Volume 17, Number 33 | May 06 - 12, 2005

Under Cover

Tribeca travails
UnderCover spotted the art house darling Maggie Gyllenhaal with New York Post reporter turned book author Anna Jane Grossman at Nobu recently. The two ladies gabbed about an upcoming Grossman-penned Elle magazine spread about the actress’s latest flick, Happy Endings. They did not broach the topic of U.S. foreign policy, however. Gyllenhaal saved that can of worms for her Tribeca Film Festival appearance.

While touting her film, “The Great New Wonderful,” Gyllenhaal told NY 1 that the United States should be held partially responsible for the W.T.C. disaster. The actress who gave masochistic underlings everywhere new hope in the 2002 movie “Secretary” unleashed the wrath of the New York City Fire Department on one of her unofficial Web sites. The site, which Gyllenhaal does not read, was so inundated with hate mail from outraged firefighters that it had to post a notice telling the cyber mob that the actress would not hear their fury.

Gyllenhaal’s spokesperson released a statement last Monday from the actress clarifying her position. “9/11 was a terrible tragedy,” she wrote. “But for those of us who were spared, it was also an occasion to be brave enough to ask some serious questions about America’s role in the world. Because it is always useful, as individuals or nations to ask how we may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this conflict.”

“The Great New Wonderful” — directed by Danny Leiner of such high caliber films as “Dude, Where’s My Car?” — just so happens to be a collection of stories about people living in the aftermath of 9/11.


Lego my Freedom Tower
David Childs will bury his ill-fated Freedom Tower (thanks to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly), but he can rest assured that a more modest-sized replica of his 1,776-ft. baby lives on. Legoland in Carlsbad, Cali., a seaside village north of San Diego, is home to its own 28-ft. Freedom Tower. The Lego version includes wind turbine models and clear Legos for the glass. The mini-tower endured a far less agonizing construction period: it took only four months to build. Perhaps Larry Silverstein should consider offering William Webb, the park’s “Master Model Designer,” a job.


Wholey grocery!
The fruit may be organic, but the growth hormones Whole Foods pumps into their Manhattan mega-stores is starting to show. The newest edition to the Texas-based chain, on Warren St. in Tribeca, will be a whopping 55,000 sq. ft. when it opens its doors in 2007, second only to the Columbus Circle Whole Foods that landed in the Time Warner Center. New York’s original Whole Foods, in Chelsea, is a mere 30,000 sq. ft., a runt compared to its larger sisters.


Sonic kudos
What do you get when you put an indie rock band, two pols and a construction team in a room together? The 16th annual Downtown Dinner benefit, of course! The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council plans to give a nod to Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton, John and Dan Tishman of Tishman Construction and Sonic Youth at its 16th annual spring benefit on Thursday night at Cipriani’s Downtown. Singer Suzanne Vega and Charlie Gargano, chairperson of the Empire State Development Corp. will emcee the luscious event “Downtown is less a place than a state of mind,” said L.M.C.C. prez Tom Healy in a press release. We wonder just what state of mind this collection of bedfellows was in.

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