Dear Editor: Was your piece on parking lots meant to be sarcastic ["Save Our Parking Lots," Dominic Holden, Aug 21]? If it was, the subtlety was brilliant. If not, then why are you paying the author to paint turds? Dominic's idea that parking lots are the last refuge for the city is lost on me. I'm stupefied as to why a supposedly progressive paper would lend a sounding board to NIMBY-minded grouches? The parking lot is a throwback to the days when we drove everywhere, when we had so much room we could have a barren lot to park our Packards. But in a time of environmental awareness and sprawl, it's time to build up, and fix our transportation and homeless issues. Let's think forward and not try to "hold on to the night," because even Richard Marx can't paint a turd into something it's not.
THE EDITOR RESPONDS: In answer to your first question, yes.
Jen Graves: This by far is the most important and newsworthy article you have written ["No, Not Here, That's Not Possible," Aug 21]. Thank you for writing it. Although I am no longer painting in a professional capacity, I spent many years in St. Louis (and here) pursuing a life of painting. In the late '80s and early '90s, I spent many hours in the St. Louis Museum of Art drawing marble sculptures and copying paintings. For years to follow, I was always so pleased to see students of all stripes littering the galleries, engaged in the pursuit of "art." I actually considered the weekly or bimonthly trips to the museum a bust if I didn't get to see people working. I also felt especially lucky because I was able to take college credit courses through the world-famous Laumeier Sculpture Park; I spent many summer days sitting in the park drawing and analyzing sculpture.
The reasons I quit painting professionally are many, but I do think one of them is the nature of Seattle. Despite being a member of SAM, I think it is an atrocious museum. I think the attitude of SAM is atrocious. And I think painting, specifically, is completely undervalued in Seattle. Perhaps it is me (and getting much older) or perhaps it is just the current zeitgeist, but the whole DIY movement has created an "arty" culture that lacks any art culture.
Jack Wesley Wagstaff
Dear Letters to the Editor: "Li'l Bama" and his malt liquor was the second Drunk of the Week in a row [Aug 21] that resorted to racist themes (see: "Richard Swimming Eagle" [Aug 14]). More photos of people puking in waste bins and showing of their nether regions, less racism! Thanks.
EDITOR: In your New Column section we have three dashing stories.
Marcus Krittendorn blathering about ice-cream flavors, comic books, and a teeth- dissolving product known as a Slurpee [Aug 21]. Is this the truth, Marcus? This the best you can bring us with the space allotted to you?
"John McCain's Swollen Gland" [Aug 7] is about as witty and enlightening as the rest of his swollen corpse.
"Cancer Rising" [Aug 14]: 7.6 million people died of cancer last year worldwide. Was "Diabetes Rising" already taken?
EDITOR: My father was born near Chickasaw, Oklahoma, and due to this fact I also have a gravy-positive blood type ["Chicken-Fried Vision Quest," Joan Hiller, Aug 21]. Chicken-fried steak was a meal that was often requested, though infrequently delivered due to the labor of cooking it for a family of nine. To this day, it is still the meal that my brothers and I request for our birthdays. Joan's article brought back greasy, aromatic memories of my chicken-fried childhood.
Finding a good CFS in the Northwest is not an easy task. Most have been passable; some have been Lovecraftian creations of pure fucking terror. The single best CFS I have had in the Pacific Northwest is from a little restaurant in Centralia called the Country Cousin. I stopped there on my way to Portland last year and I cannot recommend it enough. I would advise you to skip the dining room and head straight to the lounge.
Thanks for the memories.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The response to "Chicken-Fried Vision Quest" was prodigious. Other readers recommend the chicken-fried steak at Geraldine's Counter in Columbia City, Austin Cantina in Ballard, Beth's on Aurora, Tommy's in Renton, and the Cozy Diner in Chico, California.