May 31, 2004

Alter Ego
While the legend of Ron Galotti certainly includes the cigars, sports cars, and supermodels, there’s also another side to his character [“Goodbye, Mr. Big,” by Jay McInerney, May 10]. I worked with Ron at Vogue for several years and know him as a man of great intelligence, integrity, and vision. It was a privilege to work with such a charismatic individual who infused his work with so much energy and commitment.
—Donna Korren, Roslyn, N.Y.

Class Decorum
For me, Stanley Bosworth was an enigma who floated godlike above the red stairs [“The Devil and Saint Ann’s,” by Ariel Levy, May 10]. This year, however, I privately met with him on several occasions, as every senior does. Sure, I was shocked and slightly appalled by some of his remarks, but I always left his office not seething but feeling almost godlike myself. He is one of the most eccentric people I have ever met. He’s never afraid to offend, but more important, he’s always ready to offer support and praise.
—Rena Fried, Brooklyn

As a parent of two Saint Ann’s graduates, I felt Ariel Levy’s article gave short shrift to the deeply important world that Stanley Bosworth has created at the school in favor of focusing on the idiosyncrasies of his character. Indeed, it is those very idiosyncrasies—the certitude that comes with passion and the irreverence that comes with certitude—that have created a learning environment in which the only sin is boredom. While the gratuitous cruelty of Mr. Bosworth’s comments are unfortunate, to say the least, they are overshadowed by the number of students who graduate from Saint Ann’s and are still eager to learn, still ready to explore, still enchanted by ideas, and undaunted by intellectual authority.
—Marjorie Frank, Brooklyn

Our daughter attended Saint Ann’s from kindergarten through senior year. The experience instilled her with a sense of independence and self-motivation. She never had to be asked to do her homework or practice her violin lessons. With her ballet background, she now happily studies African dance, all because of Stanley Bosworth’s encouragement.
—Brent and Mary Porter, Brooklyn

Haute Cuisine
I can’t help but wonder if Mark Jacobson [“Supersize City,” May 10] and Peter Rainer [“Movies: Where’s the Beef?,” May 10] are being unfair in their discussion of Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock’s monthlong eating experiment at McDonald’s. Both writers question whether the filmmaker’s health would have suffered just as much if he had eaten at the finest French restaurants. Yet very few people can afford to eat at such places every day, whereas just about everyone can regularly eat at McDonald’s. Spurlock’s scenario is not so far-fetched. No other restaurant shares the status of McDonald’s—ubiquitous, cheap, and deftly insinuated into the culture and consciousness of the American people and their children.
—Kate Deimling, Brooklyn

Former mayor Rudy Giuliani’s rubble-covered presence at ground zero, and his steadfast voice and image both during and after the 9/11 attacks, are all the test any investigatory commission would ever need [“Cityside: A Test for Rudy,” by Chris Smith, May 10]. I recall that President Bush disappeared for hours on 9/11, or am I imagining this?
—Gerald Galison, Manhattan

All Shook Up
I’ve worked with and cherished Elvis Mitchell for almost twenty years and simply do not recognize the man Carl Swanson writes about in “Elvis and His Times” [“Media,” May 10]. Mitchell has never missed one of our deadlines, and he has never arrived at one of our NPR tapings unprepared. What I read was a litany of resentments, while substantial people like Henry Louis Gates Jr. praise Mitchell’s abilities. I know which group I find more convincing.
—Scott Simon, Manhattan

Elvis Mitchell brought both verve and edge to the New York Times. His presence and exuberance are larger than life. Mitchell celebrated the art of film, and his reviews were intellectually provocative. It was good to see the Gray Lady rock for a change.
—Ruth Seymour, Santa Monica, Calif.

How You Slice It
I was very happy to read Rob Patronite and Robin Raisfeld’s article on Franny’s, the new pizzeria in my Brooklyn neighborhood [“The Underground Gourmet: Pie Praise,” May 10]. I recently discovered this little treasure. However, considering that Flatbush Avenue separates Park Slope from Prospect Heights, and that Franny’s is on the Prospect Heights side, it’s not “a newfangled Park Slope pizzeria” but a newfangled Prospect Heights pizzeria, and only one of many trendy restaurants that have opened in this area of Brooklyn.
—Henri Tischler, Brooklyn

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May 31, 2004