Astor Place to Get Slightly Less Life-ThreateningScruffles are playing in the streets in Jackson Heights. Gays are scared for their Vespas in Chelsea. Some other group of people is turning in its Uzis in Clinton Hill. And everybody is reading our daily boroughs report.
Spitzer’s Departure Bad for Moynihan Station, Too!Cobble Hill: Just as young parents here suffer the creeping feeling that their edgy youthful coolness is slipping away between their fingers, along comes an Urban Outfitters to profit off all their insecurities! [Cobble Hill Blog]
Clinton: Spitzer’s resignation may put a further drag on the development of Hudson Yards and Moynihan Station, already slowed by the credit crisis. [Crain’s NY]
East Village: Lest you think Trader Joe’s mania was dropping off, please note that the line to get in was back this weekend. No frozen organic brown rice for you, little low-income vegan! [East Village Idiot]
Bushwick Life: Rat Poop on Your Pillow, Organic Milk in Your BodegaBushwick: The area is not so gentrified that you may not still experience the thrill of rats going through your trash or taking a dump on your bed. But at least you can get organic milk in the bodegas now. [BushwichBK]
Clinton Hill: It looks like the stakeout for Spitzer’s hooker bookers has moved here, with TV crews sniffing around for Tameka Lewis, a.k.a. “Rachelle.” [Nervous Acid]
Fort Greene: Perhaps remorseful that he demolished the area’s only supermarket to make room for a massive 600-unit condo project, John Catsimatidis promised it’d have a grocery. But nearby project dwellers worry they won’t be able to afford it if it’s one of his Gristedes. [NYDN]
Fire in Soho: Nobody Hurt
As we type, the block of Greene Street between Broome and Grand is closed off by fire trucks. There is a fire, now partially contained, on the second and third floors of the three-story structure (the former Particular Iron Works building). Nobody is still inside the building and no one was hurt, but if you’re in Soho and wondering what all the hullabaloo is, there’s your explanation. You may go back to trying to choose between Diesel stores now. —Randi Eichenbaum
Temporary Hold on Trump Soho After New Accident Doesn’t Appease Foes
The much-maligned Trump Soho can’t seem to get it right. Just two months after a construction worker died after a catastrophic on-site fall, which grounded the condo project for weeks, work was again stopped by the city over the weekend after yet another accident. Glass panels came crashing down the condo-hotel on Saturday, “knocked loose by a chain attached to construction equipment on the 26th floor,” according to the New York Sun. Unsurprisingly, critics of the project are quick to pounce on this recent snafu. “It seems like no matter what happens, [the project] at most just gets a temporary delay. But the city just lets them continue ahead. You’d think in light of the recent fatal accident, the developers and construction company would be extra safe and extra careful,” says Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which is challenging Trump Soho on the grounds that the permits to build it shouldn’t have been issued by the city in the first place. “This project never should have been allowed in the first place, and if they cannot run their construction site safely, it should be shut down.” In response to the incident, Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to tighten construction safety and oversight on developers, but until all construction on Trump Soho stops for good, its vehement opponents are unlikely to be satisfied. — S. Jhoanna Robledo
New accident stops work at Trump SoHo tower as wind wreaks havoc [NYDN]
Earlier: Building Collapse at Trump Soho
Is There a Park Slope in Baghdad?Dumbo: Last night was the first night that passersby could see Adriana Varella’s giant Applied Kinetics projection installation at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. There are no pictures yet, so go tonight and see it yourself. [DumboNYC]
East Village: A funny guerilla-marketing tactic for a Black Lips show has finally made our favorite advertising blogger smile! With black lips! [Copyranter]
Park Slope: After a kind of annoying string of posts on a couple of real-estate blogs about what neighborhoods are the “Park Slope”s of other cities, this blog just gets right down to business: What is the Park Slope of Iraq? [Gowanus Lounge]
‘Page Six’ Manages to Not Revel in Sarah Jessica Parker’s Failure Sarah Jessica Parker is not confident that her unreleased movie, Spinning Into Butter, will ever see the light of day. Barack Obama and his wife are slated to attend the opening of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Oprah on Thursday. Cosmetics heir Olivia Chantecaille got engaged to banker boyfriend Ren Grady. Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively took a bunch of friends shopping to Armani Exchange on Fifth Avenue. Shake Shack is opening a location on the Upper West Side! Sting, Diddy, and Josh Hartnett all hung out at Half Nelson producer Charlie Corwin’s birthday at Socialista, which is now back open after the hepatitis scare. Michael Musto will appear on the cover of The Village Voice spoofing this magazine’s Lindsay Lohan shoot.
