Fruit, family and sacrifice
Adjacent to the Chase branch at the corner of First Avenue and 23rd Street an about 45-year-old man stands in front of a cart and sells the most delectable produce available in the area — at about half the cost which supermarkets and stores price them.
His name is Quddus and he is from Bangladesh. His fruit and vegetable enterprise is open from about 7:30 a.m. until 8 p.m. I have purchased his goods for a long time. This past Friday I bought 10 bananas, two pounds of green grapes, a carton of snow white mushrooms and a box of red ripe tomatoes. The cost: seven dollars.
Always polite but not effusive, if I don’t have cash because I have come to use my debit/credit card when buying almost anything, he trusts me. Working seven days a week, about 80 hours. Wow! I couldn’t even do it for one day. I wondered why he does this. So on Friday I said, “Do you have any children?” and “Do they go to school?” “Yes, one boy attends Queens College; the other is a senior in high school.”
When there’s no time for getting lost
When I wrote a letter last week recommending that persons living alone should have a medical alert button (“A real life safer,” T&V, Jan. 25), I mentioned in passing that there is a problem with confusing addresses in Stuy Town.
Actually, that problem can have serious effects.
The first time I had to use the button EMS arrived very quickly. But on another occasion, the street address prompted them to come to the side of the building that is less frequently used. Of course, it took longer for them to get to my apartment and longer to take me to their ambulance, which was parked farther away.
Remembering a talented neighbor
To all our friends and neighbors, it saddens me to tell you that last month we lost Phoebe Hoss, a longtime resident of Stuyvesant Town. Phoebe died on December 13, 2017 at the age of 91. A memorial for her was held earlier this month at All Souls Unitarian church where she was a longtime member.
We lived in the same building and shared a love of poetry that resulted in the publication in 2006 of River Voices, original poems by Stuyvesant and Peter Cooper poets that included Rose Bernal, Esse Casnoff, Esther B. Cohen, Marilyn Driscoll, Mary Fordham, Joy Garland, Barbara Gurman, Phoebe Hoss, Anne Lazarus, Pamela Machado, David Mayer, Eve Nethercott, Judy Schermer, Alison Carb Sussman, and Peggy Unsworth. It was Phoebe who gave countless hours to helping the poets by proofreading our work and giving suggestions.
Bafflement and expectation
In his Subway Bomb Suspect’s Mysterious Act of Mercy, New York Times, December 19, 2017, Mr. Jeffrey Gettleman recorded, though he did not quote, Akayed Ullah’s reason for his pipe-bomb action on December 11, 2017, at New York’s Port Authority.
Quoting Mr. Ullah’s mother-in-law, Mr. Gettleman recorded that when Mr. Ullah returned from Bangladesh “he was so upset… those people were living in hell each and every minute.” Additionally, according to Mr. Gettleman, from his bed in Bellevue, Mr. Ullah said that he built and detonated his device “inspired online by the Islamic State to strike against the United States for its policies in the Muslim world.”
Yet in his article, Mr. Gettleman apparently wanted to firm-up his own view that the truth of what Ullah said about himself had to survive the views of others. So he introduces the conflicting opinions of those who are tangentially acquainted with Mr. Ullah, sets aside Ullah’s own words, and gives the reader the inevitable self-produced baffle: why did he really do it!?!
New initiative for teaching teachers
Have you ever wondered how schools are preparing our students from kindergarten through high school to understand climate, how it affects us and what we can do about it? One solution that has been suggested is to reach out to the teacher training colleges who prepare the adult students to be teachers before they enter the children’s classrooms. Here in New York City, Teachers College, Columbia University and New York University are both participating with the New York CityDepartment Of Education (DOE) Office of Sustainability, to increase environmental and sustainability education for teachers and students. There is also an initiative from NYC DOE to strengthen the sustainability coordinator position in each public school.
We were delighted that State Senator Brian Kavanaugh was able to speak at the recent meeting of the Environmental Education Advisory Council (EEAC) dealing with the aforementioned issues. The senator spoke about initiatives on the environment that he sponsored when he served in the State Assembly before he won a spot in the State Senate recently. He also offered suggestions for helping to improve environmental and sustainability education in the schools.
