September 26th, 2006
Hamptons Celebsby SoHo Journal Staff
A look at some of the people around the Hamptons.
A look at some of the people around the Hamptons.
And Congress doesn’t want to deal with them–at least until after the 2006 elections. So, while the shadowboxing goes on, it’s a little hard not to notice that the room is getting more crowded.
According to the Pew Hispanic Center, as of March 2005 there were 11.1 million (12 million now) illegal Hispanics in the United States, composed of 5.4m males, 3.9m females and 1.8m children. And let’s not forget an additional 3.1m children who are considered legal because they were born here. Out of the 9.3 m adults, it is estimated that 7.2m of them are employed, making up less than 5% of the U.S. work force but 24% of farming, 17% of cleaning, 14% of construction labor and 12% of food preparation. So what are the other 2.1m doing? Drugs? Other crime? Who knows.
32 Lighthouse Road
Hampton Bays, NY 11946
Remember last summer when we had a great meal at the Inn Spot in Quogue? My permanent dining companion, hungry and in no mood for questions, insisted that we drive off to the new and just opened waterfront sister to The Inn Spot, The Inn Spot on the Bay. Located on Lighthouse Road in Hampton Bays just north of the Ponquogue Bridge, this new addition to the Hampton restaurant scene is the perfect spot to have dinner and see a truly inspiring sunset.
Opening it’s 75th anniversary season with Academy of the Arts Awards Gala honoring Stephen Schwarzman with amazing performances by Chita Rivera
Guild Hall of Easthampton kicked off its 75th Anniversary, Celebrating Creativity, with the 21st Annual Academy of the Arts Gala, March 13 at the Rainbow Room honoring lifelong patron of the Arts, Stephen A. Schwarzman, CEO, Chairman and co-founder of The Blackstone Group and Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Roy Furman, President of the Academy of Arts presented the award to Schwarzman.
At the end of the season tempers get a little frayed on both sides. Visitors are worn out from the impossibility of snagging restaurant reservations and the frustrations over leaving those 24/7 clocks behind. Although grateful for the influx of money that has come with summer, residents wonder if everyone checked their manners and their brains somewhere west of the canal. Time for everyone to take a deep breath, catch the fall light and be thankful for this little bit of paradise. Fall is in the air.
While many of us are familiar with the Nassau County Executive’s “Fix Albany” campaign, Tom Suozzi’s insight into the problems that also affect New York City is less well known. Now, as a contender in the race for Governor, what he thinks about the New York City/Long Island area is more important than ever.
The upcoming election between Treewolf West and Fred Thiele for the 2nd Assembly Seat election will be interesting and instructive for both Democrats and Republicans. Thiele has been cross-endorsed by numerous Democrats and supported by Rich Schaeffer, the County Democratic Chairman, in past elections. The fact that Schaeffer is the godfather of one of Thiele’s children should not be lost on voters.
The Village of Saltaire has re-opened the Pandora’s Box involving New York State election law and the right of property-owners to vote in local elections where they own houses. In previous issues of the SoHo Journal, there have been articles and how-to instructions for New Yorkers who wish to vote in Hamptons (or Fire Island) Village elections. While it is a pain in the ass to keep changing your “legal residence” from Manhattan to another county, in which there is a village election–then voting and changing residency and voter registration back to a New York address–it is perfectly legal. National elections are in November, Village elections are normally in June and primaries are in September. The real dilemma occurs if you want to have an impact on Town wide elections in the Hamptons since they are held at the same time as the general election. You simply have to make a choice as to where you will have the greatest impact. But this too should be changed. New York State election law is woefully inadequate to cope with true representative democracy.
78 Reade Street (at Church Street)
By Train: Take A, C to Chambers Street
Please don’t just label this an espresso shop-because Mocca is so much more. Equal parts coffee shop, restaurant, and lounge, Mocca is truly all things to all people. Whether you’re hungry for a quick, early morning takeout, or in the market for a sexy, late-night locale, Mocca’s got what you need. From the funky neon green chairs in the dining room, to the flat screen TVs that adorn the bar area, to the hip DJs playing the latest house, hip-hop and pop-the vibe that greets you is welcoming like an old college sweater. And while this 3 year-old establishment might be best known for its variety of gourmet coffees, lattes, and mouth watering sandwiches, the cocktails are nothing short of fantastic and available at incredible discount prices: $5 for mixed drinks and house wine, $7 for specialty cocktails, and $3 for domestic beers Monday-Friday from 4-7, during their bustling happy hour.
There are approximately 250 cast iron buildings in New York City today, the majority of which are in SoHo. Big Apple Tour Buses used to make the turns onto the narrow one-way side streets like Spring at West Broadway in order to give riders a glimpse of these historical structures. I grew up with the knowledge that SoHo has the greatest number of cast iron buildings in the world. Beautiful, twisting fire escapes and brochures boasting The Queen and King of Greene Street are found in almost any restaurant in the neighborhood. We are special for something other then just art galleries and boutiques. We have buildings. We live in them, work in them, play in them, smoke in them, and daydream on their fire escapes and rooftops.
