Over the years I have written four letters to The New York Times.Two of them were published which shows that my view points were taken into consideration.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Pet Peeves

Bladder Blather

In most big cities in the world there are plenty of public rest room facilities, except in New York City. If nature calls it is better to be near a department store, a hotel or an open construction site. Do not attempt to go into a restaurant because right on the door there is a big sign "For Patrons Only". I met countless tourists who asked me directions not to the Statue of Liberty or The Empire State building but for a toilet. Men of course.
In the past there were paid rest rooms on the subways stations and in certain coffee shops. However somebody in the administration of the city decided that charging for such necessity was illegal and now they are gone. Sometime ago a man was arrested for peeing in Central Park.What else he could do? There is a lot of talking about installing the much-needed facilities but bureaucracy stands in the way.

Irritating questions to an artist

One of the most irritating questions which somebody can ask an artist is "how long it takes to do that work" Art is not measured by the lengh of time of the creation. That questions belongs to the same category of people who wants to buy an art work to fit the color and size of the couch or those who wants to buy yards of books in different colors to decorate a room.

Humility

There is something noble about saying "I don't know". However some people would rather die than acknowledge that they don't know. My grandefather used to say that the learning process does not end with a dipoloma, but in the grave. Everybody is entitled to an opinion, but it should be based on the knowledge of the subject that one is talking about. Dr. Benjamin Zohn, father of my friend Herb, used to say: "They don't know and they don't know that they don't know". Very true indeed. I met several people that are "expert" in just about everything: art, science, architecture , any profession. The worst are the ones ëxpert "in medicine. They even precribe medications...
It is not a shame to say Ï don't know and then ask"can you tell me something about it? "



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