Comments: Week of January 6, 2014

1. “Every year I save @NYMag’s Reasons to Love NY issue for the plane ride back to California and my heart swells for the city I call home,” wrote Ryan Bradley of Fortune about our annual valentine to the city (“Reasons to Love New York Right Now,” December 23–30). “I dont need reasons to love New York. I already do. BUT STILL, READ EVERY ONE OF THESE,” tweeted @sarahpaol. “If ‘Reasons to Love New York Now’ issues don’t bring a tear to your eye, then maybe you really SHOULD live somewhere else,” wrote @bottgercaroline. Noted Howard Wolfson’s Twitter: “I love NY Mag’s Reasons to Love NY issue but this is my fave: Because Patti Harris ­Secretly Ran New York.” Of course, this being New York, people complained, too. Salon’s Dan D’Addario tweeted about our listing the city’s subway dancers: ­“Congratulations for including my least ­favorite thing about this dump.”

2. “Some of New York City’s most glamorous bohemians are taking to the barricades in a battle that recalls the heroic, successful stand against Westway but seems, given current realities, a bit more quixotic,” Gabriel Sherman wrote about the Village protests against President John Sexton’s expansion of NYU—protests supported by Fran Lebowitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Padma Lakshmi, among others (“NYU Shall Not Pass!,” December 23–30). “Everyone loves to whine about ‘imperialist’ institutions like NYU, but the university has gone from good regional school to extremely good national institution in the last 30 years partly as a result of its infrastructure,” wrote a commenter on “This has made the Village, the city and all alumni better as a result.” “It is undeniable that NYU has gone from a commuter school to a first-rate university in 3 decades, but that came from raising the quality of the faculty not by becoming a mega university,” argued another reader. “The brightest students are smart enough to go to the schools where faculty are creating significant new knowledge, and that is happening at NYU,” riposted another. “That still does not make it right for them to destroy the Village. However, anybody whose life is not enriched by having a great university close by is willfully choosing to stay ignorant.” “Mr. Sexton is legacy building,” wrote a self-identified alum of the college. Others were equally disgusted with both sides. “As legitimately questionable as some aspects of NYU’s expansion plan may be, casting it as a fight between corporations and artists is a little disingenuous,” wrote Kim Velsey at the New York Observer. “The star power coalescing around this battle just goes to show how far gone the Village so many people are trying to save really is.” “This is less about ‘fighting the power’ than very wealthy members of the glam set fighting an even wealthier institution over real estate,” wrote a commenter. Another: “This is a 1% problem on both ends and I don’t care about either of them.”

3. The egg cream, the soft pretzel, even the bagel—all were identified by Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld as endangered New York delicacies (“Vanishing,” December 23–30). Of everything on the list, seltzer got the most wistful response. “When I was a kid, the water dispensers in the back of Katz’s Deli dispensed old-timey seltzer,” reminisced one commenter on “The stuff you buy in the store nowadays isn’t even close to that kind of seltzer and you certainly can’t make a decent egg cream from it.” Others offered tips on where to find the vanishing vittles—particularly bagels. “Fret not for the bagel and bialy. Both are alive and well in hipster-free northeastern Queens,” wrote one reader, and another suggested perhaps New Yorkers should count their food blessings: “Don’t complain. I live in the Poconos and when I went to the shop for some salt bagels I found them covered with regular table salt. TABLE SALT!”

4. After being warned by liberal friends not to engage the subject, art critic Jerry Saltz went on CNN to discuss a painting by George Zimmerman (who was acquitted earlier this year of killing Trayvon Martin), calling the painting “psychotic” and arguing that Zimmerman shouldn’t be allowed to profit from it. He came home to discover a flood of hate mail from the right wing and wrote about the experience for (December 18). The heated response continued in the comments section. “Racist Americans have embraced Zimmerman as a hero, and people are surprised at their feeble minded vitriol?” asked one reader. “He’s a murderer and a clown and anyone who pays more than one cent for his ‘art’ should have their head examined.” Responded another: “While no admirer of that Southern culture of BBQing human beings and making it a sport of hunting ‘negroes,’ you can’t claim an artist can’t be a murderer, Caravaggio was.” (“That Caravaggio was a murderer is only speculation,” the first commenter replied.) “Jerry just put your big boy pants on and take it,” wrote another. “All this whining about the meanies on the right and left is beneath you.”

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Comments: Week of January 6, 2014