Seen & Heard: Work Has Started at Gitano

••• When I wrote about Noted Tribeca, I said that the 112 Hudson storefront had been empty for so long that no one remembered what had been there before. I underestimated people…. “It was a salon called the Fourth Estate,” a reader called to tell me. “It sold magazines of all sorts, which is why it was called the Fourth Estate, but that was sort of an afterthought. Every night Keitel and Bogosian and John Kennedy and more fine artists than I could name would meet. It was run by Fred and Mary Parvin. He was rug merchant; she was a doyenne. They were Persian communists who left during the Shah’s regime. It was an incredible, amazing place. They served wine and donuts, and if Mary didn’t like you or your politics, she’d throw you out. Their friend—ex-friend, I should say—was De Niro, who owned the space. The Parvins never made enough money to really pay their rent because they gave everything away.” The Observer’s 2006 obituary for Mary Parvin has much more on her and the salon.

••• Palm trees arrived yesterday at Gitano’s alfresco restaurant/bar opening on the vacant lot at Canal and Varick. Thanks to E. for the photos.

••• I won’t repeat all my issues with the elevator situation at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, other than to say that it’s infuriatingly designed. But I did come across a new-to-me elevator that just about made me blow a socket. It’s at the east end of the passageway to Brookfield Place, and of course it only goes from the lowest level to the balcony level, with a stop at a mezzanine. (I say “of course” because there’s not one elevator in the entire complex that goes from top to bottom; you have to maneuver around as if you’re playing Chutes & Ladders.) Anyway, what got me about this one was that it’s in the shape of a slanted parallelogram, like a rectangle that’s been pressed one direction. I have to assume it was custom made, at unnecessary extra expense.

••• The Downtown Alliance’s Dine Around Downtown food festival is this coming Tuesday (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at 28 Liberty. “This will also be the first opportunity to check out some of the dishes from Danny Meyer’s highly anticipated Manhatta and Bay Room, which open on the 60th floor of 28 Liberty in June. Other first-time Dine Around participants this year will include Brushstroke, Blue Ribbon Bakery, Sprinkles Land and Underdog.”

••• One of the design features of 111 Murray is that it’s not set up right against any other building—it floats within the lot, as I remembered when a gate in the plywood was open and I could see along the building’s northern side. The east side of the building, of course, will be a public-ish plaza (rendering here).



  1. There was a little Japanese comfort food place near (at?) 112 Hudson too – I can’t remember the name, but I remember their bitter melon and grilled okra with lime. Anyone remember that place?

  2. fred is still around, i frequently have met him in a bar in the hague. good stories and political discussions.and a nice and amicable guy.