June 7, 2004

Block Party
It is offensive to refer to the millions of people who disagree with President Bush and the GOP as “a Bush-hating nation of freaks” [“Cover: The Circus Is Coming to Town,” May 17]. Most New Yorkers are not in lockstep with the Bush administration.
—Art Smith, Upper Montclair, N.J.

I am not a member of any Bush-hating nation of freaks, flash-mobbers, or civil-disobedients. But I am a member of Astorians for Peace and Justice, and I will be exercising my rights as a citizen to demonstrate against a very dangerous administration during the Republican National Convention in New York. If you want to go to a circus, perhaps you should attend a performance of Ringling Bros., because the only thing to see at the RNC protests will be a tremendous group of people who care about this country and who are willing to do something about it.
—Debbie Riga, Astoria

Avenue Of America
Walter Isaacson’s double book review [“Books: How We Got Shafted at the Revolution,” May 17] was a welcome acknowledgment of New York City’s important and largely forgotten contributions to the founding of the United States. Both sides in the Revolutionary War regarded the city as the greatest strategic prize—the key to the continent—because it commanded the mouth of the Hudson River and Lake Champlain corridor. And for George Washington, the sweet taste of victory was savored not in Yorktown, Virginia, but two years later in the streets of Manhattan, when he paraded into the city on horseback as the British peaceably boarded their ships and set sail for home.
—Barnet Schecter, Manhattan

There are no counties in Massachusetts named “Kings” or “Queens.” The New York City of today stands for heroism in the war on terror. There is no need to pretend to be equal to Boston in another time.
—David M. Goldberg, Brooklyn

Table Manners
John Hodgman’s “Extreme Eating” [May 17] bears responsibility for furthering an immoral attitude toward sentient creatures, albeit nonhuman ones. For me, the photo of a burned goat’s head is equivalent to seeing a burned human head, with teeth intact, served atop vegetables.
—Marilyn J. Klein, Manhattan

Extreme eating may not be for everyone. New York City has many restaurants that serve meat-free alternatives, from Cajun Seitan at Candle Café to Voodoo Sticks at Red Bamboo.
—Erica Meier, Norfolk, Va.

Physically Unfit
For years I’ve wondered why there are big-and-tall shops but no short-and-small stores [“Smart City: My Small Problem,” by Christopher Bonanos, May 17]. One can pace the boys’ department of places like Macy’s, but children’s clothes are styled for kids. If it were not for Banana Republic, I’d have to go to work in the buff, which would raise more eyebrows than a 34-year-old man’s trying on clothes in the boys’ shop.
—Kris Harvey, San Diego, Calif.

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June 7, 2004