Forever mad at Melissa -- and her boss: I have recently read the food critique article "So Over the Hill," written by Melissa Martin [May 1]. Reading this article has proven to me that you are not in control of your newspaper. If you do maintain control over the work that is printed, then I am disappointed in your lack of journalistic integrity. You have shown your opinion of St. Louis dining, and I intend to show my opinion of your newspaper.
Giovanni Dominic Galati
Overblown and blown away: I don't understand why you ran the article May 22 [Wm. Stage, "Tough Enough"] about allegations of problems between Union Station security guards and employees. People are staying away from Union Station already because of the African-American boycott in response to the Station's dress code, which was in response to customers staying away because of unruly teens. So why blow up a few tussles between a few bartenders and security and scare even more people away? On May 20th, one of the counter-protester's signs read, "Save Union Station," believing Dr. King wouldn't have stood up for people dressing like gang members and scaring off white and black customers alike in the last shopping center of a declining downtown.
Dump her again: Many Riverfront Times readers mourn the retirement of Joe Bonwich. Alas, you have decided to fill that hole in your pages by bringing back the egregious Jill Posey-Smith ["Fond Affections," May 15]. What a bad choice! In her previous stint at the RFT, I grew to dislike her thoroughly for her mean-spirited reviews and elitist attitude. That attitude sat poorly on the shoulders of one whose coy references to her coterie of dining companions brought to mind Oscar Wilde's epigram on fox hunting: "the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable." The recent visit to St. Louis of Ruth Reichl, long-time food reviewer for the New York Times, is a good reminder of what readers really want in a dining critic. We like to read the work of one who clearly "knows this stuff," who may well know a great deal more about food and drink than we do, but who does not flaunt that knowledge. We like critics who give the impression that they will gladly tuck in their napkins and roll up their sleeves to dive into a good meal, and at least be polite enough not to sneer openly over their plates when they encounter a bad one. The RFT has featured several other quite acceptable food writers of late. Stick with them, please, and don't risk driving away those who often pick up this paper only to read the dining section by keeping on the one reviewer most likely to make us give up the RFT.
Love her, don't leave her: Thank you for all the nice things you had to say about our Tony's. I am delighted you enjoyed the cream-of-wild-mushroom soup. If you need an avocado fix, stop by some evening when I am at Tony's, and we will go back to the kitchen ... ripe avocados and spoons are always available. I enjoyed your entire column in the May 15 issue. Keep up the good work!
Vincent J. Bommarito
Take this spin and shove it: Jim Nesbitt's "Midnight Caller" [May 22] was an excellent evocation of both the still-smoldering embers of hatred left over from the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia, and of how many of its Bosnian survivors are forging new lives in St. Louis. Why did he have to add two gratuitous paragraphs at the end of the article lambasting patriotism and those who fly the American flag or tape decals of the flag to their cars or trucks? Does Nesbitt think all patriots who show respect for this country's flag are yahoos of a certain political ilk? I have two flag decals on my car. I've never been a "love-it-or-leave-it" kind of patriot. I'm more of a "love-it-or-change-it-to-something-better" American. I've never been conflicted over my patriotism. It's always been strong and unwavering. My anger has not been at my country, but at things done in its name and at right-wing fascists who try to hijack patriotism, the flag and love of country. It's my country, and I'm damn proud to be an American. Yeah, I'm a left-wing, radical American who won't let right-wing fascists or mealy-mouthed, hand-wringing, guilt-stricken, bend-over-backwards, fuck-me-in-the-ass, politically-correct yahoos define my patriotism. Nesbitt, you can put your own spin on those flying the flag or having flag decals on their cars and trucks. Just, don't you dare lump me in with your everyones.
Robert A. Frauenglas
The Riverfront Times is looking for a freelance restaurant critic. We want someone who is passionate about food and knowledgeable about the restaurant industry, and is able to produce stylish, opinionated columns. Qualified applicants should send a cover letter, résumé and clips (plus a sample review if you haven't reviewed before) to:
6358 Delmar Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63130