Comments: March 24, 2008

Photo-illustration by Dienststelle 75. Photograph by Timothy A. Clary/Getty Images.

1. When the news about Eliot Spitzer’s indiscretions hit last Monday, invited readers to offer their own headlines for the next day’s New York Post. As you may remember, the Post opted for HO NO, which was pretty good. We also liked some of our readers’ suggestions, which included SPITZ HITS THE FAN, UP SPITZ CREEK, and SPITZER SCHTUPPS TO A NEW LOW. Our in-office winner was ELIOT PHONE HO, though “Comments” preferred this runner-up: LUCKY DOG: QUEENS PET ESCAPES APARTMENT FIRE.

2. By its nature, the “Best of New York” issue (March 10) invites arguments and sometimes worse. Our selections are based on expertise, yes, but also, inevitably, on taste, which may or may not correspond with readers’. Ian Harnik wrote in to express dismay that we picked the Jazz Standard over the Village Vanguard as best jazz club. “The Standard may have ribs, coleslaw, and brisket,” wrote Harnik, “but the Vanguard has the ghosts of Rollins, Mingus, and Coltrane.” A reader identifying himself only as Joe took umbrage at our picks for best pizza: “Una Pizza Napoletana? Huh? As a born-and-bred Brooklynite, I can tell you that I’ve had better pizza at a Greek diner.” Fried chicken, for which we picked Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill, was another touchy topic. “There are better places on my damn block,” insisted one self-professed fan of the magazine. Food blogger Ed Levine allowed that Blue Ribbon’s chicken is “excellent,” but he expressed concern that our food writers hadn’t sampled all his favorite places (for the record, they had). Levine had other concerns, too, such as the fact that there are “a lot of interesting non-beef-only burgers around that the magazine fails to mention.”

3. Put the word Clinton in a sentence and it’s hard to even finish it before someone interjects his or her own opinion. Which describes the response to Lloyd Grove’s cover story about Chelsea Clinton on the campaign trail (Chelsea’s Morning,” March 3). On, it precipitated a lively referendum on the former First Daughter’s career prospects. “More dynasty dreams,” went one post. “Chelsea Clinton pretended not to be an active participant in the Campaign for a year—and refused to speak to a little girl cub reporter! This you call charm!” Attempting to provide a little comic relief, another person wrote, “Chelsea won’t qualify for a dynastic position until her dad’s cronies buy her a baseball team or some other business and she drives it into the ground.” Then, incredibly, a Bush supporter was heard from: “Chelsea may be a lovely person, but she doesn’t compare to the Bush daughters. While she was busy making six figures at a hedge fund run by a loyal donor to the Clintons and serving of the board of the School of American Ballet, the twins have been a bit busier doing things to help mankind”—and then went on to enumerate Barbara and Jenna’s contributions. The Clinton haters would not be silenced. Wrote Margaret Hubbard: “If Chelsea Clinton truly inherited her mother’s discipline and her father’s charm [as Grove wrote] she is to be pitied, not admired. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is totally undisciplined. Bill Clinton’s charm eludes most people, as he continues to bulldoze his way through the national consciousness.”

4. The hotelier-developer Ian Schrager wrote in to correct a detail in Phoebe Eaton’s profile of his fellow developer Aby Rosen (“The Art and the Deal,” March 3): “Your piece rightfully recognizes Aby’s vision and talent. He is a longtime friend of many years, and I’m delighted to have him as a partner in some of my projects, especially the three you mention at 40 Bond, 50 Gramercy Park North, and Gramercy Park Hotel. It is however incorrect and misleading to call him ‘the wallet’ behind those developments. I am the largest investor and owner in those projects by a substantial amount and put up the proportionate capital required. In short, I’m too big a believer in my ideas not to have the largest stake in the transactions that finance them.”

5. And now for the section of “Comments” that we will call “Quibbles & Bits.” Mitchell Owens of Brooklyn challenges another detail of Eaton’s piece: “The architect is either Norman Foster or Lord Foster, not ‘Lord Norman Foster.’ Get a Debrett’s to figure out the distinction.” Well, sir, around here we use Words Into Type, which sanctions our usage. In the entry on best bar for games in “Best of New York,” we referred disastrously to the Miss Pac-Man machine. “It’s Ms. Pac-Man!” we were informed by an indignant reader. “She is a feminist icon!” Finally, in response to Robert Kolker’s story about the Sean Bell shooting (A Bad Night at Club Kalua,” March 3), Jerry Murdoch of Brooklyn wrote, “On Detective Oliver’s shooting 31 times—‘he even stopped to reload’? How else does one reload, Mr. Kolker?” Please allow us to pause and consider that.

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Comments: March 24, 2008