Scoopy’s Notebook, Week of Sept. 20, 2018

Andy Golub, known for his body-painting events, tried another medium and canvas — chalk and the Washington Square Park pavement — last week for the anniversary of 9/11. “I’ve never done chalk art before,” he said. “I’m just freestyling.” The event culminated in a group sing-along of “America the Beautiful.” “It’s important that we all look at each other with love in our hearts,” Golub said. “That’s what this is all about.” Above, Anderson Mohawk, left, with Julia, 4, visiting from Egypt, collaborated on a colorful piece. Photo by Bob Krasner

Never mind the bollards: Back in July, the state Department of Transportation installed the first bunch of new security bollards at a few points along the Hudson River bikeway, such as at W. 30th St., outside the heliport, and at W. 40th St., another spot with commercial traffic crossing the path. Signs posted along the heavily used pathway said the rest of the bike path would be getting the shiny-metal bollards in the coming weeks, installed during overnight hours. But cyclists and local politicians raised the alarm that the new protective posts — with only a 4-foot width between them — would create congestion on the path and actually make things more dangerous for bike riders. Well, in the two months since the initial batch of new-style bollards went in, we haven’t seen any more installed since — so what’s up? State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Deborah Glick explained there was a meeting convened by Congressmember Jerrold Nadler a month ago on the issue with state D.O.T. As Hoylman told us, the pols expressed concerns to D.O.T. that the new security stanchions would “affect the flow on the path and create bottlenecks, and also impede the Hudson River Park Trust from using their vehicles on the bike path — including snow removal and other vehicles. We don’t know who would pay for that,” he added of the possibility the Trust might have to buy a whole new fleet of thinner vehicles to squeeze between the new barriers. Said Glick, “It was a big meeting, with various players, from state D.O.T., to N.Y.P.D. Anti-Terrorism…the Trust was there, local elected officials.” Both pols told us that, since that sit-down, there has not been any word back yet from D.O.T. A Trust spokesperson referred comments to state D.O.T. At any rate, the bike path is looking much better through the Village and Chelsea now compared to two months ago. A smooth surface of black asphalt has been laid down, pedestrian walkway areas have been opened up, as have sight lines. The out-of-control “S” curve blind spot at 14th St. has been straightened out and the path there is safe once again.

Eye on the chair: Last we heard, Daniel Miller was definitely interested in running for chairperson of Community Board 2 in the board’s upcoming November election. However, veteran board member Doris Diether now tells us she also is now hearing another name: Erik Coler. Miller is the board’s first vice chairperson while Coler is its assistant secretary, along with being the president of the Village Independent Democrats political club. Playing it close to the vest, neither Miller nor Coler responded when we asked them how the chairperson race is shaping up. … By the way, Diether, 89, tells us some rogue offshore outfit recently was foolish enough to try to pull a phone scam on her. Of course, she got all their info and is now thinking of passing it on to law enforcement. When will these knuckleheads ever learn?

Boys Club barricade: Local politicians will rally outside the Boys Club’s Harriman Clubhouse on the afternoon of Fri., Sept. 28, to urge the organization’s trustees to postpone the building’s planned sale until there is community input. Leading the rally outside the historic structure, at E. 10th St. and Avenue A, will be state Senator Brad Hoylman, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Councilmember Carlina Rivera and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, who will also be joined by representatives of Community Board 3 and local parents. The Boys Club contends that only half of the kids currently using Harriman hail from the East Village and Lower East Side, and that enrollment there is down from the 1980s and ’90s. Meanwhile, the sale proceeds could be used to create a new clubhouse in East New York or other needy city neighborhoods, their thinking goes. However, the East Village youth mecca’s use actually saw a dramatic spike in 2015, which the Boys Club downplays as due to stronger outreach to pump up sagging enrollment back then, the Daily News recently reported. Either way, Hoylman said, the community must be consulted on this major move, and the club must “show the statistics” that justify jettisoning the building. Local real estate investor and developer Bob Perl previously told us that, if the 1876 clubhouse is, in fact, sold, it definitely would be renovated — with a new facade slapped on and added windows — since it’s “overbuilt” under current zoning; in other words, it wouldn’t be razed, since a new building there would, under current zoning, have to be smaller. However, Hoylman said of the venerable facility, “It’s nurtured generations of young men, and the last thing they need is condos or a fancy hotel at that location.”

