For Your Information, Mr. Big Apple, We Recently Celebrated Our Tenth Anniversary
Regarding Jim Kelly's "Creature Feature" (February 19), this is excellent journalism! This is the stuff of Pulitzers! Where did you find this writer, Jim Kelly? Great stuff! And from (I think) a relatively new publication.
Would You Let a Stranger Change Your Baby's Diapers?
I was delighted and quite intrigued by Jacob Bernstein's article on road rage ("Copping an Attitude," February 19). What makes road rage all the more mystifying is that the seemingly most innocuous person -- be it the one who changes your baby's diapers or the one sitting across from you in a local cafe sipping coffee and reading the Wall Street Journal -- could also be the proverbial road turd. The Eleventh Commandment should be "Thou shalt not sideswipe thy neighbor."
Under the Influence of Architects
Because of its content and possible implications, I feel obligated to respond to Matilde Batista's February 12 letter about Paula Park's article ("The Quintana Plan," January 22). The only way I can answer is from the heart.
Her father, Eugenio Batista, was a respected personality who strongly influenced my professional life. He was certainly not my professor in the enclosed environment of a classroom. I dealt with him and his ideas in the creative interaction that fluently occurs between an experienced architect and an emerging young creator. There were, of course, other basic influences: my father, Gropius, Le Corbusier, Sert, Rogers, Aalto, Picasso, Miró, Camus, Fernando Ortiz, and Lydia Cabrera, to name a few.
Life is like a rainbow, composed of a wide range of beautiful colors, of many influences structured into a vision. Eugenio's ideas, surely, were never about "decorative additions" to the façades of austere modern buildings. Neither did Ms. Park mean it in that rather simplistic way. The interpretation is wrong.
In reference to the title "The Quintana Plan," I can only guess that it was due to Ms. Park's reaction to a series of creative architectural and urbanistic ideas already set in motion at Florida International University. The Cuban National Heritage is adequately informed of this project.
The research and development of these ideas will help guide institutions and professionals toward achieving the goal of saving, preserving, and propelling into the future the extraordinary but much maligned Cuban cities. All this based on a creative, free-enterprise system of government. Time will tell.
Peter Rainer, Taco Bell Manager
Regarding Pamela Senger's lambasting me ("Letters," February 12) for my comments about New Times film critics: Ms. Senger is obviously of the same ilk as critic Peter Rainer -- a neurotic malcontent reactionary who can't admit that any present-day art is worthwhile and can only bemoan bygone days.
Pamela, if Peter Rainer deplores the state of modern films, why on earth would he be a film critic? It would be far simpler to manage a Taco Bell by day and rent Bergman and Kurosawa movies at night. All I asked was that Mr. Rainer refrain from revealing the conclusion of a film and that he critique films within their genres. New Times restaurant critic Jen Karetnick manages to do that. She doesn't review a deli, then whine that there is no caviar or French cheese available.
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Shanie and Lionel -- Together Again
About a year ago I received a phone call from a woman: "See if you can guess who I am. We were acquainted when we were young, but it's been 35 years or more. We once had an intimate conversation for hours and hours on the steps of a church on East Eighteenth Street and Avenue P in Brooklyn, but we didn't f---!"
"How much time have I got?" I asked.
She laughed. Two days later she called back.
I got it on my third guess: Shanie Jacobs. And so we renewed our "auld acquaintance." I took her with me to the New Times open-house party. The managing editor at the time, Tom Finkel, said he would assign a writer to do a story about her. He not only kept his word, he obviously picked the right person in Judy Cantor ("The Cachet of Crochet," February 5), who wrote a beautiful and true article -- with no downside. Well worth the wait, in my opinion.
I'm pleased to see her receive some of the appreciation and respect she deserves, especially because, like a sperm donor, I made that one tiny, initial contribution.