The PATH Train to Be Awash With Green This WeekendBushwick: This Shwick blogger thinks the “Bushwick Initiative is just the City putting a sad little band-aid on the giant ax wound it created in New York’s housing situation.” But these rehabbed buildings do look nicer [BushwickBK]
Hoboken: Duders, the St. Patrick’s Day parade is this Saturday! That’s early, even for Hoboken! [East Village Idiot]
New Springville: Staten Island cops are searching for a man who snatched a woman from a bus stop here and sexually assaulted her last night. He was 18–20 years old and 5’5”, so keep your eyes peeled. [NY1]
The ‘Crazy Super’ Has a Dog Named Pretty GirlBay Ridge: Richard Martin, the “crazy super” who posts homicidally threatening signs about trash disposal, says of his tenants “They’re Arab; they don’t give a f*ck”; has a cute Pekinese named Pretty Girl; and worships Jeanine Pirro. Feast on his cranky, strangely lovable weirdness. [NYP]
Chelsea: Facing lawsuits from folks who say it’s too loud and polluting to be there, the 30th St. pier heliport floats a plan to move itself onto two barges offshore. And Curbed is right… this homespun sketch of the plan indeed features the quaintest, gentlest West Side Highway we’ve ever seen. [Villager via Curbed]
Ditmas Park: Folks in these gentrifying, pretty parts know that the hatred currently directed at Park Slope will soon be visited upon them. And they’re probably right. [Ditmas Park Blog]
Breaking: Construction Workers Return to Trump SohoConstruction workers have returned to Trump Soho, a little over a month after DiFama Concrete worker Yurly Vanschytskyy fell 40 stories to his death off the building, after a wooden mold in which he was tamping down concrete collapsed. According to Newsday, the Department of Buildings is allowing Bovis, the contractor overseeing the project, to work on the first 23 floors, provided Bovis employ a full-time safety manager, train their workers better, and swaddle the upper floors of the building in scaffolding and netting. Donald Trump has never made a statement regarding the accident.
Work resumes on lower floors of Trump SoHo condo after fatal fall [Newsday]
Related: Intel’s coverage of the accident at Trump SoHo
Feral Cats Displaced in Favor of Waterfront FunBay Ridge: Gotta love this “crazy super,” whose psychotic signs routinely threaten to kill tenants who don’t take out their trash properly. [Right in Bay Ridge]
Bedford-Stuyvesant: Elation erupts upon news of an imminent Duane Reade: “No longer will we have to drink Tropical Fantasy ginger ale. We’ll be able to step it up a notch with the effervescence of Schweppes.” [Bed-Stuy Blog]
Greenpoint: A colony of feral cats will have to be displaced as part of plans for a concrete waterfront park here, which will include a twelve-foot view-blocking fence. [Newyorkshitty]
The City Takes On the Squirrel HouseCobble Hill: Whether that house on Kane Street where the old lady lives is infested with rats or squirrels is now a moot point — the city’s ordered her to vacate, and trusty NY1 is on the story! [Lost NYC]
Greenwich Village: The Department of Buildings is bitter because the developer of the units that went up over landmark Circle in the Square theater lied and said they’d be used for dorms. They’re not, meaning no zoning breaks. Meaning pare down those hideous balconies! [Villager]
Lower Manhattan: Also bitter are Seaport locals, who laughed in the face of moguls last night who offered them community use of the Fulton Market floor where the “Bodies” exhibit is in exchange for development. Looks like they want waaaay more public space than that. [Downtown Express]
For ‘Lipstick Jungle’ Star, Life Imitates ArtLipstick Jungle actress Lindsay Price met LSV Advisors’ David Tisch at the Cynthia Rowley show last week, and they’ve been dating since. Scarlett Johansson refused to talk to an Us Weekly reporter because of the plastic-surgery cover they did of her. Bruce Willis hung out with Victoria’s Secret model Emma Heming at Marquee for Lauren Kucerak’s birthday party, where he tipped $100 a drink. Justin Timberlake was spotted shopping at Tiffany & Co. Natalie Portman showed up 45 minutes late to a vegan-shoe launch she was doing in Soho and only answered questions for five minutes.
