Merchants: Market may stink, but our goods don’t! • Brooklyn Paper

Merchants: Market may stink, but our goods don’t!

Prosecutors are investigating the organizers of a much-hyped holiday market at the Brooklyn Museum, after a vendor who signed up to hawk her wares there claimed the Christmas-themed bazaar was a Yuletide scam that ended up costing her big time (“Christmas caper: DA investigating organizers of Winterfest market at Bklyn Museum after vendor filed complaint,” by Colin Mixson, online Dec. 7).

Canvas-bag maker Pamela Barsky said she paid more than $6,000 for the privilege to sell her totes from one of Winterfest’s stalls fashioned after quaint log cabins, which she claimed constantly leaked and lost electricity, deterring would-be customers from dropping any dough — a shortfall the market’s bigwigs blamed on its sellers, according to Barsky, who accused the organizers of brazen deception.

Readers, including some other vendors, weighed in on the alleged shortfalls of the event, which is now admitting guests free of charge until it closes on Dec. 31:

Six-thousand dollars in rent seems outrageous to begin with.

Mathematician from Brooklyn

I am a vendor at the event, and although it has been frustrating and we feel let down, those of us who didn’t drop out of the market still hope to make it a success!

There are some great local vendors, some tasty food, a wine tent — come on out and support small business, in spite of the organizers’ fail!

Cheryl Boiko from Carroll Gardens

Winterfest is a bust due to inexperienced organizers. It originally said it will be open seven days a week, then six days, now only four days, most likely due to lack of operation funding for basic staffing (including Santa).

It’s a shame and should be closed down.MJ from Bay Ridge

There are still many fantastic vendors at Winterfest with lots to offer holiday shoppers: really good food, lots of fun, and live music in the wine tent, and so many unique and wonderful gifts throughout the market, many made by local artists — like me!

The season is just beginning Brooklyn, don’t give up on your local small businesses!

Annmaria Mazzini

from Riverdale

I am a vendor at this market, and although it’s been troubled due to the reasons outlined in the article, we ask all Brooklynites to come out and shop here.

We are honest businesses and need the support of our great borough as we had nothing to do with the organization of this market. An update: all the previously paid attractions are now free. Happy holidays!

Live Poultry Designs

from Red Hook

It’s not inexperience. The organizers are experienced scam artists.

They pulled the same thing in Boston last year under a different business name. Left a trail of angry and ripped off small-business owners.

Don’t trust a word Lena says. The stories they’re spinning about other vendors being responsible for their failures are the same ones they told last year.Sara from Boston

Why would you pay to shop?

Old time Brooklyn from Slope

Keepers of Brooklyn Bridge Park are shelling out millions to build an entirely new span in place of the beleaguered Squibb Bridge, which zig zags from its namesake park in Brooklyn Heights down to the waterfront lawn below, and for the second time closed due to structural problems back in July (“Second coming of Squibb: Multi-million-dollar bridge to Bridge Park will be replaced after just five years,” by Julianne Cuba, online Dec. 10).

“We have announced plans to fully replace Squibb Bridge,” Eric Landau, president of the semi-private Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, which oversees the green space, said at a Dec. 5 corporation board meeting.

Some readers pointed their fingers squarely at meadow stewards for the bridge boondoggle, which has already cost more than $7 million — excluding the estimated $6.5 million necessary to construct a new span to replace it:

Irresponsible leadership has caused situations like this that are used to justify the two ridiculously out-of-context tall buildings going up at Pier 6. The entire Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation leadership should be fired and replaced by people whose goal is to run the park responsibly, not line their own and developers’ pockets!

The Squibb Park bridge is unnecessary — you can walk the same distance down Columbia Heights and get to the park. The bridge should be removed and the money used to build a bridge to the park farther south near Montague Street, which would actually provide useful access.

In related news, who is paying for the expensive-looking repair of the wave dampening docks at the marina (which itself provides nothing to 99.9 percent of the people who use the park)?Cobble Hillbilly from Cobble Hill

The fat cats at BBP Corporation have no interest in being responsible and-or truthful, since there’s no punishment for their being slipshod and reliably dishonest.

Actually, they’re rewarded for being slobs, since the money to do over crappy work is unlimited. Of course the whole thing stinks: DeBlasio and the Real Estate Board of New York are behind the luxury land grab and the sloppy construction.Gavin from Ft Greene

I try and use the park often, after work, in all seasons. I thought it was excellent use of development for the public on the waterfront. It’s a great way to experience the harbor as well. I don’t think development of private luxury homes and a hotel should even be on that space. You can’t help but ignore the above comments.

Patrick Kinsella from Bay Ridge

Bush’s legacy

To the Editor,

This letter is addressed to Bob Capano for his column about the passing of former President George H.W. Bush (“A farewell to ‘41,’ ” online Dec. 6). I am sad that, in remembering the president and his accomplishments, you left out a very important thing.

In 1990, former President Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. This was very important bipartisan legislation that helped everyone.

It did not matter if you were a Republican or a Democrat, liberal or conservative, a veteran, rich, poor, gay, etc. The law helped everyone with a disability. This also why I am sad he passed away, because he put aside politics to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act and help all Americans.

In many of your articles you have brought up that both parties should work together. You may not at this moment have a disability, but I’m sure you know many persons with disabilities. I, for one, am — as is my son, who you know. My late mother was also helped by the act.

But it seems, as usual, anything having to do with disabilities is not important [to those who do not live with one].Debra Greif

Sheepshead Bay

The next generation

To the Editor,

Commemoration of heritage is everywhere. Whether celebrating Hanukkah with latkes, toasting Christmas with eggnog, or enjoying Kwanzaa’s Groundnut stew, this is the time of year we pass a “wealth” of traditions to future generations.

We can pass our actual wealth to future generations, too. The family home or business can be part of our legacy.

In retirement, the family dwelling can become a management burden. Options vary. In Brooklyn, where home values have skyrocketed by 50 percent over the past decade, we may find our home is a far more valuable asset than anticipated. We may gift it to our children (mind the tax consequences), sell it to them (and continue living in it, if desired), or even loan them money for its purchase.

The family business is another ideal vehicle to transfer accumulated wealth, with priority on identifying a successor. Sometimes multiple siblings have worked in the business, and deciding which should inherit it can be daunting.

Occasionally, a valued employee is a better choice: Selling to a non-family member and disbursing the profits among relatives is another avenue for passing on wealth. Or, parents can gift voting and non-voting stock to their offspring. This helps ensure that heirs share the wealth.

Whether personal, commercial, or metaphorical, our wealth should be transferred to future generations as our legacy.Mark Seruya


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