Letters to the Editor - Less is more August 12 2004

I love paradoxes, so I was delighted by Cecilia Kane’s letter — which points right at the Atlanta art community’s major problem but completely misses the solution (Going Postal, “My opinion,” Aug. 5). Kane suggests Felicia Feaster should attend more openings and interact more with the artistic community. However, the visual arts in Atlanta already suffer from too much “interaction.” Too many curators here choose artists for their schmoozing skills rather than their creative imagination, and too many Atlanta critics won’t criticize lest they upset a friend.

For sure, Ben Apfelbaum, the Spruill’s curator, is not part of this tendency: He is nothing if not bracingly forthright. But Kane couldn’t be more wrong when she says that Feaster should be closer to the community she covers. In fact, when it comes to the Atlanta art world, a little less proximity would go a long way.

-- Charles Reeve,

editor-in chief, Art Papers

br>?We’re here
I just finished reading your article on Backstreet (News & Views, “Dead end for Backstreet?” July 29). I can only think of how sad it must be for the people who are doing everything in their power to keep Backstreet down to have nothing else to do and no other kind of life other than trying to run the lives of others. For three-plus years, I have considered Backstreet “my club”! I’m sure that I’m not the only one who is tired of uptight assholes trying to impose their will as law. We’ll always be here, Backstreet or not, and we’ll be in your face just because you tried to keep us out and shut us down. Maybe if these people of the “community” would realize that they can’t judge us all by a few bad apples and you can’t label [everything] as a “bad element” just because it doesn’t agree with your lifestyle or belief, then this certain part of our city would become a model of love and compassion. Backstreet and its patrons are a “family,” and like it or not, this family isn’t going anywhere.

-- Suzanne Pierce, Snellville

br>?Protest with me
How dare you call Atlanta fugly (“That’s fugly,” July 29)!?! Check your facts, mister — we have roads, big roads. Who needs sidewalks? I think it’s much more interesting to play Roswell Frogger when the sidewalk ends (try dodging cars coming from both sides in the middle turn lane for bonus points). You condemn cluster homes, but what brings a community closer together than being able to look out your window and right into your neighbor’s $700K house? Answer: being able to reach your arm out your window and touch your neighbor’s $700K home. You never even mentioned those beautiful new cardboard “townhomes” in Atlantic Station. Drive by that concrete jungle and then tell me Atlanta’s not doing it right. I’m going to take to the streets and protest this insane article of yours and I ask the people of Atlanta to join me. People of Atlanta, protest CL, get in your cars and join me every day, twice a day, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. and also from 5-7 p.m. Show CL that you won’t let them call our streets fugly!!

-- Jason McCarthy, Atlanta

br>?Kudzu city
I see my beautiful hometown falling prey to the horrors of architecture, but I have a few comments about “That’s fugly” (July 29).

1) There are some truly beautiful places left in Atlanta but I don’t want to write about them ‘cause they should remain secret and unharmed.

2) There are artistic contemporary items added to the Atlanta roads — most of the sculptures added for the Olympics remain and are great!

3) I recommend some secret kudzu planting, perhaps around CityView — one week and it’ll be covered! Much like my bitchin’ Camaro, toilet and two washing machines in the front yard.

-- Rachel Adams, Los Angeles, Calif.

br>?So ashamed
Thanks for drawing attention to the bland, soulless landscape that is Atlanta (“That’s fugly,” July 29). I’ve often maintained that Atlanta is nothing but a suburb, a suburb with no urban center. After living in Chicago for numerous years, the crap that is Atlanta makes me ashamed to be a native.

Oh, I was wondering if you’ve considered Atlanta’s seemingly ubiquitous use of corrugated steel that wishes to convey urbanity, but only conveys a cheap stupidity?

-- Hobart Anthony, Gainesville

?No end in sight
Michael Wall: Thank you for having the courage (read: balls) to write one of the finest columns I’ve read in ages (“That’s fugly,” July 29).

