Letters from the Issue of January 17, 2008
Thanks, We Think
Now you've got it: Jason Handelsman's January 10 article about Rick Ross, "Still Hustlin'," was 10 times better than the garbage he wrote about Bigg D ("Bigg Pimpin'," December 13). The focus was on Rick Ross and his music, not on fried chicken and strippers. Thanks!
Sin of Omission
You missed a couple: I'm surprised and disappointed that in his year-end review of the local art scene, "Baby Steps" (December 27), Carlos Suarez De Jesus didn't mention the Vizcaya Contemporary Arts Program, which launched two great new projects this past November, one by Catherine Sullivan and another by Cristina Lei Rodriguez.
We're here!: Though we certainly don't mind being compared to restaurants such as those run by Michael Mina and David Bouley in Lee Klein's "A Pretty Good Year," (December 27), I have to say that when it comes to a comparison of how much time my partner, Govind Armstrong, spends in Miami, we are not so similar. Govind has been very involved in the Miami community this past year and has spent almost as much time in South Beach as he has in Los Angeles. We were blessed this year that Govind had the opportunity to release his first cookbook, a wonderfully exciting milestone for any chef! This took him all over the world on a book tour, but I can say proudly that our kitchen did not suffer in his absence, because Chef de Cuisine Jason Smith and his kitchen staff are second to none.
When not in our kitchen, Govind could be found all over town participating in local benefits and pitching in for local causes. Our restaurant in Miami is in no way a Vegas-style "licensing deal" where chefs are paid big money to lend their names to faceless businesses. Table 8 is a mom-and-pop operation. We have put our blood, sweat, and tears into our South Beach location. I have moved permanently from Los Angeles and have been in that restaurant day and night for the past year and a half. You wouldn't have to ask around too much to find that Govind and I have truly embedded ourselves in the local community, and won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
This is the best you've got?: Regarding your cover story about the best movies of 2007, "Hit List" (December 27): What are your critics thinking, besides trying to up the esoteric-obscure-film ante over one another? Did those numbskulls even think to mention the truly best film of 2007, the Scarface for the new millennium, the edutainment work of art American Gangster? Hello? Zodiac? The most forgettable film of the year. Eastern Promises? Viggo Mortenson had me rolling in the aisles with that horrible accent, not to mention the fact that the movie left you dangling, guessing the outcome of his bloody climb to the top of the mob. Hot Fuzz is no Shaun of the Dead, that's for sure. It's fine for the blimey punters, but it didn't translate well to these shores; it honestly was a cop-out for its brilliant creators, Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright.
Via the Internet
We've Got Rights Too
Taking issue: I'd like to respond to comments made by two readers who wrote letters that ran under the heading "Racist Washing" in your December 6 issue.
Marie Nadine Pierre's comments about feeling sorry for "poor whites who feel that the country has to remain 'sovereign'" and her contention that blacks "fight like hell to transform [themselves] into whites" are absurd. Rights are earned often at the cost of lives. Privileges are gifts bestowed upon some by others as a courtesy. A non-English-speaking person excoriating me for not being able to speak Spanish in my own English-speaking country conjures up nothing but the image of a one-way ticket to deportation.
We don't ask much of immigrants other than that they get here legally — like many of our ancestors did — learn how to speak the English language, and abide by our laws. Miami has become a refugee camp comprising Cubans, Haitians, Central and South Americans, and assorted races from the Caribbean. People who were driving donkeys yesterday are now driving cars. People who speak Kreyol and do not read English road signs careen across five lanes in a two-ton steel cage moving at 80 miles per hour. This is not Haiti, Cuba, and/or any other Third-World camp for refugees.
Finally, to Myriam Lubin: Thanks for your concise analysis. You are correct in your proposal to either accept everyone or reject everyone. There absolutely should be a revision of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy: no foot. In fact you have inspired me to create a new immigration jingle: "Come on your rafts, tires, and boats; come on anything in the night that floats. Land on the beach or in a beach cabana, but be prepared, for on the morrow you shall be immediately deported."
Thanks for the shit story: Miami is lucky to have Lee Klein and Dr. Bob Mitchell calling attention to the deplorable state of our food in "Eat Shit and Die" (November 22).
They are part of a growing nationwide effort to clean up the farms. There's a lot of good information at www.foodroutes.org. Klein's story mentions Michael Pollan's book The Omnivore's Dilemma, which is great reading. The chapter about Polyface Farms in Virginia is proof that farming doesn't have to be destructive and can produce healthy products.
Sophie Annan Jensen
Scooped indeed: I just got around to reading Lee Klein's "Eat Shit and Die" (like an old-fashioned cow, I grab these long articles and then ruminate over them when I have the time). I liked the bit of humor he put into a very serious piece of writing, although writing of such a shitty subject does lend itself to such. I also liked the little dig at the Miami Herald, which once again, as I have told them time after time, has been scooped (oops) by New Times.
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