Volume 18, Number 50 | April 28 - May 4, 2006

Under Cover

Getting out of the HUD
Stalled work on the Tribeca section of Hudson River Park should be resuming at the end of May, Chris Martin, spokesperson for the Hudson River Park Trust, told UnderCover. Work stopped about a month ago as Trust officials waited for $70 million from HUD – a.k.a. the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which authorized the money to go to another agency, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is spreading some of its green to the park.
Pile driving work in the mighty Hudson can only be done between May 1 and Oct. 31, but the Trust has to remove the Pier 25 and 26 decks first. They have to order custom-made piles too. “They don’t have a pile of piles sitting around,” he said.
Martin said they hope to be able to complete all of the pile work this year and the park should open on time in 2008.

Redeveloping Soho
City Councilmember Alan Gerson wants the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to fund two projects that are north of Canal St.: the renovation and expansion of Petrosino Park at Kenmare and Lafayette Sts. and the installation of historic streetlights in Soho. “They have, to date, totally overlooked the part of [Community] Board 2 that is south of Houston St. We suffered from 9/11 — and legally that area is in the catchment area [of the L.M.D.C.],” Gerson said at a C.B. 2 public meeting. He may have forgotten that the corporation has put money into several Hudson River Park projects in C.B. 2 including Pier 40 fields and tennis courts, and that some of the $70 million Tribeca money will be spent north of Canal. Gerson plans to write Stefan Pryor, the L.M.D.C.’s president, about it.

Must I move everything?
No matter how big they get, landscape architects don’t seem to mind getting their hands dirty. Immediately after Larry Silverstein announced at the almost-finished 7 World Trade Center plaza that he had agreed with the Port authority on financial terms for the World Trade Center site, architect Ken Smith joined workers and moved some planters in the plaza he designed. Smith also designed the elevated plaza at 55 Water St. and is working on a redesign for a 1,300-acre park in Orange County, California.

Another Pink
The up-and-coming celeb Fefe Dobson (a.k.a. “the new Pink” and Justin Timberlake’s opening act) visited designer Apollo Braun’s store on Orchard St. last Sunday. She was tailed by her manager and a pack of Teen People magazine journalists who interviewed her there for an article hyping her as the “new big thing.” Mid-interview, Dobson’s manager rushed in with some sushi and beseeched the performer dramatically, “You must eat something!” The 21-year-old rocker bought a leather bag, two leather belts and a T-shirt with the slogan “Madonna is my mother!” prompting Braun to quip, “Honey, she is old enough to be everyone’s mother!” (Yeeowch!) Before she left, Dobson signed her name on the wall, then stuck Teen People with the bill. Added Braun publicist Raquel Urriola, “We know she is not a big celebrity yet, but everyone in the music industry says with her CD release next month she is going to blow up!”

No Oscars here
Soho/Hudson Square activist Don MacPherson tells us he recently had a wrap party at Byte for his new underground indie film, “Gothkill.” MacPherson is executive producer of the flick, by James Connelly, which will be showing this summer. “It’s sexy and will probably develop a cult following. It will not win an Academy Award,” MacPherson predicted.

Sightings
Tobey Maguire hurrying past Dos Caminos Soho on West Broadway and bumping into UnderCover as he scurried along to the next big thing… Uma Thurman walking down Spring St. engrossed in conversation with a young, hot male companion… Russell Simmons deep in conversation with America’s Next Top Model winner Naima Mora at Complex magazine’s fourth-anniversary party at the Classic Car Club on Hudson and Broome, according to the New York Post. Maybe the hip-hop mogul is looking for America’s Next Top Kimmora Lee…

Fleeing Tribeca
Minnesota businessman Edward Bazinet has recently placed his five-story Tribeca penthouse on the market for $28.5 million, the New York Observer reported.


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