Why he did it: We asked Hoylman why he endorsed Joseph Garba over well-known young activist Chris Marte in last week’s primary election for State Democratic Committee in the Lower East Side’s 65th District. “Because Garba asked me and Marte didn’t,” Hoylman explained, simply. “I don’t endorse people who don’t ask me. And I know Joe Garba and know that he would be a good state committeeman. But I’m excited that Chris Marte will be on the state committee.” Asked if the fact Garba works for powerful state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie influenced his support, Hoylman said, no, and added that he is in the state Senate, not the Assembly. Asked if he knew if Garba has lived in the neighborhood for any amount of time, Hoylman said he didn’t think it was very long. Similarly, Yuh-Line Niou, who is in the Assembly and also backed Garba, tweeted out her hearty congrats to Marte after his victory. Go figure. Politics!

Village Fest Vega: Liz Thompson, the organizer of the first annual Village Trip festival, in an update, tells us that the fest’s free concert in the park, dubbed “Bringing It All Back Home to Washington Square,” on Sat., Sept. 29, starting at 5:30 p.m., will now be headlined by Suzanne Vega. Vega’s career began more than 30 years ago in Village clubs and coffee houses. She burst on the scene with folk-inspired songs like “Luka” and “Tom’s Diner.” (In another local connection, her late stepdad, the Puerto Rican novelist Ed Vega, was the executive director of the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Educational Center, on Suffolk St.) “I am happy to be doing this show in Greenwich Village, where I spent a lot of time in the ’80s,” Vega said. “I first ventured down to Folk City, afraid to cross the threshold because I knew Bob Dylan had started there. But I was thrilled to be accepted by the gang of poetic songwriters I found. And it’s always good to be back.” As The Villager already reported, David “Spice Man” Amram will be the event’s artist in residence and will “add spice wherever it is needed.” The Village Trip will be tripping from Thurs., Sept. 27, to Sun., Sept. 30. For a schedule of events, visit thevillagetrip.com .

Parks progress: The Jackson Square Park renovation project kicked off this past spring. But reader Gordon Minette says there doesn’t appear to have been much renovating of any sort going on lately — possibly for as long as the past couple of months — at the triangular park, at Eighth and Greenwich Aves. and Horatio St. However, Crystal Howard, assistant director of communications for the city’s Parks Department, said not all is as it seems to the eye. “We are working every day, on and off site, to complete the Jackson Square Park project on schedule — early 2019,” she said. Basically, the Jackson Square project is part of a “multi-site contract,” including the replacement of the Jane St. Garden’s old chain-link fence with a fancy new one. In the last few months, according to Parks, work at Jackson Square has included “underground air-compression tests of the water supply to the fountain and installation and painting of missing finials and horseshoe castings on the perimeter fence.” Also currently in progress is off-site fabrication of custom fencing; refurbishment of the fountain, which is almost completed; and preparation of custom-cut granite pavers, to be delivered this month. “The [project] is at the midpoint of the construction duration, and is currently on schedule,” Howard assured. “We have also made progress on the Jane St. project and have already installed the new sidewalk and curb; the fence is scheduled to be installed next month.”

Correction: In Joseph Reiver’s article in our Aug. 30 Elizabeth St. Garden special section, the size of the Habitat for Humanity office space in the city’s proposed Haven Green housing project was incorrectly stated as 1,100 square feet. The correct size is 11,200 square feet.

Leave a Reply

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