Scoopy’s Notebook

Another ‘no’ on Soho BID:

Following our editorial in last week’s issue that the Soho BID is “not ready for prime time” — at least not yet —state Senator Dan Squadron, at a Soho/Tribeca/Financial District town hall meeting Monday night at Southbridge Towers, also came out against the embattled business improvement district plan. It was his first public comment to that effect. Questioned by Pete Davies and the assembled Soho contingent, the senator told the audience he cannot support the BID as currently construed. Sean Sweeney, director of the Soho Alliance, reported to us, “There’s a scoop. Davies is getting it in writing, but everyone heard him say it over the mic. That puts peer pressure on Chin.” Political opposition against the BID seems to be snowballing. Assemblymember Deborah Glick also recently withdrew her support from the initiative, issuing a press release announcing her decision. The key player, however, remains Councilmember Margaret Chin, since the proposed BID is in her district and it’s the City Council that would vote on whether to green-light it. On Tuesday, Squadron confirmed to us that he made the comments. “The community board spoke with a very clear voice,” Squadron said, referring to C.B. 2’s having voted overwhelmingly against the BID proposal. “I don’t always do what the board says, but it’s a very, very important form of community input. There were improvements made to the plan, but it’s clear that community support for the BID isn’t there.” Asked if he had any advice for Chin at this juncture, Squadron simply said that what he stated was his own opinion. He acknowledged that Chin, as the councilmember, “certainly, has a more significant role” in the process. Squadron will be hosting a town hall meeting for the Lower East Side/East Village/Chinatown part of his district on Tues., Nov. 15, at B.R.C., 30 Delancey St. in S.D.R. Park, between Forsyth and Chrystie Sts., from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

O.W.S. celeb report card:

Activist John Penley said he feels for Russell Simmons, the mega-rich music mogul who keeps visiting Zuccotti Park three or four nights a week to mingle amid Occupy Wall Street. Penley said, various occupiers are usually “screaming stuff at him over his shoulder” whenever Simmons tries to schmooze with the occupiers. “It’s different people each time. He takes a lot of s—, but he’s good about it. He’ll sit there and debate with people.” Penley said a bling-bedecked Kanye West toured the park and took abuse for his gold jewelry. Also down at O.W.S., Aron Kay, the “Yippie Pie Man,” who hadn’t plastered anyone with a pie in sometime, got Geraldo — just with flour, though, since there were no pies handy — who wasn’t happy about it. Boxing promoter Don King recently walked around Zuccotti with an American flag, but Penley said a lot of celebs are just coming down for photo-ops. In his book, though, Simmons and Michael Moore, who keep returning to the encampment, are the two stars who are genuinely into O.W.S. … Penley also said he’s trying to organize an O.W.S. event in Washington Square Park this Friday, Veterans Day, which would tie in with the Occupy Central Park action planned for the same day.

AIDS memorial or just a park?

Community Board 2 will soon wrap up its review of plans for the open-space triangle near the former St. Vincent’s Hospital. On Wed., Nov. 16, the board’s Parks Committee will weigh in on the issue at its meeting at the Little Red School House at Sixth Ave. and Bleecker St. starting at 6 p.m.; at the meeting, the Queer History Alliance will make its formal presentation of its plan for an AIDS Memorial Park at the site. The next day, Thurs., Nov. 17, C.B. 2’s full board will vote on the Park Committee’s resolution at its meeting at P.S. 3 at Hudson and Christopher Sts. starting at 6 p.m. Although the determined Q.H.A. has built some strong support for an AIDS Memorial Park, they noticeably lack the endorsement of the area’s politicians, who seem to be sensitive to community residents who want a more traditional type of community park there and are concerned that a memorial could become a destination for tour buses and the like. Although C.B. 2 won’t be proposing any names for the park at this point, some people reportedly think “St. Vincent’s Hospital Park,” or a version of that, might be appropriate.

Mending a heartbreak:

Heartbreak restaurant recently closed at Second Ave. and Second St. But, according to owner Christos Valtzoglou, the former German-Swiss eatery will soon be reborn as a Greek, small-plate-style eatery. “Why? Because I’m Greek, that’s one good reason. Also, I own Pylos,” Valtzoglou told us, referring to his Greek restaurant on Seventh St. between First Ave. and Avenue A. We bumped into the resilient restaurateur last Friday morning as he was waiting outside the place to meet his interior designer who will give Heartbreak a makeover. So, is the designer good? we asked. Oh yes, Valtzoglou said, almost reverently, it’s none other than the renowned Tony Chi, who, as a matter of fact, grew up on the good ol’ Lower East Side. Sounds like it could be a winning combination. By the way, Valtzoglou named the place Heartbreak after the nightclub of that name that used to be on Varick St., which was his favorite place to hang back in the day.

‘Chances aaaahhhr’:

Things are looking up for Novac Noury and his dream to develop his property at 51 Little W. 12th St. Even in the current recession, real estate is booming in the Meatpacking District, he assured. “The building is hot,” he said excitedly of his vision of building a mini-inn. Noury was recently offered $97,000 by Details magazine for an event just to use his wall, which fronts on the High Line. Noury said, unlike his previous attempts to find development partners that fell through, this time he’s confident he’ll have a deal in place before year’s end. He said he recently met separately with representatives of Thor Equities and also Neil Bender of Gottlieb Real Estate, and even sang Bender a Johnny Mathis song a cappella, “Chances Are.” He also spoke a few weeks ago with hip hotelier Andre Balazs, whose successful, High Line-straddling Standard Hotel, abuts his property. Noury, formerly known as “The Arrow Keyboard Man” back from his Studio 54 days and also a singer, said the Thor folks seemed to like his concept. But he said it was a bit harder to read Balazs. “I don’t know if he loves my idea or just wants to do something temporary,” the “Disco Developer” said. “His mind is into something. I have a dream. I don’t know if he wants to buy into this.” Plus, Noury noted, “Someone mentioned to me, he’s an alpha male and I’m an alpha male, and two alpha males can’t do business together.” Since this time around things seem serious, Noury stressed to us to treat this all with due seriousness, apparently feeling some of our previous reports had been, well, a bit flip. We apologize for that. … Anyway, asked if his hoped-for mini-inn will still have a pyramid on top, sporting state-of-the-art, solar-energy-collecting venetian blinds, Noury responded, “Absolutely!” He additionally sees there being a hydraulic lift that would dramatically raise cars to the High Line level, “spinning around slowly, with a beautiful girl displaying it.” Or, the car in the sky (next to the park in the sky) could be used for events: “The celebrated person, or the bride and groom, stands up there and waves.” The fancy wheels could be either his 1960 Bentley, his Excalibur white limo or some new high-tech vehicle. Clearly, Noury still has ambitious design plans, but he added, “I don’t want to say too much — you know the Buildings Department.” What we really wanted to know is if people would be able to drive their car from Noury’s rooftop directly into Balazs’s hotel, which could almost be like a Coney Island roller coaster, except with cars. “You know, that’s a possibility that I explained to him,” Noury said. Finally, he said, he’s not wedded to it even being a mini-inn; at this point, he knows he has to work with his potential partners to come up with a viable project they can all agree on. Still — the intra-building car coaster would be awesome! Seriously.