Volume 17 • Issue 27 | Nov. 26 - Dec. 02, 2004



Under Cover

The Taste of Money
Wall Street Rising’s fourth annual Taste of Wall Street fundraiser last Wednesday drew hundreds of Downtowners and pols from near and far including State Sen. Martin Connor and Councilmember Alan Gerson of Lower Manhattan and Councilmembers Melinda Katz and Yvette Clarke from P.O.T.D.T. – places other than Downtown. The Tribeca Film Festival package fetched the most bucks in the silent auction — $960 for a pair of tickets to the red carpet premier party, T.F.F. merchandise and a gift certificate to Tribeca Grand’s Trinity restaurant. Julie Menin, Rising’s founder and president, said afterwards she was happy that the number of restaurants and beverage hawkers had grown to 70 for the event. She also reminded UnderCover that the group’s free Art Downtown show with guest curators Mikhail Baryshnikov, Danny and Russell Simmons, Diane von Furstenberg and Robert Wilson will be at 48 Wall St. Tues. - Fri. noon – 7 p.m., and noon – 5 p.m. weekends until Dec. 10. Speaking of von Furstenberg, her original dress went for $250 at T.O.W.S.


Building a Mezzanine to the Century 21
Century 21, Downtown’s bargain central, may soon get even bigger. Using a floor area variance from one of its own properties, 10-12 Cortlandt St., the favorite of tourists and Downtowners alike, hopes to expand an existing mezzanine at 26 Cortlandt St. by 4,583 sq. ft. With Community Board 1’s blessing, bargain hunters will still have to hold their breaths until the Board of Standards and Appeals takes a look at the request.


Firing Trump
American Express, Downtown’s favorite Sugar Daddy, is taking up more World Financial Center space. Brookfield Properties sealed a deal with the company, leasing the firm an additional 155,000 sq. ft. of 3 W.F.C. space, a first reported in Crain’s New York Business. AmEx has fired Donald Trump as landlord and will move out of Trump’s 40 Wall St. offices to the Battery Park City locale now that the 18-year lease is official.


Design Shift
Costas Kondylis is the new architect for Scott Resnick’s proposed tower at Chambers and West Sts., a.k.a. Site 5C, the New York Post reports. The site will have 400 apartments, a rec center for our friend Bob Townley at Manhattan Youth and a school annex for P.S. 234. Kondylis, who designed Trump World Tower and Armory Place on W. 14th St., succeeds Norman Foster who reportedly left the project in a huff. Foster of course came up with the “kissing towers” for the World Trade Center site but eventually lost out to Daniel Libeskind. We’re starting to think Lower Manhattan may no longer be Lord Foster’s favorite place.


U 2 Joke About Knockoffs?
As Bono, The Edge and their U2 mates traveled through Downtown on their way to shoot a video in Brooklyn Monday, they took a break out of view at two streets that do have names, Varick and Spring. A police officer said they were on their way to Canal St. “What are they going to do on Canal,” UnderCover inquired. “Buy Louis Vuitton bags,” was the reply quip. The cop better not let Comptroller Bill Thompson hear him. Dollar Bill released a report the same day saying the city loses $1 billion in taxes a year from illegal sales of counterfeit goods.


Sightings…
Uma Thurman tumbling out of a cab on Hudson and Worth Sts., shopping bags in hand and a colossal bouquet of white lilies pouring from her arms. Who’s selling white lilies? UnderCover inquired. “The farmers market at Union Square!” she gushed in her leather jacket and boots. Anna Deavere Smith, trotting past Bubby’s dressed in combat fatigues looking like she was ready to take on the “West Wing.” She waved to Harvey Keitel, who was sipping cocoa with wife Daphna Kastner and bouncing baby Roman. What about us, Anna Deavere, don’t we get an air kiss?


Okies Take Downtown Notes
Many Downtowners have long since forgotten Lower Manhattan’s hotly contested City Council race in 2001, but don’t think the campaign went unnoticed in Oklahoma. The state’s Republican Party, playing hardball against Democrat Brad Carson running against Republican Tom Coburn in this year’s tight Senate race, sent out a press release during the campaign intended to smear Carson because he gave money to Brad Hoylman, the only openly gay candidate in the 2001 Democratic primary Downtown and current president of Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats. The press release was titled: “Carson’s financial contributions to openly gay candidate sparks [sic] questions for Oklahoma voters;” it noted prominently: “Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats’ goal is to legalize same sex marriage across USA.” In the release, Rick Buchanan, spokesperson for Oklahoma Victory 2004, challenged Carson to fully refund $2,500 in congressional campaign funds given by Carson to support the “openly gay” Hoylman’s 2001 campaign. Hoylman and Carson are friends from their time at Oxford as Rhodes scholars. While Carson isn’t gay, the Oklahoma G.O.P.’ers, with their press release, sought to imply he was. “I knew he was gay,” Carson said when the Hoylman contribution became an issue. “I really don’t care who you sleep with. I care what you want to do. Brad is a good man and so I was happy to support him.” Carson said he was not aware of Hoylman’s association with GLID and pointed out that he is on record as against gay marriage. Carson lost to Coburn, who said during the campaign that abortion doctors should be subject to the death penalty.



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