SoHo Journal: The Magazine of Arts and Politics in SoHo and the Hamptons Soho Politics Blog Hamptons Politics Blog

March 21st, 2007


by You the Reader

Feel free to voice an opinion on any subject; we want to hear what you have to say. Mail your thoughts and rants to
Letters c/o SoHo Journal, P.O. Box 1485 New York, NY 10013
or email us at

Dear Editor:
I love your new logo. I saw the date for the last issue was January/ Febuary- is the SoHo Journal going to be coming 6 times a year?
Todd Smith
Varick Street

Editor’s response: Thank you for noticing. Comments, and especially compliments are always appreciated! And yes, we are bi-monthly now.

Dear Editor:
I picked up the January/ February issue of your magazine and was delighted to see such an honest discussion of SoHo politics. As a long-time resident of downtown Manhattan, I have seen my neighborhood change slowly but dramatically over the years; recently, however, it seems as if this process has been accelerated. Everywhere I turn there is a new, massive construction project in the works, and, very regrettably, fewer and fewer of those glorious NYC facades of which I have grown so fond. These days, my neighborhood is all new building sites, filled with generic, shiny glass condos and giant billboards.
Before I read your piece, I had only seen a few little blurbs about Trump coming to SoHo; now that I have finished reading and re-reading your article, I will be joining every community group to protest this eyesore. Trump’s building will undoubtedly mar the landscape of SoHho, cause increases in traffic in an area that is already always victim to major jams, thanks to the Holland Tunnel, and will continue to drive up rents.
I refuse to be another silent resident of this fabulous–but deteriorating–neighborhood. I can’t believe that, once again, local politicians have failed the residents of Soho by allowing this building to go up. Thank you, D. Clark MacPherson, for setting the record straight, and for motivating me to take action before another hideous Trump building further depreciates our skyline.
Mark Schwartz
Greene Street

Dear Editor:
As a regular reader of the SoHo Journal, I must say that my favorite thing about your magazine is the space you dedicate to the arts. Your recent piece on Iraqi artists revealed the great roots of beauty in this warravaged area. Well done! I often go down to SoHo to visit the amazing art galleries this neighborhood offers, but, recently, it seems as if they are declining in number. I sincerely hope that the galleries continue to flourish… for me, that’s what SoHo is about.
Alison Markowitz
East 74th Street

Dear SoHo Journal:
The Iraqi artists featured in your gallery section, ‘Iraq: Contemporary Viewpoints,” is impressive. I’m glad to see the creativity that comes, unfortunately, out of a war-torn environment. What else but creativity can help them, or us, get through such a horrific time in our human history? Nothing, I say. Painting and photography are such free forms of expression that can convey a myriad of thoughts and emotions far more effectively than mere discourse or rhetoric. The Tyler Hicks photo of some poor soul who died at the command of Saddam is wrenching. What a tyrant. Obviously, I am stating nothing new; I am somewhat at ease knowing Hussein is finally physically wiped off the face of the earth. But what of his legacy? Hopefully, in the generations to follow, intellect will take over and the Iraqi people will strive to live as a whole and unite amidst the flurry of destruction and rebuild so they will be proud to host the geographic location of the burgeoning cradle of our collective existence.
The other artists showcased all put forth such strong images that are emblazoned in my memory. The canvas and the lens are perfect mediums to tell a story–good or bad. I look forward to the day when these artists will tell bright and happy stories of their Iraqi experiences and move forward in a progressive society that will contribute much to the world at large, whether it is through art, through politics, through commerce. What a day that will be. I welcome it with open arms. What is next in your artists’ section? I can’t wait to see.
Rhoda K.
Chelsea, NYC

SoHo Journal:
My friends and I just finished looking through your rag. What a riot! The Soho Gadabout (a word that sent me to the dictionary) had us going. My buddies and I laughed our asses off. By the end of the Gadabout’s day, we were hoping he was going to go back and hook up with Marie, the seventy year old, and maybe get that stroke she promised. No disrespect. Anyway, great magazine, love the mix of art and Soho politics. We hope the Gad tells us about other journeys of his.
Frankie and the NYU Boys

Dear SoHo Journal:
The Community Board in Hudson Square/SoHo has to get it together and start taking serious notes from my Community Board in the Village. Stop the construction before all of your history is trumped by the forces that pull politico strings. Nothing is going to stop the “Real Estaters” except loud voices–loud, unrelenting, opposing voices. The thought of that SoHo Trump tower casting shadows downtown makes my stomach twist. Please get it in order and organize a strong Board that will stand up to the bullies. Stand firm and protect the history. Time passes quickly, and change can happen before we realize it. As conscientious citizens, really, we have to preserve what’s already in place. Thanks for the platform to vent. These developers get me so riled up sometimes–most times.
Morton Street
P.S. I like the new look of the SoHo Journal. Keep up the good work. Thanks for looking out for us all.

