Letters, Week of May 23, 2013

Sounds like 8th is getting great!

To The Editor:
Re “8th St. walks away from shoes toward something new” (notebook, by Elissa Stein, May 16):

If hearts could smile, mine would. As an ex-sole proprietor of a small stationery and gift store that survived 28 years (25 terrific years, three not so much), this is music to my ears: Japanese bakery, Peruvian restaurant, Wisconsin cheese, burgers, beer, wine, jazz lounge, independent coffee shop and more — all walking distance from a midrange boutique hotel…complete with brilliant artists’ spirits in residence.

I felt so good after reading this. If I could do it all again, I’d head straight to Eighth St. and join in the resurgence. Can’t wait for my next visit to New York.

Nice story.
Christie Cluff

Will stores become extinct?

To The Editor:
Re “8th St. walks away from shoes toward something new” (notebook, by Elissa Stein, May 16):

Elissa Stein, writing about Eighth St., says that “new tenants have been moving in, and more are on the way in the coming weeks and months.” I hope she is correct, but I am worried. Eighth St. has often been ahead of its time, and perhaps vacant storefronts are the wave of the future.  Borders bookstores has gone out of business, and Barnes & Noble has closed several stores, with the one on Eighth St. being only the most recent. People shop online nowadays. The only stores that seem to be resisting this trend are restaurants, supermarkets and nail salons.
George Jochnowitz

Ridiculous spin on bike-share

To The Editor:
Re “Like a cult — but on wheels” (letter, by Jack Brown, May 16):

I can understand the divergent opinions on bike-share, but the statement by Coalition Against Rogue Riding (CARR) founder Jack Brown that “New York City has…the nation’s longest commuting time and the fifth-worst traffic congestion,” in large part because of “the misapplication of bike amenities” is like blaming the overactive heater in my apartment for global warming. Might I suggest he change the name of his organization to CARR-AZY?!
Chad Marlow

The artistic life vs. media hype

To The Editor:
Re “Francine Morin, 62, artist and longtime East Villager” (obituary, May 9):

“Those of us who cherished our neighborhood for encouraging and embracing creative energy, should celebrate not just those who became ‘art stars,’ but also those who came here to experience the joy of trying.”

This was a beautiful quote from Larry Gregory and it is said in the real spirit of the longtime East Village. The East Village creative energy — what people call the buzz — was built on people living an artistic life, not on so-called “art stars,” usually invented by the media.
Penny Arcade

Very strange bedfellows

To The Editor:
Re “Dormitory foes warn Cooper: Don’t get in bed with Singer!” (news article, May 16):

One of your best headlines to date. Very sassy.
Lawrence White

Chin is smart, fair and fun

To The Editor:
Re “Chin’s all in: Silver, Nydia back bid for a second term” (news article, May 9):

Margaret Chin represents her whole district, which is proven by her actions. She is smart, fair and hard-working, plus she has a sense of humor and fun. I bet she will be re-elected by the majority who support her.
Peggy Friedman

P.R. push for N.Y.U. and Chin

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. gives space for tots and seniors on its superblocks” (news article, May 16):

This is just one big P.R. move for N.Y.U. and Councilwoman Chin. Creative Steps, as noted, has been in Washington Square Village rent-free for years — and now will pay rent? Apparently there’s some sort of sweetheart deal between N.Y.U. and the councilwoman to pump up the university’s “credentials” by portraying it as being kind to the community, in an election year, naturally.

The few thousand square feet provided in the agreement, as Andrew Berman notes in the article, is a pittance compared to the overwhelming addition of 2 million square feet by N.Y.U. that will dominate our once-pleasant residential community.
Sylvia Rackow
Rackow is chairperson, The Committee to Preserve Our Neighborhood

It’s about oversaturation, not art

To The Editor:
Re “Soho House has my support, but won’t get Acker Awards” (Clayton, May 16):

Mr. Patterson’s view of accepting the Soho House proposal seems to be mainly based on the idea of the “lesser of two evils.” But we also have to keep in mind that though we would all like to see a better and community-friendly use made of this space, adding a new liquor license to a neighborhood already oversaturated with bars is not the way to go.

If Soho House is approved, that will mean this address will have a liquor license where none existed before, and that license will remain there whether Soho House is successful or not. I have had similar battles on the northern end of Avenue A where oversaturation has been an ongoing issue for years, with landlords claiming the only businesses that could survive needed a liquor license. Not enough daytime foot traffic, they said. But residents campaigned against this argument and now on my block (between 12th and 13th Sts.) where we had five liquor licenses, we now have an architects group, a hair salon, a veterinary clinic, a tech shop and an antiques store. Two of the bars remain, but now there is a balance and a once out-of-control block has reclaimed some quality of life.

Mr. Patterson admits the artist benefit claimed by Soho House is dubious and limited at best. I would say there is not public benefit here — only a public buy-in. It will still be another late-night bar bringing additional out-of-neighborhood crowds to a block already oversaturated with liquor licenses — maybe not rowdy frat types, but additional crowds nonetheless.

We didn’t buy the “lesser of two evils” line on Avenue A and neither should the residents of Ludlow St.
Dale Goodson

Rock on, Richie Havens

To The Editor:
Re “Woodstock icon Havens dies at 72” (April 25):

Your recent coverage of Richie Havens leaves much to be desired!

Your paper routinely gives tons of print space to bums, criminals, Yippies, crusties and other ne’er-do-wells.

Richie lived in the Village for 50 years! His widow, Nancy, is on Jane St. in the West Village!

As a young man, Richie came to the Village from Brooklyn and read poetry in our cafes! He then turned toward folk singing and performed in small cafes, like the Why Not, Raffio’s and Four Winds.

He then want on to Cafe Wha? and then starred in shows at the Night Owl Cafe, where he was on the bill with the likes of the Lovin’ Spoonful, Tim Hardin, Fred Neil and Bob Gibson.

Richie was a star long before he appeared at Woodstock in 1969. He was a credit to all of us Villagers!
Joseph Marra

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One Response to Letters, Week of May 23, 2013

  1. Village Smithy

    If Peggy Friedman chooses to be among the few in Greenwich Village who supports Margaret Chin, fine.

    However, shouldn't she also be honest enough to state that Chin gave thousands of our taxpayers' dollars to Ms. Freidman's pet charity?

    Ms. Friedman's endorsement seems like a quid pro quo, the kind of politics-as-usual at which Chin is so familiar.

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