Volume 20 Issue 3 | June 1 -7, 2007

Letters to the editor

Above the stairs

To The Editor:
Re “Stairway is a treasure” (letters, May 25 – 31):

I just find Joan H. Geismer’s reasoning on the Survivor’s Staircase a little weird, especially since I haven’t heard of any architects’ societies calling for the return of the more significant artifacts of 9/11 and the W.T.C. to the site. Basically, her approach to it is like a real life Indiana Jones; it’s valuable in and of itself only because it is part of something that no longer exists. How that something came to cease to exist is pretty much irrelevant to its significance.

It is also certainly not “unique as the only surviving architectural feature of the W.T.C.” The Koenig Sphere sits down at Battery Park and the façade remnants sit dismantled (and the Tower 1 antenna) out at a hangar at J.F.K. Also, of course, pieces of the W.T.C. are scattered about the country, treasured by people who absurdly, find them appropriate as part of their 9/11 memorials. If the Staircase can be saved, do it (I would not recommend discarding a school for it). However, the façade and Sphere, antenna, crushed fire trucks, etc. carry far greater significance in preserving and conveying the history of 9/11; why haven’t the architects’ (and historical) societies called out for their return to the site?

Michael Burke

Change is no bargain

To The Editor:
Re “Shoppers rush for one last bargain at Ralph’s” (news article, May 25 – 31):

I was born and raised in the Village (Thompson St.) and after I married I moved Downtown (Beekman St.).  I watched as my grandparents, parents, myself and now my children built our neighborhoods into what they are, or I should say what they were.  After 9/11 I have watched as the people coming in with their luxury buildings, high-end stores, expensive grocery stores, etc. slowly took away our neighborhoods.  Some may say that this is for the better of the city.  I for one am saddened by what is happening.  Our mom and pop stores are being pushed out, there are no more candy stores, rather high-end candy shops, Ralph’s is now gone, and the final blow for me over the weekend was Socrates diner in Tribeca. With this institution closing, I feel the loss of our last small affordable place to dine.  All this because of rent increases.  The middle class is slowly being pushed out -- and for what reason, money.  We are watching our children having to move out of the neighborhood because the rents are too high.  Independence Plaza is being given over to the rich, the small neighborhoods are slowly being torn down or renovated to make way for condos.  While the Seaport is a beautiful area, I much preferred the old one with its plank flooring, picnic tables and small independent shops.  Progress is wonderful -- loss of the basics is heartbreaking.

Lorraine Fittipaldi

Her name is Soho win

To The Editor:
Re “Lola Liquor” (UnderCover, May 18 – 24):

What Tom Odeen says is just a lot of hype. After more than two years of litigation, Lola’s operation has been dramatically scaled back. What started out as a nightclub is now a restaurant. Lola must adhere to a 1 a.m. closing time and the court last week issued a new injunction prohibiting Lola from using its outdoor courtyard. Both the State Liquor Authority and the court have Lola on a very short leash. The community has always said it could live with a bona fide restaurant that caused minimal impact. This was achieved with the litigation. All in all, we are pleased with the results.

Barry Mallin
Attorney for the Soho Alliance

Letters policy
Downtown Express welcomes letters to The Editor. They must include the writer’s first and last name, a phone number for confirmation purposes only and any affiliation that relates directly to the letter’s subject matter. Letters should be less than 300 words. Downtown Express reserves the right to edit letters for space, clarity, civility or libel reasons. Letters should be e-mailed to or can be mailed to 145 Sixth Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10013.

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