Thursday, January 24, 2008

Steve Cuozzo Notices the Kooks

Over at the NY Daily News:

Ground Zero's borders deserve a patina of dignity for anyone wishing to recall the World Trade Center that was, to mourn the victims of 9/11 or to contemplate the site's future.

It's bad enough the view remains bracketed by the blackened hulks of 130 Liberty St. and Fiterman Hall. But at least there's a theoretical, contamination-related excuse for the eyesores' continued presence.

But not the flimsiest justification exists for the rowdy, open-air bazaar of illegal junk-peddlers and in-your-face conspiracy-mongers along Church, Vesey and Liberty streets - an indefensible rupture of civic order in a city that's managed to shut down squeegee men and three-card-monte games.

No one can object to the First Amendment right to display or sell 9/11-con- spiracy nonsense (or plain junk). But that doesn't absolve the city and the PA of enforcing their own rules - and making sure visitors can watch what's going on without being hassled as if they're in a Third World flea market.