Scoopy’s, Week of Dec. 5, 2013
Mother of all auctions: Talk about some boldface names! To help fund its ongoing legal fight against N.Y.U.’s 2031 megadevelopment plan on the university’s two South Village superblocks, N.Y.U. Faculty Against the Sexton Plan is holding a massive online holiday auction featuring a star-studded galaxy of artists, actors, writers, professors and businesses. And it’s right in time for the holidays — a perfect gift for a loved one or — heck, why not? — yourself. Up for bids is a private hour-and-a-half acting lesson with Academy Award winner “The Master” himself Philip Seymour Hoffman. Also on the block is a two-hour shopping spree to curate your pantry and spice collection with “Top Chef” ’s Padma Lakshmi. Or how about a basketball game with John Leguizamo? (We hear he’s pretty quick on the court.) Or play two hours of ping-pong, with drinks for four, for free at Susan Sarandon’s Flatiron table tennis club, SPiN. O.K., so maybe you don’t want to work up a sweat. How about lunch with Bill Moyers, Fran Lebowitz or Lewis Lapham? Or dinner with Richard Hell? If the price is right you — yes, you! — can win a weekend for two at any of Andre Balasz’s hotels. (However, we hear there’s no guarantee Lindsay Lohan will be there at the same time.) Books, you ask? Ho boy…there are ones signed by E.L. Doctorow, Junot Diaz, Zadie Smith, Erica Jong, Andrew Ross, Naomi Wolf and on and on. There’s a manuscript page from Philip Glass, an uncorrected galley from Art Spiegelman’s “Maus, Vol. 1,” an Alex Katz print, a photograph of William S. Burroughs by Gary Indiana, a painting by actor Joel Gray, all of Eric Bogosian’s works, a one-year membership to Anthology Film Archive, and a signed personal photo by actor Matthew Modine from the set of “Full Metal Jacket.” Looking for the “write stuff”? You could become the owner of the rare Omas fountain pen that former U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine used to write his Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poems, “The Simple Truth.” Or you could bid on a chance to tour the best hamburger restaurants in the Village, or have a private makeup application lesson with Hollywood makeup artist Nicki Lederman (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Side Effects”). You can even try to win walking tours of Florence, Paris, Dublin and Shanghai, and much, much more… . More than 130 individuals and businesses, and counting, have donated items to the auction, with values ranging from $25 up to $8,000. “I can think of no worthier cause than saving the Village from overdevelopment,” said Lakshmi. “This neighborhood is one of the most iconic parts of the city and precisely what makes New York so special.” Modine, a Villager for 30 years, said, “In a city filled with continuous change, it’s comforting to know there is one constant. Greenwich Village…with human-scale buildings, carriage houses, stoops and winding streets. N.Y.U. has moved from being a friendly neighbor to a power-hungry, land-grabbing, politician-buying, bullying Scrooge. I encourage everyone that loves the Village to lend their support and voice to protecting this beloved oasis of Manhattan.” The items will be sold in a silent online auction from Mon., Dec. 9, through Wed., Dec. 18, giving bidders worldwide plenty of time to place their bids. Bidders will be notified by e-mail when they are outbid. For a preview of auction items and more information, go to nyufasp.com/auction/#preview .
Chairperson chatter: Never one to be cowed by convention, David Gruber, Community Board 2 chairperson, is planning to have the board consider putting off its board officer elections from June, when they’re usually held, till as late as next October. Gruber tells us other community boards have made this switch, and he thinks there’s some logic to it. Mainly, it gives new board members, who are appointed in April, a chance to get to know their colleagues so they can make informed votes in the election. However, one C.B. 2 member we bumped into recently told us she believed Gruber, in fact, wants to go for a third one-year term, which would break with the board’s unofficial chairperson term limit of two one-year terms in a row. (Shades of Quinn and Bloomberg???) Nope, Gruber said. He told us while, personally, he’s “agnostic” on the idea of a third term for C.B. 2 chairpersons, he will be stepping down after his current term — that is, whenever it actually does end. “I’m not ready for a third term,” he stated. Meanwhile, we hear some people still hope to recruit Terri Cude to run for board chairperson. Sorry to all the Cude fans out there, but she’s not running — yet. “It’s not my time,” she told us.