Volume 81, Number 21 | October 27 - November 2, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
We hear from a reliable source that Occupy Wall Street will “participate” in the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. “Originally they were going to occupy it, but then the organizers found out and invited them to join,” our source tells us. (How exactly do you occupy a parade, anyway? A moving occupation?) … When we were down at Zuccotti Park not too long ago, we were tipped off about a potentially far more audacious action. “You haven’t seen anything yet,” we were told by one occupier on the sanitation crew who was sweeping up the site and seemed to be in the know. “You know what it is? They’re going to block the Marathon at four locations. They expect 100,000 people coming for that. There’ll be lots of police on duty for that. I hope they don’t do it, because I love it,” the guy confessed to us. He said the points the occupiers would block the famed footrace reportedly include one spot in Williamsburg and also at 59th St. in Manhattan. That could definitely put a crimp in runners’ times, if what he said is true. However, other people we spoke to at Zuccotti didn’t know anything about any planned occupation of the Marathon, set to step off on Sun., Nov. 6 — as opposed to the marathon occupation ongoing at the Lower Manhattan park.
Kinky mortgage scam:
Don MacPherson is still publishing his Soho Journal magazine — and he and his wife, Carrie Coakley, are still facing hard time in the slammer for their alleged role in a $50 million Hamptons mortgage scam more than two years ago. Robert Clifford, a spokesperson for the Suffolk County district attorney, told us last week: “The case is pending. However, the indictment was consolidated earlier this year and Mr. MacPherson faces four counts of insurance fraud in the third degree and six counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree. Carrie Coakley is charged with first-degree grand larceny and scheme to defraud in the first degree. It is scheduled for a pretrial court conference next month.” According to the D.A.’s charges, MacPherson got clients from a dominatrix business he owned to pose as “straw buyers” in the mortgage scams, pretending they had lucrative jobs. MacPherson has denied the S&M studio next to his Soho Journal office was a “dungeon,” but just a place used by fetish photographers to shoot people with bondage gear props or for folks to get dressed up for the annual Black and Blue Ball kinkfest, which his wife used to run, and still may for all we know. We called MacPherson last week and chatted for a while, and he sounded like he’s doing well, but he declined to comment on the record. Back in 2005, the Soho activist mulled a run for Community Board 2 chairperson before conceding the office to Maria Passannante Derr, and eventually resigned from the board not long after.
Civil in black and white:
No, Marty Tessler has not become a G-Man. His dapper black fedora was merely in the spirit of the Friends of LaGuardia Place’s “Black and White Dinner” last Wednesday evening, at A.I.A. on LaGuardia Place. Tessler and former Community Board 2 Chairperson Jo Hamilton were each honored with F.O.L.G.P.’s Community Service Award. From the sound of it, things easily could have gotten a bit, well, uncivil at the swanky soiree. In the audience was Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U. V.P. of government relations and community engagement, who, in this newspaper, recently cited a “lack of civility” at C.B. 2 when the university has presented its megadevelopment plans for its two South Village superblocks. Along with her were a couple of other university honchos. To hear Tessler tell it, the Friends’ president, Larry Goldberg, in his initial remarks, did refer to the “strips” along the edges of the superblocks, which local community groups treasure and want to preserve as open space. After years of conspicuous inertia on the strips, a few weeks ago, N.Y.U. said it wants to give the ones along LaGuardia Place and Mercer St. between Bleecker and W. Third Sts. to the Parks Department — yet wants to maintain an easement on the green spaces, allowing the university, if need be, to dig and drill down through them to repair the shells of future underground classroom spaces and so on. Needless to say, the easement idea hasn’t sat well with locals, who love their parks, gardens and playgrounds on the quirky city-owned strips. Tessler, of course, is co-chairperson of the new ad hoc group Community Action Alliance on NYU 2031, or CAAN, which has been actively fighting the school’s superblocks plans. And Hamilton, as C.B. 2 chairperson, took a harder than hard line against N.Y.U. and its expansion plans. But...things never did turn uncivil. Looking at Hurley as he spoke, Goldberg reportedly told her that the strips have to remain parks — and could even be widened. Tessler said he heard Hurley was “miffed” by the remarks. But she begged to differ. “I certainly was poked at a few times in the program, but I’d not say I was ‘miffed’ — your word,” Hurley told us. A.I.A., whose president, Rick Bell, is on the Friends’ board, provided the space for free for the event. Le Souk provided the food (Mediterranean-style chicken and lamb), wine and waitstaff, all gratis, and Wicked Willy’s bar on Bleecker St. donated the beer and soda. Tessler was a member of C.B. 2 from 1992 to 2005. He said Tony Dapolito, the board’s longtime chairperson, twice strongly urged him to run for the board’s top office, but he always declined. Tessler explained to him that his favorite movie was “The Godfather”; Dapolito responded it was his favorite, too. “I don’t want to be the don,” Tessler told him. “I want to be the consigliere, because I want people to listen to me.”
Seravalli back open:
Tobi Bergman, chairperson of Community Board 2’s Parks Committee, gave us the heads up on Wednesday that the fully renovated Seravalli Playground, at Hudson and W. 13th Sts., has finally reopened. The playground was shut for several years for a project drilling a water shaft down to the new Third City Water Tunnel.
After years living together as common-law husband and wife, L.E.S. documentarian Clayton Patterson and Elsa Rensaa have finally tied the knot. They did it Downtown at the new marriage bureau at the former D.M.V. office. Artist Nico Dios was best man and Troy Harris, co-creator of the new L.E.S. hip-hop documentary film, “No Place Like Home,” took photos. “The world needs to have things in bites they can understand,” Patterson said of why they finally decided to conform to the norm. Rensaa wore blue jeans from 1961, a velvet jacket “and a Clayton hat, of course.” Patterson had on his Armani jacket, Varvatos sneakers, Sol Moscot glasses and Clayton cap. Patterson gave high marks to the marriage bureau, which keeps the nuptials rolling smoothly. “It’s really well done,” he said. “They have computerized, digital numbers — it’s like an airport.” Rensaa is keeping her name, since it’s too much hassle to change it on everything.
Reader Joe Preston e-mailed us: “I love Scoopy’s Notebook, but was wondering what a certain small comment about Jackie Curtis meant. Jackie had passed away in 1985, and I was puzzled about the statement that read something about a ‘drag tour de force performance by Jackie Curtis.’ ” Preston was referring to our (unfortunate) item in last week’s column. In fact, that was Justin Bond incredibly channeling Jackie Curtis at La MaMa’s 50th anniversary gala. Along with pals Candy Darling and Holly Woodlawn, Jackie — who lived in the East Village (then known to all as the Lower East Side) — was immortalized in Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”: Jackie is just speeding away, Thought she was James Dean for a day, Then I guess she had to crash, Valium would have helped that bash, She said: Hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side... Doo, doo, doo... .