Volume 75, Number 33 | January 4 - 10, 2006

Letters to the editor

Koch is voice of reason

To The Editor:
Re “How’s the park doin’? Awful. It needs a renovation” (talking point, by Ed Koch, Dec. 28) and “Wheelchair user may sue; wants to go amphibious in the fountain” (news article, Dec. 28):

Once again, Ed Koch is the voice of reason. He presents a well thought-out and compelling argument for proceeding with the renovation of Washington Square Park.

On the other hand, a lunatic wants to ride her wheelchair into an ornamental pond. If she then contracts an infectious disease from the recycled water she will no doubt sue the city (you and me). Is there no end to this foolishness?
 Paul K. Piccone

Against the left on Avenue B

To The Editor:
I would like to make a suggestion regarding Avenue B’s recent nighttime congestion. My suggestion is installing no-left-turn signs at designated points along Avenue B.

If a car is heading northbound along Avenue B, the driver would not be able to make a left turn at E. Third, E. Seventh and E. 13th Sts. between, say, the hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

If a car is heading southbound along Avenue B, the driver would not be able to make a left turn at E. 12th, E. Sixth and E. Fourth Sts., again, between the hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Preventing left turns at points along the strip should clear the road of congestion at street crossings that tend to get a little crowded during the evening. It will force automobiles to drive to Avenue A or Avenue C, which are wider and can handle the increase of car traffic.

I am not suggesting this would be a solution to the problem, but it is something to consider if many residents are objecting to converting the avenue to a northbound one-way street.
Daniel Peterson

N.Y.U. supersizing the Village

To The Editor:
I am extremely upset with the high volume of monster dorms in my neighborhood. Also, New York University students must support our small businesses to prevent our neighborhood from looking like Times Square and a gigantic New York University campus that obliterates our sunlight and everything that made this neighborhood a village.

I just passed so many N.Y.U. dorms to shop in a humble sweet store that sells recycled clothing and just about anything one could imagine because the owner is concerned with environmental issues. This for me sums up the avant-garde wonder and magic of The Village.

Even the new N.Y.U. law school dorm on Third St. towers above all the other buildings on the street but so cunningly that one doesn’t realize until viewing it from the avenue.
Suzannah B. Troy

The attack of the dorms

To The Editor:
I have lived on E. 10th St. and Third Ave. for the past 49 years and have watched the slow but very significant destruction of my neighborhood by New York University. We have a colossal dorm on Third Ave. from E. 10th to E. Ninth Sts.; another dorm on the Third Ave. corner of E. 12th St.; then, moving along, one on Third Ave. and 14th St. and — it’s not over — on E. 14th St. between Third and Fourth Aves. not one but two dorms! And let us not forget the one N.Y.U. created in the beginning, taking over the lovely Brittany Hotel on Broadway and E. 10th St., thereby making that their first “dorm” way back when. Then of course there is what started out as a private development that is now another N.Y.U. dorm on Union Square West, The Carlyle!

So, we here in this area have seven N.Y.U. dorms, not including one for Cooper Union on E. Ninth St and then The New School on E. 12th St. — which is directly across the street from the former St. Ann’s Church where N.Y.U. now plans yet another dorm.

This area is still home to many people who have lived here for many years and have gone through the different stages of changes. But another dorm is not needed. There are enough of those N.Y.U. students and others to destroy an evening of sleep, etc. without bringing in what would fill 26 stories of space not needed. Since N.Y.U. is so good at real estate, it should find another place! We don’t need it here!
Madeline Camporeale

Beatrice bummer

To The Editor:
I have been going to Beatrice Inn since I was 13 and I am now turning 50. We don’t live in the city, but way out east on Long Island. We started going there when my older sister turned 16, and it has been our family’s favorite place ever since. We made it our tradition to go to Beatrice Inn every Christmas Eve and then go Uptown to see the tree.

We have celebrated birthdays, graduations — my parents had all of my brother’s friends join us for dinner for his graduation from medical school — anniversaries and numerous other occasions there. I brought friends there before we went to see the Moody Blues in late September (the last time any of us were there, with plans to go for our anniversary).

We were stopping by after Thanksgiving for dinner, on our way home from Pennsylvania, only to find the lights dark and the awning outside empty. It was then that we discovered the sad news. Where are all of the Beatrice Inn people going now? We feel totally left out of the loop that we didn’t know what was inevitable. Where is Alberto? Aldo?

The thought of having no place to go on Christmas Eve was depressing our whole family. Do you have any suggestions for our new haunt? Not being from the Big Apple, we have no idea of where to go now. Any suggestions would make us very happy, especially my son who was thrilled to see the old man from “Big Daddy” there who in turn was thrilled when my son walked up to him and said, “Hell yeah!” Your help will really help make our holiday season brighter.
Ilene De Marco

Editor’s note: Like you, many Villagers who frequently dined at Beatrice Inn are distraught over its closing and are now anxiously searching for a replacement. As for our recommendation, all we can say is there is an abundance of fine restaurants in the Village.

