September 12, 2005

Creative Juices
Thank you for your profile of Marc Jacobs, a truly great man [“Lost and Found,” by Amy Larocca, September 5]. After graduating from Parsons School of Design in 1992, I interned under Marc Jacobs at Perry Ellis Collections. Marc was unfailingly friendly and accessible. At the time, I was also a devoted clubgoer and was out every night, often running into Marc at parties during the week. I admire his frankness about his addiction and recovery—I hit my bottom in late 1998 and have been sober ever since, thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous. He’s an inspiration to everyone who wants to recover but who questions whether sobriety and creativity are mutually exclusive.
—S. A. Wolf, Manhattan

Dr. Yes
There was something about your portrayal of Dr. James T. Goodrich in “Separation Anxiety” [by Laurie Abraham, August 22] that left a bad taste in my mouth. At Jacobi Medical Center, a large public hospital in the Bronx, Dr. Goodrich neither coddles his patients nor back-slaps his colleagues, but is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to take care of pediatric neurosurgical problems. He does so without complaint and for little pay, which, to my mind, speaks volumes about the man.
—Joe Watson, the Bronx

About a Boy
I don’t hate Nick McDonell because he’s young, or good-looking, or privileged, or impeccably connected, or all the rest [“The Charmed Life of Nick McDonell,” by Ariel Levy, August 22]. McDonell’s problem is an inability to admit the possibility that the world is not an extension of the New York City private-school scene. Without a grounding self-critical impulse, McDonell will never be more than a second-rate chronicler of urban ennui.
—Jacob Savage, Princeton, N.J.

Ariel Levy’s profile of novelist Nick McDonell overlooked a vital influence on his artistic development: his mother and first editor, Joanie McDonell, an accomplished author herself. Nick’s best “connection” may be the genetic one he has to her.
—Eleanora Kennedy, Wainscott, N.Y.

Dem Bums
Bill Clinton must now live and share his own trailer-park antics with history [“Bill Clinton’s Plan for World Domination,” by Jennifer Senior, August 22]. Coupled with his pathologies—PADD (public-attention-deficit disorder) and SAG (situationally acquired grandiosity)—his narrative is puny and pathetic. However, Jennifer Senior sounds like the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd in her prime.
—Petros M. Spanakos, Brooklyn

It’s heartwarming to know that Bill Clinton is looking to “shore up his legacy.” That will be a big task; his legacy needs major shoring up. It’s called ground zero. Thanks to his mind-boggling failure to protect his country—by failing to respond to the attacks on the U.S.S. Cole and African embassies, refusing to allow the sharing of vital information among our intelligence services, and cutting and running in Somalia, Clinton created a legacy that will take years to undo.
—Barton Weiss, Manhattan

Bill Clinton’s present status reminds me of a charactization once employed by F. Scott Fitzgerald (in a short story published in 1926 called The Rich Boy). He is “the gypsy of the unattainable.” 
—Al Sachs, Key West, Fla.

Up a Creek
As a wild salmon aficionado and all-around fresh-fish fanatic, I was shocked to see Jonathan Meyer from Wild Edibles quoted in “There Are Only So Many Fish in the Sea” [by Clive Thompson, July 25] as an expert on the subject. Is this not the same man whose company was found to be selling farmed salmon falsely labeled as wild (the New York Times, “Stores Say Wild Salmon, But Tests Say Farm Bred,” April 10)? This is tantamount to stealing. I would hate to see such a grievous gastronomic sin swept under the carpet.
—Erica La Blanc, Brooklyn

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September 12, 2005