Volume 74, Number 27 | November 10 - 16, 2004

Scoopy’s notebook

Anarchists may sue: Some of the two dozen anarchists whose photos were shown on TV on a segment of “Nightline” during the Republican National Convention have retained an attorney and are considering suing the New York City Police Department. The individuals were described on the news show as being “troublesome, even dangerous, anarchists who infiltrate other groups of demonstrators and then try to provoke violence.” Said East Villager Michael Shenker, “We definitely feel we’ve been smeared and maligned — and I want compensation.” Their attorney is still reviewing the videotape.

Screwed? We wanted to get the real scoop on why Al Goldstein, former Screw magazine publisher, lost his job at the 2nd Avenue Deli two weeks ago. Nat Hertzberg, a cashier and apparently also a comic, wouldn’t say but tipped us to listen to Joey Reynolds’ early-morning radio show on which he would be a guest to get the full story — but we missed the show. “Basically, things didn’t work out,” explained Jack Lebewohl, the famed deli’s owner. “Al’s a nice guy. We parted friends. It happens many times when people have had their own businesses.”

Fit for a king: When drag king Murray Hill heard it was a photographer working for The Villager who was shooting him dancing on the counter at Florent’s “High Noon” election night party, he reportedly couldn’t restrain his praise. Twice Murray put in good words for the paper, telling the audience about The Villager’s significance to the Village, both historically and for its current news and arts coverage.

Astor Pl. reflections: The ads on the side of the new luxury residential tower, Astor Place, on the former Cooper Union parking lot at Astor Pl. and Lafayette St. proclaim it “provocative” and “reflective.” Well, the new reflective green glass going up on the building’s outside certainly has provoked Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Berman called on his cell as he was passing it the other day to comment on just how non-contextual the building is with the neighborhood. “It looks horrific,” agreed Anna Sawaryn, head of the Coalition to Save the East Village, adding, “There’s glare, which could be dangerous — what if there’s a car accident?” However, David Wine, vice chairperson of Related Companies, the building’s developer, said the undulating spire — Gwathmey Siegel Architects’ first residential project — has garnered rave reviews and that the glass surface will reflect the area’s dynamic energy, as well as the historic facades of nearby buildings. As for the alleged glare, he said, it shouldn’t affect motorists, as most will be heading uptown on Lafayette St., plus the building’s top will have lots of zinc as well as glass. “Some people wanted something more like the Tribeca Grand [hotel] there, a red-brick building,” Wine noted. “This was a little bit daring, a little bit different. This is architecture.”

He’s back, mon: Goldie, a drug dealer who used to peddle pot on St. Mark’s Pl., but disappeared for a couple of years, is back. As before, he rides a bike and has been seen poking his head into bars and talking to passing youth. However, he now is said to work with a crew of “slick white guys” instead of Rastafarians.

(No) whine and dine: Dan Lowenstein, former flack for N.Y.U.’s Wagner School, has a new business, PlayDine, which operates adult-supervised play centers for tots at New York City restaurants, so their parents can eat in peace. Lowenstein, onetime chief of staff for former State Senator Catherine Abate, and his wife, Wendi Paster, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried’s chief of staff, know from kids. They have two boys, Ben, 5, and Arthur, 4. Visit www.playdine.com for information.

Heard Scoopy’s meow? We don’t know if Scoopy was the reason, but after we took Home Depot to task several weeks ago for not having fold-up grocery shopping carts for sale on its opening weekend on W. 23rd St., the new Chelsea superstore now sells them. The chain had trumpeted its market research operations before coming to the city, but somehow had missed this New York staple.

Four more wars! Hailing President Bush’s victory, Billionaires for Bush raised their martini glasses and announced they’re looking forward to “Four More Wars.” Said Phil T. Rich, the satirical street-theater group’s C.E.O. and schmoozer in chief, “If the next four years resemble the last four, we’ll have two more wars, $2 trillion added to the deficit, no increase in the minimum wage, continuing increases in the middle-class tax burden [and] another million jobs outsourced.”

Pesky paintballers: Also in Cooper Sq., the Cooper Union-owned wall at Sixth St. and Third Ave. formerly home to the “Forever Tall” 9/11 mural continues to be pelted with paint bombs. However for several weeks now, Cooper Union hasn’t painted over the latest bunch of blobs, which include one each in red, white and blue and which neighbors are now saying look pretty “artistic.” Asked for comment, Claire McCarthy, Cooper’s spokesperson, said, “I just don’t think this is a story. I think we’ve said all we want to say about the mural.”

Closings: Small East Village stores continue to disappear. The neighborhood’s only fish store, at First Ave. between Eighth and Ninth Sts., recently closed. Also closing recently on First Ave. between Seventh and Eighth Sts. were Sticky Fingers bakery, in September, and Pranna, a health food store, in August.

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