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March 14-21, 2005

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Yank Pedro
As a New Yorker (and Yankees fan), I could not believe my eyes when I saw Pedro Martinez on the cover of your magazine [“Los Mets,” by Chris Smith, March 7]. After the way he acted during Game 3 of the ALCS in 2003—those crazy pitches and (who can forget?) the Zimmer incident—this man without class does not deserve a cover, let alone to play for a New York team.
—Mariann Bloor, Manhattan

Gravy Train
Don’t you find it ironic that you are doing stories on how to fix the MTA [“Derailed,” by Clive Thompson, February 28]? After all, it was the media that gave us this broken, quasi-independent agency in the first place. Remember when Rudy Giuliani was named “Man of the Year” when he was mayor, despite his being responsible for decimating the agency’s funding? He cut most of the city’s subsidies so he could give those billions to Steinbrenner, Murdoch, and the rest of the moguls who would help him on his lifelong journey to the White House.
—Christopher X. Brodeur, Manhattan

Just because the new Staten Island Ferry terminal doesn’t suit your elitist inner-borough needs right now doesn’t mean that it is not useful to a very real, taxpaying group of New York City citizens. I agree that the MTA is performing poorly, but every time there is a problem, it seems like the first place to make cuts is Staten Island. No wonder you were so comfortable dumping your trash here for so long.
—Chris Geiser, Staten Island

Inquire Within
It’s good to hear that asexuals have a support group [“Mating: Shifting to Neutral,” by Amy Sohn, March 7]. However, as a senior psychologist at the North Shore–Long Island Jewish Medical Center’s Sexuality Center for 22 years, I can attest that the causes of lack of desire are often complex and difficult to understand. I’m not suggesting that we pathologize it, or that it is shameful, but to rationalize a complete lack of desire as “just different” is silly.
—Joel D. Block, Melville, N.Y.

Christogate
To all you curmudgeons and self-inflated art critics huffing and puffing over Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s intentions [“Art: Curtain Up,” by Mark Stevens, February 28]: Quite simply, The Gates were portals to a place of your own creation in your imagination—provided you still have an imagination. Stop searching for answers as to what they meant and what they represented. The Gates were a catalyst for memories of all things wondrous and fanciful. They were a Utopia of everything and nothingness on the grandest possible scale. And like most works of art, it doesn’t even matter what the artists’ intent was; in the end, it was your experience of it that mattered.
—Peter Robles, Manhattan

As a former grants administrator at the NEA, I can vouch for the myriad uses to which $20 million could be put in supporting community arts programs and art in our public schools, where teachers routinely lay out costs for materials from their own salaries.
—Carol Lipton, Brooklyn

Mark Stevens writes that Christo’s The Gates was “pooh-poohed by the art Establishment.” This came as a surprise to me—I’ve read only positive reviews from art critics—so I was very interested in hearing about these Establishment types who dissed the installation. Yet there is not a single example of said pooh-poohing in Stevens’s column.
—Mike Di Paola, Manhattan

After walking around much of this winter dressed as Nanook of the North, I found your Spring Fashion issue [February 14] most welcome. Your splendiferous presentation of frolicky frocks was just the remedy for the end-of-winter mulligrubs. Having it concurrent with The Gates in Central Park was a stroke of serendipity.
—Joan Mary Macey, Binghamton, N.Y.

A Tizzy fo’ Shizzy
Poor Lizzie Grubman just can’t seem to get out of her own way [“Lizzie Grubman’s Star Vehicle,” by Adam Sternbergh, March 7]. “No one believed in hip-hop but me”? I hate to break it to you, Lizzie, but if my friends and I were driving around the suburbs of Dallas in 1989 blaring N.W.A’s “Fuck tha Police,” it’s safe to say that hip-hop was mainstream before you got out of high school. I suppose we should also congratulate Lizzie on her foresight in booking the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, co-founding Microsoft, and casting Pacino in The Godfather. Is there anything she can’t do?
—Ethan Farber, Manhattan

Credit Trouble
Kurt Andersen failed to grasp the full scope of the cynicism liberals have about the recent Iraqi elections [“The Imperial City: When Good News Feels Bad,” February 21]. He is correct to note that some on the left wish for failure in Iraq at all costs. What Andersen fails to point out is that the elections in Iraq happened despite the Bush administration, not because of it. Bush had originally wished for a handpicked committee to draft a constitution for the country, not a free, democratically elected assembly to do the job. It was through the protests of the Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani that the elections occurred. And yet the administration has taken credit for the success of the elections, and the American media have followed suit.
—Paul Menchaca, Brooklyn

Loman on the Totem Pole
James Atlas’s book excerpt was one of the most moving pieces I’ve read this year [“The Big F,” by James Atlas, February 21]. I enjoyed the Arthur Miller references, as I am still mourning his death, although as a 39-year-old female, I have little in common with Willy Loman, except a sales job. I don’t know if I’ll share Mr. Atlas’s book with my 50-year-old husband, because I’d hate to see a grown man cry.
—Lisa Dobbs, Atlanta, Ga.

Correction
In “She Can’t Be Bought,” by Christopher Mason (March 7), the artist Eric Fischl was misidentified as being represented by Larry Gagosian. Although Fischl has had his work shown on occasion at various Gagosian galleries, he has had his work represented by the Mary Boone Gallery continuously since 1982.

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