Letters to the Editor

 Businesses need Rx

To The Editor:

Re “Hospital closing is an emergency for businesses” (news article, June 30):

I am a board member of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, but my comments to Albert Amateau at the chamber-sponsored program were strictly my personal views. Actually, I have been thinking about this all day.

It is very disheartening to see the empty stores along Greenwich and Seventh Aves. On my way to the chamber’s program, I stopped at the Surf City Squeeze juice bar, on Seventh Ave. between 12th and 13th Sts., and the manager told me that business was down 50 percent. At the program, other business owners in the neighborhood told similar stories. A local restaurant, Artepasta, enjoyed by the community for many years, is gone. Increasingly, empty stores are looming in the shadow of the closed hospital buildings on Seventh Ave. 

This situation is contagious and is already producing a graffiti-filled, ghost town-like environment that will promote an increase in crime. What these “mom and pop” stores need is foot traffic that will bring business into their stores, and that will not happen until the St. Vincent’s real estate is disposed of in the Bankruptcy Court and the new owner or multiple owners move forward with their plans. But that could take years and, in the meantime, we are, sadly, seeing hardworking people in our community lose their businesses and their ability to support their families.

 Maria Passannante Derr   

‘Nighthawks’ experts? Not!

To The Editor:

Re “Hopper sleuths agree diner was not on M.T.A. lot” (news article, June 30):

It’s my opinion that the “Hopper sleuths” keep their day jobs and stop forming opinions based on shoddy research.

For starters, there’s no mention in The Villager article that the location did indeed have a diner: It was a White Tower. Notice the hat on the counterman in Hopper’s “Nighthawks”; that was typically White Tower.

I ate there when I first moved into the Village in May 1967. When the founder of the White Tower died, his son closed the diner. The stylish front part of the diner was demolished after a fire killed three homeless men living there — in the late 1970s or early 1980s, I believe.

The curved structure in Hopper’s painting is very similar to the “White Tower look,” although the window may be more expansive (creative license).

The diner was diagonally across the avenue from one of Hopper’s favorite subjects: The Loew’s Sheridan movie theater, which he painted in 1937. The “corner” aspect of the diner in Hopper’s “Nighthawks” is a very important consideration since the White Tower did jut out just like Hopper’s painting. At any angle, the building across the street in the painting is similar to what’s on the avenue facing Mulry Square today.

All in all, it’s beyond me how the two “experts” in your article could be so final in their conclusion.

Earl Carter

‘Puppy killer’ at large

To The Editor:

Re “Stomps puppy to death” (Police Blotter, June 30):

This sickening item in the Police Blotter made my blood run cold. My heart goes out to the person whose dog was killed. 

How is it possible that a man who kicked a puppy to death was freed pending a hearing almost three months hence?

Can it be that wantonly killing someone’s pet is considered a minor infraction in this city and state?

Bonnie Slotnick

NYCHA puts bite on dogs

To The Editor:

Re “Canine crackdown has Baruch’s dog owners bristling” (news article, June 30):

The New York City Housing Authority pet policy is nothing less than discriminatory and cruel. I was at the meeting on NYCHA’s draft annual plan on June 30 and heard other speakers refer to this issue as being “less important” than the others being presented. While I agree that all of the issues — crime, domestic violence, inadequate upkeep of apartments, etc. — were important, it is ignorant to downplay the importance of these animals to their responsible owners — owners who consider their pets to be a part of their family. And for some, it’s the only family they have.

The perceived “problems” of having dogs in these complexes are not unique to public housing — they happen all over, such as not curbing your dog, pit bull fighting and so on. Should we ban these targeted breeds from all of New York City? What are you “preventing” by doing this? What you’re creating, on the other hand, are situations where harmless dogs are surrendered to shelters and killed, or where loving dog owners face eviction and homelessness for refusing to part with their pets; I would be in that latter category.

So, please be fair when judging those who would do anything to keep their beloved pets. No one should be put in that position, and shame on NYCHA for trying to do so.

Sandy Pasquale

8th St. gets no respect

To The Editor:

Re “Protests over Pride route switch apparently worked” (news article, June 16):

Jo Hamilton is in error when she claims that the route of the Pride March has always included W. Eighth St. I vividly recall, for instance, years in which it crossed from Fifth Ave. to Christopher St. by way of Washington Square North/Waverly Place. The route has changed more than once and not always included this little block on which I live.

