downtownexpress.com
Volume 19 Issue 42 | March 2 - 8, 2007

Under Cover

B.P.C. Oscar
Former Battery Park City resident and documentary filmmaker Tom F. Lennon got his 45 seconds of mainstream Hollywood fame Sunday night when he took home the Oscar for best documentary, short subject.

His film, “The Blood of Yingzhou District,” tells the story of AIDS orphans in China who face rejection by their surviving family members because of cultural stigmas and fear surrounding the disease.

Lennon’s filmmaking partner on the doc was Ruby Yang, but Downtown sources say that Lennon has a more personal partnership with fellow humanitarian Dr. Joan Reibman, who runs the Bellevue Hospital World Trade Center Clinic.


L.E.S. blog battle
What happens when tech gadget marketers stage a late-night stunt on the Lower East Side and wake up hip, Web-savvy residents? A battle of the blogs!

Apparently, around 3 a.m. last Sunday, the marketers for Microsoft’s new Zune mp3 player decided to “bring sexy back” to the L.E.S. — by having a souped-up Zune SUV with giant subwoofers blast the Justin Timberlake song outside Max Fish bar at 178 Ludlow St.
The official Zune blog, www.cliczune.com, mooned over the SUV’s entertainment system, which includes a flat screen TV and an Xbox. The neighborhood residents were, shall we say, less enthusiastic. One resident, who captured the ruckus on low-res video, started not one, but two Web sites to complain about the incident.

The first site, www.wakeupmicrosoft.com, is dedicated specifically to the Zune stunt. The site contains the video and an open letter to Microsoft demanding moral and/or monetary restitution.

“Ideally, if following the old adage of ‘eye for an eye,’ we would like to (legally) blast music throughout Microsoft’s HQ during a week day. Preferably right before a large product release, when employee stress levels are at their highest. Alternatively and/or additionally, lump sum payments to all residents disturbed by this incident would be tolerated,” the site states.

The second site, www.hellsquare.com, is set up as a blog for neighborhood residents to complain about a variety of noise and quality of life issues. The name, Hell Square, was popularized by the real estate blog Curbed.com to describe the particularly bar-saturated area of the L.E.S. east of Allen St. between Houston and Delancey Sts.


Weed WAC-ing
The Parks Department would like you to know that Feb. 25 to March 2 is National Invasive Weeds Awareness Week. Sponsored by the Invasive Weeds Awareness Coalition, which can be abbreviated (UnderCover isn’t sure if this is intentional or not) as I-WAC, Awareness Week encourages gardeners not to plant non-native species that might spread and disrupt local ecosystems. A list is available on the Parks Web site. Now you’re aware.


Weed uprooted
Speaking of parks and weed, Dana Beal says the annual Worldwide Marijuana March to Battery Park will move this May to Tompkins Sq. Park. We suspect that Warrie Price, the Battery Conservancy’s president who has toured the park with Laura Bush, will not be heartbroken over losing the pro-pot gathering.


Attack ad
The long-running feud between two Downtown Democrats, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and Arthur Schwartz, is heating up. Schwartz, a state committee member, paid for a Downtown Express ad this week criticizing Glick over her vote to make her colleague, Tom DiNappoli, the new state comptroller, thus snubbing the comptroller’s review panel. He said Glick — who defended her stance in a Downtown Express op-ed two weeks ago — reached “a low point in her career” and he praised two other Downtown Dems, State Senators Tom Duane and Martin Connor, for backing Martha Stark over DiNappoli.

Glick, through a spokesperson, didn’t take the bait. She said “my energies are focused elsewhere on issues of critical importance to my constituents,” such as fighting for more education and health care funds.

In his ad, Schwartz wrote that he’s sure his criticism of Glick “will bring me no end of grief.”


A tale of two Times
Last weekend, Downtowners got the best of Times and the worst of Times — the New York Times, that is.

First, the worst: In his rant against so-called hipster parents, columnist David Brooks singled out Downtown (particularly Tribeca) and Park Slope as hotbeds of objectionable trendiness.

“Can we stop hearing about downtown parents who dress their babies in black skull slippers, Punky Monkey T-shirts and camo toddler ponchos until the little ones end up looking like sad-parody club clones of mom and dad?” Brooks wrote.

On the better and more serious side of the news, however, the Times announced that its philanthropic division, the Neediest Cases Fund, has started a fund to treat the victims of World Trade Center-related illnesses.

The Times and six other foundations kicked in a combined $4.3 million to get the fund going. The money will go to the 9/11 treatment centers at Mt. Sinai and Bellevue Hospital. Trinity Church, which contributed $25,000 to the fund, will accept public donations for the cause at St. Paul’s Chapel across from the W.T.C. site.

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