Volume 17 • Issue 26 | Nov. 19 - 25, 2004

Under cover

Food Orders in the Court
Curious to see if there really is food above 14th St., UnderCover sniffed its way Uptown to Splashlight Studios in Midtown on Tuesday and chowed down on saucy ox tail crepes and tuna tartar from the likes of celebrity chefs Patricia Quintana of Mexico, Michelle Bernstein of Miami and Franco Maddalozzo of Italy.

Celebrating the opening of yet another Cancun resort, this one dubbed Aqua, nearly naked bartenders with chiseled abs doled out margaritas and lychee martinis while bikini-clad beach bunnies lounged around in sunglasses.

Stephanie March former Law & Order: SVU regular, reminisced about a recent brush with the New York City legal system. “There’s some really good Chinese food at Joe’s Ginger,” she said. “I was on jury duty recently and I went there about every day. It was fantastic.”

Even in light of her recent civic duty, she still has a fondness for a more scripted version of the law. “They shoot down there all the time,” she said of Law & Order. “It’s my favorite place to shoot because like rather than stupid actors acting out scenes on the court house steps, there are people really getting things accomplished inside there. That is an impressive building. It really feels like history.”

Giddy from the lobster crème caviar, UnderCover wanted to know what Michelle Bernstein, the Cancun-bound chef who honed her culinary expertise at Alison on Dominick Street in Soho, thinks of Downtown eateries. “There are so many great little places, we could go on forever!” she gushed.

Studley Move
Studley, McKee Nelson LLP, the law firm that brought us the “conflict-free” business model of representing only tenants in commercial real estate transactions is moving to Battery Park Plaza. The five-year old firm is ditching its Times Square offices next spring for a 67,000 square feet spread at 1 Battery Park Plaza, the 35-story Rudin and Rose families-owned tower. After sealing the 15-year deal, Bill Rudin, president of Rudin Management, said in a press release, “This is the latest example of a trend that is seeing more and more firms seizing the tremendous real estate opportunities now available in the exciting Lower Manhattan marketplace.” The 68 lawyers at Studley are gushing at the prospect of cuddling up next to their new neighbors — another law firm, Jones Hirsch Connors & Bull PC — that also ditched Midtown for Battery Park Plaza.

Safer than the White House
One Police Plaza in Manhattan, secured by a cordoned off Park Row, is more secure than the White House now that Pennsylvania Ave. reopened to pedestrians last week. Landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh, designer of Battery Park City’s Teardrop Park and a World Trade Center memorial juror, was on hand in front of the White House last Tuesday for a celebration of his new design of the historic boulevard that connects all three branches of government. “A new Pennsylvania Avenue will again connect visitors with this glorious city, with the people’s house and with American heritage,” noted a cheerful Laura Bush. Maybe Laura’s hubby can commission Van Valkenburgh get the Downtown street that connects Chinatown to City Hall and the courts reopened, too.

Margarita Manilow
Councilmember Margarita Lopez, who sometimes pedals around the Lower East Side, said her bike’s name is Lola. She did not say if it was a show bike or if she rode with yellow feathers in her hair. We won’t tell Barry Manilow.

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