Volume 22, Number 21 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 2 - 8, 2009
Bill Murray may have been the star draw at Poets House’s private party event celebrating its opening last Thursday night, but he didn’t look entirely enthused, or, frankly, happy, to be there. He begrudgingly posed for a couple of pictures before reading some poetry. Almost nobody in attendance approached him. He has been very involved in the project though, even reading to the construction workers as they worked on the Battery Park City facility.
A philosophical Alan Gerson, who recently found out he will not be serving a third term on the City Council, was all smiles, and finished his speech with an inspirational quote.
“From the words of a young anonymous school child,” said Gerson, “poetry soothes, poetry heals, poetry speaks, what the spirit feels.”
Assemblymember Deborah Glick and State Sen. Daniel Squadron also attended.
Guests walked around, opened a few books, and sipped either of three light-colored drinks available (a curious selection, since there were no carpets to be found). The hors d’oeuvres were few and far between, and people were ready to go on with the show within 15 minutes.
Squirt gun chest?
Irene Horvath, the Republican who will challenge Democrat Margaret Chin for the First District City Council seat on Nov. 3, has finally begun building her war chest — but she isn’t exactly sprinting out of the gate.
The latest filings with the city Campaign Finance Board show that Horvath has received only one $100 contribution so far, and it’s from…Irene Horvath.
Some friendly advice to Horvath: With just a month left to go before the election, now might be a good time to start raising money — or at least to start returning reporters’ phone calls.
40 under 40
PJ Kim did not win the Democratic primary for the First District Council seat, but he did win another distinction this week: City Hall named him one of the 40 Under 40 rising stars in New York politics.
Kim, 30, was a relative newcomer to the district when he decided to enter the crowded race for Councilmember Alan Gerson’s seat, but he still received nearly 2,000 votes, or 17 percent, coming in behind Margaret Chin, the winner, and Gerson, in the five-way Sept. 15 primary.
City Hall was impressed by Kim’s energy and rapid fundraising via Facebook, and they got his take on his first attempt at public office: “The idea of running for office and actually running for office are two very different things,” Kim said. “But this didn’t deter me from politics. A future campaign is definitely in the cards — I just don’t know when.”
Perhaps Kim’s most telling answer in the City Hall interview was to the question of who would play him in a movie. Kim picked Yul Kwon, who won “Survivor: Cook Islands,” because, Kim said, “he outlasted and outsmarted everybody.”
And, the last word on the First District Council race, at least for this week: It looks like incumbent Councilmember Alan Gerson will not be able to blame his loss on the fact that his name did not appear on the absentee ballots. A total of 223 voters used absentee or military ballots, and even if all of those voters had been aware that Gerson was an option and had written his name in, he still would not have had enough votes to beat Margaret Chin. As it was, only 33 people wrote in some version of Gerson’s name. One voter, perhaps confused, wrote in “Armica Gerson,” and another wrote in “Michael Gerson.”
Gerson told us Wednesday he was planning to call Margaret Chin later in the day — perhaps to concede? — and would be making an unspecified announcement next week.
The construction of the new bathrooms in Washington Market Park is adding an obstacle to the park’s annual Halloween parade. Usually, the parade of several thousand costumed kids and parents marches down Greenwich St. from Citigroup and enters the park through the wide gate at Greenwich and Duane Sts. — but this year, that entrance is closed because of the bathroom construction.
Rather than try to squeeze all the kids through the much narrower temporary entrance and risk a stampede, the parade may instead continue all the way down Greenwich St. to Chambers St. and then up the Borough of Manhattan Community College steps into the park, said Pam Frederick, president of the Friends of Washington Market Park. Frederick said she is expecting a large turnout, as the parade this year will actually be held on Halloween, which falls on a Saturday.