Scoopy’s Notebook, July 19, 2018

S.B.J.S.A. parley: City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office will be meeting with members of the group Take Back NYC on July 23 to talk about the Small Business Jobs Survival Act. We’re told one topic will be whether a special panel will be convened to look at and try to resolve any legality issues surrounding the long-stymied S.B.J.S.A. — before the expected hearing on the bill, which is reportedly set for September, or sometime in the “early fall.” Columbia professor David Eisenbach, who is a leading member of Friends of S.B.J.S.A., may or may not play a role in that process, but he will definitely be at the meeting. On the other hand, members of the Small Business Congress and the Coalition to Save NYC Small Businesses will not be there. It’s basically a case of “playing the inside game versus playing the outside game,” as Eisenbach sees it. The latter two groups (which are basically the same bunch of longtime business activists, we think), by coming out early on and charging that Johnson has “rigged” it so that the S.B.J.S.A. will either fail to pass, or only be approved in a watered-down version, are basically on the outs with Johnson, Eisenbach said.

MacPherson is free: After doing jailtime for being one of the masterminds of a $50 million Hamptons mortgage-fraud ring, Soho activist Don MacPherson has been a free man and back at home “since Christmas,” according to a neighbor. MacPherson was sentenced in early 2012 to four to 12 years behind bars. “He’s on probation,” our source said. Queried if he planned to revive the Soho Journal, the magazine he ran before going into the slammer, MacPherson reportedly told the neighbor, “No, that’s over.”

Boys Club building: Word recently got out that the Boys Club of New York plans to sell its Harriman Clubhouse building at E. 10th St. and Avenue A. The organization intends to keep operating at the Alphabet City spot through June 2019, after which it hopes to rent space in the neighborhood to continue its programming for local youth. Stephen Tosh, the club’s C.E.O., in a letter to alumni, noted that the neighborhood has “changed dramatically” since the building was opened in 1876, and that the sale’s proceeds will help the organization start new programs in places like Brownsville, East New York and / or the South Bronx. As for what will happen with the East Village H.Q., local realtor Bob Perl told us it’s likely to be a residential conversion, and that no developer would tear it down. That’s because the site is currently “overbuilt,” in that the building was constructed prior to the city’s first Zoning Resolution, in 1916, which set standards for how much square footage can be massed on a site. If the structure were razed, what could be rebuilt might be as much as 50 percent smaller, Perl offered. As for how it will be spruced up, he said, the facade will be redone and “blow out some windows,” meaning put in more windows.

The triplets who are the subject of the new documentary movie “Three Identical Strangers” opened a steakhouse in Soho in 1988 and had early success with it. The fascinating flick is showing at the Angelika on W. Houston St.

Triplets’ Soho tanget: There is a Downtown angle to the engrossing new documentary “Three Identical Strangers,” about Long Island triplets who were adopted out to different sets of parents at age 6 months as part of a secret psychological experiment. The men had a restaurant in Soho from 1988 to 2000, aptly named Triplet’s Old New York Steakhouse, at Grand and Sullivan Sts. That block has since been razed by Trinity Real Estate and is currently home to Gitano, a sprawling open-air bar that some have likened to “Meatpacking South…with palm trees.” At any rate, Downtown angle or not, the movie is a very interesting look at nature versus nurture, and a chilling story of triplets (and twins) ripped apart in the name of science.

Clarification: Last week’s print version of The Villager’s article on the Hudson River bikeway said it wasn’t immediately clear if the “S” in the bike path at 14th St. would eventually be straightened out. It will be, according to a spokesperson for the Hudson River Park Trust, who added that the bend in the path is currently due to work on a “connector” project that is widening the park’s esplanade between Gansevoort Peninsula and 14th St. Also, on why the new security bollards are being spaced at a tighter width than the temporary barriers they are replacing, a Trust source said the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services and the New York Police Department’s Counterterrorism Unit “have been informing state D.O.T.’s consideration of the 48-inch spacing.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *