Size Penis,” is set to...umm...drop this week.
O’Toole E.R. hearing:
According to a spokesperson for North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, efforts are underway to schedule a public hearing in September on the planned stand-alone emergency department and comprehensive care center that the regional health giant plans at the former St. Vincent’s O’Toole Building on W. 12th St. On June 30, North Shore-L.I.J. filed a certificate of need with the state Department of Health for the facility, and a public hearing is part of the review process. North Shore-L.I.J. hopes to open the new Village facility within two years from now.
As we recently reported, East Villager Chris Solarz broke the Guinness World Record for combined marathon times on seven continents. Now, he’s once again aiming to push his body (and this time, his bladder, too) to the limit, and shatter another mark, right in his own nabe. On Sat., Sept. 3, the elite endurance athlete, as part of a team of 12 individuals, will essay to surpass the current Guinness World Record of 102 bars visited in 24 hours, set by a nine-member Ocean City, Maryland, team in Chicago two years ago. The epic crawl (which will, no doubt, raise the aggravation of haters of such events to record levels) will start Saturday morning at the International Bar, on First Ave. near Seventh St. Solarz’s team plans on “maintaining an aggressive pace of one bar every five minutes during serving hours.” Under the rules, one drink must be purchased and consumed by one team member in each bar. The bar’s owner or bartender must sign a witness log to attest to the consumed beverage. Teams are not allowed to take private transportation, and must arrive at and depart from each bar on foot. The East Village’s 10003 zip code has 474 establishments licensed to sell alcohol — more than any other in the U.S. In spots with the highest concentration of bars, many residents and Community Board 3 call this “oversaturation,” but for Solarz and his team it’s pub crawl paradise. In past months, they “have plotted every licensed venue in the East Village and determined an optimal route, taking operating hours into account.” Sounding extremely confident, Solarz said, “Logistics is the key to a marathon event like this. Finding sweet spots — like St. Mark’s between First Ave. and Avenue A with 16 unique bars — is going to make this event as easy as it can be.” In addition, teammate Ivan Wanat said, as part of their game plan, after careful study and “testing,” they’ve decided to order Bud Light because “it’s probably the most common beer available, and it’s relatively light with a low alcohol content.” In a pre-pub crawl throwdown, Wanat declared, “Ocean City is a pleasant but sleepy village. But a record of this magnitude belongs in New York City — the Capital of the World.” Talk about sure of themselves, the team has even registered the phrase The Greatest Pub Crawl of All Time™ for what they’re vowing to pull off. (Well, Scoopy has just trademarked Pubapalooza™ — so there!). For more information, follow them on Twitter at @RecordPubCrawl .
On the wagon:
Meanwhile, as the pub performance athletes drink, we mean, train...we hear L.E.S. Jewels, Avenue A “gutter pirate” célèbre, is kicking butt on his sobriety — about 20 days and counting as of last Friday night. A budding filmmaker is even documenting his effort to turn over a new leaf. Hang in there, man. You can do it.
Magical mystery (misinformation) tour:
The noise emanating from tour buses is all too familiar to Downtown residents. However, if it’s any comfort, the racket the vehicles’ passengers are exposed to is actually worse — way worse. We recently found ourselves actually riding on a City Sights double-decker bus when a friend’s parents visited from out of town. Our tour guide sounded like Marge Simpson and her mic sounded worse than the subway P.A. system. The result was that a group of sari-wearing passengers from India and a senior couple from Boston could be seen clamping their hands over their ears, vainly trying to block out the aural attack. And then there was...the accuracy issue. For starters, our guide said the Farley General Post Office on W. 33rd St. is open around the clock. (Yeah, uhh, it’s been closed nights for more than two years now.) Then, as we motored down Seventh Ave. South, she announced Tiger Woods had just purchased an $18 million townhouse on Charles St. (All we could find is that a year ago there were rumors the dallying duffer had moved into the Printing House condo at Hudson and Leroy Sts. — but it was only a lookalike who enjoyed playing golf.) The bus stopped at the Tiles for America memorial at Greenwich Ave., and she encouraged everyone to take photos of it, calling it a “fab memorial.” (O.K., we agreed with her on that one.) But as the bus drove on, passing tiny Churchill Park, at Sixth Ave. and Bleecker St., our intrepid guide noted it’s named that way “because Winston’s mom lived [nearby] at 10 Downing St.” Hmm, no...it’s named that way because former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern thought it was cute because (the New York City, not the London!) Downing St. is next to the park. (Frank McCourt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer DID live on our Downing St.) As the coach — oh, boy — continued down Bleecker St., she derided its historic tenements as “overpriced dumps.” And she explained to the tourists, “Everything can stay open all night in Greenwich Village — it’s not like Times Square where they have rules,” adding, “Greenwich Village is the most happening neighborhood.” (Well, at least that’s true!) She actually was surprisingly accurate in describing Soho’s cast-iron architecture. Yet she also gave conflicting information and suggestions on Chinatown’s famous knockoff designer bags. Near Times Square at the trip’s start, she said while people do go down to Canal St. to buy hot bags, they can just as well go to the Fashion District information kiosk and learn about sample sales that are “just as good.” But as we neared Canal St., she couldn’t help blurting out, “The legit bags are on street. But if a little lady comes up to you and wants to take you into a back room or a truck, go with her — that’s where you get the good buys!” (Would this tour guide be fined under Councilmember Margaret Chin’s new handbag bill for aiding and abetting a knockoff purchase? How about for spewing criminally inaccurate tour information?) To top it off, at the ride’s end, our in-the-know guide said when the World Trade Center came down there were no survivors. (Hey, guide, F.Y.I. — while 2,752 died in the terror attack, in fact, tens of thousands thankfully escaped the towers alive.) … We later bumped into another City Sights tour guide in Tompkins Square Park and asked him if they get any training — or at least are urged not to make stuff up. “Yeah, it’s like a two-hour training session,” he said. “They teach you all the important stuff — the Chrysler Building... .” So maybe then the question should be: Who’s giving the training? … Seriously, our guide seemed like a nice person, but she really needs a refresher session.