Letters, Week of July 18, 2013

Enjoy your ‘blood condos’!

To The Editor:
Re “Fewer but wealthier tenants for former St. Vincent’s site” (news article, July 11):

I still wonder how long buyers will be haunted by the ghosts of a hospital in these blood condos. One more example of the arrogance of the Rudin family and their Rudin real estate company is, again, that they change what they said was being built.

State Senator Holyman is correct in saying that the decrease of the number of these new residents will have a favorable effect on the integration into the neighborhood of these rich folk and lower the disruption on existing community resources.

A smaller hospital with a trauma level-one ER could have been built either on the hospital site or across the street on the O’Toole site without being in violation of the landmark ruling.
Jim Fouratt

This Pride had special meaning

To The Editor:
What a privilege to join tens of thousands from the gay community and their multitude of supporters at the Gay Pride March on June 20. Together with Edith Windsor, the plaintiff in the DOMA case, and her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, and Roberta’s spouse, Rachel Lavine, we marched in celebration of this important step for marriage equality and gay rights, embraced by the Supreme Court in its recent decisions.

The DOMA win had special meaning for the Village Independent Democrats club, since Roberta and Rachel, who is our Democratic State Committee person, call V.I.D. their home club, and V.I.D. just honored Edith Windsor and Roberta at its spring gala. Also marching were Assemblymember Deborah Glick and state Senator Brad Hoylman, who call V.I.D. their home club, and V.I.D. officers Peter Crosta, Marti Speranza, Lucia Fedora and Katharine Wolpe.

I had the honor of striding alongside Congressman Jerry Nadler — City Council candidate Corey Johnson also marched with us — and it was a thrill to hear, block after block, the deep support:  “Jer-ry! Jer-ry!” It was a day to remember that despite continuing attacks on our Bill of Rights, the ongoing struggle for civil liberties and equality under the law can still chalk up victories in the 21st century.
Jonathan Geballe
Geballe is Democratic district leader, 66th Assembly District, Part A

Arturo put the art in Ramones

To The Editor:
Re “Arturo Vega, 65, artistic director for the Ramones” (obituary, July 11):

I met Arturo at Performance Studios here in New York City back in the early ’70s when the Ramones were first starting out and developing their one-of-a-kind music and look. In those days, Arturo dressed pretty wildly in colorful mesh and striped shirts, wide belts and large sunglasses. We both were there from the first days of the Ramones to more than 22 years of touring with the band.

The Ramones couldn’t pay Arturo at first, so he would make the T-shirts by hand and then sell them at the venues just to be able to tour with the band. Being a great artist helped him develop a unique look for the Ramones’ stage lighting when he became the band’s light tech.

Of course he’s most famous for creating the Ramones eagle logo, now an iconic image. Arturo would create and hand-paint most of the band’s large backdrops and also that wonderfully quirky Pinhead sign (Gabba Gabba Hey!). He was a multi-talented guy and my very good friend… . Adios Amigo.
Monte A. Melnick
Melnick was the Ramones tour manager for 22 years and is author of “On The Road With the Ramones

Running a hotel in her home

To The Editor:
Re “Rising rents and transient tenants” (letter, Georgette Fleischer, July 4):

I want to second the concerns expressed in Georgette Fleischer’s letter on the explosion of Airbnb subletting in our neighborhood and its corrosive effects.

Tenants who are apparently too good to work for a living are constantly rotating short-term renters through apartments. One woman in my building is prolific at this. I’ve met multiple globetrotters in the building — a few days later, they’re gone. The tenant calls them her “friends.” The tenant stops by occasionally to clean the place for the next “friend.”

One of the new features of the building since this parasite started her nonsense here — something we didn’t have in the 35 years I’ve lived in the building — is bedbugs, beginning in June 2012. These afflicted the family below the scam artist, the man living beside her and the family above that guy. Finally, some of her “friends” started getting bit up, but that hasn’t stopped it — she’s had more “friends” in there since them. She must be making a bundle.

Also, we now have burglaries. This is Little Italy, we never had burglaries. Just this spring, two apartments — air-shaft side in the back — were hit while those tenants were out.

I’m not one to name names. This scammer knows who she is, and the landlord has warned her. The state forbids this but the city needs a law, punishable by steep monetary penalty per episode. New York City should do a general sweep-up of these scammers — easily done online, just run a sting.
Elliott Hurwitt

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