Letters, Week of Oct. 10, 2012

No one’s being fooled

To The Editor:
“High-end topless club hopes to swing it near sports pier” (news article, Oct. 4): There’s a lot going on in this article. Anyone else heard of a plan for a high-rise hotel? Regarding the strip club, let’s be serious: Is he really going to go into spin mode on a strip club, as if a strip club is no longer what it is?

Using the word “classy” — several times? As in, “This will be the very first-ever ‘classy’ strip joint.” C’mon, don’t insult us from the start. The reality is those in the neighborhood who would not be opposed to this for reasons of fairness and liberty, ought to be opposed to it because of the one truth about every strip club in New York City: exploitation.

No matter how “classy,” how “upscale” this operator says his business is, at some point, sex for money will happen within its doors.

Everyone I know who has ever worked in a New York City strip club, as a waiter, bouncer, bartender, hostess or dancer, has told the tale. Every former “dancer” who has written a book about the business has included passages about high-paying customers and the inevitable prostitution. To say it is otherwise is a lie, and it must be opposed firmly on these grounds.

The entire strip club culture is about making sure the custom- ers don’t take the dancers home, one former bouncer said to me. The obvious trade-off there is that after time, sex will discreetly be allowed inside. That is prostitution.

We have to say no to what this is actually potentially bring- ing to the neighborhood: well-heeled, self-entitled, “high class” pimps and johns. And this is not a judgment, its a truth-telling. People are free to do whatever they want, but ultimately, in deny- ing this liquor license, we would be disallowing liquor that would be sold in service of lubricating the path to prostitution.

Also, I would love to see the list of names on this operator’s petition and ask the signers what they thought they were signing.
Patrick Shields

At least Clayton helped us

To The Editor:
Re “As Times cuts ties with N.Y.U., local bloggers sound off” (news article, Oct. 4): I have to correct Bowery Boogie’s Dave Gustav. The Local’s student reporters have interacted quite a bit with neighborhood chroniclers like Clayton Patterson, who was nice enough to speak to them in class, had them over to his gallery and, despite his reservations about New York University, helped them out with stories, such as our video profile of reformed gang member Jose Quiles. They’ve gone to him freely because he has been generous with his time and knowledge. Others, not so much.
Daniel Maurer

Bike-sharing is already rolling

To The Editor:
Re “Software delays are bumps in the road for bike-share rollout” (news article, Oct. 4): Even if Alta fails to launch, biking in New York City is already a huge success. New York City is already home to Bike and Roll, with the nation’s largest fleet of bikes, more than 2,000, whereas Alta’s largest operation is a smaller 1,670 bikes in Washington, D.C. Bike and Roll is safe, dependable and has been in business six years. Bike and Roll offers “full service” bike-share, versus Alta, which offers “automated” bike-share.

New York City is also home to SoBi, a new and much lower- costing approach to bike-share — about one-fifth the cost per bike. SoBi highlights that there are three different approaches to bike-share:

1) “Smart-dock” — the Velib style (about $4,000 per bike); 2) “Smart-bike” — the SoBi approach (about $1,000 per bike); 3) “Smart-lock” — the NextBike approach (about $600 per bike);

This is New York City. Do we want to copy Velib, or do we want to take what Parisians have started and possibly do some- thing much better — something where more people have access to bikes, where the program is safer, and where it creates more local entrepreneurial opportunities — versus importing everything from Quebec and China?

Hopefully, Alta launches. But if not, all is not lost. New York City can still be a major bike-share player — maybe in ways that are far more robust than anything found in Paris or London.
Tom Glendening

Hey, Burkle, help us out!

To The Editor:
Re “L.E.S. Pathmark to close; Residents are distraught”

(news article, Oct. 4): A&P/Pathmark executives should have the decency to meet face to face with community residents, since according to The Lo-Down, the company will receive at least $87 million for the lease.

A&P is controlled byRon Burkle —who founded and now chairs Yucaipa private-equity holdings — whose worth exceeds $30 billion, and who contributes millions every year to the Democratic Party.

Since the Dems claim to represent us lower-income folks, surely A&P can come up with an alternative site, or provide free bus service across the Manhattan Bridge to the Atlantic Ave. Pathmark in Brooklyn. According to store employees, that Pathmark grosses more than $1 million each week!
Sam Martin

Excellent review!

To The Editor:
Re “Vinny Vella: Who’s Better Than You” (Just Do Art, Oct. 4): Thank you to The Villager for the write-up on the show.

You know I was born here! Who’s better than you?
Vinny Vella Sr.

I treasured his comments

To The Editor:
Re “Man killed in Harlem hit and run was a mystery to his neighbors” (news article, Oct. 4): I only knew Arnold for a couple of years as a member of the Playwrights’ Circle. We went to see the Bob Marley film, which he didn’t enjoy that much, though he liked his music. We rode on a bicycle taxi in the East End, which he thoroughly enjoyed, especially when we were almost hit by a car. And we ate often at his favorite Thai restaurant on Amsterdam Ave. Arnold was insightful and could articulate very quickly problems in plays that were being discussed within The Playwrights’ Circle. I especially respected and treasured the comments he made about my plays. It is hard for me to realize that he will no longer be present to discuss things with. I will miss him dearly.

My hope is that we at the Playwrights’ Circle may be able to put together a collection of his writings. Maybe the people in his building who didn’t know him may get a glimmer of who he was.

Angelina Cacciato

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