Comments: June 16, 2008

1. Whatever sins New Yorkers might commit in the night, it is clear from the response to The Breakfast Manifesto (June 9) that they try to atone for them in the morning. Our survey of local breakfast eaters (What I Ate This Morning) was continued in the comments on, and the results were off-puttingly wholesome—high-fiber this, flaxseed that, loads of fresh fruit, everything low fat, green tea. Coffee consumption was widespread, and a couple of people did include cigarettes in their menus. We were relieved to see “chocolate rugalach” and a “big scoop of Nutella” in the mix. But the editors’ pick for Reader’s Breakfast We’d Most Like to Eat Ourselves must be this one: “A bowl of Scottish oatmeal with clover honey, cinnamon, and dried apricots, smoked Norwegian salmon atop crème fraîche on toast rounds, a fruit salad of blackberries, raspberries, and cherimoya, and Kona coffee.” My oh my! We wonder what he has for lunch. We are especially grateful to the reader who sent in a recipe for a one-of-a-kind home-brewed breakfast: “Another idea—try it before you judge—oatmeal shakes, to replace the traditional steamy porridge during the warmer months. Take 1 cup rolled oats and pulse in your blender till powdery. Add 1 banana, 1 tablespoon of flax meal, 1 to 1½ cups unsweetened vanilla soy milk, a drizzle of honey, and 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter. You won’t be hungry till past your usual lunchtime, guaranteed.” And in response to Adam Platt’s forced march through the breakfast aisle at Whole Foods (The 100-Cereal Taste Test), a reader offered his highly refined advice: “Some of these horse-feeds are for masochists. Stick to the plainest, like simple Go Lean or Autumn Wheat, add milk and your own dried fruit (dried raspberries—the best) and crudely chopped nuts, especially walnuts or almonds, and plenty of fresh fruit; top with Pavel’s no-fat Russian yogurt (yum) and drizzle Laney’s Pure Blueberry honey. One test overlooked: tactility in milk and duration of crisp (never rush breakfast, it screws up the day). Also, do some arithmetic: Figure price versus ounces. Some of these cereals, like Peace, are more expensive than dry-aged prime filet by the pound.”

2. If television ratings measured depth of viewers’ feelings, rather than just raw numbers, Aaron Brown would surely still be delivering the evening news on CNN. Michael Martin’s interview with Brown about his new documentary series for PBS (“Intelligencer: A Brand News Day,” June 9) drew one of the largest and most passionate responses of any story in last week’s issue. The bits of criticism that surfaced—“A very nasal voice. He just doesn’t sound good,” and “In the run-up to the Iraq war, Aaron Brown was part of the problem”—were swamped by unabashed love for the plainspoken broadcaster: “A great newsman who works hard to get his facts straight … the news world needs more Aaron Browns … Aaron rocks.”

3. To many, the closing of the diner Florent, as described in David Amsden’s The 25th Hour of Florent Morellet (June 2), marks the true death of the meatpacking district. But one reader offered a rescue plan of sorts:

“The new arrivals of hedge-funding paper-pushers and entitled trust-fund kids can do something to keep the neighborhood from hitting the point of absolute destruction: Put down your cell phone when paying for gum with a credit card and be a real villager; volunteer your time in a garden, church, elderly home; fight for a cause; forgo that pair of sharp-pointed heels and give your money to a worthy organization that helps undocumented immigrants get the assistance they so desperately need! Then and only then will you be worthy of the neighborhood’s quaint cobblestoned streets.”

Corrections: In “A Brand News Day” (“Intelligencer,” June 9), the university Aaron Brown teaches at should have been identified as Arizona State University. Also, in Geoffrey Gray’s profile of Sheldon Silver (“The Obstructionist,” June 9), the timing on Luke Henry’s move back to the district was incorrectly stated. Henry moved back a month before Paul Newell, Henry’s opponent, officially entered the race.

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Comments: June 16, 2008