Volume 22, Number 01 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 15 - 21, 2009
The Daily Meal
Tracey Stewart, wife to one of Tribeca’s most famous, Jon Stewart, has just set up a children-friendly restaurant in the old Wetlands Preserve club space at 161 Hudson St. Moomah, full of games and puzzles, also picks up the old Tribeca club’s environmental theme with plenty of pictures and info about animals. The Stewarts don’t appear to be going after the nabe’s glitterati — most of the dishes are under $10. Glad to see no $25 children’s sushi menus — it would have crushed us if we’d have had to trash one of our heroes and say, “say it ain’t so, Jon.”
Prince Harry will be popping over the pond and then New York Harbor to play in a polo match on Governors Island’s opening day, Leslie Koch, president of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corp., told UnderCover last week. GIPEC had already announced the May 30 polo match but had not disclosed the royal guest. Too bad it will be before Tom Fox’s beach bar and grill opens on the island. He no doubt would have offered the mate a pint. The Times’ City Room reports the prince will be all over Downtown, also stopping off at the World Trade Center and the British Memorial Garden.
Menin goes viral
Julie Menin, Community Board 1’s chairperson and onetime City Council hopeful, is leaving politics behind to pursue broadcast journalism — at least for now.
Menin recently launched a cable interview show called “Give and Take” that focuses on women’s issues. The show airs in five-minute segments on NBC’s New York Nonstop channel and on JulieMenin.com. Recent guests include Diana Taylor, former New York State banking superintendent and longtime companion of Mayor Mike Bloomberg; “Saturday Night Live” producer Marci Klein; and public advocate Betsy Gotbaum.
Broadcast is a new field for Menin, who until recently was focused on politics. Once a prime contender for City Councilmember Alan Gerson’s First District seat in 2009, Menin decided not to run last fall when Bloomberg pushed through a term limits extension that gave many politicians, including Bloomberg and Gerson, a chance for another term.
“I have no intention to run for political office at this point in my life at all,” Menin told UnderCover this week. “This is really what I want to do,” she said of her new TV show. “I’m really enjoying it.”
The interview show, which is taped, has flexible hours so Menin can balance it with her family, she said.
“For women with young children, politics is not the most hospitable [career],” Menin said.
Menin hopes women’s work-life balance will be one of the social issues she can take on through her show. She’s already raised the question in an interview with Taylor. The mayor’s girlfriend said she always planned to get married and have children, but she put her career first and it never happened.
Menin sent out a wave of e-mails about her show over the past week and said her Web site has attracted 170,000 hits in the past four days.
Skyler on the attack
We’re getting used to the mayor’s periodic calls to close the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., a federally funded state-city agency, but Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler stepped up the rhetoric this week.
“The L.M.D.C. should no longer exist,” Skyler said during a press conference Monday related to the deadly 2007 fire at the L.M.D.C.-owned Deutsche Bank building. “There’s no reason for it to exist, whether legally, practically, it is [an] obstacle to development in Lower Manhattan, not a catalyzing effect, and the sooner it dissolves, the better…. We continue to urge our partners in Albany to put the L.M.D.C. out of its misery.”
Later, Julie Menin, Community Board 1 chairperson and a member of the L.M.D.C.’s board, said she agreed with Skyler that the L.M.D.C.’s bureaucracy can cause problems, but she said the agency has also done a lot of good. Dozens of important projects Downtown have received hundreds of millions of dollars from the L.M.D.C, Menin said.
Mike Murphy, spokesperson for the L.M.D.C., also listed the agency’s accomplishments, including parks, playgrounds and affordable housing.
Skyler and the mayor’s press office did not elaborate on the comments.
Add a few more Oscars to the Emmys and Grammys fighting the Hudson Square garbage garage tower. We’re told Meryl Streep has joined other award-winning celebs — Jennifer Connelly, James Gandolfini, Lou Reed and Michael Stipe — in their fight with the city.
“This celebrity thing is really exploding,” said Phil Mouquinho, one of the opponents. “Meryl Streep hit the roof — she didn’t even know about this.”
Gandolfini, Mouquinho and Richard Barrett met Tuesday with Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler’s chief of staff, Caswell Holloway, Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, Dan Klein, Sanitation’s real estate director, and A.J. Pietrantone, director of Friends of Hudson River Park, which has an agreement to move the garbage trucks in question off the Ganesvoort Peninsula.
Mouquinho said for the first time in years, he felt the city was finally considering alternatives. After Tuesday’s meeting at City Hall, everyone was smiling and in good spirits, Mouquinho said, except Klein, who looked “depressed.”
Ready New Yorker
The city’s Office of Emergency Management is giving away one “go bag” a month to people who ace a short quiz on emergency preparedness at nyc.gov/oem. The Ready New Yorker of the Month will get a backpack filled with basic supplies (and will also be featured on the O.E.M.’s Web site).
The five-question multiple-choice quiz isn’t exactly designed to be difficult, with questions like, “Every household member should assemble an emergency a) work belt, b) movie collection, or c) go bag.”
No need for a lifeline on that one.