Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The proposed "Ground Zero" mosque is farther away than a Fox News viewer thought

I have a framed advertisement from the back pages of an engineering book dating from the 1890s.  The ad is for a store selling "Rackarock," a high explosive for destroying rock in tunnels.  The explosive was sold on Park Place, just a block or two from City Hall.  There was no need to keep a seller of high explosives away from such a sensitive political target.   The store's location, on Park Place, was a non-issue. 

Two blocks means a lot in Manhattan.  A lot of difference.  West Fifteenth Street is in Chelsea, but West 13th is in the Village. 

There's a liquor store on 40th between Eighth and Ninth.  Two blocks north of it is Holy Cross, Father Duffy's old parish church.  It's the oldest building on 42nd Street, dating from about 1882.  Should the liquor store be moved because it defiles the sanctified space of Holy Cross?
Should the peep shows and porn shops on Eighth Avenue be moved?
No and No.  Though the two concerns are not compatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church, no one calls for their relocation to an area farther away.  It will remain a non-issue until some fanatic comes along and starts pestering people and yelling about it. 

The following was sent my way through a newsgroup that serves NYC licensed sightseeing guides.  I don't know the original poster and can't verify the accuracy of the statement.  But I do know that the proposed mosque is to be on Park Place, a good two-and-a-half blocks from the WTC site.  It was right about there that high explosives were once sold, a stone's throw from City Hall.  It's printed verbatim. 

"I received the following from a friend who is an official, licensed by

the city, NYC Tour Guide.
I've done a few tours lately for a southern based Christian
travel company.  They always want to see the World Trade Center site on the tour to pay their respects (although it bugs me when they say "Will you take us to 911?" - as if I had a magic time machine.)
Anyway, I had a group the other day ask me to walk them over to the
site of the proposed mosque, which I did.  About three blocks into the trip to Park Place, they started complaining "why do we have to walk this far? We thought the mosque was right where the towers were, this is nowhere near it at all!"
Therein lies the myth. They were not so vocal about opposition after
that.  In fact one lady even told me that she's completely changed her
position and felt she'd been lied to by FOX News.' "

Google me as TourguideStan. I do walking, bike, pedicab and bus tours. Free tours for wounded vets, through www.hainyc.org.

As TourguideStan I give free advice to those traveling to NYC, on the NYC forum on www.tripadvisor.com.

Best wishes,

Stan O'Connor
licensed sightseeing guide
member, Guide Association of NYC
member, NYC Pedicab Owner Association




New York City, the greatest city in the world.