Volume 81, Number 22 | November 3 - 9, 2011
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Holy send-off for blogger:
A memorial Mass for Bob Arihood was held Saturday at Church of the Most Holy Redeemer on E. Third St. Certainly, the unexpected freak slush storm might have kept some folks away, but two-dozen hardy friends of the beloved East Village blogger turned out to pay their respects. Arihood’s best friend, Mike Falsetta, said Arihood wasn’t Catholic, but was raised Methodist, though wasn’t religious at all. The Avenue A / Tompkins Square Park documentarian, however, did know Holy Redeemer’s priest and some of its parishioners, who felt it was fitting to give him a formal sendoff in the magnificent church, which was once the city’s German Catholic cathedral — equivalent to the “German St. Patrick’s.” Arihood’s front door faced the church’s back door. Falsetta said the blogger’s friend Jack was there, along with “a couple of the Avenue A characters,” but notably not L.E.S. Jewels, one of Arihood’s favorite subjects. Falsetta has added a new intro to Arihood’s blog Neither More Nor Less and may add more to it in the near future. He said Arihood’s brother, as his closest surviving relative, will inherit Bob’s expensive photo equipment. As for Arihood’s voluminous photo archives of East Village street life, Falsetta said the hope is to give it to someplace where it will be publicly accessible, such as the New York Public Library. There are also plans in the works for a photo show sometime next year. A day or possibly two before he died at home of a heart attack, Arihood had covered the big Occupy Wall Street march up to Union Square where about 80 protesters were arrested by police in a chaotic scene. He had marched all the way up from Zuccotti Park with them, then, after the arrests, went back down by subway to Zuccotti, and covered the goings-on there for several more hours before finally heading home. He had already been complaining of chest pains three days before the march, but suspected his asthma medicine might have been the cause, Falsetta said. Eerily presciently, the street-hardened blogger had told him if he did have a heart attack on the march, there would be plenty of police and emergency vehicles trailing the O.W.S. contingent, so they’d just scoop him up and safely get him to a hospital. Bob actually had recently dropped 45 pounds and was down to 270 and watched his blood pressure and cholesterol, his buddy noted. Falsetta said he and Bob’s brother will make sure N.M.N.L. remains up on the Web, along with Bob’s photos-only blog, Nadie Se Conoce. “We’ll hopefully keep them up for the next 40 or 50 years — as long as we’re alive,” Falsetta said.
Yippie! Out of jail!
Dana Beal is out of jail thanks to a heart attack. The Bleecker St. Yippie icon was recently sentenced to an additional year and a half in jail in his Wisconsin pot case. But after he was removed from the general prison population and put in a holding cell in September as a prelude to being transferred to the big house, as Beal put it, “I went up and died on them.” In mid-October, the longtime medical marijuana advocate was taken under guard to St. Mary’s Hospital where he had open-heart surgery and two stents put in. At this point, Beal, 64, is expecting to get out of jail with time served — 300 days, nearly a year — and with a few years’ probation. Speaking to us on Wednesday from Madison, where he’s staying with friends of friends, he said he’s feeling better after recovering from surgery. “I just want to come back to New York and resume a quiet life doing Ibogaine work,” he said. “I obviously can’t get caught again moving large loads of pot across the country.” At his sentencing, Beal argued that he provided cheap pot to patients who needed it, like people suffering from AIDS and cancer. “People can’t afford $15 a gram,” he stressed. “People need $5 a gram. That’s why I’ve been a mainstay in New York for all these years.” Beal still has to face charges — he hopes before the end of the year — in a similar Nebraska case where he was caught hauling pot cross-country from California in a van.
Show him the money:
To hear Anthony Martucci tell it, the Parks Department is still jerking him around. Still, the contractor is making good on his vow to finish the renovation of Washington Square Park’s southwestern quadrant. Parks still isn’t forking over the money it owes him, though, Martucci said, with the four-month-late payments stuck in “audit” limbo. In his latest e-mail plea for help, Martucci said the section’s new plantings will be finished on Thursday, but that he’s still waiting for the supplier to bring in the fences and bollards he needs to install at the southwest corner entrance and along the park’s edge. “But payments still nowhere in site,” Martucci said. “I don’t understand where the money is.”
In last week’s article on the Community Board 2 vote on the Rudin residential plan for the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site, Shino Tanikawa, a P.S. 3 parent, was incorrectly identified as a P.S. 41 parent. … Also, Tobi Bergman, C.B. 2 Parks Committee chairperson, pointed out that our item last week on the reopening of Seravalli Playground incorrectly stated that it had been closed for the water-shaft boring project connecting to the new Third City Water Tunnel. In fact, he noted, that project only occurred on about one-third of the Hudson St. playground, and the playground was closed for its own renovation.
Jim Power, the “Mosaic Man,” called to say he’s psyched that Tompkins Square Bagels will be opening on Avenue A in the next week and, most of all, that it will be sporting a 12-foot-long mosaic sign by him. But, wait — that’s not all! He also just snagged the job to do the exterior of the new Bean coffee shop, at the corner of E. Third St. and Second Ave. He was cooking up elaborate plans for it, with tropical birds all down Third St., but the cost was nearing $50,000, which was a bit high. We’re sure it will be stimulating. Ka-ching! ... Finally — and we think this is the coolest one — Power said he’ll be adding our newspaper’s name to his East Village “Information Pole” streetlight. “The Villager’s definitely going up,” he said.