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February 9, 2004

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Forget Paris
There is no place like Balthazar [“Where to Eat Now 2004,” by Adam Platt, January 5]. While I love Paris, whenever I travel to New York and go to Balthazar, I don’t miss it. Balthazar is unique; there’s no New York without it.
—Elissa Berrian, Indianapolis, Ind.

Baby Face
Allan Chernoff’s “The Mouths of Babes” [January 5], about the brilliant and talented doctors at New York University Medical Center’s cleft-palate team, was right on the mark. Our daughter, who is now 5 years old, was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. Like the Chernoffs, we wanted the best outcome for our child, with the fewest possible surgeries. As a result of Dr. Court Cutting and Dr. Barry Grayson’s technical innovations, our daughter Dani’s results were better than anything we could have hoped for. Every time we see her beautiful smile, we say a silent thank-you to the amazingly gifted professionals who are able to reshape the faces of these babies. If there are miracle workers in the 21st century, then Dr. Cutting and Dr. Grayson are they. Our hats are off to the entire staff at NYU. Many thanks to them for allowing Dani to benefit from their wonderful team.
—Deborah Shoflick, West Hartford, Conn.

Parents’ Choice Award
Congratulations to the Chernoff family! The baby girls are beautiful, and their parents are to be lauded. It can be so difficult to do things for our children that they hate in the moment but that benefit them in the long run. Setting limits, helping with homework, providing consequences appropriate for a child’s age are what I normally think of. But what these parents (and doctors) did for the girls is truly inspiring.
—Diane H. Dillon, Manhattan

Bulls And Boors
Given all the recent articles in New York Magazine about couples having and raising children, the most shocking and grotesque sentence appeared in James J. Cramer’s column [“This Bottom Line: Onward, Upward,” January 5]. He recalls his wife, in labor, watching on in horror as he “barked out orders to cover the Dow” to his hedge-fund partner on his cell phone, lest they lose a fortune and their shorts. It’s bad enough when these cretins do this at the gym, but during the birth of a child? If this is a product of our time and place, then there is no longer a God who can help us.
—Leo Grinhauz, Maplewood, N.J.


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