She Was a Day-tripper, Ferry Driver, Yeah!Coney Island: “Imagine getting on a ferry at Hunt’s Point for a day trip” here! That’s what Christine Quinn floated yesterday in her big speech. Could it really happen? [Kinetic Carnival]
East Village: McMansion mogul Robert Toll’s 27-year-old NYU social-work-student son Jacob lives with two of his buds in a $2.2 million condo in his dad’s glossy new One Ten 3rd building. How will he pay that mortgage on a social worker’s salary? (Cue cynical chortles.) [NYO]
Midtown: Wouldn’t it be cool if the retired math professor who nearly died of a bondage incident in a sex club here could get his wife in on his S&M thing instead of having to shamefully confess it to her in the Post? Now he’s vowing to break his addiction. Why not just go safe, sane, and consensual? [Gothamist]
Bedford-Stuyvesant Not So Sold on the ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’ Parts of This ElectionBedford-Stuyvesant: Some folks are skeptical that anything will change here, no matter who’s elected in November. And they’re employing their mailboxes to say so. [Newyorkshitty]
Greenwich Village: After renovations of Washington Square Park found human remains there, folks will protest there tonight, saying the city should merely “repair” the park and not upset buried bones with a full-scale redo. [Metro]
Jackson Heights: This is the home of the largest of 47 rent-stabilized apartment buildings throughout Queens just purchased for $300 million by Vantage Properties. Housing advocates fear the new owner will systematically push out low-rent-paying tenants in the nearly 2,000 units. [The Real Deal]
The Writers’ Strike Has Amy Poehler Expressing Her Creativity in New WaysThe writers’ strike may end soon, and the SNL gang may have their day jobs back, but in the meantime, Amy Poehler’s getting her groove back. “I went to a hip-hop class at Crunch today,” she told us Friday night at actor Justin Theroux’s week-long public installation in Soho with a baseball-capped Will Arnett, her actor hubby. “Let me tell you something, those natural endorphins I’ve heard about — they really work.” Didn’t she ever do aerobic activity? “No,” she said. “Unless crying is considered an aerobic activity. I gotta get back to work.” So what else was she doing with her spare time? “I’ve doubled my therapy,” she said. But didn’t less work stress require less therapy? “No,” she replied. “I’m a thousand times more stressed when I’m not working. When you can’t blame everything on being too busy, a lot of shit comes up.” Totally. Last time our computers crapped out on us, we had to face that we had grown up to become bloggers whose high point of the week was Gossip Girl, and, well, it wasn’t pretty. Well, we told Poehler, at least you’re out doing new things, right? “Yeah,” she agreed. “And I’m learning how to become a midwife!” Wow! Really? “No.” —Tim Murphy
Click here to read all our writers strike coverage from New York’s Vulture blog.
Flowers for HeathAbove is a snapshot of the flowers, candles, and cards that are already amassing on the doorstep of Heath Ledger’s Soho apartment. Fans and curious passersby are still stopping by the block on Broome Street where the actor died yesterday afternoon.
We know we should be used to this phenomenon, being bloggers and all, but we’re still awed by the speed with which the news spread yesterday. The 28-year-old’s body was found at around 3 p.m. Less than two hours later, it was being reported on television and on the Internet nationwide. While this isn’t surprising in terms of the capability of the modern media, what struck us is that people passed the information to one another with incredible speed. Something about Heath Ledger, be it his youth, his popularity, or the mere unexpectedness of his death, caused people to IM friends, shout out in open office spaces, and call relatives. Ledger had grown into an iconic New York figure in recent years. What was your reaction? Since it’s all anyone is talking about today, we’d love to hear what you have to say. Drop us a note in the comments.
Related: Heath Ledger: Covering the Coverage
Terry Gilliam’s Heath Ledger Movie: What Happens Now? [Vulture]
in other news
Heath Ledger: Covering the Coverage (Updated)Today’s coverage of Heath’s Ledger’s death doesn’t answer many more of the questions that his fans are asking one another. Police are no longer touting suicide as the cause, and his family has declared it was an accident. Looking through the stories, blog posts, and online videos, though, provides a telling peek into the way the actor affected people, and how no one quite knows how to handle his death.
• According to some police sources, Heath’s ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams kicked him out of their shared Brooklyn home because of a drug problem “that got worse after he left.” Williams, the mother of their 2-year-old child, Matilda, has said she is “devastated.” [NYDN]
• The masseuse who discovered the body didn’t first call the police; she called the actress Mary-Kate Olsen, another client. Olsen told her to immediately call the authorities. [PageSix.com]
it just happened
Breaking: Building Collapse at Trump Soho
According to Curbed and the view from our office window, a major chunk of concrete has fallen from the top of the Trump Soho. One unconfirmed fatality; more as we know it.
UPDATE 2:45: Our photographer on the scene says one fatality is now confirmed; they’re still trying to remove people from the building, which is happening very slowly. Photos of that after the jump. From our view here at the office, we can see the crane moving (scary); Varick has been shut down.