Billy continues anti-park-‘privatization’ crusade

Volume 78 / Number 15 – September 3 – 9, 2008

West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Scoopy’s Notebook

D.N.C. grew on Moss:

Former Democratic State Committeemember Larry Moss went to the Denver Democratic National Convention as a guest of the New York delegation, not as a delegate. He e-mailed us a report filled with everything from wildflowers to Black Eyed Peas: “As I respected both Obama and Clinton, my primary interest there was in encouraging the reconciliation between their forces, for which New York was particularly important,” Moss wrote. “My own primary interest was to attend numerous foreign policy panels, briefings and lunches during the day. … I also attended the end of the National Stonewall Democrats convention, and some of the events for L.G.B.T. delegates. … I was pleased to be able to spend some time with [Governor] Dave Paterson at Tim Gill’s reception for gay Democratic leaders. I attended the convention itself three out of four nights. It was a thrill to be in Invesco Field for Obama’s speech, but I later watched it again on TV to see it as the world did, for which I and 85,000 cheering others provided a marvelous backdrop, even as Obama appeared more intimately to viewers. Lastly, there were fun parties every night. I especially enjoyed the amazingly energetic performance by the Black Eyed Peas at the Creative Coalition party. Among the Villagers I saw during the week were Chris Quinn, Deborah Glick, Rachel Lavine, Tom Duane, Charles O’Byrne, Arthur Schwartz, filmmaker Sandi DuBowski (who lives three doors down from me on Bleecker St.), Alan Cumming, Susan Sarandon and Fred Hochberg. Gale Brewer and I stayed at the home of my law school classmate Jill Nelson. As a bicycle activist, I especially liked Denver’s network of bikeways along streams, below grade and entirely away from traffic. I rode one on Friday to the Daniel Libeskind-designed Denver Art Museum. (New York misses his talent!) On Saturday, I was hiking at 10,000 feet and picked wildflowers. It was interesting, fun and exhausting, going from 8 every morning until 1 or 2 a.m.”

Hoop du jour:

We bumped into Steven “Hoop” Hooper, the late Baird Jones’s sidekick, the other week at the opening of “Vision of Our Souls,” an exhibit curated by Paul Cabezas at YCOI Loft & Gallery in Chelsea, and he had some art news for us. Hoop — who had two pieces in the show — informed us that he is now the proud owner of Jones’s celebrity art collection. “Kostabi thought he was going to get it,” said Hoop, as he kicked back on the hood of his Hoopmobile, which is blanketed with little plastic dinosaurs, large logs and leopard-skin prints. He was, of course, referring to artist Mark Kostabi, Jones’s friend, whom Jones documented in his 2002 book “Mark Kostabi and the East Village scene 1983-1987.” Jones’s lawyer sister was poised to procure the lion’s share of the art — including works by James Dean, Lou Reed, Keanu Reeves, Peter Falk, Bob Dylan, Kurt Vonnegut, Anthony Quinn, Marilyn Manson and Buddy Ebsen — which Baird claimed to have spent $1 million acquiring. Hoop was reportedly only going to get “17.5 percent” of the collection and the sister “80 percent.” But, in a dramatic, last-minute turnaround, Baird’s super unearthed two dusty boxes that belonged to Baird in the basement of the building he lived in on Ninth St., one of which contained Baird’s will, which named Hoop as the recipient of the artwork.

Classic dilemma:

At the same art show, we ran into Robert Heide and John Gilman, who a few years ago wrote a notebook column for The Villager about the joys of owning a 1954 pink Plymouth Belvedere, parking it conveniently and affordably at Pier 40 and then zipping through the Holland Tunnel to enjoy rural New Jersey’s roadside splendors. They said that they and other owners of “classic vintage cars” on Pier 40, at W. Houston St., are concerned about the plan to install automated parking stackers on the pier to save space. They’re afraid that “grease monkeys,” umm, valets, will damage their cars when raising and lowering them with the stackers. “Perhaps a space, other than these racks with cars piled up, could be set aside specifically for these historic vehicles,” Heide wrote us in a follow-up letter. “Dan List, who wrote his weekly “Hubcaps” column on vintage autos for the Village Voice for many years, parked his Hudsons there. Some of these cars have been utilized in New York City parades and some have been used in films. Another person would not know how to start up a car like this. It needs special care and should not be on a rack pile-up.” Chris McGinnis, a leading member of the Pier 40 Partnership, which is part of the team working on the new redesign plan for the 15-acre pier, said valets are definitely part of the parking scheme. He said, by using stackers, slightly more than the current 2,100 cars that park on the pier will be able to be squeezed into a space one-third smaller than the pier’s current 600,000-square-foot parking operation. McGinnis said that the community, given the choice between using stackers to create more area for adding three new schools on the pier or protecting old Studebakers and Edsels, would choose the former. He also disputed the claim that there are a significant number of classic cars on the pier, noting, “When I walk by, most of them are under tarps. I don’t know that there are a ton there.” Retorted Gilman: “Classic cars used to be from the ’50s, but — by definition, 25 years and older — now they’re from the ’70s. There are muscle cars on Pier 40, there’s a vintage English taxi that Tea & Sympathy uses, a vintage beach Jeep. One man has a fleet of cars, a DeSoto, Chryslers. There’s a Thunderbird from the early ’60s — it’s a four-seater — and some blue convertible used in the Gay Pride March.” By their calculations, Gilman and Heide estimate there are about 75 classic cars on the pier.

Jacobs in the Hous(ing Works):

Housing Works has announced that super-hot fashion designer Marc Jacobs will chair its fifth-annual Fashion for Action fundraiser this fall. The event includes a charitable fashion show, silent auction and sample sale that raises funds for homeless and low-income people living with H.I.V./AIDS. This year, all the proceeds will go to Housing Works’ recently opened Women’s Health Center in Downtown Brooklyn. “Giving back has always been a major priority for me,” Jacobs said. “I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to such a worthy event.” Fashion for Action will kick off with a V.I.P. reception on Thurs., Nov. 13, at the Rubin Museum of Art on W. 17th St. Following will be a three-day sale of more than $1 million worth of brand-new merchandise from the world’s top designers at 70 percent to 80 percent off retail prices. The open-to-the-public sale will take place at Housing Works Thrift Shops flagship store at 143 W. 17th St.


The anonymous tenant in an E. Third St. building who, in last week’s Scoopy’s Notebook, said he was getting death threats from his landlord for speaking out on conditions, said the phone calls were also anonymous. “All I know is they’re coming from pay phones,” he said.