May 15, 2006

Bridge and Tunnel
While I loved your roundup of “Brooklyn Style” [May 1], a comment in Adam Platt’s “Scratchpad” in the same issue perturbed me. He writes, “We wonder what kind of bridge-and-tunnel madhouse [Buddakan] will be six months from now” [“Chinatown This Is Not”]. There is no way to get to Brooklyn, the mecca of hipness and subject of your multipage homage, without crossing a bridge or a tunnel. Why does Platt assume that non–bridge-and-tunnel types make for better dinner company? Paying exorbitant rent for a studio with a Murphy bed makes people more agitated, not more desirable. Born-and-bred Manhattanites don’t necessarily spruce up an environment more than regular folks who can enjoy a fine meal without worrying about whether they’re cool enough to be in the room.
—Iya Davidson, Brooklyn Heights

Roosevelt Island Tram
Regarding the cheap shot to Roosevelt Island in “It Happened Last Week” [“Intelligencer,” by Mark Adams, May 1]: Yes, the 30-year-old tram had an electrical breakdown, but no one was hurt. Can the state-subsidized subway or Staten Island Ferry make the same claim? Adams opines that riders stuck in the tram must have “rued their decision to visit Roosevelt Island even more thoroughly than every other visitor.” I disagree. People are on waiting lists to live here, and our riverside promenades are happily crowded with bike riders, baby strollers, farmers’-market foragers, and international visitors eager to take in our world-class views.
—Matthew M. Katz, Roosevelt Island

Apocalypse Now
In an item about my recent lecture at the New York Open Center, you wrongly state that I predict “the apocalypse around 2012” [“Intelligencer: Lit Scenester Predicts Apocalypse,” by Ben Mathis-Lilley, May 8]. We are already in the apocalypse. In my book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, I propose that, in the next few years, humanity can enter into a new form of consciousness, creating new social institutions representing a different realization of time and space. In that sense, 2012 may represent our birthing into a higher state of awareness, rather than cataclysm, collapse, or “apocalypse.”
—Daniel Pinchbeck, Manhattan

Reading Wars
My children were caught in the crossfire of the ongoing educational skirmish described by Robert Kolker [“A Is for Apple, B Is for Brawl,” May 1]. My daughter learned to read at the height of the whole-language hype, routinely bringing home lists of spelling words whose only organizing principle was that they were found in the same piece of “literature.” When my son learned to read at the same school four years later, the pendulum had swung back to a phonics-infused approach. While both are now excellent writers, only my son takes joy in reading everything from the classics to Sports Illustrated. And though she is graduating with honors from an elite university, my daughter has spotty spelling skills and she rarely reads for pleasure (IMs, text messages, and Law & Order episode subtitles notwithstanding). Thenk yoo, hole langwidj.
—Laurie Yarnell, Rye, N.Y.

Spring Cleaning
I’ve suffered through many a juice fast, but Jill Pettijohn’s “nutritional cleanse” is a five-day feast [“Spring Cleaning,” by Katie Charles, Rebecca Milzoff, Janelle Nanos, Corrie Pikul, and Eric Wolff, April 24]! I’m on the last day, and I can say with candor that your skin will glow, your energy will soar, and your jeans will sag—all without missing a beat in a demanding 60-hour workweek. Next up: my apartment.
—Carol Ballock, Manhattan

On the Bowery
As one of the original developers of the East 3rd Street building that’s the subject of “Maritime on the Bowery Runs Aground” [“Intelligencer,” by Beth Landman, March 27], I can assure you that the building was originally designed to be a mixed-use building: dormitory, apartments, retail, and parking. One glance at the plans would prove it.
—Gerald Rosengarten, Manhattan

Correction: In “Brooklyn Style: A Brief History of Brooklyn Design,” by Rima Suqi (May 1), the chairs that were shown as examples of work from the 2003 “Brooklyn Designs” show should have been credited to Scott Braun.

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May 15, 2006