Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Aug. 4, 2016

Enjoying front-row seats at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, from left, state Senator Brad Hoylman, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Assemblymember Deborah Glick.

The wrath of Khan…and ‘Crazy Don’: Just like just about everyone else, it seems, Assemblymember Deborah Glick is shocked at Donald Trump’s escalating feud with Khizr Khan and his family. Khan, of course, spoke at the Democratic National Convention, as his wife, Ghazala, stood silently by his side, about their hero son, Army Captain Humayan Khan, who was killed in 2004 during the Iraq War. The son of Pakistani immigrants stepped forward from his unit to inspect a suspicious vehicle, which, it turned out, was packed with explosives and blew up. In a gesture that surely will go down in history, Khizr Khan waved a pocket U.S. Constitution and suggested Trump read it. The G.O.P. nominee blasted back, accusing the Khans of viciously attacking him, while slamming Ghazala, implying her muteness was due to the Muslim religion’s subservient status of women. “I think Mr. Khan was an incredibly powerful speaker,” Glick said, “because he was just an average American, but he was threatened by the bigoted messages coming out of the Republican convention, and he had lost a son. The notion that his son might be banned, having saved his fellow soldiers’ lives… . They were private people, this was a very difficult thing for them to do. I don’t even know what to say about Donald Trump anymore. He’s unhinged,” the veteran assemblymember said. “He can’t let anything go. And his remarks about the wife — the way Trump treats women, there’s a hypocrisy and an irony there. … It is quite alarming to have the Republican nominee be a leading conspiracy theorist and a person that is devoid of any compassion and empathy. That’s basically being a sociopath,” Glick went on, adding, “Donald Trump is nothing but a bag of slogans.” Actually, on second thought, she said she did have an idea for what to do about Trump — or, at least, future Trumps. “They do a psychological review of police candidates,” Glick said, admitting that some think the screening could be more rigorous. “They also do it for the Army. There is no test for people who run for office. Maybe there should be — I may put in a bill,” she said, not really that jokingly. (It sounds like this would actually need to be a federal bill — though, perhaps our local congressmembers and senators will get on board with Glick’s idea.) The state pol doesn’t pretend she could help the bombastic businessman, however. “I’m not a qualified mental health professional,” Glick said. “But narcissism is not something that can be cured. Narcissists do not believe they have a problem — the problems are all outside of them. Like saying he was being viciously attacked by Mr. Khan — is that projection, or what?… .” So, now we have Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Crooked Hillary…and Gonzo Don. … Speaking of Hillary Clinton, Glick said she did fine speaking at the D.N.C. “I think Hillary’s speech was terrific,” she said. “She’s admitted she’s not a great public speaker. But it was so much better than people expected, and it was a very commanding performance.” Glick noted that Clinton, like Al Gore, does better speaking in smaller settings.

Arthur Schwartz, Village Democratic district leader, with former Mayor David Dinkins at the D.N.C. Dinkins wasn’t a delegate but an “honored guest.”

Après Florent, le deluge: It seems you can’t even blink or you’ll miss the next outrageous maneuver a developer is pulling in the Gansevoort Historic District. The battle of “Gansevoort Row” only just recently ended on the south side of the street. The community, unfortunately, largely lost, as the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission agreed to allow a developer to build up and “upzone” most of the classic (and, yes, landmarked!) block between Ninth Ave. and Washington St. Now this week we get a call from legendary Meatpacking District restaurateur Florent Morellet, telling us that another rogue developer has incredibly ripped down the iconic facade of his former eponymous Florent restaurant, at 69 Gansevoort St. — which had preserved the classic pre-Florent R & L Restaurant lettering — on the north side of the block. “It sucks,” Morellet, now of Bushwick, told us on his cell phone as he was biking by to take some photos of la catastrophe. “It’s landmarked — and the landmarking was for the exterior of the building. I kept it. I didn’t change it. If there was one storefront in the Gansevoort Market — that was it. I think it’s unethical.” Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said the society is on it. “We checked immediately when we first heard about this a couple of weeks ago,” he said. “The Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the work, which is supposed to replace the facade materials ‘in kind.’ The L.P.C. regularly approves such work. We are closely monitoring to ensure that this iconic facade is restored to its original condition.” For his part, Morellet was skeptical that the signature storefront would be restored to anything resembling what it looked like before. “Let’s see,” he shrugged.

Shalom Neuman.
Shalom Neuman.

Shalom’s so long: We caught up with Shalom Neuman of Fusion Arts the other weekend at his birthday / “end of an era” party on Quincy St. in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. The two-level gallery space was very cool, but unfortunately, it was slated for the wrecking ball in a mere matter of days. We were told by a Neuman assistant that only the building’s facade — featuring an elephant mural and the Fusion Arts sign — would be preserved. Neuman, who is a remarkably young-looking 69, said he had been priced out of the space by property taxes. “They raised my taxes from $3,000 to $50,000 a year,” he said. “They taxed me out.” In a nutshell, he is relocating Fusion Arts to Easton, Pennsylvania, where there is a burgeoning art scene in an area — most importantly — that’s affordable. He also maintains an art space overseas in Prague. New York simply has lost its artistic edge as the city has grown so prohibitively expensive that cutting-edge creators cannot flourish here, he lamented. “Prague and Berlin are the future,” he told us. “You can get an apartment for $700 a month in Prague.” Neuman still has the old Fusion Arts building on Stanton St. on the Lower East Side. “We haven’t given up on Stanton St.,” he told us. “It will be an International Fusionism museum.” Fusion art marries traditional media with modern technology, like light and digital displays.