Bloomberg on L.M.D.C.
Its been three months since Mayor Mike Bloomberg first suggested getting rid of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and little seems to have happened since, so UnderCover decided to check in with the mayor.
In the past three months, I dont think anythings changed, Bloomberg said last Thursday. If anything its gotten more true we dont need another level of bureaucracy at the World Trade Center site. One of the reasons its taken so long to get things going is there are so many different levels of government and agencies involved
. Just one level less would make things go better, go faster, than they would otherwise, and thats not changed at all.
Bloombergs feelings clearly havent changed, but weve heard the governor is not on board, or at least isnt rushing to help. And Bloomberg did not say what the next step would be in the transfer of power from the L.M.D.C. to the city. So it seems like the L.M.D.C. will still be around for a while.
Grip and grin
In what the history books may someday call the Summit at Saratoga, State Senator-elect Dan Squadron said he had a brief, cordial, very gracious conversation with State Sen. Marty Connor at a Democratic conference Upstate on Nov. 30.
It was the first conversation the pair had in nearly three months a few days before Squadron defeated the 30-year incumbent in the Democratic primary in Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn on Sept. 9.
On primary night, Squadron honored Connors service to the state, but Connor refused to contact Squadron to concede and the incumbent never endorsed his fellow Democrat in the general election.
Squadron said they both pledged to have a smooth transition, but he declined to say if Connor congratulated him.
So who initiated the conversation? Well this could be one for historians to debate, but Squadron says he stood up when Connor entered the room, which may have been seen as an invitation to Connor who walked over. The pair shook hands.
Tribeca resident and community activist Jean Grillo will have another side on display this week. One of the playwrights short works will be performed as part of The Waiting Room Plays through the HB Playwrights Theatre. Grillo wrote Off to the Races, an ironic look at the frenzy of testing toddlers undergo as their parents seek to position them in the best preschool.
A lot of Lower Manhattan creeps into what I write, Grillo said. Living in Tribeca, you cant help but stumble over all those baby carriages and moms.
Grillo has had her plays produced in the city before, and last year another of her plays was accepted to a festival out of state. She started writing plays after 9/11.
These plays are for me, she said. It keeps my soul intact.
Off to the Races and other short plays will be performed at 8 p.m. Dec. 12, 14, 15, 18 and 20, and at 3 p.m. Dec. 13 and 21, at 124 Bank St. Tickets are free but reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 212-989-7856.
A statue by any other spelling
The city certainly doesnt need any more community opposition to the controversial Chatham Square redesign, so UnderCover suggests that they fix the spelling of the admittedly hard-to-spell Lin Zexu statue in the schematic plans theyve been presenting to the community.
The plans refer to the statue as Lin Xe Zu, a fact no one from Chinatown has mentioned at the public meetings so far perhaps because the type on the PowerPoint slide is so small, or because there are so many other things on the slides they dont like.
Scott Gastel, spokesperson for the Department of Transportation, told us this week that the city would correct the spelling to Lin Ze Xu, an alternate to the more common (at least by Google results) Lin Zexu.
Lin Zexu was a Chinese scholar and official during the Qing dynasty in the 19th century. His statue in Chatham Square would get its own plaza under the D.O.T.s plan.
Post office staying
Rumors were swirling earlier this year over the possible closure of the Peck Slip Post Office, but it looks like they were for naught.
Michael Levine, director of land use and planning for Community Board 1, recently received a letter from the post office promising that they will stay open. The post office plans to do major renovations on the third floor and redo the sidewalk out front, Levine said.
Levine quoted the post office as saying that with all that investment in the current Peck Slip building, they wouldnt consider closing it.