Cyclists negotiated Lower Manhattan’s cobblestones as well as the curving Dutch streets last Sunday for the second annual New York City Cycling Championship. Tens of thousands of people turned out to see the race. Tyler Hamilton, the American cyclist who came in fourth this year in the Tour de France despite breaking his collarbone early in the Tour, was on hand to start the race. Marty Nothstein, of the Navigators, won the Men’s Pro Race, cycling the 60-mile course in 2:05:42. He was followed by Victor Rapinski of Saturn and David Clinger of TIAA-CREF.
G-men on a pier?
Proposals for aquarium and big-box stores for Pier 40 didn’t go over too well. Now the F.B.I. plans to move a field operations base into Pier 40, according to source. It’s part of the Homeland Security initiative for Downtown Manhattan, we’re told and is supposed to be undercover. A Hudson River Park Trust spokesperson said he had not heard of such a proposal. Assemblymember Deborah Glick said putting the F.B.I. in the middle of a park would be “totally bizarre.”
Secretary of State Colin Powell may have grown up in New York City, but that doesn’t mean the State Dept.’s automated voice for its Hudson St. office sounds like a New Yorker. The voice says the office is near Houston St., pronouncing it “u-ston” like the city rather than “how-ston.” Maybe it’s because Powell’s boss is from Texas.
Free writers’ workshop
The Chatham Square Regional Library located at 3 East Broadway is offering a creative writing course free of charge on Saturdays at 2 p.m.
Classes include themes such as “My Voice is Unique,” (Aug. 9) “Time and Perspective,” (Aug. 16) and “Half of Writing is Reading.” (Aug.23). There will also be classes on Aug. 16, Sept. 20 and Sept. 27.
The instructor is Ed Lin, author of “Waylaid”. The emphasis of the course will be on defining each writer’s voice. The class will end with a group reading of each authors work.
Keith Secola and The Wild Band are performing in this year’s “Native Sounds Downtown” Festival at the National Museum of the American Indian in Lower Manhattan on Thurs., Aug. 7 at 7 p.m. The free performance will take place in the George Gustav Hayes Memorial Center Auditorium at One Bowling Green.
Secola is a three- time Native American Music Awards Winner and his song “Indian Cars” is the most requested song on native radio in the United States and Canada.
Secola’s is a member of Anishinabe Tribe.
Leshko’s, the former pierogi palace on Avenue A that morphed into a less ethnic diner two years ago, is morphing again, this time into an upscale Latin American restaurant and bar.
Leshko’s, 111 Avenue A, closed a few weeks ago after Bob Ponterelli and Stephen Heighton, owners of Barracuda and Elmo’s, two restaurants in Chelsea, sold the East Village place they had been running for the past two years.
Jeff McGovern, former general manager at Leshko’s, said the former owners became too busy with their Chelsea restaurants and decided to sell.
The new owners, David Gelbard and Moshe Hatsav, have applied for a liquor license for the new place, called Yuca, bar and cocina Latina.
Terrance Flynn, Jr., lawyer for the new owners said they intend to open soon as a high-end Latin American restaurant and bar. Gelbard owns two restaurants in Manhattan, one of them in partnership with Hatsav, Flynn said.
Some neighbors are bemoaning the passing of what used to be a Ukrainian enclave in the East Village. The original Leshko’s was a quintessential “greasy spoon”-type dinner that served Ukrainian fare. One neighbor said she recalled that a previous owner had assured her that pierogis would be on the menu no matter who owned the place. Under the new Leshko’s, pierogis did in fact continue to be served. Whether the new Latin restaurant will offer the tasty Eastern European-style dumplings was unknown, though probably unlikely.