No beauty in hunting

To The Editor:
In response to “Seeing the humanity in America’s blood sports” (arts article, Nov. 30), I must say I have an opposing opinion on Erika Larsen’s photographic message. As a person who has witnessed hunting first hand and as someone with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, I feel there is no quiet respect when it comes to hunting and it is idiotic. Without getting into all the details of why it is idiotic, let me just state that senseless killing of a being that was as full of life as you when it woke up in the morning is absolutely moronic. I have met many a hunter and they were all far from peaceful people. Larsen says that there is something to learn out there, but one can learn a lot more through live animals than dead ones. As an artist, you need to be aware of what messages you are putting out there. Though everything is up for interpretation, we know through her statements she is presenting hunting in a positive light. I’m sorry, but I don’t see the beauty in murder.
 Victoria Booth

Two sides of Matzo Files

To The Editor:
Re “Matzo Files on verge of crumbling as artists clash” (news article, Dec. 28):

Linda Griggs’s quote, “We asked Streit’s to donate the space,” is inaccurate.

I am the Artists Alliance Rotating Studio Program coordinator. I am the person who personally introduced the A.A.I. project to Linda Griggs.

Ms. Griggs had applied to the A.A.I. Rotating Studio Program in the 2004-2005 application cycle and she was not awarded a studio that year. She did win a space in the 2005-2006 cycle. We receive hundreds of applications a year for our Rotating Studio Program and A.A.I.’s question was how can we serve all of the applicants when our studio space is limited? The Matzo Files were conceived to address this issue. I personally invited Ms. Griggs after we met because she had a question about her application material. All of the Rotating Studio applicants and other artists were invited to participate through a Matzo Files open call.

I was there during the founding days of the Matzo Files Program. The idea for the Matzo Files was conceived by A.A.I. and the project was proposed to Streit’s Matzo Store by our A.A.I. founding member Mark Power, who had a personal relationship with Streit’s. I was unable to serve on the Matzo Files Steering Committee because I was and am very busy with the Rotating Studio Program. I now deeply regret not participating. Isabel Bigelow was unfortunately unable to separate her personal goals from the goals of an artists’ not-for-profit.
Suzanne Varni

Smoke and mirrors

To The Editor:
The letter “Mike’s just blowing smoke” (by Jonathan Pinard, Dec. 21) is full of the lies we always hear from the tobacco people and their mouthpieces, such as Jonathan Pinard. New York’s ban on toxic tobacco smoking has (as is always the case) been good for people and for establishments.

Indeed, I typed “New Yorkers healthier since smoking ban” into an Internet search engine and was rewarded with more than 1 million responses. There are tens of thousands of scientific studies that report healthier patrons and employees at every establishment, city, state and country where long-overdue bans on toxic tobacco smoke are finally enacted.

Only a complete fool would fail to believe that there wouldn’t be an improvement in health and lives saved when people are no longer exposed to the witch’s brew of carcinogens and poisons in toxic tobacco smoke. But the tobacco people believe that you should never let a little thing like the truth stand in the way of their stories!
Dave Johnson

Puffers’ hazy logic

To The Editor:
Re “Mike’s just blowing smoke” (letter, by Jonathan Pinard, Dec. 21):

Jonathan Pinard’s letter would indicate that his group is concerned about the overall health of smokers and nonsmokers alike. Talk about a canard.

Pinard is representing a group that obviously thinks with its collective butt. Of course, his group makes the inevitable comparisons to Prohibition. To the best of my knowledge, second-hand drinking was not the crux of that ill-conceived law.

When quotes are attributed to this group, it makes us wonder, what are they smoking? 
Robert Weitz

Silent night, ah

To The Editor:
“T’was the season to be jolly” on Christopher St. Due to the wonderful cold weather, the transit strike and a rainy Christmas, the quality of life complaints of the residents of Christopher St., and I daresay, all the neighboring streets, vanished! Glorious peace, tranquility and happiness were experienced by all of us. Hallelujah! Which proves what we residents have known all along:  The visitors, whether they be L.G.B.T. youth, adults or whatever, are responsible for the quality of life problems, especially noise, of which we have been complaining.

In fact, until Dec. 23, the night after the transit strike ended, I did not hear one obscene four-letter word. At 11:15 p.m. on my way home, I observed six people playing at humping one another at the entrance of 147 Christopher St. Their obscenities could be heard for blocks. Don’t they know any other words besides the four-letter one that begins with “F”? Having made their presence known, they marched back up toward the subway.

I hope the Sixth Precinct enjoyed the peace and quiet in our neighborhood as much as we did. May it continue.
 Darleen Rubin

Mayor talked too tough

To The Editor:
What image of our city did Mayor Bloomberg convey with the cold, totally fallacious and hurtful language he used to describe our hard-working, dedicated city employees during the strike? It was disgraceful! Has he forgotten the function of his office — that is, to lead by example with dignity and respect?

Conversely, I respect highly Roger Toussaint who was a gentleman prior to and throughout the strike in the spirit of Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whom he spoke of.

I believe it is a good thing our buses and subways are running again. However, the lack of ethics by our mayor should be noted by everyone.
A. Huntting

Culture of pollution

To The Editor:
Re “Complaints heard about proposed city noise code” (news article, Dec. 21):

You might say it’s a lot of noise signifying nothing.

It’s very obvious that our society has no desire, no intention of taking serious steps to reduce pollution of any kind (noise, air, water, etc.).

Streets littered with refuse; tires discarded on the street; the deafening noise from trucks and motorcycles; particulate matter — soot — collecting as dust requiring almost daily cleaning of our apartments; the water unfit to drink; the air unfit to breathe; the deafening noise from multiple sources.

As President Dwight David Eisenhower wisely stated: “You cannot legislate into the hearts of people.” Our citizens are only too eager to add their share of pollution to our environment.
Michael Gottlieb


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