Volume 17, Number 40 | February 25 - March 3, 2005

Under Cover

Freed from Tribeca
City Councilmember turned Municipal Court Judge Kathryn Freed is ditching her Independence Plaza digs for an edgier life on the Lower East Side. When she returns from her Kenyan and Tanzanian safari, her honor will hunker down in East River Houses at the end of Grand St.

Freed, whose vision was recently blurred by cataracts, waited to move until after eye surgery so neighbors and friends could help her out with errands. “I could have stayed here, but the rent would go up,” Freed said, speaking the week before her trip. “I priced myself out of Tribeca — the things I did for the neighborhood, the school, the park…. Where I’m going is a co-op and I have a complete view of Lower Manhattan looking south and a 250-sq.ft. terrace.”

Last year, after local politicos got wind of Freed’s plan to move to the Lower East Side, rumors flew that the pol had her eyes on City Council District 2’s neighborhood so she could run for Margarita Lopez’s seat. Freed vehemently denied the rumors. Her new pad is conveniently located in Councilmember Alan Gerson’s District 1. Freed balked at any suggestions that she might take a stab at Gerson’s seat. “Nah, I’m a judge,” she said. “I might run for [State] Supreme Court some day, but that’s another story.”

What New School?
UnderCover suspects that Peter Heaney, superintendent for Region 9, is schooled in one thing at least: the Department of Ed’s new structuring hasn’t put him in the know. When Mayor Mike and Chancellor Joel Klein hosted their we-love-new-schools pow wow at Tweed Courthouse last month to announce a new K-8 in developer Bruce Ratner’s 75-story, Frank Gehry-designed tower, Heaney — superintendent for the region in question — was suspiciously absent from the affair. “Region 9 wasn’t invited to the Tweed Courthouse,” a school source said. “They didn’t know the press conference was happening.” By the way, does anyone remember Klein ever saying he was closing school district offices to bring superintendents closer to the chancellor?

UnderCover is just dying to know the water cooler whispering following that memo gaffe.

Housing Works
While some of us prefer to disparage our luxury landlords the old fashioned way — by griping in the elevator, of course — the tenants of 63 Wall St., a.k.a. The Crest have taken a more virtual approach to the age old pastime: they’ve posted their bellyaching on the Internet, which caught the attention of Curbed.com and us.

“I just DONT like living here.... is there any way to get out????? Has anyone been able to do that..... you know.... GET OUT!!!! HEEEEEEEEELP !!!!!!!!!!!!” grammatically challenged DemolitionMan howled on the forum, http://cresttenants.com/forum.

UnderCover was agog to discover that one tenant doubted DemolitionMan’s motives. “It sounds to me like you are still bickering because you have ulterior motives - either still trying to suck more money out of management or you want to leave for other reasons (new job, found a cheaper place, etc) and this is just a smoke screen so you can have your cake and eat it too,” penned future tenant ScoutRecords.

ScoutRecords, apparently a community-conscious musician, had his own unfulfilled dreams for the Crest — weekend parties for all the tenants. His hopes were dashed, it seems, by building manager Jack Berman. “I had no idea when I moved to NYC I would run into such lame people in the heart of Manhattan,” he scribbled in his response to befuddled DemolitionMan.

(Berman also weighed in on DemolitionMan’s despair: “You do sound frustrated. Why don’t you contact the management office so that we can work out a solution.”)

Tenant John O, in a moment of fatalism proclaimed: “I think we’ve been beaten into submission - and I don’t think it’s whining to complain about lack of heat and elevators that pose a safety risk.” Oh, the trials and tribulations of luxury living.

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