Volume 74, Number 13 | July 28 - August 03 , 2004
Were Shocked, Shocked! Perry Criscitelli, the head of the annual San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy, was identified as a made member of the Bonanno crime family in the federal trial last month of Joseph C. Massimo. Criscitelli, owner of four Mulberry St restaurants, has been president of the San Gennaro group since 1996, when he was approved by a monitor installed by then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani to rid the festival of organized crime. Criscitelli owns Da Nico, a Mulberry St. restaurant that was a favorite of Giulianis when he was mayor. According to stories in the New York Post and the New York Times, Richard Cantarella testified that he saw Criscitelli inducted into the Mafia by Massimo. Criscitelli told the Post he was not associated with anybody or any organization. Mayor Bloomberg promised an investigation and declared the effort to rid San Gennaro of organized crime was as strong as ever. Waiters who answered the phones at Da Nico and at Il Palazzo and Pellegrinos, also owned by Criscitelli, said the owner was not available on Tuesday night.
Green victory: After being alerted by Community Board 3 that a community garden on E. First St. and a spot on E. Third St. that has been used for years as a play space by local children were set to be auctioned by the city, Councilmember Margarita Lopez worked with the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to get the properties pulled off the block. Said David McWater, Board 3s new chairperson, I cant say we can take all the credit. Margarita really made it happen. He noted that it was the first really cool thing the boards gotten done since he was elected.
Got hooks? In response to an article in The Villagers recent Meat Market issue in which insiders claimed Stephen Hanson, owner of Vento trattoria in the Triangle Building, used his connections at City Hall to move a bus stop from in front of his new sidewalk cafe, Hanson said it wasnt really like that. He noted if he really had any hooks, he really would have gotten the bus stop moved and that it was only moved about 20 ft. to the south. However, that still means the bus now stops in front of the entrance of a wine bar, and not Hansons cafe tables.
Mellower meat: David Rabin, co-owner of Lotus on 14th St., plans to open a new place across the street in October. Smaller, it will seat 120 people, in 1,800 sq. ft., as opposed to Lotuss 10,000 sq. ft. It will be a more mellow place, said Rabin, with the focus on excellent drinks. All-fresh juices will be used as well as special ice for different drinks shaved, big chunks and so forth. Some have been calling it 14Bar, but Rabin said theres no name yet. There will be no cover charge, he said.
Movin in, movin out: According to The New York Post, Star Wars princess Natalie Portman, 23, is taking a $6 million condo in the latest Richard Meier-designed luxury tower, currently under construction, at 165 Charles St. The Post also reports that Martha Stewart just sold her place at 173-176 Perry St., one of the two already-built Meier towers well, shes already got a place to stay for the next five months, anyway, so
Token gesture: The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has nominated 19 New York City subway stations for inclusion in the State and National Registers of Historic Places, four of them in Lower Manhattan and the Village. The June 24 nominations include stations on the 4 and 5 lines at Wall St., City Hall, Bleecker St. and Astor Pl. Eight other Manhattan stations were also nominated: 33rd St. on the 4 and 5 lines, Times Sq., Columbus Circle, 72nd St., 79th St., 110th St., 116th St. and Dyckman St. on the 1 and 9 lines, all among the oldest in the city subway system. The other station nominations are for Brooklyn and Queens locations.
Skate safe: The outdoor roller rink at Pier 62 at Chelsea Piers will be the site of a free Summer Safety Skate to teach families inline skating safety tips and offer advice. Sponsored by Childrens Hospital of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Horizon Healthcare and radio station Z100, the event will take place on Aug. 7, from 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Horizon Healthcare will give away free skating helmets to the first 100 children to arrive. Paragon Sporting Goods will also be handing out free giveaways and shopping coupons, as well as the opportunity to try the latest line of Rollerblades. Admission is free, with skate rental additional.