Volume 73, Number 46 | March 17 -23, 2004

Scoopy’s notebook

Dean’s new dream: Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean will appear at New School University on Fri., March 19, at 11:15 a.m. to talk about his plans for a new grassroots organization. New School University president Bob Kerrey will introduce the governor. The event will be held at Tishman Auditorium, 66 W. 12th St.

Ready to wed: Two weeks ago City Councilmember Margarita Lopez didn’t participate in the press conference at which Council Speaker Gifford Miller called on Mayor Bloomberg to order City Clerk Victor Robles to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Lopez said it wasn’t fair to put that pressure on Robles. Instead, Lopez tells us she’ll do it. She says she checked the state Domestic Relations Law and found a section under which localities can authorize the designation of several marriage officers to perform weddings. She wants to be one, and has submitted a request to the Council, which she said must then draft and pass legislation to allow this to happen. Asked if she would pronounce people “husband and husband” or “wife and wife,” Lopez said it’s not at all about gender language. “This is a contractual agreement between two people,” she said. “And in this agreement there are 1,000 benefits.” Lopez said if she starts performing marriages and it’s determined to be illegal, she won’t stop and is willing to be arrested.

Hudson Sq. chocolate: Already famous in DUMBO, Jacques Torres will be opening a chocolate factory in a 7,800-sq.-ft. Trinity Real Estate-owned space at King and Hudson Sts. this summer. Being billed as “Rube Goldberg (after the newspaper cartoonist whose panel featured complicated mechanical inventions) meets Willa Wonka,” everything in the factory will be visible, and will also be visible from the street. People can watch the entire process from fermenting cocoa beans to making chocolate bars, and there will be maps and diagrams showing the route that cocoa takes to get to Hudson Sq. from around the world. Laura Lehrman and Andria Chin of Fern Berman Communications said it promises to be a big tourist attraction.

Ranking, shmanking: That was New York University’s response to snagging the top “dream” college spot on a Princeton Review survey released March 15. The university placed before No. 2 Harvard and No. 3 Stanford University in the survey of 3,036 college applicants and 303 parents conducted between August 2003 and February 2004. But N.Y.U. spokesperson John Beckman wasn’t gloating. “I say the same thing whether N.Y.U. is ranked number one in a survey or number 100, which is rankings are a device to sell magazines,” Beckman said in a telephone interview. If N.Y.U. was even the teeniest bit pleased with its top ranking, Beckman didn’t let on. He said students must look carefully at each of their college choices and decide which institution is the best for them. “N.Y.U. is a fabulous institution — that doesn’t make it right for everyone,” Beckman said.

Jeeves, my ankh, please: Archaeologists from New York University, the University of Pennsylvania and Yale have discovered finds in Egypt that confirm the theory of sacrificial burials of courtiers at First Dynasty (ca. 2959-2775 BC) royal tombs and enclosures. The custom has been suggested by Egyptologists since the late 19th century but has never been proven until now. The dig in Abydos, eight miles from the Nile, also discovered two new mortuary enclosures and the royal owner of one has been positively identified. The N.Y.U.-Pennsylvania-Yale expedition has been conducted by Lila Acheson Wallace of Egyptian Art and Archeology, Institute of Fine Arts at N.Y.U., Dr. David O’Connor of Pennsylvania University and Dr. William Kelly Simpson of Yale.

Corrections: In an article in last week’s Villager on New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent, the headline incorrectly implied that he plans to stay at the job beyond his current contract. However, according to Times spokesperson Toby Usnik, “Okrent plans to leave the job in 15 months when his contract runs out.” The public editor position will continue to exist at The Times, however… In an article on the proposed Hudson Yards/stadium development plans in The Villager of March 3, the name of the group fighting both the city plan and the Hell’s Kitchen Hudson Yards Alliance plan was wrong. The correct name is the West Side Coalition and its Web site petition is at www.SaveTheWestSide.org.


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