Letters to the Editor
Raps revisionist riot history
To The Editor:
Re The Curfew Chronicles (letter, by Philip Van Aver, Sept. 24):
Although it almost isnt worth my time to answer Philip Van Avers letter, I must correct some statements made by him about me and about the circumstances leading up to the Tompkins Square Park riot. Interestingly, he leaves out the word police, even though most people believe that it was a police riot.
I should mention first that I stopped speaking to Van Aver many years ago when he called someone with whom he didnt agree a kike, at a community board meeting no less. His anti-Semitism shows his true colors, in my opinion.
At the June 1988 meeting of Community Board 3s Parks Committee, of which I was then chairperson, a group of residents who lived on Avenue A across from Tompkins Square Park came to the committee meeting to ask for more police presence on Avenue A. Their reason for doing so was because groups of young people would leave the bars very late in the evening and make a lot of noise across from the park, throwing and breaking beer bottles, etc. A curfew may have been discussed, but was not considered.
I was elected chairperson of Community Board 3 during the boards June 1988 meeting; after the election, I gave my Parks Committee report. How Van Aver could call my report rambling and my comments innocuous, when he stated that he couldnt hear me, is probably another example of Van Avers practice of writing history as he wants it in his daily journal not as it actually happened. Yes, Carole Watson (rest her soul) did make the motion for more police presence along Avenue A. The motion passed. Never in a million years did we ever expect that the police riot would result from that request.
As for the police riot that took place on Aug. 6, 1988, again Van Aver either rewrites history, or simply doesnt know the facts, or both.
Earlier in the summer of 1988, the then Board of Estimate voted to give the lot on the southwest corner of Avenue C and Ninth St. to Lower East Side Coalition Housing Development to build housing for homeless senior citizens. The lot was at the time a community garden called La Plaza Cultural. I should note here that the housing was never built on the site for many reasons and La Plaza Cultural still occupies the site.
A group of people who were very angry about the proposed loss of La Plaza Cultural decided to move into Tompkins Square Park, and planned a demonstration for Aug. 6. The rest of what happened that night could probably take a small book, but suffice it to say that Van Aver simply does not know what he is talking about.
He doesnt LOVE a rip-off
To The Editor:
Re Getting the message across with pop art and spray paint (news article, July 2):
Your article quotes street artist Clark Clark regarding his homage to Robert Indianas LOVE artwork:
The concept behind Clarks campaign is simple one image, in fact. Youve probably seen it while walking around the city: VOTE written into a perfect square, in the style of the legendary 1960s LOVE piece by pop artist Robert Indiana.
Its a complete homage to Indiana, Clark said. Of course, theres been so many parodies off that, already. There was the AIDS in the 80s. I remember one artist did HATE for a while.
To Clark, his interpretation of the iconic image isnt a parody, but instead an effort to take his campaign and blend it seamlessly with Indianas positive message.
LOVE to VOTE, Clark said with a smile. Thats the idea, right there. It all kind of fits into place.
Its not a complete homage, parody or interpretation: It is a direct rip-off of copyrighted material.
Heres the direct link documenting Robert Indianas VOTE done for the Democratic National Committee in 1976: http://books.google.com/books?id=VChCntyG_pkC&pg=PA235&lpg=PA235&dq=Carter+%22Robert+Indiana%22+Vote&source=web&ots=liGPVLczbN&sig=5-uvr6wAYQZztvHuUgKfE81yArY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA236,M1.
Mesler is part of the team that fabricates Robert Indianas sculptures
Hey, pols! Row with us!
To The Editor:
Re Gay, gray and green color hearing on plan for Pier 40 (news article, Sept. 17):
Community Board 2s public hearing two weeks ago on Pier 40 was truly remarkable. To be in a community discussion about what Pier 40 should entail without the looming prospect of a mega-entertainment complex is something that we in the West Village community should be celebrating. In the course of the hearing, members of the community stressed the importance of having space for middle schools, larger dog runs, public sports fields, space for the Village Community Boathouse and for a 24-hour L.G.B.T.Q. youth center.
Throughout the course of the night, it became clear that one of the fundamental links that holds these concerns together is the belief that no one wins if development decisions push out uses that are not seen as profitable.
The Village Community Boathouse extended an informal invitation to L.G.B.T.Q. youth to come row with them sometime. In some ways, we and others in the West Village have already accepted the invitation. This boat that we are all rowing is ultimately propelled by pushing development priorities that put people first.
We want to pass the invitation on to West Village elected officials and ask that they too hop in the boat and support a vital space for L.G.B.T.Q. youth on Pier 40. Quinn, Duane and Glick, come on out and row with us sometime, the waters just fine.
Ross is lead organizer, FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community Empowerment)
E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to email@example.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. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.