January 8, 2007

Forward Motion
New York’s cover story on Michael Bloomberg elegantly captured his approach [“His American Dream,” by John Heilemann, December 11, 2006]. Clearly, the goal of the mayor’s meeting with Al From of the Democratic Leadership Council was to determine the plausibility of an independent run for the presidency. This country’s low voter turnout tells us that there are problems with the traditional two-party system. A third-party candidate with a progressive ideology and the capability of self-­financing will resonate with voters. The problem with many of the Democratic contenders is that the incessant need to raise money dilutes the candidates’ positions. Mayor Bloomberg does not have this demand on his time or agenda. It is important to keep an open mind toward his candidacy.
—Steven A. Ludsin, East Hampton, N.Y.

Reasons to Love
Congratulations on your “Reasons to Love New York Right Now” cover [December 25, 2006–January 1, 2007], which shows a panoply of healthy love relationships. As a psychologist, I have some advice for people who object to the forms of love that are displayed and who are not working on their prejudices in therapy: New York City is not the place for you.
—Patrick Suraci, Manhattan

How Sorry?
Steve Fishman’s article on the scandals surrounding Alan Hevesi [“The Penitent,” December 18, 2006] left me with little sympathy. Consider that in 2005, Hevesi not only earned $149,766 as state comptroller but also got pensions for having been a city comptroller, state assemblyman, and Queens College professor—along with Social Security disability—for a total income of over $300,000. The average constituent, based on the 2000 Census, earns about $40,000 a year. I wonder how much he gave to charity after picking the pockets of taxpayers.
—Larry Penner, Great Neck, N.Y.

While the press focuses on Alan Hevesi, I wonder why other elected officials aren’t being more closely examined. I understand that Giuliani provided police protection for his wife and girlfriend. It seems only fair.
—Mary Woods, Old Greenwich, Conn.

Dropping the Ball
In his wrap-up of the year in TV [“The Year in Culture: 2006,” December 18, 2006], Adam Sternbergh gives honorable mention to Showtime: “With Weeds, Sleeper Cell, Brotherhood, and Dexter, Showtime out-HBOed HBO.” Weeds is clever and entertaining. Sleeper Cell is okay, but it’s no 24. Dexter only deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as HBO because its plot is suspiciously similar to Epitafios, which aired in late ’05–early ’06 on HBO Signature. And Brotherhood seems to have been written by interns during a Writers Guild strike. Don’t forget HBO. Showtime doesn’t come close.
—Michael Shapiro, Manhattan

I was thrilled that John Leonard recognized what has devolved on ESPN and in the medium of televised sports [“The Year in Culture: 2006,” December 18, 2006]. These announcers and their programmers have turned sports reporting into professional wrestling. For an audio respite, I suggest investing some time in watching the English Premier League on Fox Soccer Channel—it is all about the game and the crowd.
—Jeff Fogelson, Cincinnati, Ohio

In Denial
Damn, I was really enjoying Kurt Andersen’s pointing out how psychotic Bush is [“The Imperial City: The Deniers’ Club,” December 18, 2006], until he says it’s telling that Bush quit drinking without going to AA! Does Andersen really think we’d be a happier nation if Bush were going to AA meetings, admitting he had no control of himself, turning himself over to a higher power, telling everyone he’s abstaining “one day at a time,” and deprecating everyone who (like the actual Bush) quit drinking without all this folderol?
—Stanton Peele, Chatham, N.J.

Correction: On our map of 14th Street (“Reasons to Love New York,” December 25, 2006–January 1, 2007), all businesses between University Place and Broadway were inadvertently eliminated; also, the Town & Village synagogue at 334 East 14th Street should have been listed.

January 8, 2007