Volume 74, Number 33 | December 22 - 28, 2004

Scoopy’s notebook

Remember the Alamo: Jim “Mosaic Man” Power reported last Friday that “The Cube” sculpture at Astor Pl. had become unbalanced and that when people were spinning it, its base was wobbling, threatening to trap someone’s foot and cause a terrible accident. Shortly afterwards, Honi Klein, executive director of the Village Alliance business improvement district, said she had just gotten a call from someone saying “The Cube” was no longer spinning. Klein said the Alliance just cleans graffiti off the sculpture but doesn’t do maintenance beyond that. Claire McCarthy, Cooper Union’s spokesperson, said they just give black paint to the Alliance to cover the graffiti. Tom Cocola, a Department of Transportation spokesperson, said they don’t maintain the sculpture — real name “The Alamo” — either, but they do own the traffic island on which it sits. Apparently what will happen is that D.O.T., the Parks Department and Department of Cultural Affairs will work together to repair the sculpture, which was given anonymously to the city in 1968.

Heavy metal: We were talking with East Village metal sculptor Steel Neal last Saturday night at the after-party at Clayton Patterson Gallery for Angel Orensanz’s new films at Anthology Archives. Neal — who’s a member of the local steelworkers union for Manhattan, Westchester and Staten Island — said the West Side Jets/Olympic stadium project and new surrounding buildings the project would involve would “keep me busy for 10 years.” If the stadium was built in Queens, another local would have priority for the jobs, he said.

oops: Chad Marlow pointed out that last week’s Scoopy’s item saying he had “stepped down” as president of Village Independent Democrats may have given a misleading impression. “The way you put it makes it sound like I resigned,” Marlow noted. “I completed my second yearlong term and was term limited so I could not run again,” he explained.

Replace Irreplaceable with run: Some people are suggesting that the thin strip of Parks Department property that Irreplaceable Artifacts was allowed to take over some years ago — on the idea of preventing the area from becoming a homeless encampment — should be turned into a dog run. Lyn Pentecost, executive director of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, for one, said she likes the dog run idea and plans to talk to City Councilmember Alan Gerson about it. Since its overloaded building at Second Ave. and E. Houston St. collapsed a few years ago, Irreplaceable Artifacts has been doing its business from an Uptown location and the E. Houston St. property — and the Parks Department strip — have been unused.

Yippie for Billy: Johanna Lawrenson, widow of late Yippie leader Abbie Hoffman, was sitting in the front row of Reverend Billy’s Christmas Show at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery last Wednesday night. Afterwards, Billy said he regretted not having asked her to stand up — he must have been so full of the spirit he forgot.

As the BAMRA turns: We can’t keep up with the goings on of the Bleecker Area Merchants’ and Residents’ Association. The latest is that BAMRA has “removed from office for cause” treasurer Margaret Collins. According to Lois Rakoff, BAMRA’s new resident co-chairperson, Collins somehow managed to freeze the association’s $40,000 bank account so that only she and another executive board member are legal signatories. The other board member was recently kicked off the executive board for making insulting remarks — though he later resigned to save face — leaving only Collins able to withdraw BAMRA funds and write checks. Rakoff and the association’s merchant co-chairperson have tried to straighten things out at the local Citibank branch on LaGuardia Pl., to no avail, she said. “Citibank is not answering to us,” said a frustrated Rakoff. “We have no money for operations, for newsletters. This season we wanted to contribute to charitable causes — possibly to organizations like Gilda’s Club or Caring Community — but we didn’t even get there.”

Decadent blintz: Apparently not everyone thought too highly of Ratner’s new chocolate blintzes that were unveiled at the Delancey St. eatery’s 100th anniversary and farewell ceremony last week. “Shanda” one man could be overheard saying, using the Yiddish word for “shame,” apparently feeling a choco-blintz was some sort of abomination.

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