Letters, Week of May 31, 2012

N.Y.U.’s contradictory growth

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. flip-flops on what it requires in its ‘core’ ” (talking point, by Andrew Berman, May 24):

As usual, Andrew Berman is right on target in his comments on the contradictory and indefensible positions of New York University on its future growth.

On the one hand, the N.Y.U. administration seeks to clone the university in Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and possibly other exotic locations, and the university’s president, John Sexton, has proposed a type of global conveyor belt transporting faculty and students overseas for one, two or more years.

On the other hand, N.Y.U. finds it unacceptable to ask students and faculty to travel the short distance between Washington Square and the Financial District. As Berman points out, many universities have facilities and programs spread out over an equivalent distance.

What’s especially frustrating is that the Financial District proposal is a potential win-win solution. The Village wins because it avoids the thoroughly destructive transformation threatened by the university’s 2031 plan. And the Financial District, eager to fill its available commercial space, wins by gaining a prestigious university as a neighbor.
Howard Negrin

Thank goodness for Berman

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. flip-flops on what it requires in its ‘core’ ” (talking point, by Andrew Berman, May 24):

Thank goodness for Andrew Berman. He truly represents the feelings of Villagers about N.Y.U.’s catastrophic 2031 ULURP proposal.

When we attended the Planning Commission meeting in April, President Sexton also was unsure of what will go into the “Zipper Building.” Despite supposed “concessions” on the plan agreed to with the borough president, most from N.Y.U. who testified were flopping all over the place.

We had to laugh when university Vice President Lynne Brown said they needed the “commercial overlay” in order to “enliven” Mercer St. As if nearby Broadway’s feast of stores and the bustling activity on Bleecker St. are unable to “enliven” our area.

We shall certainly be disappointed if Mrs. Chin doesn’t help us overturn the proposed overbuilding of the two residential superblocks and the commercialization of an integral part of Greenwich Village. Nor should she allow N.Y.U. to usurp the Mercer St. public-land strip to build a hotel!
Sylvia Rackow
Rackow is a member, Committee to Preserve Our Neighborhood

Studying while ‘going mobile’

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. flip-flops on what it requires in its ‘core’ ” (talking point, by Andrew Berman, May 24):

Great piece. Community Board 1 has expressed interest in hosting N.Y.U. facilities, and the university administration should begin negotiating with them. Our subway system is great, but N.Y.U. could also purchase a few “green,” quiet buses and outfit them with Wi-Fi to ferry students to the Financial District and back in a few minutes. Lots of campuses are spread over one and half or two miles like this, and use such systems.

I’m an N.Y.U. faculty member who lives outside Manhattan. But I reject the planned construction in the Village because it will blight and financially cripple the campus where I work, and do the same to the neighborhood.
John Archer

Mike would hit the copter!

To The Editor:
Re “Positive purple aura” (Scoopy’s Notebook, May 24):

I second the sentiments of G.V.S.H.P.’s Andrew Berman, whose compelling talking point in this week’s Villager eviscerates N.Y.U.’s flaccid arguments for actually needing to expand in the core and decimate this iconic neighborhood.

If the mayor’s Upper East Side townhouse were to be subject to similar air and noise pollution and general chaos of 20 years’ duration, one might assume that Bloomberg would either helicopter in and out or somehow base himself at his digs in Bermuda.

Indeed, the very rich are different.
Joseph Hannah

Gas pipeline too dangerous

To The Editor:
Re “C.B. 2, Jersey City inflamed as feds accept gas pipeline” (news article, May 24):

Good article, Al.

Several years ago my best friend and his wife were blown up on State St. in Brooklyn when gas exploded in his brownstone.
Cy Adler

Hawk blog vs. hawk cam

To The Editor:
“Young ‘reality show raptors’ get ready to wing it” (news article, May 24):

How can you have an article about the hawks without linking to the fabulous blog Roger_Paw? Roger takes amazing pictures of the hawks all the time and documents them at rogerpaw.blogspot.com . You should have interviewed more on-the-ground hawk watchers, not cam watchers.
CK Watt

The right way forward

To The Editor:
Re “Cooper prez: Fee plan offers ‘most optimistic way forward’ ” (news article, May 24):

The more “optimistic way forward” — which does not do an about-face on the school’s mission — has been outlined by faculty, alumni and students. This document was published last month, and is available to the public at friendsofcooperunion.org .
Henry Chapman

The answer is — a park!

To The Editor:
Re “Hotel opposition sells C.B. 2 on saving Merchant’s House” (news article, May 17):

The city of New York should buy the property that the garage sits on and turn it into a park!
John Heliker



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