Volume 18 • Issue 31 | December 16 - 22, 2005

UnderCover


‘So Vain’ mystery answers
Carly Simon’s husband, Jim Hart, a Financial District insurance exec, tells UnderCover that three decades of speculation about who the famous ditty “You’re So Vain” is about is all bunk. He assures us his wife is not singing about Warren Beatty, Mick Jagger, James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson or Cat Stevens — the five most popular theories for the 1973 hit. Hart, who is also chairperson of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, would not reveal the name but he insists that the subject is not a celebrity at all and just an un-famous, old boyfriend. You probably think we’ve been had and are still quite naïve, but just remember Carl Bernstein’s ex-wife, Nora Ephron, said she was sure Deep Throat was Mark Felt years before that was confirmed. How’d we get the scoop? We are where we should be all of the time. Yes, we’re a little vain, too.


Cruise graces Tribeca
Tom Cruise was expected to turn up Thursday at a Tribeca Rooftop fundraiser for a controversial Church of Scientology program that claims to heal firefighters of Sept. 11-related illnesses. Cruise co-founded the group, New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Program, which has been blasted by public health officials who criticize it for advising people to stop taking prescription medication.

The treatment program, based on theories developed by science fiction writer and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, emphasizes large doses of Vitamin B-3, sauna baths and exercise in lieu of traditional Western medicine.

It also received the support of outgoing City Councilmember Margarita Lopez, who appeared at the center’s groundbreaking alongside Cruise. According to New York Post reports last summer, Lopez was a key player in securing $630,000 in city funds for the project, which is located on Fulton St.

Speaking of Lopez, the man she professed her political love for, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, tells UnderCover that he may hire her. “I think Margarita is very smart,” the mayor said. “I’d love to find something in the administration for her but I have not talked to her at all about it.”

The mayor does think Scientologists are “kooks.”


Assembly wannabes
A crowded field of candidates is gearing up to run for Scott Stringer’s Assembly seat after he takes over as borough president in January (assuming Governor Pataki calls a special election). Names we are hearing are Linda Rosenthal, Congressman Jerrold Nadler’s Manhattan director; attorney Marc Landis; Charles Simon, son of Upper West Side preservationist Arlene Simon of Landmark West; Arthur Gregg; and attorney Charles Imohiosen. Altogether seven names are being mentioned. Word has it that the race is between Rosenthal, Simon and Landis.


Merchants holes up at W.T.C.
Merchants N.Y. is opening a new locale on Washington and Rector Sts. The traditional European café boasts outdoor seating for 140, a not-so-enticing amenity in 16-degree weather, but UnderCover can imagine balmier days ahead.

“This is becoming such a vibrant and vital area,” boasted owner Richard Cohn in a statement about the neighborhood four blocks south of the World Trade Center site. “It’s a place where everyone wants to be, but was just lacking this type of casual neighborhood establishment.”

He is a positive thinker. Not everyone can see the glitter near the tunnel entrances, highway and garages that plague Greenwich Street South. Stefan Pryor, Lower Manhattan Development Corporation , last week told us it was a “no-man’s land.”


Stringer surveys charges
While on the subject of Stringer, the incoming B.P. has taken a special interest in his charges on the borough’s 12 community boards. As B.P., Stringer’s only real power is to appoint – and nix – community board members. Apparently, he’s taking his job very seriously. He recently sent a missive to C.B. 1 members, which included a questionnaire asking to pick board member’s brains for the “vast knowledge” they possess. Board members are asked to list the “three most pressing issues” their board faced in 2005 and asked for details about any conflicts of interest that might have occurred. Looks like Stringer isn’t slowing down much for the holidays at all.


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