Bette Midler to become Bella Abzug?


She was an icon in her own right, not just in Washington but also in New York City. And director Julie Taymor believes it’s going to take another icon to properly bring her to the silver screen.

Singer and actress Bette Midler is in talks to play Bella Abzug in Taymor’s “The Glorias: A Life on the Road,” focused on the life of Gloria Steinem.

Abzug represented parts of New York City — primarily northern chunks of Manhattan, as well as the Riverdale area in the Bronx — in Congress. She took on a number of causes before it was even cool to do so, like abolishing the death penalty, speaking out against the Vietnam War, and fighting for equal rights — not just for women, but for the LGBT community as well.

Abzug joined Steinem and others to create the National Women’s Political Caucus, which continues to help women enter government even today.

Midler, known primarily for her Grammy-winning work, including “Wind Beneath My Wing,” also is an accomplished actress, earning Oscar nominations for “The Rose” in 1980 and “For the Boys” in 1992.

Although she would try to earn a return trip to Washington as well as become mayor of New York City, Abzug never held elective office again. She died at 77 in March 1998.

“The Glorias” is slated to begin filming in Georgia early next year, according to Variety.


Controversial building now quite official

Just a week after a rough appearance in front of Community Board 8’s land use committee, the developers behind a proposed residential building at 2395 Palisade Ave., has shared a few more details about their plans there.

Timber Equities, the development company involved with the entity that purchased 2395 Palisade Ave., for $2.6 million last year, said construction is expected to begin next year on what will be “approximately 50 new rent-stabilized, middle-income apartments,” climbing as high as seven stories.

Timber officials believe the new apartments are “sorely needed to help address the city’s housing crisis,” according to a release.

Rental vacancy in the Bronx is the lowest of all five boroughs, at under 3 percent, citing data from the city’s housing preservation and development department.

Little in the news release was actually news, after a contentious land use meeting last month revealed a number of these details. Timber did say, however, that it wants to turn an existing private parking lot on the property into public space.

The developer also said it would release renderings of the new building “in the coming weeks.”

The property has been the site of one of the Bronx’s oldest multi-family buildings, Villa Rosa Bonheur, for nearly a century. Neighbors in the Spuyten Duyvil neighborhood were upset when demolition first started, originally permitted for interior work only. Developers apparently changed their mind midway through the demolition, and are now pushing for a complete razing of the building to make way for the new apartments.

CB8 land use chair Charles Moerdler asked MTA to review whether construction would impact the Henry Hudson Bridge.