While the St. Mark’s Bookshop has extended its auction to Dec. 22, Faculty Against the Sexton Plan’s fundraising auction is now over, and someone has paid a whopping $9,950 for an hour-and-a-half-long acting lesson with Philip Seymour Hoffman. For that kind of dough, you presumably have the right to request a sex scene (sorry for that image).
But let’s remember: the auction was all for a cause — FASP is, after all, fighting NYU’s Greenwich Village expansion plan in court, as an item in this week’s New York magazine reminds us. While the outcome of that lawsuit is TBD, Village preservations scored a victory on Tuesday, as the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to create a South Village Historic District. The approximately 10-block zone — which adds to the existing Greenwich Village Historic District — lies roughly between West 4th Street to the north, Houston Street to the south, Laguardia Place to the East, and Sixth Avenue to the west.
The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, among others, had feared that, without such protection, NYU would be free to build some sort of demon tower on the site of what’s now Vanderbilt Hall. After some uncertainty, the building was ultimately included in the historic district along with NYU’s Kevorkian Center. As you can imagine, the GVSHP is happier about this than Llewyn Davis was about getting that cat back. An NYU rep told The Villager, “We congratulate the LPC for getting this part of the South Village designated.”
In what’s probably the only LPC press release to mention Lady Gaga, the Commission said the new district is made up of “approximately 250 row houses, tenements and institutional and commercial buildings north of West Houston Street that reflect the area’s development between the early 19th and mid-20th centuries from an affluent residential neighborhood, and a thriving immigrant and artist community to a magnet for bohemian culture and the center of gay and lesbian life in New York City.”
But back to the auction, because it involves lunch with celebrities. Though, to be fair, plenty of non-celebs also contributed: Josh Ozersky offered up a tour of East Village burger joints and a signed copy of The Hamburger: A History that fetched an impressive $330. (We apologize to our former colleague, Mr. Ozersky, for implying that he isn’t a celebrity.) Here’s a look at what happened with all of the items valued at $1,000 or above. (In case you’re wondering, dinner with Richard Hell, valued at $500, went for $200.)
Big-ticket items that sold, in order of selling price:
Lunch with Fran Lebowitz – $3,550
Lunch with Lewis Lapham – $2,500
Lunch with Bill Moyers – $1,600
Shopping trip with Padma Lakshmi – $1,500
$1,000-and-over items that didn’t sell