Comments: January 14, 2008

1. Let’s face it, there probably aren’t that many Mike Huckabee supporters who live in New York. There are, however, plenty of Mike Huckabee supporters who logged on to to defend their man against what they see as scurrilous attacks by our writer John Heilemann, who recently compared the former Arkansas governor to Pat Buchanan (The Power Grid: Huckabuchanan,” December 24–31). “This shallow and inaccurate association of Buchanan and Huckabee may be New York’s way of whipping into a frenzy the rabid fear of an Evangelical right-winger that only [liberals] can hear, like dogs listening for a whistle,” went one post. “The dismissive nature of John Heilemann’s piece is typical liberal elitism. Huckabee’s opinions about homosexuality are shared by 80 percent of America, and no matter how much the gay media (print, movies, and TV) want to ignore this fact, it will just make the impact of their work wishful lies,” went another. A few charges of Christian bashing were tossed in, and a fresh conspiracy theory was alleged in which Heilemann and “an armada of push-polling lefties” are trying to confuse “true conservatives.” Fortunately, some people did grasp Heilemann’s larger point: “Huckabee’s immigration stances may not be as extreme as Buchanan’s (which the author says explicitly), but they are still farther to the right than any of the other major GOP candidates. Same with his tax plans. This is what the article says. Explicitly. If you are going to complain about this piece, at least read it thoroughly first.”

2. Adam Platt’s Where to Eat 2008 (January 7) was bound to disappoint a few people, and it did—what, no mention of Nizza?! How about kosher joints? But nobody took it quite as hard as Felisa Dell, co-owner of the Hog Pit, who wanted to make it known that Hog Pit “was the first restaurant in the city to decorate with animal heads. Which, by the way, are not stuffed. We opened in 1995; when did Freemans open? We never get the attention we deserve for sticking it out in the hell that is now the meatpacking district.”

3. Geoffrey Gray’s story about the infamous hijacker who parachuted away from the plane 36 years ago and was never seen again (Unmasking D.B. Cooper,” October 29) helped to reignite interest in the case to the extent that the FBI, while not buying into Gray’s hypothesis about the real D.B. Cooper, has, for the first time, posted sketches of the hijacker on its Website and is appealing to the public for help in solving the very cold case. “If he’s alive today, he’d be about 85 years old,” Larry Carr, an FBI agent in Seattle, told the Times. “Maybe one day I’ll be sitting at my desk and I’ll get a call from an old man who says, ‘You’re not going to believe this story.’”

4. “Down and Out and Up and In on the Bowery (December 17), Mark Jacobson’s story about the grafting of luxury hotels onto the old skid row, elicited a heartfelt letter from Judy Chicurel of Brooklyn: “Great piece, but exactly how blind can [hotelier] Eric Goode be, to not see his own participation in the demise of the great frontiers that used to be Manhattan’s gritty, edgy neighborhoods? During the time he lived on the Bowery, I lived on St. Marks Place, and agree wholeheartedly with his recollections of living life on the margins back then. But ‘if the Bowery becomes something awful like the meatpacking district, it’ll break my heart?’—please, Eric. It’s already happened, and you helped it along. You also broke my heart with what you and Graydon Carter did to the Waverly Inn, one of the city’s loveliest watering holes. The gap between you and Donald Trump is becoming ever more unrecognizable.”

Sean Connery and Natalie Wood in Meteor.Photo: American International Pictures/Everett Collection

5. “The Ten Best Movie Destructions of New York City list compiled by the Vulture blog on nymag .com (December 13) unearthed advocates of a couple of forgotten Gotham-squashing classics: “You missed a big one. Meteor is one of the great late-seventies disaster pics. Check it for yourself and see if a movie that not only lays waste to the isle of Manhattan decades before the rest, but leaves a chunk of cosmic rock sitting in the center of Central Park, deserves some consideration.” Another poster reminded us that Planet of the Apes includes an “awesome final scene of a rusted Statue of Liberty, the waves slapping against her bosom.”

On Beauty
The Natural
“ ‘Robert Plant definitely has a perm,’ says Rodolfo Valentin. Bwuuuah? Are we to believe he’s been going to the salon for chemical treatments all these years? Sweetie, please rent The Song Remains the Same immediately.”
—Jen Schonborn, Brooklyn

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Comments: January 14, 2008