Volume 79, Number 31 | January 6 - 12, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Let it snow, let it snow…

To The Editor:
Re “Rant restraint” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Dec. 30):

The following is the verbatim letter to the editor I sent to The Villager: “Keep It Wild: The founders of the High Line illegally snuck a professional photographer up there to show the world the wild beauty they wished to preserve. As one of those founders enjoys a European hiatus, Parks employees kept visitors away until they had gashed at the natural beauty of a fresh snowfall for safety reasons. After waiting six months, I would have gladly signed an insurance waiver for a chance to see the High Line in the snow before it was left scarred and ugly for its first legal strollers.”

A key word in this original letter is “see.” The Villager — which should know that the key element in getting the High Line park built was an illegal photograph — through the anonymity of a dead cat called Scoopy, turns me from a local resident into some photography wannabe. Scoopy even ignores my insurance waiver comment in order to make a lawsuit joke at my expense. Then he returns to the scene of the crime a week later to quote another anonymous ranter.

I pulled out my cell phone and snapped a few blurry, badly composed shots — in the spur of some seasonal spirit, I used one as a holiday e-mail card to my friends. A few others I sent to The Villager as a photojournalist gesture. I am not, nor have I ever been, a photographer. On my frequent strolls on the High Line, often the only other people up there are photographers.

My original comments were a subtle combination of irony, humor, social commentary and disbelief. I didn’t fume, I didn’t write anything about photographic purposes, and I was completely aware of safety concerns.

The only outrage I have is over being turned into one of Scoopy’s straw dogs. For that damage, no apology or correction is sufficient.

Barry Drogin

Editor’s note: Scoopy did not intend to “make a lawsuit joke” at Drogin’s expense, but merely pointed out — accurately — why, after the recent big snow, the park’s operators chose to keep the High Line closed until paths had been cleared: safety.

Although Drogin’s letter submission did only say he wanted to “see” the High Line in the snow and made no mention of his photography, his e-mail contained five photos he took of the High Line in the snow a few weeks ago, plus five photos of the High Line in the snow that Joel Sternfeld took in 2001.

Drogin suggested that if we didn’t want to run his letter, we could just run one or more of his photos and also some of Sternfeld’s — but only with Sternfeld’s permission, of course — to show the contrast between the “virgin-snow” High Line and the “path-gashed-through-the-snow” High Line.

That said, we do sincerely thank Drogin for his letter — and his photos — which raised yet another point about the High Line and its operation: namely, that it is a park where, for safety reasons, after a heavy snow, paths will first be cleared before people are allowed up. Also, although we did not run Drogin’s photos, they were pretty good!

Yo, Adrian — it’s the law!

To The Editor:
Re “Parks reverses its tracks; Now lets artists sell on the High Line” (news article, Dec. 16):

The proposal by Parks Commissioner Benepe of just three spots on the High Line for First Amendment-protected vendors tells me that the gentleman really does not understand the law, and may be a bit simple. Could he imagine an amendment to the U.S. Constitution which only applied to three individuals?

Thelma Blitz 

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 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. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.


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