Letters to The Editor, Week of Aug. 8, 2019

‘Small Kitchen,’ big headache

To The Editor:

Re “Loud Soho restaurant ‘wrecked block’: Neighbors” (news article, Aug. 1):

Sometimes a restaurant moves into a neighborhood and is oblivious to the residents where it has situated itself. So it is with Thompson St.’s Piccolo Cucina that attracts a very fun-loving clientele. That’s fine, but… .

There is no accommodation — exposed brick that bounces the music and yelling around like a pinball machine — to the fact that this eatery is in what (formerly was) a quiet residential street.

Come summer, it’s ultra-volume music and happy chatter, with voices in elevated pitch trying to be heard above the music. It can be heard one-quarter the distance of the block to the corner. It’s like living inside a disco.

One building resident moved out because of the racket, actually relocating in the neighborhood due to the noise.

It appears after a deluge of complaints that the restaurant has begun to adhere to its stipulation and closes its glass windows/doors by the designated 10 p.m. 

It took a concerted neighborhood effort to get them to do that — or maybe they’re just keeping the air conditioning inside.

But noise isn’t the restaurant’s only “ignoring the neighborhood” modus operandi. Hordes blocking the sidewalk — waiting for tables or hanging out — prevent people who are trying to pass. The mass also includes a cadre of smokers, mostly fun-loving Europeans, who can’t smoke inside.

The restaurant generates so much garbage that the trash receptacles are tossed wily-nilly on the sidewalk after the pickup, blocking the sidewalk in the morning. When asked about this, the restaurant blames its sanitation company, instead of having the containers moved inside in a timely fashion. Morning passersby have to navigate the empty bins and the open hatch, which opens very early.

The restaurant’s owner has two others in Soho. Noise is similarly generated from the Spring St. location, and one neighbor who lives across the street is kept up at night when apartment windows are open.

The Spring St. restaurant drilled into a tree to hang a holder for its promotional material and menus when the restaurant is closed. Someone must have complained, since that was short-lived. 

Even the outdoor seating on Spring St. violates the required 8-foot clearance from the barrier on the nearby tree pit.

The owners probably feel that because they’re paying such exorbitant rents, they can do whatever they want to, and to hell with people who live in the neighborhood.

Obviously, they care not a wink for their neighbors.

Darlene Nation


Help, police! C.B. 2!

To The Editor:

Re “Loud Soho restaurant ‘wrecked block’: Neighbors” (news article, Aug. 1):

This scene is not any different from what goes on at Felix, at West Broadway and Grand St., every Sunday. 

I too have contacted the First Precinct many times, as have my neighbors, and been told that police have sat down with the owner and have his cooperation. Nothing has changed. 

I suggest that people show up at the First Precinct on the last Thursday of the month to voice their complaints to the police.

It’s really disgusting how these bar/restaurant owners are getting away with this stuff and we are getting no support from the police or Community Board 2.

Kay Powell


Time to speak up

To The Editor:

Re “Loud Soho restaurant ‘wrecked block’: Neighbors” (news article, Aug. 1):

This is a police matter. Register the complaint with 311 and call the precinct. Go to the monthly First Precinct Community Council Meeting. Insist they do their jobs. Also tell the community board and the State Liquor Authority. 

Unless people show up at community board public hearings or register complaints, the board is unlikely to even know there are problems with restaurants.

Lora Tenenbaum

Former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau prosecuted East Village anarchists harshly after the 1990 May Day riot in Tompkins Square Park, according to letter writer Bill Weinberg. More than a dozen people were arrested — charged with disorderly conduct and assault on police — during the night of protests. (Photo by Jefferson Siegel)

‘Morgy’ memories

To The Editor:

Re “Robert Morgenthau, 99, iconic D.A.” (obituary, Aug. 1):

The Central Park 5 later sued the city and won a multimillion dollar settlement — which Donald Trump protested in a Daily News opinion piece.

Also, given that this is The Villager, it would be good to recall Morgenthau’s prosecution of the Tompkins Square anarchists after the 1990 May Day riot. Kenny Toglia served a year in Rikers on dubious “incitement” charges thanks to Morgenthau’s prosecutorial zeal.

Bill Weinberg 


Shut down L.M.D.C.

To The Editor: 

A cat has nine lives and so does the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.  Seventeen years since its founding and $2.8 billion later, the L.M.D.C. should have completed its mission. Are there political motivations for Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Mayor Bill de Blasio for defending this agency and keeping it open? It is time for the L.M.D.C. to close its doors and move on. 

Larry Penner


E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words, to news@thevillager.com 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. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. Anonymous letters will not be published.

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