Letters from the Issue of February 3-9, 2005

Hospital attacks, Mad Doggie Disease, art liquor, Cali memories

I like to end my letters with a positive suggestion. Here it is: I suggest that steak always be served with the vodka at art openings.

David Arthur Walters

South Beach

Bravura Performance

Not the opera -- the review: I have read all the newspaper reports on the Florida Grand Opera's production of Benjamin Britten's Paul Bunyan and found Octavio Roca's "Myths Over America" (January 13) to be the clearest, fairest, and most objective.

Having been present at two rehearsals (including dress) plus opening night, I was later distressed at the lack of objectivity in the reviews from other critics, almost as if they had some agenda to uphold.

I live in Italy and happened to be in Miami last month. I hope in future visits to see productions at this level.

Sharon Sage

Florence, Italy

More Than Just Drug Cartels

Cali also knows how to party: I read Leila Cobo's story about La Feria de Cali ("Pura Rumba," January 13) and wanted to say that every year around Christmas my mind goes back to my first (and last) trip to Cali, Colombia, in 1987. It was also my first time drinking aguardiente.

When our chiva headed out in the boonies to pick up more people, we decided to get on the roof toward the very back. In those days I could hold my liquor (so I thought). I went to get up as the bus started moving and the next thing I knew, I was on the ground watching the red taillights fade into the distance.

I sobered up at the thought of being a gringo in the middle of nowhere, of being robbed -- or worse, kidnapped. Luckily another chiva came along, and it took me in pursuit of the one from which I'd fallen. Eventually I met up with my so-called friends in Cali's rumba district. It turned out to be a great night, followed by many more in the succeeding months.

All you hear about Colombia is the negative. I was all over the country and only had one minor problem at an army roadblock, but a handful of pesos cleared up the misunderstanding. (The bottom line about Colombia is this: There are certain places you just don't go.) Congratulations to Leila Cobo for a well-told story that did not mention drugs, kidnappings, or violence of any kind.

Frank Sudore


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