The gold standard: The new “marquee” above Jerry Delakas’s Astor Place newsstand says it all, “Victory.” The golden letters are the work of East Village artist Kelly King, who championed Delakas’s fight to regain the kiosk after he was evicted from it during the waning days of the Bloomberg administration. In the end, Mayor Bill de Blasio allowed Delakas to return, reducing the fine he owed and giving him a manageable schedule to pay it off. Last Saturday, another Delakas savior, Marty Tessler, above left, giving the “V” for victory with the news vendor, was at the stand buying some tickets for the $400 million Mega Millions lottery.
Google it — in Soho: Google, the search-engine giant, has been searching for a spot in Soho for its first stand-alone retail outlet. The company, which has expanded into smartphones, computerized eyeglasses and laptops, is considering leasing up to 8,000 square feet of space at 131 Greene St., according to Faith Hope Consolo, of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Bloomberg News recently reported. That’s just steps away from the Apple Store, on Prince St. “Google has been looking in Soho for a long time,” Consolo told Bloomberg. “They want to be near Apple, and they’ve been concentrating on Greene St. There are different streets that are in vogue, that have become hot, and it’s just now that Greene St. has become the street in Soho.”
Sparrow’s new perch: Walking down E. Ninth St., we heard a call behind us. It was David Leslie, the East Village performance artist / Brooklyn Bridge Swim phenom, and he was dropping off the baby chair of his young son, Brooks, at artist Theresa Byrnes’s place. His son doesn’t need it anymore, but it’ll be perfect for little Sparrow Joe Louis, he said.
Natural high: We caught up with Dana Beal, who recently was sprung after three years in Midwestern jails for pot trafficking. Speaking from Omaha last week, the Bleecker St. Yippie told us he’s confident he has found a place to live in New York that will be O.K.’d — namely, “in the top” of the Millinery Center Synagogue, on 38th St. and Sixth Ave. “I think that’ll pass muster with the parole board,” he said. “It’s a center of the Hassids.” Beal is Unitarian, but still there’s some sort of connection. “Remember Yitzhak Freed, the medical marijuana rabbi?” he asked. Of course, Beal can’t return to 9 Bleecker St., from which the Yippies were recently booted in a mortgage payment dispute. He said he’ll be back in the Big Apple in about a month, “unless this reality TV show comes through. Let’s put it this way,” he said. “It’s going to be bigger than ‘Duck Dynasty.’ It’s ‘The Yippies Re-Occupy’ — actually, it’s going to be called ‘Cures Not Wars.’ ” As for Beal, 67, he’s, well, turned over a new leaf. “I can’t smoke pot — I could be ‘P’-tested anytime,” he noted. “If I did, though, I’d use a vaporizer.” Which leads into Beal’s new health kick. After suffering two heart attacks and a near stroke in lockup, he’s given up beer, plus artery-clogging eats, and this from a guy who used to wolf down two eggs and home fries every morning at The Stage restaurant on Second Ave. next to “Stomp.” “This is the clean and sober Beal, man — actually, I get a lot more done,” he said with a laugh. “I lost a lot of hours, mainly at night. I’m like a born-again health nut. I just don’t want to die. I want to live to be 92. One egg yolk is worse than a pack of cigarettes,” he noted. As for reclaiming 9 Bleecker St., he said, they’ll be reaching out for help, including to George Zimmer, former chairperson of Men’s Wearhouse, who supports legalizing marijuana. “He’s a big pot guy,” Beal said. As for clean Beal, he’s so energized now, he’s already penned the first six chapters of his autobiography, titled “Letters of Transit,” which takes its name from his favorite flick, “Casablanca.”
If you enjoy intricate, micro-detailed paintings, check out Philip Van Aver’s work at the Dorian Grey Gallery, at 437 E. Ninth St., where he’s currently showing with Lowell Nesbitt in an exhibit called “Secret Gardens.” You’ll need to use the magnifying glass, like the woman above, to appreciate fully the intricacy of Van Aver’s painting. Though he has lived in the same E. Sixth St. apartment since 1969, this collection of works, from 1976 to now, is Van Aver’s first gallery show in the Tompkins Square Park area. “Ever since I was a child, I have been drawn to small-scale objects and miniatures,” he said. “I am employing elements derived from classical antiquity, postcards, many kinds of decorative art, fashion and botanical prints, the movies of Luchino Visconti, old engravings and erotic material.” Van Aver, 74, is also active in the hood. In 1976, he became a member of the Citizens Committee to Keep the Ottendorfer Library Open. At the time, the New York Public Library was attempting to close 18 branches, including the historic one on Second Ave. He was also on the executive committee of the Lower East Side Joint Planning Council, which was mostly concerned with housing issues. And he was a founding member of CoDA, Coalition for a District Change, a Democratic political organization. In fact, it was Van Aver who, in 2005, wearing his CoDA hat, had the guts to speak out and tipped off The Villager about an investigation into former City Councilmember Margarita Lopez’s campaign finance shenanigans in her 2001 election race.