In the past several years, community boards, community groups, and just plain folks have repeatedly disagreed with Parks Department decisions regarding the use of City green spaces. Union Square and Washington Square come quickly to mind, as do the Brooklyn Bridge Park with similar situations in Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island.
A subject that spans the divide between Manhattan and Suffolk County, home of the Hamptons, is a heated issue involving the false imprisonment of Martin Tankleff. At the age of 17, Tankleff was arrested for the murder of his parents after having endured a long interrogation by the infamous Suffolk County Police Homicide Detectives. This is a police force which was investigated by New York State for using excessive force and using techniques which support a conviction rate that, in conjunction with the District Attorney’s office, is greater than 90%. Tankleff was caught up in that vortex of “justice” that is focused on imprisoning people and keeping the convictions statistics high, not in apprehending criminals. It also doesn’t help that the D.A., the Detective most deeply involved in the case, former business associates of the murdered parents, and certain other shadowy characters all knew each other outside of the parameters of the crime itself. For example, D.A. Spota, who refuses to support a new trial for Marty based upon new evidence and testimony, was an attorney handling many Suffolk County police matters and in fact had previously represented the Detective who refused to investigate likely suspects in this case. For a more detailed description of this seamy little affair called “justice” in Suffolk County’s little stew pot of corruption, go to www.martytankleff.org.
The pace of development in SoHo and Hudson Square has continued unabated. Several condominium projects are underway and will be completed in 2007. On West Broadway between Canal and Grand there will be twin buildings through West Broadway to Wooster Street with a parking garage facing the SoHo Grand at 310 West Broadway. At the razed site of the former Tunnel Garage which was a landmark in SoHo, a nine story condo is about to be built. At the site of the Moondance Diner, another nine story condominium is slated to begin construction in the near future. And, the 13 story condominium project at 350 West Broadway which has been sold to Ian Schrager will now be a hotel. The 17 story hotel on Watts Street between Avenue of the Americas and Varick Street is already under construction. The 40 Mercer condominium project at Grand and Mercer is now nearly completed should be open by year end.
Senator Connor‘s district encompasses parts of Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn, as well as Tribeca, SoHo and part of Hudson Square. His territory also takes in Pier 40 on the waterfront. Essentially, he represents lower Manhattan on the East Side below 14th street and below Houston on the West Side.
Continue Reading »
It’s rare that you can meet with a sitting judge where he lives and come away with feeling that you had just had a chat with one of the neighbors. But meeting David Cohen is the kind of experience that reinforces a feeling that this is one of the people who you want to have sitting on the bench. Without being folksy, he comes across as someone who is clearly passionate about what he does. He doesn’t just judge, he tries to help.
Deborah Glick is the first openly lesbian or gay member of the New York State legislature. She has been the Assemblywoman for the Greenwich Village/ SoHo area for 16 years, having had two 8 year terms, after challenging Bill Passanante for this position in 1990 and having succeeded easily. This year she is running for re-election and we met with her to discuss some of her accomplishments as well as some of her current concerns.
Her legislative priorities have included passage of the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA), which was finally signed into law in December of 2002, and the Statewide Domestic Partnership Registry, which is still awaiting passage. Most recently, Assembly member Glick’s Hospital Visitation Bill became law, providing domestic partners the same rights that spouses and next-of-kin have when caring for a loved one in a hospital or nursing facility. She has worked on issues of concern to women for thirty years, including advocating for reproductive freedom, a change in the rape statutes, and women’s health concerns. The Women’s Health and Wellness Act, a bill that promotes early detection and prevention of certain medical conditions affecting women, including breast cancer and osteoporosis and provides coverage for contraceptives, became law on January 1, 2003.
Here are some observations on efforts to secure legislative reform, followed by some political history of a City Council contest for leadership and reflections on the conflict in legislatures between individual autonomy and institutional stability.
A coalition of civic groups is pressing for reform of New York State’s legislative and budgetary rules. Jo Brill of the Citizens Budget Commission is doing an admirable job of collecting and compiling proposals for reform, comments from experts, and editorials from newspapers around the state.
While the political landscape hasn’t changed very much, there are a few bright spots for SoHo. We fully expect to see Deborah Glick re-elected to the Assembly. And, she has continued to be a community-oriented person who can be counted on to weigh in on the side of residents. So far she is not opposed and expected to continue in office. Look for her to direct more of her talented attention towards the residents of SoHo in the future.
The NoHo Neighborhood Association has become a presence at many Community Board meetings and has often been a successful lobbyist as a result of the efforts of Zella Jones, its Executive Director. Problems ranging from traffic to pollution to liquor license saturation have only been part of its mission to afford a better quality of life for residents of NoHo. Recently, as a result of a tremendous amount of effort spent organizing and coordinating the event informally called the “Quality of Life Summit,” numerous city officials, police and elected leaders converged on the Puffin Room in SoHo. With leaders from SoHo, the Lower East Side Alliance and numerous other communities, Zella and the NoHo Neighborhood Association has given Downtown some new prominence in the eyes of those in power.