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Did the Standard Hotel Chase Away the Village's Bears?

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Friends, New York Leather Weekend is fast approaching (we know?it always sneaks up!), and with it comes the annual West Village Leather & Bear Street Fair. This gathering of lovable and huggable bears and the gents who enjoy whipping them was approved by Community Board 2 to take over a stretch of West 13th Street. But now The Villager reports that the city is booting the bears off the block, and executive director Robert Valin is blaming The Standard hotel. According to Valin, Standard maestro André Balazs doesn't think the fest "fits the image of the hotel," to which we say, um, are you sure about that? Like, really sure? Valin fumes that he'd like to put Balazs in a St. Andrew's cross (don't ask), and says the city keeps offering him "invisible streets" and the whole thing may get canceled. A more likely culprit for the get-together's troubles could be the Food & Wine Festival going on in the Meatpacking District the same weekend, though bondage and Bordeaux does sound like an appetizing mix.
· Balazs whips bondage bash [Villager]