Letters to The Editor, Week of Sept. 20, 2018

Has some ‘gouda’ advice

To The Editor:

Re “Family butcher keeping alive Little Italy’s old-time flavor” (news article, Sept. 13):

Many years ago, I was shopping at Murray’s Cheese shop on Cornelia St. when the owner, Louis Tudda, mentioned he was going out of business and returning to Calabria, Italy. I felt compelled to try and “rescue” it — although it was always a viable business — as were so many others like it in our neighborhood: Faicco’s pork store; Ottomelli’s butcher shop; and Zito’s bread.

The reasons were my love of cheese, but also the fact that I had nostalgia for my immigrant grandfather’s original shop in Perth Amboy, N.J., which of course closed even before I was born.

But it seemed to me that many of these great old shops might survive with some new ideas, even with sky-high rents and new competition. And I was right. We made changes and Murray’s grew and prospered.

Last year, I sold Murray’s and retired. But I do believe that given the right actions, many of these old shops might continue on for many more years. I’d be happy to help any younger-generation family who want to give it a try.

Robert Kaufelt


Aargh! Too much business!

To The Editor: 

What’s going on here? Are you going out of business? The Sept. 13 issue is filled with infomercials?

To wit:

“Family butcher keeping alive Little Italy’s old-time flavor”;

“Schneps Communications acquires CNG / NYCCM”;

“D.I.Y. designer threads her way to sustainability”;

“What a find: The P.E. Guerin foundry on Jane St.”

It’s like a supermarket tabloid. Couldn’t you just sell ad space?

And did I mention, it’s really annoying and a waste of my time? I read the paper cover to cover. I skip over ads in which I am not interested, but I can’t do that with these “news” stories until I’m halfway through them. By then, I’m done.

I start to not trust the real stuff, so I just throw the paper away. It’s a shame that that’s what The Villager has come to.

Stephen Levine

Editor’s note: Thanks for your letter, Stephen. We appreciate your feedback and concern. “Family butcher,” we thought, was an interesting profile of an old-school neighborhood business. This type of article is known as a “feature” and — you are right — it’s not technically hard news per se. Our sense, however, is that a lot of readers actually enjoyed this article, as they do many feature articles about local merchants, particularly ones that have stood the test of time. Most newspapers include a mix of news and feature articles, and sometimes aspects of the two are blended together in the same story. 

As for the article on Schneps — hey, they bought us, creating an even larger community-media company. That definitely is news, an important New York City media story, and the sale needs to be announced. 

The article on the Guerin foundry was pitched by one of our freelancers, who went on a tour of the place and found it fascinating. Many would say that a manufacturing business still operating — albeit, seemingly somewhat under the radar — in Greenwich Village, creating brass door handles, finials and the like, is newsworthy. 

As for the article on Arielle Crawford, yes, admittedly, her place is a pop-up shop with a relatively short run. But fashion is a major industry in New York City and something that, we think, many readers are interested in. Also, that Crawford’s fashion is based on sustainable, nonpolluting practices is in line with a growing trend of environmental responsibility in the industry. 

You didn’t mention the article on Joseph Marra and the Night Owl (“Celebrating a birthday and the ’60s music scene”), but that was a profile of a business and its owner, too — though it also fell under the heading of “history / cultural.” 

You are right, though: Admittedly, last week’s issue of the paper did have a lot of articles on local businesses. Don’t worry, though, we will continue to have plenty of news stories!


E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to [email protected] or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 1 MetroTech North, 10th floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

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