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To The Editor:
Our beloved South Street Seaport is under siege. Once a vibrant icon of New York City’s historic waterfront, it has become an eyesore. Comprised of shipping containers, makeshift ice rinks and inflatable bars, (which collapse under the weight of snow) our Seaport has become an embarrassment, and the Howard Hughes Corporation is to blame.
I work in the Seaport area and I lived there for 7 years until I recently moved. Prior to being devastated by Hurricane Sandy, it was bustling with tourists, street vendors and artisans. And as if Mother Nature was in cahoots with H.H.C., the crippling flood damage caused by Sandy, allowed H.H.C. to terminate leases, leaving shops and restaurants vacant.
Mom & Pop style shops and restaurants prior to Sandy, mostly occupied the north end of Front St. Currently, 90% of those businesses have returned to the area, but they are being hindered by H.H.C. The gateway to the South Street Seaport is Fulton St. and since it is filled with such uninviting chaos, visitors do not explore and end up leaving. H.H.C. controlled the lease to Fulton Market building, which housed Bridgewaters event space and the popular Bodies exhibit. Both brought thousands of visitors and locals to the Seaport every year. Both were located on the second floor, which sustained minimal damage from Sandy, yet H.H.C. decided to terminate their leases.
To further rub salt in the community’s wound, H.H.C. proposes to build a 50-story tower on the site, which they very well know the community is completely against. It’s the height of corporate arrogance perpetuated by a bully. In order for the Seaport to survive, it is essential for H.H.C. to outline a plan for Fulton and Front Sts. It is their responsibility to the community and their civic duty for the privilege to operate the historic gem that is the Seaport. If they are not forced to do so, they will continue to squander the last great historic icon of the City of New York.
“Birth rate grows like babies & so does the need for schools” (news article. posted Feb. 13):
The increased need for elementary school seats also means a not so distant future increased need for middle school and high school seats. The DOE and elected officials need to take steps to be in front of this tidal wave of population before it washes over Lower Manhattan. Pre-K seats would be a great perk, but only if there are enough seats for K-12 students.
“Pre-K push worries Downtown advocates” (news article, posted Feb. 13):
A small tax increase, Ha
“Denny’s plan for breakfast booze doesn’t go over easy at C.B. 1” (news article, posted Feb. 19):
The kind of person who categorizes others because of their personal preferences — whether political, religious, or drinking habits — “is not the kind of person I want in front of my building, or in my neighborhood.”
I agree that disorderly conduct cannot be tolerated. But it is the worst kind of discrimination to presume that anyone who wants a drink at 1 am or 10 am is by definition a threat to the community.