Volume 22, Number 29 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 27 - December 3, 2009
Lifelong bachelor and Downtown Independent Democrats President Sean Sweeney could barely stop laughing this week when we called him to find out if he’d gotten married.
“Reports of my marriage are greatly exaggerated,” Sweeney said between chortles.
Exaggerated or not, the reports spread quickly through Downtown this week. A much-forwarded item on the blog celebgalz.com described Sweeney’s wedding (to Elizabeth Stanley) as a politician-studded ceremony attended by Rahm Emanuel and Sen. Chuck Schumer.
But Sweeney, a self-described “sexy sexagenarian” who opposes marriage in principle, explained that there are a lot of Sean Sweeneys running around the political world. The one who got married last weekend is chief of staff to Emanuel (who in turn is chief of staff to President Obama).
The posting on Celebgalz.com, though, described the newlywed Sweeney as the president of D.I.D., not an Obama staffer, and the posting even cribbed directly from our report last week that Sweeney did not plan to run for reelection at D.I.D. (Usually we’d be annoyed that Celebgalz ripped off our reporting without giving us credit, but since their whole item was inaccurate, we’re just fine.)
The false item gained more traction when local blog The Lo-Down picked it up as true on Monday. Amused, Sweeney fired off e-mails to many of his ex-girlfriends, linking to the Celebgalz item and telling them they missed their chance.
We asked whether former Sweeney flame (and former City Councilmember) Kathryn Freed got one of those e-mails. Sweeney replied that he hadn’t sent one to Freed. “I figured it would be more fun to let her hear it through the grapevine, and then be really bewildered,” Sweeney said in an e-mail. “Practical jokes are fun, especially when no one can blame you for initiating it.”
It’s hard to find a building more symbolic than the 1,776-foot-tall Freedom Tower, but the numerical symbolism of its height may be thrown into question. The Chicago Tribune reports that the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat decided last week to change how it measures the height of skyscrapers, which could change the official height of One World Trade Center.
Specifically, the council decided to start measuring height not at the main entrance of the building but at “the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance.” The Tribune says that since the Freedom Tower is built on a slightly sloping site, a secondary entrance that is lower than the main one could suddenly become the new measuring point, throwing off master planner Daniel Libeskind’s patriotic allusion.
One commenter on the Tribune blog posted a novel suggestion to preserve the 1776 figure forever: “They should make the spire retractable,” wrote the commenter, “to keep up with future rule changes. :-)”
The parents who comprise District 2 Community Education Council are not on particularly good terms with the Dept. of Education — the C.E.C. sued the city last year — but things could be looking up.
The C.E.C. members appear much happier with Elizabeth Rose, who recently replaced John White as the D.O.E. rep who reports to the C.E.C. about school zoning. After listening to one of Rose’s detailed and diplomatic explanations at a meeting last Wednesday, C.E.C. Vice President Mary Silver made an impromptu confession.
“Usually about this point [in a meeting] I wanted to slap John White,” Silver said. “And I just want to say, Elizabeth, what a stark contrast…. I really do appreciate the kind of drill-down that you’ve done and the access you’ve provided. Three cheers for Elizabeth Rose!”
Rose looked pleased and said she was there to stay.
Over four years after it closed for repairs, half of the Cortlandt St. R/W station is scheduled to reopen the day before Thanksgiving.
Around 3 p.m. on Nov. 25, northbound R/W trains will begin stopping at Cortlandt St. and three entrances to the uptown platform will open at street level. The southbound platform won’t reopen for another two years.