Leaving the Mall, Y'all

The Smithsonian's director of development, James Bruns, will be leaving D.C. this spring for the Peach State, where he's been appointed executive director of the Atlanta History Center.

"I'm looking forward to the excitement of engaging audiences again," Bruns told The Post.

The move will end a 20-year tenure at the Smithsonian where Bruns, most notably, served as founding director of the National Postal Museum from 1992 to 2000.

"Very few people get asked to create a national museum," Bruns said. "I worked with a handful of phenomenal people who were totally dedicated to the Postal Museum. And we wouldn't have been able to do it without the support of the Smithsonian family."

For Bruns, "family" isn't just a metaphor -- "My father was a curator at the Smithsonian," he said. "I grew up here."

While Bruns will certainly miss his childhood stomping grounds, he's excited about his future in Atlanta.

"No snow," he laughed.

Dangling Conversation

The bridge over troubled water might be on the mend.

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel met privately Wednesday to sing together, stirring speculation of a Grammy Awards appearance this Sunday evening.

A spokesman for Simon said the meeting was the pair's first since 1993.

"They got together yesterday and had a wonderful time," the spokesman said. "They're thinking of performing at the Grammys, but they're not sure if they have enough time."

The duo were scheduled to meet with the award show's writer-producer Ken Ehrlich Thursday, said sources close to the situation.

Neither Ehrlich nor a spokesman for Cossette Productions, the company producing the Grammys, were available for comment.

Icons of the '60s folk-rock movement, Simon and Garfunkel are famous not only for their enduring songs, but also for their strained relationship since the duo's breakup over 30 years ago.

Kente: 'I Have HIV'

Gibson Kente, one of South Africa's leading playwrights, announced Friday that he is HIV-positive.

"Things like this are never easy," said Kente. "But when you believe in yourself, and you believe you serve a bigger purpose, then what is the use of keeping it to yourself?"

Kente, who pioneered theater in South Africa's black townships during the apartheid era, is one of only a few celebrities to go public about AIDS in South Africa. The disease continues to carry a huge social stigma there, while an estimated one in five citizens carry the virus -- the highest rate in the world.

"I have HIV," said Kente, who learned of his diagnosis on Feb. 1. "Why not make some use of it?"

Noted . . .

Actor David Hasselhoff and his wife, Pamela Bach, suffered broken bones in a motorcycle accident in Los Angeles Thursday. Police said strong winds caused the actor to lose control of the bike, sending the couple crashing into the curb. . . . Congolese pop star Papa Wemba was placed under investigation Thursday, according to French judicial officials. The singer is suspected of involvement in a people-smuggling network where immigrants posed as musicians so they could obtain European visas. . . . Queen Latifah will be feted at Harvard University today. The rapper-turned-talk show host-turned actress is the Harvard Foundation's 2003 Artist of the Year.

. . . and Quoted

"Oh, I loved those horses. . . . That's who has my heart. The horse."

-- "Joe Millionaire" winner Zora Andrich in People magazine on the love she found while filming the hit reality series.

-- Compiled by Chris Richards

from staff and wire reports

Old friends Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel (in 1966) may reunite for the Grammy Awards.