The Marty Tankleff Travesty

Editor’s Note:
The following is a letter we were given by Theresa Olson to reprint. We do so because of it’s importance.

Suffolk County Legislature
725 Veterans Memorial Highway
Hauppauge, NY 11787

February 4, 2007

Dear Legislator:
As you are aware, Martin Tankleff was arrested and convicted for the murders of both of his parents which occurred in 1988 in Belle Terre, NY. This was and remains Long Island’s most highly publicized and controversial murder case ever. Since the time of the original trial, there are very few of your constituents who still believe that Marty is guilty. In fact, the vast majority have come to realize his innocence. I believe that this is the biggest disgrace in Suffolk County history. This reflects very poorly on Suffolk County, which you represent, to the rest of the entire world who is watching Marty’s case very closely. As you must be aware, Marty is appealing County Court Judge Stephen Braslow’s recent immoral and unjust decision to deny Marty a retrial before the State Appellate Court. The only way that Marty will not prevail is if the “fix is in” like it was with Judge Braslow. You are a member of the legislative body which is supposed to look out for the welfare of all its citizens and are thus accountable to us for what went so egregiously wrong in this gross miscarriage of justice. When the entire truth of the Marty Tankleff wrongful conviction and continued coverup becomes fully known by Suffolk residents, they will and should demand reasons why you chose to disregard this tragedy. They will and should demand answers as to why you failed to protect us from the very same people sworn to protect and serve us. There will and should be a political “meltdown”, the likes this county has never seen. What seems to be forgotten is that the real murderers of Arlene and Seymore Tankleff remain at large, ready to kill again with the full blessing of the past and present district attorneys of this county. If I have to ask you what you can and should do in the Tankleff gross travesty of justice, then perhaps you should not be entrusted with the position you now hold.
Any and all information about Marty’s case can be found at

Respectfully submitted,
POB 212
Westhampton Beach, NY 11978

Dear Editors:
As a long time Artist/Resident of Soho, I was disappointed that you failed to include the outdated, but still arguably active right to enforce or dismiss the AIR (artists-in-residence) zoning law. This law requires “certification as a working artist” in order for an individual to qualify for joint living-working in the M1-MA and M1-MB zoned districts of SoHo and NoHo.
If the State legislates and the City regulates a law that only “certified artists” are lawfully allowed to reside in the zoning area that includes SoHo and NoHo, why is the City allowing this law to be violated by developers within the SoHo/NoHo districts and yet continue to enforce a few existing Condo and co-ops to comply with the AIR zoning resolution?
The city must recognize that SoHo and Noho have changed dramatically since the 1970’s when the AIR was enforced, and that it is time to re-zone both neighborhoods so that all residents are treated equally. The number of ‘working artists” who remain in these neighborhoods has diminished drastically over the past 35 years. Artists simply can no longer afford the now outrageous rents, let alone the cost of actually buying a loft space priced anywhere from $1000 – 1500 a square foot. The artists have moved on. Now the city must recognize it’s time to re-zone SoHo and NoHo.
A Displaced Artist

Dear SoHo Journal:
Thanks for the Lou Reed piece in your last issue. I wasn’t able to get a ticket to the show in Brooklyn, it sold out so fast. Obviously I couldn’t afford to get to Syndey, Australia to see it there either. I’m a long time fan of Mr. Reed’s and how exciting to see him in yet another phase of his career. Doing something so daring and new, bringing friends into the fold to help him recreate BERLIN was a brilliant idea. But what was really exciting for me was the fact that someone, you guys, actually took the time to write a smart and informative piece about the show. Not quite like being there myself but enough to make me realize how much I missed by not being there. I can only hope that Lou Reed decides to do some sort of an extended run of this project back here in New York City so we can all get there. Maybe he should stage it in a Broadway theater or something. With all of the tacky crap on Broadway right now, something artsy and disturbing might be a nice balance to, lets say, The Wedding Singer. Anyway, I just wanted to drop you a line and say thank you.
A Long Time Reed Fan & new SoHo Journal Fan.
“I call Myself Phoebe”

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