Mailbox: 01.27.10-02.02.10

Written by NY Press on . Posted in Posts.

This Week: Counterfeiters cause major
commotion when it comes to Canal Street spirit; and more reader advice on how to kill a pest

On the Phony Fence

Readers responded to Matt Harvey’s story about the shuttering of businesses on Canal Street (“Canal Change,” Jan. 20- 26) with some defending the small merchants, and others calling for counterfeiters’ heads.

One reader wrote: “Anyone who has been down there recently (I have) can see one side of the block all closed up with orange signs over it. I’m glad someone in media figured out what was really going on. Bloomberg apparently won’t be able to sleep at night until he turns every inch of the city into a shiny corporate-dome, and in his view of the future the poor, working and middle classes will be bussed in and out of Manhattan for work.”

Another, calling himself LESter wrote:

“This piece reminds me of the on-theground narratives that once made NYC’s weeklies so much fun to read. You [commenters] chide Matt Harvey for his anticity perspective, but then turn around and criticize him for not taking a stand against counterfeit peddlers.”

But then there was the reminder from the simply called Troy: “Counterfeiting business is a hugely profitable part of organized crime. To say these guys selling the fake Rolexes are the little guys is laughable.

Rolex, to give one example, is actually owned by a charitable foundation that pays good wages to its workers in Switzerland and across the world. They pay taxes. Sure, their product is expensive, but don’t the designers and workers deserve to make a decent living? In case you’re blind, realize that the slave laborers here are the ones making the fakes.

Real brands have to stand up to real scrutiny and change their ways when a vendor is exposed—as happened to Nike and Wal-Mart to name two.

“Stealing the creative work of others is criminal act, pure and simple and beyond that, it’s unethical, deserving of scorn. But somehow it has a few radical posers convinced that it’s the cool thing to do. Whatever the cops, Bloomberg are doing must be wrong, is that it? Stealing ideas and an identity is cool… until it happens to you.”

Mice Love Bacon, Too

You requested input on vermin food as bait
(“Tricky Mickey,” Jan. 13-19). When my husband was in art school and saw a
mouse in his room, having no cheese—which cartoons had led him to believe was
the ultimate bait—he used Cheezit crackers instead. When this didn’t work, he
whacked the creature with his 18-inch steel straight edge, an art school
standard tool, again with no success.

Years later we had two separate mouse
infestations. A friend who owned two brownstones told me the entry was usually
around holes cut in the floor for radiator pipes and loosely covered with a
hinged flange. She was right, but I didn’t want to use poison and have dead
mice under the floor. I fenced in the area around the pipe and set traps within
the corral. That night, the trap went off every time it was rebaited until we
had caught seven baby mice; the eighth time the trap sprang the bait was gone
and I figured it was a smart adult, so we stuffed steel wool in the floor space
and concreted the top of the hole. Now expanding foam sealer is sold for that
specific purpose; I’ve seen it at Metropolitan Hardware on 11th Avenue in the

Our second infestation a few years later was
one mouse who seemed to wander everywhere. By now, we knew to bait the trap with
raw bacon—hard for the mouse to steal—and enhanced its tastiness with a smear
of peanut butter. My daughter who is an animal-enrichment specialist verifies
that despite widespread myth that rodents love cheese, bacon-peanut butter is
the best choice for a spring trap.

—Anne T. Murphy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Letters may be edited for size and form.