Now, once again, accusations of racism have surfaced in an effort to thwart the dismantling of the market. However, the actual reason the vendors are being evicted is deliberate noncompliance with regulations.

Cathy Glasson

Andrew Hsiao replies: Chinatown vendors recently staged a series of protests against their own community leaders, as reported in my article. It is ironic that longtime vendor critic Glasson was touting the Dragon Gate market as an alternative to street peddling only last year, long after vendors built the stalls the city now cites as a reason for their expulsion. What's sad is a vision of New York City that has no room for street vendors.

Sex Toys

Michael Musto's judicious article about Tinky Winky ["Purple Passion," February 23] illustrates how far the Christian Right will go to spew its venom on unsuspecting parents.

I was working at a toy fair when the scandal du jour broke. Our press office ran all over the place trying to assess the impact of the damage. Suffice it to say, Falwell has strengthened Tinky Winky's marketability!

For all we know, Falwell may have a hit list of toys he wants to out. Who's next, Lamb Chop?

Ray Acevedo Flores

Tess and Jerry

I loved Michael Musto's "Purple Passion: Jerry Falwell Outs Tinky Winky!"

Jerry Falwell strikes me as a linear descendant of the 19th-century hellfire preachers who left messages of doom and damnation painted on walls and gateposts in rural Britain (there is a reference to one in the Thomas Hardy novel Tess of the D'Urbevilles). However, those preachers didn't have the sound bite­fixated mass media at their disposal.

Stephen J. Bunting
Istanbul, Turkey

The Mugger in the Mirror

When I noticed Sharon Lerner's "My Mugger, Myself" [February 23], I hoped it wouldn't turn out to be one of those predictable pieces in which a white bleeding-heart liberal— or worse, a caricature of one— ends up condemning the hate-filled racist police and urging solidarity with her black mugger (who is, after all, "a victim himself").

Alas, it did.

H.A. Hurwitz

Dead Lines

The dead have been put down once again in the Voice, this time by Patrick Carr in "Sugar Magnolia" [February 9].

Don't you think that least some of the kids in the many jam-band groove rock groups Carr reviewed are Dead heads? And that Dead music is a huge inspiration to most of these bands?

Carr writes,"The Dead, rhythm-impaired to begin with, lost the trail for good when Pigpen took the dirt nap." Gimme a fucking break. If Carr can't find a danceable rhythm in any of the Dead's improvised jams, he must have no backbone, no soul.

What do you think kept us going back all that time, peer pressure?

In all my years of reading the Voice, I have never read a kind word for the Dead.

Daniel Cleary
Northport, New York

Swelling & Spelling

The anti-inflammatory drug that Cynthia Cotts refers to in Press Clips ["Smart Pills," February 23] is Celebrex, not Celebra. Celebrex does seem to work well, although it is new and relatively expensive.

Celebra is an antidepressant, the use of which would have explained the ebullience demonstrated by the author of the piece cited by Ms. Cotts.

Dr. Jim Karegeannes

Cynthia Cotts replies: The June 15, 1998, New Yorker article I cited referred throughout to Celebra, which, it reported, was then under development by Monsanto. Searle, a division of Monsanto, is now marketing the drug as Celebrex, as Dr. Karegeannes notes.

Glad Rap

I loved Scott Seward's hip, rap-centric article, "Beats Below the Street" [February 23]. It was fresh and full of the rhythm that has been lost in the world of alternative rock and indie mush.

Margoi Getzer

Viral Reaction

Mark Schoofs's "The AIDS Race: Can New Drugs Keep Up With the Wily Virus?" [February 16] captured in a properly nuanced manner the complex set of feelings that scientists and activists are experiencing as a result of data on HIV treatments. The article was well written, engaging, and accurate. I wish I had written it.

Dave Scondras
Search for a Cure
Boston, Massachusetts

Remembering Rod

My respects to Sharon Lerner for her thoughtful obituary on needle-exchange activist Rod Sorge [February 16]. It was wonderful to see Rod's life so eloquently encapsulated.

Thank you, Sharon.

Ann Otto

Benefit For ABC No Rio

A six-hour pan-arts program to benefit ABC No Rio arts center will take place on Thursday, March 4, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Educational Alliance, 197 East Broadway, Manhattan. Performers will include members of the Living Theater, bassist William Parker, saxophonist Jemeel Moondoc, the Bindelstiff Family Cirkus, countercultural icon Tuli Kupferberg, Dar Ting, Spin 17, Kenta Nagi, Tatsuya Nakatani, Jane Wang, Mammals of Zod, God Is My Co-Pilot, and poet Steve Dalachinsky. Admission is $10­$20, based on a sliding scale. For information, call 212-539-6089.

Irish Writers at Algonquin

Writers Frank McCourt, Edna O'Brien, and Colum McCann will read from their work and participate in a brief question-and-answer session at 8p.m. Monday, March 15, at the Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street, Manhattan. Admission is $25. The event is part of The Atlantic Monthly's "Spoken Word" series. For information, call 212-840-6800.

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