As a native Georgian who’s always lived OTP — save two life-defining moves in my youth, one to northern Africa, the other to the Middle East — talk about antipodes, I have witnessed rural areas, once treasured for their lack of pace, give way to such violent change. Future residents of such areas will never know the beauty and quality of life resting in their land’s past, primarily due to the heinous reality that people don’t care about history.

It would appear there’s no end in sight. As a member of the “next generation,” as it were, how we are to recover from this seems an insurmountable task. Maybe in the future, developers won’t be so blinded by their own desire to turn a quick buck. That’s my “American dream.”

-- Timothy Kimbell II, McDonough

br>?Thankful for ITP big boxes
Thanks for the article about big-box retail in our beloved ATL (News & Views, “Big, bad boxes,” July 29). As an intown resident of East Lake, I am excited about the new development at the old AGL site. Instead of having to waste gas, waste time, and pollute the environment on weekends driving a billion miles to get to Home Depot, Target, etc., I will only have to drive a few minutes. Unfortunately, we citizens of ITP do frequent these retailers and are glad to see them closer to home. I do agree that the environment in which we live should not be too terribly compromised to bring them in, however. Surely our city planners, architects and developers can find a way to make the big boxes less obtrusive and fit nicely into our cityscape while bringing convenience to us who proudly call intown Atlanta home.

-- Elisabeth Eickhoff, Atlanta

br>?He has a soul!
Cliff Bostock: [Your column] is serendipitous in timing (Headcase, “Of death and love,” July 29). Just today, a friend and I were sharing our “pet” stories and we agreed that if there are souls on this earth, they belong to the animals. If there are any souls left over, well, maybe they belong to some people.

If my friend — and my “newfound” philosophy — is right, if there are “leftover” souls available for some of us humans, you have one of them.

-- Sheridan Thorn, Atlanta

br>?Tell the secret
I share your general lack of enthusiasm regarding plotless musical reviews and your lack of patience with the seemingly unending radio clips in the dark in ART Station’s production of Route 66 (Arts, “Trip down Oldie Lane,” July 29); however, I must say that Route 66 is the most polished production I’ve seen at ART Station. It was nice to hear songs done without mics for a rare change, and that blond kid could drown out Ethel Merman! Out-act her, too.

I was sad to see Actors Theatre of Atlanta have to drop the third play of its season. The high quality of its productions and the modest price of tickets make ATA a theater bargain. Unfortunately, it’s also Atlanta’s best-kept secret, a situation that needs remedying.

I think one of ATA’s great assets is also its greatest drawback. The general public seems to have no idea where the theater is located and, if they do know, believe that a theater in a high school facility is going to be like seeing the senior play at Back Home High. I think overcoming this location issue is [producing artistic director Jay] Freer’s great challenge, and I hope that you and other much-read reviewers will help him get out the message that ATA is easier to get to than most Atlanta theaters, that the Lovett campus is one of the city’s three top physical plants. The parking is safe, convenient and free, and no quality corners are cut on ATA productions.

Freer consistently offers excellent productions of excellent scripts that are not being done and redone by the other theaters in town; I am grateful for that. Even your Hot Ticket plug couldn’t get me to another production of Driving Miss Daisy.

-- Charles Josey, Atlanta

br>?Making a difference
Thank you for taking the time to write an excellent article about Eddie Crawford’s sad case (News & Views, “DNA debacle,” July 22). I believe it will make a difference in someone’s mind concerning the death penalty.

-- Anne Hall, Clarkesville

?Make me think
Felicia Feaster: Thank you for your insightful write-up on the Peachtree Creek exhibition at Fernbank (Arts, “Water world,” July 1). I was really impressed with the level of information that you presented. It seemed to go beyond the material displayed at the museum. Great thought-provoking piece which actually made me rethink how I chose the images for the exhibition.

-- Dave Kaufman, Cumming