I have difficulty recognizing myself in the comments attributed to me in Ted Merwin’s article (“Noah’s Ark Deli Sails,” Oct. 25). First off, I do not at all subscribe to the view that with the closing of Noah’s Art “an era has ended.” Noah’s Ark was never part of that era, and, it must be said, never possessed the magnetism, or popularity, of its predecessors.
Picking up on Jeffrey Gurock’s comment, the consumer of today in search of a satisfying kosher dining experience now has many other options. This includes the Lower East Side community itself, which has a wide array of kosher offerings in other Manhattan neighborhoods — or even Williamsburg, for that matter.
Furthermore, the Lower East Side of today is blessed with an excellent butcher’s shop boasting a broad selection of fresh glatt kosher takeout options, and a kosher supermarket with its own fulltime sushi chef. The local pizza restaurant is abuzz with customers from morn till night, five and a half days a week.
As the executive director of a Jewish nonprofit cultural organization, I am able to count upon these options to meet the needs of a clientele hailing from all points of the compass.
Finally, I dissociate myself completely from the remark, “People down here don’t have it in their Jewish DNA to spend money on restaurants,” whatever Ted Merwin believes he heard me say. What I wanted to say was that Noah’s Ark was not a good fit for the neighborhood and therefore failed to attract a critical mass of customers.
Executive Director, Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy
Note: The Jewish Week stands by the quotes attributed to Cohen in the story.