Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Aug. 18, 2016

Lamar Odom has been seen around Village View lately. Photo by David Shankbone

Trending at Village View: Lamar Odom, the former pro basketball player and onetime “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” reality TV star, has been spotted hanging around Village View the past three weeks. Hey, at 6 feet 10 inches, he’s hard to miss! According to a source, Odom, 36, has been dating a resident of the East Village complex — a blonde woman who is, of course, much smaller — who isn’t? — than him. “He’s outside — sitting on a bench,” the resident said of where Odom can sometimes be found. “And people take photos with him — selfies.” Another Village Viewer reportedly even tried to “sell the story” to TMZ, but the celebrity news site never responded. “Now you owe me big time!” our V.V. “correspondent” said after dishing to us about Odom. The tabloids have reported that the ex-hoopster is back in his native borough of Queens. However, a second source said word is that the erstwhile baller is actually living nearby in a hotel on Houston St. “I heard two stories about how they met,” the second resident said. “One is that they met in a club. The other is that she used to travel to Florida and met him there.” She said Odom is usually comes by accompanied by a bodyguard who wears a fedora. When she saw Odom in the elevator once, he was sporting a baseball cap with “QUEENS” on it and a gold chain, she said. The girlfriend is reportedly in her 30s, separated and has two young children. “He wants her to move with him to California or something,” the second source said. Odom “is not discrete” about his visits, she added, noting that he happily poses for selfies with the building’s security guards and recently was talking with kids in the complex’s playground. Hopefully, the hard-partying Odom is continuing to recover after he nearly kicked the bucket in October 2015 in an epic blowout at a Nevada brothel. The Love Ranch meltdown rocketed him to the No. 1 spot on Google Trends for living people that year, plus somehow kept his marriage alive. But this June, Khloe Kardashian re-filed for divorce from Odom — apparently, he must not be “trending” anymore — which reportedly only started him overindulging all over again. “He’s partying like it’s 1999 to keep his mind off Khloe,” one gossip site reported. Hopefully, he’ll keep things on an even keel, and we’ll be seeing him throw down viciously at the Tompkins Square Park basketball courts one of these days! According to the second source, “He wants to go back to playing with the Lakers.”

J.O. Show at The Villager: John Oliver’s recent spoof of the movie “Spotlight” was filmed in none other than The Villager’s office. The HBO show “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” recently transformed our digs into the fictional Boston office of The Chronicle. In the sketch, Jason Sudeikis plays the newspaper’s editor. He was filmed in our Publisher Jennifer Goodstein’s office, which was specially decked out for the skit with antique bronze Buddha heads and a mini-Zen sand garden. Anyway, Sudeikis spikes investigative reporter Bobby Cannavale’s big exposé in favor of Rose Byrne’s clickbait-friendly story about a cat that looks like a raccoon. The moral of the segment’s story is that journalism’s thankless but vital role in keeping a close eye on local government and other power players cannot be replaced by listicles and funny tweets…or even raccoon cats. (Though, crusty pit bulls on the rampage are always fair game.)

From left, Jim Flynn, Seaton Hancock a.k.a. Raven and Joff Wilson outside Sidewalk Cafe. Photo by Scoopy

Sidewalk talk: The vibe was great inside SideWalk Cafe, at Avenue A and E. Sixth St., last Saturday night at the New York Antifolk Festival. We caught Jim Flynn on guitar and blues harp — and, no, we don’t mean a harmonica. The multitalented musician plays an actual harp — albeit a very funky one — as well as a mean guitar. Flynn, who was celebrating his birthday, is also a contributor to The Villager. He did a moving anti-Donald Trump song / rap, adding that he sincerely hopes he doesn’t ever have to do it again after this election. Afterward, the vibe out on the sidewalk in front of SideWalk was not quite as upbeat, to say the least, as fellow musicians Joff Wilson and Seaton Hanock a.k.a. Raven railed against the new Ben Shaoul building next door at 100 Avenue A. “There goes the neighborhood,” lamented Wilson, who fronts the band The Bowery Boys. “They just took the scaffolding off of it today.” Added Raven, while pointing an accusing finger at the new edifice, “You want to know what’s killing the East Village music scene — this! … The stockbrokers who will live there in their $1 million-dollar apartments wear suits — but they’re straitjackets. They don’t love their work.” With a final pronouncement that artists like themselves have to play music to live, Raven left to head over to the West Village to play in a big-band gig at Arthur’s Tavern. Punk fans will remember Raven from the Stimulators, the punk-ska band that featured 12-year-old Harley Flanagan, later of the Cro-Mags, on drums.

Shop talk: Is the Greenwich St. D’Agostino food-shortage contagion spreading? D’Ag, at least, has a note at its entrance thanking patrons for their loyalty and saying that the shelves are being restocked. Meanwhile, though, the shelves of Integral Yoga on W. 13th St. have been empty lately. As Zack Winestine of the Greenwich Village Community Task Force told us: “Some sort of blight is attacking food markets throughout the far West Village!” Manu Dawson, manager of Integral Yoga Natural Foods Store, gave a statement to us, noting that the summer doldrums are indeed a factor. “We appreciate the concern expressed by your reader,” she said. “Yes, we in the Village retail food community have been experiencing financial challenges, as have many independent businesses throughout Manhattan. Expenses are high and sales are a bit slower during the summer season. However, we are riding the wave with optimism and determination! Integral Yoga Natural Foods, opened in 1972, was one of the first and remains the only 100 percent vegetarian health food store in New York City, consistent with the principles of nonviolence and sustainable, earth-friendly farming,” Dawson noted. “We are gratified to see that more consumers now seek organic ingredients and healthful food choices. Such products are sold in the many national corporate chains that have come to our city in recent years. We invite everyone in the Village and all the city’s other neighborhoods and boroughs to support our local, independent business in order to help us continue to serve our community. Come check us out and ask for a one-time 20 percent discount on your purchases. Integral Yoga Institute, right next door, will also give you a free yoga class.” Plus, after you take your free yoga class, you’ll be so much more flexible, you’ll be able to reach that healthy product on the top shelf at Integral Yoga Natural Foods! … In happier food-market news, Moe Issa of Brooklyn Fare assured that the new store in the Archive building will open in a couple of weeks. “We have 5,000 cases of groceries in, and another 3,000 to 4,000 coming next week,” he said. “We’re working around the clock to be sure everything’s ready. I cannot wait.” And in Chelsea Market, the Manhattan Fruit Exchange has moved to tiny temporary quarters. Vito Latilla, the business’s co-owner and vice president, who runs it with his two brothers, confirmed rumors: The retailer/wholesaler will be moving to a larger space in the basement, which he says will be beautiful, and which he hopes will be ready in six months. Several other Chelsea Market food businesses are likely to move down there, as well. The new Fruit Exchange space will add about 1,000 new square feet. In addition to new stairs and elevators within Chelsea Market, the new space will have a separate entrance on W. 16th St., so that serious shoppers can avoid the tourist hordes. Latilla insists that, if anything, prices will go down while the selection will increase. “We source from all over the world,” he said. “There’s nothing we don’t carry. If you don’t see it in the store, ask and we’ll get it from the warehouse in Ridgewood [Queens].”