Nightmare on East 14th Street
We were all aware of the closing down of the L train in 2019 due to repairs required in the tunnel damaged in superstorm Sandy. This was a known fact to our community and the entire city. However, we were not aware of the construction that would start a few months back building an entrance to the L First Avenue station on Avenue A, as it was almost impossible to find room on the platform.
In any event, about 4-6 months ago, we noticed bus stops were being moved and a lot of fencing was being put up. Then we realized, this is it; the construction would start on a subway entrance to the L train on 14th Street and Avenue A. Instead of being good news, it became difficult to get past the construction site, the noise, the dust, the trucks the workmen standing around, causing causing smoke, litter, clutter as even if our neighborhood is not crowded enough.
To-do list for next Assemblymember
To the editor:
This is a comment on Marie Ternes’ “Moving onto the next election,” T&V, Nov. 16, and in a way a comment about the campaign of Keith Powers. Ms. Ternes, like Mr. Powers, has been a member of PCVST for years — likely for longer than I, but her idea of issues (issues that were, I hope, known to Mr. Powers, but tactically absent in his campaign literature) provoke my asking “Is that it?!?!” Ms. Ternes says that she wants to “Preserve and support middle and low-income housing.” I wondered, “Doesn’t everyone these days say they want to preserve middle-class everything?” So, having gone that far, I anticipated that I would soon see the complement of “preserve,” namely “affordable.”
Pedestrian demanding accountability
I was run down by a speeding bicycle that made a turn as I was crossing to the curb on 2nd Avenue and 11th Street.
I suffered a break in my pelvis as well as torn adductor muscles. When I tell people the story each one has another story of being hit by a bicycle themselves or knowing someone close who was hit similarly. Careless bicycle riders have no liability for their recklessness.
If there was some identification like license plates or numbered placards the riders would take more care knowing that they could be identified.
We demand licenses on cars so why not bicycles, which can be as deadly when driven thoughtlessly?
Toni Davis, PCV
Remembering to be thankful
During this Thanksgiving time, we at Garage 2 are fortunate to have our local poet, Yves, to remind us of the abundance of our lives.
Especially at this time, when so many of our fellow Americans fall victim to the hands of those who use gun violence, family and domestic abuse and violence, it is so crucial that we report anyone we see as vulnerable to mental illness who needs treatment and who could be a danger to him/herself or others. We are all connected. The armed service severely dropped the ball. Let none of us live with that regret.
Instead, let us follow Yves’ advice and be grateful for our abundance.
Bel-Michelle DeMille, ST
One man’s trash…
This is a reference to Brian Loesch’s letter to the newspaper (“Enough from the squirrels’ PR people,” T&V, Oct. 26).
His letter is very full of nonsense. All over New York City, squirrels seek food in garbage cans. This does not only occur in Stuy Town. Where are the squirrels supposed to go – to McDonald’s? If Mr. Loesch does not like it here, he can move out of the complex and let some poor family move in. I hope that he does no harm to the squirrels.
Thanks for the wake-up call
Not sure what is going on but at this time of the night (3 a.m.). I am hearing intermittent back-up alarms. When I get up all I can see from my home is a flashing light on the backhoe in the construction site on Avenue C and East 13th street. Is the guard practicing operating it at this time of night?
Last night Con Ed had a delivery at 4 in the morning. With all of the structures they have built on the south side of the street, it is difficult for these tankers to maneuver and the back and forth of their trying to get into the docks is quite annoying at that time of the night.
Is it really necessary for such deliveries at that time?
Does this neighborhood need to be continuously subjected to this noise pollution?
Sherman Sussman, ST
Tenants will win with Powers
Keith Powers is the clear choice for City Council. Like me, Keith is a third-generation resident of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village. Keith is uniquely qualified to tackle the issues facing tenants.
His work as a member of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, as well as his commitment to affordability, has been demonstrated time and time again. On the campaign trail, Keith rolled out a platform that would expand affordability through opposing rent increases at the Rent Guidelines Board and permanent MCI increases, protecting and increasing access to the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program, as well as committing to exploring legal options to protect Robert’s tenants, who are slated to lose vital protection in 2020.
