April 2, 2007

The Skinny on London
I’m a Manhattanite who visits London every summer with my British hubby to give our son “culture” [“London (The Other New York),” March 26]. Here’s the skinny: Londoners are often repressed people who spend a lot of time drunk or high. They make up extraneous rules and obey them. For example: In the parks, using cameras is prohibited to protect children from pedophiles. In London, Indian and Greek food is better; the rest can’t compare with New York’s. Culturally, museums are cheaper in London (hey, it’s Europe), and the West End isn’t all sugary musicals. London fashion is more wearable than New York fashion. After two weeks of being in London, though, I usually miss New York. Unless it’s over 100 degrees here.
Alina Braverman-Berzack, Manhattan

My husband and I recently lived in London for a year and had a magical experience. I disagree with Alan Cumming and Bill Nighy that Londoners are difficult socially. During that year we were embraced by our neighbors and returned to New York with many new friends. London is a big city that goes at a much gentler pace. Though the streets are lined with cars and buses, one never hears a horn blowing. A part of us remains in our other favorite city.
Jennifer Dorn, Manhattan

With regard to “Where Is the Art Groovier?,” I’d like to point out a chasm between the two art capitals. In London’s galleries, such is the snobbish atmosphere that the staff often seems annoyed that you’ve had the gall to drop by and take in the exhibition. In New York’s Chelsea, the galleries are busy and welcoming. Also, London galleries call exhibition openings “private views” or “PVs.” I suppose we have to comfort ourselves with the illusion of exclusivity and the weekly charade of wondering if it matters that you don’t have an official invite (it doesn’t). New York’s more egalitarian attitude is expressed in the proper name for these things: exhibition openings.
James Westcott, London, England

Your London issue did not address the cities’ handling of access for people with disabilities. London is light-years ahead. Induction loops for people with hearing loss are already in place in taxis in London. To make New York City taxis user-friendly for people with hearing problems, it would cost about the price of a round-trip fare between London and JFK. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission could take a page from London’s book.
Janice L. Schacter, Manhattan

Notes on a Gentleman
“Within the Context of No Context” has been on my “to read” list for a few years, but your article on George Trow has saved me the trouble [“The Last Gentleman,” by Ariel Levy, March 26]. I now take “no context” to refer to life inside the bubble his little crowd moved in, from Exeter (or wherever) to Harvard to The New Yorker to the Hudson Valley social scene, everyone too blinded by their own brilliance to consider that “culture” might happen to other people.
Harvey Dickson, Manhattan

A Mother and Her Daughter
I’m not a Barbara Walters fan; I rarely watch her and usually find her interview style annoying when I do. But I take issue with Lloyd Grove’s subtle ridiculing of an interview Walters gave to Parents magazine, in which she described talking to her daughter about her adoption [“Barbara Falters,” by Lloyd Grove, March 5]. As an adoptive parent myself, I thought Walters’s explanation about adoption was pretty good. As for Grove’s smirking that Walters “dished” about this topic to Parents: Talking about adoption with your kid is challenging, no doubt about it. If Walters wanted to try to talk honestly about how she handled such a discussion, good for her.
Nancy Wartik, Manhattan

Corrections: The byline for “Are We No Longer the World’s Financial Capital?” [“London (The Other New York),” March 26] was dropped. It was written by John Gapper. Also in the “London” package, the photograph here should have been credited to Julia Fullerton-Batten.

April 2, 2007