Thank you for publishing Professor Constance C. Bodurow's essay "We are (or aren't) alone" (Metro Times, Feb. 14) on the Shrinking Cities exhibition currently on view at both Cranbrook Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. She presents a thoughtful and thought-provoking review of the exhibition, and thankfully does not shy away from the project's inherent problems. When my colleagues at both Cranbrook and MOCAD made the decision to bring Shrinking Cities to Michigan, we were concerned about what we knew could be viewed as a romanticized European view of Detroit's "ruins," one that traces its roots to Camillo Vergara's now mostly discredited proposal to turn Detroit into an industrial theme park. At the same time, however, we felt that there was enough solid research backing the exhibition that warranted us presenting it in this region. It probably would have been suicidal for an institution to bring the exhibition to Detroit a decade ago, but we residents of metro Detroit are in a different place today one that allows us to realistically assess the present situation in order to creatively model a new future. I envisioned this exhibition as a catalyst for precisely the dialogue that Bodurow initiated with her essay. It is now up to the rest of us who care about this region to continue the conversation and implement change. Gregory Wittkopp, director, Cranbrook Art Museum
The cult of hope
Re: "When pigs fly" (Metro Times, Feb. 21), I enjoy reading Metro Times, but I have one issue: Why do Metro Times editors and columnists need to make personal attacks against Republicans in their articles? Can't we leave politics and partisanship out? Or, why not write about the positives of your Democrat politicians (Ficano, Kilpatrick, Granholm) instead of pointing out how terrible the John Englers, L. Brookses, and Bushes of the world are ruining our country.
Leave politics out of your articles, and accentuate how Detroit is prospering with all the new developments, etc. That would be much more interesting than any Metro Times article written by Larry Gabriel or Jack Lessenberry.
I am a right-wing conservative who loves living in downtown Detroit and thinks it is OK to disagree with a person's politics, but not at the expense of being insulting or degrading. Tauras Barauskas, Detroit
Re: "Nukes & NIMBY" (Metro Times, Feb. 28), another Lessenberry snipe at the Green Party? There's nothing new there. But it's an interesting coincidence that this one comes in a column where Jack worries about a problem Michigan Greens addressed years ago. The Green Party of Michigan has been calling for on-site vitrification of spent nuclear fuel since 2003. And we've alerted the media repeatedly (including Jack).
Vitrification captures nuclear waste in glass ingots safer to store and transport, and harder to make into conventional or "dirty dust" nuclear weapons.
Mind you, utilities might be unhappy that vitrification lets us connect cleanup costs of nuclear power directly with the nuclear reactors in our own back yards. But some of these things are already here in Michigan. Why not hire people here to do the cleanup?
And, Jack, why not tell your audience more about Michigan Greens and the other alternative parties? Greens have good ideas that grow from the party's principles. Your readers deserve to know more. Meanwhile, they can see for themselves by visiting our Web site, migreens.org. John Anthony La Pietra, Marshall
Soup to nuts
Jane: Loved your fabulous restaurant review of Tango Bravo Argentine Grill ("South American way," Metro Times, Feb. 21). I intend to check out the restaurant, but I have to disagree with you on one point: Che Guevera, great man though he was, is not Argentina's most famous son. That distinction belongs to Diego Maradona. Yeah, I know. Go ahead and call me a soccer nut. Lekan Oguntoyinbo, Macomb Township
I rarely respond to articles, but when I read Jane Slaughter's review of Hong Hua ("Fine China," Metro Times, Feb. 7), I knew exactly how you felt.
I am from Windsor, but I'm in the Royal Oak area pretty much every day. There are many times where I crave "real" Chinese food. I am Chinese, and, even though I lived in Canada most of my life, I was still brought up eating Mom's traditional dishes.
I've been to several restaurants in the United States, and none of them satisfies my cravings. They have pretty much the same dishes. You know: the oh-so-popular sweet and sour chicken balls.
The only suggestion I have is cross the border to Windsor. Pretty much all the Chinese restaurants here serve authentic Chinese food. A bunch of them are on the same block on Wyandotte, close to the bridge. There's a couple barbecue shops there too. On Saturdays and Sundays there's a lot of Chinese-American people that come over here because they don't have the same stuff there. Elizabeth Ha, Windsor, Ontario
John Dicker dismisses Gore Vidal in his review of a Vidal memoir ("Vital Vidal," Metro Times, Jan. 17) as "an anachronistic dissident." Vidal's extensive efforts in elaborating the principles on which this country was founded are obviously passé for Dicker, as is his detailed illustration how the elites of this country have betrayed these principles and plundered this country's wealth, leaving us in massive debt in order to feather their own nest. Indeed, Vidal's breakdown of the rise of the national security state in the United States after World War II, which has directed an overwhelming amount of social resources in this country toward military waste and debt finance, must be quite boring for Dicker. Obviously, the only thing that matters to Dicker and his kind is displaying their ability to dish out snarky bon mots toward people whose work they are incapable of understanding. Raymond Garcia, Lansing
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