In Brief


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We're All Gentrifiers


Re: Don't Blame the Park (Mar. 6, 2014)


Eric Marcus does not go back far enough to find the real gentrifiers of Chelsea and all of New York City; Peter Minuit, the original gentrifier, in what was then called New Amsterdam, gentrified Native Americans right off Manhattan Island. It hasn't stopped since, and it's not likely ever to stop. No New Yorker, no matter how long their tenure, has the right to point fingers and say to anyone else "the problem started when you arrived here." And I'm quoting here from a piece I found on Gothamist entitled "Ask a Native New Yorker: How Guilty Should I Feel About Being a Horrible Gentrifier." Check it out.


What with the recent rant by Spike Lee and what is going down in his Brooklyn neighborhood, there's been a lot written lately about gentrification in NYC. I, for one, have been up in arms about my own Upper West Side neighborhood, where I've now lived for close to 48 years, and the detestable changes I've seen in that time. I blame everyone who came after me, but fail to see that it may all have started with me when I arrived in 1966, became president of my block association, opened the first upscale business on Columbus Avenue and participated in the change I now abhor. To quote more from the above-mentioned on-line piece: Q: what's the definition of a grentrifier? A: Someone who arrived five-minutes after your did.


I'm now a little more tolerant of the inevitable and constant change in NYC. And you should be too. John Elari, W. 74th Street


New Design Doesn't Fly


For eons, I've been an avid reader of West Side Spirit. I look for it in my lobby Wednesday evenings. If it's not there, I hunt for it in the street boxes on Thursdays. I recently had my photo of my cat, Katya, in sunglasses, published in your pampered pets column - a special on pets dressed in costume.


I am having great difficulty reading your new design. I'm 73 years old but with eyeglasses, I don't normally have trouble reading or seeing. I find your font either too small or too crowded or both. Some writing seems to be cast in bold. Other portions seem to be in smaller font, not bold, and even more difficult to read. The pages are too crowded. More is not necessarily better.


Aesthetically, the paper does not look as good as it did. It looks cramped, crowded. I'm not opposed to change, not at all. But I will no longer take pleasure in reading the Spirit if it remains in this format that I find very hard on the eyes.


I hope you will look at this problem carefully. I'll be surprised if you don't hear from other readers about the same issues.


Thank you for considering seriously the responses from your serious readers. Bette Kerr


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