To the editor:

I would like to comment on Wednesday’s “On Broadway, past must be lesson” article. The author claims that a specialty running store will not cater to the general Yale population’s everyday needs and the vacancy could be better filled by a “party store” that sells “everything from inflatable palm trees to naughty nurse costumes to toga clips.” I disagree — everyone I know owns a pair of running shoes, but not everyone I know wants to go to a party with an inflatable palm tree in the corner.

According to Jessica Feinstein’s article on Payne Whitney Gymnasium (“Navigating the culture of pain” 10/29), roughly 1,200 Yalies work out in the Israel Fitness Center at the gym every day; this number documents only recreational gym-goers, and does not consider the athletes on Yale’s many varsity and club level teams who also need running shoes. Of course, some varsity teams receive discounted shoes through the athletic department, but the choices for athletes are often limited and club teams do not have this luxury: in fact, several club teams receive less than $100 total from the athletic department, about enough to subsidize 20 pairs of shoes $5 each. A running shoe store on Broadway would make getting workout footwear much easier than going to the Post Road Mall to find a Foot Locker.

The author suggests putting in a bagel shop in the vacancy that could conveniently serve the “other 10 residential colleges” would be a better tenant for the opening — as if the Broadway strip weren’t already overflowing with perfectly good food. Maybe we members of the other 10 colleges would do well to buy ourselves some running shoes at Sound Runner and jog on over to Bruegger’s Bagels. America is obese enough without adding more restaurant options within crawling distance. Sound Runner is a good choice for a store on Broadway since it fills an important niche not occupied by any other store and is centrally located with easy access for all.

And in the meantime, please stop bashing Alexia Crawford: it may not be the greatest store ever to hit Broadway but things could be a lot worse.

D. Tyler Coyle ’05

November 20, 2003