Unfortunately, Lee’s article was true. I applaud him for speaking his mind about this subject.

Melissa Wong

Minnesota Flats

RE J.A. LOBBIA’S article ‘‘Hell’s Kitchen Is Burning’’ [September 8]: Erich Giebelhaus, formerly of Minnesota, thinks he found a deal in Hell’s Kitchen. A studio for $1200. And he looked for this? Does he have any idea what his neighbors are paying?

Erich proves the theory that rents in New York City have been driven up not only by greedy landlords, but by the endless parade of out-of-town yokels who pay these often illegal rents. These gullible rubes fuel landlord greed and shrink affordable housing. Then they move back to the sticks.

Some New York tenants don’t know they are in rent-stabilized apartments. Many others are being illegally overcharged and don’t bother to do anything about it. I bet they all blew in from Bonehead, Minnesota, just like Erich. Real New Yorkers know better. Remember the words of Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls: ‘‘A chump will buy anything with varnish on it.’’

Eliot Camaren

Haven And Hell

J.A. LOBBIA overlooked a most relevant point in her article ‘‘Hell’s Kitchen Is Burning’’: No one must pay $2800 rent. Tenants choose their living arrangement of their own free will.

Manhattan renters conveniently forget that New York is a city composed of five boroughs. As a licensed real estate broker, I know that before the imposition of rent regulations there were hundreds of safe, affordable neighborhoods all over our great city. As a result of rent regulations, some lucky tenants pay bargain rents for luxury apartments, while others elect to pay top dollar for much inferior apartments.

Sid Miller, Director
Haven Heights Group


Great Repression

KAREN COOK’S brilliant commentary on President Clinton’s failure to turn his disaster into a productive public conversation about sex and hypocrisy was a delight to read [‘‘To Tell the Truth,’’ September 1].

I disagree, however, with the commonplace that all men are sexual sociopaths just beneath the surface, and that Clinton, through proud confession, might blow the lid off an ongoing hypocrisy.

This is several degrees too hip for the House. These people are getting off on the dirty, smelly, adolescent getting-away-with-it all. These guys get primed by repression.

John Leone
Del Mar, California

Suits Me

JESSE BERRETT’S impressive critique of neo-swing bands [''Swing Kids!'' September 8] missed one point that I felt it was important to raise.

His comments on the Squirrel Nut Zippers were unduly negative, but more important, incorrect. An attentive listener will realize that ‘‘Suits Are Pickin’ Up the Bill’’ has nothing to do with ‘‘sneering’’ at their audience. In a Zippers interview on National Public Radio’s July 7 Morning Edition show, they commented on this song, explaining that it is about recording moguls who smilingly take a band out on the town, only to later deduct the expenses from their pay. The Zippers are big brains in the strangely narrow world of neo-swing, and deserve fairer treatment.

Aaron Curtiss
Sacramento, California

Cold Rudy

RE SHARON LERNER’S ‘‘Cold Turkey’’ [September 1]: As an opiate-dependent person, I’m outraged that my life is apparently so dispensable in the eyes of Mayor Giuliani that he would keep me from receiving my methadone medication in a safe and legal fashion.

Why is the mayor adopting a policy that, as Lerner notes, ‘‘flies in the face of mainstream medical opinion’’? Is it because he figures methadone-dependent people aren’t central to his political aspirations? Do 36,000 New Yorkers in public and private methadone clinics not make up enough of a constituency for his consideration?

I find it hard to believe that the mayor does not have the foresight to see the trouble that would seize our streets if people who are receiving methadone are forced out of clinics. The streets are exactly where Mayor Giuliani wants drugs and drug-dependent people so that he can continue to bolster his crime-fighting statistics.

Soon Mayor Giuliani will be heard declaring that once again with this step he’s cleaned up the streets and made New York a safer city. Safer for whom? Certainly not for people in methadone programs.

Jerry Jack Brass

Phairly Accurate

ROBERT CHRISTGAU hits the nail on the head regarding the new Liz Phair album Whitechocolatespaceegg [‘‘Confess Nothing," August 18]. My only disagreement is with his statement ‘‘Guyville was at once permanently sui generis and rather trad.’’ Sui generis you betcha, but not a trad moment to my ears in concept or execution.

Francis Kwok
Brookfield, Connecticut


AMY TAUBIN’S review of Saving Private Ryan refers to the soldiers as ‘‘grunts.’’ During World War II, the soldiers were referred to as ‘‘dogfaces.’’ Grunts is a Vietnam-era term.

Drew Biondo
Stony Brook, Long Island

Gay Orientation

The Lesbian and Gay Community Center will host its first orientation session on September 28 at 7 p.m. at the center’s temporary space, 1 Little West 12th Street, Manhattan. For further information, call 212-620-7310.


The photograph that appeared with the article ‘‘It Takes a Village’’ in last week’s Voice Literary Supplement was miscredited. It should have been credited to Gilles Peress/Magnum Photos.

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