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Morning Reads: Big Box Mountain, Gum-Chewing Crook, Signs of Life at Ludlow Hotel

Must Read

  • What the Lower East Side really needs, says one architect, is a bunch of big box stores shrouded in a fake mountain (Co.Design).
  • Alleged gum-chewing thief busted after $3500 jacket swiped from John Varvatos store on the Bowery (Post).
  • Soho activist Sean Sweeney believes Council member Margaret Chin chose not to re-appoint him to Community Board 2 due to his opposition to the Soho BID.  Chin says the BID issue was not the reason, but rather, a poor attendance record and a desire to give another community activist a chance to serve. Sweeney was reappointed anyway, by Borough President Scott Stringer (City Hall).
  • Rep. Nydia Velazquez is one of several veteran lawmakers potentially being targeted by a “Super PAC” backed by a “Texas construction mogul.” (WSJ)
  • Work has resumed on the terminally stalled hotel at 180 Ludlow, perhaps (EV Grieve).


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  1. Councilmember Chin’s spokesperson, Kelly Magee must not have scored very well in her
    SAT mathematics part, or, perhaps, more likely, as Mark Twain is
    purported to have said, she excels in “Lies, damn lies, and statistics”.
    Let’s examine the true numbers, taken from official CB2 records, not a
    press flack’s spin to sanitize and justify a blatant political move on
    the part of Councilmember Chin.
    Of the 22 Full Board meetings over the past two years of my term, I
    have been absent for only 3. I was officially excused from several,
    since I unfortunately happened to be out of town on business or
    vacation. We can’t be in two places at once, can we, Kelly?

    (Incidentally, prior to this year, my attendance at CB2 meetings for the past twenty years was in the 90% range.)
    As for the Zoning Committee,
    according to official CB2 records and not Magee’s spurious data, I was present for 5 meetings and absent for only 2.
    As for the Landmarks Committee, which I chair, according to official
    CB2 records,  I was present for 15 and absent for 1, and
    excused from a few more.
    Furthermore, my committee meets TWICE a month, whereas most others meet only once, and it ranks #2 of 16
    committees in resolutions produced: 155. This happens to be more than
    any other Landmarks Committee in New York City.

    Does Ms. Magee seriously have a problem with this excellent record?
    Conveniently, Councilmember Chin’s office egregiously fails to note that in 2011,
    I was present for 6 of 8 Executive Committee meetings, and not absent
    from a single one.
    Now, let me ask Ms. Magee a question:

    How many CB2 meetings has Councilmember Chin attended in her 27 months
    in office? I can count ONE, and ABSENT from all the others.

    Before the councilmember’s office starts bandying about deceptive
    statistics to excuse a blatantly political move, it should first clean
    up its own act.


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