Under Cover

Promises, promises

Ah, the promise of a new year — and the promises of newly elected officials. In his inaugural State of the State address last week, Gov. Eliot Spitzer vowed to immediately begin working with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Mayor Bloomberg to revive ground zero — but not before slamming the lack of progress to-date and calling the site a “monument to government gridlock.” Speaking of gridlock, Spitzer also vowed to improve public transportation in the city, and the Second Ave. subway was first on his list of priorities. Far East-siders would rejoice, but they’re out of breath from hiking to the Lexington line.

Down in Washington D.C. newly re-elected Sen. Hillary Clinton promised that health care for the victims of 9/11-related ailments would be one of her top priorities and that she would use her new position on the Superfund subcommittee to pressure the E.P.A. into developing a more comprehensive test and cleanup program for Lower Manhattan. It was the first priority she listed in her statement.

Downtowners can only hope that these New Year’s resolutions weren’t made to be broken.

Gefilte whale

Lower East Side fashion designer Apollo Braun tells us that as the reception for his first art exhibition — a show of 10 of his paintings at Earthmatters on Ludlow St. — was opening the other day, Moby walked into the organic food shop. Braun said he always had an inkling the techno rocker was Jewish, and so asked him. Moby, a descendant of author Herman Melville (hence his stage name), said he indeed has Orthodox Jewish relatives…. Braun promised he’d make Moby a custom T-shirt with a message for his nemesis, Eminem, and Moby promised he’d stop by and pick it up.

Sweet releases

Working for a newspaper, UnderCover is deluged on a daily basis by press releases from a variety of sources, most of which never make it to the light of newsprint. Some releases, however, are too good, bad or bizarre to stay hidden in the email inbox.

First, the activists from Good Old Lower East Side sent out a press release, dated Jan. 3, that described a recent victory in GOLES fight to take down Lower Manhattan retailer Henry Ishay and his Yellow Rat Bastard chain, which is accused of overworking, underpaying and harassing its employees.

The release began, “State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced today that he has filed two lawsuits against eleven affiliated popular retail stores…” Perhaps the folks from GOLES were too excited about the upcoming suits to notice that on Jan. 1, Andrew Cuomo became New York State’s attorney general. As for Eliot Spitzer, whatever happened to that guy?

Moving from politics to parks, the latter New York City department has begun producing a quarterly newsletter, chock full of seasonal listings and advice for enjoying the outdoors within the city limits. Lest anyone doubt that the newsletter comes from a city parks department, January’s inaugural edition listed several ways to enjoy the winter with a canine companion.

The advice: Keep your pup warm with a sweater or waterproof coat and have them wear “doggie booties” if at all possible. If your dog is forced to walk over sidewalk salt, the release said, “wash your dog’s feet with warm water and gently blow or towel dry.” Sadly, no advice was included on how to treat injuries sustained when attempting to apply booties or to blow dry a set of unwilling paws.

They said it

C.B. 1 member Jeff Galloway, on why the board should table a resolution on PATH train security — a resolution largely based on a New York Times exposé: “Newspaper articles are often wrong enough that when you rely on them, you do so at your own peril.”

C.B. 1 member Linda Belfer, on Battery Park City’s need for larger and clearer signs stating the park rules: “I would support that as long as it’s tasteful. It doesn’t have to have naked ladies on it!”