Scoopy’s Notebook


School doings:

Our Scoopy’s Notebook item in last week’s issue about how both New York University and Trinity Real Estate are planning to build space for 100,000-square-foot public schools, yet the projected number of students at the two schools strangely differed by hundreds, seems to have stirred the pot a bit — or at least caused planners to take another look at things. To quickly recap, N.Y.U. has been saying 600 to 800 students could fit in the school space it’s planning at LaGuardia Place and Bleecker St. (though, not helping clarify matters, one university official once said around 400 could), while Trinity’s estimate was much lower, only 420 students for the space it is planning at Sixth Ave. and Canal St. in Hudson Square. Well, apparently, after our Scoopy exposé (or Scoop-sposé) the discrepancy has been resolved. Last week, Lisa Linden, a spokesperson for Trinity Real Estate, reported that the school they’re planning in Hudson Square has shrunk, not in student population, but in physical size. Said Linden: “Trinity’s proposed school will contain 420 seats. With regard to its size, the 100,000 square foot number was an approximation. The actual size is anticipated to be 74,000 square feet. We will continue to work with the School Construction Authority to finalize the design and layout of the school.” So Trinity’s school has decreased in size by 25 percent. No word yet from N.Y.U. if it, too, is tweaking its plan — such as by planning for, say, 25 percent larger, extra-tall and extra-wide students to fill all the space at the school it plans to build in the South Village. We know there’s a solution out there.

No need to panic:

Our article in last week’s issue about a Community Board 3 meeting on designs for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area had the height of two planned “gateway” towers…umm…just slightly off. The article stated these buildings could be as tall as 100 to 120 stories. In fact, that should have read “100 to 120 feet,” as in, 10 to 12 stories. As Steve Herrick, executive director of the Cooper Square Committee, subsequently clarified for us: “The design consultant from Beyer Blinder Belle is recommending contextual development, with no buildings being taller than the surrounding Seward Park Co-operatives [about 20 to 25 stories]. The consultant gave a PowerPoint presentation and showed the people at the meeting that a developer could build a couple of 30-story towers ‘as of right’ due to the current zoning. He recommended a mix of building heights, ranging from about 10 to 20 stories.” Herrick added, “Unfortunately, some people at the meeting were under the mistaken impression that the consultant is designing the buildings for the Seward Park sites. In fact, his role is to show the range of designs that a developer could choose to undertake using the existing zoning. The C.B. 3 committee will have the power to draft design guidelines that will prevent or minimize the risk that a developer will build a large-scale development that utilizes undesirable building massing, out-of-scale building heights, unusable open space, etc.” Valerio Orselli, executive director of the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association, asked us if last week’s newspaper was our “April Fool’s issue.” He noted that 120-story buildings would be 1,200 feet in height, even taller than the Empire State Building, which is 102 stories. “Yes, the so-called ‘gateway’ buildings could be somewhat taller,” Orselli said, “but not 120 stories!” …In addition, the article misidentified Barden Prisant as one of his fellow C.B. 3 members, David Crane, and attributed quotes to Crane that were made by Prisant. We regret the errors.

Heard from the Ear…:

Martin Sheridan, owner of the Ear Inn, gave us the report on his friend Don Hill’s funeral Mass at Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral last week. It was a mixed crowd, to say the least, he noted, with “Hells Angels and transvestites” and everyone in between. Actress Liv Tyler was among the celebrity V.I.P.’s paying their respects to the Downtown rock-’n’-roll icon, he said. We reported in Hill’s obituary last week that before he opened his eponymously named club at the corner of Spring and Greenwich Sts. it was the Canal Bar, run by Keith McNally, and before that was Munson’s Diner, part of a chain of diners in Manhattan. But reader Diana van Buren e-mailed us to say that it was actually Keith’s brother, Brian McNally, who had operated the Canal Bar. And another reader, Mark Grandfield, called to say that Munson’s Diner was not part of a chain. There was a Munson’s Diner on the Upper West Side, Grandfield said, but the Downtown one was owned by nightlife figure Paul Garcia, who also operated at various times such hot spots as The World, The Jefferson, The Continental (not to be confused with Trigger’s Continental) and Le Pop. Munson’s Diner was Garcia’s “boutique club experience,” Grandfield said, adding that Garcia now lives in Martha’s Vineyard (not a bad place for a nightlife impresario to settle down in). Grandfield used to be big on the club scene himself as part of the roots band The Mystic Chain, which played at Martin’s Bar, on Houston St. across from the Film Forum. Now he’s “a voiceover guy,” as he put it. You may have heard him singing in TV commercials, such as for Chevrolet (“Listen to the heartbeat of America! Going stronger every day-yay-yay!”) and in “The Cotton Jingle” (“The touch, the feel of cotton, the fabric of our lives!”). … How did this item start out again?