February 5, 2007

Green Streets
Thank you for the article “Uncool New York” [by Chris Smith, January 22–29]. It was exceptional commentary on a topic that gets a lot of talk and no action. It is important for New Yorkers to start demanding action from our slew of particularly high-profile politicians.
Jessica Kimmel, Manhattan

Chris Smith was right to give a thumbs-up to the city’s municipal green-building law, and it should be rated as the first major deliverable in Mayor Bloomberg’s sustainable-development plan. So where should the mayor start showing some “guts”? The next giant step would be passage of a comprehensive building law that would make green building the norm. The mayor needs to fight for specific actions to reduce carbon emissions in all public and private sectors, and he’s got just three years to do it.
—Nancy E. Anderson, Manhattan

I agree that there are numerous environmental issues to address, at the level of both public policy and individual responsibility. However, your article overlooked a notable policy that went into effect on January 1 this year: Local Law 86 cites that up to half of new city-funded construction projects must meet the U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver Certification Level.
—Scott Demel, Brooklyn

“Uncool New York” has been the topic of many of my recent e-mails. The relatively pitiful dustings of snow in the last few weeks have done little to quell the general fear that this strange weather is no coincidence. As the city grows gradually aware of global warming and our part in it, everyone should be addressing this topic aggressively.
—Anna Z. Christensen-Taylor, Manhattan

Boys Will Be Legends
The response to Ariel Levy’s feature “Chasing Dash Snow” [January 15] was largely disparaging: Youth-centricity is boring, pedigree is not validation, boys will be boys. However, there is little difference between the backlash against Dash Snow and the initial distrust of Andy Warhol, who of course became legendary. And what about Jackson Pollock? We don’t yet know whether the 25-year-old Dash Snow’s artwork will change us—and our insatiable hunger for the details of his persona may be interfering with any real opportunity to analyze it.
—Mary B. Taylor, Brooklyn

In the End Zone
As a recently retired Olympian, I was relieved by and empathetic to Tiki Barber’s story [“The Exit Interview,” by David Amsden, January 15]. After I won a silver medal for rowing in the Athens Olympics, a strange emotion took hold of me: relief. I returned to training but found I had lost my passion for it. As Barber described it, “The challenge is not so much there anymore, which has caused my passion to wane.” The year since leaving my sport has been fraught with guilt—guilt about passing up the experience I, at one time, would have given up everything for. However, the freedom of choice has trumped guilt. As Amsden put it, “It’s a funny thing, the psychology of ambition: how even the most outsize dreams have a way of losing their potency the moment they’re attained.” I commend Barber on his bravery to listen to himself.
—Kate Johnson, Manhattan

Inner Hell
Until recently, the only thing that gave me inner peace was the belief that I was the only person in New York as stressed out as me. There was a level of comfort in being the only one. After reading your “Inner Peace” issue [“Give Inner Peace a Chance,” January 22–29], that myth has been dispelled and I am now more stressed out than ever.
—Suzanne Cunningham, Astoria

The way to inner peace is tzedakah: acts of kindness. Do something for others.
Elaine Goldman, Southold, N.Y.

Correction: The photograph for “Intelligencer: The Passions of Taschen” (January 22–29) should have been credited to Emily Shur.

February 5, 2007