Letters, week of February 9, 2012

Killed over a bag of weed

 To The Editor:
Isn’t the “War on Drugs” out of control? A teenager just lost his life over a bag of weed! A bag of weed, for chrissake! Weed isn’t even a drug!

Our jails are filled with more buyers and users than dealers and pushers. Drug cartels are building a massive army of hardened criminals along our southern border — and our cops are shooting teenagers over a bag of weed!

We are the 99 percent!

And we’ve had enough!
Jerry The Peddler

N.Y.U. and broken promises

To The Editor:  
Re “N.Y.U. promised an elementary school — back in 1960!” (talking point, by Carol Greitzer, Jan. 26):

Thank you, Carol, for your column recalling those events. I would like to point out that the “shared facility” of Coles gymnasium was supposed to be open to the Greenwich Village community, and to advertise that it is still open today to community membership from the Hudson River to Broadway. Very few know about the pool and rec classes there.

In addition, a tennis program with six rooftop courts was part of the original deal — probably to make up for the community courts you mention that they eliminated. Those courts have been out of service for seven years, and just reopened this winter. The rooftop is zoned as open space.

All of this goes out the window with N.Y.U.’s 2031 plan. More hocus-pocus and broken contracts.
Ellen Horan
Horan is vice chairperson, LaGuardia Corner Garden

Surge ‘prophet’ is all wet

To The Editor:
Re “Storm surge ‘prophet’ warns of floods; Ark not needed, but safety barriers are, he says” (news article, Jan. 26):

Sea level has been rising a few millimeters per year for the past few hundred years, and has not shown any significant increase during the past 30 years (a requirement for the manmade global-warming theory to have credibility). I think this “prophet” has been drinking too much tea, if you know what I mean.
Bob Smith

Dancing is good for you!

To The Editor:
Re “Ray’s sexy birthday” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Jan. 26):

The burlesque dancer shaking it on Ray’s counter may or may not improve circulation of The Villager and East Villager, but it certainly appears to have improved Ray’s circulation! He’s grinning from ear to ear.

Matter of fact, the photo got my own circulation going!

This photo verifies the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.

And to Ray: Many happy returns!
Michael Gottlieb

The last time I saw Vali…

To The Editor:
Re “Finding Ira Cohen: On the trail of a mystic art icon” (Clayton, Jan. 26):

Clayton Patterson mentions Vali Meyers in his article. Vali!!! I used to hang out with her from 1952-54, in Paris in St.-Germain-des-Prés, at the cafes Mabillon and Old Navy. She was always dressed in black.

In 1952 I was 15 and a runaway. I also used to hang around the Rue Sommerard. There I met James Baldwin and other famous black American jazz musicians, like John Coltrane, Bill Coleman, Robert Wilson, etc.

The last time I saw Vali was in 1955. She was marrying an Austrian painter. Through her friend Claudine, who lived in the same building in London as the man I was supposed to marry in Spain (it didn’t happen), I found out that she lived in Italy and had a ferret as pet. Then I heard nothing. Her friend Pepita (with whom I had a picture, but which I lost because of a burglary) came to New York when the Pyramid club was in full swing. “She went back to Australia,” I was told.

I will never forget the day. It was Oct. 3, 1954. We were at Cafe Bonaparte, near the Church of St.-Germain-des-Prés. She was inside, I was outside with a bunch of Germans. It was a hot day. The only Indian summer I remember in Paris. We were singing. Next to me were some photographers. “Par ici, Brigitte,” they were shouting, “Par la.”

I looked up. There was this young girl with her skin breaking out and a kerchief on her head. I didn’t really pay it any attention. People taking pictures is so common in Paris and everywhere else. Then her picture appeared in Paris Match. That’s how Brigitte Bardot started out.

Vali had a hard time in Paris. But then she did better. Of course, everybody knows what happened to Brigitte Bardot.

I didn’t do so well, but I did a lot of traveling. I was in India at the same place and time as Allen Ginsberg.

Then I got into a terrible situation that I thought I would never get out of. The Swiss government wanted to punish me — because not only was I a hippie, I was of Gypsy background and a runaway. There was a pogrom against Gypsies in 1964 and I was caught in it. I was thrown in jail and severely beaten. I still suffer from it.

They told Allen that I was dead. What a surprise it was that I would become his neighbor in the East Village!
Ginette Schenck

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