May 28, 2007

It Brings Good Things to Life
Joshua David and Robert Hammond have less in common with Robert Moses —crushing small humans with a megalomaniacal commuter-loving dream—and more with Jane Jacobs, pursuing a vision that will create lively public space in a neighborhood that, yes, is increasingly becoming developed by real-estate interests [“It Brings Good Things to Life,” by Adam Sternbergh, May 7]. The High Line will be a park for public use that will humanize West Chelsea. But since I left New York and moved to California, when my plane touches down at JFK and I am reunited with the New York skyline, the big buildings are the ones that give me that thrill. I don’t remember when we all decided this island shouldn’t have big buildings on it.
—Deborah Aschheim, Pasadena, Calif.

My Thoughts on Phil
I have always been a fan of Phil Spector’s [“The Imperial City: My Nights With Phil,” by Kurt Andersen, May 21]. His life has always been one cloaked in secrecy, and no one will ever know what really happened that fateful night (except, of course, Spector and Lana Clarkson), but the retention of Bruce Cutler is a red flag to me.
—Shirley Naso, East Hanover, N.J.

Decadence Is Next
It seems a bit excessive to rent and completely redo an apartment for a single burst pipe [“Home Design: What’s Next,” by David Colman, May 21]. Has the productivity of the construction industry brought people to this? I would’ve thought a week at a nice hotel would have sufficed to mop up some water and redo the floors. It’s borderline decadence.
—Jeffrey Hurley, Manhattan

And Now the Queen
A good reason to hope Rudy Giuliani does not capture the Republican nomination is his my-way-or-the-highway authoritarian personality [“The Thunderbolt,” by Lloyd Grove, May 21]. In his 2006 book Conservatives Without Conscience, John Dean quotes Jonathan Schell: “The administration of George W. Bush is not a dictatorship, but it does manifest the characteristics of one in embryonic form.” Now to Mayor Giuliani’s errors in judgment and management, add his wife, who is angling to become queen. Enough divine right.
—Lee Liberman, Manhattan

It’s Still Radical at the Top
It is strange to see Jerry Saltz [“The Culture Pages: It’s Boring at the Top,” May 21] attribute some kind of lost radicality to Andreas Gursky at the very moment the artist has begun to include explicitly political content in his work— in the form of North Korean May Day parades, for example. Whether the artist considers these luscious totalitarian spectacles to be a celebration of his supersize aesthetic or a kind of critique of it, however, is not clear, and of course makes all the difference.
—Hande Larme, Manhattan

He’s Bad, You Know It
I knew Michael Jackson was crazy [“Intelligencer: She’s Bad,” by Christopher Bollen, May 21]. However, I was not aware that he’d officially crossed into creepy territory. I would give him $3,500 to stay away, and 300 people paid the same amount each to see him for 30 seconds. What’s he going to use that money on—ladies’ powder?
—Oriana Schwindt, Chicago

Those Old Urges
There was no mention in your “Sex & Love” issue [April 30] of 50-, 60-, and 70-year-olds—and beyond. Or is it that you believe that there will really be no sex or sexual urges for you all after the age of 43?
—Mary Judge, Manhattan

Socialite Conscience
I admit it: I read the article about socialites [“The Number-One Girl,” by Isaiah Wilner, May 14]. But it only proved that these women have way too much time on their well-manicured hands. When they use their money and social standing for charitable works and in actual careers, I am more than happy to hear their names mentioned. Otherwise, they seem a colossal waste of my time.
—Andrea Birnbaum, Westfield, N.J.

May 28, 2007