Volume 18, Number 3 | JUNE10 -16, 2005

Under Cover

Curtain Call
New York’s bid to host the 2012 Olympic games might have been reduced to a colossal failure this week, but that hasn’t fazed the folks at NYC2012. The organization is on the lookout for optimistic extras to come Downtown this Sunday for a filming of an Olympic bid movie that will be presented on July 6 in Singapore.

Could it be that NYC2012 is suffering from the aftershock of sudden rejection? Did they sleep through Shelly Silver’s Monday morning death knell? Or perhaps the organization simply decided to ignore the power of politics all together.

“We will bring out New Yorkers showing support for the games regardless of politics,” cheered Nick Michlewicz, a member of NYC2012’s marketing team.

The film is the city’s futile last chance to flaunt its bling bling to the International Olympic Committee. Sadly, New York has little to flaunt since Silver took an ax to the West Side stadium, the crucial – and extravagant – structure needed to make the city a realistic host for the games.

Interested extras should arrive at 9:30 a.m. on Sun. June 12 at the corner of Wall and Williams Sts. decked out in business attire to represent the city’s business community. The first 75 lucky thespians will receive limited edition Olympic bid pins. Not much of a morning person? Hit Gigino’s Restaurant, 20 Battery Park Place at Wagner Park, at 4 p.m., where Olympic bid pins will be waiting for the first 200 starlets.

Downtown Hotel
Robert De Niro’s latest real estate venture is growing. The hotel on Greenwich St. he’s planning with hoteliers Ira Drukier and Richard Born might get bigger. De Niro et al have applied for a variance with the Board of Standards and Appeals for their $51 million investment, dubbed Downtown Hotel. During the excavation process, the team found itself forced to dig deeper, tossing away their profit margin with the soil. In an effort to squeeze more rooms into the tony $330-a-night inn, the team has high hopes of adding a few more feet to the base height of the building. “It’s only in the last few years that you’ve been able to build a hotel in Manhattan and not go bankrupt,” pleaded the bespeckled Drukier at a recent Community Board 1 meeting. The Tribeca Committee gleefully gave the team its blessing, sending it on its way to B.S.A. The added height would tack on an extra floor, bringing the number of rooms to 94, from 80.

Downtown Hotel, which plans to open at the end of next year, equipped with a lobby-level restaurant and bar, is conveniently located next door to two of De Niro’s other pet projects: the Tribeca Film Institute and the Tribeca Grill.

D.I.D. endorsements
The Downtown Independent Democrats are still playing the field when it comes to mayoral endorsements. Apparently there was no candidate strong or stable enough worthy of D.I.D. backing just yet.

“September is three months away and we want to make the right decision as far as mayor,” said D.I.D. president Sean Sweeney, who proposed at the meeting that the club hold off until the end of June wedding itelf to a candidate.

There is a strategy to playing hard to get. “You always want to pick a winner,” explained Sweeney. Back in presidential primary season, D.I.D. steered clear of the Dr. Dean craze and held out until after Iowa. The club was the first of two in the state to endorse Kerry. “People say the politicians will remember you if you endorse early, but they need you more when you endorse late.”

Jumping the Gerson ship
Robin Forst, City Councilmember Alan Gerson’s stalwart aide is packing her bags and heading south – to Charlie Maikish’s office. Starting Monday, the fair-haired Battery Park City local will steer the communications and community relations office for the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center. “Things are really starting to move and the pieces are coming together,” Forst told UnderCover. “I’m really happy to be a part of it.”

The command center has yet to find a permanent home — it currently resides down the hall from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. at 1 Liberty Plaza — but Forst is used to setting up shop. Forst was Gerson’s first employee, she joined his office the day after he took office, in Jan. 2002.

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