Scoopy’s, Week of Feb. 27, 2014
Off on the right ‘foot’: Kicking off his push for universal pre-K, Mayor Bill de Blasio came to P.S. 130, at 143 Baxter St., Tuesday morning, where he visited a pre-K class with 20 students and three teachers, including Aimee Koa-Chan. De Blasio complimented one young boy for being “articulate” for smoothly pronouncing the mayor’s name. He then read to the kids from Dr. Seuss’s “The Foot Book,” saying of Seuss, “He is one of the great, great writers of books.” De Blasio read aloud — and we quote — “Left foot, left foot, right foot right. Feet in the morning, feet at night. Left foot, left foot, right foot right. Wet foot, dry foot, low foot, high foot.” After finishing, the mayor told the toddlers, “Tell your parents to get ‘The Foot Book.’ ” He then asked if the kids would like to read more books by Dr. Seuss, and laughed when one loudly shouted, “No!” Most said, yes. De Blasio then asked if any of the children would like to give him a hug or handshake. He received a few of each. One of the girls, Layla, who hugged him was celebrating her birthday. Before leaving, de Blasio asked if they could sing, but was told that was coming later in the day.
And it’s Walden with the assist! He can win victories against New York University’s development plan and for keeping Long Island College Hospital open, but can attorney Jim Walden do the impossible — namely, help the Knicks? Make that, help even just one Knick? Reading the news about the beleaguered New York hoops team’s latest woes on Wednesday — that jilted point guard Raymond Felton was arrested on felony charges for having a loaded, unlicensed firearm in his home — we noticed Walden’s name in the article. Was it the same Jim Walden who, along with his partner, Randy Mastro, won the recent stunning victory that has thrown a major monkey wrench into N.Y.U.’s South Village superblocks development plan? “Yes, and it should be very interesting,” Walden said of his latest client. Meanwhile, we read a while back that Mastro is representing another major media figure enmeshed in a huge scandal of his own, none other than Governor Chris Christie. Mastro was brought in as “Bridgegate” was beginning to spiral out of control — very much like the Knicks’ season. Is there anyone that the Gibson & Dunn dynamic duo isn’t representing? They seem to be on every big case. “We try to be!” Walden said.
Hoffman memorial K.O.’d: The memorial to late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman on the front doorstep of 35 Bethune St. was going strong and showing no signs of diminishing until the big snow-and-slush storm two weeks ago finally knocked it out. Any pieces of paper and written notes, paintings, etc., were taken inside and dried out and will be given to his family, we’re told. The flowers, well, forget about it — they were totaled. According to a source, however, it was about time for the memorial to go, and the entranceway is now devoid of one. “It was a bit morbid,” a source told us. “It’s not a funeral home. People kept coming by to take photos.” We’re told that Hoffman’s longtime partner, Mimi O’Donnell, and his personal assistant, Isabella Wing-Davey, had been stopping by the building last week, apparently in anticipation of the police finally allowing the apartment in which he O.D.’d to be unsealed.
Kids’ korner: Congratulations to Matt Borden and his wife, Rachel Henes, on the birth of their son, Noah James Henes-Borden, above, who made his debut back on Dec. 21. Borden, Assemblymember Deborah Glickʼs chief of staff, gave us the scoop: “Noah’s favorite book is ‘A Is for Activism,’ and he has already expressed concerns about the pressing school-overcrowding issue. His favorite body part is his tongue, which he sticks out at inappropriate development, especially inappropriate development in parks. His style icon is Silvia Hoylman-Sigal, who he desperately hopes to one day meet in person.” Silvia, 3, was in the news herself last week when The New York Times profiled her and her dads, state Senator Brad Hoylman and filmmaker David Sigal, in a big article on surrogate childbearing and the effort to legalize it in New York, one of the few states where it’s banned — though it is legal here if it’s voluntary, where there is no payment to the surrogate. Silvia was born in California.
- Photo by Scoopy
News on news vendor: Astor Place newsstand operator Jerry Delakas hasn’t had his kiosk open lately due to health concerns. He told us he was recently walking up the subway stairs when he lost his breath. A doctor gave him a breath test and told him he has bronchitis, and also gave him a CAT scan. We happened to catch him opening up the stand briefly earlier in the week with this sign, above. Delakas, from what we understood, is resting up a bit and waiting for the doctor’s O.K. before returning to work. Meanwhile, down the block at Astor Place Hairstylists — where de Blasio gets his hair cut, but not that day — Worrell St. Ange a.k.a. “Speedy” noted he hasn’t seen the vendor lately. Told about Delakas’s taking some time out to rest up, he said he wasn’t surprised. “Just coffee and cigarettes — he never eats any food!” Speedy said with concern.
Tree-mendous Mary sighting: East Village activist Anna Sawaryn informed us that, along with the Ukrainian revolution, there is another accompanying miraculous story happening there. That is, the Virgin Mary has been spotted in Stryj. Sawaryn sent us a YouTube clip of the holy vision, which has allegedly appeared on a tree where a branch was cut off. “Stryj is my father’s village,” she told us last week, before President Viktor Yanukovych had thrown in the towel and hustled off into hiding. “The news of Kiev burning is hard to watch. The YouTube is in Ukrainian. However, you can see how desperate people are for just a little hope. The priests are ‘analyzing’ the tree, and have determined that there was no paint applied. They have had to change the road signs and reroute traffic in Stryj, because of all the people coming there to see and touch the tree.”