1. Who you calling Okie? In “Bloody and Bloodier” (August 20), James J. Cramer split readers into armed camps—those who recognized wisdom in his doomsaying and those who saw a crass attempt to bully the Fed into bailing out Wall Street. Condé Nast Portfolio’s blog accused Cramer, not for the first time, of hyperbole, arguing that his references to certain “worthless” mortgage-backed bonds were inaccurate; even when Cuba stopped paying down its debt, Portfolio noted, those bonds retained some value. Also, a new constituency weighed in—two Ontario, California, natives took exception to Cramer’s description of their hometown as a “faraway onetime Okie haunt.” Wrote Ms. S. Dhuyvetter: “You remind me more of a[n] Okie with the dusty, bowl-like haircut you sport ... Ontario shaped some pretty amazing people that went on to make a huge difference.” Added Dr. John R. Johnson, now of Manhattan: “I’ve met many more ‘Okies’ in NYC than in Ontario!”
2. Emily Nussbaum, who last year wrote about the brutally candid parenting Website UrbanBaby (“Mothers Anonymous,” July 24, 2006), had her most recent story “The Nuclear Family, Exploded” (August 20) discussed on the site. The talk was friendly, we’re relieved to report. A couple of threads went like this:
➼ I thought that article was awesome … very fair and balanced and realistic.
➼ Those people kind of sounded like freaks. (“I heard a voice from God while I was jogging…”)
➼ I know them (the dh [dear husband] is our dentist) and they are really lovely, selfless people.
➼ I loved how honest the one mom was. It was like UB [UrbanBaby]—in public!
Then the discussion veered into last week’s cover story, “Why New Yorkers Last Longer,” by Clive Thompson, who happens to be Emily’s husband.
➼ Even more interesting is how much longer New Yorkers live!
➼ Totally! I figured I was shaving years off my life living here.
3. In the Dept. of Isolated Pockets of Outrage, we were accused of sexism by Kelly Gordon of Brooklyn for describing Suzanne Vega as “well preserved” (“Lady of the Canyons,” July 16). Another reader denounced us for daring to impugn J.K. Rowling in “Harry Potter and the Ignominious Cop-Out,” (August 13). “It seems you have forgotten the key ingredient,” wrote an anonymous Harry Potter enthusiast from Hoboken. “It is a fictional, magical world.”
FROM A READER
Live on Brighton Beach
Though Fifth Avenue storefronts would have us think otherwise, the summer is not quite over. We know this because readers are taking photos of themselves wearing hot pants and reading our mag on New York beaches. Well, it was only one reader, but we had to run this image of Andy Hall on a recent Sunday on Brighton Beach.
“I saw the magazine and knew I’d found my ideal beach read. Then, as luck would have it, Sunday was this beautiful beach day. With my best friend busy boy-watching, I had all this time to enjoy the simple pleasures of cold Corona and lowbrow-brilliant. It was my summer moment: good magazine + cold beer + perfect beach day.”
—Andy Hall, Manhattan