Letters to the editor

Not such a party school

To The Editor:

Re “N.Y.U., party school, cracks down on underage drinking” (news article, Sept. 20):

Underage drinking is a concern for every university and for most college students. But targeting New York University as an irresponsible party school is an inappropriate designation. I have visited friends at other universities and have been shocked to see how out of control some of these parties are allowed to get without any intervention by university officials.

There is a big difference — that should be pointed out to Village residents — between frequenting bars and clubs and having raging house parties. Drinking massive amounts of beer and later chugging more beer with 50 people cheering you on is what I think of when I read “party school.” I did not know what a keg stand was until a friend of mine who attends University of Maryland explained it to me. N.Y.U. does not allow fraternity or sorority houses; students attend N.Y.U. because they are generally uninterested in that aspect of college.

I’m not attempting to claim that N.Y.U. students don’t party, because we do, but in many ways we are more responsible. We live in a city and therefore we live by the rules of the city. New York is a city filled with fun nightspots and that is part of our city experience. To disparage the university, instead of the bars that allow underage students to drink at their establishment, is ridiculous.

As for the complaint that we travel in packs from bar to bar, N.Y.U. students are not the only young people who go out in the Village. People travel from Long Island, New Jersey and other parts of the city to come to the Village. To automatically designate 10 or 20 young people walking together as N.Y.U. students is an unfounded assumption. All N.Y.U. students should not be penalized for those obnoxious few who do scream at 3 a.m. outside apartments with people sleeping.

If residents of the Village want us to feel like we are part of the community, then why are there constant fights over building new dorms and bringing more students closer to campus? If anything, that makes us feel unwelcome and discriminated against.

Nora Toiv

Toiv is a member, N.Y.U. Class of ’07

Move N.Y.U. offshore

To The Editor:

The solution for New York University expansion, horizontal or vertical, is Govenors Island. There it is, lying just off Manhattan, empty and for free. With lots of space horizontal and vertical. Calatrava, the architect, has designed a lovely gondola over the river for fast transportation so the students can access our bars and hangouts and the rest of the university in the Village. The crane falling down today, Sept. 29, on Third Ave. on a speculative miniskyscraper is just a wakeup call that all this explosion of high-rises in our Village is too much. Send N.Y.U. expansion to Govenors Island!

Tom Walker

Bikes aren’t the problem

To The Editor:

Re “Anarchy on wheels” (letter, by Thomas McGonigle, Sept. 13) and “Squeaky wheel gets the grease” (letter, by Jefferson Chase, Sept. 20):

I would like to respond to two letters you published that complain about cycling legislation and bike safety. Having been a cyclist as well as a pedestrian for over 20 years in the city, I also have complaints. I can complain about pedestrians who march into the crosswalk against the light and steer my bike into potholes, and about the joggers and walkers who dangerously clog the bikeway along the West Side Highway.

We all want safer streets. But the complaints of these letter writers were misguided. To say that unwarranted money and attention are given to cyclists is shortsighted and uninformed. I can assure you that millions more in taxpayer dollars are spent on accommodating four-wheeled behemoths in this city. These vehicles are not only more deadly in their unfortunate encounters with pedestrians, but also infringe on the quality of life and health of the average New Yorker in the amount of noise and pollution that is spewed everyday.

Sadly, most of the people I talk to would love to ride their bikes in the city, but they feel that they would be endangering their lives in the process. The implementation of more bike lanes will encourage more ridership, and ultimately produce safer and less polluted city streets.

Unfortunately, even with more bike lanes, cyclists may still be subjected to cars that use the bike lanes to double-park. Without enforcement by the city to keep cars off of bike lanes, cyclists will continue to be pushed into moving traffic. It is imperative that the city enforce these rules and live up to the promise of safer streets. Perhaps we could look forward to a day when bikes will have a lane of their own throughout the city, and, ultimately, pedestrians and cyclists will learn to respect one another.

Jack Cadwallader

Thunderdome was legal

To The Editor:

Re “Thunderdome” (Scoopy’s Notebook, Sept. 13):

I came across your piece about the Soho Grand dome, and though you are doing your own investigation, thought perhaps I could clear up some of your questions.

As part of the monthlong fete for the Soho Grand’s 10th anniversary, we’ve hosted several phenomenal Fashion Week shows and after-parties, as well as Video Music Awards launch celebrations in the Soho Grand dome, however, never fully amplified rock bands or any type of live music.  We do have a permit for the Soho Grand dome, which has been disassembled — much to the dismay of the hookers who Scoopy thought were camping out in the dome.

Marissa Anshutz

Anshutz is a publicist with Syndicate representing the Soho Grand hotel

Battle of the ads

To The Editor:

Once again, you have shown me the light. Let’s face it, the Lower East Side is still “the home base” for the naysayers and problems that perplex New York City. If you live below 14th St., you know what I mean. To list many of its ancient ills would be superfluous.

Currently, our leading neighborhood political figure is the head of “the most dysfunctional state government” of the 50 states. Other politicians have had their share of woes; most recently notable is the case of one former city councilmember having to pay back $139,000 in money stolen from the taxpayers, after which she was rewarded with a high-salaried job in the current administration.

Our community boards are controlled by the bar owners. A local political organization prides itself on throwing candidates off the ballot, thus eliminating the opposition and assuring itself control in the elections.

Yes, there are a heck of a lot of good people who live here, but they seem to have no input in the affairs of what happens around them. Full-page ads in your last two issues point this out as graphically as can be told. First, came an ad by a developer — with a family history of “giving back” to their roots in the Lower East Side — offering a plan to provide this community with over $100 million to be administered by the community itself, for its betterment and improvement. I should add that not one penny for the project will come from government funds or city, state or federal taxes. Sounds like a win/win situation?

The following week, some of these very same “community groups” put in their ad, knocking that proposal. Perhaps one of them can get an accountant to do some simple math and figure out how much money all of their elected officials and all of the charities to whom they can reach will be willing to contribute over the next 30 years for that same purpose. I am ready to bet the farm on what the answer will be: Not in your lifetime!

I was raised in this community in the days of Vito Marcantonio and even he would have been first in line to lead the applause for such a plan. Wake up residents, and smell the coffee. You are being swindled and led down the wrong garden path by the current group of naysayers, who are playing fast and loose not only with progress, but with how your future community is to grow and expand for everyone’s benefit. Without your help and support, $100 million is about to go down the drain, with absolutely no replacement in sight from the opponents to the plan.

Allen Bortnick

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.