Volume 19 • Issue 11 | July 28- - August 3, 2006

Under cover

Bring on the hotels
Tourists might soon have another place to lay their weary heads without leaving the vicinity of the World Trade Center. Hotel mogul Sam Chang, famous for building budget hotels on small city lots, purchased 99 Washington St., a parking lot south of the World Trade Center at the corner of Rector St., last year. Chang, whose Queens-based company is called McSam Hotel L.L.C., has been mum about his plans, but that hasn’t stopped everyone else in the neighborhood from talking up a storm about it.

“People in the neighborhood have been talking about it,” said Giovanni Natalucci, who owns the restaurant Giovanni’s Atrium across the street. “It’s good… let them come,” he said.

Not everyone in the neighborhood wants to see them come, however. “That’s scary,” said 125 Cedar St. resident and Community Board 1 member Pat Moore. “I don’t understand why we need another hotel here. How many freaking hotels do we need? It’s disgusting.”

Joseph Moinian has plans to build a 53-story W Hotel with residential and hotel units, less than a block north at 123 Washington St. Already, Marriott Financial is one block to the west and the Millenium Hilton on Church St. is a mere eight blocks north.

McSam Hotel has more than a dozen hotel projects in various stages of production, including a high-rise hotel in the works at 370 Canal St., near Church St. and the Canal St. post office.

Alphabet City
Tribeca is the new Alphabet City — literally. The plywood fence surrounding the construction site at Church and Warren Sts. has transformed into a regular elementary school blackboard with some creative individual scrawling his A, B, C’s in their entirety along the wall. Aa “apple” it reads, followed by Bb “boy” and so on. Our little school boy/girl is increasingly precocious as the alphabet progresses, spinning gems like: Oo “ontology,” Tt “tungsten” and Uu “ulterior motive.”

Whoopi for Panhandler
Whoopi Goldberg loves knives. UnderCover spotted her and an attentive entourage taking advantage of the Broadway Panhandler moving sale on Monday. Goldberg was helping a decidedly grateful older woman select a new collection of high-end knives for her kitchen. Goldberg, to the delight of the clerk, decided to buy a collection of her own knives. “I’m no great cook,” Goldberg said, “I just like my knives to look pretty.”

When UnderCover asked a Panhandler sales clerk what prompted Goldberg to buy knives with such fervor, the clerk responded, “She’s just shopping like anyone else.”

Panhandler, the famous kitchenware store, will be moving to Broadway and University Place from its current Broome St. location in September.

Conan takes Stuyvesant
Funny man Conan O’Brien is a resident Stuyvesant expert. Well, sort of. The NBC “Late Night” host gave the keynote address to the 2006 graduating class last month, and dug up Internet-friendly Stuy trivia to keep the graduates giggling. “Because the ceremony’s so important, I’ve prepared for and researched your school. According to Wikipedia, which I desperately accessed not five minutes ago on my BlackBerry,” he said, referencing the free Internet encyclopedia and evoking hoots and cheers from the grads, “your school is named after Peter Stuyvesant, head of the Dutch West Indian Trading Company. This explains, by the way, why your teachers are still paid in grain and bags of salt.”

And here we thought all this time that the big fight was over pensions.


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