This was how things worked, as Curtis Sliwa recalls it, back in the heyday of the Guardian Angels, from the late ’70s through the early ’90s: In one subway car, Sliwa might break up a fistfight, then move to the next car and find a domestic dispute in progress. In the following car, there might be a drug dealer pushing his product, and in the car after that, a group of young men openly drinking malt liquor 40s and smoking blunts.
Want to see what a chop shop looks like? How about a money laundering front? Ever wonder what it's like to have "young men congregating on corners" stare at you "evilly as if you could be their ATM"? You're in luck! Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa has introduced just such an expedition to the South Bronx, which he's calling "The Underbelly Tour." For a taste of what Sliwa is now offering to "business groups" for $5,000 a pop, you can have a look at his insane introductory video here. [Gothamist]
Fashion Week queen bee Fern Mallis turns 61 today. The legendary Diana Ross turns 65. Nancy Pelosi is 69. Keira Knightley is celebrating her 24th. Steven Tyler is 61. Curtis Sliwa turns 55. Michael Imperioli is 43. Journalist Bob Woodward turns 66. Author Erica Jong is 67. Martin Short is 59. James Caan is turning 69. Amy Smart is 33. Jennifer Grey is 49. Leeza Gibbons turns 52. Kenny Chesney is turning 41. NBC's Chris Hansen turns 50. Hedge fund manager William von Mueffling is 41. And Elaine Chao, the former Labor Secretary and current sister-in-law of Bruce Wasserstein, is 56 today.
Bruce Ratner is orchestrating a big demonstration today in support of his increasingly doomed-looking Atlantic Yards project! So which celebs did he enlist to headline the rally and win over skeptics? Former Nets Darryl Dawkins and Alan King, neither of whom has played basketball professionally since the 1980s. A-list! He also managed to persuade shrinking violets Al Sharpton and Curtis Sliwa to overcome their aversion to attention and speak at the rally.
Such generosity! Curtis Sliwa, the founder of the Guardian Angels and the on-again/off-again host of a radio show on WABC, is graciously volunteering to run for Vito Fossella's Congressional seat. Naturally, the attention-seeking competitive pickle eater, stickball champion, and rumored candidate for public advocate, didn't hatch the idea himself: It's the will of the people! "As I walked along Forest Ave, for the Memorial Day parade, as I do every year, something seemed different. I was greeted from time to time with chants from the crowd urging me to jump into the race if no other candidate did so," Sliwa wrote to local Republican party officials. A trip to Washington seems an unlikely scenario for the beret-wearing Sliwa, although if he were to be win, it's safe to say he'd be only member of Congress with a cheesy techno track on his MySpace page.