Starting Next Week, Bloomberg Would Like You to Quiet Down, Too
These days you’ll find a Chase branch, not kids with boom boxes, on nearly every corner of the city, but, even so, New York’s not exactly a quiet town: There’ll always be horn-honking, engine-revving, and your downstairs neighbor’s death-metal band practice. But don’t be surprised if all those irritants become a bit more muted next week. Bloomberg’s new noise regulations take effect July 1. Unlike Hizzoner’s smoking and trans-fat bans, the 2005 noise-ordinance tweak attracted surprisingly little, well, noise. The tabloids did decry the supposed silencing of Mr. Softee trucks — they will now be allowed to blast their jingle only while on the move — but even that got only limited traction (mostly because everyone hates the damned jingle).
Arts Club Honors Heatherette — But Why?
What was Heatherette duo Richie Rich and Traver Raines doing being honored by the stuffy old National Arts Club on Gramercy Park South last week? To be honest, no one was quite sure. “I was so taken aback when they called me,” Rich said, looking around him. “It’s like going to Naomi Campbell’s house. I was like, ‘Wow. I’m actually doing something with myself.’” Club president O. Aldon James Jr. explained the rationale: The club wants to be hipper. “They do not need this award,” James said. “Our award needs them.” But were the risqué fashion designers — Heatherette recently brought buttless pants to the runway — the best pick for an institution so unfashionable as to have an old-style dress code? “Oleg Cassini would protest that,” James indignantly replied. “He was a member for 40 years!”
Is Christine Quinn Turning Her Back on AIDS Causes?
Is the longtime lovefest between City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the city’s AIDS activists finally over? Quinn rose to power working under HIV-positive then-councilman Tom Duane, advocating for tenants, gays, and people with HIV and AIDS when Duane pushed through legislation enabling poor New Yorkers with AIDS to get housing assistance and other benefits. But now a broad swath of activists want those benefits to be available to low-income HIV-positive New Yorkers before they progress to AIDS, and Quinn opposes the plan.
Paul Auster Is Huge in France, on Crosby Street
The two women hurried to finish their cigarettes on the steps of Housing Works bookstore last night, exchanging excited, quick trills in French: Paul Auster was about to arrive in person. This was not surprising: The first thing you hear as you approach an Auster reading, anywhere in the world, is French. Merely a best-selling author in these parts, Auster is a rock star in Paris. He is a subject of picture books — one, called Paul Auster’s New York, contains photos of locales from le maître’s novels — regarded as an official ambassador of authentic New Yorkiness, alongside Woody Allen. And a quick scan of the fans who turned out for a reading from his new novel, Travels in the Scriptorium, suggested a similar ardor can be found in many foreign countries.