"There is more to equitable, interactive living than merely packing areas full of different ethnicities."

THE SUBURBS STILL STINK

While Priscilla Turner's "An Acquired Taste for the Suburbs" [Jan. 22] was interesting on an informational-demographic level, some of its pseudo-analysis left me, a suburbia escapee and Central District resident, disappointed. While stereotypes of suburbs do put forth images of wall-to-wall white people, the concerns raised by those of us who protest the suburban life-choice do not focus only on race. Commenting on a quote by Jennifer Bradley, who criticizes the suburbia life-choice as meant to "preserve privacy and discourage chance encounters with the unexpected," Turner rebuts by pointing out that Renton's Gene Coulon Park exposes one to a variety of skin tones on any given day. Turner clearly misses the point. Bradley's statement highlights the problem of people receding into suburban homes, carving out little kingdoms for themselves, and essentially opting out of worldly interaction. The physical geography of the suburbs encourages and promotes this tendency toward isolation, harming the psyche of the individual, the environment, and, as shown lately, our respectability on the international stage. When one complains about the dumbing down of American cultural experience, one is complaining about tendencies that directly feed into and promote this hedonistic cloistering. Denser, urban areas force one to interact and deal with people in a manner that is more immediate, engaged, and productive than what is offered in have-all-your-preferences suburbia. You'll have to forgive me for putting more value in racial diversity than does Turner's surface belief that having a multitude of skin tones in an area makes it truly diverse, worthwhile, or adventuresome. There is more to equitable, interactive living than merely packing areas full of different ethnicities.

Adam K. Wilson

Seattle

BAD TASTE

I found the title on your cover about the migration of black people to the suburbs suspect ["Movin' on Out," Jan. 22]. It smacked of a "Movin' on up" (as in The Jeffersons) mocking. Even more so, the line about "Martin Luther King County" was appalling and sad. What does Martin Luther King have to do with it? Would the cover have read George Washington County if the county were named Washington, or if the families featured were white? I think not. Your laissez-faire, dismissive, and hyperjovial reporting about people of color—particularly given the infrequency of such articles—smacks of insensitivity and trivialization on many levels. You can bet my view of where your publication's underlying perspectives and potential insights lean is now crystal clear. In a world growing increasingly multicultural, your paper is a breath of "foul" air.

M. Barkley

Seattle

EYE-CATCHING ARTICLE

What a striking layout and design on the "An Acquired Taste for the Suburbs" article [Jan. 22]. Nice work.

Lara Johnson

Seattle

MOSSBACK JACKASS

Knute Berger is a perfect example of Seattle jackassery [Mossback, "TV Star," Jan. 22]. He elected Gov. Locke to run our state, but when Locke steps up and finally makes a major decision, Berger criticizes the hell out of him. Nowhere did Berger make a single suggestion for an alternative to Locke's solution to the budget deficit. Doesn't he have the guts to propose a tax increase? How about a nice income tax, assuming he can get the state constitution amended? All the high-flying Westside overpaid technocrats would go along with that, right? In fact, Berger knows very well it's either more taxes or less spending, but balance the budget we must. So Berger must step up; where is his solution? Or is he just a critic with no constructive program?

I'm an Eastside Republican. I'm no great fan of Locke's, but he is in charge, and we'd damn well better get behind him.

Warren Nechodom

Richland

GREENER PASTURES

Are there any more questions on why liberals should bolt the Democratic Party and join the Greens [Mossback, "TV Star," Jan. 22]? If there is any doubt as to why voters have so many problems distinguishing between Republicans and Democrats (especially self-proclaimed "centrist," "moderate," "fiscally conservative," and/or "New Democrat"), especially in this state, I hope it has been dispelled by the performance of Gov. Gary Locke. He is, after all, one of the New Democrats, who are funded partly by big business, and therefore caters to that constituency. Why are we acting as if we are so surprised that he has proposed a budget that conservatives would love? There is a reason the Green Party is growing at the expense of the Democrats—they stand for something and offer an alternative vision separate from that offered by the Republicans and their "New Democrat" puppets.

John Miller

Seattle

CATFISH AND KARAOKE

I want to thank Jill Lightner for seconding the opinion I've held for years about the state of Southern food in Seattle ["Filet of Soul," Jan. 22]. Born and raised in Atlanta, I drank Coca-Cola instead of breast milk and knew how to fry chicken before I could do long division. I'm constantly amazed by the raves that my friends heap on the Kingfish Cafe. I've dined there six or seven times, and each visit has been more disappointing than the last.

Finding Thompson's Point of View was a happy day, indeed. I take my Yankee friends there so they can get a taste of some true Southern food and hospitality. The catfish is always crisp and delicious; the collards are some of the best I've had. And, if you're lucky and pick karaoke night to go, the entertainment can't be beat.

Lori Fleming

Seattle

FRIED ABOUT KINGFISH

Kudos! If I had to hear and/or read one more compliment about the Kingfish, I may have keeled over in disappointment ["Filet of Soul," Jan. 22]. For too long I thought I was the only one who found the restaurant more than simply overrated. Poor service and mediocre-at-best food make this dining experience a waste of time in a city with great alternatives, especially if you have to endure the elements for up to an hour. Thanks for not going along with the emperor's-new-clothes theory that Seattle has too easily swallowed.

Tim Mizrahi

Seattle

IN DEFENSE OF CRAB CAKES

Wow, I must say that I'm very surprised ["Filet of Soul," Jan. 22]. I've never had a bad meal or time at the Kingfish, so it's too bad that Jill Lightner had a poor experience. Granted, the no-reservations policy can suck at times; I'm acquainted with the restaurant industry, and having people not show up or cancel can be a bit of a pain.

Jill should try lunch and Sunday brunch, along with dinner again when it's sunny, as apparently the rain is too much. With a brunch menu that includes chicken and grits; my favorite, the Crab Cake Dewey; buttermilk pancakes; and a tasty egg torte, I don't think Jill or anyone will find a plain ol' waffle on the plate.

Jeff Sims

Seattle

CORRECTIONS

 

In his column last week, "Capitol Nil," Geov Parrish incorrectly noted that the length of the Legislature's session in even-numbered, non-budgeting years is 90 days. It's actually only 60 days, which, of course, only supports his point that part-time lawmakers are crunched for time.

In last week's SW This Week, we misidentified the location of Erika Langley's photography show, "Perishable." The exhibit is at Cornish College/Fisher Gallery, 710 E. Roy St., 206-726-5066; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Fri., noon-4 p.m. Sat.

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