Letters, Week of July 3, 2014 | East Villager & Lower East Sider

Letters, Week of July 3, 2014

Tour buses run amok

To The Editor:
Re “Senior struck by tour bus” (news brief, June 19):

It is well beyond time that the Department of Transportation regulates sightseeing bus routes. They have the right and responsibility to do so.

The bus companies are a $100 million-a-year industry, according to newspaper articles.

Enough free streets for this greedy monopoly.

Judith Chazen Walsh 

Waterfront intrigue

To The Editor:
Re “Let’s work together to better Hudson River Park” (talking point, by Susanna Aaron, June 26):

Am I the only person who thinks that it is quite possible that the memorandum of understanding (M.O.U.) is not being released because it will reveal that both the Hudson River Park Trust and the local elected officials worked on it, and knew about it?

If this is not true, show us the M.O.U. Get us the M.O.U. There is no reason our entire cadre of public officials — our entire power base — should be unable to obtain this simple document in a matter of hours. Something else has to be in play here.

File a FOIL asking for Assemblymember Deborah Glick’s direct correspondences with the Trust and the Governor’s Office, on the matter of Pier 40 air rights and any M.O.U., in the last six to eight months, so we can at least clarify whether or not it is the Trust alone at play here.

For that matter, we should seek documents relating to the creation of the air-rights transfer law. I want to know who was in the loop beforehand. This community deserves to know the answers to questions that, up until now, have been completely evaded.
Patrick Shields

Cyclists just don’t stop

To The Editor:
Re “Rolling on the river: Focus on speeders and joggers” (news article, June 5):

Glad to read about bike enforcement in Hudson River Park. The biggest problem I have observed is that many cyclists do not stop for pedestrians, even if we are in the appropriate crosswalk. 

And what about skateboarders? I often see them zooming along on the pedestrian esplanade. Shouldn’t they be in the bike lanes?
Kate Walter

A tail-wagging tale

To The Editor:
When I first moved here 40 years ago, there were stray dogs and and cats all over the place. It was heartbreaking! I picked up 10 cats and one dog, the latter which then had a puppy that I raised.

In the ’80s, it was terrible. The rents went up, and the nice people I knew moved out and the “new” ones weren’t so nice. I noticed they didn’t like dogs. When walking my two dogs, I hardly saw any dogs in the neighborhood. And I was being harassed by the new gentrified people and they would even say: “Did you clean up after your dog?” Sometimes they were for no reason so mad, I thought they were going to attack me.

Then the drug dealers came. They left me alone and I could go after my business unbothered. They disappeared and it was quiet, too quiet.

Oh, how I missed the old Sicilian people who were thrown out, sometimes criminally. Of course, most of all, I missed the characters. Back then, walking around the block was a like a show — entertainment.

The finest character I met was Jerry The Peddler. The street started to disintegrate into boredom when he left. That went on for a while, until things changed suddenly. There was a new dog run in Tompkins Square Park. That must have drawn people from all over. Whenever I walked my now one dog, there were new people walking their dogs, and there were dogs all over the place.

A new cafe opened, Ost Cafe. They have a little “doggie” window where people with their dogs get their coffee. Is this why I call E. 12th St. from Avenue A to First Ave. “Dog Street”? The church is no more; otherwise, I would see Lola, “Queen Lolita,” going up the stairs on Blessing the Animals Day, leading the pack of all the newly arrived dogs on E. 12th St.

There is “Pancakes” Charlie Rascal and many, many more. They just appeared overnight. They are all under the command of Lola, “Queen Lolita,” a Westie. Did she replace Jerry The Peddler? I have to ask her.

Charlie also has a story. Adam, a landlord who didn’t want dogs, met a woman. A very nice woman. “Not without my dog,” she told him. Now, when it is really bitterly cold, Adam walks the dog!

Of course this dog idyl, with Ost Cafe and the many dogs sitting with their owners on the benches outside, will never replace the old East Village, where we were like a family and where there was music and joy. But “Dog Street,” Ost Cafe and the new, much kinder people make me feel at home again. In the real East Village.
Ginette Schenck

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