Pretty, Affordable Housing for Brooklyn?
Maybe visionary architects can do more than concoct condos and museums in this town. A competition to design affordable housing in the South Bronx, which ended with the January selection of U.K. architecture firm Grimshaw and local good-guy architect Richard Dattner, went so well that the city’s Department of Housing, with other agencies, is planning another, similar competition for later this year. The city will collect proposals for a 150-unit complex, dance theater, and retail space in Brooklyn, near BAM, by May 4, Housing commissioner Shaun Donovan said at the Center for Architecture last night, when he also announced another, unspecified competition for later this year. Architect Markus Dochantschi of StudioMDA, part of the runner-up team for the Bronx project, told us that he and his group will submit to the Brooklyn competition, and last night, for the first time, he showed off their Bronx proposal — a scheme of colorful mid-rise buildings that absorb sunlight and eschew dark hallways. The Brooklyn winner would face Frank Gehry’s Miss Brooklyn and her gargantuan friends — unless, of course, it’s built while lawsuits keep all those titanium panels waiting on the loading docks. —Alec Appelbaum
Waris Ahluwalia Has Much Cooler Friends Than You
For as long as we’ve been going out in this city, we’ve been spotting Waris Ahluwalia, the hip young Sikh in the corner, dancingnot drinkingand flashing his disarming smile to a well-chosen few. His social connections have led to appearances in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Inside Man, even though he’s not an actor. Who, we wondered, is Waris? On Wednesday, the launch of his idiosyncratically beautiful jewelry line, House of Waris, at Bergdorf Goodman, and later the Indian Consulate, and finally (if Waris gave you a card that said “Waris ♥s you”) at the Beatrice Inn, gave us a chance to find out.
the morning line
Caffeine Is It!
• City Councilman Simcha Felder has either great timing or way more power than we thought. Two days after he embarked on a public crusade to get caffeine content included on food labels, Coca-Cola did what he wanted. [AP via Newsday]
• Ooh, a big twist in an otherwise uneventful election! Dr. Mathieu Eugene, the new councilman elected to replace Congresswoman Yvette Clark, has to prove that he actually lives in the district before he can legally take the seat. [NYP]
• A five-judge state appeals court has unanimously upheld the constitutionality of New York’s long-in-the-tooth Cabaret Law. (A lawsuit claimed that the dancing ban in bars and clubs infringes on free expression.) At least there are no plans to beef up the silly rule’s enforcement. [MetroNY]
• NYU’s College Republicans got exactly what they wanted — scandal and press — when they staged a “Catch the Illegal Immigrant” game on campus. (The objective was to spot a student with an “immigrant” tag for a $50 reward.) The event drew 300 angry protesters instead. [NYDN]
• And André Balazs isn’t the only one bringing Beaver back to New York. For the first time in 200 years, the actual North American beaver is setting up camp in the Bronx River, a testament to a recent, $15 million cleanup. [NYT]
At Least 100 Black Men at Hilton Tonight• One Hundred Black Men gala. New York Hilton, 1335 Sixth Ave., nr. 54th St., 6 p.m. Expected guests include Kanye West, Charlie Rangel, Cory Booker, Curtis Martin, Calvin Butts, and, presumably, 95 other black men.