August 22, 2005

Unstoppable,” by John Heilemann [August 15], though informative, seemed needlessly politicized. Why link all things Republican with a retailer whose headquarters lie in Bill Clinton’s home state? Purchasing behavior is based on several factors, none of which tend to be one’s political persuasion. If Sam Walton were around today, he would see Queens’ immigrant, blue-collar population as an ideal fit for Wal-Mart’s target demographic—one that has a need and desire for discounted goods and services. This is a natural business-growth strategy, not a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
—Renée Reynolds, Manhattan

Who’s the Fairest?
I’m stunned by the number of beauties you found at Bette, Amy Sacco’s newest venture [“The Beautiful People,” August 15]. Is this really the only city eatery where good-looking people go?
—Norah Salazar, Manhattan

Surely, at the very least, fraternizing was in play when picking your 50 most beautiful New Yorkers. As it turns out, your talent scout Yvonne Force Villareal is president of the Art Production Fund, and Amy Sacco (owner of Bette) is on its board. I only hope that this issue is, as the cover text suggests, the first and only of its kind.
—Michael Mahle, Manhattan

Amazing that there doesn’t appear to be one curvy, overweight, or otherwise plus-size person who ended up on your list. (At least you showcased a good ethnic mix, though.) Funny, because when it came to your “Approval Matrix” in the same issue, those Dove ads were deemed brilliant. 
—Diane Librizzi, Manhattan

Yes, the people you included were beautiful, but where were all the mothers? The beautiful teachers, nurses, firemen? They are the most beautiful: They improve the lives of fellow New Yorkers much more deeply than by appearances alone. 
—Sophia Anna Sedlis, Manhattan

With the exception of Melissa Hillmer (the Rockette), there wasn’t a true, honest-to-goodness smile on any of those faces. They all look smug or angry. If that’s the face of New York, then no thanks, I’ll stay in suburbia. The view is much better.
—Lori Moss, Cold Spring, N.Y.

I like it much better when you give me my fix of shallow New Yorkers in print, not in a photo-collage.
—Derek Reese, Hoboken, N.J.

Invisible Men
Kurt Andersen seems sympathetic to racial profiling when he claims to be able to “predict with a fair degree of certainty what an Al Qaeda terrorist looks like” [“The Imperial City: Damned If We Do, and Don’t” August 15]. I’m not that bold. Terrorists don’t all come in the Islamic-fundamentalist mold. Andersen should take recent history into account and encourage the police to watch out for people who look like Eric Rudolph (Atlanta Olympics and abortion-clinic bombings), Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City), and Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber), among others. They are all white men, and their kind have detonated bombs on American soil.
—Dave Althoff, Manhattan

Oh Captain, My Captain
I was dismayed to read your assertion that “Jeter’s vacant eyes” are “illuminated only when the red light comes on” [“Gary Sheffield is the Yankees’ MVP. Just Ask Him,” by Stephen Rodrick, August 15]. Derek Jeter eats, lives, and breathes the Yankees. We look forward to telling our grandkids how lucky we were to watch him play from the start of his rookie season until his retirement as a New York Yankee.
—Felise Gagelberg, East Northport, N.Y.

Bad Boy
When I was 7, I spent an entire winter break getting harassed by a boy named Jason. He singled me out and scared the hell out of me on the slopes every day with his dangerous behavior. Years later, I bumped into this kid at Dwight-Englewood School, and he was as smug as ever. This little sociopath grew up to be Jason Itzler [“The $2,000-an-Hour Woman,” by Mark Jacobson, July 18]. It’s nice to see that not much has changed.
—Name Withheld, Morganville, N.J.

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August 22, 2005