Hateful, Helpful, Insightful, Wonderful Best of Manhattan 2001; Phew! MUGGER's Okay!; Cockburn Nails It Again; Nuh-Uh, Neuberg; Reader Reaction, Pt. 4, Plus More History Lessons and Things of that Ilk; More
Hey, thanks for including the Bridge and Tunnel Club in the Best of Manhattan 2001 (10/3). That was really cool and I don't even mind?not at all?being a part of the "Best Letdown." It's kind of an honor, actually.
Scott Sendrow, Astoria
Slightly Less Easy
I just read your review of the Bridge and Tunnel Club's "Songs for Carpetbaggers Come and Gone" (Best of Manhattan, "Best Letdown"). I must admit I'm torn. As the band's bass player and producer, your analysis of the album's production quality as "the worst you've ever heard" stings quite a bit. I'm tempted to try to justify it as a DIY project that had absolutely no budget and relied on what we happened to own for instruments and recording equipment. But there is no excuse for a bad job, and I'm sure the case can be made that others have done much better work with the same stuff that I have. So I'll just thank you for laying the smackdown on my recording efforts, and promise that when and if you hear from us again, we'll do a better job.
Manlio Loconte, Astoria
The Anchor Reads!
Just finished reading your Best of Manhattan's "Media & Politics." Wow. So much for a kinder, gentler New York after the horrors of Sept. 11. Let me get this straight: if someone expressed an opinion that differs from yours, they are not just wrong. They are beneath contempt, talentless, a fraud, a has-been, a fuckup or, worst of all...yikes...a liberal. Jerry Falwell's got nothing on you guys. A more hateful, intolerant rant is hard to imagine. Thanks for the healing.
Jim Watkins, WPIX-TV
He's a She, But Anyway...
I was happy to see that your "Best of" issue nailed the Central Park SummerStage concerts for the miserable experience they have become ("Best Ruined Concert Series"). Eliminating all entrances and exits but one, setting up this absurd fencing and practicing restrictive crowd-control tactics have made SummerStage a vivid example of the dictum that "sometimes free is too much."
Just a couple of other things. The $5 bins that NYCD puts out on Amsterdam Ave. on weekends are actually $3 bins. And the guy who wrote "Best Place to Work Off a Sunday Night of Heavy Drinking" is nothing but a major asshole. I know you have always generously employed major assholes as writers, but that's okay as long as they stay inside their homes typing. When they venture out onto the Central Park Reservoir like this jerk and his friend "Scott" did, they deserve a lot worse than just getting spit on.
Jean Benoit, Manhattan
Burlington Code Factory
What is this? "Hunt's left-centrist political mumbo-jumbo? Guess what: Hunt isn't a fan of Jesse Helms, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Dick Armey or J.C. Watts (although Watts, because he's a Republican "of color," gets off relatively easy)" (Best of Manhattan, "Best Wall Street Journal Token"). I wonder how hard you would have to scramble to document this nonsense re Watts. Disgusting. It always surprises me how many ultraright wingnuts can put two words together. I'm never surprised, though, at the nefariousness of their meaning.
Casey Chapple, Burlington, VT
Embracing the Chaos
It greatly amuses me to see that my friend Kaya Chaos has been named "Best Punk Rock Singer." Yes, that's Kaya Chaos, not Kia, although I feel somewhat responsible for the silly proliferation of names for her because I used to come up with different names for her daily just to make her laugh. I can't really claim Kia as my invention (some silly girl started screaming "Kia! Kia!" at CBGB one night and I guess George Tabb heard her), but in the past I have called her Kyra (some lezzie tried to pick her up one afternoon and ran up to her screaming, "Kyra, Kyra, I wanna fuck you Kyra"?ever the lady, Kaya smiled, let her down easy and pointed her in the general direction of Meow Mix), Kukla (that one's personal between her and me) and Kyle (when she'd want to kick some stupid guy's ass).
It has been a pleasure to watch her blossom into a lovely and talented young woman, and I'm sure that I'm speaking for many people when I say that Kaya Chaos and the rest of the Deviant Behavior gang (Pat Pervert, Erica America, Sharkey) are definitely the best entertainment value going in the city right now. Next time they play anywhere, don't walk, run, and wear waterproof clothes. You'll have a ball.
Lou Valentine, Manhattan
I read William Bryk's "First Drafts of History" ("Old Smoke," 9/26). It speaks the truth. Bill Bryk is my son, but I don't think I am prejudiced in his favor. I really thought it took guts to criticize The New York Times.
Joy K. Bryk, Bradenton, FL
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