I'm a sucker for most best-of lists. I consider them a guilty pleasure, because most of them aren't worth the time. But once again, your Best of New York [October 8-14] gives me a renewed sense of hope for future lists. I am very much looking forward to checking out quite a few of your suggestions.
I was particularly interested in the music section to find a place for my parents. But unfortunately, the "Best Place to Take Your Parents Dancing" article was missing. In short: Do you know of any live r&b venues that have parent-friendly dancefloors?
Re "Best Restaurants of Sheepshead Bay": I noticed you did not include Maria's restaurant on Emmons Avenue. I grew up in Sheepshead Bay and now live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I was so impressed with Maria's that I started to make the trip from Manhattan to Brooklyn regularly to see my folks and take my wife to Maria's. I would easily put it in the ranks of the best Italian restaurants in the city (yes, the city, not only Brooklyn).
Upper East Side
Thanks for giving props to my hometown of Mamaroneck as best suburb, but you left out two key reasons: Sal's, which makes better pizza than anything I've ever had in New York, and Norman Rockwell, who dropped out of our high school to study to become an artist!
Ed Halter's piece on "Cinematexas" [October 8-14] is an example of beautiful journalistic prose, an account written by someone whose direct involvement in the subject of the article is not an impediment to the reader's interest, but an essential element that speaks of the admiration and complicity that permeate the story. It's an honest and partial point of view that can be shared easily by any film lover.
I just wanted to thank Ed Park for "Meat: The Beatles" [VLS, October 15-21]. It was an extremely passionate and humorous article that made some thoughtful literary observations on Dream Circles, the new Beatles book by Devin McKinney. But more than anything, it invited me to think back on my own second-generation Beatles experience.
In fact, my Beatles memory palace looks a lot like Park's: I was also 10 when John Lennon was shot. Strangely moved by the death, I bought my first ever magazine, a Beatles fanzine that was published right after it happened. I read it many timesthe cover is now gone, the edges worn, but I still have it somewhere. My first ever record album was the Beatles' "White Album," and my first research reportin fifth gradewas on the "Paul is Dead" hoax, inspired by the very same passage in Philip Norman's Shout!, cited by Park in the article! Thanks for bringing back those memories. Now I really must read that book.
LENA IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS
The year is 2003. Doesn't anybody get it yet that though they were incredibly gifted, talented, funny, and driven to succeed (especially John) and came in a lovely package, that they were just ordinary lads, born during the war, raised by good, loving families, and that they were influenced by the times as much as they influenced? This over-analytical bullshit's day has come and gone decades ago. I wouldn't buy McKinney's book, but it's probably worth a look-see in a book store, just to see what in hell Park's on about. (Did he read it during an acid flashback?)
John, I'm sure, is laughing his celestial balls off. George wouldn't be arsed, wasting his time. And, for the record, Mr. Park, not a day has gone by since late 1963 that I have not thought about, loved, and obsessed over them.
LOVE MINUS F-ZERO GX
This is in regard to Nick Catucci's review of F-Zero GX and in response to his general method of reviewing games ["Lap Dance: I Am Speed Racer, You Are Dale Earnhardt Jr.," September 3-9]. If Catucci dislikes a game, he should mention the reason in his review, rather than apparently docking the game for no reason.
Also, Catucci is obviously not very good at video games, so he would probably dock F-Zero GX a point or two because it might take a few days to get the hang of. It takes years to master chess; no one docks that game for its difficulty. Perhaps a minor complaint in the grand scheme of things, but as a designer and player of video games, I just had to make it. F-Zero GX is the best racing game ever made.
Thank you for Sydney H. Schanberg's excellent article "The Secrets Clark Kept" [October 1-7]. His penetrating analysis has profound implications not only for General Clark and all other Democratic candidates, but also for all members of the U.S. Congress, the American people, and indeed the whole world.
Re Bryonn Bain's "Three Days in NYC Jails" [September 24-30]: In Alison Webster's defense, how do we know Bain's not bipolar?
QUEER EYE FOR THE FRIEND IN CALIFORNIA WHO ONLY GETS THE WEB VERSION
I think in all aspects The Village Voice has really buffed up lately and is running stories that read and articulate better than they have in a long timeand still in a very Voice-y way. I love it. I do. But again and again I find the headlines are doing a disservice to great stories, and because a close friend told me today he didn't read what I thought were two superb stories this week (he's in California, he only gets the Web version) I thought I had to e-mail. Please be more thoughtful in your heads. Just because they're cute and catchy doesn't mean they're accurate.
Recent example: "Queer Eye for the Black Guy" [September 24-30]. I would think it was a "come on people now, let's all be friends" article about homophobia in the black communitybut no. It's actually a well-researched analysis of how Republicans could ally themselves with an unlikely votership, but don't. The article was a hundred times smarter than the head, which was almost a deterrent from reading it.
Luis Guzmán was incorrectly identified in Michael Atkinson's review of Runaway Jury ["The Martyr They Come," October 15-21].
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