Volume 81, Number 20 | October 20 - 26, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Took a walk on wild side:
Village activist Sharon Woolums tells us that she saw rocker Lou Reed down at Zuccotti Park recently mingling with the Occupy Wall Streeters. She said she tried to take some photos of him, but the singer of “Sweet Jane” fame was “moving too fast.”
Politics to housing:
After six years as City Councilmember Rosie Mendez’s chief of staff, Lisa Kaplan has returned to the nonprofit housing sector and will be working at Neighborhood Restore. Kaplan is a former chairperson of Community Board 3 and has been a leading member of Coalition for a District Alternative, Mendez’s political organization. Her last day on the job with Mendez was Oct. 14. The East Village councilmember’s new chief of staff is Jessica Nepomiachi and her new deputy chief of staff is Vanessa Diaz Lopez.
N.Y.U. dean scandal:
A Saturday New York Post article reported that James Stuckey had voluntarily quit his post the day before as president of the city’s Public Design Commission “two weeks after he abruptly quit his job as dean of N.Y.U.’s Schack Institute of Real Estate. University spokesperson Paola Curcio-Kleinman said Stuckey quit for ‘health’ reasons,” according to the Post. However, the Post said it was preparing to reveal that Stuckey, in fact, had been ousted by N.Y.U. after school officials confronted him about accusations he had sexually harassed women at the university. In addition, according to the daily tab, Stuckey was previously booted from developer Forest City Ratner in early 2007 for inappropriate conduct with subordinate female employees. Why would N.Y.U. even hire this guy based on his track record of harassment? Did he really, as the N.Y.U. spokesperson claimed, quit for “health reasons?” In response to our questions to N.Y.U.’s press department, we got a response back from Curcio-Kleinman, who is, in fact, the executive director of strategic marking and communications for the N.Y.U. School of Continuing and Professional Studies. “Jim Stuckey is no longer an employee of the N.Y.U. School of Continuing and Professional Studies,” she said. “He resigned as divisional dean of the N.Y.U. Schack Institute of Real Estate on Sept. 30. Rosemary Scanlon, the director of academic affairs and clinical associate professor of economics, has assumed the role of interim divisional dean of the N.Y.U. Schack Institute of Real Estate. Former N.Y.U. Schack divisional dean Kenneth Patton will serve as a special adviser to N.Y.U. Schack during this period of transition. We look forward to focusing on the needs of our students and to continuing to deliver the high quality of education they expect. We have no further comment on this story.”
Long live La MaMa!
It’s been exciting times over at La MaMa. Sunday, an honorary street co-naming sign in honor of the experimental theater’s late legendary founder, Ellen Stewart, was unveiled at the corner of Second Ave. and E. Fourth St., accompanied by a blowout block party and “worldwide bell-ringing.” Stewart was famous for ringing a bell to signal her approval at performances. Then, Monday night was the theater’s 50th anniversary gala, featuring the first annual Ellen Stewart Award presented to playwright Sam Shepard. Shepard couldn’t attend since he was on location working on a movie in another state, but he gave his thanks — and his memories of Stewart — in a video tribute. Also giving a video tribute was actor Harvey Keitel, who fondly remembered his first role at La MaMa — a dog with no speaking lines — and how Stewart had sewn a button on his costume before he took the stage. There were performances, including a drag tour de force by Justin Bond channeling Jackie Curtis and a reading of Wallace Shawn’s “The Hotel Play” with a cast of a dozen, including Julia Stiles, as well as a reading of a section of “Torch Song Trilogy” by Estelle Parsons and John Kelly. Taylor Mac also wowed the crowd with his own musical stylings, and there was a sneak preview of the music of “La Mama Cantata,” directed by Elizabeth Swados, performed by a cast of rising young stars and featuring decades of Stewart’s quotations.
Still on the sports beat:
Speaking of Julia Stiles, we recently were pleasantly surprised to get a call from her mom, Judith Stiles. It was toward the end of baseball’s regular season, and the Yankees had already clinched the division; the Yanks decided to give minor league pitching prospect Dellin Betances some experience up in the bigs — and he didn’t disappoint, contributing to a shutout. On the recommendation of David McWater of the L.E.S. Gauchos baseball team, Judith had profiled Dellin for us back in May 2007, when he was known as the “Loisaida Baby Unit.” Back then, at age 19, he was already 6 feet 9 inches tall and throwing a 97-mile-per-hour heater and had been drafted by the Bronx Bombers. We’d been keeping our eye on the sports pages all this season looking for news about him, since Betances had been mentioned in the preseason as possibly playing a role with the Yanks this year. Looks like he’s making his way. And if A.J. Burnett doesn’t turn things around next year... . We’ll see. As for Judith, she said she’s busy up on the Cape with a successful pottery business. Still, we’re hoping we can lure her back to writing local sports for us, at least on a part-time basis.