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From Avenue D to Ahmadinejad: Cohen Speaks to Iranian President

photo(234)Melvin Felix

Stanley Cohen has had a busy week.

Not only is he defending Mona Eltahawy, the commentator arrested Tuesday after defacing a provocative pro-Israel poster, but the Alphabet City-based lawyer spoke his mind about U.S.-Iranian relations to none other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, The Local has learned.

Asked if it might have been unwise to meet with the oft-condemned Iranian president and other government officials during a time of heightened international tension – and on the eve of Yom Kippur, no less – Mr. Cohen said, “I don’t worry about crossing lines.”

That’s evident from his client list, which includes members of the hacker group Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street as well as alleged terrorists. His latest cause, Ms. Eltahawy, an Egyptian-American columnist, faces misdemeanor graffiti charges after spray-painting an anti-jihad ad in the Times Square subway station – an act that Mr. Cohen told the Daily News was an exercise in free speech.

On the day Ms. Eltahawy was arrested, Mr. Cohen was making some bold statements of his own: he was among a handful of U.S.-based speakers invited to the midtown hotel where Mr. Ahmadinejad was staying to share their views of the Middle East with the Iranian president. Also in attendance were Iran’s Foreign Minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, and its Ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Khazaee. Read more…

The Day | Memory Lanes

Phillip Kalantzis Cope

Good morning, East Village.

Seems like everyone’s looking backward today. Performer Edgar Oliver will be doing a show in Savannah, Georgia about his time living in rooming house on East 10th Street in the late 1970’s. Charleston City Paper has a preview. Mr. Oliver lived with a wheelchair-bound man, who, having no use for the upper stories of his house, rented them out. On the top floor were some people that possibly tried to kill Mr. Oliver, but, he told the paper, he developed a fondness for them nonetheless.

Santa Fe-based travel writer Billie Frank offered a different sort of trip down memory lane, recalling her 1950’s escapes from “middle-class prison” Stuy Town into the hurly-burly world south of 14th Street.

DJ Josh Sparber found a stash of old gay news-weeklies on Second Avenue, buried among a pile of less salubrious publications. He was rewarded with early photos of some of today’s biggest night life personalities, which he promptly posted to his blog.

Popping — as they say — on Twitter yesterday was DNAinfo’s interview with style blogger Scott Schuman, aka The Satorialist. The influential fella slid east from his Greenwich Village home to promote a tie-in with skin care brand Kiehl’s at its Third Avenue store. He said he likes shooting young women in Tompkins Square Park because they mix “vintage with designer.” That’s as opposed, presumably, to the rest of the park’s denizens who merely are vintage, and rarely find themselves on the blog.

The tabloid story of the day was The Post’s news that NYPD officers are encouraging East Village barkeeps to put themselves on the front line in the fight against international terrorism. By using ID-card scanners the police apparently hope to track would-be attackers who are also fond of a tipple. Gothamist casts a quizzical eye over the story so you don’t have to.

If you’ve yet to find out, it’s going to be another hot one, with a heat advisory still in force and temperatures forecast to reach 100 degrees. Take care.