The hell with Nelly -- long live rock! Strike another blow for low-brow rock reporting in the RFT [Paul Friswold, "Gravity Killed," August 21]. It sickens me how RFT writers treat local rock. It seems as though if you're not rapping about how hot it is "in herre," you're not worth a proper review in these pages. As a local rock artist, I will never send music to be reviewed to the RFT, even if Elvis himself sings and Hendrix grinds ax on the album. It'll just get disrespected by drunk reporters laughing at how clever they are while putting it down. And René Saller proves her "knowledge" of music again by saying, "I think arpeggios are stupid." OK, she thinks that "the sounding of the tones of a chord in rapid succession rather than simultaneously" is stupid? Then I guess she thinks Hendrix (and a host of other great musicians' music) is stupid. Of course, René plays Britney Spears on her radio show, so our expectations of her musical knowledge should be low, just like the expectations we local artists have of the music reporting in the RFT. Perhaps if you hire a reporter who actually enjoys rock music and not the flavor of the week that's got a corporate bank account behind them, then we local rockers will catch a break. I doubt it, though.
What we need and don't have: Downtown St. Louis does need high-end amenities [Jim Nesbitt, "Elvisville," August 28]. This would include museums, theaters, restaurants, stadiums, clubs and parks -- a fabulous St. Louis Museum of Modern Art downtown in a more hospitable environment than Forest Park. Sidewalk cafés! The Washington Avenue work is a total disgrace. The Empire State Building went up in eighteen months. How long is this mismanaged work on Washington Avenue going to take? Just long enough to kill all the fledgling business that existed before the work started? Was that the goal? Yes, the form of government that the city has is a great roadblock. Can you imagine downtown with 20,000 residents, all new to the city limits, not beholden to the current aldermen? Wow! That's a real problem in the city -- these little fiefdoms are afraid of new people. [Newcomers] might not be beholden to them, and they might lose their power. I moved back to St. Louis in 1978. We never failed to shop downtown on a regular basis. Loved to go there at Christmas. Have not done that for several years. No place to shop! This has to be corrected. Downtown Indianapolis is far more lively than St. Louis. So is Memphis. Very sad. Keep the articles coming. I have written Crate & Barrel several times, imploring them to take a chance and build a St. Louis "flagship" store on Washington Avenue for the people living downtown and tourists to come to. Maybe one of these days we won't think of Michigan Avenue as a place to go but Washington Avenue.
Larry J. Parrish
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Infantile Speedloader: Perhaps you were very busy this week and did not have time to proofread Mr. Nesbitt's column [Jim Nesbitt, "Dollar for Dollar," September 4]. He used "Vinny" and "Frankie" and its derivatives 41 times to refer to former Mayor Vince Schoemehl and current Mayor Francis Slay. It was like listening to my child when he first learned the word "penis." He would use it whenever he could just to hear himself say it. Not only was this repetition boring and most likely discouraged in any style guide, but it also exhibited a clear lack of respect. A little irreverence is fine. However, the references to Schoemehl and Slay in this article were simply petty.
Flip the switch: Mike Guzy wrote a popular weekly column for the Post-Dispatch [D.J. Wilson, "Big Boot," September 4]. Mike Guzy is no longer welcome to write for the Post-Dispatch. The Riverfront Times is a popular weekly newspaper. Any light bulbs going on there?
Richard L. Swatek
Don't let the door hit you in the butt: Your article on the Cowans' boathouse experience [William Stage, "Choppy Waters," August 28] is my favorite RFT article of all time. It illustrated how beautifully the universe keeps everything in balance. Ken Cowan first saw the boathouse the first time he was in Forest Park. As often happens, a fresh set of eyes can spot something that those more familiar might miss. Mr. Cowan spotted the boathouse's potential, and for this we owe him. How the Cowans handled their short stay in St. Louis perfectly set the mold for the problems they brought on themselves. When the city told the Cowans to get in line with everyone else, it was perfect. It is exactly what they gave and exactly what they got back. They seem so confused. They then folded their tent and hustled out of town. It is no loss. Whoever takes over the job of running this small but attractive piece of St. Louis's Forest Park will have my best wishes. The world seemed to be a fairer place after reading your article. Kind of like having someone tailgating you on the highway and, after cutting you off, they go speeding away. A mile or two later you see them on the side of the road with the flashing lights of a patrol car accompanying them. Perfect order, perfect world.
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