Letters to the Editor, Dec. 29

The future of the ST farmers market

To the Editor:
I have been reading with great interest the letters to the editor regarding the farmers market in Stuyvesant Town.Am I missing something? Is it really that objectionable to some of our neighbors to have a farmers market in Stuyvesant Town?
At a time when many neighborhoods would welcome a local greenmarket in their community, why such opposition? We are truly privileged to have fresh fruits and vegetables at our doorsteps. Not only are we able to buy fresh, locally grown produce, we are offered fresh fish, turkey and meats, just to mention a few other products.
The greenmarket is a pleasant way to spend Sunday mornings and see our neighbors, as we once did before with the old flea market. And it also offers an opportunity for local independent farmers — in a very bad economy — to sell their merchandise.
Because of objections to the new ice rink, it does not make sense to do away with our seasonal greenmarket in response.
In my mind, this is a win/win situation for all and everyone loses if our farmers market goes.
Barbara Bienenfeld, ST

Farmers market not the only business in ST

Re: Letter, “Zoning laws being ignored in ST,” Dec. 8
“Name Withheld” is clearly not a zoning lawyer, because he or she is mistaken on several important points. In fact, the greenmarket is perfectly legal.
Planning Commissioner Burden wrote that activities such as a newsstand or a swimming pool are perfectly acceptable in a residential community.  Moreover, she confirmed that any activity that was “primarily intended for residents and their guests” met the standard as a permitted accessory use of the property.
The greenmarket does not need to be relocated. It is perfectly legal exactly where it is. As we all know, it is primarily intended for residents and their guests, and it is quite similar to a newsstand – except that instead of newspapers, a greenmarket sells equally nourishing organically grown apples, tomatoes and garlic.
Let’s bear in mind that a lot of permissible business activity goes on in ST/PCV. Numerous doctors, dentists, writers, lawyers, and public relations specialists run their businesses from their apartments in our community.
If the Buildings Department were to eliminate all business activity, they would have to shut down these worthy businessmen and women. Tenants would suffer just because some naysayers didn’t like fresh fruits and vegetables.
Name Withheld, ST

Amato’s opera legacy will live on

With the passing on December 14 of Anthony Amato, founder and artistic director of the Amato Opera theater, an era of downtown off-opera has come to an end. The beloved maestro and his wife ran the Amato Co. on the Bowery for decades, fuelled by a love of singing and performing.  He developed a strong following of opera devotees to his diminutive, quaint opera house.
Also, he trained many aspiring singers and offered them opportunities to perform. Tony’s memoirs, The Smallest Grand Opera in the World, has recently been published and will preserve his legacy.
But there is more.  In 2009, in collaboration with Mr. Amato, a successor company, Amore Opera, opened at the Connelly Theatre at 220 East Fourth Street, between Ave. A and B. The new company, under the direction of Nathan Hull, inherited some of Mr. Amato’s singers, sets and costumes and performs in May, October, and December.
With a full orchestra they produce classic opera in an acoustically favorable, sizable auditorium. They are now completing a run of  “The Barber of Seville” by Rossini thus ending their unique “Fall Figaro Fest.” “La Traviata” will follow in May. Mr. Amato’s innovative “Opera-in-Brief” series for kids and families, under 90 minutes each, also continues to acclaim. They are aimed at exposing children to opera, letting them experience and enjoy “shows” from very close-up. Ticket prices are affordable. A little lost for activities after the holidays?  Attend a performance at the Amore through January 1, 2012!  You will have an exhilarating opera experience in the heart of the East Village where Tony Amato’s spirit and legacy live on.
Irmgard Taylor, ST

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