September 29, 2003

Don’t Bring In Da Noise
I read Ethan Brown’s “Take Back the Night!” with interest [“Cityside,” September 8], and I compliment you for touching on many of the complicated issues surrounding nightlife in New York. However, you left out one very important factor—the ongoing community problems that poorly managed clubs produce, such as: noise resonating from within the club and oozing into the homes of nearby residents, unruly patrons outside, and, most important, a general lack of respect for their neighbors. I find it dangerous to suggest getting rid of existing laws “to make the city’s nightlife policy more sane, safe, fair, and fun—and, above all, far less byzantine.” Regardless of any possible reform, safety will never come second. In fact, I’ve never met a responsible club owner who believes that the Fire and Building codes that mandate egress and sprinklers are wasteful. Lawyers who need clients will portray the process as onerous, but that very process is in place to ensure the safety of patrons. Its not that the safeguards are byzantine, it’s that New York is working hard to make sure tragedies like Rhode Island and Chicago do not happen here.
-Gretchen Dykstra, Commissioner, New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, Manhattan

Ashes To Ashes
The picture of Dan Pelosi enjoying a farewell cocktail (and cigarette) with Generosa Ammon’s ashes at the Stanhope hotel [“Intelligencer: Generosa’s Legacy,” by Robert Kolker, September 8] gave me hope. Does this mean there’s a bar in New York where I can enjoy a smoke along with my drink?
- Samuel B. Sutton, Manhattan

Bygone Swan Song
In “Classical & Dance: Best of the Rest” [September 8], you say that the role of Eléazar in Halévy’s La Juive was last sung by Enrico Caruso. Not so. Caruso sang his thirteenth performance of Eléazar on Christmas Eve 1920. It was his last appearance on any stage. He died the following August. Between 1924 and January 1936 there were 31 more Juives sung by the Met company, all of which featured the great Giovanni Martinelli as Eléazar.
- John Briggs, Dallas, TX.

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September 29, 2003