downtownexpress.com
Volume 19 Issue 36 | January 19 - 25, 2007

Under Cover

Stable Trust?
Connie Fishman, president of the Hudson River Park Trust, is telling Trusters she thinks she’ll be able to stave off a staff shakeup because she has a good relationship with David Nocenti, Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s new counsel and a key figure in the Spitzer transition team, according to a source.

The Trust is a state-city authority and Spitzer would not be able to make wholesale changes there without persuading Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff, a Trust board member, to go along. Spitzer has already named Carol Ash to the Trust’s board. Downtowners longer in the tooth may remember that Ash, the new state Parks commissioner, once was publisher of the Soho News.

If Fishman survives, it will be the second transition she has weathered. She first came to the Trust as a loyal aide to a White House wannabe, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Then again, what New York pol doesn’t have presidential ambitions?


‘D’ is not for Dead
The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. may be on life support with a dwindling staff, but it looks like it will live at least another few weeks. Christine Anderson, Gov. Spitzer’s spokesperson, told UnderCover there are no immediate plans to pack it in.

“We’ll be unveiling plans in the coming weeks and months,” she said of the L.M.D.C. and Downtown rebuilding. “[Spitzer] spoke about it during the campaign — he feels strongly there needs to be a change.”


PEP talk
It appears that Downtown’s sidewalk safety crusader, Community Board 1 member Barry Skolnick, has finally found an ally in his battle against reckless and illegal bicycle riding on Battery Park City’s walkways.

Long ignored by officers from the First Precinct — who stood the board up at a bike safety meeting last fall — Skolnick took his complaint to the Parks Enforcement Patrol when they appeared before C.B. 1’s Battery Park City Committee on Jan. 9.

To the surprise of many committee members, PEP Inspector Robert Reeves immediately agreed to lend a hand. Although the PEP officers are primarily charged with enforcing park rules, Reeves said that the officers do have “sidewalk jurisdiction” in B.P.C. — meaning that they occasionally respond to parking violations and other minor complaints if they are in the area.

“If [the PEP officers] see someone driving recklessly, I would hope they stop them,” Reeves said of the speedy cyclists, many of whom ride on the sidewalk at night with no lights or reflective gear.

Reeves also offered to personally visit a number of eateries in Battery Park City and make them aware of the rules, since food delivery bikes make up a large percentage of the offenders. But after years of disappointment, Skolnick isn’t counting his citations before they’re written. He said he’d “wait and see” if the PEP inspector is as good as his promise.


Gwyneth penthouse
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Chris Martin just bought a $5-million penthouse at River Lofts, The New York Times reports. The sixth-floor condo is in a converted warehouse that once was slated to be attached to a hotel tower on Washington St. It wis 4,400 square feet with three bedrooms, a library and two terraces. Paltrow is married to the other Chris Martin, that is the rocker who leads Coldplay, not the Chris Martin made famous on these pages as the spokesperson for the Hudson River Park Trust.


Sightings
Looks like the Equinox gym in Soho (69 Prince St.) is the place to go for small screen stars looking to shape up. On Saturday afternoon, an alert ellipiticiser caught Juliana Margolis, formerly of “ER,” working out at the gym. The tipster has also seen Elizabeth Berkley, famous for “Saved By The Bell” and infamous for “Showgirls,” getting fit at the Soho Equinox on several occasions.

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