I am sure Ms. Hamilton’s comment was not said with any malice. But the entire parade route affair has illustrated the manner in which local leaders overlook and disregard the residents of W. Eighth St. Dismissing this mixed-use block as a “commercial street” (to use your own misleading terminology), C.B. 2, elected officials and city agencies often focus exclusively on facilitating the interests of short-term commercial enterprises, ignoring the impact of their decisions on longtime residents.

It may well be that W. Eighth St. was the more appropriate route for this year’s parade than W. Ninth St. (which is also mixed use, but with far fewer businesses). But it would have been nice if some of our local leaders had given a thought to the impact on the residents of our street (or, say, asked us about it) before they lobbied for the change.

 Cormac Flynn

Flynn is co-chairperson, W. Eighth St. Block Association

‘I could beat that rent’

To The Editor:

Re “Minetta Brook, Molotov cocktails, Soho lofts legalized and $57 rent” (Flashback, June 23):

Lilly O’Donnell writes about “a two-bedroom apartment on E. Fifth St. and Avenue A to rent for $57 a month” in 1960.

I am not impressed. I paid $43.62 for a one-bedroom, railroad apartment on Eldridge St., between Delancey and Broome Sts., in 1969!

And that same apartment in the same building (no renovations) now rents for some $1,600 per month!

Yes, that apartment in 1969 was under rent control. Rents, maintenance fees, common charges — greed and selfishness is greed and selfishness. Hardened materialism is like a flu epidemic that has infected our society.

Michael Gottlieb

Two wonderful women

To The Editor:

Re “My friends Roxy and Susanne: A 40-year love story” (Gay Pride section article, June 23):

Roxy and I met each other in the early ’70s. As a casting director and a personal manager who had only talked on the phone, we decided to see a play together, and meet in person for the first time. We clicked immediately, and our friendship was cemented when, during intermission, I reached into my satchel and pulled out a compact and a tube of erase and proceeded to re-cover a blemish on my face. We both laughed uproariously, and remained close friends until her passing this past New Year’s Eve.

Shortly after I met Roxy, she introduced me to Susanne. And this was one of those rare couples, where you loved both partners equally. I treasured my friendship with Roxy and Susanne, and will continue to treasure my friendship with Susanne. Two wonderful, warm and loving women.

Much love. Burrp!

Steve Schaefer

N.Y.U. playground of shame

To The Editor:

Anyone who as lived in the Village for more than 10 years knows the Mercer St. Playground has been unusable for many years. The ground sank somewhat — long ago. Why has New York University done nothing about this? Why isn’t that former water park fixed up for our children and grandchildren to play in, as it was in the ’80s? Has it really been 20 years since that playground was usable? Perhaps… . What an atrocity. That’s how much N.Y.U. respects the residents of Greenwich Village.

I seem to recall that playground was another one of the ephemeral “givebacks” to the community that N.Y.U. (convenient memory, Mr. Sexton?) made part of a promise to us when construction on (perhaps Coles gym?) went forward. Let N.Y.U. look in their records and follow up on this.

Just like the extremely ephemeral giveback of the vest-pocket park on the corner of Sullivan and West Third Sts. — the one they conveniently forgot about when they were constructing the building on that corner! And they had to be reminded of by the community in order to keep that promise. The only reason we have that tiny sitting area now (though it certainly looks like a lengthened entranceway to the building, not a community area!) is no thanks to N.Y.U.

So what else is new with N.Y.U.?

How can John Sexton face himself in the mirror every day? It’s not a convenient memory, so much as N.Y.U. getting away with any phony game they possibly can.

Terese Coe

‘Meditate on this, A.B.’

To The Editor:

Re “Angry Buddhist’s recipe for a midsummer night’s war” (talking point, by Carl Rosenstein, June 23):

Lord Buddha taught us that our suffering comes from anger, attachment and ignorance. This article is 3 for 3. All things must pass.

Kevin Klauber

We’re OMMMM lovin’ it!

To The Editor:

Just want to let you know how much we are enjoying the Angry Buddhist columns. They are hilarious but contain some important truths. Obomba, indeed.

 Peter Bernstein


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.