Volume 18 • Issue 18 | September 23 - 29, 2005

UnderCover



Going nowhere fast
Surprise! The Fulton Fish Market move has been foiled again. In what has become one of the longest farewells in recent memory, the Fish Market hit another bump in the road on the way to its new home in the South Bronx. The market’s sole fish unloader lobbed a lawsuit against the city on Friday, stalling the move for the fifth time.

The city has been toying with the idea of relocating the 170-year-old market since the Giuliani administration.

In December, the new 450,000 sq. ft. market was near completion and a move to a new, state-of-the-art facility seemed imminent. But a series of delays have stalled the move indefinitely. The most recent scheduled time frame—before the lawsuit was filed—was for this month.

Bay Shore, the Long Island-based Laro Service Systems, filed the suit on Friday because the market’s new structure will allow other companies to compete with Laro for business and the company fears its competitors might have “iffy” backgrounds, according to the suit.

Laro scored its exclusive arrangement a decade ago when, in an attempt to clean up organized crime at the market, the city required background checks for all fish unloaders. Randy Mastro, Laro’s attorney, was deputy mayor 10 years ago when Rudy Giuliani turned to him to clean up the market.

The Bloomberg administration insists all the purveyors have cleared background checks.

The hearing is scheduled for Friday.


Modeling Tribeca
The runway ends at 200 Chambers St. Celebrity models are lining up to view the Sir Norman Foster and Costas Kondylis-designed luxury residential tower. Petra Nemcova, the Czech lovely and tsunami survivor bought a unit along with Victoria’s Secret model Linda Lojtova, the New York Post reported. Models Lydia Hearst, Ana Beatriz Barros and Anne V. recently checked out the 30-story, 258-unit building, which isn’t slated to open until Fall 2006. Alex von Furstenberg also took a peek at the Scott Resnick development, which hit the market in early July.

The studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units range from $500,000 to around $3 million.

New Chambers St. residents will have another celebrity neighbor to contend with: Gwenyth Paltrow and her shutterbug-shy baby, Apple, recently moved to the neighborhood.


Honcho plaza
We hear Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, just moved into Gateway Plaza. The teachers’ leader may have been drawn to the security of the Battery Park City complex or was looking for a backdoor channel to contract negotiations with Mayor Bloomberg – after all top cop, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, also lives in Gateway.


Celeb charge
Unbeknownst to us, UnderCover is apparently the “manager” of a pair of Downtown celebrities. We had no idea that we’d been hired for the gig until we began receiving copious amounts of fan mail from a certain convict holed up in a correctional facility in Anchorage, Alaska. The amorous fan has been begging us to forward his letters onto his cherubic loves. “I’m missing you two,” he scrawled. “Did you get my resume for hire?” “I hope you two are minding your P’s and Q’s,” he advised. We’re dutifully keeping the letters for safekeeping.


Wall Street Marrying
Wall Street Rising acting executive director Meredith Ballew, 29, married New York State Assemblymember Jonathan Bing, 35, last weekend in Pittsboro, North Carolina. Ballew met Bing during his campaign in Sept. 2002, although the two did not start dating until after election night.

Ballew took the reigns of Wall Street Rising, a nonprofit founded after 9/11 to revitalize Downtown, after founding executive director Julie Menin left to chair Community Board 1 in June.


Office Labor
New York Downtown Hospital delivered a new bundle of joy this month to one of its own. Vanessa Warner, the hospital’s director of public affairs and marketing, gave birth to a baby girl, Raquel Anne Warner, 7 pounds 14 ounces, 19 inches, on Sept. 6 at the hospital. Raquel is Vanessa and husband Peter Warner’s second child. Their son, Xavier, is the new big brother.


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