West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 9 | August 01 - 07, 2007

Letters to the Editor

Schnabel’s pink castle

To The Editor:
Every morning when I brush my teeth, it’s there in my mirror. A streaked, pink apparition. While it was under construction, I was thrilled to see the arched windows and high ceilings. So much better than the glass boxes that proliferate in my neighborhood.

I’ve lived on the corner of Bank and Washington Sts. since 1982 and have watched the skyline become crowded with thoughtless, large buildings. So, I was optimistic, until the day I saw the exterior finish. It’s pink, as we all know — but the upper four floors — which fill my mirror, are streaked and shabby. Quite a contrast to the unusual 1920s Moorish windows and balconies. Was all of the budget spent by the time they got to the exterior? Was this building designed exclusively for its interiors?

I know that the windows frame wonderful views of the West Village and beyond. But pink is discordant with the surrounding landscape, like a tacky princess who came to the ball without a gown.

Painted exteriors don’t live well in New York air. Even brownstones find the maintenance of paint, which streaks, cracks and bubbles, excessive. Most owners sandblast it off to show the natural brick.

Couldn’t Schnabel afford a real stone or brick exterior? Of course, you don’t see this from the inside. This neighborhood can enjoy his eccentric windows and balconies, but a tacky, pink exterior paint is a stick in the eye. Schnabel, be a good neighbor — and change the facade. I have my eye on you.
Joan Kadushin 

Prosecute the prostitutes

To The Editor:
Re “Hookers have been replaced with hubbub and hype” by Lucas Mann (news article, July 18):

If you would like to know where the transgender prostitutes have gone, ask anyone living on Christopher St., W. 10th St., Weehawken St. and surrounding areas. This summer has been better, thanks to the officers at the Sixth Precinct. 

Prostitution is illegal and draws other criminal elements into the area. Those engaging in this illegal activity should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Prostitution is not an acceptable form of business and would not be acceptable in any neighborhood. 

If there is a problem with unruly clubgoers, that is a separate issue for our city officials and the police, working along with residents, to address.

Our neighborhood historically has been one of openness and acceptance of all who live in or visit the Village, but that should not include criminals.

Glenn Berman

Power play on E. Ninth

To The Editor:
The first thing you notice is the generator chugging away in front of 331 E. Ninth St., put there by the owner of the Source Copy Shop because his landlord, U.B.O. Realty, has cut his electricity to 40 amps. That’s not enough power to provide for the storefront where Santo has lived since 1979 and run a copy shop since 1982.

Because he can’t evict Santo, the landlord hopes to put him out of business so that he will not be able to afford the rent.

This is just another day in the lives of threatened tenants on the Lower East Side where real estate values have escalated in leaps and bounds, leading landlords to use more and more “creative” methods to rid themselves of their burdensome long-term, rent-regulated tenants. These very tenants allowed landlords to keep their buildings during the ’70s, when abandonment was rampant in what was then perceived as a “dangerous” neighborhood.

Another example is the attempt by the landlord of 47 E. Third St. to demolish the interior of his building in order to empty the building of all the rent-regulated tenants.

If real estate profits continue their upward spiral at the current rate, landlords will become even more abusive. It is crucial to make examples of this greed and stop it now in order to discourage other landlords from following in the footsteps of U.B.O. Realty.

I hope Councilmember Rosie Mendez will step in and use the vast resources of her office to assist Santo in his battle for survival.

Susan Leelike

New approach to traffic

To The Editor:
Re “Taking a hard look at Hudson Square” (editorial, July 18):

I notice in your editorial regarding Hudson Square that you mention once again the Holland Tunnel traffic on Canal St., which is obviously an issue for all residents in the area, and I am surprised that nothing has really been done about it to date.

The problem stems from the multiple feeder and access points slowly winding into a single tube tunnel. Now is the time to take a hard look at moving the West Side Highway approaches to the Holland Tunnel underground.

This change would eliminate the rather unseemly pileup of cars that queue up indefinitely in the adjacent neighborhoods of Hudson Square and Tribeca, simply waiting only to get into the tunnel. Their waiting in standing cars performs absolutely no commercial benefit for these neighborhoods at all and, in fact, has a rather adverse impact on the quality of life here.

The fact that the city has repeatedly chosen not to enforce any gridlock penalties — by using cameras — or honking fines only further exacerbates this problem.

Implementing such a plan not only would significantly improve the quality of life in these neighborhoods, but would also free up traffic flow on the West Side Highway, as well as improve the daily commute of many people who enter the city through this tunnel.

I hope Community Boards 1 and 2 and other neighborhood groups will study such a proposal and move it forward through the appropriate city agencies.

Rohin Hattiangadi

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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