[Re: "A Scene of His Own," October 8]
Screw Lew! Although his endeavor is in a clearly positive direction, artists and often poor people in the meantime have to move from one shifty neighborhood to another, while Lew leaves his legacy.
Is there such a thing as a cheap, reasonably safe neighborhood in our cities any longer? I've pioneered at least five neighborhoods in this town. The first ones were reasonably safe and cheap. They progressively got more dangerous and more expensive as time progressed. Fortunately I will be able to cash in on my present situation and get out of this cow town (quite literally, these days). Why? I don't want to afford it any longer, nor can I tolerate the suburbanization of this city. Strip malls, parking lots, SUVs, people with money and those without.
As Mayor Daley says, it's all about money. That pretty much sums things up. If we had a significant culture here, which wasn't essentially conservative, things may be more tolerable.
Isn't it obvious that if we need a Lew Manilow to jump-start the art scene beyond what he's already accomplished, something's wrong in spite of his intentions? Is this what got SoHo and Chelsea started? Or was it just real support for the arts?
There is no reason Chicago couldn't have 100 Lew Manilows.
Good luck, Lew! I'll visit from time to time.