Keith grew up in a rent-stabilized apartment, so issues of affordability hit home for him. He knows the impact that affordable housing has on people’s lives and our community. Keith doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. He has been endorsed by organizations, like Tenants PAC, for his commitment to protecting affordable housing.
For all these reasons and more, I hope you will join me in voting for Keith Powers for City Council on November 7.
John Marsh, PCV
Enough from the squirrels’ PR people
It takes a lot for me to pen a letter on any topic since I have an opinion on almost every subject, but when things get personal, I feel the need to speak out. Of all the topics I now feel the need to speak out about, squirrels were not at the top of my list. When people write letters to the editor describing children attacking wildlife (Ms. Antini), or accuse tenants of spreading false statements of squirrel attacks and rummaging through garbage cans (Mr. Paslayan), or saying that squirrels are not aggressive (Ms. Turchin), I have to counter those arguments. Especially since my son is a friend of that little girl who was scratched (“Squirrel scratches kid in ST,” T&V, Sept. 14) so I can bear witness to this firsthand.
As a lifelong resident of over 50 years in Stuy Town and now raising two very young children here, I am constantly in the playgrounds and because of this I am witness to squirrels not only rummaging through garbage cans (picture included), but also going in and out of people’s strollers seeking and stealing food.
Dog runs need owners to pitch in
Re: “Dog owners say lack of open space the biggest challenge” and “Redesigned dog run in the works for Madison Sq. Park,” T&V “Dog Days” issue, Sept. 21
As an individual charged with attempting to administer the Union Square Dog Run (U-Dog), I found several comments in the two stories worthy of further pursuit:
In the Madison Square story Ms. Munoz says she doesn’t bring her dog into the run because of the smell. Can’t resist a remark here — where does Li Li pee that she mops it up or does she realize she spreads the same smells around town for all pedestrians and children by going around the run?
Ms. Dang said she passes U-Dog up to go to Madison Square because our run smells worse due to the surface. The surfaces are the same! As is Washington Square.
But she also adds her preference that she likes paving options because “Concrete is easier to clean.” I always wonder, who do all these people think “cleans” the run? There is no service out there, the owners either pitch in and monthly pour cleansers and water or they let rain do it.
Thank you, William McClellan
Re: “Stuy Town gets new public safety chief,” T&V. Sept. 21
To whom it may concern:
Having recently received notification of the change in leadership of the head of Public Safety in our community, I should like to take this opportunity to thank William F. McClellan for keeping me safe for the many years that he has been head of Public Safety.
Though I have been here going on 47 years, fortunately I have had few incidents when I needed Public Safety. In each case, under Mr. McClellan’s leadership I have been safely protected. Once when I was coming out the back door or my garage on Avenue C, a giant man lunged at me as I was starting out. I quickly slammed the door and called Public Safety. Someone immediately came, almost within seconds, to protect me. On another occasion, some inspector came to my door uninvited by me and unannounced. He wanted to come into my apartment. He showed me a badge but it could have been fake so I refused and told him to stay put and I would call Public Safety to come and escort him inside. Very quickly, a Public Safety Officer was sent and the inspector was for real but he stopped in my dining area as he saw that nothing illegal was going on in my apartment. I for sure felt safer letting someone in my apartment with a Public Safety officer at my side.
U.S. can’t always say yes to citizenship
To the editor:
In his “America’s Soul” column, T&V, Sept. 14, Steven Sanders put forward the idea that people who are “fleeing oppression, or [for that matter] just seeking a decent life,” have the same right to be here, on that account, as those who came here legally in the past. Mr. Sanders does acknowledge that “…these people and their children [are] not here lawfully,” and “nations need to have policies to accept new citizens,” yet neither acknowledgement counts for much in his column. Both get set aside… largely because America is the “beacon of hope.”
I too think that Mr. Trump’s maybe-desire to send them back to their native land is sleazy, despicable and expected, but I differ from Mr. Sanders undeclared view that there is now a new way, previously unknown, to obtain citizen status here in America: pain, fear suffering and illegal entry. A person’s life in a foreign country — even a brutal life in a brutal country — may be a horror, and it may be a good and relevant reason to consider granting, and then granting, citizenship, but a life in another country is neither a grant nor a right to U.S. citizenship. Living here as a citizen is not a right one can grant oneself.