Comments: November 5, 2007

1. When we started this “Comments” page in the magazine, we were a little backward—though it’s influenced by the Web, we didn’t yet have the capability for recording comments on our Website, But starting this week, we do. Every piece online, including magazine features, blog entries, and reviews, comes with a COMMENT button at the end. Registration is required, but you can sign up while you’re posting your first comment. This is your chance to talk back to David Edelstein or argue with Kurt Andersen. Maybe you’ve been to one of the places we featured in the Winter Travel package (October 22) and have a tip for other readers. Maybe you’re outraged at a post on our Grub Street food blog. Your reasonable and even not-so-reasonable participation is heartily encouraged.

2. “Design Revolutionaries(October 29) elicited a couple of quibbles. Sagi Haviv, a principal at Chermayeff & Geismar, pointed out that we improperly suggested that one of the firm’s founding partners, Ivan Chermayeff, does all the design work. “If the Mobil logo you highlighted can be attributed to a single designer, it would be Tom Geismar,” wrote Haviv. “In any case, the firm is known for its thoroughly collaborative approach.” Arline Bronzaft, a psychologist who sat on a Transit Authority committee that oversaw the 1979 design of the current subway map, took issue with our praise of Massimo and Lella Vignelli’s 1972 version. That map, wrote Bronzaft, “may have had abstract simplicity, and indeed may have been beautiful, but what it didn’t have was the ability to guide riders through the subway system … The present subway map, by graphic designer Michael Hertz, has lasted for 28 years because it was designed by individuals who did not believe, as the Vignellis do, that maps are to be created without input from riders.”

3. “Is ‘Green Builder’ Durst Dirty Upstate?,” by Kai Ma (“Intelligencer,” October 29), brought a detailed rebuttal from Alexander Durst of the Durst Organization. “First of all,” he wrote, “the property in Dutchess County is not Thomas Carvel’s former estate. It is Carvel’s former housing development, with 230 existing approved building sites, over 30 built structures, an eighteen-hole golf course, a driving range, miles of private and public roads that crisscross through the property, as well as a wastewater-treatment plant, a site contaminated with petroleum, and an earthen dam holding a 30-acre lake which is ready to fail with the next large rainstorm. It also does have spectacular scenery and important natural resources, both of which will be preserved with the Durst Organization’s proposal. It is important to note that although the property was for sale for quite some time prior to Durst’s acquisition, no significant efforts were made to put it into conservation. In fact, it appears that the wealthy weekend visitors opposing the project care more about not having to wait for a table at local restaurants than they do about protection of natural resources at the Carvel Project site.” Back to you, weekenders.

Photo: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images

4. And finally, a matter of world peace: “I must take issue with something Aja Mangum wrote about asymmetrical cuts [Strategist: Chop, Chop,’ October 8],” wrote a reader calling himself Chad G. “Mangum stated that actress Selma Blair ‘was the tipping point.’ I beg to differ. It was singer Kelis [pictured], who went all ‘Salt-N-Pepa’ on us in one of last year’s biggest videos (‘Bossy’). That was the tipping point. It may seem like I’m ‘splitting hairs,’ but right is right!”

Please send e-mails to:

Comments: November 5, 2007