Under Cover, Dec. 26, 2012

Sophisticated Sounds
We doubt Composer Philip Glass had marching Little Leaguers in mind when he wrote ‘Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra’, but he has apparently given his blessing to it being the featured song in next year’s Downtown Little League’s Opening Day parade (if there is one).

Tom Goodkind, bandleader of TriBattery Pops, has been in touch with Glass’ FiDi office for about a year, and they’ve picked the sax concerto for the band and parade.

‘They said they would be very interested to see what we do with it,’ Goodkind said. ‘The Little Leaguers are going to march to post-modernist music.’

Gov. Chris Christie be warned: personalized emergency fleece jackets may not be good for job insurance.
Tom Goodkind found that out the hard way. Goodkind showed up to Community Board 1’s meeting last Wednesday night sporting his new custom-made ‘Chair of C.B. 1 Housing Committee’ jacket.

‘I’m ready for the next storm,’ the tongue-often-in-cheek Goodkind told us, explaining he was inspired by the jacket worn by the New Jersey governor after Sandy.

But by the next day, he learned that chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes had axed his committee. The move did not appear to be a fashion statement since Hughes, in a surprise streamlining move, also 86’ed the Waterfront Committee and two task forces — B.P.C. Ballfields and the State Liquor Authority Process Review. Other committees will pick up the slack.

Goodkind is proud of the comprehensive reports his volunteer group wrote, and did not criticize Hughes. ‘We have a fantastic group and have done some great work,’ he said. ‘We’re glad C.B. 1 had a housing committee.’

Silver Touch
When Shaun Donovan was Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s housing czar he and Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver worked together on some Lower Manhattan projects, and that relationship may pay dividends Downtown.

Silver told us that he’d recently been on the phone with Donovan, now President Obama’s Sandy czar and HUD secretary, and Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security. Silver said that he’d urged both officials to make sure that a portion of the federal package is devoted to small business grants, since many impacted business owners simply need more than loans in order to fully recover. Both Donovan and Napolitano were sympathetic to those concerns, Silver added, and Donovan explicitly told him grants will be included in the relief package.

He was probably already considering a push for the grant money, but Silver’s ties couldn’t have hurt. He said Donovan called him up immediately after Obama put him in charge of Sandy. ‘He told me that I could give him a call whenever I have suggestions or need something (related to hurricane recovery), so I did,’ Silver said. ‘I’ve known Shaun a long time, and we’re good friends.’

Verizon’s Horizon

After Sandy, Verizon ‘has been the only Really Big Failure’ Downtown, Tribeca resident Donald Jenner wrote us. The phone-cable-Internet giant is leaving thousands of Downtowners disconnected for months as it tries to replace damaged copper wires with fiber — raising the ire of local residents, leaders and businesses.

Catherine McVay Hughes, Community Board 1’s chairperson, said the firm is even skimping on simple things like automatic refunds for lost service: ‘It’s up to you to waste your time to get your money back.’

But an aide to State Sen. Daniel Squadron tells us there may be a little progress. She said in reaction to outrage over expected rate hikes, the firm now says ‘most’ customers will get the same or lower rates on the internet, and had recently committed to keeping phone rates the same.

To Jenner, Verizon has never been too keen on the P.S.T.N. (public switched telephone network), but he says what he calls POTS is superior to FIOS. ‘Plain Old Telephone Service works,’ he said.

Salty Opening
Sara Williams, co-owner of the Seaport’s Fresh Salt in the South Street Seaport, hoisted up her gates covering the windows of the old brick building at 146 Beekman St. last week to reopen Fresh Salt bar and restaurant.

Sandy trashed the interior of Fresh Salt, a neighborhood haunt that Williams and her partner, Jason Connolly, opened in 2004. Visitors who ‘discovered’ it and locals who made it their hangout liked it for its friendly service, its moderate prices, its ice-cold beers and its comfort food menu (mac and cheese, meatloaf, sandwiches).

It took weeks of intensive work to clean out the debris and begin to rebuild.

‘We have yet to tally all the damages,’ Williams said.

The 1885 building was designed by George B. Post, architect of the building on the corner of Beekman and Front Sts., once owned by Ellen S. Auchmuty, a descendant of the wealthy Schermerhorn family. The corner building is ornamented with terra cotta cockleshells, fish and starfish.

Post also designed the New York Stock Exchange and the New York Times building at 41 Park Row.