Scoopy, Week of August 16, 2012

Photo by Scoopy

THE MOSAIC TRAIL…: Mosaics are hot right now — from the new sign at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space, on Avenue C, to the new mosaic murals at the East Village’s Sirovich Senior Center, on E. 12th St. As usual, Jim Power, the East Village’s “Mosaic Man,” is working away on a bevy of local mosaic projects, including one at 47 E. Third St., above. This one, with a geometric pattern, was designed by Alistair Economakis, the building’s owner, who was inspired by Power’s mosaics for the new Bean coffee shop down the block. It was made using ancient bathroom floor tiles recycled from when Economakis gut-rehabbed the old five-story building (that is, after he had cleared out rent-regulated tenants from the place’s then-15 apartments after a lengthy and bitter landlord-tenant struggle). Laurie Mittelmann, MoRUS’s co-director, said Power told her Economakis paid him well — double the commission price they had agreed to. Economakis plans to rent the basement commercial space beneath the mural to a medical tenant. Meanwhile, Steve Sinclair, president of the recently resuscitated Progress Republican Club, tells us Economakis attended one of the club’s weekly meetings, held by the fountain in the backyard of Sinclair’s posh place on E. Ninth St. Sinclair said he actually doesn’t know whether Economakis is a registered Republican or not. As for Power, we hear he unfortunately got booted out of his basement studio that a barbershop at Fifth St. and Second Ave. was letting him use, and where he — and his loyal canine sidekick, Jesse Jane — actually usually crashed. It sounded like they were also facing eviction from The Lee, the supportive housing residence on E. Houston St. run by Common Ground, where Power had earned a rep as a bit of a whistle-blower. But Matt Rosen, who helps Power run his online business, said the “Mosaic Man” smoothed everything out. “He’s met with the management, and they’ve addressed some of his issues,” Rosen said. “It was not a great situation before, but things have quieted down a bit.”