EDITOR: In the Nov 3 issue, Sara Dickerman reviewed Dinette ["Where Toast Is Love"]. I have eaten there—it's no big deal and her review seems to allude to that. But what I found disturbing was how, in about the third paragraph, she dropped the note that the owner of Dinette is a former coworker. Huh? Of all the places that serve food, she chooses a fairly new restaurant and gives the toast a rave? Oh, and we used to shower together. Fuck that, why is a friend reviewing another friend's work?

But what really got my dildo all dirty is this latest mess ["Dining on the Down Low," Nov 10]. So she slinks off to a mysterious unnamed island and eats at what can only be termed an "illegal food manufacturing facility" replete with live animals and no health-code certificate. So, does our undercover reporter call the officials and turn this place in? Does she "out" this illegal-operations owner in a blistering review, not only naming names, but also offering up scientific results from the bacteria she took from the dirty kitchen? Does she call the state and report the sale of alcohol? Fuck no, she raves about it again.

Get a real reviewer; yours is stupid, biased, and lacks integrity.

David Mar

CHOW EDITOR DAVID SCHMADER RESPONDS: First, I'm sorry to hear about your dildo. As for Sara Dickerman reviewing a restaurant run by someone with whom she once worked—get over it. One of the reasons Dickerman knows her shit about food is that she used to be a cook. She knows many people in Seattle's food scene, and occasionally she'll be required to review the work of someone she knows. As for Dickerman's alleged failure to transform herself from food reviewer to public health informant—uh, get over that, too. Thanks for writing.


DEAR STRANGER: In Living it Up [Nov 10], Lars Russell tells us of Peter's foolish mistake of inviting someone he did not know over to his house to sell weed to him, rather than first meeting in a public location. That was dumb. It was also dumb that the only mention of anybody's race in the entire article was in reference to "a black man from a poorer part of New Orleans" who robbed Peter. The man's race, as indicated by Peter's self-realized moral, "don't sell to locals," had nothing to do with the incident and was no more or less relevant than the races of any of the college students featured in the story. Why go out of your way to indicate the race of a criminal who is black while not mentioning the race of any of the other people in the story, especially those criminal, pot-smoking college students? I imagine there's no malice in this error, but the fact that Russell wrote it and the editor(s) approved it indicates that perhaps some of us are less progressive in our thinking than we assume.



EDITORS: People really don't recognize the difference between personal annoyance and public health hazard, it appears. It's idiotic to assert that someone's smoking a cigarette within 25 feet of you is anything of a threat, or that the ban passed [last week] provides any legitimate safety. The truth is that our world is polluted beyond comprehension, and that is not going to be any different tomorrow than it was yesterday. The air, the water, the food, everything that surrounds us is poisoned every minute of every day, and there is no nifty little law that we can pass to stop the effects, much less reverse them, because the sources of the pollution are not handily standing next to us in bars providing easy scapegoats. Personally, I loathe Nag Champa, the ubiquitous stink of new-agey and multicultural stores everywhere. Whenever I pass the little place next to Charlie's on Broadway, I hold my breath for several feet in preparation. That's called being part of the world without demanding anyone else cater to my personal preferences rather than their own. And to all the smug pro-901 voters who are dancing little victory Macarenas, here is my prediction for the true legacy of this inane initiative: Since many smokers have tended not to smoke inside their homes, and now they will literally have no other options, there will be a lot more buildings burning to the ground. But I'm not a poor loser, so when we meet at the bus stop, where I used to be able to have a cigarette while waiting, I will smile politely as you breathe clouds of exhaust from each passing bus... and I hold my breath until it clears.

Dana Sweeney


CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE: It was fascinating to read how different writers have been influenced by Joan Didion ["The Stealing Never Stops," Nov 3]. While I would never dare to emulate her myself, I have shamelessly stolen one brilliant line from her, and use it whenever some nitwit tells me to "Have a nice day." I respond with Joan's "I have other plans."

Brian Templeton