Today’s news:

To The Editor:

I have been a resident of the South Williamsburg area for over two years and love the combination of vitality and quiet of my block on South 6th and Berry.

Several months ago, it became apparent that there were several new businesses opening on the block, which is already overloaded with bars and clubs full of noisy, obnoxious patrons who don’t live in the area. When I saw the windows of one of the buildings filling with stair climbers, it was apparent the neighborhood was headed into a yuppie era. But what happened next has sent me over the edge.

This health club proceeded to identify itself with two six-foot banners, in an unattractive brown and yellow color scheme; followed closely by a 20-foot banner visible I’m sure from Manhattan; followed by two street facing signs no less than nine feet across; followed by a large “lite-brite” sign facing the street, no less than nine feet wide; followed just a few days ago by circular brown and yellow signs in pretty much any space left available on the front of the building.

Have they no sense of decency? This was a beautiful building.

These signs are absolutely awful and ruin the character of the block permanently. No other business outside of Times Square feels the need to advertise in such and overbearing and redundant way. They all seem to stay in business. Why is this club allowed to wreck the understated look of the block? Just to draw in the hordes of vain yuppies who march around officiously in spandex, clutching iPods and bottled water? They will come anyway!

The many movies and television shows that taped on the block because of it’s gorgeous view and simple brick buildings will no longer be attracted there. Soma has also littered the neighborhood with untold thousands of their advertising postcards.

I called 311 and of course they offer absolutely nothing, apparently if I own the property I can put any kind of loud trashy junk on my building and no one can do anything about it. The ownership responsible is never going to listen to one disgruntled citizen so I don’t bother stopping in to ask why they feel so insecure that they “club” everyone over the head with their eyesore aesthetic.

So how do I, and others facing the onslaught of “progress” in our neighborhoods, roll back the ugliness?

Benjamin Parish


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