Volume 16 • Issue 54 | June 4 - 10, 2004



Letters to the editor

Seaport business reply

To The Editor:
I am writing to counter the Seaport noise complaint in last week’s edition, logged by Mr. Robert Pesany (Letters, May 28 –June 3,“Seaport noise”).

I have operated my Seaport Watch Store at the Seaport since 1985, and I take exception to the statement made by him. First, he seems only to be concerned about how much his apartment is worth, not the culture of the neighborhood. I find it disingenuous of him to mention only the Seaport and not the Fulton Fish Market noise and smell, which occurs all night long, or the filthy mess they leave for us to clean everyday. He reminds me of the people who bought houses next to the runway at Kennedy Airport 30 years after it was built, and then complained about the jet noise. If he and Community Board 1 think we opened stores here to be a supermarket for them, they’re wrong. I came here to serve a broader local, tri-state, national and international visitor.

As for culture, I would challenge him to match the contributions we have made to N.Y.U., Pace University, the Seaport Museum, or the Downtown Alliance. Is he aware the Seaport Merchant Association purchased a horse named “Seaport” for the mounted police from our merchant dues? I doubt it. Does he care about what kind of effort it took to even stay in business Downtown after 9/11? I doubt it.

As far as disruptive concerts are concerned, we have one on Memorial Day weekend, on Sunday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. – I hardly find that abusive. He even trashed your newspaper. He should go to your archives and review how many articles you have published, both good and bad, about our Seaport.

I have 20 years of work invested in my Seaport store, often seven days a week, and I’m proud of it. Sorry to disappoint you Mr. Pesany.

Gerry Nally


Defending Ashcroft

To The Editor:
Your editorial “Ashcroft’s disturbing warnings” (May 28 – June 3) was an example of pointless Bush-bashing at its worst. While your editorial writer was foaming at the mouth about the political motives behind the terror warnings, David Stanke writes on the next page that “The [9/11] commission expressed broad agreement that there will be another attack and it will probably affect New York City, perhaps worse than 9/11” (Talking Point, May 28 – June 3, “City must admit and learn from mistakes of 9/11”). This is a case of stating the obvious, and if your editorial writer had been paying attention, we would have been spared an unnecessary, knee-jerk attack on the Bush administration. Maybe Ashcroft is actually right this time.

Bill Hough


South Ferry safety

To The Editor:
Re “South Ferry fairy tales” (Editorial, May 28 – June 3): 

South Ferry station is a fire/death trap. I wish anyone opposed to this project use the station when a ferry is scheduled to arrive/depart. Hundreds of passengers- tourists and Downtown workers fighting against a sea of humanity coursing in the opposite direction. Beautiful sight for visitors their first time in N.Y.C. This is a 19th century design reminiscent of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire without, the locked doors of course, but with only one narrow escape stairway.

At least twice a week, when I miss the first train after my Manhattan-bound ferry docks, I see tourists trapped in the rear five cars looping around back toward Rector St. Since the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has mandated that the conductors’ cab must be locked for security reasons, that is an all too frequent occurrence.

People on most other subway lines are instructed not to pass between cars but not so on the 1/9 Line, where there is a constant announcement, south of 14th St.: “Passengers please move forward to the first five cars for exit at South Ferry.”

I often work late and miss an 8 p.m. boat by a minute or two and then I am forced to wait until 8:30 p.m. Why? Because the M.T.A.N.Y.C. Transit, trying to maximize loading of the subway cars, holds trains at Chambers St. irrespective of the ferry schedule.

The schedule up and down the 1/9 line is pockmarked with delays caused by South Ferry dwell time trying to shoehorn a thousand passengers into five narrow body I.R.T. cars.

Waiting for a north bound 1/9 local at Rector St. or any local only station north of Rector? It was probably delayed by station dwell time at South Ferry.

I worked 27 years in the N.Y.C. transit system, most of those days took me into the tracks where I worked with moving trains and a live third rail. None of that experience scared me as much as the South Ferry platform and a possible panic after people experience smoke, fire or any other out of the ordinary situation in the station. A Barberi class boat can accommodate up to 6,000 passengers and I would hazard a guess that 25-33 percent of the load take the West Side 1/9 line to their destination. Think of the tragedy that could ensue in a panic situation there.

Please take these scenarios into account on a humanity level at a minimum. I remember Staten Island taking in many students and residents of Lower Manhattan, whom had to be evacuated during the tragic events of Sept. 11th, 2001.

George McAnanama



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