Volume 17, Number 44 | March 24 - 31, 2005

Under Cover

Educating Eva
Councilmember Eva Moskowitz, chairperson of the Council’s Education Committee, told UnderCover the city was guilty of “poor planning” for not building a neighborhood middle school in Lower Manhattan years ago. With plans to build a new K-8 on Downtown’s East Side, some Battery Park City parents of P.S. 89 students are hoping they will be able to get a guaranteed middle school seat in the building they share with I.S. 89. For Downtowners, the zoned school is almost an hour away on E. 21st St. Moskowitz, a candidate for borough president, was surprised education officials did not think more about middle school space before P.S./I.S. 89 opened in 1999. “You’re building a new school, starting tabula rasa, and you don’t say, ‘where do kids go after fifth grade,’ ” she asked. “That’s just common sense.” As a mother of three, she said she understands the inconvenience of picking up children in different places and added the Education Dept. often “puts parents last. They talk about putting children first, but they put parents last.”

Staying Inn
While a smattering of Tribeca residents ranted about the prospect of a one night minimum hotel invading their tony neighborhood in a recent New York Times article, the real elephant in the room is the likelihood that the inn at the corner of Duane and Church Sts. may never materialize at all.

One of the building’s developers Sam Chang and architect Gene Kaufman have left a legion of unfinished developments in their wake over the last several years, including another hotel project at 320 Pearl St. that appalled the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission so profoundly that it ordered the team to redo it. “It looked like a huge marshmallow,” Judy Duffy, assistant district manager of Community Board 1, told UnderCover. “He’s a terrible architect,” she said of Kaufman, who is also on board for the Duane St. hotel. “I don’t know what they were thinking.”

Chang’s other unfinished developments include a project at 20 Maiden Lane and another one at 6 York St. and Broadway, neither of which are finished. “[Chang] has yet to open any of them,” Duffy said. “Who can afford to have a property that stands empty for four or five years? The whole thing is odd here.”

Bargains on the Horizon
“This summer is all about the shopping!” gushed 16-year-old Jackie Kopel when she saw the tell tale yellow sign for Daffy’s pasted up at the UFT Building at 50-52 Broadway. Her mother, Renée, could not contain herself, either. “I was psyched,” she told UnderCover of the recent Daffy’s signage sighting. “God, I’m such a shopper.”

The Kopels inquired with a construction worker on site, who offered them few details about the possibility of a discount clothing store (to compete with nearby Century 21) in their midst.

“Nobody seems to know about it,” the elder Kopel said. “I’m the only one.”

Daffy’s, famous for its “Clothing Bargains for Millionaires” tagline, expects its latest endeavor to open to the world of bargain hunters by mid-April, Marcia Wilson, a spokesperson for the company, told UnderCover.

To the Moon
Frosty Myers — the creator of The Wall, a 1973 public artwork on a wall in Soho that is currently mired in a legal dispute with the building’s owners — has another piece of art displayed in an unlikely spot. His 1969 piece, affixed to the leg of Lunar Landar on Apollo 12, resides on the moon. “That is very site-specific,” he said when his lawyer asked him if he had other site-specific works at a trial last week to determine if The Wall should remain in Soho.

My Councilmember is a centerfold
Judge Kathryn Freed, former Councilmember and Tribeca resident, has graced the centerfold of … Grand Street News. A fully clothed Freed is pictured in color on her new terrace with an East River view, in the March issue of G.S.N., published by Loho Realty. Freed relocated to the East Side after moving from Independence plaza, as UnderCover reported a few weeks ago.

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