Volume 20, Number 42 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | FEB. 29 - MARCH 6, 2008

Under cover

Regime change
Harold Reed tells us he’s excited to be part of the regime change at the South Street Seaport Museum. The new chairperson, Seaport developer Frank Sciame, and the new director, Mary Pelzer, want to get the neighborhood more involved in the museum and have tapped Reed, a Community Board 1 member, to join the museum’s board.

“I always loved that museum,” said Reed. “It’s a hidden treasure, with a great collection…I’m very excited. They’ve got a whole new regime there.”

Reed said he did not know much about the museum’s apparent plan to sell the Peking, but even if the majestic tall ship in dry dock never returns, he thinks there will still be a lot of attractions. A former Broadway producer, Reed hopes to add more programs to bring in more Downtown kids and seniors.

He remains hopeful that the Drawing Center, which then-Gov. George Pataki banished from the World Trade Center plan, finds a new home at the Seaport, which he thinks along with the maritime museum, will make the nabe a cultural center.

Julie Menin, C.B. 1’s chairperson, had suggested the museum appoint a member, and the museum settled on a nearby neighbor.

That Bloomberg
Oh, the perils of building a multi-billion dollar information company and then becoming mayor.

John McCain’s presidential campaign put out an accurate press release Monday headlined: “Bloomberg: ‘McCain Balances Public Temper With Private Acts of Compassion’.” The release quoted a Bloomberg News article about McCain’s quiet acts of kindness, and was not trumping a quasi-endorsement from Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

The mayor, who seems to have a good relationship with McCain, also has had a well-publicized friendly nosh with Barack Obama, and has not ruled out endorsing Hillary Clinton either, though, the junior senator from New York would not be advised to hold her breath.

Beep Gerson
Councilmember Alan Gerson is considering a run for Manhattan borough president. The Daily News thinks so, having recently reported it in an article discussing what the more than 30 councilmembers who will be term-limited at the end of next year might do with themselves after then. However, when we asked him last week, Gerson was noncommittal at first before fessing up.

“Don’t believe everything you read,” he said. “They had not spoken to me, so I suppose that’s speculation on their part.” Gerson said he’d heard Borough President Scott Stringer is thinking of running for public advocate, a citywide office, and that only if Stringer did so would Gerson consider running for B.P.

“Sure, it’s something I’d consider. Many people are urging me to — constituents,” Gerson said. “Obviously, I would run on my record of the principles I’ve espoused throughout my life.” Of course, those include Gerson’s trademarked issue, “livability.”

River pool
The real estate blog Curbed went to town on last week’s Downtown Express article about the idea to rebuild Pier 13 with an aquarium and boardwalk allowing pedestrians to wade knee deep in the water.

“There are not enough anti-bacterial wipes in this world to convince us that a stroll through the waters of the East River is a nice idea for a Sunday afternoon, but get this: Community Board 1 approved the proposal,” Curbed wrote of the effort by Anthony Walmsley, a landscape architect, and Al Landzberg, a sculptor.

Board 1 did endorse the idea but it’s a long way from beginning the formal approval process.

Yippie feud
Yippie stalwart Dana Beal reports that one morning early last week someone broke the window at 9 Bleecker St. and stole the Yippie Cafe’s flat-screen monitor. They also swiped Beal’s informative “ibogaine triptych,” which explained the African root’s alleged, miraculous, addiction-blocking properties. Some think the theft is part of a kooky feud involving A.J. Weberman, Bob Fass and Lynne Stewart.

We knew Weberman was a Yippie, a Dylanologist, a garbologist and an ex-con. Apparently, Weberman hates Stewart, the Downtown radical attorney convicted of abetting terrorism, and isn’t too fond of legendary WBAI radio host Fass, either. The whole flap is said to have been sparked by Larry Davis and Stewart — who defended the cop-shooting Davis in court in the 1980s — having been scheduled to appear on Fass’s show. But Davis was stabbed to death in prison on Feb. 20 right before the planned interview. Yes, you do need a scorecard to keep track of this one.

Anyway, Beal is brushing it all off and guesses the robber was just “a crackhead” who used the ibogaine triptych to cover the flat screen while fleeing. He’s most upset about losing the ibogaine poster, though, which he said “had a lot of good information.”

Bold-faced error
Bob Townley wanted to make sure our readers knew he does not own the Manhattan Youth community center we mentioned in last week’s UnderCover – that’s the one that is getting ready to open on Warren St. and is often called “Townley’s center.” Townley is the group’s executive director.

It was just a touch of UnderCover’s snarky shorthand. Our real faux pas was forgetting to bold Townley’s name. There’s no one bolder than you Bob.

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