September 15, 2003

Home Atone
Your August 18 issue furnished two splendid examples of what’s wrong with the current rent-control and rent-stabilization laws. First there’s the photo of real-estate broker Alice Mason sitting in her all-too-luxurious “rent-controlled Upper East Side apartment” [“Real Estate’s New Power Brokers,” by Deborah Schoeneman]. And then there’s the story of actor Jason Alexander’s advocacy on behalf of a fellow actor who is being threatened with eviction for allowing her mother to live in her rent-stabilized apartment [“Intelligencer: Curious George,” by Marc S. Malkin]. Why is Mr. Alexander being given a soapbox for his “outrage”? Rent stabilization comes with rules and regulations, one of which requires the apartment to be the primary residence of the leaseholder and prohibits illegal subletting—even by struggling actors.
-R. Leonard Raphael, Manhattan

Looking Out For The Little Guy
I would have liked to see you feature some of the smaller, “boutique” firms like Spencer Realty or Olshan Realty, Inc. It would be nice to read about companies that care about their customers beyond how much money they have to spend. Not all New Yorkers have Jay-Z or Mariah’s bank balance.
-Shachar Feldman, Manhattan

Homo Respectus
Chris Smith would have us believe that Jeremy Shockey’s “homo” comment about Bill Parcells and his gay jokes on The Howard Stern Show aren’t about homophobia but are just ways he uses trash talk to rev himself up [“Jeremy Shockey Is Living Large,” August 18]. He couldn’t be more wrong. It is about homophobia.
-Victor Martorano, Strafford, Pa.

Free Speech
As far as I am concerned, Jeremy Shockey is a breath of fresh air. Finally, the Giants have a player who plays with passion on every play. As long as he backs up his bravado on the field, who cares what he says?
-Annie Lyons, Cold Spring, N.Y.

Just A Good Ol’ Boy
Wasn’t it about 50 years ago that another good ol’ boy from Oklahoma broke into the New York sports scene? Thank God Mickey Mantle had buddies like Billy Martin and Whitey Ford who kept him on the straight and narrow and out of gin mills and dance halls like the Copacabana.
-Eugene J. Duffy, Hackensack, N.J.

You Have To Know Him
I have known Peter Beard for almost twenty years, so I was quite surprised—outraged, in fact— to see the negative picture that was painted in your article [“Bwana Comes Home,” by Amy Larocca, August 18], in which he was portrayed as a bitter, bigoted man. This could not be further from the truth. He has a passion for the environment and the preservation of the planet and species and is a colorful, charismatic man with close friends from every walk of life.
-Sandi Mollod, Manhattan

Straight Shooter
Regarding Simon Dumenco’s jaundiced take on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy [“The Download: The Buysexual Agenda,” August 18]: Quel bore! Have you ever just heard of fun, chuckles, laughter, joy, cracking up, belly laughs, the roar of the crowd, knee-slapping good times, tee hee, ha ha, ho ho, giggles, glee, comedy, happiness, frivolity, Mary Poppins’s “I Love to Laugh,” good times, a sense of humor? Don’t take things so seriously. There’s really no need to overanalyze. With nonstop news of Iraq and Al Qaeda and all the schemes to slaughter all of us, what’s the harm in having a little silly fun with fashion, sexuality, and style? It really isn’t such a big deal. After all, the jaded New Yorker is so yesterday.
-Steven Brinlee, Manhattan

Cliché Watch
If only bravo could just get rid of Carson Kressley, that loud, overbearing, swishy blond queen cliché. He is so not twenty- first century!
-William Marriott, Athens, GA.

The Mandal Makes The Man
It’s hard to believe that a magazine that regularly shows models as skimpily clad as possible would criticize men who bare a little foot by wearing “mandals” [“Intelligencer: Toe and Behold!,” by Laura Kang, August 18]. Seems like too much one way and not enough the other.
-Anna Mitchell, Gainesboro, TN.

A Mare For All Seasons
It is really a shame that Peter Rainer couldn’t appreciate the fine work that was put into Seabiscuit, a beautifully directed movie [“Movies: Horse Play,” August 4]. I made personal calls to several of my family and friends to make the effort to not miss this particular film. There are so few movies that I could recommend to any age, especially my mother (she’s 89), but I had no misgivings about doing that very thing.
-Janie Lehmann, Beaumont, Tex.

Bear Essential
Having been a resident of the Catskills since the sixties, I thoroughly enjoyed “Head for the Hills” [by Shyama Patel, August 4]. But I must take issue with your claim that the Bear is the only good restaurant in Woodstock. An unforgettable experience is Yvonne’s, on Route 28 in Phoenicia, which is like a visit to an elderly French woman’s country living room.
-Mitchell Langbert, West Shokan, N.Y.

Mass. Appeal
As Manhattan residents who spend every weekend at our 180-year old home in the southern Berkshire hills of Massachusetts, my partner and I appreciate the cultural offerings (Tanglewood for music or Jacob’s Pillow for dance), the gay-friendliness of our neighbors, the abundance of good restaurants and antiques shops, the clean environment, and the numerous year-round recreational and sports opportunities. We certainly aren’t as cut off from civilized amenities as the upstate boosters quoted in your article are, nor are we required to do the East End shuffle between all those “you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours” fund-raisers. Top it all off with a commute that is less than two and a half hours from the Upper West Side, the general lack of snootiness, and a 5 percent sales tax, and you have the perfect weekend haven. Just don’t tell anyone.
-Brian Tobin, Manhattan

September 15, 2003