Reviews | Should New York City continue to eat al fresco?

We love to eat outdoors and share it with the community!

Elzi Volk
Perry, New York

For the publisher:

As a long-time frequent tourist to New York City, I hope that a reasonable compromise will be reached between the city, neighborhoods and the food industry when it comes to alfresco dining and sidewalk cafes. For the most part, they are wonderful and should continue, as they add a charming vibe to the city.

I just spent two full weeks in the city after a two year absence given the pandemic and really enjoyed my daily visits to the variety of cafes in my neighborhood, meeting people from all walks of life while breaking bread . Such experiences contributed significantly to my visit, and when I return next year, I look forward to having them again.

Vincent Linares
Kula, Hawaii

For the publisher:

Re “Looming Fight on Faith, Funds and Child Care” (front page, November 15):

For example, religious groups complain that their failure to meet non-discrimination requirements could prevent them from receiving federal largesse for their child care centers. That is, they not only want to be allowed to continue their discriminatory practices, but they also want to receive taxpayer funds while doing so.

No one is suggesting that secular groups should be exempt from non-discrimination policies. We are being asked to allow religious groups, and only religious groups, to maintain their sectarianism. It is disturbing, and perhaps ironic, that those who claim to represent the love of God on earth also assert a unique right to disadvantage people on the basis of their gender or sexuality.

Marc Gold
Sleepy Hollow, New York

For the publisher:

You report that church groups are lobbying for “a huge new injection of federal money” from President Biden’s preschool and child care plans. They complain that in order to receive the funds, the non-discriminatory language of the provision would no longer allow them to refuse to hire gay employees, to give preference to applicants of their own faith, and to refuse to welcome students with disabilities.

They want to use federal funds obtained in part by taxing gay citizens to exclude gay citizens, taxing followers of certain religions to exclude those followers, and taxing citizens with disabilities to exclude citizens with disabilities.

These practices are immoral. Their supporters like to invoke the First Amendment, claiming that such behavior is expressly permitted by the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion. What they ignore is that these activities constitute the imposition of religious practices from one group to another, which is exactly what the amendment was designed to prohibit.


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