downtownexpress.com
Volume 19 Issue 43 | March 9 - 15, 2007

Under Cover

D.O.T. trucking-up Broadway?
So, last week the city Department of Transportation made plans to meet with community groups (and the reporters at Downtown Express) to discuss a mysterious new plan to mitigate the traffic on lower Broadway.

D.O.T. still-commissioner-for-at-least-a-little-while-longer Iris Weinshall, who is married to Sen. Chuck Schumer and has been tapped to succeed Eduardo del Valle as a vice chancellor at CUNY, then abruptly cancelled those meetings.

This Wednesday, however, as the deadline clock was ticking, UnderCover heard from two separate Downtown sources the same rumor about what the to-be-proposed traffic mitigation might entail.

Both sources said that the D.O.T. is considering closing off lower Broadway to public traffic, so that construction trucks will have a clear pathway to the World Trade Center site. One of the sources said that the boundary of the closure could reach as high as Ann St., at the southern tip of City Hall Park.


Booze for Bouley
Celebrity chef David Bouley may soon be free to tie one on at the Mohawk Building. On March 1, the restaurateur got a recommendation for liquor license approval at 163 Duane St. from Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee.

The locale, at the corner of Duane and Hudson Sts., is set to become the new space for Bouley’s eponymous flagship restaurant. Then, in a sort of Tribeca Bouley-go-round, the current Bouley space at 120 W. Broadway will become Bouley Bakery, thus moving the bakery out of the space it currently shares with Upstairs and Bouley Market at 130 W. Broadway.

If it sounds like déjà vu all over again it could be because Bouley’s grand plan of yesteryear included the bakery at the current Bouley locale and the signature restaurant in the Mohawk.


Golden Mouse
Normally New Yorkers shy away from rodents, but on Feb. 26, Rep. Carolyn Maloney celebrated the arrival of a mouse. Maloney’s Web site, http://maloney.house.gov, was awarded the Golden Mouse, the highest rating for Congressional sites.

As a part of its goal to promote better communication between legislators and constituents, the Congressional Management Foundation started the Mouse Web site awards. The mice, which also come in silver and bronze, showcase “best practices” like usability, interactivity and innovation. In addition to updated press releases, Maloney’s site offers a number of nifty (and politically charged) Web tools, like a calculator that tells site visitors how much money they would lose under President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security.

Of the 615 Congressional sites evaluated in 2006, Maloney’s homepage was one of just 18 sites to receive a Golden Mouse. Perhaps best known Downtown for her advocacy on 9/11 health issues, Maloney represents western Queens and the east side of Manhattan, including part of the Lower East Side.


Rev. Billy on silver screen
Bill Talen — known for his colorful performance-style protests as Reverend Billy, head of the Church of Stop Shopping — will soon be taking his anti-consumerism message to the silver screen.

On March 11, the documentary “What Would Jesus Buy?” will premier at the South By Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas. The film, which was produced by Morgan Spurlock of “Supersize Me” fame, chronicles Rev. Billy’s 2005 campaign to stop the annual Christmas “Shopocalypse.” That year’s cross-country activism tour culminated in the Reverend’s arrest for trespassing in Disneyland on Christmas Day.

According to a press release sent out by the church, the film also shows a number of Rev. Billy’s cash register exorcisms — one of the church’s best-known tactics for encouraging corporate retailers to adopt socially conscious behavior such as fair wages, fair trade and environmental conservation.


Blog battle update
Last week, UnderCover reported how an angry Ludlow St. resident started two Web sites to gripe about his unwelcome Sunday morning wake-up call, courtesy of a Zune-decaled SUV blasting Justin Timberlake’s “Bringing Sexy Back.”

Well, on Feb. 28, the creator of www.wakeupmicrosoft.com got his apology (sort of), cyber-style. Zune marketing team member Cesar Menendez wrote on his blog http://zuneinsider.com that the Zune team was sorry for the rude awakening. Menendez denied that Microsoft or Zune had anything to do with the stunt, but promised that it would never happen again.

Wake Up Microsoft then accepted the apology (sort of): “I think we would be happier if they killed some trees and flyered the block, but it’s an effort. We appreciate that you acknowledge the incident.”


Correction
Dana Beal tells us we were mistaken last week when we reported that the annual marijuana march to Battery Park is moving to Tompkins Square Park (UnderCover, March 2 – 8, “Weed Uprooted”). Beal says the move is not yet a done deal and he is still hoping for a May 6 permit in Battery Park, which has better transportation links. Tompkins is a good “fallback” because it would bring in more “neighborhood people,” said Beal, who also pointed out we got the march name wrong. It is now called the Stop the Drug War Parade, not the Worldwide Marijuana March.

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