Volume 76, Number 29 | December 13 - 19, 2006

Letters to the editor

Bike path poorly marked

To The Editor:
Re “Drunk driver on Hudson Park bike path mows down cyclist” (news article, Dec. 6):

I ride the Hudson River bike path nearly every weekday all year-round. I have encountered cars on the path or attempting to enter the path on several occasions.

One problem is that the double yellow line down the center of the bike path is the same as regular road lane markings. This is particularly confusing to out-of-towners, who are already challenged by big-city traffic. Also, there is only one “No Motor Vehicles” sign on either side of the bike path next to a driveway entrance. This is printed in black letters on a white background, posted on the left lane and certainly does not stand out. Similarly, the signs warning bikers of upcoming driveways are nondescript. Also, poor signage and street markings lead to cars exiting the driveways to stop and block the bike path completely while waiting for traffic lights to change.

Another hazard is that the left-turn lanes from the northbound West Side Highway are obscured by trees and bushes planted in the center median. This limited visibility could have had a major effect on the fatal accident with the police tow truck operator at W. 36th St.

Rick van Valkenburg


They D.I.D. it again!

To The Editor:
Re “Election I” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Dec. 6):

The remark: “….the two Greenwich Village Democratic political clubs [Village Independent Democrats and Village Reform Democratic Club]…,” in last week’s Scoopy’s repeats an error that has been occurring repeatedly in The Villager for years, despite many efforts to have you correct it.

There are three (3) Democratic clubs that represent the Village: V.I.D., V.R.D.C. and — lo and behold — D.I.D.

In fact, V.R.D.C. is not recognized by the New York County Democratic Committee as an official club since it has no district leader. So, to be very accurate, there are indeed two Village clubs: D.I.D. and V.I.D.

D.I.D.’s part covers about half of the entire East Village: an area from Broadway to Avenue B, from E. Ninth St. to Houston St.

We have all of Greenwich Village from Eighth St. to Houston St., from Broadway to Sixth Ave. and beyond. Some call this the Central Village.

Additionally, we also represent all of the South Village.

The only part of the Village our club does not entirely cover is the West Village, a small part of a large area.

I don’t understand why The Villager cannot comprehend this. A few years ago, I even sent you a color-coded map to illustrate the point. I recall in that letter that I clarified, to your surprise, that D.I.D.’s area encompasses half of Community Board 2, which some still refer to as the “Greenwich Village board.” We have quite a few members on that board. As a matter of fact, with its four district leaders — twice as many as V.I.D. and V.R.D.C. combined — D.I.D. has more area in its executive parts than both the other clubs.

We also represent Soho, Tribeca, Battery Park City and the Financial District, but representing these areas should in no way diminish our established role in Village politics. Don’t you agree?

Perhaps you consider “Downtown” the area south of Canal St. That is a misconception. D.I.D. was started in the South Village in the ’60s and spread southward, not the other way around.

It would be appreciated by our many members if you correct this error, or at least no longer do so in the future.

There is politically correct and correct politically. Please be correct politically.

Thanks for your attention to this matter, and keep up your excellent local coverage.

Sean Sweeney
Sweeney is president, Downtown Independent Democrats


Bravo for a fine review

To The Editor:
Re “Washington Square Festival ends on a high note” (arts article, Dec. 6):

Readers enjoying Michael Clive’s knowledgeable and enthusiastic review of the Washington Square Music Festival’s final free concert, on Dec. 1 in St. Joseph’s Church, might want to know that the name of the piano soloist who brought down the house with his performance of the Brahms “Piano Quintet No. 34” is David Oei, a festival artist well known to our regular concertgoers. Thank you for the coverage!

Peggy Friedman
Friedman is executive director, Washington Square Music Festival


Poor little Stuy Town

To The Editor:
Growing up in Stuyvesant Town, I thought the people living in Peter Cooper Village were rich people. My friend Peri lived across 20th St., which ran between the two identical-looking groupings of 12-story buildings. Her mother was quiet and demure and wore earrings and a necklace. Her hair was coifed. Peri shopped at Orbach’s, not Klein’s. These were the telltale signs of being rich. I equated wealth less with apartment size — or the presence of air conditioners or an extra bathroom — and more with grooming styles. Of course, Peri wasn’t rich. Her parents just decided to pay a little extra. Coming from Bryant Ave. in the Bronx, my father, shocked enough to increase his rent from $33 to $76, stuck with Stuyvesant Town.

More than lack of air conditioning made the culture of the 1950s and early 1960s stifling, even in New York City, but Stuyvesant Town wasn’t ashamed of what it was. Mothers stayed home, waiting to go back to work when their children started kindergarten. While home, they created the elementary school program, now P.S. 40, and saw to it that Simon Baruch Junior High School was built. Day-to-day life was simple, with dinner at 5:30, at home, every day.

Now, my little Stuyvesant Town wants to toss its humble beginnings aside, and play with the rich buildings. Even Peter Cooper is gussying and gating itself up. But, just as they start to pull up their middle-class bootstraps, the ante has been upped. I fear for my little Stuyvesant Town. Will it be humiliated? How can it compete with the hotshots that have it all, when it is such a plain Jane?

Metropolitan Life sold Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper to the (almost) highest bidder. The local press is buzzing. Perhaps they will add doormen, an Observer editorial noted. Alas, just as my poor little Stuyvesant Town thinks it’s going to be cool, all the really good buildings have doormen — and a concierge.

If my new landlord makes me an offer, I won’t refuse, if I can afford it. But I’ve seen what lies beneath the walls of my beloved during the yearly demolition and re-tiling of my bathroom (necessary because of the strange middle-age building condition known as wet wall.)

I was born in Beth Israel Hospital and moved into Stuyvesant Town a few days later. I promptly moved out when I was 18 and traveled throughout the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, but never Queens. I returned to Stuyvesant Town in 1990, giving up a $388-a-month apartment on E. Seventh St. for which my friends have never forgiven me.

Marilyn Russo


E-mail letters, not longer than 350 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 145 Sixth Ave., ground floor, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel.

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