Spearing the Lord: I don't blame Jeff Stratton for ending his Bandwidth column ("The Width of a Circle," February 12). Let's face it: He had it rough. Jesus is particularly thankful he never had Jeff's job. Being crucified is one thing, but he never had to endure the true horror of a publicist offering him free CDs. All he got was a spear through the ribs. [Editor's note: Don't forget those nails.] But thank God a promo package was never strapped to his back. I'm sure he was happier with that cross... no paper cuts or cheesy eight-by-tens. Go get 'em, Fletch!
Via the Internet
Jeff is our salvation: I picked up a couple of recent issues of New Times and read Jeff Stratton's articles. His writing style is fantastic. There's always passion and opinion, perspective and personality. Jeff is a great storyteller. I hardly ever find the time to peruse periodicals, yet each time I come across something Jeff has written, I wonder why I don't read New Times more often. Now that I have stumbled upon the website (www.newtimesbpb.com) while sending my communication to you, I will pull it up often the get the scoop. (It's much more accessible than a paper box.) And I'll look forward to anything Jeff writes. Hope all is going well for you.
Lisa "Noodles" Hayden
Send 'em to jail: Bob Norman's February 12 column, "Hospital Index," appears to expose fraud and misuse of public funds -- a big scam using taxpayers' money to party and have fun. I'm willing to bet if the money came out of the pockets of the administrators, it would be a different story. From reading the article, it appears they have a license to steal. They should all go to jail.
It won't be easy: Regarding Sam Eifling's February 5 cover story, "Liar, Liar...," I do hope when the Bush statue makes it to Texas, it will make a stopover in New Orleans and share the message with this great city. Take it to the streets, and get the message out.
Or at least that's how it seemed: I just finished reading Sam Eifling's article on the Bush mobile. I had the pleasure of seeing our sorry excuse for a president with his pants aflame last week on Miami Beach. At the time, due to an altered state, I wasn't sure if I was simply daydreaming or if someone had finally worked up enough guts to stand up for what he or she believed in. I saw the vehicle again, later that night, confirming that it was in fact real. I commend both Ben Cohen and every man or woman who has or will drive the flaming Bush. My best wishes to the brave soul taking it through Texas. It feels good to know that there are people out there still brave enough to stand up for what they believe in.
Means money-game misfortune: I recently read Trevor Aaronson's January 29 article about DUI ("One-Way Street"). I find it ironic that, as I was reading it, I was looking at an off-duty cop who comes to my job almost every day that he works. He is sitting with two other guys, one of whom is another cop who is on-duty, and he's watching his off-duty buddy sitting here eating and drinking beer with this other guy. The on-duty cop leaves, and the off-duty cop and his friend stay and continue to polish off a 12-pack of Icehouse between the two of them. Then they leave, each one getting in his own car and driving away with no one but me and the people I work with the wiser!
It amazes me that the people who are sworn to serve and protect can get in their cars after drinking a six-pack of beer and be above the law. But if you're someone like my fiancé, who had three beers and got charged with a DUI, you have to suffer the consequences of the money game.
Disgusted by the System
Via the Internet
Get regular, chump: In response to the January 29 restaurant review titled "Chez Blasé," which was in reference to Chez Laurent in Fort Lauderdale, I was rather disappointed with your critic's take on the place. I have been a regular at Chez Laurent for more than a year now, and not only do I enjoy the food but I am in love with the ambience of the place, as I find it to be the most intimate and charming setting in town. Compared to the crowded and corporate cafés of Las Olas, which rush me through their drab menus, charging me an arm and a leg, I find that Chef Laurent Altvatter has created something authentic and appealing with his laid-back piano music and colorful décor, and what's more, his entrées are brilliant. You cannot compare his trois mignons to anything on the menu at the Las Olas Brasserie, and his scallops are tremendous. Perhaps you should have your critic visit the old country, where the cuisine is as inspired as any of the arts and a bottle of wine is meant to be sat with and enjoyed, not rushed through. As a connoisseur of fine dining throughout Europe, New York, Los Angeles, and what few mentionable establishments we have here in South Florida, I would have you reconsider your published opinion of the place. I'd also invite you to come see for yourself what fine dining is really about.
Please, drop in for dinner sometime at Chez Laurent for a fine meal. The crème brûlé may turn you into a regular patron like myself.
Joy sings sweet: We would like to respond to Mr. Lee Klein's critique of what he referred to as "Chez Blasé." We have been regular diners at Chez Laurent since Mr. Altvatter opened three years ago, because, first and foremost, we found his food to be of superior quality, comparable to some of the finest French restaurants anywhere. We also like it because he, his family, and his employees are so accommodating and considerate that it creates a most pleasant and friendly atmosphere. I feel welcome and at home there. And there's the enjoyable entertainment of Joy Smith, who is extremely talented and welcomes visiting amateurs to sing with her.
Mr. Klein has a right to express his personal opinions about what he experienced at Chez Laurent, even though they are mostly contrary to ours and any we have ever heard about. We think that Mr. Klein's so-called review was more of a nit-picking witch hunt for something to criticize, with several unkind statements and innuendo about things that are of no importance and have no purpose in being included in a restaurant review.
Françoise and Douglas Lowles