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By Steve Weinstein
Letter of the Week
This space is reserved
Re Kathryn Belgiorno's "The 21st-Century Peep Show" [April 26May 2]: This stuff is less about privacy and more about women protecting their own spaces. If there's one thing New Yorkers know, it's that we're supposed to leave each other alone while in public. Once you decide to break that ice and harass someone on the street, you're a goalie out of the crease, a quarterback out of the pocket; you're fair game. And if you get creamed, it's your own fault. Don't blame the victim; Holla Back isn't shoving a broomstick up anyone's tochis.
In Tricia Romano's article "Chelsea Mourning" [Fly Life, April 1218] Judge Stallman's comment, "Surely, the Big Apple is big enough to find a way to let people dance," really underscores how ridiculous this situation is. On lampposts in the East Village there are banners put up by the city proclaiming New York City the home of the world's best nightlife, and the Statue of Liberty is shown striking a pose that looks a lot like a dance move. What a farce! If the Statue of Liberty were to bust a move like that, she'd be shut down for not having a cabaret license on Liberty Island, not to mention searched for drugs. Even underground parties and venues are targets. Two weekends ago, as I stood outside a 500- person loft party in Bushwick as it was being shut down, a couple of Italian tourists didn't believe me when I told them about the cabaret law. "This is New York City! How is this possible?" they asked.
When I was in my partying stage, it would have killed me to know that the police were closing clubs. If the police really want to clean up clubs, undercover cops should publish pictures in the newspapers and on TV of whomever they catch buying or selling drugs. But leave everyone else alone to dance the night away. Instead of buying drugs and closing down clubs the police should be out on the streets around the clubs making sure that nothing illegal or improper is going on, because that is where residents say things happen. It's easy to hunt for prey when it can't run. I urge all club and restaurant owners to unite and let the mayor know that he will not run you out of town.
Re Tricia Romano's article "Barring Bars" [Fly Life, April 26May 2]: If you want more bars, why don't you move to the Lower East Side? Then tell me how you like the out-of-neighborhood spoiled kids who have frat-house weekends where people piss and puke on your front door, block the sidewalk, start fights, gay-bash, and act like total assholes. Then send me the addresses of some of your friends who come from across the rivers to party below my window and I will puke on their front doors while screaming through a megaphone, "Yeah!" and "Party!" It was so much quieter and more civil when this neighborhood was covered with heroin dealers. Most of the liquor licenses were granted from applications filled with lies like being a restaurant but serving no food. "No live music," lie. "No DJ," lie. "Will respect neighbors," total bullshit.
No sympathy here
Re Jarrett Murphy's "Out-Rudying Rudy" [April 26May 2] : I am a 37-year-old male who is a native New Yorker. I was raised in the Ridgewood/Bushwick part of Brooklyn during New York's dark days of crime (1969 to 1988). I've lived in South Brooklyn, the East Village, Prospect Heights, Yorkville, and now in the Concourse section of the Bronxnone of these areas were very chic. Guess what? I've never been arrested or harassed by the police. Why? I've never committed a crime, minor or otherwise. So why should I feel sorry for those who do? It is possible to be raised poor/working-class in poor/working-class neighborhoods and never commit a crime. I never did and neither did many of my friends.
I am sick of Dan Savage's bisexual phobia. There is zero research to back up his comments about bisexual women in last week's Savage Love [April 26May 2]. If Danny Boy wants homosexuals to be respected legally and socially, he must stopand the Voice must stop printinghis anti-bisexual lies. He attempts to pass his opinions off as factspoor advice at best. Clean up your biphobic ways; this is the new millennium and it's a bi, bi world out there.
Payback isa bitch
Re Kathryn Belgiorno's "The 21st-Century Peep Show" [April 26May 2]: Calling Holla Back a cyber-vigilante site is inaccurate and insulting. The site does not encourage physical or verbal violence as a response to street harassment, nor does it encourage libel and defamation by attaching names to faces. The folks from Holla Back don't tell the site visitors to mount up, get a gun, and start shooting. Instead, Holla Back encourages documentation of behavior that is grossly inappropriate at best and physically threatening at worst. Contrary to Bill Brown's assertion that street harassment is a soft crime, verbal harassment often leads to physical assault. For example, several years ago, verbal harassment at the Puerto Rican Day parade led to sexual assault on women. Belgiorno's article does bring up interesting privacy issues, but I did not see any acknowledgment of the privacy violations perpetrated by street harassers.
Civics for cynics
Re Nat Hentoff's "Why We're Americans" [Liberty Beat, April 26May 2]: I find it ironic to read about Eva Moskowitz complaining about the lack of civics education when she wholeheartedly supported Mayor Bloomberg in 2005. Bloomberg is a man with absolutely no civics training, and it shows in his style of governing. His support of illegal police arrests and surveillance, his habit of suing the City Council when he doesn't get his way, and his taste for imposing bans or licenses on everything under the sun are signs of a confused man who doesn't know American civics.
Thank you, Nat Hentoff, for speaking up for proper teaching of our Constitution. We in the Constitution Committee of Florida have been fighting for this since 1997, and you are the first national voice to speak up for saving our Constitution from destruction by powerful voices from both parties and others. I am very pleased that you have added your voice to this effort to save our civilization.
Remember the peeps
If Roque Strew is going to cover rap music ["Wild Wild West," April 26May 2] and the people that it represents, wouldn't it be a good idea to use lingo and verbiage that the audience of the music can understand? Not saying that there are not some who can understand his article, but let's be serious. Strew uses words that one might only find in a NASA manual. It was a good idea to do a story about Bay Area music, but remember who the audience is.
Leighton Kerner 19272006
We regret the passing of Leighton Kerner, who covered classical music and opera for the Voice for more than 40 years. He died Saturday in Manhattan at age 79. An enthusiastic, voluble, and lovely man with an appetite for all kinds of music (and dance), Kerner started freelancing for the Voice in June 1961 and was a staff writer from November 1983 to August 2003. Kerner continued to write for the Voice until a few weeks before his death. He also wrote for Opera News and other publications. He will be missed.
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