Letters to The Editor, Week of April 25, 2019

On Gruen and Westbeth

To The Editor:

Re “Bob Gruen: How the Westbeth was won” (Spaces, April 18):

While I enjoyed the piece on my Westbeth neighbor Bob Gruen, I did not understand how the subject could claim that “everyone there from the early days is within Westbeth’s income guidelines.”

I don’t even know what that statement means since the income guidelines only apply when tenants are moving in. It’s estimated that 50 percent of the building’s residents are original tenants or tenants from the ’70s

I don’t know how much money my neighbors make. How would any tenant know this?

I was also surprised that the piece did not indicate that Mr. Gruen’s photo of John Lennon was used on the “Forever” postage stamp of him.

Finally, I’m tired of the ancient history that tenants were supposed to live here five years and move out. I’ve lived in Westbeth for 22 years and I never heard that story until I had lived here for sometime.

Kate Walter


L.H.G.V. a godsend

To The Editor:

Re “Assessing Northwell’s stand-alone E.D.” (news article, April 18):

Lenox Health Greenwich Village is a godsend for my husband and me. We have (unfortunately) needed to use it many times, and found the care to be outstanding. On my last visit, the supervising doctor actually went online to locate some items that she thought would alleviate my problem. The medical personnel there have literally saved my life twice.

Rayna Skolnik


Build, baby, build!

To The Editor:

Re “What community planning looks like” (op-ed, by Lynn Ellsworth, April 18):

Building more would allow others to move here. And knowing that New York is an engine of opportunity, I think we have a moral obligation to allow that. And regardless of the amount of dedicated low-income housing that currently exists, there isn’t enough, and it’s ridiculous to imply that New York doesn’t have a serious affordability problem. To just wave it away is a sign of cynicism and indifference.

It’s equally ridiculous to suggest that new construction has no role to play here, or that a new equilibrium can’t be reached. Everyone in the country is not going to move to New York, no matter the number of apartments we allow. But in the 1920s and 1950s we built enough to keep up with demand, and Tokyo does it today. There, they build 160,000 apartments every year, and the average two-bedroom apartment goes for $1,000. I want that for New York City.

Finally, I agree that the outer boroughs should also allow more housing, but I find wealthy neighborhoods like the Village and Soho to be the worst offenders in terms of opposing it, especially with these crocodile-tear concerns about aesthetics. Given that they are literally among the most in-demand neighborhoods in the city, building in places like the Village and Soho would offer a real chance to cut displacement off at its source, not to mention fund deeply affordable inclusionary housing. Allowing similar densities to Yorkville would hardly render these areas unlivable.

William Thomas
Thomas is an executive board member, Open New York


A shot of poet Allen Ginsberg speaking at a rally against the First Persian Gulf War is among the collection of John Penley’s work at N.Y.U.’s Tamiment Library. (Photo by John Penley)

Radical gathering

To The Editor:

Re Manhattan Snaps (April 18):

Actually, Bobst Library at New York University is not only moving photos from its special collections to the second floor. The library is consolidating onto the same floor six special-collection libraries, including Tamiment Library, which has collections of William Kunstler papers, East Village squatters posters and artwork, Emma Goldman papers and all kinds of New York City radical artwork and other collections. The floor will be open to the public and anyone can see all the special-collections libraries exhibits in one location when the move is done. If anyone wants to see a small sample of photos from my archive, copy and paste this link, https://www.flickr.com/photos/tamiment/sets/72157620867253660/ .

John Penley


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