Next Step for Chinatown BID: Hearing May 26

The City Council’s Finance Committee this morning scheduled a hearing on the proposal to create a Chinatown Business Improvement District, the latest step forward for the plan, which has been championed by City Councilmember Margaret Chin.

“We’re really happy that it’s finally happening,” said Kelly Magee, Chin’s communications director. “It’s something we’ve been working for for a long time.”

The May 26 hearing will take place at 10 a.m. and will be followed by a committee vote. If approved, it would move next to a full vote by the City Council, Magee said. That date has not been set.

All three downtown community boards approved the proposed BID last year, and the city’s planning commission gave it the nod in March, despite some criticism at public hearings and complaints from local merchants they would not be able to afford BID assessments.


“Pride Goes East” Debuts: Events, Deals All Week Long

Organizers held a kickoff event yesterday for "Pride Goes East," a celebration of Gay Pride in the East Village and the Lower East Side. The special week full of entertainment, as well as restaurant, nightlife and shopping deals is a joint project of the Fourth Arts Block and the LES Business Improvement District. City Council member Rosie Mendez spoke at the kickoff, encouraging people to enjoy events on both sides of Houston this week. There was also a cameo from Ms. Sarah Palin, the popular drag queen, and a performance from "Showdown," David Parker and The Bang Group’s
new interpretation of the songs from Irving
Berlin’s "Annie Get Your Gun
."  Roberto Ragone of the Lower East Side BID and Tamara Greenfield of the Fourth Arts Block said they hope this week's events and deals will establish their two neighborhoods as a Gay Pride destination. You can see more information about "Pride Goes East" including a schedule of events here.

David Parker and Jeffrey Kazin performed a new version of "Old Fashioned Wedding."

"Ms. Sarah Palin" gave her personal endorsement to "Pride Goes East"