July 17, 2006

Summer Issue
Kudos on the “Summer Issue” [July 3–10]. Although I’m certain readers with obscure interests will write to express their disappointment that their nontraditional sport or hobby was not highlighted, you did a fine job outlining a plethora of activities. Thank you for this comprehensive issue.
—Robyn Shumer, Highland Park, N.J.

For the vast majority of us who lived and worked in New York City in the early eighties, the obliteration of every surface on every subway car with graffiti was a nightmarish symptom of a city out of control [“Graffiti in Its Own Words,” by Dimitri and Gregor Ehrlich, July 3–10]. I regret that your hipper-than-thou, simpering glorification of this vandalism will only encourage its comeback.
—Gregory Schwed, Manhattan

Long Beach Island
I read with interest David Kushner’s story “No Quiet on the Ocean Front” [July 3-10]. I owned two homes on Long Beach Island—in North Beach Haven and in Loveladies Harbor. I owned the former home at the time of the March 1962 storm. I arrived at the island two days after it hit and talked my way past the patrol guarding the entrance. I take exception to the comment in your article that the storm leveled nearly half of the island. Although many of the oceanfront houses were destroyed or damaged, it’s a gross exaggeration to say that half of the island was leveled. And, yes, several people were killed, not from the storm itself, but rather from their idiotic desire to get into their boats and joyride.
—Jim Welham, Laguna Beach, Calif.

Although I agree with most of the recommendations in your “Urban Etiquette Handbook” [June 26], I beg to differ regarding the fortunes to be found in the back of a taxicab: My 8-year-old daughter and I recently found $261 in loose bills, and we have not been featured in any blockbusters that I’m aware of. We would have gladly shared it with the driver—had he been even remotely as attentive to his passengers as he was to the party on his cell phone.
—Raleigh Mayer, Manhattan

Gitmo Lawyers
Stacy Sullivan’s “The Minutes of the Guantánamo Bay Bar Association” [June 26] was excellent. However, it seemed to imply that “gender relations have proved difficult” for lawyers at Paul, Weiss. That suggestion is inaccurate and mischaracterizes the relationship we have developed with our clients. Cultural sensitivity is something we strive to achieve in all of our cases, and the Guantánamo cases are no different. Although we do dress in certain ways and attempt to comply with certain cultural customs when we meet with our clients, it is not fair or accurate to say that we “wouldn’t look some of [our] clients in the eye,” and it is certainly not accurate to suggest that we have any kind of problem—gender-related or otherwise—with our clients.
—Julia Tarver Mason, Partner Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Dogs in the Park
Robert Holden should be commended for bringing to light the out-of-control dogs in our parks [“Intelligencer: Free-Range Pups,” by Janelle Nanos, June 26]. But why stop there? Some people have vicious, unrestrained children. I recently saw two charge a young aspiring model-actress in Central Park. They had her pinned against her Ralph Lauren Home Collection beach blanket, menacing her with bubbles and toy trucks. You know what else I saw at the park? Dirt. Lots of it. Everywhere. Very unsanitary. Once we get rid of all the dogs, the children, and the dirt, then maybe our parks will once again be safe for Holden, model-actresses, and me.
—Bonnie Brown, Manhattan

Best Docs
I always look forward to “Best Doctors,” [June 19] and I especially liked the recent issue. However, it’s a shame that the moment you decided to design a cover featuring two doctors, no one felt strongly enough that one of them should be a woman.
—Jennifer Kopp, the Bronx

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July 17, 2006