October 3, 2005

Money Talks
In your introduction to “Who Makes How Much” [September 26], you write that thanks to this list, “at least you’ll know what to request next time you’re due for a raise.” But the figures under “Broadway” bear no resemblance to what most New York theater people can expect to make. You do a disservice to all the hardworking resident actors, stage managers, and theater workers by listing the salaries of movie stars slumming on Broadway, as if they represented any kind of norm.
—Gwen Orel, Millburn, N.J.

Instead of focusing on the obscenely bloated salaries of New Yorkers and the prohibitively expensive things on which they spend their money, you should investigate meaningful and practical city issues, such as why our subway system is in such disrepair and so desperately behind the times technologically. New Yorkers are so busy telling everyone that they live in the Capital of the World that they don’t see just how far behind many other cities it actually is, especially those of Western Europe. Our priorities aren’t in order.
—James Hones, Jersey City, N.J.

I can’t imagine where you got the information on my $90,000 salary as the New York Times crossword editor. While editing puzzles is hardly a way to get rich, I can tell you it’s been many years since my Times salary was $90,000.
—Will Shortz, Pleasantville, N.Y.

Emotional Roller Coaster
Coney Island is not some desert wasteland upon which a modern-day Bugsy Siegel can summon forth a new city [“The Incredibly Bold, Audaciously Cheesy, Jaw-Droppingly Vegasified, Billion-Dollar Glam-Rock Makeover of Coney Island,” by Greg Sargent, September 26]. It’s a place with deep historical, cultural, and emotional significance to the people of New York, past and present. Will the casino-inspired monstrosities replace the mom-and-pop operators who’ve kept the flame burning for the 40 years since Steeplechase closed and the middle class turned their backs on Coney?
—Dave Stork, New Paltz, N.Y.

So It Goes
Maria and Mellie’s story is not unique; they just happen to be cuter than most corpses [“Maria and Mellie Got Lost,” by Robert Kolker, September 26]. I’m 33 now, but I used to be a lot like these two, doing what they did in the eighties and nineties. I could have ended up just like them; some of my friends did. And we went to private schools, too. My mother had no idea how hard we partied. But such is life in this dirty city.
—Doris Hernandez, Manhattan

Going Down Swinging
In your article on chef Henry Meer’s “demolition” scheme to evict the longtime tenants upstairs from his establishment, my neighbors are referred to as “a few artist-pioneers with a good deal” [“ Intelligencer: Destabilized in Tribeca,” by Aili McConnon, September 26]. Once, the notion of “fine dining” on the dark, industrial streets of Tribeca was laughable. Until we handed consumers this neighborhood, you couldn’t get anyone to descend below Canal. Now most of the original residents cannot afford to eat in their establishments, while chefs Meer, Bouley, Vongerichten, Nieporent, et al., reap millions. Tell us, who got this so-called deal? Certainly not us. We’re the targets.
—David G. Imber, Manhattan

For Art’s Sake
As the CEO of Gen Art—a company devoted to supporting emerging fashion and one that has staged more than 50 fashion shows with the support of corporate donors since 1995—I found Amy Larocca’s article misguided [“ Intelligencer: When the UPS Guy Became a Fashionista,” September 19]. In a country that provides painfully little government or institutional support for the arts, I think we should be applauding such companies, not deriding them.
—Ian A. Gerard, Manhattan

Correction: In “Who Makes How Much” (September 26), the salary of Don Garber, the commissioner of Major League Soccer, should have been listed as $1.25 million.

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October 3, 2005