A PORTLANDER PORTLAND
DEAR MERC—Thanks to Amy Jenniges for the "Wake Up and Smell the Condos" piece [News, Oct 5]. I was at the Buckman Community Association [meeting] when the developers presented their [original] proposal for a planned development at SE 20th and Morrison/Alder. Realizing that a redesign would be required to get the required neighborhood support, the developers made a few changes, and now claim that their Pearl-lite structure is allowed by law—without a planned development and without neighborhood input. We need more serious enforcement of existing zoning laws and perhaps design review in Buckman. Otherwise predatory developers will get rich and richer at the expense of what makes Portland Portlander.
DEAR MERCURY—For such a seemingly postmodern rag, the recent review of El Calentito seems incredibly US-centric [Film, Oct 5]. Although I haven't seen the movie, from [Marjorie] Skinner's review it sounds like a rehash of [Pedro] Almodóvar's first full-length Pepi, Luci, Bom y Otras Chicas del Montón, which does, in fact, reflect Spanish reality during La Movida, the Madrid underground which surged just after the Franco years. While the movida and artists Alaska and Almodóvar were burgeoning in the early '80s, the government scrambled to draft a constitution. Some, uncomfortable with the problems the newly found freedom brought, namely crime, sought to restore the old fascist regime by staging a coup in 1981. This would be the coup to which El Calentito refers. The people of the movida responded to all this by partying, by openly expressing their sexuality in different ways than those to which Spanish society was accustomed at the time, and finally by making ridiculous art documenting this with occasional political references. El Calentito sounds like it actually hits the mark, albeit unoriginally, even if it doesn't stand up to what a Portland hipster considers "meaningful."
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
DEAR MS. BROWNING [chef and owner of new restaurant Graze, and author of "Something to Chew On," Letters, Oct 12, in which she takes exception to the Mercury's review of her establishment]: As a potential diner at your establishment, I was very dismayed by your reaction to the review ["Tiny Tapas, Big Bill," Last Supper, Oct 5]. I can't imagine a restaurateur being panned by The New York Times writing a response as trite as yours, but it seemed you felt that because it was the Mercury you had some leniency. I was also disappointed by the fact that you didn't understand how the area your restaurant is in should play a part in the review. Locale, like ambience, always plays a role in the dining experience. Lastly, I would like to point out that most failed restaurants probably had staff/chefs working 100 hours a week to put out "un-crappy" food, but at the end of the day you are in the business of selling a product—and if you work to alienate future diners because you can't take some heat from the Mercury, maybe you should get out of the kitchen.K Boles
IN (UNNECESSARY) DEFENSE OF JIMI
DEAR MERCURY—Did writing that crap article damning guitar greats just to be "anti" make you feel better ["Anti-Guitar God," Feature, Oct 12]? I don't even have to defend Jimi. Know why? Because he didn't give a fuck when your grandpappy said the same shit. I'm going to take a guess here. You used to play guitar, but you sucked. Listening to someone else work magic is more than you can bear, so you make fun of it.Daniel the Maniel
WORSHIPPING THE GODS
DEAR MERCURY—Thank you for your totally righteous Guitar Gods issue [Feature, Oct 12]! I have been a worshipper of Guitar Gods since the young and nubile age of 11 when I would pore through issues of Circus and Hit Parader to read about Jimmy Page, Angus Young, and Glenn and KK of Judas Priest and kiss my posters of them. We must teach our children that Rock 'n' Roll will save their Souls!!!
TrixiedollCONGRATULATIONS TO TRIXIEDOLL for her exuberance in celebrating a lifetime of rock worship. She wins the Letter of the Week, which means two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater and $30 to No Fish! Go Fish!, where she will be served fare fit for the (guitar) gods.