Volume 22, Number 32 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 18 - 24, 2009
Councilmember Alan Gerson got a standing ovation Tuesday night when he spoke at his last Community Board 1 meeting before leaving office. Gerson seemed in good spirits, telling the board “this is my last presentation to you as councilmember, at least this time around.”
Are those footsteps Councilmember-elect Margaret Chin hears behind her?
Paul Hovitz, a board member, called out that Gerson should consider a run for mayor.
”As soon as I raise a billion dollars,” Gerson said, laughing.
Watch out, Al
Tuesday night was also the last community board meeting for Barry Skolnick, who is moving to Rochester, Minn. in January after decades of fighting for quality of life issues Downtown. Many members of the community offered Skolnick thanks and good wishes, including Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver and C.B. 1 Chairperson Julie Menin, who presented Skolnick with a certificate.
Skolnick said he recently ran into Al Franken and introduced himself, telling the Minnesota senator that he had a new constituent.
Skolnick said he hoped to see the senator frequently in Rochester. If not, Franken can count on hearing from Skolnick.
Of all the sendoffs Skolnick received, perhaps the most appropriate came from his neighbor Linda Belfer: “Go get ’em, kid.”
Thin days for Square
When talk turned to struggling small businesses at Tuesday night’s C.B. 1 meeting, Bruce Ehrmann made a plea for Tribeca’s Square Diner.
“If you like the Square Diner, you better patronize it quickly,” Ehrmann said. “Every office building near there is empty.”
Ted Karounos, the diner’s owner, told UnderCover that his business has dropped even lower than it was after 9/11. The diner at the corner of Leonard and Varick Sts. has been in Karounos’ family since 1971 and it has been around for close to 100 years — Karounos found an old picture from the 1920s showing a wooden shack on the same lot, also called the Square Diner.
“We’re holding on,” Karounos said, “but we’re definitely having a hard time of it.”
Brush with Tiger
We suspect we are like most readers and cannot keep Tiger Woods’s mistresses straight. UnderCover was all set to steer clear of the mess until we got a call this week from Chris Kellund. Perhaps it’s a sad day when a manager of strippers is the voice of morality, but regardless, this was too much for us to pass up.
Kellund, owner of Metro Parties (the “strip club to go” or the “darlings of Wall St.,” he told us), says that one of Tiger’s alleged concubines, Loredana Ferriolo, used to “dance” for hedge fund managers Downtown about eight years ago. Ferriolo has denied news reports that she wanted $1 million from Woods to keep her silence. Kellund is upset that everyone wants to “jump on the bandwagon to try and get a few bucks,” and that Ferriolo is allowing her family’s name to be dragged through the mud.
She was a good girl from a nice Long Island family, he says. He said the women who work for him just strip and do not engage in prostitution. That’s why he wants them out of the business after two years — so they avoid spiraling downward. If only all sex trade operators were such feminist champions.
Back in the ’hood
The new spokesperson for the perennially troubled Lower Manhattan Development Corp. is not a new face at all.
The spokesperson is Errol Cockfield, who was answering questions about the L.M.D.C. a couple years ago as spokesperson for the agency’s parent organization, the Empire State Development Corp. Since then, Cockfield has worked as an adviser on intergovernmental affairs to Gov. David Paterson and as press secretary for Paterson and former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
The L.M.D.C. may not sound as exciting as Albany politics, but Cockfield said he was happy to be back Downtown representing the L.M.D.C. He got a warm reception Monday night from Community Board 1’s World Trade Center Redevelopment Committee, where members appreciated his detailed presentation on the Deutsche Bank building.