Volume 17 • Issue 29 | Dec. 10 -16, 2004


Bloomberg News
UnderCover hears that Susan Bloomberg, Mayor Mike’s ex, snatched up two penthouse apartments at 505 Greenwich St. — two doors down from Downtown Express’ lofty offices. Sources say the stay-at-home mom bought one spread in the new Gary Handel-designed, glass-fronted condo for herself and the other for one of her two daughters, either policy wonk Emma or equestrian Georgina. With units tagged at $3 million a pop, who knew people would line up like lemmings to live cattycorner to the Holland Tunnel entrance ramp?

Balloting It Out
The battle over who gets to maintain two small plots of land outside Liberty Court condos in Battery Park City has been taken to the people, or at least some of them. The condo’s board of managers circulated a letter and ballot to the building’s residents about the future of the hotly contested plots, which have been home to Liberty Community Garden since a “temporary” post-9/11 bridge at Rector St. displaced the gardeners’ original plots. When the two-year agreement expired, the condo board decided it wanted the islands back. A third plot is currently landscaped and maintained by the B.P.C. Parks Conservancy.

UnderCover acquired a copy of the ballot, which gave residents the choice to either “allow the community to use our garden plots for another two years without charge to the Battery Park City Authority nor further compensation to Liberty Court” or allow “the Board of Managers to refuse the lease extension and immediately reclaim the two plots for formal landscaping.”

Campaigning for the gardeners, Liberty Court resident and community gardener, Mike McCormack, circulated a letter of his own. He informed his fellow residents, “If the Board of Managers terminates the ground lease, Liberty Court must obtain the obligation to maintain all three islands, at a cost of approximately $20,000 per year.” With a campaign battle reminiscent of another recent election, at this point, the race is too close to call. Residents have until Dec. 15 to cast their ballots.

White House Cat Fight
Hillary Clinton’s holiday decorations trump Laura Bush’s, so UnderCover overheard from the mouth of the former First Lady herself. The junior senator, known for her sass, scoffed the current First Lady’s choice in tree toppers and tinsel at a Dec. 2 World Trade Center event touting an intelligence bill that was bogged down in the House until this week.

Lower Manhattan Love Corporation
Michele Lauren McManus, a spokesperson for the Department of Education and Matthew Thomas Higgins, a Jets vice president, tied the knot last weekend, sealing the deal on a love affair that bloomed in the halls of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. Higgins, then C.O.O. at the L.M.D.C., met his bride-to-be while she was working there as the corporation’s communications manager, the New York Times reported. Frankly, we couldn’t think of a more romantic rendez-vous than the sleek, black 1 Liberty Plaza.

Claire Danes, sans Billy Crudup, alternating between red wine and her cell phone at a Friday night LaMama opening. Ashley Olsen, the blonder and better-fed twin, climbing out of her GMC SUV in front of her N. Moore St. pad with beau, 30-year-old Scott Sartiano, co-owner of Butter restaurant. The 18-year-old co-ed and her man made a mad dash to Hudson St. to hail a cab, giving her SUV a rest, we presume.

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