TO THE EDITOR VIA VOICE-MAIL: "Yeah, well guess what, William Steven Humphrey? Someone's playing some funny stuff while you're on vacation, because I went to pick up my favorite junk newspaper, and all that fell out was some junk mail [AOL inserts, June 19]! That's bullshit, dude! Poppin' in AOL CDs after all those "I, Anonymouses" and all those, like, pseudo Green Party, hippie supportin' letters and articles you publish! Bullshit, dude! C'mon man, get it together! AOL? Don't sell out to those fuckers! Now you're really pulling some strings and pushing some buttons, buddy. I hope you straighten it up, and I hope you regulate when you get back from vacation, 'cuz this is an outrage, a disgrace to the good citizens of our community. But uh, I'll still read your paper anyways."


TO KATIE SHIMER: Since you're amazed by the persistent debate regarding the gentrification of Alberta, why don't you (or someone at the Mercury) consider examining why the debate doesn't subside ["Last Supper," June 19]? I think a discussion of displacement in the historically African American neighborhoods of Portland (not just around Alberta) would make an interesting article or even a series of articles.

When I moved here six years ago, from a city with a large African American population, I was shocked at how ethnically homogenous Portland was. However, despite Portland's small percentage of African-Americans, there existed a vital black community. That community is threatened by gentrification. The transformation of Alberta may be "so over," but, as you pointed out, the problem has simply shifted to the next economically marginal neighborhood.

The issue is complex, involving race, economics, and politics and deserves a thorough examination and discussion, one that I hope the Mercury (being the best alternative paper in town) will initiate.

Nathan Loebner


HEY, PORTLAND MERCURY: I love you. I'm not hip, I'm not fashionable, I have a tin ear, and I can't taste the difference between the food at C.H.I.E.R.S. or BlueHour. But! I read your paper every week and--voila! I get dates! In spite of all those things! Cause I know all the awesome things going on that each girl just has to see. DimSum Night at Pix Patisserie? Well, I can't pronounce or spell it, but I know a girl who can. A Lit fashion show? I know an artsy chick! The Haggard is playing at Meow Meow? Time to call that scary chick! And after all these many months of exemplary service, I thought I'd drop y'all a hard-earned thank you note. The Portland Mercury: helping the clueless get chicks. And it really, really works.



TO THE ESTEEEMED EDITOR: Hearty congratulations are in order! With your new "Fruits of the Vine" column by Bertrand Falstaff Heine ["New Column!" June 26], the Chateaux Portland Mercury has finally emerged from a series of difficult vintages to produce the best wines of the decade. Reaching maturity at present, these are tight and fragrant by nature, charming with much finesse. Although earlier vintages were drunk and very young and, yet again, of a delicate nature, this new vintage promises to be splendidly long-lived and robust--sure to gain the acclaim of serious collectors the world over. I am certain that Mr. Frank Cassano himself is very proud of you all at Chateaux Portland Mercury. Please continue producing your exceptionally good "Fruits of the Vine," and congratulations to the impeccable Mr. Heine!

Gordon Davis

AND KUDOS TO YOU AS WELL, DEAREST GORDON for being the deserving recipient of the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" Your piquant and eloquent soliloquy on the inestimable talents of Mr. Heine has garnered you two tickets (gratis) to our fair city's leading cinematheque, the Laurelhurst Theater. Oh, sweet unblemished triumph! Thy name is surely "Gordon"!


You know how much we enjoy receiving your letters, right? Well now we're receiving your physical correspondence at an entirely NEW PLACE. Starting now please send your cards and letters to Portland Mercury, 605 NE 21st, Suite 200, Portland, 97232. As with our disgusting content, our email address remains the same.

PLUS! Did you know the 2nd Annual Mrs. Portland Mercury Beauty Pageant is just around the corner? Well, it is! Please join us for a hoot 'n' hollerin' good time FRIDAY, JULY 11, at the Aladdin Theater (corner of SE Powell and Milwaukie). Festivities begin at 8 pm, and it only costs $5! That's a little dough for a LOT of beauty!