Celebrity-Based Means of Negotiating With the Mayor

If you want to meet with the mayor about, say, a large garage for sanitation trucks that’s being built in your neighborhood, it apparently helps to have a celebrity emissary. “We couldn’t get an entree into the mayor’s office until [James] Gandolfini got involved, and suddenly the door was open,” Richard Barrett, a painter and a community leader, told the Times this morning.

But even a West Side-based coalition of famous names–including the Sopranos star, a Mad Man, and Ben Affleck–aren’t having much luck getting the city to dump its plans for a West Side garbage garage. The Times finds the situation about the same as it always has been, with the stars pushing an airy alternative called Hudson Rise–with a rooftop park, of course–and the city responding that it’s probably just going to build the one it’s already planned, no matter how many Emmys are lined up against it.